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A Times-Herald Publication

Alec and Zander Ogletree

September/October 2010 | $3.95



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Announcing the expansion of Piedmont Newnan Hospital’s Neonatal Services. Our neonatal nurse practitioners are now available in-house 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to care for your baby. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit The Piedmont Newnan Hospital Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) focuses on specialized care for sick or premature newborn babies. The NICU environment allows our team of board-certified pediatricians and neonatal nurse practitioners, along with registered nurses, to closely monitor and control oxygen levels, fluids, medication and other variables for newborns, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Newborn Nursery

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Education Program • Childbirth Preparation • Baby Basics • Infant Safety and CPR

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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 home-delivery copies of The Times-Herald and at businesses and offices throughout Coweta County. Individual mailed subscriptions are also available for $23.75 in Coweta County, $30.00 outside Coweta County. To subscribe, call 770.304.3373. 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: © 2010 by The Newnan Times-Herald, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Member:


Brothers Alec and Zander Ogletree of Newnan are in their first year of playing UGA football. – Photo by Jeffrey Leo


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20 38 8

BROTHERS AND BULLDOGS Newnan’s Alec and Alexander (“Zander”) Ogletree are more than just brothers. They’re also teammates who are hoping for a successful first year with the Georgia Bulldogs.

14 INTERCEPTING OPPORTUNITY Georgia State University is fielding its first football team this year, and Newnan High standout Jamal Ransby is part of the lineup.

20 COWETA COOKS Some local football fans say there’s an art to tailgating. Find out how they watch football games in style and what they’re eating when they do!

26 THE CHAIN CREW Working the chains, the Ragan family is a familiar sight at East Coweta High School’s football games.

32 STRIKE UP THE BAND! The Northgate Viking Band, Newnan High’s Marching Cats and East Coweta’s Marching Indians are busy making sure the sounds of excitement fill local football stadiums this fall.

38 EATING DIRT From Little League to rec league ball, Coweta youth are learning important life lessons along with football plays.



44 LOCAL HERITAGE In the late 1940s, Newnan was home to a professional baseball team, the Newnan Browns, which at one time brought thousands of visitors to Pickett Field in Newnan.

48 THE THOUGHTFUL GARDENER Is it crape myrtle or crepe myrtle? Fans may not agree on the spelling, but they do agree on the beauty of this classic southern plant.

54 TINA’S TIPS If fall has you in the mood for a home renovation project, don’t miss Ada Cornwell’s wonderful kitchen redo on a budget.

60 SADDLE UP Meet horse trainers Nick Cwick and Lindsey Rairden of Capstone Eventing.

In every issue




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aralson County High School must have had absolutely no standards for Pep Club officers back in the early eighties or I’d never have made it to president. But when you weren’t a cheerleader and weren’t in band but you wanted an excuse to have to go to ballgames on Friday nights and support your football-playing classmates, well, let’s just say I could be peppy with the best of ’em. I did not then and do not now understand the game of football, so in this football-themed issue of the magazine I figure it’s best to just go ahead and get that out of the way. But what I will say is this: Though I’m much better at following basketball, baseball, tennis and NASCAR, I must say that few sports I’ve watched seem to inspire as much devotion as football, particularly college football. Not long after I married, I was upstairs sewing one Saturday afternoon in the fall when I heard my husband yelling “Oh no!” I flew down the stairs to see what was wrong. He was banging on the sofa and yelling at the TV because some football player had made a bad play. So this is how it’s gonna be, I thought. Alex follows UGA football, so each week I like to find out who “we” are playing and who “we” are for among all the other match-ups. Then, for the sake of my marriage and general household harmony, I make

From the Editor }

myself scarce. I plan to get a lot of crafts done this fall. I like to tell people politics is my favorite sport, and truly there are a lot of similarities. There are teams and colors and mascots, regularly-scheduled competitions, offensive and defensive strategies, and the occasional cheats and sore losers, to say nothing of some bad calls. Unlike politics, though, football is better and faster at coming up with the results, and I think it’s good for the country to be reminded there are winners and losers in life. They don’t show up at the end of a ballgame and give awards for Friendliest Linebacker or Most Improved Quarterback. One team wins, one team loses. Game over. So I’ll never be a huge football fan, but I still say football rivalries can be fun to watch, even for someone who doesn’t have a dog – or a “dawg,” yellow jacket, tiger, gator, etc. – in the fight, and I don’t. Except for championship time when, I hear, God is always for the SEC.


Angela McRae, Editor




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Ogletree twins in first year with UGA football By Alex McRae | Photos by Jeff Leo


Alec and Zander Ogletree



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Football players dream of making the big play that will bring the crowd roaring to its feet, but spend most of their sports lives in a world of pain and pressure, willing to pay a huge price for a shot at gridiron glory that can vanish with one bad performance. But they never endure the agony alone. When the battle begins, teammates are always there to share the burden, the joy and the tears. Two members of the University of Georgia’s freshman football class have toiled beside countless teammates over the years, but know that one thing is even better ... a brother. Twins Alec and Alexander “Zander” Ogletree arrived in the world two




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Al, Alec, Allyson and Alexander (“Zander”) Ogletree enjoyed some time together in Newnan before the twins returned to Athens to play UGA football.

minutes apart, with Zander winning the race from the womb. For 18 years, the two have been inseparable in life and sport, working their way from youth league ball to prep stardom at Newnan High School. Before his senior year at NHS Alec, a 6’ 3”, 215-pound safety, had scholarship offers from every major college in America. He committed to UGA early to avoid the pressure cooker of recruiting during his senior year. Zander, a 5’11”, 200-pound linebacker, completed his senior season at NHS before being offered a scholarship to join Alec at UGA. 10 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE

“I always knew he’d be playing somewhere,” Alec says, “but having him come to Georgia was a dream come true.” The brothers knew playing at the next level would be tough, and it didn’t take long for the challenges to surface. “When you get there, the older players test you to see how you’re going to respond,” Zander says. “But we were used to that. It wasn’t a big deal.” “It’s still football,” Alec says. “You work hard and go out there and either step it up or stink up the stadium. It’s always that way.”

But they admit they’ve always had an extra edge. “No matter what happens or how I play,” Alec says, “I can always depend on my brother to give me support. That’s a good feeling.” The brothers admit they haven’t done all their damage on the football field. Like the time they were eight years old and tested their new BB guns on a camper top in a neighbor’s yard. “Man, we blew that thing to bits,” Zander says. “Glass and all.” Things were fine until the boys’ father, Al, saw the damage and administered some rough justice to a



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pair of rear ends. “We still laugh about that one,” Alec says. Zander loves to talk about the time Alec was acting up at O.P. Evans Jr. High and the boys’ mother, Allyson, sent her mother, known as Big Mama, to straighten things out. Big Mama reduced Alec to tears before making him read scripture aloud to his class. “That really changed my whole attitude about school,” Alec says. “And about being a better person.”

Zander Ogletree, at top, and his brother Alec, at right, want to be good examples as well as good football players at UGA.

Right now, football is their main focus but the brothers are determined that they will not be defined only by their athletic achievements. 12 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE

Good character isn’t an afterthought for the brothers. Allyson Ogletree constantly reminds her sons that their success carries a price. “I tell them that they are role models whether they like it or not,” she says. “They need to be good people, not just good players.” The brothers have gotten the message. “We both realize how lucky we



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are to have two parents at home who love us and care about what we do,” Zander says. “You don’t get many opportunities like this, and I’m making sure to do a good job of representing where we’re from.” In early workouts at UGA, Alec has already impressed his coaches. Zander knows his time will come. He was not recruited heavily because some teams felt he was too small. Georgia coaches should have known better. Last year the Bulldogs’ defense was led by 5’ 11”, 230-pound Rennie Curran, who earned All-American and All-SEC honors before being drafted by the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. Zander met Curran this summer. It didn’t take him long to size up the situation. “I’m taller than he is,” Zander says. “And I can get bigger.” After spending the summer with the twins, UGA head coach Mark Richt is more impressed than ever. “Alec and Alexander are two really fine young men and I know the Newnan community is exceptionally proud of them,” Richt said. “Both are tough, hard-nosed football players and I’m sure they will make outstanding contributions to our University and football program.” Right now, football is their main focus but the brothers are determined that they will not be defined only by their athletic achievements. Zander says, “I’ll do my best to help the team, but if we don’t make it, I still want to be a good example.” Alec agrees, saying, “My goal is to win a national championship, but we don’t dwell on just one thing. We try lots of stuff and make the best of whatever we do.” NCM

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Jamal Ransby of Newnan is playing on Georgia State University’s first football team this fall.




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By Kenneth Wilson | Photos courtesy of The Times-Herald and Georgia State University

After years of hard work, freshman Jamal Ransby and GSU finally get to play college football Sitting near the door of Golden’s cafeteria, Jamal Ransby looks at his phone – giving it the two-thumb treatment. As he stands to shake hands, a tinge of anxiety escapes his eyes from beneath the brim of his baseball cap. He displays impeccable manners and projects confidence, but nervous energy lurks behind that cap. Maybe his nervous energy stems from the potentially toxic combination of leaving home, transitioning to college, playing college football for one of the sport’s icons, playing football at a school that’s never played football, maintaining good grades, answering questions from journalists, and knowing that within a few months he will line up against last year’s NCAA National Champions. There are many reasons




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Jamal Ransby, shown here playing with the Newnan Cougars football team last year, will be among those kicking off the inaugural football program at Georgia State this fall.




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why Ransby should be nervous as he prepares for the next four years, and he admits, “It’s going to be tough.� On August 3, Ransby began his collegiate football career by reporting to Georgia State University (GSU). The following day, he donned a crisp blue jersey and stepped onto a new green practice field. Back in April 2008, there were no jerseys and the practice field was a vacant paved lot in downtown Atlanta. Now there are locker rooms and the smell of plastic permeates the equipment room that is stocked with new pads, cleats and helmets. Thanks to the persistence and hard work of the coaches and staff at GSU, Ransby has everything he needs to succeed on and off the field. Earlier this year on a chilly February day, Ransby signed GSU’s scholarship offer in a ceremony at Newnan High School. His mother, Melissa Smith, says, “I just look at the educational part of it. It’s not every day that a full ride is offered to students.� The four-year renewable scholarship in the amount of $20,498 per year covers his academic expenses in exchange for his athletic talents. Ransby also understands the importance of the scholarship. “You have to get an education. You always need an ace. I may break a leg and not come back.� The agreement requires that he keep a minimum 2.5 grade point average. It provides an education and insures his opportunity to succeed after football. Long before Ransby placed the black hat with the electric blue panther on his head for the cameras on national signing day, he stood out as a fast defensive back at Newnan High. On signing day,


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With Jamal Ransby on signing day in February are, at front, parents Antonio Ransby and Melissa Smith, and at back, Newnan High Principal Douglas Moore, Athletic Director Stephen Allen, Newnan Co-defensive coordinator LaVarrett Pearson, Rose Mary Smith, Jalen Bolton and Newnan head football coach Mike McDonald.

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GSU Assistant Head Coach George Pugh told the media, “I was always told that speed kills, and (Ransby) gives it to us.� Using his speed, Ransby punished quarterbacks by snatching six interceptions from the air and returned two punts for touchdowns while constantly threatening the opposition’s special teams during his final season at Newnan, despite his five-foot, eightinch height. He insists “size ain’t everything,� and the scouts at GSU agreed. What makes GSU’s program unique is the promise of success at the hand of Coach Bill Curry. As an athlete, Curry played center and snapped the ball to legendary quarterback Johnny Unitas, participated in three Super Bowls, and played for the iconic Vince Lombardi. Curry eventually went on


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to coach at his alma mater, Georgia Tech, and later at Alabama and Kentucky. Rarely, if ever, has such an icon and scholar of the game accepted the burden of creating a new program. Ransby says of Curry, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen him on TV a lot from when he coached at Georgia Tech and Alabama.â&#x20AC;? Although there are a number of reasons why a potential player would choose to play ball at GSU, there is no doubt Curryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reputation sweetens the pot. Ransby says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of guys look up to him and they see what he has done.â&#x20AC;? In November, Curryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new GSU team will face the team he led to a Southeastern Conference title in the late eighties, Alabama. The Panthers are undoubtedly outmatched but have good reasons for challenging last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

teammates and coaches went to the Georgia Dome to take part in the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first gridiron football game. The Panthers will play all of their home games in the menacing Win or lose, when 71,250-seat indoor arena, and the final whistle Ransby likes the idea of using the blows at these first same locker room as the Atlanta football games, Ransby Falcons. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m pretty excited about it,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I might be in Michael will know what it is Turnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s locker!â&#x20AC;? like to be part of a Win or lose, when the final college football team whistle blows at these first football and GSU will officially games, Ransby will know what it is like to be part of a college football be a football school. team and GSU will officially be a football school. Those moments of reflection will quickly pass, however, Ransby understands the game is an and Ransby will get another uphill battle, but says â&#x20AC;&#x153;everybody knows that Alabama is a money game, opportunity to channel that nervous energy as everyone prepares to do it but weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re still out there to win.â&#x20AC;? all again next week. NCM On September 2, Ransby, his champions. The game is worth $400,000 to GSU and will bring attention to GSUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new program.




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Coweta Cooks }

John Stuckey is ready for LSU football at “Stuckey’s Pub” in Newnan.

By Elizabeth Richardson | Photos by Bob Fraley

Tailgating. In the South, it’s a rite of passage a tradition as sacred to some as church on Sundays. The art of tailgating has become a competitive sport in its own right. The “professionals” will tell you it’s about striking the right combination of food and beverage, amenities and, of course, enthusiasm for your team. John Stuckey – the constituent service representative at Congressman Lynn Westmoreland’s office – was born a Louisiana State University fan. He’s been sporting team 20 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE



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colors since he was an infant thanks to his father, John Sr., who attended the university from 1957 to 1961. That tradition is about to pass once more as John and his wife, Nicole – a Florida Gator fan – prepare to welcome their first child, William, this fall. Stuckey remains an LSU fan thanks to the food. “There’s nothing like Cajun food,” said Stuckey. There are the most obvious dishes, like étouffée, crawfish and gumbo. Then there’s eggs benedict, bananas foster and oysters rockefeller. The other reason he’s an LSU fan – “the fans are always pleasant.” “They invite you to eat and hang out,” he said. “It’s the southern hospitality.”

These days, Stuckey travels the nearly 500 miles to Tiger Stadium for a game only about once a year. But he has access to “Stuckey’s Pub” all the time, and so he brings the games to him.

The Stuckeys wanted a space to entertain, and a few years of hard work later, their basement now features a full, custom-built bar. No

detail was overlooked. You visit Stuckey’s Pub and you will get an authentic bar experience right down to the bar peanuts and Mardi Gras beads. “We wanted that bar feel. Coming down here is like entering a totally different world.” The eclectic space is filled with LSU paraphernalia from floor to ceiling – literally. On the floor is a hand-painted LSU seal done by a local artist. The space also has an LSU tribute wall, a custom beer pong table and a television room with a big screen to watch the games. “The beauty of it is that we don’t have to go anywhere,” said Stuckey. Stuckey is part of a local LSU following of about 30 people who

An LSU fan since he was an infant, John Stuckey of Newnan has a basement and custom-built bar decorated in his team’s colors.




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“I haven’t seen anything that can touch our trailer,” says tailgating enthusiast Rob Estes, above at left, who co-owns this custom-made trailer with Walter Arnall, above right, and friend Jimmy Rich.




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rotate hosting games. The group frequents Stuckeyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pub. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everybody loves to come over here,â&#x20AC;? he said. Rob Estes and Walter Arnall have many titles. Estes is a landscape architect. Arnall is an attorney. Both men are husbands and fathers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but both would say that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re first and foremost Georgia Bulldogs. The two have been friends â&#x20AC;&#x153;foreverâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or at least for 35 years. They were 1990 graduates of Newnan High School. They were college roommates at the University of Georgia, and they were fraternity brothers in Lambda Chi Alpha. As UGA students, they â&#x20AC;&#x153;never missed a game,â&#x20AC;? according to Estes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tailgating has always been something thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big part of the game for us,â&#x20AC;? said Estes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about more than just being with our group of friends, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about generations. Our parents did it before us and taught us their way of doing things.â&#x20AC;? And every generation takes tailgating to the next level. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tailgating is a bit of an art,â&#x20AC;? Estes continued. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to outdo the next guy with a bigger TV, bigger grill. I havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seen anything that can touch our trailer.â&#x20AC;? Estes, Arnall, and now their friend Jimmy Rich co-own a custom-made trailer covered with all things Georgia. The trailer features a 42-inch LCD flat screen, stereo speakers, satellite television, a fullsized grill, a keg tap for beer, a wet bar and, best of all, a private bathroom. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have tickets, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the best place to be,â&#x20AC;? said Estes. Arnall said they are always on the lookout for â&#x20AC;&#x153;tailgate moochersâ&#x20AC;? who want to take advantage of their digs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t allow someone with the opposing teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s colors to use the restroom â&#x20AC;&#x201C; unless sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really pretty





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“We just like hanging out and socializing,“ says Walter Arnall, at right with friend Rob Estes, left. Their tailgating trailer is also a real hit for its handy bathroom.

or it’s a close friend,” Estes joked. But, what do their wives think about all this? “They didn’t want us to do it, but when they’re there and get to use the bathroom, they appreciate it,” said Arnall. “The ladies get involved making fancy desserts and hors d’oeuvres and decorating tables,” said Estes. 24 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE

The cuisine varies depending on the opposing team. If they’re playing the South Carolina Gamecocks, they might eat chicken. When it’s Arkansas, they have pork. Their tips for the perfect tailgate are to arrive early to claim a spot, bring enough food and beverages, and always have a designated driver. These lifelong friends admit it’s

harder to go to games now that they have children. “If we don’t go, we still set up somewhere and tailgate,” said Arnall. “We just like hanging out and socializing.” “It’s like a reunion every year,” said Estes. “We share pictures and stories of our growing families. It’s a chance to reconnect.” NCM



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1 pound ground beef (substitute link sausage when playing Arkansas or chicken for South Carolina) 1 large can country style baked beans 1 can pinto beans 1 can black beans 1 can Great Northern Beans 1 can Italian cut green beans 1 can of diced green chiles or Jalapeños 1 can of stewed tomatoes 1/4 cup white vinegar 1 cup sugar 1 cup ketchup Taco or chili seasoning powder Salt Optional toppings: Corn chips, cheddar cheese, diced onion, sour cream

In oven-safe pot, brown the ground beef (or other meat) and drain juices. Pour in all of the cans of beans, chiles and tomatoes and stir in vinegar, sugar, ketchup and seasoning. Salt to taste. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. When ready to serve, heat on stove top and serve with corn chips, cheddar cheese, diced onion and sour cream.

Join us Friday, October 22nd, from 5-9 pm for the chance to sample microbrews and imports with the merchants of Historic Downtown Newnan. Each merchant will have a different one in their store for tasting. The cost will be $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Visit or call 770.253.8283 for pre-sell information

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By Jeremy Williams | Photos by Bob Fraley and Sue Ragan

around the beginning of August each year, a local tradition continues. High school football teams get dressed in their game gear and smile for the annual team photo. Every home game, fans flip through the football program to see the story this picture tells. But they never get the full story. Look carefully and you can find an army of people who never strive to have their faces in the picture

yet play a big role in helping make each football season successful. The Ragans are one such family. Tom and Barbara Ragan moved to Senoia in 1976. Ragan was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam and after the war was

The Ragan family works the chains at an East Coweta football game this spring.




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Chain crew regulars Rob and Tom Ragan are dedicated fans of the East Coweta High School football team.




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A familiar sight at East Coweta home games, the Ragan family includes, clockwise from top left, Rob, Ricky, Barbara and Tom Ragan.

The Ragans watch from the sidelines as an East Coweta ballgame is underway.




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hired as a pilot for Eastern Airlines, ending up at the Atlanta hub. When the family settled in eastern Coweta, they enrolled their three sons, Ricky, Rob and Brian, at Flint River Academy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The boys wanted to play football,â&#x20AC;? Ragan recalled. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And since at that time Flint River didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a football team, we moved them to East Coweta.â&#x20AC;? Ricky played from 1977-1981, Rob from 1979-1983

We always sat in the same place, and all the kids we knew would always stop and talk to us. We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to stop. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Barbara Ragan and Brian from 1981-1985. Tom and Barbara Ragan faithfully attended all their sonsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; games, home and away, but they werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t content to just watch. They quickly became involved in the football booster club, Ragan even serving as president for a stint. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We would work to raise the money for the boostersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; financial commitments,â&#x20AC;? Ragan said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And in the days before restaurants would serve a team meal, we would always provide a meal for the team on the way home from away games.â&#x20AC;? Their youngest son graduated in 1986, and for most that might have been the end of the story, but not for the Ragans. They continued supporting the booster club and attending games, both home and away. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had so many friends whose kids were involved on Friday nights that we kept going,â&#x20AC;? Ragan said. Barbara Ragan explained, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We

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always sat in the same place, and all the kids we knew would always stop and talk to us. We didn’t want to stop.” In 1990, Tom and Barbara Ragan’s support became a legacy. “After finishing college, I decided to come back and watch some football,” Rob Ragan remembered. “Carl McKnight needed help with

“When I walk off the field after a game I see lots of kids that I coached in Rec League ball playing for EC. When one of them comes up to me and says, ‘Hey, coach,’ it makes it all worth it.” — Rob Ragan

Rob Ragan displays the down marker along the sidelines at an East Coweta game.


the chain crew, and I volunteered to help.” For each home game, the school has to provide a team to hold the chains. Members of the team hold the down markers which sit at the line of scrimmage and show the current down. The chains are a 10yard length of chain with an orange pole at each end to show how far a



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team must go to get a first down. But it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just working the chains that Rob Ragan had gotten himself into. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Carl was taking over the recreation department and could no longer coach his Rec League football team,â&#x20AC;? Rob Ragan said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So he began pushing me to coach the team. The next year, I was the coach of the Red Braves.â&#x20AC;? He has been coaching ever since. The family involvement didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop there. By 1994, Rob Raganâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brothers, Ricky and Brian, had joined him. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He needed someone,â&#x20AC;? Ricky Ragan recalled, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and it is the best seat in the house.â&#x20AC;? Many referees have horror stories about really bad chain crews, but with the Ragan boys, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always cheers from the line judge. A referee even said that he loved getting to work the East Coweta home games because he knew how good the chain crew would be. Rob Ragan is in his 21st year of working the chain crew, which he now leads. His experience shows, as he quite often spots the line of scrimmage well before the referee marks it. But it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just volunteering for the chains that brings him satisfaction. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I walk off the field after a game,â&#x20AC;? says Ragan, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I see lots of kids that I coached in Rec League ball playing for EC. When one of them comes up to me and says, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Hey, coach,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; it makes it all worth it.â&#x20AC;? Tom and Barbara Ragan never began their support of the Indians with the idea that through their family, they would touch the lives of so many kids that play football at East Coweta. They simply wanted to make it fun for their boys, and for the boys who followed. In their 30-plus years of support they have gotten to see their grandkids participate in Friday night events. And whether home or away, you will still find the Ragans in the stands. For the home games, they are in the same seats theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always been in. But if you want to talk to them you might have to get in line. They have loved so many, and are certainly loved by many more. So this year when you open your football program and see that same picture that will end up in the yearbook, remember that behind each player and coach, even though you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see them, is a Ragan. NCM

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The Northgate Viking Band performs last fall.


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By Alex McRae | Photos by Bob Fraley and Jeffrey Leo

There’s a reason preachers don’t schedule revival services on Friday nights in the Deep South. They know they can’t stand the competition.




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Elizabeth Domzalski, above, and A.J. Samples, below, performed last year with the Northgate Viking Band.

East Coweta Marching Indians




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High school football may not be a religion, but it ranks a close second and some consider Friday nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s football wars almost as sacred as Sunday morning services. Every good battle deserves a soundtrack, and football games are no exception. Coweta County has three world-class marching bands to keep the music and adrenaline flowing all game long, especially at halftime, when fans are treated to spectacles guaranteed to keep them in their seats or on their feet. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big deal,â&#x20AC;? says John Erdogan, who became an assistant director at Newnan High in 1989 and has led the Marching Cats since the fall of 1996. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People expect to be entertained at halftime and we work hard to make that happen.â&#x20AC;? The role of marching musicians has evolved dramatically since Joshuaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trumpet players helped bring the walls of Jericho tumbling down.

The Centre for Performing & Visual Arts Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s marching band shows resemble Broadway productions, complete with sets, props and tightlychoreographed dance moves. Putting the pieces together is brutal work. Students come to high school with horn-blowing basics down pat, but learning to play on the move requires a whole new skill set. Band members sweat, strain and march through endless hours of rehearsal, toting everything from feather-light piccolos to shoulder-straining bass drums and back-bending tubas. The pressure is huge, the commitment and dedication required to succeed is immense. But Cowetaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s marching musicians are always up to the challenge. As he enters his 10th year as director of East Cowetaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Marching Indians, Robert Owens says love of music isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the only motivation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some students enjoy the social interaction or the applause after a good show,â&#x20AC;? Owens says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But what

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Newnan High’s Marching Cats

they cherish most is the sense of shared accomplishment. When they finally put the music and marching together...well, seeing that light go on is wonderful.” Alan Armstrong has headed the Northgate Viking Band since the 36 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE

school opened its doors. The band’s trophy case is overflowing with championship trophies, but Armstrong says he is most proud of two performances that didn’t result in first place honors.

“Both times when the kids came off the field, we knew it was the best performance they had ever given,” Armstrong says. “They had never been more proud of themselves and that’s what it’s all about.”



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East Coweta will travel to Hawaii later this year. Whether the trip is across the ocean or across the county, moving hundreds of students and tons of equipment would tax the military’s top logistics experts. A huge effort is required to make sure all the instruments, equipment and students arrive on time and in shape to perform. “You have to be prepared to deal with anything from a sick student to a broken down bus or truck,” Erdogan says. “Luckily, there is always plenty of help from parents and band boosters.” Years after the last note has died away, band students still remember a great performance or an especially appreciative crowd. The directors remember more personal moments. “The best thing is watching how the students grow as musicians and leaders,” Erdogan say. “Seeing them learn to make something out of

Most of the high school band year is spent indoors, honing the musical skills that have enabled Coweta’s high school bands to consistently earn top scores at concert band festivals and competitions. But the directors are keenly aware that marching band is the high-profile activity that recruits future musicians and pays the bills. As soon as one season’s last marching show is over, directors and staff begin planning for the next year. The schedule is brutal for students and staff, but the work has its rewards. Success brings invitations to perform around the world, and Coweta’s student musicians have earned enough frequent flyer miles to make a Fortune 500 road warrior jealous, traveling to California, Arizona, New York, Washington, D.C. and all the way to London, England and Rome, Italy.

nothing is like nothing else.” This fall, the Northgate, East Coweta and Newnan bands will again send the fans home with cold chills. And do it in a way that brings credit to their schools. “From the day the uniforms are issued, we remind them they are ambassadors for the school, the community and the county,” Owens says. “There’s nothing more important.” Reaching new musical milestones is exhilarating, but the directors are never more gratified than when a student contacts them years later to say how much they appreciate the lessons they learned in band. And not just about music. “We’re music educators,” Armstrong says, “but we’d rather they leave here a better person than a better musician. When that happens, it’s all worth it.” NCM

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Young football players learn life lessons out on the field By Meredith Leigh Knight Quinn Inman and Mekhi Hibbler

A c r o s s C o w e ta , pa r e n t s a r e learning that sometimes, as my son informed me during his first Little League football season, boys “just have to eat dirt.” And, they’ll soon learn that it’s good for them.




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Carson Knight (above right) was so proud of his first sweaty football practice that he refused to shower until his mom got home to smell him. Below, Stewart Rand (#4) enjoyed playing rec league football and is now on the team at Evans.




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Carson Knight




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My son was so proud of his hard work that after his practice with pads, he refused to take a shower until I got home because he wanted me to see, feel and smell how sweaty he was. Other local parents I spoke with felt the same. “My son, Stewart, had a wonderful experience playing recreation league football,” said local mom Lissa Rand. “He wasn’t one of the bigger guys out on the field, so the first year he played, of course, I worried. Fortunately, there are weight restrictions and safety measures in place to help keep a level playing field. Practices were hot and tough, but Stewart loved feeling like he had conquered something. He would get in the car after practices and say ‘That was so hard,’ grinning all the while.” Rand said Stewart had “super coaches who taught them the correct techniques of the game and also watched over his grades and behavior at school.” “The threat of having to do extra running at practice was better than anything I could have used to motivate him!” said Rand. “Although I still don’t like to see my ‘baby’ tackled, I felt proud and excited that he got so much sportsmanship, camaraderie and good old-fashioned exercise out of his rec league football experience. He’s playing 8th grade football at Evans now, and he still loves the work, but those rec league years will always be special.” Mandy Inman’s son, Quinn, age seven, played with the Coweta County Cobras Youth Enrichment Association for

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the 2009 season and is returning for the 2010 season. “2009 was his first year playing tackle football,” said Inman. “My husband heard of the Cobras from a friend, and we decided to try it out. We made a great decision. Not only does this association offer football but also free tutoring to all players through their study hall program and community enrichment activities.” Quinn went into the 2009 season skeptical of football, said his mom. “We had many days of crying during practice, but league Coach DeAndre Franklin and assistants Coach Maurice, Coach Kenyatta, Coach Bryan and Coach Grant (a.k.a. Daddy) focused on raising

Above left, Mekhi Hibbler and Quinn Inman take a break while playing for the Coweta County Cobras. Lanier Wright, above, enjoys recreation league tackle football and is a fan of UGA’s Alec Ogletree of Newnan.


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Quinnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s self-confidence and gave him the individual attention he needed to get there.â&#x20AC;? Inman said she was impressed with how each coach managed to give each and every player they encountered some individual attention. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These coaches are teaching these boys skills, morals and lessons that will carry them throughout life and school,â&#x20AC;? Inman said. She said nothing less than absolute respect is tolerated from players, whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s toward coaches, parents, teammates or opposing teams. At every practice the focus is on leadership, teamwork, discipline and fun. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Quinn has made lifelong friends and role models playing with the Coweta County Cobras,â&#x20AC;? said Inman. Speaking of role models, during (then) eight-yearold Lanier Wrightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first season of recreation tackle football, he requested to be number 39 in honor of his role model, Alec Ogletree. The former Newnan High player and his twin brother Zander are now in their first year of playing football for the Georgia Bulldogs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Although we live on the east side of the county, I went to Newnan High School and played football there,â&#x20AC;? said Jon Wright, who assisted coaching his sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team in the fall and plans to head coach this season. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d go to the games on Friday night as a good family activity.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lanierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a big fan of Alecâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for about two years,â&#x20AC;? Wright said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The twins grew up playing in recreation league little league and worked at the games on Saturdays running the chains. One of the highlights of the season for Lanier was getting his picture taken with him.â&#x20AC;? Wright praised the positive influence players like the Ogletrees have on younger boys. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great sport for teaching discipline, teamwork and sportsmanship,â&#x20AC;? said Wright, who advises parents to remember that the boys may not always be the quarterback or be the player parents wish they were. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not for everybody,â&#x20AC;? he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s my job as a parent to introduce him to different things. He may choose to play the trombone â&#x20AC;&#x201C; my mom had me play the piano. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just good for them to do something instead of sitting on the couch.â&#x20AC;? It may make moms a little nervous (and as Wright said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dads, too. We just wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t admit itâ&#x20AC;?), but football, whether it be flag or tackle, is a great sport for your sons to try. No matter how smelly their laundry may be. NCM

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{ Local

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Heritage }

Path to Pickett Field reminder of times past By W. Winston Skinner

n warm afternoons, Lynn and I often hear pleasant sounds – a ballgame at Pickett Field. There will be that unmistakable crack of ball against bat, accelerating cheers of fans and teammates, the triumphal shout when someone makes it to home plate. We may also hear music or murmured conversation from some gathering at Willie J. Lynch Park or muted splashing and squeals from the pool on Richard Allen Drive. When we made plans to move to Temple Avenue 17 years ago, we didn’t give much thought to the recreational facilities at the back of our lot. We did like the yard, including a huge pecan tree that was planted by Mrs. Kate Fuller when she lived at our house years ago. “It really has grown,” she remarked during a visit soon after we moved in. 44 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE



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In this 1947 photo are, from left, front, batboy Hamilton Arnall Jr.; first row, James Whitney, Buck Matthews, Bob Astin, Johnny Hill; second row, unidentified player, Ted Browning, Bob Stanley, two unidentified players; back, George DePillo, Chester Skalski, Paul Brock, unidentified player, Duane Krohn, Claude Shoemake, Jake Daniel, Don Stoyle.




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These vintage tickets once were used by fans to attend ballgames of the Newnan Browns. Below, 18-month-old Clair Lynn Kight discovers a basket of baseballs while walking down the path that leads to Pickett Field in her grandparents' back yard.


Around the pecan tree, there is a narrow path of concrete that runs through our back yard. I learned, soon after we became Newnanites, that the path is a piece of Coweta sports history. While the main entrance to Pickett Field was on Wesley Street, residents of the CollegeTemple neighborhood in years past would simply walk to what is now our home and go through the back yard along that path to whatever game or event was taking place. Before Pickett Field existed, the land belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Len Millians. Catherine Wood, who gave us a warm welcome to Temple Avenue, was their granddaughter. As a member of the Millians family, she had a pass that allowed her to attend any event at Pickett Field free – a privilege she used frequently. Many different teams have played at Pickett Field over the years. Since we have moved to College-Temple, the competitors have tended to be pint-sized – playing on age specific teams. Newnan High School’s athletes played there decades ago, and for several years, Pickett Field was a site for games of the Newnan Browns, a team in the Class D Georgia-Alabama League. The Browns played at the field from 1946-1950. Lamar Potts, the sheriff whose heroism was a central focus of Murder In Coweta County, was the manager for the Browns. I have seen the space in the old courthouse where Sheriff Potts arranged for the team members to bunk. The accommodations were anything but lavish, but the pay apparently made up somewhat for the discomfort. I am told a typical contract was $100 per month. In my years at The Times-Herald, I have been fortunate to work with two sports journalists who earned places in Newnan Browns’ history – Johnny Brown and Tommy Camp. Johnny was the sports editor when I first came to work at The Times-Herald. During the Newnan Browns’ era, Johnny



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and Joe Norman, another onetime newspaper employee who later became the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s photographer, founded The Georgia-Alabama Sportsman, a publication which became the official â&#x20AC;&#x153;voiceâ&#x20AC;? of the Newnan Browns. Johnny spent many hours at Pickett Field covering the Newnan Browns and their rivals â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as well as every other baseball and football team who played there for decades. Tommy Camp, who grew up in Newnan, is now the newspaperâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sports editor. Back in 2006, he wrote a series detailing the history of the Newnan Browns. From Tommyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s outstanding reporting, I pass along the following: â&#x20AC;˘ Some $10,000-$15,000 had to be raised to launch the Browns. The Newnan Baseball Association was formed with Roy Brown, president; Hamilton Arnall, vice president; with Brown, Arnall, Potts, W.W. Kirby, Carl Attaway and George Barron, directors. â&#x20AC;˘ The teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name was in honor of Joseph Brown, Roy Brownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s son, one of Cowetaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first servicemen reported missing in World War II. â&#x20AC;˘ A record 107,000 people came to Pickett Field to see the Browns play in 1946, a number that dropped to 80,000 in 1947, 56,500 in 1949 and only 37,500 in 1950 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as television made it possible for Cowetans to watch big league games from the comfort of their own living rooms. Tommy noted Pickett Field is the only Class D Georgia-Alabama venue from six decades ago still in use today as a baseball facility. And my friend Randall Harrison wrote in a 2003 letter to the editor about eating peanuts when his father would take him to see the Browns play. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t eaten parched peanuts that tasted that good in years,â&#x20AC;? Randall reminisced. A while back, someone gave me some tickets for the Newnan Brownsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 1949 season. They were color coded and cost 60 cents for adults and 30 cents for children. I plan to have my friend Nancy Roy put them into a shadow box as a reminder of the folks who tromped through my back yard to cheer their home team to victory. The concrete walkway is broken in some places. The roots of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Missâ&#x20AC;? Kateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pecan tree have taken over part of the path, but there are two good stretches of it remaining. The path to Pickett Field is no Hadrianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wall, but it is a tangible reminder of time past in Newnan â&#x20AC;&#x201C; of our townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s onetime status as home of a baseball team. Lynn and I are proud to be its caretakers. NCM


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Thoughtful Gardener }

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t began with a smile. A smile that was returned. Next a comment was made and laughter shared. Then a question asked and answered and common threads revealed; a friendship formed. I, unexpectedly, was spending the morning following my youngest son in a golf tournament. She, too, had last minute changes and had stayed for the tournament. The air clung heavily to our skin like only a southern July morning can do, and heat could be seen simmering off the course like a smoking skillet.




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In the landscape, the crape myrtle can be used as a tree or shrub and is effective as a hedge or screen.




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For the back nine we shared a cart, and as the boys came off number 10 tee a soft breeze sprung up, momentarily lifting the hair off our necks. The breeze caught the crape myrtles lining the fairway, and a tantalizing shower of pink and white danced across the greenness. The falling blossoms were an accompaniment to our hushed conversation. We talked of many things, but one thing stood out, which I repeated later to my husband, the account of her son being bitten by a water moccasin two weeks previous. As our conversation drifted like the blooms, she told of the bite, the trip to the local ER, the move to the trauma center, the swelling, and a two day stay in ICU. Her son was OK. Living in the southern landscape – a land of snakes – I had seen many but never known anyone actually bitten by a snake. That tiny word “never,” is it like the proverbial gauntlet thrown down? But I digress. This is an article about the charming Lagerstroemia indica, more commonly known as crape myrtle, that was such a presence that morning. This group of deciduous shrubs and trees has several distinctive features which endear it to gardeners. The graceful arching panicles that cover the tree from midsummer into fall can last up to 120 days, establishing it as one of the longest lasting blooms. The tissue-like flowers are available in a beautiful array of colors including white, lavender, purple, pink, watermelon and red. When the blooms fade, they give way to attractive brown seed pods which are usually coupled with vibrant fall color. The branching trunks lend interest with lovely exfoliating bark that reveals a smooth underside of brown and gray. In 1759, the crape myrtle was introduced to England from China with the hope of cultivating it, but England’s cool, wet climate hampered the blooming. Eventually, the Frenchman André Michaux brought the tree to Charleston in 1786. There the crape myrtle began its illustrious career as a fixture in our southern land. When the famed botanist and naturalist Carl Linneaus picked a namesake for this showy tree, he chose his naturalist friend and director of the Swedish East India Company Magnus von Lagerstroem. (Interestingly, it is the spelling of the common name that gives people fits more than the botanical name. The spellings “crape” and “crepe” are found throughout the literature and although there are plenty of strong

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opinions, no one is able to verify if either is correct.) In the landscape, the crape myrtle can be used as a tree or shrub and is effective as a hedge or screen. The textural bark and resplendent blooms make it striking as a single planting or a mass planting. It tolerates drought but does best in moist soil, especially as it becomes established. The crape myrtle is particularly susceptible to mildew and aphids; planting in full sun with room for good air circulation will provide the best foil for these problems. It can be propagated by hardwood or softwood cuttings and seed. Other than the spelling of the name, the most controversial thing about this tree is the practice of overpruning. Many horticultural experts not only recommend but beg us to limit our pruning to some thinning in winter or early spring. The Southern Living Garden Book gives this advice: “On large shrubs and trees, remove basal suckers, twiggy growth, crossing branches, and branches growing toward the center of the plant. Also gradually remove side branches up to a height of 4 to 5 feet; this exposes the handsome bark of the trunk.” Many sources recommend never to chop off the branches. Hmmm. That little word “never”... That night, as the twilight faded, I heard the boys and a group of friends return from their canoe trip down the creek. One of the boys ran up to the back door and thrust out his baseball-size hand. “Miss Katherine, a snake bit me!” I almost felt the gentle brush of falling pink and white blooms as my new friend’s words echoed from that morning. “I know just what to do and where to go,” I assured him as we walked out the door to the ER. NCM

{ The

Thoughtful Garden er }

Plant Index

Crape Myrtle

WEB EXTRA: The Thoughtful Gardener Plant Index

Common name: Crepe Crapemyrtle, Indian Myrtle, Crape Myrtle, Lilac Botanical name: Lagerstroemia indica Description: Group of which have branchin deciduous shrubs and trees leaves. The crape g trunks and a graceful canopy myrtle is distinctiv of blooms and textural e for its long-last ing exfoliating bark. Blooms: The arching panicles of flowers white, lavender , purple, pink, waterme are available in the blooms fade lon and red. When they give way to attractive brown pods which are usually coupled seed with vibrant fall color. Cultivation: The crape myrtle is particularly suscepti to mildew and aphids; planting ble in full sun with good air circulati room for on will provide the best foil for pests. It can be these propagated by hardwood or softwood cuttings and seed. It moist soil, especial tolerates drought but does best Special notes: In the landscap in ly as it becomes e the crape myrtle textural bark and established. can be used as resplendent blooms a tree or make it striking as a single planting shrub and is effective as a hedge or a mass planting. or screen. The

Go to to download your next garden journal page, Crape Myrtle.





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Tina’s Tips }

Fall into a Fabulous Kitchen! By Tina Neely | Photos by Bob Fraley

Ada Cornwell has become an expert do-it-yourselfer while redoing her kitchen.




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Before photos

hen my friend Ada called to talk about a kitchen redo, I had no idea she had so many projects in mind! Painting, wallpaper stripping, drapery making, cabinet staining, furniture refinishing and more — this girl has enough projects to fill an entire HGTV show. When her husband asked what she wanted for her birthday, without hesitation she requested money to redo the kitchen. After living in her Lake Redwine home for nine years, along with the toil that two wild little boys can create, her kitchen needed some serious updates and space-saving techniques. Her birthday wish was granted: $1,000 to do whatever she wanted with her kitchen, but on one condition – she had to do it on her own with nothing added to her husband’s “honey do” list. With her money, great determination and a grand vision in mind, she set out to accomplish what would turn out to be all she dreamed of and more. Now Ada is a seasoned do-it-yourselfer who shares how she did it along with some extra tips to save you time and money! SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010 | 55



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Step #2: Strip the wallpaper and paint the walls. After spending $30 on wallpaper stripper and tools, trial and error taught Ada to return all the fancy stuff and just use soap and water and an inexpensive scraper. Walls prepped and ready, she painted the accent wall Red Pepper by Behr in a satin finish, using three good coats to get the desired color. For the remaining kitchen walls, two coats of Plateau with good neutral tones completed the look.

Step #1: Find your inspiration and prioritize your wishes, wants and needs. In Ada’s case this meant more space for storage and less clutter in a kitchen that’s warm, welcoming and stylish yet can withstand the onslaught of two growing boys. Dark colored cabinets and a red wall would make it complete. Ada’s fabric was her inspiration, and her great chocolate browns, reds and oranges came from the local hobby/craft store. Swatches in hand, she set off for the home improvement store to choose paint colors.




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Step #3: Strip, prep, paint and stain the cabinets. Perhaps one of the most time consuming but cost effective ways to change the look of a kitchen is to paint or stain your kitchen cabinets. Sand and clean your doors before painting. Ada recommends buying or renting a paint sprayer for a smoother finish, and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget to label doors and hinges before taking them down. Each door was painted on each side. Three coats were required, and to help them pass the scratch test she added two coats of polyurethane. To give it that yummy chocolate color she used French Roast by Behr for the bottoms and Light Incense for the creamy top cabinet color. (Be careful leaving your dark cabinets in the hot Georgia heat and sun to dry. The dark color can absorb heat quickly and warp the doors in no time.)


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Step #4: Add a backsplash. A cost effective way to change to look of your kitchen is to add a backsplash. This do-it-yourselfer chose a 12 x 12 glass tile that she adhered to the walls with tile glue, then grouted with the neutral color Haystack. A first timer at tiling, Ada said the tile was one of the easiest parts of the project.

Step #5: Redo the kitchen table and chairs and treatments to enhance the decor. To give her more storage and extra seating at her table, we enlisted the help of my Daddy to build her a new window seat that spans the length of the windows but also has an opening latched top that gives the storage of two to three more cabinets. Wanting to stick to her budget and knowing her 4-year-old is still a bit hard on furniture, she decided to redo their 16-year-old table and chairs. Sanding it down to remove all finishes, she used her paint sprayer and the espresso brown cabinet paint. When painting a tabletop, place the top down flat and not propped up to avoid runs in the paint. As an accent on her blank wall she refinished an antique piece in red to give a great splash of color. Wall words inspired by I Corinthians 13:13 gave her the blessing of “May our home always be seasoned with love.” The chocolate brown words are a daily reminder to Ada and her family of their foundation. For a new rug to go underneath the kitchen table, she took indoor/outdoor carpet and bordered it with leftover drapery fabric. That $16 of fabric, an iron and hot glue makes for a simple, low-cost project that adds a great look! In addition to changing out the cabinet hardware, another great way to update is to change out the light fixtures. Ada replaced the old brass fixtures with new ones in an antique bronze finish. 58 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE



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A fresh batch of cookies and a warm pot of coffee fill up this beautifully finished kitchen with the yummy smells of home and a job well done. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been in your house for a while and are looking for a new look, consider some of Adaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great ideas. This former first-timer has turned herself into a DIY expert, and with some research, elbow grease and a bit of patience, you can do it too! NCM

Will and Grayson Cornwell and mom Ada Cornwell enjoy hanging out in the familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newly renovated kitchen.

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{ Saddle

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Up }




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Capstone Eventing By Martha A. Woodham | Photos by Bob Fraley

orse trainers Nick Cwick and Lindsey Rairden are victims of their own success: Just as they reach the upper levels of competition with a horse they are training, where riding a winning horse can bring fame and glory and the chance to represent the United States at the international levels of their sport, they sell it. Despite a down economy â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which has cut demand for what some consider luxury items on hooves â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Cwick and Rairden have sold eight horses since January. There are empty stalls in their Coweta County barn, but they have no regrets. Seeing a former race horse go on to success in

Horse trainers Lindsey Rairden and Nick Cwick enjoy seeing former race horses go on to second careers in eventing or show jumping.




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Training inexperienced horses or retraining former race horses is the impetus behind the formation of Capstone Eventing, Nick Cwick and Lindsey Rairden’s partnership. Capstone Eventing is named after a horse Rairden once rode.


a second career in eventing or show jumping is worth it. “It’s such an expensive hobby,” says Cwick, who has been ranked among the top 40 riders in eventing in the United States and who has competed in 19 U.S. competitions governed by the Federation Equestre Internationale. (The FEI is the international governing body of eventing, show jumping and dressage.) “We’ve gotten good horses to the three- and four-star levels and had to sell them. We would both love to have four-star horses, but we love the young ones.” Bringing along inexperienced horses or retraining Thoroughbreds who didn’t make it at the track and seeing them succeed is the impetus behind the formation of Cwick and Rairden’s partnership, Capstone Eventing, named after a horse that Rairden once rode. “We liked what it represents, the summit, the highest point of something,” says Rairden. And then there is the satisfaction of helping people with their horses. “It dawned on me early in life, at age 15 or 16, that this is what I wanted to do with my life,” Cwick says. He and Rairden both rode as children. Cwick, who grew up in California, started riding at age 6, and his parents bought him a horse when he was 7. By age 12, he was eventing, a sport that is a horse triathlon of dressage, cross-country jumping and show jumping taking place over two or three days. Rairden, who as a child lived briefly in Atlanta and trained with Roger Brown, did not come from a horsey family, but her parents allowed her to take lessons and to show hunter ponies. She never really rode a horse until she was 10, when her family moved to “horse heaven” –



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Louisville, Ky. Ultimately, like Cwick, she turned to eventing. She has spent much of her professional career retraining Thoroughbreds who didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make it as racehorses and giving them second careers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Few people are lucky enough to do what they love for a living,â&#x20AC;? says Rairden. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was lucky enough to have this talent. But even if I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t train, I would still have horses in my life.â&#x20AC;? The couple first met in 2004 at a horse trial on Georgia businessman/Belgian Olympic rider Carl Boukaertâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farm in Chatsworth. Although Rairden had a crush on 21-year-old Cwick, the relationship didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t blossom until years later: She was just 16. In 2008, Cwick moved East, which has more competitions than the West, in order to further his career, eventually connecting with Pennsylvania rider and trainer Buck Davidson. At a horse trial later that year in Florida, Cwick and Rairden bumped into each other again, and their relationship was rekindled. In an ironic twist, Rairden was showing a horse, Cosmo, who had been trained and shown by Cwick at one time. By 2009, both Cwick and Rairden were in a position to move on from their previous jobs when they learned that Roy and Margaret Knoxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Swamp Fox Farm in west Coweta was available as a training facility. Mike and Emma Winter, the professional trainers who had occupied the facility for about nine years, had decided to return to Emmaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home country, England. In August, the young couple moved in and couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be happier. Not only are the Knoxes terrific landlords who â&#x20AC;&#x153;adopt us on holidays,â&#x20AC;? but they say Coweta County is ideally situated: Capstone Eventing has attracted clients and students from Alabama as well as Georgia. In addition, the Southeast has competitions almost every weekend, and there are at least three major venues with cross-country courses within a few hours drive. One is Bouckaertâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chattahoochee Hills farm, a gorgeous facility in South Fulton County that will be the site of the American Eventing Championships in 2010 and 2011. Capstone Eventing already has several horses qualified for the national competition, which will attract more than 500 horses vying for thousands in prizes. For now, the couple is concentrating on training the nine horses in their barn and working with their students, but they keep an eye out for that special horse, the one with the athleticism and drive to make it to the top, like the name, Capstone Eventing, says. For more information about Capstone Eventing, visit NCM

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Bookshelf }

The Devil Amongst the Lawyers By Sharyn McCrumb Thomas Dunne Books, $24.99 Reviewed by Holly Jones “The devil amongst the lawyers” might mean the influx of big-shot reporters descending on the rural mountains of Wise County, Va. The devil might be Erma Morton – on trial for murdering her father and the reason for the reporters’ presence. Or maybe the devil is Erma’s family – determined to use her new celebrity status for their financial gain. Whoever the devil might be, The Devil Amongst the Lawyers is Sharyn McCrumb’s latest novel – a mysterious tale of families and secrets. The story primarily revolves around the reporters, Henry Jernigan, Rose Hanelon, Shade Baker and Carl Jennings. Henry prides himself on being a gentleman – “a gentleman of the press, perhaps, but still a gentleman.” From a wealthy Philadelphia family, Henry considers himself well64 | NEWNAN – COWETA MAGAZINE

traveled and world-weary. In the heart of the Depression, his shoes are hand-stitched, his shirts the finest linen, and his coat heavy wool seldom seen in rural Virginia. But Henry is haunted by ghosts that follow him throughout the trial. Female reporters in the 1930s were stereotyped as “sob sisters” for overplaying stories’ emotional angles, and Rose leads the sisterhood. With “a dumpling face framed by frizzy hair” and “a short-necked, fullbosomed, stubby-legged body,” Rose can’t get by on looks, but her intelligence and determination take her wherever she wants to go. Unfortunately, where Rose wants to go isn’t the trial of a beautiful alleged murderess. Slade Baker is a photojournalist with an eye for scene-setting. His photos accompany Henry and Rose’s stories. The problem is, they don’t want an honest depiction of Wise County. They want stereotypes—“old men whittling on sticks and swapping lies, and big mongrel dogs sleeping in every patch of shade.” Carl Jennings is the local reporter on his first major story. He works at a small East Tennessee paper and wants to hobnob with the famous reporters. However, Carl realizes the bigger papers aren’t printing the truth; they’re creating stories “the readers want” – a sensationalized account of a beautiful, tragic heroine. Carl is the only reporter interviewing townspeople, the only one truthfully depicting the trial. So why is Carl’s job on the line when his story doesn’t match those of the other papers?

Seeing the town and the trial from the viewpoint of jaded sensationalism versus forthright eagerness, and reading the truth behind the crime from Erma’s perspective, make The Devil Amongst the Lawyers a tale of perception – and things are definitely not what they seem. Hold Up The Sky By Patricia Sprinkle NAL Trade, $15 Reviewed by Holly Jones Billie Waits, Margaret Baxter, Mamie Fountain and Emerita Gomez – four women with four sets of problems. Each woman feels the weight of the world on her shoulders. Mamie calls it “holding up the sky.” The women aren’t willing to admit their problems, at least not to each other. That would admit weakness and invite pity. Patricia Sprinkle has created these four women with intertwined lives in her appropriately titled novel Hold Up the Sky.



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Billie and Margaret are sisters, and polar opposites. Margaret is the older sister, the perfect one. Margaret is married to the love of her life Ben, and together they built a landscape design business. They have two wonderful sons, a house they love in Marietta, and friends at the country club. Billie, on the other hand, hasn’t seen her husband Porter since the day their days-old daughter Michelle was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Michelle is five now and in a wheelchair. Porter sends part of his paycheck every month, but he hasn’t seen Billie or Michelle since he walked out. And this month, his check hasn’t come. Despite her family and friends’ opinions, Billie still loves Porter and still believes he wouldn’t abandon his family. Mamie used to clean house for Billie and Margaret’s parents. She recently bought herself a PT Cruiser – a car she’s always wanted. She still tries to help Billie with Michelle, and checks in on Billie and Margaret’s widowed father Bill occasionally.

Mamie’s doctor told her she needs to take better care of herself and slow down. Emerita immigrated from Mexico with her husband Jose. They put all their money in a truck to get them from the Texas border to Dalton, Ga. where they could get jobs in the carpet mills. Unfortunately, the truck breaks down in every other town they’ve driven through, keeping them away from their goal while they work off repair bills. What happens when Ben decides he doesn’t want to be married to Margaret anymore, and the landscape company is struggling? When Porter’s checks completely stop coming and no one can tell Billie where he is? When Mamie starts experiencing the pain of congestive heart failure? Or when Emerita ends up on Billie’s doorstep when the truck breaks again? Will these women turn to each other? Will they see how their lives are woven together? Or will they continue believing they have to “hold up the sky” alone? NCM

Congratulations to Jonnie Porter of Newnan, the winner of our July/August book giveaway. Jonnie has won a copy of Savannah Style by Foot Network star Paula Deen.

{ Index

of Advertisers }

Bank of Coweta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68 BB&T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Carrollton Eye Clinic, P.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Center For Allergy & Asthma . . . . . . . . . .5 The Centre For Performing & Visual Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Chin Chin Newnan Chinese Restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 The Cotton Pickin’ Fair . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Coweta-Fayette EMC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67 Coweta Medical Center . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Crossroads Podiatry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 The Dinoff School for the Gifted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Downtown Church of Christ . . . . . . . . . .57 Farm Bureau Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Farm & Masonry Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Franklin Road Animal Clinic . . . . . . . . . .29 Georgia Military College . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Heritage Retirement Homes of Peachtree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 The Heritage School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Hollberg's Fine Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . .57 Landmark Christian School . . . . . . . . . . .41 Lee-King and Lee-Goodrum Pharmacies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 Main Street Newnan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Maritime Air Charters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Mercer University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Morgan Jewelers/Downtown . . . . . . . .41 Newnan Academy of Preschool & Child Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 Newnan Station Tire & Service . . . . . . .19 NGTurf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Phillips Dental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59 Piedmont Newnan Hospital . . . . . . . . . . .2 Radiation Oncology Services . . . . . . . . . .3 The Ritzy Roost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 Savannah Court of Newnan . . . . . . . . . .23 Southern Crescent Equine Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 StoneBridge Early Learning Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Super Sand Professional Topdressing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 Uniglobe McIntosh Travel . . . . . . . . . . . .19 University of West Georgia . . . . . . . . . . .13 Wesley Woods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Wedowee Marine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 November/December 2010 Ad Deadlines Published: November 5, 2010; Contract Ads: September 29, 2010; New Ads: October 8, 2010. Call 770.683.6397 for details and advertising information.





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I am Coweta }

Tommy Hooks By Nichole Golden | Photo by Bob Fraley Avid traveler and insurance agent Tommy Hooks was raised in Macon, graduating from Mercer University. After a brief career in education, Tommy earned a Chartered Life Underwriter designation in 1979 from the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. He has been a State Farm Agent in Newnan for 24 years. He and wife Anne have been married for 44 years, have three children and one grandchild. When not traveling or working, Tommy enjoys volunteering with the Newnan Carnegie Library Foundation as the vice-president of the board. He recently presented an Armchair Travelers program on Ireland for library patrons.

How long have you called Coweta home? My family moved to Newnan in 1987, and two of my children graduated from Newnan High School.

When did you first become interested in travel? After attending company conventions in Bermuda, Mexico, Germany, France, Canada and Hawaii, as well as other U.S. destinations, we began to travel independently in 1996. Since then, we have been to Scotland (twice), England, Australia, Italy and Ireland (four times), as well as Oregon, South Dakota, Michigan, Texas, Arizona, Montana, Nevada, Utah, New York, Pennsylvania and New England.

What is your favorite travel destination internationally and why? Obviously, after going four times, Ireland would be our favorite. The scenery is spectacular, particularly the coastline. The weather has always been great, although you can get rain quite often. Historical sites are everywhere, dating as far back as 3000 B.C. Some of my ancestors came from Ireland. However, the people of Ireland are its greatest charm. They are friendly, witty, cheerful folks, eager to please and make you welcome. Our first trip was a home exchange with an Irish family from Kilkenny, and we became and remain friends. We have visited with them on two other occasions since. The Irish people tend to be very friendly with Americans, which is not the case everywhere you go.

What is your favorite spot within the U.S.? The American West, with Oregon and Montana tied for first and South Dakota a close second. There is no more spectacular scenery anywhere I’ve ever been. The Southwest is wonderful as well, particularly Arizona. We went to Yosemite and San Francisco in August.

Do you have a dream trip, somewhere you’ve been unable to go? Actually, no, but we are going back to Ireland next year. That’s how much we love it, and that’s about the longest plane trip I want to make.

Can you share any travel tips for rookie travelers? Get off the beaten path. Some of the greatest experiences we’ve had have been in areas where a lot of visitors don’t go. Don’t be hesitant to travel on your own.

What do you enjoy doing when at home in Coweta? Entertaining my grandson, and planning the next trip!

For more information on the Armchair Travelers program, which covers worldwide travel topics, visit




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Newnan-Coweta Magazine, September/October 2010  

The football issue of Newnan-Coweta Magazine. Features include local athletes playing for University of Georgia, Georgia State University, t...