Affiliated Networks


Events

Forum

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.

Badge

Loading…

Latest Activity

Nancy Werking Poling posted an event

Nancy Werking Poling at Black Mountain Library

June 15, 2019 from 3pm to 4pm
Can women rescue the planet from ecological disaster?Nancy Werking Poling will launch her new novel, WHILE EARTH STILL SPEAKS, set in WNC. She'll tell the stories behind the story: How did Mary (more crone than virgin) get into the narrative? And Mary Surratt, a co-conspirator of John Wilkes Booth?See More
Jun 10
Caroline McIntyre posted events
Apr 29
Rob Neufeld updated their profile
Apr 13
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Flat Rock history via a road

Travelling back in time on a Flat Rock roadby Rob Neufeld             If you walk the one mile length of North Highland Lake Road in Flat Rock, you step nearly 200 years into the past.            At the east end, the 21st century reigns.  Fronting six-lane Spartanburg Highway, a super-Ingles sits above a bog; and a CVS store faces an Octopus Garden smoke shop, a chiropractor, a cell phone provider, and a six-lane avenue to I-26 a mile away .            Neither Ingles nor CVS carries the big…See More
Apr 8
George Ellison left a comment for Renea Winchester
"luv ya Renea ... Kephart bio finally done after 40 years ... free at last ... free at last... great god almighty ... free a last!"
Apr 5
Connie Regan-Blake posted an event
Thumbnail

Connie Regan-Blake Storytelling at Hendersonville Public Library at Henderson County Public Library - Main Branch

June 13, 2019 from 6pm to 7pm
Join Connie Regan-Blake for a family oriented evening of stories at the Hendersonville Library.See More
Apr 1
Connie Regan-Blake updated an event
Thumbnail

Connie Regan-Blake’s 14th Annual Summer Storytelling Retreat & Adventure at StoryWindow Productions

July 14, 2019 at 10am to July 20, 2019 at 4pm
Come to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville for 7 days of story-listening & story-telling along with coaching, community & supportive exploration. This 14th annual workshop welcomes all levels of expertise, from beginner to experienced teller. Participants discover ways of being in the world that nurture your creative flow while developing skills to: Find, create, learn, and polish storiesEffectively integrate voice with image,…See More
Apr 1
Connie Regan-Blake updated an event
Thumbnail

Connie Regan-Blake presents A Slice of Life: An Evening of Stories at Black Mountain Center for the Arts

April 6, 2019 from 7:30pm to 9pm
Please join nationally celebrated storyteller, Connie Regan-Blake, as she hosts her workshop participants in an enchanting evening of storytelling in “A Slice of Life: An Evening of Stories.” Here are the tellers for our April 6th “Slice of Life” performance.  Christine Phillips Westfeldt, Kyra Freeman, Steve Tate, Alberta Hipps and more! The event is hosted by the …See More
Apr 1
Connie Regan-Blake updated an event
Thumbnail

Connie Regan-Blake's Taking Your Story to the Stage Workshop at StoryWindow Productions

April 5, 2019 to April 7, 2019
The focus of this “Taking Your Story to the Stage” 3-day workshop is on storytelling performance. Each participant is asked to come with a story that is almost “stage-ready.” Set in Connie’s home tucked in the beautiful mountains surrounding Asheville, NC, this workshop provides a supportive,…See More
Apr 1
Rap Monster posted a blog post

Stealth Hazy - 'Gun Clap'

Stealth Hazy - Gun ClapI got 80 rounds with a beam on it riding dirty I'm smoking chronic top off hear that system pound 808 thats subsonicI double down quadruple upstraight droppin with no cutwilt chamberlain on the reboundand you a fan just starstruckI…See More
Mar 26
Connie Regan-Blake posted an event

Connie Regan-Blake’s 14th Annual Summer Storytelling Retreat & Adventure at StoryWindow Productions

July 14, 2019 at 10am to July 20, 2019 at 4pm
Come to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville for 7 days of story-listening & story-telling along with coaching, community & supportive exploration. This 14th annual workshop welcomes all levels of expertise, from beginner to experienced teller. Participants discover ways of being in the world that nurture your creative flow while developing skills to: Find, create, learn, and polish storiesEffectively integrate voice with image,…See More
Mar 2
Sue Diehl shared their event on Facebook
Feb 8
Sue Diehl posted an event
Thumbnail

Montreat College Friends of the Library Celebrate National Library Week at Graham Chapel, Gaither Hall, Montreat College, Montreat, NC

April 9, 2019 from 3pm to 5pm
Patti Callahan, author of the recent novel Becoming Mrs. Lewis, and Don W. King author of Out of My Bone: the Letters of Joy Davidman, A Naked Tree: Love Sonnets to C. S. Lewis, and Yet One More Spring: a Critical Study of Joy Davidman, will co-present on their works about Joy and her husband C.S. Lewis.  The event is free and open to the public on April 9, 2019 in Graham Chapel, Gaither Hall, Montreat College.Reception and Book signing to followSee More
Feb 8
William Roy Pipes posted a discussion

TWO NEW APPALACHIAN NOVELS

I have, just released two Appalachian Novels.OUT OF THE SHADOWS, begins deep in the Appalachian Mountains of in WNC. It is partly a true story about a young man who ran away from home at the age of fifteen. He meets another runaway, and they fall in love.A journey where he faced adversaries, but also success as he walked, hitchhiked, and made his way across the country.GONE LIKE A CANDLE IN THE WIND, is a story of three young people growing up in a farming community in the Appalachian…See More
Jan 28
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

The Main Show

The Main Show: a story-poem stage presentation(part of  Living Poem)See video of Act 1, Scene 1: The SettingPrologue Narrator:   Don’t listen, children, and do not hear.(A monster is coming and there’s no escapeWithin this story, and no good way to tell it, Except to gaze at the horror as at a flower,A disaster streaming off extremes it breedsEverywhere and in our…See More
Jan 26
Don Talley posted a discussion

Hollywood Pictures Inc in Fairview

In the 1920's it seemed the whole country was caught up in excitement about films and Hollywood.    Asheville and Western North Carolina were well aware of the hoopla of Hollywood.   In fact, Hollywood (or at least filmmaking) was already beginning to come to Western NC.I recently stumble across an article from the Jun 6 1926 issue of The Asheville Citizen Times which mentions that Hollywood Pictures Inc, was planning to film just south of Asheville, near Fairview.  But....was this really…See More
Jan 23
Bill Branyon
  • 64, Male
  • Asheville, NC
  • United States
Share on Facebook E-Mail this to a friend

Bill Branyon's Friends

  • Jerry Stubblefield
  • Byron Ballard

Bill Branyon's Discussions

Reynold's Price

Started Jan 22, 2011

Gifts Received

Gift

Bill Branyon has not received any gifts yet

Give a Gift

 

Bill Branyon's Page

Latest Activity

Bill Branyon posted an event

Bill Branyon reads from nonfiction "Liberating Liberals at Just off Sylva NC Main Street at City Lights Bookstore

April 7, 2012 from 7pm to 8:30pm
Catapulting to the the Outer Limits of freethinking in order to create happier and more politically effective liberals.See More
Apr 3, 2012
Bill Branyon posted an event

THE Answer to God vs No God, Capitalism vs Socialism, Meryl Streep vs Paris Hilton at Black Mountain Unitarian Universalist Church, 500 Montreat Road (Blck Mtn).

February 5, 2012 from 12:30pm to 1:45pm
Bill Branyon discusses his book "Liberating Liberals: a synthesis of Nietzsche and Jesus, Vonnegut and Marx (Groucho, not Karl)." It should catapult you to the out limits of freethinking.See More
Jan 24, 2012
Bill Branyon shared their event on Facebook
Dec 29, 2011
Bill Branyon shared their event on Facebook
Dec 29, 2011
Bill Branyon posted an event

Bill Branyon at UNCA Reuter's Center (Up the hill from the new Sherrill Ctr. Gym)

December 29, 2011 from 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Book Talk and Discussion of Bill Branyon's nonfiction:"Liberating Liberals" with the Skeptical Inquiry Society. Be catapulted to the outer limits of freethinking while engaging in a discussion with a guest panel consisting of Nietzsche, Jesus, Vonnegut, Marx (Groucho, not Karl), Gandhi and Machiavelli. See More
Dec 29, 2011
Bill Branyon posted an event

Bill Branyon at UU church of Hendersonville. Get on Main street of Hendersonville, turn right just past Wachovia bank onto Kanuga Road, then drive about 2 miles and see the UU on your right.

October 23, 2011 from 11am to 1pm
Bill Branyon will give a talk about his book Liberating Liberals to the Unitarian Church of Hendersonville, Sunday, October 23rd, 11pm, in their main sanctuary. The topic will be: How to stretch your freethinking boundaries to their outer limits, and how to domesticate that new knowledge for greater happiness and more effective politics. They’ll be a discussion format with reception and book signing afterwards.See More
Oct 3, 2011
Bill Branyon posted a status
"A reading and discussion for my book "Liberating Liberals" at Watauga County Public Library in Boone, July 27th, Wednesday, 6:30 pm."
Jul 17, 2011
Bill Branyon posted an event

Bill Branyon at Blue Ridge Books

June 18, 2011 from 3pm to 5pm
  I'm giving a reading from and leading a discussion on Liberating Liberals: a political synthesis of Nietzsche and Jesus, Vonnegut and Marx(Groucho, not Karl), Gandhi and Machiavelli in Waynesville June 18th, Saturday, 3pm at Blue Ridge Books on Main Street.  There should be good attendence because I've promoted it thoroughly there, as well as hope to have two reviews in the local papers, and a bookstore owner with a divinity degree who promised to let the 100's of retired Methodist minsters…See More
Jun 6, 2011
Bill Branyon posted a blog post

Serena

Serena is a great book! Funny and inciteful. Or am I thinking of the wrong book? Wrong writer? Or is "Serena" about the logging lady in the 1920s?
May 18, 2011
Bill Branyon posted an event
Thumbnail

Bill Branyon talks about new book "Liberating Liberals" on Thursday, April 21st at 7pm at Jubilee! sanctuary on Wall Street in Asheville at Jubilee! sanctuary

April 21, 2011 from 7pm to 8:30pm
Be prepared to experience an intensive, Yoga-like stretching of your freethinking muscles and and extensive Acupuncture-like stimulation of your funny bone. 
Apr 14, 2011
Bill Branyon posted a discussion

Reynold's Price

Thanks for the info. Blue Calhoun was an important book for me showing the relative health of my family compared to Mr. Price's protrait of sexual abuse passed down through the generations.See More
Jan 22, 2011
Bill Branyon left a comment for Jerry Stubblefield
"Hi, Yeah, I'd like to get together. I do Barnes and Ignoble about once every two weeks. Feel I had a breakthrough on my nonfiction yesterday, until I let some critic look. Now I'm small again. I'll call you soon. The second half of…"
Nov 14, 2009
Jerry Stubblefield left a comment for Bill Branyon
"I'm at Barnes & Noble every Wednesday 2-4 for that writer's group. Do you hang out there? We could get coffee right there in the store. Also, I'm not doing my day job any more, although I'm scrambling to get a novel done by…"
Nov 13, 2009
Bill Branyon updated their profile
Nov 3, 2009
Bill Branyon replied to Rob Neufeld's discussion The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
"Hi I'd read your review in the Citizen, and now see it was more interesting than I'd already concluded, after listening to Kingsolver at AHS. Wow. All she said was amazing. I managed to get her my latest novel. Though she seemed zonked…"
Nov 3, 2009
Jerry Stubblefield left a comment for Bill Branyon
"I work when you don't, and you work when I don't. Forget coffee, but I'm home nights after about five. Maybe you could drop by for a beer or something after dinner. Cindy and I are too tired to do dinner guests on weeknights, but once…"
Apr 22, 2009

Profile Information

Reading Preference:
Vonnegut, Bellow, Latest being Kay Gibbons' "Ellen Foster
and a bio of Machiavellie.
Am writing a political (short) treatise synthesizing Jesus and
Nietzsche, Machiavelli and Gandhi, Vonnegut and Marx (Groucho, not Karl). Have written science fiction philosophy.

King Cecil's Serf City (from Xpress commentary)

King Cecil's Serf City
Are Developers the Absolute Monarchs of Asheville?
By Bill Branyon
Recently Asheville City Council paid $15,000 to survey what our citizens want for the future of the city. According to an Asheville Citizen article, two of the three top survey priorities are: "get a handle on development” and “don't move here." You can Google the survey’s verbatim anti-development tirades from over a hundred citizens. They’re laced with shrieks such as: “rape of the mountains,” “uncontrolled, greed-fueled development by amoral outsiders,” and “population growth!!! Yikes!!”
But, according to Mountain Xpress, Mayor Bellamy said the survey was skewed because of “certain high-profile events … notably the Parkside/Pack Square drama.” And that was that. The costly survey was ignored, no Counselor significantly protested, and the apparent wishes of the people were completely dismissed.
It’s true that the Parkside controversy was a particularly odiferous example of manic development. But when hasn’t there been a huge development controversy? It's easy enough to remember the elephantine Ellington, Tony Fraga’s twin-towers, the gated earth sore on Reynold’s Mountain, I-26’s catastrophic Connector, Staple’s Great Wall of Merrimon, - the list goes on and on. The survey probably would have had similar results if taken anytime during the last five or ten years. When it comes to development, could it be that Council is not the least bit interested in what the majority of Ashevillians want? Or does the depressing recession make such concerns irrelevant?
From spec houses to spec Mac-Cities
The answer may be found on a field trip to see the astounding new growth in South Asheville's Biltmore Park, including a new YMCA, Cineplex, hospital annex and even a college. It's a whole new city of well over a million square feet. That’s roughly equivalent to fifteen Super Walmarts. And that’s on top of the 1,350 housing units and many other large structures already there. Jack Cecil is the CEO of the Parks’ flagship corporation, Biltmore Farms. In an interview he contended that “way more” than half the people moving to Biltmore Park are from Buncombe County. Its denizens can serenely walk to get most of their needs and thus reduce our county’s car-caused air pollution. The actual statistics about the origin of the Park’s inhabitants are unavailable.
But that’s just the start. Motor south to the 600,000 square foot, Cecil-built ghost town, the Biltmore Square Mall. Take a right and soon discover Biltmore Farms’ magnificent Biltmore Lake development. Or journey just east to their "Bramble." The "Lake" is a pastoral mixture of 800 high-priced, often eerily empty homes, hiking trails, and a big, beautiful lake that’s aggressively off limits to its blue-collar Enka neighbors. The gated Bramble has finished over 120 of its planned 500 houses, as well as three large parks and miles of hiking trails through pristine forests.
Mr. Cecil is building spectacular spec cities! If only 30% of his housing units are filled by out-of-town residents, that’s about a thousand new Asheville families spewing exhaust, crowding, and frenzy!
An Audience with a King
While talking with the handsome Mr. Cecil, I craftily compared Biltmore Park to Paris. “Oh yes,” he replied with easy charm, “and look at the trees near the roundabout. When their branches grow together they’ll form a pleached tree canopy like those of the Champs Elysees.”
I was enchanted, and then humbled when he noted that they're already employing 300 people with a $40 million payroll, and are planning another 850,000 square feet of office space. He’s one of the few hopes of our crashing WNC economy!
Mr. Cecil plans to harness the Park’s “triply redundant,” high capacity bandwidth to enable a “place based, community building” development. It will utilize the “indigenous assets” of the area’s population and unparalleled “biotechnological potential,” in order to grow a “knowledge centered, vital urban fabric” rivaling the quality of Boston.
It sounds great. Or is his jargon just a rebranding of the same old exploitation of our matchless mountain environment and artistically intelligent people?
Mr. Cecil's family includes a line of aristocrats who for many decades controlled the measureless treasures of the gargantuan British Empire, robber-baron Commodore Vanderbilt who was arguably the richest man on the entire planet, and even Jackie Onassis Kennedy. Nevertheless, shouldn’t the democratic decisions of us common folk have more power than those of his amazing family?
Overthrowing the Dictators of Asheville
Given these and many other rampant growth realities, it’s become as plain as the 175,000-square-foot Cecil-owned Biltmore House that Asheville is an omnipotent dictatorship of large landowners and big money. Except for a few high profile exceptions, citizen concerns about growth are about as relevant as medieval serfs’ begging for consideration from their overlords.
Though the recent survey was revealing, I think that if Asheville had a comprehensive referendum on growth, the fast growth preferences would sadly win. Most people believe we can’t afford anything else because they think it’s the only way to make jobs. Thus to gain any control over the ecology of our region, we need a flourishing, but equilibrium, economy that takes basic care of everyone. Then Asheville would grow only if we, the majority of an economically secure people, wanted it to.
The current recession is a great opportunity to achieve this since a pure profit economy is pretty hard to defend these days. And the transition would be quickly assured if Asheville’s many investors joined with Mr. Cecil to use their good taste, grace, and wealth to help.
Bill Branyon is a local writer who is working on his latest book:
Liberating liberals. Contact him at billbranyon@yahoo.com

Clear-cutting Tiger's Woods
WNC Golf Through Progressive Eyes
By Bill Branyon
Okay okay, I admit it. I play golf. I like to think I’m a leftist liberal with a pure passion for social justice, but I play this game that many consider a major symbol of wasteful wealth. Also, no one knows better than we in WNC that golf courses are the tree-trouncing vanguard of ecology-killing developments, and the gluttonous maw of the many poisons needed to keep greens gleaming.
Does it help that I believe all courses should be designated general-use parks, free for everyone, at least thrice a week? No. That makes me a heinously happy hypocrite.
Still, I don't totally lose my progressive attitudes when on the course. Take the Asheville Municiple links. All Ashevillians own it, and sometimes I play with amazingly straight-hitting former caddies, or monster-driving blue-collar workers. Muny’s front nine has three holes on busy Swanannoa River Road. Its car drivers commonly scream expletives during your backswing. These blasphemes are sometimes the hidden hate of class warfare, only with the tragic twist of so-called lower class razzing lower class for playing so-called upper class games.
In return we golfers launch round white missiles hooking towards their windshields, though these are mainly accidents of our casually destructive prerogatives.
Broadmoor Golf Course which is located by the airport, has about twenty refreshing lakes, but people hauling by on I-26 should watch out for heavy hitters hooking on whole eleven. The course is classified an Audubon sanctuary since it preserves birds and uses less pesticides. But why should any course use any poisons? Just play winter rules year round - which means moving the ball from lousy lies - and get over our vain, earth-killing perfectionism. Also, the cost might decrease dramatically.
Given the rate of pre-recession development in WNC, and our elected officials refusal to seriously confront capitalism, maybe the only hope for the few remaining WNC green spaces is to turn them into non-pesticide golf courses. No?
Drive-by Whackings on Kimberly Avenue
I do approach golf a little differently than the average competitive Republican, taking seriously Mark Twain's observation that "golf is a good walk spoiled." The scenery is my number one priority and Reems Creek's mountainous marvel in Weaverville, and High Vista's vast horizons just south of Sandy Bottoms, take the local cake in the breathtaking-views department. Though they're a bit pricey at $45.
The lower rent golfer can just as beautifully play cheaper courses about thirty minutes from Asheville. These include the pastoral paradise of Waynesville Country Club for $25 after 3pm, or the always sweet Crooked Creek in Hendersonville at $32, cart included. In contrast, Grove Park’s course charges $149 for its interesting, Donald Ross layout. That’s over $8 per hole or $2 per swing for a good player. Every swing could feed a struggling family of four a generous portion of macaroni and cheese!
Meanwhile the mostly upper-class strollers and drivers along Kimberly Avenue are bombarded by hundreds of potentially deadly golf balls every year. They seem to tolerate this quietly, accepting a golfer’s right to slice, regardless of consequences. CNN.com reported over 300,000 major golf injuries in America over a "few year's time", though I couldn't find statistics on how many were innocent bystanders.
If a person openly threw several hard rocks a day at people on a busy thoroughfare, they’d be arrested quickly for assault and battery with a deadly weapon. Golfing is such a great game that it awards players a year-round license to do this with impunity, and with greater velocity. It’s like the collateral damage in Iraq. The army didn’t mean to blow up that school, but it just got in the way of their trajectory.

Golf's Greedy Gandhi
Golf’s Jesus, Tiger Woods, stares determinedly out from Asheville billboards proclaiming: "See what inspired me." He recently invited what the Asheville Citizen described as “an army of luxury SUVs” carrying a "thousand people" to see his golf development which straddles Fairview and Swannanoa. While dedicating it Woods praised the visibility of the location: “I grew up [in Southern California] where there was nothing but smog. We couldn’t see anything.”
Many of his prospects soon hope to be dumping exhaust from their luxury SUVs into an Asheville air inversion bowl that rivals Los Angeles in its ability to trap poison gases. Many will build vacation homes on land where lots alone go for up to $3,000,000. That's enough to keep a family of four above the $22,500-federal-poverty line for over 130 years.
This is the same Tiger whose father claimed he'd be the next "Gandhi," according to a 1997 Sports Illustrated story, and whose Buddhism inspires him to contribute to monks who’ve renounced all material goods. Now he's become the apostle of environmental destruction for fabulously frivolous greed. He already has hundreds of millions of dollars made mainly from Nike and other sweat-shop-supporting sponsors.
Has my golfing hero been totally corrupted by golf’s "upper" class charms? Maybe. Yet he’s still a living, racial revolution each week as he beats about seventy mostly white men, often playing on white only, or token minority, golf courses. Perhaps his Stanford education missed Voltaire’s view that we aren’t living in the best of all possible worlds. This would explain his naiveté in financing huge charities to teach golf to ghetto kids. Odds are they’d have to spend a weeks, sweat-shop pay check, to play on expensive big-city courses.
My perverse dedication to golf has led to extremely conservative venues. I’ve played the divine Country Club of Asheville and hear Biltmore Forest Country Club is fine. Both however are super exclusive, extremely expensive, and neither offers scholarships for those of us who are extremely compatible socially, but less fortunate financially.
Yet I'll keep struggling with their game, knowing that if the revolution comes it better be nonviolent or we selfish golfers may be the first guillotined. If so, hopefully my head will roll, like a one putt goal, straight into a sewer hole - shouting: “Finally, a hole in one!”
PS: If any of you BFCC threesomes need a ringer fourth, give me a call.

Bill Branyon is a local writer working on his next book: Liberating Liberals. Contact him at billbranyon@Yahoo.com





Bill Branyon's Blog

Serena

Serena is a great book! Funny and inciteful. Or am I thinking of the wrong book? Wrong writer? Or is "Serena" about the logging lady in the 1920s?

Posted on May 18, 2011 at 10:03am

Comment Wall (3 comments)

You need to be a member of The Read on WNC to add comments!

Join The Read on WNC

At 10:33am on November 13, 2009, Jerry Stubblefield said…
I'm at Barnes & Noble every Wednesday 2-4 for that writer's group. Do you hang out there? We could get coffee right there in the store. Also, I'm not doing my day job any more, although I'm scrambling to get a novel done by end of year. Still, my schedule is more flexible and I'd like to catch up with you sometime.
At 7:36pm on April 22, 2009, Jerry Stubblefield said…
I work when you don't, and you work when I don't. Forget coffee, but I'm home nights after about five. Maybe you could drop by for a beer or something after dinner. Cindy and I are too tired to do dinner guests on weeknights, but once I eat and get my second wind, I'm good. I'd love to have you come over and catch me up on what you've been doing. What does next Monday night look like? If bad, how about Wednesday night?
At 9:44pm on April 12, 2009, Jerry Stubblefield said…
Good essay. Eye-opening. Not surprising. Haven't seen you in the nabe for a while. Still jogging? We should connect over coffee sometime.
 
 
 

© 2019   Created by Rob Neufeld.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

UA-124288772-1