Tryon. It’s not what you think!

Published 9:19 pm Friday, September 11, 2015

By Michael Baughman

When I think about a “small town,” I picture a dying Main Street, with at least one wig shop, a flashing yellow light, an old hardware store and a diner filled with locals reminiscing about the good times gone bad. Just picture most towns in West Virginia.

Tryon is not your typical small town. For example, where else on the planet can you attend an art exhibit one evening, then go on a hike turned owl symposium the next day and follow that up with a TEDx event?

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I remember thinking the first time I passed through this area, ”It’s beautiful but I don’t think I could live here.” It just seemed too sleepy and felt like a dying, little town. I’ve had many ignorant thoughts in my life, but this one may be the winner. I could not have been more wrong!

To quote a wise and humble columnist, “This place is freaking awesome!” Tryon has more going on than most normal humans can take in. Over the next couple weeks I may do or have already done the following:

  1. Attend a TedX in Tryon – Tryon may be the smallest community to ever put one of these events on. How did we do it? Read on.
  2. Run an 8K (The Ache Around the Lake) Just kidding, I’m not a runner but it sounds good to say I ran an 8K. Maybe I’ll get an “8K” bumper sticker for my car.
  3. Go to a Shrimpfest – this is either a festival for shrimp, or a place where I can eat a lot of shrimp. Either way, it sounds right up my alley.
  4. Take my family on a hike in the Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve a 2,000 acre nature preserve bordering the Pacolet River just over the line in South Carolina.
  5. Attend a free concert with my kids at our own Tryon Fine Arts Center and at McCreery Park in Saluda. Did I mention they were free? Did I mention I’m taking my kids?
  6. Listen to a Julliard School of Music trained (yes, that Julliard) pianist, Dr. Beth Child, perform Beethoven’s 6th Symphony. Oh, this happened at my weekly Rotary Club of Tryon meeting. Yep, right after Happy Dollar.
  7. Have an impromptu lunch with the mayor, fire chief and police chief. Here’s the story: I went to 10 N. Trade to order a lunch to go and the next thing I know, I’m invited to sit down with these three public servants. We’re lucky to have them! Oh, and our mayor races motorcycles when he’s not conducting town business. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was up to date on my current water bill. The mayor kept looking at me like I owed the town money.
  8. Camp at the old YMCA camp on top of White Oak Mountain. One of the most spectacular views you’ll find on the East coast.
  9. Attempted (key word, Attempted) Zumba with my daughter’s class at school. Hopefully, no picture will EVER surface from this event!

But wait, I thought this was a sleepy little town, with a flashing yellow light, and a wig shop? Sorry, you’ll have to go somewhere else to find wigs (and boredom).

Speaking of TedX Tryon, it’s happening today right here in lil’ ol Tryon.

As an aside, I have to give a shout-out to the brain trust that brought TedX to Tryon: Corrie and Loti Woods. These two sisters with swaggah’ just went out and made it happen. I’m inspired and awed by what they, along with an army of volunteers, have accomplished. Without Corrie and Loti Woods, there is no TEDxTryon. Bravo Loti and Corrie, Bravo! Their armies of volunteers are pretty special as well. You know who you are. I especially like one of you, a lot. We should get married. Oh wait, we already are.