Fresh starts and fresh pizza

Published 10:00 pm Friday, August 26, 2016

Tryon is known to many as a place to retire. Access to the beautiful mountains, a lower cost of living, moderate climate and a thriving arts community attract retirees from all over the country. Tryon is also known for, say it with me, Side Street Pizza. The most frequent response I get from people when they find out where I live is, “Oh yeah, I’ve been to Tryon, there’s a great pizza place there, what’s it called?”

Side Street has certainly cornered the “We’re not from around here” market. Most outsiders don’t know we have like 19 pizza places here. All of them are unique in their own special way.

Tryon is also a place where many people come for a fresh start. I was reminded of that recently when an old friend came to town. Thinking she was here for a little R&R I started giving her some suggestions of ways to fill her time. Then, she explained that she was here visiting her mom at Pavillon. Gulp.

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Not too far outside of town is a well-known drug and alcohol treatment facility known as Pavillon. Every now and then, I bump into someone who tells me they are a recovering addict of some kind and came to Tryon for the sole purpose of starting over. Most of these folks went through Pavillon or Cooper Riis (another local treatment facility) at some point in their life, and credit that experience with starting their road to recovery.

Many addicts will tell you they had to hit “rock-bottom” before agreeing to seek treatment and turn things around. Going through rehab in a place like Pavillon or Cooper Riis means you’ve experienced some pretty dark and troubling times. Going to hell and back can dramatically influence your outlook on life. I imagine you would come out with a sense of purpose and a desire not to waste the rest of your time on earth.

That’s a common theme here in this community – we don’t want to waste the time we have left. As a result, our town is filled with individuals who are making a difference by volunteering, pursuing new hobbies and interests and genuinely being kind to one another. Perhaps our small, close-knit and quirky community makes it easier to start over. Anyone can find their place here.

One of my family members struggles with addiction and has for a long, long time. Michelle, if you’re out there, maybe you should move to Tryon. We have lots of fresh pizza.

The next time you’re feeling down or frustrated or angry, go find someone who’s been to hell and back, take them to Side Street and hear their story. I assure you, your troubles may well disappear just like that heart-stopper you just devoured.