A Talk by Reno Bailey
The Gathering – 2012
October 10, 2012 The Daily Courier
Bailey center stage for The Gathering; Cliffside Day on Saturday
CLIFFSIDE — Residents of Cliffside, past and present, will gather Friday and Saturday in the old mill town to celebrate the former mill village and its people.
One resident, Reno Bailey, who is responsible for the website — RememberCliffside.com — will be honored Friday at 6:30 p.m. for The Gathering in the fellowship hall of the Cliffside Baptist Church.
Copies of Bailey’s new book “Faces and Places of Old Cliffside” will be available at The Gathering and also on Saturday during Cliffside Day.
“And you’ll hear me talk about my life and times in Cliffside and elsewhere,” Bailey said.
The new book, tells of the golden years of Cliffside, spanning the 100-year life of the textile industry and is a collection of stories and photos from the Website about life and leisure in the little town. “The decline and eventual death of the textile industry nearly obliterated the Cliffside we once knew, but not the memories that still abound,” Bailey writes.
On Saturday, the annual Cliffside Day begins with a breakfast at 6:30 a.m. in the Cliffside Masonic Lodge, and continues throughout the day.
Masons will also serve barbecue for lunch beginning at 11 a.m.
Cliffside Baptist Church will be selling hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and beverages, as well as baked goods.
The event includes plenty of craft vendors, a bake sale, childrens’ rides, music and “one of the biggest car shows” ever, said Cliffside resident, Herman Jones.
The Cliffside High classes of ’47, ’48, ’49, ’50 and ’51 will reunite at Rollins Cafeteria Saturday afternoon from 2:30 to 5 p.m. for a dutch meal at 4 p.m.
In addition to the website, “Remember Cliffside.com, Bailey, 77, is also responsible for the establishment of Cliffside Historical Society, as he prepared the documents and paid the fees to begin the society.
Bailey’s family lived in Cliffside, and while he was in high school, Bailey demonstrated an interest in the media arts as a member of the yearbook and newspaper staff, said a cousin.
In 1953 Reno graduated from Cliffside High, and entered the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill and stayed one year before joining the US Coast Guard.
Since he had always been interested in radio and TV, during his service Bailey became a radioman.
After the Coast Guard, Reno returned to UNC Chapel Hill, and in 1962 graduated with a degree in Radio, TV and Movies.
After graduating,he joined the Jefferson Standard Broadcasting Company, the parent company of WBT and WBTV in Charlotte, and Jefferson Productions.
After five years at WBT-FM, Bailey joined the WBTV promotion department as “Publicity Supervisor,” later Publicity Director, the manager of WBTV’s Creative Services. Other positions he held were Film Production Supervisor for Jefferson Films, an adjunct of Jefferson Productions, and JP’s Operations Manager.
After retirement in 2001, Bailey used his knowledge of virtually every type of media to create Remember Cliffside, the website.
Finally, in 2005 Reno moved from the newest media to one of the oldest—and released, through Arcadia Publishing, Cliffside: Portrait of a Carolina Mill Town and most recently his book, Faces & Places of Old Cliffside.
Copyright © The Daily Courier. Reprinted with permission.
The eagerly-awaited book didn’t arrive on time —printing delays— but the honoree, Reno Bailey, did. The festivities began with the presentation by out-going society president, Phillip White, of an impressive plaque to Bailey and his wife, Betty, who plays an important role in the Web site and the society’s membership efforts.
Robin Lattimore, president of the Rutherford County Historical Society (and ex-officio director of the Cliffside society), delivered remarks in praise of the Baileys’ work in helping preserve the history of Cliffside and the county.
Reno then narrated a Power-Point photo presentation of his experiences in and beyond Cliffside.
Finally, Dan Wortman, a friend of Reno’s since high school, told how the two reunited in Hawaii while in service, and how Remember Cliffside brings back memories of his youth.
As a historian and as a history teacher, I spend a lot of time sharing the importance of yesterday’s events with tomorrow’s leaders. A lot of my work involves defining different periods in history: The Middle Ages, The Age of Enlightenment, The Agricultural Age, The Mechanical Age, The Industrial Age, The Age of Revolutions, The Modern Age. Of course, one of the first questions that students ask me is what “age” are we living in today. As you can imagine – I tell them, we are living in the “Age of Information.”
At no point in human history have so many people been able to glean such a wealth of information in such a short period of time as we can today. I want to Thank Reno Bailey tonight for being a leader in the Age of Information. Not only because he has been the spark behind the creation of a first-class website devoted to history and heritage, but because he has successfully used the tools of the Information Age to make sure that the Great Age of American Textiles is not forgotten. Remember Cliffside is a treasure for anyone who taps that source of information.
I also want to thank Reno for also being committed to preserving the stories of yesterday through traditional forms – such as his latest book Faces & Places of Old Cliffside. I’m looking forward to adding that title to my collection of local history books and I know you will be too.
On behalf of Rutherford County, and the Rutherford County Historical Society let me say congratulations Reno on a job well done. We are all proud of the work you do to preserve, promote and protect the wonderful stories of this county’s past. Thank You!!!
– Robin Lattimore