Carrboro Commons

Carrboro fiesta combines music, cultural awareness

By Alex Linder

Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Carrboro was host to the sounds of shaking beads, strumming guitars and Spanish sing-along. These are the sounds of the fiesta, and they are becoming more and more common.

“I definitely think that traditional Mexican music has a role to play in the future,” said Juan Díes, 48, producer and member of the Sones de México Ensemble, a Chicago-based traditional Mexican musical group that visited Carrboro. “It’s going to have a larger and larger role considering how the Mexican and Latino populations have been growing.”

The Sones de México Ensemble plays Mexican music of different styles including songs more than 300 years old based on Aztec myths. (Staff photo by Alex Linder)

Sones de México specializes in various styles of son, Mexican folk music, and spent April 7th-9th working with local schoolchildren in Orange, Durham and Chatham counties. They performed their show, titled Fiesta Mexicana, at the Carrboro ArtsCenter.

Thanks to a downtown scattered with advertisements written in both Spanish and English alongside taco trucks, Hispanics have become a larger and more visible part of the Carrboro community. This is reflected in the numbers.

According to the 2010 Census, there are 2,706 people of Hispanic or Latino origin living in Carrboro. This makes up 13.8 percent of the population, the highest percentage in Orange County.

According to the Town of Carrboro website, this marks a significant increase from only a few decades ago. In 2000, the Hispanic or Latino population was 2,062. In 1990, it was only 199. That is a 1,260 percent increase over 20 years.

Díes said that the rapid growth of Hispanic populations, like in Carrboro, has created some problems. He said that many Latino children grow up ignorant of their cultural history.

“Some kids of Mexican ancestry aren’t taught about where they came from,” he said. “I think that’s where Fiesta Mexicana fills a huge gap, in teaching them about their culture and their traditions.”

The performance by Sones de México combined traditional Mexican music with dance and history creating the jubilant atmosphere of a fiesta. Songs varied from those inspired by Aztec myths to the rock and roll song “La Bamba,” as well as its inspiration. Songs were bookended by historical and cultural lessons about traditional instruments, words and gods.

The performers encouraged the audience to participate, even getting kids onstage to learn Mexican dances.

“I was really amazed by how educational it was,” said Gabrielle Ruth, 37, of Carrboro, who brought her two children to see the group. “My kids were very into it, one even won’t stop repeating the words that he learned.”

With the help of band member Lorena Iñiguez, kids from the audience are invited onstage to learn a traditional Mexican dance. (Staff photo by Alex Linder)

The music featured in Fiesta Mexicana comes from regions across Mexico. To play all these different styles, the six members of the group play 70 different acoustic instruments.

These include traditional instruments like guitars, fiddles and drums, but also include less typical instruments made from armadillo shells, donkey skulls and conch shells.

“Whenever I think of Mexican music, I typically think of mariachi with maracas,” said Amy Hogan, 35, a librarian from Carrboro who brought her daughter Ann. “This band went way beyond that with a bunch of instruments I’ve never even seen. It was nice to learn about them.”

Díes said that Sones de México is very dedicated to teaching. During their visit, they held workshops at local schools and played for more than 500 kids at the ArtsCenter.

Victor Pichardo, 44, the director of the ensemble, said that he came up with the idea of Fiesta Mexicana not only to teach Latino children about their Mexican heritage, but to teach those around as well.

“I think it’s good for children who are growing up beside Mexican kids and want to learn about it,” he said. “Kids are becoming more and more exposed to different cultures, and it’s not as foreign as it used to be.”

The songs and lessons of Fiesta Mexicana are taken from a double album released last April called Fiesta Mexicana: Mexican Songs and Stories for Niños and Niñas and their Papás and Mamás. The album includes two discs, one in English and the other in Spanish.

The Sones de México Ensemble began touring Chicago schools in 1994 and since has toured throughout the country. They were nominated for a Grammy in 2007 with their album “Esta Tierra Es Tuya” (This Land is Your Land). The album includes covers of not only the Woody Guthrie classic, but also Led Zeppelin’s “Four Sticks” and J.S. Bach’s “Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 2 & 3.”

“A couple of years ago we did some songs to integrate in with American culture,” Pichardo said. “Pretty soon American culture is going to have mix with us.”

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A closely knit group

Posted on April 14th, 2011 in Carrboro Connections,Lifestyles by jock

The Stitch ’n Bitch group meets on the first and third Thursday of the month at Open Eye Cafe to knit and chat.

By Allison Russell

Carrboro Commons Co-Editor

Beware the “Sweater Curse.”

According to the group of women who attend the Carrboro-based knitting group Stitch ’n Bitch, it happens when someone knits an article of clothing for a significant other and gets dumped shortly after.

Members of Stitch n’ Bitch show their socks, scarves, blankets, cardigans, slippers, sweaters and shawls at April Meeting #1 at Open Eye Cafe. The members from left-right are: Laurel Burk, Jessica Thornton, Andrea Turini, Kristin Deinert, Tracey Fine, Rose Hoban, Vanessa Hays and Lesley Starke. (Staff photo by Allison Russell)

“It’s a financial and emotional investment [to knit something for someone],” said Laurel Burk as she wound the yarn around her thin knitting needles. “It has a domestic connotation.”

“Making things for other people is really special,” said Lesley Starke as she smoothed her hand over the child’s sweater she was knitting. “It’s a meditation on that person.”

“You just shouldn’t knit something for your boyfriend until you have a commitment from him,” added Jessica Thornton with a knowing smile.

The Sweater Curse, along with the “Second Sock Syndrome”—what happens when a knitter finishes the first sock but lacks the motivation to finish the pair—are topics of spirited discussion at a Stitch ’n Bitch meeting on a Thursday night at Open Eye Cafe.

Rose Hoban founded the group in January 2007 after she moved to Chapel Hill from Washington.

“I was just sitting around and moping after a breakup, and I thought the group would be a good way to meet people,” said Hoban, who created a Meetup group to spread the word to other interested “stitchers.”

Hoban says she named the group “Stitch ’n Bitch” because knitters and sewers commonly use the phrase.

“My mom called it ‘stitch ’n bitch’ when she and her friends would get together to do needlepoint back in the 70s,” Hoban said.

Hoban, like several of the women in the group, learned how to knit from her mother. Other women, such as Starke, taught themselves how to knit.

“Everything you need to know is on YouTube. No one has an excuse now!” said Starke, with a laugh.

The women of the group range in knitting skills from novice to expert, which makes the group a place to learn as well as to teach.

“One of the reasons I like this group so much is because there are people here that I can ask for help,” said Burk, who is working on her first pair of Argyle socks and waiting to see if the Second Sock Syndrome will set in.

Starke, who creates her own knitting patterns, is currently working on five projects.

“I never have fewer than two going on at once,” Starke said. “I start to feel antsy, so I’ll just break out all my [knitting pattern] books and get the creativity flowing.”

The project she has been working on for more than two years is a scarf that uses Chaos Theory as a code to determine the color pattern.

“It’s kind of like reading DNA,” Starke said, glancing up from the knitting in her lap. “The code determines the color [of the yarn I use for each stitch]. It’s like reading binary code. It’s kind of insane.”

Burk, who is a graduate student in physics at UNC-Chapel Hill, says the group is something she looks forward to after working and studying.

“I do this to stay sane,” Burk said with a grin.

The women say they maintain their sanity by listening to stories, complaints and frustrations from each other’s lives.

“I call the girl I complain about all the time ‘Wifey’,” Thornton said as her fellow knitters chuckled with knowing smiles.

The women talk about anything and everything as they knit, sipping wine and counting stitches.

“If your mother is proper, this probably isn’t the best place for her because we get a little riled up,” said Hoban, who says she has brought her mother to a Stitch ’n Bitch meeting.

A favorite topic of discussion among the group is the latest knitting trends. Many of the women cite and Magda Sayeg’s “Knitta, please” blog as two of their favorite knitting websites.

Vanessa Hays, a graduate student in UNC’s School of Information and Library Science, says she enjoys “yarn bombing” on campus and throughout Carrboro.

“It’s like a street art kind of thing,” Hays said. “It’s when you knit something as a cover for something outside, like making a cozy for a tank.”

“It’s simply brilliant!” Hoban added from across the circle.

Hays says she has yarn bombed Weaver Street Market and UNC’s campus. She made the blue and brown tube around a tree in front of Weaver Street as well as the scarf tied around the neck of one of the statues behind Manning Hall.

“I like to do it at night so people will wake up the next day and see something new,” Hays said. “My goal is to do one every day.”

As a result of the close-knit nature of the group, Hoban says people have come and gone in the past.

“Everybody has been really great, but the group is self-selecting. It’s not for some folks,” Hoban said.

“I don’t try to enforce any ethos here,” Hoban said. “It’s just come, knit and hang out.”

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Enough to feed a town

Posted on April 14th, 2011 in Environment,Events,Food,Lifestyles by jock

By Louie Horvath

Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Above the buzz of the crowd, local area groups performed as part of Carrboro’s 14th annual Community Dinner at McDougle School’s Cafetorium on April 10.

The event’s slogan is, “sit down with a stranger, leave with a friend,” and it seemed that all of the participants took that mantra to heart, rarely ceasing the chatter for more than a couple of seconds at a time.

Orange County Jammers Senior Cheerleader Clem Self serves desserts at Community Dinner on Sunday afternoon. (Staff photo by Allison Russell.)

“Half the world might reach for the other half and hold tight to a new friend who now can save them,” Jay Bryan, Carrboro’s poet laureate, said while reading a poem he penned for the occasion.

“Saying one to another, ‘I am looking after you. Your comfort comes before mine.’ It is happening today at Carrboro’s Community Dinner. Why not everywhere?”

The dinner had many food options, ranging from fried chicken to pasta, with fixins and desserts aplenty. The cook was Chapel Hill’s renowned cook Mildred Council — or as she’s more famously known in her books and in the name of her eponymous restaurant — Mama Dip.

Food was served on a slightly different plate than what Council usually dishes out at her famous restaurant on Rosemary Street. Both the plates and the utensils were made of 95 percent compostable and recyclable materials, as Muriel Williman of Orange County Solid Waste Management said.

“I hope you are enjoying your meal, and you might have noticed they are on paper plates,” Williman said to the crowd. “What you may not know is that the plates were made from potatoes. The silverware is made from corn.”

Williman went on to say all of the plates and utensils put in the compost would be sent to a composting facility that can break down the materials and one day use them again.

Along with food from Mama Dips, the event had food from the Carolina Inn and Bandido’s Mexican Café. Several local churches and restaurants offered side dishes and desserts to supplement the main course.

All that added up to an event that was not only healthy for the attendants of the dinner, but also healthy for the rest of the community.

“It is wonderful to see sitting here different ages, different cultures, different genders, different ethnicities, different colors, everything, all here together in one room enjoying a meal,” event emcee and WCHL radio host Ron Stutts said. “It is just something that is really meaningful that we can all come here and share this together.”

Tickets for the event cost $8 for adults and $3 for kids. Donations were also accepted, as a $22 donation would feed a family of four.

The festivities were highlighted by performances by KidZNotes, an East Durham program focused on teaching small children to play musical instruments, and Puzzle 44, a local middle school a cappella group.

A local Brazilian Capoeira group wrapped up the event with their intricate steps captivating the Carrboro crowd.

“Me and my girlfriend just heard about this from a friend, and we decided it was something we wanted to do,” event volunteer Alex Gillon said. “It is a really good idea.”

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Ridin’ the J Bus: 14-year-old Treshawn has big plans

Posted on March 3rd, 2011 in Carrboro children,Features,J Bus,Lifestyles by jock

By Allison Russell

Carrboro Commons Co-Editor

Back during the Jazz Age in New York City, you took the A Train to get to Harlem. But to get most everywhere in Carrboro, you take the J Bus. In the spirit of Charles Kuralt’s dictum that everyone has a story, Commons reporter Allison Russell jumped on the J Bus and selected a rider to interview at random.

Although they may not know it, the people who ride the J Bus are in good hands when 14-year-old Treshawn Hackney steps onto it.

“I could probably fix the bus if it broke down,” says Treshawn, who is interested in a career in mechanical engineering.

Treshawn Hackney, 14, rides the J Bus home from middle school everyday. He aspires to be a mechanical engineer and loves playing football. “I come up with ideas that are brilliant,” Treshawn says.

An eighth-grader at McDougle Middle School, Treshawn rides the J Bus home from school.

“My parents trust me.…They know I won’t get into any stupid stuff while I’m on the bus,” he says.

Treshawn is the youngest of four children, and he is the only child to still live at home with his parents, Darlene and Mike.

“Sometimes, yes, I like being the only child [to live at home], but sometimes, no, I don’t,” says Treshawn pensively.

The 14-year-old spends his time at home doing homework and playing football or paintball with his friends.

“I love sports, and I would definitely consider myself athletic,” says Treshawn, who wears the number 52 jersey as a tight end on his middle school’s football team.

His favorite professional athletes include LeBron James and Michael Vick, whom Treshawn believes should be forgiven for his past of dogfighting.

“It’s very sad,” Treshawn says of the dogs that were hurt, “but everyone makes mistakes and deserves a second chance.”

In addition to being an avid athlete, Treshawn enjoys working with his hands to create projects such as model cars and airplanes.

He first became interested in hands-on projects after his brother taught him how to fix a car.

“My brother is a mechanic, and he helps fix my parents’ car when it breaks down,” Treshawn says. “He taught me how to fix a car when I was 7 years old.”

In class, Treshawn thrives on coming up with quick ideas to enhance project designs. He says he first noticed his ability to creatively improvise after he learned how to repair a car’s engine.

“I come up with ideas that are brilliant,” he says, with self-assurance that suggests he is twice his age.

Treshawn, who can solve a Rubik’s Cube, says his favorite subjects in school are math and science, and he especially enjoys studying chemistry.

“Right now [in math class] we’re doing geometry….In the end, with the equations, they always tie into each other. You can see patterns within them.”

Although Treshawn likes living in Carrboro, he says if he could go anywhere in the world he would go to Los Angeles.

“There are lots of famous people there, and I’d like to see how their life is like, what they’re doing when they’re not working.”

His favorite movie genre is horror, and Treshawn says he would like to meet Isabelle Fuhrman, child star of the movie Orphan.

“Some of my friends met her and they say she’s really cool,” he says.

If Treshawn follows through with his desire to meet the celebrities of Los Angeles, he says he won’t want to come back to live in Carrboro.

“I don’t want to stay here forever,” he says with a quick glance out of the bus’s foggy window. “I want to explore other places.”

A place of the flow

Posted on February 17th, 2011 in A&E,Business,Lifestyles by jock

By Megan Walker
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

What do a Quaker meeting house, a teen center, a magic shop, an auto dealership and a recording studio all have in common?  They were once all located at 100B Brewer Lane in downtown Carrboro, but this space will soon be reincarnated as a movement and music studio called the Flowjo.

Co-owners Julia and Scott Crews pose for a photo outside of what is soon to be the Flowjo in downtown Carrboro. The movement and music studio is set to open at the beginning of March. Staff Photo by Megan Walker

Carrboro residents Julia and Scott Crews said they will open the Flowjo at the beginning of March. The Flowjo will have a hoop focus, but classes in aerial dance, poi, staff, fire spinning, circus fundamentals, music and other arts will also be offered.

Hooping is a form of dance or meditation using larger, more durable hula-hoops.

“Carrboro has turned into what is known as a hooping mecca amongst the global hoop community,” Scott Crews said. “It has given Carrboro notoriety.”

Several pedestrians and surrounding business owners stopped in to see the work taking place at the soon-to-be Flowjo on Saturday, Feb. 12.

With a dusty floor, a busted drinking fountain and graffiti on the walls, the place may not look like much yet, but Scott Crews said things will soon change.

The Crews’ landlord just got the building brought up to code, and they will be working in the coming weeks to install a dance floor, paint, clean and build a stage.

Carrboro is the ideal place to build the Flowjo, as the town is home to many originators of the modern hooping movement.

“I’d say that per capita there are more people hooping here than anywhere in the world,” Julia Crews said. “For being a small town, it’s got a lot of hooping that’s going on, so it seems like a perfect spot for one of the world’s first flowjos.”

The idea behind the name is based off a dojo, which translates to “a place of the way.”

Chris Hall, an employee at neighboring business Aventine woodworking, welcomes Julia and Scott Crews to Brewer Lane. Hall tells the two about the many businesses the space has housed over the past several years including a recording studio and teen center. Staff Photo by Megan Walker

“The Flowjo is a place of flow,” Scott Crews said. “When you go to work, and you get into the flow, and you’re cruising along, and it feels good. Well, that ain’t nothing compared to this artistic creative expression that is flow.”

Julia Crews said she decided to pursue hooping as a career after seeing and then talking to a circus performer hooping in New York.

“She told me she was making her whole living off of it,” she said. “It was just a splash of wow. You can do what you love for your job.”

Scott Crews met his wife, then Julia Hartsell, in 2005 when she hired him to play the drums for her at a wedding. He said, “We ended up falling in love and have been working together ever since.”

Scott Crews will be overseeing the musical side of the studio. He has been drumming since he was 13 and currently teaches lessons out of their home.

“One of our biggest challenges has been that our art forms in practice are big, and it’s not easy to practice an act of that zone in my home space,” Julia Crews said. “And I know that other people struggle with this.”

The Flowjo will have a large open dance floor, a shop for flow art paraphernalia, a stage and a lounge area.

The Crews said they are also planning to use the building for events space, summer camps and weekend workshops, including the fourth annual Hoop Convergence in May.

Julia Crews said that hooping and the Flowjo will appeal to a broad audience.

“When you think of classic hula hooping, it looks a little awkward, kind of frantic to keep the hoop up,” she said. “These hoops are different … people are coming to them for different reasons. It is a really good core exercise and a good, moving meditation for people like me who don’t have an easy time sitting and meditating.”

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Ridin’ the J Bus: Professor searches for discoveries

Posted on February 17th, 2011 in Features,J Bus,Lifestyles by jock

By Louie Horvath
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Back during the Jazz Age in New York City, you took the A Train to get to Harlem. But to get most everywhere in Carrboro, you take the J Bus. In the spirit of Charles Kuralt’s dictum that everyone has a story, Commons reporter Louie Horvath jumped on the J Bus and selected a rider to interview at random.

Emily Buss enjoys taking the J Bus around Carrboro and Chapel Hill, and she says she wants to “stay here forever.” Staff photo by Louie Horvath

As a newly minted graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s doctoral program, Emily Buss thought she would be participating in a brief two-year fellowship at UNC – Chapel Hill. Twelve years later, she is still here.

Now an associate professor at the UNC department of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery, Buss said she views Carrboro and Chapel Hill as the same place she originally fell in love with — including its transit system.

Part of the appeal was the transit system, Buss said.

“I like being able to take the bus,” Buss said. “I don’t like having to drive every day. It seems like a waste of time, gas and money. I like living in a town where you can get from one side of the town to the other in a reasonable amount of time.”

“You can get your hands around a town this size,” Buss said.

She has done just that, meanwhile giving the entire Chapel Hill-Carrboro area a warm embrace.

“Hopefully, I can stay here forever,” Buss said.

An avid gardener, she pointed out that the Carrboro climate is more conducive to a garden than both the Philadelphia area where she went to college and her Richardson, Texas, childhood home.

Buss said that during the summer she can create her own salad made out of only garden-grown food with lettuce, carrots and tomatoes.

“You can’t grow that in Philadelphia,” Buss said.

Even though she does not interact much with students as an associate professor at UNC-CH, she seems more than happy to spend most days in the lab searching for new discoveries in the ear, nose and throat field.

“I spend most of my time in the lab,” Buss said. “I’ll give occasional lectures, but most of the time when I work with students, they are coming to do projects in our lab.”

She said on that day, she spent most of her time trying to figure out how Cochlear implants are able to give deaf people the ability to hear, even though the implants are sending only rudimentary signals to the brain.

“It has been around for a while, but there is very little that is understood about how they work,” Buss said. “Some of the studies that I’m looking at have to do with which conditions they work best under.”

People associated with the university comprise the majority of riders on the J Bus since teachers, students and workers alike all take the J Bus to get back and forth to campus.

It is a distinction that Buss seems to relish and her excitement about going into the office every day is evident in the way she talks about her job.

“Every day it’s something different,” Buss said. “The bread and butter of research is what you don’t know the answer to. It’s always a challenge, and I like discovering new things.”

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Ridin’ the J Bus: Meet the walking man

Posted on February 3rd, 2011 in Features,J Bus,Lifestyles by jock

By Alex Linder
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Back during the Jazz Age in New York City, you took the A Train to get to Harlem. But to get most everywhere in Carrboro, you take the J Bus. In the spirit of Charles Kuralt’s dictum that everyone has a story, Commons reporter Alex Linder jumped on the J Bus and selected a rider to interview at random.

Mark Quattlebaum’s truck broke down for the last time on the side of N.C. 54 in 1993. The mechanic was not optimistic about its future, so Quattlebaum had it scrapped. He has not needed a replacement since.

Mark Quattlebaum, 51, likes to ride the J Bus up to Carrboro to buy groceries at the Weaver Street Market. He returns loaded up with even more bags. Staff photo by Alex Linder

Instead he gets around town in the oldest fashion way – by walking. Quattlebaum, 51, may not be famous in town, but his figure striding up the road with a couple of bags slung across his shoulders certainly has become a familiar sight in the community.

“I’ve built up a reputation,” he said. “People will see me on the side of the road coming into town and sometimes they’ll pick me up and give me a ride, but it’s okay if they don’t.”

Jeff Griggs, 54, of Pittsboro, remembered seeing Quattlebaum plenty of times before deciding to stop and see if he wanted a ride. “He kind of reminded me of Forrest Gump,” he said. “Just more localized.”

If Quattlebaum had an eHarmony account it would begin with, “Enjoys long walks… anywhere.” He estimates that he walks nine miles a day. On a good day his total can easily go up to 12 or 15 miles. “I’ve done it for so long, I don’t even mind it anymore,” he said.

Welcome to Arneville: Greensboro Street’s thriving student community

Posted on February 3rd, 2011 in Carrboro Connections,Features,Lifestyles by jock

By Louie Horvath
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Twenty years ago, when Arne Gray built a cluster of student housing on North Greensboro Street, he never thought the residents would take so much pride in living in his self-made community.

They call it “Arneville.”

Arne Gray of "Arneville." (Staff photo by Louie Horvath)

“For whatever reason, when I first started this, it became clear that I was focused on a particular block, and then the Town of Carrboro started to call it Arneville,” Gray said. “The mayor and the building inspection guys.”

It was a title that the inhabitants of Arneville were proud to cast upon themselves, and they did it less than subtly.

“Some of the first people that moved in put up a sign that said ‘Welcome to Arneville,” Gray said. “They printed T-shirts. I didn’t know this was happening. They said ‘Oh we could have given you one, but…’ And they printed Arneville money. Much of this went on and I didn’t know about it.”

Even though the sign is not there anymore, the residents still have a sense of pride and community from living in Arneville.

“I would say 50 percent of the people in Arneville stop by my house once a week,” Alex Walters, current renter, said. “It’s easy to drop in. We have TVs so people come over all the time to watch the basketball games.”

100 years young: Anne Edwin celebrates her centennial

Posted on February 3rd, 2011 in Features,Lifestyles,Uncategorized by jock

By Will Bryant
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Since Anne Edwin’s birth on Jan. 28, 1911, she has seen two world wars, 18 U.S. presidents and the growth of Carrboro from little more than a textile mill and railroad tracks to an ever-growing town of nearly 20,000 citizens.

Anne Edwin goes to hug her neighbor, Don Matthias, 88, after he serenaded her with the song, “When Day is Done,” at her 100th birthday party at Adelaide Walters Apartments. (Staff photo by Allison Russell)

Edwin, who celebrated a century of life at a birthday party in the community room of Chapel Hill’s Adelaide Walters Apartments, is considered past her prime by most people’s standards. But as her fellow Adelaide Walters residents will say, at 100 years old, Edwin might have the spirit of the youngest person living in Chapel Hill.

“Anne has got a youthful attitude … it’s like everything is fresh and new,” said Don Matthias, Edwin’s neighbor of nearly 10 years. “She looks at the best side of things and for a person of 100 years, that’s unusual.”

Edwin moved to Chapel Hill in the winter of 2002 and often commutes to Carrboro. She has since become one of the most beloved members of the community, known for her constant glowing smile, calming voice and uplifting spirit.

“She is an inspiration to all of us,” said Matthias.  “Anne is beloved by everyone here.”

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Edwin was the only girl among five children. At 16, she was forced to get a job to help her struggling single mother, and three years later helped her family weather the Great Depression.

Edwin married husband Russ and moved to Florida years later. The two spent nearly three decades living in the Sunshine State, where they lived happily without children.

“They were party people,” said Patricia Watts, Edwin’s niece. “They loved to have fun.”

Edwin’s husband died in 1985, but for a quarter-century Anne has managed to be self-sufficient. Watts says when she takes Edwin to the local Harris Teeter, the 100-year-old knows exactly what she wants.

Anne Edwin celebrated her 100th birthday on Jan. 28, surrounded by friends and neighbors at Adelaide Walters Apartments in Chapel Hill. (Staff photo by Allison Russell)

“She pushes her own cart, picks out her own fruits and vegetables, and talks to the meat man,” Watts said. “She pretty much takes care of herself.”

But one doesn’t go through 100 years of life without a few bumps along the way. Edwin said she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Some days I don’t feel very well, but who else cares?” Edwin asked. “Other people are not interested in your troubles, so I always just say I am fine and keep a smile on my face.”

Edwin said she never saw herself living to be 100 years old and that she still can’t believe it. She attributes her longevity to the positive attitude she carries with her in life and the respectful attitude she has toward other people.

“You should always try to understand other people instead of criticizing them,” Edwin said. “Just be honest and truthful.”

Matthias was one of many celebrating Edwin’s milestone on Friday, and he serenaded the guest of honor with the classic song, “When Day is Done.”

The song capped a special afternoon for the apartment’s residents. And despite the title of the tune, the spry and ever-smiling Edwin is still loving life and her day is far from done.

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Orange County artists participate in 16th annual Open Studio Tour

Posted on October 19th, 2010 in Events,Lifestyles by jock

by Meredith Sammons

Mike Roig inspects a piece of work in his shop in Carrboro. Visitors will be able to see Roig’s workspace on the Open Studio Tour. (Staff photo by Meredith Sammons)

Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

For the 16th time since 1995, artists throughout Orange County are participating in the Orange County Open Studio Tour.

More than 80 artists from The Orange County Artist Guild will participate in the Open Studio Tour during the first two weekends in November (Nov. 6-7 and Nov. 13-14.  Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and noon – 5 p.m., Sunday), when local artists will open their studios to visitors. The tour is the primary project of the Orange County Artist Guild, whose members have been organizing the event since its inception.

“The purpose is for people to come in and see where the artist works — to see their drawing board. You can go see art any time in a gallery, this is a chance to see how different artists create a space that they work in,” said sculptor Mike Roig of Carrboro.

Roig and his wife, author and illustrator Clay Carmichael, live in Carrboro and are members of the Orange County Artist Guild. They joined the guild in 2001 and said the guild brings artists together to learn from each other. “We all know each other. Artists come together because of the tour,” Carmichael said, “We’re developing relationships because of it.”

The Orange County Artist Guild is managed by its members, and its committees ensure the events run smoothly. Committees of guild members are responsible for exhibitions, applications, publicity, brochures, fundraising, jury, website and distribution. Roig and Carmichael are in charge of creating signs to publicize the tour event. This year the signs are bright yellow and participating artists will each have one.

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