Most Read of 2018: Accidental acceleration leaves car suspended over 4th Street

first_imgTags :Santa Monicashare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentMost Read of 2018: Shooting investigation at Cloverfield/I-10Most Read of 2018: Smoke and ash hit Santa MonicaYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall9 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson19 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter19 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor19 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press19 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press19 hours ago HomeNewsMost Read of 2018: Accidental acceleration leaves car suspended over 4th Street Dec. 24, 2018 at 5:00 amNewsMost Read of 2018: Accidental acceleration leaves car suspended over 4th StreetAngel Carreras2 years agoSanta Monica Editor’s Note: This story originally ran Jun. 11. It is republished here as part of our year-end coverage.A car broke through part of the safety cables in Parking Structure 5 (1440 4th Street) Monday morning and was suspended over 4th Street for about an hour while firefighters worked to secure the vehicle.Lieutenant Saul Rodriguez of the Santa Monica Police Depart said the elderly driver inadvertently pressed the accelerator instead of the brakes sending the car over the edge. The driver was helped out of the vehicle by a bystander who witnessed the incident.Despite the danger, Rodriguez said the driver was doing fine, and not injured in any way.According to Captain Patrick Nulty, with the Santa Monica Fire Department (SMFD), firefighters received the call at about 10:30 a.m. and responded within 5 minutes 47 seconds. He said members of the Urban Search & Rescue Team found the late model Honda Civic extending out of the parking structure, held in place only by steel barrier cables.Two tow trucks were requested to help with the vehicle recovery. One used a winch to raise the front end of the car level with the parking structure floor while the other pulled the car horizontally back into the building. Firefighters had to break a window in the car to allow a chain to be passed through for the winch harness.The car was secured and the scene cleared at about 11:45 a.m.SMFD said 25 Firefighters responded with assistance from the Santa Monica Police Department and the Pacific Tow Company of Santa Monica.last_img read more

Weekly racing continues Friday at U.S. 36

first_imgOn Friday, July 24, Osborn hosts the fourth annual Joe Crist Memorial Stock Car Shootout. The IMCA Stock Cars are racing for $1,262 to win and $125 to start. Other bonuses up for grabs are $62 for a heat race win, $162 for the longest haul, $62 for drawing the 62 chip and a $62 hard luck award. Pit gates open at 4 p.m. The grandstands open at 6 p.m. with hot laps at 7:30 p.m. and racing at 8 p.m. Tickets for the event are $15 for general admission, $12 for senior and military and children 12 and younger are free. For this Friday, U.S. 36 Raceway has improved the payout for the Sprint Cars. The winner earns $600, second $500 and third $400, down to a minimum of $150 to start. center_img OSBORN, Mo. – The weekly racing championship chase continues this Friday, July 10 at U.S. 36 Raceway. IMCA Modifieds, IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods all on the race night program.last_img read more

Federal bill excludes drunk paddling alarming safeboating advocates

first_imgOTTAWA – Legislation to crack down on driving or operating other vehicles while impaired would exclude canoeing and paddle-boarding while under the influence, a move that alarms a group promoting safe boating.Last spring, the federal government introduced a bill to modernize and overhaul laws dealing with operation of all kinds of vehicles, aircraft and vessels after drinking or taking drugs.The move was spurred by the federal plan to legalized recreational marijuana use by July next year.The bill’s definition of a vessel specifically excludes those propelled “exclusively by means of muscular power.”Police have used the currently understood legal definition of a vessel to lay charges for impaired boating involving non-motorized craft.The Canadian Safe Boating Council says there were at least 375 deaths in suspected or confirmed cases involving alcohol and unpowered vessels such as canoes and rafts in Canada from 1991 to 2010.Of the approximately 8.6 million boats in use in Canada, about 60 per cent of these are human-powered vessels, the council adds.Representatives of the volunteer-run council recently told the House of Commons justice committee they want the federal bill amended to include all water-going vessels.Incidents involving paddlers — such as collisions and capsizings — can endanger the lives of others in the boat as well as rescuers, the organization says.“We just think a vessel is a vessel is a vessel, and you shouldn’t exclude 60 per cent of the vessels on the water from these regulations,” council chairman John Gullick said in an interview.He noted that much of the committee hearing focused on impaired driving. “The vessel thing just kind of gets lost in the shuffle.”last_img read more

Tomatoes While supplies last

first_imgby Kaitlyn Goalenphotographs by Jillian ClarkLabor Day starts the final countdown for my beleaguered tomato bed, each plant on the verge of crying uncle. So, this September I’m committing to the personal goal of eating as many tomatoes as possible while supplies last, from breakfast (egg and tomato scramble) to lunch (tomato salad with parmesan vinaigrette) and dinner (tomato pie).But the workhorse recipe that I’ll be turning to most this month isn’t even really a recipe, but a concept: two slices of white bread, slicked with mayonnaise, and stuffed with seasoned tomatoes.The tomato sandwich lives in an interesting intersection. It appeals to this age of obsession over ingredients because its simplicity lets fresh tomatoes shine. But it is also decidedly low-brow – tomato sandwich zealots will talk your ear off about the importance of using white bread and Duke’s from a jar, swept up in a nostalgic romanticism about processed ingredients that they might otherwise avoid.As for me, I love tomato sandwiches for all of the above reasons, but also for one more geeky culinary detail: I happen to believe that the intermingling of fresh tomato juices and mayonnaise results in an epic, greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts love child, a sauce that deserves its own special attention.So, I’ve been thinking about how to harness this culinary power couple in more ways. It shares genes with the classic British sauce, Marie Rose, which is often served with shrimp cocktail. Other versions of the tomato-mayo combo appear in every corner of the South, from roasted tomato remoulades to the “frozen tomato,” a longstanding dish featured at the Belle Meade Country Club in Nashville, in which tomato juice, mayonnaise, and a few other ingredients are blended together, then frozen and scooped, ice cream-style, onto leaves of lettuce.But the closest I’ve come to experiencing that combination of creamy, slightly vinegary mayonnaise with heavily seasoned tomato juice came in the form of pasta salad at a Fourth of July picnic. Like the tomato sandwich, the dish was unapologetically sparse: just macaroni, diced tomato, black pepper, salt, and mayonnaise. But when the ingredients came together, it formed the most delicious summer side dish I could imagine, a perfect foil to steak, or ribs, or chicken, or anything else that was meant to steal the show.Since then, I’ve been refining that dish, creating a pasta that celebrates the last dying days of summer and pays homage to its most beloved ingredients. It turned out that carbonara, an Italian classic in which bacon and eggs come together to silkily coat noodles, was the perfect template on which to impress my tomato-mayo fantasies. Instead of using raw egg yolks as the base, I whip egg yolks, tomato, and oil into a mayonnaise and then use that as the base of the pasta sauce. In the presence of heat and bacon grease, it relaxes into a creamy, undeniably delicious carbonara, rich with that familiar flavor. Think of it as a tomato sandwich in black tie attire.Tomato Sandwich CarbonaraServes 61 large ripe tomato1 egg2 egg yolks3 cups plus 1 tablespoon canola oil, dividedSalt and freshly ground pepper2 medium yellow squash, sliced in half lengthwise½ red onion2 ears corn6 slices thick-cut bacon, sliced into batons1 16-ounce box short pasta, such as penne, macaroni, or orecchiette½ cup toasted breadcrumbs¼ cup basil leavesSet a box grater over a plate. Slice the tomato in half, then grate it, starting with the cut side, until you reach the stem. Discard the stem.In a food processor, combine the egg, egg yolk, and grated tomato. Puree for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is lighter in color. With the motor running, slowly add 3 cups canola oil in a thin stream until it is completely incorporated and the mixture has thickened. Season generously with salt and pepper, and set aside.Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.Set a cast iron skillet over high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil. When it shimmers, add the squash, cut side down, and sear until charred and blistered, about 5 minutes each side. Transfer the squash to a plate. Add the red onion to the skillet and sear about 7 minutes on each side, then transfer to the plate with the squash. Finally, add the corn and sear, turning frequently, for about 7 minutes, or until the corn is blistered and golden brown. Roughly dice the squash and red onion and cut the kernels from the corn. Season with salt and pepper to taste.Return the skillet to medium heat and add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crispy and the fat has rendered. Turn the heat to low. When the water is boiling, add the pasta to the pot and cook according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, prepare a large heat-proof bowl with ½ cup of the tomato mayonnaise. Set it next to the skillet with the bacon.When the pasta is done, strain it, leaving a few inches of the pasta water in the pot. Add the strained pasta to the skillet with the bacon, stirring to coat the noodles in the bacon grease, and return the pot of pasta water to the stove over low heat. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the bowl with the tomato mayonnaise and stir to coat. Place the bowl to sit over the pot with the simmering pasta water, creating a double boiler (this will help thicken the sauce). Stir constantly until the sauce has reached a thick, creamy consistency and is clinging to each noodle.Add the reserved charred vegetables and stir. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with basil and breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.last_img read more

Up close and personal

first_imgFirst row: Summerific “Berrylicious” Hibiscus hybrid; Agave ovatifolia; Cynara cardunculus. Second row: Hosta “Stained Glass” hybrid; Dasylirion texanum; Summerific “Cherry Cheesecake” Hibiscus hybrid. Third row: Opuntia macrorhiza; Ardisia japonica “Hakuou”; Dasylirion texanumPhotographer Shawn Rocco took a trip to the N.C. Arboretum in late June. Using a 100mm macro lens, he captured some of the botanical beauties in the early evening light before a summer storm rolled in. The magnified perspective makes the plants seem otherworldy.last_img read more

Landing the big one Kelly Barefoot lures them in

first_imgby Charles Upchurchphotographs by Geoff WoodThe airbrushed colors come at night. The green and orange of an autumn leaf. The silver-blue of darting fish. Soon, the airbrush is out again. Flawless transitions. Scale patterns in geometric perfection.As a craftsman who has mastered the art of the fishing lure, Kelly Barefoot of Raleigh is a natural phenomenon, an organic product of the North Carolina Piedmont, where fishing with crankbaits – lures that mimic the swimming action of bite-size creatures that largemouth bass and other freshwater gamefish love to attack – is a serious business.Since launching Custom Lures Unlimited in 2003, the former health services administrator has gone from lure repair man (restoring and re-painting lures in his spare time) to lure guru. His lures have won top industry awards, are used by world champion fishermen, and are sold all over the globe. In a consumer niche where most goods are mass-produced overseas, Kelly Barefoot’s are hand-painted. Word-of-mouth buzz, powered by critical praise in fishing magazines and the internet, has put CLU and its founder on the map.“Kelly has that rare combination of talent and passion, which is rare in the tackle industry,” says Thomas, founder of CarolinaOutdoors.net. “He has extremely high standards for his lures, and it shows.”Barefoot’s home studio, midway between Raleigh and Fuquay-Varina, is also home to his newest brainchild, a fledgling lifestyle brand simply tagged Catch. With it, he aims to sell fishing products and outdoor equipment like kayaks, camping gear, apparel and accessories.      “My dream for Catch is a small retail shop with a rustic cabin feel where folks can hang out and spend time,” said Barefoot. “And then, maybe a little mountain cabin of my own.”It’s a dream within striking distance. When Bassmaster magazine, the bible of the sport, offered hosannas, the crankbait faithful were converted. The CLU collection, including the IKON M2 (named for Bassmaster World Champion Mike Iaconelli) and the groundbreaking Zero Gravity Jig (winner of the coveted Tackle Tour Innovation Award) are sold in sporting goods and outdoor retailers across the country, as well as at TackleWarehouse.com, the world’s largest online fishing tackle outlet.     Local talentBarefoot, 46, grew up in the furrowed farm country between Angier and Benson. His parents commuted to jobs in Raleigh – dad with Carolina Power & Light, mom as a teacher. With his older brother David he hunted and fished, often with their father and grandfather, related as much to the nearby ponds, reservoirs and winding tributaries of the Neuse and Cape Fear rivers as they were to each other.His earliest fishing memory is of Pitchkettle Creek, a turbid backwater near New Bern where ocean-going hickory shad converge every spring during their annual run to inland spawning grounds. “I remember being in a little wooden boat with my grandfather, surrounded by cypress trees and Spanish moss,” he said. “I don’t recall catching any fish, but it was magic.”In Cub Scouts, Barefoot made his first lure. His father opened an archery shop for hunters and let the boys paint crests on the arrows. Their mother took them to ceramics classes where they decorated pottery. Barefoot remembers the sketchbooks he filled – not with superheroes or spaceships, but with deer, birds and fish. As a teenager he would carve and paint wooden baits to fill his tackle box. While majoring in psychology at UNC Wilmington, he discovered fly fishing, and found himself stalking bluefish in the saltwater currents of Masonboro Inlet with flies he tied in his apartment.But fishing remained a hobby. When Barefoot returned to the Triangle, it was to work with the N.C. Infant-Toddler Program, part of the Children’s Developmental Services Agency, diagnosing and coordinating services for special needs children. He married Heidi, a Knightdale native and Campbell University graduate who became a successful pharmacist. Their kids, a daughter, Macie, and son, Colby, are now 14 and 12. Barefoot continued to fish the waters he knew best, competing in amateur bass tournaments with lures of his own design. And winning.Bass ate it up“I had an old Bagley’s lure that I loved,” said Barefoot. “But they stopped making the ugly blue one I liked so much.” So he painted one. Sure enough, bass ate it up. He played with color combinations, drawn to the tones and textures in nature – a leaf, a sunny stream – that visited him so often in dreams that he started keeping a pen and paper at his bedside. Inspiration was everywhere. “Have you ever walked down the shampoo aisle at Walmart? The colors are awesome.”In fishing, of course, a little luck never hurts. In 1997, Jeffrey Thomas, a professional angler from Broadway, N.C., asked Barefoot to repaint one of his lures. Barefoot did, and when Thomas netted consecutive nine-pound lunkers, Barefoot became that rare discovery that fisherman love to know about but would rather you didn’t. A wizard with an airbrush, he specialized in taking a favorite, time-worn lure and making it like new, but better. The word was out, and the orders flowed in. By 2003, Barefoot had christened his growing enterprise Custom Lures Unlimited. He built a web site and soon had a nationwide customer base.    Then, three years later, just as Barefoot was offered the biggest job of his 15-year health services career, he bailed. “I was sitting in a meeting and realized I was drawing little fish,” he said. “I didn’t want to be there.” He told Heidi he was quitting. Like the hickory shad, he pointed upstream.He knew that restoring lures was not going to get him that cabin in the Blue Ridge. He had to create a brand. Experimenting with shape, pattern and color, he marketed original designs online while still doing repaints. Then came the call from Iaconelli, the 2003 world champion. The two had hit it off at a trade show, and Ike was looking to team up. The result was the IKON, which remains the premier wooden lure from CLU. Iaconelli fished with it on the pro tour. Barefoot’s star was rising. Tackle companies wanted to work with him. Touring pros jumped on board.  Sales spiked. But the trophy moment was yet to come.When Barefoot introduced the Zero Gravity Jig, it was the designer who surfaced as the icon. The lure was a masterpiece of metallurgy and biomimicry. The fishing media cheered, and it sold at a clip of more than 12,000 per month.Customers started asking Barefoot to sign their lures. He met one who told him he had gone to Gander Mountain and bought every Kelly Barefoot lure they had. “How do you like ’em?” Barefoot asked. “Oh, I don’t fish with them,” came the answer. “I’m saving them for when you’re… you know.”Catch Outdoors Supply Co. was created by Barefoot last year to expand his business into licensed products beyond lures. In his shop, rustic mountain cabins bid welcome from the covers of magazines.  When he’s not painting or assembling lures, he’s coaching Colby’s baseball team or catching Macie in a dance recital. When the weather cools down and the bass get frisky, he’ll head to the Cape Fear River near Jordan Lake. Meanwhile, as nights grow longer, a pen and paper lie waiting.More information: go to customluresunlimited.comlast_img read more

Home Garden Vegetal and vertical

first_imgCourtesy of Leslie Herndonby Liza RobertsWhat nature can create, the gardener can nurture, tame, and frame. And, if you’re Greenscape floriculturist Leslie Herndon, turn on its head and hang on a wall.Live, vertical, growing artwork is what Herndon creates year-round at Raleigh’s Cameron Village. With feather grasses and annuals, evergreen herbs, ferns, cherry tomatoes, and ivy, among many other plants, Herndon creates giant vegetal “paintings” to brighten otherwise-blank walls and spaces. These works incorporate a multitude of hues and textures, scents and shapes. She has made them to commemorate events, to celebrate seasons, and to encourage people to stop and smell, touch – even taste.First patented in 1938 by University of Illinois landscape architecture professor Stanley Hart White and made famous more recently by French botanist Patrick Blanc, living walls – or vertical gardens, as they’re also known – represent a horticultural trend that has found its way to Raleigh and seems here to stay. The new Citrix building downtown, for instance, is home to a massive, two-story living wall that hangs from a crane left over from the building’s previous life as an industrial warehouse. Designed by the Baltimore firm Furbish and Alliance Architecture of Durham, the Citrix wall is home to 8,000 plants from 14 different species, including philodendron, orchid, and fern.Courtesy of Leslie HerndonNot to be confused with wall-covering climbing vines like ivy or jasmine, walls like these incorporate live plants in individual containers, happily growing vertically and in precise formation. The growing-vertically part turns out not to be that big of a deal for the plants, Herndon says. It’s the tiny space for their roots that’s the challenge. It’s one of the reasons that living walls are hard to care for and haven’t yet gone mainstream outside of corporate settings.Constant watering helps. Typically, watering systems are built into the scaffold or frame that holds the living walls up. The infrastructure at Cameron Village doesn’t allow for that, so Herndon’s creations are watered by hand six days a week.They’re worth the effort, which begins with painstaking planning and experimentation. Herndon begins with a life-size sketch. She maps out color, shape, and texture, and decides what plants will help her achieve the desired effect. Then she plants the creations and waters and fertilizes them in careful conditions for up to eight weeks before installation.Her inspiration comes from lots of places. She created an edible wall this past summer to help promote healthy living. Cherry tomatoes, basil, thyme, oregano, arugula, radishes, and carrots were all featured. It worked. “People actually ate things off the wall,” she says. “We had to rotate the plants out to replace them.”Another time, she created a planted replica of Claude Monet’s famous painting San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk (above). “I wanted to do something different,” she says. “I’m a big Monet fan.”Courtesy of Leslie Herndonlast_img read more

Tim Giuliani

first_img“At the end of the day, a good job is key to people’s quality of life.”–Tim Giuliani, Raleigh’s new Chamber of Commerce presidentby Mimi Montgomeryphotograph by Travis LongNot many kids want to be a chamber of commerce president when they grow up. But even at a young age, Tim Giuliani, 33, knew he wanted to be a leader in his community. “From the first grade, I was involved in student government,” he says. “I actually ran for treasurer and I couldn’t even really count.” That early tenacity paid off: In May 2015, Giuliani became the youngest person ever to be appointed president and CEO of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. He believes his age is an asset to his role as chamber leader: “By hiring somebody young it sends a message to young entrepreneurs, startups, emerging business leaders that … the future is here,” he says. “I represent that turning to the next generation for leadership.”Giuliani was previously the president and CEO of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce in Florida. His time there prepped him for his transition to Raleigh, which has one of the largest chamber organizations in the Southeast. The move from Florida to Raleigh was a big one, but Giuliani says he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. “To me, this is a very special place,” he says. “Not only is it a great place to live, it’s also a place that’s growing and is progressive.” And Giuliani looks forward to guiding that growth: He cites solid job opportunities as the number one determinant of municipal expansion.As a long-time Floridian, Giuliani has a bit of trepidation about the winter. Thankfully for he and his family, Raleigh has a lot of indoor activities, too. “In February, there will be a lot of days at Marbles,” he says. His children Tyler, 9, John Parker, 6, and Analeigh, 3, are huge fans. “We got a membership … they love Marbles.” It’s these little things that make Giuliani glad to live and work here. “To us, this is a great place where we could raise kids.”last_img read more

Person Street Community

first_imgby Jessie Ammonsphotographs by Nick PironioPerson Street Bar is about community. “The cocktails are a consequence of spending time with people,” says co-owner and founder Jeff Clarke, above. He and his partners, all close friends, live in Oakwood, walking distance from the watering hole on North Person Street. “I’m not saying we’re the first neighborhood bar,” says Clarke, “but I do think we’re a unique neighborhood bar. It’s a little more Type B, a little slower paced. We spin records. It’s a nice place.”It was during a particularly crowded night downtown about three years ago when Clarke, attorney Justin Pasfield, and IBM employees Joseph Maxey and Walker Bradham found themselves unable to get another round of drinks. The men envisioned a Cheers-like alternative to the late-night crush, and Clarke, who had learned the ropes of hospitality at hipster haunts like Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill and Kings in downtown Raleigh, had been looking for an opportunity to open a spot of his own. “I’d written a business plan for a bar and a coffee shop and was sitting on them.” The time had come: The foursome decided to go in on it together.It took a year and the help of still more friends – some from high school and college days – to transform the warehouse into an open space with black panelled walls, a stained wood bar, and lush back patio. The craftsmen they hired were local. The builders were local. The art they chose was local, and now rotates often. When possible, drink ingredients are also local. “People are the reason a place like this happens,” Clarke says. “Get the most creative people and give them a platform. We’re lucky to have so many wonderfully talented friends.”Today, it’s the gathering place the friends had envisioned. The team behind the bar – a close-knit crew drawn from Clarke’s deep network – keeps it welcoming. “Our staff has driven most of our success,” says Bradham. “They’re well-liked and they brought their own crowds in, too.”Clarke and his partners are quick to say that Person Street Bar is not a rejection of the downtown scene as much as a refreshing complement, and a reflection of their Oakwood/ Mordecai community. It “really needed a hub,” says Bradham, “a place for the community to come and be social and talk about ideas and politics and sports. People walk, they can bring their kids and their dogs.”Person Street Bar has a logo on the front door, but no sign. Instead, block letters spell out “Peden Steel Co.,” a nod to the space’s former tenant that jibes with its current mid-century-modern-meets-industrial aesthetic. On any given day, at least one of the bar’s owners is there, alongside longtime neighbors catching up, cyclists refueling from a ride, the suited after-work crowd, creative types brainstorming, and everybody in between. “The foundation of everything we’ve done is focused on the neighborhood, the customers, the staff, and the atmosphere of welcoming community,” says Pasfield. “We started from there, we still start there, and then it takes on its own life.” Person Street No. 6Drinks at Person Street Bar lack titles. “When you seasonally rotate a cocktail menu, and we do, that’s a lot of names,” explains Clarke. For simplicity’s sake – and to keep the focus on the drinks’ quality ingredients – they’re numbered instead of named.12 blueberries6 blackberries2 mint sprigs2 ounces Redemption rye whiskeyDash Agnostura bitters1 ounce Blenheim’s ginger aleIn a cocktail shaker, muddle 10 blueberries, 5 blackberries, and a small fresh mint sprig. Add whiskey, bitters, and ice, and shake. Double strain over new ice in a rocks glass and add ginger ale. Garnish with 2 blueberries, 1 blackberry, and 1 smacked mint sprig.(Smack the mint by placing it in between your hands and clapping them together. This helps release the herb’s flavor.)last_img read more

Due diligence

first_imgphotos courtesy NCMAA curatorial team dives into an island’s influence on American Impressionist Childe Hassamby J. Michael WeltonChilde Hassam was more than America’s foremost Impressionist painter. He was a global force, a peripatetic artist who wandered the world to paint Paris, New York, and the West Coast. But he found his muse on the humble and rustic Appledore Island, among the Isles of Shoals off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire. Invited there in the early 1880s by poet and author Celia Thaxter, Hassam returned to paint the island during 24 summers over the next 30 years. Its light, water, and rugged geological features appealed to him immensely, inspiring as many as 300 pastels, watercolors, and oil paintings – or 10 percent of his entire lifetime’s work. The finest of these works have been assembled by the North Carolina Museum of Art, with help from the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass. and New York art historian Kathleen Burnside, for an exhibit on display through June 19. It’s called American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals. Four years in the making, the show got its initial start when John Coffey, NCMA’s deputy director of art, suggested adding three of Hassam’s Appledore paintings to the Goodnight Collection of American Art at the museum. In 2000, the first, Isles of Shoals (1907), was acquired from a New York gallery, followed by The Laurel in the Ledges, Appledore (1905) in 2007, and Morning, Isles of Shoals (1890) in 2010.Curators from NCMA and and the Salem Peabody Essex Museum spent multiple summers on Appledore Island locating the sites of several Hassam paintings.Following in Hassam’s Footsteps The acquisition of the paintings over a decade’s time piqued Coffey’s curiosity about the island’s influence on the artist. He sent an email inquiry to the Shoals Marine Laboratory, asking about locations where the three works might have been painted. His request was directed to Hal Weeks, who was then the Lab’s director.  Weeks “has a sort of hobby of locating Hassam painting sites,” Coffey says, “He knows Appledore Island like the back of his hand.” Weeks invited Coffey to the island four years ago, and it made an impression. “I was blown away,” Coffey says. Coffey ended up touring the island six times, starting in 2011. He first visited sites where Weeks pointed out how faithful Hassam had been to the the geology and the personality of Appledore. “He was painting a mosaic portrait of this one very small island,” Coffey says. “It’s  constantly changing – it’s fascinating – even though it’s small, it’s broken up geologically.” On their forays into the wild, Weeks carried a notebook of paintings and locations to match, taking Coffey from one corner of the island to another in search of the places where Hassam painted. “I dragged this guy’s butt all over hell’s half-acre on this island,” Weeks says. “He’s a real trouper – we’d schlep around, then stumble and fall – but he did that and kept on going.”Childe Hassam The Laurel in the Ledges, Appledore 1905 Oil on canvas 25 × 30 in. (63.5 × 76.2 cm) North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, Promised gift of Ann and Jim Goodnight Courtesy of North Carolina Museum of Art The location for one particular painting was extremely difficult to get to; the pair had to carry a ladder, and get their feet wet, but the indefatigable Coffey was up for it all. “He was a lot of fun,” Weeks says. “He has an eye for what Hassam portrayed in his paintings – and the geology – much more so than I did.” Before long, Coffey was taking Austen Barron Bailly, the George Putnam Curator of American Art at Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum, along with him. She wanted to understand the way Hassam pushed his Impressionist style and techniques, and how he took license. “In some instances he was looking right at the site of a rock face in a watercolor,” she says. “Geologists today can tell what he was painting and what he was seeing and how he was turning up the volume of the color in those rocks – or manipulating the foreground to make it appear more monumental.” Eventually, Coffey and Bailly brought along the education staffs from NCMA and PEM to join them, along with a professional photographer, videographer, and sound recorder, as well as Coffey’s former curatorial assistant. Together, they experienced an unforgettable exploration of the artist’s intent. Bailly, who travelled to Appledore in 2013, 2014, and 2015, took notes of what the artist had painted there a century ago. “You see the island palette – the colors that became part of his artistic DNA,” she says. “I’ve seen it in all different weathers – the first time, it was socked in and cool, but last summer it was really hot – you felt the intensity of the sun beating down and the lack of shade. The gulls were everywhere – there was the incessant sound of seagull calls.”An Artist’s Retreat and Respite On their tours of the island, Weeks, Coffey, Bailly, and the rest carried yardsticks to fend off aggressive gulls protecting their nests. But when Hassam was painting there, they weren’t much of a problem at all. Appledore then was an artists’ retreat with a large hotel and cottages built by Celia Thaxter’s father. The hotel could house 300, and attracted wealthy society figures and literati from New England, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Hotel owners, sensitive to gulls harassing their well-heeled guests, kept their population down – probably with shotguns. Celia, 30 years Hassam’s senior, kept her own cottage and garden, where she raised flowers – poppies, pansies, pinks, and rose campions among them – for use by the hotel. These blooms would all become some of the first subjects of the artist’s work on the island. He painted seascapes from her porch, and watercolors and oils of the flowers she grew. “In the early 1890s, Hassam appears to have seen Appledore through Celia’s eyes,” Coffey says. His paintings illustrated her book, An Island Garden, published just before her death. “You can almost split up his work between the time Celia died in 1894 and his work in the 1890s – particularly oils and watercolors in the book,” says art historian Burnside, who’s been cataloging Hassam’s work for the past 30 years. “The watercolors might be among the finest work of his career – they’re a scrumptious, evocative, and multilayered Impressionism that is spectacular.” A pallbearer at Celia’s funeral, Hassam stayed away from Appledore for five years after her death. But when he did come back, he explored areas farther away from Celia’s cottage, and his work took on a new kind of fervor. “He turned his proverbial back on her garden and spent more time on things more nature-oriented on the north side of the island, rather than her house and garden,” Burnside says.An Elegy to Celia? Hassam did, however, return to one particular site – a spot where he’d painted a sunrise called Morning, Isles of Shoals in 1890. Ethereal and other-worldly, with a bright sun hovering over the horizon in a pink sky, illuminating ocean and rocks in the foreground, it’s a masterpiece from his early years with Celia. This time – in 1899 – he painted the same rocks, the same ocean, and the same horizon, but with a different orb – the moon – lightly floating in the nighttime sky. Moonrise, Isles of Shoals joined the earlier seascape as the only known pair that Hassam would ever paint. But why? Is there some kind of special meaning to them? Elegy may be the answer, though Coffey says he’s not quite ready to go that far definitively in print. “One dates from 1890, the year of Hassam’s first extended stay on the island,” he says. “The other dates from 1899, the year Hassam returns to Appledore after a long sojourn in France. In between is Celia’s death. So, I think it is possible to interpret this pair with its transit from radiant sunrise to wan moonlight as perhaps a metaphor for the loss of his friend.” It is that unusual combination of scholarship and feeling that Coffey, Bailly, and Burnside have brought to the exhibition, delivering new meaning to the phrase “due diligence.” The show is a tour de force of the artist’s work in a particular place and time, one that guides the viewer from geological explorations of rock formations to palette-knife sunsets and abstracted watercolors that slash through geology and the sea –  a travelogue of the island, seen through the eyes of one of America’s most accomplished artists.Childe Hassam painting on the porch of Celia Thaxter’s cottage, 1880–1910,archival photograph, Portsmouth Athenaeum, Isles of Shoals Photograph Collection, P21.095last_img read more