Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Seminole

SEMINOLE - Community in Harnett County along US 421.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Grantham

GRANTHAM - Wayne County Community that was originally called Grantham's Store.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Former M.C. Woodson's Auto Supply - McKelevey Crossroads, SC

Former M.C. Woodson's Auto Supply along SC Highway 247 near the Greenville County Community of McKelevey Crossroads.  In addition to the Auto Supply Store - there was a garage and also what appears to be a corner store.  I especially enjoyed the hand painted sign regarding South Carolina state auto inspections.  If you have any additional information about this long lost store, please let me know.







Spivey's Corner

Formerly called West Crossroads, the Sampson County town of Spivey's Corner was once home to one of the most unique festivals within North Carolina.

The National Hollerin' Contest was annually held the third Saturday in June in Spivey's Corner from 1969 through 2016.  The festival celebrated the old rural art of "Hollerin'" a form of communication in rural areas well before modern technology.


The first contest was won by 70 year old Dewey Jackson of Goldsboro.  His hollerin' rendition of "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" earned him not only the title but a letter from President Richard Nixon and an appearance on the Tonight Show.
H.H. Oliver winner of the 1970 Hollerin' Contest (NC Office of Archives & History)
The first contests drew about 5,000 people and by the late 1970s the contest brought over 10,000 people and national media to this tiny crossroads.  The contest helped to raise funds for the Spivey's Corner Volunteer Fire Department.


 
Trailer to the 1978 film, "Welcome to Spivey's Corner."  The entire film can be found here.

By the 2010's, the popularity of the contest had dwindled as a result of many earlier contestants passing away and lack of interest from younger generations.  After the 2016 contest, organizers announced that they would no longer hold the festival.

In an effort to revive the festival, former champions, Robby Goodman and Iris Turner, organized the Worldwide Hollerin' Festival.  The festival was held in October 2016 in Hope Mills.  The festival is no longer held.

Spivey's Corner and The Hollerin' Festival are links to Eastern North Carolina's rural past.  Though the festival is no more; if you listen closely you may still hear those loud hollers coming from the countryside.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Mile High Kite Festival - Beech Mountain

Every Labor Day Weekend, the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce hosts the Mile High Kite Festival.   Held in a large open field, known as the Town Kite Field, the two day festival allows kids of all ages to go and fly a kite.

At over 5,500 feet, Beech Mountain is the highest elevated incorporated town East of the Mississippi River.  Incorporated in 1981, the Watauga County community's population can fluctuate greatly depending on the time of year.

During the two day festival, there is food, music, games and of course kite flying.  Vendors are set up to sell kites - or you can bring your own.  There are even homemade kite design and flying contests along with kite flying demonstrations and competitions.  On the Saturday night of the festival, there is a street dance party in front of the town hall.

The kite flying festival is fun way to escape the heat and humidity of the summer.  The cooler mountain air makes it a great way to transition from the end of summer to the start of fall.


All photos taken by post author - August 31, 2019.
 
How to get there:

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Pumpkin Center - Lincoln County

Pumpkin Center is a small little community along NC 150 east of Lincolnton.   The rural community was named around 1920 by the Ballard family after they listened to a recording of "Opera at Pun'kin Centre" by Cal Stewart (Uncle Josh Weathersby).

There is another Pumpkin Center in Onslow County near Jacksonville.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Forrest Gump Curve - Grandfather Mountain

One day he just felt like running.  Forrest Gump got up from the front porch of his Greenbo, Alabama home and just started to run "for no particular reason."  His journey lasted three years, two months, 14 days, and 16 hours before ending in Utah's Monument Valley.



On one of his cross-country runs, Mr. Gump, and by this time a dozen or so of his followers, ran to the top of Grandfather Mountain.  Today, about halfway up the mountain, there is a sign that reads "Forrest Gump Curve."

The story of Forrest's long run is one of the more memorable scenes in the 1994 movie.  There were numerous on location shots for the montage of Forrest running throughout the country and a little curve within Grandfather Mountain was one of them.

The unique story of the filming of this scene is one that is told through the "Audio Tour to the Top of Grandfather Mountain" CD that you receive as part of your admission to the park.  Filming of the scene occurred on an October Saturday in 1993.  It was believed that Tom Hanks' brother, Jim , would be the one filmed doing the running.  Jim Hanks was used as the body double for his brother Tom for most of the running scenes because it was too difficult to mimic Hanks style of running.

Unbeknownst to anyone, Tom Hanks showed up that Saturday for filming.  He had a day off - and came to North Carolina to visit with his brother.  The story goes that Tom Hanks was not even recognized by any of the Grandfather Mountain staff except to one person and that was because he introduced himself to her!

Today, the filming location is marked as you either go up or down the mountain.  Forrest Gump's curve sits just below the Cliffside Picnic Area and as you can imagine it is a very popular photo stop with visitors.  Some will even re-enact the scene.


Photos taken by post author - July 2019.

How To Get There:
Admission to Grandfather Mountain is $22 per adult; $9 for children between 4-12; Kids 4 and under are free.



Further Reading:






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