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 the Cashiers Trail Mix.

It’s not a new kind of healthy snack, but rather a combination five-mile mountain trail run and three-mile team adventure run on the beautiful wilderness terrain of the 2,000-acre Chinquapin Community. This inaugural event will also feature a dog walk and demonstrations, kids’ play, archery, falconry, live music and more.

The runs will take place over a course with over 400 feet in elevation change and start and finish at 4,200 feet. Runners will follow rugged trails through lush forest, over creeks and streams, while the adventure teams will tackle obstacles, a bit of mud (maybe more than a bit), and plenty of fun challenges.

Naturally, non-athletic dogs who are primarily interested in sniffing things and looking for handouts are welcome to attend the Cashiers Trail Mix.

Charter Sponsors for the event include Chinquapin, Mountain Dog Spa & Boutique, RavenCliff,  Views Magazine, 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 or

By Luke Osteen



Highlands Historical Society’s Annual Dahlia Festival

Dahlias are celebrated in all their dazzling glory on September 14.

Dahlias are celebrated in all their dazzling glory on September 14.

Plan to attend the third annual Dazzling Dahlias Festival on September 14 from 1:00 to 5:00 P.M. at the Highlands Recreation Center located on the Cashiers Highway just a few short blocks from Main Street.

Gather your friends and come to The Farm at Old Edwards on Wednesday, September 11, for the Festival Patron Party. Enjoy sumptuous fare prepared by award-winning chef Johannes Klapdohr and his staff. Festivities begin at 6:30 P.M.  For tickets to the Patron Party, call Joyce Franklin at (828) 526-9418 or visit

To enter your dahlias, pick up a registration form 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.  Friday, September 13, and 9:00 to 11:00 A.M. Saturday, September 14. Floral entry fee is $10.

Plan to tour the Dazzlin’ Dahlias exhibit from 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M on Saturday, September 14. You’ll be mesmerized by the variety of dahlias on display. You’ll see small button-hole dahlias next to dinner plate size flowers. Colors run the whole gamut of colors except purple. No one has been able to perfect that color. Plan to learn tips from local gardener Barry Jones as he presents “How To Grow Dahlias” 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.

By Wiley Sloan



USGA Senior Amateur Golf Tournament in Cashiers NC

The time is drawing near as Wade Hampton Golf Club prepares to host the USGA’s 2013 Senior Amateur Championship, to be held September 18-26.

“Wade Hampton is excited to be able to give back to the game,” says Wade Hampton General Manager Jeff Heilbrun. “This is a real honor and validates the quality of our course. This is the first national championship to be held in our region.”

People familiar with the Tom Fazio-designed course understand why it was chosen. Golf Digest ranked the course as the 22nd Best American Course in 2013, and Golfweek has named Wade Hampton as the top residential golf course numerous times over the past eight years.

“It’s very gratifying to know that the USGA is  pleased with the current setup of the golf course and will make very few alterations to the course,” Heilbrun says. “We hope to have a good number of spectators throughout the championship.”

There’s no admission charge.  You can reach the course via a shuttle from the parking lot in front of the Cashiers Fire Department on US 64, just two blocks west of the Cashiers Crossroads.  No private cars will be allowed into Wade Hampton.   Food and beverages will be available for purchase in a special tent adjacent to the clubhouse.

The USGA Senior Amateur Championship is open to men 55 years old or older who have a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 7.4. Players must have qualified at one of 53 sites between July 30 and August 15 to play in the championship.

If you’d like to volunteer for one of the many jobs required to support this event, go to and complete the Volunteer Form found in the Senior Amateur Sction, or call Tim Boeve in the Golf Shop at (828) 743-5950.

By Wiley Sloan



Fundraiser Golf Tournament in Highlands, NC

SOAR and Mountaintop Rotary are sponsoring a Golf Tournament at Highlands Falls Country Club at 9:00 A.M. Friday, October 4.

Cost is $150 per person. Organizers are looking for sponsors. To sign up or for more information, call (828) 507-0174.

SOAR is the local arm of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The foundation was established 32 years ago when special operations personnel were killed on the mission to rescue the American hostages in Iran. The foundation continued on to be sure that the children of all fallen special operations personnel would have a college education, this includes scholarship grants, counseling and financial aid. The children range in ages from infants to college age. While the children are spread throughout the nation, North Carolina has the largest number of children in the program. The foundation gives all children of these young men who lost their life a college education (grant, not a loan). The total children are now over 900, from newborn to college age. They will receive a college education, family counseling and financial assistance to the families of our wounded troops.

This is the 11th year that SOAR is staging events to support the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Over the years, the local group has raised over $500,000 for the Foundation.

Mountaintop Rotary has been a tremendous supporter of local charities. Proceeds from this tournament will help it continue its mission.

By Luke Osteen



Songwriters’ Round in Cashiers, NC

 The September 28 event marks the return of Nashville songwriting legend Rivers Rutherford along with special friends George Teren, Kelley Lovelace and Tim James.

The September 28 event marks the return of Nashville songwriting legend Rivers Rutherford along with special friends George
Teren, Kelley Lovelace and Tim James.

The Eighth Annual Songwriters’ Round to benefit the Blue Ridge School Education Foundation, will be held this year on Saturday, September 28, at the Mountaintop Golf and Lake Club in Cashiers.

The evening will start with a Social at 6:00 P.M. serving a Rib Dinner and beverages, with the concert beginning at 7:30 P.M.

A Silent Auction will take place during the Social Time. Be ready to bid on items such as golf games, dinners, and music memorabilia.

The evening will feature hit songs by Rivers Rutherford, such as “When I Get To Where I’m Going”: Brad Paisley;  “She Don’t Tell Me To”: Montgomery Gentry and “Bullets in the Gun”: Toby Keith.

Also returning and sharing his top hits is George Teren  with “Real Good Man”: Tim McGraw;  “Heavy Liftin’”: Blake Sheltonk and “If The Sun Comes Up”: Trace Adkins.

In additon, Kelley Lovelace  with “All American Girl”: Carrie Underwood; “Laughed Until We Cried”: Jason Aldean and “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight”: Randy Houser.

And finally, Tim James will perform “My List”: Toby Keith; “Give It All We Got Tonight”: George Strait and “Love Like Crazy”: Lee Brice.

Tickets are $75 and are available at the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce at (828) 743-5191 or  call  Susan Waller at (828) 526-9186.

Fishes and Loaves Empty Bowls Fundraiser in Cashiers, NC

The beautiful bowls are both a cherished keepsake and a timely  reminder of the needs of the world.

The beautiful bowls are both a cherished keepsake and a timely reminder of the needs of the world.

On Sunday, October 6, the Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry in Cashiers will hold its third annual Empty Bowls fundraiser from 11:30 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. at the Zachary-Tolbert House in Cashiers.

The Empty Bowls Project is an international movement built upon a single idea: Potters and other craftspeople, educators and others work with the community to create handcrafted bowls. Guests are invited to a simple meal of soup and bread. In exchange for a cash donation, guests are asked to keep a bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. The money raised is donated to an organization working to end hunger and food insecurity.

The Bascom will be hosting potters to throw 800 bowls for the event this year. The bowls will be filled with soup and bread donated by local restaurants.

The cost for the bowl is $20 and diners will be able to keep the bowl as a memento.  While at the Zachary-Tolbert House, patrons can enjoy tours of the historic structure as well.

All proceeds will go to the Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry in Cashiers. A similar event will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Highlands to benefit the The Food Pantry in Highlands. For anyone who cannot attend, tickets and bowls can be purchased prior to the event at the Cashiers Historical Society. For more information, call Carole Stork at (828) 743-3222 or e-mail her at

Hands Christmas Dinner Fundraiser in Highlands, NC

Highlands Christmas Dinner volunteers demonstrate  the best of the Holiday Spirit.

Highlands Christmas Dinner volunteers demonstrate the best of the Holiday Spirit.

Why come to Highlands Annual Christmas Dinner? Well, there are no menus to plan, there is no big grocery shopping to do, and no dishes to wash. There is just the gift of quality time to share the beauty and feeling of Christmas Day with those you love.

Mostly, this dinner reflects, in the purest sense, the spirit of Christmas. All proceeds of the Annual Highlands Christmas Dinner go to local Highlands non-profits. Since 2001, this dinner has cumulatively raised over $130,000 for local charities. Additionally, it provides Christmas Day meals to many needy families in the Highlands Area.

The dinner is lovingly prepared by Marty Rosenfield (Lakeside Restaurant); Holly Roberts (The Kitchen); Martha Porter (Morningside Bed and Breakfast); and Donna Woods, and served by a volunteer staff. The Hudson House at Highlands Country Club is the perfect setting for this mouth-watering feast, allowing all who come at any given time to see all of their friends and neighbors in one room.

We are not only looking for sponsors to make 2013 the best Christmas Dinner ever, but for anyone who would be interested in perpetuating this event and guiding it forward by taking on the culinary and leadership roles.  If you have an interest, please call Ricky Siegel at (828) 526-5102.

Seatings are from 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and are by reservation only. The cost is $35 for adults; $15 for children under 11; and children under five eat free.

To make reservations, call (828) 526-9419 after November 15.

Contributed by Rick Siegel


Friendship Center Empty Bowls Fundraiser in Highlands NC

The Empty Bowls Lunch, set for October 6 at First Presbyterian Church of Highlands, offers delicious homemade soup, lovingly crafted works of art and a healthy serving of compassion.

The Empty Bowls Lunch, set for October 6 at First Presbyterian Church of Highlands, offers delicious homemade soup, lovingly crafted works of art and a healthy serving of compassion.

Join us for our third annual Empty Bowls Lunch. You’re invited to come and share a bowl of soup and bread at the Highlands Presbyterian Church on Sunday, October 6 from 11:45 A.M. to 1:45 P.M., or as long as the bowls last.

The Empty Bowls Project is an international effort to fight hunger. Guests are encouraged to keep a hand-crafted bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. All proceeds from this event will benefit The Food Pantry of Highlands, a collaborative project between The International Friendship Center and the Highlands United Methodist Church.

The bowls for the event were hand-crafted at The Bascom local and regional artists.

Cost is $20 per bowl. Children eat free, but will not be provided a keepsake bowl unless purchased.

Bowl tickets may be purchased in advance or at the event. Please contact the International Friendship Center for more information at (828) 526-0890.

Contributed by Faviola Olvera, Director of Services International Friendship Center


Village Nature Series in Cashiers NC

Majestic raptors will have their evening to shine on September 24 at The Village Green Commons in Cashiers.

Majestic raptors will have their evening to shine on September 24 at The Village Green Commons in Cashiers.

Have you ever watched a bird make graceful circles high in the sky and thought, “If only I could do that?”

Chances are you were admiring the effortless flight of true masters of the sky, the group of agile and powerful avian hunters known as raptors. These magnificent birds will be featured at 7:00 P.M. Tuesday, September 24, at Cashiers’ Village Green Commons as part of the Village Nature Series.

“Raptor” is not a scientific classification but a catchall term used to refer to eagles, hawks, falcons, kites and owls.

Michael Skinner, of the Balsam Mountain Trust, will bring a group of these birds of prey to The Village Green.

“Birds of prey have both fascinated and terrorized humankind for thousands of years,” says Skinner, “This is why they are revered by kings and killed out of ignorance, greed and arrogance.”

The feathered ambassadors from Balsam Mountain Trust can no longer effectively hunt and therefore cannot live in the wild. Their range of injuries is numerous, but usually are the result of accidents. The Trust rehabilitates them and once they are acclimated to their surroundings and handlers they are utilized for educational programs like the Village Nature Series.

“I have a distinct honor and privilege to be able to work with these magnificent birds and provide opportunities for the  public to get up close and personal with species most people only see from a distance,” says Skinner.

The Village Nature Series is sponsored by the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust and The Village Green as part of their shared mission to protect and preserve the land and natural resources. The monthly presentations provide educational opportunities to learn about distinctive features of the area as well as offer cultural enrichment for residents and visitors to the Highlands-Cashiers community.

The programs are the last Tuesday of each month from May through October at The Village Green Commons on Frank Allen Road near the Cashiers Post Office.

Contributed by Ann Self



Cover Artist Hilarie Lambert

cover-artist-onecover-artist-twocover-artist-threeHilarie Lambert is magical. Given the right light, she can transform the most mundane of objects into a thing of beauty. It is the often-overlooked stuff to which she is drawn. Last year she participated in a plein air painting event in Cashiers. While everyone else painted mountain vistas, flora and fauna, Hilarie dragged a weathered croquet set from a shed, set it out to bathe in exquisite morning light, and created a masterpiece.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that croquet was a favorite game as a child. Her father let fly a cadenza of curses every time he cut the lawn. Many an overgrown wicket got sucked into the mower blades. Perhaps it is that memory that drew her to the mallets and balls, a tribute to dad and his mowing prowess.

But isn’t that the power that drives artists, the ability to combine personal history with contemporary image, then translate that into beautiful compositions to which the viewer can assign his/her own story?  To illustrate: while painting in Italy, a woman came up to Hilarie and commented on her painting, “You know, I had never noticed the beauty in that.”

Hilarie elaborates, “It’s not so much the subject matter as it is the way in which light, shadow and color play on surfaces. That is what the artist explores, refines, and shows to the viewer so that he/she can revisit the familiar with new eyes.”

And Hilarie is a dedicated master of light. She began as a graphic designer and illustrator. She worked as an art director for a large corporation and did illustrations for Scholastic Magazine. Fine art had tugged at her artistic soul for years, so later in life she gave up her day jobs and took on painting full time. Now she is in her studio by 7:30 A.M. and paints ‘til the last flicker of light is extinguished at day’s end.

She likes to paint series. Her current one is “Summer” (hence the croquet set). When she is not doing shows or a commission, she is visiting her daughter and grandchildren in Paris where she takes time to breathe the rarefied air of Giverny, Monet’s stomping grounds. Her work can be viewed in several galleries across the Southeast, among them John Collette Fine Art in Cashiers.

She feels a kinship to Highlands and Cashiers, having grown up in the Finger Lakes of upstate New York. She says, “I miss the mountains and hills . . . the cool air, the lakes and streams, and the beautiful flowers. I feel like I am home when I am in Highlands/Cashiers.”

To see more of her work, visit John Collette Fine Art Gallery, 104, Highway 107, South, Cashiers, North Carolina, (828) 743-7977, where new work will be on exhibit later this month. Or check out Hilarie’s website, Exciting new work is on the way as she initiates her beautiful new studio in Charleston, South Carolina.


Clearly, a Glass Act

Feature Artist Tadashi Torilli

Feature Artist Tadashi Torilli

Tadashi Torii’s style is as silky-smooth as the blown-glass he creates. Every movement, each twirl of the pipe, perfectly choreographed with the pull of gravity, produces a delicate fluted edge or an elegant organic form. It is as though the furnace that heats the molten glass to a red-hot glow is the same creative furnace that burns inside Torii. When he is in the zone, he is on fire.

Mastering this complex art form was quite a transformation for someone whose beginnings were polar opposites, literally and figuratively, to where he is now. For starters, he grew up in Japan. He says, “I was one of two exchange students chosen by our missionary to come to Koinonia Partners in South Georgia. After a year of English classes in the morning and working at the Pecan Farm in the afternoon I decided to enroll at Georgia Southwestern State University as a business major.”

That’s how he got from Japan to America, but how did he shift from business to glass-making? He says, “ I signed up for my first glass blowing class as a way to have a fun time away from the business studies of two years. It quickly became a treasured time for me. Glass captivated my interest from the very start. After two semesters in the glass blowing studio, the urge of three professors to change my major and receiving the blessing from my parents, I changed my major to Fine Art. I had a natural talent working with glass and a burning desire to expand on it.”

And thus fun became a lifelong passion. Along the way he met artist Corina Pia, a native of Germany, whom he married. Together they have worked on interior design projects and are actively seeking public art commissions. The blend of Japanese, German, and American influences has strengthened Torii’s glass-making repertoire, which is   rooted in heritage, nature, and the human experience.

It is Torii’s dream to establish his own studio. Presently, he is working out of the Green Energy Park ( in Dillsboro where he won the distinction of being the first full-time glass artist-in-residence. He says, “Using sustainable energy to fuel part of the glass studio’s equipment not only made my art making more environmentally friendly but also more cost effective. What Director Timm Muth and his team develop is going to help future generations carry on this ancient tradition.”

While he has work in private collections museums, galleries, and exhibitions, his creations can be seen in Highlands in Smitten Gallery, 10 Foreman Road. He adds, “I have an exhibit opening at Gallery 86 [Haywood County Arts Council] on Main Street in Waynesville on Friday September 6, 6:00 to 9:00 P.M. Admission is free and everyone is invited.”

The website is the Facebook page ‘Torii Art Torii’ and offers latest news, images of artwork and fun insights on his life working in collaboration with wife, Corina Pia Torii. The link to that page is For custom orders and commissions call (828) 331-8994. Check him out. The Torii family is clearly a glass act!

by Donna Rhodes



Bascom News

William Parker creates his own art at The Bascom’s Art by Appointment class with local artist Rosemary Stiefel.

William Parker creates his own art at The Bascom’s Art by Appointment class with local artist Rosemary Stiefel.

Jim and Becky Parker and their sons from St. Simons Island, Georgia, acquired an original artwork from The Bascom during their vacation in the Highlands-Cashiers area this summer. And it happened to be by their own 13-year-old son, William. The emerging artist took an Art by Appointment class with Rosemary Stiefel at The Bascom and was duly proud of the abstract painting he created.

“My husband and I were looking for an art camp for our son, William, since our older son, James, was heading to an outdoor adventure camp in the area,” says Becky Parker. Husband Jim explored The Bascom’s website and discovered its individualized Art by Appointment—private instruction in your choice of medium at your choice of time. The Parkers arranged painting classes for William. “It was a fantastic decision,” Becky recalls. “Will Barclift [Youth and Outreach Coordinator] was instrumental in pairing our William with artist Rosemary Stiefel. She did an excellent job in encouraging and challenging William.”

William, who says he looks forward to more instruction at The Bascom, explains that his goal was to create art for his bedroom. He enjoyed the hands-on process with Rosemary Stiefel. “She was interactive and she understood where I was in my artistic ability,” he says. He describes his completed work as “abstract expression with splatter paint.”

The Parkers vacation every year in nearby Sapphire, North Carolina, and anticipate becoming more involved at The Bascom. “I was quite impressed at first sight with the entire facility,” says Becky. “It is incredibly beautiful with the use of reclaimed wood, and it fits into the historic setting of the area so naturally. Watching art classes conducted in open-air spaces was wonderful to see.”

For Art by Appointment for youth, contact Will Barclift at 828-787-2897 or at For Adult Art by Appointment, contact Sara Hill, Adult Program Coordinator, at (828) 787-2865 or at The Bascom is open year-round, Monday through Saturday, 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., and Sunday, noon to 5 :00 P.M. Visit or call (828) 526-4949 for the latest exhibitions, classes, events and other opportunities.

Contributed by Pat Turnbull



Movies at The Playhouse

The town of Highlands is flush with things to do throughout the summer. There are world-class theaters, outdoor concerts, and fine arts events.

The one thing that residents of Highlands often lament is the long trip to a movie theater. As of this month, however, that issue will be no longer! The Highlands Playhouse will be opening a state of the art movie theater by the middle of September.

The theater has hired nationally recognized movie consultants to help install the movie theater equipment. The playhouse will have a 25-foot screen that will cover what is presently the theatrical performance space.

The projector will have the newest technologies, and is being hailed as the “best projector in the state of North Carolina” by Cinevision – the installation company based in Atlanta. The 5.2 Surround Sound System has been put in place and will put the audience right in the middle of the action. The movie theater project was possible because of the generosity of Highlands Playhouse friend Jerry Pair, as well as the winterization project backed by Horst and Margaret Winkler, Lupoli Real Estate and Construction Co., the Old Edwards Inn and Spa, and the Town of Highlands.

Fans of the theater will be relieved to hear that the screen is retractable and will not interfere with the lineup of professional productions. The current plans call for the playhouse to maintain its professional summer season schedule, while adding movies on Sunday and Monday nights during the summer. During the theater’s off season (September through May), movies will air multiple times during the week. The movie theater will host both current and classic releases.

“The Highlands Playhouse has a 75-year history of providing top notch entertainment to residents and visitors of Highlands,” Artistic Director Bill Patti said, “This movie theater will expand on that tradition and give the people of Highlands a place to watch new movies in a first rate theater without having to travel.”

The schedule of movies is available at For more information, contact the Playhouse at (828) 526-2695.

Contributed by Tammy Hernandez



Betsy Paul Art Raffle

The Art of Dottie Bruce

The Art of Dottie Bruce

The raffle prize for September is a beautiful painting called “Autumn Splendor” created by Dottie Bruce and donated by Graham and Greta Somerville.  This is the fifth time that Dottie’s paintings have been part of the art raffle benefitting the Cashiers-Glenville Fire Department.

After years of experimenting with varied and different forms of expressing herself through her art, Dottie finally “found” herself in acrylic mixed-media.  Her creations are frequently inspired by her environment.  Anything that intrigues her is incorporated into her work.  Nature usually speaks the loudest because she spends a lot of time in her cabin on the Whitewater River.  Dottie’s style is universally appealing, representational, yet stylized with a rich graphic feel.  Each of her creations is one-of-a-kind.  She wants her collectors to feel they own an original work, not a copy.

Dottie has a studio in Cashiers.  Her artwork can also be found at Tsartistry Gallery in Franklin and she has several pieces on display at SweeTreats in Highlands.  Dottie’s art is presently on the cover of the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival playbills and has been made into posters.  All of her work is original and is now held in private collections throughout the United States.  If you would like to see more and know more about Dottie’s work, visit her website at

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. Tickets may be purchased at her office, or donations 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.


Storytelling, Retro Rock and Bluegrass


Andy Offutt Irwin (right) and The Hit Men (above) come to Highlands PAC this Fall.

highlands-pac-Andy-Offutt-IrwinSaturday, September 28, is the date for seeing (and listening to) the nationally known Storyteller Andy Offutt Irwin at the Highlands Performing Arts Center.  Andy is always a headliner at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, Tennessee.  Come out for an evening of laughter and fun.  Presented by Nell Lipscomb Martin and Lynda Lipscomb Wexler.

Saturday, October 5, The Hit Men will bring their hits from 60s, 70s and 80s.  All the music we danced to and know all the words to!  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 Shondells, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, Elton John, Barry Manilow and many others.  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. This will be a great nostalgic, feel young again evening.

The Fall Concert Series will end on Friday, November 29 (the Friday night after Thanksgiving) with an evening of Bluegrass featuring David Holt and Josh Goforth.  David Holt is a four time Grammy Award winner.  Bring all of your Thanksgiving guests for a great Bluegrass concert.  Presented by Ray and Diane McPhail and Doug and Barbara DeMaire.  Tickets are available online at or by calling: (828) 526-9047.  Highlands Pac is located at 507 Chestnut Street.

Contributed by Mary Adair Leslie



Art League of Highlands

In 2007, The Art League created The Children’s  Task Force, which sponsored a once-a- week afternoon children’s art camp at the Civic Center.

In 2007, The Art League created The Children’s
Task Force, which sponsored a once-a- week afternoon children’s art camp at the Civic Center.

From its inception in 1980, the Art League of Highlands has been committed to bringing art to the children of the Highlands-Cashiers plateau.  Before Highlands School had an art teacher, the League would bus school children to a facility known as the “Studio for the Arts,” where music and theater were included in the program.  After an art program was established at the school, the League began an after school enrichment program at the Bascom-Louise Gallery of the Hudson Library.  Scholarships were awarded to exceptionally talented older students.  A program was also initiated in area pre-schools to introduce toddlers to supervised easel time done with a variety of implements and brushes.

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

This year, the Art League expanded its youth effort by supporting the Macon County Arts Association-Bascom Children’s Camp in July.  Approximately 24 children participated in this program.  It also continued its partnership with the Bascom in the summer art camp by providing volunteer teachers for two four-week sessions.  Additionally, the Art League continues to provide funds to The Bascom to support our mutual endeavors
with youth.

Today, as it has been from the beginning, The Art League of Highlands remains fully committed to nurturing area youth’s appreciation of the visual arts.

Contributed by Zach Claxton



Come to the Cabaret!

Carrie Hardy

Carrie Hardy


Jason Hardy

Jason Hardy

Just because the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival’s performance season wrapped up in August, that doesn’t mean that its event season is over.

Still up on its calendar is “Come to the Cabaret!,” a cabaret concert slated for 6:00 P.M. Sunday, September 15, at the Highlands Playhouse. This rollicking good time will feature Jason and Carrie Hardy singing some of the most beloved Broadway, opera, and American Songbook favorites. They’ll be accompanied by pianist William Ransom – the Festival’s artistic director.

Complementing the irresistible music is the fine food and wine catered by Wolfgang’s Restaurant & Wine Bistro.

It’s an evening to benefit the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival and the Highlands Playhouse. Tickets are $100 per person. For more information or reservations, call (828) 526-9060.

by Luke Osteen



The Art of Anna Kinkaide

anna-kincade-john-collette-cashiers-ncMost little girls delight in dressing Barbies. Others, like Anna Kincaide, study figure drawing to design the dresses those fashion dolls might wear. Kincaide says, “I started when I was young. I loved to draw people, so at age six I got portrait books and practiced faces and hands.”

Clearly she knew early on that art was her lifelong passion. So after high school, she enrolled at Florida State University as an interior design major, concerned that a fine art degree might not support her.

After working in interior design for a while, she missed painting and the creative process. About four years ago she dipped her toe in the artistic waters and began painting portraits as a sideline. One thing led to another. She opened a studio, went to work full-time as a painter, established a presence in several well-established galleries including John Collette Fine Art in Cashiers, and the rest is history.

Her painting trademark is twofold: one, capturing the elegant couture feel of the Cary Grant era; and two, cropping her figures so that anyone can identify with the images. For example, imagine yourself, your sister, your friend, or your mother in an Oleg Cassini or Givenchy-style ensemble.  It’s easy to do with a Kincaide original.

Even though Kincaide didn’t consciously plan cropping the eyes in her painting it just turned out that way, and the result was fascinating. She says, “When I started I was more focused on the aura of the figure, the clothing, the body. In traditional portraiture the viewer goes straight to the eyes. My style allows people to focus on the colors, patterns, the composition, and design elements. Viewers assign their own story, their own emotions to the piece. Each painting has a personal story to tell based upon the unique individual visually stepping into its environment.”

To see more of Kincaide’s work visit her website at or like her Facebook page: Anna Kincaide Artwork. To see her artwork up close and personal, visit John Collette Fine Art Gallery, 104, Highway 107 South, Cashiers,  (828) 743-7977.

by Donna Rhodes



Esthetician Rachel Lew

Rachel Lew’s mission is to save the smile and boost  the spirit.

Rachel Lew’s mission is to save the smile and boost
the spirit.

Rachel Lew, an esthetician with a sprinkling of art in her background, nurtures the beauty in us. And who better to do that than one who elevates her profession to an art form?

She says, “I believe that creating beauty in the world brings balance to oneself.”

Rachel has a degree from Appalachian State in art and body therapy. While she knows the body tip-to-toe, she has focused on facials and face massage. Literally and figuratively, she is a smile specialist, for the facial structure, muscles, tissue, dermis and epidermis are one with the smile. If all those components are not in balance, it is reflected in facial expression.

“Collagen and elastin are key to healthy-looking skin.” Rachel says. “When they are stimulated, they are awakened. That is what keeps us smiling and glowing inside and out.

“My intention is for a client to leave with a radiant complexion, a smile on his or her face, and a feeling of peace and joy.”

In addition to facials, Rachel gives one-on-one yoga instruction. She has that special intuitive gift which tunes her in to her clients’ needs. Nurturance is a key component in her skin and body care program.

“I love nurturing people through gentle touch, effective techniques, and the most up-to-date technology in skin care,” she says. “I use ultrasound vibration that relaxes skin tissue very deeply and cleanses, massages, and stimulates down into the dermis.”

To set up an appointment or inquire further, contact Rachel at:, or call her at (828) 773-7203. Her facial studio is at Mantra Massage Ayurvedic Spa, 9 Pillar Drive in Cashiers (next to Woof Gang Bakery). Visit the website at

And remember, a great smile is arguably our most attractive feature. You want to keep that going and glowing, whether you are a woman or a man. Facials are for everyone.

Call today to feel your skin glow. What better gift to yourself or others than a relaxing mini facelift!

By Donna Rhodes


Collegiate Pride at The Hen House

hen_house_2_Highlands_nchen_house_highlands_ncRoot, root, root for the Home Team! That’s right, proudly decorate your home and get ready for your tailgating party with many of the fine collegiate products offered at the Hen House in Highlands. Everything you need for your team  from coolers, cozies, party napkins, tabletop trays’ chip and dip bowls, bottle openers, team buntings, flags, totes and even team band aids!  ALL at The Hen House.

Be sure to check out their extensive selection of team apparel and clothing before the next game.

And don’t forget their Tervis Tumblers, with many beautiful collegiate designs. Who doesn’t  enjoy a high quality Thermal mug, tumbler, or water bottle while walking, traveling or sitting on a rock by the waterfall.

If you don’t have a Forest TREE FACE for your favorite team, then The Hen House should be your next stop! We got em!

Famous for their Three Pepper Jam, they are also known for their delicious and varied gourmet selections, from well known makers like Stonewall Kitchen, Robert Rothschild Farms, B.R.Cohn, Sallies Greatest Jams and many others.

Six exclusive lines of hand made pottery, special gift items and most importantly, friendly and attentive service!

No visit to Highlands is complete without a stop at The Hen House.  Lloyd and Debra Wagner have one  of the most beautiful and fun shops in the area. Find them at 488 East Main Street in Highlands Monday through Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

Smitten of Highlands

Katherine Evans, Annelize Giliomee and  Bonnie Earman of Smitten.

Katherine Evans, Annelize Giliomee and
Bonnie Earman of Smitten.

Katherine Evans had been searching for the perfect time and place to realize a lifelong dream. This past spring, with the help of partner Annelize Giliomee, the old health food store location on Cashiers Road was renovated to create a casual and intimate, magical art space. Katherine and Annelize filled it with beautiful American handmade crafts from local artists who make whimsical Art-to-go pieces from $10 to $20 all the way up to collector’s objets d’art and one-of a kind museum quality fine craft creations. On the opening day in June, Smitten was born. Katherine’s dream came true!

“I really love retail.” says Katherine. “Several art gift shops recently closed, so no one was offering local and contemporary craft priced for gift-giving and home decor. That was my cue to launch a three-part plan: to provide affordable, unique, hand-crafted artwork to the community, to support fellow artists by giving them a reliable outlet, and to put my extensive experience as craftsperson and retail specialist to work.”

And how is it after being in operation for only a few months? Katherine says, “It’s super. Customers are already collecting work of their favorite artists, looking for their latest arrivals. Among those fine craftspeople are: Tadashi Torii and his hand blown glass vessels, Tony Raffa and his Mixed Media Found Folks Families, and Cedar Chan with her needle-felted dolls.

So if you are a local artisan who creates one-of-a-kind fine craft, Smitten might be your new home. Loyal and future customers, if you are looking for that perfect hostess, housewarming, or can’t-live-without gift for someone special, yourself included, check out the beautiful array of fine craft, fun to funky to fabulous at Smitten.

Smitten is open seven days a week, all year long for visitors and residents. Hours during season are Monday through Saturday from 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. and Sunday 1:00 to 5:00 P.M. Call Smitten at: (828) 526-9300 or email Katherine at:

Acorns on Church in Highlands NC

Richard Heinzen is one of the smiling, and helpful  faces at Acorns on Church.

Richard Heinzen is one of the smiling, and helpful
faces at Acorns on Church.

Acorns on Church is brimming with interesting finds that one might not discover at a first glance. Furniture and antiques from around the globe have found their way into this shop on the corner of Fourth and Church Streets in downtown Highlands.  A sale room that you can find by meandering into the back room offers items for 50 percent to 75 percent off. And an additional room off the very back of the store features a warehouse type of shopping experience with lamps, cushions and small furniture, along with fun textural fabrics for custom upholstery projects.

The sense of discovery continues as you look at the tags on the furniture to get the “story” behind the items—like Florentine sketches, Paris prints and accessories made from wine barrels. You never know what you might find hiding in a corner, like a Circa 1790 painted English corner cupboard or a Louise XIII cabinet c. 1880.

Acorns on Church is a designer’s dream. But it’s also a great place for the novice decorator to pick up that special piece of furniture or just the right accessories to give your home a fresh look for the summer season.

Contributed by Amanda Sullivan


The Corner Store

The Corner Store located at 44 Village Walk on Highway 107, in Cashiers (behind Wells Fargo Bank) carries a wide variety of toys, costumes, travel accessories by Reisenthal (folding nylon bags, backpacks, rolling bags), greeting cards, jewelry, baby clothing,  “reader” sunglasses, and pottery  plus more.  Owner Lynne Srebalus is constantly on the lookout for toys that are both educational and entertaining.   As Lynne shops the wholesale markets, she focuses on choosing eco-friendly items made in the USA.

Visit the Corner Store to peruse the extensive merchandise.  You will find cherished treasures for every member of your family.  The reading glasses with LED lights are perfect for reading in dark areas-think restaurants, cars or after your mate has gone night-night.  The “reader” sunglasses are so stylish that you’ll want a pair or two, even if you don’t need the magnification.  When you have been looking for pill boxes, credit card cases to protect cards from theft, small tape measures or a small lady’s hammer, come to the
Corner Store.

Youngsters are mesmerized by the “green” toys made from recycled resources.  Large wooden school buses, dump trucks, and tea sets share the shelves with puzzles from Melissa and Doug, plus old-fashioned wooden toys like a Jacob’s ladder, marbles, dominoes and more. Grandparents love to test their history knowledge with the grandchildren as they review the many historic documents-pictures of U.S. Presidents, state capitals and geography tidbits.

When little girls are looking for costumes for dress up, the Corner Store has just what they want.  Finger paints, markers, stuffed animals (in really unusual shapes like an E-Coli, or mad-cow disease), children’s books, Legos and puzzles will entertain children for hours.

There is no better place to find tasteful greeting cards or hostess gifts than the Corner Store.  You’ll love the Northern Lights candles, pottery by Mary Hadley and Green Tree Jewelry.  Open Monday through Saturday from 10ish to 5ish.  Call (828) 743-6267.

By Wiley Sloan


Antiques & Etc.

The treasures at Antiques & Etc. have been collected from a lifetime of prowling private collections.

The treasures at Antiques & Etc. have been collected from a lifetime of prowling private collections.

There’s a fresh new business in Cashiers.

Nancy and Michael Weaver have opened  Antiques & Etc. at the crossroads in Cashiers, in what was Lyn K. Holloway’s Antique Shop at 25 Burns Street.

Michael has been in the antique business for 32 years. In that time, as he went to estate sales to purchase silver he would also buy a variety of antiques, stained glass lamps, stained glass windows, American furniture (most of which is Southern), antique bronzes, and French and Austrian pieces of the highest quality. He also collected a large variety of paintings and good prints by John Gould, McKenny & Hall, and, occasionally, Audubon’s. He’d sell them to shop owners.

The shop is full of both antique sterling and wonderful antique silver plated items. Flower vases, tea sets, large trays, centerpiece bowls, epergnes, candelabras, mint juleps, goblets, picture frames and much more. You’ll also find very rare lines of rustic handmade furniture – dining tables, benches, coffee tables and desks. These items are made of thick walnut, maple and heart pine by a gentleman in his 80’s who lives on St. Simon’s Island, Georgia.

The shop has a large inventory of American Indian items, oriental rugs, lamps, art glass and porcelain items as well as estate jewelry and pearls.

As always, Nancy and Michael still offer a full line flatware matching service and silver cleaning (hand-polishing of flatware and hollowware) as well as repair service.

The shop is very large — nearly 4,000 square-feet. So come in and browse Monday through Saturday 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. at 25 Burns Street in Cashiers. They can be reached at (828) 743-2433.

Landmark Realty


From left to right: Doug Helms, Bob Radigan, Ken Taft (managing broker), Mary Abranyi, Roger Blackwell, Carly Alexander (office manager), Wanda Klodosky (broker in charge), David Bock, Nadine Paradise, Joe Deckman

From left to right: Doug Helms, Bob Radigan, Ken Taft (managing broker), Mary Abranyi, Roger Blackwell, Carly Alexander (office manager), Wanda Klodosky (broker in charge), David Bock, Nadine Paradise, Joe Deckman

Since 2004 Landmark Realty Group has served the Cashiers, Highlands, Lake Glenville, Sapphire, and Lake Toxaway markets with general brokerage and development business from their Cashiers offices.

Now they have a beautiful new office in Highlands at 225 Main Street, next door to Reeves Hardware.

Stop by the new offices and meet the brokers.  People who remember the building in its previous incarnations will be amazed at the exciting new design.   Dog portraits of every pedigree line the walls.   Ask about the story behind the dogs and their prominence in this office.

Wanda Klodosky, Broker-in-Charge in Highlands, is joined by a team of experienced brokers who strive to exceed their client’s expectations. With over 90 years of combined real estate experience, they are prepared to handle any real estate situation.

“In addition to our roles as Real Estate professionals, we are active throughout our communities — we love the area and share our enthusiasm with our clients who love it, too,”  says Wanda.

In March 2012, Landmark Realty Group affiliated with the Royal Shell Companies of Florida.  This affiliation allows Landmark Realty Group and its sister company Landmark Vacation Rentals to offer a broad range of services, including full-service vacation rental and property management.    Royal Shell Real Estate and Royal Shell Vacations serve the Southwest Florida market of Captiva Island, Cape Coral, Estero, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Naples and Sanibel Island.  The Highlands/Cashiers Plateau is a natural extension for the company as their clientele in sunny south Florida enjoys our area’s more temperate summers.

With real estate sales offices in Highlands at 225 Main Street and Cashiers at 49 Frank Allen Road, Landmark Realty Group is ready to fulfill your real estate needs.  For information on all available properties in the Highlands-Cashiers MLS, visit or call them at (828) 526-4663 in Highlands or (828) 743-0510
in Cashiers.

By Wiley Sloan


The Black Bear

Black Bears are all too happy to help themselves to snacks left by  their unthinking neighbors.

Black Bears are all too happy to help themselves to snacks left by
their unthinking neighbors.

“People who choose to live in bear country have a responsibility to adapt and adjust to the bears and to create solutions, not problems” — Tom Beck, Black Bear Biologist and Scientific Advisor to Linda Masterson for her book, “Living With Bears.”

Unknowingly, humans attract bears into their yards. Bears can smell food up to a mile away, and food to a bear includes non-natural sources like smelly barbecue grills, last week’s garbage, pet food, flavored lip gloss left in a hot car, or a full birdfeeder.

Just close your eyes and pretend you are a bear. You just woke up from hibernation in March. You are very hungry, not having eaten since November. And now you have two cubs to feed and teach how to find food. That is your main thought every day, all day. If you and your cubs don’t put on enough weight by winter, you will all perish.

Your natural food includes grasses, spring leaves, bugs, larvae, termites, nuts, seeds, berries and road kill. You don’t run after other animals to kill them; you conserve your energy to find food. Your cubs are excellent students and remember what you have taught them, passing that knowledge to their cubs.

Now open your eyes and look around your home. See the non-natural temptations you are unintentionally enticing bears with. Then make a commitment to clean up your act. The bears will stay in the woods, and you will enjoy a safe summer in the mountains.

B.E.A.R., a task force of Western N.C. Alliance, has a mission to promote the safe, harmonious co-existence between humans and bears. B.E.A.R. has three free brochures available at the Highlands and Cashiers post offices and other locations in the twin communities – “Bear Safety at Home,” “Hiking and Camping in Bear Country,” and “Bear Attractants and Deterrents.”

For more information on how to live in peace with bears, call (828) 787-2021.

Contributed by Cynthia Strain  | Photo by Simon Thompson


Literacy Council of Highlands North Carolina

The Literacy Council of Highlands brings Dolly Parton’s generous reading program to the children of Macon County.

The Literacy Council of Highlands brings Dolly Parton’s generous reading program to the children of Macon County.

Literacy Council of Highlands Executive Director Tonya Hensley and Program Coordinator Judy Joyner recently attended Homecomin’ 2013 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Exactly what was Homecomin’?

This Dolly Parton Imagination Library event was the venue for a large gathering of folks to receive training and information on how to make the free book give-away for young children more effective in individual communities.

In 1996, Dolly Parton launched the free book program to benefit the children in her home county in Tennessee.  Her vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month.  By mailing them high-quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create.  She could ensure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.  Since then, children from all over the world are benefiting from her vision.

Due to the popularity of the expanding program, Homecomin’ participants and organizations came from almost every state in America, Canada, and the United Kingdom for the three-day conference.  Topics covered during break-out sessions included insightful information about reading and brain research, marketing, publicity, and building fundraising partnerships in communities.

The highlight of the conference was an unexpected visit by Dolly Parton herself.  Ms. Parton was very warm and inviting, just as she appears on television, concerts, or movies.  As most of us know, Dolly came from a very poor family that did not have access to books and magazines. She related that her father never learned to read and he could not help the children in her family with their homework. She expressed her gratitude to the audience members for leadership and working hard in our communities to bring books to children from birth to age five, so that they can experience greater success in school.

How do children succeed?  Healthy births, access to books, parents reading to children, quality learning settings, ready for school, reading on grade-level,
and graduation.

The DPIL is open to any child living in Macon County from birth until their fifth birthday.  Currently, we have 500 children receiving books in our county. Applications can be submitted online at

If you or an organization would like to partner with the Literacy Council to help a child succeed, please call us at (828) 526-0863.  A donation of $30 is all it takes to fund one child for one year.

Contributed by Judy Joyner, Program Coordinator, Literacy Council of Highlands


Real Housewives of Highlands

The women of Cullasaja Women’s Outreach embody the spirit of cheerful giving that’s enriched the communities of Highlands and Cashiers.

The women of Cullasaja Women’s Outreach embody the spirit of cheerful giving that’s enriched the communities of Highlands and Cashiers.

They are not self-centered, catty or camera mongers.

They don’t dress in slinky evening wear all day long, or seek “drama” in every encounter. They won’t be nominated for an Emmy, but in every sense, they have delivered an award-winning performance.

They are the ladies of Cullasaja Women’s Outreach, a grassroots philanthropic organization formed in 2006 that has invested over $532,000 into the Highlands-Cashiers community via charitable grants and donations. By all measures, they are true stars of the community.

Over 22 local not-for-profit organizations, ranging from the Blue Ridge Mountain Health Project to the Community Care Clinic, the Highlands Literacy Council to the Highlands Community Child Development Center, the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center to the Highlands Emergency Council, have benefited from the incredible generosity of these very down-to-earth ladies.

Cullasaja Women’s Outreach members will tell you that they simply bring out the best in each other.

“Together, we strive to strengthen the Highlands-Cashiers community by helping our neighbors in need,” says executive director Frazer McCrorey. “We are helping make local programs available that provide critical medical and social services, as well as those that nurture education, literacy and arts appreciation.”

The Outreach’s 2012 fundraiser, combined with its member-directed donations, raised more than $92,000 for local 501(c)-3 organizations. Importantly, they are gearing up to do it again.

This season, CWO’s annual fundraiser will be a celebration-of-giving, “A Toast to the Real Housewives of the Highlands plateau,” which will be held on September 8.

“After hitting a milestone, one-half of a million dollars, we want to turn the spotlight on our ladies,” notes Marilyn Cooper, co-chair of this year’s fundraising event. “Our members truly are stars, who have opened their hearts to help address the needs of the area.”

Event Co-chair Martha Caire added, “It will be a fun evening — still focused on raising funds for charitable grants — but also a ‘thank you’ to our members and their families that have worked to make our impact on the Highlands-Cashiers area meaningful.”

CWO Grant Committee Co-Chairs Lindy Colsen and Stevie Hinel encourage local area not-for-profits to make their needs known by submitting grant applications, which are available for download from the organization’s website,

Contributed by Margaret M. Eichman



The Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society is raising funds for a new mobile animal rescue and medical unit – the “H.E.A.R.T. of North Carolina Humane/Emergency/Adoption/Rescue/Transport.”

The new mobile rescue vehicle will feature an onboard surgical suite with capacity for 27 animals. The primary purpose of the H.E.A.R.T. of North Carolina will be to provide low-cost spay/neuter procedures and vaccinations for an anticipated 500-1,000 animals each year. When not in use as a medical unit, the 36-foot trailer and tow vehicle will allow more animals to travel to the shelter’s well-known “Stop-N-Adopts.”

Serving as an ambassador for the Highlands and Cashiers communities, the H.E.A.R.T. of North Carolina will also participate in multi-agency rescues of animals from unlicensed breeders and puppy mills, and can also provide safe refuge and transport for animals during times of natural disasters.

“This new mobile medical and rescue vehicle is going to make a huge positive difference in the lives of people and pets in our community,” says David Stroud, executive director for the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society. “The H.E.A.R.T. of North Carolina will save lives, keep pets healthy and protected, prevent unwanted pet overpopulation, and find more forever homes for the animals in our care.”

Other animal advocates have also weighed in with their support for this much-needed animal rescue
and medical vehicle.

“It is so exciting to see the good work that the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society is doing for the animals and the community,” says Kim Alboum, NC State Director of the Humane Society of the United States. “This new vehicle is yet another step to responsible care for all the animals including spay/neuter, emergency services and community outreach.”

Carl Leveridge, former President of the Atlanta Humane Society says, “This mobile unit will give CHHS the flexibility to assist with adoptions, animal intake, emergencies of all types and will be a big help in bringing the humane equation of too many animals and not enough homes into balance. Spaying and neutering animals is the best solution to allow every animal in need to find a home.”

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

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


A Note from Highlands Playhouse

“The Buddy Holly Story” hit the Highlands Playhouse stage June 13 - 30.

“The Buddy Holly Story” hit the Highlands Playhouse stage June 13 – 30.

The 75th Anniversary of the Highlands Playhouse is in full swing and the productions are having sellouts almost every evening and matinee.

The Board of Directors of the Playhouse would like to take this opportunity to thank all our wonderful patrons and supporters.

A year ago your Highlands Playhouse was in dismal shape and we didn’t know if we would make it another season. Then we were blessed with the donation from Horst and Margaret Winkler and it started the ball rolling for a winterization project, making the Playhouse a year-round facility. The Town of Highlands has been equally generous, not only in renovation funds, but also the very kind gift of the utilities in our auditorium building. Imagine how comfortable it will be to sit down and watch a production or a movie in a climate-controlled facility. Many thanks to our town officials! A very special thank you should also go to John Lupoli Construction Company and Old Edwards Inn and Spa for the monies and manpower to complete the renovations.

The board decided to “go for broke” with our productions and we dug deep into our personal pockets to make this year possible.

Make no mistake, the Highlands Playhouse is a hard working non-profit business. During our production of “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story,” we paid out salaries of $13,500 weekly! This didn’t include the upfront monies to secure the rights to the production and then a percentage of the house’s take each week. During “Buddy,” we had over 30 talented young people from all over the United States working unbelievably hard to make it a success. Most people think of the production in terms of actors, but also included in our staff for the whole full season is a seamstress, lighting and sound technical crews, and the amazing box office staff.

The movies are coming to your Highlands Playhouse in the next few weeks and we have Jerry Pair to thank for the beginning funds. We originally thought old classic movies were a good choice, but after speaking with a professional cinematography group, we have decided to go full steam ahead with new state of the art equipment and screen. What was originally supposed to be a $25,000 project has now turned into $160,000 which was board member-guaranteed. We plan to keep our ticket prices reasonable and we welcome any recommendations for movies to be shown.

Your Highlands Playhouse wants to create an environment that welcomes our youth and what better way than through theatre and the arts.

Contributed by The Highlands Playhouse Board of Directors


Hospice House

The future Hospice House, set to serve  Macon and Jackson Counties.

The future Hospice House, set to serve
Macon and Jackson Counties.

The site of the proposed Hospice House is located in the former Merle and Prelo Dryman house on Maple Street in Franklin.

Twenty–nine Hospice House facilities exist throughout N.C., but only one west of Asheville. Hospice House Foundation of Western North Carolina, founded in 2005, has as their goal a local home-like, six-bed facility. Four Seasons, our local Hospice provider, which is ranked first in the state, will staff and operate the facility.

While most patients prefer their home at the end of life, sometimes care goes beyond what a caregiver can provide. In that case a patient may enter a Hospice House for pain and/or symptom management. Should symptoms improve, the patient may return home.

Respite care is also provided for caregivers: up to five days, for rest, travel, or to address other personal issues. Families and caregivers may stay with loved ones at the residence in large rooms with adequate
sleeping accommodations.

Located on Maple Street, our proposed Hospice House will serve Macon and Jackson Counties and surrounding areas, including North Georgia.  The plans include a living room, a kitchen where families can cook, and a dining room.  Patients will have balconies to enjoy a view of
the mountains.

Hospice House services include a medical doctor, nurses, nursing assistants, a chaplain, social workers, grief counsellors, and trained volunteers on site.  Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurances cover Hospice House care, but even those who cannot offer these payment methods will not be turned away.

The Hospice House is scheduled to open for operation in 2016, but anyone wishing to visit the home can call (828) 524-3161 for a tour or for additional information.  Now the challenge is to raise the funds to make completion of this House a reality.

Contributed by Evie Byrns


Lessons from the Horses in Highlands NC

  Sue Blair and her horses Anna and Promise trust one another on a  fundamental level, thanks to an understanding of the mind of an equine.

Sue Blair and her horses Anna and Promise trust one another on a
fundamental level, thanks to an understanding of the mind of an equine.

Horses are prey animals.

Historically, they’ve been food for big cats that stalked them from a tree or a rock and jumped on their backs for the kill.

Wolves traveling in packs also found the horse easy prey. Working in teams, a pack could bring down a horse with ease. The memory of those attacks remains with horse in their flight/not fight response.

Horses have to trust you first or they leave.

When teaching students groundwork, riding skills or the ways of the horse, there are several lessons that each student or visitor must be cognizant of when sharing space with a horse. In case you encounter a horse you’d like to meet or ride, read on.

Before you approach any horse, put your heart in your hand, approach slowly, be respectful and enjoy
the experience!

When you approach a horse, hold out you hand in a loosely formed fist. It serves as your “nose.” Horses greet one another nose to nose, imprinting their smells by blowing out. You’ll feel the horse do that on your hand. The horse, through your smell, takes a “reading” of you. Do not stand directly in front of a horse it can’t see you! Notice its eyes are set on the sides of the nose bridge, enabling it to see in an arc to its tail without turning its head.

A horse does not have a cross-platform brain. What it sees out of one eye does not transfer across the brain to the other side. On a trail ride, a horse shies at a mailbox; on the way home it shies again, this time from the other eye. The mailbox is new, being “seen” for the first time by the horse! When you introduce a horse to something new, including yourself, do it from both sides, both eyes. Safety first.

Contributed by Sue Blair, Carpe Diem Farms Executive Director


Friends for Life

Ole’ Roy’s miraculous rescue brought him to the peace and love found at Forever Farm.

Ole’ Roy’s miraculous rescue brought him to the peace and love found at Forever Farm.

I named him Ole’ Roy.  It seems to suit him.  This little, one eyed, old man was found, stuck in the mud on the bank of the French Broad river, by kayakers.  They tied him to a nearby dock and called Animal Control to come get him.  As soon as I saw his photo on the county website, I said, “Now, that’s my kind of dog” and rushed down to the shelter to meet him and make claim on him if an owner didn’t show up.  Well, no one did, and he now spends most of his days napping in the sun at the Forever Farm, safe and sound.

Why did no one show up for him?  Someone cared enough at one time to have an injured eye surgically removed.  And he was well fed, not scrawny.  Whatever caused him to stray from home and end up at the river, had he not been found, he could have suffered a slow painful death. We must keep a close eye on our senior pets; they can suffer dementia just like humans, and wander off for no good reason.  Be there for them when they need you the most.

Friends for Life built the Forever Farm to provide a loving home to senior animals like Ol’e Roy, and those that have special needs.  Likened to assisted living, or even hospice, we provide the care they need until they no longer have “quality of life.”  Help support our mission by making a tax deductible donation to Friends for Life.  Visit our website at to make an online donation, or mail it to P.O. Box 340, Sapphire, NC 28774  Call us at (828) 508-2460 for more information or to plan a visit to the Forever Farm.

Contributed by Kathy Bub, Executive Director, Forever Farms


What’s Cooking at Big Brothers Big Sisters

Another successful new project is in the works!

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Highlands was approached by Carol Taylor of with the idea of starting an aeroponic garden at The Bascom.  Joy Eager, a BBBS mentor, developed the project with Taylor and Bascom Outreach Coordinator Will Barclift to create a great learning experience for both the BBBS “Bigs”
and “Littles.”

The seeds were planted and in no time the tower provided lettuce, kale, cilantro, parsley, basil, dill, and other herbs. Bigs and Littles gathered to harvest the bounty, and then proceeded to The Bascom kitchen to make batches of salsa and pesto. Every jar offered at the Farmers Market was sold. Truly a farm to table experience!

The tower is outside the pottery barn at The Bascom – take a look the next time you are there.  Be sure to visit the Highlands Farmers Market at Bryson’s Store parking lot on Saturday mornings for some great local produce and treats.

On July 21, BBBS of Highlands held a summer get-together for Bigs and Littles and their families at Cliffside Lake and Picnic Pavilion. Cliffside Lake Recreation area is a mecca just outside the Highlands limits, offering seven hiking trails, a six-acre lake and two spectacular waterfalls. Camping, swimming, and hiking are all within a two-mile radius. At this First Annual BBBS Summer Event, there was plenty of fishing, swimming, playing games and lots of good food.

BBBS is also planning a croquet fundraiser at Highland Falls Country Club in early September.

For more information, contact Roder Macaulay at

Big Brothers Big Sisters operates under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. The mission is to provide any child who wants one, a mentor from the community to form a strong and enduring one-on-one relationship that can change their life.  If you are interested in becoming a mentor to a child, or simply want to make a donation to help make a difference in a child’s life, please contact Debbie Lassiter at (828) 526-4044 or

Contributed by Debbie Lassiter

“IF I Were A Book” Contest

As part of Love Your Library, the Friends of the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library and the Cashiers Writers Group sponsored a prose/poetry contest for middle school students in our area. From the left are Emma Carter of Summit Charter School who won first place in the prose division, Raina Sharon Trent, a home schooled student who took second in prose, and third place winner in prose, Sally Bloom of Summit Charter School. On August 15 during “Poetry Night” at the library, the first place winners Emma Carter, and Micah Buchanan of Blue Ridge School will read their entries.

As part of Love Your Library, the Friends of the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library and the Cashiers Writers Group sponsored a prose/poetry contest for middle school students in our area. From the left are Emma Carter of Summit Charter School who won first place in the prose division, Raina Sharon Trent, a home schooled student who took second in prose, and third place winner in prose, Sally Bloom of Summit Charter School. On August 15 during “Poetry Night” at the library, the first place winners Emma Carter, and Micah Buchanan of Blue Ridge School will read their entries.

First Place Winners:

“If I Were A Book”
by Emma Carter, 8th grade, Summit Charter School


If I were a book I would have a canvas cover as soft as velvet, embellished in golden designs. I would have a title that brought people in like a fishing pole or a warm fire on a cold day. My words would flow like a river. My story would bring people into another world like a secret passage out of reality.

My story would have cliff hangers as steep as Mount Everest.

If I were a book.…


by Micah Buchanan, Blue Ridge School


If I were a book. . .

I would want to tell my readers about

The city of my birth

Where officers are born from brave young men
at the Citadel

The city of my first steps

Where the first shot of the Civil War rang out at
Fort Sumter

Where Spanish Oaks with wispy moss

Never lose their leaves

Where Confederate Jasmine sweetens the air

In the Pluff Mud rich in the smells of the swamp

Crab catchers fill their pots

As full as its history of slaves and slave owners

The Market, selling trinkets,

Where men and women were once sold

Surrounded by cobblestone streets,


And tiny slave quarters

The USS Yorktown stands majestic

And empty

While shrimp boats drag along

Burdened with their days’ catch

The Beaches are a kaleidoscope

From vacant and peaceful James Island

To bustling and energetic Isle of Palms

Sand dollars to surfing

The turtles returning to the beach where they were born

It calls me back to the city of my birth



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

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 or to learn more about Rotary, visit

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,

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 |

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

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:

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  |

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, 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