By Cathy Leestma

Autumn always makes me a bit nostalgic. A bit of a slower pace from the summer allows some time for reflection.

Eleven years ago this fall, Dave and I purchased the Mountain Breeze from family friends, Bill and Betty Williams. We are often asked if we had done this kind of work before. We hadn’t. But owning a small town paper seemed kind of romantic like owning a bookstore or flower shop. We were ready for a new challenge.

Betty clearly divided her work with Bill. She was all ads and business, Bill was the editor and chief. We have carried on this tradition and it works well. I tend to be a bit of a mother hen with my advertisers, wanting them to succeed in every way.

Fall 2005 seems like an eternity ago. Our country was still reeling from 9/11 and the worst economic recession of our lifetime was just a few short years ahead. Lake Lure and the surrounding area were enjoying a very strong economy. Real Estate was selling well. Business in general was very good in the Gorge. Ingles had come to Lake Lure, channeling the first major change for what had been for generations a summer resort into a three season destination.

Most survived the recession. It wasn’t an easy time. In the last few years, a new spirit or fresh wind has blown through town. Citizens of this community have worked hard to open a new school, and to bring in medical and banking services. Our very active Chamber welcomes new businesses on a regular basis.

Working and living here is a good thing. Thank you for what you contribute to make this truly heaven on earth. Happy fall!