The little film that could

Inbred Rednecks, the acclaimed indie “hillbilly” film that was written, produced, directed and filmed here in Asheville by local wunderkind Joshua P. Warren in 1997, scored yet another award recently, when it was named the 1999 Stoner Classic of the Year by Screaming Stoner Video Review. Associated with High Times magazine, Screaming Stoner rates films according to how enjoyable they are while the viewer is high on marijuana. “Rednecks is a total classic!” gushes the review. “One of the best comedies we’ve seen to come out of the low-budget genre!”

Screaming Stoner gave the film a “five puff” rating — the highest mark possible, defined as “masterpiece.” William Friedkin’s horror classic The Exorcist was also awarded five puffs, whereas George Romero’s zombie-fest Day of the Dead, the final installment of his landmark Dead Trilogy, received just four puffs.

Rednecks was also named the #1 underground film of 1998 by Hollywood Online, an entertainment e-zine, among other awards.

For more information, contact Warren at 253-7736, or visit the Inbred Rednecks Web site (

The joys of helping out

Got a little extra energy and time on your hands? If you’re 55 or older, why not give the Land-of-Sky Regional Council’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) a call? There’s nothing like being needed, and they’ll be happy to match your interests and skills with current volunteer needs.

Those opportunities include: helping build houses for needy families; educating the public about cancer prevention and support; assisting with crafts and music in a nursing home; providing respite for caregivers; serving as a docent for a local historical area; teaching people how to read their mail; and transporting people to medical appointments, the drug store, or the grocery store.

Volunteering is a great way to make new friends, learn new skills — and enrich your own life by giving someone else a needed boost.

Learning is doing

Schools teach skills and knowledge to students, right? Well, usually. But two local schools are also incorporating public service into the mix.

A group of students from Mount Pisgah Academy, a Seventh-day Adventist boarding and day school, is devoting every Monday to various community projects. On Oct. 18, for example, students sorted donations and helped paint the Asheville-Buncombe Community Christian Ministry’s warehouse, helped care for children at Eliada Home, tutored younger students at Claxton Elementary School, cleaned up litter with Quality Forward, and assisted with environmental research at the Clean Water Fund of North Carolina.

The community-service program is new this year, but students were already required to take part in a work/study program, volunteering at local nursing homes and assisted-living centers. “We want our students to have a well-rounded education,” said Principal John Nafie in a recent media release, “and that includes teaching them to be good citizens in their community.” The school, in Candler, serves grades nine through 12.

Not to be outdone, students at The Learning Community — a service-oriented, independent school located on the grounds of the old Black Mountain College — are augmenting their usual community-service efforts (such as reading to seniors) with the help of an $11,000 grant from the North Carolina Commission on National and Community Service. The money will help jump-start three primary projects: publishing a book of games and songs, creating an organic garden, and continuing work on several exhibits at the Swannanoa 4-H Center’s Heritage Museum.

In addition to their weekly reading to residents at the Lakeview Senior Center, the school’s kindergartners through second graders will soon be interviewing the seniors about the games, stories, poems and songs they remember from early childhood. These will be compiled in a book, which the kids will also illustrate. The third through sixth graders, meanwhile, will be creating and tending organic gardens, growing broccoli, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, carrots and cabbage, most of which will be donated to local groups in need. And the seventh and eighth graders will maintain and restore the exhibits they created last year at the 4-H Camp of Swannanoa. The older students will also install identification markers on plants and trees along the camp’s hiking trails, and create activity packets highlighting Appalachian heritage crafts, such as butter-making and tin-working.

To learn more about Mount Pisgah Academy’s community-service program, call Nicole Batten at 667-2535, ext. 263. For more about The Learning Community’s student projects, contact Leah Stickels at 686-3080.

There goes the neighborhood

Yep, they’re spreading everywhere … and, just when you thought there wasn’t anywhere left for them to go, you look up and find another one, right where you least expected it. We’re talking about public libraries, of course: The Asheville-Buncombe Library System is gearing up to celebrate the opening of the county’s 10th branch library (and Fairview’s first). It will officially open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, Nov. 8 at 9 a.m.

The library’s 7,500 square feet of space will feature a full range of materials, services and facilities, including 30,000 books and recordings, study tables with computers, a children’s area, and a 75-seat community room. Users will have access to the entire library catalog on-line, and materials from other branches will be delivered daily. The new library — designed in a vernacular style by the architectural firm Farrell and Hargrove — is located at Taylor Road and Old Highway 74, a block from Fairview Elementary School. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday (Tuesday nights, till 9 p.m.).

Branch Librarian Betsy Parker will be ably assisted by children’s specialist Beth Garrison and library assistant Shirley Henion.

For more info, call the branch at 628-5837.

Dinner for the dogs

Dogs are not noted for their love of haute cuisine, but in this case, it’s a match made in dog heaven: The Humane Society of Buncombe County and Find-A-Pet are holding their third annual “Sumptuous Samplings,” an exquisite food-and-wine charity event that benefits the animals sustained by both organizations.

The evening will include a pairing of hors d’oeuvres and champagne; crab cakes and creamed corn paired with Mirrasou riesling; peppercorn-crusted tuna with beurre rouge and wasabi mousse, paired with Coveyrun fume blanc; apple-smoked tenderloin with Cognac/Pommery-mustard sauce, paired with Coppola merlot; and sweet biscuit with fresh strawberries creme anglaise, paired with Windham tawny port. WNC Distributors will provide the wines.

The elegant event — which takes place Sunday, Nov. 7 at the Southside Cafe (Dingle Creek Shopping Center, on Hendersonville Road) — will conclude with the presentation of awards by the Humane Society/Find-A-Pet board of directors. There is a $35 minimum donation per person, and advance reservations and payment are requested. Seating is limited, so call early.

To learn more, or to make reservations, call 254-9155.


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