Author: KC Smith

Cooleemee Egg Hunt Fun for All Despite the Rain

(L to R) Mayor Jessica Almond, Commissioner Jeannie Taylor, Helen Daywalt, Town Clerk Aaron Thies

Cooleemee’s Easter egg hunt on Saturday, April 8th, was cold, rainy, and wet. Understandably, many children stayed home where it
was warm and dry, but the ones who were brave enough to show up had a great time. Umbrellas came in handy for collecting the egg shells after goodies were found inside.

The egg hunt was divided into three age groups, and each had three special eggs with winning tickets inside. Easter baskets filled
with goodies and prizes were handed to all winners. Peter Rabbit was there to have pictures taken with the children, who were happy to see him.

One little guy took his hat off, and Peter Rabbit tossed an egg inside for a treat. After saying to the boy, “Wow, you have so many potatoes in your bucket!” he said, “They are not potatoes!” “Well, then, what are they?” “They are eggs!” Without a doubt, each kid knew why they were there. . . To find and collect as many eggs as they could! Each and everyone left with smiles, including the parents, because their children had such fun.

Grimes Parker Basketball Camp

After a two year COVID hiatus, it felt great to be back on the courts for the Grimes Parker Basketball Camp. Approximately 25 campers participated with about 10 no shows. The camp was held for 3 days, June 14th – 16th. Times were held from 9:00 till 12:00 with a 10 minute break in between.

Compared to past years of the camp, the days and times were scaled down including receiving a basketball, t-shirt and a backpack this year. Changes were made but the quality of the coaching and teachings remained the same, which is the main element of a good basketball camp.

Having different coaches each day gave the campers different styles of learning the same basics of the game. Parker’s family is in full support of the camp and their presence each day makes a huge difference. The coaches has have solidified their devotion to the annual event by saying they will always be there to keep the important camp going.

A big thank you goes out to Russell Hilton for his unending support of the gym and making sure things run smoothly. Shelia Taylor and other volunteers helping with checking in the camper and organizing the snacks each day are an integral part of the day. Jan Coleman never fails to be there each year to manage the restrooms and things must always run smoothly because she never asks for anything.

To all the other volunteers, your presence is appreciated and we want to thank you for taking the time out of your day to be there.

Feel free to contact me by 336-250-1133 or

2022 Cooleemee Duck Race

The annual Duck Race was held on Saturday, August 6th, 2022. Attendance seemed to be down a bit compared to past years, but enough tickets were sold to fill up the tractor bucket.

The three winners were: Tom Comadoll first place, Zachary Baker bought the last ticket and won second place and third place was won by Tom Coleman.

There is some discussion about moving the Duck Race next year to July 4th weekend. No final plans have been made as of yet.

The weather was warm and as usual after the race was completed, a thunderstorm makes its presence. What a great way to take the edge off the high temperatures.

Last Day of School

The fifth graders at Cooleemee School were honored with a grand walk through of students on both sides of the walkway, who were clapping, cheering, blowing horns, bubbles were floating in the air, special posters were held high with shouts of goodbyes to the end.

Cooleemee Elementary fifth grade students celebrate moving on to middle school on the last day of school in Davie County North Carolina.

The last day of school is filled with mixed emotions that can lead to tears and many hugs. Ms. Tatum praised her 4th grade by saying it was the best year ever. “This was a great good of kids, they worked very hard, test scores were great, so I’m very proud of their work.”

Cooleemee Elementary fifth grade students celebrate moving on to middle school on the last day of school in Davie County North Carolina. Group of students and teachers hugs.

The music director, Erin Penley, had a great year. During COVID, she was forced to push around a cart to the classes, so this year the students were excited they could go to her classroom, which meant they could do more with less limitations.

Group of sad Cooleemee Elementary students hold signs wishing fifth grade students a great year in middle school next year as they leave Cooleemee Elementary.

Principal, Angie Burgess, said the staff decided at the beginning of the school year they would focus on a school mission: Creating excellence for students. Every student received a packet of Marigold seeds which encouraged being positive and helping them find their positive self and to be a Marigold to everyone.

Cooleemee Elementary teachers and staff wave goodbye to students on the last day of school outside the building.

If the student became negative or discouraged the unopened seed packet would remind them of their ‘why’. The teachers stayed focus on their students because they are their ‘why’. As the end of school was approaching, attendance increased with reduction of COVID numbers, growth occurred in social, behavioral, emotional areas and academics.

Students hug on the last day of school in Cooleemee North Carolina.

Burgess is excited about where they were ending the year.

Ole Time Christmas 2021

How good it felt to hear the squeaky screen door of the Zachary House as kindergarten children from Cooleemee School entered to hear Christmas stories of long ago. December 3rd 2021, four classes enjoyed the Ole Time Christmas teachings sponsored by the CHA (Cooleemee Historical Association.)

This annual event is scheduled each year, but with the restrictions of COVID, several events were cancelled in the past few years so having the opportunity to begin again was good. The four classes were split up into two groups. Buses aren’t needed for transport to Church Street because it’s only about 2 blocks away with safety walking on the sidewalk.

The students were greeted with a warm welcome before starting their tour and were given a brief overview of what to expect during their visit. Antique toys were on display upstairs and they were allowed to gently touch and play with them. The young children were shocked to hear toys 100 years ago didn’t have batteries and that children their age had very few toys at all.

Oranges were very hard to come by in those days so it was very special to find one on Christmas morning as a gift. Nuts and additional candies were extra special. The cedar tree stood tall and grand as each child hung their handmade ornament and threw real pieces of cotton on the tree to resemble snow.

They were told their decorations made the tree very beautiful. The kindergarteners learned most households went into the woods to cut down a cedar tree for their families Christmas tree and drug it home. One child spoke up and said, “you could lay it down in the back’” they quickly learned they had to drag it home because they didn’t have a car. There was silence by all.

Bonnie Byerly taught the children how to roll an orange around on a table to make it juicy inside and then cut a hole in the side. By putting a peppermint stick in the hole you’ve made yourself a fresh homemade juice drink.

On their walk back to school, each carried a ‘poke’ with an orange, peppermint stick and candy inside. The CHA enjoys teaching children what it was like a long time ago in Cooleemee. Christmas time was a lot different back then. Young and old may not have had a lot but what they did have was enough to be happy sitting at a table having Christmas breakfast together.

May we all find time to enjoy special moments that money can’t buy like cutting a hole in an orange for a friend or family member, then hand them a peppermint stick for the straw.

Feel free to contact me at or call, 336-250-1133. I would love to hear from you.

Fall Festival Memories!

On Saturday, October 30th, Cooleemee’s annual Fall Festival was sponsored by First Baptist Church, Edgewood Baptist, Heritage Hardware Store, TLC Grooming and Davie Discount Drug.

 The aroma of chicken stew and hotdogs with fixings swirled around and pulled many in for a bite. 

All kinds of characters from popular movies were around- plus witches, kangaroos, little bugs and more. 

Everyone likes their pictures made and especially when they want to show off their costumes.   Young and older ones love to step into something they made or bought and have fun pretending to be someone else, just for a night of fun. 

The weather was perfect for being out and about and I hope there weren’t to many upset stomachs this morning from eating too much candy. Good memories were made by all!

2021 RiverPark Duck Race

RiverPark’s annual Duck Race was held August 14, 2021.  It was hot, humid and the South Yadkin River was cold.  Those three things are a great combination for summer weather and having fun at the “Bull Hole.”  

Tiny babies were cuddled up to their mom in the shade sleeping away. Dog’s paws were cooled off in the trickling waters while some cooled off at the falls.

Kids naturally know how to do it for sure.  Some rode the rapids on an inner tube, and others used their bodies: some slid down the bedrock on their backs, stomachs or bottoms, but either way, it was fun.

This year in the spring the flooding waters changed the landscape again to the sandy beach area.  A steep embankment was formed to the edge of the water.  Most kids love it for they roll like a ball down the hill and do a quick wash off in the water.

Hamburgers, hotdogs, ice cream and drinks were available at the shelter. One thousand ducks were sold and all proceeds go to maintain a clean, safe environment for all to come and enjoy.

Please contact me at I would love to hear from you.

Independence Day in Cooleemee

 Cooleemee’s July 4th parade was celebrated Monday, July 5th, 2021.   The sidewalk was filled with spectators filled with anticipation for candy to fill pockets of loved ones. 

 Floats were filled with children, adults and golf carts toted families and friends. Many antique cars were on display shinning like brand new ones right off the lot.

Ones of Cooleemee’s masters, Jack Jerome, rode his lawnmower while decked out in celebration.  He just might be the oldest master in Cooleemee.

 Ann Miller Spry was sitting with grandson Zach. He shouted “Amen” when the camera clicked.  No doubt they were having fun! 

Teachers of summer school took time out to enjoy the festivities too.

Commissioner Jeannie Taylor was handing out arms full of frozen chilly willies, Daphne Beck proved she could blow bubbles while handing out watermelon and the hotdog line was long but no one complained about the wait.

 The slip n’ slide is always a big hit and tiny ones up to Cooleemee’s fire chief went down the slide.  It was very hot so getting wet was enjoyed by all.

See All the Pics

2021 Cooleemee 4th of July - Lawn Mower Parade

Contact the Author

Feel free to contact KC Smith at or call 336-250-1133- she would love to hear from you!

Zachary House Improvements

Zachary House Improvements

 Growing up in Cooleemee was like living in a gated community without the fence surrounding the entire three-mile radius of the town.  Erwin Mills took good care of us.  They built us a pool, a movie theater; we had a doctor, dentist, drugstore, Barbour shop, gasoline station and more.  All the homes were rented but then they eventually allowed residents to become homeowners. 

 Many industries that created a cluster of homes used a lot of fencing though and one that had been most talked about in our town was the fencing that encompassed the recreation center.

Outsiders that would come to visit the town would often make comments about the fence surrounding the beautiful Zachary House, as it was an eye sore, looked institutional or like a prison.

It was easy to get used to it living here, it had always been there and we had so many other things going on that it wasn’t noticed or even a bother.

Some people like change and others don’t like change at all.

Over the years the town board has had discussions about taking the fence down.  Their decision to do so was unanimous and the Cooleemee Historical Association was consulted. 

Once the fence was taken down the first thing I noticed was how stately the Zachary House presented itself.  The beautiful structure sits at the top of the hill still presiding over the town. 

 Town Hall’s office is located on the right side of the building with a separate entrance.   

The annual Easter Egg Hunt is scheduled for March 27th, starting at 10:00 am.

Hope everyone can some out to celebrate the new spring season.

Feel free to contact me at or 336.250.1133, would love to hear from you. 

Wooden Sculptures Put Cooleemee On The Map

Wooden Sculptures Put Cooleemee On The Map

Jeff Hursey runs a successful heating and air conditioning business in Davie County and those who know him would say he is a soft-spoken guy.  I’ve never known Hursey to cause a ruckus about anything but his name has been spread all over the country and everyone is talking. 

 Last year is when it got started.  People were calling the 911 emergency call to say they just saw Big Foot.  When the dispatcher asked if they were on Pine Ridge Road they were told their call was one of many.

That was the start of a viral reaction on Facebook when a picture of Hurseys’s hand-carved Big Foot was posted and created national news all the way to Anchorage Alaska.

By owning a sawmill Hursey has always messed around carving stumps like owls, hobbit houses or small bears but he had never done anything big.

He saw a concrete bear near Dobson on the side of the road and it gave him the idea to carve one but bigger.

The Big Foot stump measured nine feet from the bottom to the top.  He had tacks for his eyes and they were covered with red reflective tape.  Drivers passing by at night surely got an unexpected surprise.

He admits it took him a while practicing to turn something out that looked decent.  Using a smaller saw with different tips helps create the details he needs. 

Not a lot of planning prepares him for the next project, he uses what he has on hand and once he gets in his mind what he thinks he can do with it, he goes for it.

Sometimes he burns the wood for accents and often preserves the wood with used oil.

The Flintstone car he made looks like an exact replica.  Not everything he does is chainsaw carving but more sculpture. 

Last September I drove by the site not knowing about the national interest and I was quite alarmed when I saw a huge spider with legs stretched over the split rail fence with orange fangs.   He was looking right at me and it gave me the sense he was coming straight toward me.  A big web was hanging behind his back.

Hursey had a lot of slabs lying around and decided to build a giant.  Og the Giant is 20 feet tall from his head to his bottom and another 20 feet for his legs and feet. His broad shoulders, long arms, big feet, and hands have a good proportioned scale.

Positioned between two strong pine trees for increased stability and strength he appears to have been strolling through the pine trees and decided to have a sit-down.  With his left arm resting casually on his leg it poses a calm demeanor about him and he would welcome a chat. 

Evergreen branches were used to create his hair and beard and the now aged brown tones make it more lifelike.  Many people who stop by to visit the site like to climb the stairs inside Og the Giant so they can put their face in the hole of his mouth for a picture.

Hursey’s wife Rebecca suggested he call the giant Og because it made her think of the giant in the bible, Og king of Bashan; his bed was 9 cubic feet by 4 cubic feet.

 A large new structure was facing the setting sun and when I walked around I couldn’t help but get excited about what the finished structure will look like

A thirty-five by forty-three-foot pirate ship is now in the making.  Inside the hull will be a picnic table, portholes to look through and who knows what else Hursey’s creative mind will conjure up.   Embellishing the entire structure with flags and all pirate paraphernalia will for sure be a showstopper.

When you combine a creative mind with resources like strong hands, a sawmill, a chain saw, and mostly wooded acreage, there’s bound to be more to come in the future. 

 Hursey says, “I’m doing while I can.  I’m able to do it but when I get the notion to stop, I’m done, I won’t do it anymore.”

A gate is located at the entrance but Hursey welcomes visitors to get out and walk around to take pictures.  A bench is located at the information area that displays a small fraction of articles from different states.

Who knew a Big Foot creature carved from a stump could create such a ruckus and excitement.  Thank you Hursey for putting Cooleemee on the map. 

Feel free to contact the author of this post, KC Smith, at 336-250-1133 or EMAIL.

A Gallery of Jeff Hursey’s Creations