Tuesday, February 27, 2018

March - April 2018

Gerton Night-Life! The Super Moon in the early days of January 2018.
And here, the Super Blue Blood Moon captured in the early morning (5:17 a.m.) of February 2.

President's Note

             The 2018 Program Agenda is off to a great start.  Plans for the Easter Egg Hunt and the Scenic Highway Beautification Project are complete.  Recent meetings with Program Chairpersons have revealed some innovative approaches to several of our existing programs.  We think you'll be pleasantly surprised and hope you enjoy these fresh concepts.
                    Our February gathering was attended by 40 of our friends and neighbors.  The young people of our community led us in the Pledge to our Nation's Flag.  On a sad note, Stan Mobley reported on the recent passing of a beloved neighbor and Community Leader...John Myers.  Our program included a review of the 2018 Budget and a unanimous vote to approve.  Our newest concept, the 50/50 Raffle was a huge success; at least Karen Owensby thinks so, she held the winning ticket.  

                   The March 20 meeting program includes a presentation on "How To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft," another 50/50 Raffle, and a progress report on our upcoming programs.  

                    Just a reminder, our Outreach Program to support the Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach food bank needs your support.  Please bring what you can to our next gathering.  We suggest canned fruits and vegetables, baking supplies and cereal.  Looking forward to seeing all of you on Tuesday, March 20.

Jack Bancer

Calendar of Events

March 20, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.  - Community Covered Dish. Program: Jensen Gelford from Asheville Digital Lifestyle--"Protecting your Identity"

March 31, Saturday, 2 p.m. - Community Easter Egg Hunt

April 1 - EASTER

April 17, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. - Community Covered Dish. Program: Steve Pettis, Agricultural Extension Agent from NC Cooperative --"Secret Life of Trees"

April 20, Friday, 5 - 7 p.m. - Grits and Shrimp Fundraiser at Lake Lure Pavilion for Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach (see below)

April 21, SALE ON THE TRAIL: Community Breakfast - 8 a.m.
Community Yard Sale - 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.; Home Baked Goods sale - 8 a.m. until all sold

April 24, Tuesday, 10 a.m. - Litter Sweep. Show up to help!

April 26, Thursday, 11:30 a.m.- Ministry of Hope Luncheon at Lake Lure to support the Chaplains at Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women. See Margaret Whitt for tickets - $35 each

The ECHO is published bi-monthly throughout the year by the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Community Club. You can access the online blog at: www.gertonecho.blogspot.com or pick up a paper copy at the Gerton Post Office. News is  welcome; pictures, too. Please send to editor Margaret Whitt at margaret.whitt@du.edu. Photographers this issue: Margaret Whitt, Chimney Rock web site

Officers for 2018: President Jack Bancer; Vice President Jim Earnhardt; Secretary Susie Bancer; Treasurer Sylvia Sane; Immediate Past President Margaret Whitt. Board Members: Jean Bradley, Karen Owensby.

Gerton High Tea Returns on May 24 - Save the Date

Back by popular demand! Mark your calendars now for the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Ladies “Teacup Tea.”  Afternoon Tea will be served at the Community Club on Thursday, May 24, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased from Community Club members. We hope to see you there!


Gerton has just been notified that we have done everything necessary to become a nationally recognized Firewise Community. A set of two Firewise USA street signs have been ordered and soon you will see them posted on the side of the road coming in and going out of Gerton.
A big thanks to Jim Sane, who saw the process through to successful completion--and thanks, too, to the committee, who will be continually working to make sure we stay Firewise. Gerton, once again, is the first community in the gorge to receive such recognition.

Gerton Walkers - Tallies for 2017

Consistently from the middle of May 2010, folks have been gathering daily at the community center to walk to tapes for at least three miles. Truth be told, we have become fair-weather walkers--only showing up when the temperature is 35 degrees or warmer. Over the years, we have one consistent walker who has put the most miles in annually -- Sylvia Sane. Other regulars try to keep up, but Sylvia remains the pacesetter. 2017 showed these results in our collective days:

  • Sylvia Sane - 460 miles
  • Jean Bradley - 292 miles
  • Margaret Whitt - 307 miles
  • Meg Mumpower - 155 miles
  • Joan Erskine - 77 miles
  • Gayle Morris - 108 miles
  • Lynn Morehead - 48 miles
  • Lana Roberts - 88 miles
  • Toni Eastman - 43 miles
  • Lois Simpson - 81 miles
  • Guests - 21 miles
Total: 1,680 miles for 2017

February Dinner and Program

We had 40 neighbors gather in the pleasant weather of our February 20 dinner for fellowship and good food.
 The kids lead the flag salute...and how wonderful to have so many youth in our neighborhood and at our monthly dinners. Thanks to Anne Bourne and Jim Earnhardt for hosting the February meal.

Jack Bancer awards first 50/50 Raffle winner Karen Owensby $50. A good pot for our first effort. The other $50 goes to the club treasury for our communal expenses. Karen promises to put the money to good use--I am betting we will see it again in some manner in our times together!

The approved budget for 2018 appears below.

Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Community Club
2018 Operating Budget


Maintenance of Club and Property             2017       actual 2017             2018
Lawn Care                                                      $2000        $2780                    $2000
Pest Control                                                        639            659                        700
Utilities                                                               900            731                       900
Heating oil                                                          300             0                          0                                      
Propane Tank Rental and Propane                      79               79                       80               
Heating inspection                                          210               224                         250
Heating repairs                                                300                 0                           300 
Power Wash Building                                       0                 250                           0
Insurance                                                       $1700          1683                    1700

Taxes on rental space                                        100           84                          100


Paper plates, napkins, utensils, dining cloths, decorations,
Calendar, etc.                                      $350            202                       300
Printing of Echo, Postage,                                350             383                       400
 PO and safe deposit rental                                                 106                        150

Building Projects                                           $1500           0                         1000  
GertonFest food/expenses                               500                386                      400
Easter egg hunt                                                 50                  20                        25
July 4 Cookout (and fireworks)                       300                 175                     200
Sale on Trail food                                             70                   67                       100
Play                                                                  300                208                       300
Thanksgiving turkey                                        100                  0                         100
High Tea                                                         300                 0                         300
Misc.                                                               200                 101                      245
Outreach                                                        $300             50                       1200

Rental Space                                                  500               0                           500

Repairs/Maintenance                                    500              177                        500
TOTAL                                                     11,548            8,579                     12,250


                        anticipated 2016   actual 2016   anticipated 2017

Dues                                        $800                         660                     800

            Exercise                      $300                         259                     250
            Meetings                     $500                         697                    500
            Other                         $200                         57                       500                                                                            
            GertonFest               $2000                       2439                   2000
            Summer Play           $1748                        1646                  2000
            Sale on the Trail      $1100                       1221                   1200
            July 4                          $100                         200                     200
            High Tea                   $1000                           0                    1000
            50/50 Raffle               0                                 0                       500

            Building                      $300                          350                    300
            Store                         $3,000                        2750                   3,000

TOTAL                             $11,048                $10,795          12,250

Not accounted for in the budget
Income - Prize money from county and region - Total in 2017

Savings Account Balance:  January 1, 2018 - $12,387.31

63rd Annual Easter Sunrise Service at Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock Park will host its annual Easter Sunrise Service on April 1 from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. No one may enter the park for the service after 6 a.m. Breakfast will be offered at Old Rock Cafe after the service for a nominal fee, and guests may re-enter the park for free with your Old Rock receipt and your program from the service. 

Celebrate the glory of Easter with song, scripture and spiritual music as a spectacular sunrise ascends over Lake Lure. Chimney Rock’s nondenominational Annual Easter Sunrise Service has become a legendary event in WNC, attracting more than 1,000 early risers from around the Southeast. 

Shrimp and Grits Fundraiser for Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach

  • Date: April 20, 2018
  • Time: 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM EDT
  • Website: HNG Outreach
  • Event Description:
Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach kicks off each Spring with a Shrimp & Grits dinner at the Lake Lure Beach Pavilion. Shrimp and Grits is a reunion of friends after the long winter. The Shrimp & Grits are the best in the South! 

The meal includes salad, rolls, desserts, tea, and water. Not into grits or Shrimp, worry not. There will also be a spaghetti and meatless sauce option

FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon 2018

Camaraderie & FUN!  That's what you can expect as a member of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 Volunteer Corp.

This group of volunteers will be comprised of exceptional individuals who will be selected to serve based on unique skills and abilities.They will support officials and staff in preparation for and during the WEG. Not everyone who signs up is selected!

The games will be held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, just 20 minutes from Lake Lure Sept. 11th-23rd.

If after you have read through the FAQs, you believe you might enjoy experiencing WEG as a volunteer, you have until May 1st to complete your application through the Volunteer Portal. 
Check out their web site: https://tryon2018.com/page/volunteer

Rules for the UHNGCC College Scholarship

The following rules were approved at the November UHNGCC board meeting. The application will be available in the Gerton Post Office in May and will also be published in the ECHO for March-April and May-June 2018. The deadline for turning in the completed application will be on May 15.

The candidates, who are considering applying for the $500 scholarship, will satisfy these eligibility requirements.

1.  Any person living in the community, who is seeking a degree or certificate from a non-profit, accredited post-secondary institution may apply.

2.  A person may apply and receive the scholarship a maximum of TWO TIMES. But they may not be in consecutive years.

3.  Along with the scholarship application, the applicant must supply the name and address of the school. The winner's check for $500 will be made out to the school and mailed directly to that school with the check noted: to be applied to (the winning applicant's) tuition cost.

4. Depending on the number of applicants in any year, no more than TWO awards to two people will be given. The maximum amount of money awarded in one year will be $1,000.

5.  At the end of the academic year, the winner will report to the UHNGCC the progress towards their academic end goal.

Neighborhood News

There is an enterprising young man in Gerton (assisted by his brother & parents) who is collecting aluminum cans to help with a family vacation this summer.  If anyone wants to help, just call Syble Freeman  (329-2450);  she will pick up any contributions.

A Neighbor's Passing...

John Spencer Myers, 66, died peacefully at home in Gerton on Sunday, February 4 after battling ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. John was born March 28, 1951, in Middletown, Ohio. His parents were Frank Rathmel Myers and Patricia Wilks Myers. John lived in Middletown and Piqua, Ohio, and graduated from Middletown High School in 1969. He attended Princeton University, graduating in 1974 with a BS in anthropology. He obtained a masters in psychology from Rutgers University in 1976.

John was a man with numerous talents who explored many lines of work during his lifetime. He was a biofeedback therapist in NJ then worked in finance, including several years on Wall Street. He moved into the tech industry and worked at Bell Labs, and later became a skilled massage therapist and energy worker as he pursued a more spiritual path in life. John's great passion was rock climbing, and he literally climbed every rock face he could, in the US and Europe, for decades. It was through these experiences that he developed a deep love for the land, and he naturally gravitated towards work in conservation. He worked for the Trust for Public Land, the NY/NJ Trail Conference, and the Access Fund over several decades. He was instrumental in helping climbers purchase properties to obtain access to climbing areas in NY, KY, and NC.

John moved to the mountains of Western North Carolina in 2000 when he reconnected with his best friend from high school, Jane Lawson, who was living in Asheville. They married in 2004. John and Jane, with a lot of help from many others, bought land in Hickory Nut Gorge and created the Hickory Nut Forest Eco-Community and Laughing Waters Retreat Center. Recently John was honored by Conserving Carolina for his land stewardship efforts in the gorge, specifically for spearheading the trail system through his property that loops through the upper gorge and will eventually connect to other trails down to Chimney Rock State Park, and for placing 73 acres of his property in conservation easement. Conserving Carolina dedicated the Little Bearwallow Falls rock face to John as a climbing site for rock and ice climbing. John's love for the land and his spiritual connection to it inspired many who knew him.

John is survived by his wife Jane Lawson of Gerton; his stepson Jack Wedthoff of Asheville; his sister and brother-in-law Kathy and Richard Patten of Piqua, Ohio; his niece Cindy Patten Stanard and her family of Cincinnati, Ohio; and his nephew Joe Patten and his family, also of Cincinnati.

A celebration of his life was held at Laughing Waters in Gerton on Saturday, February 17. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to one or more of these wonderful organizations: Conserving Carolina, Our Voice, the YWCA of Asheville, the Lord's Acre, Hospice Care.