HOMEOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER
December 2020 Volume 39 Number 11
I do not know about you, but I admit that this whole virus thing had made me even more grumpy than usual.
I am glad I have all the FHA activity to keep me occupied. I appreciate having a great team of individuals with whom to work. I am delighted as well that we have developed the ability to work together so well via Zoom, and to communicate across the Village via our new newsletter format and webinars. Everyone on our team brings their own ideas and opinions. We have disagreements, but we are always able to work cooperatively and settle differences based on respect for each other.
Like most people I miss working with others in person. Plus, many of us feel more “village bound”, with restaurants, shopping, and travel being restricted, and some external contacts falling away, nevertheless, “Hope springs eternal.” (Alexander Pope)
As I said in an earlier article, I am proud to see once again how humans can adapt, find new ways of doing things, and just keep on keeping on. But adaptability requires another element to turn ideas into reality. That element is hope. Whether entirely rational or not, we have the eternal hope that by adapting and making changes things can improve and be even better.
Once upon a time, I had a professor who presented ideas in a different way to help them stick in students’ minds. One section of his course dealt with why so many people commit suicide. He reoriented that section to discuss why more people do not commit suicide given all that we humans face in our lives. The answer was that somehow in our human character hope and adaptability reinforce each other so that we can overcome dark times.
As some have suggested, we may face a long, dark winter because of the virus. However, we do know that we are going into spring with the potential for a vaccine, for economic and social recovery, as well as (I hope) less political turmoil.
In our Village things look good for your FHA. We enter 2021 with a sound budget, a strong commitment to grounds and landscaping, a plan for Beechmast Pond, a resolution to our worries about wastewater treatment, and a new Management Company (Associa/HRW) to strengthen our ability to work effectively, and to efficiently respond to homeowner questions. We will also have the results of a community survey to enable the FHA to address those concerns that residents believe are most important.
Wow! Having written all that, I feel less grumpy.
From the Editors
Thanks to all twenty-six Fearringtonians who submitted a total of fifty-one (wow!) suggestions for naming our newsletter. After much debate, we narrowed the choices to five at our November staff meeting. Watch for our January 2021 issue. Readers will receive instructions on how to vote for their favorite in our Survey Monkey poll. If all goes as we hope, the new name should appear on our nameplate this spring.
From Our FHA Board
Latebreaking News Re: Your Water Bills
Due to a cyber incident that impacted the Chatham County Government on October 28, water bills were not issued in November. Personnel in the billing department of the Utilities and Water Division reported this week that it could be two (2) to four (4) more weeks before the billing system is fully operational. Of course, during this time, late fees will not be assessed.
Individuals with further questions can contact the utilities office at 919-542-8270. A link to the Utilities and Water Division website is also provided below:
If you pay Envirolink wastewater treatment fees every month and use their autopay option, you may be in for a shock. A few residents discovered recently that they were in arrears for several months’ missed payments. They had signed up for automatic payments last year (2019). Since the rates did not change this year, they assumed the payments would be renewed and would continue automatically. This is not the case. It is necessary to set up automatic payments at the beginning of every year. If you use Envirolink autopay, please check the status of your account.
The 2020 Homeowners Association annual meeting was held Sunday November 15 as a Zoom webinar. Over 200 residents attended the meeting.
FHA President Carl Angel opened the meeting with a review of the board’s activities during the previous year. As he noted, the board’s plans were seriously impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced everyone to change and adapt to new realities. Direct contact among board and residents was severely limited. However, some of the changes in procedures, such as moving to an online version of the newsletter and using webinars rather than open meetings, have had some beneficial consequences. Carl complimented the board on its ability to work together to solve problems and address serious issues. Some of these issues were reviewed by other speakers in the meeting and are summarized here. Carl noted finally how dependent we all are on the contributions of volunteers. Without the willingness of residents to help with the work that needs to be done, the village would be a much less attractive place to live.
Rose Krasnow, Vice President, reviewed developments that took place during the year concerning wastewater treatment. She summarized the origins of a plan to sell the Fearrington wastewater treatment plant to Old North State Water and integrate it with the plant at Briar Chapel. This plan had given rise to serious concerns among residents of both communities. A task force was formed to evaluate the planned system. An attorney helped us file a motion to intervene with the NC Utilities Commission (NCUC).
As the situation grew more critical, Integra Water, which owned the majority of Old North State, withdrew its application to the NCUC. Fitch Creations has resumed its management of Fearrington’s wastewater system and plans to upgrade the system. As of January 1, it will no longer be managed by Envirolink. The FHA wastewater management task force is now sharing all it learned about new technologies with Fitch Creations.
Rose noted that these developments are very encouraging, and she thanked the volunteers on the task force who had contributed so much time, effort, and expertise to the issue.
New Management Company
Rose also reviewed the search for a new management company. The existing contract with Towne Properties expires at the end of December. The board advertised for proposals from twelve management companies. Proposals were received from nine, suggesting that Fearrington is an outstanding community and that companies are happy to have us as part of their portfolio.
Three finalists were interviewed, via Zoom. The clear winner was Associa/HRW, and a new contract with them will take effect January 1. They will send bills for the new year, and residents who pay electronically will need to change instructions to ensure that dues are sent to the right place.
Residents should be receiving more information from Associa in the weeks ahead. A Community Manager will continue to have an office at the Gathering Place, as we have now. In addition, Associa offers other options when residents need questions answered quickly and, we hope, with minimum effort.
Tony Daniels, Treasurer, presented the FHA budget for 2020 and 2021. Details of the budget have been provided on the website. Tony talked about the Reserve fund and explained why it might seem so large. He suggested that overall, the 2020 budget is in a positive situation, in spite of the fact that there was a significant increase in legal fees. This increase was due primarily to the need for legal consultation concerning land transfers, and assistance in developing testimony for the NCUC. There is currently a surplus relative to predictions, but Tony pointed out that expenses during the last quarter tend to be quite a lot larger than for the rest of the year. There are plans to reallocate some unused operating funds to reserves so they earn higher rates of interest.
There are a number of uncertainties that will impact the budget next year. The current situation led the board to propose a 2% increase in dues for 2021, less than the 5% which has been the norm. The dues will be $179, which as Tony pointed out, still amounts to less than 50 cents a day.
Tony reminded everyone that a community survey will be circulated in November. The board wants to know which Fearrington services and amenities are most important to the community, in order to help them realign resources.
Residents were invited to submit questions to the board, either before the meeting began or during the meeting. There were 15 questions received prior to the meeting, which were answered by the appropriate board member. Over 30 questions were submitted during the meeting. Answers to these have been prepared and posted online, on the FHA website.
A recording of the webinar is now available online through the Zoom website.
Change on Community Affairs: As of November 15, we welcome Chris Jaeger as your new Director of Community Affairs. If you need to contact him about matters related to Community Affairs, you can still use the same email address as you did before: firstname.lastname@example.org.
FHA Secretary Needed: The FHA is still looking for someone to fill the position of Secretary. This is a very important job that needs to be filled by Board appointment. Duties are described on page 75 of the 2020 printed Directory. For more information, contact Rose Krasnow at email@example.com.
Hospitality Office Volunteers: Even though the Hospitality Office Volunteers have not been staffing the office since March, they have been completing a variety of tasks as needed. Starting in January, we hope to have volunteers in the office two or three mornings a week. Details to be announced.
One of the little mysteries that confronts Fearrington residents is why our postal address is the way it is—a line for the street address followed by a line with the Fearrington Post number. Why both? And is it critical that they appear in that order?
Here is the definitive answer to those questions, as provided by the Pittsboro postmaster: The last address before the city, state, and zip code is used for delivery purposes.
Example: John Doe
3 Fearrington Post
Pittsboro, NC 27312
The Fearrington Post is the delivery address. The street name helps subs so they do not have to use the directory book to look up the actual physical address in many cases, according to:
Peter J. Siragusa
Pittsboro, NC 27312
I’m still not sure I fully understand, but no matter—if that’s how the Postal Service wants it to be, that’s what I’ll use.
Don’t forget, companies such as UPS and Amazon that should deliver packages to your door need the street address, so you may as well use the same format for everyone.
—Gordon Pitz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is a nationally supported, locally implemented initiative that teaches people how to better prepare themselves for hazards that may affect their communities. CERT trains them in basic disaster response skills such as team organization, disaster medical operations, fire safety and light search and rescue. Local CERT programs train and organize teams of volunteers to assist their families, neighbors, co-workers, and other community members during emergencies when professional responders may not be immediately available to provide assistance. Before, during, and after disasters, CERT volunteer teams perform basic response activities including checking in on neighbors, distributing information to the public, supporting emergency operation centers and helping to manage traffic and crowds. The ability for CERT volunteers to perform these activities frees up professional responders to focus their efforts on more complex, essential, and critical tasks. CERT volunteers also support their communities by organizing, promoting, and participating in emergency events, activities, and projects.
With training and information, individuals and community groups can be prepared to serve as crucial resources capable of performing many of the emergency functions needed in the immediate post-disaster period.
Some examples of training provided are online classes, talks by emergency professionals and actual field exercises.
Over the summer, CERT volunteers participated along with CORA in the Farmers to Family program to deliver food to families. CERT provided the manpower to load boxes onto charity vehicles.
In October 2020, CERT volunteers assisted in a Helicopter Aquatic Rescue training event at Jordan Lake.
Volunteers worked with the Chatham County Public Health Director to provide traffic control personnel for the Employee Drive-Thru Flu Clinic. This exercise served as a precursor for the possible distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine when made available.
At one time Fearrington had our own CERT program, but due to budget reallocation, the program was transferred to county control.
If you are interested in joining or learning more about the CERT program, contact info@ChathamCERT.org or Fearrington resident Steve Krasnow at email@example.com. An additional source for Fearrington CERT information is on the FHA web site under Health, Safety & Security/Community Response team planning.
—FHA Health, Safety and Security
Good news for Fearrington dog owners. There is a new Chatham County dog park under construction. It is located on several acres of land within the Park at Briar Chapel, 1015 Andrews Store Road, opposite the rear entrance to Briar Chapel. There are separate large and small dog runs to avoid issues with larger dogs getting aggressive with smaller breeds. There has been an unforeseen delay in installation of water lines and park benches due to Covid and the recent cyberattack on the county’s communication systems. But the fence is completely installed and hopefully it will be open before year-end. The park will be available to the public.
There has been previous interest in building a dog park here in Fearrington, and Fitch was willing at one point to donate the land. But a site that suited neighbors could never be decided. Hopefully, this will provide owners the chance to let their dogs romp, run off leash and socialize with other dogs. After food, water and shelter the next thing a dog needs is adequate exercise. A tired dog is a good dog. Without exercise a dog will likely become frustrated and find boundless ways to annoy and destroy. The location is nearly in our backyard and not nearly as far away as the other existing dog park at Southern Village. So, keep an ear to the ground for when it opens and give it a try. Your dog will thank you.
—Gary Kibler, for the Health, Safety and Security Committee
Thanks, Gary, for making Fearringtonians aware of the coming dog park. A well-designed park is a welcome addition to a community, and a fun romp there can be the highlight of a dog’s day.
Canine experts advise, however, that puppies, young adolescent dogs, toy breeds and many adult dogs don’t belong at dog parks. Toy breed dogs are at special risk (Google “predatory drift”). The high arousal and rough play often found at dog parks turn many dogs off. One bad experience at a dog park can be very costly to your dog’s physical and mental well-being.
Other options exist. An arranged play date in a fenced yard with a compatible neighborhood dog allows dogs to shed the leash and exercise freely. A responsibly run dog daycare facility with staff trained in supervising dog-to-dog interactions is another alternative.
Want to educate yourself before you decide? Off Leash Dog Play by Robin Bennet & Susan Briggs will teach you to recognize appropriate and inappropriate dog play, as well as how to know when your dog isn’t having fun. Also, the Association of Professional Dog Trainers offers an in-depth look at this topic (Dog Parks: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) on their web page at APDT.com. Click on the Resource Center tab and then click on the Dog Park icon.
Yes, we agree with Gary, a tired dog is a good dog. All our dogs, no matter their age, size or personality, benefit from play and enrichment, and they get to define what fun is for them.
—Ann Melchior, on behalf of The Newsletter Staff
This Month's Features
The Land and the People – Part 2
Beyond the Tombstones – The Legacies
By Mike Zbailey
EDITOR’S NOTE: Part 1 – The Historic Cemetery at Galloway Ridge (Nov. 2020) ended with the Smith family moving together into their home, Oakland, on Smith Level Road. Part 2 focuses on Mary Ruffin Smith and her influence on the larger community in which we live.
The Jones Grove Cemetery at Galloway Ridge
Photo by Mike Zbailey
Mary’s brother, Sidney, died in 1867 at the age of 48. Their brother, Frank, died in 1877 at the age of 61 and was buried in the Jones Grove Cemetery. Maria Spear, Mary’s former tutor and lifelong friend, moved into Oakland after Frank’s death. After Maria’s death in 1881, Mary confided to a friend, “I am alone in this world. I miss her too much.” The star-crossed Harriet, Mary’s enslaved servant and the mother of Mary’s nieces, was freed after the Civil War and lived in a cabin near Oakland. In 1872, while in her cabin, she was struck by lightning and became paralyzed. Mary provided for her daily care until Harriet’s death in 1873.
Mary’s four nieces remained in the house with her. Mary provided for their education and raised them in the Episcopal church. The nieces were courted under Mary’s watchful eye, and each eventually married. Cornelia, Sidney’s daughter, and the oldest, married Robert Fitzgerald in 1869. Robert was a Civil War veteran from the Massachusetts Colored Regiment and was wounded at Petersburg. He had attended college and moved south to help educate freed slaves. He would become the grandfather of Pauli Murray, the most notable descendant of the family.
With her inheritance following Frank’s death, Mary was now one of the wealthiest landowners in the area. Mary Ruffin Smith died quietly at Oakland on November 13, 1885 at the age of 71. A large procession of carriages escorted the hearse to the Jones Grove cemetery where she was buried. She was described in the newspaper as “a lady of uncommon strength of mind, lofty character and large charity."
Kemp Battle, the President of the struggling post-Civil War University of North Carolina and one of Mary’s good friends, was named executor in her will. Mary willed about 1,400 acres of her property to the University of North Carolina for scholarships for the education of indigent students. The Smith scholarships allowed the university to increase its enrollment and broaden its student body. Mary Ruffin Smith is honored by the University with a plaque inside Memorial Hall. Mary gave her nieces - Emma, Annette, and Laura – 100 acres each from the Jones Grove Plantation land. From the Price Creek Plantation, Mary gave Cornelia 100 acres and willed the rest to the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina.
The story continues. Cornelia’s husband, Robert Fitzgerald, taught school, farmed, and had a small brick-making operation. He began to slowly go blind because of a war injury, but even with his failing eyesight he built a small house at 906 Carroll Street in Durham where it still stands.
Agnes, one of the Fitzgerald children, became a nurse and moved to Baltimore where she married William Murray, a teacher. Their youngest child, Anna Pauline, whom they called Pauli, was born in 1910. Following the death of Pauli’s parents when she was three, she went to live with her grandparents, Cornelia and Robert Fitzgerald, in Durham. Pauli graduated from Hillside High School in Durham and attended Hunter College in New York, graduating in 1933. She worked as a teacher and social worker and met Eleanor Roosevelt when Mrs. Roosevelt was visiting a CCC women’s working camp in upstate New York where Pauli was employed. They would form a long-lasting friendship.
Then came three events that would change the trajectory of Pauli’s life. In 1938, she applied to the law school of the University of North Carolina. She was refused admission because of her race. The second incident was in 1940 when Pauli and a friend took a bus from New York to Durham to visit her family. They were arrested in Petersburg, Virginia for sitting in the front of the bus and refusing to go to the back. She would not pay the fine and spent several days in jail before being released. In 1941, Pauli entered Howard University’s Law School where she was the only woman. She was class President and graduated first in the class. Then came the third life changing event. Traditionally Harvard Law School offered a fellowship for further study to the top student at Howard. Pauli applied but was rejected because of her gender. Later she earned a Doctorate from Yale Law School.
Pauli became a civil rights lawyer and activist for women’s rights. Her writings were used as part of the basis for the landmark school desegregation case, Brown vs. Board of Education. Pauli was not shy about advocating for important issues and wrote a critical letter to her friend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., asking why there were no women in leadership positions for the March on Washington in 1963. In 1971, future Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg named Murray an honorary co-author in her brief successfully overturning a gender discrimination case before the US Supreme Court.
Pauli’s list of accomplishments continued: she was a co-founder of NOW (National Organization for Women), was named Woman of the Year by Mademoiselle magazine in 1947, served on President Kennedy’s Commission on the Status of Women, and published the highly acclaimed biography of her grandparents, Proud Shoes.
Capping her career, Pauli became the first black woman in the US to become a priest in the Episcopal Church, the church of Mary Ruffin Smith. Her first service was in the small Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill where her grandmother, Cornelia, was baptized. Pauli Murray was named a Saint in the Episcopal Church in 2012. The Bishop said of her, “Pauli Murray had an agenda for human good that was constant and unswerving.”
Pauli Murray died on July 1, 1985 and is buried in the Cypress Hills Cemetery in New York. Her girlhood home on Carroll Street in Durham is being restored and will house the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice. Pauli was honored on her one hundredth birthday in 2010 by both Duke and UNC. In 2016, Yale University named a residential college for her.
The Jones Grove land passed through several owners until it was purchased by R.B. Fitch who developed Fearrington Village. Pauli Murray’s legacy lives on in the laws of the land as well as the lives she has influenced. Jones Grove cemetery, still owned by the University of North Carolina, holds an impressive monument at Mary Smith’s grave and nine graves, including those of Mary’s brother, Sidney, and her parents. Maria Spear, Mary’s friend, is the only non-family member buried in the cemetery. The nine people lying in this small cemetery have a checkered history, but they leave an important legacy that affects us to this day.
"True emancipation lies in the acceptance of the past...in facing up to the degradation as well as the dignity of my ancestors." Pauli Murray
Main Street Pittsboro Receives Prestigious National Volunteerism Award
Main Street Pittsboro has been named one of the nation’s top 100 winners of the Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award (STACVA), a new program designed to recognize and honor outstanding public service volunteers. The nonprofit organization was nominated by Pittsboro Mayor Jim Nass and Pittsboro Commissioner Kyle Shipp. “The vitality of the downtown area has really been bolstered by the work of this group, and it is all done by volunteers,” said Commissioner Shipp.
Among the accomplishments he cited were the organization’s efforts to provide matching funds to property owners to pay for downtown building façade improvements, installation of benches and new recycling containers, and handrails for better handicap accessibility. The group was also praised for launching Local on Main: Pittsboro's Art and Farm Dinner, an annual event where local farmers and restaurants prepare meals served by volunteers, while local musicians entertain attendees. “In the last year alone the Main Street Pittsboro District has seen six new businesses open, one business expand, 62 full-time jobs created and almost $7 million in private investment,” Shipp also noted.
Pittsboro's Art & Farm Dinner
Photo by Bett Wilson Foley
During a time when Pittsboro is realizing unprecedented growth, it’s not surprising that there’s an effort to ensure a vital downtown that also preserves the small-town integrity and uniqueness. Downtown Pittsboro, much like Fearrington Village offers the promise of a way of life—where people care for one another, where they smile and wave at folks they may not know, and where the momentum of life slows to a pace that fosters appreciation.
In addition to national recognition, the Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award provides Pittsboro with a new municipal website, designed and hosted for one year by CivicPlus, sponsor of the STACVA program. The timing of the award, valued at $10,000, could not have been better, as Pittsboro had already budgeted for a new town website this year. Check out https://mainstreetpittsboro.org/.
Bart Russell, a principal with the Barton Russell Group, which created and administered the award program, applauded Main Street Pittsboro for its tremendous accomplishments. “Civic volunteerism is the lifeblood of many small communities, and the hometown heroes from Pittsboro being recognized by this award exemplify the very best of what it means to give back to the communities in which they live,” said Russell, who is a nationally recognized small-town America expert.
Fearrington Village resident Larry Newlin expressed his appreciation for the vision and hard work represented by members of Main Street Pittsboro. Newlin, a former White House rural policy advisor and former colleague of Bart Russell at the National Association of Towns and Townships, shared, “I’ve been really impressed by this organization’s work to help make our historic downtown a place where people want to visit and do business.”
Main Street Pittsboro got its start in 2011 when the town applied to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and was accepted into the North Carolina Main Street program. This statewide program is designed to help historic downtowns rebound from the loss of businesses and capitalize on their unique assets to retain existing businesses while also attracting new ones. NC Main Street is affiliated with Main Street America, a national network of more than 1,200 towns that share both a commitment to create high-quality places and build stronger communities through preservation-based economic development.
“Downtown revitalization programs play a crucial role in ensuring strong, vibrant communities, and the work of Main Street Pittsboro and their volunteers will be more important than ever as we weather the impacts of the pandemic,” observed Patrice Frey, president and CEO of Main Street America.
Pittsboro/Chatham County Welcome Center
Photo by Michael Fiocco
The Main Street Pittsboro organization is led by an all-volunteer board of local residents including Commissioner Mike Dasher, Thomas Delafield, Commissioner Michael Fiocco, Lesley Landis, Greg Lewis, Maria Parker-Lewis, and Randy Voller. And their work continues. The Pittsboro/Chatham County Welcome Center, spearheaded and financed by the group, has received its certificate of occupancy and has begun moving in furniture and equipment.
Of course, Main Street Pittsboro must proceed cautiously with the restrictions and challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, the group has postponed many of the previously planned events that typically support its efforts. But these challenges have not hindered their enthusiasm, according to Mayor Nass, and they continue to look for more opportunities in the future to enhance the community of Pittsboro.
The 28th Annual Chatham Artists Guild Studio Tour
It’s that time of year again when the Chatham Artists Guild Studio Tour welcomes visitors into member artists’ studios on the first two weekends of December: Saturdays, December 5th and 12th, 10:00 to 5:00, and Sundays, December 6th and 13th, 12:00 to 5:00. A total of 42 local artists will offer the opportunity to safely experience their inspirations and to purchase affordable original works of art. Paintings, sculpture, pottery, photography, glass, wood, digital, and fabric art will be on display.
This year’s tour will strictly follow NC Health and Human Services Guidelines. To ensure your safety, studios will be clean and sanitized. Masks, social distancing, and hand sanitizing will be required for all visitors, and there will be limits on the number of guests in the studio at one time. See https://chathamartistsguild.org/2020-virtual-tour/ for virtual tour information.
Artists Among Us
While 2020 has in no way been a typical year for the artists participating in the Chatham Artists Guild Studio Tour, it has been a productive one. Fearrington Village boasts seven Chatham Guild Artists on the tour, among our many artists who have chosen to live and create within our community. While not all have decided to open their studios during the tour weekends, you can still experience creativity at work through virtual tours. Additionally, opportunities to purchase artwork or arrange for private studio tours are listed on individual websites.
“I was that kid you could always find turning over rocks in streams, looking for what wonders nature would disclose to me. This curiosity about the natural world led me to a serious life as scientist and organizational executive. Now in retirement, I am again doing what I did in grammar school—turning over rocks and sculpting and painting the wonders that nature discloses.” 149 Tinderwood, 919-545-9743, www.OrganicForrestry.com. Virtual Tour Only
“I am grateful for this opportunity to bring you the full scope of my work to date. By embodying both the seen and the unseen in my paintings I am attempting to frame our shared world anew—in unexpected and beautiful ways. I invite you to discover what these paintings mean to you.” 167 Wintersage, 919-414-6003, lanichaves.com. First Weekend Only, Studio #19
“During my years living and working abroad, I spent time observing and trying to understand the unique expressions of people’s lives in their environments. This resulted in a number of paintings depicting people in activity that is meaningful to them, capturing universal emotions—joy, wonder, dedication, defiance. I also paint landscapes, still life paintings, and animals in their habitats. My goal is to create compelling compositions, patterns, light, and color congruence, with an image that draws the eye because of artistic harmony, but that provokes thought and emotion.” 923 Woodham - Home Studio, by appt. only, 919-457-8090, www.KarenWestgallery.com. Virtual Tour Only
“I delight in the creative process. It gives me energy, frees my spirit. My role as an artist is to nurture the creative space within me. I invite viewers to explore my paintings, let their spirit dance or rest in my world of imagery, colors, and mood. In my subjects, I search to capture the beauty and the mundane in the belief that G-d travels incognito. I find there is drama in layered color, understated texture, and subtle brush movements. This visual poetry speaks directly in the language of the soul, emotions…of intuition. My desire is to encourage reflection, quiet contemplation—a respite from life’s chatter.” 110 Creekwood, Studio visits and classes by appt. 919-929-9268, www.LesliePalmerFineArt.com. Virtual Tour Only
“I’m a scientist and an artist. I love a unique and beautiful experiment, whether it’s in the laboratory or on canvas. Places I remember and recreate have distinct light effects that amplify shadows, shapes, and colors. Often my images are of nature, both real landscapes and synthesized ones, with various degrees of abstraction. I have been experimenting, recently, with abstract images that convey color harmony, texture, and motion. These celebrate earth, its elements, air, water, land, with a goal of juxtaposing colors surprisingly, drawing the viewer into airy, solid, liquid, and movement patterns that keep coaxing the eye back for more.” 300 Village Way, 970-471-3066, https://chathamartistsguild.org/artists/jim-aiken/. Virtual Tour Only
Minnie C. Gallman: Photography and Note Cards Depicting Nature and Eclectic Subjects
“Photography is a creative outlet that encourages me to look at the world in a different way. My studio is the world and everything in it. My camera is my canvas and my lenses are my brushes. My digital darkroom allows me to refine my vision and use my imagination. I enjoy photographing a variety of subjects—architecture, abstracts, people, boats, monuments, and old cars. My primary interest is nature photography which presents a constant challenge to create photographs of something that is familiar to all of us.” 22 Speyside Circle, Home Studio, by appt. only, 919-533-6616, www.Minnie-Gallman.pixels.com. Virtual Tour Only
"I've made hundreds of sketches during my years of living, traveling, and teaching in Europe and Asia and often return to those sketches for inspiration. I also find subject matter in the changing seasons in North Carolina. Each print is made from a stencil inspired by an original drawing and is hand cut or painted by hand on the screen. What I do is physical, so my level of production has changed a bit. This results in many more limited editions.” 601 Stoneview, 804-833-1401, www.HouseOfLifePrints.com. Virtual Tour Only
Jenny’s Park Clean-up—A Garden Club Service Project
Text by Dan Freehling, West Camden; Photos by Tony Daniels and Lee Newlin
In this time of Covid-19, finding safe projects and educational opportunities has been a challenge, but the Fearrington Garden Club has undertaken a new service opportunity that is outdoors, educational, and beneficial to the entire Fearrington community. The first Sunday of each month, members of the Garden Club descend on Jenny’s (aka Camden) Park—pruning shears and loppers and garden trowels in hand—to weed, prune, and even do some planting.
Club members and friends have met twice already, each time with close to 20 participants and working under the supervision of Ryan Cadwalader, Fearrington gardener and arborist. The work to date has taken place along the walking path of the lower pond and the center path leading from the pond up to the wildflower garden. Five dump truck loads of pruned limbs, “volunteers,” debris, and weeds have been hauled away, while more than 50 new plants have been added by the woods’ end of the pond. Pond views from the walking path are much improved and shrubs along the center path are more presentable, all while maintaining an appropriate habitat for wildlife—two mallards and a heron were spotted in November! Weather permitting, we’ll be gathering again the first Sunday in December. Until then, come enjoy a walk in the park, made all the more pleasant thanks to your fellow gardening enthusiasts.
Fearrington Groups and Organizations
Chatham County Agencies
Fearrington Groups and Organizations
The Fearrington Bulls & Bears Investment Club is a group of Fearrington residents who are interested in improving their investment knowledge and capabilities. We meet monthly during non-summer months and communicate even more regularly through an email exchange group to share information, insights, and ideas about investing.
Guests are welcome to participate in a group meeting or in our email exchange group to gauge their interest in joining the Club. The next meeting will be held by Zoom on December 11 at 9:30 am.
For more information about the Club, meetings or the exchange, please contact:
Anna Shearer, President, at 703-217-0322 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Democratic Club is taking a post-election break but will return to Zoom-based programs and other activities in January. Because of early deadlines for this newsletter, we encourage you to check the Club’s website http://www.fearringtondems.org/ after the holidays for updated program information and other resources.
Reminder about the Poinsettia Sale: if you ordered poinsettias, the date to pick up your plant(s) is Tuesday, December 8. (Sorry, but the deadline has passed for any new orders.) Pickup will be by appointment—and plants will be safely placed in your car trunk at a drive-by delivery point in Fearrington. Notification of your pick-up time and place is in progress. For questions, please contact Marilyn Boyle at 919-904-2217 or email@example.com.
Tuesday, December 8, 3:00 pm, Zoom teleconference. Details will be emailed to members around the first of the month. Newcomers welcome. Contact: Linda Grimm at 919-533-6296
The last few months have provided a bumper crop of significant environmental developments. While the inexorable march of the Covid-19 virus has been an extremely serious negative development, there have also been quite a few positive developments that deserve recognition. On the very local community scene, I would like to report some results for the October 17 "3-in-1" event at The Gathering Place. With the enthusiastic cooperation of our fellow residents, we collected and shredded 8,400 pounds of Fearrington confidential paper. To put that in a bit of historical perspective: our May 2019 event generated 4,920 pounds. Our October 2019 event generated 5,040 pounds. In addition, the folks from the Chatham County Sheriff's Department collected 31.8 pounds of pharmaceuticals. That's a lot of unused pills that won't be flushed down the toilet.
Which is a convenient segue to another very positive community development. As Rose Krasnow reported at the FHA Annual (Zoom) Meeting on November 15, the company involved with the proposed interconnection of our Fearrington wastewater system with the (troubled) Briar Chapel wastewater treatment system withdrew its merger application from consideration by the NC Public Utilities Commission on October 20, 2020. This action had the result of canceling the proposed merger. Fitch Creations will resume responsibility for managing our aged wastewater treatment facility. This is an important step in our community retaining "control of our own destiny" when it comes to creating an improved facility that will more effectively treat our wastewater. The FHA Wastewater Management Task Force looks forward to assisting Fitch Creations in constructively dealing with this issue.
And while those two community developments were very gratifying, we shouldn't ignore the important Global Environment development in early November, when the presidential election resulted in Joe Biden becoming President-Elect. Mr. Biden has pledged to return the United States to the UN Paris Agreement on Climate Change—an important "first step" in addressing the major environmental issue of our lifetime—and likely our grandchildren's lifetime.
—Jason Welsch, 914-806-4852 (Cell Phone)
Moderator, Fearrington Green Scene
A virtual Annual Membership meeting is scheduled for January 31, 2021, 4 to 5 pm. Virtual meeting instructions and details about our board election will be sent after the holidays. We will be electing several new board members.
Remember Thursday morning ladies croquet continues at 10 am throughout the winter. If you are new, we will help you get started. Come join us!
As the time approaches for renewals next year, remember to save your membership cards. All cards are reusable. Keeping them saves the time and resources of making hundreds of new cards.
Thursday, December 3, 4 pm
Join the Fearrington Village Singers on Zoom as they celebrate the holiday season with a variety of talent from the chorus.
• Songs by Tom Ludlow
• Recollections by Dorothy Samitz, Janet Keefer, Doug Rhodes, and Vince Tollers
• Tad McArdle on the djembe African drum
• Short stories by Mike Hardy and Pam Beaubien
• A guitar show-and-tell by Bob Maarschalkerweerd
• One of Matt Fry’s original songs
• Musical selections by Vera Gray and Gina Harrison
• A duet by Larry Nessly and Ruth Appel
• A sing-along
• Maybe more!
Everyone is invited to join us on Zoom. Paste this link in your browser: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85336503002?pwd=YVA0UjRTdWlhUjRjaFdZd2lhaHZCQT09.
Or, find the Zoom link posted on fearringtonvillagesingers.org.
Remember how excited you were as a child to receive a toy at the holiday season? You couldn’t wait to open your presents! Through its annual toy drive, WoF helps provide happiness for children in need. This year there are two ways to give: an Amazon wish list assembled by Chatham County DSS at https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3N6XZ4FFWQAHU?ref_=wl_share (Specify “Wilder Horner, Chatham County DSS.”) with toys delivered directly to DSS or a toy drop-off (unwrapped and new) at 4036 South McDowell before December 1.
In this season of giving, please remember WoF’s Wonderful Options Fund, which provides grants to organizations serving women and children in need in Chatham County. Your gift may honor a loved one and can be included in your holiday card. Donation forms can be found at https://www.womenoffearrington.org/fundraising.
There is still time to order goodies from our Holiday Bakery and Market Tuesday, December 8. See https://www.womenoffearrington.org/holiday-bakery for your pre-order form. All proceeds benefit charity.
Chatham County Agencies
With the December holidays just around the corner we are reminded especially of the needs of our Chatham County neighbors. Here are three organizations that you could help right now.
"Christmas Wishes," a program of Chatham County Social Services (DSS) provides holiday gifts for children in foster care and/or receiving services through the child welfare system. Each year community donors volunteer to fulfill 3 specific "wishes" for each child enrolled in the program. Sponsors also may choose to give a financial contribution. All sizes of sponsorship are graciously welcomed. You may complete a pledge form at https://forms.gle/9T1BPirar7kh7KMV7. A monetary contribution may be sent by check payable to Chatham County DSS Foster Children’s Fund at: PO Box 489, Pittsboro, NC 27312. For more information: (919) 726-6270.
"Christmas Dreams" provides Christmas gifts for needy adult clients. Donors can choose to send a monetary donation or gift certificate for a specific retailer to the Chatham County DSS Adult Services Fund at the Pittsboro address above. Additionally, donations of personal goods, such as toiletry items, personal care items, and new or gently used clothing, are always welcomed. For more information: (919) 642-6958.
“Angel Tree” is a program of the Chatham County Council on Aging to help seniors during the holidays. Chatham County Council on Aging promotes and encourages independent living and physical and mental wellness among the population over 60 years of age via a broad variety of agency activities. For more information call (919)542-4512.
Bottom line: You will make a positive difference in an elderly person or a child’s holiday experience by donating now. For more information about these and over 100 other non-profits in need of your help please visit chathamconnecting.org.
The annual United Way of Chatham County campaign is underway. Fearrington residents are generous supporters of United Way and its funded agencies. Based on last year’s pledges of $127,888, this year’s goal for the Fearrington Village–Galloway Ridge campaign is $128,000.
Many in the Chatham community continue to struggle due to the impacts of Covid-19. Chatham has seen an increase in the number of hungry children, homeless families, and isolated seniors this year. Please help make a difference in their lives by donating today. Visit www.unitedwayofchathamcounty.org and click “Donate Now” in the top right corner. Or return the pledge card you receive in the mail to PO Box 1066, Pittsboro, NC 27312 or call the United Way office at (919) 542-1110. Every dollar pledged through the United Way of Chatham County stays here to support Chatham residents.
—Jack Zollinger, Galloway Ridge; Ruth Murphy and Ellen Shanahan, Fearrington Village
Continuing Education Opportunities
Shared Learning Association of Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill’s Shared Learning Association offers non-credit educational courses for people who love to ‘share learning’ with other adults with similar interests. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Shared Learning will offer 24 online courses via Zoom, beginning January 11 and ending in April. Full semester courses are moderated by our members and include fine arts, hard sciences, humanities, current events and social and behavioral sciences.
For a Winter membership fee of $25, students may take as many courses as they can fit into their schedule. The Winter 2021 Catalog includes a registration form with full course descriptions and schedule and is available online at: http://sharedlearning.us. Or, to receive a paper copy, you may contact Mary Ann Freedman at: (919) 593-3335, (firstname.lastname@example.org). Registration for the Shared Learning Spring Online Courses will begin the first week in December.
This Month's Announcements
The Fearrington Cares Center Will Be Closed December 21–January 3.
The Fearrington Cares Staff will not be monitoring the phones or making appointments. All messages left in the general mailbox will be retrieved on January 4, when the staff is back at work. Volunteer drivers will continue to pick up prepaid groceries and prescriptions while we are closed; leave a message only in the Transportation mailbox and a volunteer will be in contact with you.
Celebrating Pat with Gratitude
Fearrington Cares is fortunate to have had an extraordinary employee in Pat Skiver and now she is retiring! Selfishly, we are tempted to beg her to stay, claiming we simply can’t do without her services! Instead, I ask you to join me in my deep appreciation for the talent, compassion, expertise, and care exhibited by Pat, here at Fearrington Cares and in every corner of the neighborhood. Pat’s note to you is as follows:
In January 2008, just three months after moving to Fearrington, I started working part-time at Fearrington Cares. I didn’t know much about the organization then, now 13 years later I am going to retire from employment, but not from volunteering. I know a lot more about Fearrington Cares now, and that is why Tom and I both believe that it is the “heart of Fearrington Village”. This job enabled me to meet my neighbors, make new friends, and serve my community. It has truly been a pleasure to work with so many generous, kindhearted people who are willing to give of themselves for their community. I am so pleased to call Fearrington Village home. Thank you all for your support, your commitment to CARING, and your friendship.—Pat
Living with Loss Around the Holidays
Thursdays, December 3 and 17, 1:00–2:30 pm via Zoom
Living with Loss Around the Holidays is a support group for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one—spouse, parent, child, family member, or friend. “The Holidays,” November through the end of the year, are often painful. This period may be filled with memories of loved ones no longer alive and with us in remembered, happy ways.
Meeting twice in November and twice in December at 1:00 pm on Zoom, this group is hosted by Judyth and John Branson. Residents of Fearrington since 2012, Judyth is a psychotherapist and John is a retired Episcopal priest.
This is a group where we talk about feelings: grief, being alone, emptiness, fear of the future, and doubts about ourselves. We will have a chance to speak of our loved ones and all that is good. There are no expectations; this is simply a chance to meet and talk in the safety of the group where confidentiality is maintained. All are welcome to one or more sessions.
Zoom Movement Classes, Support Groups, and Education Programs Links Are on Our Website www.fearringtoncares.org.
Occasionally Zoom program IDs and passwords will change; if you have saved a link it may eventually become inactive. Use the links on our website for a quick, current connection to all Zoom programs. If you would like to practice a Zoom connection and meeting, email email@example.com and we will set that up.
A Note from Karen Metzguer, RN, Nurse and Executive Director
The Heart of Fearrington Village
We can't and never have been able to do it without YOU. The work of Fearrington Cares is funded 100% by Villagers, current and past. Not only are you and your neighbors volunteers for this organization, you have shared your financial resources for 30 years of service to the community. This final appeal for a contribution in 2020 comes with the immense gratitude I feel for the privilege of serving as your Nurse and Executive Director.
You may be surprised to learn the multiple ways we are able to receive financial support in addition to a check or a donation by credit card on our website (https://fearringtoncares.org/donate/):
Donation of appreciated stock.
Donation of proceeds from a vehicle sale.
Matching donation from an employer/previous employer.
Donation in honor of a service provided by one of our volunteers.
Donation in memory of a friend or family member who has died.
Donation of the proceeds of an estate sale.
Donation at the time of death through a will.
Donation through a trust fund or foundation.
Our programs and services continue to make a difference in this community. We hear regularly from individuals who are incredibly grateful for our education programs and movement classes, and who have been moved by the humor, warmth, and compassion of our volunteers.
We are grateful to each of you who have contributed and ask those of you who have not to consider joining your neighbors who are passionate about Fearrington Cares programs and services. Please make a donation before the end of the year. Fearrington Cares is a 501(c)3 organization.
Support for Caregivers Workshop
Do you care for someone with memory loss and live in a rural area? If so, you may to eligible to participate in a free six-week long online workshop offered by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.
If you are a caregiver living in a rural area, care for someone with memory loss, are 18 years of age or older, and provide care for at least ten hours per week, you may qualify. Participants will receive a small cash stipend for completing four study surveys on their caregiving experiences. The study offers a free online workshop, caregiver handbook, and support from trained staff and other caregivers. Go to https://caregiverproject.ucsf.edu or call toll-free 1-833-634-0603 for more information.
Remember AmazonSmile When Shopping!
During this season of gift giving, many of you shop at Amazon. Fearrington Cares has registered with AmazonSmile so that if you shop at Amazon, you can choose to have AmazonSmile donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to us at no additional cost to you. Just shop at https://smile.amazon.com/ and designate Fearrington Cares as your charity of choice. When first visiting AmazonSmile, customers are prompted to select a charitable organization from almost one million eligible organizations. Then shop as usual and benefit Fearrington Cares at the same time!
Fearrington Cares maintains a web site with county, state, and national information about the pandemic and the virus: fearringtoncares.org/resources/covid-19-coronavirus-current-information/.
Fearrington Directory Changes
Welcome to Our New Residents!
The following persons have been added to the Fearrington Village Directory between October 15 and November 14:
|Beth and Ron GOLD||32 Caswell (1183)||Beth's Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ron's Email: email@example.com
Beth's Cell: 757-353-1726
Ron's Cell: 757-353-9284
|Tina S. HOWELL||4119 The Knolls Close||Home: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tina's Cell: 704-287-5971
|Karen ISAACS and Brian WONG||1372 Bradford Place||Karen's Email: email@example.com
Karen's Cell: 919-270-5039
Brian's Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian's Cell: 919-656-6786
|John B. and Mary (Bunny) LANCASTER||689 Spindlewood||John's Email: email@example.com
Bunny's Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
John's Cell: 859-537-2205
Bunny's Cell: 859-321-9810
|Kirstine (Tine) LINDEMANN
|907 Ashton||Tine's Email: Kirstinelindemann15@gmail.com
George's Email: Malacins@indiana.edu
Tine's Cell: 812-272-2381
|Bill and Robin PICKARD||437 Crossvine Close||Bill's Email: email@example.com
Robin's Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill's Cell: 919-771-7149
Robin's Cell: 919-576-6536
|Edwin and Judith J. POULSON||14 East Madison (1039)||Judith's Email: email@example.com
Edwin's Cell: 803-900-1347
Judith's Cell: 803-427-6724
|Chris L. ROBERTS||174 Wintersage||Home: 919-724-5371|
Are you a new resident? Be sure to register on our FHA community website. Doing so will give you full access to website features and allow you to be added to our resident directory. Log on to FearringtonFHA.org and on the top menu click on “Directory.” Then, in the drop-down menus click first on “New Resident” then “List Me in the Directory.”
Are you an existing resident whose contact information has changed? Don’t forget to update your listing on the FearringtonFHA.org web site. On the landing page, click on the Directory tab on the top menu and then on Update Preferences on the drop-down menu. When you update your contact information online, the updates will be included in the FHA Directory & Handbook printed in January each year. Stay in touch with your fellow residents by keeping your contact information current.
Notice anything missing in this issue of the newsletter? If not, that’s good. We were wondering if readers would even notice. What’s missing is the Changes to the Directory content we printed each month listing new and updated contact information for existing residents. We have decided to omit this feature going forward. These updates are easily found in your FearringtonFHA.org online directory regularly maintained by a FHA volunteer. An added benefit? Your newsletter staff can use the space for information, articles and photos readers can’t get elsewhere. We hope you agree with our decision.
Calendar for December 2020
Fearrington Village clubs and groups will be meeting on these dates. Events are usually held at The Gathering Place unless stated otherwise. However, The Gathering Place is currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Therefore, if you have questions, be sure to check with the person or web page listed in the “Contact” column for the most up-to-date information.
|Tuesday December 1
|Women of Fearrington||Toy Drive Deadline||Kate West
|Tuesday December 8
9 am-1 pm
|Women of Fearrington||Holiday Bakery and Market||Jo Bolig
|Tuesday December 8
|Fearrington Genealogy Group||Zoom Teleconference||Linda Grimm
|Friday December 11
|Bulls and Bears
|Club Meeting via Zoom||Anna Shearer