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THE VIRUS and White Oak

By Garland O. Goodwin

Remember When


A month or so into the limitations required by “THE VIRUS,” and there is no end in sight as of now. My e-mail inbox has become flooded with Covid 19 humor and laments—some really great humor, showing that we optimists are finding a silver lining in all this. One of the lamenters observed that “This too shall pass—like a kidney stone.”

We are well-insulated as residents of White Oak Village: our dining room is closed; the staff brings our midday meal to our apartment door and knocks. We used to be able to take our food from their hands to ours and greet them, but now they have a new policy, which I call “knock and run.”

Our neighbor across the dog-trot (Fran’s name for the breezeway separating apartments in the same building) also appears briefly in her doorway, so we then exchange greetings with Millie. We also holler at the delivery persons as they dutifully flee.

I am now doing my walking in the parking lot; several laps. Trouble is, the lot slopes (surprise!) so I go gently downhill, cross and come back up. When I tire on the upslope, so much so that I feel that I’ve done enough, I have another steeper hill (er, slope) to climb to get back to our dog-trot.

These slopes are not even noticeable for younger folks, but a real challenge for this old guy! Even bringing stuff in from our parking space at the lower end of the lot is tiring for me, so I rest before going back for more groceries or whatever. Another reason I still say, “Don’t get OLD; you won’t LIKE it!”

After my column about Lula Burrell came out, a lady from the office here at White Oak called to say that what I call the Medical building is really White Oak of Tryon, and “consists of long term, 24-hour care and rehab, which is short term, 24-hour care. In the same building on a different wing is Benson Hall, which is all assisted living made up of private rooms for individuals who need minimal assistance.”

The apartments are all part of White Oak Village, but by usage among residents here, the Village is the part on the Trade Street side of Howard Street, and Oak Hill is the group of apartments on the hill across Howard Street. Fran and I live in apartment F60 at the top of the Hill in the F Building; our parking lot is accessed from Markham Road.

I stand corrected, but I think I shall still refer to that building as the medical facility (not capitalized) because it is where the people live who need various levels of medical care, as opposed to the apartments for those who can still live independently. I hope one day to resume my Sunday afternoon visits to my dozen or so friends living in various parts of the medical facility.

Most Polk County residents know only that there is a big enterprise in Tryon called White Oak, and will better understand my simplification of terms, done in the interest of less verbiage, rather than technical accuracy.

So the venerable Tryon Daily Bulletin is changing once more to adapt to its world. When I rejoined its staff in 1960 at the invitation Mr. Vining, it had doubled in size. A big new press occupied the space vacated by Elbert Arledge when he moved into a new building uptown. It was still the “World’s Smallest Daily,” so it has kept that slogan.

Perhaps the twice weekly publication forced by “THE VIRUS” will revert to daily once this passes, so we can once more get some wanted mail every day . . . but like everything else, we shall wait to see, won’t we?