Ella Geter: Short visit and a chance to share memories

Published 11:46 am Monday, August 27, 2012

“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”
~ Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Verdant summer-green drenches the Saluda landscape in late August; long-limbed Joe Pye

Ella Geter, now deceased, was part of Saluda’s black history, and grew up in the days of Phoebe Sullivan, Saluda’s famed black faith healer. A “Saluda Treasure”, Miss Ella is pictured here in the mid-1990’s. (photo by Bonnie J. Bardos)

weed sways along roadsides, and hints of goldenrod spikes and scarlet leaves here and there whisper fall promises coming. With school starting, the feel in the morning air changes — early morning spider webs capture diamonds that sparkle; big yellow buses pick up kids once again. Time drifts on toward fall.
River puppy and I take walks: new and wonderful adventures to him (every time), delicious scents to explore at every turn. Our meanderings take us along here and there, me picking up interesting rocks or branches to take home, as River gets a chance to water bushes or sniff a little longer: sometimes we see our friend the fox hovering in the distance: unafraid of us, yet elusive. Our elegant and quiet fox comes up in the yard at lavender dusk to visit the Pooh Garden: she must live close by.
Along a late-morning ramble, I see what’s left of Ella Geter’s old home place. Overgrown now, and probably due for demolition, I remember Miss Ella and the days of when I’d bring her lunch from Meals on Wheels, my old truck pulling up in her drive, the screen door opening to let me in as she greeted me with gladness — she’d been waiting. Her modest home was always neat, simple: she lived frugally and had worked hard all her life: a God-fearing woman who’d known prejudice, yet had love and smiles. Miss Ella was always dressed well: and I have a suspicion that she wore hats to church every Sunday. Thanks to her, I learned of Phoebe Sullivan, the famous black faith healer, and other bits and pieces of long-ago Saluda history. Miss Ella always enjoyed a little visit and a chance to share memories. She’s long gone now, but a part of what Saluda is. In sharing her picture with you today, it’s my way of remembering a Saluda treasure from our past that has remained in my heart. They all do.
Saluda Tailgate Market continues at West Main Street public parking lot on Fridays, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Fresh local offerings: rain or shine.
Many Saluda shops will stay open Friday nights with the first “Friday Night Live” scheduled for Friday, Aug. 31. You can do the Tailgate Market and then stroll downtown to visit restaurants and shops!
Art Scene: Honking Tonkers Gallery at 78 E. Main St., will show work by Saluda artists Beverly Pickard, Arline Boyce, and have a showcase of Bill Ryan’s work; reception August 24 from 6-9.
Saluda School will be back in session on Aug. 27. Hope kids, teachers, and parents have had a great summer. Stores not only are packed to the gills with school supplies, but this must mean that Christmas offerings get wheeled out. For some reason, I do not want to even think about red and green wrapping paper, mounds of toys or tinsel in August and September.
Join in for a community potluck and bingo Aug. 27, 6 p.m. at Saluda Center. Bring something tasty to share.
Mark your calendar for the annual Charlie Ward Memorial Pig Out on Saturday, Sept. 8 from 5 -7 p.m. in the Pavilion at McCre ery Park. If you’d like to volunteer or make a donation, contact Terry Baisden at 828-749-3789.
Good news! Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) and Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) partnered to permanently protect 21 acres of Twin Lakes parkland. Completed in August, this ensures long-term use of Twin Lakes Park for public recreation to Saluda residents and visitors, as well as protecting the natural beauty. A heart-felt ‘thank you’ to all involved.
Happy August Birthday to  B.J. Kent, Linda Kaye Hayes, Cindi Miller, Paul Stoney, Jen Pace, Zack Pace, Don Mintz, Caroline Tindal, Debbie Swiatowicz, Nora Ward, Samantha Ward and Reeda Ward.
Thank you for reading this column, dear readers. If you have something to add, you can call me at 828-749-1153, email at bbardos@gmail.com; my website is bonniebardos.com; and I’m on Facebook too.

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