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Stuart Weiss, Founder and CEO

Weiss began his publishing career almost 30 years ago after a brief career as a special education teacher. He served as sales manager of Travelhost of Denver before becoming associate publisher of Travelhost of Boulder and northern Colorado. Weiss relocated to the Triangle in the mid-1990s, where he took over the reins of Travelhost of the Triangle. In 2000, he founded Wakefield Plantation magazine, the precursor to Wake Living magazine.




Danielle Weiss, Associate Publisher









Chris Walker, Associate Publisher












Emma Catarino, Creative Director

Emma has more than 15 years experience in graphic design, including serving as a freelance designer, stationery designer, and creative director. She specializes in logo and magazine design. Emma spends her free time with her two adorable and spirited children. She likes live music, reading, spending time outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.







Joanna Childers, Editor









 Katie Wheeler, Advertising Consultant



About Us

Triad Living is a quarterly lifestyle magazine dedicated to covering the topics readers care about, from Hometown Stories and community spotlights to fashion, food, home interiors, and travel. The magazine, published by Weiss & Hughes Publishing Inc., is available via subscription or at one of several hundred newsstand locations throughout Alamance, Forsyth, and Guilford counties.

Weiss Creative Publishing Inc. also produces Wake Living, a quarterly lifestyle publication dedicated to covering life in Wake County; and Fifteen501, a quarterly lifestyle publication serving Chatham, Durham and Orange counties

Contact Us:

Have a question about the magazine?


Phone: (919) 870-1722


Publisher and CEO: Stuart Weiss

Associate Publisher: Danielle Weiss

Editor: Amber Watson

Creative Director: Pamela Varela

What’s so charming about the South?

Everything, it seems

by Thomas Smith


Southern charm. The words often are spoken with a kind of reverence. And the feeling they evoke is as pervasive as the air we breathe, and as elusive as a firefly on a summer night.


Mark Twain’s work reflects it. James Taylor’s songs glorify it. And Greg Smith and Steve Naifeh ran headlong into it and lived to tell the tale in “On a Street Called Easy, In a Cottage Called Joye.”


But what is this thing we call southern charm?


It’s learning from the time you’re old enough to talk that “yes, ma’am” and “no, sir” are not options when addressing elders. It’s Easter dresses, bowties and new Buster Brown shoes.


It’s chicken frying for Sunday dinner and banana puddin’ — not pudding — for dessert. It’s all-day singings and dinner on the ground. It’s visiting grandmamma and granddaddy’s house, because there’s no better place in the world to visit.


It’s a buggy ride along a shady lane under a canopy of oak trees, or the smell of honeysuckle in May and the taste of a crisp Rome apple in October. It’s homemade vegetable soup in the winter, Brunswick stew in the fall, and the heady steam from a lowcountry boil when the seafood’s fresh.


And it’s grits any time.


It’s sweet iced tea by the pitcher, biscuits and red-eye gravy, and thick slices of country ham rubbed with salt and brown sugar and cured in a smokehouse.


Southern charm resides in the architecture; it’s evident in the simple elegance of Charleston row houses and the elegant simplicity of cozy country cottages. It’s grand old houses with names like Banksia, Rosemary Hall and Let’s Pretend. It’s at home in the gables that overlook the neighborhood and on the porches that invite neighbors to stop and visit.


But it’s not only the pitch of a roof or the curve of an arch that gives us pause. That’s design. It’s an intangible something that stirs within that skin of wood and stone, brick and mortar; the remnants of our antebellum history combined with the best of the modern era.


Southern charm is not just a sense of place, but also a sense of the heart of a place.


It’s being able to walk downtown surrounded by tea olive, sage and bougainvillea instead of concrete, steel, and glass. It’s a place where flowers add character and trees are considered part of the streetscape.


Southern charm is band concerts in the summer and hayrides in the fall. It’s found in the pews of little white clapboard country churches and in the carillons of high-steeple churches. It’s as constant as revivals in the spring and tent meetings in the dog days of summer.


Southern charm is evident in our work and in our play; hands that coax the bounty from the earth while guiding a plow or creating art from clay on a potter’s wheel. The heart of the southland is in that bounty. The fruit of her soil feeds the body, while the fruit of her soul feeds the heart.


Just a taste of that bounty is heady stuff: Ragtime and jazz, bluegrass and country, Welty and Wolfe, O’Connor and Sandberg. It’s guitars and fiddles in the parlor, and horns and strings in the concert hall.


It’s watermelon on the Fourth of July, fresh corn on the cob right out of the field and sandwiches made with tomatoes so fresh that you have to eat them over the kitchen sink.


What is southern charm? That’s easy. It’s just a little taste of heaven here on Earth.


Thomas Smith, a native North Carolinian, is an award-winning writer, repor

Leaving a legacy

by Lora Songster


Have you ever tried to help someone connect a name and face by describing that person? Over the years, I’ve wondered how I would be described. Tall, blond, silly, serious, squinty-eyed, funny, that girl on the radio?


Although I’m still intrigued by this, earlier this year a greater, more powerful question began weighing on my heart. How will I be described when I’m gone? What is my legacy? It’s a question worth asking every day.


In May, my family attended the 20th anniversary of the McNair Foundation. My father was the first director of the foundation and was honored posthumously as part of the celebration. After the festivities came to a close, a gentleman came to my family and said, “No one ever had anything but nice things to say about Jim Songster.” These simple words held great power and gravity that night — and at this moment.


My previous concern with a physical description of me seems so superficial now. How could I possibly live my life so that I could be thought of as my father was, and is?


My dad had a brain injury in 1996, which took away his voice — both literally and figuratively. Through his lengthy hospital stay, people we knew and some we didn’t told stories about him and the difference he made in their lives. They regaled us with stories of him as a coach, brother, employer and educator. His love for his wife and children, his education, his faith, and his abnormally loud and infectious laugh topped the list.


The stories I loved best were the ones that he never would have told. The silent, clandestine works of a Good Samaritan were revealed in the visits, letters and tearful stories.


Before you think I have my father up for sainthood, let me say this: He was not perfect. It might best be reflected in a conversation a counselor was having with my ex-husband and me. She told me that my problem was that I put my dad on a pedestal, and that no man could ever measure up. My ex-husband quickly shot her down, explaining that my father was one of those magical men who do great things and who should be on a pedestal. Anyone who’s gone through marriage counseling knows what a seminal moment this was.


But the question remains. What will they say when I’m gone? In truth, I have made a lot of mistakes. I have hurt and disappointed people whom I love and respect. I have said and done things that I wish I could erase.


My faith believes in forgiveness and God’s infinite ability to erase that which I can’t. There’s a quote from an unknown author that I gravitate toward: “Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it; autograph your work with excellence.” Shouldn’t our self-portraits, then, be ones of kindness, love, charity and grace?


Although I’m married and use my husband’s last name, I remain Lora Songster professionally. Not only is the name a good fit for a radio host, but it’s also a daily reminder of who I am and whose legacy I represent.


How will I be described? My fervent hope is that it’s in a manner that will evoke swelling pride in my children.


Lora Songster can be heard from 5:30-9 a.m. each morning on WMAG. To learn more, visit

Triad area authors blend history, fiction

Profiles by Danielle Jackson


They write about what they love, whether it’s the world of historical fiction or the beauty of baseball. And they all do it locally.


There’s no shortage of published authors in the Triad. Here, we scratch the surface, talking with area writers about their inspirations, as well as how the region plays a role in the stories they tell.


LeAura Alderson and Jill Coleman

Their inspiration: Coleman, a certified personal trainer with more than seven years of personal training experience, is a group exercise coordinator for Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. Alderson is an investor and mother of two who was able to resolve her chronic back pain and reverse bone loss through exercise and resistance training. The duo’s decision to write the “My Gym Trainer” series of books evolved out of a desire to share with others what worked for them.


Their published works: Three books in the “My Gym Trainer” series have been published, with more than 30 titles planned. The books are designed to be fitness tools, with tips and information to empower readers to become their own knowledgeable personal trainers.


Local influence: Alderson and Coleman are both longtime Triad residents, and the models and gyms used in the book’s photos were of local people at local facilities.


Mark Cryan

His inspiration: Cryan’s mother was a librarian and a voracious reader and his father was a college professor, “so the house was always full of books,” says the Burlington resident. “I read ‘The Hobbit’ when I was in third grade, and I was completely hooked,” Cryan adds. “I still read constantly, although I’m now most likely to be reading John Grisham or some other thriller.”


His first and only published work: “Cradle of the Game: Baseball & Ballparks in North Carolina” was published in 2008. The book tells the story of baseball in the state, city by city, with travel information like hotels, restaurants, attractions, and historical information on the people, ballparks, and notable players who make North Carolina such a baseball hotbed.


Local influence: “The Triad is loaded with great baseball and has a history in the game that stretches back almost 100 years,” Cryan says. He has interviewed former players and managers like Jack McKeon, who lives in Elon, and Durham Bulls founder and Greensboro native Miles Wolff. Even Cryan himself is tied to the game, once serving as general manager of the Burlington Indians. “It’s one of the strongest baseball regions in the country,” he says.


Catharine Dowda

Her inspiration: Dowda, a licensed professional counselor in private practice who also frequently lectures on domestic violence and victimization, was raised in a verbal family “where expressing yourself effectively was expected and valued,” she says. Her father was an attorney and an inspiration whose own mother was a published author. “Four years ago, I lost my remarkable father and gained an amazing grandson,” she says. “Something about those experiences made me feel that it was time to fulfill my dream of writing the book I had in my head.”


Her first and only published work: “Invisible Scars: How To Stop, Change, Or End Psychological Abuse” was published in April 2009. “It’s a compassionate look at abusive behavior and the options we all have to deal with it,” Dowda says. “I’ve worked with abusive relationships for more than 30 years and have lived through some of my own, which are relayed in the pages of my book without identifying which situations were autobiographical. Each experience is shared to help illuminate and understand our similar circumstances.”


Local influence: Dowda moved to Greensboro 34 years ago after growing up in the Washington, D.C., area. Her work with victims of domestic violence locally provides the backdrop for most of the book’s stories. “I work with individuals and couples in the Triad who struggle with their relationships,” she says. “I am continually impressed by their courage, compassion and desire to make changes in their lives.”


Emily Herring Wilson

Her inspiration: As a child, Herring Wilson — a graduate of UNCG and Wake Forest University — was encouraged by her two grandmothers, one of whom gave her a leather journal for her poems and the other whose published short stories in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution “inspired me to want to see my name and words in print,” she says.


Her first published work: In the 1960s, a single short poem was published in The Pilot, a Southern Pines paper. Her first book of poems, “Down Zion’s Alley,” was published in 1972 by Drummer, a Winston-Salem literary press.


Her latest creation: Herring Wilson’s latest, “Becoming Elizabeth Lawrence: Discovered Letters of a Southern Gardener,” is her third book about Lawrence’s life and work. “These letters to a friend and mentor, Ann Preston Bridgers, amount to Lawrence’s ‘autobiography,’ mostly recording her youthful apprentice years in Raleigh in the 1930s and 1940s,” she says. The book was released by Winston-Salem publisher John F. Blair.


Local influence: Winston-Salem — and Wake Forest University in particular — have a great influence on the author, who’s lived there for the past 40 years. “It has given me many resources, friends, and opportunities to write and be part of caring communities,” Herring Wilson says.


Rhett Iseman Trull

Her inspiration: Greensboro resident Iseman Trull’s biggest inspiration has always been reading. “I read far more than I write,” she says, citing childhood books like “The Fox and the Hound,” “Where the Red Fern Grows” and “The Yearling” as longtime favorites. “All of my writing is an attempt to recapture the kind of feeling that runs through me when I’m struck by the power of words.”


Her first and only published work: “The Real Warnings,” a book of poetry, was published last fall by Anhinga Press. “The poems are about a variety of subjects — love lost, love found, superheroes, mental illness — but the overall theme that I hope comes across is that life, despite its suffering and heartache, is wonderful and that love is always worth the risks,” she says.


Local influence: “With a rich literary history and an active literary scene, the Triad is a wonderful place to be a writer,” Iseman Trull says. “I continue to be amazed by how many talented artists live here.”


Cameron Kent

His inspiration: Kent, a Wake Forest University graduate who still lives in Winston-Salem, grew up in a house filled with books. And while his seventh-grade English teacher encouraged his creative writing talents, it was his high school English teacher, Julie Wilson, who provided the springboard. “She provided both the tools to become a better writer and the inspiration by introducing me to Hemingway and Steinbeck,” he says. “My last book was dedicated to her as a way of saying thanks for bringing out the writer hidden in me.”


His first published work: “Make Me Disappear,” a young-adult novel, was published in 1994. “It’s a story about magic, specifically of a young boy who runs away to the land where everything goes when it disappears,” Kent says.


His latest creation: “The Road to Devotion,” a work of historical fiction set in North Carolina just before the Civil War, revolves around an unlikely friendship between a farm woman and a runaway slave. “More than anything, it’s about how I believe we should treat each other, starting with the realization that we all have much more in common than we do differences,” he says.


Local influence: Kent’s latest book is set in both Winston and Salem in 1860. “I wanted to incorporate as many local landmarks into the storyline as possible so that even though it’s fiction, the reader can genuinely believe that it could happen in our own back yard,” he says. “We have a rich history here, so it’s as enjoyable to research a historical novel set here as it is to write it.”


Drew Perry

His inspiration: Drew Perry didn’t always know that he wanted to be a writer. But after signing up for a creative writing course in college, the Greensboro resident inexplicably felt right at home. “It was in my second or third class that a teacher finally told me I’d better start reading if I was going to care about this kind of thing,” he says. Since cracking open a book, Perry has found inspiration in writers ranging from Raymond Carver and Flannery O’Connor to Rick Bass and Wendy Brenner.


His first and only published work: “This Is Just Exactly Like You,” his debut novel, was published by Viking last spring. “When I joke around, I say that it’s about karaoke and dogs and fire and mulch and putt-putt and partner-swapping,” Perry says. “All that’s true, but the more serious answer is that it’s about one man trying to figure out how to parent his autistic son and be a better husband.”


Local influence: The book is set in Greensboro and Gibsonville, as well as in a fictitious version of Elon. “I’ve lived here for almost 14 years, so this is what I know,” he says. “The Triad plays a huge part in my being able to imagine the things I write about.”


Alice E. Sink

Her inspiration: Sink, who teaches writing courses at High Point University, can’t remember a time in her life when she didn’t write. “My Aunt Mabel had published a few pieces, and I thought that was the most wonderful thing in the world,” she says. When she was accepted into UNCG’s MFA in Creative Writing program, Sink knew that’s where she belonged.


Her first published work: “The Christmas Phoenix” was published in 1977. “It’s out of print now, and when I see a copy online for an unbelievably expensive price, I’m amazed,” she says.


Her latest creation: “Hidden History of Hilton Head,” her fifth book, was published by The History Press in May. The book features everything from poems written by locals and songs that guided slaves to freedom to original photos and Lowcountry recipes. “It’s a lively array of historical tidbits and tales focusing on people, lifeways, believe-it-or-not snippets, and beloved local places,” Sink says.


Local influence: Research for her latest book reintroduced Sink to the region, “where I uncovered those out-of-the-ordinary historical truths that rarely appear in books,” she says.

Danielle Jackson is editor of Triad Living, Wake Living and Fifteen501 magazines.

Beautiful bathrooms

Today’s designs offer endless possibilities

by Martie Emory


A decidedly different place from the one where you washed behind your ears as a kid, today’s bathrooms are designed to calm, soothe and pamper. To that end, options for color, lighting, flooring and fixtures are more varied than ever, all geared to make your daily life a little less stressful — at least on the home front.


So whether you’re considering a total revamp of an older bathroom or you simply want to liven up what you already have with a few easy accents, don’t underestimate the power of the professional touch. An expert in bathroom design can help you achieve the results you want.


Hot trends

According to June DeLugas, interior designer and owner of June DeLugas Interiors Inc. in Clemmons, the trend today is actually an anti-trend.


“Traditional styles are in now more than ever,” she says, adding that natural materials like wood and glass are the most popular as sustainable products continue to dominate design.


“The anti-trend features white fixtures that are sleek and shiny and reflect good taste,” DeLugas notes.


According to Sherri Sarine of SSI Design Group Inc. in Greensboro, today’s master bathrooms also are larger and more lavish, with walk-in showers and his-and-hers vanities.


“Homes built in the early 1980s typically had one sink for the master bathroom and they were darker, smaller, utilitarian spaces,” she says.


At SSI Design Group, marble and granite countertops are client favorites. They’re also popular for clients of Schneider Stone Inc. in Greensboro.


“Granite has become more popular than ever,” says Amy Cronin, Schneider Stone’s interior designer. “I like to think of some granite as pieces of art, as every slab varies in color and intricacy.”


Keeping tubs and showers separate also is widely popular, as is combining materials like glass and chrome to achieve a stylish look. The same goes for blending hand-painted sinks with sparkling glass tile.


“People are mixing a lot of textures now, so you’re seeing a lot of stone mixed with glass,” says Amy Linville, president and owner of McCullough Tile & Stone in Winston-Salem.


“It’s no longer just porcelain and ceramic,” she adds. “People are finding that soothing element to add a spa-like feel to their bathrooms.”


For a spa-like retreat, opt for soothing ocean colors and mirrored tiles to add both light and space, or vault the ceiling to create a more expansive feel. Another favorite trend in today’s marketplace is a multi-jet shower system.


Cool hues

But before you launch an official remodeling project, consider which colors actually soothe you. What could you wake up to and feel refreshed and inspired? Linville is seeing softer greens and blues, while DeLugas suggests a neutral palette to offer flexibility in design. Keeping with neutral tones also is a plus if you’re planning to sell in the near future, as are timeless chrome fixtures that won’t date your bathroom decor down the road.


“Handpainted walls are an excellent way to personalize and warm up the space, and they’re more environmentally friendly than wallpaper,” says DeLugas, who has an artist on staff for such projects.


For something more on the artistic side, Faux Bella Inc. in Jamestown specializes in stencils, modelios, crystals and foils as artistic accents, as well as Venetian plasters and frescos.


“Intermingling foils and metallics with glazes and plasters can make for a beautiful combination,” says owner Aanessa Reeves, adding that her clients are on a mission to reflect their personalities when they remodel a bathroom using faux finishing.


Warm accents

Tile often is a key ingredient to making a statement in the bathroom, with a collage of colors, textures and patterns available to set the tone for the entire space. Chilly tile on bare feet no longer is a concern as electric warming has gained in popularity, both to eliminate a cold floor first thing in the morning and as an additional heat source.


“Consumers also are adding pebbles to the shower, adding a kind of massaging-type floor,” Linville says.


They’re also adding tile to more than just the shower.


“We’re seeing people put tile halfway up the walls,” she says. “It’s such easy maintenance that they’re going back to it. You don’t have to paint or anything. Just wipe it down and keep going.”


Lighting cannot be overlooked as another key element, particularly if you have recessed lighting. If you can look in the mirror but still not see yourself clearly, then you can easily install another type of lighting at your vanity area to combat shadows.


When it comes to relaxing, it might be time to think a little outside the tub. Larger spaces are seeing the addition of a chaise lounger for reading or at-home pedicures. Armoires also are making their way into spacious bath areas to provide extra storage and offer a cozier feel.


With the right mix of details and design, your newly remodeled bathroom can make you feel like you’re rising in a Four Star hotel every morning. Now that’s relaxing.


Martie Emory is a freelance writer based in Greensboro.

Wide open spaces

If you’re feeling cramped in your current bathroom, try these tips to make your small bath area appear larger and more open:


  • Think soft, light colors for the walls.
  • Save bold colors for accents, like towels, rugs and artwork.
  • If you’re adding wallpaper, then keep the pattern subtle.
  • Stay with light colors for the floor.
  • Replace a large vanity with a pedestal sink to open up an area.
  • Install a new window or skylight to increase the flow of natural light.
  • Eliminate clutter by adding cloth boxes or decorative baskets to hold counter essentials.

Unsightly scars

Treatment is key to minimizing their appearance

by Dr. H. Christopher Coley



Do you have a scar from a procedure or injury that you wish you could erase? Fortunately, with today’s technology there’s something you can do to prevent and minimize its appearance.


A scar is formed as a natural healing response to an injury. This healing process and scar remodeling can last for months. Depending upon the depth of injury, scars can be mild or severe. They vary in their characteristics, including shape, size and color.


Common types of unsightly scars include hypertrophic scars, stretch marks and keloids. Hypertrophic scars are those that are slightly wide, raised or thick in appearance. Typically, they’re confined to the original injured area and are formed by excess collagen formation. Stretch marks are caused by the stretching of the skin during pregnancy, bodybuilding or excess weight gain. Keloids are a type of hypertrophic scar that continue to grow outside the boundary of the original injury and can become large and unsightly.

Different areas of the body scar differently, with better scars occurring in areas where the skin is thin such as the face and neck. Areas where the skin is thicker, such as the back and trunk, generally scar worse. Genetics also can play a factor in scarring.


Minimizing scars

Surgical scars can be minimized in several ways. The key factors to help prevent surgical scars include delicate handling of tissue during repair, avoiding excess tension on the repair, and using proper technique and supplies. Removal of stitches and staples at the proper time also is important. Good wound care after the injury is just as important. It helps prevent infection, avoiding excess drying or moisture, limiting motion, and protecting the incision from the sun.


Some scars are inevitable due to circumstances surrounding the injury or condition. In some cases, incisions can be placed to help camouflage the scar in a natural skin fold. Other surgical techniques also can be used to minimize scarring.


To further minimize scarring, there is evidence that gentle compression through taping or a specialized bandage can aid in preventing hypertrophic scarring. Because hypertrophic scars essentially are excess inflammation and collagen, an injection with a steroid — a potent anti-inflammatory — or a topical steroid can prevent or correct a hypertrophic scar.


Other common scar remedies include topical antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. There are numerous other additives and home remedies that can help with scar formation as well. One of the best and well-known is silicone, which has been shown to prevent hypertrophic scars and improve the appearance of older scars. Two popular formulations available are Scarguard and Hybrisil, both of which are available by prescription.


Other ways to treat hypertrophic and unsightly scars include surgical excision or scar revision, laser resurfacing, and dermabrasion. Current research also suggests that there might be a role for radiation and treatment of severe hypertrophic scars and keloids with some potent medications and even chemotherapeutics.


If you have an unsightly scar, then obtain a consultation with a cosmetic surgeon to discuss your options.


Dr. H. Christopher Coley, board-certified and fellowship-trained in both cosmetic and hand surgery, is owner and chief surgeon of the Coley Cosmetic & Hand Surgery Center in Greensboro. To learn more, call (336) 617-8645 or visit