Newnan-Coweta Magazine

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A Times-Herald Publication


May/June 2012 | $3.95





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THE NEW Piedmont Newnan Hospital opens may 2012 This May, the doors of the new Piedmont Newnan Hospital on Poplar Road in Coweta County will officially open. Thousands have already seen the new hospital, but in case you missed our preview celebration, we look forward to welcoming you to the new Piedmont Newnan Hospital. Visit for more information and details on the opening of the new facility.

Š 2012 Piedmont Healthcare 02244 – 0212



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Advancing the possibilities. Closer to home. M O R E O P T I O N S , C L O S E T O H O M E , & T H E L A R G E S T M U LT I - G R O U P P R A C T I C E I N T R O U P C O U N T Y








303 SMITH ST., LaGRANGE, GA 30240

1610 EAST 10 ST., WEST POINT, GA 30118









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I am

Ready Now!


To have someone clean my house To meet new people To have fun

Call 770-683-6833 to schedule a complimentary lunch and tour!

To have chef prepared meals To socialize with others who understand me To go to the theatre and other entertainment venues To have a fitness coach To feel secure in my future needs To have an enriching life!

leaders in senior living >LZSL` >VVKZ ¶ /PNO^H` 5L^UHU .( Wesley Woods of Newnan is owned and operated by Wesley Woods Senior Living, Inc. in Atlanta, GA and is affiliated with the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church and Emory Healthcare.



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Recipient of Three-Year Accreditation

The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer has granted a Three-Year Accreditation along with six commendations to the Enoch Callaway Cancer Clinic at West Georgia Health. The Commission reviews cancer programs nationwide every three years, scoring them on 36 standards in eight categories. Facilities are awarded approval for accreditation with commendations for exceeding the Commission’s high performance standards and quality exceptions. We’re really proud of our team’s accomplishments. We truly have a passion for putting patients first. And by putting you first, we’ve risen to the top.

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IN THREE DAYS. There is nothing more important to a newly diagnosed cancer patient than being seen quickly and having someone take the time to answer questions and explain options. So we strive to see every new patient within three days of diagnosis. We then use that time to help you gain an understanding of what you’re facing and how we’ll help every step of the way. Three days from diagnosis to treatment options: that’s the Tanner Cancer Care Promise.

The Tanner Cancer Care Promise


Orly Seale, cancer survivor




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Around the corner. Right where you need us.

MAGAZINE Established 1995 A publication of The Times-Herald President Vice President Publisher Editor Art Director

Newnan Main Financial Center 295 Bullsboro Drive, (770) 253-5017

Contributing Writers

William W. Thomasson Marianne C. Thomasson Sam Jones Angela McRae Deberah Williams Amelia Adams, Nichole Golden, Holly Jones, Aubern Mason,

Jefferson Street Financial Center 26 Jefferson Street, (770) 252-5267

Katherine McCall, Alex McRae, Elizabeth Melville, Cathy Lee Phillips, Ruth Schroeder,

Thomas Crossroads Financial Center 190 Glenda Trace, (770) 304-7840

Connie J. Singleton, W. Winston Skinner, Martha A. Woodham Photography




Tara Shellabarger Circulation Director

BB&T. Member FDIC. Only deposit products are FDIC insured. ©2010 BB&T.

Sales and Marketing Director Advertising Manager

On Our Cover

Bob Fraley, Jeffrey Leo,

Advertising Consultants

Naomi Jackson Colleen D. Mitchell Lamar Truitt Doug Cantrell, Kevin Dickinson Mandy Inman, Candy Johnson

Advertising Design

Debby Dye, Graphics Manager Sandy Hiser, Sonya Studt


Diana Shellabarger

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION, call 770.683.6397 or e-mail 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 homedelivery 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. 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. On the Web: © 2012 by The Newnan Times-Herald, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.

Some of Coweta’s spring bounty from the garden of Mary Ann Davis of Senoia makes for a pleasing informal arrangement. —Photo by Bob Fraley 10 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE



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FEATURES 16 OUTDOOR PARADISE After 24 years of marriage, Gene and Ann Pelerose find their home, garden and creative abilities—and their love for each other—continue to flourish.

24 180 DEGREE FARM Sharpsburg’s Scott and Nicole Tyson operate 180 Degree Farm, a non-profit ministry and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm which provides “beyond organic” produce, eggs and meat.


At the Schroeder gardens in Newnan, the fairies who come out at night are right at home in the fanciful woodland settings.

36 THE KATE FULLER PRAYER GARDEN A prayer garden at First Baptist Church of Newnan honors the memory of a beloved Coweta woman and provides a place of beauty and contemplation for passersby.


Lorraine Cunanan is passionate about sharing her ideas for “green” living and says she enjoys getting others to think about their living space in new ways.

58 REMEMBERING WARNER HIGH Residents of Newnan’s Chalk Level neighborhood remember when the center of their community was the Howard Warner High School. A volunteer citizen committee is now looking at preserving and renovating the school.

62 LIFE ON THE LAKE WITH DON TEEL Don Teel is now retired and enjoying life on the lake with his wife Frances, but he will forever have a love for education and particularly the Coweta County School System. 12 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE

66 HISTORY FROM THE PILOT’S SEAT Ed Wyrick of Newnan has been fascinated by airplanes since the day he was six and first saw a Travel Air biplane land in a wheat field near his home.

70 SKYLAR NICHOLSON Thirteen-year-old Skylar Nicholson of Newnan, star of Serenbe’s upcoming Alice in Wonderland production, is having her own set of adventures while pursuing a dream of acting.

74 SADDLE UP Meet Curtis Robb, a horse and hunting enthusiast who has won many awards for his stunning photography.

DEPARTMENTS 46 THE THOUGHTFUL GARDENER From Jason Wu and Derek Lam to Oscar de la Renta, fashion designers continue to draw inspiration from some favorite springtime flowers.

50 COWETA COOKS As the garden bounty starts to arrive, it’s time to think about “putting food by” for the rest of the year.

54 LOCAL HERITAGE Today’s trend of community gardening—including several community gardens underway in Coweta— recalls another era when planting a Victory Garden was a way to support the community and the nation’s war effort.




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Michael J. Behr, M.D. • Board certified in orthopaedic surgery • Specialties include arthroscopic surgery, joint replacement • Sports medicine fellowship • Chick-fil-A Bowl side line physician • High school All-American swimmer

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Southern Orthopaedic Specialists has brought its Strength of Experience to Newnan. Patients in the Newnan region now have convenient, local access to exceptional orthopaedic services, leading board-certified physicians — and the caring SOS commitment that helps you live life at its best. THE STRENGTH OF EXPERIENCE

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{ From the Editor }

Sowing seeds “The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies, but always grows and grows.” —British landscape gardener Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932)

eeds are like magic to me. For the past few years, I’ve plopped a few into peat pots and watched them spring up into miraculous little plants. There have been tomatoes—who doesn’t have a thing for heirloom tomatoes these days?— and flowers and herbs. The first time I transplanted peat pots, I put the whole thing in the ground and some mischievous critters promptly dug them up and strewed them about the garden. I didn’t make that mistake again. Instead, I made new mistakes! Last year, for instance, I fell in love with the pretty blossoms on a periwinkle vine, and I totally ignored a friend’s advice that she considers this a weed which can easily run rampant. Surely not, I thought. And so it was that I recently spent a few hours in the shade garden tearing out a tangle of messy vines, no longer charmed by the pretty periwinkle blossoms. Lesson learned. I wonder what I’ll learn this year. Gardens are great experimental laboratories, it seems to me, and I very much enjoy reading about what others are growing and learning in theirs. This annual garden issue of the magazine ends up being one of my favorites each year, and


this year’s is no exception. I was absolutely bowled over by the gardens of Gene and Ann Pelerose (page 16), whose creativity seems to know no bounds. What a feast for the eyes—and palate—they are growing! And while I had read about CSA’s, those Community Supported Agriculture farms so popular right now, it was only a few months ago that I learned we have one right here in our backyard, 180 Degree Farm (page 24). Of course decorating in the garden appeals to my inner homemaker, and the fairy houses in one Newnan garden (page 30) make me smile every time I look at them. So how does your garden grow? Well, I hope! Fondly,

Angela McRae, Editor



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Now in Peachtree City.



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Gene and Ann Pelerose’s

Outdoor Paradise By Elizabeth Melville | Photos by Bob Fraley

ueled by a love of family and nature, Gene and Ann Pelerose have poured themselves into their dream home. Now, 24 years of marriage later, the Peleroses’ love—like their home, garden and creative abilities—continues to flourish.




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“We wanted to raise our family in the country where we grew up,” says Ann Pelerose, explaining why she and husband Gene initially moved to Coweta County.

MAY/JUNE 2012 | 17



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When Ann and Gene Pelerose say their vegetables grow in beds, they mean it quite literally! The bottle tree above right is one of Ann’s recycled creations.




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It started with Gene and Ann’s initial meeting 26 years ago in Sandy Springs. Ann captured Gene’s attention with a T-shirt that read “Italian boys.” He, being Italian, strolled over and announced confidently, “I’m who you are looking for.” Though she required some initial convincing, he wasn’t wrong. In marriage, the two lived on a busy street in Smyrna. The congestion became problematic when the Peleroses welcomed their first son, Jeno, now 22. “We looked for two years for a homestead for our family,” said Ann. “We wanted to raise our family in the country where we grew up.” Gene was originally from Pennsylvania, and Ann grew up in the deep south of Alabama. She speaks with pride of her “southern, country roots.” “We didn’t have a lot, so we had to be creative,” she said. “We would create ways to entertain ourselves. We gardened all summer.” With that in mind, Gene and Ann narrowed their home search to Coweta County. “We looked in this area because Newnan had a really good school system,” said Gene. They found a little over five acres on the west side of Newnan off Pierce Chapel Road. Gene was attracted by the creek on the property. They were both attracted by the potential. “I’m the creative one—and he can build or fix anything,” said Ann. And that’s exactly what happened. The home took about a year to build. Luckily, Gene works in the construction industry and has an engineering mind. Then, they built an in-ground pool from concrete. “Just call us the Clampetts,” Ann said with a cheery laugh. They have also built a pond on the property, an

Decorative accents abound at the Pelerose home and garden, including the stuffed scarecrow above and the metalwork garden accents below.

MAY/JUNE 2012 | 19



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The Pelerose greenhouse/potting shed was constructed to look like an old red barn and used windows and other recycled materials from the Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity ReStore. 20 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE



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outdoor kitchen, most of their home furnishings, multiple outbuildings and an impressive garden. And their list of projects is never-ending. “We can go outside and we hear nothing but the birds and squirrels and deer,” said Ann. “We love to fish and ride bikes. We’d rather be outside than inside. We’re just nature people.” The Peleroses had their second son, Nick—now a 17-year-old junior at Newnan High—shortly after they settled in the home. Ann’s decision to be a stay-at-home mom further fueled her need for creativity. “I don’t throw anything away, and I can’t pass up treasures on the side of the road,” said Ann. “I always get excited when I can use something that would normally wind up in a landfill.” That’s why her friends call her the Recycle Queen. In addition to

repurposing old pieces and restoring antiques with her husband’s help, she is known for her specialty items, including her welded bottle trees and yard art flowers, which are made from recycled tin cans. “I’m saving the earth one can at a time!” she jokes. Ann sells her pieces in local shops and participates in area festivals, like the Cotton Pickin’ Fair in Gay, Ga. She calls her business “Georgia Ann’s.” When Ann isn’t turning trash into treasure in her shop and Gene’s not busy in his two-story woodshop/autoshop, the two are gardening. They have multiple raised beds

“I always get excited when I can use something that would normally wind up in a landfill.” –Ann Pelerose

that grow vegetables year-round. Even their garden is packed with character. Veggies grow in actual

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Gene Pelerose checks on some young plants in the greenhouse.

beds—between wrought iron headboards and footboards. Other antiques decorate the serene landscape. They even have heirloom vegetables, including a bean from Japan and squash from Italy, according to Gene. Their summer garden has everything from tomatoes and okra 22 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE

to watermelon and beets. Nothing goes to waste—they even make their own compost. Ann also does her own canning—in addition to sharing surplus vegetables with neighbors. And, just like with their home, the Peleroses add something new to the garden each season. “I love to cook,” she said. “At

one point, I wanted to open my own restaurant and serve organic food.” Near the garden is their greenhouse/potting shed. They constructed it to look like an old red barn. They used windows and other recycled materials from the NewnanCoweta Habitat for Humanity ReStore. “This is our little outdoor paradise,” said Ann. “It has our heart and soul in this entire place.” But they will never be finished. “We are always looking for a project to challenge ourselves,” said Ann. And, at some point, the two have considered starting over at the ocean and building an entirely green home to test the limits of their creativity. “For now, life is good and I wouldn’t change a thing!” says an enthusiastic Ann. And of all the things they’ve built, the Peleroses are unmistakably proudest of their family. NCM



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St. Patrick’s Day cuisine

Longtime manager retiring Chick-filQue

Celebrate Emerald Isle roots with American Irish Stew — see page 1B

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Seven local mayors are to particip slated this monthate in an event later on Wheels as part of the Meals campaig “We n. W are the Cowetaexcited about having Mayors in our Mayors particip f Meals ate for event,� said Meals On Peggy HollowDay Wheels ay, y board membe of Coweta r. “This f rst time fi is the Coweta participate.� County will The mayors Senoia, Grantvi of Newna By SARAH FAY FA lle, Sharpsb n, T Turin, sarah@ r Morelan newnan.c CAMPBELL urg, d and Haralso are schedu om The 2012 the March led to take part n in Assem bly Georgia Genera ors know 21 event. “Our may l a the import home stretch.session is in our program ance of the to the citizens T legislati Ten Coweta, ve day a Wednes W ting the and their help in off day was s remain. community getday a so fa the busiest ward to to step for f become islative r. It was the 30th Member unteers program f s will volfrom left, of the human “crossov day, known legmany n more allow us to reach Lalitha Ganesanresources er day, as y � the elder citizens bill can h need home-d , Sharon team demonstrating pass either last day a that Sherlock or elivered the Hollowa the Senate and the House , Ginny Lyles, online applicat meals,� y said. through Cheryl Jimerso ion process “Each mayor the other then make it on that time to become n and Carol is when include, chamber w will panied we vote in Ward. n confe by current be accomf rence commit law. w on the Some bills Wheel s Meals tee report.� A confe are volunt eers On crossover not subject f deliver meals as to appointed rence committee that don’t day rules, and to Coweta they when diff and see is bills sions make it clients f rsthand fi back to can come and of a bill pass f erent vergram works,� how f as amendm in the House the added to life she said. our proMarch For other bills. ents is willingSenate and neither F Meals But ffor side al campaig is a nationmade by to adopt the changes crossover the most part, the other of March n during the month Editor’s The confer ’ chambe day is the installm note: This is the Meals On , initiate d by r. then works ence commi ent in a 10th the do-or-die ttee series on new Piedmo types of AmericWheels Associa the confe the hospita of jobs availabl f rence to put together tion time fo a, which nt Newna f r Hospital committee raise awaren a e at l, nurses that is, in seeks to set new legislareport and doctorsa great workin ess of Road later to open on Poplarn immediately hunger sion of theessence, the final l come senior g relation f and this tion, with verspring to w whi to Howev bill today’s our area action on mind. ships ch encour that both can agree er, article s ng. Sharing n makes it sides on. writer is community.the part of the age as a guest made up of a hospita l is college s, and schools and a Horne the many we local very long y provide n resourc es hospital’s Mayors clinical current ly ’ human tions. In additio more posi- many ference said the budget day. directo r, training commi tted y concommi ttee and physic n areas, n to nurses L March y r les. should f fo Virgini r r includin to the 21 project ians, Piedmo report come and radiolog a Newnan “We W were g nursing Brady, House and to the floor are Keith y Newnan y nt there until of the How are y. the gamuthas jobs that range ; Rob R Senoia; By VIRGIN 40th and Senate befo from imaging f re the Jim Sells, ert Belisle, a little after additional we planning IA LYLES f final gery, laborat L Wende ll W day of the Human Resourc sion. Grantv f r , sur- our staff f ing needs fo 10,� said ory, cardiac sescathete new hospital y Sharps ille; Alan Starr,Staley, es Executi Director, at The charter burg; State Rep. r T ve monary rizatio n Each hospita ? Horne Moreland; Turin; passed by Josh Evans, school Hospital Piedmont N Newnan clerical services and pul- has Billy l Horne, developed l department to coding, T Batema Harals on. and Ted that vote a vote of 115-49, bill R , social services think at the R-Shar a staff psburg. that not may Larry Owens n, but f services Senoia councilm Piedmo only , food “That one not mean much. n l preparefing plan and had voted end of the night“I , a is all predicat s us fo currently nt Newnan Hospita services and environmental the opening of an and regular Meals on we whether f r between on somewh the new employs ed on Wheels l more. We n mately 50 and 60 w ere has also hospiW cur- tal but also prepare ends up or not the resoluti approxi- rently have l 850 volunteered.volunte er, bills.� “This passing,� the fi 66 openin on n throughout f s 225 positionindividuals in over This year, Horne said, f r just like one was very tiring, re fe r r i n g gs move.rst six months aftus fo s. Meals On f er the A career the hospital. program all the other to the call When most Wheels Horne said. As a people think vides so in health care ones,� for are also s across the country f a conmany celebrating Many of “I’m glad it’s over.� n opportu pro- approx result, we of for f an individ anniversary stitutio have imately those bills nities the 40th things “that of the inclusio ual. We 70 new were a m e nal Senior Nutritio W have most bly ndl may not f folks See HOSPI proban Program n off the Older in,� Horne have much interest ment that T L, page TA OAA is Americans Act. s in 5A f nes the were major said, but several defi the primary The f fede state pieces of ral legislati piece of tion. legisla- ity tos abilon that izes and authorcreThey include ate charter services suppor ts nutritio 797, which d House , n Meals both congregate reinsta tes Bill schools. A Georgi a By VIRGIN the consti Charte America On Wheel s, and Commi ssion; tur School ns age 60 IA LYLES L Human Resourc and older. to s t i o “We thank HB 861, require accept resumes which a m e n a l s these local r Crane ers for es Executi Director, f stepping ndTempo rary applica nts ve at the human in the mail or Piedmont for ment up to the leadand joining Aid to F milies Fa Hospital Newnan N which can plate Needy vote must receive a two-thir our mission to To view resources off senior hunger ffice. ffor be used from 872, which pass a drug test; to ds to multiple apply for openin gs or HB placed on each chamber in Americ end the year positions. apply How does metal theft attempts to reduce to to be the state-wi a job, log a by 2020 Resumes pnh job o House de ballot. on t sive restricti without the extencan be attach passed theResolution 1162 ons in a d Senate bil has House but tabled b has been th n


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Hospita 850 emplol has more tha th n yees an d is hiring

Applicatio Newnan n for Piedmon o t jobs done online

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180 Degree

FARM By Aubern Mason | Photos by Bob Fraley




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inety people turn out on a cold February morning. They come to spend the day outside— shoveling, hauling, bending and carrying. They don’t come here for pay. They don’t come for recognition. They come to help something greater than themselves. They are preparing a garden. By the end of the day they have groomed fields for planting, prepared a vineyard and readied the cold house. This is no ordinary garden. This is 180 Degree Farm, a non-profit ministry and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Scott, Camron, Nicole and Mason Tyson currently have a waiting list of those wishing to join their family’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in Sharpsburg.

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Mason Tyson, above, is making his own documentary about his family’s farm in Sharpsburg, home of “beyond organic” produce, eggs and meat.

farm owned by Scott and Nicole Tyson. They provide “beyond organic” produce, eggs and meat to their members, donate large quantities of food to local food banks, and help churches learn how to use their land in a way that will aid their community. Many churches these days are located on large parcels of land— land that is unused. The pastors and/or congregation see that they donate to food pantries, or run one themselves, and realize that they could feed many more people if they grew the food they donate. Then they contact Scott or Nicole and come to the farm to learn how to best use their land and how to raise healthy, unadulterated food. The farm provides much-needed fresh food to local food banks. Last year 180 Degree Farm donated 1,000 pounds of eggs, vegetables and grains. (Grain is donated by United Natural Foods.) All of it went to Senoia Vineyard and Trinity Fellowship food banks, which target the needy through food and counseling. “You are what you eat,” or so the saying goes. Scott says 70-80 percent of the members of the CSA join because they are sick, and sick because processed food and pesticides weakened their bodies. Most either have some form of cancer or awful food allergies. By changing their diet and leaving “conventional” food behind them, they are able to heal or improve their lives. Scott and Nicole’s son Mason is no exception. Mason had an aggressive form of cancer and his parents say he was able to go into remission through nutrition and prayer. “Chemicals in food come at a cost,” Scott said. “Drugs do as well. With processed foods, you get a cocktail of chemicals.” These chemicals and drugs in today’s food




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The Tysons’ 180 Degree Farm is a true family affair. Dad Scott tends chickens, above, and checks a row in the garden with son Camron, below. At right, Mason finds a new friend in a frog.


come at a high cost, according to the Tysons, who say they cost us our health and they cost the plants and animals as well. The plants and animals become weak and no longer provide the nutrition they once did. And these chemicals don’t go away with processing, washing or cooking but stay in the food. One unusual item the Tysons provide is duck eggs. High in alkaline protein and Omega-3 fatty acid, duck eggs are said to be ideal for cancer patients and those with autism. They are easy to digest and are one of the few animal proteins with these qualities. The meat animals at 180 Degree Farm live a great life appropriate to their species. All have constant access to sunshine and pasture and, when the time comes to process them, Scott said it is done humanely. The meat animals include chickens, lambs and



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turkeys. They offer whole and half grass-fed lamb. Turkeys are available in fall, and chickens are offered when available. Their lamb and turkey meat is different because they use heritage breeds, breeds that are otherwise disappearing and are an integral part of historic farming. Many of the breeds of animals at 180 Degree Farm are listed as rare by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. The Tysons encourage everyone to develop a passion for learning, because they say if you do, you will never cease to grow. Scott and Nicole also offer educational opportunities for both adults and kids. They try to have four or five classes on gardening per year. They also host field trips for kids and are setting up monthly tour dates which will be announced on their website. Depending on the time that

field trips are scheduled, kids can help collect eggs, harvest veggies or feed animals. The classes and field trips help people realize where their food comes from and show them what the animals are like and how they should be raised. Future plans include adult education classes on cooking. “One problem we’ve come across,” Scott said, “is someone at the food bank who thanks us for the summer squash but holds it up and asks ‘OK, how do I cook this?’” Scott and Nicole hope to have a full commercial kitchen and classroom space to achieve this goal. The building has already been donated; they now need funds to finish the project. To see events and find out how to help, visit Membership in the CSA is closed for this year but there is space available on the waiting list. NCM

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The The whimsical whimsical world world of of


Houses By Ruth Schroeder | Photos by Bob Fraley

Elaine Endicott, age 3, peeks in the door of a fairy house in the gardens of her grandmother, Ruth Schroeder of Newnan. 30 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE



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here is Faerieland? That is what it was called back in the legendary King Arthur’s time. Its position is elusive. Sometimes it’s just over the horizon and sometimes just below your feet. Yet there have been periods when faerieland was thought to be an actual geographical area, although even this has tended to shift. The Welsh and Irish claimed them, but the faerie inhabitants were said to frequent many places. Faeries can reveal themselves, bright and glittering, without warning, anywhere—and just disappear. Frontiers of twilight, mist and fancy are all around us and, like a tide running out, can momentarily reveal faeries before flowing back to conceal them again. There are those that live on faerie MAY/JUNE 2012 | 31



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... ... there there are are five five special special and and magical magical places places where where faeries faeries make make their their homes: homes: the the tree tree tops, tops, the the forest forest floor, floor, the the garden, garden, the the wayside wayside and and the the marshes. marshes.


islands or in countries under the ocean while there are also water faeries inhabiting the seas, lakes and rivers. It is definitely not recommended that faerie

hills (or other habitat) be invaded by trespassers. If, however, the faeries seem reluctant to emerge from their hill, the entrance may be discovered by walking nine times around the hill at full moon. The entryway will then be revealed. For those not brave



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the passersby. The dance may seem to last only one minute, or an hour or two, or even at most a whole night, but in fact the normal duration would be seven years by our time. Remember Rip Van Winkle? The faerie temperament is a complex one, and the behavior of the faeries is governed by a code of ethics far removed from our own. As I learn more and more about our little faeries, I have come to learn that they are complicated just as we are. There are many types of faeries that take on different shapes and are called such things as Leprechauns, Goblins, Wichtlein and Pixies. I could go on and on with names of such types, but I will stop at these few.


Tiny fairy houses dot the landscape in Ruth Schroeder’s gardens and are a favorite spot for the grandchildren to visit.



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I have discovered there are five special and magical places where faeries make their homes: the tree tops, the forest floor, the garden, the wayside and the marshes. In the tree tops of the mighty oaks they have lived for hundreds of years and have provided a safe home for many generations of tree faeries. Its leafy foliage makes an excellent shelter for a faerie house. Some faeries prefer the security of being on the ground, and it is here, at the foot of the mighty oak, that I have discovered another favorite dwelling place. In the garden, the flower beds are a perfumed paradise for faeries who desire beauty above all else. Be alert to the presence of faeries whenever you are in the garden. Even a snail trail may not be quite what it seems. Faeries use sprinklings of faerie dust to mimic these trails when they are traveling around on the ground.

When you are passing along the wayside, see if you can spot large numbers of butterflies fluttering around, for they are among them. Now that I have given you some information on faeries we will now time travel to today’s fairy, which is spelled differently. The first thing that comes to mind is of course Tinker Bell of Peter Pan fame. Everyone knows her and has loved her for many years. I often wonder if she is a woods fairy or an ocean fairy. I can remember as a child watching lightning bugs fly around when it was dark. I would hold my hand out and try to catch one, but to no avail. Then there were the ones that did not blink off and on; they would just fly and you would watch them. “I guess the fairies are out tonight,” Mother would say. “I can’t see them,” I would tell her.

“No,” she would tell me, “only if you truly believe.” Now that I have grandchildren, I want to introduce them to fairies and tell them about the fairies of my childhood. Will they believe or just say, “Oh, Nana, do you really believe in that stuff?” So I take their hand and show them the fairy houses that are in my garden. Now my grandson Ethan helps me keep the area clean, and my granddaughter Elaine goes up to the little door and knocks. “Are the fairies home, Nana?” she asks me. “Yes,” I say, “but they are sleeping, for they come out at night.” I hope you will want to build a fairy house for your garden fairies. It’s very simple, just believe! Remember to tread softly and speak quietly when you set foot into the fairy world. Who knows—perhaps you too will be allowed a glimpse into their magical kingdom! NCM

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The Kate

Fuller Prayer Garden First Baptist’s garden offers spot for prayer Story and photos by W. Winston Skinner

ach day at noon, a lady who works a few blocks away walks to the corner of Wesley Street and College Street, where she sits, eats her lunch and prays. “I’m at peace with God here,” she told Ruth Mealor, who keeps something blooming at all seasons at the Kate Fuller Prayer Garden. I understand that regular visitor’s feelings about the prayer garden on the deep lot that faces College Street.


Ruth Mealor, at right, chats with friend Clare Whitlock in the prayer garden at First Baptist.

I often pass it in my car, and on my almost daily morning walk I usually wind my way through the path in the garden—enjoying whatever is

budding or blooming as I head for home. I often pray there, too, thanking God for his beautiful world and that soothing spot at the point where my neighborhood connects with the bustling downtown business district. I am blessed to have known Kate Smith Fuller, for whom the garden is named. “Miss” Kate was 104 years old



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when she died, and I had the pleasure of interviewing her several times from her late nineties until the end of her life. She also visited our home when we moved to Temple Avenue. She had lived there as a young woman and told me she had kept a milk cow, grown cabbages that she sold at her husband’s store, and planted a pecan tree that now dominates our back yard. My good friend, Maggie Hartley, wrote a biographical sketch of Miss Kate—when her subject was 89— which included these words: “You can pass her house many days and see her working in her flower gardens. They are a picture of color, and she has flowers most of the year blooming.” The prayer garden was started in the early 1990s by First Baptist Church and named in honor of Miss Kate, who was moving from her longtime home at Jackson Street and Roscoe Road to a smaller place. “Everything that was planted at that time came from her garden, except for a few things that she bought,” Ruth Mealor remembered. Ruth had a truck, and she and Miss Kate made numerous trips—hauling plantings from the colorful yard to the new garden. There was a design for the garden, which showed the paved walkways and the basic configuration of the garden. The rest was a blank slate for the team of Mealor and Fuller to paint a masterpiece with flowers. “It was so wonderful for me,” Ruth recalled. “It was what I loved doing. We both prayed in that garden on our knees.” Bradford pears, some maples and a cherry tree were initially planted. Japanese maples were added. “Many of the things that were

Dr. Jimmy Patterson, pastor at First Baptist, reads the inscription on a plaque honoring Ruth Mealor in a simple ceremony at the Kate Fuller Prayer Garden Mealor has so lovingly tended.

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“Everybody loved Miss Kate. She was so giving.” —Ruth Mealor

planted are no longer there. We transplanted all of her irises, and then we had a wet summer and those things just rotted,” Ruth said. Ruth is modest about her skills and energy that keep the garden looking attractive all year. “If you know your annuals and perennials, you know what blooms when and how,” she said. In her mind, she maps out the perennials and then she plants annuals to “fill in the blanks and give it a little color.” The garden continues to be a tribute to the memory of Kate Fuller. “Everybody loved Miss Kate,” Ruth Mealor mused. “She was so giving. She was our church hostess. She did so many receptions. She gave most of it away.” Miss Kate could rely on her “girls” to put together a social gathering at First Baptist whenever one was needed. “She had such a giving nature,” Ruth said. “She loved the Lord. She gave because He gave. She was an inspiration to



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Sometimes laughter lasts happily ever after.

everybody who knew her. I loved her. She was so wonderful.” The garden sits on a parcel where the longtime home of Mrs. Katie Arnall Freeman stood for decades. My friend and neighbor, Georgia Shapiro, described the home as a four-square brick structure built in the 1930s. “Miss” Katie still lived in the house when Georgia began restoration of her home a short distance away—the home in which Miss Katie and her siblings had grown up.

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Georgia, one of Newnan’s most skilled historians, said the Freeman home originally faced College Street but was later reworked to face Wesley. There was “a huge tree in the yard that she decorated for Christmas every year,” Georgia said. Visitors to the green spot do not have to know its history to experience what it has to offer. “It’s commonly known as the prayer garden. Many people have been over there to pray,” Ruth Mealor reflected. “It’s a serene place.” Those who keep it blooming also find joy in it. “When you are on your knees planting, you’re doing it for the Lord,” Ruth said. While business and commerce proceed a few blocks away, First Baptist’s prayer garden remains a spot of heavenly peace. NCM

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From ‘green’ thinking to great living with

Lorraine Cunanan By Connie J. Singleton | Photos by Bob Fraley

hurchill or Twain may encourage some, but for Newnan’s Lorraine Cunanan, it’s the wisdom of Yoda, the 900-year-old Jedi Master and Star Wars sage, that resonates with her: “Do or do not. There is no try.” A determined problem solver and researcher by nature, Cunanan sets her mind on an end goal, then pushes herself to excellence—even if that means moving outside her comfort zone. As CEO of Locus Design + Consulting, a sustainable architectural, interior design and consulting firm, Cunanan is inspired by people who shake up her thinking and make


her look at things a different way. Born in Pennsylvania to hardworking Filipino/Indian immigrants, Cunanan lived in the same house in the same town all of her young life. Her first venture from the familiar occurred when she left home to attend Duke University in North Carolina to follow her physician-dad’s footsteps into a pre-med program. A career course-correction came quickly when she prepared an impressive final project on computer design and its impact on architecture for her freshman art history class, a project that prompted her professor to ask what she planned to do with her life.



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While studying at the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture, Lorraine Cunanan of Newnan became captivated by the concept of sustainability, what’s commonly known as “green” design.

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“This career is something I’m passionate about, and it makes it worthwhile,” says Lorraine Cunanan, CEO of Locus Design + Consulting. Cunanan has won numerous state and national awards for her design work.

Lorraine Cunanan looks over plans for a current project on Westbrook Court in Newnan.




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“I said I planned to be a doctor, and she said, ‘Really? That’s a shame because you could have a future in architecture.’ No one had ever told me I could do anything else, and I had never thought of art as anything other than a hobby,” Cunanan said. “It was a relief, because while I felt I’d do OK in medicine, I wasn’t passionate about it. This career is something I’m passionate about, and it makes it worthwhile.” Later, at the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture, Cunanan was captivated by the concept of sustainability, or what’s commonly known as “green” design. “What I like about sustainability is that it’s not just about a solution— it’s about finding the best solution,” she said. “It’s challenging because it adds a whole other layer to the thinking process. I like knowing that the work I’m doing can help people think about their living space and how they live.” Cunanan often asks collaborating clients, engineers and builders to go outside their comfort zones (financial, materials, process) on projects to take advantage of ecofriendly features, but she treats the process as a dialogue and learns from them, too. It’s a creative push and pull of ideas that goes beyond design aesthetics. Cunanan met her future husband, Coweta County native and physician-to-be Romel Cunanan, when they both attended Duke. As their continuing education and careers diverged upon graduation, leading her to Pennsylvania and him to Rhode Island, friendship turned into a long-distance romance. The couple married, and eight years ago they moved to Newnan where they had a baby and where Romel joined his mother’s medical practice.

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“I like knowing that the work I’m doing can help people think about their living space and how they live,” says Lorraine Cunanan.

The former city girl said, “There were horses next to my in-laws’ house! Moving here was a big mental adjustment for me, but I love it 44 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE

now.” Cunanan especially likes the historic character of Coweta County and enjoyed the master planning city work she did while employed by

Newnan’s K.A. Oldham Design. Respect for a community’s values and history are a key component of her overall design philosophy.



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“This area represents something that’s enduring and timeless,� Cunanan said. “As a community, if we just keep in mind that’s what needs to be preserved, we’ll make good planning and growth decisions in the future.� Numerous state and national awards for her design work, coupled with an alphabet-soup mix of professional certifications and memberships, testify to Cunanan’s competitiveness and interest in learning and growing. “What’s really interesting,� she said, “is that a lot of new ways of building are coming full circle now—back to old ways.� In 2010, in the midst of a recession, Cunanan left The Epsten Group in Atlanta to successfully open her own firm. She’s enjoyed being in closer touch with local clients, including Serenbe developers and a retired Newnan couple for whom she’s designed an Earthcraft/Energy Star-certified home. She also enjoys having more time for personal pursuits: volunteering at her 7-yearold son’s school, attending kickboxing classes, and reading historical fiction (her favorite) and exploring other genres through a book club. As a volunteer caseworker for The St. Vincent de Paul Society through her church, Cunanan also gives back to the community she loves. “It’s been an eye-opening, amazing experience for me,� she said. “I’m seeing different parts of the county and meeting people from all walks of life—and a broad spectrum of them need practical advice and assistance.� Surely wise old Yoda would approve of her determination to find balance in her life: “I try not to sweat the small stuff and to always keep priorities where they need to be.� NCM

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{Thoughtful Gardener }

Southern floral icons on the runway Story and photos by Katherine McCall

Our Thoughtful Gardener shares some observations about flowers which have influenced this spring’s popular fashion designs.

Camellia japonica Jason Wu’s lady-like frock is reminiscent of the camellia’s striking pink and white color and ruffled petals. A flower synonymous with the South, the camellia first enjoyed popularity in Europe. It arrived in America in the late 18th century and was particularly well suited to the southern climate. In China, where the camellia originated, the petals and the calyx symbolize the abiding love and devotion of a young couple. The calyx, which holds the petals, represents a young man. The petals embody his delicate, young bride. Throughout the life of the bloom, he gently and protectively cradles her, their union producing the magnificent camellia blossom. As the flower matures and drops from the bush, the petals and calyx drop together, signifying their eternal union. From 46 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE



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Magnolia grandiflora An icon of the South, the magnolia, sees its twin in an all-white tee-shirt gown designed by Derek Lam. The magnolia is native from North Carolina to Florida to Texas. It is a majestic towering evergreen that can reach up to 100 feet in height, usually having a pyramidal shape. Its glossy deep green leaves have brown suede undersides that are attractive in arrangements, wreaths and garlands. During spring and into summer, it boasts large, creamy white, very fragrant, saucer-shaped blossoms. These are followed by a brown woody fruit dotted with bright red seeds. The white blooms represent purity and their saucer shapes are usually filled with fragments of the center fruit reminiscent of an overflowing cup.



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Paeonia It is usually May in the South when the first plump peony buds appear holding all the promise of the glorious bloom, perfectly round marbleized globes balancing atop stalks of green. Oscar de la Renta’s chartreuse knit takes its cue from the bright peony foliage, while Chanel’s feminine suit echoes the pink buds and blooms. The name Peony is taken from the Greek healer Paeon who meddled in the affairs of the gods and was consequently turned into a plant. The plant has long been used for its medicinal properties for healing various ailments and supposedly magical qualities to protect against evil. But it is best known for its unrivaled beauty; in China it is actually called Sho-yo which means beauty.






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Rosa Laevigata

A sporty ready-to-wear belted dress by Ralph Lauren is as fresh and creamy as the Cherokee rose in the Georgia spring. The Cherokee Rose, introduced in 1759 from China, became widespread in the South due in part to the Cherokee Indians who later immortalized it by planting cuttings along the tragic Trail of Tears. The Cherokee has glossy evergreen leaves covered with fragrant, pure white petals, dotted in the center by bright gold. It is a vigorous climber, and in the spring, if not pruned, the long snow dotted canes can be seen swaying from the tops of the pines. NCM


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{Coweta Cooks }

I’m certainly not alone in my delight with canning.

A simple meal of chicken and vegetables over rice gets a burst of flavor from a side offering of homemade chutney.




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Putting Food


By Amelia Adams | Photos by Bob Fraley

ostalgia often reigns in the home I keep for one. As a child of small town life and rural experience, I often find myself drawn to perform the rituals I knew as part of that golden time. Each season of the year, I put food by. Canning had its birth across the Atlantic. In 1795 Napoleon offered a 12,000 franc prize for one who could preserve food for his army. French baker Nicolas Appert determined that food would remain safe in glass jars; he claimed his prize a few years later. Americans caught on to preservation around the time of the 1812 war as a New York company canned oysters and other meats. The combination of soda and lime glass that we presently know was a gift of John Mason’s practicality. Later on other companies, Ball and Kerr most familiarly, adapted Mason’s design and kept his name although “Mason” is not dominant today. Nowadays, the Jarden Corporation makes relatively all the glass used for canning under the more familiar monikers. The world wars of the 20th century made great demands for canned products which found their way onto household shelves. Of course, added to the glass variety for preservation emerged an institutional favor of tin. Possibly the most famous canned foodstuff, SPAM came to fruition in 1926. My own memories of canned garden surplus resided with my maternal grandmother, whose closets were lined with vegetable soup mixture, tomatoes, sweet cucumber pickles and green beans in briny vinegar. Such beautiful color found its way into winter meals which spoke of summer. In a small, dark under stairs closet, my smaller, less impressive collection rests, dressed in homemade labels, which serve as identification and decoration. MAY/JUNE 2012 | 51



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Few people evidence the humor and excitement I did when a birthday present arrived on my back deck to feature a case of jelly jars. Other friends leave their empties in plastic bags over the basement door’s knob. As I place empties on the shelf reservoir, I sometimes become inspired to head to the grocery store or rummage the crisper for ingredients. I’m certainly not alone in my delight with canning. Two excellent blogs exist, and, that are well-written, beautifully photographed and creatively formulated. Although I seldom have access to their spectacular ingredients, the thesis of combining the unexpected has certainly inspired my kettle’s bubbling. Whenever I find a bargain or a serendipitous ingredient at my disposal, I set about its use. About a

year ago, a generous friend called, “Would you like a crate of oranges I don’t care for?” Immediately, I pulled out the cookbooks and read online recipes for marmalade. In a week, the larder boasted a case of rined, sugared fruit ready for the crannies of an English muffin. Most cooks are put off by the requirements of canning: the large vessel, the dangerous boiling water, and the heat of the procedure. Whenever that image rises, I substitute the memory of my grandmother who canned in outrageously hot August with nary an air conditioner in sight. She never complained; the garden was ready; she did her part to complete my grandfather’s labor. However, many goods may be refrigerated, even frozen in jars for later use. I make dill pickles that never see the stove from a Jewish deli recipe.

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I merely brine the cucumbers and spice in a large glass jar, place them in a dark cupboard for three days, and refrigerate for a Claussen-type dill. As well, a recipe I offer readers can easily be refrigerated, its surplus shared with those who do not can. Over 30 years ago, I received a chutney recipe while enjoying cooking lessons at Cook’s Corner in Atlanta. The condiment is a snap to prepare and thrills the recipient with its versatility. With cracker or scones, in combination with cream cheese, late afternoon snacking takes a British turn. With grilled or roasted meat, chutney adds fruity spice. Even combined with ice cream, a warmed topping can end a meal splendidly. Although the original recipe calls for apples, I sometimes substitute other fruit, but seldom mango since that is not as prolific in the southern climate as are peaches, pears or

plums. When I have seasonal fruit such as cranberries or grapes on hand, they compliment the apples. Lately, I’ve been substituting the required nuts with pecans, considering the banner crop this year. After reading the basic recipe, the cook is free to experiment further with lemons and oranges for the lime; however, I do keep the spice constant. Cook’s Corner Chutney 2 pounds diced firm apples 1/2 cup nuts (pistachios, almonds mixed) 1-2 cups sugar (I use less) Juice and rind of 1 lime 1/2 cup raisins or currants (or a combo) 1 cup water 4 bay leaves 1/2 cup vinegar

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon red pepper 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon salt (the original calls for 3) Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil; cook 15-30 minutes until the mixture is thick but fruit remains soft but firm. Pour into 1/2 pint jars. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes or refrigerate. Yields 4 pints. Whether I smear some jam on my morning toast, drop a tablespoon of chutney into chicken salad, or grab a jar of preserves as a host gift, putting food by treasures the peak of any season to be recalled to life in another. NCM

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Heritage }

Victory Gardens foreshadowed today’s

local movement By W. Winston Skinner

hen it comes to gardening, everything old is new again—and again. First lady Michelle Obama has planted a garden at the White House, telling schoolchildren who helped her that the resulting veggies will be “brain food.” She says she is asked about the garden by international heads of state. 54 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE



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There also is the aspect of community. “Gardening is not just about growing things,” Coleman said. She envisions “this beautiful place where we can come together as a community and get to know each other.” Moreland’s project has another facet to it, agri-tourism. Carol Chancey, who promotes tourism there, was quick to grasp the possibilities of a U Pick It farm with a community garden accented by a small antebellum house and a century-old barn showcasing farm implements of an earlier time. A similar garden project has also been discussed by some in Grantville. But … all of this sounds familiar. In 1994, we were commemorating the 50th anniversary of World War II. In conjunction with that observance, Laura Glise, who was then taking a

In Coweta County, many are singing the praises of homegrown food and of gardens that bring people together and provide nourishment. Vineyard Community Church in Senoia started a community garden about two years ago on its 15 acres. Sow Good Garden provides food for the Sow Good Center, a food pantry in Senoia. “Everything that we grow as a church will go to that ministry of distributing food,” said Brent Anderson, Vineyard’s pastor. In Newnan and in Moreland, there are plans for gardens, too. Nicole Coleman announced plans for New Leaf, the Newnan project, at a meeting at 15 Perry St. in February. One of her motivations is making good, healthful food available. “We can find fast food places on every corner. It’s more of a challenge to find the farms and the small farmers,” she observed. MAY/JUNE 2012 | 55



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lead role in promoting Moreland tourism, made connections for the Moreland Mill to be a site for Produce for Victory, an exhibit sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution. Produce for Victory was centered around posters, “visual images that were used to energize Americans at home to do their part to help the U.S. win the war,” Laura explained. The exhibit traveled to five states and to five places in Georgia. “We were the first in the country to get it,” Laura told The Newnan Times-Herald back then. Other events were planned for Produce for Victory. The Driftwood Garden Club held a juried

Jimmy Haynes shows a poster promoting the 1994 “Produce for Victory” exhibit in Moreland.

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flower show in a meeting room at the Moreland Mill. Harvey Klevar, biographer of Erskine Caldwell, came to Moreland to speak. And then there was the Victory Garden. I had never heard of the concept before, but lots of Cowetans in those days had. If I remember correctly, Mr. Lamar Haynes plowed up the spot next to the Caldwell Museum and planted the crops that would have been part of a Victory Garden. A smaller herb garden was also planted—just outside the Caldwell home porch, as if Carrie Caldwell might run out to pinch some mint for the evening meal’s iced tea. When I was a youngster, I remember finding Dad’s ration book from World War II tucked away in a trunk at my grandparents’ home. I was fascinated to learn that items we


bought at the grocery store—sugar, coffee, butter, milk, meat—were rationed. You had to have a ration stamp as well as the money to buy the item. The Victory Garden concept suggested everyone with even a small piece of land grow some of their own food. The produce would help feed the family and reduce domestic demand so food could go overseas to feed our soldiers in their valiant fight for freedom. There also was a sense of personal accomplishment connected with Victory Gardening. Folks who could not go to Germany or Japan could still support the Allies’ cause. Helping in the Victory Garden was something a five-year-old or an octogenarian could do to contribute to the war effort. According to Wessels Living

History Farm in York, Neb., close to 20 million Americans planted Victory Gardens. While many were on a patch of ground in a homeowner’s yard or a parcel on a farm, some were communal projects in cities. Federal agencies reinforced the importance of Victory Gardens. Colorful posters created in those days show the garden as a patriotic impulse with practical application. Putting up food was part of the project as well. Foreshadowing the current first lady’s efforts, Eleanor Roosevelt had a Victory Garden on the White House grounds. Victory Gardens brought communities together and provided fresh, tasty food for Cowetans seven decades ago. The multiple local garden projects of today are ready to fill a similar place in a new age. NCM

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Remembering Howard Warner High By Alex McRae

Willie Robinson is among the Howard Warner High School graduates eager to see their old school building, above and opposite, preserved. 58 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE

very great neighborhood has a heart, a special place that residents consider essential to their quality of life. These anchors of community culture can be as grand as a cathedral or as simple as a corner store whose owner knows each customer by name. Residents of Newnan’s Chalk Level neighborhood will tell you that from the Great Depression until Coweta schools were desegregated, the center of their community was the Howard Warner High School on Savannah Street, which for decades served the city’s African-American community. But the aging structure was much more than a simple school house to the neighborhood it served. “It was a special place for all of us,” said Katie Dawson Gay, an 86year-old Howard Warner graduate. “It was a school, but it was more than that. We had all kind of activities there. We were proud of it.” Howard Warner school was built in 1935, at a time when “Separate but equal” was the only standard that applied for comparing schools segregated by custom and law. Warner was separate, but far from equal when it came to facilities and instructional tools. But students and teachers were determined their education would not be hindered by a lack of calculators, textbooks or copy machines.



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Katie Dawson Gay

Henri Jean Stewart

Georgia Jones

Henri Jean Stewart, who attended Howard Warner and later became a career educator, remembers watching her teachers write test questions on a chalk board for students to copy, then answer. She says it didn’t slow the learning process one bit.

“We learned a lot,” says Stewart, who still makes her home in Newnan.” And we loved our teachers. They were hard on us, but we knew they cared.” The school produced first-class athletes who went on to success in college and pro ball, but former

Warner standouts say they worked just as hard to overcome substandard facilities as they did to vanquish an opponent. Warner’s first coach was Henry Seldon, for whom the stadium at Northgate High is named. Seldon’s football teams never dreamed of MAY/JUNE 2012 | 59



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Members of the Howard Warner High School football team in 1952-53 included, seated from left, Eugene Cardell, team manager, Gerald Dennis, Rev. Rufus Smith, Robert Williams, Harvey Elom, Willie Cook and Kenneth Dyer; second row, James Price, Harold Fischer, Melvin Strickland, George Beadles, J.C. Redwine, George Burrough and Charlie Newson, team manager; and standing, Coach Henry Seldon, Fred Brantley, Richard Cardell, Straling Thompson, Joseph Dommineck, Harry Upshaw, Bobby Grier, Willie Traylor, Tim Hightower and Coach Grant Stephens.



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performing in such a grand venue. Games were played at Pickett Field on Wesley Street when the facility wasn’t being used by Newnan High. Practices took place on the dirt and scrub grass “field� at Warner High, often in mismatched, hand-me-down uniforms. Basketball facilities were just as bad, according to Willie Robinson, a member of the Howard Warner class of 1952, who played both football and basketball at Warner. All basketball practices and home games were held on the school’s outdoor courts. Bad weather—even in the dead of winter—was never a reason to miss a workout or a game. “I guess it was cold playing out there during the winter,� Robinson says. “But we were young and running all the time so we didn’t really notice much. We had a good time.� The curriculum at Howard Warner covered all academic



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Heritage of Peachtree Senior Living at its best!

Willie Robinson’s Howard Warner High School diploma

disciplines but also offered extracurricular activities including drama, chorus and band. Retired Coweta educator Georgia T. Jones and her husband, the late William A. Jones Jr., came to Coweta County in 1948 to begin their teaching careers. In addition to teaching math and science, William Jones was asked to begin a music program at Howard Warner. He started the school marching band and jazz bands and a school chorus. Georgia Jones shared her nonacademic skills with female students, teaching them how to make their own perfume and lye soap. She also organized a girls’ glee club and a male chorus at the elementary school and wrote and directed a play that was performed by school students before a very appreciative packed house. “It made them feel big,” she says. “Like they had really done something important.” The Howard Warner school officially closed in 1969 and became the central administrative office for the Coweta County Board of

Education. Several years ago, the board of education donated the building to the City of Newnan. The school is closed, but its impact lingers. Warner graduates have served across the nation and around the world as doctors, nurses, attorneys, educators and “just about anything else,” says Henri Jean Stewart. “We were prepared when we left school. We learned a lot, and we loved our teachers.” In late 2011, a volunteer citizen committee was appointed to investigate possible uses for the aging structure and make recommendations to the Newnan City Council about its preservation and renovation. Since then, countless former students have come forward with their memories of the school and suggestions for its future use. Those memories will never fade. If the efforts of a city and community are successful in the years ahead, the building where those memories were born will be preserved for future generations as well. NCM

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Life on the lake with

Donald Teel By Cathy Lee Phillips | Photos by Bob Fraley

hen Donald Teel moved his family to Coweta County in 1964, integration was a powder keg! As the new principal of Madras School, he needed a calm day in his office before students returned from summer vacation. As he sat in the quiet office that Monday morning, he was suddenly confronted by an angry parent with a loaded weapon. There was plenty of anger to go around in the 1960s, a decade of upheaval and dramatic change. Events playing on the evening news trickled down to the local schools. As traditions and long-held beliefs were challenged and changed, people expressed their opinions in a variety of ways. Teel would face three other weapons during his first 62 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE

year at Madras School. “It didn’t happen right away, but tempers cooled and people began to meet each other. Eventually, the parents and community decided to work together to provide safe and effective schools for all students,” Teel remembers. “Gradually folks realized that integration was the law—and it was right.” Teel, a proud (possibly obsessive) graduate of Auburn University, believes education is a three-legged stool, with students, parents and school collaborating to provide a superb learning environment. “It is our responsibility to

determine where each child is and move that child as far as he or she can go,” he says. Teel places great value on a student’s uniqueness, noting that students learn in a variety of ways. Effective education assesses a child at a given point, continues instructing, and later tests the child to compare where he was to where he currently is. The overall goal should



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Donald and Frances Teel, now married some 54 years, are shown on their wedding day.

always be guiding all students toward their maximum potential, he says. This father of four understands firsthand that everyone is unique. His eldest, Cheryl, followed her father to Auburn and into education. She taught at Atkinson School before moving to the Marietta area. Today Dr. Cheryl Hungerford is Chief of Staff of the Cobb County School District, a position next in line to superintendent. Teel’s son Don is a gifted carpenter who built Teel’s current home. Last Christmas, Don created a birdhouse that is a complete replica of their home, lake and surrounding area. They are currently seeking someone to carefully install the 150-pound concrete birdhouse! Greg Teel still lives in Georgia and is a broker with a food supply company. Teel’s youngest son, Steve, lives in Texas and is part owner of an electronics company. His work regularly brings him home to Newnan and cherished visits with his family. All four of Teel’s children were educated in Coweta County schools, and Teel is proud of that. He credits the countless people who have worked and continue to work to foster excellence in Coweta County 64 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE

Early in his career, Donald Teel coached members of the Madras School girls’ basketball team, including author Cathy Lee Phillips, shown second from right on the front row.

education. “We are blessed with outstanding teachers and support staff. And we are fortunate to have a strong, dedicated school board, all of whom shoulder This concrete birdhouse is a replica of the Teel home and lake. tremendous responsibility and work long hours without pay,” he says. The board sets policies and procedures that govern the school system—policies carried out day-to-day by the superintendent, principals, teachers and all other county employees. Because the board directly impacts the local schools, citizens must elect qualified and dedicated men and women to represent the

Donald and Frances Teel’s four children include, clockwise from top left, Don, Greg, Cheryl and Steve.



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community and guide education forward. Teel has strong feelings about the county school board. “Since moving to Coweta in 1964, I have worked consistently with exceptional board members,” Teel shares. After more than 50 years in education, Donald Teel’s greatest thrill is when a former student approaches him and says, “Hi, Mr. Teel! Do you remember me? Do you know my name?” “Why?” Teel always responds. “Did you forget it?” He then smiles and takes time to talk to those who have known him as coach, teacher, principal, county administrative assistant for instruction, or as an associate executive director for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. These myriad titles reflect his lifelong dedication to public education. Today, Teel enjoys life from the large front porch of his home at the end of a long driveway he has dubbed Auburn Avenue. Nestled beside a picturesque lake, the home is a beautiful location for Teel and Frances, his wife of 54 years. His four children, 13 grandchildren, and an increasing passel of greatgrandchildren visit frequently. Each year he invites folks from the Coweta Senior Center to enjoy a day at his lake where they fish, boat and enjoy the sunshine. He sings and plays guitar with the Gospel Aires, a group of his good friends who perform for nursing homes, assisted living and senior centers. He is pursuing a lifelong dream of learning to play piano. Of course, he is always in front of the television whenever Auburn is playing! Now retired, Donald Teel remains a strong proponent of public education, particularly in the Coweta County schools. NCM

The Coweta Community Foundation is pleased to announce the creation of the Thomas McKeehan Memorial Fund, made possible through a generous financial gift from the estate of Thomas McKeehan, a longtime Senoia resident and patron of the arts. These privatelydonated funds will be used by the Foundation to support deserving local educational, artistic, and other charitable organizations, as McKeehan did in his own life. To learn more about making the Coweta Community Foundation a part of your own will and estate planning, please visit our website. Coweta Community Foundation, Inc. is a publicly-supported, 501(c)3 organization that exists both to maintain the charitable intent of donors and to act as a catalyst to help focus local philanthropy on our community’s changing needs.

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History from the pilot’s seat Wyrick’s passion for flying endures amid war and peace and a world of changes By Cathy Lee Phillips | Photos by Bob Fraley and courtesy of Ed Wyrick In the fading light of an Alma, Missouri farm, a six-year-old boy heard a low hum in the distance. His heart pumped faster with anticipation. Awestruck, he watched a Travel Air biplane circle their wheat field, lower and lower as the pilot scanned the terrain for a landing spot. Within seconds the colorful craft bounced through the field, finally stopping near the boy and his speechless family. It was 1927 when the plane, flying from Wichita to an airplane factory in Marshall, Missouri, landed just before last light. The new model 66 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE

was not yet equipped with lights for night flying. The pilot was greeted warmly and given a delicious dinner and warm bed for the night. To show his appreciation, the pilot allowed Ed and his aunt to climb aboard the next morning for a ride in the open cockpit. Before the plane left the ground, young Ed Wyrick was hooked! “I was captured by the thrill of being in the air,” Ed said, still smiling today. As Ed grew, so did his determination to make the sky his home. Throughout elementary and

high school he read avidly about flying, even getting caught in class by his teachers a few times. While Ed was attending Joplin (Mo.) Junior College, a professor recognized his fascination and told Ed about a way to learn to fly. Consider the time. In the days following World War I, the United States was understandably anti-war. There were many, including President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who saw obvious signs of another war looming. Military experts recognized that another war would be vastly different and more aerial



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From the time he was 6, Ed Wyrick of Newnan knew he wanted to fly airplanes. He would go on to train pilots in WWII and eventually become a commercial airline pilot.

than World War I. While our country remained strongly anti-war, Germany was building airplanes and training thousands of pilots. In this area, the United States was weak and needed preparation. As part of his economic recovery program to end the Great Depression, FDR initiated the Civilian Pilot Training (CPT) program. Though not discussed openly, the CPT would be the foundation for our country’s air defense in case of war. Ed Wyrick applied and was one of 30 students accepted into the primary course of the CPT. Surprisingly for the time, 10 percent of the class had to be female. These women later ferried planes and parts,

but never engaged in combat. Ed learned to fly in a Piper Cub and upon completion of this primary course, received his pilot’s license. He was one of 10 students selected for the secondary course where he learned acrobatic—the forerunner to Tom Cruise, Top Gun and aerial combat. Ed graduated in 1940 and traveled to the Naval Recruiting Station to join the military. During his physical, he was surprised to learn he suffered from a Color Vision Deficit. This was not complete colorblindness but enough to keep him from being accepted into the U.S. military. “I still wanted to fly,” Ed recalls,

and he even interviewed with Britain’s Royal Air Force. One RAF requirement was that he had to swear total allegiance to Britain, a move that could have cost him his U.S. citizenship. He wouldn’t do that. Instead, he learned of a CPT for cross-country flying and was accepted. Here he trained in WACO biplanes, Piper Cubs and Stinson cabin planes. Dec. 7, 1941, a day that will live in infamy, thrust the United States of America into World War II. Ready or not, we were at war and trained pilots were urgently needed—and quickly. Ed was deferred from combat to train thousands of pilots for war, getting MAY/JUNE 2012 | 67



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In photos above, Ed Wyrick is shown early in his flying career, and at left, with wife Lois at their home in Newnan today.

new students every few weeks. As the war wound down, Ed was contacted about flying for Eastern Airlines. “I turned this down at first because I considered it boring,” he said. “I couldn’t exactly perform acrobatics while flying passengers.” 68 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE

But with a wife, Lois, and a baby on the way, Ed had to support his growing family. He finally applied and was accepted as a pilot for Eastern. His Color Vision Deficit would not interfere with flying as a commercial

pilot. He received his training in Miami and piloted mostly DC-3s in those early days. When he retired 36 years later, Ed was flying huge L1011 widebody TriStars. Still tall and handsome, skilled and respected, Ed Wyrick is an accomplished man who loves his family and faith. His eyes still sparkle with the joy of a six-yearold who flew in the open cockpit of a Travel Air biplane in 1927. But look a little closer … closer … and you see a man whose passion for flight unfolded on the headlines of history—from the tragedy of World War II to the joy of crisscrossing the skies in jumbo jets. NCM



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Coweta’s Greatest Generation Available in a

Limited Edition Hardcover Book The Newnan Times-Herald spent over a year highlighting the stories of surviving local World World II veterans in a project called “Our Greatest Generation.” This award-winning series presented the stories of over 120 local men and women and was a favorite of readers young and old. Since the series ended, we have had countless requests to reproduce this collection of stories so they may be preserved for future generations and enjoyed time and again in their entirety. The entire series has been published in a limited edition hardcover book with 288 pages that tell the stories and feature photographs of these proud men and women.

Pick up your copy today at The Newnan Times-Herald, 16 Jefferson Street, Newnan, GA 30263; order online at www.times-herald/store; or fill out the form below and mail with your payment to: The Newnan-Times-Herald, c/o Book Order, P.O. 1052, Newnan, GA 30264

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Mail to: The Newnan Times-Herald, c/o Book Order, P. O. 1052, Newnan, GA 30264 For more information, call 770.253.1576 MAY/JUNE 2012 | 69



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Skylar Nicholson Newnan teen returns home from L.A. for latest acting role By Nichole Golden | Photos courtesy of Serenbe Playhouse

ewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland chronicles a young girl’s journey to a new and interesting world after falling into a rabbit hole. Thirteen-year-old Skylar Nicholson of Newnan is having her own set of adventures while pursuing a dream of acting. Skylar, the daughter of Lisa and James Nicholson, will portray Alice in the Serenbe Playhouse’s production of Alice in Wonderland June 1-July 28. After spending the first part of 2012 in Los Angeles working on film, print and modeling projects, Skylar returned home excited about this summer production. “This is a role she’s always wanted to do,” said Lisa Nicholson. When Skylar first saw costume designer Brandon R. McWilliams’ sketch of Alice’s dress for the Serenbe production, she became “teary.” No stranger to the stage, Skylar has performed professionally at Dollywood Theme Park, the Atlanta Lyric Theatre, Legacy Theatre and Atlanta’s Fox Theatre. She appeared in gospel singer Kirk Franklin’s video for his single “I Smile.” Skylar is also a trained singer and dancer. “She has wanted to do this forever,” Lisa said of her daughter’s acting goals. While in California, the sixth-grade Skylar has maintained her high academic honors as a homeschooled student of Georgia Cyber Academy. Grandparents Ralph and Joan Duncan of Newnan have helped the family to split the time between Newnan 70 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE



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Skylar Nicholson of Newnan appears in costume for her upcoming role in Serenbe Playhouse’s Alice in Wonderland. MAY/JUNE 2012 | 71



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A scene from last year’s Ugly Duckling

and California. Lisa says they have met some of the “kindest” people while out in L.A. “It’s not the environment that everybody makes it out to be,” she said. Brian Clowdus, founder and

executive/artistic director for Serenbe Playhouse, said he is pleased about being able to cast a local who is an “absolute professional” for the role of Alice. “Having a youth actor carry a

show is a daunting task, but I have no worries about Skylar,” said Clowdus. “She looks like she has stepped out of a fairy tale as it is, and I know she is going to bring so much talent to this role. We are all Alices in

“She looks like she has stepped out of a fairy tale as it is, and I know she is going to bring so much talent to this role.” –Brian Clowdus, Founder and Executive Artistic Director, Serenbe Playhouse

Skylar Nicholson 72 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE

Brian Clowdus



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our own way, and everyone needs to relate to her journey.” Skylar has said that director Clowdus “thinks outside the box.” “Being an outdoor site-specific theatre, we move our performances or rather experiences to different locations for each new work we produce,” Clowdus said. For last summer’s Ugly Duckling at Serenbe Playhouse, one stage was submerged underwater in the middle of a lake. This production of Alice will be the world premiere of an adaptation by Rachel Teagle. “If you are going to produce Alice or any other wellknown story, I think it has to have a unique take or else we are doing the same version everyone else has seen,” Clowdus said. This adaptation will go back in time to when theater was told through mask work (commedia dell’arte) and will feature a troupe of six actors. “They have themselves, their masks and their imagination as tools,” explains Clowdus. “Alice, lost in the woods, wanders upon this band of actors and is encouraged to use her imagination to lose herself in this story while discovering who she is … it is a coming of age story, an ode to the power of imagination.” Mother Nature has a starring role in the outdoor theatre environment of Serenbe, and sometimes is a director’s biggest challenge. “We deal with sun, rain and those pesky bugs, but when Mother Nature is on my side, she is my best collaborator. There really is nothing like sitting in an open natural surrounding with the breeze hitting your face and the stars or sun above you. It’s unlike anything else you can experience in our region,” said Clowdus. Skylar is looking forward to having the audience “traveling with

her” down the rabbit hole and through the woods. Lisa Nicholson said they are happy those who have nurtured Skylar as a young entertainer will be able to see her perform closer to home. “We miss family and friends,” she said. Alice can be seen on the Forest

Glen stage on Friday and Saturday mornings at 11 a.m. The Serenbe community is located in neighboring Chattahoochee Hills. For information on tickets or Serenbe’s other summer productions, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the musical Time Between Us, visit www. NCM

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{Saddle Up }

Photography a Horsey Affair for Curtis Robb By Martha A. Woodham | Photos by Bob Fraley and courtesy of Curtis Robb

“I happened upon this picture in Dooly County as Guy Cooper, Huntsman, gathered the hounds on a sandbar in Turkey Creek after a day of hunting,” said Curtis Robb. “I was standing in mud to get this view. This picture was on the cover of my first fox hunting book.”

hotographer Curtis Robb laughs as he positions lights around the gleaming horse he is shooting. It doesn’t move a hair. 74 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE

“I usually don’t get to pose what I’m shooting,” he says, aiming the camera. “In polo, you can’t say ‘Do that again.’ You’d better be ready.” Robb is known for the action-

packed, outdoor scenes he captures of a polo match or a fox hunt. But there he was, with a makeshift studio in a Headley Construction warehouse, photographing cleverly decorated



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Curtis Robb is shown hunting, above, and below at a Headley Construction warehouse where he was photographing the horses of “A Horsey Affair 2012” earlier this spring.

horses that stood perfectly still, no matter how long he kept them in the spotlight. Robb’s photographs of 25 horses painted by Georgia artists are featured in the book Horses of Newnan, which he produced in conjunction with Project Chair MAY/JUNE 2012 | 75



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Curtis Robb’s favorite mounted fox hunting scene captures the pack as they turn the corner on the line of a coyote south of Thomasville. “The shadow in the road is of Dale Barnett, Whipper-in, as he cheers the hounds forward,” Robb said. This picture got national distribution as the cover shot of a calendar.

The painted horses now drawing visitors to downtown Newnan have been photographed by Curtis Robb for a book about the exhibit, “Horses of Newnan.” At far left is Gulliver, painted by local trompe l'oeil artist Dee Keller. Below is Equus Tropicale, painted by local artist Marc Stewart.




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Barbara Tumperi to raise funds for the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s proposed children’s museum. The book, which Robb designed, will give the horses’ back stories as told by the artists who painted them. The book supports “A Horsey Affair,� a free art exhibit organized by the historical society to recognize the important role horses played in the development of Newnan and Coweta County. Artists from Newnan and other parts of Georgia were invited to paint the fiberglass horses, and the herd is gracing downtown Newnan through mid-July. Robb’s love of horses got him involved in the project. A farm boy from Kansas, he and his wife, Sandi, had lived in Texas and Maryland before he joined Delta Air Lines in 2000 and they discovered Coweta County. He and Sandi settled on a 32-acre farm in the Roscoe area with their two Tennessee Walking Horses and an Arabian. Today the Robbs are down to one elderly, retired gelding named Lucky who is toothless and blind in one eye, a couple of companion goats and three bird dogs. Robb’s passion for photography began when he was a teen in 4-H. He recalls taking pictures and developing his own film and prints in the kitchen sink of the family farm house. “The pictures were pretty good, given the basic equipment and process that existed then,� says Robb, who now works with his third generation of digital camera technology—Nikon D3 cameras and 70-200mm f2.8 VR and 28-70 f2.8 lenses. “I never got over the excitement of seeing the images appear in the developing tray. My mother was a great supporter of 4H so she put up with my mess.� But his career in computer technology with IBM, Citibank and Delta took priority, and he put aside his camera for 40 years. After he retired from Delta in 2005 and formed his own technology consulting business, The Robb Group, he had time to pick up a camera again. This time Robb was lured to his neighbor Phil Beegle’s polo field as a volunteer photographer at benefit polo meets like the Kool Kids Classic. That eventually led to fox hunting. “I met the Bear Creek Hounds while photographing a polo tournament at Cedargate Farm in 2005,� he says. “The parade of the hounds was a spectacular sight. Hal Barry, master of the Bear Creek Hounds, invited me to attend some hunts when the season started. There was no turning back. The excitement of the hunt and the cry of the hounds get in your blood. This gave focus to my photography and served as a platform to improve my skills considerably.�


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In this Curtis Robb photo, Joe Meyer (in green shirt) takes Mauricio off of the line of the ball. “I love polo due to the fast action,” Robb said. “The horses understand the game very well so the emotion is on the faces of both players and horses.”




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{ Index

Curtis Robb and wife Sandi live on a 32-acre farm in the Roscoe area of Newnan.

During the next four years, Robb photographed 88 Bear Creek hunt meets, at first following the horseand hound action in an orange Kubota utility vehicle. Deciding it was too noisy, he switched to following the horses and riders on foot. He eventually expanded to photographing other hunts in Georgia and neighboring states. He has shot more than 30,000 foxhunting pictures in every conceivable type of weather, and he has never followed the hounds on horseback. “When I started doing photography, I enjoyed that so much that there was no way I was going to get on a horse,” he says with a smile. His favorite photo captures the pack from Live Oak Hounds south of Thomasville just as they pick the scent. The hounds are giving voice as they round a corner, their paws kicking up a shower of dust. This picture was selected as the cover of the 2011 Masters of Fox Hounds of America calendar and has been called one of the best fox hunting photographs ever.

“When I started this project with the Bear Creek Hounds in 2005, I underestimated the difficulty and challenge of capturing images of such a fast-moving sport,” he says. “I struggled to get a photo to tell the story. I realized the story never stops —the staff matures and changes, the membership evolves, the pack is gradually improved through breeding, and the hunt country is expanded and improved. I shifted to a series of photos that tell the story. “My only regret with this project is that I didn’t start sooner,” he adds. “I have met many wonderful people who are very excited about what they do. It has given me great joy to be a part of this history. Finally, I’ve never had a bad day in the woods.” NCM

Want to visit the equines in “A Horsey Affair 2012”? Pick up a map at the Coweta County Visitors Center in the historic Coweta County Courthouse in downtown Newnan. See more of Robb’s photography at

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Bookshelf }

A Grown-up Kind of Pretty By Joshilyn Jackson Grand Central, $25.99 Reviewed by Holly Jones When you think of lucky or unlucky numbers, what comes to mind? Seven and 13, sure, but what about 15? Google it and you’ll find religious facts, important dates and a magic square puzzle, but nothing terribly unlucky. For Ginny Slocumb, a character in Joshilyn Jackson’s A Grown-up Kind of Pretty, the number 15 is a curse—one she is dreading. Ginny was 15 when she had her daughter Liza. Liza was 15 when she had her daughter. And now Liza’s daughter Mosey is turning 15. Ginny worries her world is about to fall apart. She’s right, but unfortunately it’s Ginny who sets the disaster in motion. Liza had a stroke a few months back and hasn’t quite regained her ability to speak or walk. They’ve gone though all of their insurance and physical therapy options, but Ginny refuses to give up on Liza. Ginny knows her wild-child daughter is somewhere deep inside the stranger who stares at her with blank eyes. Ginny’s solution is to get a pool, because the therapists had some results with Liza when she was doing water 80 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE

therapy. The problem is that to build a pool in their backyard requires cutting down Liza’s favorite willow tree. Mosey knows Liza will freak out when she hears the chainsaw, and worries Liza will relapse. What neither Ginny nor Mosey suspect is what they will find when the tree comes down. In a hole below the roots of the tree is a small, silver box. Inside that box are a stuffed animal; a tiny, tattered pink dress with ruffles; and the remains of an infant “so young her skull bones hadn’t fused yet.” Liza and Ginny know instantly who the baby girl is, and Liza starts screaming hysterically. All of this happens by page 25. The rest of the novel is an emotional maze of shocking twists and turns. Told from Ginny, Mosey and even Liza’s viewpoints, the book’s mystery is resolved pretty quickly, but it is only one of a multitude of plot points. Beyond that are amazing accounts of friendship, family, attempted murder, suspected kidnapping, coming-of-age (for all three women), determination and, of course, love. Ginny Slocumb believes every 15 years disaster strikes. She may have a point. Then again, she gained a daughter and a granddaughter during these years. And she’s in for another surprise—as is everyone who reads A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty.

Uga the Baby Bullpup By Glenn Grizzard Five Points Press, $12.99 Reviewed by Holly Jones

Devoted Dawg fans know that the words “Saturday in Athens” are the start of something amazing. This is certainly true in a new children’s book with the first line, “It was Saturday in Athens and the clock had just struck noon, and the baby pup named Uga knew the Dawgs were playing soon.” Georgia fans haven’t had much luck with our Uga pups in recent years. Health problems have haunted the beloved mascots. But the “Baby Bullpup” in Glenn Grizzard’s book Uga the Baby Bullpup proves he is one tough junkyard dawg ready to take his place Between the Hedges. Hopefully, the new Uga set to don the collar in September will take notes from this literary predecessor. Childhood friends Grizzard (yes, he is a cousin of the late Lewis Grizzard) and illustrator Anthony Barkdoll are University of Georgia graduates, Dawg fans and dads. Grizzard says he wrote the story of Uga the Baby Bullpup for his own kids, and then he and Barkdoll decided to share it with Bulldogs of all ages. Little Uga, as the first line says, is on his way to see the Dawgs play. On his quest, he passes by popular Athens landmarks like the Arch and Broad Street. But somehow between the university’s North Campus and the stadium, the little mascot hero gets lost. He journeys past familiar railroad tracks, though a bone yard, and into a mysterious underground tunnel that houses the most dreaded of all Dawg enemies. “ ‘Look here Mr. Gator,’ said the bullpup with a growl, ‘My day’s been hard enough so far, don’t get in my way now!’ ” Without giving away too much of the plot, let’s just say that this is not a bedtime story Florida fans will be reading to their children. But it truly is an adorable book, fun for any age Bulldog. Children will love the rhyming stanzas of the Bullpup’s journey through Athens and the wonderfully unique illustrations— with very little orange, by the way. But alumni will have just as much fun traveling back through the campus, its landmarks and traditions. And really, it’s a book about a Saturday in Athens—there’s nothing better for a Dawg fan. And as Grizzard says, “Goooo Dawgs! Sic ’Em Woof Woof Woof!”



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Stand Up and Garden By Mary Moss-Sprague Countryman Press, $16.95 Reviewed by Angela McRae Gardening with raised beds, five-gallon buckets, dish pans or straw bales? If you haven’t heard, off-the-ground gardening is gaining in popularity, and Mary Moss-Sprague discusses the many forms of the new vertical gardening in Stand Up and Garden: The no-digging, notilling, no-stooping approach to growing vegetables and herbs. There are many reasons a gardener may choose to grow plants off-theground. For some, it’s the promise of a virtually weed-free garden with greater yield. Younger gardeners, especially those in apartments, may like the space-saving and portability features of above-ground gardening. The book’s author, a Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver, had another reason for trying this approach. “Having inherited my sainted mother’s osteoarthritis, I discovered many years ago that in-ground gardening just wasn’t working for me,” Moss-Sprague says. “The price I paid for putting in hours of the painful work involved was just too much. Fortunately, before I gave up on the whole process of growing my own herbs and vegetables, a neighbor friend turned me on to the concept of gardening with straw-based raised beds.” (To read about Cowetan Charlotte Nelson, who also gardens with straw bales, see the May/June 2011 issue of this magazine archived at

The author calls this the “all-gain, nopain” method of gardening, and the book guides readers in everything from preparing the site to selecting the above-ground gardening method best suited to them. She starts with containers, discussing how she has gardened with such everyday objects as food-grade buckets, grower’s pots and plastic dishpans, all with drain holes drilled in them. She also recommends trellises be installed above the containers for certain vegetables, including cucumbers, summer squash and cantaloupes. Moss-Sprague favors self-contained, raised beds that use straw as a foundation, and she notes that “raised beds, in general, warm up much more quickly than the ground; the straw works to heat things up even faster.” While she now breaks apart the straw bales before placing them in her beds, she has used solid bales in the past and says she may experiment with them again. The book also includes information on installing a drip-irrigation system as well as chapters on composting and pest control. For anyone considering one of the vertical gardening methods popular today, this book is a most helpful resource to have on hand.

Women and Their Gardens By Catherine Horwood Ball Publishing, $26.95 Reviewed by Angela McRae You may know the names of Britain's Gertrude Jekyll and Vita Sackville-West, but other women gardeners are much less well-known. Mary Capel in the 1600s kept detailed plant records that are now part of the British Museum's natural history col-

lection. Mary Anne Robb made a trip to Turkey in the 1890s and brought home in her hatbox a euphorbia known today as "Mrs. Robb's Bonnet." The wealthy Ellen Wilmott is said to have grown some 600 varieties of narcissus, her gardens at one time tended by 104 uniformed gardeners. Catherine Horwood, a scholar and gardener in London and Suffolk, aims to set the record straight about the contributions of women gardeners in her new book Women and Their Gardens: A History from the Elizabethan Era to Today. Horwood calls her book an attempt at "putting on record that for centuries gardens have been important to women and women have been important to gardens." Horwood notes that while women by the late 1890s were engaging in research "of a high academic standard," they often lacked recognition for their work. "In 1896," she says, "a nervous thirty-year-old woman attempted to submit research she had written up on spore germination of a rare form of fungi, Agraicineae, to the new director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, William Thiselton-Dyer … Sent away … she later wrote in her diary, 'I fancy [Mr. Thiselton-Dyer] may be something of a misogynist.' A later attempt, in 1897, to have the paper read at the Linnean Society also failed. … The young woman returned to her private research and concentrated on her detailed watercolour illustrations of plant life. Her name was Beatrix Potter." Horwood notes the gardening contributions of many members of royalty, including student of horticulture Queen Charlotte (the Bird of Paradise was named Strelizia Regina in her honor), and Charlotte's daughter, Princess Elizabeth, a talented painter of flowers. The book traces the social changes that ultimately gave women access to careers in horticulture. Horwood quotes a 1941 poem referencing one such change: "Now Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees, That half a gardener's proper work is done upon his knees; But with Adam gone to fight the foe and only home on leave, The proper one to kneel and plant and grow our food is—EVE!" Happily, Horwood concludes that today there is no area of gardening "in which women cannot excel at the highest professional level." A bibliography and a list of Royal Horticultural Society Medal Winners make this a terrific resource for those interested in the history of both women and gardening. NCM MAY/JUNE 2012 | 81



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{ Last Look } A blue bottle tree made by Recycle Queen Ann Pelerose (see page 16) seems to wave goodbye to visitors leaving the imaginative gardens she has created with husband Gene. — Photo by Bob Fraley




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I DON’T LEAVE THE TV ON FOR THE COFFEE TABLE. WHY COOL AN EMPTY HOUSE? And while my energy bill can’t go camping or fishing, there are some things I can do to lighten its load. Like adjusting my thermostat and turning off the water heater before I leave. I’m saving money even while I’m on vacation. What can you do? Find out how the little changes add up by visiting




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