The September 2021 Issue


Welcome Home

A Guide to Downtown Sanford

After spending years traveling the globe in the performing arts, an artistic director found a home and a sense of community in this central Piedmont town and its charming historical theater.

A Story to Share at Main Street Books

A former general store in the heart of Davidson has always been a community hub. Since it transitioned to a bookstore more than 30 years ago, the historic building has continued to provide a space for people to listen and learn.

8 Grown-Up North Carolina Field Trips

Maybe it’s been years since you last solved an algebra equation or wrote an essay, but learning never stops, no matter your age. Expand your knowledge on a “field trip” to these eight destinations across the state. And don’t worry — you won’t be graded!



The Seed Saver

A passion for indigenous grasses and wildflowers turned a ninth-generation farmer into a steward of seeds. On a ramble down to Johnston County, our roving writer learns how Don Lee is helping restore native landscapes across the South.

Collecting Carolina: A Photo Essay

From UNC Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library — housing what’s believed to be the largest library collection in the country devoted to a single state — to personal troves of duck decoys, pottery pieces, trains, tractors, and more: Meet the passionate collectors who curate the past and present, the serious and curious, the tangible items that tell the story of life in North Carolina.

Reinventing the Wheel

A young woman and her mom started a school bus renovation business in Alamance County that pays homage to her late brother’s carefree spirit. Together, they transform old buses into tiny homes on wheels, encouraging people to live simply and cherish every moment.

The Butcher Knows Best

An old-school butcher can tell you everything you need to know about meat and how to cook it. Across the state, these masters of the craft are passing their cleavers to a new generation — but they’re not hanging up their aprons just yet.


Mason Jar Memories

Whether picking the grapes that went into her family’s jam or dishing out the fruits of her labor, this writer fondly recalls her childhood years canning at home in North Carolina.

The Secret Ingredient

A canning party at this writer’s home is about more than making jams and relish. It’s a time of bustling about the kitchen, bonding over boiling water, and solving the world’s problems to the ping of lids popping into place. It’s about deep friendship.

The Cheerful Giver

Sharing homemade canned goods and fresh vegetables from a backyard garden is a tradition born of hardship. Today, this custom is symbolic of the deep ties that bind our communities.


The 1970s: Fatal Distraction

On September 11, 1974, Eastern Air Lines Flight 212 goes down near Charlotte, the crash — one of the worst in state history — initiates lasting changes to the rules surrounding takeoffs and landings.

The Courage to Fly

On September 11, 1974, Eastern Air Lines Flight 212 went down near Charlotte, becoming one of the worst plane crashes in state history. Colette Watson, then a 26-year-old flight attendant, told writer Philip Gerard her account of the accident and its aftermath.