The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 105

BFF | THE REAL THING

friendships. That would describe Angela, who works at
Hunting Hills Country Club, and Robert, a customer
service manager at American Airlines, who used to cut
hair. In fact, that's how they met: in Robert's chair.
"It was instant," says Angie. "He has a great sense of
humor and we started off by laughing. A lot." It was
mutual: "I saw this beautiful person inside her and we
just loved to hang out."
Her long-term boyfriend has had no problem with
the relationship between Angela and Robert. "If he can't
go somewhere with me," says Angela, "he'll say, 'I think
Robert could go'," even though Robert now lives in
Charlotte, where his job is.
"I'm different from a lot of gay men," Robert says. "I
hate shopping and things like that. I had a best friend
who recently passed at the age of 90. I don't let a lot of
people in. Less is more."
Angela appreciates the relative permanence of a best
friend.
"Boyfriends come and go," she says, but "best friends"
are permanent.
They've both been through difficult breakups together
and "I'm sad when he's sad," she says.
Next year, they turn 50 together and the plan is to
do that in Paris. As best friends.
MARK DEARING (64)
& ALLEN SHIPLETT (64)
They met 60 years ago "out in a field throwing dirt
balls at each other," says Allen. The stories began at that
moment and they haven't even slowed since. The two
native Salemites (just listen to their authentic accents)
are born storytellers who missed their calling (Allen is
a plumber, Mark a Volkswagen mechanic with his own
THEROANOKER.COM

shop-Salem Imports-and three engineering degrees).
They've done what guys their age and temperament
often did as kids: raised hell, drank beer, went to concerts with bands like Trucker's Delight and the Grevious Angels, experimented with mind expansion, took
a VW bus across the country and got in a dither with
Arizona police.
In 4th grade, they were separated into different school
rooms to quell their disruption. In 7th grade their homeroom burned down and, says Mark looking sheepish,
"they blamed us." Aw, pshaw! The powers wouldn't even
let them ride the school bus together in middle school
and by high school "we got separated again." School
administrators knew.
They got married and Allen had a daughter. Mark has
a dog. They've both been married more than a quarter
century. They settled into long-term careers and found
traditional comfort and security.
They never really changed much, though. Mark
was always the "redneck hippie," says Allen. "He was
the first hippie I ever knew." Allen claims to be more
conventional.
Mark's legendary dad, Hank Dearing, was chief of
engineering construction for years at Norfolk & Western Railway and a character of some note. His influence
was indelible on both boys. Allen's dad was a plumber
and that was passed on, too, almost as soon as Allen was
out of high school. Mark's dad also taught the boys to
work on Volkswagens.
Their two-month, 17-state, 14,000-mile trip in a
VW bus-with eight people piled in-following Richard Nixon's resignation in the early 1970s remains a
highlight, one they visit often for stories they don't necessarily want to tell in a publication. Mark opened his

Angela Drinkard and
Robert Pilot: "He has
a great sense of humor
and we started off by
laughing. A lot."
Mark Dearing and
Allen Shiplett:
They've done what
guys their age and
temperament often did
as kids: raised hell ...

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | 105


http://www.THEROANOKER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - November/December 2017

The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - Intro
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - Cover1
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - Cover2
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 3
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 4
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 5
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 6
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 7
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 8
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 9
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 10
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 11
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 12
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 13
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 14
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 15
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 16
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 17
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 18
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 19
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 20
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 21
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 22
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 23
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 24
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 25
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 26
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 27
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 28
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 29
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 30
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 31
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 32
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 33
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 34
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 35
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 36
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 37
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 38
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 39
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 40
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 41
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 42
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 43
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 44
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 45
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 46
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 47
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 48
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 49
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 50
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 51
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 52
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 53
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 54
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 55
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 56
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 57
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 58
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 59
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 60
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 61
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 62
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 63
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 64
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 65
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 66
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 67
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 68
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 69
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 70
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 71
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 72
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 73
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 74
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 75
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 76
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 77
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 78
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 79
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 80
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 81
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 82
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 83
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 84
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 85
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 86
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 87
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 88
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 89
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 90
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 91
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 92
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 93
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 94
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 95
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 96
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 97
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 98
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 99
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 100
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 101
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 102
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 103
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 104
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 105
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 106
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 107
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 108
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 109
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 110
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 111
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 112
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 113
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 114
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - Cover3
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - Cover4
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 118
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 119
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 120
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 121
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 122
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 123
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 124
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 125
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 126
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 127
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 128
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 129
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 130
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 131
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 132
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 133
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 134
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 135
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 136
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 137
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 138
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 139
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 140
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 141
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 142
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 143
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 144
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 145
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 146
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 147
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 148
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 149
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 150
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 151
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 152
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 153
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 154
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 155
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 156
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 157
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 158
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 159
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 160
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 161
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 162
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 163
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 164
The Roanoker - November/December 2017 - 165
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20190910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20190708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20190506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20190304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20190102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20181112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20180910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20180708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20180506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20180304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20180102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20171112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20170910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/TheRoanoker_JulyAugust2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/TheRoanoker_MayJune2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20170304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20170102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20161112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20160910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20160708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20160506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20160304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20160102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20151112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20150910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20150708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20150506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20150304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20150102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20141112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20140910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20140708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20140506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_201403
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_201402
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com