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Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Aug 25.

East Asheville history and sites

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Feb 27.

The German experience settling WNC 1 Reply

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Julia Nunnally Duncan updated their profile
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Lyndsay Eli with GUNSLINGER GIRL (YA Novel) at Spellbound Children's Bookshop

January 20, 2018 from 6pm to 7pm
Are you a fan of The Hunger Games?  Then picture what Katniss would be like - with a gun.  That's just a taste of the "new" West action Lyndsay Eli brings to Spellbound Children's Bookshop with Gunslinger Girl.  She shares her debut novel on Saturday, January 20, at 6 p.m. The US has been fractured by a Second Civil War. Serendipity 'Pity' Jones finds a home of sorts in the corrupt, lawless city of Cessation (think Las Vegas on steroids).  Her shooting skills make her a star of the Theater…See More
Nov 20
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Cherokee and WNC music and dance events

Two Big Cultural Events in December in Hendersonville & Ashevillefrom press releaseThe Center for Cultural Preservation, WNC’s cultural history and documentary film center, presents, Cherokee Music and Dance on Thursday, December 7, 7 p.m., Blue Ridge Community College’s Thomas Auditorium.  Tickets are $5. The screening of A Great American Tapestry will be held on December 2, 2 p.m., at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Reuter Center, UNC Asheville.  Tickets for that event are…See More
Nov 15
Spellbound posted events
Nov 9
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Battery Park Hill through the ages

Battery Park through the Years by Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTIONS: 1) Present-day view of Battery Park Apartments from…See More
Nov 6
Mark de Castrique posted a blog post
Oct 13
Rob Neufeld's discussion was featured

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Dave Minneman and a sense of justiceby Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTION: Dave Minneman doing research at Pack Memorial Library.  Photo by author.            “One of the biggest things I did as a kid, in order to escape my father,” Asheville resident Dave Minneman says of his 1960s and 70s rural Indiana childhood, “was…See More
Oct 8
Julia Nunnally Duncan posted an event

Julia Nunnally Duncan at MACA Authors' Booth

October 14, 2017 from 9:30am to 1:30pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be signing her new books A Part of Me and A Place That Was Home at the Mountain Glory Festival in downtown Marion on Saturday, October 14, from 9:30-1:30. She will be located at the MACA Authors' booth on Main Street.See More
Oct 7
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Sample 8 Great Smokies Writers at Malaprop’s, Oct. 15

Writers in UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program (GSWP)read atMalaprop's Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., Asheville, 3 p.m., Sun.,Oct. 15 Elizabeth Lutyens, editor of the GSWP’s Great Smokies Review, leads the Prose Master Class and will host the reading. ·        Ellen Carr, who works in the financial industry, will read excerpts from her novel of uneasy relationships, Unmanned. ·        Sarah Carter, an artist and photographer who will publish an excerpt of her novel, Jolene, Joe-Pye,…See More
Oct 6
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Ellington in Asheville--a survey

The Douglas Ellington effect: An Appreciationby Rob NeufeldIMAGE: Douglas Ellington’s original drawing for a City Hall-County Courthouse Art Deco complex.            “Dear Douglas,” Kenneth Ellington wrote his brother, the 38-year old Pittsburgh architect, on May 6, 1925, “I know things are…See More
Oct 6
Mark de Castrique posted a blog post

How To Kill Your Reader

Danger is a crucial element in a mystery novel. A killer is on the loose and no one is safe. But sometimes the killer can be the writer, and the victim, the reader.I'm talking about when the author turns into a preacher and the story becomes a sermon. Now I am not against using a mystery novel for social commentary. Writing doesn't happen in a moral vacuum, and, after all, isn't a mystery a morality play? As fellow North Carolina author Margaret Maron said there is no topic that can't be dealt…See More
Oct 5
Mark de Castrique posted a video

Hidden Scars - A Sam Blackman Mystery

Sam Blackman and Nakayla Robertson investigate a 70-year-old death that unleashes a killer.
Oct 3
Mark de Castrique posted a discussion

Black Mountain College as Backdrop for Mystery

My new book, HIDDEN SCARS, is released Oct 3rd.  D.G. Martin notes the star of the story is Black Mountain College.  http://chapelboro.com/town-square/columns/one-on-one/one-one-lost-college-still-shinesSee More
Oct 3
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Upcoming book--Sacred Sites for Secular Times

Sacred Sites for Secular Times: 50 Commemorative Experiences in Western North Carolina by Rob Neufeld              Among the many sites dedicated to history, there are some—both overbooked and overlooked—that provide full and moving experiences.  They involve a physical component, connecting to landscape; an imaginative one, entering other times and minds; and an interactive one, maintaining relevance.             The entries in this book help create full experiences through descriptive…See More
Sep 25
Susan Weinberg posted events
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Susan Weinberg shared their event on Facebook
Sep 22

VANCE SCHOOL

What I remember the most about Vance Elementary School in West Asheville , NC is the color red. I could remember lots of other things about my first school. It was at Vance that I said my first curse word. Also, I got into my first fight, saw my first professional yo yo performance and was caught breaking into the concession stand. I learned a lot at Vance. I learned that there are good teachers and not so good teachers. I learned that the world is inhabited by mean spirited people and very kind people. I learned that you don't always win, but if you try hard you manage to win every now and then.
Vance was a three story school shaped very much like an airplane. On each floor there were two "wings". The first and second graders were on the first floor, then came the third and fourth graders and the fifth and sixth graders took up residence on the third floor. The center of the school,or the fuselage, housed the offices, art and music rooms and the lunchroom. There were big,broad steps leading to the front doors and everything, the brick in the building , the steps and the doors were all colored a deep, dark red. Even the halls, finished concrete , were painted red. So its no wonder that all of my memories of Vance, the good ones and the bad ones are shaded in red.
There are so many stories I could tell about being at Vance. I saw my first "girlfight" there. I remember breaking my arm and then playing football with my cast on and breaking it a second time. Not too smart, really. I missed the sex ed lecture because I had my tonsils out. There were the pickup softball games played almost every morning on the ball field and I remember my mother serving cokes out of a red drink box filled with ice at the Halloween festival. We had a May Pole and in an unrelated incident my friend Charlie Teague decided he didn't like our first grade teacher so he climbed out the first floor window during the first week of school and ran home not to return until the fall of the next year. Staying behind a year must have been good for him because he ended up being president of his senior class 12 years later.
The story I would most like to share, though, is the one about the fifty cent piece in the heating vent. One afternoon when I was in the sixth grade and 11 years old, I left school a little later in the afternoon than I normally would have. I have no idea why I was delayed. The only thing I am sure of is that I didn't stay late to put in extra study time. Anyway, I left later than usual and on the way down the hall I happened to look down into one of the heating vents that was in the hall floor. The vents were about 2ft x 2ft square with corrugated steel frames that served as air ways. They were flush with the hall floor and were laced with metal strips spaced about an inch apart that allowed the air to flow. The aluminum duct made a 90 degree turn about three feet below the hall floor. And lying on that air duct was a fifty cent piece that someone else had dropped through the vent, just three feet from my reach. I pulled on the metal frame to try to gain access to the air duct but they were welded and impossible to budge. The space between the metal strips on the top of the vent was too small for my arms- but I really wanted that fifty cents. I thought just a second and then dashed as fast as I could down the hall and stairs and out the doors and headed for home.
Our house was about a ten minute jog from the school. I cut through the woods and then ran up the big Olney Road hill then took a left to our little bungalow on Maple Crescent. I burst inside, there was no one home, grabbed a broom and some chewing gum and then ran back outside and back to the school. My feet were flying and my heart was pounding. I remember being so fearful that someone else would see the fifty cents and it would be gone when I returned. But luck was with me. When I reached Vance School the door was still open and when I got to the third floor, the fifty cents was still lying, as if it had been waiting just for me, at the bottom of the air duct. I chewed the bubble gum, stuck it to the end of the broom stick, and gingerly retrieved my reward as the fifty cent piece was raised so carefully until it cleared the vented grate and was in my pocket. By the way, fifty cents was a lot of money in the 1950's when this adventure was taking place on the third floor of a virtually empty school building. One of the cool things about that event is that I never told anyone about what I had done. Somehow there was a strange satisfaction drawn out of keeping my creativity and hard work and good luck to myself. Someone else will have to figure out the psychology associated with my secrecy. It might have been,simply, that I might have worried that if I told I would have to return the money to its original owner and I believed that I had earned that money for myself.
Fast forward forty years to a night near our home in Georgia when Anna Lee and I were driving back from a dinner meeting and we had stopped to get gas. I went in the station to pay and overheard a conversation about the man who was supposed to have come by to empty the trash. Evidently, he had decided not to show up for his job that particular night. There was a $10.00 bill lying on the top of the cash register waiting for him when he completed his nightly duty. You can guess the rest of the story. I went back to the car, took off my sport coat, got a pair of gloves from the trunk of the car and proceeded to empty a 55 gallon can of trash into the dumpster about 20 yards away. I replaced the can and went back inside the station and took the ten dollars for myself. It had taken all of five minutes. I got exactly the same satisfaction from taking out that trash and putting that $10.00 in my pocket as I did when I was eleven years old and retrieved the 50 cent piece from the air duct on the third floor of old Vance School-go figure.

Posted by Toby Hill

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