Coweta attorney & filmmaker gets
the Best of Both Worlds
to preserve Coweta history
how do you
Stoking the argument of gas vs. charcoal JULY | AUGUST 2014
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in this issue
features 24 | Which Side Are You On?
It’s the middle of summer, so we decided to grill a few culinary experts for this issue of NCM and find out which is their preference for outdoor cooking – gas or charcoal.
32 | A Ghost In The Machine
Artist and photographer Billy Newman blends science with art to create surreal images that captivate the imagination through a complex and unique medium.
38 | Hoppin’ Going out on the town
doesn't mean what it used to here in Coweta County. It wasn't long ago that good food and good times could only be had up the road on I-85. Boy, how things have changed.
| Daytripping Nightlife not your cup of
tea? We've got you covered. Inside we've provided a few suggestions for perfect day trips that'll have you home and in bed before the sun sets.
continued ➔ july / august 2014
32 features (cont.) 48 | Patriotic Volunteers
Both Carolyn Turner and Sandra Parker have a passion for Coweta County history. The two have been working tirelessly to celebrate this year's sesquicentennial of the Civil War and to illustrate what life was like in Coweta during that era.
54 | The Entertainment Lawyer
Newnan's Jonathan Hickman is a public defender and an entertainment lawyer by day and a movie critic and a documentarian by night. How does he juggle it all? Very well, actually.
on the cover
in every issue 12 | From the Editor 13 | Datebook 14 | Roll Call 16 | Style 20 | Hobby Q&A
Coweta attorney & filmmaker gets
60 | 62 | 64 | 66 | 66 |
the Best of Both Worlds
Duel Pages Pen & Ink Blacktop Index of Advertisers What’s Next
to preserve Coweta history
how do you
Stoking the argument of gas vs. charcoal JULY | AUGUST 2014
10 | www.newnancowetamag.com
When it comes to the age-old debate of gas grill vs. charcoal grill, Tom Harvey makes no bones about it – he'll take a charcoal grill any day of the week. Find out why.
➔ See more on page 24. Photo by Jeffrey Leo
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FROM THE EDITOR ◗
Ode to Pong
n this issue of NCM, Newnan TimesHerald co-workers Chris Goltermann and Wes Mayer are the academic pugilists for our light-hearted Duel Pages, where we allow ourselves to have some fun each issue. In this space we’ve previously featured husband vs. wife and male vs. female. Now, we’re pitting maturity vs. youth, and their deliberately “Seinfeldish” topic is old school/arcade video games vs. the modern era. Chris, a husband and father of two, grew up with Atari. He remembers the days of sliding quarters in the “Frogger” machine at an arcade in his hometown of Long Island on a Friday night and impressing his teenage date with his leaping prowess. As a child of the ‘80s, he also can recall what it was like to anxiously await the release of the latest cartridges so he could start the next “Asteroids” or “Pitfall Harry” marathon. Wes is a young whippersnapper in the newsroom who's always up to date on the latest and greatest technology when it comes to video games and consoles and controllers and whatnot. His generation is all about reality video games and gritty storylines and, of course, advanced super-duper graphics. He recalls pulling all-nighters while trying to conquer “Dark Souls 2” because he did it ... just last night. In Duel Pages, each makes his case, and both know their stuff. It’s not so much about winning or losing the debate – or getting the High Score or defeating a Level 14 Boss – but having fun making the argument.
However, amid this epic battle, I would be remiss if I didn’t give a nod to the patriarch of them all, the groundbreaking icon that's the gaming equivalent of the lunar landing, of the Model T, of HAL 9000, of fondue cooking. It’s the “Star Wars” of home consoles. Pong. The Pong home console came out in the mid1970s to much fanfare. For those of us born during the Age of Aquarius, it was ... UNLIKE ANYTHING WE’D EVER SEEN BEFORE. Back in the disco days, the idea of interacting with your RCA television was unheard of. But then came Pong. Plug the console into your TV, manually turn the channel to 3, flip the switch and play what was essentially two-dimensional table tennis against your opponent. These days, Pong might be entertaining enough to keep as a screen-saver for your backup Dell. But for those of us old enough to remember, to play a game on the same invention on which we watched “Starsky and Hutch” and Saturday morning cartoons was the “Me Decade” equivalent of asking Siri “Who let the dogs out?” on today’s iPhone. Naturally, it wasn’t long before early gamers grew bored and Pong begot Atari which begot the Commodore 64 (sort of) which begot Sega which begot Nintendo and so on and so forth. Today, it’s all high-definition, virtual reality and mature ratings. So as you read the video game arguments presented by these two experienced journalists well-versed in the ways of gameplay, like the island natives chanting for the arrival of the king of all giant apes, please step back for a moment and join me in honoring the original Boss ... Pong. Pong. Pong.
Thanks for reading,
Will Blair, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org 12 | www.newnancowetamag.com
datebook Independence Day Parade and Fireworks
The Independence Day Parade and Fireworks will be held on July 4. The parade will get under way at 9 a.m. in downtown Newnan, and gates will open for the fireworks display at Newnan High School’s Drake Stadium at 5:30 p.m. State Rep. Lynn Smith and Cathy Wright, director of the UWG Newnan Center, will be the emcees for the evening. Local musician Doug Kees will provide music from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The fireworks show will start at dusk.
Fourth of July Moreland BBQ
CALENDER OF EVENTS – BEST PICKS
The annual Fourth of July Moreland BBQ returns to the small Coweta County town on July 4. A celebration of our nation’s independence, the all-day festival is filled with music, food and family fun.
Tribute to Elvis: Live from Branson
Patrons of the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts will present “A Tribute to Elvis: Live from Branson” on Aug. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Centre. Also at the Centre, check out “Vince: The Life and Times of Vince Lombardi” on Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. For more information on either of these shows, call 770-254-2787.
Georgia State Parks Trail Run
A Georgia State Parks Trail Run will be held at Chattahoochee Bend State Park on Aug. 16 at 8:30 a.m. Runners will have the opportunity to participate in either the 3.5 mile run or the 7.5 mile run. For more information, go to www.dirtyspokes.com/ chattahoochee-bend-state-park.
Sunrise on the Square 5K Road Race
The popular Sunrise on the Square 5K Road Race returns to downtown Newnan on Aug. 30 at 7 a.m. For more information, call 770-253-8283. NCM
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july / august 2014
Carolyn BArnard is a graduate of Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s in history and a specialty in what NOT to wear. Drawing on her own experience with an awkward phase that lasted well into her 20s and was rivaled only by Chelsea Clinton, Carolyn loves helping other people find their most beautiful self. ➔ Style, page 16
Melissa Dickson Jackson’s
recent work can be found in Cumberland River Review and Eyedrum Periodically. She’s also written two collections of poetry, “Cameo” and “Sweet Aegis.” ➔ A Ghost In The Machine, page 32
Jon Cooper has been a freelance sportswriter for nearly two decades, the last 13 years in Atlanta. He regularly contributes to ESPN.com, MLB.com, NBA.com, and various Atlanta Braves, Hawks and Georgia Tech publications. ➔ Which Side Are You On?, page 24 Carolyn Crist is a freelance writer based in Athens. She recently graduated with a master’s degree in health and medical journalism. While studying journalism at the University of Georgia as an undergraduate, Crist interned at The Newnan Times-Herald for two summers. ➔ The Entertainment
Newnan Times-Herald sports editor Chris Goltermann has been watching and covering local sports for more than a decade. For the July/August issue of NCM, the veteran takes a break from sports and talks about one of his favorite topics of the ‘80s – old-school video games. ➔ Duel Pages, page 60
Lawyer, page 54
Lindsay Gladu is a freelance writer living in Newnan with her husband, Bryan. Her work has appeared in the Jackson Hole News & Guide, Images West, the Georgia Bulletin and the Washington Examiner. She loves fly fishing, live music and creme brûlée. ➔ Hoppin’, page 38 14 | www.newnancowetamag.com
Let Us Hear From You!
Feel free to send thoughts, ideas and suggestions for upcoming issues of Newnan-Coweta Magazine to
W. Winston Skinner began writing for Coweta readers as a college intern in 1978. He has been on The Newnan Times-Herald staff since 1982 and lives in an antebellum cottage in the College-Temple neighborhood with his wife, Lynn. ➔ Patriotic Volunteers page 48
Sean Stewart is an impromptu poet who writes some of his best work moments before the sun rises and the birds start chirping. ➔ Motion,
Meredith Leigh Knight is a writer and mother of three who’d like to know why the words “Hey, Mom!” are never followed by anything good. Read more of her humorous musings on everyday life on her blog, “Life as Leigh sees it.” Her darker, creative side is featured in this issue’s Pen & Ink. ➔ Swerve, page 62
Samantha Sastre is a New Jersey transplant who somehow ended up in the South. You can generally find her managing or bartending in downtown Newnan, hacking away at her cooking blog, “Souffle on a Stick,” or spending time with her partner and two step-kids. ➔ Giver, page 62
Wes Mayer has been playing video games since he was first introduced to them by his dad when young Mayer was 5 years old. At this point, it is safe to say that at least a year of Wes’ life – 8,765 hours – has been spent holding a controller or Gameboy or something relating to video games. Well, it’s at least close to a year. ➔ Duel Pages, page 61
Carey Scott Wilkerson is the author of two poetry collections, “Threading Stone” and “Ars Minotaurica.” His play, “Seven Dreams of Falling,” premiered in summer 2013 at Elephant Stages in Los Angeles. He holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and teaches at Columbus State University. ➔ American Hands, page 62
july / august 2014
ACCENTUATING THE POSITIVE
This daisy dress from Blue Moon flatters any girl wanting to accentuate her curves, shrink her waist and minimize her hips.
Going All-American I love a theme. I mean, I REALLY love a theme. Ask my daughter; her fifth birthday party (Ariel/under the sea/an obscene amount of time on Pinterest) was more put together than my wedding reception. So, for our July issue I knew we had to do something red, white and blue, but how many different ways can you do the same (albeit timelessly classic and fantastically patriotic) color scheme without seeing stars (and stripes)? Let’s start with my model, the fabulous Anna Schultz. My lovely friend is literally your all-American girl-next-door – if your
next-door neighbor happens to be a nearly 6-foot-tall, red-headed concert violinist … and a dentist. So, my exceptional friend, Dr. Schultz, is my red for our theme. Red hot. Love the red hair, love the freckles (she’s basically a lost Weasley child, although clearly better dressed than those children in the Harry Potter series). White and blue really tie together in this story. Turquoise is summer’s perfect blue. This fringe top (page 18) from Gillyweed just begs to be worn to a beachside concert. These earrings (seen throughout because they are amazing and should be worn often) dress up what could
otherwise be very casual. I never thought I would say this, but I love blue jean shorts. Now let me clarify: there is a difference in jean shorts and “jorts.” Jorts are cute jean shorts’ unfortunate predecessor. Jorts are typically long in nature and have a kind of acid wash to them. (My dad, bless his heart, was photographed in many a jort during the '90s, often with a tucked in Georgia Tech T-shirt, knee-high white socks and tennis shoes. He needed me. It goes without saying, I am fully against man jorts.) Here are a few good rules of thumb when determining if you are looking at
Stylist CAROLYN BARNARD | Photographer AARON HEIDMAN | Model Anna Shultz 16 | www.newnancowetamag.com
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style COLOR FACTOR
Turquoise is summer's perfect blue, adding just the right hue for a bright, all-American ensemble.
are slouchy, comfortable and classic. The daisy dress is my favorite part of this shoot. On the rack, it was very catching. I loved the color and the pattern because it reminded me so much of Marc Jacobs’ epic look for Louis Vuitton last year. However, what I really love about this dress is what happens when it’s worn; it shifts from cute and sweet to stunning and unforgettable. The silhouette is flattering for any girl wanting to accentuate her curves, shrink her waist and minimize her hips. So, basically,
These statement earrings are perfect for enhancing the overall outfit.
jean shorts or jorts: if a pair of shorts has a 27-inch zipper, no one should be wearing them; you don’t need a place to hang a hammer; the pockets shouldn’t be big
18 | www.newnancowetamag.com
enough to hold a small child; they should also not resemble denim underwear. It’s a fine line we walk when it comes to jean shorts. Walk the line. These Joe’s Jeans
every woman, everywhere. Anna has legs for days, so in both outfits she is in nude heels. The emphasis stays on the clothes and the length of her legs. Shoes, jewelry and accessories should always enhance an ensemble, not take away or distract. For this reason, I have her only in the statement earrings. No necklace. Small cocktail ring with the dress and cuffed bracelet with the fringe complete the look.
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Dress Blue Moon, $115 Fringe shirt Gillyweed, $26 Shorts Joe's Jeans Blue Moon, $156 Shoes Toms Nude Suede Platform Blue Moon, $69 Ring Blue Moon, $18 Earrings Gillyweed, $24 Bracelet Blue Moon, $54 Sunglasses Toms Blue Moon, $139 NCM
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What is your hobby? I don’t have one specific hobby. I just love doing anything creative. Whether it’s sewing and quilting, making dolls, cross stitching or crocheting, painting or even beading and working with polymer clay, when I’m at home I’m always working on a new project. Crocheting is where I started.
By day, Lisa Morgan is the general manager of Fabiano’s Pizzeria in downtown Newnan. In her down time, Morgan creates. Whether it’s crocheting, sewing, doing needlework, painting or quilting, she’s always working on a project. She’s been crafting for as long as she can remember, and her jam-packed craft room at home is filled with things she has made and things she uses to create. Photographed by aaron heidman
20 | www.newnancowetamag.com
How did you get into it? My grandmother was a high school art teacher, so my mom always had a creative influence, and she passed it on to me. Since I was a small child, we were always making things together and had projects to keep us busy. My mother always let us design our own Halloween costumes, then she would sew them up and help us customize them. She taught me how to use a sewing machine by the age of 7, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Why do you do it? It’s something I do to take my mind off things. Crafting is fun and relaxing. After a long day at work, I can come home and work on a doll or sew and just clear my head. I like to be busy most of the time, so if I have a project, I can sit and watch TV while I’m sewing
“Sometimes it’s cute, like baby shoes and mobiles. Sometimes it’s weird, like sock monsters and tattooed dolls. But all of it makes me smile.”
and still feel I’m accomplishing something. I can watch a movie, and at the end of two hours, I have this awesome doll I made or I’ve made progress on a quilt.
someone is excited about it, I let them have it. I give away a lot of things that I probably could make money off of, but that’s not what it’s about.
a quilt from scratch. My mom always says
What do you do with the crafts you make? I make gifts for people. I make a lot of baby mobiles. For Christmas, my mom wanted me to crochet what looked like a taxidermy rhinoceros head. So I did it, and I mounted it and put a plaque on it. It’s purple. People ask me why I don’t sell the things I make. If I like something and
You’re not interested in selling your crafts? People tell me I should, but crafting is something I do to relax. Why would I want to turn my relaxation into work? I do sell things sometimes, but I don’t make a business out of it. A lot of it comes down to time. A lot of people don’t understand how time-consuming it is to make a doll or
how do I relax?
that if you love what you do, you don’t work a day in your life. I love what I do. But if I turn my only relaxation into work, then
Do you have a particular style? I like doing really cute creations, but I also like doing off-the-wall stuff. I also like making little country-bumpkin stuff. With my mom, it’s different. She’s into more alternative things than I am. Her stuff is very unique.
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july / august 2014
Do you make your own clothes? I make clothes and shoes and I crochet a lot. It kind of depends on the time of year, what I’m into, what I’m doing. In November or December, I’m making hats, scarves and gloves. I also make purses and bags. A lot of it is out of necessity – you get ready to go somewhere and you don’t have something to match what you’re wearing. You just take 30 minutes and sew something quickly. One time, we were going camping and we needed thermal bags. I spent $3, got some insulated fabric and whipped up some bags, and we were on the road.
CUTE & SOMETIMES CREEPY
Lisa Morgan got her start in doll making with sock monsters. Above are just a few of the dozens she's made during some down time at home. Not everything she makes is a pretty doll or dainty, however, as the diorama pictured at bottom right illustrates. Perhaps while in a Tim Burton frame of mind on a random movie night, Morgan took bride and groom dolls and replaced their heads with skulls, and placed the dolls in a similarly eerie setting. 22 | www.newnancowetamag.com
So you have the materials for purses to match every possible outfit just sitting around? Yes. Anytime I go to Joann’s I have to cruise by the remnants and I buy fabric. I don’t have any use for it at the moment, but, one day, I’ll need a piece of polkadotted fleece. Anytime I’m somewhere and see something, I’m like – I can make something out of that. I’ve got to buy it. Which is all the time. It’s an expensive habit. I’m kind of like a craft hoarder. Nothing goes unused. God forbid my husband were to throw away any of his argyle socks! I’m like – I could have used that. I try to keep it contained in one room, because my husband is so patient, but it creeps out. My mom and my grandmama are the same way.
Do you have a favorite material? I have a bit of a yarn obsession. Anytime I go into a store and see some on sale or on clearance, I have to buy it. Then I come home and hide the bag. How do you decide what you want to make? I just make things that make me happy. That’s why there’s so much random stuff. Sometimes it’s cute, like baby shoes and mobiles. Sometimes it’s weird, like sock monsters and tattooed dolls. But all of it makes me smile.
You certainly have a lot of dolls in your craft room. Is making dolls something you really enjoy? Doll making is really just kind of a passing hobby. My mom and I started with “stupid sock creatures.” There are so many things you can do with them. I have about 40 of them. There are bags of them in my closet. Do you and your mom still craft together? Once a year we go on a week-long crafter retreat. This year we’re going to Florida. We’ve been doing it for years and years and years with the same group of ladies. What do you like most about crafting? I like the creative release. I love making tiny things, and it’s so cool to see a scrap of felt or line of yarn come to life as a tiny creature. Also, I make a lot of gifts and special orders for people. It’s so nice
to watch someone open a handmade gift and appreciate the amount of time and work you put into making something special and unique for them. I’m really lucky to have a patient and loving husband who fully supports my yarn and craft obsession. No matter where we’ve lived, I always have a room to myself that I can spread out and take over as my studio of sorts. Anytime I’m working on something and I can’t quite put my finger on what it’s missing, he always has the perfect suggestion. He can look at something I’ve been struggling with for days and simply say “It needs eyebrows” or “Put some red right there” and it’s the perfect solution. We make a great team. Do you think people who know you from your job would be surprised to see what you do in your spare time? Yeah, they probably think I just drink and listen to loud music all night. But I’m at home crocheting. NCM
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Are You On?
Itâ€™s a battle of taste that can set brother against brother, father against son, generation against generation and old guard vs. new wave.
24 | www.newnancowetamag.com
Charcoal vs. gas heats up with the arrival of grill season.
It’s summertime, and once again an age-old debate is burning especially hot at dinner tables throughout Newnan – really throughout Georgia and probably all over America. It’s an issue of taste that sizzles throughout the year but is especially smoking right now and for the next couple of months. It’s not Newnan-East Coweta – there’s more meat to this rivalry. It’s a battle of taste that can set brother against brother, father against son, generation against generation and old guard vs. new wave. Of course, it’s gas grill vs. charcoal grill. There are juicy facts supporting both causes and both sides are armed with well-done arguments to fuel their fire. With their heels firmly dug in, the chances of conversion are rare. So for those still on the fence, we’ve gathered a couple of opinions from gas grillers and charcoal grillers. Rest assured, both camps were eager to turn up the heat on the other. So, which is better, gas or charcoal?
Let’s let the cooks state their case. Pro Coal: Smoking Gun One of the draws of grilling is the smoky taste it puts on meat. It’s an advantage that charcoal has over gas and is a point not to be trivialized by grillers. Tom Harvey, a Newnan resident since 2006, is one such griller. Harvey grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, and fondly remembers trips to the Arizona desert with his father as a youth, dirt-biking and camping out. A highlight was cooking dinner over an open fire. Today, he is a husband and father of two sons and a daughter, and is sales manager for the North American Market for Gemü Valves Inc., but he still holds dearly the taste of cooking and eating outdoors. He calls grilling “an artistic vehicle.” For him, it’s “the other side of my life.” That side is firmly entrenched in the charcoal camp. “I believe the food does taste much better over a charcoal fire than a gas fire,” said Harvey, who worked for a distributor in the food industry for many years. “The gas grill, to me, is nothing more than just
Written by JON COOPER | Photographed by JEFFREY LEO
july / august 2014
HOT OFF THE GRILL
Tom Harvey takes an experimental approach to grilling. His jalapenos recipe (opposite page) was inspired by a California restaurant.
“I believe the food does taste much better over a charcoal fire than a gas fire. The gas grill, to me, is nothing more than just an oven that’s been placed outside.” – Tom Harvey
an oven that’s been placed outside. So you’re grilling the meat over a fire created by gas. Any smoke flavor is either you’ve added some chips of wood to create that smoke or it’s picking up flavor off the grate of the grill. But when you’re cooking with charcoal, the entire environment is woodbased fire.” He tried a gas grill while living in northern Pennsylvania, and found its speed advantageous only to getting back inside quickly when grilling during the winter. Upon moving back to Georgia, he went back to charcoal. “I have never had a need to go back to gas grills,” said Harvey, whose grill of choice is the Weber 22.5-inch Performer kettle grill. “So I would say my experience is, the gas grill was appropriate for northerners, but down here in the South, I don’t think there’s any other way but charcoal.” 26 | www.newnancowetamag.com
Harvey has proved that a charcoal grill can be more than the one-trick pony for steaks and burgers it’s often portrayed as being. His go-to, quick meal is chicken thighs, but he is open-minded. “Anything new that I haven’t done before seems to be the real appeal,” he said. “This past Christmas, I grilled a duck. I’d done turkey, I’d done chicken, but I’d never grilled a duck before. That was really cool to do.” “Reports say it’s one of the hardest things to do at home, and it has to do with rendering the fat because duck’s a very fat meat,” he said. “You had to do certain things, like
sear the skin with a knife blade so that as it’s cooking, that fat is released from underneath the skin and can render out. I was most nervous after I read recipes for making duck at home because it’s extremely difficult to do. But it worked out fine.”
Having done duck, anything is fair game. “I grilled crab-stuffed, bacon-wrapped, grilled jalapenos,” he said, inspired by trying it at a California restaurant. “Not having a recipe, I just bought some crab legs, grilled those, then I stuffed the jalapenos with the crabmeat, wrapped bacon around it, and put it back on the grill and made appetizers for the family. Things I haven’t done before brings a lot of joy to me to try to figure out how they do it.” He even grilled pizza. “You have to put the coals in a way that you get indirect heat, so you can’t have the coals right underneath the pizza,” he said. “I push the coals off to one side of the grill and then put the pizza on a tray in the grill and control the heat so it’s very, very, very high, 500, 600 degrees. It only goes in there for a couple of minutes. It’s kind of like re-creating a brick oven pizza maker, except you’re doing it on the grill.” Charcoal grills are relatively inexpensive, ranging in price from less than $100 to as high as $1,300.
Pro Gas: I’m In Control Gas-grillers aren’t going to just go quietly and hungrily into that dark night. They have a priority list, with efficiency and complete control at the top. Gas grills, unlike their charcoal counterparts, allow the user to control the flow of gas to areas of the cooking surface, and thus the temperature. “That’s tremendous,” said Dean Jackson, a lifelong resident of Newnan who works for the Coweta County School System. “On most gas grills, and I’ve experienced it on my gas grill, you can get the kind of searing temperature you want, that you’ll have with charcoal. It only takes 10 minutes to get a gas grill going and get it to the proper temperature. Once you have it there, you have things that most charcoal burners don’t afford, which is two-zone cooking and really easy temperature control. You’re able to zone that gas grill out in a way that you can have two or three dishes going at the same time and do that with a lot more ease and a lot less cleanup than you can
Tom’s Stuffed and Wrapped Jalapeños •
King Crab legs
Big jalapeños (approximately 3 per crab leg) • • • •
Thick cut bacon
Mexican cheese dip (melted) OLD BAY seasoning
Soak crab legs in seasoned water until thawed and water enters shells. Place crab legs on hot grill (450 degrees) for 10 to 15 minutes so that water trapped in shells turns to steam. Turn legs frequently to keep from burning. Cut caps (ends with stems) off jalapeños, remove seeds and save stem caps. Remove cooked crab legs from grill and cool. Remove meat and cut to size of jalapeños. Dip meat into melted cheese and put cheese-coated crab meat inside each jalapeño. Put stem-cap back on jalapeños, wrap with bacon and secure both cap and bacon with toothpicks. Place bacon-wrapped, crabstuffed jalapeños back on cooler grill (350 degrees) for 10 to 15 minutes, turning often, until bacon is cooked.
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Dean Jackson's onion rings (recipe on opposite page) get the seal of approval from his daughter Virginia.
“Once you use a gas grill for a while and get used to it, there’s a lot more versatility and, in my experience, there is just as much flavor.” – Dean Jackson
with charcoal. “Gas grills are always going to be a little bit more expensive, but it’s the ease of use and the versatility,” he added. “Once you use a gas grill for a while and get used to it, there’s a lot more versatility and, in my experience, there is just as much flavor.” Jackson tried the charcoal grill but was swayed to gas by the versatility, and the difference in taste has been minimal, even on beef (a favorite is London Broil). “I have never missed charcoal cooking with steaks, burgers or any kind of beef,” he said. “You can get the sear perfect and 28 | www.newnancowetamag.com
control temperature for your beef on a gas grill. Charcoal is just lousy for almost everything else – fish, most chicken, vegetables, breads – almost everything else.” Just about everything else would describe what Jackson has tried on his Brinkmann 5-Burner. There are seemingly no boundaries. “Chinese food – stir-fry or Moo-Shu Chicken or pork – I couldn’t believe you could make that on a grill,” he said. “Grill chicken or roast pork with Chinese spices, and use the side-burner for the
wok, vegetables and sauces. La Fiesta, in downtown Newnan, makes Mexican-style pork or beef tacos with just spices, cilantro and onions that are great. I want to figure out how to make that like they do on the grill. I think I can make that happen.” An issue with gas grills is fueling it – natural gas vs. propane. Jackson prefers the latter and manages to get two to three months out of a can. Indoor Fireworks: When all else fails, or at least the weather does, the diehard griller has another
option – taking it inside. Desperate times call for desperate measures. “Behind every good man is a woman with a back-up plan,” said Linda Bridges-Kee. “You always have to look at it just in case of bad weather and you’ve got to bring it inside. I love my wide, cast-iron grill pan, as long as you have good ventilation and a good fan inside. That is the one thing that will get hot enough to sear your meat and get that same grilled flavor indoors, the same sear on your meat that you can get outside on a grill. That is the best back-up plan.” Bridges-Kee, the proprietor of The Cellar restaurant, has spent much of her career in the food industry and has put her back-up plans into action in Newnan for the last 20 years, often for her son and daughter. She falls into the charcoal camp, and is most adamant about avoiding lighter fluid and similar starters. “I always prefer charcoal,” she said. “A lot depends on the type of charcoal you use and not using fluid to start it because you can tell that gas taste that is left on the charcoal. I use an electric starter. It gets the charcoal going. You can always throw some wood chips on there, which gives that wood-fire taste to your meat.” Bridges-Kee is just as discerning about her choice of meat. She prefers the ribeye. “If I’m going to eat red meat, I am going to eat the very best piece of red meat I can put in my body. To me, that’s a ribeye,” she said. “It usually has a lot more flavor.” She’s also a fan of ostrich (“You can grill it like a steak. It’s very tender but very lean. You can’t cook it past a medium rare, but it’s good for you.”) and recommends Portobello mushrooms marinated in Italian dressing for a superb substitute for steak. And The Winner Is … Research shows the gas grill owners
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Dean’s Onion Rings 4 large Vidalia onions Peel and slice onions to desired thickness and separate rings. In a bowl, soak the rings in buttermilk for an hour. When ready to cook, drain the rings (reserve the milk) and add 1 teaspoon of salt and a half cup of flour and toss to coat. •
Batter: • • • • •
2 cups buttermilk
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1-1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour (to desired thickness) 2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, flour, salt, pepper, cayenne and cumin. Start with 1 1/2 cups of flour, and add to thicken as necessary. Heat canola or peanut oil to 400 degrees over medium-high heat in a large deep fryer. Dip the floured rings in the batter and shake off the excess liquid. Add the onions to form a single layer on the oil's surface and cook until golden brown. Using tongs, transfer the onions to a paper towel-lined bowl or plate. Let stand to drain, then transfer to a rack and tray in a warm oven. Let your oil heat up as necessary between batches (not dropping below 375 degrees). •
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Linda Bridges-Kee is just as comfortable cooking her lamb (recipe on opposite page) and vegetables indoors, adding it's always good to be prepared in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.
“Behind every good man is a woman with a back-up plan. You always have to look at it just in case of bad weather and you’ve got to bring it (grilling) inside. – Linda Bridges-Kee outnumber charcoal grill owners 50 percent to 36 percent, according to a July 2013 poll done by the global market research firm Mintel. That same study shows just how popular grilling is, as Americans use their grill three times a week during the height of grill season. That popularity is something upon which both camps can agree – as long as it’s their way, of course. “The way we use our grill, and the way most people use their grill, is to make family dinners on any given night of the week or any given afternoon on
the weekend,” said Jackson, who has a tough crowd to please in wife Melissa, sons Brinson and Reeves, and daughters Frannie and Virginia. “I love grilling outside and my family loves grilling outside. It’s that last part that has probably made the biggest determination for me that I use gas grills. Because we grill all year long, once or twice a week, probably several times in the warmer months. It’s the ease and versatility that makes me want to go with the gas grill.” “I cook out as much as I can yearround,” Harvey said. “I very much like
bringing the inside out, so I’ve built a patio outside my basement that’s covered. I can grill outside, but we also have like a family room set up with a TV and everything. So the family comes out, we spend time outside, and then I grill the dinner as long as weather permits. I’ll tell you, in Newnan, that’s a lot of the year.” There may not be a right answer to the gas/charcoal debate, but the best one paraphrases former Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis. “Just grill, baby!”
It’s Getting Easier to be Green Both the gas and charcoal communities are seeing a potential game-changer on the horizon, with the advent of the Big Green Egg. The kamado-style cooker, a combined oven, grill and smoker, is housed in ceramics developed for the Space Shuttle Program and is the product of the Big Green Egg Company, a Tucker, Ga.-based company founded in 1974. “By far, the Big Green Egg has changed the grilling world,” said Linda Bridges-Kee, proprietor of The Cellar. “Men who struggled are now able to shine. The ceramic in the egg concentrates the heat, allowing you to sear with it open, then roast it to the right temp with it closed. It can also serve as a smoker. It is hands down the best investment on the market. Unless you're a single woman up for a quick dinner, at which point nothing beats gas.” The Big Green Egg comes in five sizes, and prices range from $350 to $1,100, with the large, the most popular, starting at $800. Special lump charcoal is required, and the use of briquettes or lighter fluid is not recommended, as the latter requires running several cooking cycles to get rid of the odor.
kin cancer Sspecialists , p.c. Linda’s Lamb • • •
2 cups buttermilk
2 racks of lamb, trimmed of fat 1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary,
6 cloves garlic, minced
• • •
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Kosher salt and fresh ground
pepper to taste
Mix oil, rosemary, garlic, lemon, and zest. Rub over racks and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cover or place in a storage bag and refrigerate at least four hours or overnight. For indoor grilling: heat seasoned cast iron grill pan or skillet on high. Add one teaspoon olive oil and grill or sear lamb until brown on all sides. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place lamb racks in oven on cast iron and roast to desired temperature (medium recommended). Allow racks to rest for 10 minutes before carving into chops. For outdoor grilling: grill over hot coals until meat reaches desired temperature. Racks should take no more than 20 minutes. Be careful not to overcook. Allow racks to rest for 10 minutes before carving into chops. NCM
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Call 770-502-0202 to Schedule Your Yearly Skin Exam Today! 1625 Highway 34 East, Suite A Newnan, GA 30265 www.SkinCancerSpecialists-Newnan.com july / august 2014
Written by MELISSA DICKSON JACKSON Photographed by MARK FRITZ and MELISSA DICKSON JACKSON
Artist and photographer Billy Newman will add dye to this clear block of ice. The finished artwork will capture the fields of color, bubbles and ice fractures to create images that are otherworldly.
Somewhere between the happenstance of inspiration and the rigor of science, Billy Newman is looking for a picture. That picture will be of a familiar object, something ordinary and real – more than that, it will be an illustration of the processes that make photography, vision, even light possible. A Billy Newman image is often as much about the physics of light waves as it is about any object in front of his lens. In the libraries of higher education there are calculations that explain the way light behaves in precise relation to certain material realities: the HuygensFresnel Principle, Young’s Equation. Though Newman studied physics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, his ultimate calling was art. Newman wants the picture, not the dissertation. The subject of his work is not simply the leaves, blossoms and icicles on which he focuses the camera; it is as much what happens when he takes that picture. His subject is the relationship between physics and light, energy and mass. He is looking for the ghost in the machine. And his collectors are glad he’s found it. In a hotel lobby in Dubai, in a South Korean private collection, in hallways and foyers, and in conference rooms as far away as London, Honolulu and Amman, people are gazing intently at Newman’s images. Sometimes they are transported by abstractions borne of light and color; sometimes they are mesmerized by a single petal in sharp relief on a field of floating impressionistic hues. But you need not book an international flight to experience Newman’s photos. You can find them at Piedmont Newnan Hospital, Panoply Interior Design, Georgia Power’s Corporate Offices, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and in homes and offices all over Georgia.
july / august 2014
Billy Newman’s image “Crucis” features hydrangea blossoms in extreme and surreal detail.
34 | www.newnancowetamag.com
Newman’s formal bearing and unassuming style suit the photographer, who appears to be more interested in the dance of light and shadow than any theoretical dialogue among creative peers. He’s not concerned with philosophies of art or the who’s who of the next Whitney Biennial. You won’t find a signature dashed lavishly across the bottom of a Newman image. For an artist whose work can be called global, he is remarkably modest. A Newnan resident since 2001, Newman works his trade unnoticed in a small studio on the second floor of an otherwise vacant downtown building. The windows are often covered in blackout material, and except for a few friends and fans, no one would know that in that quiet building artwork is being generated and sent to the four corners of the Earth. His sepia tone print of a hydrangea blossom surrounded by atmospheric oblivion hangs limp from a 2-by-4 rack suspended from the ceiling. Fresh from the printer, it’s reminiscent of a butterfly just free of the cocoon, the slight curl at the tail like painted wings drying in the sun. It is no less beautiful. While Newman’s botanical photographs are fan favorites in his native Southeast, his variably hazy and graphic abstractions are popular in the Middle East. Because Newman’s artistic mission is free of any social agenda, his pictures invite the viewer to experience a meditative state where individual associations transcend cultural and intellectual ones. These are images that invite you to feel but don’t demand anything. They don’t have to be puzzled out, interpreted or understood. In fact, the effort to understand them may well destroy the experience. Newman admits he loves the unreserved critiques of children. “Adults will say they don’t know anything about art. Kids will tell me what they think whether they like it or not.”
The history of art is not an issue for Newman or for appreciating his work. If you have known the beauty of an iris at dawn or a moment when everything that troubled or distracted you fell away in the blur of a sunset, you can appreciate Newman’s glimpses of time and energy held still through the magic of chemistry and human industry. In reality, nothing seen by the eye is as sharp or as blurry as it appears in a Newman photograph. Nor is it as large and commanding. An oak leaf on the forest floor may dominate a large photo, though the subject itself may have been no larger than your palm or, as Newman often says, “a postage stamp.” Daisies will never look in person the way they do in a Newman photograph. These images speak to memory, possibility and beauty. They feel like a solitary hike when the native azaleas opened for you alone and the beam of sun on lichen-crusted granite was a gift only you unwrapped. Newman doesn’t photograph people and he doesn’t photograph the things people make: buildings, bridges, art. He photographs light and color in the act of their elemental processes, and there may
be a blade of Leriope or an orchid in the frame. He photographs the diffraction of the sun’s rays through a sheet of clear ice, the diffusion of color around an anomalous object. Like a child lost in a giant digital sandbox, he manipulates and enhances his images to bring forth the degree of contrast and color saturation that satisfies and enchants. In his digital archives Newman has nearly 15,000 images of ice, but it’s not likely anyone looking at them would ever know what generated the prismatic and floating compositions. From those 15,000 only a few will meet the artist’s rigorous standards, and even those few will be scrupulously revised, color corrected, and otherwise altered in a process that is more like a painter’s than a photographer’s. In fact, Newman is the son of painter Mariam Newman, a resident of Florida who studied art at Agnes Scott College and at the Atlanta School of Art. Her hazy abstractions evocative of Helen Frankenthaler’s twentieth-century canvases help to explain her son’s abstract sensibilities. But Billy Newman’s method is idiosyncratic and private. He can’t tell
Huygens-Fresnel Principle Huygens’ Principle was postulated by Dutch Scientist Christiaan Huygens in 1678. It explains the reflection of light and helps to describe the way sound and light waves bend around the edges of another object. In 1816, French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel was able to clarify diffraction effects that result in the shifting of light waves when they “encounter edges, screens and apertures.” Newman’s photographs rely on the effects of the Huygen-Fresnel Principle.
you what he’s looking for or how long it’ll take to get there, but when he finds it, he has the skill and patience to deliver a technically flawless photographic print. A graduate of Santa Barbara’s Brooks Institute majoring in Color Technology, Newman spent six years running a photo lab in New York City, where his clients included art world superstars Cindy Sherman, Andres Serrano and Sandy Skoglund. If anybody knows how to make an archival photographic print, it’s Billy Newman. While Newman has always produced his own artwork, it wasn’t until his return from New York City in 1992 that he started to seriously pursue sales when a neighbor and art consultant pointed out that his work was not only beautiful but marketable. “I’d never wanted to turn my own artwork into a career,” confesses Newman. “I didn’t want to risk what I loved about it by turning it into a chore or an obligation, but I was at a crossroads in my life and it felt like the right move.” Twenty years later Newman is still generating images that transport and captivate his audience.
Young’s Equation Thomas Young was an English Quaker and polymath born in 1773. His contributions in the areas of vision, mechanics, language, music and physiology are still relevant today. In 1801, Young directed a beam of sunlight through a pinhole in a window shutter. Using a paper card he separated the beam of light into two identical beams. By studying the interference pattern of the two resulting projections, Young was able to determine the wavelength of light and formulate an equation. july / august 2014
n the 1990s, folk singer and
mathematician Rick Brantley wrote a song about the strange ways of physics. The chorus began: “The speed of light is very fast, carried by particles with no rest mass. Oh oh, that’s weird!” There is even weirder. Since Newton first speculated the laws of gravity, humanity has been trying to unravel the codes that govern our physical universe. Mass and energy are two aspects of the same phenomenon, interdependent and regulated by laws few of us can even fathom. As Bill Bryson notes in his essential book “A Short History of Nearly Everything,” the average human adult contains “enough (energy) to explode with the force of thirty very large hydrogen bombs, assuming you knew how to liberate it and really wished to make a point.”
“There are two types of photographers,” he says. “Those who imagine an image and set out to photograph it and those who set out to discover an image. I’m the second type.” The inherent conflict in Newman’s process is that his work requires a state of mind he likens to “play.” “It brings us back to the way we were as children,” he says. It’s no coincidence then that Newman’s journey as a photographer began in childhood when a student writing assignment took him to the Chattahoochee River. “I took pictures so I could write about it later, but when I got the prints back, I knew this was what I wanted to do. I had been there and seen those images and now I held the experience in my hands in a way that I could share with other people. Something happened in that moment and I knew this was what I wanted to do.” Though he was only 14 years old at
the time, that transformative experience continues to shape his work today. While “playing” with a camera may sound like an easy enough workday, it requires the 55-year-old father, businessman and homeowner to set aside the burdens that preoccupy adulthood and forget himself in the moment. “Taking pictures is like prayer,” he says. “I don’t want to have conscious thought. I have to keep it really simple – look here, push this button.” That often means he gets his best images while on vacation and spends the bulk of his workdays editing and promoting his work, a task that is often as tedious as any corporate endeavor. But who wants to think of art as a business enterprise, a consumer commodity traded and claimed as a commercial expense? We want to love that final image as much as Newman loved the moment
Science in Art Billy Newman’s photos appear to merge the peculiarities of mass, light and energy. They make us conscious of a wider world while simultaneously drawing us inward. There is the material reality of a fern, its seed spores sharply delineated on the underbelly, and then there is the diffuse and all-encompassing energy that holds each shape and articulates the passage of light. On the subatomic scale, everything – from an acorn on the forest floor to the cat purring in your lap – is a dance of particles moving in wave formation. Newman’s photos give us pause because they remind us that the world isn’t simply what it appears to be. 36 | www.newnancowetamag.com
that generated it. With that spirit in mind we sought the opinions of five Coweta County children who were granted a private, in-home showing of some of Newman’ s remarkable, larger-than-life images. While Laine Moss, 6, said she didn’t see anything in Newman’s greyscale meditation on ripples in water, the other children saw “milk,” “mountains” and “waves.” Laine and her sister Evie, 8, agreed that Newman’s luminous image of a daisy was “sad” in a way that they’d never associated with a flower, an effect that may have had to do with the image’s size and monochromic color. It’s easily as large as a 4-year-old and, perhaps, as brooding. Brinson (11) and Reeves (9) Blackburn had lengthy debates over the colorful forms gyrating through Newman’s ice pictures – “a shark chasing a seal,” “a turtle burping Kool-Aid,” “a bird using a ribbon to build her nest while a ray of sun shines down,” and “a world of wonder and amazement trapped in time.” Eight-year old Anna Frances Blackburn saw a “wizard’s crystal ball” and “a spider weaving the world together.” But there’s no doubt that her friend Eve nailed it when she said, “It’s like a whole other universe.” Yes, Billy Newman’s photos are otherworldly. They are also deeply rooted in the physical world: ice, light, a blade of grass, a blossom, even a ripple on the surface of Lake Coweta.
Young art critics Anna Frances Blackburn and Laine and Evie Moss study Billy Newman’s supersized daisy in his Lake Coweta home.
Contact UNIGLOBE McIntosh Travel to book your next magical Disney vacation. Call 770-253-1640 or stop by our office at 31-A Postal Parkway, Newnan, GA 30263 july / august 2014
Cowetaâ€™s nightlife offers a taste of the big city
T.J. Cotton works a packed house at Meat 'N' Greet in downtown Newnan. On most weekend nights, the bar side of the restaurant is filled with thirsty, late-night customers.
In the not so distant past, Coweta County residents had to
travel to Atlanta to sample some of the finer points of the culinary and libations world.
Those days are over since the introduction of a handful of bars and
restaurants in the area. Now, you don’t have to seek live music and a craft cocktail 50 miles from home. The nightlife in both Newnan and Senoia is inviting for the attached, the unattached and families.
Written by Lindsay GLADU
Photographed by CHRIS HELTON & aaron heidman
july / august 2014
In the past decade, the Court Square in Newnan has gone from shutting down at 6 p.m. to hosting a vibrant nightlife. On any given evening, there are opportunities to bar hop, hear Coweta singer/songwriters play their own tunes or eat some of the best food the area has to offer. In addition to the several restaurants and bars occupying downtown’s historic buildings, Main Street Newnan, an effort of the city of Newnan’s Business Development Department, organizes evening events throughout the year like the annual summer Wined Up tasting in June and the Oktoberfest Boutique Beer Tasting in October. For the art collectors, Art Walk, a showcase of Coweta’s finest artistic talent, is held in the spring and fall. And if you’re going to bar hop on the square, you need to know where to go in order to keep the party going. Here, we’ve compiled a smattering of the best the square has to offer for a night on the town.
estauranteur Chad Smith opened his family-operated, barbecueMexican joint, Rednexican, in December 2013. On Fridays and Saturdays, hungry guests pack the house for a few hours of live tunes and grubbing. A soft flour tortilla cradling a fried mahi mahi fillet doused in cilantro
aioli, pico de gallo and smoked gouda called the Uptown Taco is a mustorder. Pair it with a side order of the chunky guacamole for extra flavor. Wash it all down with a selection from a beer list featuring craft tap and bottled brews from breweries like Oscar Blues, Starr Hill and Terrapin.
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2 W. Court Square Newnan, GA 30263 770-683-9545
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10 E. Washington Street Newnan, GA 30263 770-502-9100 longtime date night favorite, 10 East Washington is still going strong. Chef George Rasovsky’s grilled veal chop is juicy, thick-cut and covered with a rich, delicately sweet brandypeppercorn sauce. Or try one of the European plate specials Rasovsky creates each night. 40 | www.newnancowetamag.com
Other than for the food, people love stopping in at 10 East Washington for a few cocktails and a mellow evening on the upstairs patio, where a live band plays most Friday and Saturday nights. For guests, good drinks and a sense of belonging are the main draws at the restaurant. “I like the people who go there,” Newnanite Jerry Valdez said. “It’s a cool community.” If you are lucky enough to get Rasovsky to have a glass of wine with you, then the party is just getting started.
eat 'N' Greet, a newcomer to the square, has garnered rave reviews quickly since opening its doors earlier this year, but it’s not surprising considering the success of co-owner Amy Murphy’s first two restaurant ventures, Fabiano’s and The Alamo, both located just around the corner. One of the few restaurants open on Sunday in downtown Newnan, Meat 'N' Greet is the perfect place for a strength-restoring meal after a sloshy Saturday night. The One-Eyed Willie – a burger feast complete with an egg sunny side up, smoked tomato jam, bacon, cheddar, lettuce and onions – is an ooey-gooey, delightful mess. Try
Demolition Man sighting! Bartender Lauren Tirado chats with Skip Scurry, a regular at Meat 'N' Greet and a familiar face to NCM. The special effects expert for several blockbuster movies was featured in our November/December 2013 issue.
it with the okra lightly battered and fried whole rather than chopped. If you need a late-night fix, Meat 'N' Greet is open until 11 p.m. and offers a slew of more than 40 bourbons to keep your mouth from getting parched before your burger arrives tableside. The restaurant side of the twosectioned eatery makes for a fun night out with the kids, too.
f it’s a wine night, you should post up at The Cellar for a dizzying selection of wines by the bottle and by the glass. Pair a glass of Klinker Brick Zinfandel with one of the aged reserve filets with a dollop of tangy, house-made bleu cheese butter, roasted vegetables and a house salad for the days when you’ve skipped lunch. In addition to a full bar, The Cellar has an array of craft beer to choose from, like heady IPAs or frothy, fruity hefeweizens. Belly up to the bar or lounge on a Friday or Saturday night for live music starting around 8 p.m. While the food is serious, the atmosphere isn’t. On weekends, a whole cast of characters fills the bar for a rousing evening of laughter. “It has great food and good people. But mostly I come here for Lou,” Newnan resident Nick Wood quipped about the restaurant’s charismatic manager, Luis Perez.
11 Jefferson Street Newnan, GA 30263 770-683-4664
9 E. Washington Street Newnan, GA 30263 770-683-Meat
july / august 2014
even If you’re off the downtown square, you can find a host of places to visit and things to do.
ince the construction of Ashley Park, getting the family out for dinner – Mexican and Italian are the standouts – and a movie has never been easier, or visitors can simply stroll the sidewalks and shop at one of the many stores located in walking distance from one another for an evening on the town.
19 W. Court Square Newnan, GA 30263 770-683-2526
he Alamo is the best place on the square to catch a live music show on the weekends, with local favorites in heavy rotation. And it’s also where many end up after dinner and a few drinks at one of the downtown restaurants. The bar, converted from an old theater and lovingly referred to as “The Mo” by regulars, has been a mainstay because of the trendy and friendly atmosphere. Loyal patrons play poker on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays. Acoustic shows can often be seen on Wednesday nights. Ian Campbell, an Alamo regular, has been visiting since 2007. “It’s not a big box,” he said. “It’s downtown. I live nearby. And it has an awesome beer selection.” Another regular, Greg Faison, has been a loyalist since the Alamo opened its doors in 2004. “I like supporting local businesses,” Faison said. The Alamo also serves a good slice of pizza from its sister restaurant next door, Fabiano’s. Ask for one with extra cheese, pepperoni and banana peppers. This bar is known more for its “pombombs,” an alcoholic fruity Red Bull concoction, rather than handcrafted speciality cocktails. Order one and you’ll be set to go until the bar closes at 2 a.m.
42 | www.newnancowetamag.com
370 Newnan Crossing Bypass Newnan, GA 30265 678-423-5445
ocated just outside of Sharspburg, the Brickhouse opened its doors in 2010 and hasn’t stopped pouring drinks since. If you’re at the bar, you want to ask for veteran bartender Faith Stapleton, who knows her stuff. You’ll also want to specify your spirit of choice or risk drinking the well water. The Brickhouse plays host to the young and old, the business professionals, the karaoke queens, the bikers – who arrive in droves every Thursday night for biker night – and everyone in between. Live music can be found there every Friday and Saturday evening, and often on Wednesdays and Thursdays, too. Newnan resident Lauren Davis can be found hanging out at the Brickhouse several nights a week since her roommates work there. She loves that it’s close, it's convenient, and the live music rocks. “The atmosphere is fantastic,” she said. “Basically, everyone who works here is your friend. It’s the only bar in Newnan that I
19 W. Court Square Newnan, GA 30263 770-683-2526 would consider going to.” The menu consists of better-than-average pub fare, but some dishes are standouts, like the bubbly, cheesy Chicago-style deep dish pizza and the meatloaf sliders stacked on top of a spoonful of mashed potatoes and onion strings (just be sure to add a little extra ketchup).
385 Jackson St. Newnan, Ga. 30263 770-683-5397 oth located on Highway 29, Yesterday’s and Jekyll and Hyde’s are haunts where you’ll find Cowetans unwinding nightly. Yesterday’s, a three-fold bar and restaurant, is the newest addition to the county’s bar and restaurant scene.
Separated into three rooms, Yesterday’s is a restaurant (Memories), a sports bar (Legends), and a lounge (Speakeasy). The restaurant and bar, located at 385 Highway 29, has been home to several other restaurant and nightclub concepts in recent years. While the menu is still a work in progress, guests can rely on a heavy pour and some decent jazz piano and dancing in the Speakeasy. The low lights, dark furniture and cartoonish pops of color feel a bit like the set of “Dick Tracy,” but after one or two key lime pie martinis, you won’t mind that anyway. The languid vibe of the Speakeasy is arguably Yesterday’s best feature. It’s worth a go for a quiet date night. Jekyll and Hyde’s could be considered Newnan’s favorite dive bar, and there’s a party going on there every day of the week.
Fayetteville pool shark Mike Phillips visits Jeykll and Hyde’s at least once a week for a game of billiards. “It has a great atmosphere and great wings,” Phillips said. Whether it’s dancing all night or shooting a game of pool, there’s something for everyone … and probably $1 beer.
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On the other side of the county, Senoia is attracting Newnanites and residents of Peachtree City to its downtown strip of shops and restaurants. While Senoia is probably now known by the masses as Woodbury from the popular AMC drama “The Walking Dead,” it was long recognized by residents as a zombie-like town with little to do after dusk. Ever since Southern Living introduced its first of two idea homes in 2010, that identifier these days couldn’t be further from the truth. Business has been booming in this teeny town, and so has the nightlife.
42 Main Street Senoia, GA 30276 770-727-3020
18 Main Street Senoia, GA 30276 770-727-9072
44 | www.newnancowetamag.com
acGuire’s has been one of Senoia’s most frequented dining establishments since its opening in 2008. Live music fills the basement bar each weekend. Familyfriendly trivia nights on Wednesdays and Thursdays are also popular with the Senoia crowd. “Business has picked up a lot in the past two years,” bartender Cayrn Stern said,
he Southern Ground Social Club is the first of country musician Zac Brown’s bar concepts in Senoia. With an extensive bar, Southern Ground is a purveyor of fine spirits and cocktails. The mojito is one craft cocktail to try here. While drinks are pricey, the atmosphere is hip and the crowd it attracts is diverse. Live music can be heard Tuesday through
since Senoia made its debut on “The Walking Dead.” With a huge selection of beer taps, changed weekly, it’s impossible to get bored with the draft, which ranges from American pale ale to Irish stout. This curated list stays tight, though, instead of sprawling on and on with an endless list of indiscernible choices.
Saturday starting between 8 and 9 p.m. The stage is set above the bar, so there’s plenty of room for meandering, but it’s an awkward space for dancing. Overall, it’s one of the only places you’ll find in Senoia that’s open until 2 a.m. Combine it with the food from its sister restaurant next door, La Mesa Del Sur, and there’s no need to venture any farther.
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t La Mesa Del Sur, Brown’s second culinary venture in Senoia, you’ll find Tex-Mex and Southern comfort food fusion. The menu and the partial wall between the rustic social club and La Mesa Del Sur – a neo-baroque realm of eccentric taxidermy, Dia de los Muertos murals and red and black lacquer – are about the only similarities between the two restaurants. Pimento cheese is a favored ingredient on this menu – it’s on the appetizers, sandwiches and tacos. It’s loaded with just the right amount of tang to offset the creaminess of this traditional Southern staple. The brisket barbacoa taco, wrapped in the roti tortilla, a fried pastry-like shell, is a Tex-Mex comfort food success. The smokey, tender beef is drizzled with a sweet guava barbecue sauce and topped with salty Mexican cotija cheese. When paired with a citrusy Diablo Rojo margarita, it feels like a night out in the big city. Be prepared to wait for your goldfish bowl-sized drink, though, and to pay a big city price tag. The silver lining is that the profits from La Mesa Del Sur and Southern Ground benefit Brown’s Camp Southern Ground, a camp for children with special needs.
20 Main St., Senoia, GA 30276 770-727-9072
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Start Here Go Anywhere july / august 2014
Nightlife Not Your Cup of Tea?
Travel to a peach farm and taste Georgia’s bountiful harvest in all its juicy glory. You can stop at one in south Georgia on your way to the Gulf Coast this summer, or visit one a little closer, like Dickey’s Farms, the oldest peach packing house. It’s located in Musella, Georgia. Geocache in Georgia’s state parks. If you don’t know what geocaching is, imagine a modern day treasure hunt with the aid of GPS technology. There’s a list of participating parks at gastateparks.org/ Geocaching. If you’ve never visited, you must see Cloudland Canyon State Park on the western edge of Lookout Mountain because of its rugged natural beauty and breathtaking waterfalls.
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Take a drive along Georgia’s Wine Highway and meander through the North Georgia mountains. You’ll enjoy breathtaking mountain views and sample a gamut of wines. Want a recommendation? Check out Yonah Mountain Vineyards in Cleveland, Georgia. The vineyard is a privately held, 19-acre estate. Visitors can sample seven varieties. Visit yonahmountainvineyards.com or call 706-878-5522 for more information. Pick a historic site and do your homework before taking a field trip there. For example, tours are offered of southern author Flannery O’Connor’s home, Andalusia, in Milledgeville. She was born in Savannah but returned to her family’s farm in Milledgeville after being diagnosed with lupus at age 25. There, O’Connor wrote two novels and two collections of short stories before dying of the disease at age 39. Visit andalusiafarm.org for more information.
Enjoy afternoon tea. The Swan Coach House Restaurant, located on the grounds of the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead, is the perfect destination for tea – as well as the South’s best cheese straws, chicken salad and frozen fruit salad. As a bonus, visitors can see where scenes for the second installment of “The Hunger Games” were filmed. The site is located a stone’s throw away from the Governor’s Mansion. For more information, visit swancoachhouse.com. Celebrate a special occasion – or simply be spontaneous – by zip lining at Historic Banning Mills, which boasts the largest and longest zip line canopy tour course in the world. And it’s in Whitesburg, which is in our backyard. For more information, visit historicbanningmills.com. See a new place. Pick a historic downtown you’ve never visited and go exploring. Madison, Georgia, is full of southern charm and looks a little like a Norman Rockwell painting. Thomasville, Georgia, has similar attractions, including one of the largest live oaks east of the Mississippi River. “The Big Oak” is said to be 329 years old. Seek out a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For example, you could go “camping” in a treehouse – city style. There’s a hidden gem tucked away in a Buckhead neighborhood that features a suite of three connected treehouses, and it’s available to rent. Viewing the pictures alone nearly constitutes a vacation – at least a mental one. To make a reservation (or see the pictures), visit www.airbnb. com/rooms/1415908.
See southwest Georgia by train. The S.A.M. Shortline Excursion Train offers visitors a chance to ride in an airconditioned, 1949 vintage car and enjoy views of the countryside. The train stops in quaint towns for fun along the way. Boarding locations are at the Cordele Depot, 105 East 9th Avenue, or Georgia Veterans State Park. Visit samshortline. com for more information, or call 1-877-427-2457.
Take in an educational/entertaining movie at the IMAX theater located at Atlanta’s Fernbank Museum of Natural History. After the movie, stick around and explore Fernbank. Visit www.fernbankmuseum.org. Photo © Kenneth Lowry
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Take a hike – in this case, a fivemile mountain trek through the Chattahoochee National Forest to stay at the Hike Inn. It’s an inn and a state park facility located just a few hours north of Atlanta and a few miles by foot from Amicalola Falls. The facility offers private guest rooms, hot showers and home-cooked meals. More information available at hike-inn.com.
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A hundred and fifty years ago, the United States was splintered and at war. Jan Bowyer and Carolyn Turner want Cowetans to see how those events continue to touch our lives today.
Written by w. winston skinner Photographed by aaron Heidman
History is a passion for both Jan Bowyer and Carolyn Turner. Turner, right, is descended from a Confederate soldier, while one of Bowyer's ancestors heard Abraham Lincoln speak in her Illinois home town.
48 | www.newnancowetamag.com
Carolyn Turner’s visit to the Newnan-Coweta History Center led to an unexpected friendship and a new project. Turner had stumbled into helping Sandra Parker preserve Brown’s Mill Battlefield, where Coweta’s most significant Civil War skirmish took place. She had talked with Parker, who was helping promote participation in the 2010 U.S. Census in order to get information she could use with her students. As Turner was preparing to go, Parker told her about another project – the battlefield. Turner’s interest was piqued, and soon she and Parker were working feverishly on saving the piece of ground on Millard Farmer Road. It is now a park with trails and historical markers. Then Turner visited the NewnanCoweta Historical Society’s depot building. “There were three or four ladies sitting at the table,” Turner recalled. One of them, Jan Bowyer, began talking to Turner. When she learned Turner was a high school history teacher and part of the battlefield project, she immediately signed
her up to serve on the Coweta County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee. Turner and Bowyer have proven to be a formidable team with a commitment to applying the lessons of history to the present. With a cadre of volunteers, they have worked to plan a series of quality activities each year during the nation’s observance of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. It is an observance that some people don’t understand or appreciate. Though the war ultimately greatly improved life for African-Americans, many would rather not look back at the legacy of slavery. Some fear the sesquicentennial could become too much of a “moonlight and magnolias” glorification of antebellum life in the South. Bowyer and Turner have kept the sesquicentennial activities firmly rooted in history and focused on life in Coweta County in those long ago days. The two women are firm that the committee is commemorating the anniversary rather than celebrating it.
The sesquicentennial is worth remembering because history teaches us lessons we can learn nowhere else. “Carolyn and I talked about that. The focus was not just on the battle. It was going back and looking back – looking at the early 1800s, what was going on, what life was like,” Bowyer said. “It was how we got here,” Turner reflected. Similar but Different The two patriotic ladies are a study in similarities and differences. Just a few months apart in age, both studied to be teachers. Bowyer grew up in Springfield, Ill., Abraham Lincoln’s hometown. Lincoln’s home, law office, church and tomb are among the tourist attractions that were and are in Springfield. One prominent edifice is the brick depot where Lincoln made his Farewell Address to his fellow Springfield residents on Feb. 11, 1861.
Bowyer’s great-great-grandmother, then a girl of 12, was in the crowd hearing the Great Emancipator. Her parents had come to America from the Isle of Madeira in 1849, two years before she was born. Abraham Lincoln “was definitely part of growing up” for Bowyer and her siblings. “I grew up literally across the street from Lincoln Park, looking across the street into the park, looking at Lincoln’s tomb.” Bowyer and her husband, Tim, were living in Gwinnett County when they decided to relocate 14 years ago. “We wanted move to a smaller town,” she said. “The history and the love of the community” attracted them to Newnan. The Bowyers love “being able to be in town and being able to walk – being close to downtown and our church,” she said “It was an ideal situation.” While Bowyer grew up in Lincoln’s shadow, Turner spent her girlhood in Coweta County, where her ancestors have lived since pioneer days. Her family
MARKING OUR PAST
For more than a century, this simple “tombstone” marker was the only reminder of the bravery and carnage of 1864 at the Brown’s Mill Battlefield.
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attended Macedonia Baptist Church, where the cemetery is populated with Sewells, Moores and other folks who have a place in Turner’s family tree. Her great-grandfater, Thomas Marion Sewell, was a Confederate soldier. “He was injured at Perryville in 1862,” she said. “My grandmothers on both sides of the family indoctrinated all of us that we had been here forever. We were supposed to behave in a certain way,” Turner remembered. One grandmother would take a piece of silverware and whack the elbows of forgetful grandchildren if they wound up on the dining table. All of that was in some measure a teaching about where she came from, and it was a lesson Turner learned well. “My grandchildren know about the battlefield,” she said with a soft chuckle. “You teach manners and etiquette. You teach children how to act, and part of that’s through history,” she said. Forming a Love of History Bowyer and Turner both set out to be elementary teachers. Bowyer followed that path, teaching for about 11 years. When she was teaching in Gwinnett, she often did a unit on Lincoln. Sometimes she would invite a Lincoln re-enactor. Her mother also visited, dressing in costume and telling Lincoln stories. “It goes back to my heritage – knowing and hearing it,” Bowyer said. Turner went to Tift College, a woman’s college in Forsyth that has since been absorbed into Mercer University. Several factors – including Dr. Todd, “a very influential” history professor – led her to becoming a high school history teacher. Todd did not rely on the textbook. She taught her students how to make draperies as they would have been made in the 19th century, and one lesson centered on making that staple of Southern holiday tables, the red velvet cake. “You lived the history,” Turner remembered. “I wanted to be like that.” Turner taught for 41 years. After her first year in Fayette County, she came home to Coweta – teaching at Evans
Middle School for several years and then at her alma mater, Newnan High. “I liked it so much. I tried to stop at 30 years, and I couldn’t. I wasn’t happy at all, not being at the school,” she said. Turner taught pretty much all the social science courses, including plenty of psychology and sociology. Teaching history at Newnan High was, she said, “the best experience ever.” Last year, Bowyer and Turner joined others in making specific plans for the remaining two years of the Civil War sesquicentennial. There have already been events focusing on gardens, and there will be an exploration of Newnan’s role as a hospital town in the 1860s. Back in the Day Another major focus is on churches and religious life in Coweta in the last half of the 1800s. “We wanted to include more parts of history than just the Civil War part,” Turner said.
Informational panels – amid the verdant woodland at the battlefield park – bring the story of Battle of Brownʼs Mill to life.
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july / august 2014
photo by Jeff rey Leo
A re-enactment of the Battle of Brown始s Mill is one of the events planned this year as the 150th anniversary of the battle arrives. A committee headed by Jan Bowyer and Carolyn Turner has also planned events focusing on hospital life, churches, businesses and music in Coweta County in the 1860s.
photo by Sara
52 | www.newnancowetamag.com
2014 Events As significant as the war itself was, Coweta’s people were working, farming, marrying, bringing up families and going to church and to school. “That’s an important time in the history of this county, of the nation,” Turner said. Bowyer said people need a connection with “our heritage – the legacy that was brought forth – what our country came from.” Her own family tree tells the story of people from “many different nationalities who came here for a better life in America.” “It gives you a connection with where you live. How do we understand who were are now if we don’t understand something about who we were and where we came from?” Turner asked. Both women reflected on the people who lived in Civil War days – their struggles and challenges, and the fact that they survived and became the ancestors of people living today. Concrete historical events, too,
reverberate into the present. Turner noted the current growth of the medical sector in Coweta County and how this area is being seen increasingly as a regional center for medicine and health. She immediately points back to large buildings in Newnan that were requisitioned for hospitals and to the medical tents that surrounded the Court Square a century-and-a-half ago. “This is how we got to be a hospital town,” she said. Thinking about the list of sesquicentennial events, those already done and the many still to come, Bowyer and Turner are clearly happy. “As we’ve gone through this journey, there have been some bumps in the road, but minor compared to all the people willing to participate and give,” Bowyer said. “Education is our main goal,” Turner said. “This is an ongoing historical event that just keeps growing.” NCM
Battle of Brown’s Mill Sesquicentennial July 26, 2014
A Window Into the Past Tour the battlefield and see the aftermath of war. Tickets $15 per person at the Visitor Center. Tour Times:
5:00 • 6:30 • 8:00 • 9:30
October 10 - 12, 2014
150th Commemoration of the Battle of Brown’s Mill and
Newnan, A Hospital Town Relive the battle that changed the course of the Atlanta campaign. Visit a re-creation of downtown Newnan hospitals of the day and walk the trails of the historic site. For a complete list of events planned for the Battle of Brown’s Mill sesquicentennial, visit www.battleofbrownsmill-hospitalreenactment-2014.org/
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july / august 2014
The Entertainment Lawyer As attorney, movie critic and filmmaker, Newnan’s Hickman mixes business with pleasure When it comes to the latest in Newnan’s film industry, Jonathan Hickman is likely in the know. Acting as the Coweta County public defender and an entertainment lawyer by day, Hickman is a filmmaker and movie critic by night. He interviewed Ellen Page before she appeared in “Juno,” Guy Pearce just after his performance in “Memento,” and Ray Romano before everybody loved him on network television. “It’s fun to watch TV and say I interviewed these people one time,” Hickman said. “I’ll never forget I saw this short, really funny film called ‘Poluca’ (at the 2003 Slamdance Film Festival) and talked to the director after the viewing about making it a full feature. That was Jared Hess, and he showed up at Sundance [Film Festival] the next year with ‘Napoleon Dynamite.’” Hickman ticks off another list of some of his favorite interviews – Anthony Hopkins, Queen Latifah, Adam Scott, Saffron Burrows. But the names come out as facts, not name-dropping or bragging. It doesn’t faze him that he rubbed elbows with big names at movie festivals for years and actors like Jason Ritter, John Ritter’s son, recognized him and said hello. “That was all back in the day. I don’t do too
“It’s hard to do interviews and criticize movies at the same time. I’ve found I’m a much better critic than interviewer.” many interviews anymore,” said Hickman, who was editor of the web magazine Entertainment Insiders at EInsiders.com until it stopped publication in 2010. “It’s hard to do interviews and criticize movies at the same time. I’ve found I’m a much better critic than interviewer.” Hickman now posts movie critiques on his own site, DailyFilmFix.com, and works on his own films. With his experience and film background in mind, Hickman
Written by CAROLYN CRIST | Photographed by JEFFREY LEO
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MAN OF MANY HATS
A public defender and entertainment lawyer by day, Jonathan Hickman spends many of his nights writing movie reviews and working on his next film project.
After years of interviewing movie stars, Hickman now spends much of his free time working behind the camera.
also serves as a legal representative for those in the movie industry who need help creating the entity to make a film, drafting deal memos and contracts, and delivering for distribution. In the courtroom, Hickman offers video litigation support and video evidence through his video production company, JWH Productions LLC. Last year, Hickman assisted with the legal aspects of “Desires of the Heart,” a film about a psychiatrist from India practicing in Georgia who falls in love with an artistic and mysterious woman but must return home for an arranged marriage. The movie was filmed in Savannah, Ga., and India. So far this year, Hickman helped “Sick People,” a thriller starring C. Thomas Howell, Lin Shaye and Jasmine Guy, get approval to shoot on several Newnan streets. “For years, filmmakers were coming to me and asking for legal advice, and I didn’t charge,” he said. “The entertainment 56 | www.newnancowetamag.com
industry in this county was not nearly what it is today.” Getting started Though he worked as a video store clerk at Young’s Video in Newnan back in the 1980s, Hickman never anticipated he’d make movies himself. Until eighth grade, he struggled with dyslexia at school. After Hickman experienced an embarrassing moment in the classroom, he began buying a stack of comic books at Scott’s Book Store once a month and speeding through the illustrated panels without difficulty. He found in high school that he could read textbooks like comic books and based his notes and studying techniques on that, boosting him all the way to valedictorian status at East Coweta High School in 1988 and a law school graduate at Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis) in 1995. Hickman returned to Newnan and joined the law team with George
Rosenzweig, Pope Jones, Joe MacNabb and Mike Kam, all early mentors. “George was a steamroller who took care of business, and I still to this day call and ask him for advice,” Hickman said. “Joe has a way about him that exudes quiet calm and confidence, which is what I’ve tried to adapt as my temperament. Pope was incredibly well-liked and wellknown, and Mike was the first attorney to take me into the jail to interview a client. I remember that very well.” Hickman’s first TV debut, you could say, was during the firm’s large libel and slander case tried in federal court in the late 1990s, which involved public officials accused of racketeering. When “20/20” shot video during the trial, Hickman turned and waved at the camera – probably the only attorney in the courtroom naïve enough to do that, according to Hickman. “It was an unbelievable summary judgment with hundreds of depositions,
which meant reams and reams of paper. Our printers could not print fast enough,” he said. “I remember reading documents for hours and hours and taking notes. After that case, I felt like I could do anything in law and attacked smaller cases with the same vigor.” Moving into film As he dabbled in early websites and blogs in 1996 and 1997, Hickman stumbled into a great opportunity with EInsiders.com and spent the early 2000s traveling to film festivals to interview actors, directors and artists. “It’s amazing how many people we could talk to then. Until you said something bad about their work, you were their best buddy,” Hickman said. “The Internet was still an emerging media platform, and if you had a blog of any significance that looked professional, you were taken somewhat seriously.”
Just before the Sundance Film Festival in 2008, Hickman met Jason Winn, director of “Last Bullet” and “The Fat Boy Chronicles,” both filmed in Newnan in 2008 and 2010. The two traveled to the festival together and interviewed George Romero, director of the 1968 film “Night of the Living Dead.” "It was interesting to hear the genesis of that story from the godfather of zombies, about the political strife in the 1960s and what everyone thought the world would become,” Winn said. “Then, after the festival, Jonathan helped out with ‘Last Bullet,’ which we shot at Riverwood Studios as they started filming ‘The Walking Dead.’ That springboarded my career, and Jonathan continues to be a great friend and ally in the business today.” At the end of the decade, as blogs clogged the Web by 2010 and revenues fell out of sight, Hickman and others
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decided to shut down EInsiders. More than 450 snapshots are available on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, but otherwise there’s little left to see. “The content is lost, but it’s also nice to start fresh,” Hickman said. “Words are permanent once they’re on the page, and it’s nice that I can’t go back and analyze the problems in my writing in the past. You move on.” In 2006, Hickman started to try his own hand at filmmaking. As he recorded and edited small videos for eInsiders, he began learning details about framing, white balance, and angles through experience. Soon after, he teamed up with sports author Keith Dunnavant, who wrote “Coach” in 1996 about Paul “Bear” Bryant, former college football coach for University of Alabama, and “America’s Quarterback” in 2011 about Bart Starr’s seven-season run as the head of Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers.
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july / august 2014
“For years, filmmakers were coming to me and asking for legal advice, and I didn’t charge.” They created a documentary in 2009 called “Crashing the Party,” which discusses the birth of the Republican Party in Alabama in the shadow of segregationist Democrat Gov. George Wallace. Last year, they followed the theme and filmed “Three Days at Foster,” which highlights the Civil Rights Movement and sports at the University of Alabama. “Jonathan’s a dream representative because he’s an entertainment lawyer who is also a filmmaker. He brings that knowledge about both the legal and production sides to the table,” said Mike Malloy, a former movie critic and colleague. Hickman is representing Malloy’s latest project, a sequel to Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 “Django” called “Django Lives!” that will appear at the Cannes Film Festival this year. “When people say they’re a filmmaker, you tend to think of them as a hobbyist, but that’s not the case here,” Malloy said. “Jonathan has state-of-the-art gear and gets paid for his work. He’s the real deal when it comes to filmmaking.” Hickman and his wife, Maggie, are also working on a feature film, which they partially shot in Newnan, and are restoring their home on Greenville Street. Though Hickman enjoys mixing his law background
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defined roles – Christian Shellabarger
Getting Kickstarted Jonathan Hickman has financed some of his films through Kickstarter, a crowd-funding site known as the go-to spot for independent filmmakers and writers to pitch projects to the public for money. Hickman and sports author Keith Dunnavant funded two projects through the site – “Three Days at Foster” and “Roberta: First Lady of Southern Sports.” They funded “Three Days at Foster,” a film about Civil Rights and sports at the University of Alabama, in August 2012. With a goal of $10,000, they pulled in $12,255 from 87 backers who pledged between $15 and $1,000. They funded “Roberta: First Lady of Southern Sports” in July 2013. It's a documentary about Roberta Alison, who made her way onto the University of Alabama men’s tennis team in 1962, a decade before Title IX mandated equal opportunities for women’s collegiate sports, and became the school’s No. 2 singles player. For this film, they surpassed the $10,000 goal with an extra $223, backed by 28 supporters who pledged between $30 and $1,000. “I’ve learned all about filmmaking, the process and the financing as I’ve gone along,” Hickman said. “At first, I didn't believe I truly was a filmmaker, but now I’m there.”
and film interests whenever possible, he plans to keep his public defender role as the top priority during the day and his filmmaking business as a side gig at night. “With the industry growing in Georgia, it’s been really exciting to see new projects come through Newnan and set up here,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for me to continue my education as a filmmaker and as a writer.” NCM
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In this corner
“Thirty years ago, the industry relied on the creativity of programmers that were handicapped by the limits of the technology. Their imagination set the standard.”
Newnan Times-Herald sports editor, has been watching and covering local sports for more than a decade. For the July/August issue of NCM, the veteran takes a break from sports and talks about one of his favorite topics of the ‘80s – old-school video games.
Old-School Video Games Remain Unbeatable How did this happen? Suddenly, I’m the old man, tossing an Atari 2600 joystick in the air like the gorilla with a bone in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” as if my generation were the Dawn of Man. But, in my book, video games from the 1980s and 1990s have yet to be trumped. Somewhere between “Space Invaders” and “Grand Theft Auto XII – Vegas Hookers Gone Wild,” the industry lost me as a consumer. Today’s graphics, granted, are better than anything Nolan Bushnell ever imagined when he founded Atari in 1972. The images are amazingly crisp in 3-D high definition. Yet, they come across as hollow. The challenge and the sheer fun are gone. They’ve been replaced with a heavily marketed, story-based driven mess of mass production where the subject matter revolves around violence more often than four out of five dentists choose Trident. And when you’re not blowing up school buses of children, there’s virtual sex or drug use. I don’t remember any of that in “Centipede.” Even “Mortal Kombat” – a game that sent parents into a tizzy in the mid-1990s for showing blood and the decapitation of opponents after the cry of “FINISH HIM” – seems harmless in comparison to today’s games. Video games have always been fueled by the search for the next big franchise that will allow game companies to cash in. At one time, “PacMan” courted “Ms. Pac-Man,” “Donkey Kong” begot “Donkey Kong Jr.” and “Super Mario” got himself three brothers. So how are they different than “Call of Duty,” a modern classic? Classics were designed without demographics. Everyone could feel equally challenged by them. A 6-year-old and a 60-year-old could plunk a quarter into a video game and play without much instruction. The common goal was simple. Get the high score and, more importantly, your initials on the machine. More often than not, you didn’t leave without feeling there was still a better attempt left. You had simply run out of quarters. One of today’s most popular games, “Minecraft,” doesn’t have any major goals. That’s not a game. That’s virtual reality. As are today’s sports games. By the late 1990s, companies had figured out the best way to present
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football, hockey, basketball and golf. Madden’s vertical gameplay hasn’t changed for 20 years. There’s only more bells and whistles now. Others have nearly tapped into old-school gameplay almost by accident. Why did “Flappy Bird” become such a phenomenon earlier this year? Because it carried many of the common traits of classic games. Yes, it’s utterly crude and pointless, but that didn’t stop everyone from trying to up their score again before that damn bird nose-dived to the ground. It was addictive and challenging. THAT’s what makes a great game. Think “Candy Crush” is the bomb? Meet his dad, “Tetris,” the king of puzzle games. And he doesn’t ask you if you want another life for 99 cents. Modern games shouldn’t even be defined as games. They’re interactive movies, designed to create a virtual world where the player is baited like a horse with a carrot dangling in front by its rider – namely, the company. The idea is to entice a gamer to want to increase the story, not his or her skill level. For $59.99 you can have an adventure that can be completed in two to three days. Instead of “lives” there are “continues,” with a forced sense of accomplishment. Great. Then what? There’s no replayability whatsoever. Instead, you wait for the sequel and plunk down another 60 bucks. Games also take 30 minutes to get started because of force-fed instructions. The first level is always a tutorial where the player is walked step by step on the multitude of tasks, button combinations, enemies, etc. But good luck on Level 2, when you still can’t figure out how to exchange the sniper rifle for an MP-40. Instead, you wind up spending more time watching videos on YouTube to copy how another player reached the next level. Thirty years ago, the industry relied on the creativity of programmers that were handicapped by the limits of the technology. Their imagination set the standard. The result were unique games like “Centipede,” “Frogger,” “BurgerTime,” “DigDug” and “Crystal Castles.” Those games might have been 8-bit, but they were colorful and challenging simultaneously. All we needed was a quarter. Then it was on like “Donkey Kong.”
Atari, Arcade … Antiquated he murdered all those Goombas and Koopa Troopas to save that ungrateful blonde chick.” Let’s fast-forward to today. Not only do games look, sound, play and feel better (whoops, I wasn’t supposed to bring that up), but they remain with you. If any gamer hasn’t played “The Last of Us,” Telltale’s “The Walking Dead: Season 1,” “Red Dead Redemption” or “Bioshock: Infinite” – all Mature-rated (sorry kids) – go do that now. These games are not only entertaining and enthralling, the endings will blow your mind. And in a good, now-this-is-whyI’m-a-gamer kind of way. Plus, the games today provide gamers so many options. Do you want to be an epic dragonslaying hero? There’s “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.” Do you want to channel your inner pirate and sail the seas sinking British and Spanish man-of-wars? There’s “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.” Do you just want to relax after a long day at work? Look to thatgamecompany’s “Flower” or “Journey.” A personal favorite: Do you want to learn how to play a real electric guitar or bass? Go get “Rocksmith 2014.” Did any older video games teach gamers any real-world skills? No. I will admit, old games will always live on because of nostalgia. Every gamer has their favorite old game, usually the first one they ever played, or perhaps the game they were best at while growing up. For me, “Super Mario 64” and “Mario Kart 64” will never die. My first system was a Nintendo 64, and it will always be a good time to pick up that three-handed controller and jump back into my childhood. Think tricycle. But I can only do that for so long before I remember that I’m not a little kid anymore and I need to get back to being an adult. A videogaming adult. (Drop the mic.) NCM
In this corner
This argument doesn’t make sense to me. Comparing the video games of today to the games that awed everyone in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s is a no-brainer. After almost 40 years of mastering the creation and development of video games, we are so much better off now than we were back then. It’s crazy to think otherwise. So, for this duel, it’s only fair if we remove the obvious distinctions in visuals, sound, software and hardware. That would be like bringing a knife to a tank fight – I’m confident the tank won before I even finished writing this sentence. Instead, let’s look at the experiences the player gets out of video games now compared to the experiences from the olden days. When gaming first began, games pitted man against machine – with machine ultimately winning and man punching the hard exterior of said machine and/or crying silently in the corner of the room. All the “great” arcade games like “Ms. Pac-Man,” “Asteroids,” “Space Invaders” and “Galaga” required the player to use their “twitch” (fast reflexes and the ability not to blink for a long time) skills to see how high a score they could get before seeing the dreaded “Game Over” screen. Players ended their experience with defeat, frustration and bitterness, and they were always a few quarters poorer. Unfortunately, they didn’t realize how sad they were. They thought they were having fun. Looking back, it’s clear games had no storyline or purpose – gamers never accomplished anything. They just played until the game told them they lost. Sounds fun, right? Why am I sitting in the middle of this asteroid field waiting for my inevitable doom? Why am I the only defender of the planet against these alien squid-things? How is eating dots and fruit going to find me a woman? Sure, some gamers reveled in having their initials on the high score list, but that often came at a cost of hundreds of hours and hundreds of quarters spent … and not having their first kiss until age 30. What ye olde gaming really lacked, though, was a palpable attachment to the games. Although I didn’t exist back then, I don’t think gamers ever beat a game (or level) and thought, “Wow, I really connected with Mario there. He really grew emotionally and intellectually after
“Looking back, it’s clear games had no storyline or purpose – gamers never accomplished anything. They just played until the game told them they lost.”
Wes Mayer has been playing video games since he was first introduced to them by his dad when young Mayer was just 5 years old. At this point, it is safe to say that at least a year of Wes’ life – 8,765 hours – has been spent holding a controller or Gameboy or something relating to video games. Well, it’s at least close to a year.
july / august 2014
by Meredith Leigh Knight
Original works by local poets and writers American Hands by Scott Wilkerson
They have held the charts of Orion’s sky and sheets to fold in morning’s bed. They have unspooled summer’s thread to trace the tears in a country heart, and they have hung heavy art in fragile light flung from terraces where under havens of memory’s pine they have made peace and gardens and daily bread. As from grace notes played in sacred hymns and dredges plying drifts of ancient stone, they have mapped space around a sleeping child and felt the torquing sting of sudden rain. They have framed the faces of wild surprise of sorrow’s hidden rift, of delirium’s secret thrall. And they have claimed a truth for all of us who bear these encumbrances in the republic of broad stripes bright stars and freedom’s dream of love.
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by Samantha Sastre A frayed edge, spinning apart by day and moment; pull and you can use this thread on your Maypole. The ragged heap of me would smile to see you dance.
by Sean Stewart Oh thee whimsical will, how much innocent blood has been spilled? How do dreams undreamed become fulfilled? Ships don't sail, with winds and water that stand still. Waves wave goodbye to the ocean, hello to the shore ... no funky fungi, flowers without the blown blessing of a tender spore. The collected collection of photos band together to form the movie reel. Pausing the stories of a life to adjust the focus … finding one's self too long in the shadows is sure to send a chill down the spine … … warm the blood, the bones, and the marrow with a simple sip of wine.
“Suicide is selfish,” she says aloud, “and I, Elizabeth Madison Johnson, am not selfish. And I won’t have half the town feeling sorry for Jim." As she drives, returning from yet another trip to Target, Beth can just hear the gossip: “Poor Jim, he took such good care of her when she had those awful spells, remember?” “What were they? I always thought it was a little too much, you know – libation.” “Now, Della, she’s only been gone half a day. Oh, poor Jim, we’ll have to bring him meals every night. Poor guy probably could use a homemade meal anyway. Bless his heart.” “Oh, I’m bringing him chicken and dumplings with my homemade apple cobbler later this week. I dropped off biscuits and ham this morning.” “How was he, Sue?” “Oh, taking it as well as can be expected, I suppose. The kids were by his side. They love their daddy so.” Della, as always, will focus on the gory details. “I heard the wreck scene was just awful ... the blood." Sue, the practical one, will shiver at the thought and ask the obvious questions. “Did the air bag deploy?” “Yes,” Della will say, pausing for dramatic effect. “In fact, I heard it ... it decapitated her.” Everyone will gasp in shock. “Oh, that poor family. I hope they don’t print that in the paper.” As she drives, her fingers tight on the steering wheel of her SUV, Beth imagines the good ladies from her church shaking their heads, allowing a moment of silence for her decapitated head.
“And no brake marks?” “No, not the one,” Della will say. “In fact, I heard from my brother-in-law down at the station that it looked like she actually sped up.” “Sped up?” Sue will ask quickly, choking on sweet iced tea. “Was there some kind of recall on the vehicle? Della will shake her head no. “I don’t want to be the one to say it, but do you think she, you know, might have done it on purpose?” “Well, I don’t know, but that would seem mighty selfish to me!” I’m not going to have them saying such things about me, Beth thinks as brake lights from the van in front of her flash quickly. “Poor Jim this and poor Jim that. I, Elizabeth Madison Johnson, do not have a selfish bone in my body. How dare they? I’m on the Angel Committee at church and have delivered meals to just about half the congregation, making most of them myself. I called Della once, and she told me that she couldn’t do it because ‘she wouldn’t be doing it with a glad heart.’ A glad heart? What is that? If that were the case, I would never do half the things I do, or did, before I started feeling bad. The day after little Jimmy was born, I was up washing sheets, making homemade potato salad, getting the kids where they needed to be. And I had a fever. It almost killed me, but I did it. And no thanks to Della and Sue. How dare Della tell me the week Jimmy was born that I didn’t need help because I had Jim!” Having worked herself into a fury, Beth is secretly glad to be fighting mad. The spot is coming up, and she needs to be angry. She needs to show them. She knows it's coming. She feels her palms sweating, and the urge – God, the urge – is like an instinct deep within her surfacing. She wants to. She has to. It's like the harder she tries not to, the harder it is to resist. Drive, drive, drive, and keep your eyes on the road. But every fiber of her being wants to do the opposite. Her foot wants to stomp the gas pedal as hard as she can; she holds the steering wheel
with all her might. Part of her wants to serve, to swerve off the back road that leads home. Swerve. Swerve. Swerve. She feels the trees calling her. But she forces herself to focus on the road ahead. It's so long. At a red light, listening to the faint clicking of the blinker, Beth thinks about the pills. She has a stockpile – sleeping pills, antidepressants, Xanax, things Jim said she doesn’t need. She has them hidden in a drawer. Jim disapproves, naturally, and she can stand most anything but that. “What’s wrong with you?” he'd asked her months – or was it years – after Jimmy was born. Beth can't recall. They all run together. She recalls the day, though. "What's wrong with you?" She was sitting on the floor of her closet, crying, unable to stop, unable to move, unsure of why she was even sitting there. “I don’t know,” she'd answered. He'd shaken his head in disgust. “You have a great life. I give you a great house. You have healthy kids, a car, you have everything. But you are never satisfied.” He wouldn't let up. Couldn't he see she was crying? “You aren’t sick. Quit going to doctors. Quit feeling sorry for yourself and be happy.” Entering her driveway, Beth is surprised by the sight of her house. She goes through the motions of putting a pot on the stove and empties a can of soup while the kids and their father chat away.
When she closes her eyes that night, it's visions of Daddy she sees. He’d always loved trees. It was the only thing he’d ever been truly passionate about. “I guess I inherited it,” she tells the night. “These trees will be here long after I’m gone,” he’d once said while they were hiking the woods behind her childhood home. Beth was about 10. She wonders if he'd known then what he was going to do. Was that the day he'd decided? Is that how it works? Beth's remaining night is restless, her dreams filled with the whispering of pines and sweet gum and the familiar cadence of her Daddy's voice. The following day, her family wakes up to the smell of bacon. Beth stands at the stove, having showered and dressed hours earlier with a smile on her face. “Wow! For us?” Jim asks. “What’s gotten into you?” Beth shrugs with a smile and fills her family's plates. They eat breakfast together, and Jim gives his wife an extra squeeze before he and the kids are out the door. “Glad you’re feeling better,” he says. "We’ve gotten too used to you staying in bed all morning." Elizabeth Madison Johnson watches from the window until her husband's car is out of sight. Moments later, she calmly climbs behind the wheel of her SUV. Today is a new day, and the trees are still whispering. NCM
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Honoring Christ and Inspiring the Mind 3613 Hwy. 34 East Sharpsburg, GA 30277 • www. heritagechristianschool. cc july / august 2014
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Index OF ADVERTISERS Amazon Stone...........................................8 Arbor Terrace..........................................19 Atlanta Market Furniture...................... 23 BB&T......................................................... 53 The Bedford School.............................. 59 Binion Tire............................................... 45 CareSouth............................................... 53 Carriage House Country Antiques & Gifts..................................................47 Charter Bank........................................... 43 City of Grantville.....................................47 Cosmetic Laser & Skin Care Center......3 Coweta-Fayette EMC.............................67 Dogwood Veterinary Hospital & Laser Center................................... 29 Double Bar H Stables, LLC....................47 Forest at York.............................................7 Georgia Bone and Joint..........................5 Georgia Military College...................... 45
The Horse Masseuse Charlotte Cloudsdale has the magic touch, from training horses to giving them massages. For the past nine years, Cloudsdale has been an equine massage therapist. She is on call for four-legged clients who need restorative rubdowns to relax sore muscles and improve range of motion – just like people do.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore............. 57 Heritage Christian School.................... 63 Heritage of Peachtree........................... 49
On a High Note
Kemp's Dalton West Flooring............. 49 Lee-King Pharmacy................................51 MainStreet Newnan................................17
Lisa Kelly, soprano extraordinaire and founding member of Celtic Woman, spends her time these days in Peachtree City teaching Coweta and Fayette vocal students how to sing and shine on stage. NCM will be sitting down with Kelly and learning about her impressive career and discovering what she’s up to now.
Massage Envy......................................... 57 Newnan Dermatology.............................6 NuLink.......................................................11 OutPatient Imaging..................................4 Piedmont Newnan Hospital....................2 Plum Southern........................................ 21 Savannah Court of Newnan..................13 Senoia Health & Wellness.................... 29 Skin Cancer Specialists, P.C................. 31 Southern Crescent Equine................... 23 Stemberger & Cummins, P.C................19 StoneBridge Early Learning Center....17 Surgical & Cosmetic Dermatology......13 Uniglobe McIntosh Travel.................... 37 Vein Specialists of Georgia.................. 59 Vining Stone........................................... 27 West Georgia Health............................. 68
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We take this path together.
Connecting to Fight Cancer. Sometimes the path of life takes us to a place we never expected. Yet the human spirit is strong, and with a team fighting for you, obstacles can be overcome. The Enoch Callaway Cancer Clinic at West Georgia Health has been providing leading cancer care and the latest technology to this region for 75 years. We have maintained the rigorous standards and levels of excellence in patient-centered care to earn accreditation with the Commission on Cancer since 1988. This allows us to provide access to clinical trials. And we offer a full array of treatment options, including both infusion and radiation therapies. We believe that our team of doctors and staff are second to none. Weâ€™re proud to welcome the newest member of our team, Wassim McHayleh, MD, FACP, who serves as the new Medical Director of our Oncology program. Dr. McHayleh joins Radiation Oncologist Richard Freeman, MD; Cancer Care Navigator and 12-year cancer survivor Wanda Lowe, RN; and up to 25 specialists who meet at our weekly Tumor Conference to discuss treatment options for our patients. At West Georgia Health, weâ€™ve put all our services together for you, so you can focus on one thing: fighting cancer.
1514 Vernon Road LaGrange, Georgia 30240 706-882-1411 To learn more visit WGHealth.org. Or connect with us on Facebook.