Spring 2015

Bill and Marianna BaileyBill and Marianna Bailey

William Raymond Bailey and Marianna Hines Bailey were both born in Mount Airy, North Carolina – Marianna on November 5, 1932 and Bill on September 10,1931. The Baileys have three children Tom, Lynn and Nan and four grandchildren.

Bill and Marianna both describe their childhood as carefree. Both his maternal and paternal grandparents, Will and Ella Mae Monday, and George and Eva Bailey raised Bill. Bill has one younger half-brother, Van Brown. Bill grew up on North Main Street in Mount Airy; three blocks away Stella Parker Hines and James Madison Hines raised their two daughters Alma, 14 years older than their youngest daughter, Marianna. Marianna describes her older sister, who has passed, as a second mother. Bills father worked for the quarry in Mount Airy described as the largest in the US. He did all the drawings and preliminary designs for the quarry that were used to cut and assemble the stone for various municipal constructions. He was on sites for assembly as far away as Chicago.

Marianna’s father was a contractor who built houses all over Mount Airy. He built the brick home where she grew up before she was born. He also built the first shopping center in Mount Airy. Bill and Marianna were high school sweethearts. They were married April 30,1949. Memorable because Marianna was 16, Bill 17 - both underage to marry when they eloped in Spartanburg…with forged birth certificates. There is a wonderful story of the scheme to change the birth certificates, a telegram coming post-nuptials questioning their birthdates, a loyal friend that received that telegram and the secret of their marriage - the friends that traveled to Spartanburg with them didn’t know - and neither did Bill and Marianna’s families. The secret was kept for months afterwards.

Bill shared this story from the 1930s on religion and his families, the Baileys and Mondays. After he was about six years old, Bill went with his Grandpa Bailey to the Catholic Church on Wednesday night, then to the Baptist Church with his Grandpa Monday. With Grandma Bailey, he attended the Episcopal Church on Sunday. On the Methodist side he went to church to meet girls; Marianna was a Methodist. Bill was covered on religion and at the Methodist church he met his love for life.

While Bill attended Duke University on a football scholarship, Marianna was at home with their firstborn. Marianna’s states her first priority was raising their three children. Bill received his masters of divinity at North Western with a career a a United Methodist Pastor. Once the children were older Marianna wentn on to finish college at the University of Texas, Dallas and earned her masters degree in Communications and Women’s Studies from the University of Illinois in the ‘80s. She describes herself as a Community Organizer Activist.

Bill and Marianna moved to Asheville in January 1998.

Through their words and actions they have inspired and taught people throughout the region how to honor others, build consensus, and collaborate more effectively, even in the midst of major disagreements. Most notable, is their leadership in multiple community and neighborhood visioning, planning and organizing efforts that, despite early contention and conflicts, remain viable and sustainable many years later.  A short list of examples includes their leadership and facilitation of the following initiatives:

  • Co-chairing the Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods
  • Visioning and organizing “WECAN” a local neighborhood program
  • Founding of Westwood Community in West Asheville
  • Visioning process for East End / Valley Street Neighborhood
  • Contributing participants in the Shiloh neighborhood planning process

In 1999 Marianna joined the team appointed by Buncombe County and City of Asheville to develop a Public Access TV Station on the Charter Cable TV network. They formed a board and created a non-profit. Marianna served as chair of the board for the next five years.

Out of informal meetings around Bill and Marianna's dining room table grew the East Asheville Sidewalk Initiative, a mobilization of veterans served by the VA Hospital and east Asheville neighborhood residents. With leadership provided by the Baileys, hundreds of people found their voice in public hearings, city council meetings and a large and peaceful march on Tunnel Road on a Saturday morning in May 2010. The result was not only the formation of a highly engaged community but also four miles of new sidewalks on TunnelRoad. Bill and Marianna are also known for their courage, wisdom,and generosity in helping to launch, build and/or develop several core and well-known institutions in Asheville. It is with quiet grace, patience and humor that they:

  • Drove the establishment of Jubilee in its present location
  • Bill continues to volunteer for pastoral care
  • He facilitated the visioning process for the Center for Creative Retirement now known at the Osher Lifelong Living Institute
  • Provided TOP Training for Asheville City Staff (Technology of Participation provides structured facilitation methods to help groups think, talk and work together)

Marianna and Bill have been involved with Neighborhood life and human development all their adult lives beginning in Mt. Airy, followed by 5th City in Chicago, Central City 5 in Oklahoma City, the Suntungan Human Development Project (HDP) in the Philippines, the Majuro HDP in the Marshall Islands, Salani HDP in Western Samoa, and Havelock North in New Zealand, and of course here in Asheville.They have brought people together in the community wherever they live. Long time social activists with a history of advocating for the disenfranchised, Bill and Marianna embody a spirit of non-judgment toward others, openness,accepting humor and love.



Charls BolnoCharls Bolno

Charls Bolno was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 19, 1920. His parents Anna and Samuel Bolno had two other children Charls’ older sister Gertrude and younger brother Irwin (both deceased). The children were raised in Philadelphia. Charls met Edna Bloch on a blind date 1938 and remained joined at the hip from then on. He married his beloved Edna in 1941 just before war was declared. They were married for 71 years. They have two daughters Bonnie and Robin.

Just so you know Charls does not use the letter “e” in the spelling of his name.

The Bolnos were a traditional Jewish family, but Charls says his mother did not keep a kosher household. His paternal grandparents were taken in the Holocaust. Growing up, Charls had a large extended family that got together every Sunday at his grandparents, Rachael and Harry Pearlman’s home. Charls describes himself as the envy of his cousins; his grandfather’s favorite. The whole extended family was close knit – cousins, aunts, uncles - would all travel to Centerton NJ for weekend picnics and swimming at Cedar Lake.

As the older male child, Charls was given lots of responsibility. To help the family he had a paper route delivering newspapers. The Philadelphia Bulletin, Public Ledger and The Philadelphia Inquirer were delivered daily. He had 250 customers and remembers some customers claiming they paid when they had not. Rain, shine or snow his papers were delivered in his little red wagon with steel wheels. Charls described the route as “serving newspapers.” His family had an immense Atwater Camp radio; it was not electric, and used a battery for power. With his wagon it was Charls job, every Saturday, to exchange the old huge battery for a newly charged one.

Charls describes himself as a smart kid that didn’t have to study because things came easily for him; not bragging he says he always knew more than everyone else. He states he was a “smart wise guy.” In school he excelled in mechanical drawing, machine shop, wood shop, electric shop and chemistry. In a strong memory from high school Charls remembers writing an essay titled “Are Women Really the Weaker Sex?” - one of his favorite people was Amelia Earhart. His English teacher at Northeast High Boys School implied he was feminine for writing the essay. That resulted in Charls challenging his teacher to the gym. In an all boys school then, in those days, one could do that. The teacher didn’t take him up on the challenge.

Charls’ father owned a nice grocery store and his mother was sometimes called upon as a seamstress. When Charls was a youngster his father would go to the market where they had all the Jewish foods and pushcarts. His father would come home with two shopping bags full of groceries exclaiming, “Would you believe I spent $6.50?”

His first real job was assistant roofer for $19.00 a week with the Keystone Telephone Co. – Charls kept 50 cents for himself and contributed the rest to the family. It was the depression; people sold apples on street corners for five cents.

Charls intended to attend and finish college after he left the military. Outside forces changed that. At St Joseph’s College in Philadelphia he took the enrollment test and had the highest test score in the shortest time they ever recorded. Edna’s father didn’t like the idea of him to going to college because he had a big business that manufactured household accessories and wanted Charls to join the business. After Charls took and passed the entrance exam at Drexel Institute his father-in-law put his foot down and convinced Charls to join his company. As Charls states, “It worked out. I feel like I got a college education. I educated myself in things that were important and interesting to me…I accomplished a lot of things that were very satisfying, especially a successful marriage.” Charls designed the first plastic swimming pool for kids. Firestone bought the idea and continued making the pools. He was Vice President of his father-in-law’s plant and continued his work there for many years. Charls started his own business manufacturing custom furniture. He was a visionary artist, creating spectacular steel and glass contemporary furniture out of scrap metal. His exquisite furniture and accessories could easily be showcased in a museum of modern art. Charls’ creations were ahead of their time in the interior design world.

Charls and his wife Edna enjoyed eating good food. He is an excellent cook and has published recipes as well as being selected gourmet chef of the year in 1974. In 1980 he received the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Outstanding Achievement award. As a volunteer there, he trained Air Force recruits. Charls received his pilot training with a former World War I German pilot. Charls was a certified pilot at age 13. Always an entrepreneur, in later years when Edna and the kids went to Atlantic City for the summer, Charls would fly from Philadelphia on weekends and pull banners to pay for the summer.

In November 2012 Charls moved to Asheville from Greensboro with his daughter Robin and son-in-law Terry May. He volunteers at the Charles George VA Medical Center. Every morning he wakes at 6am and drives himself to the VA five days a week. As a former wounded World War II veteran, Charls takes great pride assisting veterans that daily arrive for medical care at the VA. He is a strong advocate for veterans. Never missing a beat, he is committed to service and making the world a better place through his generosity of spirit and amazing work ethic. Most people who meet Charls for the first time can’t get over the energy he has at age 95; his razor sharp mind and a terrific, wry sense of humor astounds all. Everyone at the VA knows and loves Charls. He works hard helping veterans and their families receive the care and attention they need and deserve. He wakes up each day with a purpose, and looks forward to his volunteer duties at the VA.

Charls is a proud, unabashed and outspoken liberal. He has been deeply committed to progressive social change and liberal political action throughout his entire life! He is an active member of Congregation Beth HaTephila.

Peggy Kirkpatrick

Peggy Rymer Kirkpatrick was born in Asheville, North Carolina on April 18, 1931. She has one daughter Carole Ponder. Carole and her husband Rev. Dr. Walter C. Ponder travel back and forth to Brazil for missionary work.  Five grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren complete Peggy’s family.

Her parents, Gertie Metcalf Rymer and James Royce Rymer, raised Peggy, her older brother James Richard, now deceased, and younger brother Harley Franklin in Asheville. Peggy states that she was very close to her father and brothers.

Peggy attended Vance Elementary, Hall Fletcher and graduated from Lee Edwards High School (Asheville High School today) in 1949. She keeps active with her high school friends by planning events for their reunion each year. Peggy organized the “Glitter Girls”, a group of her graduation friends from the class of  ’49. They meet for lunch and “lots of talk” once a month.

After 31½ years of a professional career in both personnel and advertising with K-Mart stores, Peggy retired in 1996. Peggy reached a turning point in her life after loosing of her husband to cancer in 1997– she decided to become a community volunteer.

She joined the West Asheville Kiwanis Club in 1996. The Kiwanis club instantly saw her potential and elected her President a short time later. Peggy hit the ground running with the Kiwanis community projects. She helped form the Enka High School Key Club, a Kiwanis sponsored high school service organization. She became advisor to the Key Club and worked diligently to help navigate all their projects successfully. Her leadership resulted in the Kiwanis sponsoring a Little League ball team for several years, work with the Boys and Girls Club of the Salvation Army and was instrumental in help for the Eliada Home for Children. She was elected President of West Asheville Kiwanis Club four more times and served until its dissolution in 2009. That didn’t stop Peggy.

Peggy immediately joined the Asheville Kiwanis Club and became involved with their major projects: delivering flowers to area nursing homes at Christmas, ringing the bells for the Salvation Army red kettle, filling backpacks with school supplies for needy kids at the start of each school year, and taking deserving children on shopping trips to buy toys for themselves and gifts for family members.

The Asheville Club has tried to convince Peggy to serve as President again. Her response was, “Five times is plenty.” She currently holds a board position on which she’s served for 3 years Board of Directors.

Peggy’s love of her work with youth is clear. She attends all the early morning meetings of Enka High’s Key Club and works on their projects; she is “Miss Peggy” to the kids. Peggy insists on recognizing the accomplishments of the students and helps them understand the importance of their community service projects. For the past 3 years Peggy has worked on Kiwanis scholarships for two deserving students each year. She is described as, and I quote, “not just a link between our Key Club and its sponsoring Kiwanis Club, she is part of our Enka family.” Additionally Peggy worked with staff at Carolina Day School to establish a Key Club for their students.

Peggy serves as the Area Advisor for Kiwanis International. Once a month she joins other Kiwanians at Emma Elementary and Leicester Elementary Schools for the Terrific Kids program. Terrific Kids is a student recognition program that promotes character development, self-esteem and perseverance. Students work with their teachers to establish goals to improve behavior, peer relationships, attendance or schoolwork. Monthly, the Kiwanis hosts an awards program that recognizes participants who have reached their goal as Terrific Kids. The program is highly respected by teachers and parents.

During Peggy’s interview for this bio on April 19th, she was recovering from an injury received while flipping and lifting a box to her car. It was a box full of supplies for the Terrific Kids program.

There’s hardly anything worse for a person that keeps as busy as Peggy. The layup since her October injury had her anxious to get out and about again and back to Enka High School to work on the scholarship program. She has been happily busy again for about 6 weeks

Peggy is an active member of Grace Baptist Church. There are several senior ladies in the church that can no longer drive. Peggy picks them up twice a week and drives them to services on Sundays and Wednesdays. Because of her service those women have a social and spiritual outlet that would otherwise be closed to them. She’s also a member of Amazing Grace a group of ladies that provide transportation for none driving congregants to all church special events.

Peggy serves as a volunteer worker for all elections. She drives friends and neighbors to doctor visits. She is an unbelievably active 84 year old and helps whenever and wherever there is need. Her monthly calendar rarely has an opening or free day and that’s the way she likes it.

To quote Peggy, “God has been good to me and I want to give back and help  others in need.” She always has a smile, good words and willing hands. Her life has been committed to service.