We, as human beings, identify ourselves in part by the work we do, the friends we keep, the culture we create, the material we read and the places we live.  Our beautiful body of water called Lake Lure, to me, is the primary identifying feature of our Hickory Nut Gorge community and region. But our greatest asset is ‘us’ – the generous, engaging and genuine people who live here. In recent years we have opened a K-12 charter school, made Chimney Rock a state park, built permanent hiking trails throughout the region and conserved hundreds of forested acreage for the enjoyment of generations to come. Our Hickory Nut Gorge Chamber of Commerce has been reignited attracting new sustaining businesses.

Paul McDaniel with grandson, Nolan, from Breeze photo archives. Nolan is currently a student at Appalachia State University.

As in other communities, our challenges are similar and unique to our geographic region. You will find both are true as you read through this edition of The Mountain Breeze.  From addressing aging infrastructure issues unique to us and anticipating the construction of a new school/community gymnatorium, our capable community leadership, paid and volunteer, make these things happen.

Reading about us is a good thing.  There is so much to tell! Becoming us is another.  Just visiting? Back again? There’s a reason!  Stay longer, soak in the beauty, savor the experience and enjoy all we have to offer because our greatest asset is you.

And a final word, Paul McDaniel, a respected and well known resident of Bill’s Creek Community, passed away in March. Paul was a generous neighbor and a wonderful friend to all. He was proud of his community and his family which goes back for generations here.  He will be dearly missed.  Peace to his memory.