Gary Strader/gStrader Photography

Monday, May 28, 2012

It is Not A Sale,or A Day at the Beach

    For retailers,it is a day to host sales, to make a little money.
     For many, it is the arrival of summer beach trips, and vacations.

     For those who have lost a loved one on in the mountains of Afghanistan, or the jungles of Viet Nam, or in a snowy hedge row in France, it is a day of somber reflection. Find the cost of freedom, look in the eyes of those left behind.

     Many who returned from untold wars, really never returned. The evidence of this I can remember, in the cries from the nightmares that my uncle gave in the night,in his dreams from fighting the Japs in WWII. He never returned, for all his days for the most part were spent with a bottle of booze, and his sleeping hours with the ghosts of war.

     Today we know a little bit about those who went to do battle to preserve our freedoms. They were white farm boys, and city boys, and they were black men, who were not allowed to vote, or to drink from any water fountain. They were also native born Cherokee, and Lumbee, and of many tribes. They all heard the call to defend our freedom, and way of life. They went, they served, and they spilled their blood, and their spirit in their duty they served us so well.

     At the county war memorial in front of the old county courthouse, the name of Jacob Levy still bears the fresh marks left by the granite workers tool. A sober thought, this young man has been added to the list of those who paid the heavy price of freedom. On this Memorial Day let us remember him, and his brothers at arms. Let us not disappoint them for their sacrifice, but let us always remember them all for what they did for us. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Little Church That Could

Food Pantry in Level Cross A Help To Families


    The Level Cross United Methodist Church, has a small congregation. What is not small is their dedication to help families in need. Since 2004,Susan and Larry Haver have headed up the food pantry at the church. This small church has donated 13,000 pounds of food in 2011 alone.

This ministry operates mainly on donations from the church membership,and on occasion they receive additional support from a few local businesses who just happen to know they have a food pantry. With unemployment being high, and people being out of work for extended periods of time, the ministry has been a lifesaver for families in need.

"We have served as many as 90 families before",says Larry Haver. Families receive a box of staples equally divided according to what they happen to have in the pantry. Donations are accepted on a weekly basis, and distributed the 2nd Saturday of each month at the church from 8AM-10AM.

The need is great, and the Level Cross congregation would welcome donations from businesses, and individuals, as the need far exceeds their means to meet them;however no one is ever turned away. I would urge everyone to pitch in and give a hand in this project. The church serves people from our area,but even some from other communities come looking for help, and they are helped, no one is turned away.

If you would like to help, give Larry or Susan a call at (336)498-4742. If you need some groceries to get you by, the Food Pantry is open the 2nd Saturday of the month from 8-10AM and the pantry is at the Level Cross United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall at 10462 Hwy 220 N. Randleman,NC 27317 in the Level Cross Community.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Oldest Murder Ballad in US History - A True Story

            Naomi WHO?
You know who she was right? The one the street in Randleman is named after. The same one as "Poor Omie", that the song was written for. "Omie Wise" is a murder ballad, and said to be the oldest murder ballad in US history. 

The traditional folk song has been performed by lots of people, including Bob Dylan.

The song was written about her death, and it is her death that she is remembered for. According to the historical accounts, Naomi Wise was a servant girl, who had been orphaned, and lived with the Adam's in New Salem.

Being somewhat interested in the local history of that period, I like to pin down these places, and imagine what it looked like in their day. I can almost trace in my mind how Jonathan Lewis might have traveled by my house, en route to date, and seduce Naomi Wise.

While the account in history says she was a young servant girl, that was orphaned at young age,there are historical documents that say she actually had more than one child all born out of wedlock;and therefore would not be married, as she was marked, and had bastard bonds that paid her for her children's upkeep. 

I would also keep in mind that The Adams family were good Quaker people, and Quakers were opposed to slavery, and servitude in all its forms. As a result I would also doubt that she were a servant, and Jonathan Lewis certainly did not treat her as a servant.

Jonathan Lewis, her accused murderer,lived on Polecat Creek within spitting distance of Centre Friends Meeting, in Guilford County. (That would be just off Hwy 62.)

 Adams Springs, in the song was the meeting spot, the spring house for the Adams Plantation, just off New Salem Rd. 

So the song says poor Omie was expecting to be taken to Asheboro to be married,but instead was taken to Deep River, just off Naomi Street, and drowned with her skirt tied over her head, and beaten.

Jonathan Lewis was the suspected killer; but evaded capture.  He was however eventually captured, but he of course denied killing her. After being held in the jail in Asheboro awaiting trial he escaped. During this time period, the other Lewis family members moved to Kentucky. Jonathan left the settlement, and fled the state to go and live with his relatives in Kentucky for a number of years. before being brought back for trial by bounty hunters. He was acquitted of charges in his trial at Guilford Courthouse. He returned to Kentucky, and admitted on his deathbed to his father, that he had indeed killed her.
 Naomi was buried at Providence Friends Meeting, (another historic landmark from the late 1760s), in 1808.

That is the short short story of Naomi Wise, but I invite you to read about it for yourself. Everyone should know the story of Naomi Wise.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Way It Was, And PR Moore

In thinking back to my childhood days;I was remembering how much better food taste then now...
 (How can that be, remembering anything like that ? ) 

It was the cold war back then,we drilled in school filing to the hall ways and kneeling down and tucking our head and covering our eyes, in the case the Russians bombed us. (like that was going to save us.) It was overall an innocent time.

Life was very different then,not at all like it is today. Kids had no TV games, there were no FaceBook, and kids had chores to do. We would go outside and play our games were "Army", "Cowboys, and Indians", "Hopscotch","Hide and Seek","Red Rover", "Baseball", and "Football".

We rode our bikes, and we rode our skateboards. Skateboards back then were not the fancy fiberglass ones with flashy graphics like now;but instead they were home made with a piece of wood (2x4, or 4x8) with roller skate wheels nailed on underneath. 

My earliest memories from those times were when my Dad had his "payday" usually on Thursdays, we would all be loaded up in one of his cars, and we would go to town. 

Dad was a Buick man, he had two of them, a 1949 Buick Roadmaster, and a 1951 Buick Special. The Roadmaster was my favorite car, it was so huge it was like riding in a bus.

So all loaded up in the car, we would go about Dad;s appointed rounds. In the mid 1950s, no one had credit cards, in fact they had not been invented yet. Everything was for the most part paid in full at the time of the sale.

Checking accounts were around then, as my mother and father had one, and they did pay some accounts by check. They paid utilities by either cash, or check. Dad would make his rounds, squaring up with everyone that he owed money to on those Thursday trips.

Usually, one of the first stops we would make was to the service station, to fill up on gasoline. Hey! I remember when the first gas price came along in years. The price rose from 25 cents a gallon, to 29.9 cents a gallon, and a few years later it rose to 35 cents a gallon where it stayed untill well up into the 1960s.

At the service station, we would all pile out and run inside the station, where we would get a 6 cent coke, and a pack of nabs, or candy, while the service station attendants checked the air pressure, and up under the hood, oil and coolant, wash the windows, and fill the car tank with gasoline. Dad would pay the attendant for the gasoline, and our soft drinks, and goodies.

At some point in our long day, we would wind up at the grocery market. In those days, the market was a small neighborhood store, much like todays' convenience stores. 

Mom and Dad had a basic list, which the usually added to when they got to the market. Instead of going about and picking the food out from the shelves; the list was handed to the store clerk, who had the order pulled, and later delivered to the house by a man on a bicycle, or sometimes a small panel truck, if the order was large enough. The market kept a running tab, for the Strader Family, and on payday, Dad would pay his tab, and deliver the weeks grocery order.

The food we had back then was farm fresh, and if it was out of the growing season it came in the form of frozen in small wax paper cartons. Meats were always fresh, and came rolled up by the pound in waxed paper, or sometimes news paper (fish was packed that way).

Our milk was delivered to our door by a milk man, driving a delivery truck, and in the 1950s, the milk, and butter would be placed on the doorstep in a galvanized steel small box cooler. 

The milk came in a thick glass bottle with a cardboard cover over the top, and the bottle held one quart, and we usually got two quarts. on Monday, and Thursday morning early before daybreak.

When I was a child, no one had air conditioning, and summers we always had all the windows, and doors open, day and night. In the 1950s in Winston-Salem, no one even bothered to lock a door, they were just left open, and the only lock was that of a hook that held the screen door in place, so that the insects could not get into the house.

In the beginning of the post I made mention of how much better the food tasted, and it is true. This was because foods were grown fresh, without growth hormones, and brought to the market as the food came in season. Everything was ripe, and fresh. Folks went to the market once or twice a week and picked up fresh produce and prepared it right away. 

 I was reminded of this when I stumbled on a Produce Stand in the small town of Biscoe a few years back, PR Moore Produce. 

From their Facebook Page I am delivering their message,as they say it better than I can: 

 PR. Moore’s Produce, located at 24/27 W Main Hwy, Biscoe, NC 27209,(910)428-1266 open 7 days a week.... is one of the best places in North Carolina to find fresh, local produce. Family owned since 1985!!! 

 We carry jams, jellies, relishes, chow chows, cured pork, hoop cheese, grits, peanuts, old fashioned candies, live ornamental plants, garden ornaments and antiques. P.R. Moore’s is part produce stand, part old country store, part nursery and part… well just a little bit of everything good. We also carry hard to find sodas in the bottle, like Blenheim Ginger Ale. Be sure to try the "Fried Apple Pies", homemade pies by daughter Karen, using a 100 year old recipe. 

What really sets P.R. Moore’s Produce apart from grocery stores is two fold. The first, and most obvious, are the prices. You’ll save money shopping at P.R. Moore’s. However, that is not the most important reason. The main reason to visit P.R. Moore’s is the selection and quality of the produce. Depending on the season, you’ll find dozens of varieties of peas and beans, corn, all sorts of both hot and sweet peppers, greens, cucumbers in all sizes, squash, apples, peaches, tomatoes, etc., etc. P.R. Moore’s takes the time to do things that commercial chains cannot or will not do. For instance, they don’t receive shipment after shipment of unripe peaches and sell them to the public. When peaches are in season, they go out to the orchards and hand-pick only the best peaches at the perfect stage of ripeness

The food really is everything they say it is, and I so wish that everyone could have the quality of food that they have in their market. In fact, with Four Dollar a gallon gasoline,I will not be able to go there often to buy from them, I wish they had a market closer to me.

I know that time does not stand still, and we can not go back to those simpler times in our lives, but somehow, we must return those things that were the best from those days, and I am in hopes that somehow the PR Moores of this world will grow and prosper in this day of Big Box Super Markets, where everything in boxed up, or laid out, with lots of additives, and hormones, and food colorings, and pesticides, and all the rest that makes us so fat, and unsatisfied.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Block Buster Movie Is Made Here in North Carolina

This post is a reprint from my column in the Randleman Free Bee

This week the talk everywhere has been about the movie,"The Hunger Games", a film from Lions Gate, and filmed right here in North Carolina.
With all the talk, and excitement about; I decided to take a little trip to one of the many locations from the movie. Right outside the tiny town of Hildebran, is the deserted community called "Henry River Mill Village". This was one major location that served as "District 12", the home of the heroine "Katness Everdean".

The movie employed a lot of local folks to be in and work in the movie. Jennifer McCollom, is a local, and  make up artist, and she was on of the many special effects/ make up artists that worked on the project.

 I have been aware that North Carolina has given major tax incentives for movie studios to come to North Carolina to do films. So why not Randleman, or New Market, or how about Sophia, or Asheboro? We have some great locations that would be a great venue to use for a movie. 

How do we get the attention of movie producers? Perhaps Randleman should start our own film commission. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

More Photos from Historic Hillboro, NC

A while back I posted an introduction to the Battle of the Regulators, and its place in history. This post I am dropping a  lot more photos of modern day Hillsboro. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

St Paul Church Museum

        More Things To See and Do In Randleman

With gasoline prices soaring, I think we should discover other things to see and do right here at home, for low cost alternatives of entertainment.
Here is another activity to consider in the upcoming days and months ahead:

Visit St Paul Museum. St. Paul M. E. Church, South was organized in 1855. In 1879, the present hand-made brick building was erected through the generous funding of John H. Ferree and John Banner Randleman. In 1948, St. Paul merged with Naomi Methodist Church to become First Methodist Church. The last religious service was held in 1951. The church became St. Paul Museum in 1968. (description is from the Northern Randolph Historical Society Web Page.)

Take a trip into our rich past with a visit to St Paul Church/Museum. There you will see artifacts from the past specific to Randleman, and Northern Randolph County. The few remaining artifacts of the first County seat of Johnstonville are here, along with a horse drawn hearse, uniforms, many many more items as well.

While the museum is currently closed, you can still visit the grounds, and even call for an appointment to see it. Later on in the year starting in March there will be certain times that the museum is open. Here is a copy of their schedule:

2011 - January & February
    Open by appointment only.
2011 - March 18th
    Open House from 2:30-4:30 PM.
2011 - April 15th     Open House from 2:30-4:30 PM.
2011 - May 20th     Open House from 2:30-4:30 PM.
2011 - June 24th     Open House from 2:30-4:30 PM.
2011 - July 15th     Open House from 2:30-4:30 PM.
2011 - August 19th     Open House from 2:30-4:30 PM.
2011 - September 16th     Open House from 2:30-4:30 PM.
2011 - October - Open on NASCAR Day     TBA
2011 - November 18th     Open House from 2:30-4:30 PM.
2011 - December 9th     TBA

for more info visit their website: