Summertime in Tryon reminds me how lucky I am

Published 10:00 pm Friday, June 17, 2016

“A BBQ buck is $1, and I’m really not sure which vendor has the best ribs.”

Oh, I’m sorry, I was having flashbacks to last weekend, when I volunteered for the Blue Ridge BBQ Festival. I think they should change the name to the, “That will be $20 for a pulled-pork sandwich festival.”

I took my entire family to the festival for some BBQ and cotton candy. Let’s just say I’m going to feed the kids at home before we go next time.

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That, or tell the kids their college savings won’t get funded that month, their choice. For my five-year-old, it’s a no-brainer. The eight-year-old will think about it for a bit.

Both of them will end up with cotton candy and some bread while their dad tries to split a pulled pork sandwich and a water four ways.

It will also be 1,000 degrees. To try and avoid the heat, we’ll head under the big tent, which just happens to be the only place on earth where the shade is hotter than being in the sun.

If you haven’t noticed, it’s summertime in Tryon, and that means activities, lots of activities. If you’re not careful, you can overdo it.

I keep telling myself there is nothing wrong with staying home and watching a movie with the family every once in a while. But then the doer in me kicks in and we head out the door to the next free concert or event that’s on Carol Browning’s community calendar.

I think that’s why the costs at the BBQ festival feel so high; everything else around here is pretty much free. I’m just spoiled.

Summertime also brings graduation from high school for a lot of local seniors. Each year at this time, I have to get a whole new crew of babysitters. And almost daily, I read about another senior getting a scholarship from some non-profit in this community.

I had the privilege of presenting this year’s scholarships from the Rotary Club of Tryon to six very deserving students. While I had the stage, I took the opportunity to remind the graduating class just how lucky they were to have grown up in such a supportive and tight-knit community.

As I sat and watched all of the different scholarships awarded, a couple of thoughts came to mind: 1) Women are taking over the world, and 2) These kids have no idea how lucky they are.

Polk County and this region are unique in so many ways. If you grow up in this community and have any motivation at all, you can do anything you want to do and most likely get some help paying for it.

Summertime in Tryon reminds me how lucky we are. We support our kids and we live where other people vacation.

Note: For all of you who helped make the Blue Ridge BBQ Festival happen, thank you! It’s a wonderful event that brings lots of people and non-BBQ bucks into this community. I know those $22 BBQ bucks I paid for that half-rack of ribs and some fries is going to a good cause!

~ Michael Baughman