Tryon man set to celebrate special milestone

Published 11:50 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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Phillip Evola looks forward to 100th birthday


TRYON– A loyal reader of the Tryon Daily Bulletin looks forward to his 100th birthday next week after spending more than thirty years in Tryon.

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Phillip Evola, who says he never misses an issue of the Bulletin, was asked about the secret to longevity. 


“Happiness makes you live a lot longer. Everyone is entitled to the sweet life, but if you don’t stop to smell the flowers, tough noogies,” said Evola. “And of course, the love of a good woman helps.”


Phillip Evola was born on February 16, 1923 in Flushing, New York, into an Italian immigrant family. Evola was one of the youngest out of twelve siblings, one of which he would follow to Tryon years later.


As a youngster, Evola says he learned to be at the dinner table on time as the food would quickly disappear almost instantly.


In his early days of education, Evola developed hearing loss, which made school challenging. He remembers learning how to read teachers’ lips, adding that he disliked when they used the blackboard because he wouldn’t be able to decipher what they were saying while their back was turned. 


After working in advertising, Evola ultimately found his calling as a photographer, teaching himself the craft. He would eventually get a gig as a wedding photographer, which changed his life forever. While working photography at a wedding, Evola laid eyes on a lovely guest that would later become his wife, Norma. The two were lovingly married for over fifty five years until her passing in 2013.


Together, Phillip and Norma lived the American dream. They raised two girls, bought a house, and enjoyed time spent with family and friends. 


After retiring from professional photography at the Institute of Fine Arts in New York, the Evolas moved to Tryon following the suit of Phillip’s younger sister, Terry Catalano.  


Phillip and Norma knew they wanted to make Tryon their home after many visits with Terry. The Evolas loved the beautiful rolling hills, clean fresh air and the slower pace of life that Tryon has to offer. 


While in Tryon, Phillip Evola has watched three grandsons grow into fine young men and he embraces his new hometown, where he has made a community of friends and countless memories. 


“I really look forward to the Tryon Daily Bulletin, it keeps me informed on all the local news,” says Evola. “I read every single article, and save some to share with my friends and family.”