Monthly Archives: March 2015

Brevardian of the Week: Janet Benway!

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How long have you lived in Brevard and prompted you to move here?

I’ve lived here 20 years. My husband took early retirement and I applied to teach at Brevard College. I also have cousins in Pisgah Forest. We bought a house and then 3 months later Gerry was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died in December 1996. Brevard folks were so caring. We had five churches praying for us, including two black churches. I was so grateful to the community.

How did you express your gratitude to Brevard for caring?
With a radio spot on WSQL, and made a book called “At & About in Brevard” – sold at Highland Books

What other kinds of creative writing have you done in Brevard?
Memoirs, and I’m a member of Transylvania Writers Alliance. I also write poetry. And I taught creative writing at Brevard College, and now teach writing and reading at Schenck Job Corps.

What other organizations do you belong to? NAACP, formerly Human Relations Council, and NAMI-TA.

You seem to have a commitment to social justice. Where does that come from?  My ancestors, and religious background. I also write letters to editor, write monthly articles at Schenck, write on depression for NAMI. My goal is to use writing to help people.

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Brevardian of the Week: Nita McBrayer Porter!

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Spouse/children/grandchildren/pets/etc:  Frank/2 step-daughters, 1 son, 1 daughter. Dogs – Sammy & Ace.

Place of employment (what do you do & where?):  Retired Special Education Teacher (Rock Hill)

How did you first come to be involved in Brevard Little Theatre?   I acted in Rock Hill and I  wanted to continue acting.

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What shows are coming up at BLT?  Our next show, “How Does Your Garden Grow” opens tomorrow and runs for 3 weekends ending the Saturday before Easter.  We have auditions this weekend for “Moon Over Buffalo.”

Have you ever experienced a miracle?
Definitely.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?  I’m a displaced baby. I don’t meet a stranger.

What’s the naughtiest thing you ever did as a child? 
1. My sister and I would get $ out of  our mother’s pocketbook to go chase the ice truck or go buy candy at the store.
2. I still feel guilty about the time we skipped church.  Our parent’s never knew.

What’s an item (or items) you still have on your bucket list?  I think I want to travel around the U.S.

How do you like to spend your free time? With my husband

Ever had a brush with a celebrity?  Morgan Freeman came up to me and thanked me one night when I was an extra in a movie and a few days later Bill Clinton shook my hand.

What are you most proud of in your life?  My children

Tell a family nickname that you had. How did you get it?  Tape recorder.   When I was little I would repeat everything I heard.

Tell of a favorite memory about growing up.  I lived in a neighborhood and the children would all play together.

Name some popular hit songs from your youth.
I Wanna Hold Your Hand,  She loves me Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.

Who was your favorite singer or group while you were growing up?
Beatles

What was your first job ever?  I would chase my neighbors golf balls when I was eight.

Have you ever been skinny-dipping?  No, I’m a prude.

If you were to return to your youth, what would you do differently?
I would have recorded everything in a diary so I would be able to go down Memory Lane.

What other names did your parents consider naming you?
I was supposed to be Margaret Rose but my aunt convinced my parents to name me after my Dad’s mother who died when he was 4.  Her name was Juanita.  I’ve always felt more like rose.

What are you most thankful for?  My family

What would you say is your life’s motto?  Choose Joy.  I have a Joy Club.

What was your last home-cooked meal?  Frank cooks better than I do

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Brevardian of the Week: Tad Fogel!

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Spouse/children/pets: Sharyn Misenheimer Fogel (a Brevard native), four grown daughters, plus one step-daughter, and four grandchildren (ages six to thirteen)

How are you involved with the Friends of Ecusta Trail organization? I’m a member of the Board of the Friends of Ecusta Trail which is working to convert the currently unused rail line between Hendersonville & Brevard. There are currently 18 board members from the two counties of Henderson & Transylvania, with seven of us from Transylvania.

What is the likelihood that it will succeed and be made into a trail (Ecusta Trail)? We are very optimistic, yet still have much work to do. We have the support of both the national and state Rails to Trails Consortium and the challenges and issues we face here are no different from other locations. Even Abdington, Virginia (home of the well-known “Virginia Creeper Trail”) as well as Travelers Rest and the “Swamp Rabbit Trail” had many of the same issues we face here.

Tell us about your time working for WSQL years ago (when was that & what were your job duties?)
I came to Brevard in 1993 as Manager of the radio station when it changed from its original call letters of WPNF to WRAQ, the forerunner of WSQL. Don DeBiase was doing our mornings even back in those days! The company that owned the station was based out of Kentucky at the time and I stayed with them only about a year. After that, I joined WWNC Radio in Asheville prior to starting my promotional advertising business Fogel Advertising.

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At that time, was WSQL housed in the same building as today?  The local station when I managed it was located on East Main Street across from what is now the Chamber of Commerce. The building the station was in is now owned by local attorney Don Barton.

What advice do you have for people who have just moved to Brevard and want to become involved in the community?  Brevard is a very easy town to get a “jump start” of being involved. For business people, the obvious way is to make yourself known at Chamber of Commerce events, like Business After Hours. Downtown businesses naturally should get involved with the Heart of Brevard, in addition to the Chamber. Offer to serve on committees. People like to do business with people they know (it certainly worked for me).  Others, not involved with business, can offer to volunteer at the many local non-profits who are always looking for assistance.

Hobby-wise, which do you love more: hiking or camping?  I would actually have to add bicycling as a favorite hobby and rate camping, bicycling and hiking in that order.

What are your favorite spots to hike and camp in the Brevard area?  Most of my camping is usually within a 3 to 4 hour drive from Brevard. One of my favorites is Cades Cove over in the Smoky Mountain National Park. I also like Devil’s Fork, the South Carolina State Park on Lake Jocasee, Roan Mountain in Tennessee as well as the Army Corps of Engineer’s campgrounds on Lake Hartwell. Davidson River and Cascade Lake are obvious favorites which offer great R&R close to home.

Since I’ve taken up cycling, my hiking has taken a back seat with my time, but I love to do the “Exercise Trail” at Davidson River as well as Brevard’s bike and walking trails.

What has been the best long range bike tour you have ever taken?  It’s really hard to say, but I’ll always remember my first time in year 2004 on Cycle North Carolina’s “Mountains to the Coast” ride from Sparta to Oriental. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say the year CNC started here in Brevard in 2012 was my overall favorite. I’ve done the annual across the state ride now 11 years in a row!

Are there any things on your bucket list you want to do? (or places to visit?)  I still need to travel to Europe. I’ve been to many of our Caribbean Islands and Hawaii, but not abroad.

Tad Fogel Hall of Fame etching

Tad Fogel – South Carolina Broadcasters Radio & Television Hall of Fame etching

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?  I was inducted into the South Carolina Broadcasters’ Radio & Television Hall of Fame in 2010. It wasn’t for my “on-air” personality or my voice as some might think. It had to do with my community service and service to the broadcasting industry. I’m a past President of the South Carolina Broadcaster’s Association and did a lot of lobbying both in Columbia and Washington during the years I was active in the industry.
Ever had a brush with a celebrity?  Several former presidents, SC governors, entertainers and once got into a deep conversation with Dick Clark about music at a national broadcasters convention in Miami Beach.

Have you ever had a nickname (and how did you get it)?  “Tad” is my nickname which has stuck since the day I was born. My real name is Harry, as named for my paternal grandfather who died a year before I was born. My grandmother thought I looked like a “tadpole” when I was born. Funny thing, I used to get into fights as a youngster when people called me tadpole as I couldn’t handle it. Later in life, speaking with people from all over the country on the phone who didn’t know me, I’d usually say “no, it’s Tad like tadpole” to distinguish the difference between Ted, Todd or whatever they thought my name sounded like.

Where did you grow up?  Georgetown, South Carolina which is on the coast north of Charleston and just below Myrtle Beach.

Do you have any knowledge of the origins of your family name?  I’m pretty sure is German and over time was derived from Vogel. Fogel in German means “bird.”

Tad Fogel - TV news  broadcaster

Tad Fogel – TV news broadcaster

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?  From about the age of 12, I wanted to be a radio & TV announcer.

Name some popular hit songs from your youth.  It’s really hard to say as I had a lot of favorites as a teenage disc jockey. Growing up on the coast, I’d have to say many of the so-called Carolina Beach Music tunes would be included at the top. Songs by groups like the Four Tops, The Embers, General Johnson & Chairman of the Board, the Tams, etc.

What are some of your favorite songs or artists?  I’d still reflect on the above artists and include Patsy Cline, our Steep Canyon Rangers and I really like Rod Stewart’s The Motown Song.

What music do you like to listen to today? I run the gamut today with easy listening, the 50’s & 60’s tunes and the artists I named above.

What was your first job ever?  I started working weekends in radio at the age of 14 at WGTN in Georgetown, SC.

What was your most prized possession as a child?  A broadcast transmitter by Heathkit that I built.

Have you ever seen a UFO?  Nope! Like many people, thought I did once or twice, but soon realized it wasn’t.

Do you believe in love at first sight?  I can’t say I do, but I do admire attractive women (hope this doesn’t get me in trouble).

What other names did your parents consider naming you?  Have never heard of others. My father was overseas in the South Pacific during World War ll when I was born and didn’t get to see me until I was 13 months old. I was named Harry for his late father who died a year before I was born.

What’s the naughtiest thing you ever did as a child?  Do I really have to say? Along with a bunch of teenage kids, I threw rotten eggs at someone’s house one night.

Were you ever bullied in school?  I felt like I was by one kid in particular. Later in life we became pretty friendly with each other.

What’s the earliest memory you have of your childhood?  My 3rd birthday party, mainly because it was on a roll of family movies.

What are your dreams for the next year? Next 5 years?  To travel more!

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