July 2016 - In this Issue of The Scenic:
Flat Top Manor
Photograph by David Hill

By Board Chair Jack Betts

Jack Betts
Jack Betts
I never knew Moses and Bertha Cone, of course, as Moses died early in the 20th  century and Bertha died when I was a year old. But I've always been grateful to them and to Moses' brother, Ceasar. You see, if they hadn't moved South back in the late 1880s to begin building what became the Cone Mills industrial dynasty-and become the world's biggest producer of denim - I would not exist. It's a longish story, but in a sense, they brought my parents together. It's just one reason Moses H. Cone Memorial Park is important to me.

Flat Top Manor, the marvelous summer home that is the centerpiece of the Blue Ridge Parkway's 3,500-acre Moses H. Cone Memorial Park near Blowing Rock, needs help. The Foundation has committed to raising a lot of money to preserve the house and undertake maintenance and improvement projects all over the park. So we're holding a fundraiser on Saturday, August 6, at another grand place in Blowing Rock, Chetola Resort, to raise money to pay for those projects. We're calling it The Denim Ball, which seems appropriate, as Moses Cone is often referred to as the Denim King.

I confess I care about this for a lot of reasons. One of them is my passion for the Parkway, and Cone Memorial Park is an important part of that. The other is my family's connection to the Cones.

In the depths of the Great Depression, my mother was a school teacher in Anderson, S.C., living at home because teachers' salaries were deplorable in those days. She heard about a company up in Greensboro that was offering qualifying teachers a pretty good deal if they would come and do a little extra work for a little extra money, checking up on Cone millworkers' families to make sure things were OK at home.
So Olive Minor came up from South Carolina to Greensboro to teach at Proximity School, surrounded by mill houses, and got an extra month's salary for her social work visiting students' homes. She met John Betts at a dance, and impressed him by accidentally sitting on his fedora and they laughed about it. After a long courtship, marrying in 1937, and enduring a world war, they finally gave in to my sister's pleas for a little brother, and I was born 70 years ago this week. My parents never had it easy, but they had good lives, and I'll never forget what brought them together in the first place. 

That's just one reason I'm buying tickets for The Denim Ball on August 6. I hope you can, too, or send the Foundation a donation for this good cause. 


ZSUE plate
Lab mix Zissou, who loves Parkway adventures, with her own specialty license plate.
We love seeing Blue Ridge Parkway specialty plates on the road, and the creative ways folks personalized them just four letters. Are you thinking of getting a unique Blue Ridge Parkway plate? Here are a few fun suggestions that are still available through the North Carolina DMV.

If you love wildlife and nature: FAWN, OWL, WING, CUB, POND, DEER, OAK
If you love adventure: SWIM, RUN, DRVE, FREE, WILD
Road to the past
Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

Two women bike a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway near the Biltmore Estate in the 1970s. We hope you are enjoying your summer on 
"The Scenic." 

Coming up at the Blue Ridge Music Center

Carlene Carter plays on July 16
+ Reed Island Rounders
Saturday, July 16, 7 p.m.; $20

The Blue Ridge Music Center is proud to welcome a member of the first family of American music, The Carter Family, on Saturday, July 16. Beloved singer, songwriter, and musician Carlene Carter brings a storied musical legacy and her own spin on country music to the beautiful outdoor amphitheater. 

Carlene Carter is the daughter of country music legends June Carter and Carl Smith and the granddaughter of "Mother" Maybelle Carter. In addition to recording her own acclaimed albums, she has cowritten songs for Emmylou Harris and The Doobie Brothers and hosted programs on VH1 and TNN. In 2014, Carlene delved deeper into her roots with a tribute to the timeless music of her legendary family titled Carter Girl . The Reed Island Rounders open the evening. For tickets visit, BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org  or call (866) 308-2773, ext. 245.

Presented in collaboration with The Virginia Folklife Program and The Virginia Foundation for Humanities with support from The National Folk Festival and The National Council for Traditional Arts. Sponsored by WNCW 88.1 FM.

Alison Krauss
Some of the biggest names in folk, bluegrass, and Americana, including the finest dobro player in contemporary acoustic music and the most highly decorated female musician of all time, will come together to honor the late Joe Wilson on Friday, September 2, at the Blue Ridge Music Center. This one-day festival will include performances by Jerry Douglas, The Whites, and special guest Alison Krauss, as well as musical tributes from Wayne Henderson & Friends, The Jeff Little Trio, Linda & David Lay, Elizabeth LaPrelle, Phil Wiggins, The Barr Family & Tony Ellis, The Hurdle Brothers, and Frank Newsome.

The public is invited to attend a special free preconcert tribute remembrance for Wilson led by Virginia folklorist Jon Lohman from 1 to 4 p.m. at the indoor theater. Seating in the theater is limited and offered on a first come, first serve basis. There will also be a "Jam for Joe" in conjunction with the Music Center's regular Bluegrass Jam from noon to 4 p.m. The ticketed concert begins at 4 p.m. During the event, the exhibit, Banjos: From Africa to the New World, will be on display in the Luthier Shop. Food vendors will also be on site. Due to expected crowds, no dogs will be allowed at the event. For tickets, visit BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org or call (866) 308-2773, ext. 245.
Your support matters
Join our Community of Stewards                           


As the primary fundraiser and trusted steward of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Foundation is forever committed to preserving the past, enhancing the present, and safeguarding the future of America's Favorite Journey™. Learn more about joining our Community of Stewards at BRPFoundation.org.

Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
717 S. Marshall St., Suite 105B
Winston-Salem, NC 27101-5865
(866) 308-2773