A New Podcast Today – Type Anchor.fm/stepheny-houghtlin

“The medium of podcasting and the personal nature of it, the relationship you build with your listeners and the relationship they have with you—they could be just sitting there, …

Hi Everyone: Stepheny here talking Main Street.…and the recording rolls on from there. This new endeavor has kept me busy learning as I go along. I am having trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time. I’m convinced that in order to keep a job at WordPress, the platform I use for my blogging, you must dream up “improvements.” These improvements make everything more difficult, take more time, and make me swear, and, feel cranky! There are enough crazy things happening in the world, that I’m already cranky with a capital, C.

When it comes to social media these days, I am torn because of the obvious political bias that is involved. Yet, I’ve lost count of the number of free courses I have taken through the Community Colleges across North Carolina that have Small Business Departments. This is an amazing opportunity I take advantage . I’m determined not to be left behind, Senior, though I may be. I select the classes that have to do with social media: Innagram, Facebook, Blogging, podcasting, videoing, the use Canva.com and more. I love it. It is addictive if you are a student at heart as I am. I’ll admit when no one’s around, I dance a little jig and say, “Stepheny, you did it!” My mentor and dear friend, Denise Watkins, has mastered it all. Look at her social media for Skyvue Skating. She will straighten me out if I hit a brick wall. When I begin to smile again, she says, “You go, girl!”

I understand your reluctance to learn new technology, but I encourage you nonetheless. When it comes to this decision to use social media, I think Hamlet sums up the dilemma nicely.

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them.

I invite you to subscribe to the 5-minute podcast where I weave storytelling and my point of view through another episode of Talking Main Street with Stepheny.

Listen on Wednesdays

A new episode of my podcast: Talking Main Street with Stepheny, is ready for you this Wednesday. Peter Pan is part of this story. You’ll have to listen in to find him on Main Street. I hope you will. If you enjoy these five minutes, please share with your friends on social media to help me build an audience. I have found I can say a lot in five minutes or less, about preservation, restoration, and repurposing. Storytelling and my point of view weave through each episode. I’ll be waiting for you on my Main Street bench.

Podcast – Episode #4 What Do You Do With a Problem?

Announcing the latest podcast. You know, the one that is published on Wednesdays but appears on Tuesday. I’m enjoying the learning curve, preparing for the episode, and recording it. I feel grown up now because the microphone I borrowed from my grandson-in law, is mine now. The best Mother’s Day gift! My “studio” is the kitchen table where my computer and mic sit. There are papers around me, maybe a book I plan to read from. It turns out you can say a lot in five minutes or less. Podcasting allows me to bring my style of storytelling to Main Street, which I hope adds to the on-going revitalization subject.

The goal is to attract followers who have an interest in the various subjects I include: preservation, restoration, and repurposing the architectural assets of Main Street and beyond. Politics, as it relates to Main Street, is discussed. In my determination, I talk about saving the boarded up shotgun and bungalow houses that continue to deteriorate. What about the houses people are living in that are in deplorable condition? You find these ignored assests in Wards 1-4. They are significant in Rocky Mount’s story, an answer to our housing needs.

Please share this blog post with friends to let them know I’m waiting for everyone on my downtown Bench talking Main Street. Enjoy!

https://Anchor,fm/Stepheny-Houghtlin

New Podcast Today: Talking Main Street With Stepheny #3

JOIN ME

Inviting you to listen to the latest Podcast (under five minutes.) It has been an up-hill learning curve but I’m determined. Looking at the audio track after recording, the blue up and down lines with spaces reminds me of life in general… Sailing along, singing a happy tune, and then that pause when you have forgotten that your glasses are on your head, or standing in front of the open refrigerator forgetting what you needed. You get my point. Each podcast is about Main Street with some storytelling, reflection, and enthusiasm thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!

Episode #14: Listening to Armand Gamache and the Choices We All Must Make Talking Main Street With Stepheny

Once again Stepheny's reading life influences her approach to the 5-minute podcast, Talking Main Street with Stepheny. She suggests an independent watch dog committee over the $1.4 million Hud grant coming Rocky Mount's way. She begins with a  conversation in a mystery novel about making choices. President Reagan makes an appearance as does Shelby Steele, Sr. Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institute. Implicit in Stepheny's view is living together in peace and harmony and love with our brother's and sister's who deserve safe housing and safe neighborhoods. 
  1. Episode #14: Listening to Armand Gamache and the Choices We All Must Make
  2. Episode 13: If only Planting a Tree Were Enough
  3. Episode 12: The Bungalows of Rocky Mount – Another Architectural Asset That Needs Advocates
  4. Episode 11: Celebrating the 4th of July With Patriotic Hearts
  5. Episode 10 – $1.4 million – Grant Money From HUD

Dodge City Steakhouse In Rocky Mount

Reese Clay, Mgr. of Dodge City Steakhouse (Stepheny Making a New Friend)

Rocky Mount has a relatively new notch on its belt when it comes to a fun restaurant, good food, great staff. I took myself off to a late lunch not too long ago. I’d been told about Dodge City at 1457 Benvenue Rd. in Cobb Corners.  I’ve been back! Dodge City Steakhouse isn’t on Main Street but it is a welcomed addition to the  food scene that people are seeking out as locals and ‘come to town’ folks.

Reese Clay started in the food business in 2009 and is now Dodge City’s ambassador. She may be their greatest asset who has a mission. She loves to see her customers smile, she loves her staff, she loves the food, of course, Rib Eyes and a New York Strip. (I tried a hamburger on my first visit and there is plenty more to choose from.)

The restaurant is now in-dining at 75% capacity. The interior is spacious, the staff reflects Reese Clay’s determination that customers feel welcomed, are provided good service, and leave with a smile. Of course, children and families fit right in.  They are in the process of implementing curbside service, but you’ll have to check on that. 252-442-3824

Reese Clay has her cheer-leading outfit on when it comes to Rocky Mount and the Dodge City customers. It is a lot to say grace over but she and the staff have things running like “a well-oiled machine.” Have fun, eat well, and think of me over a glass of Sweet Tea.

Annoucing Stepheny’s New 5 Minute Audio Podcasts – Talking Main Street

Hi Everyone: Stepheny here with a new podcast – Talking Main Street.

Published Every Week on Wednesdays

Below is a brief blurb about the series.

Enjoy 5-minute episodes with Stepheny Houghtlin who brings her storytelling style to Main Street. The backdrop for this podcast series is preservation that saves commercial and residential architecture. It is about honoring the history, people, and sense of place that is singularly unique to every Main Street. With a bit of straight talk, nostalgia, and reminiscing, Stepheny is waiting for you on her bench in downtown Rocky Mount, NC

Click Here For Episode 1:https://anchor.fm/stepheny-houghtlin/episodes/Talking-Main-Street-With-Stepheny—Episode-1-ev7s79

The Gift Of Main Street

“If you know the art of finding some things in a quiet empty street, then you know the art of happiness!” Mehmet Murat ildan

On the last day of March, late afternoon, after more rain, I headed for Main Street with my new I-phone camera. At this time of day, the 100 block on both sides of Main Street, was a time of quiet and happiness. The reason: The commercial architecture! Below you see a photo of Main Street, Pella, Iowa. Settled by Dutch immigrants in 1847, it is a top 10 Main Street in Iowa. How can you not love these facades? The commercial architecture shown here is a 1st cousin to our own Main Street architecture. Take a few quiet moments and walk with me to find some things you have not noticed. Preserved, restored, repurposed, there will be no better Main Street in Eastern Carolina.

The commercial facades on the Nash side of Main Street starting with Virginia’s on the corner of Sunset and Main in the Kress building. Pull that metal off the front to restore it to its original facade. I love this red brick, great windows. Stroll with me and admire these buildings.

Crossing to the Edgecombe side of Main Street there is more to admire. Let’s look up at the Davis Furniture building and keep walking. Your eye will begin to recognize the original building, what has been added that detracts. In the 100 block of Main on both sides of the street we have a treasure of commercial buildings to save, restore, and repurpose in the on-going revitalization of Main Street. With eyes to see, you will renew your admiration and become a preservationist at heart, feeling protective, energized, and determined to be a voice that sees that no further deterioration is allowed. If you are looking for a group of like-mined people, join Preservation Rocky Mount for a single membership-$20.00. With new leadership, focus and a plan, preservation now needs you; your creativity, energy and ideas. Rocky Mount needs a preservation organization that is respected, counted on, and everyone wants to join. Take a walk downtown and these buildings will speak to you as they do to me. It takes all of us to listen and act.

It Must Have Been Moon-glow

The end of this lovely afternoon gave us a full moon. I stood looking up and could hear Tony Bennett and KJ Lang singing a duet: It Must Have Been Moon-Glow. (Click on link) With small screens propped below partially opened windows, I could hear the birds in full chorus. I didn’t venture out until 2:30 this afternoon to find Redbuds wandering through the tree line. Even the Dogwoods will be in time for Easter. Without a haircut appointment, I would have missed the roadside along Highway 64, which confirmed Spring has arrived.

I’m not sure why Moon-glow and flowering trees on March 26th, has me writing this piece rather than a post on saving our housing, the neighborhoods, believing! There is another Main Street Facebook page to create, and a third novel I can’t seem to write, ‘The End.’ Not today.

This is what I found when getting out of the car before my haircut. I had to take this photo even if it made me late. What a sight. A day that started with birdsong, the flowering under-story woodland trees along the roadside, the sight of these pear trees, and Moon-Glow; quite a day. I hope to recall today when the news of the day makes me crazy, when I swear while watching a City Council meeting streaming live, when I forget what is important and what isn’t. I wish for you a Spring you do not miss.

The Houghtlin Garden

Rocky Mount’s Neighborhoods Should Be Places Remembered with love

The Houghtlin Garden is in some state of disrepair, like the shotgun and bungalow houses spread across Wards 1-4. My garden needs the same attention, passion, and investment. There is a similarity in my mind between the love I feel when I get out of my car to take photographs and the look of my garden this Spring. Regardless of the state of a shotgun house, I always see the significance of this American architecture, what it once was, and can be again. There are the bungalows filled with stories and architectural details. I see the garden in the same way. Spring flowering has taken over and ignores the fact that there is work to be done. I’m not good lifting 40-pounds bags of mulch anymore, but I can drag it on a tarp; a reality check that I can’t work as long or as hard as I once did. All I can say further about that is – damn!

“The old woman paid no attention to the camellia until that morning, when a fleck of pink caught her eye. The single saucer-size blossom was more magnificent than she could ever have imagined. More beautiful than any rose she’d ever seen, it swayed in the morning breeze with such an air of royalty, the old woman felt the urge to curtsey in its presence.”
― Sarah Jio, The Last Camellia

Camellias prefer a position that is in dappled or full shade. An area that gets morning shade is best as direct sun in the morning can dry out too quickly the developing flower buds. Camellias are woodland plants and do not cope well in a sunny, south facing spot. The neglected housing situation has nothing to do with where they are, but who the head gardener is or has been on the City Council. It isn’t fair to say, nothing has been done, just not enough. New leadership with the will to see it through, who welcome investment, who cares about the quality of life available to the people in their Wards, that’s what is needed. This housing saved, and restored will be filled with work force, retired, senior citizens, first time home buyers, singles, young professionals, fireman, nurses, policeman, and kids on their bikes.

Seeing the pear trees a blaze, driving through the historical districts of Rocky Mount, I am filled with nostalgic for home, for my youth, for the remembrance of things. Wherever you are, take my hand and think about what you would write this spring about gardens, riding your bike through a safe neighborhood and each home along your way that you still remember. Rocky Mount neighborhoods must become places to grow up in, or grow old in, that will be rememberd with love.

“Memory in these incomparable streets, in mosaics of pain and sweetness, was clear to me now, a unity at last. I remembered small and unimportant things from the past: the whispers of roommates during thunderstorms, the smell of brass polish on my fingertips, the first swim at Folly Beach in April, lightning over the Atlantic, shelling oysters at Bowen’s Island during a rare Carolina snowstorm, pigeons strutting across the graveyard at St. Philip’s, lawyers moving out of their offices to lunch on Broad Street, the darkness of reveille on cold winter mornings, regattas, the flash of bagpipers’ tartans passing in review, blue herons on the marshes, the pressure of the chinstrap on my shako, brotherhood, shad roe at Henry’s, camellias floating above water in a porcelain bowl.” Author: Pat Conroy