An appreciation of Jerry and Joy Soderquist 

Published 10:50 pm Sunday, December 5, 2021

Remember When 

After my talk to the Tryon Historical Association, a Ms. Burke stopped by my car window to suggest that I write sometimes about people who are still living. I did write about John Vining fairly recently; now I will offer some words about friends Jerry and Joy Soderquist.

I met them when they planned the Sherlock Holmes Festival that grew around my suggestion to the Tryon Little Theater that they schedule a hundredth anniversary performance of the play in which William Gillette starred in 1899 as Sherlock. We have Gillette’s pipe and slippers in the Polk County Historical Association Museum in Columbus.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Joy asked Linda Campbell to prepare a “Mrs. Hudson’s Breakfast” at the Congregational Church. Fran and I enjoyed the sumptuous meal of period English food, including scones. Joy made it a point to notify me of the sequel the following year. Yum!

Jerry became involved with development of “Nanotechnology” next, and Fran asked him to explain. She told him that she understood that it was about something either very large or very small. Jerry’s explanation began by assuring her that Nanotech treats extremely small (read microscopic) matter and methods.

Joy is now the Historian for the Tryon Garden Club. We exchanged several e-mails recently about Pearson’s Falls. She clarified some things for me in a column I was writing. I also note that Jerry is another special male allowed to belong to the Tryon Garden Club. 

Jerry is the founder and Managing Director of the Archival Research Center for Tryon. The Tryon Cemetery needed a lot of TLC; I understand that Jerry joined the team of volunteers that provided it.

Several years ago I stopped in to visit with Harry Goodheart in his book store at the bottom of School Street. I bought a book and left him some of mine to sell. I wish I could remember what we talked about!

I see by an ad in the New York Times that a revival of Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man” will open on Broadway in December. I well remember the marathon efforts of the Wilsons to get it produced, and the way it quickly became America’s favorite show. Every band plays its “Seventy Six Trombones” and many of its songs became hits for a time.

“Music Man” was “old fashioned” then and is even more so now. But it speaks to us old folks who love singable tunes and remember singers like Bing Crosby and the “Hit Parade” on our radios.

Anna Marie Kuether used to bring her Polk County High School chorus to sing for us at public gatherings; now she has moved with Dave to South Carolina. She is Minister of Music of a church there.

The Community Chorus has cancelled again. I saw Richard Hall recently; he said that no, he has not taken the big Steinway concert grand out of its box in two or three years.  Covid has destroyed nearly everything, hasn’t it?

Libby Vining Hanifin emailed me that John Vollmer built a rock wall for her. Eloise Johnson  emailed that Bud Pace was a rock mason; I knew that but failed to include him. I am truly thankful for alert readers who promptly inform me of additions or necessary corrections.

I assemble these columns into books of about a hundred of them. I then place copies of the books into local libraries for people to refer to maybe 50 years hence. The books are also in both Polk County and Tryon Historical Museums.

I make no claim to being a historian. I could be, but I prefer to be just a story teller. I love to tell stories about the characters I know/have known.  And everything reminds me of a story! 

I must write about my late friend Martha Bishop Wheeler, who died November 24, 2021. Later!

Garland would like to hear from you at 828-859-7041 or