The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 12:50 am Friday, July 7, 2023

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Perfectly Imperfect

By Julie Terry Cartner

Lying on his bed, Nacho watched the others play, his legs twitching, his body itching to join in the fun. His brothers and sisters were playing an intense game of tug-of-war, and he wanted, no, longed, to join in. In frustration, he tried again to make his legs follow his brain’s commands, but they just wouldn’t work. What had happened? Only days ago, he would have been in the front, fighting aggressively for his team to win. Now he lay there, confused at this change in his life, and yes, admittedly, scared. So scared.

Days went by as adults prodded and probed, and then the words, the dreaded words, came. “He seems to be paralyzed from the waist down. I don’t believe there’s anything we can do.” A nightmare, for sure. Certainly, life couldn’t get any worse.

But he was wrong. “We can’t care for him. We’ll have to put him in a home.” The words reverberated in his brain as he felt hands pick him up and place him in the car. A long drive later, and he was abandoned. No comforting mama, no playful siblings. Alone. He cried in anguish, pain, and disbelief.

Then, suddenly, gentle hands picked him up, a tender finger stroked his tiny face, and soothing words calmed his trembling heart. “You’re okay, Baby; we’ll take care of you.”

He wanted to believe, but it was hard. Already abandoned once, trust came grudgingly. And yet, there was no denying the comfort and care emanating from this person holding him in her arms.

Events moved quickly from there. Expert hands assessed his condition, while those gentle hands continued to soothe and reassure him. She was the one to hold him while a wheelchair was fitted. She was the one to calm him as rounds of therapy ensued. And she was the one to place him in the hands of another foster mom who continued to care for him while they waited for a forever home, while they waited for the right person or people to see past his disabilities to the loving, playful, loyal dog that he could be.

Nacho, a miniature rat terrier, at seven months old, weighs in at a hefty six pounds. Although he has limited use of his back legs, he’s all dog. He loves his teddy bear – bigger than he is – and adores snuggling with his foster mom in a sling that she can wear around her neck. When he’s in his wheelchair, he can run around and play, often dancing with his front feet to let his family know how happy he is. When she sings to him, he sings back to her, his ooh-ooh-oohs ringing through the house. And despite his tiny stature, he rules the house, cowing the two pit bull mix rescue dogs that call this house their home.

Happily, Nacho has found his forever home and will soon be moving in with his new family, but until that time, he’s enjoying living with his foster family.

PIPS, or Perfectly Imperfect Pups, is a nonprofit organization that rescues dogs with the most urgent needs: dogs with disabilities and medical issues. Though this is their focus, they will also take in any dogs in need. Since the organization has no building, they rely on people to foster these rescued dogs. Their mission statement and vision state: “Perfectly Imperfect Pups (PIPS) is creating a better world for at-risk dogs, with a focus on those with special needs, by building a community of like-minded people through advocacy, education, fostering and adoption… [and They]… “envision a world where imperfection is perfection, where all dogs get the love they deserve.” [PIPS. Perfectly Imperfect Pups. 2020]

If interested in helping in any way, be it financial or fostering, contact PIPS Perfectly Imperfect Pups

Habitat for Humanity

By Denise Bell

Over the years, Habitat for Humanity has been one of the charities I support. Just the sound of the name is a great reason to support them. Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit housing organization which provides local families with an opportunity to become homeowners. The organization was in 1976 founded to eliminate substandard housing and helps to provide people with stability and independence through affordable housing.

In the past I have had a few opportunities to attend a fundraising dinner to benefit Habitat. Harvest for Habitat was held every fall and hosted by a local hotel. Seats and full tables were sold to major corporations and banks who supported Habitat for Humanity throughout the year. My sister and her friend worked for a national bank which worked with the organization on a regular basis. I sat with them and their husbands at these dinners. When we were seated at the table before the meal there was a simple, Habitat related craft. Since this was a fall event, one year we decorated miniature pumpkins with happy, homeowner faces. Another year we built Habitat homes out of graham crackers. It was a fun way to start the evening and a great way to get to know the others at our table.

     The meals themselves were an upscale meal of the highest dining experience. Five or more courses, each presented as a work of art you were almost afraid to eat. The meal was prepared by a local chapter of the American Culinary Federation which is a professional group of chefs, students, instructors and others in the industry.

     Our culinary journey started with a delicious soup followed by an amuse bouche. Amuse bouche is French for “it amuses the mouth” but is also known as an appetizer. A small bite of deliciousness which leaves you wanting for more. Then came the palate cleanser, lavender or pear sorbet to prepare your palate for the main course. Mini rack of lamb paired with chicken. Beef tenderloin paired with seared duck breast. All followed by a dessert that would be so heavenly and delicious that after finishing your mouth could do nothing else but smile in gratitude for what was just experienced. These dinners are such a great memory for me and one I like to share. But the events were not just about the delicious meal.

     Over the years I have learned so much about Habitat via these dinners I enjoyed so much.  Many think that they “just give away houses to poor people.”  This is not what they do, they build affordable houses for families in need of a decent place to live. The houses are modestly sized, large enough for the family’s needs but small enough to be affordable for the family. The homebuyers build their homes along with the volunteers. The homebuyers must qualify for the home and receive no-profit loans that make it affordable for low-income families to purchase a Habitat house.

     There are many other ways that Habitat supports the community. Here in the Winston-Salem area, I have been able to help provide a meal to the laborers building a Habitat home.  I think I might like to help on a build or perhaps volunteer at a Restore. To find out more about Habitat for Humanity visit their website at

Davie Sheriffs

By Marie Craig

It’s been my pleasure to be the author of 10 history books about Davie County and am now writing a book of biographies of the 30 sheriffs who have served since March of 1837.  The first sheriff was Thomas Foster who also managed the hotel that was located in the spot where the courthouse is now.  The second sheriff, pictured here, was William Booe March who built Marchmont in Advance.  Third was his first cousin, Alexander Martin Booe.  I have discovered that these two men are also my first cousins, four times removed.

Research from files and books at the Martin-Wall History Room at Davie County Public Library has yielded much information and many images. Online and microfilm newspapers have data about dates, opponents, and duties of these sheriffs.  Family histories online often have photographs of the sheriffs.  Davie County Sheriff’s office shared 15 images.

Originally, sheriffs were elected every two years, but beginning in 1934, elections have occurred every four years.  One of the many responsibilities of a sheriff in early times was to collect county taxes.  Articles in the newspapers gave the schedule for each of the townships as to where and when to meet the sheriff and pay taxes.

From 1921 to 1956, there were two newspapers in Davie. The Davie Record was for Republicans, and the Mocksville Enterprise was for Democrats. In reading each of these, I found that the Record sometimes listed only the Republican candidates before an election, and the Enterprise gave the names of only the Democrats running.  There was quite a bit of political squabbling and competitiveness in both papers.  I guess some things never change.

Some of the sheriffs had law enforcement jobs at various levels during their careers, but some had unrelated work.  At least three of them sold whiskey. Another was the eighth sheriff, C.C. Sanford, who owned a big store in Mocksville for decades.  He is also listed in History of Davie County Schools as being a teacher at the 1929 Cana school building and a trustee of Mocksville Male and Female Academy.

I have photographs of 21 of the sheriffs.  It would be great to include the other nine.  If you have pictures of any of these nine, would you please email me at  I would appreciate being able to copy the image.  I need: Thomas Foster, James M. Hilliard/Hillard, Samuel Abner Kelly, Wilburn Cheshire Stonestreet, William F. Williams, Enoch Eugene Vogler, James L. Sheek, George Floyd Winecoff, and Roy Gaither Walker.

This has been an interesting research project.  Hopefully, this will pay tribute to the men who have been protectors and leaders in Davie County.

Goodbye for Now

By Gaye Hoots

I got a call about four weeks from a family member that Faye was not doing well. We talked several days a week, and I knew my daughter, Kendra, a nurse, was helping Nick care for her, but Faye had not told me how much pain she was in. It was obvious when I saw her. She said, “Hospice is coming to talk to us and that is what I want. I want the same meds and sweet nurses we had with Mama.”

Mother had hospice care for several months before she died, and I stayed in Faye and Nick’s home to help for the last year that she lived. The care they provided was top-notch. We were lucky to have the daughter of a close friend, Kris Cornatzer, as our primary nurse and are grateful for the care and support she gave.

When a hospice representative came and spoke with us about the choices of palliative care or hospice care, Faye was adamant, “I want hospice”. They had her pain under control within 24 hours, which was not possible with outpatient care. I honestly believed she would be with them for a few months, but she told me, “I want you to stay with me. It won’t be long, and I have told Nick, the boys, and Lorene what I want for my service.”

The pain meds helped her rest, but when she realized she did not remember loved ones and her grandchildren who visited she tried to space them further apart initially. The hospice nurse assessed the meds and called the doctor to make sure the orders were obtained. The pharmacy was another story. They had trouble with the orders and when the heavier pain meds were ordered they did not have them in stock. Nick made a call to the hospice nurse on call who picked up the meds from another pharmacy and arrived with them within an hour.

I cannot overpraise the hospice staff, the CNAs, nurses, and doctor all were excellent. We had them for only two weeks but thank God for them. Nick had been assuming a larger amount of care for Faye over the last few years and she was fortunate to have him. He and Kendra had the worst two weeks of it before hospice. Her sons and daughter-in-law were here daily, and most of my family for the last few days. We were all with her as she transitioned to her heavenly home.

Faye had visits from several friends from first grade. These bonds had been forged over seventy years and she was known to most of Advance because of the years she managed the Duke Power office when it was in Advance. She and Nick were members of the Advance Methodist Church, although she was unable to attend the last few years. One of her closest friends was Lorene Markland. The two families had traveled and spent much time together over the years. Faye told me, “Lorene knows what I want, and she will take care of it.”

Our brother, Phil, is seriously ill and can’t travel so will be unable to attend her service. He is fortunate to have a wife who cares for him at home. It is hard to believe that Faye is gone, and it is surreal to me that we are in the winter of our lives, but we have been blessed. We are products of a small farming community and have friends from our youth who are still there for us. We grew up in local churches and schools where everyone knew each other and cared for each other. Our values are grassroots values.

This community still cares, and Minister Chris Keys has been supportive. The churches have been supportive, and so have friends. Our table is full of food friends brought, and our hearts are warmed by all their expressions of love. This and the fact that Faye was at peace with God helps those of us she left behind.