Wake Forest 27587 Magazine

Summer 2019

The quarterly 27587 MAGAZINE is a must-read, in-you-hands publication that strives to give a deeper identity to rapidly growing Wake Forest, N.C. It highlights in-depth stories, targeting higher-income households.

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76 Summer 2019 | Wake Forest 27587 Magazine 'Yum Yum' pulls at the heartstrings Her creator, sculptor Seward Johnson, puts it this way: "It's easy sometimes to forget the simple things that give us pleasure. If we open our eyes, life is marvelous. The human spirit triumphs, if only for moments in a day. I try to have my work call attention to those moments." Hence the creation of "Yum Yum," the little girl with the sandwich always at the ready, greeting customers at The Cotton Company in downtown Wake Forest, whose slogan is "With over 50 boutiques, you'll never leave empty hand-handed." The circa 1983 creation from the Seward Foundation arrived years ago when Susan Neely of the now defunct Wake Forest Board of History and Culture initiated an effort to introduce public art to Wake Forest, said Elizabeth Johnson, who with her husband, Bob, own The Cotton Company. ±=YQ=YQ´EVVMZIH[MXLXLI½RERGMEP EWWMWXERGISJXLIGSYTPI´WRSRTVS½XXLI Graham Johnson Cultural Arts Endowment, named in honor of their late son and which today is funded in no small part by the annual Herbfest, which just marked its 20th year. As for the artist, Seward Johnson, chances are you might have stumbled upon one of his other 450-odd bronze sculptures. "God Bless America," inspired by Grant Wood's iconic painting "American Gothic," with its 25-foot tall farmers, has been making the rounds. In Key West last year, hundreds of couples on Valentine's Day mimicked the kiss in "Embracing Peace," capturing a couple's now famous embrace in New York's Times Square on V-J Day, Aug. 14, 1945. As for Wake Forest's "Yum Yum," she's always LETT]XSTSWIJSVWIP½IW PHOTOGRAPHS BY PHILIP M. READ The secret of ye olde map The vintage map caught Joe Leli's attention some years ago at the State Fairgrounds. "I just thought it was the perfect center-of-the-wall piece," said Leli, who with his wife, Sarka, runs Leli's Diner on Wake Forest's Rogers Road. "I was against it," Sarka Leli said. "I didn't want to give him (the seller) $50." But they did. And today, the map of Raleigh hangs prominently in their popular restaurant, which touts its farm-to-table pledge, a hint of which can be found in the artwork of a cow alongside the piece. "From what people have told me, late '50s," Joe Leli said of dating the otherwise undated Champion map. Yet the map does hold a clue, identifying Raleigh's Hillsborough Street as "Hillsboro Street." That spelling purportedly fell by the wayside in the mid-1960s when an historical society petitioned for a return to a spelling dating to 1766. Now, the classic circa 1950s map is mounted in the main dining room via eye hooks and a chain. "The frame is kind of heavy," Joe Leli said of the sturdy supports. "With kids bouncing on those booths, we wanted to make sure it would stay." As for the metal peace sign nearby, actually a planter for ivy, its origins are known. "That's a gift from my sister," he said.

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