Author: KC Smith

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 cooleemeenews@gmail.com. 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 cooleemeenews@gmail.com 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 www.cooleemeenews@gmail.com 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

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