Remembering Chip, Tryon Pres, and Airstreams

Published 9:03 am Friday, February 18, 2022

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I never knew “Chip” Leonard, only that he lived a long way from Tryon. But I cherished his mom, Edna, and his brothers Alan and Mike (Mike was our waiter at the Tea House and helped me sell the tools from my woodworking shop). I remember passing their father’s store on the schoolbus, but I never knew him either.

Art Brown invited me to attend the Breakfast and Bible (B&B) classes at Tryon Presbyterian Church some years ago. Happy to meet all those new friends there over the years as I have been pretty faithful in attendance.

My association with Tryon Presbyterian (celebrating a century this year) goes back to my high school days, when Matt O’Shields asked me to draw plans for their manse on XXX Avenue on Godshaw Hill. Dick Kell built the house exactly as I had drawn it from a sketch on an envelope.

More recently, I charted a cross-stitch design from a photograph of the church on Harmon Field Road for Merle Green. I understand that she is now ill and may not finish it. Would anyone like to try?

When I was regularly driving between California and Texas in the late 50s, I remember encountering long caravans of the well-rounded Airstream trailers. There were dozens of them on the two-lane highways of that era before Interstates.

Macy Cochran’s suggestion to “Look up!” at the night sky reminds me of my own suggestion to our young son Thomas when he went on a church outing to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. He was quite interested in astronomy, and there were not very many stars visible in town in Hampton.

He did not say anything when he got back home, so I asked him whether he had remembered to “Look up.” Then he literally exploded with excitement, telling me of seeing the Milky Way and constellations for the first time in the black darkness of night far from any town. .

Harmon Field was literally that—only a field!—when I was a boy growing up here. There was plenty of room to park cars for the annual Horse Show and run the steeplechase race. Airplanes often landed there back then. Some of us launched our model airplanes from that big field. Tryon High practiced and played their football games there.

The end of the Field started with the building of a new Tryon High School there. Other things have now proliferated with so many single-purpose facilities that there is no place to park cars, no way to land an airplane there anymore. Ah, progress?  

Bonnie Bardos’s suggestion that we cherish time spent with our friends was emphasized by the untimely passing of one of hers. I would add to her plea that we MAKE opportunities to visit our friends, to see them “one more time” before the inevitable. I’m sure many of us have had a similar experience as we remember the “last time” we saw a relative or friend.

The son of one of our beloved Columbus Lions, Claire Lauffer, commented at his Dad’s funeral service, that “a man lives so long as someone remembers him.” That is why my columns are often devoted to helping us remember the dear departed. My friends, that I eat breakfast with on Saturday mornings, say that they hope they outlive me. Do you suppose they don’t want me to have the last word?               

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

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