That’s saying a lot

What can you say about 2008? Plenty.

The past year provided no shortage of notable quotes, fueled by the struggles and successes that made headlines week by week in Mountain Xpress and every day at Consider just a smattering of the hot topics that filled our Web and print pages: the 30th annual Bele Chere festival, the 20th Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, the economic crisis, local and national elections, the gas crunch, the embattled magnolia tree, the trial of Bobby Medford and associates, Carl Mumpower’s quixotic congressional run, visits by Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Sarah Palin, the continuing Parkside controversy etc.

We could go on—and we did. Below, the year in quotes and pictures.

“There needs to be some type of ambassador, some type of monitor in that area. The police can’t be everywhere all the time.”

— Parks and Recreation Director Roderick Simmons on the need for a warden at Pritchard Park, quoted in “Pritchard Park Gets a New Ranger Station” on, Jan. 2

“If my son can’t come in the lab when I’m making it, I won’t make it.”

— Earthpaint founder Tom Rioux, quoted in “Painting the Town Green”, Jan. 9

“No one ever thought we’d find one that tall. The tree is just amazingly charismatic. People see videos of it and say, ‘Damn! That’s a hemlock?’ It’s got limbs on it that are as big as whole hemlock trees get in Vermont.”

— Arborist Will Blozan on a 171-foot hemlock he climbed as part of his quest to save the species from the woolly adelgid, quoted in “Twilight of the Giants,” Jan. 9

“Turns out that beer is the popcorn of beverages: economical, healthy, and an excellent mealtime complement, particularly when small children are underfoot.”

— Edgy Mama (Anne Fitten Glenn) from her column “Beer is Good for You,” Jan. 16

“Allegedly Pete Seeger had insisted that Cookie do this folk-music record, and once he heard it, he was worried that all the other emerging folk musicians at the time would just be overshadowed. So he stopped production, and it got thrown in the vault.”

— Actor Michael Sheldon on the “lost” recordings of his alter-ego, Cookie LaRue, quoted in “Folk All of Youse,” Jan. 16

“In essence, Cloverfield is a pretty stock rampaging-giant-monster movie focused on a no-name cast of vaguely pretty 20-somethings with zero personality and limitless money who set out to rescue an equally personality-challenged friend from certain death. Apparently, one is supposed to care what happens to these self-absorbed, shallow noncharacters. After a few minutes of their loft farewell party for the more-or-less main character, Rob (Michael Stahl-David), I was on the side of the monster—and it hadn’t even shown up yet.”

— Ken Hanke in his review of the movie Cloverfield, Jan. 23

“Is there much of a demand for your services?

“God, there are just so many dogs around here. And the way people’s lifestyles are now, the last thing they want to do is go out at the end of the day and clean up poo.”

— Poo Patrol owner Susan Fischer, quoted in “Picking up What They’re Laying Down,” Jan. 23

“Another customer came to the store five weeks before she got her dog, just like an expectant mom.”

— Adelaine Lockwood of Blaze-n-Skyy Pet Boutique & Wellness Center, quoted in The Biz, Jan. 23

“We embrace weird as part of how wonderful this event is.”

— Jim Julien describing the annual Asheville Fringe Festival, quoted in “The Edge of the Stage,” Jan. 23

“We have to break people in to the idea that even if they’re not familiar with a band’s name and they haven’t heard it a thousand times, it’s still worth seeing.”

— Music Video Asheville organizer Victoria Karol, quoted in “Almost Famous,” Jan. 30

“This is something I wanted to do when I was 18, and I finally got a chance at 33. I’ll be lucky to get another year of doing it, but if I end up in a wheelchair in six months, at least I got to live out my dream.”

— Masked marauder “Cyanyde”, quoted in “Saturday Night’s All Right—for Fighting: The Glory (and Pain) of Local Professional Wrestling”, Jan. 30

“It’s just horrific.”

— ButtBusters co-founder Jeff Lazzaro on cigarette-butt litter in downtown Asheville, quoted in The Biz, Jan. 30

“I just got to the point of, ‘If you don’t think it’s funny, don’t come see me.’ If it’s a liberal town and liberals don’t like it, fine. I don’t do my shows for people who don’t like me; I do it for the people buying the tickets.”

— Larry the Cable Guy on performing at the Asheville Civic Center, quoted in “Just Like Brad Pitt, Only Different,” Feb. 6

“We had a natural funk that the average person can’t be taught. You either got it or you ain’t got it.”

— The Rev. Otis Ware, founder of legendary local bands The Innersouls and Bite, Chew & Spit, quoted in “Bring That Beat Back,” Feb. 6

“You don’t have to methodically traverse the style or historic periods. You can head straight for what you like, and your vistas will broaden rather quickly.”

— Asheville Symphony Musical Director/Conductor Daniel Meyer, quoted in “(Whenever You’re Near) I Hear a Symphony”, Feb. 13

“We’ve got clients who are spending over $100,000 just to go get their trophies, and another $100,000 to get them mounted. It’s amazing. But whether it’s that guy or the guy next door who just ran over his first squirrel, it’s all the same to us. We mount ‘em and make ‘em happy.”

— Bill Fuchs of Wilderness Taxidermy & Outfitters in Franklin, quoted in “Practically Alive,” Feb. 13

“If you were a business owner and someone came and tagged your business, how would you react? I would start thinking of painting over it as soon as possible.”

— Local graffiti artist Vise 1, quoted in “Now You See It…,” Feb. 13

“People who love music videos but wish they were 20 times longer finally have a movie to get behind.”

— Justin Souther in his review of the movie Step up 2 the Streets, Feb. 20

“We don’t want to create an attitude of fear where Joe Blow has to put a bazooka in his car to go to the mall. We’re not there yet.”

— APD Detective Louis Tomasetti on the state of gangs in Asheville, quoted in “The Writing on the Wall,” Feb. 27

“Gondry [uses] the plot to celebrate community, friendship, love, creativity, making something out of nothing, and the power of myth to sometimes be greater than truth. Maybe most of all, he’s out to celebrate the magic of movies—and the ability of movies to bond us. And he does so with the enthusiasm of every backyard filmmaker who ever existed, charting the growth from childish imitations of other people’s movies to the creation of one’s own art.”

— Ken Hanke in his review of the movie Be Kind Rewind, Feb. 27

“I vehemently disagree that V-Day, and specifically performances of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, makes a ‘mockery’ of feminism, women, sexuality, issues, change.”

— Elaine Chollet, “V is for Vindication,” Feb. 27

“I’m a first-time filmmaker. I had no clue what it took to make a film; I committed every error on earth. Thankfully, I understand this and don’t intend to commit the same ones again. I am wiser from the experience. On the other hand, it was ignorance that made this film so unique.”

— Anthony “Chusy” Haney-Jardine, quoted in “Making Anywhere, USA, the Behind-the-Scenes Story of the Movie and the Man Who Made It”, March 5

“You go up the vagina about a third of the way up and point to the belly and then massage it with your finger. It can be very erotic for women to have G-spot stimulation, because most women [achieve] orgasm from clitoral stimulation, so this is a different sensation.”

— Asheville sexologist Kelley Wolfe, quoted in “Sexology 101,” March 12

“Simply put, they want those of us who are not right-wing extremists to understand that when the major figures behind our modern Western philosophy said and wrote what the rest of us think were pretty clearly enunciated ideas, in all cases they really meant exactly the opposite of what they were saying.”

— Jon Dana in his letter about the Carolina Stompers, “One More Stomp,” March 12

“January was very frigid many nights; we had lost people to the cold. If there were friends on the streets that would die, we would let them in. If we were any kind of Christians, we had to keep people alive.”

— The Rev. Amy Cantrell, quoted in “A House Without a Home,” March 19

“People look at the furniture thing as unique. Most of it is one-of-a-kind. People like the individuality, having a houseful of things their neighbors don’t have.”

— Woodworker John McDermott, quoted in “Fully Furnished,” March 19

“I was completely starstruck. And my respect for him has only increased throughout this whole thing, in every aspect of the way the label is run. You get worried, because I’m basically meeting one of my idols, and it’s like, what if they’re an a**hole or something?”

— Local musician Shane Perlowin on working with John Zorn, quoted in “Out of This World: The Aleuchatistas, Five Years In,” March 19

“There was no call for this. … How would you feel if you woke up and your bed was surrounded by these people dressed from head to toe in black?”

— Judi Bell on the arrest of her boyfriend, former Sheriff Bobby Medford, quoted in “Stand by Your Man,” March 26

“Asheville in the 1920s was an interesting place. It was a very sophisticated place in many ways, but it was also right in the middle of the mountains. There was industry there and opportunity, but very soon after you got out of the city limits, you were in the heart of the mountains and there was a lot of music to be had.”

— Grammy-nominated banjoist Bob Carlin, the author of String Bands in the North Carolina Piedmont, quoted in “Mountain Country: Okeh Records’ Historic Asheville Sessions,” April 2

“As soon as we left Hannah Flanagan’s, we all took our high heels off, put on some flip-flops and hiked it all the way to the Whiskey Tavern. And I said: ‘This is ridiculous.’”

— Felicia Thurman on the genesis of her downtown pedicab service, quoted in The Biz, April 2

“I certainly would choose the recent sculpture in Pritchard Park over many of the facile pieces scattered about downtown.”

— Constance Lombardo in her letter on the “Deco Gecko”, “It’s Still a Classy Town,” April 9

“You’re saying that kids need to see more of the world to know what’s possible for their own lives?

Dude, it’s environmental. Our kids aren’t going to go over to A-B Tech and explore culinary arts or any type of med tech. You know what I’m saying? They don’t understand that, because their environment is Hillcrest, Pisgah View Apartments and the mall. Period.”

— Social worker Eric “Big E” Howard of the Randolph Learning Center, quoted in “High-End Kids,” April 9

“I consider this my legacy project.”

— Developer Tony Fraga on his proposed massive Haywood Park development (since withdrawn), quoted in “Building a Legacy,” April 9

“Since it reopened five years ago, Bob Dylan and Smashing Pumpkins (who picked the spot for their nine-show reunion run last year) have gone out of the way to play the Peel—drawn by Asheville’s bohemian vibe and attentive crowds.”

Rolling Stone naming the Orange Peel one of the country’s top music venues, quoted in “The Orange Peel in Rolling Stone’s Top 5” on, April 16

“If it’s slander to confront Council and other elected officials about their inability to say no to any developer who brings a proposal for consideration; if it’s slander to be passionate about not destroying one of the few places like Asheville left in our country, not just our state—then yes, I’m guilty.”

— Jesse Junior in his letter “Don’t Look for an Apology,” April 16

“Just watch [Ronit Elkabetz’s] body language in the scene where she bids Tewfiq goodbye. Notice how she starts to embrace him, then stops herself, and finally stands holding her arms behind her in order not to be tempted to cross that line again. She wants to. Tewfiq wants her to. We want her to. But the message of the movie is that we all stand that way to some degree, and that’s the tragedy of all humankind.”

— Ken Hanke in his review of the movie The Band’s Visit, April 16

“When viewing modern or contemporary dance, people often try to find the ‘meaning’ of the work. In some cases, the choreographer does intend for a meaning or concept to come across to the audience, while others want their work to exist as movement for the sake of the moment. Ultimately, an audience of 500 will have 500 different interpretations of what a piece meant. Each one is valid.”

— Local dancer/choreographer Myra Scibetta, quoted in “Visionary Movements,” April 16

“Let me be clear as a pristine mountain stream: There is no consideration being given to monitoring or metering private wells.”

— Rep. Ray Rapp in a letter responding to rumors of well monitoring, quoted in “Welling Up,” April 23

“Whoever showed up was in the band.”

— Trainwreks bassist Lindsey Linden on the group’s inception, quoted in “Playing Dirty,” April 23

“Honestly, I think I’ve come out of it OK. Not too many drug addictions or illegitimate children or anything like that.”

— Hanson drummer Zac Hanson responding to a question on the band’s dramatic initiation into fame, quoted in “All Around the World,” April 30

“There’s going to be a whole new work force centered around the new technologies developed around the green economy.”

— UNCA Distinguished University Professor John Stevens, quoted in “Asheville’s ‘Green-Collar’ Work Force,” April 30

“A lot of people will come up to me and ask how I got the frame to look like bamboo.”

— Bicycle designer Keith Young on riding his bamboo-frame bike around town, quoted in “Growing a Better Bicycle,” April 30

“Let me be clear: Hip-hop does not cause gangs. Gangs have always been around; they arise when you have a lot of inequality.”

— Police Capt. Tim Splain, quoted in “APD on Asheville’s Gangs and ‘Really Good Weed’,” May 7

“Of course, there are worse things than What Happens in Vegas…. Unfortunately—as in the case of the dreadful synth-pop cover of Huey Lewis’ “I Want a New Drug” that’s featured in the film for about 15 seconds—the things that are worse than this movie are actually in the movie. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a Roach Motel: terrible, unoriginal ideas check in, but they don’t check out.”

— Justin Souther in his review of the movie What Happens in Vegas…, May 14

“I’d bet you none of those people I heard bitching about it are really natives either—just transplants like me who moved here and then wanted to slam the door on everyone else.”

— Former Florida resident Cece Noonan, quoted in “The Selling of Asheville,” May 14

“To believe the argument that nothing was going on—or that [former Buncombe County Sheriff Bobby Medford] didn’t know about it—you’d first have to drink from the decanter of insanity.”

— Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Ellis in his closing arguments in the Medford corruption trial, quoted in “Guilty,” May 21

“I don’t think any of us care about that rock-star thing. We’re not 22.”

— Local indie-rocker Wayne Robbins on the band’s success, quoted in “A Little Help From Their Friends: Wayne Robbins & the Hellsayers Prepare a New Album,” May 28

“I guess this guy’s a police officer, but he’s just making threats and cussing at people. He’s physically fighting my bouncer right now. We suspect he may or may not be intoxicated.”

— Bier Garden Manager Malcolm Knighten in a 911 call, quoted in “Bier Garden, ALE Fracas Ends in Two Arrests,” June 4

“Green building is a great way to feel better about yourself and at the same time do absolutely nothing positive for the environment.”

— Joseph Crawley in his letter “The Oxymoron That Turned Green,” June 4

“The performances that have impacted me most strongly have everything to do with the sheer courage of the actor—overcoming the fear of performing, without all the bells and whistles.”

— John Crutchfield, director of Corpus Theatre Collective, quoted in “The High Cost of Morality,” June 4

“For us, the issue of public space is kind of—I don’t mean to be dramatic about it, but it’s kind of an emergency. Sociologists have established a connection between the absence of gathering spaces in the United States and our high crime rates. … It’s all connected to isolation.”

— Portland architect Mark Lakeman before at the Ashevillage Building Convergence, quoted in “Village People,” June 11

“We try not to be crude for crude’s sake but crude for art’s sake.”

— George the Bastard describing the Feral Chihuahuas’ humor, quoted in “Chihuahuas on the Prowl,” June 11

“What I love about this project is that it’s so collaborative, and it’s reflecting experiences that we have had in Asheville. A lot of public art doesn’t say anything, but this is full of ideas and sentiment.”

— Molly Must of the Asheville Mural Project, quoted in “Mural Takes Shape on Lexington Avenue,” June 18

“I’ve talked to a lot of people who have never seen a Council rise up in this way.”

— Dixie Deerman, praising Asheville City Council’s denunciation of the Parkside land deal, quoted in “The Deal and the Damage Done,” June 18

“We were always one step away from happiness.”

— Walter Harrill explaining why he and his wife left successful medical careers for organic farming, quoted in “Growing Happy Blueberries,” June 18

“All decisions affecting the community are made by the community. Each child, each adult, has an equal voice. Summerlane is a working democracy. … There is no censorship of any kind. There are no rules for purely private behavior.”

— 1963 promotional brochure for Camp Summerlane, which briefly existed near Rosman, N.C., quoted in “Burning Memories,” June 18

“I don’t know what their affiliation was, but people thought they were living in sin or something, and that was not considered the thing to do.”

— Rosman resident Bill Cathey on local reactions to Camp Summerlane, quoted in “Burning Memories,” June 18

“I like men who look like men onstage.”

— Heather Malloy, Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance, quoted in “Reigning Men,” June 25

“We were told quite strongly by the County Clerk and Austin Hogsed, the Mayor of Rosman, that it was strongly against local custom for Negroes to even be in the area and that it would be an extremely dangerous situation for both us and the children.”

— Camp Summerlane staffer George Hall, quoted in “Storm Clouds,” June 25

“I’ve often said that if you could point a camera just at people’s faces, that would tell the whole story. These are people of all backgrounds, from all over. They’re strangers in many cases. And there they are, making those figures go and making those circles go. And you don’t see any frowns—just smiles. That, to me, is the beautiful thing about Shindig on the Green.”

— Emcee Glenn Bannerman, quoted in “Happy Feet, Sore Fingers: Shindig on the Green Celebrates its 42nd Year,” June 25

“Judging by the reviews of Andrew Stanton’s WALL-E, it’s probably time the folks at Pixar designated themselves as a church and claimed tax-exempt status.”

— Ken Hanke in his review of the movie WALL-E, July 2

“I’m a day person now, but I still miss the twilit world of downtown Asheville sometimes, those late-evening hours when the sidewalks soften, the candles flicker and the world turns upside down in the face of a spoon.”

— From Kristin MacLeod’s commentary “Rhapsody in Midnight: Of Time and the Sliver,” July 2

“I never actually said that Asheville was the happiest place, but it seems that people have latched onto that. I said it’s a place people go to because they think they will be happy. But it’s a nice place.”

— Eric Weiner, author of The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World, quoted in “Welcome to the Happiest Place in America,” July 2

“This was all about self-defense.”

— Attorney Robert Levy on District of Columbia v. Heller, quoted in “Local Man Shoots and Scores with Supreme Court Gun Ruling,” July 2

“If they want to play, they play. If they want to swim, they swim. If they like to play volley ball, they do so. It is basically a free-love operation.”

— Highway Patrol report on Camp Summerlane (which closed after locals attacked it), quoted in “Smoked Out,” July 9

“We just poured a little gas in there … and then we struck a match to it. Well, it lit that whole lake up, and it scared ‘em. … We didn’t want to hurt them, we just wanted them to get the hell out of here.”

— Anonymous Rosman resident describing his role in setting a lake on fire at Camp Summerlane, quoted in “Smoked Out,” July 9

“I was absolutely committed to the [civil rights] cause, and especially after the experience in North Carolina, I thought that the nonviolent-resistance tools were appropriate in this situation—and probably the only ones that could be successful.”

— Former Camp Summerlane camper Peter Orris, quoted in “Smoked Out,” July 9

“This festival rocks harder than any other festival in Asheville because it’s got a ‘Frenchier’ name!”

— Ryan Cox of the If You Wannas, quoted in “Automatique for the People: The Bigger and Better Musique Automatique Returns,” July 9

“When I moved to east Asheville 12 years ago, I could look up at night and see the Milky Way. Now I can see it only occasionally—and then only because I know where to look.”

— Anti-light-pollution activist Bernard Arghiere, quoted in “Dusk to Dawn,” July 9

“There’s no law that they can ban me from that place—that means my rights were taken away. I just wish people would be more open-minded about everybody’s constitutional rights.”

— Rebecca Willis, the Madison County woman banned from the Marshall Depot in 2001 for alleged “dirty dancing”, quoted in “Gyrate for Your Rights,” July 16. In November, the town’s insurance company settled a lawsuit by paying Willis $250,000 in exchange for her agreeing to stay away from the Depot.

“They’re in a climate-controlled, secure, undisclosed location. … They’re in there with Dick Cheney.”

— Local instrument maker Steven Miller on his prized collection of vintage Gibsons, quoted in The Biz, July 16

“It is hard to imagine the Asheville arts scene without Payne’s outrageous sense of humor and his uncanny ability to figure out how to get things done. Not just in his work, but in things that have had a tremendous impact on the lives of so many other artists.”

— Connie Bostic on artist John Payne, who died in July at age 58, in “Remembering John Payne” on, July 18

“I think the city was primed and ready for an explosion in tourism in the late 1970s, and Bele Chere was a component of it.”

— Bele Chere festival coordinator Melissa Porter, looking back on the occasion of the 30th Bele Chere, quoted in “Welcome to Bele Chere” on, July 22

“There’s a crisis looming—we’re getting more requests for food and clothing every day.”

— The Rev. Scott Rogers of ABCCM on the homeless situation in Asheville, quoted in “Hard Times Come Again,” July 23

“I wonder if people are going to rein in right now, because energy is so expensive, and come back to the small communities, growing our own food. I’d love that. I’d like to learn to make my own clothing. I’d love to buy my food from a farm. That would be great.”

— Singer/songwriter Amos Lee, quoted in “Village Person,” July 23

“I feel like the mole on Cindy Crawford’s face: just happy to be here.”

— Playwright David Wright, author of Ruthie, quoted in “To Tell the Ruth,” July 30

“This group of peaceful tree-huggers is trying to convince City Council to take his land … through eminent domain—land previously purchased by him in one of two ways:
• “Hi, I’m Stewart Coleman. Here’s a check to buy a piece of property beside City Hall valued at $600,000 for $322,000. Thank you.
• “Hi. Here’s the check we talked about for a piece of public property that would otherwise never be sold.”

— Duncan St. Clair in his letter “The Bite of the Black Dog,” July 30

“And as more veterans return to WNC … we can expect to see: increased child abuse and domestic violence, substance abuse and homelessness. … We may leave the war, but the war doesn’t leave us.”

— Counselor Stephen Snow in his commentary “Males, War and PTS: For Local Vets, a Dangerous Mix,” July 30

“I gave [demonstrator Steve Rasmussen] my word that I would give him no less than 35 days’ notice. I’m honoring my word.”

— Parkside developer Stewart Coleman on his promise not to take down the magnolia tree without warning, quoted in “Magnolia on Notice” on, Aug. 6

“You’re offending our intelligence to make us feel we’re going to get a piece of this pie: I don’t see a crumb coming this way. This is already a done deal. You just want to pretend we had a voice in this.”

— Asheville resident Viola Williams, sharply criticizing hired consultants for the city’s Downtown Master Plan at a forum for the African-American community, quoted in “A House Divided,” Aug. 6

“Sex permeates a relationship more when you’re not having it.”

— Asheville native Charla Muller about her book 365 Nights: A Memoir of Intimacy, quoted in “Doin’ it Daily,” Aug. 6

“I am not opposed to redeveloping the Broadway corridor. I think there is a lot of need for some new faces and activity along Broadway. I am just sad that the Pink House had to go the way of the backhoe.”

— Lela Stephens in her letter “Pink Tears,” Aug. 13

“We don’t necessarily need Budweiser kegs to have a good time anymore.”

— Sean Bookman, organizer of The Asheville Sacred Music and Yoga Festival, quoted in “Yoga à Gogo,” Aug. 13

”[The Goombay! Festival] brings recognition to the community spirit that was so prevalent in this area before urban renewal. We want to make sure the African-Americans factor into the progression that’s happening, that they’re not excluded from the conversation or from the improvements.”

— Harry Harrison, YMI Cultural Center, quoted in “The Rhythm is Gonna Get You,” Aug. 20

“People say, ‘It’s not just about the tree.’ Well, it is for some of us, because the tree is a living being that holds a sense of our community here.”

— Activist Clare Hanrahan camping out at the tree threatened by the Parkside development, quoted in “The Magnolia Watchers,” Aug. 20

“Meanwhile, the embattled magnolia hollers from its verdant treetop, ‘Run for office!’”

— Bill Branyon in his commentary “The Talking Magnolia: Ashevilleans Should Determine Limits to Local Growth,” Aug. 20

“Immigration issues are not going to be resolved by local law enforcement or the right.”

— Immigration advocate Edna Campos on an ICE raid at the Mills Manufacturing plant, quoted in “Feds Arrest 57,” Aug. 20

”[This is] legal gymnastics, telling your honor to ignore this or that part of the deed. This was clearly meant for a courthouse, for county offices, or for public use such as a park—and it has remained so from then until the present day.”

— Pack heirs attorney Joe Ferikes, successfully arguing that the sale of public parkland to developer Stewart Coleman was illegal, quoted in “Judge Will Rule on Parkside Later This Week” on, Aug. 25

“After catching two or three bluegill, Alyssa turns to me and says, ‘Papa, I’ve got to go to the bathroom. Hold my fishing rod.’ A few minutes later, the float went under and I saw the water start boiling up. I knew right then that I had my hands full with that fishing rod.”

— David Hayes of Wilkes County, on the record-breaking channel catfish he caught with his granddaughter’s Barbi Doll toy fishing rod, quoted in “Little Toy Reel Meets Real Big Fish,” Aug. 27

“Deb Hagan’s College is … so awful that everyone involved—even the caterers and the key grips—should be blacklisted from even the worst pictures, so as not to accidentally taint the comparative artistic integrity of the next National Lampoon flick. And every print of the film should be dropped into some New Mexico landfill next to old Atari E.T. video games.”

— Justin Souther in his review of the movie College, Sept. 3

“Art is something we all need.”

— Local painter Phil Cheney, quoted in “LAAFF-in,” Sept. 3

“I think that the Pack Square Conservancy is at a real turning point, because it’s not going to be a construction-focused organization anymore. It’s going to be a park-planning organization.”

— Executive Director Marilyn Geiselman on why she decided to leave her job, quoted in “Pack Square Conservancy to Begin Search for New Executive Director” on, Sept. 4

“I think that the whole thing is a little ridiculous, and my reputation as a volunteer stands because there are so many people who support me.”

— WPVM volunteer Gillian Coats on a dispute with Wally Bowen of the Mountain Area Information Network, quoted in “Radio Static,” Sept. 10

“Peace can seem so esoteric, as if it’s floating above us, completely unreachable. But in reality, peace is created by people doing things to make connections.”

— Erin Braasch of Moving Women, quoted in “Let it Begin With Me,” Sept. 10

“If I gave over to my dark side, I’d be living in Las Vegas working as a dealer, spending my salary playing blackjack.”

— Carl Mumpower on his major vice, quoted in “So You Think You Know Mumpower?” Sept. 10

“I get on him all the time. … I always tease him, ‘Where are you at in your cycle? You’re like a woman some days.’”

— Vince Vilcinskas poking good-natured fun at best friend Carl Mumpower, quoted in “So You Think You Know Mumpower?” Sept. 10

“We’re ready. We’re like a German shepherd waiting for you to throw the Frisbee: Where’s it going to go?”

— Hearts With Hands executive director Bill Bradley on hurricane-relief plans, quoted in “Blowing Town,” Sept. 17

“If we’re going to make decisions about long-term trends, we have to get to the point where my grandmother could understand what we’re trying to say.”

— Environmental scientist Drew Jones, quoted in “A Postcard From the Climate Frontier,” Sept. 17

“I think that when people sit down [at the shows], they relax a little bit—and that’s when you can laugh at yourself. The best jokes that I’ve delivered have been making fun of, like, Amazing Savings and Florida people. But even topics that people hold really close to home, they can loosen up.”

— Standup comedian and Laugh Your Asheville Off co-founder Greg Brown on whether Asheville is ready to laugh at itself, quoted in “The Recipe for Funny,” Sept. 17

“If our temperature was like Atlanta, we would be building houses differently, we would be growing different trees here, there would be different trees in the forest, there would be different crops.”

— Tom Peterson, National Climatic Data Center, quoted in “A Postcard From the Climate Frontier,” Sept. 17

“I mean, I don’t really need a $100 blouse, but being able to walk out my door and buy a Cosmopolitan and some tampons each month? That’d be great.”

— Downtown resident Danielle Kramer, quoted in “Downtown Asheville CVS to Call It Quits,” Sept. 17

“Shakespeare does not write wimpy women.”

— Director Ann Dunn, quoted in “Asheville Ballet presents Shakespeare in Ballet,” Sept. 24

“It was a great credit to the Asheville community that they didn’t get upset about me being there. They didn’t bother that I was there. And they knew I was there. The musical events were open to the public, and I definitely stood out. But no one said or did anything. A few people were aloof, but I didn’t care. I wasn’t afraid. It was part of the diversity of that summer and part of Black Mountain. People let the school alone.”

— Alma Stone Williams, quoted in “Talking With Black Mountain College’s First African-American Student,” Sept. 24

“It’s like drivers’ ed on Red Bull. It’s awesome. It’s phenomenal.”

— Council member Bill Russell on a proposed city-supported defensive-driving program that has drastically reduced teens accidents and deaths in other cities, quoted in “Asheville City Council,” Sept. 24

“I want to go to bookstores where they really know and get my work, and their customers are passionate readers and part of that thinking-and-feeling culture. I remember Asheville having a very cool vibe to it. It’s a reader’s town.”

— Writer Steve Almond, quoted in “Not That You Asked, but Steve Almond’s Coming Here Anyway,” Sept. 24

“It’s interesting playing a less common instrument. We don’t try to define ourselves as a ukulele band. The way that I play it isn’t even the way most ukulele players would. It’s almost like I’m the snare drum.”

— Ami Worthen of Mad Tea Party, quoted in “Inventing a Genre,” Oct. 1

“We’re in this together. We don’t want to be on CNN because our citizens are fighting each other.”

— Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy on the gas shortage, quoted in “Tipping the Scale,” Oct. 1

“The public does have every right to be angry. If the big oil companies can’t do a better job of managing their supply, then they are begging us to regulate them.”

— Rep. Charles Thomas, quoted in “Anatomy of a Gas Crunch,” Oct. 1

“It’s just disappointing in a day and time like this to see that we all have to bond together to make sure Raleigh knows we exist.”

— Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy on state government’s slow response to the fuel shortage, quoted in “Anatomy of a Gas Crunch,” Oct. 1

“‘Half of all personal bankruptcies are [caused] in part by medical bills,’ Obama said. ‘That’s not who we are, and it’s not who we have to be. Asheville, enough is enough.’”

— Barack Obama speaking at Asheville High School, quoted in “Obama Outlines Health-care Plan, Attacks McCain at Asheville Rally” on, Oct. 5

”[It] was so fascinating: the fog, the snow, the cold, the wind. Especially in the mountains, it just controls everything you do. I’ve called it our most valuable natural resource up here, and I think that’s true.”

— Ray Russell of Ray’s Weather Center, quoted in “A Change in the Weather,” Oct. 8

“I don’t consider myself a survivor with a capital S. I call my modus operandi ‘applied belligerence.’ With applied belligerence, I have gained compassion, understanding and resilience. The experiences I had strengthened my sense of the ridiculous.”

— Artist Kore Loy McWhirter on overcoming abuse, quoted in “The Longest Undeclared War in History,” Oct. 8

“The movement is not pretty, but it is expressive, it has meaning—and it’s connected with something in my soul.”

— Butoh dancer/choreographer Julie Gillum, quoted in “An Odd Couple,” Oct. 8

“The greatest danger in the woods is the same as in a city—it’s a person. Unfortunately, there’s no way to regulate who’s in the woods and who’s not.”

— Asheville resident Jennifer Pharr Davis, who hiked the Appalachian Trail in record time in honor of a woman murdered in a state park, quoted in “Hiking With a Purpose,” Oct. 15

“This [sentence] must stand like a bright beacon, warning others that if they think of abusing their office for personal gain, that there will be serious consequences.”

— Federal Judge Thomas Ellis before sentencing former Buncombe County Sheriff Bobby Medford to 15 years in prison, quoted in “Judge Deals Out Prison Sentences in Corruption Scandal,” Oct. 15

“All the best tricks hurt.”

— Asheville Aerial Arts artist/instructor Candace Caldwell, quoted in “Air-Traffic Control,” Oct. 15

“We have to figure out what to do with your seat once you’ve left. If someone feels there is an easier, better way to get there, it won’t hurt … our feelings.”

— Vice Mayor Jan Davis proposing a new method for appointing Council members, quoted in “Hotel it on the Mountain,” Oct. 22

“On Nov. 4, it doesn’t sound like a whole lot of you are going to be supporting Barack the wealth-spreader.”

— Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaking to a packed house at the Asheville Civic Center, quoted in “Palin in Asheville: Promises Tax Cuts, Attacks Obama as ‘Wealth-Spreader’” on, Oct. 26

“I have had to rouse sleeping people from my front porch, clean diarrhea from the steps and install several thousand dollars’ worth of steel grate and fence. I have caught people having sex and completing drug deals in the parking lot.”

— Asheville architect Mike Watson in a letter to Vice Mayor Jan Davis concerning the city’s homeless problem, quoted in “Rough Around the Edges,” Oct. 29

“I had one guy walk in and he was planning to go to a lot of different banks to distribute the money out, but he ended up handing me over $700,000.”

— Asheville Savings Bank’s Jerrod Perkins explaining how small community banks have benefited from the financial crisis, quoted in The Biz, Oct. 29

“This is a white male that did this. It’s legible, it’s in one color and therefore you can tell.”

— Buncombe GOP Vice Chair Rick Jenkins, quoted in “GOP Decries Vandalism of Patton Avenue Billboard” on, Nov. 3

“He’s completely alienated anybody who would vote for him.”

— Jeff Imes, Manufacturers Executive Association, denouncing Carl Mumpower’s congressional bid, quoted in “Crossing the Line,” Nov. 5

“It’s not that we’re jaded; it’s just that we’re used to this in Asheville.”

— Asheville Police Chief Bill Hogan on the circuslike atmosphere at the Sarah Palin rally, quoted in “Dollars and Sense,” Nov. 5

“I would pick up a piece and say, ‘It’s not my daughter’s hand that’s going to the landfill, it’s a piece of pottery.’”

— George Handy, describing his reaction to the destruction of his pottery studio in Beaverdam, quoted in “Local Artist’s Studio Takes a Hit,” Nov. 5

“Intertwined … [were] painful comments and outrageous questions: ‘Do you dream in black and white?’ ‘Do your people live in trees?’ ‘I am sure that in your country there is no need for clothes, right?’ … All this and much more was part of my experience as an 18-year-old here.”

— Ecuadorian native Carmen Alicia Moncayo, writing about attending college in Mars Hill in her commentary “Mixed Messages,” Nov. 5

“I remember eating corn bread and milk every night for dinner.”

— 82-year-old Emma Cantrell on the Great Depression, quoted in The Biz, Nov. 5

“This is a mandate: People want us to take care of the money, preserve the mountains and take care of people who don’t have as much as we do.”

— Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chair David Gantt on his election victory, quoted in “Democrats Dominate Commissioner Races,” Nov. 12

“I didn’t anticipate this, but it’s like 1994 in reverse.”

— Outgoing Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chair Nathan Ramsey on election night, quoted in “Democrats Dominate Commissioner Races,” Nov. 12

“I think [Bob Dylan’s] voice is coming through a little bit. It is, in part, mimicry—especially if I’m not paying attention to what I’m doing, if I’m not really inside the song. But if I can focus not on whether or not somebody’s dropping a dollar in my guitar case and try to shape the words, then it’s like I transcend mimicry into almost like a rhapsody.”

— Asheville busker/Dylan-tribute artist Preston Cooper, quoted in “Songs Sung True in the Key of Dylan,” Nov. 12

“As we looked at pictures of Eagle and Valley streets as far back as the 1920s, people pointed out this person’s store or that person’s business, owned by individuals and families who helped provide community stability.”

— Gwen Dismukes in her commentary “A Village on Eagle Street: Traditional Values for the 21st Century,” Nov. 12

“My client does not believe the project can be reasonably restructured to meet Council’s concerns that it is out of scale.”

— Attorney Lou Bissette withdrawing Tony Fraga’s Haywood Park project, quoted in “The Big Kibosh,” Nov. 19

“People are understanding they don’t have to give kids a bunch of wacked-out music to get to the good stuff.”

— Asheville-based kid-hop artist Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, quoted in “Extended Play,” Nov. 19

“At bottom, this may be the perfect film for this moment in history, since what it’s ultimately about isn’t Poppy’s seemingly unflagging cheerfulness, but about how she uses her cheerfulness to tenaciously cling to an increasingly precious commodity: hope. Poppy realizes that it takes a lot of work to retain hope in the face of so much evidence—real or forced on us—that there’s little reason for it. There’s something pretty fine about that as a theme.”

— Ken Hanke in his review of the movie Happy-Go-Lucky, Nov. 19

“When I think of all the songs I’ve written, and that’s the one I might be remembered for … well, it’s a crazy world.”

— Reigning Sound frontman Greg Cartwright on his novelty song “Hot Dog (Watch Me Eat)” being picked up by Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour, quoted in “The Sound and the Fury,” Nov. 19

“I always said we were like the seasons of the year. We were spring, growing and developing, blossoming out. Summer was playful and fun. Fall is when we mellowed and were beginning to change and mature … and finding our degree of independence and individual ways. And winter is when I lost him.”

— Donald Streb on the brother he lost to AIDS, quoted in “Remembrance of Things Past,” Nov. 19

“People like sitting in their cubicles and looking at cute things online.”

— Asheville-based painter Moni Hill on the popularity of, quoted in “Handy Craft,” Nov. 26

“We believe in toasting the president … but maybe in a different way than you would normally think.”

— Rick Fornoff, inventor of The Burning Bush Fire Starter, quoted in “End of an Effigy,” Nov. 26

“I have butterflies in my stomach 24 hours before the show’s even started just knowing we’re going to play in Asheville. … It feels really good to let go there.”

— Drew Heller of Toubab Crew, quoted in “Buncombe to Badala,” Nov. 26

“There are a lot of festivals in Asheville, and they’re all wonderful, but this one is a great blend of the arts and of the economy. … It’s not just about listening to music and having a good time. It’s about transferring knowledge and creating networks and building business.”

— Craig McAnsh of HATCHfest, which arrives in Asheville in April 2009, quoted in “HATCH Hires Executive Director,” Dec. 3

“Salsa teaches you how to present yourself, to stand straight with confidence; it becomes part of who you are.”

— Deyanira Chavez of local dance company Salseros 828, quoted in “¡Bailemos!” Dec. 3

“It has been a long time coming, but the city has finally taken the bold, much-needed action of addressing the problem of those constant scofflaws … the park benches.”

— Rick Vogel in his letter “City Saves Citizens From Park Benches,” Dec. 3

“It’s kind of hard, like a Milk Bone.”

— Bill Whipple describing the ‘York Imperial’, one of the yummiest heirloom apples he’s grown in partnership with Bob White at the Pisgah View Apartments Peace Garden, quoted in “An Apple a Day for the Revolution,” Dec. 10

“You’ve got to have a Web site like you’ve got to have clothes.”

Asheville Tribune Editor-at-Large David Morgan, quoted in “Caught in the Web?” Dec. 17

“If universities continue down this path—allowing corporations and private donors to exert excessive influence—they will undermine [the] public trust and the very reason for their existence.”

— Journalist Jennifer Washburn on BB&T’s gifts to some 40 colleges and universities, quoted in “Capitalism on Campus,” Dec. 23

“We have a strong team at Xpress, and I think this challenge is about to make us stronger. Because of our local focus, I believe we’re integral to the evolution and growth of the Asheville area. The plan is to stay that way – promoting the local dialogue and helping local merchants get the word out about the unique and creative things they’re doing.”

Mountain Xpress Publisher Jeff Fobes on pay cuts at the paper in the face of declining ad revenue, quoted in “Mountain Xpress Feels the Pinch,” Dec. 31

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