Black Mountain's Love Group celebrates 3rd anniversary

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News
Ruth Pittard organized the Love Group three years ago as a universal message she could stand behind.

Locals and Wednesday evening commuters are familiar with the smiling faces and "Love" signs of the Love Group, a small band of friends standing on the edge of the town square in Black Mountain, waving to drivers and spreading the message of love. 

The group celebrated its third anniversary on Sept. 22. For the past three years, rain or shine, the group takes to downtown Black Mountain every Wednesday at 5 p.m. 

Ruth Pittard, the organizer of the group, said three years ago, someone protested on the same street corner about separating children from parents at the border. She said when she read the person's editorial in the newspaper, she wondered what would be something that would be compelling enough for her to stand for it. 

"A long time ago I gave up being against things to being for things," Pittard said. 

The Love Group in downtown Black Mountain celebrated its third anniversary on Sept. 22.

A week later, joined by her neighbor, Pittard brought her "Love" sign out to the street corner. She said that three years later, the community really knows who they are even if group members don't know every community member who drives past. But that helps the group really be and act with love, according to Pittard. 

"It's love," Pittard said. "It's really the highest common denominator whichever way you look at it."

She said group isn't a social gathering, it's a way to spread love, plain and simple.

The Love Group in downtown Black Mountain celebrated its third anniversary on Sept. 22.

The reception from the community has been widely positive. With receiving only seven inappropriate gestures over the course of the three years, the largest opponent for the group has been the weather. 

"Two years ago, it was 9 degrees and sleeting," Pittard laughed.