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Talking Main Street With Stepheny

Talking Main Street With Stepheny

By Stepheny Houghtlin
Enjoy 5-minute episodes with Stepheny Houghtlin who brings her storytelling style to Main Street. The backdrop for this podcast series is preservation, restoration and repurposing that saves commercial and residential architecture. It is about honoring the history, people, and sense of place that is singularly unique to every Main Street. With a bit of straight talk, nostalgia, and reminiscing, Stepheny is waiting for you on her downtown Rocky Mount, NC bench.
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Season 2: Episode 12 - The Way it has Always Been in rocky Mount, NC
Stepheny met a lovely lady on Washington St. while taking photographs of the wonderful restored facades along the block. She tells us that she pays careful attention to the people who come into her life. From their conversation, the lady said that nothing ever changes, no matter who the councilman with their doggy business. It is just the way it is.( Doggy is Stepheny's word for what goes on under the table.) Listen to this 5-minute Podcast Talking Main Street with Stepheny to hear the rest of the story. 
March 30, 2022
Season 2: Episode 11 Chocolate Eclairs and Peter Varney
This 5-minute podcast, Talking Main Street with Stepheny, tells a childhood story of Chocolate Eclairs from the Davis Street Bakery in Evanston, IL. After reading the schedule for the hiring of a new Rocky Mount City Manager, she climbed into the Dempster Dumpster to console herself with so much to do and little time for Mr. Varney to make things right. Listen in for more of Stepheny's point of view on the matter.
March 26, 2022
Season 2: Episode 10 - Another Day Older in Rocky Mount, NC
Welcome to the 5-minute podcast, Talking Main Street with Stepheny. Here she reflects on her birthday and offers this to the collective thinking we all contemplate. Who am I, is it too late to change and grow, can I make a difference?  Stepheny tells us how everything she set out to do has now happened. Find out what she means.
March 16, 2022
Season 2: Episode 9 - Living Above the Store on Main Street in Rocky Mount, NC
Thanks for taking the time to listen to this 5-minute Podcast, Talking Main Street with Stepheny. She's excited to tell you about her time at the open house for Andrew & Nicolle Clark's Music City project where the two apartments above the store are finished. She reports on the finished roof top lounge area that Troy Davis has provided where you will sip a glass of wine. She spent time on Howell St. and admiring the restored facades of Harambee Square. Get a quick update on the state of things on Main Street and beyond.
March 09, 2022
Season 2- Episode 8: A Plan for Rocky Mount, NC
In this 5-minute podcast, Stepheny tells a story about running away. She talks about those who have run away from Rocky Mount. You will like her plan to change the culture on the City Council, redirect the policies for the preservation, restoration and repurposing the commercial and residential assets. Join her and learn more about Main Street and beyond.
March 02, 2022
Season 2: Episode 6: Rocky Mount City Council Elections - Crystal Times-Anderson
Today, Crystal Wimes-Anderson joins us on this 5-minute Podcast: Talking Main Street with Stepheny. She is a candidate running for Mr. Joyner's seat. Accomplished with a heart for service, Crystal is equipped to bring her leadership to the task of helping her neighbors and to   all who live in the community of Rocky Mount, NC. After listening to a bit of Crystal's story you will want to know more. 
February 16, 2022
Season 2 -Episode 5: A Rocky Mount NC Day to Remember
Stepheny's 5 minute podcast today involves remembering her mother-in-law, Jane Saunders Houghtlin, born and raised in Jackson, MS. What she calls a 'Stepheny kind of day,'  included going downtown to Larema Coffee House for the church bookclub, and then lunch at Books and Beans out at Rocky Mount Mills. The company of good people, and the evolving Rocky Mount, NC scene, topped off with delicious hot chocolate, a southern 
February 09, 2022
Season 2- Episode 4- Publication of New Book -Repairers of the Breach - Rocky Mount NC
Stepheny is excited to announce the publication of her 3rd novel, Repairers of the Breach. On Amazon you will find an E-book version and paperback. Part of the book is dedicated to the repairers of the breach in Rocky Mount, NC and to the Prisms of Light who are involved in the revitalization of Main Street and beyond. The title is from Isaiah that she finds fitting for all Main Street Programs. It is a perfect description of the preservation, restoration and repurposing going on Rocky Mount NC. Sarah Collins, the main character, will take you into the world of historic preservation, you will ride out Katrina, and accompany her to the village of Burford in the Cotswold’s where the mystery of her father’s double life is based. You will be a witness to love that brings laughter. The artist, the shopkeeper, the owners of the Bay Tree Inn, the new doctor, the retired Scotland Yard Inspector, the children making Fairy houses, will draw you into this English village setting.
February 02, 2022
Season 2 - Episode #3 City Council of Rocky Mount,NC. 'Point of Order"
Thank you for taking time to listen to this 5-minute podcast, Talking Main Street with Stepheny. Whatever the subject is for the podcast, it has to do with preservation, restoration and repurposing of Main Street and beyond. In this weeks audio podcast, 'Point of Order" is predicated on the City  Council meeting on January 24 where Stepheny found herself rising from her seat calling for a point of order. Turns out there is no point of order for the public. You'll have to listen to Stepheny tell her story to find out what happened.
January 26, 2022
Season 2- Episode 2: The 'What's in it for Me Housing Strategy'
During this 5-minute podcast, Talking Main Street with Stepheny, she talks about the possibilities that are available on Main Street in Rocky Mount.NC.  She mentions her reading life that includes books on the life and times of English gardeners and the urban activist, Jane Jacobs, who wrote a seminal book in 1961, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Rocky Mount's housing strategy talks about saving the shot gun and bungalow housing with dubious results. Listen to the podcast for her answer to the housing strategy, What's In It For Me?  
January 19, 2022
Season 2 - Episode 1: 2022 Rocky Mount Housing
Welcome to the 1st 5-minute podcast in 2022: Talking Main Street with Stepheny. Kenneth Grahame, who wrote The Wind in the Willows, has something to do with Stepheny's story telling as she talks about saving residential architecture throughout Wards 1-4. This podcast is produced on Wednesdays. Always an interesting take on Preservation, you can join Stepheny on her Main Street bench and sit a spell.
January 12, 2022
Episode 30: The Lights of Christmas in Rocky Mount, NC 2021
Welcome to the 30th 5-minute podcast, Talking Main Street with Stepheny. She continues to talk about the Preservation, Restoration, and Repurposing that is part of the revitalization of Rocky Mount and issues all Main Streets encounter. She talks about The Five Points area that is reinventing itself with wonderful businesses, entertainment and food. Like lights strung on a tree, Stepheny weaves through her preservation theme, the lights of Christmas in Rocky Mount, NC. Enjoy your time together.
December 01, 2021
Episode 29: The Tar River Orchestra and Chorus, a Rocky Mount, NC Gem
Listen to the 5-minute Podcast, Talking Main Street with Stepheny. After attending the performance of the Tar River Orchestra Chorus and Carolina Brass, Stepheny weaves a few of her 'growing up' stories of being introduced to music listening to The Chicago Symphony. The outstanding performances of the Tar River programs are pearls of great price that need an injection of new enthusiasts. Parents, aunts and uncles, friends who introduce great music to their families. Who will fill the seats in the coming years if not for the teenage and younger children of today? We mustn't overlook this outstanding Orchestra and take it for granted. That would be a shame.
November 10, 2021
Episode 28: Rocky Mount, NC's Version of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
Stepheny retells a version of C.S. Lewis's novel, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. There is the evil white queen who placed a spell on the land of Narnia so that it is always winter and never Christmas. The Dwarf is one of the Witch's evil henchmen and right-hand man. Maugrim is a wolf and the chief of the Witch's Secret Police. Stepheny takes your hand and leads you into her Danish Pine Wardrobe to a town called Possibilities. There are train tracks running through Main Street and......Listen in to hear about the magic that happens.
November 02, 2021
Episode 27 -Robbing Peter to Pay Paul (Redistricting)
Welcome to Talking Main Street with Stepheny, a 5-minute podcast, about the preservation, restoration, and repurposing of Rocky Mount, NC's commercial and residential architecture; the revitalization of the Main Street historic district and beyond. Today Stepheny talks about the redistricting of  7 Wards as a result of the latest census. Wards 1 & 2 have lost population (Paul) and Wards 6 & 7 (Peter) have to fill the deficit. Stability, recovery, neighborhood pride, and a promising future are but a few things riding on the wings of these decisions.
October 26, 2021
Episode 26- Twin County Hall of Fame -After the Lights Go Out
Talking Main Street with Stepheny is about a special event; the Twin County Hall of Fame will induct 9 new members into The Hall of Fame. The organization's purpose is to preserve the history of the Twin Counties and recognize and honor the citizens of Edgecombe and Nash Counties. Those who have made broad and lasting contributions to the betterment of the community or who have brought recognition to the community through their accomplishments are selected. Stepheny always weaves a story into the conversation. What does Raggedy Ann and Andy have to do with November 4th at 5:30 at the Event Center and the 17th annual induction of good and faithful people? Listen in to find out.
October 19, 2021
Episode 25: Stepheny Is Cheerleading for You
Stepheny thinks of herself as your keen observer, your researcher, your tour guide looking at the shotgun and bungalow housing in need of a new life. In her enthusiasm, she hopes to have you feel that way too. She believes in the downtown stakeholders and writes about them, so you come to know them and want to support their businesses. She tells a new story, talks about the expiration date coming due on a city council seat up for election, and believes successful revitilization must include everyone. #Preservation   #Historic Restoration #Main Street Rocky Mount, NC 
October 13, 2021
Episode 24: RESPECT - Troy Davis Cuts the Ribbon of Opportunity: Living Above the Store
Like the children's game, "Telephone" everyone that attended the ribbon cutting last Friday evening for Davis Lofts will report on it differently according to their experience and memories. It was a grand event where friends, family, and prospective renters, came to pay their respect to Troy Davis and his team who have brought the concept of 'living above the store' to fruition. People lingered, enjoyed a lovely evening and the excitement of the restoration of two more buildings on Main Street. 
October 06, 2021
Episode 23: What Does Charing Cross Road Have To Do With Main Street?
In this podcast, Talking Main Street with Stepheny, she tells a story about how visiting Charing Cross Road in London influenced her thoughts about the City Council, March 2022, election.  The revitalization of Main Street Rocky Mount, or any Main Street in Eastern North Carolina, have in common the Preservation, Restoration, and Repurposing of their Main Street architecture. Find out how Charing Cross Road figures into this common goal.  
September 29, 2021
Episode 22: The Proposed City Land Grant
Welcome to the 5-Minute Podcast: Talking Main Street. Stepheny attended the meeting the other night on the proposed Community Land Trust.  Land Trusts  are community-run, nonprofit landholding organizations that aim to help low-income buyers obtain homes; a form of permanently affordable housing based on shared equity. Poverty makes money. There are questions that need answers. The good people at the meeting deserve these possibilities and an outcome that knows right from wrong.
September 22, 2021
Episode 21: The Moe Deloach Generation: Picking Up The Right End of The Stick
The energy behind today's 5-minute podcast started over lunch at Lillie May's relocated restaurant on Washington St off Main Street. Moe Deloach sat down next to Stepheny on another bar stool. Upon reflection of their conversation, Stepheny has added to the X generation and the others, a new designation. The 'Moe Generation.'  What has this got to do with picking up the right end of the stick? Listen in for further explanation. 
September 15, 2021
Episode 20- The Railroad Detective, Fred Holdsworth, the Rocky Mount Train Families, and a Question
Listening to this 5-minute Podcast, Talking Main Street with Stepheny, she asks the question, "Who Stands to Gain?" Against the background of the  railroad that helped Rocky Mount grow and prosper, she talks about the families in the historic districts, Villa Place and Edgemont. She begins with Fred Holdsworth, once a railroad detective. She asks, What if 'you' stood to gain rather than 'them?' Stepheny continues to weave stories into her point of view about the Main Street area.
September 08, 2021
Episode 19: Adding Another August to Our Memories
In this 5-minute podcast, Talking Main Street With Stepheny, on the last day of August, she looks at the Withdrawal from Afhganastan through the lens of past summer memories while growing up. She asks the age old question, "Where did the summer go?" She wants to know if your memories surfaced out of the blue while buying strawberries at the roadside stand or walking in from the mailbox hearing laughing children down the street? She mentions the bright campfire Rocky Mount could be lighting up the Eastern Carolina sky. She talks about the America we love. Enjoy this summer reflection of another August gone by. 
September 01, 2021
Episode 18: Rose Street is on Fire - The Susan Cole Home Deserves the Cover of a Preservation Magazine
This 5-minute podcast, Talking Main Street with Stepheny is all about Rose Street and the preservation and restoration that is taking place in bungalows down the street. There the magnificent Victorian home belonging to Susan Cole deserves the cover of a preservation magazine. Research states that one restoration leads to the next and next through a neighborhood. Stepheny provides a mantra she wants the community to repeat. Listen in to learn more.
August 25, 2021
Episode 17: We Will Have Only Ourselves to Blame
This episode is a result of Stepheny watching hours of the Afghanistan news. Insights about accountability, how history judges the leadership of today, the significance of betrayal, and the power of leadership that corrupts. Listen to this 5-minute podcast framing Stepheny's point of view surrounding these heart wrenching scenes on the news and Rocky Mount's exhaustion over the loss of reputation and stature because of leadership that fails to lead.   
August 18, 2021
Episode 16: Let's All Go Out and Make Some Ripples
In this new 5-minute Episode of Talking Main Street, Stepheny tells us that she'd hoped to revisit some of the summers of her youth by walking barefoot on the wet morning lawn and sitting on a beach covered in suntan oil getting the perfect tan. What happened that those things didn't happen? What is this talk about ripples?
August 11, 2021
Episode: #15: It Is Time For a Change
In this 5-minute podcast, Stepheny announces that she is the new Campaign Manager, Blogger, and Podcaster for the upcoming election March 8, '22 for four available City Council Seats. She has experience, a cause, and a rallying cry, IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE. In this episode she sets the stage for CHANGE. Interesting company along with Stepheny in this episode. Henry Clay, President Eisenhower, and Thomas Sowell lend their wisdom to her efforts.
August 04, 2021
Episode #14: Listening to Armand Gamache and the Choices We All Must Make
Once again Stepheny's reading life influences her approach to the 5-minute podcast, Talking Main Street with Stepheny. She suggests an independent watch dog committee over the $1.4 million Hud grant coming Rocky Mount's way. She begins with a  conversation in a mystery novel about making choices. President Reagan makes an appearance as does Shelby Steele, Sr. Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institute. Implicit in Stepheny's view is living together in peace and harmony and love with our brother's and sister's who deserve safe housing and safe neighborhoods. 
July 21, 2021
Episode 13: If only Planting a Tree Were Enough
Stepheny tells another story while Talking Main Street today. In part, this episode is about a childhood book she searched for and found in a bookstore in Salem, OR. The story is applicable considering the grant money from HUD that has been given to Rocky Mount's Main Street and surrounding neighborhoods. She uses the story as inspiration for the at-risk neighborhoods that need attention. Leadership and fiscal responsibility are called for during this great opportunity to do things right!  A Tree for Peter inspires action.
July 14, 2021
Episode 12: The Bungalows of Rocky Mount - Another Architectural Asset That Needs Advocates
I was born in Chicago, but grew up in Evanston, IL Part of who I am and the story telling I bring to these podcasts involve sitting in the back seat of my parent’s car looking out the windows at the ‘city of neighborhoods, at the architecture along the outer drive and growing up with Evanston’s amazing architectural homes of all persuasions. These countless images informed how I see and interpret Main Street Rocky Mount. I am able to recognize the abundance of beautiful commercial and residential architecture throughout the city and what years of neglect has wrought. Join me in this 5-minute podcast about the charming bungalows.
July 07, 2021
Episode 11: Celebrating the 4th of July With Patriotic Hearts
In this 5-minute episode, Stepheny talks about memories of the 4th of July that must not br erased. Times when we sat on the curb waving our American flags watching the parade go by. When we decorated our bikes with red, white and blue crape paper ribbon. Today, there are people trying to cancel our American way of life. This 4th of July Stepheny asks that everyone sing loud and clear, No, no, you can't take America away from me.
June 30, 2021
Episode 10 - $1.4 million - Grant Money From HUD
In this 5-minute episode, Stepheny is 'over the moon' as she says, about Grant Money from HUD that is coming to Rocky Mount, NC. The money is designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households.These grants are used to build, purchase and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership or providing direct rental assistance to low-income people. Listen to hear Stepheny's concerns as well.     
June 23, 2021
Episode 9: "Every Brick Wants To Be Something"
In this 5-minute podcast, Talking Main Street With Stepheny, she encourages you to place your hand on a brick wall in remembrance of the craftsman, architects and long lasting results brought forth and stands before you. With some storytelling woven in for good measure, learn something new today about a brick and how to show your admiration for the brickwork throughout Rock Mount, NC. 
June 16, 2021
Episode #8 "I Want To Save The Old Houses Too."
In this 5-minute Podcast, Talking Main Street With Stepheny, she weaves another story into the theme of this episode about Preservation. Her point of view on the subject always includes a bit of nostalgia that she feels is significant to the rhyme and reason of preservation.
June 09, 2021
Episode 7 - Playing The American Game at Stith Talbert Park
Talking Main Street with Stepheny in this episode takes you into Ward 1 where the Stith Talbert Park is located. Here is an iconic baseball setting with its manicured fields. It is a setting meant for families, for children, and dogs on leashes as the neighborhood gathers to support their youth. The sound of cheering wafts through the air.. Stepheny's storytelling and point of view are woven into talking baseball and what it represents to winning the war that is being waged in the country over America's heart and soul. Enjoy!
June 02, 2021
Episode 6: Learning the Language of Mainstreet
Stepheny talks about the economic driver having people living downtown bring;.a vitality that doesn't end at 5:00PM. It is the decision making that must ensure economic stability, saving the edges around Main Street for future growth and above all else the question must be asked, "Is this putting our stakeholders first?"
May 26, 2021
Episode 5: Saying 'Yes' to Rocky Mount Every day
In this episode Stepheny tells more stories in support of the revitalization of Rocky Mount. As a young girl she was taken to a performance of Peter Pan at the Schubert Theater in Chicago. Peter comes to the front of the stage and begs the audience to clap in order to save Tinker Bell life. Enjoy Peter Pan on Main Street.  
May 19, 2021
Episode 4: What Do You Do With A Problem?
Revitalization of Main Streets come with problems. In Rocky Mount we are blessed with those I refer to as Repairers of the Breach. Great young people placing their flag downtown, opening new businesses, saving the commercial architecture that is as fine as any in Eastern North Carolina. Preservation, restoration and repurposing are the key words around which honoring a past and building a future revolves. With usual storytelling, Stepheny offers another way to look at the problems that can be overcome. At least, that's what Stepheny believes. 
May 11, 2021
Episode #3 - Main Street Revitalization Leads To Successful Results
5 minute Episode: Change is on Stepheny's mind today - two sides of a coin - 
May 04, 2021
Episode #2- Drawing Large Circles
In this 5-minute audio podcast, Stepheny talks about drawing circles large enough to include everyone. She tells several stories of what she would have missed if living in a small circle. Main Street is large enough to hold everyone.
April 28, 2021
Talking Main Street With Stepheny - Episode 1
Episode 1 is an introduction to Stepheny's new podcast, Talking Main Street. In this episode, she tells why she can be found these days, on Main Street, Rocky Mount, NC.  This episode tells you about Stepheny the architect and  journalist. She mentions Studs Terkel, the Chicago Tribune columnist,  Now she writes the blog,, and created a Facebook page by the same name. Preservation, restoration and repurposing architecture, and all that encompasses today, will be part of the subjects she talks about. The title of her third novel, Repairers of the Breach, soon to be released, is how she thinks of everyone involved in saving Main Street, USA. The Podcast can be heard each Wednesday of the week. Stepheny hopes you will join her and learn the new language of Main Street. 
April 19, 2021