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Connestee Falls News


Last updated 3/27/2019 at 3:14pm

Courtesy Photo

Caleb Borick at age 14.

Grandson At The Grand

David and Caroline Trickey of Utsonati Lane have reason to be proud.

Their grandson, Caleb Borick, a 16-year old piano prodigy who lives in Charleston, will be performing along with other world-class pianists at the Cliburn Junior Competition in Dallas two months from now.

Caleb began piano studies at age 5 and has steadily blossomed as a keyboard artist. Neighbors of the Trickeys have heard him perform at their house many times over the past several years. Then, last August, he used neighbor Ray Tuers' piano to rehearse for a concert, and Ray opened the doors to his deck and let all of Lake Atagahi enjoy the music.

Life is good for Caleb now. He's performing brilliantly on piano while branching out into other areas. When he visits his grandparents, Caleb enjoys fishing, swimming and Hiking.

"He just earned his black belt in karate," said David. "Once sets his mind to something, if he likes it, he'll excel."

It wasn't always thus. As a young child, Caleb was diagnosed with the developmental disorder Asperger's Syndrome. Those with this condition often have trouble with social skills and sometimes have an obsessive focus on one topic. With specialized training and medical help, Caleb has outgrown the disorder.

His grandfather puts it this way: "It's been very interesting to see him grow from a hard-to-understand, cranky little tyke to an amazing young man of varied interests."

At the Cliburn Competition, Caleb has been invited to perform but will not be in the competition, where 28 pianists will compete. He, along with 13 others, will participate but not compete.

Home-schooled by his mother, Susan Borek, the Trickey's daughter, Caleb practices about three hours a day. Despite his excellence, Caleb is no longer winning top prizes in competition, sometimes losing out to a wave of young pianists who practice as much as 10 hours day. He hasn't fixed on a career yet; his grandfather says he may want to become a doctor.

In any case, Caleb does not lack for confidence. Asked by an interviewer if he gets nervous before a performance, he said, "I don't get nervous and I never have. I get nervous if I don't have a performance."

"We'll see what happens next," said David. "Grandparents need to let nature take its course."

Hello, New Golf Pro

Kurt Stegle, the new Connestee Falls golf pro who started here this month, is settling nicely into his new job. The members are welcoming; the course is in great shape.

"It's all good," said Kurt.

Except for the rain.

Kurt, 29, learned the game in Maryland's Shenandoah Valley where he grew up; he's been working in southwest Florida. Neither area has the kind of weather we get in Transylvania County.

"I really wasn't prepared for moving to a rain forest," he said. "I just didn't know it would rain this much."

Although the wet weather has closed the course for a few days and limited golfers to cart-path-only on others, it's also had a benefit for the new pro.

"It's slower around here because of the rain, and that's helped me get to know the place," he said. "Also, it's a little slower this time of year with not everyone here at once, so I can get to know people."

Kurt began playing golf around age 12 as part of a family that was looking for something they could do together. They started at local driving ranges and then moved on to real courses. In high school, Kurt worked at his home course in Frederick, Md., cleaning carts and clubs and working outside.

"I spent all my school time at golf. I liked basketball, too, but at 5-foot 7 was vertically challenged, and golf became my No. 1 sport," he said.

When he discovered that there was such a thing as a college degree in golf management, Kurt knew the direction he wanted his life to take. Since graduating with that degree from Florida Golf Coast University, Kurt had been working steadily in southwest Florida.

Then came a call from Connestee Falls general manager Jim Whitmore with whom Kurt had worked at Pelican Sound in Florida, advising him that there was an opening here. A few interviews later, Kurt was our new pro. As for his own golf game, Kurt says he's pretty consistent at keeping the ball in play. His best rounds have been in the mid-60s when everything is clicking.

"I don't hit the ball as far as many of my peers, but I've got a good short game," said Kurt.

All in all, Kurt is happy in his new surroundings.

"I love it here," he said. "It's just a matter of starting to get to know people. The hardest part is trying to remember everybody's name."

A Day At The Dealership

That black Subaru Forester with the Grateful Dead license plate bracket is no longer parked at the walking track every morning. In its place is a brand new, pristine white Subaru station wagon. Alas, what was likely the only Grateful Dead signage in Connestee is gone.

Parting with his trusty Forester, which had 123,000 miles and counting on the odometer, was the last thing Tom Franzson had in mind when he and his wife, Lynn, visited Hunter Subaru in Hendersonville a few weeks ago. They thought it might be fun just to browse among the new cars.

But while Tom was parking the Forester, his attention wandered, and before he knew it he'd jumped a curb, scraping the innards of the vehicle. Tom concluded his misadventure by thudding the car against a dealership wall.

"I could see the Forester's parts scattered all over the road," said Tom. "I wanted to drive it home, but they told me it was unsafe."

With the vehicle no longer drivable and with no way of getting home, the Franzsons huddled, then bit the bullet and signed the papers for the new car.

"If they'd have given us a loaner, we would have had time to think it over," said Tom, "but we just went ahead and bought the new one."

Lynn had no interest in driving the aging Forester, but that's definitely not the case with the new vehicle.

"Now I don't have a car anymore," said Tom. "My wife likes to drive this one, so we're on a rotational basis now. And I've got the narrow side of the rotation."

In addition to being a Grateful Dead fan, Tom, 65, is a dedicated fitness fanatic. A figure in bright yellow shorts and an orange top, he can be seen running at the Connestee Falls walking track nearly every morning; earlier this month he ran the Oskar Blues 4-miler in Brevard, but wasn't happy with the result. "Goodness gracious, I did terribly. I looked behind me and didn't see all that many people," he said.

Tom also has a couple of half marathons to his credit, as well as several Spartan races, with obstacle events that involve rope climbing, lifting, wall climbing and running through mud. No driving events, though.

Piety On Plates

If someone "THNXGOD" (blue Honda Fit) and says "BYGODGRC" ([by God's grace] -red Toyota 4-Runner) and "HELOVSU" (red Nissan Altima), he just might be "A PRIEST" (tan Ford Taurus wagon).

(Connestee Falls News runs on the last Thursday of every month. The next one will appear April 25. Write to If you like big band music and toe-tapping jazz, listen to Jim Grodnik's "Swing Time" from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays on WSQL radio 102.1 FM, 1240 AM or


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