WALTER Magazine - October 2021

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The Art & Soul of Raleigh

Home& Garden ISSUE



Every Woman Wants a Bailey Box Raleigh | Rocky Mount | Greenville | Los Angeles



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Volume X, Issue 2 OCTOBER 2021

OUR TOWN 27 30

SPORTS: The Perfect Storm Rod Brind’Amour is home in Raleigh


EXPLORE: Mountain View The unique call of Hemlock Bluffs


41 45


MUSIC: On Message M.C. Taylor sings hope, angst, and joy


SIMPLE LIFE: The Last Ride An ode to a legendary car


NOTED: On Politics Bland Simpson learns from dad


Editor’s Letter

FOOD: Fine Dining Chefs Chris Lopez and John Kleinert’s latest adventure in restaurants




Your Feedback



CREATORS: Time Capsule in Jazz A beat poet turned photographer


The Whirl


End Note

TRADITIONS: Nightmare on Elm Street A super spooky outdoor scheme

On the cover: Bryan Nunes and Rachael Ford’s home. Photography by Catherine Nguyen.


Mallory Cash (MARTINEZ); Joshua Steadman (FRANK N. STEIN)


Raleigh Location 6616 Fleetwood Drive Appointment Only

Apex Location 123 North Salem Street 919.363.6990



74 12 | WALTER


Advice on Nighttime Caregiving by Benjamin Cutler


Earth Spirit C.J. Dykes has spent decades cultivating his sanctuary by Colony Little photography by Jaclyn Morgan


Let it Shine Brittany Roux designs a home that’s moody, glam, and utterly livable by Ayn-Monique Klahre photography by Catherine Nguyen


Artful Living Kay Crowder’s well-curated home is an homage to her late husband, architect Thomas Crowder by Addie Ladner photography by Trey Thomas

Trey Thomas (CROWDER HOME); Jaclyn Morgan (DYKES)


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Left: This is Stan — or as my children jokingly call him, “Zombie Cat” — and he lives in the haunted house on page 45. Right: Laura Wall, Kay Crowder, and Addie Ladner at the photo shoot for Kay’s home (page 74).


y family moved to Raleigh four years ago, in the dead of August. We’d sought out Historic Oakwood for its old homes and proximity to downtown — the closest we could get to the vibe we’d loved in Brooklyn. But despite living about 20 feet from each of our neighbors, we didn’t see a soul for the first week or two. Where was everybody? It was spooky. Now, we know: either at the mountains or the beach — to escape the oppressive heat and humidity — or inside cranking the the A.C. But once people started trickling back in, we kept getting the same question after the first round of where’re-you-froms: Has anyone told you about Halloween in Oakwood? Yes, everyone had. And it’s really a thing. It starts about mid-September, with the most enthusiastic houses putting out their skeletons, zombies, and witches. (Full disclosure: my kids have had a skeleton sitting on the front porch since late August.) By midOctober, the neighborhood is fully decked in all sorts of takes on Halloween, from the tasteful murder of crows along one Mansard roof to the punny headstones in a front yard to a porch full of inflatables to the giant Tyrannosaurus Rex (OK, that last one is there year-round). My family now has a tradition of going on a post-dinner walk almost every night in October. For my young daughters, knowing exactly what to expect — which werewolf howls periodically, which witch is going to lift her head and cackle as you walk by — makes the actual Halloween night a little less scary. In a normal year, the trick-or-treaters start just after school and run steadily until well after dark, over a thousand kids in the course of the evening. They get older as the hours grow later, the princesses and comic-book characters making way for vampires and zombies (but they’re all equally excited for candy). It doesn’t seem like we’ll be back to full-steam Halloween this year, but I’m confident that my neighborhood will still get into the spirit. And we, obviously, can’t wait.

5634 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham, NC

Beauty, Artistry & Tradition FOR OVER 40 YEARS

Ayn-Monique Klahre Editor


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CATHERINE CURRIN / W R I TE R Catherine Currin is a Raleigh native and loves telling the stories of her city. By day, she fundraises at local nonprofit The Green Chair Project, and has been moonlighting as a writer since leaving her post as WALTER’s Associate Editor. In her free time, she enjoys bingewatching television, eating her way through Raleigh, and getting involved with other nonprofits like CASA and the YMCA of the Triangle. This month, she interviewed the chefs behind Fine Folk. “Getting a look behind the curtain at Fine Folk made Chris and John’s food all the more fun. The creativity allows for a delicious menu that keeps you craving their popup week after week. I can’t wait to dine in the new space!”

Music and Lyrics by Dolly Parton Book by Patricia Resnick Directed by Eric Woodall

October 12-17, 2021 Raleigh Memorial Auditorium


Lauren Kennedy

Featuring Raleigh native Lauren Kennedy as “Violet,” with a special guest appearance by Ira David Wood III as “Chairman of the Board”

Ira David Wood III

Book Now at NCTHEATRE.COM North Carolina Theatre is funded in part by the City of Raleigh based on recommendations of the Raleigh Arts Commission.

P HOTO G R A P HE R Catherine Nguyen is a Raleighbased photographer specializing in residential and commercial interior and exterior design. After starting her career in branding and marketing in her hometown of New York City, Catherine decided to pursue photography at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Her work has been published in Flower, Home Design & Decor, and California Home and Design. “The Roux MacNeill team has such wonderful energy. They created a home that is lush, luxe, and livable. It was such a pleasure to collaborate with such talent.”

TREY THOMAS / P HOTO GR A PH ER A lifelong passion for architecture and design coupled with a serious love of photography led Trey Thomas to switch careers in 2012 to focus exclusively on interiors and architectural photography. A longtime resident of downtown Raleigh, Thomas loves the excitement that comes from being a short walk from one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. “The Crowder home is, in itself, a work of art. That’s that only thing that could take one’s mind off the ‘actual’ works of art that Kay has curated. Simply incredible!”

Courtesy contributors (KLAHRE, CURRIN, THOMAS); Jillan Clark (NGUYEN)

JOSH KLAHRE / W R I TE R Josh Klahre is a freelance writer based in downtown Raleigh. He’s been published in Esquire, GQ, Interview, GIANT, and others. He moved here four years ago after 16 years of residency in New York City. He spends most of his free time exploring the area, discovering music, trying not to do irreparable damage through ‘home improvements’ on his historic home, and spending quality time with his family. “It was great to connect with Coach Rod Brind’Amour and have a talk about his experiences as a Raleighite. For an absolute hockey legend, he was so accommodating with his time and access. I think the Hurricanes’ Captain, Jordan Staal, summed up his character perfectly: honest and true.”

FEEDBACK We love to hear from you! Tag us when you’re out and about — or cozied up at home with WALTER. “Nice piece in WALTER. I’ve been a Goodberry’s addict — er, fan — since the first one opened on Kildaire Farm Road (my daughter was a little girl then, now in her 30s!). I just wanted to offer my compliments.” —Greg Cox

Retirement living. Better than you ever imagined.

“Eternally Fall was a great article to read heading into college football season — the best time of the year!” — @lazehancaster, via Twitter

Welcome to a life that’s anything but ordinary. When you live at The Cypress, Raleigh’s preeminent Life Plan Community, Carole Hollowell sees the September cover for the first time. “Thank you for such a beautiful article! I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for the generous feature. It is a beautiful layout and amazing article. Your descriptions of my home and style are absolutely spot on. I am so honored to be in the magazine and appreciate WALTER’s dedication to the Triangle, our community, and small businesses. After a very challenging year, this sure is a bright spot for me and my team.” — Carole Hollowell


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OUR TOWN Bluegrass, bike rides, and some boo-tiful ways to celebrate Halloween? Must be October in Raleigh!

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October 4 | See websites for times Each year on October 4, Christians around the world honor the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, known as the patron saint of animals. At many churches, it’s an opportunity for parishioners to bring their beloved pets in for a blessing, from

dogs and cats to fish and lizards. Local places of worship around the Triangle that will hold a special ceremony include Duke University Chapel (401 Chapel Drive, Durham,, Fairmont United Methodist Church (2501

Clark Avenue,, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church (11401 Leesville Road,, and Saint Michael the Archangel (804 High House Road, Cary;

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 23


Oct. 2 - 9 | See website for times Experience our state through a weeklong bike ride from Sparta to North Topsail Beach. Organized by Cycle North Carolina, the annual Mountains to Coast Ride covers a different route each year, and includes campsites, food, and beverage options at each overnight stop, along with luggage transport and bike tech support along the way. From $245; 404 Trojan Avenue, Sparta;


Oct. 1 - 2 | See website for times We can’t wait for the streets to be filled with banjo-strummers, warblers, clogdancers, and bluegrass lovers from all over the country! At this year’s IBMA Bluegrass Live!, enjoy the genre’s finest, including Béla Fleck, Sierra Hull, Justin Moses, and The Del McCoury Band, on the main stage at Red Hat Amphitheater and six outdoor stages around Fayetteville Street. Beyond the music, you can browse a variety of vendors selling goods for the bluegrass professional and fan alike at one of the many vendors. Free general admission; from $25 for some performances; see website for locations;


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Oct. 7 | 7 p.m. Pack a picnic and a lawn chair for a screening of Hocus Pocus at Raleigh Little Theatre. The comedy stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as witches accidentally resurrected on Halloween by a group of kids — who must then save the town from their sorcery. Pay what you can; 301 Pogue Street;


Breaking the stigma of addiction with the power of art — that’s the theme of this fundraiser for Healing Transitions, an organization with a mission to help those struggling with addiction. The event will showcase work by local artists who are in recovery or have been impacted by addiction, interactive art stations, live music, and spoken word testimonies. There will also be non-alcoholic beverages and fellowship opportunities. Windi White, director of development and co-founder of Art of Recovery, teaches painting workshops and art therapy. “I have seen miracles happen during these sessions, and I’m

grateful to have been a small part of their recovery,” she says. The gallery will be packed with her students, including James Y., who said art “helped me to get in touch with my emotions, showed me an understanding of my struggle, and gave me a better chance to begin the rocky road of recovery.” Pay what you can; 1251 Goode Street;

Todd Gunsher (BLUEGRASS); Windi White (PAINTING): Getty Images (HAT)




Oct. 9 - 10 | See website for times A celebration of creators of all stripes, Artsplosure offers a chance to listen to live music from the likes of Son Little, Brittney Spencer, and Aaron Lee Tasjan while exploring more than 175 vendors showcasing their original work in the Art Market. Paintings, photography, pottery, jewelry, and woodwork by local artists will be available for purchase, and little artists-in-training are encouraged to enjoy the free arts and crafts at Kidsplosure. Free; 19 W. Hargett Street;

Pigfish Lane Antiques & Interiors

Courtesy Carolina Ballet (SLEEPY HOLLOW)


Oct. 14 - 24 | See website for times Did you miss The Village of Yesteryear, the smell of smoky grilled corn, or the spectacle of prize-winning produce? Us, too! The North Carolina State Fair is back this year with all the food, rides, games, and agricultural displays it’s known for. Whether you’re steeling your stomach for the Tilt-A-Whirl or a slice of deep-fried pumpkin pie, we agree that, as it’s themed, the fair was “Worth the Wait.”From $10; 4285 Trinity Road;

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Oct. 14 - 31 | See website for times Carolina Ballet’s Artistic Director Zalman Raffael brings Washington Irving’s classic to life at Fletcher Opera Theater this Halloween season. In addition to the tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman, the program will feature a performance of Robert Weiss’ Lady in the White Veil as an opener. After the two ballet performances guests will enjoy a reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. From $27; 2 E. South Street;

PS 118 G A L L E R Y


at PS 118 Photography exhibit curated by John Bechtold

OPENING RECEPTION Sat. Oct. 9; 3– 6pm with guest scholar Noor Ghazi giving a free public talk CURATOR TALK Thurs. Oct. 21; 6– 8pm exhibit runs through Nov. 6


Curated solo and thematic exhibitions amidst rotating works by over 50 established artists and craftspersons from across the Southeast in a range of media and price points, and presented with room to breathe. The galleries feature large amounts of unframed work in print bins and flat file drawers. In addition to Horse & Buggy Press titles, our bookstalls feature artist monographs and select titles by other independent presses. The PS118 stage plays host to literary readings, artist talks, musical performances, trunk shows and more. SKETCHBOOK SHOW — Books by Phil Blank, Catherine Edgerton,

Featuring the work of four emerging Iraqi photographers, the exhibit proceeds from the idea that the best way to learn about a place is through the people who live there. Our purpose is to make another story about Fallujah visible to American audiences, one that departs from its militarized meaning in public memory. Fallujah is not an Iraq War battlefield. It is a place where people work, attend school, and frequent public spaces wanting what we all want, a chance to peaceably choose our lives. After a 21 year career in the U.S. Army, John Bechtold is living his second act of life as an artist and academic. His experiences in Iraq, once as a platoon leader and again as an advisor to the Iraqi Army continue to shape how he sees the world. John is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the American Studies program at UNC-Chapel Hill. His dissertation explores the representation of war in American public memory.


at Broad Street


PS 118

Mixed Media Works by Margaret Sartor, 2016–2021

Frank Harmon, Stephanie Witchger, Ripley Whiteside, and Bethany Bash

CLOSING RECEPTION AT PS118 Sat, Oct 23; 4–6pm

on display through Nov. 6; prints can be ordered from favorite pages.

exhibit runs through Nov. 6



Oct. 29 | 7:30 p.m. Kick off Halloween weekend with the voices of the North Carolina Master Chorale, accompanied by pianist Susan McClaskey Lohr. They’ll perform selections from Bach, Brahms, and Britten, as well as picks from pop and musical theater, under the stained-glass windows at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church. $35; 2209 Fairview Road;

DRESSING THE ABBEY Oct. 23 - Jan. 17, 2022 | See website for times

Experience the glitz and glamor of historical drama sensation Downton Abbey at the North Carolina Museum of History’s Dressing the Abbey exhibit. See 35 original costumes worn by the show’s stars that depict the progression of style of the British aristocracy in the early 20th century. “We are thrilled that the North Carolina Museum of History is able to bring this exhibition to Raleigh. Our visitors and all the adoring fans of Downton Abbey will enjoy seeing the costumes from this award-winning program that so captured the public’s attention,” says museum director Ken Howard. $15; 5 E. Edenton Street;


Courtesy North Carolina Museum of History (DRESS)

Oct. 28 - 30 | See website for times Join the North Carolina Symphony for an epic performance of famed composer John Williams’ scores, including iconic tracks from blockbusters like Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, E.T., and Star Wars. Feel the force as conductor David Glover fills Meymandi Concert Hall with thrilling music. From $25; 2 E. South Street;


on MESSAGE M.C. Taylor captures hope, angst, and joy in two albums this year Chris Frisina



he past few months, Mike “M.C.” Taylor has had a new favorite pastime: taking in how people respond when he tells them about his next move as Hiss Golden Messenger. Titled O Come All Ye Faithful, it is, believe it or not, a bona fide holidayseason album, and it’s coming out this month. “It’s like this year’s big gift for me is hearing people’s reactions,” Taylor says with a laugh. “I have to admit it’s not something I’d been thinking about for a long time or anything.” The idea for the album came during a shopping trip at Target last year, he says: “They were playing this big, brash, uptempo Christmas music that almost screamed, Shop harder! But it was at a time when everyone was really emotionally fatigued. I wanted to respond to that.” For a model, he turned to jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi’s

classic 1965 soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas — “a perfect mix of joyful and sorrowful colors mixed together in an exquisite way,” in Taylor’s estimation — with originals and covers of seasonal chestnuts including “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” and the title track. It is, he notes, the most onrecord mentions of the name “Jesus” he’s ever had on a Hiss Golden Messenger album. On the one hand, this seems like a pretty big curveball in the wake of one’s first-ever Grammy nomination; last year Hiss Golden Messenger was nominated for Best Americana Album with 2019’s Terms of Surrender (though Sarah Jarosz ultimately took the prize with World on the Ground). On the other hand, however, it’s entirely in character for an artist who has had a wholly unconventional career path. A California native, Taylor was a skateboard kid who grew The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 27

M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger M.C

“There’s so much grief, but also moments of hope, joy, and collective action. And I can sing about all of it.”— M.C. Taylor

Andy Tennille (FLAG); Chris Frisina (COVER)


up on hip-hop and hardcore before turning in more of an Americana direction as an adult. In 2007, graduate studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s folklore department drew Taylor to the Triangle, where he set up shop as Hiss Golden Messenger. Taylor has thrived in North Carolina, leading a soulful country-rock band that’s been known to pull in the guest talents of a wide range of artists, from electronic duo Sylvan Esso to folk singing matriarch Alice Gerrard. Taylor’s first critically acclaimed Hiss Golden Messenger album was 2013’s Haw, named after the North Carolina river, with steady rolling undercurrents of life’s day-to-day agonies and ecstasies. Taylor sings as the everyman, his songs typically written in first-person, touching on themes that are on his mind, from work-life balance to politics. He takes his music seriously, but often presents it tongue-in-cheek; even the album titles are self-mocking, like Hallelujah Anyhow (2017) and Quietly Blowing It, released earlier this year. “Calling a record Quietly Blowing It fit where I was at in my life, and also humans as a species,” Taylor says. “There are a lot of ways everybody’s blowing it much more loudly. But the ways we’re blowing it quietly might be more insidious. For me, it’s the ways I’ve failed to communicate clearly enough, or hide inside myself when I should be more engaged with what’s happening around me. I find myself dealing with imposter syndrome a lot. Like, Is what I’m doing making a difference? Is it worth the time away from family? Am I making things in my community worse by chasing after this thing I do, making music?” While it’s not exactly a quarantine record, Quietly Blowing It did emerge out of last year’s coronavirus pandemic. Finding himself at home with unexpected time on his hands in the spring of 2020, Taylor was initially glad to be home with family. But that yielded to unease at the pandemic’s rising worldwide death toll and the issues brought to the fore with protests over the murder of George Floyd. In short order, he was writing another batch of songs. The music on Quietly Blowing It has touches of soothing old-school R&B, with horns adding a hint of big-band brassiness. But Taylor’s angst at the center of it is very real. On the album’s final song, “Sanctuary,” Taylor concludes with an epigram for his work: Feeling bad, feeling blue Can’t get out of my own mind But I know how to sing about it. “My opinion about the state of the world depends on the day,” he says. “Mostly I don’t feel great about it, but I have two kids who will inherit this world someday. It feels incumbent on us older people to do what we can to pass on a place that does not feel as trashed as it does now. There’s so much grief, but also moments of hope, joy, and collective action. And I can sing about all of it.”


The Perfect STORM For over 20 years, Rod Brind’Amour has fueled the growth of hockey in Raleigh

by JOSH KLAHRE photography by BOB KARP


od Brind’Amour’s first impression of Raleigh was, he says, “unusual.” He landed in his new hometown in January of 2000, at the start of a rare winter storm that dropped 20 inches of snow in 24 hours. The city was in chaos. And Brind’Amour was trapped in a hotel room on Creedmoor Road for two weeks, with an overnight bag and little else — including, or rather, excluding, his wallet. The circumstances that led to this predicament fit into a ‘perfect storm’ trope: while on a one-day road trip to Pittsburgh with his former team, the Philadelphia Flyers, Brind’Amour learned that he’d been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes. As is common in pro hockey, the expectation was that he would report to his new team immediately. So


he did, hopping a chartered flight back when you could get on without having to present an ID. Coming out of his first game with his new team, “the snow was just coming down and we got snowed in.” “I was able to bum money until I got my stuff, but I had to go out and get groceries just to make do,” he says. He ventured out to the store to stock up, wearing just a suit and dress shoes, the heaviest clothing in his bag. There, he encountered a line that extended out of the door (in keeping with Raleigh’s reaction to even a flurry). He remembers people in the line bundled up in winter coats studying him, then pushing him up to the front of the line. “No one even knew who I was,” he says, “and I just thought to myself, this wouldn’t happen in Philadelphia — everything’s a little different here, in a positive way!”

Raised in British Columbia, Canada, Brind’Amour was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in 1988 while playing hockey at Michigan State University. He broke into the National Hockey League in a most auspicious fashion, scoring on his first shot in the 1989 playoffs against the Minnesota North Stars. He was traded to Philadelphia in 1990 and played 10 seasons with the Flyers; there, he set a franchise record for playing 484 consecutive games. At Carolina, Brind’Amour went on to win multiple league accolades and captain the 2006 Stanley Cup championship team. He became the head coach of the Hurricanes in 2018 and led them to the playoffs in all three seasons. And this year, he received the NHL’s Jack Adams Award for coach of the year for his contributions to the Hurricanes’ success.

As he heads into a new season, there’s one word Brind’Amour would use to describe both Raleigh and the hockey enthusiasm here over the last 20 years: growth. He settled into his first home, in North Raleigh, when construction on 540 had just been completed. When a teammate picked him up to show him the way to the arena, Brind’Amour says, “I think we only passed two cars the entire way, and we took the long way!” When he first moved to town and asked locals for directions to “the rink,” he says, he’d be met with puzzlement: “What’s that?” Having come from Philadelphia, where just about everyone knew where the Flyers played, he was incredulous at having to rephrase his inquiry — “You know, the place where the Carolina Hurricanes play?” — and to even then be met with confusion. As the team began racking up wins in the early 2000s — including an appearance in the 2001 Stanley Cup Final — the community responded. Games started to sell out, and the Hurricanes’ home ice at the PNC Arena (formerly the RBC Arena) became known around the league as one of the loudest to play in. “It’s 10 times louder here than any other building when it’s full,” says Brind’Amour. “The fans go above and beyond rooting for their team.” After the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup in 2006, the city was electrified — and hockey took hold in Raleigh, with a North Carolina twist. “The tailgating before games, that’s just a carryover from college football games, but it’s a really neat thing to see,” says Brind’Amour. He believes that part of the reason for such a strong fan base here is the fact that it’s the one team everyone can support within a city divided by fierce collegiate loyalties. Plus, it’s a small market, and the players feel connected to

their fans. “They understand they need to give a little more than other places, that’s what makes it special,” says Brind’Amour. Team captain Jordan Staal agrees: “We players think about ways to get the fans involved, like the Storm Surge after home wins, because we want our arena to be an experience unlike any other.” While most of his waking hours are dedicated to hockey, Brind’Amour appreciates how Raleigh offers a great place to raise his family (he has a 9-year-son, Brooks, along with three older children from a previous marriage), easy living, and high-caliber schools. And, of course, access to the mountains and the sea, where, recently, “we took Brooks to hockey camp in the morning, surf camp in the afternoon, and nine holes in the evening.” He credits his wife Amy, a North Carolina native, for “opening my world up to the state.” Day-to-day, Brind’Amour’s a bit of a

“It’s 10 times louder than any other building when it’s full. The fans go above and beyond rooting for their team.” — Rod Brind’Amour

homebody. When he’s not at work, it’s “all about family and recharging the battery:” hanging at home, binge-watching shows, sitting down to dinner. It’s partly his personality — he’s a no-nonsense type of person who’s strikingly grounded — and partly the current circumstances (unlike 20 years ago, these days he’s likely to attract a crowd of Hurricanes fans when he shows up at a grocery store). And he’s got a growing circle of friends from his playing and coaching days to hang with here. “A lot of guys who go around and do their career and then realize, Holy moly… that’s a pretty special place, there!” he says, noting several former players like Sean Hill, Erik Cole, and Tim Gleason, who have come back to the area after they’ve retired. “I love golf and I don’t get to play a lot — but when I can, it’s great to get out with those guys.” Current players are seeking out Raleigh, too, for its competitive team, passionate fan base, and great quality of life: “We used to have to track players down, but now we’ve got players picking up the phone wanting to come here.” Staal credits Brind’Amour for this change too. “Rod demands respect in the room, for everything he’s done as a player over his The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 31

SPORTS career, how he’s first to work every day as our coach, how he’s in better shape than probably half the guys in the locker room,” says Staal. “You want to play hard for a guy who puts that much work into the team.” In addition to his work with the Hurricanes, Brind’Amour dedicates his time to youth hockey in the Triangle. “I’m at the rink almost every night on the ice with the kids,” he says. “I love it because they play for all the right reasons.” He notes the explosion of interest in the sport within the community. “It’s unbelievable — more and more kids are playing,” he says. “It’s neat to see the growth of the game in an area where a lot of fans didn’t grow up playing hockey, but now you’ve got a new generation of fans that did.” From Staal’s perspective as a NINE-year veteran, he agrees: “I only see it getting bigger and better.” All in all, Brind’Amour says he’s proud of the momentum he’s helped develop

with the Hurricanes movement. “When I got here, the team was starting out, and I’ve gotten to see that all the way through,” he says, admitting that he’s passed on lucrative offers to work in

bigger markets over the years “I’m not the richest coach in the world, but to play somewhere you love is great,” he says, “and to call it your home and to coach there — that’s priceless.”

LOGAN’S Est. 1965







9/13/2021 11:08:43 AM



MOUNTAIN VIEW Just a few miles from downtown Cary, Hemlock Bluffs offers transporting trailways by ETHAN HARRELL & AYN-MONIQUE KLAHRE photography by JOSHUA STEADMAN

ost of the time, you’d have to drive at least three hours for mountain views. But at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in Cary, you can find something similar, much closer: here, the trails and overlooks offer big changes of elevation, leaf-softened pathways, and majestic views of trees. “When you hike here, you feel like you’re in the mountains,” says Laura White, secretary of the Friends of Hemlock Bluffs. “You feel transported.” And unlike the actual mountains, which can be treacherous, intimidating, and hard for young ones, the trails at Hemlock Bluffs offer easy walks for a range of hikers. Hemlock Bluffs was dedicated as a state nature preserve in 1976, and the town of Cary took over operations in the 1980s (North Carolina still owns much of the acreage, but leases this land to the town). The majority of the 140-acre preserve is dedicated to observation, study, and education, but it’s also a popular spot for a shady walk and for kids to interact with nature. “The typical park in the Cary system is more geared toward recreation, but here we’re all about research,” says Mark Johns, the park’s operations and program supervisor. “The rules are strict here to preserve the natural areas; you can’t go off the trails or collect anything.” The big draw at Hemlock Bluffs is, not surprisingly, the Eastern Hemlock trees. While native to the eastern United States, the large evergreens are typically only found in the western part of the state. “We have 250 or so hemlocks here, the only place where they’re naturally growing in the state outside of the mountains,” says Johns. He points to the bluff face, which, because it faces north, is cooler and shadier — a spot where they can thrive. The trees themselves, combined with the bluffs, offer elevated views of the topography. The park has over 4 miles of trails that route visitors from the floodplain The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 33


around Swift Creek to the top of the bluffs (the peak point of 413 feet is one of the highest elevations in the area). There are also two wooden deck overlooks, which offer views into the forest. “On the overlooks, you’re at treetop height, so it’s a completely different perspective,” says White, who was also the supervisor at the preserve’s nature center for 22 years. “You can see birds lighting into the trees or find yourself eye-level with a racoon.” Several outlooks along the trails offer varied views of the Eastern Hemlocks and Swift Creek at the base of the bluff for a mix of vistas of trees, clear skies, and forest floor. The Chestnut Oak Trail Loop, the park’s longest and most winding trail, at just over a mile, is where much of the park’s wildlife resides. “There are lots of plants and animals here for a small area. Maybe you’ll see birds, snakes, lizards, or a deer,” says Johns. In a normal year, Johns 34 | WALTER

takes small groups off the trail into the undisturbed areas of woods through a variety of nature education programs. “We find hundreds of different things, whether it’s a cool insect under a log or a salamander near a pool,” he says. Johns also manages the Stevens Nature Center, which is home to interactive nature exhibits highlighting the wildlife, vegetation, and waterways of the nature preserve. Renovations in 2020 included the Environmental Wall in the exhibit area, where guests are invited to learn about the park, the animals it houses, and preservation areas. During a typical year, the nature center offers educational programs and camps for both children and adults. Through these classes, guests can journey into the deeper areas of the preserve’s woodland with a park professional. And for the littlest ones, a small play area offers a chance to engage with nature. “Since this is a preserve, we didn’t want a traditional playground, but we

wanted a place where kids can enjoy nature,” says White. The simple space invokes fairy tales: a row of oversized mushrooms are perfect stepping stools, and there are logs for balancing, a little cabin to play house, a tunnel for climbing through, and picnic tables. “It warms my heart to see small children playing there,” says White. It’s a well-visited park, especially lately, but still unknown to many who are new to the area or live outside of Cary. “Right now everyone just wants to be outside, and folks are in the mindset to visit a park on the weekends,” says Johns, who recommends weekday mornings if you want to walk the woods in solitude. While Hemlock Bluffs offers spring wildflowers, a respite from the heat of summer, and quiet views in winter, White loves the park in fall for its foliage. “We get beautiful color,” she says. A walk in the woods, minutes from downtown Raleigh? We’ll take it.

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General manager Sorena Dadgar along with chefs Chris Lopez and John Kleinert

fine DINING After a year of pop-ups, chefs Chris Lopez and John Kleinert settle into a permanent location by CATHERINE CURRIN


ou might be a member of the cult, anxiously awaiting the next dinner special to be posted on Instagram or refreshing your order page at 4:20 p.m. on a Wednesday. But even if you’re not, you might have heard of Fine Folk and wondered what the heck it was, with those crazy dishes like pickled Pimento cheese or a potato chip, lettuce, and tomato sandwich that

have been popping up all over town over the past year. So for the uninitiated: Fine Folk is the brainchild of chefs Chris Lopez and John Kleinert. It’s the name of the popup food concept with a loyal following that’s sustained them through the pandemic. And after much anticipation, it’s the name of their restaurant, which is opening this fall in Gateway Plaza. Lopez and Kleinert are longtime play-

ers in the Triangle hospitality industry — the two have been cooking in kitchens since their teenage years. Owner and executive chef Lopez helped Sunny Gerhart open St. Roch on S. Wilmington Street. Kleinert spent some time on Ashley Christensen’s culinary team at her chicken joint, Beasley’s. But the two met when they served as executive and sous chefs at downtown Cary’s Postmaster Restaurant and Bar, a minimalThe Art & Soul of Raleigh | 37

FOOD ist eatery that, until last year, featured elevated, seasonal dishes. When COVID-19 caused the food industry to pivot, Lopez and his team got the go-ahead from the owners of Postmaster to reinvent the restaurant as Gov’t Cheeseburger — a more casual, takeout-only option, operating out of the same space. Gov’t Cheeseburger caught on quickly and soon the team was selling 50 burgers an hour. “It was kind of an on-the-fly concept that has just worked,” says Lopez. Over time, the owners decided not to reopen Postmaster, so Kleinert and Lopez pivoted once again and dreamed up Fine Folk: a mashup of their creativity initially in pop-up form, to gain

Cheeseburger’s style. In their new, permanent location next to Union Special, in the former BREW spot in Gateway Plaza, Fine Folk will serve both lunch and dinner, with weekly features plus a full bar menu. Fine Folk will incorporate its quirky sense of humor throughout the space — think, a hotel ice bucket for your bottle of wine — and even on the menu, but the food is no joke. Kleinert says they’re excited to have a location where he can flex his creative muscles. “We’ve been toying around with a lot of ideas that you can’t necessarily put in a to-go format,” he says. There will be steak features, unique pasta creations, and a plated version of their popular roast

goal was to fill the menu with great versions of classic American favorites that feel like home. “When we say spaghetti night,” Lopez says, “it might be something you see on the menu at an Italian chain restaurant, but using homemade pasta.” Fine Folk will tap their neighbors at Union Special for all bread products in the restaurant — Kleinert’s favorite is a homemade rendition on the freezer aisle’s Texas Toast, made from Union Special’s Parker House rolls, but baked on a square pan. Andrew Ullom, owner of Union Special and a partner in Fine Folk, says he can’t wait to have the duo as neighbors (Lopez’s wife, Maria Luna, is also head baker at Union Spe-

Left to right: Sautéed green beans, the Smash Burger, and the Caesar Wedge.

momentum as a brand with hopes of a permanent space in the future. Lopez says the name is a riff on Gov’t Cheeseburger’s tagline: “A temporary pop-up from the fine folk at Postmaster.” They started by setting up shop in Foundation bar a few nights a week, slinging burgers, sour-cream-and-onion flavored fries, and tater tot tacos. After a few months, they moved over to a steady Wednesday through Saturday residence at Union Special, which has an open kitchen in the evenings. The two say that Fine Folk is a happy marriage of Postmaster’s and Gov’t


chicken, and wine will be the anchor of the beverage program. “We want it to feel inviting and approachable,” says Lopez. “We want this to be a space you can come to three times a week, but also for a special occasion.” “This is going to be a take on the chain restaurants that you went to growing up,” Lopez says. You can order a Caesar Wedge (made with romaine, not iceberg), Chicken & Rice (done Cuban-style, with peppers, onions, and garlic and adobo seasoning), and Fish & Grits, their Southern take on fish & chips with North Carolina Trout. The

cial). “I’m excited for a rad neighbor and fun synergy between concepts and food,” says Ullom. “Chris’ range is so huge — he’s ready to elevate the food and show off what they’re going to be doing on a daily basis.” Two other important aspects of Fine Folk, Lopez says, are providing a living wage for staff and making the price points accessible to guests. Opening their restaurant in a growing neighborhood without an established food scene allows them to fill a gap, Lopez says: “We hope to have a space that’s a new go-to for the city of Raleigh.”


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Time Capsule in JAZZ For Dr. Maurice Martinez, The Big Easy is alive in his heart, his words, and his photos by WILEY CASH photography by MALLORY CASH


estled in a patch of pine woods just south of Wilmington, Dr. Maurice Martinez, New Orleans’ first beat poet, is sitting in a favorite chair in his sunlight-flooded living room. At his feet are several crates of black-and-white photographs, carefully encased in plastic sleeves. He bends down to pick up an image, staring at it for a moment before gesturing toward the subject — a Black man in a suit playing a soprano saxophone. The man’s eyes are closed in concentration. “John Coltrane was the most serious musician I’ve ever met,” says Martinez. He looks back down at the photograph with such intensity it’s as if he’s traveling back in time, peeling back the years and the stories that led him from a childhood in New Orleans to the halls of American academia by way of a barnstorming concert tour across Brazil. Photograph in hand, Martinez’s mind and memory are focused

on the string of shows Coltrane played when he came to New Orleans in 1963. Martinez and his camera were there to capture it. He presented a composite of several of the photos he took to the jazz musician. “When he saw it, he got warm and opened up,” Martinez says. “He could see that I was serious about music, too.” Martinez has been serious about many things over the course of his life — music, education, social justice, documentary filmmaking, plus Creole heritage and history — but jazz and photography have been lifelong staples. His two passions have recently come together in A Time Capsule in Jazz, an exhibit at the Genesis Block Gallery in Wilmington until Oct. 20. Martinez was a college student at Xavier University in Louisiana when he first began to take photography seriously. His early steps were tentative, but experimental. “It was a little black box, and it only had one speed on the

Maurice Martinez has been serious about many things over the course of his life, but jazz and photography have been lifelong staples.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 41


Cold Air. Dark Night. Raleigh • Chapel Hill

shutter,” he says. “But it also had a way that you could do a time exposure by disengaging the automatic shutter.” And so he did just that, then put the camera on the desk. “It came out like a Rembrandt.” He soon moved on to Instamatics and 35mm cameras, experimenting with various lenses before graduating to better and more advanced equipment. After starting a wedding photography business with a buddy, he soon learned that the best photographs came at what he calls “the peak moment of joy,” like when the newlyweds are seated in the limousine and all the fuss is behind them. That’s when you see the couple relax, he says. Martinez saw that those moments of joy were also evident in the jazz musicians who brought their soulful music to New Orleans in the 1960s. Music had always been a passion for Martinez, and his parents recognized his talent when he was young. A local university offered a junior school of music, so Martinez began piano classes there when he was 9 years old with his buddy Ellis Marsalis. Martinez would eventually step away from the piano and pick up the bass, purchasing what was reportedly the first electric bass played in New Orleans. Along with his photography business, he founded a jazz quartet that played gigs for fraternities at Tulane. When he finished college at Xavier, one of his professors encouraged him to apply to graduate school at the University of Michigan. While segregation ensured that state universities in Louisiana were closed to people of color, grants were available to Black students who sought degrees outside the state. But by the time Martinez had been granted admission to Michigan, the deadline to apply for the Louisiana grant had passed. His father, who had made a career as a master bricklayer and stonemason, reached out to one of his patrons, and the $750 needed to enroll at Michigan was secured. Martinez packed up his camera and headed north, bringing his love for jazz with him. At Michigan, he found himself as the music curator for a creative arts festival, and while many of the students wanted to invite The Who and other rock’n’roll bands, Martinez invited Miles Davis. After finishing his M.A. in education at Michigan, Martinez

returned to New Orleans and followed in the footsteps of his mother by teaching math in the public schools for six years. His mother taught in the local schools before opening a private school that first catered to Creole children and educated some of the city’s exceptional Black citizens, including a former mayor, former chief of police, and famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. But Martinez felt himself floundering after returning home. People encouraged him to leave the city and make a name for himself, so he returned to the University of Michigan for a doctorate in education. It was there, while studying Portuguese, that he discovered a Ford Foundation grant that was sending students on internships in Latin America. After landing a grant, he lived in Brazil for two years, studying the ways in which tradition and modernity affect life in urban and rural cities. He was also taking photographs and playing jazz. Along with another American and three Brazilians, he formed a quintet called Grupo Calmalma de Jazz Livre, and they went on to play a 14-city tour sponsored by the U.S. Embassy. It was after returning to Michigan to complete his Ph.D. that Martinez met Marjorie, the woman who would become his wife of 48 years. After graduating, they moved to New York City, where Martinez spent 24 years teaching in the education department at Hunter College, taking students and professors into some of the city’s most challenging schools to gain a perspective

Warm Fire. Bright Stars.

on the profession that he was preparing students to pursue. In the early ’90s, Martinez was invited to join the faculty in UNC-Wilmington’s Watson College of Education as a visiting professor. He joined the full-time faculty the following year, spending 20 years as a professor in the Department of Instructional Technology, Foundations and Secondary Education. But no matter where he has lived, New Orleans has always been alive in his heart. After all, he is known as Marty Most, Jazz Poet, and credited as the first person to put the words “The Big Easy” in print: Have you ever been to an old time jazz man’s funeral in my hometown? Put on your imagination, baby, and come on down To an old time jazz man’s funeral in my hometown. It’s called the Big Easy, way, way down. What’s the biggest difference he sees between Wilmington and the Big Easy? “Wilmington was settled by the British,” he says. “So we have the Azalea Festival. But things would be different if it had been settled by the French.” He leans forward, a smile playing across his face, a light twinkling in his eye. “Because then we’d have Mardi Gras.” Wiley Cash is writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina Asheville. Mallory Cash is an editorial and portrait photographer. Raleigh • Chapel Hill


Things get scary around Halloween at Michele Ledo and Laura Krabill’s house.

NIGHTMARE on Elm Street Come October, this Oakwood couple pulls out all the stops by AYN-MONIQUE KLAHRE photography by JOSHUA STEADMAN


e moved here around Memorial Day in 2008, and had no idea Halloween was a thing,” says Laura Krabill. “We bought two bags of candy, put up a couple ghosts, and carved pumpkins.” But Krabill and her partner, Michele Ledo, live on Elm Street in Historic Oakwood, a neighborhood that typically attracts thousands of trick-or-treaters. Needless to say, the candy was gone in 15 minutes, and in retrospect, the decor seemed a little “paltry,” says Ledo. So the next year, they stepped it up — and their spooky scheme has grown every year.

Inspiration came in the form of four prisoner costumes left over from a prior Halloween. They stuffed the striped jumpsuits with leaves, scarecrow-style, and topped them with zombie masks for faces. The next year, Ledo and Krabill nailed together scrap wood to help them stand up. Then one year, a new material upped their game: chicken wire. “We got it for a house project, but accidentally ended up with about 20 times more than we needed,” says Krabill. “Then Michele got the idea to sculpt it into bodies.” Over the last 10-plus years, they’ve added and innovated; neighbors have donated materials, and the kids who live nearby The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 45


A few scenes from the front yard, plus the formally dressed skeleton who watches over the front door.


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Flavors of

Michele Ledo (JAIL)


Looking up the front steps, above, and zombies escape from a handmade jail cell in the driveway (below).

offer suggestions. Now, 227 Elm Street is known for its display, which hosts over a dozen grisly figures, plus ghosts, skeletons, rats, and witches. “It’s definitely gotten scarier!” says Ledo. One year the prisoners were “breaking out” of the house, climbing out the windows and down the front porch; another, Ledo and Krabill built a “jail cell” to trap them. Last year, the undead could be spotted “driving” a van parked in the driveway. “That’s totally Michele — she tells me what her vision is and I help execute it!” laughs Krabill. “It’s become so rewarding because we have a couple of kids on our street who really pay attention and try to figure out what’s new,” says Ledo. Eleven months out of the year, the couple stores everything in an old carriage house on their property. “Laura’s made a rule that we can’t start before October 1; it’s hard to get everything up in time!” says Ledo. As to the scare factor of their yard? “Some children get frightened, and we feel bad,” says Krabill. “But most of the kids know it’s all fun.”

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The Last Ride A legendary car, two old dogs, and the end of the road in sight


knew this day would eventually come. In recent years, I’ve pushed the thought to the back of my mind that it might be time to say goodbye and hand her off to someone who can restore her to her glory. But every time I take her for a spin, by Jove, The Pearl works her automotive magic on me, riding like a dream, cruising the world on eight cylinders and a Corvette engine. With her roomy leather seats and patented “Dynaride” suspension system, she’s still like driving in your living room. We’ve been together a dozen years, almost half The Pearl’s life and almost one-sixth of mine. We survived the Great Recession, the end of cassette players and four teenagers. My dog Mulligan has spent most of her long life riding shotgun in The Pearl. Oh, the places we’ve been together up and down the highway! The Pearl is a 1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate station wagon, reportedly the last true production wagon that General Motors made before switching to prissy little SUVs.


The mighty Roadmaster is an American automotive icon, introduced in 1936 as the nation began to crawl out from under the Great Depression. Its creators had this nutty idea that Americans getting back on their feet might want to take the family on a road trip to see the land of the free and the home of the brave. With its oversized windows, sleek lines, wide chassis, faux wooden siding, “vista roof,” and proverbial third seat facing backwards, the versatile Roadmaster wagon was just the ticket for seeing America from ground level. The end of the Roadmaster line came in 1996 when 22,989 models rolled off the assembly line for the last time. Mine entered the life of a nice gentleman from New Jersey who loved the car so much he kept the dashboard covered with protective felt and put only 60,000 miles on its odometer over 12 years. Fate and quiet desperation brought us together when my children began stealing the Volvos and Subarus to go off to college. I wrote a newspaper column joking that I was shopping for a car like the one my old man drove when I was a kid

— a gas-guzzling monster of the American highway that the typical enlightened, environmentally-minded Millennial wouldn’t be caught dead driving around town. It turns out that car was a Buick Roadmaster wagon. Not two days after the column appeared, a woman phoned to say, “Mr. Dodson, I am here to make you a happy man.” Her father and mother were residents of a local senior living community. They owned a 1996 Buick Roadmaster station wagon that the daughter had fooled her father into giving up, lest he injure himself or someone else due to his declining driving habits. “My father bought the car new and absolutely adores it,” she explains. “We all loved it. It took me off to college and helped me move several times. She has a few dings but still runs like a dream. But it has to go.” She explained that a vintage car buff out West was interested in buying it — Roadmasters were apparently big with car collectors — but if I wanted to check it out at a local garage, she would consider selling it to me.

Courtesy Jim Dodson


“If you don’t buy this car,” said the mechanic, handing me the keys for a test drive, “I probably will. They don’t make cars like this anymore.” I purchased it an hour later. My wife laughed when she saw it pull into the driveway. “Oh my,” she said. “That really is your father’s Buick.” No. 1 son — the Subaru thief — asked if he could take the car off to college. Not a chance, I told him. No. 2 son thought my new land yacht needed a nautical nickname. He suggested The Pearl, pointing out that my Roadmaster model was ranked No. 6 on the “official list of Best Car to Own in the Event of a Zombie Apocalypse.” He wondered if he could take it for a spin. “Maybe after the zombie apocalypse,” I said. I had, after all, my own big plans for this oversized jewel of the 20th-Century American highway. For many years — decades, actually — I’d dreamed of finding and traveling the Great Wagon Road of Colonial America, the famous backcountry highway that brought thousands of Scots-Irish, German, and other European immigrants to the American South during the 18th century, including my own English and Scottish forebears. Historians and old road experts had recently determined the Great Road’s original path from Philadelphia to Augusta, Georgia — an 850-mile land route that passed through some of the most historic battlefields, towns and sacred landscapes of early America. Dan’l Boone and his family traveled it from Pennsylvania to the banks of the Yadkin River. The most pivotal battles of the Revolutionary War were fought along the highway, including engagements at Cowpens, Kings Mountain and Guilford Courthouse, leading to the British surrender at Yorktown. America’s first immigrant highway also bisected the killing fields of the American Civil War at Antietam and Gettysburg, where Abraham Lincoln — whose grandfather lived on the Great Road in Virginia — gave the Gettysburg

Address on a hill just above the highway. By my count, in fact, no less than seven U.S. presidents were either born directly on or traveled the Great Wagon Road most of their lives. The Scots-Irish brought their balladry, fiddle music, and God-given talent for fighting (and making corn whiskey) down the road, giving birth to Bluegrass in the hollers of Appalachia. Four summers ago, after years of research and planning, my dog Mulligan and I set off along the road in our own Great Wagon, hoping to travel the entire route in two or three weeks. Silly me. It took a month just to get out of Pennsylvania. The abundance of great stories and memorable people we met along the road turned an 800-mile road trip into a three-year, 3,000-mile odyssey of discovery that recently drew to a close, including a year of travel lost due to COVID. Though she is showing her age and is more dinged up than ever, The Pearl managed to make the entire journey and then some. She brought us home with an engine that still runs like a dream. Along the way, she provided absolute strangers with fond memories of their own childhood. “My father had a car just like that,” they would say with a note of pure wonder. “It was my favorite family car.” A man in the parking lot at Gettysburg actually offered to buy The Pearl. “How much do you want for her?” he asked. “Nothing,” I replied. “But I might someday give her to the right person.” He handed me a card, which I promptly lost. Since finishing the road last autumn, The Pearl has mostly been my gardening car, hauling shrubs and mulch, though Miss Mulligan and I go out for a spin every now and then. Mully is now 16, The Pearl is pushing 25. The last ride can’t be far away. But what a time we’ve had, what a sweet journey it’s been. Jim Dodson is a New York Times bestselling author. He lives in Greensboro.

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On Politics A lesson in kindness on a trip to Raleigh by BLAND SIMPSON


n the last Saturday in March 1963, my father came and collected me in Chapel Hill, and we headed east on narrow, lonely NC 54 to go to Raleigh and get into politics. Just a few hundred yards shy of Nelson (then no more than a solitary filling station), we stopped to help a woman standing alone beside her car on the road shoulder — she had a flat tire and stood there desultorily making no move toward changing it. Nor did I, but my father did. I stayed in his car, a big Buick LeSabre, as he got out and walked slowly back to her, waving, smiling (I watched out the back window), and then bending to the task, which seemed interminable, the getting out of the lug wrench, the jack, the spare. Not that I felt unsympathetic — I was simply too excited by the fact that we were heading for Raleigh and the Hotel Sir Walter on downtown Fayetteville Street, where we would soon meet our visionary governor, Terry Sanford, and Vice President Lyndon Johnson. This flat that needed changing: my


father, who never seemed to be in a hurry, was in even less of one now — he had been diagnosed with MS and now walked with a slight limp and carried a black, silver-handled cane. Still, he was relaxed and confident, and he was quite strong — those many years he had gone swimming in the ocean at dawn, the quarter mile between our Kitty Hawk cottage and the old Kitty Hawk Fishing Pier and then back, all helped him. He had no trouble with the tools, or the flat and the spare, and he clearly had no worries about what time we might see the governor, let alone the vice president. When at last he got back behind the wheel of his own car, I saw that he had scarcely broken a sweat, had not gotten his suit or shirt dirty at all, and only his hands, sooty from handling the tires, needed washing. “Why did we have to stop?” “She needed help, son.” “Somebody else could’ve done it.” “You don’t know that — not a lot of traffic on this road.” “But sooner or later —”

“No,” he said evenly, “it fell to us.” To us. Suddenly he had brought me into his Good Samaritanism, as if I, who would have let the brief mission go to someone else, had been a party to it, and I was all at once both proud to be his son and proud of something I did not even do: we had helped a woman in distress. “And now she’s on her way again,” he said. Next thing I recall, we were in Raleigh, at that time just a great big country town, and he had found a men’s room off the Sir Walter’s lobby and washed his tire-dingy hands, and then we were in a hall upstairs, where a very short line was controlled by a couple of Secret Service men and state troopers, almost natty in their gray shirts and crimped, charcoal Smokey hats. At our turn, the governor and the vice president seemed extraordinarily relaxed, informal, friendly. Just the four of us in that room, where, mostly, my father bantered with the two leaders — he already knew well and supported Governor Sanford, and the ham-handed Texan seemed little different from the soybean and cabbage and hog farmers my father

Digital image retrieved from (POSTCARD). From NORTH CAROLINA: LAND OF WATER, LAND OF SKY by Bland Simpson, photography by Ann Cary Simpson, Scott Taylor, and Tom Earnhardt. Copyright © 2021 by Bland Simpson. Used by permission of the publisher.


politicked with back up in Pasquotank County, where he was solicitor. “Are you a good Democrat?” the vice president asked me. “Yes, sir.” Soon we were off to a cocktail party at a home elsewhere in Raleigh. I watched the clock move slowly toward the time of the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner, a fiftydollar-a-plate affair being held in one of North Carolina’s most modern buildings, the glass-walled, swooping-arched Dorton Arena at the fairgrounds, where they held rodeos and rhythm-and-blues concerts when the politicians were not in there holding sway. I devoured, if not inhaled, my highpiled barbeque plate, dearly wishing for another one, had they not been so expensive. This was hardly my first mouthful of chopped pork cooked with holy smoke, but it was certainly my first taste of political fundraising. Yet my relish toward my plate held no candle next to Lyndon John-

son’s toward his crowd — he was proud to be here, he said, proud to be an American, and so was President John Kennedy, and they were two proud Americans who couldn’t wait till the 1964 election, when they would be back in North Carolina, this proud American state, which they intended to carry by a landslide, because North Carolina was full of great Americans, like every one of you all here tonight! We shook a lot of hands, talked loud and proud about the day, piled back into the Buick and kept on talking. “Would you like to go to Washington?” my father asked me after a while, meaning to go be a page in Congress. Yes, I would, of course I would, I said, in the grip of a political swoon — why shouldn’t I wish to go to Washington? I had worked in Raleigh, had met the governor, had now shaken hands with the vice president, and yes, I would very much like to go to Washington. And so we rolled our way on back the thirty miles west to Chapel Hill, and every

once in a while when we would laugh, he would pat my knee, as he always had when it was just us two riding in the car, and I am glad I did not feel I was too old for that. For the main event of the day, as it turned out, was not the politicians or the Hotel Sir Walter or the cocktail party, or the lusty handshaking and backslapping of the hundreds at Dorton Arena bonded by barbeque and yellow-dog Democratic faith. But I knew what it was before my head hit the pillow that night. It was my father, and his kindness to the woman beside NC 54 near Nelson. It was his kindness to me, a mere fourteen-year-old boy who scarcely knew how to act with him, as he spoke with me in the car, treating me as an equal. It was his kindness, period. Excerpted from North Carolina: Land of Water, Land of Sky, Simpson’s latest book, which comes out this month.

Beginning October 23, the North Carolina Museum of History welcomes you to a glorious exhibition featuring original costumes worn by the stars of Downton AbbeyTM. Museum members receive free tickets for their first visit to this beautiful exhibition!

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The exhibition is developed and distributed by Exhibits Development Group in cooperation with Cosprrop Ltd., London, England. The exhibition is not endorsed by, spo onsored by, licensed by, associated with, or otherwise affiliaated with the television series Downton Abbey™, NBC Univerrsal International, Carnival Film and Television Limited or their representatives.

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Advice on Nighttime Caregiving by BENJAMIN CUTLER

Know the bulk of night will be sleepless and embrace it with the weariest part of yourself. Nothing but bitter tea will do, steeped too long as you pour another glass of water

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another mouth will drink, as you console another crying child who values sleep on different terms, as you — deep in the black hour when familiar constellations wend into a strange topography — walk the dog who will thank you without language: she who eats white clover by night, sniffling through dark grass sweetened with dew. Now sleep or wake — let go of what you hold. The untouched tea is as cool as morning.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 57

C.J. Dykes in his Cary garden. Opposite page: Bees enjoy a Joe Pye Weed.


C.J. Dykes cultivates a flourishing sanctuary


The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 59


or C.J. Dykes, gardening is both a passion and a career. His interest surfaced early: according to family lore, at age 5, Dykes dug up flowers that his mother had planted, finding new locations where they would best thrive. “My mother liked to piddle around in the yard,” says Dykes, “but I took it to a different level.” As he grew up, these backyard experiments evolved into rose gardens and vegetable gardens around his childhood home in Maryland. This interest led him to study agricultural science and environmental horticulture at the University of Maryland, College Park. And for the last 35 years, Dykes has worked for the Wake County Public School System as a landscape supervisor, where he manages plant selection and contractual agreements for 200 sites in the county’s system. Dykes moved to North Carolina in the late 1980s, and in 1992, Dykes and his partner, Bryar Cougle, moved to Cary, where they began to develop the land surrounding their home. Dykes was careful to maintain many of the native plants that were already there. “I was able to save native azaleas, gingers, Hearts a Bustin, euonymus,” he says. “I have a Fringe tree, a lot of Dogwoods, and Sourwoods, which you don’t always see on people’s property.” The front yard features more than 70 rose bushes, and the hardscaped backyard is surrounded by native shrubs, ferns, and palms, along with perennials such as daylilies, hostas, and irises. Deeper into the backyard, visitors are guided into a mature woodland garden via woodchip pathways. The gardens are enhanced by a menagerie of sculptures: fairies, angels, and dragons, plus the green visage of a Celtic god and a smiling Buddha. These figures both provide visual contrast and reflect Dykes’ diverse spiritual influences. “I consider myself an earth spirit,” he says. “In my garden, I’m closer to creation than any other place in the world.” Dykes’ gardens are a popular place for hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, rabbits, and an occasional deer. Dykes also welcomes human visitors and gladly offers garden tours of the property. He hosts regular tours as part of the Cary Garden Club and the Raleigh Garden Club, and has even hosted tours for the national Garden Conservancy. “I like sharing my passion,” says Dykes. He’s also a member of the Gardeners of Wake County and the Piedmont chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society. After decades of work on his home garden, his reward is found in the quiet moments enjoying the fruits of his labor. “I can go out there and totally unwind and relax with a glass of wine,” he says. “I can spend hours just observing — it is my sanctuary.” 60 | WALTER

Each area has its own personality. Dykes calls the patio his Sun Borders Viewing Stage, outlined by Windmill and Sabal palms, along with a Banana tree. In the Deep Shade Grotto, as he calls the shade garden under his deck, “It doesn't get any sun, and I have a fountain, so it’s always wet.” Bottom, left to right: Icarus flies among the foliage, a Dainty Bess rose, and Chinese Lantern.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 61

“I try to introduce as much color and variety in the garden as possible,” says Dykes. His biggest blooming season is in May. “That’s when the roses and a lot of the perennials are at their best.” Pictured here are roses, Black-Eyed Susans, and Limelight Hydrangeas that line the various paths among the gardens. Opposite page: An iron ballerina dances among the plants on the Sun Borders Viewing Stage.


“When I’m in my garden, I’m closer to creation than any other place in the world.” — C.J. Dykes

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 63




“Everyone migrates to this area of the house,” says Rachael Ford. “We can all be here — flopped on the couch, eating at the table, at the bar — but each have our own space.” Designer Brittany Roux chose the decor to be “gracious with a bit of a rock star edge.” In the kitchen, a raised walnut counter surrounds the marble interior of the island. “It’s so much nicer to set a wine glass down on wood, and it adds warmth to the space,” says Bryan Nunes. Chrissy Gupton guided the couple on lighting the room. “The pendant lamps work so nicely, they reflect on the countertops but speak to the lighting fixtures in the living area and breakfast nook,” she says.

This home on Ridge Road is a glam gathering space for a big family


The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 65


Bryan Nunes and Rachael Ford are not afraid of taking chances. Both are hair stylists and salon owners — Nunes runs Blo in Brier Creek, Ford has Gabriel Ryder Salon downtown — a line of work that, Nunes says, attracts creative minds who care about their surroundings. So when they built their home together, one where they would blend both their tastes and their families, there was little chance it would be boring. “Some people are paralyzed by a can of paint, but not me,” says Nunes. “I love the creative process.” They worked with DJF Builders to design their Ridge Road home. It’s full of generous spaces where the family can comfortably gather, like the open-plan living and dining area, multiple patios, and swimming pool. But there are also plenty of bedrooms, bathrooms, and storage areas for the couple and their five kids, ages 1 to 19, to have space for themselves. “Blending


a family is tough, and we’re fortunate to live in a home where we all have our own spaces, but can also come together,” says Nunes. “It’s a blessing.” Chrissy Gupton served as coordinator for DJF during the build and worked with the couple to choose details like tile, fixtures, and finishes. “I tried to help them reflect their personalities — they’re both soft, kind-hearted people, but they like some shine in the right spot,” Gupton says. Lighting, in particular, was key. “I don’t like direct light, only indirect,” says Nunes. They tapped Raleigh lighting designer Louise Gaskill for several custom chandeliers and used can lights with diffusers to add soft contrast and shadow to the walls. When it came time to decorate, Ford knew who she wanted to enlist: one of her clients, Brittany Roux of Roux MacNeill Interiors. “I was sitting in her chair, and Rachael said, We’re

building a house — I want to connect you with Bryan,” says Roux. The couple had a sense of what they wanted, and let Roux run with it. “We tried to be collaborative, but not meddle,” says Nunes. “But we wanted to push the envelope.” “They wanted the home to be dramatic and feel luxe,” says Roux. The couple was attracted to rich hues like blues and purples, along with glam detailing, like brass hardware and textured wall coverings. “We like dark colors, we like mood and ambiance,” says Nunes. “We want people to feel a sense of serenity and peace, but also be like, wow, I never would’ve thought of that.” While the home may not look like this every day — often a pack-n-play is the centerpiece of the living room, Ford says — it has all the style and warmth they’d hoped for. “This house is epic,” Nunes says. “There’s not a day I don’t think, I can’t believe I get to live here.”

Opposite page: The study is to the left of the front hallway, through glass French doors. Roux put in subtle nods to the couple’s work, including the ponytail-shaped sconces and art prints on the wall that show sculptures of wigs made from paper by Nikki Nye and Amy Flurry of the Paper-Cut-Project. This page: The breakfast nook overlooks the backyard. Nunes loves the liveedge table here. “It’s cool, people can dig their forks in it and it just adds character,” he says.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 67

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

The dining room is just to the right when you enter the home, opposite the study. “We didn’t want something big and pretentious, especially since we don’t use it every day,” says Nunes. Roux used a mix of textures and subtle patterns in varied gray tones to make it feel cozy and inviting, including nubby curtains, a diamond-pattern rug, and abstract flocked wallcovering from Black Edition by The Romo Group. “The wallpaper is just spectacular,” says Nunes. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it,” agrees Ford. “It feels like a caterpillar, and makes the room really unique.” Another star in the room is a framed-out, built-in wine wall that Gupton helped design. “It’s so dramatic, it acts as a piece of art,” says Nunes.


The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 69


Opposite page: In the bedroom, Roux played up the moody tones with the botanical Cole & Sons wallpaper, a “theatrically tall” velvet headboard, and layered lighting. “We used both bedside lamps and sconces, plus a chandelier and a tray of lights around the perimeter to splash the ceiling at night,” says Roux. The walk-in closet is done in a deep teal, with niceties like brass hardware, a small chandelier and... a coffee maker. “I need it before I see all the kids!” Nunes laughs. This page: In the bathroom, Gupton helped select the marble tile, modern fixtures, and tub.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 71

This page: In the powder room, Gupton helped find the unique chandelier, which diffuses the light through glass balls. “Its effervescent feel inspired the whole room,” says Roux, who played it up with marbled wallpaper. “It brings in all the blacks, grays, and whites together, but also has little bits of yellow and aqua.” Opposite page: Out back, a screened-in patio serves as a lounge. “The back yard is stunning, and we can all enjoy it together,” says Ford. She was the one who pushed for the dark exterior. “People either love or or hate it,” says Nunes. “But with the gas lanterns, bluestone and big porches, it feels manor-esque.”


The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 73

The Crowder home blends a love of art and modern architecture



knew I grew up surrounded by art — but I didn’t realize until later that I actually lived in art,” says Rachel Spencer of her childhood home. Her late father, the legendary architect and councilman Thomas Crowder, designed the home. He lost his life to cancer in 2004, but his talent for design and love for his family still shine on Ashburton Road in West Raleigh. While the home has become a beloved work of art, it was born out of tragedy. In 1998, when Rachel and her brother Garrett were young, a fire broke out in their previous house. Everyone was able to escape in time, but the home burned to the ground. “It was tragic,” says Kay Crowder, Rachel’s mother. “We lost everything.” But with the need to rebuild came an opportunity for the Crowders to create their dream home, one that merged Thomas Crowder’s skill in architecture and Kay’s eye for art.


MIXED MATERIALS Upon entering the home, the hallway leads guests to the living room, where floor-to-ceiling glass windows open onto a courtyard. While designing the space, late architect Thomas Crowder mixed classic residential materials like wood and granite with industrial elements like architectural block made of concrete and steel beams. The double-height, curved ceiling is made from white pine, but single-story soffits make the space feel intimate. “It’s hard to envision it when you explain it to people. But then they come over and see how warm and inviting it is, they get it,” says Kay Crowder.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 75

Thomas designed a 2,400-square-foot modern marvel, one filled with natural light and unexpected materials. In the entry hall and living area, the white pine ceiling curves down towards opaque window panels that soften the sun. Polished wood floors and exposed steel beams pop against the angular white walls. Every detail was thought through, Kay says, but the house is almost unassuming from the outside — Thomas intentionally designed it to fit in with the other ranch-style houses in the neighborhood. The first thing you notice from the front, actually, might be the sculptures freckled throughout the garden. They hint at what’s inside: walls, floors, and even ceilings that showcase art in all forms, from sculpture to paintings to pottery. “I got my first good job in my 20s and said, You know? I’m going to buy art,” says Kay, who started her career in advertising sales. “I thought that was a constructive way to spend my extra income.” Now, work from artists like Joe Cox, Matt McConnell, Salvador Dali, Elissa Farrow-Savos, and Robert Broderson grace the home, which Kay refers to as her gallery. Their tastes weren’t all that conventional in their now76 | WALTER

grown kids’ eyes at the time. “I just wanted, you know, a bungalow with a front porch and a window seat,” says Spencer. “Dad said alright, I will give you a window seat — and of course, it was this modern floor-to-ceiling Japanese shoji screen,” she says with a laugh. “My friends would come over and be like, you get to live here?!” And while their home may not have been the typical style, Spencer remembers it as a happy space. “It was therapy for Thomas,” says Kay. “A place for us to come back to, one filled with harmony and joy.” Today, the home hosts lunches with friends, meditation in the garden, and a grandchild tottering about (who’s gently reminded not to touch the masterpieces). And while Thomas preferred more minimalist decor, the walls have filled up, just slightly, as Kay has come to peace with his passing. “He didn’t want something so austere and grandiose, just something that reflected us all — a comfortable, happy place,” she says. And that’s what the home still is: a space filled with joy and harmony that connects their family to its patriarch, honoring him as a visionary, father, husband, and artist.

GRAND ENTRANCE The hallway showcases part of Crowder’s extensive art collection, including the sculpture Flying Fish Scales by Matt McConnell hanging from the ceiling, a large ceramic wine vessel made by North Carolina potter Mark Hewitt, and La Mort Des Amants, an acrylic-on-canvas piece by Ashville artist Ken Kotara. Opposite page: The kitchen was designed to be the center of the house. “Someone can be on the prep side making dinner or cocktails and still have a conversation with a person in the living room,” says Kay. “Entertaining is a little more intimate now; I’ll do luncheons or small dinner parties for my kids and their friends when they come into town.”

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 77


FENG SHUI LIVING Opposite page: One of Kay’s favorite pieces of furniture is an original Eames lounge chair. She bought it on her 30th birthday — and it became a running joke. “Every architect has to have one, and Thomas was like, how is it that you own one and I don’t yet?” she laughs. This page: The couple used Feng Shui principles to bring calm and harmony into their home. One example: the words peace, prosperity, and happiness, the three principles of Feng Shui, are spelled out in binary code with subway tile on top of the airflow vent in the wall. Next to it is a 1960 piece by Robert Broderson, In the Garden, which once hung in the North Carolina Museum of Art. The dining room, bel is separated from the living area by built-in cabinetry.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 79

GALLERY WALK Crowder refers to the main hallway and entry as her own personal art gallery. Alces, Alces, by Tisha Weddington (née Edwards) hangs above a linear side table and several sculptures. The pieces in Kay’s collection have come from travels abroad, like a trip to Cuba, but also close to home. She loves sourcing art from Gallery C in Raleigh, in particular, and is a fan of the Penland School of Craft in Bakersville. The painting above the ceramic vessel is called Studio on the Rue De La Grande, done in 1873 by the renowned Wladimir de Terlikowski. Kay purchased the long, lean statue at Sid and Pat Oakley’s famed Cedar Creek Gallery, outside of Creedmoor.


BRIGHT SPOT The study holds much of the home’s color, including a bright-red chair from Trig Modern. “I love to source and support local when I can,” says Kay. In the bedroom, opaque glass lets in just enough light. The dresser is custom built. Above the bed hangs a Tisha Weddington piece called Stolen Moments. Above the dresser sits a framed figurative piece by Johan Bokhorst titled Wiliam, which Kay purchased on a trip to Amsterdam. Open shelving divides the bathroom while also displaying art and collectibles. The counters are the same dark green granite as the kitchen.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 81

SUBTLE SERENITY Kay’s garden is full of natives and perennials like conifer, ferns, lily pads, Japanese maples, and yew shrubs, along with a large water feature (one of the elements of Feng Shui). “It creates this melody of movement that’s so peaceful,” she says. “I also wanted a tranquil place.” Opposite page: The house is set back on the property, with a low-profile front entrance in traditional materials like brick and concrete to help it blend in with the other homes on the street. “Thomas really cared about the neighborhood and not standing out too much,” says Kay. “He didn’t want something so austere and grandiose.” To the side of the front steps, a sculpture called Art Critic by North Carolina artist George Jolly greets guests.


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Beth Lowery Photography


Frank Daniels, Jr. celebrates his 90th birthday with wife, Julia, and family.

WALTER’s roundup of gatherings, celebrations, fundraisers, and more around Raleigh.

87 Women’s Giving Network at Raleigh City Farm 89 French National Day 90 Frank Daniels, Jr. 90th Birthday Party 91 Bourbon, Bagpipes & Bacon 91 Kickoff Ceremony for the SECU DinoLab 92 Triangle Purple Heart Dinner 93 NCRLA Chef Showdown 93 Season Kickoff Social

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

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 85

of Stay informed, search homes, and map your route with the app or website app: Wake County Parade of Homes

Homes open and available to tour throughout the Triangle.

OCT 2: 10am-5pm OCT 3: 1pm-5pm The largest Home Tour in our area focused exclusively on remodeling! View all 15 projects at


Courtesy Women's Giving Network

WOMEN’S GIVING NETWORK AT RALEIGH CITY FARM Members and guests of the Women’s Giving Network of Wake County gathered at Raleigh City Farm in July to celebrate and reconnect after a long stretch of Zoom meetings. They enjoyed rosé from Wine Authorities and visiting with feathered friends from the Hen Institute, a mobile chicken coop supported by the Raleigh Arts Commission.

Kristen Kiernan, Anya Gordon, Susan Edwards Batchelor

Lisa Grele Barrie speaks to guests

Back Row: Karen Johnson, Allison Costanzo, Kristen Kiernan, Anna Menzies, Sandy Pearce, Donna Rhode, Andrea Conner, Susan Edwards Batchelor, Andrea Irby, Lisa Grele Barrie, Hayden Constance Front Row: Alice Irby, Mary Weiler, Tricia Phoenix, Neill McCloud, Sally Goettel, Anya Gordon, Amy Pirozzolo, Lisa Finaldi

Gil Hanse thought of every angle. Now it’s your turn. Play Pinehurst No. 4.

It’s time to test your mettle on this rugged masterpiece. Renowned course architect Gil Hanse transformed what Donald Ross first carved out of the sand a century ago into 18 dramatic holes you’ll want to play again and again. Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina | 855.244.2911 | Visit

THE WHIRL FRENCH NATIONAL DAY On July 17, members of the North Carolina Symphony, along with friends and family, gathered to celebrate French National Day on the anniversary of the storming of Bastille in 1789. Guests enjoyed food, fireworks, performances, and, of course, delicious French food.

Marié-Claire Carter

Guests enjoy the show

Erin Zehngut, Robert Zehngut, Shelley Anderson, Mark Sheffords, Julie Sheffords, Brandon Bartholomew, Madison Bartholomew

Sam Eidenberg, Yolanda Rabun

Armelle De Larminat, Carol Walker, Jennifer Underwood

Guests enjoy the performance

THE WHIRL FRANK DANIELS, JR. 90TH BIRTHDAY PARTY On Tuesday, September 7, Frank Daniels, Jr. celebrated his 90th birthday. Daniels, former publisher of The News & Observer and current part owner of WALTER, was joined by friends and family.

Beth Lowery Photography

Linda Quarles, Frank Daniels, Jr., Orage Quarles

Frank Daniels, Jr., David Woronoff

Kimberly Daniels Taws, Frank Daniels, Jr.

Claren W Englebreth, AAMS®


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Frank Daniels III, Clay Dunnagan

PROVIDING PREMIER DENTISTRY IN RALEIGH FOR GENERATIONS BOURBON, BAGPIPES & BACON On August 28, Olde Raleigh Distillery in Zebulon held a Bourbon, Bagpipes & Bacon event to celebrate the launch of its third batch of their flagship brand. Brunos Burger Bar Food Truck offered many varieties of bacon.

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Wake & District pipe band

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KICKOFF CEREMONY FOR SECU DINOLAB On September 8, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences celebrated the groundbreaking for the SECU DinoLab, which will house the Dueling Dinosaurs, the best-preserved skeletons of T. rex and Triceratops unearthed to date.

Jo Anne Sanford, Bob Brinson Jason Barron

Dr. Lindsay Zanno


THE WHIRL TRIANGLE PURPLE HEART DINNER Dozens of Purple Heart recipients and Gold Star Mothers from the area were honored at the second Triangle Purple Heart Dinner on August 28th at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel.

Hartwell Wright

Brandon Bell and JesseDMedia

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Janice Chance holds dog tags of son Jesse Melton III

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THE WHIRL NCRLA CHEF SHOWDOWN Chefs from across North Carolina gathered in Durham at Angus Barn’s Bay 7 for the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association Chef Showdown competition. Guests were able to sample the chefs and mixologists’ creations and vote for their favorites to win a People’s Choice award in each category.

Stephen Aber (CHORALE); Eamon Queeney (NCRLA)


NCRLA Chef Showdown participants

SEASON KICKOFF SOCIAL Singers from the North Carolina Master Chorale gathered in Pullen Park for fellowship and reconnection before their first rehearsal in over a year. Stavi’s food truck and desserts from Global Village made for a festive afternoon.

Leif King, Michael Glasgow

Al Sturgis

Sally Van Gorder (ARNOLD); Mallory Cash (SEABIRD); Addie Ladner (DISTILLERY)

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




5 QUESTIONS WITH… JOHN FELIX ARNOLD III The North Carolina artist’s exhibit at Anchorlight Gallery touched on nature, time, and love.

SEABIRD SEAFOOD: A PLACE LIKE HOME Dean Neff and Lydia Clopton open downtown Wilmington’s fish-forward restaurant and bar, Seabird, inspired by North Carolina waters.


Coming along! Downtown’s first distillery, @youngheartsdistilling will open its doors soon!

Get advance tickets at 2250 Reynolda Road Winston-Salem, NC 27106

Major sponsors The Charles H. Babcock, Jr. Arts and Community Initiative Endowment Kiki Smith, My Blue Lake (1995), Photogravure with lithograph, Wake Forest University General Collection. Donated in honor of Perri and Allie Blitz, children of Catherine Woodard and Nelson Blitz, Jr., © Kiki Smith, Reproduced with permission of the artist and U.L.A.E.


Join WALTER for an outdoor evening of farm-to-table dining.

Sunny Gerhart

Sean Wilson

Jake Wood



Ana Shellem



6:30 PM WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13 Boxyard RTP For tickets and more information, please visit proof of vaccination required





Resting Place A new perspective on those buried in Oakwood Cemetery by ADDIE LADNER photography by JOSHUA STEADMAN


ach autumn, Burning Coal Theatre Company brings the dead back to life through a series of short plays. Presented within the historic Oakwood Cemetery, the original works — most by local playwrights — offer dramatic interpretations of key moments in the lives of a few of the deceased buried there. From tragic to heroic to comical, these reimaginings highlight the impact they had on the formation of our Capital City. And since the plays are all presented within the cemetery, it’s just possible that one of their ghosts may be in the audience. Learn more at


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