SummerNorth Carolina 2018 DDigiegsetst
Food Horn in the West
by Richard Eller
What do these Awards
really mean to You and
Your Community Hospital?
For the sixth consecutive year, Catawba Valley Medical Center has
been named a recipient of the Women’s Choice Award as one of
America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience. Also, for the
sixth consecutive year, a recipient of America’s Best Hospitals for
Obstetrics. This Women’s Choice Award identifies the nation’s best
healthcare institutions measured against the needs and preferences
of women, providing her the opportunity to identify which hospitals
deliver the quality patient experience she seeks for her and her
family, and for her birthing experience.
This credential signifies Catawba Valley Medical Center’s
commitment and passion towards an extraordinary healthcare
experience for all patients, and is another example of the many ways
we’re working to improve the health of our community.
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Catawba Valley Medical Center does not discriminate on the basis of sex, age, national origin, disability, or race in its health programs.
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Vote blue for
Catawba County Commissioners
It’s time for Democrats to have a voice in our County
Government. You’ll have the opportunity to vote
for three choices for County Commissioner. We
hope you’ll vote for ALL 3 Democratic Candidates.
Laci LeBlanc Michelle Morgan Geniey Yang
Paid for bythe FriendsofLaci LeBlanc,
the Committee to Elect Michelle Morgan
andthe Committee to Elect Geniey Yang.
619 2nd St NE
Hickory NC 28601
Printed in Vietnam
CARMEN ECKARD JON ECKARD
Chief Editor Principal Photographer
Jeffrey Wilhelm Calvin Reyes
Clayton Joe Young Kelsey Crowe
Carson Sailor Heather Wood Davis
Michelle Brenard Granny Eckard
Photography Students of CVCC James Thomas Shell
Letter from Editor
Oh, this was a fun one to make! To me, foothills summers mean Tweetsie
Railroad, lake swims, Horn in the West and adventure. We look at all those
things in this issue, plus more.
One of my favorite articles highlights the dedication that our citizens have for
our communities. Communities are built one connection at a time, and the
photography collaboration between the Catawba Chamber of Commerce
and the CVCC Photography department highlights our citizens and those
You can see me in the picture below zip-lining over Lake Hickory. You’ll find
a story about Tree Top Adventures, and I was thrilled to try it out myself.
We’ve created a year’s worth of magazines now, covering each season in this
region we love so much. It’s been the best year of my life, and I’m thankful
to you, my reader, for making this possible.
Visit our site, foothillsdigest.com!
Contents SUMMER 2018
05 Letter from the editor 50 Expanding Graduate Programs at Lenoir-
10 Horn in the West Rhyne University
18 The Long Shot
26 Red, White and Bluegrass 54 Steve Abee
28 Fireworks in the Foothills 56 Bob Sinclair
32 Fox and the Hound 60 Hickory Playground
36 First that Last 62 Renovation and New Build by Steele’s
38 Commitment to Community
49 Catawba Crafters Construction
66 Blow Up
6 68 Immersive History for Foothills Students
74 Curt Butler
79 Standing Ovations to Page 94
Creative Meals Served in a Page 38
91 Kid’s Magazine
92 Blackberry Festival
94 Lakes of the Foothills
98 New Adventure Park High in
102 Hiking in the Hills
106 Tweetsie Railroad
116 Boggs Farm Center
122 Great Balls of Fire
73 Fun in the Sun
74 When it Comes to Stroke Prevention,
Knowledge is Power
75 No Backsies
76 Breaking Down Barriers
78 Dear David
81 Eventfully Yours
88 Mountain Memories-Polio
You can always subscribe online at http://foothillsdigest.com, but you can also fill
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Our partner company is Eckard Photographic, and you’ll
notice that most of our photography is by Jon Eckard.
He is a commercial photographer based in Hickory, North
Carolina. He is quite good at assessing the needs of your
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and at fair rates. We think the quality of his work speaks
for itself, and we hope you will call as business needs arise.
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An Outdoor Drama about the role of
our people in the Revolutionary War
By: Carson L. Sailor, MA
As the sun hangs low on a summer evening over the Blue Ridge Mountains, a ritual
in practice for 67 years once again once again plays out in the gloaming. High
above Boone, NC sits the Daniel Boone Amphitheatre, home to Horn in the West,
an outdoor drama of revolutionary origins. Since 1952 the Southern Appalachian
Historical Association in partnership with the Town of Boone, Watauga County,
Appalachian State University, and the community has come together to put on
a Broadway quality theatrical production. The show focuses on Daniel Boone,
American Revolution, and those who set out to make a new life for themselves in the
Blue Ridge. The qualities of these intrepid settlers were shared by the community
leaders who founded Horn in the West. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show, as we
pull the curtain back on the High Country’s oldest theatrical production.
The story of Horn in the West in many ways begins in earnest with the end of World
War Two. GI’s with a little money in their pocket, and a booming economy set the
stage for the rise of the automobile For the first time in American History since
the great Manifest Destiny that drove Westward Expansion, people were able to
travel and experience their country. The nation was alive! This rise in American
patriotism led to an increased interest in the history of the United States. Outdoor
Dramas began to pop up all over the country sharing their regional history and
placing their area in the larger American narrative.
Photo by Aaron Bridgm1a1n
In 1949 Watauga County was posed to alone. Fans drove from all over to see
celebrate its 100th anniversary. The Daniel Boone guide North Carolina’s in
community came together to author and their struggle from freedom from the
produce “Echoes of the Blue Ridge” a British Crown. After the show closed after
3 hour 400 actor pageant that told the the first season, over 54,000 guests had
complete story of the area from colonial seen “Horn in the West”. Kermit Hunter
settlement up to the present. A large wrote a script that followed the plight
stage was created outside to host the of colonists who fought in the battle of
show but a rainstorm forced the play Alamance and were forced to flee to
inside. With low turnout the community the mountains. Hunter never meant for
decided that they would not let all of the show to be a historically accurate
their efforts go to waste, so they decided documentary, but rather a compelling
to celebrate their centennial again the story that captured the zeitgeist of
next year. Revolutionary North Carolina.
In 1950 the show was a massive hit! The Drama brings to life the famous
Building off the success of “Echoes frontiersman Daniel Boone and the
of the Blue Ridge” prominent High hardy mountain settlers of this region in
Country figures wanted to explore the their struggle to preserve their freedom
option of creating a permanent outdoor during the turbulent years before and
drama. Outdoor drama’s were successful during the War for Independence.
throughout North Carolina and creating The drama highlights those settlers
one in the budding tourism destination of who came to the Blue Ridge Mountains
Boone made sense. Constance Stallings seeking freedom and escape from British
visited the state’s oldest outdoor drama, tyranny. Dr. Geoffrey Stuart, a prominent
“The Lost Colony”. After dealing with British physician, comes to the Colony of
terrible road conditions, out of order Carolina to study the dreaded disease
bathrooms, and hawk sized mosquitoes, smallpox, bringing his wife, Martha, and
declared at a meeting of interested their teenage son, Jack.
parties, “We can do better than that!” In May of 1771, a band of North
The Community immediately jumped Carolina colonists who call themselves
on board with the idea of a permanent “Regulators” take up arms against the
outdoor drama. Business leaders British authorities and Governor William
believed that an outdoor drama could Tryon. After being soundly defeated
be worth more than eight factories. IG at the Battle of Alamance Creek, the
Greer of UNC-Chapel Hill because of band of ragtag rebels and their families
his understanding of mountain culture. are forced to flee westward, into the
It was determined that the show would wilderness, to avoid being captured and
not exploit the hillbilly image that was hanged. Captain MacKenzie, a brutal
prevalent at the time, but would show British officer, vows to hunt down all
the true character of mountain people. the Regulators. Jack Stuart, who rashly
On September 15, 1951 Herman Wilcox, fought alongside the Regulators during
Dr. Whitner, Mr. and Mrs. Pritchett, the battle, unwittingly draws his Loyalist
Bob Agle, Charlie Wilfong, Carrier family into the conflict. Led to the west
Winkler, and Ralph Winkler met to begin by Reverend Isaiah Sims and the steady
the process of producing an outdoor hand of Daniel Boone, the group settles
drama. This included not only hiring in a peaceful valley under the watchful
renowned playwright Kermit Hunter, brow of Grandfather Mountain.
but also building an amphitheatre. On Through hardship and danger, house-
December 9, 1951 eighty five citizens raising and romance, the ties that bind
met to form the Southern Appalachian the Stuart family and the small pioneer
Historical Association with the intent community grow. Despite his conflicted
producing an outdoor drama in Boone. feelings of loyalty to the Crown, Dr.
Twenty four individuals pledge $1000 Stuart finds himself a respected leader in
to begin construction. In March of 1952 this hidden mountain community.
ground was broken on Daniel Boone Daniel Boone steps in and out of the
Amphitheatre. story as character and character/narrator,
Horn in the West opened on June 27, helping guide Dr. Stuart’s transformation
of 1952, barely 16 weeks after ground into a free thinker and bona fide mountain
was broken on the amphitheater. 7,000 man.
tickets were sold in the first 10 days
The doctor’s aid and expertise lead to an and strives to aid performers with their
uneasy alliance between the settlers and first professional theatre experience.
the Cherokee Indians. While the British Engaging individuals through “historical
are attempting to urge the Cherokee education and cultural entertainment,”
to wage war against all white settlers, the Southern Appalachian Historical
Dr. Stuart’s medical efforts among the Association has supported Horn in the
natives leads to a friendship between West through its sixty-sixth season,
the Cherokee and the villagers. With the and has ensured the preservation of
help of Nane’hi (Nancy Ward), “Beloved the diverse culture and history of the
Woman” of the Cherokee people and Blue Ridge Mountains. Let the summer
Daniel Boone, the mountain settlement breeze surround you as Horn in the
remains free of war for the time being. West invites you to join Daniel Boone,
Dr. Stuart must eventually choose Nancy Ward, and the Overmountain
between his love for his son and his loyalty Men as they accomplish something Truly
to England. Ultimately, Stuart joins his Revolutionary.
now-grown son Jack and his neighbors Horn in the West’s 2018 Season will run
as they march with the Overmountain from June 22nd- August 12th Nightly
Men on the long trek to King’s Mountain. Except Mondays
There they fight the ultimate battle in the Join us this year for the return of the
War for Independence, to keep British beloved Fire Dance!
Major Patrick Ferguson from keeping his Be sure to bring this article for a special
promise to “…march this army over the discount!
mountains, hang your leaders, and lay
waste your country with fire and sword.”
Year after year, the sounds of Horn in
the West paired with the North Carolina
summer echo across the theatre and draw
in guests from around the nation. Both
guests and actors alike are charmed by
Horn in the West and its lasting legacy.
Guests return through the seasons to
share the history of the Blue Ridge with
their families to carry on a tradition of
entertainment and family fellowship.
Actors return season by season to partake
in the oldest Revolutionary outdoor
drama to partake in its lasting legacy
amongst outdoor theatres. Horn in the
West considers itself a teaching theatre
This scene from the nation’s second oldest Outdoor Drama is engaging,
entertaining and lighthearted. Scenes run the gamut from hilarious to
heartbreaking. This scene features Preacher Sims, played again this year by
14 Photo by Aaron Bridgman
Located on the ground of Horn in the
West is the HICKORY RIDGE LIVING
HISTORY MUSEUM. The museum serves
as the historical companion to the show
by sharing 18th century mountain life
to guests. Hickory Ridge is home to 8
period structures from around the area
which serve as the stage for costumed
interpreters as they interact with guests.
The museum is open April-November
daily except Sundays with tours at 10am
and 2pm, and nightly at 5:30 before all
Horn in the West performances.
16 Photo by Aaron Bridgman
Let the adventure begin!
Reserve online at www.treetopalh.org
Mention this 17
ad for 10% off!*
*Valid in the month of July 2018, Mon-Fri.
LonTg hSe hot
By Richard Eller
American history is full of improbable the mountains. When the war came he
heroes. The most unlikely revolves around and other pioneers remained relatively
a small group who refused to be bound unconcerned, until the British began their
by the dictates of a king. They lived in “southern strategy.” After a four-year
and around the Appalachian Mountains stalemate in the North with empty victories
as farmers, landowners, and squatters, like Bunker Hill and Long Island, and
some in direct defiance to King George’s outright losses like Saratoga, the British
line that divided acceptable living space came south, where all they loyalists lived (or
west of what is now the Blue Ridge so they thought). If the king’s army starts
Parkway. Individually, they were of no real in Georgia and South Carolina, sweeping
importance to the leaders of the colonies up the eastern seaboard, gathering those
up in Philadelphia, who were part of the loyal to the crown, called Tories, the British
Continental Congress, trying to work a would be unstoppable by the time they
deal with the king. Yet they were the ones met George Washington’s army again.
who brought the British to their knees.
They were the Overmountain Men. Along the way though, something
happened. The invasion of Savannah
We recognize them mainly by the cities went well, the effort to take Charleston,
and counties that took their names
as a memorial. Benjamin Cleveland, 19
Isaac Shelby, Joseph Winston, Charles
McDowell. These were men who largely
stayed out of the war for independence.
They did as they pleased in establishing
their homes. John Sevier lived well over
King George’s 1763 Proclamation line that
forbid settling on the Tennessee side of
less so but still a win. The British routed waste their country” if they threatened to
the Continental Army under command take up arms against him. The threat only
of Horatio Gates, the earlier “hero” of angered the frontiersmen and set them on
Saratoga. He fled (without his army to a course to make him pay for his insult.
Charlotte). The British were poised to Then he issued a proclamation. In it he
push their juggernaut north, so confidant took a novel approach to gathering those
that Lord Charles Cornwallis split his army loyal to the king. He shamed those who
into pieces. He set up headquarters in did not rally to his cause. Today known
Charlotte. One wing, led by intrepid as the “Pissing Proclamation” Ferguson
and sadistic cavalry commander Banastre asserted that all ‘real men’ were loyal.
Tarlton unleashed a rampage of the South Rebels were mongrels and those on the
Carolina countryside, to the point that they fence had better choose Great Britain if
nicknamed him a butcher. The other wing they did not want to be “pinioned, robbed
was commanded by accomplished military and murdered” by these “backwater”
man Patrick Ferguson. He took on the job men. He also insulted their manhood by
of flushing out the Tories in service to his boasting, “If you choose to be pissed upon
growing army. Ferguson had a plan. forever and ever by a set of mongrels, say
so at once and let your women turn their
First he sent word to the Patriots, whom backs upon you and look out for real men
he called ‘barbarians’ warning them that to protect them.” He intended to bully the
he would “march his army over and lay undecided settlers to his cause of king and
”View at King’s Mountain battle-ground. This view is from the foot of the hill, whereon the hottest of the
fight occurred. The north slope of that eminence is seen on the left. In the center, within a sort of basin,
into which several ravines converge, is seen the simple monument erected to the memory of Ferguson
and others; and in the foreground, on the right, is seen the great tulip-tree, upon which, tradition says,
ten Tories were hung.”—Lossing, 1851
empire, picking up a few nervous Patriots along the way. Instead, he alienated the men of
the back country enough for them to unite against him.
Shelby, Sevier, and company had already decided a course of action to combat this threat.
Their approach was simple; Hunt Ferguson down. On September 23rd, they began to
gather. From Abingdon, Virginia down to Sycamore Shoals, part of the Watauga Settlement
then, Tennessee now, they came, gathering strength. A week after starting the Overmountain
Men bivouacked at Quaker Meadows in Morganton, the home of Colonel Charles McDowell.
He lent his services to the cause. Word came from the South that Edward Lacy raised a
contingent from South Carolina and Georgia. Patriots were closing in on Ferguson.
Major Patrick Ferguson for all his bravado in the issue of his proclamation was no bluff. A
Scot in the British Army, he received a commission to lead the 71st Highlanders, developed
an early breach-loading rifle, and sustained a substantial wound at the Battle of Brandywine in
1777. His comeback entailed raising a loyalist army as the British headed north. He trained
southern recruits with a whistle, blowing cadences for each move the new soldiers of the
Photo by Clayton Joe Young
king were expected to make in battle. By Many of them grabbed the stirrups of a
the time the Overmountain Men found him nearby horse and ran alongside to keep
his army totaled about 1,100 with him the up. 900 made the forced march to get
only British soldier in the bunch. Ferguson.
The growing Patriot army tracked the Major Ferguson knew they were coming.
location of Ferguson growing ever closer The same hubris that marked his
while they rendezvoused with Lacy. The proclamation remained with him as he
day before the battle, the group was sneered that “God and all his little angels
camped at Cowpens (the site of a later could not knock him off that mountain.”
battle involving Banastre ‘Butcher’ Tarlton). In a way, he would be proved right.
Winston, Campbell, and their men got Ferguson’s commander, Lord Charles
word that Ferguson held his troops on Cornwallis was only about 35 miles from
the top of Kings Mountain. Time could him in Charlotte but was having his own
not be wasted. They had to surround his problems with the “hornet’s nest” of
camp and get him. Even though the Tories Patriots around town and had no troops to
held the high ground, the Patriots were help. It did not matter, Ferguson did not
determined. The gang of Overmountain think he need them anyway. The Major had
Men was too large to march the distance something to prove. Always competitive
so those on horse were dismissed. But with Cornwallis’ other subordinate
22they had come too far to miss the action. Tarleton, Ferguson lagged behind the
butcher in accomplishment during the
Southern Campaign. The stage was set was captured.
for Ferguson to prove his mettle.
Supposedly, Ferguson had an opportunity
Patriots surrounded Kings Mountain to shoot General George Washington at
by early afternoon. The last order of the Battle of Brandywine and refused to
leader Joseph Winston was “every man do so. He said his sense of honor would
his own commander” meaning each be violated by such an act. However, his
soldier had permission to take that hill ethic did not extend to the frontiersmen
as he thought best. Up the mountain of Appalachians and he paid dearly for his
they crept, surprising some of the Tories. choice.
Once Major Ferguson knew the battle
was joined, he brought out his whistle to After the battle, a few of the 700 prisoners
summon the enlistees to battle. Slowly the taken were hanged for their offense of
Overmountain Men tightened the noose. choosing the wrong side. The rest were
Usually troops with the high ground held marched to Hillsborough for parole. The
the advantage but Ferguson’s trainees battle proved to be what Thomas Jefferson
repeated fired over the heads of the himself called the ‘turning point of the
‘backwater’ men who bobbed from tree American Revolution’. After October 7,
to tree for protection between shots. luck ran bad for Cornwallis and his Southern
Strategy. The Continental Army, with
Tories fell, Tories surrendered, but the the help of militia like the Overmountain
battle was not over until Ferguson himself Men embarrassed Tarleton at Cowpens.
fell. He made himself a perfect target, Conwallis won a ‘Pyrrhic’ victory at Guilford
wailing on his whistle atop a large white Court House (losing more than he gained).
horse. He even wore a red and white His eventual move into Virginia landed
checkered hunting shirt. A desperate him at Yorktown where a year after Kings
bayonet charge became Major Ferguson’s Mountain a siege forced the main British
last orders to his recruits. Then it was every army to surrender to that ragtag, gang of
man for himself. At that point at least mongrels Major Patrick Ferguson has so
seven Patriots drew a bead on the Major disdained. The long shot hit its mark.
and brought him down. The battle lasted
for about an hour. Once Ferguson hit the The pivotal Battle of Kings Mountain has been
ground it was over. both a personal and professional subject for
The Overmountain Men enjoyed their Historian Richard Eller. His 2002 documentary
victory. Legend says they had a special “The Road to Kings Mountain” featured the
way of paying Ferguson back for his participation of the Overmountain Victory Trail
slanderous proclamation. They meted out Association, a dedicated group of individuals
the same act on him as he suggested in who each fall, follow the day-by-day trek of
his document after night fell on October the original Patriot marchers. For his work
7th. Either way, Ferguson’s body is still on he received the Overmountain Victory Trail
that hill. Along the path that surrounds Award from the National Park Service. In
the mountain/battlefield is a cairn (a grave addition, his ancestor, Elias Powell was a part
piled with rocks on top) that supposedly of the battle, as an aide-de-camp to Major
includes not only Ferguson but one of Patrick Ferguson.
two women who accompanied the British
officer, Virginia Sal. The other, Virginia Paul 23
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print
Collection, The New York Public Library. ”Battle of King’s Mountain.” The
New York Public Library Digital Collections.
Back in the early 1980's, the City of Morganton Recreation Department decided to have a fireworks
display on the Independence Day. The department set aside a small amount of money and
obtained a few fireworks South Carolina. That evening, about dark, there was about 10-15 minutes
of fireworks on the campus of Western Piedmont Community College. Such was the beginning...
I Within a few years, the City's July 4th fireworks show (with professional fireworks) began drawing
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So far, they’ve had visitors from all states in the continental United States and many foreign
countries as well. Visitors from Canada, England, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, France, Australia,
and Japan have all come to enjoy bluegrass in this North Carolina town.
July 4-7, 2018
at Catawba Meadows Park
For All of Us.
Real. Positive. Change.
PAID FOR BY KIM BOST FOR NC HOUSE
Become a villager! Join in our weekly
volunteer days, check out our schedule of
upcoming events, and donate to the Henry
River Preservation Fund!
Find out more at henryrivermillvillage.com
Our region offers many
opportunities to watch spectacular
firework displays, and they aren’t
just limited to the 4th of July.
From baseball stadiums to theme
parks, many of our entertainment
venues offer spectacular fireworks
On the following pages, we will
attempt to list the largest fireworks
displays across the Foothlls.
FIREWORKSin the Foothills
Tweetsie Railroad offers Hickory Crawdads have
one of the most spectacular fireworks throughout the
displays in North Carolina. season, with a large show
They start on the 4th of July on the 4th of July. Be sure
at 9:30, and the park stays to buy your ticket to the
open until 9. game early!
The Red White and City of Lenoir 4th of July
Bluegrass Festival Celebration is from 5-10
lasts several days and on the holiday. Admission
features fireworks on is free and there will be
Independence Day. live music, games and
The Town of Blowing Gaston All American
Rock is celebrating Fair offers an excellent
Independence Day all day opportunity to celebrate
long with events including early! On the 23rd of
a home town parade. June, they will offer a truly
Fireworks at 9:30. elaborate fireworks show.
Mt. Airy offers a day Troutman offers fireworks
of fun, starting at 10 on June 30th. They also
am and lasting until 10 feature a parade and a
pm. Music, games and day of fun events meant
a parade round off the to celebrate Veterans.
Gastonia Grizzlies have Independence Day
four fireworks displays Regatta hosted by the
throughout their season, Lake Norman Yacht
including the game on July Club, offers sailing races,
4. Buy your ticket early! fireworks, music and
Freedom Fest in Sparta offers fireworks at
Rutherfordton is a small Alleghany High School.
town celebration Norman Tailgating is encouraged,
Rockwell would approve and fireworks begin at
of. Fireworks are at dark. dusk.
Summer is here. It’s time for hot days and nights that never really cool down. Storms will always be around the
cor ner to hopefully cool things off. Summer is that second part of life – young adulthood. You don’t want that
party to end, but you know it has to. That is what the Millennials, by and large, are experiencing right now. The
Millennial generation began around 1981 and is said to have ended around 2000, so they are 18 to 37 years old.
Older folks might remember back then. You will see why these people, in the Summer of their lives, are the focus
of this Fox and Hound article. Our community needs some more of that Summer perspective back in its DNA…
To set our region up for future economic success, we in the marketplace. One in three workers, in America,
have to have plans, a Vision, and understand our position are Millennials. Another recent survey from the World
in the marketplace. If there is no difference in what you Economic Forum looks at what Millennials desire from
do, offer, or produce compared to competing interests, business. Over 40% of young people think sense of
you will not succeed. If the target audience does not purpose/societal impact is one of the most important
understand or recognize the value of your product, then criteria when considering career opportunities. They
you will lose out to more competent competitors. want businesses to be a force for positive change.
Simply put, our goal should be to pinpoint our unique In our community, we have basically lost a disproportionate
strengths and leverage them in every way we possibly amount of our young people at a time when they are
can. Focus on the basics of these strengths. Don’t assume having the most impact on the economics of American
that others understand the value. Our target audience society – and that impact will continue to grow. What
cannot be taken for granted. Success will come from does that portend for our future, if not addressed? How
matching our product with what they demand. do we reverse the trend and embrace the Millennials?
If sustainable growth comes from selling your unique Let’s look at some of the above to make some suggestions:
assets and their value, then we need to take a look at what 1) By and large, Millennials don’t want to live in a rural
we are offering and understand, in 2018, what people area. We must learn to adapt, embracing change and
want from the community they are going to reside in. growth. 2) We must interconnect and build relationships
Looking at a recent survey by the Urban Land Institute, with the major cities in our immediate vicinity. 3) Business
a worldwide non-profit organization dedicated to leaders are going to have to think community, not just
community sustainability and growth, with regards to their personal self-interests, when it comes to business.
Americans: 1) The vast majority say they are satisfied 4) We need to find a way to get Millennials into home
with their community’s quality of life, 2) 42% of people ownership, which leads to community buy-in. 5) Let’s
(mostly older) want to live in a rural area or small town 3) facilitate the creation of a socially conscious agriculture
Millennials are the most dissatisfied generation relating and food network in our region to address issues of
to homes, housing options, and community quality of life health and nutritional vulnerability.
-- 78% say they are likely to move in the next 5 years, 4) Many people tell me nothing’s gonna change. We don’t
75% of Americans want access to fresh, healthy food. have a choice. Survival!
Previously, I’ve related the many educational and cultural ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
amenities we have in our region. Appalachian State --------------------------------------------------
University lies directly in our footprint, five other UNC- America in 2015: A ULI Survey of Views on Housing,
system schools are an hour away, and we have several other Transportation, and Community - http://uli.org/wp-
excellent community colleges and private universities content/uploads/ULI-Documents/America-in-2015.pdf
within our region. We also have many other inexpensive, Here’s what millennials really want from business, and why
self-educational resources that are easily accessible to – World Economic Forum – Shakir Akorede - September
the populace. Can we improve our community education 12, 2017 - https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/09/
capacity? Certainly, and we should, but there are plenty heres-what-millennials-really-want-from-business/
of resources here for individual empowerment.
Millennials have become what the Baby Boomers have James Thomas Shell
been in our society. They are now the largest populace
in the labor force and the largest customer demographic The Hickory Hound
Each little town and city in the United States is a country will attract people across the board and help the
unto itself in some ways. Each has unique attributes businesses of multiple generations expand.
and advantages, and though some are shared, each As we have discussed, the recent focus of National
place adds a flair all its own. As our area continues Geographic regarded Hickory as “the” destination
redevelopment to improve the quality of life for our for “Hipsters.” A solar powered region would be
citizenry, we should always look to understand and take more of a draw for younger folks and industries,
advantage of such opportunities. We have mentioned as well as access to diversity and a less processed
in previous conversations our clear advantages to draw lifestyle. We are well within driving distance of
on for growth, so this could be a long conversation. Charlotte, Boone, and Asheville. Our region already
Let’s continue to encourage growth in the healthcare, has hundreds of hiking trails and multiple lakes
education, and manufacturing sectors by pursuing and that doesn’t hurt either. We have access to all
renovation and innovation. The cost of land and power the shopping one could need, cultural centers in
is relatively low and we can continue lowering the our cities, and even chickens in the backyard too.
latter with more investment in renewables. Marketing That appeals to people, as do farmers markets and
our available buildings at very competitive rates, restaurants that serve more natural selections from
aligned with modernization of the power system and local and organic farms.
the new investments already underway, will give us the Let’s embrace the attention and continue to move
advantage in recruitment and retention. We already towards more of a community concept in our food
have solar farms in the area to set us apart and that supplies, including gardens at every school, so
could expand given our open land and plentiful roofs. future generations will have the skills needed to be
Why not plan for solar panels on every warehouse and more healthy and independent. These things will
building, and the teaching of solar installation along be noticed, especially if we advertise them to folks
with other trade certifications at CVCC and local high from many walks of life who value local products
schools? and progress.
Why not a cooperative push between public and Our local economy has recovered slowly from the
private entities to be more energy independent, with losses in many industries, and we are dealing with
investments intending to raise the funds necessary to an acute opioid epidemic here. Let’s turn that
lower our operating costs and raise our conveniences? unique challenge into an advantage as we heal our
The historic storm in Hickory in October left some area with more health professionals and alter our
of our neighbors without power for a week, and our legal outlook on the issue. Let’s focus on mental
business for several days. A solar panel on every roof health, investment, and access to opportunity. This
would offer at least some juice in the morning. That will help tremendously and improve the quality of
efficiency and independence is valued by everyone, life for everyone.
I think, and if we make investments together we Escapism is a natural reaction to feelings of
helplessness that come from economic collapse,
poverty, and disconnection from normality. We
can do something about that with investment in
each other and shared opportunities. Though
manufacturing jobs began to rise again during the
last administration, and continue, there are still
many who don’t feel that access.
What do you think?
A civil discourse
Gabriel, I can relate to what you are saying in your commentary. As a middle aged Conservative, I have faced the
evolution and flux in our economy over this past generation through my working career. Much of what I envisioned as
a youngster simply vanished and I have had to adjust accordingly. They say, “Pain makes you stronger, Fear makes you
braver, and Heartbreak makes you wiser.”
I like what you say about the Drug addiction in our community. It isn’t just an “Opioid Crisis” as some would like to
simplify it as. It is about “Escapism.” Once again, we see the disconnect. We have many, who consider themselves
Conservative, who look to solutions through fear, intolerance, and punishment and think that is going to solve this issue
in short order. What are we going to do arrest everyone? Has that ever worked? Remember Prohibition?
It seems to me that you are talking about long term solutions and that is what I enjoy gaining perspective on. I like
to think of myself as a person that doesn’t automatically dismiss things. You know I’m not here for debate as much as
conversation. This isn’t a point-counterpoint discussion, to me, so please feel free to continue your thoughts about
what you think we need to see for a successful evolution towards the future of our community…
We can certainly improve our educational capacity, as CVCC and Lenoir Rhyne are proving with their growth. I recently
had a conversation with administrators from CVCC and they were very excited about the K-64 program. It offers
opportunities for buy-in to our community for those who may not go off to university, but also don’t have the access
they need here. These students in High School and College will have the opportunity to train for a trade, manufacturing,
or service career, while also building a relationship with a local business in the industry, like a traditional apprenticeship.
This will create a well-educated labor pool, with the skills needed for a modern economy.
Business and the market are a force for positive change, if we don’t allow fiduciary responsibility to kill a person
because she got some acne, as happened to a woman with breast cancer who was denied coverage before good
intentioned government enforced requirements for coverage. Good government promotes the general welfare and
should defend an honorable level of existence for all citizens of our nation. We can do better in those regards, in the
eyes of those millennials as well.
According to census estimates, as recently as July of 2017, Catawba County’s population was around 155k, and 22.6%
are under 18, while the county has an estimated 15.9% poverty rate. That’s 35,000+ young people we can plan for
soon, and that’s estimated to be over 5,500 children in poverty in our one county. These midrange jobs, and access to
them as we both agree on, are vital to our movement out of our youth retention slump and the health of our nation in
Touching the subject of healthcare. If the young leaving is not addressed, we become a retirement community whose
young are in the service industry or the manufacturing sector or in medical taking care of the older folks. Let’s also push
hard to recruit young medical professionals and utilize CVCC’s teaching hospital and maximize our extensive medical
infrastructure. Investment in our local public schools and institutions of higher learning are vital for educating those who
will stay -- and we have unique opportunities for study to expand soon.
If we can get trade school education offered, we will see an influx of people come here to prepare for understaffed
industries. Plumbing, Manufacturing, Medical, and soon Construction will be taught locally with a pathway from high
schools. Education opens doors…even when it’s education in hanging doors.
Catawba County Census - https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/catawbacountynorthcarolina/PST045217
Yes Gabriel, each region of the U.S. has its own unique characteristics. There is a Russian Political Science Professor
Igor Panarin who says that the U.S. will eventually Balkanize into separate regions because of our differences. A similar
scenario is delved into in the trilogy of books “The Hunger Games”. Such dystopic visions are rooted in historical
evidence. When differences aren’t properly managed and people aren’t accepting of realities, then troubles are sure
I’m on board with your summation about the drug crisis in our community. This is not a law enforcement issue. This is a
health issue and should be treated as such. As I have gotten older, I’ve been a caregiver for my Grandmothers and now
I have to assist my mother sometimes. I have taken them to the doctors. I have seen the people who attend Physical
Therapy, Rehab, and pain clinics. This is a subject I haven’t seen politicians address.
There is an obesity epidemic in our community. So many people are in bad shape and seeking relief. It’s a lot easier to
pop a pill or get a shot than to lose weight. People compound the issue by not moving and not eating properly. If you
are in bad shape when you are younger, chances are it won’t get better as you age. The elderly and their prescription
pill cocktails are a real problem in the community. The “Cops Episode” Trailer Park busts are nothing compared to the
sad reality of what our older folks are experiencing… and honestly I don’t even think that most of them realize it.
I find it interesting that our opening statements both addressed an interest in food issues. It’s all related. We have
“Food Deserts” in our community where people don’t have access to wholesome, nutritional foods. I like the idea of
gardens at the local schools. Maybe students could participate a few days a year preparing food in the school cafeteria.
We certainly need to teach kids about food preparation, nutrition, and health at a young age and get them on the right
track headed into adulthood.
I’m also onboard on the alternative energy issue. I think we certainly need to build a bridge to energy independence as
we evolve to modern realities. Conservative politicians have been much too dismissive of energy issues out of political
convenience. Conservation (Conserve) is supposed to be part of Conservatism. The goal should be to make our lives
better. Doing nothing does nothing.
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Firsts that Last: Experiences as Unique
as the Beautiful Place we Call Home
by Sarah Davis
It’s no wonder there are so many people in our outdoor activities. Lake Hickory
who visit the Hickory Metro and end up offers some of the best bass and catfish
moving here. They decide that this is a fishing on the east coast, Bakers Mountain
place that they can see as Home. A place is packed full of great hiking trails, Rocky
where we enjoy our small-town vibes Face Recreational Park in Hiddenite offers
but also the vibrant stream of events, an epic experience for trail runs and rock
attractions and restaurants. Exploring, climbing. We have an extremely active
traveling and learning evokes something disk-golf community and we host tons of
in people that keeps them wanting to see other sporting events and tournaments at
more and immerse themselves more into a our great sports complexes throughout the
Our mindsets are changing when it comes As our area continues to grow I look
to travel and tourism and with that the forward to being able to expand our access
State of North Carolina’s marketing is to Lake Hickory. The potential for paddle
changing. We are more focused on being boarding and kayaking on Lake Hickory will
in the moment and enjoying the people and grow as will the draw to the Lake with the
the places where we are. The State has future River Walk. These are things that will
embraced the emotional side of travel and launch our community into the forefront of
experiences; the things that give you the people’s minds, bring more visitors to our
feels. Firsts That Last, their new campaign, area and even more people living in the
depicts the feelings we have of a first-time Metro.
experience- riding a roller coaster, our first This summer don’t hesitate, pack a lunch
kiss, our first time tasting homemade peach and take a picnic. Take the kids to Glenn
ice cream, you name it – that feeling stays Hilton Park and don’t forget to check out
with you. the creek and the “wetlands.” Take your
In Catawba County and the surrounding bikes because there are some great trails to
area there are a lot of firsts for me here. I follow through the park. Support our local
grew up in this area, so I may have more downtowns like Hickory, Conover, Newton
than some but the first time I ever caught and others on Friday nights for live music,
a Crawfish at the creek at Glenn Hilton outdoor dining and weekend events. Take
Park. The first time I ever jumped off the the kids to local parks like the Lowe’s Food’s
dock into the cool waters of Lake Hickory City Park- the kids will love it and the water
on a hot summer day. The first time I tried feature is pretty neat! Have a Saturday free
livermush and loved it! The first time I with just you and your furry friend? Take a
trained for a triathlon running and biking stroll along the 1.5-mile paved path between
around Hickory. The first time I was chosen Geitner Park and Hickory City Park. There
as a child for the dizzy bat contest at the are several stretches on that path that you’ll
Crawdads stadium. The list could go on, catch some shade from the beautiful trees
but you get the picture. Those firsts will but keep your eyes peeled; you’ll also catch
always stay with me; as I am sure yours stay some views of mountain bikers on the new
with you. trails! There is no shortage of fun outdoor
We are truly lucky here in the Metro. We activities for you and your family. It’s all
are surrounded by pure pristine beauty out there waiting for you, you just have to
go and explore.
Photos by Clayton Joe Young and Sara Fink, assisted by Abigail Glosson, Hunter
Hamer, Rachel Hyler, Allison Lathrop, Ronda Stafford, and Timmy Xiong
The Catawba County Chamber of Commerce teamed up with the photography
department at CVCC to create these images that highlight the commitment of
individuals that helps our communities thrive. What are your words?
Clay Neill-”Let’s Roll”
My first thought for a phrase was “Git er done”,but wasn’t sure of the proper redneck spelling and if would
fit on my arm, also “Just do it” came to mind but too much Nike corporate on that one, so landed with
“Let’s Roll”. For me, “Let’s Roll” translates into being a doer and getting something done versus simply
being a dreamer or cheerleader. Nothing against cheerleaders, but ultimately need somebody on the field
playing the game to have a chance at a win. Don’t get me wrong, dreaming is great as well, its fun and
entertaining, and endorphin provoking, and overall pleasant and to some extent necessary. On the other
hand, “Let’s Roll”, means roll up your sleeves and get to work, crank the car and start driving, put the plan
into action. “Let’s Roll” seeks to bring reality to a dream, and is messy, and frustrating, and difficult, and
tiring, and time consuming …. and ultimately worthwhile and rewarding whether successful or not, even
though success is preferential. I think of stories of various successful business people that have some
failures in their past, but kept on swinging and in the end were winners. As for “Let’s Roll” in relation to
our community involvement, it means after we’ve defined a goal and devised a sensible plan of attack, then
its time to get after it and fight for success and I mean really put some effort to it, as in not taking “no” for
an answer when it doesn’t make sense and thinking outside the proverbial box on creative ways to obtain
the objective. So enjoy your sweet dreams, then wake the heck up and “Let’s Roll!!!”
Clayton Joe Young , Sara Fink, Abigail Glosson, Hunter Hamer,
Rachel Hyler, Allison Lathrop, Ronda Stafford, and Timmy
Xiong, Photography Professor and Students at CVCC-
We chose the words “Stay Focused” because of its double meaning. The photography reference is obvious
but one should also remember to stay on track on what is important. To me this is my students and the
community I serve. By working with the Catawba Valley Chamber of Commerce on this project I was able to
“Stay Focused.” This provided my students a hands on working experience and an opportunity for leaders
of the community to see the talents of my students.
Lindsay Keisler, President/CEO of
the Catawba Chamber of Commerce-
“Simplify to intensify.” This has been by one of my
driving philosophies since assuming my role. What
are the most critical community issues that are
impacting business in Catawba County? Inhibiting
growth? Impacting business’ ability to maximize
profit? Our Chamber is laser-focused on filling
jobs and population growth. From small business
to large industry – whether you own a downtown
retail shop or restaurant, or manufacture products
that are exported all over the world or simply live
and work here, unfilled positions and a projected
decline in working age population impacts you.
Don’t think so or not sure how? Let’s chat! I’m
committed to working both alongside of, and on
behalf of business to craft the vibrant future of
Scott Millar, President, Catawba
County Economic Development
”Slay the Woolly Mammoth”
To accomplish big hairy brutish goals you have to work
together. This community works hard to do great
things individually-to slay a woolly mammoth you all
have to be throwing your spear at the same place.
Singleness and unity of purpose are the keys.
If we focus on throwing our spears at the same things,
we can slay the big issues that we face. If we don’t,
then we can all valiantly and courageously be less
Representative Jay Adams, NC House
“Total commitment” is seeing the task through no matter
where it takes you, no matter how long it takes.
“Total commitment” reflects my personal motivation to
make decisions that will result in our communities and
our region being a high performing, high quality place
to work and live. I make those decisions with all of the
resources and capabilities I have personally and those I
observe in our communities.
“Total commitment” involves being keen to what is
going on around you, detecting opportunities and
acting on them quickly. It comes from an understanding
of the resources you can bring to bear and developing
and refining capabilities to capture more opportunities
in the future. It requires knowledge, understanding
and comprehension. It requires a network of involved
people. In these respects, my assets come from
involvement in activities. Many years ago I got involved
with the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce. I
served on several committees and discovered interest in
transportation, air quality, land use and other community
related matters. I made a lot of contacts. My involvement
led to a seat on the Western Piedmont Council of
Governments Metropolitan Planning Organization. I
developed interest in community development projects
like the Center City Study and I served on the first
Hickory By Choice Committee from 1998-2000.
“Total commitment” never ends.
Mick Berry, Catawba County
Change at any level is a huge challenge, one
of the hardest things we ever do- but also one
of the most important. Our community is big,
complex and vibrant with many wonderful
people and places, but also with challenges.
For our future to be as successful as our past,
we as a community will have to grow and
change. We will have to take risks and endure
failures. We will have to learn to work well
with people who are not like us and maybe
even embrace them. Quitting is not an option.
So I chose the simple word “Grit” to remind me
that this is and will continue to be a tough job,
but we are up to it. AND one of my favorite
movies is the Cohen Brother’s remake of the
old John Wayne classic- True Grit.
Tracy Hall, Director of Education
Matters-”Create and Engage”
I chose the words CREATE and ENGAGE as these are the
actions that I am excited to implement in my role every
Education Matters is a partnership with business, education,
and government all working together to help students in
our public school systems understand the necessity to
graduate from high school and the post-secondary training
and education needed for careers in our region.
I do this by creating innovative events and activities to
connect students with community leaders in meaningful
experiences. Over 12,500 8th graders and their teachers
have toured and engaged with industry to learn about
science, technology, engineering and math careers during
the EXTREME STEM Tour.
High school sophomores attend the CVCC Campus
Extravaganza, where the students participate in hands
on activities in CVCC programs that relate to their career
I have created a unique event for high school seniors called
the Education Matters Career Prep Conference where they
participate in mock interviews with our business leaders,
have a meet and greet activity with the Hickory Young
Professionals, learn about higher education offerings in
our region, and tour the CVCC campus.
I am highly motivated when I am able to use my creativity
to bring people together to make a positive impact in our
community. I am grateful for the collaborative spirit of our
partners and their willingness to get involved with our
schools to ensure student success.
Kathy Greathouse, Executive
Director of the United Arts
An impact study conducted by the United
Arts Council of Catawba County proved it –
arts and culture are a major driver in our local
economy. We are building the community we
all want to live in, enriched by artists, musicians,
designers, historians and scientists. These are
the kind of people who not only make living
better, but make living more colorful and
meaningful. I hoped my clasped hands would
show a connection between creativity and
the economy, but what I really see is all of us
working together to make beautiful things –
furniture, music, fiber optic cable, pottery, art,
socks, theatre, and so much more!
Adrian Holtzman, co-chair of Friends of Hickory-”Come Together”
“Fractured” is how the Catawba Indians described this region, yet all of it connected by a river that flows through
what is now Hickory and the surrounding areas. That spirit certainly echoes just as strongly today. There is
something dynamic that I think we continue to experience as a community here.
This place has weathered cycles of tremendous wealth, growth and success overshadowed by loss and difficulty
adapting to numerous changes. We are bound by a strong undercurrent of resiliency even though the landscape
may appear fixed or fragmented in places. We live in this tension between beauty and harsh reality, knowing what
we could be while struggling to get there. It is when we “come together” in the struggle that we have hope, and
remind ourselves of our potential for great things. We are the new “people of the river” and I am excited to see
where this river will lead us.
Allison Holtzman, co-chair of Friends of Hickory-”Do it”
I chose the words, “do it,” because I believe that in order for Hickory and the region to put its best foot forward,
we need to figure out a way to take action on our ideas. I have found since moving to Hickory that a lot of people
“wish” that an amenity or activity was available to us. If we could take these great ideas and wishes and make
even a fraction of them happen we could transform our city and region. Additionally, the city of Hickory (and other
local cities) has made a lot of plans such as a biking plan, an inspiring spaces plan, a plan to improve our downtown,
a plan to implement changes in our underserved communities... It is great to have plans and a vision but only if
they lead to action. ”Do it” is not a complaint to the public sector - It is a call to action to our creative and capable
community. The private sector must engage and support efforts that bring life to our area. WE have to take ideas
and make them happen. WE need to create, motivate, fund-raise, give, and invest. WE need to take risks and
help make things happen. Let’s ”DO IT!”
Kim Bost, Candidate for NC House: ”We’re”
We are. Here in Catawba County, we are blessed to occupy a beautiful part of this country. We are a
population of diverse, caring and innovative people.
I love this place.
But I know we can do better for all our citizens. So I am a part of a we that are running for office to bring a
fresh view and make a difference for all of us. We will work hard to create a thriving public school system,
provide affordable healthcare, and fund infrastructure, training and technology to attract new jobs and
industry to our great state, and support the businesses that are already here. My fellow candidates and I
love our people and this place, and are committed to doing what it takes to win and help make life better
for all of us.
“We’re All In.”
Ric Vandett, Candidate for NC Senate-”All”
In our picture, Kim Bost, Michelle Morgan, and I wrote the words ”We’re All In” on our hands. To me, those
words mean a total commitment to ensuring Catawba County is a vibrant, thriving area in which people
have good paying jobs, send their children to high quality schools, and live in a community rich in the arts.
I am committed to seeing that this area provides a variety of activities and opportunities for people of all
ages. I am committed to making Catawba County a place in which people want to live and raise a family.
My commitment comes from years of being involved in many areas of Hickory and Catawba County. I
worked for Hickory Public Schools retiring as the district’s Superintendent. I’ve served on a number of non-
profit Boards of Directors, am a Rotarian, and, as a veteran, I spearhead activities in our area of veterans
helping other veterans. Being committed means being involved.
Catawba County is a wonderful place to live, and ”I’m all in” on helping everyone realize that.
Michelle Morgan, Candidate for Catawba County Commissioner.-
I’m “in”. I’m all in with Kim, Ric, and all the other wonderful Democrats who are running for office in our
community this year. I am in because I want to bring a responsive voice and progressive vision to the
Catawba County Board of Commissioners. I am in to be an advocate to those who feel disenfranchised. I
am in because I believe in equality for everyone. I am in because I believe that every human being deserves
the dignity of having a roof over their head. I am in because I know that helping one person creates a
beneficial ripple effect in our community. I am in because I believe our neighbors who are addicted to
opioids need help—not jail. I am in because I believe our teachers can use all the help they can get. I am in
because I believe our veterans should be treated like the heroes they are. I am in because I want to create
a better quality of life for everyone in Catawba County. I am in because I love Catawba County and believe
that I can make a difference. I am “in” because I don’t want anyone to be left out.
Don Brown, Catawba County Sheriff-”Relationships”
Relationships, the one
word that can link an entire
community, city, county, state
or nation as one. Relationships
are the foundation upon which
many successful partnerships
have been built. When
properly formed with mutual
trust and respect, relationships
will allow a voice of one to be
heard by many.
Failure of programs and
projects often times can
be attributed to the lack of
proper relationships being
constructed at the beginning.
Relationships are easy and
simple to build. You start by
having a conversation with
someone, talking with them
and not at them to discuss
ideas. You don’t have to
agree on every aspect of
the conversation to form a
The ability to have a free
exchange of ideas is one
of the great benefits of
having a strong relationship.
Relationships make us better
people today and better
examples for tomorrow.
Brandon Pope, Cinematographer-
”Birds Eye View”
I choose the words “Birds Eye View” because
as an aerial UAV/Drone photographer &
cinematographer, I’m able to show Hickory &
Catawba County from a different view point.
Drones with cameras have given us the ability
to see landscapes, buildings, and events
from completely different perspective, only
obtained before from an aircraft. The Higher
perspectives make landscapes look larger and
longer than they really are. It’s a great way to
create better looking landscape photographs
Ingrid Keller, Executive Director of
the Western Piedmont Symphony-
Quite simply, I’m an ideas person. I was born in
the spring, the season of new beginnings. Ideas
are new beginnings. They are the birth of projects,
places, successes and even failures that teach us
important lessons. They can be concrete or abstract.
They can be simple or complex. Best of all, they
can lead to innovation and they can change the
world. Generating ideas is absolutely exhilarating.
I love the creative process involved in coming up
with an idea, developing that idea, implementing
that idea and then getting to see that idea come to
fruition. An idea can be incredibly powerful. Having
imagination and an insatiable thirst for curiosity is
key. As a leader in the creative industries, I believe
strongly in developing our creative intelligence for
the betterment of society. In today’s world, creative
economies are leading the markets. Learning how
to think creatively is more important than ever.
Creative thinking encourages collaboration. It
drives our industries. It solves problems. It builds
new places. It generates value. It revitalizes our
cities. And it all starts with an idea.
Robert Oren Eades, Folk Artist-”Community Foward”
When I was a child, I thought of community as a place: a crossroads, a bend in the river, a stop on the
railroad, a mill hill, a place named and called home by the people who lived there.
I was wrong.
I now know community is not so much about place as about people.
“Community” and “common” spring from the same root word. Our communities, then, are defined by what
we share. Whether acknowledged or not, it is the commonality of its members that defines a community,
no matter the nature of their shared bond. There are communities of interest, communities of location,
communities of people bound closely together by time and circumstance, and digital communities empowered
by technology to spread and thrive across the globe. We are – each and every one of us – members of many
communities. Each of us has the opportunity to contribute again and again to each of those communities.
My choice of “Community” is an acknowledgment of the importance I place on community. I want to find
community all around me. I want to be a part of many communities and I want to work with others to create
a shared sense of commitment to those communities.
And I want to help move those communities forward.
Forward to a shared delight in the pleasures of community. Forward to a willingness to look beyond the
obvious community members and invite others to join. Forward to a constant focus on community: what
does it mean to be a community? Are our actions improving our community? Have we looked hard enough
to find community? Are there communities we have ignored? How can we grow our communities? Make
them welcoming? Connect them together? How can we form new communities? What unites us?
And because community is about people, moving forward means joining together with people around us to
I look forward to it.
Dr. Fred Whitt, President of Lenoir-Rhyne University-”ALL IN”
ALL IN. To me, it means to be fully committed—to work, to family, to service, and to our broader community
we live and serve. It means that WE (Lenoir-Rhyne University) will be fully present and engaged, and pledge
to give our full effort and our full attention to improve the education, health and quality of life in the region-
--being present and attentive is one of the most precious resources a person has. When we are ALL IN for
our communities, we can accomplish almost anything.
As president of Lenoir-Rhyne University, I see every day that our faculty, staff and students are ALL IN and
fully engaged with one another. Our students are ALL IN with academic classes, on the athletic field and
in their service to the community. Our faculty are ALL IN and engaged with our students, mentoring and
providing wisdom to help our students grow and be educated for life, not just a career. Our staff are ALL
IN when they go the extra mile to listen to our students and provided support in confronting life’s hurdles.
Our LR mission states, in part, that we will promote responsible leadership for service in the world. To do
that, we must educate and inspire. We must help students to become strong and also compassionate. We
must prepare students to succeed and learn that failure is a process to success.
It is a big responsibility and one that at the entire LR community takes seriously—and we do it every day
because we are ALL IN.
Jo Boone (pictured center) has been crocheting delivers these items to the homeless community of
about as far back as she can remember. In 1984, she Catawba County. She says, ”They trust me.”
and her mom began crocheting hats for homeless This group meets each week at the community
people in their community. They used bright colors table at Lowes Foods. This may seem like an odd
like yellow and orange that could be easily seen at place for a crafting group to meet, but it seems
night and they delivered some to homeless shelters like Lowes Foods has set up these areas of their
in Morganton.. They also hung some from trees in stores just for things like this! Not only does Lowes
places they thought homeless people would gather. provide a space for the group to meet, they provide
Jo never stopped caring about homeless snacks!
people, and she never stopped crocheting for If you want to join in, just pop into the Mountain
them either. When her mom began to suffer View Lowes Foods on any Friday at noon, and look
from Alzheimer’s, she didn’t let that stop her. for the table of laughing crafters. If you want to
Two years ago, Jo started the Catawba Crafters. help, they are always looking for yarn donations,
The group meets every Friday, where the work especially the reflective yarn that uses most of
on crochet or knitting projects. True to their their budget. You can contact the group on their
roots, most of these items they craft go to area Facebook Page for more information.
homeless people. They’ve gotten in the habit of
buying reflective yarn, and they are sure to include
a reflective stripe in each hat they make. Jo hand
By Allie Bentley. Photos by Wyatt Foster and Ben Jenkins
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For more than 125 years Lenoir-Rhyne University has flourished in the city of Hickory, growing to become
a predominant figure of pride among the community.
The co-educational, private liberal arts institution currently offers 53 undergraduate degree programs and
more than 30 graduate
degree programs across
three campus locations.
While the University’s
main campus is located
in Hickory, graduate
are also offered on
campuses in Asheville,
North Carolina and
is also home to LR’s
(LTSS) where programs
are provided through
the School of Theology.
LR has a strong
meeting the highest
standards of excellence
in graduate education,
and continues to
expand upon its degree
offerings which are
designed to help the
balance life and learning.
The University enrolls
more than 900 students
in master and doctorate
Most recently, a Master
of Arts in Criminal Justice
was added to the list
of graduate degree
options. Through the
program, students will
gain the skills needed
to develop, analyze,