Stina's Picks

A point in the right direction
By Stina Sieg | Jan 14, 2013
Photo by: Stina Sieg Tiffany Donaldson and Levi Ross share a dance at the old Fines Creek school, one of many spots now hosting dances in Haywood County.

This is my third January editing The Guide, and so this is my third January worrying about the same issue — of not having much going on in the county. While this definitely poses a problem when creating a weekly guide of what to do, I’ve always, actually, kind of relished these doldrums. This might not be music festival time, but it is prime knitting, soup making and indoor potluck weather. It’s time, if you so please, to do nothing. Except, this year, somehow, it’s not. Maybe I’m just more tuned into everything now, or maybe something really has changed fundamentally in the county, but I feel like everywhere I turn, there are wintertime activities that go beyond Netflix and a good book. Between Wednesday night trivia at The Tipping Point, Friday night music at the Classic Wineseller and skiing at Cataloochee nearly every night of the week, you can fill up your dance card pretty well without setting foot outside of the county.

So, here are a few suggestions for your week and beyond that take place on this side of the county line. One show doesn’t, of course, but it stars Barbara Bates Smith, Haywood County’s own one-woman wonder.

Shall we dance?
Actually, I won’t, but you can — and should, I think. Haywood County is now home to no less than three recurring wintertime dances, all with live music, a hearty, homegrown following and a distinct personality. For a real taste of small-town life, I say check out the Fines Creek dance, located in the old Fines Creek School. Slated from 7 to 10 p.m. every single Saturday, it offers a sweet window into a world that seems untouched by time, one that includes cake walks, kiddo cloggers and homemade food for sale. A couple miles over in Canton, “Pickin’ in the Park” now has a winter edition in the Canton Armory, which had quite a strong turnout Friday, its inaugural night. Also from 7 to 10, but only every other week (the next one taking place Jan. 26), it seems to have the potential of being just as big and well-loved as its counterpart in the warmer months.

Go, Barbara, go
Who says there are no juicy roles for actresses? Certainly not Haywood County’s own Barbara Bates Smith, who just writes her own. Her latest one-woman show, “Go, Granny, Go,” tells the true story of Doris “Granny D” Haddock, a feisty and determined activist who made a name for herself when she was 90. That’s when she decided it was time to fight (or at least walk) for a cause she believed in: election reform. Not content to sit on the porch in her old age, she took off on foot, and ended up walking across America to help raise awareness. While Haddock died in 2010 (at age 100, no less), Smith seems determined to keep her memory living on. Want to help? “Go, Granny, Go,” finishes up its run at NC Stage in Asheville this week, with shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. For tickets and more info, call 239-0263 or visit

One man, eight personalities
Tim Stoeckel drives a bus, wears his hair in curlers and packs heat on public transportation — at least he does in the confines of Feichter Studio. Stoeckel is the star and director of the studio’s latest production, “21A,” which tells the story of eight very different people — using one actor. I’m not sure exactly how it all works, only that it takes place on a bus and that Stoeckel, who recently graduated from WCU, definitely seems up to the task. It helps that he looks quite fetching in that old-lady wig and those cat-eye glasses. If you’ve never seen a show in Feichter, than this one might be a fun way to start, though it’s probably best to leave the youngsters at home. Stoeckel warns that there’s some adult content and spicy language sprinkled throughout. For tickets and more info about the show, which plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, visit or call 456-6322.

Around the world in five courses
I’ll admit I’ve always been a little biased toward the Herren House because of its fortuitous proximity to my house (about 40 feet). But that doesn’t take away from how lovely its owners, Phil and Michelle, are or — maybe more importantly — how delicious their food is. Coming up at 6 p.m. next Thursday, Jan. 24, you can try a taste for yourself during a five-course dinner, paired with wines from around the world. The night, a co-production between the Herren House and the Classic Wineseller, is sure to be a tasty one, with dishes and drink from Australia, Spain, France, Italy and — my own fave — California. For reservations (highly recommended), call 452-7837.