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Archived Story

Threading a sense of community

Published 10:37am Friday, February 17, 2012

“One of the pleasant things about small town life is that everyone, whether rich or poor, liked or disliked, has some kind of a role and place in the community. I never felt that living in a city — as I once did for a couple of years.”
~ Edward Abbey
Welcome to mid-February Saluda news and notations! While at a reception for several Saluda artists at Skyuka Fine Art in Tryon, I was reminded yet again of why Saluda is such a special place in the world. Bill Jameson and his friend Jay were discussing this topic, so I was explaining to Jay what (to my way of thinking) made Saluda different. Eighteen years ago, when first arriving in town, I knew absolutely no one. No family, no relatives. However, there was that “something” special that Saluda had, and continues to have. Of course, the charm of the town and people appealed. Plus the variety of people of all kinds: old-timers wearing faded overalls to world-renowned artists, writers, singers: who were everyday people on the sidewalk!
Never did I feel like a stranger, and quickly learned that this is a town where people know your name, your dog’s name, the car you drive and what you’re having for dinner before you do!
Now, I’ve joked about that over the years, but there’s a warmth in knowing people care about you, and one another; that thread of a sense of community, of being part of a family. There are those who come here who don’t “get” Saluda – usually they tend to weed themselves out. Most of those who are drawn here appreciate what it is, not in it becoming what they left behind.
It’s not unusual to find vegetables or small offerings on a porch, a friendly note or a surprise gift of cupcakes, to get a hug or a smile, a wave. With the large number of creative types also appealing to me, this is reaffirmed in a PBS “Our State” with D.J. Martin segment on Hillsborough, N.C.; the writer Lee Smith said it all: “Like any other small Southern town, it’s very tolerant of its eccentrics. We need that!”
Saluda comes to mind upon hearing that; those words hit the nail on the head; so that’s one of the top reasons I love Saluda. It loves its eccentrics!
Art Notes: Skyuka Fine Art at 133 N. Trade Street, Tryon is presenting “Showing Off Saluda,” a show featuring Saluda artists: Bonnie Bardos, Jim Carson, Marguerite Hankins, William and Anne Jameson, Dale McEntire, Beverly Pickard, Bill Ryan and John Waddill. The High Point, N.C. show at Theatre Art Galleries featuring seven Saluda artists will continue until April.

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