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A return from Florida

“I stood beside a hill
Smooth with new-laid snow,
A single star looked out
From the cold evening glow.
There was not other creature
That saw what I could see,
I stood and watched the evening star
As long as it watched me.”
~ Sara Teasdale,
February Twilight

Welcome to February Saluda news and notations! I’ve returned from the land of turquoise water, white sand, palm trees and juicy Florida oranges—a bag full from a roadside orange grove came home with me, as well as a jar of orange blossom honey.
It was quite a trip: on the way down, I had car trouble, and (as ever) imagined the worst from the sounds emitting under the hood. While I didn’t end up calling AAA for roadside assistance, I did meet some ‘interesting’ characters on my mission for help—one, wearing leather and tattoos, had a vicious-looking 8” knife strapped to his leg, plus an aura that would make a rattlesnake run for cover. Maybe after seeing the peace sign dangling from my VW’s rear view mirror, he showed more mercy than normal. My only weapons in sight were paintbrushes, canvas and a large sculpture in the back seat!
Happy 131th  Anniversary to Saluda; visit the new website for historicsaluda.org. Thanks to all who volunteered for the year-long celebration of Saluda’s 130th anniversary throughout last year. Every time I walk along Main Street, I am both humbled and proud of what a treasure we have: in the people that smile, hug and care, and the charm of historic buildings.
Thank you to Mr. Halford Bishop, who called to share some reminiscing about Phoebe Sullivan and her magical ‘elixir,’ the recipe a well-guarded secret, now lost in time. He remembers that one prime ingredient of her medicinal brew was moonshine—along with berries that tinted the mix purplish-red, like poke berries would (although those are poison to people, and birds get drunk off them). I just know I could use a dose of that magical stuff!
Happy Notes: We have a new nature park in Saluda named the Bradley Nature Preserve. Thanks to the Polk County Community Foundation (PCCF) and the Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT).
The preserve is a 8.2 acre nature park traversed by a trail system with the trail head located on Esseola Drive across from the intersection of Esseola and Substation near Autumn Care.  John and Lynn Savage purchased one acre, and PCCF agreed to fund purchase of the remaining 8.2 acres, with a requirement that the 8.2 acres will be open to the public and be named the Bradley Nature Preserve in honor of Marjorie M. & Lawrence R. Bradley, the fund donors.  Joining SCLT (www.saludaclt.org) is only $25 annually.
Art Notes: Saluda artists Dale McEntire, Jim Carson, Bonnie Bardos, Marguerite Hankins, Anne Jameson, William Jameson, and Caroline Young. Saluda artists will also be shown in Tryon at Skyuka Fine Art. It’s a big month for Saluda artists! Also, Bill Jameson has donated an oil painting “Fall On The Green River” to our Saluda Library as a fund-raiser. The final drawing will be in December, so you have all year to buy tickets (available at library) and admire this beautiful painting. Thank you, Bill, for your generosity!
February birthdays include: Wylie Rauschenbach, Wesley Pace, Biddie Dawson, Paul Gosselin, Amy Beeson, Chris Gianino and Ginny Jones.  Please add your birthday to the list!
As ever, thank you, dear readers in Bulletin land for reading this column!The goal is to make you feel like you’re enjoying a hot cup of tea with me—your comments are always wanted and valued.
Keep in mind if you have something of note, feel free to e-mail me at bbardos@gmail.com; or call me at 749-1153.  You may also visit my website at bonniebardos.com