• August 1, 2010

August 2010

Southern Roots: Sweet tea, the banjo, and red clay. Front porches and longleaf pines. They are simple symbols long associated with the South, but a closer look reveals much about our character.


Our State’s 4th Annual Reader Photo Contest Winners

You went out in the snow and the sun. You went into fields and onto the beach. You went in the morning and at night. When we asked you to photograph our state, you went. We received hundreds of entries for this year’s contest. They made us laugh. They made us cheer. They made it difficult to pick winners. But we sifted through them all, and chose the top images in four categories and a Grand Prize winner. Here are the best of your photos, back at you.


Sweet Tea by Tommy Tomlinson

In our dining rooms and diners, we stir together a handful of humble ingredients to produce an amber elixir that tastes like the South and feels like home.

  • Web Exclusive Video: Go behind the scenes at an Our State photo shoot to see how images for this feature were created.

Southern Twang by Nic Brown

Pluck one string, and images start forming: rural family gatherings, dirt-floor dances, and simple picking on the porch as the sun sets. Few instruments conjure place more powerfully than the banjo.

Red Clay Culture by Chip Womick

In central North Carolina, red clay is the sod beneath our feet, the bed from which nourishment springs, a source of work and of art. And for those of us whose roots are planted here, it colors who we are.

Longleaf Legacy by Jim Dodson

For centuries, the pines have towered over the Sandhills. They anchored our state’s nascent economy and, to this day, harbor life.

On the Porch by Tim Bass

Even when the space is still there—a front porch with room for a couple of rockers, maybe a swing—time to enjoy the tranquility seems to have moved just beyond our grasp.

  • Web Exclusive Video: Go behind the scenes at an Our State photo shoot to see how images for this feature were created.

Crowning a Queen by Bill Thompson

Merging her tough-minded newspaper personality with the glamour of beauty pageants, Denton’s Venus Wallace crossed borders in an effort to promote her tiny town.

Worms and Coffee by Mike Graff

Lured by a simple sign advertising two daily staples—bait and a morning cup of coffee—regulars stream into the Midway Trading Post for easy conversation and an escape from a complicated world.


Welcome to Our State

Brewing Sunshine in a Gallon Jar by Elizabeth Hudson

Our State Quiz

Throughout the centuries, North Carolinians have come up with some colorful names for our state’s thousands of communities, towns and cities. Match the location of some of these places with this month’s quiz on how they got their names.

Books and Music

Book Reviews

Music Among Friends by Grant Britt

Stop by Maness Pottery and Music Barn in Carthage on a Tuesday night, and you might think you’ve found a concert. But it’s really just a gathering of neighbors who enjoy bluegrass, good food, and each other’s company.

  • Web Exclusive Video: Enjoy a little Tuesday night music at the weekly jam session at Maness Pottery and Music Barn in Carthage.

Tar Heel Humor

This Way to Wallace Avenue by Daniel Wallace

Tar Heel Towns

Tarboro by Vicky Eckenrode

The waters came. The waters went. But the people stayed, giving this eastern North Carolina town the chance to fight back and become even stronger—“after the flood.”

On the Square by Kristy Harvey

In an old building in a small town, a world-class culinary husband-and-wife team’s thriving restaurant proves that Tarboro has a taste for quality.

Tar Heel History

Built to Stand by Elizabeth Leland

Decades of abuse and neglect couldn’t shake the Old Stone House, a Rowan County landmark with a story to tell about our state’s early settlers.

Tar Heel People

A Growing Collection by Daniel Wallace

A quarter-century ago, Hillsborough resident Steven Burke bought two miniature buildings. Now, he has nearly 1,000, with no end in sight.

Carolina Arts

High Art by Lydia Dishman

The Bascom visual arts center in Highlands brings the community together through art, craft, and classes, all within a setting to take your breath away.

  • Web Exclusive Video: See artist Patrick Dougherty at work during the creation of his site-specific art installation at the Bascom.

Tar Heel Gardening

Gazing Globes by L.A. Jackson

A little creativity can elevate a traditional garden ornament from mundane to magnificent.

Tar Heel Tastes

Living off the Water by Molly Harrison

Like generations before him, Mickey Daniels Jr. pulls crabs fresh from the sea and peddles their succulence from his store on the east end of the Washington Baum Bridge.

Carolina Kitchen

A Slice of Summer by Charlotte Fekete

A summer favorite, watermelon adds flavor, color, and coolness to dishes in every course.

Dates & Events

Paddle the Haw River Wine Dinner by Suzanne Capehart

Spend an afternoon on the river and an evening at Grove Winery and Vineyards at the Paddle the Haw River Wine Dinner.

Tar Heel Images

Canned Potatoes by Kelli Jones

Potatoes harvested from the Johnston County soil will offer a measure of comfort come mid-winter, when they turn up in a hearty stew.