Life in the Slow Lane: Can I have a ride?

Published 10:00 pm Friday, August 4, 2017

By Michael Baughman

You know you live in a small town when you find yourself getting rides from friends frequently. Having lived in a few different places, I feel as though I can speak with some authority on this topic. Before moving to Tryon and not including college, I could count on less than one finger how many times I randomly got a ride from someone. But here, this ride-sharing phenomenon seems to happen quite frequently. And trust me, I don’t have that many friends.

In fact, I don’t even consider where my next ride might come from, I just know that when I need one, someone will always be headed in the direction I’m going and can drop me off. It’s one of the benefits of living in the slow lane. People will give you rides because, most likely, they are friendly and headed in the same direction you’re going. After all there aren’t that many roads leading to or from Tryon.

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One week in particular, this good neighbor phenomenon seemed to happen more than once, and not just to me. We have a small cottage that we sometimes rent out on Air B&B. Most of our tenants are from cities and are in town for a horse show, a quiet mountain retreat or they are here looking for a home.

Most are taken aback when they ask us for the key to the place and we tell them we don’t have one. If someone is so hard up for some second-hand, antique furniture that they are willing to trespass and steal it, we say let them have it. If we lock the door, they may actually break something.

One of our recent tenants was from a big city. They wanted to lock the doors and seemed to be moving fast most of the time. Until they got a screw stuck in their tire – on a Sunday. If you’ve been here more than a couple weeks, you know that nothing is open around here on a Sunday, with the exception of the drug stores, a few restaurants (but not all) and the Tryon Theatre.

But if you need a tire repaired in a pinch on a Sunday, you might as well grab a book (Lanier Library is open, 1 – 4 p.m. on Sundays) and wait until Monday.

Our tenants were not to be deterred – remember, they got places to go! They drove off with a pierced and leaking tire to find a local tire repair shop that was open, on a Sunday.  When they returned with a miraculously fixed tire, I asked them how it happened. They told me they stopped by Pierce Tire, which is closed on Sundays and the owner just happened to be at the shop that day and fixed their tire for them on the spot. They were blown away by this act of kindness.

It’s just another day (even a Sunday) here in Tryon.