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Feburary   2001

February 2001



Much of the last Association meeting centered on the plans currently being considered by the YMCA that pertain to the 4 historic homes on their property.  A fuller discussion of these plans and deliberations of the West End Association will appear in a subsequent newsletter.

Houses in the West End are being broken into.  See the description below of things you can do to prevent crime from happening to you.

The next meeting of the West End Association will be held on Tuesday, February 6th, at 7p.m. in Brunson Elementary School.


At the last W.E.A. meeting we heard reports of security problems in the West End.  Also, I (the editor) learned this morning that another home had been broken-into yesterday.  In response to this problem, Bill Wise sent me a memo in which he described lessons he learned from the police while living in Washington D.C. that may be helpful to us in the West End.

1.       When strangers appear at your door during the day, move outside and into full view from the street.  Block their view to the inside of the house if possible, but do not risk locking yourself out.  If it appears that the stranger has no legitimate business with you – excuse yourself and go back inside.  If you have cause for concern, dial 911.  Look at the individual in such a manner that they know you are collecting information on them as well as their method of transportation.  Pre-plan how you will dismiss their “pitch” so that you are comfortable in asking them to leave.  At night, through a closed door, offer to call 911.  If they say “no” call anyway and watch which way they go.

2.       The same applies to walking safety.  Look at people you meet.  If you are concerned that you are being followed, stop and look at a flower or a house, and then turn to notice your follower.  Or you can use body language to indicate that you forgot something, turn around, and walk in the other direction.  If they turn around to follow you, run to a nearby house, step into a street or flag down a car. 

3.       A game that is often played by people planning to break in is they will pose as workmen, taking notes about windows and gutters.  If you see this taking place at your neighbor’s home, walk up to the person and ask for a business card.  Take note of their license number.  If no card, dial 911.  (Nick and I have observed, off and on, that we get frequent calls during the day in which the person hangs-up as soon as we answer.  This happens most often during the day time hours and when there are no cars at home – and it appears as though there is nobody home.  When this happens, I dial *69 to see where the call may be coming from – but I get a recorded message from the carrier that the number was unknown. I once checked with the police about this phenomenon, and was told that when the carrier cannot identify the number, that the call was made from either a cell phone or pay phone.  It may be that our home is being cased, which would suggest that unlisted numbers would be a good idea, and that the newsletter should not identify the phone numbers of board members).

4.       Do not generate a record of your travel itinerary.  Even notifying your mail or newspaper carrier of your travel schedule can fall into the wrong hands.  When you travel have an adult neighbor pick up your mail and newspapers, and have them spend some time in your house.  If you have off street parking, have a neighbor park their car in your spot.  If possible keep a car parked in your driveway.

5.       Extra locks only increase the damage to your doors and their jams.

HERE’S THE POOP by the editor

Well, it’ time to say goodbye and move on to a new adventure.  My husband and I moved to the West End almost 6 years ago, from Pittsburgh PA.   As some of you may know, the “burgh,” has a  very low rate of out-migration.  People are born, live and die in the same neighborhood  - and if they happen to move away they always return home.  As a result, Pittsburgh has one of the largest elderly populations in the country – second only to Dade County, Florida.  So about a year ago, when Pitt dangled a job opportunity in front of me – it was as if some subconscious homing pigeon-like instinct was triggered in us.  Aging parents and the fact that Pitt was my son’s #1 choice for college also contributed to our decision to move.  So, come early summer, we will be saying goodbye to you.

Moving here has been a real experience for us – both positive and negative.  One of the first things we discovered was that it took a little longer to make friends than we expected.  This was a frustrating and bewildering experience.  I am a bit on the quiet side, but my husband is one of the most talkative and friendly human beings I have ever known – so making friends has never been a problem for us.  Convinced that he needed to take control of our social situation, Nick resorted to making cheesecakes.  He gave them to the employees of Wachovia Bank, Lexington Bank, the public library.   As some of you know - he used cheesecakes to meet the neighbors.  One morning, about 9 a.m., he innocently decided to deliver a cheesecake to a lady who lived down the street from us.  Her husband did not appear to be particularly pleased that some guy was delivering sweets to his wife as he was about to leave for the office.  They moved shortly thereafter.  Thankfully, we discovered the West End Association – and have made some wonderful friends.

I also had to learn to slow down a bit.  Those first 2 years we would get in the car and drive around town late at night – I would beg Nick to take me to a place that I had never been before (geographically speaking, of course).  We would drive all over Winston – looking for places where people hung-out.   Eventually a few coffee shops opened-up around town, and then Border’s (thank God!).  It took time, but we also learned how to sit on our front porch and visit with the neighbors – a lifestyle change that I hope we can take back with us to Pittsburgh.

Living in the West End has also taught us to appreciate old houses.  So much so that we have decided to do this again.  Pittsburgh  has a section of town called the South Side.  It is the biggest Victorian business district in the country.  It used to be the site of Pittsburgh’s steel mills, but it is now a restaurant district.  Our new pad is a 100-year-old townhouse that sits one block off of the main drag.  It may sound glamorous but it isn’t.  It’s been vacant for 15 years and is little more than a shell.  The ceilings have collapsed on third floor, and you can view the second floor bathroom through a big hole in the kitchen ceiling.  We have learned a lot from all the work we did to our home here – and we are optimistic that we are up to the challenge.    

I will miss a lot of things about Winston-Salem.  Visiting the gardens of Old Salem, being able to drive across town in 10 minutes, rarely sitting through more than one traffic light.  I love driving up into the mountains on the weekends, and going to the Outer Banks every summer (although this last one I have vowed not to give up).  The skies are so blue here, and the sun seems to shine all the time.  Nick and I have also made some wonderful friends in Winston – we feel closer to these people than any friends we have ever known.  We will miss them terribly.

A few more months and we are off.  But Nick and I want to let you know that if you ever find yourself in Pittsburgh, we would love to show you around.  We will need a new editor (I think we have found one) and Nick is working with some volunteers who will be taking over the work of the business manager.  We have enjoyed working with all of you and look forward to hearing great things about the West End.


Encore!  Books.  Mark Redmond, a social worker for the Forsyth County School District has followed his heart and opened a used book store on Burke Street.  When Mark, a steady patron of  “Again & Again Books” learned that they were closing its doors, he felt a need to keep the used book trade alive and well in Winston-Salem.  As he explored his options he realized that there were many others who felt the same way.

When Mark, a long time patron of  “Again & Again Books,”  learned that they were closing their doors, he felt a need to keep the used book trade alive and well in Winston-Salem.  As he explored his options, he realized that there were many others who felt the same way.

Encore! Books specializes in quality out-of-print and used books that span the imagination.  Celebrating its first anniversary this month, Mark wants to show his appreciation to the West End community for its support by offering an additional 10% off of his already reasonable prices.  Bring along your copy of the West Ender to get your discount.  Check out the web site at  Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10am-7pm.

Ollie Grayson’s Salon and Day Spa is located at 833 Burke Street.  The salon opened six years ago, with the addition of the day spa last summer.  Ollie’s has a very relaxed atmosphere and a staff of highly trained professionals.  The use and recommend the complete line of Aveda  hair and skin care products, as well as their natural cosmetics.  You cannot give a better gift than an Ollie Grayson gift certificate for Valentine’s Day or any other occasion.   See their menu of services on the enclosed flier.

West End Association


The West End Association is your neighborhood association.  We were founded over 30 years ago with the purpose of saving the housing resources in the neighborhood, and of preserving and enhancing the quality of life for our residents.  How are we doing?  What would you like us to do?  A new board is being installed this month and they will be putting together their plans for the next year.  Help them out by giving them your ideas. Please bring this completed survey to February 6th’s annual neighborhood meeting or mail it to Secretary Kathleen Ramich at West End Association, P.O. Box 10055, Salem Station, Winston-Salem, NC 27108.  And remember the only way ideas can become reality is if people volunteer their time for them and offer support through their membership dues – only $15 per household per year!

  1.  Below is a list of some of the activities the Association has done recently.  Please place a check mark beside those activities in which you have attended or participated. Circle any with which you wish to be a volunteer and help.

Tour of Homes                                      

Neighborhood Christmas Party

Delivering Newsletters

Monthly Meetings at Brunson

Fourth of July Party

Neighborhood Block Party

Monitoring Historic District

  Commission Meetings

“Save the Y Houses” Rally

Work with City on Parks Improvements

Contributed to Clock and Sign Purchases

Work with other city neighborhoods

Social hours at local clubs

Support Downtown W-S Association

Hold Special Events (Winston’s 150th  

     Party, Time Capsule Event)

Work with Burke Street merchants

Permit parking for some area streets

Purchase individual home historic signs

Schedule speakers for our meetings

Future planning for neighborhood by

     board members

Work with police on area safety

Represent the neighborhood on

    community organizations

Selling newsletter ads to help


  1.  Name up to three areas in which the West End Association does well, or list three things you like about the work of the Association.
  1. Name up to three areas in which you think the Association could do better, or list  your

       three ideas for improvement.

  1. Would you be interested in receiving a free copy of your residence’s listing in the West End’s description for the Registry of National Historic Places?  Would you be interested in buying a complete copy of the listing of the neighborhood?
  1. Have you visited our website at www. ?  How can we improve communication among ourselves about issues of importance?  Would you be interested in being on an e-mail listserv that posts issues of importance through the month that could use our neighborhood input?

This survey can be anonymous, or if you’d like to help, or like to talk with someone more fully about your ideas, please list your info below.  The main thing is, we just want to hear from you about YOUR neighborhood association.  And don’t forget – 2001 dues are due now at $15 a household.  Please return them with this survey (or in a separate envelop if you want your survey response to be anonymous).  Thanks for the help!!




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