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Food Horn in the West
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Fireworks! furniture in the Foothills
TheThe Untouchables Steep Canyon Rangers
with Steve Martin
by Richard Eller Tom Dooley
by Richard Eller
KIind sc Ml uadg aezdi n e
Foothills Digest Calvin Reyes
619 2nd St NE Richard Eller
Hickory NC 28601 Heather Wood Davis
Phone: 828.475.1323 James Thomas Shell
E-mail: email@example.com Gabriel Sherwood
Website: foothillsdigest.com Ryan Gant
Produced in Hickory, NC Kathryn Dellinger
Printed in Vietnam CONTRIBUTORS
EDITORIAL Clayton Joe Young
CARMEN ECKARD JON ECKARD Al Stout
Chief Editor and Publisher Principal Photographer
*Special thanks to Dianne Taylor
for her help with editing.
Letter from Editor
Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the crispness in the air, and the
smell of chimney smoke. I love fog rolling over mountainsides that look
positively aflame with fall leaves. I love Thanksgivings with my family in
Rutherfordton, where my kids have room to run around with their cousins.
A special thank you to Kelsey Crowe (pg 46 and 129) for being such a
wonderful holiday host for all these years. This is good stuff. I love it here.
I want to take a minute to thank you for your loyal readership,
or for picking this up if it’s your first time. We’re trying to change
the way the story of the Foothills is told. This place is wonderful,
and I’m glad you’re part of helping us show it in that light.
I also appreciate that you’ve forgiven our typos. As we
grow, you can expect a more polished magazine in every
way, and we are loving the process of getting better at this.
One last note, regarding political ads. Our ads are open to any person running
for office in Western North Carolina and we reached out to the same number
of politicians from each side of the aisle. We work hard to remain balanced
without a political bias, and I hope you’ll note that about our content.
Fall has so many things I love: pumpkins, Halloween,
Thanksgiving and voting. I hope you’ll enjoy all of those
things. Remember, voting is one of the best and easiest
ways to make our voice heard. Whoever you want to
vote for, please make sure you vote. You can scan the
code at right to download the form to register to vote.
Visit our site, foothillsdigest.com!
Contents FALL 2018
05 Letter from the Editor 44 Brushy Mountain Apple Festival
10 BalloonFest! 46 Old Things and New Beginnings
18 Pumpkin Picking in the Foothills 50 Granny Eckard
22 Eastern Spotted Newt 60 Furniture in the Foothills
24 Brown Mountain Lights 62 Renovations and Thankfulness
28 Granny Magic 66 BOCA
34 Halloween 70 Thanksgiving Recipes
36 Hang Your Head and Cry 76 Natural Design
40 Untouchable Football
79 Sneaky Ways to Get Your Page 38
Kids to Eat Vegetables
81 Kid’s Magazine
82 Joe Lafone
86 Michel Bayne and MIchael Ball
92 Stone Age Sculptures
96 HMA 75th Anniversary
99 Steep Canyon Rangers with
106 Fox and Hound
110 Fall Trends
112 Foothills Style
116 Deliciously Beautiful
118 Land of the Craftsmen
122 Hiking in the Foothills
126 A Change of Pace
128 A Lesson in Semantics
129 Count Your Blessings
130 Seeking Shalom
133 Eventfully Yours
136 Visiting Writers Series
140 Aunt Flora’s Song
By Al Stout
They float graciously in the air like visual poetry with
colors that could tantalize the palette of Raphael on
a clean canvas of blue sky. They are hot-air balloons
and people have been flying in them for 235 years to
escape the clutches of earth’s gravitational draw.
For 45 years the Carolina BalloonFest in Statesville
has been the place to be on the east coast to see hot-
air balloons ascend into the currents of air above the
runways of the local airport.
in the Foothills
Johnny Wilson Farm Harvest Farm in Valle
is in Granite Falls. This Crucis offers pumpkin
full service farm has a picking, a 7 acre corn
pumpkin patch during maze and hayrides.
October. Bring a flashlight for
The Red Wolf Farm in Perry’s Berries in
Maiden has a pumpkin Morganton hosts
patch and a corn maze. pumpkin picking and
Check out their new hayrides in October.
The Shelby Corn maze Carrigan Farms in
does Halloween right! Mooresville, NC is an
Pick pumpkins, get lost in exceptional farm situated
the corn maze and much near a beautiful quarry.
more! Pumpkin picking and hay
rides make it popular in fall.
Devine Farms in Newton
is delightful in Fall. Their The Pumpkin Patch in
8 acre corn maze is a West Jefferson has 40
sight to behold and the varieties of pumpkins
pumpkins are ripe for and gourds, a corn pit
the picking. and a maze.
1 Like all amphibians, Eastern Spotted
Newts begin their life cycle as eggs.
Eastern Spotted Newts are members
of the Salamander family and they lay
their eggs in the water. are members
of the Salamander family. The Southern
Appalachians have the most species of
salamanders and newts in the whole
There are seven species of newts in the 2
United States, but this one is relatively
common in the foothills region. The
second life stage of the Eastern Spotted
Newt is tadpole.
4 It’s incredibly unusual for animals to
have a 4th life stage. The Eastern
Spotted Newt undergoes an additional
metamorphasis, spending the last
portion of his life, often many years, in
the water. It is here where the Eastern
Spotted Newt mates and lays new eggs,
completing the cycle.
A red eft is the terrestial stage of the Eastern Spotted Newt. The red eft has
a new set of lungs and spends its time on land. It’s shocking orange skin is
eye-catching on any trail. He isn’t afraid of predators because they know he is
poisonous and don’t bother him. If you see one, look, but don’t touch. Their skin
is mildly poisonous and it’s better to leave them alone. This stage lasts 2-4 years.
The red eft will continue to use his new lungs even when he metamorphasizes
his final time.
A s a resident of Western North Carolina many out of towners will
ask you what is the best mountain roads to take to see real
Appalachia. For years I have always responded NC Highway 181
between Linville and Morganton. Personally I would put that stretch of
road in mid October up in a beauty contest against any road in the
continental United States. The Brown Mountain Overlook on 181 is an
excellent place to snag an awesome family picture, have a picnic, or just
take in jus t how great our neck of the woods is. To the unifor med this is
just a scenic overlook like hundreds of others in the area, but at night
it becomes something other worldly. For hundreds of years residents of
the area have seen mysterious ghostly lights rising above the mountain
and then disappearing.
One of the earliest records of the lights dates to 1913 when a fisherman reported
red lights rising above the mountains. The Charlotte Daily Observer ran the story but
there was a lot of skepticism suggesting the man may have been seeing a train passing
behind trees. Many legends have been told to explain the origins of the lights.
Lights By Carson L. Sailor,
The earliest legend dates back to 1200 AD when a battle between Cherokee
and Catawba Indians broke out on the ridge of Brown Mountain. The death toll was
so high that no warriors returned home. After the battle women from both tribes
took torches to find their loved ones and mourned together. The event was said
to be so dark and emotional that it left an imprint on the land, causing the scene
to play out every night. This is an interesting theory, but Cherokee oral tradition
suggests that they were aware of the lights before European contact.
Another legend involves the plantation owner for which Brown Mountain
was named. The story says that in the mid 1800s Brown was kind to his slaves and
would let them hunt the mountain to supplement their food. A slave went out one
evening and did not return at his normal time so another slave went searching for
him with a lantern. Neither were seen again, but the lanterns can still be seen at
night to this day. Honestly this legend reeks of someone trying to come to terms
with why two people enslaved people would just wander off one night. I’ll let you
form your own opinion here, but a kind owner is still an owner and I would wager
that these slaves simply had a very clever escape plan. The devoted slave trying
By Carmen Eckard
Get to know four plants revered by
the Granny Witches of Appalachia.
The Southern Appalachians are one of the most biodiverse places on earth. More than 100
native trees, 1,400 other flowering plants, and 500 moss and fern species are found in the
Southern Appalachians. 25% of today’s medicines have their origins in plants found in the
Southern Appalachian Mountains. That’s amazing. I invite you to consider these women
not as witches, to be feared and shunned, because they were neither feared nor shunned.
Instead, I hope you’ll consider them shamans of the healing plants of our region. In a region
where getting to a doctor could take days, these women kept our anscestors alive and
healthy, and did not ask for much in return. Their wisdom was passed down through family
lines. Music, divination and botanical knowledge were all important peices of the Granny
Witch’s work. They knew many plants and you can learn about four that were integral to
their healing: sassafras root, viper’s blugloss, indian tobacco and calendula.
Head and Cry
The History and Myth of Tom Dooley
By: Carson L. Sailor, MA
Since its was first discovered by Europeans the Foothills and High
Country of Western North Carolina has attracted runaways of all sorts.
Its isolation became a haven for those looking to leave their old life
behind. In many cases it was a beacon of hope for runaway slaves,
former indentured servants, and settlers looking for a better life.
This isolation also attracted those looking to leave their lives behind
for other less noble reason. The legends of Western North Carolina’s
scoundrels became as popular as those of its heroes. There is one
legend however that rises above the rest. Romance, intrigue, and
murder all combine to create one of our states greatest folk tales, the
story of Tom Dooley.
The tale of Tom Dooley is a tale of misinformation, starting with his
name. Tom Dula is the correct spelling but in the mid 19th century
phonetic spelling would alter his name to Dooley. We know that Dula
was born to an common Wilkes County family on June 22nd, 1845. From
an early age Dula would have learned to work the land from his family
and spent his off time playing fiddle and exploring undisturbed natural
beauty of the Foothills. Before long he would find another beauty to
be interested in, Anne Foster. At 14 years of age Dula was caught in
bed with 12 year old Foster. This would be the first on many romantic
encounters with women from the Foster family. Anne Foster would go
on to marry James Melton.
In March of 1862 as the Civil War raged across the United States,
Tom Dula enlisted in the Confederate Army at 17. Newspapers of the
time falsely reported that he served in Zebulon Vance’s 26th North
Carolina Infantry regiment. Dula did however serve in Company K,
42nd North Carolina Infantry Regiment. During the war Dula and James
Melton were captured and spent time in a Union prison camp. They
were released in 1865 which is where the story truly begins.
After his return from the war Dula resumed his relationship with Anne
Melton despite her marriage. But soon Dula grew more interested in
Anne Melton’s cousin Laura Foster. It should be noted at this point that
Laura Foster was sought after my many gentlemen in the community,
competing with Dula for her hand was Bob Grayson, a local school
teacher. Legend says that Foster became pregnant and the two decided
to run away together and elope. On May 25th, 1866 Foster left her
home, but never made it to her elopement.
Once she was discovered missing Foster’s family formed search parties
to locate her. Foster’s horse returned to the house days later with a
broken halter. Search parties soon found where the horse has been tied
to a tree. Officials eventually called off the search assuming her body
had been disposed of in the Yadkin River.
High school football is war, every Friday night for fans of all ages. This contact sport comes
with perils but also great rewards for those crowned “champion”. Every player and spectator
too dreams their team is going ‘all the way’ this season, with high flying dashes to the goal
line and dramatic defensive turnovers. Usually, its all about scoring more than the opponent
but for one western North Carolina team, that was never a problem.
Winning the state championship, the Ridgeview Panthers went undefeated in 1964 with
a record of 12-0. However, such a distinction only begins to tell the story. On the way to
each ‘W’, the team held their opponents scoreless. Yes, they denied every other team any
opportunity to cross the goal line. No touchdown, not even a field goal (and forget about a
safety). Ultimately, at the end of their “untouchable” season, the scoreboard revealed their
dominance. Ridgeview 446, opponents 0.
Ridgeview High was the only African-American high school in the Hickory school system. The
jewel of the community, the Panthers fielded sports teams every year strong in both skills and
fundamentals. The football program proved to be especially talented. Under the coaching of
Samuel Davis, a towering tradition began in the record books in 1957 when successive teams
put together a string of 74 regular season wins that remains unbroken among NC high schools
to this very day. In fact, the only thing that ended the streak was the closing of Ridgeview, a
result of integration.
BY: RICHARD ELLER
In 1964, schools in the South remained segregated. Students at Ridgeview continued to get hand
me down textbooks. One characterization prior to the Civil Rights Era described black schools
were “separate but not equal” to their white counterparts. However, in some ways Ridgeview
was greater than equal. With a first rate teaching staff, some with credentials from Harvard,
Ridgeview High held the distinction of having the most accomplished faculty of any school
in Catawba County. Students recalled their teachers as being tough but fair. Also, Ridgeview
students knew that their instructors cared about them, and not for just what they could do on
The tradition of excellent that existed in the classroom spilled over onto the gridiron. The
phenomenal season that propelled the team to go down in history began with a heartbreaking
loss the year before at the state championship. Throughout the year 1963 Ridgeview, in their
signature orange and blue jerseys, held opponents scoreless. But in the final game, instead
of blanking the opponent, the Panthers were denied a score. Ridgeview lost 0-38. Announcer
Ellis Johnson, who had started referring to the earlier team as “The Untouchables”, reportedly
announced, “the Untouchables have been touched.” The team went home vowing to never
come up empty again.
The following summer they got up earlier, studied playbooks harder, practiced more diligently
than ever before. Quarterback Allen Pope boiled it down to two things his team had, confidence
Old Things &
By Mackenzie Wicker Photography by Kelsey Crowe
New Beginnings Historic Farm is like the small towns that surround it—lovely and
quaint and too easy to miss.
Sitting quietly off Alternate Highway 64/74 in Rutherford County, the place is owned
by Sheri and John Crenshaw, who raise heritage breeds—traditional livestock from
a simpler time—like long-haired Scottish Highland cows and Cotswold sheep.
“I guess we like old things,” Sheri says. “Like the house. There’s a nostalgia to it, I
The house on the property dates back to 1910, when it was built for a local doctor
and later sold to farmers. The Crenshaws fall somewhere between the two fields—
Sheri is a nurse and John is a paramedic, and they both work the organic gardens
in raised beds that sit between the pastures, the coop, and the rustic pavilion that
serves as a reception site for people using the farm as a wedding venue.
Sheri says a bit shyly that they were brought to the farm through a “God thing.”
John used to pass by the property regularly on drives through the county and told
himself he’d love to have a place like it. When they were looking for farming land and
a house in which to begin a new phase of life together, Sheri found the old farm in a
search. It wasn’t until they were pulling into the driveway to see it that John realized
it was the farm he’d loved for so long. At first, it seemed unattainable, but somehow
things came together and they moved in—with six children between them—in 2013.
Since then, they’ve worked to restore the place to its farming roots. They’ve also
renovated the buildings, making use of all the historical items they can salvage.
“The cool thing about an old place is there’s actually a story about each thing,” says
Sheri. “Each thing had a purpose in what they used it for.”
Besides the cows and sheep, the farm is home to chickens, ducks, some cats and a
variety of friendly goats, all watched over by a family of Great Pyrenees dogs, who
keep the coyotes away.
By Carmen Eckard
Photography by Jon Eckard
It all started, as so many of our stories do, with an industrious citizen who saw an
opportunity and made a leap. This citizen was George Hall. He owned a general
mercantile store on Main Street in Hickory at the turn of the 20th century.
Day after day, George watched trains snake through the center of town, pulling
heavy loads of lumber from the South, headed for factories of the North. In
1890, the whole state of NC only had 6 furniture factories, all quite small. And
George Hall saw Opportunity, with a capital O.
In 1901, he gathered a group of bankers and businessmen who
determined to build an industry around the wood that made its way
through the town daily. This meeting was so important that when people
explain the history of Hickory, it marks the beginning of a new era.
The first furniture company was called Hickory Furniture Company, and Hall proved
to be an excellent manager. Within a year, he helped open a second venture
called Martin Furniture Company. From there, many more furniture companies
opened, both in Hickory and in the surrounding Foothills communities, and
the Catawba Valley’s reputation as a world-renowned furniture center was born.
Business thrived in the newly bustling town of Hickory and the surrounding
counties. In 1913, Hickory became the first in the state to govern with a
council. This type government helped to create a business environment
in which furniture manufacturers could grow into giants of industry.
The valley also had a monumental advantage: the Catawba River. The Catawba
River (called Wateree River further downstream) is one of the most dammed rivers
in the nation. There are 14 major dams creating 11 lakes. This is because of a truly
impressive change in elevation that creates fast moving water and large drops.
Our state is known for its beautiful waterfalls, but drops like those in the Catawba
River are also excellent for industry. The river has always been an easy and
cheap source of power for furniture manufacturing and other industries as well.
Because train routes and power from the river made manufacturing so affordable,
the furniture industry became a true mainstay in our community. There are many
families across the Foothills who have worked in the same trade, often the same
company, for 4 generations. An incredibly skilled workforce developed over
time, which led to a strengthening of the Catawba Valley’s furniture reputation,
as the companies here produced high-quality heirloom furniture.
In the 1950s, a Hickory hotel called Mull’s Hotel and Restaurant became a
popular destination for furniture salesmen and those in the industry. They
began setting up their wholesale products for display in the basement of
the restaurant. In 1963, Leroy Lail and his new bride Lynn (Mull) Lail, began
encouraging furniture companies to meet twice a year to display their
products to buyers , and that was the beginning of the Hickory Furniture Mart.
The Hickory Furniture Mart now houses over 100 stores, representing
nearly 1,000 furniture brands. The Mart has been highlighted in the
New York Times, Newsday, Los Angeles Times, Woman’s Day and
many other national publications including The Oprah Winfrey Show.
THANKFUL FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Photography by Jon Eckard. their own renovations are This sprawling estate is
The Steeles purchased a completed.” filled with ancient trees
beautiful 1930s home in the S t e e l e ’s C o n s t r u c t i o n and completely updated
heart of Hickory, but it was works hand in hand with interiors.
badly in need of renovation. Steele’s Design Studio and
One of the reasons they Opulence by Steele to walk The Steele family pauses to
chose this house was their clients through each pray and to acknowledge
the large addition that step of the remodeling the many things they are
theyknew would be perfect process. On the opposite thankful for.
for entertaining. page is a table setting
They updated the large by Steele’s Design. It is
addition into a beautiful opulent and natural in
entertaining room, with the same moment, and
gorgeous windows and captures the spirit of
architectural details. Thanksgiving perfectly.
”Our family is the center Each place setting has its
of our lives and it was so own inspiring quote.
important for us to create The family is happy to join
an amazing space that had together to celebrate in
plenty of room for us to their newly updated home.
all get together. We are so They’d love to help you
thankful for our family, and create a perfect space for
that we are get to work your family.
together every each day. We They’d love to help you
are also thankful to share create a perfect space for
the joy of our clients as your family.
Donna Steele shows her
grandson Leo the new
Christmas tree while his mom
By Carmen Eckard. Photography by Jon Eckard.
This treasure is located in Hickory, in an old mill building that has been gloriously
restored. Moretz Mill joins Hollar Mill and Transportation Insight in spectacular mill
remodels that have rejuvenated a whole section of town. Blight no more, Moretz Mill
houses many local businesses and BOCA is the crowning jewel.
I’ll be honest: I had never eaten at BOCA before we did this review. I have been back
several times since our first meeting, however, because it charmed me so thoroughly.
We started our meal off with a beet and arugula salad. This salad was simple
but harmonious; arugula and beets were paired with candied orange peel and
goat cheese. The dressing was a delightful orange coriander vinaigrette, made
withwith white balsamic vinegar. The salad was so well-balanced...the light and
fragrant candied orange was an excellent counter to the earthy taste of beets.
The theme of earthly delights carried through to the main course, which was a
braised lamb shank. This meat was fall-off-the-bone-tender and Chef Taylor
explained that it’s because the braising process is a slow cooking process similar
to the way Southerners cook our Barbecue: very slowly, over low heat, past the
point of well done. This meal also had caramelized onions, tomatoes, and a Parisian
two spice. The meat was served on a base of fava beans and au jus. The lamb is
topped with carrots, napa cabbage and parsley, tossed in lemon oil. The tastes
were surprising but pleasant. New, yet familiar, cutting edge, but somehow homey.
Perfect Thanksgiving Basics:
Recipes by Calvin Reyes. Photography by Jon Eckard.
INGREDIENTS: 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Place turkey in a roasting pan and
1 Whole Turkey (Recipe is for
14lbs) massage spice rub completely in and around Turkey.
3. Roast turkey uncovered for 30 minutes.
Spice Rub: 4. Lower temperature to 300 degrees and cover turkey thoroughly with
2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Fennel Seed aluminum foil.
1/2 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes 5. Roast covered turkey for about 4 hours.
1 Tbsp Onion Powder 6. Remove foil and raise temperature to 400 degrees.
1 Tbsp Oregano 7. Roast until skin is desired crispiness, remove from oven and allow to
1tsp Lemon Peel
1 tsp Paprika cool for 10 minutes before carving.
2 Tbsp Salt
1/2 Cup Butter (Melted)
ROASTED GARLIC GRAVY: 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wrap garlic and olive oil in aluminum foil. With the opening facing
1 Head Garlic
1/2tsp Olive Oil up, place foil package directly on oven rack.
3Tbsp Butter 3. Roast for 30 minutes, remove and allow to cool. Remove garlic
1Cup Turkey Stock cloves.
4. Heat a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add butter and flour to
make a roux.
5. Add garlic cloves to roux and whisk together.
6. Add stock and simmer. Sauce will thicken as it approaches boiling
7. Salt to taste and serve at desired thickness.
THESE RECIPES HAVE BEEN CREATED BY CALVIN REYES. CALVIN IS IN THE
MIDST OF AN ADAPTIVE REUSE PROJECT AT HENRY RIVER MILL VILLAGE. HE
WILL EVENTUALLY OPEN A RESTAURANT ON SITE.
TO SET A GORGEOUS TABLE,
by Donna Steele
When you live in an area so lush with natural beauty, it’s easy to find inspiration in nature. Examine
botanical elements in a new light, which will lead to exciting new combinations that will delight your
For this look, we were inspired by the experience of walking through mountain woods on a crisp fall day, with
whiffs of fir on the breeze and a beautiful antler lying on moss. We juxtapose the coldness, highlighted with our
choice of all white flowers, with the warmth of fir and the crackling of a fire. The result is both primal and elegant.
You can find many beautiful accessories at our store Opulence by Steele in Hickory, and if
you are crafty, you can gather natural items and turn them into one-of-a-kind accessories
that reflect your own style and perhaps remind you of your own experiences in nature.
Antlers, pine-cones, flowers, shells, fur, sprigs of plants and more can added to your table’s decor. Look
around and find some inspiration for your own exquisite looks.
Donna Steele is the lead designer with Steele’s Design Studio and owns and operates Opulence by Steele with
her husband Tim, of Steele’s Construction, and their family.
10 tricks to get your
kids to eat vegetables
“Kids are renowned for being picky eaters and trying to get them to eat their vegetables
can seem like a never-ending battle,” said Renee Greene, Wellness Dietitian at CVMC’s
Health First Center. “But parents, don’t give up! Because vegetables are packed with
nutrients needed in your child’s diet, skipping them really isn’t the solution.” To help, Renee
offers 10 creative ways to get your kids to eat their veggies:
• Set up a pizza-making station in the kitchen. Provide ingredients like tomato sauce,
low fat cheese and cut-up vegetables for toppings. Try spinach, red or yellow peppers,
mushrooms, zucchini and artichokes. Need a night off? Order pizza for delivery and
choose vegetable toppings!
• Keep cut vegetables handy for mid-afternoon snacks, side dishes, lunch box additions
or a quick nibble while waiting for dinner. Favorites include: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots,
celery sticks, snap peas, radishes or sliced peppers.
• Stuff an omelet with vegetables. Turn an omelet into a meal with tomatoes, onions,
garlic, spinach, squash and low fat cheese.
• Hide vegetables in your main dish! Add colorful vegetables to soups, casseroles,
lasagna, pasta sauce and stir fry dishes.
• Layer sandwiches with veggies. Jazz up their packed lunches by adding cucumbers,
spinach, tomatoes, avocados and sprouts to a turkey sandwich.
• Kids love to dip their foods. Serve hummus, yogurt or low fat dressing with a variety
of vegetables for a healthy snack.
• Let kids “decorate” their foods. Start with carrot sticks or celery. Give them peanut
butter and dried fruit to make edible creations!
• Have fun with fondue! Dip vegetables into melted cheese for a hands on approach to
• Assemble vegetable kabobs to cook on the grill. Let your kids help load the skewers
with peppers, squash, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions.
• Put the kids in charge. Ask your child to choose a new veggie to try or let them arrange
raw vegetables into a fun shape or design.
Adapted from: 20 Ways to Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables; Eat Right. Academy of
Nutrition and Dietetics. And from: Kid-Friendly Veggies and Fruits; 10 tips for making
healthy foods more fun for children; ChooseMyPlate.gov
A Passion for Art
Art pbhyotBoagrrarpyhGed. HbyuTfofmmaDnelvin
Joe LaFone has been around for a while – three quarters of a century to be exact. When he
was fourteen years old he went to see Lust for Life, the movie about the life of Vincent Van
Gogh. The impact was instant and powerful; he wanted to become the famous artist. The
trajectory of Joe’s life in pursuit of his passion for art has reflected the times: the cultural
shifts of the 1960s and 70s and the tensions of later decades as he pursued art, raised a
daughter, cared for his elderly parents and, in 2010, lost his home to a bolt of lightning.
Thankfully, he has lived longer than Van Gogh, produced more work, and fought a few
less demons than his mentor.
Although Joe never received a formal education in art, he worked in well-known museums,
met famous artists, haunted favorite art exhibitions, read and studied voraciously, handled
masterpieces and absorbed centuries of art history. He experienced art movements of the
twentieth century including Impressionism, Dada and Surrealism, Regionalism, Realism,
Abstract Expressionism and Contemporary American Folk Art.
Joe has made a living working in art museums as an installer, handler, framer and conservator.
Learning to clean and repair paintings, he took on commissions to restore art professionally.
Joe satisfied a life-long passion of searching for art at flea markets, at sales and auctions,
and at junk shops, buying undervalued paintings, restoring them and selling them up the
ladder. Along the way he acquired vast knowledge about almost all decorative arts.
Although Joe had been making art and exhibiting since an early age, it was 2003 when God
came to him in a dream and told him to paint Grandfather Mountain endlessly, to paint a
credible still life and to iron his shirts. As he will tell you today, “Two out of three ain’t bad.”
Joe Robert LaFone is a native of Hickory, born in 1942. His father served in World War II
returning home to work as a house painter. His mother’s ancestors included members of
the Cherokee Nation. Growing up in Hickory in the 40’s and 50’s and attending Green
Park School, Joe was a fine example of a Little Rascal, although his mother insisted on
perfect attendance at the Episcopal Church. When he was older he discovered the Hickory
Museum of Art located in an old house downtown. Paul and Mickey Whitener, founders
of the Museum, recognized his interest in art and allowed him to spend time studying the
collection. Eventually, he worked there on weekends absorbing all he could learn.
After completing high school, Joe headed to Sarasota, Florida, to the Ringling School of
Michel Bayne and Michael Ball
Michel Bayne and Michael Ball are two very talented potters working in the Catawba Valley tradition.
Michel lives in Lincolnton, while Michael lives in Asheville, but the two come together quite often to
share their craft. Above, they are smiling victoriously as they’ve just finished a successful firing together.
Michael Ball has been creating pottery since 1996. He is known for his pristine throwing, as well
as for the lizards and eyeballs that often adorn his work. He takes traditional Catawba Valley
forms and embellishes them in his own way, and the result is functional art. Full disclosure: my
very favorite piece of pottery is Michael Ball piece-it’s a perfect Rebecca jug with a lizard crawling
up the side. I walk by and touch it at least once a day. Michael has honed his craft delightfully,
knowing just how to manipulate the clay to arrive at pieces that are completely unique.
Michel Bayne’ interest in pottery goes back to 1977, but it wasn’t until 2003 that he began
throwing in earnest. He bought a large piece of farmland in Lincolnton with a river running by.
Many people don’t realize that the clay for Catawba Valley Pottery is dug here as well. Our
potters don’t go to the craft store to pick up a block of clay-they dig it out of river beds and then
employ a process of milling the clay that leaves it absolutely unique to our region. Michel has
been able to dig clay on his property. He also has an extensive pottery shop, with everything a
potter would need, including this amazing groundhog kiln, seen at right. Another unique thing
Stone age sculpture:
the art of Ken Broderick
By Barry G. Huffman
In his beloved novel Look Homeward, Angel, North Carolina author Thomas Wolfe wrote, “… a stone,
a leaf, an unfound door; a stone, a leaf, a door.” This haunting phrase today may be adapted to the
relevancy and the sense of place imbued in Ken Broderick’s rock sculptures.
Ken Broderick was born in Miami, Florida, in 1952. He grew up in a congenial blue-collar neighborhood
north of the city - almost a suburb of the Everglades. Ken and his friends knew about practical things
because there was no money for extravagances, so they invented games, made their own toys and
followed their curiosity to new adventures.
At age fourteen he helped Susan, two years younger, with a church youth ceramic project. A friendship
developed that would eventually lead to marriage in 1974, a family and happy decades together.
Over the years Miami experienced substantial cultural and social change. Hurricane Andrew, a Category
Five storm, devastated Miami in 1992. Ken and Susan repaired storm damage to their home but found
themselves restless. He had worked for BellSouth for many years; but after vacationing in the North
Carolina Mountains in 1993, Ken requested a transfer to Boone. In December, 1994, a call came giving
them forty-eight hours to decide about the move. Susan’s elderly parents agreed to come north with
them. Boone greeted Ken with a bitterly cold January in 1995; Susan, son Chris, and daughter Kimberly,
followed in May.
Susan’s family had frequently visited the North Carolina Mountains around Boone as early as the 1950s.
Three of her father’s sisters had built summer cabins near Howard’s Creek and Foscoe in Watauga
County. She and her family often stayed at Big Lynn Lodge in Little Switzerland, and she and Ken later
repeated some of her youthful experiences with their children.
Ken retired from AT&T (formerly BellSouth) in the spring of 2016 with thirty nine years of service. Finally,
he was able to devote himself to what had become his passion – creating sculpture from locally found
Long years of solitary walks by rivers and creek beds have taught him to be selective in determining
which stones will best suit his purpose – the ones he will stop to examine closely or stoop to lift. Ken
speaks of those moments: ”It may sound strange but some stones I have collected asked to be picked
up. Those are the special ones – when I know exactly how and where they will be joined with others to
compose a sculpture. The tributaries of the New River basin are very old – the oldest in North America
– and for eons water has passed over these stones. I feel that history with each one I place in my bag.”
Ken Broderick describes a need to create – to visualize an object and to use his skills to bring it to life
with his hands. A small bird was his first project. He had erected a large cross in his front yard from
limbs he gathered from the shores of Scott Reservoir after a flooding rain. A second bird still sits on
the horizontal limb of the cross.
People would sometimes stop to talk about his mounting piles of rocks and to admire the variety of
plants in his yard. As the yard filled with other small, and not so small, creatures made of assembled
stone, they began to inquire about prices. He had been making small objects of driftwood for a shop
so the rock rabbits, turtles, fish and birds added another dimension to his work.
Always interested in woodlands, Ken identified places where he can reliably find an assortment of
stones. Searching with the owner’s permission, he checks his ‘honey holes’ after heavy rains. Rushing
water tumbles up an amazing array of stones, mostly granite, he has not seen previously. The astonishing
colors and striations provide decorative highlights and focal points for his creations. Often the shape
of a stone will suggest its future use.
At home he sorts the rocks by size and shapes. One box may contain possible rabbit ears, another box
for fish heads, and another holds stones for bird bodies or wings. There are piles of miscellaneous rocks
L ike so many young men in colleges across the South, some friends started a band. It
was 2000, and the men went to school together at the University of Chapel Hill, and
had a particular passion for bluegrass music.
But unlike those other young men, the band formed by these friends was GOOD. Fortunately,
success has found them, and seems to be following them around like a star-struck fan.
The band, Steep Canyon Rangers, consists of Woody Platt, Graham Sharp, Mike Guggino, Nicky
Sanders, Mike Ashworth and Barrett Smith. They are perhaps THE premiere bluegrass band in
the nation. Their 2012 album Nobody Knows You won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album of
the Year. From group-of-buddies to Grammy-winning-band is quite a journey, but Woody Platt
tells me that really, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
”It looks like we’re having fun because we are. We’re
good friends and we still enjoy making music together.”
Watching them perform, what stands out to me is the ease and the confidence that this group
displays when they are creating music. Bluegrass is notable for the unspoken communication
between musicians that allows for jam sessions that are harmonious. But these gentlemen
take that communication to an extreme. 18 years of friendship, of
learning the cues of the other, and of what is obvious respect for
each other has incubated their raw talent into something exceptional.
The band’s new album is Out in the Open. It mixes folk, bluegrass, pop and country, excelling at each.
It’s fresh and classic at the same time, which I think many bands have attempted, but very few achieve.
The strings are stripped down. The harmonies are somehow rich and sparse. It’s
sooooo real, thousands of miles from auto-tune. In fact, the vocals were recorded with
the men standing around a microphone in one room. The authenticity is haunting.
The song Can’t Get Home breaks my heart beautifully, and, as a parent, it resonates deeply. It’s
about the parts of childhood that we can’t get back. Mike Guggino tells The Chicago Tribune
“Most of the guys in the band have kids, and we’re seeing them grow up in
front of us. They’re having experiences we had at their age. It’s a beautiful
thing, but it can also be a bit sad as a parent.”
Listen to it, and all of their songs, at their website’s listen page, www.steepcanyon.com/listen/.
The band has recently received much acclaim, performing on The Late Show
with Stephen Colbert and even more recently, The Tonight Show Starring
Jimmy Fallon, PBS, as well as being interviewed by all manner of news sources.
The band was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2017. In short, if you haven’t
Photo provided by band. 43
started listening to them, it’s time. You have a lot of albums to catch up on.
When Steve Martin, who had recently released the Bluegrass album The Crow, realized he
needed bluegrass musicians to play with him on tour, he never even considered another band.
He had played with Steep Canyon Rangers when his wife brought him to North Carolina for
a visit, in an informal jam session that clearly impressed Martin.
Steve Martin told the story at a press conference at Merlefest , saying that when he was asked
to pick a band he said,
”I only know one bluegrass band: Steep Canyon Rangers.”
He asked the band to play with him in 2009, and they agreed. It’s an unusual arrangement.
The band continues their career as a quintet, but they also tour with Steve Martin. They
have award winning albums both with Steve Martin and as a quintet. The Long Awaited
Album, which was a collaboration between
Steep Canyon Rangers and Steve Martin
was nominated was hugely popular. As I
watched the band joke around with Steve
Martin, it was clear that they are having fun.
I was fortunate to watch the band perform
both with and without Steve Martin. If
you’re familiar with Merlefest, you’ll know
that Doc Watson always said the music
there was ”Traditional Plus.” The heart
of that is obvious in the music the band
plays as a quintet. The soul of bluegrass
runs throughout all they play, but they
aren’t afraid to pull from other genres.
I appreciate their flexible attitudes.
When Steve Martin plays with them, it’s
a different experience. Celebrity as large
as ”Steve Martin” has a tendency to
walk in the room before the performer,
metaphorically. There is an excitement
that can’t be ignored, and it can’t help
but flavor the performance. Steve
Martin is a bluegrass musician, and
he’s also a comedian. The music they
played together is entirely enjoyable,
with me laughing as well as grooving.
Steep Canyon Rangers and Friends pose at a press
conference at Merlefest. They are joined by Allison
Kraus and Sam Bush.
I think Steep Canyon Rangers and Steep
Canyon Rangers with Steve Martin are both
”Traditional Plus”. I think the difference is the
content of the ”plus”.
Steep Canyon Rangers are traditional plus a
deep musical knowledge, exquisite harmonies
dripping with familial ease and some polish.
Steep Canyon Rangers with Steve Martin are
Traditional Plus laughter, fun and sparkle.
Caroline, below, is an excellent example of
It isn’t just the performances that are different:
playing with Steve Martin generally means
larger venues and larger audiences. This
gives the band even more exposure, and they
gain new fans this way. They will play about
50 shows with Steve Martin this year, with
many additional tour dates of their own. You
can see their tour schedule at their website:
Listen to Steep Canyon Ranger’s new single Going Midwest by
scanning the code at left with your smart phone. At right, listen
to NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert with Steve Martin and the Steep
Canyon Rangers. Visit Steep Canyon Ranger’s listening page
at steepcanyon.com/listen/. Their entire discography is there,
including many collaborations with Steven Martin and others.
So, this is the fifth edition of the Foothills Digest and the Fox and the Hound. Thank You Car men for affording
us a platform for a discussion of issues that are vital to our area. This initial thread has been related to fostering
Economic Growth in our area. We have discussed Plan Creation and Implementation, Vision, the Marketplace,
and Leveraging Unique strengths. Now we discuss how to attract Millennials to our community, because we have
lost many from the younger generation and they are vital to the growth of our region’s communities. How do we
inspire innovation and change?
In my last article, I discussed the nature of the Millennial level of human existence has always evolved. Whereas, in
generation and how they have become the most the past, it could take years for things to change, now our
vital cog in the American Economic Engine, as the economy changes drastically from day-to-day. We must
largest demographic representative in terms of labor embrace change and learn how to operate and thrive
and consumption. Millennials have moved to major in such an environment. The alternative? Embracing
metropolitan areas, because that is where they can earn stagnation... No thanks!
the most money and enjoy life. Statistical information What Schumpeter was getting at relates to creativity. We
shows that Millennials earn their highest income versus are living in an age that is defined by creativity, much
cost of living (1) in the San Francisco Metropolitan area. more so than the preceding Industrial Age. Our present
Raleigh is ranked #14 on the list. economy has been defined as a “Creative Economy.”
In this era of constant change, the major metropolitan Millennials, as a “Free Spirited” generation, like to define
areas in our nation have been more resilient in dealing themselves by their creativity, being different, and having
with economic upheaval, because they have larger unique personalities. They want help implementing
economies of scale. Where a smaller community may be creative ideas and recognition for successes. Companies
driven by one major industry, these larger metro areas that facilitate this way of thinking will be the most
are much more economically diverse with multiple major successful. We have to know that this creative capacity
businesses in multiple business sectors. The loss of a major can be used to a community’s advantage. This mindset
business in a large metro can certainly cause stress, but it benefits us all! How can we cultivate this energy?
isn’t going to break the community. An individual living in Young people want careers and want their work to have
a large community, who finds themselves displaced, can meaning. They want a better world and to associate with
more easily find a job within that community; whereas in good business practices. Most don’t want to waste their
a smaller community, they might just have to move. lives in a cubicle in an organization that is deeply resistant
It used to be that almost all children would earn more to change. There are so many career options for the best
than their parents had at any particular age. Today, and the brightest. And isn’t “Best and Brightest” what
that number is around 50 percent (2). Much of the you want in a community?
economic flux we have faced in our country can be The answer to community growth is to attract Millennials.
attributed to what the 20th century Austrian Economist How we do this is pretty much up for debate. Attracting
Joseph Schumpeter (3), one of the founding theorists on this creative generation will lead to the “Wild Spirit” of
Entrepreneurship, termed Creative Destruction. Creative creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship and that
Destruction occurs when innovation deconstructs should be the endgame.
long-standing arrangements and frees resources to be
deployed elsewhere. Schumpeter saw innovation as the (1)The 25 places where millennials make the most money - The
driving force of the marketplace through Capitalism. He Exponent (Purdue University) – July 18, 2018
believed that the innovation and technological change of (2)The Fading American Dream - Trends in Absolute Income Mobility
a nation comes from its entrepreneurs, or “wild spirits.” Since 1940 – Equality of Opportunity Project – February 2017
Innovation is progress driven by competition. (3)Innovation and Entrepreneurship – The Austrian Economist Joseph
In talking about Economic Regeneration, “Change” is at A. Schumpeter – The Austrian Embassy – March 27, 2015
the forefront of economic reality. The economy on every Innovation and Entrepreneurship - The Austrian Economist Joseph
A. Schumpetovation and Entrepreneurship - The Austrian Economist
Joseph A. Schumpet
James Thomas Shell
The Hickory Hound
Millennials will overtake the Boomers as the most The answer to both: public investment and shared
populous generation in 2019 we hear, with 73 million innovation with the private sector brought about
citizens falling into that age range (1). Though they much of the amenities of the modern world, and we
only outnumber Generation X by 6 million or so, have the infrastructure and economic capacity to
youth and even slightly superior numbers will allow continue to do it here. The Eisenhower Administration
the Millennials to shape the economic and cultural used huge tax rates to fund the interconnecting of
landscape of our nation for the next 50 years. How our nation with the highway system and created
well regions recruit younger industries and the citizens millions of recurring jobs nationally, while reshaping
that power them will dictate growth potential for all our culture for two generations. Locally we can use
involved. that example and invest liberally in the expansion
Luckily, we have some forward thinking leadership of the Greenway system and spread a wider net of
locally and some of our plans have been focused on low cost transportation access with a responsible
ensuring the Foothills and Western Piedmont Regions brand.
get our share of what will be an expanding and The 50’s and 60’s also saw one of the largest
enduring economic base. Good things are happening expansions of public education in Human history,
around us, and positive changes have been made to which provided a great deal of the Human capital
infrastructure and access. If we are to maximize on our and intellectual enterprise among the Boomers and
Millennial marketability, though, then must continue Generation X, as well as educated tradespeople
to look for ideas to support the younger and more in many fields. Now, we need the same locally for
diverse citizens that attract the younger businesses. Millennial marketing … and we have an opportunity
We have advantages that only need minor adjustments to get back to that with the K64 approach currently
and investments, and some inspiration to change making its way to activity at CVCC and elsewhere
a mindset, to generate opportunity for responsible around us (3). It is a development model that focuses
growth. on the pathway from early education all the way to
Millennials are trending towards public and shared retirement after years of continuing education.
forms of transportation, and though people of all You get what you pay for in most places and
ages are driving less, right now over 30% of 19 year investment in a nation’s own citizens rarely bears a
olds in the US don’t have licenses to drive. This is a loss. This is one reason Forbes ranked the US the
new reality and will drive certain folks to the more 12th best nation for business, while 9 of the first 11
developed regions by necessity, so how can we inspire are Democratic Socialist nations that invest far more
the needed changes in transit options? What helped in infrastructure and education while regulating the
create and facilitate the car culture that swept the US extremes of the Capitalist system that some of them
in the latter half of the 20th Century? invented to ensure equitable access and opportunity
Millennials are also steering the markets towards to all, and the other two are Communist Capitalists
more sustainable lifestyles and socially equitable we shouldn’t consider as great role models (4).
opportunities. By 2025 they could comprise over 70% of The United States will never be these places
the workforce and polling within the generation shows because we are a combination of ideas, and our
87% would be loyal to companies that are socially ways of doing things must recognize the diversity
and economically diverse and responsible (2). So, how of our vast land and the input of all our people …
do we market ourselves as socially and economically but no matter where you go if you have eclectically
responsible and how do we capitalize on our diversity? educated citizens with a way to get to work you
And what has helped finance many of the innovations are going to have the engine to drive innovation
that make our lives cleaner and greener each day? and help to inspire change in the private sector.
The better we are at those things in our region, the
more successful we will be at our recruiting and
retention goals for companies and people of the
1.Millennials expected to overtake Baby Boomers as America’s
largest generation - Pew Research - March 1st, 2018
2.The Millennial Consumer: A Driving Force for Corporate
Sustainability - Ecosphere - January 2, 2018
3.K-64 Learning Homepage - 2017
4.Best Countries for Business in 2017 - Forbes - January, 2018
A civil discourse
Classic lines and fabrics that evoke nature are all the rage this Fall. Be true to your
own fashion, but look for ways to simplify the lines of your clothing. The following
Pantene colors, shown below, are very fashionable this year: Ultra Violet (Color of
the Year), Red Pear, Valiant Poppy, Nebulas Blue, Russet Orange, Crocus Petal,
Ceylon Yellow, Martini Olive, Quetzal Green, Sargasso Sea, Tofu, Almond Bluff,
Quiet Gray and Meerkat.