This year marks our 30th anniversary telling the story of this community and region. Our biggest story in many years was last November’s extraordinary Party Rock Fire. We will always be thankful for that miraculous outcome. Since that event, you’ll find many happy endings in Lake Lure mayor Bob Keith’s story “The Smoke Has Cleared” page 5.

Hickory Nut Gorge is certainly a storied place. From the beginnings of Chimney Rock State Park and the creation of Lake Lure to visits by US presidents, movie celebrities and people like you and me who discovered the region and stayed, there is a story that each of us can tell.

To me, springtime means renewal and new beginnings. Nature’s cycle again brings spectacular flowering beauty everywhere. Our Breeze writers have focused on that theme in this spring edition. Spring cleaning, see page 43, seasonal recipes, see page 35, a better you, see p 44, new academic opportunities for local students, see page 7, forest rejuvenation, see page 27, improving relationships and making new friends, see page 27 – point to ideas that may set the stage for new stories to be told. Stories from our past can give us good footing for the future, see Digging up family roots, page 45, The smell of hay, page 41, Tar wheels, page 32, or my interview with local history maker, Steve Gale, page 19.

Join our story by sharing yours! Whether you identify with this community as a guest, a part-timer or a permanent resident, your story connects us that much more closely. Communicate what matters to you, what you think makes this region a better place to live, work and play. You may be surprised how well your story will resonate with other Breeze readers. Your single voice is important.

And that’s how the dialogue begins and the larger story continues.

So what’s your story? E-mail me at I’d like to know!