Snakes Alive! What a great program at our public library last evening as Davidson College Professor Michael Dorcas talked about pythons in the Florida Everglades. Mike then answered questions people had about snakes and in connection with the ReadDavidson book, “A Place More Kind than Home,” by Wiley Cash in which spiritual snake handling is featured.
Leaving herpetology behind, today Around Davidson introduces a new teacher, Courtney Stewart at Dance Davidson, and reports on a road trip taken by Jerry and Jeanne Sloan. In addition we welcome a grandbaby for William Brown and Mary Jo Clark. There is also a Noteworthy Note regarding a very public butchering of trees along Concord Road.
CRADLE ROLL – HUNTINGTON BROWN CLARK
Congratulations to Douglas and Kara Clark of Nashville, TN, as they welcomed their first child and son, Huntington Brown Clark, into the world. Baby Hunt was born at 2:31pm on Friday, September 13, in Nashville. The baby weighed 8 lbs. 15 oz. and stretched to 21 inches. On hand to greet the new arrival were first time grandparents, William Brown and Mary Jo Clark of Davidson. William and Mary Jo drove to Nashville arriving just two hours before the birth and stayed the weekend to hold and rock their new grandson. Their happy smiles are still evident as they talk about beautiful grandbaby Hunt.
New Dad Douglas is a third year divinity student at Vanderbilt and leaning toward a future Ph.D. in History or Religious Studies. Mom Kara is a 7th grade science teacher in Nashville. The couple loves the Nashville area. Kara’s parents, Sharon Shaffer and Steve Ruth, live in Atlanta and have been to visit. They are old hands at grandparenting since Kara’s sister, Peyton, has a little girl and is expecting a second child soon. Baby Hunt’s great grandfather is Frederick Ruth.
Proud paternal uncles of Hunt are Douglas’ younger brothers, Aubrey and Jordan. Catching up with these two young men, we learned that Aubrey and Jordan both graduated from the NC School of Science and Math in Durham. Aubrey finished at Haverford College and now works in NYC at the NYU Center for Dialog on the Middle East which was founded after 9/11. He is rooming in Brooklyn with good friends from his high school days in Durham. Jordan graduated last spring from high school and is a freshman at Davidson College. Mary Jo mentioned how nice it is to have Jordan close by for occasions like his dad’s 65th birthday celebration this week. Happy Birthday, William, and congratulations to all the family.
DANCE DAVIDSON WELCOMES COURTNEY STEWART
The press release from Dance Davidson introduced us to their newest instructor, Courtney Stewart. Courtney was a Soloist with the San Francisco Ballet (SFB), danced with North Carolina Dance Theatre, trained at the School of American Ballet, Chautauqua Ballet and earned her B.A. degree in the Performing Arts from St. Mary’s College. Terilynne Muehleisen Knox, Owner and Director of Dance Davidson, said “I’m very proud of all of the teachers and the expertise they bring to the studio. My goal has always been to create a program that not only offers quality training but also provides a nurturing environment for dancers to develop in a positive way and achieve their goals in whatever career they choose to pursue.”
Checking with Courtney, Around Davidson learned that she grew up in Charlotte, graduating from the Northwest School of the Arts where Terilynne was her teacher. After dancing with the San Francisco Ballet for the last 12 years, Courtney recently returned with her husband, Matthew Stewart, to the North Charlotte area. Her specialty is Classical and contemporary ballet.
Courtney shared an interesting little anecdote about her name by writing “my maiden name is Courtney Wright, but when I joined SFB, there was already another Courtney Wright in the company, so I went by Courtney Elizabeth (my middle name) as a stage name, even after I got married. The other Courtney Wright became one of my best friends, and we danced together a lot. Later, a third Courtney joined, and her middle name was Elizabeth!” We welcome Courtney Stewart to Dance Davidson.
HAVE PORSCHE – WILL TRAVEL
Jerry and Jeanne Sloan of Spinnaker Cove have returned from a wonderful road trip in the Northeast. They like to take these relaxing treks to New England every few years choosing October for better leaf color or September for less traffic. This year the journey was for 14 days in September in their 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera coupe – not a convertible but with a sunroof for fall breezes.
The Sloan’s itinerary included visits to Rhinebeck, NY, North Adams, MA, and Camden and Portland, ME. Heading north on Route 1 near Camden, ME, they encountered a dozen Cobras headed south and remarked to one another, “Bet that is Tom Cotter of Davidson and friends.” Sure enough, it was Tom’s New England Cobra Tour (see Around Davidson for Sept 19, 2013). Small world!
The Sloans feasted on lobster, visited LLBean in Freeport, ME, and enjoyed lodging in some of America’s oldest inns such as the Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck, NY. They particularly enjoy The Porches Inn at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) which is located in a former manufacturing plant with gigantic rooms to display art. The Chinese artist Xu Bing was featured with two large works of art. In one area two giant phoenixes were suspended from the rafters and in another area 500,000 filtered cigarettes were assembled on the floor to look like a mammoth tiger pelt.
It was a wonderful trip for Jerry and Jeanne and we are glad to have them home once more in Davidson to enjoy fall colors with us.
NOTEWORTHY NOTE – WHO SPEAKS FOR THE TREES?
We love our trees in Davidson (until they fall on a home)! However, the unsightly butchering of the cedars and vegetation – in the name of trimming – on Concord Road along the McConnell line is inexcusable. NCDOT is “attacking” the trees with a bushhog arm attached to a tractor leaving a row of unsightly splintered branches in its wake. We have to ask: Why? Davidson has a tree ordinance. Is anyone paying attention?
One of the NCDOT workers explained that there had been complaints about the foliage too near to the road. Doug Wright, Public Works Manager for the Town of Davidson, spoke to NCDOT and comments that “they are cutting the growth back because it is growing into the travel lane, and they have received complaints from residents. NCDOT is not going to hand prune this much vegetation. The town may be able to go in behind them and clean up. It seems to me that many of the species are too large and planted too close to the road.”
One can only hope that good judgment prevails and the Town insists that NCDOT trim back only the shrubbery encroaching on the road – and additionally contracts hand pruning the unsightly damage already done to the cedars.
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Have news for Around Davidson? Write to Brenda Barger at firstname.lastname@example.org.