Rolling with Stone
All the Mountaineer writers walked away from the Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale feeling very satisfied last Friday. We snuck by after lunch and walked out with a bag full — but that wasn’t enough. We came back after work and got another bag full. I bought 17 books for $20, which means I stayed within my budget. Even though I wasn’t one of the 100 people waiting in line for the doors to open, I think I still have some pretty good finds.
Best finds: A beautiful old copy of “Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass” and a collection of Kurt Vonnegut short stories. I also was excited to find several other novels from my favorite authors, including Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman and Toni Morrison.
And this Saturday I hope to go back to get an entire box full for only $5! Thank you to all the volunteers who make the annual event possible. See you next year!
Frog Level show
I also want to thank Clark Williams, owner of Frog Level Brewing Company, for letting my husband and me play at his establishment last Friday — and thanks to everyone that stuck around to listen to us. We really enjoyed it and I think everyone else did too. Clark tells me that it’s a good thing when people throw coasters at you and demand an encore. We’ve been welcomed back to play Aug. 30 so come on out and join the other crazy “Level heads.”
I’ve never been to Bele Chere, but our newest reporter Shelby Harrell grew up in Asheville and has gone every year since probably before she can remember. With her as our guide, my husband and me decided to check it out Sunday afternoon. We decided we should at least check it out since it may be the last one because the city decided to stop funding the signature event. It was OK. We just like to eat, people watch and listen to some good music. It wasn't unbearably hot and we parked fairly close but everything is so spread out and I didn't have any kind of map to show me where things were. Somehow we stumbled onto the stage where Balsam Range was setting up to close out the weekend and that is where we stayed. They put on a fun, upbeat show and it was fun seeing others dancing and enjoying the music.
The story in this week’s Guide about ukulele maker Char Mayer was an awesome, last minute coincidence. She was in town for a few days for a family wedding and someone called the office to tell us we should do a story about her business. All I knew was she made ukuleles, but I didn’t know I was in for a major treat.
Char is from Haywood County but now lives in Southern Washington State — or heaven from the way she describes her view of the Cascade Mountains and the Columbia River.
Anyway, her business venture with her husband Gordon is now a major commodity among musical giants like Dave Matthews, Eddie Vedder, Mumford and Sons, Lady Antebellum — the list goes on for miles.
She is passionate about what she does and it came across during our interview. She even played me a little ditty on her own ukulele “Snowflake.” I think she may have convinced me to become a ukulele player since it is so much easier than playing guitar. Apparently this happens often and she has dubbed it “ukulele evangelism.”
It’s just another example of the many amazing people who are homegrown in Haywood. Read more about her on page XX.