Saluda News & Notations: A Saluda tradition

Published 8:00 am Friday, July 6, 2018

“I felt connected not only to the stars but to all of nature, and to the entire cosmos. I felt a merging with something far larger than myself, a grand and eternal unity, a hint of something absolute…”

~ Alan Lightman, excerpt from “Searching For Stars on an Island in Maine”

July arrives with steamy afternoons, summer peaches and juice-kissed crimson watermelons,  bright kayaks, and Coon Dog Day banners floating in mountain breezes.

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Every dog has its day, the old saying goes, and Coon Dog Day is all about dogs.

River Dog wisely stays home, ceiling fans stirring cool air for his leisure as hard-working coon dogs go through their paces downtown.

Little kids try out new swings at the park, families gather on porches and tourists throng Main Street. Scents of fried chicken from the Baptist church waft enticingly.

Old wood floors creak, a steady buzz of talk, music and laughter.  Flowers spill in profusion along the sidewalk.

It’s a tradition: summer, dogs and July.

• Saluda Tailgate Market is open on Fridays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the city parking lot off Main Street with fresh produce, baked goodies, plants and more. Thank you to our hard-working tailgate market volunteers!

• Saluda Welcome Table is every Tuesday. Dinner is served from 5:30-6:45 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Saluda United Methodist Church.

• The 55th Annual Coon Dog Day is Saturday; the 5K race starts at 8 a.m. (register Friday 5-7 p.m., Saturday, 6:30-7:30 a.m., or website); the parade starts at 11 a.m.  A benefit chicken dinner for building public restrooms in Pace Park and free concert with Vintage Vinyl Band kicks off the event Friday at McCreery Park. Dinner starts at 5, music at 6 p.m.

• Saluda Singles will have a potluck at Saluda Center at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 12.

• Saluda Community Land Trust 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; the next walk is Sunday, July 15, to Little Bradley Falls. Meet at Saluda Library’s parking lot at 2 p.m. to carpool. You can reach SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit Contact Chuck Hearon for hike information at 828-817-0364 or

• Saluda School may be out for summer vacation, but you can still collect specially-marked box tops to send to the school office. Money is used to purchase books for the Books Are Really Fun program. Students get to choose and keep three to five free books each year!

• Saluda Historic Depot is located at 32 W. Main St., and is open Thursday-Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Saluda Train Tales are held on the third Friday each month at 7 p.m. through October. The next one will be at 7 p.m. Friday, July 20, with Frank Thompson. 

• Saluda Sympathy goes to Betty Wilkerson for the loss of her husband, Bill. Bill was always friendly and had a knack for wood-working. Saluda Sympathy also goes to Dotty Eargle for the loss of her husband Roy this week. Roy and Dotty were instrumental in moving and saving the old Depot along with other buildings; he was the first person I met in Saluda. Roy had a deep love of history, his old Land Cruiser, architecture, dogs and nature.

• 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 Honeycutt, Melissa Justus, Hunter Justus, Alyssa Justus, Lin Savage, Doug Taylor, and Amanda Anderson.

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