Spring 2012

FROG Jam and the Art of the Two Finger Wave

F.R.O.G. Jam

F.R.O.G. Jam

As Saluda sits atop one of the first peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the abundant beauty and remarkable mountain vistas make it a memorable place to visit.  But for those fortunate individuals that call this place home, Saluda has a few characteristics that make them unique.

On my first visit to the Atkins Orchards gift shop, out by the interstate, I was introduced to their line of amazing fruited jellies, jams, ciders, along with pickled green beans, okra and chutney.  There were the recognizable spreads that we knew from childhood: apple, grape, blue berry and cherry.   Then there the ones that were not familiar to me.

Items labeled as Mayhaw and Muscadine Jelly seem to stand out on the shelves.  But the one that caught my eye was FROG Jam.  (A name that conjures images of the little amphibians, outfitted with tiny guitars and drums, playing improvised music . . .  that is to say, jamming.)

Turns out that F.R.O.G Jam is as much an acronym as it is a tasty breakfast treat.  The name spelled out is: fig, raspberry, orange and ginger.  The color is an inviting red (not green), with the seeds of the raspberries running throughout.  The taste is as stimulating as that first cup of coffee.  F.R.O.G. Jam has become a staple at our breakfast table here at The Oaks Bed and Breakfast and generously spread upon many a hot buttered biscuit.  Our guests will tell you, “There’s nothing like the F.R.O.G.!”

The Art of the Two Finger Wave

The Two Finger Wave.

The Two Finger Wave.

For over one hundred years, Saluda has been known as a haven for coastal dwellers escaping the summer heat.  And as abundant as the cool-comfortable nights, are the friendly folk you will find welcome you to town.

Over the past five years, as the owners of The Oaks Bed and Breakfast, we have become familiar faces to many of the “locals”, as they have become familiar to us.    Maybe they recognize us for Donna’s red hair, or my colorful SUV, but the smiles are everywhere on Main Street, the Saluda Center and the post office.  Often times we will be acknowledged with a gesture unique to southern culture and one that we have come to embrace – the Two Finger Wave.

Turns out the Two Finger Wave is a cross between a wave and a salute.  I am talking about an act performed while approaching an oncoming vehicle. The speed limit on most Saluda streets is 20 to 25-mph, giving the drivers of each vehicle time to recognize the other.  Without lifting the hand from the steering wheel, the middle and index fingers are extended, palm side outward, while the ring and little fingers remain bent, loosely gripping the wheel.  The two fingers remain touching each other, as not to be confused with the “Peace Sign” from the ‘60s.

The origin of the Two Finger Wave is not documented.  It is, however, an effective way for busy people to say “Hello” while not jeopardizing control of their truck or tractor on a winding mountain road or city street.

I see the Two Finger Wave as sort of a mountain “high five” and while it may not be recognized on the streets of New York City, it is a wonderful reminder that we are home.  ~ Dale Potruski


Geraniums on the Veranda