Affiliated Networks



Latest Activity

Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Spooks Branch, a human history story

Spooks Branch was a singular place in settlers’ loreby Rob NeufeldImportant editorial note:This is a significant historical story that is also, in parts, personal and controversial.  It is about a few families who settled a particular cove and played out their heroic and complex legacies in ways that interacted with place and time.  You don't read this kind of story much because people don't like to expose themselves or stir up trouble, even a little.  This caution makes history classes boring…See More
Dawn Trowell Jones updated their profile
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Nov 21
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

The Rise of Asheville by Marilyn Ball

History of the "Asheville 1000" and the 1970s renaissance                       Let’s not miss the history of Asheville’s renaissance, Marilyn Ball’s new book, “The Rise of Asheville,” advocates.            She’d come here in 1977, making her one of the advance guard of “artists, entrepreneurs, and off-the-grid…See More
Nov 20
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Century-ago woman's apple cake recipe

Mmm, them apples in Beaverdam coveIn 1972, Helen Nelon wrote about the traditions of old-time Spooks Branch, off Beaverdam Road.  Here's what she said about her use of apples in a cake.(The full story of Spooks Branch will appear soon.)There were apples for delicious cider cooled in the spring "dreem" (drain), apples for frying for cold winter days, and for special days there were dried apple sauce fruit cakes.These cakes were made of very thin, sweet dough with dried apple sauce spread between…See More
Nov 18
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Nov 16
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Dignity is the key to Richard Russo's inspiration

So funny, and yet so exposing--Richard Russo's geniusSnakes on the lane            In Richard Russo's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Empire Falls, the protagonist, Miles recalls the time his father, driving, had accelerated into a box on a highway.  “What if that box had been full of rocks?” Miles asks.  Unfazed, Max quizzes his son about what he would do about the box.  Max says he'd stop and look in it,  “What if it was full of rattlesnakes? “ his father asks.            The verbal match…See More
Nov 14
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Nov 13
Rob Neufeld commented on Mark de Castrique's video
Nov 12
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Humanize the history--especially with Civil War--writes acclaimed author

Writer illuminates tangled web of Civil Warby Rob Neufeld             David Madden has written a book, “The Tangled Web of the Civil War and Reconstruction,” that deserves special attention.            First, there’s Madden’s background.  In 1992, he founded the U.S. Civil War Center in New…See More
Nov 12
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Nov 11
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Nov 10
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Coming attraction--Singleton at Malaprop's & City Lights for Calloustown

George Singleton's latest collection of stories, Calloustown...features the folk who try to survive in a place that has little to offer besides a Finger Museum and a taxidermy petting zoo,It's funny, but also tragic and angry.  The review, "Love-hate humor cries in Calloustown," appears in the Asheville Citizen-Times, Sunday, 11/15/2015.  Singleton's at Malaprop’s Bookstore, 7 p.m., Wed., Nov. 18; and at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 21.Here's an excerpt from the…See More
Nov 10
Lockie Hunter posted an event

Juniper Bends Quarterly Reading at DownTown Books & News

November 13, 2015 from 7pm to 8pm
Our very special Autumnal edition starts at 7PM and is sure to be a lively and vibrant set, with featured writers Randi Janelle, Tina FireWolf, Logan Parker, and Annabelle Crowe. Two of our readers have new books out, and as always there is wine flowing by donation. Hosts Lockie Hunter and Caroline Wilson look forward to seeing you there----remember, your wellbeing depends upon it.See More
Nov 9
Martha Arrowood Pelc posted a photo

Love and Mercy ~ Up On Roan Mountain

My family lived and loved up on Roan Mountain and in the surrounding mountain areas, and this is their story. It's woven into a tapestry that weaves down through the years, before the days of the Civil War and up to present day. They were…
Nov 9
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

It's All Relative--50 WNC women write about family

Family life as perceived by 50 WNC authorsby Rob Neufeld             If you have biases against small press books or anthologies of local writers’ work, I recommend you lay them aside and take a look at “It’s All Relative” (Stone Ivy Press), 52 stories and poems by 50 WNC women authors writing about family.           …See More
Nov 6

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.”

Views: 234

Reply to This

© 2015   Created by Rob Neufeld.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service