There is nothing quite like putting together a monthly publication to make time fly. May brings longer days of sunshine and flowers in bloom with the sense that summer is in sight. This month, we honor those lost fighting for our freedom, and we celebrate mothers and all the values and lessons they instilled.
University of North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell teaches many lessons on and off the court to her players. We sit down for a Carolina Conversation with the award-winning coach, who was named into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame last month, and talk about her love of basketball, our great state, faith, family and friends. I even got to play photography assistant for the photo shoot and stand on the court in Carmichael Area with the coach, which was so cool, regardless of being a Seminole fan. It was amazing to meet such an amazing coach and down-to-earth person. Thanks Coach Hatchell for your time!
Longtime friends and authors Carrie Jane Knowles and Peggy Payne just released new books (seen above) and kicked off a book tour with the pedal to the metal so to speak driving around meeting readers at bookstores across three states. We catch up with the “Crazy Ladies Book Tour” at their Raleigh studio.
Whether in the studio, on stage or teaching music, Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen gained notoriety as members of the band Jefferson Airplane before forming their own band, Hot Tuna. The pair brings their blues-rock acoustic tour to Carolina Theatre in Durham on June 6. We learn how the two became friends and have kept their music and 50-year friendship alive and well.
Years of history have been preserved and are on display at the Rankin Museum in Ellerbe in Richmond County, the latest stop on our yearlong tour of historical places. The museum holds many stories and amazing artifacts from the collections of Dr. Pressley Rankin. We go inside to learn about the good doctor and some of his amazing treasures. There is something for everyone from big-game trophies to Native American ceremonial clothing and weapons to a vintage printing press.
One editor knows all too well about printing presses and newspapers. We meet Sanford Herald editor R.V. Hight and learn how he fell in love with journalism and has made a career of bringing local news to his community.
After a successful career running his own engineering firm, one CEO decided to take on a consulting role and start a new business and second career driven by his passion. We meet Willy Stewart and learn how one boomer is finding happiness in a second career.
As boomers age and plan for retirement, building or remodeling for aging in place can become part of the plan. Our yearlong series continues, and we touch on some home products of universal design that can make living much easier and beautifully designed. From stepless entry to specialty cabinets, universal design products can change the way we all live for the better.
Support groups are one very important way we can change our lives by coming together and sharing our stories and experiences. Alzheimers North Carolina has one such group coping with early stage memory loss. This moving piece shines the light on how these brave individuals come together and want to share their stories and reach out to others coping with this devastating diagnosis with understanding, support, hope and love.
The love of the game is the focus of this month’s “Game On.” It takes us back to the ballpark at Pittman Stadium in Fayetteville.
Last but far from least, we welcome a new member to our team, Michelle Palladino, who will be joining Shawn Buring in advertising sales. We are so happy to have her with us and look forward to growing OutreachNC!
Until next month…
March 25, 2013 – Springing into April
All aboard to the Hamlet Depot and the National Railroad Museum as the latest stop on our tour of historical places. You won’t find a better tour guide than Riley Watson, who can tell you real stories about his days working on the railroad. In perfect timing, a train came by during our visit (seen at right). There are so many wonderful photos, so be sure to visit www.OutreachNC.com and view the Hamlet photo gallery. Also, mark your calendar for National Train Day on May 11, which just might give you another reason to visit Hamlet for the festivities.
Emmy Award-winning actress Elaine Bromka is paying a special visit to Southern Pines and the Sunrise Theater April 28 to perform her one-woman play, “Tea for Three: Lady Bird, Pat & Betty.” We sit down with Bromka for a Carolina Conversation to learn more about the play and her preparation for her craft.
Charles McLaurin, along with being the mayor of Eastover, is a master craftsman when it comes to woodworking. April celebrates National Woodworking Month, so we’ll introduce you to the man who sculpted the amazing and award-winning carving of the two black crappies chasing minnows on our cover.
We’ll also meet some of the members of the Sandhills Carving Club in Aberdeen. Their wooden wonders are equally incredible and allow them to share their skills with the next generation to keep this crafting tradition alive for years to come.
Durham author Laura Florand, when not teaching French at Duke University, finds inspiration for her craft in artisan chocolates, so much so that she has written a chocolate series combining the sweet confection, romance and Paris. Florand also shares an excerpt from her latest book in the series, “The Chocolate Kiss,” which is available at bookstores and digitally for e-readers.
Libraries across our region are diligently working to add a wider selection of digital e-books with the Lee County Library in Sanford being the newest to offer patrons this service. We take a look at digital library services and how local librarians are on hand and ready to help you make the most of your Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPhone or whatever digital device keeps you reading.
Books of poetry may be on your wish list and with good reason since April also pays homage to poets and their works. In honor of National Poetry Month, we share three selections from poet Mimi Herman’s new book of poetry, “Logophilia.”
Treasured books may be one aspect of your favorite decor, too. As the fourth part of our Aging in Place series, we meet Raleigh interior designer Judy Pickett. She shares some tricks of the trade that can make the most of form and function while keeping accessibility the goal.
Goals are on the minds of many a fan this month as the college basketball season winds up. A very special “Game On” column reflects on the life and legacy of a great man and coach, Dean Smith.
Until next month…
February 27, 2013 – Marching ahead
March is here, and spring is in the air. Carolina skies are bluer as tulips, daffodils and azaleas come into bloom, and equestrian lovers know that the Steeplechase is just around the bend.
This month, our tour of historical places trots over to Carolina Horse Park (seen above) in Raeford, which hosts the 62nd running of the Stoneybrook Steeplechase, a horse racing tradition that dates back to the 18th century and annually draws thousands the first Saturday of April.
Weeknights, one special lady has a following of dedicated viewers all her own. NBC-17′s news anchor Pam Saulsby sits down for a Carolina Conversation to talk about her latest professional transition, singing and following her heart.
Two other familiar faces from television and film bring their talents to the theater stage in Judson Theatre’s performance of “Driving Miss Daisy” this month. We learn how Michael Learned, best known for her role of Olivia Walton on “The Waltons,” and Lance E. Nichols of the HBO series “Treme” are set to bring the classic tale to life March 21-24 in Pinehurst.
The Cary Players believe in keeping the community in community theater. We’ll go behind the scenes to see how they are working to make their productions accessible to all patrons and utilizing all ages on and off the stage for the good of the theater within the beautifully restored Cary Arts Center venue.
Another nearby community gem is Given Memorial Library in the Village of Pinehurst. Kicking off the library’s fund-raising campaign for expansion, a world-renowned author offers his support with “An Evening with James Patterson” as the premier event. We preview the event and learn how special ticket packages allow guests to participate in a limited book signing engagement afterward.
“Cold Feet” is the new mystery novel of local author Karen Pullen of Pittsboro. We go inside the book jacket to learn more about the mystery and the writer, who also owns the Rosemary House Bed and Breakfast and teaches at Central Carolina Community College.
Most of us have cold feet when it comes to moving, especially downsizing. In the third part of our yearlong series on Aging in Place, we learn more about downsizing and some useful services you may not be aware of and share some personal experiences that have made all the difference for those who have embarked on such a transition.
In “Game On,” we make a trip back in time to the 1974 Atlantic Coast Conference championship basketball game between the Wolfpack and Maryland.
I am often asked how we provide the magazine free of charge. The answer is, of course, through our advertisers. We are grateful to our advertisers for their support. You can always help us by supporting our advertisers, and we will work hard to continue bringing you the best magazine possible. Thank YOU for reading!
We also have a fond farewell this month for our English Rose, Rebecca Heeley. I will always think of you over a cup of English breakfast tea, my friend. Godspeed you and John back to Fort Bragg.
Until next month…
January 31, 2013 – Happy 3rd Anniversary!
February is a special issue for us at OutreachNC, as it marks our third anniversary and 36 issues under our publishing belt. It is a monthly feat not possible without a team of dedicated writers, columnists, photographers, copy editors, our ad director Shawn Buring, my right hand Susan McKenzie, our amazing publisher Amy Natt and, most importantly you, our loyal readers. Thank you so much for making time for us!
This month, we continue on our yearlong tour of historical places, journeying to the John Blue House in Laurinburg (pictured above), House in the Horseshoe in Sanford and the Pope House in downtown Raleigh. From the scene of a Revolutionary War skirmish to a cotton plantation to a prominent African-American doctor’s home in the early 1900s, each home has its own unique story now preserved for generations to come.
History and treasures also come to life in Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, now on display through April at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. Voyage with us inside this exhibit of the “unsinkable” ship that sank 100 years ago and still fascinates visitors by the thousands.
One hundred years is quite a milestone, and this month, we meet one special centenarian and learn her secret to longevity as told through the words of a dear friend.
Aging certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. We continue our Aging in Place series focusing this time on professionals in the field, who offer their best advice on planning for the future.
And what would life be without love, especially in February? We’ll introduce you to a Pinehurst couple who found a special love after the loss of their spouses and best friends. Their story is sure to warm your heart just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Music warms the hearts of many a member of the Golf Capital Chorus. We’ll learn about the community chorus that sings to bring smiles to others and can always use a few more good men to keep the group singing for years to come.
Music, more specifically jazz, is what brings renowned saxophonist and composer Virginia Mayhew to North Carolina this month for concerts at Temple Theatre in Sanford, Feb. 15, and Halle Cultural Arts Center in Apex, Feb 16. We sit down for a Carolina Conversation to go behind the music with Mayhew, who has played with many a jazz great and is ready to wow concertgoers and the jazz lovers among us.
“Game On” looks back on baseball great Dick Groat, who is also one of the heralded basketball players for the Duke Blue Devils.
There’s plenty more to keep you turning these pages.
December 31, 2012 – OutreachNC 2012 in review and 2013 preview
Wow. How time flies. It seems like it was just yesterday that photographer Mollie Tobias and I were at the Grove Park Inn preparing to kick off a yearlong series on events and festivals to preview the Big Band and Swing Dance Weekend at the historic Asheville icon.
We made the rounds across the region and state to showcase pottery at Seagrove’s Winterfest, celebrate green and all things Irish at Emerald Isle’s St. Patrick’s Festival, NASCAR’s return to Rockingham Speedway, USO of NC’s marriage vow renewal aboard the USS North Carolina in Wilmington, the state’s largest Fourth of July Festival in Southport, the N.C. Peach Festival in Candor, the Function at the Junction concert series in downtown Sanford, the Southport Wooden Boat Show, the N.C. Literary Home of Fame inductions at the Weymouth Center for Arts and Humanities in Southern Pines, the Apex Historical Society’s Holiday Home Tour and most recently, two performances of her Christmas Show concert by singer/songwriter Suzy Bogguss. With each event unique in its own way, I enjoyed every trip as a new adventure and all of the wonderful people we spoke with along the way.
We hope you’ll come along for another adventure as we embark on our 2013 series of historical icons that begins with the theatrical gems in the region, the Cameo in Fayetteville, Rialto in Raleigh and Sunrise in Southern Pines.
Our 2012 cover stories took us from a trip to the N.C. Zoo’s Rocky Coast to visit with the cold weather-loving puffins, the kitchen of Angus Barn with Chef Walter Royal, the UNC Basketball Museum with Woody Durham, the Atlanta home of author Mary Kay Andrews, the Woodwright’s Shop of master craftsman Roy Underhill, the musical talents of Mary Chapin Carpenter, the WRAL weather center with chief meteorologist Greg Fishel, the gallery of artist Bob Timberlake, the pumpkins of David’s Produce in Ellerbe and the famous fruitcake of Southern Supreme in Bear Creek.
We’ve also said some fond farewells this year as editorial assistant Jessica Bricker and photographer Mollie Tobias went onto new endeavors. We are grateful to have had them while we did. The majority of the images in our 2013 wall calendar are Mollie’s fine work.
With losses, we’ve had some wonderful additions by utilizing the photography talents of Rebecca Heeley (English Rose Photography), John Gessner (John Gessner Photography), Frank Green (Green Street Studios) and Carol Wilson (Carol Wilson Photography).
We also need to thank all of all loyal advertisers, without whom this venture would not be possible.
Thank you to our readers who since August can now pick up the latest issue at Wake County Harris Teeter stores in addition to our more than 600 distribution points across our 9-county region.
We are looking forward to bringing you more stories to make you laugh, inspire you, entertain you and inform you in the coming issues. We start the new year right as our Aging in Place series kicks off with a new feature each month of a different aspect of getting a plan together that can allow you to age the way you want to. Happy Reading and Happy New Year!
—Carrie Frye, Editor
October 1, 2012 – Poets to be honored…
One story I wrote about for our October issue is particularly special to me. The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame announced its three inductees for 2012: Maya Angelou, Kathryn Stripling Byer and John Lawson. The ceremony is Sunday, Oct. 14 at 2 p.m. at Weymouth Center in Southern Pines and open to the public. Being a writer myself, I love to see other writers recognized for their works.
Then, I was able to contact both Angelou and Byer for my story.
A conversation with Angelou with her classic voice had me on the edge of my seat. I was careful to soak it all up. She asked me if I wrote, and I just replied that I dabbled with poetry. And she told me if I dabbled, I was already a poet. Well, that made my day, although, I can never hope to achieve what she has with her writing. We even got to chat about how she loves to have people over and cook and what books were out on her table in her study. I found her to be as lovely as I had imagined.
Then came another phone call with Byer. Her words paint amazing mountain scenes that seem to come to life right off the page. Our talk was just as light-hearted as if I had called an old friend. She spoke of her love for the mountains and the inspiration she draws from living there. I was surprised that even with success, she still questions her work, so I guess that is something all writers do.
Lovely ladies and amazing poets, they are. I am so grateful for their time and their words…
-Carrie Frye, Editor
September 4, 2012 – Fall brings cool stories…
Wow, time flies when you are having fun, and I have been slack at keeping up with my editor’s notebook, but I hope you’ll forgive me.
We have been busy traveling of late. I made trips to Lexington and Blowing Rock for our upcoming story on Bob Timberlake. I even talked photographer Mollie Tobias into the trip to Blowing Rock. Mollie had never been to the famous Blowing Rock, so we had to go. She even climbed up on the rock for a better view and some amazing photos.
I also made a trip to Raleigh to the WRAL-TV studios to catch up with Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel for the cover story of our September issue. What a wonderful experience to be inside the Weather Center to see where all the weather magic happens.
I now have four fabulous photographers on hand supporting the magazine’s stories, all wonderful in their own respects and in no particular order: Frank Green of Green Street Studios in Apex, Carol Wilson Photography in Sanford, John Gessner Photography in Aberdeen and Becca Heeley of English Rose Photography in Southern Pines. Thank you all for being part of the OutreachNC team!
Becca Heeley and I went to Southport to catch a ride on one very special wooden boat, Solomon T, to promo our Southport Wooden Boat Show for the September issue. If you love old boats and the history behind them, it is well worth the two to three hour drive from our region for a special day at Southport’s Old Yacht Basin on Saturday, Sept. 29.
We also have met some amazing and dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly across our region to be sure kids and seniors get some extra nourishment from the Food Bank through efforts like BackPack Pals, SnackPack Pals and the Drive to End Hunger.
Every day is something new and a reminder of why I love what I do. What a blessing to be able to meet so many wonderful people and share their stories…
-Carrie Frye, Editor
It is hard to believe that OutreachNC has been publishing for two and half years with our July magazine being the 30th issue. Time sure flies when you’re having fun.
This month also marks another milestone in OutreachNC’s short history, as we bid farewell to our photographer Mollie Tobias. What I have learned about photography has been amazing, and most of all, I gained a friend in the process. Mollie was young (and still is) and just starting her photography business when the magazine started, so we have grown together.
Mollie and I have gone to countless story interviews. There have been beekeepers (one where she was stung), firefighters, musicians, all kinds of animals and even Santa Claus. We’ve be on the track at Rockingham Speedway, walked the historic halls of Grove Park Inn, hung out with Richard Petty at Petty’s Garage, flown with Roland Gilliam in a Piper to the Wright Brothers National Memorial at the Outer Banks (and neither of us are good flyers), ‘set a spell’ with author Celia Rivenbark at her Wilmington home, traveled to Mount Airy aka Mayberry and then to Virginia to visit the hilarious Mayberry Deputy all in one day, photographed two beautiful Rockettes on the golf course at Mid Pines Golf Club, met Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith at Booth Amphitheatre and the list goes on.
Washington, D.C. is gaining one amazing photographer, and she will be greatly missed. I have four fine photographers stepping in to help OutreachNC going forward. One of Michael W. Smith’s songs, “Friends,” is one of my favorites, and it seems perfect for this occasion…
Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
Can’t believe the hopes He’s granted
Means a chapter in your life is through
But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
‘Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong
And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long to live as friends.
OutreachNC wishes you all the best Mollie!
—Carrie Frye, Editor
May 30, 2012 – Master craftsman
When I hear the bluegrass theme song on UNC-TV, I know “The Woodwright’s Shop” is coming on. Sometimes, I just stare with wonder at the things Woodwright Roy Underhill can create. To me, he is the ultimate master craftsman.
Then I realized Roy Underhill was teaching the techniques I marvel at here at The Woodwright’s School in Pittsboro. Students can learn from the best and create their wooden treasures at the school in one- to six-day workshops. Although, I am not sure I could master the techniques, Roy assured me otherwise.
Quite the comedian, I am sure I have never laughed as much as I did that day at the School. Students ranged in age from their thirties to sixties and pulled out phones to snap quick photos of their television mentor, especially when he decided to climb onto the wooden workbench and lie down while we chatted and clowned around with the tools for some great photos. It was also fun to see people walk by and do a double take recognizing Roy.
I think Mollie had a good time, too. We have a lot of great photos to share in the photo gallery. Check out Mollie’s photos: The Woodwright\’s School Photo Gallery
April 30, 2012 – Writers love writers
When I saw that Mary Kay Andrews is scheduled to be at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh June 6, I was excited. I really enjoy her books, so I thought I would ask to see if she might have time for an interview before the launch of her new book, “Spring Fever.”
To my delight, her publicist set it up, and when I offered to drive to Atlanta for a face-to-face interview, he arranged for that, too. I was thrilled and nervous. After all, I would have to interview and talk with her, hire a local photographer in the area and of course, write the story.
To my delight, friend and freelance writer Melanie Coughlin offered to join me on the drive south to Atlanta. Since she is also a fan of Mary Kay, we set out an adventure.
Melanie, Sara Speert, a delightful young freelance photographer in Atlanta, and I met Mary Kay at her home. All my nervousness fell away, as we all laughed and joked throughout the whole interview.
What an honor for one writer to share so much with two aspiring writers. MKA even shared some shopping tips for an excursion on our way back to Southern Pines, in which we were happy to partake.
It was an amazing day in the company of a writer I admire. I love my signed copy of “Spring Fever.” Thanks Mary Kay! See you at the book signing.
March 31, 2012 – Glory of Love and Marriage
Today, aboard the USS North Carolina in Wilmington, love conquered all. It certainly didn’t allow a little rain to wash out the love parade. The USO of North Carolina wrapped up their yearlong 70th anniversary celebration with a Marriage Vow Renewal ceremony. The full story will appear in our May issue of OutreachNC.
The weather blessed the couples with a downpour. But no one shied away from the task at hand. Gathered under umbrellas, military couples, retired and active duty, stood together while the chaplain had them repeat their vows.
It was simply a beautiful moment, and another reason I love to do what I do. Retired Col. Jeri Graham and her committee of dedicated volunteers deserve much credit for pulling off a lovely ceremony despite Mother Nature.
It is good luck to have rain on your wedding day after all…
—Carrie Frye, Editor
February 29, 2012 – Fond farewell
Today is a bittersweet day at OutreachNC as we say goodbye to Editorial Assistant Jessica Bricker. Jessica is spreading her wings and taking a new position, so we wish her all the best, as we scramble to fill her shoes. Jess (as I affectionately refer to her) has been here just a month shy of two years.
Her first day on the job, she watched and helped me design a brochure and something just clicked. Since then, she went on many an interview. We met Richard Petty, and I made her promise to keep me on track, because as a fan, it was hard to be all business. We toured Victory Junction Gang Camp where photographer Mollie Tobias made us pose. We have talked to Santas (and yes, there was more than one), met beekeepers, Senior Games athletes, authors, even traveled to Oak Island to watch a beautiful 90-year old and members of her family skydive and so many more adventures.
Jess is a consistent smiling face to all she meets and will undoubtedly succeed wherever life leads, and just maybe our paths will cross again. Jess, you’ll be missed and already are. And to borrow a few lines from our new March issue by our Irish columnist Ann Robson, here’s a special Irish blessing:
“May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rain soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in His hand.”
This is what we wish you Jess.
—Carrie Frye, Editor
February 2, 2012 – Groundhog sees shadow
Although good ol’ groundhog Phil saw his shadow today. It sure feels like an early spring here in Carolina. Today, February 2, is actually my grandfather’s birthday. He would have been 110 years young today. Oh my, how time flies. I can remember sitting on his lap watching TV, taking long walks in the summertime with him side by side and picking blackberries. We all have those special memories that are held dear in our hearts. My Grandpa was a man of few words, but he often said a lot with a sweet smile or stern look. He shared his love of baseball with me as well as a love for Milky Way candy bars and RC Cola, the latter I wish I did not still hold an affection for, but oh well. Happy Birthday Grandpa! I know I was blessed to have you, and I will keep working to make you proud.
—Carrie Frye, Editor
January 26, 2012 – Broadway comes to DPAC
Last night, I was able to see “Memphis” at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Having never seen a Broadway production before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The lights came down, and the show began. I grew up in Memphis, living there for Kindergarten through the fifth grade, so I was excited to see the city come to life onstage. And it did. Set in the 1950s when racism was normal, the music and love story were powerful with amazing vocal and theatrical performances. If you are considering seeing the musical, all I can say is, see it. Enjoy the music and escape to a different time and place for a couple hours. One of the show’s songs reminds us to listen and feel the music of our soul. OutreachNC columnist Jennifer George writes in her Sentimental Journey column in our February issue about listening to the songs and music that make us feel happy. I guarantee the music of “Memphis” did that for me and might just do that for you.
—Carrie Frye, Editor
January 2, 2012 – Dancing our way into 2012
Happy New Year! May 2012 be a healthy, happy and prosperous year for all! It is hard to move into 2012 without reflecting on 2011. OutreachNC has seen a lot of growth, and we look forward to continuing this trend in 2012.
One year ago, we expanded our distribution and magazine coverage into western Wake County and increased our press run to 15,000 copies monthly. That many copies may not sound like a lot to most; however, when boxes are delivered and stacked, it feels like a mountain we climb each month until all are out in racks or on counters and in the hands of our readers. Thank you for reading!
This year editorially, we will embark upon a day trip to a festival or event that might pique your interest and be worth your time. For January, I chose the 21st Annual Big Band & Swing Dance Weekend Jan. 20-22 at Grove Park Inn in Asheville. Photographer Mollie Tobias and I made the trek in December (hence our pose beside the Christmas tree in the Great Hall) to capture the grandeur of the historic inn.
I cannot say enough nice things about the Grove Park. We were treated royally, but all guests receive that same treatment, and those attending the special weekend will also see and hear the Glenn Miller Orchestra, NC Revelers Orchestra and a wartime era show by the USO Liberty Bells. Although the weekend galas require semi-formal attire, dancing shoes are not a must but can complement any outfit.
Besides the fun of yesterday’s music and dancing, the weekend is one of a series of events in the yearlong 70th anniversary celebration and benefitting the USO of North Carolina. It was extraordinary for me to learn and share the good works of the USO of NC and just how important their efforts are to services members in our state.
So pack your dancing shoes and head west for some big band music and swing for a great cause as we kick up our heels and dance our way into 2012. Stay tuned to see where the next event or festival takes us next month…
—Carrie Frye, Editor
November 28, 2011 – The perfect Christmas tree…
Having had the chance to visit three area choose and cut Christmas tree farms for my story in December issue, I have learned a lot about Christmas trees. There are many different species some that grow well in our area and others that do not, long needles, short needles and of course, color from blue ice to rich, dark green. When it comes to Christmas trees, beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder and is as much a mystery to the farmers when it comes to what tree will bring a smile to customers’ faces or gleam to their eyes.
Braving the beautiful and perhaps unseasonable 70-degree Thanksgiving weekend weather, my best friend and I wandered amongst a picturesque scene of Christmas trees. Laughing, we joked that the perfect tree would speak to us. And what do you know, it finally did.
I chose a beautiful Leyland Cypress and watched with glee as Mr. Hall cut it down and carried it to be shaken and netted. I could not wait to get it home. However, the tree stand gave me a run for my money, but even it could not displace the happiness of seeing the perfect tree ready and waiting to be adorned with lights and ornaments. The best part was watching my kitten take part in the decorating and cuddling up for her first Christmas nap underneath it, and one of many to come…
From the OutreachNC family to yours, Merry Christmas!
—Carrie Frye, Editor
November 11, 2011 – Rockettes roll!
Opening night for the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular was last night at the Durham Performing Arts Center, aka DPAC. The ladies kicked off the show’s run in true style. Santa, live animals, a double-decker bus, songs of Christmas and of course, the Rockettes made a more than spectacular show.
I am a bit biased though. After meeting two Rockettes in person, it is hard not to be. They are beautiful ladies of artistry and make the stories of Christmas come alive. It certainly came alive in the eyes of my co-worker’s 4-year-old daughter, Olivia. She sat on the edge of her seat for the entire 2-hour show, her eyes filled with amazement. If only we could all just go back in time and be that enamored. Seeing her reaction to show was priceless and a true treat.
So if you were thinking about going, just go. It was worth the trek from Southern Pines. Summer Renner, the Rockette featured in this month’s magazine, showcased her tremendous skill, talent and lovely smile. Our feature story reminds of the memories the Christmas Spectacular has made on people since the show’s beginnings in the 1930s. It now holds true for me and for one very special little girl. Thank you Summer, and special thanks to the Rockettes for bringing their show to the Triangle for the first time!
—Carrie Frye, Editor
October 30, 2011 – Angels among us…
Caregivers really are the unsung heroes among us. They offer a hand of caring instinctively and selflessly. Nothing reiterated my high regard for these wonderful people of our community like my time spent with the three finalists of Friday night’s 2nd Annual Moore County Caregiver Awards.
We received over 60 nominations for 39 different caregivers. A line on the nomination form asked the nominator to describe the caregiver being nominated in a single word. Caring. Irreplaceable. Compassionate. Awesome. The list goes on.
A selection committee chose two finalists and the 2011 Caregiver of the Year. It was my pleasure as one of the sponsors of the event to spend some quality time with these three ladies and get to know them and hear their stories, each different and wonderful.
These three special women, Kimberly Hicks of Vass, Bonnie Brown of Carthage and Brenda “Sunshine” Brown of Pinehurst were overwhelmed, appreciative and felt unworthy of any honors. Their humble spirits always have them putting the needs of others first. What a wonderful world it would be if their spirit of generosity and caring resonated in all of us. They certainly inspired me.
At the ceremony, guest speaker and nationally-known storyteller Mitch Capel said that he tries to do three things every day that help someone else and do them from the heart. These caregivers certainly made me take Capel’s words to heart and inspire me to do more.
The stories of Sunshine, Bonnie and Kim are featured in our November issue. I only hope I was able to do them justice. And for all of the caregivers among us, for all that you do, Thank you…
—Carrie Frye, Editor
October 23, 2011 – Bibles in hand
Paula Deen came to Raleigh for her scheduled appearance at Quail Ridge Books last weekend. We made the arrangements and Jessica, editorial assistant for the magazine, even made multiple trips to pre-purchase 10 copies of “Paula Deen’s Cooking Bible” for all of us to secure our signed copies. Since Paula was only allowed to sign 600, we didn’t want to miss out.
Unfortunately, I had already scheduled a trip to the NASCAR race in Charlotte for the weekend, so I wanted to be in two places at one time. Not wanting to disappoint my Dad and our planned excursion, I had to ask a couple of my co-workers to go in my absence.
Of course, there were happy volunteers. Rhonda seen below with Paula) and Kara work for Moore Registry, a sister company to OutreachNC. They are both big Paula fans, too! I owe them special thanks for trekking to Raleigh, carrying a heavy box of 10 cooking bibles and waiting in line to have Paula sign them and the cover of the magazine for us.
They liked Paula before, but now they love her. They had the opportunity to visit with her, give her a magazine and have photos taken. Thank you Paula for your graciousness!
Thanks to Kara and Rhonda for being the face of the magazine! These photos are priceless…
—Carrie Frye, Editor
October 16, 2011 – Race on Jeff!
As a NASCAR fan, I am thrilled that NASCAR Truck Series racing is coming back to Rockingham aka “The Rock” in April 2012. I just returned from a trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway for a beautiful fall weekend of racing.
My favorite NASCAR driver is 4-time champ Jeff Gordon. I am a big fan. Jeff’s major sponsor this year is AARP and AARP Foundation for the Drive to End Hunger. I attended a fan forum at the Second Harvest Food Bank in downtown Charlotte while I was in town. AARP and Jeff presented a check for $10,000. It is money that the nonprofit can use well to aid local groups that feed the hungry. Jeff greeted several seniors, who have been recipients of food donations. It was moving to watch, especially to see the director of the food bank shed tears in sheer gratitude for the donation.
As much as I love to watch the cars trade paint on the track and see Jeff in victory lane (which has happened three times this year), it is amazing to see the impact made when people join together to support a cause, whatever it may be.
North Carolina ranks 7th among states for older adult risk of hunger. Since putting this program on track, the Drive to End Hunger has raised funds for over 350,000 meals. May that number keep rising!
And for anyone interested, you can visit the web site at http://drivetoendhunger.org/
—Carrie Frye, Editor
October 7, 2011 – Now we’re cookin’
We finished distributing all 15,000 copies of the October issue of the magazine this week. Paula Deen being on the cover probably has something to do with them flying off the racks. We were very blessed to have Ms. Deen’s publicist reply directly to our request to share some of her time with us in preparation for a visit to Raleigh and cookbook signing next week.
I love the idea that all we can do is ask, and all they can do is say no. Fortunately, Melanie Coughlin, our fearless freelance writer, is persistent for something she wants, as she is a fan herself of butter and Paula Deen. So we had the honor of having October with an extra special person on our cover. Thank you Paula!
Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible hits bookstore shelves this week. And Paula will grace Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, Friday, Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. A crowd is expected, so my suggestion is to buy the book early and follow all the rules on the bookstore’s web site, http://www.quailridgebooks.com/event/paula-deen-southern-cooking-queen-bible. OutreachNC owes Quail Ridge a big thank you for helping us facilitate our interview.
I am also happy to say that Whole Foods, both in Raleigh in Cary, are now locations where readers can pick up a copy of our latest issue. That makes it easy to pick up ingredients for one of the recipes in the magazine this month, too.
As the magazine continues to grow and expand, we thank you for taking the time to turn the pages each month. It is our honor to bring you stories and information and one that I never take for granted.
—Carrie Frye, Editor
September 22, 2011 – Kickin’ it up with The Rockettes
Last week, I had some guests drop by the office who caused quite a stir. Two lovely ladies, Alison Paterson and Summer Renner, came by in their full Rockette regalia. I knew I had the appointment but had forgotten to share that information with my co-workers, well except Shawn, my ad man, who was very sad to be on vacation that day and miss their visit altogether.
I spent more than an hour with Alison and Summer learning about them and their upcoming Christmas Spectacular at the Durham Performing Arts Center in November. Their story will be featured in our November issue of OutreachNC.
The Rockettes are set for 37 shows in 18 days. Summer and Alison are dedicated and living out their dancing dreams reaching the highest echelon of their craft. Their hard work has led them to this point, and they made quite an impression on me. I cannot wait to see the show.
As for Shawn, the ladies were kind enough to sign a photo for him. They gave me a Rockette Christmas ornament, which I cannot wait to hang on the tree, but that would be rushing the season. It is not every day that one meets a Rockette, and I was lucky enough to meet two. Thanks Alison and Summer! Break a leg!
—Carrie Frye, Editor
September 17, 2011 – Walk with purpose…
A cold rain fell this Saturday morning in Pinehurst, but walkers were not to be deterred. The Alzheimer’s Association hosted their Moore County Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Sandhills Community College. Families, friends, co-workers and colleagues representing the majority of those who work in the senior industry came out in full force despite the weather, all in the name of a great cause.
Our group, Team AOS, I am proud to say, was the third largest fundraiser, only topped by Penick Village and St. Joseph of the Pines, both loyal advertisers of OutreachNC. This year, we raised funds by selling Ashe County Cheese, the oldest cheese maker in our great state featured in the magazine in June.
This year’s goal for the Alzheimer’s Association in Moore County was $40,000, and the association had already raised over $30,000 when the walk ended. With more donations to collect, they will undoubtedly reach and hopefully exceed that goal.
I lost my uncle to Alzheimer’s a few years ago. My friend and poet Malaika King Albrecht also lost her mother earlier this year after a long battle. It is a heartbreaking disease to watch; especially for those family and friends seeing the disease progress slowly and steal the life of someone they love.
One speaker today said that she looked forward to a day when walks were no longer held and a cure is found. I look forward to that day, too. Until then, we will walk, rain or shine.
—Carrie Frye, Editor
September 8, 2011 – Faces behind the magazine…
Since we have been printing the magazine for over a year, it occurred to me that the team, that makes OutreachNC what it is, works behind the scenes. The magazine is a labor of love put together each month, but not without the help and support of a dedicated crew. My photo and words kick off each issue to talk about what’s inside, but it takes a village to make sure the pages of the magazine come together each month.
Jessica Bricker is our Editorial Assistant. She splits her time between our Southern Pines and Cary offices and coordinates with columnists, story generation, an ace proofreader and my right hand.
Shawn Buring, Director of Sales, is our main man in the field armed with media kits and a smile as he sells advertising, the driving force behind the magazine.
Susan McKenzie, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, joined our team in February and is diligently promoting OutreachNC. She is my left hand, doing whatever needs to be done usually before I can even think of it.
Individually, they are each Amazing! As a team, they simply Rock!
We also utilize freelance writers Melanie Coughlin and Ann Robson as well as photographer Mollie Tobias.
This dynamic group make putting a magazine together easy. They are the faces behind the pages of the magazine embarking on road trips and sometimes getting lost, battling the weather to get a great photo, meeting people, making calls and making it all come together. I am blessed to be surrounded by such talented and creative people.
We all love what we do! We are always working ahead two months or more in advance to find great stories and information to bring to our readers. And we hope you’ll keep reading!
—Carrie Frye, Editor
September 1, 2011 – Nominate a Caregiver!
Caregivers are all around us. They are the angels among us. Last year, Aging Outreach Services, our publisher, launched the Moore County Caregiver Awards in an attempt to recognize the selfless efforts of this dedicated group of people within the community. As a sponsor, OutreachNC featured the two finalists and the 2010 Caregiver of the Year in our November issue. I had the opportunity to sit down with three very special ladies, Shirley Hinton of Carthage, Costella Brower of Eagle Springs and Learen Blue Pinebluff and hear their personal stories. None felt that they were deserving of the recognition, because they were simply doing what they love to do – help others. They are amazing women. Their love and warmth is almost tangible.
OutreachNC is happy to once again be a sponsor of this year’s event. Nominations are being accepted now through Friday, Sept. 9. It occurred to me that some consider caregivers as those that care for a sick person. However, caregivers surround us every day. Caregivers are indeed those caring for the sick, but they are also nurses, medical technicians, physicians, nursing assistants, audiologists, care managers, care companions or anyone who goes above and beyond to make sure the needs of another is put above their own. They are also the volunteers like Shirley Hinton, who see someone in need and always lend a hand.
Women, men, paid or volunteer, I am sure you know a caregiver whose kindness has made a difference in your life or that of someone you love. Please join us and our fellow sponsors in acknowledging these deserving caregivers. There is still time. Nominate a caregiver for the 2nd Annual Moore County Caregiver Awards,(Click the link) and help us show caregivers the appreciation they deserve.
To nominate a caregiver online, click the link above or call (910) 692-2434 for more information.
—Carrie Frye, Editor
August 25, 2011 – Congrats Celia!
I read the news today via Facebook that North Carolina author Celia Rivenbark had made the New York Times bestseller list. Celia was our cover story this month, and this accomplishment was one of her goals that we chatted about when we had the honor of meeting her at her Wilmington home in July.
Congrats Celia from your fan club at OutreachNC!
If you have not had the pleasure of reading any of Celia’s work, I highly recommend it, if you like to laugh. Her humor is laugh out loud funny. Her latest book, “You Don’t Sweat Much For A Girl” debuted this month.
Last week, Melanie Coughlin, a freelance writer for the magazine and friend, accompanied me to Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh for Celia’s book signing.
Celia greeted a packed house. She read hilarious excerpts from the new book, including one on yoga that is included in our August issue. Melanie and I are fans, so we enjoyed every story, her quick wit and crowd interaction.
We waited in a very well organized signing line. And while in line, we met and had a great conversation with two other women in line talking about the latest books and movies. When we reached the table, Celia greeted us warmly, joked with us and signed everything we had brought along, copies of the magazine, which now hangs proudly in our office. Of course, the Snickers martinis afterward were just icing on the cake of a great girls’ night out.
Celia is a Southern gem, and what a priceless gift she gives to her readers. Laughter can never be overrated. The New York Times is lucky to have such a Southern Belle!
P.S. If you would like to meet Celia Rivenbark, her next book signing and reading in our area will be at McIntyre’s Books at Fearrington Village in Pittsboro, Saturday, Sept. 24 at 11 a.m.
—Carrie Frye, Editor
August 18, 2011 – Goodnight News Hound…
This week I lost my furry best friend, Brinkley. The story entitled “Puppy love for all ages” in this month’s issue of the magazine means even more to me now, as I too have an enduring love for my pets.
Brinkley was 10, a senior in dog years with his share of arthritis and “old dog warts” as the vet always called them. Somehow knowing that he lived a good life cannot easily mend a broken heart, but I am so thankful to have had him in my life.
The same week that I took a job in Southern Pines in May 2003 to launch Sandhills Business Times, a monthly business journal, this small hunting beagle wandered up to my house. His sad brown eyes instantly captured my heart. He was actually named for the dog in the movie, “You’ve Got Mail,” but since I was in the newspaper business, most thought it was a tribute to newsman David Brinkley. It was actually just the only name he would answer to. No matter really, he was my buddy, my ‘news hound,’ making the trek to work with me occasionally for those long production days of laying out a newspaper.
In 2008, my next job took Brinkley and I to Oriental, N.C, a tiny town on the coast where the sailboats outnumber the people. The Pamlico News gained a graphic designer but also a greeter for walk-in customers to the weekly paper. As a perk of the job, he accompanied all of my co-workers to the kitchen for lunch breaks, too, not to mention all the petting and belly rubs.
When I took a leap of faith in 2009 and decided to launch a new weekly newspaper that covered Pamlico County, Brinkley was an instant mascot and the official News Hound of The County Compass at my office in Bayboro.
And when it was time to begin work on OutreachNC last year, Brinkley was still by my side and ready to return to the Sandhills. Feeling like he had served his time in the workforce, I left him home to enjoy his retirement years with plenty of lazy days and long naps on the couch.
Brinkley, I miss you. I miss your happy prancing for treats, wet kisses and even your snoring. I always swore it could peel paint off walls, but what I would give to hear it now and have it lull me to sleep.
Every news hound has to sign off…Goodnight buddy, I will love you forever.
—Carrie Frye, Editor
August 11, 2011 – No rain on my Mayberry parade…
It is not everyday that you get to hang out with Barney Fife or walk the streets of Mayberry. Actor David Browning travels the country making people laugh, as he becomes the Mayberry deputy, live and in color, writing citations and just being “Barney.”
David has a specialty painted golf cart -complete with siren- that he uses to make grand entrances. It is a staple of the upcoming Mayberry Days parade in Mt. Airy in September.
In Mt. Airy, Main Street is lined with visitors with big smiles as they enjoy stepping back in time to those simpler days with the characters they know so well: Andy, Opie, Aunt Bea, Floyd, Otis, Goober, Emmett and well, of course, Deputy Barney Fife.
If you are a fan of The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry, you won’t want to miss our September issue of OutreachNC.
Of course, the day of our visit, rain poured down. It was hard to complain, since we are in need of rain. And it is just hard to complain at all while in Mayberry. Folks are just too friendly. Hugs replace handshakes, and it is hard not to grin; I know I kept mine on all day. My partner-in-crime and photographer Mollie Tobias, braved the rain to take some great shots as well as having me pose for some in the downpour. A fellow tourist even offered to take Mollie’s and my picture together in-between rainstorms. People are nicer in North Carolina, although I am probably biased, but they sure are nice in Mayberry, well, Mt. Airy. We could not let some precipitation rain on our day in Mayberry.
—Carrie Frye, Editor
August 4, 2011 – Stay cool and keep reading…
It is hot out there. The OutreachNC team just finished up distributing the August issue. With nine counties and over 600 places to drop off magazines, it is a feat for a small crew. We divide and conquer.
There is not a month that passes —and they pass quickly doing a monthly publication— which I do not hear a story or a kind word about the magazine while we are out and about. I love to drop them off in waiting rooms and turn around to see copies open and people already reading.
I have had several readers mention loving the recipes, so if you do, the August issue offers a special treat. Aside from the Cooking Simple recipe, you will find three amazing recipes from the bed and breakfasts we visited with in Southern Pines, Asheville and Pittsboro.
I made a successful attempt at the Orange-Stuffed French Toast shared by Emily McIntosh of A Bed of Roses in Asheville. Although it was not as beautifully presented as hers, it was easy to make and simply delicious.
We hope you are staying cool and finding a nice shady spot to sit and read the latest issue.
—Carrie Frye, Editor
July 29, 2011 – Star-struck…
Last night, a dream came true. It was a typical Thursday, except for the fact that it was a month in the making.
The July issue’s feature story was Amy Grant, someone who for most needs no introduction and for me, is someone I deeply admire. I am a fan. Her music fills my iPod and my soul.
When I realized the interview would come to fruition, I was nervous. After all, it is not every day that one gets to talk with Amy Grant. Our interview was scheduled for a specific date and time. I was told I would receive around 15 minutes. I would make it work, and I pondered the right questions that could be answered in the given timeframe to make for a good story. I made a list. I talked it over with my team. It would all be fine.
Then the morning of my scheduled interview, my cell phone rang as I sat at my desk. I recognized the 615 area code and made a quick assumption that perhaps it was “Amy’s people” calling me. Except a very familiar voice on the other end asked if I was Carrie, and said, “Hey, this is Amy Grant.”
Yes… I almost dropped the phone. I quickly composed myself and listened. She had a slight schedule conflict, and one of those mornings we all have when life happens. So, we planned our conversation for later that afternoon. Her kind voice calmed me. When we did talk, she generously gave me an hour of her time and shared some amazing stories and a small glimpse into her life, music, of course, but real life…what a gift!
This is a gift I receive from all the people I am blessed to interview. It is an honor to be able to tell people’s stories. It is not something I ever want to take for granted with my only desire being that I can make the people come to life within words and pages of the magazine.
I did share the story with Amy before we went to press for her approval, which she freely gave. Magazines were printed and distributed, and I also purchased tickets to the July 28 concert in Cary for a group of us, which would complete a wonderful circle of events I had never anticipated.
Amy made it possible for Mollie Tobias, OutreachNC’s freelance photographer, and myself, to have media passes for the concert, which included a meet and greet as well as listening to sound check prior to the concert. Amazing! It is a fan’s dream come true.
Afterwards, Mollie and I gathered for the meet and greet session. This is when I learned that talking on the phone, e-mails and texts have nothing on face-to-face contact.
I was able to meet Amy, shake her hand, have her sign a magazine and have a photo taken. I am positive that I said nothing articulate at all. I was star-struck. I was just a fan soaking it all in. I may never stop smiling.
Thank you, Amy!
—Carrie Frye, Editor