SAN DIEGO, CA – MARCH 18: Head coach Bob Huggins of the West Virginia Mountaineers reacts as they take on the Marshall Thundering Herd in the first half during the second round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Viejas Arena on March 18, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)TCU nearly landed a massive win in Morgantown against the No. 18 West Virginia Mountaineers, a game that would have given some legitimacy to TCU’s impressive early season record. Instead, the Horned Frogs will travel back to Fort Worth with a brutal loss. With under a second left in overtime, and his team up 85-84, TCU’s Kyan Anderson fouled West Virginia reserve guard Jevon Carter. Carter hit two clutch free throws to give West Virginia the late go-ahead lead. West Virginia goes to 16-3 with the win. The Mountaineers are definitely a factor in a very tough Big 12 this season.
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – SEPTEMBER 3: View of a Michigan Wolverines football helmet before their game against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium on September 3, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)Apparently wide receiver Devin Funchess is not the only recent Michigan football player who can throw down. After seeing Funchess’ impressive dunk on Instagram on Sunday, quarterback Devin Gardner decided to make one of his own.Gardner’s dunks are definitely impressive, especially for someone who focuses on another sport, but we’ll have to award this impromptu Wolverine dunk contest to Funchess. That vertical leaping ability is sure to impress NFL scouts in the coming weeks during the combine and other draft preparation events.
In addition to antique glass, Louise uses different metallic parts: coasters from a chair, irons from a fireplace, old chandelier bases. She buys her pieces from all over – eBay, auctions, antique malls. Sometimes clients give her a piece that they would like refurbished. Raleigh interior decorator Susan Tollefsen had a client with an old family chandelier that was pretty but tired. With Louise’s finesse, it became a new, more interesting chandelier, but lost none of its history.Gaskill has never marketed herself and relies solely on word-of-mouth advertising. She sells only to designers and to a few retail shops in Raleigh, including La Maison in North Hills. Her client roster covers the entire country – from Chicago to Florida, Charleston to Raleigh – and she plans to showcase her 70 new lighting designs to decorators at the High Point Market October 17-22.“Louise designs unique fixtures that can combine lots of different time periods together between the traditional, transitional, and modern,” says Tula Summerford of Raleigh’s Design by Tula. “Her pieces work for any style house.”Where to Find Louise Gaskill’s Work:Louise Gaskill By appointment only:2023 Progress Court, RaleighLouisegaskill.comSusan Tollefsen Interiors2025 Progress Court, RaleighSusantinteriors.comLa Maison4209 Lassiter Mill Rd., Suite 132 RaleighLamaisonraleigh.comDesign by TulaDesignbytula.com by Katherine Connorphotographs by Catherine NguyenAsk Raleigh’s Louise Gaskill the secret to her artistry in lighting design, and you won’t get far. “Oh, I don’t know how I do it, I just sort of taught myself and I learn as I go,” she says humbly, with a smile. It’s hard to believe that such a masterful creator – her handmade, one-of-a-kind fixtures are sought after by interior designers and clients all over the country – could deny her skill, but that’s another of Gaskill’s gifts: making it all seem simple.To call her a lighting designer is to tell half the story. She’s also an alchemist, creating of-the-moment lamps, sconces, and chandeliers out of antique glass, seashells, found fragments, and metal fixtures. When she talks about her designs, her silver-blue eyes radiate.Louise Gaskill in her studio, filled with her collection of vintage glass, metal components, and found fragments.“I cannot say enough good things about Louise,” says prominent Chicago interior designer Julia Buckingham. “We have the same design aesthetic, which I describe as vintage antique with a modern vibe. She’s highly creative with her vision and yet she makes it seem so simple, so effortless.”Originally from New Bern, Gaskill graduated from Meredith with a history degree and launched a career in software sales in Raleigh. She fell into lamp design after creating a few pieces for herself, then kept it up as a hobby.She says her love of history has always fueled her work. “Perhaps that’s something that ties all of this together: the history and the stories of the glass and the different pieces of lamps. I love the story behind old pieces,” she says. There were no artists in her family, no crafts passed down through the generations. Instead she taught herself to design new fixtures by deconstructing lamps she wanted to work with, then reconstructing them and learning as she went.At one point, Gaskill considered creating larger pieces of furniture, but sage advice from her husband,Robert Sheldon, convinced her to stick with lighting: “Don’t ever buy anything that you can’t pick up yourself,” he said. Though her pieces remained manageable, her workshop quickly overtook the garage and storage shed where her husband once tinkered with cars. After 14 years, she still picks up every piece herself. And in the process, Gaskill has become a revered artist within a niche industry – a niche industry with big competitors.“That really is probably the hardest part of this whole enterprise, that I’m all by myself in this field, and I’m competing against large corporate companies with big budgets and mass forms of production. My pieces are works of art and can take up to one to two weeks to complete, but this is an heirloom and something that will stay in your family for generations to come.”A piece of Murano glass is the starting point and inspiration for a new chandelier.The fun partIt all starts with the hunt, and that’s “the fun part.” Gaskill says there’s nothing better than finding a great piece of antique glass – some come from other lamps, fixtures, or vases. Glass dictates the piece: Every lamp, chandelier, or sconce has some piece of glass in it. It’s her inspiration and her signature touch.Her workshop is filled with it: cobalt blue cylinders, bulbous German bases, Italian teardrops. And there’s more: a pile of gold kitchen sifters found at an antique fair will eventually make their way into the base of a lamp. A wall is filled with various pendants and knickknacks that will make a piece uniquely hers.Gaskill starts with the frame, or the base of a piece, adds a lamp pipe down the center, and then starts stacking things together, seeing what works and taking it apart again until it “fits.” This is where her joy comes: in the unexpected merging of components.
Firestarter (R)Friday, Feb. 13Featured speaker: Jennifer Bunch, photo double for Drew Barrymore Ricky Bobby’s No. 26 Wonder Bread race car from the 2006 movie Talladega Nights: TheBallad of Ricky Bobby. The 2006 Chevrolet, currently on view in the museum lobby, is on loan from International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Ala., and from Shell Oil.In August 2012, North Carolina Museum of History curator and film buff Katie Edwards had an idea. She knew that major movies and TV shows are often filmed in the Tar Heel State. “We’d all heard about Bull Durham, The Hunger Games, Dawson’s Creek, and others,” she says. But she knew there were many, many more, and suspected that the history of filmmaking here could make for an interesting exhibit.The film clips, stories, history, and memorabilia she and her team uncovered amazed them all. Covering 3,000 films over the last 100 years, their work took two and a half years to complete and resulted in Starring North Carolina!, which opened Nov. 15 and runs until Sept. 6.The show charts the state’s emergence as one of the nation’s top film and television production locations – from silent pictures shot in western North Carolina in the early 1900s, to the birth of Wilimington as a movie-making hub in the ’80s, and on to recent blockbusters like Iron Man 3 and the successful Sleepy Hollow series.There are three main reasons why moviemakers flock here, Edwards and her colleague Camille Hunt say. The first is geography. With mountains, beaches, and everything in between, there’s no terrain we don’t have. The second is talent. As in any other industry, good work attracts it, and North Carolina is now home to thousands of professional crew members who make these productions happen. One of the many places they ply their trade is Wilmington’s EUE/Screen Gems Studios, the largest film studio outside California. The third is economics. North Carolina remains a far less expensive place to make movies than the West coast or many other places.Movie lovers won’t be surprised to see Bull Durham featured in the show – Kevin Costner’s bomber jacket is on display. But you might not know that 1986 cult classic Blue Velvet was primarily shot in Wilmington. The museum has not only Isabella Rossellini’s blue velvet robe but also the “severed ear” that figured prominently in the film. Other highlights include Ricky Bobby’s No. 26 Wonder Bread race car from 2006’s Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; a costume worn by Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games; several items from Dawson’s Creek; and Daniel Day-Lewis’s fringed suede get-up from Last of the Mohicans.The exhibit will play host to the inaugural Longleaf Film Festival, which will feature narrative and documentary movies, on May 2, 2015. The museum will also run a monthly film series on the second Friday of each month in coordination with the exhibit. (See box below.)Starring North Carolina! Film SeriesIron Man 3 (PG-13)Friday, Dec. 12Featured speaker: Bryan Simmons, memorabilia collector. Dirty Dancing (PG-13)Friday, March 13Featured speaker: Dr. Marsha Gordon, associate professor, film studies, N.C. State Brainstorm (PG)Friday, Jan. 9, 2015Featured speaker: Ira David Wood III, actor, author, singer, director, playwright(see story, following page.) All films begin at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in the museum’s shop. For a complete list of films through Sept. 2015, go to NCMOH-starring.com.
Courtesy Jason CraigheadJason Craighead has long had a leading role in the Raleigh art scene as an an artist, as a member of the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, as a collaborative studio founder, and as a former gallerist. Now his reputation as a contemporary artist has grown beyond North Carolina. This fall, Craighead’s work made a splash with Beyond Myth, a solo show at the prestigious Cheryl Hazan Contemporary Art gallery in New York, and next month, he’ll have another solo show at Tinney Contemporary in Nashville, Tenn.Lately, Craighead says, his work has been influenced by myths of heroes and adventurers, those who “answer the calling within and venture down a path that is filled with challenges.” Bending Time (above), from his most recent body of work, reflects some of those ideas. “When we choose to seek our very own personal adventure and find our very own personal voice,” he says, “… our hearts have room to rise.”Jason Craighead’s work is represented locally by Flanders Gallery, 505 S. Blount St., flandersartgallery.com.His Nashville, Tenn. show opens Dec. 5 at Tinney Contemporary, 237 5th Ave. North, Nashville, Tenn.;tinneycontemporary.com. Read more about Craighead at jasoncraighead.com.
Travel Style Tryon Palace
Green Tomato-Mozzarella AranciniThese are best eaten hot, straight from the fryer. After all, I’ve never been one for patience.1½ cups Arborio riceKosher salt4 green tomatoes, cored and cut into quarters2 tablespoons unsalted butter2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided1 cup whole milk1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano1 teaspoon chopped oregano2 garlic cloves, finely minced3 eggs, divided12 ounces whole milk mozzarella, cut into ½-inch cubes2 cups fresh breadcrumbsCanola oil, for fryingIn a medium saucepan, bring 6 cups salted water to a boil. Add the rice, lower to a simmer, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the rice and spread on a baking sheet in an even layer to cool. Place the tomato quarters and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor and pulse until chopped, but not completely pureed. Transfer the tomatoes to a fine-mesh sieve to drain; let drain for at least 20 minutes. Then, press down on the tomato mixture to drain any more excess juices. Meanwhile, make the roux: In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add 2 tablespoons flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to turn golden in color. Whisk in the milk, whisking until completely smooth. Cook, whisking, until the sauce begins to bubble gently (it will be quite thick). Remove from heat. In a large bowl, combine the rice, sauce, reserved green tomatoes, Parmigiano, oregano, garlic, 1 egg, and 2 teaspoons salt. Mix well. To form the mixture into balls, place about 2 tablespoons of the rice batter in the palm of your hand and flatten into an even layer. Place 1 cube of the mozzarella in the center, then cup the rice batter around the cheese so that it’s completely covered and mold it into a golf-ball size round. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining batter and cheese. (You should have about 24 balls.) Place the remaining 2 cups flour in a shallow dish and season with 1 teaspoon salt. Beat the remaining 2 eggs in another shallow dish. In a third shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs and 1 teaspoon salt. Working one at a time, roll a rice ball in the flour, shaking off any excess, then roll it in the egg, letting any excess drip off. Finally, roll it in the breadcrumbs, making sure to get an even crust. Set the ball on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining rice batter. (You can make the balls up to this point and freeze them. Place them on a baking sheet in an even layer in the freezer for 1 hour, then transfer to a resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Do not thaw when ready to fry; just increase the frying time by 3 minutes or so.) In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat 3 inches of oil until it reaches 330 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Add the rice balls in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the pan, and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, flipping the balls with tongs throughout, until they are deep golden brown on all sides. Transfer the rice balls to a paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Serve hot. by Kaitlyn Goalenphotographs by Jillian ClarkThey say patience is a virtue, but it’s never been one that I can claim. Nowhere is my shortcoming more apparent than in the kitchen. I’m always going to be one of those cooks that paces in front of the stove while something is cooking, daring to take a peek before it’s done. I’m always going to dread the wait between spring and summer, when the weather is warm but my favorite produce is still unripe on the vine. Thankfully, it’s become something of a trend to cook with unripe, or “green” produce. It might seem like a head-scratcher: What, from a culinary perspective, would make unripe fruit attractive? It turns out that its tart flavor, when harnessed intentionally, can be a delicious boon to a cook. Unripe ingredients also have less moisture, which is ideal for things like pies or pickles. Unripe strawberries are a good example: They make excellent pickles, a fact which well-known chefs across the country have taken advantage of. Of course here in the South, we’ve been ahead of the game as far as cooking with unripe fruit goes. Green tomatoes have long been a staple, even an icon, of Southern cuisine. While I can’t be sure, I like to think that fried green tomatoes are a holdover from our agrarian roots, a farmer’s way to use the tomatoes that fell from his vines too early. I like fried green tomatoes as much as the next person, but green tomatoes have endless potential that deserves to be explored beyond that familiar dish. Green tomato pies are another old-school use for the fruit, and I’ve also experimented with green tomatoes as a base of a green gazpacho, capitalizing on their tart vegetal flavor. But I’m particularly enamored with using them to stud Sicilian-style arancini, a type of cheesy, deep-fried rice ball that makes an amazing snack. It capitalizes on the green tomatoes’ adeptness for being fried, and pairs it with plenty of gooey mozzarella.
Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper play to a large crowd early afternoon on the City Plaza Stage Friday, October 3, 2014, during IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass. photograph by Juli Leonardby William LewisThe grass is bluer here in the Triangle. The International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual World of Bluegrass festival returns to Raleigh for the fourth time Sept. 27 – Oct. 1. It’s the who’s-who event in the banjo-pickin’ world, with live concerts, conferences and workshops, plus the IBMA awards show. William Lewis is the executive director of PineCone and the producer of Wide Open Bluegrass, the festival’s music extravaganza that closes out the week in downtown Raleigh. Below, he shares some thoughts on how to best enjoy the music he loves.PineCone works year-round planning Wide Open Bluegrass with IBMA and our Raleigh partners at the Convention Center and Visitors Bureau. So, you can imagine our concern last fall when Hurricane Joaquin caused us to scrap those plans and start over – moving the entire festival indoors in a period of a few days. Although we are all very proud of the results, and now know that it can be done, we hope to never have to do it again. Bluegrass festivals are best enjoyed under blue skies.Wide Open Bluegrass holds a special place in the hearts and minds of many in our city. While the event’s attendance and economic impact are impressive, I’m always overwhelmed by the pervasive and profound sense of community pride. For an entire week, the world joins us in celebrating one of North Carolina’s homegrown traditions – bluegrass music. And our folks turn out in droves to support it. Not only are they taking time to enjoy the music, dance, art, and food, but they are also going out of their way to welcome visitors to our city and our state. Raleigh’s hospitality ranks very high for attendees, according to post-event surveys.The Piedmont Regulators play on the steps of the Fayetteville Street Post Office during the Wide Open Bluegrass festival on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh, N.C. Saturday October 4, 2014.After hosting one of the world’s largest indoor bluegrass hurricane parties last year, we are excited to return Wide Open Bluegrass to Fayetteville Street and to the Red Hat Amphitheater in 2016. The amphitheater will feature performances by a wide range of bluegrass all-stars, including Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, the Del McCoury Band, and Steep Canyon Rangers, among others. As always, we are planning lots of unique collaborations and special guests to preserve the event’s “must see” status. I’m particularly excited about the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band celebrating its 50th anniversary in Raleigh, and the rare performance by the Soggy Bottom Boys – famous for the soundtrack of the blockbuster film O Brother, Where Art Thou? And the perennial favorites the Kruger Brothers return to the festival, this time joined by a 14-piece orchestra to perform an original piece written by Jens Kruger.It is a win-win for those purchasing tickets to Red Hat Amphitheater, because they are guaranteed world-class entertainment while also supporting a very important cause. A portion of proceeds from amphitheater ticket sales go to the IBMA-operated Bluegrass Trust Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to individuals in the bluegrass music community in times of emergency need.As for the free StreetFest portion of Wide Open, we are expanding the footprint of the event south of City Plaza toward the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. The wildly popular Dance Tent Stage will now be located there, along with the N.C. Whole Hog Barbecue Championship, a food truck rodeo, junior Appalachian musicians’ showcase, arts and food vendors, kids’ games, and other fun activities. This area has lots of trees for shade and open space with grass for picnic blankets.Each year we try to tweak the event to make it a bit better than the last. We hope everyone will join us for what is sure to be another wide open bluegrass experience.For a full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit ibma.org.
WINnovation speakers: Maura Horton, Cindy Whitehead, Isa Watson, Jamie Meares, and Tashni-Ann Dubroy.by Mimi Montgomeryphotographs by Joseph RaffertyAn enthusiastic group of 210 Triangle area women (and three men) gathered at the Umstead Hotel and Spa Sept. 9 for Walter’s second-annual WINnovation event, sponsored by Bank of America and the Umstead. Celebrating women and entrepreneurism in the Triangle, the sold-out luncheon featured TED-talk-inspired “WIN” talks by five local female innovators: Cindy Whitehead, co-founder of Sprout Pharmaceuticals and founder and CEO of The Pink Ceiling; Tashni-Ann Dubroy, president of Shaw University and co-owner of Tea and Honey Blends; Maura Horton, founder of MagnaReady; Isa Watson, founder and CEO of Envested; and Jamie Meares, blogger and founder and creative director of Furbish Studio.“Don’t run from the word no. This is where mere innovation is born.”–Maura Horton, founder of MagnaReadyEach woman shared stories from her own entrepreneurial journey, covering everything from resilience to ingenuity; how to overcome boundaries; the importance of confidence; and how to lean into change and move past failure.Isa Watson, founder and CEO of Envested, speaks to the audience.Cindy Whitehead, co-founder of Sprout and CEO of the Pink Ceiling, gives her WIN talk.“There’s always something significant that you’ve achieved time and time again when the odds were stacked against you – when you’re looking to do something bold, I think it’s really important to just block out all the noise.”–Isa Watson, founder and CEO of EnvestedBekay King, Shaw University studentKelly GuessFollowing the talks, the group gathered together on the stage to answer questions from the audience. Then, guests separated into groups to participate in breakout conversations focused on how to execute ideas, how to leverage local resources, how to return to work after a career break, and how to work entrepreneurially in any setting. These discussions were led by Gab Smith, executive director of CAM Raleigh, Teresa Monteiro, founder and CEO of Her Leap, Jenny Hwa, executive director of Innovate Raleigh, and Robin Costello, corporate relations director of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development.Bank of America executive Kathryn Black“You can’t be your biggest hater. There are tons of people in the world to do that for you. You’ve got to be your biggest promoter … be sure you maintain a level of confidence that will take you beyond the stars.”–Tashni-Ann Dubroy, president of Shaw University and co-owner of Tea and Honey BlendsEntrepreneur Andrea HoytBreakout session moderator Teresa Monteiro“(Be) daring enough to not be afraid of change, and to not even give the word failure any meaning to you. I dare you to fail – try it.” –Jamie Meares, blogger and founderand creative director of Furbish StudioDonna Preiss, founder and CEO of The Preiss Co.Holly HammerThroughout the day, a networking area sponsored by e51 and HQ Raleigh allowed attendees to create connections and exchange ideas, propelling the power of WINnovation beyond the day itself. This forward momentum was further evidenced in an invitation from Gab Smith for all attendees to reconvene in six months at CAM. A cocktail hour closed the day. Guests mingled with new contacts and the event speakers, reflecting the camaraderie and community spirit that makes Triangle entrepreneurship flourish.Speakers Maura Horton, Cindy Whitehead, Isa Watson, Jamie Meares, and Tashni-Ann Dubroy during the Q&A session.“Put the women at the center of any conversation, walk a mile in their shoes, and you can make pretty remarkable change.”–Cindy Whitehead, co-founder of Sprout Pharmaceuticalsand founder and CEO of The Pink Ceiling
“Now that October cranks up, it’s a lot of travel and writing in the hunting season, for sure.”–Eddie Nickens, outdoors journalist and authorby Mimi Montgomeryphotograph by Travis LongEddie Nickens is an outdoorsman, award-winning author, journalist, on-camera host, and native North Carolinian. Now a Raleighite, he hails from High Point and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with degrees in journalism and English. After some time as “a street urchin on Franklin Street,” Nickens took a job as senior editor at Spectator magazine; soon after, he transitioned to freelance work and has been, “as my father-in-law would say, ‘gainfully unemployed ever since.’” Nickens started out writing for the likes of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Smithsonian, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Audubon, and National Wildlife. When Field & Stream magazine asked Nickens to write long-form outdoor journalism pieces, he knew he’d found his niche: Bigger assignments had him travelling across the globe, and the adventures have “been quite steady and quite crazy ever since,” he says. Nickens is now Field & Stream editor-at-large and a contributing editor at Audubon. He has a monthly Our State column, frequently contributes to Garden & Gun, has written two books, and hosted and co-produced the television programs Heroes of Conservation and Total Outdoorsman Challenge. The outdoors beat has taken him to places like Alaska and Canada for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing adventures; in Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, he’s covered bird conservation, sustainability, and eco-tourism. “I’m not sitting at a business office or a convention center somewhere,” Nickens says. “Most of these assignments are pretty off the beaten track, if even on the track at all.” This fall, he’s got plenty of pheasant, dove, and duck hunting trips planned, but also looks forward to sticking close to home. He cites Halifax County and Morehead City as favorite local spots, and loves bringing along his black lab, Minnie Pearl, as a hunting companion. His family makes the cut, too: His wife, son, and daughter all love the outdoors. “One of the wonderful things about my job is that it’s evolved into an avenue to spend time with my children,” he says. “That’s been a real blessing.”Catch Eddie Nickens as the featured author at Walter’s latest Book Club event, Tales of the Wild, on Oct. 13; $55 for one ticket, $100 for two; waltermagazine.com
Carr McLamb, left, and Henry Neese coach youth basketball at Halifax Community Centerby Settle Monroephotographs by Robert WillettAround these parts, basketball is serious business. As November arrives, a charged wave of excitement runs through our state that lasts through March Madness. Tides shift as alliances are formed and enemy lines are drawn. Weeknights are spent glued to the television, and mornings are spent perusing the sports page to learn late game results. It is no secret that North Carolinians, particularly Raleighites, feel great pride for their hoops. But basketball pride is not limited to highly publicized teams or games. Walk into any of one of Raleigh’s public gymnasiums during the season and take a quick look at the boisterous fans, the demonstrative referees, and the enthusiastic players diving for loose balls: It is immediately clear that passion for the sport starts young. Each year the City of Raleigh, through its Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources department, registers hundreds of boys and girls eager to play on one of the league’s numerous basketball teams. Each team is led by a pair of volunteer coaches. This season, two of these coaches, Carr McLamb and Henry Neese, will embark on their 10th year coaching boys’ basketball (ages 13-15) for the league. The longtime friends met in 2001 when Neese played for McLamb, then a student at N.C. State in his first year of coaching. Years later, in 2007, they ran into each other at a N.C. State football game and agreed to return to the court, this time to coach together. McLamb took the helm as the head coach, and Neese served as the assistant. It was the beginning of what has become a City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources coaching establishment. For McLamb and Neese, coaching middle school boys is about more than teaching basketball skills. Both men well understand their positions as positive role models for their players. At the first practice of the season, McLamb and Neese explain their three guiding principles: One, have fun; two, improve as an individual; three, improve as a team. They also work tirelessly to instill in their players a sense of accountability and responsibility, insisting that each player show up on time prepared for practices and games. If a player has to miss a practice or game, he must call in advance to let them know. Coach McLamb is unwavering: “We want to hear from the players, not their parents, if they have to miss. They all have cell phones. So they have no excuses. We expect for each player to come to practice ready to give it all he’s got. Our team depends on it.” While basketball is serious business, for McLamb and Neese, having fun is the main priority. McLamb says, “We’ve had teams that have won championships, and we’ve had teams that really struggled. But we have never had a team that didn’t have fun.” Kirkland Caison, now a student at UNC-Chapel Hill, knows this well. Caison played for McLamb and Neese for two years in middle school and still keeps in touch with them today. “The real impact they have had is off the court,” Caison says. “Whether it be college applications or job inquiries, I have come to them many times seeking advice. They are great older brother figures, able to share honestly about their life experiences and offer suggestions to different problems I have dealt with.” At the same time, McLamb and Neese make no bones about it – they want to win basketball games, and they are strategic in their efforts. They spend nights in the gym watching other teams play to develop scouting reports. They have mastered the art of the pre-season draft. And they can recite statistics and figures from every team they’ve coached. With two practices and a game each week, coaching is a major commitment for these two Raleigh lawyers. When asked how many hours a week they spend on coaching, Neese laughs, “That depends. If you count all of the conversations we have during the week about the team, it really adds up.” McLamb and Neese both point to George Deloache, their former coach at the Jaycee Center, as their coaching inspiration. McLamb explains, “Most of what we do, we learned from George. We run the same sets he taught us as young players. He was such an important figure for us during our youth. We hope to be the same for our players.” Deloache, a longtime City of Raleigh coach and a legend in his own right, understands the deep impact that coaches can have on their players. “Middle-school-aged guys in particular are still trying to figure everything out,” he says. “For example, where does being competitive cross the line into bad sportsmanship? So, they are looking for role models.” So far, McLamb and Neese have won one city league championship, been the regular season champions twice, and made four semifinal appearances. And this coaching duo has no plans of hanging up its whistles anytime soon. “We’re not married. We don’t have kids. We have time to do it. And we love it. For the foreseeable future, we’ll be coaching.”
Diana and Dan Saklad“Our goal in creating this business was to create a local community of cooks.”–Dan Saklad, owner and co-founder of Whisk kitchen storeby Jessie Ammonsphotograph by Jillian ClarkDan Saklad is admittedly not a shopper. “I’ve never really spent time in retail stores,” says the owner of Whisk, a retail kitchenware store in Cary. Nonetheless, when he and his wife Diana moved to Cary 11 years ago – a place he says they picked after Googling “best places to live” – they wanted to launch a business rooted in something they cared deeply about. “Cooking is what we’ve always done,” Saklad says. “I’ve cooked every day of my life since I was 5 years old, and Diana has done the same. It’s always been a passion of ours.” In 2013, the couple translated that love to Whisk, a kitchen emporium with a strong emphasis on cooking classes. Saklad says the experience has been less like a foray into retail and more like an investment in community. “We’re a very different experience.” It’s one focused on doing, they hope, with shopping a happy side effect. “We have 35 to 40 cooking classes here every month, taught by 42 chefs from 15 different countries.” Classes range from themed recipes for beginners, a la “a night in Paris” and “Bollywood, an authentic Indian feast,” to in-depth technical classes like knife skills and master-level sushi-making. Wall-to-wall racks of kitchen gadgets and cooking accessories complement the skills being taught and supply specialty items for gourmands of all kinds. “Part of the experience is the personalities we hire,” Saklad says. Rather than look for employees with retail experience, they look for employees who are “engaging and fun, the types of people you’d like to hang out with on a weekend at a party.” The employees’ attitude is contagious: “It’s amazing how the community has embraced us,” Saklad says. Despite receiving offers to franchise and expand, the Saklads say they’re not interested. “The beauty of it is having one location. There’s a certain magic to that.” And this time of year, full of celebratory meals and gatherings, is especially meaningful to the Whisk team. “We love cooking and we love people who love cooking. We’re completely happy being here in Cary doing our thing. This is a place for people who share our same passion for cooking and entertaining.”whiskcarolina.com
One of the world’s most transformative companies has found its Triangle home in a historic former train depot on Glenwood South.by Liza Robertsphotographs by David Williams On a sunny day in February, downtown Raleighites gathered in a sleek, renovated former industrial space of the sort the tech world favors in any modern city. With a massive mural by Victor Knight III shouting “Raleigh” from an exposed brick wall and Jubala coffee on offer, there was no mistaking which modern city it was.But even those who know Raleigh well might not have recognized the refined and light-filled space as the former site of the long-loved 518 West Italian Cafe, which closed its Tuscan-inspired doors two years ago after 18 years in business.Today, that restaurant – which helped ignite the Glenwood South entertainment district – is a fond memory for many. Also a memory is the building’s original iteration as a freight depot for the Norfolk Southern railway.historic photo courtesy Billy WardenIn the place of that railway’s freight cars or the restaurant’s chalkboard menus now are contemporary furniture, pinpoint lighting, and flat screens.It’s become Google Fiber’s Raleigh Fiber Space, a retail office for the company’s high-speed internet service that plans to moonlight as a community gathering spot. It kicked off its new life as the latter with a Black History Month and First Friday celebration of Knight’s mural and other works, plus music by 9th Wonder. Other free events planned as of press time include a coding class for kids, a workshop for small businesses, and a family game night.Raleigh is one of a handful of U.S. cities where Google has similar “fiber spaces.” The company aims to put them in historic buildings when possible, in locations that represent “hubs of local culture” that are “significant and meaningful to local communities,” says Google designer David del Villar Fernandez.For more information on Google’s new fiber space and its community events, visit fiber.google.com/cities/triangle/events.
Photograph by Elizabeth Galecke
Sarah YarboroughCo-founder and CEO, Raleigh DenimSarah Yarborough is the co-founder and CEO of Raleigh Denim. She and her husband, Victor Lytvinenko, started making jeans together when she was an undergraduate in 2007, working on her collection for N.C. State College of Design’s Art2Wear show. Today, Raleigh Denim sells jeans and other designs at prestigious stores like Barneys New York in 14 states; and Sarah and Victor are members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.“Some of the winningest ideas come from not winning,” Yarborough said recently, when asked to reflect on her company’s success. “The struggle or challenge behind the curtain – that is so very different,” she says, from the public’s perception of of what success looks like. It’s in those hidden struggles that breakthroughs emerge.Yarborough grew up in Raleigh and attended Saint Mary’s School before heading to New York City and NYU, where she studied art, English, and philosophy. She returned to Raleigh to continue her studies at N.C. State, where her love of design blossomed.Yarborough remembers well the moment when Barneys New York called to order the jeans she and Lytvinenko had been tinkering with. “I’d been making jeans for Victor to wear around, and for some friends,” she recalls, “and the morning news got wind of it. They did a 60-second segment at 6 a.m.” A Durham shoemaker saw the piece, told a buyer for Barneys about the couple and their work, and the phone rang. The New York store ordered 114 pairs of their jeans, and Raleigh Denim was launched.These days, demand regularly outstrips supply. “We’re beyond capacity,” Yarborough says. “We are about to turn away business. And we’re also looking at supplemental production.”About a year ago, the company’s growth had the couple reconsidering its organization and their individual roles. Now, Yarborough serves officially as CEO, while Lytvinenko focuses more on sales, growth, and brand ambassadorship. “That’s been really wonderful,” Yarborough says. “It makes me feel more invested and really proud of the company that we’re building.”
Tatiana BirgissonFounder, Mati EnergyTatiana Birgisson is the founder of Mati Energy, the healthy energy drink she created in her Duke dorm room five years ago. Today, a new 30,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Clayton has her brewing as many as one million cans a month for sale at Whole Foods Market and other retailers in 12 states across the Southeast and beyond.She made Forbes magazine’s list of “30 Under 30” in the Food and Drink category this year – unsurprising, perhaps, for a business growing more than 100 percent a year.So what she says she wants to talk about at WINnovation might come as a surprise: “My story really starts with depression,” she says, “and my story is about the mental skill set that I gained to overcome depression.”She did it with perseverance, grit, and focus – not unlike the way she’s built her company, which focuses on health and well-being.“Even though life deals you a tough card, you can become a much stronger person,” she says. As Mati also goes from strength to strength, producing more than 100,000 cans a month of her proprietary combinations of tea and juice for an ever-expanding customer base, Birgisson’s hard-earned success has also resulted in wisdom worth sharing.
A Charlotte artist designed and built this hexagonal shaped house with a wrap around deck. The treehouse and the cypress tree it resided in were dismantled, loaded onto a flat-bed trailer and moved to the Corkum’s home in Raleigh as the land it stood on was planned for development.Happiness Among the Treesby Rebecca Guenardphotographs by Juli LeonardPerched out of reach, a treehouse evokes mystery, seclusion, a place apart where a child can dream up an adventure. It’s a castle on the hill, the Shire, an Ewok village. It’s Swiss Family Robinson.Before the ink was dry on the mortgage papers of our North Raleigh home, my family was discussing which tree on our two-acre property would support a treehouse. After six months of planning, drawing, and calculating, my husband looked up from the kitchen table, surrounded by graph paper covered in schematics, and said: “This is going to be a big project.” Everyone went quiet and my son gently pointed out the reality of his undertaking. “You are building a house,” he said. “Up in a tree.”Feeling apprehensive, I set out to find camaraderie with Raleigh’s treehouse people. It, too, was a bigger challenge than I expected. Despite its Oak City label, Raleigh’s building ordinances hinder the construction of treehouses. “Accessory structures” are limited to a certain height and distance from property lines, making treehouses unlikely to qualify, given the standard lot size. Even if you head out to where lots are more spacious, homeowners associations can crush your treehouse dreams.Eventually, I was able to find several examples of what is possible when grown-ups with power tools remember what it was like to be a kid. Occupying only a couple-hundred square feet of space, these houses in the trees are cozy enough to let you roll out just a few sleeping bags, and big enough to let your childhood imagination run wild.The Proud Pavilion Though the Vassallo-Soto family built their treehouse for their four kids, they admit adults love it too. Tara and her husband Vinney wanted to give their kids a place for sleepovers, where they could chill device-free. “We wanted to give the kids a house outside of the house,” says Tara Vassallo-Soto.Tara Vassallo-Soto hashed out a design with RB Landscaping in under an hour. The treehouse sits proud and inviting at the top of a rise in the backyard, tucked up into the lower limbs of a tall oak tree. The design is reminiscent of a pavilion, with only one full back wall and two knee-height side walls. The absence of a fourth wall provides a spacious feeling and unobstructed views across the neighborhood.Kids can lounge lazily in the colorful beanbag chairs dolloped throughout the space, or in the neon hammocks draped underneath. The colors pop off the natural wood structure, like stained-glass windows in a childhood sanctuary.A prominent feature inside the tree house is the oak tree which greets you immediately as you enter the space. Here, Matt Robinson’s daughter, Sydney Robinson, 12, greets him from the loft built around the tree.The Tree Hugger “We bought this house because of that tree,” says Matt Robinson. He is referring to a mammoth pin oak at the back of his property. Its trunk punctures the foundation and then exits through the roof of a treehouse-in-the-works that sits 14 feet off the ground.For as long as he can remember, Robinson wanted to build a treehouse. His apprenticeship came when he helped a friend clear the trees on a 40-acre property. They cut the logs into lumber and built a timber-framed home on the land. Robinson applied the skills he learned building that house to construct the treehouse for his family, a massive undertaking that required him to borrow scaffolding to build so high. “I never want to get up on that roof again,” Robinson says. “It was terrifying.” He calls the treehouse his “labor of love.”Robinson has worked on it for two years. He is happy to take his time; being among the trees, he says, relaxes him. Preferring a rustic look, he has used reclaimed wood and incorporated creative touches like a window across the back wall that is actually a French door on its side. A prominent feature inside the house is the oak tree itself, which greets a visitor immediately upon entering. Robinson is still working to finish details like a backlit rusted tin ceiling and a rolling ladder to access the house’s loft. He also plans to put in a writing desk, ostensibly so his girls can do their homework, but his wife imagines Robinson himself will claim it most of the time. “He is looking forward to having a spot where he can look out through the trees and write some poetry,” she says.The Woodlands Home With a heavy heart, Sherry Corkum accepted that twin 100-year old oak trees on her property, formerly the Lassiter Mill Farm, had to be cut down. One tree still had weather-greyed wooden slats nailed to the trunk that the Lassiter children had used decades earlier as a ladder to a long-gone treehouse. But the trees were rotted and posed a safety hazard. Corkum was expecting a baby, and the Corkums couldn’t risk an accident, so the trees were removed.Corkum didn’t have to mourn their absence for long. Two weeks later, her husband called from Charlotte where he was developing a property. A treehouse on the land where he was working had to be removed or destroyed before building could begin. The Corkums decided to make it their own. Months later, a flatbed trailer arrived at the Corkums’ home in Raleigh with their treehouse and what remained of the cypress tree it once lived in.The house is a special one. A Charlotte artist designed and built the hexagonal shaped house with a wraparound deck. The Corkums used the cypress tree it once hung in as pilings to support its substantial load-bearing beams, which also accommodate an exit slide on one side and a couple of hammocks on the other. Tree bark shingles on the roof and siding camouflage the whole house, while tiny birds’ nests hang in several corners. A lack of doors or windows encourage the scent of magnolias from a neighboring grove to fill a cozy interior decorated with furniture from a craftsman in Boone, North Carolina who fashions child-sized tables and chairs out of old twigs. There is a chalkboard on one wall and drums hang throughout. The Corkums hide small treasures here and there for young guests to discover.Sherry Corkum says her family has gotten hours of enjoyment out of the treehouse. It has been the centerpiece for her son’s birthday parties and the hangout spot for her teenaged niece. “We lost two oaks,” says Corkum. “But we gained so much more.”Brain Lowery built a live-in doll house among the trees in his Zebulon backyard for his daughters, Logan and Austyn Lowery. The tiny two-story structure is fairytale perfect, with green siding, white trim and a inviting front porch.The Doll HouseBrian Lowery intended to build a swing set. Instead he built a live-in dollhouse among his backyard trees. “We figured they would quickly outgrow a swing set,” says Lowery, since his daughters were eight and eleven when he embarked on the project. He wanted to give them a place that they could use well into their teen years.Lowery constructed the house himself, on a modest budget, with materials he purchased at the local home improvement store. He supplied the house with electricity so nightfall would not discourage the girls from playing outside. The tiny two-story structure has green siding, white trim, and an inviting front porch. The interior features tranquil purple walls, reading nooks, and a sleeping loft. It’s the ideal spot to foster some girl power.A year has passed and Lowery’s house is fairytale-perfect, but he isn’t shy about expressing his disappointment. He imagined his girls would be anxious to spend their private time in the house sharing giggles and secrets, but they haven’t shown much interest in it. He recently hung a television on one wall. “If no one is going to use it, I’ll turn it into a man-cave,” Lowery says, with a laugh.A wooden wheel is one of several details on the McCalls’ treehouse boat.The Fantasy-bound BoatIn a cluster of trees beside a European-style North Raleigh home sits a treehouse shaped like a boat. Its bow, supported by three loblolly pines, points through a sea of trees to be navigated on the way to adventure. Make-believe grandeur is easy to conjure in this simple setting. Perhaps Peter Pan is faring the Darling children home from Neverland, a peg-legged Ahab is manning a whaling ship, or SpongeBob is practicing his driving lessons.The homeowners, Roger and Terri McCall, considered taking down the treehouse when they bought their home. Their kids are grown and they didn’t imagine anyone using it. But they love the ocean, and decided to leave the treehouse in place as a seaside-style decoration.They underestimated the boat’s magnetism. It turns out the treehouse is beloved by all their pint-sized visitors – grandnieces and nephews and friends with kids. The original owner’s brother, a carpenter, built the precious port-dweller. Children enter from a trap door in the floor of the boat, leaving the boat’s structure uninterrupted when the door is closed. As you look out from the small, enclosed bridge, it’s easy to imagine you are sailing through the sky.“Sometimes it’s a pirate ship. Sometimes it’s a fishing boat,” says Roger McCall. “Mostly, it’s a pirate ship.”The McCalls now have a box of accessories to accompany the treehouse. They keep plenty of flags, swords, hooks, and dolls on hand to foster the popular pirate theme and delight in the hours of laughter and “Ahoy, matey!” that emanate from their trees.
Irregardless …it’s Thanksgivingby Liza Robertsphotographs by Madeline GrayOn Thanksgiving Day, Arthur and Anya Gordon will be thankful for many things: For the biggest day of the year at their restaurant, Irregardless Café & Catering; for the longevity of their business, now celebrating its 42nd year; for the love of one another; and for their enduring faith.“Thanksgiving is a peak experience for our restaurant,” Arthur Gordon says. On Nov. 23, he will serve an extraordinary 1,400 meals – 700 seated and 700 carryout – to a growing stable of regulars who have come to rely on this Raleigh institution for their annual, quintessential American feast.One regular is well-known Raleigh artist Kyle Highsmith, whose devotion to Irregardless inspired a deal, proposed by Gordon: Highsmith and his wife eat for free at Irregardless once a week; once a year, Highsmith gives the Gordons a sizable, colorful landscape.“It’s turned into a wonderful friendship,” says Highsmith, who dines with his wife at Irregardless most Wednesdays and regularly celebrates birthdays and holidays with the Gordons. The restaurant “is just a very unique place to eat, for the food, for the atmosphere, and for a very special kind of charm.” Some of that charm comes from Highsmith’s art, which is as much a part of the Irregardless experience as the live music that plays there nightly.All of it – plus a menu steeped in a vegetarian tradition with allowances for the rest of us – has turned the 120-seat Irregardless dining room into a second home for many. Arthur Gordon rebuilt it in 1994 after it was gutted by fire, staunchly committed to the spot where he started in 1974. Still, he insists: “You can’t stand in one spot for 42 years.” He means it metaphorically. Change, he says, is the secret to his success.Originally a strict vegetarian restaurant, Irregardless has expanded its menu over the years to include fish, then poultry, then red meat; Gordon says 40 years ago he became the first restaurant in Raleigh to serve Sunday brunch; decades later, the devout Jew says his was one of the first local restaurants to stay open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Gordon has also doubled down on his once-unlikely location across the street from Central Prison, buying his building and a parking lot across the street outright. Like many of his gambles, his real estate investments have more than paid off as the city has grown and prospered around him.Likewise, Gordon’s Thanksgving menu – featuring new recipes every year – is a reliable but ever-changing standby, justifiably described as a Raleigh tradition.Walter sat down with the Gordons one recent afternoon to hear more about Thanksgiving at Irregardless: how it evolved; what it means; what it entails; and how to make it at home.Arthur and Anya Gordon: On ThanksgivingArthur: “You can’t come up with a formula and say this is it, this is what we’re going to do, and no questions asked … It always has to be open to interpretation. That willingness to change is what led to Thanksgiving … It used to be that Thanksgiving was a really slow week for the restaurant, because everyone was having Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, so we would close on Thursday, and then the day after Thanksgiving was slow, because everyone was having leftovers.“…The first time we were asked to do Thanksgiving was by the Triangle Vegetarian Society. They asked if we would be willing to do Thanksgiving for 200 vegetarians.”Anya (who married Arthur in 1998 and began working at the restaurant that year): “This was probably around 2000, 2001.”Arthur: “And you know, while they were here, the phone was ringing off the hook, so the next year, when they didn’t bring in 200 people…”Anya: “You’re telling an awfully (businesslike) side of the story! You want to tell how much we want to feed people!” They both laugh.Arthur: “But it always needs to have a bottom-line orientation.”Anya, smiling: “That’s why Arthur’s still in business.”Arthur: “That’s that desire to change … But the first few years (of serving Thanksgiving) were a little brutal, to say it mildly…”Anya: “It’s a learning curve.”Arthur: “That’s how you learn. By making your mistakes. And then fast-forward to now, we’re doing 700 people in the dining room, and then 700 people in takeaways, and we combine that with every meal we serve, we donate a dollar to Rise Against Hunger. It’s a win-win situation.”Faith as a guideArthur, who paid his employees their regular wages to volunteer at nonprofits including the InterFaith Food Shuttle for the 11 months it took to rebuild his restaurant after a devastating fire: “My heart’s delight is to walk the path of humility, to appreciate all of the blessings I have received, and to make the world a better place. To treat people the way you want to be treated. To be generous, to be abundant. Logic says to you: If I give it away, I’ll have less. But your heart tells you: If you give it away in the right way, the abundance of the blessing will come back to you tenfold. And you won’t be able to count the blessings that you receive. So that’s been the strategy of the restaurant.“… I can’t prove to you that God exists. I can’t prove it to anybody. But if the actions that I take are based on the idea that God exists, then I have to do what I think God would want me to do … Running a restaurant is nothing but hospitality.”Preparing the feastArthur: “To serve 1,400 Thanksgiving dinners, we roast 30 35-pound turkeys, and another 40 or 50 10-to-12-pound turkeys for takeout … in the restaurant, we take around 16 people every 15 minutes. It’s no surprise what people are going to order. Out of the 700 people, 400 are going to order turkey dinners. But we have everything else, we’ll have prime rib, we’ll have lobster manicotti, we’ll have fresh fish, we’ll have three or four vegetarian options, but for the most part, everyone wants turkey.”Anya: “You want to tell the story of how you make the turkey and how you keep it so moist and luscious?”Arthur: “You don’t cut it when it’s hot, and the other secret is you should brine the turkey … And a lot of people put it in a 300, 400 degree oven, which causes the outside of the turkey to dry out, waiting for the internal temperature to get up to 140 degrees. So you end up with dry white meat waiting for the dark meat to get there.“… I would highly suggest that the average person should really go out for Thanksgiving. It’s a really hard meal to cook, and there’s 100 ingredients in it, and you’re out of nutmeg. And you go to the grocery store, and it’s a 30-minute line to get nutmeg, which you don’t really need, but the recipe called for it.”Anya: “We have some of our regulars come, and some do the takeout, but we also get a whole new crowd in on Thanksgiving. It appeals to a different part of the community, to go out for Thanksgiving. It’s a very joyous event.”Arthur: “It feels like a big family. You’re just a member of a big family.”Thanksgiving dinner at Irregardless Café & Catering:Roast turkeySage stuffingGreen beansGravyRollsSweet and buttermilk mashed potatoesCranberry orange relishApple or pumpkin pieCaramel pumpkin pecan pieby Irregardless pastry chef Rondi GoodmanFilling:2 eggs1 15-ounce can pumpkin½ cup cream¾ cup brown sugar1 tablespoon flour½ teaspoon vanilla¼ teaspoon salt¼ teaspoon cinnamon¼ teaspoon nutmeg⅛ teaspoon clovesTopping:1 1/4 cup pecans½ cup brown sugar3 tablespoons melted butter¼ teaspoon saltPie Crust: Goodman prepares her own pie dough, but recommends that home cooks unfamiliar with pastry dough purchase a high-quality prepared pie crust from Fresh Market or Whole Foods, and bake it for 15 minutes.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Mix eggs, pumpkin, and cream in a mixer until combined.Add brown sugar, flour, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves into pumkin-egg-cream mixture; continue mixing until combined.Pour into prebaked pie shell. Bake 45 minutes. Meanwhile, combine topping ingredients in a bowl.After pie has baked 45 minutes, gently place topping mixture on top of pie; bake another 15 minutes.CranberryOrange Relish2 10-ounce cans whole cranberries4 peeled, de-seeded, diced naval oranges3 tablespoons grated gingerIn a saucepan, lightly saute grated ginger over medium heat. Add cranberries and diced oranges to pan and cook 15-20 minutes. Let cool, then puree cranberry mixture in a blender. Serve as a topping for stuffed acorn squash, roasted turkey, or any other dish you’d like. Stuffed Acorn Squash Squash:2 acorn squashes, cut in half, seeds removed4 teaspoons molasses½ cup cooked black beans1 cup uncooked quinoa; 1½ cup lightly salted water, boiled1 large sweet potato, roasted and diced1 avocado, slicedDressing: ½ cup fresh lemon juice1¼ cup olive oil2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon sugar2 cloves garlic minced (optional)Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Take de-seeded acorn squash halves, place on a pan, and put a teaspoon of molasses in the bottom of the squash cavity. Bake for 30 minutes, then take out of oven and allow to cool.Stir quinoa into the lightly salted boiling water. Bring water back to a boil, then cover pot and turn down heat to a low simmer for 10 minutes. Afterward, turn cooked quinoa out onto a pan to allow to cool and dry.Prepare dressing for quinoa filling: Blend all ingredients except olive oil. Slowly pour oil into the blended dressing ingredientsMix cooked quinoa, diced sweet potatoes, and black beans together. Pour dressing over mixture and toss. Fill acorn squash halves with tossed quinoa mixture. Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees, and bake stuffed squashes for 30 minutes. Serve topped with avocado slices and optionalcranberry-orange relish. Serves 4
Katherine PooleA new park honors historic Oberlin Villageby Katherine PooleAt a small construction site on Oberlin Road between Wade Avenue and Cameron Village, five slightly curved, rough-hewn clay and concrete spires rise up, almost impossibly, from the earth. This is the beginning of Oberlin Rising, an art installation and park by local artist Thomas Sayre, with much help and inspiration from the surrounding community.Oberlin Village was established after the Civil War by freed slaves on land that was once a plantation. By the turn of the century, it was a thriving neighborhood and many of the original homes and structures are still intact, making it one of North Carolina’s few remaining Reconstruction-era communities. It will now be honored and preserved with this new park, set to open later this spring.Do not pick up or remove stones, rocks, glass, or shrubbery. These simple items are often grave markers. So reads a sign marking nearby historic Oberlin Cemetery, which predates the village and is thought to be a burial site for slaves. Those lines are the guiding inspiration for the park, Sayre says. He hopes the place will be a marker for the unmarked, a symbolic “marking of this community” to the greater Raleigh area, and he worked closely with Oberlin Village residents to bring it to reality.courtesy ClearscapesEach element of the installation is a marker, from the self-renewing landscaping to the lines of lune poetry integrated into the design by local poet and playwright Howard L. Craft. The five earthcast spires represent the labor of the community, from farming and trade work to education and social justice. Sayre had a surveyor make a site line for the spires to aim directly toward the cemetery (which is located behind the Interact building). Even the park’s marker is a marker: Sayre gathered the 10 oldest and 10 youngest village residents to cast their hands in concrete that was used to construct the Oberlin Rising sign. In February, Raleigh’s City Council granted the project an historic overlay, which sets specific design guidelines for new construction and renovation. The measure was an important step in recognizing this monumental effort to celebrate the Oberlin Village community. Walter looks forward to telling you more about the park upon its opening.
‘Strictly fun and fellowship’ Every Sunday, you’ll find Williams at Hayes Barton Baptist Church. He taught Sunday school for 60 years and is a pillar of the community there. “Wesley is the consummate optimist. He sees the best in everyone. He loves Raleigh and has invested his life here,” says Dr. David Hailey, the church’s pastor. “Wesley has also been our ‘poet laureate’ at HBBC. He has graced us on numerous occasions with his poetry. I would love to have a church full of members like Wesley Williams.” Two decades into retirement, Williams stays busy having fun with the boys. He’s a longtime member of the Old Raleigh Boys, which meets annually in February at Carolina Country Club. “I wrote the original Old Raleigh Boys creed, and I give some remarks and read the creed at each meeting,” he says. Also at the Carolina Country Club, he meets the 50 other members of the Good Ol’ Boys Club monthly, as he has for the past 38 years. And then there’s The Wake County Chitlin Club. Perhaps Williams’ most unconventional membership is as director of the group founded by former North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture and then Governor Kerr Scott in 1948. The all-male club meets annually for chitlins (pig innards) at the Toot-N-Tell in Garner. “I’m head of the CIA, which is the Chitlin Intelligence Agency. It’s strictly fun and fellowship,” he says. As the oldest member of the club, Williams was even named most revered member in 2015 by Rufus Edmisten, former North Carolina Secretary of State and Attorney General.With his many accomplishments and almost a century certainly well-lived, one thing is clear – Williams loves Raleigh, and wants everyone he meets to love it too. His best piece of advice for Raleighites, both old and new? “Be very grateful that you’re here.” Pride in PlaceRaleigh’s longtime social orchestrator extraordinaireby Catherine Currinphotographs by Madeline GrayG. Wesley Williams spent much of his life in a house on Hargett Street, just a few blocks east from Moore Square. From that downtown Raleigh post, he has watched the city go up around him and endure many cultural seasons. At 97, his mind remains sharp, and Williams’s historical account is one brimming with firsthand experience. “I was born near Raleigh, and I’ve lived here for 97 years. I’ve seen it grow tremendously, and it’s just a wonderful city that’s going to keep on growing.” Williams has had a hand in Raleigh’s growth through some 70 years of service to the city, both in his career and through volunteer efforts. Nowadays, Williams has moved slightly northwest, off of Glen Eden Drive, and his time is spent in more social clubs than civic, but it’s all still rooted in an effusive passion for hometown. “I love Raleigh, I’m crazy about it. I’ve never been officially given the title, but many people refer to me as ‘Mr. Raleigh.’”Work-life balance Williams was born near the music pavilion at Walnut Creek, an area that back then was vast farmland. Facing financial hardships, the Williams family traded in their farm and settled on the edge – now in the midst – of downtown Raleigh. Williams entered the workforce at age 17: His first venture was founding the Young Business Men’s Club in 1937. He eventually moved on to the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association, where he was executive director for 50 years. There, Williams says he discovered fulfilling work. “It was not only a job, it was a great pleasure. I had an important part in helping to build Raleigh.” Before his retirement in 1990, Williams made strides in Raleigh’s development, including overseeing planning committees for downtown’s first parking decks and the evolution of Fayetteville Street. Meanwhile, he organized and directed 46 Raleigh Christmas parades, he says, and rode on the firetruck concluding each one. He recalls the busy five decades fondly. “I’m sure that nobody in Raleigh has participated in more groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings than I have.” Not only was he a pioneer for Raleigh’s infrastructure, Williams was instrumental in integrating restaurants during the civil rights movement. He says it’s what he’s most proud of. “One of the greatest things I’ve ever been able to do is to play a major role when we were having all the trouble with segregation.” He worked with the Merchants Association and North Carolina Sen. John Winters to integrate S&W Cafeteria, formerly on the corner of Fayetteville and Davie streets. The S&W decision effectively began a domino effect throughout the city. Ever seeking fulfilling work, Williams is also one of the most decorated members of Civitan International, he says. He served the Raleigh chapter in several capacities, from chaplain to district governor and then president. He was also vice president of the greater International club. His son, John Williams, says he’s received countless awards for his hard work with the group. For instance, with the club, he helped found Hilltop Home, a center near downtown assisting children with developmental and medical disabilities.