It’s a sad day in our community with the death of Tryon Fire Chief James “Tank” Waters. A little over a year ago I had the pleasure of meeting “Tank” when I was at the Tryon Fire Department to interview Geoffrey Tennant. I enjoyed a good chat with Geoffrey and learned a lot about his long career in Polk County. He was taken from us too early last summer and Tank took over the position of chief. This is a terrible loss for Polk County. We will miss these two amazing gentlemen and two long-serving public icons. Godspeed to both of you.
I love it when an institution can have a little fun. I spotted this sign today and chuckled all the way to where I could turn around and take the photo. Don't you love it when you find a church with a sense of humor? Hat's off to the Tryon Seventh-day Adventist Church for making this photographer laugh.
The Town of Columbus, North Carolina celebrated Veteran's Day with a parade and an impressive ceremony.
It was an absolutely gorgeous North Carolina morning as the town paid tribute to our veterans in a big way. The ceremony ended with the release of 101 white doves.
Thanks veterans for your service. We are forever grateful.
If you live in Polk County, North Carolina – this probably isn’t news to you. And while I “took” these two photos, I think you can see I “took them” right off the pages of today’s Tryon Daily Bulletin.
But we all like good animal stories and this one is worth repeating. All of these dogs (plus one cat) are running for Tryon’s first Dog Mayor. And this election is the only one where it’s legal to stuff the ballot box…with money!
The dog with the most money in his/her ballot box wins! Ummm, sounds like real politics.
Money raised goes to the Foothills Humane Society.
Dogs have been campaigning, holding rallies, sponsoring meet & greets, and this coming Friday will gather in downtown Tryon to finish up voting.
If at all possible, I’m going to try to get myself and my camera over there to get some real photos.
Rusty Bunshine, the lone feline running for position of dog mayor says, “My platform is for a better Tryon is Jobs and the Econony…who says a dog has to be the first dog mayor?”
The winner gets to help lead parades and serve as one of the town celebrities. Polls close at 6:45 PM.
Today in Columbus (NC) a special celebration was held on this Constitution Day. A new addition of things to see was officially unveiled in an impressive ceremony held at Veteran’s Park. A program to dedicate a set of “The Charters of Freedom” was held with plenty of pageantry. While the photos can only give you a visual idea, the sounds included the Polk County High School Band, a drummer, a bagpiper, canon fire, and speeches. The Polk County Honor Guard presented the colors and plenty of local and state dignitaries were on hand to accept this impressive collection. The program ended with the canon salute and the release of 13 white doves by L.J Meyers of Homeward Angel White Dove Releases.
The document replicas set in sturdy enclosures with two-inch glass covers include The Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution, and The Bill of Rights. The documents are engraved into brass plates. Attendees could sign a book that will be one of the objects placed in the time capsule, which will be sealed at another upcoming event and not opened until Constitution Day on September 17, 2087. (Check back then to see photos of the capsule being opened.)
The Charters of Freedom program is part of Foundation Forward, Inc. based in Valdese. One of their goals is to have similar installations across the United States.
Click each photo to see an expanded view.
Click on each photo for an enlarged version and a caption.
Bear is based out of Tryon. Bear and his truck can be found around the region and he’s available for festivals, catering, and other private events. Today he was parked and doing a brisk business in the parking lot of Cameroon Cigar Lounge (& Craft Beer Emporium) in Landrum.
Bear says, “At Bullhded, what we do is simple. Take parts salt, peanuts, mix it with grit…and the result is a Southern staple cooked to perfection.”
You can learn more at bullhded.com, but the best way to learn more is to give those peanuts a try.
It’s always a good day to be in the park – the Landrum Community Dog Park that is. I stopped by this wonderful dog park the other day just to check it out. And at that same time two folks were checking it out with some brand new (to them) dogs.
Jennifer and Braden from Campobello were visiting with their two newish dogs. The big boy is named Sherman. He was formerly a service dog but had to be retired from work when he was injured. The little girl they’ve named Betty. She followed them home recently and instantly became part of their family.
Sherman and Betty immediately took a liking to each other and to Jennifer and Braden as well.
The Landrum Community Dog Park is located behind Stone Soup Restaurant.
For months I’ve been eyeing the work going on inside the building at 212 Rutherford Street in Landrum. My patience paid off as I discovered that the new coffee shop was indeed open for business. Denis and Lori Friederich are the owners, the baristas, and the treat chefs. They’re still gearing up for a grand opening in a few weeks but for now you can tantalize your taste buds with some great coffee and coffee drinks, teas, whole-fruit smoothies (coming soon), and a variety of treats.
Lori says, “We want Mocha’s Mug to be a place where people can gather and create a bond. A place where people are refreshed in body and soul, and once you come through those doors we want you to feel like family.”
It’s an amazing transformation inside from past businesses that have occupied that space. I’ll have a full story after the grand opening but this news was too good to put off telling. Check them out Tuesday through Saturday from 7:30 AM until 2:30 PM. They do have a Facebook page.
It's not often you see a kitten learning to walk on a leash, but it was my lucky day. Here's "Mooji," a pretty young kitten out learning the technique with his owner. They were out by the Veteran's Memorial in downtown Columbus.
Several months ago I featured Stan Yoder and his Openroad Coffee Roastery in Columbus. Well, this morning my day started there when I met a friend for coffee and I was finally able to get a photo of the first person in "the system" who makes all of the coffee magic happen. This is Andy Yoder, Master Coffee Roaster at Openroad. Andy roasts all those special beans that help get your day or week going. He’s the perfected the technique of knowing just when everything is right. And he just happens to be the dad of Stan, the owner.
Apparently today is National Puppy Day, so what a perfect day to pay some homage to all of those senior dogs out there in need of care and a home. Mr. Minute (a 13-year-old senior) is canine spokesman for the organization and he was doing a good job of it in front of Landrum’s Bi-Lo this morning. Mr. Minute says, “Puppies are cute but so are seniors!” Forever Dream Senior Dog Sanctuary has been on the Foothills Faces radar for several months waiting for a good opportunity to do a story. So stay tuned to find out more about this non-profit that takes care of dogs that really need someone with heart to help them out. Look for my story in a few weeks.
In the meantime you can find them on Facebook or on the web at: www.foreverdreamseniordogsanctuary.org.
Martha and Freida Graber have enjoyed the support they’ve received from the community and report that it has been a wonderful and successful year. Business has been good enough that they’ve had to bring in extra help from time to time. They cooked up over 100 pies just for Thanksgiving and this is on top of all the other wonderful food available Wednesday through Saturday on Highway 9 in the Green Creek community. Now that they’re more settled in they have at least a little time to think about the future. The ladies are taking advantage of the special seasons and holidays by cooking up some themed items such as Irish soda bread and special decorated cookies for St. Patrick’s Day.
They can’t wait for strawberry season to start so that they can cook up some of their famous strawberry pies made with local berries. Martha & Freida have some other ideas up their sleeves. They plan to do more with wedding cakes and even start a delivery service geared toward local assisted living and retirement communities.
Martha & Freida love the support from the community and you’ll more than love your stop inside this friendly neighborhood establishment.
So thanks to Martha & Freida for giving me the privilege of interviewing them for my very first story, and thanks for all the tasty treats I’ve enjoyed this past year.
And remember, get there early next Saturday to pick up a donut or two or an entire box.
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Okay, that’s probably not a politically-correct term because I’ve heard that some chickens will attack would-be photographers/writers.
When I started “Foothills Faces,” part of the experience was to take me out of my comfort zone and let me spend some of my “retirement” time interviewing folks I didn’t know. And actually, the original intent was to have a Carolina foothills version of the wildly popular series – “Humans of New York.” That guy, Brandon Stanton, started out walking around New York City and snapping photos of total strangers and then had the nerve to go up and ask them to share some of their pithiest thoughts on their life. He’s good at it and now travels the world.
So I was thinking I could do the same thing here in Polk, Rutherford, Cleveland, Spartanburg Counties and snap a few candid photos of some interesting-looking characters and then walk up to them and get their life story in four sentences.
I had my chance this past week and blew it! I did see this interesting-looking character sitting outside at a table at my local Ingle’s (Landrum) drinking a cup of coffee, smoking a cigarette, and working the crossword puzzle. I see him there on a regular basis and it was pretty cold on this day and he was still out there. So, I got up my nerve to ask him. I figured I would break the ice by saying, “You working on the puzzle?” He replied, “Trying to,” and I knew I had my opportunity. So I asked would he mind posing for a photo for my blog? He looked at me and said, “Better not.” I pushed my luck knowing I could probably outrun him…though not by much. So I pushed a little harder…”Are you sure?” He peered back over his newspaper and gave me the look…the one that meant…time to go! I went.
But I wasn’t done. There just 50 feet away was sitting a guy in his pick-up truck. The back was filled and overflowing with bags of stuff. I haven’t a clue what. The cab was packed with more stuff leaving only barely enough room for the driver to sit. He definitely looked like an interesting character. I thought, “Wow, this guy is living out of this truck. Surely, he has a story to tell.”
However, I didn’t even have the nerve to ask him. And so I ended my potential goldmine of stories empty handed. There’s always another day!
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So what does a photo of some beer taps have to do with Foothills Faces. Well, just a reminder that the tagline is “People & Places of the Carolina Foothills.”
I stopped in “The Rural Seed Restaurant” in Columbus yesterday to bring something tasty home to eat. In the meantime, I asked about their beers since I knew they were now serving them. I was very pleasantly surprised to be ushered into the old space occupied by the former microbrewery, Winding Creek.
And I was more than pleasantly surprised to find a nice selection of beers on tap. I cozied up to the bar, made my selection, and enjoyed sipping (or gulping) while my dinner-to-go was prepared. I should mention that the food met my expectations.
So I’ve found another place to settle down in and soak up some suds and atmosphere.
Foothills Faces isn’t a restaurant review site. It’s meant to introduce you to some of the faces and places in our area. So consider yourself introduced!
This is the first of a new series of short comments called "Fast Focus" where each person can choose from a list of topics or talk about something else that might be on their mind.
Is starting out retirement with this new endeavor - 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..