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YOGA If CrossFit seems a bit too intense for your fitness needs, Ember Yoga offers a variety of traditional and hot yoga classes that will benefit both the body and mind. “Yoga is the unity of the body and mind,” said Jenny Lair, an employee of Ember Yoga who has practiced the discipline for five years. “It is one size fits all. No matter your age or injuries, it is beneficial to everyone.” Yoga offers a more relaxing, but equally challenging alternative to a regular gym workout. Through various poses that test our flexibility and balance, the practice also engages your awareness and concentration. “The focus is always on the breath,” Lair said. “It becomes meditative when you’re doing poses and it takes you out of your head and puts you in your body.” Ember Yoga, located in Woodstock on Main Street, has two studios, locker rooms and a boutique. Classes are offered every day and range in length from 60 to 90 minutes, and a variety of styles are scheduled including Pilates and hot sequence. The hot sequence class, which works through 26 postures twice in 60 minutes, is led in a heated room at a temperature of 105 degrees and a humidity of 40 percent that allows the muscles to stretch while practicing.

“Eight out of 10 people find that after a few classes, they are addicted to the heat,” said instructor Cleveland Willis, who has been teaching yoga for 12 years. Both Lair and Willis said that those looking to begin yoga are often intimidated by others in the room, and many think it is a practice only for skinny and fit people. “Don’t assume it’s all about pretty people,” Willis said. “There is no such thing as perfect yoga. It is all about progression.” Lair said she first began yoga to lose weight and become more active without lifting weights. After losing weight with the hot sequence, she began to find other parts of the practice that she loved. “It grew into something much more than a workout,” she said. “Physically it is a challenge, but mentally it is a much bigger challenge. Everyone is in a different place and everyone’s first day is always awkward … but don’t be nervous. It’s your practice. It’s not a competition.” An unlimited membership at Ember Yoga is $119 per month, and they have an introductory special of $49 for the first 30 days for unlimited classes. The studio also offers five, 10, 20 and 50 class cards at various prices along with a one-month and threemonth unlimited membership. Single class drop-ins are $30, and community classes, for which a $10 donation is recommended, are offered several times per week.

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The one-hour classes are led by a motivational and energetic trainer that keeps you accountable and pushes you to the limit. “You are getting a personal trainer and a great workout in 60 minutes,” said head trainer Vanessa Vossler, who has been with Orange Theory for two and a half years. “This is more than you would ever get going to a gym by yourself.” Backed by the science of Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, Orange Theory monitors your heart rate during classes to show results and stimulate metabolism. Different heart rates are broken down into colored zones — gray, blue, green, orange and red, which correlate to the amount of calories burned. The green zone is the prime calorie burning zone, and classes are designed to keep your heart rate in the green for 20 to 30 minutes. The orange and red zone are the after-effect zones. After a workout, your body continues to burn calories for at least 24 hours, and by keeping your heart rate in the red and orange zones for 10 to 20 minutes of a workout, you ensure that your body will benefit from your efforts long after you’ve gone home. In class, participants’ heart rates are displayed on a screen with their name, so they are able to keep track of how they are doing, and a progress report is sent by email after every workout. Classes are broken up into three segments: treadmills, rowing machines and the weight room. Different routines at each station keep you engaged and moving, and the trainer pushes you to work through the base, push and max out levels. “You never get the same workout twice,” Vossler said. “We coach based on perceived exertion. Base level is where you are moving comfortably and could carry on a conversation. Push level is more uncomfortable, maybe 3 to 5 words, and max level is full out. You give everything you’ve got and empty the tank.” Orange Theory offers classes five days a week, and the same classes are offered at every studio all over the country. The three programs of endurance, strength and power rotate daily. “It’s for every level, from athlete to beginner,” Vossler said. “It is functional training for daily life. It’s the best

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Left, yoga instructor Cleveland Willis at Ember Yoga. Below, Orange Theory participants run on treadmills during a class.

Ember Yoga 330 Chambers St., Woodstock (770) 485-5583

Orange Theory Fitness 200 Parkbrooke Drive, Woodstock (770) 833-4550

program I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen the most results of people here than anywhere else.” For those interested, Orange Theory offers the first class free, and three different levels of memberships, which can be used at any Orange Theory Fitness location.

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January/February 2017 | Cherokee Life

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of Canton

& Clements Kurt Sutton bows out of Mark Twain role after decades with a final performance in his adopted hometown By Kayla Elder Photography by Kathryn Ingall

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ringing history to life for more than 20 years, one nationally acclaimed man is saying farewell by putting on his white suit once more and gracing the local stage with a show that delights every age. Kurt Sutton, 72, will bring to life Samuel Clemens’ Mark Twain for the last time at Canton Theatre on Jan. 14 with his popular show, “An Evening with Mark Twain.” “It is a good way to go out,” he said. “One of the reasons I picked Canton Theatre for the farewell performance…Canton Theatre was one of the first places I played. I wasn’t as good as I am now, I was shaky. Canton Theatre played a major influence in my early years and it is only


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fitting that I close out my Mark Twain career there.” Sutton said he has a “love and appreciation for Canton’s people” and the farewell show is to “honor them.” Though a German native born in a bomb shelter at the end of World War II in September 1944, Sutton calls Cherokee County his hometown. He emigrated with his family from Mannheim, Germany, to Chicago in 1950. “It really wasn’t that much of a change for me because Chicago had sections: Italian, German and Polish…we lived in the German section and when I came over I didn’t speak English but it didn’t matter because everybody was German,” Sutton said remembering when he was 6 years old. He has always been a performer due to his childhood. “To stay alive, I was a performer and outgoing,” he added. “When I look back, everything I have done…I have never really worked for anybody, I have worked for myself by creating companies and it all had to do with being in front of people.” He grew up in Canton and graduated from Reinhardt University, the University of Georgia in 1968 and received his master’s of arts in education from Western Carolina University. “What really shocked me was when I moved from Chicago to Ball Ground. I learned English in three months. From Ball Ground we moved to Macedonia,” he said. “Then I went to Western Carolina University, graduated from there and came back to Canton and lived in the city. I taught at Canton Elementary School and Woodstock High School.” Sutton boasts an illustrious career of teacher, musician, business speaker and stage connoisseur. “I was in a band for seven years and we toured the United States. We opened shows for Waylon Jennings and Barbara Mandrell, so I was used to being on stage and in front of pretty big audiences. We were a working band, Top 40,” he said. He was a history teacher for six years and taught at Western Carolina University. “I came back and taught at Sprayberry High School as a coach. I have a long history with this area. I was in front of people coaching and playing music when I wasn’t coaching. Then I started my own business,” Sutton said. “I was a speaker and I spoke all over the country, motivational and practical application of behavioral science, so again I was up in front of people.” He then decided to take the stage as the well-known Mark Twain 12 years ago. “When I decided it was time to do Mark Twain, it wasn’t a big jump for me. It was just different material, personality and approach. I feel more comfortable on stage in front of 2,000 than I do in personal discussions,” he said. During his time as Mark Twain, he also appeared in the movies, “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” featuring Paul Winfield, and “Night Shadows” featuring Wings Hauser. “Whatever he does, he does it really well. Always has,” said Kurt’s wife, Linda Sutton, producer and director of the tour. “Everything he has done, he has done it with enthusiasm and care.” “An Evening with Mark Twain” gives the audience a look at the man and the myth, by having Mark Twain and Samuel Clemens on stage at the same time, portrayed by none other than Sutton himself. “I became interested in Samuel Clemens, not Mark Twain. I started looking into his life, but Samuel Clemens was a Renaissance man. He could do a little bit of everything; he was a writer, printer, miner, riverboat pilot back when that was like being an astronaut, inventor, investor, you name it, he did it. I like that, that’s my kind of man,” Sutton said. After telling his wife he would portray Mark Twain in the future

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because he related to him, she bought him a white suit that stood hanging in his closet for 20 years until it came to fruition. “When I got ready, I got the suit out, wrote a two-act play which I do now in one-act sometimes,” he said. He was inspired by Hal Holbrook and Mark Twain, who made historical figures into famous one-man shows. “When I started I didn’t have a problem getting a hold of theaters all over the country and I was used to traveling. Linda and I bought a mobile home and traveled the United States,” he said. “The way I paid for it was by doing shows. I have played large theaters and small theaters like Canton Theatre, which is home.” The show is an intriguing approach to this American literary icon featuring tall tales, stories and music with dramatic pieces out of Twain’s most famous books, “Huckleberry Finn,” “Tom Sawyer” and “Roughing It.” Sutton also presents the audience with the opportunity for participation in the singing and music of Clemens’ time period, while enjoying Twain’s hilarious tall tales and witty humor. He uses his musical talents to play harmonica, guitar and banjo.

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12/14/2016 3:59:26 PM



Winter Blues Hues I


wrote a column roughly a dozen years ago about how much I disliked winter. Needless to say, it wasn’t the type of column to spur gracious emails, kind phone calls or heartfelt letters. I suppose for those who do like winter, it was an easy stab at a ready-made target and for those who dislike winter it was a statement of the obvious. Since then, I’ve worked to refocus and recalibrate my thoughts on winter. The bottom line is, it is here. We’re living in it and unless you possess unlimited funds to escape south for three months, we all have to cope with the sullen skies, faded grass and short, sun-dulled days. So, instead of sinking into the seasonal mire, here are a few thoughts on the things I have learned to love and embrace about the season. 1. Sunsets: Poets and paupers alike can wax lyrically about a sunset over an ocean, but if you truly want to see the best sunsets, winter in The South is the prime setting. The air is crisp and clear and visibility is not hampered by humidity. The trees are naked, their limbs stripped bare providing a larger vista of the sky. And there is something as well that I can’t put my finger on – perhaps something in the clouds or angle of the sun striking the planet this time of year – that produces some dramatic closes to the end of every day. Summer evenings may trump winter with its long, languid never-ending dusk, but as far as short beautiful burst, winter is the champ. 2.Lunchtime strolls: If you see a large, strange man wearing a tie, hat and tennis shoes tramping through one of Cobb’s parks at lunch, it is probably me. I relish a winter walk at lunch. A walk is good for stress, to clear the mind, for health and – as with this column – for creating new ideas for the magazine. As much as I


enjoy stretching my legs for a bit mid-day in the open air, it is not a practice one can engage in year-round. The brutal humidity of spring or summer doesn’t provide a conducive setting for such activities and one is generally confined to the gym or the desk. But winter afternoons are great for getting out. Bundle up. Get the blood flowing. And, yeah, that rarity called sunshine doesn’t hurt the serotonin level either. 3.A book, a fire and a cat: My wife gives me a hard time on occasion as many things I said I would never do in life, I now do. I said I would never get married, never own a house, never have kids, own a pet and so forth. Now, I find few things as sublime in life as sitting on the couch in front of a fire, a cat on my lap, a son at my side and a book in my hand. And, of course, there is one time you can really do that: Winter. 4.Yard projects: Ah, the grass and shrubs are in hibernation. The leaves have hopefully been all raked and are disintegrating into a wonderful mulch for the spring. Now is the time to do that fancy pruning or build a rock wall. Or, if you desire, to simply look at the yard and give thanks that you aren’t out in the heat working in it. The last few years I lean toward the latter though I hope to correct that this January with a handful of projects that are overdue. 5. Soups and stews: My talents in the kitchen continue to decimate each year the longer I am married. However, I can still whip up a great stew or batch of soup. If my wife bakes some homemade bread, matching the two together is a sublime way to wrap up a cold day outdoors. Summers are prime time for the grill, but you can’t beat a hearty stew in the winter. Stews are also great for leftovers and giving mama a night off from the kitchen.

Here’s to wishing you the best this season.

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Compiled and photographed by Cherokee Life staff

Best Golf Course BridgeMill 1190 Bridge Mill Ave., Canton 770-345-5500

Best Place to Spend the Day with Kids Paper. Scissors. Cake 6687 Bells Ferry Road, Woodstock (404) 867-1630 Paper.Scissors.Cake opened in August 2013 in Woodstock and immediately became a favorite for many families with children in Cherokee County. Owner Adria Smith opened the modern, yet cozy art studio as a comfortable place to inspire children of all ages, even adults. “I want this to mimic a home environment so that the children can feel free to express themselves,” Smith said describing her studio as a place for everyone to “learn, craft, shop and party.” Before walking through the doors of Paper.Scissors.Cake, a registered Little Free Library can be found for families to bring a book, take a book. Once inside, children will be dazzled by the endless supplies to choose from at the Art Bar including wooden pieces cut specifically for Paper.Scissors.Cake, canvases, clay and ceramics to decorate with beads, jewels, glitter and buttons. There is something for every age at Paper.Scissors.Cake including washable, nontoxic paint for children as young as 18 months and chalk paints for adults. “Our wooden pieces are extremely popular because the kids can paint and decorate them. They like these pieces because they are like home decor; parents can take it home and hang it up in bedrooms,” Smith said. “People often tell us that the artwork done here is frame-worthy.” The facility offers an open studio, art classes, hosts birthday parties, ladies nights monthly, summer camps and provides a shopping experience for art supplies, as the business is a retailer of Melissa & Doug arts and crafts supplies and Seedling products.

Cherokee County’s golfing enthusiasts don’t need to travel far when looking to play 18 holes on one of the state’s nicest courses. The rolling hills and immaculate greens of BridgeMill’s par-72 course have been a staple of the local golfing community since the late ’90s and has been voted the best place to play golf in the county. The course opened in 1998 with the help of legendary course designer Desmond Muirhead, and the semi-private club boasts more than 260 members. Most of them have been around since the very beginning, Director of Golf Jon Hough says. “There’s a great history of folks who have seen the club develop through the years,” Hough said. “But the course is in such great condition we get a lot of the public players who call this home even though they aren’t members.” Pros at the shop say the greens are the best they’ve ever been and because the course is so well-maintained, BridgeMill continuously draws golfers from all over the metro Atlanta area. “It’s in outstanding condition and the locals say the course is the best it’s ever been,” Hough said. In terms of conditioning, BridgeMill has put a lot of work into their course over the last year, re-sodding huge areas of fairway and rebuilding all of its sand bunkers. While many courses struggled this year with the heat of the summer and the ongoing drought, BridgeMill’s bent grass greens remain impeccable. Members get first dibs on tee times, but the course is open to the public and those looking to play a round can schedule a time a week in advance. Lessons are available for golfers of all skill levels and the pro shop is open each day from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.


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Best Breakfast J. Christopher’s 315 Chambers St., Woodstock, 30188 770-592-5990 With eggs, bacon and pancakes on the menu, it’s hard not to find something to enjoy for breakfast or brunch at J. Christopher’s. The Woodstock location, right in the heart of downtown, features a bright and colorful postcard on its wall outside, an inviting welcome to an equally bright dining room. With windows overlooking Main Street and a model train clacking by overhead, the warm atmosphere at J. Christopher’s is a great way to start a morning. “We try hard to make sure that every guest has a great experience,” said manager Abby Lane. Open for breakfast and lunch, the menu offers a variety of traditional favorites and “food with flair,” as well as healthy options for those looking to start their day on the right foot. A customer favorite, according to Lane, is the Blueberry Crunchcakes, which features a stack of blueberry pancakes “fortified with crunchy granola.” For a more protein-filled breakfast, the San Bernardino omelet with chicken, avocado, Pico de Gallo and cheddar and jack cheeses offers a satisfying option. J. Christopher’s skillets also provide a unique and quirky choice, as eggs, various vegetables and cheeses are mixed together with potatoes in a heavy, cast-iron skillet. Lunch at the restaurant delivers a number of light and heavier options including Santa Fe Black Bean soup, Waldorf salad and a patty melt. Sandwiches and quesadillas are also available for lunch, and as the seasons change J. Christopher’s specials change with it. Be sure to look out for the Gingerbread Waffles and Egg Nog Cappuccinos.

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Best Fine Dining Century House Tavern 125 East Main Street, Woodstock 770-693-4552 Tucked in a century old house in downtown Woodstock, Century House Tavern was voted Best Fine Dining in the county for the third year in a row. With innovative and mouth-watering menu options, the cozy and vibrant atmosphere sets the table for a unique and delicious dining experience. “What makes us unique is that we use fresh local ingredients and it truly makes the difference in flavor and appearance,” said head chef Daniel Porubiansky. Porubiansky has been at Century House since 2013 after leaving a prestigious restaurant group in Atlanta. He has won numerous AAA Diamonds and Michelin Stars and has brought his talent and experience to Woodstock. “The opportunity to be a partner and to have my own restaurant brought me to Woodstock,” he said. “The bonus is that I live here. Everybody talks local and what could be more local than in your back-


yard?” The restaurant prides itself on using fresh ingredients from local farms, and Porubiansky is thankful for their relationship, saying “we can’t achieve what we do without the farmers and their beautiful produce.” Among the customer favorites are the seared sea scallops with a summer succotash of sweet Georgia corn, okra tomato and field peas. The Jack & Coke glazed pork belly with smoked and braised bacon with Buckeye Creek Farm Heirloom grits is another much loved choice on the menu as well. In addition to fine dining, Century House also offers a number of specialty cocktails and local craft beers including Reformation Brewery and Red Hare. With quaint outdoor seating and welcoming interior, Century House Tavern is a great place to give your taste buds a truly local and delectable experience. “We are very thankful for the continued support from our local patron of Cherokee County and we look forward to many more years of cooking fresh local food for Cherokee County,” said Porubiansky.

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Best Festival Riverfest 1200 Marietta Highway, Boling Park A perennial favorite for the 32 years since it began, it is no surprise that the Riverfest Arts & Crafts Festival won the honor of best festival in Cherokee County for 2016. Each year the festival sponsored by the Service League of Cherokee County draws crowds of more than 25,000 to the banks of the Etowah River to browse some of the best works by artists and craftspeople in the Southeast. All money raised from the festival goes to help children in need and last year brought in about $90,000 to fund the organization’s projects. Last year’s Riverfest Chairwoman Kim Fowler said the league created the fall festival more than three decades ago as a way to raise funds for the children in Cherokee County whose families were facing hardships. “There are many reasons why Riverfest is our community’s most popular event ... the gathering of some of the Southeast’s finest artists and crafters, the entertainment from local talent, the rides and games for children, the delicious festival food,” she said. “But the most important reason is the needy children who benefit from every dollar we raise at Riverfest and the better lives they will live because of our guests’ generosity.” In 2016, more than 1,300 children were assisted with basic necessities such as food, clothing, eyeglasses, dental or medical care, utilities and rental assistance through the league’s case work and special needs referral program. In addition to funding needed projects, the festival offers a wonderful fall event for the entire family. Riverfest showcases more than 200 arts and crafts vendors, concessionaires and family entertainers each year. The popular children’s area is another big draw for the crowds who flock from all across the metro area. Riverfest is held the fourth weekend in September each year. January/February 2017 | Cherokee Life

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Best Barbecue J.D.’s Bar-B-Que 6557 Bells Ferry Road, Woodstock 678-445-7730


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Cherokee has a new favorite spot for smoky, mouthwatering barbecue and it’s located on the south side of the county. Pitmaster Chip “J.D.” Allen, pictured above, rolls out of bed early each morning and wastes no time getting started. He’s been slow-cooking delicious pork, chicken and brisket his entire life, but decided to make a living doing what he loved 17 years ago when he opened J.D.’s Bar-B-Que along Bells Ferry Road. He found a barbecue stand for sale in September 1999 and decided to leave his construction job and spend his days smoking tender meats for his patrons. “I saw it was for sale on a Wednesday, met the man on Thursday, quit my job on Friday and started barbecuing that weekend,” Allen recalled. Since then, J.D.’s has developed a loyal following that swears up and down their barbecue is the best in the entire Southeast. The food is so good, in fact, that Allen opened a second location in downtown Acworth in 2011. What started out as just him and one other person has expanded to 52 employees at the two locations. The secret to making good barbecue, he says, is using the right wood. J.D.’s refuses to use charcoal or gas and slow-cooks their barbecue each morning using a combination of hickory and oak chips. “It take a little longer, but using 100 percent wood makes a huge difference in the flavor and the taste,” Allen said. “The customers know what they like and they’ve been coming back for 17 years now.” In addition to traditional barbecue, J.D.’s offers ribs, sandwiches, burgers and a plethora of tasty appetizers. Can’t decide whether to start off with fried pickles, jalapeno poppers or fried green tomatoes? Order the sampler and try all three. They have all the usual fixings needed to make a southern meal complete, including smoky baked beans, coleslaw, southern fried okra, hot Brunswick stew, and spicy collards. The Woodstock location is open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. and 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Sundays. The full menu and catering options are available on the company’s website at

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Best Burger Burger Bus 288 Gilmer Ferry Road, Ball Ground 678-454-2422 What better way to enjoy a delicious Black Angus burger than sitting with family and friends inside a historic and iconic 1948 trolley bus at the Burger Bus in Ball Ground, home of the best burger in Cherokee County. All of Burger Bus’s burgers are created in-house with the freshest ingredients by way of owner and head chef Dylan Brown. Since opening its doors in November 2015, Burger Bus has created a place where people from around the U.S. can come and enjoy a historic burger. “When we decided to open in the small town of Ball Ground we heard from many folks who thought we were crazy to open a place in such a small rural town,” Brown said. “My father and I had a vision, though, and we agreed that it was the right place for us.”

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Brown said all of his burgers are made with “fresh never frozen” Black Angus with no steroids or hormones. “We also mix our beef with brisket and bacon, and that takes it over the top,” he said. One of Brown’s most delicious and authentic creations is the fried green jacket, which consists of a Georgia staple: fried green tomatoes and homemade pimento cheese with a homemade Wasabi ranch sauce. Another local favorite is the dads on death row burger, which is in a nutshell breakfast on a burger, with fried grits, a fried egg, bacon, cheddar and maple syrup. If you don’t mind a few more calories, then the chili cheese tots supreme is worth a try with crispy tater tots, homemade chili, cheese, jalapenos and onions. Brown said his team and the Ball Ground community are the main reasons why the bus has been so successful. “I have the greatest staff I could possibly ask for and I love the fact that the folks who work for me have bought into my idea of great quality product and even better customer service,” he said. “We make that our No. 1 goal daily.”

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Owner of Spirited Boutique, Spirit “Lala” Bush and her husband Ed Bush.

Best Boutique Spirited 8670 Main Street, Suite 2, Woodstock 678-214-5304 For a unique and exceptional shopping experience, look no further than this year’s Best Boutique, Spirited. Located on Main Street in downtown Woodstock, the boutique focuses on art and creation. “The whole store was designed to be a creative experience,” said owner Spirit Lala Bush. “When you come in, it’s a sensory adventure. The displays and the vibe is equally as important as the products were selling.” With branches hanging from the walls and artistic finds in every corner, shoppers at Spirited will feel like they’ve been transported. Offering a variety of women’s clothing and accessories, the “boho chic” boutique allows shoppers to find the whole package. “Yes you can get unique and beautiful clothes, but we put an emphasis on the accessories,” Bush said. “The whole picture is important. It’s not just the top or dress – it’s the whole outfit.” Bush is an artist, and has been creating her own jewelry line for more than 20 years. She and her husband Ed, who combined their names to create the name of the store, take pride in the artists that they feature in the store. “We make a lot of the jewelry ourselves,” she said. “We have a lot of other amazing artists that are either local or in the U.S.” In addition to accessories, Spirited features shirts, sweaters, jeans, dresses and intimate apparel as well as quality purses and jackets, with prices starting at $40. For special finds at the right price, shoppers at Spirited will leave with a complete outfit that will be sure to turn heads.


Cherokee Life | January/February 2017

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12/15/2016 10:32:59 AM

Owner Venessa Lanier, top left, at the spa and salon.

Best Salon and Spa Salon and Spa Venessa 8516 Main St., Woodstock 770-591-2079 Nestled in lively downtown Woodstock, Salon and Spa Venessa stands tall on Main Street in a historic home that has retained its grandeur for more than 100 years to offer an oasis of beauty and wellness. Owners Venessa Lanier and Ivey Lanier have merged high

tech services with the ambience of the building and worked to preserve its ambiance and integrity. They moved their business into the Johnston building in 2001. “Our point of difference is customized services for each guest, using plantbased sustainable products,” Lanier said. “We provide an oasis of beauty and wellness for every guest that walks through our historic doors.” From a fresh cut and color in the salon to the tranquil ambiance of their aroma-infused spa, the professional team will rejuvenate and renew you to a balanced state your body needs. The colorists use Aveda Full Spectrum color, which is 99 percent naturally-derived and Davines Mask hair color with Vibrachrom, which combines the best properties of nature using quinoa protein extracts. From a moment of stress relief for head and shoulders, to sharing a consultation and then finishing with a make-up touchup, you can experience a spa experience in the salon with every visit. Every spa experience begins with a consultation to identify a customized personal treatment, which includes aromatherapy and wellness techniques that will bring balance back to your body and senses. The spa uses Aveda products, which produces clinical results and provides sensory relaxation, increasing overall wellness and beauty. “We want everyone to feel like they have stepped into an experience,” Lanier said. Find out for yourself what so many Cherokee Life readers already know: Salon and Spa Venessa is the place to look good and be pampered in Cherokee. January/February 2017 | Cherokee Life

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12/14/2016 11:51:08 AM

Judy and Doug Key offer numerous gift options in their store Keys Jewelry in Canton.

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Best Jewelry Store Key’s Jewelry Store 230 E. Main St., Canton 770-479-4834 A family-owned shop that has been in business in historic downtown Canton for 65 years, Key’s Jewelry Store is the place to go for special occasions, engagement rings, watches and gifts for generations of shoppers in Cherokee County. The Key family has operated the business longer than any other in downtown Canton and it is the oldest jewelry store in Cherokee County. The third generation of the family to own the store is helping customers find the perfect piece of jewelry, big or small. “We couldn’t survive without our loyal customers, and thankfully we are seeing third generation customers coming in, as well as new people. We have about 10 to 20 new customers each week,” said Doug Key, who along with his wife, Judy, owns the store. Doug Key said they did a renovation when they purchased the store from his parents in 1998, but that it was time for a fresh look. The jewelry store offers brands such as Carla, Benchmark, Endless, Michou and Lafonn Everlasting Desire. Judy Key said the store has great deals on wedding bands and diamond earrings. However, she does have a favorite designer. “I love all of the Galatea pieces,” she said. “They are not outrageously priced and they’re beautiful pieces of jewelry. Judy Key also noted the Galatea’s line of carved pearls is a popular choice among customers. The collection features rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings featuring pearls that have some of the finish carved away and designs embedded into each pearl. Another popular line featured at the local store is Rego, which for nearly 40 years has strived to achieve the perfection that every customer demands in the quality of fine rings, earrings, pendants and bracelets.

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Tony and Toni Tortoric, the husband and wife team behind Cupcakelicious, offer many cupcakes and chocolates designed for Valentine’s Day

Best Dessert Cupcakelicious 8654 Main Street, Woodstock 678-741-7183 The sweet, sugary smells wafting outside of this year’s Best Dessert bakery will draw customers through the door, and if the smells don’t have you sold, the cupcake display certainly will. With eight regular flavors and four flavors that change each day, there’s always a delicious sweet treat waiting to be devoured at Cupcakelicious. “All of us at Cupcakelicious are truly humbled to be voted Best Dessert in Woodstock,” said owners Toni and Tony Tortorici. “We strive every day to serve the best desserts and sweet snacks and provide the best service in town because our customers deserve nothing less.” Birthday cake, double chocolate, Oreo and red velvet are some of the flavors offered every day and gluten free cupcakes are also available daily. Each cupcake is made fresh daily from scratch with the finest ingre dients, allowing the cupcakery to offer high-quality desserts to their customers. In addition to cupcakes, Cupcakelicious also offers King of Pops popsicles, specialty blend coffee, hand-made Belgian-quality chocolates, cake balls, 18 flavors of Greenwood ice cream and Macaron Queen’s famous macarons. Jelly Bell Jelly Beans, Hammond’s classic lollipops, and Great Northern popcorn and cinnamon-roasted nuts are also sold. The shop also specializes in custom cakes and cupcakes for any occasion, including weddings. “We love making custom cakes, helping our customers celebrate the holidays and other special occasions of their lives,” the Tortorici’s said. Locally owned and locally based, the gourmet bakery is in a former grocery store that dates back to about 1900. With its bright teal exterior, and cozy, sweet interior, Cupcakelicious is a perfect stop in downtown Woodstock for a sugary snack.

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January/February 2017 | Cherokee Life


12/15/2016 8:38:51 AM



The iThink Improv Troupe presents “Whose Line is it, Woodstock?” at the Elm Street Cultural Arts Center from Jan. 20 – Jan. 27. Similar to the iconic television show, “Whose Line is it Anyway?,” the troupe will take you on a journey through crazy games and improv their way to the end of the show. This unscripted show is never the same twice as our fearless cast creates hilarious scenes based on audience suggestions. The show is rated PG. Tickets are $12 per person online and $15 at the door. Elm Street Cultural Arts Center is at 8534 Main St. More information:



The School of Performing Arts Faculty Recital will be held Feb. 12 at 3 p.m. at the Falany Performing Arts Center at Reinhardt University, 7300 Reinhardt College Pkwy. in Waleska. Every semester, the School of Performing Arts showcasFEBRUARY 9 FEBRUARY 17, 18 & 19 es its talented faculty during these JOB FAIR HAMLET Sunday afternoon concerts. The The Chattahoochee Reinhardt University Theatre will present “Hamlet” on Feb. School of Performing Arts faculty Technical College’s 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb 19 at 3 p.m. at the Falany are not only highly qualified inNorth Metro CamPerforming Arts Center, 7300 Reinhardt College Pkwy. in structors, but also skilled musicians pus will host a mini Waleska. It is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare who perform locally, nationally and job fair on Feb. 9 from noon to 2 p.m. at an uncertain date between 1599 and 1602. Set in the internationally. A variety of styles This event is open to Kingdom of Denmark, the play dramatizes the revenge from Baroque through Broadway the public. The cam- Prince Hamlet is called to wreak upon his uncle, Claudius, are performed by the outstanding by the ghost of Hamlet’s father, King Hamlet. Claudius had pus is at 5198 Ross murdered his own brother and seized the throne, also mar- music faculty on various instruments Road in Acworth. More info: www. rying his deceased brother’s widow. Tickets cost $12.50 per and through song. The event is free and open to the public. chattahoocheetech. person. More info: edu More info:


Cherokee Life | January/February 2017

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12/15/2016 8:41:40 AM

FEBRUARY 10-12, 17-19


The Elm Street Cultural Arts Center will present “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” on Feb. 10 through Feb. 12, and Feb. 17 through Feb. 19. The Neil Simon play takes a behind-the-scenes look at the fun-filled and wacky insanity of the writer’s room during the early days of live television. With a plot based on actual people and events, the result is not only stranger, but also funnier than fiction. Performances will be at 7: 30 p.m. on Feb. 10, 11, 17 and 18 and at 2 p.m. on Feb. 12 and 19. Tickets are $13.50 per person. Elm Street Cultural Arts Center is located at 8534 Main Street. More information:

Stand-up comedians and comedic troupes from the area will compete for your laughter at Elm Street Cultural Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 28. The comedic competition is a sure-fire way to beat the mid-winter blues. The show is rated PG. Tickets are $10 per person online and $15 at the door. Elm Street Cultural Arts Center is at 8534 Main St. More information:





Starting now until Jan. 15, Christmas trees can be brought to Olde Rope Mill Park where they will be fed into a wood chipper. No flocked or decorated trees are allowed, as they poison the waterways. Trees can be brought from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The following week, residents can bring a shovel during park hours to “dip” into the free mulch. On Jan. 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., during the Bring One for the Chipper Event, sponsored by the Keep Georgia Beautiful campaign and the city of Woodstock Stormwater Department, free tree seedlings will be offered along with coffee and donuts. Olde Rope Mill Park is at 690 Olde Rope Mill Park Road. | More information: 770-592-6000

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Handsome Little Devils Productions will present “Squirm Burpee” at the Falany Performing Arts Center at Reinhardt University, 7300 Reinhardt College Parkway in Waleska, on Jan. 29 at 3 p.m. They specialize in original, American comedy and storytelling, with an emphasis in Vaudeville-style routines and visually stimulating contraptions incorporated into gorgeous production design. HLD Productions began with two brothers busking on the streets of Fort Collins, Colorado. In 2010, the company made its off-Broadway debut at the New Victory Theater with a production of The Squirm Burpee Circus, a one-of-a-kind, Vaudeville Nouveau-meets-classic melodrama, Tim Burtonmeets-Wile E. Coyote, all-American, one-quarter European, contraption-riddled, character-driven, risk-taking, expectation-breaking, circus-infused, standing-ovation-inducing, theatrical extravaganza. Tickets cost $35 to $40 for adults, $30 to $35 for seniors and $10 to $15 for children. More info:


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12/14/2016 11:19:21 AM








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7 BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB ROAST. The Cherokee County Malon D. Mimms Boys and Girls Club held its 13th annual fundraising roast Oct. 20. The highly successful event drew a large audience to hear Punchline Comedy Club owner Jamie Bendel take the hot seat. Funds raised from the Charity Roast help the local Boys and Girls Club offer after school services, leadership development programs and a safe haven for at-risk and disadvantaged youth. 1. From left, Jennie Byers, Paula

Dorris, Nancy Sosebee Madden and Melanie Bufford. 2. Kelly and Rob Kirchner. 3. Jeff Mitchell. 4. From left, Sarah Souther, Bobbi Cowart and Robbie Lusk. 5. Garrett Parker and Lauren Phelps. 6. Dr. Jan Henriques and Woodstock Mayor Donnie Henriques. 7. From left, Paul and Tanya Drennan and Jeff Mitchell. // PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATHRYN INGALL //

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13 8. From left, Teddy Thompson, Regina Ward, Billy Hayes and Katie

Pearson. 9. Janis and Jeff Forrester. 10. David Simmons and DeeDee Doeckel. 11. Missy Dugan. 12. From left, Jerry Cooper, Matthew Thomas, and Lori and Scott Thompson. 13. Laura Mikszan and Lee Lusk. // PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATHRYN INGALL // January/February 2017 | Cherokee Life

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6 SHERIFF’S RETIREMENT. Hundreds of residents turned out Oct. 8 to honor retiring Sheriff Roger Garrison, who retired from office Dec. 31, 2016, after 24 years on the job. The retirement celebration was at the Northside Hospital-Cherokee Conference Center at the Bluffs. 1. Orie Jackson, Paul Mazzuca,

Roger Garrison, Rodney Burley and George Rose. 2. Amanda Locke and Denise Mastroserio. 3. Scott and Lynell Gordon. 4. Teri and John Marinko. 5. Jim Fallon, Roger Garrison and Bob Carter. 6. Orie Jackson and George Rose. // PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENNIFER CARTER //


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12 7. Guest speaker David Ralston; Seated: Vernon Keenan, Homer Bryson, Rhubarb Jones and Frank Reynolds, Sheriff Elect of Cherokee County. 8. Wiley and Vickie Hook. 9. Frank Reynolds and Dr. Jennifer DeBord Reynolds. 10. Linda Wright and John New. 11. From left, Karen and Lou Cipra with Bobby Keim. 12. Joe and Lauren Perkins. // PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENNIFER CARTER //

7 7 0 . 4 7 9.2193 480 East Main strEEt • Canton, Ga 30114 January/February 2017 | Cherokee Life

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12/14/2016 12:12:25 PM


The gift of


TIME By Carla Barnes

his week I made my annual appointment to get my skin looked over for suspicious moles or cancerous looking spots. For the majority of my life I feel as if my skin could have been the model for the poster featured in doctors’ offices designed to educate patients on what to look for. At the appointment I know my doctor will ultimately take a biopsy of something. Quite literally she looks over every inch of me with a bright light and what looks like a jeweler’s loupe looking for any “bad citizens.” I’m just glad that age has helped me not to become unglued at the thought of someone cutting on me. I just close my eyes imagining the beach and surf – thankful for her expertise and efficiency. Generations of my family have produced some exciting specimens and close calls, and I find that winter is the perfect time to take care of this important business before the warm days of spring and summer come back around. These revelations of summer’s past had me thinking about age spots and all of the beauty brands designed to reverse the ravages of time on our skin. I perked up when I happened to be reading a photo spread titled “Worn & Wonderful” in a Traditional Home magazine where it pointed out that everything old is new again and for some things – antiques – having patina and a sense of character actually makes it more desirable. Mercury glass in particular, without its flaws would not be as beautiful. Old mirrors are famous for losing their silver. Many experts offer tips on restoration and others leave the hazy, foggy appearance untouched appreciating the piece’s inconsistencies and pattern of wear as fine art – its sparkly effect highly prized. In ephemera, the collecting and preservation of paper, foxing is a common term which refers to the reddish-brown color stain that is often found on old pages. In paper, this is not desirable and other conditions showing oxidation can make the whole sheet disintegrate in your fingertips. Regardless, rarity can make one overlook age in certain circumstances. An article posted on, “The Five Signs of a


Valuable Antique,” describes the acronym RADAR which stands for rarity, aesthetics, desirability, authenticity and really great condition. For most of us craftsmanship draws us in. We have it on our RADAR when we are on the hunt for something special. Our eyes tell us that this piece was made with attention to detail. We look at every inch seeking clues about its life and the stories it could tell. Is it marked, stamped or numbered – these things could reveal its pedigree. People, like antiques, carry with them marks. Some of us are in pristine condition and others of us are fixer uppers, but all of us have our stories and value. Some come in young packages, but have old souls and for some of us it takes years for us to come around to being a better human. A frequent post by my Facebook pals is an excerpt from “The Velveteen Rabbit” written by Margery Williams. This story follows a beloved stuffed rabbit through its relationship with its owner to its ultimate transformation from a worn toy to a real rabbit when all appears lost. An interesting part of the passage is the revelation by the fairy to the Velveteen Rabbit that not all creatures can experience this magic of transformation. “That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.” I thought about this a lot. Isn’t it funny that you can read something your whole life and one line speaks loudly when before it had not. It is those that have the fortitude to endure, the ability to forgive and to love, a person able to sustain all things with a sense of strength and grace that defies logic. We count those people as “real.” Right now as you read this I know you are thinking of someone in particular. Maybe that it is why this passage is shared so often. It is the things that leave us most worn, that make us the most lovable and able to love. To me, in some ways it is the ultimate love letter to humanity. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And the beholder is all that matters. In an age of seeking authenticity, acceptance of oneself and the ability to love others is often the gift of time and it is easy to spot on those who wear it well.

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12/14/2016 12:14:27 PM

Casey L. Guyton

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Cherokee Life | January/February 2017

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12/14/2016 12:15:18 PM


Cherokee Life

January/February 2017 Volume 12, Issue 1



in every issue FROM THE EDITOR




8 HEALTH AND FITNESS Get fit this winter!



12 CLOSING A CHAPTER Cherokee’s ‘Mark Twain’ reflects on his career



18 BEST OF CHEROKEE Meet the winners of this year’s Best Of Cherokee contest!




30 34

EDITOR Rebecca Johnston CONTRIBUTORS Shaddi Abusaid, Sampson Jenkins, Emily Selby, Kayla Elder, Carla Barnes PHOTOGRAPHERS Kathryn Ingall, Erin Gray Cantrell, Jennifer Carter LAYOUT AND DESIGN LaTria Garnigan, Mark Wallace Maguire PROOFREADER Nicole Price ADVERTISING STAFF ADVERTISING MANAGER Kim Fowler ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Tara Guest ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Paula Milton, Becky Opitz, Ginny Hrushka, Tracy Avis, Jill Abbott GRAPHICS COORDINATOR Beth Poirier GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Jennifer Hall, Carlos Navarrete

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS Aqua Guard Basements Berkshire & Hathaway Canton Theatre Canton Tire and Wheel Cherokee County Arts Council Cherokee County Farm Bureau Cherokee County Historical Society Cherokee County Storage Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Darby Funeral Home Dental Town Fowler Electric Frosty Frog Creamery & Café Funk Heritage Center


32 7 29 26 14 6 27 5 3 33 11 29 15 31

Guardian Angels 15 Horizon Lauren Canyon 28 Mid City Pharmacy 30 Northside Hospital - Cherokee 35 Pinnacle Orthopaedics 17 Plastic Surgery Center of The South 10 Provino’s 14 Reinhardt Univ Falany Performaning 21 Salon • Spa Venessa 24 Sosebee Funeral Home 36 Wellstar 2 Willows Gift Shop 22 Woodstock Funeral Home 6

PRODUCTION CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Dave Gossett INFORMATION Cherokee Life is published six times a year by the Cherokee Tribune and distributed to more than 20,000 homes and businesses. To subscribe, email or call 770.795.5001 To advertise, contact Kim Fowler at 770.795.3068 Please send all editorial correspondence to cherokeelifemagazine@ Follow us on facebook and at

Cherokee Life | January/February 2017

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By Rebecca Johnston

Resolving to live a simpler life The first of the year is a good time to consider simplifying, prioritizing and imagining. Henry David Thoreau was always a favorite of mine. A little known fact about me is that I majored in drama in college. One of the mainstage productions I was in while at the University of Georgia was “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail.” The play is based on Thoreau’s early life, culminating with the night he spent in a jail in Concord, Massachusetts, because he refused to a poll tax since the money might be used to pay for the Mexican-American War, which he opposed. While many years have passed and I remember little about the play, I do remember being intrigued by Thoreau’s writings. His philosophy resonates because it speaks of a simple life, living in the woods in a house you build yourself sustained by money you earn. He only spent a little more than two years on Walden Pond, but those musings and that experience speaks across the centuries. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined,” he tells us. “Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify.” And perhaps a favorite — “Things do not change; we change.” When I was growing up in Canton things were so much simpler. I lived in a house my parents built on the edge of a large wooded wilderness that today is the Great Sky community. Often my father would walk us on hikes through the woods to our own “pond,” Pettit’s Lake. Named for the John Pettit family, I assume, the lake was a private watering hole, a swimming area that the youth in my father’s day, the Great Depression and years leading up to World War II, had enjoyed. By the time I came along it was no longer in use and was somewhat in ruins. But we would walk there and sit and look around at the beauty of the world. It was our destination, but the journey was the important thing. Those long walks were a chance to hear my father’s thoughts, or just float along in silence behind him, watching clouds and birds above us in the clear air. My parents never pressured me to go in any one direction. I realize now that those were the years when many women were fighting for equality, and that middle class women were expected to marry and have a family and take care of that family. In our household it seemed my mother ruled in many things, but as I grew up I realized that in reality my father ruled in all things. I was encouraged to get a liberal arts education, and so I dabbled with English, philosophy and eventually landed in drama. Fortunately I took a few journalism courses along the way and always loved to write.

But Thoreau says writing is not enough. “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” I was blessed with wonderful parents, a loving gregarious father who always had a joke, a song or just some fun to share. A mother who worked hard to send us out the door pressed and polished, admonished and chastised, prepared to stand the rigors of the world. They were good people. “Goodness is the only investment that never fails,” Thoreau tells us. “What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.” My mother would agree with that, although she would also want us to be standing up straight, neatly dressed and with our good manners front and center. I never make resolutions at the first of the year because it just sets me up for failure. But if I did, I would resolve to be the kind of person my parents tried to prepare me to be. “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives,” Thoreau wrote. Life is too complicated these days. It seems we live too much in the fast lane, whether it is work, play or just our daily home life. Thoreau tells us we can change. “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” I dream of a simpler life, where family, church and friends are the most important, and material things are less needed. Where giving back is more important than taking, and where love wins out over hate. This is the time of year to resolve to seek it, if I can. My parents and Henry David would agree.

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January/February 2017 | Cherokee Life

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12/14/2016 3:53:56 PM


AGRICULTURE College brewing friends now pour in Canton EXPO As you walk down the streets of downtown Canton, a Friday, March 10, 2017 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Sponsored by the Cherokee County Farm Bureau, Cherokee County Extension Office, the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce and the City of Woodstock.

The Agriculture Expo is part of the National and Georgia Agriculture Month. Cherokee County Farm Bureau Commodity of the year is vegetables. Enjoy visiting over 30 different Agriculture Display Booths and refreshments. This event is free and open to the public. The Expo will be held at River Church, 2335 Sixes Road, Canton, GA 30114. Farmer Sue and TheArtBarn Crew from Morning Glory Farm will be there with several of her furry feathery friends to celebrate Art, Animals, Agriculture and Education. Locally grown foods, plants, animals and hand crafted products. Farmers Markets, 4-H, FFAS and Master Gardeners will be on hand.

If you would like to have a booth or find out more about agriculture in Cherokee County please call the Farm Bureau at 770-479-1481 ext. o

small local brewery now occupies a piece of the district, offering residents a place to grab a cold beverage and a taco or two. Green Line Brewery opened in October of last year and offers six different types of local craft beer as well as an assortment of tasty tacos. Starting as home brewers with a love of beer, Brent St. Vrain and his team provide a local option for craft beer. “Growing up in Colorado until I was 10, I remember our seasonal trips to the Coors Brewery in Boulder. I remember thinking that would be a really cool job. (The Green Line Brewery team) made our first batches in college but really started brewing together about eight years ago,” St. Vrain said. “We were home brewers with, what we thought, were six great beers and big ideas of starting a brewery.” Green Line Brewery took those unique craft beers and purchased their very own brewery in the heart of downtown Canton, St. Vrain said. “The Green Line beer profile ranges from double IPAs to a super light lager and seasonal offerings. My favorite is ‘Oxbo Trail Ale,’” he said. “Named after a Roswell riverside hiking trail, Oxbo is a dark ale brewed with citra and centennial hops, chocolate malt, coriander seeds and dried biter orange peel. Another is our ‘Pete PoolUs Pale Ale.’ Pete is a summertime Pale Ale named after our high school football coach.”

About two years ago, St. Vrain and his college friends decided to purchase the building at 192 East Main Street in Canton to start their own brewery, he said. “Green Line Brewery is our hobby and passion turned into a business,” St. Vrain said. “Or as my wife likes to put it, a ‘hobby-business’. This is how a lot of great brewery’s got started.” The Green Line motto is “getting lost is not a waste of time,” St. Vrain said, adding that if he and his team didn’t enjoy the journey, they would have given up a long time ago. “We love beer,” St. Vrain said. “We love everything about craft beer and the brewing process. We love the smells, the chemistry, tastes and fragrances. But most of all, we enjoy the people and the conversations had while drinking and brewing.” For more information, visit Green Line Brewery’s Facebook page @ GreenlineBrews.

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Butts and Barley offers more than just great BBQ Cherokee County has much to offer when it comes to BBQ, but in Lathemtown one smoker stands above the rest, offering a diverse menu of BBQ, beer and more. Butts and Barley, which opened in April of last year offers “BBQ with a twist,” providing much more than just BBQ chicken and pork, including their selection of tasty tacos, thick burgers and diverse sandwiches. Owner of Butts and Barley, Eva Eliasen knew from a young age that she loved to cook and learned to do so on three different continents, including Europe and Africa before she moved to the U.S. 20 years ago. “BBQ with a twist simply means we offer more than just your typical BBQ sandwiches and platters,” she said. “We offer whole smoked wings that are then deep fried and tossed in a choice of buffalo or BBQ sauce. We also offer daily and weekly specials using our signature smoked meats such as brisket melts, chicken Gouda melts, smoked chicken salad sandwiches, and quesadillas.” The restaurant is dedicated to serving the freshest products, Eliasen said. “All of our meats are smoked daily and all of our sides are prepared daily as well,” she said. “We use only the freshest ingredients available to us. As a result, based on demand during the day, we may run out of some of our products, but we would rather run out of some of our smoked meats then serve them reheated the next day.” Butts and Barley is a family-friendly establishment that offers fresh, high quality food at an affordable price, according to Eliasen. “We value our customers and want them to leave happy and satisfied with the service we’ve provided,” she said. “We, at Butts and Barley, also appreciate and support our local police officers and fire fighters and offer discounts to all that dine with us as a show of gratitude for their service.” Located between Canton, Cumming, Milton and Ball Ground, Eliasen said Butts and Barley’s location is “extremely” advantageous. “We are surrounded by neighborhoods, church organizations, schools, and country clubs,” she said. “Our surrounding neighbors seem to be very family oriented and we offer a very family friendly dining experience at an affordable price.” January/February 2017 | Cherokee Life

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12/15/2016 4:09:09 PM


Getting fit for the New Year By Emily Selby Photography by Kathryn Ingall

Every year, millions of Americans make the same New Year’s resolution: be more fit, lose weight, live a healthier lifestyle. However, people often struggle to keep this resolution after the month of January. Without a personal trainer, class schedule, or


friend to keep them accountable, it’s easy to make up an excuse not to workout. But there are several fitness options, like CrossFit, yoga, and Orange Theory Fitness, to keep you accountable, motivated, and energized well into the New Year.

Cherokee Life | January/February 2017

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12/14/2016 11:22:16 AM

CROSSFIT One form of fitness sweeping the nation is CrossFit. Combining high intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, calisthenics and other exercises, CrossFit uses a personal trainer and a dedicated support group to help participants reach their fitness goals. “You are more likely to do something if you have help,” said Lt. Bobby Stilson, a firefighter with the Woodstock Fire Department. “If you just go to a regular gym and you just sit there by yourself, you’re not going to do as much as you normally would if you’re with a class and a personal trainer.” Stilson has been doing CrossFit since 2012, and started because he thought it would help him through a back injury. When he started, Stilson couldn’t lift heavy weights, but in the past four years, he has progressed significantly and said he is now 99 percent pain free. “CrossFit kept me from going under the knife,” he said. Stilson attends classes at CrossFit Cherokee and his coach, Jeff Rice, said people come to CrossFit for a variety of reasons. “Some people come for weight loss, some people come for sports, and some people just want to look good,” he said. “Everybody is coming in for a different reason, but it is all going toward the same place. It all leads toward the same goal.” CrossFit Cherokee offers one-hour classes six days a week, and Rice said the schedule is great because participants warm up, work out and cool down all in one hour. Each day, the prescribed workout, called the Workout of the Day, or WoD, is written on a white board with a scheduled warm-up geared toward warming the muscles that will be used in the workout. After the warm-up is complete, the trainer guides members of the class through the workout, which is timed. Alongside each WoD is the “Rx2”, the second prescribed workout that is scaled down by either doing less repetitions or using a lower amount of weight. “We have people that come in with different skill levels and everything we do is scalable to your ability,” Stilson said. “There is always a substitute exercise that is easier than the prescribed exercise.” Rice said the progress of members is unbelievable and it can change their attitude, as well as the attitude of those around them. “When you start doing something good for yourself, people notice that,” he said. “You start doing better and people see that, and then they ask you what you’re doing and you invite them to a class. That’s how this whole thing has gotten so big. CrossFit improves your mobility, balance, strength and mindset.” For beginners, Rice recommends researching local CrossFit gyms and visiting a class to see if it is right for your fitness goals. CrossFit Cherokee offers an unlimited CrossFit and gym membership for $140 a month and is offering a special promotion of $99 a month membership for six months.

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CrossFit Cherokee 2050 Cumming Hwy., Canton (678) 500-5838

12/14/2016 11:23:28 AM

Cherokee Life Jan-Feb 2017  
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