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life in our foothills


July 2013

A Taste of Success PAC

Conserving our future

July 2013

Michaila Cowles Cosmus JU LY 2 0 1 3



Enjoy Independent Apartments, Rental Patio Homes, or Ownership Villas, Assisted Services at The Bridge at Lake Pointe Landing or Skilled Nursing and Rehab on our beautifully manicured 50 acre campus in the heart of Hendersonville. Experience amenities that include fine dining, a pool, theatre, exercise room, billiards room, libraries, housekeeping and laundry services, 24 hour nursing services, and more. True maintenance-free living!



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FEATURE Publisher's note


ast month marked the one-year anniversary of Life in Our Foothills magazine. It’s been a great journey for us at the Bulletin and has enabled us to share with you so many of the reasons we love this area. From the upstate to Saluda and all parts between, we are so blessed to live, work and play here. We look forward to the year ahead and the great stories we will get to tell, and July is no exception. Did you know there is a mystical Fairy Garden right here in Tryon? Nestled in the hills of Tryon, Liz Norstrom has created a fairy garden that delights the eye and challenges the mind to look for the next hidden treasure. Written and photographed by Lenette Sprouse, you won’t want to miss this true tale of how and why this enchanting garden came to be on page 32. Photos of beautiful outdoor gardens and spaces designed by Erin Thompson of Thompson’s Landscaping begin on page 36. With good advice from Gillian Drummond, you can transform your outdoor living space into something you will enjoy for years to come. Summer vacation for students is in full swing and while many young people are spending their days frolicking from one activity to the next, 18-year-old Polk County High School graduate, Michaila Cowles Cosmus spends her day cooking up delicious baked goods and creative dishes in her restaurant, Huckleberry's Bakery. Read more about this vivacious young entrepreneur with a passion for cooking on page 45. There are many more stories within these pages and we hope you enjoy this latest issue as much as we enjoyed working to bring it to you. Look for the newest issue of Life in Our Foothills the last Thursday of each month. We invite you to pick up a copy each month. There is sure to be someone you know, a neighbor, family member, a friend or perhaps even you!

Betty Ramsey, Publisher

on the cover Michaila Cowles Cosmus graduated Polk County High School two years ago at the young age of 16. Now she has completed her culinary degree and owns Huckleberry's Bakery. We're happy to share a taste of her success.

Photograph: Erik Olsen Cover design: Samantha Hurst


PUBLISHER Betty Ramsey EDITORIAL Samantha Hurst Leah Justice Gwen Ring CONTRIBUTORS Barbara Childs Gillian Drummond Kirk Gollwitzer Robin Edgar Carol Lynn Jackson Erik Olsen PRODUCTION Samantha Hurst Gwen Ring MARKETING Harry Forsha Kevin Powell Lenette Sprouse ADMINISTRATION Jessy Taylor DISTRIBUTION Jeff Allison Jonathan Burrell Tony Elder Ethan Price

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 Inc. [the Publisher]. 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: Editor, Life in our Foothills, 16 N. Trade Street, Tryon, N.C. 28782. Life in Our Foothills is available free of charge at locations throughout Polk County and upstate South Carolina. Please visit for a list of those locations. Subscriptions are available at a rate of $35 for one year by emailing or by calling 828-859-9151, ext. 101. Advertising inquiries may be made by emailing or by calling 828-859-9151.


features 24 Botes & Stuff 26 Pacolet Area Conservancy 32 Fairy Fantasy 44 Taste of Success 48 Relatively Rooted

Woodworker Don Mobley crafts beautiful boats for all uses.

This organization is working to save land for future generations.

Liz Norstrom invites us into her world of whimsy.

Michaila Cowles Cosmus achieves entrepreneurial success in a tasty way.

We talk to another handful of businesses that are keeping it all in the family.


20th annual Blue Ridge Barbecue & Music Festival


Zenzera Coffee & Wine bar

A visual account of the exciting 20th anniversary of this special event.

Let the music move you into a great time at this local venue. JU LY 2 0 1 3





COLUMNS 36 Country Living

Summertime - Gillian Drummond takes interior design out of doors.

40 In Good Taste

Carol Lynn Jackson takes us to market in Saluda.

IN EVERY ISSUE 8 Out & About


Plan your calendar for the new year.

10 Short Stories

Bonnie Zip takes on a new adventure and St. Luke's thanks a local pioneer in the field of mental health.

14 Foothills Featured

Catch a glimpse of recent events such as Landrum High's graduation and Gibson Pool's open house.

APPOINTMENTS 63 Equestrian events

TR&HC Events as well as several trail riding groups and visiting clinicians keep July busy.

64 Enhancing Trail Riding Get out on the trails with friends. 6 LIFEINO URFO O T HIL L S. C O M

66 GFPC Member Milestones

Greenville Foothills Pony Club members achieve new certifications and do well at eventing rally.

68 Clearview Farm Riding Camp Young riders can spend their summer improving their riding skills and horsemanship.

70 TR&HC Events Charity Jumper See what charities won big.

71 Life of a pony club mom

Sandra Larson explains why it's worth the effort.


Monthly Contributors Barbara Childs

Barbara Childs is a freelance writer for Appointments. She has authored two children's books, "Sammy and the Cow Bird" and "Dear Bianca, Yours, Rudyard." Child's horse Bagheera and she were the National Champions of the USA in 1987. She also served on the Illinois Dressage and Combined Training Board of Directors for 11 years. Sutton is the horse she loves and rides today.

Gillian Drummond

Growing up and moving around the world taught Drummond three things; that change is positive, there are wonderful people everywhere and you can always create a home. She moved to Tryon in 2010 and opened her decorating business. She has been in the field for over 35 years. Her mission is to be your guide in creating a beautiful, comfortable haven.

Robin A. Edgar

Freelance journalist Robin A. Edgar writes for local, regional and national publications from her home near Lake Lanier in Tryon. She also conducts life writing workshops around the country based on her book, In My Mother’s Kitchen: An Introduction to the Healing Power of Reminiscence.

Kirk Gollwitzer

Kirk Gollwitzer is a freelance writer frequently writing articles for Google News Service, and other media organizations. After a successful career in business, Kirk found his true passion in telling a story through writing, photography and video. Kirk has a passion for music and major interest in sports. He is also writing a novel which will be adapted to a screenplay.

Erik Olsen

A native of Germany, Olsen began learning about photography at a very early age. Over the years, he worked in the TV news industry until making the decision to transform his expertise into a business. Today, he is blessed to follow his given passion and pursue what he loves for a living, filmmaking and photography. Winner of CNN's iReporter award.

Deadlines Life in our Foothills publishes the last Thursday of each month. The deadline to submit content for the consideration of staff is the 1st of each month for the following month’s magazine. The staff of Life in our Foothills has the right to edit any and all content before inclusion in the publication. Please send your items to

A Capital Senior Living Community

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Left: Fabulous Fourth in Columbus Below: Seussical the Musical, 2012's youth theater production

CALENDAR JULY July 1 & July 15, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Healthy Cooking Class Support your overall health. Prepare food-combined, blood-typed recipes using seasonings and herbs instead of fat, sugar and salt. Info: 828-894-0124. Adawehi Institute, Columbus.

July 6, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Adawehi Yard Sale Yard sale contains a vast array of household, shop and lawn equipment, a few antiques, a great collection of books, clothes and children’s items - old and new. Every first Saturday. Adawehi Institute, Columbus

Programs start at sunset and last as long as you want to stay. Telescopes are set up to view stars and planets, and a great variety of interesting and beautiful celestial objects. You do not have to know astronomy to have a good time. Info: 864-457-2615. FENCE

July 4, 8 a.m. Columbus Firecracker 5K Beginning at the Columbus Town Office, this will be run over a 5k course with professional timing. Trophies awarded for first, second and third place winners in each age group for both male and female. Info: Columbus

July 6, 6 p.m. U.S. 440 Army Band The 440th Army Band is a National Guard Unit based out of Raleigh NC. Currently, the band has 39 members whose occupations range from professional musicians to schoolteachers. Rogers Park, Tryon

July 7, 8:30 – 10 a.m. Pancake Breakfast & Clothing Sale A healthy breakfast and a happy shopping spree. Pancakes, fruit, nuts and herbal tea. Great prices on a variety of clothing, from consignment quality to gently worn. Every first Sunday. Adawehi Center, Columbus

July 4, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Fabulous Fourth Family fun, food, crafts, farmers market, music and entertainment, ending with spectacular fireworks. Town of Columbus July 4, 7:30 a.m. Fabulous Fourth Bike Tour Metric and Half Metric bike tour hosted by the Rotary Club of Tryon. Ellen Seagle, ride director at 828-674-6087 or visit Harmon Field, Tryon July 5, 7 p.m. Summer Tracks – The Work Funky, horn-drive, rock & soul band from Greenville, S.C. Roger’s Park, Tryon 8 L IFEIN O URFO O T HIL L S. C O M

July 6, 8 a.m. Coon Dog Day 5k A fun and challenging run through historic downtown Saluda and the surrounding tree-lined streets. The Party Place and Event Center Saluda or call 828-749-2581

July 9, 10:30 a.m. Polk July 10 10:30 a.m. Saluda Fli-Rite Learning's Dig into the Past: Exploring Ancient Egypt and Simple Machines Polk County Public Library or 828-8948721 Polk; 828-749-2117 Saluda

July 6, all day 50th Anniversary Coon Dog Day A celebration of dogs and their people. Great food, live music, parade, crafts, street dancing and more. Downtown Saluda

July 13, 5 – 8 p.m. Tryon Gallery TROT A “scavenger hunt” of sorts will lead attendees through galleries and studios showcasing their work. Live local music, kid’s crafts tent, gallery openings and more. Downtown Tryon

July 6, 8:30 – 10 p.m. Foothills Astronomical Society

July 13, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Accordian Art Journal Classes Mill Spring Ag Center

July 13, 2 p.m. David Novak Storytelling Enjoy an evening with a story teller in whom “The Brothers Grimm and Carl Jung meet Monty Python,” according to Houston Storytelling Festival. Lanier Library, Tryon July 18, 5:30 p.m. Movie Night: Holes Polk County Public Library or 828-8948721 July 18 – 21 Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory The musical, based on Roald Dahls’ book “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory”, features the songs from the classic film starring Gene Wilder. Tryon Fine Arts Center July 19, 7 p.m. Summer Tracks – Gigi Dover & The Big Love Though their music is predominately southern, they weave in reverberations of jazz, rock and R&B to produce a sound described as shamelessly funky. Roger’s Park, Tryon July 19, 7:30 – 11 p.m. Blue Ridge Contra Dancing Saluda Party Place & Events Center

Left: Outdoor concerts around the county offer great music. Below: Saluda Coon Dog Day Parade

July 23, 10:30 a.m. Polk July 23, 2 p.m. Saluda Professor Whizzpop's The Really Big Bookworm Dig Polk County Public Library or 828-

894-8721 Polk; 828-749-2117 Saluda

artists and long-time musicians Chuck Folds, Steve Willard, and Eddie Walker. These dynamic dads play parent-friendly children’s music. or 828-8948721 Polk; 828-749-2117 Saluda

August 6, 11:30 a.m. Wrap-Up Party for Polk County Public Library's 2013 Summer Reading Program! Harmon Field Please register for this event by calling 828-894-8721


August 8, 1 – 5 p.m. Star Ornament in A Box Class Mill Spring Ag Center August 9, 7 p.m. Summer Tracks – Nikki Talley, Letters To Abigail Roger’s Park, Tryon

July 27, 1 – 5 p.m. Christmas Memory Book Class Mill Spring Ag Center July 27, 3 – 4 p.m. Drumming Group for Students Begin with heartbeat drumming then middle and high school students bring their own rhythm during an improvisation. Finish by exploring African rhythms. Info: 828-8598351. Adawehi Institute, Columbus July 27, 8 – 11 p.m. 7, – Eighty, – 9 Band This band contains some members of the “Legacy Band” and some members of the “Southern Pointe Band.” Party Place & Events Center, Saluda July 30, 10:30 a.m. Polk July 31, 10:30 a.m. Saluda Big Bang Boom! This rockin’ three-piece power pop band consists of talented

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Board Certified | Fellowship-Trained Retina Specialist Macular Degeneration Diabetic Eye Disease

Stephen J. Capps, MD, MPH Board Certified Cataract Surgery | Glaucoma Ophthalmology

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Life in our Foothills is the premier lifestyle publication for features, events and happenings in your foothills. 10 L IFEINO URFO O THI L L S. C O M




Taking on

The Gorge Written and photographed by MARK SCHMERLING “It’s unreal,” reported Bonnie Zelinskie, after being the first non-staff person to ride the long and steep Gorge Zip Line Canopy Tour, just outside Saluda. “I can’t believe I did the whole thing.” Many friends of the 84-year-young adventurer couldn’t believe she’d even attempt such an ambitious endeavor, but adventure is nothing new for this Tryon Estates resident. “They call me Bonnie Zip. I think they all envy me,” she said, while preparing for her 6,500 linear-foot ride (with 1,100 feet of vertical descent) through the forest canopy of the Green River Gorge. Zelinskie has sky-dived, gone hang gliding and parasailed, so traveling above the ground without the aid of motors is hardly foreign. She’s also ridden in a stock car at 175 mph. Preparing for her gorge adventure, she described herself as “so wired up.” Originally a resident of Swarthmore, Penn., she turned to skiing when she retired from Westinghouse in 1984. She moved to the Pocono Mountains and “became a ski bum . . . I won several of the slalom races in my age group.” Skiing also took her out West, and to New England. She moved to Tryon in 1997. Before she departed for her zip line into the gorge, Zelinskie remembered her hang gliding experience, with an instructor who helped her feel confident. During the session, she dropped 7,000 feet in only 45 seconds. On her Gorge Canopy Tour, Zelinskie traveled at speeds up to some 35 mph. The Gorge Zip Line Canopy Tour features multiple safety measures, and hands-free braking, as well as spectacular views into the gorge, and as far as Grandfather Mountain, nearly 70 miles away, on clear days. To make reservations, call toll-free 1-855-7492500, or 828-749-2500. While Zelinskie was the first non-staffer to ride the canopy tour, two others followed closely on Friday. One was Vince Shimkus, who has traversed (a type of climbing activity) in the Navy, and has climbed mountains. Shimkus is an energetic 67. “After I retired, I told my wife, ‘I’m done. I’m going to have fun now,’” he recalled. Each separate zip line is about 500 to 1,000 feet. After each section, participants rest on tree platforms (Nearly all are high above the forest floor), before zipping the next section. The course features three rappels, the highest about 70 feet.

After he finished the last rappel on the Gorge journey, Shimkus described the experience as “Fantastic. Out of all the adventures I’ve done, this is one of the best ... I could do it again, right now!” What’s next for “Bonnie Zip”? “I think we’re going swimming with the dolphins (in Discovery Cove, Orlando, Florida). I love the dolphins. That should be pretty cool,” she said. Beyond that, she avowed, “I hope to be able to do a lot of crazy things for a long time.” JU LY 2 0 1 3




Dr. Ratcliffe's Psychiatrist Robert R. Ratcliffe, MD, was honored recently when he “semi-retired” after 17 years of service as medical director of the St. Luke’s Hospital’s Center of Behavioral Medicine. During a special luncheon, surrounded by staff, friends and family, Dr. Ratcliffe shared memories of his many years serving Polk County. Recently he made the decision to slow down, passing the title and challenges as medical director to his colleague Belynda Veser, MD. The Board of Trustees recognized Dr. Ratcliffe and staff for the attentive care they provide patients who are admitted to the Center of Behavioral Medicine, a safe and comfortable setting for adults ages 55 plus who are suffering with mental health issues. “On behalf of St. Luke’s Hospital and the people of Polk County, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank

Dr. Ratcliffe for his energy, his integrity, his knowledge and compassion to others who suffer from mental illness,” said Ken Shull, chief executive officer for St. Luke’s Hospital. “He has been a quiet leader working to bring the darkness surrounding mental illness out of the shadows so we all have a better understanding of these diseases.” The center has been serving residents of Polk County and across the state since 1996 when Dr. Ratcliffe advocated for improved access and understanding of mental health issues. Dr. Ratcliffe was awarded the Norman Boyer Award in recognition of his dedicated service to the care and treatment of people with mental illness.

Right on target The Green Creek Archery Club Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) team travelled to Conyers, Ga. in early June to compete in the 2013 Georgia State JOAD Target Championship. There were more than 70 archers at the tournament. Phil Burney won the bronze medal in his age group of the Olympic recurve division. Rick Burney made it to the quarter final elimination round in the compound division. Josh Streacker placed fourth in his age group, shooting a bare bow in the Olympic Recurve division. The difference between a bare bow and an Olympic Recurve bow is that the Olympic Recurve has a sight and stabilizer attached to it, among other things, while a bare bow is just that with no aiming aids. Coach Jim Vennera said, "All of the boys shot great. They exceeded the goals I had set for them, but more important, they had fun. I'm very proud of all three of them." 12 L IFEINO URFO O THI L L S. C O M


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Landrum High Class of 2013 graduation LHS held commencement ceremonies for its 2013 graduating class on Friday, May 31 in the school gymnasium. Salutatorian Kaitlyn Dill and Valedictorian Brendan Taylor both spoke. 1. Joann, Kenneth, Breanna and Edward Waldrop with Yvette Mize. 2. Becca Burress, Daniel Bridges and Jane Dickey. 3. Robert Stephens, Heather and Alaina Sizemore, Jennifer Pruitt, Joyce Stephens, Barry Pruitt and Rylie Wofford. 4. Michaelyn and Hunter Conley. 5. Tracy Miller, Nikki Simpson, Jada Tracey, Paul, Dyesha, Tasha and Tykeia Miller. 6. Kenny, Colby and Pam Pruitt. 7. Justin Manry and Shelby Morris. 14 LIFEI NO URFO O T HIL L S. C O M

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Summer Tracks concert


A rainy evening moved the first 2013 Summer Tracks concerts indoors but didn't dampen the spirits of those who came out for a Nina Simone tribute night.


1. Bob Lane, Steve Cobb, Peter Eisenbrown and Bill Crowell. 2. Bob and Marvis Neubauer. 3. Butch and Sylvia Colosimo. 4. Kim Glowac, Sally Huffaker and Lauri Glowac. 5. Zora and Jay Davies. 6. Doug and Sharon Wadsworth and Beth Childs. 7. Phil Torres.

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Lennie's Kids

A fundraiser was held for Lennie's Kids at Tryon Estates on Sunday, May 27. The event included a live auction with Bill Jones, dinner and a silent auction.

1. Sara Staton, Fred and Susie Lindsay, and Sandy and Charles Muse. 2. Dick Belthoff, Barbara Belthoff, Ernie Giannini and Lynne Parsons. 3. Josh, Kai and Estrid Goldstein. 4. Lennie Rizzo and Chuck Davis. 5. Hugh Hursey, Bill Jones, Sally Hursey and Ann Morgan. 6. Steve and Margaret Boehm. 7. Rita and Ken Easler with Joey Easler (dog). 16 L IFEINO URFO O T HIL L S. C O M









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Tryon Country Club named to National Registry Tryon Country Club recently celebrated a big event in its history - being placed on the National Registry of Historic Places.


1. TCC members. 2. Lynn Chalmers, Heidi Shull, Frances McCain and Bonnie Sakos. 3. Mike Mitchell and Joy Gardner. 4. Dale Musselwhite, Lee Heelan, Jim10 Heelan and Sue Campbell. JU LY 2 0 1 3



TFAC Sculpture Exhibit opening


The Tryon Fine Arts Center marked the opening of its 2013 Sculpture exhibition on May 4. 1. Gene Morehead, Wyndy Morehead, Cathy Brettman and JT Cooper. 2. David Riddle, Emily Farnsworth amd Peggy Riddle. 3. Kruz and Kylie Blackburn.






TFAC Amphitheater opening

Tryon Fine Arts Center commemorated the opening of its new amphitheater Sunday, May 19. 1. Keith Viglietta. 2. Dianne Joyce and Lisa Stokes. 3. Nelson Leonard and Andrew Lee. 4. Carson Metcalf, Talus Metcalf and Smith Metcalf. 5. Emilee Hyder and Sherri Hyder.





Gibson Pool Opening Gibson Pool invited the community to its open house Saturday, June 1 in conjunction with other Spring into a Healthy Summer events.





1. A set of kids swim around. 2. Randy Long, Josie Day and Samantha Long. 3. Kruz and Kylie Blackburn. 4. Jake Justice and Clark Phipps. 5. Sarah Wilson and Elizabeth Christian. 6. David Amitrano and Logan Nodine. 7. Carmen Cintron. 8. Caitlin and Grey Capozzi. 9 Virginia Walker. 10. Levonna Suber. 11. Katie Hoosier. 12. Grayson and Garett McCurry





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BRHJA’s Hunter Derby benefit for St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation


The Blue Ridge Hunter Jumper Association (BRHJA) hosted a Hunter Derby to benefit St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation Saturday, May 4, at Harmon Field. All proceeds from the event benefitted the Building on Excellence Campaign facility upgrades at St. Luke’s, a 25-bed acute care, full service hospital. More than 300 people came and enjoyed the event.


1. Olivia, Elliot, Oakley, StorieLane, Joey and ScottLynn Whiteside. 2. Savannah Bell and Joah Brickley. 3. Steve Christopher and Larry Wassong. 4. Sydney Waldman and Madison Geddings. 5. Beth and Digit Lockridge. 6. Ken Shull and Jay Geddings.







Passion for Fashion The fourth annual Passion for Fashion benefit was held this spring by the Friendship Circle of Hospice of the Carolinas Foothills at The Piedmont Club in downtown Spartanburg, S.C.

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1. Models Cathy Taylor, Cornelia Alexander, Paul Stathakis, Palma Davis, Lynn Potter, Liz Norstrom, Ellen Gramling, Katie Hodge, Jo Ann McMillan, Sherril Wingo and Becky Collins with emcee Andy Millard and Dillard's employees. 2. Robin Rosenberg, Palma Davis and Jo Ann McMillan 3. Bobbie McNutt, Stuart Evans and Shelley Dayton. 4. Sandy Cooper, Rebecca Rodd and Marsha Rigney. 5. Becky Collins and Becky Collins. 6. Wanda Veh, Petra Harrelson, Elaine Belk, Marie Butler, Rachel Ramsey and Helen Gilbert. JU LY 2 0 1 3





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Polk County Relay for Life Polk County held its annual Relay For Life event at Polk County Middle School on May 31. 1. Staff and family members of St. Luke's Hospital. 2. Bryson Owen. 3. Julie Wilson, Bryson Owen and David Moore. 4. Polk Central Elementary School employees. 5. John Denton and Lucy Lewis. 6 Esther and Gabriel Lail.





Prom 2013


Parents submitted these photos of their kids before the Landrum and Polk County high schools respective proms.


1. Jordan Brown, Karen Bame, Brooke Scoggins and Dylan Turner. 2. Grant Upton and Katie Jones. 3. Sarah Cash and Daniel Perry. 4. Makenzie White and Will Ballard. 5. Devin Walker and Jade Blakely.





Pick a Day. Pick a Restaurant. Pick Up your Fork. Support the work of Hospice of the Carolina Foothills during this 2nd Annual event by dining out with participating restaurants in Saluda, Tryon, Columbus, Landrum, Inman, Campobello, Greer, Spartanburg, and Greenville.

To find out which of your favorite eateries in Polk, Spartanburg & Greenville Counties are participating, visit us online at

It’s about living!

For more information, call Marsha at 828.894.7000

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Top: Don Mobley, owner of Botes & Stuff in Saluda, sands one of his nearly-completed boats. Bottom left: Boats and other items for sale at Botes & Stuff. Bottom right: Don Mobley says that these Christmas ornaments also lend themselves for use as pulls for ceiling fans, due to their light weight, and because many people find them too attractive to use for just the holiday season.


Botesstuff FEATURE


on Mobley, owner of Botes & Stuff in Saluda, recognizes the beauty in the many specimens of wood that pass into his shop. Mobley loves working with wood, and creating things that others appreciate. “It’s amazing, the beauty that gets tossed every day,” Mobley says. Not only does he not waste any remnants, “I make 75 percent of my stuff from rescued wood.” This means he uses pieces too small or too irregular for use in sawmills, and other such facilities. Botes & Stuff offers customers beautifully crafted small boats, ornaments, duck decoys, tables, plaques, cutting boards and clipboards – all made from wood, and all made in North Carolina. Mobley crafts the boats, tables and some of the other items, while a few local individuals make the decoys and cutting boards. His son makes the unique and durable wooden clipboards. Among the pieces in his shop is a table set Mobley made from a finely-figured piece of American black walnut. “Black walnut is not hard to find,” noted Mobley. “It’s expensive, but it’s available.” One simply must know where to look. Mobley knows. If he’s not in the shop, he’s likely tracking down wood that will become some unique item. But, with all the variety, boats are still the signature item. Mobley originally designed these smaller versions of working boats, as centerpieces for tables, for storing linens, golf clubs, umbrellas or displaying anything else that fits. “It’s whatever the imagination will let you do,” he explained. These “botes” combine beauty and utility. Mobley employs one in his shop to hold various pieces of sanding material for his work. Why “Botes,” and not “Boats” as the business name?


Written and photographed by Mark Schmerling

Mobley explained that he was born near the North Carolina coast, on a farm outside the small town of Beulaville. “Boats,” pronounced in coastal dialect sounds like “botes,” he explained. Mobley still owns the farm, and retains his coastal heritage. Having homes there and in Saluda, “is the best of both worlds.” Working with wood is nothing new for Mobley. “I’ve been woodworking for years and years and years,” he noted. For a time, he was building homes. “I decided there was an easier way to make a living.” He then worked for the YMCA, which he says, “was the smartest move I ever made,” providing a retirement that allows him to do what he loves. Before he retired, he was making small boats for friends who had vacation homes. He also built most of the buildings at Boy Scout Camp Bob Hardin, outside Saluda. His involvement with Scouts dates back to the 1970, after he moved to Spartanburg. Mobley’s shop is located at 20 West Main Street, Saluda. Like many other craftsmen, he remains a purist. He recalled that friends suggested that utilizing the Internet would increase sales. It would also take his hand out of some production. “I would not want to put my name on anything I did not do,” he emphasized. Botes & Stuff is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. until 4- 5 p.m. “We try to stay open later on weekends,” explained Mobley. The shop’s phone number is 828-606-7042. Mobley appears content in his work. “There’s something special about doing something, and it turns out well,” he said. “I really enjoy this.” • JU LY 2 0 1 3



pacolet area conservancy



Written by Steve Wong Photographs submitted


he folks over at the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) are about the nicest tree-hugging watchdogs you’d ever hope to have protecting Mother Nature in and around Polk

County. They’d love to take you on a nature hike, show you a pro-nature film, or help you pull Kudzu out of your indigenous trees. They don’t even take exception to being referred to as “tree huggers” or “watchdogs of the land.” But make no mistake about it: When it comes to guarding the natural integrity of the land, they will draw a line in the fertile soil. As an agency, a rather small organization, PAC only has one and a half staffers in a small and somewhat over-stuffed office just outside Tryon’s town limits on U.S. 176, before you get to Harmon Field. Pam Torlina is officially the land protection specialist, but she does whatever needs to be done, a Jane-of-all-trades. She leads hikes, organizes volunteers, inspects property, identifies plants and animals, and knows the law of the land when it comes to people abusing Mother Nature. The Board of Trustees is very active and led by President Elizabeth “Dibbit” Lamb. She is fond of natural fibers and takes land preservation very seriously. When these ladies talk the talk, it goes far beyond polite conversation about pruning roses.

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TOP LEFT: PAC volunteers clean brush from a trail so other nature enthusiasts can safely enjoy the great outdoors. TOP RIGHT: A bog turtle is just one of many species the Pacolet Area Conservancy strives to protect through conservation of land. BOTTOM LEFT: PAC also leads a variety of hikes to beautiful spots around Polk County and western North Carolina and the Upstate to show people the importance of conservation. RIGHT PAGE: Hikers enjoy a regular Friday morning hike with PAC in the fall and hikers set off on the annual PAC Walk. (photos submitted by Pam Torlina)


It is the passionate protection of nearly 8,500 acres, the moral management of 52 protected properties (known legally as easements), and inclusive involvement of some 1,500 supporters, who are either donors and/or volunteers. Technically, PAC is a “land trust,” endowed with the ways and means to hold people accountable to how they use their land. Not all people and not all land: just the people who at some point willingly gave PAC the authority to inspect the land and make sure they are using it in accordance with a legally binding agreement that favors preserving the land in as much of its natural state as possible. In other words, if Mr. Bill lets PAC enact an easement on his land, he and PAC agreed the land can only be used in certain mutually agreed upon ways, such as banning commercial development. This is something Mr. Bill wanted because he likes clean water, big trees and little furry animals, and he wanted to protect his land’s natural beauty. In addition, landowners might qualify for now bigger-than-ever tax incentives. Currently, PAC is pretty excited that the Feds upped the ante in 2013 when it comes to giving landowners better tax breaks. It can get pretty financially technical, but that’s where PAC excels: When land is being considered for easement, they want to make sure all the considerations are made upfront, exceptions are dully noted, tax breaks put in place, and that all concerned parties are happily moving forward. It


can be a lengthy (a year or more) and thoughtful process. As long as Mr. Bill and anyone else who might ever own land abides by the easement, all’s good. But, if somewhere down the line Mr. Bill has a change of heart and wants to clear the land for a shopping center, well… a contract is a contract and a legally binding document, and PAC knows its rights and isn’t afraid to stand up for Mother Nature. But that would be a somewhat worse-case scenario. Torlina sends a gentle reminder to landowners each year, telling them that she’ll be coming around soon just to see how things are going. It’s good when landowners join her for the inspection. In most cases, all is good, and any misdeeds are usually minor matters of misunderstanding that can be easily corrected. “Ah, Mr. Bill, you really should not have cut down that 100-year-old oak tree. In keeping with the spirit of the easement, you’ll need to replace it. No, you can’t plant an Australian Eucalyptus tree there. You’ll need to plant something indigenous to our region, like another oak. Too bad it will be a sapling, but replacing a 100-year oak with another 100-year oak just isn’t possible. We’ll just all do the best we can and live and let live.” Good thing Mr. Bill didn’t inadvertently build a shopping center. For nearly 25 years, PAC has been the voice of authority for Mother Nature. But like all good mothers, PAC knows the best way to get desired results is to plant seeds of good intentions rather than harvest ill will. Through education programs and community outreach, PAC is a favorite green-haired child among the local non-profits and stays financially healthy through the good graces, i.e., donations, of local like-minded citizens. The annual budget is between $100,000 and $150,000, and 90 percent of it comes in through donations.

Technically, PAC is a “land trust,” endowed with the ways and means to hold people accountable for how they use their land. JU LY 2 0 1 3



PAC endorses geocaching, a real-world outdoor treasure hunt that uses smartphones and GPS coordinates to find goodies and favors, but mostly to find another excuse to spend time under open skies.



Annually, early in May, PAC sponsors PACWalk and PACRun, awareness and fundraising events that can accommodate even the most sedentary supporter. You can run five kilometers along a nature trail, take a brisk two-mile walk or jog around Lake Laurel and the surrounding woods, stroll 3/4 of a mile around the lake, or “Phantom Walk,” where all you have to do is just think good thoughts about conservation. Run, walk or think, you still must pay the $20 registration fee for an event T-shirt, lunch and a warm fuzzy feeling of doing your part to save the trees. Other well-attended community programs include Kudzu Warriors, where citizens don work gloves and attack the much-hated invasion of the Japanese vine that has overtaken the South, very much like Godzilla trampled Tokyo. There seems to be no stopping it. Or, citizens can help clear land of unnatural plant life, such as Privet, Nandina, English Ivy and Wisteria, just enough to give goats a fighting chance of munching the flora back into balance. And just because the supporters would rather live in harmony with nature, rather than beat the concrete sidewalks of urban life, that doesn’t mean they don’t stay abreast of technology. PAC endorses geocaching, a real-world outdoor treasure hunt that uses smartphones and GPS coordinates to find goodies and favors, but mostly to find another excuse to spend time under open skies. In the fall and spring, Torlina leads hikes of varying degrees of ease and difficulty to nearby trails. The region surrounding the North Green River, the area of PAC’s concern, is unique in many ways, including a thermal belt that naturally extends the growing season beyond that of nearby areas. There are landscapes, plants and animals under PAC’s watchful eye not found anywhere else in the world, including orchids and bog turtles and green salamanders. When progress wins out over preservation, PAC is there rallying its troops to rescue and relocate endangered native plants and animals before man and machines turn green space into retail space. Indeed, PAC has its own “most wanted” lists of plants and animals. Torlina and Lamb stress that PAC is not against progress and development: Rather, PAC is here to foster peaceful coexistence with man’s need to carve out living and work space and at the same time preserve all that can be preserved so that the very things that bring people to this neck of the woods will be here for generations to come. •

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To find out more about the Pacolet Area Conservancy visit JU LY 2 0 1 3







Sparking a renewed interest in using one's mind, making things up and designing things from eyes' vision. JU LY 2 0 1 3




Written and photographed by LENETTE SPROUSE

hakespeare called her “Titania,” Edmund Spenser wrote of her as “The Faerie Queene,” and folks from Tryon affectionately know her as Liz Norstrom, Queen of the Fairies. Liz arrived in Tryon over three decades ago by way of Barrington, Ill., and affectionately refers to this area as Brigadoon. “Everything seemed to come alive in this little hamlet town of Tryon,” she said. “It was like a flash bulb going off, and it hasn’t stopped yet.” Now 85 and holding for a while, she is very active in theater and no stranger to stretching one's imagination. Debuting in 1987 in Tryon Little Theatre’s musical of Mame, Liz played the title role. Later, she was Weezer in Steel Magnolias, Elsa in The Sound of Music and Mother Superior in Nunsense, as well as a


dozen other plays. A fan of making scenes, imagination brought her to a whole new role right in her front yard. Waving her arm, wand like, to introduce her village below, one is reminded of the beautiful Good Witch Glinda in The Wizard of Oz. Visitors are met with enchanting rolling hills of mosses, lichens and several other forest delights. Hobbit homes are nestled below lush hummocks with only bowed doors and windows to tell. Miniature houses and fairy statues all depict a woodland village of fairy tale old. Here birdhouses have been magically transformed into small mountain cabins, unrecognizable to any feathered creature. Insect galls, the out of place bumps on trees, double as chimneys in this nook. Petrified brackets here are cliffs and mushrooms in this enchanting village, acquiescing only to a fairy’s whim.

FEATURE Small statues with intricate detail stand in place, each painted to replicate a fairy from Cicely Mary Barker’s collection of famous drawings. Cicely, a frail young girl suffering from epilepsy, expressed her imagination back in the early 1900s by developing an entire kingdom of fairies in picture book form. Their beauty is not lost on these small dwellers of Liz’s kingdom. A small piece of bark arches perfectly, tucked under an overhang in the corner, for a bridge over small green tumbling marble like stones. “Nothing is wasted here in this village. The stream rolling under the bridge is from a tractor-trailer that tipped over on I-26 some time ago, and spilled millions of these stones. A hand full was collected and now a river runs through the village, and a bridge too.” A pixie hangs from one of the taller trees, almost at eye level situated in impish character. Some would miss him at first glance, but he too is all by design to exercise and stretch the visitors’ imagination. “This all started with a small village near the tree and a desire to encourage young people to step away from electronic devises and play using the boundless realms of their own imagination?” Liz says. “Children are too busy playing with their finger punching gizmos with this game and that or texting to who knows whom, about who knows what, instead of PLAYING like we use to, with our mind’s imagination,” she continues. Her goal here, in this now growing hamlet that wanders across the entire front of the Norstrom home, is to spark a renewed interest in using one's mind, making things up and designing things from eye's vision. She would love to offer classes in design or explore the possibilities of young people touring the village and take away the desire to develop a world of their own. “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death,” she says. She hopes her garden will draw out the lost art of makebelieve. Albert Einstein quipped, “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my Imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Even a fairy's world. • If you are interested in visiting Liz Norstrom's Fairy Garden, you can email her at To learn more about designing your own Fairy Garden you can contact The Garden Patch in Columbus or Tryon Mountain Hardware located in Lynn. Both can offer you directions and also carry miniature plants and ground cover to get you started. Tryon Mountain Hardware carries a selection of furniture, fairy statues and houses to start your village. JU LY 2 0 1 3



garden design by erin thompson.


COLUMN Written by gillian DrUMMonD Photographs by ChriS Bartol


A garden that grows and changes with time just as we do.

ummertime! This is the time I want to move outdoors to live on my porch and in my garden. This reminds me of a conversation I had not long ago with my good friends, the Polaks, while they were visiting. Both are landscape architects. Bogdan, whose background is European and whose education is American, brings a wonderful point of view to the subject. Over dinner one night we were discussing the idea of using gardens as an extension of our living space and agreed that it was neither a new nor novel idea. Throughout the ages people have used their gardens to amuse and entertain, to do daily chores and to rest. They lived out of doors and slept indoors unless it was a hot summer’s night, and then they had sleeping porches. With the technological advances in house gadgetry and electronics, slowly but steadily people have retreated under the roof where all their needs are met by Sony, GE and Honeywell. The change in the way we live today and to our approach to living is very well represented by the gardens surrounding our houses. We have ended up with open spaces, acres of mowed lawns and for the best part hardly any space worth visiting, not to mention in which to spend time. We have reduced the usable parts of our gardens to the size of decks and patios we are able to afford. With a little guidance from a professional landscape designer and a basic understanding of our own nature we could expand our houses to palatial proportions. Let’s approach the subject from a more familiar perspective: the house. When building or buying a house we pay particular attention to the number and size of the rooms, whether they will fulfill the functions we need them to fulfill or how many closets there are, and how much storage there is, etc. Then we, hopefully, get some guidance from a professional interior designer so that our needs for privacy and aesthetics are met, and we are surrounded by beauty and comfort. Then we celebrate our accomplishments. Shouldn’t JU LY 2 0 1 3



Garden design by Erin Thompson.

A private corner with a bench so that you can sit and meditate on the beauty of your world.

we apply the same principles to the garden? Absolutely! After all, it is a natural and logical extension of our living quarters. What can we possibly do in the garden that we cannot do in the house? The list is long and only our imagination will set the limits. Here are a few examples: We could grow water plants and have fish, or attract butterflies and birds. What about a space to meditate and contemplate, or play games (anyone for badminton or croquet?), and grow vegetables and herbs. Imagine a space from which to fill your house with flowers. To start a green addition to your house, we should designate spaces for specific activities by erecting living walls that will define them. Should the walls be impervious? Not necessarily? Even sparse planting will provide you with enough definition and privacy to accomplish creation of garden rooms. Remember, plan carefully and accordingly; need equals size. 38 LIFEI NO URFO O T HI L L S. C O M

The principles of garden design are the same as designing your home. Define the function of your spaces, and then plan what you need to fulfill this function. Finally, add the details. In my work, we fulfill the function with a floor plan and then add the details with specific color, furniture, fabric and accessories. In garden design, you design the space according to the function with a plan, then add the details with specific trees, shrubs, flowers, walls and then garden furniture and accessories. The use of stone walls gives texture and interest to a garden. Paths wandering to a destination lead you to an unexpected area of tranquility. A private corner with a bench so that you can sit and meditate on the beauty of your world. Or a garden ornament or interesting bench even grown over with moss or lichen are like accessories and art in an indoor room. They give the garden personal style. Statuary is another great garden art. I

recently saw a wonderful small horse farm with a charming cottage, a lovely garden with the outdoor spaces defined by unique horse statues. From inside the house you have a fabulous view with a statue beckoning your eye to the fields beyond. In the front of the house there is a small private garden space with another horse sculpture to bring it to life. It certainly delights as you find the owner’s interests when you turn a corner. Up north, many houses have sun rooms on the south side of the house to bring the garden indoors during the winter. One of the most enjoyable ones I created with a client was to have a garden mural painted on the walls depicting a garden complete with stone walls, trees, flowers, birds, chipmunks and squirrels at play. We added a heated stone floor and comfortable furniture. It was a winter garden and then in the summer had French doors along one wall that opened it up to a terrace outside and became part of an outdoor living space. My house in Connecticut was built in 1850, and even though the garden has been changed many times over the years, the bones of the old garden rooms were still visible even though they were buried in places. It took time, but bringing the garden room with old rock walls back to life was a labor of joy. Now, I am here in North Carolina and my new garden was completely overgrown when I bought the house. Slowly, I am making outdoor spaces to give my house charm and character and make living spaces for me to enjoy the wonderful outdoor living in this mild climate. When I was a child, my favorite book was The Secret Garden. Here in my small front garden, I am trying to create, in a very different way, the tranquility and creativity that those children realized in bringing the secret garden back to life, which transformed their lives. After a couple of years, it is beginning to have the shape I desire. The plants are beginning to grow to some maturity and give my garden the beginning of my vision. I have added a dark green fence with lattice at the top so that the plants in the small flower garden have a back drop to enhance their colors. This, and a large tree located between the fence and the street, gives me a small, lovely area of tranquility and beauty. What I love about a garden is that it grows and changes with time just as we do. We are inquisitive beings who love to discover and experience our surroundings. Let’s use this wonderful sense of ours for the specific purpose of enlarging our living spaces and making our garden a pleasure to create and enjoy. • Gillian Drummond has her design studio, Drummond House Co., Interior Decoration and Consultation, in Tryon, N.C. You can see her website @ To contact her call 828-859-9895 or email to


TOP: Mamie Mathis, representing the Mathis family and its red rooster Farm, selling tomato plants. BOTTOM: luann rossow of Flatlanders' Peak Flower Farm, selling her irises. Opposite page, LEFT: greg Carter, owner of Deep Woods Mushrooms, Mills river, displays a prized shiitake mushroom. RIGHT: Mollie leBude, owner of Forest Creek Farm and nursery, Saluda, uses crimson clover, shown here, as a beneficial cover crop and also sells it.




Take it to E

Written by Carol lYnn JaCkSon Photographed by Mark SChMerling

njoy fresh locally and regionally grown produce, herbs, flowers, annual, perennial and native plantings, honey, apples and organic produce at the Saluda Tailgate Market on Fridays from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. June through October. Wild and cultivated mushrooms, baked goods, goat cheese, jams, jellies and relishes, lamb, beef, trout, chicken and eggs are available too.

Located in Saluda’s public parking lot on West Main Street, (follow Main Street to the bridge and bear right at the bridge) the Saluda Tailgate Market supports sustainable agriculture and connects Polk and Henderson County growers with community. Sponsored by the Saluda Business Association, it exists for the City of Saluda and for Polk County agricultural economic development. See a vendor list on the following pages, along with a recipe made from honey sold at the Saluda Tailgate Market. JU LY 2 0 1 3




Vendors Yielding Branch Farm Microgreens, lettuces, greens. Camp Creek FARM Fresh rainbow trout, chicken and lamb. Leap Farm Salad mix, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and herbs. Rose’s Best Jellies, jams and quiches. Vineyards Edge Dairy and Emerald Springs Farm Goat cheese and greens. Dan’s Garden Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, squash, romano, flat beans, jellies, jams and marinara sauce. Deerwood Farms Chicken, pork and summer veggies. Sacred Mountain Herbals Natural remedies for body, pets and garden. Wildflour Bakery Breads, granola and baked treats. Mountain Valley Farm Beef. Meanwhile Back in Saluda Dips, sauces and oils.

TOP: Ellen Hanckels and Scott Derks admire irises being sold by Luann Rossow of Flatlanders Peak Flower Farm, at Friday's Saluda Tailgate Market. MIDDLE: Shelley DeKay, whose energy and hard work help make the Saluda Tailgate Market an ongoing success. BOTTOM: Poet, professor and organic farmer Lee Mink, owner of Leap Farm, Mill Spring.


Kay Farm Lettuces, fava beans and potatoes. Beelog Honey Cherokee Rose, Lavender Mint and Saluda Sourwood honey, as available.

Bee Log

Honey honey is great on any food, but is also great for your skin. honey is hygroscopic, which means it will naturally pull the moisture from the air directly into your skin without any chemicals or dyes. it has a natural base of ten percent hydrogen peroxide which is a natural antiseptic. • Mix cream cheese with honey and a little orange zest. Spread on a bagel and serve with hot tea on a Sunday morning. • Mix 16 ounces of pear nectar with one-half cup honey and simmer lightly. Mix in 1 bottle of white wine. Pour into wine glasses filled with crushed ice and garnish with fresh mint sprigs. Perfect for a summer evening.

Which circle would you rather run in? 38





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Michael Ashworth, CFP® Branch Manager Senior Vice President – Investment Officer Steve Collie, CFP® Associate Vice President – Investment Officer Raymond McLees Financial Advisor Investment and Insurance Products: u NOT FDIC Insured

187 N. Trade Street Tryon, NC 28782 828-859-9499 1-800-688-9499

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Envision® is a brokerage service provided by Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. ©2012 Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. Member SIPC. Wells Fargo Advisors is the trade name used by two separate registered broker-dealers: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Members SIPC, non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company. All rights reserved. Envision® is a registered service mark of Wells Fargo & Company and used under license. 0312-1323 A1527 [88511-v1]





of success

Written by SaMantha hUrSt Photographs by erik olSen


runching over the welcoming gravel drive, one isn’t sure what to expect as they pull up to Huckleberry’s Bakery, a home turned restaurant tucked away with various resorts amid the mountains and waters of Lake Lure. One does get the sense they are pulling up to someone’s home as they make their way here for lunch or dinner and for owner Michaila Cowles Cosmus it is just about that exactly. “It’s been great to get to know our customers and to offer them food they can really enjoy,” said Michaila, who is often at the bakery around 5 a.m. in the morning to churn out pastries and desserts. Michaila, who is only 18, opened the full-service bakery two years ago. Michaila couldn’t wait on her future; she was ready to make it happen. At 16, she graduated early from Polk County High School and, wanting to stay around, opened the bakery. “I was bored with high school so I thought, ‘Why not get started earlier,” Michaila said. “I always knew I would one day own a restaurant, but didn’t think it would happen this fast.” So, she applied for early enrollment in Johnson and Wales’ culinary program in Charlotte. Her mother, Christine Cowles also attended Johnson and Wales, passing on her love of food and the keys to Huckleberry’s to her daughter. Michaila said as they worked on paperwork and such she thought she would just be helping her mother, but in the end the place was always meant to be her own.

“I am proud of her accomplishments as a young entrepreneur,” said Christine Cowles. “Folks are coming from all around.” Folks are coming from all around as they visit the lake to relax in the cool breezes rolling across the water and explore the heights and adventure of the mountains. The décor inside Huckleberry’s Bakery too helps one maintain his or her bright attitude after spending the day outdoors. On a sunny Friday afternoon, one notices the sunlight hitting punches of purple and yellow scattered across the dining area at lunch. As you enjoy your meal, you are surrounded too by the décor of this cozy home turned restaurant, alongside works from local artists, antique crates and tin sugar containers, all for sale. JU LY 2 0 1 3




Michaila, meanwhile, is here waiting to delight their senses again with fresh food and unique flavor combinations. “I’m trying to introduce people to new ingredients being used together,” Michaila said. Mouthwatering selections include a southwestern turkey burger with grilled Swiss chard and feta cheese at lunch or watermelon muffins for breakfast. Michaila’s menus aren’t for the unadventurous although no one should be scared away. She’s simply bringing a new way of thinking about food to her own spot in the foothills. For breakfast you can try the Mediterranean breakfast bowl served with creamy polenta, peppers sautéed in sweet vermouth with a poached egg and seared spicy sausage or Huck Pucks – two pancakes topped with apples, walnuts and Brie cheese, drizzled with caramel topping. Patron Priscilla Dorr was found enjoying lunch with a group of friends who were in town visiting. She said she dines at Huckleberry’s for lunch often. “I like the atmosphere and the fact that it’s homemade cooking and fresh ingredients,” Dorr said. Lunch offers the lighter side of Huckleberry’s with traditional sandwiches such as a Reuben, club or even a cheeseburger. You can also get a short rib burger or Aujus Brioche, if you want something heartier. Michaila’s business has grown by leaps and bounds since first opening. She has a handful of employees now and recently hired chef Steven Capone to assist her with the full dinners (reservations recommended) that are now served. At dinner, Huckleberry’s staff invites you to ignite your taste buds with the Chocolate Macadamia Nut Crusted Pork Chop; macadamia nuts and chocolate blended together and hand-pressed onto a pork chop with a beef demi glaze. The inventive spirit of the food comes from the energetic spirit of a student just out of culinary school, but the ambition comes from a dream and drive rooted in Michaila since she was in the fifth grade. Even then she said she knew this is what she’s always wanted to do.•

check out huckleberry’s Bakery. 959 Buffalo Creek Rd., Lake Lure, N.C. 28746

Panache Boutique Style Elegance Flair Junior’s and Women’s

Fashion Forward 112 North Trade Street Downtown Tryon, NC 28782




r el ative ly

Written by roBin eDgar Photographs by gWen ring and SaMantha hUrSt

Carruth Furniture Company



carruth Furniture company Located in Landrum since 1953

Carruth Furniture looks like a modest establishment from the outside, but once you enter, you will be amazed to find just about anything you need for your home. In 1953, a year after B. Frank Carruth started Carruth Furniture Company, it moved into the 7,500 square foot brick building he constructed on South Howard Avenue, where the retail business stands today. In addition to furniture, he sold GE Appliances, Bigelow carpets, jewelry, watches, and other household goods. An addition in 1959 doubled the space to 15,000 square feet. In 1967, Carruth’s cousin, Jack Carruth Jr. purchased the business and ran it for 30 years before the building caught fire and was destroyed, except for the outside brick walls. Not to be deterred, he worked out of a warehouse until the current building was ready for a grand reopening in 1998. As the building expanded, so did the Carruth family with many generations working in the business. Frank’s nephews, Donnie Carruth and Doug Brown, along with his niece, Kathy Carruth Sitton, as well as Jack’s cousin Larry Bagwell and Jack’s brothers-in-law Russell Morris and Fred Culbreth worked in the store. Jack’s son, Johnny and his granddaughter Nicole Carruth-Chapman (Johnny’s daughter) manage the store today.

In addition to Johnny, Jack’s son, Mike and his wife Marianne, Jack's son Steve, and his daughter, Patricia Gordon, have also worked in the store as well as Nicole’s husband, Jeff Chapman. The next generation (Jack’s grandchildren and great grand children) to join the team includes Nicole and Jeff ’s son, Garret Walker; Mike and Marianne’s sons Casey, Joshua and Jack; Johnny’s son J.J. and daughter Katherine; and Patricia’s sons Graham and Michael. “There is an enjoyment that comes from knowing you are continuing a family tradition and that members of your family have worked hard to build up and provide a service to your community,” says Nicole Carruth-Chapman. The biggest change over the years is technology used for the daily operations of business and in the products they sell. They recently added the La-Z-Boy line. The one thing that has remained the same is the Carruth family’s devotion to provide knowledgeable and attentive customer service. “We are so thankful for all of our loyal customers and we want them to come back time after time and enjoy that experience so they can continue for many years to come,” says Johnny Carruth.

smith dairy Farms

Located in Columbus since 1939 Family farms may be on the wane, but that’s not the case with Smith Dairy Farms in Columbus. Frank Smith opened Smith Dairy Farm on Smith Dairy Road in 1947 on the 247 acres that his mother had purchased a few years earlier. After returning from World War II, he started the family dairy and he and wife, Virginia, purchased an additional 157 acres and began providing milk to Biltmore Dairy for about 20 years. During that time, Smith ran an almost fully sustainable farm providing produce, dairy products and meats for his family and the community. Although his sons, Ronnie, Bob, and Jimmy worked on the dairy farm while they were growing up, they left for employment in other fields once they became adults. In the early 70s, without his sons’ help with the dairy, Smith converted the farm into a beef operation that he still runs today at age 88. Smith’s grandson, Randy was raised on the family farm and spent his summers as a teenager improving the land and working with the cattle. After high school, he moved to Charlotte to manage a utility locating company in 1993. Ten years later, he returned to help care for his terminally ill great grandmother and he resumed helping his grandfather

take care of the farm. In 2009, Randy and his wife, Megan, started Smith's Sweet Grass Farm, part of the Smith farm. They provide an all-natural meat alternative, free of antibiotics and hormones, from chickens and grass-fed beef raised in a humane way. In addition to feeding their family, they currently supply Cooper Riis Healing Farm with their chickens and grass-fed beef. “The small pastured poultry operation has been a great source of extra income and, with the addition of all natural grass-fed beef, it is my dream that our farm will forever remain a working farm,” says Randy Smith. The entire farm was placed in a perpetual Farmland Conservation Easement held by Polk County Soil and Water to protect the land from ever being subdivided or developed and ensure the health of the grass, soil and streams in and around the farm. With hard work and dedication, Randy Smith says he hopes to see the farm become a fully sustainable way of life for his family. “My wife and I take pride in becoming the fourth generation to farm this land,” says Randy Smith. “Our family wants the farm to remain here for several more generations.”

JU LY 2 0 1 3



williamson's paint company Established in 1949/Located in Landrum since 1985

who started the family business? Joe Williamson worked as a salesman for PPG Paints before and after World War II and started Williamson’s Paint in 1949 in Spartanburg. With paint at the core, the hardware business also catered in glass for store fronts. Over time, the business began to focus on paint and decorating. After moving to a new Spartanburg location around 1970, he started offering interior decorating and design services and picture framing.

who else from the family has run or worked for the business? Joe’s wife, Allene, did the bookkeeping from home and Joe hired his brothers, Jim and George. Joe’s oldest son, Joey and his daughter Missy worked at the Spartanburg store in the 1970s. His younger son, Tommy, worked at the Spartanburg store full time in 1979 and the one Joe opened in Gaffney in 1984. Since many paint contractors from Landrum were coming to the Spartanburg store, they opened a store there in 1985. Tommy worked there initially and then George ran it for the next seven years. Joe sold the other stores and moved to Tryon in 1987 to work with George, who retired in 1992. Today, Tommy works alongside his dad, who is now 95. "That was the best thing we ever did because they needed a paint store (in Landrum) and we filled the bill," says Joe. what has changed over the years? "The paint industry has made many formulation changes resulting from recently enacted environmental laws. The new ‘waterborne’ products out-perform latex paints in many applications and are replacing many of the old generation oil paints that are slowly being banned by the EPA," says Tommy. why do you think the business stays in the family? "You have to have a firm business to pass on to your family. It also helped that Tommy grew up learning the business," says Joe.


mullins cleaners

Located in Landrum since 1959 who started the family business? Alfard Mullins was 20 years old when he started working for Earl Christopher at the Christo Cleaners on East Rutherford Street in 1955. Christopher hired Mullins to work at the cleaners for $22.50 a week and provided him a house to live in on his property where the BI-LO grocery is today. “He was a good man who put me on my feet and I have been walking ever since,” says Mullins. When Christopher retired and sold the business to Norma Mills, Mullins worked for her until she retired in 1994. He then bought the business and changed the name to Mullins Cleaners. who else from the family has run or worked for the business? The whole family has worked there including Mullins’ sons Steve and Arnold Lee, his daughters Vivian, Beverly, Jenette, and Marilyn, and his wife Johnnie Bell. what has changed? “Nothing has changed, although business has gotten a little slower with so much wash and wear on the market. We’ve had the same customers for years and years,” says Mullins. why do you think the business stays in the family? “I could have sold it many times, but as long as a Mullins is living, it will stay in the family because it is a landmark and a service to the community,” says Mullins.

Bmws by wd (formerly durham's) Located in Columbus since 1968

who started the family business? Gary Durham and Gary Stroughter opened a gas/service Gulf Station on the corner of I-108 and I-26 in 1968. When they closed the service section, Durham opened a mechanic shop in Tryon. In 1981, the Durham family took over the Columbus Gulf station again and, in 1996 relocated to Durham Service behind BI-LO. Shortly after the move, Durham passed away and his wife, Margaret managed it for 14 years. who else from the family has run or worked for the business? In addition to his wife, who acted as bookkeeper, secretary, and go-to person, Durham’s sons, Everett and Warren, learned the trade from their dad. what has changed over the years? When Mrs. Durham retired in 2012, she sold Durham Service so Warren, who had served as head mechanic at Durham’s for 15 years, decided to start a new family business on East Mills Street. BMW's by WD and Columbus Quick Lube, offers service for all types of vehicles, specializing in BMWs, and quick lubes. what has remained the same? “Our motto has always been and continues to be to treat customers like we want to be treated, just like family,” says Durham.




Smith’s Barbershop AKA Smith & Associates Located in Landrum since 1909

Who started the family business? Earnest Smith completed his barber training in Atlanta, Ga. and started Smith's Barber Shop in 1909 when he was 20 years old. Perhaps the oldest operating in the south, it was located in a small building by the railroad tracks which no longer exists, between where Dutch Country Whole foods and Carruth's Furniture Store is today. It consisted of little more than a wood burning cook stove, an oil lamp, a set of hand clippers, a straight razor and a well. The shop moved to its current location at 107 E. Rutherford Street in 1960. Who else from the family has run or worked for the business? Smith’s son, Leonard, followed in his father’s footsteps at the same time he served as Spartanburg County Magistrate, so court was actually held in the barbershop until the early 90s. Leonard’s son, Mickey, a third generation Smith barber, trained his sister, Teresa, and son Baron. His wife

Betty also worked as a stylist. A handful of people have had four Smith generations cut their hair and one has had hers cut by the fifth generation trainee, Baron’s daughter, Jacquelyn. What has changed over the years? The hairstyles have changed and they don’t do straight razor shaves and shoe shines anymore. “We stopped the boxing matches in the back, although we still have the occasional checker game,” says Baron Smith. What has remained the same? Classic men's cuts and beard trims have stayed the same. They also still follow a first come first serve policy and are closed on Wednesdays. Why do you think the business stays in the family? Baron Smith says, “I think the business stays in the family because of the enjoyment we get from the craft, working with each other, and from the people we serve.”

You might be surprised to find the retirement lifestyle you’ve been looking for is already in your community, at Tryon Estates. Nestled in the foothills in Columbus, we’re a community that keeps you close to everything you love about this area. We’re an ACTS Retirement-Life Community, built on proven financial stability and a faith-based mission to provide security and peace of mind through ACTS Life Care™. Call us at 828.894.3083 to discover how Tryon Estates can elevate your retirement experience.

Tryon Estates An ACTS Retirement-Life Community

617 Laurel Lake Drive • Columbus, NC • 828.894.3083

Elevate your retirement

without changing your area code. 52 LIFEI NO URFO O T HI L L S. C O M

ACTS Retirement-Life Communities® is celebrating more than 40 years of strength as the leader in service to seniors.

Coon Dog Day FEATURE

50th annual

Saturday, July 6

The 50th annual Coon Dog Day in Saluda will take place Saturday, July 6 drawing thousands to our rural corner of western North Carolina for a quirky bit of fun you can only find in the mountains. Saluda's officials and shops are gearing up for the event with displays of Coon Dog Day memorabilia both for sale and some just for your viewing pleasure. TOP LEFT: Soft, furry stuffed raccoons at Thompson's, $11.99 each. TOP MIDDLE: Coon dog head figure at Saluda City Hall. TOP RIGHT: Two of Thompson's Store's mascots, Rattler the black and tan hound, and Rowdy the Raccoon. This display is made of wood and set on heavy wooden posts: $25. CENTER: Children's hound dog hat at Thompson's store, $2.99. BOTTOM LEFT: Wooden figures of a hound treeing a raccoon in a carved tree, with a wooden base. Carved by Charles Morgan of Hendersonville and found at Pace's store. BOTTOM MIDDLE: Rubber coon hound nose to wear in the spirit of Coon Dog Day. BOTTOM RIGHT: Older Coon Dog Day poster displayed at Saluda City Hall (not for sale). JU LY 2 0 1 3




BBQ & Music Festival

20th Blue Ridge Photographed by Erik Olsen

The 20th annual Blue Ridge Barbecue & Music Festival delighted all of festival-goers senses with the sights, sounds, smells and flavors of a great event. These pages capture a few moments from the weekend.

LEFT: Kids take a spin in giant strawberries, while RIGHT: Donna the Buffalo takes the stage

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wine bar


estled along the tiny main drag of downtown Landrum sits Zenzera Coffee & Wine Bar serves up heaping platefuls of treats that are both eaten and danced to five nights a week. Since the day they opened, Sept. 3, 2009, and every day since, owner Deborah Briggs said she has made it her personal mission to provide the very best musical entertainment as possible. “Most of the time musicians contact me inquiring about booking their band,” says Briggs. However, the rest of the time Briggs must make sure the bands that rotate through her venue are fresh and varietal. Briggs is not only her own best musical critic, but also an active member of the excited audience, frequently seen dancing with her many friends and husband, Bobby Briggs, mayor of Landrum. On any busy night it is not uncommon to see Bobby bussing tables, serving food and even washing the dishes. Briggs says the bands have responsibility to prepare a song lists on par


with the audience’s taste, just as she must with her own food menu. “If our bands play the same songs week after week, the customers will begin to lose their musical appetite,” says Briggs. Sitting around the room on many nights, one will notice several groups of women gathered around their tables sipping drinks, smiling and chatting into each other’s ear. The men refer to these groups as “the girls.” The women, however, will beg to differ, by calling themselves “the posse,” with a mission of seeing one another and dancing to their favorite songs. All too

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Zenzera has had many long standing bands over the years, like the incredible keys of Jim Peterman, a one-time member of the Steve Miller Band. 60 LIFEI NO URFO O THI L L S. C O M

often, the dance floor will be completely filled with women with only one or two bewildered men in the center. The formula for what makes a dining establishment work in today’s economy is not a simple one and Briggs openly admits it’s tricky. “I like to think of Zenzera as the Cheers of Landrum, where everyone knows your name,” said Briggs. “I’ve been coming here for two and a half years, and I just love the place. It’s like we are one big family,” say Max Wrass, a frequent patron who moved to the U.S. from Austria. Stephane Jouan, another frequent customer, said, “This is my place, and these are my friends, and my family, I love Zenzera!” The menu at Zenzera, or Zenz as the locals call it, offers a choice selection of entrées, all carefully prepared by James Whitmire and Laura Huntsinger, who work as tag-team chefs in the kitchen. Handcrafted pizza, broiled salmon and fresh oysters make their way to the customers. “I just love the food here and I really enjoy their collection of exotic wines,” said Dionne Pantamura, a local wine connoisseur and employee of Green Creek Winery. Zenzera has had many long standing bands over the years, like the incredible keys of Jim Peterman, a one-time member of the Steve Miller Band. Peterman has often shown up with standouts, like guitarist Shane Pruitt, the soulful voice of Wanda Johnson, and the lively saxophone of Tony Kennedy. Peterman and his Quartet, comprised of Tim Blackwell (drums), Mac McCloud (guitar) and Antonio Gambrel (trumpet), tip the scales in the region for jazz. Carey Upton and his band Project X, move through the top-40 classics like a live jukebox. The room becomes electrified before the night is over, erupting into a dancing conga-line, moving around the tables like a snake. Other notable bands that bring Zenzera alive include the Pistol Packing Preachers, Blind Vision, Eric Weiler, and City Lights with Doug and Marie Hooper. Hooper, a lightning fast guitarist in his own right, also runs open-mic night every Tuesday. Veteran dance instructors Steve and Kathy Day taught shag lessons. Hooper said, in his almost patented low voice, “I’ve played in bands all over the country, and the only way I can truly describe my real feelings about Zenzera is through my guitar,” and describe it he does, every time he hits the stage. • Zenzera Coffee & Wine Bar in located at 208 East Rutherford Street, Landrum, S.C., 29356. For more information call 864-457-4554 or visit

appointments APPOINTMENTS

Summer camps for children and adults began in June and will run through the summer at glenda Wolf’s regalo Farm. the camps will be held 9 a.m.noon Monday-Friday at regalo Farm located in hughes Creek Preserve off little Mountain road in Columbus. For more information, call 704-491-0699 or email (photo submitted)



River Valley Pony Club hosts unmounted meeting Beth perkins spoke at the river Valley pony club’s unmounted meeting in may after returning from her exciting competition at rolex. perkins did a question and answer with the pony clubbers. she was asked about what the toughest jumps on the course were, and about her background with sal. it was an inspiring and very informative night. after Beth spoke, river Valley pony club presented her with a photo of her and sal at rolex 2013. (photo submitted)

equestrian calendar July 4, 8 a.m. - July 7, 5 p.m. TR&HC Charity Horse Show II USEF A Rated Hunter & Jumper Competition. Featured classes include $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby on July 5 and the $15,000 Jumper Prix on July 6. Contact: 828-863-0480 or 828-859-9092 FENCE July 4 Equestrian Trails Coalition of WNC Contact: Dr. Rachel Butterworth at dr.b@rutherfor July 4-7 Blue Ridge Independence Classic Show at WNC Ag Center, Fletcher Contact: Liz Holmes at 919-672-3741

July 5-7 Paul Belasik Clinic at Blue Moon Farm Contact: Sophie Clifton at

July 16 Pisgah Trailblazers Monthly Meeting at Calvert’s Kitchen, Columbus 6 p.m. eat, 7 p.m. meet Contact: Michael Atkins at

July 20 Horse Country Farm Tours Contact: Libbie Johnson at

July 27 Harmon Hopefuls at July 9-12 July 17, 8 a.m. & Harmon Field Robert Zandvoort July 20, 5:55 p.m. Contact: Lauren Allen Dressage Clinic TR&HC Charity Horse Show IV at 828-506-2335 Contact: Joy Baker at USEF A Rated hunter & 828-817-0315 jumper competition. Featured august 3-4 classes include $2,500 USHJA PSJ Back to School Horse Show at July 11, 8 a.m. National Hunter Derby FENCE July 14 5 p.m. on July 18 and the $10,000 Contact: TR&HC Charity Horse Show III Jumper Prix on July 19. 803-649-3505 USEF A Rated hunter & Spectators welcome. jumper competition. Featured august 6-9 classes - $1,000 Motlow Creek Contact: 828-863-0480 or 828-859-9092 Robert Zandvoort Equestrian Center Gambler's FENCE Dressage Clinic Choice on July 12 and the Contact: Joy Baker at $10,000 Triple Crown Jumper July 19-20 828-817-0315 Prix on July 13. Asheville Invitational Horse Show at Contact: 828-863-0480 or 828WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 859-9092 Contact: Joyce Wilson at FENCE 919-365-5149 JU LY 2 0 1 3



trai l riding


Written by BARBARA CHILDS Photograph submitted



There’s a new equestrian group in our Western North Carolina Region called the Equestrian Trail Coalition (ETC) of Western North Carolina. Dr. Rachel Butterworth is president and cofounder. Dr. Bob Lynn is vice-president, and along with his wife Jilly, they guide equestrians on trail rides through some of the most beautiful forests in our region. The Equestrian Trail Coalition is open to anyone who wants to enhance the trail riding experience for those living in the Western North Carolina region. Dr. Rachel Butterworth points out the many benefits to the members of ETC. “Equestrians value and appreciate local trails, the local economy can well be supported as supplies are bought for horse and building, restaurants are patronized, homes are bought. Horse owners most often have a profound respect for the land and horse activities. The mission of ETC is to develop and maintain access to equestrian trails. Equestrians can work toward many common goals which include conservation and maintenance of sustainable trails.” The ETC group hosts educational programs for the beginner and advanced rider, and provides plenty of fellowship and camaraderie for equestrians of all disciplines. Members participate in many ways to encourage the growth of riding for pleasure, trail development and maintenance all through a variety of activities including public awareness and fundraising. Pony rides at county celebrations are a big event. According to Dr. Bob Lynn the group’s mission does involve work, but most of all great

fun is involved in working together. ETC welcomes experienced and novice riders, and helps new trail riders and new horses become comfortable on the trails through education and the support of the members. There are challenging rides for the experienced riders, and camping trips fill the agenda for the future. The Equestrian Trail Coalition has a program to support landowners who open their trails to riders by providing trail maintenance or assistance in their development. If you have an interest in the activities of the Equestrian Trail Coalition of Western North Carolina, or have questions, and would like to become a member call or e-mail Dr. Rachel Butterworth: or Doc Bob Lynn at 828-7489988/9989 or by email at JU LY 2 0 1 3



Examiner Jasmine Poor, D3 Kylie Simms, D3HMFLD2OF Anna Dobrenen, and examiner and scribe C3 Carly Messamer.



m ember

Greenville Foothills Pony Club celebrated newly certified members at the end of May. Those members included: D1 : Derra Turner D2 : Emily Hengstmann D2 : Anna Hengstmann D3HMFL / D2OF* : Anna Dobrenen D3 : Kylie Simms C1 : Emily Thomas C1 : Krista Just C2 : Will Zuschlag HBC2 : Shady Sayers *FL=flat, OF=over fences

C2 Will Zuschlag, HBC2 Shady Sayers, C1 Krista Just and C1 Emily Thomas.


Our examiners for the day were USPC National Examiner and Graduate A, Morgan Harper of Salisbury, N.C. (C1/C2 testing), USPC Graduate A Jasmine Poor of Greenville, S.C. (D2/D3 testing) and GFPC C3 Member Carly Messamer of Piedmont, S.C. (D1 testing). Carly also served as the D2/ D3 scribe, and GFPC C2 Member Jordan Johnson of Seneca, S.C. served as the C1/C2 scribe.

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gFpc had a successful weekend at the Fence eventing rally held may 20. Novice/Training Team: Second overall; fifth horse management Rachael Wood (Highest placing in training division; Horse: Standing Ovation); Jordan Johnson, Carly Messamer (Top 5 Dressage Score; Horse: Doc’s Grey Hunter); Alyssa Ford and Katie O’Neal. novice team: First overall, third horse management Sammi Messamer, Alyssa Turner, Will Zuschlag, Julia Gates (Top 5 Dressage Score, Highest Placing in Novice Division; Horse: Book of John); and Amanda Campbell. Beginner novice team: First overall, third horse management Shady Sayers (Top 5 Dressage Score, Highest Placing in Beginner Novice Division; Horse: Mehmet); Darbie Barr, Kaitlyn Bardos, Elizabeth Donohue, Marissa Messamer and Hannah Campbell. maiden team 1: Third overall, fifth horse management Mikayla Lee, Amanda Fisher and Alena Poltorak (Top 5 Dressage Score, highest placing in maiden division; Horse: Target); Kylie Simms, Anna Hengstmann and Derra Turner. maiden team 2: Second overall, third horse management Krista Just, Audrey Poltorak, Emily Thomas, Anna Dobrenen and Emily Hengstmann. coaches: Janna Ritacco (USPC National Examiner, USPC Graduate HA), Allyson Hartenburg (GFPC B Member) and Eliza Culbertson (USPC/GFPC Graduate A).


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– article submitted by Carolyn Culbertson JU LY 2 0 1 3



Clearview Farm Summer Riding Camp Written by BARBARA CHILDS Photos by HANNAH SIEGAL Clearview Farm will be having another summer riding camp with Lisa Miller and Jeanne Smith. This summer camp is the best way for the kids to spend five hours a day learning riding skills, horse management, taking care of horses by learning their feeding program, bathing, wrapping, clipping horses, and lunging skills, too. All the fun and learning for the daily horse life will be taught. Age groups are from 9-16 years, and the cost includes drinks, snacks and lunch each day. Dress attire for camp is boots, gloves, helmet, and shorts and sneakers for the barn chores. An afternoon of swimming is provided for all the campers, so bring sunscreen and a towel should be brought. The children learn flatwork with their mounts and jumping as well. A large variety of school horses and ponies are avail68 L IFEINO URFO O THI L L S. C O M

able. They are all happy campers during the daily camp riding and lesson time. Some students may bring their own horses, if they wish to trailer in for the week. Sometimes, if the level of riding permits, a game of ride a buck or egg in spoon is part of the riding games. The best game right now is how much fun the campers can have in one week, so each camper can take home their experience of the best summer ever and time spent at the Clearview Farm Riding Camp. Friday at the camp is awards day. The awards go to the riders who have most improved. Many campers also get a certificate and a photo of their best moment. They have a great photographer who captures all the daily events. Each camper may purchase a CD of their photos for the week with their new found friends and the horses. The goals of the camp are for each child to meet a new best friend, horse and/or human, and to look back on and remember their experiences for years to come, and hold on to them like treasures. The greatest

FEATURE achievement is that campers walk away feeling good about themselves, realizing they have made a leap in their riding and their social skills they never expected to do. Jeanne Smith has been in the horse business here for 33 years with her training, teaching, showing and judging. She started to run the camp in the summers at the old Wright Way Farm in the 1980s. Lisa Miller will be at her side assisting and teaching at the camp. “We love what we do and welcome every level of rider for lessons from 5 to 85 (our oldest student). We can make a program to fit your needs, whether it is just lessons for fun and mental health, showing, fox hunting or trail riding,� says the camp leaders. There will be two camp sessions in July. Contact Lisa Miller at 864-316-8697 or Jeanne Smith 864-616-0033.

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TR&HC Events Director Joe Petty presents awards to the winning team Frank and Sydney Swarr riding for the Tryon Fire Department. (photo by Liz Crawley Photography)


TR&HC Charity Jumper During the recent 85th Tryon Riding and Hunt Club Charity Horse Show, spectators and exhibitors came out to watch the $5,000 Ariat /The Farm House Charity Jumper Challenge. The father and daughter riding team of Frank and Sydney Swarr took the blue ribbon and won the top prize of $1,500 for the Tryon Fire Department. All of the randomly selected non-profits received a portion of the $5,000 purse, so no one walked away empty handed. A second chance drawing for $200 took place for the charities that were not selected in the original process, with Therapeutic Riding of Tryon (TROT) taking home the winnings. All of the riders donated their time, efforts and resources to participate in the event. They were awarded TR&HC Events horse coolers for their generosity. WINNERS: First place $1,500 - Tryon Fire Department represented by Frank and Sydney Swarr Second place $1000 - Empowering Through Beauty represented by the riding team of Kelly Kocher and 70 L IFEINO URFO O THI L L S. C O M

Carolina Villaneuva-Suarez Third place $700 - Tryon Mountain Trooper Pathfinder Club represented by the riding team of Layne Miller and Jordan Andressen Fourth place $500 - Pacolet Area Conservancy represented by the riding team of Jenn Church and Farren Paton Fifth place $400 - Tryon Kiwanis represented by the riding team of Ashley Conkle and Madeline Cooley Sixth place $350 - Town of Columbus Fire Department represented by the riding team of Colleen Lacy and Samantha Lacy Seventh place $300 - Thermal Belt Friendship Council represented by the riding team of Michael Kocher and Emily Kocher Eighth place $250 - Polk County Equine Emergency Rescue the riding team of Kelly Kocher and Carolina Villaneuva-Suarez – article submitted by Laura Weicker

Life of a Mom Pony Club Written by BARBARA CHILDS Photograph submitted A pony club mom grooms, mucks, braids, drives to and from lessons, encourages daily riding, takes photos as her child competes and even organizes pony club activities. Pony club moms bake and cook and serve the best snacks too. Sandra Larson is a Greenville Foothills Pony Club mom, and here is her special story. Larson’s daughter, Kylie, joined the GFPC in May of 2012. Larson watched Kylie grow and develop her skills and progress from taking her first jump in one of the pony club lessons a year ago to competing at the equivalent of the Intro Level this past May. Larson herself was fortunate enough to join a pony club when it was just starting out, The Pegasus Pony Club in Massachusetts, and she went from a D2 rating to graduating at the A Level. Sandra said pony club teaches a lot about responsibility, discipline and the rewards of hard work. She also feels the emphasis on teaching pony clubbers to be good instructors played a key role in her own career choice. “I really came to love teaching, both at the club level of activities, as well as taking on private students. When I went to graduate school, I got connected to the local pony club in that area (The Red Jacket Pony Club), and I continued to teach in that club,” Sandra Larson said. “The biggest direct benefit of pony club in my career was how the years of completing oral testing in pony club prepared me solidly for defending my masters and PhD theses, as well as the oral examination program for my PhD. Thanks to 10 years of having to respond on the spot to questions posed by authority figures, the format of these graduate school exams did not intimidate me. Larson’s daughter, Kylie, said she has learned so much about horse management and riding through pony club. Kylie attended the regional summer camp last year, and Larson was impressed when she came home and repeated the skills and exercises without any prompting from mom. “Kylie is enjoying the goals she is striving for, and she has just earned her D3 certification. Now she is studying for the C1 level. In addition, and equally important to riding, is the horse knowledge she has gained. Kylie has found a circle of good friends, and they all love sharing their riding adventures and love of horses together,” said Sandra. Larson said she is very impressed by how well the


Sandra Larson follows on foot behind her daughter Kylie Simms during a pony Club event. (photo by Michael Simms)

children of all ages (up to college age) get along and support each other. Larson feels pony club in general has as its cornerstone safety, which it brings to all the activities. “One cannot consistently have fun riding and being around horses if appropriate safety measures are not followed. Pony club is about teaching children to be well rounded horsemen and women, who are not only confident, capable riders, but are also conscientious in taking proper care of their mounts safely and comfortably. Passing on knowledge and instruction to others is also important,” said Sandra Larson. The biggest challenge that Larson has with supporting Kylie in pony club is preparing her for the certification testing and riding during the school year, and with her new horse. “I had to spend some time training the horse when we first got him, and we had to squeeze in extra lessons and schooling opportunities to help prepare Kylie for her goals. GFPC has two of its biggest fundraisers early in the year, so we all many had busy weekends,” said Sandra Larson. Larson rides, and she feels it helps with having her daughter ride actively. Larson is an eventer at heart. Right now she splits her riding between her 25-year-old Thoroughbred, an athletic sport pony mare that likes dressage and jumping, and her daughter’s first pony, until she sells. Larson likes to vary her riding between flatwork, jumping and trails to keep things interesting. She also has had great fun riding at the cross-country outings. JU LY 2 0 1 3



Dudley and Madeline.

solstice upon us



lants, pastures and animal wildlife are all thriving and well here. The big boom booms, bangs, and loud shooting of the fireworks in the sky make my long ears cringe. The Fourth of July celebrations will soon be underway. The shooting lights and colors in the night skies are thrilling. I will keep munching my lovely hay and planning for a summer tryst with Madeline at the collards patch I discovered in the upper gardens when the music in the night skies begin soon. When it comes to collards and Swiss Chard I turn into a collard greens eating machine. Well, here is the scoop and the big buzz around town in the equine world. Owner and rider Robbie Donaldson on Ruby Tuesday his 9-year-old Oldenburg mare will show in the amateur owner classes. Anne Bingler and her 9-year-old Holsteiner mare Tani72 L IFEINO URFO O THI L L S. C O M

mara will show in the amateur owner classes. Creed and Helen Landon Terranova on her 13-year-old Argentine gelding will show in the amateur owner jumper classes. Paddington a 9–year-old Belgium will show in the amateur owner hunter classes. Cathy Schwartz and her horse Layla did well in their intro class in dressage at the Harmon Field schooling dressage show. Rebecca Woodaman rode Sunny Daze, a Buckskin, in the Beginner Novice A class. Katie Hay showed Tragically Hip in the Novice A dressage class and mom Anne Baskett showed Sophie in the Novice A class also. The Carolina Region Eventing Rally at Fence held so much rainfall for the morning classes. The pony clubbers from North and South Carolina were courageous and persistent in the rain as they rode their tests for victory. Amanda Morfinos and Zimra were in the ribbons in training. Sammie Firby and Legacy were also a good winning team.

In the Novice division, Shelby Ritacco and her horse Katahdin were also in the ribbons. Beginner Novice with Chloe Bosshard and Star were placed well as was Sam Haase and Luna. In the Maiden division Rebecca Richardson on ZouZou Pedal did well. Ashland Dodson on Apollo and Karinn Delap on Derby Bound placed in the ribbons. Maren Daniels on Katrina, Abby Billu on Spanky, and Becky Mann on Finnegan were all winners in the Maiden division 2. The wonderful stable managers Brittney Anderson and Isabel Miles endured the rain well and deserve a big kudos for their work. Thirteen teams were represented for the 2013 Carolina Region. Those who qualified in this eventing rally will be able to compete in Kentucky this season. The Greenville Foothills Pony Club members had the best scores in the entire eventing rally competition at FENCE. Here they are: Rachael Wood, Jordon Johnson, Carly Messa-


Broccoli salad Well, if you would like to share the winning spotlight for some super, savory, summer salads, here is the real deal that will accompany any grilling outdoors and having everyone asking for more. 1 head of broccoli cut into bite sized piece ½ lb. bacon fired and crumbled 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 1 small red onion chopped ½ cup mayo ¼ cup granulated sugar 1 tbls. White vinegar Toss together broccoli, bacon, cheese and onion. Mix onion, mayo, vinegar and add to salad making sure to coat it well. Refrigerate for one hour or more.

mer, alyssa Ford, katie o’neal, alyssa turner, will Zuschlag and sammi messamer. michael kocher is finishing up his college finals at Savannah College of Arts and Design, and he is looking forward to riding and showing his family’s horse, “Watch Me” in the small prix. He will be working for Kelly Kocher this summer and riding more horses. hokan thorn will be riding and training at China Farm. He will also be working with sue speigel at her farm for those wanting to trailer in for lessons. Both farms are located in Campobello. Hokan is riding his homebred mare at the PSG level this season, and he is riding and training a few young horses. His partner, richard ruben likes to hack out on his horse. Ruben is a well-known chef and he is anxious to share his love of cooking and seasonal healthy foods with everyone. He is the author of the Farmer’s Market Cookbook. His book was the top pick of People Magazine, and he was awarded Best of the Best 2000 by Food and Wine. He has also been on Fox News and in several magazines including SELF and TIME OUT NYC. •

An Authorized Agency for




This climbing rose caresses the stonewall of a home off Hogback Mountain Rd. The homeowners asked to remain anonymous but wanted to share the beauty they said drew them to our area from Florida. (photo submitted)



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We’re Building Better Healthcare for One Reason...

At St. Luke’s Hospital, our patients are the No. 1 priority in everything we do. From nursing care to discharge planning, our patients come first! To better serve our patients, we’re making some changes. We’re building a new patient wing with six, spacious private rooms, full baths and a stateof-the-art, therapeutic gym for Rehab and Recovery. We’ll still have great nursing care, one-on-one therapy and a great surgical team.

We’re building better healthcare for you!

For Exceptional Care, Close to Home 101 Hospital Drive ~ Columbus, NC ~ 828-894-3311 ~ 76 L IFEINO URFO O T HI L L S. C O M

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