Conscious party: Cheerwine and Cheese

LEVERAGING A LEGACY: After his death, local writer Harry Bagley's family members printed a collection of his short stories, and they have since been donating copies to area charities for fundraising purposes. Bagley's son Rick says he's hatching a plan to use some of the last copies to raise much more money — "in the millions," he hopes — with help from his contacts at Fortune 500 companies. Image courtesy of the Bagleys

WHAT: A book signing to benefit Eblen Charities, Eliada Homes and Next Step Recovery

WHERE: Battery Bark Book Exchange & Champagne Bar

WHEN: Saturday, June 25, from 5-7 p.m.

WHY: “‘Listening to the Grass Grow’ was a family selection of columns Daddy wrote over a period of 20 years,” says Rick Bagley, whose father Harry “Cuz” Bagley was a humor columnist for The Cherokee Scout. “He wrote about hundreds and hundreds of people, themes, politics with a funny spin, government, World War II experiences, the Marine Corps … the Bible and other religious matters.”

Following the local writer’s death in 1984, his family members culled from the manuscript he had been working on and printed 4,200 copies of the resulting short story collection in 1987. Rather than selling the 162-page work, they’ve been donating copies as a fundraising tool for charities in Western North Carolina and beyond. That’s the plan for most of the remaining 600 copies, some of which will be used at an upcoming Cheerwine and Cheese benefit.

Conceived by Rick years ago, the Southern-flavored gathering — which literally offers Cheerwine and cheese in addition to other complimentary refreshments — supports Next Step Recovery, Eblen Charities and Eliada Homes. The author’s son will gift his dad’s book to any attendee who makes a donation to the selected nonprofits, signing copies upon request. Beyond that, guests can expect door prizes and “some nice takeaways for those who don’t even give a nickel.”

The suggested donation at Cheerwine and Cheese is $25. For more information, visit


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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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