Man & Woman of 2011
Jack Hargett & Pat Kahle
Local ‘storage wars’
What’s in women’s purses? Olympic skating dreams
Love after 65 years Super Bowl party or not?
Memorable Valentine’s Days Weddings, Union County style
What’s in women’s purses? Contents
3 women show us.
Union Lifestyle January 2012
Union County’s Man and Woman of the Year.
“We’re nothing special.”
Residents recall memorable Valentine’s Days.
What makes a good volunteer? Passion.
10 Weddings, Union
Married 65 years and still
14 Destination weddings just a plane ticket away.
Super Bowl party or not?
The Griffins make it a
family affair. 26
Puerto Rico wedding
draws crowd of
When you provide a hot meal to a disaster victim, or give blood to someone 16 family and friends.
you will never meet, train in first aid or help a member of our military, you join Boswell’s Sandwich Salvage Co. brings back
the American Red Cross. the famous Turkey Bake.
Your support makes the difference. Because of you, the Red Cross can
respond to nearly 200 neighborhood emergencies every day. 18 Wedding styles from the
Local ‘storage wars’ county . . . and China.
not like on television.
Wedding planners provide “the wedding magic.”
Olympic dreams for
This advertisement was contributed by a local donor and not paid from public contributions.
area ice skater.
2 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 3
Editor’s Letter UNION
3 women, 3 purses – whose is whose?
It’s just a few days into the new year, Men are as intrigued by what
and already we can hear the women carry in their purses
breaking of resolutions like a glass as they are about why women
dropped on a brick floor. go to the restroom in twos.
Vol. 1, No. 2
Some experts suggest we make So we started wondering, too.
Editor What do women carry in their
resolutions for the wrong reasons –
Nancy E. Stephen purses?
because we “should” or because we
really do need to lose weight. Advertising Just to see, we analyzed the
Pam Duke purses of Traci Carter,
If we drop the words “should” and
director of training and
“ought” from our thought process, Contributing Writer recruiting for Sport Clips in
resolutions become more realistic. North Carolina; Jeanette Traci Carter Jeanette Reed Sheila Crunkleton
Deb Coates Bledsoe
repeat my mantra every day.
After many years of half-hearted Reed, social worker for In-
resolutions, I decided to be realistic. In 2011, my resolution was to worry Photographers Home Support Services at
What really did I want out of the (obsess) about only those things Melissa Barnette Union County Department of Social Services, and Sheila The contents are shown and listed below. Try to match the
over which I had some degree of Deb Coates Bledsoe Crunkleton, community executive at the Union County purse to the person. If you’re stumped, check your answers
coming year? And what was doable?
chapter of the American Red Cross. on Page 13.
control. Rick Crider
In 2010, I focused on “doing the best
I can,” which is difficult for one with And again, I had to analyze situations Nancy E. Stephen
profectionist tendencies. If it’s not almost every day. I discovered I was
Editorial Assistant A B
perfect, it’s not good enough, I always wasting energy and creating anxiety
Karen Johnston Two cell phones
thought. But as a normal human over the wrong things. Tums and Rolaids
being, I can’t be perfect. This year, I’m back to working on the Union Lifestyle Misc. receipts
A publication of Business cards
Once I realized that (and yes, I know perfectionism tendency. I’ve decided 15 pens
Cameo Communications, LLC
that mid-50s is too late for that that 98 percent or even 95 percent Ear buds
realization), I focused on doing the is probably good enough in most PO Box 1064 Markers
situations. Monroe, NC 28111-1064 Purse A Deodorant
best I could in situations. Moisturizer
Wallet Two toothbrushes Makeup bag
2010 was a success, but I did have to I’ll let you know how it works out. UnionLifestyle.com EpiPen
2 pens Shampoo and conditioner
Keys and store cards Plastic stickers
Support for the Future
Thank you note Fingernail glue
Keys Pipe cleaners
Makeup bag Spare change Incense and two lighters
Employee ID card Splenda Day glow flashlight
Employee badge C
Cell phone Gum 18 pens
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Toothpaste, dental floss Checkbook Keys
! ! Camera Panthers tickets Candy
! ! Meeting agendas (past) Google directions Sticky notes (used)
! ! ! Printed emails Battery Business cards (for others)
Used event tickets Take-out menus Pampered Chef recipe book
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !
Stamps Lip gloss Plastic fork
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! Hair clips Button Loose change
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! /
! !"""#$%&'()$*'+,-)*#)./ Warranty Bandage Splenda
4 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 5
Union County’s Man and Woman of the Year
By Nancy E. Stephen As Man of the Year, Jack Hargett, owner of Long Wiring, people might choose to withdraw from
follows in the footsteps of not only his father, Phil, who was involvement, but not Pat. She and Dick
honored in 2005, but also his grandfather, Jack R. Hargett, established the Alex Kahle Memorial
who was honored in 1959. Scholarship Fund, golf tournament and
“Both of their life legacies, that I learned from at an early blood drive in their daughter’s honor.
age, were to lend a hand to those in need and to give back to As a result, the Union County Christmas
your community. They both lived it every day of their Parade Princess has received a $4,000
lives,” Jack said, after he recovered from the shock. scholarship from the fund for the last four
at Kahle and Jack Hargett were shocked Ten previous Men of the Year descended on Hargett at his years, and this year, the fund also
recently to learn they are the 2011 Union County Man and office to tell him of the honor, one which he, too, says he presented a spirit scholarship of $1,000.
Woman of the Year. The two were chosen by previous doesn’t deserve. Jack also gives a lot of time and energy
recipients of the award from nominations by the public. to his community. He has been active in
Pat also served as chair of the Union County Chamber of
Pat is senior vice Commerce and many organizations in the county,
president, retail Turning Point, as well including president of the Monroe Rotary
banking group as on the boards of the Club and chair of the Union County
manager at Citizens Department of Social Community Shelter board of directors. Charles Norwood, right, was one of 10 former recipients who surprised Jack Hargett
South Bank. Services, Union Smart “He is such a great volunteer,” explains with the information that he is this year’s recipient.
“Oh my goodness, oh Start and Benton Kathy Bragg, director of the shelter. Jack
my goodness,” she Heights Elementary is chair of the facilities committee and
kept repeating when PTO. recently oversaw the complete shelter Learn about robotics & solar technology
last year’s Woman of “Pat has a very strong renovation, as well as installation of a Learn the math behind The Price is Right
the Year Nancy sense of civic mobile storage unit and deck. Learn how the pros draw portraits
Stephen, her husband responsibility and has “Jack never says ‘no’ and is generous with
These are just three of many
Dick and a group of demonstrated her his time and business. Any time we need
FREE one-day classes!
friends surprised her leadership ability by electrical service, he sends staff over to do
with the announcement stepping up to the the work pro bono. And he attends every Take up to six free classes on
at the bank. “I can’t challenge and leading event we have,” she added.
believe this.” Her many efforts to meet He serves as chair of the Phil Hargett
wide-open eyes and the needs of her Memorial Fund of the Union Academy
audible gasps were Foundation, vice chair of the Foundation,
absolute proof of her Richard Heins of the chair of Union Smart Start board of
shock. “I don’t deserve United Way. directors, Rolling Hills Country Club
this,” she said. “I really “She has selflessly long-range planning committee, on the Saturday, Feb. 18
don’t.” contributed many Union County Community Foundation and
hours not only serving Chamber of Commerce boards. South Piedmont Community College is pleased to present
But the previous Pat Kahle, Union County’s Woman of the Year, right, is surprised with roses
on boards, but being He also serves on the Carolinas Electrical !"#$%#&'$(#))$*!++),)$-./0$1),2&')#$3!4$5!#$5#))6$!3)78./$9+.&&)&$
winners disagreed, from last year’s recipient, Union Lifestyle Editor Nancy Stephen.
active on those Contractors Association (CECA) board,
citing her ongoing '!$:.;)$5"3$.38$&))$4:.'$<=**$:.&$'!$!55)#>$
boards,” he said, the advisory board for Citizens South
work in the
emphasizing the word “active.” “Her knowledge of Bank and the campaign committee for the Many classes to choose from!
community. She has been involved in wide-ranging activities,
finances, passion to serve others and enthusiasm have made Union County United Way.
including extensive work with the United Way, where she has Register online at www.spcc.edu.
her the perfect volunteer.”
served on the community investment committee, board of A lifelong resident of Union County, he !"#$%&"'()*+,-)./))0))1)"-2-)3)4)5-2-
directors, regional board of directors, as cabinet member and Pat and her husband, Dick, lost their 17-year-old daughter, lives with his wife, Carrie, and children – Old Charlotte Highway Campus, Monroe, NC
county campaign chair. Alex, in an automobile accident four years ago. Many Christen, Jackson, Jacob and Caroline.
6 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 7
What makes a good volunteer?
By Nancy E. Stephen become part of the organization you members to contribute. So I told them that if I didn’t get the
community and love; there is money by Easter, I’d have to wear bunny ears,” which, in
someone suggested something you can fact, he did for a photo.
‘why don’t you find do for them. It may
“When the (Union County Community) Arts Council did the
something that you not be a board
Magic of Motown, Terri Beeson got me, (Superior Court
love and volunteer.’ position; it may be
Judge) Chris Bragg and (businessman) John Parker to dress
At that time, something different.
up like women and be the backup singers. I do not make a
Turning Point was But there is
pretty woman! But it was a lot of fun.”
assion, say this year’s Union County just an idea. In fact, something you can
we used the shelter bring. Pat: “Gee, I haven’t done anything like that. But I did dance
Man and Woman of the Year, is what makes a volunteer.
and hotel rooms for in a recital – it was a ’50s number. It was not pretty. Alex was
“People who are willing to give of their time, and they’re Jack: “I remember
housing women and in elementary school, and Dick danced with her.
passionate about what they’re volunteering for,” suggests going on the first
their children. I
Jack Hargett, president of Long Wiring, Inc., and Man of the boards wondering “I like nasty, dirty stuff, like the United Way Day of Caring.
became a volunteer,
Year. ‘what in the world You see everyone from top executives down, everyone with
joined the board,
am I going to bring their sleeves rolled up. Bankers in T-shirts and jeans, up to
“Honestly, if you have passion, that’s the most important and from there it
to this?’ their elbows in dirt but helping someone.”
thing,” volunteers Pat Kahle, senior vice president, retail grew. Jack Hargett and Pat Kahle serve on the Chamber of Commerce and Union Smart
banking group manager of Citizens South Bank and Woman boards of directors for the Union County Start, and volunteer for the United Way. “Knowing all the
“You learn about
of the Year. “You’ll find the time to do the things you love. If other people sitting
people and get to
you have that passion, you’ll find the time to give. around the table, I didn’t feel like I had anything to bring. But
know about people when you’ve rolled up your sleeves and
you get there and get acclimated a little bit, and you say ‘I
“Most of the organizations that I’ve worked with, the are in the thick of doing whatever project or fund-raiser
can help here. I can help there.’ ”
professionals are so open to doing the technical part that your you’re trying to do. Rolling your sleeves up, working side by
passion and your time and your energy and willingness to get side, elbow to elbow, there’s something about that experience While both claim no special skills, both are frequently tapped
out there is what, I think, makes a good volunteer.” that allows you to be more open. And you get to know because of their specific skills.
“I’m always on facilities committees,” Jack said, “It’s easy
“It’s almost shameful how wonderful it is to get out there. and second nature. But I like to step outside that role and do
Why do you volunteer and You walk away so much better; it’s not a sacrifice. It’s fun other things, too.”
what do you gain personally? and it helps. It helps you feel like a better person.
“Finance committees are where people initially put me,” Pat
“It’s not about attending another meeting. It is for the ultimate said. “But once you get there in that pigeonholed position,
– helping someone who needs a little help right now. You you can volunteer for other things. I like projects with a
Jack: “I get a lot more out of it than I put in it. The (Union don’t want to forget what you’re volunteering for.” beginning and end, and when I get to do things I don’t
County Community) Shelter was an early organization that I
ordinarily get to do.”
became involved with it. I wanted to help someone who was
less fortunate and needed a helping hand.
What skills do volunteers need?
“Once you see the good you can do when you get a group of What unusual volunteer roles
people together, it makes you want to get involved in other
areas. A lot of it is connections; you start meeting people and have you played?
Pat: “If you’ve never volunteered before and you can’t see
getting involved in other areas. what you can bring to the table, that can be intimidating. I
remember the first time, I didn’t know anything about Jack: “I danced in the Nutcracker when my daughter
“I feel like I’m giving back to a community that’s given me a
lot. I’ve gotten friendships through it, and it makes me feel fundraising and they were asking me to help. participated in Union County Youth Ballet. The dads would
like I’m making a difference. do a party scene, so I did that a couple of times. But no tights! Scan for more
for more BANK
“But the thing is, to be a good volunteer doesn’t require infor
Pat: “We moved here in 1986 and knew no one. I wanted to special skills. I don’t have any special skills. It’s finding some “At Union Smart Start, I was trying to get all of the board
8 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 9
Theres still magic after 65 years of marriage
By Nancy E. Stephen bedroom. The bathroom was outdoors.
“I bought the materials but they did the
labor on framing it.” Fred recalls
paying $36 for the framing labor, and a
total of $722 for the house and well.
“We did it the hard way,” Addie said,
fter almost 65 years of adding that the two rooms “worked out
marriage, Fred and Addie Polk say they’d do it again. In pretty good, especially with no
fact, they’ve never thought about not being married. children.” They were married four
years before Judy (Medlin) was born
The two will celebrate their 65th anniversary on February and another two years before Peggy
15, the day after Valentine’s Day. And while they’ve had (Pressley) joined the family.
ups and downs, a few disagreements and health issues,
When they first married, “we didn’t
they wouldn’t have life any other way. Their love story is
have much money. You ate what you
poignant in our current society of frequent divorce.
had and would have liked to have
“We’ve had some tough times,” said Fred, 86, “really something else,” Fred said.
tough times. Money-wise and all that. But we’re still at it;
“We always kept something on the
we enjoy one another yet.”
table, we never went hungry,” she
They live in a small house full of family photos, not too far added. “But we’ve done very well,”
from where they both lived as children. That proximity to Fred said. “We had some rough times
each other is what led them together. but had no thoughts about getting out.
“She lived down the road from me,” Fred explained. He’s “We somehow managed to have
the chatty one in the couple; Addie, 80, speaks quietly and something to eat, a little bit of money.
less often, but interjects her thoughts among his. That will hold you together if anything
will, if you can make ends meet,” he
“I knew her people; I got to feeling that I wanted to see her
said. “We’ve had some disagreements.
and talk. And we started going together, went together until
We’ve worked it out. We’re still here.
I went overseas,” he explained. They started dating when “I didn’t have a car, so I would go to her home on the Chesterfield, SC, and got married one day. I didn’t think he
she was 13 and he was 17. weekends, and maybe on Wednesday night. I could see her would say anything. I think he figured we were going to get “Oh yeah, I guarantee that people say ‘me and my wife never
most anytime I wanted to. I never got a car until we got married,” Fred said. have hard words.’ I don’t right believe that, whatsoever,” he
“I really did fall for her,” Fred adds, his lifelong love for his
married. We hardly ever went out,” he said. “We walked a adds.
wife still audible in his voice. Addie’s mother knew about the wedding plans and made her
lot,” Addie remembers. daughter’s wedding dress. “It looked like an ordinary dress,” What made their marriage last 65 years when so many fail?
“I knew he was the one,” she said, with a shy smile. “I was Addie said, “but I called it my wedding dress. She made it “We’ve always loved one another, to start with,” Fred said.
jealous of him, of him being around other girls.” especially for me to get married in. Daddy was there every “I’ve always loved her. It’s just like we were meant for one
But he never was. “It was her; that was it,” Fred said. “I never day, seeing her sewing, and he didn’t pay attention to it.” another. We got along good, and our families always got
dated another girl. along.
“Everything worked out all right. We just wanted to go ahead
“I went by and got her out of a cradle,” he said laughing, and and be together,” her husband explained. But both admit to “Some young people these days, I don’t think they could
Addie just sweetly smiled. She’s heard these stories many not knowing what they were getting into when they married. handle it,” Fred said. “They wouldn’t last no time,” Addie
times before, but still reacts. “It was a change,” Addie said, “bigger than we thought.” added.
Restoring Historic Downtown Monroe . . .
Fred joined the army infantry – “that’s where you walk, you “We’ve picked cotton together; we’ve done everything
one building at a time. On their wedding day, they moved in with his parents; a few
don’t ride” – the day the war ended and served a year in months later, they moved to a rental house. Eventually, Fred together. I think that’s one of the big things that’s kept us
Office and retail space available John Wiggins, 704.242.4393 together, kept us going,” he states. “We just worked through
Germany. They married just a few days after he returned. and his brothers started building the house they now live in,
but it was just two rooms at the time – a kitchen and our disagreements, we worked things out.”
“Her daddy didn’t know we were getting married. We went to
10 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 11
Director of training and
recruiting for Sport Clips
in North Carolina.
Union County chapter of the
Fred and Addie were young loves in the photo, at left, and American Red Cross
celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, above.
Her wallet mirrors her purse –
jammed full of
The Polks’ marital advice “important things.”
After 65 years, the Polks are experts at marriage. While
acknowledging a few difficult times in their marriage, they
worked through each difficulty and still profess love for each Social worker for In-Home Support
other. That’s not something many can say. Services at Union County DSS
“Young people give up too easily on their marriage,” Fred Even her makeup bag is neat.
says. “Some of these marriages don’t last but a short while.
Someone’s not trying – one or both.
“You don’t hardly know what to tell young people about
Celebrate Valentine’s Day
marriage,” he adds, but here are some of his thoughts.
You’ve just got to put your nose to the grindstone . . . .
UpClose & Personal at an elegant dinner, dance & auction.
You’ve got to try different things.
Saturday, February 11 6 p.m. Monroe Country Club
Grit your teeth and go on. Music by a Union Symphony Ensemble, followed by music for dancing.
What you’ve got to do is just buckle down and stay Black and/or white attire preferred.
with it, see if it’s going to work. And it will work if $100 each. Reserve at (704) 283-2525 or www.UnionSymphony.org.
both of you work together.
If you put your mind to it, you can find some way Proceeds benefit Sponsored by
out; see a way to make things better.
Get it off your chest and move on.
This project is supported by the Union County
Community Arts Council and the N.C. Arts Council,
a division of the Dept. of Cultural Resources.
12 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 13
Party or not, there’ll be a crowd at the Griffins If we’re playing Green Bay, I’ll do
brats and sauerkraut. If it’s New
England, I’ll make clam chowder.”
By Nancy E. Stephen The Griffins started hosting get- “It’s quality time with the
The next generation also gets into the
togethers as soon as they were married grandchildren, you can find out what’s
food preparation. Savannah made her
– 50 years ago in April. going on with the basketball team, their
Hot Corn Dip, Griffin made Stuffed
friends. I am truly blessed.”
“We would have parties on Saturday Jalapenos and Will made Oreo Truffles
night once a month. Either everyone The night I visited, Sis and Bruce were for me to see – and taste. Easy and very
would bring their own steak, or I would there with daughter Missy’s sons, tasty, I will say.
make pizza dough and everyone would Griffin, 17, and Will, 16. Missy and
all it a And they’ll do that for the Super Bowl
make their own pizzas. husband Ingram Walters were out of
party or not, the Super Bowl is and other occasions, Sis says. If there
town, and the boys came
on, and the house is full. are traditional Super Bowl dishes at the
over after basketball practice.
Griffin house, it’s chili and jalapeno
Party pro Sis Griffin says she In addition, son Macon cornbread. But they’re always
doesn’t do Super Bowl parties brought his daughters accompanied by a wide variety of fun
anymore, but after further Savannah, 16 (who brought a finger foods.
probing, she says, “Well, I guess friend), Sullivan, 14, and son,
we do.” Stowe, 11.
You see, Sis has people in her The third Griffin child, Mike, Will’s Oreo Truffles
house all the time and she’s and his wife Tammie live in
Package of Oreos
always cooking (which she Hamlet with son Wells, 13,
16 oz. cream cheese
loves) and those folks are always and daughter Altman, 11.
White or dark chocolate, melted
eating (which they love). So she
So even when it’s not a Grind the Oreos finely in a food
doesn’t think of the 30 or 40
“party,” it’s a crowd as the processor and combine with the
friends and friends of friends
children bring their children cream cheese, using your hands.
who drop by the house on Super
who bring their friends. But Shape into balls and chill in the
Bowl Sunday as a party.
more are always welcome. refrigerator. Griffin and Savannah watch as Will
“There’s never an invitation sent Drop in at any time, and Dip into the melted chocolate. The Savannah’s Hot Corn Dip tastes his Oreo truffles.
out for the Super Bowl,” she you’ll be asked to stay for the cold balls quickly harden the 3 cups yellow corn
says. “People ask ‘Are you doing next meal or “at least” have a chocolate. The truffles will keep for 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
Super Bowl?’ and we say ‘Yes, snack and some coffee. several days in the refrigerator. 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
come on over.’ “There’s always a party “They make a wonderful dessert, 1 cup chopped onions
here,” Sis finally admits. you can just pick them up,” Will says 1 jalapeno, chopped fine
“This is the kind of
Sis donated a home-catered dinner for eight people in her “Honest to goodness, there as he pops one in his mouth. 1 cup mayonnaise
entertainment I like to do. I put
out the food and you’re on your home to the Union Academy auction recently, which raised are very few football games Saute the onions, and add 1/2 cup of
$3,200 – a testament to her reputation as a cook. She when it’s just us. We’re just both cheeses, the pepper, corn and
own. If you’ve been here more Griffin’s Stuffed Jalapenos
promises, “This won’t be tailgating, I’ll bring out the good sports oriented. If it’s a mayonnaise. Pour into a greased
than once, you know where the Jalapeno peppers
china.” football game or basketball baking dish and top with the
bar and everything is.” 8 oz. cream cheese
game, the multitudes roll in. remaining cheese.
Sis, who grew up in Charlotte, wasn’t “We were poor, but we didn’t know it,” Bacon
“Ingram’s the griller, Macon will steam Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 25
from a home where parties were held she says, laughing. “It was just fun to Wearing gloves, split the peppers
oysters on the deck. Whoever they minutes.
every week, which is almost the case at get together. “ lengthwise and scrape out the
happen to see, they’re invited.” seeds. Stuff with soft cream cheese. Although Savannah says this isn’t an
the house she and husband Bruce have Fifty years later, it’s the same thing, but
Wrap a strip of bacon around the original recipe, “We’ve used it a lot. At
lived in for more than 30 years. “If my Sis goes all out for her home tailgating
parents had a party, it was a function,
with a more diverse crowd. “What is so
neat now is the kids, the grandchildren, parties, matching menus to the pepper in a single layer and bake at every family gathering we have, we Downtown
400 degrees for about 30 to 45 have a dip, whether it’s spinach, corn
such as a Christmas party or maybe a
are so comfortable bringing their
friends here. They’re always here.
opposing team. “If we’re (the Panthers)
playing New Orleans, I’ll make gumbo.
minutes until the bacon is crispy. or cheese dip.” MONROE
14 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 15
The famous Turkey Bake is back at Boswell’s!
Fans of the Boswell’s Turkey Bake of the We also tried the Broccoli Cheddar Casserole, but other desserts include a AMBIANCE - 3.5 stars. The décor was cute, but the
’80s and ’90s are thrilled that it’s back. Restaurant which was yummy comfort food. The broccoli seven-layer chocolate cake bathroom paint color hurt.
and mushrooms were cooked to perfection, not and an imported New York-
Boswell's Sandwich Salvage Co. in Stallings,
owned by the former owner’s son, Andy
Review overcooked, which we see too often, and the style cheesecake. The MENUS - 4.5 stars. A variety of dishes, including multiple
seasoning was just right. The piping hot dish, pound cake was unique and vegetarian choices. There is a limited beer and wine menu,
Boswell, has brought back some of the but you wouldn’t expect more in what is primarily sandwich
served with warm crusty bread, was more than delicious, which make the
wonderfully delightful tastes that made Boswell’s Restaurant shop.
enough for lunch. bread pudding pale by
a success in Monroe years ago.
The restaurant offers a
comparison. Nice, but just
Sun-dried Tomato Quiche
QUALITY - 5 stars. We were happy to have the original
The restaurant specializes in baked and deli-style sandwiches, nice. A little more peach Turkey Bake back, and as one reviewer said, “The Pumpkin
blend of salads,
including our favorite Turkey Bake. It’s turkey salad, with big flavor was needed in our portion. Pound Cake was killer.” Our hummus afficionado was
quiche, burgers, hot
chunks of turkey, atop an open-face toasted roll and features thrilled with her choice.
dogs and multiple The staff was very attentive and made us feel like their only
the sandwich-making remoulade mayonnaise with fresh
mushrooms and melted cheese on top. And
delicious vegetarian customers, which we certainly weren’t. Boswell’s emits a SERVICE - 5 stars. Very attentive. Free coffee with dessert!
dishes, which family-owned feeling, for good reason, and you feel as if
like the old days, it sports a whole
VALUE - 4.5 stars. Sandwiches ranged from $6.50 for the
you’re visiting an old friend or a distant relative.
hot pepper in the center, Tucker Torpedo hot dog to $9.50 for signature sandwiches
difficult to find in
which heat lovers can Its décor, described by the owner as an eclectic, shabby chic and $10 for the half pound Mr. Boz burger. A little high for
Union County. Broccoli Cheddar Casserole
enjoy and others can warehouse motif, is an accurate description. Called daily lunches, but these are not ordinary sandwiches.
remove. We tried the vegan hummus, which was served with heirloom “unassuming” by others, it’s comfortable, with its own sense
tomato relish and pita bread and was some of the best we’ve of style.
OVERALL - 4.25 - We’re planning to go back . . . soon!
Some things just tasted outside the Middle East. We’ve been told that others
shouldn’t be changed, say the same thing. Often, hummus has virtually no taste, but Our only true objection to the restaurant was the women’s
and fortunately for us, the that certainly isn’t the case at Boswell’s. restroom, a picky point, we agree. Clean and decorated with
Turkey Bake is still the same. vintage prints, the walls are pepto-pink,
Turkey Bake Same toasty bread, same luscious Other vegetarian dishes include a sun-dried tomato quiche which seems radically wrong in a
with goat cheese, which we also proclaimed excellent, even
sauce. That day, it was served with Raspberry Chipotle Slaw, restaurant where the food is so
when the leftover portion was reheated at home in the
which might be too spicy for some folks, but not for us. The
taste was unusual, and its pungency complemented the turkey
microwave. The restaurant features broccoli and shrimp
good. Not to mention too bright.
Pizza & Italian
quiche every day with a third rotating selection. Boswell’s is located at 2741 Old
Monroe Road in Stallings. Hours
Our restaurant reviewers visited during lunch and typically
Other popular sandwiches are The Grind House, which is are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to Family friendly
would not indulge in dessert, but for the sake of journalism,
lean roast beef, peppers, onions, provolone cheese and is 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
we did. Oh my! Dine in, take out, delivery
served hot with au jus, and the Reuben, Reuben, which can be Vegan Hummus They’re also open for a Sunday brunch
All day, every day!
either corned beef or turkey, for variety. We shared Pumpkin Pound Cake and Peach Bread Pudding, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
How we award stars 704.847.4884
AMBIANCE - Based on not only the décor, but the quality
Dixon knows of restrooms, noise buffers, etc.
health care insurance reform MENUS - Rated for depth of items, as well as variety and Friendly neighborhood bar
and can show how you can benefit. ability to meet the needs of all diners. for 18 years and older
Your partner for financial success! QUALITY - Based on taste, portion size, creativity, Full Mario’s menu
Business tax returns QuickBooks support 704.254.6437 flexibility to meet individual dietary preferences.
Personal tax returns Payroll services SERVICE - Rates the wait staff on attentiveness and the 704.847.1560
Schedule a free, Dixon S. Hall, MA kitchen on speed and cooperation, etc.
Bookkeeping services Financial statements Plantation Market (across from Siskey Y)
no pressure presentation AAI, AIM, AIS, AU, ChFC, CLU, LUTCF
4630 W. Highway 74, Suite A Monroe, NC 28110 for your organization. http://finsecurity.com/Dixon1 VALUE - Balances the quality of food with the cost. 3016 Weddington Road, Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105
(704) 289-6317 Phone (704) 283-9438 Fax www.cbmcpas.com
OVERALL - Average rating by all diners in all categories. www.EatMariosPizza.com
16 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 17
peer into it, trying to see what’s there.
They can’t touch anything or go in the
unit, so they must base their bids on
There is a downside to buying unit
contents. “People don’t realize how
much trash, dirty laundry that you have
to pick up and take to landfill. And you
have to pay for that,” T.C. said.
The winning bidders must empty their
units within days, sometimes in just 24
It’s not hours. And they must leave it in broom-
swept condition. Otherwise, they forfeit
a $50 security fee.
like TV The facility owner and the unit renter
can also bid. A renter might try to
reclaim his merchandise for less than
the outstanding rent, while a facility
owner can run up the price if he thinks Editor Nancy Stephen cracks up as she takes a second look at the unit she “purchased.”
the unit isn’t selling for enough.
me to follow through on what I
How often do people default on their
promise. Drat them!
By Nancy E. Stephen of this is regular old household stuff.” storage unit payment? “For the last two
years, pretty regular,” said Jimmy And so I did. At first it was interesting,
Recently, he found a three karat
Huntley, owner of Wingate Store-All, but the novelty quickly wore off as I
diamond ring set in gold, which he was
laughing. “It’s gotten a little better in didn’t find anything to sell, not that I
having appraised. But that’s unusual. f I ever see T.C. West
the last six months. 2008 to 2010 was had anywhere to sell it anyway. What
“Furniture and appliances are typical. again, I have a few things to say. He was I thinking?
Think about it. If people put their apparently knows a gullible blonde
But once the bags were gone, there was
valuables in a storage locker, if it was At one auction, Huntley mused about when he sees one.
f you’ve seen Storage a lot of small furniture, pots and pans,
anything of real value, they would have the benefits he might gain. Although
At a recent sale, one unit had no eclectic decorations and miscellany that
Wars on television, you might believe paid and gotten it out. That’s what not expecting a lot of cash, “I’ll get
bidders, not surprisingly since all you was delivered to area charities. That
buying the contents of an abandoned people need to keep in mind,” he said. Harold Stegall peers into a unit, deciding some money back and I’ll get the unit
could see were trash bags piled on top was my reward.
storage unit is a quick and easy way to whether to bid on the contents.. cleaned out – that’s two benefits.”
Can you make a decent living from of each other. “You should buy this
make a living. I did take home a small revolving LED-
buying storage unit belongings? After bidding at the auction, too, something Using true auctioneer prattle and a unit; you know, for your story,” he said.
lighted Christmas tree, which adorned
But those who attend local storage he quit laughing, T.C. said, “I wouldn’t he does regularly. “In Charlotte, microphone system, auctioneer Butch So I ponied up the $50 deposit and bid my office over the holidays. It was a
auctions say it’s not like that. want to depend on it. It’s more of a sometimes the bids are up to $1,000. Evans started selling the first of five $10. I should have known better. true Charlie Brown tree.
hobby than anything. It can be fun. But Union County doesn’t have that units. But they didn’t go very high. On
“It’s bogus what you see on television,” In the end, those three seconds of And I made friends with the workers at
many sales and the bids are lower.” this day, the first sold for $25, the
said T.C West, a buyer from Albemarle. “My suggestion to anyone is, if you bidding cost me $10 for the unit, $38 in the landfill, as I toted truckload after
second for $45 and the third for $200.
“I hear that they’re liable to do don’t have a home for everything you At first, he didn’t want to say what he landfill fees, one friend who now is truckload. It’s amazing how much
hundreds of events before they actually see in the unit, don’t buy it. Because does with his purchases; eventually he One man from Charlotte “bought” three busy when I call her, $40 to a helper “stuff” you store in a 10 x 10 unit.
find the ones they show. It’s made to that’s the only way you make any said he gives a lot away to individuals units for a total of $325 and expected to when I became desperate, three broken
sell the contents for $1,500. I learned something from this endeavor
catch people’s interest and attention, money. You have to know where to and churches to sell at yard sales. fingernails, a lot of hangnails and way
– clean out your own, private storage
but it’s not like that. take every little piece and every little This is a new project for him, one he too many hours – about 20.
One aspect of the TV show is accurate, messes. Because you certainly don’t
“Valuables? Once in a blue moon you object, because if you don’t, you will and that’s how the auctions work. The started just a few months ago. ”It’s just After the first day of clearing out, I want someone else laughing at your
might find something, but it’s nothing lose your . . . britches.” owner cuts the lock on a unit, and a hobby and a way to maybe make a desperately wanted to forfeit my $50 trash saying, “I can’t believe anybody
like what you see on TV – 99 percent Harold Stegall of Marshville was found potential buyers have a few minutes to few dollars.” clean up deposit, but my parents taught would keep this.”
18 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 19
But first, the nationals
Alex is enthusiastic about skating and crammed full of required moves, jumps, spins and technical
competition, almost bubbly, which is footwork. “It’s exhausting,” he admitted, again with his easy
a far cry from where he was in early smile. “It takes a lot of energy” to perform eight jumps,
2010. But he’s also realistic about the including two two-jump combinations and one three-jump.
prospect of being an Olympian. “It’s
Alex skates at least five days a week, four hours a day.
everybody’s hope,” he said, adding,
Between ice sessions, he does yoga, Pilates, cardio and
“Just three guys every four years get
weight training, as well as teaching at the center. Training is a
full-time job, but it doesn’t pay; in fact, it costs more each
Two years ago while still in Atlanta, year than many Americans earn.
Alex competed in the nationals on the
“At the low end,” Alex says, “it’s $40,000 a year, but it can
junior level, and did so poorly, he
be $60,000. It’s an extremely expensive sport.” Not only does
considered quitting. “I went on
he pay for rink time, coaching and costumes, he pays for
vacation,” he said with his easy smile.
travel to many competitions and training centers throughout
By Nancy E. Stephen “But after six days, I wanted to skate
The 21-year-old Atlanta native, who trains with 1992 the year.
Olympic silver medalist Paul Wylie at Extreme Ice He considers himself fortunate to have sponsorships from
Center in Indian Trail, is competing in his first senior Alex and his parents decided a change
individuals and to live with a family in Charlotte.
nationals later this month. in coaching was needed, and since
they knew Paul was coaching in
If this were an Olympic year, the top three competitors would Union County, he moved. “I
represent the United States in the Olympics. But the next came up here for Paul,” he
f Alex Aiken has his way, Union County Olympics are not until 2014, so Alex has two more years to
said matter-of-factly, adding
will have its second Olympic ice skater in 2014. train.
that the Indian Trail center is
a “fantastic training center.”
Golden Anniversary Offer
After almost two years coaching Alex, Paul sees
great progress in his protégé. “Last year was huge . .
. . He’s grown a lot in style and consistency. He
performs well under pressure and is developing his
No initiation fee* own style at this point.”
Join Rolling Hills Country Club as a new Golf, Junior Golf or Social Member This year, Alex tackled the triple axel, which his
before January 1, 2014 and enjoy rollback dues plus no initiation fee. coach calls the most difficult triple jump. And he
18-hole golf course designed by George Cobb Driving range and practice facilities landed it in the sectionals, which earned him third
Junior Olympic-size pool Formal and casual dining Monthly social events place and the opportunity to skate in the nationals.
“He’s working on spins and step sequences to get to
Contact the club at (704) 289-4561 for details. the highest level. We would all be excited” if Alex
* Through January 1, 2014. All membership applications reaches the top ten, Paul said. But the competition
must be approved by the board of directors.
will be “championship level; he’ll be competing
2722 W. Roosevelt Blvd., Monroe, NC 28110 with Olympic hopefuls.”
Paul choreographed the nationals program, which is
20 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 21
Most memorable Valentine’s Days
Valentine’s Day is one day when Last Valentine's It was 2004, and I
Weddings,Union County style
memories are made and never forgotten.
We asked area residents to recall their
Day was special
was so excited
about sharing Non-church venues a popular trend
fiancee Amber Valentine’s Day
most memorable Valentine’s Day. and I had a special with my fiance. I
48 inches out of the vases. It
It was when my dinner with my fixed a very
daughter Sarah. special dinner, got
husband gave me
After an ugly dressed up and “The ceremony didn’t last
divorce and set the table with 15 minutes, but they
ring and asked candlelight.
custody case, my probably had spent
me to marry him.
daughter had a hard time with everything. He called, saying he was running late, but nything $100,000 in the back yard,”
He said if I didn’t So we decided to make Sarah our when 10 p.m. rolled around and he hadn’t Betty said.
goes” isn’t a phrase you expect to
marry him, he Valentine and make it her special day. gotten home, I became furious. I ate dinner
hear when discussing weddings,
was going to go Amber took her shopping and got her a by myself and sat down to watch TV. At the same wedding, a
but in today’s world, non-
to Nebraska and live where his brother pair of Valentine's Day bears. He got home about 11 p.m. and when he second tent featured a
traditional weddings have
lived. And I said yes. walked in the door he had a big smile on transparent top, which
It made me so happy to see my little girl become the norm.
so excited and at peace for once. That is his face. I could tell he was carrying allowed lights in all the
It was a very big surprise. He had my ring something under his coat, but not what.
what made my Valentine's Day. To see the Brides wear colors; centerpieces trees to shine though “like
specifically made for me at the jewelry
happiness in my daughter's eyes was He pulled out a beautiful puppy because may be feathers; the “best man” they were roses.”
everything. he knew how much I wanted a dog. He might be a woman, and the
Barbara Whitley, Monroe Bill Mosley, Monroe had driven to Columbia to pick it up, and Another wedding featured a
wedding itself might well not be
hadn’t realized how long it would take. large tent in the front yard in
in a church or the bride’s home.
which the 750 guests sat.
Jenna Womack, Waxhaw A non-church site is very popular
Today’s orchestra joins tomorrow’s in Union County, according to A gazebo at the Henry Hall Wilson House is perfect for a
But not all weddings at the
It was Valentine’s Henry Hall Wilson House
in Day in 1968 and I the owners of two elegant and wedding ceremony and photographs.
Portraits in Time
was meeting a historic venues in Monroe.
friend at a school “We recently had a wedding with approximately 50 guests,
The Henry Hall Wilson House, which is on the national
dance in Anson who were seated on the walk. The bride and groom were
historic registry, is host to hundreds of weddings, as well as
County. married on the front steps. It was just gorgeous.”
bridal luncheons and engagement parties. Owner Betty
a concert by As I walked into
Jordan works with brides and their vendors to ensure a The Victorian Crow’s Nest, a charming 1884 Queen Anne
the room, I saw
Union Symphony Orchestra her across the
spectacular wedding, wherever it might be located within the style home, also hosts numerous weddings and receptions
10,000 square foot house or outdoors on the four acres of
dance floor and each year.
and stopped dead in my tracks. She was tall immaculately landscaped grounds.
Union Symphony and slender and beautiful. I can even “June brides love their weddings on the landscaped grounds,”
remember what she was wearing – a
Youth Orchestra white ruffle blouse and stirrup pants.
Betty said. “The wisteria is in bloom and the fragrance is
wonderful. They can be married under a big canopy of
It took me half the night to work up the
January 22 at 3 p.m. courage to ask her to dance, but when I
wisteria.” Crow’s Nest
did, she said, "Yes." One bride, Betty said, used a wedding planner who had been
The Batte Center at Wingate University I didn’t ask her out that night, but the next featured on television. “They put a Japanese bridge over the
weekend, I drove back to Anson County in pool, which they filled with roses and hydrangeas.” The
Student artwork sale and reception
hopes of seeing her again. As luck would bridge was wide enough for the pastor, bride and groom to
Tickets are $20, available at US
have it, I saw her walking in town, so I
parked my car to go speak to her. That’s
stand during the wedding.
Where wedding dreams come true.
www.BatteCenter.org UNION SYMPHONY SOCIETY, INC
The wedding also featured a very large outdoor tent with
when I asked her out and we’ve been
This project is supported by the Union County Community Arts Council and the N.C. Arts Council, huge chandeliers. “And crystal vases standing 36 inches tall, 1710 W. Franklin St., Monroe, NC 28112 (704) 292-2956
together ever since.
a division of the Dept. of Cultural Resources. www.VictorianCrowsNest.com
Curtis McGee, Marshville filled with red roses and green hydrangeas that spread at least
22 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 23
Purchased in 1996 by Shirley and Cofield Hilburn, the site
will accommodate 250 guests. When they purchased the
“Whatever it takes. That’s our signature,” Shirley said.
Bridal packages vary in price at both locations, based on what
Destination weddings only an airplane ticket away
property, the Hilburns bought goats to eat away the
services are requested.
overgrown gardens rather then plow down decades of
By Deb Coates Bledsoe Before making reservations, however, To eliminate the hassle, some couples
beautiful flowers. At the Crow’s Nest, packages range from $8,000 to $50,000.
realize that in a foreign county, there choose a “symbolic wedding” that
“The packages increase depending on what the bride wants;
To preserve the historic quality of the property, Shirley and are a few challenges to overcome. In follows a legal wedding in the United
what type of flowers and food she wants,” Shirley said. “We
Cofield used the ruins of a servant quarters as the basis for a some Spanish-speaking countries, the States. “Some just don't want their
offer customized packages.”
gazebo, a favorite location for marriage ceremonies today. ceremony and the wedding certificate married certificate in Spanish,” Karen
Specializing in garden weddings, the Victorian Crow’s Nest is At the Henry Hall Wilson House, brides choose their favorite must be in Spanish, with an interpreter said.
vendors for services. The facility itself rents for $1,500 to Travel Planners (704) 289-5587
busiest in the fall, with October the biggest month. Brides during the ceremony. Mann Travels (704) 282-1063
book from six months to a year in advance. $3,000 for weddings.
hether it’s walking
Shirley and Cofield are a one-stop shop for brides, offering Although brides and their mothers spent many hours deciding barefoot on the white sand beaches of
not only beautifully landscaped grounds and gardens as a on the venue, decorations and other details, Betty believes the Riviera Maya or traveling to an
background for the ceremony, but also in-house wedding that when the wedding day actually arrives, some of the exotic land, having a fairy tale
directors, floral shop and master chef. minute details don’t matter. destination wedding is only a plane Passion. Love. Gabriel.
“I’ve never seen an ugly bride or a reception that wasn’t ticket away.
“When a bride walks in this door, and she trusts us to make it
perfect, we’re going to make it perfect one way or another. beautiful – because the bride and groom make it that way. It’s Destination weddings are becoming
We’re a mom and pop organization; we’re small enough we the love and the family that’s there that day; that overrides more common and frequently are less
can bend over backward for our brides. We’re not too big or any little thing that might happen. expensive than the typical wedding at
commercialized that we can’t do a little bit more to make it Henry Hall Wilson House (704) 283-1912 home. “And you’re already there for the
happen. Victorian Crow’s Nest (704) 292-2956 honeymoon,” said Travel Planners owner
The most popular destination locations
are the Riviera Maya, Punta Cana in the
Dominican Republic and Jamaica, Karen
said, all of which feature beaches perfect
Henry Hall Wilson House for weddings – “typically in the late
afternoon sunset on the beach, between 4
to 6 p.m. when it’s a little cooler and you
Union County’s most elegant venue can see the sunset,” she said.
Anne Lippard with Mann Travels adds
for weddings and receptions. Jamaica as a favorite destination
because, depending on the number of
guests, the wedding may be free.
Whether your event is for 50 or 1,000,
Lippard agrees that the Dominican
our 10,000 square foot house and four acres Republic is very popular. “It’s easy
of exquisitely landscaped grounds are the access getting there. The beaches are
beautiful, and the weather is always
James Michael & Co.
A word of caution: destination weddings
Stafford Place Executive Offices 704.296.5531
1301 E. Franklin Street Monroe, NC can be difficult for your local wedding
Suite A-2, 1201 Stafford St www.JamesMichaelCo.com
planner who has to depend on references
(704) 283-1912 about venders in a location where she
Monroe, NC 28110 JamesMichael18k@carolina.rr.com
The neo-classical style house was home to may have no contacts. It’s often Mon-Fri 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Sat 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Henry Hall Wilson, an assistant to President John F. Kennedy. advisable to select a wedding
coordinator from the area.
24 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 25
“We didn’t want people we put on, it would have been the same
Destination wedding ‘so much better than we could have ever imagined’ to feel that they had to
come because we invited
amount of money for one-day, six
them. We wanted them
The couple married in Charlotte before
By Nancy E. Stephen “I think that is a personal issue,” to do what they wanted
their destination wedding, just to make
Martha said. “I don’t think I would to do. We just let them
have been comfortable not seeing know they were
the venue, not talking to vendors in welcome, but also let “We would have had to get there days
person – especially the them know we wouldn’t before to get the license . . . and they
photographer.” As the wedding be upset if they didn’t have completely different laws,” Maria
date neared, the photographer was come.” said. “You’d have to pay someone for
not answering emails, which an entire day to run around and do
aria A few details are more
caused a bit of stress. They later everything.” They also took their priest
and Chris Lopez of difficult with an out-of-
learned that he was in New York, with him for the second wedding.
Weddington had a “better than country wedding, such
expected” experience at their taking care of his mother. as transporting the “We had the best time at our wedding.
destination wedding last fall, “And if I hadn’t met the wedding wedding gown. If I could go back and do it all over, I
and so did their guests. coordinator in person,” Martha would,” Maria said. “My dad would
The Charlotte store
added, “I would have worried. But packaged it for travel by love to do it again.”
They chose a destination
because “We wanted to spend she was spot-on; she was a putting it on a dress Her mother agrees. “The experience
more time with our guests, machine. The hotel made it form, “and I carried it on that we had, it was flawless, smooth –
really make it a vacation and a effortless for us.” the plane. They put it in very enjoyable.”
wedding wrapped all in one,” Guests were invited to wedding their front closet – it was
Maria, 27, is in her second year at
said Maria. “We wanted to and rehearsal dinner as well as a a pain,” Maria and Chris
Charlotte School of Law. Her husband,
show everybody what a great snorkeling excursion, but Maria agree. On the return trip,
Chris, is 36 and in his second career, in
time a wedding can be.” and Chris also provided however, the gown was
medical sales. They met at Morton’s
information about other activities “brought back in the
And according to their guests, With the ocean in the background, the happy couple’s where he previously was chef and she
Chris and Maria Lopez pose for wedding photos during available. “When people got the overhead compartment
it truly was a great time for was a hostess.
photos illustrate their destination wedding. in a ball, in a bag.”
everyone. their destination wedding. invitation, most decided to stay
five days,” Maria said. there,” she said. The planning was a Martha took welcome bags and
“We figured that people would turn it little difficult, however. wedding favors, “things that I didn’t
Choosing Puerto Rico for their
Fresh flowers wedding was an easy decision. Maria’s
parents, Martha and John Fisichello,
into a vacation for themselves, so we
chose some activities we thought our
“It’s more involved to plan an event
from a distance. But it was so much
know if I could get there. And I bought
here and shipped three boxes in all,
. . . for all occasions.
Maria and her sister Connie had been guests would want to do.” The couple more than worth it once we got there. I which cost $200 due to international Shoppe
vacationing there since the girls were gave the activities a test run and posted felt that everything was so easy and so shipping.”
young. their selected activates on a dedicated much fun, and everybody was While transportation to the wedding
website for guests to peruse. completely worry-free the entire was expensive, the rest of the wedding
“Chris and I went in August 2010 to weekend.
“We wanted it to be as effortless as wasn’t out of line with a local wedding. Breathtaking
see the resort and did the whole
The couple sent 120 invitations, and 77 “You have to shop around,” Martha
wedding itinerary while we were there. possible for them to have a good time, florals for your
people attended the festivities, which is said, “but we did very well with the
AUGUST LILY FLORIST We saw the venues and planned events but still be able to do things that were special day.
a high percentage for out-of-country prices.”
for our guests,” Maria explained. The not completely confined to the resort,”
Weddings destination weddings.
entire family made a second trip in July Maria said. “We wanted them to be Maria added, “When we got back, we Don’t forget Valentine’s Day!
2011 to meet with vendors and explain able to experience Puerto Rico because “We had no concern that people talked as a family and decided that for
wouldn’t go because of the expense,”
what the couple wanted. they have their own culture there.” the event we did, which was four days
1207 Concord Ave. in Monroe Maria said. “We left it up to them. It long, there was something for
Maria says the second trip wasn’t The wedding week turned out “so 200 S. Main Street in Monroe
(704) 296-5459 was a short notice, so we didn’t have everybody to do every single day. (704) 289-2780 (980) 328-0655
www.AugustLily.net critical, but her detail-oriented mother much better than we could have every expectations. We were surprised by the
feels differently. imagined. It was effortless, once we got “My parents felt like for the event that ThePetalShoppeOfMonroe.com
number of people who came.
26 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 27
From China, with love
I Strapless gowns all the vogue
f you’ve been married more than a few
years, your wedding gown probably didn’t look like the
wedding dresses of 2012 – unless you married in the ’50s.
“Strapless gowns have been a trend for awhile,”
The consultant’s role is like those featured on TV, asking
customers if they prefer a specific style and their budget.
From there, the process of selection or elimination begins,
with the consultant pulling dresses for brides to see.
Some local brides buy their dresses in Union County; others in Charlotte. But not
Lauren Bragg – she went to China for hers. Not really.
She had her gown custom-made in China without meeting the dressmaker. Instead
she ordered her gown online. And was thrilled when it arrived.
“I went to several places to try on dresses, and I found a few that I liked, but none
that I particularly loved,” she explains. She knew the style she wanted and her
said Betty Ziegler of Bride’s House of “Some brides see a $25,000 dress in a “So I started browsing online and came across a few sites that had any and every
Originals, where she’s been a consultant magazine, and they want the same look,” style of wedding dress. You could even send them a picture of a dress, and they
since 1964. “They came back from Betty said, but not the same price. could supposedly create it for you,” she said.
the ’50s, but the brides then Bride’s magazine says $850 is the With her mother and sister beside her looking at the website, she couldn’t believe
wouldn’t go in the church with average price for a wedding gown, the dresses were just $300.
bare shoulders. We did a little but because Betty also sells
tulle netting, which the bride “We were skeptical at first but once I saw the dress I really loved, we said ‘Why
consignment, her prices can be
put around her shoulders for not try it out’?” They entered her measurements, and “I hoped to receive a
less. “I may have a $1,000 gown,
the church service. The beautiful dress in about two months,” Lauren said.
but it might sell for $425.”
gowns today look a lot like When the dress arrived – on time, it was packed in a 16x12x3 inch vacuumed-
those,” just without the Brides often plan to lose weight
sealed plastic bag. “I wanted to cry,” Lauren said. “I thought there was no way my
shoulder wrap. before their wedding, but it
wedding dress could have fit in a bag!
doesn’t happen. “The gown was
Pam Funderburk, manager at too little when they bought it, and “Sure enough, we took it out and – no kidding – voila! Out poofed a beautiful
the family-owned Dar-Lynn’s you can’t take wedding gowns dress that fit me like a glove! It was perfect!” she said. Only a steaming at the dry
Bridal and Formal Wear, back anywhere,” she said, because cleaners was required.
Lauren Bragg’s gown from China “fit me
agrees. Her store features six some brides would try to return WeddingDressChina.com; shipping ranges from $35 to $50. like a glove.”
designers, who each design their gown after the wedding.
between 25 and 40 gowns each
season. But only two in each line
Dar-Lynn’s average gown costs
between $1,000 and $1,500, although
Fashion-forward brides choosing veils and sparkly jewelry
might feature a sleeve.
the store has discontinued styles for $99
While strapless is the style, there’s no Accessories are an essential part of any wedding attire, says Krista Stanley,
and up. Pam says most brides want to
one trend for style below the bustline. manager of Simpson’s Bridal and Formal Wear in Monroe with “bird cage
spend about $1,000.
“Designers have just gone crazy over veils” becoming very popular.
For some odd reason, wedding gowns are sized
elaborate bottoms, ruffled, tiered, puffed, folded. This vintage-era style, reminiscent of the ’20s and ’30s, features netting that
small. “A girl may wear a size 6 normally, but she’ll wear a
Asymmetrical waistlines, flares after the hips,” Betty drapes in a variety of fashions, including one that sweeps across the eye, a
size 10 in a wedding gown,” Betty said. “I’ve been in the
describes. “Magazines are showing elaborate skirts.” blusher veil that covers the face or a visor veil that covers both eyes.
business so long, I can look at them and tell what size they
Outdoor weddings have made their impact on wedding wear.” “Bird cage veils can be worn with any style dress, from traditional to very
dresses. “A lot of brides are having beach weddings, so they fashion forward,” Krista said.
All three consultants say ivory may be more popular than
like less train and a more simple style,” explains Ellie Nash, Today’s brides are looking at more glitz in their jewelry as well as jewelry they
white, with varying shades of tint. As for fabric, “traditional
proprietor of Elli’s Bridal for 27 years. can also wear to work on Monday. Costume wedding jewelry can range from
satin is always going to be the big seller,” said Betty,
The destination wedding trend is prompting “a lot of chiffon, although Pam is seeing a lot of taffeta, satin and silk. just a few dollars to hundreds of dollars, depending on the style.
more flowy,” adds Pam. “Breezy, airy, beach fabric, not as Glitz also extends to the wedding day footwear, Krista adds. “Open-toed shoes
While the consultants work with each bride individually and
formal.” are popular year-round because they’re a more formal shoe.” But they are not
try to steer them to a flattering dress, in the end, it’s the
“Brides have pictures and a designer they’re looking for,” she bride’s wedding and her dress. And she’ll look beautiful in the traditional peau de soie that matches the color scheme. “Most shoes have
says, “and sometimes they come in looking for something whatever she wears, they all agree. an embellishment, even if it’s just a cascading ruffle running down the top of
they can’t find.” But Dar-Lynn’s bridal consultant gently Dar-Lynns Bridal and Formal Wear (704) 847-2116 Model Madison Walters wears a vintage-style the shoe. A very popular shoe right now is one covered in Swarovski crystals.”
leads the brides to other options. Ellie’s Bridal (704) 289-9325, Bride’s House of Originals (704) 333-1073 bird cage veil. Simpson’s Bridal and Formal Wear (704) 289-2000
28 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 29
Weddings have many traditions, such as the bride throwing make that mistake again. I like to work on one, maximum two
her bouquet over her shoulder to a group of single friends or weddings at a time.
wearing something old, new, borrowed and blue. One
“I do it as a passion because if you’re doing it as a business,
tradition that is slowly being eliminated is tossing the garter
you don’t have the luxury of doing only one wedding at a
to the men.
“Girls are getting married later in life. What would have been
How do you find a wedding planner? Kaye suggests word of
cute to them when they were 20 doesn’t interest them when
mouth or asking a wedding vender for a recommendation.
they’re 29 or 30.”
“I would ask someone
It’s the details, the special
whose wedding I attended
touches that make a
and really liked, ‘Who was
wedding extra special.
your wedding planner?
For one wedding, a
Did you like her? Was she
easy to work with? How
addressed the 200
much did she charge?
Would you use her again?’
“They had a die that
And the wedding planner
imprinted the family crest
you talk with should have
on the top of the
pictures and references.”
invitation,” Kaye said.
It’s important that the
“The mother gave that die
Kaye Williams looks at wedding planner and the bride’s
to her son to give as a
pictures of some of “her brides” personalities mesh to keep
present to his firstborn
over the past 20 years. the planning process
son. When you pull
family things into a moving forward without
wedding, it’s even more excessive glitches.
By Deb Coates Bledsoe Early in the planning process, Kaye tells brides to create their Kaye Williams checks her planning calendar to schedule an
special.” upcoming wedding. “I’m a traditionalist,”
invitation list. “This way they have to decide how many
people they’re going to ask,” which dramatically affects The wedding budget Kaye said. “If you want to
wedding costs. should be discussed early in the planning process, so the bride jump out of a
and her family can see the reality of how far money can go. plane, you’ll talk to
“They have to decide who they’re going to invite and who me for about two
“If the bride says she has $2,000 and wants to invite 300
they’re not. ‘If we ask Aunt Sue, we have to ask Uncle Bob
and this cousin and that cousin.’ Deciding which friends to
guests, then I can pull her back into reality and tell her that’s minutes and you’ll
be on your way.
not going to happen,” Kaye said.
aye Williams has helped scores invite can be a challenge, also. There is a wedding
of young women prepare for one of the most important
days of their lives – their wedding day. “Then they have to get those names with the initials correct
The cost of a wedding depends on what’s important to the
planner out there, Review
bride – flowers, photographs, food, etc. But no matter what
and addresses. That’s the hardest thing of the entire wedding. however, that each
“Most girls, from the time they are a child, dream of this the preference, the reception is going to be the main cost, she
That’s the work part. The rest can be fun – picking the person will feel
magical day. It is my job to make it that magical day. When said. Terry N Estes, CFP®
flowers, the dress, the food.” comfortable with.” Financial Advisor
the bride walks in and you see her expression as she sees the A $50,000 wedding “would be a nice wedding, but not
114 East Jefferson Street
church or the reception hall, it’s overwhelming – not only to When choosing a wedding dress, she suggest brides not go to Kaye Williams Monroe, NC 28112
extravagant wedding,” with the wedding planner either being 704-283-1589
her, but to me to watch her. She is seeing her plans as reality.” stores with one specific design in mind, as often it’s the very (704) 242-7900 www.edwardjones.com
paid a percentage of the total or a flat fee. “You never get
As a wedding planner, Kaye wants “her brides” to enjoy style the bride said she would never wear that looks the best, paid for all that you do,” she said. “A lot of your payment has
every minute of the planning process. The reason is simple. or that once she tries it on, she loves. to be the reward of the bride experiencing everything that she Deb Bledsoe, a
“Also, if they say, ‘I’ve got it narrowed down to three,’ then wanted.” former newspaper
“In a flash, it will all be over,” she said. “Four hours for a
none of those three is the dress,” she said. “The one you want editor, is a
reception seems like a long time, but you won’t believe how Kaye prefers to do one wedding at a time so she can
quickly it goes, so you need to be in the moment all that time. is the one you try on and know immediately ‘This is it!’ That concentrate on the bride’s needs. “Once I did four weddings freelance writer Member SIPC
Inevitably, they’ll come back and say, ‘It was over so fast.’ ” is the dress you should get.” in five months,” she said. “That was a mistake, and I’ll never and photographer.
30 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 Union Lifestyle l January 2012 31
Serving our clients with skill . . .
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L-R: Penelope Hefner, associate; Dana Lehnhardt, partner;
Criminal matters Robin Goulet, associate; Donna Stepp, partner.
. . . and our county with pride!
In Historic American Red Cross
Union Symphony Orchestra
the heart of Union County.
110 E. Franklin Street Monroe Rotary
Monroe, NC 28112 Union County Community Shelter
Weddington United Methodist Church
www.MonroeLaw.net Carolina Club of Sweet Union