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life in our foothills

JUNE 2016

Champions of the Treasure

At 2,097 Feet

June 2016

Celebrating Outreach on 25th Anniversary

It’s June in Polk County

How about a BBQ Festival?

Editor’s Note


n a few days, my son, born just recently 18 years ago, will cross the stage at Polk County High School’s graduation ceremony. He modeled the blue gown and mortarboard for us, we submitted deposits for college, he found a roommate for freshman year, and he’s beyond excited for what’s to come. He wants to start his summer, but more importantly, he can’t wait for August 17. And me? It’s complicated. I’ve always looked forward to summer, but this summer will be different. While I want him to move on, become his own person on his own terms, explore a new city and state, and meet friends from around the globe, I also want him home at dinnertime telling me about his day, to hear his jokes, to fuss at him for his messy room. I want to hear his radio playing too loud, laugh at the shenanigans he gets into with friends, enjoy our random conversations in

the grocery aisles, explain away the goods his sister (better than an FBI informant) has got on him. Yes, this will be a summer like no other. How do you pack off a child to a new life 700 miles away, when the longest he’s been gone was two weeks at summer camp? Do I pack 12 months of toothpaste, or will he remember to buy his own? Same goes for laundry detergent. Oh, who am I kidding? He’ll talk someone into washing his clothes. But at least he has dorm décor top of mind. The deer head with antlers for hanging Mardi Gras beads is a versatile piece that will work in either dorm or frat house. At least he’s thinking there. Truth be told, I could probably have sent him away to boarding school in the eighth grade and he’d have been fine. He’s stubbornly independent to the core. A lot like his parents, actually. We’ve done our best, now it’s his turn. So, why is it

Claire Sachse, Managing Editor so hard to let go? So, go easy on moms and dads of new graduates these next few months as they’re trying not to think about the changes ahead, while planning and stressing over the changes ahead. Welcome to June, the month of holding on and letting go.

on the cover


Betty Ramsey


Claire Sachse


Gillian Drummond Kirk Gollwitzer Judy Heinrich Carol Lynn Jackson Leah Justice Linda List Michael O’Hearn Claire Sachse Vincent Verrecchio Steve Wong

MARKETING Kevin Powell Magan Etheridge PRODUCTION Gwen Ring ADMINISTRATION Ashley Brewington DISTRIBUTION Jeff Allison Austin Kempton Evan Plumley Austin Hylemon

Left to right: Cathy Jackson, Board Co-Chair, local realtor, and publisher of Saluda Lifestyles; Bruce Hunt, Board Treasurer, retired commercial banker; Mary Meyland, Board Secretary, former highway engineer; Judy Ward, Board Chair and partner/owner/manager of Thompson’s Grocery Store, Ward’s Grill, and The Boarding House Venue. Photo by Vincent Verrecchio.

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, or email to 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. LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS June 2016


June Events JUNE 2

JUNE 10, 11

Noah Guthrie

Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival


FRI., SAT., 10 A.M. to 11 P.M.

Sensational young singer and solo guitarist, this 21 year old man from Greer, SC is famous across the USA for his original and cover tunes and his recurring role on GLEE. He has opened concerts for Ed Sheeran, Neon Trees, Ben Rector, Cobra Starship, Matisyahu, Matt Nathanson and Selena Gomez. Peterson Amphitheater Tryon Fine Arts Center or 828-859-8322






Noah Guthrie Peterson Amphitheater Tryon Fine Arts Center or 828-859-8322

Ayako Abe-Miller Japanese calligraphy Tryon Arts and Crafts School or 828-859-8323


Presented by the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce, the festival is considered one of the most popular sanctioned barbecue competitions in the U.S. All proceeds benefit the Chamber and help fund the Carolina Foothills Chamber Foundation. Harmon Field, Tryon


Film premiere of Going Home: Saluda’s Music Traditions Party Place & Event Center Saluda, N.C.

6/5 SUNDAY, JUNE 5, 4 P.M. Mainline Sunday Concerts Sound Investment Band Ella Grace Mintz Stage Saluda

6/5 SUNDAY, JUNE 5, 7 P.M.

Campfires, Storytellers & S’mores Peterson Amphitheater Tryon Fine Arts Center or 828-859-8322


Bluegrass and Barbecue Featuring Buncombe Turnpike and PacJAM Musicians Tryon Fine Arts Center or 828-859-8322

6/10 & 11

FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 11, 10 A.M. – 11 P.M.


FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 12 P.M.






FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 5:30-8 P.M.

Stargazing at FENCE Sponsored by Foothills Astronomical Society or 828-859-9021

6/4 SATURDAY, JUNE 4, 7 P.M.


Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival Harmon Field, Tryon

Thinking Outside the (Lunch) Box Matthew Daigle, Author “When Heroes Fall” Polk County Library, Columbus or 828-894-8721 Top of the Grade Concerts The Secret Band McCreery Park, Saluda

Exhibit runs through July 23 Members’ Show with Landscape theme Tryon Painters and Sculptors 78 N. Trade St., Tryon or 828-859-0141 Blue Ridge Hunter Jumper Association Hunter Derby in support of St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation Foothills Equestrian Nature Center 828-894-2693

June Events 6/18






Polk County Library Mutt Strut 5K (walk/run) Harmon Field, Tryon Pottery Show Opening Show runs through July 2 Tryon Arts and Crafts School or 828-859-8323


Clay Four Ways Exhibit runs through July 29 Upstairs Artspace, 49 S. Trade St., Tryon or 828-859-2828








Family Concert with Deb Bridges and the Groove Foothills Equestrian Nature Center or 828-859-9021 Russkie Musikanti Peterson Amphitheater Tryon Fine Arts Center or 828-859-8322

Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry 25th Anniversary Open House 134 White Dr., Columbus or 828-894-2988

Jennifer Zurick: Basketry Exhibit runs through July 29 Upstairs Artspace, 49 S. Trade St., Tryon or 828-859-2828



Table of Contents 33




14 Going Home 20 It’s Been a Gift 26 It Started with a Question 32 Champions of the Treasure


37 Meet Bill Crowell 6 June 2016 LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS

39 Calendar 40 Steeplechase: A Rousing Success 44 Ray Berta’s Seven Keys

PARTING GLANCE 50 Down ‘n’ Derby

CLASSIFIEDS 51 June Marketplace

Table of Contents 12


FOOTHILLS FEATURED 8 Steeplechase Pre-Race Gala 10 Tryon Country Club Anniversary



12 Country Living 19 Much Ado 31 In Good Taste LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS June 2016


Foothills Featured

Pre Race Gala

Photos by Kirk Gollwitzer

The Tryon Riding & Hunt Club sponsored an evening of dinner and dancing under the Mint Julep tent at FENCE, the evening before the 70th running of the Block House Steeplechase. 1. Back row: John Haldeman, Guy Spriggs, Lisa Spriggs, Susan Haldeman, Cindy Boyle, Stephen Hedges, Molly Oakman. Front row: John Boyle, III, Kathryn McMahon, Rebecca Hedges 2. Jeff and BJ Klopfenstein 3. Erik Olson, Carri Bass, Blane Alexander 4. Michele Deudne amd Judy Donlan 5.Angie Williams and Mary Lynn Fisk 6. Gary Hahler, Madelon Wallace, Jim Bob Wilson 7. Anne Troppmann and Kathryn McMahon 8. Zach Stevens and Kacy Mahler

1 3

2 5






Foothills Featured



Tryon Country Club members and special guests celebrated the club’s 100th anniversary on April 30, 2016 with a golf tournament, ice cream social and dove release. 1. Tyce Marshall, Gail Marshall, Becky Perry, Peggy Henson and Bill Kelly (behind) 2. Carole and Chris Bartol 3. Jerry and Mimi Pospisil 4. Bill and Becky McCall 5. Renae and Ethan Waldman 6. Robbie Ter Juile, Joyce Arledge and Becky Kennedy 7. Claudice and John Law








Live the life you choose


True maintenance-free living on our beautifully manicured 50-acre campus in the heart of Hendersonville.



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Country Living

Living COLOR



he colors in our lives, the colors we wear, decorate our homes with and choose in the things we use in our daily life, have a powerful emotional impact and a meaning. Hans Hoffman said, “The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us through the mystic realm of color. Our entire being is nourished by it.” We are influenced by it in every area of our lives. It is used in all advertising and marketing campaigns to influence what we buy. In the 1940s, researcher Lois Checkin changed the color of a margarine company’s packaging from white to yellow. This change improved the sales so dramatically that since then almost every brand of butter and margarine has been packaged in yellow. This change worked because we react to color both emotionally and physically. 12 June 2016 LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS

Though each color has a prescribed impact on us, we also have our own likes and dislikes or preferences. This is something I always take into consideration when working with a client. Red is the color of excitement, power and luck. It stimulates our bodies to pump adrenaline. Its effect helps people who wear it feel a sense of confidence and power. The interior designer Mark Hampton always said it should never be used in a bedroom, as it is too stimulating. It is a welcoming color for a front door. Orange is a true stimulant to the brain. It excites the emotions and can increase our appetites. It is a wonderful color for a restaurant, especially in its many hues, such as apricot, peach or tangerine. When I first lived in New York and was working for a design firm, there was a very chic restaurant that I have never forgotten. It was in a very large plain room. They had painted it a gorgeous terra cotta and had a huge arrangement of fresh flowers in the center. It was stunning. Yellow is a happy color because our brains secrete melatonin when we are surrounded by it. It also enhances our mental processes and clarity. I have always had a yellow living room; it is a happy, sunny place for me alone or to entertain in. Green is the color of peace and renewal and is the most pervasive color in nature. Green balances and nourishes the soul. It is associated with love and beauty in many cul-

tures. A green plant in a room gives the eye a place to rest and relax. Blue is the most popular color, hands down. Men love it but it also appeals to women. It is the color of tranquility and rest, but also enhances creative tasks such as problem solving. Deep blue is used as a symbol of distinction and authority such as the oval shaped “Blue Roomâ€? in the White House which is used for receptions. I have had many clients through my career who loved blue and white together. When mixed with an accent color a blue and white room can be peaceful, with purple or green. It is stunning when used with red or yellow. Violet and purple are the colors associated with royalty, magic, higher wisdom and courage. Purple also quiets the mind and is the perfect color for healing or meditation rooms. I have always loved purple flowers in my garden, mixed with all the greens nature provides and mixed with white and soft rosy colors. It is a peaceful haven. I hope this brief overview of colors that impact our daily lives will help you create a happy home that is uniquely yours. Gillian Drummond has her design studio, Drummond House, at the Down To Earth Home & Garden Center, 1080 S. Trade Street, Tryon, NC 28782. You can see her website at and reach her at or 828-859-9895. •







Trains came through Saluda on Coon Dog Day in the late 1960s.

he old saying is, “You can’t go home again.” But, maybe you can. The Historic Saluda Committee (HSC) has been collecting oral histories through audio and video since 2010, primarily from its senior citizens. A common theme relayed during the gathering of these stories is a deep nostalgia for the rich and diverse musical traditions that were once common in Saluda. The HSC has enlisted the help of the Polk County Film Initiative to take these histories, collect a few new ones, and then roll them into a fascinating oral history film documentary that portrays Saluda’s rich musical heritage, where the past meets the present. The oral history film documentary, “Going Home: Saluda’s Music Traditions,” will be released at a film premiere scheduled for Saturday, June 4 at 7 p.m. at the Party Place and Event Center in Saluda. Admission is free and open to the public. DVDs will be avail-



Going Home

An early baptism conducted by Rev. Suber Harris, father of early Saluda resident, Pearlie Mae Suber Harris.

GOING HOME: SALUDA’S MUSIC TRADITIONS will be released at a film premiere scheduled for Saturday, June 4 at 7 p.m. at the Party Place and Event Center in Saluda. Admission is free and open to the public. A rare photo of Rob Morse, Steve Hunt, Sr. and Walter Pace playing music in Saluda.


able for sale. Sure to delight, these recollections include tales of the old time square dances, shape note singing, legendary fiddle makers and players, the influence of the railroad, a ragtime pianist, gospel greats, ballad singers, musical miracles, African-American history, Coon Dog Day, a famous baritone crooner and more. Rolling into the present day, the film features contemporary gospel, old-time and Americana acts, and some of today’s great music venues, including a visit to Studio B at Western North Carolina’s famed radio station WNCW. The film is expected to not only appeal to Saluda’s people, but to folks from all walks of life who appreciate good stories, music and history, especially from a small mountain town in Western North Carolina. The film is partially supported by the Polk County Community Foundation’s Saluda Fund, the City of Saluda and WNCW, a media sponsor. The chair of the Historic Saluda Committee, Cindy Stephenson Tuttle, is the creator and producer of the project. Associate producers are Martin Anderson and Carolyn Ashburn with the Historic Saluda Oral History Committee. Cinematography and film editing was done by Kirk Gollwitzer. Location director,

Square dancing on Coon Dog Day in front of Ward’s Market.



Going Home first assistant camera and still photography was provided by Lavin Cuddihee. The Historic Saluda Committee was formed by a group of concerned citizens who wished to preserve the historical integrity of the town. The grassroots effort spawned interest from Saluda City officials and in June 2010 the Saluda City Commissioners voted to make the committee an advisory committee to the city and committee members were appointed. More information on the project and special screening event can be found at www. or email • Dr. D. Lesesne Smith, CEO of Saluda Baby Hospital, cares for an infant with the help of a nurse. Smith was also CEO of Spartanburg Baby Hospital.


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Much Ado




t’s just after 5 a.m., and I’m sitting on my back porch drinking my first cup of coffee. I have a couple of candles lit nearby, otherwise all is still dark, except for the stars above, and, oh, there’s the moon filtering through the trees that wave in the cool morning breeze. It is mostly quiet, but I hear a chorus of roosters in the distance. They are like me, up early, welcoming the day. As I shuffle about, getting my coffee and arranging “my chair,” the candles, and the coffee, BeBe and Futar hear me. They come running from the other side of house, hoping I might be a possum or deer or some other animal that they might chase and catch and do what most big outside dogs do with wildlife that stray into their territory. Their barks and growls were short lived because all they found in the darkness was me. After morning pats on their heads, we all settled down in the darkness to enjoy the nothingness. They are snoozing underfoot, and I must be careful when I get up to get my second cup of coffee or I’ll step on someone’s paw. I have always been an early riser, but as I get older, I seem to rise even earlier. I read somewhere this is a common characteristic of ageing. I hate the thought of getting up any earlier, but, as Doris Day once sang, “what will be, will be.” As I move about the house, making my way to my private morning time on the deck, I try to be quiet and not disturb the wife. She sleeps late, letting her bedside coffee grow cold. I always apologize when I stub my toe in the darkness and wake her with a four-letter word,

I have always been an early riser, but as I get older, I seem to rise even earlier.

rather than “Good morning.” It’s not good yet, but we’ll get there. My mornings alone on the deck are a warm-weather ritual. When it’s cold or raining, I arrange myself in the living room, as far away from the bedroom as possible. I love the convenience of the gas fireplace: just a flip of the switch and I get instant cozy and can read by firelight. But as soon as warm weather debuts in these Carolina foothills, I migrate to the deck. I must always remember to turn off the air conditioner because nothing disturbs the peace worse than the sudden roar of the AC unit beneath the deck. Birds: I hear birds calling each other. They seem to be all around me in the treetops, growing more numerous and louder as the darkness turns to twilight. I know sunrise is coming but am glad its harsh rays are still beneath the horizon with only its ambient light creating shadows ever so quickly — too quickly. I try hard to not think of the workday ahead of me, but stray thoughts of what’s to come invade my mind. No, no, no. I push them back and practice a little meditation. I don’t really know much about true meditation, but my personal mantra is to be in the moment, to feel BeBe’s tail swish as she dreams of dog cookies, to hear cars and trucks on the distant road rush to and fro, to see shadows make way for more distinct and familiar shapes in my yard, to taste my sweet coffee that is now just not warm enough. Yes, the day is coming, just as it did yesterday and the day before and the day before that. But for just a few more moments as the candles’ light is overwhelmed by the dawn, I refuse to think about what’s to come. Good morning. • LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS June 2016




Outreach volunteers and former volunteers at the annual volunteer luncheon a few years back are Cherie Brooks, Marguerite Huggins, Dorcas Epley and Elaine Haines.



e all know classic Beatles tunes like “Come Together” and “Imagine.” For years, these iconic hits have played on the radio and tell stories of mankind working together to help one another. In our community, it took some imagination by visionary people, and the dedication of volunteers coming together, to make a much needed ministry a reality – a reality that is now 25 years old and counting. In September 1991, founder Eloise Thwing created the Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry, a coalition of local churches tasked with helping the com20 June 2016 LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS

munity in need. Whether by providing food, financial support for bills or enough wood to get a family through the winter, the ministry known simply as “Outreach” provided support to those in Polk County in need. To celebrate the milestone anniversary, its new executive director George Alley said he and his board discussed various ideas ranging from a cookout to a fundraiser to promote awareness of the ministry. The ministry ultimately decided to invite the community to come see the facility and to thank them for their support over the last quarter century.

“For me, it’s always been about where we’ve come in 25 years to what we will be doing in the next 25,” Alley explained. “We find that when we get people to come in here, it makes a George Alley big impact on them when they see the food pantry and see the people coming in.” An open house date has been set for Tuesday, June 28 from 2-5 p.m. for people to come in and learn about the ministry and how they can get involved with Alley and his team of volunteers.


EARLY DAYS Founded in September 1991 by Eloise Thwing, the Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry was a coalition of local churches tasked with helping the community in need. The following year, Thwing wrote in her reflection letter to the board that the first year had been “a very challenging, but successful year” and added that she saw a need for the services provided by her and Outreach in the community. “Our work has just begun,” Thwing penned in the closing statement of her letter. “We need to meet the needs of existing helping agencies and area churches to better coordinate their services,” Thwing explained. “It would

be in the best interest of all for the Ministry to serve the client with our financial assistance in addition to other resources available in the community.” At the time, Outreach operated out of the Columbus Methodist Church under the direction of Rev. Tony Sayer with a board comprised of Church Women United and local church members. Seven years later, the ministry moved to its current location at 134 White Drive in Columbus, thanks to a grant by the Polk County Community Foundation. Thwing spearheaded the ministry until she retired in 2009. “Outreach was founded based upon a five-year study done by Church

Eloise Thwing

Women United in the late 1980s,” Alley, current executive director of Outreach, said. “Churches across the nation were doing what churches do now with food pantries, things of that nature, financial assistance. And I’m guessing they all looked at each other and asked, ‘Aren’t we all doing the same thing here?’”





A study by Church Women United determined there was a need in Polk County despite the organization’s statistics showing a high concentration of wealth in the Tryon area. “Polk County was in the top 10 percent of poverty in the state after you slice away the small group of wealthy people that were living here,” Alley explained. “Despite that, there were a lot of people still hurting.” Outreach reported a budget of $14,000 and a total of 150 family visits within the first year. Now, after 25 years, nearly 4,000 visits were made last year with just more than $1 million in the budget, according to Alley. Throughout the years, Outreach has worked with community churches to establish programs such as the Share the Warmth and School Supply programs. Dave’s Food Pantry was established in 2013 and a garden to provide food to community members who can’t afford to feed themselves is available. In 2004, Outreach conducted a study in the county on housing costs. As a result, low-incoming housing apartments in Columbus, known as Ashley Meadows near Polk County High School, were built. Affordable housing, along with home repairs, are something Alley said he sees being a big need in the future as well.

In 2013, Outreach re-dedicated their campus, formally naming it after its founder and long-time executive director Eloise Thwing. She is pictured with Joe Epley, Outreach’s then-president.


Carol Newton was the organization’s second executive director, from 2010 to 2015, and described working at the ministry as a gift after founder Eloise Thwing’s retirement in 2009. “My experience was a real gift to me and Outreach is a gift to the community,” Newton said. “It is for those who do not have the capacity to provide for themselves and for people who have little work which is low paying and mouths to feed. It hasn’t changed my life, it has enriched it.” With tears in her eyes, Newton explained her time with the ministry as “eye-opening” and has been especially helpful for those who do not have options. “There was a time when I remember a man coming to Outreach late into the night before Thanksgiving one year,” Newton said. “He needed a turkey, and Outreach made sure he had one for him and his family the following day. Instances like that make the ministry a great place.” Special programs for Christmas and Thanksgiving began in 1995. More than 1,000 families and individuals in the county were helped during the holidays within the first year. 22 June 2016 LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS

In 2015, Outreach hosted its first Empty Bowls Fundraiser. Community members, like Dorcas Epley pictured, created clay bowls that were distributed to guests of the Empty Bowls Fundraiser as a symbolic representation of the millions of people who face empty bowls at mealtime.

Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry

Outreach is developing a microfarm that will provide fresh, nutritious produce for the food pantry and opportunities for clients to learn valuable agricultural skills.

Walnut Creek Preserve


So, what’s the difference? The difference is from a total of 2,100 acres, more than 1,500 acres are under permanent conservation easements with the Pacolet Area Conservancy and shared by only 25 private home sites.

The difference is over 50 miles of well maintained private riding and hiking trails meandering throughout the 1,500 acres.

The difference is that Walnut Creek Preserve has more than 2 miles of Walnut Creek frontage, plus 24 streams and tributary creeks bounded by miles of hardwood coves — a haven for wildlife of every description and a refuge for a very limited number of human inhabitants.

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According to Alley, volunteers like Brittney Staley (pictured here) are the reason Outreach has been able to operate for 25 years. Clients at Outreach are invited to come by and pick up firewood once a month during the winter season.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Polk County Community Foundation, Outreach was able to significantly expand its food pantry in 2013. At the ribbon cutting for the expansion were Carol Newton (Outreach’s then-executive director), Jim Liggett (former Timken Plant Manager), Joe Epley (Outreach then-president), Connie Lomax (Outreach board member), and Elizabeth Nager (president and CEO, Polk County Community Foundation). Connie Lomax was also a former Board President photo by Betty Ramsey



FOR THE NEXT 25 The ministry currently has five and a half full time employees and 67 active volunteers working around the clock to ensure the needs of the community are met. Alley has been the executive director of Outreach for a year following Newton’s departure in 2015. Dave Scherping is the president of the Outreach board. He also serves as the technology director for the Polk County school system. “The organization is a great organization that serves our community here and I’m happy to serve on it,” Scherping said. “One of the biggest things we do is fundraising in order to meet the needs of the community. For example, my wife and I teach a ballroom dancing class that we use as a fundraiser for the organization.” In his time with Outreach, Scherping said he has become more aware of the needs prevalent in the community. “I work with the schools and I see the needs of our kids and the families from that side, but it has given me one more opportunity to see the poverty needs and the other needs that our community have,” Scherping explained. “We’ve been able to survive 25 years under the goal the churches had at the start of it being a community-based organization, and it still is.” Alley echoed Scherping’s statement and said this past year as executive director has made one thing obvious to him, and that is how much the ministry means to the area. “In my time here, it has become apparent to me that this organization is just as important to the volunteers and everyone who has given to it over the years as it is to clients and the receivers,” Alley said. “It’s important to the people in the community.” For more information about the 25th anniversary open house, or how you can volunteer visit, call 828-894-2988 or email George Alley at •




BBQ Festival

It started with a

QUESTION WRITTEN BY MICHAEL O’HEARN Photos submitted by Janet Sciacca


he creation of the Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival, the Harmon Field event that kicks off a Polk County summer every year, all started with a question back in 1993 – a question asked by Charlie Neff, chairman and treasurer of the Tryon Chamber of Commerce. When the chamber needed funds to maintain operations, they began to look at ways to raise money to keep going forward. “I became treasurer of the chamber back in 1991 and I was also chairman for two years, while I was running Tryon Financial,” Neff said. “I felt the chamber needed a fundraising program that could help other people and companies in the community, and so on and so forth. So, one day, a client of mine came in and I talked to him about getting a barbecue going.” The year was 1993 and the client was Jim Tabb, who at the time was a judge with the Kansas City Barbecue Society. The two began to talk about a prospective barbecue festival for the area. “He (Tabb) was talking about these barbecue festivals that he was starting to get involved in at the

time, and there may have been 20 or 30 barbecue competitions around the country at that time,” Janet Sciacca, current executive director of the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce, said. “The chamber needed a fundraiser so that they could hire a full-time director because they at the time had a part-time secretary.” Tabb agreed to do it, but not as Neff had imagined. “I had been messing with barbecue for a number of years, and he asked me about what I had been doing and my judging,” Tabb explained. “I didn’t think that much about it other than it would be difficult to do.” Getting a committee together, as well as picking a date for the festival, became the first step of creating what is now known as the Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival. “When he (Neff) asked me if we could do it in September, I said that was the first mistake,” Tabb said. “To do it right, it would take at least a year to plan it.” Being from Philadelphia, Neff said he was a “poor old man” who didn’t know much about barbecue.



BBQ Festival

On Sat., June 11, as many as 200 cars are expected to arrive at the barbecue festival and will line the soccer field at Harmon Field. Dennis Nagle, chairman of the Festival Car Show Committee, said the event grows each year in terms of attendance and the diversity of cars presented. It is sponsored by the Dusenbery Nationwide Insurance Agency and is hosted by The Carolina Classic Car Club based in Spartanburg, S.C.

Carnival rides were added to the festival in 1995, the event’s second year, and offer a chance for kids and adults to ride on a Ferris Wheel, Tilt-aWhirl, slide down a giant slide and take a spin on the carousel.

The Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival delivers phenomenal lineups on two stages on opposite sides of Harmon Field during the two-day event. This year’s lineup includes The Marcus King Band, The Steepwater Band, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, Blair Crimmins and the Hookers, The Note Ropers, The Trongone Band, the Dead 27s and the Forlorn Strangers. Charlie Neff spoke at the 2013 Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival and reflected on the past 20 years of the festival. Pictured with him is Jim Tabb, who was also instrumental in getting the festival going in 1993 and 1994 as a fundraiser for what used to be known as the Tryon Chamber of Commerce.

As the main attraction of the festival, the number of cook teams present at the event has grown from 24 teams to 90 cook teams today. Food vendors from across the country and overseas come to the festival to proudly display their cooking skills in front of judges and for the general public. 28 June 2016 LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS

Tabb said because later in the year is too unpredictable in terms of weather, he opted to hold the first festival in the summer of 1994. June became the agreed upon time between the chamber and Tabb. “I looked at all the weather information over the years and decided not to do it in November or December,” Tabb said. “So, I came up with a couple of months and decided to do it in either June, July or August. It’s too hot in July or August, and the sweet spot is the first two weeks of June.” This time also allowed the barbecue festival the freedom to not have to compete with any other barbecue festivals in the area, Tabb said. However, he said the members of the Harmon “When he (Neff) Field committee asked me if we could did not understand his intendo it in September, tions to create the competition. I said that was the “They asked me what I was tryfirst mistake. To do it ing to do, and me right, it would take at trying to explain a barbecue competileast a year to plan it.” tion to them was talking to the - Jim Tabb like moon,” Tabb said. Tabb rounded up 24 cook teams he knew from the festivals he had been going to across the country and the first festival in 1994 had been a great success. But that success was fleeting. Tabb explained that the festival needed to be moved to FENCE in Landrum the following year per the orders of the Harmon Field Commission and Tryon town commissioners. “When the Tryon town commissioners heard we wanted beer, it was like they imagined thousands of drunks running around Harmon Field,” Tabb said. “I had asked the sheriff if he had any problems at the contest and he said no more than any other Friday night football game.” The following year, with a new venue at FENCE and the addition of carnival rides, the festival saw what Tabb’s wife, Kathleen, described as a “deluge of rain” that drove festival attendance down. That didn’t stop the show from carrying on, though, for years to come. The festival continued to grow in size from every angle and national attention from media outlets like Southern Living and National Geographic fueled this growth in 2008 and 2009. However, the festival at one point had almost been shut down. In 2010, turmoil hit when thenLIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS June 2016


president of the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce, which had merged with the Tryon Chamber, Andy Millard proposed shutting down the festival because of profit lines trending downward. “I had been involved with it with a fairly small, core group,” Millard explained. “We had gotten to a point where we were barely scratching out profit. We were struggling to get volunteers and members of the steering committee had, over the years, gotten burned out.” According to Millard, many “You take a big risk members of this committee did with something like not have the emotional or physithat. We all looked at cal wherewithal each other and said to keep going. However, after to shut it down, and receiving outcry from the commu- of course the public nity, the chamber ultimately did not would not let us.” want to do away - Andy Millard with such a big event and asked the community for financial support. “For whatever reason, it had become very difficult to recruit people,” Millard said. “You take a big risk with something like that. We all looked at each other and said to shut it down, and of course the public would not let us.” Following the financial campaign that raised $85,000 in a week to be used as a rainy day fund, the festival continued in 2010 but the event’s future was still up in the air for 2011. “It took something like that to have the community realize how much work goes into this festival every year,” Millard said. “As chairman for it for eight years it was like a second full-time job for me because I was working that thing all the time. I’m glad it worked out the way it did.” This year’s festival will take place on June 10 and 11 once again at Harmon Field. Residents of Polk County and Landrum can get in free all day on Friday with proof of residency on their IDs. Live music will be playing continuously on the festival’s two stages and approximately 90 cook teams and local restaurants will be featured. “No one ever knew this festival was going to get this large,” Sciacca said. “I mean, we’re talking about 20,000 people brought into the festival over two days, which is the population of this county. We are forever grateful to Charlie and Jim for making it work.” • 30 June 2016 LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS

In Good Taste



Locally sourced organic ingredients fill this Polk County Red Rainbow trout taco.




ur love for tacos is growing stronger – and more creative – as wondrously different styles win our dining choice and devotion. We find street trucks, taquerias and upscale restaurants serving righteous Mexican street tacos more than ever. There are those that tuck Asian fusion fillings into tortillas, from “the velvet chicken” to the “Thai juan on” and BBQ Korean. Between these are regionally inspired taco mains like North Carolina pulled pork and smoked rainbow trout with tweaked fillers such as apple stewed kale and chiffonade raw vitamin greens with arugula cilantro lime sauce. At least that’s what we came up with for a recent street event. Because of our local organic CSA program and roadside stand, we are, on a daily basis, looking for creative ways to add value to the raw staple crops that farmers bring in for our shareholders. In the past, the go-to vehicle for “clean out the fridge” day was soup or off-thebeaten-path risottos. But the weather is warmer now. So we’ve picked out a new playground for the summer season and southern regional ingredients also work well on a tortilla.

Using 25 pounds of North Carolina red rainbow trout, caught fresh in Polk County, we received them gutted but not deboned. Oops! A trip to the hardware store for needlenose pliers and several hours later, we had the bright beautiful meat laid out on baking sheets. We brushed the flesh with a coriander, salt and pepper clarified butter mixture. Baking at 350 for less than 10 minutes in a convection oven, and our taco main meat was ready. We made a pickled veggie slaw of carrots, watermelon radish, spring onion and jalapeno and pulsed it up in the food processor, adding huge squeezes of fresh lime, hints of honey and pomegranate-balsamic vinegar along the way. Asian greens cut into ribbons and massaged with EVOO and sea salt topped the meat and a fun avocado arugula and cilantro cream sauce drizzled across for the finish. You don’t have to stick to the Mexican culinary traditions to have taco night at the house. You don’t even have to use meat proteins to make it legit. Mushrooms, cheeses, legumes, and loads of sautéed veggies with fresh avocado can be as meaty as it gets. Next time it’s taco night, think about nudging yourself out of your zone. • LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS June 2016


On the platform where many once waited for a train, left to right: Cathy Jackson, Board Co-Chair, local realtor, and publisher of Saluda Lifestyles; Bruce Hunt, Board Treasurer, retired commercial banker; Mary Meyland, Board Secretary, former highway engineer; Judy Ward, Board Chair and partner/owner/manager of Thompson’s Grocery Store, Ward’s Grill, and The Boarding House Venue. 32 June 2016 LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS

Walk from the main waiting room into where the telegraph operator once tapped messages across the country. Find artifacts and photos from a time when trains from Charleston stopped on the way to Cincinnati.


of the treasure

AT 2,097 FEET




Champions of the treasure at 2,097 feet

For the railroad enthusiast, the history buff, or the curious, the depot at 2,097 feet is a high point of any visit to the getaway mountain town of Saluda.


Board members in the bay that once housed the switchman, left to right: Corrine Gerwe, mystery novelist; Carolyn Ashburn, City Commissioner; Mark Ray, owner of Dad’s Collectibles in Hendersonville.

magine you’re at the side of railroad tracks, looking left, southward down the new rails toward where they appear to converge between slopes of tall trees. It’s a summer morning of 1878 in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the first train is on the way. Not just the first of the day but the first ever to reach this point. You hear a child ask once again, “When’s it coming?” The impatience is understandable since you’re as eager as the rest of the gathering for the big arrival. “I heard we could feel it in the rails before we could see it,” a friend comments. “Big day for Pearson,” says someone else with a tone that hopes for success. Everyone present knows the story. Captain Charles Pearson had been named chief engineer for building a railroad through the daunting terrain of the Green River Gorge. With faith in technology and muscle, he bypassed the route of old trading paths and took the shortest distance. Brave men hammered up the treacherous side of Melrose Mountain from Tryon. You’re standing at the 2,097-foot crest of their labors,


the steepest, standard gauge mainline railroad in the United States. You see smoke and raise the first of many cheers on this July 4th, a day of long and high celebration in Saluda, N.C. Almost 138 years later, no whistle shrieks in the canyons and no smoke rises above the forest. The rails in downtown are still and silent. Of all that remains of the railroad, only the depot stirs with activity and an enthusiasm reminiscent of the day the Asheville and Spartanburg Railroad opened for business. The energies of many volunteers have combined to preserve the walls around them as a non-profit corporation, the Saluda Historic Depot. All see their mission as championing and saving a historic treasure. A few of the volunteer board members have gathered today in the main waiting room to answer the questions of “Why they each invest an average 30 hours a month? What’s the personal motivation in such a diverse group?” 3-BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR Judy Ward, board chair, is partner/owner/ manager of Thompson’s, the oldest grocery store in North Carolina; Ward’s Grill, serving neighbors since 1959; and the Boarding House Venue from 1890 now available for events and meetings. “From Hendersonville, I worked in Saluda

Walk from the main waiting room into where the telegraph operator once tapped messages across the country. Find artifacts and photos from a time when trains from Charleston stopped on the way to Cincinnati.

many years as a banker...moved here in 1996 to marry Charlie Ward, proprietor of Thompson’s. After Charlie died, Clark Thompson and I partnered to preserve the history and keep the store in the family. The store, the boardinghouse where railroad workers stayed, the depot -- they’re all part of the same history, the same memories of life along these tracks.”


Bruce Hunt, board treasurer, former BB&T senior vice president in Atlanta, brings more than 35 years of commercial banking experience to the depot effort. “Visiting my mother-in-law’s summer home year after year, we fell in love with the area and people, and retired here. We frequently heard praise for the beauty inside the depot. SomeREALTOR AND PUBLISHER thing about this place, the warmth, the wood, Cathy Jackson, co-chair, is a local realtor and appealed to me. Long ago I graduated as a publisher of Saluda Lifestyles. history major and here was history that I could “I was the listing agent when the depot came help preserve.” up for sale and had only known it as a retail establishment. These original walls and ticket FORMER TEXAS HIGHWAY windows, all this history, had been hidden beENGINEER hind displays and merchandise. When I came in When Mary Meyland, board secretary, to appraise the space, it was so blank, so quiet, I moved with her husband to Saluda about two almost cried imagining the voices of those wait- years ago she came with anticipation. From her ing for trains, the hustle and bustle, the antici- career as a highway engineer, she knew the Salupation. All would be gone with remodeling... da Grade as an engineering feat that had helped forgotten. I had to do something.” determine the contours of America’s roads. LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS June 2016


Champions of the treasure at 2,097 feet of Cathy Jackson pulled her into the cause of preservation and helped her to see the economic potential for the community with the depot as a museum and cultural center. “Preservation needs donation,” says Cathy. Judy elaborates, “We’re trying to raise $275,000 through tax-deductible donations and corporate sponsorships. We’re trying to entice ENTHUSIASM ACROSS THE BOARD more visitors to town with railroad history and Mark Ray, owner of Dad’s Collectibles in Hen- artifacts, art exhibits, Train Talks, and a gift shop. Mark mentioned the addition of the Saluda dersonville and model train enthusiast, saw the Grade diorama, installed in May. depot as a historic jewel, “an original, an authenEvery depot volunteer would say the wood tic presentation without compare in the region.” He wandered into Thompson’s store and found structure is the heart of what Saluda has been. It helps keep alive memories. Many throughout Judy Ward behind the counter. “I asked who I the town believe that if the depot closes, it would could talk to about how special that building be more than the loss of a building, but a loss in was.” the spirit of what Saluda has become: a vibrant Corinne Gerwe, mystery novelist in her destination of events, restaurants, B&Bs, galleries, historic Saluda home, speaks of the pleasure in and shops; a getaway for outdoor adventurers; a meeting railroad enthusiasts who cross the depot threshold. For example, the 50-year-old man who retreat for nature lovers to discover the secluded falls named for Pearson. hiked the rail bed from Spartanburg to Saluda to In all of that, the depot at 2,097 feet is a hisexperience the famed grade. toric high point of any visit. Carolyn Ashburn, retired speech pathologist For more information, visit • and a city commissioner, recalls how the passion “Highway design and construction grade standards originated with the experiences of the railroads and Saluda was the extreme. When I went into the depot, my first reaction was to smile. There’s a positive energy I feel especially on nights when I’m here alone tidying up. I don’t want to lose that.”

July 17–23, 2016

Pick a Day! Pick a Restaurant! Pick Up your Fork! Support the work of Hospice of the Carolina Foothills during this 5th 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

Ask for us by name! 36 June 2016 LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS

For more information, call the Development Office at 828.894.7000

Question & Answer

Thinking Outside (and inside)



ill Crowell, owner of the Saluda Forge on Ola Mae Way in Tryon, is thinking both outside and inside the box with his plan to use a shipping container as a space for an artist’s studio. After visiting a restaurant made out of 13 shipping containers in the River Arts District of Asheville, N.C. and a corporate headquarters made out of containers in Nashville, Tenn., his imagination began to run wild. His interest was piqued after seeing the design and he thought he could emulate the same concept in his front yard. His experiment is to take the shipping container and create a working artist studio.



Question & Answer

Q: You intend to create a studio out of this container. How is that going to work? Answer: That’s the plan. I’m going to cut out a set of doors on the side and windows to let air in. Probably two or three windows so that has a lot of good light, but no direct light. I’ll add a bathroom and a commercial sink, insulate it and put some extra walls in. It will be like one of those tiny houses you see on HGTV.

Q: What kind of studio will this be once you make the renovations?

Q: How did you obtain the container? Answer: There’s a shipping container warehouse down in Charleston that sells these kinds of containers, and this is what is known as a “B” container and as you can see it’s starting to wrinkle at the top since it’s been used about three or four times on trips. A B container is guaranteed to be waterproof. The container was $2,400 and $600 to ship it up from Charleston.

Q: What kinds of things do you do here at the forge?

Answer: I do all kinds of things from metalworking to blacksmithing, contract work mainly. I like to recycle and repurpose things, finding new Answer: It could be any kind of studio for solutions and alternatives to situations. I’ve been whatever artist wanted to rent it out. It can be doing it for 22 years and it was a midlife crisis, and anything from a jeweler to a pottery studio to a flatwork and its just kind of one these things I never saw an anvil except from “Bonanza” until where if an artist is ready to get out of the base- I started doing this. My wife, Kathleen, wanted a ment, they could come here and check this out. table and so we started going to yard sales but we never found what we wanted. So, being a big ole’ Q: Are you going to rent or sell the space man I said, ‘Yeah, I can make you one,’ and I had never been a welder in my life.

out then to the artist?

Answer: I’m going to try to put it up for sale. I don’t know yet how much I’m going to sell it for, but I’ll whittle it down to the minutes and how long it will take to do this project before I can offer it for a competitive price. I’ll probably work on it over the next couple of months. I’m just going to be learning about how to do it, and go slow, watching the YouTubes on how to build it. 38 June 2016 LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS

Q: If you had an artist come in and take a look at his/her requirements, could you add and remove pieces in the container to fit their needs? Answer: Yes, because it’s all blurry and experimental at this point. You can add and subtract, and I’m going to try to do this as minimalist as I can get away with and if there’s a need to add to it I can.

Ray and Stacey Quaranta plan for her session with her Knabstrupper mare, Lily. See page 44 for full story.

JUNE 8-12

88th Annual TRHC/TIEC Charity Show Tryon International Equestrian Center, Mill Spring, N.C.

JUNE 10-12 Greenville Foothills Pony Club Camp Location to be determined JUNE 11

Greenville Foothills Pony Club Sponsors Meeting


Carolina Carriage Club instruction for FRC

JUNE 13-17

FENCE Horse Camp FENCE, Tryon, N.C. Tracie Hanson at 828-859-9021


Partnership with Horses Monthly Meeting FENCE, Tryon, N.C.


FRC Monthly Meeting and Educational Seminar Landrum Depot, Landrum, S.C.                         

JUNE 15-19 Tryon Summer Dressage 1 Tryon International Equestrian Center, Mill Spring, N.C.


Greenville Foothills Pony Club Ratings certification Riverbend Equestrian, Greenville, S.C.


Carolina Carriage Club Quarterly Meeting Deb Dickerson Farm, Columbus, N.C. Deb Dickerson at

JUNE 18-19   NCDCTA Combined Training with Dom Schramm Biltmore Equestrian Center, Asheville, N.C. JUNE 19-22

US Pony Club Carolina Region Eventing Rally FENCE, Tryon, NC Juliet Sadd at

JUNE 20-23

Summer Riding Camp I Clear View Farm, Landrum, S.C. Jeanne Smith at 864-616-0033

JUNE 20-24

Intermediate Horse Camp FENCE, Tryon, N.C. Tracie Hanson at 828-859-9021                

JUNE 24-26

Summer Beginner Riding Camp 2 Clear View Farm, Landrum, S.C. Jeanne Smith at 864-616-0033

JUNE 17-19 Harmon Classics Derby Mania FENCE, Tryon,NC Lewis Pack at 864-706-8116

JUNE 20-24


JUNE 25-26

An Evening Under the Stars FENCE appreciation FENCE, Tryon, N.C. TR&HC at 828-863-0480



Intermediate Horse Camp FENCE, Tryon, N.C. Tracie Hanson at 828-859-9021 NCDCTA Summer Highland Fling FENCE, Tryon, N.C. LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS June 2016





a rousing



onderful weather, a great crowd, exciting racing, and a variety of other entertainment made for a perfect day at the 70th running of the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club’s Block House Steeplechase on May 7 at FENCE. This year’s race meet was run in honor of the Ernst Mahler family, who first came to Tryon in 1935 and has since been supporting community and equestrian activities over 80-plus years and three generations. The Mahlers made the original donation of 117 acres to create FENCE, which has been hosting the Block House, many other equestrian events, and year-round nature education programs since the mid 1980s. Also recognized this year were 59 “Heritage Families” who have been longtime supporters of TR&HC and the Block House, many of whom have been attending the races in the same tailgating spots for decades. “Our goal this year has been to elevate the Block House experience for everyone involved, from spectators, sponsors and horse owners to grooms,” said TR&HC Executive Director Kathryn McMahon. “Enhancements introduced this year included more hospitality options for spectators, with onsite food trucks and craft beer kiosks; a new tent policy to provide shade; expanded merchandise selection in two official merchandise tents; and an onsite wireless network for ATM and credit card purchases.” LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS June 2016


Trusted in the Industry. Rooted in the Community. • SINCE 1931 •


The Block House is the largest fundraiser each year for TR&HC, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, with proceeds used for the club’s “Community Support through Equestrian Sport,” including its academic scholarships and focused charitable giving program in the Foothills area. “We gauge our success each year on four things: how many horses are here to race; how many spectators attend; 42 June 2016 LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS

how satisfied our sponsors are with the hospitality; and how much money we raise for charity,” McMahon added. “This year’s event was a success by all measures, with very positive attendee feedback and increased sales of reserved and ‘day of’ parking, as well as sales of food, beverage, Race Guides and merchandise.” For many more Block House photos, visit Block House Steeplechase Races on Facebook. • LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS June 2016





Ray Berta’s Seven Keys

Through ground work, Ray demonstrated Lily relaxed and connected while at liberty. LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS June 2016


Ray Berta’s Seven Keys


Ray Berta with FRC President Jodi Lees.

he Foothills Riding Club had a full house for its April presentation by California-based trainer Ray Berta. Ray was in town for one of his popular clinics hosted by local dressage trainer and FRC president Jodi Lees, a longtime client and friend of Ray’s. Jodi first got to know Ray during her own days in California, when she had a mare who remained a difficult loader despite Jodi’s having worked with other trainers on the problem. When someone recommended Ray, Jodi was amazed that he had the mare calmly self-loading within a couple of hours. “The next day he taught me how to use a rope, which I had never done before,” says Jodi. “The goal was for me to be able to just touch the mare softly with the rope wherever I was aiming, to send her where I wanted her to go. I practiced by using the rope on the fence and I was so clumsy, I kept missing the fence, hitting myself in the head, etc. As we worked on it, I realized that what Ray did for horses was the same thing he was doing for me: making me feel calm, making me feel capable, and making it fun.”


Ray grew up on a cattle ranch in Carmel Valley, California. “I learned how to ride in steep, rolling hills and how to work cattle at the same time. My father expected me to be born knowing how to ride and how to work the cows, some of which were pretty wild.” His father and uncles were great horsemen, Ray said, and they had really good horses that knew how to do their jobs. Later in life he worked with Tom Dorrance, considered the founder of natural horsemanship, who emphasized “feel” of the horse and its responses. “Tom Dorrance was amazing. He could understand the deepest inner workings of the horse and used creative ways to work with a horse so that it would come around and want to work with a human. It was very inspiring and took my horsemanship to a whole different level. “Every horse is a unique individual and a unique challenge for every rider. Some trainers and clinicians say, ‘I’m here for the horse.’ That’s a good place to start, but the human is half of the partnership – it all begins with the human. If the human can be coming from the right place, there’s a good chance the horse will get what it needs and do its best.” continued on pg. 49 46 June 2016 LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS

Seven Keys

TO GOOD HORSEMANSHIP Having seen Ray achieve success with riders in all disciplines, a friend asked him to put together some “keys to good horsemanship.” Following are Ray Berta’s Seven Keys, in his own words and illustrated by some of his own experiences.


Everything begins with you. Where are you coming from when you present yourself to the horse? Horses feel where you’re coming from and may have resistance if you’re not in the right place. Are you coming from a place of impatience or being overbearing with the horse, or are you open to understanding what’s going on for the horse and starting from that point? When I was first starting youngsters, I was working with a really nice Arab/QH cross. I had started him under saddle with tremendous patience and it was going really well. One day after I’d had a few rides on him we started up a canyon and came to a gate. I reached over and started to open it and he started pulling away from it. We had just done it the day before and he had done beautifully then, but not today. I was in a mode of “you know how to do this,” but it wasn’t happening. The more I tried, the more he wanted to leave the gate. I got frustrated and could feel anger welling up inside of me, after having been so patient with the horse up to that time. Finally I just stopped the horse and let out a big yell, just to release my pent-up energy. The horse just stood there and I realized, “That was yesterday, this is today.” So I left the gate, rode back down the canyon to a wider spot, and had the horse move this way, that way, side to side. Then I rode back up to the gate, opened it, stepped through, closed it and rode away. It was a great learning experience for me. It wasn’t going to work with all the anger I felt so I had to take care of me first – work on myself – before it would work with the horse.


That horse in the first example wasn’t in the same place he had been yesterday. You can’t go by where he was yesterday. Yesterday is great preparation for today but it’s not everything. Maybe something different is happening in the environment, the horse may be feeling different, the horse may have something else on his mind. Your idea might be to work on flying lead changes but your horse may not be there. You might have to do some other things to get the horse ready. I had started another young horse under saddle and had ridden him all over the hills; it had gone really well. One day LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS June 2016


Ray Berta’s Seven Keys I was riding him up in the hills and he started balking. Something was stopping him. I tried to encourage him but the further we climbed the worse it got. I stuck to my plan of going further up the hills. On a really steep hill the horse started getting light in the front but I encouraged him to continue climbing and we went over the tipping point. The horse went over backwards and came down on top of me. As I watched him roll down the hill and run off, I was wondering if my hip was broken. I had to hop down three long, steep hills before I found the horse stopped at a gate. Then I got up in the saddle and he carried me home. Here’s what I discovered had happened: that young horse didn’t hold a saddle very well so I had fastened a breast collar on that day and went about my riding. I later realized he had been feeling a restriction every time he tried to go forward on those steep hills. He was responding to pressure and stopping, but I didn’t connect with what was happening. So you have to know where the horse is. If I had stopped and thought about it, the day could have been very different. It’s important to read what your horse is telling you.


This is really important. A lot of horses have problems because they haven’t been prepared for what they’re being asked to do. The rider or handler skipped over some of the foundation, which was necessary to be able to progress. Everything you do with a horse is a transition and you need to get them ready for it. I work with a couple of horses at a very upscale facility near Carmel. It came to my attention that one of those horses, Bubba, had become difficult to turn out in the pasture and would try to rip away from the handler as the halter was being undone. I began to work with that handler using something I had already taught the horses. Whenever I took Bubba out for saddling, I always sent him into a grooming bay, had him turn to face me, and I would drop the lead rope and have him ground-tie. Then I would bring the other horse, Danger, out and do the same thing with him in a nearby breezeway. They got so reliable I could go out to the car and they would stay there. So as I brought the horses out to the pasture for turnout, I sent Bubba over to an area and positioned him to ground-tie. Then I sent Danger to another spot, had him ground-tie, and got them both really soft. I turned Danger loose and went back to Bubba, took his halter off, rubbed him and then sent him. He just stepped over softly and walked away. The handler learned how to set it up exactly as I 48 June 2016 LIFE IN OUR FOOTHILLS

demonstrated. He’s been doing it the same way ever since and it’s been working well. That’s because he is using something the horses had already been prepared in and it worked in that new situation.

4. DIRECT AND SUPPORT THE HORSE AS SOFTLY AS POSSIBLE. People are all over the place on this one. A lot of times I see people who just don’t seem to show up: they don’t bring enough input, enough attention, enough discipline into the equation. The horse just goes its own way because there’s nothing of substance there for it to connect with. I also see the other extreme, where someone comes on so strong that it’s almost abusive. I like to see a horse working with a soft connection – it doesn’t weigh anything at all. But I’m not going to tell you that there won’t be times when it weighs a lot because of where you are in the process. Sometimes a horse can be very strong and rigid, just pushing and pulling. It’s up to you to help your horse learn how to get soft. Don’t pull on your horse; direct her as softly as possible, support her as softly as possible. That doesn’t mean abandon your horse. Just change your angle a little bit, work with your horse smarter, not stronger. Help her learn how to give and yield, become a partner and work with you.


Horses need encouragement. We have taken them into our world. Why should they want to do all these things we’re asking them to do? We need to appeal to something deeper in them, make it worth their while to respond. Sometimes a horse is just being made to do things but I want him to feel as if he’s a partner. You can care for them more easily if you understand them. What does a horse like? He likes to be comfortable; he finds comfort in the herd. And you’re their herd when you’re with them. I was working with a student who was grooming and the horse didn’t like it. She was out there doing a job, which was getting the horse clean. So often a person will try softer and softer brushes but the horse still doesn’t like it. How do you use a brush? We often put the brush down flat on the horse’s skin, which is like being stuck with 100 bristles. If you lay the brush sideways and then stroke it, the bristles aren’t sticking the horse. It becomes soft. Your purpose should not be to get the horse clean. It should be to get your horse to like being groomed. If your horse likes being groomed, you will get your horse clean.


Horses are intelligent animals, amazingly intelligent. Give them a chance to search in the right direction. First, what is your intention? What do you want the horse to search for? Let them explore. Keep suggesting something but don’t just confine them and make them do things; it will never be their own. They will never be as expressive in their movement and demeanor as they will if you allow the horse to learn. A horse doesn’t learn by having things crammed down its throat. If a horse is braced from the neck back to the withers, he can’t move freely. If you want the horse to be moving with free expression, you have to give it the freedom to think and to move.


The most important way you can give that to your horse is releasing any pressure, whether mental or physical. When your horse is making a movement in the right direction, let them know it by releasing pressure. Be In a dialog with your horse. You’re not the boss, you’re not the alpha, you’re a partner. You’re the lead partner and that’s an important

distinction to make. There are times you can let your horse lead but you are still monitoring. When they can do something in an appropriate way, allow them to do it. That means a lot to a horse. So first is a release of pressure, but also do a lot more rubbing on the horse, scratching on the horse – not slapping on them. You can be soothing and reassuring to your horse, if you think about what you can do to feel good to your horse.

When asked about being with his own horses and riding for pleasure, Ray says he does a lot of trail riding. “I enjoy it tremendously. I want my horses to be part of me. But I do still give direction if it’s a situation like crossing a creek and I see a boulder under the water that they might not see; you need to get your horse to step a certain way. I like feeling as if the horse’s feet are my feet, and I’m coming up out of the center of the horse with my four feet beneath me. It’s a beautiful thing: when my horse is walking and it’s just like I’m walking. That’s partnership. You can learn more about Ray Berta at And you can learn more about membership in FRC, including its clinics and other programs, at •



Parting Glance


‘n’ Derby


Nothing could be finer than a friendly Carolina vs. Clemson corn hole competition and tailgating at FENCE prior to the Steeplechase races. Photo by Claire Sachse

Marketplace Life in our Foothills • 828.859.9151

Dan Steiner Painting For A Fine Paint Job High Quality-Low Prices •Professional Pressure Washing •Gutter Cleaning •Minor Repairs 828-817-0539 or 828-894-6183 *Senior Discount Available*” David Trevino, L.Ac. Licensed Acupuncturist Board Certified Serving the Tryon Area 13 Years Experience For External Injuries & Internal Diseases •Acupuncture •Bodywork •Herbs By appointment: 864-640-9274 Fox Mountain Landscape: Lawn maintenance, stone work, waterfeatures, patios & walkways, paver, irrigation systems and grading. Free estimates - 12 years experience. Call Miguel 828-817-5847 PRESSURE WASHING & HOME MAINTENANCE Home Exterior • Decks • Sidewalks Let FHM help with new projects or home repairs! Call Jake for a free quote! 828894-6581 828-577-0513 SKIPPER’S TREE SERVICE One call does it all! 25% Sr. discount. Free estimates. Reference available. 864-580-3029 STONE MASONRY: specializing in retaining walls, fireplaces, patios, sidewalks, chimneys & foundations. 25 years experience. 864-621-7043 or 864-497-9988 Tommy’s Home Improvement •Roofs, renovations, siding, carpentry, decks, windows, screening. All Home Repairs. FREE Est. Home: (828)859-5608 Cell: (828)817-0436 BRS Landscaping & Stone Inc. Mulch • Natural Stone FREE MULCH DELIVERY! 828-287-9309 or 828-287-2745 GOOD BY STUMPS Stump Removal Fully Insured Free Quotes! Call Ron at 828-447-8775 NEED CASH? I BUY MOST ANYTHING THAT’S A BARGAIN. CAR--TRUCK--RV/ CAMPER--JEEP--68 CAMARO--TRAILER CARGO--SUBURBAN--4-WHEELERS--GOLF CART--TRACTOR--GUNS--LAND--HOME. NO JUNK! MUST HAVE TITLE. DON’T CALL IF NOT A BARGAIN! 828-551-7176 JUST ONE CALL! Yard work, odd jobs, fencing, gutter, gravel, mulch, stonework, carpentry, cutting grass, trees, cleaning, bush hog. References. 12 years experience. (828) 429-7834 Tight Grocery Budget? MANNA Food Helpline Proudly serving 16 Western North Carolina Counties. Free & Confidential. Call 800-820-1109, Mon-Fri, 9-4 North Carolina Residents Only Private House Cleaning Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Monthly or 1 Time. 15 yrs exp. References upon request. Free In-home Estimates! Marjorie 828-817-6350

Mitch Contracting Serving your demolition needs since 1918. We offer roll-off waste containers for home and commercial use. Call 828-252-0694 or visit us at Need Pressure Washing? Our SoftWash system completely kills all mildew/algae with low pressure. Mentions this ad & receive 10% OFF any services. Ocean Force Pressure Washing 864-590-1092 $10 OFF Spring Preventative Maintenance (Reg $75) Rutherford Heating and Air 828-287-2240 Second Chance Thrift Store Call 894-2373 to schedule a pick up. We appreciate your donations of gently used items! Second Chance provides 49% of Steps to HOPE’s operating income. your donations help victims of domestic and sexual abuse in our community. Steps to HOPE 232 E. Mills St., Columbus 828-894-2373 MEDITATION Free group meditation with free yoga warm-up (optional) every WEDNESDAY evening in Tryon. Beginners welcomed (we’re all beginners)! Call 828-273-4342 for directions. 3BR/2BA COUNTRY HOME Large Kitchen. Hardwood floors throughout. Total remodel just completed. 2-car carport. Gambrel style barn on 5-1/2 acres. Excellent small horse farm. 5-minutes to Equestrian Center. Reduced to $175,500! Additional 3 acres w/creek available. 828-625-4820 TIEC visitors - 2 or 3 bedroom house – pool table/laundry room – garage and parking available. CLOSE to TIEC and local restaurants. 828-894-2763 LAND & ACREAGE FOR SALE Beautiful 13.1 acres of rolling hills, with established fescue pasture, mountain view & 400 foot road frontage- $140,000. Property is 20 minutes from TIEC in South Carolina. Follow the signs at Hwy 11 and Burnt Chimney Road to property on North Pacolet Road. Call 864-590-1906, after 5pm or 864-680-6309 for more information. Ashley Meadows Apartments Columbus, NC Now accepting applications for large 2 & 3 BR units. 858-894-2671 3Bd/2Ba in Columbua. New appliances, carpet, paint. Brick ranch with bsment. Pets considered 5 mins from TIEC Quiet road. $1500/mo 828-863-2280 Polk County Broad River Frontage 8 minutes to Tiec, 5 minutes from 2 golf courses. Over 35 acres 30 seconds from GreenRiver Farm, southern exposures and VIEWS VIEWS VIEWS. Three wells, gravel roads, trails, LARGE shop w/pole barn and established mini-farm with dozens of raised-bed boxes, fruit trees, grape vines, amazing building sites. Asking $281,000 (no owner financing). Golf car tours provided. Call or text (828)489-4568. Virtual tour at: 35acSantana.wmv 83+ Acres for Sale in Rutherford Co •6,000 Feet River Frontage •1500 Feet Highway Frontage •City Water, Wooded •4k Per Acre (864)909-1035”

2BR/1BA. 2nd floor house. 1,100 sf. Private Community. All new. Mountain view. All utilities included. Must See! Minutes to Equestrian Center. Call for info: 828-286-3081 Commercial Space Available immediately 1500 sq. ft. with office. Near downtown Columbus. Easy access to Hwy 74. Includes water, sewer, trash service, and wifi. 828-863-2280 Ready Now • Very Nice • 510 Square Feet Office/Studio Space (Beauty Salon). Nostalgia Courtyard Main Street, Saluda $310 Per Month Includes Water/Sewage (828)749-9224 BUILD_YOUR_DREAM_HOME! 12 acres on CETA Trail near TIEC: •Approximately 5 acres in pasture •Equipment building •Home Site w/winter views •Well, other improvements $349,900 864-316-6901 2356 Pea Ridge Rd, Mill Spring $749,000 3BR/2BA Brick Ranch. 8.62 acres with gorgeous 180 degree views. Gary Corn, CHPS, Realtor/Broker 828-817-2580 First Real Estate, Inc Nestled in Blue Ridge Mountains of NC. 2 bed/2 bath cabin on 2.25 wooded acres. $154,900 Huge loft, stone fireplace, large deck. EZ access. 866-738-5522. Broker. New 3BR/3BA House for Lease. 1800 square feet, 3-car garage. $1800/mo + deposit. 828-899-0000 RENTALS Go to For Furnished and Unfurnished Long and Short Term Rentals Contact Pat Martin at First Real Estate 828-859-7653 Antique Vendors Needed New store located in Tryon,NC opening March 5th. Several booths available for rental. Located in great high-traffic location on Hwy-176 (620 S.Trade St-old Tryon Pharmacy Bldg). Booth set-up will be for February. Look forward to seeing you at Red Dog Relics! 828-440-1303

MAINTENANCE UNLIMITED If you can break it, we can fix it! All types of home maintenance: pressure washing, yard maintenance and more! 828-447-0669 or 828-817-4284 CDL Driver with Passenger Endorsement needed to drive 24 passenger bus from Spindle to Hendersonville and return. 5:30am-8:30am and 5:30pm-8:30pm 864-609-5466 Ask for Delon NOW HIRING: Experienced Cook/Chef & Server Apply In Person: Harvest House Restaurant Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-9pm 864-457-2823 South Carolina Elastic a division of Rhode Island Textile Company is expanding and hiring for full-time positions, all shifts. We offer Medical Insurance – 401(k) – Life Insurance — Flexible Spending Accounts – Accrued Vacation – Seven Paid Holidays. Apply in person at: 201 SC Elastic Road, Landrum, SC 29356 (8:30am to 4:00pm) Staffing Associates 100 Henry Place, Spartanburg SC Hiring for local Textile Company (All Position) Machine Operators CNC operators Forklift Landscaping Construction Welders Fabricators Fitters CDL drivers 864-542-0039 First Staffing Now Hiring •In-Home Aides •Textiles •Mental Health •Sewers •Weavers •Warpers •Production Workers Apply in person: 1987 Lynn Road, Suite A Columbus, NC 28722 Customer Service Representative Good phone skills, artistic talent and computer knowledge required. Full time with Benefits. Email resume and art background to

Step Back In Time! Visit Buffy’s Timeless Treasures. Hwy 176, Gramling, SC. Authentic antiques, primitive Victorian oak & period pieces, furniture, lots of glassware. Open Monday-Saturday at 10am (864) 708-1145 Peach Country Open for Strawberries 13891 Highway 11, Campobello, SC (Corner of New Cut and Hwy 11) Wed-Sat: 10am-5pm Sun:12pm-5pm 864-468-4999 or 864-430-3353 *Weather Permitting, Please Call!

•CNA’s All Shifts •LPN/RN All Shifts, Weekend positions available •RN Charge Nurse M-F We offer 12hr and 8hr shifts. Flexible Schedules. Please apply in person at 501 Esseola St, Saluda, NC 28773 or call Heather Gosnell, ADON at 828-749-2261.

50+ TRAILERS IN STOCK! New 5x8: $525 All Sizes Available 828-245-5895

Marketing Event Reps $12/hour vs. commission. No selling, no hassels. Simply schedule free estimate appointments at events. Send resume to: or call 864-877-0692. Hospice of the Carolina Foothills (EOE) is hiring for Homecare and Hospice House. Full and PRN positions. For more information, and to apply, visit Landscape Maintenance Laborer String trimming, mowing, weeding, debris clearing. 828-551-5910 Lake Pointe Landing, A Senior Living Community Maintenance Position Full-time. Some experience preferred, but not required. Excellent benefits. Apply in person: 333 Thompson Street, Hendersonville, NC. No phone calls, please. Full-time Cook, Wait Staff, Exp. Med Techs (cert. req’d) and CNAs Incl. weekday & weekend. Background check, drug screening req’d. APPLY IN PERSON. Laurel Woods Assisted Living & Memory Care, 1062 W. Mills St, Columbus, NC 28722. No phone calls. Pavillon Bringing hope, healing, and lasting recovery to individuals and families who suffer from alcoholism, drug addictions and related disorders. 828-694-2300 241 Pavillon Place, Mill Spring

White Oak of Tryon is Currently Accepting Applications For Restorative Program Coordinator The Restorative Program Director should be an RN graduate of a state approved School of Nursing. Current and active license in the state of North Carolina. They should be committed to aggressive therapy and restorative/maintenance programs. Should have the ability to work independently, but has the wisdom to seek assistance as indicated. Should possess effective documentation and communication skills. Should be knowledgeable in regard to federal and state regulations relating to long term care. Apply 70 Oak Street Tryon, NC 28782 or email resume to:

STORAGE BUILDINGS Cash Specials - or - Rent To Own from $63 per month! 828-245-5895

Bright’s Creek Golf & Sporting Club, Mill Spring Interviewing for full/part-time positions: •Laundry Attendant •Housekeeping •Equestrian Barn •Concierge •Grill - servers, bussers, dishwasher, prep cook •Golf course maintenance Call 828-694-4500 to apply.

• Banquet Servers • Light Industrial Assembly • Machinist • General Construction-(Experienced) Apply in person or online. StaffMasters, 727 South Broadway, Forest City 828-248-5641 Waste Industries is now hiring DIESEL MECHANIC. $1500 Sign-on Bonus! Top pay. Full benefit package! Walk in and apply today at: 180 Ada Moore St, Columbus, NC Or apply on-line at: EOE/AA/D/V Waste Industries is now hiring CDL Drivers $1500 Sign-on Bonus! Top pay. Full benefit package! Walk in and apply today. Columbus location at: 180 Ada Moore St. Or apply on-line at: EOE/AA/D/V Days Inn is Hiring: •Housekeeping (9am-1 or 2pm) •Weekend Night Auditor (Midnight-8am) Apply in person: 626 W. Mills St, Columbus 828-894-3303”



Get back out there. Is hip pain or a bum knee keeping you from enjoying the important things in life? Stiffness, soreness, restricted motion, pain. It can stop you from doing those things you love. Board certified orthopedic surgeons Brian Rosenberg, MD, and Thomas Cadier, MD, FAAOS, and St. Luke’s Hospital have a reputation for getting people back in the garden, back in the saddle, and back in the game in record time! With advanced orthopedic procedures, you’ll experience less pain, a shorter (but impressive) hospital stay, and a quicker recovery. If your goal is to have a yard that’s the talk of the town, we’ll get you back in the dirt in no time.

Rosenberg Bone & Joint

89 E Mills St, Suite B, Columbus, NC 28722 (828) 894-3718

101 Hospital Dr, Columbus, NC 28722 (828) 894-3311

Profile for Tryon Daily Bulletin

Life In Our Foothills June 2016  

© Tryon News Media 2016

Life In Our Foothills June 2016  

© Tryon News Media 2016