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from the Publisher So, have you started on your Thankful List? 2020 has certainly challenged many to find things to put on that list. There is still plenty to be grateful for, we just might have to spend a little more time thinking about it. This year has brought many challenges for all of us and it isn’t quite over yet. I think that this crazy year of virus, protests, hate and confounded political commercials has made me more thankful. I appreciate my family more, my home truly has been my safe haven. I’ve worked for free a lot this year making me thankful for every single advertiser who has supported us.

Cover art by Jim Kane Photography

Life’s hardships have a way of bringing us back to a place where we can see what is most important and that is all that lives and breaths. I’ve never spent a single day without something to put on my Thankful List. If you are holding this magazine in your hands, you are on my list. Thank you for your support. Remember to shop local every single chance you get. Our small businesses need our business and you just might make their list! Happy Thanksgiving! Tracy

November 2020 • Volume Seventeen • Issue Eleven Georgia Mountain Laurel Mailing: PO Box 2218, Clayton, Georgia 30525 Office: 2511 Highway 441, Mountain City, Georgia 30562 706-782-1600 • Publisher/Editor - Tracy McCoy Assistant Editor - D’Anna Coleman Art Director - Dianne VanderHorst Graphic Designer - Lucas McCoy Office Manager/ Account Executive - Cindi Freeman Account Executive - Melynda Hensley Photographer/Writer - Peter McIntosh Contributing Writers: Mark Holloway, John Shivers, Emory Jones, Jan Timms, Lorie Thompson, Liz Alley, Richard Cinquina, Kathryn Revis, Cliff Lewis Copyright 2016 by Rabun’s Laurel Inc. All rights reserved. The Georgia Mountain Laurel Magazine is published twelve times per year. Reproduction without the permission of the publisher is prohibited. The publishers and editors are not responsible for unsolicited material and it will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication subject to GML magazine’s right to edit. Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, photographs and drawings. Every effort has been made to assure that all information presented in this issue is accurate, and neither Laurel magazine or any of its staff is responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the magazine. The Georgia Mountain Laurel maintains a Christian focus throughout their magazine. Rabun’s Laurel, Inc. reserves the right to refuse content or advertising for any reason without explanation.


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In This Issue To Begin With 8

Soldiers of World War II Coyl Justice & Fred Gipson

Arts & Entertainment 18 20 22

Cover art by Jim Kane Photography

Dad, What Did You Do In Vietnam A Veteran Shares His Heart Affirmation Photography™ Books are a Reflection of My Life

Yesterdays 26

Rabun County Historical Society A Snapshot of Rabun County in the 1840s

A Taste 30 34

Bon Appetit The Family Table

Faith in Christ 38 40 41

Rabun For the Gospel River Garden Life is a Blessing

Mountain Living 46 50 54

The Moose Welcomes You to Lake Living This Mountain Home Should Be High on Your List This Exceptional Year

Outdoors 56 58

Adventure Out Lovin’ the Journey

Health & Wellness 60

HealthCare with Katherine

Life & Leisure 66 Gratitude 68 By the Way

Around Town

70 Funkiture 71 The Ten Roof 71 Candy Cane Market 72 Dillard Market 73 Merry Market 74 Mountain Country Christmas in Lights 6

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Soldiers of World War ll by Tracy McCoy

ccording to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs it is estimated that there are around 300,000 WW ll vets still living in the United States. This number is down from 939,000 in 2015. The young men who volunteered and were drafted were really boys, many of whom had never been outside of the county where they were born and raised. In the early 40s the economic state in Appalachia was still reeling from the Great Depression. Times were very tough and families were large and jobs were scarce. A trip into town was rare so a ride to the local draft board to register under the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 was not easy to find. Young men were required to register and if drafted must serve on active duty for at least 12 months. A national lottery was how future soldiers were chosen and a letter was sent and the young man had days to report for duty. I have had the privilege to interview two WW ll veterans about their service to our great nation. The picture that was painted in each scenario was one of boys sent to war. They didn’t know what to expect and were not told, they didn’t have knowledge of where they were headed or what would become of them. Barely time to say good-byes. Recently I was granted an interview by two local gentlemen who also served our country during World War ll.


Mr. Coyl Justice oyl Justice was born, raised and has spent the majority of his life on Betty’s Creek. He lives with his bride of 72 years, Mildred (Norton) Justice. The couple raised three children, Gary Justice, Mickey Justice and Julia (Justice) Taylor. They have 8 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild Here is where his story begins... Coyl was born to Alden and Naomi Justice in 1926. Coyl was the youngest of seven children. He went to school until the fifth grade and then he quit going. In those days every hand was needed to run the farm and keep food on the table. “My dad was a worrywart like I am now. When I turned 18 he asked if I’d been to register and I said I had not. He said he’d take me up to Franklin to get that done. I didn’t much want to do that but my Dad made the rules and I followed them.” Mr Justice told me. The father took his son to the courthouse in Franklin to sign up and the woman who took his information assured him he’d get a letter in the coming week. “She said it’d come and sure enough it did and I had to go,” he said. I asked Coyl if he had ever been outside of Rabun or Macon Counties and he said, “No, goodness no, but I got on a bus in Clayton headed for Asheville, North Carolina. When I arrived I got a good haircut and they sent me to the shower. I didn’t know what a shower was. We didn’t have one at the house.” Within 2-3 days Coyl was headed to Fort Bragg for basic training. As most would tell you, basic training for the United States Army is not for the weak. We’ve all seen the movies where the drill instructor is screaming in the soldier’s faces. “It was pretty rough. You see I didn’t know what was wrong but I had a lot of pain in my stomach and I was told to get on another soldier’s back for training and the drill instructor told me to lean back and I said I can’t sir. Well you didn’t say ‘can’t’, he cursed at me and pushed me back down. It hurt me real bad. My stomach bothered me all the way through. I wouldn’t know until I much later what was wrong. Once he finished basic training Coyl was sent to Camp


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Gladwinm, Florida for more training. The war was near its end but he would be part of the clean-up crew in the 4th Army. They called to say he’d be shipping out and they put him and the others on a Troop Train to Blanding, Florida. Next he boarded a Troop Train headed for California. I asked if he had any say in what job he’d be given and he said, “Whatever they needed you to do, you did. When we got to the Philippines we got on the QS boat and the Skipper said ‘I need a cook’. Well I was a good bit taller than the other guys and when he said that they all ducked down and there I stood. ‘You are the cook’, Skipper said pointing to me. I’d never done any cooking really, just a little when camping but I was trained and got pretty good at it,” he said smiling.

QS Boat

Kwanzaa Huts where soldier’s lived

Coyl with Lieutenant Lightfoot

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plan. So I left the ship and went straight to my headquarters and spoke to them and they placed me in charge of running the projectors for the movies,” with a smile he said, “I liked that much better. I was glad to be off that ship,” I asked Coyl if he kept in touch with his family and he said he wrote letters to his sister and she would write back. I asked if he made any friends and he shared two stories with me, one about a fellow soldier named Bates from Hayesville, North Carolina who was in Basic Training with him and he kept up with him a little. And then there was a man named Huddleston from Buford, Georgia that he made friends with. He lost touch with him sadly. There was another fellow that was a Native American. He had made a machete but when he drank he got a little out of hand and was afraid he’d hurt someone, so he gave it to Coyl. He still has it and it has a beautifully carved handle and sheath made of wood. He had visited years later at Coyl’s home on Betty’s Creek but never asked for the machete back.

Turning to Mildred I asked if he did much cooking at home and she said that he actually did most of the cooking during their marriage. “I finally found out what was wrong with my stomach when my appendix burst and I had to have surgery,” Mr Justice said. He got pretty sick and was sent to Clarke Air Base on Luzon Island in the Philippines. It was New Years Eve and most were out celebrating, so his surgery was performed by a nurse. “I made it through and in a couple days they carried me to the kwanza hut and one of the other soldiers helped me to the bathroom and they started to leave. I asked who’s gonna help me up, they turned to me and said ‘figure it out’. I reckon I did,” Coyl joked. “When I returned to the ship they had replaced me as cook and I was OK with that.” “It was hot there all the time and the mosquitos were real bad and they liked me. I got so many mosquito bites that I developed Malaria and spent 2 weeks back at Clark Field Air Base. I was very sick.” The mission of the boat that Coyl spent a year on was to zigzag the Pacific ocean picking up mines, there was a Lieutenant named Lightfoot that took a liking to Coyl and he remembers that he helped him a lot and he never forgot him. The first six months of that year Coyl spent learning and the second six he spent studying how to get off of that boat. He read about how to do it and went to the Captain of the ship and said “I am leaving the ship, and he told me I couldn’t or I’d be court marshaled, but I’d done my homework and knew that I would not, I had a

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The other story of meeting up with someone from home was when Coyl attended Mulberry School in Otto, North Carolina as a boy. There was a female teacher and one afternoon he got into some trouble and she sent Homer Norton, another boy, to cut a hickory to whip Coyl. Well Homer brought back a stack pole, which was much bigger than a hickory. He said he had to hold that teacher to keep her from whooping him with that pole. She ended up leaving that day, leaving the students there by themselves till the bus came. The next day a man came to teach the students. Fast forward to Fort Bragg and each morning at roll call the man who took roll call would call out Justice and Coyl would say here and that fellow would stare at Coyl. So one day he came up and asked, “Justice, where are you from?” To which Coyl responded, “I am from Franklin, North Carolina, sir.” The fellow officer asked, “You don’t remember me?” and Coyl admitted he did not. “I was your teacher, Justice, at Mulberry School.” We agreed it is a small world! As the days turned into weeks his time was up. No notice was given. He remembers he was in the field and some planes came in taking the tops out of the trees. “Next thing I knew they called my name and handed me something saying I was shipping out. I can’t explain how glad I was to be going home. It was along trip from the Philippines to San Fransisco. When we got there they had the biggest breakfast you’ve ever seen for us to eat and milk, all the milk I could drink. I hadn’t had real milk in two years! I drank all I could, so much so that it made me sick. Later that day I boarded a Troop Train in Oakland, California to San Antonio, Texas where I was discharged from the United States Army. From there I boarded a plane, a C-47. They offered me a cheap trip to Atlanta and I took them up on it,” he continued. “When I arrived in Atlanta I caught a taxi to the bus station. I stepped up to the window and asked the lady, can I get a ticket to Clayton, Georgia? She looked at me and said, ‘Are you from Clayton, Georgia?’ No, I told her I was from Franklin, North Carolina but I’d have to go to Clayton first on the bus. She said to me ‘you don’t know me, do you?’ I told her no, I don’t reckon so and she said she was Pauline Norton, a girl I knew

from home. Her husband was a police officer and she called him to come get me. She could see how tired I was so he took me to their house and he let me get a shower and a bite to eat and I went to bed. The next day they drove me home. I sure did appreciate that,” Coyl said. Once he was home and settled in he went to Dillard one day with his brother Oakley and he say a beautiful young lady get out of a car at “Curly” Pennington’s. He took notice of her and asked his brother, “Who is that?” His brother replied, “That’s Mildred Norton.” He had known Mildred, but she sure had grown up and caught his attention. Well he was older and he didn’t think her parents would let her go on a date with him but they allowed her to double date and here they are, 72 years later still just as in love as they were the day they married. You can hear it in the way they speak to each other. Mildred’s eyesight has been affected by Macular Degeneration and so Coyl said he reads to her each day. They study their Sunday School lessons together. When I asked Coyl about PTSD, he wasn’t sure what that was, but when I explained it, he shook his head and Mildred

did too. “I called it taking fits,” he said. “I wake up scared and sometimes I remember being so far from home and it’s not easy. There were a lot of guys in the Army we’d have to hold down till they got over it.” My final question to Coyl was “How did your time in the military affect the man you are today?” He told me, “The Army helped make me a man. When I left here, I didn’t know much about the world. I finished my education in the military earning a high school diploma. I seen a lot of places I’d have never seen and learned a lot.” I asked him if he was a Christian when he was in the Army and he said, “If I was I didn’t know it. My parents raised me to be a Christian, teaching me to do the right thing and treat people right.” Today the Justices attend Betty’s Creek Baptist Church where Coyl is a deacon. I knew when I left their home that I had surely met some of the finest people around. Mr. Justice is a soft spoken, kind gentleman and Mildred is very sweet. Their home is one filled with children’s art, photos and paintings of family and a lifetime of memories. I am so thankful for men like Coyl Justice.

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Soldiers of World War ll contintued


Fred Gipson – A Family of Veterans ernie and Lola Gipson made their home in Lakemont, Georgia, up on a mountain adjacent to the Lake Rabun dam. They had five sons and five daughters. Time and again I’ve written about the economic conditions in the mountains during the depression and after. I would wager there were many families who saw no difference. Trying to scratch out enough to buy food and get the things they had to have, rarely was there extra for anything else. All of the Gipson boys registered with Selective Service when their time came. First to go was Jack in September 1943, serving in the US Navy in World War II, sadly the ship that Jack was aboard was blown up by the enemy and he did not return home. He was killed in action. A letter was sent to notify his parents and a pension was promised. His parents would receive a check for $25 monthly. My thoughts are that Lola cried every time she opened the mailbox and saw the envelope. The next to go off to war was Guy, their second born. His time at war was very hard, Guy surely thought of Jack every day as he fought to defend his country and stay alive. Lola Gipson signed her name to every one of her son’s registration cards. Where it asked the question who will always know where you are living, they each answered with her name. So when she wrote a letter to check on her second son’s condition her request was met with, “His physical health is fine, he is eating and drinking, but he is struggling in his mind.” No doubt from the ravages of war. He returned home a different man than when he went. I think of Lola. Being a mother myself I know the love a woman has for her children. When her youngest son Fred was called up to go, fear must have gripped her heart. Fred was barely 18 years old, he was nicknamed “Runt” by his sister and it stuck. He is a small man in stature but not in courage. While the war was near it’s end when he was called up and his time reduced due to the family’s loss of Jack, his service was not easy. He was sworn in and went through Basic Training with a local man named Tommy Coleman. He trained with Company H, 351st Infantry of the 88th Division as a Heavy Machine Gunner. He trained at Fort McPherson in Altanta, Georgia and then was sent to Camp Lee, Virginia for 6 weeks before heading to Camp Belvoir in Fairfax. Riding the Troop Train, literally, Fred and a couple others hung on the back because the train was full. He road all night standing on the back of the train holding on. Finally his training wrapped up at Camp Shanks, in Orangeburg, New York. This military facility was the largest point of embarkation for soldiers headed for the front lines in North Africa and Europe during World War II, including the landing forces  for the D-Day invasion. This was where Fred Gipson boarded the Liberty Boat with 1400 other men headed for Italy. Climbing mountains was not new to Fred; he had climbed the mountains in Lakemont for nearly two decades. He was

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agile, willing and light on his feet; he could move quickly. Men who are born and raised in Rabun County were raised hard, taught to work and do as they were told. Fred Gipson was that kind of man, a good soldier. So he and his fellow soldiers settled in the mountains of Italy. “I liked the mountains and I liked Italy. I even learned to speak the language a little. I would have stayed longer but because of my brothers I didn’t have to stay as long as the others. I was a guard but was trained as a Heavy Machine Gunner. The war was about over by the time we arrived. I listened and done what they told me.” Fred stated, “Then I came home and done as I pleased.” After his time in service, the government sent a check for him and he purchased a 1949 Ford Tractor, that sits under the shed today.

Keepsakes found of Fred’s experience during World War II include pictures of his young self and the group of men with which he served, his draft card and that of his older brother, who died during the war, and a copy of a letter he wrote to his sister in 1945.

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Fred came home and took a job at a sawmill and earned a mere ten cents an hour. A gentleman named Cliff McManus came to Fred and asked him to help him build his house on the other side of the lake. Offering to pay the same pay, Fred accepted. That’s pretty meager wages even for that time period. He did all he could to make a living. Jobs were scarce and like most mountain men Fred made a little liquor… for sixteen years. When he was caught, it cost him $500. The price was high money and hard to come by, so he may have made a little more. He married a lovely woman, Lotha Marcus. The couple were married for sixty-six years and this past spring Lotha passed away. She was a great artist and good wife and Fred misses her every day. “Marrying her was the best thing I ever done,” he told me. This story would not be complete without a mention about Pup. Four or five years ago, Lotha heard something scratching at the door and she went to the backdoor and told Fred, “There’s a white dog out here that looks hungry. What should I do?” she asked him. “Let it in,” Fred said and Pup has been by his side since that night. I tried to talk him

out of the dog because it is a fine one for sure, but he said “No, I believe I’ll keep him here.” Truth is I don’t think Pup would have left his side. I feel such a debt of gratitude to men like Coyl Justice and Fred Gipson and his brothers. They are the reason I can do as I please, like Fred said.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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A Veteran Shares His Heart... Because “You Never Asked” By John Shivers


om Randle just needed to get it out of his system. The war in Vietnam, that is, the nationally divisive military action that polarized this country before it was a done deal fortyfive years ago. He’d arrived in Southeast Asia on his 19th birthday, February 14, 1969, and left one year later as a 20-year-old certified U.S. Army combat veteran. For this vet, however, it was still all-toovividly real the older he got. His return wasn’t exactly what he’d anticipated. The folks back home, the people he’d risked his life for, didn’t quite see everything the same way. This was to be the seed that took almost fifty years to finally germinate in the pages of Tom’s book, Dad, What Did You Do In Vietnam? He had no forum, he discovered once he was home, that would allow him to share his frustration without also sharing his experiences as well. This was a time when returning troops were the object of scorn and ridicule, if not outright hatred. They were taunted, spit on, ostracized and ignored. No one wanted to hear all he’d seen and done. No one asked, questions, not even his wife. And when they did ask questions, such as “You didn’t kill anybody over there, did you?” Tom found himself disgusted. It was just easier to keep everything to himself, even though he wanted to tell someone. Anyone. Tom had returned home believing he’d matured physically, mentally, and with marketable skills. After all, he and his fellow soldiers had cleared a good bit of the country to make fighting the Vietcong easier and safer for the ground troops. Yet he was denied a job doing precisely what he’d done and done well so far from home, all because hiring criteria decreed that anyone under age 25 wasn’t qualified. The specialized skills he’d mastered well during his year away from the land of the free and the home of the brave came with a

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high financial price tag, all compliments of the United States’ taxpayers. However, some of those same taxpayers didn’t seem to want a return on their investment, and Tom found himself in a professional banking career instead, where he stayed until 2009. Then the country’s financial collapse closed another door for him. But you can’t keep a good man down, and Tom found a way to repurpose all his skills into a consulting / motivational career. About the same time, those long unshared memories of that year he feared death every day, began to work on him, and he sought professional help to learn how to harness the unforgettable in positive fashion. Since he’d already penned two books dealing with banking and business, it wasn’t a huge leap for him to put memories to paper again. In addition to finally opening the door to closure, his words allowed him to pay homage to all the men who served in a land clearing unit during that war. He says in his dedication to those individuals, “You were the nastiest, most undisciplined, unwashed, hardest working, bravest, beer-drinking, farting, belching, cussing phenomenon’s, loyal battle buddies, and hard-nosed sumbitches that ever lived.” You meet some of them in the book. When Dad, What Did You Do In Vietnam? was published, family and friends confessed they hadn’t asked because they didn’t think he wanted them to. And now they don’t have to. Tom and his wife, Mary, live full time in Clayton. They have a daughter and a son, and two granddaughters. The book is available both in hard copy and as an electronic download from Amazon: https://www. B08KFWM6N6/.

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Affirmation Photography™ at Timpson Creek Gallery


nna DeStefano’s fine art nature, wildlife and “folk art” photography reflects the promise of our today, tomorrow and yesterday. Unique captures surprise with color, movement and wonder. Creative processing and printing offer light-filled moments of reflection and peace amidst a hectic world. A nationally best-selling novelist, Anna’s visual stories of healing and hope evolved from a creative passion to uplift and encourage. She’s found her poetry — her Affirmation Photography™ reflects her love for our natural world and her faith in the enduring magic of small-town, rural life. Anna’s Affirmation Photography™ can be found in Timpson Creek Gallery located at 7142 Highway 76 West, Clayton, Georgia. You may visit their website at

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Books Are a Reflection of My Life


By John Shivers

hink of it like an artist painting a self-portrait,” Tracy McCoy said. Those words followed her suggestion that I write an article about myself for the Laurel’s November issue. The image that suddenly lit up my internal video screen was of more than one self-portrait I’ve seen that would frighten the smile right off the Mona Lisa. Makes you wonder who those artists were looking at while their brushes were at work. Tracy’s request followed the release of Moonshine for Christmas, my 2020 Christmas Collector book. While I was grateful for a chance to promote this third Christmas story, in my mind’s eye, I could clearly see some of those self-portraits her words conjured up. I wasn’t inspired. Heck, I wasn’t even impressed, but I was very intimidated. Painting yourself can be heavy stuff, so while I searched for a different analogy for motivation, I figured I’d just go ahead and start writing. Maybe inspiration will find me somewhere along the way!” Moonshine for Christmas is set partially in the hills of northeast Georgia, and is the story of a wife who fears that her mountain heritage may wreck her husband’s political aspirations. But it’s Christmas, and Santa brings a renewal of her self-worth, a chance to be who she honestly is. This book joins the 2018 book, Three Gifts for Christmas that happened when a faithful reader, who just happens to be a guy, basically challenged me to come up with a Christmas book. I took that challenge, expecting it to be a one-time deal. Much to my surprise, the reception was overwhelming, as readers demanded to know what I would do for 2019. Weaving a Family for Christmas answered their questions. The 2021 book is still tumbling around in my gray matter, but I’ve got a rough synopsis, and will tackle it in early January. “Where do you get your ideas?” Gosh, how many times I’ve heard that question. And the answers are equally numerous. In Service was inspired by the British TV series “Downton Abbey,” while Repossessed found life during the recent unfortunate financial downturn. My “Slop Bucket Mystery Series” was actually inspired by Rabun County’s own Julie Barnett, who shows lake property by boat. Revenge and Gravy, the fourth book in that series, was going to press as I was writing this article. Mountain Laurell was actually a book I began many years ago and lost before it was ever finished. While moving, I unearthed it and decided to weave together a conclusion. Inspiration hits me at some of the most unusual places and often when least expected. Such as when I’m zooming down Interstate 75, and have to pull over to the side of the road to try to capture the gist of the idea. That’s exactly how it was that hot July day in 1961 when I put down the book I was reading, and vowed that I would be a writer. My eleven year-old self headed indoors to begin that first book. It was a mystery, a favorite genre of mine then, and now. I grew up in a very abusive home. Reading, and by extension, writing, was my salvation. It wasn’t until after I was grown that I realized many of the books I read were set among families that I mentally adopted myself into.

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As I pound the keyboard, I try to keep in mind that someone who reads what I write may find guidance through those words. The ability to make music totally passed me by, but God gave me the ability to string words together, and I try to never lose sight of where that gift comes from. This may be one of the reasons that book ideas can come by way of a mountaintop experience, listening to a nearby conversation, hearing a catchy tune, at church, and in such unlikely places as the landfill. Gone Astray hit me when I was dumping garbage, and Colorblind, a mainstream novel set amidst a racial setting, was seeded by a number of different real observations. The River Rolls On was inspired by Colorblind. Hear My Cry, Paths of Judgment, and Lift Up Mine Eyes are a trilogy born from the abusive childhood I lived for more than 6,500 days. A quartet of books in the “Renew a Right Spirit” series, Broken Spirit, Merry Heart, His Mercy Endureth and Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled, share Saralynn Reilly’s journey through grief and rebirth. Each book has its own backstory. Well, I’ve reached my word limit and I’m still looking for inspiration. How would Mona Lisa react if she read this article, I wonder? Once words are put into print, they can’t be taken back, no matter how homely they are!

My 19 books in print: Christmas Collector Series Moonshine for Christmas Weaving a Family for Christmas Three Gifts for Christmas Slop Bucket Mystery Series Boat Load of Trouble Out of Thin Heir For Sale… Or Not? Revenge and Gravy Create My Soul Anew Series Hear My Cry Paths of Judgment Lift Up Mine Eyes Renew a Right Spirit Series Broken Spirit Merry Heart His Mercy Endureth Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled Stand Alone Novels Mountain Laurell The River Rolls On In Service Colorblind Gone Astray Repossessed I’ll be glad to take your questions, send you a catalog, or take your order. Call me at 770-548-2834 or email me at

Three Gifts for Christmas - Rebekka Austin has been forced to deal with the violent, unexpected death of her husband, the vicious dismissal by her former mother-inlaw, and the abandonment of her church family. In an effort to provide financially for herself and her young daughter, she takes a job in a small mountain community just weeks before the Christmas season. In a town where they are strangers, where financial resources are severely strained, Rebekka finds her new life both frightening and intimidating, and yes, even exciting at times. Not only does she discover the love associated with the spirit of Christmas, but the true meaning of the word family, and how special Christmas wishes are when you’re where you’re supposed to be. Weaving a Family for Christmas - The doctor questions why Suzanne Phillips’ depression isn’t worse than it is. Her husband’s job has gone belly up, she’s lost both parents and her only sibling in a tragic event, had to sell her business, and move from the only hometown she’s ever known. While husband Greg is happy beyond his wildest dreams, she feels more uncomfortable than the proverbial fish out of water. She even questions if the God she’s always worshiped can be found in what feels to her like a God-forsaken land. Christmas is coming, and in Suzanne’s heart, there can be no rejoicing. Through her Godgiven talents and the creativity that sustains her, Suzanne manages to bring a spinster lady back to life, reunite a family, find a new mission for herself, as well as a reason to celebrate the birth of Christ, far away in a seemingly foreign land. Moonshine for Christmas - There are few people who don’t have some aspect of their background that troubles or embarrasses them. For Maggie Crawford, who has successfully banished her backwoods upbringing in the mountains of northeast Georgia, a chance encounter while doing a good deed brings the memories of those uncomfortable days racing to the forefront. Further complicating everything is her husband’s quest to be elected governor, and the role of political wife that is thrust upon Maggie. When she is reunited with her past, she must struggle with the knowledge that she is a fraud, and the fear that the real Maggie’s exposure will likely cripple her husband’s political career. All of this plays out against the backdrop of the Christmas season, making Maggie’s ownership of her heritage and the unexpected Yuletide gifts of truth, integrity and love so very poignant. November 2020 - GML 23

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Shop, Dine Explore & More

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Clayton’s Main Street in 1909

from the Rabun County Historical Society

1,918 People, Impassable Roads and Airborne Mullet: A Snapshot of Rabun County in the 1840s


By Richard Cinquina

layton was barely a speck on the map. The few roads that existed were no more than old Cherokee trails. People caught vast numbers of jumping fish in baskets.

An encyclopedic work published in 1849 provides a detailed snapshot of life in a rugged, remote and sparsely populated Rabun County within 30 years of its founding in 1819. Compiled by George White, an Episcopal preacher and amateur archeologist, the title of his almanac is a mouthful: “Statistics of the State of Georgia, Including an Account of its Natural, Civil and Ecclesiastical History; Together with a Particular Description of Each County, Notices of the Manners and Customs of its Aboriginal Tribes, and a Correct Map of the State.”

White reported, “At the time this notice was prepared, there was no trade of any description carried on in Clayton.” Rabun was described as a county of mountains. The description of the terrain reveals a poetic side of George White. “In whatever direction the eye is turned, it beholds ridges of mountains, one behind the other, like a dark blue sea of giant billows, instantly stricken solid by nature’s magic wand.” Roads As Bad As Roads Can Be

Sparsely Populated County

Returning to more mundane matters, White said, “The roads are bad, bad as roads can be. The turnpike road extending from Habersham to North Carolina (roughly tracking presentday 441/23) is now in a very bad condition.” The roads, such as they were, followed old Cherokee trails.

The population of Rabun County in 1845 totaled 1,825 whites and 93 blacks. This minuscule number of people was spread throughout a county estimated at 400 square miles. That comes to about five people per square mile.

Making matters worse, “There are no bridges or ferries. When the waters are too deep for fording, the people are compelled to wait until they subside.” Given the amount of rainfall Rabun County receives, travelers must have done a lot of waiting.

In 1848, the county collected tax revenues of $409.90. Rabun had one representative in the state legislature.

Later in the century, Rabun’s inferior court mandated drafting men to help improve and maintain the county’s roads. A man had the choice of either working with a pick and shovel or paying a road tax. This initiative ultimately resulted in county roads capable of handling heavy wagons, not just riders on horseback. However, significant improvements to roads had to wait until the Civilian Conservation Corps of the New Deal came to Rabun County in the 1930s.

Business-Free Clayton Clayton, termed “the seat of justice,” had a grand total of 16 residents in 1845. The town had a courthouse, jail, post office, one church, a grocery and an academy. Clayton also had one lawyer. There are always people to sue.

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Farming Along Rivers and Streams White reported that Rabun County had some good farmland, principally in its river valleys and along streams. Corn was the principal crop, but apples were grown as a cash crop, enabling farmers to buy such necessities as sugar, coffee and salt. According to White’s report, “Mockeson Court Ground (in eastern Rabun County along Warwoman Road) has superior land. This place is so hemmed in by impassable mountains that it cannot without difficulty be reached by a vehicle, without passing through a corner of South Carolina. Twenty-five or thirty families reside here, composed of the most substantial citizens in the county.” In 1885, some of these “substantial citizens” declared war on Highlands, N.C. to free two of their jailed moonshining brethren. Mining for Gold Granite, iron and alum were listed as the most prevalent minerals in the county. Gold also was found along Persimmon Creek and the Tallulah River. “Powell’s, Stonecypher’s and Smith’s mines have been tolerably productive. Morgan’s mines are thought to be rich.” In reality, little gold was ever extracted from Rabun County, and mining had largely ended by the time of the Civil War. The county was home to vast numbers of deer as well as wolves and bears. Bison and elk were not mentioned, probably because they had been hunted to extinction in this part of Georgia by 1849. Fish abounded in the rivers and streams. “Here can be found to great perfection the delicious mountain trout,” White wrote.

Farming with a mule in Wolffork Valley cents a bushel; pork for 3 ½ cents a pound; beef for 2 ½ cents a pound; chickens for $1.00 a dozen; and bread for $4-$8 per month. Prices were low, but they had to be since no one in Rabun County had much money. Temperance Hailed as a Virtue Most people were either Baptist or Methodist “with the former most numerous.” White added, “The temperance effort has been productive of good.” No mention is made of the folks distilling corn whiskey in Rabun’s mountain hollows. Nearly every settlement was found to have a school. The number of school children totaled 435, and the county’s “educational fund” was reported to be $377.28. Good Morals The morals of Rabun County citizens were given a passing grade. “Based on court records, we are prepared to say that the character of the people is good as to morals and punctuality in personal matters, as there are not a dozen cases, including civil and criminal, returned to the court in a year.” The portrait of Rabun County in 1849 as painted by Statistics of the State of Georgia was that of a remote, mountainous region, home to more deer, bear and wolves than people. Clayton was barely a speck on the map, and roads were impassable. But the fishing was good…with either a basket or a cane pole.

School in the Liberty community in 1914 Fishing with a Basket Particularly noteworthy were the jumping mullet on “War Woman’s Creek.” White said, “The fish in immense numbers come up to the foot of the shoal and attempt to jump over the obstacle; not being sufficiently active to reach the top, they necessarily fall back, and in their descent are caught in baskets by the fishermen.” White also reported the average prices for grain and provisions. Corn and oats sold for 30 cents a bushel; sweet potatoes for 50

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 The Historical Society library at 81 N. Church St. in downtown Clayton is currently open for research on Saturdays from 12:00-3:00. The museum room is closed as we undergo a major renovation to accommodate exciting new exhibits. Once we reopen, you will be able to tour the museum Mondays and Fridays from 10:00 AM2:00 PM and Saturdays from 11:00 AM-3:00 PM. Admission is free. You also can visit us on Facebook. 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. November 2020 - GML 27

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Bon Appétit Breakfast is ready! By Scarlett Cook


his time of year you are bound to have company at least once before the year is over. Breakfast is a meal that you want to have ready for them to eat but you don’t want to spend your time in the kitchen. These recipes are make-ahead; that means you can sit with your company and enjoy your coffee and breakfast will soon be on the table. Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Bake 6 – 8 Servings

3 Egg yolks 2 Large eggs 2 Cups milk 2 Tablespoons sugar 1 Teaspoon cinnamon 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 Teaspoon salt 1 16-Ounce package frozen cinnamon rolls 1/2 Cup golden raisins 2 Tablespoons butter cut into small cubes Whisk yolks, eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, extract and salt. Break apart rolls and chop into 1” pieces. Place in a greased 7” x 11” baking dish. Add raisins to egg mixture. Pour egg mixture over cinnamon rolls; dot with butter. Chill at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 325˚. Bake casserole 55 – 60 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Cheese Grits 4 – 6 Servings 1 Cup milk 1 3/4 Cups half-n-half 1 1/4 Cups water 1/2 Teaspoon salt 1 Cup uncooked quick cooking grits 3/4 Cup shredded Cheddar cheese 1 Teaspoon hot sauce Black pepper to taste Bring milk, half-n-half, water and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat gradually whisking in grits. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cheese. These can be made ahead and reheated in an oven safe dish; you may need to add 1 tablespoon of water after reheating to make grits easier to serve.

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Pecan Sugared Bacon 6 Servings 2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans 2 Tablespoons brown sugar 1 1/2 Teaspoons black pepper 12 Thick-cut bacon slices Preheat oven to 400˚. Line a large rimmed cookie sheet with foil; place a wire rack sprayed with cooking spray on sheet. Process pecans in a food processor for 20 seconds. Stir together pecans, sugar and pepper. Place bacon on rack; press pecan mixture on top of bacon slices. You may have to do two batches depending on the size of your rack. Bake 22 – 25 minutes or until browned and crisp. Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole 8 Servings 1 (16 ounce) package pork sausage 10 eggs, lightly beaten 3 cups milk 1 teaspoon salt 6 cups cubed bread* 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 cup diced red pepper, optional sliced green onion, optional

A Taste of the Mountains

Butter a 9 x 13 x 2 inch casserole dish. In large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and salt until thoroughly combined. Evenly distribute half the bread into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with half the cheese, half the black pepper, half the red pepper, and half the sausage. Repeat layers. Pour egg mixture evenly over casserole. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or bake immediately. When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 325 F. Bake uncovered for 55-60 minutes, or until eggs are set. If the top begins to brown too quickly, loosely cover the casserole dish with foil. If desired, sprinkle the casserole with sliced green onions. Serve warm. *Toasting the bread before incorporating it into the casserole, is optional. November 2020 - GML 31

A Taste

of the Mountains

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The Family Table By Lorie R. Thompson

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have been cooking with wine today. When I cook with wine, I always think of two people: My Mama and Justin Wilson. Now that may seem like an odd combination, but let me explain.

When my 83-year-old mother died, she had never tasted alcohol. It was not that she believed having a glass of wine was wrong; it was that she worried that someone who looked at her as an example of a Christian might think she was a hypocrite. She would quote the scripture about becoming a stumbling block to her neighbor. It was not worth the risk that she might harm her Christian testimony to indulge in a glass of wine. She walked the walk. When Winn Dixie opened in Clayton, in the early 1980s, it was an exciting time for Rabun County. It was a big store in comparison to the other grocery stores of the time. My mama would not shop there because they sold wine and beer, and she would not patronize them. Some people might think of this as extreme, but I think it was dedication. She loved people so much, and she wanted to share Christ’s love with them. She lived her life as inoffensively as possible, hoping that people would recognize that she was different from the World. She wanted to be a good example. Not to say that she was perfect, but she was a wonderful Christian lady. She walked the walk. On the other end of the spectrum, my 1980’s cooking show hero was Justin Wilson. I am partial to Cajun food, and watching his Saturday show is responsible for that. Justin would be disappointed that I didn’t drink more wine than I put in the pot. He taught that you should never cook with a wine that you would not drink and very often, during the show, took a big swig. I never had the pleasure of eating food that Justin cooked, but I still have his cookbook and use it as a go-to reference for all things Cajun. Justin would say, “it will be good, I ‘guarrontee’!”  Mama would not mind my cooking the beef in red wine but would want me to add that I didn’t overindulge while cooking. You can substitute beef stock for the wine, and the dish will still be wonderful. Now let me tell you how to make it. 

Buy a nice sized boneless Chuck Roast. Cut the roast into serving-sized pieces (3-4 inches), trimming the excess fat. Sprinkle each piece on each side with garlic salt. Allow the meat to come up in temperature while you cut the veggies. Chop two large onions and 4-5 carrots into equal-sized pieces. Rough chop five or so garlic cloves. Clean and cut in half 1 pound of Baby Bella mushrooms. Shake a light dusting of flour over each piece of beef. Add 2 T of vegetable oil to a heavy dutch oven and bring to a medium temperature. Brown the beef pieces on each side as you turn them. Remove from the dutch oven when browned.  Add the onions and carrots into the dutch oven and sweat just until they start to get soft. Add 3 T of tomato paste into the center of the pan and brown a little. To the pan, add the mushrooms. Season the vegetables with salt, 1 tsp of dried thyme, a pinch of dried rosemary if you like it, and 1 tsp of

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crushed red pepper flakes. Nestle the beef into the vegetables. Turn the heat up and get the pan back to medium heat. Add 3 cups of a medium-bodied red wine. Pick something you would enjoy drinking. According to Julia Child, “If you do not have a good wine to use, it is far better to omit it.” Cover with a tight-fitting lid and place it in a 350-degree oven for two hours. After two hours, remove the lid and cook for 30-45 additional minutes, allowing the pan juices to reduce. Remove from the oven and skim off any fat from the top. Serve on top of mashed potatoes and alongside roasted vegetables. (Cook your pan-roasted vegetables in the oven while you cook the beef.) Traditionally, my family goes on a camping trip sometime near Thanksgiving. Try this easy to make Pumpkin Dump Cake in place of traditional Pumpkin Pie. This is a great cake to make while you are camping and cook it in a dutch oven or, an easy cake to make at home. The spiced pumpkin flavors are perfect for Fall.  In a bowl, mix with a whisk, 2 C of pumpkin, (Pumpkin comes in 15 oz cans and that is fine.) three eggs, 1 C brown sugar, one can of evaporated milk, a pinch of salt, and 2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice. Butter a 9x13 inch cake pan. Pour pumpkin mixture into the pan. Sprinkle a box yellow cake mix (dry) over the pumpkin mixture. Melt two sticks of unsalted butter and pour over the cake mix. Add 1 Cup of chopped pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until the center of cake is set. If you are cooking in a 12” dutch oven use 24 briquettes with 18 on top and 6 underneath. Cook for 45-50 minutes. 

For the glaze, add two cups of powdered sugar with 2 T of whole milk and 1 tsp of vanilla flavoring. Stir until smooth and pour on top of the warm cake. So good.  When my mother passed over to Glory, my minister cousin, Dennis Turner, read Proverbs 31 at her funeral. It represents my mother. Let me share a few of the verses with you: 10: An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.  11: The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12: She does him good and not harm, all the days of her life. 15: She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. 26: She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27: She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28: Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Be sure to read the entire chapter of Proverbs 31. I aspire to be a “Proverbs 31 Woman.” God has a perfect plan. 

I hope you will have a wonderful month and that this year’s Thanksgiving holiday will be a special holiday for each of you. God bless 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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A Taste of the Mountains

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Should We Keep Our Faith OUT of Our Politics? By Cliff Lewis, Associate Pastor of Worship and Music, Clayton Baptist Church


’m going to go ahead and answer that question from the outset as clearly as I can We must NOT keep our deeply held, biblically informed, theologically significant beliefs out of our political positions and choices at the ballot box. And at this point, some of you reading this may now choose to stop reading. Please don’t. Let me explain why we MUST allow our beliefs, rooted in our faith in Jesus Christ, to inform ALL of our decisions in life...including our political thoughts and decisions. The first reason we must allow our politics to be informed by our faith is that we literally and ultimately serve a King. As believers in Jesus Christ, we are part of an eternal monarchy. Jesus is reigning and will reign eternally as King of kings and Lord of lords. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:20, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Jesus told His followers in Matthew, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” And Luke recorded the apostle Peter saying that our deepest allegiance and obedience belongs to God alone, “We must obey God rather than men.” So, in truth, believers in Jesus Christ have no option as to whether they obey the Word of God when making political decisions. We are sojourners and temporal earthly citizens of the country in which God has placed us. Secondly, Christians must allow their faith to direct their politics because God commands us to work and pray for the good of the city in which we live. God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 29, verse 7 by giving the instruction, “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” This passage speaks immediately to being involved and invested in the community that we live in, which clearly implies the government and politics that go along with that city. We should keep ourselves informed of the plans and problems facing our local leaders and assist and speak to the decisions that we feel convicted about. We should support our local law enforcement officers and pray for their wisdom

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and safety. We should work to help those in our community who need help finding and keeping a job to provide for their families. We should serve as council men and women, and some of us should run and be elected to public office to serve faithfully And since the founders of America established our government as a representative republic, NOT a direct democracy, the decisions we make about who to support and vote for at the state and national level also have massive implications and impact on our lives locally. Again, praying and working for the good of our city, state, and nation is the only option for believers in the God of the Bible. Thirdly, if Christians are not involved in political issues and decisions, then God-ignoring people will be left to run governing bodies. When godless people rise to political power in a city or nation, then the effect on the people who are governed is devastating. The book of Proverbs has much to say about political officials who lead in wickedness. Proverbs 29:12 says, “If a ruler listens to falsehood, all his officials will be wicked.” Earlier in that same chapter he writes, “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.” And we all know that our governing leaders are really a reflection of the people who have elected them, so it is no surprise that as we see a culture in spiritual and moral decline that the politics of that culture become more corrupt and morally deficient. This should be of great concern to Christians, both for the times we are living in and for the country that our children and grandchildren will inherit. Lastly, Christians should be involved and outspoken in political arenas because we should be laser focused on the goal of God’s glory and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our nation has a problem. It is the same problem affecting and infecting every person on the earth. The problem is sin. We are all sinners, and we all need a Savior. In order to have the freedom to speak and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, Christians must stay vigilant to fight for those freedoms. These freedoms came at great cost, and they are not guaranteed to continue. God has blessed our nation with great freedom so as to fuel the spread of the gospel throughout this entire globe. We must not squander this great gift.

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Life is a Blessing Embracing Grace By Tracy McCoy


s I mature and continue to get to know God, I love him all the more. When I first came to know Him, I was just a little girl so in my immature mind He was really big with white hair, and if you weren’t good He would be really mad. I tried to follow all of the rules and do as I was told in Sunday School. I prayed prayers like “Now I lay me down….” and “God is good, God is great...”. That is all I knew. As I grew and was exposed to the world a bit more I figured out it was going to be real hard for me to keep from making God mad. I knew that there was mischief in me and that circumstances in my life had put me in some very hard places. I made many poor decisions and because of those and the thoughts that God was probably very angry with me I hid from him like Adam and Eve. I still loved him but didn’t want to face Him and was afraid of His wrath. I spent a decade running in the wrong direction. When I thought of God and longed to be close to Him, I felt shame. Shame leads to many destructive feelings that keep us bound. I spent much of my life thinking He was far away, thinking I had to earn His love. I thought that if I went to church that God would reward me by keeping me safe, always trying to make a deal with God. “If you will…then I will.” At seven years old I knew Jesus died for my sins and rose again, but I didn’t understand what that meant. Grace was foreign to me. I heard all of the don’ts and dos and thought the whole thing depended on me. “He loves you, BUT… “ always seemed to enter the conversation. Just when the concept of grace would try to take root I was reminded by some well meaning Christian that I needed to do right and follow the rules. It took almost half a century before I got it; it has zero to do with me

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and EVERYTHING to do with Jesus. Love is at the core of the gospel and the law is what points me to Him. You see God knew that you and I would need someone to step up and take on our sin, Jesus was His son and the solution to the sin problem. You can’t have it both ways, either grace is grace or Jesus died in vain and we are all in serious trouble. Why would God send Jesus to die if it were not enough. The blood of Christ can cover the most vile sinner and all sin is vile in the eyes of God. The cross did not free us to sin, it set us free to live for Jesus. To live happy lives and to enjoy a relationship with God. He is so much more than Sunday morning. He is the God of the Universe and He wants to know you personally. Jesus is the way to the Father and the best friend you’ll ever have. Today God is a Daddy to me, He is not just a man in a book. He is not a mean dictator that is trying to catch me doing something wrong. He isn’t a building or a set of rules. He is not a world view or a lifestyle. God knows everything about me and still adores me. His loving kindness, grace and mercy are hard for me to grasp, sometimes I still hear that voice that says it’s up to me. He sent one who was perfect to fix my imperfections and a comforter to guide me. When God looks at me, He sees Jesus and He loves me as His child. I am completely a work in progress as I learn more and unlearn the legalism that was a stumbling block in my faith journey. I want to embrace grace, show kindness and love to others. I want to please Him, not out of fear but because I love and I respect my Father. The day will come when I meet Him face to face and my heart will forever sing!

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This Home Welcomes You to Lake Living By John Shivers


t the main entrance to the custom-built home at 133 Ray Point Lane in Lakemont, your welcoming committee -- the first clue to all that awaits -- is a quirky crafted wooden moose, long on charm and guaranteed to coax forth a smile. Immediately, without even being told, you realize that what’s inside is a cut-above, a different brand of living in this lodge located in the highly sought Lower Basin area of Lake Rabun. And then it just gets better. With the placid lake waters as your backyard, the possibilities are endless. Boating, sunbathing, parties, special fireworks displays, stargazing, or a combination of some or all, will make you and your guests feel totally at home. When the forest is your front yard, it’s the best of both southern Rabun County worlds. And the two-acre± heavilywooded, fee-simple lot offers the opportunity for a guest cottage; make it into a family compound, if you wish. This two-story bungalow-cottage style home, originally built in 1982, has been meticulously maintained. The three bedrooms and two bathrooms, with the master on the main level, are nestled among the spectacular lake and mountain views that give this home an edge that no amount of money can buy. In this home, these natural perks are part of the package. With 2,221± square feet, this house affords ample space for comfortable family living, and with two bedrooms on the lower level, parents and kids have their own space. The neutral, contemporary-inspired interior acts as a perfect foil for the traditional style and colors that frame the views of the outdoors, through the multiple windows that marry the two worlds and provide so many different opportunities for lake life at its very best. The living room and a dining room that will comfortably seat twelve or more anchor the main level. A massive stone fireplace adds to the ambiance and comfort of this area, and a screened porch off the dining room increases both living and dining space. The kitchen is mere steps away, and features the convenience of a walk-in pantry, and a full-complement of appliances including a gas range, double convection oven, dishwasher, and a refrigerator with icemaker line. A breakfast bar expands the seating space. Both daily living and grand parties are not only possible, they’re a snap. This home’s natural vibes of welcome will make family and friends want to gather there.

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And it’s just as good outside. Running the length of the home on both levels are a screened porch and open decks that mathematically square the living potential and enjoyment. The classic two-story Rabun boathouse features two slips for your watercraft, extra-wide wraparound docks with abundant boat spaces for visitors and a sunning deck on top, where the good gets even better. Relax under the cover to enjoy a good book, or take advantage of the open area to enjoy a Rabun County summer on the lake. The upstairs deck of the boathouse has plenty of space for entertaining, along with a panoramic view of the sun setting over the mountains that just doesn’t get any better. This is a special place on the lake. From the greeting by the moose on your way in, or as you bid the day adieu in the waning light of the western sky, this home is one that embodies everything good about the idea of a home on the lake. Harry Norman, REALTORS® Luxury Lake and Mountain Agent Evelyn Heald will be glad to show “Moose Lodge,” GMLS #8816621. Contact her at (cell) 404-372-5698 or (office) 706-212-0228 for more information and to view this property.

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This Mountain Home Should Be High on Your List By John Shivers


he four-season view from the porches of the home at 2209 Bald Mountain Road, looking down on Sky Valley / Dillard, Georgia, are picture postcard perfection. The sleeping capacity of this tri-level lodge makes this the logical destination for your large, far-flung family with room for kids and grandkids alike. It also makes an ideal rental option for large groups, and already has a great vacation rental track record with five star reviews. However you choose to use it is up to you. Just don’t miss the many possibilities this custom home offers. Never has there ever been so much for so many, making it a win-win for all. Perched high on a hillside overlooking Sky Valley, at an elevation of more than 3,500 feet, with seven oversize bedrooms and six bathrooms, this home is anchored among the trees, with sweeping views of the western sky. The valley view overlooks the Sky Valley Golf Course. Three of the bedrooms hold king size beds and offer en suite baths. The remaining four bedrooms are large enough to hold more than one bed, and really increase the sleeping potential. A fully self-contained apartment on the lower level makes this home, built in 2004, ideal for multi-generational living, or for a caretaker to have his or her exclusive quarters.

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With more than 5,900 square feet of heated living space, this home is primarily open concept on the main level, with fourteen foot ceilings in some areas. Two oversize living areas and two dining rooms make it easy-peasy to feed the masses. As an added plus, the size of these areas makes social distancing easily feasible. Stone fireplaces on two levels and a wood stove on the lower level add both to the eye appeal, as well as the comfort level on snowy winter evenings, when everyone wants to stick close to home. The home’s kitchen features solid lacquered wood cabinets and granite counters, and gives the resident chef all the space and equipment needed to prepare quality meals in quantity portions. With the Kitchen-aid® gas cooktop, a Jenn-Air® double oven, island with a prep-sink, dishwasher, built-in microwave, side-by-side refrigerator and a breakfast bar, both cook and helpers will find plenty of elbow room and the means to prepare three squares a day. Floors throughout the main level are natural finished red oak hardwood, with carpet in the bedrooms. Baths have tile floors. An elevator connects the three floors, and a generous size staircase makes for easy movement throughout. An oversize laundry with oversize equipment, sink, many cabinets and direct access to the outside spells convenience whether you’re living here full-time or sharing the home with vacationers. And if you choose to place this home on the rental market, experienced management and cleaning teams are already in place to work for you. Located in a private gated community with paved road access and ample paved parking for multiple vehicles, this home features both open decks and screened areas on all three levels. With three acres±, you’re assured high degrees of privacy, yet you’re within easy driving distance of Dillard, at the bottom of the mountain, and Clayton, only a few miles down Highway 441. There’s a drive-under basement, and a covered carport adjacent to the laundry room and kitchen. Picture it: the perfect multi-purpose home, MLS #8856603. Contact Poss Realty Agent Joanna Radford at 706-490-2724, or at the office at 706-782-2121 to view this exceptional property. You may also contact her at www.jonnasellsrabun. com.

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This Exceptional Year submitted by Harry Norman Luxury Lake and Mountain Realty

photo by Brad Tinsley


e can all agree that 2020 has been an unusual year. The Real Estate market in Rabun County and surrounding areas is no exception. There was, and still is, no shortage of changes to make, hurdles to overcome, and opportunities for active minds to discover. In short, the selling and purchasing activity of homes has been much higher than usual.

Most of the factors driving this flurry of activity are “old hat” by now. The disclosure and onset of COVID-19, economic worries, and their associated concerns immediately challenged the dynamics of our daily routines and feelings of well-being. Add to that, events of social unrest over cultural issues that have shaken the core of all people who live and work in and around urban areas. Our nearby neighbor Atlanta is no stranger to these events. Closer to home, many of us had to cancel or rearrange family visits, vacations, weddings, Spring and Summer (and now Fall) plans. Sheltering in place, or sequestering for extended amounts of time has led people and families to seek spaces away from crowded areas – particularly more rural areas with lots of things to see and do, while feeling “away” from other people … enter Rabun County. Our market has seen an influx of all-cash buyers, new buyers taking advantage of very low interest rates, and, additionally, more buyers are now able to work from home. They are also looking for a calming environment to work, while enjoying our area’s coveted lake and mountain views. In addition to lake homes, buyers are also looking for mountain retreats as a weekend get-away, or for moving permanently to the area for retirement. Some buyers have commented that if they have to selfquarantine for 2021, they would rather do so in the mountains which offer outdoor opportunities where you can still distance yourself from others. In addition to our abundance of beautiful Forest Service lands, waterfalls, and wonderful views, the growth of downtown Clayton has appealed to buyers seeking nice restaurants and locally owned stores. Historically, there have been increases in new listings for the Fall season. That activity shuts off around the holidays to return around late February with homes re-entering the market and with new listings becoming available. This year, the expected uptick for these new listings has not materialized. Homeowners are enjoying their homes, and more may plan to do so throughout the Fall and Winter seasons this year. We’ll just have to wait to see what Spring has in store for us all. In the meantime we can all certainly enjoy the now, and remain thankful for what we have. Fall is upon us and Rabun County is certainly a wonderful place to live!

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Adventure Out

Anna Ruby Falls By Peter McIntosh


or our adventure this month we’re going to catch some remaining fall color by visiting a beautiful cascade that’s easy to get to and something the whole family can enjoy. We’re going to Anna Ruby Falls in Unicoi State Park just outside of Helen. Technically, the waterfall is located on forest service property just outside of the park but you have to go through the park to get there. At the parking area, (this is a fee area where you pay $3.00 per person in your vehicle, so bring some ones. Your State Park Pass isn’t accepted here.) there is a nice interpretive center with a viewing platform overlooking Smith Creek. There are restrooms at this facility and a chainsaw carved sculpture of Smokey Bear. Now let me tell you, this is no quiet little brook, Smith Creek is big, clear and noisy as it tumbles downward towards the Chattahoochee River. And a good way to enjoy this stream is by taking the short trail, located below the center, leading to several picnic areas located along the creek. These are some of the nicest picnic

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spots you’ll find anywhere, so check them out and think about returning in the springtime when the weather warms a bit. But let’s check out the waterfall. The trail to the falls is above the center and is a paved walkway which follows along Smith Creek for 4/10 mile to the base of the cascade, with some very nice observation platforms. And although this is a short walk, it is steep in places. Fortunately, there are numerous informative markers along the way where you can learn about the flora and fauna and catch your breath at the same time. There are also a few well placed stone benches on this trail if you want to rest your feet and enjoy the clear and noisy stream. After crossing the creek a couple of times on safe, wide bridges we come to the base of the cascade. Anna Ruby Falls is actually two separate cascades, Curtis Creek is the 160 foot falls on the left and York Creek is the 50 foot cascade on the right. These two creeks come together at the base of the falls forming Smith Creek. And both of these sparkling streams start out from springs high up on the ridges of Tray Mountain. This stunning waterfall is named after Anna Ruby Nichols, the daughter of Colonel John H. Nichols who purchased this land sometime after the Civil War. There are many other trails in and around Unicoi State Park, the Smith Creek Trail, the Unicoi Lake Trail and the Helen to Unicoi Trail. You can find out more about these footpaths at the Unicoi State Park visitor’s center.

Happy hiking. As 2020 nears it’s end, my November poem doth begin: As autumn winds down, I do think you oughter, Get out and see some cool falling water. This water feature it truly a beauty, The double cascade named Anna Ruby. Getting there: From Burton Dam Road and GA 197 go 3 miles to GA 356. Turn right on 356 and go 9 miles on GA 356, cross over Unicoi Lake Dam and turn right following signs to Anna Ruby Falls. From Helen, go north on GA 75, 1 mile. Turn right on 356 and go 1.5 miles and turn left and follow the signs to falls. To see more of Peter’s photos, or if you have a question or comment:

Happy Thanksgiving

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Lovin’ the Journey Gravy Trail By Mark Holloway


’m like a mosquito in a nudist camp. I don’t know where to start. How can I tell you in just a few words of all the options we have here to explore, train, run, hike, paddle, pedal, and climb.

Deep sigh.....I can’t. I can tell you this much, there is a goodly portion of outdoor choices in these here hills for which we can all be thankful. Speaking of thankful, I’ve decided thankfulness is a renewable resource. I’m thankful today for the very things I’ll be thankful for tomorrow. If for some reason I run out of things to be thankful for, I can merely start over, pondering my blessings all over again. Selfishness, on the other hand is a hope-killer and energy drainer. So let’s stick with thankfulness. Let’s first talk about my first outdoor love... running. No offense to the track walkers, but asphalt in circles isn’t the best choice when 80 percent of our neck of the woods is wooded. Word on the trail is there are more than 1,000 miles of unpaved routes here. Yep, in this tiny little corner of Georgia. The trail head of Panther Creek Falls is in the ‘swoop’ of Old Historic Highway 441 just south of the Rabun/Habersham County Line. This is my favorite trail to run. If offers non-stop whitewater, cliffs of peril, boulders, and a huge reward of a waterfall and pool at the midway point of this 7 mile out and back. Let’s ease slightly north to Tallulah Gorge. This cut in the earth is a must do for runners. You can cardio your way to each North Rim Overlook and then cross the massive suspension bridge to the South Rim and run those overlooks, like grabbing seconds at your Thanksgiving table. I’ve run from Hale Ridge to York House and even from Betty’s Creek to Tiger. One time I ran from my friend Danny Gillespie’s cabinet shop in Mountain City to the top of Black Rock and back. But lately I’ve been training exclusively on our trails. I’m gearing up for the annual Atlanta Make-A-Wish fundraiser where hearty souls hike 22 miles of the Bartram Trail. This fine group asks us Search and Rescue volunteers to provide escort along the route. I’ve accepted the assignment again to pace the first group comprised of runners. I’ll have medical gear and my two-way radio in the event an athlete needs help. They’re inspiring folks who make hearts happier. Cycling here is a big deal. There’s a trail near my home called Stonewall/ White Twister. It’s a dedicated 16 mile route of creek-crossing adventure. I mountain bike it with my older and better looking friend Greg Funkhouser and the Tallulah Falls Athletic Director Scott Neal. I also run it with my future son-in-law, Bret. This amazing trail system exists

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because of the local Father of Mountain Biking, Lester Ramey. I’m thankful for Lester’s vision to get this trail built. Brian Rickman, Susan Nichols, Steve Patterson, Neal Arnett, and Jake Scott are fit humans I’m also thankful for. We pedal the roadways and mountain peaks together, burning calories and building friendships. I suppose it’s dangerous. But I reckon choking on a Twinkie sitting on the couch is too. Guiding folks rock climbing at Pickens Nose, just north of the fabulous food at the Dillard House is also a recipient of my gratitude. I’ve guided too many climbers to count. From Coach Jim Horn and his infant son, to my friend Mikey Darby when he was in his 70s are the bookends of rock freaks I’m thankful for. My wonderful friend David Rogers taught me how to keep folks safe climbing, and my buddy Tony Whitner taught me rope rescue. Thanks guys. Paddling the Wild and Scenic Chattooga River is a must. You wouldn’t go to Disney and not ride Space Mountain, right? Then why on earth would you dare play here and not dip into the Chattooga? C’mon in. The water’s fine. Well....a bit cold right now. My friends who know me well know I live in a whirlwind. So there’s your whirlwind tour of just a few adrenaline inducing options I’m thankful for. When you slice your turkey and laugh with family and friends, get swept up in the outdoors. But don’t get so swept up you forget to thank our Creator for this amazing place and rejoice our Savior offers us abundant life. Please pass the gravy. 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. November 2020 - GML 59

Choosing the Right Health Care Provider by Kathryn Revis


ur health is one of the most precious possessions we have and, therefore; choosing a health care provider is an important decision that should be taken very seriously. Below are some suggestions that one should consider when choosing a healthcare provider for themselves or for family members: 1. Insurance: Understand the provisions of your insurance plan. Many insurance plans such as HMOs and PPOs limit you to certain physicians from which you may chose. Choosing an “in network” provider will save you a lot of money. 2. Provider’s Educational Background Including: where they attended medical school, practiced their internships, and residency will give you an idea of the scope of their educational experience. 3. License, Board Certifications, and Specialty Training: All medical doctors, nurses, and PA’s, etc. must have a state license to practice. Board Certifications is an extra step that many providers choose to take to demonstrate that they know the latest advancements in their specialty. Choosing a provider who is board certified is highly recommended. 4. Accessibility: As basic as it seems, the location of your healthcare provider is important. Choosing a healthcare provider close to your work or home will be an important factor if you need to see the provider frequently, or if you live in or will be traveling to a large city where traffic congestion and parking is an issue. Inquire if your provider is in solo practice or is in a practice with several other providers. Ask if someone from the practice is available 24/7 via phone, appointments, e-mail, or virtual appointments. When making your appointment, verify if your appointment is with your physician or another provider, such as a Nurse Practitioner, PA or another doctor in their practice to assure you are comfortable seeing that particular provider for your concern. Many front desk staff will refer to all providers as “doctors” which is incorrect. Know the hospital(s) where your provider has privileges, in case you may need hospitalization. Driving a distance may not be an issue for you if it means having found a provider that you like, trust and have confidence in.

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5. Environment: Be observant on your first visit to the provider’s office. If possible, it is recommended that your first visit be for a yearly physical. That way, you are not feeling ill and the visit will possibly be less stressful. As tedious as it is, it is extremely important that you fill out the forms completely and correctly, especially your medical history. Note if the front desk staff are professional and courteous. Does the staff act welcoming and do they clearly answer any questions you may have? Does the staff maintain your privacy and confidentiality? Is the office over crowded? Are there physical spaces to accommodate both well and sick patients? What other services can the office provide such as lab, x-ray, imaging, etc. or will you have to go several places to receive the services you need. Is the environment clean? 6. Providers: If you have the option in your locale, consider which provider you feel most comfortable with, male or female. If you have more than one provider, you may have a gender preference according to their specialty. You might ask friends and neighbors for recommendations, but ask specifically what they like or dislike about the providers. Consider, if you prefer a provider who is very sociable or one whose demeanor is “all business” and choose accordingly. Notice whether the staff respects your personal privacy when instructing you to disrobe. These instructions should include the minimum disrobing necessary for the provider to perform the physical assessment needed for the visit, as well as, proper instructions on applying the gown or drape. Most importantly, did all the providers wash their hands or at the very least use hand sanitizer before touching your body. If you did not observe this activity, you have the right to ask the provider if they washed their hands after the last patient. If the provider(s) are offended by this request, it might be a

red flag. Applying gloves to soiled hands is not an acceptable practice. When the provider enters the room do they greet you by name as they introduce themselves. Name tags and titles are recommended for all staff. 7. Your Treatment: Do the providers conduct themselves as if they have time to spend with you or do they seem rushed? Do they”really listen” to your concerns and comments or do they seem occupied with the copious documentation? Does the provider respect your input and knowledge about your own body? Does the provider demonstrate compassion and understanding, especially if you are experiencing pain? Does the provider explain what they are doing during the physical exam while maintaining your dignity and modesty? Does the provider explain to you in words you can understand what diagnostic test they are doing and why? Do they tell you when your diagnostic test results will be available and when you will be informed? You, the patient are an active partner with your provider in helping to ensure your optimal health outcomes. Questions from the patient should not only be welcomed but encouraged by the providers. If a provider acts annoyed or offended by your questions, that is counter productive to establishing rapport and a collaborative, trusting relationship between provider and patient. The care you receive and the relationship you build with the provider you choose will impact not only your health but your wellbeing. Knowing you have a provider who values you and is dedicated to providing the best possible care for you and your family offers incredible peace of mind. Put some time and effort into the selection process and never stay with a provider you are not comfortable with or don’t trust to care for you.

Kathryn (Speed) Revis was a 1970 graduate of Rabun County High School. Upon graduation Kathryn attended Georgia Baptist School of Nursing in Atlanta, Georgia where she earned her diploma in Nursing. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Master of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Kathryn accepted a position as a Clinical Instructor at Georgia Baptist School/College of Nursing. She also worked in various positions at Atlanta Medical Center (Formerly Georgia Baptist Medical Center). Kathryn has also held positions at some of Georgia’s finest hospitals. She has countless professional affiliations, and has been the recipient of several honors and awards. Ms. Revis has written articles for professional nursing journals. Today, Kathryn is retired, living in Alpharetta, Georgia. Her roots run deep in Rabun County and a part of her heart will always be here. November 2020 - GML 61

Your Skin Will Be So Thankful




706-490-1059 54 North Church St., Clayton, Georgia 30525 62 GML - November 2020

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By Liz Alley

Gratitude - noun: a feeling of appreciation, the state of being grateful


’ve had to rethink Thanksgiving Day. I share my girls with their husband’s families now. This is something that took me by surprise. Even though I know how this marriage thing works, I forgot until it interfered with my own plans. Thanksgiving used to be in such a tidy package. My mom, dad, siblings, mother and father in-law, came to our house for Thanksgiving. My kids and husband were all still intact as a family unit. Well, the times, they are a changing. My parents are unable to travel, my siblings have their own Thanksgivings with their kids, husband is gone and my daughters have two Thanksgivings to fit into one day.

Thanksgiving used to be a week or more of hustle and bustle, but now mine is quite calm. The kids eat lunch with their respective in-laws, leaving dinner to be with me. After preparing a huge meal at my house the first year of their marriages and watching them eat the equivalent of a tablespoon, I decided something had to change. Now, we have dessert at my house and it’s actually very nice. The pressure is off by then and I get the more relaxed version of my kids. They have changed clothes, probably because their pants won’t buckle from all the lunch food, and we open the kitchen door to the back yard. We put on the coffee pot and talk about what we’re thankful for. In addition to my own kids, there is one of my son in law’s mom, her parents and a few of my friends. Sometimes there is even a straggler or two. This way of doing things has evolved over the past four years. At first, I missed the old way terribly and I felt lost. Now, I’m finding if I allow life to show me what to do, it always will and as Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 reminds us, for everything there is a season. There was a season in my life where my mom and dad showed up days before Thanksgiving, their car low to the ground with all the stuff they’d brought. When Mom’s apple cake would be nestled in an airtight container on the backseat and the trunk full of groceries like Newnan didn’t have grocery stores and pots and pans like I didn’t own any. There was a season when the house was brimming with mountaineers, hectic with kids running in and out, the guys watching football, the women clucking in the kitchen, but that season is over, I still put out the three tablecloths where we wrote what we were thankful for over the span of about 20 years. I got on everybody’s nerves so much when I started this tradition. I chased around reluctant participants (my dad especially but most everyone else too) with sharpie in hand. Now, I look at them every year and see how our family has evolved. Nieces and nephews who were young and thankful for puppies and good grades, became adults who were thankful for spouses and babies. On those tablecloths are job changes, health issues, presidential election results, marriages, births, deaths, new cars, and answered prayers. I drag them down from the attic every year, and if there isn’t enough room for them on the table, I hang them on the fence for everyone to read. 2020 has been a year of challenges in the wake of a pandemic, elections, and division amongst us. I liken it to looking both ways before crossing the road and then getting hit by an airplane. Still, there is much to be thankful for. The mountains, in their grand finale of Fall, look like a patchwork quilt with their fading yellows, browns and oranges. Outdoor fire pits beckon us to stay up with the stars, while frosted mornings break open a silvery sun. The hills quieten as they make their bed for winter. Best of all though, is when we take a day to be thankful for the souls around our table, along with the joy and sorrow that so often binds us together.

Liz Alley was born and raised in Rabun County in the city of Tiger. She loves to write. She is an interior designer specializing in repurposing the broken, tarnished, chipped, faded, worn and weathered into pieces that are precious again. She is the mother of two daughters and one granddaughter. She divides her time between her home in Newnan and Rabun County.

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Franklin, North Carolina

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By The Way

Hibernation is not for hogs By Emory Jones


y pet pig, Cunningham, is so sick and tired of all this covert COVID mess, he decided to teach himself to hibernate until it’s over. My wife, Judy, is all for the plan, but I’m bad against it.

First of all, can you imagine how bad a hog’s breath will be after he’s been sleeping for two or three months? It’s bad enough now. Anyway, pigs aren’t natural hibernators. If they were, hog farms would close for the winter. I believe this foolishness is actually more about eating than sleeping. This silliness started when Cunningham saw a documentary about bears on the Ursidae TV channel a few days back. He especially liked the part about them eating themselves silly so they can get fat enough to sleep through the winter. So, when the first cold snap hit, and Judy was on a sleepover at her mama’s house, Cunningham saw his chance. He’d already started the “eating himself silly” part weeks earlier, so he was ready. After he downed one last bucket of table scraps, I reluctantly helped him swallow two Tylenol PMs and one of Judy’s nerve pills. Cunningham soon went to sleep behind the sofa under a pile of my old leisure suits for what he assumed would be a long winter’s nap. Unfortunately, the pig suffers from sleep apathy, and his snoring kept me up for a good ten minutes. We were both still snoozing when Judy got home the next morning and decided to do some much-needed vacuuming. And for some reason I still don’t understand, she decided to vacuum behind the couch where Cunningham was busy hibernating. I guess she wasn’t expecting to find a pig back there, because it startled her and Cunningham both when she vacuumed up against his little pork butt. Judy squealed almost as loud as the pig and threw the vacuum cleaner clean across the room where it landed on top of the mantelpiece. Thinking he hadn’t eaten in three months, the pig smacked his lips and lit out after Judy when she ran from the room. I imagine he assumed she was rushing to fix him a large post-hibernation breakfast. Anyway, when Judy hit the kitchen, her cat, Rowdy Yates, jumped on top of the pig and stayed there by sinking his claws into the poor pig’s fatback. Judy didn’t shut the front door fast enough to keep the squealing Cunningham from racing outside with the attached feline howling all 57 known cat noises at the same time. The neighbors thought an air raid siren had gone off. The dogs in our area love chasing cats and pigs, but seldom get to. They saw this chance to chase both of them together as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

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I don’t think Cunningham even noticed all those dogs chasing him. Because, still thinking himself to be starving, he caught wind of a fresh batch of peppermint pig pellets that were just coming off the conveyer belt at that feed mill on Cleveland’s Cemetery Street. He sprinted towards the smell, taking the hunkered down cat and an undetermined number of dogs with him. The feed mill manager later testified that not even the animal control people believed his story about a starving pig, ridden by a shrieking cat, while being chased by a pack of howling hounds, and what was later determined to be a rabid raccoon, is hard to swallow. I would have spoken up for him, but they never called me to the stand.

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 five books, including The Valley Where They Danced; Distant Voices: The Story of the Nacoochee Valley Indian Mound; a humorous history book called Zipping Through Georgia on a Goat Powered Time Machine; White County 101 and Heart of a Co-op--The Habersham EMC Story. 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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Art by Ali Wilkins

Around Town What’s new, fun, exciting and happening? Find out what’s goin’ on Around Town...

Hey Y’all, Got news? Somthing you want to share with our readers? This is the place to do it. Around Town is a new section in our magazine to promote the businesses that support our magazine. They are your friends, neighbors and maybe even family. We like to keep it local, regional and show some love to our small business owners. They are the backbone of our nation and what runs our economy. While big box stores are sometimes necessary, we ask that you look for it in your town or the next first. Nine times out of ten I have found it for he same price or less and knew that my dollars kept a family in business. I like that a lot! So, let’s look Around Town and see what’s happening!


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Looking For Fun? Here it is! Funkiture Gifts and DIY Studio just sounds fun, doesn’t it? The studio offers classes and sells art supplies including paints and finishes, stencils, transfers, and more. You will be so inspired by the creations you see that you’ll find yourself cleaning out the back bedroom so you can craft and get artsy. Need instruction? Well tune into DIY with Jayne at 3pm on Fridays live on Facebook. Look for the Funkiture Gifts and DIY Studio page and get ready to make something beautiful. Their website offers you an opportunity to shop online and it is a user friendly environment. You will find it at You are invited to follow the studio on social media and please call for class schedules, 404-333-4373. Dan Joseph’s and Funkiture are located at 487 N. Main Street in Hiawassee, Georgia.

Ten Roof Thriftique with Countryside Creations is Taking Holiday Orders


en Roof Thriftique with Countryside Creations is a fun thrift store with great merchandise and even better prices, offering home dÊcor, clothing, furniture, books and collectibles. You are sure to find something you need or want. The store is owned and operated by Amanda Watts of Clayton. Countryside Creations offers vinyl and sublimation gifts. They have the ability to customize anything you want, from coffee mugs to car coasters, plaques, t-shirts and even cutting boards. They can add your name, favorite quote, a photo or even a recipe. What a unique gift to have your grandmother’s recipe in her own handwriting put on a cutting board. If you can dream it, Amanda can make it happen. Amanda is now offering gift baskets and gift certificates. There is still time to order that personalized gift for Christmas and you can order up until December 10th, 2020. So make your list and check it twice because it sounds like Ten Roof is a great place to start! The store is located at 128 Duvall St F, Clayton, Georgia 30525. For more information please call 706-982-2205.



he 2020 Candy Cane Market is happening! This event will be held at Catalyst Church in Hayesville North Carolina on Saturday, November 14th from 10am to 6pm, and on Sunday, November 15th from 1pm to 5pm. Thirtyfive vendors are planned to attend.

Get a jump on your holiday shopping and holiday spirit. For more information call 828-389-3704

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A Collection of Cool Stuff & Southern Hospitality!


orn and raised in Union Springs, Alabama, Virginia “Ginny” Allen attended college in Mississippi and then moved to Auburn University. She didn’t know then that she would live all over the south. She had visited Rabun when her grandmother would bring them to Sky Valley, Georgia on vacation but never dreamed she would live here in the mountains of northeast Georgia. Her husband was hired by Rabun’s Fruit of the Loom plant several years ago and that is why they made a move, although never letting go of homes in Alabama and South Carolina. You have heard the term “mover and shaker”, that aptly describes Ginny. She might be in Dillard at her store today and in Alabama tomorrow and back to Aiken the next day. She loves to stay busy and is good at it. She is the owner of The Dillard Market in Dillard, Georgia, now let’s take a closer look… “When you walk through my doors you will find quality antiques and collectibles from floor to ceiling!” she told me in a recent interview. People, she wasn’t kidding. This store is a treasure trove of some really COOL stuff, including local art by folk artist Scott Peppers and artist Blake Gardner. They are not the only artists whose work is on display at The Dillard Market. They are two of over 15 regional artists who sell their works through Ginny’s store. “I can sell their stuff because I share their story. I want you to know whose art you are taking home; the story behind the piece or about the artist is what makes it so valuable.” she says, and I believe her. “I have classic to contemporary art in here from every medium; sometimes the artists are onsite and you can meet them. Like local artist Lucy Holcomb. She is 75 years old and her history and background are what make her stuff so incredible,” she continued. “The who, what, when and where matter.” I commented that the minute you walk in the door, the aroma is pleasing. “It’s fresh herbs,. We sell organic lavender sourced from France and we have lines of organic herbal products here, plant based body butters, soaps and hand sanitizers.” Whatever it is, I like it! Many have commented to her that she has the “Coolest store around” and it definitely will keep you mesmerized, just trying to take it all in. In addition to the artists she has 10 vendors who sell antiques and collectables. From a phone booth to an egg basket, a painting of our first President to an antique shaker cabinet you will be simply amazed. “I have a blended and curated store, like Ed Watkins’ birdhouses. He has taken old and new, rusty and shiny and put it together and created some incredibly unique birdhouses. That is representative of what I’ve done here,” she said. “I have a great group that works here with me and we have a great following. People drive from all over to see what we’ve added to the store. They call ahead and let me know they are coming. I am blessed with friends wherever I go. We lived 23 years in Aiken, South Carolina and our store there thrives because we are part of that community too. Then there is the 200 acre farm in my home state of Alabama. I still work on the farm when I am there. I am a ‘Jack of all trades, and master of none’, a can-do kind of person. Our specialty is customer service; true southern hospitality is what our customers experience, and if they come in unhappy I guarantee they’ll leave with a smile.” I think she is right, the nostalgic factor is huge and the lavender is calming and the friendliness is the icing on the cake. The Dillard Market is located at 6810 Hwy. 441 North in Dillard, Georgia. You are invited to check them out at where you’ll stay up to date on what’s new. For additional information feel free to call 706-746-3529. When you visit let them know you saw them in the Georgia Mountain Laurel!

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A Merry Market offers Jolly Fundraising for Another Chance Rescue!


he Rabun County Civic Center is determined to get you in the holiday spirit with some outstanding events on the last weekend of this month. You are invited to shop the Merry Market November 27 (10am - 5pm) and November 28 (10am - 3pm). You will find vendor booths filled with locally handmade gifts just waiting to be wrapped up and placed under your tree. Don’t have a tree? Well we can fix that. This holiday event will include a silent auction of trees, beautifully decorated by groups and individuals in our community, all for a great cause! The proceeds from the sale of these trees will benefit Another Chance Rescue, Rehab and Sanctuary, dedicated to caring for animals until they find their forever home. The Merry Market will also offer pet pictures with Santa for a donation of pet food or a chew toy for our four-legged friends at Another Chance. The final November weekend is the kick off of the Christmas season and the perfect time to find those unique homemade “made with love” treasures that make an extra special gift. So, don’t miss the Merry Market where the sights and sounds of the holiday will fill the air. The Rabun County Civic Center is located at 201 West Savannah Street in Clayton, Georgia. For details on this and all events visit, follow their Facebook page or call 706982-9432.

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Photos by JLB Photography

Mountain Country Christmas in Lights November 26 - December 26, 2020


he Mountain Country Christmas In Lights at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in beautiful Hiawassee, Georgia starts Thanksgiving night and runs through December 26th, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 6pm till 9pm (closed Christmas Eve & Christmas Day). The Georgia Mountains will transform into a spectacular, magical holiday light show with special Christmas music provided by local churches, art & craft vendors, holiday food, hot chocolate, and of course a visit and pictures with Santa! There will be a petting zoo and camel rides for the kids. New for 2020: COWTOWN A live exhibit which contains an old time creamery where patrons participate in preparing a cow for milking by hand. Kids get hands-on experiences with the process of making butter ice cream and soap using historic tools and machines in these processes, and they learn the concept of “Home Made� just the way grandma used to do it!

Admission is $6 for adults, $5 Group sales and children under 12 are FREE!!! Parking is Free. No Pets Allowed. The Mountain Country Christmas in Lights is a wonderful way to celebrate the season. For more information call 706-896-4191 or visit

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Profile for The Laurel of Northeast Georgia

Georgia Mountain Laurel November 20  

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