Can’t we all just get along?

Published 10:00 pm Friday, August 12, 2016

So, let’s make the most of this beautiful day.

Since we’re together we might as well say:

Would you be mine?

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Could you be mine?

Won’t you be my neighbor?

~ Fred M. Rogers

I’m relatively new here, so forgive my ignorance, but are we so much different from each other? Is someone who lives in Landrum, S.C. all that different from someone who lives in Saluda or Mill Spring, N.C.?

I get there is some historical baggage that I’m unaware of. However, I’ve had a number of experiences with people from different parts of our community, which has informed my opinion.

People who live in Saluda tend to think Saluda is where it’s at – likewise, for folks in Tryon, or Landrum. We’re all pretty proud of our little towns and we should be. People from places beyond the walls we’re trying to build, think of this whole area as Amazingville, USA. They don’t get caught up in the differences between Landrum and Tryon. We should focus on our similarities more than our differences. If we do, I think our entire community would be better off.

That said, I’m all for some local pride! Let’s hear it for Lynn, N.C.! We have the best gravel roads around! (For what it’s worth, I live in Lynn, so I think I can say this with some authority.)

I bumped into a new friend down in Landrum a few weeks ago, and when he realized who I was, he started giving me a hard time about how much better Landrum was than Tryon. I took it like a 9-year-old and started telling him all the things I love about both places, trying to keep it friendly.

But he kept going and that’s when I dropped the bomb on him. I said, “I come to Landrum to buy beer, gas, cigarettes and fireworks and to eat at Southside or The Hare and Hound. I go to to Saluda when I want a ‘fine’ dining experience or slightly cooler temperatures, and to be reminded how great Saluda is. I go to Columbus when I need to pay taxes, check out a book, register (or sell) my car, buy groceries or BBQ. And I go to to Mill Spring or Green Creek when I want to get away from the hustle and bustle, experience some wide-open spaces or take a class at the Ag Center. Finally, I’ll stay in Tryon when I want to attend a concert or see a show at TFAC, play with my kids at Harmon Field or see a movie. You see, I’m not a native, so I really don’t care if I’m in Tryon, Landrum or Timbuktu, this entire area is special and each small town offers something unique.”

Let’s continue to embrace the things that make us unique while celebrating our similarities. After all, each of our communities is made up of hard-working, humble, compassionate and interesting people. We all want to shop local, keep our line at the DMV non-existent and protect our natural resources.

So in the spirit of keeping America great, one community at a time, what do you say? “Would you be mine, could you be mine, won’t you be my neighbor?”