"Mr. Rock was my music teacher who actually said one sentence to me," shared Henry Winkler with a crowd at The Barn at Fearrington. "He said 'Winkler when you get out of here, you're going to be okay.' And I kept that one sentence in my heart like Leo DiCaprio holds onto the wind at the end of that boat movie."
Best known for his role of Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli on the 70s & 80s sitcom Happy Days, Winkler was in town with his co-author Lin Oliver as part of their national tour for Here's Hank: Fake Snakes. The Hank Zipzer series is a chapter book collection for children based on the misadventures of a 4th grade boy. As part of his appearance, Winkler discussed his own challenges with learning -- he was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 30 -- and urged parents and teachers in the audience to connect with children to encourage them to succeed.
"Every single one of you is so powerful and everything you say is so important," he pressed. "And it is so important that if you know a child with a learning challenge, believe me, the kid on his own, on his or her own, knows they're not doing well. They don't need to hear it again. They don't need to be punished again. They need you to buoy their self image. Because when they are ready they will fly if you keep them above water. They will meet their destiny. It's the way the world works."
Waving his hands and speaking staccato to drive a point, he pulled anecdotes from his own children, all three of whom have been diagnosed with dyslexia.
"You look at your child, I look at my children, you know, they're supposed to have a great desk, a good light, and a chair. Max who came running into the bathroom one morning and he said 'Dad, I know that they make corn oil out of corn, how to they make baby oil?' So Max stood at his desk. Put his knee on his chair. Turned on the light and listened to music. And I said, like I was told, 'You can't listen to music while you are doing your homework.' But maybe, the music was a tunnel that allowed you to go through it, concentrate, because the grades were coming home. I learned to shut up. The children know."
(photographs taken at The Barn at Fearrington in Pittsboro)
Dripping in a Scottish accent, one storyteller analyzed why ladies' underwear seemed to grow in size as a woman ages -- from lacey bits to those large enough to "parachute" down when tossed in the air. Another found comic relief stuck in a snow storm with beer and Little Debbie cakes. The loft space resounded in chuckles and cackles as four storytellers from across the triangle wove yarn after yarn about self identity and family follies at the Cinderella's Closet of Chatham County Storytelling Evening at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro. The event raised funds for the local organization which helps high school girls who might not be able to afford prom by outfitting them from hairdos to heels.
Now in its fifth year, volunteers at Cinderella's Closet make an indelible mark on these girls taking on a role akin to a fairy godmother. The team provides students with gently used gowns of their choice and accompanying accessories -- shoes, jewelry and hand handbags --- free of charge for them to keep. Students are referred by community organizations and school staff. Appointments are made and girls receive white-glove treatment as they pore through racks of dresses in a bounty of colors, sizes and styles. To ensure a garment fits just right, a seamstress is on hand to dart, pinch, and stitch together the dress that could offer more than a magical evening, rather a boost in life, much like Cinderella's the evening she attended the ball.
Cinderella's Closet event occurs on March 19-21. They are still seeking volunteers and donations.
Haywood Billy Goats opened the evening.
(photographs taken at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro, NC)
Metal rings on bulls are typically inserted into the nasal septum to control a bull. It's a practice dating back to the dawn of recorded civilization. Known for fiery tempers, these powerful animals can be unpredictable and can pose a threat to handlers -- bull handling is a leading cause of injury or death for U.S. dairy farmers. Yet these 1,200 to 2,200-pound muscular animals tend to be compliant when led by a ring or a rope looped around the ring which is pierced through sensitive nasal tissue. A ring is often installed by a veterinarian using local anesthesia when a bull is about nine to twelve months of age.
(photographs taken at Fearrington Village in Pittsboro)
Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance (Fall Festival, October 9-12) in Pittsboro, NC. The festival occurs twice a year, Fall and Spring, wooing thousands -- some trek from states as far as Vermont -- to revel in back-to-back performances in a natural playground for all ages.
(photographs taken at Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance Fall Festival, 2014)
Metal dinosaur skeletons, soaring geometric forms, rolled paper on a plaster wall, gigantic primate images, and a teepee that when one steps inside, is beamed into a universe of planets. These are but a handful of sculptures flecked across the 17-acre JimGin Farm in Chatham County, yes a farm. Horses and potbellies reside there too, but it's the plethora of local art that lures hoards of families -- including leashed four-legged members -- to the Come Out and Play sculpture shows in August and September. For the past 13 years, the art show has been a staple at the home of Debbie Meyer and Eric Brantley. It has grown from less than a dozen participating artists to more than 60 this past year. An estimated 1,800 folks flock here to take in the art, purchase one-of-a-kinds, listen to live music, feed animals and delight in the potluck served by Debbie and her friends and family. Best part, artists keep 100% of revenues on sales. It's an event that has burgeoned over the years, but clings to its down-home roots.
While this year's show has come to a close, mark your calendar for next summer!
(photographs taken at the Come Out and Play final reception held on September 20 in Pittsboro)
Tonight's full moon will appear unusually big and up to 30% more brilliant. It will be the first of three "supermoons" this summer: July 12, August 10, September 9.
This phenomenon occurs when a full moon coincides with the "perigee moon," meaning the moon orbits closer to the earth causing it to appear larger. The "supermoon" effect can be magnified if you view the moon near a horizon or through foreground objects such as trees or buildings.
The photographs of Fearrington Village's towering whirligigs by self-taught artist Vollis Simpson of Lucama, NC. Simpson's work also appeared in the 1996 Olympics, New York City storefronts (Bergdorf Goodman department store), museums, backyards and offices. He worked in his shop daily until six months before his death in May 2013. He was 94. The community is collecting funds to erect a Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in historic downtown Wilson, NC.
(photographs taken at the entrance of Fearrington Village in Pittsboro on Friday July 11, the eve of the "supermoon.")