Big Brother (and his cousin) are watching you

Published 9:45 pm Thursday, July 28, 2016

“I want to tell you your life is a blue coal, a slice

of orange in the mouth, cut hay in the nostrils.

The cardinals’ red song dances in your blood.

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Look, every month the moon blossoms

into a peony, then shrinks to a sliver of garlic.

And then it blooms again.” 

~ Barbara Crooker,

excerpt from Line Dance

It’s been hot enough this week to fry an egg or two out on the sidewalk, maybe with a side of bacon to join it. River dog joins me for early morning coffee out on the front porch, but by noon, sweat dripping off my face as I paint, we’ve bailed from the rising heat wave and headed in for a hint of coolness.

A friend reminds me to come swim in her lake cove — just bring swimsuit, hat and River, she says. That sounds so good, until I start thinking about people, camera phones, and no privacy anywhere these days. You can’t cross a street, eat spaghetti, sneeze, shop in a store or drive through an intersection without Big Brother or his cousin watching you. Go to a concert, and people are too busy watching their phone screens instead of the real show. Gotta take pictures, take video.

Visit social media and you see the results posted for everybody in the world. There’s some wildly dressed person caught in the act of bad hair and clothing choices. People sneak pictures of total strangers for mass entertainment. Look at what he’s doing! Look! Look at that woman on the scooter! Look! Like buzzards, the herds swoop to pick with viciousness, without a second thought. Maybe it is a crime to the eyeballs for folks to wear jammies, bikini tops, unforgiving tights and Motown wigs out to the store. But … let ‘em. Since when do the fashion police have to belittle and arrest everyone?

Thinking about me, swimsuit, phones pointed at that rather vintage suit of mine and Irish girl legs blinding the neighborhood, cools down any itch about lake hopping on sizzling days. Hmmmm … maybe I’ll take to night swims … and won’t you know it, there’s bound to be night vision in those cameras. Give a girl a break!

Saluda Tailgate Market is open on Fridays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the city parking lot off Main Street.

Saluda Welcome Table is every Tuesday. Dinner is served from 5:30 -7 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Saluda United Methodist Church. All are welcome; donations accepted.

Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) benefits from your donations or time as a volunteer for their many community projects. “Walks in the Woods” are on the first and third Sundays each month. For more information, contact SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit

Saluda Train Tales are held at Saluda Historic Depot ( on the third Friday each month April through October. The depot is open Thursday through Sunday, noon-4 p.m.

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

Social Singles potluck (singles over 40) begins again in August on the second Thursday of every month at Saluda Center. The next one is August 11 at 6 p.m.

Happy July Birthday to Doris Marion, Debi Thomas, Rheta Foster, Nancy Weinhagen, Lisa Obermiller, Kathy Thompson, Bill Jameson, Emily Rose Ford, Jeremy Ford, Mike Cass, Emma Jean McGraw, Nathen Pack, Melissa Justus, Hunter Justus, Alyssa Justus, Tona Justus, Lynn Savage and Amanda Anderson.

Thank you, dear readers for reading this column! It’s always my goal to make you feel like you’re having a front porch visit, enjoying a summer-sweet pace of life in a small town called Saluda. If you have something of note or a birthday to add to the list, feel free to contact me at or 749-1153. You may also visit my website at or find me on Facebook.