Saluda News & Notations: Give your treasures to those who will treasure them

Published 8:00 am Friday, September 21, 2018

September is here, with the ripened seeds,

And the homely smell of the autumn weeds,

My heart goes back to a vanished day,

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And I am again a boy at play

In the stack behind the barn.

~ Sir Charles

George Douglas Roberts

Raise your hand, Dear Reader, if you’ve ever kept something “precious” packed away in a drawer.

Or put it high on a shelf, wrapped it up or hidden it away in order to protect it from ordinary life: whether a family heirloom, your great-grandmother’s tortoise shell comb, the family silver, a special gift, a child’s first pair of shoes, a baby blanket. You know: that stuff.

Yes, I’m raising my hand too. We all are!

I’ve been on another round of purging (this happens like clockwork every couple of years) and this time, I mean business. It’s time to make a change, old girl, I tell myself.

Maybe it’s the time of year. Maybe it’s just the inkling setting in that I’m not getting younger. Maybe wiser (no pithy remarks on that one!)?

A turn-of-the-century gold Waltham railroad watch, my father’s World War II photos of Italy, France, Germany…with his letters and telegrams back to the U.S., a baby blanket, a first toy — well-loved, you can tell.

Great-aunt Elizabeth’s quilt, a Meissen porcelain set.

A 1950’s Betty Crocker cookbook, well-worn. Great-Uncle Otho’s hand-carved chess set.

Family members hand-writing from different generations. My childhood maple rocker.

A first-grade report card…bits and pieces of several lifetimes.

Photos, oh, the photos. Wedding days, baby pictures, school grins, Victorian-era, Polaroid, Canon. Generations.

Slowly, I sort and sift through things. Pile here, pile there.

I call my niece in Florida to see if she wants the Haviland china.

I carefully place watch, letters, photos, Betty Crocker, chess set in a box. It gets handed to Alexander when he comes down from Asheville to take me to Taco Night.

There are little notes with some things, so he won’t forget. “Chess Set: carved by your Great-great Uncle Otho in Maine — this was your Paw Paw’s, when you were little, he taught you to play chess with it.” A few words, a whole lifetime.

There are so many stories, so little time to tell, to pass down this, that. It’s hard.

I know young folks of the millennial age do NOT WANT their mom’s mother’s china with roses and gold trim. They don’t want silver, gee-gaws, knick-knacks, baby blankets or furniture.

It is up to me to disperse the “treasures” to those who will treasure them: family or not. It matters more that they are loved.

So, I paint the rocker a bright blue with happy colors embroidered by dragonflies, moons, stars: it becomes a baby present for someone special. The old quilt, from the 1920s, is like new — it’s been folded away in Great Aunt Elizabeth’s trunk. I put it on my bed and remember.

• Saluda Tailgate Market is open from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Fridays at the city parking lot off Main Street.

• Cindy Stephenson Tuttle, great-granddaughter of Otho Brownlow Garren, will present Saluda Train Tales at 7 p.m. Friday at Saluda Historic Depot.

• Community potluck and bingo is at 6 p.m. Monday at Saluda Center.

• Art Trek weekend is Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29-30, with a preview party from 5-7:30 p.m. Friday at Upstairs Artspace in Tryon. Saluda artists participating are Dale McEntire, Kristin Mode, Alexia Timberlake, Laura Polanco and Bonnie Bardos.

 • Happy September Birthday to Wayne Thompson, Courtney Hoots, Merci Weitzen, Dale McEntire, Joni Rauschenbach, Sonya Monts, Linda Kaye Hayes, Carol Kenfield, Debbie Fisher, Leslie Jespersen, Linda Mintz, Sheila Billeter, Cary Pace, Ross Arrington, Hop Foster, Chuck Hearon, Alexia Timberlake, Jason Justus, Beth Carson, Clark Thompson, Nicholas Edwards, Cindy Tuttle and Don Clapp.

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