Stina's picks

A point in the right direction
By Stina Sieg | Jun 25, 2012
Photo by: Donated image Travis Berning is one of many mountain artists featured in Gallery 86's "Celebrating Appalachia," up through Saturday.

As I hurtle into the heart of my second summer here, I can’t help but get a little philosophical. Maybe it’s just my unaccustomed response to heat, but I keep thinking about what makes this little corner of the world different from all the other corners I’ve explored. I’ve got no answers, only a clear understanding that Haywood is undeniably unique. I was thinking that the other night as I lay out in the grass outside the Shelton House. Looking up at a cloudy sky, I felt cradled by the silky air and spontaneous bursts of lightning bugs, like slow-motion shooting stars, all around me. I felt lucky, awake and at peace. Maybe I was just high off that incredible performance by Barbara Bates Smith. She did her famed one-woman show, “Ivy Rowe,” last week, you know. Whatever the reason, I felt good.

Anyway, enough of that ponderous girly talk. I had a great weekend. Here is what’s on tap for this one.

Car culture
There are a good many car shows in our neck of the woods, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for one more — especially one whose good reputation precedes it. The Maggie Valley Swap Meet and Car Show is one of several new events promoter Charlie Cobble is bringing to the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds this year, and it looks pretty nice from all I can see. It’s an open show, which means that you, too, can put your family’s muscle car, Model T or whatever on display. Registration begins Thursday, June 28, but the show officially runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. For more information, including info about categories, awards, vendors and such, call Cobble at (423) 623-4644 or visit

Adios ‘Appalachia’
While it’s always a treat to see shows at Gallery 86, this latest exhibit hits me square in the heart. “Celebrating Appalachia,” up only through Saturday, showcases the craft tradition that has helped shape this area for generations. See work from blacksmiths, woodworkers, fiber artists and ceramists, sweetly and seamlessly melded together by curator Stéphanie Trocale’s handiwork. I think it’s cosmically perfect that something so hyper local could be put together by a French woman and include so many artists who were born far from these mountains. The mix of locals and locals at heart makes for a magnificent show that runs the gamut from rugged to refined, with all kinds of weavings, dulcimers and hand-made clothing that fall somewhere in-between. For more information on the show, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 86 N. Main St. in Waynesville, call 452-0593 or visit

An intense ‘Awakening’
I don’t know much about the rock musical “Spring Awakening,” except some of its spicy history. It’s based on a play once considered so controversial it won itself decades of censorship across the globe. That’s enough to perk up my ears. I find nothing more fascinating than what used to scandalize people, and I must not be alone, as “Awakening” has had a reawakening recently, winning several Tonys — nearly 100 years after its first version was blackballed. The play happens to be in WNC for the first time ever this month, and while last weekend’s run was fraught with technical difficulties, I’m hoping this time around will be better for everyone. In Mary Ann Enloe’s review in this week’s Guide, she writes that the play is “not for children nor for old fogeys.” Is it wrong that only makes me more curious? You can catch the show’s second and final weekend at the Asheville Masonic Temple, 80 Broadway St., at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 2:30 p.m. Sundday.

The Mountaineer in the blogosphere
Did you know The Mountaineer’s website has blogs? Well, it does, with a varied crew pouring in their two cents frequently. Among others, the cast includes a teenager, a photographer, a cat (really) — and The Mountaineer’s staff. Yup, the newsroom is getting into the blogging business, with several new blogs being rolled out this week and last. So far, you can read about Vicki’s brushes with perturbed readers, my need to literally run toward my problems and Caroline’s first-hand experience with zombies. You can find it all, as well as other tasty tidbits that don’t exist in our print edition, at

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