Life in Our Foothills - February 2024

Page 1

life IN OUR

FOOTHILLS Life in Our Foothills

Preserving a Centuries-Old Craft

February 2024

Lauren Dillon and Master of Plaster

February 2024

Polishing a Saluda Centerpiece

Postal Love on Valentine’s Day

The Midas Touch $4.95

Enjoy the simpler things – PAIN FREE!

WORKING HARDER to Keep You Pain Free

ST. LUKE’S PAIN CENTER: Improving your quality of life

No high-dose opioids Ethical pain management Multidisciplinary approach

HHHHH (828) 894-0978 48 Hospital Drive, Suite 2A Columbus, NC 28722

Interventional pain therapies

Accepting new patients

St. Luke’s

Enjoying The Mountains ... your way!

As an experienced local agency, we know that clients have varying lifestyles. Some are looking for a relaxed, laidback lifestyle, while others seek one that allows them to enjoy our mountains’ more active adventures. We are the local experts in matching lifestyles with the right properties. Let us help you find the perfect place ... your way!thills lifestyle.



285 N. Trade St. • Tryon • 828-817-0942 • 4


CONTRIBUTORS Mark Levin, Writer and Photographer

Mark is retired from a career in education, both in and outside of the classroom. He enjoys traveling in his campervan and finding stories about the people and places encountered along the way. You can follow his blog at as well as at TheCountryLifeWithColumbusMark.

Linda List, Writer and Photographer

Linda List’s career was spent in the food industry, often surrounded by chocolate and candy. Retirement and the Tryon Daily Bulletin have provided the opportunity for her to share her writing. Growing up in New York on the Canadian border, she lived most of her adult life at the foot of the Rockies in Golden, Colo. And is now enjoying life in Landrum the foot of the Smokies.

Clay Johnson, Writer and Photographer

Clay is an award-winning documentary producer and writer as well as a contributing producer for PBS NC’s “North Carolina Weekend” show. He also produces educational videos and writes magazine and newspaper articles. Johnson and his wife Debra moved to Tryon in June 2021 and enjoy exploring the outdoors. He can be reached at cj@

Claire Sachse, Writer and Photographer

Once the editor of the Tryon Daily Bulletin, Claire Sachse now manages several freelance side-hustles in the public relations and publishing arena. She’s also working on writing a mystery novel in which an editor solves crimes in a fictional (maybe) mountain railroad town. Raised by a painter and a diplomat, she considers herself immensely lucky to have a home full of weird and wonderful art, and a passport full of stamps.

Storme Smith, Writer and Photographer

Storme Smith is a writer who lives in the Foothills of North Carolina. He is the co-founder and publisher of Buno Books, and has a passion for the arts. He also enjoys writing about the history, sports and unique people and places of our area.

Pebbles, Writer

Pebbles is the “spokespony” for HERD, or Helping Equines Regain Dignity, a local nonprofit that saves equines from dire conditions and in many cases slaughter. She dictates her monthly columns about her adventures, and what a rescue organization does, to Heather Freeman. Pebbles and Heather can be reached through




F Jeff Allison General Manager



February 2024

Life in Our Foothills

Preserving a Centuries-Old Craft Lauren Dillon and Master of Plaster

ebruary has arrived! As we celebrate the month of love, in this edition of Life in Our Foothills we recognize a few local highlights of the place we call home. This month, we learn a bit about the history of Saluda’s McCreery Park, as well as its future. This centerpiece of downtown has been providing a gathering place for decades and is no doubt well-loved by members of the community. We’ll also visit with Lauren Dillon, owner of Landrum’s Master of Plaster, as she preserves the centuries-old craft of ornamental plastering. Dillon specializes in creating historically authentic slaked lime plasters that have been used in high-end residential and commercial design projects across the country and has worked to restore historic buildings and create beautiful spaces and art pieces. Also, Linda List shares a bit of Valentine’s Day fun, as she looks at how the United States Post Office celebrates the holiday with a unique tradition. And of course, we’ll hear from our resident spokespony, Pebbles, as she shares the story of a golden palomino named Midas and his new pasture mates. You’ll find all of this and more in this month’s edition! We hope you enjoy what we’ve put together for you this month, and as I do each month, I encourage readers to reach out and help us share your story. Email me at with any thoughts or ideas for upcoming issues. As always, thanks for reading

Jeff Allison Editor February 2024

Polishing a Saluda Centerpiece

Postal Love on Valentine’s Day

Preserving a Centuries-Old Craft Lauren Dillon and Master of Plaster (Story on page 20)

Story by Storme Smith 6


The Midas Touch $4.95

STAFF General Manager Jeff Allison Graphic Design Caitlin Schlemmer Marketing Kevin Powell MJ Parsons Distribution Jamie Lewis Alex Greene

life IN OUR

FOOTHILLS Life in Our Foothills is published monthly by Tryon Newsmedia LLC. Life in Our Foothills is a registered trademark. All contents herein are the sole property of Tryon Newsmedia LLC. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Please address all correspondence (including, but not limited to, letters, story ideas and requests to reprint materials) to Manager, Life in Our Foothills, 16. N. Trade St., Tryon, NC 28782, or email to jeff.allison@ Life in Our Foothills is available free of charge at locations throughout Polk County and Upstate South Carolina, and online at Subscriptions are available for $30 per year by calling 828-859-9151. To advertise, call 828-859-9151.

Administration Sydney Wilkie


30 YEARS EXPERIENCE • Rock Walls • Fireplaces • Sidewalks • Chimneys SPECIALIZING IN


864.497.9988 FEBRUARY 2024




Calendar of Events


Polishing a Saluda Centerpiece McCreery Park


Preserving a Centuries-Old Craft Lauren Dillon


Celebrating Valentine’s Day Postal Love



The Midas Touch


Quick Bites

Better-for-You Meals from Breakfast to Dinner & Valentine’s Recipes You’ll Love to Share




Ad Index




38 30 White Oak Village Independent Living

Find Roots in a New Home Retirement years are the perfect time to do things you’ve always wanted to do. White Oak Village in lovely Tryon is the perfect place. We provide the right combination of support and independence for you to build an engaging, healthy senior lifestyle in the beautiful North Carolina mountains. Enjoy spacious 1- and 2-bedroom apartments – each with a private sunroom and access to unsurpassed amenities and services. Start your next chapter at White Oak Village.

SCHEDULE A TOUR TODAY! 828-859-5871 | 70 Oak Street, Tryon, NC

WOV-Daily Bulletin 2024 Ad Concepts-v1.indd 2

12/18/23 10:58 AM



CALENDAR OF EVENTS Free Yoga Fridays February 2, 9, 16, 23 at 10:15 am FENCE Center, 3381 Hunting Country Rd. Saluda Sister City Lasagna Competition February 3 Saluda Senior Center Tickets: Columbus Winter Market February 3 & 17 from 10am-1pm Iron Key Brewing Company 135 Locust St., Columbus Showcase of Excellence Opening Reception & Awards February 3, 10:30 am Tryon Fine Arts Center 828-859-8322, Free Saturday Community Meal February 3, 11am-12:30pm The Well Church, Landrum 395 W. Rutherford St., Landrum

FEBRUARY 2 Tryon Concert Association presents Felix Hell, Organ 7:30 pm Holy Cross Episcopal Church

Yoga@Your Library February 5, 12, 19, 26 at 6pm Landrum Library 111 Asbury Dr., Landrum Saluda Pop Up Pantry February 6, 1-6pm 54 Carolina St., Saluda Saluda Chess Club February 6, 3-5pm Saluda Library 828-722-5218, Feed Them Ministry – Free Meal February 7, 5:30-7pm Green River Baptist Church 2880 Ken Miller Rd., Rutherfordton The Role of Political Primaries, their History and their Future February 8, 5pm Landrum Library 111 Asbury Dr., Landrum 10


THROUGH MARCH 15 Art Exhibits: “Off The Wall” and “Strangers” Weds – Sat., 12-5 pm

United Way VITA Tax Prep February 9, 11am-3pm Landrum Library 111 Asbury Dr., Landrum Saluda Winter Market February 10 & 24, 10am-1pm Saluda Center 64 Greenville St., Saluda Saluda Library Speaker Series: “Native Pollinators and the Habitats They Require” February 13, 2pm Saluda Library 44 W. Main St., Saluda

FEBRUARY 10 The Kruger Brothers 7:30pm Tryon Fine Arts Center

Drum Circle February 13, 6:30pm Landrum Library 111 Asbury Dr., Landrum Film Series: “The Bridges of Madison County” February 13, 7pm Tryon Fine Arts Center 34 Melrose Ave., Tryon, Memory and the Brain February 15, 6pm Landrum Library 111 Asbury Dr., Landrum Fusefest 2024 February 16-18 Tryon Arts & Crafts School 373 Harmon Field Rd., Tryon Tryon Concert Association presents Elias String Quintet February 20, 7:30pm, Winter Bird Walk February 21, 9-11am FENCE Center, 3381 Hunting Country Rd. The Effects of Land Use on Streams and Fish Populations in the Piedmont of SC February 22, 6pm Landrum Library 111 Asbury Dr., Landrum Tryon Fourth Friday February 23, 5-7pm Trade St., Tryon FEBRUARY 2024




McCreery Park Polishing a Saluda Centerpiece


Story by Clay Johnson Photography by Clay Johnson and courtesy of Saluda Historical Committee, Friends of McCreery Park, and First Peak Visitors Center

owntown Saluda’s McCreery Park has long been a city centerpiece. It’s a gathering place for family picnics and play and a venue for arts festivals and music concerts. You could say the park is the heart of the city. “Because of its central location, it’s just a way of

building a sense of community,” says Scott Cardais, President of Friends of McCreery Park. “The activities we have there bring people together and I think it’s a major factor, if you will, in the sense of community that we have.” But in the park’s early days, the gatherings weren’t garnishing

the sense of community that city leaders wanted. “In the early 1920s the Saluda Civic League filed a complaint with the city because of ‘abominable dancing and drunkenness in the city’ so the league decided that Saluda’s young people needed a place to gather,” says Cardais.



The league got funding from the Harmon Foundation in New York City to build a playground, tennis courts and a pavilion for public use, which was all completed in 1929 and was known as Harmon Field, not to be confused with nearby Tryon’s Harmon Field, which was also backed by the foundation. That transformed the area from its rather ratty reputation to a place for family-friendly fun. Much of the park’s history is hazy but Cardias believes that sometime in the 1950s or ’60s, after the wife of retired wrestler and Saluda resident George McCreery passed away, he made a donation to the park in her honor and the city renamed it McCreery Park. “There is one thing I can vouch for, the park, no matter what you may call it, it has always been a



Square dancing at the park pavilion (1960’s – Saluda Historical Committee)

ABOVE: Community members enjoy a free concert at Saluda’s McCreery Park (Photo courtesy of First Peak Visitor Center/Melinda Massey) BELOW: (Photo courtesy of First Peak Visitor Center/Melinda Massey)



(Photo courtesy of First Peak Visitor Center/Melinda Massey)

Your dream. Our mission. Preparing for a new career? Getting ready for your future? We are here to help you. 16


mainstay of Saluda,” says Cindy Tuttle, Chair of the Historic Saluda Committee, which sometimes holds meetings at the park. “I have some of my best childhood memories playing on that swing set. Even my daughter loved those old swings. We had picnics up there all the time. When you’re a kid, that’s where you bug your parents to go.” Over the decades activities at the park have evolved. There was a puttputt golf course there in the 1930s and square dances in the 1960s. Today the park hosts the annual Saluda Arts Festival every May, which features the work of nearly 100 artists from the Carolinas and Tennessee, as well as children’s activities and live music at the park and around downtown. The park also hosts the Top of the Grade Concert Series on

the Ella Grace Mintz Stage on the third Friday evening of the month during the summer. Now this city centerpiece is getting a good polish. In October the first phase of improvements to the park began which will include enhancements to the playground, an amphitheater, a garden terrace, a ropes course and other outdoor amenities along with additional parking. The park improvements will be conducted in several phases and should all be completed by March 2025. “It’s just a hub for civic activity and a sense of community and I think the redesign and the investment that’s being made in the park is intended to just increase that, just to make it even better for more community gatherings,” says Cardais, whose

(Photo courtesy of First Peak Visitor Center/Melinda Massey)


| 864.401.2355 | MATT@HDCLLC.NET


Matt Padula Owner



ABOVE: (Photo courtesy of First Peak Visitor Center/Melinda Massey) RIGHT: Children on swing sets (1960’s – Saluda Historical Committee)



ABOVE: Clay tennis courts being prepared for use (Approx. 1929 – Saluda Historical Committee) BELOW: (Photo courtesy of First Peak Visitor Center/Melinda Massey)

organization is studying possible additional activities to bring to the park. “The City of Saluda Board of Commissioners and the community are recommitting themselves to investing in an asset that will be the focal point for years to come and the gateway to the Saluda Grade Trail in Polk County,” says Steven Orr, Saluda City Manager, referring to the 31-mile proposed rail trail that would extend from Inman, S.C. to Zirconia, N.C. and pass right through downtown Landrum, Tryon and Saluda. “I think it’s going to be transformative for the community. That’s for sure,” says Cardais, who adds that the Saluda Grade Trail will bring growth to Saluda. “It’s going to be a challenge to handle the growth but I think it will be worth it.” The final phase of

the McCreery Park improvements will include ways to accommodate and integrate the SGT which will be right next to the park where the railroad tracks are now. “This is also an economic development project for the business community as an underutilized space is transformed into a city center that draws people to the community hub which promotes the business’s ability to prosper,” says Orr. “I do think it’s important to take full advantage of that park. It’s kind of the hub of Saluda. It just seems like it’s a go-to for so many things in Saluda,” says Tuttle, whose family roots in the area can be traced back to the 1700s and who has visited McCreery Park her entire life. “It’s just a sweet place. It’s just so important to Saluda.”





Preserving a Centuries-Old

CR AFT Lauren Dillon


Story by Storme Smith Photography by Storme Smith and courtesy of Lauren Dillon

estled in the Foothills, Landrum to be exact, lies Master of Plaster Finishing Systems, Inc., a boutique manufacturing firm keeping the centuries-old tradition of plastering alive. The firm is a family

business led by executive designer and plaster artist Lauren Dillon, who specializes in creating historically authentic slaked lime plasters that have been used extensively in high-end residential and commercial design projects

across the country. In recent years, Dillon has led the charge in restoring historic buildings and creating beautiful spaces and unique art pieces. Ornamental plaster is a centuries-old technique that uses a durable plaster FEBRUARY 2024


The possibilities are endless with plaster in Dillon’s hands.

54 McFarland Drive Hwy. 108 Tryon, NC 28782

(828) 859-9341 22


Pieces from Michael Kempster’s collection that include molds going back generations.

to sculpt decorative elements onto walls and surfaces. Dillon’s passion for plastering began after she graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in landscape architecture, where she participated on the swim team. She pursued her Master’s in urban design with a focus on historic preservation at University College Dublin in Ireland, where she fell in love with the ornamental plasterwork that could be found throughout the capital city. After returning to the Carolinas, Dillon went to work for her father, Kirk. Kirk Dillon had found a kindred spirit years before in Michael Kempster, who had been continuing his family’s plastering practice for nine generations until he passed away due to cancer in 2008. Kirk took over the business since Kempster had no heirs. Lauren and her sister, Kirstie, now work with

him, using their talents and education to benefit the family business. Kirstie’s specialty is on the financial side. The two sisters recently followed their father from Columbia to Landrum after they relocated their business here, taking over a former cabinet shop. Their parents had relocated to Tigerville, and the family decided to relocate the business with them. As executive designer, Dillon applies her background in architecture and design to projects built around Master of Plaster’s lime putty plasters. These projects include restoring the Philadelphia Lazaretto, a 1799 building that was America’s first quarantine hospital, a children’s cancer research facility in Washington, D.C., and an array of private and commercial commissions. A standard installation is at least a three-coat

M a k i n g S c e n e s S i n c e

1 9 4 8

March 1-3 & 8-10, 2024 at Tryon Fine Arts Center

Tickets: or 828-859-2466 A bawdy-but-wholesome crowd-pleaser that skewers pretension, celebrates life and touches the heartstrings. This raucous, hilarious musical comedy took Broadway by storm and continues to enthrall audiences worldwide. “Utterly charming, lively and genial.” – New York Daily News

516 S. Trade St., Tryon • 828-859-2466 • FEBRUARY 2024


A residence where plaster has been used on the walls and ceiling.


Guided Horseback Trail Rides through the Blue Ridge Foothills of Tryon Resort 24


“It’s almost zen-like when you are applying plaster, very much like swimming. You have to focus, and you can’t listen to music. You have to concentrate on applying. Lime plasters can also be a great DIY project for folks that want to get their hands dirty.” installation, and the lime plasters are handcrafted and have to cure in between coat applications. “During this process,” says Dillon, “the plaster reabsorbs carbon dioxide from the air, which keeps it from drying out and helps give genuine lime plaster its beauty and depth. How long the process takes can depend on the temperature and the humidity of the environment. We do one coat daily, with the curing

taking place overnight. “It’s almost zen-like when you are applying plaster, very much like swimming. You have to focus, and you can’t listen to music. You have to concentrate on applying. Lime plasters can also be a great DIY project for folks that want to get their hands dirty.” Throughout the process, she uses a hawk and a trowel, simple tools that have existed for hundreds of years. “One of the things about this craft

Recently cast pieces from Dillon using common flowers and leaves of the area.



is the plasterer’s tools really have not changed since the beginning,” she says. All of her plasters are made by hand in small batches in Columbia, South Carolina. They offer several different lines, plus custom plasters for clients. The plasters are also tinted in-house. A labor-intensive process that shows off another of Dillon’s many skills and pays off in one-ofa-kind colors. Elevating someone’s experience of their surroundings isn’t just a commercial venture for Master of Plaster. Dillon has also led workshops to combat the idea that plaster is a dying art, but mostly to pass along what she has learned. “I feel like this is Mike’s legacy that I’m working to carry on,” she says. “It’s this body of knowledge, understanding and



craftsmanship, and it’s not mine to keep.” Dillon’s company has been involved in some highprofile projects over the years, including the interior renovation of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. “To be able to work on a Smithsonian Institute project that sits on the National Mall was quite an exciting moment for us,” Dillon says. “And to be able to go back and visit and see works from the likes of Mark Rothko, Alberto Giacometti and Jackson Pollock gracing our plaster walls is such a testament to the enduring nature of these materials and this craft.” She has also become known for making plastercast tile art, often with botanical themes. All the tiles are hand-cast, and the process reveals many

ABOVE: The Fat Radish in Savannah is one of Dillon’s clients. BELOW: Tu Restaurant in Charleston SC is one of Dillon’s clients.



ABOVE: A series of flowers in plaster tiles by Dillon. BELOW: A series of hangable tiles produced by Dillon.



A residence where plaster has been used on the walls and ceiling.

delicate details that are often unnoticed in real life. As every tile is handmade, the shade of the plaster and the exact dimensions may vary slightly. Each one comes ready to hang. “There is a store in Columbia that carries my stuff, and Mark Holland at the Wood Berry Gallery has begun to carry it, but I’ve mostly done commission installations at restaurants or hotels. It’s more of a side job, but I love it. “I use gypsum for the tiles,” she adds. “A molding plaster. I create custom molds that I design, do pours, and do different presses. They are more sculptural, but they aren’t sculptures. All of my work is of nature and can return to nature.” But it’s not just about working on high-profile projects and creating art. Dillon’s firm also takes on smaller jobs, which are just

as important to her. Whether you’re an architect, designer or homeowner, Dillon’s firm is here to assist you throughout all steps of your project. With their expertise in ornamental plaster restoration and flat-wall plaster preservation. You can be sure that your project is in good hands. In a world where technology constantly advances, it’s refreshing to see a craft that has remained essentially unchanged for hundreds of years. Lauren Dillon has inherited the passion for her craft not just from her family and Mike Kempster but also from all those who worked with ornamental plastering over the centuries. She is a faithful caretaker of the art, preserving and passing it down to future generations one project at a time. You can learn more at





Postal Love H

ave you ever heard of Loveland, Colorado, or Valentine, Nebraska? Maybe Valentines, Virginia? How about Bliss, Idaho; Heart Butte, Montana, or Romance,

Story by Linda List Arizona? You might wonder, “What do these places scattered around the map have to do with each other?” These, plus about 35 other towns, all participate in a US Post

Office remailing program every year for Valentine’s Day. Post offices around the country with romantic names design special postmarks each year that represent love, hearts and



Valentine’s Day. If you want to show extra love to your Valentine, you can convey this through a postmark remailing program. You purchase a card, place it in the envelope, address the envelope to your loved one and place a Forever stamp on it for mailing. Then you enclose it in a first-class envelope, select a post office with a romantic name, and then address it to that post office. Upon receipt volunteers at that post office remove your envelope and lovingly hand stamp it with the special postmark and maybe a special poem. Then it’s mailed to your loved one with the unique postmark. Loveland, Colorado, known as “Sweetheart City”, remails more cards than any other post office. Valentine, Nebraska is second. Loveland has been offering



this service for more than 78 years. During the remailing program, the Loveland Chamber of Commerce becomes an official US Postal Service Sub-Station. Dressed in festive, bright-red shirts, 50 or 60 people are seated around small tables, delicately ink-stamping envelopes with a special Valentine’s Day message. The volunteer stampers consider it a sacred duty. There’s a waiting list to be a stamper. Loveland will receive more than a hundred thousand Valentines each year. A contest is held every year by the Chamber of Commerce and promoted through the local newspaper for residents to submit their designs and verses. Along with the heartfelt poem and drawing, the envelopes that come through here also

A few examples of the unique postmarks available a post offices throughout the country (Photos courtesy of

(Photo courtesy of

receive the coveted Loveland postmark. Valentine, Nebraska receives around 5,000 cards to be remailed and stamped with messages like “With Love from Valentine, NE.” Because of its name, Valentine is often the location for weddings on Valentine’s Day and will average six ceremonies each year that day. The town decorates its streets with hearts; restaurants offer heart-shaped food like pizza and steaks. The U.S. Post Office in Valentines, Va., serves a small population of about 600. It’s the only post office with the name “Valentines” with an “S” on the end. The little post office, located in a former general store, receives a large influx of visitors, many from Virginia and North Carolina, leading up to Valentine’s Day to receive



the special holiday postmark. “It’s just one of those time-honored traditions where people come in here and get their Valentine’s Day cards stamped,” Postmaster Bryan Watson said. “The former postmaster, William Henry Valentine, back in 1950, started doing a special cache which everybody loved. They’re all done by hand. It’s just an added touch and people really do love it.” Plan a trip to Valentines, Virginia in advance of the special day to have your envelope postmarked. The Romance, Arizona post office is popular not only for Valentine’s Day but also for wedding invitations. Couples send their invitations to be handcanceled with the Romance stamp. Each year a postmark is designed with romance in mind for weddings and Valentine’s Day. Romance



is a community of about 1,700 and it will stamp about 7,500 valentines and wedding invitations. The post office has even doubled as a chapel on Valentine’s Day for weddings. Romance on Valentine’s Day sounds like the perfect place to hold a wedding. Romeo, Michigan and Juliette, Georgia post offices have formed an unusual Valentine’s Day alliance. For 24 consecutive years, they have offered a unique dual Valentine’s Day pictorial cancellation. The cancellation highlights a silhouette of sweethearts expressing their love for the holiday. This same unique cancellation will be applied to letters mailed from either post office. “Each year the Romeo, MI, and Juliette, GA, post offices receive more than 4,000 letters requesting the Valentine’s Day cancellation,”

(Photos courtesy of

says Alex Stubbs, postmaster of Romeo. “The requests come from more than 200 cities in 36 states.” A Valentine’s Day postmark with a love train motif is available from Hartville, Wyoming. Established in 1884, Hartville is one of the oldest incorporated towns in Wyoming. It’s also one of the smallest, with a population of 61. The Pony Express was started in 1860 and still carries mail today, on Valentine’s Day from Guernsey, Wyoming to Hartville on the Saturday morning before the holiday. The Friends of Hartville group has been designing and coordinating the cancellation stamps since 1996. Collection boxes are placed in all the post offices in two counties so people can deposit their Valentines in these boxes. It’s collected, stamped to say, ‘carried by



(Photos courtesy of



The U.S. post Office in Valentines, Virginia

horseback’, then delivered to Hartville. Maybe a trip to Wyoming is in your future to join the Pony Express riders on their holiday trek. Many of these special post offices are small and it falls on the postmaster to hand cancel the Valentines. In Bliss, Idaho, the postmaster of the one-person post office will personally hand-cancel an estimated 1,800 to 2,000 mailings. In Heart Butte, Montana, the population is less than 700. Its post office stamps a pictorial heart in red ink The town, on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, takes its name from the small heartshaped peak southwest of town. The outgoing mail in Loving, New Mexico, with a population of 1,400, will jump from 500 pieces per day to about 4,000 daily during the pre-Valentine’s Day period. To check out some of the more unusual Valentine’s

locations, search Google for “Post Offices With Valentine’s Day Names.” There’s a Bridal Veil, Oregon; Fidelity, Illinois; Venus, Florida, and Darling, Mississippi. Post offices that offer a remailing program will have specific deadlines for receiving your card to be stamped and remailed. It’s important to meet these deadlines. Check the post office program for the town you select to read about their requirements and address. Some post offices require you to hand carry your Valentine’s card into the post office. Select the perfect Valentine’s card. Check the requirements from a post office that offers remailing with a special postmark. Drop it all in the big blue post office box. Then wait for the surprise on your sweetheart’s face when they see hearts and poetry postmarked on the envelope.






Midas Touch


ow appropriate that our yearling, Midas, has a golden palomino as his new pasture mate. He must have the fabled Midas touch. Could it be that he is like the mythical King Midas of Phrygia? The god Dionysus granted this king one wish to repay him for

By Pebbles his gracious hospitality. King Midas pondered long and hard about what his one request should be. He chose to have an incredible power that would make him exceedingly wealthy. From that day forward anything that King Midas touched turned instantly to gold.

Our young horse, Midas, is a sweet character. He has a distinctive bay-roan coloring and the most unusual dishfaced expressive head. One side of his head is notably different from the other. The way his white blaze wraps around his brown face makes his asymmetry



Skinny Midas upon arrival to HERD

Midas in the horse trailer with Kailey Greene


more noticeable. Three veterinarians have examined Midas. They concur his head shape is a result of his position in his mother’s womb or from an accident. One of his legs pressed against his face while he was developing could have caused this unique indentation. It does not impact his breathing or his ability to eat. The blemish gives him an Arabian-type refined head. Our rescue group, Helping Equines Regain Dignity (HERD), saved Midas. He was so thin and downtrodden. We had to wait three months before we could address his small belly hernia and have him gelded. The combination of his unusual head shape and the hernia is likely why his breeder rejected keeping Midas. We discovered Midas because his owner shipped the youngster to a livestock auction and entered him


into the sale as a gradequality yearling horse colt. This action destined him for slaughter. We will never know his full backstory, where he was born, nor his dam or sire. Despite being extremely thin, with ribs prominently showing, there was something about Midas I found very appealing. I insisted that we buy him. Our team of volunteers raised the funds to purchase him and secure his freedom ride into our care. I can catch a glimpse of Midas in the late afternoon when he comes up to take his position at his feed trough for dinner. I miss spotting him during breakfast service. This is because I am a late sleeper. A “spokespony” like me needs her beauty rest. In the early morning hours, I savor my breakfast in bed, from my comfortable stall at the barn. I cannot see Midas and his friends. I am

Midas with Mister Fred



Midas upon his arrival from the livestock auction



not yet active when volunteer Bill McClelland feeds the rescue horses their morning rations. Midas has had a few pasture mates since he arrived at the ranch. Bessie Bell Transport delivered him to us with a paintyearling pony, Sonnet. The two of them got along well enough for the first month. Both new arrivals were unsure about their situation. Sonnet quickly took charge, becoming the pasture boss. Midas obeyed or suffered the consequences of a quick, but directive nip on his rump. We decided to move Midas to a neighboring pasture with our giant thoroughbred gelding, Beau, and easy-going Ishmael. Our Beau arrived three years ago as a long yearling. He was a docile young colt. He avoided rough play and conflict. However, as he has transformed into a 17-hand big-boned horse, he has

become more dominant with others. In the field, he delighted himself by continuously herding Midas. He prevented Midas from interacting with Ishmael and with our volunteers, who come to groom and work with the equines. Beau was just too rough on the much smaller and younger bay-roan colt. We had to act. The bossy behavior resulted in us moving Beau into a new pasture. He would have to adapt and learn to fit in with Forget Me Not and her tall colt, Jupiter. This mare would not tolerate Beau’s pushy behavior. She quickly established the pecking order of who was to be the top horse in her pasture. A mature mare can always set the record straight with young geldings. It only takes the pricked position of her ears and the threat of her two hind feet in action to establish her dominance. One warning kick was all it took

Midas and Mister Fred share hay

for Beau. He realized he was not able to herd Jupiter and his mother around the field. This new situation has been good for Beau. He has also made a new friend, Jupiter, to share his hay with politely. Forget Me Not has also come to accept Beau as part of her realm. The relocation of Beau coincided with the arrival of a handsome but thin newcomer to HERD. Mister Fred, a young palomino gelding, had completed his quarantine period. He needed a place to live within our rescue. We decided to try him with Ishmael and Midas. This was an excellent decision. Ishmael knows the art of fitting into a group, and it is one of his greatest talents. He can be the leader when the herd needs one. He can just as easily be a follower, fitting in under a more dominant horse. With the departure of Beau and

the arrival of Fred, Ishmael resumed the role of leader. Fred is smitten with Midas and respectful of Ishmael. The three all coexist in peace. Midas and Fred play together. They share their hay piles instead of eating separately. Ishmael watches over them and keeps order in the ranks when they are out grazing. Harmony now reigns in this pasture. How very fitting that the perfect addition to this group would be a golden horse. Our Midas, while not a king, certainly got his wish. Sonnet was too bossy, and Beau too pushy, but Fred, well, he is “just right.” This reminds me of the outcome of the story of Goldilocks And The Three Bears. Fred has the perfect temperament and is the ideal height for Midas. He is a comfortable fit as a playmate. So as this New Year begins, it is clear to me our Midas certainly has the touch.

EQUINE | FARM + RANCH | LIFE AUTO | HEALTH | BUSINESS COLUMBUS 816 W. Mills St., Suite A-2 | 828-859-6700 HENDERSONVILLE 225 6TH AVE W | 828-692-9171




BETTER-FOR-YOU MEALS FROM BREAKFAST TO DINNER Whether you’re encouraging loved ones to start a new wellness kick or looking to add new ideas to an already-nutritious menu, families at any stage of a journey toward better health can use newfound favorites to bring fresh flavors to the table.

MINI GREEK YOGURT PANCAKES WITH CINNAMON-MAPLE TOPPING Total time: 25 minutes Servings: 6 INGREDIENTS Topping: •1 3/4 cups plain Greek yogurt (fat free, 2% or 5%) •1/3 cup maple syrup •1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon Pancakes: •1 cup all-purpose flour



Constructing a better-for-you menu calls for a balanced diet with a variety of foods to get essential nutrients. This balance is important for maintaining healthy gut and immune function while optimizing overall wellness.

•2 tablespoons sugar •1 teaspoon baking powder •1/4 teaspoon baking soda •1/8 teaspoon salt •1 egg, lightly beaten •3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (fat free, 2% or 5%) •1/2 cup milk (skim, 2% or whole) •3 tablespoons melted butter •1 teaspoon vanilla •oil •1 cup fresh blueberries or chopped fresh strawberries

Start by ramping up your family’s breakfast with these slightly sweet Mini Greek Yogurt Pancakes with Cinnamon-Maple Topping for a protein-packed way to start the day with a healthy addition of fresh berries.

DIRECTIONS To make topping: Stir yogurt, syrup and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate. To make pancakes: •In mixing bowl, stir flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, whisk egg, yogurt, milk, butter and vanilla. Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture. Stir just until combined (batter should be slightly lumpy). •Scrape batter into large plastic food storage bag. Oil nonstick griddle or large

nonstick skillet. Heat over medium heat. •Cut off about 1/2 inch from corner of plastic bag. Squeeze batter, about 1 tablespoon at a time, onto hot griddle. •Cook 1-2 minutes per side, or until pancakes are golden brown, turning to second sides when bubbles form on surface of pancakes and edges are slightly dry. •Serve warm pancakes topped with cinnamon-maple yogurt and sprinkled with berries.

CHICKEN, MANGO AND BLUE CHEESE PITAS Total time: 25 minutes Servings: 6 INGREDIENTS Sauce: •1 cup low-fat plain yogurt •1 tablespoon honey •1 tablespoon orange juice or lime juice

Fusion cooking is on the menu at lunchtime with the spicy-sweet combo of Cajun-seasoned chicken mingling with mango and pungent blue cheese in these Chicken, Mango and Blue Cheese Pitas. Finally, finish the day with Feta Roasted Salmon and Tomatoes - an easy-to-make family meal ready in 30 minutes.

Filling: •1 tablespoon vegetable oil •1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces •1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasoning •1 large fresh mango, seeded, peeled and chopped •3 large whole-wheat pita rounds (or 6 small), halved •1 1/2 cups spring greens •3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (3 ounces) DIRECTIONS To make sauce: •In small bowl, stir yogurt, honey and juice. •Cover and refrigerate. To make filling: •In large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. •Cook and stir chicken with seasoning in hot oil 4-6 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in center. •Remove from heat. Stir in mango. •Fill pita pockets with greens, chicken mixture and blue cheese. Spoon yogurt sauce on top. FEBRUARY 2024


FETA ROASTED SALMON AND TOMATOES Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Servings: 4 INGREDIENTS •Nonstick cooking spray •3 cups halved cherry tomatoes •2 teaspoons olive oil •1 teaspoon minced garlic •1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or dried dill weed •1/4 teaspoon salt •1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided •1 1/2 pounds salmon or halibut fillets, cut into 4 serving-size pieces •1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

DIRECTIONS •Preheat oven to 425 F. Line 18-by-13-by-1-inch (half sheet) baking pan with foil. Lightly spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. •In medium bowl, toss tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. •Place fish pieces, skin side down, on one side of prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining pepper. Lightly press feta cheese on top of fish. Pour tomato mixture on other side of prepared pan. •Bake, uncovered, 12-15 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with fork. •Place salmon on serving plates. Spoon tomato mixture over top.


A TEN MINUTE INVESTMENT OF TIME that can save your life

The heart scan (a painless and fast heart scan) detects the amount of calcium in your coronary arteries. The value of the screening is that it helps to determine if you need preventative treatment to ward off a heart attack or stroke. The heart scan is offered FREE through a grant from Carolina Foothills Foundation. To qualify for the FREE test, you must be uninsured and live in Polk or Rutherford Counties. It’s that simple. Have your Primary Care Provider send an order to St. Luke’s Hospital today.

This February marks the 57th consecutive American Heart Month



St. Luke’s

101 Hospital Drive Columbus, NC 28722

(828) 894-0990



If the way to your loved one’s heart is through the stomach, there’s no better way to start off this Valentine’s Day than with a homemade breakfast prepared with love. Whether you’re whipping up a breakfast for a spouse with a sophisticated palate or trying to tempt the taste buds of your littlest loves, explore these ideas to get inspired.

COCOA-KISSED RED VELVET PANCAKES Servings: 10 pancakes INGREDIENTS •1 cup all-purpose flour •1/4 cup granulated sugar •3 tablespoons NestlÈ Toll House Baking Cocoa •1 teaspoon baking powder •1/2 teaspoon baking soda •1/2 teaspoon salt •1 large egg •1 cup reduced-fat buttermilk or low-fat milk

•Red is the color of love, so build your menu around fresh strawberries or raspberries, which pair perfectly with French toast or crepes, and can even dress up a simple cereal. •For a more sensible menu, opt for a fruity berry smoothie or a parfait layered with fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt and granola. Add a hint of loving indulgence by sprinkling dark chocolate

•2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted •1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract •1 teaspoon red food coloring •heart-shaped pancake cutters or cookie cutters (optional) •butter, for garnish (optional) •powdered sugar, for garnish (optional) •maple syrup, for garnish (optional) •fresh berries, for garnish (optional)

shavings on top. * Show your affection with a plate of these colorful Cocoa-Kissed Red Velvet Pancakes featuring rich 100 percent cocoa, buttermilk and fresh berries. Heart-shaped cookie cutters lend a special touch to these fluffy, flavorful pancakes. Add sweet garnishes like powdered sugar and berries for a sensational way to say “I love you.”

DIRECTIONS •In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir well. •In separate large bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, unsalted butter, vanilla extract and food coloring. Add to flour mixture; stir to combine. Allow mixture to sit 5 minutes. •Heat nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. •Brush with oil or butter. Add

about 1/4 cup batter to skillet. Cook about 2 minutes, or until bubbles start to form on top. Flip and cook 1-2 minutes, or until bottom is lightly browned. Serve immediately with butter, powdered sugar, syrup and berries, if desired. •Tip: If using pancake or cookie cutters, be sure to coat with oil so pancakes don’t stick. Place cutters in skillet and pour batter into cutters. Remove cutters before flipping.





Marketplace Foothills Magazine • 828.859.9151

Nice Guys Yard Clean Up Serving Foothill Mountain Area: Tree Trimming, Brush Pile Burning, Hauling, Shrubbery, Weedeating, Weed and Brush Spraying, Garage/ Shed/Barn Clean Out. Competitive Prices Hourly or By the Job! Call The Nice Guys Today! Ask for Charles 864-285-8486

828-817-6350 Private House & Commercial Cleaning, Construction Cleaning. References Upon Request. We offer green cleaning with American made cleaning products.

GOOD BY STUMPS Stump Removal Quantity Discounts on 50+ Stumps! As low as $10 each! Call for pricing. Fully insured. Free Quotes! Call Ron at 828447-8775

Manuel Flores Construction •Stucco •Block •Brick •Tile •Concrete •Stone Work 864-361-1794

Nik’s Painting 17+ years of experience! We do more than just walls: soft wash, interior/ exterior painting, garage floor epoxy coatings, cabinet painting/ lacquer, wallpaper & popcorn ceiling removal, deck/fence & interior/ exterior wood staining, carpentry repair. Add a fresh cost to your home today! 864-293-3437

PRICE REDUCED! $550,000 128 Fox Covert Lane, Tryon, NC. 3 B/2 ½ B, FP, decks, 2 car garage, granite Counters, main level master in Hunting Country area.Lane Robbat: 828.817.4663

Lake Pointe Landing, A Century Park Community. Lake Pointe Landing is not just a great place to live, but a great place to work as well! We are currently looking for nursing staff including CNAs, RNs and LPNs, offering competitive pay and benefits. Visit www. today to explore available positions and apply online! Or stop by out facility to fill out a paper application.

Red Door Deals Extreme Discount Store New Inventory weekly, Items include indoor/outdoor furniture, household, health & beauty, and so much more. Mon-Sat 10am6:30pm 828-440-1415 843-455-6515 Find us on Facebook! 1913 Lynn Road Columbus NC 28722 Bill the painter for all your painting needs! Also do drywall repair and wood repair! 32 years experience. Like Bill the Pinter on Facebook 828-899-2647 Accepting Applications •Mechanical Maintenance •Diesel Mechanics •Class-A CDL Drivers •Retail Yard Associates/Drivers •Equipment Cleaning Technician •Heavy Equipment Operators •Welder www. Click on Employment Opportunities 828-8595836 Rise & Shine Cleaning Service • 20+ years experience Marj Duncan

JUST LISTED! $369,356 710 Landrum Trail Landrum – community pool & gated community 3b/2 ½B, 2 car garage, FP, granite counters, FP, granite counters, wood floors, vaulted ceilings. Lane Robbat: 828.817.4663 JUST LISTED! $329,323 1639 PARRIS BRIDGE RD, Chesnee 29356. Completely renovated & Permitted 4 b/3ba home on unrestricted 1.23 level acres, granite kitchen counters, covered porch. Bring RV, boat or build workshop, great rental potential.Lane Robbat: 828.817.4663 Waterboy Plumbing LLC “Residential Service and Repair” Jerrad McCall 803-869-5899 DIXON AC & HEATING • Your HVAC Service & Repair Expert • Serving the Tryon area for 30+ years. Call (828)8630555 Epperson’s Tree Service • Complete Tree Service •Dangerous removals •View Cutting •Lot Clearing •Tree Trimming •Crane Removals Serving NC for 25yrs Fully Insured ISA Certified Arborist (828)606-4980

STEPS TO HOPE Thrift Barn • Landrum, SC • FT Donation Assistant FT Donation Assistant/ Driver Duties include but not limited to: •Greet donors, accept donations, provide tax receipts •Sort/separate donations •Unload truck after pickups •High School diploma/ equivalent •Ability to stand for long periods & lift heavy items •Backup Driver must have valid driver’s license PTO, Healthcare Benefits included. Send resume to ERIKA BRADLEY, REALTOR® 828.702.5970 YOUR LOCAL REALTOR HELPING YOU BUY/ SELL IN WNC! ERIKAB@C21ML. COM CENTURY 21 MOUNTAIN LIFESTYLES 640 GREENVILLE HWY, HENDERSONVILLE, NC 28792 Philco’s Pressure Washing Get all the Mold, Mildew, & Oxidation off your house! •Clean Vinyl Siding •Driveways •Sidewalks •Stain & Seal Decks & More! Liability & Workers Comp 31 years

Experience Call To Clean Today! Phil Tolleson 864599-1978 or 864-3048463 POLK COUNTY SCHOOLS •Full-Time Occupational Therapist •Part-Time Food Service Aide - Multiple Locations •Bus Drivers - All Schools •Substitute Teacher/ Food Service/Custodian – All Schools Visit personnel/ to apply Or Call:828-894-1001 $10 Off Fall Preventative Maintenance (Reg $75) Rutherford Heating and Air 828-287-2240 LAWSON PAINTING Residential Painting •Interior & Exterior •Ceiling Texturing •Light Carpentry Free Estimates Please Call: 864-4943397 INSURED & REGISTERED CALL OR TEXT: 269-220-2985 GOOGLE-NEXTDOORFACEBOOK •TOILETS •CEILING FANS •SWITCHES/ OUTLETS •GUTTER CLEANING •LIGHTING FIXTURES•DRYER VENT CLEANING•FAUCETS AND SINKS•REPAIRS AND ODD JOBS Personal Assistant Need an EXTRA pair of hands? “Serving Landrum & Surrounding Areas” *Daily *Weekly *Seasonally •House Sitting & Pet Sitting •Errands, Shopping, Appointments, •Organizing •Staging Call Estee @ 561.568.7387 “References available upon request” PROFESSIONAL OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE! FEAGAN BUILDING, 60 WALKER STREET, COLUMBUS. (1). 3 ROOM OFFICE WITH KITCHENETTE AND PRIVATE BATHROOM.

$450/MTH. (2). 3-4 ROOM OFFICE WITH KITCHENETTE AND PRIVATE BATHROOM.$650/ MTH. WATER/SEWER AND TRASH DISPOSAL ARE INCLUDED IN RENT. OTHER UTILITIES ARE RESPONSIBILITY OF TENANT. CONTACT: PHILLIP R. FEAGAN 828894-3541. HANDYMAN SERVICES SPECIALIZING IN DECKS, PAINTING, CARPENTRY, AND HOME MAINTENANCE. “1 CALL DOES IT ALL.” CALL CHRIS AT (828)388-2503 VIEWMONT APARTMENTS 20 VIEWMONT STREET TRYON, NC 28782 SECTION 8 ELDERY/ HANDICAPPED 1 BEDROOM-1BATHROOM SMALL PETS ALLOWED 864-384-6406 FOR MORE INFO. David’s Roofing and Remodeling We have •Shingles •Metal •Rubber Roofing •Painting Also! Call David at 828-713-4154 For Rent Commercial Office Space Two rooms, ½ bath, two closets, approx. 600 sq ft. Available. $600 plus electric Pat Martin at First Real Estate 828817-4509 J BLAIR ENTERPRISES Gutter Installation French Drains Gutter Cleaning Fascia Repair and More CALL JOSH: 864-3983158 AKC YORKIE PUPPIES Two Healthy Males DOB 8/11/23 East/West Coast Blend Sire 5lbs, Dam 7lbs, Very Socialized $1,700 828-461-1331



ADVERTISER INDEX Brunson’s Furniture Carolina Storage Solutions Carruth Furniture Cason Builders Clover Acupuncture Congregational Church of Tryon Dr. Jonathan Lowry Farm Bureau Foothills Movement Habitat for Humanity Highland Design & Construction Isothermal Community College JB Trees McFarland Funeral Home New View Realty Penny Insurance Polk County Transportation Prince Gas Company Red Bell Run Rutherford Regional Health SC NC Realty



19 36 29 25 51 15 35 37 42 14 17 16 50 22 4 43 34 28 33 27 47

SG Power & Equipment Southern Pet St Luke’s Hospital St. Luke’s Foundation Stone Setting and Design Strauss Attorneys Tryon Builders Tryon Fine Arts Center Tryon International Equestrian Center Tryon Little Theater Tryon Painters & Sculptors Tryon Presbyterian Church White Oak Retirement Wild Petunias

18 40 46 3 7 32 41 52 24 23 7 50 9 26

We welcome chronic, complex & challenging health conditions.


31 S. Trade St. | Tryon, NC | 828.817.9883


Live Creative

Signature Series


The Kruger Brothers share a mystical love of Appalachian culture and landscape that presents itself in their music.

Saturday, February 10, 2024 7:30 pm

Master Class with Jens, Uwe and Joel 4-5 pm in the Pavilion signature series sponsors

for more info & online ticket purchase

3 4 M e l r o s e A v e n u e , Tr y o n N C 2 8 7 8 2


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.