Tour de Cashiers

Serious cyclists and weekend dilettantes are invited to enjoy every mile of the glute-pounding, calf-strangling Tour de Cashiers,  set for Saturday, May 3, at the Village Green Commons in Cashiers.

Serious cyclists and weekend dilettantes are invited to enjoy every mile of the glute-pounding, calf-strangling Tour de Cashiers, set for Saturday, May 3, at the Village Green Commons in Cashiers.

Cyclists from across the Southeast are invited to the 22nd annual Tour de Cashiers Mountain Cycling Experience, set for Saturday, May 3, and spanning the scenic byways of Western North Carolina.
Cyclists will follow one of three routes of up to 100 miles across Jackson, Macon and Transylvania Counties riding steep climbs and fast descents over 10,500 feet-plus of elevation changes.
The ride will kick off at 9:00 A.M. at The Village Green Commons in Cashiers. Online registration is open at TourdeCashiers.com. On-site registration and post-event festivities will be held at the Commons pavilion.
Returning riders will be welcomed back at the finish line with a hearty meal, drink and even a hot shower at the nearby Cashiers-Glenville Recreation and Community Centers. Participants also receive a commemorative tee shirt.
Proceeds from the Tour support local community and economic development through the Cashiers Area Chamber according to executive director Stephanie Edwards. Major sponsors this year include the Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, The Laurel Magazine, WHLC, Eagle Eye Inspections, McKee Properties and Indian Hills Water, who are joined by many bronze level financial supporters.
Under the leadership of Dick Zacher and Robert Henderson, Support and Gear trackers will follow riders throughout the day to promote their safety and comfort. Dr. Jack Talmadge and a contingent of more than 60 parents, teachers and staff from the Summit Charter School will operate four rest stops along the way. Seventeen-year veteran volunteer Diane Stumm will organize registration onsite with a cadre of faithful assistants. Route guidance and emergency medical services will be provided by regional fire departments, rescue squads and other law enforcement agencies.
“The Tour de Cashiers offers adventurous athletic challenges suitable for the seasoned to beginner rider,” said Tim O’Brien, president and event chair of the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the ride.

by Luke Osteen

Cast for a Cause

If you dream about the challenges and excitement inherent in the streams that surround Highlands, you’ll want to carve out plenty of time for Highlands’ Annual Three River Fly Fishing Tournament, slated for May 1-3.
The tourney is open to all anglers of all skill levels, and there are guided and non-guided competitions.
The fun starts May 1 with a series of clinics to sharpen skills and whet appetites. A trio of workshops will be staged from 9:00 A.M. to noon May 1 at Harris Lake: A Ladies’ Casting Clinic with Joan Cabe; an Open Casting Clinic with local guides; and One on One Coaching for Tournament participants with the North Carolina Fly Fishing Team.
The fly fishing wizards at The Highland Hiker will offer an equipment tune-up and expert advice from noon to 4:00 P.M.
Members of the NC Fly Fishing Team will stage a casting competition at Pine Street Park from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M.
Finally, the tournament offers a Fly Tying Clinic in the Lobby of the Old Edwards Inn from 5:00 to 6:30 P.M. Participants will learn the intricacies of the Jack Cabe Hopper and the lore behind this cherished portion of Highlands heritage. Jack Cabe (whose widow Mary will be leading the Ladies’ Clinic) was a native Highlander with an almost supernatural understanding of the local waterways and the rainbow and brown trout that flourished within. His Hoppers are the product of a lifetime of prowling the streams and seducing those fish.
But that’s all just fun preparation for the tournament. There’ll be two days of spirited competition that test the mettle of beginners and seasoned anglers alike. From Highlands, the fishing boundary will have a northern boundary of US Hwy. 74, a western boundary of the rafting and delayed harvest sections of the Nantahala River, a southern boundary of the Hwy. 28 bridge on the Chattooga River, and an eastern boundary of the Davidson River and the East Fork of the French Broad River.
Funds raised benefit the Town of Highlands Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for Highlands High School graduates.
The $500 entry fee for two-person teams includes an invitation to the opening night reception, lunches, a closing night dinner with prizes, and a fishing goody bag. Among the prizes offered by sponsors are weekend getaways, golf outings, dinners, fly rods and reels, waders, wading boots and fishing gear.
Space is limited. Only the first 50 teams to register will be able to participate. Deadline for registration is April 1.
To register or receive more information, visit highlandsthreeriver.com or call the Highlands Visitor Center at (866) 526-5841.

by Luke Osteen

The Spirit Of Arbor Day

The Smokey Shrew (Sorex Fumeus ). Photo by Patrick Brannon

The Smokey Shrew (Sorex Fumeus ). Photo by Patrick Brannon

The Highlands Biological Station is hosting activities to celebrate Earth Week in April.
Spend the eve of Earth Week in the Highlands Botanical Garden for the “Earth Day of Service Volunteer Day” on Saturday, April 19, from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. All ages are welcome to help maintain the health and beauty of the Botanical Garden, so please bring the family to work with the Garden’s horticulturists for the whole day or a time slot that suits you. Lunch and tools will be provided. Contact our horticulturists at (828) 526-0188 to find out about planned tasks, to R.S.V.P., or with questions.
On April 22 from 7:00 to 8:00 P.M., Nature Center director Patrick Brannon will present a talk on the impact of discarded bottles along our mountain roads on the mortality of small mammals. Learn simple ways to help save the shrews! Each year, many shrews and rodents enter bottles in search of food or water and become entrapped, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of animals over time. Brannon will discuss the research he and his students have conducted to examine the severity of this phenomenon in our region and how you can help alleviate the problem. This lecture is appropriate for all ages and is free.
Celebrate Arbor Day at the Botanical Garden with a “Living with Trees” tour guided by Horticulturist Ezra Gardiner on Friday, April 25, from 2:00 to 4:00 P.M. Gardiner will discuss noteworthy trees of the Highlands Plateau, as well as their identification, residential use, and care. In the spirit of Arbor Day, visitors will leave with a native tree to take home and plant. Contact Gardiner at (828) 526-0188 or egardiner@email.wcu.edu to R.S.V.P. or with any questions. Volunteers are welcome any time in the Botanical Garden, Herbarium, or propagation program.
All of these activities are free and open to the public. For more information about these and other events, visit highlandsbiological.org. Visitors are always welcome to the offices at 265 North Sixth Street, or call the foundation at (828) 526-2221.

Contributed by Michelle S. Ruigrok

Grade “A” Feast

Summit Charter School’s annual “Taste of the Plateau” events will be held June 26 and June 29

Summit Charter School’s annual “Taste of the Plateau” events will be held June 26 and June 29

The Fourth of July won’t be the only thing that will light up the sky this summer. Get ready for an explosion of culinary delights at two unforgettable fundraising events hosted by Summit Charter the weekend before Independence Day.
Beginning Thursday, June 26, from 6:00 to 11:00 P.M. a Vine and Dine patron party and gourmet wine-pairings dinner will be held at The Country Club of Sapphire Valley. A Food and Wine Tasting event with the region’s finest chefs is scheduled for Sunday, June 29, from 6:00 to 11:00 P.M. on the school’s campus.
Summit Charter School is honored and proud to announce Karl Lundgren, Executive Chef for The Country Club of Sapphire Valley as the featured chef.
Chef Karl has maintained Five Star and Five Diamond ratings at hotel and resort restaurants in such outstanding establishments as The Breakers Hotel (Palm Beach, Florida), Mandarin Oriental, Silks (San Francisco), and The Boca Raton Resort & Club (Boca Raton, Florida).
And where do the proceeds from these festivities go? The Summit Charter School is a tuition-free North Carolina Honor School of Excellence, enrolling students in Grades K-8. Serving the diverse socio-economic families of Jackson, Macon, and Transylvania counties, the school’s mission is “to provide a creative and nurturing environment where our children can seek excellence within themselves and in their endeavors.” Proceeds raised will help close the $1,500 gap between the per pupil allotment given by the state and county and what it costs to educate each student at Summit.
For more information about the Taste of the Plateau and its evolving lineup of participating chefs, visit tasteoftheplateau.org. Your donation, in exchange for an entertaining weekend, is a long-term investment in our children’s futures.

by Donna Rhodes | Photo by Sarah Valentine

Four for Fore!

There’s no better way to welcome spring than to join your fellow golfers in the Rotary Club’s 25th Annual Golf Tournament, set for Monday, May 5, at Highlands Country Club. Registration is at 10:00 A.M. with a shotgun start at 11:00 A.M. Plan to get in a few practice swings at the driving range or try your putting on the practice green before the competition begins.
Foursome teams will play a four-man scramble or captain’s choice. The Donald Ross-designed course was once the home of famed amateur golfer Bobby Jones. This is a great opportunity to play the oldest and most prestigious course in our area. Show your golf prowess on this course, which has challenged many fine golfers throughout the years. Mulligans can be purchased for $5 each. In addition to a number of raffle prizes, you will be awarded a prize if you are closest to the pin or have the longest drive. Enjoy a delicious lunch at the turn.
Proceeds from this event allow the Rotary Club to support their many charitable projects. Throughout the years, the Tournament has raised more than $100,000 to support community projects such as the Student Foreign Exchange Program, the Literacy Council, the local Boy Scout Troop, the Peggy Crosby Center, the Hudson Library, plus many other community groups.
Registration for each player is $150. Make your reservations now by contacting Rotarian Joyce Baillargeon at (828) 526-2181 or (828) 421-3551 or jbaillargeon@highlandscountryclub.com. If you’re not able to play, but would like to support the Rotary Club with a hole or corporate sponsorship, contact Joyce. There’s no better way to promote your business and support our community than a fun game of golf at the
Rotary Tournament.
Fore!

By Wiley Sloan

Little Women… Big Production

Pictured are “the” Little Women.  L to R:  Kathryn Potts as Amy; Raina Trent as Jo; Destiny Ferra Martin as Meg and Tiffany Preda as Beth.

Pictured are “the” Little Women. L to R: Kathryn Potts as Amy; Raina Trent as Jo; Destiny Ferra Martin as Meg and Tiffany Preda as Beth.

In its seventh year, the PAC Youth Theater is presenting the period piece ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott. Students from Highlands High School and Blue Ridge School, as well as home-schooled students, look forward to the spring semester when the PAC Youth Theater picks up again. The auditions were held on February 9, with call backs on February 26 and now the after school rehearsals have begun. The cast is perfectly suited for the four sisters and their friends. Raina Trent will portray Jo, the aspiring writer. Destiny Ferra Martin will be Meg, the far more lady like older sister; Tiffany Preda has been cast as Beth, the younger, shy, gentle pianist; Kathryn Potts will take on the role of Amy, the beautiful and artistic sister. Marmee, the mother, is to be played by Taylor Crawford; Stella Wilson will be Hannah, the Irish housekeeper, and Sarah Ballentine will portray Aunt Marsh, a peppery wealthy aunt.
Rounding out the cast will be Johnnie Perez as Laurie, and Billy Brennan as the tutor, John Brooke. Dean Zuch will make a guest appearance as Mr. Lauren, Laurie’s grandfather. The Tech crew will consist of Pollyanna Ballentine, Katie Flynn, River Trent, Ivy Trent, Ashlynne Baumgarner, Taylor Baumgarner, Lindsey Lombard, Sara Lombard, and Madison Schandolph.
Dr. Ronnie Spilton will be directing and instructing the PAC Youth Theater. ‘Little Women’ is set in 1863 New England and centers around four sisters as they grow up, fall in love, and face life during the Civil War. With their father, Mr. March, away serving as a chaplain in the army, their mother attempts to hold things together at home. The girls employ creativity and courage to help their mother while pursuing their own dreams. Familiar to nearly everyone, ‘Little Women’ is considered an American literary classic and will touch the hearts of every person in the audience.
‘Little Women’ will be presented at the Highlands PAC on April 24, 25, 26, and 27. Tickets are available online at highlandspac.org, or by calling (828) 526-9047. Highlands PAC is located at 507
Chestnut Street.

Contributed by Mary Adair Leslie

Easter Week Religious Services

easterchurchCashiers’ Area Churches Holy Week Services: Noon to 1:00 P.M., with free lunch, no rsvp is necessary. Monday, April 14: Church of the Good Shepherd; Tuesday, April 15: Grace Community Church; Wednesday, April 16: Christ Church of the Valley; Thursday, April 17: Cashiers Church of God; Friday, April 18: Cashiers United Methodist Church

Highlands Community Stations of the Cross: Good Friday, April 18 at noon; Beginning at Our Lady Of The Mountains Catholic Church followed by Liturgy in the Church of the Incarnation’s Chapel at 1:30 P.M.

Community Easter Sunday Sunrise Service at 7:00 A.M. on Cashiers Village Green Gazebo and Lawn.

 

Community Bible Church

Good Friday Service at 6:00 P.M.

Easter Sunday Service at 10:45 A.M.

(828) 526 4685

 

Episcopal Church of The Incarnation

Great Vigil of Easter in the Chapel,
Saturday April 19 at 7:00 P.M.

Easter Sunday Holy Eucharist Rite II
at 9:00 and 11:00 A.M.

(828) 526-2968

 

Highlands United Methodist Church

Easter Sunday Services at 8:30 and 10:50 A.M.

Bluegrass Service at 9:09 A.M.

(828) 526 3376

 

Our Lady Of The Mountains Catholic Church

Easter Sunday Mass at 10:30 A.M.

(828) 526 2418

Cashiers United Methodist Church

Easter Sunday Services at 8:30 A.M. and  11:00 A.M.

(828) 743 5298

Christ Anglican Church

Easter Sunday Services at at 8:30 A.M. and 10:30 A.M.

(828) 743 1701

Christ Church of the Valley

Easter Sunday Services at 10:45 A.M.

(828) 743 5470

Church of The Good Shepherd

Easter Sunday Service at 8:00 A.M.: Holy Eucharist Rite I

Easter Sunday Service at 9:15 A.M.: Holy Eucharist Rite II

Easter Sunday Service at 11:00 A.M. Holy Eucharist Rite III, Music at all services

Nursery provided for 9:15 A.M. and 11:00 A.M. services

(828) 743 2359

Grace Community Church of Cashiers

Easter Sunday Service at 10:00 A.M.

(828) 743-9814

Living Redeemer Outreach

Easter Sunday Service at 10:45 A.M.

with guest pastor and guest singer

(828) 743 0072

 

 

 

 

Restaurants Serving Easter Sunday Brunch

Highlands Cashiers Restaurants Serving Easter BrunchBrown Trout Mountain Grille
Special Brunch Menu
828-877-3474 | browntroutproperties.net

Cornucopia
Special Brunch Menu including mimosas
10:30 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
828-743-3750 | cornucopianc.com

The Dog House
Special Menu Selections
11:30 A.M. – 2:30 P.M.
828-526-8364 | theuglydogpub.com

Madison’s Restaurant
Special Brunch Menu | $49 adults – $24 Children
11:30 A.M. – 2:30 P.M.
View menu at
oldedwardsinn.com/EasterCelebration
828-787-2525
On the Verandah
Special Brunch Menu
11:oo A.M. – 2:00 P.M.
828-526-2338 | ontheverandah.com

Wolfgang’s Restaurant and Wine Bistro
Special Brunch Menu | $36 adults – $16 Children
11:30 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
View menu at wolfgangs.net
828-526-3807

The Zookeeper Bistro
Special Brunch Menu
8:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.
828-743-7711

Rotary Club of Highlands

Members of the Rotary Club of Highlands check for high blood pressure  and diabetes at a recent screening in Highlands.

Members of the Rotary Club of Highlands check for high blood pressure and diabetes at a recent screening in Highlands.

Diabetes and hypertension are problems in our area, with rates much higher than the national average. Both of these diseases usually do not have obvious symptoms in their early stages but have possible significant long term health effects, therefore early diagnosis and treatment are important. The Rotary Club of Highlands, in conjunction with the Community Care Clinic of Highlands-Cashiers, recently participated in a project attempting to find and treat low income, uninsured, and undiagnosed residents for these two important diseases.
For several weeks our club members screened participants at a local food pantry in Highlands. Adults attending the food pantry were asked if they would like to be screened and those who agreed had their blood pressure checked and a finger stick blood sample tested for possible diabetes. Those who had abnormal results on these basic tests were then referred to the Community Care Clinic for additional evaluation. The participation of our members in the screening process allowed testing of a large group of people in a short period of time. Three or four of our members participated in each screening session, with one testing the blood sample, one taking the blood pressure and one recording the results and discussing the options with the person being tested.
“Making the world a better place” is the goal of Rotary, and our club members feel that this project exemplifies this objective.

Contributed by Slocum Howland, Rotary Club of Highlands

Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

View from Sunset Rock. Photo by Charles Johnson.

View from Sunset Rock. Photo by Charles Johnson.

Picture this – Highlands circa 1914. The town was only 39 years old (still young in my book) and tremendous growth was on the horizon. Word was already spreading about this newly established mountain paradise. However, Lake Sequoyah had not yet been created and the Cullasaja Gorge road that connects Highlands to Franklin was non-existent. What was already firmly in place was the organization that would one day evolve into the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust (HCLT) and it was in that year, on August 16 to be precise, that one of the early Highlands’ families, the Ravenels, donated a very special family property to be preserved in perpetuity as a public park for all to enjoy. That property is Ravenel Park, home to the beloved Sunset and Sunrise Rocks and in 2014 HCLT invites the community to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime “Sunsetennial” celebrating One Hundred Years of Sunsets and Sunrises Together at
Ravenel Park!
As part of the celebration, the Land Trust is hosting a photography contest open to the public. Photos for the Amateur Division can be entered in one of four categories: Outdoor/Family Recreation, Open Spaces, Cultural Heritage and Plants & Wildlife. Photos for the Professional Division can be entered in one of these categories: Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall. Creativity is highly encouraged. Photos can be taken of or from Ravenel Park. Photo entry forms with details can be found on the Land Trust website (hicashlt.org) or at the Land Trust offices at the Peggy Crosby Center in Highlands (348 South 5th Street, Suite 213). Deadlines are June 15 for the Amateur Division and January 15, 2015 for the Professional Division. Contact the Land Trust with questions: Julie.hitrust@earthlink.net, (828) 526-1111.
Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust’s mission is to preserve valuable land resources for all generations. Together we are saving mountains.

Contributed byJulie Schott, Development Director, Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

The Harlem Ambassadors

Having delighted and dazzled local audiences in the past with their internationally-acclaimed basketball skills, the Harlem Ambassadors will return to Highlands March 15 for a one-night only appearance.
The Ambassadors, who tour Europe and Asia as well as North America, will play a team of local “all-stars” at the Highlands School Gym. The show, which is sponsored once again by the Mountaintop Rotary Club, will start at 7:00 P.M. Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. Tickets at the door will be $12 for adults and $9 for students and seniors. Kids under four are free.
Proceeds from the event go to fund a variety of community projects and organizations supported by Mountaintop Rotary. Advance tickets are available from any member of the club, or at Wells Fargo Investments on South Street.
The show features high-flying slam dunks, dazzling ball handling and comedy routines led by Ladé Majic, the only woman player/coach of an all-men’s professional team. Much of the focus will be on young people.
At our shows, we want the kids to know that they’re part of our team too,” Coach Majic said. “We invite as many kids as we can to come sit on the bench, have a front-row seat during the show, and get involved in all of the fun stuff we do.”
As the “queen of the show,” she has played in more shows than any woman in history and competes against male players on a nightly basis.
Rotary organizers are already putting together another Highlands Hometown Heroes team, made of former Highlands School players, community leaders and others.
“We are scouring the community for skilled – and even unskilled – players to take on the Ambassadors,” said Bill Zoellner, incoming president of Mountaintop Rotary and chairman of the event. “The main thing is to find players who have a good sense of humor and can take a joke.”
The night of fun will also feature a raffle for the game ball used in the game (to be awarded at half time), and team souvenirs will be on sale.
The Harlem Ambassadors have performed more than 2,400 professional comedy basketball games as fundraising and community entertainment events for non-profit organizations, the U.S. military and community service groups since 1998. These events have helped raise over $9 million for communities in 50 states and 20 countries. The Ambassadors have appeared at Pearl Harbor, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sarejevo, Korea, Japan, the Marshall Islands, Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Georgia, Mexico, Germany, England and Canada. Visit harlemambassadors.com to learn more about the company’s history and current tour.

Relay for Life

Highlands Relay for Life will launch its 2014 season with a party for volunteers and participants at the Highlands Fire Station from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. Saturday, April 5.
There’ll be food and refreshments and information about Relay 2014. The national theme this year is “Fight to the Finish.” There is plenty of room for new teams for the overnight fundraising event, set for August 8 at the Highlands Recreation Center.
Relay brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, faith-based groups, and people from all walks of life, aimed at furthering the American Cancer Society’s vision of creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays.
One of Relay’s returning teams, Old Edwards Inn, has scheduled their first fundraiser of the year. Team Captain Dave Linn says that everyone is invited to their annual softball tournament. “Safe at Second” will take place on Saturday, April 19, at the Town Ball Field. For information, contact Linn at dlinn@oldedwardsinn.com.
This year Highlands Relay will be working with a new ACS staff partner Randi Smith. Mike Murphy is returning as the committee chair leader.
“We invite all Highlands residents to come to our kickoff rally and honor our cancer survivors and help those fight back who are battling cancer and remember those who have lost their battle,” says Murphy. “Together we can
do anything.”
For more information, visit relayforlife.org/highlandsnc.

Contributed by Ellen Bauman

Big Brothers Big Sisters

March 21 marks the date when Highlands Big Brothers Big Sisters will join with the Cashiers branch to meet and discuss possible future
collaborative efforts.
The casual social event will be held at the Highlands Community Center and will be the first time that all advisory council members and mentors from both areas have assembled together.
Highlands and Cashiers BBBS are two of the nine branches of BBBS of Western North Carolina. Highlands BBBS was established in 2004 and has served over 200 Highlands School children over the years. There are two programs currently available, an After School program which meets each Tuesday and the traditional Community Based program, which offers a more flexible schedule
and activities.
In October of 2012, several citizens in the Cashiers area learned of the Highlands BBBS branch and decided to offer the same program opportunities to Blue Ridge and Summit School children. During development it was determined that it would be advantageous to create a separate branch. Financial assistance was obtained from the Community Foundation of Cashiers, Good Shepherd Outreach, Cashiers Rotary and Wade Hampton Golf Club. The council’s focus was on establishing partnerships with the Cashiers schools. An added bonus was that Highlands Program Coordinator Debbie Lassiter was able to take on coordinator responsibilities for Cashiers, too. The Cashiers branch is successfully rolling through its second year, reaching goals in both financials and
program participation.
With both branches now firmly established in their area, it was time to explore ideas that could strengthen BBBS across the plateau. Joint publicity opportunities, fundraising, and social events are a few topics on the list. Both branches see getting together face to face and sharing experiences and issues will be the starting point of good interaction to come.
BBBS looks forward to future collaborative efforts and is excited about exploring new possibilities which will ultimately benefit our local children. For information on how to assist BBBS through a donation or as a volunteer, contact Debbie Lassiter at highlands@bbbswnc.org, cashiers@bbbswnc.org or (828) 526-4044.

Contributed by Debbie Lassiter, Big Brothers Big Sisters

Highlands Literacy Council

The Literacy Council of Highlands is looking for volunteers to help it with its ambitious programs for 2014.
With the arrival of the spring school semester, tutoring needs are at an all-time high. If you’d like to donate your time one or two afternoons per week, the Literacy Council can match you with the student who can use your help. Tutoring requires no formal training or educational experience, just a desire to help children improve their skills. The greatest need is for elementary-level reading and math tutors. For more information, contact Program Coordinator Judy Joyner at judy.joyner82@gmail.com
The council’s focus this year is on improving kindergarten-readiness scores throughout Macon County. In late 2012 the council began serving local preschoolers through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. In 2013, it was expanded to all Macon County preschoolers. By this year, 837 children have been served.
In addition to the Imagination Library, the Literacy Council is offering local preschoolers the Mobilizing Literacy program. Its focus is on kindergarten-readiness skills and it helps local preschool teachers enhance learning through reading, classroom discussion, and individual skills such as working with patterns, using classroom materials, counting, and letter recognition. Information will be sent home for parents so that skills can be practiced at home as well.
Without donations and grants, these programs would not be possible. Late last year, the Literacy Council of Highlands was awarded the People in Need Grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and the Highlands Community Foundation. This grant will go a long way toward keeping its many programs running this year.

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

Friends for Life

Raven and his sponsor,  Puckette McDonald.

Raven and his sponsor, Puckette McDonald.

The Friends for Life horse program began a little less than two years ago with the a wonderful quarter horse named Dewey. Sadly, Dewey died last year at the age of 32. Raven, the American mustang, was the next horse to join our program. We were asked to keep Raven for a woman that was not able to take care of him. She never returned to see him again, despite promises to help with his care. Raven’s favorite human is his sponsor Puckette McDonald. McDonald is the Graphic Designer for the Crossroads Chronicle in Cashiers and has loved horses all her life. She comes to the Forever Farm almost every Saturday to spend time with Raven.
Next came Niko, a spotted saddle horse. He is now Raven’s buddy, and the two act like a couple of adolescent boys, picking on each other – but never wanting to be separated. Niko came to us from Hope for Horses, an equine rescue outside of Asheville. He was inflicted with EPM (equine protozoal myeloencephalitis) and has some residual neurological issues that leave him unable to be ridden. Niko is looking for a sponsor of his own to help with his expenses.
Last spring Sevwyon joined us at the Forever Farm. He is a seven year old Tennessee walking horse who came very close to starving to death due to lack of dental care. He was living on a pasture and provided hay, but was not able to eat any of it because he was unable to chew and swallow it. Veterinary care was finally provided literally hours before death. He requires a very special, expensive diet and his owners did not want to provide that for him. They asked Friends for Life to take him. We agreed, and he is flourishing at the Forever Farm.
But, as mentioned, Sevwyon’s diet of special senior feed and soaked chopped hay, is expensive. A sponsorship for Sevwyon would be wonderful to help us meet his needs.
Please consider sponsoring Niko or Sevwyon. Call (828) 508-2460, or e-mail friendsforlife.forevefarm@gmail.com for more information.

Contributed by Kathy Bub, President, Forever Farms

Carpe Diem Farms

Jack Conway (Vice President Research and Development) in the booth at the International Hoof Summit discussing Easy’s Slipper.

Jack Conway (Vice President Research and Development) in the booth at the International Hoof Summit discussing Easy’s Slipper.

Carpe Diem Farms has always been known for being “out of the box” thinkers and “on the cutting edge.” Our equine herd, our colleagues, staff and teachers, have provided that gift. Their willingness to show us what they need in sickness and in health, and most importantly, our listening, has led to the development of The Equine Institute, a forum for veterinarians, farriers, scientists, trainers and interested horse owners. Sharing the information we have gleaned from our equines, our willing participants the past 12 years, and our “Beta Testers” these final three years of the 37 renditions of our innovative glue-on horse shoe, Easy’s Slipper.
The introduction of Easy’s Slipper at the International Hoof Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio, January 28-31, confirmed just how “cutting edge” CDF is. An independent scientific study conducted on Easy’s Slipper and the competition concluded that Easy’s Slipper provided significantly more shock absorption and dissipation which improves joint and bone health, encourages hoof growth, decreases stress on the bones, joints, ligaments and tendons; allows for the natural flexing of the hoof, resulting in enhanced blood flow and oxygenation of the horse’s body. The built-in rocker, another innovation in a glue-on, can be easily adjusted by the farrier for desired break-over, providing proper movement and soundness. The material, a lightweight, flexible, durable, sandable material, lasts the full six to eight week shoeing cycle. The shoe allows the natural flexion on the hoof, while reducing pain and lameness. The therapeutic benefits are many. Regardless of the discipline, any horse can benefit from Easy’s Slipper innovative horseshoe alternative.
The reception Easy’s Slipper received from veterinarians and farriers was humbling. They immediately saw the benefits and voiced their desire to add it to their practices. Many expressed interest in participating in future testing and the expansion of sizes to include draft horses. The success of Easy’s Slipper brings success to The Equine Institute and results in the improved health of horses around the globe. We are proud to be on the cutting edge!

Contributed by Sue Blair, Carpe Diem Farms Executive Director

Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society

David Stroud, whose dynamic leadership has galvanized the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society, has emerged as one of the state’s leaders in animal welfare.

David Stroud, whose dynamic leadership has galvanized the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society, has emerged as one of the state’s leaders in animal welfare.

David Stroud, executive director of the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society, has been elected in a statewide vote of animal welfare professionals to serve on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Animal Federation.
Only 10 directors were chosen from across the state. Additionally, when the new NCAF Board of Directors met for the first time in 2014, they voted Stroud to the position of Vice Chairman of
the Board.
“I am humbled and honored to be selected by my peers for a leadership position in our industry,” says Stroud. “I believe the members of NCAF not only recognized my passion for animal welfare, but also my experience and commitment in building coalitions of private and public animal rescue organizations. This is a tremendous opportunity to serve as an animal welfare Ambassador for Highlands and Cashiers all across our great state.”
In 2013, Stroud was named to the Legislative Committee of NCAF and has worked for the past year to promote legislation that would shut down puppy mills, and increase the number of certified rabies vaccinators in the state. Stroud will continue to serve on the Legislative Committee in addition to his new duties as NCAF Vice Chairman of the Board.
In addition to Stroud, the newly-elected NCAF Board of Directors and Officers are:
Jennifer Brehler, Asheville Humane Society, NCAF Chairman; NCAF Vice Chairman; Leigh Ann Garrard, Chatham. County Animal Control, NCAF Recorder; Shelly Moore, Humane Society of Charlotte, NCAF Treasurer; Mark Balestra, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Services; Shafonda Davis, APS of Durham/Durham. County Animal Shelter; John Graves, Outer Banks SPCA/Dare County Animal Shelter; Tim Jennings, Forsyth County Animal Services; Eric Mann, Guilford County Animal Control; Bob Marotto, Orange County Animal Services.
Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society is located on Highway 64, two miles east of the Cashiers Crossroads. Visit CHHS online at chhumanesociety.org to see pictures and descriptions of all the adorable, adoptable dogs and cats looking for forever homes. For more information, call (828) 743-5752.

Contributed by Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society

The Bookworm

The Bookworm’s new location, 555 East Main Street, is packed with treasures and more than a few surprises.

The Bookworm’s new location, 555 East Main Street, is packed with treasures and more than a few surprises.

It’s time to visit the Bookworm at its new location, 555 East Main Street in the “Falls on Main” shopping area, across the street from the Hudson Library in Highlands.
There is a large inventory of all types of books, movies, and CDs shelved and ready for you.
Dedicated volunteers run the Bookworm, with all profits going to the library. They have been working hard to make this move possible, so the next time you are in town, stop in and see the selection. You are sure to find a good read and you can’t beat the prices. From new books to those special old treasures, the Bookworm will delight you.
If you would like to volunteer, the staff would love to have you join them. Call Delaine Mehder at (828) 482-0326. And don’t forget, we depend on your generous donations, so if you have books you don’t need anymore, they are accepted during store hours, Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. The staff looks forward to seeing you.

Contributed by Nancy Reeder

Know Our Birds

black_throated_blue_warbler_Highlands_NCThe Black-throated Blue Warbler measures around five inches in length. The adult male has white underparts with a black throat, face and flanks with upperparts of deep blue. It has colorful plumage during the spring and summer. The species is often found in hilly and mountainous regions. In late summer, it migrates to the tropical wooded and scrub habitats for wintering.

Photo by Michelle Styring
Courtesy of Highlands Plateau Audubon Society

Waterfall Watching

Breathtaking Rainbow Falls rewards those who step a little bit off the beaten path.

Breathtaking Rainbow Falls rewards those who step a little bit off the beaten path.

Late winter and early spring is a great time for waterfall watching in the Highlands-Cashiers area, with bare trees offering unobstructed views and a good chance you will have them all to yourself.
Rainbow Falls on the Horsepasture River is one of the least-known natural treasures in the vicinity. Getting there requires a morning’s or afternoon’s drive and hike, but the opportunity to experience the 250-foot cascade’s drop will more than repay your time
and effort.
Travel to the parking area in the Gorges State Park starts east on US-64. After passing through Sapphire, you’ll take a right onto NC-281, then a left onto Grassy Ridge Road to the parking area. GPS coordinates for the parking area are 35.089241 -82.951804; the drive from Highlands is about a 40-minute trip and about 25 minutes from Cashiers.
This portion of the Horsepasture River was designated as a National Wild and Scenic River in 1985. This status means that the river will never be dammed and that nearby development affecting its flow is unlikely to occur. When you reach the falls you will see why!
Begin the on-foot portion of your trip to the falls at the south end of the parking area at the information kiosk. The hike is roughly a mile and a half one way, during which time you will pass into Pisgah National Forest. If ever in doubt about which direction to go, you are headed upriver, not down. The trail can be tackled in tennis shoes, but there are a few rocky, rooty, and muddy sections, so a lightweight pair of boots will not be overkill.
If it is a sunny day and the river volume is good when you arrive at the overlook, it will probably be obvious how the falls came about their name. When skies are blue, the spray generated by the Horsepasture’s sudden drop make for perfect conditions for a rainbow. The spray usually rises up to the overlook (if you have visited Niagara Falls you know what I am talking about), something to keep in mind if you are considering bringing along a jacket and if you plan on snapping a few photos.

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

When Am I Fully Healed?

Do you want your medical practitioner to say “let’s get you healed…but only part way?” When you have an injury, do you choose to wait it out and do nothing or even do only part of what is prescribed by your doctor? Healing is a process. When an injury occurs or wear and tear finally takes over, the body has a process to deal with what needs fixing. Tissue repair and blood cell turnover are mechanisms the body uses to handle this process as long as the cause of the problem has been removed. A traumatic injury usually has this scenario naturally because the traumatic mechanism is gone and healing can take place in a new environment. Traumatic injuries usually heal well as long as the proper conditions have been set up immediately after the injury. A splint or cast, bandages and stitches may be necessary for beginning and completing the healing process.
Non-traumatic injuries are more difficult to heal, mainly because the mechanism that has caused the problem is often still lurking in the body. Some examples of injuries that build up over time are shoulder or wrist pain due to hours on the computer or neck pain from talking on the phone for too long. These injuries are more stubborn to heal since the causal mechanism remains while healing. Manual therapies and guided exercises are very helpful in facilitating the healing process. Many injuries come and go when not taken care of properly and completely. This is where chiropractic care and massage therapy come into the healing process. These manual therapies help to facilitate and complete the healing process so the problem can be solved instead of perpetuated. A good understanding of the injury’s cause and possible healing interventions will speed up the process and help to make the healing more permanent. Consulting a medical practitioner, especially a chiropractor, will go a long way to starting and completing your healing process.

For Our Four-Legged Family

The Animal Wellness Hospital is one of many area services tailored to care for our furry friends.

The Animal Wellness Hospital is one of many area services tailored to care for our furry friends.

Pets are no longer just pets. They have become family members and people are going to great lengths to take care of their pets. I am no different and take care of my pup better than I do myself. When I first moved to the mountains I decided that I would keep my veterinarian in Atlanta. It became apparent that heading down the mountain for every vet visit was a long way to go. So after researching vets in the area I found that the Animal Wellness Hospital of Highlands had an affiliation with Rabun Animal Hospital which is a 24-hour emergency hospital. Dr. Brad Smith is the owner and in 2010 opened the clinic in Highlands. When I inquired as to why he opened the clinic in Highlands, he replied, “I felt like we needed a presence in Highlands. More and more clients were coming down to Rabun Animal Hospital and thought we could provide a better service with a facility in Highlands.”
I was amazed that the Wellness Hospital of Highlands offers laser treatment for animals. I had been going off the mountain for my pup’s laser treatments and was thrilled to learn that the Wellness Hospital of Highlands had a laser machine and offered treatments. Laser is great to treat arthritis, herniated disc, animals hit by a cars or to manage pain, inflammation and speeds recovery. Sarah Valentine has been using laser treatment for her dog and states, “It’s so reassuring to have such quality care in such a remote place as Highlands that is backed up by a very reputable animal hospital as Rabun Animal Hospital. I love going to sleep knowing that I can get help 24/7 hours a day. I have family that lives in major cities that wish they had the care that we get here at Animal Wellness and that says a lot!”
Not only does our area have great veterinarians but has over four pet stores that offer high quality dog food. Woof Gang Bakery offers homemade dog treats and even has a yappy hour for dogs. For great beds, leashes and toys Paws on the Mountain has large variety. Dogz Best Friend is the newest addition in our community and offers grooming, day care and boarding. Mountain Dog Spa and Boutique has quite the following, so don’t wait till the last minute to make an appointment. They book up about two to three weeks out in the season.
Our area is definitely dog friendly and offers anything you may need or want for your animals and it’s good to know that I don’t have to go off the mountain for anything my four-legged friend needs.

Contributed by Elizabeth Fletcher | elizabeth@idoeventsatlanta.com | Photo by Sarah Valentine

The Mourning After

Local writer publishes novel about the resilency of love

Local writer publishes novel about the resilency of love

Like a long-lost episode of “The Twilight Zone,” a Sapphire writer’s novel about the resiliency of love across the ages has fostered a real-life romance that transcends time
and space.
Edward Fahey’s “The Mourning After” is the story of love not confined to a single lifetime, or slowed by death. Exploring spirituality and human relationships, it is written in a haunting, mystical style that’s caught the fancy of readers in such far-ranging places as New Zealand, Slovenia, Finland, Ireland, and across North America.
The plot of “The Mourning After” is as simple and as achingly complex as the mysteries locked in the chambers of the human heart. Nightmares of war and death from lost centuries torment a young boy with evermore devastating detail until he can’t separate fantasy from reality. Denis meets a child he calls M, who seems to know his dreams intimately. She asks him, “Do you … remember?” He grows into adulthood amid disturbing evidence that his fantasies have been ancient memories. Through life after life Denis and M have loved each other with increasing desperation. He keeps dying young; leaving her grieving into lonely old age. It’s a stirring tale that promises that broken relationships can be mended, and that tragedy can transmute into triumph. At its core, it’s a resounding testament to the transcendent power of love.
One of those readers who was captured by the mystery and passion of “The Mourning After” was Lynden Carter of England, who read excerpts on Facebook. Lynden had been alone for 16 years since her husband’s death, but reading Fahey’s creation stirred her to new life. She relished the story, calling it “achingly beautiful,” and was intrigued by the man who wrote it. The pair corresponded and over the course of time they fell in love.
“I invited Lynden to America so that we could meet and embrace the romance that had developed,” says Fahey. “Her friends, fearing me an axe murderer, warned her to never let me take her to my cabin in the
Carolina woods.”
Believing in what she had read in his excerpts and heard in his voice, however, Lynden flew overseas for her first visit
to America.
“She trusted me and the love deepened, along with ever greater spiritual awareness,” says Fahey. “I followed her back to Europe, where we spent six months touring haunted graveyards, spooky old castles, and monasteries torn apart by Henry VIII. We toured stone circles, the land of Arthur and Merlin, and all sorts of centers of magic and faith.”
Lynden has spent this winter in the U.S. with Fahey, coming to understand him and the little community of Sapphire that has nurtured his creativity for the last nine years. In this past year the couple has spent nine months together on both continents and she has spent this winter with him in the U. S.
Fahey has spent his life hunting magic. He has communed with mystics and healers, camped in deserts, lived on a ship, and travelled out-of-body, always reaching for something deeper and more profound. He tours decrepit castles, graveyards, abandoned monasteries, and ancient ceremonial sites, seeking contact with lingering
ancient spirits.
Lynden has lived in small towns in Northern England most of her life, never travelling very far.
Now they search the world together; hunting up mysteries.
Like something out of “The
Twilight Zone.”
“The Mourning After” is available at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, where Fahey will be will be doing a reading from it at 6:30 P.M. March 7th, and at Amazon.com You can get to know the author through his website, bobedwardfahey.com.

By Luke Osteen  

Highlands-Cashiers Hospital

Pictured Left to Right - Amy Hearing, Program Manager, Mission Center for Telehealth, Bryan Arkwright, Director, Mission Center for Telehealth, Danielle Martin, Stroke Outreach Coordinator, Dan Baldasaro, RN, Charge Nurse, Dr. Gray Erlacher, HCH Director of Emergency Services, Bonnie K. Simonson, MS, RN, HCH Interim Chief Nursing Officer, and Virginia Stewart, RN, HCH Clinical Coordinator.

Pictured Left to Right – Amy Hearing, Program Manager, Mission Center for Telehealth, Bryan Arkwright, Director, Mission Center for Telehealth, Danielle Martin, Stroke Outreach Coordinator, Dan Baldasaro, RN, Charge Nurse, Dr. Gray Erlacher, HCH Director of Emergency Services, Bonnie K. Simonson, MS, RN, HCH Interim Chief Nursing Officer, and Virginia Stewart, RN, HCH Clinical Coordinator.

Thanks to a Telestroke robot, patients at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital who are exhibiting signs of stroke can now be evaluated more quickly and accurately.
Telestroke is part of Mission Health’s Telehealth system that connects physicians and patients at rural hospitals with specialists at Mission Hospital, the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. Through the use of a rolling robot and live, two-way, audio-video, Telestroke technology allows Mission neurologists to remotely interact with patients, families and care providers at the bedside, reducing the need for travel time or patient transfers for specialized stroke care.
“It’s a faster way to get acute stroke patients in front of a neurologist,” said Dr. Gray Erlacher, HCH Director of Emergency Care. “Patients who present in our ER with stroke symptoms will quickly be assessed not only by us but also by a Board Certified Neurologist from Mission Health. Time is brain tissue and with this technology, assessment and treatment can begin even sooner.”
Dr. Erlacher added that the robot is like having a specialist on-site 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The robot will reduce transfers, allowing more patients to stay and receive treatment locally. The Telestroke program has allowed nearly 50 percent of patients who received a video Telestroke consult to remain at their local community hospital
for care.
“Telehealth eliminates geographic transport barriers and allows improved outcomes for patients through faster treatment and 24/7 bedside access to Mission Health experts,” said Jonathan Bailey, MHA, Vice President of Operations at Mission Hospital. “The Telehealth installation at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital puts us one step closer to achieving our bigger aim – to get each patient to the desired outcome, first without harm, also without waste and with an exceptional experience for the patient and family.”
Mission Health’s Telehealth services are now offered in 10 rural hospitals and clinics in Western North Carolina.

Contributed by Callie Calloway

The Village Green

An emerald vision of paradise, the Village Green is a jewel at the heart of Cashiers.

An emerald vision of paradise, the Village Green is a jewel at the heart of Cashiers.

The Village Green is the centerpiece of Cashiers.
This 12.5-acre park in the middle of town features meandering walking paths, beautiful native landscaping, boardwalks over a protected wetlands, a community-built children’s playground, picnic shelters, sculpture and two rustic open air event venues. However, this park was almost the site of a hotel chain.
“Can you imagine how different Cashiers would be without this be wonderful place that preserves the legacy, the charm of our mountain village,” says Jochen Lucke, Chairperson of
The Village Green.
It began with the vision of Al Balestiere joining with two friends, Elizabeth Davenport and John Lupton, to purchase the property.
“They were dismayed at the prospect of losing the quaint mountain atmosphere,” says Lucke.
“So they donated the land to establish The Village Green.” Since that time the park has been privately conserved and developed through The Village Green, a
nonprofit organization.
Unlike other public parks, The Village Green receives no public funding. Operations and improvements are funded solely by individual donors and special fundraising events.
“For this reason, The Village Green truly belongs to the community,” says executive director Ann Self. “Without the generosity of so many, The Village Green would not be able to provide the civic, spiritual, educational, recreational and cultural activities that so many folks enjoy throughout the year, and at
no cost!”
On any given day, people are seen walking dogs, sharing a picnic lunch, photographing sculpture or watching children climbing and swinging on the playground. In the warm weather season, nature programs, concerts, festivals and other events are enjoyed by thousands of area residents and visitors to The Village Green.
One person commented, “Its location has one of the best mountain views around and the physical structures that have been put up over the years showcase what people imagine a little mountain town should be like. Places like this really
do exist!”
To learn more about The Village Green and how to contribute, visit villagegreencashiersnc.com.

Cowboy Wally…

sir_walter_art…But most folks call him Sir.
Cowboy Wally loved to chew the rag with any galoot who’d give him an ear. In fact, if a feller warn’t careful, Wally’d chew that ear right off his head. Ever wonder how Van Gogh lost his lobe? Well, now you know.
Yepper, Sir Wally may have been a lot of fun to chew with, but folks didn’t want to push him too fer. He’d haul off and chew your donkey, if you know what I mean, and I’ll bet you do. Then he’d spit it clean out of the county and drop it right into Snarf Canyon. He kinda thought of that canyon as his own personal spittoon. They say the echoes of Wally’s pitooies bouncing off them canyon walls could deefen a man. I wouldn’t know that fer certain, but ol’ Doc Deafas A. Post has made a decent living off ear trumpets in that neck of the woods.
Wally liked to try somethin’ new on occasion. Once he decided to chaw only kosher tobbacky. Word got back to the local rabbi who said, “That’s funny. He doesn’t look Chewish.”
Well, Wally warn’t none too happy about that remark, so before the dip started flyin’, that rabbi skeedaddled straight out of town, hopped on the departin’ chew chew and was never heared frum again.
There’s a sad endin’ to this tall tale. Wally, undisputed Master of Mastication, rests in pieces after he lost a spittin’ contest to some ol’ gal named ‘Lizbeth. Seems she was the Queen of somethin’ or anuther across the Big Pond and didn’t take kindly to Wally fraternizing with the enemy. Just goes to show, no matter how many aces you got up yer sleeve you can’t
trump a queen.
And that’s snuff of that.

by Donna Rhodes

Home of Distinction of Highlands and Cashiers

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highlands_nc_home_6I cannot think of a better way to escape the stress of the city than to be surrounded by the beauty of nature in a historic log cabin. Walk with me through “Stone’s Throw,”– a charming cabin that deftly melds the 21st century amenities of central heat and air, cable TV and Wi-Fi with the charm of a rustic cabin. As we enter the fenced yard, we walk back to a simpler time. Large trees which overlook the cabin sway in the gentle breezes as the geese from Mirror Lake beckon you to amble down to the shores for a stroll along the water.
The location of this cabin is superb – just a stone’s throw from whatever you want to do. A short walk to town takes you past The Bascom and the Highlands Visitors’ Center. Bridal Veil Falls is just a short jaunt down the Franklin Road, as is Bust Your Butt swimming area.
Back at the cabin after your morning sojourn, a gently-roaring fire in the living room’s native stone fireplace chases away the morning chill. Plan your day with friends as the tantalizing aromas of a hearty breakfast beckon you to gather around the kitchen table overlooking the cabin’s back yard.
Memories of days with grandma will fill your head as you draw biscuits from the oven.
Throw open the home’s many windows to enjoy the song birds’ serenade. Grab that Bloody Mary or final cup of coffee and settle onto the covered back porch to review the maps of area attractions. You may be so mesmerized by the beauty of nature that you find the day is fleeting before you embark on your planned activities.
The dining area of the living room is the perfect spot for a family dinner. After the meal challenge your friends to a board game or work on that puzzle. Whatever your fancy, there’s a place to relax and rejuvenate.
As is so often true with properties here in Highlands, the history of this eye-catching home is debated. Mountain lore says that this cabin was built by famed Highlander Joe Webb. A deed search of the property shows that the home was built in the late 1940s after Joe had left Highlands and gone to Ellijay. Whichever story you ascribe to, there’s no dispute that this cabin is filled with the charm of yesteryear.
Each of the home’s beautifully appointed bedrooms feature wood-beam, ceilings and hardwood floors. Relax on the queen bed or pamper yourself in your own private bath. Check out world news or your favorite movie on your TV. As you escape the cares of the world, the historic charm of the cabin will pamper you in style.
Spring is just around the corner. Let this be your home away from home. Call Nadine Paradise at Landmark Realty Group at (828) 526-4663, office or (828) 371-2551, mobile for a private showing.

By Wiley Sloan

Highlands History

Main Street, Highlands, in 1884, taken by John Bundy.  Annie Dimick’s Cheap Cash Store was set back from the road beyond the fence and before the two tall buildings on the distant right. Photo courtesy of the Highlands Historical Society.

Main Street, Highlands, in 1884, taken by John Bundy. Annie Dimick’s Cheap Cash Store was set back from the road beyond the fence and before the two tall buildings on the distant right. Photo courtesy of the Highlands Historical Society.

Just in case you thought discount stores were creations of the 1900s, here’s an eye-opener. One of the earliest stores in Highlands had a century jump on discount houses. The Cheap Cash Store owned by Frank L. and Anna G. Dimick which stood on the corner of Fourth and Main, carried just about anything a resident in 1878 Highlands could desire. There were aisles for boots, shoes, hats, dry goods (anything to do with sewing, big sellers before off-the-rack-clothing came to town), hardware, glassware, Queensware (cream-colored Wedgewood china), drugs, and general merchandise of every size, kind and description. They even sold household sewing machines. In fact, unlike today’s discount stores, just about the only thing unavailable in The Cheap Cash Store was credit.
But what Cheap Cash lacked in credit sales, it made up in barter. If you had a coonskin, a side of beef, fresh produce, etc., a trade could be made.
George Jacobs managed the store. He is said to have welcomed customers with a “kind word and a broad grin.” And he took pride in the sale of everyone’s favorite, a sack of their signature Rio coffee which folks claimed to be “strong enough to hold up an iron wedge.” Steam that in your espresso machine, Starbucks!
Sadly, Frank Dimick died in 1883 at the untimely age of 39. His young widow, Annie continued to run the store, though over time she sold off portions of it to Baxter Wilson who moved his store across from White’s Post Office. Like her husband, Annie died at the age of 39, three years after
Frank’s passing.
Before her death, her chief competitor, James Rideout, said, “I rise to explain that I am not selling goods at cost – I hope you do not think so. I ask as high prices as my conscience will permit – and take all I can get, and so they do at Cheap Cash Stores. Try me.” While James would have benefitted from an ad agent writing his copy, his point was made. Naming a place Cheap Cash Store doesn’t necessarily mean prices will be lower, though the Dimicks had plenty of loyal customers who adored doing business with them and found their prices more than fair.
So next time you venture near Fourth and Main imagine a bustling general store established only 13 years after the Civil War’s end. Watch customers bartering in the back of Cheap Cash, a ham for a keg of salt or sugar. Smell the Rio coffee, and feel your heart joyfully rocket on a caffeine ride. Listen to the rustle of hand-sewn calico skirts as ladies climb aboard their horse-drawn wagons. But most of all, as you cross the busy intersection with all those horses and mules giddy-upping around you, watch where you step.

by Donna Rhodes

Heritage Apple Day

Cashiers-NC-HistorySpring is only a few weeks away and to celebrate the season, the Cashiers Historical Society is inviting one and all to their 2014 Heritage Apple Day on Saturday, March 15, at the Cashiers Community Center from 10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. This is a free event, featuring a grafting demonstration and workshop, apple tree site selection, preparation and care with an SCSU Horticulture Area Agent. Regional apple tree cuttings will be available or bring your own. Over 300 rootstock will be provided at no charge! Refreshments will be available.
Yours truly will speak about Cashiers Valley’s “Apple History” which will include the story of T. R. Zachary’s Apple House which he constructed in 1883 at the same time he was building his home. The old Apple House still stands, after 131 years, in mute testimony to the importance of the fruit from the area’s apple orchards to the mountain farmers. In 1883, when Thompson Roberts (T. R.) Zachary returned from homesteading in Kansas to his birthplace, Cashiers Valley, he built a house and several outbuildings, including said apple house. Still owned by his descendants and located within shouting distance of The Crossroads, the recently taken photo of the apple house illustrates this article. In the walls of “the old place,” as some of us refer to T. R.’s home, not used in many years for storing apples, there is still evidence of T. R.’s thumbprint in the clay chinking between the boards.

Contributed by Jane Gibson Nardy, Historian, Cashiers Historical Society

Older Wine

Curt Christiansen,  Wine Navigator Madison’s Restaurant  empiricon@hotmail.com

Curt Christiansen, Wine Navigator
Madison’s Restaurant, empiricon@hotmail.com

I have frequently had people share 30-40 year old wines with me.
Most times they marvel at how it still tastes like wine after so long. Many have lost their body and texture, they are thin and tart and lose what little fruit they have after a few minutes of air. Had I tasted these wines blind, I would think they were flawed or over the hill. Yet we continue to drink and ooh and aah over these thin neutered wines. Might it be that a wine was produced in the year of a first born or a first kiss. Might the vintage represent an important person or time in history.
I shared with some friends a bottle of 1870 Madeira. the year was the birth year of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, or Vladimir Lenin.
Not exactly a celebrated figure for me, but certainly an important and influential figure in human history. His historical presence lent gravity to the tasting. I remember marveling at the the creamy texture and toasted coffee and caramel notes that emanated from my glass. This 135 year old wine was, as I recall, delicious.
I don’t know if it really was as good as I remember, or if it was the history or the friends that enjoyed it with me, but it was unforgettable.
I guess wine is like pictures of grandchildren. They may have a lazy eye, crooked teeth and big ears, but to the grandparents they are perfect.

Six Spring Detox Diets

fruitSpring is the time to think about a detox diet or a plan to purify the sluggish digestive system. One of the following six detox diets can help you get ready for the spring season:
1. The Fruit Flush Detox diet – Jay Robb invented this diet, which washes excess weight and toxins off in three days. The results are accomplished by eating only fruits. This plan requires a specific amount of fruit taken every two hours to maximize the system while keeping blood sugar levels stable.
2. Lemon Detox – This diet was invented by Stanley Burroughs 60 years ago. Also known as the Master Cleanse, it consists of taking lemon juice, pure organic maple syrup, pure water and cayenne pepper for a period not less than 10 days. Get ready for frequent bathroom visits.
3. Paul Bragg’s detox –involves periodic fasting for purification purposes. These short fasts (24 hours once a week and thirty-six hours once every few months) are supposed to help your body detox.
4. Dr. Frank Lipman’s detox is designed to avoid extremes and still allows for eating “real” food and not just juicing and fasting. In return, you are supposed to get cleansed of Candida and have a lot more energy.
5. The Raw Food Detox diet – created by nutritionist Natalia Rose, allows for flexibility in making the transition to consuming raw food at the participant’s own pace. This unique program allows for healthy animal products as well.
6. The Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox – based on Ayurvedic medicine, this program eliminates all acidic foods to help the body eliminate toxin build up. It supposedly alters the body’s pH balance to its ideal alkaline state.

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

The Laurel’s New Reader’s Poll

The Favorite harbinger of Spring, The Dogwood.

The Favorite harbinger of Spring, The Dogwood.

The Mountain Laurel Bloom.

The Mountain Laurel Bloom.

Thanks to those of you who participated in our new feature, The Laurel’s Top Picks. Here are the results of “Your Favorite Spring Bloom.”
5. The Trillium. 4. The Jonquil. 3. The Dwarf Iris.
2. Our runner up is the Mountain Laurel – our namesake! Its blooms burst in a large spray of saucer-shaped flowers with lacy rose-colored dots dancing around each blossom center. The delicate dotting is perhaps the reason some call mountain laurel the calico bush. Its bell-shaped pink-to-white flowers grow in a flattish cluster.
1. And the number one pick for Laurel readers is North Carolina’s state flower, the Dogwood. The dogwood blossom is not only beautiful, but it is rich in symbolism. A Christian icon, it represents the cross. At each petal tip is the stain of Christ’s blood. The center resembles the crown of thorns. In the Cherokee culture it is said that tiny beings live around the trunk of the dogwood tree. They were sent here to help us live in harmony with the forests. Every spring white and pink dogwood blossoms cascade across the landscape, a dramatic testimonial to rebirth and harmony with the land.
Thanks to our readers for participating in our first readers’
choice poll.
We invite you to vote in our next poll – “Favorite waterfall in the Highlands-Cashiers area.” Readers can vote online at thelaurelmagazine.com/toppicks or on facebook.com/TheLaurelMagazine.

Art League of Highlands

“A Simple Place and Time” by Pamela Haddock.

“A Simple Place and Time” by Pamela Haddock.

The Art League of Highlands is participating in The Bascom’s Regional Art Leagues: Selected Works, which runs January 11 – March 30 in the Bunzi gallery. This is an exhibition of selected works from regional art leagues and guilds in western North Carolina, western South Carolina and northern Georgia. The Art League’s entries were selected by juror, Bob Thomas, a graduate of the Atlanta
College of Art.
The pieces selected are:
“Roaring Fork Flo” – a 40 x 20 photograph by Terry Barnes. Barnes is a self-taught photographer who shoots landscapes more than any other subject matter. His work captures natural images with realism while drawing the viewer into the images. His work has been published in regional magazines and is available in local galleries. More of his work may be found at www.tbranesphotography.photoshelter.com.
“Barn and Shed” – a 34 x 24 oil painting by Zach Claxton. Claxton works exclusively in oils, and is a self-taught artist. His work is representative and includes landscapes, waterscapes, still life, wildlife and other figurative subject matter. He was the cover artist in the March 2012 edition of the Laurel magazine. More of his work may be seen at zachclaxton.com.
“A Simple Place in Time”– a 40 x 30 watercolor on Yupo by Pamela Haddock. Haddock has been a watercolor artist for over 25 years, winning awards at the Watercolor Society of North Carolina State Show, the Southern Watercolor Society’s Annual Show, and the Virginia Watercolor Society’s Award at the Southern Watercolor Society Show 2013 among others. More information may be found atpamhaddock.com.
“New Moon at Sunset” – a 24×16 photograph by Cynthia Strain. Strain began pursuing photography in 2002, and since 2004 has been the owner of the Mill Creek Gallery and Framing in Highlands. In 2012 she published a coffee table book entitled Highlands Through the Seasons, containing 180 images made over the past thirty years. Her work may be seen at cystrainphotos.com.

Contributed by Zach Claxton

Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival

“Jazz Meets Classics: Sax in the Mountains,” on July 18-19, is an intriguing blend of verve and nuance with the talents of jazz pianist Gary Motley,  jazz saxophonist Will Scruggs, classical pianist Elena Cholakova and classical saxophonist Leo Saguiguit.

“Jazz Meets Classics: Sax in the Mountains,” on July 18-19, is an intriguing blend of verve and nuance with the talents of jazz pianist Gary Motley,
jazz saxophonist Will Scruggs, classical pianist Elena Cholakova and classical saxophonist Leo Saguiguit.

The Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival’s 33rd season, which runs from June 22 through August 3, is so packed with lovely music and world-famous musicians that it can’t help but spill over into the
larger community.
Actually, the fun starts even before the performance season. On June 14, Salon at Six will be staged at the home of Kay Kramer and Frank Cohen. Long-time festival favorites Valery Von Pechy Whitcup and Lea Kibler will entertain on the harp and flute.
The Bascom hosts the next Salon at Six on June 17 with a performance of Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at
an Exhibition.”
On June 22, the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival teams up with another beloved Highlands institution – Scudder’s Auction House – for “A Musical Auction,” featuring the talents of violinist Helen Kim and cellist
Charae Krueger.
As for the season proper, patrons can look forward to the festival’s lineup of breathtaking performances by world-renowned musicians. Standout events include “The Poet’s Love and Life” on July 13-14 — Robert Schumanns “Dichterliebe” interspersed with readings by poet Bruce Berger, featuring tenor Bradley Howard, pianist and Festival Artistic Director William Ransom; “Jazz Meets Classics: Sax in the Mountains,” on July 18-19 – an intriguing blend of verve and nuance with the talents of classical saxophonist Leo Saguiguit, jazz saxophonist Will Scruggs, classical pianist Elena Cholakova and jazz pianist Gary Motley; and “American Idols,” a celebration of the works of composers Philip Glass, Aaron Copland, Kevin Puts, Leonard Bernstein, and Henri Vieuxtemps, set for August 1-2.
There’ll be also be a free Children’s Concert at the Highlands Community Child Development Center, the Vega String Quartet performing at Buck’s Coffee Shop in Highlands, and, true to the festival’s playful spirit, a Country Meets Classics concert.
If you’d like to help support the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival, consider underwriting a concert. For a tax-deductible minimum of $2500, you can dedicate a concert in the Program Book in honor or memory of a special someone.
For details, call (828) 526-9060 or email
hccmf@frontier.com.

by Luke Osteen

The Met Opera Live at PAC

Werther will be shown at the Highlands PAC  on Saturday, March 15.

Werther will be shown at the Highlands PAC
on Saturday, March 15.

A new production of Borodin’s rarely heard epic “Prince Igor,” conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov in his Met debut, and starring Ildar Abdrazakov in the monumental title role will be presented Live in HD.
Borodin’s defining Russian epic, famous for its Polovtsian Dances, comes to the Met for the first time in nearly one hundred years. Dmitri Tcherniakov’s new production is a brilliant psychological journey through the mind of its conflicted hero, with the founding of the Russian nation as the backdrop. Director Tcherniakov spent countless hours poring over scores, research, and other historical documents to piece together a new, theatrically bold vision of Borodin’s “Prince Igor.” This bold Met undertaking offers the first serious re-appraisal of the score in many years. “Prince Igor” will be shown at the Highlands PAC on Saturday, March 1.
For the second March MET performance, director Richard Eyre returns to the Met with a new staging of Massenet’s tragic romance, “Werther,” starring Jonas Kaufmann and Elīna Garanča in their first Met performances as the brooding poet Werther and his unattainable love, Charlotte. Lisette Oropesa sings the role of Sophie, Charlotte’s sister; David Bižić makes his Met debut as Charlotte’s fiancé, Albert; and Jonathan Summers is Charlotte’s father, Le Bailli. The rising young maestro, Alain Altinoglu conducts the first new Met production of the opera in more than 40 years.
Werther is Massenet’s sublime adaptation of Goethe’s revolutionary and tragic romance. The new production is directed and designed by Richard Eyre and Rob Howell, the same team that created the Met’s recent hit staging of Carmen. Werther will be shown at the Highlands PAC on Saturday, March 15.
Pre-Opera discussions for both Operas begin at 12:30 P.M., led by Beverly Pittman. The Met Opera Live in HD begins at 12:55 P.M. Tickets are $24 and are available online at highlandspac.org or by calling (828) 526-9047. Student tickets are normally $12, but due to the generosity of the PAC Opera Guild underwriters students are free. Highlands PAC is located at 507 Chestnut Street in Highlands.

Contributed by Mary Adair Leslie

The Malpass Brothers at PAC

The Malpass Brothers bring their no-holds-barred  brand of music to Highlands/Cashiers with a  performance March 29 at the Performing Arts Center.

The Malpass Brothers bring their no-holds-barred
brand of music to Highlands/Cashiers with a
performance March 29 at the Performing Arts Center.

“…momentum is growing as fast as their sideburns. They’re as authentic as country ham and red-eye gravy – and things just don’t get much better than that.”
These are just some of the things their fans are saying about the Malpass Brothers.
These North Carolina natives — Chris, 27 and Taylor, 23 — are the real deal in traditional country music. Touring as the opening act for music legend Merle Haggard has broadened their introduction to audiences across America, and their ArtsMarket showcase this fall ripped the barn roof off. They’ve made festival appearances in Northern Ireland and The Shetland Islands, and the title cut video from their album “Memory That Bad” topped the chart at Number Seven in CMT’s Pure Country.
Gifted musicians and songwriters, the brothers have recorded three gospel and three country music projects, and have shared the stage with artists including Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Rhonda Vincent, Marty Stuart, Doc Watson and more.
Chris and Taylor were born to be on stage, promoting the work and music of artists they treasure while creating new music and making their own mark in the lineage of a rich cultural heritage.
“Music is what we love and it’s what we do,” says Chris. “Traditional country music is the heart and soul of what makes us who we are.”
See the Malpass Brothers live at 7:30 P.M. Saturday, March 29, at Highlands Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $20 and are available online at highlandspac.org or by calling (828) 526-9047. Highlands PAC is located at 507 Chestnut Street in Highlands.

Contributed by Mary Adair Leslie

Betsy Paul Art Raffle

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

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

Tranny Robinson is delighted to offer her sixth painting, a water color of horses, for the March art raffle to benefit the Cashiers-Glenville
Fire Department.
After a long career as a registered nurse, Tranny became a self-taught artist with God’s help. Her favorite media is water color. Her paintings have been shown in Brevard art shows, Sapphire Valley art and craft shows, and South Carolina State Fairs. She and her husband make their home in Sapphire Valley and Columbia,
South Carolina.
Viewers are invited to see each month’s raffle item on display from 9:00 AM. 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.

The Bascom

Artwork by Cynthia Strain

Artwork by Cynthia Strain

It’s the perfect season for indoor fun, and The Bascom has a sizzling lineup of exhibitions, classes and events to warm you up!
Don’t miss the current exhibition, Regional Art Leagues, on view until March 30. This fascinating exhibit showcases the talents of selected artists juried by the regional art guilds and organizations. Come and vote on the artwork that will win the People’s Choice awards—revealed at the closing reception on Saturday, March 29, from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M.
Also displayed are artworks by The Bascom Instructors and The Bascom Youth Instructors, through April 13. These dedicated artists share their amazing talents with adults and children through The Bascom’s education programs throughout the year. Join them for the reception on Saturday, March 29, from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M.
Mark your calendar for the Making Waves exhibition, March 8 to May 18, in time for the spring and summer seasons, when getting out on mountain lakes for recreation is a favorite activity. The exhibition coincides with Highlands’ Three River Fly Fishing Tournament, and displays handcrafted wooden boats, handmade bamboo rods, paddles, antique outboard motors, reels and flies. Highlands’ location offers pristine watersheds with scenic mountain views, described by the 1989 Land Use Plan as “magnificent beauty and the unusual attraction” of its rich biological diversity. The closing reception for Making Waves will be held on Saturday, May 3, from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M.
One of the most popular events in the Highlands-Cashiers area is The Bascom’s Barn Dance, Saturday, March 22, from 7:00 to 10:00 P.M. For only $5 per person, enjoy country, contra, square dancing and more, live bluegrass music and a world-class caller. Shake off those winter blues!
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. Admission to exhibitions is always free! For more information, to register for workshop offerings, or for more details on all Bascom activities, visit TheBascom.org or call (828) 526-4949.

Contributed by Pat Turnbull

Turn it Up

highlands_nc_warren_carpenter_turninghighlands_nc_warren_carpenter_bowl2

highlands_nc_warren_carpenter_bowlWarren Carpenter, designer, homebuilder, and wood turner, has won just about every award one can attain in the field of construction in his adopted state of South Carolina. He has served as president of the Homebuilders Association. He was selected Builder of the Year three times. Following those recognitions, he was inducted into the South Carolina Housing Hall of Fame. And to top it all off, he was recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, the highest award presented to a resident of South Carolina. If it can be constructed, sculpted, or turned, this Carpenter can do it, and do it in grand style.
After running a successful construction business for 30 years, he returned to his roots as designer and sculptor, taking a turn for the artistic. His intro to wood-turning was pure happenstance . . . or maybe it was fate. When his daughters were teens, he and his wife took a weekend get away. The highlight of the trip was a visit to a wood-turner in North Georgia. Even though Carpenter knew wood inside and out, the woodturning allowed him to experience the beauty of wood in a completely new way. On their way back home he turned to his wife and said, “Now I know what I am going to do with the rest of my life.”
So for the last 15 years, he has defined himself as woodturner doing demonstrations all over the Eastern Seaboard and turning out bowls, vessels, quilts and sculptures that are currently exhibited in nearly a score of Southern galleries.
Did I say quilts? Yes, shapes arranged and pieced together as one would fabric, only these pieces are laminated wood and every bit as stunning as grandma’s double wedding ring.
One of his favorite stories is the reverse roles he and his father played. He says, “My dad wasn’t really into wood. In the mid 1970’s he moved us from New York to the Carolinas. I worked with him to create a cabinet business. Over time, I developed my own home building business. My construction company grew so quickly that we closed the cabinet shop. My dad came onboard to help me. His health began to deteriorate about the time I took up wood turning. After I practiced turning for a few months he asked me to teach him. He immediately fell in love with it. I am convinced it added years to his life. So instead of a father teaching his son a trade, the son taught his dad cabinetry, home building, and woodturning. In addition to giving him a passion to live for, it brought us very close together, and I am deeply grateful for those extended years with him.”
Carpenter belongs to Full Moon Artists who collectively have four studios from Seneca to Walhalla, South Carolina. Twice a year, May and December, they have a studio tour. This year from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. May 17 and 18, enjoy a day trip to Walhalla and take the tour. Locally you can see Carpenter’s work in Tsartistry Gallery on the Highlands Road, Franklin, (828) 524-5359. Visit his website, woodbywarren.com. Contact him there for a studio appointment. You never know what will turn up!

by Donna Rhodes

Cover Artist Taylor White

highlands_nc_cover_artist_march

Highlands_NC_Great_White_EgretHighlands_NC_Alpha_and _Omega

Highlands_NC_Country_HarmonyMost artists load their brushes with paint, but one could argue Taylor White paints with pure light.
Her work is so exquisitely luminescent, it is no wonder she has taken numerous best-of-show awards. The details of the wildlife she portrays in oils are astoundingly realistic. Judges, collectors, and viewers are mesmerized by her compositions and painting style.
Even though she has painted for three decades, it still delights her that people are drawn to her work. She says, “I am a realist and it is a joy to be able to do what I do and have someone enjoy it enough to give me money for it.”
Composition comes naturally to her. Having grown up in the rural regions of Alabama in a family of naturalists, her choice of subjects was and continues to be indigenous wildlife, particularly waterfowl. She says, “I was raised in the country and I love all things country. I was taught to respect nature even when that wasn’t fashionable. We were told that things were given to us and should be appreciated and respected.”
One of White’s passions is scouting wildlife for photo reference. It might take a dozen photographic elements to inspire one painting, using a tree from one, a particularly elegant feather from another, and a tilt of the head from a third.
Her favorite subjects are herons, geese, egrets, hawks, pelicans, and any wild or domestic animal that came into her field of vision. She and her husband love to travel, so new vistas and wildlife are welcome additions to her photographic reference library. Only photos she has taken are integrated into her pieces.
White is a stickler for accuracy. Sometimes she spends years on a painting, waiting for just the right snapshot to complete a work. It took 10 years to gather all the photos needed to paint a mother fox, her den, and her kits.
Her work, displayed throughout the United States and Canada has won many awards including Best of Shows and Best of Category for competitions sponsored by the Alabama Wildlife Federation. In addition, she has contributed to a variety of publications including Wildlife Art News, Sporting Classic (featuring hunters and their dogs), Alabama Conservation, Alabama Wildlife, Golfer’s Digest, Southeastern Art Showcase, California Sports Magazine, and the cover of Covey Rise Magazine. You can even find her work on tee shirts, greeting cards, and bank checks.
Recently, Artists for Conservation, an international non-profit organization of wildlife artists that spans five continents and 27 countries published three of her paintings in two coffee table books.
A couple of years ago the Wildlife Federation had an art competition. They wanted something absolutely Alabama. It was due December. She says, “By the end of November I still didn’t have any solid ideas. For Thanksgiving I had 30 people at my house for dinner. Out of the blue one of the grandkids yelled, ‘What is that yellow thing out in the tree?’”
I saw a blur. “Is that the old yellow cat?”
someone asked.
“’That’s not a cat!’ I said. ‘That is a hawk!’ I left dinner, raced out the door with my camera in hand, and got the shots I needed for my entry. You never know when Mother Nature will dish up exactly what you want.”
To see more of Taylor White’s dramatic paintings visit her website at taylorwhitegallery.com or Mountain Mist Gallery in Cashiers. Join the scores of collectors who bask in her magical light.

by Donna Rhodes

Earth Day in Highlands

The Smokey Shrew (Sorex Fumeus ). Photo by Patrick Brannon

The Smokey Shrew (Sorex Fumeus ). Photo by Patrick Brannon

The Highlands Biological Station is hosting activities to celebrate Earth Week in April.
Spend the eve of Earth Week in the Highlands Botanical Garden for the “Earth Day of Service Volunteer Day” on Saturday, April 19 from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. All ages are welcome to help maintain the health and beauty of the Botanical Garden, so please bring the family to work with the Garden’s horticulturists for the whole day or a time slot that suits you. Lunch and tools will be provided. Contact our horticulturists at (828) 526-0188 to find out about planned tasks, to R.S.V.P, or with questions.
On April 22 from 7:00 to 8:00 P.M., Nature Center director Patrick Brannon will present a talk on the impact of discarded bottles along our mountain roads on the mortality of small mammals. Learn simple ways to help save the shrews! Each year, many shrews and rodents enter bottles in search of food or water and become entrapped, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of animals over time. Brannon will discuss the research he and his students have conducted to examine the severity of this phenomenon in our region, and how you can help alleviate the problem. This lecture is appropriate for all ages and is free.
Celebrate Arbor Day at the Botanical Garden with a “Living with Trees” tour guided by Horticulturist Ezra Gardiner on Friday, April 25 from 2:00 to 4:00 P.M. Gardiner will discuss noteworthy trees of the Highlands Plateau, as well as their identification, residential use and care. In the spirit of Arbor Day, visitors will leave with a native tree to take home and plant. Contact Gardiner at (828) 526-0188 or egardiner@email.wcu.edu to R.S.V.P. or with any questions. Volunteers are welcome any time in the Botanical Garden, Herbarium or propagation program.
All of these activities are free and open to the public. For more information about these and other events, visit www.highlandsbiological.org. Visitors are always welcome to the offices at 265 North Sixth Street, or call the foundation at (828) 526-2221.

Contributed by Michelle S. Ruigrok

Tour de Cashiers

This year’s Tour de Cashiers will be held Saturday, May 3.

This year’s Tour de Cashiers will be held Saturday, May 3.

Sporting a new logo in its 22nd year, the annual Tour de Cashiers Mountain Cycling Experience will be held on Saturday, May 3 across scenic mountain byways of western North Carolina. The popular pedaling event is expected to attract more than 300 participants from the southeast, many returning every year for the traditional spring ride.
Cyclists will follow one of three routes of up to 100 miles across Jackson, Macon and Transylvania Counties riding steep climbs and fast descents over 10,500 feet-plus of elevation changes.
The ride will kick off at 9:00 A.M. from The Village Green Commons. Online registration is open at www.TourdeCashiers.com. On-site registration and post-event festivities will be held at the Commons pavilion.
The Century route will start at Cashiers and run through Toxaway, Balsam Grove and Tuckasegee and across Cullowhee Mountain Road, Elijay, Walnut and Pine Creek Roads. It will wind down Yellow Mountain to Norton Roads and cross the finish line back at the Green.
The Metric 62-mile route will run from the crossroads at US Highway 64 north on NC Highway 107 through Glenville, turning onto Pine Creek Road and finally traveling Highlands Road and Highway 64 to the finish.
The Quarter Century 25-mile route will follow the Metric to Pine Creek Road, then diverge onto North Norton and Norton Roads to return to Highway 64.
Returning riders will be welcomed back at the finish line with a hearty meal, drink and even a hot shower at the nearby Cashiers-Glenville Recreation and Community Centers. Participants also receive a commemorative tee shirt.
Proceeds from the Tour support local community and economic development through the Cashiers Area Chamber according to executive director Stephanie Edwards. For more information, visit www.TourdeCashiers.com, call (828) 743-5191 or email info@CashiersAreaChamber.com.

Highlands Youth Theater

Thanks to an innovative program between the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center Youth Theater and Highlands High School,  local students will explore the magic of drama, culminating with a public performance April 24-27.

Thanks to an innovative program between the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center Youth Theater and Highlands High School,
local students will explore the magic of drama, culminating with a public performance April 24-27.

As an outgrowth of the PAC Youth Theater program, Highlands High School will offer a Theater Class to students beginning this semester. The students will receive credit on their transcripts.
The PAC Youth Theater program was initiated because there is no theater arts class taught in our area schools. The program began over six years ago under the direction of
Dr. Ronnie Spilton.
Highlands High School principal Brian Jetter and Spilton collaborated to be able to offer this course. The state curriculum for theater classes was researched; a grant was applied for (and granted from the Community Foundation of Western North Carlolinas and a “teacher of record” was found. The students will be bused from the school to PAC three days a week and Kelly Pla will teach the class at the school the other two days. Ms. Pla is an English teacher at Highlands School.
The PAC Youth Theater program begins its seventh year this month. This after-school program is open to all local students in grades 8 through 12 at no charge. It offers instruction in all aspects of theater, technical and performance, backstage and front of house. The culminating performances will be at PAC, April 24-27. Tickets will be available online at highlandspac.org or by calling (828) 526-9047.
PAC is grateful for everyone who has supported the PAC Youth Theater program over the years — the Rotary Club of Highlands, Mountain Findings, the Macon County Community Fund, the “H” Foundation, the Cullasaja Women’s Outreach, the Eckerd Family Foundation, and the Killian Foundation, plus the numerous individuals who have helped make this program a success by donation and volunteering.
We are so pleased that the program has grown and developed to enter its seven year and going strong. Highlands PAC is located at 507 Chestnut Street in Highlands.

Contributed by Mary Adair Leslie

Annual Rotary Golf Tournament

Last year’s winners:  J.M. Shannon, Terry Potts,  Mike Shannon and Tim O’Connor.

Last year’s winners: J.M. Shannon, Terry Potts,
Mike Shannon and Tim O’Connor.

There’s no better way to welcome spring than to join your fellow golfers in the Rotary Club’s 25th Annual Golf Tournament, set for Monday, May 5, at Highlands Country Club. Registration is at 10:00 A.M. with a shotgun start at 11:00 A.M. Plan to get in a few practice swings at the driving range or try your putting on the practice green before the competition begins.
Foursome teams will play a four man scramble or captain’s choice. The Donald Ross-designed course was once the home of famed amateur golfer Bobby Jones. This is a great opportunity to play the oldest and most prestigious course in our area. Show your golf prowess on this course, which has challenged many fine golfers throughout the years. Mulligans can be purchased for $5 each. In addition to a number of raffle prizes, you will be awarded a prize if you are closest to the pin or have the longest drive. Enjoy a delicious lunch at the turn.
Proceeds from this event allow the Rotary Club to support their many charitable projects. Throughout the years, the Tournament has raised more than $100,000 to support community projects like the Student Foreign Exchange Program, the Literacy Council, local Boy Scout Troop, the Peggy Crosby Center, Hudson Library, plus many other community groups.
Registration for each player is $150. Make your reservations now by contacting Rotarian Joyce Baillargeon at (828) 526-2181 or (828) 421-3551 or jbaillargeon@highlandscountryclub.com. If you’re not able to play but would like to support the Rotary Club with a hole or corporate sponsorship, contact Joyce. There’s no better way to promote your business and support our community than a fun game of golf at the Rotary Tournament.
Fore!

By Wiley Sloan

Highlands NC Chili Cook-Off

Highlands Chili Cook offLet’s face it – by the time March rolls around, we’re all a little desperate for a bit of spice. Winter’s gone on forever and the blush of color that was Valentine’s Day seems like a million years in the past.
That’s why the Highlands Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Chili Cook-off, slated for 6:30 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. Saturday, March 15, at the Community Building (Conference Center) is always such a welcome part of the
social calendar.
The Cook-off brings more than a small measure of heat to this grayest month. It’s a night of piquant experiences, music and dancing, and refreshments to match
the excitement.
You’ll be treated to a full spectrum of culinary delights, ranging from the comfortable embrace of a down home corn bread recipe to a beguiling salsa to a spoonful of chili that calls to mind a firestorm of biblical proportions. Add in music that demands a trip to the dance floor and you have the formula for an evening as irresistible as a neon “Good Food” sign blinking on a frigid winter’s night.
As for the lineup of the chilies themselves – it’s a palate-pleasing spectrum that ranges from the sublimely spiced to the tongue searing. It’s a recipe for the hottest night of the winter. To cool everything off, soft drinks, beer and wine will be served.
There’ll be prizes awarded for Most Unique Chili, Most Traditional, and Hottest; Best Salsa, and Best Cornbread; and Best All-Round Table Decorations.
Tickets are $20 and will be sold at the door the evening of the event. Children 12 and under get in for free.
“If you’re interested in being a competitor, call me at (828) 526-2112,” says Jennifer Cunningham of the Highlands Chamber of Commerce.

By Luke Osteen

Three River Fly Fishing Tournment

Highlands’ Annual Three River Fly Fishing Tournament is set for May 1-3,

Highlands’ Annual Three River Fly Fishing Tournament is set for May 1-3,

Just as you’d guess, the bold streams that have shaped Highlands and drawn generations of visitors are home to wily schools of rainbow and brown trout.
That’s what makes Highlands’ Annual Three River Fly Fishing Tournament, set for May 1-3, such a natural fit on the town’s Event Calendar. The tourney is open to all anglers of all skill levels, and there are guided and
non-guided competitions.
Funds raised benefit the Town of Highlands Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for Highlands High School graduates.
The $500 entry fee for two-person teams includes an invitation to the opening night reception, lunches, a closing night dinner with prizes, and a fishing goody bag. Among the prizes offered by sponsors are weekend getaways, golf outings, dinners, fly rods and reels, waders, wading boots and
fishing gear.
Participants will range among 2,000 miles of public stream. Teams will fish one native, one hatchery supported, and one
delayed-harvest stream.
Space is limited. Only the first 50 teams to register will be able to participate. Deadline for registration is April 1.
To register or receive more information, visit highlandsthreeriver.com or call the Highlands Visitor Center at (866) 526-5841.

By Luke Osteen

Wedding Expo in Cashiers

The Blue Ridge Bride Annual Wedding Expo and Fashion Show, slated for Saturday, March 8, at the Sawyer Family Farmstead in Glenville is designed to make a bride’s most cherished dreams a reality.

The Blue Ridge Bride Annual Wedding Expo and Fashion Show, slated for Saturday, March 8, at the Sawyer Family Farmstead in Glenville is designed to make a bride’s most cherished dreams a reality.

If “I Do” is in your future, don’t miss The Blue Ridge Bride Annual Wedding Expo and Fashion Show at the Sawyer Family Farmstead in Glenville from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. March 8.
The Sawyer Farmstead features a beautiful pavilion, the perfect setting for the Annual Bridal Expo and Runway
Fashion Show.
TheBlueRidgeBride.com is an online wedding planning library of artistic experts in the area who provide exceptional services to couples preparing for their perfect wedding day. Visit its qualified vendors and get the answers to all your questions. They delight in making your wedding dreams come true.
Blue Ridge Bride Board President Jacqueline Weiks, who has over nineteen years’ experience in destination wedding events, says, “The Expo allows couples to come and meet with all the experts at one time in one place. This is all that you will need for your exceptional wedding and all the celebrations surrounding it.”
Don’t forget to pick up your free bridal swag bag, courtesy of The Knot. Visit each vendor and register to win his/her booth’s prize. Among the day’s festivities are a courtesy make-up session, hair-styling, tastings, and advice on the latest trends. At 2:00 P.M., grab a front-row seat for the Bridal Fashion Show Extravaganza featuring designer gowns.
Whatever you desire, you will find it and more at The Blue Ridge Bride Wedding Expo. Let the pros be your bride-guide in planning all the details that make your wedding a treasured memory. Plan your personal theme, your bridal luncheon, reception, guest accommodations, flowers, favors, golf excursions for the guys, bridal party couture, and much more.
So skip the stress and trust the best to make your wedding a memorable experience. Take advantage of this opportunity to compare styles, options, and pricing all in a one-stop destination. Spend the day. Lunch will be available at a great price.
Visit theblueridgebride.com. Click on the event tab to learn more about the Expo. Or call Jacqui Weiks at (828) 508-1911 for more details.

by Donna Rhodes

Justin Burdett, a Rising Star

Executive Chef Justin Burdett

Executive Chef Justin Burdett

 

An All-black course with Brasstown New York strip.

An All-black course with Brasstown New York strip.

Ruka’s Table in Highlands has earned a regional reputation for the sheer variety of its inventive dishes, showcasing sophisticated Southern flavors.
The restaurant proudly partners with local farms to source fresh proteins and produce in support of the local slow food movement. Every dish is made from scratch, including the cheese, with seasonal and local ingredients, to invoke a homemade feel along with its authentic and rustic menu.
Behind all this is Executive Chef Justin Burdett.
His talents in the kitchen have earned him a berth on the cooking team at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival’s New and Notables Dinner in March, an honor extended to three rising national chefs. Burdett will team up with chefs Brett Cooper from Outerlands in San Francisco, Michael Toscano from Perla in New York City, pastry chef Jenna Hodges from Colt & Gray in Denver and and Charleston chef Jason Stanhope from FIG.
This selection comes on the heels of Burdett’s receiving a Carolina Rising Star Award from StarChefs.com, the online magazine for culinary insiders that honors the up-and-coming American chefs.
“Putting together tasting menus is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen as it keeps everything fresh, artful and vibrant,” said Chef Burdett about creating his four-course tasting dinner for the StarChefs team. “My menu took months of preparation and I really challenged myself by doing dishes like the all-black dish and my nose-to-tail pork dish. The idea was to surprise the taster with a flavor profile that they’re not expecting based upon the color of the dish.”
Burdett’s first course was his silky, butternut squash soup with peppered apples, crème fraiche and local peppers. The second course consisted of North Carolina sheepshead, buttermilk fried fish cheeks, brain ravioli, red-eye gravy consommé and gremolata. The third all-black course featured Brasstown New York strip sous vide in squid ink, Yukon potatoes in squid ink, fermented onion pureed with squid ink, lardo, bone marrow and anchovy vinaigrette, Maldon salt and chives. The finale highlighted a cabbage and okra kimchi stuffed pork trotter, sorghum-glazed pork ribs, and braised tongue-and-ear salad in blackberry vinegar.
Following his bravura performance in Charleston, Chef Burdett will prepare a five-course dinner at the James Beard House in New York City on April 4 to support the foundation whose mission is to celebrate, nurture and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that inspire and educate. Menu highlights include Passed Hors D’oeuvres of Cured North Carolina Lamb Heart, mint gelee, English pea crackers, and radish; North Carolina Trout Terrine with turnip greens, pickled turnips, fermented and puffed rye, sumac mustard; South Carolina Oysters, frozen buttermilk, and vegetable ash; the First Course — North Carolina Flounder, carrot and Meyer lemon broth, and country ham; the Second Course — Nose-to-tail Rabbit, ramp textures, celery and beets; Third Course — Cheerwine Glazed Pork Belly, boiled peanut puree, stewed mustard greens, and rhubarb mustard; Fourth Course – Venison, fermented onion, smoked lardo, and foraged mushrooms; and Fifth Course — Kumquat Cake, lemon gel, pine sorbet, and strawberry.

By Luke Osteen