Highlands NC Performing Arts Center

The 2013 Pac Season is wonderfully diverse and promises to be a “whole lotta” fun.  Saturday, June 22, 8:00 P.M. Broadway veterans Franc d’Ambrosio and Glory Crampton return with Angel of Music: A Salute to Andrew Lloyd Webber.  Franc D’Ambrosio is best known as the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award winning musical, The Phantom Of The Opera.  Franc was awarded the distinction as the World’s Longest Running Phantom, a title he held for nearly a decade. “I have seen a lot of concerts in my time and I have to say D’Ambrosio’s Broadway is one of the best I have seen.” New York Times.

Glory Crampton is a musical-theater veteran who is best known for her critically acclaimed roles in productions of Phantom, My Fair Lady, Nine, Camelot, Carousel, and The Fantasticks.  She also co-starred with celebrated tenor Jose Careras, (of the legendary The Three Tenors) before a sold out concert in Radio City Music Hall.  “Glory Crampton has a glittering, silvery soprano…an angel’s voice, exquisite in every detail…” –Alvin Klein, New York Times

Saturday, June 29, 8:00 P.M. Retro Rock with Jason D Williams as the memorable Jerry Lee Lewis.  After seeing a live show there will be no doubt why fans and critics alike agree with that summation of the dynamic piano player from Memphis. Jason D. has the same musical innovation and on the edge attitude as Jerry Lee and Elvis.  Jason’s’ style is difficult to describe; from Classical to Rockabilly to Country to Jazz and on to Rock and Roll.  A wild man onstage, he has been compared to Jerry Lee Lewis so often that rumors started in Memphis that he was the Killer’s son.  The influence of Lewis comes through in his high-energy performances, Williams says, “Its Jerry Lee Lewis meets Jackson Pollock and Jerry Lee Lewis meets Joe Namath.  I will always revere Jerry Lee Lewis, Jerry Lee always liked to say he did everything in one take and I like that approach.”

Save the date: for July 4 Weekend: Saturday, July 6: Bluegrass Duel 2013 featuring Nitrograss and the Dappled Grays. Highlands PAC 507 Chestnut Street, Highlands (828) 526-9047 www.highlandspac.org.

Contributed by Mary Adair Leslie

 

 

Highlands Playhouse’s Island Fever Party

Escape the mountain and head down to the island of Margaritaville at the Highlands Playhouse on Friday, June 7  from 7:00 P.M. – 10:oo P.M.  for Island Fever. Enjoy live entertainment, food, drinks and a raffle throughout the evening.

The Caribbean Cowboys and the Mardi Gras Kings will be on the outside stage for you to dance the night away with the sand between your toes. Event tickets are $10 per guest which includes two raffle tickets for your chance to win fabulous prizes. Wine, beer, soft drinks, delicious food and additional raffle tickets will be available for purchase. Island Fever is brought to you by Bringing It To Life! Productions and the Highlands Playhouse.

The Caribbean Cowboys Band and the Mardi Gras Kings have been entertaining audiences for over twenty-three years. They play primarily in WNC but have traveled throughout the southeast, from Key West, Florida to New York City and throughout the British Virgin Islands.

“Bringing It To Life! Productions is proud to host the second annual Island Fever! There are times in our lives when we need a little island time and a break from reality time and a change in latitude,” stated Dave Linn, President of Bringing It To Life! Productions. “Island Fever gives you this chance. Like Jimmy Buffett sings in “Changes In Latitude, Changes In Attitudes”, “If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.”

Bringing It To Life! Productions is a small-town/family business dedicated to helping the non-profit businesses/companies and local groups of WNC with raising funds through various fund-raisers. We help bring ideas to life!  Enjoy a night of tropical fun at the Highlands Playhouse on June 7 for Island Fever!

The Highlands Playhouse is located at 362 Oak Street, Highlands, NC 28741. To purchase Island Fever tickets or to receive more information, call (828) 526-2695 or go to www.highlandsplayhouse.org.

Contributed by Chesley Owens

 

Highlands-Cashiers Player’s Love, Lost and what I Wore

The Highlands Cashiers Players’ spring production of “Love, Loss, and What I Wore,” written by Nora and Delia Ephron, promises to be a fashion-filled dazzler.

Directed and staged by Dr. Ronnie Spilton, “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” features different stories about women and their experiences as they reflect upon their wardrobes.

Playwright Nora Ephron is best known for writing the Academy Award-nominated screenplays of “When Harry Met Sally” and “Sleepless in Seattle.”  With her sister Delia, she co-authored the screenplays for “You’ve Got Mail,” and “Bewitched.”

“Love, Loss, and What I Wore” opened Off-Broadway in 2009, starring Rosie O’Donnell and Tyne Daley. The show featured a rotating cast of five actresses all playing multiple roles. And won a 2010 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience as well as the 2010 Broadway.com Audience Award for Favorite New Off-Broadway Play.

In HCP’s unique production of “Love, Loss, and What I Wore,” Spilton has morphed the five actresses into 25 veteran actresses of the Highlands-Cashiers plateau, all of whom she has previously directed.

“Not only does the show bring together a tremendous amount of local talent,” explains Spilton, “but will also be a stunning display of fashion as the actresses share memories of their lives through the prism of their clothes. Some vignettes are bittersweet; some are funny; some are sad, but all are entertaining.”

Robin Phillips acts as the narrator and weaves her life story among the other tales. Notable stories include “The Prom Dress,” performed by Michelle Hott; “Brides,” acted by Mary Adair Leslie and Jenny King; “Boots,” told by Bonnie Earman; and “The Purse,” performed by Virginia Talbot.

Spilton, assisted by Lance Trudel, is backed by the creative production team of production coordinator/lighting designer Megan Potts, set designer John Roman, and music designer Steve Hott.

For tickets, call (828) 526-8084 or email highlandscashiersplayers@gmail.com for reservations.

By Wiley Sloan

 

Highlands-Cashiers Player’s The Last Romance

(left to right): Rose (Shirley Williams), Ralph (David Milford), Carol (Becky Schilling), and The Young Man (Robert Helma) in HCP’s The Last Romance.

(left to right): Rose (Shirley Williams), Ralph (David Milford), Carol (Becky Schilling), and The Young Man (Robert Helma) in HCP’s The Last Romance.

Plan to see Western Carolina University tenor Robert Helma in the Highlands-Cashiers Players production of “The Last Romance” by Joe DiPietro at the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center.

“Having a fine tenor voice for the Young Man is important for this play,” said director
Ralph Stevens.

“I’m excited about this show,” Helma said. “My character embodies the lifelong love of opera that drives the lead character, Ralph Bellini.”

Co-director David Milford agreed, adding “We’re very fortunate to have Robert as part of the cast.”

The fast-paced play is filled with funny and poignant dialogue for audience members ages 12 to 102.  “The Last Romance” is the story of widower Ralph Bellini (David Milford) who decides to take a second chance on love with Carol Reynolds (Becky Schilling) when he sees her in a dog park.  Shirley Williams joins Milford and Schilling as Bellini’s cranky sister, Rose.

John Williams, who has created many sound designs over the years for HCP, is musical director.

“The short operatic pieces add so much to this play,” Williams said.

Get your tickets early.  Show dates are June 6-9 and 13-16 at the Highlands PAC, 507 Chestnut Street.  Performances start at 7:30 P.M., Thursday through Saturday and 2:30 P.M. on Sundays.

For tickets and more information, call (828) 526-8084.  Box office hours are 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

By Wiley Sloan

 

The Buddy Holly Story at Highlands Playhouse

Highlands Playhouse will present the musical “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story,” June 13 – 30.

The audience will be dancing in the aisles during this legendary performance of hits like “Oh Boy!” “Rave On!,” “Peggy Sue,” “That’ll Be The Day!,” –  all smash hits of the golden days of rock n’ roll.

If you weren’t born then, or were too young to be a part of this exciting period of musical history, then you won’t want to miss out on the electrifying party that is “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story!”

Experience the ups and downs of Holly’s budding musical career as he strives to fulfill his potential genius. This heart-warming tale of a small town all-American boy is told with care, detail and humor. “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story finally explodes into a celebration of youth and lust for life in a recreation of his last concert at Clear Lake, Iowa. This show is not to be missed as Buddy sings his way through two hours of the best rock ‘n’ roll songs ever written.
“It’s a straight ahead, feel-good rave up. Buddy motors along with a gee-whiz innocence… good times rave on for Buddy on Broadway,” says The Atlanta Journal’s
Dan Hubert.

Heading the cast are Eric Labanauskas as Buddy Holly, Noah Berry as Jerry Allison, Jimmy Lewis as Big Bopper and Nigel Huckle as Ritchie Valens. They are joined by Zach Snyder as Hipockets Duncan, Rachel Schimenti as Maria Elena, Seth Wilson as Norman Petty and Samantha Pauly as Vi Petty. Also appearing this season in “Buddy” are Annabelle Fox, Kacey Willis, Wesley Carpenter and Emmanuel Davis.

Individual tickets are $30 for adults and $12 for children 12 and under. Show times are Tuesday – Saturday at 8:00 P.M. and Sunday matinees at 2:00 P.M. For additional information or to order tickets, call the Box Office at (828) 526-2695 or email highlandsplayhouse@yahoo.com.

The Highlands Playhouse is located at 362 Oak Street. Group tickets (10 or more) are available now at savings up to 30 percent. For full sponsorship information, contact Chesley Owens at (828) 526-9443 or email highlandsplayhouse@yahoo.com.

We invite you to visit the new Highlands Playhouse website at www.highlandsplayhouse.org.

Contributed by Chesley Owens

 

The Art League of Highlands NC

Each of Peggie Wilcox’s exquisite baskets is the product of a lifetime of study and an artist’s careful eye.

Each of Peggie Wilcox’s exquisite baskets is the product of a lifetime of study and an artist’s careful eye.

The June meeting of the Art League of Highlands will feature Peggie Wilcox of Lakemont, Georgia.

From her studio in Lakemont, she weaves a variety of beautiful and unique baskets from natural fibers.  Ms. Wilcox’s skills are sought throughout the United States, where she has traveled to teach basket making at guilds, conferences and art and craft schools.  Her work is found in many private collections and is also to be included in the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington in October of this year.

Her creations are made from plant materials that are renewable, sustainable, non-toxic and beautifully colored.  She says of these materials that, “they hold unending fascination and inspiration for me and continue to challenge me even after 30 years of working with them.  My seasonal rituals of gathering and processing my plant materials are an integral part of each basket I make and every class I teach.”

Basket making is an ancient art form first developed out of necessity. In modern times basket makers have been freed to move from strictly functional pieces to more sculptural creations. Ms. Wilcox’s baskets often are a hybrid of both function and sculpture.  Locally, Ms. Wilcox is represented by the Calderone Gallery at 3608 Highway 246 in Sky Valley, Georgia. You can also find her at www.artsource-now.com.

The public is invited to hear Ms. Wilcox speak and see some of her work first-hand at the meeting on June 24 at the Hughes Studio of The Bascom.  Social time begins at 4:30 P.M. with the presentation starting at 5:00 P.M.

Contributed by Zach Claxton

 

Cashiers NC’s Betsy Paul Art Raffle

The Betsy Paul art raffle for the Cashiers Glenville Volunteer Fire Department, will be held on June 28,  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 June 28,
in the afternoon. For more information, call (828) 743-0880.

June’s raffle prize benefiting the Cashiers-Glenville Fire Department is a fabulous painting called “Mom and Cubs” painted by Judy Durham and donated by Graham and Greta Somerville. Paintings of bears have been some of the most desired prizes in past raffles, and this one is sure to be popular!

Judy began painting about twenty-five years ago and has found it to be very therapeutic.  She began by painting horses, dogs and other animals but presently paints bears and natural wildlife.  Judy and her husband, Bill, own Cashiers Customs, a furniture design business, which they have operated for eleven years.  She incorporates her artwork to go along with the furniture designs at their store.  You can see more of Judy’s art at Cashiers Customs located in The Shoppes of Cashiers Commons beyond Zoller’s Hardware – the last building on the right.

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

 

Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival

Artistic Director Dr. William Ransom.

Artistic Director Dr. William Ransom.

The Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival is finalizing plans for its ambitious 2013 season, stretching from June 28 through August 11.

“Because of the July 4th weekend, our opening concerts will be a little earlier than usual next summer – we open on June 28th-29th with William Preucil and friends for a weekend of brilliant string playing,” says Artistic Director Dr. William Ransom. “Highlights will include the festival debut of the dashing young Concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony, David Coucheron, and his talented sister pianist Julie. Other newcomers include English flutist Anthony Reiss in a program entitled ‘The Magic Flute’ and clarinetist Roeland Hendrikx from Belgium. It wouldn’t be summer without The Eroica Trio, and they will be joined by special guests in ‘Eroica Plus!’

“The Vega Quartet will be back, and we will have some fun with another ‘Jazz Meets Classics’ concert featuring, this time, the saxophone, with Dwight Andrews. The Festival Chamber Orchestra will once again close the season at our final Gala with Mozart’s extraordinary ‘Sinfonia Concertante.’”

Concerts will be held at 6:00 p.m. Fridays at the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center in Highlands and repeated at 5:00 p.m. Saturdays at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library in Cashiers. Sunday concerts will be staged at 5:00 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center in Highlands and repeated at 5:00 p.m. Mondays at the Cashiers Community Library.

With all that talent, the Highlands Cashiers Chamber Music Festival can’t help but spill out into the twin communities.

Festival favorites The Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet will once again entertain picnic-goers at 5:00 P.M. June 26. This fun, free annual outdoor concert will be at the Zachary-Tolbert House in Cashiers. Bring a picnic and blanket and enjoy the music.

You can join the Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet for a free concert on Saturday, July 6th from 3:00 to 5:00 P.M. at Town Square on Main Street in Highlands.

The Vega Quartet will offer the free Bach at Buck’s at Buck’s Coffee Cafe on Main Street in Highlands at 8:00 P.M. Wednesday, July 17. They’ll also perform at 8:00 P.M. Wednesday, July 24, at Buck’s at the Crossroads in Cashiers. Bach at Buck’s is as natural a combination as, well, rich coffee and warm, mellow notes.

In addition to its nationally-recognized program of concerts, the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival is laced with a series of Feasts of the Festival. They’re a chance to meet fascinating people and enjoy marvelous food and drink in some of the most breathtaking homes in Western North Carolina. Feasts continue through September and will feature an irresistible series of locations and menus.

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

By Luke Osteen

 

Mountains in Bloom Festival in Highlands NC

Come one, come all, “Come Rain or Come Shine” is the message that Paula Walsh, Chair of Mountains in Bloom, a fundraiser for The Bascom visual arts center, would like to broadcast. From Thursday, July 11, through Sunday, July 14, there are opportunities to participate for all, and certainly, all can benefit from gardening tips from the experts, horticultural education and the visual treat of gorgeous blooms in varied displays and featured gardens. Gardeners and floral arrangers and photographers are invited to enter the juried flower, horticulture and photography shows, on display on Friday and Saturday throughout The Bascom’s campus.

The events on Thursday, July 11, include a luncheon and lecture by Kathryn Greeley, author of The Collected Tabletop, at 11:30 am and a Volunteer Appreciation Party with special guests Margot Shaw, founder/editor in chief of Flower Magazine, and Robert Balentine, CEO of Balentine LLC and lead sponsor, from 4 to 6 pm. On Friday and Saturday, July 12 and 13, fabulous private gardens will be on tour from 9 :00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., along with box lunches on The Bascom Terrace. Mountains in Bloom will culminate with a festive Benefactor Party at The Farm at Old Edwards Inn on Sunday, July 14 at 6:00 P.M.

All-encompassing in its scope, this garden festival will feature a special non-judged Professional Class of floral designers’ arrangements, on display in the Bascom’s Atrium… Other classes of exhibits include Interpretation, where the arranger interprets a painting.  This year’s painting is “Collecting Moss” by Krista Harris, one of four artists featured in The Bascom’s current exhibition, Southern Lights.  Many class categories are limited, so entrants should submit forms prior to July 3. Entry forms may be printed from the website at www.TheBascom.org/mountainsinbloom or obtained at The Bascom.

The Horticulture Division showcases a variety of plants in categories such as Native and Non-Native Cut Specimens, Plants in Containers, Succulents (including a special exhibit of succulents grown by John Bills), Troughs, and “Old Friends,” plants owned more than five years.

A third facet of the show is a professional and amateur Photography Division, based on themes of the show: “Simply Flowers” and “Come Rain or Come Shine.” This is for entrants ages 18 and older. Submissions are being accepted until
June 21.

For more information on Mountains in Bloom and for tickets, go to www.mountainsinbloom.com or contact Claire Cameron, Events Manager, at (828)787-2882 or ccameron@thebascom.org.

 

The Art of Joshua Grant

To learn more about his work and see his banjos firsthand, find Grant Custom Banjos on Facebook or visit www.grantcustombanjos.com (on the web soon). Email him at grantbanjo@gmail.com.

To learn more about his work and see his banjos firsthand, find Grant Custom Banjos on Facebook or visit www.grantcustombanjos.com (on the web soon). Email him grantbanjo@gmail.com.

There’s nothing like a two-thousand mile hike to get a guy thinking about his life.

Joshua Grant, artist, craftsman, musician, instrument-builder, and chef, went to college to learn the culinary arts. In spite of his estimable gifts as a chef, cooking was not his true calling. Production line foods never tapped into his creative spirit, so he decided to take a break and make the Appalachian Trail trek from Georgia to Maine. Why? It was something he’d always wanted to do, and he needed a change of scenery. Then somewhere around the Shenandoahs he had an epiphany.

He had read the Foxfire series. The substance of those books deeply resonated with him. In the third book a chapter on banjo making grabbed hold of his imagination. Perhaps the real recipe taken from his culinary experience had little to do with cooking but more to do with soul-food; that is, mixing together all the ingredients of one’s passions to create a satisfying sustenance.

So when Grant was hiking alone on the Trail he thought a lot about what direction his life was taking and the legacy he might leave behind. Grant is a conservationist. He respects the land and forests that cover our Eastern seaboard. Immersed in their beauty, his creative fires were stoked. He felt the spirit of the trees. In tune with their energy, he believed their essence, if used correctly, would transfer to the products made from their wood.

The timber, Grant’s talent, and his passion, whirled together in a delicious concoction. In a matter of months what he learned on the Trail simmered down to a fine reduction and he found himself back in college, studying art this time. On the side he was learning how to play banjo, claw hammer style. He was fascinated with the banjo sound, not the snare drum clunk of metal banjos, but the warm, sonorous reverberation of gourd, wood and natural materials.

Gourds, you say? Yes, gourds. According to Grant, archaeologists have found millennia-old gourd vessels, inlaid with abalone that have survived in excellent condition.

Grant says, “Maybe the reason I love natural materials so much is that I grew up in Nanatahala. My daddy was old school and hardworking. His hands were geared for finding flaws. “If it ain’t perfect, it ain’t right,” he’d say.

The first banjo I showed him had over two hundred seams. In two seconds he found the one seam that was 1/32nd of an inch off. He asked, “What happened here?”

Grant adds, “My daddy is my best, and my hardest critic. Maybe that’s what keeps me aiming for perfection.”

Grant is a young man with plenty of miles left in his Life Walk. Already he has reinvented himself more than once, but this last shift to banjo making seems to be a long-term romance with gourd and string. His work is a feast for the ear and eye and based upon his membership in Handmade in America, it is of legacy-quality.

To learn more about his work and see his banjos firsthand, find Grant Custom Banjos on Facebook or visit www.grantcustombanjos.com (on the web soon). Email him at grantbanjo@gmail.com.

So take it from a guy who unplugged from the chaos of a techno world and just went acoustic. You have to love the way that sounds.

by Donna Rhodes

 

 

Cover Artist Pat Calderone

Pat CalderoneNight Watch by Pat Calderone

Summer Serenade by Pat Calderone

Summer Serenade by Pat Calderone

To see Pat Calderone’s painting is to experience her love of the land, the sky, the forests, and the animals that dwell in these magnificent mountains. If it is possible to paint spirit, Calderone has the magic. Her animals come alive, vibrating off the canvas with energy and light. She says, “I have a strong spiritual belief that all of life is linked. The earth, its people, its flora and fauna are all part of a vast, mysterious interconnected universe.  My art taps into these beliefs.”

For that reason she feels just as at home in her art and interior design gallery in Sky Valley, Georgia as she does in Highlands. To her there are no boundaries. She believes all who live in this region are rooted in the sacred land of the Cherokee, which she deeply reveres.

Two art organizations, the Highlands Art League of which she is Vice President, and the North Georgia Art League give her reason to dash mountaintop-to-mountaintop to teach, paint, consult, and bask in the beauty of the landscape. Her passion for art and charity approaches legendary. For almost a decade she has designed the Highlands Culinary Event Poster.

Part of her success is owed to her passion for renewal. There’s always something fresh and exciting swirling around her. She says, “My newest work is coming from a theme I am calling “Sophie’s Dreams” the name of my maternal grandmother who was an amazing influence in my life. If I were to choose a new name for myself or even take on a pseudonym it would be Sophie.  These paintings inspired by my dreams are often allegorical. Female figures, and occasionally strong animal subjects, are placed in blissful natural settings. Each painting is steeped in story and metaphor.”

You never know what medium Sophie, uh, Pat, will dip her brush into. She says, “I paint mostly in oils, sometimes watercolor, and am enjoying experimenting with mixed mediums.” But whatever she chooses you know it will be the perfect pairing for
her message.

While she enjoys matching her artwork to a welcoming wall, she also delights in nurturing talent in a student so that he/she can create his/her own personal masterpiece. “I have been teaching in this area since 2007. Many of my students are successfully showing and selling their own work.” Her classes are ongoing. Students work individually at their own pace, in mediums of their choice with pre-determined goals. Classes are in four-week sessions, four hours each. The cost for four lessons is $180.00. The Calderone Gallery is open Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.. Stop in and see Pat, or call her at (706) 746-5540 or email: pcalderone@earthlink.net. www.artsource-now.com. Help celebrate her first anniversary in her creative corner of the “Sky.” 1st Anniversary Celebration and Open House, Saturday, June 15, 5:00 to 8:00 P.M. Register for a free class. Refreshments provided.

by Donna Rhodes

 

 

Booksigning at Hudson Library in Highlands NC

Inspiring Horse Rescuer Melanie Sue Bowles will speak at Hudson Library June 21.

Inspiring Horse Rescuer Melanie Sue Bowles will speak at Hudson Library June 21.

Author and Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary founder Melanie Sue Bowles, returns for a talk, slideshow and book-signing at Highlands’ Hudson Library at 4:00 p.m. June 21.

Established in 1991, Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary stands as one of the most successful, longest existing facilities for rescue horses in the United States. Located in Lincolnton, Georgia, Proud Spirit’s program has been cited as “exemplary” and a “model for other organizations.”

Readers were introduced to Melanie’s graceful heart when she chronicled the start-up of this award-winning sanctuary in her inspiring debut book, “The Horses of Proud Spirit.” In Melanie’s second book, “Hoof Prints: Stories from Proud Spirit,” she recounts how the sanctuary has grown, and readers are taken on an extraordinary journey unlike any other.

While Melanie and her husband Jim officially rescue horses, they have also un-officially rescued numerous dogs. Followers of Proud Spirit wanted to know more about the dogs and began asking for stories about them. And so, in 2010 the book everyone was waiting for was released, “The Dogs of Proud Spirit.”

Melanie’s writing is powerful and filled with emotion. Her books are not just for horse lovers or dog lovers — they are for anyone who wants to be uplifted and inspired. These heartwarming stories speak of living beyond ourselves, living a life of purpose and finding ways to give back to the world around us. The Proud Spirit books were the inspiration for an Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary.

Proceeds from sales of Melanie’s books help her continue her rescue work.  For more information, visit www.horsesofproudspirit.org.

Cashiers NC Antique Benefit Show

 The 37th year of the Cashiers Annual Benefit Antiques

The 37th year of the Cashiers Annual Benefit Antiques Show will be under way July 19-21 at Blue Ridge School.

The show will abound with silver; jewelry; Oriental rugs; quilts; furniture; porcelains from Europe, Asia and the United States; all types of pottery from fanciful pieces of the Art Nouveau era to much coveted folk pottery.

If toys are your thing, you will find everything from toy soldiers to country toys to mechanical wonders. Beautiful vintage linens from the Victorian era to the 1940s will be available for every taste. Rare music boxes and fine barometers will be offered as well as their repair
by experts.

Fine art will be available in the form of paintings, prints, and etchings. Fine framing is available as well. Do you have a keepsake or gift that you would like to have engraved? Hand engraving will be available on site for silver, gold, pewter etc. If you have chipped stemware that is in need of repair, on-site repair will be
available, too.

You can spend all three days on one ticket and enjoy lunch every day with catered food and garden dining. A lovely vintage quilt will be given to some lucky attendee at the end of the show. Each paid attendee will receive a card to fill out for the drawing. Also available is a second quilt, which will be raffled for a scholarship to a deserving Blue Ridge School senior.

Tickets will be available at the show and that quilt will be on display as well. Show tickets are available at the door and are available for a donation of $8.50 or $8 with any ad. Discount cards are also available at select stores in the surrounding area. Wheelchairs will be available for those who need assistance getting around the show and volunteers will be happy to assist. Pets are not allowed but service animals are always welcome.

Show dates are: Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.; and Sunday, July 21, 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. For questions, contact Hazel Giles at (828) 743-9270 or hzmamaw@frontier.com.

Highlands NC Motoring Festival

Car enthusiasts are excited about the 6th Annual Highlands Motoring Festival to be held  June 6-9 at the Highlands Recreation Center.  This is a festival for everyone who relishes spectacular cars from yesteryear.  The Car Show is open to all vehicles that are at least 25 years old.   Special vehicles that do not meet the “age requirement” may be exhibited with prior approval.

Festival activities begin on Thursday evening, June 6, at the Ugly Dog at 294 South Fourth Street.  Enjoy good food as bluegrass music fills the air.

If you’re one of the classic car (pre-1989) owners, on Friday morning you can travel in your car to the world famous Wheel Through Time Motorcycle and Automobile Museum in Maggie Valley. The Museum features rare and unusual motor vehicles — all in working order.  On   Friday evening, sample heavy hors d’oeuvres and  the cash bar at SweeTreats in Mountain Brook Plaza.  All proceeds from this reception benefit The Literacy Council of Highlands.

The Car Show opens at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday morning at the Recreation Center.   Rare and special cars will be exhibited in the Rec Center gym.

Each year the Festival honors a particular manufacturer as the Marque of the Year. 2013 recognizes Porsche, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the model 911.   In addition to the 911, Porsche will have many other models on display.

Youngsters all ages enjoy seeing all the fabulous cars, and they love the special Saturday entertainment — especially the slot car races. Try your skills on this miniature race track.

Saturday evening offers a barbecue and bluegrass gala. The event will be held in a venue with a beautiful mountain backdrop where you will have even more cars to explore.  This event is being organized by the Highlands Literacy Council.

The Sunday morning Road Rally and Brunch finishes out the festival.  Prior year Rallies have proven extremely popular.  Any type vehicle is welcomed in this event.  This is a gimmick rally — not a speed event.  It’s a perfect way to enjoy the scenic beauty of the area  and enjoy a delicious brunch, before returning to Highlands for the awards presentation at the Ugly Dog.

For further information or to register your vehicle, visit www.highlandsmotoringfestival.org.

By Wiley Sloan

 

Think about Thursdays at Highlands, NC Biological Foundation

From hiking, prowling, and meandering, the Highlands Biological Foundation’s Think About Thursdays family activity series will nurture and expand your love of the natural world.

On June 6 from 10:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M., there will be a guided hike through Panthertown Valley with
Wes Burlingame.

Panthertown Valley is one of the most beautiful and biologically unique sites in the Southern Appalachians, and the spectacular scenery has earned it the title “the Yosemite of the East.” This hike is appropriate for ages 12 and up, but note that hiking may be strenuous.  Cost is $10 for members or $15 for non-members.  Please call (828) 526-2221 to register
in advance.

The popular Owl Prowl will take place on June 13 at 7:30 P.M. in the amphitheater behind the Nature Center (930 Horse Cove Road).  This event begins with a presentation by the Carolina Raptor Center (CRC) featuring live owls.  The Owl Prowl is offered in collaboration with the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society and offers short night hikes after the presentation to find live owls in the wild.  Remember to bring your flashlight.  Appropriate for all ages.  Donations to the CRC are appreciated.  Parking is limited, so visitors are encouraged to carpool.  In the event of rain, limited indoor seating will be available, so plan to arrive early.

From 10:00 A.M. until 3:00 P.M. on June 20, celebrate Highlands’ biodiversity with a day of discovery at the Highlands Biological Station.  This event is free and open to all ages.  Call (828) 526-2221 in advance to register.

Learn why Highlands is known as the “salamander capital of the world” on June 27 by attending the 10th annual “Salamander Meander” from 9:00 -to 10:00 P.M.  Herpetologists will lead night searches to observe some of the area’s magnificent salamanders in the wild.  Bring a flashlight and remember to call (828) 526-2623 to register in advance.  This event costs $5 per person and is appropriate for ages seven and up.

The Highlands Botanical Garden offers weekly themed garden tours each Monday at 10:30 A.M.  from May 27 until August 26.  These tours are free and meet in front of
the Nature Center.

The Highlands Biological Foundation supports the Highlands Biological Station.  For more information about these and other events, or to become a member, visit www.highlandsbiological.org or call (828) 526-2221.

Contributed by Michelle Ruigrok

Mountain Artisans Show

The show features original art from the hands of one hundred regional and local artisans, both heritage and contemporary.

Each summer, eager collectors line up for the best pick of heritage and contemporary crafts in this area.

One of the featured folk artists is Tim and Karen Chambers of Highlands. This talented couple brings a smile to your home with their chicken gourds and reclaimed wood with screen art.

Look for other folk art, fine art, pottery, quilting and goat milk soap. Also look for the best selection of fine wood crafts and furniture.  And the lady playing a spam can will be back.

Guitar player Ronnie Evans will be strumming the old songs for background music. You can purchase his CDs to enjoy at home.

Admission is $4 for adults and children under 12 are free. There is free, convenient parking and concessions will be offered.

For information, visit www.mountainartisans.net or call (828) 524-3405.

Relay for Life’s Honorary Chair

Colleen Fogle is the indefatigable face of Relay for Life of Highlands.

Colleen Fogle is the indefatigable face of Relay for Life of Highlands.

The American Cancer Society has selected Colleen Fogle to serve as honorary chair for this year’s Relay for Life of Highlands.

Colleen, a single mom, came to Highlands nine years ago with her two children from Augusta, Georgia.

In 2010 she was diagnosed with cancer.

Motherhood is hard. Colleen delayed going to the doctor so her children could finish out the school year without the pressure of dealing with her illness.

After confirming her diagnosis it was time to consult with doctors on her treatment. The consensus was to go for the cure. Colleen decided, along with her children, that “Yes, my fear is gone, I have the power, and I will beat this!”

With everyone on board, Colleen started her treatment. That’s when she found out that not only were there doctors, therapists and her children by her side, but a whole community of Highlanders ready to help in any
way they could.

“Highlands is an amazing place with amazing people,” she says.

At the 2010 Cancer Awareness Basketball Game at HHS, Colleen was approached by Debbie Grossman, our Relay Chair. Colleen was working the concession stand and Debbie needed her to stay after the game, so she told her she needed to talk to her about joining Relay. Colleen had no idea she was to be presented with a pink basketball by the senior class to support her in her battle against cancer. Well, Colleen took Debbie seriously and has been working on our survivor committee ever since.

As a cancer survivor, Colleen wants all survivors to know they are not alone. A survivor is one who continues, persists, endures and abides. Relay for Life of Highlands is here for you.

Please contact us at www.relayforlife.org/highlandsnc  or contact Colleen at colleen@hcgexpress.net.

Contributed by Ellen R. Bauman

 

Highlands NC July 4th Activities

 L to R: Rick Willeford, Hank Ross, Dennis (Doc) Wilson and Mike Kaiser.

L to R: Rick Willeford, Hank Ross, Dennis (Doc) Wilson and Mike Kaiser.

The Rotary Club of Highlands will present its Annual Fourth of July Cookout at the Community Building’s parking lot which is adjacent to the ball park. A second location will be on Hickory Street at the ball park. Food will be available from 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.

Choose your entrée — from hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue pork or chicken fillets — for your box lunch, which will include pickles, potato chips and a cookie. This year the barbecue will be cooked by Highlands’ famous chef Joel Porter. All condiments will be available.

The cookout compliments the various events to be held at the ball park on the 4th, including a visit by MAMA, the hospital’s emergency helicopter. The Fire Department’s ladder truck will be on display. There will also be games for children and adults, among which will be a three-legged race and a water balloon toss.

At 1:00 P.M. at Mill Creek, the stream by SweeTreats, the Second Annual Rotary Rubber Duck Derby will be held. Purchase a rubber duck for $10 and have a chance to win $250 for 1st place, $100 for 2nd place and $50 for 3rd place.

All proceeds from the cookout and the Rubber Duck Derby will benefit the Rotary Club’s charity fund which provides grants to the many Highlands organizations which help to make this a better community.

Contributed by Stell Huie

 

Fireworks on the Green in Cashiers NC

The Village Green is proud to present this year’s celebration of America with a “Fireworks Extravaganza On the Green.” The event will begin at 5:30 P.M. Friday, July 5 at The Village Green Commons on Frank Allen Road. The Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association is partnering with The Village Green to create a spectacular evening for residents and visitors to the Cashiers area during Independence Day Weekend.

The festivities include live music by The Extraordinaires, a rhythm and blues band that will be sure to have folks out of their chairs dancing. Food and drink will be available for purchase or those who want can pack a picnic dinner. People should plan to bring lawn chairs for general seating. Admission is free, however a limited number of VIP packages are available that include valet parking, reserved seating and drink tickets for the event. VIP packages can be purchased by calling the GCAMA office at (828) 743-8428.

The highlight of the night will be the colossal fireworks display with music that accompanies the show. “More than five hundred brilliant pyrotechnics will burst red, white and blue across the Cashiers Valley night sky,” noted Ann Self, Executive Director of The Village Green. She also observed, “What could be better than watching fireworks with family and friends at The Village Green?”

Many small towns and communities have cut or drastically reduced fireworks displays in recent years because of financial constraints. The Village Green stepped up to ensure this would not be the case in Cashiers. “The Village Green is delighted to preserve another treasured tradition for our community, and we hope that this will be the best part of the holiday weekend for people here in the area,” remarked Jochen Lucke, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of The Village Green. The mission of The Village Green is to enhance the quality of life for those who live and vacation in the greater Cashiers area.

The fireworks are provided through the Jackson County Board of Commissioners and the Parks and Recreation Department. The Village Green is a 12.5-acre park for public enjoyment that relies on private funding for operation. The Village Green was the host venue for more than eighty concerts, parties and functions last year. “We are looking forward to an even greater number of gatherings this season,” said Self. “Events like the fireworks extravaganza would not be possible without the generous support of our donors,” Self pointed out. For more information about The Village Green, visit www.villagegreencashiersnc.com.

Contributed by Ann Self

 

 

Summer Events in Cashiers NC

The Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association has planned a summer full of events for locals and visitors alike to enjoy.

Starting on June 7, GCAMA’s summer concert series “Groovin’ on the Green,” returns with a fantastic line-up of performers. This free event has grown in popularity each year. Join GCAMA on Fridays at 6:30 P.M., at The Village Commons. Bring a blanket, a beverage, and enjoy the music.

Following is the schedule:

June 7 – Jay Drummond – Acoustic/Country; June 14 – Hurricane Creek Band – Classic Rock/Pop and Originals; June 21 – Caribbean Cowboys – A Little Bit of Everything; June 28 – Jackson Taylor Band – Classic Rock/Pop; July 12 – Leigh Glass and the Hazards – Original Bluesy Rock; July 26 – Aaron LaFalce – Singer/Songwriter; August 2 – Soldier’s Heart – Rock, Country, Bluegrass, Southern Rock; August 9 – Unspoken Tradition – Bluegrass; August 16 – Les Freres Michot – Traditional Cajun; August 23 – Blind Melon Phillips – Hot Guitar and Horns; August 30 – Hurricane Creek – Classic Rock/Pop and Originals

The Village Green and GCAMA are partnering to present this year’s celebration of America with a “Fireworks Extravaganza On the Green.” The event will begin at 5:30 P.M., on Friday, July 5 at The Village Commons on Frank Allen Road.

The festivities include live music by “The Extraordinaires,” a rhythm and blues band that will be sure to have folks out of their chairs dancing. Food and drink will be available for purchase or those who want can pack a picnic dinner.

People should plan to bring lawn chairs for general seating. Admission is free; however, a limited number of VIP packages are available that include valet parking, reserved seating and drink tickets for the event. VIP packages can be purchased by calling the GCAMA office at (828) 743-8428 or visit www.fireworksonthegreen.eventbrite.com to purchase VIP tickets on line.  The highlight of the night will be the colossal fireworks display with music that accompanies the show.

And moving into fall, GCAMA is also busy planning the next Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival, planned for Columbus Weekend on October 11-13.

For more information, visitcashiersvalley.com.

Contributed by Kelly Donaldson

Highlands’ Musical Weekends

Weekends in Highlands this year will include free musical concerts on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Friday Night Live will rock Main Street once again in June, July and August courtesy of the Highlands Area Chamber of Commerce. Every Friday night from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. in the newly renovated Town Square, a toe-tapping performance will be given by local bands playing a variety of musical styles from traditional tunes to original compositions. For the fourth season, these popular and well -attended events will draw foot traffic to the downtown area where local shops will extend their business hours.

Saturdays on Pine Concert Series is new to the Highlands musical scene.

The Saturday concert series will begin Saturday, June 15 with the last concert being held on August 31. And, as the name suggests, all concerts will be held at the Kelsey-Hutchinson Park on Pine Street. The bands will entertain from 6:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M.

The musical line-up for Saturdays on Pine include Hank West and The Smokin’ Hots, Southbound Turnaround and Shane Bridges in June. July brings the talent of Stevens Layne, Chompin’ at the Bit, Jen Miller and Thomas Dirk and the ever-popular Corbitt Brothers. Super Nitrograss, High 5, Big Nasty and Southbound Turnaround will finish up the series in August.

For more information on both concert series, contact the Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center at (828) 526- 2112.

Art and Craft Show in Highlands NC

The art of Vicky Ferguson will be showcased at the Village Square Art & Craft Show happening Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and June 2.

The art of Vicky Ferguson will be showcased at the Village Square Art & Craft Show happening Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and June 2.

If you are looking for some fun family entertainment, mark your calendar for the Village Square Art and Craft Shows in downtown Highlands. An abundance of local talent will be on display, with art and crafts, demonstrations, mountain music, face painting, and food. The shows go from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. both days in the Kelsey-Hutchinson Park and neighboring Highlands Village Square at Fifth and Pine Streets, one block from Main Street.

The show has developed a reputation for high quality work. It features fine art, turned wood, metal work, fabric work, birdhouses, and jewelry. Also many traditional crafts like folk art, baskets, quilts, twig furniture, and face jugs.

Many of the artisans live in Highlands, including painter Zach Claxton, potter Pat Taylor, ceramicist Jan Smith, jeweler Lee Byers, and baker/cook Maxine Davidoff.

This show also features many of your favorite artisans from past shows. Of note is Marcus Thomas, the remarkable quadriplegic painter who has just published a book on his life and work.

As always, Patti Cakes will be painting faces. Enjoy live music both days 11:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. in the park gazebo. On Saturday folk singer Sylvia Sammons will perform, and on Sunday the Ross Brothers return by popular demand. Be sure to plan lunch at Fressers in the square.

The next show is August 24 and 25.

The shows are sponsored by the Macon County Art Association, a non-profit group dedicated to promoting and teaching fine arts. Check out their wonderful Uptown Gallery in downtown Franklin. For more information contact Cynthia Strain at Mill Creek Gallery and Framing (828) 787-2021.

Contributed by Cynthia Strain

 

Mountain Tennis Challenge in Cashiers NC

The Highlands-Cashiers area is popular for beautiful landscapes, world-class dining and a host of attributes that make it a highly sought-after locale.

But to whom much is given…In that spirit, the area is also known for its philanthropy. The Mountain Tennis Challenge will offer an opportunity for all of us to be a part of that movement.

Former world-ranked number-one tennis professional Andy Roddick is passionate about helping brighten the futures of our country’s youth. It’s no wonder that when he chose to become a seasonal resident of the Cashiers community he offered to do something for the children.

That initiative resulted in the development of the non-profit Mountain Youth Charities which will host The Mountain Challenge in July featuring Roddick and Jim Courier, who was also ranked number one in the world and is a regular participant on the Powershares Senior Tour.

“The goal is to establish a long-term program for all kids in this area,” said Event Chairman William McKee. “Mountain Youth Charities is researching many ways this can happen. A series of round table discussions is ongoing to make thoughtful decisions as to exactly what is the best course of action for these programs. This will be a great event for the Highlands-Cashiers Community.”

As part of The Mountain Challenge, a Gala Mountain Dinner will be held at Canyon Kitchen at Lonesome Valley on Friday, July 26. The dinner will feature the two players and their families along with several items for auction, with all proceeds going to the charity.

Exhibition Saturday will be held the following day at Cedar Creek Racquet Club and will offer a day’s worth of activities including a preliminary match between Brevard’s Korey Lovett, a nationally-ranked junior tennis player, and Charlotte’s Thai Kwiatkowski, ranked top ten in the international junior rankings and whose former coach is Cedar Creek GM Scott Handback.

After the preliminary match, the winners of the Pro-Am Competition the previous week will square off against Roddick and Courier in doubles before the feature match. There will also be a chance for spectators to try and return Roddick’s Serve delivered by an automated ball machine and a fast serve contest.

To purchase tickets or for more information, go to www.cashiers.com or call (828) 743-3411.

Contributed by Krysti Rogers

 

 

SOAR Adventure Race in Highlands NC

The SOAR Adventure Race, slated for Saturday, June 15, is a test  of mental and physical stamina that supports the legacy of  America’s Fallen Heroes.

The SOAR Adventure Race, slated for Saturday, June 15, is a test
of mental and physical stamina that supports the legacy of
America’s Fallen Heroes.

All of us are indebted to the many military personnel who are serving throughout the world so that we may live in peace and safety.

A group of individuals who risk their lives daily are the members of America’s Special Operations forces. The Special Operations Forces are all special operations personnel from the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force. Although our forces voluntarily place themselves in harm’s way, it isn’t without personal sacrifices.

This brings us to the most personal sacrifice anyone can ever give – his life for the cause and leaving behind beloved families. For 33 years, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation has strived to have a positive impact of the children of the fallen heroes of the Special Operations Forces.

The foundation gives all children of these young men who lost their lives a college education (grant, not a loan). The total number of children is now over 900, from newborn to college age. They will receive a college education, family counseling and financial assistance to the families of our
wounded troops.

This is the 11th year a local group of dedicated volunteers is staging events to support the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Over the last 10 years the people of the Highlands, Cashiers, and Sapphire communities have helped
raise $550,000.

This year the Adventure Race is on Saturday, June 15. Solo racers and teams of two will run, cycle, rappel, paddle and navigate throughout the day for approximately 50 miles.

The adventure begins Friday, June 14, at the Highlands Rec Park with registration and check-in from noon to 6:00 P.M.

There will be a spaghetti dinner at the Highlands Community Center (at the corner of US 64 and Poplar Street) from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. Everyone, runners and non-runners alike, is invited. Cost is $7 for adults.

For more information, visit soarhighlands.org.

By Luke Osteen

 

Garden Club Kitchen Tour in Highlands NC

The Laurel Garden Club is cooking up something special in the kitchens  around Highlands with a full menu of fun activities – September 16 through 21.

The Laurel Garden Club is cooking up something special in the kitchens
around Highlands with a full menu of fun activities – September 16 through 21.

Hope you will join us in September for a tour of six outstanding kitchens in Highlands Country Club, from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.  Saturday, September 21.

All proceeds are returned to the community as grant funding to local nonprofits for beautification, protection, and conservation of the natural heritage and scenic mountain landscapes.  Leading up to the Kitchen Tour will be small, intimate culinary events, held the week prior to the Kitchen Tour on Monday, September 16; Tuesday, September 17; and Friday, September 20 in magnificent private homes on the Highlands plateau.

Reservations for the Tour and the Culinary Events are available June 1 at www.laurelgardenclubhighlands.com  and will be limited to keep the numbers comfortable
and fun.

During the Kitchen Tour, cooking demonstrations by local residents known for their talents in the kitchen will be a special treat for guests.  Shuttles will transport guests from the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center every 30 minutes from 9:00 A.M. until the last departure time of 2:00 P.M. Online tickets are available June 1 for all departure times. Choose the one that works best with your schedule and spend some unforgettable time touring Highlands kitchens and enjoying the Culinary Events, the week prior.

The Performing Arts Center (PAC) will be the site of the Laurel Garden Club Shop, where guests may browse and buy before and after their tour.  The Shop will feature homemade baked goods, arts and crafts, floral delights all made or contributed by LGC members, In addition each LGC member has been charged with donating to this unique shop, at least one special treasure from home.  Be sure to save time to explore all the specialty items in the Kitchen Tour 2013 Shop.

Contributed by Brenda Manning  |  Photo by Helen Moore

 

Love Your Library

Savor the classics when Steve Johannessen visits the  Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library, June 18.

Savor the classics when Steve Johannessen visits the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library, June 18.

The Friends of the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library is sponsoring a series of events in June under the banner “Love Your Library!”

The events begin at 7:00 P.M. Tuesday, June 18, with “Classics,” an evening of romantic music featuring the great love songs of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s performed by Steve Johannessen. These great love songs originally sung by Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole and others are the heart of his performances. Sung with emotion and nuance, the songs come alive for you once more.

“Words,” an exhibition of art by artists whose work has been on the program covers of The Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival, opens Wednesday, June 19, with a reception from 2:00 to 4:00 P.M. honoring the artists and the Festival.  The exhibition will be on display through August.

On Friday, June 21, the staff will join Friends for a Library Open House with refreshments, guided tours of the library, and the always popular Annual Summer Book Sale.  The sale, which continues on Saturday, June 22, features many used hardback books, DVDs, CDs and paperbacks  in fine to very good condition and priced from free to $4.

On Thursday, June 27, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., Friends of the Library is giving a reception to honor Hedy Okolichany, the Cashiers community’s beloved librarian who is retiring after many years of service.  Everyone is invited to come and thank this remarkable woman.

The final event for the month takes place Friday, June 28, at 10:30 A.M., when Friends brings back to the library “Snakes Alive!”  All “Love Your Library!” events are free to the public.  For more information, please call (828) 743-0215.

By Luke Osteen

 

Grab a Lunch for Literacy

 

Local restaurants and the Literacy Council of Cashiers have a delicious way of  supporting local children, July 5.

Local restaurants and the Literacy Council of Cashiers have a delicious way of
supporting local children, July 5.

Are you interested in food or reading?

Sometimes the two can go together — especially if you eat out for lunch by yourself or with a group of friends on Friday, July 5, at restaurants in the Cashiers/Sapphire area.

On that day a percentage of the restaurants’ receipts will be donated to the Literacy Council of Cashiers.

The following restaurants have graciously agreed to participate and would appreciate your support: Carolina Smokehouse, Cork and Barrel, On the Side Barbeque at Cashiers Farmer’s Market, The Orchard, Subway, Wendy’s and The Zookeeper Bistro.

The Literacy Council of Cashiers has partnered with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library since 2010 to provide children from birth to age five living in Cashiers, Cullowhee, Glenville and Sapphire a free age appropriate book monthly in the mail.

Currently over 100 children in the area have benefited from this program, which is completely free for families as the Literacy Council pays the sponsorship fee of $30 a year per child.

Georgia and Tennessee use this program statewide and have found a significant increase in reading scores. Instilling a love of reading early by having a book arrive each month helps create success in school later on. Research has shown that reading aloud to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers helps their brain development and increases their expressive and receptive language abilities. In order for this to occur, parents must take responsibility for reading to their children daily throughout their childhood. Children who come to kindergarten with an awareness and comprehension of books, and skills such as: how to turn pages, what a word/letter is, and knowledge of some letters are much more ready to begin their schooling. Parents of children participating in the program have said how much their children look forward to receiving their books and reading them together right away. They enjoy the tips included in some of the books on ways to share the stories with their children and skills to develop through reading aloud!

If you’d like to add an additional donation or volunteer to help the Literacy Council, please mail a donation to The Literacy Council of Cashiers, PO Box 791, Cashiers, NC 28717 or call (828) 508-9384 with questions or to volunteer. If you’d like to register your under-5-year-old children for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program, you’ll find registration forms at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library.

By Luke Osteen

 

Bingo for Highlands Food Pantry

The Highlands Food Pantry is a joint effort between a number of Highlands churches and the International Friendship Center.  At the pantry, local residents struggling in this tough economy, receive small amounts of food to help their family.  If you’re near the pantry near Highlands United Methodist Church on Monday, you’ll see lines of people waiting for their turn.  A large group of volunteers gather food for selection by their neighbors in need.  If you’d like to donate food, bring it to the Highlands United Methodist Church any weekday.

Won’t you and your friends come to the Community Center next to the Ball Park on the Cashiers Highway on Thursday night, June 6, for a fun night of Bingo? The games begin at 6:30 P.M.

For the modest investment of only $1 per card per game, you have the opportunity to win a small stipend. Throughout the night, you’ll have the opportunity to buy multiple cards to increase your chances of winning.   If you are feeling especially generous, you may donate your winnings back to the Food Pantry.

The night goes really fast. Before you realize it, it is time for Game 15, the final game of the night.  This is your chance to win the big jackpot.  You have to fill every space on your card, but the payoff is worth the wait. Whether you win or not, you will go away with a smile on your face.  You’ve shared a fun night with friends and neighbors and have helped a great cause in Highlands.

Bring your friends and support the work of the Highlands Food Pantry. You can show additional support for the pantry by buying an ad that will be placed on the tables.  This opportunity is open to business owners and individuals. Buy a table advertisement to promote your business or just say “John and Jane Doe support the Food Pantry.”  A table ad is only $50 or a half page ad is $25.   Make your checks payable to Highlands Rotary Club.  Call Highlands United Methodist Church at (828) 526-3376 to purchase your advertisement.  If you can’t be there, you can definitely send a check.

By Wiley Sloan

 

Scholarship Golf Classic

Thursday, June 13 marks a special date in Highlands.  Wildcat Cliffs Country Club will host the annual Scholarship Golf Classic.

The Town of Highlands Scholarship fund began in 1975 through the generosity of a local businessman named Jack Taylor.  His gift of $5,000 was the initial funding for this scholarship program enabled by special legislation in the NC General Assembly making Highlands unique in the state with the ability to administer such a fund for the benefit of Highlands School graduates who are committed to higher education through college, university or vocational training.  In succeeding years Jack Brockway, along with other prominent concerned citizens, became increasingly involved in the development and promotion of the Town of Highlands Scholarship Endowment Fund, which at this time exceeds $780,000.  Through the ensuing years, various clubs, including Highlands Falls, Cullasaja Club, and now Wildcat Cliffs, have graciously provided each of their unique golf course and clubhouse facilities for the purpose of creating an annual one-day “fund drive golf tournament.”  The historical generosity has been essential in building and sustaining the endowment fund with the ultimate goal of providing financial and moral support to our young highland school graduates.

Town Commissioner and Event Co-Chair Brian Stiehler said, “We are excited to continue this important tradition.  Wildcat Cliffs management and staff have gone above and beyond to make this a successful event on all levels.  We are grateful for the membership and staff of WCCC.”

The event kicks off at 7:30 A.M. with breakfast and use of the driving range and practice green.  A  9:00  A.M.  shotgun start is followed by cocktails, lunch and awards ceremony.  The cost for the event is $150 per player.  For sponsorship information or to sign up, please contact event co-chairs Brian Stiehler (787-2778) or Rebecca Shuler (526-2118).

Laurel Garden Kitchen Tour in Highlands NC

Laurel Garden Club is planning the second tour of kitchens September 21 from 9:00  A.M.  to 5:00 P.M.  Guests from the 2011 Kitchen Tour are still raving about how much they enjoyed this tour.  One guest commented this was by far the best planned and implemented tour she had ever taken.  Shuttles will transport guests from the Performing Arts Center, downtown Highlands, every thirty minutes from 9:00  A.M.  until the last departure time of 2:00 P.M.  Online ticket purchases provide a choice of 11 departure times.  Guests will experience magnificent variety as they visit six of Highlands’ finest kitchens, beautifully designed and appointed.  Surprising delights, such as a cooking demonstration in one of the tour kitchens, will keep the pulse lively and interesting, with sneak looks into the homes

and gardens.

Leading up to the Kitchen Tours, the club is planning a week of unforgettable culinary events entitled “Highlands Cooks!”  Four Highlands chefs will entertain and educate in small, intimate settings at spectacular private homes on the Highlands plateau.  The evenings include fabulous cooking demonstrations and dining experiences.

Monday, September 16 – Watch Wolfgang Green work his magic in an outdoor venue as he prepares a grilled feast in a state-of-the-art Viking outdoor kitchen as you drink locally brewed beer and listen to local blue grass music.  ($130 per person)

Tuesday, September 17 – Enjoy Asian fusion small plates coupled with specially prepared cocktails in a fabulous home overlooking Whiteside Mountain.   ($120 per person)

Tuesday, September 17 – Learn and enjoy as Mountain Top chefs educate and transform the fruits and vegetables of local gardens into a gastronomical feast in a stunning Mountain Top setting.   ($125 per person)

Friday, September 20 – Groove to your favorite tunes of the sixties while enjoying updated appetizers and cocktails from that period in the comfort of a spectacular, contemporary Cold Springs home.  ($60 perperson).

For additional information and reservations visit www.laurelgardenclubhighlands.com.

 

SOAR Adventure Race in Highlands NC

All of us are indebted to the many military personnel who are serving throughout the world so that we may live in peace and safety.

A group of individuals who risk their lives daily are the members of America’s Special Operations forces. The Special Operations Forces are all special operations personnel from the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force.

Although our forces voluntarily place themselves in harm’s way, it isn’t without personal sacrifices.

Which brings us to the most personal sacrifice anyone can ever give – their life for the cause and leaving behind their beloved families. For 33 years, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation has strived to have a positive impact of the children of the fallen heroes of the Special Operations Forces.

The foundation gives all children of these young men who lost their life a college education (grant, not a loan). The total children are now over 900, from newborn to college age. They will receive a college education, family counseling and financial assistance to the families of our wounded troops.

This is the 11th year a local group of dedicated volunteers is staging events to support the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

Over the last 10 years the people of the Highlands, Cashiers, and Sapphire communities have helped raise $550,000.

This year the Adventure Race is on Saturday, June 15. Solo racers and teams of two will run, cycle, rappel, paddle and navigate throughout the day for approximately 50 miles.

The adventure begins Friday, June 14, at the Highlands Rec Park with registration and check-in from noon to 6:00 p.m.

There’ll be a spaghetti dinner at the Highlands Community Center (at the corner of US 64 and Poplar Street) from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Everyone, runners and non-runners alike, is invited. Cost is $7 for adults.

To register or for more information, visit soarhighlands.org.

By Luke Osteen

 

Mountain Tennis Challenge in Highlands NC

The Highlands-Cashiers area is popular for beautiful landscapes, world-class dining and a host of attributes that make it a highly sought-after locale.

But to whom much is given… In that spirit, the area is also known for its philanthropy. The Mountain Challenge will offer an opportunity for all of us to be a part of that movement.

Former world-ranked number-one tennis professional Andy Roddick is passionate about helping brighten the futures of our country’s youth. It’s no wonder that when he chose to become a seasonal resident of the Cashiers community he offered to do something for the children.

That initiative resulted in the development of the non-profit Mountain Youth Charities which will host The Mountain Challenge in July featuring Roddick and Jim Courier, who was also ranked number one in the world and is a regular participant on the Powershares Senior Tour.

“The goal is to establish a long-term program for all kids in this area,” said Event Chairman William McKee. “Mountain Youth Charities is researching many ways this can happen, a series of round table discussions are ongoing to make thoughtful decisions as to exactly what is the best course of action for these programs. This will be a great event for the Highlands-Cashiers Community.”

As part of The Mountain Challenge, a Gala Mountain Dinner will be held at Canyon Kitchen at Lonesome Valley on Friday, July 26. The dinner will feature the two players and their families along with several items for auction, with all proceeds going to the charity.

Exhibition Saturday will be held the following day at Cedar Creek Racquet Club and will offer a day’s worth of activities including a preliminary match between Brevard’s Korey Lovett, a nationally-ranked junior tennis player, and Charlotte’s Thai Kwiatkowski, ranked top 10 in the international junior rankings and whose former coach is Cedar Creek GM Scott Handback.

After the preliminary match, the winners of the Pro-Am Competition the previous week will square off against Roddick and Courier in doubles before the feature match. There will also be a chance for spectators to try and return Roddick’s Serve delivered by an automated ball machine and a fast serve contest.

To purchase tickets or for more information, go to www.cashiers.com or call (828) 743-3411.

 

Contributed by Krysti Rogers

 

Arts and Crafts Show in Highlands NC

The art of Vicky Ferguson will be showcased at the Village Square Art & Craft Show happening Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and June 2.

The art of Vicky Ferguson will be showcased at the Village Square Art & Craft Show happening Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and June 2.

If you are looking for some fun family entertainment, mark your calendar for the Village Square Art & Craft Shows in downtown Highlands. An abundance of local talent will be on display, with art and crafts, demonstrations, mountain music, face painting, and food. The shows go from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. both days in the Kelsey-Hutchinson Park and neighboring Highlands Village Square at Fifth and Pine Streets, one block from Main Street.

The show has developed a reputation for high quality work. It features fine art, turned wood, metal work, fabric work, birdhouses, and jewelry. Also many traditional crafts like folk art, baskets, quilts, twig furniture, and face jugs.

Many of the artisans live in Highlands, including painter Zach Claxton, potter Pat Taylor, ceramicist Jan Smith, jeweler Lee Byers, and baker/cook Maxine Davidoff.

This show also features many of your favorite artisans from past shows. Of note is Marcus Thomas, the remarkable quadriplegic painter who has just published a book on his life and work.

As always, Patti Cakes will be painting faces. Enjoy live music both days 11:00 A.M. to 3:30  P.M. in the park gazebo. On Saturday folk singer Sylvia Sammons will perform, and on Sunday the Ross Brothers return by popular demand. Be sure to plan lunch at Fressers in the square.

Please note that these shows are no longer on the holiday weekends (due to changes in the town’s policies on park usage). The next show is August 24 and 25.

The shows are sponsored by the Macon County Art Association, a non-profit group dedicated to promoting and teaching fine arts. Check out their wonderful Uptown Gallery in downtown Franklin. For more information contact Cynthia Strain at Mill Creek Gallery & Framing (828) 787-2021.

Contributed by Cynthia Strain

 

 

Fishes and Loaves Fundraiser in Cashiers NC

The Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry is saving a generous plate for you at the Annual Big ‘Ol Mountain Country Breakfast,  7:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M., Saturday, July 6.

The Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry is saving a generous plate for you at the Annual Big ‘Ol Mountain Country Breakfast,
7:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M., Saturday, July 6.

The Cashiers community invites you to enjoy their Annual Big ‘Ol Mountain Country Breakfast to benefit the Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry.  Come join them from 7:00 to 11:00 A.M., Saturday, July 6, at the Cashiers Community Center on U.S. 64 (the Highlands Road).  Proceeds from this popular event will support the efforts to feed needy neighbors throughout the year.

“Annually, we average over 2,000 family visits, distributing roughly two and half tons of food per month,” says Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry spokeswoman Carole Stork.  “The people we serve are a mixture of local residents and Latino immigrants who are out of work primarily in the winter months, and a small number of senior citizens.”  Over seven years ago, the churches in the Cashiers community decided it would be a better idea to combine their efforts to provide this service for our neighbors in need.  The organization is solely run by volunteers.    Funds generously donated by individuals, churches and community service organizations underwrite our expenses.

Breakfast organizers are looking forward to a large crowd.  This breakfast has a reputation for generous portions of food prepared with care using time-tested recipes.

“It is the biggest and best country breakfast you have ever eaten.  Really!  Ask anyone who has ever come,” promises Carole.

Donations are accepted.  If you cannot attend the breakfast but would like to support the Fishes & Loaves, send your contributions to Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry, P.O. Box 865, Cashiers, NC 28717.

By Wiley Sloan

 

Center for Life Enrichment in Highlands NC

The Center for Life Enrichment  opened its doors April 4 to the new CLE Lecture Hall in the lower level of the Peggy Crosby Center on South Fourth Street

in Highlands.

The 75-seat classroom/lecture hall, complete with the state of the art Smartboard, is ready for participants to work on computer skills, listen to lectures, produce art, and enjoy all the offerings that have made CLE a primary continuing education institution in the Highlands-Cashiers area for over 20 years.

The month of April was dedicated to Apple Computer lovers. Nigel Sixsmith, the popular instructor on all things Apple, featured four evening classes at the new center. The very popular iPad courses will be continued throughout the season covering all of the amazing possibilities of this device.

May courses will continue Apple technology with classes for the iCloud as well as the iPad. May will also offer a Botanical Nature Trail Tour, May 4; a current affairs lecture, “Sustaining Growth in China,” Saturday, May 18;  and a five class course in “Beginning Drawing” beginning
May 21.

Sunday, May 26, a cooperative lecture with The Bascom will be offered. The lecture, “Redressing Fashion and Sustainability,” will begin at 4:00 P.M.

Saturday, May 27, CLE will sponsor tickets and transportation to the opera “Dead Man Walking” at Western Carolina University at a cost of $55. To explore CLE’s upcoming lectures and hobby classes, visit  at  www.clehighlands.com and check out the 2013 catalogue.  A brochure listing the classes is available online and registration can be accomplished either online, by email at clehighlands@yahoo.com or by phone  at (828) 526-8811.

Contributed by Nancy Plate

 

Cover Artist Gene Towery

The Art of Gene Towery from Cashiers NC The Art of Gene Towery from Cashiers NC The Art of Gene Towery from Cashiers NC The Art of Gene Towery from Cashiers NC The Art of Gene Towery from Cashiers NC The Art of Gene Towery from Cashiers NC The Art of Gene Towery from Cashiers NCTo Gene Towery everything is a potential painting. Her eyes are windows on the world, sizing up a landscape, a view from a flatbed, a bouquet of flowers, or a nose-to-nose encounter with a bovine. Her internal color wheel is constantly spinning, matching shades and tints, pastels and saturations, calibrating darks and lights.

She says,  “I have a weird compulsion. As I look out the window I see a lovely snowy day, purple mountains in the distance framed by a churning white sky. In my head I am putting it all together on a mental canvas, swaths of purple and blue with dollops of light on bare trees and branches. It is hard for me to look at any scene no matter what the season without puzzling over the perfect palette for each panorama.”

Towery winters in St Petersburg and summers in Sapphire. When in Florida, she dons her tropical beret, splashing bright colors across her surfaces. In North Carolina she zooms in on lush landscapes and Mother Nature’s flora and fauna. She enjoys plein air painting, planting herself in a field or on a hillside to paint in the fresh air. But one of her signature subjects is cows and try as she will, she hasn’t managed to train them to stand still. She photographs them so she can take them back to her studio to study and paint. She loves their big brown velvety eyes, full of personality and joy.

But if you ask  her, “What is your favorite thing to paint?” She will tell you that it is whatever crosses her path on any particular day. It could be a cow, a mountain scape, a glorious tree, a pasture, a cluster of rhodo blossoms, or a patron’s schnauzer.

Because of the lovely mountain views, most Highlands homes have an abundance of windows. Light bounces off the glass of framed watercolors. So she prefers to work in oils in the mountains. No glass, no glare. Her favored mediums are oils, acrylics and watercolor of which she does a lot in Florida.

She teaches at the Sapphire Community Center on Thursday mornings 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. She is represented by ARTicles Gallery in St. Pete. See more of her work featured on their website
www.articlesstpete.com.

A member of the Highlands Art League she participates in the League’s summer and fall color shows as well as the Sapphire Community Center show in August. You can reach her by e-mail at: gtowery9@gmail.com. She welcomes inquiries and custom orders and would delight in seeing you with paints and brushes in hand some Thursday morning. She’d love to help you discover and release your own inner artist.

by Donna Rhodes

 

The Art of Williams Rogers

 William Rogers shares his gift for metal arts with North Carolina’s young artists.

William Rogers shares his gift for metal arts with North Carolina’s young artists.

As a master craftsman in the metal arts, William Rogers has forged his own fortune and helped forge that of many of his students in artist residencies throughout the southeast.  And no wonder. Rogers has been recognized repeatedly for his excellence in creativity and craftsmanship. He was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship by the Tennessee Arts Commission in his home state of Tennessee. In 2002 he was designated a master craftsman in Virginia where he operated William S. Rogers Metals, a design and fabrication forge. He was one of eight master teachers selected from throughout the Commonwealth by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities to participate in a statewide apprenticeship program.

Since relocating his studio to Cullowhee, North Carolina, in 2005, he has planned and developed a highly successful blacksmithing studio for the Jackson County Green Energy Park, adapting a natural gas forge to burn methane recovered from a former landfill site. That’s what blacksmiths do. They take raw materials, grind in their own special magic, and create beauty where there was none. Rogers facilitated turning useless waste into concentrated energy to power the production of fine art and craft. Now that’s alchemy. Talk about forging your own fortune . . .

It is clear Rogers is a man with many irons in the fire, literally and figuratively. Inside his chiseled frame beats the heart of an artist and an educator. In March of this year he conducted a two-week residency sponsored by a North Carolina Arts Council Artist-in-Residence grant at Tuscola High School in Waynesville. Advanced art students learned the venerable art of copper repoussé, which literally means to re-push. Each student designed a heritage square using symbols and icons to tell their family story, everything from Scottish clan to Cherokee tribe. Once transferred to the copper plate each image was hammered, pushed out from the back and refined/defined on the front with ballpeen hammer and hand forged iron tools, made by Rogers himself. Students tapped and pounded front and back for over 14 days. Once complete, Rogers assembled the thirty plates into an arched sculpture now permanently installed in the Tuscola Art Garden to be unveiled May 10. Copper repoussé, by the way, is how the Statue of Liberty was created, one hammered plate at a time.

Rogers also worked with intermediate art students to teach kinetic sculpture construction (think Calder’s mobiles) using heavy aluminum wire and sheet metal repoussé. In addition he served as consultant and demonstrator to initiate a blacksmith forge in Tuscola’s
welding department.

Dale McDonald, principal of Tuscola High School says, “William Rogers’ impact on our students and our school will be felt for years to come. His quality presentation is right in step with 21st century education. We were delighted the North Carolina and Haywood County Arts Councils made his residency possible.”

To learn more about William Rogers, his studio, how to book him for a workshop or purchase his hand-crafted fire tools and more, visit www.rogersmetals.com.

by Donna Rhodes

 

The Last Romance by the Highlands-Cashiers Players

Carol Reynolds (Becky Schilling) can’t believe widower Ralph Bellini  (David Milford), a stranger she meets at the dog park.

Carol Reynolds (Becky Schilling) can’t believe widower Ralph Bellini
(David Milford), a stranger she meets at the dog park.

In June, the Highlands-Cashiers Players will bring  “The Last Romance” by Joe DiPietro to Highlands PAC.  Show dates will be June 6-9 and 13-16. This heartwarming story explores how a small change in a daily routine can bring a big, unexpected benefit.  Using his reclaimed boyish charm, widower Ralph Bellini (David Milford) steps out of his comfort zone to woo a lady whom he meets at the dog park. Bellini overcomes the cool persona of Carol Reynolds (Rebecca Schilling) as he sets out to win her favor.  Share in the laughter, tenderness and the surprises that make up this celebration of love and romance.

Directed by Ralph Stevens and David Milford, this romantic comedy for ages 12 to a 102 also features Bellini’s cranky sister, Rose (Shirley Williams), and the Young Man (Robert Helma, a tenor from Western Carolina University).   As Shakespeare once wrote, “If music be the food of love, play on.”  Mr. Milford will appear through courtesy of the Actors Equity Association.  When the Florida Studio Theatre did this play last year in Sarasota, the show was so popular it was held over for an extended run.  Mark your calendars now and get your tickets early.

 

Betsy Paul Art Raffle in Cashiers NC

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

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

This is the fourth time that Ken Bowser has graciously provided one of his paintings to the art raffle benefitting the Cashiers-Glenville Fire Department.  For the May 2013 raffle Ken has donated a lovely watercolor painting aptly named “Spring Beauty” as the raffle prize.

Ken has drawn and painted most of his life.  He works in watercolors, oils and pastels in a representational style that highlights the play of light and shadow.  His subject matter usually includes landscapes, still life, or buildings.  Ken prefers “plein air” painting, painting outdoors on site.  He feels it is always exciting to work among the sights, sounds and smells of the scene one is painting.  His art is featured in several galleries in
North Carolina.

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

 

SweeTreats in Highlands, A Savory Tradition

Sweetreats in Highlands NCSince May 1989 SweeTreats in the Mountain Brook Center, Highlands,   has been serving custom-blended ice cream to seasonal and year-round Highlanders.  Each freshly-baked cone is filled with your special flavor of ice cream
or yogurt.
From a small shop tucked in the corner of the center just two blocks from Main Street, SweeTreats has grown over the years.   In 2005 the store was enlarged to include a coffee shop and a restaurant featuring hot and cold sandwiches, delicious salads and soups and a wide array of tantalizing desserts.
Last year SweeTreats expanded once again by buying the Highlands Hill Deli at the corner of Main and Fourth Streets.  They kept many of the Deli’s signature sandwiches while adding the SweeTreats favorites that people craved including their special blended ice creams. For a casual lunch in a hurry, the Deli is the place to eat.
SweeTreats at Mountain Brook Center has been transformed once again.  The kitchen has been enlarged; the dining room has been spruced up, giving everything a fresh, new look.  In addition to the new décor, the menu has grown exponentially to include a more extensive and varied menu.   A wide array of mouthwatering appetizers including cold salmon, calamari, fried shrimp, pepperjack cheese bites and much more are available for nibbles with your wines and beers or before your meal.  Now enjoy french fries and onion rings with your favorite sandwich or one of their many burgers.  They even offer a burger with double patties.
SweetTreats’ new dinner menu features more than 14 entrees from filet mignon, pork chops, baked salmon, chicken cordon bleu (a personal favorite), pasta and more.  Freshly-baked rolls and a vegetable accompany each entrée.  A dinner salad is available, too.  Be sure to leave room for one of SweeTreats freshly-created desserts.  There’s nothing better than their warm apple tart topped with cinnamon ice cream drizzled in caramel (just one of the many to choose from).
Anytime of day is a good time to stop at SweeTreats.  For a hearty lunch, try one of their sandwiches or burgers or a salad (the chicken gorgonzola is superb) and a cup of soup.  Take a mid-afternoon break where you can savor a bottle of the Flat Tire Amber Ale or a glass of wine. For a relaxing evening meal, choose SweeTreats.  Have you looked for a place to go after a play or a concert?  Look no more.  Bring your friends and come to SweeTreats after 9:00 P.M. for dessert and coffee or an after-dinner liqueur.   Want to have a small party?  Come to SweeTreats.  Need a gift?  A SweeTreats’ gift certificate is
always appreciated.
Lunch is served daily 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.; dinner from 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. (9:00 P.M., Friday and Saturday).  For more information, visit www.sweetreats.com or call (828) 526-9822. For a quick meal, remember the SweeTreats Deli at the corner of Main Street and Fourth Avenue (828) 526-9632.

By Wiley Sloan

With Wine, Keep it Simple

Contributed by  Mary Ann Hardman

Contributed by
Mary Ann Hardman

Wine intimidates people for reasons that leave me puzzled. Hostesses planning dinner parties fret over wine/food pairings as if negotiating peace between North and South Korea.   Wine novices wonder why they don’t taste similar notes in a wine reviewed by Mr. Famous Wine Critic.  A friend told me he had read about a wine that was described by a critic as having essences of bacon. Bacon in wine? I’ll pass!
Because I have grown wine, pruning by hand rows of dormant vines in the chill of winter as well as harvesting those vines in the blistering heat of early fall, I have little patience with wine being needlessly complicated.
Wine – from Chateau d’Yquem (a dessert wine from the Bordeaux First Growth whose history precedes the French Revolution) to Barefoot Chardonnay – comes from a plant that has been cultivated for centuries.
When dining at Chez FonFon and the bespectacled sommelier   presents a wine list equivalent to Tolstoy’s War & Peace in length, I remember that wine comes from a plant. Being a gardener helps to appreciate the earthy origins of wine.
Below are a few ideas about wine. KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) applies:
Drink what you like.  But do not be afraid to try new grapes such as Cabernet Franc, Arneiss, or Picpoul. Drinking the same wine is like wearing the same dress day in and day out.  Variety is the spice of life.
Pair lighter wines with lighter foods. Pair buttery Chardonnays with buttery foods.  Pair heavier wines (Cabernet Sauvignon) with heavier foods (filet mignon).
Pair Champagne with everything, especially oysters.
Find a wine shop that you trust.  A good wine shop is a travel agency: by suggesting wines of distinction and quality, a customer can travel vicariously to the wine’s place of origin.
To recognize great wines, it’s necessary to experience some not-so-great wines. If a wine tastes watery or smells of wet cardboard, those are sure-fire indicators of poor quality.
No matter the numeric rating of a wine, it is your palate that has the final say.
Highlands has lots of great wines available at restaurants and retailers awaiting your enjoyment and discovery.

Dairy-Free Creamy Frosting

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

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

Healthy dessert sounds like an oxymoron, but it can be done, if you use the right ingredients in right combination. Frosting, which can be the basis of many desserts, can be time-consuming to make at home. Frosting you buy from the store, however,  is generally full of hydrogenated corn syrup, trans-fatty acids, preservatives, soy lecithin, food colorings and other sub-optimal ingredients, which could ruin your family’s health over time. What can you do to make a quick, healthy dessert (or to enjoy some frosting in a bowl?)
This dairy-free creamy coconut-based frosting is light, fluffy, sweet and satisfying. Best of all, it takes only five minutes, which is a small time commitment to improve your health. According to Dr. Oz, coconut oil can boost thyroid function, increase metabolism, energy and endurance. It increases digestion and helps to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Coconut can help improve insulin use within the body. Coconut has special fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). It has been shown that breaking down these types of healthy fats in the liver leads to efficient burning of energy and weight loss over time.
Dairy-Free Creamy Frosting
Yield: 1 cup
Ingredients: 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated over night; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup; 3 teaspoons arrowroot powder or
organic cornstarch.
Directions: Do not shake the can of coconut milk before opening. Scoop out only the top, fatty part of the coconut milk, leaving the liquid in the can. Add all other ingredients and blend until the mixture resembles a thick cream. Cool in the refrigerator for two hours and use.
See my blog for multiple healthy cake and cupcake recipes to use with
this frosting.
You can add one of the following ingredients to your frosting: Berry frosting: ¼ cup of fresh berries; Chocolate frosting: ¼ cup raw cocoa powder; Pina colada frosting: 4 tablespoons raw shredded coconut and ¼ cup fresh pineapple; Lemon frosting: juice and grated zest of ½-1 lemon.

Scaly Mountain Pancake Breakfast

Scaly Mountain Community CenterThe Women of Scaly Mountain are cranking up for another busy season in 2013!    We have six pancake breakfasts planned, each on the fourth Saturday of the month, beginning May 25th at the Old School House, just off Dillard Road.  Follow the signs and bring your kids, grandkids and neighbors.  Our hours are 7:30 to 10:30 A.M. Breakfast consists of piping hot pancakes, sausage, orange juice and coffee, all for just $5.50.  You have your choice of plain pancakes or ones loaded with delicious Scaly Mountain home grown blueberries.  Remember, all of our events benefit our Scaly college students scholarship fund.  See you there!

Contributed by Margaret Spraggins

A New Chef in Town in Cashiers NC

Cornucopia New ChefThe Cornucopia has been family owned for over 35 years, serving good food with prompt and attentive service.  Last year brought the addition of Cornucopia Gourmet Cheese, Meat and Specialty Shop and a Wine Bar.  This year brings us Dean Neff and that is going to be a very special treat.  Dean has a stellar culinary background.  He was raised in Savannah and graduated from UGA’s Terry Business School with a degree in marketing.  Upon graduating Dean decided that his heart belonged in a kitchen and enrolled at the School of Culinary Arts in Atlanta.  He went to work at Pricci, one of Buckhead Life Group Restaurants.  For the past twelve years he has been Executive Chef at the famed Five & Ten in Athens, Georgia where he has worked alongside
Hugh Acheson.
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Dean and getting to know him better.  Of course my first question was, “What brought you to Cashiers?”  Dean replied, “Meeting the Peterkins and seeing their vision for Cornucopia and their invitation for me to be a part of the vision.  I have clicked with them and I am excited about the future of Cornucopia.   Personally it’s a beautiful change of pace.  Not too far from Athens and I love hiking and canoeing. Also it was time for me to step up to a new challenge. This opportunity presented itself and everything fell into place so perfectly that I knew it was the right new thing to do.”
I voiced my concerns to Dean that everyone loves the old Cornucopia and now with the new bar and a new chef is it going to change?
Dean shared, “the last thing I want to do is to change everything.   Hopefully we will keep some of the menu items and make sure we are doing them really well and add in some new things and update the restaurant for a long future.  The legacy items such as, Wade Hampton’s Downfall, the Arabian Club will stay and we will make sure that we do them really well.  We will be adding a few of my favorite items, fried chicken sandwich, a pimento cheese burger with Benton’s bacon. We are trying to use great local products such as Benton bacon,  and Anson Mill’s grains.”
Along with Dean Neff comes a new look for the Cornucopia, zinc table tops, and a new bar complete with beer, wine and liquor.  The wine list will be well-rounded, where everyone can find exactly what they desire. Wines served from all over the world that will change with the season.  Dinner is going to be Dean’s shining star. They have plans to start simply with good comfort food, such as meatloaf,  and smoked Mississippi catfish with cornmeal crusting.  He convinced me, I am making my reservations now.
Cornucopia is located at Highway 107 South and can be reached
at (828) 743-3750.

The Bascom’s Collective Spirits

More than 500 lucky oenophiles will be wined and dined on May 16–18 at The Bascom’s annual Collective Spirits fundraiser. The festivities kick off on Thursday evening with exclusive benefactor-only dinners featuring renowned chefs and notable wines.

Friday begins with two educational tasting seminars in the classrooms at The Bascom. Friday evening will include a VIP Wine Tasting of rare and collectible restaurant-only wine-list wines, followed by the Stock Your Cellar Wine Market and Tasting on the Terrace at The Bascom. The Market will spotlight dozens of award-winning vintners, who will offer tastings and hard-to-find wines for sale by the discounted case. A seated dinner on Saturday at Highlands Country Club will culminate in a live auction conducted by wine specialist Greg Quiroga of Reynolds-Buckley in California.

Saturday’s live auction items are a fabulous mix of glamorous trips to luxury destinations, exclusive gourmet dinners, private wine tastings hosted by the vintners themselves and carefully curated wine collections. The Bascom announces its Collective Spirits 2013 vintners, with special Guest of Honor winemaker Rick Sayre of the Rodney Strong Winery. Additional notables include Axel Schug, owner of Schug Carneros Estate; winemaker Robbie Meyer of L’Angevin and Pierson-Meyer; Sales Director Kathy Berez of Failla Wines; Robin Lail, owner of Lail Vineyards; National Sales Manager Doug Cohen of Solena Estate; John Anthony Truchard of John Anthony Vineyards; East Coast Sales Sarah Noble of Loosen Brothers Wines; Gabrielle Leonhard, The Gabrielle Collection; Natali Meetze of Falcor Wines; Steve Pignatello, importer of French wines; Bob Singer of Caymus Vineyards; winemaker Joe Davis of Arcadian Winery; Tuck Beckstoffer of Beckstoffer Wines and Chris Bratcher of Bratcher Wines.

Please mark your calendar for the Collective Spirits events:

Thursday, May 16 – Private Wine Dinners (Benefactors only*) – 6:00 P.M.

Friday, May 17 – Educational Tasting Seminars  – 1:00 and 3:00 P.M.

Friday, May 17 – Stock Your Cellar Wine Market and Tasting ($100 per person) – 6:00 P.M.

Saturday, May 18 – Gala Dinner and Auction ($275 per person) – 6:00 P.M.

*Benefactor packages start at $2,500

For ticketing information, call the ticket office at (828) 787-2896.

Under a Spreading Chestnut Tree

American Chestnut Burr

American Chestnut Burr

Highlands’ lush forests have no equal, but over the centuries, they have been put to the test. Trees have been subjected to over-cutting, fire, drought, and pestilence. Thanks to science, conservationists, and the Biological Station most tree species have survived. But a few have succumbed, among them, the American Chestnut.

By the 1930s the chestnut was well on its way to extinction, courtesy of Endothia parasitica, a fungus that hitched a ride to the U.S aboard Asiatic chestnut seedlings. Just the sound of the disease conjures up evil: Endothia Parasitica, Mother Nature’s wicked kin. Starting in the 1920’s and ‘30’s, Endothia did her worst, wiping out nine million acres of chestnut forest in fewer than 50 years.

Before the blight, chestnuts were collected by the bushel in the Highlands area. Sometimes gatherers had to outmaneuver animals feasting on the bounty, including wild hogs and bears. According to Louis Edwards, you had to get out pretty early to beat the hungry hordes to
sheir breakfast.

Each chestnut tree grew hundreds of burrs, which some folks laughingly call porcupine eggs. Burrs were about four inches across and each one contained three chestnuts. Burrs opened September-October. Trees could grow as high as 120 feet, forest floor to crown, and decorated the landscape with a carpet of prickly pods.

In spite of the fact that chestnut timber was hard and rot-resistant, it still fell prey to the fungus. By 1927 much of the once mighty chestnut forest gave way to the oak and hickory, which were immune to the fungus.

Then Mother Nature let two other despicable critters worm their way into the environment. The Japanese Beetle arrived in New Jersey in 1912 and 20 years later had spread to the Piedmont area around Raleigh-Durham. It didn’t take long to make its way to Highlands. By 1953 the balsam wooly aphid had made its debut on Mount Mitchell. In just seven years, 275,000 trees of all kinds withered into a bleak, wooden bone yard.

Even the state flower, the native flowering dogwood, has had a close call. A blight traced to acid rain came close to wiping it out.

While we often blame over-cutting timber for the loss of beautiful forests, we must remember there is a bigger danger: the trees we love are often just a microbe—or a worm—away from extinction. For more information about the beautiful mountaintop on which we live and the organizations which help keep it green, read “Heart of the Blue Ridge” by Ran Shaffner or visit the Highlands Historical Society’s website: www.highlandshistory.com

by Donna Rhodes  |  Photo Courtesy Highlands Historical Society

 

The Death of Danie

Sol’s Creek Baptist Church

Sol’s Creek Baptist Church

In the Little Canada section of Jackson County is the Sol’s Creek Cemetery, located on the grounds of the Sol’s Creek Baptist Church. There you’ll find the grave of a “well-liked, kind, generous and religious” woman who was brutally attacked and murdered. Her tombstone reads, “Danie H. Mathews Brown, born 19 October 1910 – died 27 September, 1961.” The sensational story of her demise and the wounding of her husband, Jesse J. Brown, was written by W. W. Ward of Brevard and published in a true crime magazine following an in-depth personal interview with Sheriff Frank Allen whose clever detective work had quickly identified and captured the two killers. The sheriff, who recently had a road named for him in Cashiers, even showed the writer the murder weapons. Following is a short version of the cold-blooded murder of Danie Brown.

Highway 281 runs between Highway 107 South in the Tuckaseegee section all the way to Highway 64 in the Lake Toxaway section – a very long, sparsely populated, curvy and at times steep road. Jess Brown and Danie, his wife, owned a farm and a little general store about midway up 281 on Wolf Mountain. The store was across the road from the Browns’ house and farm and a fairly new, white frame Baptist Church had been built just in front of the house, and on that evening in late September 1961, there was a prayer meeting going on in the small church with the sound of the singing of spirited hymns. Danie was milking the cows in the barn while Jess closed the store and when he stepped out on the porch he heard a shotgun roar from across the road and felt slugs tear into his

 

belly. Forty years earlier, Jesse’s father, Lon Brown, had been murdered at this same spot – the killer was Lon’s own brother, Fib Brown. The hymn singing muffled the sound of the shots. Jess fell, could not get up but crawled to his Jeep and managed to honk the car horn until church people came out, laid Jesse on the ground, phoned the sheriff, and went to tell Danie what had happened. Danie could not be found but the milking stool in the barn had been turned over. A search party failed to find Danie that night but the next morning, her body was finally found way up the mountain side – she had been shot in the legs and her throat cut.

Sheriff Allen found a bloody tree limb and a shotgun near the barn and in a short time he had arrested and charged with murder, Rought Brown, age 24, Jesse’s cousin, and a 14-year-old, Charlie Mathis, on parole from reform school. The motive was robbery, which was not carried out. Rought Brown was the son of Fib Brown who had killed Jesse’s father, Lon Brown. “Murder Runs in the Family” was the title of the magazine story.

Contributed by Jane Gibson Nardy, Historian, Cashiers Historical Society

 

 

Highlands Springs and Falls

Home for sale in Highlands NC Home for sale in Highlands NC Home for Sale in Highlands NC Home for Sale in Highlands NC Home for Sale in Highlands NC Homes for Sale in Highlands NCSunlight threads through the high evergreens to dance across the large deck overlooking the cool mountain stream.  In the distance you hear the gentle rumble of the waterfall as the song birds warble.  Located in the community of Highlands Springs and Fall located off of Buck Creek Road near Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, this is the perfect home for a family with children or for empty-nesters who want a place to entertain friends.  Whether you are looking for a year-round home or a seasonal escape from the harried pace of the city, look no more.  This is the home for you.

A short drive from Highlands’ Main Street you can enjoy the quiet of the country without being remote. The home’s open floor plan provides optimal benefit while remaining economical to operate. Take in the beauty of the out-of-doors as you  relax in the home’s large Great Room with its cathedral ceiling and granite-faced fireplace with raised hearth. The warm hues of the hickory flooring add character and warmth to the room. Gather with your family and friends around the expansive dining table in the home’s dining area adjacent to the Great Room.  With double French doors opening to a large deck and a wall of windows, the room is always bright and cheery.

The recently-remodeled kitchen features shimmering granite countertops, a breakfast bar and custom maple cabinetry by Ben Welch of Franklin. You’ll find a place for all your treasures in the kitchen’s many cabinets. There’s room for multiple chefs to assist in meal prep in this design-inspired kitchen.

Adjacent to the Great Room are two large bedrooms separated by a bath. With large closets and carpeted floors, this is the perfect suite for your youngsters or your guests.  Down a short hall on the other side of the Great Room is the home’s large master bedroom with private bath.  A pair of vanities, a spa tub and a tile shower pamper you after a busy day in the mountains. You’ll both have space galore in the suite’s large walk-in closet.  Double French doors lead to a large deck overlooking the gently ambling brook.

Across the hall from the Master Bedroom is another large room that you may use as a media center or family room.  There’s room for a large screen TV, a computer desk, game table or craft space.  You decide what fits your lifestyle. With its own half-bath this room is perfect for a variety of activities.  A large laundry room finishes out this recently completed addition.  Conveniently located up a short flight of stairs is a space perfect for a home office, a reading area or a loft bedroom.

Located on a large lot with a two car garage and central heat and air, this home is a must-see.  Immaculate and neat-as-a-pin; look no further.  For more information go to www.hcmls.com/hlc/maildoc/sd_wA1Wgn20130330120916.html or call Kay Earp of John Cleaveland Realty at (828) 526-4983 or via cell at (828) 526-5118.

By Wiley Sloan  |  Photos by Guy Fielding

 

Andrew Who?

Matthew Bradly at Elicot's Rock

Matthew Bradly at Elicot’s Rock

Born in the Delaware Valley in 1754, Andrew Ellicott’s lifelong obsession with precision crafting and measurement was fostered by his apprenticeship to his clockmaker father. Following his service in the Maryland militia during the Revolutionary War, Ellicott developed a justly deserved reputation as one of the young nation’s premier boundary surveyors. Best known for his 1791–93 work marking the boundaries of the new “Federal City” (Washington, D.C.), he also participated in the completion of the survey of the Mason-Dixon line between Pennsylvania and Maryland and helped draw the boundary between the United States and Spanish Florida.

In 1811 Georgia Governor David Mitchell contracted Ellicott to resurvey the Georgia/North Carolina state line. Mitchell was convinced that the then-standing state line had been poorly drawn and that an accurate survey would result in the addition of 800,000 acres of land to the Peach State’s territory. One of Ellicott’s tasks during the survey was to locate the point at which the 35th parallel crossed the Chattooga River. He identified that point by engraving a boulder at the river’s edge with an <N> and a <G>. The boulder came to be known as “Ellicott’s Rock,” and a trip there via the Bad Creek Trail makes for a great destination hike for visitors to the Highlands-Cashiers area.

Parking for the hike is available at the Bad Creek trailhead on the side of Bull Pen Road at gps coordinates 35.0236 -83.0948; Bull Pen Road is accessed from Highlands via Horse Cove Road and from Cashiers via Route 107.

The trail to the Rock covers about two-and-a-half miles of varied terrain, beginning with a gentle quarter mile followed by a half-mile of steady climb. Your climb is rewarded with over a mile of practically flat ground. After the trail crosses over to the west side of the ridge you will begin to hear the sounds of whitewater in the Chattooga Gorge below. That’s your signal that the descent to the river—the fun part!—is about to begin. The way down is eased by numerous switchbacks, and a walking stick or pair of trekking poles eases it even more.

The trail emerges at a backcountry campsite at the edge of the Chattooga. Follow the trail downstream for a few yards while keeping an eye out for a tree marked with an <i> in black paint. Ellicott’s Rock is just down the bank from the tree. Be aware that the way down involves crossing water-slicked rock face, so do be cautious if you decide to make the trip down.

Golfing Ireland and Scotland

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

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

Ireland: Many thoughts come to mind when I think of my golfing experiences in Ireland – Links golf (the word Links comes from the fact that the courses link the land to the sea).

Humps and bumps; standing on a tee and not having a clue where to aim unless you have a caddy; Pot Bunkers you have to hit out sideways from, Tall Fescue; Thorny Gorse Bushes; Lots of Wind; having to hit 5 irons from 100 yards; Bump and Run Shots; the Irish accents of the caddies, Pub Grub, Irish music; the friendliest people you will ever meet; lots of sheep; a golf course 99 percent surrounded by water and 250-foot cliffs (Old Head). Where else do you hit across the edge of a cemetery (Ballybunion)? You probably won’t shoot your career round here but I can assure you when you have a unique golf experience, you will enjoy telling your friends about it when you return and probably will be keen to get back to the
“Emerald Isle.”

Scotland: Here you will get all the experiences of playing Links Golf with humps, bumps, pot bunkers, wind and so on with more history and tradition. Scotland is the home of most British Open venues with St. Andrews Old Course being the “Home of Golf.” Walk out on number 18 on Old Course, stand on the Swilken Bridge at sunset and I assure you chill bumps as you look around and think of all the famous golfers that have walked on these hallowed grounds.

The most scenic and least visited area and one of my favorites is the Highlands. Not as many courses here and you go from the flat lands to the mountains. Venues such as Royal Dornoch, Royal Aberdeen & Cruden Bay are world class and equal to any in all Scotland.

My ideal trip would be to enjoy a St. Andrews, Turnberry experience and then head to the Highlands for a few rounds.