A recent note from former Davidsonian Laurie Dennis reminded me that I have almost hit the “500 mark” of Around Davidson postings. Maybe a good time to think about cutting back to writing once a week and finding a “partner” to cover the other day. Requirements? Pen, paper, camera, curiosity and the “ability to talk to a fence post” as some might say.
Someone able to do all the above is PAT SHAW who joins Around Davidson with her first Tuesday column today. Pat is smart, savvy, decades younger and involved in Davidson activities I know little about. Together we can cover a lot more town events – so fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride! I’ll be back on Thursdays. Yours, Brenda
THEY ARE NOT THE YAPPING YORKIES, THEY ARE THE SNARLING SILKIES!
Around Davidson is always amused to pass by the house with the white picket fence on Concord Road to see the two (formerly three) ferocious tiny Silky Terriers protecting their property. Sandy and Robbie Carnegie are Silky aficionados and their mighty mites are living up to their breed’s reputation. Although a toy in size, the Silky Terrier is tough enough to hunt and kill domestic rodents. The breed is often confused with the Yorkie but the Silky is larger and more closely related to the Australian Terrier. This loving, little terrier is very intelligent, courageous and alert. They are full of energy and need a good amount of exercise in order to be calm, hence, the barking and zipping along the fence whenever folks pass by!
The oldest of the original three was Kiwi who lived to be almost 19! The middle Silky was Mango who died of renal failure at age 9. Mango was the real hunter in the group. He was quick and a fighter. Mango’s conquests include rabbits, possums, voles, squirrels, and birds. Mango once even killed a copperhead; unfortunately all three dogs were bitten in that little scrabble!
Tater was youngest and is now 4 years old. The new little one is Ziggy who is just 7 months old. The Carnegies got him from a breeder in Nebraska. Ziggy’s middle name is Aodhgagan which means “little fire” in old Scottish– and he is living up to his name. Ziggy once fell in the backyard pond and swam in circles until he was rescued.
The Carnegies live in the oldest privately owned house and property on the block – other houses are owned, but Davidson College owns the underlying land. The oldest parts of house date to the 1840’s and belonged to Sandy’s great grandparents, who also owned the town’s general store. The property had a 99-year renewable lease in 1878. In 1977, NC legislature changed the law to state that all 99-year renewable leases would vest the property to the person leasing the property. When the lease came up for renewal, the college deeded the house to Sandy’s grandmother.
Treat yourself to a little stroll along a little picket fence with two little fighting terriers running alongside behind it. You will smile.
MEET ALAN MICHAEL PARKER
We are pleased to share news about Alan Michael Parker, Professor of English at Davidson College. The Douglas C. Houchens Professor of English has made a name for himself at both the college and in the literary world. Most recently, Parker’s latest publication was selected as a finalist for this year’s Rilke Prize, an annual award of $10,000 recognizing “a book that demonstrates exceptional artistry and vision written by a mid-career poet.” Named after Rainer Maria Rilke, a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist, who is widely regarded as “one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets,” this high honor is bestowed upon people who have published at least two previous books of poetry. Tupelo Press, the book’s publisher, nominated Parker’s 2012 book, Long Division, and the volume was named as one of three finalists for the award. Alan Michael humbly tells Around Davidson that it is an honor simply to be anywhere near Rilke’s name!
He has written three novels—Cry Uncle, Whale Man, and The Committee on Town Happiness (which will be published in 2014 by Dzanc Books)—as well as seven poetry collections—Days Like Prose, The Vandals, Love Song with Motor Vehicles, A Peal of Sonnets, Elephants & Butterflies, Ten Days, and Long Division. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Paris Review, Pleiades, and The Yale Review, among other magazines, and in 2011, were anthologized in The Best American Poetry as well as The Pushcart Prize. His prose has appeared in journals including The Believer, The New York Times Book Review, and The New Yorker. Parker also served as editor of The Imaginary Poets, another Tupelo Press book.
Parker has received numerous awards and fellowships, including three Pushcart Prizes, the Fineline Prize (Mid-American Review,) and the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. His 2011 novel, Whale Man, was a finalist for the 2011 ForeWord Reviews’ “Book of the Year Award” in the category of Literary Fiction. In October, Long Division was awarded the state’s highest honor for a collection of poems, the 2012 North Carolina Book Award in Poetry, also known as the Roanoke-Chowan Award.
Alan Michael Parker lives in Davidson with his wife, the artist Felicia van Bork. See more about Alan Michael at www.amparker.com and Felicia at www.feliciavanbork.com. Congratulations for being selected as a finalist in such a prestigious and respected award as the Rilke Prize!
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