Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

An old fire tower and cabin used by the Forest Service that once stood at the summit of Satulah.

An old fire tower and cabin used by the Forest Service that once stood at the summit of Satulah.

Before there were satellites, radar, and cell phones, people in heavily forested regions had to rely on the eagle eyes of diligent folks feverishly looking over the mountains for signs of fire. Fire towers once served a vital role in protecting people’s homes and farms from becoming ashes. However, as the years progressed and technologies improved, many fire towers became obsolete and their importance was lost. Sadly, most of the fire towers that once dotted the mountaintops of our region are gone, while others wallow in disrepair. However, a few still exist today and reward those who visit with some of the most amazing 360 degree views of our beloved mountains.
On August 27 and August 30, the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust is proud to host Peter Barr, a colleague of ours from the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and an expert on the fire towers of the North Carolina mountains. Peter will give a talk at the Village Nature Series at 7:00 P.M. on August 27, and help lead a hike to the Yellow Mountain tower on August 30. Peter has hiked to every fire tower and former fire tower location in North Carolina, is a member of the Forest Fire Lookout Association, and literally wrote the book, “Hiking North Carolina’s Lookout Towers,” on hiking the fire towers of North Carolina. He has researched and spoken to people who formerly worked in many of these towers and is one of the leading experts on the history of fire towers in the Southern Appalachians. Join HCLT as we listen to Peter tell his stories and the stories of those he has interviewed, and learn about the rich history of fire towers in our region.  To register for the Fire Tower Eco Tour, learn more about our Village Nature Series program, or learn how the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust protects places we all love and cherish, please contact us at (828) 526-1111 or visit us on the web at www.hicashlt.org.

Contributed by Julie Schott

Mountaintop Rotary

Can you imagine life without clean drinking water?
This is what life was like in Villa Amboro, Bolivia, a remote village located in Amboro National Park, with no electricity that had no modern filtration system for clean water…until now.
Supported by an International Rotary Grant, some members of The Rotary Club of Highlands Mountaintop, along with other dedicated volunteers in Highlands, made a trip there in May, to install a water pump and filtration system,. They also educated the local community on how to maintain the system and how it can provide clean water for drinking, preparing and cooking food, teeth brushing, bathing and caring for infants for 47 families in Villa Amboro, with the potential to help up to 130  families in the area.
The Rotary Club of Highlands Mountaintop is providing advice, maintenance and support for at least three years to give the villagers time to build a small fund for system maintenance by selling water at less than market rates to other communities in the area.
Immediate Past President Skip Taylor said, “We came away with a great sense of accomplishment, knowing that the people of Villa Amboro will now have access to clean water. But we also came away knowing that so much more could be done to improve the health and sanitation of the village.”
2013-14 President Hillrie Quin, who coordinated material delivery, said, “The Rotary motto is, ‘Service Above Self.’ Serving does not mean doing for someone what they can do for themselves, it means truly partnering with the community with all partners contributing what they can.”
Highlands Mountaintop Rotarians involved were Skip Taylor, Hillrie Quin, Dr. John Baumrucker, Rev Dr. Lee Bowman, and Ann Greenlee.  Non-Rotarians who contributed were Marty Boone, Joe Mangum, Eva Montano, Ebert Montano, Mary Ann Sloan and Willis Willey. German Landivar from the Rotary Club of Montero, Bolivia, also worked with the group on several occasions.
For trip details, visit mountaintoprotary.blogspot.com or to learn more about Rotary, visit mountaintoprotary.net.

Contributed by Merritt N. Shaw

Dealing with Inflammation

Contributed by  Dr. Sue Aery,  Aery Chiropractic  & Acupuncture   (828) 526-1022

Contributed by Dr. Sue Aery,
Aery Chiropractic
& Acupuncture
(828) 526-1022

Inflammation can be both good and bad in the body. When you cut your finger or get a blister, inflammation is the body’s response to the injury. This process of healing involves inflammation in a good way. The immune system responds by sending new cells to help heal the site as well as to clean up the site and fight infection.
Inflammation can be damaging and cause major illness and disease when it gets out of control and starts to take over the whole body. Many diseases include inflammation as a symptom, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, asthma and cardiac disease. These types of inflammation can be very painful and debilitating and can lead to
tissue damage.
The inflammation process begins with the immune system and specialized cells that react and respond to some event in the body that has gone awry. Think of a cut that bleeds and then scabs over. We can actually watch the transition of acute injury to healing. The raised tissue represents scarring and continued inflammation until the scar is strong enough to recede and then disappear. Sometimes a stubborn scar will remain raised for a long time.
While inflammation can sometimes be helpful, it becomes harmful when the body can’t handle it.  Infection, a virus, or an overactive immune system that continues to feed a situation can lead to a chronic inflammatory situation, which can then develop into disease such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes
and others.
Natural healing is a great approach to inflammation and injury because it implements a delicate balance between what the body does naturally and the facilitation of this process through a variety of modalities and treatments. Examples of natural healing that deal with inflammation are acupuncture, cryotherapy, ultrasound, muscle stimulation and many anti-inflammatory nutritional aids. Whether you have an acute injury or chronic inflammation, it is well worth the time to discover natural healing practices to enhance what the body does best- Heal!

Felines, Whoa-whoa-whoa, Felines

For a recently retired person, my hat rack is full. I wear the teacher’s hat, the artist’s hat, the musician’s hat, the writer’s hat, the grandmother’s hat, the chocolate-chip-cookies-dipped-in-chocolate-maker’s hat, but the hat I wear today, sitting atop my writer’s chapeau is my folk artist’s beret. There it incubates a fevered brain while it conjures up its next artistic adventure: Cats.
Why cats, when one doesn’t even own me? As a seasoned dumpster-diver, I recently scavenged a doll that had a music box inside. The tune? “Feelings,” possibly the most dreadful song of all time. It’s been Wiki’d more than once, with quotes such as, “Feelings appears frequently on lists of ‘the worst songs ever’ and was included on the 1998 Rhino Records compilation album ‘70s Party Killers.”  If you need further proof, Julie Andrews refused to sing it because she couldn’t figure out what it meant.
But if folk art is about re-using and re-purposing, then those principles can be applied to music as well. So I have up-cycled “Feelings: to accompany my next cat creation, Felines. Here is the re-write. Imagine it to the tune of the original mew-sic:
Felines, look at all the felines
Climbing on the curtains, tumblin’ down the stairs.
Cat fur, flying in the kitchen.
With fleas I am a itchin’. Dead mouse in my hair.
Felines, my house is full of felines.
Scratches on the tables, hairballs on the chairs.
Felines, me-ow-ow felines,
Me-ow-ow, felines. I’m living in a lair.
Felines, felines tuning into Twitter
Say they’re gonna have a litter.
It’s a growing hemorrhoid.
Felines, life is helter skelter.
I’d leave them at the shelter,
But I’m too purranoid.
Repeat and fade . . .
So there it is. The latest news from Cat-atonia.  If you are a cat lover and this has put you in a bad mewd, I meant no harm. Let’s hiss and make up. Truth is, I love a purrade. It’s true, no kitten.
by Donna Rhodes

Alleviating Piriformis Syndrome

Contributed by Jim Johnson, DC, DACBN & Resa Johnson, DC, DACBN, Mountain Air Wellness (828) 743-9070

Contributed by Jim Johnson, DC, DACBN & Resa Johnson, DC, DACBN, Mountain Air Wellness
(828) 743-9070

You suffer from pain in the butt, actually in the area of your buttocks. Often you experience pain and/or tingling in your groin, hip and legs. You even have shooting pain from the back down your legs. You consider yourself active, mindful of a healthful diet and an advocate of your overall health condition. Why does butt pain occur and how can you take action and alleviate this bothersome pain that ultimately inhibits your enjoyment of daily activities?
Many of us sit and drive or engage in activities where we stand for long periods of time during the summer months. Some of us have been in the midst of a tennis game, in the garden, on the hiking trails, in a canoe or at a ballgame and suddenly the agonizing pain in the butt manifests. Your first inclination may be to begin stretching exercises and massage sessions. Note that incorrect stretching, muscle manipulation, and even improperly administered massage for the person with piriformis syndrome can exacerbate the condition causing more harm and pain.
The first step in alleviating piriformis syndrome – butt pain – is to make an appointment with your chiropractic physician who has the specialized training and experience to properly diagnose and treat your pain in the butt. Correct diagnosis with tests that rule out compression/irritation of spinal nerve roots from a herniated disk is the first step to relief from pain. A complete medical history and a blood work-up will also rule out other diseases and syndromes so a proper, personalized treatment and therapy plan can begin. Your chiropractic physician, in partnership with you, will use the tests’ findings to set up a treatment and therapy plan so you can get total relief from the pain and tingling in your buttocks, groin, hip, and legs. Approaching the relief of pain from piriformis syndrome by integrating the art and science of chiropractic, exercise, nutrition, and supplements has been hugely successful for complete pain relief.

Recapping an Ireland Golf Trip


I had a wonderful golf trip to Ireland this June.
We visited both Northern Ireland and Southwest Ireland. The weather was fantastic with temps ranging from 65 to 70 degrees every day with just a bit of mist a couple of days and light to moderate breezes.
If you’re not aware, Ireland is composed of two countries – Northern Ireland is part of the U.K. with Queen Elizabeth as monarch and is on the British Pound. The Southern part – The Republic of Ireland, is entirely on its own and uses the Euro.
We played golf on the best links courses in both countries. Southwest  had Ballybunion, Lahinch, Waterville, Dooks, Old Head and Tralee. In the North and East, there were Royal Portrush, Portstewart, Ballyliffin, Castlerock, Royal County Down, County Louth and Portmarnock. This is the best of Irish golf for sure.
We traveled in a beautiful luxury Mercedes coach with great Irish drivers. The coach makes it so much more convenient. If you have ever driven in Ireland you know what I mean. All of my tours from four to 16 people now use coaches.
We had a lot of great weather, golf, fish and chips and Guinness.
I can’t wait to go back. Please join me.

Contributed by Tom Chillemi, Tom’s Golf Tours, tnchillemi@windstream.net

Lindenwood Lake in Highlands NC

The Carnivorous Pitcher Plant, fournd near the edge of Lindenwood Lake.

The Carnivorous Pitcher Plant, fournd near the edge
of Lindenwood Lake.

Lindenwood Lake, also known as Ravenel Lake and Stewarts Pond, is a small reservoir created by the impoundment of Mill Creek. The lake is ringed by easy to walk trails to allow visitors to observe its unique wetland environment.

Located just three-quarters of a mile from downtown Highlands, a short jaunt to Lindenwood offers a nice break when the sidewalks and shops get crowded. To walk to Lindenwood from town, begin at the Episcopal Church and head up Fifth Street for a third of a mile. Take a right onto Chestnut Street, then continue for a short distance after Chestnut becomes Lower Lake Road. You will find a turn-off with parking space for a couple of vehicles on your right. Begin your circle of the lake by heading down through the small meadow towards the bridge across Mill Creek.

The trails are all but flat and the footing is generally easy. There is a good chance of coming across a mucky section or two along the way, though, so sandals might not be the best choice of footwear. It’s hard to get lost along the way because most of the trails remain within sight of the water. And since they form a circle, all you have to do to get back to where you started is go one direction or the other.
What makes Lindenwood Lake and its trails special is the opportunity they provide to view wetland species that are relatively rare in the Southern Appalachians. Summertime visitors stand a good chance of seeing a few dragonflies, and lily pads and pink lily blossoms decorate the surface of the lake. Carnivorous pitcher plants will be on display near the edge of the water.

Don’t be surprised if you catch the curious eye of one of the lake’s resident snapping turtles during your visit. They are no cause for alarm as long as you don’t try to feed them. Should the thought cross your mind, remember what my grandparents always told me when I was a boy: Once a snapping bites he’s not going to let go until the next timeit thunders!

Contributed by Matthew T. Bradley | matbradl@gmail.com

Summer Hill Farms

Home_of_Distinction_TWO_Lake_GlenvilleLake_Glenville_HomeLake_Glenville_Home_of_Distinction_threeHome_of_Distinction_One_Lake_GlenvilleSunlight pierces the tall evergreen trees as impressive wooden gates welcome you to Summer Hill Farms’ gently-rolling meadows overlooking Lake Glenville.
Century old fruit trees and blueberry bushes dot the knoll as thirty-foot tall spruce trees sway gently in the breeze.
A charming two-story white clapboard farmhouse built in 2004 catches your eye. Large rockers rest atop native stone flooring on the front porch.  The wide front hall sports walnut floors and wainscoting reminiscent of homes
of yesteryear.
Picture your family around a large dining room table sharing memories galore. Your family’s heirloom treasures are displayed along the plate rail and in a large
welsh-style cupboard.
Tantalizing aromas waft from the gourmet kitchen.  The walnut cutting board top of the central island provides space for multiple chefs as meal time approaches.  With top-of-the-line appliances, a large pantry and custom cabinetry, even Julia Child would feel pampered here.
The large breakfast room lets youngsters do homework, finish their latest craft project or finish that after school snack as you prepare hors d’oeuvres.  A large picture window and double French doors frame the mesmerizing views of Lake Glenville. Gather with family in front of the den’s stone fireplace to catch up on the day’s activities. Enjoy a family picnic on the large deck as shooters prove their prowess at skeet shooting.  Follow your favorite sports team in the paneled media room then jog down the hall toward the owners’ suite.
You pass a spacious laundry room as you enter the suite.  With his and hers bathrooms, a private fireplace and a large walk-in closet you enjoy quiet solitude all your own.  Toss open the French doors to soak in the large hot tub.   The magic of bright starry nights melts away the stress.
The second floor includes a game room large enough for a regulation-size billiards table plus a mini-kitchen/bar.    Two large bedrooms, each with private bath, pamper family in their own private lair. Hubby’s musical prowess calls for a special sound-proof recording studio.  That room could be an office, a nursery or whatever best suites your family’s needs.
Just a few steps away is a two story guest house-the perfect spot for your guests, your parents or a caretaker.  A spacious kitchen and breakfast room, plus a living room with fireplace complete the main floor. Upstairs are two large bedrooms connected by a Jack and Jill bath.
You’ll have a plethora of activities to choose from.  Hike the trails carved throughout the forest or enjoy water sports via your own access to Lake Glenville. Gather with friends at the lake pavilion.
The primary home site is more than eight acres.  You are just minutes from the Cashiers crossroads but surrounded by nature.  Arrange a private showing of this or other magnificent properties in the Highlands-Cashiers area by calling Judy Michaud at Meadows Mountain Realty at (828) 526-1717 or visit meadowsmtnrealty.com.

By Wiley Sloan  |  Photos by Mirror Lake Photography

Return of the Prodigal Son

Page from William Wilson’s 1836 estate papers.

Page from William Wilson’s 1836 estate papers.

In 1882, after much family pressure from home, T. R. Zachary and his wife, Julia,  decided to sell out in Kansas and return east to settle for good in Cashiers Valley, where his father had promised to give him some land. It was decided that Julia, with their first child, John Alexander, age one year, three months old, would travel via train to her family’s home in Union Point, Georgia, leaving T.R. in Kansas to sell their land. She would wait in Georgia until T.R. could join her and then together they would move to the mountains.
Since they had little cash, Julia wrote to her father to borrow money for the train tickets. T.R. took her from their farm with its small “soddy” house in Olney to Pomeroy, the nearest place with a train station. She stayed there for a few days with her sister-in-law, Lena Zachary Courtney, waiting to receive money from her father, Walter Beazley. It couldn’t come soon enough as Julia and Lena didn’t get along with each other. Finally the money came and Julia and baby John boarded the train.
Upon her arrival at Union Point, Julia wrote to T.R. outlining her train trip:
“I left Pomeroy [Kansas] at 5:o’clock Thursday eve (Nov. 23rd); left Kansas City at six; reached St. Louis at six next morning; stayed there till half past eight; then left there, crossed the river [Mississippi] about ten that night; then got to Nashville Saturday morning; went straight on to Chattanooga; left there at two and reached Atlanta at seven that night. I stayed in Atlanta for just five minutes and got to “the Point” [Union Point] at two in the night…So you see I made the trip a day sooner than you did; guess you must have gone to the Beer Gardens in K. C. or St. Lo.”
It took T.R. a few months to sell out in Kansas and join Julia and their little boy in Georgia but by July 1883 the little family was in Cashiers Valley and working on their permanent homestead. Forty-three acres had been given to T.R. Zachary for “love and affection” by his father, Alexander Zachary who had kept his promise.
Contributed by Jane Gibson Nardy, Historian, Cashiers Historical Society

Hillbilly Days in Highlands

Highlands_NC_HistoryAugust 1 is the anniversary of a most unusual celebration in Highlands’ history. The initial Hillbilly Day was August 1, 1952. It was the brainchild of Isabel Hall Chambers, who, after some pleading and convincing, talked Bob DuPree, Highlands’ recreational director, into dragging a reluctant town council into the affair.
Not only was it a mountain of laughs and good times, it turned out to be a very effective fun-raiser. Anyone who showed up in public in plain clothes, that is, not decked out in full hillbilly attire, a la Ma and Pa Kettle, Daisy Mae, or Li’l Abner, was arrested and had to post bail for his or her release. Fines of $10 or $12 went to the support of the Highlands Recreation Center. If you didn’t ante up, you were locked in the town stockade and had to call your maw or paw or grandpaw to pay a fine to get you out. Over $200 was collected that day. That was when a loaf of bread was 18 cents and a gallon of gas was 27.
There was an afternoon parade when everyone’s inner Mountaineer came to life. Floyd Long dressed in fire engine red pants and a top hat for his hillbilly wedding. Girls shook a tail feather or two in flour sack dresses and high-falutin’ bonnets. There were more patches on pants than fleas on a hound. The whole experience was funner than a trailer park where life is deep-fried and double-wide.
And about, oh, dark-thirty, the square dance kicked-off in the middle of Main Street.  DuPree, Master of Ceremonies, was dressed in striped pants tighter than a banjo string and a bullet-riddled stovepipe hat. He got his tongue twisted around his eyeteeth a time or two and couldn’t see what he was sayin’, but all-in-all the evening was finer than frog hair.
At day’s end, Mrs. Frank Talbot drug her chitlins out of the street and tuck  ‘em home. Stragglers crooned a moonshine song or two and a final chorus of “Don’t  Go Skinny Dippin’ with Snappin’ Turtles.”
It was so much fun, they hiked up their britches, added hog-callin’, greased pole climbin’, log-rollin’ and crosscut-sawin’ contests to the event the following year. By 1954, the town was happy to sponsor Hillbilly Day on their own. They even threw in a barbecue.
But every path has some puddles and in this case, the puddle was sloshing in liquor. Drinkin’ got out of hand. And stoppin’ it was about as hard as pushin’ a watermelon though a garden hose, so the festivities came to an abrupt and sad end after only five years in existence. Still, at its peak, Hillbilly Day left an indelible mark on the plateau.
And who knows, maybe once every 50 or 60 years Highlands can sponsor another Hillbilly Day. It could happen. Just bypass those cans of whoopass and moonshine, put on your Daisy Mae, and party til’ the cows come home.
To learn more about Highlands’ colorful past read Heart of the Blue Ridge by Ran Shaffner or visit the Highlands Historical Society’s website: www.highlandshistory.com.

by Donna Rhodes  |  Photo Courtesy of Highlands Historical Society, donated by Richard Melvin

Chef John Fleer

John Fleer

John Fleer

We are fortunate to have so many great restaurants here in the Highlands-Cashiers plateau, and one of my favorites is Canyon Kitchen at Lonesome Valley in Cashiers.  Not only does it have a marvelous ambiance, but Chef John Fleer is a charming raconteur.
Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down with John to learn more about him and what lies at the core of his fabulous restaurant.
Q: At what age and why did you decide to become a chef?
JF: “I got the cooking bug during college, and then became fascinated with food. More to the point, it was discovering the community of food when I spent a semester in Venice during college.  It was a revelation to see how important food and the sharing of food at the table was to their culture. That experience – the community of food, the sharing of food, the culture of the table – is exactly what I feel at Canyon Kitchen’s Supper Club. It’s my favorite event. The food is served family style and the atmosphere takes on a community feel.
Q: What training did you obtain to become a chef?
JF: Other than being a busboy in high school, my first restaurant job was at Aurora in Chapel Hill.  I needed a job to put myself through graduate school in religion and philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  The Chef, Gwen Higgins, gave me my first opportunity by hiring me with no experience to be a pastry cook.  I rolled lots of fresh pasta and helped with desserts.  Pretty quickly, I realized I was having more fun in the kitchen than in the library.  So I left the master’s program and went to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.
Q: For the past two years, rumors have floated around that you were leaving and opening a restaurant in Asheville.  Are the rumors true?
JF: No.  I will continue to operate Canyon Kitchen.  Because I have always been very open about wanting to have my own project in Asheville, I think the assumption is that I would leave Canyon Kitchen in order to do that. I think what people do not understand is that Canyon Kitchen is also very much my project, my baby, if you will.  The owners have been very gracious in allowing me to develop and guide this project into what it has become.  We are all very proud of this wonderful restaurant and I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to be involved.  And when I say we, I mean not only me, Lonesome Valley, and the Jennings family, but also the leadership team at Canyon Kitchen.  All of them invest a lot of themselves in this project and I think it shows.
Q: When does your restaurant open and tell me a little bit about it?
JF: We are targeting opening in mid-September.  The restaurant will, of course, focus on local, seasonal cooking.  It will reflect my evolution as a chef that has happened at Canyon Kitchen from focusing on purely southern interpretation of these local, seasonal ingredients to a broader interpretation of the American palate.  I am excited to be at the very center of vibrant Asheville.  All of my previous posts in the last 20 years have been in these beautiful, pastoral settings like the foothills of East Tennessee and plateau of the WNC Mountains.  So, this restaurant will have a much more urban feel.  The wine list will continue to exhibit my dedication to wines produced with sustainably produced grapes.  It will be open for lunch and dinner and has a magnificent patio right on Pack Square where anyone can come enjoy great food and drink while the world passes by.
So now it looks like I’ll be traveling down the mountain to Asheville to check out John’s new restaurant, Rhubarb, and if it’s like any of his other establishments it’ll surely please the palate and the eyes.

Contributed by Elizabeth Fletcher  |  elizabeth@idoeventsatlanta.com

Sipping and Strolling in Highlands

The Annual Highlands Culinary Weekend  is set for November 7 - 10.

The Annual Highlands Culinary Weekend
is set for November 7 – 10.

Handbags, pottery, jewelry, home décor, clothing, flowers, Oh My! Shopping in downtown Highlands does not disappoint! On Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9, Highlands Culinary Weekend Annual Sip and Stroll from 11:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., has a fabulous line up of retailers – Acorns, Acorns on Church, Alyxandra’s on Main, Bags on Main, Cabin Couture, Cabin Casuals, The Hen House, Highlands Fine Art and Estate Jewelry, 4th Street Boutique, Mountain Fresh Grocery, Potpourri and Potpourri 2, TJ Baileys for Men, Vivace, Wit’s End and Xtreme Threads. This year’s Sip and Stroll is “especially special” for the participants! Each stroller will start at the Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center to receive a detailed map and their own souvenir wine glass with special carry bag. There will be a limit of 16 merchants this year which will encourage everyone to linger a while longer and enjoy the homemade hors d’oeuvres, cheeses, and of course the wonderful selections of wines. There’s also an added bonus to visiting each merchant on the map. Strollers having completed the tour will be eligible for wonderful prizes including fine dining certificates, pottery and specialty wines. Sip, Stroll and Shop till you drop while enjoying everything fabulous in our beautiful downtown of Highlands.
Contributed by Laura Huerta

August Events at Ruka’s Table

Rukas_Table_Highlands_NCRuka’s Table will host a pair of special dinners August 17 and 28.
These two events are an irresistible blending of Ruka’s Table’s bold culinary expertise and its playfully elegant ambience.
On August 17, the restaurant will stage a Spanish Wine Tasting paired with amuse bouches (single, bite-sized hors d’oeuvres that differ from appetizers in that they’re usually just one or two bites). This allows guests to sample the subtle qualities of the wines and gives Chef Justin Burdett a chance to showcase his remarkable kitchen talents. Cost is $25-$30 and reservations are required.
On August 28, five courses will be artfully and seasonally paired by Chef Burdett to complement a flight of five beers from Left Hand Brewing Company of Longmont, Colorado. Reservations are required.
Chef Burdett joined the Ruka’s Table team in summer of 2012, bringing his esteemed farm-to-table knowledge and practices to broaden the restaurant’s locally influenced menu. Prior to his work at Ruka’s Table, Burdett was Chef de Cuisine at Miller Union, a nationally recognized and acclaimed restaurant in Atlanta. Burdett was named by Food & Wine magazine in March 2013 as one of the top ten chefs in the Southeast.
Ruka’s Table offers a variety of inventive dishes, showcasing sophisticated Southern flavors.
The restaurant proudly partners with local farms as sources for fresh proteins and produce in support of the local slow food movement. Every dish is made from scratch, including its cheese, with seasonal and local ingredients, to invoke a homemade feel along with its authentic and rustic menu.
For reservations or more information, call Ruka’s Table at (828) 526-3636.

Good Hearts and Great Food


Marty Rosenfield

Marty Rosenfield

To say that Lakeside Restaurant is a popular Highlands foodie haunt is a bit of an understatement. They’ve held the Number One Restaurant in Highlands spot by TripAdvisor reviewers for over a year.
This high achievement is not an accident. It is by the design and passion of owner/chef
Marty Rosenfield.
Part of that recognition comes from Lakeside’s superb menu, which emphasizes carefully prepared dishes made from the
freshest ingredients.
That means you can start off your meal with appetizers like the Mussels Sofritto, a hearty blending of peppers, jalapenos, cilantro and chorizo broth; or Shaved Celery Salad with its arugula, gorgonzola cheese, dates, candied pecans and white balsamic vinegar; or The Unwedged – leave it to an artist like Marty to take humble Iceberg Lettuce and transform it into something magical with the judicious addition of a cabernet poached pear, crumbled bleu cheese, bacon and walnuts.
But these appetizers are just place setters for the unforgettable entrees
that await.
A little mountain town hundreds of miles from the coast is one of the last places you’d expect to find a solid selection of seafood, but Lakeside manages to pull off the feat with its customary panache.
Look for Shrimp, Scallop & Squid Cioppino – a playful creation that incorporates these fruits of the sea with a delicate tomato saffron broth over pasta. One of the most requested dishes is the Triggerfish Maison – a white mild fish sautéed with artichoke hearts, mushrooms, lemon and wine.
But maybe you’re looking for a fish with a local address. The Stuffed Rainbow Trout, loaded with crabmeat and applewood smoked bacon, was swimming in Jackson County just a few hours before it ended up on your plate.
That’s not to say that Lakeside Restaurant skimps on the beef portion of its menu.
“We have had so many requests for quality meats that last year we added premium Midwest Angus steaks,” Marty’s wife Donna adds. “These dry-aged steaks exude concentrated flavor second-to-none.”
That means dedicated carnivores will find 8-ounce Filets, 12-ounce New York Strips, and the majestic 14-ounce Bone-In Ribeye. And true to Lakeside’s unshakeable commitment to flavor, these cuts are paired with the diner’s choice of Wild Mushroom Cabernet or Bleu Cheese Peppercorn sauces.
Veteran Lakeside patrons know that no matter what their choice of entrée, they need to save room for one of Marty’s unabashedly sinful desserts. A long-time favorite is the bread pudding, infused with seasonal berries available or with chocolate chips. You really should try the Chocolate Budino, a cross between a pudding and a cake that will work its way into
your dreams.
Whatever you choose on the menu, you can be confident that Lakeside can pair it with an exquisite wine. Its deep and varied wine list has won the restaurant the coveted Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the last 13 years. Diners can select their wine by the glass, half-bottle or bottle.
But this attention to the menu and wine list is only part of the reason that this tiny restaurant has become a Highlands institution. Part of its success lies in the careful attention to the décor. Scintillating art and dashes of bold color create an undeniably warm and welcoming atmosphere that’s complemented by the gorgeous view of Lake Harris and the little herb and flower garden that produces some of the supporting players in Lakeside’s ever-changing lineup of dishes.
The overall effect is one of sublime tranquility. It’s hard to believe that this restaurant is only a block from Highlands’ busting Main Street.
Donna and Marty have long been supporters of worthy local causes.
That’s why it’s no surprise that for the last five years their restaurant, practically a Highlands landmark, has offered “Evenings at Lakeside.”
These Wednesday night events raise much-needed funds for local charities.
“There are so many worthy causes that do so much for our beautiful community, which shapes Highlands into the Highlands that we all love,” explains Marty.  “The hearts and souls of many people that live here, even if part time, reflect what makes this place we call home so special.”
About five years ago, Marty came up with a good solution and a win/win for Lakeside and the worthy non-profit.  He and his staff set aside Wednesday nights in the season for non-profits to “claim their Evening at Lakeside.” The non-profits can select their date, but then it is up to them to market to their boards and supporters to make reservations on their chosen date.
“What can be more fun than good food, a relaxing atmosphere, good service and a room full of like-minded friends?” says Marty.
These Wednesdays have already been claimed by local non-profits: Wednesday. August 7 – The Bascom;  Wednesday, August 14 – Gilliam’s Promise;  Wednesday, September 18 — Literacy Council; Wednesday, September 25 – Highlands Performing Arts Center; and Wednesday, October 16 – The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center.
To make reservations or for more information, call (828) 526-9419. Lakeside Restaurant is located at 531 Smallwood Avenue in Highlands, one block from Main Street.

By Luke Osteen

Fressers Eatery in Highlands NC

Fressers Eatery returns to its birthplace, yet maintains its commitment to delicious, healthy dishes.

Fressers Eatery returns to its birthplace, yet maintains its commitment to delicious, healthy dishes.

Fressers Eatery is baaaaack, back to its old digs at 470 Oak Street right behind Wolfgang’s in Highlands.
And Debbie Grossman is back in her kitchen serving up the sizzling, steaming, sumptuous culinary delights you have grown to love over the years since 1999.
Debbie loves coming up with new twists on traditional themes — for example, a ginger scallion salmon burger, which is artistically prepared, brimming with flavor, and heart healthy.
If you subscribe to the belief that if it tastes good, it can’t be good for you, leave that notion behind. At Fressers, food looks good, tastes good, and it’s incredibly good for you.
Debbie says, “I have been accommodating special dietary requests from the get-go. I have always done what’s healthy as opposed to what’s faddy (pun intended). We will continue to be the place to go when healthful eating is a priority.”
Be it catering or a quiet lunch off the beaten trail, Debbie is an artist at heart. Her art manifests itself in her culinary presentations.
She says, “Some people paint, some throw a pot. I create my food as art, in its look, taste, and aroma. People metaphorically eat with their eyes. If it doesn’t look good, it doesn’t taste good. I try to appeal to all of the senses.”
Fressers, which by the way is Yiddish for eating in a glutinous manner, has an active page on Facebook. Debbie encourages you to like Fressers. When she posted some of her latest creations like the portabella mushroom stack, people poured into the restaurant ordering it. One joked it looked so delicious he had to wipe the drool off his computer screen.
It’s the same with her Turkish Turkey Burger and her mouth-watering Greek salads served with grilled chicken or not.  Wickedly tasty, divinely healthy.
So visit Debbie and Fressers Eatery at its new old spot at 470 Oak Street, Village Square. It’s closed on Sundays except for special events. Visit as early as 10:30 A.M.  Monday through Saturday. Check their website, fressereateryhighlands.com for hours of operation and special events. Or call (828) 526-4188.
And nosh yourself silly! With a name like Fressers, it’s the thing to do!

By Donna Rhodes

Make Your Own Flavored Water


Contributed by Dr. Anastasia Halldin, Nutrition Coach  www.healthymamainfo.com

Contributed by Dr. Anastasia Halldin, Nutrition Coach

When it’s hot outside, your beverage choices range from the unhealthy sodas (yes, diet soda is unhealthy, too) and sweet juices to boring water. Flavored water is a great-tasting compromise between sugary drinks and tasteless liquid. With just a hint of flavor, flavored water’s crisp lightness in intoxicatingly fresh: just what’s needed on a hot summer day.
Kids love flavored water, too, because the process of making it is fun and the process of guessing what was put in the water is even more fun.
Flavored water tastes best when infused for at least a few hours, so that the flavors of the herbs, the berries and the fruits can better penetrate the liquid, but if you only have a few minutes, drop a sprig of fresh mint into your glass of icy water to make your drink more interesting.
If you want to experiment with flavored waters, get a set of large two-quart mason jars, as these are perfect for infusing water. You also need a muddler, fruit (any fruit except bananas,) herbs, water
and ice.
The process in simple. Put any combination of fruit, berries and herbs into a clean mason jar. Add pure water. Close the lid and leave the concoction in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Strain and serve the water with ice.
You are welcome to try your own flavor combinations, or make one of the following options (proportions are open to your interpretation:)
1. Fresh mint leaves and thin cucumber slices
2. Watermelon chunks and rosemary (lightly press on the watermelon with a muddler to release flavors before pouring in water)
3. Lemon slices and strawberry slices (lightly press on the strawberries with a muddler to release flavors before pouring in water)
4. Raspberries and lime slices (lightly press on the raspberries with a muddler to release flavors before pouring in water)
5. Pineapple chunks and fresh mint leaves (lightly press on pineapple with a muddler to release flavors before pouring in water)
6. Lemon slices, orange slices, lime slices.

Memories of Domaine Tempier


Contributed by  Mary Ann Hardman

Contributed by
Mary Ann Hardman

While on a quick run into Mountain Fresh Grocery this summer, I hardly expected to meet an old friend that I cherished yet had not seen in too long. This friend was more of the vinous sort than living flesh, but it brought back memories that only true friends can.
The Domaine Tempier bottle at Mountain Fresh was standing alone, as if deliberately set aside from the other wines, perhaps waiting for sampling. Its distinctive peachy-salmon Provencal color reminded me of the intense heat of the August days in France and the acres of carefully tended vines bursting with chlorophyll whose ripening grapes would soon yield to the fall harvest.
Wine has a way of transporting us back in time, just like old friends with whom we are immediately at ease despite not having seen them for years. Domaine Tempier rosé is like that for me. Considered by many wine critics and restaurateurs such as Alice Waters of Chez Panisse to be the rosé of summer, Domaine Tempier was high on my list of wineries to visit while in South France.
Bandol, the home to Domaine Tempier, was quite an enigma: surrounded by both sea and mountains, it afforded the best of both worlds.
Finding the Domaine, however, was another matter. Driving up the winding, Roman-hewn roads into the terraced hills was challenging. But actually finding Domaine Tempier took determination. Refreshingly unlike Napa, there were no large signs to direct thirsty American tourists.
Outside of the Domaine’s tasting room, a worn, gray donkey and a classic Citroen welcomed visitors. I’ll never forget that the tasting room attendant spoke no English yet she and I engaged in lively conversation via my high school, present-tense only French. Wine often can open doors that language cannot.
Domaine Tempier rosé is not sweet: it’s dry and crisp with a kick that only the mourvèdre grape can give. It’s a perfect lunch sipping wine. Paired with salmon or a salad nicoise, it’s perfection.
This August, I wish I were traveling again to Provence and its fields of fragrant lavender, red poppies, and rosé wines. However, those memories become vividly clear with the sound of popping a cork right here in Highlands!

Flipside Restaurant in Highlands NC

flipside_restaurant_highlands_1flipside_restaurant_highlands_3When you have a hungry family to feed, you’ll be glad to know about Flipside, located at 30 Dillard Road in Highlands directly across from the new Post Office.
This “All American Burger Joint” is open daily from 11:30 A.M. until 9:00 P.M.   You will marvel at the delicious 100 percent hormone-free beef from Brasstown Beef.    Choose from the wide array of different sandwiches, each topped with all “house-made” condiments.  Your taste buds will thank you throughout the day.
My unscientific survey discovered that in addition to hamburgers, many customers clamor for the Oyster Po Boy made with fried gulf oysters and for the Reuben, featuring house-cured corned beef.
These were the two most common answers to my question:  “What is your favorite food when you visit Flipside?”    Ladies tend to lean toward the sweet tea glazed chicken salad or the smoked trout salad. Youngsters loved the chicken tenders and the grilled cheese sandwiches, featuring cheddar cheese on sourdough bread.
Flipside’s menu is extensive, featuring a wide variety of soups, salads, and sandwiches.  Add your favorite side to round out your meal and you have a meal to remember.  Nutritionists tell you to be sure that your plate includes a rainbow of color.  Homemade slaw, fresh tomatoes, strawberries, red onions, house-made dill pickles, red peppers fit the bill here.
Chase away the thirst with your favorite brew — standard domestic beers or one of the unique craft brews that are found only at Flipside.  Check out their very own beer – Revelations 4118. Sip your favorite wine as you nibble on one of the many starters.
As the twilight sets in, stop by Flipside for your favorite cocktail and a tasty evening meal.   No need to dress up.  Flipside’s “come-as-you-are” atmosphere welcomes you anytime of the day or evening.  Join your friends to cheer on your favorite sports team, plan your weekend adventures or just sit and catch up on all the events that shape our lives.
Good friends, good food, your favorite beverage, all at moderate prices.   That’s what Flipside is all about.   Planning a picnic or need sandwiches for your next hike?   Flipside can pack your lunch with ease.  Give them a call at (828) 526-4241.

By Wiley Sloan

Relay for Life Bingo

Highlands Rotary Bingo offers friendly games and the chance to benefit the community.

Highlands Rotary Bingo offers friendly games and the chance to benefit the community.

The Rotary Club of Highlands will sponsor Relay for Life Bingo at 6:30 P.M. Thursday, August 1, at the Highlands Conference Center.

A total of 15 games will be played, and cards are $1 each, per game.  Multiple cards are available for an additional $1 per game.  Cash prizes are awarded for each game, and everyone is guaranteed to have a ton of fun while supporting a great cause!

Each year, the Rotary Club of Highlands has sponsored a team to raise funds and awareness for the mission of the American Cancer Society. The funds raised by Relay for Life are used for cancer research, advocacy, and outreach to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families.  This year’s Relay takes place on Friday, August 9, beginning at 6:00 P.M. There will be food, music, and games as team members walk all night, because cancer never sleeps.

You can also show your support by being a Table Sponsor for $50 for a full-page ad, or $25 for a half-page.  Call Rotary Relay co-captain Christy Kelly at (828) 787-2124 to purchase your ad.

If you can’t be there for Bingo, you can still support Relay for Life by mailing your donation to Rotary Relay Team, P O Box 1742, Highlands, NC  28741.  All checks should be payable to the Rotary Club of Highlands.

By Wiley Sloan


Garden Club Kitchen Tour in Highlands NC

kitchen_tour_Highlands_ncCome join us for the 2013 Laurel Garden Club Kitchen Tour of six spectacular kitchens. These delightful kitchens reflect a variety of looks from small to large, from charming cottages to large expansive homes, and from rustic to elegant…with many unique and interesting features to inform your curiosity for cutting edge kitchen ideas.   Local talent in the kitchen will be demonstrating their culinary secrets and The Pantry, a unique shop will wow you!

The 2013 Kitchen Tour is Saturday, September 21 from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. You may purchase a ticket at The Dry Sink in Highlands on Main Street or go online to make reservations at www.laurelgardenclubhighlands.com.  Tickets/reservations are timed so that pacing and numbers of guests will be optimal for your touring enjoyment.  Beginning at 9:00 A.M. and stopping at 1:30 P.M., departure times are every 30 minutes from the Performing Arts Center (PAC). Transportation is provided from and back to PAC, where The Pantry will be located for shopping convenience.  The Pantry will be loaded with unique homemade goodies and also household treasures, donated by members.

During the week prior to the Tour are three fabulous Culinary Events. Reservations are online now at the website above.  You will not want to miss them:

Monday, September 16, at 6:30 P.M. Rubs and Suds – Watch Wolfgang Green prepare an incredible feast in an outdoor state of the art Viking kitchen, while guests enjoy locally brewed beer and carefully selected wines, and bluegrass music.

Tuesday, September 17, at 6:30 P.M. Garden to Table – Learn and enjoy as Mountain Top chefs educate and transform the fruits and vegetables of local gardens into a gastronomical delight in a stunning Mountain Top setting.

The third Culinary Event, scheduled for Friday, September 20, at 7:00 P.M. – The Mad Men Cocktail Party–is sold out.

Look forward to seeing you at the Kitchen Tour on September 21 and/or one of the Culinary Events.

Contributed by Brenda Manning  |  Photo by Helen Moore


Highlands’ Relay for Life

Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature team event to fight cancer.

Relay For Life Of Highlands will take place August 9-10 at the Highlands Rec Park, starting at 6:00 P.M. Friday night and ending at 6:00 A.M. Saturday morning.

You won’t want to miss the opening ceremony, survivor and caregiver laps, luminaria ceremony, great entertainment and fabulous food. Please stop by our VIP tent for survivors and caregivers. Our committee and teams have worked hard to help us towards our goal of $100,000. Please join us for this special event to celebrate our survivors, remember those we have lost to cancer, and fight back.

One hundred years ago, the American Cancer Society started the fight of a lifetime – the fight against cancer. Today, two out of three people diagnosed with cancer are surviving. More than 400 people a day in the US are celebrating birthdays that would have otherwise been lost to the disease. Relay For Life dollars help make this happen.

Funds raised through Relay For Life have helped contribute to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the US since the early 1990s.

Your donations to Relay For Life help the American Cancer Society conduct lifesaving research. In fact, the American Cancer Society has played a role in nearly every cancer research breakthrough in recent history.  Help make more happen by donating to Relay For Life Of Highlands.

Supporting Relay for Life is an easy way to help the American Cancer Society change the statistics from two out of three people surviving cancer today in the US to three out of three surviving.  Silence won’t finish the fight against cancer, action will. Take action by donating to  Relay For Life Of Highlands.

With Relay For Life, we make noise by continuing to ensure lifesaving cancer research gets funded. Please support Relay to make a difference. With Relay For Life, we get loud by making sure people facing cancer have the help they need, like a free place to stay during treatment and a ride to get there. Your support of  Relay helps make it happen.

For more information or to participate, visit www.relayforlife.org/highlandsnc.

Our presenting sponsor for Relay For Life this year is Highlands Cashiers Board of Realtors.

Contributed by Ellen Bauman


Saturdays on Pine

It’s hot times with cool music at the Saturdays on Pine Summer Concert Series through August 31.

It’s hot times with cool music at the Saturdays on Pine Summer Concert Series through August 31.

Super Nitrograss, High 5, Big Nasty and Southbound Turnaround are the headliners in August.

August 3 brings the popular Super Nitrograss to the stage. Bluegrass music lovers from throughout North and South Carolina clamor for the music of these talented musicians. Get a preview of their sound at youtube.com/user/nitrograsspr.

The talented musical group High 5 comes to town on August 10. They bring their four-piece electric take on the upbeat sounds of yesterday and today.

On August 17, Big Nasty hits Saturday on Pine in a big way.  The Big Nasty Jazz Band is a unique experience that brings back the music of the ’20s and ’30s and encourages listeners to get up and dance.

Southbound Turnaround will  light up the stage on August 31. They describe themselves as “hillbilly honkytonk with a kick-you-in-the-face rockin’ twist.” Catch a preview at youtube.com/watch?v=KZ_Aeoo5uRU.

For more information about Saturdays on Pine, contact the Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center at (828) 526-2112.

Cashiers Quilters Guild Show

The Cashiers Quilters Guild’s Quilt Show, set for August 10 and 11 at the Sapphire Community Center, is a breathtaking blending of art, time-honored techniques and deep pools of compassion.

The Cashiers Quilters Guild’s Quilt Show, set for August 10 and 11 at the Sapphire Community Center, is a breathtaking blending of art, time-honored techniques and deep pools of compassion.

The Cashiers Quilters Guild will host a Quilt Show from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. on August 10 and 11 at the Sapphire Valley Community Center off Highway 64 in Sapphire, three miles east of Cashiers.  The king-size “Sequoia Stars” quilt shown here was designed by Judy Martin and featured in her “Log Cabin Quilt Book,” and will be raffled off the afternoon on August 11. All monies go to charities in Cashiers, Highlands and Glenville. The Guild’s primary charitable project is making Quilts of Valor for our wounded military personnel returning from Afghanistan. Many QOVs have been delivered to Ft. Bragg, The Bethesda Naval Hospital, and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany where our wounded are treated. This fall, more will be delivered to Tripler Army Hospital in Hawaii.

Contributed by Graceann W. Smith



Zahner Conservation Series


 Every summer the Highlands Biological Foundation hosts free evening lectures on Thursdays focused on the theme of natural history and conservation, a tradition that began in the 1930s.  Today, these lectures are known as the Zahner Conservation Lecture Series, which serves to educate and inspire the public through a series of talks from well-known regional scientists, conservationists, artists, and writers.

On August 1, Dr. Ron Sutherland will return to the Station for a lecture titled “Restoring the Endangered Red Wolf to the Wilds of the Southern Appalachians.”  Dr. Sutherland is a Conservation Scientist at Wildlands Network.  The following week, on August 8, Brent Martin will discuss the “Dividing Spring: History and Mythology of the Little Tennessee and Chattooga Headwaters.”  Brent is a lifetime writer, educator, and conservationist who serves as the Southern Appalachian Regional Director for the Wilderness Society.  On August 15, Dr. Lenny Bernstein will speak on “Why We Should All Be Concerned About Climate Change.” The Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust sponsors this lecture.

On August 22, Patricia Kyritsi Howell, author of “Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians,” will speak on “The Southern Appalachians: Apothecary of North America.”  This lecture is in memory of Joseph Gatins, a trustee and friend of HBF who passed away last September.  On August 29, executive director of the Highlands Biological Station Jim Costa will lecture on “Ecology and Evolution in Las Islas Encantadas – A Darwin-Inspired Exploration of the Galapagos Islands.”

The public is invited to participate in these free lectures, which are held at the Highlands Nature Center, 930 Horse Cove Road in Highlands.  For a full schedule of lectures and other programs, please visit www.highlandsbiological.org or call (828) 526-2221.  HBF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to foster research and education focused on the rich natural heritage of the Highlands Plateau.  HBF supports the Highlands Biological Station.

Contributed by Michelle Ruigrok  |  Photo by Clay Bolt



Center for Life Enrichment

We, the members of CLE, want to pay tribute to the remarkable teachers who have made our program so exciting and rewarding. It is difficult to plan and give a lecture that must fit into a two-hour slot and target an unknown audience.

There is always the danger of being too superficial or too erudite. That is part of the reason we are so honored and delighted to have a liaison with the professors of Western Carolina University and the artists/lecturers associated with The Bascom. These men and women have lectured and taught us with exquisite sensitivity to our needs and abilities and with unfailing accuracy.

Experts in their fields are frequent lecturers, giving us first-hand information and understanding of this world we live in. There are also accomplished workshop leaders who have led hands-on experiences gratifying the desire to learn a craft or master a computer.

There are 17 workshops, lectures and hands-on experiences scheduled in August. Featured are a wide variety of programs, something for the taste of everyone. These programs can be found, listed, and described, on the website or by picking up a brochure at the central office in the Peggy Crosby Center. As always, due to the popularity of the programs, registration is recommended although for the unlimited lectures, last minute decisions to attend can be accommodated by registration at the door.

“If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” This is a Chinese proverb, the origin of which is unknown. It has been attributed to Confucius, Lao Tzu, Laozi, and Guan Zhong. The fact is that whatever its origins, it remains true and is a tribute to the men and women who teach.

To learn more about the Center for Life Enrichment, visit www.clehighlands.com, call (828) 526-8811 or email clehighlands@yahoo.com.

Contributed by Bettie S. Banks


Cashiers Designer Showhouse™

Showhouse Chair Kathleen Rivers admires one of many unique items offered by The Bascom in their boutique at Serenity Acres.

Showhouse Chair Kathleen Rivers admires
one of many unique items offered by The Bascom in their boutique at Serenity Acres.

In a word, Serenity Acres, site of the 16th Annual Cashiers Designer Showhouse ™, is an “adventure.”

Visitors have much to discover this year — not just one house, but an array of buildings, gardens, trails, paddocks, and meadows. There are three homes, beautifully decorated by 25 acclaimed designers from across the Southeast. A six-horse stable is a demonstration and sales area for The Bascom, with artisans working in pottery, wood, fiber, sculpture, blacksmithing, and painting throughout the event. There is yet another building where local shops from the Cashiers area feature wonderful collectibles for sale.

Twelve renowned landscape designers enhance the very walkable grounds and gardens of the Showhouse. In fact, there is so much to see and explore, visitors are encouraged to allow a minimum of two hours to fully experience
the property.

The story of Serenity Acres began in 1990 when George and Dorothy Bishop purchased a home and acreage up at Cedar High with the idea of spending more time in the mountains. The Bishop family shared a love of horses and quickly realized the potential the property held for expanding this interest. Adjacent wooded land was purchased, clearing began, pastures and barns took shape, and the concept of an equestrian farm began to emerge. The transformation was completed with construction of a large horse barn and riding ring. The prize ribbons, which still adorn the walls of the Serenity Acres stable office and tack room, are evidence of the success the Bishops enjoyed at horseshows throughout the Southeast.

The property itself – all 39.6 acres of it – is spectacular, sitting high atop Riley Mountain, with majestic views of Cow Rock and Laurel Knob. The three homes in the complex have a combined total of nine bedrooms and
seven baths.

“The sheer beauty and peace of Serenity Acres provoked a vision of people coming and browsing for hours,” says Kathleen Rivers, chair of this year’s event, “not just popping in to see a house, but instead spending time to experience the property in its entirety.”

A light lunch featuring flavorful soups, salads and sandwiches by Café 107 is available on site daily.

Special events during the Showhouse include:

August 16: Patron Party – Spectacular evening of music by Liquid Pleasure and dining by caterer Lee Epting, all enjoyed under a dramatically decorated tent in the paddock at Serenity Acres Farms. Festivities begin at 6:30 P.M. as patrons are greeted with cocktails upon their arrival by shuttle from the Community Center.

August 17: Presentation, luncheon and book-signing at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley at 11:30 A.M. Guest speaker will be Carolyne Roehm, internationally acclaimed trendsetter in flowers, entertaining, garden design, and interior and product design. Ms. Roehm’s new book, “Flowers,” is as glorious as her knowledge on landscape, tablescape and all things fashionable.

August 24: “H.E.L.P.! A Tribute to the Beatles” will be staged at the Chattooga Club Pavilion starting at 6:30 P.M., featuring an open bar, light dining, and great dancing fun. The entertainers, from Charleston, South Carolina, produce only one concert yearly to benefit a worthy charity. The Showhouse was selected this year. Count on an energetic two-hour, non-stop performance as an introduction to the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Beatles.

Surprise Pop-Up events are scheduled the last week of the Showhouse. Watch for future announcements.

The Cashiers Designer Showhouse™ is the primary fundraiser of the Cashiers Historical Society, whose work in educating and advocating to preserve the cultural heritage of the Cashiers Valley is so essential. Admission is $25 and includes transportation to and from the Showhouse. All parking is at the Cashiers Community Center, with shuttles running continuously.

Tickets can be purchased in Cashiers at the Community Center, the Cashiers Historical Society, Cashiers Farmers Market, Cashiers Chamber of Commerce and Vivace of Cashiers; in Highlands at Acorns, The Bascom, Vivace of Highlands and The Summer House. Tickets may also be bought at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley and the Transportation and Parking Area for the Showhouse.

Hours of operation are 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 4:00 P.M. on Sundays. For further information, contact the Cashiers Historical Society (828) 743-7710) or visit www.cashiershistoricalsociety.org.

Contributed by Jeff Alt  |  Photo by Brianne Williams


Friday Night Live in Highlands NC

Every Friday night from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M.in Highlands,  local bands  will bring the enjoyment of the sounds of music.

Every Friday night from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M.in Highlands, local bands will bring the enjoyment of the sounds of music.

Friday Night Live will rock Main Street once again in July courtesy of the Highlands Area Chamber of Commerce.

Every Friday night from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. in Town Square, a toe-tapping performance will be given by four local bands playing a variety of musical styles from traditional tunes to original compositions.

Kicking off the month on August 2, the Mountain High Dulcimer Group will entertain the crowd with their performance of traditional and contemporary music written and arranged for the Appalachian mountain dulcimer.

August 9 is the Johnny Webb Band. Born and raised in Highlands, Johnny and his popular band play country selections on guitar, slide guitar and drums. The group’s performance will be a special treat for Highlanders that remember him from days past.

On August 16, Tom Hill and the Midnight Suns will serve up a delightful blend of Blues, Rock and Soul that get you moving and grooving and tapping your feet. They weave cool old songs with great originals.

The Blue Ridge Music Band will return to Friday Night Live on August 23. They are a talented trio from the original Foxfire Boys Band from Clayton, Georgia. Tom Nixon, Filmer Kilby, and Dean English will tune up on guitar, dobro, mandolin, banjo, fiddle and harmonica. Join them for an entertaining evening of traditional and original bluegrass along with old-fashioned gospel.

If you can’t make it to the August 9 show, come August 30 as the Johnny Webb Band finishes off this season of Friday Night Live.

For more information on the Friday Night Live Series, contact the Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center at (828) 526- 2112.

Cashiers Trail Mix

It’s true – every dog has his day, at least in Cashiers

and Highlands.

If you know a special dog, mark your calendar for Saturday, September 14, because that’s the date for Cashiers Trail Mix.

It’s not a new kind of healthy snack,  but rather a combination five-mile mountain trail run and one-mile dog walk on the beautiful wilderness terrain of the 2,000 acre Chinquapin Community. This inaugural event will feature an official timed run, dog walk and demonstrations, kids’ play, archery, falconry, live music and more!  Charter Sponsors for the event include Chinquapin, Mountain Dog Spa, Highland Hiker, and the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce.

Proceeds support community development and the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society. For information on sponsorship and registration, contact Event Chair Alissa Short of Mountain Dog Spa at (828) 743-5191 or visit www.CashiersAreaChamber.com or www.facebook.com/CashiersTrailMix.

By Luke Osteen


Interlude Concerts in Highlands, NC

The 15th summer season of weekly Interlude Concerts will continue through the end of August. The free concerts are sponsored by the Highlands’ First Presbyterian Church and the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, and are held on Wednesdays at 2:00 P.M. Dress is casual.

Interlude concerts began when Rev. Hunter Coleman of the First Presbyterian Church and Father Mike Jones of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation decided to create a new ministry for Highlands. The concerts provide a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life – a time to meditate, relax, and enjoy a variety of music. Visitors to Highlands are invited to join the audience at these mini concerts.

This year’s lineup includes August 7 – David Starkweather, cellist – Episcopal Church; August 14 – Georgia State University Vocal Concert, Presbyterian Church; August 21 – Summit Piano Trio – Episcopal Church; August 28 –  Mountain Faith Bluegrass Group  –
Presbyterian Church.


All-Male Beauty Pageant

Audiences are invited to attend the Missed Highlands All-Male Beauty Pageant at 8:00 P.M. Monday, August 26, at the Highlands Playhouse.

It’s a laugh-loaded celebration of, well, not beauty. Maybe courage and unadulterated pluck.

Men from the Highlands community don evening gowns and showcase talents that aren’t normally found in beauty pageants.

It’s all in support of Dr. John Baumrucker’s ongoing mission to Montero, Bolivia. For more than 15 years, Dr. Baumrucker and his wife Joanna have worked to improve medical care, provide a foster home for youngsters from ages four to 18, teach homebuilding and reach out to prisoners who need to hear the word of God, and build a safe, reliable water system.

Since 2005, Dr. John has used his power of persuasion to convince the men of Highlands to put aside their pride “for the good of the mission.”  The pageant is one of the mainstays of the mission’s financial viability.

The beauties will fill the stage of the Highlands Playhouse on Oak Street on August 26.  Come enjoy a glass of wine before the show begins.  Tickets are $100 each (fully tax deductible). Call (828) 526-3605 for ticket information. For tickets or to make a financial contribution, send your donation to Highlands Bolivian Mission, 209 Hospital Drive, Suite 304, Highlands, NC 28741.

By Wiley Sloan


Highlands’ Annual Dazzling Dahlias Festival

The Dahlia Festival will be celebrated Saturday, September 14, at the Highlands Recreation Center.

The Dahlia Festival will be celebrated Saturday, September 14, at the Highlands Recreation Center.

Join the Highlands Historical Society to celebrate the beauty of dahlias on the Plateau.

This year’s Dahlia Festival will be held Saturday, September 14, from 1:00 to 5:00 P.M. at the Highlands Recreation Center, just a few short blocks from Main Street.

Everyone is invited to enter their dahlias by picking up registration forms at stores throughout the Highlands-Cashiers area, the Old Edwards Inn, The Highlander Newspaper, The Highlands News office and at the Highlands Historical Society.   Flowers to be judged can be brought to the Civic Center from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. on Friday, September 13, and from 9:00 to 11:00 A.M.  Saturday,
September 14.

The public is invited to the Dahlia Exhibit from 1:00 to 5:00 P.M.

There’ll be blossoms of every size – from the tiny anemone to the gigantic dinner plate variety. You can expect them in a near-spectrum of colors – gardeners have yet to perfect the blue dahlia.

Local gardener Barry Jones will share his green thumb tips at “How to Grow Dahlias,” presented at 2:00 P.M.

Enjoy refreshments and entertainment during your visit to the Highlands Historic Village adjacent to the Civic Center.  There you can tour the Highlands Historic Museum and the Prince House — the oldest home remaining within the town limits.  Proceeds from the Dahlia Festival benefit the many programs of the Highlands Historical Society.  This year’s Festival Patron Party will be held at 6:30 P.M. on Wednesday, September 11, at the Old Edwards Farm.

To make reservations for the Patron’s Party or for more information about exhibiting your dahlias, please call Joyce Franklin at (828) 526-9418.

By Wiley Sloan


Cashiers Arts and Crafts Festival

As summer in Western North Carolina draws to a close and the landscape shifts towards the vivid colors of autumn, the Village Green in Cashiers comes alive with what has become one of the area’s most popular events – the Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley Fall Arts and Crafts Show.  This year’s event is being held on Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1 from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. both days, rain or shine.

More than sixty artisans will showcase their wares at the two-day event, which features an array of artists and craftsmen from across the region, including local artists whose works have become favorites of art collectors and connoisseurs. Many of the featured artists are carrying on traditions that have withstood the test of time, while others represent new strides forward in both style and technique. Watch an artist at work or browse the booths for unique finds, including hand-made quilts, woodwork, pottery, jewelry, painting, furniture and more.

The bi-annual event has become one of the hallmarks of the Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley. Since receiving its charter, the club has raised and disbursed nearly $1,000,000 dollars, providing much needed support to charitable groups and non-profit organizations throughout the community. Rotary’s mission to encourage and foster the ideal of service above self is funded in part by the various activities they sponsor throughout the year.

Proceeds from these events go to support groups working on behalf of public health and well-being. Recent projects include Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic, Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry and Meals On Wheels. Rotary meets every Wednesday morning at Cashiers Methodist Church (897 Highway 107 South), with breakfast starting at 7:30 A.M. for Rotarians and their guests only.

Visitors to the Fall Arts and Crafts Festival are sure to find the perfect piece while supporting a very worthy cause. Admission: $3. For more information: www.cashiersrotary.org or Karen Sullivan, info@realtorkarensullivan.com.

Contributed by Karen Sullivan



Village Square Art and Craft Show in Highlands NC

Happy shopper Amy Wald

Happy shopper Amy Wald

The eighth annual Village Square Art and Craft Show will be staged in downtown Highlands August 24-25.

It’ll have something for everyone, including art and crafts, demonstrations, live music, face painting and food.  You’ll find a plethora of fine art, plus whimsical folk art, traditional mountain crafts, metal work, fabric work, jewelry, and twig furniture.

Some local Highlanders will be there, including painter Zach Claxton, potter Pat Taylor, jeweler Lee Byers and wood turner Donald Krebs.

Tim and Nancy Holt, who spend their summers in Highlands, make copper chandeliers and sconces. There are also bird houses, weavings, children’s/doll clothing, garden art and accessories, vine baskets and many other
wonderful things.

There will be live music both days between 11:00 A.M. and 3:30 P.M., with dulcimer players and the up-beat bluegrass music of the Ross Brothers from
Haywood County.

Plan on breakfast or lunch at Fressers Eatery in the Village Square. In the park you’ll find fresh-squeezed lemonade, iced tea, boiled peanuts, and fruit cobbler with ice cream.

The event is free and goes from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. on Saturday and Sunday in the Kelsey-Hutchinson Park and neighboring Highlands Village Square at Fifth and Pine Streets. The shows are sponsored by the Macon County Art Association with an advertising grant from the Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.

For more information, contact Cynthia Strain at (828) 787-2021 or cypicturelady@aol.com.

Highlands Farmers’ Market

The Highlands Farmers’ Market is staged in Highlands Plaza from 9:00 A.M. to noon Saturdays through September 30.

The Highlands Farmers’ Market is staged in Highlands Plaza from 9:00 A.M. to noon Saturdays through September 30.

Saturday mornings are buzzing at the Highlands Farmers’ Market.

Located in the Highlands Plaza (Brysons Food Store) on the Walhalla Road directly in front of Cosper Flowers, the market is easy to reach and offers plenty of free parking.  It consists of  25 to 35 vendors offering a wide variety of freshly grown produce, flowers and shrubs, hand-made items and home-baked goods.

Traversing the market, I spotted tempting homemade cupcakes offered by the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Team, plus tasty smoothies made from organic fruits and aeroponically grown vegetables from Carol Johnson. Rich Grove was replacing the cane seat in a beautiful walnut rocker. Tamara Bronaugh’s creativity was displayed in her eye-catching bark and moss flower vases and home accessories.  Dr. John Baumrucker and Jane Chalker offered items from Bolivia and Haiti to support mission projects. I was tempted by the homemade desserts of Mrs. Ruby Vinson.  Many of the vendors at the market donate the proceeds from their booths to various mission projects.

Enjoy a fresh cup of coffee, a cinnamon roll or home-baked cupcake or a fruit smoothie while perusing the fresh produce.

Thanks goes to Al Bolt, Manager of Highlands Plaza; Jim Bryson, Owner of Bryson’s Food Store; and Lisa Osteen of Cosper’s Flowers for sharing the Highlands Plaza parking lot with the Market.

By Wiley Sloan  |  Photo by Sarah Valentine 


A Moonrise Preview Party

Cassandra King introduces her newest novel, Moonrise, set in Highlands, North Carolina.

Cassandra King introduces her newest novel, Moonrise, set in Highlands, North Carolina.

Set in Highlands, Cassandra King’s anticipated new novel, “Moonrise,” hits the stores on September 3. Prior to the publicity tour, Old Edwards Inn and Spa is hosting a preview with the celebrated southern author at The Farm at Old Edwards from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. on Monday, August 26. The bestselling novelist wrote her newest book while renting a house in the mountain resort town of Highlands, with her husband Pat Conroy.  During the afternoon with Cassandra, her guests will learn how the setting of Highlands, and the homes that she has stayed in, became the inspiration for a new novel.

Attendees will get a signed first-edition copy of the author’s anticipated fifth novel and hear her inspiration for it. Against the rustic and magical backdrop of The Farm, they will enjoy a luncheon and Q&A with Cassandra, sample and take home a recipe from the book, and learn how Cassandra created her “Moonrise Garden.”

Cassandra is the bestselling author of four novels, “Making Waves,” “The Sunday Wife,” “The Same Sweet Girls,” and “Queen of Broken Hearts,” as well as numerous short stories, essays, and articles. A native of L. A. (Lower Alabama), Cassandra resides in Beaufort, South Carolina, with her author husband.

Attendees will spend an afternoon of literary magic with Cassandra King at The Farm while enjoying:

An introduction by Pat Conroy; A two-course luncheon that includes the goat cheese tart recipe from the book as part of the entrée, and a sorbet trio for dessert; Arrival champagne cocktail with Crème De Violet and lavender sprig, and cash bar for lunch; Recipe card for the goat-cheese tart and a discussion on how to create a simple Moonrise Garden; A signed First Edition copy of “Moonrise,” likely to become a collector’s item; Q&A with the author.

The Farm at Old Edwards provides a perfect backdrop for an afternoon with Cassandra King. Surrounded by lush landscaping and pristine North Carolina mountain forests, The Farm at the Old Edwards spans 33 acres and includes a rustic barn with pavilion, trout pond with bridge and fountain, and a three-bedroom farmhouse with full kitchen and wooden deck.

Tickets are $65 per person and include a personal first-edition copy of Moonrise. Space is limited. For tickets, call (828) 787-2625.

Moonrise Synopsis:

Helen Honeycutt is just getting her life back on track after a bitter divorce when she meets Emmet Justice, an attractive widower still grieving for his late wife, Rosalyn. Their sudden marriage sets off a maelstrom of resentment and ill-will among Rosalyn’s family and friends. Hoping to mend fences, the newlyweds plan a summer at Moonrise, Rosalyn’s historic estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Moonrise is known far and wide for its unique nocturnal gardens, which have fallen into ruin since the death of its mistress.

Like the heroine of Daphne DuMaurier’s classic romance, Rebecca, Helen becomes obsessed by her predecessor, who lives on in her house and gardens and the hearts of those who loved her. Not only does Helen fail to measure up to the beautiful and accomplished Rosalyn, she doesn’t fit into her own world, either, an elite enclave of well-to-do summer people. Even the gardens exclude her, since their secrets, passed down by generations of gardeners, died out with Rosalyn. When it becomes clear that someone in Rosalyn’s close-knit circle of friends is determined to drive her away, Helen wonders if she can trust anyone, even her husband. As the sweltering summer draws to an end, Helen must uncover the secrets of the past in order to establish her own identity apart from the woman she replaced.



Annual Native Plant Symposium

Native_Plant_Conference_Highlands_NCOn September 13 and 14, the Highlands Biological Foundation will host its 14th Annual Native Plant Symposium on landscaping and gardening with native plants at the Performing Arts Center in Highlands.  The Symposium features lectures from well-known regional gardeners and conservationists; wine reception, native plant auction, and field trips, all of which are designed to help participants incorporate concepts of ecology and conservation into their gardening practices.

This year’s Symposium will feature four lectures.  Friday evening, Patrick McMillan will discuss “Natural Communities at Risk in the Southern Blue Ridge.”  Patrick is the host of Expeditions with Patrick McMillan and is the director of the SC Botanical Garden and the Clemson Museum of Natural Sciences.  There will be three lectures on Saturday before the plant auction.  Kimberly Brand, a Trustee for Audubon NC and Vice President of Forsyth Audubon will talk on “Bird-Friendly Landscaping: How You Can Help Birds.”  Landscape Architect Tres Fromme will encourage you to “Abandon Yourself to Design.”  Timothy P. Spira’s lecture is on “Rich Cove Forests: The Most Species-Rich Community in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.”  Dr. Spira is a professor at Clemson University and the author of Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont.

The Highlands community has long held the plateau’s native flora in high esteem.  All of the proceeds from the Symposium benefit the Highlands Botanical Garden, which residents and visitors of Highlands have enjoyed since 1962 when it was established as a refuge for southern Appalachian plants.  Within walking distance from town, this 12-acre Garden is an invaluable resource to the region.

For more information about the speakers, schedule, and where to stay, visit www.highlandsbiological.org/nps/ or call (828) 526-2221.  Tickets are $100 for members or $135 for non-members.  For $35 you can attend Friday evening’s lecture and reception.  HBF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to foster research and education focused on the rich natural heritage of the Highlands Plateau.

Contributed by Michelle Ruigrok  |  Photo by Mike Hunter


Sculpture on the Green in Cashiers NC

Nine sculptures were installed in The Village Green for the 2013 Sculpture On the Green Biennial Invitational Exhibition. This special exhibit of visiting sculptures is the third such event sponsored by The Village Green. The Village Green is home to several permanent sculptures, including three kinetic wind sculptures installed near The Village Green Commons at the south end of the park late last year.

The Biennial Sculpture Exhibition features sculpture by nationally recognized artists. The pieces selected celebrate a variety of expression, style and material. Some are whimsical while others more traditional. Wesley Wofford, curator of the event, hopes that the sculpture will spark discussion and dialogue as well as add interest to the park. For example, the playful piece named “Launch” greets people near The Village Play. Another sculpture “Grandmother and Baby” as well as a group of three horses fashioned from repurposed steel will greet visitors to the Glades area where most of the sculptures are on display.

The Glades was chosen as the primary location to introduce visitors to this space in The Village Green.
“The Village Green Board of Directors is currently reviewing plans for improving and enhancing this space for everyone’s enjoyment,” said Ann Self, Executive Director for The Village Green. The Glades area of the park can be accessed from the trail behind The Village Play as well as from the wetlands boardwalk entrance in the picnic
shelter area.

Visitors to the Biennial Sculpture Exhibition will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite piece of sculpture. Ballots will be in the information area located near the bathrooms by The Village Play. Votes will be tallied through September when the “People’s Choice Award” will be announced and presented to the winning artist.

The sculpture will be on display through the end of the year. “Sculpture On the Green is part of the mission of The Village Green to provide a place to enrich the community through cultural opportunities,” observed Jochen Lucke, Chair of The Village Green Board of Directors. He also noted that this exhibition was made possible through a generous endowment for this purpose.

For more information about upcoming events or how to support the work of The Village Green, visit www.villagegreencashiersnc.com or call (828) 743-3434.

Cashiers NC Poetry Night

Residents of the Cashiers-Highlands area will once again be in the spotlight on Thursday, August 15, when they take the stage of the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library for the Fourth Annual Favorite Poems Night.  Sponsored by Friends of the Library, the readings begin at 7:00 P.M. and will be followed by a reception in the library’s Friendship Garden.

This local event is inspired by the America’s Favorite Poem Project, a program begun in 1998 that has led to over 1,000 towns across the country holding readings and creating archival collections of the favorite poems of their

So far, area residents and visitors to the plateau have submitted more than 150 poems to the library, along with their reasons for why these poems are meaningful in their lives.

In keeping with the spirit of America’s Favorite Poem Project, those chosen to read each year have ranged in age from 7 to 87.  They have included doctors, pastors, farmers, social workers, actors, musicians, librarians, poets, teachers, construction workers, shop owners and members of the military.

Submissions may be made at the library or by calling (828) 743-2558.  The deadline is August 10.

“Favorite Poems Night has become among the most popular annual programs at the library,” says Marilyn Staats, coordinator of the event.  “I know the word ‘poetry’ makes some folks yawn, but one of the ideas before the readings is to remind people that poetry is not some hifaluting thing read only by hifaluting eggheads.  We were all born with a love of rhyme and rhythm, most of us were raised by parents who read us Mother Goose poems and, if we were lucky, we had teachers who introduced us to everything from Winnie the Pooh to Robert Frost and Shakespeare to nonsense verse.  Hearing poems read aloud by our neighbors and friends is not only fun, it can inspire us to begin reading other poems that we once knew and loved and to rediscover that poetry is not a bore, but
an adventure.”

All submissions will be listed in the evening’s program and be added to the library archives.

By Luke Osteen


Power of the Purse

The Mountain High Republican Women’s Club’s  “Power of the Purse” event being held on Thursday, August 15 at the Highlands Civic Center  is well worth attending…for a variety of reasons! There really is something for everyone!  Although the event is billed as a card and game affair, you can expect much more to attract those who enjoy a full day of entertainment.  Tables for bridge, mahjong and similar games will be set up for players while those and others attending will also enjoy lunch, a fashion show, silent auction and, of course, an opportunity to buy their newest favorite handbag.

In keeping with the “Purse”  theme, bidders in the silent auction will be rivals for the most stylish and sought after designer handbags while  a stock of popular handbags will be on sale throughout the duration of the event. The latest in fashions will be shown tea-room style from leading shops in Highlands and Cashiers.

With so much activity and festivity swirling ‘round, the event, beginning at 10:00 A.M., promises to be a “must do this” day for ladies and their guests from throughout the plateau. The cost, $30 per person, is payable at the door however reservations are requested. Table reservations for Power of the Purse  are being accepted now by calling (828) 526-9195, (828) 526-4146 or by email to mtnrepublicanwomen@yahoo.com. Co-chairs of “Power of the Purse” are Robin Carter, Mary Pless and Pricilla Flowers who are also board members of the Mountain High Republican Women’s Club.

The Mountain High Republican Women’s Club is a tri-county organization whose members live in Jackson, Macon and Transylvania counties either as permanent or seasonal residents. Monthly meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month from May through October. Programs and speakers each month are directed to current issues facing the nation. For additional information about meetings and the organization, contact President Dorothy Little or Carol Adams, Membership Chair at (828) 743-1658 or via email at mtnrepublicanwomen@yahoo.com.

Contributed by Carol Adams


Cover Artist Gil Stose


Pick up a copy of Veranda, Contemporary Kitchens, Today’s Custom Homes, The Laurel Magazine or even The New York Times over the past ten years and you are likely to see the work of Gil Stose. Stose’s photographs have been in demand in high-end publications ever since he made the leap from the television and film industry to commercial and fine art photography a decade and a half ago.

And it’s no wonder. Photography is Stose’s lifelong love. He began shooting at age 14. His camera has been an extension of his hand and eye ever since. He enjoys shooting inanimate objects related to everyday life from architecture to garden to home-decor to kitchen.

Speaking of the kitchen …Stose loves cooking and his favorite photographic subject is fresh food, though he often has to fudge a bit. Food products that are frozen, whipped, or blended don’t last long under a photographer’s hot lamps. So as a food stylist, Stose must get creative with a turkey, for example. A two-hour turkey photographs beautifully compared to a crusty, cracked, fully-cooked bird. But Stose adds, “The real trick is lighting. That’s the key to any good photo, no matter what the subject.”

When asked about his transition from moving pictures to stills, Stose says, “In film, you tell a story with a series of pictures. In still shots, you have to condense the story into one frame. There is a lot to consider in deciding what to include into one cohesive, eye-catching, and economical picture. One shot has to say it all, and that’s tough!”

But it’s his gift for mastering that challenge that sets him apart. He says, “I try to bring a good, clean polished product to my clients that is a couple of steps above and beyond all the others.”

While most of Stose’s work is for national production, he also does work locally, most notably his aerial work in “Wings, Flying Over Highlands; Cashiers; Toxaway; and Beyond,” and advertising pieces for local restaurants, developers, construction companies, not to mentions numerous pieces for The Laurel.

To see more of his work check out his website at gilstose.com and his Gil Stose Photography page on Facebook. To contact him about doing a project, e-mail him at: gil@gilstose.com or call him at: (828) 506-9376. Look for his name just about anywhere there is
beautiful photography.


Gil’s cover shot is of Serenity Acres, the Cashiers Designer Showhouse™ for 2013. Read more about this exciting event on page 24.

by Donna Rhodes


Pickleball, Anyone?

Deceptively easy, yet irresistibly challenging, pickleball is picking up a small army of enthusiasts in Western North Carolina.

Deceptively easy, yet irresistibly challenging, pickleball is picking up a small army of enthusiasts in Western North Carolina.

Ever heard of Pickleball? While images of running a gerkin across a goal line come to mind, the real game is a cross between badminton, tennis and ping-pong.

It started very informally about 50 years ago in Washington State as a way of entertaining bored kids on a hot, sticky afternoon. Ping-pong paddles, a badminton court and a lightweight perforated plastic ball were the key ingredients. The kids came up with their own rules. Not only did it entertain them for hours, the adults liked it so much they practically threw the kids off the court so they could play, too.

And how did the gerkin find its way into the naming? Legend has it a cocker spaniel named Pickles kept grabbing the ball and running off with it. Apparently he was bored, too! So in his honor the game was
dubbed Pickleball.

Thus a new sport was born, and it became so popular nationwide, and internationally that the USA Pickleball Association and The World Pickleball Federation were founded. Of course, the look and rules of the game have evolved over the years, but its early components still define how it is played. And who knows? Maybe someday it will be an Olympic event!

Franklin has its own Blue Ridge Mountains Pickleball Club with members coming from Hayesville, Robbinsville, and Lake Nantahala. Other clubs are popping up all over the western Carolinas. Nancy and Michael Falkenstein and Jan Sharp are the official ambassadors from the Franklin area. They spoke recently at the Highlands Rotary Club, drumming up interest for a Highlands/Cashiers group.

Nancy and Mike were tennis players and thought, like many who haven’t tried Pickleball, it had no substance, no fire. Now, self-professed addicts after seven years of playing, they are the first to say that pickleball is just plain, good old-fashioned fun. And volleying at the net can be every bit as challenging and thrilling as it is in tennis.

“That is the neat thing about pickleball,” says fellow ambassador Jan Sharp. “It can be laid back and easy, or rapid-fire if the players choose to play that way.”

She suggests watching the video on the pickleball website, www.UASPA.org, to get a sense of just how intense and exciting the game can be.

Jan, Nancy, Mike, and the Franklin club welcome visitors to try pickleball on for size and catch the wave. They meet at Franklin’s Veterans Memorial Park every Monday and Wednesday at 9:00 A.M. If it is raining they gather at the Armory on Industrial Park Loop. All you have to do is show up. They will provide the courts, the paddles, balls and good company to get you started. No cost or obligation except to enjoy the heck out of a new, fun sport guaranteed to please.

If you are ever going to find yourself in a pickle, this is the one to be in. Call Nancy at (828) 369-9052 or Jan at (828) 371-0971 or e-mail at nancyfalkenstein@hotmail,com. Get your pickle on!

by Donna Rhodes


Bascom News

Retired physician Matthew Patterson and wife Sara have visited the Highlands area through the years but had not visited The Bascom. “My daughter Carroll said there was an interesting art center here,” Dr. Patterson recalled. “So Sara and I went over there and were invited to an opening reception for the Southern

Lights exhibit.”

The Jacksonville, Florida, family enjoyed The Bascom so much that Carroll and her three sons, including 13-year-old identical twins, signed up for an Art by Appointment pottery class with Ceramics Program Coordinator Frank Vickery. “My grandsons are interested in arts and crafts,” says Dr. Patterson. “Frank was very nice and has a good rapport with the kids.” Their mother, Carroll, believes that art helps build self-esteem and confidence.

During one of their visits to The Bascom, the Patterson family met the four Southern Lights artists during their painting demonstration on the Terrace. Dr. Patterson eventually purchased one of the paintings from the exhibition – “Gathering Moss” by Krista Harris.

Having taken painting classes at Jacksonville’s Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Dr. Patterson and his grandsons were amazed at the different techniques of these abstract artists. “Their approach was much different from the more formal, traditional art classes that I took,” says Dr. Patterson.  “One of the ladies helped the boys, and brought out fresh canvases for them. They now have their own abstract paintings!”

“The boys want to come back,” says Dr. Patterson, who personally looks forward to more experiences at The Bascom. And with an ongoing wealth of classes and workshops for all ages to choose from, this family, indeed all families, can “create their own Bascom” and be entertained and educated for many summers to come.

The Bascom is open year-round, Monday through Saturday, 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., and Sunday, 12 noon to 5:00 P.M. For more information, visit www.TheBascom.org or
call (828) 526-4949.

Contributed by Pat Turnbull


Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival

The Parker String Quartet brings all of the brilliant musicianship that’s a hallmark of the  Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival.

The Parker String Quartet brings all of the brilliant musicianship that’s a hallmark of the
Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival.

The Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival closes out its 32nd season with its hallmark bravura performances by world-recognized artists.

On Friday, August 2, and Saturday, August 3, The Parker String Quartet will perform Mozart’s “String Quartet K. 428;” Schulhoff’s “Quartet No. 1;” and Beethoven’s “Quartet in E flat Major, Op 74 ‘Harp.’”

Hailed by The New York Times as “something extraordinary,” the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation. The quartet began its professional touring career in 2002 and garnered international acclaim in 2005, winning the Concert Artists Guild Competition as well as the Grand Prix and Mozart Prize at the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition in France. In 2009, Chamber Music America awarded the quartet the prestigious biennial Cleveland Quartet Award for the 2009-2011 seasons.

The Festival’s Artistic Director Will Ransom will join The Parker String Quartet on Sunday, August 4, and Monday, August 5, for performances of Beethoven’s “Quartet in Bb Major, Op. 18 No. 6;” Shostakovich’s “Quartet #11;” and Dvorak’s “Piano Quintet in A Major.”

The Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festivals adds a bit of spice to the mix when it offers “Sibling Rivalry” on Friday, August 9, and Saturday, August 10. This exhilarating program will feature siblings David and Julie Coucheron on violin and piano respectively; and siblings Kate and William Ransom on violin and piano.

The dazzling musicianship of “Sibling Rivalry” sets the stage for the Final Gala Concert  and Dinner Party Sunday, August 11, at 5:00 P.M. at the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center. This performance features the talents of violinist David Coucheron, oboist Eugene Izotov, violist Yinzi Kong, and The Festival Chamber Orchestra: violinists Domenic Salerni, Helen Kim, Adda Kridler, Jessica Wu, Eun Sun Lee, Kate Ransom, Margeaux Maloney, and Chris Pulgram; violists Allan Sandlin, and Allyson Fleck; cellists Charae Krueger and Guang Wang; Brice Andrus and Susan Welty on horns; harpsichordist Timothy Albrecht; Oboist Dane Philipsen; and bassist Joe McFadden.

Dinner will follow at Wildcat Cliffs Country Club.

Throughout the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival season, concerts will be held at 6:00 P.M. Fridays at the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center in Highlands and repeated at 5:00 PM. Saturdays at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library in Cashiers. Sunday concerts will be staged at 5:00 P.M. at the Performing Arts Center in Highlands and repeated at 5:00 P.M. Mondays at the Cashiers Community Library.

For more information about the festival and its full lineup of performances and events, visit www.h-cmusicfestival.org or call (828) 526-9060.

By Luke Osteen


Playhouse Presents “Annie”

One of the most popular comic strip heroines takes center stage in “Annie” at the Highlands Playhouse through Sunday, August 17. The original Broadway production of “Annie” won seven 1977 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Book, and Score.

With equal measures of pluck and positivity, Little Orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts, despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She befriends President Franklin Roosevelt and finds a new home and family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.

Boasting one of Broadway’s most memorable scores, including “It’s the Hard-Knock Life,” “Easy Street, N.Y.C.” and the famed “Tomorrow,” Annie will leave you with an ever-optimistic feel that the sun will come out tomorrow.

Annie will star 16-year-old Highlands resident Bailey Baker. Bailey was selected because of her incredible talent as a young actress with a dynamic voice and magnetic stage presence. She has been performing in the Highlands community since she was very young, and she has been the talk of the town to be the star of “Annie.”

The evil Miss Hannigan will be played by the well-loved Heidi Spoon. Heidi originally hails from New York City where she enjoyed a career in musical theatre for over 20 years. She has performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Broadway National Tours, International tours, regional theatre, cruise ships, church basements, nightclubs and barns.

“‘Annie’ is a good, old-fashioned Broadway show, “says Artistic Director Bill Patti. “It is light hearted and has an incredibly sweet message. What excites me the most is how well we are integrating the community into the production. We have orphans from Highlands, Franklin and Rabun County. They are six of the most talented young ladies that I have had the pleasure of watching perform and the audiences are going to adore them. Also, we are utilizing a cast of 24 in “Annie.” That will make it the biggest show at the Playhouse in quite a few years!”

The Highlands Playhouse is located at 362 Oak Street, Highlands. Individual tickets for “Annie” are $30 for adults and $12 for children 12 and under. Show times are Tuesday-Saturday at 8:00 P.M. and Sunday matinees at 2:00 P.M. Group tickets (10 or more) are available now at savings up to 30 percent. For additional information or to order tickets, call the Box Office at (828) 526-2695 or email highlandsplayhouse@yahoo.com.

Contributed by Tammy Hernandez


The Cast of “Annie” at Highlands Playhouse

The Highlands Playhouse will present  the classic “Annie” through Sunday August 17.

Leading the cast is Clay Smith, who joins the Highlands Playhouse for the first time this season. Fresh from the national tour of “Fiddler on the Roof,” Smith portrays Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks the seemingly tough billionaire who adopts Annie from the orphanage. Along with the United States tour of “Fiddler,” Smith has also appeared on the Asian tour of “The Sound of Music” as Franz, and with Momentum Repetory Company
of Highlands.

Smith says he is thrilled to join “such a great company and great people,” adding that he most recently enjoyed “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” which ran through June 20. Smith holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from LSU.

As the hilarious Ms. Hannigan, Highlands Playhouse is thrilled to welcome back Heidi Johnson-Spoon, most recently seen as Mona in last year’s production of “Dames at Sea.” Ms. Spoon’s career has spanned over 20 years, appearing notably on Broadway in “The Wizard of Oz” with Eartha Kitt and Mickey Rooney, as well as the subsequent national tour. Also on tour, Ms. Spoon has appeared with Roger Miller in “Big River” and sang for President George H.W. Bush at the White House. A favorite at the playhouse, Ms. Spoon is excited to be joined by her daughter Gracie, who will be playing the role of Molly, as well as her student Annalese Starzec. She is also excited to be working with her friend, Bill Patti.

Highlands Playhouse favorite Rachel Schimenti returns for her third season as the scheming Lily St. Regis. Playhouse regulars will remember her this season as Maria Elena in “The Buddy Holly Story” and as Logainne in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Previous seasons have seen her as Joan in “Dames at Sea” and Dee Dee in “Suds.” Along with her work here in Highlands, Schimenti as been seen with Alhambra Dinner Theatre and was an Irene Ryan Award Semi Finalist for her work as Olivia in “Twelfth Night.” Schimenti says she loves the company here in Highlands and is particularly thrilled to be playing Lilly.

Rounding out the cast is Bailey Baker as Annie, Jimmy Lewis as Rooster Hannigan, Samantha Pauly as Grace Ferrel, Noah Berry as Bert Healey, Stuart Armor as Drake, Annabelle Fox as Star To Be, Dan Holtsclaw as Franklin Roosevelt and Sandy the Dog as Sandy. The orphans will be played by Jessie Keuhne, Abigail Gilbert, Hayley Hawkins, Gracie Spoon, Cameron Sweet, and Annalese Starzec. Kameron Stambaugh, Zach Snyder, Emmanuel Davis, Kacey Willis, Wesley Carpenter, Jonathan Chisolm, Peter Seifarth, Madison Munich, and Kate Jones will fill the ensemble. “Annie” is directed by Bill Patti, with Nigel Huckle as assistant director. Brieanna Bailey choreographs and daMon Goff music directs.

The Highlands Playhouse production runs through August 17 with shows Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00 P.M. and Sundays at 2:00 P.M. The Highlands Playhouse is located at 362 Oak Street, Highlands, NC, 28741. Individual tickets for adults are $30 and $12 for children 12 and under. For additional information or to order tickets, call the Box Office at (828) 526-2695 or email highlandsplayhouse@yahoo.com.

The 2013 Musical Season of Love and Laughter continues with “Nunsense” (October 4-13). We invite you to visit the new Highlands Playhouse website at

Contributed by Tammy Hernandez


“Dinner at Seven” in Highlands NC

Highlands United Methodist Church will stage “Dinner at Seven,” at 5:30 P.M. Friday, August 2. The musical is the product of the church’s Summer Music Camp for children.

“We held the camp from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. July 29 – August 2, and this performance is the result of the kids’ hard work,” said HUMC Minister of Music Les Scott. “We draw upon students from local churches and children who don’t attend church and those who may just be visiting Highlands and Cashiers for the summer.  They learn the basics of choral techniques and how to perform in front of a crowd – it’s a lot to learn in one week’s time, but somehow every year our campers rise to
the occasion.”

“Dinner at Seven” was written by Luke Osteen and Les Scott and marks the latest collaboration between the two, a partnership stretching back five years. It’s the story of a group of elementary school students learning that the presence of Christ can be felt in the most unlikely of places.

Everyone is invited to attend the performance and admission is free.

Betsy Paul Art Raffle in Cashiers NC

The Betsy Paul art raffles for the  Cashiers Glenville Volunteer Fire Department, will be held on August 31, in the afternoon. For more information, call  (828) 743-0880.

The Betsy Paul art raffles for the
Cashiers Glenville Volunteer Fire Department, will be held on August 31, in the afternoon. For more information, call
(828) 743-0880.

This is the fourth time that Annell Metsker has graciously donated a painting to benefit the Cashiers-Glenville Fire Department through the monthly art raffle held at Betsy Paul Properties.  Annell’s creation, given for the August Art Raffle, is a delightful painting of a Highlands’ Barn.

Annell L. Metsker, known professionally as Annell, combines photography and painting to create images that evoke the soul of her subjects and portray mood and emotion visually. Whether she is creating a portrait, landscape or figurative work of art she is able to use the beauty and mystery of light and shadow, and the rhythm of motion to captivate the viewer’s attention. She works intuitively with her subjects to reveal beauty and authenticity in her art. Whether you are looking for a photographic portrait, or a painting of your children, family, pets, or a favorite travel image, Annell will create a work of art that captures their true essence.

Annell finds her creative muse in her home on Lake Glenville where the peacefulness and energy of the mountains inspire her paintings. Her portrait studio in Charlotte, specializing in heirloom portraits of children and families, has been named Best of Charlotte Photographers for several years. In 2012 Annell received the prestigious Silver Medal Award from Professional Photographers of America for her excellence in print competition.  Her art is exhibited at Blue Valley Gallery in Cashiers, Tsartistry Gallery and Gallery of Gems in Franklin, www.annell.com  and has pride of place in many private collections across the US.  Contact her at annell@annell.com, (828) 743-5784 or (704) 847-8281.

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


Art League of Highlands

Peggy McBride

Peggy McBride

Peggy McBride of Lakemont, Georgia, will be the guest speaker at the Art League’s August 26 meeting in the Hughes Studio of the Bascom.  McBride calls herself a “Book Artist” these days, yet her artworks rarely include a front and back cover.  After 40 years as a mixed media artist working in leather, textiles and found objects, the Book Arts medium for McBride presents unique assemblages of discarded objects into unexpected sculptural presentations.  She recently transformed the former Globe Gallery into her studio and is devoted to the exploration of sculptural ways to promote the preservation of our world. She was also one of the featured artists in Asheville at Blue Spiral’s recent “Appalachian Trail” exhibit.  At the meeting, McBride will share some of her handmade books and birdcage books plus a bit of her poetry.  Social hour is at 4:30 P.M. and the program begins at 5:00 P.M.  Both are open to the public and free of charge.

A new workshop is available.  In 1980, Catherine Christy, a well-know local artist and former Highlands resident, helped to start what became known as “Studio Alive,” where live models posed for artists to do sketches, drawings and paintings.  In 2007 the group disbanded, but this past winter, Catherine, assisted by Pat Calderone of the Art League of Highlands, worked to revive the concept, and it is now operating again.  Each Tuesday from 1:00 – 4:00 P.M. in the Community Center above the Scaly Mountain Fire Department, local artists of varying skill levels gather in a casual setting to work and share ideas about art and the expression of the human figure.  A different model poses each week.  A modest cost of $20 is required for four sessions, and artists supply their own materials (no oils).  All interested artists should call Catherine Christy (706) 782-4060 or Pat Calderone (706) 746-5540 or www.studioalive.net for more information.

Contributed by Zach Claxton



Highlands PAC

The Hit Men

The Hit Men

The Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center’s Summer Concert Series is over, with three sold out concerts.

The Highlands PAC is getting ready for the Fall Concert Series.  Be sure to save the dates and call now for tickets. Makes plans to join us Saturday, September 28, for the nationally known Storyteller Andy Offutt Irwin.  Andy is always a headliner at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, Tennessee.  This performance is presented by Nell Lipscomb Martin and Lynda Lipscomb Wexler.

On Saturday, October 5, The Hit Men visit Highlands.  This band includes four of the original members of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  In addition, they have composed for and performed with Tommy James and The Shondels, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, Elton John, Barry Manilow and many others.  They’re presented by Beth and Dan Riley, Diane and Ray McPhail, Minnie Bob and Mike Campbell, Louise and Rick Demetriou, Ruth Gershon and Sandy Cohn, Jane Webb and David LaCagnina, Harry Norman Realty, Carole Simmons, Cindy and Rick Trevathan, and Peggy Woodruff.

Rounding out the Fall Concert Series on Friday, November 29 (the Friday night after Thanksgiving) is Bluegrass with David Holt and Josh Goforth.  David Holt is a four-time Grammy Award winner.  It is another extraordinary evening, not to be missed. The performance is presented by Ray and Diane McPhail and Doug and Barbara DeMaire.

Call (828) 526-9047 now to reserve tickets or, to purchase tickets online, visit highlandspac.org.


Contributed by Mary Adair Leslie


Highlands-Cashiers Players

The Cast of Almost, Maine

The Cast of Almost, Maine

The men and women of Almost, a small fictitious town in northern Maine, pose for the camera on a cold winter’s night. These bundled up folk are the cast of the Highlands Cashiers Players’ August production, “Almost, Maine,” a whimsical romantic comedy in which various characters fall in and out of love under the luminous glow of the northern lights in this witty winter’s tale.

Pictured above, front row left to right: Ellen Agee, Ivy Trent, Alona Khorolska, Rachel Woods, Megan McLean, Raina Trent.  Back row (L to R): Robert Trotter, Lance Trudel, Kevin Murphy, Ted Wisniewski, and Chris Hess.  Not pictured is Pam Moore.

“Almost, Maine,” written by John Cariani, directed by HCP’s Virginia Talbot, consists of nine bittersweet tales which will, with their unexpected twists and quirky humor, provide enchanted entertainment at the Highlands Performing Arts Center Thursdays through Sundays, August 22 through September 1. The HCP box office opens for season subscribers on Thursday and Friday, August 15 and 16, and for others on Saturday, August 17.  Hours are 10:00 A.M. to 4:oo P.M., and one hour before the performances which start at 7:30 P.M. on weekdays, and 2:30 P.M. on Sundays.

For tickets or more information, call the Highlands-Cashiers Players’ box office at (828) 526-8084, or visit thier website at www.highlandscashiersplayers.org.