WALTER Magazine - March 2021

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MARCH 2021

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Volume IX, Issue 6 MARCH 2021



Q&A: On the Rise A passion for sourdough


MUSIC: The New Normal Singer-songwriter and guitarist Rod Abernethy


ART: Engaging Renegades Professor and advocate Linda Dallas


DRINK: Steeped in Wellness An encyclopedic tea shop


LOCALS: That’s Rad An artsy, entrepreneurial couple


VAULT: Streak of Red N.C.’s newest salamander


SIMPLE LIFE: In the Beginning A gardener’s genesis


NOTED: Growing Our Own Family and food intertwine


33 On the cover: Ana Shellem, photography by Mallory Cash



Letter from the Editor




Your Feedback




The Whirl


The Buzz


End Note

Eamon Queeney (AARDVARK); Eamon Queeney (TEA)



58 49

Raleigh Limericks by Emily Cataneo and Diana Fenves illustration by Jillian Ohl


A Legacy of Generosity In the Method neighborhood, the community provides by Courtney Napier photography by Joshua Steadman


50 10 | WALTER

Fair Game A new tradition in Beaufort celebrates the sporting life by CC Parker photography by Justin Kase Conder


Cottage Mod A cozy Boylan Heights bungalow fuses eras by Ayn-Monique Klahre photography by Anna Routh Barzin


From Tide to Table Ana Shellem harvests shellfish for North Carolina chefs by John Wolfe photography by Mallory Cash

Justin Kase Conder (REVEREND TAMMY LEE); Joshua Steadman (GOODE)



Raleigh Location 6616 Fleetwood Drive Appointment Only

Apex Location 123 North Salem Street 919.363.6990



Your Carpet

Left: With Jourdan Fairchild inside the home featured this month. Fun fact: We first met as interns in New York City in the early 2000s. Right: Courtney Napier learns about Method.


5634 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham, NC

Beauty, Artistry & Tradition FOR OVER 40 YEARS

n January, my daughters and I built our first structure from a Legos kit, a Harry Potter castle. When we cracked the 177-page manual, my first thought was, this is impossible. They have short attention spans; I run short on patience. Plus, the kids had ripped open all the carefully-numbered bags and thousands of tiny bricks were embedding themselves in the living room rug. It seemed like an analogy for the pandemic. This month, we hit a year of working and schooling from home. When they announced that first, two-week closure last year, I also thought, this is impossible. But those weeks turned into two months, then all of summer and most of fall and winter, and it became clear that we can get through more than we think. Back to the castle: We started it on day one of a 10-day isolation after a COVID exposure. But in the now-usual absence of literally anything else to do — no friends to see, no sports to run off to — building with Legos, section by section, became a nightly ritual. At first I built while they found the pieces, but soon they took over completely, reading the instructions and assembling it themselves. I sat nearby and tried to find clean versions of their favorite songs to play over the speakers.

Sooner than I imagined, we had a majestic, miniature Hogwarts on the coffee table. Recently, one of our contributors, Andrea Rice, passed along her book, The Yoga Almanac, which she wrote with Lisette Cheresson. I’m only an occasional yogi, but I’ve been picking it up to inspire some poses. In it, she writes, “Winter is a reminder that we don’t have to feel lonely when we’re alone, that time spent in isolation can be nurturing. Only when we traverse through the darkness and find solace within the solitude of the season can we step forward into the light and become reborn again come spring.” It hit home for me: in this season of hunkering down, we reconnected as a family and introduced a new spirit of play into our home. And when life picks up again with warmer weather and the hopeful easing of the pandemic, we’ll still carry those discoveries within ourselves. As spring blooms forth this month, I’ll enter with a new sense of warmth — and gratitude.

Ayn-Monique Klahre Editor






MARCH 2021



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COURTNEY NAPIER / W R I TE R Courtney Napier is a freelance journalist from Raleigh. She is the founder of Black Oak Society, a community of Black creatives, and editor of BOS Zine. Her work can be found in Scalawag Magazine, INDY Week, and more. “When I hear the phrase, It takes a village to raise a child, I now envision Method. The Goode family showed me the power of community, even in the face of loss. This article is dedicated to the memory of Method’s dear member, Mrs. Katie McIver Parrish.”



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P HOTO G R A P HE R Steadman is a lifestyle, portrait, editorial, and commercial director and photographer in Raleigh. “I’m proud and happy that I got to see the Method community show up to support Mr. Goode as he lost his mother-in-law, Mrs. Katie McIver Parrish, on the same day that he and his family were donating food to others in need. I’m also honored to have been invited to the drive-thru 70th wedding anniversary of Sarah and Swade Sanders a little over a month later. It was a reminder of the positive and lasting impact that people like Sarah, Swade, John, Robert, and Katie have had on the area, and of how far empathy can go in creating and maintaining communities.”

MALLORY CASH / P HOTOGR A PH ER Mallory Cash is an editorial and portrait photographer based in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in the Knoxville Museum of Art, Oxford American, The New York Times, Garden and Gun, and The Bitter Southerner. “I met Ana Shellem on an unseasonably warm December day. The clouds and light changed so dramatically during those hours, revealing the different faces of the landscape and its myriad colors and tones. Although Ana doesn’t own the waterway, she knows every inch of it, and she’s at ease on the water and in the muddy marshes. Being there with her felt like being a guest in a sacred place, and I’m so honored to have visited it.”

Courtesy contributors


CC PARKER / W R I TE R Raleigh native CC Parker has been sharing her family’s adventures with WALTER readers since 2013. Her article this month about the Beaufort Game Faire was inspired by the event’s visionaries, Wendi and Bucky Oliver of the Beaufort Hotel, and their efforts to create an outstanding sportsman event which benefits the larger community. “Beaufort’s historic charm, paired with its lovely new hotel, is a perfect spot to host this event. There is truly something for everyone.”

FEEDBACK We love to hear from you! Tag us when you’re out and about — or cozied up at home with WALTER.

“I wanted to commend you on such a touching article on Shiloh Restoration, and the work Felix and Nicole are doing in the Triangle. We appreciate any efforts to raise the profile of the refugees resettled here and the agencies and organizations serving this population. It is critical that the wider community is given a chance to learn about the resettlement process and I am glad that WALTER was able to shed some light on this. ” — Scott Phillips

A reader shared this snap from a visit to Shangri-La, which she learned about in the July issue. “I loved reading every word of this awesome WALTER article, Signapore Fling! Ann and John, you have a love story for the ages!” — Rebecca Newsome


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

Jane Beiles

Poe Elementary teacher Corneille Little used old copies of WALTER for a class art project.

Bringing creative design to life. RALEIGH, NC • 919.852.0570 DESIGNLINESSIGNATURE.COM

USA Today’s Best Beach in North Carolina

Congrats. You just found Emerald Isle. Now it’s time to and visit North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks.

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Alvin Braswell, left, and Bryan Stuart of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

“While some may tend to believe all our local biodiversity has been discovered by now and that new discoveries await only in remote corners of the globe, that is far from true.” –Jeff Beane, collections manager for herpetology at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences photography by JUSTIN KASE CONDER

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 19

Cleaning out your closet, attic or garage this spring? The ReStores take donations big and small! We accept household items like lamps, dishes, wall art and decor, as well as large donations like furniture or appliances. Drop off at any of our ten local stores, or schedule a free pick-up for larger items. Best of all, your donations support Habitat’s mission to build affordable homes in the Triangle!

919.823.3544 •


Alma Kolansky (MARALIS); Kendall Bailey (MANDOLIN); Robb Klassen (DEBOSE); John Shearer (MCCREERY)

Things to do in MARCH From drive-in-films to garden updates, to Celtic tunes and revamped fairy tales, this month’ll put a spring in your step OBJECTS OF INTENTION All month | Tuesday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Photographer Stephen Althouse’s exhibition Objects of Intention, on view until early May, depicts old farm machinery and tools in interesting ways. Captured on a large-format camera, some photographs are up to nine feet wide, and they offer representations of his connection to the strong Amish community in his home state of Pennsylvania. “The relics and tools that I choose remind me of the paradoxes of our species,” says Althouse. “Intertwined within these are representations of people, thoughts, and experiences of my own life.” Tour the exhibit virtually at any time, or visit in-person with a reservation. See website for details; 1903 Hillsborough Street; free; gregg.arts. Clockwise from top left: Branford Marsalis, Mandolin Orange, Scotty McCreery, Ariana DeBose

BIG NIGHT IN FOR THE ARTS March 11 | 7 p.m.

“Everyone has been missing live music — this will be the next best thing,” says Charles Phaneuf, president of the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County. Big Night in for the Arts is a fundraiser for the performing arts community that will showcase a diverse range of North Carolina artists. The evening boasts a superstar line-up, including Tony-nominated actress and Raleigh native Ariana DeBose; country music artist Scotty McCreery, originally from Garner; Branford Marsalis, the Durham-based, internationally renowned saxophonist; nationally acclaimed actor and playwright Mike Wiley, based in Chatham County; Chapel Hill folk duo Mandolin Orange, and more. The event is the brainchild of the combined arts councils of Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Wake County. “You don’t get to see local artists represented on TV much, so this is really special,” says Phaneuf. Broadcast and live-streaming; WRAL-TV;

HAYTI HERITAGE FILM FESTIVAL March 1 - 6 | See website for times The Hayti Heritage Festival in Durham is one of the country’s longest-running film festivals highlighting screenplays by Black writers and directors. This year, the theme is The Hero’s Journey, and the event will include both virtual events and drive-in movie screenings. See films from new and veteran artists, partake in panel discussions with industry experts, and more. Take part by grabbing an all-access pass, view the films only (with more than 30 featured) or opt for a drive-in film pass. See website for schedule; from $60; virtual; The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 21

HOMEWOOD SPRING PLANT SALE Now - March 13 | 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Shop a huge inventory of plants at the North Raleigh Homewood Nursery & Garden Center. “Early spring is a great time to plant. Our staff are always so happy to see our customers again after winter and ready to help them find the right plants for their landscape,” says spokesperson Tina Mast. Find trees, perennials, shrubs, and more offered at 25% off. Seniors can shop starting at 9 a.m., and there is plenty of space to safely spread out on the four-acre site. 10809 Honeycutt Road;



March 5 - 7 | See website for schedule Head east for a weekend celebrating North Carolina outdoors and sporting life at the second annual Beaufort Game Faire. Hosted at the Beaufort Hotel, this year’s event has pivoted due to COVID, but the mission remains the same, says event organizer Wendy Oliver. “Honoring our outdoors is huge here and has been for generations; duck hunting, offshore fishing, exploring Harkers Island,” says Oliver. “You can live off the land, you just need basic ingredients.” Talk duck decoys and calls with experts Ralph Jensen and Jerry Talton, enjoy a socially distanced bourbon tasting and dinner outside, shoot rounds at Beaufort pond and more. From $150; 2440 Lennoxville Road Beaufort;

March 13 - 21 | 1:30 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. Bring the kids to enjoy a humorous retelling of the classic story of Snow White and friends in this interpretation by Greg Banks, with just two actors playing all the parts. Enjoy the play socially-distanced, in-person in the Louise “Scottie” Stephenson Amphitheatre. From $12; 301 Pogue Street;


HARRY DEMAINE All month | Tuesday - Saturday, 12 p.m - 5 p.m. See the works of the late European watercolor artist Harry DeMaine at Gallery C until March 17. Known for his landscapes of rocky shorelines, hillsides, and ocean horizons inspired by Gloucester, Massachusetts, DeMaine’s works offer gallery visitors a breath of fresh air and a visit to New England in a downtown gallery that’s been open since the 1980s. 540 N. Blount Street; make an appointment or call ahead to visit;

COMPLETE HISTORY OF COMEDY (ABRIDGED) March 4 - 7, 12 - 14 | 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Based on the smash Broadway hit, from the highbrow to the low, Martin and Austin Tichenor’s The Complete History of Comedy (Abridged) covers comedy from Shakespeare to The Daily Show. It’s coming to Theatre in the Park as a fun, fast-paced 90-minute showing. $16; virtual; 22 | WALTER

STEPHEN MOORE & ANNA VAUGHN KINCHELOE March 8 & on | See website for times ArtSource will host two artists with North Carolina ties this month, Stephen Moore and Anna Vaughn Kincheloe. Moore, a North Carolina native and retired physician known for his acrylic paintings of the outdoors, will show twenty new paintings. Originally from Tarboro, Kincheloe’s brightly colored abstracts draw on her love of our state. “People relate to artists like Kincheloe and Moore,” says gallery director Lacy Rollins. “They feel a connection to what we showcase.” Instead of a typical opening night, ArtSource will host an opening week with opportunities to shop online, visit the gallery, and see Moore and Kincheloe at work. See website for details; 4421-123 Six Forks Road;

March 17 | 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Grab a Guinness and a slice of Irish Soda Bread: Crann Úll, a musical duo of longtime friends Rob Sharer and Margaret Rush, will perform Irish melodies and songs to commemorate Saint Patrick’s Day. Using instruments including an Irish banjo, flute, bodhrán, guitar, and, of course vocals, Sharer and Rush captivate audiences with their banter and lush Celtic ballads. The free performance is presented to the public by Pinecone, the non-profit which celebrates our state’s rich musical roots. Ireland native Rush says that due to the pandemic, this year celebrating the holiday in Raleigh will actually more closely resemble how it's celebrated on her native turf: “Back home, it's more of a bank holiday. We’d go to Mass and spend the day with family, either watching or attending the big parade in Dublin — and definitely have a pint or more.” This year, she’s planning to bake some treats to break her Lenten fast (just for the day) and hunker down at home. “Instead of having the busiest few days of the year as a performing Irish musician, I’ll be at home with family, loads of cups of tea and a Guinness chocolate cake!” says Rush. Virtual;

Tina Mast (FLOWERS); Courtesy ArtSource (ART); Liz Condo (CRANN ÚLL)


Rachel Neville (BALLET); Terry Johnston (STRIPLING)



March 17 & 18 | 7:30 p.m. Watch Carolina Ballet dancers twirl through winter, spring, summer and fall with choreography by founding artistic director Robert Weiss to Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The performances will consist of two solos and two pas de deux danced by company members as well as dancers-in-residence from the New York City Ballet. The program will go live for two evenings and remain accessible to patrons and the community until midnight on Sunday, March 21. Virtual; call box office at 919-719-0900 for streaming information; carolinaballet. com

March 20 - 21 | Starting at 5 a.m. Lace ‘em up: jog from 30 to 50 to even 100 miles of North Carolina’s Mountains to Sea Trail along Falls Lake for the MST100. “We wanted to bring a race to North Carolina that’s a little different,” says race co-organizer Jackie Frey. “This will allow people to test their limits and come together as a community.” Frey will donate much of the profits from the race to Friends of the MST and Healing Transitions. “In these long races, we have our seriously committed runners, but we also have strangers who end up doing it together the entire time talking. It’s not something you see at other races,” says Frey. Participants can sign up until the day before the race (which they’ll have 36 hours to complete), folks can volunteer as well or just show up to cheer on runners. Pre-registration required; from $135; 4201 Baptist Road Durham;

SWING AND BLUES March 19 - 26 | See website for times Jazz musician, vocalist, and trumpeter extraordinaire Byron Stripling, originally from Atlanta, will showcase the soulful music of blues icons B.B. King and Muddy Waters in a performance called Swing and Blues. Hear it virtually with the North Carolina Symphony, live from the Meymandi Concert Hall stage, with four chances to tune in to Stripling’s interpretation of the two Mississippi musical legends. $22; virtual;

Q&A Teacher and baker Hannah Page slices a homemade sourdough loaf made with spelt and rye flours.

ON THE RISE A Raleigh educator’s passion for sourdough turned her into a social media star by ADDIE LADNER photography by TAYLOR MCDONALD


y most natural state is when I'm a student,” says Hannah Page. The Mississippi native went through early college at Millsaps, got a Master’s of Arts in Teaching at Duke University, then attended 24 | WALTER

the University of Georgia to study public administration. Today, she’s a community liaison and history teacher at Raleigh Charter — where she unexpectedly became a student of sourdough. It happened when a coworker gifted her a Dutch oven for a wedding gift. Inside was a handwritten recipe card for

a crusty bread. She made it, and she was hooked. “I fell in love with that method, then read more about bread baking and everything was saying to create a sourdough starter,” she says. She made two starters, started documenting her progress, and, in the midst of the pandemic, found herself an Instagram sensation.

HOW DID BAKING BECOME A HOBBY? I started baking every day. I’d bring a loaf to work and share with my co-workers or friends. It’s one of my favorite things in the world, somewhat of an addiction. I’m an introvert and sourdough baking is the perfect hobby for someone who doesn’t mind being at home. It’s not necessarily a lot of handson time, you just have to be around.

Courtesy Hannah Page (PIZZA, PAIN D'EPI, ROLLS)

DO YOU STILL BAKE EVERY DAY? In the early days, I was. Then I wasn’t, but since the pandemic, I’m back to that. It’s a way to connect and take care of my friends and community now. Since I’m splitting my time between school and Zooming — a new, different part of my job — I try to fit it in early. I’m a naturally early riser, so I get up around 5 a.m. and bake just about every day. IS THIS PART OF YOUR DAILY RITUAL? Yes, I am a ritual person, definitely. It’s a stress reliever, tactile in all different stages. Each one offers something different: folding, scoring, mixing, cutting, making designs. 2020 WAS THE YEAR OF BREAD-MAKING. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS? Bread helps build and nourish the community and there’s this personal satisfaction. Bread is fundamentally nourishing. If someone is going through something hard, they’re pretty much going to be okay with a loaf of bread. I think I take to it also because of my love of theater. I see the bread-making process as the stage. People often ask if I get sad when I cut a loaf, and I don’t think I ever have once — I always know another one’s coming! It’s like striking a set: You might have a moment, but it’s being appreciative of this never-ending cycle. I don’t necessarily remember specific loaves, but different styles of bread make me think of different memories. DO YOU HAVE AN EXAMPLE? A few years ago I thought it would be cool to make a loaf of miche, which has to be about 1,000 grams of flour.

Page has a talent for scoring her loaves with designs inspired by art and landscapes.

IS THAT THE HUGE ROUND ONE YOU SEE IN FRENCH BAKERIES? Yes! The very first time I made one, the power went out in our apartment building. I brought it down and put out huge chunks with apricot butter and left a note saying something like, If you trust me, please enjoy this bread. Each piece got eaten. HOW DID YOUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT EVOLVE? Back in 2015, my friend Mary, who is much savvier than me on social media, said, You’re taking pictures every day, just put them up! So I just started posting. The name, Blondie + Rye, comes from my first two sourdough starters. So many people think that because of my

Instagram handle I have blonde hair — but I don’t! Then an image got picked up by a food site, and I started getting a ton of traction during the pandemic, which is weird and makes you pensive. It’s not something I necessarily want to celebrate, but it’s neat. I’m enjoying that people are seeing my bread. People are searching for something to make them feel fulfilled, and learning about bread is their means to that. PEOPLE LOVE THE ARTFUL DESIGNS ON MANY OF YOUR BREADS. WHERE DOES THAT INSPIRATION COME FROM? You know, I think I saw one day online someone had baked their loaves with a few flowers on them or herb sprigs and I thought, why not do a whole landscape? The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 25

PAGE’S EXTRA-FLUFFY SOURDOUGH BUNS Ingredients 400 grams* (2 ½ cups) all-purpose flour 100 grams (½ cup) 100% hydration sourdough starter

Page’s Pain d'Epi, a French baguette designed to look like a stalk of wheat.

It’s all self-taught. I really don’t have artistic talent, I can’t paint or draw, but I felt like I had a canvas for expressing myself through bread. I love art and William Morris. I’ll stare at his prints and leaves, and use my tools to score the loaf with similar designs. WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR FLOUR? I feel strongly about King Arthur brand all-purpose flour. When I buy rye, spelt, and sprouted whole wheat, I go to Whole Foods. When I order specialty flours, I use Carolina Ground, which has amazing flours. HOW MANY LOAVES OF BREAD DO YOU THINK YOU MADE IN 2020? A conservative estimate would be 200. WHEN YOU’RE NOT BAKING OR WORKING, WHAT DO YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND LIKE TO DO FOR FUN? We love being around our neighborhood: getting coffee at Cup A Joe, heading to Nice Price Books & Records or Reader’s Corner. Pre-pandemic, we loved going to the smaller movie theaters. I like to go out near the greenway and Raleigh Brewing. ANY BAKING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS? Get a cheap digital scale. Being able to work with baker’s percentages as a baseline allows for improvisation. Sticking with a percentage of water, flour, and salt — being precise will allow you over time to improvise a little and learn a recipe by heart.

125 grams (1 cup) milk + 100 grams cream (½ cup) or 225 grams (1 cup) milk 50 grams (3 ½ tablespoons) butter 60 grams (4 tablespoons) brown sugar 1 egg yolk 8 grams (2 teaspoons) salt Directions Pour wet ingredients into mixing bowl, then slowly incorporate dry ingredients. Once everything is fully incorporated, let it sit. Give the dough two sets of stretch-andfolds every half hour, for two hours. (This dough is quite enriched, so it will not ferment at all in that time, even if you're in a warm climate.) By the time you’ve given your last fold, this dough should be smooth and strong. Divide into nine sections, and roll each into a ball, using a dry surface to create tension. Heavily grease a 9-inch round pan or a 9-inch square pan and place the rolls in it. (You can also divide them into eight sections and put them in a loaf pan.) Let the rolls rise until tripled in size. Taking the time to do so will ensure they are truly fluffy. This will take different amounts of time depending on the ambient temperature (Page’s took 14 hours). Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly brown. *Page encourages working in grams for precise baking, but we've included approximate standard measurements as well.

Rodney Bowels


the new NORMAL Singer-songwriter and guitarist Rod Abernethy has been a Triangle fixture for decades — and his new album feels right of the moment by DAVID MENCONI


od Abernethy’s February album Normal Isn’t Normal Anymore seems like it was pulled straight out of the 2020 news cycle. Songs like Another Year (which opens, Jane walks through the city / all alone) and the title

track (There was a time when anyone was welcome at the door / but normal isn’t normal anymore) resonate perfectly with life on Planet Pandemic. Funny thing about that, though: Abernethy wrote and recorded all 12 of these songs long before COVID-19

brought life to a screeching halt last spring, which makes the album seem prescient or creepy — or both. “I wondered, should I even release this now? And what about that title, that song? It just seemed way too obvious, like people would think I did it during COVID,” The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 27


Raleigh guitarist and singer-songwriter Rod Abernethy.

Jonathan Byrd

the Raleigh singer-songwriter says. “But it really does predate that whole thing. The song Normal Isn’t Normal Anymore came from touring, talking to lots of people about how things just didn’t feel like they used to, so what is normal anymore? I’m glad I waited to release it now, it seems to mean more.” Now 67, Abernethy has been a major presence in Triangle music for going on half a century. A native of Rutherfordton, west of Charlotte, he landed in the Triangle in 1971 to go to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, first appearing on local stages as a folksy singer-songwriter who played a mean guitar. In the mid-1970s he signed on as lead guitarist for Arrogance, a rock band that was pretty much at the top of the local heap. “He’s a great guitar player and an interesting songwriter,” says his former Arrogance bandmate Don Dixon. “In some ways he made us more ‘coliseumrock’ than we really were when he joined Arrogance. But when I first met him, he was doing more like what he’s back to doing now: folk songs with Leo Kottke-esque guitar and these amazing instrumentals. He’d do these very funny comedy-act things that owed a lot to Steve Martin, wearing funny hats and doing goofy stuff right before dazzling people with his guitar playing.” After leaving Arrogance in the early 1980s, Abernethy played in a series of bands including Glass Moon (appearing in their video for the 1982 Hot 100 Billboard hit single On a Carousel), Rod Dash, and The Slackmates. A consummate guitarist as well as a quick study, he also became an in-demand player and composer for commercial jingles and soundtracks for film, television and computer games, including winning a 2009 BAFTA Game Developers Choice Award for the audio in Dead Space. Abernethy still does enough background soundtrack music to keep his hand in, and he teaches music composition at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He also dabbles in outsider art, building “steampunk

robot” sculptures from household items and scavenged parts. But Abernethy’s main order of business in recent years has been resuming his own recording and performing career. His 2018 solo album, The Man I’m Supposed To Be, showcased him as a guitarist who has only gotten better with age. “When I started playing again the past three or four years, I realized people want to connect,” says Abernethy. “That’s been a beautiful thing for me. I write and sing and play these songs about life experiences and then people come up afterward to say, I went through that, too. Thank you. People need that and I do, too.” His solo act got a further boost when he won American Songwriter magazine’s 2019 Bob Dylan Song Contest, with a letter-perfect cover of the great bard’s early-1960s song Oxford Town,

and in 2020, he released a solo guitar instrumental album, Without a Word. That album includes a cover of Walk Away Renée by The Left Banke that closes his latest album. And Abernethy’s itching to get out and play for an audience, except… “Life is strange,” he says with a sigh. “I could not be more ready to go out and play for people, especially these songs — and of course no one is able to do that now. But it’s something we need.”

ART Linda Dallas, left, and the interior of Saint Agnes Hospital.

engaging RENEGADES For Saint Augustine’s professor Linda Dallas, it’s a mission to make art central to our community by FINN COHEN photography by EAMON QUEENEY


t the corner of North State Street and Oakwood Avenue sit the skeletal remains of Saint Agnes Hospital, established in 1896 on the campus of Saint Augustine’s University. For years, it was the one of the only hospitals in the South for Black patients, and it closed after medical care became desegregated in the 1960s. Now it stands as a reminder of those days, and a marker of sorts between two Raleighs: the affluent enclave of Oakwood and the gentrifying neighborhoods just to the east. For Linda Dallas, a professor of visual arts at Saint Augustine’s, the hospital is also a mission. “I want it to connect and inform both of those communities,” says Dallas. She saw a lack of recognition of the site’s his-

tory, and started an arts collaboration project called Envision Saint Agnes Hospital as a way to honor the space. “That’s what artists do. They make places meaningful, even if there are not a lot of physical things there.” For the last three years, Dallas has been spearheading the Envision Saint Agnes project — a slate of watercolor workshops, installations, walking tours, and pop-up painting and drawing events — with her students. And the city has responded, helping foster collaborations with local and international artists: in 2018, for example, Austrian duo OMAi worked with several local artists for a visual tribute to the boxer Jack Johnson, who was brought to Saint Agnes after a fatal car crash in 1946, that was projected onto the facade of the hospital. The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 29


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“A Western model of art is the artist as the outsider, the renegade, the rebel,” Dallas adds. “But in many cultures, the artist is central to society and culture, and I think it’s time for the renegades and rebels to get engaged.” Last fall, that engagement culminated in A Space for Reflection, an installation of murals by Black artists and artists of color on walls surrounding Saint Agnes and on the campus of Shaw University. The works, a collection of vivid expansions on last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, had originally been painted on boarded-up businesses downtown after Raleigh’s own protests. Through a collaboration between the Black on Black Project, the Raleigh Murals Project, the Visual Art Exchange, and Raleigh Arts, they were able to become a physical part of the city’s HBCU campuses at the end of a tumultuous year. “As an artist, advocate, and professor, Linda sees all angles of how things get done and gracefully shares that knowledge in the classroom and through partnerships,” says Michael Williams, founder of the Black on Black Project. “Without Linda Dallas, projects like this don’t happen.” Fostering these types of cultural discussions informs Dallas’ work with students, whose own murals will be displayed on the fence surrounding Saint Agnes this fall. But she arrived at her current role through a long process of deeper connection with Raleigh itself. She moved to the city in 1985 to attend North Carolina State University’s College of Design, and over the past four decades, she’s become a vital part of Raleigh’s fabric of artists, serving on the city’s Arts Commission and becoming a member of the Public Art and Design Board. Dallas grew up in Detroit, as part of a family where “everybody always had some kind of project, whether it was making puppets or reupholstering a couch.” She also had a mind that was drawn to systems: she majored in mathematics at Howard University, and

spent part of her undergraduate time at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee for a work-study program, collecting data for a fusion energy experiment. There wasn’t much to do socially in the town of Oak Ridge, so she took a few figuredrawing classes at the local art center. She loved it, and when an instructor there invited her to audit some of his similar classes at the University of Tennessee, a spark was lit. Returning to Washington, Dallas felt an initial pull to go back to graduate school — she was accepted at Howard to study mathematics — but got a job working in the gift shop at the Hirshhorn Museum (then known as the Museum of African Art). That math program paled in comparison, she says: “I was at a museum, learning about African art, making money — it was fun!” And it was at the Hirshorn gift shop that a chance conversation set Dallas on a new path. Chandra Cox, a professor at N.C. State’s College of Design, was browsing the store, and as the two spoke, they learned that both of their families were in Detroit, and that they’d even attended the same high

school, years apart. Cox recommended that Dallas apply to the College of Design; she did, and soon she landed in Raleigh. Cox became her professor, then a friend — and even a patron of Dallas’ rich watercolor work. “I own several Linda Dallases; I’m very proud of my collection, and intend to add to it,” says Cox, who says she’s seen Dallas blossom not only as a vital member of the Saint Augustine’s community, but also as an artist. “I’ve seen her work evolve, because when I met her, she was drawing primarily. Color theory is a big part of the education at College of Design, and I’m very proud of the contributions I’ve made to her development.” After graduating, Dallas stuck around, working as a volunteer coordinator at the Children’s Museum About the World (which eventually became Exploris) and working her way up to director of exhibits. But her creative process stagnated, she says, for about a decade. “Design school dumped so much information in my head, that it was just up there processing; it was there, but I couldn't apply it,” she says. “One day, I just woke up and thought, ok, I can apply it.”

“In many cultures, the artist is central to society and culture... I think it’s time for the renegades and rebels to get engaged.” — Linda Dallas

Part of the Envision Saint Agnes project, projecting images onto its facade.

Dallas had studied industrial design at N.C. State, but she started exploring the potential for watercolor work on her own. Much of her work involves gardens and food, concepts that she finds to be rich ground for cultural understanding. “I think that food — which is fuel for us, which is essential — has become such a commodity that there’s a disconnect from the process of how it goes from an animal or a plant to something on our plate,” she explains. “And cultures that would have their hands around each other’s throats in about 10 seconds if you sat them down at a table — they get along very well, cuisine-wise.”

Sarah Powers, the executive director for the Office of Raleigh Arts, has known Dallas for a decade, since they both worked on the city’s Arts Commission. The city’s recent collaborations with the Saint Agnes project, Powers says, have been a prime example of what Dallas brings to Raleigh. On one particular day, people who had been born at Saint Agnes were able to come to the site, have their portraits taken, and meet people who grew up in the neighborhood or who had just moved to Raleigh. “It’s not like, Hey, this is what I personally want that’s the driving force behind her work,” Powers says. “It’s her collaborative spirit. She asks, how can we all come together and create a vision for the site? How can we use it now? How can we tell the story of this place?” It’s a sense of place that really drives Dallas’ work. Teaching visual art remotely has been a challenge over the last year, Dallas says, but some of her most rewarding moments have come from seeing her students engaged with a space like the hospital that carries so much history. “They have such pride that they can talk about this place, that other people are interested in their campus,” she says. “And I would say for 90% of the people who show up there, it is their first time on our campus — even though some of those people only live two or three blocks away.”


STEEPED in WELLNESS A look within an encyclopedic shop for all things tea by LORI D. R. WIGGINS photography by EAMON QUEENEY


tep inside Tin Roof Teas in the Village District and you’ll find shelves full of everything you can imagine related to tea: sugar, spoons, and beeswax products, plus an array of filters, storage tins, infusers, and cups of all styles.

There are teapots — clay Yixing prized by Chinese tea connoisseurs, Japanese Kyusu for brewing green tea, cast-iron Iwachu that go straight onto the stove — and honey, too, locally harvested and infused with a range of flavors, from vanilla to ghost pepper.

And, of course, there’s tea, lots and lots of it — much of it stocked librarystyle behind the counter. Tin Roof offers more than 250 types of tea, ranging from black, green, and white to oolongs, fruits, and rooibos. There are herbal teas, ayurvedic teas, and wellness teas;

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 33

CRAWFORD AND SON’S BINGO KID there are seasonal teas. More than 30 of Tin Roof’s teas have been named World Tea Expo Winners, a nod of excellence from North America’s largest industry trade show. Almost half of Tin Roof’s teas are blended in-house with fresh leaves and herbs. Rip Van Winkle, for instance, blends chamomile, peppermint, lavender, and rose to ease the mind; Einstein’s Equation offers a mental boost with ginkgo leaf, rosemary, ginger, and gotu kola. Guayusa offers energy; kava kava promotes rest and relief from anxiety. “Only a handful of teas we have here can you find anywhere else in the area,” says owner Ryan Hinson, who champions the benefits of green tea as a detoxifier, metabolism booster, and coffee alternative. “Most of the world has coffee in the morning, tea throughout the day.” “Tea is fascinating,” Hinson says. “It’s great health-wise, too.” But before Hinson could teach others about tea’s benefits, he taught himself — not just about its range of flavors, but about tea’s art, history, science, and culture. “I had trouble sleeping,” says Hinson. “So I started like everybody else: at the grocery store.” Then he delved into higher-end brands, and started reading books about tea, buying and trying loose leaves. He chatted with his brother Richard about what he’d learned and how much more he wanted 34 | WALTER

to know — and share. That was 14 years ago. Within two years, the Hinson brothers went from researching tea to attending the World Tea Expo and opening their own German teahouse-style shop in Raleigh. Their first outpost was a franchise, but Hinson wanted more control over what they’d stock. (“We were missing a lot of stuff folks were looking for,” he says.) So they set out on their own, establishing Tin Roof Teas in 2009. The business settled into one Village District location over 11 years and moved across the plaza about a year ago. Tin Roof’s clientele is as varied as the offerings inside. Tea connoisseurs of all stripes and ages — older women, college students, men “heavy into fitness” — make up the regulars. Hinson notices that patrons with Chinese and Indian roots come in often, bringing along a cultural appreciation of the store’s knowledge and selection of hard-to-find teas. “As our reputation has grown, so has our pull in terms of nationalities,” says Hinson. First-time customers enter as novices and leave as enthusiasts, with bags of loose-leaf tea and all the accessories to brew at home. And that’s the goal: to teach tea, steeped in all its elements of cozywarmth and wellness. “Tea is wide open — in its varieties, flavors, caffeine, herbs,” says Hinson. “It’s just a good option, period.”

“I’m a huge fan of working tea into cocktails,” says Crawford and Son bar manager Joseph Jordan. “Tin Roof introduced me to the Chinese Milky Oolong Tea years ago — and I’ve been hooked ever since.” Jordan uses the creamy, fruity tea to create a cocktail syrup. “We slowly cook down the oolong into a mixture of oat milk, toasted cinnamon, allspice, cane sugar, and salt, and then we pair this with bourbon to add spice and malty notes, along with passion fruit to highlight the tea’s tropical notes.” INGREDIENTS 1 ½ ounce bourbon ½ ounce Calvados 1 ounce cinnamon-infused Tin Roof Tea Oolong Syrup* ½ ounce passion fruit juice ¾ ounce lemon 1 egg white Dash of Angostura Bitters 1 cinnamon stick DIRECTIONS Start with your egg white and dry shake. Add all ingredients with a light amount of ice to shake until all ingredients are combined and chilled. Strain with a fine strainer over a large ice cube in a rocks glass. Use a microplane to grate cinnamon stick over drink. *Find the recipe at

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THAT’S RAD A Raleigh couple brings their creativity and unique point of view to retail, music, and art by KATIE PATE photography by EAMON QUEENEY


ne night in 2003, Greg Clayton was painting in his basement and created a cartoonish red yak with a serene smile. “He was a fun, cute, happy little guy,” says Clayton. The character stuck with him. Soon the Rad Yak, as Clayton named him, became a sort of unofficial mascot, a stand-in for the cheerful, spontaneous sort of inspiration that has helped Clayton and his wife, 36 | WALTER

Myra Smith, grow several small businesses over the years. Clayton and Smith each grew up in small North Carolina towns and first became friends while attending art school at East Carolina University in the early 1990s. After college, they went their separate ways for several years — Clayton toured with a rock band called Lustre, and Smith traveled and taught English abroad — but reconnected once they’d

each made their way back to N.C. They soon fell in love, and their marriage has been defined by its artistic endeavors and entrepreneurialism. “You get to these places in your life when being creative is the necessary thing,” Smith says. “It’s a compulsion.” As a result of their relentless ingenuity, Smith and Clayton have established themselves as an integral part of Raleigh’s local retail and art scenes.

Most days, Clayton can be found running the show at Aardvark Screen Printing, which specializes in designing and printing custom t-shirts. The Whitaker Mill shop, which Clayton has owned and operated for over twenty years, is thoughtfully adorned with vintage advertisements. “It looks like an antique store when you walk in, not a shirt shop,” says Clayton. At Aardvark, you may find him behind the screen printing press or hand-writing an invoice — or you may hear him upstairs, playing drums after hours with his current band, The Feeds. “I never pictured myself having a big company — that doesn’t excite me,” Clayton explains. “We do everything hands-on.” At home, Smith refurbishes antiques and creates one-of-a-kind wax encaustic paintings and Japanese-style pottery. Their basement workshop looks like a well-curated step back in time, with a vintage rocking chair in one corner, a mirror covered in wooden lizards (hand-carved by Smith) in another, and the couple’s beagle-hound mix, Roscoe Thelonious Coltrane, shuffling around. The walls are filled with framed screen prints of the Rad Yak and folk art-style creations (see: UFOs surrounded by glittery crumpled beer cans). For a while, Smith worked as a high school art teacher, but “I’d always been this serial entrepreneur cloaked in public education,” she says. In the late 2010s, Smith and Clayton decided to clear their historic Glenwood-Brooklyn home of some art and antiques they had acquired over the years, but quickly realized there was a business opportunity at hand. “We both inherited everything at first,” Clayton says. “We were like, how are we gonna get rid of all this stuff? We can’t have a yard sale every week!” The pair started retailing antiques inside the Cheshire Cat Antique Gallery in the Village District and, along with some of their original artwork and screenprint pieces, through an Etsy shop (named, of course, Rad Yak). And once their personal collection was exhausted, they started sourcing antiques from rural markets

This page: A mix of original art and collected pieces in Greg Clayton and Myra Smith's home. Opposite page: the couple at home.

and sales, turning yesterday’s junk into new treasures for their customers. In the meantime, Smith finished a master’s degree in contemplative education and decided to dedicate her work to teaching people practical mindfulness and meditation skills. She started Mindful High School, an effort to bring meditation to teens in their classrooms, and also Mind Juku, for adult practitioners. “I want to help people have a more sane experience while they are here on the planet,” says Smith, who offers classes to clients on a sliding pay scale. “I don’t want mindfulness to be this unreachable, unattainable thing.” Clayton acknowledges the challenges and rewards of being a small business owner, counting Aardvark lucky that it remained operational during the pandemic. “I didn’t let anybody go when

things shut down,” he says. Aardvark’s current location is slated for demolition to make room for new development, and will soon move to a nearby space on the outskirts of Mordecai. Among all their pursuits, Smith and Clayton look forward to what the future holds. “The shop moving is the next big thing for me,” Clayton says. “It’s stressful, but it’s also exciting — there’s gonna be so much to do.” Smith, for her part, is finishing up the busy season for mindfulness classes, which she says fill up in the winter months, and ready to help her husband reset. As for the Rad Yak, he continues to be a reminder of optimism and delight for the couple and, they hope, for others. “He’s just a guy that looks very peaceful,” says Clayton. “We hope he brings people joy when they see him.” The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 37

Todd Pusser (SALAMANDER)


The Carolina Sandhills Salamander

STREAK of RED Discovered decades ago, the Carolina Sandhills Salamander has recently been proven to be an entirely new species by HAMPTON WILLIAMS HOFER photography by JUSTIN KASE CONDER


thought it was just an oddball,” says Alvin Braswell of the unusual red salamander he first saw in 1969. At the time, he was the assistant curator for lower invertebrates at the North Carolina Museum of Natural 38 | WALTER

Sciences. It looked like a Southern TwoLined Salamander (Eurycea cirrigera), but “the specimen had hardly any stripes, it was different — and it alerted us to pay more attention.” Braswell went on to spend many rainy nights along streams “all over” the Sand-

hills, burrowing through root tangles in search of more of these salamanders. He learned to find them on roadsides, where they tended to move on damp winter nights — little streaks on the asphalt, indistinguishable from pine needles when their heads were down.

Five decades later, that “oddball” red salamander is now known officially as the Carolina Sandhills Salamander (Eurycea arenicola). It marks the 64th salamander species for North Carolina. “It’s exciting because it adds yet another species to a state which already boasts the highest salamander diversity in the United States — and possibly of any similar-sized region in the world,” says Jeff Beane, collections manager for herpetology at the NCMNS. Almost every known specimen of the Carolina Sandhills Salamander is housed in the NCMNS’s collection — but you won’t find them downtown. In the summer of 1998, the ethanol-preserved specimens were moved from the museum’s basement to the Prarie Ridge Ecostation & Research Laboratory near Reedy Creek Road, since such a large volume of flammable liquid beneath

Top: Alvin Braswell at a creek on the property of the Prairie Ridge Ecostation & Research Laboratory. Bottom: Salamander specimens.

a public building downtown posed serious safety concerns. Today, the 20,000-square-foot lab holds more than two million fluid-preserved, researchgrade specimens of invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, some of which were collected in the late 1800s. “Those collections are invaluable for documenting the biodiversity of not only North Carolina, but other regions as well,” says Beane. “The lab houses the world’s largest collections of many species, and its regional representation is among the strongest of any collection in the world.” The new categorization of the Carolina Sandhills Salamander is thanks to significant advancements in DNA analysis — and some serious team effort. When Braswell, who currently serves as the interim deputy director The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 39


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Top: North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences research curator of herpetology, Bryan Stuart, inside the Prairie Ridge Ecostation & Research Laboratory. Bottom: Stuart and Braswell near the lab.

of the museum, turned his work over to Bryan Stuart, research curator for herpetology in 2008, he knew Stuart would run with it. “Bryan has feet in both traditional and modern techniques of DNA analysis,” says Braswell. “He’s done a wonderful job showing that this salamander is unique.” Thanks to a Research Opportunity Award grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation in 2016, Stuart’s team used a next-generation machine called an Illumina MiSeq to sequence the salamander’s DNA. The results showed that it differed from previously known species in both the mitochondrial and nuclear genome. Sequencing was no small task, as separate populations and species of twolined salamanders have come in contact many times during their evolutionary histories. “As a result of gene exchange among members of this species complex,

a larger number of genes than usual were needed to disentangle their evolutionary history and show that the Carolina Sandhills Salamander does indeed have the distinct evolutionary lineage to be called a distinct species,” Stuart explains.

“Sorting out who’s who out there in the world is fascinating. And this isn’t the last discovery. Not by any means.” — Alvin Braswell North Carolina’s 64 species of salamanders reflect the history of a state that has never been a desert and never been glaciated — it’s remained a stable area with a variety of habitats. But there is still discovery to be done in our own backyards: the Carolina Sandhills

Salamander is the third new species to be described in North Carolina in the past year, and the research continues. “While some may tend to believe all our local biodiversity has been discovered by now and that new discoveries await only in remote corners of the globe, that is far from true,” says Beane. “Genetics have become a strong tool for teasing out the true relationships of organisms that we only thought we knew.” Stuart calls the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences “an aggregation of kindred spirits who share a fascination with the natural world around us.” This network of devoted and curious minds is hard at work researching, engaging the community, and uncovering new details about life on earth. “Sorting out who’s who out there in the wild is fascinating,” says Braswell. “And this isn’t the last discovery. Not by any means.”


A grande dame, an old beech, and other memory-keepers on the path to this gardener’s genesis

In the Beginning by JIM DODSON


ifteen years ago, a grande dame of English gardening named Mirabel Osler smiled coyly over a goblet of merlot and said something I’ll never forget. “You know, dear,” she declared, “being a gardener is perhaps the closest thing you’ll ever get to playing God. Please don’t let on to the Almighty, however. He thinks He gets to have all the fun.” The café in Ludlow, Osler’s Shropshire market town, claimed a Michelin star. But the real star that early spring afternoon in the flowering Midlands of England was Dame Mirabel herself. Spry and witty, the 80-year-old garden designer had reintroduced the classic English “cottage garden” to the mainstream with her winsome 1988 book, A Gentle Plea for Chaos. The intimate tale of how she and her late husband transformed their working farm into a botanical paradise where nature was free to flourish became a surprise bestseller that fueled a worldwide renaissance in cottage gardening.


It’s actually what inspired me to create my “faux English Southern Garden” on a forest hilltop in Maine. My visit with Osler was one of several stops I was making across England in the spring as part of a year-long odyssey through the horticulture world researching a book about human obsession with gardens — including my own. When I asked Dame Mirabel why making a garden becomes so all-consuming and appealing, she had a ready answer. “I think among the most valuable things a garden does for the human soul is make us feel connected to the past and therefore each other,” she said, sipping her wine. “We’re all old souls, you know, people who love plants. Especially trees.” She was delighted that I shared her enchantment with trees, mentioning a gorgeous old American beech that stood beside our house in Maine and how it became the centerpiece of my own wild garden. When my children were still quite young, we carved our initials into the beech — as one must do with its smooth, gray bark — hoping our names and the tree might reside together forever, or at least a couple hundred years. Unfortunately, our great beech was visibly ailing,

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which sent me on an odyssey to try to save it. That quest ultimately became a book I wrote called Beautiful Madness. “I think that’s the alchemy of a beautiful tree,” Dame Mirabel agreed. “They speak to us in a quiet language all their own. They watch over the days of our lives and will long outlive us. No wonder that everyone from Plato to the Druids of Celtic lore believed divinities resided in groves of trees. Trees are living memory-keepers.” Mirabel Osler passed away in 2016, at age 91. Not long after Beautiful Madness was published in 2006, however, she wrote me a charming note to say how much she enjoyed reading about our visit in Ludlow. True to form, as my wife, Wendy, and I discovered on that unforgettable spring day, Dame Osler’s final garden was a chaotic masterpiece, a backyard filled with beautiful small trees and flowering shrubs arching over a narrow stone pathway. Not surprisingly, as this long, dark winter of 2021 approached its end, Dame Mirabel was on my mind anew as I began serious work and planning on what will be my fourth — and likely final — garden. Five years ago, Wendy and I purchased a handsome old bungalow in the neighborhood where I grew up, allowing me to spend the next three years transforming its front and side yards into my version of a miniature enchanted forest — my tribute to Dame Mirabel’s Shropshire garden. I nicknamed the long-neglected backyard, dense with overgrown shrubs and half-dead trees, “The Lost Kingdom.” Reclaiming just half of this space was another odyssey, but more than a year later — and thanks to the assistance of a younger back and a Bobcat — a promising shade garden of ferns, hostas, Japanese maples, and a handsome Y0shino Japanese cedar now flourishes there. It reminds me of the many Asian-themed botanical gardens I’ve visited. That left only a final section of the Lost Kingdom to deal with, which I began clearing late last fall, resulting in a nice blank canvas half in shade, half in sun.

Since Christmas Day, I’ve spent hours just looking at this space the way the author in me stares at a blank white page before starting a new book. Creating a new garden from scratch is both addictively fun and maddeningly elusive — a tale as old as Genesis. It’s neither for the faint of heart nor skint of wallet. Gardens, like children, mature and change over time. At best, gardeners and parents must accept that we are, in the end, simply loving caretakers for these living and breathing works of art. Although the Good Lord may have finished His or Her garden in just six days, I fully expect my new final project — which, in truth, is relatively small — to provide years of work and revision before my soul and shovel can rest. No complaint there, mind you. As the Secretary of the Interior (aka, my wife) can attest, her garden-mad husband enjoys few things more than getting strip-off-before-you-dare-come-intothis-house dirty in the great outdoors, possibly because his people were Orange and Alamance county dirt farmers stretching back to the Articles of Confederation and their verdure seems to travel at will through his bloodstream like runaway wisteria. After weeks of scheming and dreaming, sketching out elaborate bedding plans and chucking them, it finally came together when a dear old friend from Southern Pines named Max, renowned for his spectacular camellia gardens, gave me five of his original seedlings for the new garden. I planted them on the borders and remembered something Dame Mirabel said about old souls and trees being memory-keepers.

Surrounded by Max’s grandiflora camellias, this garden will be a tribute to the trees and people I associate them with. A pair of pink flowering dogwoods already anchor a shady corner of the garden where a peony border will pay tribute to the plant-mad woman who taught me to love getting dirty in a garden: my mom. Nearby will be a pair of flowering crab apple trees like the pair that bloomed every spring in Maine, surrounded by a trio of Japanese maples that I’ve grown from sprouts, linked by a winding path of stone. A fine little American beech already stands at the heart of this raw new garden, a gift from friends that recalls the old tree that sent me around the world. For now, this a good start. There will be more to come. A garden is never really finished, and I’ve only just begun. Jim Dodson is the New York Times bestselling author of Final Rounds: A Father, A Son, The Golf Journey Of A Lifetime. He lives in Greensboro. The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 43


From seed to stovetop, family and food are intertwined

Growing Our Own by LENARD D. MOORE photography by BOB KARP


hen I was growing up, eating good food was a family tradition, especially the delicious choices for all at any gathering. Mostly there were vegetables steaming and waiting for us, but there were some raw ones too, freshly picked, sliced, and neatly arranged on plates — onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes. All of them were from our backyard garden. This celebration of food began with the seeds that my father and I purchased from the farm supplies store. I also received seeds from my great-grandmother and great-aunt, who knew that I gardened each year and that I knew how to take care of a garden because I learned from them, as well as my father. I remember the joy of turning the soil with a shovel, making furrows with the garden hoe, planting, hilling, and watering the seeds or plants that needed hand-setting, such as collards, cabbage, and tomato slips. I learned how to transplant corn from my great-grandmother, including what to do with the long leaves. I tended the garden — weeding, hilling, watering, and raking — until the waist-high and shoulder-high plants yielded their output. Always on the ground, cucumber, watermelon, and


cantaloupe vines sprawled all over the plot. Pole beans wrapped around the slender poles. Of course, I worried about deer and rabbits nibbling whatever they wanted in the garden, but I also learned how to build a scarecrow from my great-grandmother and great-aunt. I recall how scarecrows guarded my great-grandmother’s corn and peanut fields while my brothers and I chopped grass away from the long rows in the stifling sun. We worked, talked, joked, and laughed, but we paid attention to our chopping, keeping our eyes focused. Like others in our African American community, we often ate from our garden. There was no talk of going to the grocery store for vegetables. After harvesting what we wanted from the garden, we sat on the front porch where we snapped or shelled beans and shucked corn with our father. All we knew was eating fresh food out of the garden. In my early years, another one of our great-aunts took my brothers and me fishing, and she taught us how to fish — the baiting, casting, and reeling in the catch — for one big enough to take off the hook and place in the bucket. She would pick us up and drive us to the fishing spots, mostly the Atlantic Ocean where the breaking blue-gray water seemed to whisper to us. It was beautiful. It was calming. It was happiness.

Later years, far into adulthood, my youngest sister would ask, “Do you remember when Dad-Dad would have sweat dripping off him while cooking for us?” “Yes,” I said, picturing the cooking scene vividly as if it were not in the distant past. That’s how it was. It seemed like he enjoyed cooking in that hot kitchen. In fact, I knew that he knew what fatherhood was all about, and he demonstrated how to be a good provider and a great father. At breakfast, his favorite dish often steamed in front of us. I can still smell those fried potatoes and onions. They were delicious. Perhaps I should have said that I learned how to clean fish from my grandfather. I scaled, gutted, and cleaned the flounder, trout, spot, or croaker. I can still picture the silver pan piled with fish in it, After harvesting what we wanted smelling of the sea, on from the garden, we sat on the front the long, wooden table the backyard. Then, porch where we snapped or shelled in in early evening, our beans and shucked corn with our mother fried the fish and father. All we knew was eating fresh made hot-water cornbread. At any moment, food out of the garden. we might push through the black swinging doors into the kitchen so that we could smell In those same years, my great-grandthe aroma of supper. mother, my grandmother, and my uncle Supper, which is what we called the raised chickens. Another one of my evening meal, consisted of fresh cooked uncles raised pigs. Thus, there was fresh collards, baked macaroni and cheese, meat, too. So the community was packed with food, despite the eye-burning sweat hot fish, and cornbread. There was freshly picked hot pepper, which was from all of the work that it took to put diced for the collards, and hot sauce for food on our table.

the fish. Sometimes our mother baked a pineapple upside-down cake. We were well fed. So it was typical to leave the table happy and content. I am reeling with food memories. My sisters recently told some people how, in my late teens, I cooked for them, our whole family in fact. Yes, I learned to cook from our parents. I experimented with cooking different meals, too. I even had a recipe, A La Beef Delight, published in a cookbook. I remember how my late daughter loved a particular dish that I cooked — barbecue chicken with steamed rice baked in it. I always made certain that there was enough sauce to drizzle over the rice. Like my father, I sliced fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion, too. It was not difficult to keep the custom going because my daughter enjoyed healthy meals. She also enjoyed whenever I grilled food in the backyard. It still gives me pleasure to remember our eating together as a family. When my father arrived home from working at Camp Lejeune, we knew it was suppertime. Our mouths began to water. No one trickled to the table late. Although my childhood home in Jacksonville was bulldozed earlier this decade to make room for the expansion of the highway, I still carry such fond memories of family and food. It’s bittersweet now because my great-grandmother, grandmother, great-aunts, my uncle, and my daughter have transitioned. Sadly, that roster of loss of kinfolk has grown. But food and the memory of food are still cherished in Eastern North Carolina. Lenard D. Moore is executive chairman of the North Carolina Haiku Society and founder and executive director of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective. This story was published in All the Songs We Sing: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective. He lives in Raleigh. The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 45


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FEATURES HOW IT STARTED Here’s a tale of the founding of Raleigh Whose location was not quite a folly Its congressmen said, “We need beers by our bed! Put us near Hunter’s Tavern, by golly!” by EMILY CATANEO

...HOW IT’S GOING In Tar Heel State lies a city of red brick Oaks stand tall but the air is so, so thick Come for high income brackets Barbecue stains on suit jackets Better buy in — beat the next real estate uptick! by DIANA FENVES

LIMERICK ON! These two poems are by members of the Redbud Writing Group, a Raleigh-based organization that runs classes in creative writing, memoir, and more. Find more poems — and submit your own! — on

illustration by JILLIAN OHL

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 49


T above: Berry O’Kelly, one of the most prominent early 20th-century Black leaders in North Carolina. right: Siblings Estelle Williams, John Goode, Rev. Robert Goode and Melba Goode McCallum on the front porch of the Method neighborhood home where they grew up.


he autumn sun was high above trees adorned in golden leaves the first time I met Mr. Albert Crenshaw, last November. He walked with me toward Method Road from the home of his longtime friend, Mr. John Goode. I followed Crenshaw’s lead as we cut a path behind the Raleigh Inter-Church Housing apartments. “This is the way we used to walk to school every morning,” he explained as we crossed Method Road and approached the historic grounds of the former Berry O’Kelly High School, now known as the Berry O’Kelly/Harveleigh White Method Community Center. The Method neighborhood — hemmed in by North Carolina State University, Meredith College and the Beltline — is modest, as it has always been. Ranch-style homes boast various 1970s-era schemes: vinyl siding in mustard yellow or avocado green, and the ever-present red brick. Goode’s home, by contrast, is a fresh baby blue and white, with a front porch that stretches the full length of the facade, a preferred gathering space for family and friends.

On days like today, however, everyone gathers in the covered carport. A large white tent has been erected next to it, and it’s here that The Method Boys to Men Club — a group formed to be the neighborhood’s backbone, providing fellowship, advocacy, and support — prepares boxes of groceries and PPE to distribute to neighbors and local families. CARVING OUT A PLACE According to a report written for the Historic Raleigh Development Commission, the Method village was formed in 1872 by half-brothers Jesse Mason and Isaac O’Kelly, who purchased 69 mostly wooded acres two miles outside the Raleigh city limits from Confederate General William Ruffin Cox of Raleigh and Edgecombe County. Mason and O’Kelly parceled the land and sold lots to newly freed Black families, and by the turn of the century, Method held over fifty households. Its residents brought an assortment of trades and services; the town had two railroad stops, a grocery store, and its own post office. Method went through many name changes. In the beginning, it was those

Courtesy of the State Archives of North Carolina (HISTORIC IMAGES)

For over 100 years, the Method neighborhood has stood strong, together

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outside the community that attempted to create its identity: The News & Observer and other white-led institutions referred to the earliest iterations of the community as “Slab Town,” “Planktown,” and “Save Rent.” These names referred to the small lots being sold to Black families avoiding the higher rent in downtown Raleigh and the slab-style homes, resembling log cabins, that were built on those lots. As the community grew, however, so did the desire for its own identity. The name “Masonville” was chosen to honor one of its founders and first pillars of the community, Jesse Mason. One of its early residents, a 10-year-old Berry O’Kelly, moved from Chapel Hill to what was by then known as Mason’s Village in the 1870s to live with relatives after his mother had passed away. As a young man, O’Kelly worked for grocer Charles N. Wood and boarded in his home. Some years later, O’Kelly bought the grocery store from Wood. This marked the beginning of O’Kelly’s illustrious career as a businessman and his legacy as a leader; he also introduced the name Method Village, by which the neighborhood is still known today. In 1894, O’Kelly donated a parcel of land for the purpose of building a school. Method already had three schools run by Wake County, but they dated back to Reconstruction and were in dire need of updating. In 1914, the Berry O’Kelly Training School was born, but its vision was not yet realized. The campus grew and the smaller schools were incorporated into a newer and larger complex that, with the support of Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald of the Sears-Roebuck Foundation, expanded into a sprawling campus of eight buildings. The school taught elementary through high school students and was a prestigious institution that attracted young people and teachers from across the state. Every student from its inaugural graduating class was accepted into college. In 1923, the Berry O’Kelly High School was one of only three high schools for Black students that was accredited by the state, and one of the first to adhere to the nine-month instructional calendar. 52 | WALTER

This page, top to bottom: Albert Crenshaw in front of the Berry O’Kelly School Agricultural Building; interior of Berry O’Kelly School, circa 1920-1930; dedication of the school in 1928. Opposite page, top to bottom: Melba Goode McCallum and Estelle Williams in front of the Berry O’Kelly/Harveleigh White Community Center; basketball court at Method Community Park.

Courtesy of the State Archives of North Carolina (HISTORIC IMAGES)

FAMILY, CLASSMATES, AND FOREVER FRIENDS Berry O’Kelly High School was a constant backdrop for the children of Method, many of whom are still in the neighborhood. Those too young to attend played basketball and baseball on the grounds. Those who were students remember the rigor of their studies and the kindness of the teachers. Mr. W. D. Moore was the principal at Berry O’Kelly when Crenshaw attended in the 1950s. “If you asked him for something, he may not give it to you right away,” says Crenshaw, “but, eventually, he’d give in.” This included allowing the students to play in the gymnasium after hours and run through the woods behind the school. In its heyday, nine buildings made up the school. Moore, the high school’s last principal, lived in the principal’s quarters on campus. Now only two structures — the agriculture building and the gymnasium-turned-community center — remain. Summertime meant no school, making toys, and finding jobs. Rev. Robert Goode, John Goode’s brother and the pastor of Wesley Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Smithfield, remembers going into the woods that surrounded Method Village to pick blackberries. “We would sell them on Hillsborough Street for thirty-five cents a quart. Once we earned $1.05, we would take our money to the general store to buy an orangeade and a honey bun,” Rev. Goode chuckles. “We thought we were living like kings.” “I remember in the summertime, we would leave the house soon after sunrise and not come home until the sun went down,” says Estelle Williams, John Goode’s younger sister. “Mother would even serve us our lunch outside.” The practice of collective care in Method is the foundation of the village. Bertha Maye Edwards was a child of Method and granddaughter of Jesse Mason. In her memoir, The Little Place and The Little Girl, she recorded her experience growing up in Method Village. She noted that Berry O’Kelly waived her family’s rent when her father passed away. “My mother always wanted a home of her own, but she never had the good fortune to have The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 53


Squash and Mushroom Gratin STEP 1: TOMATO GRAVY 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 tablespoon cornmeal 2 cans crushed tomato ½ teaspoon salt

one; now with this offer made by Mr. O’Kelly, she felt some security,” Edwards wrote. The children of Method enjoyed innocent mischief, like climbing trees, playing pranks on their siblings, and swimming in the agriculture basin owned by neighboring N.C. State University. As they grew, they became leaders in the military, education, church, and business. Rev. Goode preached his first sermon at fourteen in St. James AME Church, which was built on land donated by Berry O’Kelly in 1872. The main structure that still stands on Method Road today was built in 1923, with an addition built in 1999. Rev. Goode’s mother was a member of this church, while their father attended Oak City Baptist Church. Though the children were given a choice of which church to attend as they got older, “on Mother’s Day,” Rev. Goode explains, “you would find us at St. James.” SERVING COMMUNITY, PRESERVING CULTURE From the beginning, Method was a relatively poor community, mostly composed of farmers and factory workers. The lack of wealth stymied the community’s ability to do things like buy streetlights, pave roads, or build water systems. In 1937, the villagers formed the Method Civic League to enrich the community’s infrastructure and ensure that the village’s voice was heard by Wake County and the City of Raleigh. Mr. Swade Sanders, who moved from East Raleigh to Method in 1955, was a member of the Method Civic League. “We stayed down there at City Hall,” Sanders recalls with a smile. “They saw us all the time.” When the City of Raleigh annexed Method in 1960 as part of the expansion of the inner Beltline, it meant Method would finally have city utilities and paved roads — but it also threatened to erase the community’s identity. The city government attempted to change the names of all the roads in Method, but the Civic League petitioned relentlessly and the signs were changed back. The city also attempted to close the post office, a great 54 | WALTER

½ teaspoon pepper

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over m dium-low heat. Once melted, add cornmeal a cook for five minutes while constantly stirring Add crushed tomato to the mixture and increa the heat to medium. Once at a slight simmer, in salt and pepper, then pull from heat. Set as to cool

STEP 2: MUSHROOMS 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 2 pints oyster mushrooms ½ yellow onion 3 garlic cloves ¼ cup white wine

Clockwise from top: St. James AME Church; John Goode in his home; detail of the church; the Berry O’Kelly grave and obelisk in the Method neighborhood.


mend g. ase add side

source of pride for the village, and again the Civic League stood firm. Sanders was himself a trailblazer. He was one of the first Black Greyhound bus drivers in Raleigh, and two of his sons integrated city schools. It was only natural that he was among the men who would advocate for the needs of Method before the predominantly white city council and county board. After integration, Wake County handed over the school to the City of Raleigh, which dispersed the older students to Cary High School and Ligon Middle School, and maintained only the elementary school. John Goode and Crenshaw were among the last graduating class of Berry O’Kelly High School. Community members remember the quality of the school dramatically declining, but the closure of the school in 1965 was no less shocking. “It was devastating,” Crenshaw says, of how he felt on hearing that his school had been torn down. After thirty years of service in the Air Force, John Goode and his wife Carroll moved back to Raleigh in 2010 to care for his aging mother-in-law, the late Mrs. Katie Parish. He could see that Method was losing the identity he knew growing up: many of the factories that had employed the residents had been sold off and shut down, and it seemed that N.C. State was buying up property in the neighborhood as soon as it came up for sale. “Once I came home from Florida, I called some friends to breakfast to reminisce and talk about how things have changed,” says John Goode. That meeting led to the formation of The Method Boys to Men Club. Today, the nonprofit does everything from mentoring the community’s young residents to distributing food to their neighbors, keeping the history and legacy of Method alive. When Hurricane Florence devastated the eastern part of the state, John Goode and fellow club members traveled to Sanford to distribute three truckloads of cleaning supplies to families in need. They hold meet-and-greet cookouts in the spring for old and new Method residents to get to know one another, and since 2007 have hosted Method Day, a summer reunion and celebration of the history The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 55

of the village. When they hear of job fairs and free health clinics, members make sure to get the word out to the people who need it most. One of the club’s biggest accomplishments was successfully petitioning for the Berry O’Kelly School to receive its national historic designation. Two years after the fellowship was founded, the North Carolina Department of Transportation revealed plans to widen Interstate 440 — plans that placed the highway directly through what remained of the Berry O’Kelly school. John Goode and other members of Method immediately went to work. They reached out to the Raleigh Historic Development Commission, which crafted the application for the school to receive the historic designation. In May of 2017, their efforts paid off, and NCDOT redrew their plans. The community once again saved itself from the threat of urban renewal. In 2018, Raleigh provided Method its own historic designation, and the community center was renamed after O’Kelly and another significant member of the Method Civic League and civil rights activist, Harveleigh White. TURNING MEMORIES INTO PURPOSE On the first day I visited, memories and stories overflowed as more and more siblings, relatives, and classmates lent a hand in preparing the donated goods for distribution. A common theme among them was presently on display: that it didn’t matter how much money the residents of Method made, because the neighborhood would provide. “We were poor, but we didn’t know it,” Goode explained. “You could always go borrow a cup of sugar, or anything you needed. We all took care of each other.” Now, in the time of COVID, members have focused on meeting the most critical needs of their neighbors, like food and personal protective equipment. Through a partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, Method Boys to Men receives hand sanitizer, gloves, and face masks to distribute 56 | WALTER

Clockwise from top left: A food truck from the Bread of Life being unloaded at John Goode’s home; Karen Bethea-Shields; Rev. Robert Goode’s shirt; donations ready to be distributed; volunteers sort food donations.

to residents free of charge at their twicea-month food distribution events. “Before, we would lay the meals and groceries out and let people take what they needed,” Rev. Goode explained while he prepared bags of PPE. “But to keep people safe, we have started packing boxes of food and supplies and having people pick them up.” Method Boys to Men will also deliver grocery boxes to those who aren’t able to come in person, and they take several back to their own churches and neighbors. Not letting a single thing go to waste, any produce that cannot be distributed is given to farmers to feed their animals. Among the day’s helpers was former judge Karen Bethea-Shields, a Method native who attended Berry O’Kelly High School for two years before they shut it down. She went on to become one of the first Black women to attend Duke University Law School in 1974 and Durham’s first female judge in 1980. Mr. Goode described her as “a legend in Method.” “When I was growing up, all this was trees,” she explained as we looked at the apartment complex across the street. “And every Christmas, my Dad would go out and cut down our Christmas tree.” As she continued, her memories matched the ones of John Goode, Rev. Goode, and Crenshaw — playing sports, picking blackberries to buy their favorite snacks, and being with friends until the streetlights came on. “That’s when we were supposed to come home, but we would walk halfway up the street, then back to the corner, several times before we finally arrived at the front door.” The worst memories, it seems, were having to say goodbye. Bethea-Shields is not ready to say goodbye to Method. As she reflected on how the neighborhood has changed over the years, she said: “There are still remnants of the community that I remember, because you have the same people, and they’re instilling those values that were taught to us to the younger generation.” “And that is the purpose of the community,” she continued. “Change is good, but you don’t forget the past.” The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 57


ast February, just weeks before 2020’s “great pause,” I escaped Raleigh for a weekend of celebrating the sporting life. My husband’s gun dog business, Wildrose Kennels Carolinas, was participating in the inaugural Beaufort Game Faire, hosted at the new Beaufort Hotel in — you guessed it — Beaufort. Located just down the road from bustling downtown, Beaufort Hotel was built on an old menhaden plant site. It’s got a gorgeous marina, expansive hotel facilities, and rental cottages on the property. Sweeping porches offer a view of Carrot Island and Taylor Creek, and their bar makes the best cocktails in town. The Beaufort Game Faire was conceived in 2019 by a few enterprising locals as an attractive stop along the way to the SEWE (Southeastern Wildlife Expo) in Charleston, South Carolina. In a typical year, thousands of people make their annual pilgrimage to SEWE to enjoy the pleasures associated with the sporting lifestyle, including great food, music, and swag. This concept of an event celebrating hunting and fishing is not totally new (Washington, N.C., has hosted its popular annual Wildlife Arts Festival for over 20 years). But these local events are invaluable for communities like Beaufort, which is better known as a small boating town than a sporting destination, as the visiting tourists fill local hotel rooms and restaurants in an otherwise quiet time of year. For its first year, the Beaufort Game Faire committee assembled an extensive and noteworthy group of artisans and businesses for the weekend, from knife makers to hunting dog trainers. The event ran from Thursday evening to Sunday brunch. The drone of bagpipes notified guests that the opening festivities had begun, ushering the crowd to a barbecue dinner and cigar/bourbon tasting on the hotel porch. The fun was just starting. Friday morning came early for us Thursday partygoers (that North Carolina small-batch bourbon was particularly smooth the night before). But the Blessing of the Hounds — a time-honored hunting ritual for foxhunters, hounds, and horses


Sampling the sporting life through a new tradition in Beaufort

FAIR The Art & Soul of Raleigh

Sunset at the dock near the Beaufort Hotel in Beaufort, North Carolina.


The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 59

DOGS AT WORK English cocker spaniel gun dogs owned by Jay Lowry of Ryglen Gundogs await their commands during the gun dog demonstration.


— was worth the early wake-up call. In full Episcopalian vestments, Rector Tammy Lee of Beaufort’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Church led the crowd in a spirited observance. With the lobby fire crackling in the background and coffee in hand, we sang a few hymns and Rev. Lee said a few nice prayers. All was calm (in spite of the ten dogs who were part of the ceremony) as Rev. Lee’s lovely blessing sent us out into the blustery Friday morning. Neither the labs nor the spaniels appeared perturbed that no hounds were in attendance for their blessing.

We watched as George, Brows, and Sage — agile, gorgeous, silkyhaired beasts — stood riveted, awaiting their owner’s instruction. Over the next two days, the Faire assembled an impressive offering of vendors and exhibitors from all over the Southeast within the hotel. Among them was renowned bird call craftsman Ralph Jensen, of Wilmington, known for his cheeky motto: “For a call with class, go with the ‘stache.” Jensen — immediately identifiable by his white handlebar mustache — held court at his table by the fireplace where he whittled and chatted and chided guests to toot and trill his calls. Adjoining Jensen’s fireside workspace sat Jerry Talton, who crafts handmade Core Sound decoys in Carteret County. Talton laughed at Jensen’s jokes and answered customer questions while he carved. I touched my first elephant hide at Al Ange Leather’s booth, a leather goods producer out of Newport News, Virginia. They offer all sorts of fine handmade shooting pouches, shell carriers, belts, bags, and other accessories. Each of their animal hides comes with its own serial number for tracking the country of origin and the date the hide was harvested. Over the course of the weekend, dog demonstrations were conducted on the

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 61

DUCK, DUCK Wooden decoys hand-carved by Jerry Talton.


hotel’s front lawn. These shows are fan favorites, as the dogs demonstrate their skills in the field — as well as antics that no one can predict. Wildrose Carolinas Labrador retrievers, under the charismatic command of founder Mike Stewart, entertained the crowd. The high-octane British labs leapt, sprinted, “stayed in place,” and retrieved all manner of bumpers. Stewart knows his audience: He got the crowd laughing as the dogs retrieved beer cans sent adrift by simulated kayak mishaps. These gorgeous dogs are natural performers that wooed the audience just by being their wagging, affable selves.

The South’s “First Lady of Fishing,” Wanda Taylor — the first female master of certified casting — taught fly casting in the pool.

SHE’S FLY Casting sessions with master fly fisher Wanda Taylor.

In addition to the Wildrose retrievers, Ryglen English spaniels from Illinois were also part of the dog demonstrations. A field cocker’s function in the hunting field is to flush birds from the long grass for quail hunting; we watched as George, Brows, and Sage — agile, gorgeous, silkyhaired beasts — stood riveted, awaiting their owner’s instruction. I happen to own an English cocker, but my distraction techniques (frantic hand gestures and crooning calls) were completely ignored. Those spaniels were good, focused on their owner and field capabilities. Game Faire activities extended far beyond the hotel grounds, however. A red trolley shuttled guests down the road to activities housed at the Beau Coast Community Clubhouse. There, the South’s “First Lady of Fishing,” Wanda Taylor — the first female master of certified casting — taught fly casting in the pool. Guests lined up for their individual sessions. Fly tying classes, along with continuous jokes and stories, were spun next door by volunteers of the local Healing Wa-

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 63

ters chapter, a group committed to the rehabilitation of disabled military service personnel through fly fishing, education, and outings. Next stop was a few miles down Highway 70 at the Simpson Farm. I drove my Buick Enclave into the staging area — and quickly understood this was best for pickup trucks. At Simpson Farm, hunters were engaged in simulated driven grouse and rough hunting using rabbit targets and springing woodcock. While I am not a hunter — my husband suggested we go turkey hunting on our second date in 1990, but withdrew the offer when I expressed displeasure at the 4:30 a.m. call time and has never invited me again — I ventured out to see the Faire’s hunting offerings as a voyeur. The North River Gun Club, another tenmile drive toward Harkers Island, hosted multiple shotgun clinics throughout the weekend. Saturday afternoon’s Carolina Conservation Cup 5-Stand Championship — shooters at five stations aim for various combinations of clay birds — drew a big crowd. Shooting or not, the club was a companionable setting as people mingled around barrel fires, warming their hands. Dinner at the hotel was a different theme each evening, but was always made with local fare, grown and caught nearby: Thursday was the previously mentioned bourbon and barbecue dinner; Friday was a low-country boil with shucked oysters on the porch; Saturday featured a delicious wild game banquet. Needless to say, guests did not go to bed hungry. My friend David Cozart, a long-time Beaufort homeowner, says the town is always sunny on the last day of a stay — and Sunday was no exception. We spent a beautiful morning on the hotel lawn, bellinis in hand, as the Game Faire wrapped up with the final dog demonstration. The Wildrose labs seemed to enjoy the spotlight, as the field cockers had departed the night before for a private hunt in Georgia. At the conclusion of the Wildrose show, the hotel’s lot emptied of license plates from states near and far. Taking in the water and hotel, it occurred to me that while the Beaufort Game Faire was a great stop on the SEWE pilgrimage, it was also a perfect destination all on its own. 00 | WALTER 64

READY, AIM Clockwise from top left: David Lasley of Raleigh shooting clay pigeons; spent rifle shotgun cartridges; sunset over Taylor Creek; Doro Taylor of Raleigh.

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A Boylan Heights bungalow fuses eras for a cozy, comfortable style


n this historic Boylan Heights bungalow, the homeowners were starting from scratch. Well, not exactly scratch: the young couple had good architecture to work with, a Pinterest board full of ideas, and a collection of hand-medown furnishings that dated back to their college years. The key was to filter through it all, edit what they’d grown out of, and meld their taste with the existing space — all on a reasonable budget. “I have always enjoyed interior design, and had some idea of what I wanted, but I was having a really hard time making decisions,” says the homeowner. “Every room was going to need an overhaul, and it felt overwhelming.” To help put her vision together, she enlisted Durham-based design consultant


SIMPLY PRETTY “I wanted someplace that was really comfortable,” says the homeowner of her living room. “We wanted a place that’s durable, where people could bring dogs or kids over and we wouldn’t be worried about messing it up.” The challenge was to make it comfortable without cluttering it up. Fairchild upholstered a low-slung sectional in a performance fabric, then added a side chair that can be easily moved around for different scenarios. “This is the room where they hang out with each other and watch TV, but it’s also the first room in the home, so it had to be easy to pull together if people come over,” she says. To make the room feel bigger, Fairchild hung art low on the walls, including a piece by Raleigh painter Kayla Plosz Antiel above the sofa.

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COLOR PLAY “We really started with the paint,” says Fairchild. “The trim color, Benjamin Moore Heather Gray, has a historic feel, but it’s also a little unexpected to keep the walls ivory and use the darker color along the trim and molding.” Throughout the home, Fairchild incorporated vintage and antique pieces to bridge the decades between when the house was built and the current era. She tapped her friend, stylist Ashley Whiteside, to source the art hanging in the kitchen (an antique Italian school painting) and above the mantle (a vintage piece from the 1970s).

Jourdan Fairchild of Spruce Creative Studio. “The bones were great, but the finishes were off,” says Fairchild of their starting point. “It had great fireplaces and high ceilings — very charming, but not thoughtfully done.” The 1,300-square-foot home was built in the early 1900s, so the homeowner wanted to respect its original character while making the rooms feel spacious and adding storage. Together, she and Fairchild tackled four rooms: the bedroom, kitchen, living room, and dining room (with another small bedroom still on the to-do list). Fairchild worked with the homeowner through a combination of mood board building, phone calls, and in-person consults. “When we put together my first mood board, she pulled an inspiration image from designer Emily Henderson, and it was a picture I’d already pinned on my own,” says the homeowner. “I was floored


— it felt like this was meant to be.” A former magazine editor, Fairchild has a knack for helping her clients create a narrative within their homes. It was exactly what the homeowner had in mind. “I like things that tell a story, an eclectic mix of old and new,” the homeowner says. “We wanted the design to reflect both our style and the style of the home. It’s such an old house, but we have a modern sensibility.” Budget was key, since this young couple wasn’t in a position to decorate top-to-bottom, all at once, or to spring for to-the-trade furnishings. “The reason I started this business was that I saw a need for people who can’t afford traditional interior designers to still be able to have homes that are both pretty and practical,” says Fairchild. “I think good design is for everyone.” Together, they honed the vision, created a color palette — minty greens,

terracotta reds, and sherbert oranges — and selected what to purchase, pulling together the look with a mix of new furnishings from affordable retailers, vintage finds, and a few of their original pieces. “I helped her create a guidebook for how she wanted their home to look so she and her husband could bring it to life as time and budget allowed,” Fairchild says. Starting with the bedroom, she and the homeowner worked room by room to update paint colors and add furniture, art, and other details over the course of about six months. The result is a home that’s cozy and comfortable, with furnishings that meld eras and patinas to give the new decor a sense of history. “Jourdan was really, really fantastic to work with,” says the homeowner. “She helped us tell a story about the character of the home with the pieces she brought in. We think the world of her.”

CREATING PROVENANCE “This is a place that’s going to be lived in,” says the homeowner. Fairchild helped the homeowners edit down their decor collection, moving along college-era items like picture frames and candles, but keeping those that still spoke to them, like a wire sculpture the homeowner had made (which sits atop books on the media center). And not all the new pieces were new: Items like the North Carolina-made pots on the mantel and sculpture of the farmer on the hearth were vintage finds, a way to give the room patina while still having a more grown-up feel.


The Art & Soul of Raleigh 69


BRIGHT UPDATE “We cook a lot, but we don’t entertain big crowds,” says the homeowner; they wanted the kitchen to be an easy spot for the cook to be part of the conversation. They mostly made small changes to the kitchen, like swapping in new hardware and lighting, but the biggest design punch came from mounting shelves from Semihandmade onto the wall adjoining the peninsula. “It used to be a fireplace, but it looked out of place,” says the homeowner. “The shelves give it a sense of purpose.” Fairchild chose the walnut finish to warm up the room and repeat the natural tones in the woven stools and hardwood flooring, and the shelves turned into a focal point with a mix of the homeowner’s kitchenware and art, including a piece by Canadian artist Yumi Phillips. Airy pendant lighting from Cedar & Moss makes the small kitchen feel bigger.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 71

ROOM TO PLAY “We rarely host fancy dinners, but we do love having friends over for wine or beer around the table and playing games,” says the homeowner. (Instead of tableware, the Anthropologie console holds dozens of board games.) The daybed works as bench seating, but also as a place for friends to crash, thanks to a machine-washable cover. In the corner, a pedestal table showcases a yellow vase that’s actually a HomeGoods find. “I love the idea of creating an artistic statement with unexpected objects,” says Fairchild, “but they can easily move the vase and use it as an extra cocktail table.”


CHIC NOOK Fairchild painted a cabinet they already had the same color as the walls. “It gives you the visual dimension of a built-in, without the expense,” says Fairchild. The cabinet functions as a bar and storage area for books, knickknacks, and, recently, office supplies. The William Morris collection wallpaper on the ceiling was Fairchild’s idea. “She was thinking about having wallpaper somewhere in the house, and this got us the ‘bang for your buck’ effect,” says Fairchild. “That was all Jourdan,” says the homeowner. “When she mentioned it, I was like, yes, that’s awesome!”

The Art & Soul of Raleigh 73 MARCH 2021 ||00

SLEEP HAVEN For the bedroom, the directive was clear: make it perfect for slumber. “I was working night shifts at the time and having a hard time sleeping during the day,” the homeowner says, “so I wanted it to be dark and super comfortable.” They painted the walls and trim a deep blue, French Beret by Benjamin Moore, and layered on blackout shades and velvet drapes to block the sunlight. “When you shut the curtains and cozy up in bed, it’s so dark you’d never know it’s daylight — but we can also pull the windows up and get tons of natural light,” says the homeowner. The mirrors above the side table reflect light when the windows are open, and since the older home is short on closets, Fairchild incorporated a storage bed from West Elm and used small dressers as side tables for extra space to stash clothing and linens.



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With grit and grace, Ana Shellem harvests shellfish for chefs all over North Carolina




The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 77


inter in the marshes of Masonboro Island: Cold, clear water flows out to the sea through winding tidal creeks, exposing the roots of the umber-colored salt-marsh cordgrass. The oysters lie asleep in their beds. The crisp air is tinged with the brine-sweet smell of marsh mud; there’s no sound but the distant roar of the waves against the beach, the occasional crack of the pistol shrimp and the cascading call of the willet — not silence, but the absence of noise. In the eastern sky, the sun hides behind clouds whose rippled textures mirror the surface of the water on this windless morning. This is the office of Ana Shellem, owner and operator of Shell’em Seafood, commercial fisherman, and badass queen of the salt marsh. She sells sea shells not just by the seashore but also to top restaurants across North Carolina. If you’ve dined at any of Ashley Christensen’s restaurants or St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar in Raleigh, there’s a good chance you’ve enjoyed her mussels, oysters, clams, or stone crabs. 78 | WALTER

Shellem, 30, learned to navigate these waters shortly after moving to the area nine years ago. Raised in Tennessee and Kentucky, she started working in professional theater when she was 8 years old. As a teen, the young actor spent summers in New York City and moved there after graduating from high school. Shellem was 21 and living in Harlem when she visited Wilmington for the first time. “I hadn’t experienced the ocean like this, ever in my life,” Shellem says. “I felt drawn to it — like a need to be here.” She got a job as a bartender in Wrightsville Beach, where she met her now-husband Jon, who lived on a sailboat, and has stayed ever since. Masonboro is a barrier island, only accessible by boat, about five miles southeast of Wilmington. On this bright morning, Shellem is gathering mussels, destined to become part of paella this evening at Ceviche’s, a local favorite restaurant. Many fishermen have trouble selling mussels — the general public doesn’t know how to cook them — and they often get overlooked. Shellem figured out how to get around this problem by selling directly to chefs, and essentially made the market for them in North Carolina. Now they are one of her staple harvests. As the boat pulls up to the marsh’s edge, I scan the horizon and realize that we — myself, Shellem, and photographer Mallory Cash — are absolutely alone. We step out, squelching into the mud, where I notice the three-toed tracks of plovers and herons far outnumber our own human bootprints.

Commercial fisherman Ana Shellem in the marshes along the North Carolina coast.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 79


Opposite: Shellem harvests oysters off Masonboro Island. This page: Sharing what she’s found.

In boots, waders, and braids, Shellem forges fearlessly through the grass, taking in textures, colors, and subtle differences in soil composition to help her track down what she searches for. While her mind is completely in the here and now, focused on the present, this art of foraging is ancient, deeply ingrained in some back part of our brain most of us don’t use. She zeroes in on a cluster tucked deep in the grass. A single fluid, well-practiced motion with her hori-hori knife, and she rises up, a wide grin on her mud-flecked face, a cluster of mussels in her gloved hand. They are beautiful. She delicately places them in her bucket and is already off in search of more. The sun comes out and lights up the world. Today, the work goes easily. But there are days when the northeast wind blows strong and the tide doesn’t drop and the marsh hides her face. There are frosty mornings in winter when her gloves are frozen solid; there are sultry summer evenings when no-see-ums feast on any exposed flesh. There are long days of big orders to fill when her body aches from bending, and from lugging heavy buckets of shells through the sucking mud back

and forth to her trusty grey skiff, affectionately named Marsha. There are thunderstorms. There are duck hunters with shotguns and poor eyesight. There is the all-encompassing dread of climate change and the increased frequency and intensity of hurricanes it brings with it. Two years ago, Hurricane Florence almost destroyed what she had worked so hard to build. She couldn’t harvest for six months. But business slowly came back, like the rhythms of the tide she’s built her life on. After four years of business, and with more than 30 clients across the state, the other fishermen — almost entirely male — now take her seriously. They have learned that she isn’t going anywhere. Her clams, mussels, oysters, and stone crabs, however, are going places— and fast. Whereas many fishermen sell their harvests to a wholesaler — they can sometimes be driven all the way to Georgia before ending up on a plate in Charlotte or Raleigh — Shellem personally delivers each order to her clients, often within 24 hours. She enjoys the satisfaction of working directly with chefs, knowing that if she worked with a distributor, the product would likely spend days sitting on a truck.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 81

Above: Searching for mussels — and finding them — along the grass in the marsh. Opposite: Shellem at work.


“That’s not the way I want to treat my product,” she says. “That’s not the way I want to treat Mother Nature.” That speed makes the difference, according to Sunny Gerhart, owner and chef at St. Roch. Gerhart has been buying Shellem’s harvest since she started. “The cool thing about Ana is she’s not trying to sell 10,000 bags of oysters,” Gerhart says. “She works with the folks she works with. If I say I want three bags, she’s going to harvest me three bags, and that’s it. The quality is there, and it’s super fresh coming right out of the water. We’re getting it the same day — she’s harvesting in the morning, and then she’s on the road. It’s hard to get any fresher than that.” With oysters this fresh, Gerhart says, it’s best to serve them raw, on the half shell, perhaps with a little mignonette. He sometimes experiments with smoking and preserving the clams and mussels, echoing the culinary tradition of the Basque coast of Spain. Still, he keeps the preparations simple to highlight the flavor and the hard work that goes into it. “It’s a beautiful product on its own, but it’s really taken care of by Ana,” Gerhart says. “She’s a steward of the coast, doing her thing, bringing that stuff to us. We’re just trying to showcase what she’s doing, what the coast is doing. I don’t need to

show off my culinary skills — she’s the one doing the hard work, so let’s let that shine.” Shellem’s harvests sometimes end up in places other than restaurants, too. Free Range Brewing in Charlotte has created one of its most popular beers, Sea of Companions, with her oysters since 2018. “[Ana’s oysters] are the star ingredient,” co-owner Jason Alexander says. “They’re the saltiest we’ve ever encountered, and they’re super fresh.” Art and chemistry combine in creating this rich wintertime porter, with notes of salted chocolate. A malty backbone of roasted oats and wheat, 96% of which is sourced locally, is blended with a touch of hops to add balance and bitterness. Each 200-gallon batch includes more than 600 oysters, boiled in the wort like a stew during the last stage before fermenting. “As the beer is in the kettle, we recirculate it through a separate vessel with the oysters in it,” Alexander explains. “That allows us to fully cook the oysters, which causes them to open so they release their liquor inside. It allows us to break down the meat and release some proteins, which contributes to the body of the beer, and it allows us to strip some of the minerals from the shells, which enhances the flavor of the beer.” Shellem’s Mussel Beach, a stout made with ribbed mussels harvested by Shellem, will be released later this spring. Wherever her harvest ends up, it always points back to this marsh, to one hardworking woman and a dream. Our day out here is coming to a close — time to head home and wash the mud out of these pants — but Shellem will be back out here tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. The pull of the moon on the tide pulls her, too. Even on days she doesn’t have orders, she often finds herself on a busman’s holiday, back out in the marsh, exploring new spots or just pausing to appreciate the beautiful surroundings. “I didn’t start [fishing] for the money,” Shellem says. “I started because it made me happy.” Out here, amid the grass and the mud and the water and the sky, it’s easy to see why.

“I didn’t start fishing for the money, I started because it made me happy.” —Ana Shellem

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 83


A Century of Character This Hayes Barton home is one-of-a-kind by CATHERINE CURRIN


ituated just steps from the hustle and bustle of Five Points, the York-Drake House is hard to miss. It’s deeply rooted in Raleigh history — famed builder Charles V. York constructed this Hayes Barton home back in 1919 — and the striking Spanish Colonial design has stood the test of time. The home has been in current homeowner Roger Edwards’ family for decades. “My family bought this home in the 1920s,” he says. Edwards and his wife Patricia hope the next owner appreciates the way this home has aged well over the years. “You can just feel the difference,” he says. “I love the way it has accommodated modernizations.” The original front doors open to a foyer with 12-foot ceilings and stairs leading to a unique mezzanine bedroom, formerly a summer sleeping porch with screens for windows. Edwards said this was his room growing up, complete with wraparound windows, heart pine flooring, and stained glass. The entire home is bright and airy. “Every room in the house has at least two sources of natural light, and oversized windows,” he says. He ensures “they don’t build homes like this anymore,” and he’s made a point to keep the space’s character intact through two significant renovations. Upgrades include sleek bathrooms as well as an open-concept, bright and modern kitchen.


From above: View of The York-Drake House from Fairview Road; the home’s bright breakfast room.

The juxtaposition of modern and traditional design allows for a unique aesthetic with a functional space. A breakfast nook off the kitchen sports heart pine flooring as well as floorto-ceiling windows overlooking the back of the property. The four bed/seven bath home sits on almost an acre and has charming nuances at every turn, like curved edges on the thick plaster walls that nestle into ornate crown molding that varies throughout the home. Edwards says this is the real


Tour Factory

“The house is very liveable — we’ve raised four kids and been happy here for forty years — and it’s perfect for entertaining with rooms containing multiple entrance and exits, oversized windows and high ceilings.” — Roger Edwards

From top left: Formal dining room; detached office and study; large open air porch; sun porch with wood-burning fireplace and wraparound windows; updated modern kitchen with heart pine floors

difference in construction: “You can’t do this with sheetrock!” Enjoy the outdoors year-round in either the old-school sunroom with a wood-burning fireplace or the spacious covered side porch (where Edwards spends most of his time these days). There’s a detached study in the backyard that’s an oasis filled with rich wood beams and heart pine floors, and a stone fireplace that serves as a perfect work-from-home setup. The historic home exudes distinction — this is not an ordinary Raleigh property. Along with its remarkable features, Edwards says the home is adaptable to all kinds of lifestyles. “I’m fascinated by how well the home has traveled through the years,” Edwards says. The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 85

THANK YOU! This February, WALTER was recognized by the North Carolina Press Association for its excellence in offering leisurely, in-depth reads and outstanding design. We would like to thank our wonderful writers, photographers and illustrators — as well as the extraordinary local subjects of our stories — for helping us achieve these awards. We love you, Raleigh!




November 2019

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The Pit kitchen staff prepare orders during Triangle Restaurant Week.

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

89 Charlotte Russell Contemporary Grand Opening 90 MLK Dreamfest Food Drive 90 Rotary Club Bell Ringing 91 Business Support of the Arts Awards 92 Triangle Restaurant Week 94 Illuminate Art Walk 94 Oakwood24

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

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THE WHIRL CHARLOTTE RUSSELL CONTEMPORARY GRAND OPENING On January 8, Charlotte Russell Contemporary held its grand opening. On view was its inaugural exhibit, On The Horizon, with work by artists Grace Clark and Alexandra Chiou. The small party, held over three hours, allowed guests to view the art and meet the artists.

Charlotte Russell and Jina Kim

Courtesy Charlotte Russell Contemporary Gallery

Charlotte Russell Contemporary Gallery

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THE WHIRL MLK DREAMFEST FOOD DRIVE The weekend of January 16-18, the Town of Cary hosted a virtual and in-person celebration of the life, work, and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In addition to performances from storytellers Willa Brigham and Janice Greene, the weekend included a food drive through Dorcas Ministries to benefit families in need.





ROSIE HOBBS DANIEL 984-232-8109 (direct) 919-828-9999 (office) Jill Straight

ROTARY CLUB BELL RINGING The Rotary Club of Raleigh - Downtown continued its annual bell-ringing, member donations, and fundraising trivia night through the pandemic to raise almost $20,000 for the Salvation Army in December.

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Soul rt & The A leigh of Ra

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Eric Stevens, Jere Schramm, Donal Ware

Courtesy Town of Cary (DORCAS), courtesy Rotary Club of Raleigh (BELLS)



Courtesy United Arts Council

BUSINESS SUPPORT OF THE ARTS AWARDS On February 5, The United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County and the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce celebrated the winners of its 2021 Business Support of the Arts Awards: Curi, celito, David Casteel of Mitchell•Casteel, and Freddie-Lee Heath. The evening included remarks from Adrienne Cole, president and CEO of the Raleigh Chamber, and Wake County Board of Commissioners vice-chair Vickie Adamson, along with performances from Yolanda Rabun and Krista Lapio Siachames.

Charles Phaneuf, Dale Jenkins

Freddie-Lee Heath, Charles Phaneuf

Krista Lapio Siachames

Yolanda Rabun

Brandon Cordrey

THE WHIRL TRIANGLE RESTAURANT WEEK The week of January 25, restaurants in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and surrounding areas participated in Triangle Restaurant Week. For its 14th year running, more than 30 eateries offered specials on their cuisine for both dine-in and takeout, as a nod to the pandemic.

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Customers at The Pit

Double Combo at The Pit

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Robert Berbary

Ben Renner, Fania Kozareva

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Pizza Times

Biscuits and coffee at Morning Times

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Customers at Raleigh Times

let’s socialize




ILLUMINATE ART WALK Through January 8, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance and VAE Raleigh hosted an outdoor, nighttime exhibition called Illuminate Art Walk. Pieces from more than a dozen local artists were on display in public spaces and storefronts, which guests could find through an interactive digital map.

2 3



6 7



SONARC by Brian Bush 11




OAKWOOD24 More than 100 people gathered at Historic Oakwood Cemetery December 19 and 20 for the third annual Oakwood24, an ultra-marathon to raise money for Healing Transitions. The run, led by ultra-marathoner and Healing Transitions alumni Jon Frey, takes place over 24 hours. Supporters signed up to run alongside Frey as he ran 100 miles to raise funds and awareness for addiction and recovery in Wake County. Despite cold, wet weather this year, Frey and his supporters raised more than $76,000 to support the organization.

ACROSS 4. Jim Dodson’s Beautiful _____ 6. Carolina _____ Salamander 8. Hannah Page bakes this 9. Triangle singer-songwriter 10. It’s Greek for “hospitable” 13. Local writing group DOWN 1. Ana Shellem harvests these 2. ____ Our Own 3. ____ Heights bungalow 5. Where Dallas is a prof. 7. It’s game 11. Chinese Milky ____ Tea 12. Screen printing shop 14. Famous Method O’Kelly

Jon Frey and supporters

Brad Turlington, Maggie Kane


Taylor Rankin (SONARC); Chris Budnick (RUN)


THE BUZZ Take WALTER to go! There’s always something to discover on our website and social media. Here’s what’s been happening.

Getty images (HAND); WALTER archives (SIR WALTER); courtesy Cameron Jones (DRESSER); courtesy Rosewater (RESTAURANT); Joshua Steadman (SKYLINE); courtesy Hampton Williams Hofer (BABY); Bob Karp (RIALTO); Food Seen NC (BEIGNETS)



10 TRIANGLE-BASED ANTIQUES STORES YOU CAN SHOP FROM INSTAGRAM Missing the thrill of the hunt? We’ve rounded up locally-run social media accounts where you can score vintage accessories and furniture from your phone.

BRING IT HOME: TABLESCAPE INSPO FROM 5 RALEIGH RESTAURANTS Use one of these mood boards we created — each inspired by Raleigh restaurants with noteworthy interiors — to set the scene for your romantic night in.

PANDEMIC STAYCATION IDEAS Until travel feels totally safe again, take a day to explore a different Raleigh neighborhood. You may just discover a new favorite coffee spot, hiking trail, boutique, or playground right under your nose.




“This is the world my new baby found, but it won’t be the one she leaves. There’s work to be done my girl. And there is beauty to be found. There’s no quota on the bad stuff, sometimes it keeps on hitting, but you are proof of good, of promise.” -From @hamptonwilliamshofer’s essay to her daughter in our December issue @cindy_godwin These 2020 babies are blessings! @twyla1950 Loved your essay!



Good reminder! On the site today: from glimpses of the pandemic in the early days, to ballroom dancers, to local chefs, our creative director selected 50 photos we ran in 2020 that showcase this dynamic city and the people + places that make it so. @photopup @tinalovesraleigh Very good reminder! @robperry11 Been to many music shows at the Rialto #StaySafe and #MaskUp



Who else could use a coffee + round of beignets from St. Roch’s brunch menu to cure a case of the Mondays? @foodseennc @trianglefamiliesexplore My son is always asking for beignets because of Princess and the Frog!! So happy to know we can get them here @Cf.farms Those look so yummy!!! @Adventuresinvida Yes, love these! @jnkpublicrelations Weekend goals!

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 95


PHILOXENIA Lessons from a neighbor who became a friend, then family


ultural immersion often comes through a language course or a semester abroad. For me, it came by way of the life and death of a neighbor, Larry Marangos. Larry, a second-generation Greek, was fascinated by history. “You’re not listening to me right now," he said once, while going into great detail about the real story behind PBS classic The Durrells in Corfu. It was true: I was making sure a child didn’t dart into the street. He would tell it like it is. Larry was an enigma; he wanted to live to 90, yet he smoked and rarely left his house. (“Aren’t Greeks known for an active lifestyle?” I’d tease.) Born and raised in Raleigh, Larry was baptized in Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. You can still see his name hand-written on page 7 of the church’s first baptismal ledger, from 1942. A studious boy, Larry walked across Hillsborough Street by himself to Fred Olds Elementary School. Larry was brilliant. A professor earlier in life, he spoke fluent French, Latin, Greek, and Spanish. His mother emigrated here from Cyprus, and he lived in the same home where he grew up, on Stanhope Avenue, unchanged for decades. Living across the street, I absorbed things about the Greek culture I can only hope to carry on. For instance: only buy sheep’s milk feta, a big block, in the brine. And: the best way to serve lentils is a bit undercooked, with rice, parsley, olive oil, and lemon. (“These aren’t the lentils I grew


up eating,” he said, after trying a hearty lentil tomato soup I had made.) And: one should not keep too busy. Each year, he’d clip out admission coupons to the church’s annual Greek Fest and leave them on our front porch. But he had no interest in attending such hoopla. “No,” he’d say, “you need to learn to say no yourself sometimes.” It took three years of persistent invites — and the birth of my first irst child — for him to join us. He was smitten with my daughter. “Isn’t that the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?” he said at their first meeting. It was the most positive thing I’d heard come out of his ornery mouth. And with a buttery new baby to show off, he happily tagged along. A pious man, Larry was not afraid of death. In the Greek church, death is the beginning of eternal life. He’d leave newspaper clippings in my mailbox, often an obituary of a friend. Out of habit, I’d respond, “I’m sorry, how sad.” He’d respond, “Why? I’m not.” He wasn’t. Once, I found him on the floor of his house; he’d been there for three days. I called 911, and as I frantically answered questions from the paramedic, I remember saying, “Well, now he’s smoking a cigarette — wait, Larry, why are you smoking a cigarette?!” Very close to the end of his life, barely lucid, he asked me to read him his own obituary, which he’d penned himself for The News & Observer.

This month, he would have been 79. After a long funeral service and burial in the Greek section of Historic Oakwood Cemetery, right next to his parents, my husband and I attended our first Makaria. Makaria, which translates to “blessed,” is the meal shared after a funeral. Tucked into a corner of Casa Carbone, an Italian restaurant off Glenwood Avenue, we passed around a humble plate of lightly seared fish, a symbol of Christianity, then ceremoniously dipped biscotti into red wine, symbolizing the body and blood of Christ. All the while, we talked about Larry, who started as a neighbor, then became a friend, then family. At that dinner, I learned one final thing from Larry that would sum up our entire, ethereal relationship: philoxenia. A quintessential Greek trait, it means to be hospitable. To be kind and to love a stranger. Shouldn’t we all?

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