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ParticiPate in research Dr. Blair Wisco, a clinical psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, is currently recruiting participants for a research study. This research study examines emotional and physical reactions to memories of extremely stressful or traumatic experiences. In order to participate, you must be 18 years old or older and must be able to read and write in English. If you are interested in participating, first you will be asked to complete screening questions online or over the phone to see whether or not you are eligible for the study. If you are eligible, you will be invited to participate in the study, which involves five visits to Dr. Wisco’s lab on UNCG’s campus within two weeks. During the first lab visit (3 hours), you will be asked to complete an interview and fill out questionnaires about your emotions and life experiences. You will then wear a portable cardiac monitor under your clothes and to complete questionnaires on a tablet computer outside the lab on three separate days (30-minute set-up per day, plus time spent completing questionnaires). In the last lab visit (2 hours), you will be hooked up to a similar monitor in the lab and be asked to listen to audio-recorded scripts describing personal past experiences. If you participate in these procedures, you will be compensated $150 for your time. If you are interested in this research participation opportunity, please email email@example.com to learn more and receive the screening questionnaire.
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JULY 28 - AUGUST 3, 2021 VOLUME 17, NUMBER 30
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SEATON TROTTER is proof and hope for other Triad artists that it doesn’t matter where you start, but it’s about where you end up and where you’re going. Trotter, a Greensboro native now living in Los Angeles and working as a Camera Assistant in Hollywood, has reached a milestone in his nine years of commercial, film, and television experience. Trotter has decided to pursue his career further as a Director and Producer, recently producing a short film, If Only.
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On Saturday, July 24, in the parking lot of 650 W. 6th St., Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance’s rocked the crowd with an immersive and intense production of “AMERICAN IDIOT,” inspired by Green Day’s epic protest album of the same name. 5 Since 1989, the NATIONAL BLACK THEATRE FESTIVAL (NBTF) has brought a star-studded array of celebrities and a wide selection of live performances and special events to Winston-Salem. The festival was billed as “An International Celebration and Reunion of Spirit,” and it certainly was that – and more. 6 The City of Winston-Salem has engaged RTI International to ANALYZE previous 911 call data, research mental health response models, and recommend a model for our community to pilot. 7 Former Senator John Edwards is best known for his scandal-ridden, failed Presidential campaign, but he did manage to succeed in gaining MORE AWARENESS FOR POVERTY as a national crisis. 8 Horror comedies tend to be a mixed bag, and JAKOB’S WIFE is no exception, but there’s certainly enough in screenwriter/ YES! WEEKLY
JULY 28 - AUGUST 3, 2021
director Travis Stevens’s ambitious attempt to make it a worthwhile, if occasionally bumpy, excursion. 14 That one corner houses Dawkin’s Rhen. Ovations and McGowens’ Sabrina’s, and many other businesses under THE GALLERY ON MAIN, run by both Dawkins and McGowens. 16 Some Greensboro business owners pushed back against the city’s proposed safety plan at a town hall meeting on Monday. The plan, which Mayor Nancy Vaughan and Assistant City Manager Trey Davis called a rough draft, is aimed at REDUCING VIOLENCE in or near city bars and nightclubs. 17 The City of High Point rolled out the red carpet for its new city manager TASHA LOGAN FORD last week with a press conference and reception introducing her. 22 Thugod comes through with his “THUGOLICIOUS SAUCE,” for your bbq, speakers, and even a cookbook for your bookshelf. The “Thugolicious Sauce” itself is a sweet and spicy blend, combining Spanish, Caribbean and Soul food techniques—for what Thugod called “a cross-cultural infusion of flavors,”...
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WSTA presents: “American Idiot”: Parking lot play was the epitome of punk rock
n Saturday, July 24, in the parking lot of 650 W. 6th St., Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance’s rocked the crowd with an immersive and intense production of “American Idiot,” inspired by Green Day’s epic protest album of the same name. “‘American Idiot,’ set in the early 2000s with the backdrop of a loomKatie Murawski ing war, takes a frank and candid look at the lives of three friends, one of which enlists in the service,” wrote Contributor Jamie Lawson, executive director of WSTA, in an email. “With echoes of the musical ‘Hair,’ the show wrestles with the freedoms that wars have earned us, while also examining the tangible cost of those freedoms.” Thirty minutes before the play, the audience members gathered in the parking lot of WSTA’s new location and sat in lawn chairs underneath tents and the building’s awning as it lightly drizzled. Looking around, the set included the asphalt stage surrounded by the audience in folding chairs, and taped haphazardly to the walls of the awning were concert flyers and Green Day lyrics. Right off the bat, WSTA set the mood to make you feel like you were immersed in an authentic punk rock concert or the adjacent alleyway. Largely composed of an ensemble cast, the play followed the storylines of three friends: Johnny, Tunny, and Will. According to the press release, “when the three disgruntled men flee the constraints of their hometown for the thrills of city life, their paths are quickly estranged when Tunny enters the armed forces, Will is called back home to attend familial responsibilities, and Johnny’s attention becomes divided by a seductive love interest and a hazardous new friendship.” The actors who portrayed the three main characters were riveting from start to finish and all three showed incredible depth in their roles— especially Johnny, the play’s narrator, who went on a journey of self-discovery battling through drug addiction. The Most Valued Player of the production, in my humble opinion, was St. Jimmy — Johnny’s “patron saint of denial with an angel face and a taste for suicide.” The person who played St. Jimmy absolutely slayed the performance of their self-titled song, and knocked me off my feet with the self-introspective anthem “Know Your Enemy.” As a drag performer, I loved feeling their chaotic energy flow effortlessly through that role and I appreciated their commitment to the character. My only regret was I didn’t ask for a picture with them after the show. YES! WEEKLY
JULY 28 - AUGUST 3, 2021
PHOTO BY JAIME LAWSON
Cast of Green Day’s American Idiot WSTA, as usual, did not disappoint and did something I wish more community theatres would do: Inject queer stories and voices into productions. In the song, “Homecoming” I was ecstatic to see that Will’s ex was now in a relationship with her “Rock-N-Roll Girlfriend.” As an unapologetic, almost 15-year Green Day stan, the play was everything I hoped it would be and more. I loved sitting there, bopping and lip-syncing along to every song. But more than that, the play made me feel some type of way about its heavier contents. When Johnny sang the song, “Wake Me Up When September Ends” I was instantly transported back to the Bush-era — being a 1st
grader disrupted in school after hearing about the Sept. 11th attack. Those feelings of child-like fear and uncertainty flooded back in but were instantly overpowered by feelings of disgust and rage as my years of education and knowledge about the situation put the tragedy into context. WSTA’s first show inside their new venue is Something Rotten premiering on Aug. 20, 2021. For more information, visit the WSTA website and social media channels. ! KATIE MURAWSKI is the former editor of YES! Weekly. She is from Mooresville, North Carolina and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in film studies from Appalachian State University in 2017.
National Black Theatre Festival opens “Holy Ground Revival” Since 1989, the National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF) has brought a star-studded array of celebrities and a wide selection of live performances and special events to Winston-Salem. The festival was billed as “An International Celebration and Reunion of Spirit,” and it certainly was that – and more. The festival was the brainchild Mark Burger of Larry Leon Hamlin (1948-2007), the founder and artistic director of the North Carolina Black Theatre Contributor Company, as well as the founder and executive director of the NBTF. Having known Hamlin, I can truthfully attest that he was one of a kind. He loved theater, he loved talent, and he was a pure showman at heart. The festival was his baby, and it was because of that festival that yours truly had the opportunity to meet such show-biz luminaries as Richard Roundtree, Glynn Turman, Andre De Shields, Roscoe Orman, Ted Lange, Art Evans (who later became an acting teacher for my friend Matt Holly), and on one remarkable opening night the elevator doors of what was then the Adams Mark Hotel opened and I was suddenly facing Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. All I could think in that instant was “Royalty!” These were people whose work I had admired for years, and to meet them was something I’ll treasure. In addition to the actors, producers, directors, playwrights, and special guests, the festival – which is held every other year and takes place over six days – has attracted tens of thousands of theatergoers from far and wide to share in the celebration of “Black Theatre Holy Ground” over the years. This year, circumstances being what they are, the North Carolina Black Repertory Company, which hosts the festival, will not be presenting the traditional event. Instead, in partnership with the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth Country, Truist Financial, and OUT at the Movies, it will be presenting “Holy Ground Revival,” which is being described as a week-long celebration of the arts. Beginning Monday and continuing through Saturday, Aug. 7, the “Holy Ground Revival” will be held each night, beginning at 7 p.m., at Winston Square Park Amphitheatre, 310 S. Marshall St., Winston-Salem. There will be live theater, live music, film screenings,
Monday, Aug. 2 at 7 pm Alyson Williams featuring Reggie Buie Trio and undoubtedly a few surprises along the way. It’s a way to both celebrate the legacy of the festival, its past, and its future – as well as to celebrate the community at large. All events are free and open to the public. Audiences must of course adhere to whatever safety guidelines are currently required by the venue, all the better to ensure the continued health and happiness of those in attendance. Despite postponing the traditional festival until next year – the tentative dates are Aug. 1-6, 2022 – the North Carolina Black Repertory Company is dedicated to keeping the art of live theater alive and well, and sharing it with the audiences that have kept the company and festival going these many years. “The arts are alive and well on Black Theatre Holy Ground!” !
Tuesday, Aug. 3 at 8:30 pm The Wiz
Wednesday, Aug. 4 at 8:30 pm Digging for Weldon Irvine
Thursday, Aug. 5 at 8:30 pm Akeelah and the Bee
Friday, Aug. 6 and Saturday, Aug. 7 at 7 pm The Golden Tales of Hip-Hop
See MARK BURGER’s reviews of current movies on Burgervideo.com. © 2021, Mark Burger.
For more information, call (336) 723-2206 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The official website for the North Carolina Black Repertory Company is https://ncblackrep.org/.
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SUBMITTED BY DARLENE STEELE: CLINICAL PRACTICE MANAGER FOR INTELLECTUAL/DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY SERVICES SELENE JOHNSON: BOARD CERTIFIED BEHAVIOR ANALYST, HATE OUT OF WINSTON
n May 2021, more than 100 local professionals who work in the fields of mental illness, intellectual/ developmental disabilities, and substance use disorder provided a letter to Winston-Salem City Council recommending a mental health alternative response program wherein 911 dispatchers are trained to dispatch 1) mental health professionals + medic teams to non-violent/ non-criminal calls; 2) law enforcement to criminal/violent calls; and 3) both mental health professionals and law enforcement when both are needed. The City of Winston-Salem has engaged RTI International to analyze previous 911 call data, research mental health response models, and recommend a model for our community to pilot. As people in our community continue to encounter systemic inequities, we are demanding that this
process be implemented in a fair and just way for all. RTI reported that their analysis would include focus groups. Thus far, it appears that Winston-Salem police officers are the only focus group that has been engaged. In addition to police officers, if our city is to truly embrace change and break down barriers, we must have a diverse focus group with representation from mental health, intellectual/developmental disabilities, substance use disorder, social work, and human service professionals, especially our Black and Brown professionals. Including a diverse set of professionals in the focus group is critical during all phases of RTI’s work. It is too important for us to get it wrong, too important to count people out, too important to dismiss the necessary professionals. RTI stated explicitly that the 911 data are an underrepresentation of the number of mental health-related calls. We question how data that clearly under-represent the volume of calls with a mental health component can be reliably used to inform decisions regarding Winston-Salem’s mental health response pilot program. And we
Darlene Steele (left) and Selene Johnson (right) ask: do these data include other non-violent/non-criminal calls, such as substance use disorder, intellectual/developmental disability-related behavioral crises, wellchecks, homelessness, and domestic disputes that would be more appropriately addressed by non-law enforcement professionals? In a desire to bridge a vital gap in our community, especially in the Black and Brown communities, we are passionate about our commitment to advocate for the 911 Mental Health Alternative Response
plan. We believe key individuals are being left out of a vital change in our community. We know important components are missing without our voices of expertise in the mental health, intellectual/developmental disabilities, substance use disorder, social work, and other human services fields. Excuse us; please move down a bit as we pull up chairs to the table. ! HATE OUT OF WINSTON is seeking members with a focus on mental health and substance use disorder. To join our efforts, please visit http://www.hateoutofws.org/.
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JULY 28 - AUGUST 3, 2021
Pay gap widening between CEOs/workers Former Senator John Edwards is best known for his scandal-ridden, failed Presidential campaign, but he did manage to succeed in gaining more awareness for poverty as a Jim Longworth national crisis. During his 2004 run for the White Longworth House, Edwards at Large often spoke of the economic disparities between the haves and the have-nots, something he called, the “Two Americas.” Seventeen years later, those disparities are not only still with us, but they are growing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 34 million people living in poverty, and 12 million of those are children. It’s a sad situation caused by low wages, where these families are living off of $26,000 a year or less. But hey, we’ve just come out
of a pandemic, so everyone is hurting, right? Wrong. Last year, while America was under siege by COVID-19, the average CEO made $15.5 million, while the average nonsupervisory worker made $43,000. That’s a ratio of nearly 300 to 1, which prompted former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns to tell Reuters, “Astronomical CEO pay during the pandemic is abuse.” But in many cases, the gap is much wider. In 2019, for example, Disney CEO Bob Iger made $65 million, or 1,400 times more than what he paid his average employee. Closer to home, Marvin Ellison, CEO of Lowe’s Companies, made $23 million last year, which is 940 times what he paid his average worker. That report comes from a recent article by the Winston-Salem Journal’s Richard Craver, who also revealed that Hanesbrands CEO Stephen Bratspies made nearly 700 times what he paid his employees, 88% of who work in third world countries. One could argue that CEOs have always earned more than the people they employ, but the greed factor was never
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this extreme. According to the AFL-CIO, in 1982, the ratio of CEO to worker pay was only 42 to 1. But by 2012, that ratio jumped to 354 to 1, and there’s no indication that the pay gap will significantly decrease any time soon. So what’s the solution? Fixing the pay gap can be achieved in one of two ways, either by self-regulation or by government regulation. 68% of the Swiss people chose the latter back in 2013 when they voted to enact the “Popular Initiative Against Abusive Executive Compensation.” Among other things, the initiative bans golden parachutes either at the point of recruitment or severance. Lord Wolfson, former CEO of NEXT Clothing, chose the former option for reform when he decided to give his $3.7 million bonus to his employees. And, long-time Bank of South Carolina CEO Fleetwood Hassell, agreed to cap his salary at four times that of his average employee, who, eight years ago made $48,000 per year. Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to enact tax penalties for any company whose CEO
pay ratio exceeds 100 to 1. Each approach has merit, so perhaps the best solution is for Congress and industry leaders to work together to create a hybrid initiative that encompasses the best elements of each. In any event, we need to make a course correction sooner than later. In Craver’s report, he cited a 2018 study by the Institute for Policy Studies, which concluded that if something isn’t done, “the typical employee would have to work at least a thousand years to earn what their CEO made in just one year.” Unfortunately, there will always be a pay gap between executives and employees, and that’s why there will always be two Americas. But there’s no reason why the two Americas have to exist so far apart. ! JIM LONGWORTH is the host of Triad Today, airing on Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. on ABC45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 11 a.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).
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JULY 28 - AUGUST 3, 2021
Blood and marriage
orror comedies tend to be a mixed bag, and Jakob’s Wife is no exception, but there’s certainly enough in screenMark Burger writer/director Travis Stevens’s ambitious attempt to make Contributor it a worthwhile, if occasionally bumpy, excursion. Barbara Crampton, who earned her “scream queen” stripes with the backto-back H.P. Lovecraft adaptations ReAnimator (1985) and From Beyond (1986), occupies center stage as the titular character, Anne Fedder. Married 30 years to small-town minister Jakob (Larry Fessenden), Anne is bored. She feels neglected, is at loose ends, and has lost her zest for life. Although Anne is able to rebuff the advances of old flame Robert Rusler (fondly remembered for his turn in 1985’s A
Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2), she is not able to prevent his demise mere moments later, nor being bitten by “the Master” (Bonnie Aarons), a ghoulish vampire who’s a dead – or undead – ringer for Max Schreck’s original Nosferatu. Actually, being undead makes Anne feel more alive, despite some major adjustments to her lifestyle, including a thirst for human blood. But she retains enough of her humanity in realizing the risk she poses to the people around her, and there’s also the matter of the Master, who’s still on the prowl and constantly urging her to do wrong. Jakob’s Wife could be perceived as an analogy for menopause, with Anne’s emotions running rampant as she undergoes considerable physical changes. It’s that sort of sly touch that distinguishes the film from much of its ilk. This doesn’t reach the heights of the instant 2014 cult classic What We Do in the Dark – which catapulted the careers of Jemaine Clement and Taika Watiti — but it’s a worthy successor of sorts. Stevens deftly balances the humor and horror for much of the film’s running time. There are some spooky moments, and
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Aarons (inspired casting) is legitimately scary, with Tara Busch’s effective score augmenting the suspense to a great degree. It should also be noted that the blood gushes freely throughout, so the squeamish are forewarned. (Others, of course, will be delighted.) As befits her status as a cult icon, Crampton has frequently appeared in various horror and fantasy films, sometimes in cameo roles, but she’s also shined in more mainstream roles, such as the impatient Reverend Mother in UNCSA School of Filmmaking graduate Zach Clark’s offbeat 2016 comedy Little Sister. Here, she enjoys one of her best roles ever, a full-fledged star turn that is sure to delight her legion of fans. It’s easy to see what drew her to
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the role, and she even doubles as one of the film’s producers. Fessenden, a genre favorite himself both as an actor (I Sell the Dead, Stake Land, Late Phases) and as a filmmaker (Wendigo, The Last Winter, Beneath), has a less showy role than Crampton’s, but he imbues Jakob character with a quirky dignity. Jakob’s not a bad guy, merely one who takes things – including his wife – for granted. He is therefore galvanized to both save his wife and to protect his community from further harm. Much as Anne must hold on to the remnants of her humanity, Jakob must dredge up whatever heroism lurks within him. Jakob’s Wife plays fast and loose with traditional vampire mythology. The bloodsuckers are able to move about in daylight (although they prefer it shady) and, as Jakob is a minister, his and Anne’s house is adorned with a number of crucifixes, which don’t appear to affect her. On the other hand, the wooden stake remains a trusty weapon in vanquishing a vampire. The film’s wrap-up is, however, something of a letdown. In a way, the narrative has boxed itself into a corner by that point, and a number of loose ends are left dangling, but the way it’s constructed, a sequel isn’t out of the question. Might that have been the intent all along? Who can say – or slay – for sure? – Jakob’s Wife is available on-demand, on digital platforms, and DVD ($27.97 retail) and Blu-ray ($28.96 retail) from RLJE Films, the latter two boasting bonus features. ! See MARK BURGER’s reviews of current movies on Burgervideo.com. © 2021, Mark Burger.
July 28 - August 3, 2021
[NEWS OF THE WEIRD] CREME DE LA WEIRD
An arrest warrant was issued July 8 in Little Rock, Arkansas, for Brian Dale Reams, 32, in connection with several incidents where he allegedly approached women and asked if he could touch their feet —
with a curious twist, KATV reported. In Conway, Arkansas, a woman said a man with no arms followed her into a Walmart last September, telling her she had pretty feet and asking if she liked having people touch them. Later he began harassing her on Facebook. In June, a second woman said a man matching the same description (but wearing a face mask with “Brian” written on it) followed her around the same Walmart and wondered if she’d let him give her a foot massage. He apparently
didn’t explain how that might work. A third woman identified Reams after viewing screenshots of his Facebook account; he approached her in a Kroger store.
Delray Beach, Florida, has a new addition to its fleet of police vehicles: an ice cream truck. Police Chief Javaro Sims told WPBFTV that he’s been thinking about getting an ice cream truck for some time. “We must continue to find ways to break down those invisible barriers we continue to deal with on a daily basis within our communities,” Sims said. He hopes the public will grab some free ice cream and stay for some conversation, getting to know the officers and building relationships.
— California Highway Patrol officers were called to a spot on I-80 near the Nevada border on July 15 because of a car on fire, SFGate reported. When they got there, they discovered a man yelling about “the bears,” Officer Carlos Perez said. After talking with him, they determined that the man had set his car on fire to ward off bears. “Listen, we have bears in the area,” Perez said, “but there were no bears nearby. ... You can’t light a fire on the hood of your vehicle to ‘keep the bears away.’” — Jimmy Jennings of Lafayette, Louisiana, doesn’t like being stuck in traffic. But on July 9, as he sat in a jam on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, he was struck with a dubious notion: He would jump off the interstate bridge into the river below. “When I hit the water, my shoulder went up, I kind of hurt my shoulder, but I started swimming,” Jennings said, according to WABC-TV. “I couldn’t get back to the bank because the current was way too strong. I thought I was going to die, but God saved me.” Eventually, Jennings found his way to land, where he rode around on an ATV for a while — only to discover he was on an island. Finally, he found a boat and was met by police, who charged him with criminal mischief and trespassing. Jennings later admitted on Facebook that his leap of faith was a bad idea.
A Reno, Nevada, woman was charged on July 14 in a break-in incident at a dental practice where she worked, the New York Daily News reported. Laurel Eich allegedly broke into the practice in May and stole $23,000 worth of checks and cash. In the course of the investigation, Eich also admitted to extracting 13 teeth from a sedated patient after using anesthetic discarded by the practice — even though she is not licensed to perform such procedures.
JULY 28 - AUGUST 3, 2021
Eich was charged with multiple felonies, including performing surgery on another without a license.
When Fort Worth, Texas, code compliance officers arrived at a home at around 8:30 a.m. on July 16 to issue a violation for too-high grass, the homeowner did not answer the door. But when mowers hired by the city showed up and started cutting the grass, the person inside began shooting at them, KDFW-TV reported. The police officers who had accompanied the compliance team took cover and waited for backup; the person inside continued shooting until SWAT units arrived and shot tear gas into the home. The shooter was taken into custody at about 1 p.m.; the citation was his seventh in two years. “Being shot at for trying to make the community look better?” said Fort Worth officer Jimmy Pollozani. “That just proves the dangers of this job.” The man was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
The Guardian reported on July 19 about a phenomenon among American preschoolers called the Peppa Effect. The hypothesis is that children who watched a lot of “Peppa Pig” during the pandemic lockdown have developed British accents and started using British terms like “mummy” (mommy), “give it a go” (try it) and “satnav” (GPS). Wall Street Journal reporter Preetika Rana tweeted that her niece “had an American accent before the pandemic. Now she has a posh English accent.” One responder agreed: “And for Christmas I had to put out a freaking mince pie for Father Christmas, or, as we call him here in the States, Santa Claus.”
LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINAL
Robert Perez, 53, was pulled over in Iowa City, Iowa, on July 15 for erratically driving a stolen Kawasaki motorcycle, The Smoking Gun reported. He told police that he had borrowed the bike from “a fellow meth user,” but he couldn’t provide the name or address of that friend. Perez admitted that he had injected meth five hours earlier; while in police custody, he was caught Googling “how long meth stays in your system after initial consumption,” Officer Daniel Boesen said. Investigators obtained a blood sample from Perez and sent it to the crime lab; he was booked for theft, DUI and driving with a suspended license. !
© 2021 Chuck Shepherd. Universal Press Syndicate. Send your weird news items with subject line WEIRD NEWS to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.
[KING Crossword] ACROSS
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I wIll Go on
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— Field (Mets’ stadium) “Put — on it!” The so-called “Godfather of Punk” Fall mo. Malted drinks Potted dwarf Spy’s info Start of an end-of-week cry that’s followed by 26-Across Wrap offerer Sir Walter Scott hero Christian music singer — Patty Classic song Umpire’s call Lake that abuts Ohio Egg foo — Gets the idea DEA figure “Barney Miller” star Ben & Jerry’s rival “Red Book” Chinese chairman Put in words Go hungry Justice Alito Raiders’ stats Lead-in to a holiday Delayed Call into a court of law Cornered Big racket Between solid and liquid Filmmaker Nicolas Tea holder Time stretch Old El — (salsa brand) Top dog Tomb raider Croft Sirius XM medium Lyric writer Gershwin
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July 28 - August 3, 2021
Long Shot: From Greensboro to Hollywood cameraman
eaton Trotter is proof and hope for other Triad artists that it doesn’t matter where you start, but it’s about where you end up and where you’re going. Naima Said Trotter, a Greensboro native now living in Los Angeles Contributor and working as a Camera Assistant in Hollywood, has reached a milestone in his nine years of commercial, film, and television experience. Trotter has decided to pursue his career further as a Director and Producer, recently producing a short film, If Only. “When my sister, Laine was in high school, she was taking a photography course. I saw her passion and I wanted a little taste of what that felt like. When she was out one day, I stole her camera, grabbed a roll of film, and began taking photos in our backyard,” he said. “I instantly fell in love. Not when I saw the photos but during the process. I was creating these little time capsules in my mind.” While Trotter was in high school, he attended the High Point Middle College of Entertainment and Technology where they had a television-broadcasting program. “It was here that I realized I could tell a much broader story with motion and video. By creating these news packages at the Middle College, I was able to go out
Seaton Trotter into the field. One time I did a piece on gas prices skyrocketing. So I went to a local gas station and interviewed the owner and customers, got some b-roll of the signs and prices, took it all back and edited it. I was essentially telling a story,” said Trotter. “Nearing the end of high school, my parents, teachers, friends, strangers for that matter are all asking me what I’m going to do with my life, and to be honest, I had no idea at that time. Later on, that feeling gave me inspiration for a feature film I’m currently working on.” Originally, Trotter thought he would Trotter and Stedicam Operator Dale Vance (left) on the set of DOPE.
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go into journalism, so he applied for an internship at WGHP FOX8 in High Point. When he found out he didn’t get in, he was saddened by the news but didn’t let it keep his spirits down. “I went to the community college in Boone for a while, in hopes of transferring to Appalachian State to study. I was lost. I got into some trouble on New Year’s in 2008, so my dad was like ‘look, you’re not focused on college at all. Go travel, take a break and figure things out,” said Trotter. While taking the advice of his father, Trotter found himself on a cattle ranch in the middle of nowhere as a ranch hand, just him and the horses, completely removing himself from society in hopes of figuring out what he wanted out of life. “Turns out this ranch in Wyoming calls me, so I pack up all my stuff and drive across the country. My parents smack the back of the truck and wish me luck. I was like okay, that’s crazy for parents to do, but they believed in me enough to know I was going to be okay,” Trotter said. “I get out there, working on this cattle ranch in the middle of Wyoming having the time of my life, humbled by these horses and the western ways of life. We are 50 miles outside town when six white production trucks roll up to the neighboring ranch. They tell us, ‘Hey, we are doing a “24-hour time-lapse Super Bowl commercial for BP, we need somebody to watch the camera overnight.’ Immediately I’m like ‘me!,’ I know little about the land, but I have bear
spray, a spotlight, and a small knife.” While doing so, Trotter talks with the Camera Assistant about film and everything that goes into the process from the critical technical elements to the continuity of the story. “It’s not just turning on the TV and it’s there. There is so much that goes into it. It clicked at that very moment,” he said. “I mean I had the photography passion, the storytelling passion, and a passion for the process.” Fueled with excitement, Trotter ended up in Wilmington where he attended Cape Fear Community College for two years with the plan of transferring to the University of North Carolina-Wilmington for their film studies program. “One of my good buddies Matt Kerr called me and said, ‘Hey Seaton, there is this film internship opportunity in San Francisco, do you want to go?’ There was no doubt in my mind that I wasn’t going to take this opportunity. It doesn’t come around often,” he said. “Matt’s sister’s best friend’s younger sister was producing this movie called About Cherry with James Franco. It’s just so weird how things happen.” Halting his transfer, Trotter talked to his dad about his decision before packing his stuff up once again and driving cross-country to San Francisco with Matt to work on About Cherry for roughly three months. “My parents have been my biggest
Miracle Workers: Oregon Trail camera department. Seaton Trotter (top left)
supporters in my journey, especially during this time. I had to make them proud,” he said. While on set, Trotter hit it off with the Assistant Director, Jeremy Stewart, and was invited to help on-set for his next film, Fruitvale Station starring Michael B. Jordan. “This time around I was getting paid, driving a production truck. It was on that set where I met the incredibly kind and talented Cinematographer Rachel Morrison, ASC., who would later go on to shoot Mudbound and Black Panther,” he
said. “Fruitvale Station is also where I met my wife, Erica Brady, who was a Producer’s Assistant at the time and who is now my producing partner.” According to Trotter, Morrison took a “liking” to him, offered him a new job which prompted him to move to Los Angeles. “She hired me into the camera department for the movie DOPE. My job consisted of marking the actors, maintaining our gear, and as most people are familiar with, clapping the slate before each take,” he explained of his duties. “DOPE was
a turning point for me because I joined the camera union and solidified a steady career for myself.” In the early part of the year, Trotter worked on the television show Miracle Workers: Oregon Trail on TBS starring Daniel Radcliff (Harry Potter) and Steve Buscemi (Fargo). “I had a blast being able to work with Daniel. He was the kindest, most humble, prepared and professional actor that I have worked with. I learned so much on that set.” The overall experience has helped
Trotter in deciding what he wants to do, or as he says “more importantly, what not to do,” when it comes to his forthcoming productions and projects. “I came out here to tell stories, and I am determined to do just that. We recently made a short film titled If Only that you can check out on Vimeo. I’m at the point in my career where I am able to make the leap towards Producing and Directing my own films and television shows, alongside my wife, Erica, and my sister-in-law who is my co-writer,” he said. “Her dialogue is out of this world. I couldn’t ask for any two people that are any more talented to collaborate and bring these stories to life with. It is all very exciting and very intimidating at the same time.” While interviewing Trotter, he was en route to a ranch to meet with Tad Griffith, a stuntman whom he had met on Miracle Workers. “He is the horse guy in Hollywood. He was Zorro’s stunt double and did work on John Wick, Seabiscuit, 300, and many others,” he said. “It really hits home and takes it all full circle for me to now be making a film that partly takes place on a cattle ranch.” When asked of the advice Trotter has for other artists that feel stuck or without direction, especially in the Triad, he said, “It is hard to get into the door of this particular industry and truly I got lucky. You have to put yourself out there and show others what you are passionate about. If you want something bad enough you can have it, but you’re going to have to work hard. You never know the next person you’re going to meet; it gives you an additional incentive to be kind, and that is what we need more of in this world.” ! NAIMA SAID is a 22 year old UNCG theatre graduate and host of Heeere’sNeeNee Horror Movie Podcast.
Director Seaton Trotter on the set of the short film, If Only
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Art and Artists go Main, bring traffic back to downtown Different circumstances may have brought Sabrina Tillman McGowens and Sheena Dawkins to the corner of South Main Street and West High Avenue in High Point, but it’s their hard work and Chanel Davis dedication that is keeping them rooted to the spot. Editor Here lately, that dedication is paying off in a big way. That one corner houses Dawkin’s Rhen. Ovations and McGowens’ Sabrina’s, and many other businesses under The Gallery on Main, run by both Dawkins and McGowens. “We are two separate entities that come together to run the Gallery on Main,” said McGowens, admitting that it has confused more than a handful of patrons. It wasn’t supposed to be as such but the duo, who had never met before this venture despite having shops in the city, made art out of the spackle they were left with. After being recruited by someone for an art collective that didn’t make good on her promise to the building’s owner, the duo decided to pick up the pieces and make a beautiful masterpiece out of a soiled canvas. “She basically left everyone hanging in this situation. No knowledge, no information on anything or this building. Once she was gone, because of the hours that were invested, we refused to let it go,” Dawkins, who was originally working to get her mother’s art in before signing on herself, said. “We had multiple meetings and negotiations, for months, with the owner to continue what was started but we changed it, molded it, into what fits us best. That’s as much credit as she gets. She got us in the door but that is it.” McGowens seconded that saying that The Gallery on Main now has a new identity thanks to herself and Dawkins. “The reasons behind what this was, how it was started, and what the owner of the business was looking for, I think that all of that was really great. That is what we all bought into and it was unfortunate for her to do what she did. At the same time, The Gallery on Main is different than what she created. Its identity is based on what Sheena and I put together. It hasn’t been easy to do that but I think we have created a whole different image,” she said. The COVID-19 pandemic has helped YES! WEEKLY
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The Gallery on Main is anchored by Rhen.Ovations and Sabrina’s
them craft this new image of a creative hub where everyone is welcome to not only buy wares but sell them, as well. The Gallery on Main originally opened in October 2019 but Sabrina’s didn’t move into the building until March 2020. When the restrictions were lifted, the duo opened the Gallery in June 2020 with a fresh approach. “Covid allowed us to turn this into us,” McGowens said. That image is one of a creative hub (Gallery on Main) anchored by Rhen. Ovations boutique and Sabrina’s Fine Art Gallery. Rhen.Ovations, located on the W. High Street entrance of 100 S. Main St., is run by Dawkins and focuses on interior
design and lifestyle art pieces. Sabrina’s, located at 112 S. Main St., is run by McGowens and focuses on fine art and printmaking. The Gallery on Main, also located at 100 S. Main St., is a creative hub for other artists, makers, and small businesses that both Dawkins and McGowens run. It’s a triptych made in heaven and one that seems to be working out just fine, for the owners, the patrons, and the artists that utilize them. “It was always my vision to have a creative hub. I needed to not only be able to sell my wares but I needed to be around other creatives and give other people the opportunity to grow their businesses, their talents, or whatever they have,” Dawkins
said. “My idea for this amount of space was that other people should be able to come in here and grow just as much as I’m trying to grow my own business.” Another sentiment shared by her business partner. “I think that’s why we (nodding towards Dawkins) work so well together because we are of the same mindset. I keep saying that music, art, design, fashion, and spoken word - they all go hand in hand. It’s all creative,” McGowens said. “That’s basically what we’re trying to do -is bring all forms of creativity here and we want all of us to grow. Why wouldn’t we?” Dawkins, a High Point native, said that the city needed a space like this and that is evident by the number of cars that fill the street every weekend and the number of patrons that fill the building. “We have nowhere to go that promotes this type of energy when it comes to the arts and the culture. I wanted something like this to come to and was like ‘if I want something like this I want to build it for other people too.’ That was always my agenda with this space,” she said. The duo explains that it is that energy that allows creatives to thrive off of and inspire each other. “We’re inspired by each other, the
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Sheena Dawkins (left) and Sabrina Tillman McGowens artists and entrepreneurs that come in. Everybody that comes in is inspiring and has their own drive,” Dawkins said. “I think that’s why this space has such good vibes for everyone. I feel like everyone feels that we are trying to do that. You can come in here and feel like you can be a part of the space.” The pair said that the reception that they’ve received from the community has been amazing and inspiring, with Dawkins stating that people often “feel good when they are here and don’t want to leave half of the time.” With future events on the horizon, many patrons may just find it harder to do so. The pair has already lined up a local business expo event and an event for the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival, along with mapping out a few other events that they’d like to see happen in the future, including working with youth. “We have a lot of plans, as far as what we want to do and what we want to create for creatives,” McGowens said. “We want to make sure that we are showing the youth that art and creativity are a resource. That it is a means for survival
and a means to live off of. That’s the other part of our goal.” Dawkins continued, sharing that they’d like to give the youth direction and resources to get their feet in the industry. “We want to tap into that untapped potential that the youth have. Especially in this day and age. They have access to technology and their creativity is much more expansive than ours because we didn’t grow up with all this technology.” It doesn’t matter what door you use to enter - whether it’s Rhen.Ovations, The Gallery on Main, or Sabrina’s - you’re bound to have had an experience that has taken you across all three spaces and ensured that you’ll find your way back one day. For more information or to plan a showing, visit their website at www. galleryonmainhp.com, on Facebook at Galleryonmainhp, and on Instagram at galleryonmain.hp. ! CHANEL DAVIS is the current editor of YES! Weekly and graduated from N.C. A&T S.U. in 2011 with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. She’s worked at daily and weekly newspapers in the Triad region.
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firstteecentralcarolina.org JULY 28 - AUGUST 3, 2021
Greensboro bar and club owners decry proposed safety plan Some Greensboro business owners pushed back against the city’s proposed safety plan at a town hall meeting on Monday. The plan, which Mayor Nancy Vaughan and Assistant City Manager Ian McDowell Trey Davis called a rough draft, is aimed at reducing violence Contributor in or near city bars and nightclubs. The most emotional pushback came from Jessie and Josh Kirkman, co-owners of Jake’s Pub & Billiards, Freeman’s Pub, and Grub on Spring Garden, who said the plan, if enacted, would punish their establishments for the actions of a neighboring one, whose violence they alleged was spilling over into their parking lots. “There’s going to be a murder on our property,” said Jessie Kirkman, “but it’s not because of what I’m doing.” Instead, she blamed neighboring “bad actors,” whom she alleged “have zoning for 160 people with zero parking spots” and “fights every night and bring it into our parking lot.” A July 22 email by Interim City Manager Chris Wilson to the mayor, city council, and city attorney described multiple violent incidents at Greensboro clubs and their consequences. The email described how the ABC licenses for Club Tranquillo on S. Elm and One 17 Sofa Lounge on N. Elm Street had been revoked. It described the owner of Lucky’s Skate Shop and Lounge on Patterson as “working with ALE to install new operators” who “will be required to apply for new ABC permits by the end of next week,” and stated the application for the new permits will immediately cancel the current ones for the location, “at which point they will have to close.” Attached to Wilson’s email was the “Working Proposal Draft” of the safety
Jessie Kirkman takes podium YES! WEEKLY
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plan, which describes a Safety Review Board consisting of representatives from the Greensboro Police Department, Fire Department, Department of Neighborhood Development, and Department of Building and Inspection. After a violent incident at a club or bar, the review board will “collaborate with the owner” and “may prepare a Corrective Action Recommendation.” Possible recommendations include hiring armed security guards and using metal detectors to check all patrons. The draft also states that “failure to comply with Corrective Action Recommendations may be declared a public nuisance” and that locations with continued incidents of violence “will be subject to City action.” At the Town Hall, Greensboro promoter Dorrell Jackson said forcing clubs to hire more security could put them out of business, and that off-duty officers are refusing such employment. Jackson alleged that one GPD officer told him that off-duty police could make the same money “at CVS or Harris Teeter, where they don’t have to get into any engagements with anybody.” Winston-Salem business owner and North Carolina Bar Owners Association director Tiffany Howell suggested that promoters like Jackson should be required to get permits. “If I do a food truck festival, I have to go to the city and apply for the proper permitting procedure, so, why should anybody else doing business in any city be exempt from that?” Mayor Vaughan thanked Howell for her “important voice” and said, “we wanted to make sure we had input from people that are impacted.” Jessie Kirkman asked assistant city manager Davis “what incentives do businesses have to work with cops at this point?” Kirkman said that shots were fired outside one of her businesses a week ago, “but we still can’t get a cop to come and give us a case number,” adding “we have called three times, and no cop will come and answer our calls.”
Activist AJ Morgan speaking to GPD attorney Andrea Harrell and Assistant city manager Trey Davis “What if these recommendations don’t work?” asked Jessie Kirkman’s husband and business partner Josh. “Are you putting yourselves between us and the victim that can actually sue us?” “We’re trying to protect you and we’re trying to protect your patrons,” replied Vaughan. “Because if we throw up our hands and say there’s nothing we can do about it, then the city’s really aflame.” Drew Wofford, owner of Chemistry Night Club and a board member of the NC Bar Owners Association, acknowledged that “we do have an issue on Spring Garden Street that we need to address, and we do need to figure out why [that street] is becoming a hotspot again.” But he said the proposed safety plan “is just going to put one more level of bureaucracy on top of the five departments we’re already working with.” Another speaker was activist AJ Morgan, who agreed with Wofford that “we need to go back to the drawing board,” and called for “a solution that doesn’t target businesses and doesn’t characterize people as bad actors in a community that’s been subjected to oppression and all other types of stuff over the past 50 years.” Morgan then described how his friend Nathaniel Pace was murdered outside of Mother Tucker’s on Spring Garden in July 2020. When a memorial rally was held at the scene, Morgan alleged that the GPD refused to send officers to protect those attending from either traffic or the killers, whom Morgan alleged were watching the rally. Morgan then arrived with a licensed firearm to provide security for his friend’s rally. “But someone called about me as a Black man being in the street with a gun, and eight officers showed up in five minutes even though there’s a shortage of officers. The fact of the matter is that our
city is prioritizing what issues matter the most.” Morgan said that there was a larger issue that wasn’t being addressed. “I don’t see the community here; I see business owners. They’re being affected, they employ our people, but I don’t see the community, I don’t see the young kids that are unemployed. There’s more than just this issue.” At the end of the meeting, Assistant City Manager Davis stated that the proposed safety plan “is not an ordinance that will generate fines or penalties,” but will allow the city to “work together with the businesses.” He cited the “young man who is a promoter” as an example of “the types of relationships that we want to have.” Mayor Vaughan also said the Safety Plan “is not an ordinance,” and that that there will be further “stakeholder meetings” on the current draft of the proposal. She also apologized to the Kirkmans. “If we expect you to do better, we have to do better as well. You have our commitment. We just need your commitment to help us work together. This is just one suggestion. We appreciate your input. If you want to give us more suggestions, we’d be happy to have them.” After the meeting, AJ Morgan told YES! Weekly, as the only person present at the meeting who has actually lost someone to the violence it was supposed to address, he felt there was a lot more work to do. “This meeting was for the city leaders and the business owners of Greensboro, not for those who are being killed. We must all come together as a true community to solve this issue.” ! IAN MCDOWELL is the author of two published novels, numerous anthologized short stories, and a whole lot of nonfiction and journalism, some of which he’s proud of and none of which he’s ashamed of.
Ford takes the helm in High Point
The City of High Point rolled out the red carpet for its new city manager Tasha Logan Ford last week with a press conference and reception introducing her. During a press conference held in the council chambers of city hall on Thursday, July 22, Mayor Jay Wagner said that the city is excited to have Ford on board and
leading the charge. “We think we’ve selected someone who is up to the task,” he said during the press conference. Ford was appointed to the position on May 17, 2021, and began the job on July 19. She is responsible for a citywide budget of $314 million and 1,463 full-time employees. Ford said that she feels that local government is where you get to meet residents and build relationships. “Living out our values is more than just words but, it must be demonstrated in our deeds,” she said. “We must do the work to bring the goals to fruition, realizing the value of each individual resident no matter which part of High Point they call home.” Ford says that she has received her orders from her “nine” bosses. Last year, according to her statement, the city council added short-term goals that included a marketing campaign, focusing on diversity, events, and quality of life, a targeted neighborhood campaign, and plans to recruit at least 50 new office jobs and five investors to the downtown area. “Our city council has been very clear. They’ve charged me to maintain the financial stability of this organization, maintain successful relationships to support a thriving furniture market experience, to continue to build upon the existing work to drive investment downtown, think holistically about this entire community, and to position our growth for the future,” she said at the press conference.” Ford is no stranger to the Triad area. She earned a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies from the University of North Carolina - Greensboro and a master of public administration degree from North Carolina State University. She has served as the assistant city manager of Winston-Salem, under the guidance of Lee Garrity, since early 2018. Before that, she worked her way WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM
up to Assistant and interim city manager for Goldsboro from 2004 to 2013, and assistant city manager in Rocky Mount from 2013 to early 2018. She is both the first woman and first African-American to serve as city manager in High Point’s history. The historic nature of the position is not lost on Ford. “My hope is that my service in this capacity is a source of inspiration, not only for aspiring African-Americans and women but anyone that has the aspiration of living out their full potential no matter what she may look like,” she said. Ford, who comes from a military family, said that living in various communities allowed her to learn from her parents how to become a part of a community. “Early in life, I had the importance of service instilled in me.” She said that it is too early for her to have specific actions plans but her priorities include working with the council, developing and maintaining community partnerships, keeping the community safe and ensuring the quality of life, and leading with transparency and integrity. “It’s too soon for me to delve into specific action plans as these first months have to be devoted to learning this organization, building relationships that already exist, setting expectations, and learning how our staff operates.” What she expects is that staff provides “great service, good stewardship, and transparency.” “We have to perform our duty of serving others, policing our city, responding to a fire or traffic accident or responding to a power outage, or picking up the garbage.
I want our workforce to continue providing great service to our citizens. You are expected to serve in the capacity of your individual role, and you are also working in an environment where you are valued.” !
CHANEL DAVIS is the current editor of YES! Weekly and graduated from N.C. A&T S.U. in 2011 with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. She’s worked at daily and weekly newspapers in the Triad region.
www.ncblackrep.org This project was supported by the NC Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The North Carolina Black Repertory Co. receives operational funding from The Arts Council of WinstonSalem and Forsyth County. This project is also funded in part by Truist Financial, OUT at the Movies, The Black Seed, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, South Arts, The Shubert Foundation, and American Airlines.
JULY 28 - AUGUST 3, 2021
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[FACES & PLACES] by Natalie Garcia
AROUND THE TRIAD YES! Weekly’s Photographer
JULY 28 - AUGUST 3, 2021
The 17th Annual Summertime Brews Festival 7.24.21 | Greensboro
July 28 - August 3, 2021
High Point Food Truck Rodeo 7.24.21 | High Point
JULY 28 - AUGUST 3, 2021
60 Years of Musical Excellence
June 26 – July 31, 2021
Greensboro, North Carolina
Tickets on sale NOW! Seating is limited! Visit easternmusicfestival.org/calendar for program and performer details.
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JULY 28 - AUGUST 3, 2021
Thugod comes through for your BBQ
hugod comes through with his “Thugolicious Sauce,” for your bbq, speakers, and even a cookbook for your bookshelf. The “Thugolicious Sauce” itself is a sweet and spicy blend, combining Spanish, Caribbean and Soul food techniques—for what Thugod called “a cross-cultural infusion of flavors,” Katei Cranford from “a robust creation of carefully handpicked ingredients collected from generations of family recipes, Contributor Thugo-liciously blended into one unique experience.” That experience is crafted by Greensboro rapper and entrepreneur Khorrie Cochran (aka Thugod) and his business partner Nicholas Campbell. Who, influenced by the flavors of their families—especially their moms—have turned out a tomato-free BBQ sauce (made from a fruit and pepper medley) along with a cookbook of Thugoliciously enhanced recipes; and a single to enhance soundtracks for grilling sessions. For Thugod, a passion for food mixes with a central focus on music. And while Campbell offers motivation and merch outlets, end,” and “Only Fans.” “I just Thugod’s music is a mostly love to be an artist who is solo endeavor, wherein he’s creative, and goes with the auditioned for NBC’s “The flow,” he continued, pointing Voice” and plugged some to his new single, “Mesmermajor openers for acts like ized,” which boasts a regPetey Pablo, Renni Rucci, gaeton influence with guest and with DJ E. Sudd (a High reggae artist, Zulu. Point native and official DJ And while Thugod’s focus for 2 Chainz). centers around music, his He’s had “the pleasure” passion for cooking cements of lunching with Fat Joe, his latest direction as an and working security with artist and entrepreneur. Young Dolph, and Chief The “Sauce” single dropped Keef—though opening for during the summer of 2020, Welterweight Champion Thugolicious Sauce and the Thugolicious Sauce boxer Joseph Jackson lands hit shelves the following amongst his true honors. November. He credits the success to working with his With influences ranging among major artists like Bigbusiness partner. “Our minds together are unstoppable,” gie Smalls, Jay Z, Nas, Eminem, Busta Rhymes, and Jeezy, he said. “While our journey hasn’t been easy, we have an Thugod’s material often explores themes of betrayal, awesome team—that plays a major role in our success.” redemption, and life and death. The pair’s activities come together under the “Thugod “It’s always been said that I have street smarts,” he Noo LLC,” business umbrella, which remains aimed at explained of the way events in his life influence his work “doing what we can to impact other people’s lives in a more so than artists. “But no one ever took the time to positive way.” A recent Thugod single, “Colorblind,” was look under the hood,” he continued, “the loss of friends, recorded as part of a Juneteenth Cypher and is included my momma—rest her soul—and a lot of betrayals influin the Greensboro History Museum’s “Pieces of Now” ence my music most.” exhibit. Guided by grief, Thugod looks to carve a musical niche, The Thugolicious Sauce was used as a secret ingredimeshing hip-hop and R&B to elicit feelings. “I just let ent in the Grill Godz Cookoff at the Wisdom and Words my emotions guide my music,” he noted of the process Community Festival in April, during which local chefs behind his latest work, including the “I am Legend” and competed using the sauce in recipes for salmon sliders, “Destiny” albums; and singles like “On My Way,” “LegYES! WEEKLY
JULY 28 - AUGUST 3, 2021
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THUGOD
Thugod grilled alligator, and more traditional fare, like chicken and pork chops. Folks at home can find their own Thugolicious menu inspirations in “Sauce Cookbook: Thugod Ingredients List, Thugolicious Sauce-Cooking Instructions always hungry Bbq Grill,” a recipe book the pair published in April. “We’re always looking for ways to be innovative and unique,” Thugod noted of their pursuit into publishing—something he’d never before considered before writing was underway. It’s a similar story for their previously authored release, a biography accompanying Thugod’s latest album, “Destiny Thugod: Mp3, Music, hip hop Thug Life GlassesThugod Music Life Story,” which debuted over Amazon in February. “We’re always challenging ourselves to be different,” he said of expanding into various outlets of media, “and I feel I have a story that can impact someone’s life.” The books and sauce can be found at the Town & Country Meat Produce Market on Vandalia Road and Bender’s Tavern on Market St. in Greensboro. Bottles, books, and much more are available on Campbell’s website: ancdecommerce.com. An endorsement from Mayor Nancy Vaughan signals the Thugolicious Sauce could give Greensboro’s infamous “Boar and Castle Sauce’’ a run for its money around Triad cookouts. Thugod and company will have plenty for the tasting at their table during the next Poetry Cafe event on August 14 in LeBauer Park. ! KATEI CRANFORD is a Triad music nerd who hosts “Katei’s Thursday Tour Report” on WUAG 103.1fm.
[THE ADVICE GODDESS] love • sex • dating • marriage • questions
THIN LINE BETWEEN LOVE AND BAIT
My relationship with a man I’d been dating was getting serious. His previous relationship ended when his girlfriend dumped him. Last Amy Alkon month, he ran into her and told her he Advice was seeing me. She Goddess began crying and begged him to take her back. He was torn about what to do. I told him his feelings for her weren’t romantic but stemmed from a sense of obligation, and that he should be angry at her for trying to make him feel bad about moving on with someone else. He still went back to her, and now they’re engaged. I’m furious. Why would he choose to be with someone who dumped him? He could’ve moved forward with someone who really cares, with whom he could have a relationship based on love, not guilt (over making this other woman cry). How can I prevent this from happening to me again? —Outraged We sometimes explain things to ourselves in ways that don’t so much lay out the facts as provide an airbag for our feelings. Take a question I often hear from readers: “Why did he/she stop returning my calls?” Helpfully, many suggest the most likely explanation right in their email; something like, “I just know they were kidnapped by the Russian mob.” Right. And they’re probably still tied up in
an abandoned warehouse, being tortured till they give in — agree to withdraw and hand over the entire $36.72 in their checking account. Though female tears can be a sort of kryptonite for straight men, I’m sorry to say it’s unlikely this other woman’s boohoos and a sense of obligation on your guy’s part mind-controlled him into going back to her. There’s this notion that relationships simply involve two people who love each other making each other happy. Supposedly, once you’ve got that, it’s all cartoon birdies, butterflies, and flowers till you’re both sleeping out eternity in side by side cemetery plots. In fact, the human mind evolved to have a built-in accounting department. Its jobs include preventing us from being “all give” to some “all take” sociobro, which, for ancestral humans, would’ve posed survival issues. In the mating sphere, our inner accountant continually calculates our mate value and that of our partner (or prospective partner), gauging whether we’re selling ourselves short — or whether our partner’s likely to come to that conclusion about being involved with us. Chances are when your guy was with this other woman the first time around, he felt out of his league — perhaps sensing that, on a one-to-10 scale, he’s, say, a 6 to her 8.9. If this was the case, he probably acted somewhat needy and clingy: qualities that are not exactly ladybait. She, in turn, probably sensed she could do better and put him out on the curb. But then something changed that changed him: He got a woman (you) who made him feel loved and wanted, which
answers [CROSSWORD] crossword on page 11
likely shifted his demeanor from needyclingy to comfortably confident. Assuming this was what went on, you basically provided him with the romantic version of going to the grocery store on a full stomach to avoid standing weeping in the doughnut aisle. Additionally, though it’s unlikely the guy planned this, you probably served as bait to bring his girlfriend back. Social psychologists Jessica Parker and Melissa Burkley find that single women (but not those in relationships) rate a man as “significantly” more desirable and pursuitworthy when they’re told he’s taken. “This may be because an attached man” has been “’pre-screened’ by another woman,” speculate Parker and Burkley. This “pre-screening” is a form of “social proof,” a term coined by social psychologist Robert Cialdini. We sometimes decide what we should value based on what other people value. In this case, your finding the guy boyfriend-worthy might’ve led his ex to think, “Uh-oh...I made a mistake dumping him.” Of course you’re hurt and disappointed. But it sounds like you also feel cheated to some degree, like something you deserve
was stolen from you. There’s a tendency to think love should be “fair,” meaning whatever you put into a relationship, you’re owed in return. In fact, people in relationships ultimately act in their selfinterest. That sometimes involves dumping the partner who’s done nothing but love them for the partner who dumped them but is willing to take them back. Understanding this is no guarantee you won’t get hurt. However, if you’re realistic about love — recognizing you can’t expect it to be fair — and about the danger from potential mate poachers, you might have a shot at amping up your game and fending them off. To be on the alert for them, keep in mind the physical features that make a man especially attractive to a single woman on the prowl: broad shoulders, a chiseled jaw, and big perky boobs on the girlfriend sitting on his lap. ! GOT A PROBLEM? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email AdviceAmy@ aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com). Follow her on Twitter @amyalkon. Order her latest “science-help” book, Unf*ckology: A Field Guide to Living with Guts and Confidence. ©2021 Amy Alkon. Distributed by Creators.Com.
TR ASURE The
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