Saluda News & Notations: Learning that Turtles actually can fly… the hard way

Published 8:00 am Friday, April 20, 2018

“I count my blessings every day, quite honestly, because I take nothing for granted.”

~ Mario Andretti

Last Saturday night, the Turtle and I were heading back up the mountain, taking the back road toward Saluda and home, winding through switchbacks and listening to WNCW.

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I don’t know what it is with me and Trouble with a capital T, but going into the last deep curve, the Turtle lost the brakes. NO brakes — Whoa! Wheeee!!!! Oh NO!!!

Then we were a’flyin’ hard around that wicked curve — tires squalling, no way to slow down. You know how you just keep thinking this can’t be happening?

Life does flash in front of your eyes, and every tree is an obstacle course, let alone the sheer drop-offs and boulders. 

Thank goodness for no traffic close by at that moment, and thank goodness for growing up in a time of muscle cars and stick shifts. Even now, I’m still a little shook up like Elvis, although I’m wavering between a theme song of “Jesus Take The Wheel” and Tom Petty’s “Learning To Fly.”

Neither the Turtle or I care to repeat that harrowing lift-off, although people like Mario Andretti and Richard Petty got paid big bucks for it.  Meanwhile, poor Turtle sits forlorn, waiting on a new master cylinder and such.

One thing I know is it sure is good to still be here, to make it to another birthday soon (no whining about that!), to be still be rubbing River’s soft ears one more day, and to not be 6-feet under or laid up in a hospital bed. Yes, guardian angels must ride in old pick-up trucks because we were coming up the hill, not down — I can’t even think about how that would have ended on the down side of things.

And another thing I know: turtles can fly after all.

• Saluda Welcome Table at Saluda Methodist Church is every Tuesday from 5:30-6:45 p.m.

• Learn about Saluda Community Land Trust by visiting or calling 828-749-1560. SCLT’s 11th annual meeting is April 25 at 6 p.m. at Saluda Center. One of the historic pews from Sullivan’s Temple will be part of the silent auction to help raise funds for SCLT. The next “Walk in the Woods” is May 6, Palmetto Trail to Blue Wall. Meet at Saluda Library parking lot, 2 p.m. Sunday to carpool. For more information on walks, contact Chuck Hearon at 828-817-0364 or

• Saluda’s Historic Depot is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. The next Saluda Train Tales, featuring Larry Morton, will be April 20 at 6 p.m. Donations can be sent to Saluda Historic Depot, P.O. Box 990, Saluda, NC 28773 or

• Community potluck and bingo night at Saluda Center is April 30,  at 6 p.m. Bring a dish to share with others.

• SLIP (Saluda Living in Place) has a walking group on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, which meets at the city parking lot at 10 a.m. Walk as much/or as little as you like: no walks in rain, snow or under 32 degrees. SLIP can help with transportation (828-749-0049) and offers home visits, educational programs and social events.

• Saluda School: “The World According to Humphrey” is a free play featuring Saluda students at the auditorium April 25 and 26 at 6 p.m.

• The 15th annual Saluda Arts Festival is May 19.

• Happy April Birthday to: Martha Ashley, Melody Gibson, Dave Prudhomme, Kaye Vazquez, Cindy Keeter, Betty Anna Brown, Hope Pace, Diane Pace, Ruth Anderson, Greaton Sellers, Clay Arrington, Bonnie Bardos, Luther Connor, Gary Pace, Doug Honeycutt, Niece Lundgren, Julie Roy, Tommy Williamson, Rhonda Corley and Taylor Staggs.

Thank you for reading this column; as ever, the goal is to make you feel like you’re enjoying small town life in a friendly mountain town called Saluda.  Feel free to contact me at, 828-749-1153, or visit