Shot from May 13 to May 18
Most of my physical therapy walking is done at Randolph Mall since our Seattle spring weather is not cooperating. Here are photos from Monday’s mall walk plus info about Wake the World, a non-profit that gives water-sports opportunities to youth who live in children’s homes.
One of the stores has a display this month about Wake the World. We have some children’s homes in our area. Wake the World is a non-profit organization that gives the children chances to go out on a boat and do water sports. It started on Badin Lake in Davidson County, North Carolina. It had events in sixteen states last year.
Our last sunny day was nine days ago. We have clouds and/or rain forecast for three more days. It hit me today that we are having a Seattle spring.
I should not complain. The rain is keeping us out of a drought. It makes things green. It’s just if we are having Seattle weather I would like to be in Seattle. I would like to have the Downtown, First Hill, and Capital Hill districts. I would like to have the seafood restaurants on Elliott Bay. I would like to walk along the sidewalk and hold Gregory’s hand.
As much as I love visiting Seattle I would not want to live there. The city is invigorating, to a point. Then, it becomes exhausting. I prefer my country setting with close access to cities.
I shot three pet photos and two food photos in the past nine days. That is a long time for me to go without scenic photography. There was very little traffic between Gregory’s home and my place this afternoon, so I slowed down or stopped a few times and did some drive-by-shooting photography. Here are my views of a Seattle, North Carolina spring.
Age at Coming Out
In the past two days I read about two gay men who came out in their 60s. I do not know either of them and doubt that we will ever meet. Still, it was interesting (and nice) to know about people who were older than me when they came out.
One story was in QNotes, the Carolinas LGBTQ newspaper. The person turned to a support group in Charlotte for older gay and bisexual men. I do not recall finding that group last year when I was searching for support groups. I started out looking in the Triad area, but expanded my search to Charlotte and Raleigh.
QNotes has a separate link to resources for older LGBTQ people. I included it if any of my readers live in NC and are older, like me. Naturally the resources are in the Charlotte and Raleigh areas. That leaves around ninety-five counties (like mine) that are at least an hour away from any gay senior support resources.
Health care and housing are two of the biggest concerns for gay seniors. That makes sense. Those are some of the biggest concerns for straight people. Once again, perhaps gay and straight people are more alike than different.
The health care concerns hit home due to my recent surgery. Many gay people, like me, do not live close to their families. My son came to help the first two weeks around the surgery. I am fortunate to have friends who have helped and continue to help during my recuperation..
Gay Mormons in North Carolina
Randall Thacker, the President of the gay Mormon support group Affirmation, will be in North Carolina tomorrow night. He contacted the people he knew to see if we would like to meet for dinner. One of the people in Raleigh has pulled together arrangements and dinner reservations.
I plan to go as long as my back will hold out. The group was kind enough to schedule it west of Raleigh so I will have a shorter drive. Gregory hopes to attend. He has been sick. I would love to be there with him, but I hope he will not make the trip unless he feels a lot better. His commute would be even longer since he lives west of me.
So why am I interested in meeting this group? There is a shared heritage, whether the people were born into the Mormon church or joined later in life and whether they grew up in Utah or elsewhere.
I felt very alone last year. I had no support group. I got some greatly appreciated help online from Randall and others within Affirmation and Mormons for Equality. It is nice to know there are allies and other gay Mormons in the state. I hope people in the future who live here and have some gay and Mormon intersection in their lives know they have someone to talk to in North Carolina.
This is a companion photo post to my walk around Bicentennial Park. Sunset Avenue is Asheboro’s former main commercial street. Why is it not called Main Street? Asheboro has a Main Street a few blocks east of where Sunset Avenue ends. When the railroad depot was built north of present-day Sunset Avenue, Asheboro’s commercial and legal district moved west from Main Street to be closer to the train depot.
Sunset Avenue looked like many towns dying business district in the early 1990s. A few years later someone opened an antique mall. Other merchants opened or expanded their businesses. More antique stores came to Sunset Avenue. Asheboro’s bicentennial in 1996 brought the city into the beautification loop. Restaurants opened and closed. The vote to bring alcohol to town in 2008 (I think) brought restaurants downtown that stayed in business.
Sunset Avenue’s revitalization came about from a combination of private and public initiatives. These photos were shot from the section of Sunset Avenue between Church Street and Fayetteville Street.
The City of Asheboro was incorporated on Christmas Day, 1796. A two-year celebration with events and memorabilia led up to the city’s Bicentennial Celebration in 1996. One of the most enjoyable and enduring projects of that period was the creation of downtown Asheboro’s Bicentennial Park.
We had a few days of beautiful weather last week. I wanted to do my back rehab walk outside. Asheboro is close to a small mountain range, the Uwharrie Mountains. It is surprisingly hilly for a town in central North Carolina. I do not handle hills well, for now. One of the nicest level walking areas is downtown Asheboro and Bicentennial Park. That is where I decided to walk. Here are some photos from my stroll.
The park is bordered by Sunset Avenue on the north and Academy Street on the south. It straddles the railroad track that runs between Fayetteville Street and Church Street. This is the walkway and parking lot from Sunset Avenue.
The city sold memorial bricks to help pay for the park.
The city, in cooperation with the Randolph Arts Guild and local companies and citizens, sponsors or buys outdoor art. The “Giant Skeeter” is my favorite sculpture in downtown Asheboro.
Here is Bicentennial Park, seen from behind the stage near the north end of the park. This view is looking towards Academy Street.
The park has a small dance floor. I think it was added a few years after the park was built so people could dance more easily during the summer concert series and Fall Festival.
Several more works of outdoor art are in the park. This sculpture is on the Fayetteville Street side next to the Academy Street parking lot.
This sculpture borders the railroad tracks on the Church Street side of the park.
Most of this area was a vacant field when I moved to North Carolina. It is a beautiful park that adds to the ambiance of Asheboro.
The city has a well-attended Summer Concert series. The stage is used for the Arts Guild’s Fall Festival, which is the county’s largest outdoor festival. Some type of event is going on in this park almost every month of the year.
The fountain area was being cleaned during my walk. I chatted with the city worker and thanked him for keeping this area looking nice. He told me about another city park that has a good, level walking area. I will have to remember that on my next sunny day walk.
I was thankful for an absolutely beautiful spring day. By the time I walked back to my car I could tell it was time to go home and rest. It got cloudy yesterday afternoon and has rained most of today. I don’t do cloudy or rainy weather well but I am thankful for the rain. It makes North Carolina green. I am glad I have photos from my stroll through Bicentennial Park. They remind me that sunny days will return.
On November 18, 2008, this article was on the front page of The Courier-Tribune, Asheboro’s local then-daily newspaper. The P&P Chair Company, maker of the Carolina Rocker, also known as the Kennedy Rocker, was closing. The owner died the previous Saturday. His son announced the closing on November 17.
As a young congressmen, John F. Kennedy visited a doctor in New York looking for relief for the back pain he suffered from his WW II injuries. He sat in one of these rocking chairs and found it was so comfortable that he offered to buy the chair from the doctor. She told him instead where he could order the chair.
He ordered a chair for his office. It was the one piece of furniture that he insisted on taking with him when he moved to the White House. He ordered twelve chairs when he became president and distributed them among his homes and the hotels where he frequently stayed.
A photo of one of the chairs being moved into the White House and photos of him conducting national business in the chair resulted in extensive publicity for the chair and the P&P Chair Company. The factory was next to where I went for physical therapy a few years ago trying to resolve my back problems. After one of the sessions I went next door and bought two chairs, one for my son and one for me.
Two of the chairs sold for $453,500 and $442,500 each during an auction of the estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at Sotheby’s in 1996. I don’t recall how much I paid for my chairs, but I think it was at least $442,400 less than the amount paid for the Kennedy rockers at the auction. I bought factory seconds that had minor blemishes.
The assets of P&P Chair including the production rights for the Kennedy Rocker were purchased by Troutman Chair in 2009. Troutman Chair is in Iredell County, North Carolina. The Kennedy Rocker is sold at this website.
Spring blossoms come and go in waves. Our first blooms faded a week ago. A new round of flowering trees and plants burst out at the end of the week.
I went to my guy’s home this afternoon. The top photo shows one of the flowering trees in his yard. This tree and the blossoms in the background were bare just a few days ago.
I saw a corollary between the spring blooms and my guy’s work when he took me to several of his completed showrooms. I had no idea what his designs would pull together when I walked through those spaces last week. The showrooms I saw today were in full bloom.
I met owners, management, sales, and support people at different companies. My guy received lots of compliments.
He is a perfectionist. I do not think he is ever totally satisfied with his work. I think he was happy with the reactions of the people to their showrooms.
We stopped at the paint store where he chose the colors and bought the paint for the showrooms. My guy showed the owner photos of how the colors from his store were used. The owner appreciated seeing how his product fit into this massive event that is simply called “the market.” We spent a few minutes at one of the opening receptions. We met another designer and caught a bite to eat.
Furniture market season comes to High Point twice a year. I enjoyed the blossoms of the Spring Market. I look forward to seeing what the changes in seasons bring to the Fall Market.
I hope my guy and all the people who designed, painted, carpeted, illuminated, transported, moved, accessorized, and pulled these showrooms together get some well deserved rest. It is time for the sales teams to work their magic. The orders placed next week in High Point will determine much of what furniture is manufactured worldwide in the next six months. It takes more than a village to deliver “the market.”