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In This Issue Mountain Living 12 18 22 26 30 32

Experience Counts This Personal Retreat Awaits Your Stamp Brace Yourself. This House Will Wow You Angling for a Home That Shouldn’t Get Away There’s So Much You Can Do on This Property 4 Tips for Creating a Healthier Home

A Taste 38 42

Bon Appétitt The Family Table

Faith in Christ 46 48 50 52

Biltmore Church: Jesus on Fear River Garden R4G - Rabun for the Gospel: The Gospel is Pure, True and Everlasting Trying New Things Whether We Want To or Not

Health & Wellness 54 58 60

Ten Questions for Dr. Edward Frederickson Crisis Pregnancy Center Meet Mariana Villegas, BCBA

Around Town 62 62 63

Welcome Bear Creek Realty Moves Celebrate Clayton – Fun in the Fresh Air

Outdoors 64

Adventure Out

Life & Leisure 66 70 72 74

Lovin’ The Journey Planning for the Longest “Vacation” of Your Life By The Way An Afterthought

Yesterdays 68


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Rabun County Historical Society - Farming in Rabun County: Maize, Subsistence Farms and Moonshine

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A Place in the Mountains

Realtor Profile: Jim Blalock, Poss Realty


ork has been a part of Jim’s life since he was an 11 year old boy. Born the oldest son of Woodrow and Irene Lovell Blalock, he grew up in Tiger, Georgia. His first job was working at a little country store and later in his teens he worked at the farmer’s co-op (later Reeves Feed and Seed) at the southern end of Main Street in Clayton. After graduation he attended North Georgia Tech in Clarkesville and earned his degree as a Certified Draftsman, a skill he says he still uses occasionally. Jim’s dad sold both real estate and insurance. Jim went to work with his dad selling insurance while working to get his Real Estate license. He became licensed to sell properties in 1969 and earned his Broker’s license in 1971. This year he celebrates 50 years as a licensed real estate broker and 52 years in the business. “I had a hand in building several houses over the years, from here to yonder,” Jim told me. “I worked alongside my dad till 1992 when I moved to ReMax of Rabun owned by Lorie Thompson at the time. I liked the ReMax principals and did well with them,” he continued. Jim received several awards while working with ReMax. When Ed Poss bought the ReMax franchise, Jim stayed with the company. He recalls that Ed Poss told his agents to set a goal at the beginning of each year. Setting goals was not new to Jim;

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he had always set a goal to do better than the year before. When Ed passed away in 2017, Scott Poss returned his father’s company to it’s original name Poss Realty, where Jim remains today. His reputation is a stellar one and it’s easy to see why. Jim Blalock was taught to work hard, be honest and go the extra mile. “I am about as native as it gets, with my family going back several generations,” he said during our recent interview. Jim married his wife Kathy Long Blalock in 1972 and the couple had two children Erik and Amber. They enjoyed a happy life and family was always important to Jim and Kathy. The Blalock children each graduated from Rabun County High School, just like their parents did, and they each married and started their own families. Erik married Becky Love Blalock and they have a little girl named Kasi Jai and Amber married Adam Brady and they have two boys, Braxton and Brock. Jim and Kathy always claimed Ashley and Will Griffin as part of their family and their little girl Avery. Jim lost his wife, Kathy, to cancer in 2018, a devastating loss after 46 years of marriage. Jim, his kids and grandchildren pulled together and have picked up the pieces and put their lives back together. It’s easy to tell that Jim had rather talk about his children and grandchildren than himself. “My grandsons Braxton and Brock both play Wildcat Football. Braxton is a hunter. He has a passel of dogs for hunting so I wake up every morning at 5:30 to give the dogs a treat. Brock is our daredevil, always on a motorcycle or four-wheeler. Kasi Jai is wide open! She likes the motorcycle too. She and Avery are ‘Papa’s girls’! I am proud of every one of them and love spending time with them. I take most of them to school every morning and sometimes out for breakfast!” he said with a grin. I asked Jim about the current Real Estate market, which is termed a “sellers market” due to the low inventory of homes

and property for sale. Jim remembers, “When SangamoWeston built a plant here in the late 70s and people moved in, they pretty much wiped the market out then. Homes were hard to come by.” Then Jim talked of the housing boom in 2005 and 2006 and the crash that devastated realtors across the country in 2008. “I would have to say that last year was the biggest year that I’ve ever had,” Jim stated, a sentiment that is shared by most Realtors. Jim went on to say, “I like it ‘cause I never know who is going to walk through the door and who I’ll get to meet. I’ve sold mountain land and homes and lake properties too. Growing up here has helped me because I know the county so well.” It is rare that Jim isn’t working, but if he has some time off he likes to hunt and fish and spoke of traveling with friends to South Dakota each year for a pheasant hunting trip. He said he really enjoyed those trips. In years past Jim enjoyed golf, saying that for a few years he played three times a week. Jim is a member at Tiger Baptist Church and has been for many years. Jim has one brother, Ted Blalock and one sister Betty Jo Blalock. His kids say that Jim reminds them of his mom, Irene, in a lot of ways! She taught him working hard pays off and to always treat people like he wanted to be treated; the golden rule for sure! He also learned to make a mean pot of green beans from Irene. Once a week he visits with his 91 year old uncle, Fred Lovell, who lives in Batesville with his wife Yvonne. Fred still works every day, a testament to that family work ethic. Jim has breakfast most mornings at The Rusty Bike Cafe in Clayton where he visits with friends. The table often referred to as “the liar’s table” has been filled with fish tales and hunting stories mixed with a bit of local folklore along the way. When I asked Jim if he thought he would retire some day he said, “I’ll probably just keep going till I can’t go anymore.” Jim is well known, trusted and appreciated by those who know him. We are pleased to recognize such an impressive career.

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This Personal Retreat Awaits Your Stamp By John Shivers

f the walls of the Bison View Lodge, more affectionately known as the “party barn,” at Bison View Ranch in White County, Georgia could talk, oh, the memories they would share. From expansive barbecue spreads prepared in the on-site commercial smoker, to activities around the Margaritaville-inspired bar, as many as one hundred people at a time have enjoyed the festivities. From strictly family-centered events to celebrations with friends and business associates, the stories abound. Now comes the opportunity for someone new to make more memories. And what a phenomenal place to do so. Located only fifteen minutes from downtown Helen, it’s many miles removed from the rat race and the mundane. This sanctuary with a distant view of Mt. Yonah, and a close-up view of luxury living, offers a lifestyle that’s so comforting, so laidback, leaving will be difficult at best. When you approach 3051 Rice Cabin Overlook on Tray Mountain, you’re approaching an opportunity that comes along once in a lifetime. That’s how the current owner visualized it ten years ago when he first glimpsed the property. He saw the potential and ten years later, the compound with three buildings and comfortable sleeping capacity for 32±, has fulfilled and surpassed that potential. The only thing he hasn’t done is convert several ideally-suited acres into a grape vineyard, the first step toward creating a winery. Food for thought, wouldn’t you say? The 14.86± acre tract that borders U.S. Forest Service lands has been a favorite, almost sacred destination for the current owner. However, time and life wait for no one, and things change. It’s time for new owners and new experiences. And if you happen to live in another state, don’t let distance prevent you and yours from enjoying everything this former bison ranch has to offer. Thanks to a conveniently-located airport in the next county, you can fly there and take a chopper to your own private helipad. It’s also a quick drive by car, and regardless of whether you approach the property by air or by land, first glimpse is guaranteed to give you a sense of overwhelming awe. Two other buildings, in addition to the party barn, populate this fenced compound, affording the owners room to spread out with a secure sense of

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privacy and protection. A six bedroom, four-bath log cabin “guest house” tucked away in the woods, offers entertaining and sleeping comfort for many guests, along with a spacious, top-of-the-line kitchen. The party barn itself, in addition to the entertainment space, has three bedrooms and three baths. The main lodge, operations central of this exquisite mountain retreat, contains 7,400± square feet, including a daylight terrace level as nicely appointed as the main level. Six spacious bedrooms and six and one-half luxuriously-appointed baths form the basis for hospitality and accommodation. A large kitchen conveniently located to the oversize outdoor covered porch and entertainment deck, enhance the entertaining and dining potential. Seven massive, wood-burning fireplaces are in the three buildings, along with many comfortable spaces to relax and rejuvenate. Though this property has been used exclusively as a private residence, the ability to flow large crowds without sacrificing the privacy of guests, makes this truly a multi-functional opportunity. Save for a few personal items the owner will remove, it’s being offered with all the furnishings, decorative accessories and equipment in a turn-key deal. Contact Agent Julie Barnett at Harry Norman, REALTORS® Luxury Lake and Mountain at 404-6973860 or at the office, 706-212-0228, for an opportunity to tour MLS #8924129. This listing holds the promise of an escape to the safety and security of your own private outpost.

Party Barn

Guest House

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Brace Yourself.

This House Will Wow You! By John Shivers


here should be a sign posted at the home at 700 Watts Mill Road in Batesville reading: “This Property Guaranteed to Make Your Jaw Drop!” You can’t tour this truly one of a kind, unbelievable 177± acre country estate without saying “Wow!” at least a couple of dozen times, and you’ll definitely find your mouth hanging open! From the time you leave the public road, a gated entrance welcomes you to a beautiful creek-side pasture, before you cross a burbling mountain stream on a picturesque covered bridge and you begin to climb through a private mountain forest, you’ve already uttered “Wow!” Along your way, depending on the season, you’ll pass by deer leisurely grazing, mountain laurel in bloom, native ferns and towering pines and oaks that overhang and shelter the road. Stately rock columns greet you, and your jaw drops. From the balanced symmetry of the sprawling front facade, curb appeal really ramps up. This is rustic elegance at its finest. The rocking chair front porch, complete with two swings, tempts you to stop and sit and feast on the seasonal vistas. With some 400± acres of neighboring National Forest lands, both beauty and privacy are assured. But the double front doors literally persuade you otherwise, and swing wide to welcome you. This unforgettable look at a truly custom home gives you a glimpse of what it would be like to get your daily mail here outside Clarkesville. Inside the sprawling interior, much of it with ten-foot ceilings, there are so many living areas, niches, and interesting ceiling angles, until the interest level snowballs the farther into the house you go. Wooden tongue and groove ceilings and walls, customized Judge’s paneling, some painted and some finished naturally form the backdrop for some fantastic family living. Scrubbed oak floors throughout the main level simply elevate the wood ambience to greater heights. With four super-sized bedrooms, four baths, and one half-bath, there’s plenty of room to entertain and sleep the multitudes. Be sure to check out the main level master suite complete with shower and claw foot tub and his and her closets. And don’t miss the many other closets and storage spaces. There’s another “Wow!” moment. But the potential for this house far exceeds basic

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shelter needs; instead, there are so very many possibilities. Let your imagination go wild. The great room with its massive stone fireplace, one of four in the house, and the built-in large screen TV make a fantastic setting for family winter evenings around the fire or fantastic holiday parties and football weekends. The built-in bookcases, exposed beams, and generous size windows that look out on the views only add to the satisfaction factor. An adjacent covered porch expands the living potential, and is a great place to marry morning coffee with mountain sunrises. What’s a home without a kitchen, and the fabulous, spacious kitchen in this home more than fills the bill. With soapstone counter tops, generous cabinet and prep space, the resident chef will be the one whose jaw drops this time. In addition, there’s an oversize island with maple butcher block top, and a walk-in pantry as well as a butler’s pantry. Adjacent is a banquet size dining area, and a year-round sunroom with a stone floor. A den, game room, billiard room, a bathroom and three car garage are on the terrace level. Nearby is a 3,000± square foot three bay garage complete with engine hoist and lift. The serious car enthusiast will have another reason to say “Wow!” Contact Shield Realty agent Ruth Camp at 706-4994702 or ruth@ruthcamp. com or Marty Simmons about MLS #8878046 at 770-597-4219.

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“Spring’s greatest joy beyond a doubt is when it brings the children out.” Edgar Guest

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Berkshire Hathaway

Angling for a Home That Shouldn’t Get Away! By John Shivers


he real estate listing description for this outstanding property at 610 Soque Wilderness Road, Clarkesville, Georgia trumpets such unusual attributes as riffles and river bend runs and shoals. So if you’re in the market for some of the best trophy trout fishing right outside your door on the Soque River, those descriptors should grab you and resonate loudly. The property features exceptional river character and has an unbeatable habitat for massive trout measuring as large as 30 inches. From the 6.68± acre river estate and 350± feet of frontage mere steps from the house, spectacular panoramic four-season water views never disappoint. With a back wall of almost two dozen architecturally-authentic windows and porches on both levels of the home, you’ll enjoy those views from both inside and outside. The main house delivers 5,000± square feet of living space on two levels. With four oversize bedrooms and three full baths, plus a powder room, livability is but one of the buzzwords you might use to describe this comfortable dwelling. With an exterior of native stone, shakes

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and horizontal siding in earth tones, this house delivers instant curb appeal and a warm welcome as well. From the double front doors you gaze through the house to the outside. Factor in a floor plan that flows the people, floods the house with natural light, premium hardwood floors, custom built-ins, coffered ceilings and too many architectural details to list, and you’ve got a home for years to come. A formal dining room to the right of the foyer provides seating for a dozen or more. The great room with wood burning fireplace and built-ins screams “Come in, have a seat. Relax.” Nearby is the large breakfast room, complete with breathtaking views and a breakfast bar separating the kitchen, where custom cabinetry topped with granite provides generous work and storage space. A full complement of stainless appliances gives the resident chef everything needed to whip up a feast. Only steps away from the main house and nestled on a babbling creek, the carriage house has a fully self-contained guest apartment. It also features additional parking space for two vehicles as well as a workshop. Up top, a full kitchen, living room with wood-burning fireplace, large bedroom and full bath make great digs for occasional guests, perhaps friends who come to fish, or kids who have moved back home. With 800± square feet, it’s also the perfect in-law apartment. In addition to its close proximity to Clarkesville and Lake Burton, another plus for this property is the massive amount of unfinished second floor bonus space and storage. Live here, and you’ll bask in the peaceful music of the river. From the screened porch with plenty of room for outdoor living and dining, to the two additional covered porches, the choice is yours. Plus there’s plenty of level grassy lawn for play, and gatherings around the outdoor fire pit. In fishing parlance, a “honey hole” refers to a particular spot where the fish are almost waiting to hop onto your hook. With this property, there’s a honey hole in the river just waiting for you to drop your line. With this custom-designed Craftsman-architecturallyinspired lodge, you’ll find a second honey hole as well; one more catch of a place to live and a truly incredible fly-fishing experience besides. Listing agent Meghann Brackett at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Georgia Properties with offices in Clayton and Clarkesville can tell you more about this property that you don’t want to let get away. Her cell phone number is 706-968-1870 and the office number is 706-778-4171. Her email address is meghann.brackett@ Reference MLS #8888745.

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Home, where you treat your friends like family and your family like friends

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There’s So Much You Can Do on This Property By John Shivers


o fully appreciate the property currently on the market at 1208 Franklin Street in Dillard, Georgia, you need to see the full picture, a birds-eye view, if you will. Contained within this beautiful tract, in the center of an already busy downtown area, are multiple structures currently producing revenue. More importantly, there’s the potential for future income, based on the property’s solid track record. You can reconfigure what’s already there into new revenue producing purposes. And here’s the most extraordinary possibility: nestled in the valley, surrounded by Rabun’s beautiful mountains, within minutes of Franklin and Highlands, North Carolina, there’s ample room on these nine acres to create new and bigger and better.

Incredible Commercial Opportunities

While the commercial property fronts principally on heavily-traveled Franklin Street, which will become more of an asset when the highway widening is complete, there’s also frontage on Boxwood Terrace and Barnard Lane. This three-sided access only ramps up the possibilities to better utilize this property going forward. The northern end of Rabun County is a happening place, and this property sits squarely in the middle of this growth. Currently located on the property is an 11,000 square foot warehouse building that’s 100% leased. A historic one hundred yearold store front is leased into two separate suites, and there’s potential for additional income from the former RV park. According to statistics compiled by the nation’s RV industry, over 9,000,000 households, that’s more than 11% of the nation’s households, own a recreational vehicle. Over 40,000,000 Americans, more than one-third of which are Millennials, regularly take to the road and spend between three and four weeks a year in their RV. They have to have a place to park and hook up to modern life, and statistics indicate that the popularity of this activity will continue to explode in years to come. To further support these RV travelers are a bathhouse and coin laundry, beautiful four-

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season views, and a great centrally-located base for RVers to stay and spend money and enjoy their time in Rabun County. Other structures on the property include a duplex apartment with private decks that overlooks the beautiful Dillard countryside and a caretaker’s cabin that makes it easier to be an absentee landlord. But there’s also another option. A spacious four-sided brick home sits on the eastern edge of the property. From the rolling lawn to the mountain views, to the privacy factor, this home would make an excellent base of operations, allowing you to be an on-site manager while you grow your investment. Or lease out the house either as a residence or as another commercial space, and generate even more cash flow. This three-bedroom, three and one-half bath home is laid out for comfortable, casual living with a split bedroom floor plan, large rooms, ample closet and storage space, large kitchen, great room with fireplace and a sunroom, a deck and two covered porches and an oversize two-car garage. Contact Poss Realty agent Lorie Thompson at 706-490-1820 to view all the possibilities for this listing. Reference MLS #8870357. You may also contact her at Poss Realty, 706-782-2121.

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4 Tips for Creating a Healthier Home

eople are spending more time at home, where their living spaces have become classrooms, gyms, offices, restaurants and more. The additional time at home provides a unique opportunity to make changes to create healthier living environments. In fact, a majority of Americans (54%) report being more concerned about having a healthy home since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent online survey of 2,000 adults conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Carrier Global Corporation, a leading global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. If you’re looking to improve your living space, consider these tips for making your home the healthiest it can be: Create an ideal sleep environment. Most people sleep most comfortably when the air is slightly cool, so target a room temperature between 65-70 F. If this is cooler than you keep the home during the day, consider using a programmable thermostat that automatically lowers the temperature at bedtime. Also, remove distractions that may keep you awake and, if necessary, use a white noise device for uninterrupted sleep. Improve indoor air quality. Maintaining heating and air conditioning filters is a concern many homeowners reported. According to the survey, 49% of respondents are concerned about reducing dust, pollen and other indoor pollutants as part of their filter maintenance. In addition to changing air filters on a frequent basis, air purifiers and humidifiers can help make the air inside homes fresher, cleaner

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and more comfortable. For example, third-party testing has shown the Carrier Infinity Whole Home Air Purifier inactivates 99% of select viruses and bacteria trapped on the filter, such as those that cause common colds, streptococcus pyogenes and human influenza. The purifier was also tested by a third party against the murine coronavirus, which is similar to the human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. In that testing, the purifier inactivated 99% of coronavirus trapped on the filter. Update fire protection. Since the pandemic began, people are also more concerned about fire safety precautions in their homes, such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Smoke alarms should be installed on each level of your house and inside each bedroom. Test smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries as needed. In addition, install a fire extinguisher on each level and consider one for the kitchen, as well. Make sure to check extinguishers routinely and replace every 10-12 years. Install carbon monoxide alarms. Another cause for concern amid COVID-19 is the potential for dangerous levels of carbon monoxide (CO) in homes. CO alarms should be installed on each level of the home and outside sleeping areas, and it’s important to test them monthly. Consider installing alarms with a 10-year battery, such as the Kidde Wire-Free Interconnect 10-Year Battery Combination Smoke & CO Alarm for less hassle. It offers wire-free interconnect capability, a voice warning feature that accompanies the loud alarm tone and verbal announcements such as “replace alarm” at the end of the alarm’s life. To learn more about creating a safer, healthier home, visit Family Features article ~ Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Finding Art

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Visit - Stay - Play - Enjoy

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Bon Appétit

The Winds are Blowing - March Days are Here By Scarlett Cook


don’t know about you but I don’t have to wait for March for winds to blow! This year has been extremely windy and March has just arrived. I sometimes wonder if I couldn’t put up a windmill and use it to generate power. I guess it is because we have so many hills and valleys that we always have a breeze. Batten down the doors and windows and cook this meal which should have something that appeals to everyone. And don’t forget to wear your green on the 17th so you don’t get pinched. Onion Crusted Chicken 4 Servings 4 Skinless boneless chicken breasts 1/4 Teaspoon salt 1/4 Teaspoon pepper 1/2 Cup butter, melted 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 Can fried onions, crushed Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease a 13” x 9” baking dish. Place each piece of chicken between 2 sheets of waxed paper and flatten to 1/4” using rolling pan or cast iron skillet Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine butter, Worcestershire sauce and mustard and stir well. Dip chicken in butter mixture, then in fried onions. Place chicken in prepared pan. Top with remaining onion pieces and drizzle with remaining butter. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes more. Green Bean and Corn Casserole 4 – 6 Servings 1 (12 ounce) Can Mexican style corn, drained 1 (16 ounce) Can French style green beans, drained 1/2 Cup diced celery 1/2 Cup chopped onion 1/2 Cup shredded Cheddar cheese 1/2 Sour cream 1 Can cream of celery soup 1/4 Teaspoon pepper 1/4 Cup melted butter 1/2 Cup slivered almonds 1 Cup bread crumbs Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease 8” x 8” baking dish. Combine corn, beans, celery, onion, cheese, sour cream, soup and pepper. Pour into prepared dish. Combine butter, almonds and crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

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Apple Slaw 4 – 6 Servings 2 Large Granny Smith apples, unpeeled and chopped. 1 1/2 Teaspoon lemon juice 2 Cups shredded red cabbage 1/4 Cup chopped walnuts 1 Stalk celery, thinly sliced 3 Tablespoons raisins 6 Large radishes 1/4 Cup sour cream Toss chopped apple with lemon juice in large bowl. Stir in cabbage, walnuts, celery, raisins and radishes. Add sour cream and mix well. Cover and chill 2 hours. Bleu Cheese Biscuits 5 Servings 1/2 Cup butter 2 Tablespoons crumbled bleu cheese 1 Teaspoon lemon juice 10 Refrigerated biscuits Preheat oven to 400˚. Greased 9” cake pan. Combine butter and bleu cheese in a small saucepan; cook over low heat until butter and cheese melt. Add lemon juice and cook on medium one minute or until slightly thickened. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces and place in pan. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until biscuits brown.

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love well, SLEEP WELL IF ONE HAS NOT dined well.

One Cannot THINK WELL,

-Virginia Woolf

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The Family Table By Lorie Thompson


y daughter Kendall, and her boyfriend, Chef BJ, and I talk a lot about food. Kendall and BJ are in the early stages of opening their own restaurant. Their entire life revolves around cooking and food. One of our recent conversations was about garlic and how people use it. BJ said he and Kendall had decided that there are two types of cooks: The people who peel and chop fresh garlic and the people who use the pre-chopped, bottled garlic in the grocery store. Talk about stereotyping. There are assumptions made about your gourmet cooking capability based on your garlic habits. I am both of those people. The mundane task of peeling and mincing fresh garlic is a pleasure to me, as are many kitchen tasks WHEN I have time to do them. If time is short, as it often is, I am all about that squeeze bottle of garlic from the produce section of the grocery store. Don’t judge me if you see me with one of those bottles, hidden away behind the fresh cloves of organic garlic in my grocery cart. I lead a hectic life. While making true confessions, I will follow it up with this one: I stew at least one chicken almost every weekend. Typically on Sunday afternoon, I will put a whole chicken (or two) in a large

pot with carrots, onions, fresh cloves of garlic, celery, salt, and a couple of dried red pepper pods. I let it stew for a couple of hours on medium-low or until the meat is falling off the bones. If I am not going to be home, I put it in the crockpot and let it simmer all day. I have an old dog, and she gets the skin and the cartilage and a little of the meat throughout the week. She is blind and deaf, but she can still smell, and she will lay on the floor of the kitchen all afternoon waiting to get her share of the stewed chicken. As long as she is alive, I will stew a chicken every weekend. I use the broth in many of the dishes I cook, and the meat provides the base for lots of easy weeknight meals. It is a very economical way to cook. A favorite meal from the weekend batch cooking is Chicken Enchiladas. It is easy to prepare and hard to beat for flavor. This dish was my friend Tina Lee’s choice for her annual birthday celebration with our best friends group for many years. I hope you will try it! There are lots of ways to shortcut the process of making these delicious treats. My recipe for the red enchilada sauce uses dried chili powder and seasonings you have in your pantry. This method only takes 10 minutes, and it makes a delicious sauce that is far superior to canned. You can stew your own chicken or use grocery store rotisserie chicken for a little quicker option. Both will make a great enchilada. The recipes below are for a red enchilada and a white enchilada. Each recipe will make 15 enchiladas. I usually make both the red and the white on the same day, freezing what we don’t need for a meal. Corn tortillas come in packs of 30, and it takes most of a whole chicken to make 30 enchiladas. So, it works out nicely. For the red enchiladas, start by making the sauce. In a medium saucepan, add 3 T of flour (or gluten-free flour) and 3 T of vegetable oil. Bring the roux to medium heat and cook while continually stirring until the flour is browned. To the browned flour, add 2 T of ancho chili powder, 2 tsp of chipotle chili powder, 1 tsp each of onion powder and garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp of cumin, oregano and salt.

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microwave. This is the one step that I will not shortcut. They really are that much better when softened in the oil.

Cook the seasonings for 1 minute in the roux to help the flavors bloom. Add 2 1/2 C of chicken stock and 2 tsp of vinegar. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes and remove from heat.

For the white enchilada sauce, blend 1 1/2 C sour cream with 1 can cream of mushroom soup and 1 C of milk. Add 2 tsp of granulated garlic powder and 2-3 cans of chopped green chilis. To prepare the tortillas, heat a small cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Pour 1/3 c vegetable oil into a bowl. Using a pastry brush dipped into the oil, paint a thin layer of oil into the skillet center. Heat the tortilla on both sides until it is just starting to bubble up. The goal is to soften the tortilla. Do not overcook it. Brush the pan with more oil between each tortilla. Place on paper towels to drain. Many recipes call for heating the tortillas in the oven or even the

Prepare your casserole pan with a small amount of the sauce of choice in the bottom. Add one of the softened tortillas that have been dipped into the sauce. Put 2 tsp of shredded chicken, a sprinkle of chopped onion or green chilis, and sharp cheddar or Colby-jack

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cheese. Roll the tortilla up and place seam side down. Continue until the pan is full. Cover the top of the enchiladas with the leftover sauce. Cover with a healthy sprinkle of shredded cheese. Cover tightly with foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook 20 more minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. A 9x11 casserole will hold 9-10 enchiladas in a single layer, and an 8x8 will hold 5-6.

Serve the enchiladas with some good rice and a big batch of coleslaw. It is delicious! Enjoy some time around your Family Table eating enchiladas! Or, If you don’t feel like cooking, come visit Chef BJ McCauley and his sidekick, Kendall Thompson, at the Proper Pub. Opening March 4th, 2021, at the Rabun County Country Club. Happy March to you and those you love!

Lorie Thompson is a REALTOR at Poss Realty in Clayton, Georgia. Her expertise in her industry is second only to her culinary talents. Lorie is a dynamo in the kitchen. Honestly if she prepares it, it will likely be the best you’ve ever had! Lorie and her husband, Anthony (Peanut), make their home in the Persimmon Community. She is the proud mother of Joe Thompson and Kendall Thompson.

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Jesus on Fear By Tyler Frank – Biltmore Church


s followers of Jesus, none of us are immune to suffering. Nobody can avoid difficulties or trials in this life. Jesus’ teachings, however, repeatedly remind us not to be afraid. But what is his rationale? How can he tell us not to fear? If you’re anything like me, the daily news headlines are usually a source of anxiety (see: murder hornets?). The constant stimulus of information is almost too much sometimes. Understandably, there is a lot of pain, frustration, and uncertainty during this time, which causes us to experience one of the most basic and intense emotions: fear. Fear (and its cousin, anxiety) is a mixture of reactions to uncertainty about a potential outcome and concrete threats. Or, as John Mark Comer has said – a Christian definition could be the: “anticipation of future suffering…without Jesus involved in it.” As followers of Jesus, none of us are immune to suffering. Nobody can avoid difficulties or trials in this life. Jesus’ teachings, however, repeatedly remind us not to be afraid. But what is his rationale? How can he tell us not to fear? Here are four reminders directly from Jesus (italics mine):

Do not fear, Jesus values you. Matthew 10:26-31: “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”  Do not fear, Jesus will meet your needs.  Luke 12:22-32: “And he said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you,  do not be anxious  about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being

Tyler Frank of Biltmore Church is Pastor at the Hendersonville Campus and the son of Biltmore Church’s lead Pastor Bruce Frank. Biltmore Church is a small church in many locations across Western North Carolina. Biltmore Church exists to glorify God by making disciples of Jesus who reach up, reach in and reach out. Visit them online for more information at

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anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’” Do not fear, Jesus will give you peace. John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” Do not fear, Jesus holds the keys. Revelation 1:17-18: “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.’” Ultimately, Jesus gives us these promises because he desires to have a people that love him completely and love their neighbors boldly. As John reminds us, “perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).

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The Gospel is Pure, True and Everlasting By Michael Rogers


t’s that time again! It’s time to clean out the old storage building that once was a little shop equipped with a radio and power. I muster up enough courage to enter this pile of left over junk once every ten years or so. As I enter through the door and climb my way back into the crypt of junk, I am always looking for that one piece of treasure that will keep me content. In 1987, the senior class put out a cassette tape that had captured the sounds and voices from the entire school year. Every five to ten years, I take this tape down off the shelf, listen and allow the memories to flood back. One of the highlights of the tape is hearing Coach Papa Ray Rumsey talking to his class like a prosecutor arguing an important court case, challenging them to be the jury. Another set of highlights are the sounds of students yelling in the hall, the football team line-up being announced at Friday night’s big game, along with listening to Jim Green and his Foxfire classmates sing “I’m a Wildcat Fan”. Listening to Jim and his group play the guitars and other instruments is always a joy because it takes me back in time to a simpler life, without a lot of responsibilities. I often wonder where those instruments are now. They sound so good on this ancient tape of 34 years; I’m sure some of these instruments are still being played today and I’m sure some are broken. Regardless of the condition of the instruments today, the music on the tape is still playing strong. The truths that Papa Ray taught in his class are still valid today and can still be remembered with the simplicity that he taught them. Today, Papa Ray is with Jesus and I would say most of the instruments Jim and the group used are out of use, but what was said and what was played lives on every time I listen to the tape. When I consider the gospel, and how it has been proclaimed through the instrument of voice for over 2000 years, it encourages me that it is still alive, strong and valid today. Many of the instruments God uses to proclaim his truth are still well oiled while some are broken. The apostle Paul preached the gospel until his death; it was actually Paul’s standing up for it that brought death upon him. Paul said in Galatians 1:6, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.“

Paul believed the Gospel was just as important as food and water. I’m thankful that he lived in and by it until his final breath. He was a fine tuned instrument. Paul had a companion named Demas, who had a heart for the Gospel and was a big part of his ministry. We find in 2 Timothy 4:10 that Demas abandoned Paul and the Gospel for the cares of the world. Because of this, he became a broken instrument. Just a few days ago it was revealed that Ravi Zacharias, one of the great apologists of our day, was living a double life. This was devastating to me and the Christian community. I had listened to and learned from Ravi for years. He had led many to salvation and had left bundles of wisdom for us to use for many years to come. Ravi died a few weeks ago after a struggle with cancer and we celebrated his life and ministry. However, as more and more news is shared about his indiscretions, we see that he was a broken vessel and most people will refuse to learn from him again. His situation reminds me of King Amaziah, who did what was right in the sight of God, but lacked a loving heart. When I heard the news, I thought of the harm he has brought to the Gospel. I knew it would give people even more of an excuse to not believe the gospel. I understand temptations and the struggles that each man encounters and has to overcome, but I couldn’t help to cry out, “Why Ravi! Why were you so brilliant on the outside but so broken on the inside? We really needed you Ravi!!!” Well, Ravi has come and gone, Paul has come and gone, Demas and many others have come and gone. Some were broken instruments and some were finely oiled instruments. The joy comes in knowing that regardless of what the condition of the instrument is, the Gospel will remain pure and true. Regardless of how much society tries to discredit or cancel out the gospel, it is still pure, true, and everlasting. In the end, when man comes to his last breath, all that will matter is how he or she represented the Gospel. Did we believe in it and proclaim it like a well oiled instrument or did we mishandle it like a broken instrument? I am thankful that I got to teach Papa Ray Rumsey at the Cannon Wood retirement home before his departure. Listening to his comments of what the Gospel meant to him after each teaching session was always a joy and I am certain he left this earth as a well oiled instrument. May we all follow his example.

Michael Rogers is the pastor of Wolfcreek Baptist Church located at 652 Wolf Creek Church Road, Tiger, Georgia 30576. He and his wife Susan have three children and two grandchildren. Sharing the gospel message and the redemptive power of the cross is what Michael desires most. His passion for Christ and his love for others is what fuels his ministry.

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Trying New Things Whether We Want To or Not By Karla Jacobs


f you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed the banner photo on my profile is a picture of my son in front of a large mural that is a photograph of the Earth from space with a lovely sun flare peeking around the horizon. The younger version of my son looks adorable, but the point of the photo and its prominent placement in my Twitter profile is the T.S. Eliot quote: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” I took the photo on his first day of Space Camp at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida. If anyone knows a thing or two about risking going too far, it’s the NASA space program. The men and women willing to strap themselves to rockets have “slipped the surly bonds of Earth” again and again, in some cases all the way to the moon and back. In a few tragic cases, their risks have had deadly consequences. Many of the world’s greatest discoveries came with the risk of going too far. In a time when the settled science was that the Earth was flat, Columbus risked falling off the edge by sailing farther west than anyone known to fifteenth century Europe had sailed before. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first men to stand on the summit of Mount Everest. Marie Curie pioneered the science in radioactive materials that brought about advances in medicine to treat and cure deadly diseases. Her research exposed her to then little-known effects of radiation poisoning that later took her life. Thankfully, we aren’t all called to push the boundaries of human knowledge. In fact, we don’t have to push anything at all. C.S. Lewis said, “You never know what you can do until you try, and very few try unless they have to.” Isn’t that the truth? It’s kind of nice puttering along at idle speed. Until something pops up to make you change directions. Something like—I don’t know—a worldwide pandemic that hit us a year ago this month. We’ve now had a solid year of trying new things, whether we wanted to or not.

The learning curve has been steep. Stephen and I had started teaching a fifteen-week series on Psalms to our high school Sunday school class when quarantine began. We moved it online and recorded a twenty to thirty minute lesson each week and uploaded it to YouTube. Once we got over the weirdness of talking to ourselves, the teaching part wasn’t hard, but we did have to pay attention to lighting and sound and remember to turn off the air conditioner when we recorded on the back porch so it wouldn’t cut on loudly in the middle of the recording. As the grocery shelves emptied, we had to get creative in the kitchen and try new things. Some innovations worked well. Homemade sour cream is delicious and, in some ways, better than store bought, and a cinnamon babka is not as hard to make as one would think. Other experiments, like substituting ground lamb for ground beef in the chili, didn’t work out quite so well. We learned to go to church on Facebook and go to school on Zoom. We had family meetings via Microsoft Teams and played online board games with friends across the country. So many people started making sourdough bread that many joked sourdough starter was the new Tamagotchi for 30-somethings. (Tamagotchi was an electronic pet wildly popular with kids in the 90s.) Teachers with decades of experience in an actual classroom shifted to teaching in a virtual one. Medical professionals treated caseloads of patients that would have been thought impossible a year ago. Whole companies moved to online collaboration tools. Restaurants created new takeout models, and retailers began delivering goods curbside. Many shifted on a dime with only a weekend to prepare. We didn’t know we could do it, but we did it because we had to. I know we all have pandemic fatigue and are ready for the darn thing to be over already, but we need to take a moment to acknowledge that we have done some very hard things this year. Things we can all be proud of. We are not all called to take the big risks that lead to big discoveries. But in the hard things we were called to do this year, we did them, and we did them well.

“You never know what you can do until you try, and very few try unless they have to.” C.S. Lewis

Karla Jacobs is a freelance writer, a soccer mom, and a community volunteer with deep family roots in the North Georgia Mountains. When not writing about pop culture, policy, and politics, she can often be found hiking backcountry trails with her family. She lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband and their two teenage children.

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Ten Questions About Covid-19 for Edward Frederickson, M.D.

GML - What do you feel is our first line of defense against the Covid-19 virus? Does mask wearing make a difference and are cloth masks effective? Dr. Frederickson - The first line of defense against any virus that spreads by respiratory droplets is to avoid breathing in the droplets from a person who is infected with the virus. Common sense is to isolate those who have the virus, but the Covid-19 virus begins to be shed in respiratory droplets 3-5 days before the infected person starts to show symptoms of the disease. In this asymptomatic stage of viral spread, it is impossible to know who to avoid, thus the best strategy is to avoid all interchange of respiratory droplets. With normal breathing a sixfoot distance will be effective, however a cough, sneeze, shouting, and/or singing can spread the droplets/virus much farther.


dward D. Frederickson, M.D. is a specialist in Internal Medicine and Nephrology. He grew up in Atlanta and was educated at Emory University for undergraduate and medical school. He received post-graduate education in Internal Medicine at Northwestern University, Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Chicago, and Nephrology at the University of Florida. After several years in academic medicine at The University of Florida and Emory University, he went into private practice at Piedmont Hospital where he remained for 22 years. Dr. Frederickson moved to Rabun County in 2013 and opened Highlands Internal Medicine on Main Street in Clayton. He and his wife Suzanne reside on Lake Burton and in Highlands, North Carolina. They enjoy spending time with their six sons and eight grandchildren.

Highlands Internal Medicine 156 N. Main Street Clayton, Georgia 30525 706-212-0390

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A good quality face mask will markedly decrease the spread of your own respiratory droplets. Others wearing good quality face masks will keep you from breathing in their respiratory droplets. That’s where we get the saying, “My mask protects you and your mask protects me.” Well fitting cloth masks are effective, but they should be several layers thick. If you feel your own breath coming through, the cloth is too thin. Thin gators and bandanas are much too thin to be effective. Now scientists are saying we need to double mask. N95 masks are used in health care and industry to protect the wearer. If worn properly they are effective, however they frequently have an exhalation valve which makes them ineffective to protect others. Many have observed and I agree, that because we have worn masks, practiced social distancing, and observed good hand washing practices this year, cases of colds and flu have decreased. Who knows how many more Covid-19 cases we would currently have if we had not practiced these well tested and documented good community health measures? GML - Are you confident in the vaccines that have been made available? Do you feel they are safe and do you recommend them? Are there any patients who should not receive the vaccine? Dr. Frederickson - The vaccines currently available have been well studied and are highly effective against the current strain of Covid-19. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are MRNA (messenger RNA) vaccines which represent new technology. This type of vaccine has been studied for over a decade in animals, but these are the first vaccines using synthetic messenger RNA to be approved for use in humans. The vaccines contain copies of MRNA which code for the protein contained on the spike processes of the Covid-19 particles. Once injected the particles are gobbled up by macrophages and dendritic cells in our own tissues and blood stream. These cells read the MRNA and produce the exact peptides. These cells are the first steps in our immune response and are known as antigen presenting cells. They deliver the exact copies of the viral protein to our T and B lymphocytes which produce antibodies and cellular immunity. In short, the vaccines steer our immune process to protect us from the virus. The MRNA contained in the vaccine never enters the nucleus of our cells and does not in any way change our DNA. This new technology offers tremendous promise down the road toward treating auto immune diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Rheumatoid arthritis. These vaccines are well tolerated by most patients with only minor reactions, however patients who have had severe allergic reactions to any of the ingredients of the vaccine, specifically people who

are allergic to polyethylene glycol (PEG) and polysorbate should not take the vaccine. GML - There are currently Covid-19 variants emerging. Are they deadlier? Will we see the virus change and will there be more? Dr. Frederickson - Covid-19 is an RNA virus. It contains RNA covered by a capsule and spike-like structures which are made up of specific proteins. The RNA in each viral particle contains all of the information necessary to instruct our cells to produce the virus over and over again. This mass replication is not a perfect process and the more replication the greater the chance of a mistake or mutation. If the mutation improves the efficacy of the virus, it will quickly become dominate and a new strain is produced. We will, in fact, have more strains of the virus and a very important point is that the number of strains is completely dependent on the number of infections and replications of the parent virus. Therefore, we have a situation, a race between the advent of a more virulent strain and control of the viral spread in the population. So far, there have been three new strains identified, the UK, the South African, and the Brazilian. Evidence thus far indicates they are more contagious but not necessarily more deadly. Undoubtably more strains will follow. Hopefully we will control the virus before it becomes resistant to our vaccines. GML - For those who believe that herd immunity is the only way that this virus will go away, what do you say about that? Isn’t the immunity to Covid-19 after exposure only temporary? Dr. Frederickson - Herd immunity basically means that most of the population has antibodies to the virus. When this occurs, community spread of the virus is unable to sustain itself. To reach this point 75-80 percent of the population must have immunity. Herd immunity is the only way the virus will be stopped. There are two ways to get immunity, have the virus or get the vaccine. Remember from the previous question we are in a race before the virus learns to defeat our natural or vaccine induced immunity. Once the virus reaches that point, the entire process starts over again. We will need to retreat, adjust, develop, and take a new vaccine. For those who say, “We should just let the virus run its course.”, it is only necessary to do the math to realize in this country we would lose 2.5 to 3 million people. Since the exact length of time infection induced antibodies last, it is recommended to have the vaccine even if you have had the virus. GML - Are there Corona viruses that infect humans and others that spread through animals? Has it been determined that this strain, Covid-19, came from animals? Dr. Frederickson - Covid-19 is a mutated form of a similar virus found in pangolin, an animal native to Asia similar to an armadillo, however the exact virus from the pangolin is unable to infect humans. The precise vector for Covid-19 has not yet been elucidated but it appears to be a hybrid from the pangolin variety and the corona virus found in bats. MERS, the middle eastern epidemic, came from bats and then took home in camels before being introduced into humans. The original SARS virus went from bats to civets, a nocturnal animal native to the tropics, before infecting man. GML - Some say that there are supplements that may have an impact on the virus if you contract it, like Vitamin D3, Zinc, Vitamin C, or Elderberry. Do you recommend any of these to your patients?

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Ten Questions Edward Frederickson, M.D.

Dr. Frederickson - Supplements will not prevent or cure Covid-19. It is very important when taking supplements to take them in appropriate doses. Supplements taken in excess may be toxic and will not provide extra protection. Vitamin D3 may have a role in our immune system. Vitamin D3 receptors are found in our lymphocytes and there is some evidence that Vitamin D3 at therapeutic levels may help recovery from respiratory viruses. The parent molecule of Vitamin D is produced in our skin from sunlight. A little-known fact is that if you live above the 35th parallel, the southern border of North Carolina, you cannot get enough sunshine to replenish your natural Vitamin D levels and a dietary supplement is important. Further studies are needed to define the exact role of this steroid supplement. Zinc is an important micronutrient in the body and is necessary for proper function of our immune systems. It also helps in our olfactory cells of taste and smell. A small study in Spain showed that patients with lower levels of Zinc were sicker and had poorer outcomes than those with higher levels of Zinc. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It is probably beneficial during a viral illness like Covid-19. Elderberry has not been studied in Covid-19. It has been shown to increase our body’s inflammatory response. Since it is the inflammatory response which causes injury from the virus, Elderberry should probably be stopped at the first sign of symptoms. GML - There are some who believe that Covid-19 is the same as the flu virus and that it is blown out of proportion, what do you say to them? Dr. Frederickson - Covid-19 has killed millions of people worldwide and close to a half-million in the United States. In the United States the death rate from influenza is usually 35,000 - 43,000 per year. There have been years when the flu was much deadlier. In 1918 the Spanish flu, which actually began in Kansas, killed 675,000 people in the U.S. It infected 28 percent of the population, killing 2.5 percent of those infected. It was also quite deadly for younger people between the ages of 20 – 40 years of age. Covid-19 is a corona virus named for its appearance as seen with an electron microscope. Its RNA is distinctly different from the influenza virus which is also an encapsulated RNA virus. The common cold is also a corona virus and with any luck we might finally be perfecting a cure for the common cold, a feat which has eluded physicians for centuries. GML - Why do we see 90-year-old patients with underlying conditions who survive the virus and 18-year-old patients with no known underlying conditions who die? Dr. Frederickson - I have had older patients with severe comorbidities who have survived Covid-19 and young, healthy people who have become deathly ill. The rate of hospitalization is 4 percent overall but goes up proportionally with each age group. The mortality rate has gone down as we have found better ways to care for patients both in and out of the hospital. Dexamethasone,

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a potent form of steroids, has been shown to be very beneficial. It decreases the body’s inflammatory response which is the mechanism by which the virus injures the cells. The lungs and other respiratory tissues account for the most damage from the illness. The disease also affects the lining of blood vessels resulting in inappropriate clotting causing deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary emboli, and decimated intravascular coagulations or DIC. We have all been astonished by the speed and severity of the illness caused by the virus. GML - How accurate are the tests available for Covid-19? Comparing nose swabs, saliva tests, and blood tests, is one more reliable than the others? Dr. Frederickson - The PCR test is the gold standard for testing. This test uses a swab from the nose or mouth and measures the presence of the RNA from the virus. False positives are almost impossible. A false negative is possible but is probably related to an error in sampling procedure. An antigen test is much quicker but is much less accurate. These probably have a false negative rate of 20 – 30 percent. False positive rates are probably related to reader error. Antibody tests measure the body’s immune response. They measure both IgM and IgG antibodies. As you recover from the virus you develop these antibodies and are immune from reinfection when they are present. A problem with testing is that people who are potentially infected should isolate while awaiting test results. This does not always take place. Another problem is that people who are asymptomatic do not seek testing. GML - What impact has the pandemic had on our hospital system and health care workers? Dr. Frederickson - The Covid-19 pandemic has been the most difficult crisis our culture has faced in my lifetime. It has killed a half million people and left permanently injured many more. Our economy has taken a large toll with increased poverty, hunger, and homelessness. Our health care system is completely overwhelmed and health care workers are exhausted both physically and emotionally. Hopefully studies will point out the deficiencies in our health care system that have left us unable to respond to the demand placed on it by Covid-19. The wealth and racial disparities have come to the forefront and our definition of essential workers has changed. My hope is that our society will improve as a result of this natural catastrophe. We certainly need to be prepared in the future and I hope we have learned that lesson.

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New Crisis Pregnancy Center comes to Rabun offering CHOICES


ew to Clayton and the surrounding areas is Choices – A Crisis Pregnancy Center offering guidance for young women and men who are facing an unexpected pregnancy and feel afraid and overwhelmed. The counselors will guide each client with confidential and professional support. They offer information and facts about the options available to you. The founder of this center is not new to this type of service, Carla Wright has experience establishing similar centers while living in a neighboring state. “I recognized a need for a crisis pregnancy center here but didn’t feel the time was right. After extensive prayer I know the time is now. I will step into this calling with a longing to help those facing these hard decisions. I want to come alongside them and share what I have learned and be there for them.” Carla told me in a recent interview. Many women feel hopeless and unable to make sound decisions, Choices will offer experienced counselors and other aid for women before and after their decision is made. Choices is in the beginning stages and while the ball is rolling they are looking for community support. We would ask that you ruminate on what you might have to offer in the way of donations of your time, resources, and most importantly your prayers. The center is not affiliated with any church or denomination. The center is an affiliate of Heartbeat International, All services are free and confidential. They are in the process of attaining their 501c3 status, establishing by-laws and selecting board members and volunteer staff who will assist in leading the organization. The center has established and will continue to forge affiliations with groups and individuals enabling them to provide resources for those facing pregnancy in less than ideal situations. “We want to be there for them, so they are not facing this alone. We also want to offer free pregnancy testing, and classes for those who choose to keep their child and guidance and continued counseling for those who choose adoption. We will also offer confidential post abortion counseling for those who may have felt they had to make that decision and now struggle with the aftermath even if it has been many years ago. Any unexpected pregnancy can be life altering and difficult. We look forward to holding an information meeting and speaking in public gatherings in the near future. Carla is ready to take calls for those in need so don’t wait, call today because she is someone who cares. Choices is currently seeking a brick and mortar location, volunteers, donors and community support. We are a non-profit Christian organization. If you are interested in joining this effort please e-mail or call Carla Wright at 706-490-4641.

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Georgia Mountain Psychological Associates, Inc. Clinician Spotlight - Meet Mariana Villegas BCBA By Dr. Amanda Pileski, PHD

Q. What brought you to Rabun County? What has it been like acclimating to the area? A. Family is one of the most important things in life and being closer to my family is what brought me to Rabun County. I am enjoying being in close contact with nature and driving through the mountains is a great adventure, especially after living in Florida where there is a flat landscape. The transition was difficult because of the pandemic, but it’s been a joy to be able to work one-on-one with the children. The individualization of teaching and therapy has allowed the children to show much success in a short amount of time. This has been a life fulfilling goal. Q. Tell me about your background/training/ specialty areas of treatment. A. I received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in Behavior Analysis from Simmons University. I am a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). My calling has always been to teach and my specialty area of treatment is with children and young adults with behavioral challenges or Autism. I am skilled at working with nonverbal children, children that will not collaborate with daily life skills, and children who need assistance in navigating the social world. I learned that if you are creative enough to motivate students, they will engage in the work that is needed to modify their behaviors. I especially enjoy increasing their motivation towards learning. During a session, while teaching the student I observe and discern what would be the appropriate skills to develop in order for them to find an acceptable way of interacting with others and getting rid of an inappropriate behavior. Q. What is ABA and what population is it most commonly used with? A. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a science that explains how a person’s environment affects their behavior. It also gives therapists a way to teach students the skills that they need to grow. It is an effective therapy for children who have been diagnosed with Autism, and has many other uses like reducing anger outbursts. Many times ABA therapy helps students to develop the skills of tolerating “no” as a response, completing difficult tasks, and developing patience. Q. What interested you most in this form of treatment - ABA? A. I like that ABA therapy allows me to individualize the treatment

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of every student that I help. I get to design programs and lessons that are based on the students interests. I also get to design behavior interventions that work for both the family and the individual. I enjoy teaching students skills that make them able to succeed in social and classroom settings. Q. What do you like most about your chosen career path? A. I most enjoy seeing the joy that a student feels when they are able to engage with others in a more productive and meaningful way, breaking through the walls of silence that have gripped them, sometimes for years, and seeing that there is a way to reach them. The joy that I see in the faces of my students when they finally are able to engage with others is among the most exciting moments of my life. Q. What are your ambitions for the future? A. I hope to be able to help as many children as possible. That is why I plan on continuing my education to get a doctoral degree. I want to create a program that celebrates the wonderful qualities of children with Autism, allowing them to share their strengths and talents. I believe that they have many contributions that we can all learn from. Q. What were the major influences in your life that made you want to become a helping professional/behavior analyst/therapist? A. Before entering this field I was a teacher, it was during this time that I found myself researching how to help the students in my classrooms that had behavioral challenges. It was these students who inspired me to seek an education in behavior analysis. I believed that students with specialized needs require an individualized education and I wanted to be the therapist who provides it. I will always be thankful to the kids who led me down this path. Q. What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t working? A. I studied art and I enjoy painting, and woodworking. I play piano and love music. I love reading and learning about the different methods of teaching. I enjoy sharing this knowledge with others, so I have created art and science enrichment clubs for kids and now I am doing it when I don’t work. I am passionate about bringing the joy of learning to others. Rabun,

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Art By Ali Wilkins



atching the growth and changes happening in downtown Clayton, Georgia has been very exciting to witness. We wanted to take this opportunity to welcome some of the new businesses that have opened in Clayton in recent months and tell you where to find them. Madison’s on Main 29 N. Main Street, Clayton, GA 706-782-1986 – Paws & Claws Pet Store 31 S. Main Street, Clayton, GA 706-212-7322 – Nature + Nurture Children’s Boutique 37 S. Main Street, Clayton, GA 678-997-6432 – Holistic Mountain Market 31 W. Savannah Street, Clayton, GA 706-960-9501 – Local Exposure Studio & Magazine 49 W. Savannah Street, Clayton, GA Daddo’s Shenanigans – Eat & Play 77 W. Savannah Street, Clayton, GA Currahee Brewing Company 93 W. Savannah Street, Clayton, GA 706-782-2306 –

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Bear Creek Realty Moves to Mountain City


ear Creek Realty owned by Pam Hyer – Broker/ Agent, has made a move after 18 years in the little blue cottage on the side of Highway 441 in Dillard, Georgia. Pam believes in “Making Clients for Life” that has been her tagline since opening her company. Licensed in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, Pam can show you any listing in the area. She enjoys working with buyers but also enjoys representing sellers. She believes in honesty and transparency offering her clients a smooth process that keeps them coming back. Recently Bear Creek Realty went in search of a “new home” for their office and found the perfect spot in Mountain City. They are now located at 2511 Highway 441 N. Clayton, Georgia. You will find Pam between the Georgia Mountain Laurel office and Expectations Salon. The space is cozy and comfortable and Pam invites you to stop in and visit. If you are in the market for a home or land or are ready to take advantage of the current seller’s market give her a call at 706-4901223 (cell) or 706-746-7490 (office). You can also send an e-mail to or visit online at

Celebrate Clayton – Fun in the Fresh Air!

April 24th and 25th


he last weekend in April our town will once again host the Celebrate Clayton Art Festival. We are super happy the popular, familyfriendly outdoor festival will be back in 2021! Brought to you by the North Georgia Arts Guild, the festival continues the tradition of bringing art and fine crafts to Rabun County. After so many months shut indoors, aren’t you ready to get outside, see your friends and neighbors and enjoy the beauty and fresh air of the North Georgia Mountains? This fun, family-friendly, outdoor festival will be set up with plenty of space to distance and maintain the health and safety of our visitors. There is so much to do while you’re here. Shop the juried Artist Market lining the center of North and South Main Streets where some 100 artists and artisans will exhibit their arts and fine crafts. Remember Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Find the perfect gift for her or a “happy” for yourself. Many of your favorite artists will be back. To name just a few artists returning this year: Roger and Gail Marcengill - iron and copper work; Japanese Gyotoku prints by Weylon Robinson; Anne Autsolief - silver chainmail jewelry; pottery by Mike Hart; wood by the 2019 Best in Show artist, David Einwechter; heirloom plants from Ladybug Farms; Danny Young - photography; Jerry Stanley - outdoor furniture; and Mike Wilson – knives. And there will be many new faces as well, selling whimsical and functional pottery, art glass, beaded jewelry, hand dyed and hand-woven clothing, and much, much more! At the information tent you can pick-up the striking new souvenir T-shirt with artwork by award winning local artist Diane Rush. All around town, you can enjoy tasty fare from Clayton’s many eateries, from breakfast fare, sandwiches, beer and pizza to fine dining and wine, in-doors or on the patio. The Rock House stage will host live music all weekend long. We have another great line-up this year. Listen while you relax on the shady Rock House lawn. In Veteran’s Park, the 2021 NGAG Art Scholarship winners will host the high school student art exhibit. Although we will not offer kids an art activity this year, there will be booths with face painters, panjoes and canjoes, and wooden toys. No event of this magnitude can experience the success and longevity we have enjoyed since 1994 without the support of the community. We cannot thank enough the many volunteers who are dedicated to planning and working the festival year after year. The time and energy of every individual is needed and appreciated. The past generosity of the long list of local business sponsors and individual donors has ensured continued funding for the North Georgia Arts Guild’s scholarship and community outreach programs. Celebrate Clayton is presented by the North Georgia Arts Guild, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  All donations are taxdeductible.  For more information, visit or contact Kathy Ford, Celebrate Clayton Chairman 706-2129958.

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Adventure Out


Desoto Falls By: Peter McIntosh

ur adventure for March was intended to coincide with the Georgia Wine Growers “Wine Highway” event, where you purchase a passport and a special glass for tastings at 23 Georgia wineries. Well, the event has been postponed until August but we’re still visiting a lovely cascade located smack dab in the middle of Georgia wine country. (You can find out more about the wine tour or Georgia’s many fine wineries by visiting The vineyard photo on their homepage is by yours truly by the way.) Our destination is DeSoto Falls, named after the legendary Spanish explorer, Hernando DeSoto. It is well known that De Soto explored this area in the late 1500’s and according to a sign erected near the beginning of the trail, a plate of armor belonging to him or one of his men was found near the base of the falls. And it’s actually two separate waterfalls, the upper falls and lower falls, both accessed from one trailhead.

Peter McIntosh is an accomplished professional photographer. His photography is displayed in collections across the country. His passion for nature and the outdoors is what fuels this column. His work is available as fine art prints. Peter offers one on one and small group instruction on camera operation and photography. To see more of Peter’s photos or if you have a question or comment, visit Peter’s website: www.

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The trail begins at a parking area in the DeSoto Falls Campground, located on Hwy 129, between Blairsville and Cleveland.. (this is a fee area - $5.00 per vehicle. And there is a restroom here. There are also camping spots for tents or RV’s if you’re interested.) From the parking area, we follow a gravel trail that takes us through a picnic area and back onto a road leading to campsites. It’s about 1/4 mile before we come to a footbridge crossing Frogtown Creek. After crossing the creek, we come to the historical marker and signs pointing to upper falls and lower falls. The lower falls is okay and worth a visit but the upper cascade is what we’re here for. (Total distance to the upper falls is just under 1 mile each way.) Turning right and following alongside Frogtown Creek, the trail is gravel covered and almost level with campsites in view across the stream. After about a quarter mile, the footpath gets a little more trail like and ascends gently. There’s a nice bench at the top of the hill if you want to rest. We descend briefly and then the trail turns to the left and ascends, a little more steeply this time but it’s a small hill and there’s another restful bench at the top. (Actually there are lots of benches along this trail, just FYI.) We descend again and come to a footbridge and from here De Soto Falls comes into view on the left through the trees. Just a little bit further and we reach a nice observation platform with a spectacular view of this 200 foot cascade. And please heed the warning about climbing on waterfalls...don’t do it! I mentioned the picnic area at the trailhead. I suggest you leave your picnic in the car and enjoy a streamside snack after your hike. And do keep an eye out for wildflowers, they should just be starting to pop out at this time. Happy hiking!

The springtime birds are singing, my March poem I’m bringing: Two waterfalls in one location, A two for one deal at our March destination. With many beauty spots to take pretty photos, As we retrace the steps of Hernando DeSoto.

Getting there: DeSoto Falls is on Hwy 129 between Blairsville and Cleveland. It’s a few miles south of Neel’s Gap where the Appalachian Trail crosses the highway. There’s a big sign reading “DeSoto Falls Campground.” De Soto Falls Recreation area:

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Lovin’ The Journey - Get a plan....

By Mark Holloway

pringtime is my favorite season. If you’re not from here, fall is probably yours. In the early years of our business, winters were hard. Folks who come here in droves from spring to autumn, and there are lots, miss most of the winter months. Covid has meant many folks have hidden out in their mountain homes. That’s quite simply, a smart move. We are so very thankful to live here, away from city crowds. If I lived somewhere else and had a home here, you’re darn tootin’ I would escape here as well. But typically winters are much quieter here. Folks who track these types of things, say our area population triples during the ‘tourist’ season. So winters can be challenging. Less people. Less action. Less work. Things are quite different for us now than in 2007 and 2008. God has so blessed us with such an amazing client list. We work steady through the winter and our company helps to keep bread on a number of other tables. But the lean times make you appreciate the fat times. And so, I love springtime. The hint of springtime means winter is passed. The cold nap is about over and more prosperous days are around the corner. I am a trail junkie. Running, hiking and riding through the wild is my drug. Winters don’t keep me indoors. We ride our mountain bikes at night with mega bright lights to illuminate our way. Winter doesn’t slow me down. It’s just more challenging to make a living, and keep a crew busy. But my supply has never been about me and what I can provide for my household. My budget has always been about daily bread. You’re not a beggar by asking for daily bread. In fact, Jesus tells us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” I’m in a dangerous place when I become self reliant. I can look around at my stuff and full cabinets and get proud and arrogant. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against hard work. Paul of the Bible even says, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” I just can’t risk thinking I am the source and supply of what I need. I am not. The headwaters of my abundance will surely run dry if I get cocky, prideful or worse, entitled.

Seeing buds on the trees is exciting. Inside each one is a tiny leaf rolled up and growing, unseen potential ready to unfold and capture the goodness from the sun and provide life to the tree which hosts it. Spring is about promise. Spring is about new life. Spring is about new trails, new adventures, new hope, new challenges and more ‘Ws” in the win column. There is something so alluring about spring. The forest releases a fragrance of good things to come. The smells of a new season invite me to wander. Soon, my fiends who ride bikes will gather. We’ll pick our routes, saddle up and go. This spring is waiting on your plan. If you don’t have a plan, get one quick. Spring is like NASCAR when all the drivers are all mashed up together, engines roaring and revving...waiting for the race to start. A new season is upon us. Make a list of all the reasons hindering you from embracing spring. Then systematically dismantle each excuse, like taking down old rusty scaffolding piece by piece. Then, you’ll be ready... ready to take on all the promises this season is setting before you. Get up. Rev up. Capture your moment. Seize your day. See you on the trail.

Mark and his wife, Carol, are the owners of Fresh Start, a company dedicated to stewarding the property and homes of their clients. They aspire to be your eyes, ears and hands while you are away, and your resource for anything you need, whether you are a full or part time resident of the area. Mark can be reached by calling 706-490-7060.

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The CLassy Flea

Ten Roof

”A good friend is like a four-leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have.” - Irish Proverb March 2021 - GML 67

Farming in Rabun County: Maize, Subsistence Farms and Moonshine By Dick Cinquina


he earliest white settlers, Scots-Irish from Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina, arrived in northeast Georgia in the late eighteenth century. They farmed the land to survive, but those settlers were not the first to raise crops in the fertile valleys and river bottomlands of what would become Rabun County. Already living in the north Georgia mountains were Native Americans, who had been farming this region for at least a thousand years. The Mississippians, a mound-building culture that spanned AD 800 to about 1600, were an agrarian society. Their villages were located close to rivers and streams. Periodic flooding replenished soil nutrients, keeping their fields and gardens productive. A small mound near Dillard in northern Rabun County probably was the site of a Mississippian village along the Little Tennessee River.

Mississippian Intensive Farming of Maize Farming with a mule and plow in Wolffork Valley

One of the ways Mississippians  differed from prior Native American societies in eastern North America was their heavier reliance on maize (corn) for subsistence. Maize had been grown earlier in the east, but the Mississippians farmed maize much more intensively than people had in the past. Mississippians also developed a new variety of maize called eastern flint corn that resembled modern corn and produced larger crops. This allowed Mississippian populations to grow and expand across large swaths of the country east of the Mississippi River. As Mississippian populations dwindled due to warfare and diseases introduced by European explorers, remnant tribes banded together. This amalgamation gave rise in the 1600s to the Cherokee in northeast Georgia and adjacent areas in the Southeast.

Corn and Cherokee Spiritual Beliefs Like the Mississippians, Cherokee culture was defined in large part by the cultivation of corn. From the earliest times in Cherokee history, the raising of corn was interwoven with spiritual beliefs. “Selu,” the Cherokee word for corn, is also the name of the First Woman in Cherokee creation stories. Cornfields would have surrounded the four Cherokee villages in Rabun County. Massee Apple Packing House in Tiger, circa 1940

Dick Cinquina holds graduate degrees in history and journalism, making his work for the Rabun County Historical Society a natural fit for his interests. He is the retired president of Equity Market Partners, a national financial consulting firm he founded in 1981. In addition to writing monthly articles for the Georgia Mountain Laurel, Dick helped produce the Society’s new web site and is involved with the renovation of the group’s museum. After vacationing in this area for many years, he and his wife Anne moved to Rabun County in 2018 from Amelia Island, Florida.

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The Three Sisters, known as corn, beans and squash, were staples of the Cherokee diet. The method of growing these crops was ingenious. The strength of the corn stalks supported the twining bean vines, while the shade of the spreading squash vines reduced weeds and trapped moisture for the growing crop. Bacterial colonies on bean roots capture nitrogen from the air, which is released into the soil to nourish the high nitrogen needs of corn. For this reason, the farming practices of the Cherokee did not rapidly exhaust the soil.

Rabun’s Early Subsistence Farmers The first white settlers in northeastern Georgia were farmers by necessity. They had to grow their own food to survive. These people were subsistence farmers, whose families consumed virtually all of their crops and livestock. Little, if any, surplus was left for trade. Settlers grew a variety of crops, but as with Native Americans, corn was the staple. Corn not only provided food for the farm family, it also fed the mules, oxen and horses that did the farm labor. Corn also was food for chickens, hogs and cows, which provided milk, meat, butter and eggs. This made early Rabun farmers largely selfsufficient with the exception of such things as salt, sugar and flour. Any surplus that the farm family produced was sold or bartered for these necessities. However, most farms were small, and with a mule, a farmer was able to plant, plow and till only about one acre a day. As a result, farm surpluses were meager.

Earning Cash By Moonshining Growing corn also gave rise to moonshining. Distilling whiskey out of corn was a way for subsistence farmers to earn badly needed cash. For many, moonshining was an economic necessity. Since so many farmers were making illicit whiskey in mountain hollows, moonshining probably was Rabun County’s largest business at one time. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the house and barn of Henry and Rosie Kilby in the Persimmon community of western Rabun County are fully intact examples of a subsistence family farm. The house was built in 1898. In addition to farming his land, Henry Kilby raised cash as a blacksmith, by selling shoes made from the leather he tanned, and operating a gristmill on Persimmon Creek. Cycles in the regional and national economy had little impact on the Kilby family, since it largely was self-sufficient.

Truck Farming As Rabun County progressed through the 1800s, average farm sizes became larger, enabling farmers to raise more crops. This trend generated a greater surplus of food available for trade. By the early 1900s, a truck farming industry was born in the county with locally produced food marketed in Atlanta and Athens. Truck farming grew into a significant business during the first half of the twentieth century. To facilitate this development, the Georgia Department of Agriculture built a farmers market in Dillard in 1951 that provided a place for truck farmers to store and sell their produce. In the county’s earliest days, apples were traded for necessities the farm could not produce. Over time, large orchards were planted and

Melvin Taylor and his son Wesley Taylor grading beans at the Dillard Farmers’ Market apple packinghouses were built in Mountain City and Tiger. The Clayton Tribune reported that the Mountain City Packing Company expected to sell 30,000 bushels of apples in 1933. Apple production in Tiger was down to about half its normal crop that year, causing Tiger Mountain Orchards, another packinghouse, to ship only 8,000 bushels. It is estimated that 72,000 bushels of apples were grown in Rabun County in the mid-1930s.

Family Farming Program A unique educational program advanced farming in Rabun County during the early decades of the twentieth century. The Rabun GapNacoochee School offered a program in which families lived on the school campus to learn how to make a living as farmers. The families were given a house, barn, land for a garden, one acre to farm, and enough pasture for two milk cows. The harvested crops were shared equally between the farm family and the school. The length of residence was up to five years. In addition to receiving instruction in modern farm practices, some families were able to save enough money to purchase their own farms. Much has changed since the Scots-Irish settlers began farming in Rabun County more than 200 years ago. Cherokee farmers are long since gone. Subsistence farming is largely a thing of the past. The annual corn harvest is far below the levels posted in the early 1900s. Growing apples, which peaked in the 1930s, is no longer a major business. However, one thing has not changed. Continued on page 71

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Planning for the Longest “Vacation” of Your Life Provided by Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. and Steve Perry


t any time during the year, you might find yourself dreaming of vacation plans. You start thinking about your destination, where you’ll stay, and what you’ll see and do when you get there. The list goes on and on, and it may take weeks for you to fine-tune all the details and make sure you have the plans in place to ensure a wonderful trip. Now, after thinking about the time it takes to plan that wonderful vacation, ask yourself a question – how much time have you put into planning for your retirement? Then remember that while vacations might last a matter of days, or even weeks (if you’re one of the lucky ones), your retirement can go on for 30 years or more! In addition, unlike those last-minute vacation deals that pop up online from time to time, retirement plans require time to take shape and develop. Many of us tend to put off retirement planning probably because we fear the unknown and may be intimidated by the planning process. And let’s not forget good old-fashioned procrastination. In our busy lives, many of us believe we’ll start the all-important planning tomorrow – or the next day – or maybe next week. You get the picture. Surprisingly, it is not that difficult to get the ball rolling and the process started. It all begins by asking yourself (and your spouse) some basic questions in a few different areas: • Years to retirement – At what age do you expect or would you like to retire? • Income needs – Estimate what your annual income needs will be once you have retired. Don’t forget to consider your housing arrangements. Do you plan on living in your current home or will you be buying that retirement home in Florida, or some other location?

• Investment strategy – Considering how many years you have until retirement, how aggressive or conservative do you need to be in order to meet your goals? These are just a few of the questions that you’ll need to ask yourself to get the planning process started. Once you’ve pulled together this information, it’s time to put it to work. If you’re a “do-ityourselfer”, you can access retirement calculators online that will walk you through the process and ultimately help you determine if you’re heading in the right direction. Another valuable resource is to sit down with an investment professional that will take your information and come up with a strategy. These meetings are conducted face-to-face or over the phone and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. During the meeting your advisor will ask you many of the same questions outlined above and will also be able to review your current investments and make recommendations that will help you work toward your goals. Finally, it’s important to review and update your plan at least annually. Just as life changes, our investment needs and strategies change too. So, get started. Face the challenge head on and have a little fun with it. You might be surprised at what you have accomplished already. And just as you don’t want to arrive at your dream vacation destination without a hotel room, if you discover you still have work to do on retirement, better to find that out today and change course.

• Take a look at Social Security and any pension income you might receive – Have you forgotten to include any other income that you will earn once you have retired?

This article is provided by Steve Perry, a financial advisor at Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. in Highlands, North Carolina, and was prepared by or in cooperation with Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. The information included in this article is not intended to be used as the primary basis for making investment decisions nor should it be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any specific security. Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. does not endorse this organization or publication. Consult your investment professional for additional information and guidance. Benjamin F. Edwards does not provide tax or legal advice.

• Contribution amount – How much you’ll need to put away each year to reach your retirement goals?

Benjamin F. Edwards & Co., Member SIPC and FINRA

• Evaluate your current savings – How much have you put aside so far for the future?

Steve Perry is a Senior Vice President-Investments and Branch Manager at the Benjamin F. Edwards & Co., Inc. office in Highlands, North Carolina. He has been in the business since the 1980’s. He can be reached at 828-526-3535, 855-526-3535 or by email at

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Virtually all of the food grown on huge corporate farms in other parts of the country is sold immediately into national and overseas markets. That is not the case in Rabun County. Due to the growing farm-to-table demand of consumers and restaurants, a significant portion of the food produced in Rabun County remains here...just like it did in earlier times.

Farm Family at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School

Learn more about our history by becoming a member of the Rabun County Historical Society. Membership and complete information about the Society are available at You also can visit us on Facebook. Our museum at 81 N. Church St. in downtown Clayton currently is closed while undergoing an extensive renovation. However, the building is open from noon to 3 on Saturdays for people interested in researching county and family histories. The Society is a not-for-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, making your membership dues and donations fully tax deductible.

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By The Way The Real Truth behind Book Number Seven By Emory Jones


s you may or may not have heard, I just finished my seventh book. It was a big deal at my house, but probably not yours.

imagine—inadvertently typed in that I had written “sex” books instead of “six” books.

Now, I don’t mention that to brag. In fact, lots of writers would laugh out loud to hear somebody say they’d only written seven books. Stephen King probably would.

They even listed them as including Zipping Through Georgia, The Valley Where They Danced and Distant Voices.

I bet ole Isaac Asimov would, too. I mean, if Isaac was still alive and all. They say that man wrote more than 500 books and so many short stories, he lost count his own self. On top of that, he mailed 90,000 letters. They weren’t all to his mama, either. Clearly, Isaac knew a lot more people than I do. Why I doubt I’ve written 50 letters in my whole life, and that’s counting all those to the draft board. Anyway, the new book is about my pet pig Cunningham. Cunningham thinks I wrote it to tell folks what a fine pig he is. He’s even bragged about that some to his mama up in Iowa. But, while he is indeed a fine pig and all, I didn’t really write the book to honor Cunningham. No, the real reason is very different indeed. And a little embarrassing, to tell the truth. You see, a particular periodical (not this one, I promise) for which I sometimes write a piece or two made a most distressing mistake. In journalism, errors are known as typos. And this little typo caused quite a commotion. At least it did at my house, but again, probably not at yours. The story itself was fine, if not memorable. I mean, I can’t even recall the subject matter, and I wrote it. No, the trouble came at the end where they put a little blurb about the essayist.

At first, I didn’t understand how something like this could happen. But then again, there are lots of other things I don’t understand either. Like why you have to have a license to fish but can drink liquor without one—things like that. And soccer. I don’t think anybody understands soccer; I don’t care what they claim. But typos happen, so I’m not really all that perturbed about that little printing error they made. Truth be told, I’m kind of flattered. Besides, that small typo did cause a temporary spike in book sales. Visits to my website went way up, too. But then the letters started coming. And you wouldn’t believe what some of those people were asking me. I only wrote back to one person, though. And that was just to tell “Roy in Royston”—assuming that’s his real name, which I seriously doubt—he oughta’ be ashamed of himself. Thank goodness Cunningham didn’t open that letter before I did, bless his heart. Anyway, to keep something like this from ever happening again, I decided to write the seventh book. It was the only way out for me. Just please don’t tell Cunningham the real reason I wrote the book. I honestly think it would break his achy bacon heart.

There, where it should have said I had written “six” books, someone—that college-boy intern they hired last summer, I

Emory Jones grew up in Northeast Georgia’s White County. After a stint in the Air Force, he joined Gold Kist as publications manager. He was the Southeastern editor for Farm Journal Magazine and executive vice president at Freebarin & Company, an Atlanta-based advertising agency. He has written seven books. Emory is known for his humor, love of history and all things Southern. He and his wife, Judy, live on Yonah Mountain near Cleveland, Georgia.

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An Afterthought


or me, staying young means experiencing the world with a sense of wonder.

Little ones seek with amazement. They discover impossible things in silly, vulnerable ways. In the earliest of our days, we assume we’ll be good at whatever we try. We swan dive from one adventure into the next. We surround ourselves with friends, real and imaginary. We thrive on inspiration, favorite colors and toys, as we float away on the magic of a soft, nurturing blanket. We’re often a mess. But who cares how it looks? Life is good. Our birthright is endless possibility. We lose ourselves in curiosity and delight, because NOW is all there is. Growing up charms us away from that momentto-moment existence. And yet the unrestrained creativity that first awakened our souls remains deep inside, eager to explore without limits. That yearning is why I create images like this one (of a favorite sculpture from Gibbs Gardens). On a warm spring day, I took five near-identical captures of this scene, each focused differently, intending to combine them later. The idyllic, picture-book result has become a favorite of mine and others. Each time I revisit it, I remember the magic of that day.

Through the Eyes of a Child, © 2021 by Anna DeStefano, Affirmation Photography™

Anna DeStefano is a best-selling novelist and an awardwinning fine art photographer who lives in Clarkesville, Georgia. Her visual stories of healing and hope evolved from her passion to uplift and encourage. Her Affirmation Photography™ is placed regularly in private collections and healing spaces, including Emory Healthcare locations throughout Atlanta. Explore Anna’s Heart Open blog and more images of reflection and peace at www. View pieces from her latest collections in person at Timpson Creek Gallery in Clayton, GA.

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At the time I had no idea exactly what I would do with the images. Frankly, I didn’t care. The light was perfect. The flowers and their gentle arc of color behind the sculpture were everything. Caressed by the sweetest of breezes, I saw myself releasing that bronze butterfly. I imagined where it would soar. I longed to fly with it to its next delightful perch, and then the next. Lost in a moment teaming with joy, I resolved to somehow share the magic. In 2021, I’ll work and play to capture more experiences like this. With each “Afterthought,” I’ll hope you’re inspired to explore your own world with unchecked abandon. Life IS good. Let’s resolve to live that truth, to stay young at heart, and to see where the wonder takes us!

Profile for The Laurel of Northeast Georgia

Georgia Mountain Laurel March 21  

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