Category Archives: Fall 2017


Slippn’ Into God’s Blessings

By Donna Tobin Smith

My oldest son will be 34 this month. I’m supposed to be 34, not my son.

I remember singing along with the Steve Miller Band when I was just a teenager, “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future.” I didn’t realize then that in only a few short years that my children would also be “slippin’” into the future.

motherson                In the blink of an eye, this grown son has gone from a young dinosaur loving boy to a real bone doctor. Recently his dad and I and our youngest son made a trip to Erie, Pennsylvania, to help him move into an apartment as he completes a final fellowship in hand surgery before he joins a permanent practice.

We knew it was going to be a trip of buying and toting and arranging for the most part. But with my son’s fellowship beginning in less than a week and only a few weeks until my own summer break from school was ending, we wanted to make sure we squeezed in a few minutes of fun.

We had already decided that Erie probably wouldn’t be the greatest place to visit, especially when compared to our trip to Sydney, Australia, where he just completed a fellowship in elbows and shoulders. In fact, my youngest son was already calling his brother’s new residence “Dreary.” But we just happened to choose the weekend of the Presque Isle State Park Festival. Our son surprised us by booking a helicopter tour of Lake Erie. Unfortunately, or gratefully, I should say, the tour was cancelled due to “mechanical” problems. We went to the festival anyway, and walked on the “beach,” saw a sand castle competition, and watched dozens of colorful kites whip through the wind. We discovered that in the summertime, at least, Erie wasn’t so dreary after all.

Since the helicopter ride was cancelled, my son had another arcadeidea. He had seen a sign advertising an “All You Can Play” arcade. He had originally thought his brother might like to visit the arcade. But with the helicopter tour cancelled, he decided to take dear old Mom and Dad there, too.

For ten dollars, you could play all day. We could only spare an hour, but the tickets were half price for the last hour of the day. We hit the arcade at 8:00 on the dot. It closed at 9:00. We were going to play until they ran us out. And play we did.

We played Skee-Ball, Half Court Hoops, and Evil Knievel Stunt Cycle. Then I challenged my oldest son to a friendly bowling match on Strike Master Shuffle. “Mama, I didn’t know you were so competitive,” he said. How could he have forgotten? We squeezed in a couple of Pitch and Bat baseball and Super Mario games before my youngest son and I closed the place down with a lively game of air hockey. He won. Rats.

Between his fellowships, my son was able to come home for a week this summer. One night we were reminiscing about our boys’ younger days with of friend of my oldest son when I mentioned that at one time, all three of our boys could recite Psalm 1. My son was in the next room. “Their daddy read it to them every night for years,” I added. Suddenly, his friend shouted, “Hey Josh, say Psalm 1.” Without hesitation, he began. “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”  I joined in. “He is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields it fruit inseason and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” We finished the psalm together.

“Which yields its fruit in season.”

Yes, time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin. But that’s ok. I’m thankful that I have lived long enough to recognize my blessings and to savor every single one.


Humane Society of Davidson County Celebrates 40 Years of Helping Animals

By Becky Everhart

In the summer of 1977, a notice appeared in The Dispatch from Jane Arey, a member of the Humane Society of Rowan County, asking if anyone was interested in beginning a humane society in Davidson County. “Corky” Briggs, Vicky Green, and I responded. A handful of people attended the first meeting, and the Humane Society was born. The tenets the society holds dear are simple: alleviate animal suffering and promote humane treatment of animals. Corky worked tirelessly for the organization for almost 20 years. Vicky, as Secretary, served more than 30 years. Both are now deceased. I served as Treasurer for 36 years and continue to be active.

The HSDC’s first full year of operation was 1978, with a total income of $1,270. In 2016, it topped $109,000. We are an all-volunteer force; approximately 90% of funds collected are used directly for program services. They include the Spay/Neuter and Sick/Injured Animal programs, Foster Care/Adoptions, Investigations, and the Pet Food Pantry.

Whitney Pope holds a loving cat during an adoption event.
Whitney Pope holds a loving cat during an adoption event.

Kristie Miller, the Secretary of the HSDC and one of the coordinators of the Pet Food Pantry program, said she knew we helped a lot of animals, but until she became a Board member last year, she had no idea how much people benefited as well. Help, we did. Last year, the pantry distributed over 10 tons of pet food to hundreds of animals.

In 1978, our first investigators traveled 1,270 miles. In 2001, we logged 8,000 miles. Currently, our president, Bruce Kingsbury, along with Gay Hutchins and Donna Harrington, travel to all corners of the county checking on cases of potential neglect or abuse and offering help.

Janet Fluharty, one of the HSDC Foster Care providers, loves cuddly puppies. She and other volunteers have placed hundreds of dogs and cats over the years into forever homes. Angie Byerly, a cat adoption coordinator, has found homes for more than 20 cats this year alone, thanks in part to our adoption fairs at PetSmart. Both volunteers love what they do, but admit fostering is hard work. Last year we spent over $23,000 on the program, rehoming over 100 dogs and cats. Foster Care/Adoptions is labor intensive and expensive to operate, but it is also deeply rewarding.

I serve as the coordinator of the Spay/Neuter and Sick/Injured Animal programs, allocating funds for veterinary care for many animals yearly. In 1983, the year the Spay/Neuter program began, the amount spent on both programs was $462. Last year, the total was more than $46,000, helping hundreds of animals and people, too. Countless times we hear a tearful “God bless you,” when funds are allocated for owners who struggle on a fixed income to have their pets fixed or to provide emergency veterinary care.

Conservatively, over 15,000 animals have been altered through our Spay/Neuter programs. Adding in the number of kittens and puppies not born, the number becomes exponential! Reimbursement for some surgeries from the State Spay/Neuter Fund helps to maintain the program. Another resource we utilize is a transport to Planned Pethood in Greensboro, a low-cost, high-volume spay/neuter clinic. Through this partnership, over 2,000 animals have been altered over the last five years.

Helping the helpless yesterday, today and tomorrow

In the 1980s, we focused on helping animals surrendered to horse show 2014 zthe local shelter. We convinced Sheriff “Jaybird” McCrary to discontinue selling shelter dogs to Leach Kennels in Virginia, where they were then sold to research labs for experimentation. We pushed to have all shelter animals kept at least three days. We took “Pet of the Week” pictures weekly in hopes of saving animals’ lives and drawing attention to the tragedy of pet overpopulation. We developed an adoption fee waiver program whereby the cost of adopting an animal was waived if the adopter deposited the fee at a local veterinary office toward the cost of spay/neuter. We paid the balance of the spay/neuter fee.

In the 1990s, we were instrumental in making the public aware of the need for a new animal shelter to replace the antiquated “dog pound.” The newly formed Animal Center of Davidson County (ACDC) began the daunting task of fundraising for a new shelter to be owned and operated by Davidson County. We worked hand in hand with the ACDC, donating $12,000 for the new facility and thousands of volunteer hours, as well. In 1999, after four long years of fundraising, the new Animal Shelter was built on Glendale Road.

In the 2000s, we continued to work to alleviate animal suffering. We also participated in the creation and review of multiple animal ordinances for the City of Lexington and Davidson County. We finally purchased property on Piedmont Drive, where we run our Spay-Neuter Transport and operate our Pet Food Pantry monthly, as well as hosting fund-raising events.

What’s ahead? We are helping the City of Lexington to build a dog park! As past president and long-time member Gay Hutchins recently noted, “The dog park will benefit more than just the dogs in Davidson County. The health and well-being of all the citizens that use the park is a huge plus.” She is right. Not only will dogs enjoy the freedom to run and play and socialize with other dogs, many of which spend their days on tethers or inside apartments, but also the park will provide an opportunity for people to socialize and form the bonds that tie our community together.

Working for the animals and for the people of our cities and county is what we have done for the past 40 years. The next 40? We are just getting started!

Please contact us if you would like to be a part of making the Lexington Dog Park happen or to support our programs! We always need volunteers, pet food, and monetary donations.


Humane Society of Davidson County

PO Box 1791

Lexington, NC 27293

Regular line: 336-248-2706

Spay/Neuter line: 336-237-0131

Follow us on Facebook! Megan McRee does a great job keeping everyone updated!


Officers and Board Members

Bruce Kingsbury, President

Kristie Miller, Secretary

Gay Hutchins, Treasurer

Jane Blackerby

Angie Byerly

Becky Everhart

Janet Fluharty

Donna Harrington

Megan Williams-McRee

Melody Williams


At Home to Home Away: Bob Timberlake Meets Blowing Rock

By Stacy Hilton Vanzant

Nestled in the rolling mountains of North Carolina sits a 20th century mountain resort with ties to Davidson County. Although the once-named Chetola Estate is located in Blowing Rock, its ties are close to home and now includes the name Bob Timberlake displayed throughout the property.

In 1926, J. Luther Snyder purchased Chetola Estate. Snyder, a self-made entrepreneur known as the “Coca-Cola King of the Carolinas,” loved his family of six children and loved to entertain. Chetola Estate located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, was the perfect backdrop for his personal interests.

Snyder died in 1957 and the family heirs sold the estate in 1982, after which it became Chetola Resort. The group of businessmen who purchased the property at that time had grand visions of an elegant lodge with one, two and three-bedroom condominiums as well as meeting facilities that would be available to the public.

TimberlakeRest-ChetolaIn 1997, Rachael Renar and her son Kent Tarbutton purchased the property and remain as the owners today. Kent Tarbutton envisioned more offerings for the facility, including the addition of a spa and improvements to several luxurious rooms.

Tarbutton soon met local artisan Bob Timberlake and recalls their first meeting. “He was just a common man that had so many stories to tell and I was drawn to his comfortable demeanor and passion for nature,” he said.  Tarbutton knew from the start that their friendship would soon grow into a flourishing business relationship.

In efforts to keep the tradition of the property and to preserve its history, Timberlake and Tarbutton worked to design the Bob Timberlake Inn at Chetola. The Inn, which is the original Manor House Estate, was opened in 2004.

92FCB302-40E9-44D8-A08A-0929BF0390B0After the innopened in 2004, Tarbutton continued to develop new embellishments for the property, but he knew there were areas that could be improved upon. In August 2011, the original Manor House Restaurant suffered a kitchen fire. The restaurant was closed for almost a year while it underwent renovations. Tarbutton approached Timberlake again to discuss the possibility of building a restaurant based on Timberlake’sE36126D8-7EC0-414E-904F-307E25B2E6CD art and culinary likes. Tarbutton recalls Timberlake’s chuckle at the idea that people would care what he liked to eat. “Bob is so modest that he pretty much thought I was crazy with the idea anyone would care about his favorite meals, but I knew there was a story to tell about his home cooked dishes,” he said.

Tarbutton was right! Timberlake loved the idea of designing a restaurant and taking some of his inspiration to develop a menu as well. In July 2012, the restaurant reopened as the Timberlake Restaurant, featuring a menu inspired by Bob Timberlake’s culinary favorites. Its hunting inspired dining room includes paintings, furniture, and décor designed by Bob Timberlake.

The beautiful lodge at Chetola Sporting Reserve
The beautiful lodge at Chetola Sporting Reserve

As Chetola Resort continued to grow, a new relationship developed with the Blue Ridge Mountain Club. This 6,200 acre property has home sites, condominiums, a clubhouse, and a fitness club as well as the new Chetola Sporting Reserve. The Sporting Reserve, nestled at the bottom of the valley in the Blue Ridge Mountain Club, is a private club offering exclusive memberships. It is available for limited Chelota guest memberships as well.

At the Sporting Reserve, visitors can enjoy an array of outdoor sportsman activities including rifle and pistol ranges, a sporting clay course, a 5-stay clay station, an archery range, and fly fishing activities. While visiting the property, I even tried my hand at the 5-stand clay stations and it was so much fun. This venue would be the perfect location for a bachelor party, a men’s fellowship gathering, or just a good ol’ guys weekend.

When considering a getaway destination, consider seeing what our local artisan Bob Timberlake has going on in Blowing Rock. From the world class accommodations, spa, and guaranteed mouthwatering restaurant menu to the many outdoorsman activities offered at Chetola, you’re sure to find something that will make your time enjoyable!


Crafting on a Penny: Paper Mache Bowls

PaperMacheWith school starting, many of us are challenged by tight budgets and the need to swap out our summer decorations for fall inspired creations. With these paper mache bowls you can upscale any space and still keep pennies in the bank. These bowls are excellent creations for tablescapes, storage solutions, or decorative side pieces. By adding a little paint you can make the perfect accent for any season!



Water for paste


Craft Paint

Spray Sealer (Recommended, but optional!)

Kitchen bowl as form

Plastic Wrap



1)      Cover the bottom of the bowl you have chosen with plastic wrap, and wrap it over the rim. Make a paste of flour and water until it is the consistency of pudding. Tear up small pieces of newspaper or other recycled paper from your home.

papermache22)      Dip the paper into the paste and apply a layer to the outside of the bowl. Build up the layer until the plastic wrap is completely covered. Let dry overnight. Repeat until you have several layers for strength. Let dry. Remove from the bowl form and remove the plastic wrap.

3)      Use scissors to cut a clean edge around the rim of your paper mache bowl. Consider using a primer on the bowl first to block out any print or colors. Let dry. Paint with craft paints in your chosen colors. Don’t forget to consider metallic paints, a different color for the inside and outside of the bowl, or to add pattern. You can stamp and stencil, create freehand designs, or print a word around the rim that carries meaning for you. Use your creativity and dress it up to the style of your home!

4)      Spray finished bowls with a sealer you can pick up at any craft store.

5)      Now fill your bowl and enjoy years of decorative style you can be proud of! Don’t forget to experiment with different types of paper, adding paint to the glue, using white tissue paper, or using a faux stone paint finish. Let your creativity run wild. If you don’t like it, repaint it!