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MAGAZINE

A Times-Herald Publication

Our Travel Issue INSIDE:

May/June 2009 | $3.95

• Lynn Smith’s garden • Motorcycle racing • Writing contest winners


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The kind of personalized care you dream about. If only you could dream. Getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis is essential to enjoying everything life has to offer. The specialists at Piedmont Newnan Hospital Sleep Center are committed to making that a reality for you. We treat everything from sleep apnea and insomnia to restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy. It’s all about helping you restore, revitalize and rest. It’s

Sleep Center For a consultation, call 770-254-3289 or visit piedmontnewnan.org. ©2009 Piedmont Healthcare


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MAGAZINE

Around the corner. Right where you need us.

Established 1995 A publication of The Times-Herald

President

Publisher

Vice President

William W. Thomasson

Sam Jones

Marianne C. Thomasson

Editor Angela McRae Art Director Deberah Williams Contributing Writers Carolyn Barnard, Sarah Fay Campbell, Janet Flanigan, Holly Jones, Meredith Leigh Knight, Katherine McCall, Alex McRae, Tina Neely, Elizabeth Richardson,

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W. Winston Skinner, Martha A. Woodham

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Photography Sarah Fay Campbell, Bob Fraley, Jeffrey Leo, Tara Shellabarger Circulation Director





Naomi Jackson Sales and Marketing Director

    

Colleen D. Mitchell Advertising Manager Lamar Truitt

ON OUR COVER

Advertising Consultants Doug Cantrell, Mandy Inman, Candy Johnson,

Motorcycle racer Todd Cochran has a loyal racing fan in son Carson. – Photo by Bob Fraley

Jeanette Kirby, RoseMary Reid, Christine Swentor Advertising Design Debby Dye, Graphics Manager Sandy Hiser, Jonathan Melville, Sonya Studt FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION, call 770.683.6397 or e-mail colleen@newnan.com. Newnan-Coweta Magazine is published bi-monthly by The Times-Herald, Inc., 16 Jefferson St., Newnan, GA 30263. Subscriptions: Newnan-Coweta Magazine is distributed in home-delivery copies of The Times-Herald and at businesses and offices throughout Coweta County. Individual mailed subscriptions are also available for $23.75 in Coweta County, $30.00 outside Coweta County. To subscribe, call 770.304.3373.

ON OUR WEBSITE www.newnancowetamagazine.com

On the Web: www.newnancowetamagazine.com

Special Features Web extras you’ll find only online. Look for the computer icon throughout every issue to lead you to the special content at newnancowetamagazine.com.

Book giveaways Recipe Box Podcasts 4

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Submissions: We welcome submissions. Query letters and published clips may be addressed to the Editor, Newnan-Coweta Magazine at P.O. Box 1052, Newnan, Georgia 30264.

Blogs Links of local interest

MAGAZINE

Š 2009 by The Newnan Times-Herald, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Member:

MAGS MAGAZINE ASSOCIATION OF THE SOUTHEAST

WINNER OF FOUR 2008 GAMMA AWARDS (for issues published in 2007) Gold Award for General Excellence, Gold Award for Best Single Issue, Gold Award for Best Profile, Bronze Award for Best Photography


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May/June 2009

contents 34

Features 11TRAVEL ADVENTURES 12 DELICIOSO!

54

On her second trip to Italy, Susan Coggin traveled to Cortona for cooking lessons at the home of Alessandra Federico.

18 ELIZABETH BEERS, ADVENTURER! Whether she’s riding a camel in Egypt or kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland, Newnan’s Elizabeth Beers never tires of going new places and doing new things.

24 HIT THE SLOPES! This year’s winter break found the Knight family on the slopes of Boone, N.C., where they enjoyed some skiing and checked out the local attractions.

28 GEORGIA’S ANCIENT ARCHITECTS Georgia’s earliest inhabitants left their mark on the landscape, and now these spots are waiting for today’s travelers to come explore their mysteries.

32 GIRLFRIEND GETAWAY IN ST. LUCIA Janet Flanigan’s girlfriends like to join each other for a yearly getaway just for the girls, and a recent trip took them to beautiful St. Lucia.

36 RACING FOR REAL With a number of early successes behind him, Newnan motorcycle racer

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12 Todd Cochran will run his first race as a “pro” this year.

48 AN ARTIST WITH DIRECTION A young Heritage School artist makes a name for himself and considers film school.

54 A BED FIT FOR A QUEEN Find out how some local women turned napping into an art form with elegant swinging beds.

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60 SERENDIPITY GARDEN Newnan State Representative Lynn Smith is also a master gardener, and her home’s gardens will be on tour later this month.

82 WRITING CONTEST WINNER The winner of this year’s Newnan-Coweta Magazine Writing Contest, Barbara Waites, shares “A Different Perspective” of a well-known local tale.

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Departments 42 MEET A READER What does the owner of a travel agency do for fun? Meet Newnan-Coweta Magazine reader Mitchell Hicks.

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44 COWETA COOKS He’s cooked for the stars, and now Mike Hutcheson is “dishing it up” here in Coweta.

52 THE BABY FILES Tempers flare at a local consignment sale when a determined young mother and an equally determined grandmother both spot a bargain Jumperoo!

66 THE THOUGHTFUL GARDENER Explore the history of the beloved staple of southern gardens, the hydrangea.

70 LOCAL HERITAGE As the Newnan Reading Circle prepares to turn 100, current president Genet Barron reflects on her years in the club.

70

74 SADDLE UP

In every issue

Horses are simply “in the blood” of Cindy Lane O’Neal’s family, and today they raise saddlebreds at their farm near Raymond.

10 EDITOR’S LETTER 79 INDEX OF ADVERTISERS 80 THE BOOKSHELF

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> FROM THE EDITOR

On trips and sidetrips ast fall, my husband and I were enjoying a few days at the beach when he suggested we take one day and drive over to a place he knew Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d long wanted to see, Fairhope, Ala.

of that well-spent day "off the beaten path" is perhaps what I treasure most. It wasn't part of our original plan, but its last-minute addition to our itinerary made it even more enjoyable. Alex and I ate lunch at Panini Pete's CafĂŠ and Bakeshoppe, a somewhat famous local eatery made even more famous by the fact that Guy Fieri had featured it on his Food Network show. That was a fun discovery, but the loveliest part of the journey was yet to come. "Don't leave without going down to the pier and taking a look!" said one of the friendly shopkeepers, so to the pier we went. Now I love the water, truly I do, but I figured if you've seen one pier you've seen 'em all, so I wasn't particularly expecting to be wowed. But wow! It was early December when we visited, yet the rose garden leading to the pier was in bloom as if it were spring. Yellow roses, pink roses ... ahh! I wasn't at all prepared to have a rose-scented kickoff to my Christmas season. This was a trip we easily could have skipped, and a sight we just as easily could have chosen not to see. So while it's not Italy or St. Lucia or one of the other spectacular getaways featured in this travel-themed issue of the magazine, that little trip to Fairhope reminded me of the most important travel tip of all: Don't forget to stop and smell the roses!

Although I'd never visited this charming town on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, I'd often heard about it from lady friends, who always added, "You will love it!" And they were right. It was definitely my kind of place to visit, with a bookstore, antique shops, gift and clothing boutiques, a Christmas shop, a shop with architectural garden pieces, and even a British tea shop! I came home with some lovely finds, including a vintage teapot and some wonderful old linens, but the memory Fondly,

Angela McRae, Editor angela@newnan.com 10

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Travel Adventures Cowetans vacation stateside and abroad

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Cooking under the Tuscan sun Story and photos by Susan Coggin hen my husband Kenny and I planned our first trip across the pond in 2006, there was no question where we would go. It had to be Italy. We toured Rome, drove along the Amalfi coast, and experienced the life of the Italians in the small town of Ariccia. It was an amazing trip. But one trip to Italy is not enough. On our first trip, Kenny and I were captivated with the food. We dined at the outdoor cafĂŠs, drank lots of cappuccino, and devoured the pasta and prosciutto. As we planned our 2008 trip with travel companions Nan and Edwin Johnston, we knew that food would play a major role in our travels. We visited the art galleries in Florence, toured a winery

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and saffron farm in Tuscany, returned to the Vatican in Rome and cooked in a Tuscan kitchen.

Susan Cogginâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s memories of Italy include scenic Florence, above, and the saffron blossoms in Tuscany.


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Tuscan countryside. The drive alone was a tour in itself. Along the way we saw men harvesting olives along the roadside. At this point, the gardener in me came out and I had to try my hand at harvesting olives. The procedure is simple. A large tarp is placed under the trees and you “rake” the olives from the trees. Once harvested, the olives are taken to the olive press in town where the olives are pressed for their oil. After touring the Panzano winery, Villa Caffaggio, in the Chianti Classico region, we drove to Il Castagnolino, a working farm and B&B in San Gimignano. Carmela Cristiano was our hostess, and she gave us a tour of her small farm that produces saffron

Simple Dining Our trip began in Florence. Our apartment was strategically located in the heart of food shops. From our bedroom we could smell the delicious pastries baking at sunrise. Il Forno, a delightful bakery, was our breakfast spot. Every morning we stocked up on a variety of baked treats for our morning meal. One of our favorite meals was enjoyed in our apartment. There was no cooking, just shopping. It began with a trip to the salumeria, the Italian version of our delis, for an assortment of meats and cheeses. When you enter the salumeria, your sense of smell is immediately bombarded by the earthy smell of cured meats. My favorites are Prosciutto di Parma, an aged, dry cured ham, and porchetta, a roasted, boneless pig perfectly seasoned with garlic, rosemary and herbs. The next stop was the local bakery for that special Italian bread, crusty on the outside with a tender core, perfect for dipping in olive oil. The supermercati is home to a wonderful selection of cheeses, wines and in-season fruit. We decided to be adventurous and buy a soft cheese in addition to some Parmesan Reggiano. Add in some fresh-pressed olive oil and fruit for a meal to remember.

Alessandra Federico’s 1500s-era home in Tuscany is the site of cooking classes.

Wine and Saffron Rebecca Christopherson of Tuscan Wine Tours planned the tour of the region around our personal interests. From Florence we headed south to the beautiful

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and olive oil and treated us to a tasty Tuscan lunch in her home, seasoned with saffron and fresh pressed olive oil from the farm.

Cooking with Alessandra After seeing the sights of Florence, our next stop was Cortona for another taste of Italy with Alessandra Federico, who opened her home and kitchen for a day of cooking. We started the morning in Cortona with a cappuccino and Alessandra sharing her love and knowledge about Italian cooking. As she talked, I couldn’t help but see the similarities between Italian and Southern cooking. Alessandra described Italian cooking as a simple cuisine of the poor people who made do with whatever was available. Farm workers were given a place to live and a spot of land to grow their own food, much like sharecroppers in the South. Alessandra’s style of cooking was passed down from her grandmothers and her mother, who grew up in the area. Shopping in Cortona was a real treat. At no time did we carry our groceries. Once they were purchased, we left in search of our next food items and the store owner delivered them to our car. What service! 14

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At the Italian butcher shops “the smell is earthy and the selection is incredible,” said Susan Coggin. In the Italian markets, at top, vendors would select the freshest produce for the customer’s approval.


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Our first visit was to the fruit and vegetable stand. This is not a self-service market. Signs request that you not touch the food for sanitation purposes. What a great idea! Alessandra told the shop owner what we wanted, and the owner picked out the freshest for our approval. Our next stop was the wine store before going to the small supermercati. This Italian market is a smaller version of our grocery stores and is crammed full of fresh baked breads and cured meats. It was here that I first noticed the University of Georgia logo. Cortona is the

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This pasta was one of the dishes Susan Coggin made on site with teacher Alessandra Federico. Below, a University of Georgia logo was displayed in Cortona, which is home of UGAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Study Abroad program in Italy.

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location for UGA’s Study Abroad program. We bought cheeses, meats, rice for risotto, cookies for tiramisu and milk. The butcher was our last stop. The smell was earthy and the selection incredible. The chickens are sold with their heads and feet so you can see the freshness. Each piece of

Alessandra Federico, above and also shown below with student Susan Coggin of Newnan, provides cooking classes in her home in Cortona. Below, some Italian cappuccinos.

meat is labeled with its source and age so there is no doubt about the freshness. We bought a beef roast, fresh sausage and chicken breasts. Alessandra lives in a charming house built in the 1500s where the kitchen is the center of her home. This is not a “sit back and watch” type of cooking school but a chance to create classic Italian dishes under the watchful eye of an accomplished cook. During the day we cooked, cleaned, ate and drank while enjoying the conversation. While Nan and I were cooking, Kenny and Edwin had hit the road in search of olive oil, stopping by a local olive mill to see the locals bring their harvests to be pressed. They each left with five liters of fresh extra virgin olive oil to bring back to Newnan. Later they joined us for a wonderful dinner at Alessandra’s home. We all left Italy with a true sense of the Italian way of living and a full stomach. NCM 16

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Want to try an authentic Italian dish? Susan shares the meatball recipe she learned to make and has already shared with friends here in Coweta.

Alessandra’s Meatballs 2 tablespoons olive oil 3/4 cup onion, chopped 3/4 cup carrots, chopped 3/4 cup celery, chopped 1/2 pound ground chicken 1/2 pound bulk sausage 1-1/4 pounds ground beef 1 cup white wine 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated 1 egg, beaten 1/2 cup parsley, chopped 1/2 cup olives, chopped 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg Pepper to taste 1/4 cup flour 2 eggs, beaten Panko bread crumbs Saute the vegetables in the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the meats and cook until done, stirring to break the meat into small pieces. Drain, if needed. Return to the skillet and add the wine. Cook until the wine is absorbed. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the parmesan, one egg, and the seasonings. Mix well and chill. Once chilled, form into 1-inch balls. At this point the meatballs can be chilled or frozen. Roll the meatballs in flour, egg and bread crumbs and fry in olive oil until brown. Serve with mayonnaise seasoned with Worcestershire sauce, basil and oregano. Makes 40 meatballs.

Helping Georgia Building Randolph Collins Third District Commissioner relationships Coweta County Creating opportunities Inspiring success

“During my 14 years in public safety, I’ve worked everywhere from Atlanta to Columbus, and I understand how crucial a degree in criminology is. I also realize the importance of education in Coweta County, which the University of West Georgia plays a huge part in. The criminology program at the Newnan Center is just one of the many ways UWG is helping Georgia.” Your success is our story

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By Elizabeth Richardson | Photos by Bob Fraley and courtesy of Elizabeth Beers

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ewnan’s Elizabeth Beers is as independent an 81-year-old as you’ll ever meet. A self-described “adventurer,” she’s traveled the world over and participated in adrenaline activities that a 20-year-old might find gnarly. To kick off retirement, Beers made a list – a “bucket list,” if you will – of things she wanted to see and do this side of Heaven. At 81, she’s accomplished all but one item on that list. Beers has explored Egypt on a camel, kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland, swam in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon,

“I am going to the Kentucky Derby,” Beers said in 1937. Seventy-one years later, she did just that. Beers’ original plans to attend the Derby in 2007 – the year Queen Elizabeth II visited – fell through, much to her dismay. Her two grown children encouraged the trip because they knew the joy it would bring their mother. “My children love to watch me watch the Derby because I run with the horses,” joked Beers. In May 2008, Beers set off for her three-day trip to

Riding a camel in Egypt, opposite, is just one of the activities Newnan’s Elizabeth Beers has experienced during her travels. Above, clockwise, she recalls a trip aboard an Eyptian cruise ship; goes whitewater rafting on the Nenana River in Alaska; cheers on horses at the Kentucky Derby; and kisses the Blarney Stone in Ireland.

shared a meal with monkeys at the Rock of Gibraltar, parasailed and even channeled Tarzan on Banning Mills’ tree canopy tour in Whitesburg, Ga. Most recently, she accomplished a goal she set for herself in 1937 when her fourth grade teacher described the majestic beauty of the Kentucky Derby horse races.

Kentucky. On this trip, like the others, Beers was part of a tour group facilitated by a travel company. She departed Newnan alone and joined up with her group in Kentucky. For the Derby trip, Beers opted to go first class with Esoteric Sports. On the plane ride in, Beers noticed every lady had a

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Fulfilling a dream sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s had since 1937, Elizabeth Beers of Newnan made it to the Kentucky Derby last year. At top opposite are some of the souvenir plates she has collected on her travels. 20

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Buffalo Trace Distillery. facility. Beers had the opportunity to hatbox. When she landed in Saturday afternoon it was, at last, admire the mares and foals up close. Louisville on a Friday evening, she time to pack Churchill Downs for She enjoyed lunch in the museum was greeted on the concourse by a race number 10 – the Derby. And it garden. Her group also toured the “southern belle” wearing a big hat was exactly what she and doling out bourbon expected. balls. The driver who took “There were lots of her to her hotel was wearing hats, pretty girls and mint a black tuxedo with tails. juleps,” said Beers. “When we got to the Beers entered a hat hotel there was a competition wearing her tremendous arrangement of mother’s 1957 black straw red roses, and there were hat accented with pink mint juleps and snacks in roses. While she didn’t the lobby for us,” said Beers. win, she was reunited On the trip, Beers’ with an old friend she’d group toured Lexington and worked with at Newnan’s the lesser-known Keeneland Thoroughbred Park in downtown Lexington pays tribute old Playtex textile thoroughbred horse racing to the state’s thoroughbred industry.

Come in today for a complimentary lunch and tour!

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These plates from her travels are some of the favorite souvenirs of Newnanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Elizabeth Beers, shown here at last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Kentucky Derby.

company many years ago. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have a reputation of knowing someone everywhere I go,â&#x20AC;? said Beers. The Derby got underway and Beers cheered the racehorses on from the bleachers. The horses came and went in a flash of hoofs. Beers bet on three races and lost but managed to come out even. After hiking back to the tour bus in heels, Beers was pleasantly surprised when a group of policemen halted the mass exodus of people and parted the crowd for them to depart.

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Beers was ultimately glad to have fulfilled a life-long dream, but she also recommends that anyone considering this trip find seating in a corporate box because thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a much better view. A woman of sensibilities, she also found the crowd to be â&#x20AC;&#x153;too much,â&#x20AC;? and suggests interested travelgoers consider Keeneland as an alternative. No vacationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s complete without souvenirs, and Beers returned to Newnan with drinking glasses from Churchill Downs and earrings in the shape of the race jockeysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; shirts. Beers started planning for the Derby about a year out and highly recommends going through an agency. When traveling abroad, agencies can help travelers prepare for every aspect of a trip, including foreign languages and currency. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They just take care of everything,â&#x20AC;? said Beers.

and laid eyes on the great wealth of Beers has always enjoyed the Czars of Russia. The final item trekking out on her adventures solo. on her list: Beers wants to go to â&#x20AC;&#x153;I just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know another me Arizona to participate in the festival that wants to go and do like I do,â&#x20AC;? of colored hot air balloons, further said Beers. proof that in Beersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; world, the skyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not to say that sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a the limit. NCM loner on her trips. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You usually meet up with someone you enjoy â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t [like the person youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re with], you go find somebody else,â&#x20AC;? said Beers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think of any bad trips Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had,â&#x20AC;? she continued, even though she, like most travelers, has been lost and without luggage. Traveling, says Beers, is all in what you make of it. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re adventuresome, Beers says give her methods a try. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be discouraged if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not, because independence is something she had to learn. That drive is whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s led Beers to do things most have only seen in After a 71-year wait, Elizabeth Beers movies. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s explored the Nile River visits Churchill Downs.

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Ansley, Leigh, Carson and Bobby Knight enjoy a winter trip to Boone, N.C.

Hit the slopes! By Meredith Leigh Knight | Photos courtesy of the Knight family uring the winter break, my family and I went snow skiing in Boone, N.C. and had a blast. I highly recommend it for beginners and families. We arrived at Appalachian Ski Mountain, located between Blowing Rock and Boone, N.C., around lunchtime. My children, Ansley, 11, and Carson, 7, took advantage of the slope-side restaurant, located in the 46,000-square-foot base lodge, while we

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signed them up for lessons through the resort’s French Swiss Ski College. After lunch, the kids quickly (I can’t lie; I should say “painstakingly”) put on their rented skis and boots. The resort also rents insulated jackets, bib pants, gloves, goggles and helmets. We didn’t take advantage of any of the latter items, which made our kids easy to spot. While most skiers wore matching Northface gear, we dressed in


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a hodgepodge of our warmest clothes (except for me – I still had my purple ski clothes from a failed attempt at learning to ski out west in the early 1990s). The kids topped off their ensemble with Georgia Bulldog hats, as if no one could tell where we were from! The slopes were in excellent condition and not crowded. Snowmakers create fresh powder on the entire mountain whenever the temperature drops, and the deep snow base ensures great skiing even on warm days. The kids took to the sport right away, and once my son got the hang of skiing forward, instead of backwards, they were off, while my husband and I watched from the 200foot observation deck until quitting time at 4 p.m. The kids were too tired for ice skating and night skiing, so we took a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a perfect way to see the mountains in the Boone area. The toll-free Parkway winds from Shenandoah National

Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, extending for 469 miles along the mountain ridges. Here you will find some of the best hiking trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway, taking visitors to the summits of Rich Mountain and Flat Top Mountain. For the adventuresome, the Tanawha Trail crosses some of the most environmentally sensitive terrain at Linn Cove Viaduct at Milepost 304.4. The Linn Cove Viaduct is the “world’s only bridge built from the top down (meaning no heavy equipment was put on the face of the mountain, in order to protect the mountain ecology), through the use of specially equipped construction helicopters.” A marvel in the science of engineering, the Linn Cove Viaduct was the final link in the construction of the Parkway, marking its completion in 1987 after 52 years of construction.

Carson, Leigh and Ansley Knight are ready to hit the slopes.

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With their bright red Georgia Bullbog hats, Ansley and Carson Knight were easy to spot as they skied during the winter break from school.

We then drove through Appalachian State University, located in the heart of downtown Boone. This quaint town boasts a variety of restaurants and specialty shops, many 26

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featuring unique art and pottery. Although the Danâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;l Boone Inn and Restaurant is a popular spot for tourists, we chose the local Mountain House Restaurant since it serves


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breakfast all day long. Turns out nothing is better than pancakes after a long day on the slopes, at least if you are in elementary school. The next day the kids begged, I mean “encouraged,” us to get on skis. At one point – my confidence level at its peak – I yelled out, “I’m the Queen of the Bunny slopes! Eat my snow!” to a group of first graders who were there on a field trip – right before I fell down. Ever have 30 six-year-olds laughing and pointing at you? On our way home, we drove past nearby Grandfather Mountain, one of the most environmentally significant mountains in the world – recognized by the United Nations as an International Biosphere Reserve, according to its Web site, www.grandfather.com. (Unfortunately, a snow storm hit the night before, and the mountain was closed.) From there we ventured to Asheville and sampled some wonderful North Carolina barbeque at one of their many local joints, before venturing home through the Smoky Mountains. Due to time constraints, the Biltmore Estate would have to wait, but I didn’t mind. Now I have a great reason to go back to North Carolina again. For more information on Appalachian Ski Mountain and to check out snow conditions on their live Slopecam, visit www.appskimtn.com. Appalachian offers 10 slopes and two terrain parks as well as a nursery for children ages 1-4. Other resorts in the area include Hawksnest Resort, which is dedicated to tubing, and Beech Mountain Ski Resort. NCM

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The Etowah Indian Mounds are considered to be the greatest achievement of Georgia's Mississippian Indians. The complex near Cartersville is considered one of the most important Mississippian sites in the U.S.

Georgia’s ancient architects Story and photos by Sarah Fay Campbell eorgia’s early inhabitants left no written record, and in most cases, the Creeks and Cherokees who came later knew little but legends – or nothing at all – about the people who came before them. They knew of these people by the marks they left on the landscape – shell middens, stone effigies, rock walls and earthen mounds, built by different peoples over thousands of years. And it is through these monumental constructions, and the pottery and other artifacts found in them, that we know these early Georgians, known as Archaic, Woodland and Mississippian Indians. Some have vanished, the victims of time, progress and the plow. But many, too, remain, and are waiting for you to come and explore their mysteries. My obsession with these ancient architects was sparked by a chance reference to the wall that blocked the summit of Stone Mountain. How had I never

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heard of this? Neither had anyone I mentioned it to. Information about the wall, which I searched for fervently, was scanty. Built around 1,500 years ago, the wall was already much decayed by historic times. Some stones were taken for building materials; in later years, launching chunks of the wall off the steep side of the mountain was a popular local pastime. The last vestiges were ordered removed in 1916 by sculptor Guzton Borglum to protect his workers. When I’m there, now, my eyes constantly search for something Borglum missed. Nineteenth century accounts describe the “gate” in the wall, which visitors had to crawl through. Does it still stand, feet from the walk-up trail? I’ve yet to visit the Atlanta waterworks, which cover a Creek village of Standing Peachtree. The standing peach tree, or more likely pitch tree, stood atop the tallest mound. Even sites that were preserved suffered indignities. The railroad cuts two swaths through Ocmulgee.


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Theories abound about the builders and uses of the mysterious rock wall on Fort Mountain in Chatsworth. Some believe it was built by Welsh Prince Madoc in the late 12th century, but the 855-foot wall more likely dates from around AD 500 and was used for ceremonial and astrological purposes, rather than defense. MAY/JUNE

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Blairsville Fort Helen Mountain Cartersville Stone Mountain

Athens

Rock Eagle

Ocmulgee

Kolomoki Mounds

Interstate 16 destroyed important sites nearby, and a Woodland village site was leveled in the ’70s for a Bibb County Sheriff ’s Department firing range. What remains of Ocmulgee, though, fills me with a certain awe. The earth lodge looks like a mound – one that you enter, bowing, through a timbered hallway. The incredible white clay floor is ringed with seats for council members, narrower the farther they are from the seat of honor, a bird’s head platform. A climb to the top of the great temple mound puts you high above Macon, with a commanding view of the city’s gorgeous 19th century towers and spires on one side, and trails through a beautiful marshland on the other. Though the Creeks knew little about the mound builders, their legends held Ocmulgee sacred, as the place their wandering ancestors from the West “first sat down.” The Creeks refused to give it up when they ceded the surrounding lands in 1805. 30

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After just 200 years at Ocmulgee, the Mississippian Indians, who had subjugated the native Woodland Indians, fled north, to build an even greater city at Etowah, near Cartersville. From the inviting banks of the Etowah, you can see the fish trap built by the villagers. The “borrow pits” that provided earth for the mounds form a defensive moat. Etowah’s famous soapstone Sapelo Island man and woman were found buried in a shallow pit, as if to hide them from invaders. I’ve yet to visit Kolomoki, near Blakely. The nine mounds were built, not by the Mississippians, but by late Woodland Indians, between AD 350 and 750. Kolomoki’s museum, built inside an excavated mound, was robbed of its greatest treasures in a 1974 break-in. Only a handful have been recovered. You can view the missing pots at www.georgiaplanning. com/history/kolomoki.

A later mound, only 500 or 600 years old, can be seen in a pasture on the Unicoi Turnpike, near Helen. It contained 75 burials, including some much younger than the mound itself. Many Georgians have their first encounter with Georgia’s ancient architects at Rock Eagle 4-H Camp, near Eatonton. Rock Eagle and nearby Rock Hawk were built around 2,000 years ago by Early Woodland Indians. They are the only stone effigy mounds east of the Mississippi. The rock walls were built on many peaks, including Mt. Yonah and Lookout Mountain. Their design and location indicates that the walls served a ceremonial or astrological, rather than defensive, purpose. The 855-foot-long wall at Fort Mountain State Park is the best preserved. Though the wall isn’t as impressive as other sites, the nearby overlook is itself worth the trip, as are the extensive hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails. Around the same time they were building walls of stone, these early Georgians were carving symbols, or petroglyphs, into rocks. You can see these glyphs in their original surroundings at Track Rock Gap near Blairsville. Another petroglyph marked stone is displayed in a garden at the University of Georgia School of Law.

The impressive earth lodge at Ocmulgee was the site of councils and important meetings.


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Sapelo Islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shell rings have radiocarbon dated to 2,170 BC, making them older than Egyptâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pyramids. The huge shell rings surrounded ancient villages, the largest 255 feet in diameter. The piles of razor sharp shells, now covered with thousands of years of dirt and plant life, likely began as trash piles outside of homes, and were molded over hundreds of years into a solid defensive wall. These are by no means the only marks left by Georgiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s early inhabitants. There are dozens more sites scattered across the state. Many are described by Charles Jones in his 1873 book, Antiquities of the Southern Indians, available for free download online. And some, perhaps, are still undiscovered. NCM

Rock Eagle

Sapelo Island â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Photo courtesy of Dr. Victor Thompson

Stolen pottery from Kolomoki â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Photos courtesy of Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Could this be the gateway through Stone Mountainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ancient rock wall?

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Girlfriend Getaway

in St. Lucia Story and photos by Janet Flanigan

t seems, bustling about day to day, we make promises to get together with friends and then somehow don’t find the time. But friendships are important and deserve nurturing. One way to make sure you stay connected is by scheduling getaway trips with friends. My “girl trips” are among the most treasured memories in my life. My friends and I have lazed on beaches, hiked mountains and even

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dogsledded in Wyoming’s Teton Mountains. But a highlight during our decades-long friendship was when several of us ventured to the tropical bliss of St. Lucia. Located in the Western Caribbean, St. Lucia is a shining gem that was once part of the “crown jewels” of both France and England but is now an independent nation. In the towns and villages, colonial architecture is reminiscent of New Orleans with a bit


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the town of Soufriere (which means Sulfur in French) for a week, and her husband and son stayed the first half of the week and invited four lucky girlfriends to visit the second half. We paid for our airfare and expenses, but you can bet we found frequent flier miles or good airfares and booked our flights to Hewanorra International Airport tout de suite. As our driver pulled up to the bougainvilleadraped entrance to La Batterie, tropical finches whirred in and out of the house and our jaws dropped. Exquisite homes like the one we stayed in are available for rental online and can be found all over the world and with different amenities. They are a unique and special way to stay in a foreign country and can be an economical way to stay when more than one family shares the expense. St. Lucia offers many opportunities for adventure. For instance, try driving its very narrow and twisting mountain roads! There are many lovely resorts that offer pampering of every kind. Affordable temporary memberships are available at many of the luxury resorts. We enjoyed this opportunity at the famous Anse Chastanet and took advantage of the wonderful beach lounge chairs for several days. One evening, at sunset, we booked massages (quite reasonably priced) in the special tiki huts at the resort’s outdoor massage area overlooking the Piton Mountains and the Caribbean ocean. Talk about relaxing! We knew we had to see the sights and sounds of the Caribbean even if it meant risking life and limb, so one day we set off to find some local art. First we went up the mountain and found an art stand tucked just off the

of “Pirates of the Caribbean” tossed in. Sugar and rum plantations are scattered throughout St. Lucia’s 27 miles of verdant landscape. However, visitors are not immune to witnessing staggering poverty throughout the lovely landscape. My incredibly lucky opportunity to visit St. Lucia was made possible through the generosity of one friend. She and her husband rented a villa on a hill overlooking

At St. Lucia’s Anse Chastanet resort, visitors can enjoy outdoor massages beneath special tiki huts. The Pitons, opposite, were part of the view from the villa La Batterie.

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Sites in St. Lucia included, clockwise from right, cows grazing roadside; the entrance to Villa La Batterie; the beautiful ocean view in St. Lucia; a roadside artist; a church passed on the way to Soufriere; and more scenic views.

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roadside. We stopped and shopped for St. Luciaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s famous batiks, beautiful painted florals and landscapes, and Christmas creches and other items. We then went back down the mountain and toured the outside of luxury resorts including Jalousie Plantation, Ladera and Jade Mountain. We headed back into Soufriere and walked around the square, including an area that in 1795 was an area used for the guillotine, and toured the Cathedral. Back in the jeep, we couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but stop when we saw a sign that read â&#x20AC;&#x153;STOP! DISTRACTING ART AHEAD!â&#x20AC;? This turned out to be a well-known island artist named Zaka (Simon Gajadhar), originally from the UK, who makes one-of-a-kind painted masks that are reminiscent of the Easter Island faces. We all purchased Zaka masks and had a great time visiting with Simon, who also has a shop in Soufriere. Another day we went to one of the local waterfalls. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m ashamed to say I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t remember which one it was, but St. Lucia has many. Diamond, Piton and Toraille are all popular destinations because the waters run both hot and cold. It is a very unique experience to sit under a hot waterfall â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and very soothing, let me tell you! Some of the mineral baths in the area date back to the time of Louis XVI, who built them for his soldiers who were stationed there. One day we hired two men to take us out in a launch and traveled by boat all day. We visited St. Luciaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s posh shopping area in Marigot Bay and marveled at some of the fancy boats docked there. We enjoyed a fun lunch at the famous Doolittleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s restaurant, which is the scenic setting where the original Dr. Doolittle movie was filmed. While our adventures were exciting, the best part was the uninterrupted time with my friends. I do think we could create just as great a memory if we stayed in our own neighborhood and just made the time to get together, but who can say no to St. Lucia? NCM

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By Alex McRae | Photos by Bob Fraley and courtesy of Todd Cochran

fter pushing his 1000 cc Yamaha superbike down the Road Atlanta straightaways at close to 180 mph, taking a curve at 80 was almost like standing still. Then, without warning, Todd Cochran was slammed by another motorcycle. The impact sent Cochran flying over the handlebars and skidding across the track, shattering his collarbone, peeling the paint 36

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from his helmet and leaving him in a crumpled heap. For some riders, it would have been a good excuse to call it quits. But Cochran had waited 37 years to race motorcycles. A broken bone wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to derail his dream. Two weeks later, he had surgery to repair the collarbone. Two weeks after


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After waiting 37 years to race motorcycles, Todd “The Cat” Cochran is competing at the “pro” level for the first time this year.

that, Cochran was in victory lane at Little Talladega Raceway. “You can’t race and think about getting hurt,” Cochran says. “I didn’t give it a second thought.” Cochran, 38, has spent most of his life on two wheels. When he was just seven his dad bought him a small dirt bike and father and son spent hours riding the trails near their Marietta home. At 13, Cochran took up bicycle racing and trick

riding and for the next eight years performed at circuses and Six Flags and earned three major concussions for his trouble. “I got banged up a little,” he says, “but I enjoyed it.” In 2000, Cochran moved to Coweta, bought a serious set of wheels and joined other thrill-seekers on rides like “The Dragon’s Tail,” an 11-mile stretch of MAY/JUNE

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Todd Cochran, at right, gets support in his racing from wife Angela, son Carson, father Bill Cochran and even his dog Lucky.

north Georgia mountain road sporting 316 brake-bruising turns. The mountain roads were nice, but Cochran wanted to ride where he could crank open the throttle and not worry about cops, mailboxes or guard rails. When he bought a Yamaha 1000 cc superbike in 2007, he found just such a place. Motorcycle road race courses spend most of the year collecting dust between competitions. To boost income, they host “track days,” where amateur riders can pay a fee and 38

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experience the same thrills and conditions as the pros. Cochran booked a track day slot in Jennings, Fla., and headed south. He and his wife, Angela, checked into a motel the night before Cochran’s ride. The motorcycle spent the night in the room, too. “I couldn’t take a chance on anything going wrong,” Cochran says. “ I was so excited I couldn’t sleep.” The next day Cochran was all smiles as he rocketed around the track at speeds approaching 130 mph. “It was even better than I expected,” Cochran says. “I couldn’t


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wait to do it again.â&#x20AC;? Two weeks later, at another track day in Talladega, Cochran was promoted to â&#x20AC;&#x153;expertâ&#x20AC;? class. At the end of the day, an instructor encouraged him to attend racing school and get a license to compete. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That was all I needed to hear,â&#x20AC;? Cochran says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I jumped on it.â&#x20AC;? He enrolled at the Ed Bargy Racing School, thrived on the intensive instruction and got his ticket to ride. As 2007 drew to a close, Cochran entered two races sanctioned by WERA Motorcycle Roadracing. He finished second in one race and third in another, unheard of results for a rookie. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That convinced us,â&#x20AC;? Cochran says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We decided we were going racing for real.â&#x20AC;?

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Bill, Todd and Carson Cochran are looking forward to Todd’s first year competing in the “pro” category.

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When the 2008 WERA season began, Cochran entered the Pirelli Sportsmen Series novice class. The birth of son Carson just three weeks before the first race didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t slow things down a bit. In fact, Angela, baby Carson and daughter Sarah, who just turned 12, traveled to all the 2008 races but one. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like one big family on the circuit,â&#x20AC;? Cochran says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great group.â&#x20AC;? The racing was great as Cochran took top three finishes in each of the 12 races he entered. Support and sponsorship from his employer, Thompson Lift Trucks, defrayed some costs, but with tires alone going for $1,000 per set, funding was always a concern. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a huge sacrifice,â&#x20AC;? Cochran says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But we were willing to do it. I had to know how I could stack up.â&#x20AC;? Cochranâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s racing nickname is â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Catâ&#x20AC;? and during the 2008 season he used up all nine lives, banging his way through elbow-toelbow high-speed traffic and escaping several potential disasters as he swept both the northeast and southeast regional points championships. He was one of 10 riders invited to Road Atlanta for a season-ending race. Despite mechanical problems, Cochran finished second. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The whole season was awesome,â&#x20AC;? Cochran says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I never thought Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d do that well.â&#x20AC;? Cochran will compete at the â&#x20AC;&#x153;proâ&#x20AC;? level in the 2009 season. The competition will be tougher, but he wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have it any other way. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I waited so long for this I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t give it up now,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Racing has changed my life.â&#x20AC;?

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> MEET A READER

Meet a Newnan-Coweta Magazine

READER ...

MITCHELL HICKS

As a man whose company helps people plan business trips and travel adventures, Mitchell Hicks, owner of Uniglobe McIntosh Travel, is a perfect combination of world-explorer and hometown gentleman. Raised in L.A. (Lower Alabama) and Arkansas, Hicks was a business consultant on assignment in Ontario, B.C. when he met and married his wife Mary. Shortly after they were married, another consulting opportunity whisked the newlyweds to a dream job in Australia. In 1987, one consulting opportunity changed his life when he forged a relationship with Newnan businessman 42

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Bill Loftin. After developing a rapport over time, Loftin asked him, “What do you really want out of life?” When Hicks said he’d like to own his own business some day, Loftin must have liked what he saw because he eventually offered Hicks the opportunity to purchase Loftin’s travel agency. The Hicks family moved to Newnan in 1991 and includes two sons. Michael is an East Coweta graduate who is a ranked collegiate golfer at Columbus State University, and Steven, a sophomore at Landmark Christian School, is interested in a career as a football trainer or equipment manager.


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Most people travel as a hobby. What are some of your hobbies?

I am what you might call a quirky gardener. I like to germinate seeds, particularly palm trees. I have six or eight varieties around our pool. This winter was pretty cold so I had to wrap some of them, but they’ll come back. Mary and I don’t play golf but we have a son that’s a competitive golfer. We love to dive and sail. There’s also so much I haven’t seen of the world that I’d like to see.

McMANUS

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I’m not really a moviegoer. I mostly just have time to watch them on the airplane. $AN-C-ANUS $-$

While you help people with business trips and vacations out of town, what are some recommendations a little closer?

I like Barnsley Gardens and Callaway Gardens for two beautiful and reasonable getaways. The RitzCarlton at Reynolds Plantation remains a top destination, and now there are even cruises departing from ports-of-call within driving distance. Are you a pet person?

We have a cat named Peaches. Well, it’s my wife’s cat, or she might say Peaches is my cat because she follows me around the house like a dog. When you were a little boy, what was the most exotic place you ever dreamed of visiting?

I grew up landlocked in Alabama and Arkansas and we never went to the ocean, so I always dreamed of going to the South Pacific – places like Bora Bora, Fiji and Australia. And I even got to live there. As someone who gets to travel a lot for business and pleasure, there are still many places I’d like to see. I’ve not spent time in Russia and I’d like to see upper Norway and Scandinavia. Would you categorize yourself as adventurer/ outdoorsman, an eco-tourist, a history/sightseer or a beach/cruiser/relaxer?

I would definitely say adventurer/outdoorsman. We are very active. What do you have on your nightstand right now?

I don’t have an alarm clock but I have reading material. I just finished an awesome novel called “Roatan Odyssey.” We have a place there but it was a great, true adventure story. I also have several copies of Bottom Line magazine. NCM

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> COWETA COOKS

DISHING

with Mike

By Janet Flanigan | Photos by Bob Fraley

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ike Hutchesonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s zest for life is apparent whether heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oncamera hosting his local television program â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dishing with Mike,â&#x20AC;? teaching cooking classes or bragging about his family. Hutcheson â&#x20AC;&#x153;grew up in the kitchenâ&#x20AC;? in St. Louis, surrounded by Lebanese cooking tastes and smells in his motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kitchen. He decided to become a chef by his early twenties and was taken on as an apprentice by a well-known Italian chef from his hometown, Andreino DeSantis. DeSantis encouraged Hutcheson to move to Southern California with him and taught him both cooking and showmanship. In the 1980s they prepared food for celebrities from Sinatra to John Wayne; politicians from the Kennedys to Nixon; and they were hired for a job during the L.A. Olympics. Eventually Hutcheson set out on his own and was hired as chef at the famous La Costa Resort and Spa in Carslbad, Calif. After a stint as executive chef with Anheuser-Busch, a sales job with Naturally Fresh brought the Hutcheson family to Newnan 13 years ago. He now does corporate menu development and recipe revamping for chains. Locally, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chef Mikeâ&#x20AC;? shares his culinary gifts on the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dishing with Mikeâ&#x20AC;? program airing on both NuLink and Charterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cable networks â&#x20AC;&#x153;where my style is fresh food fast,â&#x20AC;? he says. Viewers might learn to make a chicken dish one way but add simple ingredients that will make subtle changes in flavor and texture. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People get bored in the kitchen,â&#x20AC;? Mike says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want them to have as much fun as I do.â&#x20AC;? Mikeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s specialty is Northern Italian, and he makes two or three recipes per weekly show. His relaxed, engaging style belies his experienced professional restaurant training. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love food and I think it shows,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want my viewers to be able to buy what they see on my show locally and have a great time.â&#x20AC;?

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AGNOLOTTI WITH PESTO SAUCE

CHICKEN CASSERECCIO

1 bunch parsley 1 bunch basil 1 bunch green onions 1 teaspoon prepared, chopped garlic from jar 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper each, mixed together 1/2 teaspoon pinch* 1/2 teaspoon crushed dry red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce 1 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup pine nuts 2 tablespoons sherry cooking wine 4 tablespoons unsalted butter Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish 2 packages Agnolotti pasta (small stuffed, half-moon shaped pasta, other stuffed pasta of choice, or 1 pound angel hair pasta)

2 (6-ounce) chicken breasts 1/2 cup plus extra olive oil, divided use 1 teaspoon plus extra freshly chopped garlic from a jar, divided use Salt and pepper to taste 1 sweet onion, sliced 1 can fire roasted tomatoes (may drain juice if desired) 1 cup sliced portabella mushrooms 1 teaspoon pinch* 1 cup white wine 2 teaspooons unsalted butter broken into a few balls, rolled in flour

Chop first 3 ingredients in a blender or processor, then begin adding the next 8 ingredients and mix slowly, creating a nice mixture. Cook the pasta, using 1 gallon of boiling water. When noodles are done, drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water for your sauce. Place pesto sauce in a skillet and bring up to lightly warm and add noodles. Add a bit of the noodle water to lightly thin the sauce and finish with the butter. Toss to cover and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve. Yields 4 servings.

Drizzle olive oil over chicken breasts, sprinkle with salt and pepper and coat with chopped garlic. Grill or pan sautĂŠ and when they are cooked, set them aside but keep them slightly warm. In a skillet, heat 1/2 cup olive oil until hot. Add garlic and onions and cook until onions are translucent. Then add tomatoes, mushrooms and pinch and bring to a boil. Add white wine and cook off wine for about 2 minutes. Once sauce is again at rapid boil, add butter and flour balls. This will incorporate into the sauce and help the sauce come together and bind. Add the chicken breasts into the sauce for about 2 minutes so sauce can soak into the breasts. Place breasts on serving platter and spoon sauce over breasts and serve. Yields 2 servings.

Mike Hutcheson discusses a dish with Danny Beck.

Agnolotti with Pesto Sauce

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MIKE’S “PINCH” RECIPE Put 1 teaspoon of each of the following spices in a mixing bowl and combine, then when a recipe calls for “pinch” it is this spice mixture. It is called “pinch” because it is a pinch of each of these spices: Oregano, basil, thyme, sage, red pepper flakes, ground mustard, paprika, salt, black pepper, rosemary, celery seed, cumin and allspice.

Chicken Cassereccio

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Mills Adams, an AP art student at The Heritage School, is considering furthering his art skills at film school.

By Janet Flanigan | Photos by Bob Fraley hen Mills Adams was in just the fourth grade, he already showed promise as a budding artist. Even a flower he made way back then so impressed 48

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Meredith Wilson, his lower school art teacher at The Heritage School, that she remembers calling him out into the hall to tell him how outstanding it was.

“I didn’t want to embarrass him or the other children,” she recalls, “and all he said was, ‘I thought I was in trouble!’” A year ago, that early promise had taken root so Wilson


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called Adams’ mother to say, ‘I want you to encourage Mills with his art; he is the most talented student I’ve ever worked with.’” “I always enjoyed doing art, like most kids,” says Adams, “but in middle school I started to think it might be something I could do professionally. I started thinking I might want to go down the film path but I’m not totally sure.” The versatile teen seems able to conquer just about any medium he tries but has a particular love of film. Mills Adams, center, gets encouragement from Heritage art teachers “I got really excited about Filmfest Meredith Wilson and David Boyd Jr. at Heritage,” Adams said. When his parents realized he was interested in filmmaking, they sent him to a weeklong experience with the New York Digital Film Summer Camp after his freshman year. Filmfest is a 15-year-old program showcasing the student-produced films by the Upper School students at Heritage. In 2007, Adams’ short film


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won for Best Picture and Best Promotional Art. In 2008, his short film was voted Best Screenplay and Best Soundtrack. Boyd said Adams’ talents are by no means limited to filmmaking and “Mills is one of the most if not the most versatile student I’ve ever worked with. He is a well-balanced person.” He laughingly added, “and you don’t always find artists are balanced in their lives. Mills has direction. His only difficulty might be time management because AP art is very time consuming, and balancing art projects

with other class assignments is hard.” Advanced Placement (AP) art students have a rigorous curriculum and are required to complete 29 different pieces in a course year in a variety of mediums from pencil to painting, digital compositions cartooning and more. There are many different layers to the AP art courses, as there are in any advanced placement high school classes, and they require many hours of dedication and determination. Dedication doesn’t seem to be something this young artist is lacking.

He has already been commissioned locally for several different jobs including a corporate logo and a basement wall mural. He’s currently working on a portrait. Adams loves to draw and sketch, and people are amazed when they see some of his work, such as his portrait of Tiger Woods done when he was in eighth grade. He has actually been commissioned by a local family to create a charcoal sketch of their son, based on their amazement at his talent. But he seems unfazed at all the fuss. He just seems to see his art as an

Mills Adams, far left, has had to learn to create art in a variety of styles and methods for his AP art program.

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extension of who he is. Adams says that when he starts a piece, he usually has an idea of what he wants to do “but it almost always evolves into something better or different than what I imagined.” He would like the opportunity to work on some more contemporary art and has been motivated by art he has seen on recent college visits. “I am interested in learning different ways of doing things,” he says. As a junior, college is not too far off and he has visited the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), both the Savannah and Atlanta campuses, and Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fla. Future plans include visits to Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). “I used to think I would head out to California and do the movie stuff,” Adams says, “but that was just a dream. But I can still go to film school and I might still look at a more traditional school a little closer to home like Florida State University, which has a really good theatrical film program. I’m just not sure yet.” Last summer Adams attended a two-week pre-college program in computer animation at the University of Chicago, and he’s investigating summer opportunities for this year. All of these experiences may help him narrow down his choices. But don’t think this young man is only about art. Even though his friends have always thought of him as a talented artist, none of them is really into art, so they spend time together playing golf or on the Hawks football team or just hanging out like regular kids. But his teachers jokingly say maybe they need to hold back a couple of his pieces for the future so they can say “I knew him when…”

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> THE BABY FILES

Consignment sale + baby = By Carolyn Barnard | Illustration by Michal Taylor-Phillips ecently I was in a situation that confirmed what I have believed to be true for some time: that babies make women act crazy. And combine that with the economy and the crazy factor increases exponentially. I recently started going to children’s consignment sales. One week, I decided to try a sale that had a reputation for carrying nicer things. The sale started at 8 a.m. so I decided to get there right on time. (I even skipped Starbucks so I wouldn’t be 52

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too late!) I brought Lilly with me and decided I would be better suited to shop with her in her baby carrier instead of her stroller. When I pulled up at 5 after 8, I noticed the line outside the door was about 10 deep. I assumed they were running a few minutes behind on opening so I parked, hefted Lilly into her papoose and went to shop. Unfortunately for me, the sale did not actually start at 8 and I was there with the crazy early shoppers

who endure the cold without coffee. These people were standing in line to wait for the doors to open (or sitting in the comfy chairs they had brought with them – consignment pros). Not wanting to look like an amateur, I refused to ask anyone what time they were opening. I was really hoping for an 8:30 start since I was carrying 15 extra pounds in a kangaroo pouch. When 8:30 rolled around and the line was only getting longer and they were making no attempt to let


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were already so picked over it wasn’t us in, I started hearing murmurings even worth looking. I headed back of 9 a.m. Fantastic. That meant 30 more minutes of standing in the cold over to the Jumperoo a few minutes later, ready to get out of the chaos. with an infant strapped to my chest. When I got there another woman No seat, no coffee, and no way I was calling my husband because he would was standing next to the Jumperoo with her grandchild in a stroller. I only make fun of me for getting the looked at them with sympathy. “Too time wrong. I settled in and assured slow,” I thought. “Too bad you myself it would be worth the wait. didn’t stand in line for an hour and I’m a sucker for a good deal. this could’ve been yours!” Thirty minutes later I was Then I heard her talking to the seriously regretting skipping those consignment worker about leaving aerobics classes. (And really, really with my Jumperoo. MY Jumperoo! regretting the fact I’d skipped on the After I cleared my head, I calmly coffee). My thighs were burning, my calves were shaking and my shoulders told the worker this was mine and I was ready to check out. Grandma were numb from holding Lilly in her papoose for an hour straight. The kid went cold on me and assured me this was hers. We stared each other in front of us was having a complete meltdown. My head was aching from down and I looked at the worker, who wasn’t a caffeine the same one withdrawal and I The kid in front of who had was about to lose it. us was having a helped me. I But the line was complete meltdown. frantically around the block at My head was aching searched for this point so I knew the other it was going to be from a caffeine woman to worth it! withdrawal and I back up my Finally they let was about to lose it. story but she us through and I started having day-after-Thanksgiving was missing in action. Grandma looked like she was ready to cageflashbacks. People were running to fight me over the stupid thing and I their respective clothes sections, was faced with a dilemma: Unstrap grabbing things and blindly shoving Lilly, hand her to a stranger and them into the enormous boxes they duke it out with the old lady or be brought to keep stuff in. I found the bigger person and let her have myself getting caught up in the the Jumperoo. Granny obviously frenzy. First I wanted to run to the clothes but there was so much to look wasn’t going to be backing down anytime soon (she might as well at! Out of the corner of my eye I saw have been crouched and growling), a Jumperoo we had recently talked so I took a deep breath and gave in. about getting. This was the exact one “Just take it.” and it was brand new! In slowFuming and furious at myself motion, Chariots-of-Fire-style, I ran for standing in line for nothing, I up to the Jumperoo lady and staked left the sale and raged all the way to my claim. There was no price tag on Starbucks. the Jumperoo but I assured her I Then I went to the store and wanted it. Thrilled with my deal, I bought Lilly another, better toy. ran back to the clothes. In the five minutes that had passed, the clothes NCM

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Swinging Porch Bed ... A Bed Fit for a

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By Tina Neely | Photos by Bob Fraley hen my friend Melissa Greene said she wanted to redo her back porch I was excited, but when she said she wanted her husband Adam to make her a swinging porch bed I was inspired! Just picture it: A lazy Sunday afternoon. You’ve heard a great sermon, had some good country cooking for lunch, and now what’s on the agenda? Well, a nap of course, and what better place to do that than on a comfy

hanging porch bed! Melissa and I were off to visit a couple of friends for more inspiration. She got some great ideas from her friend Lauren Gallagher’s newly built screened-in porch. It has a dark bed decorated in cool blue, khaki and browns. She mixed wood, wicker and sleek metal chairs for a lovely modern look, but still so very comfy and inviting. Loads of big fluffy pillows fill the hanging bed, which is cooled off just right

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When Newnan’s Sandy Parker goes to her Lake Martin home to relax, she and her family can enjoy a swinging bed that features a queen size mattress and is large enough for the whole family to enjoy. — Photos courtesy of Sandy Parker

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with ceiling fans hanging above. From there we headed to my friend Sandy Parker’s. I swear, Sandy could put even Martha Stewart to shame. She can cook wonderfully, decorate beautifully, and host the most fantastic get togethers you have ever seen. And her poolside pavilion stops nothing short of fabulous. Once you step in, you don’t know if you’re on the lake in Newnan, Ga. or on the beach in the Caribbean. Decorated all in white, turquoise and brilliant blues, it has a relaxing beach flare. Sandy’s swinging day bed is also

made from a twin mattress, like Lauren’s, and it’s placed comfortably in front of the fireplace for yearround enjoyment. And at her lake

house on Lake Martin, she has the most inviting hanging bed on her screened-in back porch. Made with a

queen size mattress, it’s big enough for the whole family to enjoy. After going to those lovely places, we were truly inspired and filled with great ideas. Adam started building the swing, Melissa started painting, I started shopping, and we were off on our weekend makeover of the Greene back porch. In keeping with the tough economic times now, we were working on a budget. This is a project anyone can do, and you don’t have to have all new stuff. Just grab some spray paint – it comes in tons of different colors now – and repaint the furniture and accessories that you have, then just rearrange it

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Melissa Greene and daughter Mallory enjoy the familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new swinging bed along with dog Bailey. Below are Melissa and Mallory along with sons Carson and Travis, and of course Bailey.

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to give it a different look. Melissa kept her same iron table and chairs. We painted it from green to black and her wicker from white to black. I searched all the local stores for indoor/outdoor pillows and cushions to match the beautiful indoor/outdoor fabric that we found at the local fabric store, got lots of fun outdoor accessories and lovely potted plants. After a day of shopping, painting and building, we were ready to put it together. Adam and Melissaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s porch swing was hung with rope. A lot of the ones Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen were hung with chain, but I loved the look of the thick rope Adam used. The twin size mattress was installed and tucked in with lovely rust colored outdoor fabric and topped with loads of pillows. Fresh ferns were hung on all sides of the porch, giving it lovely color and texture and providing privacy, too. The furniture was rearranged, we brought in the new potted plants, lamp, and accessories, and voila. It was finished and ready for napping! Are you still looking for the perfect Motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day or Fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day gift? For one that will outdo all the others youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever given, and show just how much you love and appreciate them, look no further. I think youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve found your gift. Wrap up a â&#x20AC;&#x153;gift certificateâ&#x20AC;? for a weekend makeover or send Mom and Dad away and surprise them while theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re gone. You can make the bed as simple or as fancy as youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like, with any size mattress you like. So get geared up for that great weekend redo project. Head to your local home improvement store to stock up on wood, paint, and outdoor cushions. After a weekend of hard work, you can spend the rest of the time relaxing in the shade! NCM

our Want to make y ? own hanging bed ns for building your Tina shares her directio own in a Web Extra at .com. She newnancowetamagazine k online for notes you can also chec ll as free plans you can order as we plans. Websites for home have improvement stores often ideas for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Creative Home d free plans Improvement.â&#x20AC;? Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll fin ts, pictures, drawings complete with supply lis and full instructions.

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State Rep. Lynn Smith sharing her garden on Master Gardeners’ tour By Janet Flanigan | Photos by Bob Fraley or State Representative Lynn Smith, gardening is a great way to get away from the stress of politics. She has been gardening for more than 30 years, and Smith’s garden will be featured along with three other residential gardens on the Coweta County Master Gardeners’ Garden Gate Tour 60

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this month. A group called the Backyard Association is sponsored by the Master Gardeners and meets monthly. Smith said she attended for the first time when they had a program on soil erosion “because I had a run-off problem from my driveway.” Her task-oriented mind seems to work in the garden, because

she talks in terms of problem-solving. She says she “problem-solved” the run-off situation, and her next big job was tackling English ivy, which is forever threatening to encroach on the edge of their property. “I’m still working on that plan and will be until I put down my trowel for the last time,” she said. Working on solutions for these


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Grandsons Frank Baxley, 2, and Charlie Mitchell, 5, enjoy playing near the pond of their grandmother, Lynn Smith.

problems gave Smith the courage to tackle design landscaping of her and husband Charlieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shaded backyard. Smith joined the Driftwood Garden Club in 1976 and says she learned basic flower design and horticulture tips for Southern gardens. This helped her begin to think about how she wanted to start the aesthetics of her backyard layout and eventually MAY/JUNE

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she “took the plunge and studied to become a Master Gardener.” Smith says her garden is almost a “Serendipity garden – this will work here, that will work there,” but when you look at this garden, clearly there’s nothing accidental about it. She has an interesting view of their traditional neighborhood built in the 1960s. “People in these established neighborhoods do ‘Old South’ type gardening. What I mean is, you see a neat, manicured front lawn, but it is the back yard that is to die for. Today’s new homes are generally on smaller lots, and owners don’t have as much space to do really big gardens out back.” She likens Newnan’s big backyard gardens to the Charleston-style gardens “without the gates,” where the front yard is neat and tidy “but come on in and I’ll entertain you.” Smith now enjoys planning ideas

The gardens at Lynn and Charlie Smith’s home in Newnan are featured on the Master Gardeners’ Garden Gate Tour May 16.

for the backyard that her grandsons Frank Baxley, 2, and Charlie Mitchell, 5, will enjoy. “They like to play in the backyard, following the slate paths, looking for bugs, birds and other crawly things.” Smith says her family enjoys the best views from the sunroom, and she has some favorite landscapes: a truly antique cast iron ensemble; the

French Pump House (purchased from the former Beard and Company); the trellises used as a divider between the compost pile and yard; and the small pond with shrubbery surrounding it (the pond was a gift from Charlie). She also has many favorite plants, including the butterfly bush planted along the edge of the pool, a gift to Smith when her

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mother passed away. She also loves several seasons of shade and runoff the Lenten roses, which cheerily from rains taught her that even her bloom in winter; Lady Banks roses, perseverance wouldn’t make fescue which provide a great display against grow, but she did “problem-solve” the home’s brick wall; and Armandi and she has successfully landscaped clematis, which makes, as Smith with mondo grass and slate. She says says, “a showy, sweet display year after year.” Birds help plant mahonia, boxwoods Coweta County Master Gardeners provide structure to quiet a Garden Gate Tour winter landscape, and of course there’s the perennial This year’s tour is May 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 to tour four residential gardens southern tradition, azaleas. and include a catered lunch. Tickets for indi“I’ve done almost all of vidual gardens without lunch are $5. Tickets the work myself,” Smith are available at Country Gardens and the says. “I’ve learned to buy Coweta County Extention Office at 725 Pine Rd. plants in one gallon in Newnan. Plein air artists will be painting at containers because then I’ll each garden during the tour. be able to dig the proper size Other Newnan gardens on the tour include hole for the plant.” Her Angie Whitlock, 5 Evergreen Dr.; Rob and problem-solving mind won’t Christie Estes, 10 Sherwood Dr.; and Pat and let a situation get her down. Parnell Odom, 25 Sherwood Dr. When she wanted fescue grass for her front yard,

mondo grass is a great friend of the shade garden. Smith says “a gardener commits to their yard and they enjoy it,” with the implication that you aren’t a true gardener if you don’t make the commitment to do the job properly. But first and foremost, enjoy it! As Smith became more successful with her gardening efforts, she began taking photos of her flowers and shrubs at the height of their splendor. She has a display of her photos on display at her Capitol office and some on display at home. But the living version will be available for tours, inspiration and your own photo opportunities in the garden during this year’s Master Gardeners tour, so save the date and get ready to dig Smith’s dirt! NCM

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The Th

e arden r

htful G g u o

Hydrangea macrophylla Story, photos and artwork by Katherine McCall nternational travel, love, banishment, intrepid explorers, mistaken identity, mystery, stunning beauty – all play a part in the history of the Hydrangea macrophylla, also known as French Hydrangea, Common Hydrangea or Big Leaf Hydrangea. Before we can fully appreciate the intrigue of the history of Hydrangea macrophylla, we must first examine the intricacies of its physical characteristics. The genus Hydrangea encompasses small trees, climbing vines and flowering shrubs. Hydrangea macrophylla belongs to the group of flowering shrubs and is one of the best loved of all Southern garden shrubs. The flower is actually called an inflorescence and is made up of varying combinations of fertile florets (“true” flowers supplying nectar) and very showy sterile florets. In contrast, the lacecap Hydrangeas have more of the true flowers and differ in appearance from the showy H. macrophylla. Common Hydrangea has very few true flowers, consisting almost completely of sterile florets and is called a mophead. Another unique characteristic is their chameleonlike quality – the alkalinity of the soil will determine their color. Acid soil gives blue flowers, and alkaline lends toward pink blooms. Having defined our terms, we can now 66

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delve into the illustrious history of this globetrotting shrub. The Hydrangea was cultivated in China and Japan for centuries but did not come to the attention of the Western world until a protege of Sir Joseph Banks brought a specimen from China. Banks eventually established Kew Gardens in London, and it was here, in 1788, that the Hydrangea became more permanently endeared to the public at large. Edward Smith in The Life of Sir Joseph Banks reports, “The Hydrangea was carefully nurtured at Kew Gardens, established itself well, and became the parent of numerous progeny.” Initially called Hydrangea hortensis, its name was later changed to Sir Joseph Banks and then to the aforementioned H. macrophylla.

International travel, love, banishment, intrepid explorers, mistaken identity, mystery, stunning beauty – all play a part in the history of the Hydrangea macrophylla. Meanwhile, although Japan was closed to the world from 1639-1856, the Dutch East India Company maintained an outpost, for western detainees, on the artificial island in Nagasaki Bay, called Deshima. Several plant hunters (the “Indiana Joneses” of the plant world), such as Peter Carl Thornburg and then in

1823 the German physician Phillipe Franz von Siebold, lived on Deshima and were able to make forays into the mainland of Japan. Numerous Hydrangea specimens were found, and it was thought that these were originally imported from China where they were especially favored in the Imperial Palace. Von Siebold MAY/JUNE

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detailed his studies and findings in Nippon and Flora Nipponica. While in Deshima, he fell in love with Otaksa-san, a Japanese woman. (One of the Hydrangea cultivars he named Otaksa.) The couple had a child together, but tragically Siebold was separated from his family and banished from Japan. One source noted, “In 1828, when he was leaving Japan, it came to (the) attention of Japanese authorities that his belongings included some items under an embargo such as maps of Japan, and after sustaining investigations he was expelled from the country at the end of the following year.” Siebold went on to develop botanical and display gardens in France and Germany and became known as the “Father of the Hydrangea Movement.” Concurrently in North America during the 1730s, the King’s Botanist, John Bartram and later his 68

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son William, was making extensive trips throughout the Southeast, exploring and documenting the flora and fauna. Two Hydrangeas were found to be native to America – H. arborescens and H. quercifolia. The father and son planned, planted and tended an extensive garden in Philadelphia, and regularly sent specimens, including H. arborescens, to King George. While the Hydrangea was being discovered along two continents and popularity was feeding French hybridizing techniques, mistaken identity was prolific due to the immense variability in the plants. Toni Lawson-Hall and Brian Rothera describe the mystery of the Hydrangea in their volume Hydrangeas: A Gardeners Guide: “There is a large planting of H. macrophylla in Kew gardens, and the colorful display there epitomizes this characteristic with each shrub slightly

different and flower colours varying within the same plant. Sterile flowers can have serrated or entire sepal edges, both on the same flower head, or sepal edges can change as the flower matures. Leaf size and shape can vary, not only from one shrub to another, but within the same plant.” The beauty and profusion of H. macrophylla in the summertime garden is almost unrivaled. It can be massed in a hedge, planted as a specimen plant, or in a container. The biggest requirements are some shade and moisture, and it is easily propagated by cuttings or layering. Locally, Wilkerson Mill Gardens in Palmetto is a great resource for information about Hydrangeas. The FAQ page on their website (www.hydrangea.com) answers a myriad of questions regarding the culture of locally grown Hydrangeas. They suggest planting in the fall and in an area of partial shade and partial


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sun. They note, “Eastern exposure is usually ideal, sun until mid-day then partial shade in the afternoon. In cooler areas many hydrangeas that would suffer in the south are fine in more sun.” Water, the other requirement, is essential, and the UGA Extension Service simply recommends, “Water whenever the plant begins to wilt in the absence of rainfall.” History, science, travel, love, banishment, explorers, mistaken identity, mystery, and beauty all wrapped up in one plant – spectacular! NCM

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> LOCAL HERITAGE

Reading Circle president has been member since ’63 by W. Winston Skinner | Photos by Jeffrey Leo

enet Barron is serving as president of the Newnan Reading Circle at a historic – and appropriate – moment. The Reading Circle is celebrating its first century and looking back on 100 years of programs, topics and events. Mrs. Barron can personally remember more of those occasions than anyone else, having been a member since 1963. “I knew about it for a long time,” she said. Genet Heery was brought up by a working mother in Decatur and attended Agnes Scott College on a scholarship. After graduating, she worked for a year as a housemother and – using her biology degree – a laboratory assistant. By the time that year was over, she and Lindsey Barron, who grew up in Newnan and came home from World War II service in the Navy with plans to go to Agnes Scott and find a wife, were ready to be married.

So, in 1948, Genet Barron came as a newlywed to Newnan. The Reading Circle had already been around for 39 years. She liked Newnan, which in some ways reminded her of Decatur. Both were fairly small towns in those days – county seats with a courthouse square surrounded by stores and nearby neighborhoods. “I had not been exposed to the kind of life the socialites lived here in Newnan,” — Genet Barron Mrs. Barron remembered. Her husband’s sister, Catherine Edwards, guided her. “I got into a bridge club,” she remembered. As their children came along, Lindsey and Genet Barron got more and more involved in life at First Baptist Church of Newnan – an association that remains a vital part of the family’s life. Mrs. Barron came to love her new hometown, speaking particularly of “the closeness of the people.”

Generally, they are very accomplished women who are very active in the social life as well as the civic life of the community.”

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Genet Barron, president of the Newnan Reading Circle during its centennial year, sits in the commons area bearing her name at Wesley Woods of NewnanPeachtree City. Behind her is her portrait painted by Atlanta artist Leiber Friedenthal in 1964, the year after she joined the circle. MAY/JUNE

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It hasn’t changed at all ... I don’t think it ever will.” — Genet Barron

By 1963, the Barron sons, Chip and Frank, were growing up. When their mother was invited to join the Reading Circle, she accepted. “I’d always liked doing studies and research. I like to read. I had been a visitor several times. I enjoyed the programs and the women who were in it. I enjoyed being with them,” she said. Mrs. Barron has been involved in many different organizations, and she noted change is generally considered the lifeblood of any group. Then with a quick laugh, she said of the Reading Circle, “It hasn’t changed at all.” Then she added, “I don’t think it ever will.” Mrs. Barron shared special memories of several of the women who were active Reading Circle members

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when she joined: • Maryella Camp “did the minutes,” she recalled. “They were just wonderful. She could have gotten a Pulitzer Prize for those minutes. We all looked forward to them.” • Oma Hudson “read voraciously,” Mrs. Barron said. Mrs. Hudson was a repository of information about current books and authors, though “she talked about how awful the language and the stories were in the modern books,” Mrs. Barron remembered. • Ada Smith, a banker’s wife “entertained so beautifully,” Mrs. Barron said. “She went the second mile.”


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â&#x20AC;˘ Julia Bowen â&#x20AC;&#x153;thought things through,â&#x20AC;? Mrs. Barron recalled. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She wanted the Reading Circle to be just as it was originally. She was a stickler. She saw we stayed in line.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;˘ Virginia St. John had a contagious enthusiasm. Programs, visitors, topics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x153;everything was exciting to her.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;˘ Pat Glover â&#x20AC;&#x153;was such a lovely person and had a lovely home.â&#x20AC;? Mrs. Barron particularly recalled a program at Buena Vista, the Glover home and now the residence of Mike and Leah Sumner. Mrs. Glover showed pieces from her collection of porcelain, china and silver â&#x20AC;&#x201C; pointing out â&#x20AC;&#x153;the old pieces she had that were handed down.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;˘ Carrie Mae McElroy, a longtime Coweta teacher, was someone who particularly welcomed Genet Barron to the Reading Circle. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She was my mentor. She took me under her wing,â&#x20AC;? Mrs. Barron said. The Reading Circle occasionally has guest speakers, but programs usually follow a schedule established for the

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year and are presented by members. Each member presents a program every other year and serves as a hostess the alternate year. Mrs. Barron reflected on the women â&#x20AC;&#x201C; past and present â&#x20AC;&#x201C; who are part of the Reading Circle. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Generally, they are very accomplished women who are very active in the social life as well as the civic life of the community,â&#x20AC;? she said. The members have a variety of interests and enjoy becoming close friends of others in the group. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We draw on each other,â&#x20AC;? she said. Genet Barron fits her own definition of the typical Reading Circle member. Widowed in 2007, she remains active in many aspect of Newnan life, maintains ties in Decatur and at Agnes Scott and travels. Always gracious and regally beautiful, she does not take herself too seriously. With plans for the Reading Circleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 100th year placed firmly in the capable hands of a committee headed by Carol Harless, Genet Barron is enjoying her presidential year. Her eyes twinkling, she said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not the toughest job in the world, but you do have to preside at the meeting.â&#x20AC;? NCM

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> SADDLE UP

By Martha A. Woodham | Photos by Bob Fraley he love of all things equine is passed down in some families like a fine antique, an heirloom of passion from one generation to another. Horses are “in the blood,” it’s said, and people with this gene will do anything, anything to be around horses. Cindy Lane O’Neal inherited that gene from her grandparents and, with seven horses in the backyard, is sharing her equine obsession with her 74

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children. She was smitten as a toddler, spotting ponies in a pasture and clamoring to have them. Her grandfather, the late Leon Carter, obliged. Today her family lives on his farm and manages their American Saddle Horse operation from the two redand-white barns he built near the east Coweta community of Raymond. Cindy’s grandfather originally bred Tennessee Walking horses, and several

went on to win at the Walking Horse Celebration, which is the breed’s world championship. Cindy was introduced to saddlebreds by a well-known Georgia horseman, the late Dewey Henderson, who was active in the Professional Horsemen’s Association and the Georgia Horse Foundation. (He operated Henderson Auctions and Henderson Horse Shows in College Park.)


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Cindy O’Neal’s daughter, Olivia Boggs, is one of the latest members of the family to inherit a passion for horses. Here, she performs with fellow members of the Rockin America drill team. From left are Olivia Boggs, Emily Sellers, Morgan Briard, Ashley Wright, Rainey Ayers, Taylor Hand, Oasis Davis and Ben Dennis.

Her parents, Bobby and Carolyn Lane, who now live in LaGrange, supported her horse habit. Carolyn Lane was the consummate horse show mom, outfitting Cindy in her riding clothes and doing her hair and makeup before a class. Bobby Lane took his turn in the show ring. His saddlebred mare, Miss Fancy, won many world championships and Georgia state championships. The American Saddlebred is

known for its high-stepping gaits. In addition to walk, trot and canter, some also do a cadenced slow gait and a rack, which is a faster version of a slow gait. Primarily chestnut, bay, brown and black, these horses have elegant heads and flowing manes and tails. Descendants of English horses brought to the United States in Colonial times, they were favorites of American settlers who liked their smooth, ground-covering gaits.

American Saddle Horses gained fame as a breed during the Civil War, when they carried many famous generals. For instance, Robert E. Lee’s Traveller and Ulysses S. Grant’s Cincinnati were saddle horses. As a young woman, Cindy competed at horse shows all over the Southeast. She became a professional trainer in 1992 and two years later was voted “Trainer of the Year” by the Georgia chapter of the United MAY/JUNE

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A love of horses is a family affair for Cindy O’Neal’s family. Clockwise from top are daughter Olivia Boggs and Wayne O’Neal, Cindy O’Neal, Shane O’Neal and Sylvia O’Neal; Olivia Boggs riding; Olivia Boggs and Shane O’Neal unloading a horse; and Olivia and Cindy saddling a horse.

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The Rockin America drill team rehearses.

Professional Horsemanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Association. She also was reserve high point trainer for the state of Georgia. Her students won high point or reserve high point awards in seven different categories at Georgia shows. She also served on the board of directors and as corresponding secretary of the

American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) of Georgia and as vice president of the UPHA chapter in Georgia for many years. Today Cindy has little time to show herself, but she remains devoted to the sport. A sign at the farm driveway says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;White Oak Farm â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

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American Saddlebreds,â&#x20AC;? and the license plate on her car says â&#x20AC;&#x153;5GAITD.â&#x20AC;? With the help of her husband, Wayne, she stays busy as a trainer/horse show mom for her children and students. Their youngest child, Sylvia, is making her lead line

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CRESCENT VETERINARY HOSPITAL 770-304-8900 www.CrescentVet.com (SPPNJOHr#PBSEJOHr0OMJOF4UPSF1IBSNBDZ

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Olivia Boggs and teammate Oasis Davis enjoy some practice time with their horses.

debut at age 4 in the Coweta County 4-H Spring Fling Horse Show, and Market Square the family’s weekends are filled with at SummerGrove 4-H drill team practice for their 51-A Market Square Road, middle child, Olivia Boggs. The Newnan, Georgia eldest, Shane O’Neal, a 10th grader at East Coweta High School, also rides and shows. “We stay pretty busy getting the kids ready at shows,” says Wayne. “I enjoy watching the kids ride more than anything.” Olivia, 11, made her show debut at age 15 months in a lead line class. She has gone on to amass honors galore, including gold medals in the Georgia ASHA’s Academy Division, for children and adults. She also is active with the Coweta County 4-H Horse & Pony Club, participating on the 4-H horse judging team and in the Junior Horse Quiz Bowl. Cindy encouraged Olivia to join 4-H as another facet of the horse world. The O’Neals enjoy getting Cindy O’Neal’s student Candace together with other families during McWhirter, shown at top on the mounted drill team practices Commander’s Chance, performs at a past Southeastern Charity Horse Show. organized by 4-H leader Angela Above are Cindy and Commander’s Dennis on weekends at the Coweta Chance after winning the Five Gaited County Fairgrounds. Ladies Stake at the St. Louis National “There is a lot of pressure at the Horse Show in 1989. — Photos by Jamie Donaldson big saddlebred shows,” Cindy says. “I Accredited Practice

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wanted Olivia to have a chance to have more fun with her horse.” Olivia doesn’t seem to let the pressure rattle her: “I just get out there and do my best and have fun,” she says. Cindy, who often judges horse shows herself, is exposing Olivia to what to look for in a top-notch show horse by taking her daughter to the competitions that she is judging. Olivia pins each class first, second, third – just as though she were the judge – and after the class, mother and daughter discuss their choices, giving Olivia invaluable training. The well-rounded equestrian is Cindy’s goal, whether it’s her children or her students. She has seen too many riders get on a horse at a show, ride in the class and hand the horse off to a groom when they get off, never really interacting with their horses. Things are different at the O’Neals’ White Oak Farm, where students learn to care for their horses and to enjoy their personalities. Like her parents and grandparents before her, Cindy Lane O’Neal is passing along her skills and lifelong interest in horses. NCM


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(“A Different Perspective,” continued from page 82) landowner was convicted primarily on the testimony of black witnesses. John Wallace was fully expected to be cleared of the charges. So as he sat in the Coweta County Jail he was not worried about his future. But, he was concerned about being poisoned. He had all of his meals delivered by a downtown restaurant, covered with a white cloth napkin. One day Tommy wrote a note and asked the delivery boy to slip it under the napkin. He wrote, “Dear Mr. John, I am sorry you are in jail. I think you are innocent. Your friend, Tommy.” The next time he and Skippy walked to town, he saw Mr. John in his usual place. When he passed by, Mr. John said to him, “That was a nice note, Tommy. Thank you.” It started raining that night and rained for days. Late summer had turned to Fall, school had started and the weather turned cooler. Tommy did not walk into town for several weeks. When he did walk his usual route, he did not see his friend in the window, that day or the next. Finally, again at dinner, he asked his dad, “Daddy, did Mr. John get out of jail and go back to Meriwether County?” His father, fork and knife poised over his dinner plate, paused a long minute before he said, “Son, sometimes things are just out of our hands. A jury found John Wallace guilty of murder.” Tommy said, “But Daddy, he was nice to me.” His father replied, “I’m glad he was nice to you. The fact is, all people are some good and some bad.” *** John Wallace was executed by the State of Georgia in November, 1950. NCM

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS An Affair to Remember . . . . . . . . . 22

Main Street Newnan . . . . . . . . . . . 73

Artisan Jewelry Company . . . . . . 47

Marvin Windows and Doors. . . . . 63

Ashley Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

McManus Family &

Bank of Coweta. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

Cosmetic Dentistry . . . . . . . . . 43

BB&T. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Morgan Jewelers/Downtown . . . 41

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. . . . . . 31

Newnan Academy Preschool &

Brian’s Paint and Body Shop . . . . 39 Cardiovascular Consultants

Child Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Newnan Dermatology . . . . . . . . . . . 9

of Georgia, P.C.. . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Newnan Utilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

Center For Allergy & Asthma . . . . . 5

NG Turf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

The Centre For Performing &

Parks & Mottola Realtors . . . . . . . 53

Visual Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Chin Chin Newnan Chinese

Phillips Dental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Piedmont Newnan Hospital . . . . . . 2

Restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Radiation Oncology Services . . . . . 3

Coweta Pool & Fireplace . . . . . . . . 22

Roscoe Jenkins Funeral Home . . 41

Coweta-Fayette EMC . . . . . . . . . . . 83

Southern Crescent Equine

Crescent Veterinary Hospital . . . . 78 Downtown Church of Christ . . . . . 27 Family Friend Animal Hospital

Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 The Southern Federal Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

& Pet Lodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

Towne Club at Peachtree City . . . 45

Farm Bureau Insurance. . . . . . . . . 39

Traditions in Tile & Stone . . . . . . . 65

Franklin Road Animal Clinic . . . . . 51

Uniglobe McIntosh Travel. . . . 27, 35

Heritage Retirement Homes

University of West Georgia. . . . . . 17

of Peachtree. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

Valentine Weight Loss . . . . . . . . . . 35

The Heritage School . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Watts Furniture Galleries . . . . . . . 57

Hollberg's Fine Furniture . . . . . . . . 53

Wesley Woods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Kimble’s Events By Design . . . . . . 51

Wedowee Marine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Lee-King and Lee-Goodrum

West Georgia Center for Plastic

Pharmacies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Surgery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

July/August 2009 Advertising Deadlines Published: June 26, 2009; Contract Ads: May 20, 2009; New Ads: May 26, 2009. Call 770.683.6397 for details and advertising information.

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2009

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THE BOOKSHELF Wedding Belles By Haywood Smith St. Martin’s Press, $24.95 Reviewed by Holly Jones

Five ladies in colorful outfits sitting around a table eating and discussing their lives – no, it’s not an extended version of Sex and the City or the ladies of Desperate Housewives. Georgia, Linda, Teeny, Pru and Diane meet at Atlanta’s famous Swan Coach House the second Tuesday of every month. Dressed in red hats and purple outfits, the ladies have a regular table, regular waitress and each has a “regular” lunch order. What is not regular is the conversation. Georgia, the narrator of Haywood Smith’s amusing novel Wedding Belles, is going to be a mother-in-law. Her daughter Callie announced her engagement on New Year’s. And it’s not that Georgia does80

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n’t want Callie to get married. She wants grandbabies as much as the rest of the Red Hat ladies. It’s the fact that Georgia’s future son-in-law happens to be her husband John’s best friend from college that worries Georgia – for her daughter and her less-likely-now future grandchildren. “Wild Man Wade” is not exactly the man Georgia would have chosen for her beautiful, brilliant daughter, even if he wasn’t 30 years older than Callie. An alcoholic womanizer with a crazy ex-wife and three kids closer to Callie’s age than he is, Georgia has known Wade since her first date with John – when Wade woke up from being passed out in the back of John’s car and kissed her. And despite what John and Callie say, Georgia’s not sure his behavior has improved much since then. When Callie announces she is moving in with Wade, the lace gloves come off and the boxing gloves are on. Georgia and Linda show up at Wade’s house unannounced to do a little spying, Teeny hires private detectives for a real investigation, and all of the ladies try to remain ladies when they find themselves the center of gossip at the Coach House. Add to that an ancient, asthmatic dog; an adorable five-yearold obsessed with budgets and healthy food; a stereotypical New York, gold-digging widow looking for her next target – um, husband; and a number of colorful engagement parties and bridal

showers, and you’ll think you’ve fallen into a Southern three-ring circus, complete with Varsity chili dogs. But that’s Wedding Belles, a story of mothers and daughters, friendships and Southern customs – and just maybe, a little true love.

The Fireman’s Wife By Jack Riggs Ballantine Books, $14 Reviewed by Holly Jones “I have had a lot of time over the past couple of weeks to think on my own, alone for the very first time in my life. I say alone for the first time because that’s exactly what it is. I was born 33 years ago, and have always lived with someone who took care of me. First it was with my parents until I was pregnant with Kelly, and then with Peck. Neither house offered me much of a say in how my life would


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play out. Now I will have all the say. After 15 years, I will have to learn to take care of myself.” These words come near the end of Jack Riggs’ The Fireman’s Wife, and in a way they summarize the entire book. One of two narrators, Cassie Johnson begins and ends the story at a crossroads. Cassie has been married to Peck – a firefighter and the story’s other narrator – since she was 17. She got pregnant with their daughter Kelly the summer before Cassie was supposed to start college. So while Cassie loves Peck, she also resents him for the life she never got to live. She also resents the low country of South Carolina where Peck took her as his wife. Stiflingly hot, but still wretchedly humid, the drought Peck worries so much about is drying up Cassie’s soul along with the marsh she lives on. Clay Taylor, Cassie’s boyfriend and Peck’s co-worker, is leaving Garden City Beach for a job in Walhalla, closer to the mountains where Cassie grew up. Clay felt slighted when Peck was chosen fire chief over him. The new job gives Clay and Cassie a chance to escape and gives Clay his own fire station. Cassie packs her and Kelly’s things and tells Peck they are going to her mother’s house early. Cassie knows this is only a half-truth, but she’s not ready to tell Peck she’s leaving him. Besides, she is going to her mother’s house first. When Cassie reaches her mother’s house, things change. The decisions she thought she was making aren’t working. She’s still not happy. And a struggle to save her mother’s land brings back old memories, old feelings and new dreams. Cassie finds herself at a new crossroads, alone in some ways, sur-

rounded by more people than ever in others. And as she said, learning to take care of herself.

The Lost Hours By Karen White New American Library, $15 Reviewed by Angela McRae

Award-winning equestrian Earlene “Piper” Mills lost both of her parents in an automobile accident when she was just a young girl. Then, she had a career-ending fall from a horse that sent her life into a tailspin yet again. When she buries the last of the two grandparents who raised her, Piper finds herself with a sudden desire to know more about the grandmother she just lost to Alzheimer’s but never really knew. The Lost Hours by Karen White is the story of Piper’s quest to learn more about her grandmother but also to make sense of her own life already filled with so much tragedy. At the Savannah home she inherited from her grandparents, Piper takes time to count up all her losses. She comes upon some old scrapbook

pages and a vintage charm necklace, artifacts which trace the story of her grandmother and two friends as young girls. Another mystery comes when Piper discovers a hidden room in the Savannah home and tries to figure out why it existed – and why a blue baby blanket is there. Some clues were clearly left for her to find while others must be unearthed. Piper had been dismissive of her grandmother Annabelle, a woman she considered weak and unambitious. She soon learns Annabelle’s character went much deeper than that. The mystery surrounding her grandmother leads Piper to the home of Lillian, an old woman who once was one of Annabelle’s best friends, later an estranged friend, and who doesn’t realize Piper is Annabelle’s granddaughter. Piper befriends Lillian’s own grandchildren, the newly-widowed doctor, Tucker, and his blind sister Helen, whose particular outlook on life often causes her to see things more clearly than her “sighted” family and friends. Piper hides her identity from Lillian and her family, earning a level of trust she knows must one day end. Piper also struggles with physical and emotional scars from her horse accident. When she rents a guest cottage on Lillian’s property under the guise of doing “genealogy research,” she finds herself in regular contact with the horses, and the memories, that have already caused her so much pain. One of the book’s themes is that women must tell their stories to their daughters and granddaughters. Piper has to decide if some stories are worth handing down – and if it’s her responsibility to carry her grandmother’s story into the future. NCM MAY/JUNE

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A Different Perspective By Barbara Waites Barbara Waites is the winner of the 2009 Newnan-Coweta Magazine Writing Contest. Entries by second place winner Connie Singleton and third place winner Carolyn Walz Kramlich may be read online at newnancowetamagazine.com. little boy of eight years and his dog walked and ran down East Broad Street on his way to town. It was a hot August day in 1950 in Newnan, Georgia, a small textile town in middle Georgia.

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The boy, whose name was Tommy, was a towhead with freckles from the summer sun sprinkled across his nose. As he approached the large white building on his right, he saw a bald-headed man in a white dress shirt in an upstairs window

with bars. The man was staring at him, so being a polite child, he said, “Hi, mister.” The man returned his greeting with a gruff “Hi.” Tommy went to the mailbox and dropped in the letter his mother had given him and returned home. At dinner that night, he said, “Daddy, I saw a bald-headed man sitting in the jail.” His dad replied, “That’s Mr. John Wallace from over in Meriwether County.” Tommy said, “Did he do something bad?” His dad, answering slowly, said, “Well, Tommy, some people say he did.” For the next few weeks, Tommy and his dog Skippy went into town, sometimes to run an errand and sometimes just for the walk. Most every time he spoke to the man in the jail he called Mr. John. Once the man said, “Is that your dog?” He answered, “Yes sir, this is my dog, Skippy. He’s a great dog.” The man said, “I had me a dog like that when I was about your age over in Alabama.” The man was John Wallace, who had been tried for the murder of one of his employees and throwing the body in an unused well on his property. He had been found guilty in a trial in the Coweta County Courthouse that drew large crowds of people and had a circus-like atmosphere. The trial was a first in Georgia in which a wealthy white (continued on page 79)


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You only think about us when the lights go out. We think about you all the time. For over 50 years, we’ve been working hard to supply your electricity at the lowest possible cost, and think of new ways to better serve you. – like our promise that our crews are on the job within 45 minutes of the report of any outage in our service area. And bringing you the option of purchasing environmentally-friendly power through Green Power EMC; and responding to your requests by now offering natural gas via our wholly-owned subsidiary, Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas. We also offer products and services through Relyco®, including residential and business security, as well as local monitoring, at very competitive rates. Remember, we keep your lights burning brightly – and a whole lot more.

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Newnan-Coweta Magazine, May/June 2009