From the book jacket…
On January 1, 1913 the News and Observer published an amazing statement: “Raleigh has taken for itself the fine motto of the city of Apex, to-wit ‘Pluck, Perseverance and Paint.’” North Carolina’s capital city liked the Apex motto so much that they decided “borrow” it! And, in selecting a title for this book, so did we.
The noun “pluck” has all but disappeared from modern English usage. It is defined as “courage or resolution in the face of difficulties,” “readiness to fight or continue against odds,” and “the strength of mind that enables a person to endure pain or hardship.” Synonyms include boldness, fortitude, gutsiness, and grit.
Open the pages and you’ll see how pluck, perseverance, and paint were the virtues that built Apex after a devastating war and then rebuilt the community again and again after fires, epidemics, and the collapse of the turpentine and tobacco markets.
You’ll also learn about the schools and the churches, the moonshiners and the missionaries, the Tent Sisters and the Mills Brothers. You’ll hear Apex citizens recall memories of slavery and the Civil War, the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression. You’ll discover Apex’s connection to famous people like Francis Asbury, the Siamese Twins, Booker T. Washington, Babe Ruth, and Bonnie and Clyde. And to the launching of famous institutions like the Maryknoll Missioners, Wake Forest University, and the Southern Baptist Convention. You’ll learn how Friendship and Green Level, Whops and Frog Town, Camp Branch and Seaboard Pond all got their names. And, of course, how a sleepy Log Pond got a face lift and became a thriving community known as Apex!
About the cover
This 1914 photograph of downtown Apex has it all, from an Indian Twin motorcycle to a glimpse of the old Log Pond.
Warren Holleman is Director of the Program on Faculty Health at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He holds an A.B. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Rice University. His other books are The Human Rights Movement, Fundamentals of Clinical Practice, and Power over Anger.
Toby Holleman is Associate Conference Minister for the Penn Northeast Conference of the United Church of Christ. He holds an A.B. from Harvard University, an M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in religious studies from Rice University.
Marty Allen is a photographer living in Apex. He specializes in portraits and fine art photography; samples of his work can be seen at martyallen.com.
Jerry Miller is an artist living in Cary. His pen and ink drawings and watercolor paintings are available at jerrymillerart.com.
Staley C. Smith is a land surveyor living in Apex. He is the president of Smith & Smith Surveyors, P.A.
If you love a story about community and the “can do” spirit of small town America, then PLUCK, PERSEVERANCE, AND PAINT is a must read. This wonderful book tells the story of a small southern town that shaped the lives and values of men and women who now live around the world. The roots of my family tree run deep in Apex (my mother and grandmother were born there). You will smile and laugh and often wonder about the small town in your own life. Hopefully there is a little bit of Apex in all of us. This is a triumphant American story.
Byron Pitts, 60 MINUTES Correspondent
Pluck, Perseverance and Paint exemplifies good local history: it is packed with interesting details, provides careful attention to matters economic, social, cultural, and religious, gives a vivid sense of place, and is alert to how the region has changed over time. It has just the right mix of precise information and general observations, and the wonderful period photographs sprinkled throughout the text add immeasurably to the pleasure of the book. I strongly recommend this volume to anyone from Apex and to others simply interested in well-told local history.
John B. Boles, William P. Hobby Professor of History, Rice University; Editor, Journal of Southern History.
This handsome book is much more than a record of events in a small Southern town. . . . The authors . . . fill its pages not only with documented historical facts but also with . . . recollections of “the way things were” in earlier times—such as what it was like for families to live through the deadly 1918 ‘flu epidemic, or how Apexians were wont to “sleep lightly” when gypsies passed through town. The book is full of surprises: how to kill a chicken or make lye soap or sucker tobacco. . . . Both entertaining and enlightening are numerous quaint sayings from old-time Apex sages. Among them is the advice, “Don’t be talkin’ when you should be listenin.” The reader will be grateful that these Apex historians obviously did a great deal of “listenin’” and now have been “talkin’” and sharing what they heard with readers in the pages of this fascinating book.
Elizabeth Reid Murray, author, Wake: Capital County of North Carolina, vol. 1; co-author with K. Todd Johnson, vol. 2
Pluck, Perseverance and Paint brings pride both to those who trace their roots to Apex’s beginning as the “Village of Log Pond” and to those who now make up the eclectic metropolitan community that Apex has become. From the beginning in the early 1800’s through the War Between the States, the dawn of a new century, the Great Depression and WWII: Toby, Warren and their family have created a base for intellectual endeavors as well as a platform for future historians to build upon. It’s a history in the spirit of the oral history tradition that has sustained us in the south, sharing our history, while preserving our heritage.
Mack Thorpe – Proprietor, The Rusty Bucket; President, Apex Historical Society