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1604 Newcastle St. Brunswick, GA 31520 912-574-5493

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WE LOOK FORWARD TO WELCOMING YOU HOME! CREATING HOMES AS DISTINCTIVE AS THOSE WHO LIVE IN THEM.

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136 Marsh’s Edge Lane • St. Simons Island, GA 31522 (912) 324-3028 • Marshs-Edge.com


Contents features JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021

THE PAST 48 EBO LANDING: The story of enslaved members of the Igbo tribe and their sacrifice at Dunbar Creek on St. Simons has become a local legend. History enthusiasts weigh-in on what they think really happened there.

57 JEKYLL SEGREGATION: The south end of Jekyll Island was once the only beach available to African Americans during segregation. Local Burnell Willams shares her memories of that time and the power of the Civil Rights movement.

THE PRESENT 67 MINDFULNESS MASTER: Iman Ali’s journey took her from television anchor to celebrity fundraiser and finally to Reiki master. She shares her story and her tips for embracing the present moment.

74 LASTING LOVE: In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we tapped a gorgeous group of couples who offer their advice on creating relationships that last.

THE FUTURE 85 MOVING FORWARD: Area artists, teachers, and spiritual leaders provide insights on positive ways to move forward in 2021.

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A Community of Life and Living!

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New Year, Healthier You

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COLUMNS & DEPARTMENTS 12

EDITOR’S NOTE

14

WORD ON THE STREET

17

COASTAL QUEUE

34

DUE SOUTH

37

LIVING WELL

38

BY DESIGN

41

NATURE CONNECTION

43

MONEY TALKS

44

GAME CHANGERS

46

THE DISH

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Absolutely the best customer service. –Henry H.

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Good Good news. news. Rates Rates just just got lower. got lower. Douglas Phelps, Agent 104 TradePhelps, St. Douglas Agent Brunswick, GA 31525 104 Trade St. Bus: 912-265-1770 Brunswick, GA 31525 douglas.phelps.tz1u@statefarm.com Bus: 912-265-1770 douglas.phelps.tz1u@statefarm.com

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3011 Altama Ave, Brunswick GA 31520

Publisher Buff Leavy Editor Lindsey Adkison Director of Advertising Jenn Agnew and Marketing Marketing Director Assistant Editor

Becky Derrick Lauren McDonald

Brunswick Sales Manager

Bill Cranford Commercial Printing — Pre-printed Inserts

Contributing Writers

Tyler Bagwell Jessica Been Staci Bennett Terry Dickson Bud Hearn Ronda Rich Cynthia Robinson Lydia Thompson

Contributing Photographers

Parker Alexander, Empire Sky Photography

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Ben Galland, h20 Creative Group Tamara Gibson Bobby Haven Nancy Reynolds-Haven

Contributing Designers

Stacey Nichols Donte Nunnally Terry Wilson

Golden Isles Magazine is published six times per year by Brunswick News Publishing Company To subscribe online to Golden Isles Magazine, go to goldenislesmagazine.com/subscribe About the Cover: Iman Ali, a Reiki master and meditation teacher, poses at sunrise on the beach at Great Dunes Park on Jekyll Island. Ali’s intuitive living and consistent mindfulness practices have helped her culitvate lasting inner peace. She was photographed by Tamara Gibson.

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Golden Isles Magazine is in need of talented contributors. Unsolicited queries and submissions of art and stories are welcome. Please include an email address and telephone number. Submit by email to the editor, Lindsey Adkison: ladkison@goldenislesmagazine.com or by mail to 3011 Altama Ave, Brunswick. Only work accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope will be returned. Advertising Information regarding advertising and rates is available by contacting Becky Derrick by phone at 912.634.8408 or by email at bderrick@goldenislesmagazine.com; Bill Cranford at 912-265-8320, ext. 329 or by email at bcranford@thebrunswicknews.com; or Jenn Agnew at 912-265-8320, ext. 356 or by email at jagnew@thebrunswicknews.com.

All content is copyright of Golden Isles Magazine, a publication of Brunswick News Publishing Company. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without express written permission from the publisher. We have sought to ensure accuracy and completeness of the content herein, but neither Golden Isles Magazine nor the publisher assumes responsibility for any errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or other inconsistencies, including those related to quotations. We reserve the right to refuse advertising. All advertisements appearing herein are accepted and published on the representation that the advertiser is properly authorized to publish the entire contents and subject matter thereof. All ads are paid advertisements and/or gifts given as part of a contractual agreement regarding Brunswick News Publishing Company. Neither Golden Isles Magazine nor the publisher is responsible for any statements, claims, or representations made by contributing writers, columnists, or photographers. Golden Isles Magazine and the publisher are also not responsible for anyone’s reliance on the content included in the publication. All projects described in this publication are for private, noncommercial use only. No right for commercial use or exploitation is given or implied.


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Editor’s Note

A new beginning Artistically hand carved, casted and created here in The Golden Isles, we offer unique keepsakes that you’ll love to give or receive. No matter the size of your wrist, silver or gold, or a bit of both, we’ll make you something special and lasting.

Keepsake Jewelry from the artist of the Keepsake Jewelry from the artist of the original St Simons Island Signature Bracelet and original St Simons Island Signature Bracelet and An ofďŹ cial of The GA Sea Jekyllsponsor Island Turtle Bracelet. Jekyll Island Turtle Bracelet.

The little store with a Turtle Center #106 Pier reputation Village Market, St. Simons Island big for fine #106 Pier Village Market, St. Simons Island (912) 638.3636 (912) 638.3636 Located At www.GIBCoBracelets.com www.GIBCoBracelets.com crafted local . #106 Pier Villagejewelry Market

Guys. We made it. The horror show that was 2020 is officially behind us. It was a long, heartbreaking road, and while hardships definitely still lie ahead, it feels as though we’ve turned a corner. I sure hope we have. Throughout the course of the last 12 months, we’ve collectively suffered greatly, but have also learned much. Many of us have become Web M.D. styled virologists and experts in the art of hand washing (and hand wringing). We navigated the world of bulk buying and toilet paper hoarding. We’ve also been reminded of the incomparable comfort of bear hugs and high fives. We now understand the true importance of simple dinners with friends.

More than anything, we’ve been taught that it’s the little things that matter most. And nothing teaches All pieces proudly h ANdcr Afted i N the be Autiful Golde N isles. that lesson better than having them               St. Simons Island, Georgia ripped away. 912-638-3636 I know one thing that proved a www.gibcobracelets.com comfort for me in the dark days of 2020 is looking to the past. Humanity has truly sustained itself through some catastrophic times — wars, famines, plagues, social unrest — we’ve tread it all.

No matter how small or big your wrist or fingers are, silver or gold or a bit of both, we’ll make you something comfortable and lasting. Guaranteed. exclusively at:

215 Mallery Street | St. Simons Island, GA 912.638.3636 | www.gibcobracelets.com gibcobracelets@gmail.com 12

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Much of that has unfolded right here in the Golden Isles. So for our first issue of 2021, we’re taking a look back into the past, exploring inspiring stories of Black history (a nod to February’s Black history month). We will dive into the legendary tale of Ebo Landing and the brave Igbos who are said to have sacrificed their lives rather than live in slavery. We are also looking back at the days of segregation on Jekyll Island and how the Civil Rights movement worked to untie the knots of injustice.

We’re also embracing the present moment. We sat down with a former celebrity fundraising coordinator-turned-mindfulness master to discover how to remain centered. We chatted with local couples to discuss their secrets of making love last a lifetime. And finally, we reached out to artists, teachers, and spiritual leaders to gather advice for moving forward in a meaningful way. Challenges still lie ahead but with the lessons of the past, present, and future, we hope the waters can become easier to traverse. And, if nothing else, they can serve as a reminder that humans have always faced tough times. But, we are, indeed, tougher. Love and light for a fresh start, y’all — Lindsey


Word On The Street

The Cover @emilyburtondesigns Super Adorable!

@islanddayspa I love this cover @summer_sally6988 it

Your reactions sent to us by emails, posts, & tweets

TIME TO GET SOCIAL facebook.com/goldenislesmag instagram.com/goldenislesmag twitter.com/goldenislesmag

@cyleaugustwrites Gorgeous!

If you prefer to send us your comments by email, contact Editor Lindsey Adkison at ladkison@goldenislesmagazine.com. Anything

Land trust’s new aquisition Sonja Black Bagwell This is great news!

posted to our social media accounts or

Noisemaker — Monique Cothren @freesoulmoniquemusic Lindsey Adkison, Bobby Haven, and Golden Isles Magazine were so splendid to work with. You are all the best.

@pluggedin2 Monqiue is absolutely FABULOUS and one of the kindest people I have ever met. Can’t wait to read this piece.

emailed directly to the editor will be considered for publication. Comments may be edited for clarity or grammar.

Georgia Sea Grill’s pecan pie Susan Fyfe Molnar: Timothy Lensch is the best! My favorite holiday pie isn’t a pie. It’s English plum pudding with hard sauce. My mum’s was wonderful. 14

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Luxury + Consignment 912.434.9600 | 3415 Frederica Rd. | St. Simons Island (Located next to Delaney’s + Sal’s) | Monday- Saturday 10 am - 6 pm Sunday 11 am - 5 pm THANK YOU FOR VOTING US BEST CLOTHING + CONSIGNMENT!


Q AN INFORMATIVE LINEUP OF THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GOLDEN ISLES WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON | PHOTOS BY TAMARA GIBSON

Cookies

d

Debbie Bodamer’s kitchen is pristine with nary a pot or pan out of place. But looks can be deceiving. In reality, the St. Simons Island-based baker’s kitchen is quite a busy one. Bodamer rolled up the sleeves of her pink and white gingham blouse and lifted a heart shaped cookie from a large platter, placing the treat on a smaller plate. “I’ve always loved to bake. My favorite toy was my Easy Bake Oven,” she says with a smile. “I would make my own birthday cakes.”

for Cupid And the mother of three is certainly good at it. Each of the delicate Valentine’s Day cookies looked as if they were rolled off a fancy assembly line. Turns out, it’s all her. “I’ve always made cookies for friends and family. But I had never thought of doing it as a business,” Bodamer says. “I’d just bring cookies to parties or holiday events. Everyone really loved them, they’d always call them ‘Bodamer cookies!’ So when I decided to start a business, that’s what I called them.” JANUARY/F EB RUA RY 2021

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For Valentine’s Day, Bodamer has created sugar cookies bedecked in pink, red, and white. Some are modeled after the popular Conversation Hearts (Kiss Me, Too Cute, and the like), while others take the shape of lips or tiny cupids. But it’s not just this special day that calls for Bodamer’s sugary delights. She can turn out just about any design, and she notes, she probably has. “You’d be amazed what people come up with,” she says with a laugh. “I recently did one for a baby shower that had a beer theme and said ‘brewing up a baby.’ But it’s all completely custom, it’s whatever they want.” Georgia-Florida cookies are always a hit, as are graduation and wedding cookies. “For Covid, I did individually wrapped cookies for wedding favors,” she recalls. While her orders vary, her method is pretty much set in stone. Bodamer creates a design and a particular look for a cookie.

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“I try not to recreate the wheel every time,” she says. While the baking and design parts were easy enough to learn, there’s one element that Bodamer had to work to perfect — the icing. Each of her cookies boasts a flawless top coat with teeny details added in. That, she notes, did take a good bit of practice. “You know, I think it’s funny because people are really afraid of icing,” she giggles. “It does take practice but it’s really nothing to be afraid of. The consistency of the icing is the key to having a pretty cookie. That’s why it’s so important to get the icing right. But you can get it with a little practice.” Of course, Bodamer has worked hard to develop her skills. But her gift of baking might also be in her blood. “My grandmother was 100 percent Polish and she was one of these cooks that didn’t measure anything. She shared a lot of the things she would make growing up with me,” she says.


Bodamer’s

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2 lbs powdered sugar 5 Tbsp meringue powder 1 Tbsp light corn syrup ⁄3 cup water

2

Directions Mix all the ingredients in a standard mixer and blend for seven minutes. The icing should be stiff. Add water one drop at a time until desired consistency. Color with gel colors. Cover tightly and refrigerate remaining icing for up to two weeks.

Bodamer’s Sugar Cookie recipe

aa DESIGN, DESIGN, a BUILD, & & BUILD, DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION CONSTRUCTION firm located located in BUILD, & firm in the Golden GoldenCONSTRUCTION Isles. the Isles.

1 ⅓ cup butter 1 ½ cup sugar 2 tsp baking powder

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A dash of salt 2 eggs 2 tsp vanilla 4 cups of flour Directions Cream butter and sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix in baking powder, salt, and flour until well-blended. Bake at 375 degrees for seven minutes.

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Q

Golden Isles Magazine was once again recognized as a winner in the coveted FOLIO: Eddie & Ozzie Awards contest, which recognizes the best of the best in editorial and design work. Former editor Bethany Leggett received a first-place award for a single story in the City and Regional Category. Her story “Ancient Stones and Living Stones,” appeared in the July/August 2019 issue and detailed her illuminating trip to the Holy Land. Current editor Lindsey Adkison received an honorable mention for a collection of pieces published in 2019. The magazine’s Arts Issue for 2019 also received an honorable mention for a single issue. Golden Isles Magazine has been the recipient of many FOLIO awards in the past, but this year’s win seems to hold even more meaning. “We are so incredibly honored and grateful to be selected alongside these prestigious publications. This year, with all of the darkness, it provided a much needed boost, for sure,” Adkison says. FOLIO, which operates in New York City, Norwalk, Conn., and Rockville, Md., is a publication focusing on the magazine publishing industry.

Ancient Stones & Living Stones PHOT O ESSAY B Y B ET HA NY LEGGET T

A group of 44 pilgrims — many from Christ Church Frederica, St. Simons Presbyterian Church, and Temple Beth Tefilloh — journeyed to the Holy Land at the end of May on an interfaith trip, led by Mejdi Tours. They toured the ancient stones of the Old City in Jerusalem, walked the streets of Nazareth, traced their hands across the Western Wall, and strolled by the seaside in the Roman ruins at Caeserea. Witnessing the living stones — the people they met during their travels — proved equally impactful. The group shared a Shabbat dinner with an Orthodox rabbi on a Friday night and received communion during a Lutheran service on Sunday. They walked through the street celebrations at the end of Ramadan. And they listened to many speakers — Jews, Christians, and Muslims — explain how making peace, despite the complications from centuries of conflict, is the great hope for the future of both Israel and a Palestinian nation. On the following pages, the words of the living stones are captured alongside photos of the ancient ones. Photo: Mosaic in a crypt at St. Joseph’s Church at Nazareth.

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J U LY / AU G U ST 2019

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Over the past six years, Golden Isles Magazine has received seven awards for editorial (Eddie) and design (Ozzie) content. It has also taken home 10 previous honorable mentions. This year, contenders for FOLIO awards included publications like Southern Living and Travel + Leisure. “The Eddie & Ozzie Awards recognize the pillars of magazine and digital publishing — outstanding journalism and content, photography, design, and the extremely talented people who produce it,” said Danielle Sikes, Associate Publisher at FOLIO.


You Deserve It. The Best in Senior Living on St. Simon’s Island. If you’re looking for the best assisted living or memory care, look no further. Thrive at Frederica has all the amenities, programs, and care that you deserve. Our entertainment area, bistro, and happy hour bar will keep you feeling lively while our balconies overlooking the courtyard or golf course bring beautiful natural views to your door. COVID-19 can take away a lot of liberties we once enjoyed, but it can’t prevent us from serving up the little things that make the world go ‘round. Please reach out and let us know how we can help you.

Contact us to schedule a tour.

Thrive at Frederica 3615 Frederica Road St. Simons Island, GA 31522 912.295.4699 | ThriveSL.com/Frederica


Q

Marvelous Mocktails

M

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY LINDSEY ADKISON

Morning sunlight poured through the windows as Chris Gantt assembled his glass bottles and beakers along the bar. The name of his restaurant — Reid’s Apothecary — implies Gantt is well-accustomed to brewing up his own concoctions. While he’s known for serving intriguing cocktails, he’s also explored the marvelous realm of the mocktail. That’s right — a beverage that offers all the fun and pizazz of a libation but without the toxicity. As the Dry January movement has gained steam over the

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past few years, mocktails have become quite the rage. And as more and more people look to start a new year off on a healthier foot, more mixologists are exploring alcohol-free flavors. “I know a lot of people who do Dry January. We are going to add a couple of mocktails to the menu. Of course, you can take the alcohol out of just about any of our cocktails except for Manhattans or an Old Fashioned,” he said. Gantt’s recipes tap into flavors that make Reid’s Apothecary’s cocktails so successful.


“We do a lot of shrubs anyway so we incorporate those as well,” he says. “These are very unique and very fresh … like you just pulled them out of your garden.” For those looking to take a break from the booze in 2021, Gantt offers three refreshing, alcohol-free alternatives for some sweet sipping. “The first one is called a ‘Jamble,’ which is the alcohol-free version of the Bramble. You use blackberry jam — we make our own fresh — or you can use preserves. Then, you add two scoops of plain or Greek yogurt,” he says. “An ounce of lemon juice and two ounces of water. For the alcoholic version, the water would be gin.” It’s very simple — combine the lilac-colored mixture and two ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. “The coolest part is that you shake it with a ‘whip shake’ … that’s using only a couple of ice cubes to break up the drink without diluting it,” he says, moving the shaker in a circular motion. From there, he strains the mixture into a glass and garnishes it with mint. The result is a filling, fruity treat — slightly akin to a smoothie — but definitely delish. Next, the Pimm’s Cup

— sans alcohol.

SHOP OUR

“You make the alcohol version with Pimm’s liquor so that’s where the name comes from,” he says. “My grandmother used to drink these.” This mocktail — which Gantt has titled Out of the Garden — combines fresh cucumber, strawberries, ginger, and ginger beer for a light, airy taste.

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“First, you add the strawberry slices and the cucumber. You can just lay the cucumber around the glass and press it against the glass. It’s called creating ‘serpent,’” Gantt says. “Then, you muddle it a bit.” Mix in fresh ginger syrup, fill the glass with ice, then top with ginger beer. You can also do sparkling water.” Last but not least, there’s the alcohol-free Raspberry Spritzer. It’s incredibly simple, yet so satisfying. One element takes a little planning — Gantt’s homemade raspberry shrub, which must sit overnight. “You add two ounces of that and some fresh raspberries in a Pilsner glass and lightly muddle them,” he says. “Then, you add crushed ice and two and a half ounces of apple cider vinegar and fill the glass with sparkling water.”

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Jamble Ingredients 2 bar spoons blackberry jam (or any other for a different flavor) 2 bar spoons of plain Greek yogurt 1 oz lemon juice 2 oz water Directions: Shake with two ice cubes and strain over crushed ice.

Out of the Garden Ingredients 2 slices of strawberry (muddled) 2 slices of cucumber (muddled) ¾ oz ginger syrup ginger beer sprig of mint and powdered sugar for garnish

Directions: Start by creating a “serpent” with the cucumber, laying it around the glass. Add in the strawberry slices and gently muddle. Toss in regular ice cubes, the syrup, and top with ginger beer. Garnish with mint and sugar.

Raspberry Spritzer Ingredients 2 oz raspberry shrub San Pelligrino (or other sparkling water) sprig of mint for garnish Directions: The day before, make a raspberry shrub by combining a container’s worth of muddled raspberries and 2 ounces of honey. Let sit overnight. The next day, add 1 oz apple cider vinegar to the shrub and mix well. For the spritzer, take a tall glass and fill with ice. Add in the shrub and top with sparkling water. Garnish with mint.

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Your Style Is On Sale Here *pictured items may not be sale items

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Starting January 17th, Sago at Sea Palms is bringing back a local favorite, Sunday Brunch Buffet. Enjoy a delicious variety of chef-prepared culinary creations by Johnny Carino and his award winning culinary team.

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Q

Rethinking

resolutions WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON AND LAUREN MCDONALD PHOTO BY NANCY REYNOLDS-HAVEN

N

ew year, new you. We’ve all done that dance a time or two, right? It’s nearly become a societal contract and is certainly an expectation. But after the sucker punch that was 2020, many are a bit hesitant about setting the bar too high this go-round. So, what to do? We decided to sit down with local counselor Allyn Robb, clinical director and supervisor at Emerald Isle Counseling in Brunswick, who offered a bit of perspective on starting fresh. Q: As we begin a new year and many make resolutions for 2021, how would you recommend starting off on the right foot?

A: I have never liked the term ‘resolutions,’ because, as you know, we seldom keep them. In my opinion, it is more practical to think seriously about changes one is willing to make in his/her behaviors to improve his/her quality of life. Too often we try to embrace too many changes, when we would be better served to make a real commitment to two or three … or one for that matter. Additionally, it is imperative that we understand change needs to come across several dimensions to find better balance in our lives: Physical self-care, lifestyle, mental-emotional self-care, people support, and spiritual self-care. Therefore, each of us could 26

G O L D E N I S LES

put one or two of these areas under a microscope and say ‘hey … this part of my life really needs a tune-up.’ All great areas on which to work with a counselor. Q: 2020 has been rough, for several reasons. The pandemic, economic stress, a presidential election, and more have left many feeling stressed and anxious for a long period of time. What are good ways to cope with this kind of stress and anxiety? A: First and foremost, you must unplug from environmental stressors. My pet peeve is social media. Personally, my opinion is that these mediums are very toxic for individuals of all ages. Additionally, research tells us that they are highly addictive to certain populations. Second, turn off the boob tube. Third, become familiar with mindfulness, and the practice thereof. Certainly, most of us have experienced stress in 2020 and we must deal in the reality of it. But deep down inside, accept the fact that we will be OK. Eliminate your wants and enhance your needs — there is a difference. Focus on getting a better quality of sleep. Fifty percent of physical ailments are exacerbated by lousy sleep habits. And for goodness sake: Move. You have got to get some


Q: How can we support others, including family members, co-workers, and friends, who have also gone through a challenging time this past year? A: The most profound step we can all take is to be available. Be there for your family, friends, in-laws, colleagues, faith family — you do not necessarily have to do anything, say anything, or fix anything, just show up. Donating your time for others is easily the most valuable asset you can offer. Volunteering is another profound positive step in helping those in distress. Q: Back to those ‘resolutions.’ Many of us have made resolutions we have failed to keep. How do you recommend creating positive change in an effective, long-lasting way? A: Often, the effective first step is to recognize that a change in your perception may be 95 percent of being successful. After that, making a firm commitment. Do not call it a resolution, but a commitment. Ask for support from your friends and family. This is also a good time to nurture relationships with nuclear and extended family. It is especially important that you be mindful of your own self narrative: How do you talk to yourself? Are you respectful? Are you loving? Get rid of all the inflammatory stuff like, ‘should, could, ought, never, always’ vacuous terms that mean nothing other than judgement or negativity. Last, put your own belief systems to the test? Maybe you need to change the way you look at things. Accept that you may have been wrong? Litmus test: Do I want to be right all the time, or do I want to be happy?

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exercise. Learn to say ‘no’ rather than ‘yes.’ Put your own welfare first, because if you crash and burn, you will not be there for others. Treat yourself like you are in intensive care. Maybe it is time to be a little ‘selfish.’ Check out support groups. Talk with your doctor.

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Around the Town

Q

January Throughout January Jekyll Island will host its Island Treasures event, an open hunt for those seeking one-of-a-kind glass floats. The treasures will be “hidden” all over the island for visitors to find. For more information, visit jekyllisland.com. January 1 Downtown Brunswick’s monthly First Friday block party will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. along Newcastle Street. Restaurants and businesses will offer specials and stay open later. For more information, visit discoverbrunswick.com. January 16 to 23 The St. Simons Land Trust is hosting its first Restaurant Week 28

G O L D E N I S LES

to support local businesses. Coupons will be distributed to members for two diners to enjoy a meal at a participating restaurant. To join the program, one can become a land trust member starting at $50. For more information, visit www.sslt.org. January 17 Jekyll Island is hosting a virtual marathon, half marathon, and 5K. The event’s specifics are listed online. To register and learn more, visit jekyllislandmarathon.com.

February February through March Coastal Georgia’s Big Read event will hold a number of


events throughout the month. The book selected is Circe by Madeline Miller. For a complete listing of Big Read festivities visit goldenislesarts.org.

February 5 Downtown Brunswick’s monthly First Friday block party will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. along Newcastle Street. Restaurants and businesses will offer specials and stay open later. For more information, visit discoverbrunswick.com. February 13 Southeast Georgia Health System’s annual Bridge Run will be held virtually this year. The registration fee is $25 for adults and $15 for youths. The cost includes a T-shirt that will be sent to participants. The proceeds will benefit the cancer and cardiac care programs at the hospital. For registration, visit the-bridge-run.org.

One-of-a-kind Anatolian rugs hand sourced from various regions in Turkey. Our studio believes that within each warp and weft, there is a handknotted story defined by a unique design named from the specific region of Turkey in which our rug was made. Our process is focused on preserving these stories both old and new! Wether its a old piece we repair/ rewash, or one of our own designs in production, our studio is thrilled to share this uniqully Turkish handi-craft with our clients. We look forward to working with you! -Jess Been Designer + Owner Wiredcollaborative.com Jess@wiredcollaborative.com 912.434.9293 136 Retreat Plaza St. Simons Isl., GA 31522

JANUARY/F EB RUA RY 2021

29


Around the Town

(CONTINUED)

February 15 Coastal Georgia’s Big Read will host Madeline Miller, author of Circe. She will appear virtually to offer the keynote address. She will also take questions from participants. For information about joining the event, visit goldenislesarts.org. February 20 and 21 The St. Simons Island Storytelling Festival will be held virtually this year. Authors will share their experiences with participants and share tips on writing. To register or for more details, visit stsimonsislandstorytellingfestival.com. February 27 Wine Women & Shoes, a benefit for Hospice of the Golden Isles presented by Auxiliary of Hospice of the Golden Isles, will be held virtually from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. It will include raffles, fashion show, marketplace and auctions, as well as a Shoe Guy performance. For details visit, winewomenandshoes/goldenisles. February 27 The 2021 AJ Donohue Memorial Golf Tournament will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Jekyll Island Golf Club. Masks will be required in all areas outside of the course. Social distancing will also be enforced. For more information, visit www.ajdonohuefoundation.org.

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G O L D E N I S LES


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Facts

J U ST T H E

WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON

Love, love, love

I

Valentine’s Day

by the numbers

n 1964, the Beatles released the hit, “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Thirty years later J.Lo opined that her “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.” There have been countless songs — before and since — promising affection free of proverbial charges.

— it rakes in the moola. From roses and cards to those chalky little hearts, there’s plenty to choose from when celebrating one’s sweetheart. In fact, last year’s pre-pandemic (for the most part) spending was at an all-time high.

But when it comes to the all important day of L-O-V-E, Valentine’s Day, there’s one thing that simply cannot be denied

Read on to find out where those hard-earned dollars went last February 14th:

1.3 14.1 $

$

Significant others and spouses spent a total of $14.1 billion.

billion was spent on greeting cards.

28

%

2.9

$

On average, consumers in the U.S. spent $196.31 on their significant others in 2020. That’s a 21 percent increase over the previous record of $161.96.

5.8

$

billion was spent on jewelry.

Twenty-eight percent of consumers gifted an experience, such as tickets to an event, a trip, or a spa.

billion was dished out on clothing.

2.3

$

billion went to purchase flowers.

1.17

$

Spending on children totaled $2 billion, while total pet presents topped out at $1.17 billion.

196.31

$

4.3 $ 2.4 $

billion went toward evenings out.

billion was doled out on candy.

JANUARY/F EB RUA RY 2021

33


DUE SOUTH made extra money by cooking for the ship’s officers, polishing their shoes, and pressing their uniforms. When, finally, he returned, the pair had saved enough money for Daddy to buy an Amoco gas station. The Depression had been terrible, the war had been terrifying, and the separation was agonizing. But Mama was right — out of these bad things something good, even life changing — had always come. As we trudged through this year, I thought often of Mama. I could see her lift that forefinger, smile confidently, and say, “You just wait and see. Somethin’ good will happen.”

A New Us WORDS BY RONDA RICH | PHOTOS ARE OF SCENES FROM RONDA’S HUSBAND JOHN TINKER’S PRODUCTION IN CANADA, COURTESY OF CROWN MEDIA FAMILY NETWORKS.

M

Mama used to always say whenever a challenge or hard time hit us, “there’s somethin’ good that comes out of everything bad.” This woman from the Appalachians had more education than that life normally provided. She was eager to learn, so the school teacher allowed her to start school two years earlier at the age of four. The teacher, who loved Mama’s eagerness to know more about the vast world outside the mountains, agreed for her to stay in school two years longer, too, meaning she had four more years of schooling than the other children. When Mama turned 16, the teacher, Miss

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G O L D E N I S LES

Birdie, said sadly, “I’ve taught you everything I know and let you read every book I can find. There’s nothing more that I can do.” Heartbroken, Mama wiped away her tears as she walked the dusty road home. Then, as stubborn as she could be, she promised herself she would keep on learning and when times changed, she’d adapt. She was true to her word until her last breath. Mama adapted through a lot of changes. She bravely left those mountains and traveled 40 miles away to find a job in a hosiery mill for 10 cents an hour in 1937. She married, had a child, then was caught up in a cyclone of a World War that took her husband away for more two years. She dug in and survived strongly. She and Daddy, children of the Depression, took advantage of two wars raging on two continents to build the foundation of a solid life. Mama took in laundry, sewing, and did housekeeping while Daddy sent every penny of his Navy pay back home. He

Before the virus that changed us, Tink had taken up the executive producer duties of cable’s top drama series — Hallmark’s When Calls The Heart. A series set in 1918, it is a fan favorite, partly because period pieces are always a safe refuge. Tink left in mid-February to go to Canada for pre-production. Less than a month later, we were on FaceTime when a headline popped up on his laptop. His eyes widened as he read it. Canada had just closed its borders completely, although it and America had announced two days earlier that the citizens of the two countries could cross freely back and forth. For the next nine months, I would tell people, “Tink is POW in Canada.” He would live out a mini-version of what Mama and Daddy had known. It was hard. Tink worked 16 to 18-hour days, writing scripts (and rewriting, repeatedly), overseeing production, and a 21-page list of rules that Canada had issued for all productions to follow for safety and to limit the spread of Covid. Although all but one of my speaking engagements were canceled, I still had writing deadlines and the Rondarosa to manage almost single-handedly because hired hands were near to impossible to find. I bushhogged the pastures, took care of a sick horse, and redecorated the master suite (which turned into five months of upset). No structural changes — just the wrong color of paint and a mishap with the window treatment. We are tired. But from three thousand miles apart,


we worked as a team and we discovered something most important: What we do for a living — that of telling good-hearted, warm, uplifting stories — is invaluable always but especially when a year like 2020 thunders down. The moment the pandemic hit fully, I wrote a special edition series of columns for my newspapers. I set up a studio in Mama’s house and held weekly Facebook Live sessions while I told the most encouraging stories that I had witnessed. I wrote weekly newsletters that shared only happy stories, all while Tink labored away to create a new season — due to premier in February on the Hallmark Channel — that will offer a balm to viewers’ souls. Thanks to 2020 and COVID, we are both new people.

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LIVING WELL

Hospice of the Golden Isles past, present, and future

H

P ROVIDED CONTENT

Hospice of the Golden Isles has been a staple of the Southeast Coastal Georgia community for forty years and remains the only community-based, not-for-profit hospice in Southeast Coastal Georgia. In 1980, Hospice of the Golden Isles was conceived as a grassroots hospice provider with one nurse, one chaplain, and the mission to provide comfort and dignity at the end of life. Over the years, we have grown and expanded our services across five counties providing expert, nationally award-winning hospice care in patients’ homes, nursing facilities, and our Hospice Houses. We care for patients wherever they call home and regardless of ability to pay. We are your hometown hospice. In 2007, Hospice of the Golden Isles opened Georgia’s very first residential hospice facility to help provide a critically important safety net for some of the most vulnerable residents in our

community. In 2015, as a result of community donations, we built an additional four residential hospice rooms to meet a growing need. During the current health crisis, we are in a unique position to care for hospice patients, who can no longer be safely cared for in a home setting, in our Hospice House. Many patients being discharged from the hospital under hospice care, who would normally go home or to a nursing home, are opting for the Hospice of the Golden Isles residential program as their best care option. We welcome all hospice eligible patients regardless of their ability to pay. This gives patients’ caregivers confidence that their loved ones are safe, comfortable, and receiving the best possible care. Many families tell us that they do not know what they would do, or where their loved one would go, if not for our Hospice House. In late August, Hospice of the Golden Isles became the first affiliate and one of the founding members of Alivia Care of Georgia, a like-minded nonprofit organization committed to supporting and sustaining community-based mission-driven hospices throughout Georgia. The Hospice of the Golden Isles board of directors and executive leadership began exploring a possible affiliation with Alivia Care, Inc. in late 2018. The Rev. Tom Purdy, president of the board of directors, said that although Hospice

of the Golden Isles is a strong, well-run hospice organization with excellent care and strong community support, the board recognized changes were coming that would pose significant challenges for community-based hospices. To continue to serve the local community and maintain its commitment to providing care to all who needed it, collaborating with a larger organization to share resources and access more support was essential. The affiliation is a result of two years of work and discussions between two organizations committed to nonprofit hospice care. Rev. Purdy reiterated, “Under the Alivia Care of Georgia umbrella, high-quality community-based not-for-profit hospice agencies throughout the state will be ‘stronger together, stronger than ever.’” Hospice of the Golden Isles will continue to operate and offer services to its local community as before, including operating its hospice houses, but will also have the additional support of Alivia Care of Georgia and its resources.  Alivia Care of Georgia is led by Susan Ponder-Stansel, who is also President and CEO of Alivia Care, Inc. and has been a leader and advocate for nonprofit hospice care for over thirty-five years. Alivia Care was born out of a “stronger together” approach as for-profits continue to set up shop in Georgia. “Locally-focused community-based hospices make a substantial contribution to the quality of life for the communities they serve,” says Ponder-Stansel. “Preserving and strengthening organizations driven by a common mission and commitment is the most important work we can do now. We look forward to developing our network of like-minded providers with the support of our first affiliate, Hospice of the Golden Isles.” Stronger together means supporting, not changing, the mission of a successful quality-driven community treasure. Hospice of the Golden Isles’ mission remains to provide the best care when it matters most, regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. Hospice of the Golden Isles will always be your hometown hospice — stronger together, stronger than ever. JANUARY/F EB RUA RY 2021

37


BY DESIGN

The Local Source

J

Jess Been’s world is filled with light and color. The St. Simons Island native opened her design studio, Wired Collaborative, in 2019 at 136 Retreat Plaza. There, she works with clients to supply authentic Turkish rugs and creative lighting solutions. We sat down with the entrepreneur to talk about her vision, her work, and her business. Q: Okay, we have to ask, why lighting and rugs? A: If I had a dollar for every time I hear this question, I would be working with neither! So here it is straight from the source … it was one of those circumstances where I was fortunate to start my own business and took the leap of faith. In its infancy, the idea was to

38

G O L D E N I S LES

QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH LOCAL BUSINESS OWNER, JESS BEEN

have a lighting showroom located on

with lighting and work with mainly local

St. Simons that offered a higher level

developers and builders, but the rugs

of design along with my own lighting

are my business. Since working with

line — hence the name “Wired.” Having

Ahmet’s initial inventory, I now have my

worked in both San Francisco and

own inventory imported from Turkey. Our

Atlanta, my background as an interior

business has become hand sourcing

designer is in workplace and education

one-of-a-kind rugs directly from Turkey.

interiors. These work opportunities gave

Our rugs are located in my studio on St.

me a lot of exposure to custom design

Simons and now in UpCountry at ADAC

and fabrication. This part of my career

in Atlanta.

is where my love for all things lighting grew.

Q: How do you source your rugs?

Now for how Turkish rugs came into the

A: Our goal with the one-of-a-kind

picture. My current business partner,

Turkish rugs is to work directly with our

Ahmet, and I were colleagues from

well-vetted connections in Turkey.

when I worked in Atlanta. Ahmet has

Where we offer something different is

25-plus years working with rugs and is

we don’t purchase from a middle-man.

the reason I love what I do and have

We don’t buy rugs from vendors in the

had such great success thus far. He

states.

pushed me to consign and sell some of his rug inventory while I was getting

The idea is to travel to Turkey and select

going. I started with less than 100 pieces

each piece one-by-one. We want to

of hodge podge inventory and it took

offer our client base the best quality,

off. It took off so much that I told myself

colors, design, and price. The goal is

this is it and have never looked back.

authenticity. It’s a lot more than just flying to Turkey and buying some rugs. It is

Q: How has your business grown?

truly sourcing. Ahmet and I always joke

A: Rugs, rugs, and more rugs. I still work

but it is accurate: Step one is finding a


member of the ‘rug mafia’ to work with, and no joke, it is like a mafia. Step two is building relationships and good ‘street cred’ to find the good stuff. It’s all in personal relationships. Q: How has 2020 affected your business? A: Well for starters, there has been no traveling to Turkey, let alone out of Glynn County, so there is that. Despite 2020, busi-

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ness is great and is growing. We are fortunate and so thankful for our client base — local and all throughout the Southeast. We like to say sales boosted during COVID as people are working more in their dining rooms and are trading out granny’s Dorthy Draper heirloom for one of our beauties. Q: What is the best part of your job? A: I love the relationship-building aspect of the business along with the travel and history. There is always so much to learn whether it is about rugs or business. Q: Are there any business goals and aspirations moving forward into 2021? A: Just honing in and growing on what we do best — Turkish rugs. We actually have

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had lots of opportunities to work with some hotel and hospitality clients and designers on some more unique projects. My favorite thus far has been submitting a proposal for custom upholstered rug panels for a bar/restaurant project. As a designer, I love an opportunity to collaborate in new ways. Q: How do you work with clients and members of the trade? A: We work with anyone. We wholesale, retail, and we offer exclusive trade pricing to designers and architects. So schedule an appointment with us today. We look forward to working with you!

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ST. SIMONS LAND TRUST

WEEK

JANUARY 16-23 ° 2021

Local restaurants made the Land Trust’s annual Oyster Roast possible for TWENTY YEARS! In 2021, however, when hosting an event for more than a thousand people would not be safe, our efforts are going to SUPPORT THE RESTAURANT COMMUNITY. January is considered the slowest month of the year for restaurants. We therefore hope that you will join us, the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce, and our generous 2021 Sponsors in giving back to restaurant owners, chefs, line cooks, wait staff, and other restaurant workers who have remained on the front lines of food service during the pandemic and who have for so long fed and nurtured all of us.

’s e r e H it Howorks: W

1

2

3

4

IF YOU’RE A CURRENT LAND TRUST or chamber MEMBER, YOU’LL RECEIVE A COUPON AUTOMATICALLY VIA EMAIL ON JANUARY 15

IF YOU’RE NOT A CURRENT MEMBER, JOIN OR RENEW TO PARTICIPATE

PRINT COUPON OR USE DIGITAL VERSION FROM YOUR PHONE AT ANY/ALL PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS

EAT UP! ENJOY! AND PROVIDE A LITTLE TLC TO OUR LOCAL RESTAURANTS!

PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS: AS OF PRINT DATE

Bennie’s Red Barn • Bubba Garcia's • Café Frederica • Catch 228 OYSTER BAR & GRILL • Certified Burgers and Beverage • Chick-Fil-A—St. Simons Island Chile Peppers ISLAND CANTINA • Cilantro's Grill & Cantina • Coastal Kitchen • CrabDaddy's SEAFOOD GRILL • Delaney’s Bistro & Bar • Demere Grill • Dulce Dough Donuts & Bakery Ember Farm to Fire • Frederica House • Frosty's Griddle and Shake • Georgia Sea Grill • Halyards • Iguanas Seafood Restaurant • Indigo Coastal Shanty • La Plancha Longhorn Steakhouse • Mellow Mushroom • Mr. Shuck’s Seafood • My Happy Place Nutrition • Nazzaro's Italian Cuisine • Palmer's Village Café • Pizza Inn—Brunswick Porch • Sal's Neighborhood Pizzeria • SANDY BOTTOM BAGELS • Sea Salt Healthy Kitchen • Southern Soul Barbeque • The King & Prince Beach & Golf Resort The Reserve Steak House at The Westin • The Rooftop at Ocean Lodge • TIPSY MCSWAY’S neighborhood bar & grill • Tramici • Wee Pub North • Zaxby's—St. Simons Island

THANK YOU TO OUR 2021 SPONSORS: PREMIER SPONSOR:

LEAD SPONSORS:

PRESENTING SPONSOR:

SUPPORTING SPONSORS:

Please visit our website or call our office to become a member, renew your membership, or to learn about sponsorships and event details. www.sslt.org • 912-638-9109


N AT U R E C O N N E CT I O N

the Roomba of the beach WORDS BY LYDIA THOMPSON They are an essential part of the beach. Watching them bury themselves under the sand made me ask some questions. Why were they there? What role did they play on the beach? Sand dollars are animals and are actually called Keyhole Urchins. They are related to starfish, but instead of five arms, their hard, round bodies have cilia-like little tube legs. These legs move them around in the sand and shallow water, eating algae, and cleaning up plants’ detritus (or dead leaves). Once I learned that, I thought — “wow, they are the Roomba of the beach.” They are shuffling along, clearing up the nasty

T

stuff that would clog our beaches. All the while, they are keeping the sand loose.

that stood out from the crowd. One of my favorite photos was a live sand dollar moving into the sand. Not many people know that white sand dollars were once alive, and are essential to the beach ecosystem. Living on the edge of two worlds, land and sea, I am continually learning and getting a clearer picture of how every living thing has a significant role to play. On a day in late January, the tide was low, so I was walking along Driftwood

The Jekyll Island Authority had a photo

Beach. There were a bunch of live sand

contest a few years back. Being

dollars stranded. My friend and I gath-

an “image junkie,” I jumped at the

ered them up and put them in some

chance to be a judge. The director,

puddles. When they got to the wet sand,

Nancy Kring-Rowan, pulled together a

they quickly buried themselves. They

massive bunch of photos for the day.

were gone in a heartbeat.

She grouped them into categories. It was a marvelous day of looking at a lot

Yes, we love finding them all bleached

of pictures of Jekyll.

white on the beach. They decorate our homes.

We went through the first batch fast. It narrowed our search down to images

Yet, they are more than just decoration.

Keyhole Urchins have a complex life cycle. They go through several stages to get to what we know as a sand dollar. They start life as swimming larvae. These larvae are covered with cilia to help steer them through the water. As it grows, it eats sand and stores it in the gut to weigh itself down as it develops into an adult. They are not alone as they shift through the sand. These urchins have a hitchhiker clinging to them. The Pea Crab gets its name because it is tiny. It hangs out close to the urchin’s mouth and steals part of food it digs up. These urchins are feeding a family. Too many times, I have heard about people gathering up the green fuzzy live sand dollar to boil off the cilia and paint them as things to sell. Please don’t — put them back. We need the Roomba of the beach to help keep our beaches clean.

JANUARY/F EB RUA RY 2021

41


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G O L D E N I S LES

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NU AL


M O N E Y TA L K S Retirement impacts small-business owners. It’s not time to retire until you’ve worked out what to do with your business. If you plan to keep it in the family, retirement means executing a succession plan involving relatives or partners who have the knowledge and interest to keep your business going after you retire. Alternatively, you might want to sell the business, which requires extensive planning and preparation. Once sold, your planning should spell out how you’ll deploy your sale proceeds to support your retirement in the most efficient manner.

WORDS BY STACI BENNET T

When’s the Right Time to Retire? A New Year’s Checkup for Financial Preparedness

R

Retirement is inevitable, but knowing exactly when to do so is often unclear. No matter when you actually begin your retirement, you’ll benefit from planning your post-work life as early as possible. According to Gallup, the percentage of Americans who expect to retire at age 66 or older has risen dramatically, from 21 percent in 2002 to 41 percent in 2018.

People expect to live and work longer than ever, so it’s never been more important to know when to stop working and how to carefully plan for the big event. The Social Security full retirement age. For persons born in 1960 or later, the Social Security = full retirement age is 67. You will receive 70 percent of your monthly benefit if you retire at age 62, and 86.7 percent at age 65. However, you’ll get the maximum monthly benefit if you wait till age 70. These milestones might be an important consideration if your Social Security benefit will be a sizable portion of your retirement income. Separate financial considerations from emotional ones. If you’ve successfully executed your long-term investment plan, you might be financially prepared to retire well before you are emotionally ready. Facing lifestyle changes at retirement might cause anxiety about how your life will evolve and how you’ll spend your time. It’s important to objectively evaluate your financial condition to support your decision-making, even as you contend with your feelings about retirement. Many folks need more money than they think. It’s virtually certain that life will offer you one or more surprises along the way. You might find you will need more money than anticipated to fund a comfortable retirement. Creating a post-retirement budget can give you a general idea if your retirement savings alone can sustain you. As you near retirement age, it’s important to regularly review your savings plan to manage risk and help put yourself in a position to save the maximum amount possible.

The common theme is planning. Whether you want to retire at 55, 85, or any time in between, planning is the key to a happy life in your golden years. As your financial professional, it’s my job to help you periodically review your retirement options. Call Bennett Financial Planning today at 912-289-1177 to schedule a meeting to evaluate whether the time has arrived to wrap up your work life and start enjoying your retirement years. You can also email staci@bennettfp.com.

Source/Disclaimer: This material was prepared for LPL Financial and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty.

Staci Bennett, CRPC® Private Wealth Advisor Founder (912) 289-1177 Bennett Financial Partners 2469 Demere Rd, Suite 114 St. Simons Island, GA 31522 staci@bennettfp.com Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC JANUARY/F EB RUA RY 2021

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GAME CHANGERS

Atlantans bring ways to the coast that aren’t always welcome, but in tennis, the competitors are warming to an ALTA custom. “The host team always provided a big spread of food and drink after the matches,” Gary says. Indeed, the social component was about as important as the tennis, he adds. The Nikokarys have suggested the tradition be adopted on St. Simons and the teams are receptive to the idea. When the last set is played, the food and drink comes out, Carol Nikokary says.

Tennis spreads the L-O-V-E

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WORDS AND PHOTO BY TERRY DICKSON

Carol and Gary Nikokary have been playing tennis together for 36 years. Gary’s tennis loving-mother got him started when he was 8. Carol has played since they got married. For three decades, they lived in Atlanta, and played by the same rules as others have played — mostly — since the modern version of the sport came into existence in the 1870s. But the mixed doubles partners found some things different when they moved the St. Simons. It begins with numbers. In Atlanta, the Nikokarys were two of the more than 103,000 members of the Atlanta Lawn and Tennis Association, or ALTA — the world’s largest sports association. There, they competed against other

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teams and individuals of the same high skill level as theirs. They played on a high level in competitions that started on the team level all the way to the city championships. They played matches against familiar players in the early rounds and then would have to travel across town to play people they didn’t know. “Sometimes, you’d drive more than an hour to a match,” well outside Atlanta to Bartow County or Cartersville, Gary says. Sometimes, a team from Stone Mountain could be playing one of those from Cartersville, he says. “I miss friends,” he says, “but I don’t miss the traffic.” Typically, the Nikokarys would meet many of those friends only on the tennis courts, but on St. Simons they see them in restaurants and in the grocery store — and the drive is short. They play the same people on the same courts over and over and there may be 100 competing players when Jekyll Island is included. “Here, it’s different,” Carol says. “You know everybody.”

Another good thing is that the Nikokarys don’t have to spend as much time in a car together should they lose a match. She says the best part of playing mixed doubles with her husband is that her partner has always been her best friend. When marriage partners are mixed doubles partners, it can sometimes makes for uncomfortable moments with two people as competitive as they are. “It’s a great day when you win, but it’s not fun coming home if you lose,” she says. “Playing with a friend, you wouldn’t say things you would with a spouse.” As in Atlanta, they joined a club that comes with court time, but every Sunday afternoon, they play on Glynn County’s free public courts at Epworth by the Sea. These, as are all tennis courts, are 78 feet long and 36 feet wide for doubles, and nine feet narrower for singles play. In tennis, you score when the other person fails to return a shot. At a recent game, Carol played her steady baseline game while Gary played aggressively, charging the net. When he was playing back, an arcing lob came toward her side of the court. “I’ve got it,” she calls. “Then, go,” he answers back still running toward it. She hit a winner then


gave him a love tap with her racket and a smile. Tennis scoring can be confusing. Each game is played in points, games, and sets. It takes four points to win a game and six games to win a set, both by a margin of two. The confusing part comes in how the points are called. Zero points is “love,” the first point is “15,” the second “30,” the third “40” and the winning fourth is “game.”

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Leading by one is 15-love and scores can be tied at 15-all or 30-all, but tied at 40 a side it’s “deuce,” meaning the next one to get two points ahead wins the game. Sets can be won 6-0, 6-1, and so on but never 6-5. Play continues until someone wins by two games or there’s a tie-breaker. Matches are usually played best of three for women and best of five for men. The scoring system hasn’t changed, but other parts of the game have. The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club hosts Wimbledon, the most famous the major championships. The version played on grass is still called “real tennis” by some, but customs have changed since most tennis was played on the same greensward as croquet. The dress was also similar as ladies played in white flannel skirts and men in white trousers. That changed over the years as shorts and polo shirts came into vogue, some in the brand names of famous players such as Fred Perry and Rene LaCoste. Now, nearly every big sports apparel company including Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Under Armour, and others are in the business from headbands to shoes.

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But the hitters don’t always put on the brand names and show up in unlabeled sweat pants and T-shirts. And the game has youngsters to carry it forward, perhaps adopting other changes. As the Nikokarys played their match at Epworth on a late afternoon, a group of young girls, some not much taller than their rackets, were being coached through some drills on the adjacent court. They were all in cute outfits and laughing. They weren’t keeping score.

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THE DISH you can really get to know your customers and develop that relationship,” Delaney says. “We are very fortunate.” The customers clearly share that sense of fondness and loyalty. The creative dishes, too, inspire diners to return time and again. While Delaney’s offers an impressive set menu, featuring fresh catches and prime steak selections, the list of specials offered each day is truly extraordinary. On any given day, there can be well over a dozen that the staff shares with guests. “We usually have about 13 to 14 specials every day. Some people are always going to try a special while some people don’t even look at the menu because they’ve been here so often that they already know what they want,” Delaney says.

Delaney’s offers unique dining experience

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WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON PHOTO BY BEN GALLAND/H20 CREATIVE GROUP

Chef Tom Delaney feels more at home in the kitchen than just about anywhere else. That’s because the culinary expert has been crafting creative dishes for the past four decades. “I’ve been doing this for 45 years,” Delaney says with a smile, slipping onto a leather bar stool. “It’s been a long time.”

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Today, his namesake restaurant — Delaney’s Bistro & Bar — is one of St. Simons Island’s premier dining establishments, one that locals and visitors alike make a point to visit regularly. “We’ve been here for 29 years. It’s a small family restaurant. My son and daughter are both culinary-trained and work here. My wife works here,” he says. “So it really is all about family for us.” Many of his customers have become a part of that tradition. The restaurant has welcomed diners who return with their children and even their children’s children. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience. “We see kids who came in with their parents but are now adults and they are bringing their kids. It’s so great that we’re in a small enough area where

The variety and novelty of the handcrated plates creates a renewed sense of interest both for the customers and the staff. Delaney relishes incorporating exotic items in ways that keep everyone interested and on their toes. “We’ve done a lot which ostrich, for instance,” he says. “That’s not something that is easy to find but it’s a great cut of meat. It’s a very lean red meat.” This approach is one of the many ways that Delaney’s has set itself apart from other local eateries, encouraging patrons to explore new experiences on each visit. “The customers never get burned out this way. And that’s the same for the folks in the back. They’re never bored,” Delaney says. Another key area of interest is the restaurant’s extensive wine list. Featuring choice vinos from South America, France and here in the states, there’s page upon page to peruse. “We have six pages ... but we could add a lot more. I bet we have 150 wines here,” he says. Regardless of what one orders, there will be an ideal glass to accompany it. There’s also plenty of top quality beers and choice cocktails that prove incredibly popular. Between the set menu, the innovative specials, and the expansive wine list, Delaneys offers an unforgettable dining experience for


those looking for a cozy date night or a fabulous celebration. The restaurant is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Dinner is served from 6 to 10 p.m. daily with the bar opening at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.

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DIRECTIONS Combine the hoisin, Tamari, and sesame oil. Brush the salmon with this mixture and place in a baking dish. Bake at 425 for six minutes. Combine radish, carrot, salt, and sugar. Place arugula in bowl, then lay the rice up one side of the bowl. Next, combine the black-eyed peas, balsamic vinaigrette, and garlic. Place next to the rice. Add the carrots and radish next to the peas. Place the salmon in the bowl and brush with remaining glaze. Sprinkle the salmon and salad with sesame seeds and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.

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Parker Alexander/Empire Sky Photography

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WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON

Ebo Landing A l eg end of def i anc e:

The story of the slaves who chose death over bondage

PHOTOS BY PARKER ALEXANDER/EMP IRE SKY PHOTOGRAPHY BOBBY HAVEN

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Their breath is in the water, their souls are in the trees The silent chains that clang at midnight beneath the autumn breeze Submission was not an option Defiance not of the weak And not of those who chose To slip into the creek The water lapped around their thighs Hand in hand they chanted Throwing off the links of bondage The seeds of freedom planted Their song faded into silence Bodies sink but spirits fly Forever free among the sea And their chains still clang at midnight.

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I

If you are still — very still — they say, you can hear their chains. If you hold your breath, you can hear their song. The water laps quietly — nothing. The moonlit ripples dance. Like the rolling waves, whispers drift through time. The year was 1803. The Georgia Coast was dotted with a number of thriving plantations, cultivating rice and cotton, built on the backs and blood of enslaved Africans. To foster a booming industry, thousands of men, women, and children were stolen — primarily from West Africa — and shuttled across the treacherous Middle Passage to America. Many did not survive the voyage, but for those who did, a fate likely worse than death awaited them on the shore. And for a particular group of abducted Africans, it is said, death was preferable to a life in bondage. The ancient Igbo tribe (also written as Ebo) of Nigeria were a people with a rich culture and heritage. They were talented artisans, well-known for their skill in ironworks. There are still communities of Igbo people today who continue to honor their traditions and heritage. And their stories.

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In fact, one of those has shaped the history of St. Simons Island — the story of Ebo Landing on Dunbar Creek. The story, which has been retold for more than 200 years, began when John Couper of Cannon’s Point plantation and his business associate, Thomas Spalding of Sapelo Island, purchased 75 male Igbo slaves at the Charleston market. They were bought for reportedly “up to $100 each,” a horrific fact that hasn’t lost its gravity after all this time. Once docked at Dunbar, the Igbos were to be readied for sale or distribution to the island cotton plantations. But as the boat made its way toward the spartina grasses of the shore, the Igbos decided they weren’t going to fold to the hand they’d been dealt — they were going to fight. It is said that the tribesmen overpowered the crew, sending them into the waters where they drowned.

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Photo by Bobby Haven/The Brunswick News In 2017, Igbo Elder Chief Dozie Ikedife of Nigeria performed a ceremonial breaking of the bread with kola nuts along with a delegation of fellow Igbo Chiefs at the Ebo Landing on Dunbar Creek.

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When the Igbo men docked, it was clear they knew they would be captured and returned to slavery. So instead, one of the Igbo chieftains gave a directive — they turned and walked into the dark waters of the creek. As the water rose around them, it’s said they were singing a hymn to their god, Chukwu, pleading for the water spirits to carry them home. The Igbo drowned themselves rather than live a life in bondage. It’s an account reportedly shared by Roswell King, an overseer from Butler plantation, who is said to have watched the scene unfold. King noted that the Igbo were chanting (presumably in their native tongue, though how King could understand them remains unknown).

“The water spirit brought us, the water spirit will take us home.” William Mein, a slave dealer, is said to have corroborated the story, noting that 10 to 12 Igbos died, as the others were recaptured by bounty hunters, who were awarded “$10 per head.” Some of those recovered were taken to the intended destinations, the plantations on St. Simons Island and Sapelo Island. While the records are murky, it’s a story that has been accepted as fact by generations — Black and White alike. It’s been memorialized in many stories and works of art. The image of slaves defiantly walking into the marshy waters is even referenced in Beyonce’s video, “Love Drought.” Members of the Igbo tribe hold it as truth and some even travelled all the way from Africa for a memorial ceremony at the creek in 2017. Aside from being hailed as a sacred site for the Igbo, many also vehemently believe it to be haunted. On quiet nights, they say, the souls of those who chose suicide over slavery reenact their final moments.

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They say you can hear unseen chanting and chains in the darkness. The tale is so widely accepted that many local fishermen refuse to cast lines near the site, afraid of disturbing the Igbos’ final resting place and incurring their wrath. Helen Ladson knows this ghost story well. A longtime student and lover of local history, she first became acquainted with the tale of Ebo Landing when she began working at the Historic Harrington School, a landmark that once served area Black students in the days of segregation. There, a stunning painting commemorates the iconic scene.

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“When I came to volunteer at the Harrington School, I was invited to see the unveiling of Dee Larue Williams’ painting, ‘Ebo Landing.’ It was a very beautiful picture and the story that I was told is the one that everyone has heard,” she says. “When these Igbo people, who were enslaved, docked in Dunbar Creek ... they decided they were going to rebel. Afterward, they walked into the water and drowned themselves rather than be enslaved.” This fiery mixture of sacrifice and defiance in the face of oppression naturally moved Ladson, as it has so many others. But as a student of history, she wanted to learn more. To do that, she conferred with a number of prominent local Black historians — Amy Roberts and the Rev. Zack Lyde being two of them. She discovered something surprising — the Igbo story is likely more folklore than history.

The latter is what has grown into myth and legend over the years. It has become the source of ghost stories and legends of St. Simons’ cultural history.

“It’s been a great joy of mine to be a student of history and to have these great historians selflessly pour into me and encourage me to read on my own,” she says. “After doing that, I feel like it’s used more as a scary story, something to share around Halloween. But the Igbo are such a strong people and I really don’t feel like that’s the whole story.” Instead, Ladson believes that, while there may be some truth to the revolt, but feels the mass suicide is likely more legend than grim reality. Instead, it’s held that the slaves fled after the revolt and joined up with other Black communities or were, in fact, recaptured. While that may come as a surprise to some, it’s a view put forth by other respected historians such as Buddy Sullivan, an author based in McIntosh County.

Parker Alexander/Empire Sky Photography

Parker Alexander/Empire Sky Photography

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“Supposedly, a number of the slaves fell off or jumped off the vessel and drowned, being unable to swim. There is no evidence or documentation that I have ever seen that the slaves who drowned at Ebo Landing intentionally took their own lives to avoid going into slavery on St. Simons,” Sullivan says. “The latter is what has grown into myth and legend over the years. It has become the source of ghost stories and legends of St. Simons’ cultural history. I’m just guessing, but I am thinking there was some kind of accidental drowning there by an unknown number of slaves and the myth grew from there.” Ladson agrees. But instead of detracting from the story, she feels, this version actually makes it more powerful. “When we say the Igbo people drowned themselves, it kills off

the story that truly happened, the story of resilience. It shows a people who stood against injustice,” she says. “It kind of sends the message that everyone should be accepting of the situation, and if they’re not, they should die off.” Ladson feels the story of Igbo Landing is more important than ever before. Whether people choose to believe the story of the suicide or the story of the rebel Igbo who lived to fight another day, the moral of the story remains the same — defiance in the face of injustice. “It’s really a story about strength. It’s a story about the strength of Africans, and it’s a strength that must be acknowledged,” she says. “The story of Ebo Landing teaches us that we do not have to accept injustices that are forced upon us. We can fight back.”

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As the coronavirus spreads and concerns about public health grow, many state governors are mandating that non-essential businesses close to help reduce the spread of the virus. Based on information from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization), it is believed that professional drycleaning and laundry operations can help contain the spread of the virus because the heat and chemistry of the professional cleaning process is known to kill germs.

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A look back at a

SEGREGATED Jekyll Island

In the late 1940s Jekyll Island, like the entire state of Georgia, operated under the rules of segregation. Although integration and opportunity for all Americans soon beckoned, Jekyll during this period was a resort that catered only to those of European-descent. Ironically, while Georgia laws prohibited different ethnic groups from vacationing in the same facilities, many of the employees working on the island from 1947 to 1949 were Black. In 1950, Black community leaders from Brunswick requested a section of land on the island for use by people of color. The Jekyll Island State Park Authority agreed to the idea, and invited a local committee to inspect the southern part of the island where a Black-only area would soon be established. In 1955, a beach pavilion was constructed on the south end of Jekyll. The wooden structure, called the Negro Beach House, was one of only a few

WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON AND TYLER E. BAGWELL P HOTOS BY LINDSEY ADKISON WITH HISTORIC IMAGES COURTESY OF THE JEKYLL ISLAND MUSEUM

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places in the South where a Black person could spend leisure time on a beach. The Negro Beach House included dressing rooms, a concession business, and a covered picnic area. The white sandy beaches were soon filled with sojourners and parking sometimes became a challenge due to the crowds. Weekends were packed with families picnicking, swimming, and walking the beach, and conversations were held about the upcoming plans for a hotel, restaurant, and residential homes. For Brunswick native, Burnell Williams, the memories of that time and place are still vivid roughly 60 years later. “My memory of Jekyll was that it was a kind of magical place. We didn’t get to go that often, because it was far and you had to have a ride. You had to get your parents’ permission to go where all that water was … so it was really something special,” she says with a laugh.

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“It was the place to be. We’d go for the Fourth of July. We would have someone camp out overnight to save our spot, because all of the Black people were going to be there the next day.”

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Like so many young people, Williams would don a brand new outfit to head out to the celebrations. “We’d get our outfit … usually a short set. You felt so good when you had your new outfit. Someone was holding your space. We would have a car parade where everyone would ride by … we’d call it profiling,” she says with a laugh. In addition to the beach house, land was tapped for a motel and 40 house lots staked and available for lease. In documents and brochures of the 1950s, the Black-only area of Jekyll was called St. Andrews Beach. The Authority announced that a golf course and a shopping center would soon be built near the motel

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and by March of 1956, a group of Black businessmen and community leaders from around the state officially leased the motel site. The entrepreneurs formed the St. Andrews Beach Corporation, raised capital, and began erecting a motel and a restaurant. Construction began in October of 1958 and by August of 1959 the Dolphin Club and Motor Hotel were in operation. The Dolphin Club lounge and restaurant, a building located in front of the hotel, included a lobby with restrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, a business office, and a lounge. Williams remembers the hotel well, though she never stayed in the property herself. “My sister-in-law spent her honeymoon there,” she says. In the early 1960s, a room at the Dolphin Motor Hotel cost $8.50 a night. Numerous school groups from around Georgia flocked to the facilities by the busload and many viewed the Atlantic coast for the first time in their lives.

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Life insurance can be lifechanging

The Dolphin Club was also a happening place. The lounge was comprised of a dance floor with a horseshoe-shaped bar and a small stage in one corner of the room. Although blues legend B.B. King performed at the Dolphin Club in 1961, in the early years, entertainment came mainly from local dance bands and jazz ensembles. By 1964, concert promoter Charlie Cross booked popular R&B entertainers at the Dolphin Club including Clarence Carter, Tyrone Davis, Millie Jackson, Lil’ Willie Johnson, and Percy Sledge. While the good times were rolling on Jekyll’s southend, the Civil Rights movement was marching to nation’s forefront. For Williams, who was a young teen at the time, the fact that she was forbidden to visit the Whites only section of the island really never registered with her. But as the movement grew, her opinion started to change.

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“We really enjoyed it so much that, at first, I don’t think we even thought about it. It was the way it was and we were just enjoying each other,” she says.

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“My memory of Jekyll was that it was a kind of magical place. We didn’t get to go that often, because it was far and you had to have a ride. You had to get your parents’ permission to go where all that water was … so it was really something special.” 64

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“We have had to fight — and continue to fight — for our God-given rights ... just to be a human being. But eventually, enough people pushed and it gave us hope,” Williams says. “If you tried to go over to the other side of the island during segregation, you were going to start a ruckus. You have to do that every now and then ... start a ruckus. As the late great John Lewis told us, ‘we shouldn’t be afraid to get into good trouble.”

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Change is often slow and takes a great deal of effort. And that was certainly true for the integration of Jekyll Island. But Williams notes that a number of dedicated Black men and women stepped up to ensure that all would be welcome on Georgia’s Jewel.

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“It started to catch it to your attention — this was state-owned property, so we should have those rights too,” she says.

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It was a question being asked throughout the country. And slowly, things began to change. Facilities that were only open to White people became available to all and while racism continued to rage, the concept of “separate but equal” was sponged away.

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“We have had to fight — and continue to fight — for our God-given rights ... just to be a human being. But eventually, enough people pushed and it gave us hope.”

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Finding presence Celebrity fundraiser turned

mindfulness master shares perspective

WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON | PHOTOS BY TAMARA GIBSON

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Iman Ali’s feet gently crunched across the pebbles of pink Himalayan sea salt blanketing the floor. In the glow of Brunswick’s Salt AER’s halotherapy (i.e. salt) room, Ali settled into her seat. It’s a room she’s come to know quite well since the multi-discipline mindfulness teacher relocated to St. Simons Island. It was a serendipitous move, one that flowed effortlessly. And that ease of transition is a characteristic that’s defined Ali’s life, helping to guide every step she takes. Faithfully trusting the universe to carry her, Ali has moved from a career in broadcast journalism, delivering the news on television to aiding fundraising efforts of an up-and-coming Illinois Senator named Barack Obama in the early 2000s. Providence took her to prominent roles in music mogul Russell Simmons’ charity work, which rippled out to include hip-hop giants like Snoop Dog, T.I., and Kayne West. It also propelled her current role as a meditation teacher, Reiki master, and Urban Zen representative. “One thing I know for sure — in the words of my ‘big sister,’ Oprah Winfrey — ‘every single good decision I’ve made in business and life has come from listening to the voice within.’ I live almost completely intuitively,” Ali says. “When I need to know something, what direction to go in, what to wear, who to connect with, where to live, I get still, ask the question, close my eyes, and go into silence. It is in the silence that my answers come. That really is the key to a magical life. It’s just that simple, and simple is the new profound.”

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Careers, Celebrities, and Change When the Chicago native was a teenager, she found herself seeking a way to emotionally recover after her father’s death in 1995. Ali was left deeply depressed and in desperate need of healing. After a brief hospitalization and a number of prescriptions, Ali was began to develop her own method for overcoming her pain. “I didn’t know what I was doing but I would use this recording of a Native American drum circle and I would open the window and lie down. I would close my eyes and just let the sun shine on me,” she says. The vibrations and vitamin D proved beneficial. It also tapped into an innate need to incorporate both sound and silence into her daily life.


“When I need to know something, what direction to go in, what to wear, who to connect with, where to live, I get still, ask the question, close my eyes, and go into silence. It is in the silence that my answers come. That really is the key to a magical life. It’s just that simple, and simple is the new profound.”

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When Ali attended Columbia College in Chicago, she gravitated toward electives that fed her interest in healing practices. “I was able to choose any elective I wanted and I remember looking down and seeing the word, ‘yoga.’ This was 1995, so no one really knew what that was. I remember I couldn’t even pronounce it,” she says with a laugh. “But something inside me told me that I needed to take that class.” It unlocked many doors for Ali. Not only did she begin to learn about the ancient Indian practice, she also began to explore meditation, which would become a permanent fixture in her life. “I learned meditation from my Japanese teacher who taught me mediation for healing. I learned how to do visualization and manifestation meditations. I also went to the Deepak Chopra Center for meditation in New York and meditated there,” she says. “I’ve been meditating daily since 1995.” Her spiritual and wellness journey continued to develop as she moved through her courses. It was also something that benefited her greatly as she started a career as a television reporter. “Looking back on that, it was really traumatic and stressful. We were sharing all of these terrible stories about murders and fires ... all of those types of things,” she recalls. Gradually, she transitioned out of journalism and into charitable fundraising. That’s how she first began working with future president Barack Obama’s early campaign efforts, later it helped her link to Russell Simmons where she’d serve as a partner in fundraising for his nonprofits. “The way I met Russell was really through meditation. I knew that he was a spiritual person and so I started doing a manifestation meditation every day,” she says with a grin. After many meditations, Ali was — unsurprisingly — introduced to Simmons while in New York City. The two bonded over their shared sense of spirituality. “He gave me two books ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckart Tolle and Pantanjali’s ‘Yoga Sutras,’” she says. “He also invited me to do yoga with him in New York, which was my first time outside of college and in an actual studio.” Through her association with Simmons, she was able to meet other stars and help them start fundraising organizations as well. 70

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“Russell had really great charitable fundraising infrastructures in place already, so it was easy to come on board. Some of the other celebrities I worked with ... not so much,” she says with a laugh.

Moving into Mindfulness Ali’s next few decades were defined by seamlessly finding educational opportunities and partnerships. Through her connection with Simmons, Ali became involved with the David Lynch Foundation. There, she was formally trained in transcendental meditation. The foundation brought the practice into schools to aid troubled youths. Her experiences continued to add layers to her work. For instance, Ali worked with massage facilities and

chiropractors to future her understanding of the physical body, which sparked an interest in integrated medicine. She obtained an internship at Northwestern University where she was trained at the prestigious Osher Center. In addition to continuing to study meditation, she also learned Reiki, a Japanese form of energetic healing. Ali later became a master in the technique. Eventually, she combined all of these modalities into a holistic approach to wellness. “It was amazing to have that opportunity and it was such a validation that places like the Osher Center, Vanderbilt, and Harvard were all studying these things,” she says. “These are things that I’ve been interested in since 1995 and here are all of these elite educational facilities also exploring it. It was truly amazing.” Even so, Ali was always looking to learn more. In another seemingly divine bit of luck, she was able to connect with designer Donna Karan’s organization Urban Zen in New York, where she further learned about the value of combining techniques to offer treatments and healing for various issues. Ali became certified in the intensive program, which included working in hospitals for clinical training. “Urban Zen was something Donna Karan set up with (yoga teacher) Rod-

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ney Yee after her husband died of cancer. He was receiving many of these treatments and he asked that she find a way to offer these options to more people ... it combines yoga, Reiki, essential oils, and meditation to bring the body back into a state of homeostasis, which is what yoga is truly about,” she says.

Passing into Presence Today, Ali has brought her wealth knowledge to her new home on St. Simons. She has crafted her own company, using her name as an acronym for her business and approach to healing — IMAN — Integrative Medicine And Nutrition. “It just seemed to make sense,” she says with a laugh, shrugging at yet another fortuitous event in her life. Since settling on St. Simons, Ali has developed connections with the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, hoping to bring Urban Zen to their facility once the pandemic protocol has been lifted. She also joined Elisabeth Ruff, owner of Salt AER in Brunswick, in offering the community new and innovative ways to promote mindfulness practices like meditation. “I do Reiki, meditation classes, and sound bath workshops with crystal bowls,” she says. “I also am a representative for the Sonadome Meditation Pod which we now have here at Salt AER. I have done some Urban Zen workshops at The Club on St. Simons as well.” Going forward, Ali feels that these modalities — often iden-

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tified as “new age” but rooted in ancient wisdom — will provide a way to move forward into a new year after a particularly difficult 2020. “I think the most important thing to do is meditation. If you could just come and learn how to sit with silence … meditation, 20 minutes a day, takes the brain waves from beta to alpha. The alpha brain wave is a state of calm ... it calms the central nervous system. It lowers blood pressure and helps with hypertension, PTSD, anxiety or depression, which are all things people are going through,” she says. “Mindfulness is all about being aware. Most of the time, 90 percent of the time, the thoughts we have one day are the same as the thoughts we’ve had the day before. We create our reality with our thoughts and feelings. What’s showing up is showing up because that’s where we are and if we want something else to show up — we have to find a way to interrupt the loop.”


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WORDS BY CYNTHIA ROBINSON | PHOTOS BY TAMARA GIBSON

Better FOR

OR

Worse Four Golden Isles’ Couples Share Their Stories and How They Keep Their Love Alive

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Getting Married During a Pandemic

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When newlyweds Lauren Doucet and Michael Brown first met in 2015, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. “To be honest, I really didn’t like her at first,” Michael says, both laughing at the memory. “We met at work (the King & Prince Resort). I had worked there since 2012 and I was known at work as the ‘funny one.’ Then she comes along. I’d say something I thought was funny, then she would follow-up with something funnier. She stole all my laughs!”

But the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native soon grew on the guy from Hinesville, and the two had their first date on September 17, 2019. Less than a year later, on Memorial Day, Michael was looking to propose. “We were in downtown at Mary Ross Park, watching the sun go down, and he didn’t hesitate. I was worried he’d drop the ring in the water!” He didn’t drop the ring and she said “yes.” Because neither of them was in a rush and she has family that is spread out from Mississippi to Thailand and Malaysia, they didn’t initially set a date. Then, 2020 came in, bringing Covid to the states.

While most of their colleagues at the King & Prince were furloughed, the two of them were considered essential. She is the marketing manager and he is the revenue manager, so they remained on the job. “We absorbed so much that we were just too tired to plan for our wedding,” Lauren says. The two soon agreed to their wedding venue — the 71-foot charter yacht, String of Pearls, located at Morningstar Marina on St. Simons. “They were fantastic to work with ... it was all pretty simple. We only had 15 people there, including the vendors. We just invited immediate family and each of us also invited one friend each,” Lauren says. 76

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“Our wedding was absolutely magic,” Michael says, grinning broadly. “You know you are enjoying your wedding, when you don’t want it to stop!” Lauren agrees. “And Georgia Sea Grill did our catering on the boat, and the food was so good. Everybody was happy.” Michael says his bride made things even more special by gifting him a set of cufflinks with their rescue dog, a terrier mix, Patina’s face on them, since she couldn’t go with them on the boat. The two have happily settled into married life and want to assure other couples wanting to wed during this uncertain time, that it can be done. “Focus on each other and what the two of you want and not what other people expect,” he says. “It’s not about keeping up with the Joneses. You don’t need to come up with the biggest or something people have never seen before,” she says, adding, “And for the love of everything, choose your battles.” Michael says his one job for the wedding was to come up with the song playlist. “I think I came up with the most magical four-hour playlist,” he says. “We still listen to it and it takes us back to the wedding.” The two are looking forward to making more memories in the years to come. “So far, we have survived Covid and an election year,” Lauren says. “It’s a lot easier when you marry your best friend.”

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Young Love, Parenthood,

and a Life-Changing Diagnosis

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Evan Beard says he was immediately smitten when he met his now-wife, Megan, at church in 2010 when she was 17 and he was only 15. “We started hanging out as friends, but I got her number, kind of covertly, that first day,” Evan says. The two shared much in common, including their active church involvement, deep faith, and their mutual love of music. He plays bass, guitar, and drums, while Megan plays piano, guitar, and “sings amazingly well,” Evan says. He made it his mission to prove himself to not only Megan, but her family, especially her father, who was at that time, the youth minister at the church. The two continued to spend time together with groups of friends and didn’t officially begin dating until Evan graduated from Brunswick High. He began working at Wake Up Coffee on St. Simons and set out to save money and to “convince her parents it was a good idea for us to marry.” After saving up money for a ring, Evan proposed on Nov. 2, 2014, the day after Megan’s 22nd birthday. Their wedding, held at their church, was a large, jubilant affair. “We are both from here, so we have so many family members and friends. Many of our friends are also musicians, so they played, and it was just a great time,” Megan says. The two had planned to work as missionaries, but that had to be sidelined when they discovered they were pregnant after three months of marriage. They welcomed their son Benjamin, now four, followed by a second son, Noah, a year later. Life was hectic, but good. Then Evan started having some troubling physi-

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“After the doctor finished, they wheeled us to the ‘bad room,’ where they take you to give you bad news,” Megan says. Although the doctor assured them Evan’s case was treatable, he broke the news that at the age of only 23, Evan had Stage 4 colon cancer.

Although he had a follow-up surgery in February 2019, the year proved to be a much brighter one. Not only did Megan graduate with her degree in psychology, the couple found out they were expecting their third child. “It was a miracle it happened after the chemo,” Megan says, smiling. Their “miracle girl,” Rivi Elizabeth, arrived on January 19, 2020, much to her parents’ unbridled joy.

He underwent surgery and chemotherapy, which took a toll on him physically. But through it all, he had the love of his wife to pull him through.

While he’s had a few health scares since, including some benign growths, doctors have deemed him cancer-free.

“Megan got me through it. I have no idea how she did it. She was taking full-time classes at Coastal. She would have to write papers while nursing our four-month-old. She just persevered,” he says.

After battling cancer and adjusting to the pandemic, Evan and Megan feel they can weather whatever comes their way.

cal symptoms. After talking to a friend who is a physician’s assistant, he was scheduled to have a colonoscopy.

Thankfully, doctors were able to remove all the cancer and on Nov. 8, 2018, he finished his chemo treatments and was able to ring the bell at Mayo to mark that milestone.

“One thing I always write down when I’m signing the book at someone’s wedding is ‘for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, you will use every single ounce of those vows,’” Megan says.

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21 Years of Love, Laughter, and Minivans

W While Jodi and Mason Waters attended McIntosh County Academy together, their love connection didn’t begin until several years later over a shared love, of all things, the humble minivan.

“I was living in Nashville and came back home to visit and we ran into each other one night in the Pier Village.” says Mason, who had graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in accounting before moving to Nashville to pursue a music career,. “And the rest, as they say, is history,” he adds with a big grin. “Actually, I gave him a ride back to his car. Now I was 26 at the time and I told him, ‘don’t laugh at my car,’ which was a minivan. Then he pointed to a dark green minivan and said that was his!” Jodi says. “We were the lamest 20-somethings ever!” Mason adds, laughing. “We’re still a minivan family.” The two also share a love of music and a sense of humor. After Jodi, now a public health nurse, completed graduate school, Mason popped the question on a trip to Jazz Fest in New Orleans. “We got to New Orleans before our friends and were in the middle of Jackson Square in front of St. Louis Cathedral. It seemed like the appropriate spot,” Mason says. The two were married in his parent’s backyard overlooking the Sapelo River on October 9, 1999. Now the parents of two, daughter Georgia, 18, and son Eli, 15, the two say teamwork and their shared sense of humor, are two things that have strengthened their marriage bonds.

“Teamwork — figuring out what each of you are good at — is important,” he says. “Find a guy with a good sense of humor. I’m serious. Mason thinks he is very funny,” Jodi says, grinning. “I’m the serious one and he’s more even-keeled and uses humor to handle things.”

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Their marriage was tested when Eli had medical issues shortly after his birth and again three years ago when Jodi was diagnosed with breast cancer. “When she was first diagnosed, I was thinking, ‘what does the future look like?’ But you just must take it a week at a time, bite off little chunks instead of trying to tackle everything at once,” he says. “You never know what is around the corner,” Jodi says. “You have to be patient and know it’s going to eventually work out.”

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2021 is a great opportunity for renewed hope and well wishes!!!

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Summer Stock, Near Misses,

and 66 Years of Wedded Bliss

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Margie and Bud Dorsey’s love story began like a Hollywood movie: The son of a Wall Street scion and the daughter of an Iowan farmer meet while touring in a New England summer stock company in 1949. “They seated us alphabetically at meals. Since his name is Dorsey and my last name was Dimler, we were seated together. I thought he was fun and friendly,” Margie says, smiling. “I can’t say I loved her at that point, but I was fond of her and thought she was pretty, and we became friendly,” Bud says. But once the summer was over, they returned to their respective colleges — Wesleyan University in Connecticut for him, and the University of Dubuque in Iowa for her and didn’t see each other again for five years. However, they stayed in touch and exchanged yearly Christmas cards. It took some time and for a few stars to align, but the two came to realize they were in love. They were married in a small, intimate wedding on June 6, 1954, in the chapel of Dubuque University. During their first year of marriage, Bud had to return to duty, including serving in the Korean Conflict, before being honorably discharged in 1955. After spending years living in the New York suburbs, with Bud commuting to the city to work in his family’s Wall Street firm, and raising their three children, the couple retired and moved to St. Simons Island 27 years ago. They now live in the Marsh’s Edge retirement community. Both say they have leaned on each other throughout the years, including bouts with cancer and other serious illnesses, but say staying active is the key to enjoying life. “We take exercise classes and walk six days a week,” she

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says. “We also love to dance and play bridge.” The couple enjoys volunteering, including with Christ Church, where they are members. “My advice for elders like us is to volunteer if you can,” says Bud, who adds that he and Margie are both 91-yearsold. “It gets you outside of yourself.” They also emphasize the importance of family ties and are close to their children and nine grandchildren, staying constantly connected online through Zoom, and with Facetime, phone calls, and texts now that they can’t visit in person due to the pandemic. One daughter is a nurse in Boston, while their other daughter, her identical twin, lives in Maryland after retiring as a foreign service officer. Their son is an investment banker on Wall Street. “We are so proud of our children and feel fortunate that they all have happy marriages, like we do. I think the most important things to have in a marriage are compassion, understanding, mutual morals, love of family, respect for each other and others, and a sense of humor,” Bud says. “Every night, I kiss her and tell her I love her,” Bud says, smiling. “And I do the same,” Margie says. “That’s what is really important.” Please see digital version at goldenislesmagazine.com for expanded text.


Moving On WORDS AND PHOTOS BY LINDSEY ADKISON | AND LAUREN MCDONALD

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Come January, every year is a fresh start. There are always articles detailing how you can diet or exercise your way into the best version of yourself. In 2021, however, those goals seem a bit superficial. After the painful past 12 months, the formerly touted new year’s resolutions don’t seem to really hit the mark. So instead, we sat down with a number of community members connected to mindfulness, spirituality, education, and the arts to get their perspective on the best way to move into 2021 with intention. Here are their responses. 

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Connie Brogan, yoga teacher at The Club “I believe that 2020 taught us just how precious and valuable our time with our loved ones and friends is to us. We have learned the meaning of ‘connection’ from being ‘disconnected,’ the meaning of ‘freedom,’ from being ‘quarantined,’ and the meaning of ‘stillness’ and ‘present moment living’ by being literally forced into slowing down and being still. I hope that we can bring into the new year the feeling of unity with one another and remember how it felt to slow down and live each moment to the fullest. Don’t discount the lessons learned from 2020.” 


“This past year of 2020 was supposed to be the year of Focus and Insights since we would all like to have 2020 vision. But we are calling last year the ‘Year of the Audible.’ This term used in football allows the quarterback to call a new play if he feels that continuing the current play would be unsuccessful.   Put everything on the table as far as all of our protocols, norms, processes, and procedures. Is there anything that needs to be tweaked or modified so that when we do our next right thing, the chances of success are enhanced?    The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:13-14 says, ‘Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.’ In other words, the Apostle Paul is saying do not dwell on the past, so that you do not stay stuck in the past. You need to look at where you are so that you can figure out where you need to go. This is a new year. Be your best and most authentic self so that you can have the healthiest moments in the present.”

Steve Temmer,

counselor, pastor, and founder of Centered for Life on St. Simons, a Christian-based therapy center. JANUARY/F EB RUA RY 2021

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Kevin Pullen, artist and educator

“I just think that we, as a society, we as Americans, have been very privileged and very jaded on just our lifestyle in general. But we’ve come in contact with a virus that’s from literally around the world and kind of leveled the playing field (of life) for everybody, and I think that’s very humbling to learn that we are just a speck on the planet. … Art’s my life, and art has such a power to do so much. And with the upcoming year, I’m hoping that there’s a chance not just to do the art but to share it and really have it be about the people involved and the power of what happens when you engage in the arts. It’s not entertainment or just fun, it’s a powerful medium.”

Kyajuana Gilbert, executive

director of the STAR Foundation, a nonprofit in Brunswick that offers a host of programs that aim to educate and empower adults with skills to succeed. “I feel that in 2020 I’ve learned mostly to be flexible, to be patient, to stay willing to adapt, to be innovative and engaged, especially with social media, which is a challenge for me. But the most important thing was to remain positive. And that’s how I feel our resiliency shines and basically gives hope and light to people around us. My aspirations are to enjoy things more, to enjoy people, and the things that mean the most, to share as much laughter as possible to spread love and peace and hopefully to share hugs again. And I want to make an impact by inspiring transformational change and helping people think about the opportunities and hope for the future, instead of being stuck and dwelling on where we are now and all the tough things that we’ve had to overcome in this year.”

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Hans F.Hans Trupp, CCIMCCIM have company. Trend F. Trup, thatwith that the salespeople have with founder and former chairman has described eXp as founder and former chair- Magazine the company. Trend Magazine of Trupp thehas Amazon of eXp real estate. manHodnett of TruppEnterprises Hodnett described as the eXp and The Management realty offersofa real veryestate. unique Enterprises and The Amazon eXp Company prior to taking the Management Company realty offers a very uniqueand agent attraction program agent attraction program prior topublic taking(NYSE, the companies companies RZT) Hans has partnered with and Hans has partnered with RZT) in an in an public IPO in(NYSE, 1998 has reentered veteran Atlanta broker John veteran Atlanta broker John IPO in 1998 has reentered the the real estate business locally Adams to inform and educate Adams to inform the and United educate realan estate businesswith locally through affiliation agents throughout agents throughout through an affiliation with the eXp realty. eXp is a cloud States about eXp, one ofUnited the eXp realty. eXp is a cloud States about eXp, one of the based publicly traded company fastest growing real estate based publicly traded company fastest growing real estate with more than 39,000 agents companies in the nation. with more than 38,000 agents companies in the nation. in all 50 states, Canada, Adams is well known in all 50 states, Canada, AusAdams is well known Australia, UK, throughout tralia, UK, throughoutGeorgia Georgiafor forhis his Mexico, France, Portugal, educational activities Mexico, France, Portugal, educational activities on on SouthSouth Africa, IndiaIndia and and willwill behalf of of thethe Georgia Africa, behalf GeorgiaReal Real soon soon be available worldwide. Commission, be available worldwide. Estate Estate Commission,and andhis his This internet basedbased highhigh techThis internet tech- regular regularappearances appearanceson on Fox Fox 55 nology company will will totally nology company totally Atlantaand andCNN. CNN.He He Atlanta revolutionize the real realincontinuestotobebea afreelance freelance revolutionize the real estate continues estate industry both with journalist with the Atlanta dustry both with relationships journalist with the Atlanta relationships of buyers Journal-Constitution with more of buyers and sellers and theand Journal-Constitution with more than 1,000 articles in print. sellers and the relationships relationships that salespeople than 1,000 articles in print.

Thanks to thetointernet, eXp’seXp’s statestate of the cloud Thanks the internet, of art the revolutionary art revolutionary cloud basedbased technology and and a unique revenue sharing technology a unique revenue sharingplan planHans Hansand and his team are able to offer a performance-based, nono risk his team are able to offer a performance-based, riskmaximaximummum 4% listing commission on on anyany realreal estate both 4% listing commission estate bothresidential residential and commercial. No risk - you cancan cancel thethe listing and commercial. No risk - you cancel listingatatany anytime time for any HansHans would alsoalso be pleased to to share hishisbroad forreason. any reason. would be pleased share broad business knowledge and and experience with anyone business knowledge experience with anyoneinterested interestedin inaa free no obligation consultation session with regard free no obligation consultation session with regardtotoany any real esreal estate problem. Call, email or text me if you would like to tate problem. Call, email or text me if you would like to explore explore listing program you have any questions with to ourour listing program or if or youif have any questions with regard regardeXp, to eXp, one of the fastest growing real estate companies in one of the fastest growing real estate companies in the nathe nation withnow now over 39,000 agents growing. tion with over 38,000 agents andand growing.

4%

Listing Commission JANUARY/F EB RUA RY 2021

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NOISEMAKERS

M Music runs through Jorge Peña’s veins. His grandfather was a musician, playing in the same Honduran town where he was raised.

“I do come from a kind of musical background. My mother’s father was a musician, but by the time I showed any interest in music, his mind was gone so I didn’t get to talk to him about it,” he says. “But, I think, the genes do carry.” Peña started his journey at the Victoriano Lopez Music Conservatory in San Pedro Sula, playing the viola. He simultaneously received high school and bachelor’s degree in music at there.

It was also around this time that Peña took a faithful trip that would chart his future.

“Luckily for me, the school decided to do a tour of Georgia and Florida. I was one of the soloists, so we went to different places and performed at different venues and schools,” he recalls. “One of the places we went was Columbus State University in Georgia.” Peña felt a connection to the campus — and though he knew zero English at the time, he decided to pursue a second degree — a bachelor of music performance — there while learning the language. “I had to learn English and catch up,” he said.

But he wasn’t done accumulating diplomas yet. Peña went on to earn degrees in viola performance and chamber music with studies in conducting from John’s Hopkins University’s Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland. “It was great because there was so much culture around the area and everything is close, so you go to a lot of concerts and see great performances,” he says. “I ended up playing in the opera in Washington, D.C., but came back down South when I got a position

JORGE PEÑA WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON PHOTO BY TAMARA GIBSON

in the Jacksonville Symphony. That allowed me to move from the pit to the main stage, playing orchestra music.” He settled in and raised his three daughters — Ines, Gaby, and Elisa — in Duval County. Like their father, the girls gravitated toward music. “All of them received music education in their youth. Gaby is currently playing professionally with the Los Angeles Philharmonic,” Peña says with pride. Once his children were older, Peña started to explore teaching and considering his own extensive education — it’s unsurprising that he would want to want to work with students. Several years back, Peña was a part of a musical ensemble that would become the Coastal Symphony of Georgia. He was tapped as the general manager and helped guide the organization toward the highly professional entity it is today. Five years ago, Peña was selected to replace Luis Haza at the helm of the Golden Isles Youth Orchestra. Since then, he’s helped mold young musicians coming through the area’s various musical programs. The orchestra, which brings students together from across demographics, offers young musicians an equal footing on which to start their journey. Peña notes that a grant the program received to buy all of the participants instruments has helped immensely. “A student coming from the island could afford a nice, new instrument, but another maybe coming from Brunswick couldn’t,” he says. “You can see the discrepancy. But with the grant, it doesn’t matter. We are all just focused on the music.” Unfortunately, the pandemic silenced the melody for a time in the spring and summer months of 2020. But Peña and his team were committed to continue

teaching. They held Zoom summer camps instead of in-person sessions, making sure students continued learning during the unprecedented time. “We decided to do a virtual camp, which was a first for everybody. But I must say I was very happy with how it turned out. Our instructors are always top-notch and they offered our students the best,” he says. “It also gave everyone a chance to perform in front of their peers which doesn’t always happen at the camp so that was great. It was like any master class.” Since reopening and moving forward, Peña has helped guide the students through the rigorous safety protocol that ensures they the music won’t stop due to an outbreak. When he’s not shepherding youngsters through difficult pieces of music — or a trying period like the coronavirus pandemic — Peña also keeps busy as the organizer and co-founder of the annual St. August Music Festival. “It’s the largest free chamber music festival in the U.S. and it’s a really a great thing. Usually, it is the last two weekends in June. There are many people who come down from Glynn County for it,” he says. Whether it’s organizing a musical event, leading an orchestra or playing in one, there is one defining element that this passion has brought to his life — discipline. “I tell my students that ‘you don’t choose music, music chooses you.’ When you start playing in an orchestra, it’s a way of life. I tell them I don’t expect 100 percent of you to become professional musicians, but rest assured that what you’re learning — that discipline of music can be put into practice in any field,” he says. “In anything that you do, the discipline of learning to play music never goes away.” JANUARY/F EB RUA RY 2021

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COASTAL SEEN

Attendees enjoy the Jordan Gilman Jazz Quartet at Mary Ross Waterfront Park in Brunswick.

COASTAL SYMPHONY OF GEORGIA The Coastal Symphony of Georgia recently began its Variations on a Season concert series. The outdoor performances are being held in Brunswick at Mary Ross Waterfront Park, and at Gascoigne Bluff, and in the new Atlantic Hall at the King and Prince Golf and Beach Resort, both on St. Simons Island.

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Chris Triplett, left, and Leslie Graitcer

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www.stephenkitchenmd.com 92

G O L D E N I S LES

Susan Garrett, left, and Linda Wright


COASTAL SEEN

Ali Murphy, left, and Brooke Parmelee

Amber Kamenicky, left, and Kathy Bellios

Ashlyn Jordan, from left, Hannah Gainous, and Thames Cranz

Christina Squires, from left, Natalie Squires, and Marianne Stonefield holding Evie HĂźmmel

JUNIOR LEAGUE OF THE GOLDEN ISLES

The Junior League of the Golden Isles held its annual Under the Oaks auction with masks and social distancing measures in place. During the event, the Junior League also honored a local fifth grader with money for a STEM scholarship. The nonprofit organization of women promotes voluntarism, leadership, and charity within the community.

Ganten and Cecile Kirby

Kari Butler, from left, Jennifer Morrow, and Katie Cardona

Hannah Davis, from left, Nicole Rogers, Zach White, Sandra White, Lauren Doucet, Michael Brown, Myrick Stubbs, and Meg Robinson

Lauren Doucet, left, and Michael Brown

Jan McCabe, left, and Lynn Mercer

Mandy Miller, left, and Ashlyn Elze

Jane Rainer, left, and Jade Jones

Randy and Iris Ellis

JANUARY/F EB RUA RY 2021

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COASTAL SEEN

Alberto Llano, from left, Tim Lensch, and Hernan Stutzer

Charles and Barbara Nance, from left, and Janice Lamattina

AMERICA’S SECOND HARVEST

Georgia Sea Grill and Del Sur teamed up to support America’s Second Harvest with an outdoor meal at Village Creek Landing on St. Simons Island. Attendees dined on a blended menu which featured dishes from both restaurants. Local singer-songwriter Owen Plant performed as the sun set over the marsh. (Photos by Chris Moncus)

John Neundorfer, left, and Meghann Tucker

Lisa Molen, from left, Sandra Crumbliss, and Kalista Morton

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Larsen and Michelle Anderson

Terry and Marilyn Friddle, from left, and Nancy Dorn and Will Fris


COASTAL SEEN

Dayna Anderson

Emily Axelson

MOXIE

Moxie held its Holiday Market in and around Old City Hall in downtown Brunswick, while observing extra precautions to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Local vendors as well as those from Savannah and Jacksonville shared their wares with patrons.

ALL DAY BUFFETT

Friday, January 1 (First Friday) and February 5 (First Friday) Noon to 9 pm. $11.00 all you can eat.

TASTE OF GLYNN 5 TIME WINNER Conch - Jerk Chicken - Curry Chix- Oxtail - Jerk Pork Boozy Cakes Full Gluten Free, Vegetarian and Vegan Menu.

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An alcohol marinated chocolate covered strawberry. $5.00 each Must be 21 to purchase

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1519 NEWCASTLE ST., BWK GA, 31520 | 912.267.4742 New Temporary Hours Mon.-Sat. 10 am -7 pm JANUARY/F EB RUA RY 2021

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COASTAL SEEN

Bobbie and Eldridge Cannon

Delle Vicent, from left, Kylie Hall, and Faith and Milton Hall

Dr. Darrin and Alisa Strickland

SKYLARK

Local nonprofit pregnancy center, Skylark, recently held its 28th Annual Fundraiser Banquet Dinner with more than 600 in attendance at Jekyll Island Convention Center. The organization took extra steps to ensure all attendees stayed safe. The nonprofit clinic focuses on providing information and services to those facing unplanned pregnancy or other sexual health needs. (Photos by Chris Moncus)

John and Nancy Rivers

Patrick Eades

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Margot and Brantley McMinn, from left, John McMinn, and Brandon Loweon

Wanda Taylor and Kristy Fulks

Paula Spaulding, from left, Eric and Jan Pearce, and Amanda and Chris Moncus.

Wayne and Jody Neal, and Karen and Charles Martin


The College provides an affordable, quality, and interactive education in the natural beauty of Georgia’s Golden Isles. It is Georgia’s best kept secret. We offer Daily Visits, in depth sessions on selected Saturdays, Destination Coastal, and Virtual Visits, for you to experience what is means to be a Mariner.

One College Drive Brunswick, Georgia 31520 912.279.5701 • admissions@ccga.edu


We Are Honored to Be Recognized as a High Performing Hospital BY U. S . N E WS & WO R L D R E P O RT

We are proud to provide the best possible health care to our community. Our Brunswick Campus earned “High Performing� ratings for COPD and Heart Failure in recognition of care that was significantly better than the national average. Thank you to our team of committed and dedicated professionals who made this distinction possible!

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Profile for Golden Isles Magazine

GIM Jan/Feb 2021  

Golden Isles Magazine January/February 2021

GIM Jan/Feb 2021  

Golden Isles Magazine January/February 2021

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