A glimpse into small town life

Published 8:00 am Friday, June 9, 2023

“Who can tell how lovely in June is the
honey locust tree, or why
a tree should be so sweet and live
in this world? Each white blossom
on a dangle of white flowers holds one green seed –
a new life…” 

~ Mary Oliver, from “Honey Locust” 


Last Friday afternoon at Saluda Elementary School’s playground, kids were running, playing and shouting in a huge arc of spray from fire hoses manned by our Saluda Fire Department. I’m not sure who was having more fun – the firemen or the kids! 


It was one of those happy moments to be pressed in pages of time, I thought, watching a couple of friends who are proud grandparents heading toward the action. One was smiling and snapping photos, wearing her bakery apron. The other had just left her vegetable garden for school pick-up. Only in a small town do you get a vignette like this—everything good in this world. 


By the time you read this, Dear Reader, school will be out for summer. Once again, it’s a rite of passage for kids to enjoy a break between the school years…to head to the library, to swim, to be a kid in the month of June. To run, watch fireflies and butterflies, to have time to be a kid. 


A favorite memory of mine is heading to Girl Scout day camp every summer and enjoying days outside. Learning how to build fires, digging latrines, cooking with a coffee can, tying knots, hanging rations high on branches away from hungry critters (identifying many of those critters) — these are memories I cherish.


June light changes just so, a little longer and softer in the morning, like golden syrup trickling through green leaves. The scent of honey locust trees, honeysuckle, cedar and ripening tomatoes lifts on the breeze. Firetrucks, kids, summer memories—life in a small town for one more June, a lift to the heart indeed.  


  • Saluda Tailgate Market is held every Friday at the west city parking lot located off Main Street, from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
  • The Summer Learning Program with Polk County Public Libraries runs from June 12 to August 6. Kids and teens can sign up at the Columbus or Saluda branch or on READsquared. Contact Jen Dickenson, Youth Services Librarian, for more information at jdickenson@polklibrary.org or (828) 894-8721 ext. 284. 
  • The next Saluda Community Table dinner will be held at Saluda Fire Hall on June 12 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. 
  • The summer kick-off party of ‘On Track Saluda’ will be held at McCreery Park on June 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. Food, entertainment, dancing, and more are on the menu—everybody’s welcome. ‘On Track Saluda’ exists to help our community live healthier happier lives, focusing on healthy food, movement and social gathering. There will be information for visitors and locals showcasing local volunteer organizations, community clubs,  and hiking trails. 
  • Happy June Birthday to Nancy Barnett, Bubba Dawson, Peggy Ellwood, Anna Jackson, Charlie Jackson, Amy Violet Ford, Terry Arrington, Julie Arrington, Susie Welsh Hearn, Jeremy Edwards, Eleanor Morgan, Mary Lu Price, Sigi Hendrickson, Edna McKee, Lucinda Pittman, D.J. Gaskin, Susan Matthews, Lisa Duck, Kasey Watkins, Elena Robson, Karen McGee, Jane Mann and Chambli Dawn Stuber. 


Feel free to contact me at bbardos@gmail.com, (828) 817-6765, P.O. Box 331, Saluda, NC 28773, Facebook, or visit bonniebardos.com.