Saluda News & Notations: Wishing an old friend luck with a new adventure

Published 8:00 am Friday, October 12, 2018

Thank you for whatever you do where ever you are to bring joy, and light and hope and faith and pardon and love to your neighbor and yourself.” ~ Fred Rogers 

I feel like a criminal this week.

Saturday morning, I piled in the Turtle and we coasted all the way down the mountain watershed road to Highway 25, passing October fields, bikers and a wild turkey or two pecking through grasses for lunch.

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Run, turkey! T-Day is coming before you know it. Hide! 

Turtle and I kept going. Finally, we pulled up to a small-time car lot on the outskirts of Traveler’s Rest, and I kicked the tires of an older Subaru wagon I’d spotted posted on Facebook’s marketplace the night before — it was a salvage vehicle (which means pig-in-the-poke), all-wheel-drive, automatic, which would be easier for driving for my wrist these days.

To make a long story short, I ended up making a trade — one old heap for another old heap you could say. But no car payments, and po’ folks do what they gotta do to get by: hence, the success of those sort of car dealers. 

Guiltily, I patted the Turtle’s weathered black shell on both sides as I thanked him for being a good friend and trusty ride, then hung the peace sign on the wagon’s rear view mirror and tossed Turtle’s zebra-striped floor mats down to make things feel like home.

The new old ride has yet to be named, although it will in time. I

I’m going to miss that slow-moving Turtle: the hauler of paintings and other things, the brakeless wonder, the scent of an old truck, the slowest ride in town, the bench seat that let River sit in the middle, snugged up beside me if he liked.

A gift from friends, Turtle has been the topic of many stories. 

The car guy promised he had a relative in need of a truck just like Turtle — and Turtle would have a good home. Turtle will live on, happy to be out of the mountains and back on flatter ground.

This way, I can make it back to Fernandina Beach in November and not have to rent a car this time around. Maybe take a road trip here and there.

Turtle preferred staying close to home, and off interstates. I couldn’t agree more these days, but it would be nice to hit the road now and then.

I haven’t yet given River Dog a ride, but he did sniff out the bumper. Pikachu left paw prints all over the hood, so it seems to be meeting cat approval. 

So…a little change comes with fall leaves, and Turtle lives to be part of another story. I like that. 

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

• Saluda Welcome Table is every Tuesday: dinner is served from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Saluda United Methodist Church. All are welcome; donations accepted.

• Saluda Community Land Trust’s next Walk in the Woods will be Sunday, Oct. 21, to Old Cove Road; meet at Saluda Library parking lot at 2 p.m. for carpool. Contact “Trail Boss” Chuck Hearon for hike information at 828-817-0364 or You can reach SCLT at 828-749-1560 or

• Saluda Singles monthly potluck dinner is at 5 p.m. Thursday at Saluda Center.

• Saluda Living in Place will have an open house/annual meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at the new office at 1347 Ozone Drive, Suite 3. Transportation can be arranged, just call SLIP at 828-490-1040. Office hours are 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

• Saluda Historic Depot is located at 32 W. Main St. Saluda Train Tales are held at 7 p.m. on the third Friday each month through October; the next one is Oct. 19 with Laura Fields, who will present a program about minerals of North Carolina, one of the reasons why railroads were built to western North Carolina.

• The Saluda Historic Depot Theatre Troupe is producing Saluda’s first musical, to be premiered at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at The Party Place & Event Center, 221 Friendship Church Road, Saluda. The production depicts Saluda’s historical progression from the time the Cherokee Indians settled in the land of “green corn” until today, and benefits Saluda Historic Depot, a nonprofit dedicated to making the historic train station into a museum in order to highlight the history of the railroad, Saluda’s downtown, its people and the history of its natural resources. For information, contact Judy Ward at 828-674-5958 or or Corinne Gerwe at or 828-749-4803.

• Saluda Get-Well wishes go to Doris Marion. 

• Happy October Birthday to Cissy Thompson, Riley Thompson, Patricia Case, Gary Corn, Aaron Bradley, Amanda Anderson, Lisa Orr, Marilyn Prudhomme, Bubba Dawson, Kirby Jackson, Mary Ann Asbill, Sheila Billeter, Carol Thompson, Mildred Hipp, Dean Bradley, Susan Wheeler and Brenda Craig. 

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