Proud Supporter of Art & Culture in Griffin.
M A r k e t i n G | A d v e r t i S i n G | P u b l i C r e l A t i o n S 770.881.71214
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Bobby Wheaton The cleaner 3
ave you noticed that the country seems in sort of a depressed, irritable, almost angry mood these days? Just about everybody is down in the dumps over the economy as the news carries story after story of job cuts, layoffs, bank failures, and the like. Although I still see people shopping and eating out at restaurants, I keep hearing that nobody’s buying anything and that everybody’s buying the cheapest groceries they can find and fixing meals at home. We are facing difficulties; that’s obvious. The economy is in bad shape and things are tough; many of the experts predict it’ll get worse before it gets better. Precious few are speaking with any confidence or hope, and our collective attitude seems to be that there’s not much to smile about. But take a look outside. Spring will not be held back by the dark and drear of Winter. Birds are singing, flowers, shrubs, and trees are budding and blooming, and best of all, for all those waiting for turkey season, the turkeys are getting ready to gobble. New life is here and a new beginning is just around the corner. Frankly, I’m ready for it. At first, I found myself bemoaning the coming of Spring, for each passing day decreased my chances of enjoying a good snow. But now I’m satisfied. We got the best one we’ve had in years, so bring on the warm breezes and long days. That’s the way life is supposed to work – dark yields to light, cold to warmth, stagnation and dormancy to newness and freshness. Just a couple of weeks ago I stood in a hospital room with one-day-old Carter Reed York. The room was filled with family: Carter’s parents, Laura and David; his sister and brother, Ashley and Davis; his grandparents, Roy and Margaret Varnom; and his maternal great-grandmother, Helen Busbin. Born on February 22, little Carter was getting a big, warm welcome into the world that afternoon. It was one of those wonderful moments a preacher gets to spend with a family. Yet I was aware, as full as that room was of love and joy and promise, that a profound emptiness pervaded it. That very week, the family had gathered to bid farewell to Carter’s great-grandfather, John Busbin. Those smiling faces had only recently been stained by the salty tears of grief and loss. Life has a way of reminding us that, even after the longest and darkest night, the sun keeps coming up – bringing with it new beginnings, new hope, and new possibilities. Herb Flanders
& Express Lube
770-228-8888 phone 770-228-3488 fax
1412 Bowling Lane | Griffin, Georgia 30223 4
The Party Griffin Historical Society Hosted a St. Patrick’s Day party at the BaileyTebault House. The Scene Couple Ed and Sue Reynolds enjoy the spring weather on the porch. Green-themed pistacio cake abounds. Kate and Brian O’Quinn happily sport the color green. A crowd enjoys fine fellowship. Leslie Kinnett and Katie Inglis stop to have their picture snapped.
PAPARAZZI Before Spring
appeared Griffi n was covered
in white with sn
Kain (walking to Canada) just passing through
Corporate Events | Weddings | Private Parties
The Bailey-Tebault House Home of the Griffin-Spalding Historical Society 633 Meriwether Street | Griffin, Georgia 30224 770-229-2432 www.griffinhistory.com
ng folks 5
PAPARAZZI Joseph Scibetta
athews, , Butler M athy ill Tenney W ern : b ft A le x m le Fro ney, A Maddie Ten
Mark Frank and Micha
Tree Removal Stump Grinding Trimming Land Clearing Bucket Truck Service 770-228-0760 Griffin, Georgia
The next two pages profile a group of local entrepreneurs and the various businesses they run. Through their careers they offer a variety of professional services for the community. As you read their stories you will see the dedication, training and passion they put into their business and services. We hope reading their successful stories will encourage and inspire other entrepreneurs and those still dreaming of one day owning their own business. 7
Home is Where Our Story Begins… Bowen & Sons Inc.
A focus on the finer details of residential construction has kept Bowen & Sons moving forward during these turbulent times. Our 10 in-house carpenters work together to deliver a product designed to meet, but most often exceed, client expectations. Our crew is composed of many men with varying backgrounds and experience levels. Their common link is the desire to build a superior product that will serve both the client of today and the generations of tomorrow. Since founding of Bowen & Sons, I’ve worked hard to instill the company’s vision in each of its members: Our company is built on the shoulders of each company member. And we believe that our reputation is the most important thing we build. We have diversified in recent years to establish a millwork and timber shop for custom fabrications. This allows us to build our own doors and furniture pieces to accent each project. The doors are often constructed using reclaimed timbers ranging from heart of pine to wormy chestnut, much of which comes out of dismantled cotton mills and abandoned southern Appalachia homesteads. Bowen and Sons has developed a strong passion for the old-world craftsmanship of the timber framing trade. We havebeen blessed with the opportunity to design and build more than a dozen timber structures in recent years. Timber framing is a building process like no other, connecting us to our ancestors with the tremendous character and endless detail evident in each of their frames. We find our inspiration in challenges, and our joys in the smart and caring people who comprise our company and our patronage. Bowen and Sons, Inc. is located at 176 Crawly Road in Orchard Hill. To view their portfolio please visit their website at www.bowenandsons.com . For more information or to schedule an appointment please call 770-412-6210.
Phyllis — Two Sisters The shop was the brainchild of my sister Emily. I am a retired biology teacher, and Emily has a degree from the University of Florida in microbiology, so naturally we own and operate a furniture & antiques shop? Perhaps it’s a product of “natural selection”! Emily and I have always loved scrounging around thrift stores and garage sales together for the “thrill” of finding a bargain. We were not entirely sure it would be as much fun running a business designed to give others the same “cheap” thrill. But after gaining support from husbands and friends, we decided to follow through with our idea. The grand opening of Two Sisters was held on September 15, 2007. We’ll always remember that first exciting shipment: two mahogany bedroom suites, a Thomasville leather sofa with matching loveseat, an Ethan Allen entertainment center, a Rob & Stuckey slipper chair, and all sorts of bric-a-brac. Since then, we have offered pieces by Century, Stanley, Baker, Drexel and Henredon, but we’re not limited by brand names. We also have an eye for those special, even quirky, pieces that have a knack for drawing just the right person. We’ve also become the go-to place for special gifts. We offer handmade jewelry crafted from such natural gemstones as turquoise, coral, lapis and amethyst. And we carry a line of very special candles that are hand-poured by a friend in our hometown of Ashford, Alabama. One whiff of the Crème Brulee candle, and you’ll be hooked! We take pride in offering reasonable prices for quality items. From our own years of shopping experience, Emily and I know how helpful it is to have layaway plans available for those special, must-have items that we always seem to find at the “wrong” time for our pocketbooks! So we offer our own layaway plan to assist in purchasing that special item before it disappears. Two Sisters is a weekend shop. Our hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Saturday. My cell phone is available at all times for customers, and I will gladly open the shop to show a piece to a weekday windowshopper. 1605 Williamson Road, just past the Carver Road intersection – right next to Bill’s Cars & Trucks. Drop in and join the fun! 8
Gloria Treadway — Prudential Realty May 6, 2009, marks the 33rd anniversary of Gloria Treadway’s real estate career. As a seasoned agent with years of experience, Ms. Treadway says the key is to know when to buy. She began in 1976 in a slow market and has been through other slow periods. Low prices and great interest rates are not the only factors to consider. Ms. Treadway stresses to buyers to be sure they have a good REALTOR who is not just “eager to make a sale” but eager to supply them with all the essentials in making a purchase. She stresses patience for the right home at the right time. Ms. Treadway recently worked with a young couple with a newborne son. The buyers expressed to her that they were both about to go back to college to get their master’s degrees- at the same time. “I treated them like my own children,” she says. She keeps in touch with the young couple, but she recommended that they finish their education first, unless the “perfect deal” came along. They were grateful for the advice. “I want them to be my customers forever, not just to make a quick sale,” Treadway emphasizes. Gloria Treadway feels that she has been successful as a REALTOR because she loves her career and enjoys finding the pefect home for her buyers.However,sheisalsooneoftheleadinglistingagentsworkingwithsellersaswell.“Itisimpossibletoproperlymarketyourhomeor propertywithoutnationalaffiliations.”PRUDENTIALGeorgiaRealtyislinkedtoover142websitesnationally.Treadwaysays,“Thelatest marketingreportsindicatethat82percentofhomebuyersbegintheirsearchontheinternet.Istillgivethepersonalhometowntouch,but our marketing far outweighs the smaller companies.” Griffin,SpaldingCounty,andsurroundingcountiesremainherfocalpointsforsellinghomesandpropertiestobuyersandsellerswhohave purchasedfromherbefore.“Thegreatestcompliment,”Treadwaysays,“ismyrepeatbusinessandreferalsfromfriendsandclients.”She continues, “These 33 years have flown by because I love what I do.” If you need a reputable REALTOR, call Gloria Treadway, Associate Broker, ASR, GRI with PRUDENTIAL Georgia Realty.
Vintage Salon—Owner Melissa Foster I have been involved in cosmetology in Griffin for 25 years. From childhood I knew that I wanted a career in the hair styling industry. I started working toward getting my license while still in high school. My first job was in a small salon, cleaning and performing various duties. Soon after graduating, I began my career and opened my own business about six years ago. My greatest desire is to achieve supreme client satisfaction. Vintage Salon offers the latest styles and trends in a modern setting. Several factors set us apart from other salons – dependability, consistency,andtimelyserviceinawarmandfriendly,family-orientedatmosphere.Ourclientsbecomelikefamilytous,andourstylists strivetomakeeveryvisitapositiveexperiencebycreatingapleasant,relaxedenvironment.Someofourclientshavebeencomingto Vintageforyears,andtheykeepcomingbackbecausetheyreceiveexcellentresultswithunbeatableservice.Currently,wehavefour stylists:AmyLewis,ChasityWilson,AshleySmithandanesthetician/nailtechnician,AngeliqueJonesonstaff.Weareconveniently located inside the Old Coke Building.
A La Mode translation: in the
Passion for fashion continues to thrive despite the economy’s effort to thwart it. Though most of us cannot afford the fashions shown at Bryant Park, we can show our appreciation for the designers creations with these affordable imitations. Read on.
Geometry Lessons Spring 2009 runway shows exhibited manipulations of fabric into the shapes we learned about in 1st grade. In this particular Oscar de la Renta look, it’s all about structure. Our inspired affordable look follows the same equation with a Veronica Whorl skirt by Anthropologie, a soft grey cap-sleeve swing blazer, wrapped together with an oblong studded belt all for $160.80. Show the business world you’re a math whiz with this geometrically inspired look.
Trash and Vaudeville Remember the 80s? Big hair? Ripped denim and shredded lace? Many spring 2009 designers showcase revitalized 80s looks, including our inspiration look by Rag & Bone. Our model embraces her inner rock star with a Silence and Noise moto vest and BDG cigarette sateen pants in grey, both by Urban Outfitters. The details-a floral camisole and studded wrap around belt finish the look for $149, a fraction of the cost of our inspiration outfit. Rocker chic look? Check. Big hair and bold makeup? Check. On tour with Bon Jovi? Well, maybe.
ohnston wen& ullard llp Rag & Bone, Spring 2009
Goddess Adoration Looking and feeling like a goddess is easy to accomplish with light, airy, dresses that make you feel like Helen of Troy. Our turquoise blue runway dress is by Monique Lhuillier, a designer known for her beautiful gemstone colors that flatter a woman’s figure, but these dresses come with a hefty price tag. Our inspired knotted front maxi dress by Forever21 takes its color cue and length from the Monique Lhuillier dress. Add gold chain necklaces, and you’ll have the goddess look of the runway dress for only $32.60. You are now ready to inspire the next Trojan War.
attorneys at law
divorce and custody issues business, contract & corporate disputes wills & probate matters car wrecks & personal injury real estate Griffin Location 124 North Hill Street Griffin, Georgia 30224 770-227-8929 phone 770-229-9810 fax
McDonough Location 38 Hampon Street McDonough, Georgia 30253 678-583-1390 phone 678-583-6528 fax
Rag & Bone, Spring 2009
Oscar de la Renta, Spring 2009
Monique Lhuillier, Spring 2009
Alberta Ferretti, Spring 2009
Depression Chic The look? Detailed and glamorous cocktail wear. The runway dress by Alberta Ferretti features sparkle, fringe and intricate beading, but at a cost of about 6 months of mortgage payments. The embellished shift dress on our model accomplishes the same purpose with mimicked polished fabric and structured beading that starts at the hem. At $42, you can still afford the shoes, the jewelry, and a night out on the town.
saac Strickland moved his family into Pike County at a crossroad called Hardhead in the early 1840s. There on his farm he raised seven sons of which one of the oldest was Robert F. Strickland. Robert moved to Griffin in his 20s and opened a small mercantile. As it prospered, he got his brothers involved in opening a business in the newly formed town of Concord where the railroad had just come through. The R.F. Strickland Company farming and mercantile business spanned more than 100 years and five generations of the Strickland family. At one time the company farmed over 20,000 acres of land with a cotton gin, planning mill, grist mill and grain elevator, fertilizer manufacturer, mortuary, cotton warehouses, bank, and mercantile. It supplied many families in the area and was a major employer for Pike County. At the company’s peak, it made over $900,000. The town of Concord itself has some interesting stories to tell. The movie Cold Sassy Tree with Faye Dunaway was filmed here. The production company covered the paved roads with dirt to make the set look older, and the movie caused such a stir that my dad, always the businessman, bottled the dirt and sold it as souvenirs.
The first telephone exchange in Georgia was assigned to Concord, along with the State’s first phone book. The first person in the book had the phone number: 1. With agriculture fading in importance after World War II, it was difficult to maintain The Stickland Company’s status in the small community. As the War took its toll, revenue was reduced to $20,000. I joined the company after college in 1971 and became the last Strickland to operate the business. The farm was sold after the railroad was abandoned in 1987, and the business closed in 1992. The upstairs of the historic store building is still filled with old receipts and ledgers, since business was done on a charge system. People would leave their cotton in return for the supplies they needed – shoes, fabric, tonic, etc. The store building has been purchased by the City of Concord and will be renovated as a large event center for weddings, parties, meetings and other civic events. For those of us that spent our lives around it the event center will become a fitting memorial to the prosperity of the past and the opportunities of the future.
P P grading grading
We still like to play in the dirt.
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Trash and Vaudeville 12
efore we go any further, let’s be perfectly clear. If you want the latest James Patterson bestseller, you can buy it new on Amazon for $16.79 (plus shipping and handling). Even better, you can pick it up at the supermarket for 40% off. The big-box bookstores will have a pile of them at steep discount. Wait a few weeks and you can get it for $1.99, or maybe a penny on many Internet book sites that make their profits from shipping and handling and advertisers. We’ll sell it to you at our independent bookstore, A Novel Experience, for list price. Plus, charge you sales tax of 7%! So who would choose to buy their books from us? What in the world would induce three highly educated women with demanding day jobs to open the 2,500-squarefoot store in a century-old building on the Courthouse Square in Zebulon? Population 1,250. After two years and counting, how does it make sense to keep the doors open? We get answers to these questions every day. And, we can tell you some pretty compelling stories about what it means to our local communities when they support independent, local businesses. We know that “a rising tide lifts all
boats,” and when we support the values of old-fashioned customer service by people who know their products, we invest in an unmistakable sense of wellbeing and community renewal. And those non-monetary profits are the ones that pay us surprising and unexpected dividends. Our customers, for instance, spit in the eye of last December’s economic meltdown and gave us our bestever holiday sales record. Our customers’ purchases support Pike County and Zebulon through our county’s SPLOST tax. That’s the one-penny sales tax that allowed Pike County to build three fire stations and buy big red fire trucks in the past two years. So yes, you can get Mr. Patterson’s book cheaper, but, by buying it from our store, you make it possible for us to donate to community causes and projects. Does an internet outlet care to be a sponsor for the Tour de Pike? Will it sell a church cookbook at cost? Or distribute Arts Council tickets? We keep our dollars here at home. The American Independent Business Alliance estimates that for every $100 spent at local businesses, $68 will stay in the community. When our roof needed fixing, we called our local contractor. When the city needed a handrail for
seniors to access the south-side sidewalk in downtown Zebulon, Southside Steel donated it and installed it at no charge – that’s the kind of “payback” that buying local supports. James Patterson is a good read, but we can offer better variety and choice than what the big-box buyer national buyer thinks is “good” for you. Our new book selection is based on our knowedge of what our customers might enjoy and our own research into interesting titles, There are hundreds of books published every year, and when you add the “backlist” of previously printed work, the task of choosing a good vacation read or a challenging nonfiction work is overwheling. We act as “curators” for our customers and suggest things they may never have considered. We will tell you if a “bestseller” is a dog. It’s important – we know the right book can change a life. In the same way, our customers have turned us on to their favorite authors – Harlan Coben, Sharon Kay Penman and J.K. Rowling… and so many more. Local businesses care about people. We have been entrusted with confidences, both joyous and terrible. A young father in search Cont. on p. 14 13
Insects suffer from many of the same kinds of diseases that human beings do. 14
of a new home for his family said he is considering our town because a community that has a bookstore has to be an extraordinary one. A WWII veteran gravitated to a photodocumentary book that features a picture of his unit in front of Dachau. A visiting Nicaraguan professor talked with our book club after we read The Earth Moves in its Sleep about the brutal 1990s civil war. He said there is “no record” of the killings, the disappearances, or the losses of that time – the government had make it so by burning and deleting the written word. Sitting as we were, surrounded by 30,0000 volumes of testimony about people, places, and events, we were reminded of the power of the book to preserve history’s most inflammatory, compelling, and beautiful ideas in a fairly modest package. Local businesses care about “place.” We provide what sociologists call “the third place” for community members – after home and work, our store is a meeting place, a nucleus for news, and a very busy exchange place for everything from cement mixers to kittens. We sponsor a Manga group for middle-school kids who have discovered a cool genre that adults cannot even pronounce correctly, much less understand. We hosted a holiday “read-a-thon” for eight hours to benefit social services for Pike County seniors. Among other community members, Sheriff Jimmy Thomas took a turn at reading aloud, as did an older gentleman who arrived ready to read Dickens’s A Christmas Carol dressed in 19th century costume. That’s the way we want to spend our holidays. So, this is what our customers “buy” when they purchase a book from A Novel Experience. And this is the payoff the community receives when local independent businesses thrive. This burgeoning sense of shared values and enthusiasm may be the best thing to come of our current economic concerns. That full-price book may cost you a bit more in currency, but we think it leaves all of us a little richer in spirit.
Sympathy without relief is like mustard without beef.
A DAY IN THE LIFE -
r e t f a We spent the day with Artie as he restored this turn-of-the-century Chest of Drawers Visit Artie at his shop on West Taylor Street (beside Ruby Tuesday) or give him a call at 770-233-0555 for questions about your diamond in the rough... 15
n this day and age, it can be quite difficult to keep up a healthy lifestyle. With modern conveniences there becomes a tradeoff we gain time but we lose movement. How can we embrace the convenience of modern living, while keeping our bodies fit and healthy? One way is to get active.
Active Living in a Not-so-Active World If you have an office job, the majority of your day is spent sitting at a desk. You commute to and from work by car, and after work activity includes hours in front of the TV. As a result, more and more are being diagnosed with chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and respiratory ailments – all of which are related to a lack of regular physical exercise. In fact, a university study performed in 2004 showed that 20 percent of all deaths of people 35 and older could be connected to lack of physical activity. That’s more deaths than can be attributed to smoking! Solution? Get moving! Here are a few ways:
There is no better time to buy your first home, unless you have a time machine and you can go back over 30 years. Even then interest rates were higher!!! Call me and I will show you ALL of the deals...
Right Time, Right Price, Right Home,
• • • • •
Buy a pedometer, track your steps Park far away and take the stairs Travel by foot Choose active entertainment over passive entertainment Dance to the music
Now that spring is finally here, it’s time to enjoy the outdoors to the fullest. I urge you to try walking if your destination is less than a mile away. It will give you those 15 minutes of sunlight necessary to satisfy your daily dose of Vitamin D, which will boost both your mood and your metabolism. Always remember, every little bit counts. The small things you do every day can easily affect the rest of your life. Live, breathe, and enjoy each day to its fullest. Keep going that extra mile; you’ll be amazed at how far it might take you. Ashley Green
Conner-Westbury Funeral Home Crematory On-Site | Pre-Arrangements | Bronze Memorials & Stone Monuments
770-227-2300Locally Owned and Operated
Realtor 770-227-5555 phone 770-227-1703 fax 16
1891 West McIntosh Road | Griffin, Georgia 30223 | www.conner-westburyfuneralhome.com
Beans and cucumbers grow better when planted in conjunction with each other.
Heart (To Strengthen)- Eat a lot of garlic
RELease your inner monolgue
“I am sleep deprived! The neighborhood Beagle is just being a Beagle, but she has chosen MY yard to do all of her howling. Night after night, non stop...midnight, 2 AM, 4:00...she has no clock.”
Old-Fashioned Values For Nearly 60 Years
A Majestic Diner would be nice. Or a Silver Skillet. I just like Diners. I think a Cracker Barrel would do really well in Griffin. Also need something like a Panera that is a bakery/deli.
“How do shows like Gossip Girl stay on, but Arrested Development gets cancelled. Come on Network Executives!!!!”
I’m really ticked that this is only the first issue of Kitchen Drawer. I want MORE!!
What’s the deal with the cameras at the intersection of 19/41 and 92? Is the county so hard up for funds that they have those things triggered to take pictures even after the light has turned green? “The Jukebox at the Griffin Magnolia Lanes Bowling Alley took THREE AND A HALF HOURS to play only 6 of the 8 songs I bought! What’s up with that? I want my $2 back!”
In In a a HURRY? HURRY?
how fast fast can can you you say... say... how
“May I place a pick-up order?”
-In Downtown Griffin-
since 1951 Jewelers 124 West Solomon Street
GRIFFITH’S DRIVE-IN since 1975
...for ...for the the family... family... ...on the way to the movies...
...for a group of friends... on on the the way way to to little little league... league... 17
each State Airport in Williamson, Georgia, has been operating one small, grass runway since 1967. Griffin’s Ron Alexander saw it as the perfect setting for his reproduction of the original Atlanta Airport, (then Candler Field; now Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport) as it existed in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The airfield is located one mile west of Williamson, Georgia, just off Highway 362. Currently housed in a replica of the American Airways hanger – the predecessor of American Airlines – the Candler Field Museum, along with Trudy Gil’s distinctive restaurant, Barnstormer’s Grill, offers a wonderful journey back in time to the Roaring 20s. Upon purchasing the Peach State Airport, Ron began to research the humble beginnings of what grew to be the enormous concrete runways, teeming terminals, and massive expanses of real estate of today’s HartsfieldJackson International Airport. It’s hard to imagine that it all started with dirt runways and seven hangars, the same number of buildings that Alexander plans to complete on the Peach State site. Interestingly, Candler Field began on wheels, not wings. Asa Griggs Candler, the civic leader and entrepreneur best known as the founder of the Coca-Cola Company, developed it as a lavish automobile racetrack near the town of Hapeville, Georgia. It was patterned after the brand-new Indianapolis Speedway that opened that same year of 1909. Candler’s racetrack hosted a number of famous racecar drivers, including Barney Oldfield. The raceway did not last long, however, as poor revenue forced closure after the initial season. In December 1910, the defunct racetrack hosted an aerial exhibition consisting of endurance flights, speed races, and other aerial feats. In November 1911, more than 8,000 people gathered to enjoy three days of airplane, auto, and motorcycle racing. Among the race fans in attendance was 21-year-old Bill Hartsfield. When airmail service became possible in 1918, the people of Atlanta were hoping that their city would be one of the first to receive this service. The only problem was that they needed an airfield. While the racetrack was occasionally used to land a military or barnstorming plane, only a small area was level enough to be used as a landing strip. Atlanta resident James H. Elliott leased the racetrack and cleared a 3.5-acre area that could be used for aircraft operations (when the wind was right). In the fall of 1919, Elliot 18
opened a flying business using a Curtiss Jenny. Rides were sold to those brave enough to spend a few minutes in the air at the steep price of $1 per minute. Unfortunately for Elliot, in these early days of flight, most people felt that flying in aircraft was a foolish idea: ‘If God’d meant fer men t’ fly, He’d a’ givin’ ‘em wings!’ Mr. Elliott approached local leaders several times to try to get the site improved. He received no response, and, in 1923, sold his interests in the airfield. It was early 1924 before things began to happen again at Candler Field. Airmail possibilities began to resurface, and pressure mounted for Atlanta to operate an airfield suitable for the early airmail planes. A number of other locations were considered. Meanwhile, two local pilots were doing their best to convince Bill Hartsfield (then mayor of Atlanta) to take Atlanta into the aviation age. These two men – Doug Davis and Beeler Blevins – were instrumental in the aviation movement in Atlanta. At different times, each of these men owned a charter service and flying school working off of Candler Field. Davis would be the first person to build a hangar on Candler Field, and Blevins the second. Doug Davis was born near Griffin, Georgia. He initially flew for Ben Epps, of Athens, Georgia. He then formed the Doug Davis Flying Circus, performing in the local area. Throughout the early 1920s, Davis flew out of the speedway later to become Candler Field. Davis later became operations manager for Southern Air Transport, resigning after American Airlines purchased S.A.T. He then became a pilot for Eastern Air Transport (later Eastern Airlines) and was at the controls of the Eastern aircraft that inaugurated the Atlanta-New York route on December 10, 1930. Davis always believed that airplanes would be instrumental in the history of Atlanta. He finally found a supporter in William B. Hartsfield. Davis managed to convince Hartsfield that the racetrack, where Hartsfield had attended the air show as a young man, was the most logical place for the Atlanta Airport.
Candler Field remained the name of the Atlanta Airport until 1942, when the City renamed it the Atlanta Municipal Airport. This year was the first of many that the airport distinguished itself as the nation’s busiest airport, with more aircraft operations than any other airport in the country. The Candler Field Museum is open for visitors who are eager to see airplanes, automobiles, tractors, tools, and other artifacts from the 1920s. The museum is continually purchasing items, and many are on loan from other enthusiasts who share Ron Alexander’s vision. One such item of interest is a 1909 Sears and Roebuck auto that was purchased new in 1909 by the current owner’s great-grandfather. Yes, it actually runs. Its owner, Van Thurston, is a U.S. Airways pilot. Other items include a 1928 mail plane, Model T and Model A automobiles, and several other aircraft. This is an operating museum. All vehicles must be capable of being driven or flown. You will see them driving about or flying on a pretty day. Flying lessons are available, and you or your kids can even catch a ride in a 1935 open cockpit biplane! Visitors to the museum can dine in Barnstormer’s Grill, a distinctive restaurant operated by local restaurateur Trudy Gill and her team. You will see the servers dressed in gangster clothing recreating the 1920s look. While dining on a pleasant day, you can look out over the runway and catch a glimpse of a vintage airplane climbing into the blue or bouncing in on the grass runway. Future plans include exact replicas of the Doug Davis and Beeler Blevins hangars from Candler Field. In addition, the Eastern Air Transport building will be recreated to house a unique retirement center for aviation-minded seniors. The original Candler Field terminal will contain a small convention center and hotel. If you would like to relive this exciting era of our nation’s history, pay a visit to Candler Field Museum. You will enjoy the inviting, unique atmosphere, the food, the nostalgia, and the people who regularly gather there. If you would like more information please visit our website at www.candlerfield.com or call 770-227-9989.
Asa Candler offered to lease the racetrack and surrounding tract of land for five years if the City would pay the taxes. Hartsfield hoped to have Asa Candler eventually donate the land, so he introduced a motion to have the field named “Candler Field.” The proposal was adopted, but Candler approached the City with an option to purchase. On April Ron Alexander 13, 1929, the city of Atlanta purchased Candler Field for $94,400. Mr. Ellis Barrett, the head of the aviation committee, prophesied: “We are ready to begin to make Atlanta the southern aviation metropolis….This R Stuart Ogletree III, Agent purchase will mean much more to 629 W Taylor Street, PO Box 565 Atlanta in the future than we can Griffin, GA 30224-0015 realize at this time.” Bus 770 227 3204 Airmail contractor Pitcairn Airways began service out of Candler Field in May 1928. This small airline later became known as Eastern Air Transport and finally as Eastern Airlines. Delta Air Service, later Delta Airlines, began scheduled service in June 1930.
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Do you remember THE goatman? BY JIMMY HAMMET
Mr. Charles “Ches” McCartney, “the Goat Man,” traveled all over the 48 contiguous states, Canada, and Alaska for over 30 years, walking alongside a goat-drawn wagon filled with placards and preaching the gospel. Thought to be everything from a lunatic to Jesus Christ, the Goat Man is a true folk legend. Sometime in the late 1980s, my wife Judy and I were shopping at North Griffin Square
and, as we were walking by a Christian bookstore, we saw a framed drawing of the Goat Man in the window. As we looked and talked about the artwork, I said to Judy that one day I was going to make a movie about this man. “I probably won’t make a dime on it; I’m going to do it anyway.” To my knowledge, I had never seen the Goat Man; I had only heard stories most of my life from my dad who traveled a lot between Georgia and North Carolina as an electric
lineman. My dad had seen and visited the Goat Man on the road and had brought home postcards and booklets. As a young child, I also was threatened to be sent to live with the Goat Man when I misbehaved. When I first began my research, the Goat Man was thought to be dead. I heard many greatly exaggerated and premature stories of the Goat Man’s demise, including one about him and the goats being run over by a semi truck. Then I got a tip from a customer at my video rental store in Zebulon (The Video Doctor) that the Goat Man was alive and living at the Eastview Nursing Home in Macon. This discovery jump-started what has become a life-changing adventure that has lasted almost 30 years and includes not just one but two documentaries: Goat Man, The Life & Times of Ches McCartney and Goat Man 2, More Stories on the American Folklore Hero. I have spent many of my adult years researching, getting to know and telling the story of Mr. McCartney. During that time I also met, made friends with and wrote about his son, Albert Gene. I have heard hundreds, if not thousands, of stories and have become somewhat of an expert, an historian, and a keeper of the legend of the Goat Man. I would like to share just a couple of my favorite stories.
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Five Wives? According to his son, Albert Gene, the Goat Man had in his life at least five wives. He met his first wife when he ran away to New York at age 14, where he met and married a Spanish knife thrower in a local carnival. His second wife, Albert Gene’s mother, carries with her the strangest story of all. While back in their home-base area of Iowa, a local farmer who was smitten by the Goat Man’s wife offered to buy her. I personally heard this story from someone who claimed to have witnessed this, and he told me that the Goat Man agreed and put his wife on a sort of layaway plan, accepting two $500.00 payments for her. According to Albert Gene, there were three more wives, but the facts about them have not been authenicated. Jesus? As the Goat Man headed south from Iowa, his travels took him to the Appalachian mountains of the Southeastern United States. When he got to a certain area, the people mistook him for Jesus Christ, probably because of his preaching and his looks, and he didn’t tell them any different. After a while the folks caught on, and the Goat Man was sent on his way with a good coating of tar and feathers. There are countless stories from and about the Goat Man that I have and want to share, but those will have to wait.
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Mr. McCartney’s last time out of the nursing home was to attend the funeral of his son, Albert Gene, at the Jeffersonville City Cemetary. I was there along with many others who either knew Albert Gene or knew of him. On Monday, June 8, 1998, the body of Albert Gene McCartney had been discovered behind the buses that he called “home” outside of Jeffersonville in Twiggs County, Georgia. He had been shot numerous times, and his body was drenched by the rain that also washed away any evidence of the murder. His father, the Goat Man, died six months later at 97 years old. On November 13, 1998, I visited Mr. McCartney in his room at the Eastview Nursing Home in Macon. He talked a little and, as he was thumbprinting some artwork, he looked up at me. I could see in his eyes that this would be our last visit together. Two days later, Charles “Ches” McCartney was dead.
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Mr. McCartney was buried next to Albert Gene in the Jeffersonville City Cemetary. Albert Gene’s murder remains unsolved. Mr. McCartney’s death put a period to his exploits, but the legend of the Goat Man will live on in storytelling, books, artwork, photos, movies, and memories. Mr. Charles “Ches” McCartney, the Goat Man, lived life his way and became a legend.
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Jimmy Hammett was raised most of his life in Barnesville and graduated from Gordon Jr. College and from Valdosta State with a BFA in Radio, Television & Film. Jimmy has spent most of his adult life in or around movies. After graduation, he went to work in Shelby, NC with Earl Owensby who was called the “King of the Drive-In Movies.” After 18 years of producing and marketing videos that range from local commercials to industrial projects, Jimmy has created a library of mostly “Southern-flavored” movies that include the Goat Man series, Moonshiners & Revenuers, Herbs, Roots & Remedies, Grits, Gravy & John Wayne’s Moma with James Gregory and a series on coon hunting in America. Jimmy is currently working on another documentary on “snake” churches called For Heaven Sake, Pass the Snake. 21
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Recipe of the Month
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RED VELVET CAKE CAKE 2 Eggs 1 Teaspoon Vinegar 1 Cup Buttermilk 1 1/2 Cups Wesson Oil 1 Teaspoon Vanilla 1 Oz. Red Food Coloring 2 1/2 Cups Plain Flour 1 1/2 Cups Sugar 1 Teaspoon Cocoa 1 Teaspoon Salt 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES Mix all wet ingredients together (first 6 ingredients). Sift dry ingrediants together in a seperate bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well. Divide batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Cook for 25 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean. Allow cake to cool. ICING 1 8 oz. Package Cream Cheese 1/4 Lb. of Butter 1 16 oz. Box of Confectioner Sugar 3/4 Cup Chopped Pecans (optional) Combine cream cheese, butter and sugar and beat until creamy. Place first layer of cake on platter, add icing and half of the pecans. Continue until cake is complete.
Submitted by Aunt Lynne 24
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THE ATLANTA BRAVES
On the road to redemption
he coming of spring brings with it one of the most exciting periods in professional sports. The basketball and hockey seasons are in the pivotal weeks before the playoffs begin. NFL teams are scouting out new, young talent in preparation for the draft. The Masters golf tournament is soon to begin, highlighted by the return of legend Tiger Woods. But perhaps most exciting of all, America’s favorite pastime is poised to begin another year. Baseball Season is right around the corner. The Atlanta Braves are coming off a disappointing 72-90 record last season and are aspiring to shake up the highly competitive NL East – teams that long sat under the Braves during their 14-year streak as the kings of the division. The competition has since caught up with the Braves, and no more proof need be offered than the Philadelphia Phillies’ victory in the World Series last year. Now a retooled Atlanta club will try to wrestle back its former position as division leader with the time-tested formula of solid pitching and timely hitting. Dominant pitching was the trademark of the Braves in the 1990s, and this year’s team is focusing on shoring up the starting pitching that was decimated by injuries and inconsistency last season. With the departure of the stalwart John Smoltz, the Braves have brought in their new ace Derek Lowe, formerly of the LA Dodgers. Lowe has been a legitimate starter throughout his career, maintaining a 3.75 ERA over his 11 seasons. A veteran
presence in the clubhouse, Lowe also brings a winning pedigree to his new team. He is a skilled playoff pitcher and helped lead the supposedly “cursed” Red Sox to the World Series in 2004. This kind of irreplaceable experience will be crucial for a Braves team that is full of up-and-coming talent. Behind Derek Lowe, emerging star Jair Jurrjens will strive to build on last year’s success, boasting an impressive 3.68 ERA, despite a lack of support around him. Another notable addition to the starting line up is Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami, an established star in his homeland. He won the Sawamura award, the Japanese equivalent to the Cy Young, in 2004. Atlanta also brought in Javier Vazquez, a solid pitcher with 200 strikeouts last season, to bolster a beleaguered starting pitching staff that forced the bullpen into games too early and often. Rounding out the rotation, old southpaw Tom Glavine and a multitude of young, talented pitchers, including Jo-Jo Reyes, Charlie Morton, and flamethrower Tommy Hanson, will all compete for the remaining spots on the staff. Former number-one pitcher Tim Hudson looks to return to the team later in the year while recovering from major elbow surgery in the off-season. The Braves hitting personnel varies little from last season. Chipper Jones and Brian McCann will once again anchor the lineup and provide most of the power in the middle of the batting order. Heir-apparent to Mark Teixeira, 1B
Casey Kotchman will add his bat to a team that needs more power. New acquisition Garret Anderson will also be called upon to add some pop to the lineup. Anderson won the 2003 Home Run Derby, so the Braves must believe that he can still contribute effectively. Young players round out the rest of the lineup, highlighted by SS Yunel Escobar, OF Matt Diaz, 2B Kelly Johnson, and IF Martin Prado. None of them is particularly distinguished for slugging ability, but the new wave of young Braves has the potential to put hits together, steal bases, and manufacture runs. While this approach to batting seemed ineffective last season, the solidifying of the starting pitching, combined with another good year from the bullpen, will lessen the bur burden on the hitters and make it easier for the Braves to control the tempo of the game. Of course, everything up to Opening Night is speculation and guesswork. With every team starting in the middle of the division race at 0-0, summer once again levels the playing field. There’s no leader or basement dweller, just 30 teams with aspirations for October. And we, the faithful, are ready to cheer the Braves through the summer and into the crisp, golden joy of the playoffs, the first step on the road to redemption. Taylor J. Gantt
“Where every day feels like Saturday.” GLORIA S. TREADWAY Heart of Georgia Board of Realtors Member Metro-South Board of Realtors 2007 PRUDENTIAL MasterMind Recipient 2007 PRUDENTIAL Leading Edge Society Member 2006 Realtor of the Year 2005 PRESIDENT - Heart of Georgia Board of Realtors
Each edition of Kitchen Drawer will introduce us to a new neighbor. It may be a child who is coping with a disability, a teenager who has won a special award, a homemaker who has put her heart into a special cause, or a senior who helps us chronicle our history. If you know of someone whom the rest of us should know, please give us a call or an email to let us know a little about them. We heard that Mr. Marvin Jenkins would be a wonderful neighbor to interview for our inaugural issue, and he graciously invited me to visit with him at his home on the southeast side of Griffin. First off, Mr. Jenkins explained that he’s been blind for a few years, but he cheerfully dismissed my sympathetic response. At 84 years, he still works out with weights and a treadmill every day. Mr. Jenkins sat in a chair in the corner and asked me to tell him what was on the wall behind him. There was a photo of him in uniform at 18, stunningly handsome. A shadow box with his medals: Bronze Star, Silver Star, Purple Heart, and the Croix de Guerre that was conferred by the French First Army. And a framed article about him, nine years old, from the Griffin Daily News. This wasn’t his first press conference. On the other walls was a series of beautiful pen and ink drawings done years ago by Mr. Jenkins’ wife, Barbara. Marvin Jenkins was a town kid in Griffin during the “Great” Depression (pending the current one’s challenge to the title). I asked him what Griffin was like in the 1930s: Back then there were houses on both sides of Taylor Street all the way up to 18th Street. They were small lots with frame houses, and most of these roads were dirt. Sixth Street and Maple were dirt roads, and where I live now was way out in the country. Jimmy Mankin and I used to go on hikes out here. We’d take a frying pan, a pound of hamburger meat and a quart of mustard. Jimmy’s daddy used to make fun of us for taking all that mustard, but we’d come out here and build a fire and cook lunch. That was when we were just little kids. We didn’t know anything about a ‘Depression.’ We just knew we ate a lot of sweet potatoes. That’s just how it was. My friends and I would roller skate down Poplar Street all day and tear up our shoes. We only had but one pair. My daddy would say, ‘Bubba, you are the roughest thing on shoes I believe
I have ever seen in my life!’ So I’d cut up inner tubes and wrap pieces around my shoes so they wouldn’t wear out so fast. Barbara and I were part of a small group of students who were offered the chance to be the first senior class of Griffin High School. Before that, everyone graduated at the end of the junior year. I played football with the Gold Wave as it was known then. We went all the way to the State Championship. I played spinback, which is pretty much like the quarterback is now. We played single wingback, so I always had the ball. I was the highest scorer in the State. Barbara was a cheerleader and she was gorgeous. We dated in high school. In 1943, when I was 18, school closed on June 1, and I was enlisted in the Army on June 7. Barbara gave me her picture to take with me. I went for basic training at Camp Wheeler in Macon. When we shipped out, they didn’t tell us where we were going. When we landed, I said ‘Where in the world is this?’ Someone said, ‘Casablanca.’ I’d just seen the movie the year before, so I knew that was in North Africa. My unit was sent to Italy. At Anzio, we only had a 15-square-mile beachhead, so we had to dig foxholes and stay in them all day because the Germans had higher ground and could pick us off. We had to dig individual foxholes at the front. But two or three could be together at the rear. (Mr. Jenkins stands his cane out in front of him.) The foxholes were only about that high and (making a circle with his arms) about that big around. We put a wooden door over the hole and pile dirt on top. It was the rainy season in Anzio, and they filled up with water, and we’d be freezing and wet in there all day. Lots of times I would remember how my mama would always say, ‘You’d better get out of those wet clothes, Marvin, or you’ll catch your death!’ All those days in those freezing wet foxholes, and I couldn’t even catch a cold or trench foot like a lot of the other soldiers. Sometimes I wished my mama was right, because lots of the other guys got to go to the medic instead of out on patrols or attacks. We finally broke through the main line of resistance at Anzio, and we were on the march to Rome, but I never made it there. It was almost dark, and we were getting ready to go out on patrol. The Germans were retreating, but I guess they just wanted to get in an extra punch before they left. Two other guys had come in my foxhole to talk with me. Don’t know what it was – probably a grenade. It
killed one of them and wounded the other two of us. I ended up in a hospital in Naples. We’d have to patrol no-man’s-land at night. And the Germans would throw up flares so it would be bright as day. If you heard the pop of the flare going off, you could hit the ground before the sky lit up, but if you didn’t hear it, all of a sudden it would be like daylight and you’d have to freeze right were you where standing because the Germans would machine-gun you if they saw any movement. Sometimes they did it anyway. Later, our unit was assigned to assist the French First Army at Alsace-Lorraine. When France was liberated, we were driving through these little French towns, and it was like a parade. Everyone would crowd around us and throw bottles of wine and vegetables. (Laughing) To us. And lots of cantaloupes and other vegetables that we could eat. They were just so excited to be liberated. I was with the unit sent in to capture Hitler’s retreat, Eagle’s Nest, in the foothills of the Alps. When we got there, the British Air Force had already been through and made a mess of it. Barbara and I went back several years ago, and it sure looked different. I wanted to see it again. It’s just beautiful. Breathtaking. You can stand on top of the mountain and see the Alps for miles... ************************************ ************************************ So Marvin Jenkins came back and had his own set of Baby Boomers: Kreg, Barbara (Babs), and Chip. Three large pencil portraits of the children hang over the sofa, lovingly rendered by their talented mother, who is now dealing with dementia. There are two grandchildren, one of whom, Seth, went into the Marines. A computerized woman’s voice announces, “It’s one-o’clock p.m.” Mr. Jenkins puts a hand on the chunky watch on his wrist: Babs got this for me. One time it went off during the Sunday service. Even though I was sitting way in the back, the pastor heard it and said, “Well, Marvin’s watch just went off, so I guess it’s time to quit.” And it was time for us to quit, as well. I squeezed Mr. Jenkins’ hand and thanked him, grateful to have spent this time with such an extraordinary man.
society Helping those who can’t help themselves
he Humane Society of Griffin Spalding County got its start 27 years ago when the very pregnant Debbie Yelvington, got irate at Animal Control for overcharging for stray pet adoptions. She attended the county commissioner’s meeting to try to get changes made in the ordinances. A reporter from the Griffin Daily News wrote a story about her vision of a Humane Society for Griffin Spalding County. That sympathetic reporter, Julian E. Russell, continued to write articles and put Debbie’s address in the paper, and concerned people started to write to see how they could help get things going. Susan Blakely was the first to write; she too felt a need for change. Gene Dabbs, a local attorney in Griffin, told Susan and Debbie who to see, where to go and how to proceed. The Humane Society was incorporated on December 6, 1982, and became an instrument for change to the Animal Control facilities. Most people who try to start a humane society never get past the first few meetings because of mismatched personalities or lack of funds. The Griffin Spalding County group, however, was blessed from the start with great people – people like Susan Blakely. She was elected as Treasurer at the first meeting, and she has been there ever since. The Griffin Spalding County group has always done whatever was needed to get the job done, with no concern for getting personal credit. The Humane Society uses foster homes to house pets until they can find permanent homes. This way the pets get more
attention, as opposed to their being kept in a cage, so more can be learned about their personalities. Humane Society pet adoptions began at the Kiwanis Fairgrounds every other Saturday and then transferred to local PetSmarts. Currently, adoptions are held in the playroom at Doggie Do’s in Griffin every other Saturday and at PetSmart every Sunday. Serving at the helm, Susan Blakely has kept the Humane Society going all these years, keeping money in the bank with fundraisers and adoptions. Her devotion and dedication has been above and beyond the call of duty. She has
devoted her life to keeping the group on track and saving as many four-legged friends as possible. Susan is retiring to a new home and handing the group over to the rest of the active members who will do their best to fill her shoes. It takes several people to fill the one position that Susan occupied, and the duties that she tirelessly performed, day in and out. The group will miss her terribly and will take great pride in carrying on her legacy.
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he 5th Annual BBQ & Blues Festival, presented by Monroe Academy, will take place April 24-25 in historic downtown Barnesville, Georgia. The aroma of BBQ and sounds of live music will grab your attention as soon as you arrive. The festival will host approximately 60 professional cook teams competing in the Florida Bar B Que-sanctioned Triple Crown and Jack Daniels National Qualifier cookoffs. Friday night activities will be focused around family fun. There will be cooking competitions open to the public, featuring wings, stew, sauce, and chili. The BBQ & Blues Sauce Contest is sponsored by Old Whiskey River, and the Grand Prize will be a Willie Nelson autographed guitar. The kids’ park will open at
5:00 pm, and wristbands will be available for $10.00. Other events will include a custom auto and truck show and three live bands on the BBQ Stage. The bands will take the stage at 5:30 p.m. and will feature Southwind, Mark Henson Band, and 4U2C. Saturday fun will include the kids’ park, a motorcycle poker run, the FBA cook-off and the famous People’s Choice at 12 noon. The People’s Choice is a great chance for visitors to try 24 of the cook teams’ BBQ for $8.00. The BBQ Stage will be jamming from 10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. with local groups Phil Layove Soul Band, Bluegil Blues Band, and Junkshun.
Buckeye Band and headliners from Dallas, Texas, Smokin’ Joe Kubek and Bnois King. The 2009 Georgia Music Legend Award will be presented to Mr. Eddie Tigner, and the Dewaine T. Bell Scholarship winner will be presented to a Lamar County high school senior. You never know who will show up to jam with the bands, so be sure not to miss a single minute of the show! For more information on the Barnesville BBQ & Blues Festival, please visit the official website at www.bbqandblues.org.
The Saturday night concert gates will open at 5:30 p.m. The Master Blasters will set the stage for the
hough it’s been under several owners since it opened in 1977, there two things that remain the same at Anderson’s Cafeteria in Griffin: the food and the people. “It’s the food; that’s why I come around here,” said O.J. Moore, a twice-a-week regular at the Taylor Street restaurant. “And the hospitality”. During the lunch rush, which starts early by some standards — at 10:30 a.m. — customer after customer files past the stainless steel hot bar, telling the women behind it whether they’re a roll or cornbread person.“How you doing today?” asks Mae Watkins, who’s been serving food there since Anderson’s inception, of one the customers as she peers through the glass separating her from the catfish and cornon-the-cob. “I don’t feel too well today,” Mae tells the woman after they exchange pleasantries. But you would never know it by the way she serves customer after customer, with no complaints. Because she knows that’s all about the food … and the hospitality.
O.J. Moore enjoys a meal at Anderson’s
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recently had the occasion to meet with the powers- that-be of our lovely city. Except this occasion was not for the exchange of ideas or the discussion of the goings on of our wonderful downtown. No, this was to address that particular summons called the traffic ticket.
Three pens from three different pockets – one of them my favorite. “I need three different pens at work.” Two lighters, again from two different pockets. “Shane always ganks one from me.”
A cigar cutter. (demonstrating by opening and closing with a brisk chopping motion) “The blade’s enclosed, I don’t think you could really cut someone with it.” One cherry chapstick. “I like the way it smells.” Assorted change from two different pockets. “Vacation money.” Sunglasses. “Only one pair today.”
Jacob came in to take over for me while I went across the street to traffic court. About three months ago, I got pulled over three times within a week for the same light being out. Well, I have an import, so this particular headlight lamp had to be ordered, and I didn’t have time to put it in before the blue lights flashed me in rapid succession. The first ticket I had to pay (70 bucks!), but for the next two they extended mercy and told me that if I would bring in the receipts for having the light fixed, they would break the tickets down to warnings.
Three single keys from three different pockets. “I really don’t know what these even go to.” A guitar capo. (clamping it on my finger to demonstrate) “Goes to my guitar.” A line had formed behind me as I relished the annoyance I was causing, the positively gigantic officer grinned at me and said, “Come on, Mr. Bionic Man – get through the door.”
After wrestling with the lights for what felt like days, I got it done, and went to the police department on Poplar to expiate my blatant disregard for both the law and the safety of others. The first ticket was taken care of immediately, but the other officer wasn’t in, and I was told to show him the proof at traffic court. It seemed more than a little inconvenient, but being the upstanding citizen that I am, I waited and went in that morning to save myself another 70 clams. At the entrance to the courtroom a gigantic police officer was facilitating passage through a metal detector.
We chuckled together as I unceremoniously shoved my bits of flotsam and jetsam into seven various pockets. I think he enjoyed a minute to be notso-serious, and his demeanor while I playfully gave him a hard time had both disarmed that defensiveness we often feel in these situations and turned my attitude towards an appreciation for his difficult job. I was instructed to go to a table in the back, right corner and sign in; so I did, and was met with the vague disdain reserved for the lawless and miscreant. I explained the whole situation and was told to report to a small office across the room marked, “Attorney,” so I did.
I knew instantly that I had made a potentially costly error in judgment. If you know me at all then you probably know that I generally carry an unusual number and variety of things on my person at any given time. I was already modeling an apologetic look as the officer said, “Please empty any loose items into the container, sir.” Most of us probably leave certain things in our pockets when we go through such checkpoints, knowing that they will not set off a metal detector, but a mischievous desire to cause a bit of reciprocal inconvenience crawled over my ears and tugged at the outside corners of my eyebrows. “Oh, wow,” I said, “I should have thought about this before I came,” and proceeded to both produce and comment on the entirety of the possessions in my pockets:
“Here’s three weeks of receipts.”
A contract from the auto shop that had given me no end of consternation. “I wish I could set this on fire – not here, though, sir.” The ticket itself and accompanying receipts. “This is why I’m here.” Two packs of smokes – yes, different pockets. “I should really quit this.” A money clip with mess of lunch receipts.
“Ma’am, I don’t need a lawyer. I just need to see Officer Headlight, so I can be on my merry,” said I. “Oh, Officer Headlight is no longer with the department,” the lawyer informed me, “so you’ll have to come back next week and file ‘not guilty.’ ” I wonder how much miscellanea I can stuff into my clothes next week. I guess we’ll find out.
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Review live over the past couple of tours, including “All You Need is Me” and “That’s How People Grow Up.” Both of these were released as singles and were also on the “Greatest Hits” album put out by Decca in early 2008. One of the highlights on “Years of Refusal” is “When I Last Spoke to Carol.” Complete with a mariachilike acoustic guitar and horns, whistling and persistent drumming, it is one of the most unique songs Morrissey has recorded in recent years.
“The people who support you, absolutely support you and they will do probably forever, but the people who despise you, despise you with a strength that’s almost equal to the people who like you. So that’s the problem of being a forceful person.”
Refusing to say farewell “Years of Refusal” is Morrissey’s 9th studio album. He started recording it in late 2007 while finishing the “Ringleader of the Tormentors” tour. The late Jerry Finn, who passed away shortly after finishing this album, previously produced Morrissey’s 2004 album “You are the Quarry.” In the opening line of the “Refusal” album’s first song entitled, “Someone is Squeezing My Skull,” Morrissey sings, “I’m doing very well/ I can block out the present and the past now.” This seems fitting, as dominant mood of “Years of Refusal” is self-reliance. Even on the most lyrically stereotypical Morrissey track, “One Day
Goodbye Will Be Farewell,” there is a certain brashness. He sings, “Grab me while we still have the time,” denoting that he is in control. The album’s first single is “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris.” It closely follows the typical Morrissey pattern of having his love rejected. The track has a radio-friendly chorus which no doubt made it an easy choice as a single. “Black Cloud” features legendary guitarist Jeff Beck. This song is filled with guitar-driven riffs and sounds like it could easily have been on Morrissey’s 2007 album “Ringleader of the Tormentors.” The album contains several songs that Morrissey has been playing
“It’s Not Your Birthday Anymore” is another memorable track that starts out with a heartbeat drum line and then crescendos into Morrissey’s verbally blasting the unlucky recipient of his message. It also features the famed falsetto that Morrissey rarely showcases anymore. The lines from “You Were Good in Your Time” where it says “Let the heart rest/Lay back your head/Time takes all breath away/ Please understand I must surrender” makes us wonder if this is the way he wants to be remembered. Could this be a subtle hint? The album ends with “I’m OK By Myself” which includes a bass line that sounds like it could have been on Morrissey’s 1992 “Your Arsenal” album. It seems to act as a final proclamation by Morrissey that, while approaching 50 years of age, he is content with his position in life.
- On the square Zebulon Ga.
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f all the flatfoots patrolling the beat that night, that hopped-up misfit had to choose me. He stood there in the road, like a renegade slice of that muggy night. I pulled up to him: “Listen, I don’t want no trouble, see? Move along.” “Get lost, little man. You ain’t no real cop.” This fella was good. Even on a bender, he knew just where to land a punch. His wisecracking brought
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back every time some leggy dame looked down at me over a perfectly turned shoulder. I needed to show this guy who’s boss, but I was in dangerous territory. This wasn’t just some wino I was up against. He had the kind of dirty back-alley poison in him that takes a man’s brain and shakes it like a terrier shakes a river rat. I shoved open the door of my black-and-white and walked up to him in the road. He tried to give me the brush-off with another insult. “I said beat it, kid.” I put a hand on his shoulder, “Hey, what’s the big idea?” and he swung at me. I blocked his arm and clobbered him right on the noggin. He steamrolled me into the ground and the back of my head smashed into the asphalt. As I hit the ground, I threw him over me. I was lying dazed on the ground and thinking I’d rather be sitting at my corner table at The Hills – slugging bourbon with the boys. I had no real beef with this creep, but he was coming back for more, so I had to think fast. I grabbed him by the jacket collar and socked him in the jaw. But he had done more damage to my head than I’d figured, and I collapsed. I couldn’t let him get the best of me. I wrapped my arm around his neck, and he threw us both to the ground. I was on my back with his face in my chest, hugging his head with my legs wrapped around him. I knew I couldn’t let him get any room or he’d hit me hard. The drugs in his veins made him more beast than man, and if I gave him half a chance, I’d be done for. So we held onto each other like star-crossed lovers, as I rolled my
weight onto my sidearm and fought back the darkness behind my eyes ‘til I could get backup from headquarters. He tried to pull out of my hold but not knowing what this guy would throw at me next, I drove my thumbs into his eye sockets. I was ready to give it to him good. Just my luck. The patrol car sent to help me was broadsided by a broad in a Buick, three blocks away. I lost my grip, and the junkie got loose and came at me again, with crazy in his eyes. He tried to punch me, and I let him have it with my heel, right where it counts. I got to my feet, barely able to stand and blasted him with pepper spray with both barrels. He ran. I chased him into a dark alley when a car came out of nowhere and slung me onto the hood and windshield. I rolled off the car and tomahawked my nightstick through the air at him, but I missed. Finally, Lewis and Smitty pulled up, and they could see I was hurt and out of gas. “You’re a sight for sore eyes, Lewis. Go teach that guy some manners.” The fella still had enough of the devil in him, he didn’t care if there were three of us or thirty of us. He came back full throttle. It took the three of us to bring this guy in, and by then I could barely stand. Doc says I have a concussion, and Smitty broke a hand. It turned out the guy had felony warrants for stealing from the Griffin Center for the Blind. Every inch of me sore, I headed back to my three-story walkup to get some shut-eye. Thanks to the men in blue, that bum’ll be busting rocks in the can, and the townsfolk of Griffin can sleep a little easier tonight.
Pennies Saved Helderman Case #2257
pril Lewis slammed the driver’s side door of her Corolla and stared down at her paperwork: Helderman Case #2257. Family seeks placement in a nursing facility contingent upon social worker’s assessment. Clutching her clipboard to her chest, she strode toward the farmhouse, mounted the stone steps, and stopped when she reached the weather-worn boards of the porch. “Edith Helderman?” she asked, staring down at the barefoot old woman gazing up at her from a faded rocking chair. “I know why you’re here,” the old woman offered, squinting her eyes against the glare of the sun. Edith spat snuff into the rusted Maxwell House coffee can beside her rocking chair. “This won’t take long if you cooperate, Ms. Helderman. I just have a few questions. My name is Ms. Lewis. I’m a social worker sent by the county to assess your mental and physical condition and to determine whether or not you are capable of living alone.” “Take your shoes off and set a spell,” Edith answered. “You want something cold and wet to drink?” The old woman rocked back hard in her chair, then on the up-rock used the momentum to propel herself, grunting onto her feet. Unimpressed by the theatrics, Ms. Lewis frowned.“Please have a seat. Refreshments aren’t necessary.” Ms. Lewis had worked for the county almost eight years now, and from past experience, her gut told her this interview was likely to take up most of her afternoon. Some elderly people insisted on formalities and niceties as if their manners were going to sway the decision that had to be made. As if to confirm her suspicion, Ms. Lewis noticed the table next to the old woman’s chair was draped with a dingy cloth. The beige cotton fibers were moth-eaten in spots, and black strands, unevenly woven, twisted and curled along the cloth’s length. Rusty stains dirtied the surface of the tablecloth, which hung lower on the side closest to the old woman’s rocking chair. The iron glider closest to Edith was paint42
chipped, so Ms. Lewis chose a rocking chair just to the right of the old woman. Before sitting down, she pushed her palm against the seat to test its strength. Convinced it would hold her weight, she gingerly rested her behind on the edge of the chair. With her back stiff and straight, she leaned forward and positioned her clipboard in writing position. “Have you eaten this morning?” Ms. Lewis asked, but the minute the words left her lips, she noticed a dab of yellow substance folded into the creases at the corner of the old woman’s lips. Scribbling against the clipboard, she recorded her observation. “Eggs, fresh from the hen,” Edith answered with a smile. “You hungry? I can stir up something for ya.” “No, thank you. Let’s get down to business, shall we?” “Suit yourself,” the old woman answered, pushing her leathery foot against the boards to set her rocker in motion. With her left hand, she reached down and clasped the rusted coffee can, raised it to her mouth, and spat, before returning it to its place beside her. Once again, Ms. Lewis scratched pen across paper: Tobacco habit — unhealthy and unsanitary — then she spoke, “I need to know about your daily routine.” The rhythm of the old woman’s rocking remained steady and the creek and yawp of the boards were the only answer to Ms. Lewis’ request. With a swift inhale, Ms. Lewis opened her mouth to repeat the question, but the old woman interrupted. “I was six when I first started the mill.” Sweat trickled between Ms. Lewis’ shoulder blades and her stiff back ached. Though the porch was covered, the sun crept closer with the passing minutes, and by one o’clock, April Lewis knew her hair would be plastered to her head with sweat. “Just tell me when you eat, when you sleep, when you bathe,” Ms. Lewis explained. The old woman waved a dismissive hand. “Mill work was hard,” Edith began.
“I’m certain it was,” Ms. Lewis said, marking the clipboard in irritation. “May we please stay on topic?” As if she hadn’t heard, the old woman stared out across the unattended hay field that lay just past the too-long grass of the yard. “I recollect that day just like it was yesterday. We was nine, me and Alda. It was early spring. The corn plants was just about ankle high.” Ms. Lewis considered another interruption, but years of experience with elderly people told her to bite her lip and listen. She noted the woman’s inability or unwillingness to answer her simple question, unsure if it was avoidance or stubbornness. With her own grandmother, it had been best to let her ramble; it was her grandmother’s digressions that had first raised suspicions about Alzheimer’s, the disease that eventually forced her to place her grandmother in a nursing home. A wealth of information about mental state could be derived from elderly rambling. Ms. Lewis clenched her teeth and lifted her clipboard into writing position. “Like I told you, me and Alda was taking our sweet time walking to work. It was darn near ninety degrees, so we was going slower than on a cooler day. The road into town was dirt, and our bare feet was dusted red by the time we reached the wood sidewalk. Mt. Holly weren’t big back then. 1911 was the year, if my old mind serves me right. But we sure thought it was a sight. The first time I ever saw store-clothes was in the Leader Department Store.” Edith laughed, smoothing her homemade cotton dress with her wrinkled, calloused hands, then continued. “There was a bank, and a dime store, and the town hall was the biggest place I’d ever seen. When we got to town I showed Alda my pennies.” Edith patted her apron pocket, and Ms. Lewis noted on her clipboard: Ms. Helderman shows signs of time slippage. She seems to be reliving events of her childhood. First symptom of the onset of senility or Alzheimer’s disease. “After work, we’s gonna get us some candy from the dime store. I’d saved a month
of Sundays for those four pennies, but we knowed it was worth the wait. The mill was just across the tracks and if we didn’t move on, we’s gonna be late. I had to pull Alda away from the dime store window. They was more candy there than any of us poor chaps had ever seen. ‘After work,’ I told her, and we went to the mill.” Edith stopped rocking long enough to pass a straw fan to Ms. Lewis, who tentatively accepted it by pinching it between her thumb and forefinger. She held it out from her body, examining the tape-wrapped handle. Sweat beaded over her upper lip and moistened her hairline. Tempted as she was by the thought of the cool breeze the fan would yield, it would require her to relinquish her pen. She tucked the fan beside her in the chair and nodded for Edith to continue. “We stood on wood crates to reach the machines. I’s taller than Alda so I didn’t have near the trouble, but her crate rocked something fierce when she reached up to tie off her ends. I helped her most the time, but it was real busy that day and the boss-man was rushing everybody along. The accident happened just before lunch time.” Crows called from the overgrown garden. The wooden porch groaned with each movement of Edith’s rocker. Ms. Lewis’ blonde hair stuck in sweaty clumps against her face and neck as the angle of the sun chased away the shade offered by the porch roof. April glanced at the fan beside her. Its heart-shaped design reminded her of her grandmother’s fan that now hung a wall decoration beside a hand-sewn quilt she’d inherited upon her grandmother’s death. “Times was different,” Edith explained. “Families had to eat and us young’uns had good hands to work. Life ain’t fair. Never was, ain’t never gonna be.” Edith hiked up her dress and tucked it between her knees so her legs could catch a breeze, then she continued. “I’d just finished tying my ends and was shutting down my machine for lunch when I heard Alda scream. Out the corner of my eye, I seen the crate slip out from under her feet. I closed my eyes and yelled with all my breath. Her hair’d got caught in her knitting machine, and when she pulled free, she’d fell backward into the card machine behind her.” Ms. Lewis paused in her scribbling and stared at Ms. Helderman, who gazed unblinking at the overgrown tangle of lawn. The social worker wasn’t even certain the old woman remembered why she was here. April felt a twang of pity, but instantly credited the heat for her lapse of professionalism and promised herself she wouldn’t let it happen again. The straight line of her aching back, slumped slightly
into a soft curve. Silence hung in the humid heat like grapes suspended in JellO. A cow’s moo from somewhere in the pasture punctuated the quiet. A car horn blared from the road just up the hill. April caught herself staring across at the shabby tablecloth brought out for her visit. Throughout her story, the old woman had patted the fabric as if it were an expensive silk instead of a moth-eaten rag. “I don’t know how long I yelled. Most of the minutes after the accident are as cloudy as a early spring sky, but the foreman, Mr. Jones, come and told me to shut up all that hollering. Said it wouldn’t do no one no good. “I just picked at my lunch, and when break was over, I went on back to my machine. My eyes kept sticking back on that machine and the cloth that’d been running. It called to me just like my Mama did when it was time for supper. If I close my eyes real tight, I can still see that white, cotton cloth stained pink.” Edith leaned over and picked up her spit cup, emptied the snuff from her mouth, then sat silent. April rested her clipboard in her lap and reached into her suit pocket for a tissue to dab the sweat trickling down her nose. Her hand brushed the fan in the chair beside her. The heat instantly felt heavier, viscous, an invisible enemy silently smothering her. She pulled the fan from beside her and gave it a swish. The breeze cooled the sweat on her face. Her hair crouched against and sprang from her shoulders with the flow from her fan strokes. Her pen lay abandoned under the clip of her note board. “Weren’t nothing anybody could do for Alda. You probably thinking I was mean to just go on like ne’r a thing happened, but I didn’t know what else to do.” Ms. Lewis noticed as again Edith’s fingertips brushed the tattered rag. “When quitting time come around, I shut off my machine and walked over to the fabric that Alda’d been making. Her pretty black hair was weaved in with the cotton. I bent down on my knees to say a prayer, and my apron pocket thumped
against the floor. That’s when I remembered the pennies in my pocket. The pennies we was gonna buy candy with. I knew then what I was gonna do. “I knew the cloth was ruined just like Mr. Jones did, so I stomped up to him and told him I wanted that yard of cloth from Alda’s machine. He was gonna tell me no, and that’s when I held out my pennies to him. I laid them in his hand. He cut off the cloth, stained and woven with black hair, and handed it over to me.” Ms. Lewis rose from her chair and slowly paced back and forth on the creaky porch, fanning herself. April was sure her own confusion and lack of professional detachment was due to a combination of the heat and the fact that Edith reminded her of her own grandmother. She had to admit she liked the old lady, but her decision had to be based on fact. Nursing homes weren’t so bad, she told herself. Sometimes it was what had to be done; she’d faced that decision when her grandmother could no longer care for herself. It was good enough for her. Ms. Lewis looked at Edith whose cloudy blue eyes stared steadily out at the hayfield. The old woman’s silver hair was tied in a neat bun on top of her head. Her clothes were clean and patched where needed. “Me and Alda, we’re a lot alike. What was left of her was mixed in with that piece of cloth, that’s true. But some of her, she’s right here in me and in those birds flyin’ yonder, in those clouds dottin’ the sky.” April stopped her pacing and sat down in the iron glider closest to the old woman. Edith took April’s hand in hers, squeezing it as if to milk understanding from its flesh. “The old woman you see sitting here, she ain’t all here, either. Parts of me is everywhere, in Little Mountain, where I was born, in Mt. Holly, where I growed up, and in my son, and my grandchildren. I’m just as mixed in with this old home place as poor Alda was in that cloth. That’s what living is, giving part of yourself. When you ain’t got nothing left, then the good Lord brings you on home to Him.”
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April’s mind hummed faster than the frantic drone of bumblebees, who haphazardly dashed from one yellowbell bloom to the next on a bush next to the porch. Like the bees, April Lewis’ mind flitted from one thought to the next. Who’d been there to hear her Granny’s stories? What gifts died with her, ungiven. It’s too late. “I still got a bit left to give, Ms. Lewis, just a bit,” Edith said, reaching out to remove the hair-woven cloth from the table beside her. She folded it and placed it gently into April’s lap. “So you’ll remember,” Edith explained, patting April’s knee before pushing herself up from her chair and retreating through the screen door into the farmhouse. April Lewis scooped the tattered cloth from her lap and reclaimed her clipboard from the glider. Slowly, she walked down the stone steps of the porch, out onto the thick carpet of grass, and back to her car. The bumblebees droned on, filling the afternoon air with their patience and purpose. Scattered quail sighed “bob-white” in a call-and-response song, chanting their prayers like Gregorian monks. The late afternoon breeze, ponderous and lazy, seeped through the hickory tree leaves, and squirrels nibbled at pecans held firmly between their tiny paws, their tails twitching in the wind. April saw it all, standing beside her car with Edith’s cloth clutched in one hand against her chest and the other hand frozen in the process of opening the driver’s -side door. Her mind seemed mired in the serenity of birdsong, the languid stillness of each flower bloom. Her world of blaring alarms clocks, ringing telephones and beeping car horns seemed an illusion, a cruel joke she’d played on herself. In those moments, as she stood beside her car, her proudest and best accomplishments — her career, her house, her investment portfolio — felt trivial and temporal. She felt somehow she had mastered the ways of the world, but had missed the lessons of life. Yanking the handle, April pulled open the car door and slipped inside. She slipped the key into the ignition and revved the motor to life. The smell of the leather seats and the noise of the radio loosened the numbing grip Edith had on her mind. The steady hum of her car and the crunch of rocks under her tires as she pulled away blocked out the symphony of sound chasing her from the old lady’s yard. Unlike the sounds, she knew nothing, not distance or noise, could remove the stillness that had seeped into her heart, just as nothing could make her remove Ms. Helderman from her home.
he fears came in the autumn of my son’s second year. He was playing happily in the driveway when a strong, steady breeze began to blow. The dry, rust-colored oak leaves scraped along the concrete in his general direction. Taylor screamed and made a desperate dash for the porch, leaves swirling around his scrambling feet and crunching menacingly beneath his every step.
closer to her and was transformed into a wet and whirling cyclone of paranoia. Yet, just a few hours earlier, I had barely grabbed her by the life jacket before she’d gleefully jumped off our neighbor’s ski boat into Lake Lanier. When we visited Sea World, Madeleine had great fun petting the stingrays and leaning precariously over the dolphin
I managed to save him from harm that time, but he refused to walk outside until there were no more “scary” leaves. Taylor had always been a sensitive and easily startled baby, although his previous fears were generally of the garden variety – strangers, dogs, leaf blowers. Since this fear was in keeping with his personality, I took the “leaf thing” in stride and toted him until January.
One evening, while gathering pajamas before removing Taylor and Madeleine from the tub, I overheard the following conversation concerning a bit of sock lint floating in the bath water: Madeleine (nervously): Would you get that, Taylor? Taylor: What? This little black thing? Madeleine (with a quavering giggle): Yeah. Taylor (patronizingly): He’s not alive, Madeleine. With her 3-year-old brother’s somewhat alarming pronoun still ringing in her ears, Madeleine watched the deadly lint swirl
The crowning touch of madness transpired when Madeleine discovered her brother’s Etch-A-Sketch. Perched on her bed with the mysterious toy in her lap, Madeleine maneuvered the knobs and watched as the “magic” line snaked its way toward her, closer and closer until, with an unearthly shriek, she flung it violently across the room. Just when I had resigned myself to having a daughter who would surely spend the greater part of her adult life in therapy, the fears moved on – packing up and leaving as suddenly and inexplicably as they’d arrived.
Fifteen months later, along came Madeleine. Utterly fearless from birth, Taylor’s baby sister took on the world like a toothless superhero – until she was confronted with the kryptonite of her second year. Popping up in unpredictable places within her still-bold psyche, Madeleine’s fears made for a year-long roller coaster ride of total inconsistency. The first sign of what was to come was Madeleine’s sudden aversion to anything fluffy or feathery, particularly if it was blowing across the floor. When we stayed for three days with a friend in Buffalo who had a molting parakeet, I truly thought we’d have to sedate her. But that was just the beginning.
foyer or kitchen because the stone tile floor paralyzed her with fear.
The author's daughter, Madeleine pool. Pressing her face against the glass, inches away from toothy 8-foot sharks, she mocked death itself. Madeleine bestowed enraptured embraces on the towering theme park characters as they strolled past. Yet, for the entire week at the condominium, she emphatically refused to walk into the
These days my children have had to deal with more mature and “real” fears. Taylor and Maddie are now 17 and 16, respectively, and have had to deal with divorce, uprooting, the challenges of a blended family, and an increasingly complicated world. I wish I’d realized during those frustrating, and sometimes embarrassing, moments of toddler terror, just how sweet those times of total innocence would seem to me later, when my children would begin to discover that there are things in this world that scare even Mom and Dad. Today I’m proud of my now six children as they develop and learn to use their inner resources of strength. Nowadays, though they know I’m always here to “tote” them, they rely on me less to shield them from the leaves, feathers, and fluff of life that blow their way.