Saturday, April 29, 2017

May - June 2017

The ECHO is published bi-monthly throughout the year by the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Community Club. You can access the online blog at: or pick up a paper copy at the Gerton Post Office. News is  welcome; pictures, too. Please send to editor Margaret Whitt at Photographer this issue: Margaret Whitt, Sylvia Sane, Dave MacDonald, Sandy Jakubowsky

Officers for 2016-2017: President Margaret Whitt; Vice President Jim Earnhardt; Winter Secretary Susie Bancer; Summer Secretary Lana Roberts; Treasurer Sylvia Sane; Immediate Past President Jim Sane. Board Members: Lynn Morehead, Jean Bradley, Patty Tanner, Mac McAdams

Calendar of Events

May 16, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Community Covered Dish. Program: Bryan Torres of Equinox, a mental health residential treatment center for boys ages 14-18, which is located just outside Bat Cave, will come and give a brief overview of his program.

May 29, Monday.  Memorial Day

June 20, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. Community Covered Dish. Program: TBA

Save the Dates:
July 4, Community Celebration: Burgers and Dogs Cook-out. Bingo til Dark. Fireworks.

July 28 and July 29, Friday and Saturday. Summer Play. Details Coming in Next ECHO.

President's Note

April was a busy month for UHNGCC activities--the annual Sale on the Trail, Community Breakfast and Homebaked Goods Sale, the Easter Egg Hunt, the AmeriCorps Volunteers helping our community's effort toward FIREWISE status. And all of these events took place over a five-day stretch, with over 35 people donating time and energy to the setting up and out, the taking down and putting away, and the cleaning up. These activities, a great deal of work, never seem burdensome because so many pitch in to make the details fun! Thanks to all those who participated in whichever, whatever way that you did. It takes each person's time to make the whole a success.We raised over $1,200 on the Sale on the Trail, surpassing our anticipated goal.

As we look toward summer, we anticipate the arrival of our part-timers, the return of our summer play (with great thanks to Helen Brown and those who will assist her and those who will be cast in the play.) While we get to enjoy the fun of an evening's entertainment, those who work on and act in the play have a much longer commitment of time and talent. And the reward for them is that we enjoy ourselves. The last weekend of July is a highlight of our year.

A special thanks go out to Jim Sane, who has spent so much time and energy figuring out the details and coordinating the work of volunteers to help Gerton become Firewise. If you are interested in having help at your home, please contact Jim.

I always look forward to our meals together at the center. Not many communities have the long history of sharing a meal once a month--for OVER HALF A CENTURY.

Enjoy our spring, which has finally come to town! and the summer that will soon be upon us.

Margaret Whitt

March Program

 Food was especially good on the evening of March 21, the second day of spring, when 31 neighbors gathered to share a meal, Thanks to Anne Bourne and Buck Watts for hosting the March dinner.
Jim Sane gave the program on how UHNGCC or Gerton itself can become a certified Firewise Community /USA.The steps to do so include taking a risk assessment, creating an action plan, and having several Firewise day events. Part of the success of the venture depends on volunteer investment. In mid-April a group of Americorp volunteers will come to Gerton to help a number of homes begin to clear a 30-foot circumference, which will include blowing leaves from under the house and in the yard and removing any other "deadfall" from within 30 feet of the home. Gutters need to be cleaned as well. This will be the start of active participation in making our homes "firewise." If you are interested in having your home assessed or volunteering to help others, please drop Jim an email:

Call Goes Out for Local Bakers from Food Network

Food Network has made a call to the Hickory Nut Chamber regarding their upcoming Halloween Baking Championship.  They were particularly intrigued with Bat Cave, N.C., in keeping with their Halloween theme.  They wanted to know if we had any passionate experienced bakers in the Bat Cave vicinity.  They can be professional or self-taught with an enthusiastic and outgoing personality and the ability to create a variety of desserts.

Filming is scheduled to take place two weeks between May 31st and July 4th.  The cost of flights and lodging is covered by production.  Anyone interested, please contact the Chamber at for additional information.

AmeriCorps Work Day for our FIREWISE Effort

As a follow-up to our April program, about three dozen volunteers from AmeriCorps came from as far away as Boone to join other volunteers to begin the task of helping homeowners make their home "Firewise." Four homeowners--Jim Earnhardt, Margaret Whitt, Bonnie Moore, and Lynn Morehead--got lots of good help. A special thank you goes out from each of these homeowners to the volunteers, who did some hard work on their behalves. If you are interested in getting on the list to have volunteers assist you in making your home FIREWISE, please contact Jim Sane at 

At lunch time, the volunteers pick up their boxed meal and...

go back outside to eat their meal. Weather was great and those in AmeriCorps, particularly, can't get enough of the outdoors. 

 Activities and Plans from the Hickory Nut Chamber of Commerce

    Report from Tommy Hartzog, Chamber President

Carolina Trust Bank-Your hometown bank continues to grow and exceed expectations. Loan production is way outpacing goals set by the home office. Deposit accounts are growing very fast as this branch celebrated its two year anniversary in our Community. They opened 7 new accounts in one day last week!

Meridian Senior Living-Construction should begin soon on this vitally important addition to our community. The new facility will be located on Buffalo Creek Road and will begin with 60 beds and employ 30-35 people.

Oral Health Care-Dental services for our citizens is very high on the possibility list for 2017.  If things go as discussed with our health care partner, it will happen!

Dirty Dancing Festival- after purchasing the event in May of 2016, The Chamber managed a very successful event last August. We now have much needed experience and a growing relationship with Lionsgate Films and we look forward to this becoming a signature event for the region. This year People Magazine, the New York Times and other organizations are covering the event.

Marketing and Communications-Your Chamber has entered into an agreement with Lake Lure Classical Academy to develop an intern program that will serve our community with Facebook, Community Calendar, Press Releases, and Website enhancement. Two upper-class students will be selected by the LLCA to work for the Chamber on a part-time basis. Chamber staff and the owners of two local businesses have volunteered to guide and mentor these outstanding young people.

Branded Hotel-The Chamber is in ongoing discussions with a credible WNC hotel developer who has come to our area to evaluate the feasibility of lodge style hotel.

Community Covenant-2016 saw the development of meeting guidelines regarding productive civil discourse. The Hickory Nut Gorge Community Covenant has been adopted and implemented by numerous organizations.

Performing Arts Center-live music, theater, education and conventions will become part of our culture when this vision becomes reality. Much progress is being made toward a facility that will host larger gatherings of citizens and visitors.

Sale on the Trail - 2017

Sponsored by the Hickory Nut Chamber of Commerce, the 9th Annual SALE ON THE TRAIL was held Saturday, April 15 (always the third Saturday of April, which in some years, as this year, the event happens on Easter weekend). We had another successful fund raiser--netting the UHNGCC over $1,200 from the three components of the event: yard sale, community breakfast, and bake sale. 
 A big thank you to the following people who helped prepare the donated items, set them out, and price them: Jean Bradley, Syble Freeman, Sylvia Sane, Jim Sane, Margaret Whitt, Lynn Morehead, Joan Erskine, Mary Kay McAdams, Stacy James, Claudia Freeman. When it was time to clean up, Don Freeman and others pitched in to take our remainders to the non-profit yard sale of Carpenter's Hands. Of course, without the generosity of those who contributed, we would not have had anything to sell---thanks and thanks. Traffic was a bit slower this year, and we did not have any big ticket items, but we did make around $700 on this part of the event--$1 at a time!
Every year we plan for around 60 for breakfast; this year we hosted 59! Thanks to Syble Freeman, who headed up the pancake and sausage breakfast. She was assisted by cooks and crew Mac McAdams, Jacob Lyda, David Pope, Joan Erskine,  Roberta Pope, and Lynn Morehead, On this part of the event, we made about $200.
Jean Bradley (pictured above) and Mary Kay McAdams made the calls for homemade baked goods--and over 20 neighbors offered cakes, pies, brownies, cookies, candy, bread, jam, organic apple butter, and fresh organic duck eggs! Thanks to the bakers: Pat Davis, Ruth Hudson, Helen Brown, Sylvia Sane, Melissa Grindle, Jean Bradley, Mary Kay McAdams, Susie Bancer, Anne Bourne, Patty Tanner, Syble Freeman, Anastasia Walsh, Eileen Evans Eliswood, Becca Hathaway, Sarah Gayle, Gloria Anders, Margaret Whitt, Lynn Morehead, Roberta Pope, Joan Erskine, Lorene Shirar, Betty Cameron,  Jack and Meg Mumpower, This sale brought in over $300.

Sale on the Trail has become one of our annual fund raisers; it is always successful, but even more, it is a time for our neighbrohood to work and laugh together--making the event a social occasion as well. Next year, we hope to see more of you among the working crew, which happens the several days before the event itself. It always takes a village....

Easter Egg Hunt

Our annual Easter Egg Hunt was held this year on Easter Sunday, April 16, because of the timing of the Sale on the Trail. We welcomed 16 searchers for the 325 eggs that had been hidden on the Chestnut Hills Commons area. Kids seven and younger searched for 100 eggs, while on the other side of Pond Lane, kids 8 to 12 searched for the other 225. Special prizes--uncirculated gold dollars and crisp $2 bills -- were hidden in random eggs. When the bell rang, kids returned with their eggs and prizes were awarded for most, coming from far away, guessing mystery numbers and calling out favorite subjects of the questioner! 

Syble Freeman then told the story of the Resurrection Egg, giving each child an egg with 11 items so that they could follow the story of the Christian Holy Week. The kids then got to take their egg home so that they could remember the story if they wanted to re-tell it. Refreshments were served....and weather cooperated and a good time was had by all!

Younger children look on one side of Pond Lane, while...
older kids look on the other side.

Kids gather at the door to hear the rules of the hunt before tearing across the street to begin their search.
Kids listen to Syble (not pictured) tell the story of the Resurrection Egg.

The OneSight  Program: Opportunity for Free Glasses

(editor's note: This program exists to help someone who may need new glasses before eligibility. If you know of anyone in our community who could use this opportunity, please let one of the board members of UHNGCC know. And thanks to our new neighbor Cheryll Parker for letting us know about this program.)

In order to obtain free eyewear through our OneSight program, we can offer this through your community organization because it has a 501(c)3 status.  The following are the steps that would need to be followed:

1.  The prospective recipient should be screened by your organization for both financial and visual need as we discussed in the meeting.  A child who has Medicaid but who has lost or broken their eyewear and is not yet eligible for a new pair through the insurance and the family is unable to afford the out-of-pocket expense of purchasing a new pair would be an example.

 2. Your organization would need to write a letter of referral for the child in need on company letter head and provide your tax ID #.  This referral letter is to confirm the need for assistance.   The tax ID#  ensures that the organization doing the referral is a non-profit charitable agency. 

3.  The referred individual can then come to  Target Optical on River Hills Rd in Asheville.  The recipient would bring the referral letter and a valid  eyeglass prescription to the optical center and when they arrive, they should notify an optical center associate that they would be utilizing the voucher program.  This helps to ensure that the associate directs the recipient to the appropriate selection of frames.

College Scholarship

At the April meeting, a motion was made to raise the scholarship amount to $500. Anyone interested in further education at an accredited institution may apply for the award.

                               Deadline for application: June 1, 2017

 (Return to PO BOX 222 or to one of the officers or board members of UHNGCC)

To:                                                            Today’s Date:_________  
                       Name, Address, Phone Number, e-mail:

                    High School (or last school attended):

                    Graduation Date:

                    Family members we might know:

(Using a separate sheet of paper, number your answers for the following  questions. Write in complete sentences, please.)
                  1--School, Church, community activities I have participated in

2--Jobs I have held (babysitting counts, as does yard work, helping parents in their work—home or other places.) 

3--How would any of the above employers describe your work habits?

4--What are your strengths as a student?   What are your weaknesses?

5--In three or four sentences tell us your educational goals, and why you are applying for this scholarship.

6--The reason I chose (name of educational institution) is that.....

April Program

At our monthly meal we had 28 people, which included guests and new folks in the area attending for the first time. Thanks to Syble Freeman and Lynn Morehead, with help from Jean Bradley and Mac and Mary Kay McAdams, for hosting the meal.
Above, David and Frances Scoggins, Mike Hamlin, Mary Kay and Mac McAdams, and Lynn Morehead chat before we start the dinner line.
Lezle Stein (pictured above), an experienced dog trainer, who is new in our community, coming from Los Angeles, talked about how she might be helpful with dog issues. She also is a dog sitter as well as trainer. Lezle can be reached by email at or by phone at 323-229-4143.

Call for Volunteers
2018 World Equestrian Games Visitor Experience Chamber Committees

The 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG) event is quickly approaching. Over 500,000 spectators, participants and vendors are expected to visit our area before, during and after the Games to be held during 2 weeks in September 2018. The Games host venue (Tryon International Equestrian Center) is striving to house, feed and entertain as many of these visitors on-site as they can. However, the enormous scope and magnitude of the event far exceeds the venue’s on-site capacity.  The projected $400 million economic impact of these Games will extend to areas as far away as Charlotte, Greenville-Spartanburg and Asheville.

 Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village are among the closest communities to “ground-zero” with lodging, dining and attractions.  Consequently, our community has a golden opportunity to “show off” to a whole new audience of visitors coming from over 70 countries around the world… folks who have never heard of Lake Lure or Chimney Rock and whose “first” impression of our community will be formed by the experience of their visit during the Games.

We have a limited time and a unique opportunity to prepare our community to host these “world-class” visitors and to provide them with a terrific visitor experience that creates a lasting positive impression (or not) on them. We must act now and start immediately to prepare our community for this amazing event and we need local businesses and residents to step forward now to help with this effort.

The Hickory Nut Gorge Chamber is spearheading the initiative to prepare our community for the 2018 WEG. We’re forming several volunteer teams to identify and implement what can be done to prepare in targeted areas so we focus our resources on what’s most important to providing the best visitor experience to WEG visitors before, during and after the 2018 Games.  We’ve already targeted several areas including:
  • Public Safety
  • Transportation/Circulation
  • Marketing & Branding
  • Hospitality
  • Community Appearance
 If you would like to get involved in this important community activity… please call the Chamber office at 828-625-2725 or email at

Our Neighborhood List of Recommended Home Repair Providers:

The people listed here did NOT ASK to be on this list; rather someone in our community has used these providers and have found them to be reasonable, professional, and competent. We list them here for others to use as suggestions. If you have been especially pleased with a provider, please let the ECHO know and we will share the names and companies with our readership.

Top Choice Trim & Tile                Finish carpentry, tile work, cabinet installation, dry wall and
828 772 8513 - Julian
828 280 4056 - Lupe                       

ABH Siding, Windows & Gutters   Their name says it all.

828 808 5865 - Charlie Holder

Affordable Electric                          Wiring, light and fan installation

828 551 1660 - Robbie Huntley

Lawson's Home Improvement           Drywall, painting,
Chris Lawson

Residential Plumbing                       General plumbing contractor

828 230 0789 -Tony Myers

All About Plumbing                          General plumbing, specializing in wells                                   
                                                         and septic.

828 778 2423 - Chris Wilson

Painting                                             Interior and exterior painting.

Sam Earnhardt - 828 273 1936
Jon Stephenson                                   

Stews Heating & Air                          HVAC Contractor

Stew - 828 883 4997        

Neighborhood News

The Jakubowsky family celebrates Lorelei's first birthday at the community center on March 26. She seems very pleased to be one-year-old!

Special guest at Bearwallow Baptist: Chief Steve Silverheels, a Seneca/Mohawk Iroquois Native American was a visitor at Bearwallow Baptist Church on Sunday, April 2. His father, Jay Silverheels, played Tonto in the 1950s popular television series,"The Lone Ranger." Chief Silverheels comes from a long line of distinguished ancestors, among them Chief Handsome Lake Silverheels, who helped turn his tribe and nation to Christianity.

With a degree from Covenant Theological Seminary, Chief Silverheels and his wife have ministered to the Southwest Native people on reservations for over 20 years. After his message at Bearwallow, the whole community was invited to join Chief Silverheels and the congregation of Bearwallow for lunch at the Community Center. 
Chief Steve Silverheels in his native attire with Rev. Robert Capps of Bearwallow Baptist.

Local Potter Mike Hamlin recently received an Award of Distinction from the Winter Park (Fla,) Sidewalk Art Festival for the vase he is holding below. The Award came with a cash prize of $1,000. Congratulations to Mike!
Dave MacDonald sent a few photos of the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. From Dave:  One was taken 50+ years ago when my mom Lois was a participant in that show, displaying her 2D pastel drawings and oil paintings.  In the photo is my mom, paternal grandmother and me.

I've tried to enter the show a couple times.  It is a very competitive juried show and ranked highly among the nation's fine art festivals.  This year I made it in along with our Gerton neighbor, Mike Hamlin.

We had great weather, big crowds, good sales and Mike and I won big cash prizes when the 3 judges chose us both to receive an Award of Distinction.

I had visits from my my brother, Howard and two of his children, my nephews Connor (with girlfriend Jessica) and Grayson and cousins Cameron and Sidney.  All of them have been visitors to Gerton.

Our Agent, Driver, Roadie and Logistics Manager Stan enabled the show to run like clockwork.  This Circle of Life event  was a lot of work and a lot of fun!

Congratulations to Dave for his Award and cash prize of $1,000. TWO Gerton guys score big!