Buice column: Can a village exist with L-C Road running through it?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 1, 2023

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So why is Clemmons called a “village?”

A friend of mine who lives in Winston-Salem and occasionally comes over this way was wanting to know. 

I didn’t really have an answer.

I recall not long after I started writing for the Courier nearly 15 years ago that one of the newly sworn-in members of the council talked about wanting to see Clemmons “create a new village with an old feel.”

Sounded like a good idea, but even then, I never thought about this being a village — especially with the explosive growth already spreading into the western part of Forsyth County. It seemed like that ship had already sailed.

It may have been a “village” when the town was incorporated in 1986, but things have changed quite a bit over the years.

In searching for a definition, I found this: “A village is a small settlement usually found in a rural setting. It is generally larger than a hamlet but smaller than a town. Some geographers define a village as having between 500 and 2,500 inhabitants.”

Honestly, Lewisville, the neighbor to the north which also has experienced a massive expansion of rooftops, is a much better fit for the “village feel” concept with a true center of town featuring a pedestrian-friendly environment with Shallowford Square, town hall and the Lewisville Public Library along with Jack Warren Park and the Mary Alice Warren Community Center on the adjoining road.

Still, Clemmons, with a population in excess of 20,000, is a terrific place to live with lots of reasons to call it home. Mike Gunnell, the village manager, outlined many of those traits in the recent Progress Edition — low tax rate, excellent schools, great neighborhoods, medical facilities, law enforcement, quality services, location, amenities… the list goes on.

I get it all that and enjoy living here with so many positive features, but when I drive down the traffic nightmare of the five-lane, Lewisville-Clemmons Road obstacle course that runs through what is called a “village,” I just don’t feel it.

• • • •

While planning a quick trip to Pittsburgh in early May to see my Pirates, the loveable losers for years who actually had the best record in the National League in the first month of the 2023 baseball season, I plotted out back-to-back doubleheaders for places to eat.

First on the list during the drive up north was Tudor’s Biscuit World in West Virginia. It’s popular up there like Bojangles is around these parts. And, oh my, I’ve never seen a bigger biscuit. I got the Duke, which is bacon, egg and cheese piled high with hash browns stuffed in the middle… Delicious, and I could hardly get my mouth around it.

After that, we didn’t need lunch, so it was on to Pittsburgh for the game that night with a late afternoon arrival and the ultimate experience at North Shore Tavern of “Steak on a Stone.” It is directly across the street from PNC Park where they serve you a steak seared on both sides at 800 degrees and then you do the rest of cooking to your specifications.

Pamela’s, located in the Strip District across the river a couple of miles from the stadium, was the breakfast place the next morning. It’s a diner that has attracted many well-known celebrities over the years and has the best breakfast ever. We both went for the eggs and bacon, crepe-style hotcakes with blueberries and their famous Lyonnaise potatoes.

Following the matinee that day (the Pirates lost both games we saw, of course), it was on to Ditka’s (yes, Mike Ditka’s restaurant) that night. Yum. The Coffee-Rubbed Delmonico steak was perfect.

The Pirates may be slumping these days, but the food on this trip topped the charts.

• • • •

When the calendar flipped over to May 2023, my thoughts immediately shifted to my dad.


He would have turned 100 years old on May 14. That’s hard to fathom. It also is just another reminder of my own advancing age.

My dad, who passed away in 2006, will never lose his spot of being my hero. Not a day goes by without me thinking of him. This milestone of him being born a century ago came just before the arrival of Memorial Day earlier this week. 

Dad served in the Navy in World War II aboard one of the destroyer escort ships that made navigating the Atlantic possible for the men and materials required to combat the Nazis.

He told me about some of the scary times, including seeing a German torpedo hit the USS Donnell, one of the ships in the fleet. The ship lost 29 men in the explosion, and he could have just as easily been one of them.

I can remember being in a church service with my family to honor the military one Sunday before Memorial Day several years before he died. When they asked for those who served in the various branches to stand when they played their fight song, I will always recall my dad proudly standing with tears streaming down his face when the Navy song was played.

Memorial Day is so much more than a day off from work, having a cookout or going to the beach. It’s a time to reflect and a day of remembrance for those who served in our armed forces and gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives fighting for our country to protect the freedoms we all enjoy.

Let us never forget that.