The Biscuit Eaters are from Low Gap, NC in Surry County. They are an incredible family band who performed Labor Day weekend 2023 at the Earl Scruggs Music Festival here in the foothills. Every kid plays multiple instruments. Listen to some of their music and watch their interview in this video.
Mike Reeves, board chair of the Saluda Historic Depot & Museum, fills us in on some of the early history of the train in Saluda and how it has shaped the small town into a viable destination.
B. J. Precourt retired to Polk County, NC nearly 40 years ago. And it was about then when he decided to try a new hobby. He's still at it today. His story inspired me to know that all things are still possible. He's a local treasure.
Where else can you pick up a quart (or more or less) of those Southern treats, boiled peanuts...and get a dose of good humor at the same time? That's easy. Right on the Exit 1 (I-26) at Landrum most weekends.
Church members at the Green Creek First Baptist Church in the Green Creek Community of Polk County just knew they had to help an elderly member with food assistance when his wife ended up in the hospital. Little did they know they were getting ready for something even bigger.
Garland Goodwin has led a life filled with accomplishments. One of my favorite stories was how as a young child he hand-lettered programs for a music performance by Eunice Waymon. Only a few years later, Eunice changed her name to Nina Simone. Garland has helped designed fighter jets and commercial aircraft. He's still writing a local column for The Tryon Daily Bulletin. He's a living legend.
Check out Big Guns Coffee. This business in downtown Tryon, NC was the brainchild of...well, a child. Her dad, Marine veteran TShane Johnson is a bonafide hero. But to TShane, it's his daughter that is the hero.
It takes a lot of patience and skill to do what Ben does. Check out a little about his life as an instrument maker and a musician.
Check out this short video and hear a bit out Robert and his bold move to leave Asheville and move to Tryon to start his own business.
This time of year, Bill & Sandra Montgomery flip the switch (well, lots of switches) each evening at 5:30 and welcome hundreds of strangers to drive around their home. For 49 years The Christmas House has been a staple of the holiday season. Check out this video and then head on over. The lights will be on each evening until 10:00 from now until New Year's Eve.
If you live around the Polk County, NC or Landrum, SC areas, you might know that I have been writing a monthly feature for Life in Our Foothills. I've been doing that for over four years. That's the magazine published by the Tryon Daily Bulletin. Because of that commitment, I've not been able to do much with this blog. I am weaning myself of the magazine job to enjoy more of retirement. That will include continuing to do small stories for this blog and post videos about local people, events, and places on my Youtube channel - The Country Life with ColumbusMark.
This link will take you to my top five videos, four of which are directly related to the foothills. Take a look and then please subscribe to my Youtube channel.
I post these so you don't have to go driving around looking for your weekly dose of inspiration...
Here's last week's latest wisdom from the folks at the Green Creek Fire & Rescue HQ.
Not to go into any details, but I found myself in a local laundromat the other evening. That might become an eventual episode in “The Country Life with ColumbusMark.” But the thing that caught my eye (other than most of the washers being out of order) were these very old-looking video games. Maybe my friend and expert on such matters, MikeMartin, knows if these are the real deal? But in the meantime…they at least looked like they were in working order. For sure they’ve seen their share of quarters.
We could all use a good cheer-me-up from the Green Creek Fire & Rescue Department. Here's this week's goodie.
You gotta love someone who puts up a sign like this. And yes, I heeded the caution and gave the puddle plenty of room. Found this sign up in Saluda on Saturday afternoon.
This Saturday morning and most Saturday mornings you can find The Peanut Man of Landrum cooking up and selling batches of hot boiled peanuts. If you haven't tried them, check them out. Most people become addicted. The Peanut Man usually sets up at the corner of the parking lot of the Shell Station convenience store in Landrum, SC right near the onramp to I-26. With one stop you can fuel your car and yourself before making your way home. The Peanut Man is usually there from at 8 AM until he sells out.
Tryon Theatre, the movie theater in downtown Tryon, has been closed for months. The owners frequently switch out the marquee wording with encouragement to hang in there...they will return. After all, this movie house has been showing films since 1935. A few years ago it was completely renovated. They do open up for an hour on Friday and Saturday nights to sell that good old tasty movie house popcorn you can get nowhere else.
The whole community is ready to enjoy their home movie house once more.
It's not that I visit the Green Creek Fire & Rescue Headquarters just to take photos of their sign; it's where I go to drop off my recycling most Wednesdays. But an added bonus is getting a chance to jump start my day with something to chew on other than a treat from Martha's Amish Bakery which is often a stop on my way home. They give me something else to chew on. I love both chances to brighten my day.
It's nice having our own "philosophy department" in the neighborhood. Green Creek Fire & Rescue is often posting thoughts to chew on. I appreciate it.
It's good to know some folks can keep their sense of humor. This sign was spotted on Landrum Road near Highway 9.
I love seeing creative signs around the Foothills. This one spotted this morning at the Green Creek Fire & Rescue Headquarters in Polk County.
I guess the good news is, you were driving and had a wreck...you would be in good hands.
No matter what's on the news, it's always a great day when you can spend time with your dog. I caught up with Charles Ogburn from Inman with Fizz and Peggy Umphlett from Columbus with Bolt at the Landrum Community Dog Park this morning. Go get some sunshine and make it a great day!
...retired in 2017 from a life of work, mostly in education. I decided it was time to stop commuting and stay at home a while. Foothills Faces is meant to bring you short snippets of life through photography, videography, and audio recordings of some of the wonderful people and places of the Carolina Foothills..