All work, all play

By Jessi Stone Guide Editor | Apr 24, 2013
Photo by: Jessi Stone Diane Magdeburg cuts into a chocolate bark cake from The Herren House Bed & Breakfast in Waynesville.

Michelle and Phil Briggs have now owned The Herren House bed & breakfast in Waynesville for two years now, and they invited the community to celebrate the anniversary with them Friday night.

She also invited my husband and I to play during the shindig, and we were happy to oblige. We haven’t really played anywhere in almost a year and come to find out were pretty rusty. But no one seemed to notice or care. They enjoyed themselves and we were happy to get the practice.

After one of our first songs, someone in the audience asked me why I was in the newspaper business. Well that is definitely not the first time I’d heard that question. In fact, after performing Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” for a local Kiwanis Club in high school I remember someone asking me what I planned to study in college.

“Journalism” I said proudly, but all I got was a really confused look and “why?” There are two things I’ve done since I can remember; sing and write. Had I never met my musician husband, the only time I would still be singing is probably in karaoke bars because I still can’t read music and I never picked up an instrument.

By pursuing my love of journalism I can do both things I love and without the pressure many singers or musicians have to be more. So you can imagine my excitement when I found out I would be taking over The Guide when I moved to Waynesville. Finally, I feel like everything I love is wrapped up into my true calling of journalism. Not only do I get to ask lots of questions and write about politics and education, I get to be in the inner circle of local culture of music, theater, food, art and more.

My weekend “work” is rarely work for me. For example, this weekend I had plenty of fun — even though this stone was rolling solo. I’m not sure what happened to the warm weather but I was perfectly OK with mid-50s with the sun in the sky on Saturday.

I wandered on over to the first Oyster & Seafood Festival at the Maggie Valley Fairgrounds. I took photos of people shucking oysters, children playing and playing with the animals at the petting zoo and the great bands performing.

After I felt like my “work” was done, I helped myself to a dozen fried oysters and a drink, found myself a hay bale to sit on and listened to bluegrass tunes from Daren and Brooke Aldridge. They were amazing!

For such a beautiful day, I was hoping more people would have been there, but that is typical for a first-year event. Hopefully, word will spread and next year will be bigger and better. Oh, and they need more people serving/preparing food! I had to wait 15-20 minutes for my oysters! And next year I want some crab legs!

I hated to leave but chocolate was calling me at the Maggie Valley Club. The 14th annual Taste of Chocolate was about to kick off and there was no way I’d miss that. My mission was to get a front-page photo for Monday’s Mountaineer and I knew what it would be as soon as I saw 6-year-old John Thompson going to town on a piece of chocolate cake. I immediately stopped him from devouring it before I could get a photo. He was a good sport and showed me where I could find the cake he was enjoying.

People kept thanking for being there to cover the event, which raises money for the Haywood Jackson Volunteer Center. “Yeah, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it,” I said.

If you want to see me do my other hobby — stop by Mom’s Music Festival this Saturday at The Herren House. Bands will be playing from noon-6 p.m. and proceeds go to Haywood County’s Power of Pink Event, which provides free mammogram screenings for underserved women in Haywood County.

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