How I got to know the Carolina Foothills so well

I have been a resident of Tryon for 26 years.

My wife, Helen, a 30-year school teacher who retired this summer, and I raised our two children in an historic, 1906 house in downtown Tryon. We attend Grace Foothills church in the Tryon Movie Theater, a body which first met as a small group in our living room in 2006.

During most of these past 26 years, I owned and published the Tryon Daily Bulletin. It was still a good time for newspapers, when I began in 1989,  and over the next 21 years, we plowed it all back into the paper and the community. For our efforts,  the Bulletin and its outstanding staff won numerous N.C. Press Association Awards and the paper tripled in size.

We actually covered the news in a small county. It was fun and rewarding and one has to wonder how we are going to run our democracy without the sources of information newspapers provided at the local, and state level.

I digress.

All during those years, I was active in the civic life of the community and have remained so. I am currently on the Board of Directors of the Tryon Fine Arts Center and have been elected its President beginning in January 2016.

In the past, I served as president of the Polk County Chamber of Commerce, editor of “A Sense of Heritage: A Polk County Pictorial History” published by the chamber in 1991, and as the chairman of the first Blue Ridge Barbecue & Music Festival in 1993.

I was named to the chamber’s Hall of Fame in 1998, and as the chamber’s Business Person of the Year in 2005. Hey, it’s not exactly like making it in New York, but New York isn’t this quiet and beautiful!

From 2002 to 2010, I was chairman of the non-profit e-Polk Inc. board, founding the Pangaea fiber optic network at a time when dial-up service was the norm.

During my tenure, e-Polk built an initial seven miles of fiber along Hwy. 108 and went on to administer several million dollars of grants, expanding the network to nearly 200 miles today serving the public interests of Polk and Rutherford counties.

e-Polk has twice – in 2004 and 2015 — won the National Cornerstone Award at the annual Broadband Communities Summit in Austin, TX.

I served as secretary of FENCE from 1999-2003, as president of the Tryon Downtown Development Association, 1999-2001, secretary of the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club, 1995-1998, and Polk Vocational Services chairman and board member, 1995-2003.

I also participated in the state association for our industry. I  twice served on the board of the N.C. Press Association, from 2000-2003 and was president-elect the second time when I sold the Tryon Daily Bulletin in 2010.

By then, the newspaper industry was struggling with both the economy and the trends in advertising support going down. Even a small town newspaper was no longer a “mom and pop” kind of operation.

I have always been in love with this area, having grown up in the crowded Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. Now, I have the joy of working with others as they discover this area, and the joy of working for myself again.

I am enjoying working with clients, responsively, ensuring that all the details are covered effectively, ensuring a seamless and successful real estate transaction in an area with some of the most beautiful real estate in the world.

No two properties are alike around here. It’s an adventure every day. Let me know if you want to go on the adventure with me.