JoAnn Walker

For artist JoAnn Williams Walker, the back porch of The Brier Patch  offers a welcome respite from the pressures of the outside world.For artist JoAnn Williams Walker, the back porch of The Brier Patch  offers a welcome respite from the pressures of the outside world.

For artist JoAnn Williams Walker, the back porch of The Brier Patch
offers a welcome respite from the pressures of the outside world.For artist JoAnn Williams Walker, the back porch of The Brier Patch offers a welcome respite from the pressures of the outside world.

Nestled in a stand of rhododendron on the road to Cashiers is a cottage filled with art. The Brier Patch in Highlands has been in business since 1948 and is the exclusive North Carolina representative of impressionist artist JoAnn Williams Walker.
Owner Catherine Appleton Peay has known the artist since childhood. Catherine’s mother, Virginia Appleton (former owner of The Brier Patch), and Walker have been friends for years, and Virginia began displaying JoAnn’s work at The Brier Patch in
the 1970s.
JoAnn has been visiting her friends in Highlands for years and while here, she paints. She’ll be back for the month of July, and invites you to join her. Once you wander onto the back porch of The Brier Patch you’ll see why it’s the favorite place for her easel. The lush greenery of the rolling lawn and the unmatched view of Shortoff Mountain make for a plein air nirvana.
All works of art in The Brier Patch are Walker’s own oils where you’ll see landscapes from around the world. Of particular note are the harborscapes she paints while studying in Italy. They’re thoughtfully displayed alongside the traditional home accessories for which The Brier Patch has become known.
Jo Ann has been involved in art since the 70s – working with Winsor & Newton, London, England; Binney and Smith, New Jersey; and Fredrix Canvas, Lawrenceville, Georgia. She assisted in the design of artists’ brushes for Robert Simmons of New York City and FM Brushes of Secaucus, New Jersey.
Over the years, her brushwork has become more confident and self-assured, which has resulted in freer and stronger compositions. Her still life compositions are haphazardly yet perfectly arranged and transform ordinary images into exuberant reflections of color and light. The vibrant color of her work reflects her passion for life and her world travels.
JoAnn Williams Walker will be painting at The Brier Patch the month of July. Make sure you take time out of your busy summer to enjoy the tranquility you’ll find at 4186 Cashiers Road in Highlands. For more information, please contact Catherine Peay at (828) 526-4110.

by Jenny King

A League of Their Own

“Night Watch” by Sandy  Webster - graphite and watercolors made from local, natural pigments.

“Night Watch” by Sandy Webster – graphite and watercolors made from local, natural pigments.

The Art League of Highlands-Cashiers has a new name and an expanded territory. President Patty Calderone, with the encouragement of members of the League, decided to embrace a larger palette of artists and knew the Cashiers Valley was the next vista. The growing number of artists’ galleries; The Village Green; The Cashiers Plein Air Festival; and the Summer Fine Art Show sponsored by the Art League at Sapphire Valley Community Center this month, are just few ways in which the valley supports local, regional and national renowned artists. And supporting local artists is one of missions of the Art League of Highlands-Cashiers.
Patty Calderone takes her job as President of the Art League of Highlands – Cashiers very seriously. An award-winning artist since third grade, Patty Calderone has always known it was her path to follow. Her studio and gallery is located on the Dillard Road where she teaches classes and hosts live model, open studio sessions every Tuesday. She publishes an impressively colorful and informative monthly email newsletter and encourages anyone who might be interested in receiving the mailing to contact her. Because Art League membership is not limited to artists. It’s for anyone who loves and appreciates art and how it can change and enrich lives. Members of the League take their time to reach out to children with art classes and the summer camp in Highlands, as well as to fellow artists and the community, in hopes they can open hearts and minds to new ways of experiencing the world. The League holds monthly meetings and is spotlighting artist Sandy Webster at this month’s meeting, July 28 at The Bascom. The general meeting is at 4:30 P.M. and the public is invited to attend the reception where wine and refreshments will be served.
A number of local businesses have also done their part to support the League: The Laurel Magazine, The Bascom, The Highlands Chamber and Sweetreats Creekside Restaurant. The owners, Bob and Sandy Carlton have opened their restaurant  to the Art League of Highlands-Cashiers where they will have a rotating display of featured artists.
For more information on The Art League of Highlands-Cashiers, please contact Pat Calderone at or by calling her at (706) 746-5540.

The Art of Marilyn Borglum



Featuring equine and canine art by an outstanding painter Marilyn Borglum.

Featuring equine and canine art by an outstanding painter Marilyn Borglum.

Yes, one can’t pass by Ann Jacob Gallery without noticing monumental images of horses painted by the gallery’s long-term gemstone, Marilyn Borglum.
Marilyn was born in 1962 into a family whose art legacy was established by her grandmothers’ uncles, Gutzon and Solon Borglum, renowned artists whose subject matter was consistently horses (Western depictions) and figures. Gutzon was best known for his monumental work, the astonishing Mount Rushmore.
Marilyn’s grandmother, Marian Borglum, recognized her granddaughter’s talent when she began drawing horses at a very young age and nurtured the artist throughout her developing years. “Throughout my life, the horse has been a major direction in my work, from the very earliest memories I have of drawing at three or four years old, throughout four years of graduate school (Colorado State University), and for two decades since, I have drawn and painted horses”, recalls Marilyn. “For some time I’ve been aware that the form of the horse holds deep psychological symbolism for me. The vast majorities of my equine paintings are pragmatic, and controlled in the execution, as I systematically plan all or most of the formal elements.
“It is the choice of the subject of the horse that remains the only element of a subconscious source that I, most likely, will never completely identify. I consider my work to be portraiture, although not in the traditional use of the term, with subjects that range from horses and dogs to city scenes and people and in mediums from black crayon, to acrylics.”
Marilyn’s work is found in private and commercial collections throughout the continental US. Currently the artist is focusing on spiritually based work and monumental images of the horse, both realistic and abstracted, gestural drawings of horses, and people in urban settings.
Ann Jacob delights in the opportunity to work with Marilyn. They continuously display a vast array of Borglum’s artwork along with taking commission requests for equine and canine portraits.

Drawing on Experience

The elegant rhythms of nature find expression in artist Rosemary Clark Stiefel’s new show, “Rosemary Steifel: New Works” at  Chivaree Southern Art & Design in Cashiers.

The elegant rhythms of nature find expression in artist Rosemary Clark Stiefel’s new show, “Rosemary Steifel: New Works” at Chivaree Southern Art & Design in Cashiers.

Highlands artist Rosemary Clark Stiefel has long been inspired by shapes and forms found in nature, from enlarged microscopic images to oversized botanicals, seedpods, birds’ nests, and eggs.
Geometry, patterns, and textiles — particularly the process of weaving — are also a driving force in her aesthetic. A natural extension of her work is textile design, and she has experimented with this medium over the years as well, designing needlepoint and jacquard rugs and silk scarves.
Over the last year, Stiefel has produced a new series of paintings and works on paper based on the themes that have long inspired her work. These works constitute the summer show “Rosemary Stiefel: New Work” and will be available at Chivaree Southern Art & Design in Cashiers starting this month.
Stiefel was one of the founding artists of Atlanta’s prestigious Signature Shop Gallery, and she has made a name for herself over the years on the mountain with her popular workshops at The Bascom, exhibitions at a number of venues, and public commissions including the new sign at the Hudson Library. She describes her process as weaving together abstract shapes and forms—both natural and geometrical—to produce both large- and intimate-scale pieces. Recently, she started producing digital monoprints based on autumn leaves—an intriguing union of nature and technology.
Another intriguing union that Stiefel aims to evoke in her work is that of mountains and ocean. “For the last several years I have spent a couple of winter months…in the Florida panhandle, where the Apalachicola River flows into the bay and the Gulf. The water and the mica found in the white sands of that part of Florida come into being in the Appalachian Mountains,” she says. “I love to find ways to unite images from both environments into one work of art.”
Artists’ sketchbooks provide an alluring window into their creative process and sources of inspiration. Stiefel, realizing the appeal of her sketchbooks, has decided to make them part of the summer exhibition at Chivaree. “I have loved to draw my whole life,” she says, so she keeps sketchbooks at hand “with references ready to be called into action in a painting. Since people seem to like the renderings, I am going to share some of the sketch books along with the new work.”
She welcomes commissions, and encourages clients to review her sketch books for ideas they’d like to see developed into a painting. Often, more than one sketch serves as the basis for a painting, since some of Stiefel’s paintings are layered compositions with background patterns and multiple motifs.
The exhibition “Rosemary Stiefel: New Work” will be on view at Chivaree Southern Art & Design ( starting July 1; an artist reception and talk will take place at 4:00 P.M., Saturday, July 19. The gallery is located in the Shops of Cashiers Commons on Hwy. 107 North, next to Zoller Hardware. All are welcome.


Contributed by Margaret Browne


Rabun County Music Festival

The Rabun County Music Festival offers the thrill of a Beatles concert and the sophisticated sound of Broadway  with a pair of performances – July 6 and 20 at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School.

The Rabun County Music Festival offers the thrill of a Beatles concert and the sophisticated sound of Broadway
with a pair of performances – July 6 and 20 at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School.

In addition to bringing great music to the community, the Rabun County Music Festival Association provides scholarships to deserving seniors at Rabun County High School and Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School. Special consideration is given to students whose intent is to acquire a degree in visual or performing arts.
The RCMFA considers this granting of scholarship funds to be its most important mission as a community-minded not-for-profit organization. The 2014 recipients from Rabun County High School are Scott Streible, son of Catherine and Tony Streible, and Ethan Phillips, son of Joy and Charles Phillips, all from Clayton, Georgia. The Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School Recipient is Kate Jones, daughter of Jennifer and Fred Jones of Franklin, North Carolina.
The Music Festival 2014 season continues on July 6 with a performance by The Return, A Beatles tribute band. In 1964 The Beatles took the United States by storm. You can celebrate the 50th anniversary of that eventful year with The Return in concert. They have crafted a truly authentic, entertaining, and very exciting show. The band delivers a near perfect reproduction of a live Beatles concert.
On July 20 the audience will be treated to a Broadway-type stage performance titled “Embraceable You,” featuring the music of George Gershwin. Straight from the Broadway Stage, Dean and Lisa Balkwill are brimming with charm and charisma. You will be dazzled by this scintillating new show acclaimed as musical theatre at its finest! Sizzling dance numbers, nostalgic ballads, and romantic comedy are all backed by live musicians.
The concerts are on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 P.M. at the Rearden Theater at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased online at, at the Rabun County Welcome Center and the Macon County (NC) Chamber of Commerce or at the theater door on the day of the performance.

For the Love of Music

Aida Rehearsal



Bel Canto, adorned with four divine voices, will ring through the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center at 4:00 P.M. Sunday, September 7.

Bel Canto, adorned with four divine voices, will ring through the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center at 4:00 P.M. Sunday, September 7.

Four fabulous singers and one incredible pianist/accompanist are coming to Highlands this September 7 for the 22nd Annual Highlands Bel Canto Recital.
As always, it will be held in the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center at 4:00 P.M. and will be followed by a gala dinner at Highlands Country Club. Our featured singers are all seasoned performers with experience not only here in the states, but in Europe and South America as well.
Soprano Elizabeth Beers Kataria, a two-time Liederkranz Foundation Wagner Division Vocal Competition finalist and recipient of a study grant from the Wagner Society of New York, is poised on the brink of an exciting career. Her 2013-2014 engagements include appearances as the Primadonna/Ariadne in “Ariadne auf Naxos” with St. Petersburg Opera, a reduced Ring Cycle with Opera Louisiane as Brünnhilde, and Senta in “Der fliegende HollКnder” with both the Utah Festival Opera and Opera Carolina.
Victoria Livengood, mezzo-soprano, is an internationally-renowned Metropolitan Opera star and a Grammy-nominated performer who has been hailed by audiences and critics worldwide for her multi-faceted and powerhouse performances in a remarkably varied repertoire. From the opera stage to the concert stage, critics have lauded her poignant interpretations of a gallery of characters, and The New York Times has called her “naturally seductive and vocally alluring.”
A Georgia native, tenor Clay Hilley possesses a voice of “clarity, power, and great technical facility.” In the 2012-13 season, Mr. Hilley made his American Symphony Orchestra debut in Carnegie Hall as tenor soloist with Leon Botstein in the Mahler “Symphony No. 8.” He was invited to sing Ewart Dunlop in “The Music Man” at the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman, and made his Lincoln Center debut at the Rose Theater in the Verdi “Requiem.”
American baritone Mark Rucker has been in demand in opera houses and on concert stages throughout the world from the time of his debut as Renato in “Un Ballo in Maschera” with Luciano Pavarotti for the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Mr. Rucker made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Amonasro in “Aida” and has since been heard at the Met as Don Carlo in “La Forza del Destino,” Tonio in “I Pagliacci,” and as Rigoletto for the Met in the Parks.
If you are not currently on our mailing list, please call (828) 526-5213 or e-mail You can also mail your contact information to Bel Canto Recital, P.O. Box 2392, Highlands, NC 28741. Don’t miss one exciting note of this year’s recital!

Contributed by Janet Grantham

This Season at The Playhouse

Residents and visitors of Highlands will be hard pressed to find excuses to stay at home in the evenings this summer if the Highlands Playhouse has anything to say about it.
After last season’s record breaking attendance, the Playhouse has expanded their offerings to include their traditional six show live theater schedule, in addition to five airings per week of an early run film.
“The Highlands Playhouse’s mission is to serve the people of Highlands,” Artistic Director Bill Patti said, “Adding an ambitious movie schedule to our incredible live theater performances will give the Highlands community the best of both worlds.”
Even as the professional actors and technicians from around the country were preparing for the premiere of “Little Shop of Horrors” on June 12, the movie theater was showing the Disney blockbuster “Maleficent.”
“Nobody is doing this, anywhere,” says Patti. “We are producing professional theater and running blockbuster summer films. It borders on insanity.”
The second show of the season is the Stephen Schwartz gem, “Pippin,” currently enjoying a successful revival on Broadway. The production, which may not be suitable for audience members under 13, runs from July 3-20.
The final major musical of the season is “9 to 5,” which runs July 24 through August 16. Theater productions will be performed Tuesdays-Saturdays at 8:00 P.M. and Sundays at 2:00 P.M. Movies will air during the “dark” times, Sundays at 5:30 P.M. and 8:00 P.M. and Mondays at 1:00 P.M., 4:00 P.M., and 7:00 P.M.
“Our long time theater patrons were worried that the movies would cut into our traditional productions, and our new movie buffs were worried that we wouldn’t be showing films during the summer. We are excited to accommodate both groups!” Managing Director Tammy Hernandez says.
There will be no movies July 20 and 21.
“Those are our changeover weekends, where we have to change the sets from one theatre production to the next, so we had to go fully dark those days,” Hernandez says.
Tickets for any of these wonderful productions and blockbuster hits can be purchased by visiting the Highlands Playhouse Box Office or by calling (828) 526-2695. Visit for more information about the plays or to see a list of upcoming movies.

by Luke Osteen

Chamber Music Festival

 Vega Quartet

Vega Quartet

The Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival is offering a glorious 2014 season, welcoming favorite performers from seasons past and making way for new artists already earning an international reputation. The festival stretches through August 3.
Highlights include the Festival debut of cellist Edward Arron performing solo and with the Vega Quartet; “The Poet’s Love and Life” featuring Schumann’s great “Dichterliebe” songcycle interspersed with readings by Aspen-based poet Bruce Berger; and a brand-new “Jazz Meets Classics” this time, presenting “Sax in the Mountains” with Will Scruggs, Leo Saguiguit, Gary Motley and pianist Elena Cholakova trading turns with classical and jazz selections for sax and piano.
“Whenever we are able to present the Festival Chamber Orchestra, the concerts are always a major highlight of the season — and so our final Gala Concert, and wonderful Dinner after, on Sunday, August 3, will feature the Orchestra in our first-ever performance of Mendelssohn’s ‘Double Concerto for Violin and Piano,’” says Festival Artistic Director William Ransom. “The gala sold out early last year, so make your plans now.
“We also offer one final very special program this summer – “Country Meets Classics,” says Ransom. “This features the red-hot Nashville-based band Blended 328 joining forces with The Vega Quartet for a wild afternoon of musical fun on August 10. Beer and barbecue are included!”
In addition to its exciting concert schedule, the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival is also offering its popular Salon at Six series. These events are staged at some of the most beautiful homes in Western North Carolina.
Jazz Pianist Gary Motley will perform at the home of Lynne and Jim Browne Thursday, July 17. Motley’s won an international following with his gorgeous piano compositions and impeccable performances. In 2006, his “Highland Summit: A Suite for String Quartet and Jazz Quartet” was premiered at the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival with the Vega String Quartet.
Western Carolina University Chancellor David Belcher and his wife Susan open their home on Sunday, August 24. The Belchers will perform classical music and songs from stage and screen.
At each event, wine will be served from 5:30-6:00 P.M. followed by the performances until 6:30 P.M. Light refreshments will be offered after 6:30 P.M. Tickets are $50 per person.
The Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival will offer free informal performances by the members of the Vega String Quartet at 7:30 P.M. Thursday July 10, at the Buck’s Coffee Café on Main Steet in Highlands. The Parker String Quartet will perform at 7:30 P.M. Tuesday, July 22, at Buck’s in Cashiers. Both concerts are free to the public.
During the 2014 season, concerts are held at 6:00 p.m. Fridays at the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center in Highlands and repeated at 5:00 P.M. Saturdays at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library in Cashiers. Sunday concerts will be staged at 5:00 A.M. at the Performing Arts Center in Highlands and repeated at 5:00 P.M. Mondays at the Cashiers Community Library.
For more information or tickets, call (828) 526-9060. Tickets are also on sale at the venues prior to the performances.

by Luke Osteen

The Bascom Blooms

From its inception in the 1940s, the Highlands Flower Show has blossomed into an event showcasing nature’s sublime beauty and the gifts of local artists. This year’s Mountains in Bloom Home & Garden Show, set for July 10-13, will benefit The Bascom.

From its inception in the 1940s, the Highlands Flower Show has blossomed into an event showcasing nature’s sublime beauty and the gifts of local artists. This year’s Mountains in Bloom Home & Garden Show, set for July 10-13, will benefit The Bascom.

In the early 1940s, residents and visitors of Highlands were invited to attend the first annual Highlands Flower Show benefiting the Highlands Museum and Biological Laboratory.
The premise was simple: entrants submitted flowers and foliage of the mountain gardens and wildwood and were judged and awarded ribbons. Ladies wearing hats and gentlemen in suits and ties enjoyed an afternoon admiring the flora and fauna of the plateau.
Some 70 years later, we once again honor this great tradition with the 2014 Flower Show, an integral part of the Mountains in Bloom Home & Garden Festival benefiting The Bascom. Working with the theme “The Private Edens of Highlands” and art from the current exhibitions, this highly anticipated event includes a three-day garden festival and several themed Floral and Horticulture classes to entice you.
This year, in an effort to allow both the novice and the expert to celebrate the art of flower arranging, we will be offering classes that are both juried and non-juried. The juried classes will be judged by judges schooled in their field of expertise, and winners from the non-juried classes selected by the public and awarded the People’s Choice Award.
Flower arrangements and photography entries will be showcased throughout the art center’s early 1800’s hand-hewed post and beam barn. The Dave Drake Studio Barn will be home to juried horticulture entries, and non-juried entries will be displayed along the campus pathways. Special awards will be given for Best in Show in both the Flower Arrangement Division and the Horticulture Division, and The Balentine Award for the most outstanding display of a native plant that is indigenous to the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau.
For more information, contact The Bascom at or by calling (828) 526-4949. Copies of the 2014 Flower Show Schedule, listing the requirements and classes for Floral, Horticulture, and Photography, are available at The Bascom or online at the above address.

Contributed by Bonnie Potts

Those Kooky Chickens

cooky-chickens-highlands-ncTim and Karen Chambers love what they do, and it shows. Over the past 15 years they have developed a successful business creating and selling “Those Kooky Chickens” folk art.
Karen started painting years ago, giving her works to friends and family as gifts and they encouraged her to share her vision with others. Tim had been working with wood for years, and created a specialty screen door business in Highlands. Combining their skills and vision, Those Kooky Chickens folk art began.
It starts with gourds, recycled wood, and screen from Tim’s screen doors. He is responsible for all wood work including the legs and bases, ensuring that they are stable – Karen does the rest. It’s her vision and colorful painting that bring Those Kooky Chickens to life.
Working with over 500 gourds a year is a time consuming task involving lots of hands-on prep work, but it’s the gourds that lead the way. Karen says she looks to the gourd to tell her what to paint. The shapes vary so widely that every piece is one of a kind, and they’re not all chickens.
When starting out, Tim and Karen were making bears and other animals but quickly realized the gourds truly lent themselves to birds…And who doesn’t love a whimsical chicken? But you can also spot flamingos, owls, and the occasional duck in their nest, too.
Those Kooky Chickens is not just limited to gourd art. They also create framed recycled screen paintings as well as whimsical folk art paintings on recycled and reclaimed wood, and of course the frames are built by Tim. All pieces are hand-created using natural materials, wood and gourds, and are painted with acrylic paints. They have even created a chicken “photo bomb” screen painting that is absolutely hysterical. The Chambers say their art is particularly appealing to young boys, and even had one youngster capture a chick and take off, much to his parents’ chagrin.
The Chambers travel almost every weekend selling Those Kooky Chickens at art festivals throughout the Southeast. They’ve won numerous awards for their work and have sold to customers around the world including France, England, Australia, and South Korea. How those chickens love to fly! Customers can’t wait for them to come back to town so they can add to their collection or even purchase a “starter chicken.”
Karen and Tim’s folk art is so popular they’ve opened an online store at
To follow Those Kooky Chickens, visit their website at And locally their works can be seen at Smitten, 10 Foreman Road, in Highlands, (828)526-9300. Attend Smitten’s Third Thursday, July 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 P.M. for a gallery open house where you can meet Those Kooky Chickens in person.
by Jenny King

The Art of Charles Johnson







photography-cover-highlands_NC-threeIt’s easy to get lost in Charles Johnson’s beguiling photographs on display at Mountain Mist Gallery in Cashiers.
Johnson has taken his cameras to spots just a little bit off the beaten path in Highlands and Cashiers, and it’s made all the difference.
Cascading mountain streams are veiled in streamers of white. Shy mountain laurel blossoms are laden with dewdrops. A shadowed trail in the deep forest promises both mystery and revelation. A bed of hostas, those most disposable of woodland groundcovers, is shown in all of its emerald majesty.
All of Johnson’s works scintillate with this sense of richness, of life and texture and transcendence. If Ralph Waldo Emerson had been handed a camera 150 years ago, he would have produced something like this.
Part of Johnson’s formula is a craftsman’s mastery of his tools. Armed with a Master of Photography Degree from the Professional Photographers of America, he began honing his landscape photography skills, garnering awards through professional print competitions and delivering lectures to other pros.
A photo finishing lab he opened in Charlotte earned a national reputation for its extraordinary attention to detail. In fact, Ernest Brooks of the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara proclaimed that the lab was “the best of the best.”
But all of that technical expertise wouldn’t have produced the masterpieces on the walls of Morning Mist Gallery. The other part of the equation comes from inside Johnson himself.
“My photographic adventure began as an 18-year-old seeking advice from my father on what career choice I should make,” he says. “He simply said ‘follow your passion in whatever you do and you will be successful.’”
That advice spoke to something that was already percolating in Johnson’s mind – a passion for science mixed with art, in essence the recipe for a nature photographer.
This understanding of the alchemy between light and a photo-sensitive surface (or, in this digital age, between an electrical charge and a pixel), combined with an artist’s reflexive feel for the tension between concealment and revelation, has given us those works in Cashiers.
The teenage photographer who roamed the peaks and valleys of Boone, North Carolina, found himself capturing the natural treasures of Hawaii and Nova Scotia and the Canadian Rockies. Lately, he’s been transfixed by the beauty of Cashiers and Highlands.
“For over 30 years, I have enjoyed a passion of the photographic process through serving the public and developing my own style of image making,” Johnson says. “In producing work for clients, I have continue to live by Ansel Adam’s famous analogy, ‘The negative is the score and the print is the performance.’ As I have photographed the landscape over the years this quote has always resonated with me and now can be updated to, ‘The digital file is the score and the print is the performance’”
Over the years, his work has found itself in anonymous private collections and the corporate collections of IBM, AT&T, PYA Monarch, Premarabank, and Carolina Premier Bank. We’ve tried to capture the magic of Johnson’s work here in Laurel, but you really have to see it up close at Mountain Mist Gallery.
by Luke Osteen

Funding Futures

Come join the fun at the annual Scaly Mountain Women’s Club Auction on Saturday, July 19, at the Scaly Mountain Fire Station’s Community Room, 169 Hale Ridge Road in Scaly Mountain, and help support the club’s scholarship fund for area students.
The Club is proud to be able to provide one of the largest scholarship awards in this area. Under the club’s renewable scholarship program, a student completing four years of college is eligible to receive a total $6,800. Currently, 14 area students are receiving scholarship aid from the Scaly Mountain Women’s Club and the annual auction provides a majority of the scholarship program’s funding.
Admission to the auction is free and guests are invited to arrive at 6:00 P.M. to enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and some cheese while previewing this year’s offerings. Floor bidding begins at 7:00 P.M. This year’s auction promises to provide a wonderful array of merchandise, and social offerings. Previous auctions have offered golf foursomes at some of the area’s most prestigious country clubs, dinner at fine area restaurants, clothing and accessories from some of Highland’s exclusive shops, original fine art and pottery, spa days, antique furniture, a chef-prepared dinner for eight with wine pairings at a lovely private home, cookware, tableware, sporting goods and much more. Come see what surprises this year’s auction has in store.
In addition, hotdogs, chips, drinks, and delicious desserts can be purchased before and during the auction.
The Scaly Mountain Women’s Club appreciates the support it has received from area merchants, clubs, organizations and individuals. Please see our website for information, pictures of past auctions, and see the list of merchants that support our cause. Our website is For more information or to donate to the auction, please contact auction chairman, Pat Leaptrot at (828) 526-9387 or at

Contributed by Carolyn Kutt

Bluegrass Bash

The Highlands Emergency Council’s first annual Bluegrass Bash featuring the bluegrass band Runners of the Green Laurel will be held on Saturday, July 26, at the Highlands Civic Center from 5:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.
Dinner features Mike Thompson’s legendary Chicken & Dumplings or Pinto Beans and Cornbread and runs $8 for adults and $5 for children under 12. The band will play from 7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. Tickets for the concert run $10 in advance, $15 at the door, and $5 for children.
Also included are three square dance sets with Doyle Calloway, caller, three clogging exhibitions, and free style dancing. Come join us for an evening of fun and support the Highlands Emergency Council’s mission.

5k Competition and Fundraiser

 Serious (and not-so-serious) athletes are invited to participate in the 2nd Annual Rotary Club of Highlands’ Twilight Rock ‘n Roll 5k,  Saturday, August 23, at Kelsey-Hutchinson Park.

Serious (and not-so-serious) athletes are invited to participate in the 2nd Annual Rotary Club of Highlands’ Twilight Rock ‘n Roll 5k, Saturday, August 23, at Kelsey-Hutchinson Park.

The 2nd Annual Rotary Club of Highlands’ Twilight Rock ‘n Roll 5k will be held on Saturday, August 23, at the Kelsey-Hutchinson Park on Pine Street in downtown Highlands. The race begins at 6:00 P.M., with check-in at 4:00 P.M. Last-minute participants can register at check-in.
Highlands Decorating Center’s Derek Taylor and Michael Johnson of The Highlander Newspaper are spearheading this fundraising event and encourage everyone to attend. It’s not just for runners and tri-athletes like Derek and Michael; walkers, families with strollers, novice runners, and experienced racers are all welcome. The course is undulating, yet beginners or walkers will find it friendly while the faster runners will be challenged.
Proceeds benefit the Highlands School track teams. Parking will be available around the park. Bring chairs, coolers, refreshments and blankets to Kelsey Hutchinson Park and spend the evening. There will be a live concert by Copious Jones during and after the race and any racer (of legal age) crossing the finish line can quench their thirst with a beer from the Ugly Dog Pub.
You can register online at If you register before July 23, the cost is only $25. After July 23, cost is $30 and if you register on race day it’s $35. The Twilight Rock ‘n Roll 5k is offering t- shirts for first 100 registrants as well as glow sticks for the kids. Awards will be presented to the overall top male and female finisher and top 3 finishers in each 10 year age division. Kids under 10 can run for free.
Sponsorships are still available in varying amounts and your name will be included in all advertising, posters and tee shirts. For sponsorship or registration information, visit, or contact Derek Taylor at (828) 526-3571 or Michael Johnson at (828) 526-4114.

by Jenny King

A Palette to Palate Affair

Cashiers’ Arts on the Green, set for July 13 - 18, is a splashy showcase for professional artists and the beauty that informs the Cashiers Valley.

Cashiers’ Arts on the Green, set for July 13 – 18, is a splashy showcase for professional artists and the beauty that informs the Cashiers Valley.

More than 30 professional artists will participate in Arts on the Green, Cashiers’ Plein Air Festival, July 13 through 18. This festival benefits The Village Green in Cashiers.
“Plein Air is French for open air,” says Village Green Executive Director Ann Self. “These outdoor painters will capture the breathtaking views, cherished places and charming lifestyle of this area.”
Artists will set up their easels in various locations to paint in a variety of mediums. Residents and visitors will have many opportunities to watch them paint as well as buy their original art. Cashiers Plein Air Festival is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after plein air events in the country by artists and collectors alike.
The week-long festival also features several special events. A welcome barbecue dinner to meet and greet the artists is the kickoff for Arts on the Green.
Local artists Karen Weihs and Jane Smithers will present “Two Women, Twin Visions,” a live side-by-side painting demonstration. An exclusive wine and hors d’œuvres garden reception will include a preview sale of some of the artists’ choice paintings. Of course, the premier event will be the Palette to Palate Affair, an elegant summer picnic featuring a live art auction at The Village Green Commons. A complete schedule of events and information for reserving tickets is available at
“When you buy a festival ticket or purchase a painting that depicts a favorite landscape, you are supporting The Village Green,” states Arts on the Green Chairperson Debbie Bennett. “You can enjoy one of these fabulous parties or events and help fund one of the area’s greatest treasures.” The Village Green is the 12.5-acre park that is the “heart” of Cashiers, both in its location at the crossroads of Highways 64 and 107, but also in its ability to draw family and friends together. It hosts thousands of visitors and hundreds of events each year, including the popular Friday night concert series Groovin’ On the Green.
The Village Green is maintained and improved by a nonprofit organization.
“The Village Green is unique in that it provides a free, public space for everyone to enjoy,” says Jochen Lucke, Chairperson of The Village Green Board of Directors. “However, the park depends on fundraising efforts such as Arts on the Green as well as the generosity of individual donors.”
To learn more about The Village Green visit

Kids Get in the Art Zone

Cullowhee Mountain Arts offers creative childrens workshops during July.

Cullowhee Mountain Arts offers creative childrens workshops during July.

A summer youth art program inspires and encourages the creativity of its young students. To register or for more information, call (828) 342-6913. Cullowhee Mountain Arts in Cullowhee, North Carolina, is offering an exciting Youth ARTS Program.
Held in the School of Art and Design on the Western Carolina University campus, these annual summer arts camps allow young artists to explore a multitude of media and techniques while working toward an overall goal – and have a whole lot of fun in the process.
Now through July 3: “Puppet Making and Performance” for ages 5-8; from 9:00 A.M. to noon Cost is $120 and all materials are included. In this workshop, campers will learn to mold clay into their own puppet character. After decorating and clothing their puppet, the group will collaborate with their instructors to make up a story for their puppets. The puppet show will be performed on the last day for family and friends.
July 8 and 9: “You Are the Hero” for ages 5-8; from 9:00 A.M. to noon; Cost is $60 and all materials are included. Children will invent their own superhero with clay. Characters will then perform in front of a backdrop created by the campers using markers or watercolors. Pictures of the characters’ performances will create a storybook for each child to take home.
July 10 and 11: “Jetpacks!” for ages 9-noon from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Tuition is $95 and all materials are included. This educational experience begins with discussing the space race and moon landings. Students will design their own exploration devices inspired by jetpacks. Inventors will be encouraged to consider how their jetpack will actually work, using the variety of materials available.
For more information and online enrollment, visit or call (828) 342-6913.
Cullowhee Mountain Arts is a non-profit organization committed to providing exceptional art experiences to children and adults in Western North Carolina.

Contributed by Kristy Dodge

A Bloom With A View

Enjoy a tour of the Crestridge gardens July 19 and July 26.

Enjoy a tour of the Crestridge gardens July 19 and July 26.

A stunning view of Shortoff Mountain is the backdrop for the gardens of Jane and Tom Tracy, who have graciously invited the public to walk the garden paths and admire the beauty of hundreds of flowers, vegetables, and native plants on their 38-acre property on two Saturdays in July – July 19 and 26.
The Tracys bought Crestridge in 1996 and built their lovely home and guest house, expanding on the gardens originally created by Marge and John Jacobs and family, who bought the property in 1946.
One highlight of the gardens is the vegetable garden, which is carefully tended by Tom. Here he grows many kinds of fruits, vegetables, and berries. Tom says he often plants more than enough for the family, neighbors, and friends. Bears and other wildlife roam the property on occasion and have been known to partake, even though the vegetable garden is protected by a fence.
Jane’s gardens are filled with native shrubs and flowers. The flowering shrubs emphasize her love for these mountains and nature in general. Original yard art is tucked into nooks and crannies throughout the gardens A trail leading to Salt Creek can be traversed easily and guests are welcome to walk through the natural woodlands.
The cost for the tour is $30 per person and can be purchased by calling (828) 526-2968), or in person at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Highlands. Tour times are 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00 A.M. Please specify your time preference, but it is on a “first come, first served” basis. All proceeds will be used for the Outreach Ministry and Bell Tower Endowment Fund for the Church.
Contributed by Mercedes Heller

The Best of Controlled Chaos

The Best of Controlled Chaos Film Festival, set for August 17 at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley, offers the best of  Western Carolina University’s film program.

The Best of Controlled Chaos Film Festival, set for August 17 at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley, offers the best of Western Carolina University’s film program.

You don’t need to be a member of the Hollywood elite to see works by the newest up-and-coming visionaries in the film industry.
On Sunday, August 17, you are invited to attend Western Carolina University’s Best of Controlled Chaos Film Festival at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley.
WCU’s Film and Television Production Program has held the Controlled Chaos Film Festival on campus for six years. This juried showcase features films written, directed, filmed, produced, scored and acted entirely by WCU film students as class assignments during the academic year. Susan Belcher, wife of WCU Chancellor David Belcher and co-chair of the festival committee, says they are thrilled to be able to open it to the
wider community.
Adair Simon, a Cashiers resident and member of the WCU Friends of the Arts Advisory Council, serves as co-chair for the event, with Mountain Youth Charities Director Marcia Shawler on board as honorary chair. A number of people in the surrounding areas agreed to form the screening committee for the Cashiers event. The official film festival was held on campus May 2. In June, the screening committee then chose approximately 75-80 minutes’ worth of films for the Best of WCU’s Controlled Chaos Film Festival.
Headed by Emmy Award-winning and Oscar nominated-director Jack Sholder, the Film and Television Production Program has received recognition over the years. At last year’s Asheville Cinema Festival a WCU senior project comedy titled “Jerry” was awarded The Best Student Film of the Year. During the 2013 Controlled Chaos Film Festival, WCU was one of only a few colleges in the nation to be given by Sony a state-of-the-art high resolution camera valued at nearly $100,000. Obviously, this is an expensive program and one that needs support from film lovers, art lovers and those who simply enjoy being entertained. All festival proceeds will benefit the Film and Television Production Program at WCU.
Ticket prices are $75 and will include a reception with beverages and heavy hors d’oeuvres at 6:00 P.M. Students and staff will be available to give a brief introduction before showing their work. Tickets for the Best of Controlled Chaos Film Festival on August 17 may be purchased by calling (828) 227-2755. For more information, visit online or email

by Jenny King

Atcheson Concert for Literacy

Keyboard Artist Randall Atcheson will offer a benefit concert for the Literacy Council of Highlands, Saturday, August 30, at the Highlands Playhouse. For tickets or more information, call (828) 526-0863.

Keyboard Artist Randall Atcheson will offer a benefit concert for the Literacy Council of Highlands, Saturday, August 30, at the Highlands Playhouse. For tickets or more information, call (828) 526-0863.

Madeline and Fred Knox have joined forces with The Literacy Council of Highlands to bring world-renowned musician Randall Atcheson back to Highlands.
Join your friends at the Highlands Playhouse from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. Saturday, August 30, to hear Randall as he shares his immense talent at the keyboard.
As a former first grade school teacher, children are especially dear to Madeline. She tells all of her friends about her “mustard seed” theory — how even the small things in life can make a huge difference — and urges them to take action, too.
“Helping a child to read may seem small, but it will greatly impact their lives in unbelievable ways,” Madeline says. “A person who reads well can take advantage of limitless opportunities. Randall inspires me and I hope he will inspire you.”
Children are as important to Randall as they are to Madeline. He teaches up to 70 youngsters a week. Growing up in Clanton, Alabama, the son of a Baptist Minister, he feels especially blessed with his musical talents. Now he works diligently to share those talents with people across the globe. This Julliard School graduate does that through his many concerts and his recordings. If you have seen Randall, you know he is at home with music of all types — classical, gospel, and pop. He is such a showman that the audience remains enthralled throughout the concert.
This is a concert you won’t want to miss. General admission tickets are available for $50 per person by calling (828) 526-2695. The Champagne Reception begins at 3:00 P.M., the concert at 4:00 P.M. If you can’t make the concert, a donation to the Literacy Council is always appreciated. Visit their website at or mail a check to Literacy Council of Highlands, 348 South Fifth Street, Highlands, NC 28741.
Patrons will enjoy a special treat at the Knox home on Friday evening as they enjoy an intimate dinner with Randall. There is very limited seating for this event so call early at (828) 526-0863 for tickets and pricing.
“We are so excited that Randall Atcheson is coming back to Highlands to perform for the benefit of our organization and are grateful to Madeline and Fred Knox for making that happen,” says Literacy Council President Dick Hills. “A hearty thank you to our friends at the Highlands Playhouse for the donation of their facility for this event. For Laurel readers who don’t know about the Literacy Council, we help folks learn to read, or to read better. We tutor struggling students, we help young people prepare for GED exams, we teach English as a Second Language, and much more. The funds we hope to receive from the Atcheson concert and those we receive from our longtime supporters are what make it possible for us to continue our mission. Don’t miss Randall Atcheson.”

by Wiley Sloan


Under the Stars Gala

Without Southwestern Community College, Nancy Brown’s not sure how her professional career might have turned out.
But because she was able to earn her two-year degree from Southwestern in 1981, she’s now in her 29th year as a paralegal with Coward, Hicks and Siler, Public Attorneys.
“SCC gives people who grow up in this area an opportunity,” Brown said. “If SCC hadn’t been there, I’m not sure I could have done this..”
In order to make a college education accessible to more area residents like Brown, the SCC Foundation is hosting “Wine & Dine Under the Stars Gala” at 6:00 P.M. on July 19 at the Village Green Commons in Cashiers. All proceeds will go toward helping establish the Student Success Endowment.
Through the community’s generosity and a federal challenge grant that matches every dollar (up to $300,000) raised by September 1, the Student Success Campaign aims to raise more than $1 million to help bridge the gap between scholarship need and availability.
“You don’t realize just how much SCC touches Cashiers-Highlands lives every day,” said Cashiers businessman Jim Zoller, chairman of the SCC Foundation. “Emergency response from the Fire Department, Rescue Squad, EMS and police – all these folks are trained at SCC. That’s also the case for nurses, your hairdresser, cosmetologist, realtor, heating and air professional, auto mechanic and so many more.
“SCC graduates touch our lives every day,” Zoller added. “Without them, Cashiers would not be the same friendly village it is. This fundraising event is to provide more scholarships to help our students afford to attend SCC and continue to provide the services we depend on to maintain our quality of life.”
SCC Foundation Director Mary Otto Selzer added, “Ninety percent of our students stay and work in our area. They are active and productive members of our community. Our students have big dreams. Some just need a bit of financial assistance to achieve their dreams. That’s why it’s so important to support this event that will provide additional money for scholarships.”
If you’d like additional information, please contact Kathy Posey at (828) 339-4227. Tickets are on sale at Zoller Hardware, Scotlyn’s Yard Nursery, Tangles, Dovetail Antiques, and the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce. Tickets can be purchased individually. Tables may be sponsored by individuals or businesses.

Contributed by Tyler Norris Goode

Hampton Relics, the Way We Were

Hampton Relics offers up golden memorabilia  from the halcyon days of resort life.

Hampton Relics offers up golden memorabilia
from the halcyon days of resort life.

Have you ever wondered how people gather all those cool period pieces and collectibles to decorate their cabin, lodge, or man-cave? Such a collection represents decades of treasure hunting. But if you are drawn to the sophisticated leisure of hotel life from the 1930s, ‘forties, and fifties, your dream transformation might be a lot closer than you think … at Hampton Relics.
Hampton Relics at the High Hampton Inn and Country Club in Cashiers was the inspiration of Carl and Cheryl Littlefield with the encouragement of Becky and Will McKee, Hampton Inn owners. Littlefield says, “My wife and I retired last year. We couldn’t sit still. I knew I wanted to do something with my decorating skills and my forty-year storehouse of memorabilia and collectibles. The question was what.”
When things are right, they happen fast. The Littlefields already called Cashiers their second home, so by May, 2013, they had opened Mantiques, Genteel Lodge and Cave Decor, plus Sportsmen’s Collectibles, 88 Marmalade Lane in Cashiers.
Riding on that success, a year later they opened their second establishment, Hampton Relics in the High Hampton’s old caddy shack. There is something romantic about the 1930s to the fifties. Hotels were palaces filled with the leisure life icons. Wooden-shaft golf clubs, gut-strung tennis rackets, selections from Hampton’s old cookware and place settings, vintage paintings and prints of sportsmen, hunters, working dogs, and so on, all reflect a simpler, yet sophisticated lifestyle and can be purchased at Hampton Relics.
Littlefield says, “This will be a tribute to the tourists at the High Hampton. Some folks have been coming for decades, so this will be a magical history tour down Memory Lane.” In fact, it’s a bit like exploring a museum, only you get to take pieces of your past home with you.
So stop by Hampton Relics at the High Hampton in Cashiers. Check out their ad in this issue, or call (828) 743-0004 or (352) 467-2181. Visit or like them on Facebook: MantiquesNC. Your cabin’s pièce de résistance eagerly awaits.

by Donna Rhodes

Summer Colors Fine Art Show

The Summer Colors Art Show will be held on Saturday, July 26 and Sunday, July 27 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. both days.

The Summer Colors Art Show will be held on Saturday, July 26 and Sunday, July 27 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. both days.

This year for the first time, the Art League of Highlands-Cashiers and the Greater Plateau’s “Summer Colors Fine Art Show” will be held in the Sapphire Valley Community Center, on Highway 64, approximately two miles east of the crossroads in Cashiers. The event will be held on Saturday, July 26 and Sunday, July 27 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. both days. In addition, there will be an opening reception on Friday, July 25 from 5:00-7:00 p.m., where patrons can meet the artists, share refreshments and preview the show. There is no admission charge for the show or reception.
Works in oil, watercolor, acrylics, dry media and mixed media will be on display and for sale, as well as photographs, sculpture, glass, one-of-a-kind jewelry and wood turnings. All work is original. Those who have attended previous Art League shows are appreciative of the high quality and variety of the pieces on display. Virtually all of the artists have received recognition for their work, and their creations may be found in public and private collections throughout the southeast and beyond.
This show promises to provide residents and visitors a pleasant way to spend part of the weekend and browse a large collection of well-done fine art.

Thursdays at 10 in the Garden

 The transcendent beauty of local gardens is explored in the beguiling Dovecote’s Garden Talk series,  Thursdays at 10:00 A.M. For more information, call (828) 743-0307.

The transcendent beauty of local gardens is explored in the beguiling Dovecote’s Garden Talk series,
Thursdays at 10:00 A.M. For more information, call (828) 743-0307.

Welcome to Dovecote’s Garden Talk Salon at 10:00 A.M. on Thursdays!
A smash hit this June, this contemporary garden lecture series covered topics from evergreens for mountain residences, delightful dahlias, the magic of miniature gardens and sculpture in the garden presented by horticulturists Jeff Zahner and Erin Watson, landscape architect Mary Palmer Dargan and sculptor Carl Peverall.
A mountain garden in July is ripe with picture perfect dahlias, billowing limelight hydrangeas and dazzling garden borders. Now is the time to harvest photos while enjoying family and friends.
Please join us on July 3, as Dovecote’s Garden Talk Salon continues. Learn to make elderflower frisse, a cooling summer beverage from lemons and the native elderflower, Sambucus canadensis from botanist and author Mary Palmer Dargan.
Need to spiff up your summer garb? Create a garden party hat or a fascinator, or just be fascinated, at this free event on July 10 with our mystery designer and migrate over to the Mountains in Bloom special luncheon!
Embrace art in the garden week which begins on July 15 to “Watch Art Happen!” in the Garden at Dovecote. Benefitting the Cashiers Plein Air Festival, 30 artists converge on The Cornucopia and Dovecote vicinity to paint en plein air at the first light of dawn. Dargan Landscape Architects sponsors the free early A.M. breakfast, tea and coffee.
Unleash the creative spirit within you when acclaimed Columbus artist Eve Tidwell teaches our first art studio on July 17. Eve’s garden canvases are big as is her beautiful garden, and your canvas can be too! Karen Weihs, co-founder of Cashiers Plein Air and award-winning contemporary artist, presents a Special Event Plein Air Exhibition on Friday, July 18, in Dovecote’s Garden from 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.
Stuck? Can’t let your intuition let you choose the flowers or cuttings to create beautiful floral arrangements? The Barefoot Gardener, aka floral designer Jodie Zahner, will inspire you on July 24. Bring your own garden bits and pieces to the workshop to use as background or accent. We will provide extra materials like oasis, tape and extra filler material. Dovecote provides a container for your creative juices to reside in!
On July 31, Mary Palmer Dargan shares her magic mix for creating timeless mountain garden designs. This special field trip explores the magic of materials unique to our vicinity.
For details please contact or call (828) 743-0307.

A Sky Spectacular

What’s July 4th without fireworks?
The Village Green is proud to provide this summer’s colossal fireworks display for the Cashiers area community. The Village Green will partner with the Greater Cashiers Merchants Association to create a spectacular evening of entertainment for residents and visitors to enjoy as part of the Independence Day celebration.
The Fireworks Extravaganza On the Green will begin at 6:30 P.M. Friday, July 4, at The Village Green Commons on Frank Allen Road. The festivities include a live concert by The Extraordinaires, a rhythm and blues band featuring kicking horns and smooth vocals that will have people dancing on the lawn. The crowning moment of the night will be the magnificent fireworks show.
“Come to The Village Green and watch the rockets’ red glare, and every other color in the rainbow,” said Village Green Executive Director Ann Self. “This year’s show has twice as many pyrotechnics with more than 1,000 colorful salutes, crowns and brilliant bursts to light up the mountain night sky.”
Many small towns and communities have cut or drastically reduced fireworks displays in recent years because of financial constraints. The Village Green stepped up to ensure this would not be the case in Cashiers.
“The Village Green is delighted to preserve another treasured tradition for our community, and we hope that this will be the best part of the holiday weekend for people here in the area,” said Jochen Lucke, Chairperson of the Village Green Board of Directors.
To safeguard future and even more amazing fireworks for Cashiers, The Village Green is establishing a Fireworks Fund.
“Event-goers will have the opportunity to make contributions at preferred parking locations as well as the entrances to The Village Green Commons,” said Self. “We hope this grassroots effort will foster the spirit of community.”
The Village Green is a 12.5-acre park that was created to preserve the legacy of the bucolic mountain lifestyle. The Village Green is the beautiful, green heart for public use but relies on private funding to provide this exceptional venue for everyone to enjoy.
“Events like the fireworks extravaganza would not be possible without the generous support of our donors,” Self said. For more information about The Village Green, visit

Saturday’s Divine on Pine

Saturdays on Pine spice up summer evenings with sounds both subtle and sultry.

Saturdays on Pine spice up summer evenings with sounds both subtle and sultry.

The Highlands Chamber of Commerce, Kay and Thomas Craig of The Ugly Dog Pub, and many generous sponsors have some red-hot Saturday evening performances lined up for you at the Saturdays on Pine concert series.
Concerts begin at 6:00 P.M. and are held at The Kelsey-Hutchinson Park on Pine Street in Highlands. Whether it’s jazz, country, blue grass, or rock and roll, Saturdays on Pine will present some of the finest bands the region has to offer!
Shane Bridges kicks off the concert series on July 4 and 5. Shane was given his first guitar at age 14 and by the age of 18 had made a career of singing and songwriting. His influences range from Merle Haggard to Tom Petty, and his touring band consists of professional, seasoned musicians and writers. His music can be heard on such popular TV shows as “The Hill” and “The Real World.”
The Hobohemians from Athens, Georgia, will be on stage July 12. This six-piece band plays original and popular music from the 1920s and 30s — music that emanated from country roads and juke joints and includes a broad selection of Americana from George Gershwin to Cab Calloway.
Next up is Tellico from Asheville, North Carolina, slated for July 19. Well-known for their rootsy singing and vocal harmony, as well as the hard-edge nostalgic-yet-modern themes of their songwriting, this quartet combines some of the finest voices, songs, and instrumental prowess in Western North Carolina and beyond.
Homemade Wine brings their brand of Southern Rock to the park on July 26. These guys have fermented, cured, blended, and seasoned their sound into a 150-proof explosion that has spread their blend of jam-infused Southern Rock from the Florida Keys to the Pacific Northwest where they’ve hit practically every roadhouse, club, festival, and music venue in between.
In August you’ll hear The Lonesome Road Band, Hi 5, Mangas Colorado, Copious Jones and Tea for Three.
Kay and Thomas hope that the Saturdays on Pine bring you out to enjoy old friends, new friends, or soon-to-be-friends every Saturday evening all summer long. Be sure to enjoy the shops, have a bite to eat, or bring a picnic and come out for great music in Highlands! For more information about Saturdays on Pine, contact the Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center at (828) 526- 2112.

by Jenny King





Come to a County Fair!

The Friends of the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library are inviting everyone on the plateau to an old-fashioned Country Fair to be held on the grounds of the library on July 12, from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M.
The fair is being given in celebration of the library’s 20th anniversary and is free to the public.
Think hot dogs, soft drinks, and popcorn. Clowns and balloons. Musicians.
Think prizes for the winners of the three-legged races, the cake walk, the pie-eating contest, and the ice cream-eating contest sponsored by Blue Bell Ice Cream.
There’ll be activities for children, including face-painting, games, storytelling and Go Fish.
Joining the festivities will be animals from The Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society, as well as Tooth Fairies from the Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic and Miss P, the beloved Labrador Retriever who has listened to hundreds of children read to her at the library over the years.
At 1:30 P.M. a ceremony honoring current and former librarians, library employees, and the many volunteers who have served the library during the past two decades will begin with the arrival of Barbara Carlton by horse and carriage. Mrs. Carlton, who donated the land for the library in memory of her husband, Albert Carlton, and who established the Albert Carlton Cashiers Community Library Foundation to help support the library, will cut the birthday cake and welcome county commissioners and other honored guests.
A raffle drawing mid-afternoon will announce the winner of the coveted king-sized, hand-sewn quilt created and donated by Graceann Smith, chair of the raffle.
Please call the library at (828) 743-0215 for additional information.

Yearn to Learn? Try CLE

The Center for Life Enrichment’s 2014 curriculum offers a full spectrum of knowledge, insight and entertainment.  For more information, call (828) 526-8811 or visit

The Center for Life Enrichment’s 2014 curriculum offers a full spectrum of knowledge, insight and entertainment.
For more information, call (828) 526-8811 or visit

The Center for Life Enrichment is offering so many entertaining, educational, and compelling classes this July, you’ll have a serious dilemma trying to decide which classes to attend.
You may attend one of the many classes on art. “Architecture Informing Art” is in conjunction with The Bascom exhibit, “From the Earth.” Artist and presenter Vicki Grant’s work expresses the evolution of her life and talents. Also being offered are “A Photographic Look at the White House and Politics,” “Dante’s Florence and the Rise of the Renaissance,” “A Photographic Tour of the Georgia Museum of Art,” and “Watercolor in the British Tradition,” taught as an instructional class.
If you’re more interested in current affairs or history and philosophy, consider “The Second Amendment: Right to Bear Arms,” “The Senate Filibuster Rules: Are They Constitutional?” “Deists, Atheists, Reluctant Theists,” “East Meets West: Religions of the World,” and “50 Shades: Philosophy of Color.” Expand your literary knowledge with “Hemingway and Cuba” by Allen Josephs, a world-renowned Hemingway scholar and past president of the Ernest Hemingway Foundation and Society.
For fun and entertainment, sign up for a garden tour, cooking class, field trips to natural treasures on the Highlands Plateau, or attend “I’m Right! You’re Wrong!…Is….That…So?” and learn how you can become a better participant or leader in your business, organization, or personal relationship.
The list of great classes with dynamic speakers at Center for Life Enrichment eliminates boredom as the summer season heats up in Highlands.
If you would like to register for classes or need more information, email us at, or call (828) 526-8811. You can also stop by the CLE office located at 348 South Fifth Street in the Peggy Crosby Building in Highlands.

Contributed by Bonnie Dayton

Readin’, Writing’, and Rotary

Everyone is invited to join the Rotary Club of Highlands for an evening of bingo. It’s an opportunity to win a little spending money and support the Literacy Council of Highlands. On July 10 at 6:30 P.M. come out to the Highlands Community Building next door to the Ball Park on US 64 (Cashiers Highway) for Rotary Bingo.
Listen attentively and cover the spaces quickly. As a winner you can give all your funds back to support helping someone learn to read. Even if you say “I never win anything,” don’t despair. They always include at least one game of “The Biggest Loser” for folks like you. The last person to have an uncovered space on their card wins a prize. How easy is that?
Where else can you have a complete evening of fun for only $15 ($1 per card for 15 games)?
The Literacy Council offers help for youngsters who need tutoring in any subject, adults who wish to obtain their GED, and people of all ages who need to learn English as a second language.
Why not go the second mile and be a table sponsor? This opportunity is open to business owners and individuals. A one-page ad is only $50; half-page ads are $25. Make your checks payable to Highlands Rotary Club. Call the Literacy Council of Highlands at (828) 526-0863 to purchase an ad.
There’s no better way to help our area non-profits raise funds than to support their programs. Remember to stay until the end. The 15th game gives you the chance to win some serious money. Laugh a lot, share with friends, and support the Literacy Council of Highlands.

by Wiley Sloan

For the Benefit of All

The Cashiers Benefit Antiques Show, set for Friday, July 25 through Sunday, July 27, at Blue Ridge School,  delivers on the promises built over 38 years – a dazzling collection that spans continents and centuries.

The Cashiers Benefit Antiques Show, set for Friday, July 25 through Sunday, July 27, at Blue Ridge School,
delivers on the promises built over 38 years – a dazzling collection that spans continents and centuries.

Don’t miss the 38th Annual Cashiers Benefit Antiques Show Friday, July 25, through Sunday, July 27.
Sixty exhibitors from the British Isles to New England to the Deep South will bring their finest selections to delight antique shoppers.
“Our exhibition is overflowing with a huge variety of items visitors will absolutely love,” says manager Hazel Giles.
Among those items are French, English, Continental, and American furniture, decorative arts, fine linens and vintage clothing, cabin and lodge furnishings, American country, and wonderful garden antiques. Shop for the finest in silver and glass, along with European, Chinese, and Japanese porcelains. Exquisite fine boxes, bronzes, and Black Forest carvings share the stage with American and European paintings and prints, rare coins, and objects d’art. Get ready to be dazzled by lighting from France, antique and vintage jewelry, rare majolica figures, and be sure not to miss out on oriental and decorative rugs.
The show site is Blue Ridge School, 95 Bobcat Drive, just north of the crossroads of US Highway 64 and State Road 107, Cashiers. All venues are air-conditioned. Wheelchairs are available. Fressers of Highlands is the vendor of fresh food. Enjoy it under the garden dining tent.
Bring your chipped glassware for repair by renowned glass repairman Ken Robertson. Tim Buchanan and family will offer gorgeous hand-engraving on gold, silver, and pewter.
A donation of $10 is good for all three days. Save 10 percent by bringing any media ad or discount card from area stores, or request one via mail. A beautiful red/white/blue vintage quilt in the Irish Chain design will be this year’s
door prize.
Contact Hazel Giles at (828) 743-9270 for more information. Show hours are Friday and Saturday, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., and Sunday, 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Proceeds benefit the Blue Ridge School. No pets, please. Working dogs are welcome. Parking is free.

Soar Adventure Race

Highlands Mountaintop Rotary and the Special Operations Adventure Race are holding a benefit golf tournament supporting Highlands/Cashiers charities and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

Highlands Mountaintop Rotary and the Special Operations Adventure Race are holding a benefit golf tournament supporting Highlands/Cashiers charities and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

Highlands Mountaintop Rotary and the Special Operations Adventure Race are holding a benefit golf tournament at Foundation, 10:00 A.M. Monday, August 4, at Sky Valley Country Club in Sky Valley, Georgia. Cost is $150 per person. For more information, contact Bill Zoellner at (888) 489-2323 or (828) 787-2323.
Proceeds will support local charities and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
In 1980, the aborted rescue attempt of the Iranian hostages brought the heroism of America’s special forces warriors to light, having lost eight members of the newly established Delta Force in that mission.
Concerned citizens established a support system, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, for the families of all special ops soldiers who die in the line of duty. The foundation is a top-rated nonprofit organization that supports the military’s special operations forces and their families through three programs: college scholarships for the surviving children of fallen Special Operations Forces, family services, including educational and family counseling, and advocacy support, and Wounded Special Operations Forces Support, including immediate financial stipends of $3,000.
In Highlands and Cashiers, supporters have created a local chapter, the Special Operations adventure Race. Over the years, an annual adventure race and events like the Sky Valley golf tournament have raised over $550,000 for the Foundation.
Thanks to participants, sponsors, volunteers, and generous benefactors SOAR has risen to the occasion every year giving many young people the support they need to make it through difficult emotional and financial times. A college education is the legacy a fallen soldier can still give his or her child, even if he/she is not there to see it.

by Luke Osteen | Photo by Sarah Valentine

Tackling Hunger

Miracles happen every day at Fishes and Loaves.
In 2005, the founders of Fishes and Loaves had a divine idea. They were astounded to learn that one in six people in Jackson County are below the poverty line, which means a lot of families go without food.
So, a holy host of volunteers from several area churches and organizations got together to tackle the hunger problem and the results were soul-and-body satisfying. In the nine years since, the group has seen to it that the dietary needs of many of Jackson County’s hungry have been met. Last year, 2,191 households, for a total of 6,815 people, received 3,186 boxes of food. A box contains three cans each of vegetables, meat, and fruit, two cans of soup, dried beans, rice, spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and peanut butter. Special boxes are prepared for Thanksgiving and Christmas distribution. Recipients are provided food as often as twice a month.
In the winter, the Rotary Club of Cashiers teams up with Fishes and Loaves to provide free outerwear to the needy during the colder months.
Fishes and Loaves has two major fundraisers each year: The Big Ol’ Mountain Country Breakfast, which will be held Saturday, July 5, from 7:00 to 11:00 A.M. at the Cashiers Community Center, and The Empty Bowls Soup Luncheon is scheduled for Sunday, October 5, from 11:30 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. at the Zachary-Tolbert House Pavilion.
For more information about volunteering, donating, or receiving, contact Carole Stork at (828) 743-3222. Filling an empty bowl fills two hearts: the one who hungers…and yours.

Making a Difference

Spanning two days, Friday and Saturday July 11 and 12, sthe Cashiers Church of the Good Shepherd’s Annual Auctions and Bazaar has earned  a cherished place on the community’s social calendar.

Spanning two days, Friday and Saturday July 11 and 12, sthe Cashiers Church of the Good Shepherd’s Annual Auctions and Bazaar has earned a cherished place on the community’s social calendar.

Mark your calendars for the Church of the Good Shepherd’s Annual Auctions and Bazaar on July 11 and 12.
The auctions are held at the church on Friday, July 11, with the Silent Auction viewing and bidding from 4:00 to 6:15 P.M. Refreshments will be served from 5:00 to 6:15 P.M. with the Live Auction beginning at 6:30 P.M. There is a $5 admission fee.
Silent auction items feature artwork, gift certificates from local merchants for dining and golf, a handcrafted bench and table, an entire Department 56 Christmas village and much more. The Live Auction will include a stay at a three-bedroom condo in Barcelona, Spain; reservations for three couples in Los Cabos, Mexico, at the Villa Del Mar Palmilla Resort; a week on the South Carolina coast at Palmetto Bluff; a duck hunting trip in Arkansas; a stay at a Vero Beach, Florida, home; a New Orleans Jazz Brunch; a pig roast; an Asian dinner; golf outings; a luncheon cruise; a croquet dinner and game, and many other exciting items.
On Saturday, the Bazaar will be held at the Cashiers Community Center from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. Breakfast and lunch will be served from 8:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. New this year will be a free children’s craft tent and live music by Pic n Play with John Huxley, so bring the entire family for a fun-filled day. Plan to spend time rummaging through the departments upstairs and under the tents. You’ll find antiques, artwork and pottery, baskets, books, bric-a-brac, children’s items, furniture, garden and patio items, kitchenware, linens, rugs, sporting goods, and prepared foods to take home.
These are huge events with over 150 volunteers chaired by Carol Treichel and Nan Major (bazaar) and Lea Thompson and Gail Keck (auctions). Items are collected over the entire year and all proceeds go to outreach to serve the less fortunate in our community. Funds are distributed to approximately 35 agencies.

Contributed by Janie Crews

Environmental Connection

The Highlands Biological Foundation’s annual Zahner Conservation Lecture Series, a summer tradition that began in the 1930s, continues this month.
These lectures are held at 6:30 P.M. on Thursday evenings at the Highlands Nature Center (930 Horse Cove Road) and are free and open to the public. To complement some of the lectures, several mini-trips are scheduled from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. the next day, to explore the topics in more depth. Each foray is led either by staff from the Biological Station or professionals from local organizations. Additional details, including cost, will be posted at
On July 3, Travis Knowles, associate professor of biology at Francis Marion University, will lecture on his and Peter Weigl’s hypothesis on the phenomenon of grassy balds. The lecture is titled “Temperature Mountain Grasslands: A Climate-Herbivore Hypothesis for Origins and Persistence.”
The following week, on July 10, author Jay Erskine Leutze’s lecture will be derived from his popular book “Stand Up That Mountain: the Battle to Save One Small Community in the Wilderness Along the Appalachian Trail.” The Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust is sponsoring this lecture.
On July 17, Mary Pat Matheson, President and CEO of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, will lecture on “The Art and Science of the Atlanta Botanical Garden: Connecting People to Plants and Science.” Her lecture will be followed the next day, July 18, with a Garden Foray from 10:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M.
Dr. Larry Mellichamp, executive director of the UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens, will lecture on “Native Plants of the Southeast and their Garden Uses” on July 24. This lecture is inspired by his latest book “Native Plants of the Southeast.” The next day, July 25, join us for a trip to the Southern
Highlands Reserve.
On July 31, Tradd Cotter of Mushroom Mountain will present “Soul Mates for Life: Native Plants and their Fungal Partners.” There will be a fungi foray the following day.
For more information about these and other programs, visit or call (828) 526-2221.

Contributed by Michelle S. Ruigrok

Mountain Tennis Challenge

International tennis stars Andy Roddick and Jim Courier return to the Cedar Creek Racquet Club in Cashiers on Saturday, July 26,  for the second annual Mountain Challenge. There’s also an exclusive Summer Soiree set for the night before.

International tennis stars Andy Roddick and Jim Courier return to the Cedar Creek Racquet Club in Cashiers on Saturday, July 26, for the second annual Mountain Challenge. There’s also an exclusive Summer Soiree set for the night before.

“Love” means a lot of things. In tennis it means a well-played match between two fierce competitors.
In Cashiers, it means staging a tennis tournament featuring former number one tennis stars Jim Courier and Andy Roddick to benefit the new Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau. The event was so successful in 2013 that this year’s ticket sales and venue space have more than doubled in size.
On Saturday, July 26, Roddick and Courier return to bring star power to the Cedar Creek Racquet Club in Cashiers for Andy Roddick’s Mountain Challenge.
Mountain Challenge fund-raising activities begin on Friday evening, July 25, with the Summer Soiree. Guests will enjoy cocktails at a Cirque de Soiree Mountain Street Party, followed by dinner, a live auction, and entertainment by two Grammy-winning bands, The Carolina Chocolate Drops and the Steep Canyon Rangers.
Thousands of area residents and visitors are expected to attend numerous Mountain Challenge activities, including not only the Roddick/Courier center court challenge, but also preliminary matches for North Carolina’s best amateur tennis players. Winners will tackle the pros in a best two out of three set match. There is a VIP breakfast for those holding special tickets.
“By opening a Boys and Girls Club, we hope to provide many of the extracurricular activities available in large cities to the children of our rural community for a nominal membership fee,” says Boys and Girls Club board member Cheryl Benitez. “Making these activities available to our own kids will level the playing field by providing opportunities for them to discover their own gifts and abilities, thus making it possible for them to continue in higher education.”
You can buy tickets for the July 25 Friday Night Soiree and Saturday, July 26, tennis at General admission parking tickets are sold separately and shuttles run all day. Bring your friends and family to a full day of festivities.

by Luke Osteen  |  Photo by Sarah Valentine


Shear Sensations

Courtney Cunningham, Michelle Hott, Betsy Johnson, Carla Gates and Amber Hooper

Courtney Cunningham, Michelle Hott, Betsy Johnson, Carla Gates and Amber Hooper

Shear Sensations Salon has transformed the Old Community Bank Building at 93 US Highway 64 East, Chestnut Square in Cashiers, into a vibrant, cheerful setting for the ultimate hair salon and day spa.
Women and men look to talented hair stylists Betsy Johnson and Carla Gates to make them look their very best. To add to the complete salon experience you may also enjoy a manicure or pedicure with Amber Luck Hopper or Carla.
Relax with Courtney Cunningham or Michelle Hott for a customized therapeutic massage. Shear Sensations is known as “The Hub of Cashiers” conveniently located one block east of the Cashiers Crossroads. Can there be a better place to relax and reinvigorate?
“Our loyal customers rave about the new location and have referred us to all their friends,” owner Betsy Johnson says. “We all love what we do
and it shows.”
Shear Sensations is open daily Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. For those who work, late appointments are available. During the season, appointments are definitely recommended. Walk-ins are welcome when slots are available.
Shear Sensations prides itself on its peaceful, relaxing atmosphere and offers the ultimate salon experience. Each stylist and technician is specifically trained and will listen to client’s wishes before they begin their transformation. Come to Shear Sensations for a most satisfying salon experience. Call (828) 743-2900 for an appointment or just drop by.

Visualize What Can Be

Peter J. Pioli’s natural talents have been sharpened by a  lifetime of design work.

Peter J. Pioli’s natural talents have been sharpened by a  lifetime of design work.

For more than 45 years, Peter J. Pioli, ASID, has been using the skills that he learned at the prestigious Parsons School of Design. He provides his clients with beautiful custom environments in their homes, offices and businesses. Growing up with a father who was a custom furniture maker, Peter quickly realized that he had an innate ability to create.
Before being lured to the beautiful mountains of the Cashiers, Sapphire, and Toxaway, Peter applied his skills in the state of Florida where he became a Certified Designer by the state. He made his first visit to our area 35 years ago, spending weekends and vacations here. Finally he made the move and for the past 17 years has worked on a myriad of projects, both large and small.
Peter talked enthusiastically as he shared his experience.
“Throughout the years I have been involved in design for residential, commercial, hospitals, doctors offices, restaurants, and office buildings,” he says. “No job is too small or too large. Whether someone is remodeling or is building anew makes no difference. Each project must fit the client and their planned use for the space. With a remodel, I strive to ensure that the new space blends flawlessly with the original structure so that the end result is pleasing and functional.”
Be sure to stop by Peter’s new shop located at the Village Square of Sapphire Valley (3605 US 64 East, Suite B) directly across from the entrance to the Country Club of Sapphire Valley. Peter offers complete design services including custom window treatments, premium antiques and oil paintings, home accessories and accents. He can help you “visualize what can be” for the space that you are working on.
Let Peter help accentuate the style that is right for you. Call him at (828) 743-1112 or (828) 507-7257 or e-mail him at for more information.

by Wiley Sloan

You’re Bound to Love It!

Judy Brown and  Mark Petrancosta

Judy Brown and Mark Petrancosta

After doing business for 15 years in the Cashiers/Highlands area, Bound Cave’s Rugs Gallery has moved.
Owners Judy Brown and Mark Petrancosta are thrilled to invite everyone to their beautiful new store with a brand new name — Bounds Cave’s Rug Gallery, located on 107 South
in Cashiers.
Bounds Cave’s Rug Gallery is a magical grotto of stunning hand-loomed and hand-knotted rugs and carpets, every one an individual work of floor art. Bounds Cave’s Rug Gallery has expanded into a bigger, brighter, bolder showcase of handmade rugs from antique to traditional
to contemporary.
“It’s all about variety and keeping current while providing our loyal customers a wide selection of high-quality products that will endure,” Brown says.
In the off-season, Brown and Petrancosta travel extensively searching for the finest designs and most desirable acquisitions for their exceptional Cashiers inventory.
“The rug world is changing rapidly and that’s why Bounds Cave’s Rug Gallery is a homeowner’s and designer’s best friend,” says Brown. “We will help you plan and find the perfect floor covering solution for your beautiful home.”
Bounds Cave’s Rug Gallery’s expanded selection has something for everyone from the high-quality-affordable to the exclusive
high-end collectible.
“Machine produced rugs purchased in retail outlets might last a few years,” Brown says. “With reasonable care, our beautiful handcrafted rugs will last indefinitely. You might pay a little more initially, but you are saving hundreds of dollars in replacement costs over time.”
So please visit the new Bounds Cave’s Rug Gallery and see why they’re so passionate about their exceptional hand-crafted inventory and about serving their customers with the best knowledge and service in the rug world. Call them at (828) 743-5493 for more information or stop by their new location, 763 US. 107 South in Cashiers.

by Donna Rhodes

The Corner Store

Natalia Tretiakov

Natalia Tretiakov

The Corner Store at 44 Village Walk in Cashiers (behind Wells Fargo Bank) is something of a local institution.
With its wide array of eco-friendly toys and games designed to spark young imaginations, it’s a certain destination for bright youngsters (and the people who love them). They also have new lines this season, Janod and Gund. Need something from “Frozen?” They has it!
But it’d be a mistake to believe that The Corner Store is simply a
toy store.
There are Cow Baby Designs locally made by Shelly Boswell, greeting cards, jewelry, baby clothing, and “reader” sunglasses, plus more. In fact, the store is jammed with unexpected delights and one-of-kind treasures that demand a careful browse. This kaleidoscopic collection is what prompted new owner Natalia Tretiakov to jump at the chance to buy this cherished Cashiers shop.
“My family and I moved to Cashiers Area eight years ago and frequented the Corner Store often,” she explains. “My dream has always been to own a toy store so when I learned that the Cashiers landmark toy store was for sale I jumped on the opportunity to own a piece of history. My husband and I have lovingly remodeled the location and selected toys I’m positive all children will love!” Natalia’s three children attend Summit Charter, and have plenty of input on what they like best.
If you’re a first-timer to The Corner Store, Cashiers only toy store, allow yourself plenty of time to discover all the dazzlements that Natalia has assembled. It also fun to visit with a friend or a child, since the store invites giggles.
The “reader” sunglasses are so stylish that you’ll want a pair or two, even if you don’t need the magnification. When you have been looking for pill boxes, credit card cases to protect cards from theft, small tape measures or a small lady’s hammer, come to The Corner Store.
Youngsters are mesmerized by the “green” toys made from recycled resources. Large wooden school buses, dump trucks, and tea sets share the shelves with puzzles from Melissa and Doug, plus old-fashioned wooden toys like a Jacob’s ladder, marbles, dominoes and more.
When little girls are looking for costumes for dress up, the Corner Store has just what they want. Finger paints, markers, stuffed animals, children’s books, Legos and puzzles will entertain kids for hours.
You’ll love the Northern Lights candles. And Natalia offers gift wrapping,
“We are grateful for the warm welcome we’ve received – it’s fun getting to know our customers, whether they’re year-rounders or strictly summer residents, or even just travelers passing through,” says Natalia.
The Corner Store is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. For more information,
call (828) 743-6267.

Look What’s New

Jan and Bob Lemons’ The Look offers fashions and gifts that  make life in the mountains so much sweeter.

Jan and Bob Lemons’ The Look offers fashions and gifts that make life in the mountains so much sweeter.

After two years in a smaller space in Cashiers, owners Jan and Bob Lemons have moved their Boutique to a two-story cottage just north of the Cashiers Crossroads.
Behind the white picket fence across from Zoller Hardware, The Look is filled with a wide array of eye-catching tops, tunics and jackets. Add coordinating slacks, plus scarves, jewelry and handbags and you will be ready for any occasion.
Everyone enjoys clothing that offers versatility and ease of care while providing slimming, “long over lean” profile. Owner Jan Lemons has an artist’s eye and will help you accentuate your best features.
Young or old, lean or tall or vertically challenged, you will leave The Look with clothes that make you feel beautiful every day. From lines like Lior of Paris and Weavz, you will be comfortable, yet strikingly turned out. Fabrics are chosen with ease of care in mind. Enjoy the “no-iron, dip & drip” fashions that simplify your life. Accentuate your look with that special necklace or bracelet; throw in a scarf and the perfect colorful handbag. You are now ready for a leisurely lunch or that favorite garden party or a Board meeting in the city. Quality at reasonable prices means you’ll have more fun shopping at The Look!
The Look’s gift lines make it easy for you to find that perfect remembrance for any occasion. Something for a friend and something for you. Lotions, readers, and so much more. Tell your man to stop in and let Jan and Bob help him find a gift that will get him rave reviews (gift wrap is always included).
The Lemons are excited about their new line of summer gauzy linen — a crisp, fresh look perfect for the mountains or the beach. Friday afternoon Happy Hour makes shopping a special treat. Call them at (828) 200-9572 or go to for more information.

by Wiley Sloan

Heaven Has Another Angel

Sweet Miracle’s life was a gift to everyone he encountered.

Sweet Miracle’s life was a gift to everyone he encountered.

Carpe Diem Farms has sadly added another angel to heaven. Our incredible Miracle lay down, went to sleep and died.
Each creature that has graced my life has held a special place in my heart. Miracle was, without a doubt, the most remarkable.
Born blind and deaf, I adopted him at 10 months old. He arrived from Alabama, full of life, awkward and most loveable. Miracle’s infirmities never impaired him. He loved life with every fiber of his being, greeted all he met with joyful enthusiasm, asked for what he wanted and showed his love and appreciation with sweet gentle kisses. He risked life every day as he, on a leash, led us on long walks around the farm. His keen sense of the energy field around him kept him from running into things, he navigated stairs with careful abandon. He ran with his head held high, dragging me behind!
Like “Tuesday’s With Morrie,” Miracle had an enormous wealth of lessons to share and teach. In his life of joy at every waking moment and his death without warning, he simply lived one moment at a time, took his last breath and was no more.
This is It, today, this moment in life is not a dress rehearsal!
More Miracle Man Lessons: Stop more often to appreciate all there is… people, animals, birds; the place; Say thank you for the gift of life, this breath; The trees, flowers, water…see it all, hear it all. Miracle could not and yet he “found” everyone who entered his space and shared his joy and gratitude…may I remember those gifts, those lessons, every day when I awaken and while I still have breath.
You were an amazing spirit in a little body, thank you my Miracle Man for sharing these 11 years with me. I will love you always.

Contributed by Sue Blair, Carpe Diem Farms Executive Director

Grand Location, Beautiful View





home-of-distinction-highlands-nc-fiveEnjoy views of Whiteside Mountain as the decade-old trees sway gently in the cool breezes high atop Cowee Ridge (elevation 4,500). You sip a relaxing cup of coffee as morning’s dew shimmers across the expansive lawn. A short golf cart ride leads to the fairways of Wildcat Cliffs Country Club. Oh, so relaxing and invigorating.
A level entry via the covered porte cochere provides easy access to the home’s Great Room with its wall of glass that frames the distant mountain vistas. There can be no better place for your family to gather than in front of the tall stone fireplace reaching high into the vaulted ceiling. The open floor plan ensures that you are never far from the action whether you are puttering in the kitchen preparing another gourmet meal or you enjoying nature’s beauty from the broad deck that traverses the length of the house. Gather around the game table to complete that family scrapbook or to show your prowess at a card or board game. Revel in the memories built around the large family dining table as you share the joys of the day.
Relax and reinvigorate in the expansive master bedroom suite with its dual closets and large master bath. Snuggle into an easy chair with your favorite book or track the stars from your corner of the deck. You are in charge here; make the best of it.
Your guests enjoy their own slice of paradise in two guest suites on the other side of the house. Each room provides an ensuite bath and closets galore. Grandchildren will clamor for their own private space on this home’s terrace level. The media room is large enough for a big screen TV and a billiard or ping-pong table plus enough seating to corral your son’s soccer team. The room’s kitchenette means that snacks and beverages are close at hand for every occasion. Exit via the glass doors to the gently-rolling yard and the beauty of nature. The two-car garage provides easy access in inclement weather along with storage.
When the sandman calls, mosey on into the huge bedroom with its own private bath. Whether it is filled with bunk beds for the kids or is furnished as a suite for the in-laws, this space just begs to fill your family’s needs.
Let your creative skills personalize this home to your family’s style. The two-acre lawn beckons children to play while being surrounded by nature’s beauty. You enjoy the home’s flexibility and easy livability. The convenient location equi-distant between Highlands and Cashiers in a community setting with paved roads and community water simplifies your life with very reasonable HOA dues. All this for less than $600,000-can you ask for more? Good location, ease of maintenance, moderate price, community setting? Your mountain dream home waits. For more information on this home or other area homes contact Tammy Mobley of Highlands NC Realty at (828) 524-5420.

by Wiley Sloan

A Fairy Tale








wedding-bascom-highlands-nc-elevenLife rarely goes the way we want, but for Kendall and Patrick Schnidler it is truly a fairy tale.
Kendall and Patrick both attended the University of Georgia, crossing paths in a geography class and a great friendship was born.
After dating seven years, Patrick proposed on a family vacation in Mustique.
Kendall knew precisely the exact feel she wanted for her wedding. As a designer, it was important to her that the wedding reflected her personality.
The couple had no doubt about where they wanted to get married. They had made many happy memories at Kendall’s parents’ home in Highlands. The picturesque property was complete with a beautiful mountain vista, rhododendron arbor where cocktails could be served, and the sun would set directly behind them the couple during the ceremony.
Kendall allowed her mother Dian to handle most of the details and they enlisted the help of Elizabeth Fletcher with I Do Events to help plan their beautiful May event.
“Nobody knows Highlands and Atlanta better than Elizabeth,” says Kendall, “so she was responsible for coordinating all the details and heading up the entire team. I really feel so lucky to have had her on board.”
Kendall was inundated with work demands and relied heavily on her mother to collaborate with Elizabeth. Not one detail was forgotten and the date was set for May 27, 2012, Memorial Day weekend.
The save-the-date announcement set the stage for the event. Guests received old-school view finders that displayed 3D pictures of Patrick and Kendall on the rocks where he proposed, along with details for the wedding.
The weekend began with a welcome party at Springhouse at Old Edwards Inn. Kendall’s grandparents had a home in Ireland for 25 years, and they were thrilled to find that Old Edwards Inn had an Irishman who personally made authentic Irish coffee for the guests, while two of Kendall’s nieces performed Irish dances.
The next day kicked off with a picnic on a private property on Lake Glenville. Guests were transported to the lake in buses and upon arriving were greeted with an array of water sports. Boats were available for skiing and tubing and there was a bluegrass band for entertainment.
That evening, the rehearsal dinner was held at The Bascom. The Coleman /Winingder family had graciously donated the covered bridge to The Bascom and had strong ties to the venue. An Ibiza Food Truck was brought in for the night and Kendall and Patrick each had their own menu, since Kendall is a vegetarian.
After the rehearsal dinner, guests attended a Wigged Out Party at Highlands Smokehouse. If you didn’t bring your wig, no worries, there were wigs and mustaches for all.
The next day the sun was shining and the temperature was perfect for an outdoor wedding. The ceremony began with a gospel choir from New Orleans, which serenaded the guests while leading the bridal party down the aisle. The bridal party included 10 family bridesmaids, seven flower girls, all of Kendall’s nieces and nephews, as well as two of her rescue dogs. Vows were exchanged with a dramatic sunset flaring over the mountains.
After the ceremony, guests gathered for cocktails and appetizers in the rhododendron arbor. The arbor was draped with hanging candles and over 10,000 white lights by Urban Earth Design Studios from New Orleans, the floral designer chosen for the wedding.
A candlelit path led to a sparkling clear-topped tent for dinner, with custom wood chandeliers and white fabric draping. The evening’s menu featured tomato soup sips with grilled cheese garnish, fried catfish bites with caper berry remoulade, miniature tacos with crispy tuna and jicama slaw, along with stations of tenderloin of beef, lamb chops, sockeye salmon and, of course, shrimp and sausage over three-cheese grits. The caterer, Sun In My Belly, also had a connection to New Orleans and created a menu that reflected the cuisine of New Orleans, Kendall’s hometown. Guests were surprised with Café Du Monde coffee and miniature beignets in small brown paper bags as late night snacks. Of course, the beignets were passed by waiters wearing the Café Du Monde hats.
Kendall and Patrick drove away in an English-made Morgan and guests left on golf carts through the candlelit rhododendron grove. After a honeymoon at the Four Seasons in Thailand, the couple resides in New Orleans, where they have been blessed with a beautiful baby boy.

Contributed by Elizabeth Fletcher, I Do Events
Photos by Vue Photography

Hope for the American Chestnut



The majestic American chestnut, felled by blight nearly a century ago, continues to send up shoots from the Southern Appalachian forest floor.

The majestic American chestnut, felled by blight nearly a century ago, continues to send up shoots from the Southern Appalachian forest floor.

A century ago the forests around Cashiers and Highlands would have been filled with chestnut blossoms this time of year. American chestnut (Castanea dentata) trees made up a quarter of Southern Appalachia’s hardwoods. It is difficult to imagine the degree to which the species once dominated the area landscape. Individual trees regularly grew to over 100 feet in height, and the largest known example ever documented in the country was measured at over 17 feet in diameter (not circumference, diameter!) in nearby Haywood County. Mountain children gathered chestnuts in the fall to sell for clothes and shoe money, and hogs were let loose to fatten themselves on chestnut mast prior to slaughter.

In the early 20th century a devastating condition known as chestnut blight began to be seen among stands of American chestnut in the Northeast. Chestnut blight was eventually determined to be a fungal infection of the tree’s bark. It does its damage by initially creating a “girdle” of dead bark, a condition that quickly leads to the death of all parts of the tree above that ring. By the 1930s the blight had taken its toll on the American chestnut stands on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. Their niche in the local forest ecology began to be filled by a variety of oaks, and area woods slowly began to take on their current look.

Because the fungus leads to damage above the point of infection but not below, it does not directly effect the root systems of infected trees. The American chestnut population of the Appalachians still numbers in the hundreds of thousands. This population exists almost exclusively in the form of large stumps and the living root systems anchoring them. The largest of the trees stored so much energy in their root systems prior to the arrival of the fungus that they continue to regularly send up fresh sprouts. At times the sprouts mature enough to begin producing flowers and nuts. They rarely produce more than a couple of season’s worth of crops before the bark of the saplings is reinfected by the blight fungus, which survives otherwise out of sight and out of mind in northern red oak trees without causing any harm to that species. A few large individual American chestnuts do continue to exist, along with a few stands of the tree. The American Chestnut Foundation cooperates with private and public agencies in efforts to ensure the continued existence of the species.

Contributed by Matthew T. Bradley |

Golf for the Rest of Us

Contributed by Amanda Sullivan Travel and Adventure Writer

Amanda Sullivan and Jordan Keener

So what’s the big appeal? Why do second-home owners flock from all over the Southeast and beyond to spend long summer days on the golf courses of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau?
The good news is you don’t have to live in a golf community to find out. Of more than 15 golf courses on the Plateau, a few are open to the public, including Sky Valley, High Hampton and Sapphire National.
You can get a bucket of balls with use of a club or two for around $5, and head out to the putting green or driving range to discover your sweet spot. You can also take a lesson for as little as $55 per hour (cost varies by club). Even one hour of professional instruction can make a surprising improvement in your results, which is when the adrenaline and endorphins kick in and suddenly you get why this sport is so addictive.
I spent my hour of instruction with Jordan Kenter, Director of Golf for Old Edwards Club. And we started on the driving range.
At Home on the Range
My first — and ultimately favorite — bit of advice from Jordan was to get out of my head.
“When you get ready to swing, you’ll have some natural inclinations that feel comfortable for you, whether it’s because you’ve played a sport before or just based on the way your body is built and moves,” he said. “So start with what feels right. Get comfortable with it. Then we can look at what needs to be tweaked to create your own effective signature swing.”
When it came time to tweak, Jordan gave me some highly effective tips and then showed me a video of me hitting the ball, which was playing on a nearby monitor. This made it easy to see why straightening my back leg (the one away from the course) during my backswing was bobbing my posture out of alignment and throwing off my swing. My next time up at the tee, I lobbed a beauty into the air that landed exactly where I was aiming. I decided to end on that high note and head for the putting green.
Putt-Putt for Grown Ups
My aim is pretty good. So for me, the main trick in putting was to get the ball to roll the correct distance to the hole without it zipping past or stopping way short.
A cool trick I learned is to start practicing two feet from the hole and hit a few balls in. Then go out another foot and do the same, and continue with this progression.
Before I tried this, I was whacking the ball past the hole. This technique gave me a better feel for it and quickly rewarded me with that satisfying “cluk-cluk” of the ball dropping into the hole.
From my brief experience, it seems that golf is a lot like life: It can be quite enjoyable if you just flow with it, have fun, and don’t take yourself too seriously.

Contributed by Amanda Sullivan Travel and Adventure Writer |

A Sensorial Flair

Star of the Bar Nicolle Kenyon

Star of the Bar Nicolle Kenyon

Combine 2 oz. vodka and 1/2 oz. triplesec

Combine 2 oz. vodka and 1/2 oz. triplesec

Add 1/2 oz. or splash of  cranberry juice

Add 1/2 oz. or splash of cranberry juice

Muddle fresh cucumber and fresh thyme; shake with fresh lime; pour into a martini glass.

Muddle fresh cucumber and fresh thyme; shake with fresh lime; pour into a martini glass.

The Cucumber Thyme Martini.

The Cucumber Thyme Martini.

Nicolle Kenyon loves people, she adores working in hospitality (having done it her whole life), and she has an artistic, sensorial flair for creating cocktails that are both beautiful and delicious. Put all that together and you have the makings of this month’s Star of the Bar.
Nicolle has been tending bar for 10 years. Most of that time was spent in fine restaurants and bars in Orlando, Florida. But for the past two years she has been happily ensconced at Mica’s Restaurant and Pub in Sapphire Valley where her husband, Rob, is restaurant manager.
Nicolle says, “I love meeting new people. We have visitors here from all over the world. I have cultivated friendships and relationships with all kinds of interesting folks. In fact, while working in Orlando, Mica’s owner came in. We struck up a conversation. He said he needed to jazz things up a bit and was looking for help. My husband and I discussed it, came up to visit, fell in love with the place, and Voila! Here we are!”
Nicolle’s passion for her work is infectious. It’s no wonder she and her husband were snapped up as new staff on the Mica’s team. And her influence has turned the Pub into a popular gathering place for izing, not to mention enjoying her delicious drinks and cocktails.
She says, “I have a passion for using newly-picked fruit, hand-squeezed juices and fresh herbs in my recipes. I love to see people’s faces light up as they taste fresh herb- or fruit-infused drinks. That’s one of the joys of bartending for me.”
Nicolle has put together a new seasonal drink list for spring and summer. Come in and try Mica’s signature specials including Nicolle’s own creation, Cucumber Thyme Martini.
Visit Nicolle at Mica’s Restaurant and Pub, 4000 U.S. Highway 64 east, Sapphire Valley, North Carolina, 28774, (828) 743-5740. You can also visit Mica’s on Facebook to find out the latest restaurant and
pub presentations.

Slabtown Pizza

With a deep respect for the intricacies of New York Style Pizza and an  irrepressible creative streak, the artisans of Slab Town Pizza have  created an unforgettable menu of wonders.

With a deep respect for the intricacies of New York Style Pizza and an irrepressible creative streak, the artisans of Slab Town Pizza have created an unforgettable menu of wonders.

The Peterkin family and Cornucopia have had a 36-year-long love affair with the Cashiers area and are always thinking of new ways to share their passion for delicious food.
When Randy Brown and John Caddell met up with Brien Peterkin Jr. in culinary school, little did they know they were on a journey that not only would lead to a great friendship, but also to Cashiers – and a family affair that makes fabulous food a way of life.
Slab Town Pizza is the next step in that journey.
A collaborative, creative effort, Slab Town Pizza offers a fresh take on old-fashioned pizza making. The dough is house-made, stretched by hand and loaded with the freshest toppings, many of which are local, farm-to-table or house-made. You’ll find your all-time pizza favorites, but watch out — the specialty pizzas offer creative combinations that will have you planning your next visit before you’re out the door. “The Verdure,” a Roasted Eggplant, Grilled Zucchini, Roasted Red Peppers, Goat Cheese, Oregano and Olive Oil pizza makes even meat lovers happy, while “The Duke” packs a punch with Italian Sausage, House-Made Meatballs, Pancetta, Ricotta, Oregano, Grande Mozzarella, Chili Flakes and “Sunday Gravy” (imagine the meatiest, Parmesan-est, tomato-ey sauce… if bliss was a sauce, this would be it).
As if all that goodness isn’t enough, you can’t pass up the appetizers or desserts. We’ve been told the Arancini — deep-fried braised pork, beef and risotto balls with Sunday Gravy; and the Budino — butterscotch custard, Nutella and whipped cream — will change your life.
The Peterkin family and the STP staff invite you to come experience a whole new slice of life. Slab Town Pizza is open year-round, hours vary by season, please call (828) 743-0020 or visit for more information.


Contributed by Krysti Henderson


Cornucopia Restaurant



cornucopia-restaurant-cashiers-nc-oneIf history is destiny, you couldn’t make a better case than Cornucopia Restaurant, Cashiers’ de facto front porch for the last 122 years.
In its earliest days, this venerable Cashiers landmark served as a general store that allowed local farmers to water their livestock at the adjoining creek on their way to Asheville or Sylva. It’s no stretch of the imagination to see weary travelers sharing a cool drink, a bite to eat and a bit of local gossip as they waited for their cattle.
Over the next century, this American Chestnut and English Poplar building has seen duty as a school, post office, home and tack shop for men with names like Wimp Davis and Ske Dick and Uncle Bubba Bryson, the sorts of indelible names that have all but vanished from the American landscape.
For the last 36 years, it’s been Cornucopia, and sure enough, people still gather to relax, share a meal and a cool drink and, inevitably, exchange a bit of local gossip.
On the evening I visited, the broad dining room with its sun-dappled tables and gentle breeze didn’t feel too far removed from those long-ago days. It says something about the remarkable durability of chestnut that this room still maintains the quiet dignity imparted by those boards that make up the siding. This place is an easy-going delight, offering a wonderful menu in a nostalgic setting.
I arrived with a plan – a meal of starters and salads, the perfect complement to a lazy Saturday night.
First up were the extraordinary South Carolina Buffalo Quail Breast Sliders.
Let me start off by saying that I have lots of friends from South Carolina. There are plenty of Osteens who live in The Palmetto State, including nationally-recognized Chef Louis Osteen who makes his home in Charleston.
There’s no way that state can claim this dish. These sliders were created by a chef who understood nuance and the power of subtle seasoning, qualities that I don’t associate with our Neighbor to the South. Let’s say there was an element of playfulness about them, too. Calling these delicacies “sliders” evokes images of a dozen Krysta Burgers or White Castles stuffed in a greasy sack. These are sliders of a different order.
OK, I guess a state that produced Chubby Checker could have given us this, but I’m not convinced.
Next, I tried the Mixed Green Salad. Again, this languid restaurant confounded expectations. The humble green salad is elevated to something wholly extraordinary when constructed under owners Brien and Sallie Peterkin’s steadfast commitment to locally-grown produce and artisanal foods. Baby heirloom tomatoes, toasted almonds, goat cheese, grapes and fresh strawberries were drizzled with a honey-lime-thyme vinaigrette.
Cornucopia salad maker Patricia McCall, if you’re reading this sitting down, please stand up and take a bow. Go on, take another. You deserve it.
And here’s where my plan went off the rails – my server Natalie, who shined like a penny throughout my visit, talked me into ditching my starters and salads scheme.
I really needed to try her favorite item on the menu, she said – the Buttermilk Fried Tanglewood Farms Chicken Breast.
I’d been so dazzled by my choices so far, I realized it’d be the acme of foolishness to ignore what this wise woman was telling me.
Oh my. The chicken recalled something your Grandmother would make for Sunday Supper. But it was served amidst a cloud of boursin-whipped Yukon potatoes, and julienned green beans and young carrots enrobed in white truffle honey butter. This is the sort of dish that years from now, you’ll wake up in the middle of the night and recall in all its glory. You won’t be able to go back to sleep.
I’m glad my Grandmother never tried this. It would have broken her spirit.
Cornucopia is located on Highway 107 South in Cashiers, just south of the Crossroads. Call for reservations for lunch and dinner (828) 743-3750.
I suppose you could still bring your livestock for watering, but it’s probably a good idea to leave the cattle at home.

by Luke Osteen

Old Masters Speak Through Her




featurefiveThis month’s feature artist interview is with the classically trained painter and published author Cynthia Cochran Kinard.
Question: You knew you were destined to be an artist by age eight. Was there a specific event or epiphany that convinced you art was your calling?
Answer: I was showing a definite talent and affinity for art by age eight. Though I had varied interests through the years, art always remained at the forefront. My teachers and parents fostered this interest. There was no specific event – the calling was just always there.
Q. How did your connection to your father nurture your love of art?
A. My father was and has always been my favorite person. He knew instinctively that my love for art was much more than a passing interest. Through the years he brought me a wealth of art supplies: clay for sculpting, paint brushes, pigments, art papers, all kinds of drawing pencils and classical music to work by. But the best gift of all was a beautifully illustrated book, “The Life and Times of Rembrandt.” The moment I turned the first page I was hooked on the Old Masters. He also supplied me with objects for our still life painting setups while I was earning my degree in art. He landed me my first commissions and avidly supported my work in any way he could until his death. He was also very photogenic and a wonderful
model for me.
Q. How would you describe your style? And your process?
A. I am academically trained. I adhere to the strict discipline of realistic likenesses. My education began with intensive classical drawing instruction in the Barque method and progressed to drawing plaster casts. That advanced and honed my ability to understand form and mass. I studied under the third ranked portrait artist in the world, Michael John Angel, in Florence, Italy. He had apprenticed with the artist of the century in Italy, Pietro Annigoni. I settled upon the procedures in oil painting of the 16th and 17th century Old Masters, and that is the process I use now. Of all the works I do, portraiture is by far my favorite.
Q. What is your most fluid, literally and figuratively, medium?
A. Oils. For me, so much more can be achieved utilizing this medium. Its permanence is unsurpassed. Plus the smell of it in my studio is exciting. It makes me want to work.
Q. How can those interested in your work contact you?
A. I may be reached by phone at (828) 524-9454 or by email at My work may be viewed online at I have pieces on exhibit at the The Highlands Gallery in Highlands and the gallery, Tsartistry between Highlands and Franklin on Highway 64. You can visit my own studio at the new Macon County Heritage Center at the Historic Cowee School in Franklin on Highway 28. I also welcome portrait commissions.

by Donna Rhodes

When Tech and Art Collide







cover-cheyenne-falls-cashiers-highlandsWhen asked how he got into photography, Todd Ransom answered, “The Universe opened the door, and I walked through it.” And walk through it he did…literally. He’s a longtime hiker and backpacker, and for a while, a rock climber. A few years ago, as he was scaling a mountain, he had an epiphany. “As I climbed, looking at the beauty of nature below me, I realized that some day I would get old and wish I had a visual record of my travels. Next thing I knew I was lugging around a camera. From then on shooting landscapes, animals, flowers, and trees became the focus of my life.”
Ransom is one of those lucky people who has an active left and right brain, giving him skills in art as well as logic and math. When he is not shooting beautiful photos, he is programming computers and designing apps. He says, “I have been in tech for about 20 years. I grew up in Atlanta and got into tech there. I always liked computers. When these two worlds collided, tech and art, I worked it to my advantage.”
One of his latest creations is a phone app, which maps out Western Carolina hiking trails complete with Global Positioning System coordinates. It is available at
Add to his app a newly published book filled with photos of one of his favorite places on the planet, Panthertown. It is entitled “Waterfalls of Panthertown Valley” and is available at Ransom says, “Shooting the falls and creating the book has connected me with the community of Panthertown. I feel a kinship to the locals who are interested in the same things I am: photography, nature, regional history, and conservation.”
Ransom prides himself in his artistic interpretation of what he sees. When he digitally alters a photo he makes sure it is appropriate to the locale and true to nature. As a supporter of Friends of Panthertown Valley, he uses his photos to help promote the conservation effort.
To learn more about his projects and publications visit his website at Or go to Facebook at

by Donna Rhodes

Acorns Summer Fashion Show

sally-jefferson-acorns-fashion-show-highlandsAcorn Boutique’s Sally Jefferson enjoys a reputation as the go-to person for chic, effortless styling as well as impeccably appropriate gift selection.
Sally has a knack for zeroing in on your preferences and body style and pulling together a fashionable look with colors, fabrics, apparel and accessories to help elevate your look while allowing you to remain true to comfort…and yourself.
She recently returned from the annual Atlanta Apparel Mart just in time to select the outfits and accessories for Acorns 2014 Champagne Fashion Show Luncheon, from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. Tuesday, June 17, at The Old Edwards Farm Pavilion. Cost is $55 per person plus tax and gratuity.
Here is sneak peak at what’s hot this season, and what you can expect to see at the Fashion Show: Vivid Florals and Whimsical Prints; Geometric Prints; Stripes; Classic Designs from the 60s and Avant-Garde Designs; Colorful Soft Leather and Faux Leather Handbags (the clutch is a favorite); Big Bold Statement Jewelry; Icy Pastels; Black and White; Bright Spring/Summer Colors and Neutral Linen Pieces (orange is a favorite for summer and continues into fall); Tissue-Thin Tops; Trousers from Über Skinny to Ultra Flared; Shoes with Kitten Heels.
Acorn’s fashion show begins with a complimentary glass of champagne and passed hors d’oeuvres upon arrival. A three-course lunch and cash wine bar will follow. Models will sashay through the audience wearing the latest styles, perfectly accessorized with scarves, bags and jewelry.
Southern Style Icon James Farmer will be there signing his latest book, “Dinner on the Grounds.” Farmer has catapulted to style stardom with his best-selling books, “A Time To Plant,” “Sip & Savor,” “Porch Liviing,” “Wreaths For All Seasons,” “A Time to Cook,” and “Dinner on the Grounds.”
Also, the stylists from The Salon at Old Edwards will be demonstrating makeup techniques for popular spring looks.
Guests of the Fashion Show can continue with their champagne shopping at Acorns the day of the show with a 10 percent discount, which is valid for the entire week of the show.
For more information and reservations, call (828) 787-2625.