Saluda column

Published 9:48 pm Thursday, May 21, 2015

 By Bonnie J. Bardos 


“A yellow flower(Light and spirit)Sings by itselfFor nobody. A golden spirit(Light and emptiness)Sings without a wordBy itself.”

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~ Thomas Merton, excerpt from “Song to Nobody”


This week, cascades of luscious garden roses have been in full bloom which means the Japanese beetles will be moving in for a picnic, bringing forks and plates to stay around for dessert. Rounding the yard with pruners in hand, I’ve hurried to beat those rascals to the draw, making bouquets often. I even hauled a bright tin can full of blooms to the Saluda Arts Festival when packing art and supplies to set up for demonstration during the day.

Upon pulling up in the parking lot to unload, a crew of volunteers came running, ready to help unload the car bursting at the seams with paintings, chairs, table, brushes, cooler, and roses. Remember those old Volkswagen ads with stuffed Beetles (not the varmint kind)? That sort of was how it was. There you are, ready to do all the labor, and some one actually wants to help you. (Around my house, that just doesn’t happen. Unless River is cleaning up crumbs or dusting with his tail.) I loved it!

Sure made life much easier to have so many helping hands, willing ones at that. It was a breeze—although I hustled to get the infamous car back home up the street since it was found to be leaking diesel fuel everywhere, even after a month’s vacation in the repair shop. A volunteer followed the evidence up to my house and hauled me back in a golf cart; others were swarming like ants to get things done. Around this small town with a big heart, that’s one reason things get done. How many times do you hear people who say maybe I’ll help do it tomorrow or when I have time—but never follow through? Nope—you don’t hear that out of those tireless Saluda volunteers.

From teenagers to older folks, many who stayed throughout the festival, others rotating in for morning duty, and others for evening, it was a well-oiled machine, and every one of those volunteers had smiles and willing hands. And at the end, one hauled a very tired-out-me and a large painting back home in a golf cart — a pretty funny sight. Only in Saluda. Bless ’em.


Saluda Tailgate Market is open on Fridays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the city parking lot off Main Street. Offerings include local honey, produce, delicious baked goodies, plants, and much more! Many Saluda businesses stay open later on Friday, so you can stop by after tailgate marketing.

The Memorial Day Service is May 25 at 2 p.m. at Veterans Park, located on Greenville Street by the railroad tracks.


Saluda Center Potluck and Bingo is at Saluda Center, May 25 at 6 p.m.


Saluda branch of Tree City USA meets at 5:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday each month at Saluda Library.

A tour of Saluda homes and silent auction to help raise funds for the Saluda Depot will be on June 6. If you’d like to help preserve the historic Saluda Depot, you can send donations or pledges (tax deductible!) to Saluda Historic Depot, PO Box 990, Saluda, NC 28773 or email


It’s not too late to purchase a paver for Pace Park located in the alley beside M.A. Pace Store.  Drop off applications/payment at City Hall or mail to City of Saluda, 6 Main Street, Saluda, NC 28773. Proceeds go toward building public restrooms. For information, contact Catherine Ross at 828-749-3534 or

Happy May Birthday to Amy Copeland, Corinne Gerwe, Chris Anderson, Mark Jackson, Cary Pace, Lisa Hipp, Trevor Young, Jemme Latell, Paul Marion, Jesse Thomas, Margaret Sease, Elizabeth Baldwin, Chad Baldwin, Lynn Cass and Thelma Jones. Add your birthday to the list. And I promise, from me to you, no ages will be mentioned unless you’re under two or over 100!


Happy anniversary to Chuck Hearon and Carolyn Ashburn!


Get well wishes go to tireless volunteer John Savage. Sometimes folks like John and Lynn Savage come to Saluda and quietly do great things with much kindness.


Ceri Dando of Lake Chapala, Mexico visited Saluda last week and enjoyed a bit of reminiscing of days gone by. After a pleasant lunch on Purple Onion’s patio, I took him in Thompson’s Store to see all the renovations, to M.A. Pace’s to chat with Leon Morgan, then to say hi to Kim Eargle working at Heartwood and over to Saluda Realty to surprise his friends. Ceri enjoyed the fifty-cent Saluda tour; maybe I missed my calling as a tour guide. Almost 20 years ago, he and wife Peggy owned the Oaks Bed and Breakfast.


Thank you dear readers, for reading this column. I so enjoy hearing from you, getting your hugs, your calls, your emails. It’s always my goal to make you feel like you’re having a front porch visit, enjoying a cool glass of tea, birds, flowers and life in a small town called Saluda. You can contact me at, call 749-1153, visit for more writing and art, or find me on Facebook.