Birth: A Father’s Perspective-McKinley’s Birth

This is the story of giving birth from a father’s harebrained outlook. I have two wonderful children, McKinley and Hudson. My wife, Katie, did 99.9% of the birthing work. Here is the story of child-rearing from my point of view:

Read Part II-Finding out about Hudson
Read Part I-McKinley’s Pregnancy Stick

Imagine if a custodian watched Matt Damon in Goodwill Hunting and thought that they could solve an advanced algebraic graph theory. Or that a future president watched Bill Pullman in Independence Day and thought that they could handle an international crisis because Pullman sent aliens back to outer space (actually Pullman’s character would be a lot more reassuring compared to some of our presidential candidates now). I was the dunce who believed watching the birth scene in Knocked Up would be enough to prepare me for the birth of my first child.

It’s in my DNA to have problems paying attention during classes, unless I’m very interested in the subject matter. I blame it on genetics. I imagined that Lamaze class would be a bunch of breathing drills and a lot more interactive. The first class Katie and I attended, the teacher went straight into lecture mode and I went straight into “zone-out” mode. In my mind that was okay, I had seen Knocked Up several times and that was all I needed to know while in the birthing room.

knocked up

For those of you that haven’t seen Knocked Up, it’s a 2007 Judd Apatow movie starring Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen. Rogen impregnates (knocks up) Heigl during a one-night stand and the movie follows her pregnancy. At the end of the film, there are several graphic scenes as Heigl gives birth in her hospital room. Rogen doesn’t handle the birth in a tremendous manner, but he does a good enough job to keep Heigl happy. Jay Baruchel, a co-star in the movie, accidentally goes into the room right when the head is coming out and then freaks out. I was much more of a Jay Baruchel than a Seth Rogen during McKinley’s birthing process.

I finally figured out on the night of August 21, 2010 that I should have paid closer attention during Lamaze class. Unfortunately, that was also the night that Katie went into labor. As Katie started to complain of possible contractions as we lay in bed in our Ardmore house, my eyes jutted wide open and I thought to myself, “what in the hell am I supposed to do now?”

Katie remembered the overnight bag (she packed it too) and we rushed out of the house. I’m somewhat surprised that she didn’t drive too. We drove the half-mile to Forsyth Hospital and even though Katie was the one in labor, she was also the one that did all of the talking during the check-in phase. We went into a room and they checked her cervix and declared she wasn’t quite ready yet, and they actually sent us home. I’m not sure why they wanted to put me through several more anxiety-filled hours of waiting (like we were going to go back to bed) at home, not to mention the pain that Katie was going through. Two hours later we headed back up the road to the hospital and this time they admitted Katie.


I did okay for the first tests, and then the anesthesiologist came in for the epidural and my eyes rolled back in my head for the first time. He pulled out a needle that looked like it should have been administered to a humpback whale not to a human. My first piece of advice for fathers is don’t watch the needle go into your wife. It’s very disturbing.

After the epidural, I settled down a bit as Katie relaxed as the medicine took effect. Katie continued to be the one who talked to the nurses the most as I wobbly stood there in a state of shock. One decision I made that helped me stay upright during the whole process was to stay up high. That means that I decided to stand up at the top of the bed by Katie’s pillow and look down. There was no way that I could have made it through the whole birth process if I went down low and watched all of the stuff that goes on down there.

As McKinley came closer to birth, here are some of the thoughts that ran through my mind:

  • Stay High! 
  • Look at Katie’s face and don’t look down at the nurses and doctor
  • She is really squeezing my hand hard (I was smart enough never to verbally complain about anything during birth, I kept it all to myself)
  • Just breathe along with Katie, don’t forget to breathe

The one time I made the mistake to look down was when Katie’s water finally broke and discharge came flying out. This was my second near-faint moment.

  • Oh man! What the heck was that? I think she just projectile vomited from down there. Is that possible?

I made it through and McKinley made it out. I have a constant tremor in my hands already, and I’m sure they were shaking like a major earthquake as I cut the umbilical cord.

Katie was a true champion during the entire pregnancy, while I was a big wimp. Find out in my next installment about Hudson’s birth if I learned my lesson.







Local Winston-Salem Difference Makers-Aubrey Linville

Aubrey Linville was born in Rockville, MD, before he moved to Winston-Salem for fourth grade. Linville and his wife, Holli, have two children, Grayson and Preston. In 2012, he joined with Coleman Team to form Linville Team Partners (Firm Website), a commercial real estate firm located on Fourth St. in downtown Winston-Salem.

After graduating from North Carolina State, Linville began his work in real estate at RAL Properties. He also worked for four years at the Meridian Realty Group, Inc., before venturing out with Team to found their successful firm. Linville also recently co-founded with Team, a private equity real estate investment fund, Front Street Capital.

For the past decade, the Linville’s have dedicated their lives to the memory of their son, A.J. Linville, with the A.J. Linville Foundation. A.J. was born on March 9, 2004 and lived twenty happy months with his parents, before he passed away in a tragic accident. Through a golf tournament and the Angels Race Triathlon, the family has raised $275,000 with one-hundred percent of the donations going back to charities. Every year, the foundation is able to gift prosthetics and equipment to three to four children.

Soon after the foundation was formed, the Linville’s were able enough to raise enough money to build a playground for the Ronald McDonald House. The foundation has helped the family keep an important connection with A.J.


What made you want to get involved in real estate?
Commercial real estate was always an important part of my dad’s company, Adventure Entertainment. When I was at N.C. State, I started my first company called National Junior Golf Club. I sold this company four or five years later and started flipping residential houses and small commercial properties. Just as we were heading into the Great Recession John Ruffin, who is one of my all-time favorites, hired me at Meridian. My first year there, I wasn’t able to close a deal. The second year I closed a couple, but then it took off from there. I am really passionate about the art of the deal of real estate, reconnecting with people, and helping small businesses and investors through the entire process. Commercial real estate makes me tick!

Could you ever imagine leaving Winston and if so, where would you go?
I may be one of the most passionate people about Winston-Salem. Most of my family and extended family live here, so it would be hard to leave. I am also heavily invested in my companies and the relationships I have through them, so I will never leave here. I love Winston, but I do feel I had a calling to go out west and live in the Rocky Mountains.

What is your favorite part about working downtown in Winston-Salem?
My favorite reason for working downtown is being involved in many significant projects that have helped change downtown. I used to ride my bike downtown from my house on Runnymede and there was nothing down here except Recreation Billiards and the Stevens Center. Now my company gets to work on projects like Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, BB&T Ballpark, the Wells Fargo Tower, Texas Pete in the Nash Building, and our building here on Fourth Street.

Which Winston-Salem/Clemmons neighborhoods have you lived in?
On my move from Rockville to Winston, my parents actually dropped me off at Camp Seagull for a month. So their first month in Winston, I didn’t live here. We lived on Watson in Ardmore, while they built their house on Runnymede.
I married Holli my senior year of college, and we lived back in the house on Runnymede for a couple years. Our first house together was on Wiley Avenue in Buena Vista, before we moved to Clemmons.

What different schools did you go to?
I went to Summit from fourth through ninth. Then I went to Reynolds for high school.


What are your top three Winston-Salem restaurants of all time?
Not many people will know my number one, but it is La Perlita on Waughtown Street. My dad and I were out one day visiting where he grew up, and we ran across this tiny Mexican restaurant. I have loved it ever since. I am also a big fan of the original Ronnie’s in Clemmons and Milner’s on Stratford Road.

What is your favorite nickname of our minor league baseball team: Spirits, Warthogs, or Dash?
The Dash. I do have to say that I have a lot of memories of when the Warthogs used to play at Ernie Shore Field. I was a regular at Thirsty Thursdays there.

Are you more of a Hanes Mall or Thruway fan?
I don’t like shopping, but I avoid Hanes Mall at all costs. I am a huge fan of Great Outdoor Provisions, so definitely Thruway.

Where is your favorite day trip outside of Winston?
The Wilson Creek area in Pisgah National Forrest. It is about two hours away and is just north of Morganton. I love to fly fish and it is hatchery supported water.


If you were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which would you choose: Moravian Sugar Cake, Bojangles Bo-Berry Biscuit, Krispy Kreme Hot and Now Doughnut?
That is a hard one, but I would go with Moravian Sugar Cake.

What is your favorite North Carolina Beach?
I actually haven’t spent a lot of time at North Carolina beaches. I lived in Wilmington for a while, so I am very familiar with the beaches there. We have a camper and we like to go to the North Myrtle area.

What was your favorite concert at the original Ziggy’s (Baity Street)?
That is a long list. I spent a lot of late nights in that place. Some notable shows would be when we walked there to see Dave Matthews in an ice storm. I saw Kenny Chesney there for a relief show. The electricity went out when I was at a Leftover Salmon show, and they performed under candlelight. I also saw Blues Traveler and The Black Crowes at Ziggy’s.


Birth: A Father’s Perspective Part II

This is the story of giving birth from a father’s harebrained outlook. I have two wonderful children, McKinley and Hudson. My wife, Katie, did 99.9% of the birthing work. Here is the story of child-rearing from my point of view:

Read Part I-McKinley Edition Here

Part II- The Pregnancy Stick (Hudson Edition)

If you read part one, you realized that Katie and I wasted an exorbitant amount of time and money on pregnancy tests for our first child, McKinley. Two years later, we went after child number two. As I have come to learn, the second child gets the short-end of the stick in multiple areas (sorry Hudson). As a second-child myself, I speak from experience. I can only imagine that this only goes additionally downhill for the third child and beyond.


Just a Few of Many Areas Where Second Children Get the Shaft:
1. Clothes and Toys. You are going to get all hand me down clothes if you are the same gender as your sibling. In some cases, you will get the hand me down clothes of your opposite-sex gender. For instance, Hudson was gallivanting around the snow this winter in a pink, cheetah print snowsuit.
2. Automobiles. If you are the second child, and your sibling goes off to college, you most likely will just get their car. For instance, after my parents sold my Jeep (that is another story) without my knowledge, I had to drive Copper. Copper was my sister’s 1982 Mazda Piece-a (A Mazda Piece-a is a name for a type of Mazda that was a real piece of you know what), and it was named after its color. I had no say in getting Copper, it was just forced on me. I know I sound a little bitter. I should have just been happy that I had a piece-a, instead of no piece-a at all. Anyways, Copper only lasted a couple months with me, before I killed it on a mountain in West Virginia.
3. Bumps and Bruises. When your first child falls down, you coddle over them like they just broke their neck. When they sneeze, it’s like they have the Bubonic plague. When the first child cries, most parents feel that they will need psychiatric help for the rest of their life. None of this carries on with the second child.
4. Finding out you are pregnant with a second child doesn’t cause the same amount of craziness as finding out about the first child. This isn’t to say that the excitement level goes down, we were just as thrilled with both kids. You will see below that we were now professionals at finding out that Katie was pregnant.

Hudson’s Pregnancy Stick:
After going through McKinley’s pregnancy, Katie had now become a wiz during her pregnancy with Hudson. She didn’t need an ovulation calendar, because she had it memorized in her brain. There wasn’t the same fear in the air about whether she would become pregnant. There was a newly found confidence in everything pregnancy related the second time around. You could look at this week’s Super Bowl. Katie was the wide-eyed and nervous Cam Newton with McKinley. When it was time for Hudson’s pregnancy, the old sheriff, Peyton Manning version of Katie, was in town.


We didn’t find out that Katie was pregnant with Hudson from the friendly confines of our Ardmore home. We found out at Mellow Mushroom! We had some friends in town from Ohio, and we were waiting for our tables, when Katie said she felt like she might be pregnant. I guess you can call it mother’s intuition, because I had no idea what she was talking about.

I thought Katie would want us to go home, and she would send me back and forth to the drug store to get a hundred pregnancy tests of all shapes and sizes. Instead, she looked into her purse and said, “Actually, I have a test in here.” Her friend goaded her a bit, and they decided they should just go into the bathroom at the restaurant, since we had to wait anyways.

In the words of my late friend, Richard, “that really weirded me out.” In fact, everything girls do together in the bathroom together majorly freaks me out. McKinley is only five, and she already goes into the bathroom with friends and does peculiar things women do in there together.

So, Katie went into the bathroom with her friend like it was no big deal, and left me at the bar at Mellow Mushroom, wandering about how one person can change so much in three short years. She came out with a big smile on her face. She hugged me and cried a little bit, but these weren’t Mississippi River tears. They were more like Silas Creek tears. Katie didn’t make me run down the street to the CVS to awkwardly get a bunch of different kinds of tests. She was perfectly satisfied and convinced that she was pregnant, and she was right.

Obviously, Katie learned a lot after her pregnancy with McKinley. I just became more confused!

Coming up: Part III-The Birth of McKinley



Winston-Salem Difference Makers-President Lorraine Sterritt and Bert Lain

In addition to celebrating Winston-Salem natives that have moved on to do significant things outside of Winston, this blog will also celebrate local people who make a difference currently in Winston-Salem. 

I have had the pleasure of working with three great presidents during my decade at Salem College. In 2014, President Lorraine Sterritt was hired as the 20th president of Salem Academy and College. In our two hundred and forty-four year history, it is hard to imagine that this historic institution has only had twenty presidents!

When President Sterritt first walked onto campus, you could feel a breath of fresh air right off the bat. The Ireland native immediately made her mark on Salem and the Winston-Salem community as she was named one of the Triad’s Most Influential People by Triad Business Journal (November of 2015). President Sterritt and Salem are in the middle of The Women of Purpose campaign to help with faculty support and academic programs, infrastructure and technology, scholarships, and financial stability (Women of Purpose website). She also travels the country on the Salem Ever tour, where she meets with alumnae and friends who have committed themselves to Salem’s success. During her short time at Salem, the department of admissions has welcomed the largest class in school history and a new apartment style residence hall, The McHugh Sisters Flats, has been constructed.


Twenty eight and a half years ago, President Sterritt met Bert Lain in Chatham, Virginia. The two have worked at prestigious colleges all over the country together like Princeton, Penn, Stanford, and most recently, Harvard.

In the soccer world, famous players like Pele and Messi are just known by one name. Bert has made such an impact that you can simply say Bert to anybody on campus and their face will light up. It is impossible to walk through campus without seeing him talking to a student or faculty/staff member. He is also one of the biggest supporters of our athletic department. In fact, our new tennis center is named the Bert Lain Tennis Center.

Below you will find out why President Sterritt and Bert have enjoyed their time so far in North Carolina, and some of their favorite parts of Winston-Salem:

 Winston-Salem Questions:

Before I ask any questions about Winston, I have a pressing question that I have always wondered about: You two both have a history of teaching Latin. Do you ever find yourselves speaking to each other in the classical language?

Occasionally we lapse into Latin!

You two have lived all over the United States. What are some things that are unique to Winston-Salem that you two have really enjoyed?
Knowing so many people everywhere we go in Winston-Salem; being in a city that has so much and is so easy to get around.

What is your favorite season of the year in Winston-Salem?


Did you ever imagine that you would live on a street that literally feels like you are two hundred years back in time? What is your favorite part about living in Old Salem?Absolutely love the history. Love being in a quiet area within a vibrant city.

President Sterritt: Is there anywhere in Winston-Salem that reminds you of Ireland?The Salem soccer field.

Bert: Besides any Salem athletic event, is there a sporting event in the area that you would really like to see?
A Carolina Panthers game and a Duke vs. UNC basketball game

You all have worked at prestigious schools such as Princeton, Stanford, Penn, and Harvard. What are some areas of Salem College that stand out from where you have worked together before?
A smaller institution gives you a very strong sense of community. We love that we know so many people.

If you two were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which Winston-Salem delight would you choose: Moravian sugar cake, Bojangles biscuits, or Krispy Kreme doughnuts?
Moravian sugar cake

What are your top three Winston-Salem restaurants to go to together?
Mozelle’s, Noble’s, Rotisserie Chicken Factory

What would be your ideal date night in Winston-Salem?
Movie at a/perture, dinner at Noble’s.

Would you two rather go to Hanes Mall or to Thruway?
We like both.

Where is your favorite day trip outside of Winston?
Chapel Hill

Have you been on any vacations in North Carolina during your time here? If so, where was your favorite North Carolina trip outside of Winston? Is there anywhere in the State you two hope to visit?
Asheville, Chapel Hill, Pine Knoll Shores, Duck, Wilmington, Boone, Blowing Rock, Highlands.
Loved all of them.
Hope to see more of the coast.

My Decade at Salem


Growing up in Winston-Salem, I really didn’t know much about the hidden gem of Salem College that was just a couple miles from my house. My mom had some good friends like Mary Ann Davis and Joy Van Zandt that went to Salem. Some of my classmates from my middle school went to the Academy for high school.

When I returned from college in 2002, my former high school coach was working with a very small club team at Salem. In 2005, he gave me a call and told me he was leaving Salem and that I should apply for the job. That call changed my course and set the path for my last decade. I love several things about working at Salem and here are the most important:


Both my biological family and my soccer family are at Salem College. My wife, Katie, and I get to raise our young family (McKinley-5 and Hudson-2) in our hometown with each of our great families nearby. My second family, consisting of young women from all over the country and my assistant coaches, is the soccer team at Salem.


I started my family at the same time as I started the Salem soccer family, and I won’t ever be able to do that anywhere else. When Kim Fierke had the guts to hire a twenty-five year old with just a little bit of experience, she essentially hatched a new family for me.

When I went to my first soccer meeting in August of 2005, only five people showed up. Luckily a first year from Wisconsin and one from Alabama were two of those five and they helped me forge the path of the program, just by helping me get through that challenging first year. I had to literally go into the Refectory at Salem and find players to fill a team that could compete in our first year of games.


In just ten short years, the soccer family at Salem has grown exponentially. One of my favorite times of the year is Salem Soccer Alumnae Weekend. I see pictures of alumni games at other schools and there are only a handful of players there, and their NCAA programs have been around for decades. We are just a decade old (as a NCAA program) and we had over twenty alumnae at our last game. I am proud to see former players that are now forging careers as doctors, teachers, accountants, coaches, dentists, mothers, etc.  It gives me pleasure to answer questions that I still get from former players in several categories including jobs and relationships (even though I really have no idea what I am saying most of the time in this area).

There are several small traditions that have been established here at Salem. Katie (a nurse) gets frequent questions about injuries and health from members of the team. We have gone on two international trips to Italy and Costa Rica as a team. The plan is to go every three years. Currently we are 4-1-1 against international competition.


I have had several of my good friends help me as assistant coaches like Jon Hoban and Graham Lyles. My more recent assistants are now going advancing in the coaching field like Thomas Moore recently being hired at our alma mater, Reynolds High School. I get to have my dad help me every year. I had another mentor, Mike Hollman, help me for several years. I can’t get that anywhere else. We get to put my sister’s movie theater (a/perture) on the back of our warm-up shirts every year. During preseason each year, one of our long runs goes by the house where I grew up and we stop by so my mom can give the team water.

History and Location

Imagine being able to walk out your office door and being transported back 250 years. Where else can you do that besides at Salem? Maybe William and Mary, but I can’t think of anywhere else. As a fan of history, it is great to just be able to walk out the door and walk around campus to see buildings that George Washington visited over two centuries ago. Every time you walk through our campus you can learn something new about its history. There are only a handful of schools in the entire country that are as historical and beautiful as Salem College.


As I walk through our majestic campus, I can turn north and see the skyline of my favorite city. Along that skyline is a building that my dad designed. I can walk downtown and meet my mom for lunch on Fourth or Trade Street where my dad had a vision twenty years ago of a revitalization project. I can catch a movie there at my sister’s theater, and then meet my family for pizza at Mellow Mushroom.


I can take recruits and players around Winston-Salem and show them the stomping grounds of my youth. I love telling them stories about different places in town. I drive them around and tell them about my memories like when I took a date to Reynolda Village and got us locked out forcing us to walk a mile to her house, or where I hit my first home-run at Miller Park, or where I used to hang out at the President of Wake Forest’s house.

A Winning Tradition

Every coach wants a winning program, and they aren’t being honest if they say they don’t.  The NCAA has a record book that contains the best win-loss turn around as a category. Due to a silly rule, Salem’s 2007 team doesn’t qualify since we did this in the final two years of our NCAA DIII provisional membership trial, even though we did it against NCAA schools and were considered a NCAA member. Our 2006-2007 turn around not only would rank as the best ever turn around in women’s NCAA DIII soccer history, it would be the record across all three divisions. We went from 1-15 to 15-1-2 in one year, which is a turn around of 14 games and almost every team we played beat us the year before.

teamhuddle1We have won three tournament championships, four conference regular season titles, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament twice in the ten years of the NCAA program. We are the only women’s college in the country that has been to two NCAA Tournaments in the past five years. We are the only North Carolina DIII women’s soccer program that has won at least ten games each of the past seven years. We have one of the best winning percentages in the entire South Region over the past four years (64-14-2).


We aren’t where we want to be yet, but we get better each year thanks to the legacy of the players that have already worn a Salem jersey. We are entering a much more competitive conference next year, and we won’t be happy unless we win the entire conference. We have shown that we can compete with almost any school in the entire country in Division III. We also have shown that we can compete with and beat several NCAA DII programs.

The Challenge

I love a challenge. I feel like I can always be challenged at Salem. Some things come easily here. When recruits step foot on campus, they are going to be hard-pressed to find a more serene campus. We have one of the best admission’s departments in the nation, and they make my recruiting job a lot easier. We have an excellent President (and President’s husband), and a faculty that helps to push our players in the classroom. We have excellent alumnae at Salem that make my life easier.

My players do much better academically than I did in high school, and you have to be a quality student to get into Salem. I have no problem telling them that I don’t just expect a NCAA qualifying 2.0 from them, but that they should shoot for a 3.0 or better every semester. Having the quality students we tend to get at our soccer program, helps to ease the academic worries other coaches might have at other institutions.


There are definitely challenges here. Some of the challenges would be experienced at any school. As a coach, you are always going to have players upset over playing time, your rules, and the way you run your program. That is part of the job. Recruiting to a small all-women’s school can be a challenge though. I always say that I would love for some big time coach to come try to recruit at a small school to see how good they actually can recruit. Recruiting is one of my favorite aspects of the job. I love the challenge that every recruit gives me, and it’s a tremendous feeling every time a prospective student commits to Salem.


My Coaching Goals 

Striving to match or best our goals at Salem is something I always talk about with our team. It is important to set goals and once you achieve them to set new and more challenging ones.

We are entering a new conference that will soon consist of eighteen schools, where the majority of the schools have women’s soccer programs that have been around for much longer, with bigger budgets, better athletic facilities, and that are from co-ed schools. We don’t just want to go in and be an average team in the conference. We want to go in and win. The goal is not just to be one of the best, but to be the best team in the conference. We want to advance back to the NCAA Tournament and not just settle for making it there, but also to make a statement there.

I have personal goals as a coach as well. I want to get to 200 wins in the next six years. I have had All-South Region players, and now I would like to get some All-Americans. I want to continue to see our soccer facilities grow to match the top facilities in our region and for our game attendance to keep growing. We are about as diverse geographically and culturally as any college women’s soccer team you will find. In our first ten years we have had players from twenty-nine different states on the Salem Soccer roster. It would be great to continue to raise that number of represented states.

A lot of great things have happened for me here in my first decade at Salem and I owe a huge thanks to my players and assistant coaches. Hopefully my next decade of coaching can be just as satisfying.

early years





Local Winston-Salem Difference Makers: Michelle Butt

In addition to celebrating Winston-Salem natives that have moved on to do significant things outside of Winston, this blog will also celebrate local people who make a difference currently in Winston-Salem. 

In early 2015, Michelle Butt was named president and general manager of WXII-TV, the NBC affiliate serving the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, N.C. television market. She returned to Winston after spending time as the news director at WXII from March of 2000 until September of 2003.

Michelle left Winston with her family (Richard-husband, Jackson-son, Peyton-daughter) to run the newsroom at WBAL-TV in Baltimore, Maryland in September of 2003.  Michelle ran two newsrooms there; the first was the TV newsroom at WBAL-TV and then she added the WBAL-AM (news/talk/sports station) to her duties in 2012. When she left Baltimore, Michelle had nearly the same number of direct reports as she does now at WXII.

Richard continues to work for KCI, a full-service engineering firm he worked for in Baltimore. Peyton (or Peanut as the family still calls her) is a freshman and a new Pi Phi at Auburn in Alabama.

My family has a special relationship with Jackson. My mom was his speech therapist for three years at Jefferson Elementary. I also worked in his classroom for two years just after I graduated college. I spent a lot of time at their house with Peyton and Jackson in the early 2000’s. Even at a young age you could tell that Peyton was going to be an excellent little sister to her very special brother. Jackson is one of the few people in the world that it is impossible for anybody not to like.

This is how I remember Jackson and Peyton, when I worked with them in the early 2000’s.

Winston-Salem Questions:

Which Winston-Salem streets have you lived on?
We first lived on Fox Hall Drive, then we moved just up the street to Green Valley Road, which is right off of Robinhood. This time, we are living on Fox Lake Court in Greenbrier Farms.

What are some of the reasons that you were excited to come back to Winston-Salem for a second time?
It’s a wonderfully easy place to live and at this natural transition time in our lives, it was a good fit. We also love being back at Wake Forest so often;  even though Richard is the only alumnus, it holds a special place in all of our hearts. And finally, good, good folks and a burgeoning and tasty food scene.

What different Winston-Salem schools did Jackson go to?
Jackson attended Old Town Elementary for one semester of Pre-K. He attended Jefferson Elementary starting in kindergarten. He went to Beck’s Baptist Church for after-school and summer care and loved both. He just started at ABC of NC in February and is loving it.


Who were some of Jackson’s favorite teachers in Winston-Salem?
Your mom (Barbara Callahan) was his absolute favorite the first time around.  Barbara was very important to Jackson and remains very special to all of us.  Richard and I always thought a lot of Jefferson principal Nora Baker.  The principal sets tempo for a school and we loved Jefferson. I’m not sure if Jackson has a favorite at ABC yet, but so far, everyone has made him feel welcome.

What are your favorite restaurants in Winston? What about Jackson’s favorites?
We all love The Honey Pot and Mozelle’s, both on 4th for a night out. The bar at River Birch Lodge is a family fave when we want a quick, quality bite. And I can’t forget Little Richards! I love to take job candidates and corporate visitors to Mary’s Diner to show off our quirckiness!
Jackson has a thing for the Fried Chicken and gravy at Mama Zoe Michael’s.  It’s where we head after church on Sundays.

Are you more of a Hanes Mall or Thruway fan?

Thruway.  It has a little of everything.

If you were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which would you choose: Moravian Sugar Cake, Bojangles Biscuits, or Krispy Kreme Doughnuts?
While all three are heavenly, I’ve been a Krispy Kreme girl my whole life!  Nothing like a hot, glazed. Selling them helped pay for my summer cheerleading camps so KKD has a special place in my heart.

What are some of Jackson’s favorite places to go in Winston-Salem?
Jackson loves Old Salem; he enjoys a Saturday morning at the farmer’s market and a pastry from Camino and then walking around the village and college. And it doesn’t matter if it’s an on-campus game (like Field Hockey) or Grove Stadium or the Joel, Jackson loves Wake Forest athletics and time on campus.

 What is your favorite North Carolina Beach? Does Jackson have a favorite thing to do at the beach?
We are all partial to the Outer Banks; Kitty Hawk is our favorite beach.  It is the family’s “happy place”! Jackson is a big body surfer. He is in the water from the time we get to the beach in the morning until we leave at dinner time.


Where is your favorite place to visit in the mountains of North Carolina?
We’ve not spent as much time in the mountains as we should have; the beach is more of our place. However, Grandfather Mountain is one of my favorites; it was a family destination when I was a kid!

 Who is your favorite ACC Team?
Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Richard is a 1989 grad; I’m class of 1991 (the year we got married). We also pull for NC State, since Richard completed his Engineering degree there in 1996, when Jackson was a year old. I have a great picture of him in red overalls and white shirt at his dad’s graduation.

Local Winston-Salem Difference Makers:Bobby Muuss

Winston-Salem doesn’t offer a professional team, but we have the next best thing with Wake Forest being in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The men’s soccer program (Team Website) is the most exciting and most successful men’s program currently at Wake. Bobby Muuss, a Long Island, NY native, was hired as the head coach of the program in January of 2015. In just one year, Muuss has the program back on top as one of the most successful collegiate programs in the country.

In just his first year, Muuss was honored as the ACC Coach of the Year (he won the award three times at the University of Denver). Wake was the number one team in the nation (NCAA DI) in the Rating Index Percentage (RPI) throughout the year. The team won the ACC Atlantic Division and went into the NCAA National Tournament as the number one overall seed. The Demon Deacons made it to the NCAA Elite Eight, where they lost in a 2-1 overtime battle to the eventual national champions from Stanford. Muuss finished his first season as head coach at Wake with an impressive 17-3-2 overall record. (Team Facebook Page)


Along with the quality of soccer on the field, Wake also brings an excellent fan base. These fans aren’t just WFU students, but there is also a large contingent from the Winston-Salem community, including “The Congregation” supporters club. Spry Stadium was regularly jam packed with fans, and the Demon Deacons led the country in attendance. They broke single season and single game records for the program during the 2015 season.

The 2015 season wasn’t the first go-round for Muuss as a coach at Wake Forest. After a successful playing career at Southern Connecticut State, Muuss was a four year assistant at the University of Connecticut. UCONN won the national championship in 2000, his final season working there. In 2001, Muuss was hired by Jay Vidovich as an assistant at Wake, and it was his first time to Winston-Salem. During his seven years as an assistant for WFU, Muuss helped the team to the 2006 Final Four.

He was hired as the head coach at the University of Denver in 2007, where he would remain for the next eight seasons. Muuss took the Pioneers to the NCAA Championships four times during his stint there. During his coaching career, he has now coached thirty-six players that have gone on to play professionally, including three from this past year’s Major League Soccer draft. Jack Harrison (Wake) was selected as the number one overall draft pick by the New York City Football Club. Michael Gamble (Wake) was selected by the New England Revolution, and Jordan Schweitzer (Denver) was selected by the Seattle Sounders. (2015 Season Highlight Video)

As well as coaching in Denver, Muuss also met his wife, Melodie, a Denver native. Along with his ten-year-old daughter (Camryn), Muuss now has a seventeen month old (Blayklee) and they are expecting a new-born boy next month.


Winston-Salem Questions:

What is the number one thing you missed about Winston while you were in Denver?
The sense of community that you get here in Winston. My wife had never been here before, and it was eye opening to her to see our crowds at games. Everything I did here during my time as an assistant was based around Wake. I love how the community embraces the program. When you do something, no matter how selfless you are, it is important to be appreciated. I am fortunate to be a part of this program. In Denver, we had strong programs, but we weren’t really embraced as a soccer program there. With all of the professional teams and it being such a big city, you don’t get the same sort of community feel as here. I am excited to see the program continue to grow.

Which Winston-Salem neighborhoods have you lived in?
We currently live off of Shattalon Road.

What are your top three Winston-Salem restaurants of all time?
The soccer coaching staff really likes The Village Tavern right near campus. My wife and I really enjoy going to The Porch downtown together. River Birch is another favorite, especially since it is really close to our house.

The team on a recent trip to the Estadio Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain
Are you more of a Hanes Mall or Thruway fan?
Thruway. We like just going there and walking up and down the strip.

Where is your favorite day trip outside of Winston?
To be honest, I haven’t had a bunch of time to get out. Melodie really enjoys going to Asheville and the mountains, since it feels closer to Denver. We also really enjoyed a trip to Blowing Rock.

If you were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which would you choose: Moravian sugar cookies, Bojangles biscuits, or Krispy Kreme doughnuts?
Bojangles biscuits. If you threw in an ultimate bacon biscuit from Biscuitville, I would be set for life.


Carolina Panthers or Denver Broncos?
Actually, the New York Giants. I love the Giants, but I support the Broncos. My wife is a huge fan of the Broncos, and I have to do what she tells me to do.



Byron Hill: Famous Winston-Salemites

Winston-Salem is one of the greatest small cities in the world. Famous Winston-Salemites will feature some accomplished people that lived in Winston-Salem and now have moved on to do great things. All of the questions will be about their time in the Twin City.
Byron Hill’s family moved to Winston-Salem in 1953. His mother was a public school teaching assistant and his father was a technical illustrator. In 1978, he moved to Nashville and became a ten-time American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) award winner and has thirty-two U.S. and Canadian top-ten chart hits. His songs have generated more than 700 recordings and seventy-seven Radio Industry Association of America (RIAA) gold and platinum awards.
Hill has written songs for eleven artists who have gone on to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame perform his songs. Performers of his songs have included artists like Ray Charles, Alabama, Brooks & Dunn,George Strait, Reba McEntire, George Jones, Randy Travis, Jason Aldean, and Kenny Rogers. His songs have been recorded by artists from twelve different countries over his four decades of writing music. Hill is currently a staff writer at Dan Hodges LLC and serves on the Board of Directors of the Nashville Songwriters Association International. He currently lives in Nashville and is married and has one daughter.
Follow Hill at his website: Below Hill answers questions about his time in Winston-Salem and his favorite things about our city:

Winston-Salem Questions:

When all have you lived in Winston-Salem?
I lived in Winston-Salem from 1953 until 1978. My family still lives there. I have three younger siblings.

Which Winston-Salem streets have you lived on?
As a very young child, we lived in Cloverdale Apartments, then moved to the South Fork area when I was 5. We lived on Kyle Road in Gordon Manor. After I returned from college at Appalachain State University, I lived on Sunset Blvd., Crafton Street, and West End.  My family remained in the South Fork area until the mid-1990’s. My mother now lives near Ardmore and I have a brother in Clemmons.


What different Winston-Salem schools did you go to?
South Fork Elementary, Southwest Junior High, and West Forsyth High School.

Who were your favorite teachers?
Many, but my sixth grade teacher was Mr. Richard Snyder and he encouraged me to be creative with my writing. My band teacher at Southwest was Richard Conklin. He was great. There were many others at junior high and high school…too many good ones to name.

What got you interested in music?
My father played guitar and I started playing when I was ten.  My influences were The Carter Family, Bluegrass, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and especially Kris Kristofferson. I started writing songs when I was sixteen.


Who all in your family are musicians?
Just my father. He played guitar and Harmonica


Where all did you have jobs in Winston-Salem?
My first job was mowing lawns and picking blackberries. Then I worked for Dr. Eubanks (a veterinarian in South Fork), at Club Haven Pharmacy, for O’Hanlon-Watson, at Baptist Hospital Pharmacy, a part-time job at Cheap Joe’s Jeans, a part-time job at a wine distributor, also Hanes Dye & Finishing (a summer job that turned into a year), Ridgetop Records, Hunter Publishing Company, and my favorite job was at Dixie Music Co. (where I taught guitar for 3 years before moving to Nashville).

What are your top three local Winston-Salem restaurants of all-time?
Way back it was Staley’s. A longtime fave has always been Vincenzo’s, and now my fave is West End Café.


What is your favorite place to go in Winston?
Downtown Fourth Street.

What is your favorite North Carolina Beach?
My family rarely went to the NC beaches, so I’ve never been an expert on where to go, but I really do like Southport and the Outer Banks in general.

Where is your favorite place in the mountains in North Carolina?
That would be the Boone/Blowing Rock area, but I also like Black Mountain.




Birth:A Father’s Perspective-My Birth

This is the story of giving birth from a father’s harebrained outlook. I have two wonderful children, McKinley and Hudson. My wife, Katie, did 99.9% of the birthing work. Here is the story of child-rearing from my point of view:

The History of My Birdbrain Birth Genetics

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree or in this case from the birth. I’m very lucky to have Rence and Barbara Callahan as parents. I have the best parents anyone could ask for in this world. Seriously. But in this case, my empty-head on the idea of birth came from one place: genetics. It didn’t come from my mom either; just my dad.

Just like Katie, my mom did 99.9 of the work on the birth of my sister, Lawren, and I. When I say work, I mean a nearly impossible endeavor. Pushing out a Callahan-sized head is no easy task!

On March 31, 1980, President Jimmy Carter deregulated the banking industry. Pink Floyd and Blondie had the top songs on the charts. The World Boxing Association Heavy-Weight Title between “Big” John Tate and Mike “Hercules” Weaver was fought that night. And Jay Callahan was born at Forsyth County Hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

I can’t claim to remember my birth, but I have heard stories over the years. Some of these stories might be somewhat embellished from my own imagination.

There was some rain and fog on the early spring day and it was a cool 63 degrees in Winston. My parents had just moved to Winston from the sprawling metropolis of Gastonia via Charlottesville, VA via West Virginia/Pennsylvania. Lawren was three and a half-years-old and chomping at the bit to have a little brother that would never-ever get on her nerves. My parents were living in the West End Neighborhood, where I would spend my entire childhood.

My dad really wanted my mom to hold off until April 1st to give birth. Not because April 1st is April Fool’s Day, even though that day would be fitting for my birthday. Instead, he wanted me to share a birthday with my grandfather, “Daddy Tut” Callahan. I can imagine him telling my mom she wasn’t ready to go to the hospital quite yet, and to not do any Lamaze breathes once she was at the hospital. “Just hold off a little while longer!” I made it to 9:00 pm, but my mom could not wait any longer.

Just like me, my dad is a huge sports fan. In 1980, you could watch boxing on regular television and you didn’t have to fork out a lot of money to watch on pay-per-view. Along with the Tate vs. Weaver fight, Larry Holmes and Sugar Ray Leonard also fought that night. There was no such thing as televisions in the hospital rooms back then, so you had to go out into the lobby to watch the tube.

There is a good chance that the doctor that delivered me also delivered you if you were born around the same time in Winston-Salem. My mom’s doctor, Dr. Harold Pollard, just so happened to be the father of my junior prom date, Nell. It was a little awkward going into the Pollard’s house to pick up Nell, knowing that her dad was the first person ever to see me. That is a different story.

I can picture the scenario. My dad trying to sneak back and forth from the birthing room to the lobby for the fight. Between rounds, he would go back to the room to ask my mom to slow down, and just hold-off a little while longer.

Tate was the current champion and the heavy favorite in the fight. Weaver was just a journey-man fighter and was much older and smaller than Tate. For the first eleven rounds, the champion had the edge. Each round my dad would sneak back out, and each round my mom would get a little closer to my birth.

I can picture my dad being stopped in the hallway by Dr. Pollard around round 12 and the doctor telling him that it was close to time. I can see my dad going back into the lobby to check-in on the fight one more time, before he had to stay in the room, and realizing I wasn’t going to make it until April 1st. I picture several people smoking in the lobby, and it having a very “Mad Men” feel.

The last round my dad witnessed was the 12th where things started to shift in the fight. Weaver miraculously started to take control, but my dad realized he had to get back to the room

As my mom pushed harder and harder, Weaver fought stronger and stronger against the champ. I can imagine that my dad was standing at the top of the bed, avoiding all of the things most guys don’t like to see during the birthing process as my mom continued her battle.  “Hercules” Weaver knew he had one last round to knockout the champion in the 15th and final round.

With just a minute left in the fight, Weaver hit Tate with a hard right and then a hard left as my mom pushed with all of her might. As Dr. Pollard reached his hands out to grab me, the champ “Big” John Tate had his back against the ropes. As my watermelon-sized noggin popped out, Weaver swung the hardest left hook of his life crushing the champ in his jaw and knocking him out and unconscious.

I can picture my dad and Weaver simultaneously throwing their fists up in the air in joy and disbelief. I can imagine Weaver dancing around the ring and my dad dancing around the hospital room. A new champ and a new Callahan!



Birth: A Father’s Perpective

This is the story of giving birth from a father’s harebrained outlook. I have two wonderful children, McKinley and Hudson. My wife, Katie, did 99.9% of the birthing work. Here is the story of child-rearing from my point of view:

Part I-The Pregnancy Stick (McKinley Edition)

Fathers have been going through the joy of finding out their significant others are pregnant since the beginning of the human race. Katie and I continued the time-honored exuberant tradition of finding out we were having a baby in late 2009.

The National Institute of Health states pregnancy tests started as early as 1350 B.C. The Ancient Egyptians urinated on wheat and barley seeds. If the wheat grew it meant there was a girl baby and if the barley grew they thought it was a boy. If neither grew, the Egyptians decided the woman wasn’t pregnant. Katie and I didn’t attempt the wheat and barley test.

In the Middle Ages, there were actually people known as piss-prophets that claimed they could diagnose different diseases and conditions like pregnancy by the color of a woman’s urine. If it was a “clear lemon color and cloudy on the surface,” they declared that you were pregnant. Katie and I did not use a piss-prophet.

During the 1920’s, doctors injected women’s urine into rats to test for pregnancy. If the woman wasn’t pregnant, there wouldn’t be a reaction by the rat. If she was pregnant, the rat would react like it was in heat. We didn’t inject Katie’s urine into any rats.

In the 1970’s, pregnancy tests first became available to be purchased and tried at home. The home pregnancy test allowed women to take the test in the privacy of their own residence, while taking an active role in their own health care. Katie and I went this route. In fact, Katie took several do-it-yourself pregnancy tests that winter of 2009.

Katie and I were married in October of 2008 and spent most of 2009 trying to get pregnant. There were ovulation calendars. There was rushing home because ovulation was at its highest rate. If Katie was having a Mittelschmerz, I knew I better get home to perform my duty. Ovulation felt more like matriculation to me as the year wore on.

Thanksgiving of 2009 had passed and Christmas was drawing closer and we had no luck so far. One day Katie called me home from work. We had tried some cheap, generic drug-store pregnancy tests in previous months, but they all came back with one negative line.

Katie rushed me into the bathroom of our old house in the Ardmore neighborhood of Winston-Salem. She spent the next three hours in that bathroom. Luckily, we had just renovated it from a very tiny bathroom to a much more spacious area, so she was more comfortable in her frenzied state of mind.

With shaky hands and tears in her eyes, Katie showed me the generic pregnancy stick. I looked at it, but I could only see one line. There was the possibility of a second line but it was very faint. Katie said, “No! There are definitely two lines there!” We went back and forth like this and then she took the other test in the box. It looked the same to me, and Katie now had her own doubts.

She sent me to get her a full glass of water and then to CVS to get another pregnancy test. While I was gone, Katie drank several glasses of water. I had no idea what box to get, so I ended up picking out one that showed pink for positive and blue for negative. I got home and Katie was ready to go. She went and tears swelled up her eyes when she saw the result. Unfortunately for me, I am color blind. I really could not tell if it was pink or blue.

After some more arguing about the color, I went back to the drug store. This time, I was too embarrassed to go back to CVS, so I went to Walgreen’s. I just started throwing different boxes into the basket. I am pretty sure there were boxes of all sorts including: First Response, Clearblue, E.P.T., UPS, DMX, KFC and many more.

When I got home, Katie tried them all. There was water chugging, peeing, water chugging, peeing, repeat. I am a bit of a germophobe, so having to repeatedly handle the pregnancy sticks made me a bit uncomfortable. Our bathroom sink counter was filled with tests of all different shapes and sizes. The good thing was they all showed two lines, or pink, or a plus sign and Katie was definitely pregnant.

That day Katie drank several gallons of water and either peed or cried it all out. We spent over a hundred dollars on pregnancy tests to prove that we would be having our first child. Less than nine months later, Katie gave birth to McKinley on August 22, 2010.

Next Edition: The Pregnancy Stick (Hudson Edition)