West Asheville has maintained an identity so distinctive that visitors frequently ask if it’s really part of Asheville. That’s not surprising, considering the area’s history. (images courtesy of the N.C. Collection, Pack Memorial Library, Asheville)
The high priestess of Seely’s Castle was one of the most remarkable women I’ve ever known. She came to us as a domestic when we were living in a small house in Lake View Park.
By the late ‘80s, Asheville was beginning to realize that it had a potential gold mine in the hundreds of undertaxed properties sitting in the historic district mere blocks from the slowly awakening downtown. All the city had to do was upgrade the neighborhood infrastructure—a legal activity that caused the property owners in Montford almost […]
It wasn’t until the new neighbor showed up on our front porch and announced that he was starting a fledgling bookie operation in the basement of his place across the street that we realized we weren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto. He said he intended to run a quiet operation and hoped we would not be […]
MooI was 14 years old when V-J Day was declared in August of 1945. It happened that my crazy Aunt Johanna, whom I just loved, was visiting us from Philadelphia. She asked my dad if I could go back to Philadelphia with her. My dad said it would cost too much for a train ticket, […]
Welcome to the Asheville of the early ‘80s—a period when restaurant development would play an important role in bolstering the emergence of downtown as a recreational and entertainment destination. Two key events in 1979 undoubtedly fueled the incipient stirrings of social activity in downtown Asheville: the launch of the Bele Chere festival, now a downtown […]
I hope this column passes the smell test. Actually it seems appropriate that as a preamble to this narrative we discuss people’s selective acceptance of unpleasant odors. When I was very small, my father was a dealer in cowhides. He would come home in the evening, pick me up and give me a big hug, […]
The 65th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7, got me reflecting on how much the 1942 attack changed my life—and changed Asheville. I have a particularly vivid memory of what happened that fateful day. My father had taken me and several of my little friends to the Isis Theater in West Asheville, where we […]