Life In the Carolina's Podcast
Life In the Carolina's Podcast
Carl White
Welcome to the Life in the Carolinas Podcast. Our show features a blending of stories that are primarily based on the syndicated TV show, Carl White's Life in the Carolinas and newspaper columns written by Carl White. Like Carl often says, "It's never a bad time for a good story!" The podcast is hosted by Carl and features specials guests as they share the stories behind the stories. All too often we simply do not have enough time to share everything we would like during broadcast. This podcast will allow us the opportunity to share more information and allow our viewers and readers a chance to get to know our guests more intimately. The Carolinas offer some of the finest people, landscapes, and opportunities to explore. We have traveled to the high elevations for the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games which are considered to be among the best in the nation. We discovered the beauty of the brackish Waccamaw River and learned about the massive live oaks that predate the founding of America. In Gold Hill, NC we made a connection with the past and learned about the early days of gold mining in America. We were more than intrigued with a visit to the historic Wilcox Hotel in Aiken, SC and the stories of the Roosevelt Suite. Are the stories true? It's fun to think about the possibilities. Did you know Edgefield, SC was the home of ten South Carolina Governors and that the world-renowned Jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie was from Cheraw, SC? What about those mysterious Brown Mountain Lights in the North Carolina Mountains? They have kept people guessing for hundreds of years. Do you know what they are? The stories are abundant and only limited by how many tomorrows we have for their telling. Join us as we share our stories, traditions, charm, and southern hospitality.
The Art of Roselli's
John Roselli, owner of Roselli on 10th, visited the Life In The Carolinas Podcast Studio and shared the story of his family legacy in the restaurant business. He speaks of lessons learned from his parents and a journey in his world of Italian Food and relationship-driven service.  It's a great story for anyone who loves good food and the people who create the experience around it. 
Apr 6, 2023
46 min
From Wallstreet to the Vineyard with Jay Raffaldini
In this episode, we have invited Jay Raffaldini, owner of Raffaldini Vineyards, Which creates various Italian-style wines. Apart from that, Raffaldini offers public and private events throughout the year and is a regional go-to spot for wine enthusiasts. Today, Jay will share his journey in building his winery, the challenges he faced, and his learnings from around the world. He will also share some thoughts on how to have a better life and society. Jay’s Winery Journey [2:33] The idea behind the winery is that Jay loves wine and wants to connect it to a generational wealth transference. [4:14] Jay’s desire to keep his family together and have a way to transfer wealth led him to build a plan and start his winery business. [07:20] The first step was to find suitable land and bed. When we talk about the right land, we're talking about the wrong land for farming, which is the appropriate land for vineyard cultivation because you want the grapes to struggle to live. Happy Place [14:38] Jay describes his vineyard as a yin and yang. It gives him balance in life, and that is the wonderful part. [16:08] Jay experienced drinking wine from a plastic milk jug. However, it was the best bottle of wine he had because it changed how whole day. And that is why Jay considered wine a very romantic notion, and it's about the totality of the experience more than anything else. Challenges Faced [23:50] Jay and his winery faced numerous challenges. But these challenges add fuel for his business to grow further. Each time that they had a loss, they rose higher than before, allowing them to grow continually. [25:59] The key is how you adapt to the problem. Plus, you got to be flexible. [28:20] You have to focus on what's working and concentrate on that area. You also have to admit defeat because that's how you learn. That’s a very scarce personality trait. Learnings From Around the World [31:24] Jay discovered that growing grapes east of the Rockies Mountains is difficult. This is because 90% of the grapes are cultivated in what is described as a Mediterranean environment. It equates to 3% of the world's land area. 3% of the world's surface grows grapes there because it’s easier. [39:17] When meeting with the clients for the first time, bringing out a bottle of wine is an icebreaker at the table. Better Life and Society [45:55] Jay’s father teaches him that no matter what he does in life, he should be the best at it and be the most passionate. Wine Club [49:48] Jay’s wine club is successful, and they have 20,000 people visit every year. At first, they face a problem: too many people are coming. They needed to make a few adjustments. Jay’s Advice [1:00:29] Jay often says, don't get too depressed. Just focus on your job, and be passionate. [1:03:04] For Jay, something simple with the right person is meaningful at the right time. Thus, it becomes like a mantra for him to live a good life.  Go to to learn more about Raffaldini Vineyards and their wines, and make a reservation for a tasting visit. For more on Life In The Carolinas, visit and
Mar 27, 2023
1 hr 7 min
Seth Cohn From Food to Fast Cars
In this episode, we invited Seth Cohn, owner of Dooley's Restaurant, Two Boros Brewery, and Two Boros Performance Shop. Seth highlights his family's story of their Wilkes County home and how they help preserve and protect it for future generations. He also talks about how he got into the food industry as well as his passion for car racing which lead to team ownership. 
Mar 13, 2023
46 min
Tourism Development in Wilkes with Thomas Salley
On this Life In the Carolinas Podcast episode, we have invited Thomas Salley, the Director of Tourism for Wilkesboro, North Carolina. His expertise in tourism and marketing led him to spearhead Wilkesboro's tourism to attract more people, create more projects and build a stronger community. Today, Thomas talks about his journey of getting involved in the world of tourism, the county's evolution, the people in the community, and the bigger picture Wilkesboro is pursuing in the future.  
Mar 3, 2023
52 min
Track Talk with Larry Baity
In this episode of The Life in the Carolinas Podcast, Carl is joined by Larry Baity. He met Carl a few years ago through a mutual friend, and they have been working on a project together recently. Larry calls himself a mountain boy because of his upbringing. Today, Larry. Larry’s Birth [1:00] Larry says that he is a mountain boy. He was born on the 16th of March 1935 in Wilkes County in a small community called Oak Woods, a short drive away from Wilkesboro. He was told many years later that he was anticipated to be born. The evening he was born was a Saturday, and everyone was waiting for the Grand Ole Opry to come on. Early Life [3:20] He graduated from high school around the time of the Korean War. He chose to join the Air Force and was in it from 1953 through 1957. He did his training in the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Larry eventually talks about all his experiences during his time with the Air Force. God’s Purpose [11:52] Larry almost drowned three times in his whole life. He always felt God had a purpose for him. He is surprised that he is still living today due to his experiences. He says that his upbringing is what made him the man he eventually became now. Curiosity [13:30] Larry shares another experience during the time he was with the Air Force. His curiosity almost led him to get incarcerated, and he had to sign a document that states that he never saw what he saw. He says that one of the greatest inventions of the US Air Force is surveillance. History [19:02] He’s always told his children and grandchildren that you often experience history in the making, become a part of history, or making history yourself. He states that he was a witness and that very few people become part of history. He made history for the family. Larry says that one of his many faults was being too curious and pushing the limits. The Answer [20:18] Larry was often told that curiosity is the answer to questions. It might be hazardous to your well being and one of his little faults in life, but it has also revealed a great revelation to him through the years. And through all of that, God gave him longevity. Memory of a Certain Racetrack [21:41] Carl asks Larry about his first memory of the North Wilkesboro Motor Speedway. Larry responds by recalling a memory from 1945. He says that it was a unique experience because he’s always loved the old Ford cars. Larry’s Family [36:17] Larry talks about his children and grandchildren. His oldest grandson is a major marine aviator. His son is a part of the Air Force as well. His other grandson is a police officer. One of his sons is a nuclear engineer and another one is a lawyer. The youngest is back in Nashville. Life in the Carolina’s Website -
Jan 4, 2023
40 min
Wilkes County LIne
In this episode, we are joined by Rick Balentine, a producer, and composer at Temple Gate Films. He has created scores, opens, bumpers, and music libraries for a variety of programs, including Ted Lasso, America's Next Top Model, NCIS LA, Dancing With The Stars, The Bachelorette, The Real Housewives of Dallas, and Black Ink Crew: Chicago, as well as for the feature films True Justice, Dragon Eyes, Never Back Down 2, Red Clover. Today, Rick talks about the film Wilkes County Line, how he grew up in a family of musicians, the difference between wisdom and experience, and the keys to personal growth.   Musical Family [3:31] Rick produced his first album at the age of 19. His mother was a trained pianist and played at the church. He started playing music when he was in fourth grade because his mother bought a guitar for his sister, but she never played it, but he would sneak around and play it by himself.   Creativity [10:46] Rick learned to keep everybody engaged at all times. He thinks of how he can show off at certain parts. But he thinks the most critical is learning to take all that creativity and put it at the right time. Like in business creatives and the "business" side, it must be balanced. As you get older, you realize that you will have this time when you take all the boundaries off and create while working with the budget.   Good Management [16:20] In Rick's opinion, the key to leadership is not knowing everything per se but knowing people who do know everything and putting them in the right place. We may not have all the people we want, and we may have to continue looking. It's a never-ending journey that is always developing, organic, and wonderful. That is the beauty of life. Identifying connections and knowing how you can work together to make something. Gifts [18:07] For those who have gifts, Rick thinks the goal is to take it and nurture it and learn how to do better and stronger. What Rick did was work hard and get that gift to grow. That's the easy part, and the hardest part is developing the character to manage the gifting that you've been given.         Wilkes County Line [34:06] The most important thing for Rick was the scenery. He is a big nature fan. Everywhere he went, all the things and niches in the county were just amazing to him as an outsider and caught his attention. He thought about how to tell people about the beauty of those areas and suck them into the story.   Business Side [45:54] The creative side is the easiest side for Rick. The business side is paying for college, and it's the reality. He wants to put the business side first. How he does it by creating a product that people want to see and pay for. Thinking of how to satisfy our investors and the company. The first thing they do is put things together and look at what the state has and its taxes. Depending on the state and the percentages, it's possible to get rebates as incentive and treat that as income.
Nov 30, 2022
1 hr 8 min
Marathon Jam
On this episode of the Life in the Carolinas podcast, Carl sits down with John Santa, founder of the Marathon Jam, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which seeks to improve the lives of injured Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Joining Carl and John is vascular surgeon Charles, who speaks to us about his journey to making the switch from “actively practicing surgeon to actively practicing musician”. The team at the Marathon Jam lives by their motto, Curatus Per Musica (“Healing Through Music”)—uniting a diverse group of people with the common goal of raising money and performing outreach to improve the lives of those who have sacrificed so much for us. They do this through an annual fundraiser which features musicians and artists of all ages and styles to play music and create art for twelve straight hours. These musicians generate donations by securing sponsors for each hour they participate in the jam. In 2015, The Marathon Jam created Outreach Programs to help those who cannot come to the Jams, by sending artists and musicians into VA and other treatment centers to facilitate the rehabilitation of our Veterans and First Responders. Since 2009, the recipients of the Marathon Jam’s annual fundraiser have been North Carolina’s Fort Bragg Fisher House and Camp Lejeune Fisher House, with over $500,000 raised for the latter. In today’s conversation, John and Charles draw inspiring parallels between medicine and music, passionately speaking on his life-altering decision to shift career paths while continuing to carry out his mission to provide healing to as many people as he can touch. In fact, they perfectly illustrate this by briefly talking about their fascinating realization that the use of certain types of music actually facilitates healing and recovery in the operating room. “Music is curative,” says Charles. “It was time for me to go from one mode to the other and still be able to provide that for people.” He adds: “When I first made this move, I was calling it ‘retirement’. But it really isn’t. It’s ‘career change’.” After telling some of their favorite stories of healing and hope through the initiative of Marathon Jam, John and Charles speak on how they see the future of the organization. What started out as a grassroots movement over 12 years ago is gaining steam throughout the state. “Music is a way to communicate with human vulnerability. We’re not stopping. The need is there.”   Learn more about the Marathon Jam at
Nov 3, 2022
1 hr 31 min
Jeffrey Elmore and the North Wilkesboro Speedway
On this episode of the Life in the Carolinas podcast, Carl sits down with Jeffrey Elmore who has, since 2013, served in the North Carolina House of Representatives from the 94th district which is made up of the population centers of Wilkes County and Alexander County. Outside of serving in Raleigh, Jeffrey is a public school teacher who has had the opportunity to teach visual arts, with a focus on painting and sculpture, to every grade level since 2001. Today, Jeffrey discusses his involvement in the revival of the North Wilkesboro Speedway, in which he played a key role in securing the funds. He talks about the process behind his being the go-ahead and his conversations with key people on their vision for the new speedway. He explains his justification for the appropriation of these funds for this specific project and why, despite some concerns regarding the potential knock-on effects of the appropriation, he sees nothing but long-term economic growth in the local community from the revival of the speedway. In fact, Jeffrey makes the point that “the worst thing that happens with local appropriation is that they don’t use the money.” With its new multipurpose event space, The revived North Wilkesboro Speedway aims to elevate its visitors’ appreciation for the local history as well as North Wilkesboro itself as a tourist destination. Aside from essentially serving as a museum for the community, the speedway will embrace its heritage with displays of living history via car shows, performances, and more. “It’s a wonderful blend of the past moving into the future,” says Jeffrey. “You don’t see that a lot.”
Sep 14, 2022
44 min
Tabitha Hudler and the 2022-2023 WCC Walker Center Lineup
On this episode of the Life in the Carolinas podcast, Carl once again sits down with Tabitha Hudler, Director of The Walker Center at Wilkes Community College. Coming up on the 40th year since the founding of The Walker Center, Tabitha is excited to announce the 2022-2023 season of acts kicking off on September 9. Tabitha gives a special shoutout to Dailey & Vincent and The Haggard Brothers as the most well-received acts of the 2021-2022 lineup. She speaks of last year as being nothing but an all-around success as every attendee was just happy to be in community again after a year of lockdowns. This year’s lineup includes Croce Plays Croce on September 9; Lonestar on October 28; Charles Billingsley on December 1; comedian Karen Mills on February 23; Malpass Brothers, Appalachian Road Show, and Teea Goans on March 10; and Beach Boy Tribute Sail On on May 10. Tabitha talks about her favorite part of the job: the Spring and Fall school shows. She says that the Walker Center aims to give kids the experience of education and entertainment all at once, and hopefully even plant seeds within a few who might one day aspire for a career in stage performance. Finally, Tabitha reveals her involvement in organizing this year’s MerleFest, offering a tease of the special collaborations set to provide an exciting festival this April 27-30, 2023. “We know that life throws obstacles constantly,” says Tabitha. “But in that timeframe, when we are either working an event or just enjoying an event, it does give us a time to reflect on some good times.”   Learn more about The Walker Center at
Sep 7, 2022
36 min
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