WALTER Magazine - May 2019

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MAY 2019

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Walnut Creek Wetland Park A Hidden Garden Trophy Brewing Dinosaurs!



ON BLUE BAYOU I’m going back someday Come what may To Blue Bayou Where the folks are fun And the world is mine On Blue Bayou Where those fishing boats With their sails afloat If I could only see That familiar sunrise Through sleepy eyes How happy I’d be. -Linda Ronstadt



Volume VII, Issue 8

Gus Samarco (ROCKERS); courtesy Betsy Hutchison (HUTCHISON)

MAY 2019

48 OUR TOWN 46



QUENCH: Heirloom Brewshop Heritage food and drink


GIGS: Raleigh Rockers Our local breakdancing crew


NOTED: An Afternoon with Audrey Larry Wheeler’s brush with fame


GIVERS: Read and Feed A mobile classroom and diner


LOCALS: Benjy Shelton It’s kind-of a funny story


LOCALS: Betsy Hutchison Her life of service


GIVERS: National Charity League Mother-daughter philanthropy


SHOP: Record Krate Vintage finds in a hidden store


Letter from WALTER

20 Contributors 22 Your Feedback 24 Happening Now 115 The Whirl 130 End Note

On the cover: Students at the Walnut Creek Wetland Park; photograph by Justin Kase Conder





Back to Nature The fight to bring green space to an underserved neighborhood by Ayn-Monique Klahre photography by Justin Kase Conder


Digging Deeper Tour our Paleontology Research Lab by Ayn-Monique Klahre photography by Joshua Steadman


Musings on Motherhood Six writers tackle the subject by Ilina Ewen, Hampton Williams Hofer, Erin Lane, LaTanya Pattillo, Samia Serageldin, Kristi T.


Paradise Found A tour through a quirky garden by Ayn-Monique Klahre photography by Matt Ramey

108 First Place Trophy Brewing’s Raleigh roots by Catherine Currin photography by Bob Karp

80 108 12 | WALTER

Joshua Steadman (DINOSAURS); Annie Patterson (FAMILY); courtesy Trophy Brewing (LABEL)


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ften our articles start with one little spark—“Hey, that seems cool!”—and as we start to ask questions, we uncover the most interesting stories. That’s certainly what happened with our feature Back to Nature (pg. 70). I casually mentioned to a friend of mine (hi, Kathryn!) that I liked to go there with my kids, and she told me that it had a story behind it. Well, that was an understatement; more than a dozen interviews later and I know there’s so much more to tell than we can squeeze into our pages. In Digging Deeper (pg. 80), we got to know a team that literally scratches beneath the surface: the Paleontology Research Lab at the Museum of Natural Sciences. Dr. Lindsay Zanno took us through their workspace and storage areas to give us a glimpse of all that’s going on that you can’t see from outside its glass walls. In Paradise Found (pg. 98), we got a tour of an imaginative garden you’d never know existed, and in First Place (pg. 108) we learn how a couple of bartenders turned into local beer magnates. In honor of Mother’s Day this month, we have essays from six writers on the concept of motherhood— because whether someone’s

a new mom or learning about the mom they thought they knew, momness is almost always more complicated than you think (pg. 90). One of our authors, Samia Serageldin, let us use an excerpt from the book she edited alongside Lee Smith, Mothers and Strangers: Essays on Motherhood from the New South, and we’re lucky to have those two—plus Jill McCorkle and Randall Kenan—at our next Author Series on June 2 (more info at or on pg. 95). All this without even mentioning the people and organizations we meet in Our Town this month! I hope that you, too, get that thrill of discovery reading our May issue, and if you’re hungry for more when you get to the end, please head online for some of our digital-only content. Finally: If you love what you read, subscribe! It’s the best way to keep us digging for more stories.

Ayn-Monique Klahre Editor

Joshua Steadman

Learning about dinosaurs with Dr. Lindsay Zanno in the Paleontology Research Lab.

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Published 10 times a year by The News & Observer Publishing Co. A McClatchy Company 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 For customer service inquiries, please email us at or call 919-836-5613. Address all correspondence to: WALTER Magazine, 421 Fayetteville St., Suite 104 Raleigh, NC 27601 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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W R I TE R Williams Hofer lives in Raleigh where she writes and raises babies. “This will be my first Mother’s Day as a mom of three boys, so contributing to the series on motherhood for the May issue was special. I love the messy, relatable hilarity of parenting toddlers. I also love—and hope to instill in my children—the value of the written word, the visceral connection that comes from reading pages you’re holding in your hands, like these.”

S.P. MURRAY / P HOTO GR A PH ER Murray is the grand prizewinner of the prestigious National Press Photographers Association’s Women in Photojournalism Competition. Her work has given her the opportunity to meet and learn from many amazing people, and this month’s story, featuring Betsy Hutchison, is no exception.

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JUSTIN KASE CONDER / P HOTO G R A P HE R “Long before I traveled the world as an international photographer (43 countries and counting), or even picked up a camera, I wanted to be a elementary school teacher. I absolutely love children. They’re all of the superlatives ever ascribed them, but more than that they’re just FUN! Spending the day with the second graders of The Exploris School, traipsing through the wetlands around Walnut Creek Wetland Center searching for salamanders, fish, frogs, other small creatures… it just doesn’t get better than that! For me being able to step into the shoes of someone’s life for an hour or two at a time is what I love most about my work. Days like the one I spent with the Exploris’ students are the absolute best of that.”

W R I TE R LaTanya Pattillo is a wife, mother of five and a Jane of all trades. Originally from Philadelphia, she has strong roots in Columbus county, and lives in the Sandhills region of North Carolina. LaTanya received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from American University in Washington, D.C. She enjoys many things, but laughing and quilting are at the top of the list. “As mothers, shouldn’t we feel special and magnificent and appreciated? A resounding YES! We should. I do believe that motherhood (in the immortal words of hip hop artist Keith Murray) is the ‘most beautifullest thing in this world.’”

Courtesy contributors (HOFER, MURRAY, CONDER, PATTILLO)


MAY 2019

D e s i g n i n g a n d B u i l d i n g t h e We l c o m e H o m e s i n c e 1 9 8 4

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YOUR FEEDBACK @waltermagazine We love seeing our community enjoying WALTER! Tag us in a photo of your issue of the magazine and we might just give you a shoutout!

Here’s our April cover star chef Sean Fowler of Mandolin with his issue!

/QHFHM@Kǝ V HM DÉDQV Ǎ @ÉNQESK MNÇD At Garland, rocker/restaurateur Cheetie Kumar à >Àià iÀ «>Ãà v À v ` >à Üi >à y >Û Àà vÀ iÀ V ` ` Ü Ì Û Ã Ì Àà > ` V> à > i° Her nationally recognized restaurant specializes ` > > ` *> Ƃà > ` à iÃ] Ài Ûi Ìi` Ü Ì - ÕÌ iÀ y > À° >À > `] > } Ü Ì Õ >À½Ã cocktail bar, Neptunes Parlour, and nightclub, KINGS, are all original places here in Raleigh to i Þ Ü Ì vÀ i `à > ` v> Þ° Learn more at

Here’s artist Elena Caron with her story in our April issue. Follow us on Instagram to see more of what we’re up to! #wearewalter


WALTER 421 Fayetteville St., Suite 104 Raleigh, NC 27601

courtesy Artsplosure


ARTSPLOSURE Outdoor festival celebrates 40 years


aleigh’s outdoor art festival is back this month. Artsplosure is celebrating 40 years of the nonprofit organization and the festival. At the two-day event, you’ll find visual artists, musicians, live performances and celebrations. There will be over 180 juried artists, a large installation on One City


Plaza and family-friendly programming throughout the weekend. Local artists Louis St. Lewis and Nate Sheaffer have collaborated on the Artsplosure 2019 poster, an abstract depiction of Sir Walter Raleigh. Sheaffer is a neon artist, known for his recent interactive experience at Dix Park, Light the Woods with Sound. St. Lewis is a

mixed-media artist known for his many renditions of our city’s namesake. The duo recently created the displays for CNN at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. Artsplosure’s marketing director Cameron Laws says that St. Lewis is a longtime friend of the organization, and Sheaffer is a welcomed new member to


the Artsplosure family. “Louis has done many posters for us in the past, and they are always the most memorable. We are so glad to have two supporters of the event collaborate on the artwork and subtly tie back to our forty year history in our community.” The commemorative art, pictured above right, has ties to local artists like Bob Rankin, and Laws says the art “really captures the feeling of spring and new beginnings.” —Catherine Currin You can find Sheaffer and St. Lewis at Gallery C May 16 for the Artsplosure poster signing. Their collaborative work will be shown throughout Artsplosure at Gallery C. For more information on Artsplosure and the outdoor festival, visit APRIL 2019 | 25

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Get back to your roots at the 14th annual Spring Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance May 2-5. The GrassRoots Festival is a nonprofit that hosts four family-friendly festivals a year in New York, North Carolina and Florida. Founded by members of Donna the Buffalo, the goal is to foster community engagement, education and wellness through music, art and dance. Go for the music—there are over 50 acts, including Lukas Nelson & Promise of Real, Ellis Dyson & The Shambles with Katharine Whalen and Turkuaz—but stay for the rest, including art and craft vendors, dance and music workshops, healing arts practitioners, activities for children and food trucks. Tickets can be purchased for single day attendance or you can pitch a tent and settle in for all four days. See website for festival information and to purchase tickets; 1439 Henderson Tanyard Road, Pittsboro;



The North Carolina Symphony presents Carmina Burana May 3-4 at The Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. The scenic cantata, composed by Carl Orff, is based on a collection of medieval poems, a lusty set of verses that celebrate the pleasures of the body. Giving voice to this rousing piece is the North Carolina Master Chorale and the Capital City Girls Choir. The program, conducted by Carlos Miguel Prieto, also includes Hominum by Gabriela Ortiz and Prince of Clouds by Anna Clyne. Interested in learning more about the cantata? Join symphony members for a pre-concert talk in Swain Lobby at 7 p.m. 8 p.m.; from $18; 2 E. South St.;

courtesy Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival (FESTIVAL); Getty Images (CARMINA)



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Be out and about downtown on May 4 for Out! Raleigh, a festival that celebrates inclusiveness in our community. Gather the family you have or the one you choose and enjoy live entertainment, local vendors and artists, activities for children, food truck fare and a beer garden. Proceeds from the event support the LGBT Center of Raleigh and its 20+ community programs. Outstanding… 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; free admission; Fayetteville Street,

courtesy Out! Raleigh (OUT)

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MUSIC OF JOHN WILLIAMS Feel the force, you will. The Raleigh Symphony Orchestra presents May the Fourth Be With You: John Williams and His Influences at Jones Auditorium on the campus of Meredith College. Williams is responsible for some of the most iconic scores in movie history, including the Star Wars series, E.T., Jurassic Park, the first three Harry Potter films and Jaws. Duuunn dunnn... 8 p.m.; from $10.73; 3800 Hillsborough St.,


APEX PEAKFEST Summit historic downtown Apex for the 39th Annual Peakfest, a celebration of community featuring live music, food, activities for children and arts and crafts vendors. Visit website for festival details—you do not want to peak too early. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; free; Historic Downtown Apex;





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CHEERWINE FESTIVAL 3rd annual celebration in Salisbury


he classic cherry soda is celebrating in its birthplace of Salisbury, North Carolina. You can spend a day celebrating N.C. history and products at the third annual Cheerwine Festival May 18. The free festival will include a ‘Taste of the Carolinas’ sampling area with everything from hushpuppies and biscuits to homemade pimento cheese. Cheerwine’s Vice President of Marketing Joy Harper says that the festival is a great way to celebrate the beverage as well as give back to the company’s hometown. “The festival began to commemorate Cheerwine’s 100th anniversary, and it has become a beloved event

at our headquarters in Salisbury.” 30,000 people flocked to Rowan County for the event, and Harper says they hope to have an even larger turnout this year. Keep an eye out for Cheerwine-inspired foods like BBQ sauce, slushies and a Cheerwine float. There will be food trucks, live music including headliner Smashmouth, as well as scavenger hunts and a kids zone. “It’s a family-friendly event and a great way to spend the afternoon, all while enjoying a cold glass of Cheerwine.” —Catherine Currin 12 p.m.—10 p.m.; for more information on the festival, visit

courtesy Cheerwine


courtesy N.C. Museum of Art (SIGHTS); courtesy N.C. Museum of History (LONGLEAF)





The North Carolina Museum of Art’s Sights and Sounds Concert Series presents Olga Kleiankina on piano with Projections and Images by Emil Polyak May 5. Our Passage to the Stars is an immersive sensory chamber music performance featuring Kleiankina, who’s a professor of piano at N.C. State University, accompanying projections of the cosmos created by Polyak, an N.C. State University professor of art and design. The images are controlled through Kleiankina’s touch as she plays works by György Ligeti, Esa-Pekka Salonen and new commissions by Peter Askim and Rodney Washcka. 2-5 p.m.; from $15; 2110 Blue Ridge Road;

LONGLEAF FILM FESTIVAL Reel fun: The North Carolina Museum of History presents the 5th Annual Longleaf Film Festival May 10-11. The juried festival celebrates stories, historical and contemporary, about the state of our state from a variety of voices and genres. Categories include animated films, documentary features and shorts, narrative features and shorts, music video and middle and high school student films. Simply support this local arts scene with your presence—the festival is free and so is the popcorn. Fin. See website for festival dates and times; free; 5 E. Edenton St;

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PINK MARTINI Get shaken or stirred by Pink Martini. The North Carolina Symphony is joining the self-proclaimed “little orchestra” to bring their eclectic sound to the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts May 10-11. Strains of jazz and classical mix with Latin influence and traditional pop for an effervescent musical cocktail with a twist. See website for dates and times; from $40; 2 E. South St.,



Stroll the tree-lined streets of Historic Oakwood and support the local arts community during the 11th annual Front Porch Art Walk May 11. Meet over 70 new and established artists exhibiting work in ceramics, photography, glass, painting, jewelry, fiber arts, sculpture, metal works and more. Food trucks will be on hand to fuel the art-buying frenzy. Another good reason to add to your collection: proceeds from the art walk benefit The Green Chair Project. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free; Mordecai/Oakwood neighborhood;

Available at Cameron Village 435 Daniels Street Raleigh, NC 27605 919.366.6902

courtesy Pink Martini (PINK); courtesy Front Porch Art Walk (ART)

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courtesy Getty Images (LUMBERJACK); Greg Giannukos (SHAKEY)



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LUMBERJACK CHALLENGE Is Babe the Ox your spirit animal? Channel your inner Bunyan and enter the Lumberjack Challenge sponsored by Durham Parks and Recreation May 11 at Rock Quarry Park. Roll up your flannel sleeves and showcase your log carrying, log rolling and hatchet throwing prowess. Log on: registration is required, as there are multiple challenge times but limited slots. Lumberjacks must be 18 or older to participate. 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.; from $15 - $20; 701 Stadium Dr., Durham; events/996205850571419/



Rattle some bones when Shakey Graves hits the stage at the Ritz May 11. The Americana musician from Austin (born Alejandro RoseGarcia) is on the road promoting his latest studio release, Can’t Wake Up, and is joined by opening acts Illiterate Light and Kate Rhudy. This all-ages show is sure to be a Graves situation. 8 p.m.; $27; 2820 Industrial Dr.;

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Marc Maron is a late bloomer. He has been writing and performing comedy for over thirty years, but it was not until he was in his late 40s that he found professional acclaim through his hit ground-breaking podcast WTF. On it, Maron has interviewed everyone from Robin Williams to Keith Richards to former president Barack Obama. He is currently starring in the Netflix series GLOW and will be appearing in the upcoming film The Joker with Robert DeNiro and Joaquin Phoenix. True of most stand up comics, Maron is most at home on stage and will be making a special three-night appearance at Goodnights Comedy Club May 16-18. See website for show dates and times; $30 (plus two-item minimum); 861 W. Morgan St.;


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CAROLINA BALLET The Carolina Ballet closes out its 2019 season with Swan Lake May 16-19 at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. The story of the cursed swan princess is choreographed by Robert Weiss, the ballet’s artistic director, and set to Tchaikovsky’s enduring score played live by The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle. See website for ballet dates and time; from $47; 2 E. South St.;

courtesy Marc Maron (MARON); courtesy Carolina Ballet (SWAN LAKE)


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Comedy legend Carol Burnett appears at the Durham Performing Arts Center May 17 for An Evening of Laughter and Reflection. Harkening back to the unscripted opening of The Carol Burnett Show, Burnett will field questions from the audience and share classic video clips featuring her most memorable sketches and characters, like Nora Desmond, Eunice, Starlett O’Hara and the unflappable Mrs. Wiggins. Cue the ear tug. 7:30 p.m.; from $59.50; 123 Vivian St.;

It’s all right there in the name: The Got To Be NC Festival opens May 17 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds to celebrate the bounty of our great state. Got To Be NC is an initiative of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to promote the state’s products and goods. Visit the Homegrown Marketplace to sample local flavor from food companies, wineries and breweries. Talk to the animals at the Agri-plaza, bet on a pig race or saddle up a pony. Thrill to a tractor pull at the grandstand, yee-haw at the cowboy circus or hop on a carnival ride at the fairway. You’ve got to see N.C. to believe it. See website for festival dates and times; free admission (some activities require tickets); 1025 Blue Ridge Road;



Celebrate two environmentally-friendly events together on May 18: The 10th annual Longleaf Festival and the 20th Anniversary of Harris Lake County Park in New Hill. Make a day of it: The festival kicks off in the morning with live music from the Kudzu Ramblers, plus food, games and crafts for little ecologists. Learn about our beloved state tree and its historic value as an ecosystem as you ride on the Longleaf Express, a guided wagon tour of the park’s restored Longleaf Pine Forest. Post festivities, there will still be plenty of time to explore the 680 acre park hiking, biking, fishing and canoeing. Long may it live. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; free; 2112 County Park Dr., New Hill; harrislake/Pages/Longleaf-Festival.aspx

Join area cyclists for the Victory Ride to Cure Cancer May 18. The one-day charity event is sponsored by the V Foundation for Cancer Research, a legacy of North Carolina State University’s famed head basketball coach Jim Valvano. The victory ride winds through the rolling hills around N.C. State’s Centennial Campus with routes that range from 10 to 100 miles. Register a team or ride solo. Riders must be at least 15 years old to participate, but there will be a Kids Zone for bikers of all ages. Proceeds will benefit the Duke Cancer Institute, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Wake Forest Baptist Health Comprehensive Cancer Center. V the change. See website for ride information and to register;






Randee St. Nichol (BURNETT); Getty Images (TRACTOR, LONGLEAF); courtesy V Foundation (VICTORY)


courtesy Thrive NC

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Downtown festival fights hunger in North Carolina


he acclaimed downtown Raleigh festival is back for more in 2019. THRIVE NC will kick off May 9 at City Market, with its daytime summit tackling food insecurity throughout North Carolina. Last year, the event hosted by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina raised almost $500,000, benefiting North Carolina nonprofits. Reagan Pruitt, Vice President of Integrated Marketing & Community Engagement, says the organization was so pleased with last year’s success, they are striving to make this year event better. “The first year


was an overwhelming success and when Blue Cross NC has an opportunity to improve food insecurity in our state, we take it.” This year’s invite-only summit will include panelists, discussions and workshops. Speakers at the summit include Maggie Kane of A Place at the Table and Tabari Wallace, N.C.’s 2018 Principal of the Year. “We plan to host 170 people at the Summit and our speakers are an important part of having a productive dialogue that day.” The May 9 and 10 evening festivals at City Market are sold out, and will feature over 70 food and beverage ven-


at High Park Village The original Hunt & Gather, at 1910 Bernard Street, has been the premier location for fine estate furnishings since 2004. The constantly changing inventory includes furniture, mirrors, lighting, rugs, and decorative accessories. And, always accepting quality consignments! Mon-Sat 10-6 Sun 12-5 1910 Bernard St - Raleigh, NC 27608

919.834.9989 dors from the area. “Thrive NC not only elevates the nonprofits making a difference but celebrates the rich and diverse talent of chefs in North Carolina,” says Pruitt. Award-winning chefs Ashley Christensen and Vivian Howard will serve as hosts on Thursday and Friday, respectively, and the duo will select which charities receive the event’s proceeds. Christensen and Howard have also selected chefs in the region to participate in demonstrations each evening, including Lin Peterson of Locals Seafood and Dean Neff of Wilmington’s PinPoint restaurant. “Ashley and Vivian are both North

Carolina natives and chef activists in our community, who truly want to make a difference,” says Pruitt. “They want to be a part of this movement by celebrating food and still recognizing that we have a lot of work to do to address food insecurity.” —Catherine Currin




Something’s coming… It’s the West Side Story Symphony Concert featuring the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra at Raleigh Little Theatre May 18-19. Gather your Jets (or Sharks) for this musical tribute to Leonard Bernstein’s famous score. OK by me in America! See website for show dates and times; from $15; 301 Pogue St.;

The North Carolina Museum of History Foundation and the News & Observer present Michael Beschloss: Presidents of War. The presidential historian, news commentator and best-selling author of ten books will draw from his latest work, Presidents of War, to offer a glimpse into the life of a commander-in-chief during times of war. From James Madison and the War of 1812 to the present, Beschloss reveals the successes and failures of leadership at the highest level of government. 7 p.m.; from $47; 2 E. South St.;




CAROLINA FEARFEST There’s nothing to be scared of at Carolina Fear Fest 2019, the Triangle’s premier horror convention May 25-26 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. Chill at the two-day festival that includes meet and greets and exclusive panels with special guests like screenwriter John Russo (Night of the Living Dead) and actors Tyler Mane (Halloween, X-Men) and Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest). Thrill to a favorite horror movie at the film festival. Then, fill your sack with loads of merch and collectibles from vendors and artists. Oh, the horror! See website for festival dates and times; from $15; 1025 Blue Ridge Road;



N.C. SUGAR RUSH Downtown will be buzzing from N.C. Sugar Rush, the all-dessert food truck frenzy happening May 26. Have your cake and eat it too: in addition to the 20-plus food vendors, rushers can treat themselves to face painting, balloon artists and other sugary activities. Sweet. 1-5 p.m.; City Market, 215 Wolfe St.;

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

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courtesy N.C. Museum of Art


Hart's The Oracle of Lacuna, a 2017 exhibit at the Storm King Art Center, New York

SOUTHERN ORACLE NCMA’s newest outdoor installation


isual artist Heather Hart will build the next installment in her interactive series at the North Carolina Museum of Art this month. On display beginning May 4, Hart has built a site-specific sculpture resembling a roof in the Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park. NCMA Chief Curator Linda Dougherty says Hart’s main goal is for patrons to interact with her work, which will be on display well into the fall. “The whole point is viewer participation and community engagement. The activation of the work is equal to the physical object itself.” The sculpture, Southern Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof Off, is the fourth in the series and is inspired by musician George Clinton, a founding member of funk band Parliament, who was born in Kannapolis, North Carolina.


The title of Hart’s piece is named for lyrics in Clinton’s song, Mothership Connection. Hart utilized colorful stripes representing Parliament’s album covers, and invites visitors to interact on top of or within the piece. You can even plug in and play your favorite tunes with your cell phone in the ‘crowd-sourced jukebox,’ another homage to Clinton. The exhibition will kick off with a community party May 4 including food trucks, laser tag and stargazing with the Raleigh Astronomy Club. Dougherty says the summer months will include programming surrounding Southern Oracle, encouraging all ages to get outside and to interact with the art. —Catherine Currin For more information, visit





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Come together for Paul McCartney at the PNC Arena May 27. With a nearly three-hour set, Sir Paul will be playing all the songs: Beatles, Wings and tracks from his newly released album Egypt Station. Baby, we’re amazed. Parking lots open at 5 p.m. for a little pre-show Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da. (Parking fees apply.) 8 p.m.; from $400; 1400 Edwards Mill Road;


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Social change is music to their ears. Band Together presents their 2019 Main Event: Alabama-based soul band St. Paul & the Broken Bones with reggae pioneers Toots & The Maytals June 1 at Red Hat Amphitheater. Band Together is an organization dedicated to raising funds for a local nonprofit partner every year through benefit concerts. This year’s beneficiary is the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, a nonprofit that seeks holistic solutions to the hunger crisis in our community. Go raise money and the roof, too. 6 p.m.; from $20; 500 S. McDowell St.;

courtesy (MCCARTNEY); McNair Evans (BAND)



ROCK OUT Catch your favorite stars under the stars at one of the area's outdoor music venues this month.

RED HAT AMPHITHEATER May 10 Earth, Wind & Fire May 12 Bryan Adams May 16 Greta Van Fleet May 17-18 Prime Music Festival NORTH CAROLINA MUSEUM OF ART SUMMER CONCERTS May 17 An Evening with Dawes KOKA BOOTH AMPHITHEATRE May 4 Tash Sultana May 30 Outlaws & Renegades Tour: Travis Tritt & Charlie Daniels Band COASTAL CREDIT UNION MUSIC PARK AT WALNUT CREEK May 23 Bob Seger May 31 Hootie and the Blowfish

2019 EVENTS May y 18 8 A Day with Vivian Ho owa warrd d Brrin B i g yo our appeetite to Kin nston to diine and ex and expl plor pl ore witth the accclaimed or ed d che h f an nd re restaurrateurr SO S LD LD OU UT! UT June Ju nee 2 Bo ook Club w wiith h Leee Smi mith h & Samia Seera rage geld ge ldin ld in TTh h hes esse ce ese cele lebr le brat br ated writerrs wil at illll sh ha arre st stor o ie or ies ies from rom m the heir irr new col olle leecti ction ion off ess ssay say ayss, Mo oth ther erss an and d Strang gers, wiith t spe p ci cial al gue uest stts Jill McCorrkl k e an nd Ra R nd n alll Ke K nan Sept Se ptem emb ber 20 WINnovattion n Our fiffth t ann nua u l ce cele lebr le bration of br o women and in nno n va ati t on n in th thee Triangle For more infformation n, pl p easee visit w wa date te

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Summer goal: Take a snap in each of Raleigh’s most photogenic spots. Here are a few of our favorites—tag us on Instagram @waltermagazine with your own picks for pics and we’ll add them to our stories!












From leftleft to to right: From right: Designed For Joy Raleigh Rockers co-founders Kristen Napoleon Wright Sydow and Cary HeiseII,

Tu Minh Nguyen, and Brandon McCrimmon at CAM.


Meet our hometown crew of breakdancers by AYN-MONIQUE KLAHRE


f you’re lucky, you’ve encountered the Raleigh Rockers already: Spinning and doing one-handed flips, egging each other on as they go from one impossible move to the next. The group—individually, they’re called beat boys and beat girls—started in 2007 as a club at N.C. State, and slowly grew to include non-students. The eclectic mix of members combine raw talent and creativity with loads of practice; the breakdancing crew may not dance as their full-time jobs, but it sure does look like it. The current group has twelve members, and a handful of the originals remain including Dillon Carter, Andrew Ngo and John Galloway. The Rockers evolved from a school club to a true crew around 48 | WALTER

photography by GUS SAMARCO

2010, when the group decided to “take it to the next level,” says member Brandon McCrimmon, by battling other crews out of state. The Raleigh Rockers get together a few times a week to train together—usually in the Warehouse District at CAM— and McCrimmon (known as Beat Boy No Sense for a move involving spinning on his head) is quick to say that anyone is welcome to sit in on practice or join the dance. All year long, the group battles in competitions and for fun, judges other breakdancing competitions and teaches classes for a mix of learning, rehearsing and sharing their talents. The key to breakdancing, McCrimmon says, is to see what


4209 LASSITER MILL RD • RALEIGH, NC 27609 (919) 785-0787 • INFO@SHOPQUINTESSENTIALS.COM WWW.SHOPQUINTESSENTIALS.COM others are doing, but to invent your own style. “You do not want to copy, you want to be original in your own movement and personality.” When you copy someone, that’s called “biting,” and onlookers will not hesitate to call you out. “The biggest thing is to be yourself,” says McCrimmon. Overall, the spirit of breakdancing is one of friendly competition. “There’s always someone doing something tougher, or something with more style,” he says, and that compels them to work harder. Even now—much like breakdancing’s origins in the Bronx in the late 1970s—some of his biggest inspiration comes from kids as young as five who make up their own moves and share them on YouTube. “To see kids still loving this dance is awesome—I always say that the dance chooses you,” says McCrimmon. In addition to training and participating in battles against crews all over the U.S., the Raleigh Rockers hold workshops for kids and adults at venues like Arts Together, pop up at music festivals and participate in city events. The group’s upbeat energy can win over even the most shy or skeptical audience member—something I witnessed myself recently when the Rockers were special guests at Conn Elementary School’s winter dance. Within minutes of turning on the music, they had dozens of grade schoolers (and more than a few parents, too) on their feet learning moves with great enthusiasm. Both the sense of play and inclusivity are fundamental to the breakdancing practice. “My main goal is to motivate and inspire,” says McCrimmon. “If I can make someone smile when I dance, my job is done.”


The Read and Feed RV parked at Poe Elementary School

AN APPETITE FOR WORDS Read and Feed provides meals and mentoring to local youth by ADDIE LADNER photography by TYLER CUNNINGHAM


ou may have noticed an RV parked in neighborhoods across Wake County with a picture of a cheeseburger sandwiched between two books on the exterior. No, it’s not an extra-quirky family heading out of town—that camper is actually one of local nonprofit Read and Feed’s classrooms-on-wheels. Founded in 2007 by Wake County school volunteer Jan Frantz, the Read and Feed RVs park in low-income neighborhoods to deliver the gifts of words and warm meals to over 600 children annually. Frantz came up with the idea for a mobile classroom when she noticed that many of the kids she tutored couldn’t access afterschool resources due to transportation issues. Those issues were keeping their literacy skills from improving as they should, and what’s more, those kids were often from low-income families struggling to put food on the table. Her solution? Go to the kids. “Jan essentially created a mobile classroom. She noticed


that these children were coming from the working poor and so she decided to feed them too,” says Kati Mullan, executive director at Read and Feed. The need for a program like Read and Feed in Wake County is great: Last year, over 58 percent of Wake County’s low-income third-graders failed to read at grade level, and nearly 40 percent of elementary school-aged children are on low-or reduced-priced lunches. Teachers refer students to the program who are identified as at risk for falling below grade-level reading or who are in need of tutoring. “There is a direct correlation between children who are low-income and children who are not reading at grade level,” says Mullan. Read and Feed’s impact aims to put a dent in those numbers. Mullan credits the organization’s success to the hundreds of volunteers, community sponsors and fellow nonprofits who support their mission. Many of the Read and Feed sites are in food deserts, and groups like

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle work with them at most sites to provide healthy meals such as roast chicken, green beans and fresh fruit to the children. Each RV has been outfitted as a playful, comfortable and engaging classroom for up to 24 children at a time, and Mullan says the children love spending time in the RVs. Step into one of the newly redesigned 2011 Fleetwood Bounders and it’s easy to see why: Chalkboard paint covers the cabinet doors and brightly-colored Dr. Seuss quotes decorate the walls. The RV bedrooms serve as mini libraries filled with books for kids to check out, and each RV has a dollar store-style nook where kids can pick out trinkets as a reward for their reading progress. However, Read and Feed is much more than just a classroom and cafeteria, says Mullan. “I had a social worker tell me it’s more than positive reinforcement, you walk in and understand that it’s a safe place,” she says. The one-hour sessions cover a lot of ground: each child receives a meal and tutoring, followed by a progress report to track reading skills. The children check out books from the organization’s own little library that holds 15,000 titles and are often given books to keep for good. Read and Feed wants not just their instructional reading skill to thrive, but their independent reading skills also. They want them to be able to read out loud. “The idea is not silent reading. It’s engaging children in conversation,” says Mullan. The organization is always looking for more volunteers, and Mullan credits these individuals for the organization's success. “To tutor these students, one just needs a passion and interest in helping to give kids ‘an appetite for reading,’” she says. While Read and Feed’s main mission is to strengthen literacy skills in children, Mullan has observed their power is much larger. “We’re much more than a nutrition and literacy and reading program, we’re mentoring and nurturing.”


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Owner of downtown’s Gringo A Go Go, Benjy Shelton

TALL TALES Benjy Shelton serves Mexican-inspired cuisine on Person Street by CHARLES UPCHURCH


he first thing Benjy Shelton told me was a lie. I’d walked over to his boho-Mexican cocina-andbar, Gringo A Go Go, from my office downtown. Never met him before. Stopped by on a Monday, when the place was closed, to ask about doing a short write-up for this magazine. He scrunched up his face behind his glasses, his greying hair a mop.


photography by JUSTIN KASE CONDER “I’m really boring,” he said. Uh-huh. You’ve seen Gringo on the corner of Edenton and Person Streets. The 1930s-era mission-style service station was converted to a pocket-sized neighborhood cantina on the edge of Oakwood, with fiesta lights strung about, hammered metal cacti sprouting and a funky little vintage car parked outside (it’s a ‘48 Crosley.) This is the work of an artist.

Inside, Shelton serves up what some say is the best Mexican comfort food in town. Always local. Organic whenever possible. Great-tasting vegan options. And fresh-squeezed juices that elevate the margaritas to rare levels of thank you Jesus. All in a footprint with room for just 10 tables (10 more outside) and a design motif that leans toward—how did that Yelper put it?—slacker cowpunk meets Pee Wee’s playhouse. Boring? Please. Shelton is an iconoclast. This is the guy that created Lilly’s Pizza in 1992, giving Five Points an invigorating dose of underground cool. After high school in Lucia, North Carolina, a speck outside Charlotte, Shelton moved to Raleigh in the early 80s as one of the original members of the rock outfit Corrosion of Conformity. He was known in music circles, sang and played in various bands and briefly served as road manager for pop stalwarts The Connells. With Lilly’s, Shelton found an outlet for his creative mojo. The place boomed—he even turned down an offer from a major restaurant chain to buy it. Eventually, though, the hours took a toll. After six and a half years he sold it. Then, he ghosted. Shelton bugged out to the small mountain village of Almolonga in the

Mexican state of Guerrero, four hours south of Mexico City. Eighty degrees every day, sixty every night. “Something to eat on every tree,” he said. “Most Americans wouldn’t live there. No mail service, no phone. But every day, just magnificent.” It was there that he fell in love with simple, home-cooked Mexican food, like posole, chilaquiles and tortas. It was a good life for the expatriate farmer with 16 hectares of land and a smattering of cows, herding them to the high pastures in the morning and back down at sunset. “I would have lived there for the rest of my life, but it became too dangerous,” Shelton says. “I knew the heroin epidemic was coming when they started growing poppies everywhere.” During his years in Mexico, Shelton devised different ways to make a living, usually involving making pick-up runs stateside. He bought sneakers from discounters in the U.S., loaded down his van and returned to Mexico. “I made a lot of money selling Air Jordans,” he said. In summer, he would drive—drive— to Nantucket Island and run an ice cream truck for 10 weeks before making the 3,100-mile drive back. Once, he made the return trip in the same truck loaded with bicycles to give away in Almolonga. “I had’em hanging off the side,” he said with a smile. “It looked
















like the Beverly Hillbillies.” By 2012, the cartels were moving in. “I had to leave in a hurry,” said Shelton. Back in Raleigh, he began looking for a place to open a humble Mexican café. Since opening in 2014, Gringo A Go Go has gained a diverse clientele, intermingling downtown progressives and Jones Street conservatives. “They open up to me,” he said. “I could tell you tales.” Tales, indeed. Like ones of clandestine junkets to Cuba to liberate vintage motorcycles. It has been, as the former punk rocker describes it, a creative life. “I tried painting, I tried being a sculptor,” he said, gesturing around the room. “This is my sculpture.” Shelton may not be in Raleigh for long. He talks about South America. Suriname and Guyana are on his short list. Still, he admits to the occasional twinkling of bliss when he thinks about this creation at 100 N. Person St. “I remember once on a spring night, patio lights up, flowers in bloom, people eating and drinking and happy,” he said, “it really felt—in that moment—like nirvana.” True story.

Lee Smith Samia Serageldin Jill McCorkle Randall Kenan

Join WALTER as we listen to celebrated authors Lee Smith and Samia Serageldin discuss their latest work Mothers and Strangers, with special guests Jill McCorkle and Randall Kenan. This insightful collection of essays challenge stereotypes about mothers and expands our notions of motherhood in the South.


clockwise from top left: Diana Mattews (SMITH); Barbara Tyroler (SERAGELDIN); Tom Rankin (MCCORKLE); Sarah Boyd (KENAN)

Book Club

From left to right: Gray and Betsy Hutchison during World War II; Betsy Hutchison at the Frankie Lemmon School in 2019

LIFE OF SERVICE Veteran and gardener Betsy Hutchison by KATHERINE POOLE photography by S.P. MURRAY


etsy Hutchison waves goodbye from the balcony of her third floor apartment inside her retirement community in Five Points. Waving back, her granddaughter Anne Wein says that Hutchison always comes out on the balcony to see her visitors off safely—at 99, she’s still living her life in service to others. Hutchison was born Betsy Dana in 1920, the second of six children, and was raised on a farm in Newport, Ohio. She didn’t envision a life on the farm for herself—she wanted to care for people. Hutchison entered nursing school at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and the Japanese bombed


Pearl Harbor during her second year of training. She felt the call to serve and volunteered for the Army when she graduated, commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. With a shortage of American nurses at the start of World War II, Hutchison was quickly deployed, and served as a private duty nurse at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, which was converted into a hospital during the war. Hutchison also cared for Italian prisoners of war at Camp Atterbury in Indiana, and in 1943, she was assigned to the 49th Field Hospital in Torquay, England, a seaside town across the English Channel from Normandy, France. Hutchison was in Torquay on D-Day, and the memory still evokes strong emotions for her. “We

“Well, that’s the secret. I believe you have to stay involved. That is what I’ve done.”

courtesy Betsy Hutchison (HISTORIC IMAGE)


stepped out of our tent that morning and looked up. The sky was black with planes. I will never forget the sound of those drones,” she says. Towards the end of the war, she accepted an invitation for a blind date with a private who was serving in the Northern Theater headquarters in London. The two hit it off, and after a six-month courtship, she married Gray Hutchison. “Actually, I think we were married about three times,” Betsy Hutchison says, recalling the many celebrations that followed once they returned to the United States. The newlyweds spent many of the final months of the war apart. While her husband remained in London, Betsy Hutchison was sent to a hospital in Paris to care for soldiers injured in the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, the Hutchisons were stationed together in Frankfurt, Germany, where they celebrated their first wedding anniversary. They returned to the U.S. in 1946, and eventually settled in Raleigh’s Hayes Barton neighborhood in 1950. It was at this home, a gathering spot for friends and neighbors, where the couple raised three children and where Betsy Hutchison cultivated a love of gardening. In 1956, she co-founded the Green Thumb Garden Club. Although she has since moved away from her prized rose garden, she is still an active member of the club, which meets once a month for special programs, speakers and community outreach. She eventually gave up nursing as an occupation, but Betsy Hutchison devoted her life to care for others. “If you are a nurse, you take care of everyone. It is the greatest profession in the world,” she says. Betsy Hutchison has been a member of the Samuel Johnson chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) since 1947 and received the DAR Community Service Award in 2016. A stone bench was dedicated to honor her service in World War II at the Oakwood Cemetery Field of Honor. She is also a longtime member of White Memorial Presbyterian Church, a former Boy Scout Leader and a faithful supporter of many community organizations, including StepUp Ministries and, through her garden club, the Frankie Lemmon School. A life well lived, Betsy Hutchison still keeps moving. While she downsized from the family home in 2012, more than a decade after her husband passed away, she continues to open her door to visitors—former neighbors, church friends and a family that includes seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She takes a flex and stretch class three times a week and arranges flowers every other week in her community’s dining room. “I keep busy,” she says, which may account for the fact that she can still fit into her captain’s uniform. Granddaughter Anne Wein concurs: “She has something going on about every day. I tried to schedule lunch recently and she was too busy.” Betsy Hutchison interjects: “Well, that’s the secret. I believe you have to stay involved. That is what I’ve done.”


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

DYNAMIC DUO Mothers and daughters bond together for a cause by CATHERINE CURRIN


others and daughters around the Triangle are coming together for good. The National Charity League (NCL), a California-based organization with over 250 chapters, has planted roots in the Raleigh area with four chapters and a growing list of members. The groups are mother-daughter duos from 7th grade to seniors in high school, working on leadership development and community service. Each chapter works with over 20 nonprofit organizations, gaining thousands of community service hours. Katie Wrege has participated in NCL with all three of her daughters in the Cary-based Cardinal chapter. “We joined in order to have an opportunity to volunteer in the community together,” she says. Wrege and her oldest daughter, Lindsay,


volunteered at organizations like the Miracle League and Anna’s Angels. Since her daughter aged out of NCL, she has gone on to serve the community through her business endeavor, 321 Coffee. The pop-up coffee shop on N.C. State’s campus (and now open at the State Farmers Market) employs individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Wrege credits much of her daughter’s passion to the exposure she received through NCL. “Her involvement with NCL has directly led to all that she’s doing in college. If we hadn’t been involved in the community, I don’t think she would have had an awareness or desire to start 321 Coffee. When she went to college, she realized that she wanted to continue that service.” Allison Smith and her daughter Sloan are members of NCL’s Dogwood chapter, and Smith says she loves spending

Laura Petrides Wall (DELIVERY); supplied by Cardinal NCL (LETTERS) ; S.P. Murray (TABLES)


Fulfill Your Coastal Desires Here

From left: NCL's Cardinal chapter delivering produce with Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, letter writing for the Make-A-Wish foundation, collecting donations for WakeMed Children Life Services Program; the Dogwood Chapter Mother-Daughter Tea

time with her daughter through giving back. “I was looking for an opportunity to expose my daughter to philanthropy at a young age and to teach her the importance of giving back to her community.” Smith coordinates the chapter’s annual mother-daughter tea, a tradition that is held across NCL chapters nationwide. She says the luncheon provides an opportunity for mothers and daughters to plan an event together. “The girls came together to create a wonderful party and see it come to fruition. NCL not only gives my daughter an opportunity to serve others, it has also given her valuable leadership experiences, friendships and engagement in social events.” The values taught in NCL’s programming have attracted hundreds of Raleighites, so many that new chapters are forming to keep up with demand. Founding President of the Longleaf Pine chapter Pam Howard started the chapter after the Dogwood chapter was at capacity. “The goal is to provide those girls with skills to become leaders in the community. There are so many different philanthropies to try, which gives you a broad experience within the community,” Howard says. She says that the group is attractive to moms because it provides a positive way to “work with their daughters through difficult teenage years.” Smith also notes that joining NCL is a great way to engage young girls in the midst of social media, cell phones and schoolwork. “NCL provides an opportunity to dial back a little to the simpler things in life. Service to others, creating new friendships, leadership opportunities and motherdaughter bonding are among the many reasons we joined this wonderful organization.”

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At left: Record Krate owner Kirk Adams

ON THE RECORD A passion for treasure hunting drives this hidden store by WILL LINGO


photography by EAMON QUEENEY

ello, vinyl champions . . . ” So begins a video of Kirk Adams hauling out his latest stash of records to share with devotees on Instagram and YouTube. He flips through the albums, describing each briefly, knowing the people will come—which may not be as easy as you’d expect. Record Krate’s address is on Saint Mary’s Street, but from the street you’ll see nothing but beauty salons. Seasoned veterans know that around back there’s a door that opens the gateway to record heaven. Adams has thousands of vinyl records (not to mention the cassettes, CDs, DVDs, video games and some other stuff you just have to see to believe), and over the last five years, he has gradually 62 | WALTER

taken over the entire lower level of the building, after starting in just a couple of rooms. Adams says he’s been a self-described vinyl champion for most of his life. He remembers his aunt letting him listen to her records, and Chapel of Love by the Dixie Cups struck an immediate chord. While the rest of the world moved on to cassettes, then CDs and purely digital media, his love never wavered. Adams grew up in Raleigh and made his way as an artist and an art teacher, but he never limited his passion to visual arts. “Art and music always go together for me, because art is music and music is art,” he says. Adams believes art is to be enjoyed, not acquired and filed away. He’s a hunter, not a collector. He wants to find cool records and listen to them,

then pass them along. “I never thought about collecting,” he says. “I always had records that I would look for that interested me. It was always about the hunt for the next record.” For years, Adams went to record stores, antique shops and estate sales across the state, looking for interesting vinyl. “I came back home when I was out of money or the car was full.” Eventually he started selling his finds on Craigslist or at pop-up shops. His success at the Cooke Street Carnival, an annual neighborhood festival in Oakwood, persuaded him to do something more, and he opened Record Krate in 2014. Now people call him when they have records to sell, whether from personal collections or estates. “I used to hunt, and now the door opens and they walk in,” Adams said. His love for the music and medium is clear, and he happily shares it with anyone who walks in the door. Regulars file through on a weekday afternoon, chatting about recent discoveries. Newbies find their way in too. “I’m trying to get a rough idea of where everything is,” someone says. “When you figure it out, let me know,” laughs Adams. Record Krate has a ramshackle charm, but the casual façade is a cover for a lot of work and organization—and it’s paid off. Adams has employees now, as well as locations in Wake Forest, Wendell and Selma. He also sells a good bit of new inventory, which he couldn’t have imagined even a few years ago. But in the front room of the store, you’ll still find a turntable that’s

always spinning. It may be The Pretenders when you walk in, but Adams will likely ask what you’d like to hear next, because he’s always on the hunt to hear something new. “Whatever comes my way, I’m happy.” 508 Saint Mary's St.; Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. 11 a.m.—7 p.m.; Sat. and Sun. 11 a.m.—5 p.m.

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Co-owners of Heirloom Brewshop, Chuan Tsay and Anna Phommavong

HONORING TRADITION Heirloom Brewshop makes thoughtful choices by IZA WOJCIECHOWSKA


hen husband and wife team Chuan Tsay and Anna Phommavong opened Heirloom last October, it was a culmination of a year’s-long dream for the couple. But it was also more than that: For them,


photography by SMITH HARDY

opening a coffee shop was the perfect way to honor their Asian heritage and their families. Heirloom offers coffee, tea, sake cocktails and small plates in a serene setting in Raleigh’s Warehouse District. Inside, the atmosphere is cozy yet cool: A sloping wooden-slatted struc-

ture softens the industrial ceiling, and pastel-pink chairs warm the minimalist space. But despite being on-trend, nothing at Heirloom is arbitrary. Tsay, 32, and Phommavong, 29, have made sure that every dish, cocktail and design detail means something, is inspired by tradition and also speaks to them—and


Above: Heirloom's light pink espresso machine, a focal point in the minimalist space

by extension, they hope, to their guests. Both of their parents were immigrants, Tsay’s from Taiwan and Phommavong’s from Laos. Both families opened restaurants in the U.S., labeling their food as Chinese, and serving it alongside subs and pizza so that it would be recognizable and palatable to Americans. Tsay says that growing up in the hospitality industry as an Asian-American was painful: He watched his parents struggle to navigate a new culture while having to erase part of their own, and recalls several instances when he and his parents were victims of race-based violence. And yet, though Tsay and Phommavong first worked as digital and interior designers, both felt an undeniable pull toward running their own restaurant. Their parents discouraged them—they

were worried they’d face the same discrimination—but they persevered. “We wanted to do something to carry on what our parents taught us and to have something that we could leave behind as well,” Tsay says. “This is how we pay respect to them.” For this new generation of AsianAmerican restaurateurs, Heirloom is a way to honor their parents’ hard work and follow in their footsteps, too. With thoughtful detail, every item on the menu is rooted in heritage and carefully brought to life. The Sokdy (a sake cocktail with flavors of coconut, pineapple, ginger and basil) incorporates traditional Laotian flavors and honors Phommavong’s grandmother; Sokdy was the name of her business in Laos, and also means “good luck.” Sparkling mint cold brew, Taiwanese fried

“We wanted to do something to carry on what our parents have taught us and to have something that we could leave behind as well.”

This dish is a vegetarian-friendly version of Heirloom’s Taiwanese Fried Chicken. Directions: Peel and slice lotus roots. Marinate in: 2 parts soy sauce 1 part mirin Add Chinese five-spice to taste When ready to fry, cover the lotus roots in potato starch.

—Chuan Tsay

MAY 2019 | 65

GAO NA COCKTAIL This drink was inspired by the flavors of Laos and the perservering nature of the Lao people. Gao Na means "move forward" or “progress” in Lao. The garnish for this drink represents an arrow moving forward.

chicken, mini pineapple cakes and a red tea-sake cocktail all sound hip and tasty—but are actually based on the Asian street foods, rituals and flavors that Tsay and Phommavong grew up with in their homes. The decor has meaning, too. There are nods to Tsay’s father, who passed away just a month before Heirloom opened. As a chef, he would always collect equipment and had an extensive assortment of timers. Whenever Tsay would visit, his dad would give him one, so soon he too had a collection that he thought he would never use; but today, Tsay puts the timers to use at Heirloom when cooking or brewing tea. The bright and airy space is thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, and the counter—topped with a pastel pink espresso machine—is intentionally lower than a normal space, allowing guests to peer behind the bar, fostering their sense of community and togetherness. “In the ceiling: the smallest part is a simple slat of wood, but those parts come together to create a whole that is stronger and more complex than any single piece,” Tsay says. “That’s our philosophy on people: that as humans, 66 | WALTER

we’re simple beings, but when we come together as a whole and as a community, that’s when we take on form, become stronger and more complex.” Today, Heirloom bustles with people working on laptops while sipping a fivespice latte during the day or coming in for a drink on first dates (sometimes several first dates, Phommavong notes), all appreciating the cuisine, cocktails and culture that Tsay and Phommavong so thoughtfully crafted. And that reflects the team’s ethos: Tsay and Phommavong say they want their shop to serve as a positive, meaningful space for locals to connect with each other and then carry those feelings into the world. Already, it seems, the community has risen to the occasion. The couple was surprised—and happy—to find themselves embraced by their neighbors, in striking contrast to the hardships their parents faced. “When we first opened, guests would come in and welcome us to the neighborhood,” Phommavong says. “I just never expected that. We wanted to welcome them, but they welcomed us instead.”

Ingredients: Fill shaker with: 2 ounces tamarind juice 2 ounces sake 5 drops bitters (they use Crude Bitters) Load with ice and shake. Strain into coupe glass and garnish with rosemary.


An afternoon with


Larry Wheeler rubs elbows with a style icon photograph by EAMON QUEENEY


nce upon a time, Audrey Hepburn came to Cleveland, Ohio. She was there to raise money for UNICEF, for which she was an international ambassador. Even in a city known for its arts, which routinely brought great celebrities into the mix, entertaining Audrey Hepburn was a big deal. Hepburn was a movie star extraordinaire and style icon, the bewitching lead of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sabrina and other landmark films of the 1950s and 60s, the face of French


haute couture house Givenchy. I, however, knew her as a friend, sort of, if spending several hours looking at art with her counts. Lucky me! How did this happen? It was February 1991, and all of Cleveland was itching to rub elbows with Hepburn. The opportunities were few and the prices were high. There was a smallish and pricey cocktail party at the Historical Society on Friday night—I, however, was not among the well-heeled guests. But I did attend the focal event

planned for Saturday evening in the huge ballroom of the Stouffer Hotel, which could accommodate hundreds of paying guests. Burton Wolfe, a close friend and theater producer, had been hired a couple of years earlier as special projects director for UNICEF. These galas were his gig. At the time, I was the assistant director at the Cleveland Museum of Art. In return for sharing the names of generous arts patrons and arranging venues to show children’s UNICEF art from around the world, my husband Don Dosky and I were invited as his guests. Wow. What a special evening.

tions in the world. The Cleveland collection, assembled by connoisseurs, ranges from the rarest of antiquities, through masterpieces of Europe and the Americas, to exciting work of the present day. Cleveland’s Asian collections are at the top. No wonder Hepburn wanted to take a look inside. Hepburn and Wolders arrived in a black Town Car. She wore black slacks and a cream-colored cashmere top; he an elegantly tailored blue blazer. I introduced the pair to Turner. After curtsies all around, off we went. Wolders was particularly interested in seeing the Japanese collection which Sherman Lee, the

I do know that she was stunning in the most natural way. Her gracious manner was disarming. Ms. Hepburn made a speech, to be sure, but she spent the biggest part of the evening strolling around, approaching every table and thrilling every guest she touched. What was she wearing? I think it was a floor-length white sheath, but I can’t be sure. Maybe that was in the movies. I do know that she was stunning in the most natural way. Her gracious manner was disarming. Classic classy was Audrey Hepburn. We were all starstruck. The next morning, Wolfe called: “Ms. Hepburn and Robert would like for you to guide them through the art museum tomorrow.” Robert being Robert Wolders, her romantic companion for the last nine years of her life, the museum being my Cleveland Museum of Art. “No way!” I replied emphatically. But I insisted that Evan Turner, the esteemed museum director, lead the tour—otherwise I might be out of a job. “Please let them know we are thrilled to have them.” On that Monday, Turner and I awaited the pair. The entrance to the Cleveland Museum is framed by a brutalist porte-cochère designed by the internationally renowned architect Marcel Breuer. It is a rather austere welcoming point for one of the greatest art collec-

previous director, had shaped into one of the best in the world. Hepburn was interested in the Guelph treasury, priceless medieval sculptures, recent works by Jasper Johns and Anselm Kieffer; just about everything. Turner wowed them with his backstories and history lessons. The museum was closed to the public on Mondays, so we had the galleries to ourselves—almost. Dozens of staff milled about nonchalantly to steal a glimpse, as you can imagine. Nevertheless, Hepburn and Wolders were the most exquisite guests. They exclaimed about the quality and rarity of the works in the collection. Their questions were intelligent and probing. Sophisticated and charming were they. At the appointed hour, the tour was done and they were off to their next appearance. They left us breathless beneath our smiles. Within two years of that happy day, Hepburn died of colon cancer. Wolders died last year. And yet, Audrey Hepburn is immortal. She is and always will be a constant frame of reference for style, grace and generosity of spirit. I’m grateful that for several hours in 1991, I was blessed to be wrapped in her magic. MAY 2019 | 69


How the Walnut Creek Wetland Park became a wild sanctuary, just minutes from downtown

Back to NATURE


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O Top to bottom: Mr. T the rescue turtle; a sparrow enjoying the wetland; a muddy second-grader.


n May 18, the grounds outside of the Norman and Betty Camp Education Center will be alive with messy play: squealing toddlers making mud pies, grade schoolers scaling an extra-messy obstacle course, bigger kids mixing dirt and water to construct an old-fashioned cob house. It’s all part of the Mud Day celebration at the Walnut Creek Wetland Park in Southeast Raleigh, where the community is invited to get dirty while learning about nature, too. (Perhaps the best part—for kids and parents alike—is that the Fire Department will use their hoses to rinse off muddy kids before they leave.) “Playing with mud is primal,” says Wetland Park director Stacie Haywood. “It’s like a magnet, we don’t have to tell kids how to play with it!” But on most days, the Wetland Park is peaceful, a natural refuge just minutes from downtown. Visitors can borrow rubber boots and nets to explore in a nearby stream, or lift plywood boards to reveal worms, centipedes and the occasional snake. You can wander through it on the greenway, passing from paved trails to wooden platforms and back again. Especially at dawn or dusk, you may see one of the 29 native species that have been spotted nearby, including beavers, deer, foxes, coyote and mink. “The Wetland Park can fill you with a wonderful sense of peace right here in the middle of the city, in the middle of the busy life,” says Sonja McKay, an educator who uses the park. “You don’t have to search to connect with nature, you just need to show up and nature will find you.” The Walnut Creek Wetland Park turns

10 this September, but its origins stretch much further. How this area went from a natural treasure to dumping ground and back again reflects the strength of people willing to fight for what they know to be good—for their neighbors, their city and the earth. THE BACKSTORY The wetlands were lauded in the 1890s by the Brimley brothers, the English scientists who spearheaded the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. For them, the Walnut Creek area was a great repository of wildlife. “They’d bicycle down there with their butterfly nets and find all kinds of rare birds, amphibians and insects,” says architect Frank Harmon. As the story goes, the brothers knew that the best way to find animals was to ask the local children, and it was the young son of an African-American farmer who pointed them towards the wetlands, and even showed them where to find the nest of a Black Rail, an elusive marsh bird. The land to the south, Rochester Heights, was the first planned subdivision for black families in Raleigh. It was built on a flood plain, and when Walnut Creek and the wetlands filled with water—and especially as developments further north displaced water upstream—these houses would flood. By the 1990s, the wetlands were a neglected swath of undeveloped land; the city even dumped sewage into the creek. “For more than five decades it was a dumping ground,” says Father Jemonde Taylor of St. Ambrose Episcopal Church. A 1998 article in The News & Observer described an “eyesore” where passersby witnessed everything from baby cribs and rusted washing machines to industrial janitorial brushes lurking in the muck, where residents and businesses alike treated the wetlands as a landfill.

PEJ member Carolyn Winters, the group’s de facto historian.

“There were major issues with environmental degradation,” says Anne S. Franklin, who at the time was the president of the Wake County Botanical Society. And yet, in the vernal pools, nature prevailed. “Even then, when I waded out into the wetland and did some dipping, I got macroinvertebrates and spider babies and salamander eggs,” says Eve Vitaglione, who at the time worked in the education department of the Museum of Natural Sciences. “It’s such a rich area.” What’s now a 60-acre park wasn’t the original plan; the earliest efforts to salvage the wetland had a much humbler scope. As the story goes, St. Ambrose parishioner Lillian Currin, a teacher at Fuller Elementary, told Father Arthur Calloway that she was tired of her home flooding—what could he do? Walnut Creek is literally in the church’s backyard, and since part of the flooding was a result of water displaced by waste, Calloway, along with other parishioners, began using their own

with his wife, Betty, and son, Norman efforts (and operating budget) to remove Camp IV, would rally volunteers to walk trash from the area through organized the creek and pull out debris. “Nothing stream cleanups. “As we pursued how to keep the creek happened without Betty—she’d bring the volunteers and buckets of food,” says Bill from being clogged up, we started taking Flournoy, an early pride in our surroundparticipant (who’s ings and keeping it widely considered clean,” says Carolyn “You don’t have to search the father of the Winters, a parishioner who was involved far to connect with nature, Raleigh greenway system). “I don’t in the beginning. In you just need to show up know how she the earliest days, the baked all those cleanups would pull and nature will find you.” biscuits.” 150 tires out of the — Sonja McKay, second The cleanups creek at once. “Those grade teacher at Exploris gained momenwere not coming from tum. Two sister individuals, these were churches, Trinity companies using the Episcopal Church wetlands as a dump.” in Fuquay-Varina and St. Paul’s Episcopal Dr. Norman Camp, another parishChurch in Cary, joined the effort, forming ioner, was asked to lead the efforts. A a committee called the Episcopalians for science educator and college administraEnvironmental Justice. The group later tor who had also worked for the governchanged its name to Partners for Enviment in various capacities, Camp, along MAY 2019 | 65 73

ronmental Justice (PEJ), to reflect secular groups that joined the effort as well. In 1998, the group received a $16,000 grant from the Triangle Community Foundation to fund cleanup efforts and further grant applications. The end goal was to propose an education park and bog garden on a 25-acre stretch of the wetlands. There were also initiatives to alleviate flooding in nearby Rochester Heights, since a preserved wetland could help absorb runoff from paved areas. At the time, the wetland had various owners, including the church, city of Raleigh, federal government and private owners. With his background in education and government, Dr. Norman Camp trained his efforts on raising awareness about the cleanups. “Dr. Camp was a genius about being on boards and commissions and making connections,” says Vitaglione. “He was an energetic, positive person, and after all the area was owned by the city, not by us,” says Winters.

Betty Camp standing on the Ross Andrews Trail; shoes that were swapped out for muck boots.


BUILDING MOMENTUM One person Camp connected with was Robin Moore, a professor at N.C. State’s Natural Learning Initiative and at the time a fellow member of the Parks Board. “The church was trying to put together a grant, but they needed some front end work done,” says Moore. He enlisted his landscape and urban planning grad students to conduct site research and a door-to-door survey to learn the Rochester Heights community’s priorities, along with researching the behavior of the wetland and the area’s history of flooding. “We made this very conceptual master plan to get an image of how a preserved wetland could connect to the community, but also opened the discussion of the equity of parks distribution in Southeast Raleigh—it was not being adequately served,” says Moore. The plan they outlined included a park with preserved areas and a nature center for programming. By mid-2000, the Partners for Environmental Justice would propose a project with a $10 million price tag that would cover 150 acres of “wooded swampy area” as a push to offer Southeast Raleigh access to green space and alleviate

flooding. The study done by Moore’s students enhanced their case, and through Camp’s efforts and the support of then-mayor Charles Meeker, the proposal was added to the 2003 park bond (albeit at a smaller scale). “The city made it possible. They listened! It took a lot of arm-twisting and begging, but they deserve credit,” says Winters. “When they granted the park bond, everyone was so happy!” says Betty Camp. Moore quietly lobbied for the city to hire Harmon, an architect with a reputation for environmentally-conscious design. Once commissioned, Harmon designed a building to anchor the park that would “feel part of the place and make that place better,” he says. “We tried to make it as unobtrusive as possible.” The building is raised on stilts to allow water—and snakes and bugs—to flow freely. The education center was built to capture rainwater and the paved areas are porous so water will be absorbed where it falls. The space was built with materials that could be recycled or regrown whenever possible, and oriented to enjoy the porch summer

or winter, with natural ventilation in every room. “As much as possible it’s open to the air. The biggest learning areas are the breezeway and the porch along the south side, which came from the idea of being immersed in nature,” Harmon says. With the Wetland Center built, people slowly began to come: students from nearby schools Carnage Middle School, Fuller Elementary and Exploris, nature-lovers and bikers discovering it along the greenway. Before the education center was even constructed, educator Frank McKay and his Exploris eighth graders created a field guide to the wetland park as a service learning project, with illustrations of animals and plants that can found there—a guide that’s still available for perusing today. The Wetland Center’s first director, Ross Andrews, was part of the original cleanups and a vocal champion for the park. “Ross and Dr. Camp were the tip of the spear, the primary agents of change and collaboration,” says Amin Davis, who started participating in the stream cleanups as a grad student in the 90s.

Top to bottom: The Norman and Betty Camp Education Center; Electra the corn snake; Sonja McKay helping a student stuck in the mud.

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Andrews brought enthusiasm, expertise it—a rest stop along the Greenway trails, and heart to the Wetland Center, making a place for kids to muck around on the it a friendly space for newcomers and weekends or for a few hours after school. repeat visitors alike. “Anytime we had an “It’s free and usually open—in barely 10 idea or wanted to connect kids to the minutes, you could be in a rocking chair park, Ross helped,” says Frank McKay. “He looking at green,” says Franklin. There’s a was great at mentoring, he taught us closet full of boots and nets that you can lessons and let us go out with tools like borrow to explore along the creek’s edge. boots and field And unlike some of guides.” the other “heavily Along with programmed” parks, “These kids are leading the Franklin says that Randy Senzig, Andrews started the this one offers a way, and they’re engaging Neighborhood kind of the parents as well—this is different Ecology Corps, a experience. “It’s nice life-changing, transformaprogram designed to think of all the to engage neighborthings we’d like to tional work.” hood midhave—places to eat, — Anne S. Franklin, dle-schoolers with sports facilities— the environment. but the connection PEJ board member The program uses to nature and green grants from the City is still the most and other foundaappealing,” she says. tions to get kids working on service “I love working here,” says Frances projects like stream cleanups and removCarmichael, a recreation leader who’s ing invasive species—even, just recently, been working at the Education Center installing tubes under a beaver dam to since 2009. “I grew up in the area and this keep the creek flowing as it should. “The building is definitely unique, I love NEC bridges the gap between curious watching kids get interested in being elementary schoolers and disengaged high outside, it’s like they’re in another dimenschoolers, and it’s a way for them to give sion.” The Education Center offers an back to the community and bring home indoor portion with craft and education knowledge about ecology, too” says material, a few critters (at press time: two Senzig. Franklin agrees: “These kids are snakes and Mr. T, the box turtle) and a leading the way, and they’re engaging the digital photo display of some of the parents as well—this is life-changing, animals caught on camera in the wettransformational work.” lands. There’s also classroom space Davis became a PEJ member after available for schools or parties, activity Andrews passed away in 2013. “Dr. Camp backpacks kids can borrow and field asked me to join the board, and it was one guides for budding naturalists. (And yes, of the highest honors of my whole life,” Frank McKay’s former students do come he says. Davis, who now works with the back to make sure their version is still on N.C. Division of Water Resources, the shelf.) “More and more people are spearheaded a documentary about the discovering us,” says Carmichael. “I have a park to educate others about the effort it yard and some bushes and birds, but this took to get it made (find it at waltermagaplace is wild—and it’s on the bus line for “We wanted the broader crying out loud!” says Vitaglione, community to understand the story This past September, the weltand behind Rochester Heights, the PEJ and center was renamed the Norman and the Wetlands Center,” he says. Betty Camp Education Center in honor of their efforts. Sadly, Dr. Camp had passed THE PARK TODAY away just weeks before. “Norm was the These days, the Wetland Park is a spiritual parent of the park and a great resource for anyone who knows about friend,” says Harmon. “Dr. Camp was a 82 WALTER 76 || WALTER

driving force, he was like the glue that kept the committee together,” agrees Winters. Camp received numerous awards and recognition for his efforts with the Wetland Park, including the Green Hero Award from the City of Raleigh. To this day, the stream cleanups that started the movement still happen twice a year. A group of staff and volunteers, sometimes more than 100 at a time from N.C. State, the city’s teen outreach programs, environmental groups and more, gather to pick litter from the mud. “We’ve found interesting things—lots of tires, old TVs, appliances, toys,” says Carmichael. She emphasizes that a lot of it is not from this area, but further upstream. “The creek brings a lot of stuff, or people drop trash along the greenways,” she says. Throughout the Education Center, signs and reading materials teach children and adults alike how to better care for nature. “I remind the teens, this center is yours and you have to keep it clean as you grow up,” says Betty Camp. “My hope is that our community will develop a deeper connection to nature by spending time at Walnut Creek and hold this connection in their hearts wherever they go,” says Sonja McKay. “A sense of wonder grows into stewardship, and, if we do our job right as educators and parents, these children will grow into empowered young people who will advocate for our natural world.” LOOKING TO THE FUTURE The story of the Walnut Creek Wetland Park is ongoing. PEJ members worry that it’s underfunded and underutilized, especially by the surrounding community. Improvements to the park were included in last year’s park master plan, and the presentation of an updated design to the Parks, Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board will happen in mid-May. If all goes as planned, construction of the next phase will begin in 2020. Taylor got to know Dr. Camp when he started at St. Ambrose over six years ago. “I remember donning trash bags to pick up garbage along the creek, and when we stopped at the wetland center to get water, Dr. Camp told us the history of

Dr. Norman Camp speaks on the future Education Center “We knew that having a facility owned by the City and maintained by the City, that that would bring some awareness in the community that this is a valuable piece of property and should not be used for dumping trash. Also, there was a need to open up the whole area of studying wetland ecosystems to the schools that surround this site. Carnage Middle School for instance, Fuller Elementary School, Ligon Middle School and Washington Middle School, and the colleges that are located nearby, all of these could benefit from some experience in the wild, in the environment. So it really opened up a vista for research and also a venue for kids to come and learn about the wetlands and the value of wetlands. And this particular wetland, the Walnut Creek wetland, is a special one because it’s in the heart of a black community that has had neglect in the past because of what it was, and what it is today. These are the things that we push because of history and because I have lived through these times and my own history.” Excerpted from a 2007 Oral History Project by Frank McKay’s Exploris 8th graders

PEJ member Frank McKay, who took his students to the wetlands starting in the 90s.

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Wild Peace by Ross b R A Andrews d I am grateful, so grateful, for my life, I am a raw human who knows how to be whole, I am a curly-haired child walking over piedmont hills, brushing against rounded white oak lobes, by myself, but not alone. Captivated by buttressed trunks and carpeted ravines, traversing the slippery bark balance of fallen logs, imagining the living space among rooted brown earth and light floating leaves falling at my feet I will always be there, exploring creek edges and following fence-lines, crunching and climbing to find the sheltered natural rooms framed by branches and stone where I could behold the dancing beings of cedar, the towering reach of oak and beech cycles of green to copper leaves that shape the vessel of my soulI finally know how I am to liveto fill my soul with awe, to live in wild peace.

PEJ member Amin Davis, who first got involved with the cleanups through his friend Ross Andrews.


it,” says Taylor. “I was impressed by how one person and one church could make such a difference in a community.” Taylor now sits on the advisory board looking at plans for the park, and while improvements are slow going, he appreciates the deliberateness. “It takes time to galvanize people, universities, and the government, but as a community member, I feel like the Rochester Heights and Biltmore Hills residents are being heard,” he says. One big improvement that’s included in the current plan: Adding better access to the wetlands from the south, so that those neighborhoods can get straight to the Education Center without walking on busy State Street or looping around it on the greenway. “It’s important that there be a southern corridor that connects this historically black neighborhood to the wetland center, through nature,” says Taylor. The plan also includes new play spaces and an elevated viewing area. Beyond bringing the neighborhood to the park, the PEJ is looking at the bigger picture, too: Davis emphasizes that the park is a part of the discussion of equitable redevelopment in the area as demographics change. “We want to make sure the master plan serves the community and minimizes displacement as well,” he says. He emphasizes that everything is connected: flooding, trash and concerns about invasive plants are all intrinsically linked to socioeconomics, and talks about solutions necessarily extend beyond the city limits, as developments 25 or more miles out contribute to the flooding in the Walnut Creek area. Taylor has noticed a difference even in the last few years as development upstream offsets water than flows toward Rochester Heights. “We’ll see a few inches of rainfall at RDU, and we’ll have to cancel church because State Street and Garner Road are flooded,” he says. New organizations have joined the efforts, too: N.C. State’s Water Resources Research Institute, led by Christy Perrin and Louie Rivers, has used their resources for outreach and surveys through Rochester Heights and Biltmore Hills to learn how best to create a facility that benefits nature and the community. “We’re not advocates like the PEJ, but we can get

grants and pass along funds more easily than a nonprofit can,” says Perrin. “It’s been more than 20 years since Norm had the idea of getting something going,” says Harmon. “And the work will continue for another 20 years.” The PEJ have been keeping an eye on the creek restoration that will come out of Dix Park, looking for takeaways to manage flooding and allow the wetlands to function as they’re meant to. “We’re hoping each project will inform each other,” says Franklin. With Camp and Andrews gone, the PEJ is also in a transition as it finds new leaders in its efforts. “They were visionary leaders, they were so uniquely skilled and gifted,” says Davis. “We hope to find new members and volunteers who can infuse the board with that same level of energy and passion.” “We’re going to continue the fight because Dr. Camp helped us get to this point and want to keep it up in his memory,” says Winters. “People want to know how a small church group can makee this, and we—we just did it! We started d by trying to fix a problem and it morphed into something bigger than we are.” “Growing up with access to nature affections your overall connection to nature—we need it more than we ever have,” says Franklin. Frank McKay agrees: d “As an educator and a citizen, the wetland park opened my eyes to the value of our urban natural area—as this area develops,, are we aware of this incredible resource that we all own? How are we engaging kids to be stewards of this resource?” NATURE PREVAILS Vitaglione has a reputation for bringing specimens to the PEJ board meetings (when I visited, she had a spotted salamander in tow). A few years ago, Camp returned the favor, bringing her some choice roadkill: a mink. Through DNA testing, they discovered it was a direct descendant of a stuffed mink at the NCMNS that the Brimley brothers had collected more than 100 years ago. Vitaglione playfully named the specimen Norma in Camp’s honor. Next time you visit the Education Center, look for Norma in Haywood’s office.

Top to bottom bottom: Checking out a frog inside a tube; Eve Vitaglione holding spotted salamder eggs; walking out of the wetland; an Exploris student after exploring.

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Dr. Lindsay Zanno takes us beyond the glass walls of the Museum of Natural Science’s Paleontology Research Lab





DINO DEN Dr. Lindsay Zanno, head of the Paleontology Research Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, stands in the glass-walled lab.

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DEM BONES Millions of specimens are stored in the Museum of Natural Sciences, filed by time period and location, many still in plaster packing waiting to be opened and excavated. One drawer was full of just shark teeth. Have your kids look up what coprolites, below, really are.


ou’ve probably gotten a peek into the Paleontology Research Lab inside the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences; its walls, after all, are made of glass. From the outside, you can see the quiet bustle of researchers and grad students chipping away, literally, at ancient fossils. That’s all fascinating on its face, but if you’re lucky enough to step inside, like we did for our photoshoot, you’ll realize that—much like any excavation site—what you see is just a hint of what you’ll find beneath the surface… or in this case, beyond the walls. Dr. Lindsay Zanno is the head of the Paleontology lab, where she supervises about six staffers and students at any given time, in addition to teaching at N.C. State University. Zanno was brought on in 2012 to raise the visibility of the research going on at the NCMNS, and she made a big splash this past February when she announced the discovery of a new dinosaur, Moros intrepidus, named the “Harbinger of Death” because the tiny tyrannosaur helps bridge the fossil gap between the smaller dinosaurs of the Jurassic period and super-predators of the Cretaceous period. The fossils that led to the discovery are on display at the front of the lab for all to see, the fruit of more than seven years of excavation and research after she first spotted the bones at a site in Utah. “I love the field work, the adventure and excitement of finding something new,” says Zanno. Inside the lab, there are about 25 research projects going on right now. Front and center, you see oviraptorosaur eggs that are being excavated—once that’s done, the eggs will be sent to N.C. State for a CAT scan to see if anything is still preserved inside. In the middle of the room is a giant triceratops skull, still encased in a protective jacket, that Zanno found in Montana in 2016. “I’d been walking for hours and really didn’t want to go down this hill, so I decided to stand there and just look. And I saw something, just about six inches of fossil sticking out. As we kept digging, we realized it was a paleontologist’s dream,” she says. It took two years to get the permits and fully excavate the nearly-intact skull, then they used a helicopter to airlift the 1,400 pound fossil back to civilization. Deeper inside the lab is office space; here Zanno and her team write up research and grant applications, study specimens, create models and more. The most hidden part of the lab is in the basement. That’s where all the fossils are stored, more than 4 million specimens that have been discovered or sent in by others (once they receive a fossil, they’re obligated to store it in perpetuity). While they can’t loan anything out, they invite other researchers to use their collections. Because, Zanno says, while the field work is exciting, the best part comes once the research is done. “I love the moment of discovery when all the data goes through!”

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HIDDEN BENEATH Clockwise from top left: Plaster protoecting a tricerotops skull; volunteer Kaitlyn Whitaker cleaning bits of fossils (“She has a real talent for puzzling them back together,” says Dr. Zanno); a clutch of oviraptorosaur eggs; chief preparator Aaron Giterman unearths a fossil (“He’s probably chipped off a couple hundred pounds of dirt this year,” says Zanno.)


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PIECES & PARTS Individual fossils are housed in wide, shallow drawers; PhD student Haviv Avrahami rolls clay for a mold. “He discovered a new species of duck bill dinosaur on his very first day in the field,” says Zanno.


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SLICE OF LIFE PhD student Kyla Beguesse holds a specimen for research. When they slice teeth and bones very thin, they can look through a microscope to see lines that say how many days or years old they are, just like looking at rings of a tree, as in the image below.


FINDERS KEEPERS Down in the basement, gleaming white lockers full of pull-out drawers house the museum’s collection. “We don’t share specimens, but we’ll visit other labs and invite people to ours to study,” says Zanno.

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Motherhood Reflections on the theme from six local writers.


The Accidental Mom by Erin S. Lane


he short story on me? After a decade of being purposefully and prayerfully what I liked to call “childfree for the common good,” my youth pastor husband and I had—curiously? confidently? crazily?—waltzed into the world of foster parenting. Our line has always been, “Parenting’s not our jam, but community is.” Everything that gave others pause about the in-betweenness of fostering gave us energy. Won’t it be hard to see them go? they’d ask. We’re good at goodbyes, we’d shrug. And a couple months of respite in between morning routines sounded sane. Won’t it be awkward interacting with their real parents? they’d wonder. We’re rooting for reunification, we’d cry. And parenting with a team puts a lot less pressure on individual performances. I couldn’t take time off of work to care for them! they’d admit. You don’t have to, we’d swear, especially if you’re open to the older lot. We had it figured out. We did not imagine falling headlong for the first kiddos—a set of three sisters—who were placed with us. Though the adoption itself was finalized with a quick stroke of a pen, becoming a mom happened gradually for me, and in moments, as every soul shift does. There was the first time the youngest drew a family portrait, and it was us she was trying to capture—me with my Crayola-yellow hair and my husband with ith his high-spun bun. There was the time that I picked the middle one up from school and the front desk fill-in scanned me with her eyes and asked, “And who are you?”” “Her mother,” I answered with a low w growl that startled even me. Once, and only once, did I hear the oldest refer to me as mom when n asked by fellow tweens who that rtoo-young white woman was hovering nearby. It’s been three years, and to this day, they call me “Erin” and I call them “my girls.” I think of it as our unspoken agreement to honor the people we were before we became each other’s.

Though the adoption itself was finalized with a quick stroke of a pen, becoming a mom happened gradually for me, as every soul shift does.

Erin S. Lane is the author of Lessons in Belonging from a ChurchGoing Commitment Phobe. Find more of her books and writing at

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15 Things You Never Thought You’d Do... but you will, now that you’re a parent by Williams Hofer 98 | Hampton WALTER



3. 4.

You will gaze at your newborn baby—who looks nothing like the “newborns” on TV, because those are several-month-old babies and real newborns are blue-grey, squished, grizzled little soldiers (because getting here was a battle, after all)—and despite all the slicked hair and goo, you’ll declare with certainty that the Gerber baby has nothing on this one. You will Google unimaginable things at unimaginable hours: Could Mufasa have lived? Toddler ate a green beetle. Why is Goodnight Moon so creepy? And (on that fourth snow day), Nearest McDonald’s with a playground… You will both praise and curse the creators of LEGO bricks, perhaps in the same breath. You will spell out words when talking to your spouse, as a way of speaking in code, and in doing so, you will learn that you do not, in fact, know how to spell “popsicle.” After several tries, you’ll just say the




7. 8.

word out loud. Your children will ask for one immediately. You will, during playtime, put a bucket on your head and revel in the laughter that follows. The bucket may get stuck. You may not even mind, because inside that bucket it is dark and it is quiet. You will work, work, work like Rihanna for bedtime, and then once you are alone, you will stare at the monitor and wonder if their favorite color is still purplish black, or if they want to finish telling you that story they started about a dragon named Potty Lollipop, a story you’re fairly certain has no end. You will lose your phone. Constantly. And you will find it in places such as: the freezer, the neighbor’s driveway and your own hand. You will eat a regurgitated chicken nugget. You may not realize that it has already been chewed, or you may, and either way, you’ll eat it, because you are hungry.

You will realize, at some moment while out in public, that there are no more diapers in your bag, and you will fashion one out of those brown paper towels in the Starbucks bathroom, or out of your own shirt. 10. You will promise your children outrageous things—ice cream sundaes, delayed bedtimes, a pony—if only you can get out of Target alive. If only they will stop licking the floor. If only they will hold your hand instead of making a kamikaze dash through the parking lot. 11. You will neglect that documentary you’ve been wanting to watch once the children are asleep, and instead you will pour a glass of wine and finish the cartoon they started earlier, because you truly want to know how the trolls get back to the tree. 12. You will start having to subtract your birth year from the current year in order to figure out how old you are. 13. You will learn that there is no backyard toy better than a hose and no morning better than when you realize it is Pajama Day at school. 14. You will impress yourself with your ability to make up continually more verses to The Wheels on the Bus, after you realize all the other songs you know the words to have explicit lyrics. You will do the same with Old McDonald, because on his farm there damn well may have been a velociraptor. 15. You will be surprised, even though you knew it was coming, by the ferocity with which you love them, by the way they take up residence in your mind, coming before every breath, every step, always first, always out in front as you move through this life right behind them, nudging and cheering and praying for the world to be kind, because you know it isn’t always, but because you unequivocally believe that they will better it, the same way they’ve bettered you. Hampton Williams Hofer writes, raises babies and lives in Raleigh. This will be her first Mother’s Day as a mom of three boys.

An Ode to my Mother-in-Law by Ilina Ewen


f I could turn back time, you’d understand: You’d see a slight thing with a mop of curly hair, dungarees and no shoes. She always had dirt under her nails, much to the dismay of her tidy mother and proper sister. She frolicked in fields and preferred riding horses to playing piano. She was a rascally tomboy at a time society expected her to be a dainty flower. Laverne eschewed dresses and described herself as “sports-minded.” She favored natural hues and sensible shoes, corduroy pants or anything adorned with horses. As we strolled through land that was once part of her family farm, my moth-er-in-law told my sons about life when she was their age. She chattered about how rows of crops and barns gave way to ranch houses and sidewalks, how back in the day she pulled her dog in a wagon and weaseled her way into the boys’ basketball games, how her cheeky grin earned her a front seat ride in the milk delivery truck her sister’s beau drove around the village. When we passed the cemetery, she pointed out where her sister and the beau (who became her husband of over 50 years), were buried. There lie her mother, father and countless cousins, too. It was then that I started to lean in more closely to hear her stories. When she met me 20-odd years ago, Laverne remarked that it was the only time she’d been taller than an adult. She’d always been small but fierce. She had opinions that matched her values and actions to back them all up. She was tough yet tender, a product of a hard life on the farm in the chill of Midwest winters, of raising six children. She was a feminist of sorts, though I doubt that word was even in her vernacular. She was an avid reader and would put down her newspaper at day’s end to tune in to David Letterman. She cracked up at irreverent jokes, nary a blush passing her cheeks. I always imagined her as a female version of Dennis the Menace. I didn’t grow up around the elderly; I have only vague memories of my own grandparents. The first significant time I spent with the aging was when I visited Manitowoc, Wisconsin back in the late 90s with my boyfriend (now my husband). It seemed his small town was teeming with aging family, and at first I was uncomfortable. Of course, that has all changed. Most of the people I met all those years ago have passed. Laverne remained with us until last July. She was a testament to Midwestern grit. But gone were the days of romping in the

park, splaying out on the family room carpet to play Perfection with the boys or shooting hoops, granny-style, in the driveway. She’d been a marvel all these years, a picture of spunk. It was haunting to see a glimpse of the spirited woman she once was: curls thinned so there was more scalp than hair, cheeks hollow, stature hunched, her voice a whisper. You’d still catch her with newspaper in hand, reading glasses atop her head as if she, too, was denying the trappings of aging. She spent many of her later days in the bed that was moved to the living room, a caregiver or family member holding constant vigil, ready to offer care as scant repayment for what she’d done for others. Laverne spoke little the last years, so we treasured her stories even more. We leaned in and furrowed our brows to make sense of what she uttered. Her memories were fleeting; and she wavered in an ethereal place that never quite reached lucidity. From one moment to the next we would question if she even recognized us. But then there would be an ever-so-slight spark in her eye and a faint squeeze of her hand on my arm, and I knew she knew. When we last saw her she told us to have a safe trip. These simple words were poignant, proof that she recognized us and knew we traveled far to see her. Through the outbursts, confusion and sorrow, there were flashes of brightness. Dementia had its grip on her, but it didn’t define her. While it seems a simple woman from a tiny town in Wisconsin led an unremarkable life, the contrary is true: Laverne’s life was remarkable. She was a quiet force, steadfast ally, loving mother, indulging grandmother, opinionated voter and more. I offer thanks to this woman, Laverne, for giving me her greatest gift: my husband. She set an example for a child who grew up be a feminist, a father who parents instead of babysits and a man who sees the simple things and the fine things as synonymous. I look to her relationship with my husband to learn how to parent my own sons. Most importantly, she debunked stereotypes to teach me and my children that mothersin-law must not be beastly and grandmas can be badass. Ilina Ewen is an “accidental activist” who champions public education, equity, global health and food insecurity. She’s a doting mom to two sons, Carter and Neal, and an Audrey Hepburn fan.

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Middle-Aged Mom by LaTanya Pattillo


ately, I’ve been reflecting on all of the things that one muses over as they approach middle age. Gasp! Did I just say those two words? I did. I’m. Middle. Aged. And it is jarring. If I stop to think, I’m even more astonished that I (together with my husband, of course) have managed to rear and raise five children in this world. We’ve had some exciting moments, and been through some wonderful, trying times. But I am happy to say that we have provided our children with most of what they’ve needed, much of what they wanted and just enough motivation to chart their own path through the book of life, finding themselves through the glorious process of growth. Maslow would be proud. Child rearing and caregiving require sacrifice. Most, if not all, mothers say the same thing. To be a mother is to be a “giver” from the very beginning. From the time that children are welcomed into this world, women give of themselves. What a remarkable, powerful role to have as the primary caregiver of these new beings! What an honor—that we shall usher and lead these little humans through this world on our shoulders and in our hearts until they are able to navigate themselves! Right? How fantastic, how awe-inspiring is that? As mothers, shouldn’t we feel special and magnificent and appreciated? YES! We should. I do believe that motherhood—in the immortal words of hip-hop artist Keith Murray—is the “most beautifullest thing in this world.” But other times I’m filled with anxiety that I have made choices based on complicated emotions that I am still unable, or unwilling, to express. I have realized that many times it is in everybody’s best interests that I keep some of my most personal, honest, doubtful, many times scandalous, and sometimes downright unsavory thoughts to myself. However, I do enjoy letting some of these thoughts “slip out” sometimes, just to break the routine or to keep our day to day fresh and exciting. My kids get a kick when I misbehave a little, even when they’re on the receiving end of some of that temporary craziness I’m willing to share. One day on a family ride, we

decided to take a family picture… that consisted of us making a gesture that, while not a big deal, was not exactly a display of parental restraint. It was my attempt at being hip and risqué, and it worked—there was just enough amazement from the older ones and shock from the little ones. My daughter asked if she could post it, but I wouldn’t let her. Now here I am talking about it—go figure! What an exemplary model of a mother! My initial notions of motherhood have been replaced by years of revolving philosophies, all of which have helped me form my own ideas about the role. How do I feel about motherhood? It depends. My appreciation for the sacrifice of mommy-dom waxes and wanes like the tide under the phases of the moon. Lately, my sentiments depend on how much sleep I get on the weekends, or the condition of my house when I get home after a few days of travel or how long the food from my last grocery run lasts in the pantry before it’s empty again. My feelings range from pure joy (when my ten-year-old hugs my neck like she never wants me to leave her side) to unadulterated fury (when som someone forgets to empty the wa washing machine, forcing me to res rescue clothes from a mildewed, sta stained existence). Overall, on th the daily, I am required to feel, to be present, to engage in the de development of other people ev every second of every day. There are times when I rock m my momma badge like a boss aand times when I want to take tthat badge and throw it out o of the car window. If I’m to be h honest about my motherhood eexperience, I have to say that I’m at a point now where I see liberation on the horizon, and m my emotions are a bit… mixed. But I don’t know why I’m fooling myself: Once a mother, always a mother, and the love and dedication to those we call our children will never go away.

There are times I rock my momma badge like a boss and times I want to throw it out of the car window.


LaTanya Pattillo is a Philadelphia native with roots in Whiteville, North Carolina, a wife and mother of five and a Jane of all trades. She enjoys many things, but laughing and quilting are at the top of the list.

The Curse of Living in Interesting Times by Samia Serageldin


hen my mother didn’t visit me right after she died, I thought I knew what she was waiting for. It had to do with a promise I had made ten years earlier. I was visiting her in Cairo when, one day on a whim, I unearthed the big boxes that contained the albums of family photos, in the closet where she kept her wedding dress, the threemeter-long white satin train carelessly folded—I suppose, when you have lost as much in your life as my mother had, you either learn to be careful of possessions, or the opposite. Among the albums I came across three slim, leather-bound notebooks I had never seen before: journals that she had kept, sporadically, over a period of twenty years, filled with her distinctive backward-slanting handwriting in English, remarkably unchanged from her late teens. I hadn’t known she’d kept a diary. She took the journals out of my hands. “I’m thinking of destroying these. They’re private. I don’t want them falling into anyone’s hands and being read by the wrong person.”

I promised her that if something ever happened to her, I would make sure they didn’t fall into anyone’s hands but mine, and that anything truly personal would stay private. When she passed away, that promise was on my mind the entire long, bitter trip from North Carolina to Cairo. I was her only daughter, and although I took the first plane out when I heard she’d been hospitalized, I was too late to hold her hand. But I could at least keep my promise. First, though, there was the memorial service to get through. The burial itself had taken place the same day my mother passed away, as is the custom, and the date of the service was coordinated to allow me just enough time to arrive in Cairo, so I had not had time to shop for mourning clothes and had packed what I found in my wardrobe. For the service, on that hot, late September day in Cairo, I dressed in a cap-sleeved black sheath and sling-back kitten heels, vaguely aware that my mother would not have approved of either, under the circumstances. That dress is too light as well as inappropriate, I heard her saying. The odd thing, of course, was that it was my mother’s voice from the time when she was still herself, her old critical voice that I remember from my teens onward, before she mellowed into benign vagueness in her last years. It was as if I knew that with death she had shed the debilitating mask of age and regained her old judgmental personality. Have you put on weight? That skirt looks too tight. No, Mummy, actually I lost a kilo since school started. That’s why your face looks pinched. It doesn’t suit you, you shouldn’t diet. But I thought you said the skirt looked tight?! It was riding up your legs when you sat down—horrible sight! It’s too short. All the girls in my class wear their skirts shorter.

Adapted from Samia Serageldin’s essay, The Curse of Living in Interesting Times, published in Mothers and Strangers: Essays on Motherhood From the New South edited by Samia Serageldin and Lee Smith. Copyright © 2019 by Samia Serageldin. Used by permission of the author and the University of North Carolina Press.

Yes, well, we’re not everybody, we don’t have to be slaves to fashion. My mother’s memorial service was very well attended; I knew she would find that gratifying, and it assuaged my sense of guilt. In her later years she used to complain that, as her only daughter, I didn’t pay visits of condolences or attend memorial services and that, as a result, no one would attend her own memorial service when the time came. That night, I didn’t dream of my mother. That didn’t worry me too much, not yet. I had dreamed of my father three days after he died, and of my beloved maternal grandmother as soon, despite the fact that I was two continents away at the time. The dreams—I will call them that, although I experienced them as night visitations—had come as loving leave-taking, a welcome confirmation that their souls were at rest, a sense of closure. I craved a posthumous visit from my mother all the more, for the reassurance that she was at peace, not only with death but with me, for failing her at the end, for not being at her deathbed when she asked for me. Once I had found the journals, I believed, once I’d kept my promise, she would come. Samia Serageldin is the author of several books, including The Cairo House and Love Is Like Water, and is an editor of South Writ Large. She lives in Chapel Hill.

Book Club

Lee Smith, Samia Serageldin Jill McCorkle, Randall Kenan


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A Letter to my Children by Kristi T. 98 | WALTER

Dear Kids: If I could only tell you one thing, it’s that Daddy and I are blessed. If that sounds self-centered, I’ll explain: Back in the olden days (circa 1985), Chris and I met eyes just outside of our high school auditorium. By now you’ve heard the story of our first date—eating McDonald’s in that sweet mustard-colored Malibu Classic 1974— and about how we stayed together through college and got married “too young” by most people’s standards. Your daddy was 23 and I was 22, and boy did we have our lives all planned out. I wanted four kids; two girls, two boys. Never did I imagine we’d be childless for the next ten years. I lost count of how many baby showers I went to while we hoped and prayed for a baby of our own. At times the pain felt unbearable. All I’d ever really wanted to be when I grew up was a mom. Once we decided to start the adoption process, our joy and excitement about being parents felt fresh again. I’ll never forget the day we met with the adoption agency to update our photo album, our showcase for potential birth mothers. 96 | WALTER

There was one, we learned, who was considering us. The meeting went well, we thought. Near the end, Chris asked the director how far along she was. “Full term,” the director said. Can you imagine how happy we were feeling? Multiply that times a gazillion. Before we left, the director wanted us to speak with the social worker assigned to the case. She went out to get her, leaving Chris and me alone in the office. All we could talk about was how incredible it would be to be chosen. If it all worked out, we’d have a baby by Christmas. Then the social worker walked into the office. She was holding this tiny red stocking, with tiny beautiful you wrapped up in it, Katie. Can you even imagine? We lived that glorious moment! All of the pain that we’d felt for so many years, wiped away the very instant we held you in our arms. I can still feel your warm little head in the palm of my hand for that very first time. Three years later, we decided to start the adoption process again, hoping for a little brother or sister for our “firstborn.” We figured we had at least a year to prepare for baby number two. But three

months after mailing in our paperwork, I walked into the house to find Chris with a camcorder in one hand, a blue balloon in the other. As I started the inquisition—“OMG, has he been born yet?!”—Daddy reached around the corner and handed me another blue balloon. I was in total shock. Twins! It felt like fate, too: When we started this round, my grandmother flat-out told me we’d be getting twins. Somehow, she knew. Within a few hours, we met our sweet, oh-so-tiny baby boys. That’s you, Will and Matt, aka baby A and baby B. We spent the next three weeks loving on you in blue hospital gowns, rocking in hospital chairs, until you both hit a solid four pounds and we got to bring you home. Life had never felt so complete. Fast-forward two years: Chris is at work, I’m in the kitchen with two little wild men in nothing but diapers chasing each other through the kitchen, seeing who can scream the loudest. Our firstborn is plugging her ears and wondering why in the world we signed up for this. I’m way overdue for a shower. The phone rings. The voice on the other end was the director at our agency. “How would you feel about a fourth baby?” she asked. My first reaction was laughter—lots of it, the crazy kind. I looked around, wondering how I could take care of an infant in this very moment. It was a short conversation, just long enough to tell me that this baby was the sibling of our boys. “Think about it over the weekend,” she said in her kind voice. During naptime, I let it sink in, deep. In a few months there would be a new baby boy or girl coming into this world. A fullblood sibling of our double trouble club. I called my mom and had her come over. It was my turn to do a little surprising. When Chris got home from work, I had a card for him to open: “Congratulations on being a dad… again!” Oh, if only I’d had the camcorder running! He asked if I was pregnant—a question I’d dreaded for a decade—and with a huge smile I said, “Nope!” Even though we knew it would be a challenge having four kids under five, his heart felt the same as mine. For the first

time, we were “expecting,” and by the end of that summer, we had our little cherry on top—that’s you, Kara. We were at the hospital right after you were born, and you’ve been flashing us that same big smile ever since. God makes families in lots of different ways. For us, it’s been through the gift of adoption. We have more gratitude than we can ever express for the birth mothers that chose life for our kids, and for our adoption agency that works tirelessly to care for birth mothers, children and adoptive families. Chris and I joke about how we’re this infertile couple, yet we had a surprise fourth… and we wouldn’t have it any other way. In the 16 years since we were handed that little red stocking, many people have said to us, “Your children are so blessed to have you.” We sure hope you feel that way, but we’re always quick to respond, “We’re the ones who are blessed.” Kristi T. was born in Tennessee and settled in Cary. She’s currently a stay-at-home mom who loves hugs—even from grumpy, mad kids.

Beyond a handmade gate, lush plantings and flea market finds shape a whimsical, well-tended garden



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rom the front, our house looks like everybody else’s,” says homeowner Irene Campbell. “But when people walk through the gate they’re just stunned.” Nestled in the White Heart neighborhood, between Garner and Cary, the backyard is just under an acre, but its winding paths, repurposed treasures and layers of plantings come together to create a whole new world. Along with her husband Shay, Irene Campbell crafts planters and sculptures from items others might discard: washing machine tubs (“Great drainage!”), a broken-down baby carriage, half of a table, student art. There are disco balls hanging from the tree limbs and a cobalt-blue bridge to nowhere; a garden shed that looks like a storybook cottage. Much of it was crafted by the husband-and-wife team, Irene dreaming the ideas and Shay making them a reality. “If I can think it, Shay can build it,” she says. Shay Campbell built the garden gate that welcomes visitors. The path is named “The Earlway” after Irene Campbell’s father, who in his later years would sit on the back porch and give his son-in-law instructions on how to build things. “He would always give Shay advice, even though he didn’t know much more than Shay did,” she laughs. The path leads through the outdoor kitchen, which they built, and down into the garden, where the hand-tiled fountain is the focal point. In the distance, the blue bridge—which Shay Campbell calls the “Troubled Bridge Over No Water”— takes walkers over flowers planted in memorial to both of their mothers. As the self-proclaimed “queen of the flea market, garage sale and thrift store,” Irene Campbell buys pieces that speak to her, then waits for them to reveal their purpose. “We garden all year long, unless it’s raining or sleeting,” she says. “And we love to go junkin’—things find us!” So with ingenuity and everyday efforts, their garden continues to grow and evolve into a whimsical place of the Campbells’ creation.”

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“A lot of times I’ll buy something, then put it behind the shed until a vision hits me,” says Irene Campbell. Here, she used a broken baby buggy as a planter, then covered a mannequin with “gee-gaws”—a mosaic of painted shells. When their grandkids were young, they used the fountain as a swimming pool, these days it’s a living garden and koi pond.

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Thrift store plates mark the border of a pathway. The Buddha on the back porch, found at the import-export store, is one of the few things Irene Campbell bought new. “You rarely find a Buddha smiling, so I paid real money for that,” she says.

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From opposite page: Shay Campbell built the working outdoor fireplace. His wife found the Romanesque relief at a garage sale. “It was $2, how could I pass that up?” Toddler bed headboards serve as planters, and the VW bug trunk is a nod to Shay Campbell’s college days.

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The shed is cobbled together from a mix of sources: Glass from Irene’s mother’s old church at its peak, columns they found in New Orleans, other pieces from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. “The only thing we bought was the wood, everything else was recycled,” says Irene Campbell, shown above with husband Shay. The medallion and Exit sign were flea market finds.

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From left to right: Les Stewart, Woody Lockwood and Chris Powers

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With four locations and hundreds of flavors in its repertoire, Raleigh-based Trophy Brewing has earned its ardent fans



hris Powers and Woody Lockwood met bartending and serving on Glenwood South. “In the early 2000s, we worked at what was then Bogart’s American Grill, and stayed in touch as we continued to different restaurants and bars around town,” says Powers. At the time, in their opinion, Raleigh’s beer selection was lacking overall—most restaurants carried the same handful of beers, in part due to the cap on alcohol by volume (ABV) in North Carolina, which led to a lack of variety in styles and flavors. “When the alcohol cap was lifted, the floodgates opened. People hadn’t tried many of these unique beers before,” says Lockwood, referring to the 2005 “Pop the Cap” movement that permitted beers above 4.9 percent ABV to be sold in North Carolina. The duo began to try any beer they could get their hands on, getting excited about unique styles coming in from reps around the country. After years of tasting brews in other people’s bars, they decided to open their own. Busy Bee Cafe opened on S. Wilmington MAY 2019 | 109

Street in 2009, complete with one of downtown’s only rooftops. Part of the mission was to offer the unique beers they thought the community had been missing. “We were seeing other breweries in other states going above 4.9 percent ABV for years,” says Powers. “When we opened our bar we wanted to work with other local breweries and challenge them to make new beers.” Powers and Lockwood provided low-risk brewing opportunities for their friends at local breweries: If they wanted a tequila-aged IPA on tap at Busy Bee, they’d provide the barrel and commit to purchasing all of the beer. “We wanted to see what they could do without the risk,” says Lockwood. After a few years of slinging beers made by others, Lockwood and Powers decided that they wanted to control the production and make their own beer. “We realized we could make the beer exactly what we wanted,” says Powers, “and around 2011 we started looking around, thinking about what our brewery would be like.” In 2013, Powers and Lockwood co-founded Trophy Brewing along with David Meeker, brought on Les Stewart as Chief Brewing Officer and got to work—since inception, Trophy has canned and kegged over 500 different beer varieties. And what about the name? Lockwood says that he and Powers

fell in love with the bright red building on W. Davie Street that was home to Mort’s Trophies and Awards. The two joke that the shop was never intending to sell, but they always loved the idea of a brewery within the wood paneling, turf carpeting and trophies lining the walls. “When downtown was still quiet and we only had Busy Bee, we would walk around to check out other spots,” says Lockwood. “We always loved that building and thought about how we would love to have a brewery in there.” Although Trophy never opened in the bright red building, the theme stuck, and now every tap handle is an old-school trophy, many of which are donated. In the early days, Powers and Lockwood collected trophies as a way to serve beer. “At our events before opening, we would say: ‘come taste our beer—bring us a trophy and we’ll give you a sample for free.’ People would show up with boxes of them.” Powers says that the community was thrilled to put their dusty trophies to use. Fast-forward a few years, and Trophy’s domain is vast, touching most points of downtown Raleigh, beginning on Morgan Street and rounding out on Maywood Avenue. Each of the four locations across downtown are distinctly their own, with a loyal following and a unique take on cuisine. The pair say that incorpo-

“Beer and food should be celebrated together just like food and wine,” says Powers.

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Dr. Scott Ralls tours the Perry Health Sciences Campus, where students learn skills to meet our region’s healthcare needs. MAY 2019 | 111

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

“Wake Tech serves the top 100%,” says Dr. Scott Ralls. “We take every student and help them find a way to come through our door.” 112 | WALTER

rating food into the beer-tasting experience was something they were sure on from the beginning. “Beer and food should be celebrated together just like food and wine,” says Powers. “People sometimes forget that beer can be paired.” State of Beer, for instance, the brewery’s bottle shop on Hillsborough Street, is as much beloved for its beer selection as it is for the to-die-for sandwiches with ghost pepper salami or housemade pimento cheese. That location opened in 2015 to offer cans and bottles from all over the U.S., not just their own brews, to be enjoyed on community tables facing the bustle of Hillsborough Street. Powers and Lockwood describe State of Beer as Trophy’s ‘neutral ground.’ “We have so many relationships with other brands, we didn’t want it to be just the Trophy shop,” says Powers. “It’s fun for us because it has all of the beer that we want to drink. It’s not the biggest selection, but it’s the best.” The former Busy Bee Cafe was transformed into Trophy Tap + Table in 2016, to celebrate their own beer in a taproom setting alongside elevated pub fare, while the main brewing facility and tasting room on Maywood Avenue (Trophy Brewing + Taproom) rotates in local food trucks. Trophy is unique in its rapid expansion across Raleigh, and the neighborhoods they’ve rooted in have grown and prospered. Powers jokes that Trophy locations have always opened in whatever space they could afford. “South Wilmington Street was totally different when we got here in 2009,” he says. “And we didn’t go into Morgan Street thinking we would expand to a production facility, we thought we’d have plenty of beer for a while.”

The approach in their brewing method has also been unconventional. Visit any of Trophy’s locations and you’ll likely discover a new beer on tap—but it probably won’t be available for long. Only two beers are constant: Trophy Wife, a light, session IPA, and Cloud Surfer, a modern IPA. Others rotate seasonally (you may see a recurrence of Trophy Husband, a witbier, and Milky Way, a salted caramel stout), but most are one-time brews. “We want to take advantage of all of the awesome produce that we have in North Carolina, follow trends and try new things, but we also want to have a few things that people can count on,” says Powers. Stewart, who learned the ropes of brewing with his extensive at-home operation, says the trio was most excited about the experimentation that comes with craft beer. “We are really able to think outside the box in terms of the ingredients and process involved in beer.” The brewing team is certainly flexing their creativity: they brewed over 80 different beers in 2018 alone. The original brewing facility and restaurant location opened on Morgan Street in 2013. Trophy Brewing + Pizza serves funky pie combinations on a casual patio plus a small interior. Trophy’s planning to take over the rest of the building by 2020 to create more seating inside and out, plus add an event space. The expanded location will also allow for a portion of beer production to move back to where it began, specifically expanding their sour program. Stewart says he loves working with sour beers because “you’re dealing with a science that isn’t fully understood.” The Morgan Street facility will increase Trophy’s sour production MAY 2019 | 113

from 1 to 8 percent of the overall beer production, most of which will be served at that location. “We have a knowledge base to take that program and expand it exponentially at Morgan Street,” says Stewart. Stewart also says that they’ll continue experimenting at the main brewery on some upcoming brews that they’re cranking out at Maywood, including a specialty lager. “We’re really excited about rolling out a delicate lager that we’ve been working on. We have horizontal fermentation tanks that are specifically designed to produce lagers.” In the last two years, Trophy produced one million cans and the numbers are only going up. “This year we’re on pace to do about 6,000 barrels worth of production,” says Powers. “We started off on Morgan Street with 200 barrels.” And while the scale of barrels is massive, most of this beer is staying local. Trophy only sends beers out of state for special events and will occasionally drop off cases and kegs to their buddies in Charlotte. You can also find them in and around Wilmington for the summer. While they’re intentionally keeping distribution local, Trophy incorporates collaborations with brewers around the country into its production, like an IPA with Hi-Wire in Asheville or a pilsner with Captain Lawrence in New York (Powers and Lockwood say they

have always idolized the NY brewers). They see it as a way to support other breweries, learn something new and have a little fun, too. “It’s all about connecting with other brands,” says Powers. “We collaborate with friends outside the market a lot.” Beyond collaborating geographically, Trophy has also joined forces with locals like Dix Park, Arrow Haircuts and Oak City Cycling to develop specialty and celebratory beers. These collaborations often include a charitable component, something that Powers and Lockwood say they feel strongly about supporting. “It’s something we’re passionate about, and we want to give back as much as possible,” says Powers. The brewery has teamed up with all kinds of organizations, from the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC to the ACLU, with a portion of the proceeds from these beers donated to the nonprofit. Powers notes that when you support an organization openly on a beer can, it’s instant marketing for a cause. The duo says they hope to continue partnerships with organizations that they believe in. “At the beginning, we were a little conservative: you’re scared to put your voice out there,” says Lockwood. “More recently we’ve gotten more comfortable in our own skin, and standing up for what we believe in.”

“It’s something we’re passionate about, and we want to give back as much as possible,” says Powers.

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

Marc Ridel Creative

The band Snack Time (Lee Sullivan, Aaron Huntley, Gray Renfrow, Keiren Harrell and Baylor Wordsworth) performs at Maintain Your Brain Battle of the Bands at Broughton High School

116 WALTER presents WINi 120 Campbell Law’s 10/40 gala 122 Author event with Philip Howard 124 Maintain Your Brain Battle of the Bands 125 Halo of Power book signing event 126 Community Music School’s 2019 Benefit 128 Madcap Cottage book signing event

The Whirl is now online! Visit

Submissions for upcoming issues are accepted at WALTER’s website:

MAY 2019 | 115

WALTER events


116 | WALTER


ALTER readers visited The Umstead Hotel and Spa April 7 for WINi, an afternoon of inspiration and storytelling. Panelists Sarah Dessen, Cassandra Deck-Brown, Lindsay Wrege and Gab Smith shared their personal journeys as well as advice for young women. The Umstead provided a delicious three-course lunch followed by a workshop from District C. The day would not have been possible without presenting sponsor Bank of America, as well as supporting sponsor Diamonds Direct. —Catherine Currin

Clockwise from top left: Kari Stoltz of Bank of America with her daughters, Haley and Ellie; guests from the Hope Center at Pullen; local Girl Scouts pose with Sarah Dessen; guests enjoy conversation during cocktail hour; Megan Farrell of Diamonds Direct

MAY 2019 | 117

118 | WALTER

Opposite page: Panelists during Q&A; panelist Lindsay Wrege and guests; first course butter lettuce salad This page: Students enjoying the networking hour and engaging in the Q&A; Sgt. Renae Lockhart with Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra DeckBrown

MAY 2019 | 119

THE WHIRL CAMPBELL LAW’S 10/40 GALA Campbell Law School celebrated its “10/40” double anniversary March 22 at the new Union Station. Over 400 guests gathered to mark the 10th year since the school moved from Buies Creek to downtown Raleigh and the 40th year since the law school’s first class graduated in 1979.

J. Rich Leonard

Elaine Marshall

Campbell Law School Class of 1979

Pat Boyce, Gene Boyce, Hoyt Tessener

David Bohm

Campbell Law School, Karl DeBlaker

The event was held inside Union Station

120 | WALTER


set for spring


or call 919.836.5613

THE WHIRL AUTHOR EVENT WITH PHILIP HOWARD Philip Howard, the bestselling author of The Death of Common Sense, visited the home of Nancy and Fred Hutchison for an author event to promote his latest book, Try Common Sense, which proposes a radical simplification of government.

Marsha Blackburn, Brenda Martin courtesy Nancy Hutchison

Tammy Kruezer, Jerome Slenk, Philip Howard

Lynn Reynolds, Lisa Parker, Nancy Baird

Fred Hutchison, Frank Baird

Philip Howard, Joe Hodge

Barbara McGuire, Peggy Fain, Nancy Hutchison, Carole Anders

THE WHIRL MAINTAIN YOUR BRAIN BATTLE OF THE BANDS The 1st annual Maintain Your Brain Battle of the Bands was held March 23 on the front lawn of Broughton High School to increase awareness of brain health issues including stroke, dementia and concussion. The event raised over $21,000 for the Triangle Aphasia Project. Attended by over 300 people, the community event featured the musical talent of six student bands from nine Wake County High Schools. Grand prize winner, The Buzzards Band from Holly Springs High School, will open for a headliner at Lincoln Theatre. Topic-related booths were on hand to promote brain health resources in the Triangle.

Elena Ashburn

Cameron Fincher, Matthew Lynch, Ry Clark

Ron Ottavio, Maura Silverman, Charlotte Fullbright

Molly James, Ben Hogewood

Logan Earp, Gabriel Mueller, Anson Ford

Marc Ridel Creative

David Jennings, Jason Adamo, Charlotte Fullbright, Katie Whaite, Maura Silverman, Doug Casteen, Steve Silverman

124 | WALTER

HALO OF POWER BOOK SIGNING TO BENEFIT HOLT BROTHERS FOUNDATION Members of the community gathered at Quail Ridge Books March 28 to celebrate the launch of Jeremy D. Holden’s third novel in the Mal Thomas Mystery series, Halo of Power. Holden is also the President and Chief Strategy Officer of Clean, an award-winning marketing and communications agency in Raleigh. All proceeds from the event benefitted the Holt Brothers Foundation.

Jeremy Holden

We like to socialize. Follow along and don’t miss a thing.

Partygoers at Quail Ridge Books


Jillian Knight Photography

THE WHIRL COMMUNITY MUSIC SCHOOL’S 2019 BENEFIT The Community Music School (CMS) held a festive evening at the Governor’s Mansion March 6 and raised more than $32,000 for the organization. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, CMS provides low-cost, private music lessons to economically disadvantaged young people. Special guest First Lady Kristin Cooper spoke to the assembled crowd of 140 people about the importance of music education. Headlining the evening was Broadway star Alan Campbell, who later was joined onstage by CMS violin student Gabriel Bravo.

Gabriel Bravo, Dennis de Jong, First Lady Kristin Cooper, Andrea Blanchfield

Harold Tharrington, Bonne Tharrington | 919.602.7783 2323 Laurelbrook Street, Raleigh, NC 27604

Allie Mullin Photography

Happy egi ings are our specialty.


Gordon Richardson, Lillian Richardson, Helen White, Agnes Marshall


Beautiful Mermaid Sequin Backdrops + Unique Custom Props

Corporate C o t • Weddings Wedd W dd d • Birthdays • Mitzvahs Grand Openings • Galas • School Events + more



Raymond Reisert, Mary Reisert

Alan Campbell


Jason Oliver Nixon, John Loecke

Jason Oliver Nixon, Sara Lovell, John Loecke


JUNE 2019 Southern Smoke Matt Register’s BBQ joint John Loecke, Paul Fogg, Angie Fogg, Darrell Grubbs, Jason Oliver Nixon

Father’s Day Finds Ealdwine Men’s Shop

Local Scoop Howling Cow Ice Cream

Chris Melcher, Darrell Grubbs, John Loecke, Patrick Casey, Jason Oliver Nixon, Amanda Pruitt

Dan Starbuck

GREEN FRONT INTERIORS & RUGS HOSTS THE GENTLEMEN FROM MADCAP COTTAGE FOR A BOOK SIGNING EVENT Green Front in Raleigh hosted a book signing event March 30 for Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke, authors of Prints Charming and the guiding forces behind Madcap Cottage, a global lifestyle brand that encompasses sophisticated fun, history, whimsy and grace. Guests and customers mingled with the designers and enjoyed English teas, macarons and sparkling spritzers while exploring creative ways to mix prints, patterns and color.

Raleigh’s Urban Chic Event Venue Weddings, Receptions, Corporate Parties and Meetings Located in trendy Five Points The Fairview is charming and sophisticated, featuring a covered terrace with skyline views, arched wood barrel ceilings and space to host intimate to 500+ events.

1125 Capital Boulevard, Raleigh 919-833-7900 Managed by Themeworks

Follow us @thefairviewraleigh

Chris Seward / News & Observer


Hats Off N

Alex Diesing, a 2014 graduate, adds his signature to the inside of Broughton High School’s bell tower.

edham B. Broughton High School turns 90 this year. Established in 1929, it is the oldest of 27 high schools in Wake County. And, at a current student body population of over 2,100 students, it continues to operate from the original building designed by Raleigh architect William Henley Deitrick. Historical highlights abound. The popular Queen of Hearts Dance began in 1943 in an effort to raise funds during World War II. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke in the auditorium in 1957. Twelve years later, the auditorium was destroyed by fire. In 1989, the 3,000 seat Capital Stadium opened. And, in 2009, former President Barack Obama visited the school. 2019 graduates will join the roster of an illustrious list of alumni including Juston Burris of the New York Jets, Broadway actress Lauren Kennedy, former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court Burley Mitchell,, PGA Tour golfer and U.S. Open Champion Webb Simpson and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Tyler. A long-standing tradition is for seniors to sign their names inside the high school’s original bell tower after graduation (pictured above). Open only once a year, graduates walk up the aging staircase to the top of the tower and add their name alongside hundreds of others. Caps off to the graduating class of 2019.

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