Rolling with Stone

By Jessi Stone Guide editor | Feb 05, 2014
Photo by: Jessi Stone North Carolina author Wiley Cash signs copies of his books at Blue Ridge Books on Jan. 31.

What a beautiful weekend we had after all that cold and snow. Saturday was a perfect day for the second annual Polar Plunge at Lake Junaluska.

With 57-degree weather, almost 100 people came out dressed in crazy costumes to jump into the lake. While spectators called them crazy, it was all for a good cause — to raise money for the Haywood Waterways Association's Kids in the Creek program.

I think I might have had more fun taking pictures at the event than those who were participating. Just capturing those faces coming out of the icy water was priceless. There area few photos in today's Guide, but many more at so be sure to take a look.

This was the second year for the fundraiser and also my second year covering the event. Actually, Saturday, Feb. 1 marks my one-year anniversary working at The Mountaineer and moving to Haywood County. I can't believe how fast it flew by and how at home I feel here in just a matter of 12 months.

I still love my job as well as all the fun things that go along with it, like taking pictures at the plunge, or meeting New York Times best-selling author Wiley Cash at Blue Ridge Books last week. Cash is making his rounds to promote his new book, "This Dark Road to Mercy," which I highly recommend. He is from Gastonia and the book is set there in his home town.

Thanks to Blue Ridge Books for hosting a luncheon with Cash on Jan. 31. It was inspiring hearing about another writer's journey and the way he came up with the ideas for his novels. He was also gracious enough to sit and sign everyone's books! I know, it's a tough job I have, but someone has to do it.

Go gallery hopping

I want to remind readers that the art galleries have lots going on right now. Cedar Hill Studios on Main Street, Waynesville, has been having local artists demonstrating their craft on Thursdays and Fridays throughout February. The artists' mediums range from watercolor, oil, pottery, jewelry, fiber and more. Be sure to check the listing in the Guide each week.

Gallery 86 on Main Street is featuring a "Local Flavors" exhibit to highlight local artists through the end of March. Even though you may be familiar with many of the artists, the exhibit will be of all new pieces never shown before.

If you haven't gotten down to The Mahogany House art gallery in Frog Level, you need to today. The gallery has some amazing pieces from regional artists as well as studio space in the back where you can actually see many local artists at work creating new artwork. So stop by these galleries and support our local artists.

Inside The Guide

In the first issue of every month, The Guide has a special pull-out section called Haywood's Next Generation. This four-page spread is focused on education, parenting, children and family-oriented activities. For our February edition, we have a few things every parent should read about why it's important to take time for yourself or you and your spouse for Valentine's Day.

But it also includes tips on taking your kids on their own special date. If you are looking for something to do as a couple or as a family, the Next Gen calendar should give you plenty of ideas. If you have story ideas for our Next Gen section, please email me at

While this week's Guide does have a few Valentine's Day events, please be sure to pick up next week's Guide for all of the special Valentine's Day events, deals, ideas and stories.


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