WALTER Magazine - May 2021

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The Art & Soul of Raleigh



MAY 2021






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Volume IX, Issue 8

25 OUR TOWN 25


HISTORY: Lucky Lou An NC State guard fueled by faith


SPORTS: Triangle Golf Boom A look into area courses


LOCALS: The Street Genie Saxophone player Freddy Greene


MUSIC: Stories as Song An operatic album taps local authors


FOOD: Timeless Fare Stalwart Circus Family Restaurant


DRINK: Proud Mary Exploring a favorite brunch beverage


CREATORS: Found Magic Shannon Whitworth finds her muse


SIMPLE LIFE: Simple Gifts Appreciating life with less


NOTED: Raleigh Through her Eyes A mother of seven thrives on art


Editor’s Letter




Your Feedback




The Whirl


End Note: At the River

On the cover: Dr. Lindsay Zanno with one of the Dueling Dinosaurs, photography by Justin Kase Conder


Smith Hardy (LOU PUCILLO); Forrest Mason (BLOODY MARY

MAY 2021


Raleigh Location 6616 Fleetwood Drive Appointment Only

Apex Location 123 North Salem Street 919.363.6990

80 53

Haiku Sequence by Lenard D. Moore illustration by Jillian Ohl


Elevated & Elegant For Mother’s Day or anytime: a brunch infused with Carolina goods by Debbie Moose photography by Taylor McDonald


54 12 | WALTER

Dino-Mite Find How the Dueling Dinosaurs got from Hell Creek to Raleigh by Jamie DeMent photography by Nathan Cooper and Justin Kase Conder


Inspiration in Stillness Painter Andie Freeman imbues everyday objects with meaning by Catherine Currin photography by Smith Hardy


Boylan Beauty The newly opened Heights House is a restoration project full of detail — and heart by Colony Little photography by Catherine Nguyen

Catherine Nguyen (PORTRAIT); Taylor McDonald (TABLE)


Ayn-Monique Klahre



On March 24, the WALTER team met in the office, all together, for the first time in a year. It also happened to be the one-year work-a-versary of associate editor Addie Ladner!


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n its best moments, being a parent allows me to rediscover the joy of being a kid. My family went to the beach over the kids’ spring break, and it wasn’t exactly warm — highs in the 60s, the ocean as chilly as you’d expect in late March. They didn’t care. They put on swimsuits as soon as the sun came up. My older daughter and I spent hours working on sandcastles. We talked about the mechanics of building towers and digging tunnels. We found shells in specific colors and shapes to decorate the outside. We talked about school and friends. And we spent a lot of time not talking, just enjoying being together, working on a common project. My younger one got me into the water. All the way under the water. (Did I mention the water was freezing?) But how could I resist the pure joy of a 6-year-old in the waves, and her insistent coaxing to get deeper and deeper? Then we spent an hour just digging holes and burying our feet in them, feeling the warm weight above and the cool water seeping in underneath. Children are a reminder to be fully present, to appreciate the everyday miracle that is life. In its worst moments, parenting is frustrating, heartbreaking, an endless juggle. The day-to-day challenge of getting out the door to school, getting dinner on the table, getting the lights off

early enough that they won’t be grumpy the next day. Sometimes it’s hard to find the magic there. But I hope they see that I’m trying, that I’m putting all my decades of learning to be human into building a fulfilling life for us. Over the last year, my parents found themselves in a role they didn’t expect before the pandemic, as full-time caregivers to my sister’s toddler son. They envisioned retirement to be full of travel and books (and, to be fair, they’ve had some of that already). But when I talk to them, they’re not missing anything — they’re too busy marveling at this wondrous being who’s learning words and tasting foods and mimicking their every move. Of course, the other day my mom asked if I thought she’d missed this quality time with us back when she was busy managing the day-to-day. I said no — I have great memories of family time together. But it goes to show: you never outgrow being a mother, even when your children are mothers themselves. So thank you, moms and mother figures out there, for perfectly and imperfectly guiding us through this life.

Ayn-Monique Klahre Editor

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A.J. CARR / WR I T ER A.J. Carr embarked on his 50year sportswriting career while playing football, basketball, and baseball at Wallace-Rose Hill High School. He began writing as a teenager for The Wallace Enterprise, worked with the Greensboro Daily News in college, and spent four decades at the N&O. Carr has received several media awards, including three national awards for college baseball coverage, and twice was voted N.C. Sportswriter of The Year. “It was a thrill to follow Lou’s basketball career at State and later develop a treasured friendship. It’s a great pleasure to write about Lou, a special athlete — and special person.”

On view for two extended weekends Thursday–Sunday, June 3–6 AND

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SMITH HARDY / P HOTO G R A P HE R Smith Hardy’s work has appeared in National Geographic, Better Homes & Gardens, and Architectural Digest. When he’s not shooting photos, you can find him mastering a craft cocktail or on a long run. “When I was asked to photograph NC State basketball legend Lou Pucillo, I was nervous about where we could shoot it with Covid restrictions — but Lou was able to get us into Reynolds Coliseum. It was everything I could have imagined. It was magical for sure. Lou was so great to work with. My favorite part of this shoot was hearing him share a few stories of his journey to reaching greatness. He had so much energy. He made the shoot so much more fun. Thank you, Lou, for all the inspiration you gave me and the continued inspiration you give to others around you.”

TYLER CUNNINGHAM / P HOTOGR A PH ER Tyler Cunningham is a storyteller whose photographs have appeared in WALTER since 2018. She strives for authenticity as she explores the paradox between the bright, shiny moments of brilliance and the seasons of doubt, pain, and insecurity. “I connect by listening, observing, and paying attention to the details. I welcome the mess and believe there’s beauty in the blur.” Cunningham is honored to tell the story of saxophonist Freddy Greene in The Street Genie. “Freddy’s music is a language for connection, he’s sharing with his listener the rhythm of his heart, the pulse of his life.”

Courtesy contributors


COLONY LITTLE / W R I TE R Colony Little is a Raleigh-based writer and founder of the blog Culture Shock Art. She is a 2020 recipient of the Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, which supports contemporary arts writing and criticism. “Watching the transformation of Heights House has been a thrill. From architecture to design, everyone involved in this project shares the Shepherds’ love of the home and their desire to write a new chapter in the history of Montfort Hall.”

FEEDBACK We love to hear from you! Tag us when you’re out and about — or cozied up at home with WALTER. “All of us local Boykin Spaniel owners want to thank you for that gorgeous cover photo for April!” — Rita Howell Davis “I enjoyed your Larry Marangos piece. It warms my heart. I’ve known people like that in my lifetime — ordinary people who made a difference to me. Thanks for sharing your story.” — Carolyn Booth

Retirement living. Better than you ever imagined.

“I’m finally reading my April issue and loving, loving, loving the piece by Jim Dodson. More, please! He is a delight!” — CC Parker “I greatly enjoyed the article Every Moment is a View. North Carolina is blessed with a number of homegrown artists like Richard Wilson. Reading about them is informative and pleasing. Love the magazine.” — Frances Turner “Congratulations on another glorious issue of WALTER — I love your magazine! I especially enjoyed the articles on the Method neighborhood and Ana Shellem (shellfish queen!) in your March issue.” — Betsy Buford

Welcome to a life that’s anything but ordinary. When you live at The Cypress, Raleigh’s preeminent Life Plan Community, you’ll experience luxury retirement living at its very best. Whether it’s the resort-style amenities, carefree lifestyle, world-class healthcare facilities, or the chance to own your own Cottage or Villa, The Cypress is the right choice for so many reasons. Get ready to rethink what you know about retirement living. Come see what’s possible at The Cypress of Raleigh.

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FOOTWEAR Raleigh • Chapel Hill

OUR TOWN In-person theater, a film festival, garden days, and more — here’s what to put on your radar this month.

Forrest Mason



DINE OUT DOWNTOWN Saturdays | 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. Throughout May and June, enjoy an evening meal outside at some of your favorite restaurants in the heart of the city. As an initiative of Downtown Raleigh Alliance, each Saturday a different

portion of various districts (City Market, Glenwood South, Fayetteville, etc) will be blocked off to offer more dining space, along with live music and free parking. Extra space to dine safely and

comfortably at downtown favorites like Sono, City Market Sushi, Raleigh Times, and Capital Club 16? We’ll tip a glass to that! Various locations; see for map and parking information.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 21

DATEBOOK Saturdays | 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. You may be used to hitting up the Dogwood Bar & Eatery for food, but on Saturdays in May, find rejuvenating yoga — and bubbly, too. They’ve paired with Oak City Yoga for a outdoor series of spring yoga classes with a round of mimosas for class participants. All skill levels are welcome. On the chance you do work up an appetite, stick around for Dogwood’s specialty flatbreads, like the Sticky Goat piled with figs, arugula, honey, and herbed goat cheese. $13 (includes one mimosa); 610 Glenwood Avenue;

Hound, Wind Blown Jewelry, and The Terracotta Gal. Spearheaded by sisters Abby and Sarah Moody, look for more pop-ups at other locations this summer, including Boxyard RTP and Lafayette Village. Free admission; 500 East Davie Street;


PETER & THE WOLF May 1 | 3 p.m. The symphony isn’t just for adults; At the start of the month, kids can experience the imaginative tale of Peter, a fearless boy living with his grandfather in the woods, and the Wolf, whom Peter bravely captures. Sponsored by Wake Med Children’s Hospital, don’t miss this delightful matinée from the North Carolina Symphony, conducted by Michelle Di Russo and streamed from Meymandi Concert Hall. The concert will be available for streaming for 20 days following the initial air date. Packages including all three Young People’s Concerts this spring are also available Virtual; $21;

POP-UP MARKET May 1 | 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Head to Transfer Co. Food Hall’s spacious patio to shop hundreds of artisan items like handmade soap, candles, clothing, jewelry, and plants at Triangle Pop-Up’s lively May market. Beyond the shopping, there’s music, food, beverages, and safe, outdoor fun for all (even pets). A few vendors to look forward to are Bumble + 22 | WALTER

May 1 - 2 & 7 - 9 | See website for times For only eight weekends each year, the renowned Juniper Level Botanic Gardens, founded in 1988 by local plant legend Tony Avent, are open to the public. Two of those weekends are this month. Set on 28 acres, with thousands of both native and rare plant varieties — from wild ginger to Lenten Roses to ferns to herbs — the sale offers an opportunity to add something new and interesting to your landscape, and wander the grounds of the unique nursery. The hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Friday and Saturday dates and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Free admission; 9241 Sauls Road;

registration required; free but $15 donation suggested;

MOVIES BY MOONLIGHT Fridays | 8:15 p.m. One of our area’s most-loved outdoor venues, Koka Booth Amphitheatre, has reopened just in time for outdoor film (and concert!) season. Grab your blanket, chair, and, picnic fare (bring your own or buy it there) to sprawl out among the pines for their Movies by Moonlight series. May’s lineup includes Trolls World Tour, Aquaman, Little, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. “Although we’re taking a ‘dimmer switch’ approach to our programming — starting small and building up — the spotlight on in-person movies and music has never been brighter,” says Cary cultural arts manager William Lewis. “The more than 400-day hiatus gave us plenty of time to reflect on just how special and rejuvenating things like this are.” This year the venue has adapted to a pod seating-style ticketing system, with tickets sold per group. Starting at $20 per table or four-person pod; 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary;

THE SPARK May 6 | 6:30 p.m. Watch conversations between nationally and locally known creatives with The Spark, a project from Grammy-nominated country musician Tift Merritt. In this hour-long show, Merritt, a Raleigh native and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alumna, candidly interviews artists of all stripes, from musicians to visual artists. It’s a series of 45-minute livestreamed conversations between Merritt and her guests, followed by a 15-minute audience Q&A. The Spark was originally produced by the acclaimed Marfa, Texas, public radio, and has now come to Carolina Performing Arts. This month Merritt will host award-winning puppet designer and director Robin Frohardt. Virtual;

VINTAGE MARKET DAYS May 7 - 9 | See website for times Distressed furniture, galvanized buckets, bits of lace: have your pick of all things antique and retro at the State Fairgrounds for Vintage Market Days. If the pandemic hasn’t made you a homebody, this event might. Starting at $5 for a Sunday pass, with all-weekend and VIP price options; Jim Graham Building, 1025 Blue Ridge Road; market/nc-triangle

Courtesy NC Sympony (PETER & THE WOLF); Negin Naseri (MARKET); Town of Cary (KOKA BOOTH)



Couertesy Longleaf Film Festival

May 13 & 21 | 7 p.m. Gather some buds and head to Rougemont for some of the first (of hopefully many more) in-person concerts in time for the start of summer. At the Orange County Speedway, indie-rock band Mt. Joy will bring a new concert experience to the Triangle with a drive-in style showing (picnic blankets and chairs welcome too) on the 13th, and Nashvillebased Moon Taxi will bring the tunes on the 21st. Doors open at 6 p.m.; check website for ticketing logistics. Starting at $22 for one car pass for 4; 9740 NC Highway 57, Rougemont;


May 14 & 15 | See website for showtimes The Longleaf Film Festival, held virtually again this year, is an annual juried independent film festival hosted by the North Carolina Museum of History that shares unique stories of North Carolina. “The historic art and culture of filmmaking continues to provide much-needed connections in challenging times,” says festival co-director Sally Bloom. There’s someNOTED thing for all audiences at this free event, which includes everything from animated films to music videos to documentaries. A few highlights: Theirs is the Kingdom, a documentary that examines the intersection of poverty and portraiture as it follows the creation of a fresco mural in Asheville, and Jon Lance Bacon’s Oh Crappy Day, which follows an aspiring young filmmaker's quest to find love through online dating as he struggles with OCD. Virtual; free;

Brie Williams

May 15 | 8 p.m. Performed in Raleigh Little Theatre’s lovely Stephenson Amphitheatre, watch a live, in-person performance of Divas! This annual show is filled with glamour and sparkle as 11 artists show off their



talents. Pack your lawn chairs or picnic blankets to see who will take home the 2021 crown — and to raise money for the theater’s future programming. $25; 301 Pogue Street;

CINDERELLA May 19 & 20 | 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss the last program of Carolina Ballet’s 2021 spring season. They’ll present Robert Weiss’ production of a family classic, Cinderella, featuring an original piano score by composer and Triangle-based musician Karl Moraski. “We are very proud to continue presenting this performance 16 years after its creation,” says Courtney Hilliard with Carolina Ballet. “It excites us to bring new dancers into these original works, as well as new audience members. Cinderella is as much a piece of Carolina Ballet’s history as it is Raleigh’s history, and we can’t wait for everyone to see it!” The program will be live-streamed for

two evenings: Wednesday, May 19, and Thursday, May 20, each at 7:30 p.m. The performance will remain accessible to patrons until midnight on Sunday, May 23. Virtual; call box office at 919-719-0900 for streaming information; carolinaballet. com

SPRINGTIME STROLL & ROLL May 21 - 23 | See website for times Spend a day looking at public art installations, participating in creative scavenger hunts, and stopping in artis-

tic shops through Artspace’s fundraiser, Springtime Stroll & Roll. The event offers two routes: a 1-mile stroller- and wheelchair-accessible downtown trek that passes by Cathy Foreman’s Black Roses mural, 311 Gallery on Martin Street, and CAM; and a 10-mile bike route past spots like Rebus Works, the Eudora Welty mural at Transder Co. Food Hall, and the Gregg Museum. The event takes place over three days, and Artspace encourages participants to raise money to support local arts. “Ask your colleagues, friends, and family to sponsor you through donations to your personal Artspace fundraising page,” says Mary Kay Kennedy with Artspace, who notes that both routes start and end at Artspace, where they’ll have free make-and-take art activities, interactive art projects, and opportunities to visit with studio artists. Free but donations encouraged; 201 East Davie Street.;

Presented by


Courtesy Carolina Ballet (BALLET)



lucky LOU With faith and determination, a 5'9" guard made history on NC State’s basketball team by A.J. CARR photography by SMITH HARDY


efore Lou Pucillo arrived at North Carolina State University in 1956, Wolfpack fans had seen several championship teams, high-flying All-Americans, and electrifying uptempo basketball at its best. But what the Reynolds Coliseum crowd hadn’t witnessed was anybody like Pucillo: a 5'9", 150-pound guard — and the smallest player legendary coach Everett Case had ever awarded a scholarship.

While not intentionally theatrical, Pucillo staged a scintillating show that included behind-the-back and betweenthe-legs dribbling and passing. His ballhandling was magical, his court vision 20-20, his performance highlight-reelworthy. “He could pass the ball behind his back three quarters-length court and hit a guy cutting to the basket — Lou was very unique,” said NC State assistant Vic Bubas in a 1991 Raleigh Times column.

Pucillo was the type of player fans loved and opponents loathed. In four short years, he became a “giant” in NC State basketball lore — and at age 84, Pucillo is still fondly remembered by oldtimers and revered throughout Wolfpack Nation. He’s an ACC Legend, and in the NCSU, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina Sports Halls of Fame. Pretty remarkable for an athlete who never made the starting lineup on his high school basketball team. The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 25

The improbable journey to Raleigh began in Philadelphia, where Pucillo grew up with devoted parents and four siblings. “We had nothing fancy… but had a lot of love,” says Pucillo. He was raised in the Catholic church, sang in a youth choir, and attended Catholic schools for 12 years. He admired the dedication of the nuns who were his teachers, and believed what they told him in the ninth grade: if you do a novena — go to church nine straight days — you can wish for anything you want and you will get it. “I had a very selfish reason for making this novena,” says Pucillo, reflecting on his decision as a high school freshman. “My wish was to play like [Boston Celtics ball-handling wizard] Bob Cousy and at a major college.” For a long, agonizing time it appeared that wish would never come true. Pucillo was cut from the high school team his freshman and sophomore years, then was too “embarrassed” to go out as a junior and played in recreation leagues instead. He finally made the school squad as a senior, but didn’t crack the starting lineup. Not that he hadn’t worked at the game. 26 | WALTER

Pucillo played afternoons and nights, sometimes after shoveling snow off a dimly lit court. Walking home from the playground, he threw behind-the-back passes against the community row houses. “But I never broke a window!” he says. Before going to bed, Pucillo practiced dribbling in his basement, creating an incessant thump-thump that annoyed his next-door neighbor. “The saddest night of my athletic life was at my high school senior basketball banquet,” laments Pucillo, who thought his basketball days were over. “I felt I had failed, I felt betrayed [by the nuns], and that it was over.” But Pucillo would get one more chance. His perceptive father, a Spanish teacher, encouraged him to attend Philadelphia’s Temple Prep after graduating from high school to take a language course, in case he wanted to go to college. So Pucillo enrolled at Temple Prep to enhance his academic resume. When he found out the school had a basketball team, he tried out and made the squad. A year older and more experienced, this time he burgeoned into a star, leading his team in scoring and to a 24-1 record.

On how his basketball outlook turned from bleak to bright, Pucillo says: “I think it was divine intervention.” It was at Temple Prep that he caught the eye of Vic Bubas during one of his less impressive performances. Playing against a deaf and mute team, Pucillo said, “I just went through the motions” in that game. But Bubas, who later became a renowned recruiter and coach at Duke University, saw enough of Pucillo to notify Case he had discovered a special 5'9" prospect. “Vic, have you been drinking?” asked Case, who preferred bigger, strong, gritty guards in the mold of State All-American Vic Molodet. Bubas was not only sober, but brazenly told Case he would have to change his way of coaching to maximize Pucillo’s razzle-dazzle style. “Are you out of your mind?” replied Case, whose highly disciplined team was on track to win its ninth straight conference championship. But Bubas persisted, and his resolve persuaded Case to award Pucillo the only scholarship he was offered. Case also gave a warning to Bubas: “You better be right.” Bubas was right — and it appeared the

nuns in Philadelphia were right, too. Over the next few years, Pucillo got his wish: he played big-time college basketball and was called a “Bob Cousy style” guard. Today, amid a gallery of pictures in his Raleigh home, is a prized photo of Pucillo and Cousy together at a Duke Children’s Classic. Pucillo vexed opponents with bulldog tenacity on defense and offensive skills that included solid scoring to go along with countless assists, a stat that wasn’t kept in his era. He averaged 14.3 points as a junior and 15.4 as a senior, earned All-ACC honors twice, All-American one season, and was 1959 conference Athlete of the Year. That’s why his No. 20 glows among NC State’s honored jerseys. “Lou took a dent from my playing time,’’ says Bucky Waters, a guard a year ahead of Pucillo at NC State who later coached at Duke. “He had a good shot and ball-handling skills. He was like a quarterback, had a great feel for the entire flow and knew where everybody was on the court.” While Pucillo routinely unfurled spectacular passes that revved up Wolfpack fans, Waters says: “He was not a Globetrotter, not a showtime guard. It was about efficiency. He just wanted to beat you — beat you whatever it took.” The Pucillo-sparked Pack teams won the 1958 Dixie Classic and soundly defeated rival North Carolina in the 1959 ACC Tournament at Reynolds Coliseum, then cut down the nets, a celebratory championship tradition Case had started in the 1940s. Pucillo scored 22 points in the finals, got the Tournament MVP trophy, and was happy he could help his beloved coach collect a 10th Conference tournament title with the Wolfpack. “Coach Case was so disciplined on the court and so kind off the court,” says Pucillo, adding that he learned much more than basketball from his clever and visionary mentor. “He taught me a lot about life.” After his playing career, Pucillo returned to NC State at Case’s request to coach the freshman team for three seasons. Afterwards, he embarked on a

successful 38-year business career, working first for a Richmond, Virginia, beverage company and later operating his own company in Raleigh. During that time Pucillo and Marcie, his wife of 59 years, raised three children: Lynn, Lou II, and Lauren. They now have three grandchildren: Catherine, Kennedy, and Jordan. Not surprisingly, basketball runs deep throughout the family. Between 1978 and 1980, Lynn was a standout point guard nicknamed “Magic” at Ravenscroft School. Lou II starred at the same school and shares the singlegame scoring record (47 points) with former Duke sharpshooter and current pro Ryan Kelly. Then along came the dribbling grandchildren: Catherine played during her grade-school days in Wilmington. This year Kennedy contributed to St. David School’s A team’s march to a conferencechampionship and perfect record. And Jordan, a sixth grader, was top scorer on St. David’s B squad — all bright moments during this dark pandemic season. In addition to enjoying his family, Pucillo has made a significant impact in the community and beyond. His benevolent spirit soared during a lunch long ago with teammate Ronnie Shavlik, a State All-American in the 1950s who died at age 49. “Louie, as much as we’ve gotten from NC State, Wake County, and North Carolina, we’ve got to give back,’’ Pucillo remembers Shavlik saying. Inspired by his teammate’s words that day, Pucillo has consistently supported community causes like the YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, The V Foundation, Rex Hospital Open, Duke Children’s Classic, and NC State’s Wolfpack Club, and chaired a committee for The Ronnie Shavlik Memorial scholarship. Pucillo’s circle of friends reaches

beyond NC State boundaries. He enjoyed an amiable relationship with UNC coaches Dean Smith and Bill Guthridge, and was especially close with colorful Wake Forest coach and raconteur Bones McKinney, whom he chauffeured to speaking engagements during the 1960s and 1970s. “Bones was like a godfather,’’ said Pucillo, who was entertained by the coach’s humorous stories. These days, Pucillo remains active with workouts “four or five times” per week and golf on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (“I don’t keep score,’’ he says.) And for the last 27 years Pucillo has also been on an enriching spiritual journey, participating in Bible studies that began with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Bible Study Fellowship. He also worships at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church and carries the names of about 250 people in his wallet; he prays for each of them. “I’ve always had a strong faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” he says. “I can’t believe how you can live without a strong faith.” With that faith, Pucillo soldiers on, enjoying retirement, giving back to the community — and fervently backing the Wolfpack. He has supported all the NC State coaches and teams, and has been especially thrilled to watch guards Monte Towe (5'7"), Spud Webb (5'7"), and Chris Corchiani (6'1"). But he’s more than a fan. Pucillo has long treasured his friendships with Wolfpack players and will forever be grateful to Everett Case, who died from cancer in 1966 and is buried at Raleigh Memorial Park. Says Pucillo: “Every time I ride by that cemetery on Highway 70, I blow my horn and say: Thank you, Coach Case, for giving me the only scholarship I was ever offered.”

“He had a good shot and ball-handling skills. He was like a quarterback, had a great feel for the entire flow and knew where everybody was on the court.” — Bucky Waters

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 27


TRIANGLE GOLF BOOM A look at Raleigh’s golf courses, thriving despite the pandemic by LEE PACE


ne Friday during the summer of 1998, three Chapel Hill businessmen decided to knock off early and go for lunch and golf at their club. Problem was, the tee sheet was full. “Why don’t we build our own golf course?” was the collective idea from Paul


Rizzo, Bob Eubanks, and Rex Teaney, all three of them at the time high on the mast at Franklin Street Partners, a Chapel Hill financial management firm. At the height of two decades of a strong domestic economy and rapid growth of golf’s popularity, other golf venues across the Triangle were inundated as well.

The result, three years later, was Old Chatham Golf Club, on a wooded tract in the heart of the Research Triangle, easily accessible from Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. It was designed by Rees Jones, one of the most prolific golf course architects in America. “I’d been a member at Carolina Coun-

Courtesy Raleigh Country Club (SKYLINE); courtesy Old Chatham Golf Club (HOUSE)

Donald Ross designed the course for the Raleigh Country Club in 1948.

try Club in Raleigh since I was a kid, but it was hard to get a tee time there,” says Smedes York, Raleigh’s mayor from 1979 to 1983, who joined Old Chatham to have the option of playing at a less crowded club. “It was not a case of ‘either/or.’ It was a case of ‘adding to.’ There was a need for a new club, one centrally located within the Triangle.” “The club provided a coming together of people throughout the Triangle, a place to drop territorial rivalries at this one place,” adds Roger Perry, president of East West Partners and another early Old Chatham board member. “This year, we hit our membership cap,” says Allen Wilson, who assumed the club leadership in 2012. “I think the guys with the original vision would be pleased. Old Chatham has evolved into a sanctuary for people who love a pure golf environment.” Golf is thriving today in the Raleigh area at every level, from the elite private club to the daily-fee course. Amid a pandemic, being outside and keeping six feet of personal space works well on a 400yard golf hole. After losing a month or two of rounds beginning in March 2020 when the pandemic hit, industry professionals implemented safety protocols and reopened courses. Golf became a bubble for fresh air, sunshine, and exercise. Golf rounds nationwide at private clubs were up 19.9% in 2020, while public facilities saw a 12.4% rise, according to the National Golf Foundation. Raleigh Golf Association, one of the area’s oldest golf venues, confirms that the sport is thriving here in the Triangle. A.E. Finley was one of the leaders of the Raleigh business community in the mid-20th century, when his construction equipment company was thought to be the largest in the nation. Finley loved golf and was a member at Carolina Country Club, the city’s oldest course (originally founded in 1910 as Raleigh Country Club; the name changed in 1918), but he thought Raleigh should also have an inexpensive course where middle-class and blue-collar workers could play for a modest cost. As one of

The eighteenth green at Old Chatham with the clubhouse in the distance.

11 kids who grew up in rural Virginia, he saw the benefit of making the sport more widely accessible. Thus the Raleigh Golf Association course was founded in 1929 off Tryon Road, 3 miles southwest of downtown Raleigh, with Finley contributing a portion of the cost and selling shares of stock to raise additional capital. Nine holes were added in the 1950s by architect George Cobb, and today, nearly 100 years later, the 27-hole facility is Raleigh’s second-oldest course, with weekday green fees for walkers from $25 — and a course that’s equally popular among men, women, seniors, and junior golfers. Finley’s name now sits atop a plaque on the clubhouse wall that lists the founding officers and board members (just as it is at later philanthropic efforts, the CarterFinley Stadium at North Carolina State University and Finley Golf Course at the University of North Carolina). There’s a photo on the golf shop wall of Sam Snead and Gene Sarazen playing an exhibition there in 1937. Arnold Palmer played at RGA in the 1950s when he was on the golf team at nearby Wake Forest College. Noted amateur Clarence Alexander grew up at RGA as a caddie and later came back to win five Raleigh City Championships from 1950-60. Today RGA is leased and managed by

McConnell Golf, a Raleigh-based golf ownership and management firm founded by John McConnell. It has grown since 2003 into owning 14 clubs and managing two others across a swath that runs from the South Carolina coast to Tennessee. “I started thinking about it and wondered if RGA is a place we can expand our footprint and do something to grow the game,” says McConnell, about making the lease arrangement in 2016. “I have fond memories of playing RGA years ago. I always liked it and it had a great stretch of finishing holes. It was a pleasure to play. Raleigh’s a great market and I think this is a course we can use to attract more people to the game.” Across McConnell Golf’s portfolio, which includes over a dozen properties in North Carolina and its neighbor states, rounds were up 25% this past year. “We were very fortunate to be on the good side of the pandemic,” says Brian Kittler, McConnell’s vice president for golf operations. “So many people in hotels, restaurants, and small businesses were affected. A lot of gyms were closed, parks were closed, areas where people could walk and ride bikes were closed. Golf courses became a safe haven.” Five miles across town on the eastern edge of the city, Raleigh Country Club was closed from March through No-

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 29




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vember 2020 for a renovation project. Designed by Donald Ross in 1948, McConnell Golf bought this course in 2003 when the club was considering shutting down and selling its land to commercial developers. Golf course architect Kyle Franz supervised the $5.5 million project, which included rebuilding greens, tees, and bunkers and installing a new irrigation system. Franz also culled the property of approximately 500 trees to help turf quality by allowing more sunlight and airflow, but also to open up long-range vistas across the course. Today, McConnell can stand on the clubhouse veranda, the highest point on the property, and see up to a dozen holes. From this perch just off New Bern Avenue, east of downtown out toward Old Chatham and beyond, the view’s pretty sweet indeed. As a year in the clutches of COVID-19 has proved, there’s nothing quite the equal of fresh air, companionship, good exercise, and the challenge of maneuvering a golf ball from point A to point B. Lee Pace’s new book, Good Walks—Rediscovering the Soul of Golf at Eighteen of the Carolinas’ Best Courses, is available this month. He lives in Chapel Hill.

Courtesy Raleigh Golf Association (SUNSET)




the STREET GENIE Sax player Freddy Greene has honed his soul-searching groove on downtown Raleigh sidewalks words & photographs by TYLER CUNNINGHAM


t’s on the street where I feel like I’m actually living,” says Freddy Greene. “I’m not boxed in at all.” You’ve probably encountered Greene on Fayetteville Street or at his favorite Raleigh perch, in front of the Memorial Auditorium as a

performance lets out. The 63-year-old harvester of sounds leans into a relaxed boldness with piercing hazel eyes, often hidden behind his signature shades, and locs falling well below his shoulders. Nicknamed the “Street Genie” for his ability to make the melodies of his beloved saxophone dance and bend, some

say Greene is Raleigh’s longest-running street musician. While Greene has played with the likes of gospel greats Shirley Caesar and Percy Sledge — and even graced the stage of Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater twice — street playing is his sacred space. Here, he has found a raw and powerful connecThe Art & Soul of Raleigh | 31

tion to his audience for more than four decades. He is drawn to its simplicity: the direct line between musician and listener, where he can see and feel how his music lands. Hailing from humble roots in Franklinton, Greene was born into a life of music. His first home had once been a neighborhood juke joint known as the Chicken Shack, where sharecroppers and the agrarian working class would gather to unwind and reconnect through music. Those storied walls were the foundation, and music was woven into the fabric of everyday life. If Greene wasn’t listening to his mother sing or his uncle play the guitar, he was running down to his grandma’s house to play her piano. Music, he discovered, was not only a form of self-expression, but a way to bear witness to the world around him.

After high school, Greene studied music at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh and then North Carolina Central University in Durham. “I had to get serious, to play catch-up,” Greene shares, reflecting on the talent surrounding him, “but first I had to get the girls out of my head!” Greene followed in the footsteps of one of his idols, B.B. King, and took his velvety soprano sax to the street. There, he found refuge from the daily pressures of tests and school loans and the future that he would need to create for himself. In the movement and pace of the people, Greene could let the world melt away while he painted the air with his languid, long notes. Perhaps the greatest influence on Greene’s life was his mother, Flora, a talented artist and seasoned storyteller. She told a tale throughout his child-

“He’s more than a musician — Freddy is deeply spiritual with a compassionate heart. A listener. Freddy’s the real deal.” — Stefan Youngblood


hood about a young boy who strayed from the right path and was saved from danger by a street musician and his magical horn. Flora’s story wrapped Greene in a blanket of comfort and hope as he left college and struggled with homelessness in his 20s. “When I look back, I think that story was telling me how to save myself with my horn,” says Greene. “So I would just play. I would practice and practice, for hours and hours, eight, 10 hours a day. I dropped out of society.” But Greene never forgot his mother’s story, and used her words to fuel him as he fought his way through those dark years. On one of those long days in the late 1990s, Greene was playing on the corner of Historic City Market when chef Harvey Yancy was walking to his job at a nearby restaurant. Yancy heard Greene before he saw him. “I was like, Wow, man, this cat is really playing!” Yancy recalls. “The world was walking by Freddy, but they didn’t see who he really was.” Yancy didn’t hesitate. He told Greene that as soon as he got his own place, Greene was going to play there. Within


a year, Yancy opened his Cajun restaurant and jazz club, Yancy’s, and Greene was its first entertainer. “Freddy was the house band!” Yancy says. The gig was Greene’s first, and soon he was forming his own trios and quartets and playing venues throughout the state. This is when Greene met Stefan Youngblood, founder of When Grace Happens, a Raleigh nonprofit that supports the homeless and underresourced. Youngblood, a powerful vocalist and pianist, invited Greene to collaborate for an upcoming event. Several of the musicians were homeless, a reality that had been Greene’s just a few years before. This was a full-circle moment for Greene, supporting others who were on a journey with so many parallels to his own. It allowed him to share his riffs and phrases with an intimacy and vulnerability that served as a magnet to his audience. “Freddy’s a sociologist playing the sax; he studies people while we study him,” says Youngblood. “He’s more than a musician — Freddy is deeply spiritual with a compassionate heart. A listener. Freddy’s the real deal.” As Greene’s audience has widened, he remains as connected to the path behind him as he is focused on the one ahead. “I wouldn’t change anything,” he says. “I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what anyone else says about you. It’s what you think about yourself.” Those words are particularly poignant when paired with the title track from his latest album, Ain’t I Somebody? With a tension to his refrains, Greene unfolds this rhythmic and reflective musical narrative about the inherent value of all people. “Freddy plays from his soul and he’s playing because he’s trying to reach another soul,” says Yancy. So the next time you’re meandering the streets of downtown Raleigh, pause and listen for the sound of magic happening. And when Greene’s musical storytelling draws you in, let the notes wash over you and carry you to a peaceful place of belonging.

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STORIES as SONG Vocalist Andrea Edith Moore turns the writings of local authors into a unique album by DAVID MENCONI


s an album, Family Secrets: Kith & Kin is unique — and uniquely North Carolina. It’s deeply rooted in the local arts community, a work that is equal parts opera, chamber-music piece, and literary song cycle — with banjo, no less. And it boasts some big names among the credits, though they’re names not normally associated with music: Daniel Wallace, Lee Smith, Frances Mayes, Jeffery Beam, Michael Malone, Randall Kenan, and Allan Gurganus. The album is the brainchild of opera singer Andrea Edith Moore. A soprano 34 | WALTER

vocalist, Moore has sung on stages all over the western hemisphere, from the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado to the Hamburger Kammeroper in Germany. For all those travels, however, the Chapel Hill native didn’t make her first album until coming home to North Carolina. “Being a classical singer, it’s not a straight shot to The Met,” Moore says by phone from her home in Hillsborough, over barking from the family dog Frank “Chairman of the Bark” Sinatra in the background. “Growing up, I always loved musical theater and Broadway. At age 10, I asked my parents if they’d get me a

Broadway agent and move to New York with me. Well, that didn’t happen.” Pursuit of her singing ambitions took Moore to the North Carolina School of the Arts for the last two years of high school, followed by studies and degrees at Yale University and Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University. Eventually, she made her way back to the Triangle, where she teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and sings locally with North Carolina Opera. A bit more than a decade ago, she initiated the process of what eventually became Family Secrets.

Courtesy Cricket Photography


Moore envisioned a song cycle based on writings from the surrounding literary community. In their emptynest phase, her parents had moved to Hillsborough, and Moore settled there when she returned from school. Some of the area’s leading literary lights became friends, collaborators, and clients: Moore gave Big Fish author Wallace voice lessons, and she served as Smith’s consultant for her 2013 novel Guests on Earth, advising her on musical verisimilitude. So Moore enlisted Wallace, Smith, and other local writers to write stories to inspire her songs. Each was given the prompt of “family secrets” and an assigned location (including a cemetery, pantry, porch, and “top of stairs”) as the jumping-off point for their words. Then, text in hand, Moore turned to composer Daniel Thomas Davis, a fellow North Carolinian she’d known since their days together at Peabody, to set it all to music. The songs are sung by

Opposite page: Andrea Edith Moore. Above: Working on the album. Right: The album cover.

8411 Glenwood Ave., Ste. 107 Raleigh, NC 27612

108 E. Chatham St. Cary, NC 27511

1201-J Raleigh Rd. Chapel Hill, NC 27517

4209 Lassiter Mill Rd., Ste. 130 Raleigh, NC 27609





Moore herself, accompanied by a wide-ranging ensemble versed in folk and classical music, including Raleigh banjo ace Hank Smith. The album also includes narration from storytelling actress Jane Holding. “There’s a dramatic arc to it, from prologue to the end,” Moore says. “One thing I like is something Daniel remarks upon in the liner notes: As he was working through the texts, he realized that all these authors know one another — thus the people inhabiting their writings must all know one another, too. Those interconnections create this village.” Wallace — whose contribution Pantry is about a mysterious hidden object — says that dynamic makes perfect sense. “I think it’s absolutely true, that these pieces all feel like a kind of conversation between the works,” Wallace says. “I

think the way it turned out is outstanding, a monumental and ambitious project, beautiful and impressive. Andrea was the heart and soul behind it and she really made it happen.” The apex comes about halfway through, on Chinaberry Tree. Written by the late Randall Kenan, who passed last year, it’s a true-life story about the brutal murder of a beloved aunt by his uncle. The album is dedicated to Kenan’s memory. “He passed away before the album came out, but he was able to hear it performed live and was extraordinarily moved by the realization of his story in the music,” Moore says. “Randall had never put that one pen-to-paper in a book, but he felt that setting it to music was the right place for it to live. It was an honor and a big responsibility, to be given that story and tell it with care.”

“Andrea was the heart and soul behind it and she really made it happen.” — Daniel Wallace

Family Secrets has been performed live a number of times in recent years, at UNC and in an operatic staged version with North Carolina Opera. They recorded the album in September 2019 at Manifold Recording in Pittsboro, and the postrecording tweaks were going on just as the pandemic shutdown began in March 2020. Moore had planned for additional performances to accompany the album’s release, but that will have to wait for the pandemic to subside. Whenever that happens, chances are that its themes will still be timely. “Given what we’re still on the brink of as a society and a nation, it feels like the exact right time for that Allan Gurganus quote from the epilogue,” Moore says. “Can’t we each be saved from our worst selves? It’s a really important question to ask ourselves, whether it’s about politics, our health, or just being good neighbors and a civil person. Can’t we just be? Caring about each other — it would be nice to see more of that.”


Timeless FARE Circus Family Restaurant serves up old-fashioned milkshakes — and a spirit of gratitude by SUSANNA KLINGENBERG photography by BEN MCKEOWN

Glenn Mitchell, owner of of Circus Family Restaurant


In 1974, Raleigh was a city looking forward. Families were welcoming soldiers home from Vietnam, and the second-ever woman had just been elected to City Council. Meanwhile, on Wake Forest Road, just off Capital Boulevard, a Dairy Queen had quietly reinvented itself as Circus Family Restaurant. “After the turmoil and upheaval of the 1960s, Raleighites entered the new decade with a desire for normalcy,” says Ernest Dollar of the City of Raleigh Museum. “Even in its name, the Circus restaurant offered a distraction from the past and reflected the optimism of the future.”

Since 1974, plenty has changed in our city — but little has changed at Circus. They’ve spent 47 years sidestepping trends and sticking to what they do best: dishing up local charm and a seriously good peach milkshake. Owner Glenn Mitchell, who began working there as an employee in 1986, says the flourishing food scene downtown has made him double down on Circus’ niche: classic burgers, hot dogs, fries, and ice-cream desserts. “Our menu is basically the menu we’ve had since 1974,” says Mitchell. After a pause: “Well, we added grilled chicken. You know, for healthy eaters.” If the unmoving menu, circus theme

(painted elephants and big-top colors), and retro décor (original booths, tables, and floors) feel a bit out of touch with the here and now, that’s OK with Mitchell. “When you taste something you haven’t tasted in a long time, it just takes you back. That’s what customers say: our food takes them back.” He adds with a resolute nod: “We keep it simple and keep it good.” It hasn’t always been simple for Circus Family Restaurant. In June of 2006, the business was rocked by a shocking event: the murder of a cleaning contractor, who was working at the restaurant late one night. Such an incident would be quite a blow for any establishment, especially The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 37

Top to bottom: Circus Family Restaruant; a worker prepares hot dogs; photos from Thanksgiving 2018 on display inside the restaurant.

one built on a family-friendly atmosphere. Mitchell admits that his first reaction was to downplay the tragedy. He initially discouraged his employees from talking to customers about the murder and shied away from press. But sweeping it under the rug unsettled him: it didn’t feel brave, nor did it honor the legacy of the innocent victim. For that man’s family, after all, the loss was much greater than the bottom line. After talking to the victim’s family, Mitchell discovered that he had been involved in caring for the unhoused in Johnston County, offering what little he had to those who had even less. It was then that Mitchell knew what he had to do: give back to the people this man had cared for. The idea for a free turkey dinner began to take shape, and it turned into an annual event. The man’s family has said he would have loved the way Mitchell turned a tragic event into a way to give back; they work alongside Circus staffers, customers, and other volunteers to prepare and serve the meal. At first, it was a relatively small operation. But as word got out — first through Mitchell’s church, then to the wider community — donations of time and resources 38 | WALTER

started pouring in. South Raleigh Civitan member Robin Snyder, whose group has participated from the early days, says they all look for-ward to the camaraderie of preparing ng the meal: “Every year, a group from Civitan peels and chops 300 poundss of sweet potatoes. It’s a long day, but the he spirit there is really something.” On Thanksgiving Day, hordes of people traditionally descend on the tiny restaurant, chatting, eating, and d giving thanks. The crowd includes unhoused people, older folks, locals with no family in town, and neighbors who have simply woven it into their tradition. In 2019, they served 1,300 plates, with even more going out to nursing homes, shelters, and bus stops. Last year, they had to can-cel the event, but they plan to revivee it as soon as they can. Snyder says the energy Mitchell pours into the feast every year is simply an outpouring of his values: “He is very humble. He doesn’t do it for any glory or recognition. He does it because his heart tells him to.” The community support that Circus Family Restaurant has earned over the years is what’s kept them afloat through the pandemic. “It’s been an interest-

ing year,” says Mitchell, “But we never closed down, and our customers? Our customers just kept showing up.” While Raleigh will continue to change around Circus Family Restaurant, it plans to remain a bastion of the past. And that’s okay with Mitchell — the spirit of gratitude that’s served up with every meal is timeless.

LONG-BELOVED EATERIES These classic spots have served our community for decades by ADDIE LADNER and RILEY BENSEN

AMEDEO’S Since 1963, this family-style Italian restaurant has become an icon among the NC State sports community and the neighborhood alike. 3905 Western Boulevard BLOOMSBURY BISTRO Opened in 1995, this Five Points gem was one of the first to offer a menu featuring local ingredients. 509-101 West Whitaker Mill Road CASA CARBONE In a northern Glenwood Avenue strip mall, this classic Italian restaurant has been around since 1984. 6019-A Glenwood Avenue CHAR-GRILL Pick up a tiny yellow pencil, mark your order sheet, slip it under the window, then see your burger sizzle. 618 Hillsborough Street CHUAN CAFE East on New Bern, this solid Chinese food stop offers quick takeout — and some seriously spicy tofu. 2004 New Bern Avenue CLOOS’ CONEY ISLAND Black-and-white checkered floors and spinning diner stools make for a retro meal at this hot dog joint. 2233-102 Avent Ferry Road CLYDE COOPER’S BARBECUE Serving East Carolina-style fare, this downtown establishment is one of the longest-standing BBQ joints in the state (it opened in 1938!). 327 South Wilmington Street

FRANK’S PIZZA AND RESTAURANT A classic New York-style pizza place that’s been around for more than 30 years. Folks also love their hoagies. 2030 New Bern Avenue

THE ROCKFORD Up a narrow flight of creaky steps, popular fare includes the fried oysters and chicken and waffles. 320 ½ Glenwood Avenue

GLENWOOD GRILL Tucked away in a shopping center, this mainstay offers coastal cuisine like crab cakes and shrimp and grits. 2603-151 Glenwood Avenue

SECOND EMPIRE RESTAURANT AND TAVERN Opened in 1997 in a Victorian mansion, this fine dining spot combines Southern charm with white-tablecloth treatment. 330 Hillsborough Street

LEE’S KITCHEN Offering Jamaican and Southern cuisine since 2007, the star of the menu is the chicken, fried or curried. 4638 Capital Boulevard; 1100 North Raleigh Boulevard MAMI’S LATIN STYLE ROTISSERIE CHICKEN This spot’s flavorful roast chicken is a go-to for busy families who want nourishing, reasonably priced meals. 2401 Wake Forest Road OLE TIME BARBECUE Heading out of town down Hillsborough Street, this time capsule has remained nearly the same since it opened over 25 years ago. 6309 Hillsborough Street PAM’S FARMHOUSE This unassuming spot on the side of the road has served traditional Southern food to Wolfpack fans savvy locals for over 20 years. 5111 Western Boulevard

SIDE STREET RESTAURANT Stop by this Historic Oakwood lunch spot for its make-you-smile menu (see: the Holey Hen). 225 North Bloodworth Street SNOOPY’S HOT DOGS The downtown location closed, but this hot dog spot still has two other outposts to get your fix. 1931 Wake Forest Road; 3600 Hillsborough Street THE BARTON ON FAIRVIEW Formally known as Hayes Barton Cafe, this neighborhood favorite offers a low-key lunch — or candlelit dinner in the evenings. 2000 Fairview Road WARAJI JAPANESE RESTAURANT Opened in 1997 by Masatoshi Tsujimura, who was born in a fishing village in Japan, this spot is known for its authentic Japanese cuisine. 5910 Duraleigh Road

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 39

Forrest Mason (NOFO); Getty Images (INGREDIENTS)


Proud MARY Bartenders and aficionados opine on the Queen of Cocktails by BILLY WARDEN


ary is complicated: She can be down to earth, or as garish as Madonna and Elton John sharing a double bill in Vegas. She has gone by other names, including The Bucket of Blood and The Red Hammer. She’s widely recognized as The First Lady of Brunch. But you know her as Bloody Mary. 40 | WALTER

“It’s kind of a symphony of experience for your nose and mouth,” says Raleigh Bloody Mary aficionado Dustin Ingalls, who recalls sampling an alcohol-free Virgin Mary at the tender age of 16 — and being instantly enamored. The basic ingredients are tomato juice, vodka, celery, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, olives, and lemon. Right out of the gate, Mary is a melée com-

pared to the refined Manhattan or gin and tonic. And from there, she gets even twistier. “No one has a definitive recipe,” says Ingalls, an example of the many passionate amateur barkeeps devoted to Mary. “It’s a perfect vehicle for mixological experimentation.” In an attempt to better understand Mary, I asked about her on social me-

SIG’S ‘TRIPLE SECRET’ BLOODY MARY “As part of our family tradition — which we still uphold — Nancy’s mom, Me Maw, always enjoyed ringing in the holiday season with a pitcher of Bloody Marys while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Whether it’s a family holiday, a special occasion, or even a toast to a Saturday morning bike ride on the Neuse River Greenway, nothing is better than the taste (and anticipation!) of the perfect Bloody Mary. Over the years, I’ve worked hard to perfect this magnificent libation.” — Sig Hutchinson INGREDIENTS 1 to 2 shots vodka 6 ounces Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix Courtesy Sig Hutchinson

Gourmet Village Rim Trim Dash of Lea & Perrins Original Worcestershire Sauce Texas Pete Original Hot Sauce Limes Olives Celery Sticks Celery Salt DIRECTIONS Prepare the glasses: circle the tops with lime juice and dip into a saucer of rim trim, then knock off excess. Fill glasses with ice and add a celery stick, with leaves sticking out at the top. Set aside. Fill a shaker with ice and add vodka, Bloody Mary mix, Worcestershire Sauce, ¼ of a squeezed lime, and hot sauce to taste (optional, but not really). Shake or stir vigorously. Strain into glasses and add a touch of celery salt to the top. Garnish with two olives on a toothpick and a thin wedge of lime.

Sig and Nancy Hutchinson enjoying a post-bike ride Bloody Mary.

dia. The riotous response of Facebook friends perfectly matched the commotion of the cocktail itself. To partially quote the Triangle’s legion of fans and at-home mixologists: Needs horseradish. Chunks to chew on. Ain’t legit without lots of pepper. Sprinkle just a dash of Old Bay. Use a Slim Jim for a stirrer. Clamato is the key. Bits of fresh crab meat. Beef broth in the mix. While pre-made mixes can streamline production, the question of which rules supreme is, naturally, far from settled. Wake County Commissioner Sig Hutchinson, known to cap weekend bike excursions with Marys all around, swears by Zing Zang’s mix. Carrboro chanteuse Wendy Lee Shadburn sings the praises of Pittsboro’s Bloody Brando. Even the type of liquor involved isn’t fixed: “I prefer my Bloody Marys with gin,” notes longtime Raleigh bar manager Chico Scott, of Landmark fame. “Hendrick's is my favorite because of its cucumber essence, but Mother Earth, Cardinal, and Con-

niption are good if you want to keep it local.” Ingalls prefers a different twist: “I graduated from Bloody Marys to Bloody Marias — tequila-based — years ago. Then I discovered mezcal at Gallo Pelón, and have been making almost exclusively Mezcal Marias at home ever since. I love the complex smokiness that mezcal adds to the saltiness, spiciness, and acidity.” Customers at The Raleigh Times chase their Marys, which include a candied bacon stirrer, with a sidecar of PBR. Breweries sometimes add a brown ale. Mary’s many guises can bewilder, which is why some prefer leaving it to an expert. Or, as lawyer Ron Perkinson puts it, “I’m partial to those handed to me.” Bartender Ashlan Hendricks has handed over countless Marys in her eight years with NOFO @ The Pig. The eatery regularly chalks up Mary-related accolades in part due to its heavy dose of dill, both on the rim of the glass and in the mix. “It’s a relief to the hot spice,” Hendricks says. “But you have to go gentle on the Worcestershire. Too much’ll ruin it.” NOFO also tinkers with Mary’s garnishment, perhaps the most celebrated wardrobe signature since Carmen The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 41

Miranda’s headdress. In place of the traditional celery stick is a perky English cucumber and an arching pickled green bean, plus cherry tomato, plump olive, and lime. Lovely to look at, spry on the tongue — but Raleigh’s versions are rather tame in the maximalist Mary-verse. Charlotte’s Moo & Brew festoons its Mary — renamed Large Marge — with a burger, grilled cheese sandwich, fried green tomatoes, a jalapeño popper, and cheese curds. Belhaven’s Spoon River also piles the fixins high. Yet the madcap variety that charms some baffles or repulses others. “These concoctions are getting out of hand,” gripes Brandon Ives, whose downtown office puts him close to two of Raleigh’s most prodigious Marymakers, Capital Club 16 and Humble Pie. “It’s brunch, people — not a Calabash buffet! I'm all for eating my fruits and veggies, but guzzling tomato

Being said about

McColl, 85, still plays a pivotal role in making North Carolina a better place. Beyond the Bank makes that crystal clear.” – Business North Carolina

Building a great bank has been upgraded to building a better community. (McColl) still has the energy and courage to believe he has a better place. What a legacy!” – Harvey Gantt, Charlotte civic leader and former mayor

Nothing motivates Hugh McColl more than leading collaborations of strong voices to spark innovative solutions for the challenges of our time.”

juice with chunks of horseradish, spicy tabasco, and 1,500 calories of added meat medley makes me want to lose my breakfast!” For the record, a basic Bloody should be no more than 500 calories (some of which are derived from perfectly wholesome veggies), according to Raleigh nutritionist Samantha Reiff. And while fans generally embrace the cocktail’s power as a hangover cure, Reiff says that claim is likely false. “It may be a buzzkill, but the Bloody Mary as a hangover tonic is more of a hopeful myth than nutrition science,” says Reiff. “One could argue that the component parts may contribute hangover-mitigating benefits — say, the electrolytes in tomato juice, cysteine in garlic, vitamin C in the lemon juice, capsaicin in the hot sauce, antioxidants in the herbs and celery, and liver detoxification properties in horseradish — but a hefty spike of

vodka outweighs the benefits.” Nevertheless, brunch is Mary’s time to shine, whether she’s at Midtown’s STIR, the Village District’s Flying Biscuit or Tupelo Honey (whose Queen Mary sports a shrimp garnish), the thick and spicy Mary at Wye Hill, Scratch in Apex, Durham’s Motorco, or other boozy bastions. “Brunch is back,” confirms NOFO’s Hendricks of the state’s loosened dining protocols, “and brunch is social.” Ah, and there’s the essence of my own long-stewing crush on Mary: her populist appeal, the open-source creativity of fans, the social buzz of swapping recipes, and the joy of sharing a mid-morning meal. Mary is a parade, a festival, a circus in a glass. I love her messy and brassy and perhaps too eager to please. I adore Mary because she’s as high-spirited and wide open as I want to feel after spending the morning with her.


Hugh McColl’s Chapter Two The twenty years Hugh McColl’s spent since stepping down as Bank of America CEO belies the notion that irrelevancy is a part of retirement. This is the story of how McColl, at 85, remains essential in a city that bears his imprint, from building Uptown to investing social capital in all corners of the community. A new book by Howard E. Covington Jr. available online at:

– Michael Marsicano, president and

On sale at Park Road Books, Charlotte; Scuppernong Books, Greensboro; Hub City Bookshop, Spartanburg; Litchfield Books, Pawleys Island, S.C.; Books & Beans, Rocky Mount; , Southern Pines; and Battery Park Book Exchange, Asheville.


found MAGIC For Shannon Whitworth, the muse lives and breathes in the mountains of Brevard by WILEY CASH photography by MALLORY CASH


y art is how I see the world,” says artist and singer-songwriter Shannon Whitworth. “And my music is how I hear it.” Just outside of Brevard, Whitworth is walking across the expanse of grass between her barn studio and the renovated farmhouse she shares with her husband, Woody Platt of the Grammy Award-winning Steep Canyon Rangers, and their young son. The late afternoon is rainy and cool. In the distance, mist hangs over the mountains like a gray, gossamer blanket. In other places across the South, spring has begun to reveal itself, but here in the mountains,

winter is still hanging on. Whitworth didn’t always live in the mountains that have become so synonymous with her music and art. She was born into a bustling home with two older brothers in Fairfax, Virgnia. By the time she reached high school, her restless nature prompted her to head south to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, where she spent summers with her Grandma Nancy, an Old South dame who owned a ladies’ clothing boutique and lived in a lamplit home where every room had a clock radio playing martini music. The soundtrack to Whitworth’s summers in Hilton Head were comprised of Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, and the clink of ice in Grandma Nancy’s cocktail The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 43

glasses. To the girl who’d been raised in an active household in somewhere, but this place spoke to me,” Whitworth says. “I a busy city, the freedom of Lowcountry life was both mysteriknew I would write a lot of songs and paint a lot of paintings ous and emboldening. “I went down there playing with Barbie here. And if I could do those things, then I knew this was dolls,” Whitworth says, “and I came back home wearing a where I needed to be.” training bra.” She spent a few months in the offseason living in the old Like many people who grew up in the 1990s and who would cook’s cabin at Camp Carolina, stuffing envelopes and maillater become artists, Whitworth was an angsty teen who filled ing promotional material for the camp and working on her her journals with reams of poetry. Her parents had always music. “I must’ve written a hundred songs,” she says, but she been music fans, and she grew up listening to was too self-conscious to perform them in James Taylor, Paul Simon, and Crosby, Stills & front of anyone aside from her brothers and a “I’m going to a Nash. When her older brother began dating a small circle of musician friends. “And then a different place woman who played the guitar, Whitworth refriend of mine told me about a dive bar in West alized she could set the words she’d written to when I work now... Asheville that hosted karaoke,” she says. “The melodies. The woman — who would eventually people who came to karaoke were old country Sometimes I don’t people. Nobody knew who I was or even cared. become her sister-in-law — showed her how to play chords, and by the time Whitworth began have the words or It felt safe.” The first song she ever performed college in Boone, she was already skipping class front an audience? Dolly Parton’s Jolene. the music, but the in“Dolly to play music. “I was consumed by it,” she says. Parton was my spirit animal of sorts,” And then someone gave her Lucinda Williams’ colors are always says Whitworth, whose own singing voice first album. That’s when she had the vaguest of is lower and warmer, but just as resonant as there.” notions that, just maybe, she could become a Parton’s. “I figured that if I could transform musician, too. myself into someone like that, then I could do “I didn’t know a lot of women who were doing this,” she anything. It was like putting on body armor.” says, and she didn’t know if she could do it either. After a Another major influence while Whitworth was finding series of moves and adventures took her all over the country, a herself onstage was Dwight Yoakam, especially his album camping trip to Brevard in 1999 finally convinced her to settle, which features him playing his down and give music a try. greatest hits with only an acoustic guitar. Whitworth would “I was moonstruck by Brevard,” she says. She is sitting by play his album and record it on a borrowed four-track while the window in her living room, the sun having fallen below recording herself singing harmony and playing accompanying the mountains just above the confluence of the headwaters of instruments like mandolin and banjo. She would layer in her the French Broad River. Night is creeping across the fields. “It recorded parts with Yoakam’s music. “It was as close as you felt like there was a crystal under the Earth that was pulling could get to being in a band with Dwight Yoakam while also me here. I always thought I would end up back on the beach being a total weirdo at the same time,” she says. 44 | WALTER

The first time Whitworth performed with her guitar in front of a live audience was during a jam night at Jack of the Wood in Asheville. That’s also where she met the other founding members of a bluegrass band that would soon become The Biscuit Burners. Over the next few years, the band would go on to release two acclaimed albums while crossing the country on what seemed like a never-ending tour. But despite all the band’s success, it was their first show that perhaps had the greatest effect on Whitworth’s life. On that night, Woody Platt set up the band’s sound equipment. While it would take a while for friendly exchanges to become flirtations and for flirtations to become love, by 2006, Whitworth and Platt were a couple, and Brevard was their home. After years on the road as a touring musician, to Whitworth, Brevard felt like a sanctuary. She left The Biscuit Burners and released a spate of highly praised solo records, and she soon found herself building her life around two things: her relationships with the people she loved, and a new kind of art. “Painting reminds me of how I feel when I sing through a microphone,” Whitworth says. “It’s a way of reporting my feelings, and it’s also a place where I can dig deep into healing. It all used to be a way to work through angst.” Since having a child, Whitworth has shifted to creating art from a source of light. “I’m going to a different place when I work now, and I’m still trying to sort that out. I’m learning to use these new tools that motherhood has given me. Sometimes I don’t have the words or the music, but the colors are always there.” Over the past year, Whitworth’s paintings have found homes with a stable of interior designers across the South, and her work has been featured in galleries and shipped all over the country to private collections belonging to the likes of Edie Brickell and Paul Simon. “When I first began painting, all of my art was coastal, but after settling into the land here and having our son, I just started seeing this landscape so clearly, and it’s reflected in my work. I’m living it,” Whitworth says. “People always tease me about believing in magic, but I always tell them, You’ll believe in magic when it finds you.” She has risen from her seat at the window, and she is now moving through the house, turning on lamps, their soft light meeting the sound of Patsy Cline’s voice floating from an unseen source somewhere in the kitchen. Whitworth uncorks a bottle of wine and pours a glass. Whether it’s a lamplit room in Hilton Head, a festival stage on the other side of the country, or a light-filled studio where the dew-damp mountains loom in the distance, Shannon Whitworth has always found magic. Or perhaps it has always found her. Wiley Cash is the writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. His new novel, When Ghosts Come Home, will be released this year. He and his wife, photographer Mallory Cash, are traveling across North Carolina to meet creatives.

ANA GUZMAN (b. Cuba 1956) May 7th – June 2nd, 2021

G A L L E RY C F I N E A R T 540 N. BLOUNT ST • 919.828.3165 • GALLERYC.NET


The secret to a good life? Less is more



friend recently wondered why I named this column “Simple Life.” I joked that it was better than the original title I came up with — “Frankly, My Name Escapes Me.” In truth, the name is as aspirational as it is functional, a useful reminder that the longer I live, the more I grow to appreciate the value of simplifying my life. In a recent article, Simplicity: The Neglected Value, author and communications coach Bruna Martinuzzi points out that we time-enslaved, stressed-out, overworking humans simply don’t know what’s good for us when it comes to where we place our focus in life. “We read and hear enough about its benefits in just about every facet of our lives,” she writes, “yet we walk past it, every day, in pursuit of the more complex, complicated, tangled, and sometimes puzzling. There is no glitter in simple, not enough buttons to play with. We fear that simple equates with easy, light, too basic — unsophisticated.”


moment is right, somewhere in nature, Leonardo da Vinci, in fact, declared simplicity the ultimate form of sophistica- stress-free, and away from the madding crowd. tion. As did the likes of Winston ChurOne unexpected benefit of this strange chill, Albert Einstein, Walt Whitman, Lao year of distance and isolation, social scienTzu, Yogi Berra, Marcus Aurelius, Leo tists and trend-watchers Tolstoy, and Maya Angelou. Rumi called it the “If you’re smart,” report, is a broad refiguring of how we Americans dust that hides the gold. Mervyn Lapp told live, work, and appropriWhether planning a ate our time. wedding or a war, simme during our churches and plicity is key to a successwalk through his barsWhile — the yin and ful outcome, knowing beautiful stone yang of modern culwhat’s not essential and tural society — still eliminating it before barn, “you take struggle to stay open, things get out of hand. stock of what’s life-enriching activities A year ago, the combination of the pandemic really important in like meditation, Zoom and wedding plans that yoga, home gardening, your life... and had grown far more comgolf, and bird-watching plicated than expected other things you have mushroomed in prompted my daughter, popularity. According can simply live Maggie, and her fiancé, to more than one expert without.” Nate, to postpone and on the American workrethink how they wished place, mobile workspaces and home offices will be the engine that to tie the knot. They’ve since envisioned produces the next Industrial Revoluan intimate gathering of close friends and tion, spawning a vast new generation of family to celebrate their union when the

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home-grown entrepreneurs and inventive visionaries. History holds some encouraging parallels. During the Great Depression and second World War, an era of severe economic dislocation and public self-sacrifice, a generation of self-made engineers, tinkerers, and inventors — many working in the isolation of their own garages and backyard sheds — managed to create everything from frozen foods to the first computers, color TV to dialysis machines, jet engines to Tupperware. That boom became the foundation for the consumer revolution and space age of the 1950s and ’60s. Your smartphone is the godchild of that time. A couple years ago, while traveling the Great Wagon Road for my current book project about America’s original immigrant highway, I paid an afternoon call on a lovely Amish family, the Lapps, who live in the heart of Pennsylvania’s lush Lancaster County. The “plain” ways of America’s Old Order Amish — such as their unadorned clothing, use of oil lamps instead of electricity, and reliance on horses for transportation and farming — are an echo of our vanished agrarian past and a living reminder of the virtues of simplicity. Amish and Mennonite farmers were the first European settlers to answer William Penn’s call to Lancaster County in the late 17th century, using their wise farming practices and love of the land and their animals to transform the county’s rich limestone soil into the most productive farmland in the nation. The so-called “Garden Spot of the Nation” is now regarded as the birthplace of American agriculture. The Lapp family’s ancestors had been on their land since before the American Revolution, living as comfortably in accord with nature and the Divine as anyone I’ve ever met. After Mervyn showed me around his immaculate barns, we sat with his wife, Catharine, in the evening light, sipping delicious meadow tea — a drink made from boiling fresh mint gathered from surrounding fields — beneath a grove of old trees. They talked about their

three grown sons, all of whom worked in the family’s masonry business, and how devotion to God, family, and the pleasure of doing good work with their hands were the pillars of a rewarding life. It was one of the most pleasing interviews I’ve ever conducted. For the record, there were even a few myth-busting surprises, including the fact that the Lapp men were all crazy about playing golf, and that Mervyn was a lifelong L.A. Dodgers fan who often watched games on his neighbor’s television. “If you’re smart,” he told me during our walk through his beautiful stone barn, “you take stock of what’s really important in your life… and other things you can simply live without.” He paused and gave me a wry look. “Simple things are always best. That’s a key to happiness. But I do need my Dodgers.” As I drove home to North Carolina on a winding backcountry road, I was reminded of my own aspirations of simplicity, beginning with my chosen route home. Getting anywhere fast is one thing I can do without. In his 1939 classic, The Importance of Living, Lin Yutang points out that beyond

the noble art of getting things done, there may be an even nobler art of leaving things undone. “The wisdom of life,” he writes, “consists in the elimination of nonessentials.” During this year of distance from friends and family, in place of going out to movies or dinner with friends, an older couple I know took up reading to each other every morning from their favorite books, a practice they plan to continue indefinitely. “It’s been a wonderful discovery,” Harry reports. “A simple gift that’s brought us closer than ever. It’s now part of our lives.” Over this same interlude, I began work on a large garden I have dreamed of making for many years, one that will probably take me many more years to complete. As any gardener knows, of course, a garden is never finished, so my education as a man of the soil — and my wonder at its constant gifts — will never cease, until I do. Simply put, what a lovely thought. Jim Dodson is the New York Times bestselling author of Final Rounds: A Father, A Son, The Golf Journey Of A Lifetime. He lives in Greensboro. The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 47


A mother of seven, Mary Ann Hanson nourished a passion for art

Raleigh Through her Eyes by COLEEN SMITH photography by BRIAN STRICKLAND


ncredible mother. Lifelong learner. Humble, yet unbelievably talented artist. These are just a few of the many phrases you could use to describe my mom. Born in 1936 in upstate New York, Mary Ann Hanson was a remarkable woman, and Raleigh was fortunate to have her. Along with six (soon to be seven) children, my mother and father moved to Quail Hollow in the early 1970s after living in New York their entire lives. At the time, Mom wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of moving here, but as a career IBM family in a pre-Zoom era, one didn’t question such matters. She accepted her new North Carolina fate with grace and a smile, and agreed to give the Triangle a fair chance. Mom fell in love with Raleigh quickly. The neighbors she met through Welcome Wagon, the friends she made through church, and the excitement of a modestly growing metropolis brimming with culture were enough to spark her affection. And all of her children would learn to love Raleigh and the arts through her eyes. On the weekends, my mother and father would take us to hear Pops in the Park at Regency Park in Cary. On my sixth birthday, I saw my first musical, My


Fair Lady, at Memorial Auditorium. Mom would drag us to endless craft shows, like the annual A Carolina Christmas at what was then the Civic Center. I remember attending First Friday as a teenager, long before it was a cool thing to do. But watching the arts from the sidelines wasn’t enough for Mom; she was always an artist at heart, who found inventive ways to incorporate her love for creating into her day-to-day life as her family grew. Oil paint had been her medium of choice before she had children, but she quickly transitioned to working with acrylics, pencil, pen, and chalk — supplies that were safer for tiny hands to get into. Once there were seven of us, she didn’t have much time for drawing, but she made intricate Barbie clothes by hand for her daughters. During the holidays, we sat around the table, making elaborate ornaments and watching her bake pastries into decorative (and delicious!) Christmas trees and wreaths fit for a king. On our milestone birthdays, she would help us redecorate our bedrooms, which she would wallpaper and paint herself, after helping us choose a color palette and theme. As we grew older, Mom finally had time to get back to her art. She started painting again and joined Wake Visual Arts in the 1980s, excitedly participating in an art show here and there. She even taught herself graphic design in the ‘90s and used those skills to design posters and programs for my high school choir and theater performances. As the youngest of her seven children, I probably got the most quality time with my mom, and I relished every moment of it. To be honest, I think she enjoyed the freedom, too. By the time I was a “tween,” my siblings were mostly grown and out of the house. So on weekend mornings, Mom and I would head out together, traveling to wherever her artistic inspiration would lead us. Downtown would often be our destination. We’d stop to look at the beautiful homes in Historic Oakwood, and sometimes she’d plop us down on a picnic blanket and I’d watch her sketch.

This page: One of many Raleigh skylines that Mary Ann Hanson completed. Opposite page: A photo of Hansen from WakeMed’s Heart to Heart magazine in 2010.

Other times, we’d pick up pastries, then drive around to snap photos of beautiful landscapes that she’d use later to draw or paint the true-to-life works of art. When we were home, I’d either watch her draw or help her prepare for art shows, doing whatever I could to just spend time with her and share a bit of her contagious, passionate energy. Somehow, she did all of this while also earning a degree in computer programming in the ‘80s from Wake Technical Community College, which earned her a 15-plus-year career at the North Carolina Electric Cooperative. I am still in complete awe of how she could accomplish so much and stay true to her lifelong passion for art. I’m a mother of three with a full-time career and I can barely manage to keep my kids’ hair cut — but like I said, Mary Ann Hanson was remarkable. When it came to her art, Mom loved to portray Raleigh’s evolving downtown. Some of her most beloved paintings and drawings featured landmarks such as the old downtown Hudson Belk, the Hillsborough Street Darryl’s restaurant (with the famous red awning and crackers), the Capitol Building, the Capehart House, Briggs Hardware, and Fayetteville Street Mall (when it was a mall), among many others. One of her favorite scenes to paint was the Raleigh skyline over Western Boulevard. Mom knew it would change and grow taller over the years, and she

completed several iterations of it in the ‘90s, one of which I claimed from the moment she painted it. While it was always a fan favorite in her art shows, it was always marked as “Not for Sale,” and today, I’ve got it proudly displayed in my home. If Mom were here today, she’d be amazed by how the skyline has changed over just the last five years — but she wouldn’t complain. Instead, she’d talk my dad or one of us kids into taking her to the newest fancy restaurant, and then she’d want to grab dessert at some indulgent bakery before heading home. Many of Mom’s paintings have sold over the years, which my siblings and I often lament. But Mom always loved the idea of her works of art being displayed and enjoyed by people who would appreciate them. While I lost her six years ago to lung disease, the pieces proudly displayed throughout my house keep her in my heart every day. Mom proclaimed that anyone could be an artist if they invested the time in learning. She truly believed it, since she was taught by her mother. None of us children have followed in her footsteps — I can’t draw to save my life! But I hope to pass on her love of both Raleigh and the arts to my own children, ages 5, 7, and 8. Since their artistic abilities already exceed my own, I’ve got faith that my mother is sharing her gifts with us from the great beyond. The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 49



ALL THE GOODS For Mother’s Day, graduation, anniversaries, and more, the most sought-after gifts from local retailers.















APRIL 2020 | |79 The Art & Soul of Raleigh 51

& present


ART IN BLOOM An exclusive video release on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16 For more information, visit WALTERMAGAZINE.COM/ARTINBLOOM


Each year, Art In Bloom attracts thousands of guests to the North Carolina Museum of Art to view unique floral arrangements that interpret works in the Museum’s collection. For the first time, WALTER will take viewers behind the scenes as the floral designers create the arrangements. This exclusive video event will offer an inside look at the the creative process, from conception to installation. Inspired by the beautiful florals of Art in Bloom, Fink’s Jewelers is offering our readers a chance to win this Marco Bicego Petali Collection 18K Yellow Gold and Diamond Single Flower Bracelet. Sign up to win at WALTERMAGAZINE.COM/ARTINBLOOM


FEATURES Haiku Sequence by LENARD D. MOORE for Sonia Sanchez

your whole notes wake the dormant trees the wind’s breath drums thump pulsing of the heartsong the opening sky jazz and haiku shake loose my skin a dusting of pollen insistent running of the long river you’re a cappella my black hands cupping the sunlight jacuzzi bubbles orange lilies bow your noontime strut up the sidewalk rain long gone I recite the syllables of your language evening walk I catch your riff in my voice

illustration by JILLIAN OHL From All the Songs We Sing: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective

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Vintage silverware from Beau Dandy. Vintage champagne bucket, coupes, pink-and-green plates, and finger bowls from Curated and Company.


Serve a classic Southern brunch with this menu infused with North Carolina goods

elevated & elegant by DEBBIE MOOSE photography by TAYLOR MCDONALD styling by CAMERON JONES flowers courtesy FALLON’S

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SOURCE LOCAL A few good places in town to find North Carolina-made products. ALIMENTARI AT LEFT BANK Head to this counter at Transfer Co. Food Hall for Italian-style meats sourced from North Carolina cattle and pig farms. Grab a batch of their house-made pasta while you’re there. 500 East Davie Street NOFO @ THE PIG Fill your pantry with things like pasta sauce from Raleigh restaurant Gravy, NOFO’s in-house coffee blends, nut butters and spreads from Durham’s Big Spoon Roasters, and a host of other Carolina-made jams and snacks. 2014 Fairview Road REBUS MARKET Tucked under the Boylan Bridge, this shop sells Mama’s Salsa made in Wendell (which often sells out!), locally roasted coffee beans, Michael’s English Muffins (made in Raleigh), and more. 301-2 Kinsey Street


If there’s anything we’ve learned this past year, it’s that there’s much good to be found close to home. Raleigh and North Carolina generally boast all manner of food purveyors who create delicious products worth adding to the menu. Cookies, salsa, pickles, jellies, smoked fish, dairy products — there are so many ways to eat local! For this menu, we shopped farmers markets, specialty stores, and the local aisles of the bigger grocers to find Carolina products that can offer creative ways to brighten a spring brunch. Whether you’re celebrating Mother’s Day, an anniversary, or just a spring day, consider updating your usual recipes to incorporate local ingredients.


STATE FARMERS MARKET Find items like honey, pickled vegetables, jams, and more in the openair pavilion of the Farmers Market and in the Market Shoppes. Keep an eye out for Mae Farms, an award-winning small farm that sells specialty cheeses from Chapel Hill Creamery and Goat Lady Dairy, plus their own Canadian bacon and sausage. 1201 Agriculture Street WEAVER STREET MARKET Carrboro-based Weaver Street Market, now with a location in downtown Raleigh, focuses on natural foods from small farms and food purveyors, many of which are based in North Carolina. Their house-made hummus is a perfect pairing with crackers from the Accidental Baker out of Hillsborough. Also grab a jar of Chapel Hill-made Cottage Lane Kitchen relishes and hot sauce to elevate meats and dressings. 404 West Hargett Street WINE AUTHORITIES With Raleigh and Durham locations, this niche wine shop also sells artisan products to fill a great charcuterie tray, like meats from Firsthand Foods, plus treats like Escazu and Videri chocolate bars. 211 East Franklin Street

PICKLED OKRA ROLL-UPS Look for locally made pickled okra at farmers markets like Bruce Julian’s Sassy Okra or from brands like Carolina Country Store and Durham-based Stone Brothers & Byrd. INGREDIENTS 1 16-ounce jar pickled okra (hot or mild) ½ pound thinly sliced smoked turkey deli meat 1 8-ounce tub soft spreadable cream cheese, at room temperature DIRECTIONS Drain the pickled okra and gently pat the pods dry with paper towels. Trim any long stems. Lay a slice of turkey out on a cutting board (if the slice is large, trim it to about 5 inches long by the width of the okra pod). Gently spread a thin layer of cream cheese on the turkey, taking care not to tear it. Place an okra pod at one end of the slice and roll it up inside the turkey, gently pressing as you go. Stop when the okra is covered and trim off any remaining meat. Slice the stem off the roll to display the layers. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. Makes about two dozen pieces.

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ROASTED GREEN BEANS WITH SWEET SALSA The beans’ roasted flavor works well with a fruit-based salsa, such as Cape Fear Pirate Candy’s Pineapple Bacon Salsa. For a savory flavor, use a traditional salsa, like one from Yah’s Best. INGREDIENTS 2 strips bacon 1 ½ pounds fresh green beans ½ a small onion, peeled and cut into chunks ¼ cup olive oil Salt 4 tablespoons salsa DIRECTIONS Fry the bacon until very crispy and drain well. Crumble and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the green beans and onion chunks in a single layer on a baking pan with a rim. Pour on the olive oil and toss gently. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and slightly brown. Stir if they’re cooking unevenly. Using tongs, transfer the vegetables to a bowl or serving tray, letting excess oil drain off. Add the salsa and toss to coat the vegetables. Sprinkle on the bacon and serve. Makes 4 servings.


Chestnut soup with brown butter, topped with herbs and crispy parsnips.

SWEET POTATO BISCUITS WITH HAM & PEPPER JELLY Sweet, salty, and spicy — these biscuits have it all! Use hot pepper jelly such as Peggy Rose’s or Fair Game Flying Habanero Pepper Jelly for a kick. To go mild, consider a sweeter jelly like Duplin Winery’s Muscadine Pepper Jelly, which uses native muscadine grapes. INGREDIENTS 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon sugar ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg or mace ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes 1 ½ cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes 1 cup buttermilk 1 10-ounce package country ham Pepper jelly DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg or mace. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. In a medium bowl, combine the sweet potatoes and buttermilk. Stir the potato-buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. Stir just until the dough comes together; don’t over-

mix. Add a little buttermilk if the dough isn’t holding together; it should be very moist. Lightly flour a clean work surface and your hands. Turn the dough out onto the surface and knead lightly to combine without adding too much flour. Press or roll out the dough to a ½-inch thickness. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch or 2 ½-inch biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter. Place the biscuits on the baking sheet very close together but not touching. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly brown. Watch carefully near the end to avoid scorching. Remove the biscuits to a cooling rack. While the biscuits are cooling, cook the ham according to the package directions. Drain well, then cut into biscuit-sized pieces. To serve, slice the biscuits in half, spread each half with a thin layer of pepper jelly, and place ham pieces inside. Makes about 15 biscuits.

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SMOKED TROUT QUICHE North Carolina smoked trout, like the variety offered by Sunburst Farms, adds rich flavor to this quiche. Save time by making it a day ahead, then refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving. INGREDIENTS 1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked 2 tablespoons butter ¼ cup chopped green onions ¼ cup sliced mushrooms ½ cup half-and-half 1 cup milk 3 - 4 eggs

00 | WALTER 60

½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper ¾ cup shredded smoked trout DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9-inch pie or quiche pan with the crust. Set aside. Place a sauté pan over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the green onions and mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables are slightly brown. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, whisk together half-andhalf, milk, eggs, salt, and pepper until well blended. Spread the smoked trout, green onions, and mushrooms evenly over the crust. Pour the egg mixture slowly into the crust, trying to keep the filling ingredients evenly distributed.

Bake for 30 - 45 minutes, or until the filling is set. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes one quiche.

BUTTERMILK-PECAN DRESSING The state is fortunate to have local dairies, including Homeland Creamery and Maple View Farm, and rich buttermilk makes a flavorful dressing for spring greens. INGREDIENTS 3 tablespoons chopped pecans ¼ cup buttermilk 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper 2 tablespoons sorghum ¼ cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS Toast the pecans for a couple of minutes in a small frying pan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning. When the nuts are fragrant, remove from the pan and let cool. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sorghum together briskly until well combined. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking briskly, and whisk until all the ingredients are combined. Stir in the pecans. Makes about ½ cup. Use it to dress a salad with spring greens and vegetables.

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BOURBON-PECAN MINI CHEESECAKES Cookies like Tonya’s Pecan Crisps provide sweetness for this crust so you don’t need a lot of sugar in the batter. Double the local vibe by using bourbon from a North Carolina distillery, such as Mystic Farm or Pinetop. And some crushed peanuts from Hampton Farms would go well on top too. INGREDIENTS 12 small cookies 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature ¼ cup granulated sugar ¼ cup light brown sugar ¼ teaspoon vanilla 3 tablespoons bourbon


2 eggs Chopped toasted pecans and powdered sugar, or additional crushed cookies, for garnish DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Put paper liners in 12 muffin cups. Place one whole cookie in the bottom of each cup. Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl. If using a hand-held electric mixer, use a large bowl. Add the sugars and beat just until combined. On medium speed, beat in the vanilla and bourbon just until combined, then beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition. Do not overbeat. A few chunks of cream cheese in the batter is okay. (Overbeating the batter may cause the cheesecakes to sink in the cen-

ter after refrigeration — but they’ll still taste good, and the garnish will cover any flaws!) Fill the muffin cups with the batter. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the centers barely jiggle when the pan is tapped and the edges are set. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Toast the pecans for a couple of minutes in a small frying pan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning. When the nuts are fragrant, remove from the pan and let cool. To serve, carefully lift the cheesecakes from the pan and place on a platter. Do not remove the liners from the cakes. Top with pecans and dust with powdered sugar, or lightly sprinkle on additional crushed cookies for garnish. Makes about 12.

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Clayton Phipps surveys the land in southern Montana. A freelance fossil hunter, he has a show on the Discovery Channel.


How the Dueling Dinosaurs got from the Hell Creek Formation in Montana to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences




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Clockwise from top: The Hell Creek Formation in Montana; Clayton Phipps; Phipps’s daughter Julie next to a fossil; more fossils being unearthed.


he Hell Creek Formation, near Fort Peck, Montana, is a barren, rocky landscape of sandstone, shale, and clay. It’s an unforgiving land, but one that has preserved layer upon layer of natural history. In the Cretaceous period, 66 million years ago, this area in the southern part of the state was warm, humid and flat — not dissimilar from what, you’d find along the North Carolina Coastal Plain. Hell Creek has produced some of the most extraordinary and scientifically important dinosaur specimens ever discovered. And it’s here that Clayton Phipps, a local rancher and self-styled dinosaur cowboy, has made a name for himself searching the area for fossils. UNEARTHING A SURPRISE On a warm June day in 2006, Phipps brought his cousin, Chad O’Connor, for his first fossil hunt, along with Mark Eatman, a colleague he had worked with on other digs, to survey an area of land owned by other private landowners. They found something that would change their lives. Eatman saw it first. To a seasoned fossil hunter, bone is obvious; it just doesn’t look like sand or rock. There was a pelvis weathering out of the ground, and they could also easily see what appeared to be an articulated femur. The trio noted their location and made the long trek home with big plans to return. But it was months before anyone could return to really see what they had discov-


ered. After a summer of ranch duties, Phipps and O’Connor returned to the site to start the painstaking process of unearthing what they’d found with a brush and penknife. It turned out to be the full skeleton of a Triceratops, a great find for any fossil hunter. With two weeks of backbreaking work behind them, Phipps and his small crew thought they were almost done. They moved on to using heavy equipment to clean up the site around where the Triceratops bones were found. As Phipps emptied the backhoe bucket of excess dirt — slowly, because folks who work with fossils are always conscious that additional evidence or bone fragments can be found anywhere — he made a second, startling discovery. Most of the debris in the bucket was light-colored sand and rock, but mixed in were dark fragments. “They looked almost like dark chocolate,” says Phipps. Definitely pieces of bone, but not from the Triceratops a few yards away. Phipps sifted through the contents of the bucket more carefully. He realized that the bones made up a claw. A claw from a meat-eating dinosaur. Buried next to a plant eater. After three more months of digging and excavation, Phipps had two complete dinosaur skeletons wrested from the earth: the Triceratops and a Tyrannosaurus rex. He brought in a team to prepare the specimens for transportation and storage, then set about the process of getting these unique fossils out into the world. That journey took longer than expected. Phipps knew the value of what he had

found, but he also knew that in order for the dinosaurs to be properly preserved and studied, they would need to be housed in an institution that could handle not just their sheer size — together, they weigh over 30,000 pounds — but also the rigorous research to uncover the whole story. That’s where the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences comes in. WONDERING WHAT’S NEXT The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences hosts over a million visitors in a normal year within its downtown Nature Exploration Center and Nature Research Center. For more than a century, it’s been the place to see state-ofthe-art exhibits and experience nature and science first-hand. Many of the state’s schoolchildren have their first encounter with fossils and real dinosaur specimens there on field trips.

Nate Cooper (CLAYTON PHIPPS, HELL CREEK AREA); courtesy Clayton Phipps (INSETS)

In the Cretaceous period this area was warm, humid, and flat — not dissimilar from what you’d find along the North Carolina Coastal Plain.

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“What I love about science, and particularly paleontology, is that you can have a whole set of questions as you dive in, but come up with dozens more as you make your mini-discoveries.” — Dr. Lindsay Zanno

Justin Kase Conder

Clockwise from top: Eric Lund, manager of the SECU Dinolab; looking at samples; fossils in packets in the museum’s storage area; fossil preperator Aaron Giterman.

From its inception, the museum has been a repository of the state’s natural collections, from ancient fossils and naturalist drawings to its growing collection of living specimens. The dozens of scientists, researchers, and educators who work at the museum are leaders in their respective fields and all share a vision for collaborative teaching and hands-on learning. One of those leaders is paleontologist Dr. Lindsay Zanno. Zanno’s passion for her work and dedication to sharing it with the public are not simply infectious, they’re inspirational. Zanno completed her undergraduate work at the University of New Mexico and her graduate work at the University of Utah. Her work as a paleontologist has taken her all over the globe: from the Field Museum in Chicago to Mongolia and Thailand to vast swaths

of the American West. She works with exploratory teams, usually for months in the field, to track down fossils and study how changing climate and environmental conditions affected life on land during the Cretaceous period. Zanno has discovered the remains of more than a dozen new species, including Siats, one of the largest meat-eating dinosaurs on the continent, and Moros, North America’s tiniest Tyrannosaur. Today she calls Raleigh and the Museum of Natural Sciences home. The museum’s longtime partnership with North Carolina State University and deep commitment to citizen science were what drew Zanno to the institution, and she has helped grow the already wellknown paleontology program over the past decade. She works in a joint appointment between the museum and NC State and leads teams of students into the field every year. “After being here for six or seven years and seeing how successful of an enterprise the Nature Research Center is, I was asking myself, what’s next for the museum?” says Zanno. “How do we keep pushing the boundaries and being on the leading edge of connecting the public with science? What can we do to take it to the next level?” Over the years, Zanno had heard about Phipps’ incredible discovery — two fully intact dinosaurs, frozen at a specific moment in time. If the condition of the specimens was even half as good as reported, then the find could be a game-changer: the “Dueling Dinosaurs,” as they had become known, would be among the most complete skeletons ever discovered of two iconic dinosaurs. And the T. rex fossil would be the only complete skeleton of a T. rex known anywhere in the world. These fossils could challenge everything we know about dinosaurs, including how these

very famous species interacted. Bringing them to NCMNS would make the museum a global center for paleontological study. And then there was the mystery: how did these two dinosaurs get buried so close together? “We want to know how these animals died, were they interacting?” says Zanno. “You can imagine how many times in a million years two animals get buried in a moment of time together like that, a predator and prey. It’s so incredibly rare.” Zanno wanted those dinosaurs to head south for good. So in 2016, Zanno and a team from the museum headed to New York to meet Phipps, who’d been storing the specimens there since 2013, after an unsuccessful attempt to sell them at auction. She wanted to confirm that the dinosaurs were authentic skeletons, in good condition, and that they still had their scientific integrity. It was necessary to confirm that the fossils had been properly removed from the field and cared for while they were prepared for sale in a way that did not destroy the research value of the specimens. The team also arranged to visit the Hell Creek Formation. The fossils were found on private land, but they needed access to the site to get all the data needed for research, including studying the geography and topography of the area, taking soil and water samples, and looking for any other flora and fauna fossils in the area to understand the world their dinosaurs lived in. “They are extraordinarily well-preserved specimens of our two most famous and beloved dinosaurs,” Zanno says. “They were first found over a century ago and we still know so little about their basic biology.” Armed with the knowledge that the Dueling Dinosaurs were indeed as The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 69

This page: Dr. Lindsay Zanno. Opposite page, top to bottom: A rendering of the new paleontology lab, and an illustration of the dinosaurs as they may have looked in life.


Justin Kase Conder (LINDSAY ZANNO); courtesy North Carolina Museum of Natural Science (iILLUSTRATIONS)

extraordinary as expected, Zanno and then-museum director Emlyn Koster approached the Friends of the Museum about finding a way to bring the dinosaurs to Raleigh permanently. The idea of two new dinosaurs coming to town made the Board sit up and pay attention. “The Friends were immediately very excited about the prospect of bringing these complete dinosaur specimens to the museum. This is unheard of, right?” says Angela Baker-James, executive director of the Friends. “Having Lindsay and her team be the people who uncover, who unwrap whatever is hidden inside the fossils? It’s just incredible.” Within weeks, the Friends started a campaign to raise the money to bring the Dueling Dinosaurs to North Carolina. Meanwhile, Zanno and her team started working with the museum’s exhibits team to figure out how to showcase what could be the most important paleontology find of the century. TAKING DOWN THE GLASS Historically, museums have displayed fossils out of reach. They’re discovered in a field, then brought back to a lab, where

they can end up buried in a museum or university basement for research. By the time the fossils, or facsimile models made of plastic or epoxy, are reassembled and put on display in a simulated environment or diorama, a visitor is presented with a specimen that has already been exhaustively studied. But over the past decade, science museums have started building fossil labs in public spaces so visitors can watch scientists at work in real time. But, Zanno noted, there’s still separation between the researchers and the visitors, with almost no direct interaction. Her question became, “Can we really draw people into the process of what science is? Could we take down the glass and bring the public into the process of unveiling the secrets of the Dueling Dinosaurs?” She challenged the exhibits

department to come up with an entirely new environment, one where guests can step right into an active research laboratory where work is being done. “Our goal here is to let the visitor’s imagination run wild,” says Javan Sutton, head of exhibits of the museum. He’s working with HH Architecture in Raleigh and the museum’s exhibits team to bring that idea to life. Situated inside an extension to the NRC beside the Daily Planet, the Dueling Dinosaurs will be an exhibit experience that will transport visitors 66 million years into the past. To create the space, which is expected in 2022, the museum will embark on an extensive construction project that includes reinforcing the floors The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 71

Top to bottom: A rendering of how the two fossils were buried together; the Tyrannosaurus fossil in its packet.


courtesy North Carolina Museum of Natural Science (RENDERING); Justin Kase Conder (POHOTOS)

with steel beams to support the 30,000-pound specimens. The center of the exhibit is the actual paleontology lab and the areas before and after the lab will encourage visitors to join in the scientific process and ask their own questions. “The Dueling Dinosaurs are unlike anything I’ve ever seen, in any museum,” says Eric Dorfman, director and CEO of NCMNS. “We will be performing research in front of, and even with the assistance of, the public. It will be a unique experience for everyone involved.” It’s an approach that turns the old notion of a museum on its head: not just a place to learn what’s already been discovered, but to be part of the process. “We want the visitor to think of themselves as scientists, as paleontologists,” says senior exhibit developer Wendy Lovelady. “We want them to help us figure out the answers to some of these questions.” UNCOVERING ANSWERS... AND MORE QUESTIONS Today, the dinos are in the building, so heavy they can’t even be housed in the same room. But it will still be more than a year before the public gets to see them. The Triceratops skeleton is so large that it had to be preserved in multiple pieces to move it from the field. The T. rex is all in one piece except for a small tail section, so once they’re on view, visitors can see the entire skeleton in the position the dinosaur died in. Until the new exhibit is completed, guests can view a Triceratops foot in its matrix and jacket and a replica T. rex foot on the second floor of the main building. Visitors will see the skeletons as they are studied in labs, within the plaster preparations they were brought in from the field. They won’t be fully excavated and assembled, as fossils have been in the past; instead, the paleontologists will use CT scans and imaging to literally look inside the blocks of earth holding the fossils. “What I love about science, and particularly paleontology, is that you can have a whole set of questions as you dive in, but come up with dozens more as you make your mini-discoveries,” says Zanno. “It’s like a big, unopened Christmas present.”

Top to bottom: The dinosaur’s ribcage; a closeup of the skull; closeup of its claws.

The museum already knows that fragments of teeth from the T. rex are embedded in the Triceratops. There are skin n impressions from the Triceratops on the surrounding stone and octagon-shaped impressions or formations on its frill that at can offer clues to skin texture and material. Over the coming years of research, the museum expects to learn about the dinosaurs’ soft tissues, maybe their last meals. “What would their skin look like on various parts of their skeletons? Did T. rex have feathers?” says Zanno. “We know one broke a finger in its life, one broke its tail, and there’s evidence of diseases — what else can we learn about how these animals lived?” “I feel blessed to be a part of it all,” says Phipps. He’s particularly pleased with where the Dueling Dinosaurs have landed: not only in a stellar research museum, but in North Carolina. “They have landed in a similar environment to the one they lived

in while they were alive. They will feel right at home there.” At the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the feeling is mutual. Says Dorfman, “We are all thrilled to have this one-of-a-kind opportunity to house and research one of the most important paleontological discoveries of our time.” It took more than 66 million years, but this unlikely pair has found a welcome resting place in North Carolina. The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 73


In her realistic oil paintings, Andie Freeman finds deeper meaning in everyday objects


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This page: Andie Freeman’s cat keeps her company in her home studio. Opposite page: Freeman at work.


rowing up just west of Boston, Andie Freeman spent lots of time outside. “I loved hanging out by myself in the yard and with nature,” she says. “I made a lot of goofy things out of weeds and twigs. A lot of that has found its way into my work now.” Freeman moved to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, as she was starting high school. She found the Lowcountry’s Spanish moss and Palmetto trees to be a welcome change. “The nature there is phenomenal,” says Freeman. “I went from being a kid who liked to hang in trees and make forts to being a teenager who would take long walks and hang out in the Gullah cemetery.” Her love of the area kept her close by: she headed to College of Charleston


time with people — not just other artists thinking she’d study graphic design, but but those wandering in and out,” she ended up majoring in studio art. “I went says. “Both of these things through a couple of majors helped me focus where I and finally landed on “Objects are how was going with my art.” studio art. The life drawFreeman wants those ing classes really spoke we pass our engaging with her work to to me,” she says. After stories down from see beauty in the stillness. graduation, she and her Self-defined as a contemnow-husband McGeath, a generation to porary realist, Freeman writer, moved to Atlanta, generation, and brings everyday objects where she beefed up her graphic design resume at this storytelling is to life through her oil The ephemera the Portfolio Center. They the nut of what paintings. of nature and everyday floated to different adverall of my work is life — the wild and the tising agencies and moved mundane — fascinate her, around the South, finally about.” she says, just as they did landing in Raleigh in 2010. — Andie Freeman when she was a little girl A few years after movexploring her backyard. ing to Raleigh, Freeman Freeman has an ongoing series showgot a studio at Artspace — and coming birds, where she juxtaposes realism mitted to creating full-time. “The studio and abstraction, with whimsical shapes gave me the space physically, but also

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or experimental application techniques contrasting with photo-realistic oils. Other still-life paintings, often made on birchwood panels, depict commonplace items like silverware, fruit, shells, or tools. “I want to take an object and bring it to a level of an artifact,” she says. “I want to help bring people into their imaginations to remember a time or a person who utilized that object.” This nostalgia has led Freeman back to South Carolina for her newest endeavor, as artist-in-residence at the Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head Island. The museum is sponsoring her solo exhibition at the Island Rec Center, which focuses on the Gullah people of the Lowcountry. Freeman grew up around the Gullah, who are descended from enslaved people who worked on plantations throughout the Carolinas and Georgia. Through this project, she dove deeper into learning about their culture. Her watercolor series, Gullah Traditions, 00 || WALTER 78 WALTER

debuts this month, and features historical scenes as well as interviews with Gullah leaders. The largest piece in the exhibition is an oil painting that depicts objects used in Gullah culture, including traditional sweetgrass baskets for rice harvesting and cotton blossoms that evoke the plantations where the Gullah’s ancestors worked. “The Coastal Discovery Museum’s mission is to inspire people to care for the Lowcountry,” says Natalie Hefter, the museum’s vice president of programs. “Andie’s paintings capture the unique parts of our natural history and cultural heritage that makes this place so special.” For decades, the Gullah’s land has been in jeopardy, not only due to commercialization, but also by the changing climate affecting sea levels. “It’s a fascinating culture that should be protected in a lot of ways,” says Freeman. “Part of the reason I do the work I do is to preserve this connection to our history.” This exhibition has origins in a fellow-

ship she received from the Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists in 2019. Freeman was tasked with finding a pivotal project; something meaningful that would help take her career in a new direction. “For my project, I wanted to build on this idea of objects telling stories for people,” says Freeman. She recalls how seeing artistic interpretations of the Boston Tea Party, in which some of her forebears had participated, made her better understand the event: “I really felt connected to this history of my ancestors, especially after living in New England.” When she noticed that many everyday objects that the Gullah use today, like fishing nets and sweetgrass baskets, have centuries-old roots, she wanted to celebrate them as part of history. “Objects are how we pass our stories down from generation to generation, and this storytelling is the nut of what all of my work is about,” says Freeman. “We all want to find someone in our past that we can be proud of.”

Clockwise from top left: A few of Freeman’s paintings: Nuture 2; Tea Day; Netted; Gullah Museum; Goldfinch.

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An aging mansion in Boylan Heights is reimagined with a new look — and a fresh purpose


RESTORATION Montfort Hall was restored to its original Italianate design in 1978 by John and Margaret Jadwick. Much of the historical research on the property was conducted by the late historian William Bushong, who published William Percival, an English Architect in the Old North State, 1857-1860, about the home’s architect in The North Carolina Historical Review. Bushong’s detailed scholarship on the property became an invaluable resource to new ownders Sarah and Jeff Shepherd.



t was a house forgotten in time, a rose-colored brick building that peeked out from overgrown trees on a small hill along Boylan Avenue. While the magnificence of the structure was partially obscured by the vegetation, the house was a mystery to most who passed by. Montfort Hall was built in 1858 on a parcel of land deeded to William Montfort Boylan in 1855. The Italianate home was designed by British architect William Percival, whose Raleigh design credits included the historic First Street Baptist Church on Salisbury Street, plumbing upgrades in the State Capitol, and a couple of grand residences in Oakwood and Mordecai. Its first owner, William Montfort Boylan, was described as a “bon-vivant” and raconteur who regularly held weddings and hunting parties at Montfort Hall. In 1907, heirs of the Boylan family sold the land surrounding Montfort

Hall to the Greater Raleigh Land Company, which subdivided the property to create one of Raleigh’s first planned suburban communities, now known as Boylan Heights. Through the years, ownership of Montfort Hall turned over 10 times, and the home has consequently undergone a number of makeovers: a neoclassical revival facelift, an apartment conversion, and a transformation into a church in the 1950s. Additions and subdivisions were made along the way to accommodate the new uses of the space. But in the 1970s, Montfort Hall was restored to its original Italianate design by owners John and Margaret Jadwick. This restoration likely saved the aging building from imminent destruction (two other William Percival-designed homes in Raleigh were demolished around this time to make way for new development). Nevertheless, by the 2010s, maintenance and roofing issues left the property in desperate need of repair.

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NATIVE TOUCHES The home’s designer, William Percival, was lauded in his time for embracing innovative construction materials. When sandstone was discovered in North Carolina in 1858, Percival immediately incorporated the material into the design: Montfort Hall’s signature arched windows are encased in sandstone moldings that remain intact today. The preserved architectural features in the home include a flower-shaped oculus that’s made from stained glass (which, curiously, had been painted over by a previous owner). In the two-story front vestibule, columns are topped with Corinthian capitals carved with details endemic to Raleigh including squirrels, acorns, and local birds. “Some of them have fallen apart over the years, so a few squirrels are missing tails,” says Jeff Shepherd.


But for Sarah and Jeff Shepherd, who live nearby in Boylan Heights, the aged building’s exterior was captivating. “We’re just the type of people that see the potential in spaces,” says Sarah. Neither of them had renovated a home before, but that didn’t dissuade their interest in the property. Sarah, a former Citrix employee, would pass the slowly deteriorating property on her way to work, imagining how they would transform the home. She was looking for an entrepreneurial challenge that reflected her love of travel, and spent a few years researching the property and developing a business plan for a way to revive it. When she and Jeff discovered that the owner was willing to sell, they secured the funds with investment partners to acquire the property in 2018. It took eight months of work to get the property rezoned so they could convert it from a residential to commercial space. “We were sold before we walked in,” says Jeff, who works in the video game industry. “And honestly, that was probably a good thing!” The Shepherds didn’t know what would be in store for them when they saw the inside of the home: the compromised roof was the origin of many of the problems with the interior, including extensive water damage. But they remained undaunted. They began the restoration in the spring of 2018. As first-time renovators, the process was a journey into the unknown as they quickly learned about the unique challenges presented with historical preservation. Prior to and during the eight-month rezoning process, the Shepherds relied on the scholarship of late historian William Bushong, who had extensively written about the original design of the property. Now, three years later, that weathered Italianate villa has been reimagined as Heights House, a new boutique hotel that is the latest incarnation of one of the few pre-Civil War residences left in Raleigh. For the renovation, the couple enlisted a team of local designers, contracThe Art & Soul of Raleigh | 83

tors, and artisans to salvage the home’s unique design details, including Maurer Architecture, Greg Paul Builders, interior cultivator Bryan Costello, and others. “We’re working with so many amazingly talented people, this is not just us,” says Sarah. Maurer’s project manager Laurie Jackson echoes this collective design ethos: “We worked closely with the Shepherds, Preservation NC, and the State Historic Preservation Office to design a program and floor plan that allowed the continued use of the building in a way that made sense, and also respected the historical context and architectural integrity of the building.” The Shepherds also included residents of Boylan Heights in the process, who shared critical feedback on the renovation. “There are so many people in this community and industry that just care so much,” says Sarah. The first major retrofit involved replacing the deteriorating roof with a stunning copper version recommended by Paul (who happens to be a resident of Boylan Heights). Once the roof was replaced, the Shepherds consulted with a plaster specialist from South Carolina to repair the building’s interior structure. Inside, the building has architectural elements inspired by Percival’s work on the State Capitol building, like a rotunda in the entryway that opens to a cupola whose crown jewel is a multi-colored, flower-shaped stained glass skylight. The entry vestibule is framed by fluted Corinthian columns with elaborately carved crowns and flanked by a parlor and drawing room on one side and a library and dining room with a wood-carved fireplace on the other. The second-floor gallery rotunda features arched statuary niches used to display artwork and other ephemera, all lit from the natural light shining down from the stained glass oculus. Throughout the home, the Shepherds restored arched pocket doors and shutters, intricately inlaid hardwood floors, and 10 fireplaces. A newly created second-floor addition to the home expanded the prop84 | WALTER

UNIQUE COLLABORATIONS Raleigh’s Tactile Workshop fabricated a custom circular bar for the first-floor parlor for serving drinks to hotel guests. In the guest check-in area, a wall mural painted by artist Carla Weeks contains designs that echo the Heights House branding materials created by independent designer Paul Tuorto. Sarah Shepherd even created a signature Heights House scent through a California parfumarie. “We talked about the plants and trees that we have on our property, like the different kinds of wood that are part of the house, plaster, and what that smells like — plus all my favorite smells that bring me joy,” she says. Hints of these notes are incorporated into candles and room sprays.

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DESIGN DETAILS The archways in the windows and niches in Heights House inspired designer Deana Nguyen, the founder of Feature Flora, who designed floral arrangements that are used throughout Heights House. “I pulled a lot of inspiration from the old details, such as the archways, white oak floors, and the tall columns mixed with new details such as the colors and textures within the lime-washed walls and furniture,” says Nguyen. “The plant material I used ranges from dried native species to tropical species to complement the modern touches.” Her sculptural arrangements are housed in ceramic vessels crafted by Monica Jon of Nullo Ceramics.


erty to 10,000 square feet, enabling Heights House to create nine guest suites. The property also sits on an acre of land that has been lushly landscaped for community events and weddings. To finish the interiors, the Shepherds enlisted Costello, who outfitted Heights House with contemporary flourishes like brass fixtures, a cool palette of lime-washed paint on walls, and the clean lines of modern furniture with opulent details, like a gilded mirror with a marble pedestal located in the exquisitely appointed bridal suite. Costello combined vintage treasures and new furnishings that harmonize with original architectural elements, which combine to evoke a modern twist on the Victorian aesthetic. “I’m a big believer in letting old be old and new be new,” says Costello. “For Heights House, that meant restoring the original materials and details wherever possible and then honoring the shapes and style of the architecture with complimentary furniture, lighting, and art. It’s like cutting a new stone for an antique ring: honor the original design and celebrate the new shine.” Maintaining the delicate balance between preservation and transformation of the historic landmark produced some challenges during the modification approval and rezoning process. The Shepherds recently discussed the lessons they learned with the North Carolina Museum of History. “There are a lot of layers of historical protection on the house,” recalls Jeff, who credited some of the covenants placed by the prior owners to curb invasive development. “That was something that the Jadwick family did that was really smart, to keep the house a piece of Raleigh’s history.” Of course, its history is not without controversy. The home’s original owner, William Montfort Boylan, was the son of publisher William Boylan, a prominent businessman and landowner who built his wealth on enslaved labor. The Boylan family’s ties to slavery presented the new owners with a conservation conundrum, between restoring the grandeur of the home and reckoning The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 87

with its past. This tension presented complicated stewardship dilemmas, but it also created an opportunity to acknowledge the home’s troubled past and grow from it. After wrestling with this issue, the Shepherds decided to change the name from Montfort Hall to Heights House, a symbolic gesture that maintains the spirit of entertaining from the home’s original use, while creating a new, inclusive space for lodging and special events. “It will always be Montfort Hall in the historic registries, and we’re not trying to erase its history,” says Sarah, “but based on our values and what we wanted to represent as a business, that doesn’t align with pre-Civil War ideals.” By divesting the property from its antebellum antecedents, the Shepherds have created a new path forward. Says Sarah: “What we really wanted was to let everyone in the community embrace and enjoy the home.”

NEUTRAL PALETTE The colors in the home are informed by Victorian-era hues, with slight tweaks to feel up-to-date. The fixtures and furnishings take inspiration from architectural details original to the structure.



Tyler Cuningham

Major Julie Whiten and Major Chuck Whiten, area commanders of Lee and Wake Counties, with Muddy at the Salvation Army baseball event.

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

90 Baseball & T-ball Opening Ceremony 91 Art-n-Soul Market 92 Spring Thaw 93 OTHELLO 93 Carolina Donor Services Groundbreaking 94 Durham Women’s Panel 94 Words Unspoken

To have your fundraiser, party, exhibit, or store opening featured in The Whirl, submit your images and information at

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THE WHIRL BASEBALL & T-BALL OPENING CEREMONY On Tuesday, April 6, the Red Shield Club hosted a Baseball & T-ball Opening Ceremony for the Salvation Army. The event included a food truck, games, face painting, and a visit from mascot Muddy. Donations were collected in honor of Coach Hurley Raynor, who has led Salvation Army teams for two generations of players, to help support this season’s baseball and t-ball community.

Kids line up to play

Tyler Cunningham

Hurley Raynor and team

Throwing a pitch

Emma Bailey & Walker with Muddy

Christina Taylor, Bonnie Stabler

Muddy and guest


Face painting

Muddy and friends

ART-N-SOUL MARKET On April 11, the Art-n-Soul Market in Preston Village brought together local artisans, farmers, food trucks, and beer for a neighborhood event of shopping and fun. Cary residents were happy for a pretty spring day and a return to something close to normalcy.

Laura Wall

Booths along Preston Village Way

Susan Blakesley

Hana Moriah

Sherry Lambreth, Jodi Jennings

Bond Brothers booth


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Guests enjoy the day

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Tom Brady, Betsy Brady

Chatham Rabbits perform

Ayn-Monique Klahre, Josh Klahre

Courtney Grinnell, Ben Grinnell

Ben Grinnell

SPRING THAW On April 10, residents of Harvey Street in Hayes Barton gathered to celebrate the warmer weather. Caterer Katie Featherstone of White Clover Catering provided a delicious meal to a small family group, then neighbors and friends were invited for a performance by bluegrass band Chatham Rabbits.

Ruth and Bill with puppy

Base Camp for Grandfather Mountain The resort town of Banner Elk is your base camp for one of the best attractions in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Book your Grandfather Mountain package now at

Courtesy Carolina Donor Services (GROUNDBREAKING), courtesy Women’s Theatre Festival (OTHELLO)

OTHELLO From April 8 - 17, the Women’s Theatre Festival presented a virtual livestream production of a modern verse translation of OTHELLO by Mfoniso Udofia. This world premiere production was presented by director JaMeeka D. Holloway and a team of Black femme artists, including dramaturg Monèt Noelle Marshall, sound designer Aurelia Belfield, production designer/creative technical director Keyanna Alexander, costume and hair designer Aquila Butler, stage manager Didi Fields, assistant stage manager Taylor Murrell, assistant director Terra Hodge, assistant dramaturg Sha-Lamar Davis, and text coach Tia James.

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Top row: Zandi Carlson, Elaine Wang. Middle row: Nubia Monks, Jazmyn D. Boone. Bottom row: Danyel Renee Geddie, Marissa Garcia

CAROLINA DONOR SERVICES GROUNDBREAKING On March 23, Carolina Donor Services hosted a socially distant groundbreaking event. The organization is moving from Durham to Chapel Hill, where its new facility will include office and meeting space and clinical space for organ and tissue recoveries. With three office locations in North Carolina, CDS employs nearly 140 clinical and administrative personnel. Its partners include over 100 donor hospitals, four local transplant centers, more than 500 funeral homes, 100 DMV offices, federal and state legislators, and the media.

Stuart Knechtle, Van Smith, Pam Hemminger, Danielle Niedfeldt, Rodney Cook, Marc Christopher, Mike Ingram

THE WHIRL DURHAM WOMEN’S PANEL On March 24, Discover Durham hosted a panel of female business leaders to celebrate Women’s History Month. Discover Durham staffer Veda Gilbert moderated the panel, which included Areli Barrera de Grodski of Little Waves Coffee Roasters, Monica R. Edwards of Morehead Manor, Melissa Katrincic of Durham Distillery, Claudia Cooper of Guglhupf Bakery, Café & Biergarten, and Tiffany Griffin of Bright Black.

SANDHILLS The Home of American Golf® beckons all visitors. From world-class golf to local shopping and dining, our welcoming Southern hospitality is why people have been coming home to the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area for more than 125 years. Plan Your SANDHILLS Escape today!

Alice Hinman, Frank Harmon, Arthur Gordon, Nina Szlosberg-Landis

WORDS UNSPOKEN On April 1, the Garner Performing Arts Center hosted Words Unspoken, a virtual night of poetry. Celeste Hinnant hosted the event, which streamed live on Facebook. Participants included Imani Horton, Lawrence Bullock, J. Dwayne Garnett, and D.S. Will, who passionately delivered their vignettes on life, love, and perseverance with a mix of spoken word, song, and theater.

D.S. Will, Lawrence Bullock, Celeste Hinnant, J. Dwayne Garnett, Imani Horton

J. Dwayne Garnett

Courtesy Nikki Hinnant (UNSPOKEN)

Escape to the

Top row: Areli Barrera de Grodski, Veda Gilbert, Monica R. Edwards Bottom row: Melissa Katrincic, Claudia Cooper, Tiffany Griffin

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

Courtsey AIRBNB, Logans, Town of Hillsborough; (CABIN); Ladner (FLOWERS)


10+ MAGICAL AIRBNB TREE HOUSES, TINY HOMES & CABINS IN WESTERN NC Bookmark these nooks, airstreams, and more with cool interiors and surreal views for your next trip to the mountains.

LOCAL NURSERIES AND GARDEN CENTERS IN THE TRIANGLE TO EXPLORE THIS SPRING From unique native varietals to succulents to edibles, save this list of local plant centers in the Triangle for spring and summer gardening. Some serve wine and food, too!

7 SMALL TOWNS TO EXPLORE IN CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA Just a short drive away, these central North Carolina towns offer countryside views, historic sites, good food, and more, all within two hours of Raleigh.




Don’t miss them! (Daffodils at Dorothea Dix Park in March) @thewildwoltz A field of daffodils is my happy place! @ncmoveswithmonica A sure sign of the promise of spring! I love their emobodiment of hope when they begin peeping through the ground.



The camellias right now @stephenandthebird swoon @southernpicnics love stumbling upon these around down! @preciouspearl326 Beautiful @tinybuffalo_consulting My fave!



Postcard from Saxapahaw. What’s your favorite small town near Raleigh? Illustration by @laurafrankstone @megan.oconnor09 it's a toss-up between Carroboro and Hillsborough! @larice_canopy_white Pittsboro is cool. More postcards please

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 95


at the RIVER Connecting with family in a wilder place — at a slower pace


n Riverton, North Carolina, love runs as steadily as the Lumber River snaking through the land. In this place steeped in history and tradition, where my Scottish ancestors settled, I have always felt a sure sense of belonging. A few weekends each summer, my family packs up the car and heads down for a few days of good food, soulful music, swims in the river, and kinship. At 6 years old, I would forge into the longleaf pines and be gone for hours. No one came searching for me. They knew I was safe, under the watchful eyes of a vast extended family — and mindful that the roots that caught my training wheels would stop me from venturing too far. I explored the vineyards and corn fields, sometimes with Boo the dog trailing after me (she knew her way around better than I did), and invited myself onto any porch that offered good smells or good music. In Raleigh, where I’ve grown up, there has always been a constant gogo-go to my days. School, basketball practice, homework, friends, and what seems like a never-ending list of responsibilities that has only grown longer with each passing year.


But Riverton is a place of mosquito bites, scabbed knees, and exploring the swamp surrounding the river landing. This is where I learned to shuffle cards and ride a bike and give stick shift a try in “Big Red,” my uncle’s 1962 International. There is a simplicity and slowness to the woods that leaves you feeling full — while a full schedule sometimes leaves you feeling empty. I’ve tried to soak up the lessons and history of the family around me, especially from my maternal grandfather, Papa. I’ve learned the World War II songs that Papa leads as he walks the 4th of July parade route, even at 95; I know the color of the dress my grandmother wore the first time he saw her (yellow-checkered); I listen for the wisdom in his speeches and prayers. As I’ve grown older, it has all become more precious to me. There is no one I know who has experienced so much or loved as deeply as Papa. Riverton has also always been a place that made me, the baby of 16 grandchildren, feel connected to my older cousins, even when their lives were in very different places from my own. I watched their every move, trailed after them when I could, and laughed

at jokes I did not understand. I vividly recall sitting on the ground, gazing at one cousin stretched out on the dirty green couch, tearily recounting her first heartbreak. I held on to every word and wondered what it would be like to fall in love. I see traits in each of them that I wish I could riff off, like working someone else’s guitar lick into my own tune: Campbell’s free-spiritedness, Katie’s grace, Roy’s wit. When I think about Riverton, I often reflect on my paternal grandfather, a Russian refugee of the Bolshevik Revolution. He had to leave his home and most everything behind when he and his brother and mother escaped to Czechoslovakia, then immigrated to America. He eventually settled in Raleigh, working as a family physician for decades. His story, joined with the story of Riverton, has helped me to understand what a powerful gift it is to be able to gather again and again for generations in such a special place. And so, at the river, when I join hands with family on my left and right, with our heads bowed to sing Blessed Be the Tie That Binds, I feel a deep connection to where I’m from — and a deep understanding of what’s most important.

Courtesy May McMillan Bensen


4401 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27612

(919) 571-2881



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Children’s Specialties: Anesthesiology • Behavioral Health • Cardiology • Critical Care Medicine • Ear, Nose and Throat • Emergency Medicine • Endocrinology • Gastroenterology • Hospital Medicine Neonatology • Neurology • Orthopaedics • Physical Rehabilitation • Primary Care • Pulmonology • Radiology • Surgery • Urgent Care • Urology • Weight Management • And More

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