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Interview with Gail Godwin about Grief Cottage

Started by Rob Neufeld in AC-T Book Reviews Aug 3, 2017.

Ellington in Asheville--a survey

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Oct 6, 2017.

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Aug 25, 2017.

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In 1945 Indiana prohibited marriage between a white person and anyone with more than one-eighth "Negro blood." Yet Daniel (black) and Anna (white) gave up family, friends, and eventually even country to create a life together. Their 42-year marriage…
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Nancy Werking Poling replied to Rob Neufeld's discussion Bent Creek, the 4-part story
"Rob, Thanks for putting this into one document. I've been following the narrative in the Citizen-Times. I find it an added resource for my next writing project. In 1910 my husband's grandfather (1866-1947) showed up in Missouri and said…"
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Lee Ann Brown replied to Rob Neufeld's discussion Writer Olive Dargan rises from obscurity
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THE BANG BANG BROKERS HITS AMAZON PRIME WITH A BANG

Focusing on the aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis, The Bang Bang Brokers tells the story of a hedge fund manager (based on a composite of real life traders) who got rich off of predicting the subprime fallout. His guilt and suicidal impulses lead him to a chance meeting with a Latino Gang, headed by small time weed dealer Ramon (Erik Michael Estrada). In hopes that Ramon will kill him in exchange for the favor, Rolley (played by Donihue) robs a rival Black Gang, earning the pair a ton of…See More
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First speculators of WNC

Zachariah Candler and Waightstill Avery were first land-buyersby Rob Neufeld             “In mid-2010, while compiling the descendant chart for the Zachariah Candler family,” Charles Haller writes in “Pushing the Indians Out,” his book about first developers, “I became interested in Zachariah’s obsession with accumulating land grants issued by the State of North Carolina.”            Zachariah was one of the resident landowners who jumped on the big post-Revolutionary War land sale.            …See More
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Click to Listen: Church Hoeshttp://bit.ly/2u6MgbnLil Dee Has A Message for Church Hoes and it’s Nothing NiceKnown for pushing the envelope with his confrontational lyrical offerings, Lil Dee releases his latest single Church Hoes. The title inspires avariety of images ofwhat one may expect to hear in a…See More
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Kristin Hannah at UNCA February 16

Best-selling “Nightingale” author comes with new saga Rave“I’m thrilled to put into your hands the most honest exploration of both human frailty and resilience that I have ever read,” St. Martin’s Executive V-P and Publisher, Jennifer Enderlin says about Kristin Hannah’s novel, “The Great Alone.”  The publisher is betting the bank on this one. What aboutHannah writes evocative woman’s sagas, and her previous novel, “The Nightingale,” about two sisters surviving Nazi-occupied France, was No. 4…See More
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Interview with Gail Godwin about Grief Cottage

Gail Godwin’s latest crosses a mental boundary by Rob Neufeld Asheville author Gail Godwin, now a Woodstock, NY resident, comes back home here Wed., June 14 to present her new novel, “Grief Cottage” at Malaprop’s Bookstore, 7 p.m. “Grief Cottage” is the story of an orphaned, sensitive, troubled boy, named…See More
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Save-the-Grotto effort launched by St. Genevieve's alums

St. Genevieve-of-the-Pines seek home for Our Lady of Lourdes grotto

by Rob Neufeld

            A year-and-a-half ago, St. Genevieve-of-the-Pines alumnae worked to preserve the Ivy Building on the A-B Tech campus.  The Ivy had been the auditorium and gymnasium—and last surviving building—of the exemplary school established here by a French order of nuns in 1908. (See article and video.)

            With the help of A-B Tech president, Dr. Hank Dunn, the alumnae succeeded.

            Now, they have another memorial to save, a sacred one—the Our Lady of Lourdes grotto to
which nuns as well as students of all faiths had 

gone to celebrate feast days and to meditate in either a religious or secular way.

            Mother Margaret Potts, Academy principal and Mother Superior at St. Genevieve’s for many years, described the site in her memoir, “St. Genevieve’s Remembered.”

“On the right of the grotto was a little circle of benches and chairs with a tree right in the middle,” she wrote.  “The sisters would come there in the summer for prayer and recreation. It was private and cool. In front of the grotto was a rose garden. In fine weather the sisters could walk up and down saying vespers.”

            Kieta Osteen-Cochrane, Class of ’60, recalls going to the grotto to meditate about such subjects as the works of Charles Dickens and John Donne; and about how the individual is connected to all humanity.  It had been the nuns’ mission to educate young women to be leaders in their fields.  Their methods were self-reflection and a classical education that taught critical thinking.

            “There were days on which we didn’t speak,” Osteen-Cochrane says.  She remembers dwelling on John Donne’s poem “No man is an island”; and Shakespeare’s “To thine own self be true.”

            The shrine resonates not only as an important part of an influential Asheville school, but also as a symbol of humanities education, currently sidelined by both Gov. McCrory and President Obama in their initiatives to support job-oriented and technical education.  Oddly, an examination of the wisdom of such a focus would require humanities thinking.

            The alumnae have two months to save the grotto before it has to be demolished for new construction at A-B Tech.  Bill Wescott, Historic Preservation Consultant, has determined that the structure is stable.

            “We are looking for a home for the grotto,” Osteen-Cochrane, lead alumna in the Save-the-Ivy campaign, emphasizes.  “It could be located at a church or another appropriate site, and it could be repurposed for rest and meditation.”

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