By Bob Keith

An idea of the beautification of downtown Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village has germinated and blossomed. Pun intended. You see, a team of volunteers led by Kathy Tanner and Susie Ellis (both of Flowering Bridge fame) has selected an array of colorful flowers for planting and hanging in baskets at 14 merchant locations all along Memorial Highway throughout the Gorge. See volunteer photo. These energetic, creative folks are to be congratulated for their efforts in making our area more pleasant and welcoming for not only local residents but also our thousands of visitors who will be coming here over the summer. And remember, the World Equestrian Games that will bring a bevy of new tourists is just around the corner.

Meanwhile, in the backdrop of all the activity described above, Maureen Bay is “Talkin’ Trash” as she likes to quip. A little over a year ago she mobilized some residents along Boys Camp Road to pick up trash and littler on the roadway shoulders. Over the winter, after a number of persistent phone calls, Moe was able to convince DOT to expand its coverage of state roads in Lake Lure with increased mowing and trash pick up. Way to go, Moe! And thanks to DOT for all of their efforts and cooperation. Moe praises the work of the Lake Lure Lions Club for the cleanup work on segments of Bills Creek and Buffalo Creek Roads and now is seeking volunteers to supplement DOT on Memorial Highway this year and beyond. If interested in helping, give Moe a call.

The Hickory Nut Gorge Foundation recently held the 2018 Community Impact Award reception honoring Hope and George Wittmer. Mayor Kevin Cooley highlighted some of their service to the community including continued and effective management of HNG Outreach, facilitating the opening of Lake Lure Classical Academy through the use of one of their properties, sponsoring community dinners on Sunday nights for all interested parties for close to 10 years and providing an overall economic facelift to the downtown area of Lake Lure restoring its appearance to the original 1920’s vision. As a testimony to the Wittmer’s significant contributions to the Gorge, over 170 local residents attended this gala event.

Looking back, past recipients of the CIA include Mary Ann Ransom, Gary Wilson, Kay and Ed Dittmer, Jim and Susan Dunn, Lynn and Russ Pitts and Barbara and Buck Meliski. The HNG Foundation is a fundraising organization that builds an endowment fund; only the interest on the fund is used to support the many needs in the Gorge in the areas of conservation, health and wellness, arts and education and economic vitality to name a few. Through donations, the endowment fund grows and can/will support the community needs forever. You came to this area because of its beauty and quality of life. Make it your goal to support the Foundation for the benefit and preservation of the Gorge …. In perpetuity.

Hurricane Alberto came and went. I want to express my personal thanks to all who played a role in managing us through the crisis and through the cleanup after this significant rain experience. Kudos to Public Works and all the volunteers who spent over a week extracting debris from the lake. One only has to look at the pile of logs alongside the ABC Store to appreciate the effort that went into this effort. THANK YOU ALL!

“Rumor has it that Hickory Nut Brewery is expanding its operation to Rumbling Bald Resort. Shhhhh! Keep it a secret.” Jeff Geisler at the Resort said OK.


Lastly, through her patriotic zeal, Yvonne Anderson chided me to remind all of you to display your American Flags and red, white and blue bunting on the fourth of July and the rest of the summer. Stay cool on those hot summer nights!



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