WALTER Magazine- October 2020

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OCTOBER 2020

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Homes& Gardens MODERN LIVING WITH SEPI SAIDI AND JIM LUMSDEN

WEEKEND GARDENER CELEBRATES 35 YEARS A UNIVERSITY PARK RENO SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPES SU WITCHES & WHIMSY W

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Two neighbors just down the road from one another, Green Front Furniture and The Green Chair Project are worlds apart in who we serve. While we both specialize in furnishing homes, Green Chair is providing for those less fortunate in Wake County, especially during these tough economic times. Did you know for instance: – In 2019 TGCP served over 1,100 families ² 3ULRU WR &RYLG 7*&3 LGHQWLÀHG WKDW 6,000 children were without a bed – Since Covid TGCP has delivered over 600 beds and 100 cribs ² 7*&3 SURYLGHV D FRPSOHWH XSÀWWLQJ of furnishings and home goods for their clients including home cooked meals at the onset of delivery – TGCP is dependent on donations and community involvement

On your way to Green Front to shop, or if you have already made your furniture selections, please consider donating your existing goods to this worthy cause and remember that charity begins at home. www.thegreenchair.org


USA Today’s Best Beach in North Carolina

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DEPARTMENTS

Volume IX, Issue 2

44 OUR TOWN 26

THE PROS’ HOME PROJECTS

48

LOCALS: Of Witches & Whimsy Gloria Kimber’s Halloween display

28

SHOP: For the Girls Bra Patch offers support and options for a hard-to-fit garment

52

NOTED: The Weekenders Anne Clapp, Rufus Edmisten and Mike Raley celebrate 35 years

32

GIVERS: Funding Change A local way to invest in nonprofits

35 38

38

44

IN EVERY ISSUE

FOOD: Meet Our State Biscuit Cafe Carolina’s sweet potato treat

16

Letter from WALTER

20

Contributors

DRINK: Fruit Infused A juice bar with a holistic soul

21

Your Feedback

22

Happening Now

SHOP: Spiritual Pursuits Esoteric wares at The Holy Rose

93

The Whirl

98

End Note: No Place like Gnome

On the cover: Sepi Saidi and Jim Lumsden in their living room; photography by Keith Isaacs

10 | WALTER

Eamon Queeney (HOLY ROSE); Joshua Steadman (JUICED)

OCTOBER 2020



FEATURES

54

Alchemy & Balance Inside Sepi Saidi’s home, which was designed by Frank Harmon by Ayn-Monique Klahre photography by Keith Issacs

80

Full Circle Will Hooker and Jeana Myers create a model of permaculture by Jessie Ammons Rumbley photograpy by Liz Condo

64

History Loves Company A family-friendly gut renovation by Addie Ladner photography by Catherine Nguyen

86

Making Impressions Visual artist Lyudmila Tomova by Jessie Ammons Rumbley photography by Joshua Steadman

74

A Garden for All Seasons Thoughtful plantings invite wildlife in this Youngsville backyard by Lori D.R. Wiggins photography by Kate Medley

Kate Medley (GARDEN); Catherine Nguyen (FAMILY)

74

64 12 | WALTER



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Left: Catherine Nguyen takes a photo of the Rose family inside their renovated historic home (pg. 64). Right: Photographer Keith Isaacs and Sara Mingote capture Sepi Saidi and Jim Lumsden inside their Frank Harmon-designed home (pg. 54).

S

omething about this issue keeps conjuring the word alchemy. Part science, part magic. Part logic, part luck. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that our annual Home & Garden Issue falls in the same month as Halloween. Over the past few months, many of us have seen how our rooms contract, expand and mutate: living rooms and bedrooms converted into offices and schoolrooms, outdoor spaces into our own restaurants and bars. Just as we transform ourselves with a costume, our homes change to suit our needs. It’s not just good bones, or smart rearranging. It requires both magic and logic, a creative mind and can-do attitude. It was interior designer Kay Jordan, who helped Sepi Saidi pull together her home (pg. 54), who suggested the concept when she said to me: “We just had this magic group of people that worked well together—there was an alchemy that lent to the great success of the project.” In my interviews with Jordan and Saidi, as well as architect Frank Harmon and Saidi’s husband Jim Lumsden, each mentioned how wonderful everyone else was, that there was something special about this

project. Talent, chemistry… or magic? And how else to explain that the secret ingredients to Cafe Carolina’s mouthwatering sweet potato biscuits (pg. 35) are all right on the grocery store shelf? Experimentation, luck or… something else? Or that special brew of personality and topic that’s led to the 35-year success of the Weekend Gardener (pg. 52)? The Holy Rose knows magic—at least, it offers wares to those who do (pg. 44). And anyone who lives on London Drive and Eton Road knows that magic is all around, because gnomes keep popping up in their yards (pg. 98). We hope that as you head through fall and on into winter, this issue encourages you to recognize these forces in your own life, at home and with friends and family—and to appreciate the special blend of luck, hard work and magic that makes our community so special.

Ayn-Monique Klahre Editor


Stuck at home with too much stuff? Let us take it off your hands: Schedule your free donation pick-up today! The ReStores collect new and gently-used cabinets, appliances, building materials, furniture and more. When you donate to the ReStores, you’re supporting Habitat’s mission to build more affordable homes in the Triangle.

919.823.3544 • trianglerestore.org/donate-now


VOLUME IX, ISSUE 2

EDITORIAL

PUBLISHING

Editor AYN-MONIQUE KLAHRE

President ROBYN TOMLIN

Creative Director LAURA PETRIDES WALL

Advertising Sales Manager JULIE NICKENS

Associate Editor ADDIE LADNER

Senior Account Executive & Operations CRISTINA HURLEY

WALTER is available by paid subscriptions for $25 a year in the United States, as well as select rack and advertiser locations throughout the Triangle. Subscribe online at waltermagazine.com/subscribe

Contributing Writers

WALTER Events KAIT GORMAN

For customer service inquiries, please email us at customerservice@waltermagazine.com or call 919-836-5613.

Interns VICTORIA MOORE ALICIA THOMAS

Address all correspondence to: WALTER Magazine, 421 Fayetteville Street, Suite 104 Raleigh, N.C. 27601

MELISSA HOWSAM, SUSANNA KLINGENBERG COURTNEY NAPIER, KATIE PATE, SHELBI POLK, JESSIE AMMONS RUMBLEY, LORI D.R. WIGGINS

Contributing Copy Editor ANNA BRANNIN

Contributing Photographers LIZ CONDO, KEITH ISAACS, BOB KARP, JULI LEONARD, TAYLOR MCDONALD, KATE MEDLEY, S.P. MURRAY, CATHERINE NGUYEN, EAMON QUEENEY, JOSHUA STEADMAN

Circulation JERRY RITTER BRIAN HINTON

OCTOBER 2020 Published 10 times a year by The News & Observer Publishing Co. A McClatchy Company

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


WEALTH IS ABOUT MORE THAN MONEY. At PNC, we understand that wealth is about more than just your finances. Security, health, family and your future are all important aspects of your wealth. You can rely on a PNC Wealth Manager to take all this into consideration. With our personalized approach and flexible solutions, we can provide you with the right guidance, even as your plans evolve. When we combine what we know with what we know about you, it’s easier for you to protect what matters while pursuing your goals. Call Missie Thompson, Market Leader, at 919-788-6259, or visit pnc.com/wealthsolutions

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The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (“PNC”) uses the marketing name PNC Wealth Management® to provide investment consulting and wealth management, fiduciary services, FDIC-insured banking products and services, and lending of funds to individual clients through PNC Bank, National Association (“PNC Bank”), which is a Member FDIC, and to provide specific fiduciary and agency services through PNC Delaware Trust Company or PNC Ohio Trust Company. PNC does not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice unless, with respect to tax advice, PNC Bank has entered into a written tax services agreement. PNC Bank is not registered as a municipal advisor under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. “PNC Bank” and “PNC Wealth Management” are registered marks of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Investments: Not FDIC Insured. No Bank Guarantee. May Lose Value. ©2020 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


OCTOBER 2020

KEITH ISAACS /

COURTNEY NAPIER /

P HOTO G R A P HE R Keith Isaacs is an architectural photographer based in Raleigh. His work has been featured in ARCHITECT Magazine, Architectural Digest, Dezeen, Dwell, Domino and Wallpaper*, among others. “It was an honor to have the opportunity to photograph Frank Harmon’s final project. His far-reaching impact on modernism throughout North Carolina and the wider region are immeasurable, evidenced by not only his own incredible work, but—maybe more importantly—by the numerous awardwinning firms and designers that have come out his practice. The Sepi Saidi residence is a great example of the sensitive, vernacular modernism that echoes throughout his body of work and continued legacy.”

W R I TE R Courtney Napier is a journalist and writer from Raleigh. She is the founder of Black Oak Society and editor of BOS Zine. Her work can be found in INDY Week and Scalawag Magazine, as well as on her blog, Courtney Has Words. Her spouse and two children are a daily source of love and inspiration. “Malaika Kashaka is a renaissance woman with a big heart and deep well of wisdom. I am deeply inspired by her zest for life and authentic love for her customers and neighbors. Juiced has quickly become a Southeast Raleigh institution and will have a generational impact on the wellness of her community.”

CATHERINE NGUYEN/ JESSIE AMMONS RUMBLEY / W R I TE R Jessie Ammons Rumbley is a local writer who has reported for national publications and edited several city magazines. The Raleigh native loves to tell stories that celebrate home, like Will Hooker and Jeana Myers' prolific garden on Kirby Street and Lucy Tomova’s energetic creative process. “Lucy’s enthusiasm is inspiring, as is the idea that you can cultivate everything you need in your own backyard, from food and water to spices and teas. Will and Jeana are patient, joyful teachers.”

P HOTOGR A PH ER Catherine Nguyen is a Raleighbased commercial and editorial photographer specializing in interior design and architecture. In addition to her projects for interior designers, architects, and builders, she works as the still photographer for HGTV's home renovation series Love It or List It. Catherine attended the Academy of Art University in San Francisco for a BFA in commercial and advertising photography. “It was such a pleasure to meet the Roses and be welcomed into their beautifully renovated 1928 home. It truly is the perfect blend of old and new. I could have spent all day reveling in all of the design details.”

Courtesy contributors

CONTRIBUTORS


YOUR FEEDBACK We love seeing our community enjoying WALTER! Tag us in a photo with your issue of the magazine with #wearewalter and you just might find yourself on our pages!

“We feel safe, secure, and supported at The Cypress.” Dana and Jim Robinson, Cypress Members

Lynn LaPlante and Tonya Bennert of Toledo, Ohio were excited to receive their copy of WALTER’s August issue, which featured the garden of LaPlante’s daughter and son-in-law.

The Cypress of Raleigh,

“Thanks to the WALTER team for the article beautifully written by Liza Roberts and photographed by Chris Charles, with input from two important folks who helped shape my creative journey, my high school art teacher, Marcia Reed, and Brandywine Workshop and Archives director Allan Edmunds.” —Maya Freelon, @mayafreelon

@waltermagazine www.waltermagazine.com

WALTER 421 Fayetteville Street, Suite 104 Raleigh, N.C. 27601

“ When we moved to we left a friendly neighborhood and came to a neighborhood WN NZQMVL[ <PM [\I‫ ٺ‬PMZM KW]TL VW\ JM UWZM []XXWZ\Q^M M[XMKQITTa I[ _M M`XMZQMVKM \PM XIVLMUQK \WOM\PMZ 7]Z LMKQ[QWV \W UISM <PM +aXZM[[ WN :ITMQOP W]Z PWUM PI[ WVTa JMMV I‫ٻ‬ZUML º 4M\¼[ \ITS IJW]\ aW]Z N]\]ZM I\ W]Z 4QNM 8TIV +WUU]VQ\a ?M¼ZM I^IQTIJTM \W UMM\ _PMZM aW] NMMT UW[\ KWUNWZ\IJTM ONLINE

OUTDOORS

PHONE

Via ZOOM or FaceTime

Your home patio or local restaurant

The old-fashioned way

Call us today at 919.518.8918 to schedule an appointment, or visit thecypressofraleigh.com to learn more.


Happening

all month WALTER's roundup of in-person and virtual things to do in our community. For more ideas of things to do in October, visit waltermagazine.com. left: Le Tour De Femme; right: Fabrice Monteiro's Signature #1 on exhibit at NCMA.

Just in time for chillier days, we can visit our cultural institutions again—with modified procedures, of course. A sampling of what’s available: Marbles Kids Museum (marbleskidsmuseum.org) offers timed entry tickets online (free for members, from $8 for non-members) and early access for members on weekends. The North Carolina Museum of History (ncmuseumofhistory.org) does not require tickets, but limits visitors and offers hours for senior citizens and guests who are immunocompromised. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (naturalsciences.org) is open with free, timed tickets. The North Carolina Museum of Art (ncartmuseum. org) offers timed tickets to the main gallery (free) and special exhibits including Good as Gold: Fashioning Senegalese Women and Leonardo Drew: Making Chaos Legible (from $7.50). Visit websites for hours and details.

courtesy Le Tour De Femme; courtesy NCMA

MUSEUMS OPEN!



Happening Now

Jordan Bradsher of 4M Farms at Black Farmers Market NC.

8-25

A HUNDRED WORDS FOR SNOW

See website for dates and hours; 224 Polk Street; from $15; burningcoal.org

10

BEAUFORT ART AUCTION In lieu of its annual fall party, the Beaufort Historical Association is holding a virtual silent art auction of work by award-winning North Carolina artists, which ends October 10. The Association is a non-profit that supports Beaufort’s two-acre historic district, including six authentically restored buildings and the Old Burying Grounds. Keep an eye out for bright watercolor florals, serene waterfront landscapes and more inspired by our state's organic beauty, like Orange Crush by painter Dee Knott or Trisha Adam’s Soaking up Sunshine. Virtual; free; beauforthistoricsite.org Orange Crush by Dee Knott

10

LE TOUR DE FEMME

Grab your wheels and hit the road to participate in Le Tour de Femme, a women’s only bicycle ride hosted by Grab My Wheel, a local nonprofit that supports cancer resarch and cancer survivors. To avoid crowds, this is a virtual cycling event, and any pace or distance is allowed on or after the October 10 start day. Whether you want to bike 2,000 miles over 23 days or a leisurely three miles with the kids, consider wearing purple in honor of the event’s 15th anniversary. Virtual; $20 to enter; letourdefemme.org

10

NC WINE, CHEESE & CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL

A trip abroad may not be in the cards this fall, but you can replicate the continental experience closer to home: Europeinspired Lafayette Village is hosting their 5th Annual NC Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Festival on October 10. Rather than an in-person festival, the “express-style” version will be a drive-through opportunity to pick up a selection of local and regional artisan wine, cheese and chocolate to enjoy from the comforts of home. PIckup from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; packages from $32; 8450 Honeycutt Road; lafayettevillageraleigh.com

Bob Karp (MARKET); courtesy Beaufor Historic Association (PAINTING)

Experience theater in real life again with Burning Coal’s A Hundred Words for Snow, a remarkable story of a 15-year-old girl who sets on an adventure to the North Pole following the unexpected death of her father. The performance will be held at the Murphey School Auditorium for an audience of four people only per performance, with three performances per day. Masks and temperature checks will be required of all attendees.


Digital image retrieved from amazon.com (BOOK)

OCTOBER

11, 25

30

In June, the Durham group behind Black August in the Park expanded its bi-weekly Black Farmers Market NC to Raleigh. Taking place at Provident1898 in Durham on October 11 (411 West Chapel Hill Street) and at the Southeast Raleigh YMCA on October 25 (1436 Rock Quarry Road), the open-air market features seasonal produce, eggs and dairy, beauty products and more, with an emphasis on supporting local Black-owned businesses. “The Southeast Raleigh YMCA has been a great partner, and the community has been so welcoming,” says Crystal Taylor, who co-founded the organization. “It’s so fulfilling to see kids getting produce from Black farmers, and to see these businesses thriving as people get to know them.”

27-30

Start your Friday with a little inspiration with Creative Morning RDU’s monthly speaker series. Each month, the organization taps someone from the community— recents speakers have included wellness pros Brit Guerin and Nathan Williams, cartoonist Keith Knight and entomologist Adrian Smith—to speak to a global theme. The virtual event includes networking opportunities, the talk and an opportunity for Q&A with the speaker. For October, the theme is Transportation—but the name of the featured speaker won’t be revealed until a week before the event.

See website for hours; free; blackaugustinthepark.com/black-farmers-market

Virtual; free; raleighlittletheatre.org/shows/ midnight-dreary/

CREATIVE MORNINGS

BLACK FARMERS MARKET NC

MIDNIGHT DREARY FESTIVAL Just in time for Halloween, Raleigh Little Theater is adding some drama to your evenings. Join local performers as they read radio versions of some of legendary horror writer Edgar Allan Poe’s most eerie stories, including The Masque of the Red Death, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado and The Pit and the Pendulum. Tune in each night for some old-fashioned frights (via newfangled technology) as each story is released one by one.

8:45 a.m.; virtual; free; creativemornings. com/cities/rdu


O Our

Courtesy contributors

If 2020 brought us all one thing for sure, it was more time at home—and for many of us, a desire to refresh our spaces. We asked local design, build and real estate pros what improvements they’ve made to their own homes. —Melissa Howsam

We’d begun revamping our living room, but the pandemic changed our needs! We incorporated a window seat for reading, a sectional for watching movies and a console that doubles as a desk.” —Cate Holcombe Owner & Principal Designer at Cate Holcombe Interiors

I’m renovating the basement to make an office: major waterproofing, plus putting in a bathroom, kitchenette and windows. My daughter Chelsea, a classical pianist who teaches virtual lessons, has been at home since she graduated in May. Her playing is beautiful, but the piano is right next to my current office.” —Alicia Hylton-Daniel Interior Designer/General Contractor at Daniel Design + Construction 26 Hylton | WALTER 26 | WALTER

My husband and I did a gut renovation on our second-floor bathroom—we changed out everything from the floor to the tub and all of the fixtures. We shaped the entire room around this cool trough sink, with brass fixtures to give the room an open, coastal feel. We'd been mentally planning this renovation for years—but staying at home made it more pertinent.” —Victoria Ford Founder of lifestyle blog PrepFord Wife

We updated our bedroom! We added wallpaper, installed vintage lamps, built shelving around the closet door for all our books and had our craftsmen make us a bed. It's starting to feel more like a retreat than a place to pile laundry!” —Melody Ray & Billy Keck Owners of Raleigh Reclaimed

We’ve been focused on making our outdoor spaces as livable as possible. For our historic 1905 home, that has meant reinforcing joists and laying new pine floors for our front porch and cozying up the side porch with reclaimed brick and bluestone.” —Van Fletcher Broker/Realtor at Allen Tate Realtors



SHOP

Bra Patch owner Ruth Dowdy.

for the GIRLS A specialty shop off Falls of Neuse wins loyal customers with empathy and expertise by SHELBI POLK photography by S.P. MURRAY

B

etween the pink-and-white walls of the Bra Patch lives a world many women think only exists in fairy tales: one where bras fit, and fit well. The store is full of racks of bras and swimwear in sizes that cover an almost unbelievable span of the alphabet (cups all the way from A to O), with bands from 28 to 56. The store itself is nearly 45 years old, and current owner Ruth Dowdy took over 13 years ago. Department stores, Dowdy says, simply don’t have the bandwidth to stock sizes on the small and large sides of the bra bell curve. Bra Patch gets around that issue with their singular focus. “That’s our niche—we carry the bras stores won’t sell,” Dowdy says. Before buying the business, Dowdy worked for herself for 28 | WALTER

years representing a clothing line through trunk shows. Women would schedule one-on-one appointments for fittings for new wardrobes, and Dowdy noticed a consistent problem. “The one thing that was common with everyone was not knowing which bras to wear,” Dowdy says. “And you have to have a good bra for the clothes to look right.” Then Dowdy saw an article in The News & Observer about a specialized bra shop going out of business. The last owner was so passionate about the Bra Patch that she was ready to close the store if the right successor didn’t come along. Women were flocking to the store, afraid they wouldn’t be able to find the sizes once the Bra Patch closed. Dowdy stepped in. “One thing led to another and here we are. It was a life-changer,” she says.


She’s since quadrupled the business and brought in dozens of new lines and sizes of bras. Talking to the fitters at Bra Patch, it’s hard to overstate the effect of finding a bra that actually fits. New customers regularly come in spilling out of the largest bras they can find in department stores, double or triple Ds, not knowing that there are actually bras out there made to fit them. Women come in wearing three bras for support, or oversize bras stuffed with socks. They’ve lost weight or gained weight, they’ve had mastectomies, they have body image issues. And for all of these concerns, a well-fitted bra offers a world of good. Three staffers are certified mastectomy fitters who can help create prosthetics for women who need them. No matter the size or situation, it’s immediately evident that the fitters love being able to help every person who walks through the door find a bra that works. “It’s amazing what the right bra will do,” store manager Catherine Johnson says. Johnson, a retired state investigator,

initially came in as a bookkeeper, until the employees convinced her she needed a fitting. Now, she’s been working for the Bra Patch for three years. “People come in, you see their breasts and you’re their therapist,” Johnson says. She helps women address some of their most intimate concerns, and she routinely gets to be the one to tell them that those insecurities are normal or won’t matter in just a few years. “I had one woman come in who had never had the right size bra in her entire life,” Johnson says. “Once we had her in the right size, she burst into tears and just hugged me.” That connection inspires long-reaching loyalty. Customers journey to the Bra Patch from states away, and many beg the store to open another location. Some have been coming into the store for decades, and bring their daughters when it’s time for their first bra. Employee Candice Brown says there's even one loyal customer who flies in from Venezuela once a year to purchase her yearly allotment of eight bras.

Catherine Johnson helps women address some of their most intimate concerns, and routinely gets to be the one to tell them that those insecurities are normal.

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People who aren’t comfortable baring it all definitely don’t have to. Dowdy says the fitters are careful to figure out where each customer’s comfort level lies. “We make it fun,” says employee Jan Ealy. That intuition helps the fitters treat everyone who walks in like their ideal older sister: compassionate and supportive, but also honest. “We’re not going to send them out there wearing just anything,” Ealy says. “We answer the questions you can’t ask your husbands.” Johnson says she was surprised by just how much there was to know about bras. The employees’ knowledge is hyper-specific; each brand fits differently, and each woman’s body is unique. They put those together to figure out what works (Johnson mentions one bra they nicknamed “the packer,” for its effectiveness for women who have recently lost weight). And for something that many women wear every day, there just isn’t a lot of education out there. “No one really teaches you except the women who have been here,” Johnson says. One reason for that lack of knowledge is that there simply used to be fewer options. “There didn’t used to be a lot of choices,” says Brown, who is notorious among the employees for trying on all of their products. Another reason women wear the wrong size bra is that there isn’t really any standardization of sizes across the industry. “Every single manufacturer sizes their bras completely differently,” Dowdy says. “I can bring in seven 36 GGs and they’ll all fit a little differently.” Ealy, Brown and Johnson all admitted to wearing the wrong size bra when they first came to the store. “I came in here wearing the Playtex 18-Hour bra,” Brown says, “and then they got me in a Goddess and I was like, What just happened?” Being armed with the obscure knowledge of well-fitting bras does change the way some employees interact with the world. “We’ll be out somewhere, and my husband will say, Are you looking at other girls’ boobs again?” Brown says. “… I try not to!” Johnson laughs.


In-depth politics. Trusted analysis. The WUNC Politics Podcast brings you free-flowing discussion on state policy, elections, debates and more direct from the General Assembly and campaign trail. Subscribe to hear the latest episodes wherever you get your podcasts.


This page: A booth at El Pueblo's La Fiesta del Pueblo. Opposite: Staff and volunteers for StandUp-SpeakOut of North Carolina.

funding CHANGE Triangle Community Foundation helps donors guide their dollars to make a big impact by LORI D. R. WIGGINS

A

s our world shifts and challenges the status quo, the Triangle Community Foundation (TCF) is a buoy for nonprofits to grow, meet community needs and engineer change. TCF is the brainchild of the late Dr. George H. Hitchings, a Duke University professor and vice president of research at Burroughs Wellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline). In 1988, Hitchings shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for research and work with drug treat-

32 | WALTER

ments. He used some of his prize money to create the Triangle Community Foundation, expanding a Durham foundation he’d launched five years earlier to include Wake, Chatham and Orange counties. Today, with more than $240 million in assets, the organization oversees 850 philanthropic funds (more than 50% are donor-advised) and awards over $27 million in charitable grants to nonprofit organizations and scholarships to individuals. “TCF is an invaluable asset to the Triangle nonprofit community,” says

Caitlin Clinard, president of Angel Oak Creative, a marketing firm specializing in nonprofit communications. “They have a stellar reputation for equipping nonprofits that are making a difference on issues that significantly impact the Triangle.” Here’s how: corporate and individual donors invest charitable dollars with TCF. In turn, the Foundation invests, manages and grows that money to reinvest or distribute through grants to local nonprofits. The Foundation board works with advisory committees and professional advi-

Courtesy El Pueblo (FIESTA) ; courtesy StandUp-SpeakOut NC (STAFF)

GIVERS


sors to identify criteria, review applications and make decisions based on what will have the biggest impact. TCF also encourages its investors to learn more about community issues. “We try to be that bridge between the needs of the community and how the donors can be impactful with their philanthropy,” says TCF president and CEO Lori O’Keefe. TCF also has its own discretionary pool, Fund for the Triangle, earmarked for environmental conservation, youth literacy, cultural arts, community development and nonprofit capacity-building. Raleigh nonprofit El Pueblo credits TCF for boosts in its major donor network and visibility. “They have the resources, but we have the connections to the community,” says El Pueblo’s development manager Michelle Bermeo Betancourt. “We have to work together.” Capitol Broadcasting Company has worked with TCF since it was first founded. “TCF’s stewardship assures

that our philanthropic interestss are accomplished,” says Loretta Harper-Arnold, who oversees community relations. In March, TCF marshaled itss fundholders to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, directing a surge in donor contributions to the most pressing needs. “The economic impact of the pandemic is going to be long-lasting,” O’Keefe fits says. “We have to help nonprofits eliver mispivot so they can continue to deliver sions and serve clients.” The Foundation’s earliest coronavirus relief included nearly $6 million in donor-directed grants and $450,000 in grants from Fund for the Triangle to support increased need unveiled by the pandemic. TCF also made moves to address inequities already prevalent in Triangle communities that the pandemic laid bare, O’Keefe says. In April, TCF awarded

$25,000 in grants to local nonprofits that provide direct aid to individuals and families blocked from government stimulus or paycheck protection subsidies, and TCF donors raised an additional $109,000 for the cause. Among the recipients was Durham-based nonprofit StandUp-SpeakOut of North Carolina, which supports victims of domestic vio-

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lence and sexual abuse. When COVID-19 surfaced, TCF lifted restrictions on funding so it could keep serving clients. “That was really a blessing,” said Monica Daye, who founded the organization in 2004. “We have not missed a beat, but we’ve needed every dollar.” TCF also calmed the waters for Student U, a Durham nonprofit that promotes the power of education for financial stability, says executive director Alexandra-Emmanuelle Zagbayou. She was invited to share her organization’s experiences and challenges with community leaders and donors, as Student U was awarded funds to provide emergency support to some of their families and buy laptops for students transitioning to online learning. “Those dollars enabled us to meet growing demands of our community,” Zagbayou said. “And it all came from genuine listening to what we were seeing and what we were concerned about in the community.” In May, as the conversation expanded to anti-racism and social justice amid the protests after the death of George Floyd, TCF responded by awarding $290,000 in stabilization grants through the Triangle Capacity-Building Network to organizations that are led by and support people of color. “The one thing that has given me some glimmer of hope through all of this is we have had a few donors reach out to us with expressions of their own pain and desire to learn more and do differently,” O’Keefe says. She expects the Foundation to introduce another round of funding specifically for these causes, but will rely on what they learn from nonprofits to guide their support. For over three decades, TCF has helped direct funds where they can do the most good, and continues to evolve and pivot in response to the community’s feedback. “Taking care of our community is one of the most important things we can do to ensure a thriving region for all,” says O’Keefe. “The need is there, and it continues to grow and change,” says Clinard. “The Triangle Community Foundation represents the best of our community in terms of supporting nonprofits.”


FOOD

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

meet our STATE BISCUIT Cafe Carolina adds sweet potatoes to a Southern classic by ADDIE LADNER photography by TAYLOR MCDONALD

“W

e don’t roll and cut, we scoop!” says Ron Hines. He’s the owner of Cafe Carolina & Bakery, and as he says this, he seamlessly mixes biscuit dough by hand

on a Wednesday morning, just as he and the other handful of bakers do seven days a week, sometimes twice a day. This isn’t just any biscuit dough. It’s the dough for the famously soft, melt-in-yourmouth sweet potato biscuits that generations of Raleigh residents have come to

love. A bestseller on the restaurant’s light menu of pastries, soups, salads and sandwiches, the sweet potato biscuit has been on the menu since the cafe opened more than 20 years ago. It’s a tribute to the state of North Cackalacky and its official vegetable, the sweet, nutritious, orange

OCTOBER 2020 | 35


Ron Hines holds a basket of sweet potato biscuits.

root spud. As Hines says, “it’s a classic but unique item that you don’t see at too many places.” Hines likes to showcase North Carolina ingredients whenever possible on the menu, using local poultry for turkey sandwiches and seasonal produce in salads. But especially, sweet potatoes. High in vitamins, minerals and fiber, but low in fat, sweet potatoes are known for their health benefits. They’re inexpensive and offer endless cooking ideas: sweet potato fries, sweet potato casserole, baked, mashed. Many of the sweet potatoes found in kitchens all over the country come from right here in N.C. According to the North Carolina Sweet Potato Association, our state has been the top sweet potato producer in the United States since 1971. In 2016, the state harvested upwards of 95,000 acres worth of sweet potatoes, according to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. Pre-COVID-19, every day an average of 150 sweet potato biscuits went home with happy cafe-goers. Nowadays, it’s

more like 80 to 100. These biscuits can be enjoyed at any meal: as part of a light breakfast with coffee and fresh fruit, filled with thinly sliced Virginia pit ham and cheddar cheese as a sandwich for lunch (at right), or alongside a hearty bowl of cream of broccoli soup for dinner. “We wanted a recipe that could go either way—salty or sweet, morning or evening,” says Hines. The baking process starts at 6 a.m. every day and takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. In the early days, bakers would roast the sweet potatoes, peel them, then puree them the night before. But Hines wanted more consistent and reliable results, which are hard to guarantee when you’re dealing with bags full of sweet potatoes in various sizes and varieties, so he started experimenting. It took a while. For years they worked on different recipes before they landed on a winning recipe that’s deceptively simple. In fact, there are only three ingredients: old-fashioned Bisquick, canned sweet potatoes and brown sugar. It’s how you put them together that

“We wanted a recipe that could go either way—salty or sweet, morning or evening.” — Ron Hines

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Ingredients 4 cups Bisquick 1 cup brown sugar (reserve half for topping) 2 cups canned mashed sweet potatoes Directions Pre-heat a convection oven to 325 degrees. Combine the Bisquick and brown sugar and, with your hands, work through any clumps. Add the mashed sweet potatoes, then hand-mix until batter is evenly incorporated. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop biscuits onto a baking tray. Top each with a generous sprinkle of brown sugar and bake for 18 minutes.

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makes them so good, says Hines. He uses only Grade-A North Carolina-packed sweet potatoes and starts with scouring the biscuit mix for clumps before putting it all together (lest they interfere with the uniform fluffy texture). The dough is always mixed and kneaded by hand, fresh each morning, and it’s scooped onto the baking sheet, rather than rolled and cut, so as not to overwork the dough. “Nothing too complicated,” says Hines. “But there’s a little science to it.” Little bits of wisdom, tried-and-true-techniques and simple ingredients—that’s Southern cooking for you.


DRINK

FRUIT infused

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

Juiced nourishes the community with smoothies and old-word health remedies by COURTNEY NAPIER photography by JOSHUA STEADMAN

J

uiced Juice Bar is a whole vibe: neo-soul music, bright-yet-homey decor, a gentle scent of lavender. The chalkboard menu hanging over the counter boasts tempting descriptions of smoothies and beverages, like Ginger Glow (made with fresh ginger root, green apple and mango) and Berry Boost (blueberries, strawberries and cranberries). This health enthusiast’s wonderland on Rock Quarry Road was designed both as a store and gathering space, with a book corner and booth covered in comfy pillows, and a learning nook for the youngest customers. Juiced is the brainchild of Malaika Kashaka, a vibrant 50-year-old and native 38 | WALTER

of Queens, New York. The serial entrepreneur has worked in modeling, retail management and as a salon owner. And it was in this latest role, at BLC Gallery Salon and Spa, that the idea for a smoothie shop started to take shape. As Kashaka worked, she’d speak with clients about their health concerns, offering nutrition advice and traditional remedies. Her suggestions were rooted in her childhood: Kashaka’s parents were part of the Black Consciousness Movement of the 1960s and ’70s, admirers of Afrocentric scholars like Dr. Henrik Clarke and herbalist Queen Afua. One of the movement's principles is that food is medicine. “I grew up around people who

ate well,” says Kashaka. “They understood the importance of predominantly eating foods that grow from the ground.” But to take the leap from offering advice to offering the goods took a little push. Last fall, longtime friend Kim Coles—the actress best known for Living Single—was in town for a visit. “You’re selfish for delaying the opening of your smoothie shop!” Coles said to Kashaka, “You have things that are going to be healing people.” That friendly admonition propelled her to take the leap. Juiced opened in November with little fanfare. “I was just trying to offer natural smoothies and cold-pressed juice to my clients,” Kashaka says. But as salon-goers


spread the word about her nourishing smoothies, Juiced’s following expanded into the community—and she broadened its offerings, as well. Today, alongside the filler-free smoothies, you’ll find all manner of health foods and supplements, from elderberry syrup to sea moss gel, to herbal medicinal teas with therapeutic properties that Kashaka learned of in her childhood, like anti-inflammatory Yarrow flower and immuneboosting Cat’s Claw vine. “Now, juices and smoothies are only about 15% of my business,” Kashaka says. Juiced exists, Kashaka says, because the community needed the healing it could provide: to their relationship with their bodies and with each other. “Our motto here is By us, for everyone,” Kashaka says. Over 40 local Black-owned businesses advertise on Juiced’s community bulletin board, and she carries many of their products in the store, including Part-Time Vegan by Chef Neki, Dee’s Kitchen Sweet Treats and Nature’s

360 Muscadine Juice. Kashaka makes a point to hire from within the neighborhood, and particularly young people of color. “It’s like getting two birds with one stone, because now you’re creating jobs. It is such a good feeling, especially for young Black

males,” says Kashaka. “They have to be equipped really young to be successful.” Working at Juiced is opportunity, she says, to foster skills like customer service and accountability for future careers. Kashaka finds particular joy in empowering children and parents to see themselves as worthy of care and wellness. “I have a board up in the shop that says, Children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate,” she says. When speaking to parents about creating healthy habits with their kids, she suggests getting a blender and letting smoothies replace sweet treats and snacks. “Let it be their blender! Throw in an apple, a banana, some pineapple, and they can gulp that all day!” she says. “It’s really about getting a routine going and starting to teach the kid—then they grow up to be adults who eat healthily.” Like small business owners all over the city, Kashaka has found creative ways to keep the doors open through pandemic restrictions. In March, Juiced

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began taking orders through social media and over the phone, and folks would pick up their fresh smoothies curbside. Kashaka has also been using the lawn in front of her shop to hold small events with other local businesses focused on health and wellness. The culture of healthy living and neighborliness that Juiced has built within her Southeast Raleigh community is Kashaka’s favorite part about owning the store. “Each one helping another one,” she describes. “I think that’s what brings me to tears sometimes. It is just amazing.” Juiced Juice Bar is, in many ways, a thank you for the gift Kashaka was given by her Raleigh community. When she moved to this area in the early 2000s, she says, “I was just taken by how green it was.” Living in the City of Oaks felt like receiving “nature’s medicine” after being in the concrete jungle—and now she is passing that along to everyone who walks in her doors. What started as a loving gesture to her salon clients has quickly made a substantial impact on the entire area. “Not only does Juiced attract the people who are already health-conscious, but it attracts those who are looking to learn healthier habits. That’s the part that has grabbed my heart because the conversations that transpire in here are so amazing,” says Kashaka. “When someone knowledgeable gets with someone who’s looking for help, I sit back, and I’m just like, holy smokes!—we’re meant to be here, you know?”

THE “YOU CAN DO IT” SMOOTHIE “This smoothie is full of fiber, potassium and protein, and helps manage high blood pressure symptoms.” Ingredients 1 cup spinach ½ banana ½ Granny Smith apple ½ tablespoons flax seed ½ cup filtered water Directions Combine in a blender until smooth.




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SHOP

This page: Priestess Rose. Opposite: Staff and scenes inside The Holy Rose.

SPIRITUAL PURSUITS A peek into the “esoteric wonderland” of The Holy Rose by KATIE PATE photography by EAMON QUEENEY

S

tep into The Holy Rose and you’ll find yourself enchanted by a collection of practical and fantastical goods, from handcrafted jewelry adorned with semiprecious stones to crystal balls, holy water and jars filled with hard-to-find herbs like angelica root or mugwort. Hundreds

44 | WALTER

of books and ornaments line the walls. Lord Bastian, the black cat, will greet you upon entering and you’ll hear a friendly “Hello!” from behind the counter. “We kind of defy description, we just try to be an uplifting space,” says the owner of the store, known as Priestess Rose, who declines to reveal her given

name. She has flowing honey-blonde hair and a pleasant smile, and is often draped in ankle-length dresses as she moves about her shop. As she describes it, the store is an “esoteric wonderland for the spiritual seeker” that sells goods from across the spectrum of beliefs and traditions, including Paganism, Wicca, Bud-


dhism and Catholicism, among others. Rose works hard to make her business a welcoming place for everyone. “We are not a store that is hinged on ego,” she says, “we are not here to judge where anyone is on their spiritual path.” The Holy Rose moved from City Market to a quiet Wakefield Avenue

storefront last year. “We were hesitant to move because it can kind of be the death of a business,” says Rose, who, with her husband John, transformed the new space from what was “just a big empty concrete box” into an otherworldly emporium, carefully ornamented with mysterious and magical goods. As it turns out, she

didn’t have to be afraid: “The first day we reopened, we had people lined up out the door to come in,” she says, “we hit the ground running and did not stop.” The Holy Rose first opened its doors in 2013 as a retirement project for Priestess Rose, who had recently become an emptynester. She wanted to fill a gap in Raleigh OCTOBER 2020 | 45


retail, which lacked a store that offered spiritual goods from a range of practices. “We just thought we would throw it at the wall and see if it stuck,” she says. “It turns out there was a tremendous demand for what we had to offer.” Many customers wonder about Rose’s spiritual background—she goes by Priestess, after all—but she holds firm that she will never reveal her beliefs to customers. “My background is insignificant,” she says, “I don’t want anyone mimicking me, I want them finding their own self.” When speaking to customers, she stays as neutral as possible. “I kind of have to be a spiritual Switzerland,” she says, “people’s inner workings of what they believe should be very personal.” Goods in the store come from vendors and artisans around the world, and some

are even made in the shop itself, like Rose’s hand-poured ritual candles, which are among the store’s most popular items. Some, like the Mighty Money Maker candle, which purports to attract wealth, have a “cult following” among customers, Rose says. “They just fly off the shelves.” Customers of the store agree that The Holy Rose is meeting its mission of being inclusive and friendly. Daniela Da Cunha, a repeat customer and practicing Wiccan, recounts her first visit to The Holy Rose in 2017. “Priestess Rose fosters an environment that allows for self-discovery,” she says. “I was seeking guidance in how to direct the energy I felt.” Da Cunha, who comes from a Catholic family, was seeking to learn about alternative beliefs, so for her, “a big part of the journey for me has been education,” she says. “It is so important to

“We are here to help people find their way.” — Priestess Rose

stay open, to be kind.” Beyond its wares, The Holy Rose typically has a slate of other offerings that the store hopes to resume in the coming months, like tarot readings and special “Teen Witch” days for younger customers, who may shop with a parent (normally an 18-and-over policy is strictly enforced to protect her wares from accidental damage). Until then, the shop will continue to serve a few customers at a time, from six feet away, in-store and curbside (like many businesses, they are accepting call-in orders). “These are very troubling times,” Rose says. “I think people are looking for answers and this is a good place for that.” Above all else, Rose wants her store to be a safe place for everyone to visit, an “all-inclusive” place where people from all backgrounds feel comfortable. “We’re just us,” says Rose of herself and her employees. “We are here to help people to find their way.”


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THE USUAL

OF WITCHES & WHIMSY Gloria Kimber’s over-the-top Halloween display is pure fun, with heart by SUSANNA KLINGENBERG photography by JULI LEONARD 48 | WALTER


Opposite page: Gloria and John Kimber on their front steps. This page: The decked-out dining room and the witch in the powder room.

G

loria Kimber is a Halloween devotee, but not for the reasons you might assume. Creepy costumes and hocus pocus? Definitely not her thing. Spiders and spooks? Certainly not. So what does light-hearted Kimber love about Halloween, the scariest of holidays? In part, it’s what the holiday is not: “You don’t have to buy or wrap presents, send cards, or do a lot of baking,” she says. “You just get to have fun!” Kimber’s fun-loving spirit takes center stage each October, as she transforms her traditionally-decorated Laurel Hills home into a celebration of Halloween whimsy. The decorating process begins in September, when Kimber and her husband, John, move carefully-labeled boxes down from their in-house storage space—a space built specifically to

house Kimber’s lovingly-collected holiday décor, everything from strands of lights and garlands, to orange-and-black tableware and a tiny haunted village. John Kimber names his wife the artistic director of the yearly project and good-naturedly resigns himself to “the muscle” (he’s in charge of moving boxes and arranging outdoor wiring). “Like so many things in life, only one person can be in charge,” he grins. “On Halloween, I’m definitely in the back seat!” Long before the first item is unboxed, Gloria Kimber’s wheels are turning. She gathers inspiration from magazines and reviews photographs of the previous year’s display to decide what to update. “Then, I let my imagination go!” she says. Her collection began in the 1970s, when their two boys were young. Back then, the decorations were smaller and a bit generic—“corn stalks and hay bales and such,” she says—but since then, the OCTOBER 2020 | 49



Opposit page: Gloria Kimber decorates every room in the home, from the kitchen to the living room. This page: Even the breakfast nook gets the Halloween treatment.

collection has grown significantly in size and whimsy, but also in refinement. Kimber's favorite pieces are antiques, like old-fashioned papier-mâché pumpkins and handmade vintage children’s costumes. She has found some items at the Raleigh Flea Market, and she keeps an eye out for treasures when she travels. Especially when it comes to antique Halloween pieces, Kimber says, “it's all about the thrill of the hunt!” Despite those more polished additions, childlike delight still defines her style. “My husband says there’s a lot of little girl left in me,” says Kimber, with a wink. In a typical year, Kimber would host a long parade of Halloween-themed events in October: bunko and bridge nights, wine time with girlfriends, covered-dish suppers and celebrations for the Raleigh Garden Club. She considers one such event a turning point in her style: when Kimber hosted a fundraiser for the Raleigh Garden Club, a fellow member with a background in theater helped her put finishing touches on the decorations. “He laid out a giant skeleton in the middle of the dining room table,” laughs Kimber, “and I’ll never forget people’s reactions to that!” That experience gave her a fresh eye for her collection. She points to the fullsized witch in her guest bathroom as proof that she’s stepped up her dramatic flair ever since: it’s unexpected, and just creepy enough. “Everyone says they feel like somebody’s watching them in there!” she laughs. Despite all the work that goes into transforming her home each fall, the decorations are really just a means to an end for Kimber, an excuse to invite people over for some wholesome fun. This year, Kimber’s friends and family are begging her to move the Halloween collection outside, so they can still enjoy it. “Gloria is the epitome of a person who loves to celebrate being alive,” says her sister-in-law, Mary Regan. And if that celebration includes bats, skeletons and ghosts of all shapes and sizes? All the better. OCTOBER 2020 | 51


NOTED Mike Raley, Anne Clapp and Rufus Edmisten reflect on their time with the Weekend Gardener.

the Weekenders

From top left: Mike Raley, Rufus Edmisten and Anne Clapp at the J.C. Raulston Arboretum.

52 | WALTER

RALEY I’ve done Weekend Gardener for 35 years, Rufus for 15 years or so and Anne since 1992. We’ve all experienced the levity and education that’s part of the show. It has an incredible history, starting in 1924. Y’all weren’t around then— CLAPP I didn’t start long after! RALEY Well, probably 40 years later… CLAPP Yes, in the 1960s. RALEY In the beginning, the Raleigh Garden Club ladies would come do a report. CLAPP They were called the Good Garden Ladies of Raleigh. RALEY Then they brought in John Harris, who was a professor at State. He was quite a gentleman and a funny guy. In 1945, John started a 15-minute show called The Tar Heel Gardener. EDMISTEN I listened to it even when I was working for Senator Irvin. RALEY It was an extremely popular show. I was the last person to work with John, and I’m sure I just drove him crazy. It’s amazing how many people’s lives John touched. He’d get letters, and often we’d get dead plants for identification. CLAPP We weren’t sure about some of the things we would find in there! RALEY Yes, people would send insects, too! So John did it until 1985, then management decided they wanted to make it a talk

courtesy Mike Raley

This year, WPTF’s Weekend Gardener celebrates 35 years. We asked its longtime hosts to share some memories.


show. Irv Evans was brought in because he was an extension manager in Wake County. So they made it into a 30-minute talk show, then at some point the name changed to The Weekend Gardener, and it evolved into three hours. Anne was a master gardener, that’s how you became a part of the show. CLAPP I was filling in because Irv was having voice problems at that point. RALEY And he recommended you take over in 1992. CLAPP What’s amazing to me is how loyal our listeners are. RALEY Rufus joined us in 2006. If you had told me that Rufus Edmisten, who’d been attorney general and secretary of state, would want to do a gardening show, I would have said you were crazy! EDMISTEN I got my gardening interest from my mother. We grew up on a farm, so when we were supposed to go to the back and hoe the cabbage, I would finagle my way into my mother’s garden instead. She was the church flower lady, so if she requested my help, I could get out of the heavy farm work. I can tell you how gardening can affect a person because the 10 years I lived in Washington, I lived in an apartment and it killed my soul! RALEY Houseplants are one thing, but you’re a country boy. EDMISTEN I had a little balcony and it was so hot you could roast corn on the cob out there. I would take frequent trips to the National Arboretum, and when I moved back here, I would ask people if I could have cuttings from their gardens. RALEY That’s something you’ve continued, you share a lot of plants. EDMISTEN It’s being a good gardener. RALEY It’s a Southern tradition! I grew up dreading to pull weeds. EDMISTEN But you know the temperaments of people, and always listen with courtesy and kindness no matter how crazy they may be. RALEY We certainly get all kinds. EDMISTEN We get people who sing, who tell jokes. What’s magical is the ease of being with you and Anne—although I do have to get up earlier and it messes up my Friday night social hour.

RALEY The Saturday morning escape is something I’ve tried to develop, it’s like sitting around the pickle barrel at the country store. We’re just chatting and trying to give people an education and make people feel better—especially today, during the pandemic. EDMISTEN Radio has this sort of mystique about it, often friends ask what Anne or Mike look like, if they’re really good people. They do exist! They are good people! It was a crowning jewel when Governor Perdue awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine to you two, an honor for me to deliver them—and they don’t just give those things away for nothing! RALEY That certainly was a highlight of my career, of my life! Another was when Anne and I were guests of the late Bill Friday on UNC-TV’s North Carolina People. And the fact that I got to work with John those last few years. EDMISTEN You’re a humble person, the show has tremendous ratings and that’s compliments to you for building the groundwork. Because there are lots of other things I could be doing on Saturday morning—like sleeping! RALEY It all comes back to sleeping! EDMISTEN I don’t know the technical names of plants, but I know what will and won’t grow. RALEY Anne can handle those names, she’s got a doctorate in textile chemistry. CLAPP Plant material is hard to keep up with in this day and age! RALEY That’s why we have the experts come in. Another thing I enjoy is our remote broadcasts, one of our first was at the Farmers Market. It’s fun being out with our listeners, we even have groupies—is that cool or what? EDMISTEN I really enjoy the remotes, and I’m occasionally able to share my plants with people. Like my Advent roses, those are something everybody can grow. RALEY Yes, even if you don’t want to! CLAPP It’s a good thing to share! RALEY Another highlight was doing a show at the Governor’s Mansion. EDMISTEN I hated missing that, it was the closest I’d get to being governor. RALEY You’ve been there many times!

“Radio has this sort of mystique about it, often friends ask what Anne or Mike look like, if they’re really good people. They do exist! They are good people!” —Rufus Edmisten There are so many interesting plants there. And there’s a huge fig tree on the Person Street side, I know many people who have gotten cuttings from it. Another highlight was when Governor McCroy declared January 24, 2015 the Weekend Gardener Day. That was our 30th anniversary and the 70th anniversary of the Tar Heel Gardener. We’ve had great national guests on the show, like P. Allen Smith and Mel Bartholomew from Square Foot Gardening. EDMISTEN Back to the pandemic: it’s no secret that garden shops have seen their business increase this year. People are going outside to work, it’s soothing. When you feel all pent up, you can socially distance with your dog in the garden. CLAPP It’s the way a lot of people get relief from a bad day. RALEY Take out anxiety digging holes. CLAPP I can call my plants names. RALEY You’re allowed to cuss in your own garden, just not at the neighbors! CLAPP Of course, the purpose of the show is not just to educate gardeners, but to give them a little escape. EDMISTEN I’ve had people who’ve never lifted a shovel tell me they like the show. CLAPP We try to be friends to listeners. RALEY There are not a lot of things flourishing right now, but Weekend Gardener is, and I think the escape through gardening is the reason. OCTOBER 2020 | 53


HIGH CONTRAST To the right of the front entrance, guests are greeted by a living room with 14-foot ceilings. “I like to work with a chord of three colors— in this case black, oak and copper,” says architect Frank Harmon, “and I wanted to wrap the walls in wood to embrace the house.” Interior designer Kay Jordan enlisted Christian Nonino of CDN Copper & Sheet Metal to create the panels for the fireplace. “Copper is a material that naturally complements fire,” says Jordan, “and adds both glamour and warmth.”

54 | WALTER


&

ALCHEMY BALANCE

Light, scale and ties to nature combine to create Sepi Saidi’s welcoming home

by AYN-MONIQUE KLAHRE photography by KEITH ISAACS OCTOBER 2020 | 55


J

ust off a bustling stretch of Wade Avenue is Sepi Saidi’s home, a window-lined white block, partially obscured by a double row of hedges. The home was designed by architect Frank Harmon and built by Kemp Harris, with interiors by Kay Jordan. It’s both striking and modest, made up of juxtapositions: grand forms finished in warm details, open but inward-looking, cozy but classically modern. When Saidi bought the lot in 2014, she was recently divorced and intent on creating something that felt right just for herself. “Nothing too large, because it was just going to be me,” says Saidi, “but I emphasized that I love being outside.” At the time, Saidi knew Harmon by reputation only. “I found myself gravitating toward modern homes, and I’d respected Frank’s work for a long time,” said Saidi. “He has such an incredible history that I was excited to have a house designed by him.” “Sepi wanted something trim, compact, modern and just for her—that’s how it started,” says Harmon, who noted that her previous home was a more traditional space in Cary. “She wanted space for her grown children to feel comfortable visiting, and a swimming pool to do laps before work.” Harmon designed two options for her, and Saidi chose a U-shaped floor plan oriented around a courtyard with a pool. “We knew it should be inward-looking because this area is changing a lot, with larger houses and apartments going in, and we wanted to make sure it always felt private,” says Harmon. Once the initial design decision was made, Saidi handed over the reins. “That’s what made this project successful,” says Saidi. “I relinquish control when something is not my area of

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expertise—when I hire people I trust, I let them do their work.” Harmon enlisted Harris to work on the construction, and connected Saidi with Jordan to determine the interiors. “Kay is very intuitive about architecture, and she has a great sense of color and texture,” says Harmon. Jordan’s role in the design started as “just the flow and the cabinets,” says Saidi, “but it grew to be everything in the house.” “We just had this magic group of people that worked well together—there was an alchemy that lent to the great success of the project,” says Jordan. Partway through the three-year construction phase, a wrinkle: “We got the house all framed up, then Sepi said she’d like to bring someone else to the meeting—and maybe put in another sink,” says Harmon. “That’s how we knew it was serious.” Jim Lumsden, the “someone else” who’s now her husband, maintains that the home is wholly a reflection of Saidi’s taste and sensibilities, incorporating a few of his ideas. “I said little stuff like, why don’t you make it a two-car garage?” says Lumsden. “I asked her, if we get married, who parks on the street?—but I knew the answer to that!” Today, it’s a home that gracefully maneuvers light and scale, where abundant windows bridge indoors and out, and sunny yellow and aquatic blue brighten up the mostly-neutral palette. Buttoned-up, but welcoming. “There’s this feeling of very sophisticated simplicity,” says Saidi. “It was a great pleasure for me to do such a house for such a remarkable person,” says Harmon, “A house needs to be a portrait of its client. Sepi’s house is like Sepi: open, engaging, outgoing and beautiful.”


NATURAL BALANCE Opposite page: In front of the house, the team planted shrubs on the street side to add privacy without blocking the light. “The landscaping was part of the design from the beginning,” says Harmon. “The first thing you see is the light and the greenery,” says Saidi. This page: “I love seeing the pool when I come in,” says Saidi. It’s straight ahead of the front door, visible through sliding glass doors and a screenedin porch.“The main thing I did that had a lasting impact was to ask, where’s the man cave?” laughs Lumsden. “That ended up turning into the pool house.” It serves as a spot for Lumsden to practice piano and guitar, a workout room and these days, an auxiliary office. “It’s been a godsend during Covid,” says Lumsden. Thanks to old-growth trees and the orientation of the home, the backyard feels totally private. “What’s unique is the grandness of the gesture of the pool from the dining room, looking out to the city,” says Harmon. “It’s rare to get that generosity on a third of an acre.”

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PLAYING WITH SCALE Above: The kitchen counters are lower at the perimeter, higher at the island. “It makes it more comfortable when you’re sitting, and it’s easy to stand there when you’re entertaining,” says Saidi. Jordan enlisted Jeff Dopko to build the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms. The kitchen is “a pure delight,” says Lumsden, “it really is the heart of the home.” Throughout, Jordan chose low-slung furnishings that emphasize the proportions of the home. “We didn’t want to add anything

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that would take away from the seamless connection from inside to outside,” she says. “It’s all so inviting,” agrees Saidi, “there’s no separation between the kitchen, the porch and the pool.” Right: Harmon considers the copper tile in the guest bathroom an unintentional nod to Saidi’s thriftiness.“The house could have easily cost twice as much,” he says. “But Sepi is an engineer, she’s worked for the state government. We didn’t spend a penny more than necessary!”


TK Kyara Franzen, left, the daughter of Elvira Finch, is the youngest grandmother in the series. She says that watching her daughters become mothers has been one of her life’s greatest gifts. “There is no limit to the amount of joy and love each granddaughter has brought into my life,” she says. Franzen’s confident sense of style is inspired by fashion icons like Coco Rocha and Carmen Dell’Orefice. She says that being fabulous is about embracing how she looks and feels.

LIGHT & DARK In the living room, Harmon sliced a portion out of the wall to let in the light. “I can see the clouds and sky from that opening,” says Saidi. The effect was repeated at the kitchen island, where a cutout under the countertop reveals the shape of the stools and opens it up. “These little open spaces that Frank designed give a unique feel to the space,” says Saidi. Jordan found the Peter Butler painting over the sofa at The Mahler Fine Art. “Kay walked in with it and put it up, and I immediately fell in love,” says Saidi. This space is where Saidi and Lumsden find themselves in the evenings. “We commune on the floor with a glass of wine and talk about things,” he says. Lumsden particularly loves the sound in the room. “The piano sounds so good in there, and so do voices,” he says. “When we have wild Iranian and Indian and American parties, people love to get in there and sing and play.”

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CONCEAL & REVEAL “One of my things is to make at least half of the house one room—it creates a sort of landscape,” says Harmon. Open shelves define the kitchen and a slatted panel separates the dining area from the front entry and living room, creating cozier spaces within the larger footprint. “I like to lie down on the floor and look up at the architectural details of the house,” says Lumsden, “every time I do that, I see something I’ve never seen before, like an unsupported corner or a new pattern in the ceiling.” The wood paneling “complements the volume of the living room but also adds warmth to it,” says Jordan. “The way the ceiling rises you feel like you just want to take a big breath.”

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GUEST READY Past the kitchen, the southern wing of the home includes two guest rooms and a family room that incorporates a work area (opposite page) with windows overlooking the street. “It’s a place to flop and veg out, it works very well,” says Lumsden. The bright yellow wall in the stairwell to the second floor strikes a playful note, and echoes the color of the Ellsworth Kelly piece in the living room on the opposite end of the home. This wing has its own entrance, which Lumsden says is “mostly for the kids coming in from the pool or with their dogs.”

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NATURAL RETREAT The master suite is beyond the living room; Harmon made the ceilings lower in the bedrooms to make them feel more intimate. The master bedroom is oriented toward a view of the pool, where tall, narrow windows let in light and glimpses of nature. “I love to read in the chair and look at the greenery,” says Saidi. “Sepi wanted the design to have a seamless visual connection with the outdoors,” says Jordan, who echoed natural elements with wallpaper behind the bed. In the master bathroom, a high window brings in light without compromising privacy. Here, Jordan ran tile from the shower all the way to the ceiling. “It feels like a spa,” says Saidi.

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Meredith and Chandler Rose salvaged the floors and staircase in the foyer of their Dixie Trail Avenue home during its gut renovation.

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A gut renovation on a Dixie Trail home gives it new life

HISTORY LOVES COMPANY by ADDIE LADNER photography by CATHERINE NGUYEN

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“We like to breathe new life into old things,” says Meredith Rose, sitting in her airy, all-white kitchen. She shares her University Park home with her husband, Chandler, and their daughters Madeline and Eleanor. The three-level, 3,000-square-foot home was built in 1928 and is tucked off of Dixie Trail Avenue. Since the Rose family purchased it in 2013, the rectangular brick house has gone from outdated and lifeless to playful yet sophisticated, humming with Sunday bacon-and-egg breakfasts and pet caterpillars, all on a classic backdrop of

blues and cream. The decision to buy the house was an easy one: Meredith Rose remembers standing on the property when she noticed a fountain original to the house, covered in vines. It intrigued her; there must be a story there (she later learned it had once been a muscadine vineyard). Beyond that, the whole home had a feeling of serenity. “There I was, in the heart of University Park, a short distance from downtown, but it felt so peaceful and secluded,” she says. A history lover, the story of the home piqued her curiosity. Arthur Lloyd Fletcher (not to be confused with his brother, A.J. Fletcher, who founded

Capitol Broadcasting Company) commissioned the house. Fletcher was the North Carolina Labor Commissioner and an Army Colonel in the 1930s, and also reported on the war for The Raleigh News & Observer. He and his wife lived on the property until their passing in the 1960s and 1970s. Then it belonged to several generations of the Croom family (though their history is not known to the Roses). So technically, the Roses are only the third owners of the home. The couple will tell you they love a good renovation project; in fact, the Dixie Trail home is the third one the Roses have done together. “I love the old home remodels. I like to look at something and OCTOBER 2020 | 65


see how to tweak it but keep some of its originality,” she says. And while renovating isn’t what they do for their day jobs (they’re entrepreneurs and philanthropists in the retail service industry) the two come with some knowledge of the trade: Meredith Rose studied commercial interior design in college and Chandler Rose grew up the son of a commercial plumber, gleaning a wealth of knowledge when it comes to home builds and their inner workings. However, no prior experience or project would compare to this one. To say the house needed a lot of work is an understatement. The foyer ceiling was falling through and the foundation needed to be redone. Many of the windows had lead paint and the plumbing and electrical both needed to be fully replaced. The list went on, but the Roses were up for the challenge. This house and its deep history had their names on it. “We wanted to be able to qualify for some historical markers, but it needed so much work,” Meredith Rose says. The couple worked closely with local builder Greg Paul of Greg Paul Builders, who—after the initial consultation—said they could keep the stairs and the walls, but the rest needed gutting down to the studs. They had to forgo the markers, “but we got to keep the squeaky floors!” laughs Chandler Rose. And in some ways, this created a blank slate for the family. “Once we realized it would be nearly impossible and way too expensive to do an official restoration project, we were able to make it the exact house we wanted,” Meredith Rose says. She studied the original blueprints of the house, noting layouts and details that had the potential to be unearthed and re-integrated, playing architect and designer. She drew all the renderings for the massive remodel herself. “It’s pretty rare for an owner to be a designer,” says Paul. “But she has some professional training, and they both have really good taste and knew what they wanted. My job was to make sure what it all would work.” One example: Meredith Rose wanted to add a back porch on to the home, with tall French doors that would replace what was there already, a wall with two smaller

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Meredith Rose designed the kitchen (left). Originally a galley-style space, it now includes a spacious island, marble countertops and white cabinetry with classic detailing. A nearby breakfast nook (above right) looks out to the backyard and guest house. “Next to the kitchen, this is the most-used spot in the house,” says Meredith Rose. During the renovation, they discovered an original phone box (right). Today it displays a print of a Scottish prayer that hung in Meredith Rose’s childhood home.

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windows. “But it had a whole story of brick above it,” says Paul. Because it would be such a large opening, Paul put in a steel beam and reworked the brick on the exterior. “Greg reworked the design to add a gap between one door and window for it to be supported properly,” she says. “We had to make things structurally possible,” says Paul. “She dreamed it. I built it.” The vision came to life after about six months of tedious work, with much of the initial demolition done by the Roses themselves. Throughout the home, Meredith Rose reworked layouts, finding new purposes in dated spaces to make them work for their young family. They opened up the kitchen from a small, galley-style space into a sun-filled room that adjoins the dining area. The dress68 | WALTER

ing room off the master bedroom gave square footage to a generous master bathroom, done in a style original to the house, and an enclosed sunroom transformed into a stately study. The finished attic became a playroom for the kids, perfect for dress-up and make-believe, with an office connected to it. As the Roses uncovered architectural elements from the past, they worked to preserve them: taking down the wooden corbels in the foyer to touch up and reinstall, for example, and reworking a former telephone box as a display nook. And finally, finishing touches: family heirlooms, framed photos, handmade pieces and elegant furnishings that lend the home its welcome charm. Meredith Rose says, “I wanted it to be comfortable and family-friendly.”


The library (left) was originally a study. Today, the warmly-lit navy blue room boasts built-in shelves that display books and pipes passed down by Meredith Rose’s grandfather, and an original map of Raleigh from 1872. The chandelier in the library is original to the house; the Roses refurbished it. The dining room (right) is adorned with family heirlooms, like a dining room table that belonged to Chandler Rose’s parents and vintage hobnail glassware.

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The cozy living room (above left) is filled with antiques and gold accents. In the front hallway (far left), the couple added in paneling to give the home an old-world look. What’s now the master bathroom (near left) was originally the master bedroom closet, but has been redone with 1920s styling and a clawfoot tub. In the master bedroom (this page) Meredith Rose merged the couple’s aesthetics. “Chandler is much more on the traditional side and has a masculine style while I like airy, classic and clean lines. Our bedroom was a challenge, but we found a way to marry our two styles,” says Meredith Rose. On the walls are photos from the couple’s travels.

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Youngest daughter Eleanor’s bedroom (above left and below near left) melds feminine details and a mix of whimsical patterns to soften the all-white furnishings. Older daughter Madeline (bottom left), shown in her bedroom, plays with a pink rotary phone that once belonged to Meredith Rose’s grandmother, who worked for Western Electric. The back yard (right) includes terraced pathways and abundant roses. At the far back of the property sits a fountain original to the home that the family revived. They used cobblestones unearthed during the renovation to line the walkways.

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An inviting layout and thoughtful plantings bring beauty and tranquility

a garden for all

SEASONS by LORI D. R. WIGGINS photography by KATE MEDLEY

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In Lorrie Hareza and Brent Edwards’ back yard, the south-facing patio opens up to a space designed to foster tranquility and a connection to nature, and to be beautiful year-round. “We wanted to always have the morning sun,” says Hareza.

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orrie Hareza and Brent Edwards have been on a journey to transform the backyard of their Youngsville home into a place of peaceful refuge, joy and connectivity; a place where nature answers the invitation to unveil the life she cradles. The couple has been working on their backyard since March of 2019, shortly after they moved into the home. To plan their garden, the couple enlisted Mary Pat Peters of CenterPeace Garden Design, then used landscape architect Mike Bruton of Norwood Road Garden Center to help bring it to fruition. The garden on the quarter-acre lot extends about 30 feet from the back door and is split by a large patio, with a southern exposure and a woodline they plan to maintain without fencing. But it all starts with a cobblestone path that Hareza calls “the beginning of the journey.” She adds, “I don’t think we ever arrive; I think our lives are a continual journey.” For Edwards, the journey began with the word garden. “I’m not a gardener,” says Edwards. “I had not ever grown vegetables in my life and I had no idea about plants, but now I can probably identify 70 percent of what’s out there. Lorrie’s turned me into a gardener!” Hareza and Edwards completed building the garden structure and planting shrubs last November, then the planting— and replanting, changing and modifying—started in March, Hareza says. “Our biggest thing was not only our privacy, but to respect our neighbor’s privacy on each side and also give them something beautiful to look at,” she says. Peters listened and planned accordingly. “I didn't just want it to be a garden that bloomed and then was not very interesting for the rest of the year,” she says. “If a garden is interesting and dynamic, then the person that is in the garden tends to pay attention to what’s there and the changes that take place on a daily basis, through seasons, and over the years, and it encourages a mindful way of living and being.” That meant choosing an array of plants that offer something for every season: plants with autumn foliage; shrubs and trees with branching patterns that show beauty when the leaves fall in the winter; and evergreen shrubs that provide structure any time of year. Many of the plantings offer beauty year-round, like Kousa dogwood, which offers spring flowers, summer berries (a bird favorite), vibrant fall color and impressive bark for winter enjoyment. Fragrant gardenia blooms in the summer, and camellia brings winter blossoms. For spring, there’s bigleaf and oakleaf hydrangeas, and flowering quince. Beyond that, the perennials are the garden’s crayons: purple cone flowers, yellow coreopsis and daylilies, and the white blooms of garden phlox. For balance in height, color and bloom time, Peters suggested things like the silvery-gray artemisia; a stone crop that flowers in the summer and blooms in the fall; white and pink peonies for early- to mid-spring blooms; golden heliopsis; and ornamental grasses whose leaves wave beautifully in the wind, whether flowering in the sum-

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The back patio offers a place for just the couple—“Every night, Brent and I light a fire, and contemplate the day,” says Hareza—as well as guests and wild critters. A favorite is Gertie the spider. Each night, Hareza said, Gertie eats the zipper-like weave in her web, where she lays and eats during the day, to “clean up.” Overnight, she re-weaves that portion of the web, fresh for the new dawn.

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“When COVID arrived and the world seemed to grow dim, I knew I wanted to approach this project with enthusiasm,” Hareza said. “The garden has been a labor of love.” Edwards agrees: “It’s truly become a retreat,” he says. “We just don’t have to leave home to get there.”

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mer or browning through winter. The garden is a haven with benefits beyond the aesthetic. “The garden is definitely healing,” Hareza said. “It brings Brent and me together for a purpose. We entertain in our yard and invite people to walk through the garden.” Many comment not only about its beauty, Hareza said, but also about the calmness it brings them. And they have company. Every day. Initially, “that startled us,” Hareza quips, referring to the dozens of large dragonflies darting around her garden, among other critters. But as Hareza researched their wild guests, she found they had a purpose: having creatures fly over your house, she learned, signals transformation— change is in the air. Bumblebees reflect the sun, drawing energy and personal power; hummingbirds remind us of the sweetness in life; monarch butterflies symbolize spirituality and rebirth. A foursome of hummingbirds “dive, wrestle and toss in the air to entertain us all day,” Hareza says. “They give us quite a show.” And then there’s Gertie: she’s a yellow garden spider who brings luck to the garden—and a sense of home. Hareza says she embraces nature’s messages “as we direct power and energy back into the plants.” She notes how the couple’s focus on gardening coincided with the worldwide pandemic. “It has brought us hope,” she says. “It’s an opportunity to rethink everything that is going on in the world. I believe all these creatures came to heal what’s wrong in the world.” Peters also believes it’s important to build a garden that’s friendly to wildlife. “You’re doing something healthy for the natural environment by providing food sources and homes for these animals,” Peters says. “You’re also making a place where mindfulness means being very much in the presence of nature.” And it’s just the tranquility Hareza and Edwards imagined.

You already

have talent. Now you want to develop it.

At Saint Mary’s School, you can explore your creative side as you build a solid liberal arts foundation. Our integrated approach in the classroom means the arts find their way into almost any subject, providing endless inspiration and opportunity, whether on campus or online. Your ideas matter. We can help you express them. Find what you need at sms.edu/talent.


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BALANCING BOUNTY Will Hooker and Jeana Myers grow hundreds of cultivars—he handles fruit trees and perennials, she’s in charge of the vegetables. Combined, they spend more then 20 hours a week in the yard. “Jeana is really the gardener,” Hooker says, but Myers says he is the teacher. “He has a true gift.”

FULL CIRCLE Finding sustainability and community in Will Hooker and Jeana Myers’ downtown oasis by JESSIE AMMONS RUMBLEY photography by LIZ CONDO

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FRUITFUL WELCOME Persimmon trees greet visitors near the garden’s entrance (left). “This is one of our favorite trees,” says Myers. “They’re low maintenance and fruit comes at the end of October.” Elderberry and chestnut are among the other trees, and muscadine grapes (near right) create an arbor on the deck. “We’re too close to the road to have a roof, so we get shade from the vine,” Hooker explains. “It’s combining functions: the grapevine is shade and we have food from it. We harvest a ton of grapes.”

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A

round a hairpin turn in the Kirby-Bilyeu neighborhood sits a charming white house with teal-and-blue trim—but what you’ll notice first is the yard. Overflowing with greenery, there’s hardly any grass in sight. Instead, there are fruit and nut trees (chestnuts, pecan, fig, persimmon), grape vines, flowers, herbs and a massive vegetable garden. It’s just one-third of an acre, but the plot provides everything Will Hooker and Jeana Myers’ family needs, as well as plenty to share. “For most of the year, we have a salad every night from the garden,” Hooker says. Their yard is an urban homestead that has inspired a community far beyond Raleigh. Hooker is something of a guru in the field of permaculture, a sustainable design philosophy that originated in Australia in the 1970s. The retired North Carolina State University professor was teaching landscape architecture in the early 1990s when he took a year-long sabbatical, biked across the nation, and returned more passionate about sustainability than ever before. “The thing that struck me was that, as I bicycled everywhere, I didn’t see anybody out on the land,” Hooker says. “It concerned me because no one was paying attention.” Meanwhile, Hooker and his wife, Wake County Horticulture Extension Agent Jeana Myers, had just bought their Kirby Street house and started a small garden. Soon after, he earned his Permaculture Design Certificate and returned to the classroom, infusing ecological design courses with permaculture principles. But these are put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is principles, and Hooker needed his students to see them in action. So he and Myers designed their garden as a model. “When it was put together, it was put together for my students,” Hooker says. Now, more than 25 years later, it’s a celebrated example of the abundance that can come from, as Hooker says, “the revolution of common sense.” That, and passion—while Hooker did most of the design, it’s Myers who keeps the garden OCTOBER OCTOBER2020 2020|| 00 83


EDIBLE LANDSCAPE Much of Myers and Hooker’s yard is what landscape architects call “edible landscape,” full of native fruit, vegetable, herb and nut species. For many years, they also raised chickens, but have phased them out as they’ve started to downsize. “Permaculture recommends that you have an animal in the cycle,” says Myers. “They were integral for a long time.” Besides providing eggs, the chickens were fed vegetable compost and ate pests, and their waste became fertilizer. “It’s this wonderful cycle.”

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humming, devoting 10 or more hours each week. “It’s Jeana’s passion,” Hooker says. “My mission is to bring good design to permaculture. She keeps it going.” A cornerstone of permaculture is the interdependence of plants, animals and natural forces like water, rain and sunlight. The idea is to think sensibly about every single plant and structure to maximize efficiency: use vining plants for shade cover and weave them into fences, collect water for irrigation, compost. “It’s an umbrella of thinking that deals with all aspects of living,” Hooker says. In this year of upheaval, the garden has flourished—a steady, calming comfort and apt reminder of the comforts of the land. The couple have long loved their close-knit neighborhood and Raleigh community and kept their garden gates open for both, hosting impromptu happy hours on the patio and, years ago, when the neighborhood children were younger, firing pizzas in an outdoor oven built by Hooker’s students. With their children grown and careers winding down, Hooker and Myers are pondering their next project, scaling down the garden, which will take many years. But they won’t go anywhere. And for now, they’re relishing the time to slow down and pay attention—right in their own backyard.


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Lyudmila Tomova merges formal training with sheer intuition in her vibrant paintings

MAKING IMPRESSIONS by JESSIE AMMONS RUMBLEY photography by JOSHUA STEADMAN

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Above: A Girl Named Leatus. Opposite. Tomova in her home. Even though she has a designated studio, she says she frequently uses her entire home to create. “I thought to myself: Who needs a house? I can just turn this whole thing into a studio,” says Tomova.

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yudmila Tomova moves quickly. The artist, who goes by Lucy, creates her complex, vibrant paintings within a few days. To be fair, she can spend up to a week conceptualizing. But when paint hits canvas, it’s go-time. “When I paint, I’m so full of energy,” says Tomova. “I paint very fast and I throw everything in. My whole body is involved in this thing.” Her pieces reflect that spirit. Vivid watercolors seem to move and dance around their subjects; oil paintings are at once detailed and abstract. Tomova says she relies on her “rigorous” formal art training, combined with sheer intuition, to strike the right balance. “My style is 88 | WALTER

expressive yet realistic yet impressionistic, with some deeper psychological nuances.” Tomova has settled into her creative sweet spot here. She works from a home studio in Cary, paintings-in-progress stacked all over the sunny house she shares with her two children, plus their cat and bearded dragon. The work often happens outside of her dedicated upstairs easel space—the living room and hallway nooks are also fair game. “I thought to myself: Who needs a house? I can just turn this whole thing into a studio,” Tomova laughs. Tomova is originally from Bulgaria and lived in New York City for 20 years before moving to the Triangle in 2010. It turned out to be a perfect match. She moved for a slower pace of life, but was

pleasantly surprised by the art culture she found. “I thought I would be sacrificing some of the art world when we moved, but there is a lot going on here,” she says. What’s more, she sees the North Carolina art community as gracious and open-minded. “There’s an almost uncorrupt view, a pure appreciation of realism and of all artistic styles.” Bolstered by the artists she met and galleries she experienced soon after moving, Tomova decided to make a living here by painting in the way that she loves. In New York, she says, she learned to multitask, dabbling in graphic design, editorial illustration and the traditional oil painting she studied in art school, first in Bulgaria and then at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Along


“I can’t limit myself. My niche is being diverse. The unifying factor is my style.” —Lyudmila Tomova

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Lyudmila Tomova shows a few of her watercolor pieces.

the way, she says, she lost sight of her own preferences. It was an exciting adventure, she clarifies, but one that was a relief to conclude. “I’ve gone through so many transformations. When I moved here, I decided to just do what I do best.” Tomova welcomes change, taking it all in stride. She says every transformation culminated in the work she’s been creating for the past ten years. “After I moved to North Carolina, I almost made a full circle. But not quite, because it’s not that I went back, I went to another level.” Her work has been garnering local, national and international attention. In early 2020, the Guggenheim Museum’s Nat Trotman selected one of her pieces, Fearless and 00 | WALTER 90

Free, for the 2020 North Carolina Artists Exhibition. Her Apotheosis exhibit at Apex’s Halle Cultural Center runs through mid-month, and currently Tomova has paintings on display at two juried exhibits, In the Wind at the National Watercolor Society’s The First Hundred Years exhibition (online, through February 20, 2021) and In the Light at Watercolor Society of North Carolina’s 2020 Annual Juried Exhibition (online, through November 21). True to character, while Tomova's settled into her style, she’s not too settled. “I want to always be spontaneous in my work,” Tomova says. It’s why she won’t pick a favorite medium or give up the freelance graphic design and illustration

she occasionally continues on the side. And it’s why she peppers her personal and commissioned work with live painting at weddings and events, teaching at local community centers and participating in plein air competitions. “I know, as artists, we’re supposed to have a niche—but I just can’t,” she says. “I can’t limit myself. My niche is being diverse. The unifying factor is my style.” SEE A PAINTING DEMONSTRATION Watch a video of Lyudmila Tomova creating her work on waltermagazine.com


Clockwise from top left: Ballerina 1; Ascension; Fearless and Free, which was selected for the 2020 North Carolina Artists Exhibition; The Streets of China.

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THE WHIRL WALTER’s roundup of socially distanced gatherings and celebrations around the Triangle.

TK

The Patriot Guard Riders of North Carolina honors the West family.

94 WALTER Pre-WINnovation Workshop 94 Greek Night at Parizade 95 West Family Home Dedication 95 Socially-Distanced Wedding Day 96 Celebrating 1,000 Miles 96 Vermillion Fall Fashion Show

During this time of social distancing, we want to see how you are staying connected with your community. Submit images on our website waltermagazine.com.

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THE WHIRL PRE-WINNOVATION WORKSHOP On August 26, WALTER held a virtual professional development workshop on the theme of Experience Design featuring certified experience economy expert Danielle Galmore of Questa Consulting.

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Danielle Galmore

Danielle Galmore

GREEK NIGHT AT PARIZADE On September 13th, a breezy Sunday night, restaurateur Giorgios Bakatsias hosted a Grecian celebration of wine, food and entertainment at his Durham restaurant, Parizade, for the 28th year in a row.

Giorgios Bakatsias, dancer


WEST FAMILY HOME DEDICATION On September 11, Tunnels to Towers board member John LaBarbera, a retired FDNY Battalion Commander, and national communication engagement coordinator Andrew McClure honored the service and sacrifice of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Matthew J. West by giving his widow and children a new home.

828.261.4776 • 2220 Hwy 70 SE, Hickory, NC 28602 amishoakandcherry.com

Hickory Furniture Mart • South Side • Level 2

every day is casual friday. Clockwise from top: Andrew McClure, Tyler West, Joseph West, Annaliese West, Carolyn West

SOCIALLY-DISTANCED WEDDING DAY On May 16, Parker Davis and Jake Parrott celebrated what was supposed to be the day of their wedding at Christ Church with an intimate group—and fancied-up chocolate cake from Whole Foods—at home.

New Lovecyled Collection from MerSea

Jake Parrott, Parker Davis nofo @ the pig | 2014 fairview road | 919.821.1240 | www.nofo.com


THE WHIRL CELEBRATING 1,000 MILES “At the beginning of the pandemic, my husband Kevin decided to start running every day,” says Suzanne Haight. “In the rain, heat and humidity he kept going. We are so proud of him!” On September 6, Kevin Haight and family celebrated 178 straight days and 1,000 miles completed with signs from The Lawn Ladies.

Kevin Haight, Suzanne Haight, Abigail Haight

@WalterMagazine waltermagazine.com

VERMILLION FALL FASHION SHOW On September 10, Vermillion debuted its fall collection to a socially-distanced crowd. “We knew this show wouldn’t look the same as it has for the last 15 years,” says Ashley Vermillion Webb. The show benefited No Kid Hungry.

Katarina Pavic, Celeste Green

Jean Lembke (RUNNING); Eve Hobgood of Eve Simone Photography (FASHION)

let’s socialize


CO MIN G I N

NOVEMBER 2020 Matt Register’s Italian-meets-Southern Thanksgiving GIVE LOCAL 25 Organizations to Support This Year Find fresh stories at waltermagazine.com

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oodland sprites have been popping into flower beds, perching on fire hydrants and posting up on telephone poles on London Drive and Eton Road in Raleigh’s Budleigh neighborhood since the beginning of the pandemic. In fact, almost every yard on these two streets has been graced by a cute garden gnome over the past few months. Dubbed the “Gnomes of London & Eton,” the dozens of tiny elves are overseen by Momma and Papa Gnome, also known as Gnomeo and Juliet. Generally perceived as good luck and protectors over evil, the gnomes secretly travel from home to home, moving throughout the streets to spread cheer—and neighborhood residents have been pleased to “hang with the gnomies.” Gnomeo and Juliet are said to be super-shy, but authorized gnome Clarence to speak on their behalf. According to Clarence, the gnomes are made in a small underground workshop, and each of the four-inch protectors represents a relative, sibling or favorite person in their Gnome World. (Gnomeo and Juliet are the only height exceptions, at about eight inches tall.) “As I understand it, Juliet and Gnomeo thought the young people—and their parents—on London Drive and Eton Road needed a bit of hopeful fun during this time of great uncertainty and stress,” says Clarence. “So, at the suggestion of a wise school teacher, they asked some of the gnomes in the area to add a little magic to everyday life.” — Melissa Howsam

98 | WALTER

Courtesy Gnome Clarence

no place like GNOME


4401 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27612

(919) 571-2881

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www.diamondsdirect.com

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Innovation.

It’s feeling the pulse of the next level of cardiac care and wellness. It’s seeing possibilitiies where others see roadblocks. Pioneering new minimally invasive procedures and ro obotic-assisted surgeries. Transforming theory into curative strateg gies. Even more ore tthan han that, however, itt’ss passion, com compassion, experien nce, experrtise and technology. All joiiniing forces to createe a special placee where innovatiion savess lives. Vissit us at wake emed.o org/he e ar t s .

Your heart. Your choice.


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