Category Archives: Articles about Highlands and Cashiers NC

Steamboating is Back

Contributed by Jodi L. Moore, Travel Specialist Cruise Planners (828) 743-3936

It’s been far too long since you’ve had the opportunity to explore America’s rivers on a genuine steamboat. With the formation of the American Queen Steamboat Company, steamboating is back and better than ever.

In April of 2012, the grand American Queen resumed her proud role of taking guests on Steamboating adventures through the heartland of America. Once again, we are able to enjoy these unforgettable river voyages with our family and friends.

We offer all the adventures and amenities that have made steamboating such a cherished American tradition—the history and heritage, the warm ambiance of a floating antebellum mansion, the thrill of exploring Mark Twain’s America, the succulent dining, the showboat-style entertainment and dancing the night away to the sounds of swing, big band, New Orleans Jazz and Delta Blues music, and live storytelling by regional authors, historians and performers that create our own “edutainment” experiences. Combine this with gracious service from our all-American staff, and you have an experience that can only be found aboard the American Queen.

We’ve also added a host of new features to make steamboating vacations more of a value than ever before. For example, a deluxe hotel night ashore, select shore excursions and an alternate dining venue onboard are all now included in the price of your voyage. We’re also offering complimentary soft drinks, bottled water, and wines and beers at dinner. And you’ll be delighted to know that the American Queen features the acclaimed cuisine of famed American chef Regina Charboneau.  On February 14th, 2013 please join us for an eight-day adventure from Memphis to New Orleans. The theme will be Big Bands, featuring Harry James, Artie Shaw and The Platters. This is a fund raiser for The Highlands Playhouse who will be celebrating their 75th anniversary in 2013.  A donation will be made to the Playhouse for every cabin that is booked.

Contributed by Jodi L. Moore, Travel Specialist Cruise Planners (828) 743-3936

Body Mind Connect

Ashby Underwood-Garner is a Rolf Practitoner and Certified Yoga Teacher at Yoga Highlands. To contact her by email,

A healthy body, a healthy mind:  I heard a good friend say just yesterday that being healthy is a moment of equilibrium that we find, when it “all comes together,” before we begin moving back into imbalance.  When we are infants, we begin developing our relationship to gravity, by rolling, lifting our heads, sitting, crawling, pulling up to stand.  Balancing upright and moving with grace requires the perfect combination of effort and release.  If we are all born with this capacity, then what happens to the coordination along the way?

31 million Americans experience back pain at any given time, says the American Chiropractic Association, and most of those are for mechanical or non-organic reasons, rather than inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture, or cancer.  Why are we holding ourselves “back”?  Stiffness and reduced range of motion can be attributed to learned inhibitions, fears, unhappiness, and feelings of being stuck in a situation. It is an individual process of discovery, and no one person can tell another exactly what is going on just by looking from the outside.  One way to find your answer is by learning to breathe, feel, and tune out the outer noise through meditation or relaxation.

In our culture, we use the expression “Going with the Flow.” Primarily, fluid movement is the relationship of structure, function, and buoyancy within the earth’s gravitational field.  In the human body, there is one major organ that brings it all together: connective tissue.  Connective tissue or fascia is the organ of shape.  It is the fabric of fibers which holds all of our muscles, bones, nerves, organs in a cohesive, flexible bond.  All parts relate to the whole through this supportive fabric.  It is literally a web which balances the right relationship postural support and healthy expression of our ideas and movement.  Any restriction in this connective web can affect the threads throughout the rest of the body, due to injury, emotional trauma, surgery, and even mindset.  The Body-Mind connection starts with balancing this fabric to restore comfortable uprightness, feet down and head up, and moving the breath consciously in between.

Ashby Underwood-Garner is a Rolf Practitoner and  Certified Yoga Teacher at Yoga Highlands. To contact her by email,


Try a Luxury Line

Contributed by Bryan & Tricia Cox - CruiseOne Independent Vacation Specialists (828) 356-7920

Every cruise line proudly states how it pampers its passengers in luxury regardless of budget or expense.  However, when you experience true luxury cruising, you are entering the world of nearly telepathic service where crew and staff are highly trained to anticipate your every need and respond quickly and courteously to every request.


The staff to passenger ratio is exceptionally high on luxury cruise ships. Regent’s ship, the Seven Seas Voyager, carries only 700 passengers but has 445 staff onboard.  With this type of ratio, service becomes intuitive.  Did you order decaf cappuccino on your first night out? It will be there without asking at your next meal. Would you like six pillows instead of three? No problem. Do you want to be met by limo in port? Done.

When it comes to the luxury ships themselves, you will find rare woods, fine fabrics and leathers, expensive art, Limoges, Villeroy or Boch china, Christofle silverware, Frette linens, expansive wine cellars, down pillows and comforters, personalized stationery, well-appointed public areas and larger than average accommodations or suites.

Ultra-deluxe ships come in all sizes and their destinations span the world.  From ocean going vessels such as the 208- passenger Seabourn Legend or Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 which holds 2,620 passengers to river cruising vessels such as AMAWaterways 148-passenger AmaCello.  With extensive itineraries to almost every corner of the globe, many of these luxury vessels travel to ports that are rarely visited by other cruise ships and often they have extended stays in several ports, giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a destination.

Another area where luxury vessels set themselves apart from the mass market is in their truly gourmet dining experiences.  Oceania has paired with Master Chef Jaques Pepin. Silversea lays claim to an affiliation with the prestigious Relais and Chateaux L’Ecole des Chefs.  Uniworld has teamed up with Master Chef Bernard Zorn, and has been recognized by ZAGAT for top dining in the cruise industry.  Needless to say, with the culinary programs available onboard these deluxe ships, you will be hard pressed to go hungry.

Whether you are seeking a more traditional ocean going luxury liner, a vessel that takes you down some of the world’s most beautiful rivers, a masted ship experience with her billowing sails, or a private yacht to any number of exotic destinations, the world of luxury cruising awaits you.

Contributed by Bryan & Tricia Cox – CruiseOne Independent Vacation Specialists (828) 356-7920

Friends for Life

Sweet Jethro has been given a new lease on life at Friends for Life Forever Farm.

Who would guess that this beautiful young kitten has a disease.  Jethro’s clear, bright eyes, and sleek coat of hair, would fool you.  And as long as he doesn’t move, you would never know that he has a neurological disorder called Cerebellar Hypoplasia – commonly called  “wobbles.”  Jethro was born as a feral kitten whose mama and brother were “normal,” but he would never have survived on the street.  The compassionate woman who was feeding this little family called me to help the little one who “couldn’t walk right and would surely never get adopted.”

Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH), which may be caused by the mother’s having a virus while the kitten is in the womb, results in an underdevelopment of the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls coordination.  There is no genetic cause, and it is not progressive.  Jethro is actually one of the “lucky” ones in that he can lead a fairly normal life.  He flops from side to side when he gets going fast and his little head sometimes has intention tremors, but he has no problem eating, can get in the litter box, and has no discomfort with the disease.

We have another cat at the Forever Farm that shows a minor form of CH where she has the head tremors and sometimes walks in circles.  Tongue in cheek: her name is Bobble, named her after the little plastic bobble head pets people put on the dash of their cars.

Not all “special needs” pets require expensive medications and extensive care – some like Jethro merely need a safe loving environment to live a long happy life.  There is a special joy you will feel in adopting one of these babies.  Please help support the Friends for Life Forever Farm where homeless senior and special needs companion animals have another chance at life.  We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization.  Your tax deductible donation can be made online at or mailed to P.O. Box 340, Sapphire, NC 28774.  Call (828) 508-2460 for information or to visit the Forever Farm in Lake Toxaway.

Contributed by Kathy Bub, Executive Director, Forever Farms

It’s An Equine Affair!

Magic and miracles is a way of life at Carpe Diem Farms.

We have been blessed in so many ways and this month we celebrate our 20th anniversary of the foundation and the 15th anniversary of opening the farm. We have faced many challenges along the way, always confident that our mission “to enhance human potential through equines,” would drive us forward. It has.

Everything we do at CDF is based on and in tandem with the horses. Most recently, the horses were an integral part of our wedding. Jack rode in on Anna Banana, I in an Irish Gig pulled by Battersea Bess, driven by Joyce Foster; and Pumpkin, my “flower girl” and escort down the aisle, processed to the wedding from the stables with Georgia Robert.

If you have been following the development of our recently patented therapeutic glue on horseshoe, Easy’s Slipper™ that will go to market next year, there is great news. Horses with a variety of hoof issues that cause lameness are living in comfort and healing. Twenty-eight year old Battersea Bess, who has participated in three Presidential Inaugural Parades and our wedding has had a new lease on life since wearing her
Easy’s Slippers™.

While testing and refining, we have invented and are developing a variety of other products to help horses: an ice boot, a shipping boot, stall and trailer pads, and a variety of shoes.

Don’t forget John Michael Montgomery live in concert on the lawn and again for the Tux, Tails and Blue Jeans Ball, October 6th, to celebrate our anniversary. Call Peter at (828) 526-5700 for tickets. Carpe Diem Farms is a 501©(3) non-profit educational foundation.

Contributed by Sue Blair, Carpe Diem Farms Executive Director

Rotary Integral to October Tradition

Trick or Treat in peace, the Highlands Rotary Club is patrolling the streets.

Wednesday, October 31st marks a great, annual tradition in the Town of Highlands! For our area children and adults alike, door-to-door trick or treating is unsafe and impractical. Years ago, the Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Highlands Main Street businesses came up with a plan to address the need for Halloween fun. The event is sure to attract hundreds, if not thousands, of candy-seeking costume-wearing kids looking to fill their bags with treat of all kinds. Main Street trick or treating is a chance for businesses to support our areas kids by allowing them the chance to trick-or-treat in a

safe environment.

Helping with the event are dozens of Rotarians, wearing orange vests, who are strategically located at all corners and intersections. Rotarians have helped by directing locals and visitors around town, ensuring a fun and safe night for all. As word gets out, the event continues to draw more and more visitors from outside the Highlands area. Halloween night has not only become an annual Highlands tradition but has become a Rotary tradition we all look forward to. Prior to the event and an annual tradition of its own, the Highlands School Interact Club donated their time to distribute the thousands of dollars worth of candy to Main Street businesses purchased by your Chamber.

Contributed by Brian Stiehler

Preserving the American Dream

Contributed by Julie Schott, Development Director Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

In 1820, Barak Norton, one of the early European-American pioneers to this region, settled in a picturesque property located in Whiteside Cove.  Here, Sarah Whiteside Norton, the first white child of settlers in Jackson County, was born.   This is Timber Ridge and its history is as rich as its beauty.

In 1934 James E. Warren, purchased this 300 acres and in the late thirties built a chestnut log cabin there.  In 1971 James’ grandson, John, and his wife Marsha moved back to the area and began restoration of the family cabin which had been deserted for 20 years.  After three years’ work, they made it their home.  It is here that John and Marsha raised their family and still reside today.

At James’ death, the 300-acre estate was left in a family trust.  John and Marsha recognized that there was an opportunity to conserve this special place by working with the Land Trust.  After careful planning, the heirs placed 132+ acres into a conservation easement with Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust (HCLT).  The Warren Estate is home to Polly’s Branch, part of the headwaters of the Chattooga River, a National Wild and Scenic River.   Not only does this easement protect cultural and historic heritage, it is bordered by US Forest Service property.  Numerous rare and endangered plant species have been identified on the land, and the surrounding forest serves as wildlife habitat for many animals, birds and fish that will remain protected in perpetuity.

In 2008, Southern Living magazine featured the magnificent Warren Estate in their October issue.  There, John explained why his family decided to conserve their land with HCLT, “To me, it’s a win-win situation.  It’s a win for the environment and also the family, because we know future generations won’t change the original dream my grandfather had.”

You can be a part of the legacy. To learn how to place your property into conservation or more about preserving our natural heritage, contact us! Join HCLT online at, call (828) 526-1111 or email  Together we are saving mountains.

Contributed by Julie Schott, Development Director Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

Dahlia Festival Benefits Historical Society

The bold colors and kaleidoscopic patterns of dahlias entranced festival-goers.

I don’t think that I have ever seen the Highlands Civic Center look more gorgeous. On Saturday, September 15th, the lobby was filled with arrangements of dahlias just waiting for buyers to come take them home. Bib aprons trimmed in dahlia colors made great souvenirs or gifts for friends who couldn’t make this exciting event.

The rooms that are usually abuzz with bridge players hosted tables filled with dahlia blooms of every color and size. They continued to add tables throughout the morning as the number of entries expanded. Growers from throughout the area gathered with their prize flowers to share them with their friends and neighbors.

The Festival Committee consisted of Chairwoman Joyce Franklin and Vice Chair Linda New, and members Raya McArthur, Sandie Trevathan, Kitty Moore, Ann Sullivan, Judy Taylor, Carolyn Tanner, and John Newsome.

Joyce said, “Everyone involved with this year’s festival is elated with the turnout that we have seen. We have more than double the entries from
last year.“

“I don’t know when I have seen such gorgeous arrangements of flowers,” Kitty Moore said. “Dahlias are such an integral part of the area. It is gratifying to see how they dot the landscape around Highlands and Cashiers.”

All funds raised during the Dazzling Dahlias Festival go to benefit the many programs of the Highlands Historical Society. If you were not able to participate in this exciting event this year, you’ll have a chance in 2013 at the 3rd Annual Dazzling Dahlias Festival.

by Wiley Sloan

Who Rescued Who?

October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog-Month. Multiple national organizations take credit for first coming up with that designation, but as a lifelong advocate for animal welfare, I salute anyone who would dedicate any day, week, month or year to stop and reflect, and best of all – act – on behalf of the voiceless who count on us to be their guardians and companions.

Shelter pets understand, and give, unconditional love. They ask for so little in return. They are the inspiration for the bumper stickers you might have seen that say, “Who Rescued Who?” If you have walked the kennels and dog runs of a shelter, whether it’s a concrete and chain link old-style “dog pound,” or the picturesque and spacious multi-acre play yards at CHHS where the pups romp and play all day, all the residents have one thing in common:

They are counting on us.

The Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society rescues and provides compassionate care to the abandoned and neglected animals in our community. But we do something even more than rescue and care…

We adopt. We find forever homes. For thousands of animals. For the past 25 years.

Be a CHHS Adopting Angel. Please open your heart and home to a shelter pet from the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society. When you adopt an animal from CHHS, you will open up a space for another abandoned, neglected dog, puppy, cat or kitten to find safe refuge at our no-kill shelter.

And you will experience unconditional love, and perhaps soon find yourself saying… “Who Rescued Who?”

Founded in 1987, the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society has rescued, cared for, and found forever homes for thousands of abandoned and neglected animals in the past 25 years. CHHS is a 501(c)3 non-profit no-kill shelter that receives no federal, state or county tax dollars, and no funding from any national animal welfare organization. One hundred percent of CHHS’ revenue comes from donations, grants, bequests and special events to support the mission of adoption, spay and neuter, and humane education.

The Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society is located just off Highway 64, 2.3 miles east of the Cashiers Crossroads, behind Reid Real Estate. For more information, call (828) 743-5752 or visit

Contributed by David Stroud, Executive Director, Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society

Dolly Parton Imagination Library

In 1996, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee. Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.

Dolly’s Imagination Library became so popular that in 2000 she announced that she would make the program available for replication to any community that was willing to partner with her to support it locally. Since the initial program launch in the United States, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has gone from just a few dozen books to nearly 40 million books mailed to children in the United States, into Canada and across the proverbial pond into the United Kingdom! Currently over 1,600 local communities provide the Imagination Library to almost 700,000 children each and every month. Already statistics and independent reports have shown Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library drastically improves early childhood literacy for children enrolled in the program. Further studies have shown improved scores during early literacy testing.

This program provides a book per month for all children from birth up to five years of age. If a child begins receiving books at birth, there is the possibility of building a library of 60 books for that child by the time he/she reaches age five! The Literacy Council of Highlands is very excited to offer this program to the Highlands and Scaly Mountain communities of North Carolina. It is our hope to expand the program to serve all of Macon County in the future. To register, simply pick up a registration form at the Hudson Library, Scaly Mountain Post Office, one of the community centers, your local preschool, or at our offices located at the Peggy Crosby Center in Highlands.

This program is free of charge to participants. It is funded through community donations. The program only costs the Literacy Council $30 per year per child! If you would like to sponsor one or more children, please send your tax-deductible donation to The Literacy Council of Highlands, P. O. Box 2320, Highlands, NC 28741. For more information, contact Tonya Hensley at (828) 526-0863.

Contributed by Tonya Hensley, Executive Director, Literacy Council of Highlands

Valley Garden Club News

This quilt reflects the beautiful labors of the Valley Garden Club.

It is time to put our gardens to bed for the winter. The Valley Garden Club worker bees have been busy cutting things back in preparation for cold weather at the Cashiers Post Office and The Point.

This month you could be the lucky winner and warm up your home with this gorgeous wall hanging quilt designed and stitched by Rayanna Redderson, a well-known Cashiers quilter. Each block depicts a meticulously embroidered flower. The quilt will be on display at the Sapphire Craft Show on October 13th and 14th, and the drawing for the winner will be held there on Sunday afternoon. You need not be present to win, and you may purchase raffle tickets during the craft show or by contacting Donna Lehn, VGC President at (828) 743-0829. Delicious baked goods will be available as well as a tent full of plants to enhance your home gardens. All proceeds go toward scholarships and beautification efforts in Cashiers.

Contributed by Kathie Blozan

“Fall Leaf Colors” at Highlands Nature Center

It’s easy to fall under the spell of the gorgeous Fall Colors of October.

If you’d like to learn more about the dynamic forces that produce those fiery reds and day-glow oranges, plan to attend the Highlands Nature Center’s “Fall Leaf Colors” from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, October 6th.

The Nature Center’s resident tree experts will explain how leaves change color, the differences between deciduous trees and conifers, and the brilliant strategies that allow trees to survive harsh mountain winters. Afterwards, participants will be led on a walk through the Botanical Garden to identify many species of trees by leaf type, shape, and color.

It’s a fun afternoon for all ages that celebrates the magic at the core of this beautiful season. Cost is only $2 per person. Advanced registration is requested; please call (828) 526-2623 to sign up.

The Gathering Table

The Blue Ridge Farmers Coop ensures that there’s plenty of good food at The Gathering Table.

Throughout the years Donna Few has been involved in several different ventures including vegetarian restaurants.  People that know Donna also know that she has a loving heart and is always looking for ways where she can make a difference.  She branched out and traveled to Jamaica to help teach people how to plants their gardens and raise vegetables. With the faltering economy Donna realized that while it was good to help the folks in Jamaica, there were folks here on the Plateau who were struggling to make ends meet. She wanted to help people locally and a new venture emerged – The Gathering Table.

Donna and her friends of the Blue Ridge Farmers Cooperate (an organic growers Association) sell their vegetables via a tailgate market each Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Cashiers Community Center.  Farmers sell fresh trout, trout pate’, greens, veggies, pottery, fresh baked breads, jam/jellies, eggs, milk, award-winning goat cheese, and more!  Sometimes all of the fresh veggies do not sell so Donna convinced her fellow growers to let her have all the leftovers to cook the following week.

Donna knew of the need in the area since 20.4% of Jackson County residents live below the poverty line. She got permission to cook at the Cashiers Community Center.  She also talked with the Cashiers Community Council and got permission to operate under their non-profit umbrella while she got all of the paperwork completed. She knew of similar organizations in the surrounding towns like Brevard and Franklin so she was able to talk with them about how they got food and funding.  She connected with various organizations including the Federal Manna Food Bank to get food at reasonable prices.

With the groundwork laid, her new venture – The Gathering Table was ready to reach out to the community.

Since January Donna and a dedicated team of friends have opened the Cashiers Community Building each Thursday night from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. to serve meals to anyone who is hungry. This past Thursday more than 50 people enjoyed a four-course meal including vegetable soup, local trout, quinoa, corn bread, dessert, juice, tea and more.  All items were made from locally grown or caught items.  People from all walks of life come together at these meals to enjoy good food and fellowship.  Those who were able made donations to defray the costs of the meal; those who couldn’t pay, didn’t have to worry.  Their meal was complimentary.

Thank you Donna for spearheading this venture in our community.  If you would like to volunteer call Donna at (828) 226-9988.  If you’d like to donate to this worthwhile cause, send your checks made payable to The Gathering Table.  Mail them to Donna Few, 4596 Big Ridge Road, Glenville, NC 28736.

by Wiley Sloan

Center for Life Enrichment

The Center for Life Enrichment (CLE) has four more offerings for October and one for November and is also busy planning for computer classes to be offered during the winter season, a new endeavor for CLE, and one that will be welcomed by year-round residents.

Beginning on October 4th, A New Look for Retirement, is being offered by Betty Holt, a resident and “certified retirement coach.” She will present tools to help folks make this often unexpectedly difficult transition. Another resident, Freddie Flynt, is offering Painting the Fall Landscape on October 5th and 6th, giving participants an opportunity to be outside and experience the pleasure of translating from eye to canvas the beauty of Highlands in the fall season. What could be more delicious than the smell and taste of breads baking? Resident, Martha Porter will teach participants how to make a variety of breads with both ease and skill in her workshop Baking from the Heart on October 10th. The final offering is Popular Apps and Websites, a workshop for those using Apple computers, not devices, to learn about the popular apps and websites available from Apple. The class is offered by Apple genius Nigel Sixsmith.

A first is being planned for the evening of November 3rd at the Highlands Playhouse. Rene Silvin will show the film W.E., of which he was the creative director and Madonna was the director, and along with the movie he will show and discuss actual photos of the events portrayed in the movie. The Duchess of Windsor makes for wonderful entertainment, and popcorn and beverages will be available. It should prove to be a memorable evening.

Looking forward to 2013, the Center for Life Enrichment is pleased to announce its new Lecture Hall/Educational Center, opening with the 2013 season, to hold lectures and classes. While some events will still lend themselves to other venues, CLE and the Peggy Crosby Center are pleased to announce the new facility which will function as a multi-media lecture hall with a state-of-the-art sound and projection system and new furnishings and fixtures.

Contributed by Bettie S. Banks

TA Anderson Celebrates 55 Years

Sharon, T.A. Anderson and son Ted are celebrating fifty-five years of goldsmithing with an October Dipping For A Diamond event.

T.A. Anderson is practically a legend. No one has seen him for years, but he’s fit as a fiddle and hiding away in the caverns of his goldsmithing shop making magic, conjuring alchemy with metal and stone.

For 55 years, 25 of which has been spent in Highlands, he has practiced his family craft of watch repair and custom gold casting. Together with his wife and son they make up a talented trio, which, like T.A.’s watches, keeps Highlands ticking.

Each member of the family trio crafts jewelry. Sharon, T.A.’s wife, does whimsical frogs and doggies-in-the-window. T.A. is wild and free-form. Ted, his son, is classical and high polish.

Sharon says,  “Not only do we design jewelry from concept to casting, we do everything right here in the shop, including watch repair. Nothing is ever shipped away, so there is no worry about your jewelry or watches being sent to an unknown third party.”

To celebrate 55 years of doing what they do so well, during the month of October, the trio have decided to host the supremely popular event: Dipping For A Diamond. A brandy snifter will be loaded with cubic zirconia and one real diamond. Each customer gets one dip. His or her selection will be weighed on a jeweler’s scale. Diamonds weigh less than zirconia of the same size, so the customer can instantly see if he/she is a winner. Bonus, the zirconia, or diamond you have dipped is yours to keep, absolutely free.

T.A. Anderson’s is open all year. During the season they are open every day but Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can e-mail them at or call (828) 526-4177.

And while you are visiting and dipping for your diamond ask about T.A.’s NASA connection. When he lived in Florida (that was the 25 years before Highlands) he was the official watch supplier and synchronizer for the original seven astronauts. T.A. even made gold tie tacks for them, which went to the moon and back.

What more adoring gift could one give than an original piece of jewelry handcrafted by an artist with a romantic moon connection? Make this holiday one to remember with a unique heirloom gift from the Anderson Trio!

by Donna Rhodes



Lucas Patton Designs

Owner and Interior Designer Chad Lucas

When Chad Lucas moved his Lucas Patton Design into the Shops at Kettlerock last month, it was a progression as natural and right as anything that’s come out of his interior design studio.

Founded in 1999, Lucas Patton Design offers design services to help homeowners and business owners alike create interior spaces of timeless style and great visual detail.

“With new home construction we join owner, architect and builder to create a seamless design process,” says Chad. “While planning furniture layout and creating the décor elements of each space, we move through the building process, helping the owner review each aspect of the plan. We generate lighting and plumbing fixture schedules, cabinetry and appliance specifications, interior finish schedules and review every item from door knob finish to dimmer location – ensuring the homeowner’s vision is realized and the builder is provided every specification needed.”

It’s a service that captures every detail and provides the essential oversight to create a truly wonderful product. Great homes are the product of exacting attention to every component by a talented team of perfectionists – it doesn’t hurt that they also love what they do!

“I’d like to see the business of ‘interior design’ occur to people as fun and a truly useful service,” Chad says. “Too often I hear, ‘I love your work and I wish I could afford you’ – this without ever asking ‘what does it cost.’

“A couple weeks ago we entered a home with no more than a tape measure. We walked and talked – asking a lot of questions about how these folks lived, where they ate most nights and watched television or read. We pointed at objects and furniture and began to hear the history, the fondness, the reasons and so it begins. Three hours later we had moved much of the furniture and moved art and collectibles from old places to new. We combined objects in a different way and enhanced what they love about their home and furnishings into a new vision. So a fresh perspective, good conversation and a tape measure made for a wonderful afternoon – with nothing new the space was new to them – it was exciting and fondness was reborn for the very things to which they had grown accustomed.”

Lucas Patton Design is part working design studio and part retail offering – the shop is a collection of upholstery and fine furniture, antiques and artful objects. The studio offers a wide selection of custom furniture and furnishings – fabrics, window fashions and lighting. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

by Luke Osteen


The Casserole Kitchen

Holly Roberts

Throughout the years most of us have enjoyed the delicious foods that Holly Roberts and her dedicated staff have prepared. Whether we enjoyed taste-tempting hors’ d oeuvres at a recent party, a full seated dinner at a recent family gathering or just picked up  one of her delicious casseroles for a family meal ,we knew that each item was prepared  with skill and love.

Enjoy Holly’s delicious fare throughout the winter. The Kitchen will be closing for the season on October 20th but Holly will still be cooking.  Enjoy items such as Beef Bourguignon a great winter-hearty fare or Grillards-veal stew in a red wine sauce.  She’ll also offer tantalizing soups like Tenderloin Vegetable, Black-eyed Pea Stew, Tex Mex Chili or her Chicken and Rice Soup. These items and all of Holly’s delicious foods you rely on for entertaining are a simple phone call away.

“Eat Well-Do Good.”  This is the slogan to Holly’s new venture – “The Casserole Kitchen.”

Those of us who know Holly Roberts know that she has always “given back to the community” by doing volunteer work. Now she is going one step further. Holly is going to donate cash – a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each of her casseroles to non-profit organizations who feed the hungry in our area – The Food Pantry of Highlands, Empty Bowl and MANNA Food Bank. Here are the specifics: For each Chicken Tetrazzini, Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken and Wild Rice and Seafood Tetrazzini sold, Holly donates $1 for a 2 person serving, $2 for a 4 person serving and $1 per serving on larger quantities.  It may not sound like much but it quickly adds up. The inaugural week of this venture (with no real advertising), The Casserole Kitchen raised $91 for the Food Pantry of Highlands.  Think what will happen when we all start supporting this venture.

This is a true win-win situation. Simplify your life,  enjoy delicious casseroles and Holly donates to feed the hungry.  “Eat Well-Do Good!”  Let’s all support the Casserole Kitchen!

The Kitchen Carry Away and Catering including the Casserole Kitchen is located in the Peggy Crosby Center at 350 S. Fifth Street. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. until October 20th.  After that call Holly for your delicious items at (828) 526-2110.

by Wiley Sloan

The Preserve Introduces Rock Creek Club

“Necessity,” as Plato once wisely noted, “is the mother of invention.”

And so it’s no surprise that a proven breed of second and vacation home ownership is growing in an otherwise soft market has made its way to WNC. An ownership model where, less is indeed more.

Take private fractional jets, for example, such as Warren Buffet’s NetJets. Considered the ultimate luxury, private jet travel was a rare thrill few could afford, but then back in the 90’s, someone got the idea of taking a $20M jet and fractionalizing for better economical sense for both companies and affluent travelers who could share in the gigantic acquisition and maintenance costs.

It was such a smart business model that even Warren Buffet, who is a very selective and savvy investor, believes in the sharing of costs and expenses of luxury items. As he explains, “why buy the cow when you can have the milk for cheap?”

The Preserve at Rock Creek, an exclusive private community in Sapphire Valley just outside of Cashiers, has recently added a luxury private residence club—The Residence Club at Rock Creek— to its complement of large estate lots and custom homes. Modeled after other residence clubs in luxury destinations, such as Aspen, Park City, Jackson Hole, Napa and Bermuda, The Residence Club at Rock Creek is the carefree way to own a million-dollar second home…for a fraction of the price.

At The Preserve at Rock Creek, you can now own a new million dollar luxurious mountain home with awe-inspiring views and full golf-club membership to Burlingame Country Club…all at a price you never dreamed possible. No where on the Cashiers Plateau will you find this combination of luxury homes, stunning golf, secluded waterfalls and concierge with none of the hassles of owning a second home. You just show up and enjoy, the Club takes care of the rest.

For more information on the Residence Club at Rock Creek please call (800) 259-3551 or email them at or visit

Highlands Fine Art and Estate Jewelry

Owners Claudia and Joe Lazow with Sylvester and Mozart.

Located at 388 Main Street in the heart of the Highlands Business District is Highlands Fine Art & Estate Jewelry.  There you will find an unmatched selection of the finest estate and modern jewelry in our area. Beautiful necklaces, lariats, bracelets, rings and more bedazzle you. Whether you are a person who wants the understated or you are looking for something that will “really catch the light,” you’ll definitely find what you want.

For 14 years, Joe Lazow, a second-generation jeweler, and his wife Claudia have taken pride in offering personalized service for all of your jewelry needs. Pre-owned Rolex, Cartier, Patek Philippe watches share display space with Hamilton, Michelle, Krieger and Ball watches plus brightly-colored art glass. Need an appraisal of your present jewelry or looking to replace some of your jewelry that you have grown tired of?  Let Joe, a graduate gemologist, help you with those needs.

Plan now to visit Joe and Claudia October 19th, 20th and 21st.  They will be joined by one of the largest jewelry designers in the nation for a fabulous event showcasing some of the most dazzling jewelry you have ever seen.  Ladies, come in and select a new bobble or two.  Gentlemen, this will be a great time to buy that Christmas, birthday or anniversary present.   Don’t miss this event.

Highlands Fine Art & Estate Jewelry is an authorized Pandora jewelry retailer.  Brightly-colored art glass fills the store.  The swirls of color reflect off the sparkling diamonds of the gold and silver jewelry.

Stop by any time between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday or Sundays, 12 Noon to 5:00 p.m.  Say hello to store mascots Sylvester, the charming three-month-old Shih Tzu; and Mozart, a beautiful White Golden Retriever. You’ll be in awe of the huge inventory of fabulous jewelry.

by Wiley Sloan

Sashay Around

You don’t have to go to the UK to find what’s hot in fashion. Sashay Around in Cashiers has the latest line of Wellies and Wellie Bobs, which guarantee happy feet in rain or snow. For the uninitiated, Wellies are cool polka-dot, stripe, and flower-print rubber boots you’ve probably seen strutting around town and country. Add to that Wellies’ line of sweats and vests in dazzling colors. If country club casual is more your style, check out Sashay’s full array of contemporary classics: blouses, shirts, pullovers, skirts, pants, dresses, rainwear, and more. Accessorize with beautiful scarves, handbags, and belts. There’s something for every taste from divine to sublime to glitzy and glam.

And don’t forget wedding apparel from mother-of-the-bride to the bridal party. In fact, Sashay Around began as a clothing and fabric store, complete with a professional seamstress who would design custom-order clothing. Times have changed and they no longer make garments, but Sashay still has a world-class alterations expert on staff to give you that perfect fit.

Sashay Around has been serving Highlands and Cashiers for 37 years. Co-owner Debi Stewart says the shop got its name when she and her sister reached high school age. Her mom, Gay Townsend, was looking for a new venture to occupy her time, so she and her business partner sashayed around the U.S. and Europe looking for cool clothes to sell in Cashiers. They found them, and clothing history was made.

You are just in time for a Sashay tradition celebrated every October: the year-end sale event. Clothing and accessories are marked down 60-80 percent. Perfect timing for holiday gift and party wear shopping.

Come in and check out the newest and the hottest hard-to-find items from the United Kingdom, U.S. and beyond. Visit Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Winter hours are Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. from January through March. Visit their website at: or e-mail Debi at: Or call (828) 743-3003. You’ll be the talk of the town in your new threads whether you golf, party or simply sashay.

by Donna Rhodes

Fletcher and Lee

In the world of interior design, eclectic is the new classic. Blending the old and new not only resonates comfort and luxury, it celebrates a homeowner’s discerning and varied tastes. Edwin Lusk and David Patterson of Fletcher and Lee Interior Designs and Antiques understand that simplicity, functionality and timeless beauty reflect today’s lifestyle. They know how to integrate aII modern, contemporary aesthetic into timeless vintage and antique furnishings to create the perfect custom ambience for each individual.   Having lived and worked in the area for twenty-three years, they are tuned in to the plateau’s unique style. From cabin to manor to sophisticated townhouse Fletcher and Lee has the furnishings, accents, accessories, and interior design expertise to turn your living area into your own personal dream space.  Visit them at their new location, which extends their same great design service to both Highlands and Cashiers. There you will find all your favorites including fine quality antiques, contemporary furnishings, and accessories that you have grown to expect and appreciate over the decades.  Their Cashiers location is 395 Highway 64 West. Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  You can reach them at (828) 743-5400. Or visit their Highlands office for a consultation at (828) 526-5400. After Thanksgiving they will be open by appointment only.  Don’t miss October’s Fall Sale. Save 25 percent on antiques and 40 percent on new furniture and accessories. With holidays approaching the October sale is a great way to save while readying your home for holiday visitors and celebrations.


by Donna Rhodes

Cosper Flowers

Taylor, Ann Marie, Sam and Lisa Osteenoiu

It’s easy to see why Lisa Osteen would end up owning Cosper Flowers.

“I guess I just like people so much – you really get to know them when you’re arranging flowers for them,” she explains. “Whether you’re creating an arrangement for a wedding, or something to cheer up a loved one, an arrangement to mark someone’s passing or the arrival of a new baby, corsages and boutonnieres for those precious prom memories, or something breathtaking to celebrate a relationship – you can’t help but be passionate about what you’re doing. I think it shows in the designs that we create for our customers.”

It’s that commitment that’s made Cosper Flowers a Highlands hallmark for over 15 years.

“From the beginning, our focus has been on providing the freshest selection of hand-picked flowers and unique custom designs for our customers,” says Lisa. ” We take great pride in continuing the tradition of bringing the freshest, most beautiful flowers to this wonderful mountain community. When you buy flowers from Cosper Flowers, you will be getting good old-fashioned value and service.”

But don’t get the idea that you’ll only find cut flowers at Cosper’s – Lisa has gathered a dazzling collection of houseplants and outdoor rarities, garden ornaments, vases, baskets, and cheer-me-up gifts. There’s so much packed into Cosper Flowers that the collection spills out onto the surrounding pavement. It demands a careful browse.

Lisa and her husband Sam and the couple’s two children pitch in to make Cosper Flowers a truly family affair.

To learn more about this little jewel of a florist and the services it offers, visit Lisa at the shop (right next to Bryson’s Food Store in Highlands Plaza) or call her at (828) 526-8671.

The Book Nook

She’s not a travel agent, but Michelle Bears must have arranged more getaways than any other person in Highlands.

For the past year, her Book Nook, nestled in a corner of The Toy Store, has been an easy destination for literary delights.

Michelle and her right-hand gal Ashley Owens have gathered an irresistible assortment of titles – New York Times Bestsellers, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Books of Local Interest and Classics – that are just right for a quick read or a cozy get-away-from-it-all session.

And since The Book Nook is tucked in to The Toy Store, you can expect to find a marvelous selection of Children’s’ Books — the unforgettable Classics you grew up with, new Enchantments to capture your child’s heart, and Chapter Books of all flavors. It’s all served up with the mixture of excitement and whimsy that’s a hallmark of The Toy Store.

You’ll find The Book Nook in The Toy Store at 364 Main Street in Highlands. For more information, call (828) 526-9415.

by Luke Osteen


Chocolate Booth Funds Scholarship

The hard working ladies of the Scaly Mountain Women’s Club are getting ready for their October fundraiser. This time they are baking homemade chocolate goodies and selling them at the Highlands Craft Fair on Saturday, October 13th, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All monies raised go to worthwhile causes, but the ladies are passionate about the nearly 100 students they have helped get their education. Every year the club helps from 10 to 15 students  further their education. In the past 22 years, SMWC has spent $100,000 on scholarships with almost that much donated to other charities that help people in the Scaly Mountain area.

In 2001 the club started renting a booth at the popular Highlands Craft Fair to sell their chocolate goodies. The first year it was obvious that more had to be baked, as there was no more chocolate to be sold by noon, and they were not allowed to close the booth and go home.  From that year on, there were three times more chocolate items baked.  The cakes, pies, cookies and brownies are not only delicious and smell divine, but the booth is gorgeous with the goodies  beautifully wrapped.  The eye-catching, “yummy smelling” Chocolate Fantasy Booth is  one of the most successful fundraisers, and every member can show off their  baking skills.  The attractive way the chocolate “goodies” are wrapped and displayed makes the booth too tempting, and it always draws a
big crowd.

Because of the hard work of the Scaly Mountain Women’s Club members and the quality of the fundraising projects, the club is able to contribute to quite a few worthy charities. But the main focus is on helping students further their education.  Nancy Johnson, Scholarship Chairman, says that the community is very grateful for the financial help and many students have gone on to make the club proud of their successes. Scaly Mountain residents are eligible to apply for the scholarship and should ask their Guidance Counselor about qualifications.  The club not only gives scholarships to graduating seniors in high school, they recently began helping students of all ages.  Many are married and have children, and it is very gratifying to see these older students succeed and finish their education.

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for Saturday, October 13th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Highlands Recreation Center.  Come to the Chocolate Fantasy booth and be prepared to buy some delicious chocolate to support the Scaly Mountain Women’s Club’s Scholarship Fund. That same booth will have our Scholar Store with the second edition of our popular cookbook, “Second Helping.” The booth will also sell aprons and dish towels made in the area.

Nancy Aldrige is in charge of the booth again this year. Call Nancy (828) 526-9297 or e-mail her if you have any questions.  Or check out our website:

Contributed by Betty Bandy

Friends of the Library Presents Playfest II

Friends of the Albert Carlton Cashiers-Community Library will present Playfest II at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, September 15th, at the library.

This is a fully-staged reading of eight of the best 10-minute plays by some of America’s most celebrated playwrights.

The audience will be treated to readings of “Martin’s Dilemma” by David M. Sirois of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.; “Crisis Line” by Dan Borengasser of Springdale, Arizona;  “Change of Plans” by Dennis Jones of Powhatan, Virginia; “Missed Connections” by Marj O’Neill Butler of Miami Beach, Florida; “Scripted” and “Misfortune” by Mark H. Levine of Pasadena, California; “An Answer to Their Prayers” by Hank Kimmel of Atlanta, Georgia: and “Forever Young” by Mary Unterbrink of Deerfield Beach, Florida.

For more information, call the library at (828) 743-0215.

by Luke Osteen


Second Annual Pour Le Pink

The second annual Pour le Pink, a 3.1 mile Walk/Run to support local breast health and women’s services, will be held on Saturday, October 6th at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital (HCH).  The funds raised will go toward maintaining the hospital’s spectrum of breast health and women’s services.

“Last year’s Pour le Pink was a great benefit for our local communities.  It raised nearly $9,000 and helped build a lasting fund for women’s services enabling us to stay up to date with critical services, equipment and provide our patients the best quality care possible,” said race organizer Callie Calloway, Communications Specialist at HCH.  “Those funds helped to provide seven local breast cancer survivors struggling financially with treatment as well as allowed the hospital to sustain its digital mammography services and other health services unique to women.  We are hoping for the same success this year!”

The race will start on the campus of HCH, travel to Buck Creek Road, down Cheney Lane, looping back to the Hospital campus for the finish.  Event goers are invited to participate as runners, walkers and individuals or teams.    Prizes will be awarded to the top three places female/male runners in each age group.

“We encourage everyone to join us in the fun,” said Calloway.  “The event will not only benefit HCH, but foster community awareness of women’s health and wellness. This is a great opportunity to support the hospital that helps keep our community healthy.”

Sponsorship opportunities from $100 to $1000 are available.   Registration for Pour le Pink is under way.  Early entry fee is $20 for adults, if received on or before September 21st.  Late entries received after that date will cost $30.  Child rate is $5.  The 5k race is open to male/female runners and walkers of all ages and will begin at 9:00 a.m.  More information is available online at or contact Callie Calloway at (828) 526-1313.

Contributed by Callie Calloway

Highlands Farmers Market

The Highlands Farmers Market reopened for its second season Saturday, June 2nd, on the grounds of Highlands School. Once again, with the careful planning of Andrea Gabbard, the hospitality of Highlands School principal Brian Jetter, and the participation of vendors from every walk of life, this special showcase of handmade and homegrown goods has been a resounding success. The Market is a showcase of a wide variety of organic and just picked-from-the-garden fruits and vegetables, fresh-baked breads and treats, and other homemade, homegrown and handmade items. Highlands Farmers Market has one goal in mind – bringing fresh, local produce and goods from around the area to the people of Highlands. Last year, the market offered all kinds of produce, breads, cakes, jams and jellies, flowers, soaps, candles and more. This year, many of those same vendors – and more – have come together to establish a new Highlands Saturday morning tradition. Since its opening, Highlands Farmers Market has seen over 1,000 attendees. Many are customers from last season who have brought their friends for this season, and many have come to see it for the first time.  And because of that demand that quickly grew in 2011, the Market is now going to be a seasonal staple for the people in and around Highlands, as it will be held every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – noon, continuing through October – rain or shine – at Highlands School. Come out and visit with old friends and make new friends while finding fresh foods for your table or other goods for your body, soul and home. In addition, if you grow or create something you want to share with others, the Highlands Farmers Market is looking for you – come be a part of this local showcase of both individual and generations of talent. Booth spaces may be rented for $10 per space per Market. If you are holding a fundraiser in your space, the rental is free.

Directions: From the intersection of Fourth and Main,  turn onto Main Street, drive past The Old Edwards Inn toward the Presbyterian church. Turn right at the light at the Presbyterian Church (5th Street). Follow 5th street over the hill to The Highlands School on your right (545 Pierson Drive).

For more information on the Highlands Farmers Market, or if you would like to become a vendor, please contact Andrea Gabbard (828) 526-4858.

Contributed by Krysti Rogers

Village Square Arts and Crafts Show

Jeweler Lee Byers will be one of many artists in the Village Square September 1st and 2nd.

Talent abounds in these mountains, and Labor Day weekend presents a great opportunity to see much of it on display at the Village Square Art and Craft Show in downtown Highlands on September 1st and  2nd. This family event has something for everyone, including live music, food,

and demonstrations.

Over the years the show has developed a reputation for high quality work. Many artisans live in Highlands, including painter Zach Claxton, potters Frank Vickery and Pat Taylor, jeweler Lee Byers, folk artist Noel Atherton, and ceramic artist Jan Smith. The show features fine art and whimsical folk art, plus turned wood, metal work, fabric work, birdhouses, and twig furniture.  And, of course, one-of-a-kind baskets, pottery, and jewelry.

Patti Cakes will be painting faces, so bring the kids. There will be live music both days. On Saturday the gazebo will ring with dulcimer music by John Huxley and friends, and on Sunday, singer-songwriter Sylvia Sammons will perform. Sylvia has performed her folk music in Highlands for 30 years and enjoys a loyal following.

Plan for breakfast or lunch at Fressers Eatery in the square. There are public bathrooms and parking. The show is from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the Village Square and neighboring Pine Street Park, only one block from
Main Street.

Sadly, this will be the last Village Square Art and Craft Show in the park. Highlands commissioners voted on June 21st to not allow any group other than non-profits to use the park for events, and no events will be allowed on holiday weekends unless they are town-sponsored. This is bound to hurt our artistic community as well as many businesses in Highlands. But we are hoping to find a suitable venue for future shows, so watch for updates on this.

For more information contact Cynthia Strain at Mill Creek Gallery and Framing at (828) 787-2021 or

Contributed by Cynthia Strain

Dazzling Dahlias

This year’s Dazzling Dahlia Festival will be held on Saturday, September 15th

Dazzling Dahlias! Dahlia Festival will be held Saturday, September 15th at the Highlands Recreation Center.  This event, benefiting the Highlands Historical Society, will showcase local dahlia enthusiasts’ prize dahlias.  Exhibitors can enter up to five categories of dahlias for an entrance fee.  These will be judged and ribbons awarded for first, second and Best of Show winners.  Exhibitor registration forms will be available at businesses throughout the Highlands-Cashiers area and at Highlands

Historical Society.

A Patron Party will be held that weekend also in the gardens of Rhett and Carolyn Tanner on Kettle Rock Mountain.  Carolyn’s profusion of dahlias began 16 years ago and has culminated into a breathtaking array of many varieties of dahlias including the
Dinnerplate dahlia.

If you are interested in exhibiting your dahlias at the Dazzling Dahlias! Dahlia Festival on September 15th, please contact Joyce Franklin at (828) 526-9418, or e-mail the Highlands Historical Society at This is an event for amateur hobbyists to proudly display their prize dahlias. Everyone is welcome.

Contributed by Linda New

Cashiers Historical Society’s Founders Day

The Cashiers Historical Society will stage its annual Founders Day Thursday, September 27th, at the Zachary-Tolbert House.

In commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will display authentic uniforms and weapons of the period and answer questions about life in those tumultuous days. There’ll also be period music to set the mood.

This corner of Western North Carolina was a hotbed of tangled loyalties and divided families during the Civil War. The Cashiers Historical Society maintains records on life in the 1860s and the first settlers of what would become Cashiers.

For more information on Founders Day, visit the Zachary-Tolbert House at 1940 Highway 107 South or call (828) 743-7710.

by Luke Osteen

Quail Run Antiques Show

Michael Weaver, Kitty Davis, Charles Faudree, Wayne Davis and Skip Ryan

The Second Annual Quail Run Antiques Show will be held October 18th-20th, at two Cashiers locations this year — High Hampton Inn and Mitten Lane.

This event will feature more speakers, book signings, and more than 20 carefully-screened vendors.

Proceeds benefit the Cashiers Historical Society. For more information, contact Linda James, (828) 743-2393 or (918) 995-3168.

by Luke Osteen

Songwriter’s Round Benefitting Blue Ridge School

George Teren

The Seventh Annual Songwriters’ Round will be held at Mountaintop Golf and Lake Club in Cashiers, September 15th. The evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a Silent Auction, Dinner, and Beverages. The songwriters will begin the Round at 7:30 p.m.

The event marks the return of Nashville songwriting legend Rivers Rutherford along with special friends George Teren, Kelley Lovelace and Tim James. Each songwriter will be performing many of their special hits recorded by some of Nashville’s top acts.

It’s an irresistible evening that’ll feature great entertainment, and some insight as to how these songs came to life from the songwriters’ prospective. Proceeds from the evening will benefit Blue Ridge School Educational Foundation.

Tickets are $75 and are available at the Cashiers Chamber of Commerce. Please call Susan Waller at (828) 526-9186 to inquire about sponsorships or for more information.

by Luke Osteen

Annual Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival

The Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival will be held October 5th through 7th

Arts and crafts shoppers, music and entertainment lovers, food mavens and even energetic kids will find that the 4th Annual Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival three day event, October 5th through 7th,  promises and delivers something for everyone! This is a festival of extraordinary abundance destined to be the highlight of fall trips, tours and yearly tradition.  Accommodations at inns, cabins and hotels are plentiful and the Cashiers Valley is within easy driving distance for most in the Southeast.

Visitors, leaf-lookers, travelers, tourists, local and near-by residents are invited to enjoy the breathtaking blaze of mountain color and the crisp, refreshing mountain air as well as the Festival’s remarkable features and entertainment. Community residents with their guests and friends, local leaders, visitors, previous attendees, craft and merchant vendors, and members of the Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association, festival organizers, all acknowledge that the Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival is the area’s premier festival. It is the only local festival encompassing the three Cashiers Valley villages – Cashiers, Glenville and Sapphire. The three-day, three venue Festival features a bounty of entertainment from bands of all musical genres, artisan crafts, vendor and local merchant booths, a variety of food offerings and kid-appeal activities.

Each of the three venue villages brings their own character to the festival while businesses and shops all over the Cashiers Valley welcome festival-goers, with fitting shop and roadside décor. Throughout the Valley many shops and local organizations compete in the “Scarecrow Contest.” Judges will award prizes for the best scarecrow display prior to the Festival – see if you agree while browsing the villages! As an add-on advantage, merchants throughout the Cashiers Village feature shop sales and specials all weekend.

The Festival core-venue, the Cashiers Village Green and Commons, located at the Cashiers Crossroads, is Festival Headquarters.  Here music and performance-lovers enjoy all-day theatrics and diverse musical entertainment on two stages.  Booths showcase carefully selected juried art and a variety of retail vendors. Food and beverages from specialty food vendors and local restaurants are located in two food courts with spots to relax and observe all the “goings-on.” Kids needing active play-time, will find challenges at the permanent state-of-the-art Village Green playground as well as amusement at the Festival’s kids-fun section with a bounce house, face painters, clowns and street entertainers.

Glenville Village, about five miles north of the Cashiers Village on the shores of pristine Lake Glenville, offers more folksy fare in a local artists tent highlighting some of the area’s most talented crafters and artists ranging from potters to woodworkers. Here festival-goers can wet whistles and curb appetites with apples, cider and hot dogs with trimmin’s. Unique attractions at this eclectic village include Tom Sawyer’s Christmas Tree Farm’s Pancake Breakfast and Wagon Ride Farm Tour, a Saturday morning tradition. Also, beginning at 10:00 a.m. each day Signal Ridge Marina’s pontoon boats launch for cruises to view Lake Glenville’s wooded shoreline with stunning waterfalls and to hear a bit of lake-lore. Prominent non-profits among the Glenville participants are the Glenville Community Development Club, the VFW and the Glenville
Historical Society.

Moving east from the Cashiers Crossroads on Highway 64, you will find a variety of shops and eateries at Sapphire Village. Sapphire is the home of the Festival’s “Big Cup Golf Tournament” held on Festival Saturday, October 6th.  Prizes for “tournament” winners include beach resort stays and selections from many local merchants and restaurants.

The distinctive Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival, located in the heart of North Carolina’s mountain/lake region, is a very special event all wrapped-up in a blaze of amazing Fall color and refreshing mountain air.  The three Festival villages, Cashiers, Glenville and Sapphire are well worth your visit. Come give yourself, family, group or organization a treat at this fun-filled Festival. You’ll be glad you did!

The Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival is a free family and community event organized by the Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association. For additional information call (828) 743-5858 or email or go to

Contributed by Carol Adams

Native Plant Symposium

Do you want your garden to be full of life?  Have you ever wondered how you can grow your own bog garden filled with carnivorous plants?  Or about sex in the garden? These topics will be the highlight of this year’s Native Plant Symposium, an annual event sponsored by the Highlands Biological Foundation where 100 percent of the proceeds benefit the Highlands Botanical Garden. This year the Symposium will be held on the campus of the Highlands Biological Station.

The event will be held Friday and Saturday, September 14th and 15th, and will kick-off with a social hour Friday evening with hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Dr. Lisa Wagner, director of education at the South Carolina Botanical Garden, will discuss “Creating a Garden Full of Life.”  After Lisa’s talk, stay for illuminated botanical garden tours where you can take a night-time stroll through the Botanical Garden with a glass
of wine.

On Saturday morning, participants will go on field trips.  Options this year include hikes, garden tours, and workshops on how to propagate ferns from spores or create a bog dish garden. At 2:30 p.m. Dr. Larry Mellichamp, director of UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens, will talk about “Carnivorous Plants and the Myth of the Man-eating Plant.”  North Carolina has more diversity of carnivorous plants than anywhere in the world. Afterwards, Dr. Robert Wyatt, former executive director of the Highlands Biological Station, will give a talk on “Sex in the Garden,” a tongue-in-check discussion of
plant reproduction.

After Robert’s talk, the Symposium will culminate in a wine reception and catered dinner during the native plant auction.  This is a great opportunity to obtain native plants for your garden, including some rare species that are sometimes difficult to find, all the while supporting the Highlands Botanical Garden.

Members of the Highlands Biological Foundation can register for the Symposium for $75 and non-members for $125. For more information about the event, call (828) 526-2221 or visit You can also visit the Station’s office at 265 North Sixth Street.

Contributed by Michelle Ruigrok, Highlands Biological Station

Highlands Annual Arts and Crafts Show

Since 1983 the Highlands Woman’s Club has provided a venue for all of the talented artists and craft persons of our area to offer their product.  Cars line the parking area and the surrounding streets of the Highlands Civic Center and Recreation Park on the Cashiers Highway (Hwy. 64 E.), just a short two blocks from Main Street, Highlands.

Saturday, October 13th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., eager shoppers will fill the Rec Park as they peruse the many booths that fill the gymnasium. A wide array of quality arts and crafts are offered for sale.  Choose from freshly-baked cakes, pies, breads, jams, jellies and preserves.  Painted furniture, stools and chairs, hand-turned bowls, rustic and refined furniture, hand-made rocking horses and cradles are just some of the many items you’ll find at this
year’s show.

You’ll marvel at the beautiful hand-blown glass, the Christmas ornaments, woven items, jewelry, knives, casserole carriers, garment bags, scarves and so much more.   There will be food galore.  There’s no better place to stock up on barbecue sauces and rubs, chocolate of every description, dried flowers and more.  Shop for yourself and for your family and friends.  The number of vendors continues to grow so you know you will find something for everyone.  Be sure to check out the many vendors on the exterior of the building.  You don’t want to miss their featured items too.

Fresser’s Eatery will offer delicious breakfast and lunch items.  Gather your friends and come on out for a great day of shopping. Today’s Art and Craft Show  has definitely matured.  It is so much bigger and includes so many more vendors than those early days. When the Highlands Women’s Club started the show 29 years ago it was just a simple way the local people could make a few dollars from the crafts that they had made throughout the year. Now look at the number of vendors that are involved. That’s a real success story. Join your friends and shop for exciting and useful gifts and accessories.

The admission is free as is the parking.

by Wiley Sloan

Rotary Interact Bingo

The Rotary Interact Club of Highlands is saving a spot for you on Bingo Night, Thursday, September 13th, at the Highlands Community Building (next to the Town Ballfield).

Thursday, September 13th  is the night. Come out and support the Rotary Interact Club as they earn money for their many civic projects. The Rotary Interact Club at the Highlands Schools is partnering with its sponsor Highlands Rotary for an evening of bingo.

Bring your friends and support the students of the Interact Club through a fun night of Bingo. Don your green eye shades, settle in at your table and be ready to play when the first number is called at 6:30 p.m. at the Highlands Community Building. Proceeds will help the Highlands School Interact Club with their community service projects.

Where else can you have so much fun for so little money? At just $1 per card per game (yes, there will be “2 for 1 games” to help increase your earnings) for the full 15 games. Don’t forget the first person to fill his card during the last game is the big winner. Half the money you pay to play Bingo becomes prizes and the other half goes to the Interact Club at the Highlands School. Yes, you can certainly donate your winnings back to Interact to help them even more.

Rotary Interact Bingo is family entertainment – play one card or half a dozen but have a great evening of fun and a zany time on Thursday, September 13th. Enjoy free refreshments served by the young people of the Interact Club.

Cynthia Dendy from Highlands Rotary and Tom Jessup, Guidance Counselor at the Highlands School are supervisors for the young people in the Interact Club. They invite you to “Come on out and show these young people that you support them in their efforts to support their community through Interact.  See you there.”

Cashiers Valley Preschool Annual Fall Fest

Cashiers Valley Preschool will host its annual Fall Festival on Saturday, October 27th, from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

This family-friendly event will allow parents, children, and folks in the community to visit Cashiers’ Five-Star preschool, meet the teachers, tour the playground and facility, socialize and get acquainted with each other, and play lots of fun games.

You’ll find hay rides, pony rides, face painting, a great cake walk, Cashiers Valley Preschool’s Bouncy House, a fire truck and firemen, and delicious food and drink for all.

New this year is the Book Fair, which will offer a vast selection of early childhood books perfect for preschoolers and the people who love them.

Cashiers Valley Preschool is located at 219 Frank Allen Road, right behind Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library. For more information, please call the preschool at (828) 743-4320.

by Luke Osteen

Glenville Historical Society Annual Tour

Tour stop number 5, the Burt Farm and hosted by Anne and John Cheney, Glenville, drew oohs and ahhs over the pristne grounds and carefully restored home built in the 1880’s by James Madison Zachary.

The Glenville Historical Society organizes annual history tour fundraisers to raise seed money for their publication that will create a historical record of the Glenville area.  For three years the group has been diligently gathering historical information and a good deal of the material needed is now on digital file. The information, researched by the founding members of the GHS board, includes narratives from aging resident interviews, map research and collections of documents. Plans for 2013 include not only another July History Tour and stepped-up progress towards publication but also a drive to develop the Glenville Historical Society into a membership organization.

Tour day for The Glenville Historical Society’s recent 2nd Annual History Tour, Saturday, July 28th was sunny and warm…a perfect day for over 100 folks to enjoy the historic homes, verdant farms and noteworthy sites awaiting them throughout Glenville’s  Norton Community. GHS founding board members and volunteers from other local organizations hosted each site offering historical information as well as photos and maps on fascinating display boards.

The Watson-Aldredge home, Sunny Day Farm and Mountain Top were the three prominent homes opened to tour-goers. At the Burt Farm visitors enjoyed the park-like environment and took the short walk to the original cabin occupied by the James Madison Zachary family before their big home was completed.  The corn crib and barn still standing at the McGuire Farm, dating back to the 1850’s, were viewed at the fence across a broad meadow where committee hosts explained corn crib and barn construction. The Norton Community Center, originally a schoolhouse; The Last Great Co., home of Raggedy Ann and Andy; and a picturesque covered bridge filled out the remaining spots on the self-driving tour. Plans are already under way for the July 2013 GHS History Tour in another of the Glenville area’s historic communities.

During the Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival the GHS will display the historical boards that have accompanied the tour sites on the 2011 and 2012 tours.  These boards, showing photos, maps and details about the sites in Glenville proper and the Norton Community, can be viewed at the Glenville Community Development Club Festival location in the heart of Glenville on Highway 107 North.

Members of the GHS founding board, all present or former residents of Glenville, are Carol Adams, Claudine Boyd,  Nancy Burnette, John Cassidy,  Marietta and Don Domkowski, Chad and Midge Drake, Malina and Phil Fowler, Carolyn and Woody Haynes, Joy and Lambert Hooper, Bill Hutchison, Pearl Krepps, Doug Odell, Lynn Riggsbee and Marvin Smith.

For additional information about the Glenville Historical Society call Carol Adams at (828) 743-1658, or email

Cover Artist William Jameson

Born in 1944 in Honea Path, South Carolina, William Jameson has always felt strong ties to his native region. Today, he and his wife Anne, also a painter, reside and paint in Saluda, North Carolina.

Bill credits growing up surrounded by the natural beauty and rich history of South Carolina with inspiring his childhood ambitions of becoming an artist. After studying with Frank Rampola at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Florida, Jameson continued his studies while teaching landscape painting and life drawing as a graduate assistant at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Bill has drawn inspiration from a wide array of bodies of work, ranging from the drypoint etchings of American landscape artist Chauncey Foster Ryder to the Renaissance masterpieces of Titian.

Bill’s passion for history and nature allow him to create introspective landscapes embodying the full range of local color and timeless contrasts.

He rejects the term “scene” in reference to his works; rather, he defines his landscapes as “explorations.” This approach to his subject matter enables Bill to create compositions that go beyond mere depictions of the surface beauty offered by the landscape. Jameson explores his subject matter in detail, and in the process reveals the mystery and profound power of nature. The effect is literal and sentimental interpretation of nature. Each painting is a reflection of the dual relationship between man and nature, painter and observer.

“Ideally, I am inclined to think about the landscape without the intrusion of man and his continual need to build something, to tear up and rearrange the earth. On the other hand, it’s man’s presence that sometimes provides the provoking subject. My love for the natural landscape of the South is inherited culturally and geographically. I love the land for it’s history, its harshness and its beauty.”

William’s work can be found locally at John Collette Fine Art located at Highway 107 in Cashiers. The gallery can be reached by calling (828) 743-7977.

Simply Gourd-geous

Susan Davis is hopelessly in love with gourds. She adores their shape, their texture, their organic line, and their utility. She saws, carves, weaves, coils, burns (pyrography), Dremels, (to create a 3-D effect or filigree), paints, alcohol-inks, and/or custom stains each piece. She emphasizes the gourd’s inherent beauty or humor, matching its form to its inspired function.

Susie Q, as her patrons know her, has been gourding since 1985. She says, “I loved art my whole life. After a divorce I did some painting to earn extra money for my kids. Someone put a gourd in my hand. The moment I made my first cut, something magic happened. I gave up all other art for gourds, because they simply delight my heart.” She adds, “The good Lord makes ‘em and I embellish ‘em.”

Susie Q is famous for her leaf gourds, garnished with all the rich golds, reds and rusts of the fall season. She sells her work all over the region. In the Highlands area many of her vessels, birdhouses, dippers, musical instruments, animals, pitchers for dried flower arrangements, Christmas ornaments, jewelry, and more can be found at Jackson Hole and Jill’s Consignment and Gallery. Her work also can be found  at Mountain Made in Franklin, Cottage Craft in Bryson City, Bear Den in Cashiers, and Mountain Made in Asheville at the Grove Arcade.

She even does custom work for one-of-a-kind wedding, anniversary, or special occasion gifts. Egg gourd Christmas ornaments, hand painted with mountain scenery, cabins, bears and snowmen are a holiday specialty. She also teaches classes for all ages. She will appear locally on News 13 in late September demonstrating her artsy craft, as she
dubs it.

Her studio and shed are loaded with gourds of all shapes, sizes and dimensions. Where does she get them all? She grows some herself, and purchases others from local growers. It can take as much as a year for a gourd to grow, mature, season, and dry.  Then there is a tedious cleaning process outside and in. All that before the artist ever gets to the cutting and staining, etc. So when you purchase a hand-painted gourd, you are investing in the time, love, and labor poured into its creation.

See more of Susie Q’s work at Jill’s Consignment Shop in Highlands. Her art can also be viewed on her website at It’s time to get gourd-geous!

by Donna Rhodes

Fall Into Fun at The Bascom

The Bascom is putting the fun in fund-raiser for its fall event, Celebration!  On September 28th and 29th immerse yourself in a treasure trove of fine craft. The itinerary will include a patrons-only cocktail reception; artists’ demonstrations, such as woodturning and clay construction; a panel on “Collecting Craft: A Love Affair,” silent auction (the 29th) and cocktail buffet. The festivities will culminate in a live auction (also the 29th) of select craft hand made by outstanding American artists in the mediums of wood, ceramics, glass, jewelry, sculpture, fiber, metal, furniture, baskets and more. Karl Green, Director of European and American Furniture and Decorative Arts of Bonhams New York, will serve as guest auctioneer and direct the live auction sale. For more information or to purchase tickets for the auction/reception at 6:30 p.m., artist meet-and-greet, curator led pre-auction viewing at 5:30 p.m., and benefactor reception at a private home, Friday the 28th, call (828) 526-4949 or visit

And while having a love affair with craft, enjoy two fine exhibitions. Art Rosenbaum: Voices, showing through November 10th in the Loft Gallery, depicts rural Southern life with combinations of both real and imagined people, places and events. The expressionistic figurative style and thematic elements are evocatively updated versions of the 1930’s American painting scene. Ethnographer, as well as artist, Rosenbaum brings storytelling to the viewer in the form of folktale paintings full of vibrant, sweeping color.

American Craft Today, on view September 22nd (opening 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.) through December 29th in the Bunzl Gallery offers a prestigious, juried exhibition of one-of-a-kind fine craft. Approximately 50 craftspeople will be selected from across the nation to exhibit baskets, ceramics, decorative and wearable fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper and wood craft objects created by some of America’s most skilled and visionary artists. This year’s juror is Mark Leach, the Executive Director of The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art.

With the summer drawing to a close it’s time to think about nurturing your artistic soul. There are plenty of ways to do that at The Bascom starting with oil painting with Ken Backhaus’ workshop: In the Spirit of Plein Air, Oil Painting, September 17th through 21st, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you prefer water media, check out Acrylic Painting from Photo References with Ann Strub, September 24th through 28th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If 3-D is more your style, Suze Lindsay’s From Wheel to the Tabletop, September 5th through 8th, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. is for you. For a real treat, register for Fong Choo’s Miniature Teapots workshop September 11th through 15th, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more information about Celebration! or details on other classes, events, exhibitions and more call (828) 526-4949 or visit

by Donna Rhodes

Katie Dobson Cundiff

The Betsy Paul art raffle for the Cashiers Glenville Volunteer Fire Department will be held on September 29th in the afternoon. For more information, call (828) 743-0880.

The painting raffle prize for September is an original oil painting entitled “Carolina Farm” created and donated by Katie Dobson Cundiff.   Katie was here in July for the Cashiers Plein Air Festival and graciously donated her painting to the art raffle which benefits the Cashiers-Glenville Fire Department.

Katie acquired an early appreciation for the fine arts, drawing, and painting, under the tutelage of artist parents.  Early works resulted in scholarships from National Scholastics Magazine and the Croation Fraternal Union, earning a B.A. in Fine Arts and Painting from Ringling College of Art and Design.  A love of the out of doors combined with painting has produced numerous awards and recognition in plein air events.  Her work also includes still life, figurative, and wildlife, and has been featured on apparel and print for Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Unlimited, The Billfish Foundation, Safari Clubs International, and Gulf Coast Conservation Association.

A member of Oil Painters of America, American Women artists, American Impressionist Society, Plein Air Painters of the Southeast (PAP-SE), and a signature member of Plein Air Florida, Katie’s work has been featured in American Art Collector and American Artists Magazine,  and at the Museum of Florida Art and Culture in Sebring, Florida.  Juried exhibits include those of Oil Painters of America, American Women Artists, and American Impressionists.  She is currently represented by Dovetail Antiques in Cashiers, Coconut Grove Gallery of Fine Art, Coconut Grove, Florica, and Mountainsong Galleries in Carmel by the Sea, California.  She currently teaches figure drawing at RCAD and gives monthly plein air workshops in oils in Sarasota, Florida.

Viewers are invited to see each month’s raffle item on display from 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday at Betsy Paul Properties, 870 Highway 64 West, Cashiers, North Carolina. Checks can also be mailed directly to the Cashiers-Glenville Fire Department, P.O. Box 713, Cashiers, North Carolina, 28717. For more information contact Betsy Paul Properties, (828) 743-0880.

Art League of Highlands

The 2011 group project of the Children’s Art Camp for 2011, sponsored by The Bascom and The Art League of Highlands

In July 1980 when a group of 17 area artists decided to organize themselves and met for the first time, they formed the core of what was to become The Art League of Highlands.  This group, whose purpose was to be a support group for the visual arts in Highlands and Cashiers, along with 14 others, held the group’s first juried show in October 1980.  By May 1982, more than 50 people counted themselves members of the organization, but it wasn’t until 1984 that, over a bottle of wine, that Helene and Jack Sparks, Duncan Greenlee and Elsa Sibley settled on the official name of the organization.  Today, the Art League of Highlands has well over 100 members, many of them artists, but many others of different backgrounds whose love of the visual arts draws them together.

Formed as a 501c3 organization, the Art League has, from its beginning, taken a special interest in art education for children.  Before Highlands School had an art teacher, the League would bus school children to a facility known as the “Studio for the Arts,” where music and theater were included in the program.  After an art program was established at the school, the League started an after-school enrichment program at the Bascom-Louise Gallery of the Hudson Library.  Scholarships were awarded to exceptionally talented older students.  A pre-school program was also initiated in area pre-schools to introduce toddlers to supervised easel time done with a variety of implements and brushes.

The Art League created The Children’s Task force in 2007, which sponsored a once-a- week afternoon children’s art camp the Civic Center.  League members took turns teaching until the second year of camp, when the newly completed Bascom began co-sponsoring the camp under the direction of Susan Nastasic.  In 2012 The Bascom has taken on a major role.  Young participants get to take home a weekly project, and also complete group projects that you can see in the lobby of The Civic Center.

You can count on the Art League of Highlands continuing to focus on the art education of area children.

Contributed by Susan Bauknight and Zach Claxton

20th Annual Bel Canto Recital

This year’s Bel Cano Recital will be held on September 9th at Highlands Performing Arts Center

Just a short time left to get tickets to the 20 Annual Bel Canto Recital!  This year will feature four performers in a performance of “beautiful singing” in a repertoire ranging from Vincenzo Bellini to Andrew Lloyd Weber, from Georges Bizet to Sigmund Romberg, from Guiseppe Verdi to Jacques Offenbach, all accompanied by the wonderful playing of Dr. Stephen Dubberly on piano.

Bel Canto’s 20 recital will take place on September 9th, 2011 at the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center at 4:00 p.m. As always, the performance will be followed by a sumptuous dinner at the Highlands Country Club.  A portion of every ticket sold goes to support three local organizations – the music program at Highlands School, the Highlands Community Child Development Center and the permanent collection of The Bascom Arts Center.  To contact Bel Canto for tickets, please call (828) 526-1947 or (828) 526-2609.

Contributed by Janet Grantham

Bluegrass Duel at Highlands PAC

The Packway Handle Band will take on Nitrograss in a Bluegrass Duel on September 15th at Highlands Performing Arts Center.

Nitrograss vs. Packway Handle Band. It all started in Athens, Georgia in 2001 during a most peculiar spell when five or six bluegrass bands circulated the town. The famous Athens, which had once spawned the B-52s, REM, Widespread Panic, and countless other indie, pop and punk acts, was now the home to a competing minority of bluegrass players. The Packway Handle Band emerged from this small scene, finding national acclaim first as finalists at the Telluride Bluegrass Competition in 2002 and 2003, then taking second place in 2004.  PHB has emerged at the national forefront of bands that use a gather-around-the-mic style. The band now plays upward of 200 shows a year in the US and Europe.  It’s obvious their enthusiasm and sense of humor are honest, and that what they do appeals to broad audiences, even those who don’t normally listen to bluegrass. You’re not going to say you’ve heard this band before, unless you actually have.

Nitrograss sprung to life from the heart of the rural Appalachians with one singular mission: to take the bluegrass world by storm.  Nitrograss certainly wields a fierceness most acoustic groups lack today. The percussive banjo of two-time national champion Charles Wood lays the foundation for the band’s unique style; merging traditional Scruggs-style banjo with rhythmic motifs reminiscent of ZZ Top and the Allman Brothers.  Next up is the lock-chop of Caleb Hanks’ mandolin, from which occasional melodic passages erupt with fire.  Micah Hanks offers an intuitive array of acoustic guitar parts that are both anticipatory and improvisational, with the two brothers layering their strong vocal harmonies over the mix in a sonic separation that could make a Kentucky moon rise on demand.  Finally, the back beat of Dakota “Smoky” Wadell’s bass lines pushes the music of this southeastern powerhouse into a foray beyond the frontiers most acoustic musicians dare travel.

The Bluegrass Duel will be at PAC on Saturday, September 15th, at  8:00 p.m.  Tickets $25 may be purchased online at or by calling (828) 526-9047.  Highlands PAC is located on 507 Chestnut Street.

Mark your calendar for the Nashville Bluegrass Band performing at PAC on Saturday, October 20th.

Playhouse Presents Lindsey Alley

Lindsey Alley brings her talents to the Highlands Playhouse stage through September 3rd.

Highlands Playhouse closes out its season with a one-woman show by Lindsey Alley, through September 3rd.

Arising from her own experiences in the Entertainment Industry (including a childhood stint as a Mouseketeer in the 1990s revival of “The Mickey Mouse Club”) and working with some of its most famous players, her one-woman show “Lindsey Who?” is what happens when show tunes and stand-up collide. Lindsey is singlehandedly reinventing the great American club act. As a vocalist, she knows her way around a song – be it pop, original, or that standard you’re dying to hear one more time. And if that isn’t enough, she holds it all together with personal stories that most people would be too embarrassed to tell.

In a memorable evening of belting and belly laughs, Lindsey lets it all hang out, which prompts her mother’s unsolicited stock apology, “I tried. I tried and I failed.”

Even though Ms. Alley closes out the season proper, the Playhouse has a surprise for October – legendary crooner Gabe Russo will capture the sublime magic of Hoboken’s favorite son with “An Intimate Evening with Frank Sinatra.” Russo will be appearing October 5th through 14th.

Born in the 1950s in Philadelphia, Gabe comes from a showbiz family. His aunt, Helen O’Connell, sang with the Dorseys and his father was a saloon crooner of renown from Baltimore to New York. As a boy, he received vocal instruction from Stoddard Smith and made soloist in the St. Johns Cathedral
Mens Choir.

Gabe began singing, tuxedo and all, with his father and pianist Junie Price at the age of eight. They continued to occasionally perform together, into the 1980s, in night clubs all over the Northeast. Gabe’s background of “youthful crooning,” along with his years of acting and solo performing make him uniquely able to capture the ease and comfort on stage that typify the best of the crooners of bygone days.

For information, tickets or to reserve the Playhouse, stop by the Box Office at 326 Oak Street or call (828) 526-2695.

by Luke Osteen

The Fox on the Fairway

Many of you are familiar with the work of playwright Ken Ludwig. From the very beginning, he was a star with his first Broadway play, “Lend Me a Tenor” (1989), being nominated for a Tony Award. This prolific writer has captured the hearts of American Theatre goers with well-known plays such as “Crazy for You” and “Moon over Buffalo” and so many more.  A native of Pennsylvania, Ludwig attended Haverford College, Harvard Law School and Trinity College at Cambridge University before embarking on his writing career.

“The Fox on the Fairway” (2010) is one of Ludwig’s most recent works. It debuted in the Washington, D.C. area to rave reviews. A tribute to the great English farces of the 1930s and 1940s, “The Fox” highlights the idiosyncrasies of the stuffy members of a private country club.

HCP Director Tanji Armor comments, “This is the third play by Ludwig that I have directed, and like all his plays it is hilariously funny. Two rival country clubs, Quail Valley and Crouching Squirrel, are preparing for their annual golf tournament competition. There’s mischief afoot as each club manager, Bingham played by Stuart Armor,  and Dickie, played by Chris Hess, attempt to add a top player to the line-up and win an outrageous bet while passionate relationships develop among young and older club members.”

Other cast members include Ronnie Spilton as Pamela, Laura Zepeda as Muriel, Michelle Hott as Louise, and Lance Trudel as Justin.  Virginia Talbot tells me, “This show is hilarious and I think country club members will relate. Theatre goers will explode with laughter.”

The show will run through September 2nd. For tickets, call the box office at (828) 526-8084 or visit the website at

by Wiley Sloan


Altitudes Restaurant at Skyline Lodge

Altutudes Restaurant is located in Skyline Lodge.

Just a scenic five minute drive from Main Street, Highlands, is the old-world Frank Lloyd- style resort which has been a part of the Highlands’ community since its inception in 1929. Nestled atop a 4,300 foot high mountain, the Skyline Lodge is surrounded by 50 magnificent acres of old-growth conifers and hardwoods.  The deluxe retreat was constructed of chestnut, native stone and hand-cut cedar shakes, to cater to the wealthy of the 1930’s. It continues to be Highlands’ “best kept secret,” and a delight to adventurous travelers.

When you are looking for that perfect evening, spruce up a little. Put on your favorite “Mountain Smart” attire and head on out the Cashiers Highway (US 64).  Turn onto Flat Mountain Road and follow for two miles. The “loose moose” mascot will point
the way!

Enjoy your favorite cocktail on the dining terrace as the sun sets behind the mountains. Martini lovers clamor for the Lodge’s Pineoli Bleu Cheese stuffed olives.  Gentle breezes stir the trees as seasoned piano player Hal Phillips fills the air with delightful jazz melodies.

The Altitudes Restaurant’s diverse menu has something for everyone.  Begin with the Escargot en Croute-tasty escargot sautéed in garlic, butter and white wine served on wilted spinach and roasted red peppers.  My personal favorite is the Maryland style crab cake served with caper remoulade. I love the lettuce wedge but my wife’s favorite is the Caprese salad. The homemade dressings really take it over the top!

Entrées include fresh seafood, poultry, pastas and red meats.  Guests rave about Altitudes slow roasted bone-in Prime Rib of beef, available in Petite, Queen and (truly) King sized portions. Looking for something over the top? With 24-hours notice, Altitudes serves Chateaubriand for two or Roast Rack of Lamb. Carved tableside – this is truly a meal to remember.

Altitudes resident pastry Chef LouLou’s homemade desserts with a cup of fresh ground coffee definitely put the finishing touches on your meal! She recommends the Lemon Cheesecake drizzled with Chambord sauce. Chocolate lovers take notice – the flourless chocolate cake is chock full of pecans and layered with chocolate ganache, mercy! Daily feature info is always available on the Lodge’s Facebook page.

Skyline Lodge and Altitude’s Restaurant is the perfect spot for group get-togethers, from family reunions to special birthday bashes!  The Restaurant has great meeting/dining spaces, and they help to plan your occasion. The facility offers gorgeous vistas, a wedding amphitheater style deck, and reception packages to take the stress off of today’s busy bride.  In-house consultants help you plan every detail.

Altitudes is open nightly from 5:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., Wednesdays through Saturdays. Enjoy breakfast at Skyline on Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  The crowds gather regularly for The Lodge’s famous “Endless Champagne” Sunday Brunch served from 12 noon to 2:00 p.m. weekly.  Reservations are definitely recommended.  Call (800)-5-Skyline (575-9546) or go online. Altitudes hopes to serve you soon!

by Wiley Sloan

Scaly Mountain Pancake Breakfast

The next Pancake Breakfast is September 22nd

Plan to bring your family and friends to Scaly Mountain for a scrumptious breakfast in the mountains at the historic old Scaly School House. The building is located on the corner of North Carolina Highway 106 and Buck Knob Road in “downtown Scaly.” These breakfasts are held on the fourth Saturday – May through October from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.

This is the eighth year that the women in Scaly Mountain Women’s Club have sponsored these breakfasts. They will feature a full meal of piping hot homemade pancakes (with or without blueberries), patty sausage, coffee and juice. Guests will be treated to a seated meal either in the old school house or on the deck overlooking the mountains when the weather is nice. Cost is $5.50 for adults and $3.50 for children. The breakfast will be cooked by members’ husbands and served by club members – or you may order takeout, if you choose.

Proceeds from the event provide scholarships for local students of all ages who wish to continue their post-secondary education. They also benefit area non-profit human service agencies that serve the Scaly Mountain community. Come to all six of the breakfasts and join the best cooks in Western North Carolina for a morning of fun–enjoying the friendly folks in Scaly Mountain and an unforgettable breakfast.

Come between 7:30 and 10:30 a.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month through October to the Scaly Mountain Women’s Club Breakfasts during the 2012 season. The remaining dates of the breakfasts are September 22nd and October 27th. Mark your calendar and don’t miss coming with your family and friends. For additional information, contact Susan Bankston at (828) 526-9952 or visit

Evenings at Lakeside

Lakeside Restaurant owners Donna Wood and Marty Rosenfeld have long been supporters of worthy local causes.

That’s why it’s no surprise that for the last five years their restaurant, practically a Highlands institution, has offered “Evenings at Lakeside.”

These Wednesday night events raise much-needed funds for local charities.

“There are so many worthy causes that do so much for our beautiful community, which shapes Highlands into Highlands,” explains Marty. “The hearts and souls of many people that live here, even if part time, reflect what makes this place we call home so special.”

About five years ago, Marty came up with a good solution and a win/win for Lakeside and local non-profits. He and his staff set aside Wednesday nights in the season for non-profits to “claim their Evening at Lakeside.” The charities can select their date, but then it is up to them to market to their boards and supporters to make reservations on their
chosen date.

When making your reservation on the designated non-profit date, mention you are there for that organization and Lakeside will donate 15 percent of your guest check to your favorite organization.

“What can be more fun than good food, relaxing atmosphere, good service and a room full of like-minded friends?” says Marty.

Mark your calendar for September 5th. That’s when Lakeside will be supporting the International Friendship Center and the Highlands Food Pantry. The Friendship Center provides assistance and understanding to local workers and guests trying to support themselves and their families in Highlands and Cashiers. The Food Pantry is a source of good, nutritious food for local families and individuals, a lifeline during the long winter in Highlands.

To make reservations or for more information, call (828) 526-9419. Lakeside Restaurant is located at 531 Smallwood Avenue in Highlands, one block from Main Street.

by Luke Osteen