The Transylvania Times -

Rosenwald News


February 13, 2020

Residents gather at the Mary C. Jenkins Community Center before it is burned.

It takes the right kind of carrot to get me out in the night. The rain was still pouring down this past Monday evening. I don't relish driving at night and, yes, I am a bit of a homebody, but the universe colluded to present the perfect carrot stick to get me out. I got a ride from a friend and didn't have to drive. There was the possibility to meet up with other friends and the icing on the cake - a jam session at the DFR room featuring Derrick Gardner (keys/ trombone,) Jeff Sipe (drums,) Howie Johnson (guitar/vocals) and Mark McDaniel (bass/vocals.) What a magical night!

For three solid hours, I was entranced. I talked to Derrick afterwards about what I witnessed and thoroughly enjoyed. It felt like I was watching an unfolding conversation taking place between the musicians. It all flowed perfectly. They were that in tune with each other. The vibe, the energy the intuitive feel of the right next note, it felt brilliant. It was as if they had spent hours and hours of rehearsal and knew their "lines" perfectly. Maybe they had rehearsed for hours on end and memorized lyrics and the order of things. Except, the whole room could feel the spontaneity, the fluidity, the intriguing directions that the music took, like these guys were enjoying the best adventure together. We were definitely along for the ride.

At times, Gardner was on the keyboard, eyes half closed and then he'd give a look to his left at Mark and to his right at Howie. Sometimes, he would leave his instrument of the moment and while moving his body to the beat, he'd give Jeff Sipe that same kind of look. It was not quite a "Hey, top this!" glance. It was more of a fun, "show me what you got" look that was just eagerly anticipating something delightful coming from his buddies. That's how I read it. The room was jamming along with them.

Thank you for a wonderful night on the town! You can catch the next episodes in this continuing musical jam session each Monday from 7 to 10 p.m.

From music and entertainment we go to history and community. On Monday, Feb. 17, join us in city council chambers at 7 p.m. We are on the agenda to present one aspect of "The African American Storyline Project." This relates to historic signage. We are providing city council with a sample sign, plus the proposed wording/descriptions for 34 historic signs that you will see around town, hopefully by June 2020.

"The African American Storyline Project" is a not for-profit project under the Community Focus Foundation. The project received a $23,000 grant in 2019 for historic signage covering local black history. The signage project is a collaborative initiative between Morning Glory Inspirations and the Transylvania Citizens Improvement Organization (T.C.I.O.)

Prior to presenting to city council next Monday, the project has been presented on numerous occasions within the community, to the Parks, Trails and Recreation Committee and to the city Planning Department. It was requested that we share with city council a sample of what the signs will look like, along with the language/ descriptions per sign and the best photography/sketches that we have to date.

All project participants of our "Signage Team" offer their expertise and wisdom. They include: Billy Smith (local artist – necessary artwork,) Edith Darity (local historian – representing TCIO and Morning Glory Inspirations,) Nicola Karesh (MGI, project coordinator, community engagement and grant writer,) Susan Threlkel (Community Focus Foundation representative,) Torry Nergart (mapping, sign placement, easement information) and Wayne Brown (Signs & More, Inc. - production and installation of signage.)

Our proposed signs (numbered to correspond with the black history walking tours and the TCIO 40th Anniversary Book) at this time include:

Fire consumes the old Mary C. Jenkins Community Center, one of the proposed locations for historic signage. (Photos courtesy of Nicola Karesh)

#1 – Goose Hollow, #2 – The "Old" Rosenwald School, #3 – Rosenwald School, #6 – Happy Hollow, #8 – Bethel Baptist Church, #9 – Mr. Jip's Store, #10 – Georgia Hill, #11 – Mary C. Jenkins Community Center, #12 – Greasy Corner, #16 – Billiard Parlor/Mooney and Mat Pierce and Ms. Dot's Store, #17 – Mr. Will Gardin's/Mr. George Bailey's Taxi Stand, #18 – Daddy Roy's (Hutchison) Store, Café and Dance Hall, #19 – Blue Diamond and Deep Cover, #20 – Mr. Ed Killian's Taxi Stand, #21 – Mrs. Annie Bell Killian's Store, #22 – Bethel "A" Baptist Church, #23 – Fire Baptized Holiness Church, #24 – Mr. Grady Elliott's and Mack Butler's Café, #25 – Mill's Chapel A.M.E. Church, #26 – Mountain Lily Lodge/Betsill Barber Shop, #27 – Henry's Barber Shop/Green Onion, #28 – Eliza's Rooming House, #29 – Condrey Sharp Boarding House, #30 – Jim Aiken's/Moms Mabley's Home Place, #32 – Clemson Theater, #34 – Frogg Bottom, #36 – Glade Creek Cemetery, #37 - Glade Creek Baptist Church, #38 - Glade Creek School, #39 – French Broad Baptist Church, #40 - French Broad School, #41 - French Broad Cemetery, #42 – Everett Farm School and finally, #43 – Cooper's Cemetery.

If you have a connection with any of these places, we welcome your involvement. If by chance you have original photography, we are still looking for the best quality pictures to share with our printer. This continues to be a work in progress. Your involvement is considered a treasure!

(Newsworthy items for submission for Rosenwald Community News are welcomed from community members, churches, clubs and groups. If you have an idea for a story or interview for me to capture, let me know at or call (828) 421-8615.) Enjoy your week.


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