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Tracy McCoy Publisher/Editor

Cindi Freeman

Office Manager Marketing Executive

Dianne VanderHorst

Art Director/ Designer

Melissa Williams-Thomas Marketing Exec/Writer


elcome! Many of our full-time residents were first introduced to the mountains as children who came with parents to visit. Their memories draw them back to the mountains when vacationing with their own family or are at retirement age. For those of us who are fortunate enough to live here, if you take advantage of all of the outdoor recreation, visit all of the historic sites and take in the quaint downtowns you may feel like every weekend is a mini vacation. We hope you have plans to get out and enjoy the mountains this summer. If you’ve never experienced the mountain lifestyle, the time is now, we are a mere two hours from Atlanta, Asheville and Greenville. Perfect for a weekend get-away. We invite you to book a room, enjoy a weekend and send us your room receipt, photos of your trip and a selfie with one of our advertisers and you will be entered into a drawing for a weekend vacation package for two. Mail your “entry” to Georgia Mountain Laurel – PO Box 2218 – Clayton, GA 30525. We will draw a winner on September 30th. Summer is in full swing and the peaches are on the shelves of our fresh and local farmers’ markets. The fish are biting, the whippoorwills singing their sweet melodies and the tea is sweeter in the mountains of Northeast Georgia. Come see us soon! Tracy June


2016 • Volume Thirteen • Issue Six • Copyright 2016 Also on board...

Georgia Mountain Laurel

Assitant Editor - Nikki McCall Copy Editor/Writer - Jan Timms Photographer/Writer - Peter McIntosh

Mailing: PO Box 2218, Clayton, Georgia 30525 Office: 633 Highway 441 South, Clayton, Georgia 706-782-1600 •

Contributing Writers: Jean Hyatt, Melissa Williams-Thomas, Mark Holloway, Jo Mitchell, Steve Jarrard, MD, Lisa Harris, Kitty Stratton, John Shivers, Buster Inman, Copyright 2016 by Rabun’s Laurel Inc. All rights reserved. The Georgia Mountain Laurel Magazine is published twelve times per year. Reproduction without the permission of the publisher is prohibited. The publishers and editors are not responsible for unsolicited material and it will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication subject to GML magazine’s right to edit. Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, photographs and drawings. Every effort has been made to assure that all information presented in this issue is accurate, and neither Laurel magazine or any of its staff is responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the magazine. The Georgia Mountain Laurel maintains a Christian focus throughout their magazine. Rabun’s Laurel, Inc. reserves the right to refuse content or advertising for any reason without explanation.


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IN THIS ISSUE Life & Leisure 8 14 18 22 24 26 30

Visit Us! Whitewater Rafting on the Chattooga Lovin’ the Journey Good Work! Kiwanis Club Mountain Nature Adventure Out Tee’d Off

Arts & Entertainment 34 38 40 42

Cover Artist - Ed Poss North Georgia Arts Guild Book Review North Georgia Community Players

Affairs to Remember 44 51 52 54

Event Calendar Grow, Cook, Eat Rhapsody in Rabun - Rally for the Red Rabun County Music Festival

Faith in Christ 56 58 60 62

Bless Your Hearts - A True Love Story River Garden Second Chances Life is a Blessing

Health & Wellness 64 67 68 70

Live Healthy & Be Well Memorial Golf Tournament Chart Your Path to Better Health Yes, You Can!

A Taste 72 76

Bon Appetit The Family Table

Yesterdays 80 82 84

Foxfire Exploring NE Georgia Wheels - Cosby Chastain

In Closing 86 88


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A Parting Shot By The Way

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Visit Us!


his issue is all about the WHY. Why visit the mountains? What sets us apart? What makes people come here and never want to leave, or leave and count the minutes until they can return? The counties in the northeastern most part of Georgia and the counties in North Carolina that neighbor us create a destination that is unique yet offers a wonderfully eclectic experience. In a single mile you can buy local honey or produce and pass a million dollar home. You can dine in a quaint local diner and sit across from a celebrity and a man in overalls with a family heritage that spans centuries. It is what makes the mountains so special. Over these pages you’ll see again and again “whys”. By the time you finish this issue you’ll either be thankful you can call this place home or planning how you can. Our photo journalistic approach begins here with our friend Peter McIntosh and continues over the next few pages featuring the photography of Jason Clemmons and Kevin Croom. Our sincere thanks to all three gentlemen for helping us share the mountains with you. Enjoy friends!


eter McIntosh first learned the technical aspects of photography while serving as an Aviation Photographer’s Mate in the U.S. Navy. Peter’s photos often appear in national publications and newspapers and magazines. He is both writer and photographer for our monthly adventure column. Peter is a noted conservation photographer supporting the efforts of American Rivers, The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, The Wilderness Society, Georgia Forestwatch, The Chattooga Conservancy and Upper Chattahoochee River Keepers. In Rabun County Peter is represented by Timpson Creek Gallery in Clayton. Peter’s photographs are part of important collections in the USA and abroad. For more information visit




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ason Clemmons of Blairsville, is new to the world of photography. He is the owner of JMC Artistic Photography and the oldest business in Blairsville called Sunrise Grocery. Jason is married to his soulmate and has 3 awesome kids! He believes that the Southern Appalachian Mountains are one of the most beautiful places on this earth and he and his family love being here. “The mountains speak to us! There might be bigger and more spectacular ones but.....they don’t have the stories and the wisdom of these mountains” says Jason Clemmons. You are invited to visit Jason’s web page @jmcartisticphotography and if you enjoy his work, follow his journey on his Facebook page by the same name. A stop in at Sunrise Grocery also offers a chance to meet Jason and see his work.


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evin Croom, owner of KCC Pix Photography, was born in Hendersonville, North Carolina. He works predominantly in the medium of still photography, but includes creative and stop-action videos into his body of work. Croom is self-taught, and shoots a mirrorless Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera. While he prefers nature photography, he also enjoys architectural, commercial, historical and event photography. His works can be seen on Facebook and Twitter, in area magazines, on photography websites, and they often decorate the walls of his fans’ homes. Croom lives near the Chattooga River with his two dogs Bongo and Sarah Belle in the Northeast Georgia mountains. • • • 706.982.1371

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Whitewater Rafting on the Chattooga

by Tracy McCoy – photography provided by Southeastern Expeditions


wonderful summary of the Wild and Scenic Chattooga is found on the website of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System (

Flowing through three states and the Ellicott Rock Wilderness, the Chattooga is recognized as one of the Southeast’s premier whitewater rivers. It begins in mountainous North Carolina as small rivulets, nourished by springs and abundant rainfall. High on the slopes of the Appalachian Mountains is the start of a 57-mile journey that ends at Lake Tugaloo between South Carolina and Georgia. The river is one of the few remaining free-flowing streams in the Southeast. The Chattooga offers outstanding scenery, ranging from thundering falls and twisting rock-choked channels to narrow, cliff-enclosed deep pools. The setting is primitive; dense forests and undeveloped shorelines characterize the primitive nature of the area. No motorized vehicles are permitted within a corridor about 1/4-mile wide on either side of the river. Visitors must rely on their own skills and strength rather than on motorized equipment. Manmade facilities are minimal, consisting primarily of hiking trails. The river’s outstandingly remarkable values include recreation, biology, scenery, geology and history. Part of the Chattooga’s history is the filming of the movie Deliverance released on the big screen in 1972. The movie included some incredible scenery and brought to light the beauty of the river. The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System was created by Congress in 1968 to preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Since May 10, 1974, the Chattooga River has been protected along a 15,432 acre corridor as a national Wild and Scenic River.

for Southeastern Expeditions, a commercial rafting company who opened its doors in 1972 after the company’s founder Claude Terry purchased equipment used in the movie from Warner Brothers. Mr. Terry actually worked as a consultant and a stunt double in the movie. Today Southeastern Expeditions is owned by Brent and Dusty Rogers who carry on the legacy that Mr. Terry created a company staffed by knowledgeable, highly trained guides who keep the safety and enjoyment of their guests in focus and make it a priority.

Anyone who has stepped foot on or near the Chattooga walks away amazed. If, they can walk away, many find it impossible to leave its banks. One such person is Paul Speed. Paul works

The first rafting company to commercially raft the Chattooga was Wildwater. They opened on the Chattooga, but today they have locations in South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee as well. Wildwater has added ziplining to their adventure list and


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offers combination packages for quests. NOC which stands for Nantahala Outdoor Company was also founded in 1972 when their founder Payson Kennedy also worked as a stunt double in the Deliverance movie. The company began on the Nantahala but now offers rafters the option to explore eight rivers in the Southeast, Chattooga being one of them. As with the other two, NOC employs highly skilled guides and offers visitors a thrilling ride. The Chattooga is divided into sections: Class II, III and IV each increasing in excitement and difficulty. The river is surrounded by the Chattahoochee and Sumpter National Forests and the beauty is astounding. “After they go down the river, many locals say that they saw places on their trip they never knew existed,” said Paul Speed. Paul, an ex-marine, has been a rafting guide since 2006 and is highly skilled and knowledgeable. “The river changes every day so what was a class 1 rapid today can become a class 6 tomorrow depending on rain and water levels. The Chattooga is unique and dynamic. It is the only spring fed, commercially rafted river in the Southeast that has also been designated Wild and Scenic.” Paul has rafted many rivers in the US and internationally. He loves the river life, the people he meets and those he works with. Paul never dreads Monday morning; it is simply another opportunity to introduce visitors and locals to the river. He and others will map the day deciding where to put in and who will be in their raft. What does the guest want from their trip? A gentle easy ride or a thrilling adventure? A river guide is planning how best to entertain you yet keep you completely safe even before you arrive. Paul spoke of the great working relationship and respect shared between the three rafting companies. He has worked at other companies and had only good things to say about each one. He is very happy working at Southeastern and is impressed with the company. He spoke well of Jonathan McKinsey also an

ex-marine and the River Manager at Southeastern and also the Outpost Manager Ruth Octiveck. “Both work tirelessly to make it all happen. They make working at Southeastern a pleasure,” Paul said. This December Paul will be guiding a gear boat through the Grand Canyon The Chattooga river is also known for its excellent trout fishing opportunities. One can also hike along the river on the Chattooga Trail. Horseback riding is allowed on the nearby Rocky Gap/Willis Knob Horse Trail. For anyone wishing to plan a trip we recommend visiting one of the websites of the companies we have mentioned in this article:

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Lovin’ the Journey Short Treks by R. Mark Holloway


n old road and an old inn. Sometimes good times just sneak up behind you and tackle you. The best way to create a great memory is to play where adventure collides with the unscheduled. Recently Carol and I discovered the Blue Ridge Parkway…all over again. My aunt and uncle have long owned a Sugar Mountain ski slope condo near the Parkway. But we’d never paid attention to where this famed and scenic path actually begins; Cherokee, North Carolina is a very short drive from Tiger, Georgia. Towards the end of winter we took a spontaneous drive. I’d said, “Let’s go up on the Blue Ridge Parkway and just drive.” The sun-splashed day and warm temperatures were irresistible. With the push of a button, the top was down on the car and we were off. An hour later we approached the southernmost access to the BRP. Uh oh. Closed. Turns out, the upper elevation tunnels along the Parkway still posed a threat of ice. We sat there sort of stunned. I would discover the website which displays which sections are closed. A month passed and the blessing of an unscripted weekend began to unfold. “Carol, I just checked the Blue Ridge Parkway website. All clear. Wanna try again?” She answered enthusiastically, “Let’s pack an overnight bag and see what happens.” We’ve learned an excellent way to keep a 35 year marriage alive and thriving is to leave room for unplanned romance and thrills. So off we go. This time the temps are even more pleasant for an open-air car ride. We arrive mid afternoon into Cherokee. We’re so agenda free; I whimsically drive right past the BPR entry and have to turn around. But there’s some kind of commotion going on. The USFS rangers and staff seem on edge. A herd of wild elk were on the move near the Oconaluftee Cherokee Visitor Center. As we crossed over a bridge we looked down into the river and there they were, crossing through the water headed back into the woods. I know a photo op when I see one. We parked and I stealthily headed into the woods…camera ready. I found myself nearly surrounded by a half-dozen large elk, up close and grazing. I was prepared for them to charge. I thought to myself, “It’s a sorry pair of legs that’ll let me get trampled.” As I finished the photo shoot with the four-legged models, I eased back into civilization. A federal worker sternly warned me about the pregnant one and how the cow could have charged me. By then, my risky mission was complete. Onto the Parkway. If you’ve never ventured onto the Blue Ridge Parkway, there are a few things to know. The 469 miles connect the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. There are no signs, billboards, commerce or clutter…..nuthin’!! Just eye-popping beauty along the high ridges of a world-famous mountain chain.


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Oh….there’s something else quite unique. The speed limit is 45mph along the majestic and historic BRP. Yep. My usual adrenaline-filled brain had to dial back and cruise our normally fast two-seater at a speed more appropriate when trying to get to nowhere-in-particular. We meandered and wandered along the route, stopping at many of the overlooks. Even though spring had not fully arrived to the higher elevations, the vistas were praise worthy. We’d eventually crest the BRP’s highest point. That was cool. I just had to take a picture of Carol near the sign. Let me tell you about our new friend Merrily Teasley. She’s the passionate innkeeper who owns the 50 room Balsam Mountain Inn we sort of stumbled into. Wow. Remember, the weekend was unscripted and we just drove. We found the inn only 26.2 miles up the road. It was late afternoon and thankfully, there was a room available. Who knew it was singer/songwriter night at the inn, hosting an amazing couple from Nashville Tennessee? The concert included a prime rib buffet. Although the dining room was packed, Merrily sat Carol and me so close to the talent, we could have reached out and tuned Annie Sellick’s and Pat Bergeson’s guitars. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard two voices and talent blend so seamlessly. Their performance was as smooth as my prime rib gravy. They’ve recorded and toured with the bigs in the biz. Chet Atkins, Lenny Kravitz, Wynonna Judd, Alison Krauss, Jerry Reed and other household names. Annie (Annie and the Hot Club) is a jazz singer who brings more energy and zest to a stage than I knew possible. Good times. The Balsam Mountain Inn is itself a song. An old tune. Theodore Roosevelt was prez when this 42,000 square feet of pure charm was being built. The three story inn is rich with history and the past echoes of happy, rested guests can almost be heard throughout the place. There are only two remaining all-wood hotels in all of North Carolina. Merrily melds great food, quaint rooms and hospitality into an amazing romantic experience. Although we stayed only one night, we got to visit with lots of folks. One couple was easy to connect with…David and Sharon Sorrell. They’d returned to the inn to celebrate her recent health victory of beating cancer. “This place is so peaceful. We can really come here and rest.” David told us at breakfast, which was chef-prepared and served on a sun-soaked veranda. Car clubs, artists, romantics, hikers and Blue Ridge Parkwayers all find their way to this place. As a matter of fact, a crew with North Carolina Public Television was also there filming a special during our stay. I suggest you move the inn from your bucket list to your ‘must return again’ list. The Balsam Mountain Inn is only a half mile from the BRP. If you want a room with no TVs or phones and you’d like to bathe in a century old claw foot tub, check in to the Balsam Mountain Inn and have Debbie hand you the brass keys to a room built in 1905. Oh…an ancient natural spring is the inn’s water source. How about that? The next morning we rolled back onto the Parkway and zoomed, albeit, legally along the twists and turns of this one-of a kind drive, pulling over for a picnic at yet another eye candy view. We’ll ride our motorcycle next trip. If you’ve never experienced the Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s a national treasure. And you own it. Drive it. Explore it. Hike it. Again. See you on the trail.

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Professionals for Your Home and Property

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Good Work Look at the Results to See Kiwanis’ Investment by John Shivers


leventh anniversaries are traditionally celebrated with mementos of silver, a metal valued for its durability and strength. It’s somehow fitting as the 11th anniversary in Rabun County approaches on September 27, 2016, the local Kiwanis Club is strong and enduring, striving to have even greater impact on this county they serve. Twenty-nine charter members were part of the initiation ceremony conducted almost eleven years ago by Mrs. Nan Brown and Mr. Carlton Norris from the Gainesville Kiwanis Club. Seven of those are still with the organization today, and include: Debbie Chisholm, Laura Schott, Rhonda Lunsford, Roxanne Lunsford, Nicole Queen, Mary Lee Anderson and Konstantina Vinson. Current membership is 15 members, but they welcome new members to join, to help grow their community impact.

“We’re blessed to live in a community that cares and helps each other in so many ways,” says President Konstantina Vinson. “Our club’s main focus is that of children of which is 99% at the local level.” She goes on to explain that their affiliation with Kiwanis International gives them global access for resources, as well as opportunities for service. The organization’s motto says it all, “Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time.” While their affiliation with Kiwanis has allowed them to participate in such global projects as addressing iodine deficiencies in children and the deadly disease of tetanus, it’s their work right outside their own doors that gives them such a sense of pride; a realization of how much more there is to do. One of their major projects is “Backpacks to Promote Reading” where between 130 – 150 backpacks are given each spring to all Pre-K students in Primary School, Head Start and the Creative Learning Center. Those backpacks contain three books, a coloring book, pencils, eraser, ruler, crayons, notepads, bubbles and an age appropriate toy. “Terrific Kids” which targets kindergarten through second grade, is a student recognition program where two children, a boy and a girl, are cited for character development, self-esteem and perseverance. The distinction is made every nine weeks, and “Terrific” is an acronym for Thoughtful, Enthusiastic, Respectful, Responsible, Inclusive, Friendly, Inquisitive and Capable. The group has also participated in the “Back to School Blitz” helps with the “Food to Kids” program at the Food Bank, and provides free games for community kids at the Special Olympics, Challenge Air for Kids, Mountaineer Festival and Halloween Hay Day. During November and December each year, the group decorates a tree full of toys for the Civic Center Shopping Extravaganza. When that tree is sold, it’s donated by the buyer to a family with children that need extra help to make those children’s dreams come true. They also give assistance to F.A.I.T.H. or adopt a family each Christmas. In May, they present a $500.00 academic scholarship to a graduating senior. Plans and goals for the future include recruiting new members which will allow the group to expand its current efforts and bring new programs and activities on-board. Joining is as simple as contacting the club to say you’re interested. “Come and visit with us,” the president encourages. “Get to know us, and a member can sponsor you for membership.”

2015-2016 Officers President: Konstantina Vinson President-Elect: Rhonda Lunsford Vice President: Debbie Chisholm Secretary: Mary Lee Anderson Treasurer: Rhonda Lunsford Past President: Carolyn Parks Board of Directors: Nicole Queen, Laura Schott, John Werkheiser The Club meets on the First and Third Thursday every month at Noon at Kingwood Country Club & Resort.

One of the goals they have involves the establishment of a club at the middle school and/or high school, where they can teach Kiwanis principles and give the students more opportunities for college funds. Silver is as durable and long-lasting as the results of the Kiwanis’ outreach to the local community. Just look back over the years at the many ways Rabun County is a better place to live because of their efforts. For more information, call or write Konstantina Vinson at 706.782.6388 or P.O. Box 1262, Clayton GA 30525. You may also attend one of the luncheon meetings at Kingwood Country Club and Resort.


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The Rattlesnake Plantain is also a locally growing orchid, and you’ve probably seen them without even realizing they are an orchid. The basal leaves are distinctive because of the dark green color with noticeable white veins. The stalks on which the small white flowers are borne are tall - about 13” to 15”. Grass-pinks are also orchids that bloom in July. The leaves look like long blades of grass, and the flower is complicated looking, pink, and beautiful. It reminds me a little of gaywings without the fringe. They grow in open areas that are moist.

Mountain Nature Go Find an Orchid by Jean Hyatt Photography by Richard and Jean Hyatt


any of us think of orchids as exotic plants you buy at a nursery, then have to tenderly take care of in order to coax a bloom. When Rich and I lived in Florida, for a few years Rich maintained a shade house in the backyard where these type orchids flourished in the heat and humidity under the supervision of his green thumb. But did you know that there are orchids growing wild right in our midst? Some of them are not as showy as the ones you see in your local flower shop, but they are just as beautiful, and speaking for myself, are much more appreciated because they are such a joy to find. Some of the earliest blooming members of the orchid family are the puttyroot (not real pretty, but interesting) and the Showy Orchis (This one is pretty.). Yellow and pink lady’s-slippers follow shortly afterward. In June, the Lily-leaved Twayblade can be found, sometimes even in your own backyard. It has two large base leaves and grows several purplish flowers on a stalk. It likes moist woodlands with heavy shade. The Purple Fringed Orchid also blooms in June and July. This orchid is widespread in the more northern states, but only two locations are known in Georgia. Luckily for us, it can also be found alongside the road in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Like the twayblade, each cluster of tiny blooms grows on a tall stem producing a seemingly-large flowering spike.


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The Crane-fly orchid is another of those tall (one to two feet) stemmed orchids that you would probably miss if you weren’t looking for it. It grows several flowers to a stalk and is inconspicuous and not very colorful, but is beautiful when viewed close up. Like the puttyroot and some other orchids, it produces an over-wintering single leaf in the fall after the deciduous trees have lost their leaves. This single leaf absorbs sunlight all winter, then dies back in the spring. When the plant blooms in July, it appears leafless, but the leaf will come back again each fall. There are lots of other orchids out there, most of which I have not yet seen. But every summer, I look for them and other blooms on every hike I go on. I bring binoculars, so I can spot a bit of color in an otherwise green sea of vegetation. There are several books and field guides which include native orchids and every year I pore over them and try to memorize what they look like so when I see them, I know what they are. I hope to see you out there sometime searching, like me, for these sometimes elusive native orchids. ________________________________ Jean and her husband Richard own and operate Mountain Nature in downtown Clayton. They can be reached at 706.782.0838.

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Adventure Out Waterfalls and Sunsets on the Richard Russell Scenic Highway Article & Photos by Peter McIntosh


he theme for the Georgia Mountain Laurel this month is tourism and with that in mind we’re doing some touring on this adventure. Our adventure could be called “The Greatest Hits of the Richard Russell Scenic Highway”. Richard Russell was a legendary Georgia politician. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Russell served in the Georgia House of Representatives; he was Governor of Georgia from 1931 to 1933 and most notably, he was a United States Senator from 1933 to 1971. The road that bears his name is a lovely two lane blacktop that takes us to all three destinations: Dukes Creek Falls, Raven Cliff Falls and a western facing rock outcropping up on Wildcat Mountain. From where Alt. 75 intersects the Richard Russell Highway, (GA 348) it’s about 1.5 miles to the Dukes Creek Falls parking area and trailhead on your left. (There are handicapped accessible restrooms here.). The first part of the trail is paved and handicapped accessible all the way to a viewing platform which offers your first view of the falls. From here the trail descends several switchbacks, a little less than a 1 mile, down to the base of the falls. It’s very nice at the base of the falls, where two streams converge, but in the 35 years since I first visited here, it’s become overgrown but still well worth the short hike. So let’s trek back up to the car and head down the highway to one of my favorite trails in all of North Georgia. The Raven Cliffs Falls trailhead is 1 mile further north on the Richard Russell and also on the left, just a short way down a gravel road. There are rest rooms here as well. This is a popular trail so if you go on a weekend don’t expect to be alone. From the parking area, the trail (2.5 miles each way) gently climbs over a hill before descending and joining Dodd Creek. After crossing the creek, the trail stays streamside most of the way with numerous smaller waterfalls to reward you as make you way up this beautiful footpath. Nearing the end, the trail becomes a bit steeper and a lot rockier. Be careful as you scramble up to some nice sitting rocks offering a splendid view of Raven Cliff Falls, a unique cascade pouring straight down deep inside a split in the rock face. There are some roots you can hold on to if you want to climb around the right side of the falls to take in the view from the top of the cliffs. This isn’t too dangerous if you’re nimble but please be careful. Please. Now if you’ve scheduled it right, you’ll have time to hike back out, drive about 4.5 miles up the highway up to Hogpen Gap and the Appalachian Trail. From here we’re going to hike south on the AT. (2 x 6 inch white blaze) It’s actually west, but in AT terms it’s south. The trail leads off into the forest across the road from the parking area and ascends via switchbacks about 1/4 mile to the top of the ridgeline. At the top of the ridge the AT continues off to the right and


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a side trail (blue blazes) leading to a shelter goes to the left. This is our trail, which we follow for about another 1/4 mile until coming to an opening on the right, leading out to the rock face, offering a spectacular panoramic view. Cowrock Mountain is just across from you and to the northwest are the many layered mountains of the Nottely River Watershed and to the southwest are the Appalachian Foothills. This is a great place to watch a sunset, even better with a little wine and cheese. And if you have a nice headlamp, you won’t be afraid to stay past twilight since it’s such an easy hike out. Happy Hiking! Feel free to swoon, here’s my poem for June: Let’s set out on the road, long and winding, Where beautiful scenery we’ll be finding. With clear falling water and air cool and sweet, And a stunning mountain sunset makes this trip complete.

Getting there: From Burton Dam Road and GA 197 go 3 miles to GA 356. Go 11 miles on GA 356 to intersection with GA 17-75 at Robertstown. (Stop at Fred’s Famous Peanuts for some terrific garlic fried peanuts.). Go north about 3/10 of a mile on17-75 and turn left over the Chattahoochee River onto Alt 75. Go a little over 2 miles to the intersection with Richard Russell Scenic Highway (GA 348) on the right; Dukes Creek Falls is 1.5 miles. Then Raven Cliffs Falls is 1 mile farther, then Hogpen Gap and the Appalachian Trail is 4.5 miles.

If you’d like to join Peter on an Summertime Photo Excursion, contact him at: 706.490.1247 or email peter@mcintoshmountains. com. On the web:

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3BR/2.5BA on 4 wooded acres. Mtn & valley views. 2600 ft. elevation. Vaulted ceilings, stone FP, formal dining room, walkcloset, large family room, computer/sewing room, sunroom & full deck in front of house. $269,000 GAMLS #:7538135


Sam Rumsey 706.982.9673

809 Hwy. 441 South - Clayton, GA 30525


Chelsea Rumsey 706.982.9677


Custom built 3BR/2BA home on 1.3 acres w/ a beautiful mtn. view and close to town! 30x36 shed/ building 1.03 acres in beautiful Tiger, GA. 3 BR, 2 BA w. storage is perfect for RV or boat parking. Fenced in with an open concept LR, DR, & KIT area, inback yard. New wood pecan flooring. New carpet in bed- cluding a welcoming screened porch where you rooms. Masonry fireplace w/ wood insert. Partially can enjoy your morning coffee or read a book finished basement! Master on the upper level with rein a peaceful setting. $152,500 claimed wood bleacher flooring. Master bath and separate GAMLS#: 7540686 shower and Jacuzzi tub. $215,000 GAMLS:7571977

One of the most beautiful setting in Rabun County. This home is a Rabun County Landmark. Mature landscaping. Close to town. 1st time on the market. Original hardwood floors 3000 +/- sq ft finished 1500 +/- sq ft unfinished basement Additional 10 acres available with barn and rental home for separate purchase. $219,000 GAMLS# 7636038


KINGWOOD COUNTRY CLUB 4BR/3BA, 2 level home. Walk in to the open living area with vaulted ceilings, wood burning fireplace, beautiful kitchen with granite counter tops, large island with plenty of storage, walk-in pantry & separate dining area. Master on main and additional bedroom & bathroom.2ND living area or entertainment room downstairs with 2 rooms, perfect for bedrooms or an office. $294,900 GAMLS#: 7561180

COMMERCIAL BUILDING in the heart of downtown Clayton! Located next to Clarks on Mainstreet. Currently used as a retail business. 1600 Sq. ft. $185,000 GAMLS: 7611444

Expertly crafted log home. Wormy Chestnut cabinets, heart-pine floors, cypress ceiling and stunning details. Lots of extras, wooded privacy and big views. $499,000 GAMLS# 8000559

4BR/3BA Home located in Clarkesville! There is over 6,000 sq. ft. with an unfinished second floor for more room. It also includes a pool, shed, and workshop. In a great location with plenty of room and mountain views. $365,000 GAMLS# 7571015

Great 3 bedroom home with loft. Lake and marina access. Beautiful setting, close to Anchorage Marina. New screened porch with good view. Relax in this mountain bungalow. $399,000 GAMLS# 7628507

KINGWOOD COUNTRY CLUB 3BR/2BA W/An unfinished basement with a bonus room above garage. Large deck, Vaulted ceilings, hardwood and tile floors throughout, living room/dining room combo w/breakfast bar, master on the main level w/a double vanities and walk in closet, masonry wood burning fireplace. $359,000 GAMLS# 7571158

year there is not that much difference in clubs, but if your driver is more than five years old, you are lacking in some of the new technology. Also, chances are, the demo club I pick up out of the golf ship is not the right fit for me. To be fitted for a club correctly takes time and a good computer program by Buster Inman to chart all of the factors. The General Manager/Director of Golf most important feedback given Maggie Valley Club and Resort in a swing analysis is: swing speed, ball speed, spin ratio, and launch angle. It will also show you other factors, such as angle of attack, which is used more in teaching than fitting. As for swing speed and ball speed, it is easy he number one question I get in giving lessons is “How can to understand why we need maximum in both categories, but I hit the ball further?”. The simple answer to this is generate what about spin ratio and launch angle? I googled golf ball spin more clubhead speed. This is easier said than done. Believe ratio and found On their site was a section me, I know, as I am searching for more distance each year, and about the physics of golf. I’m sure every diagram and calculation every birthday I am hitting it shorter. I believe there are three ways was correct, so you might want to take a look at it. It was way to pick up clubhead speed. The three T’s: technique, training, and over my head, but in simple terms, less spin makes the ball go far, technology. no spin makes the ball go nowhere, and too much spin prevents the ball from rolling and makes it go too high. All of these factors Technique: can be controlled with the correct shaft for your swing speed. The I heard Hank Haney make a comment about clubhead speed correct shaft and loft of the clubhead will provide you with the that makes a lot of sense. “Swing the club faster, not harder.” We correct launch angle. A simple way to understand launch angle are trying to get the clubhead to move faster, yet I see so many is this: remember when you were a kid in the backyard squirting players grip the club so tight that I can see their veins popping your friends with a water hose? You put your thumb over the end of out of their arms at address. Try loosening up on the grip pressure the hose and the water came out faster. You held the hose parallel and try to swing the clubhead freely around you. As a drill, take to the ground and the water shot out a certain distance. As you an alignment stick and swing it and hear the “swoosh” sound as pointed the hose up, the water went further, until you pointed it it swings around you. This is how freely we would like to swing so high that the water went shorter. Where the water went furthest the club. Grip the stick firmly and you will see how difficult it is was the maximum launch angle. This is what you are looking for to get the speed to create the sound. To demonstrate light grip out of your drives. The computer will be able to tell you what your pressure, I saw a teacher hit balls and at impact, let the club go. best launch angle and spin ratio are for your golf swing. Using the Their club went down the range. When I tried it, I threw the club computer technology is the best way to know you are buying a twenty yards behind me. Luckily it did not hit anybody. Do not try driver that fits your swing. this anywhere but in an open field with no one around. This drill gets the clubhead swinging, plus teaches you to release the club Training: down your target line for straighter shots. I probably would not This is the part that we don’t want to do. We all would rather try this around your house, or with plate glass windows nearby. buy a golf game than have to work for one. But core strength and flexibility are key factors in hitting the ball further. There are plenty Technology: of golf sites, exercise DVD’s, and exercise programs for you, that I am in the golf business and I have a hard time understanding you can do right at home, to help you achieve more core strength the new technology. Is it possible that every year companies can and flexibility. In the long run, for most of us, this is how we are come out with a new driver that can hit the ball another 10 to going to hit the ball further. I hope this gives you some insight on 20 yards further than the year before? Somehow I find this hard hitting it further. One more tip: come try us ou at Maggie Valley to believe. I try out the new equipment each year and I do no Club and Resort. The ball goes further in higher elevations. Tell the seem to pick up any distance. Why? Probably because year to staff Buster and the Laurel sent you to get your special discount.

Tee’d Off

The Three Ts to Distance



June 2016

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June 2016



June 2016

June 2016


Cover Artist Ed Poss The Blank Canvas


llow me to set the scene. The year is 1967; Mary George Poss is an artist and wife of Realtor Ed Poss. Mary George, not being an early bird is sleeping while Ed is watching the sunrise and drinking his second cup of coffee. In the corner by the window is an easel with a blank canvas sitting on it. Ed keeps glancing in that direction. The next thing you know Ed is squeezing tubes of paint onto a palette and has a palette knife in his hand. Not really sure how to mix colors he layers them blending with the tool. An image begins to emerge on the canvas, a very different style than his bride but art none the less. Two gladiators with swords drawn in shades of brown and rich sienna. Ed’s son Scott talked of his Dad painting in sprees sometimes decades apart. Like most artists, Ed finds painting a stress reliever. He paints what he likes and whatever inspires him. He told me that during his “politicking” years he would stop in general stores in rural communities and there would always be men around a potbellied stove. He was intrigued by those conversations, thus it made its way onto a canvas. One of my favorites of Ed Poss’ paintings was inspired by the Mountain City Playhouse perhaps in the 1970s. The colors and textures are bold and rich with shades of red, yellow and purple. Ed paints primarily with a palette knife rather than a brush. I asked what type of paint he preferred, oil, or acrylic? His reply was, “whatever Mary George has in the drawer.” Mary George Poss’ art is very recognizable and she has painted for many years. I asked Ed if she has ever offered instruction or tips to him. “Never,” Ed said, “I am so far beneath her she never messed with me.” I suspect that being an artist Mary George appreciated Ed’s art. Ed Poss’ art strikes me as Abstract Expressionism or Fauvism. His art is similar to artist Henri Matisse who once said, “What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject-matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.” Ed enjoys cooking and is the chief cook and bottle washer in the lovely townhouse where he and Mary George reside. Most recently Ed painted his Roosters and the Mountain Laurel that is on our cover. Ed still works in his office at ReMax of Rabun where his paintings are also on display along with those of wife Mary George. He jokes that it’s Mary George’s gallery and he has a few of his there too. “I paint what I like; if people like it that’s great and if not, well, that’s alright too,” stated Ed. I personally do like his art and hope he keeps painting. I image the easel still sits ready for either artist to open the drawer and put paint to canvas.


June 2016

June 2016


Finding Art


June 2016

June 2016


Lewis Hinely

Jo Mitchell

Nancy Sue Boutillette Lewis Hinely

Paula Van Huss


June 2016

Gail Watson

Alan Zartar

Continuing the Tradition…

Deborah Weinelt

The North Georgia Arts Guild Presents The 2nd Annual Painted Fern Festival of Art July 9 and July 10, 2016 By Randy Sells


ow in its 10th year, NGAG’s signature fine arts summer event has found a new home in downtown Clayton at the Rabun County Civic Center. This popular event began as Art at the Lake in 2007 and continues the tradition of presenting unique art and fine crafts of local artists. Paintings, traditional and contemporary, landscape or abstract; pottery and ceramics, functional, decorative or both; fiber arts for fun, for color, for function; jewelry crafted of copper, fused or beaded glass, wire or silver; photography; mosaics and sculpture. The range of art is as wide as the creative talents of the 40+ exhibitors at the Painted Fern Festival of Art. Visitors are encouraged to meet the artists and artisans; get to know how their creations came to be; take away a new knowledge or start a new friendship with a kindred spirit.

Carolyn Simmons

With the Civic Center as the new home for the Guild’s annual event, shoppers and participants alike will benefit from the very accessible location, abundant free parking and air-conditioned comfort in a gallery-like setting. Continuing the traditions of the event, admission is free, food and drink will available for purchase and complimentary wine will be served at the hospitality table. The second annual Painted Fern Festival of Art begins Saturday, July 9 from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM and continues Sunday, July 10, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Rabun County Civic Center, 201 West Savannah Street, Clayton. Susan Morehead

June 2016


Read. Unwritten. Unbecoming. Now!


By John Shivers

ant to hide something?” Caroline Blaine Reese asked one of her subordinates. “Hide it somewhere in plain sight.” Her own life was similarly structured, which explains, at least in part, why those closest to her are unable to pin down who she is, or exactly what she does. Or why she does it. And in the darkest hours of the night, especially when thunder rumbles and heavenly fireworks explode, even Caroline can’t answer all the questions. The slogan for a favorite chewing gum once proclaimed, “double the pleasure, double the fun” and the same could be said for Monica Collier’s two books Unwritten and Unbecoming, that tell Caroline’s story. When you finish the first, you’re oh so thankful you don’t have to abruptly say goodbye. Unbecoming is scheduled for release June 1st and Unwritten is being re-released in paperback. Unwritten was Monica’s first novel, although she’s been writing short stories and articles since age eleven. Writing provided an outlet while she was sidelined with an injury and, in the process, she became more enamored of her craft. So enamored and so proficient is this Franklin, NC native, she’s crossed genre lines with great finesse. It’s difficult to imprison these two books into one specific interest area. With the relationship theme that runs throughout both books, including several very tastefullywritten but nevertheless expressive, sometimes steamy, scenes of marital intimacy, the stories definitely qualify as chick lit. But the entire saga is set against a background of US Naval service, military protocol, treason, espionage, secret agents and threats to national security and ordinary people. So expertly are those aspects written, so believably is the story staged against military integrity, there’s enough meat and potatoes here to satisfy even the most gung-ho of guys. Yet throughout the good and the bad, the ups and downs, runs a thread of the God whose grace protects and guides, and promises to be there for Caroline and company, no matter what. Talk about inspirational fiction! To understand Caroline, a North Carolina wine grower, trainer of military pilots, who loves David Reese and has killed 131 people on the QT, you have to understand, in the parlance of US covert undercover operations, she’s a “spook”. If you want a more clearly-defined explanation, you’ll just have to read the books. Suffice to say, Caroline’s military affiliation is all entwined in the alphabet soup jargon so prevalent in bureaucracy and counter-terrorism. Monica’s depiction of the military, its unique lingo, customs and mandates, has both depth and breadth. It should. Her dad is a Vietnam veteran in the 101rst Airborne, and her initial plunge into the pool of everything military began with him. That gave her the springboard to research and write the story that originally came to her at the Biltmore Estate in 2001. That research included picking the brains of actors in the TV programs JAG and NCIS. She’s also talking movie rights with Hollywood for the finished books. “You have to live to write, and you never know who will cross your path or how they will affect you,” she explains, when asked how she comes by her material. “I write some each day… blog… journal… new storyline… work already in progress.” She goes on to point out that grace and inspiration are two very necessary elements. “If I’m quiet in God’s presence, and enjoy walking around in what He has created, I get inspired.” Music also provides that needed nudge and direction, and her novels have soundtracks. Check out her web site One very unique aspect of these two books, and more are planned, is the one-word title for each. The last word in each book provides the title, but you’ll have to read all the words before it, to truly grasp the story. “My hook is the last word in the novel,” Monica says. “In it lies the title. I know how I want my storyline to end from the very beginning of the writing process.” Unwritten. Unbecoming. Two easy-reading books, but with fully-fleshed out storylines that keep the reader turning those pages. The biggest travesty that could befall these two books would be for them to be unread! Both Unwritten and Unbecoming are available as e-books for Kindle through Amazon. Hard copy books are available through your favorite bookseller, and from or from the publisher at


June 2016

Finding Art

June 2016


North Georgia Community Players On Stage Doublewide Texas – Dream Big, Live Large


By Sharon Purdy

n this hilarious and fast-paced comedy, the inhabitants of one of the smallest trailer parks in Texas are thrown for a loop when they realize the nearby town of Tugaloo is determined to annex them. These friends, enemies and neighbors realize they’ll have to work together to defeat the encroaching annexation if they and their way of life have a snowball’s chance to survive being swallowed up by “the big guys”. The rollicking mayhem of this flat-out funny Jones Hope Wooten comedy escalates as the residents attempt to secede from Texas, discover a traitor in their midst and turn the tables in a surprising and side-splitting finale. Mark your calendars; you will not want to miss this production by the North Georgia Community Players. Show dates and times are: June 3rd, 4th, 10th and 11th at 7:00 PM and June 5th and 12th at 3:00 PM. The home of the North Georgia Community Players is The Dillard Playhouse located at 892 Franklin Street in Dillard, Georgia. For information on this production and others planned this summer and the NGCP Kid’s Drama Camp visit


Cast of Characters Jovetta Crumpler - passed over for ANOTHER promotion. Caprice Crumpler (her mother) feisty - can always be found at the bar. Baby Crumpler (her brother) - taking his participation in a womanless beauty pageant WAY TOO FAR. Georgia Dean Rudd (her best friend) - struggling to keep her diner afloat and just can’t curb her impulse to take in every stray critter that wanders by. Big Ethel Satterwhite - tough ole’ girl who’s continually frustrated by her clients at the Stairway To Heaven Retirement Village. OC Satterwhite (her husband) - Shows far more affection for his Barcalounger than for Ethel. Haywood Sloggett - the curmudgeon from across the road. City Manager - smooth talker. Mayor’s Wife - high maintenance type of lady.

June 2016

Summer Happenings - June and July, 2016 STEPHENS COUNTY June 1st and each Wednesday and Saturday through October Stephens County Farmers’ Market Corner of Pond and Tugalo Toccoa Info: 706.282.3309 June 4th Stephens County Historical Society D-Day Run and Events Camp Toccoa at Currahee Info: 706.282.5055 June 4th 1st Annual Currahee Cornhole Challenge Doyle Street Toccoa Info: 706.886.2132 June 11th and the second Saturday of the month through October Sage Market Corner of Pond and Tugalo Toccoa Info: 706.282.3309 June 11 and the second Saturday of the month Second Saturday Historic Downtown Toccoa Info: 706.886.2132 th

Ida Cox Music Series Downtown Toccoa Info: June 4th Toccoa Jazz June 11th The Heap

The Schafer Center Toccoa Info: June 2nd and each Thursday through July Summer Movies June 10th; July 8th Southern Gospel Jubilee Concert HABERSHAM COUNTY June 4th and each Saturday Clarkesville Farmers’ Market Old Clarkesville Mill Clarkesville Info: 706.778.9374 June 10th Coach Cave Memorial Golf Tournament The Orchard Golf and Country Club Clarkesville Info: 706.778.4654 June 17th and the third Friday of the month Friday Night Live Downtown Clarkesville Info: 706.754.2220 June 20th Introduction to Genealogy Clarkesville Public Library Clarkesville Info: 706.886.6082 July 9th Cornelia BEACH BASH Splash Park, Depot Parking Lot Cornelia Info: 706.778.8585

June 18th Second Time Around

Habersham Community Theatre Clarkesville Info:

June 25 Tugalo Hollar

June 10th Movies on Main: “Mamma Mia”

July 2nd Clemson Jazz Band

June 18th Summer Concert: Steve McKee

July 9th Seven Day Weekend

July 21st - 24th, 28th - 31st “Shrek the Musical”


July 16th Delta Cane July 23rd Clay Leverett July 30th James Brown Cover Band


Grant Street Music Room Old Clarkesville Mill Clarkesville Info: 706.754.3541 June 11th 80’s Rock Night with Massive, Terratonic, Donnie Matheson

June 2016

June 25th An Evening with MELONFUNKY July 23rd Joe Olds Band WHITE COUNTY June 2nd – 4th 43rd Annual Helen-Atlantic Hot Air Balloon Race Helen Info: 706.878.2271 June 2nd – 5th 16th Annual US Riders New Reunion Run & 11th Annual Southeast Victory Run Helen Info: 478.237.3761 June 3rd and each Tuesday and Friday through August Bingo Helen Festhalle, Helen Info: 706.878.1908 June 11th Shriners’ Parade Downtown Helen Info: 706.878.2181 June 12th and the second Sunday of the month Reserve Wine Tasting Yonah Mountain Vineyards Cleveland Info: 706.878.5522 June 18th – 19th Woods & Water Craft Show Unicoi Lodge Helen Info: 706.897.6179 June 25th – 26th Father / Son Weekend Unicoi State Park Helen Info: 706.878.2201

at Sautee Village Sautee Info: 706.878.0144 June 3rd and the first Friday of the month First Friday Music Pickin’ June 15th Yappy Hour Sautee Nacoochee Center Sautee Info: 706.878.3300 June 3rd – 4th Unicoi Wine Trail Festival Weekend June 3rd – 5th and each Friday - Sunday Discovery Tours June 17th – 18th The Hollar Games July 22nd – 23rd Auntie Q and Her Wayward Girls A Variety Show Gone Awry July 9th The Vivants BabyLand General Cleveland Info: 706.865.2171 June 18th Cabbage Patch Tea Party July 11th – 15th, 18th – 22nd T-Shirt Workshop Smithgall Woods Cleveland Info: 706.878.3087 June 4th and each Saturday First Visit Tours June 18th; July 16th Youth Fish Day at Buck Shoals

July 4th Annual 4th of July Fireworks Behind the Helen Welcome Center Helen Info: 706.878.2181

June 20th – 24th The Science of Nature Camp

July 14th “All About Animals” Art Exhibit Opening and Reception Helen Arts & Heritage Center Helen Info: 706.878.3933

July 25th – 29th Eco-Kids Camp: Caring for the Winged Onex (ages 6-14)

July 11th – 15th All About BUGS Camp (ages 4-6)

Saturday Evening Concert Series Unicoi State Park & Lodge Helen Info: 706.878.2201 June 4th The Yonah Pickers June 11th George Hergen June 18th Bill Rinaldo June 25th Jerry Patterson July 2nd Wallace Band July 9 TBD


July 16th Witness for Him July 23rd Front Porch Gliders July 30th The Band Delly North Georgia Zoo & Farm Cleveland Info: 706.348.7279 June 14th; July 12th Mommy and Me at the Zoo June 3rd, 10th; July 1st, 8th Family Night Friday June 18th and the third Sunday of the Month Behind the Scenes Tour June 18th – 19th Celebrating Fathers July 2nd – 4th 4th of July Celebration July 8th – 11th Christmas in July July 9 Sunset Tours th

July 25th – 27th Junior Zookeeper Day Camp July 27th – 29th Boys’ Overnight Teen Camp RABUN COUNTY June 3rd – 5th, 10th – 12th “Double Wide, Texas!” North Georgia Community Players Dillard Playhouse Dillard Info: June 4th and each Saturday Simply Homegrown Farmers’ Market Clayton City Hall Complex Clayton Info:

July 3rd 4th of July Wooden Boat Parade Mathis Dam to Big Basin, Lake Rabun Lakemont Info:

June 4th The Mountain Ivy Garden Club’s Plant/Bake/Yard Sale The Rock House Clayton Info: 706.782.9203

July 3rd 4th of July Fireworks at Lake Rabun Lake Rabun Dam Lakemont Info:

June 10th – 11th 10th Annual Flower, Garden and Liturgical Arts Festival St. James Episcopal Church Clayton Info: 706.782.6179 June 16th North Georgia Arts Guild presents “The Story of an Art Quilter” with Kay Donges UGA Extension Rabun County Conference Room, Main Street Clayton Info: June 18th Rabun County Recreation Department 2nd Annual Rec Shootout Kingwood Country Club & Resort Clayton Info: 706.782.4600 June 25th “Foxglove” Foxfire Museum & Heritage Center Mountain City Info: 706.746.5828

July 3rd 4th of July BBQ & Fireworks Sky Valley Pavilion Sky Valley Info: 706.212.0241 July 4 4th of July Parade and Cookout Sky Valley Pavilion Sky Valley Info: 706.212.0241 th

July 16th Clayton Crawl Downtown Clayton Info: July 9th – 10th Painted Fern Festival Rabun County Civic Center Clayton Info: 706.839.7185

June 25th Blackberries and Bluegrass Festival Hillside Orchard Farms Tiger Info: 706.782.2776

July 23rd Food Bank of NE GA Grand Opening Of the Mtn. Distribution Center, Food Hub & Teaching Kitchen Info: 706.960.9207

June 25th – 26th 5th Annual Georgia Mountains Farm Tour 2016 Farms around Rabun County Info: 706.212.0241

July 29th – 30th Garlic Fest Rock House and the Clayton Municipal Complex, Clayton Info:

July 1st – 2nd Folk on the Mountain Festival Foxfire Museum & Heritage Center Mountain City Info: 706-746-5828 July 1st – 3rd Luau Weekend for Independence Day River Vista RV Park Dillard Info: 706.746.2722 July 2nd 4th of July Fireworks at Lake Burton South End of Billy Goat Island Clayton Info: 706.212.0241 July 2nd The Rabun Ramble 5k & 10k Lake Rabun Pavilion, Lake Rabun Road Lakemont Info:

Rabun County Music Festival Rearden Theater Rabun Gap Info: June 19th Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

June 18th and the third Saturday of the month Nature Hike Rabun Arena Tiger Info: 706.212.0452 June 4th Little Britches Rodeo June 11th – 12th; July 9th – 10th Junior Rodeo June 25th – 26th Wateree Cutting Horse Show July 15th – 17th Dogwood Jack Russell Terrier Club Show July 23rd Georgia Walking Horse Exhibitors’ Association July 29th – 30th Carolina Youth Rodeo Tallulah Gorge State Park Tallulah Falls Info: 706.754.7981 June 1st, 15th, 29th; July 6th, 20th Slackline 101 June 5th; July 5th, 17th Sunrise Hike June 11th, 25th; July 23rd Witches Head Hike June 18th; July 16th Hidden Gem Hiking Series June 19th; July 18th Full Moon Paddle June 20th; July 19th Full Moon Suspension Bridge Hike June 22nd; July 13th Family Paddle July 2nd – 4th; July 10th Gorge Floor Hike July 9th Hike Bike Bash

July 10th Paul Byrom


July 17th Antsy McClain

June 3rd – 5th North Georgia Highlands Seafood Festival Mayors Park Young Harris Info: 706.897.6179

July 31st Married to Broadway Hambidge Center Rabun Gap Info: 706.746.5718 June 4th and the First Saturday of the Month Grist Mill Visits

June 4th – 5th Home & Garden Show The Event Center at Fieldstone Young Harris Info: 855.321.2110; 828.321.2111


June 2016


Summer Happenings - June and July, 2016 June 18th; July 16th US Coast Guard Auxiliary Safe Boating Classes Old 911 Center on Jack Dayton Circle Young Harris Info: 706.896.3167; 404.304.7068 July 16th Georgia Mountain Fair Parade Main Street Hiawassee Info: 706.896.4191 Music on the Square Town Square Hiawassee Info: 706.896.4966, 800.984.1543 June 4th The Bauman Family June 11th Bill Rinaldo June 17th; July 16th Paul Constantine June 18th Shady Grove June 25 Bonnie Ridge Bluegrass th

July 2nd Holman Autry Band July 9th Gnarly Fingers July 23rd Greg and Spencer July 30 “Music Legends” th

Crane Creek Vineyards Young Harris Info: 706.379.1235 June 4th and each Saturday Winery Tour July 2nd Bulletproof in Concert Rollins Planetarium Young Harris College Young Harris Info: 706.379.5195 June 17th “Solar Quest & Aurora System” July 1st “Summer Laser Jam” “American Pride Laser Spectacular”

Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds Hiawassee Info: 706.896.4191 June 2nd – 3rd Greater Atlanta British Motorcycle Assoc. June 11th Appalachian Wine, Music and Art Festival June 17th Lynyrd Skynyrd in Concert July 2nd Little River Band in Concert July 4th Fireworks Celebration July 15th – 23rd Georgia Mountain Fair

July 17th Jerry Goff, McKameys, Primitives, Archie Watkins & Smokey Mtn. Reunion in Concert July 18th Connie Smith in Concert July 19th Bellamy Brothers in Concert July 20th Gibson Brothers in Concert July 21 Doyle Lawson & Quick Silver Grascals, Roy & Lizzy in Concert st

July 22nd Shenandoah in Concert July 23 The Associations in Concert rd

July 29 – 30 Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruize-In th

UNION COUNTY June 1st and each Wednesday BINGO Haralson Memorial Civic Center Blairsville Info: 678.630.0452 June 2nd and each Thursday Trivia at the View View Grill at the Butternut Creek Golf Course, Blairsville Info: 706.439.6054

July 22nd; 29th “Solar Quest & Aurora System”


June 4th and each Tuesday and Saturday Union County Farmers’ Market Old Smokey Road Blairsville Info: 706.439.6043 June 4th and each Saturday Paradise Hills Concert Series Paradise Hills Winery, Resort & Spa Blairsville Info: 877.745.7483 June 10 and the second Friday of the month Writers’ Night Out Union County Community Center Blairsville Info: 877.745.5789 th

July 16th Exile in Concert


June 3rd and each Friday Trash and Treasure at the Union County Farmers’ Market Old Smokey Road Blairsville Info: 706.439.6043

June 2016

June 11th – 12th Scottish Festival and Highland Games Meeks Park, Blairsville Info: 706.745.5789 June 18th and the third Saturday of the month through October Cruise-In on the Square Downtown Courthouse Square Blairsville Info: 706.745.5789 June 25th – 26th 10th Annual Mountain Fling North Georgia Technical College Blairsville Info: 706.896.0923 July 2nd Lake Nottely Boat Parade US Hwy. 10/129 N Blairsville Info: 706.745.3638 July 4th Independence Day Fireworks Over Meeks Park, Blairsville Info: 706.745.5789 July 4 Independence Day Festivities Vogel State Park Blairsville Info: 706.745.2628 th

July 5th and each Tuesday and Thursday through October Canning Plant Union County Farmers’ Market Blairsville Info: 706.439.6043

July 16th – 17th 18th Annual Butternut Creek Festival Meeks Park Blairsville Info: 706.781.1221 July 17th Southern Gospel Concert – The Perry’s First United Methodist Church Blairsville Info: 706.745.2073 July 23rd Green Bean Festival Union County Farmers’ Market Blairsville Info: 706.781.8802 Georgia Mountain Research & Education Center, Blairsville Info: 706.745.2655 June 4th Nature Inspires Garden Tour June 6th and each Monday (Excluding Federal Holidays) Guided Garden Tour July 8th Seminar: Is There an Apothecary in Your Garden? Friday Night Concert Series Historic Courthouse Blairsville Info: 706.745.5493 June 3rd Peach Mountain Gang June 10th Bob Valentine and Colin Grant-Adams June 17th Without Pearls June 24th Shady Grove Bluegrass Band July 1st - Bill Graff July 8th - Jim Wood July 15th Roots and Branches July 22nd Cedar Grove Grass July 29th - Wade Powell III Rock Creek Fishing Hatchery Suches Info: 706.838.4723 June 3rd Seniors Fishing Rodeo June 4th Family Fishing Rodeo continued

Summer Happenings - June and July, 2016 Copperhead Lodge Blairsville Info: 706.835.7433 June 4th; July 16th One Night Stand Band June 18th Mike Watson Band June 24th David Phelps July 2nd Mike Watson Band July 8th Reservoir Dogs July 22nd Paul Constantine CLAY COUNTY, NC June 1st and each Wednesday through October Brasstown Farmers’ Market Old Highway 64 Brasstown Info: 828.360.2498

June 3rd and each Friday Music Night Eagle Fork Vineyards Hayesville Info: 828.389.8466

July 8th – 9th Festival on the Square Hayesville Info: 828.389.2121

June 4th 16th Annual Car-B-Que On the Square Hayesville Info: June 4th and each Saturday through October Hayesville Saturday Market Old Courthouse Square Hayesville Info: 863.287.4482 June 4th Tool Box Bash Habitat for Humanity Immaculate Heart of Mary Church Hayesville Info: 706.745.5789 July 2nd Celebration Rodeo 4637 Downings Creek Road Hayesville Info: 706.897.0956

Friday Night Concert Series Hayesville Square Hayesville Info: 828.389.2121 June 17th- Paul Constantine June 24th Bonnie Ridge Blue Grass July 1 The Caribbean Cowboys st

July 15th- Stone Cold Country July 22nd - Just Us, Bluegrass July 29th - Lee Holland Licklog Players 34 Creekside Circle Hayesville Info: 828.389.8632 June 10th – 12th & 17th – 19th “Till Death Do Us Part”

July 22nd – 24th, 29th – 31st “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers” Peacock Performing Arts Center Hayesville Info: 828.389.2787 June 3rd – 5th & 10th – 12th “Annie July 9th Songwriters Showcase 15 John C. Campbell Folk School Brasstown Info: 828.837.2775; 800.FOLKSCH June 3rd - Pressley Sisters June 17th Cornbread Ted & The Butterbeans June 11th Annual Gala & Benefit Auction June 24th Steve Hickman & John Devine July 1st - Chuck Nation Band July 9th Shape Note Singing MACON COUNTY, NC June 12th Horse Show Macon County Fairgrounds Franklin Info: 828.524.3267 June 2nd Rotary Club of Highlands Bingo Night Highlands Community Building Highlands Info: 828.526.2112 June 3rd Smoky Mtn. Shrine Gem’s Annual Yard Sale Shrine Building, Franklin Info: 828.342.7535 June 4th Pickin’ on the Square Downtown Franklin Info: 828.524.2516 June 9th – 12th Highlands Motoring Festival Kelsey-Hutchinson Park Highlands Info: June 11th Special Operations Adventure Race Highlands Rec Park and Civic Center Highlands Info: 828.526.2112


June 2016

June 16th – 19th Taste of Scotland Festival Downtown Franklin Info: June 18th – 19th Highlands Village Square Arts and Crafts Show Highlands Plaza Highlands Info: 828.787.2021

July 4th Rotary of Highlands Independence Day BBQ Kelsey Hutchinson Park Highlands Info: 828.526.2112 July 16th Appalachian Heritage Festival Downtown Franklin Info: 828.524.7766

June 18th Low Country Shrimp Boil Kelsey Hutchinson Park Highlands Info: 828.526.2112

July 27th – 31st Highlands Road Gem Show Highlands Road Franklin Info: 828.369.6341

June 20th Pawsitively Purrfect Party The County Club of Sapphire Valley Highlands Info: 828.743.5750

July 28th – 31st 51st Annual Macon County Gemboree Franklin Info: 828.524.3161

June 25th SMPCC’s Bluegrass at the Barn Fundraising Concert / Silent Auction Bloemsma Barn Franklin Info: 828.349.3200 July 4th 4th of July Parade Downtown Franklin Info: 828.524.2516 July 4 4th of July Fireworks in the Park Macon County Recreation Park Franklin Info: 828.524.3161 th

July 4 Independence Day Celebration Downtown Highlands Info: 828.526.2112 th

Cowee School Franklin Info: June 18th Blue Wheel Drive July 16th Becky Buller Band Smoky Mountain Center for Performing Arts Franklin Info: 866.273.4615; 828.524.1598 June 3 Johnny Rivers rd

June 4th Ms. Patti’s Entertainment Tonight June 17th - 18th Betsy’s School of Dance 2016 Recital continued

June 2016

Plan Now to Attend

Georgia Mountain Fair July 15th – 23rd Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds Hiawassee 706.896.4191


Summer Happenings - June and July, 2016 June 24th David Phelps June 30th Mountain Voices July 1 Neal McCoy st

July 15th – 16th, 22nd – 23rd Disney’s The Little Mermaid, the Broadway Musical July 28 Folkmoot th

July 30 An Evening with Kelly Pickler th

Martin Lipscomb Performing Arts Center Highlands Info: 828.526.9047 June 17th – 18th Travis LeDoyt... The Best Young Elvis June 25th Guy Bavli Mentalist and Illusionist


The Bascom Highlands Info: 828.526.4949

July 6th Interlude Concert Robert Shaw Celebration

Highlands Playhouse Highlands Info: 828.526.2695

June 25th Family Day at the Bascom

July 7th, 28th Bach at Bucks Buck’s Coffee Cafe

June 23rd – July 9th Chicago

July 14th – 17th Mountains in Bloom Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival Martin Lipscomb Performing Art Center, Highlands Info: 828.526.9060 June 19th - Opening Concert June 26th Champagne & Chopin Concert June 29th Picnic Concert at the Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park July 1st, 3rd, 8th, 10th, 15th, 17th, July 22nd, 24th, 29th, 31st Highlands Cashiers Chamber Music Festival Concert

June 2016

July 12th Family Concert and Ice Cream Social Highlands Presbyterian Church Friday Night Live Town Square Highlands Info: 828.526.2112 June 3rd; July 15th Tallulah River Band

July 10th - Bubbles and BBQ July 14th – 30th Rogers & Hammerstein’s: A Grand Night for Singing Saturdays on Pine Kelsey-Hutchinson Park Highlands Info: 828.526.2112 June 11th - The WellStrung Band

June 10th; July 8th Southern Highlands

June 18th Goldie and The Screamers

June 17th Mountain Dulcimer Group

June 25th - Joe Lashers Jr.

June 24 ; July 29 Johnny Webb Band th


July 1st, 22nd Concert - Performers TBA

July 2nd - Fish Out of Water July 9th - Lyric July 16th - High 5 July 23rd Andrew Scotchie & The River Rats

Grow-Cook-Eat Farm & Food Tours


xplore Rabun County with us as we travel around the county tasting, talking and experiencing why Rabun County is the Farm to Table Capital of Georgia on the inaugural season of the GrowCook-Eat Farm & Food Tours. In 2015 the State House of Representatives designated Rabun County as the Farm to Table Capital of Georgia and we are excited to offer these wonderful Farm & Food Tours. The Grow-Cook-Eat tours will showcase a variety of special tour participants. Each tour will be different from the rest. Be sure to take a look at each tour, plan to come and join us on several. All tours begin at 9:45 AM from the North Georgia Food Bank at 46 Plaza Way, Clayton, Georgia. June 16th – Stops include: Barker’s Creek Mill, Andy’s Trout Farm, 12 Spies Vineyard, Tomlin’s BBQ, Kudzu Factory and Food Bank of Northeast Georgia – Teaching Kitchen. July 28th – Stops include: Stack Farms, Mill Gap Farms, Stonewall Creek Vineyards, Meadow Mountain Day Lilies, Old School Community Garden, Fromage & Other Fine Foods, Food Bank of Northeast Georgia – Teaching Kitchen Tours are set for August 18th and September 15th but the itineraries for these tours have not been announced at this time.

To make a reservation call 706.982.4754. All reservations must be made and secured in advance. Debit/ Credit Cards will be accepted over the phone. The tour is $100 for each participant. Gratuities are not included but appreciated. Transportation for the Grow-CookEat Farm & Food Tours will be provided by Scenic Mountain Tours. You can get more information about their service at

June 2016

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. Joseph Chilton Pearce


Rhapsody in Rabun - Rally for the Red The Headliners

By Lee Parham

Billy Howe started playing the trumpet as a child and studied music at Morehead State University, graduating in 1980 and taking his first job at Kings Island Theme Park in Ohio. Over the next few years, he worked with several bands before joining The Headliners in 1985. Mark Husbands is a multi-talented musician and percussionist and a top-notch recording and mixing engineer. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, and spent years touring in the United States, Japan, Europe and the Middle East. He became a member of The Headliners in 1988 as a drummer and singer. George Slone began playing guitar in 1968 at a local bar in his hometown of Mascotte, Florida. He played at many clubs and bars in the 70’s and after graduating high school, toured with various bands around the United States. The Headliners welcomed George in 1985.


et ready for Monday, September 12, 2016 - you don’t want to miss this year’s Rhapsody in Rabun gala event! The theme this year is “Rally for the Red”, with proceeds benefitting the Rabun County Athletic Booster Club. Come and help support the student athletes while enjoying The Headliners, one of the most requested bands in the Southeast. Performing over 200 nights a year, this five piece horn band plays hits from the 40’s through the 90’s, entertaining fans of Big Band, Classic Rock and Roll, Beach Music, Motown, Disco and more! The band consists of five vocalists, a horn section, bass guitar, multiple keyboards and drums. The band members include Larry Perigo, Billy Howe, Mark Husbands, George Slone and Steve White. Larry Perigo began his singing career in 1963 and established his band The General Assembly Show in 1969. This band became a part of the Phil Harris Show in Las Vegas, which also included featured artist Frank Sinatra, Jr. Larry started The Headliners in 1973 as a four piece band, and the band grew as popularity and demand increased.


June 2016

Steve White became interested in music as a child and joined his first band at the age of 13. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1975, and made music his full time job and did several overseas tours to entertain the troops. Steve met The Headliners in Hilton Head in 1984 and joined the band soon after. Come meet the band on September 12th; listen to their long playlist and enjoy old favorites such as Heard it Through the Grapevine, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Help me Rhonda, Runaround Sue and Margaritaville, while also having fun dancing to newer tunes such as Happy, Uptown Funk and Wagon Wheel. They’ll sing some classics such as The Way You Look Tonight, When a Man Loves a Woman and Desperado, and have you swinging to Carolina Beach Music with songs like Double-shot of My Baby’s Love, Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy and Carolina Girls. Join The Headliners for a night of fun, food, and dancing while helping make a difference in the lives of our student athletes. Reservations and donations can be made online at or by contacting rhapsodyinrabun@ for a printed reservation form. Make plans now and buy your tickets early! Rally for the Red!

June 2016


Rabun Music Festival Summer 2016 Season Opens with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra


he Rabun County Music Festival Association has planned another season of great musical entertainment. The concert series gets underway on June 19th with the annual “Special Performance” by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. A generous contribution from United Community Bank helps the Rabun County Music Festival Association board of directors bring the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to Rabun County for the 13th consecutive season. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs more than 200 concerts each year for a combined audience of more than a half million in a full schedule of performances which also feature educational and community concerts such as ours in Rabun County. Five concerts are scheduled throughout the summer: Sunday, June 19th at 4:00 PM – Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Sunday, July 10th at 4:00 PM – Paul Byrom, Irish tenor and former soloist with “Celtic Thunder” Sunday, July 17th at 4:00 PM – Antsy McClain and the Troubs, singer, songwriter and humorist Sunday, July 31st at 4:00 PM – Married to Broadway, audience favorites from Broadway shows Sunday, August 14th at 4:00 PM – Emile Pandolfi, piano soloist and entertainer All concerts are at the Rearden Theater on the campus of Rabun Gap Nacoochee School in Rabun Gap, Georgia. Tickets for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert are $35. Individual tickets for all other concerts are $25. Season tickets for all five concerts in the summer series are $120. Tickets will be on sale at: Rabun County Welcome Center Macon County (NC) Chamber of Commerce in Franklin At the door/Rearden Theater on the day of the concert Online at the website:

Antsy McClain


In addition to bringing top music professionals to our community, the Rabun County Music Festival Association is committed to providing scholarships to Rabun County seniors who wish to pursue their education in the visual or performing arts. The generous support of our benefactors and sponsors is vital to our ability to continue to bring high quality performers to Rabun County and to award more scholarships to deserving students. Ticket sales alone cannot sustain our mission. The Rabun County Music Festival Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. See our website www. and click “Donate” to make a contribution.

June 2016

Emile Pandolfi

June 2016


Bless Your Hearts

True Story and True Love – Nick and Jamy Written by Lisa Harris Photography by Jamie Kathleen Photography


he had her eyes on him and within days he had her number and her heart. Jamy, a vibrant and beautiful petite blonde hairdresser with a heart for the Lord, her family and Nick Teasley. Jamy grew up the daughter of a United Methodist preacher Jim McCollough along with her lovely and charming (look alike) mom Amy and sisters Ali, Jean-Ann and Amanda. Jamy, as the preacher’s daughter has lived in many places but the last eight years have been in Augusta.

This young love began 4 1/2 years ago and on July 11, 2015 Nick proposed, dropping to his knee with her parents, Jim & Amy, looking on. Nick had sent a picture of the ring he wanted to give Jamy to her parents, and it was a beautiful choice. But, Amy knew that Jamy had always had her eye on her grandmother Hilda Hampton, aka Mimi’s engagement ring. A stunning solitaire diamond in a square setting. Not only was it vintage (which was Jamy’s heart) but it had such meaning to her. Amy offered the ring to Nick and he was profoundly touched saying, “To have this legacy of love in a ring as we start our marriage is a blessing.” Nick grew up in Augusta, and was raised by his grandmother whom he now cares for. A talented mechanic with a servant’s heart. Nick Teasley is described as a young man that conducts both his personal and business life with great integrity. Jamy’s dad, Rev. Jim has laughed saying he has never been a DIY’er, but Nick has taught this non-mechanical preacher how to work on a car. Definitely grateful for the new skills, but we’re sure he’s secretly hoping his new son-inlaw will take over the maintenance of the family cars!


June 2016

The proposal took place one early morning at Avail Salon where Jamy is employed. Nick dropped to one knee, asked her to be his wife and then placed the beloved vintage ring on her left hand just as Jamy’s grandfather Douglas Wade Hampton did for her Mimi, over 65 years ago. Jamy’s parents, Jim & Amy also have their own tightly bound love story. Indeed, the newlyweds are following a strong heritage of time honored love and commitment. There was no question where the wedding would take place. The couple loved the down-to-earth atmosphere and the intimate feeling Kingwood Golf Resort in Clayton gave. This was also where her parents had purchased a condo for their enjoyment and future retirement. Jamy and Nick chose to marry outside in a beautiful, lush courtyard underneath the arbor. Jamy was breathtaking in her fit and flared wedding dress. Nick the happy groom was so handsome in his gray suit. Rev. Jim was mistyeyed as he walked his oldest daughter down the steps toward her groom knowing that he was giving her away for Nick to love and protect. After a kiss and personal whispered words, Jim turned from being dad to being the couple’s minister. Even the gentle dusting of rain couldn’t dampen the holiness of exchanging the vows. Jamy’s besties are her sisters. The four of them support, encourage, rally behind, giggle, tease, borrow clothes, shop, play and worship together. Their bond is as tight as their love for each other. Ali Sudderth, the second oldest was Jamy’s Matron of Honor, Jean-Ann was her Maid of Honor and Amanda her bridesmaid. All three girls walked down the aisle in long, mulberry wine dresses with a wreath of flowers crowning their lovely heads. The bridesmaids’ luncheon was early Sunday morning, hosted by Jamy’s aunt Melissa Hampton at The Farm at Persimmon Creek. The Farm is located on Blue Ridge Gap Road in Clayton and is an incredibly charming restaurant that gave Jamy and her bridal party the perfect intimate dining experience to start her wedding day! The new Mr. & Mrs. Nick Teasley honeymooned in Hilton Head, South Carolina then back to Augusta to resume a life together. However, when time permits they will head back to Clayton and crash the Kingwood Golf Resort for a time of fun. I’m pretty sure Rev. Jim and Amy won’t mind sharing their condo one bit! Congratulations Nick & Jamy, we at the Georgia Mountain Laurel are so happy for you and were blessed to witness your union.

June 2016


A place where new life springs forth out of despair, failure and death. A place where God brings physical, emotional and spiritual healing to you.

Go Tell It On The Mountain When God answers your prayers, He wants you to share the victory with others, bringing glory to Him! We can never really know what someone else is going through, whether there is sickness, surgery, disease, financial, children, marital troubles or any other great sorrow. People need desperately to hear how God answers prayer for others. This gives them hope where once they felt hopeless because they had prayed and prayed, but no answer had come. God does not inflict us with sickness and destruction. The adversary, the Devil, is the one who brings sickness and uproar into our lives. He comes before God in the Courts of Heaven and accuses you of any and everything. He does not have a LEGAL right to bring destruction on you if you have confessed the sins you have committed to God, repented to Him, and received Jesus Christ as your Savior. Our LEGAL system in America allows that when unjust people (like Satan) lie and accuse you of something you are not guilty of, you must meet them in court with a lawyer and give testimony that you are innocent, letting the judge decide. We wrote an article last month in the Ga Mt Laurel magazine about the healing of heart disease based on instructions in a book entitled, “Operating In The Courts of Heaven” by Robert Henderson. After a few days we began to verbally share our true to life story with others. We made reprints of our article and gave it to those the Lord wanted us to reach for Him, telling them how to give testimony in the Courts of Heaven before Almighty God to bring victory in their troubles so God could LEGALLY answer their prayers. The key word here is LEGAL. We just visited close friends in Tennessee and were impressed to tell the husband and wife about the Courts of Heaven. We explained how to come before the Court and to testify in their own behalf, with the Lord Jesus as their Defense Attorney. They were very interested, and we gave them a reprint of The Courts of Heaven article. Little did anyone know that in three days the husband would collapse in a restaurant with friends at lunch. They called an ambulance and called his wife who came immediately. His heart rate was 173 beats per minute! The Medics said he was too unstable to move a distance to the best hospital, so they took him to the local Emergency Room. His wife sat on his bed and came before God in prayer in the Court of Heaven for her husband. She remembered how to pray for him, and testified before God: “My husband has confessed all his known sins, he has received Jesus Christ as his Savior, the Lord Jesus has taken all his sins upon Himself on the cross,

“Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul” Psalm 66:16 and washed my husband clean in His blood, He has taken my husband’s death sentence upon Himself and died in my husband’s place. The devil has no LEGAL right to accuse him, to give him heart disease or to take his life”. The husband’s heart rate went quickly back to normal, and they transported him to the best hospital for help. It took a number of days at the hospital, but at the end of the week he was out of town attending the college graduation of his grandson! Praise God! This next story unfolded just yesterday. Good friends of ours had told us the husband was to have extensive back surgery requiring a lengthy time in the operating room at NE GA Hospital. He expected to be hospitalized for 5 or 6 days and would be taking morphine for extreme pain. We took a copy of The Courts of Heaven article to them two days before the surgery, and left it in their door while they were at work. That night they read and studied the article and prayed over the husband as outlined above that the Devil had no LEGAL right to the husband. The husband was in surgery for many hours, and the wife kept us informed. The next morning when the surgeon came by to check on his patient, the husband was up and walking around in his room, with little pain, off the morphine, and wanting to go home! The doctor was shocked and said he had never had a patient like this who was up the next morning, off morphine and wanting to go home. This made the doctor very happy and his patient was released that afternoon. He is still doing well! Praise God! You may ask, how do I know when God wants me to talk with a certain person about Him? The answer is: He usually does not speak to us in an audible voice, but He sends a message to our hearts and we are led and given a tug from our own hearts to speak to friends, to acquaintances, even strangers in public places like stores, restaurants and in waiting rooms of doctors, hospitals and others. It is best to have a testimony of healing or for answered prayer in writing to give to them. We also use a booklet called “Healed of Cancer” by Dodie Osteen. “Go, tell it on the mountain…” Call or write our ministry if you want copies of “The Courts of Heaven” article. Free of charge. RIVER GARDEN P.O. Box 112 Lakemont, GA 30552 706.782.5435 706.490.3063

June 2016


Second Chances by Melissa Williams-Thomas

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11


rook describes the first nine years of her life like a story book. Her mother was a teacher and her father worked in the mineral mines. Her whole world was turned upside down when her parents divorced. She went from literally playing with baby dolls at 13 to having sex at 14. Brook lived with her mom until her mother couldn’t take care of her anymore, so she moved in with her dad. Life after this became very chaotic. She started drinking because her dad drank. At 19 years old, Brook got pregnant and then married. She gave birth to a beautiful son named Cade. Due to infidelity, she got divorced. It was not long before she was remarried. For all intensive purposes, she was self sufficient. Due to health issues, at 23, Brook underwent a complete hysterectomy and the doctor prescribed pain pills. Soon after, she started taking diet pills; both led to a methamphetamine addiction. Brook quickly went from being a member of the PTO and little league mom to running drugs for the Mexican Mafia. She didn’t realize how out of control her life had become. When someone is in the middle of addiction, it is amazing how their brain rationalizes all the craziness and makes it seem normal. She recalled an incident where she was driving down the road and ran into an 18 wheeler and ripped the mirror off the side of her vehicle. Another incident involved her car rolling in an accident and her son having to be rushed to the hospital, but all she could think of was leaving the hospital to go get high. People shot at her house, while she and her son were home, and still none of this seemed out of the ordinary. Brook said she felt like she was living a rap song; guns, money, fast cars, men. Doing the things she heard in the rap songs made her feel like a rock-star. Brook let her son go live with his dad and soon after Cade developed epilepsy. Her father died and her mother developed breast cancer. Brook decided to get her own place and to be more “stable”. She still sold drugs to pay the bills, but her idea of normal at this time was to stay up only a night or two at a time, not an entire week. Brook was too afraid to take her own life; she prayed to God most nights to stop her. Brook’s mom called her one day and asked her to accompany her shopping. Brook agreed and remembers having a great day. On the way home her mother told her, “God is fixing to move in your life, go with Him, don’t fight Him.” The next day, she and her boyfriend picked up a bunch of drugs and came back to her house. Little did she know, the DEA and GBI were hiding all over her property. Someone had just left from buying when the officers busted in the door and after 12 years it was over. Brook can remember the big exhale of relief that it was all over.


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She went to jail and was denied bond. Surprisingly, she had never been in trouble with the law. The judge told her, “I put drug dealers away for life”. Brook went back to the jail cell and hired a public defender. Her cell mate started reading the Bible to her and told her that God had blessings for her. The public defender told her she would probably get one year in jail, one year in rehab and one year probation. After being in jail for two months, Brook was finally going to court. The night before court the lawyer came to her and told Brook she had been accepted into a inpatient drug and alcohol rehab called Promise of Hope in Dudley, Georgia. That night, her roommate searched the Bible for all of God’s promises; she wrote them on little scraps of paper and Brook placed them in her shoes for court. While in court, the prosecutor suggested 23 years. The judge allowed Brook to forgo the remaining jail time and she was sent to rehab. On February 2, 2010, she arrived at Promise of Hope in shackles and a piece of a bed sheet tied in her hair. It took around six months for the cloud of addiction to lift and then the real work began. The next three months were very hard for her. She was forced to realize that Cade wasn’t seven anymore, he was 15 and she had missed so much. She was able to see her path of destruction. She had to learn a new way to live. At the nine month mark, she found peace. She had learned how to be God reliant. Brook completed the program and moved back in with her mother.

One day, her sister came to pick her up to take her job hunting and they noticed a giant rainbow in the sky. The rainbow is significant in the Bible reminding us of God’s promises. At the end of this rainbow was the veterinarian’s office to which she was applying. She got the job. Her sister insisted that she introduce Brook to a nice guy but Brook flat out refused. She wanted to get her life back in order before getting into a new relationship. Cade moved back in with her. Brook wound up meeting the “nice guy”, Dustan, on her own some time later. They started dating and Dustan was like a dream come true. She fell in love with him and his family. They dated for a year and then had a fairytale wedding. Brook went back to school to pursue her dream of becoming a cosmetologist. She, Dustan, their family and their church family prayed about the couple adopting a baby. Journey, a beautiful baby girl, was born one year to the day after they started praying. Brook bought a business The Hair Force Salon and Dustan has his own business as an industrial contractor. On May 5th of this year the adoption was finalized and their family is complete. Brook is such a blessing. I have known her for almost five years. Without her help and guidance when I was at my lowest, I am not sure I would have been able to see the blessings on the other side. Her actions are guided by God and she chooses to surround herself with Godly people. Recently I visited Brook to talk with her about her second chance and I was fortunate enough to meet her friends/coworkers. They went on and on about what a blessing she is to everyone she meets. God has a plan for each and every one of us; we just have to accept it. Promise of Hope is a six to twelve month program helping men and women overcome past obstacles, to develop improved relationships and more importantly to develop their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. With a facility in Dudley for women and one in Cochran for men, they teach those battling substance abuse to learn to live a life free from addiction. For more information visit where you can apply anytime day or night. Take the first step today.

June 2016


Life is a Blessing The Heart of a Foot Washer by Tracy McCoy


o you reflect the heart of Christ? Are you a foot washer? God commands us to love one another again and again in scripture. He tells us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us (Luke 6:31). We all want to be treated well but are you willing or able to show kindness and love even to the unlovable? How can we know Him and yet not obey these commandments. (Luke 10:27) A humble heart kneels and washes feet; it offers encouragement, it forgives, it forgets, it helps, it serves and it lives to do so. Not for notoriety or praise, not for gain but because that heart is driven to serve by a love for the one who gave His life. (Matthew 6:1) Not even because the God of the universe expects it from us but because He lives within us, and it comes naturally. His nature within me is the only reason I am capable of such love. I am human and I lose focus at times; we live in a society that screams it’s all about me! If I don’t take care of myself, who will? We have to look out for number 1, right? No is the short answer. It‘s not about you, it is all about Jesus. If He loves you how can I reject you? How can we as Christians mistreat others? There are


June 2016

great injustices daily all around the globe, human trafficking, domestic violence and abuse of children, killing of innocent people and babies.

Jesus says, “What you do unto the least of these you do unto me.” If we stopped even just for a second before we act to see the face of God before we speak unkind words, act selfishly, hurt or wound others would it change the way you behave? When we put our needs above the needs of others, we do not honor our Creator. To serve others is to serve Him. (Matthew 25:40) Christ Jesus is our example, His life on earth and even death on a cross was dedicated to seek and to save those that were lost. Our Savior was a foot washer, not prideful but full of compassion and love. Agape is a Greek term for one of the four types of love in the Bible. Jesus Christ showed this type of love and commands his followers to do likewise. (John 15:13) In Matthew 11:29, Jesus advises, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Another Greek term used by Christ to describe His own heart is Tapeinos meaning humble. If we live our lives with a humble heart, showing love to all we encounter, remember even the unlovable how might we change the world? Oh that they might see Him reflected in His people. I want to serve, I desire to be like Christ so that others may see His love and allow it to change their lives too. Be a blessing!

June 2016


Live Healthy and Be Well! “Headache Primer” by Stephen Jarrard, MD, FACS


e get a lot of questions and see quite a few folks in the emergency room with headaches of different types. Some people seem to have headaches on every day, or very frequent basis, and wonder what can be done about them. We did some research and want to provide some information on the different types of headaches, and some of the various treatments and management options available. Headaches, or cephalalgia, are described as pain anywhere in the head or neck region. There are several different types, and the causes can range from minor (stress) to life threatening (stroke). The pain does not come from the brain itself, because although the brain is the “master controller” of the body, it does not contain any pain receptors. Instead, the pain comes from the structures that contain and surround the brain, such as the scalp, skull, muscles, blood vessels, sinuses, eyes, ears and such. The International Headache Society has the most commonly used classification system for headaches. If you want to Google this organization, it will provide you with more information than you may want to know! But, essentially, they classify the major types of headaches as primary (a distinct cause) and secondary (caused by something else). If you really want to treat a headache, you need to know the cause behind it, just as with any other type of illness or disease state. The four main types of primary headaches are migraines, tension-type, cluster-type and trigeminal (resulting from a disorder of the Trigeminal (facial) Nerve). These headaches result from a primary cause which can be targeted. Headaches due to coughing, exertion and some other daily headaches are also classed as primary type. What many people know as a “sinus” headache may actually be a migraine, although there are true sinus headaches that result from the pressure of blocked sinuses. Similarly, what many people think of as migraine headaches may actually be caused by tension or just be simple daily headaches (not that they are any less painful or annoying).


June 2016

True migraine headaches differ with each individual, but may have some features in common. They are often (not always) preceded by an “aura” to signal their onset. Migraines tend to be pulsating in character and may only affect one side of the head. They are often associated with nausea, can be disabling in severity and they may last anywhere between 3 hours and 3 days. Migraines are now thought to be caused by a complex series of neural and vascular events. People who suffer from migraines are thought to have an area of their cortex (main part of the brain) that is highly sensitive and excitable to stimulations, especially in the occipital (visual) cortex. A true migraine may be more akin to a mild form of seizure than to an ordinary headache. While the exact causes are still not pinpointed, we do find that this unfortunate condition is seen more often in women, especially those with a family history, who are undergoing hormonal changes or are on hormone replacement, or taking birth control. Tension headaches are just what they sound like, and most often brought on by stress and neck muscle tension. Cluster headaches are severe pains in the head that occur together in bouts, and may most often be felt around or behind one eye. They may come and go intermittently and may well be a lesser form of a migraine headache. The Facial Nerve (aka trigeminal nerve) has five branches on each side that span the scalp, face and neck. If it becomes traumatized, irritated or inflamed – trigeminal neuralgia (TN) may occur as a result. This can cause severe pain in the area of the nerve distribution, one symptom of which may be a severe headache. The pain may also contribute to facial muscle spasms, the combination of which is known as tic doloreux. If you have this condition, you will know it, as it has been described as one of the most painful conditions known to man. The best treatment for headaches, like any other illness or sickness, is prevention. Limiting stress and tension through healthy living, diet and exercise can serve to limit or lessen the occurrence of tension, and possibly cluster headaches. Sinus headaches might be prevented or limited by keeping the nasal passages open, promoting drainage by the use of saline nasal

sprays, treating your allergies and avoiding triggers to allergies or sinus infections (molds, pollen, damp weather, etc.). Specialists advise that you keep a “headache diary” to look for any common threads or triggers associated with your headaches, and then try to limit those situations. There are several medicines that are used to prevent or reduce the severity of migraines and other chronic headaches. Two common approaches used are “acute abortive” (taking meds at aura or first symptom to stop the headache), and prophylaxis (prevention). Although a quiet, dark room will help, you may also need some medicines such as beta blockers (Propranolol), triptans (serotonin agonists like Imitrex) or even Botox. A recent study found that these treatments all have about the same effectiveness; none is clearly superior to another. However, with some people, one may not be enough, and they may need an individually tailored mix of these different drugs. If prevention and abortive therapies are unsuccessful, there is obviously a role for analgesics (pain medicines). There are many good choices, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), both by mouth and intravenous forms. Try to avoid the habit of habitually taking “powders,” especially on an empty stomach, as these can be harsh on your digestive system. Narcotics are not a good thing to take with chronic headaches, as they may actually make them worse or initially better and then result in a “rebound” effect later on. Frequent use of narcotic medicines also may result in dependence, or the feeling that “nothing else works for me”. If you have bad and/or frequent headaches, please see your healthcare provider. There are many more treatment options than in the past, and if your case is complicated, you may need a referral to a specialist, such as a neurologist or neurosurgeon. We want to help you and make sure you get the help you need for better quality of life.

The first wealth is health. Ralph Waldo Emerson

We really do enjoy hearing from you with any questions, concerns, or ideas for future columns and/or health and wellness related issues for the Georgia Mountain Laurel. Please send an email to, or call us at 706.782.3572, and we will be sure to consider your input. This and previous articles can be now be found on the web at www.rabundoctor. com in an archived format. If you use Twitter, then follow us for health tips and wellness advice @rabundoctor. Like and follow our Facebook page at Until next month, live healthy and be well!

June 2016



June 2016

Memorial Golf Event to Honor the Memory of Kasi Webb


asi Webb was a young wife, a mother, a daughter and a dear friend whose life was cut short by Cardiomyopathy. The Inaugural Kasi Webb Memorial Golf Tournament will be held June 21, 2016 at 1:00 PM at The Orchard Golf and Country Club. The tournament will begin with a shotgun start. The format will be four man scramble with prizes, a raffle, and deli buffet. A silent auction will be held before the event. All money raised will be donated to the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation in Kasi’s memory. Sponsorship opportunities are available and for more information please contact Mike or Robin Jones at 706.490.2437 or 706.982.5378.. All sponsorships are tax deductible.

Health and Wellness

June 2016


Chart the Path to Good Health by Nikki McCall


flexology charts, which are the most commonly used charts today.

n the fast-paced and ever-changing world we live in today, more and more people find themselves searching for relief from stress, pain, and anxiety. While advancements in medicine and technology provide numerous options, many people trust ancient alternative treatments, such as reflexology. In the theory of reflexology, certain points and areas of the feet, hands, and ears correspond with organs, bones, and systems in the body. These points are accessed on the bottom, sides, and tops of the hands and feet, and the inside and outside of the ear to alleviate symptoms associated with the corresponding internal organs and systems. Maps exist that represent the relationship between each point and the system with which it is associated. While there are some disagreements on all of the points, there is general agreement on the major reflex points. According to these reflexology maps, each foot is representative of a vertical half of the body. The left foot corresponds to the left side of the body and all of the organs, valves, and systems contained there, and likewise, the right foot corresponds to the right side of the body. Even though the history of reflexology is somewhat difficult to track, it is believed to have been passed down through oral tradition. Pictographs on the Egyptian tomb of Ankhamor in 2330 BC depict several medical procedures, including reflexology. This is believed to be the first recording of the practice of reflexology. In the 1300’s a Chinese massage book is believed to have been translated into Italian by Marco Polo, marking the introduction to reflexology to Europe. Later, Dr. Adamus and Dr. A’tatis published a book on zone therapy, an element of reflexology, in Europe in 1582. Reflexology was not introduced in the United States until far later, when William H. Fitzgerald, MD wrote about ten vertical zones in the body, stating his findings that pressure applied to the zone relative to an injury could provide pain relief. Fitzgerald is often referred to as the “father of reflexology” despite the fact that evidence suggests its existence centuries before his introduction. Dr. Shelby Riley expanded on Fitzgerald’s work by developing a map of horizontal zones, and a detailed map of reflex points on the feet and hands, as well as the outer ear. Most of the more recognized reflexology maps in use today were created by Eunice Ingham, who worked for Dr. Riley. Her research found that the feet were the most sensitive and responsive to the practice of reflexology, and introduced the practices to the nonmedical community in the 1930’s. Her nephew, Dwight Byers with the International Reflexology Institute, refined his aunt’s re-


June 2016

There are studies that indicate the effectiveness of reflexology in the reduction of pain and anxiety. The National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health funded several studies indicating that reflexology can help with reduction of symptoms related to anxiety and depression, as well as enhanced relaxation and sleep. Other studies show that reflexology can be beneficial in the care of patients with cancer, as well as other medical conditions such as plantar faciitis and neuropathy. Although scientific evidence is lacking in the support of these claims, numerous patients have reported very positive results. The ancient practice of reflexology is still alive and well today, and has provided significant relief for many people seeking alternative options for treatment of various ailments. Lisa Henry of Rabun Reflexology invites you to give this ancient art a try. She is in the process of obtaining her Master Reflexology Certification for the hands and feet. Her practice is located in the Rabun Event Center at 250 Laurel Heights Drive in Clayton, Georgia. She can be reached at 706.982.0999 or 706.782.9550 or look for Rabun Reflexology on Facebook. This is what some of Lisa’s clients have to say: “When Harold Charleston came to Clayton, he introduced me to the practice of Reflexology. Lisa is carrying his tradition onward. I see her weekly. My time therapy. Blessed to have her here” Lorette Inman “Lisa Henry has performed Reflexology Massages on me several times and each time I leave feeling cleansed, energetic and refreshed. She focuses on issues I have with my feet and uses specific oils that help alleviate the pain I experience on a daily basis. It’s amazing how I can feel the areas she massages release and relax as she works on me. She is awesome! I have given several gift certificates to family and friends so they can have the wonderful experience of reflexology.” Robin Dubois

June 2016


Yes, You Can!

a sixty or eighty-something senior recovering from joint surgery or injury; you can reach your goals with Studio e. Maybe you are like me, you’ve always been overweight. Nothing has ever seemed to work. Your self esteem is at zero, you can barely stand to look in the mirror and you don’t know where to begin. Fitness seems so far out of your reach you just keep eating. Well guess what, when you think you can’t, think again because you CAN. In two weeks of personal training I have done things that I would have never dreamed I could. Was it a challenge? Yes. Did I have someone right there to instruct me on the correct way, educating me on how to safely do a stretch or an exercise? Yes. Did I feel like an all-star with my own cheerleading squad? You betcha! That is another difference in the Studio e approach.

Unearth your potential and begin a journey of self discovery at Studio e by Tracy McCoy


e remodel our homes and restore our cars and care for our pets, but our bodies, well frankly... we let them go. Most of us take care of ourselves last. Well I have embarked on a journey to reclaim my body from the effects of aging, junk food and pure neglect. Part of my journey has been to discover Studio e in Tiger, Georgia. Before I began I sat down with Elisa Hopkins the studio’s founder to find out all I could about what they do in the little white church that is still a place of hope, peace and restoration. There are no high tech machines here, not the first treadmill or elliptical machine. Your body and mine are the tools used to effect change. These highly trained instructors and Elisa herself are by your side or at the head of the class to educate and encourage each and every client to build a better body. The goal is yours, the vision too but the roadmap is written for you to achieve and accomplish your dream of better health. The approach is unique, customized and effective. I can attest to that. I began with personal training. That is a one-on-one approach to physical fitness. The term physical fitness is defined as the quality or state of being fit. Fit is defined as sound physically and mentally. Fitness is a state of being; that includes a strong body and mind. That is one of the differences in the Studio e approach. It begins with a mindset. Bill Bowerman co-founder of Nike said, “Everything you need is already inside.” That is the beginning of fitness. The Studio e experience begins with a consultation, during which Elisa takes notes and asks questions. The answers you provide and the insight that you give her are what she uses to formulate a unique plan for you to achieve your goals. Perhaps you are a tired, overworked soccer mom who can’t find time for herself or


June 2016

I know before each visit that one of the ladies has spent time going over my goals and customizing a workout just for me. Each session building on the last. I receive reminders before each appointment and when I arrive they have my own personal glass water bottle (saving the environment) ice cold with fresh water in it and a piece of gum waiting for me. We begin with stretches preparing my muscles for my workout. Each time I go they have added something new to my routine and they go into detail explaining which muscles we’ll be using and why. I am in the 50 club now so a lot of what we do is geared for my age group to address issues that affect women my age. I appreciate that they go to such lengths for me. planning my best course of action. When only months ago I was unable to make a lap around the grocery store I am now investing a solid hour multiple times each week getting to know my body and building muscles to protect my back and joints. I am caring for the body my Creator gave me and it feels better than you can imagine. Group fitness is also an aspect of the Studio e experience. They offer classes for all levels of fitness and even for those looking to improve medical conditions both physical and mental. Some of their clients are indeed recovering from surgery or injury and others working to improve cognitive ability due to diseases such as Parkinson’s. Elisa and her team which consists of Samantha Thacker, Paz Merino, Kristy Matheson and Celeste York, are

honestly dedicated to their clients. Their website defines their roles as: Trainer (noun), Coach, Handler, Instructor, Teacher, Tutor, Drillmaster, Advisor, Counselor, Guide, Mentor and... Friend. This has certainly been my experience. During my consultation at Studio e, I told Elisa that I have a bad back and a knee that bothers me, both excuses I used for my inactivity over the years. My excuse became part of the focus of my fitness plan. As I workout I am working to eliminate my excuses instead of letting them define me. It was late last year that I began my lifestyle change with a sound nutritional plan, a wonderful line of supplements that have changed my life and a membership at our local gym. I am 58 lbs less than when I started and for the first time in my life I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I knew that personal training needed to be part of my plan. Elisa invited me to come in for a consult and has now become another important aspect of my journey. The customized approach and genuine caring of Elisa and her staff have made a big difference. In two weeks I’ve dropped more pounds and inches. Part of the Studio e mission statement includes this line... “Unearth your potential and begin a journey of self discovery at Studio e.” I am doing just that and like a beautiful butterfly I am evolving and know that I am becoming exactly what God created me to be. Strong and healthy! Studio e is located at 117 History Street, Tiger, GA 30576. Their website is The Studio e approach is the creation of Elisa Hopkins. After a serious injury and arduous recovery she made it her mission to never let limitations define her. She gained extensive knowledge in fitness and has put together the best of all she has learned and the result is an experience that will empower you and help you discover an enriched quality of life.

MEET THE LADIES OF STUDIO E Elisa Hopkins: Owner and Founder Home town: New York City / New Orleans – hard to say. Certification: Nesta Certified Personal Trainer ACE Certificate – community exercise for people with Parkinson’s disease CPR-AED Certified Elisa says... “During my college years I lived in Gunnison, Colorado – a home of outdoor extreme sports – and loved the rush of mountain biking, trail running and snowboarding. After various injuries, 2 reconstructive knee surgeries and many years of physical therapy… It became a goal of mine to manifest the rush and excitement of extreme sports in a safe and controlled environment.” Celeste York: Yoga Instructor Hometown: Columbia, SC Certification: Hatha Certified Yoga Instructor, 200 Hours CPR-AED Certified Celeste says... “My personal goal is to share with others the heart-warming, mind opening experience that yoga has provided to me.”

Paz Merino: Trainer & Group Fitness instructor Hometown: Guanajuato, Mexico, currently Tallulah Falls, GA Certification: NESTA Certified Personal Trainer AFAA Group Fitness Instructor AFAA G.E.A.R Indoor Cycling CPR-AED Certified Paz says... “I am a mediocre swimmer and lazy yogi with adventurous feet that like to climb, kick and dance. Roads and trails have taken me to fantastic places and introduced beautiful people to my life. I’ve experienced tremendous breakthroughs in my own life through exploring different sport disciplines and apply my knowledge and research to create vitality and health.” Samantha Thacker: Trainer & Group Fitness Instructor Hometown: Palatka, Florida currently Tiger, GA Certification: IFA Certified Personal Trainer IFA Certified Kickboxing Instructor ACE Certificate Community Exercise for people with Parkinson’s Disease CPR - AED Certified Sam says... “I believe that exercise is an essential element of any path to wellness. That being said, there are MANY forms of exercise, and more than one way to skin a cat. Exercise helped me develop skills to channel my own thoughts and feelings for progress in my journey to be of strong mind, body and heart. My goal as a trainer is to empower others to achieve the goals they’ve set on their own journeys.” Kristi Matheson: Trainer and Group Fitness instructor Hometown: Clayton, GA Certification: NAFC Personal Trainer and Group Fitness ACE Step Instructor CPR-AED Certified Kristi says... “As a Rabun County native, I grew up enjoying many outdoor activities. But, as I grew older I slowed down and began to feel the effects of stress and excess weight. In 2006 I decided to take my health and fitness more seriously. Consistent exercise and a balanced diet helped me lose the weight and left me feeling healthier and happier. With the encouragement of others and support from my family, I studied and obtained my Personal Training Certification in order to help others in the betterment of their health and fitness goals.”

June 2016

Yes, you can! 71

Bon Appétit

Pies for Dinner, Pies for Desserts and oh, Tarts Too! by Scarlett Cook


ies are not just for dessert; they can be the main dish for dinner. Some of us even remember when a pizza was referred to as a pizza pie long before it became known as simply pizza. This month’s recipes run the gamut of starters to finishers of a meal.

Three Cheese Potato Pie Serves 6 2 Large eggs, lightly 2 Cups mashed potatoes – these can be leftovers or purchased ones in a bag 1 Cup finely chopped onion 1 Cup shredded Swiss cheese 1 Cup sour cream 1/2 Cup cottage cheese 1/3 Cup chopped green onions 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese – freshly grated if you have it on hand 1/2 Teaspoon salt 1/4 Teaspoon black pepper Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease a 10” deep dish pie plate. Combine all of the ingredients and pour into pie plate. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until filling is puffed and browned on top.


June 2016

Blackberry Custard Pie Serves 8 1 Frozen pie crust, thawed 2 Tablespoons plain flour 2/3 Cup sugar 2 Large eggs, lightly beaten 1 Cup milk 3 Cups fresh (or frozen) blackberries Preheat oven to 400˚. Line thawed pie crust with foil and fill with beans or uncooked rice. Bake for 10 minutes; remove the foil and beans (or rice). Bake for additional 3 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Combine the flour and 3/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in the eggs and milk. Arrange the blackberries in the baked crust. Slowly pour custard mixture over the blackberries. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350˚ and bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in center of filling comes out clean.

Fresh Peach Phyllo Pies Serves 6 4 Sheets phyllo dough 1 Tablespoon margarine, melted 3 Whole fresh peaches 3 Tablespoons sugar 1/2 Cup mascarpone cheese (or 3 ounces of cream cheese mixed with 2 tablespoons sour cream) 2 Teaspoons fresh lemon juice Pinch salt 1 Teaspoon sugar 2 Tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted Preheat oven to 375˚. Brush each sheet of dough with butter and stack. Cut dough lengthwise in half and crosswise into thirds making 6 squares. Line every other cup of a 12 muffin pan with dough. Bake 6 – 8 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove cups from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart Serves 8 1 Frozen pie crust, thawed 3/4 Pound fresh asparagus 3/4 Teaspoon salt 1/4 Cup goat cheese, crumbled 3 Large eggs, lightly beaten 1 Cup heavy OR whipping cream 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley 1/4 Teaspoon tarragon 1/4 Teaspoon pepper

Cut two of the peaches into 1/4” slices and toss with 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Let stand for 30 minutes. Dice the remaining peach and combine with the mascarpone, 1 tablespoon of sugar, lemon juice and salt in a bowl. To serve, fill each shell with sliced peaches and 1 tablespoon of the mascarpone mixture and sprinkle with the almonds.

Preheat oven to 425˚.

The next recipe needs to be made 24 hours in advance of when you want to serve it.

On a floured surface roll pie crust into an 11” circle. Place into a 9 1/2” tart pan with removable bottom. Using your finger tips, press pastry along the bottom and up the sides of the pan having a 1/4” overhang. Freeze the crust for 15 minutes.

Strawberries & Cream Angel Pie Serves 8

Remove crust from freezer and line with foil and fill with dried beans or uncooked rice. Bake for 15 minutes; remove foil and beans (or rice) and bake for 8 – 10 minutes longer until crust is a golden brown. Place pan on cooling rack and cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 350˚. Trim asparagus and cut into 1” pieces. Bring a large skillet of water to boil over high heat. Add the asparagus pieces and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and cook for 5 minutes or until the asparagus is just tender. Drain in a colander, rinse under cold water and pat dry. Place the cooled crust on a cookie sheet. Spread the asparagus in the baked crust and top with goat cheese. Whisk eggs, cream parsley, tarragon, pepper and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl. Pour over the tart. Bake the tart about 30 minutes or just until filling is done. Cool on wire rack 15 minutes before serving.

5 Large egg whites at room temperature 1/2 Teaspoon cream of tartar 1/4 Teaspoon salt 1 1/2 Cups sugar 1 Teaspoon vanilla 2 Pints fresh strawberries, cleaned and stems removed 1 Cup heavy OR whipping cream, beaten stiffly Preheat oven to 450˚. Grease a 9” pie plate. Combine the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat at high speed until foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Beat in the vanilla and continue to beat for 5 more minutes. Spread mixture in prepared pan. Turn off heat. Put pie in oven and leave overnight. Do not open the oven door until you are ready to serve! When ready to serve, fill with strawberries and top with whipped cream.

June 2016



June 2016

A Taste

of the Mountains

June 2016


902 - Family Table

THE FAMILY TABLE by Lorie Thompson


et me plead my case to you for Summer Chili! I know it is warm weather and we traditionally think of chili as a cold weather meal, but this is not your ordinary ground beef chili.

This is a rich pork stew topped with vine-ripe tomatoes, avocados and chopped spring onions. Chile Verde takes a little longer to prepare than the past months Family Table recipes, so make it as a special treat on a day you have to spend at home. It needs to simmer for an hour or more and you will need to stir it on occasion. This chile freezes well and like so many slow cooked meals, it taste even better the second time around. The left-overs in our house, never make it to the freezer. This chile gets taken for lunches and even eaten in tortillas for breakfast. It really is a family favorite in my house. Start with a 7 pound or so, Boston Butt pork roast. I have used pork shoulder or even boneless back ribs. Buy whatever is on sale and easiest, although, I do not recommend pork loin as it does not have enough fat on it and will get dry. Cut the meat into 1 inch cubes without too much fat. This does not have to be precise. You are just looking for something that is a comfortable bite.


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Here is a fantastic tip: If you call ahead to Andy’s Market in Clayton and ask for Dennis, he will cut up your Boston Butt for you. Talk about a time-saver! You pick up the packaged cubed meat and no cutting is required! I LOVE Dennis, Andy and Debra at Andy’s Market! (They will also grind up a fresh chuck roast for your burgers or meatloaf if you call ahead.) Bring a heavy bottomed pan to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the cubed meat in SMALL batches. (If you add too much at one time, it will get too wet and not brown properly.). Sprinkle it with garlic salt as it cooks. (You can use fresh chopped garlic, but you will need to add it after all the meat has been browned; if you add it now, it will burn on the bottom of the pan.). Continue stirring and browning the meat until all of the liquid has evaporated and the meat has a nice caramel color. Remove the browned meat to a dish and start a new batch, continuing until all of the cubed meat is nicely browned. Pour off any accumulated grease in the pan. Leave all of the browned bits in the bottom. This fond will add lots of flavor to your chile. Add all of the meat back in to the pot. Add 32 ounces

of chicken stock and any additional water, needed to cover meat. Adjust heat to medium low and simmer uncovered. (Optionaladd 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper and 1 teaspoon of ground cumin.) While the meat is simmering, make the Salsa Verde for the chile. You will need to rough chop the following: 12 – 15 tomatillos (peel off husk and wash) 2 – 3 jalapeños (remove stem and seeds) (you can add more or less for your own heat index 3 is perfect for my family) 2 – 3 sweet onions 5 – 6 garlic cloves (peeled) Place all of the above in a bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil; toss to coat. Spread on a baking sheet and lightly salt vegetables. Place in a pre-heated 375˚ oven and roast until vegetables are tender, approximately 30 – 40 minutes You may have to turn veggies half-way through cooking time if they are getting too brown. Continue to stir simmering meat Allow veggies to cool slightly and then place in food processor. Add juice from one-half lime and one half to one cup of chopped cilantro, depending on your taste. (Save some cilantro for the pico de gallo.) Process using short pulses until

June 2016


salsa is semi-smooth. You can use a blender or a stick blender for this. You can leave the salsa whole and chunky if you prefer. Add the roasted salsa to the simmering meat. Add canned white beans (drained) to chile if you like beans. Continue to simmer chile for an additional 20 – 30 minutes. For the pico de gallo, rough chop the following: 2 large tomatoes 1/2 cup cilantro 4 – 5 green onions 1 jalapeño (stemmed and seeded) Add juice of 1/2 lime, salt and 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar. Stir together. Try chopped fresh avocado, cheese and sour cream on top of the chile, too! My family loves this meal served with cornbread, quesadillas or just warm tortillas. I hope you will enjoy this family favorite. It takes a little longer to prepare, but it is well worth the effort. It is inexpensive to make and will feed a lot of people. I make this year ‘round. but enjoy it most in the summer months when my garden is coming in. Tomatillos, jalapeños and cilantro are now garden staples and I look forward to their ripening alongside the traditional tomatoes. I have even started “canning” the green salsa, although most of these items are available all year. Make this wonderful Chile Verde a family cooking project this weekend. Enjoy making and eating it with someone you love and enjoy your time together at the family table.

Lori Thompson is a native of Rabun County and has spent many years in the Real Estate business in Northeast Georgia. She presently works at RE/Max, of Rabun County, Georgia. Lorie is well known for her expertise in the kitchen and we are pleased that she agreed to share some of her knowledge with us.


June 2016

Franklin & Otto, North Carolina

June 2016


Foxfire The Art of Making Cornshuck Dolls and Other Folk Art

will last for more than one-hundred years. There’s no reason my basket wouldn’t last unless you put it outside and then it would completely deteriorate.


ama Lottie, my grandmother, instilled in me the joy of crafting beautiful objects from natural materials. Years later, inspired by the work of Daisy Justice of Rabun County, I began to make cornshuck dolls. Over time, I developed my own styles of cornshuck dolls to continue to share this art and keep this craft alive. The big dolls [I make] are the ones that I studied in the book with Daisy… you know, the Foxfire book (Volume 3, 451-464) that her work was in. And then, I began to shift and do different steps, so those are going to be similar steps to what were in the early Foxfire book. And then, what I’ve done is that I added color. I’ve added, you know, just over time, a different way—lots of dyes. I make all the dyes, and I can’t remember if she used some dyes, but most of hers were the natural materials. And, I started doing NativeAmerican-style ones and African-American-style dolls with the dyes. But I think I need to go back even farther because Mama Lottie—I lived with my grandmother some. She was born in the 1890s, and when I was a little girl, I lived with her, especially in the summers. She taught me to make pine needles baskets, which instilled in me the idea that I could go outside, pick something up off the ground, bring it in, work with it and end up with something really beautiful—something that will last; my baskets


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As a child learning from my grandmother, I really feel like that got me going on this idea of dolls. And so then, I was actually living up here in Tallulah Falls, and I learned about Foxfire and just started reading the books…so, I just got to be really interested. I learned a lot of things out of those books. I was drawn to the cornshuck dolls because it’s a similar idea to this (i.e. to the pine straw basket): something that would normally be thrown away can be turned into something. I first started working from the directions in the book—Daisy’s directions. And then, I met her. When I met her, I was just so inspired to continue the idea of cornshuck dolls because, at the time, I wasn’t sure if that was going to happen or not. I know other people were learning from the books, but she just really inspired me and encouraged me to do it, so I just began working on it. As a mother, I would work at home and make some dolls just to make a little extra income, but all the while, feeling like it was preserving something really important that wasn’t done that much. Daisy was the only cornshuck doll maker I knew, you know, in my whole life. So, going from this to that was just natural evolution because I really believed that you could make beautiful things from natural materials. Those were some of the first dolls I did, and then, over time, I just have developed sort of my own style of dolls. The angel ornaments I make have become really important to me, and it’s sort of like it’s a healing kind of thing for me. I feel like I instill that in them. I don’t know how to describe that, but it’s healing when I make them, and then I feel like they have that healing in them. So if I have someone who’s not feeling well or who is sick, this is what I give to them. That’s sort of like a special thing for me to pass over, almost like meditative qualities. As I have said before, that may be the reason I still do them so much is because of that aspect. It’s really important to me.

Adapted by Foxfire student, Jessica Phillips, from The Foxfire Magazine, Spring/Summer 2015 pgs. 37-56. Ms. Beth Kelley Zorbanos is has been a part of “Folk on the Mountain” for years. On July 1st and 2nd of this year, Ms. Zorbanos won’t be able to be with us, but 25+ other artists will. Folk On The Mountain 2016, will be a two-day celebration of Folk Art—the immensely varied works of homegrown, not-formallytrained artists from around the Southeastern United States who produce amazing hand-made creations in mediums including paint, pottery, sculpture, textiles and more. Folk Art comes in every shape and description, from useful pottery decorated with clay grapes or dogwood blossoms to humorous or frightening face jugs; from small birds carved from found wood to life-sized sculptures of wood or metal that can represent animals or people (real or imagined); from paintings on old roofing tin of chickens or lizards or other animals to... The possibilities are endless, limited only by the imagination of the artist and the materials they have on hand. Visitors are sure to see the styles of Folk Art they know and love and are equally as sure to encounter things they never imagined could exist before seeing it. Tour the Foxfire Museum, take in (or take home) some great Folk Art and enjoy some time On The Mountain! www.

June 2016


Exploring Northeast Georgia The Last Carolina Parakeet by Kitty Stratton


hen I think of extinction I picture a bird such as the wonderful Dodo bird which became extinct in 1662. The Dodo was a flightless bird and may have weighed twenty to forty pounds. The bird lived on the island of Mauritius and was first spotted by Dutch sailors in 1598. Unfortunately it was hunted to extinction and all we have are illustrations and accounts which may or may not be accurate. So what does the extinct Dodo bird have to do with the title of my article? Nothing really, except that I recently read information on an extinct species of bird that used to inhabit this area and most of the Southeastern United States. The Carolina Parakeet, Conuropsis carolinensis, lived in old forest areas and along rivers. As far as we know the last captive one of its species died at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1918. Conuropsis Carolinensis became extinct in 1918 The Carolina Parakeet was the only parrot species native to the Eastern United States. The Seminole Indians called the bird puzzi la nee meaning “head of yellow” and the Chickasaw Tribe called the parakeet Kelinky. Two Native American tribes inhabited the Jocassee area of South Carolina, the Oconee and the Eastatoe; the Eastatoes were known as the Green Birds and were probably named after the Carolina Parakeet. The last known sighting of the Parakeet was in 1904 in the Eastatoe Valley in South Carolina. So what did happen to the Carolina Parakeet and why are we no longer delighted by flocks of wild parrots in the Southeastern states of North America? There are many theories and maybe all of them contribute together to the extinction of this beautiful bird. We know that their feathers were much sought after for making ladies hats. The birds’ colorful feathers from the green body, yellow head and red from the bill area were much


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admired. But that alone would probably not have contributed to their complete extinction. Other likely reasons for their extinction were loss of their habitat; large areas of forest where the parakeets nested were cut down to make space for farm land. Unfortunately farmers did consider them a pest and many of them were wiped out but the flip side to this is that they actually fed on the very invasive cocklebur weed. Farmers who understood this benefit would allow the birds to nest in the area unharmed. Another behavior that contributed to their extinction was a response that led them to soon return to a place where some of the flock had just been killed. This led to even more being hunted and killed as they gathered close to other wounded and dead parakeets. One last explanation for the Carolina Parakeet’s extinction is that they may have finally been wiped out by disease such as poultry disease. Unfortunately their very social behavior may have led to their extinction. In the Travels of William Bartram, he states, “they (the Carolina Parakeets) are easily tamed, when they become docile and familiar, but never learn to imitate the human language.” Carolina Parakeets by John James Audubon and R. Havell from Audubon’s Birds of America (1827-1838). The extinction of the Carolina Parakeet was due to the rapid cultivation of North America. Fortunately we have naturalists such as John James Audubon who painted these birds and left us a visual reminder of something we have lost permanently from our natural world.

June 2016



Bill’s 1972 Chevy Truck


o, you think you know a car guy? Well, maybe, if you know Bill Perry of Franklin, North Carolina. You may ask, what makes Bill so special? Well, if you can name a classic Chevrolet hot rod, he has owned it. Most notably was his award-winning 1955 Chevy Bel Air. He admits that has been his favorite thus far. Almost every show Bill and his wife Lois took the car to, it won. In his garage aptly coined “The Toy Shop” awards line the walls, from plaques to trophies, some three feet tall. What does Bill’s wife of fifty+ years have to say about all these cars and all of these shows? She is by his side and has been all these years. Bill and his son Craig Perry own and run Bill’s Aluminum in Franklin, North Carolina and have since 1980. In early May I visited with Bill to take a peek at his 1972 Chevy pickup. Bill’s father bought the truck new and he left it to Bill when he passed away. Bill had Progressive Designs of Franklin to overhaul the truck. The truck is a masterpiece. The paint job is exceptional and perfectly matched Bill’s Z06 Corvette. The bright yellow is beautiful on this truck with the painted grill and matching bowtie. The tonneau cover on the long bed and the chrome custom wheels add the finishing touches to the exterior. When one opens the door the red on black leather bench seat and the custom steering wheel take you back four decades. Bill had a bowtie rearview mirror added and smaller top mount side mirrors. The truck looks outstanding but when he started it up, OH MERCY it sounded good. The Chevy Performance ZZ4 350 small block fired up with that low muscle car rumble that makes real hot rod fans stand at attention.


June 2016

The Cowl Induction system Bill had added to the hood provides a maximum flow of cool air to power the engine. With a mere 1500 miles on this engine, Bill’s Chevy truck will offer him years of enjoyment. The truck is a showstopper and sure to add to his trophy collection. Will there be more hot rod cars or trucks run through The Toy Shop? Perhaps, cause Bill Perry is a true, honest-to-goodness car guy!

June 2016


Parting Shot

A Parting Shot Photo by Kevin Croom - - -


June 2016

June 2016


By the Way...

Upon Southern Inflection by Emory Jones


ummer is here, and lots of folks will be visiting the North Georgia Mountains for the first time. I’ve heard tell that, to many of them, our North Georgia accent sounds as odd as having happy hour at the Betty Ford Clinic. But not to me. In fact, it makes my head swim when I hear somebody try to veil their inflection or cut down on colloquialisms. I love accents of all kinds but my favorite will always be the beautiful words and phrases heard here in the mountains. They remind me of my grandmother. And I agree with the late, great Lewis Grizzard when he said, “Anyone blessed with a Southern accent and wants to change it ought to be flogged.” Amen! Bear Bryant didn’t have a problem. Neither did Elvis, and folks thought a right smart of them. I’ll admit that we use the language rather distinctively. We proudly offer to mash elevator buttons and make your picture. To us, every soft drink is a Co-Cola — even if it says Pepsi on the can. And we can say just about anything we want about anybody, as long as we start or end it with “bless their heart”.

The folks who know about these things say there are more than one hundred unique Southern dialects. I don’t doubt it. I love those folks to death, but Texans talk differently than the folks in North Carolina. Louisianans have their Cajun chatter and, I’m pretty sure that only a Virginian can understand another Virginian. But, I know one thing; when you’re away from home and homesick, any one of those Southern accents sounds magnificent. I spent some time in England once when, near the end of my stay, from across a room, I heard a voice that made my knees buckle. She was from South Carolina, and it was the first Southern accent I’d heard in three months. If not for her husband and a 40-year age difference, I would have married that woman. If you’re blessed with a mountain twang, be proud of it! If you’re from Boston or Buffalo, be proud of that too. And remember, no matter which Southern accent you have, it puts you in some mighty fine company—folks like William Faulkner, Will Rogers, Billy Graham and my Uncle Howard to name a few. Our drawl is not a drawback. Our twang isn’t troublesome and our brogue is not broken. In any case, changing the way you talk won’t change who you are. My dog sleeps in the garage, but that don’t make him a truck. (I like to died the first time I heard that.)

We wave a lot too.


A real Southerner will name just about anything they own. Heck, we’ll even name our cars if you don’t watch us. My current truck is Little Joe (Remember Bonanza?) and my first one was suitably named Scrap Iron. Just for the heck of it, we’ll name a dog, Rooster, and a cat, Dog. My Grandmother had an old walking stick she, for some reason, called, The Late Uncle Albert.

June 2016

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