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The New Year: What does the future hold?

by Brian Clarey

Mrs. Grace settles into the couch in her living room, and she doesn’t need psychic powers to discern that her husband would rather be watching the Miss America pageant on CMT than endure a visit from a couple reporters on a weekday afternoon.

But she does claim to have psychic powers.

“I was born with the gift,” she says with a vague accent. “When I was six years old I started picking up things from people. If they was angry, I knew why.”

She’s picked Super Bowl Winners and aided police in the search for the body of a missing child. And she takes appointments in the living room of her house on Spring Garden Street that’s got two easy black leather chairs, a glass coffee table and mirrors covering one wall, reflecting today the image of a white-frosted Christmas tree adorned with colored lights.

People come to her house on Spring Garden to see what Mrs. Grace can glean from them, to have her read their vibes and the lines on their palms. They ask her advice, they tell her their problems. But mostly they want to see what happens’… before it happens.

Mrs. Grace has been doing some thinking about the coming year and what it will bring to the people of Greensboro, our nation’s leaders and the people we like to watch in movies and on TV. And she doesn’t mind talking about it.

“Sure,” she says. “Whatever you want to talk about.”

We’ve been discussing in the YES! Weekly offices the prospects for Greensboro’s downtown development, and we want to know her thoughts.

As a 30-year resident of the city, Mrs. Grace has seen much transpire on the downtown streets and she’s a fan of the revitalization in that part of the city that has occurred in the last five years.

“I have to say, it took a long time,” she says. “We waited a long time for that.”

But not much will change in 2007, she says.

“You pretty much see the way it is,” she says. “That’s it for now. By 2011 I feel there will be a lot of improvements.”

About the Greensboro police scandal involving David Wray, James Hinson and allegations of aberrant behavior and institutional racism, she says, “It’s probably true. Racism – that does exist and honestly, it always will. I wish I could say it will change, but I don’t think it will.”

The city’s biggest problem, she feels, is a lack of jobs.

“I give a lot of advice to people,” she says. “All walks of life. And people tell me they’re having a hard time. They just can’t find work. These are people with skills, with degrees, and it takes them months’…. They can’t find jobs.”

Will more jobs come to Greensboro in 2007?

“I wish I could say, ‘Yes,'” she says. “It’s just getting harder and harder. But Greensboro is growing. That’s good.”

As for economic incentive packages like the type offered by Guilford County to Dell Computers in 2005, she doesn’t foresee any in 2007, saying, “I don’t feel that right now. Maybe for later, but nothing right now.”

She is picking up a strong feeling from the Bush camp in Washington, DC, one that, despite the recent changing of the guards in the House and Senate, intimates a pretty good year for the beleaguered president.

“It’s gonna go in [Bush]’s favor,” she says. “Whatever his plans are, whatever he’s wishing, I feel it’s gonna work out in his favor.”

Along those same lines, she does not see and end anytime soon for the war in Iraq, though not for lack of wishful thinking.

“That’s a waste,” she says. “For [Bush] to put more troops out there, that should not happen. But I feel that another four years this should go on. It shouldn’t, but I feel it will take three or four years.

“I predicted this about ten years ago,” she adds. “I said this president would have a lot of decisions to make.”

Her predictions are not informed by her personal politics, which are kind of old fashioned.

“We don’t want a woman president,” she says when asked about Hillary Clinton’s possible 2007 campaign for president. “Women can do a lot of stuff, but I don’t want a woman president. It’s been men all these years; it should stay that way. I think there should always be a man president.”

She also keeps an eye on the celebrities that we talk about way too much in our offices.

On Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie:

“Too fast. They adopt too many kids. They should have gotten to know each other a little more. It’s good for the kid, because things will be better for him. But I think they make a perfect couple. But they should have took it easy on the kids for a while.”

On Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes:

“I feel that’s a good couple, too. I feel that’s locked in for now.”

On Lindsay Lohan’s penchant for booze, drugs and irrational e-mails:

“She’s just experiencing and everything. She’s going crazy but one day she’ll calm down. These young girls got so much money and they go crazy for a while. Too much freedom. They get stressed out. They work too hard so they turn to something for comfort, and as famous as they are, they’re a little bit lonely. That booze, that drugs’… that’s their friend and it makes them feel better for a little while.”

On Britney Spears’ divorce and apparent descent into upskirt dementia:

“She’s having it hard right now. I see her going through this for another couple of years. She’s still got some growing up to do.”

On Spears’ ex-husband Kevin Federline’s prospects as a rap star:

“I’m blank there. I don’t feel nothing for that. No feeling.”

On the possibility of a 2007 release for the Axl Rose CD Chinese Democracy, which has been in the works since 1999 though its most recent release date is tentatively set for March:

“What’s holding him back? Probably nothing. It doesn’t take eight years to do something like that.”

But will it come out this year?

She shakes her head, no.

On the possibility of political and legal scandals during 2007:

“Always.”

Mrs. Grace also had a few thoughts on the future of YES! Weekly as it enters its third year:

“Good things, yes,” she says, in almost Yoda-like fashion. “It’s gonna get big. It’s gonna grow. Lots of readers.”

And while there may not be an exact science to the methods of Mrs. Grace, time will tell if she’s on the money.

To comment on this story, e-mail Brian Clarey at editor@yesweekly.com.

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