February/March 2022

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Anna-Rhesa Versola

My younger daughter celebrates her birthday on Valentine’s Day. Though it’s not a public holiday, it’s a sweet reminder to stop and show your affection to those whom you love.

On page 32, you’ll find a story about two couples who’ve each been together for more than a half-century. Larry Autry still looks at his wife, Avis Autry, with an adoring glow. They’ve been married for 64 years. Paul Messick Jr. and Sally Messick make a good team, each crediting the other for their happy partnership of 51 years.

Love is more than romance. David Eskelund and Kristi Eskelund’s family seems to have an endless supply of warmth for their large family and extensive network of friends. See inside their welcoming Siler City homestead on page 78.

For Harold P. Freeman, a sixth-generation descendant of one of Pittsboro’s earliest successful Black settlers, love of humanity calls him to explore his family’s ancestry and to apply what he learns to his own long career in oncology. Trace his family’s history on page 40.

Love is boundless for Terrence Foushee, an English teacher at Northwood High School, who was encouraged by one of his own high school teachers to tap into his passion for poetry. Read more about him on page 44.

Troy Ennis discovered his love of football as a Northwood High School freshman. Now the former linebacker’s goal to return to the team and one day play at the college level drives him to beat cancer. He is one of about 200 kids a year in the U.S. to be diagnosed with a rare bone cancer called Ewing sarcoma. Follow his inspirational journey on page 72.

We are past the winter solstice, and our days are getting longer. The promise of spring is not far, and love, in one form or another, springs eternal. – by Anna-Rhesa Versola


28 On The Road Again
A travel expert shares her picks for spring road trips

32 Everlasting Love
Two couples share their stories of how they met and their more than 50 years of marriage

40 The Legacy of Lewis Freeman
A descendant of a notable Chathamite reflects on race in America

44 The Write Stuff
A Pittsboro teacher waxes poetic in time for World Poetry Day on March 21

48 The Secret’s in the Sauce
A local family continues to grow its brand

54 Camp Out
Two local families check out an upscale camp option

58 Summer Camp Guide
There’s a camp in the Triangle for every kid’s interest from sports and science to art and engineering

72 Keeping His Eye on the Ball
A high school football player tackling cancer hopes to return to the field

78 Home is Where the Heart Is
Following tours around the world, a former military family settles down in Chatham


4 Letter from the Managing Editor

8 Five Events
Events in February and March you won’t want to miss

20 Noted

24 Who’s Who in Town & County Government
Meet Theresa Thomson, Pittsboro Planning Director

94 Here We Grow Again
Commercial real estate updates, plus a look at upcoming events

96 Wedding
Kennedy & Ottman


10 Chatham 250 Grand Finale
11 Women of Achievement Luncheon
12 Pittsboro Rotary Club’s Trike Rodeo
14 The Sycamore at Chatham Mills opening
16 Death Faire
18 Reindeer Run 5K

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