Christmas Tree Hunting in Jupiter

Here in Asheville, we seem made for Christmastime. The distant mountains are capped with snow from November to March, and downtown is alive with foot traffic, friendly pedestrians trading hellos under bright wreaths and strands of garland decorating the storefronts. It almost seems a sin to drag out a plastic tree for the holiday, and Asheville has no shortage of places to find a real, fresh Christmas tree. You can’t get any fresher than a tree you cut yourself, and so last Friday- a rare day when all the kids, social creatures that they are, were home-we headed out to our favorite little tree farm to find the perfect one.

Hope Hollow farm is out in Jupiter, a few miles off 19-23, just north of Weaverville. It’s a small place, unpretentious and comfortable, run by an older guy who seems genuinely happy to talk to you and to have your business. We called ahead to let him know we were coming, and soon we were making the trek up the hill to where the sheared white pines sit in neat rows, waiting for homes. The trees are lovely, slightly imperfect and perfect for that very reason. They sit high atop a hill with a view way into Tennessee, and the way the sun hits it almost makes you believe in religion.

I don’t care how durable and lifelike your plastic tree may be- nothing compares to the sight of a passel of bundled-up kidlets running from one tree to the next, touching needles and peering deep into the branches for a glimpse of a bird or a bug, chattering about how this is going to be the best Christmas ever. And yeah, you may save a few bucks by using the same artificial tree year after year, but the $15 for a white pine (or $30 for a Norway spruce) is worth the joy in watching your little man make the first cut in the trunk all by himself. Later, of course, they’ll decorate it with trinkets from when they were younger, memories hung on memories, and the commercialism and greed that seem to seep into the holiday a bit deeper every year dissipate like the steam from your cocoa. That, loves, is what Christmas is about, and I wish you all a most joyous holiday.

Hope Hollow Farms can be reached at (828) 645-4621; call ahead for hours and directions.

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Weaverville NC ABC Liquor Store – 5 Minutes North of Asheville

Walmart has just recently opened in Weaverville North Carolina, along with a Lowe’s… and then an ABC Liquor Store following not too far behind. CNBC even covered the rise and shine of this Wal-Mart store and how it is affecting the community. They contacted Ask Asheville about video footage we took during the development of the project. Not only was this alien “Monster” called WalMart coming into Weaverville NC; but as of this past week, Booze is here too!

Many people (folks) have different views on the alcohol issue. Not too long ago, people had to drive from Madison County, Weaverville NC and even Eastern Tennessee… all the way to Asheville to get a bottle of booze. Woodfin had recently opened an Alcohol Beverage Control store, which is a liquor store where the North Carolina State controls the sales and profit of alcohol from their approved stores, and it was doing very well last I heard. Weaverville was like… “I want in”! As far as the “ABC” philosphy goes; I guess you could call it controlled prohibition in effect.

Woodfin, which some consider North Asheville, was reaping all of the recent profits from booze buyers coming from the North side of the County and beyond. Now Weaverville North Carolina intercepts the pass with their brand new ABC Liquor Store right off of the future I-26 (19/23) in the Walmart shopping plaza.

When I arrived, Weaverville Police were sitting in the parking lot of the liquor store, maybe scoping the vibe for the whole new idea that entered this smaller country community just a few miles North of Asheville. When I got out of my vehicle, a man was standing outside and seemed like he wanted to ask me something. I said hello, and walked in the store. I was welcomed by about 6 people and I felt like a test dummy for a minute. Just a moment later, the guy who was outside walked up and asked if he could help me find anything. I told him I was just looking around.

While talking to some of the staff in the store, they said that 2 people had walked in the ABC Store today and said they were the missing votes that left restaurants unable to serve cocktails and shots. You see… Weaverville North Carolina barely missed the approval vote of liquor by the drink by only 2 votes!! Some people chanted victory while other were like “What the…”.

In an area where many call liquor the “Devils Juice”, cocktails are about to be served. Well, you can go to Stoney Knob and order a beer or glass of wine; but ask for a Rum and Coke or a Long Island Iced Tea today… and they will look at you like you are green and from outer space.

While in the middle of writing this blog, @WeavervilleGuy wrote this to us on Twitter: “I really hope we get liquor by the drink, even tho I dont drink. I would love to get some restaurants here”! Please understand that it is not all about this small community outside of Asheville simply not trusted with liquor. People are getting it anyway, just driving a longer distance. Many label “hard liquor” in the same category as illegal drugs. Major restaurants that have considered the Weaverville North Carolina area have been paralyzed by the liquor limitations. Why would Red Lobster or Chilis or any one of these major chains forfeit their alcohol profits because of those who wish to control our tolerance of alcohol? Of course Cracker Barrel and IHOP would thrive in Weaverville NC because liquor is not a part of their menu. But in todays world, they are the minority and I am sure they have considered switching roles. Chick-Fil-A will not open on Sunday, and other most “fast food” joints, they do not serve alcohol. But how many times have you driven up to their building and cursed the day because you could not get some good quick chicken?

While some in and around Asheville, claim that you are “Going to Hell” for drinking; others consider it a “fact of life” and a sort of a personal preference. Of course, when it comes to profit… there is the liquor profit, and then the law enforcement profits that arise from the violations and arrests being made. People get their liquor, folks choose to abuse, people get hurt, some go to jail, innocent live are sometimes lost in the process (extremely tragic!!!), abusers go to jail and die, the City or Town makes due and deals with the problems, and everyone wins and loses together. Let’s make a deal!! We take the good with the bad and stand for what we truly believe. Sounds like sowing and reaping to me. Old school.

When you compare other Countries to the USA, liquor is not such a major problem, or profit angle as some may say. When liquor is not considered such a great problem in cultures such as France; it usually is not. Many believe that when drinking, if any, is taught in moderation, people are less likely to abuse it and become obsessive over “a drink.” Is this true? Have you researched the statistics? Please comment below.

Folks at the Weaverville NC ABC Liquor Store said they were sure that this coming May, liquor by the drink will be voted in. Good for some, bad for others. North Asheville and Weaverville NC is about to expand tremendously in growth. North Asheville Baptist Church just did a giant groundbreaking ceremony on their new Weaverville property just 5 minutes from the liquor store. Randy Bassham is preparing for the huge Multi Purpose Athletic Center (MPAC) vision about 5 minutes away as well.

The Weaverville Tribune is the town newspaper in the area. My Weaverville is the best local online resource. Wonder what their views are when it comes to this Great Transition. When will Madison County get an ABC Liquor Store?

Where I Live, Folks Know How To Act Right

Here is a short story/blog that Cynn Chadwick posted on her blog and sent over to Ask Asheville. Moody Cove is in the Reems Creek Valley (Community) of Weaverville NC, which is about 20 miles from Downtown Asheville.

Up Moody Cove

My walk up Moody Cove takes me past a wide swatch of what used to be a tobacco field; soon it’ll corral some horses and a barn, and that makes me happier than the development it had once threatened to become years ago. On my right is the fast rising ridge of a piney covered mountain that walls the holler like a fortress, making it night at the end of the cove before it goes dark anywhere else. After I pass the seven acre field, I come to Jerry’s. He’s my neighbor with the two pretty black horses. They are especially stunning against a snowy pasture. He also has about a half a dozen beagles, hunting dogs, out in their pens who howl as we approach, and stop when we go by, but the rounds of their barking echo up and down the cove for a long time after we’ve passed. Jerry and I always wave and often chat, sometimes about the weather, the prospects of the tobacco field, his horses, and my books. Jerry doesn’t know what kind of books I write, but somebody’d told him I was an author and so he always asks how many are ya up to?

Eugene’s barn
It’s another few acres of fields before I get to Eugene’s place. Eugene’s family has owned the land for generations, and Eugene lived here with his mama and granny till they both passed away, back to back, within weeks of each other. He lives there now with other family members and his girlfriend. I didn’t meet Eugene on the cove road, though, I met him at the Ingles grocery store where he’s been a bagger since he was in high school. We didn’t know we were neighbors until we realized that Eugene went to high school with my son Sam. When I learned he lived up the cove in the house whose barn I like to paint pictures of, I gave Eugene a painting of his barn. Once, he stopped his car in the middle of the road and talked to me for a long time while we waited for a stranger (unusual out here) to pass; I’d told Eugene that the shady looking fella had seemingly come out of nowhere and had been following me since I’d turned back toward home. Eugene stayed right there on the road till the fella was well out of sight and before I continued on my way home.

Snowball Mountain
I’ve lived where I live for over twenty years now. I have watched Snow Ball Mountain change every color of every season right before my very eyes as I swing on my porch. I know which bunnies huddle in which part of the hedge that circles my yard. I know when a raccoon has been in my cherry tree. I know when Rodney’s goats are hungry, and when that crazy gal who sees dead people comes along the elbow of our road from the other neighborhood by the way Doug’s dogs start barking and won’t quit till she’s made her round with her tubby black Lab in tow. I know the different pitches of the coyote family that lives along the ridge above me, and I can hear the old couple all the way across the creek yell at each other on Saturday nights, and then go off to church every Sunday morning. Where I live, I can tell you what time my neighbor Lyda goes to bed by which lights go off in her house. I know when Bryson, up the way, goes to milk his cows by the sound of his old truck squeaking and huffing by my house. I know every car that pulls up my lane because there’s no way out, and so if you’re not from around here, you’re either visiting or lost.

…Read the rest of the story HERE

New Home in Weaverville N of Asheville

Walk to Everything!

Only 10 minutes North of Asheville –
Fantastic Buy! Located in picturesque downtown Weaverville within walking distance to the quaint Main Street shops and Lake Louise! This brand new almost 2000 square foot home has three bedrooms, three full baths, rock accents and hardiplank siding, hand hewn hardwood floors, upgrade carpet and tile, and a whirlpool tub in master bath. Master on main and rooms with a view upstairs. Upgrade appliances, fixtures and molding, three decks for nature lovers. Office, second den or possible fourth bedroom in this low maintenance, energy efficient home. Beautifully landscaped, almost one half acre lot with adjacent stream and end of the road privacy. Located at 33 Ballard Road in Weaverville North Carolina, 10 minutes North of Asheville.

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4th of July in Weaverville – Day & Night

MPAC’s 4th of July Block Party in Weaverville

What: MPAC 4th of July Block Party (a continuance of Weaverville’s 15 year old celebration with average attendance of 31,000).

When: Saturday, July 4th 2009, 10 am to 10 pm.

Where: North Buncombe High School Soccer practice field. 890 Clarks Chapel Rd Weaverville, NC 28787

Who: MPAC (MAYSA’s Multi Purpose Athletic & Community Complex) is a non profit initiative of the determined, vetted non profit ncMAYSA based in Weaverville. Federal Nonprofit tax ID # 20-4450650. MPAC is an assembly of now more than 60 movement based organizations from across WNC focused on the improvement of available faculties for movement and community. Much more information is available at

The North Buncombe Kiwanis have joined us and are running their 15 year old Firecracker 5K race begins and ends at the site of your MPAC 4th of July Block Party.

The North Buncombe High School Band Boosters will hold their biggest fund raising event of the year at your MPAC 4th of July Block Party.

Many churches and other places of worship will be holding fundraisers at the celebration.

Eight bands are performing at your MPAC 4th of July Block Party including Jen and The Juice, Firecracker Jazz Band, Skinny Legs and All, Tennessee Jed, Locomotive Pie, The Buddy Davis Band, Dave Wendelin, and Roberto Hess.

There will be on going Sports demonstrations from Asheville Lacrosse, Asheville Aerial Arts, Aerial Trapeze Academy, Weaverville Futbol Club,N. Buncombe Youth Athletic Association, etc.

We are seeking sponsorship funds to pay for the fireworks and other costs of the festivities. We need your help. Please step up and join us in doing what is right for our community…

Music Schedule
**10:00am to 12:00pm Tennessee Jed
**12:00 to 2:00pm Firecracker Jazz Band
** 2 to 4pm ** Skinny Legs and All
** 4 to 6pm **Locomotive Pie
** 6 to 8pm **The Buddy Davis Band
**8:00 to 9:30pm Headline Act ** Jen and the Juice

Other Musicians: Dave Wendelin, Roberto Hess
Other Performers: The Blue Ridge Roller Girls, Asheville Puppetry Alliance, Asheville Hula Dancers, Clowns, Mimes, Magicians

Contact President of MPAC Randy Bassham at or 828-645-2030 for further information.