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Cobb Life

August/September 2013  Volume 9, Issue 6 EXECUTIVE PUBLISHER

Otis Brumby III GENERAL MANAGER

Lee B. Garrett V.P. ADVERTISING Wade Stephens ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

Jay Whorton E D I T O R I A L S TA F F DIRECTOR OF MAGAZINES

Mark Wallace Maguire LAYOUT AND DESIGN

Stacey L. Evans, Mark Wallace Maguire CONTRIBUTORS

Allen Bell, Joan Durbin, Stacey L. Evans, Lindsay Field, Michael Pallerino, Meredith Pruden, Michael Venezia PHOTOGRAPHER

Jennifer Carter PHOTOGRAPHY

Samantha Shal, Kelly J. Huff PHOTO ASSISTANT

Marti Sacks PROOFREADERS

Jennifer Carter A D V E R T I S I N G S TA F F COBB ADVERTISING MANAGER

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS AquaGuard Basements Atlanta Communities Atlanta Fine Homes - Jim Glover Atlanta Kubota Atlanta Kung Fu Atlanta Lyric Theatre Blackwell's Jewelers Chapman Hall Realtors Children's Health Care of Atlanta City of Smyrna Cobb Arts Ball Cobb Hardware Compassionate Care Ministries Cumberland Diamond Exchange Debbie Redford - All Around Atlanta Realty Dermatology Consultants Diamonds R Forever Dr. Boland McCamy Emory Adventist Hospital Fleming Carpet Fresh N Fit Front Porch Southern Dining Gaines Park Senior Living Georgia Memorial Park Harry Norman Henry's Louisiana Grill Johnson Ferry Baptist Church Julep's Home DĂŠcor Kennestone Dental Design Life Grocery Manders Dental Marietta Cobb Museum of Art Marietta FUMC Weekday Ministry Preschool & Kindergarten

72 18 53 34 68 58 62 22 41 33 65 70 9 47 71 71 35 61 51 10 32 19 68 58 24 19 12 13 29 6 24 73 35

Marietta Hearing 4 Marietta Podiatry 11 Marlowe's Tavern 57 Mayes Ward - Dobbins Funeral Home 75 Miracle Method 9 Mt. Bethel Christian School 67 North Cobb Spine & Nerve 25 Superior Plumbing North Georgia State Fair 3 Northside Hospital 5 Northside Physicians Practice 50 Northside Hospital Sleep Center 56 Parc @ Piedmont 32 Peachstate Insurance 66 Pinnacle Orthopaedics 45 Plastic Surgery Center of the South 40 Podiatry Group of Georgia 53 Presbyterian Village 63 Robbins Realty 52 Roswell Street Baptist Church 64 Sawyer Bailey Salon 28 Sterling Estates Senior Living 59 Sue Hilton 11 Superior Plumbing 2, 13, 60 The Bottoms Group 7 The Framery 44 Urban Renewal Consignment 15 Vespucci's Pizza Pasta Grill 18 WellStar 76 West Cobb Funeral Home 23 White Rabbit 22 Whole Hawg Happenin 44 Williamson Bros BBQ 52 Winnwood Retirement 69

Becky Opitz ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES

Stephanie deJarnette, Dawne Edge, Paula Milton, Candace Hallford, Tara Guest, Charlene Kay, Katelyn Ledford, Kelly Miears, Liz Ridley DIGITAL ADVERTISING DIRECTOR

Allison Bentley GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

Beth Poirier, Jennifer Hall PRODUCTION CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Leigh Hall CIRCULATION DIRECTOR

Matt Heck I N F O R M AT I O N

Cobb Life magazine is published nine times a year by the Marietta Daily Journal and distributed to more than homes and businesses throughout Cobb. SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES

To subscribe, visit our website at www.cobblifemagazine.com ADVERTISING

To advertise, contact Wade Stephens at 770.795.4001 SUBMISSIONS

Please send all editorial correspondence to mmaguire@cobblifemagazine.com


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I N S I D E

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departments 16 SPICE California coastal crops up in Marietta 26 WINE Our guru switches gears to write about beer 30 BLOOM Before and after of an East Cobb oasis ON THE COVER: From left, Ben and Andrew Groover take a break while hiking in East Cobb. They are the sons of Joel and Susan. You can read more about the duo on page 36.

features 14 HIGH TECH GEAR New features on autos slated for next year 20 MAN OF STEEL Cobb metal artist finds success across region with unique craft 36 OUTSIDE THE LINES Meet a class of athletes and outdoors enthusiasts who break the mold

in every issue FROM THE DIRECTOR

08

FEEDBACK

09

NEWS & NOTEWORTHY 10 HIGHLIGHTS

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SCENE

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J’EAT YET?

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FROM THE DIRECTOR

One chapter at a time If

I still had the agility, time and knees I possessed 20 years ago, this would be an exciting column about the ways I break the mold when I exercise. I could wax about rock climbing in North Carolina, mountain biking in Georgia, scaling mountains in a 20 mph gale in Ireland and clinching intramural basketball tournaments at Berry College when I was a fearless and cocky small forward. But that was 20 years ago. And during the last two decades, a lot has changed. The endurance of outdoor adventures often pales in comparison to the endurance of taking my two sons on a hike. Climbing mountains abroad? It’s been a long time for either. When I do get the chance to get out of the country again, I think I will be devoting time to long country walks, museums and pub culture. And basketball? Well, since those lauded intramural games, I’ve broken two ribs, a finger and an arm playing the sport. I gave up the ghost for good after I broke my arm in 2011 and since then have only touched a basketball as a coach for my son’s Upward League team. Yep. It all changes. Perhaps if I was a better man, I would get up at 5 a.m. every day and jog several miles, lift a ton of free weights and do pilates. But the truth is, when I am up at that hour I am generally nursing a pot of coffee and watching “Dora” or “Popeye” with my youngest who once again got up too early. I write this not as a put down to the esteemed athletes in this issue. The triathlete, the archer, the racer, the rugby team are all to be lauded for their efforts and I have always respected anyone driven enough to push themselves to the limit physically, mentally and artistically. It takes discipline, will and drive - three

traits I deeply admire and wish more people possessed. But, I am also glad we feature Joel Groover’s column in here about hiking with his two sons. Reading Joel’s words gave me a sense of comfort and a reminder. A reminder that life is about chapters. I hope to one day take up biking seriously again, go hiking in Europe and drop those pesky 20 extra pounds. But right now, my free weights are lifting kids out of car seats, wrestling with them in the evenings and trying to keep my yard in some semblance of looking presentable. And the bulk of my cardiovascular exercise consists of toting my sons on a mile-long trail and stopping every few yards to examine a caterpillar, make a sword out of a tree limb or toss rocks into a stream. Oh, I still get in a couple of brisk walks a week and hit the weights when time allows, but it is more as a stress reliever, than as a way to consciously stay fit. I guess my chapter now is all about a focus on my family, than a focus on my body. No, that statement won’t win me any accolades from my fitness-driven friends or the marathon runners I know who are over 60. But, my paltry little entries into physical activities will win me the admiration of those I love the most – my family. Hopefully, a decade from now, I will be walking along Hadrian’s Wall in Scotland or embarking on a long cycling ride in mid-Georgia. Until then, throwing rocks into ponds and ambling on park trails will have to do and my body will get what it can get, when it matters, one chapter at a time. Best,

Mark Wallace Maguire


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f e e d b a c k  [letters] Issue brought back warm memories of biscuits Dear Cobb Life: The Cobb Life issue on biscuits dredged up many memories about biscuits to me. My Dad, bless his heart, was so special. A barber on his feet behind his shiny barber chair in Griffin for 52 years, pleased many people per day — or tried mightily! He had a big job to do. I don't remember a time he couldn't muster a smile from and to everyone. Most times he had a funny, clean joke for every occasion or newcomer. One of his famous remarks that held on and became quotable was, “A man should always brag on his wife's hats and her biscuits.” This said with his sly smile. It was a different, simpler time. Everyone wore hats. Mama made biscuits in a big ole' oblong wooden bowl—well worn. In fact, when I couldn't find an oblong bowl and had to use a round one, I thought I could not successfully accomplish biscuit-making. Amazingly, the left-over flour remained in Mama's bowl and was placed on the shelf in the pantry til next time. This day in time, that would not happen. We need to keep everything more covered, more hygienic. But we did not die. What does not kill you, must better sustain you. I'm certainly a healthy specimen now, germs and all. Mother always used Hollyhock self-rising flour. When I called her, being a newlywed, complaining about my biscuit making, she said, “Well, you need to buy some self-rising Hollyhock flour.” I interrupted her and said, “Mother, Hollyhock brand is made in Griffin. They don't ship it this far.” That fact never occurred to her. To make biscuits, Mother just put fresh flour in the bowl, dumped in her creamy white Crisco, (sometimes lard), poured in the buttermilk and using her little wrinkled hands, stirred them up, kneading the soft lump in the bowl. She pinched off her dough, somehow making the white blobs all uniform. Then after Crisco-ing her “biscuit” pan, she would use the back of the three fingers on her right hand and pat each one down, leaving three indentations on top of each one. To me that made them crisper. My favorite part. As a newlywed, I tried and tried to achieve good biscuits. I had to stop a couple of times during the process to clean up the gook on my hands. Finally it occurred to me, I didn't like the gooky hands. Once I started using a spoon to mix my biscuits, rolling them out and using a biscuit cutter (I used my special small glass to begin with) to make them uniform, I made good ones. At least I got many compliments. I raised four kids with biscuits as a mainstay in our meals. Time has marched on and now I buy the bags of frozen ones. They come close to tasting like homemade. The difference in the effort to have a delicious breakfast supper rewards my laziness. It’s been years since I made biscuits. I've retired my famous clean wooden bowl. Wonder where I put that thing? It could hold fruit now. Think I'll have a breakfast supper tonight. I've got frozen biscuits in the freezer. Sounds delicious this rainy evening. June Parks Marietta


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f e e d b a c k  [food and dining]

[letters] Great biscuit issue, but here is one you missed Dear Cobb Life: Great article in the June/July edition of the Cobb Life Magazine. As a lifelong Cobb County resident, I have eaten at most of the places you mentioned. The Stilesboro House of Biscuits was on my way to work and it was extremely difficult to drive by without stopping. Their cinnamon rolls are better than the biscuits – just one man’s opinion. I’m also sure you’ve received e-mails about places that were left off the list but I wanted to make sure you knew about one of West Cobb’s best biscuit makers. If you’ve never been to the Minit Saver at 3807 Due West Road, I strongly urge you to make the trip. It’s a Sunoco branded gas station/c-store that has been serving breakfast for as long as I can remember. Their bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit is absolutely amazing. I would be willing to wager that there are a minimum of two scrambled eggs on each cat head biscuit. Also can’t say enough good things about the gravy biscuit – open faced and smothered with homemade gravy. It doesn’t get much better than that. Just thought you should know…… Mark Adams Marietta

The caprese melt featuring fresh mozzarella, tomato, fresh basil, arugula and balsamic glaze on ciabatta at Pressed Panini Bar.

New restaurant opens on the Marietta Square

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The Marietta Square continues to expand in its diversity of dining options. The latest to join the dining scene is Pressed Panini Bar, located on the corner of Powder Springs Street and South Park Square in downtown Marietta, opened in June just a few doors down from its sister company Taqueria Tsunami. The menu features a variety of paninis and gourmet salads using fresh ingredients and meats. The popular lunch destination is housed in the historic building that formerly featured a Blimpie. Our recommendation? We especialy enjoyed the caprese melt sandwich that features crisp greens, creamy mozzarella, and is glazed with a balsamic vinaigrette. Information: 30 South Park Square Marietta, GA 30060 770.485.3759 www.pressedpaninibar.com


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news & noteworthy [food and dining] Blue Moon marks ten years Blue Moon Pizza recently celebrated a decade in business. The restaurant, with a main location on Windy Hill Road, features unique signature pizzas that include Santa Fe chicken, jerk chicken, Thai chicken, The “Meateor,” veggie pizza and Grandma’s pizza. The restaurant is owned by husband and wife team Kelvin and Mandy Slater. Since the debut of their first restaurant, the duo has opened a Vinings location in 2007, a Buckhead location in 2011 and a Sandy Springs location in 2011. On the drawing board are two more locations, with one in Florida, in mid-to-late 2013. We were glad to feature their unique pizzas in our Best Of Cobb Pizza issue that ran last summer. If you’re looking for inspiration in the small business category, look no further than the Slaters. Well done!

[might we recommend] Donelan’s 2011 Venus is a blend of mostly the Roussanne grape with a touch of Viognier and hint of Chardonnay. Roussane is known for its strong aroma, and this varietal grown in Sonoma County by the Donelan family does not disappoint. The vibrant fragrance is very herbal and slightly citrusy, almost as complex as its fullbodied taste. Fermented in stainless steel barrels and neutral oak, the wine has a bit of a tart, but fresh flavor. If you desire a bit more sweetness, the Venus blend makes an excellent spritzer. The cool, fresh taste is ideal for unwinding on a late summer afternoon.

Donelan Wines

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August/September 2013 Cobb Life

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[people] Vinings UMC pastor leaves for Athens church

The Strand welcomes a new artistic director

Beth Dickinson knew she had her work cut out for her when she started as the senior pastor at Vinings United Methodist Church in 2006 after spending four and a half years as youth pastor at McKendree United Methodist Church in Lawrenceville. The church has grown from 39 members then to 103 today, Dickinson said. She decided in March to take a position as associate pastor of discipleship at Athens First United Methodist Church. Since arriving in Vinings, Dickinson has opened the church to the community, hosting events and inviting nonprofits such as local organizations and drug and alcohol addiction support groups to meet there or to partner with the church. She also added ongoing Bible studies and created a children’s program to draw more families. Dickinson said she credits “prayer and dependence on God” partly for the church’s success, but the church’s members said Dickinson deserves much of the credit. Dickinson is a former Cobb Life 20 Rising Star Under 40.

The Earl Smith Strand Theatre recently named Melissa Goetschius as its artistic director. She is a multidisciplinary artist with a strong focus on theatre and performance-based interactive installations. She has worked with many projecs including the Glass Mind Theatre and EMP Collective. She is also involved with 24 Magazine (twentyfourmagazine.com) and “Layered Portraits,” a mixed-media installation piece for the 24 Hour City Project first presented at the Intelligent Cities Conference and again as part of Digital Capital Week in 2011. She has worked for Manhattan Theatre Club, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, studied at the British American Drama Academy, and holds a degree in English from Columbia University.

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Got an item for news and noteworthy?

Email us at mmaguire@ cobblifemagazine.com


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[technology] Sony jumps into the big league cell phone market Think of a leading phone maker. Apple and Samsung might come to mind — maybe even HTC, maker of the well-received One. But you're probably not thinking Sony, a company better known for its TVs, cameras and video game machines. With the new Xperia Z, Sony shows it can play in the smartphone big leagues. The Xperia Z, unveiled recently in the U.S., helps Sony catch up with offerings from Samsung and HTC, but one feature stands out: Its water-resistant shell means you can submerge the phone. That's great if you're a lifeguard, or if you're prone to dropping your phone in toilets or spilling coffee near it. You can also take underwater video and use the phone during rainstorms.

Sony Corp. also enhances the Android operating system made by Google Inc., without cluttering the phone, as Samsung Electronics Co. and HTC Corp. do with their Android customizations. There's still some junk from Sony and its partner, T-Mobile, but not a lot. I particularly like the idea behind a battery-saving feature called Stamina. It's supposed to block apps from checking for updates when your screen is off. Calls and texts will still come through, and you can add exceptions such as email and Facebook. In practice, I got a few email updates when I wasn't T-Mobile is offering it exclusively, in black or purple. supposed to, but the blocking seems to work most of the time, The up-front cost is $100, with $20 monthly payespecially after I reset the phone ments over two years for a total cost of $580. - The Associated Press to its factory settings. In the U.S.,


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(AP Photo/TRW Automotive)

This photo provided by TRW Automotive shows a radar and camera systems that warn you, with beeping sounds, of a possible front-end crash is highlighted. The systems are the outgrowth of adaptive cruise control, which helps keep cars a safe distance from vehicles in front of them.

IN HIGH(TECH)GEAR

New technology for cars getting better, cheaper and available on more vehicles Cameras that check around the car for pedestrians. Radar that stops you from drifting out of your lane. An engine able to turn off automatically at traffic lights to conserve fuel. Technology that saves lives — and fuel — is getting better and cheaper. That means it’s no longer confined to luxury brands like Mercedes and Volvo. It’s showing up in mainstream vehicles like the Nissan Rogue and Ford Fusion. “What we see today as slightly elitist technology is changing very, very fast,” said Steven Lunn, chief operating officer for TRW Automotive, which supplies electronics and other parts to carmakers. High-tech options can still cost a few thousand dollars

more, but those costs will come down as technology improves and automakers add them to more and more vehicles. Here are some up-and-coming features that drivers can expect on their next cars: Collision warning with automatic braking: New cars have radar and camera systems that warn you, with beeping sounds, of a possible front-end crash. Some even stop the vehicle, or at least slow it enough to make a crash less severe. More sophisticated systems apply the brakes if a car veers off the road and heads toward a moving or fixed object. The systems are the outgrowth of adaptive cruise control, which

came out 15 years ago and helps keep cars a safe distance from vehicles in front of them. Mercedes, Honda, Toyota, Infiniti, Volvo and other brands offer automatic braking to avoid a collision; more automakers will follow soon. The systems seem to be working. David Zuby, the chief research officer at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said collision warning systems alone reduced crashes by 7 percent in a study of insurance claims for several thousand Mercedes vehicles with the technologies. Adding automatic braking doubled that benefit. Advanced cameras: Automotive cameras are showing up on more cars

ahead of a government requirement to install backup cameras, which is expected by 2015. But with cameras getting smaller and cheaper, automakers aren’t just putting them on the back of the car anymore. Honda has side cameras that come on automatically when a turn signal is employed, so drivers can spot obstacles while turning. Nissan’s around-view monitor blends images from four cameras tucked in the mirrors and elsewhere around the car into a composite, bird’s-eye view to help the driver back out of a parking spot. The system is available on a high-end Rogue, which costs $6,000 more than the base model. Volvo and Subaru have front-mounted cameras that can apply brakes

By DEE-ANN DURBIN and TOM KRISHER | AP auto writers


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to avoid hitting pedestrians. According to Mobileye, an Israeli maker of automotive cameras, car companies are adding cameras that can read wrong-way road signs, detect large animals such as deer, and even note the colors of traffic lights. All that technology is coming by 2015. The next wave? Nissan and TRW are working on a system to automatically steer the car away from an obstacle. Expect that by 2016. Lane Centering: A camera can follow the road and gently nudge a car — using the brakes — to stay in the center of a lane. These systems — dubbed Lane Keep Assist — are available on most MercedesBenz vehicles as well as the Ford Fusion, Ford Explorer, Toyota Prius, Lexus GS and Lincoln MKZ.

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The 2013 G63 AMG.

AP Photo/Mercedes-Benz

Stop-start: By 2025, new cars and trucks sold in the U.S. will have to average 54.5 miles per gallon of gasoline, up from the current 30.8 mpg. One feature will almost be a must-have: A “stopstart” device that shuts off the engine at a stop light and automatically turns it on when the driver releases the brake. It’s easy to look down on Toyota Prius drivers — if you’re driving the newest and most special Mercedes-Benz G-Class sport utility vehicle. The unusual-looking G63 AMG, which includes modest design changes made on all GClass models plus more luxury touches and a more powerful V-8, puts passengers at such seat heights that they tower over minivans, most pickup trucks and, yes, Priuses though gas mileage is another matter entirely. If the test drive was any indication, plenty of Prius drivers speed up to try to keep the tall, boxy G-Class from getting in front of them in traffic and blocking their views. Alas, the Priuses, ubiquitous on some California thoroughfares, are no match for the attentiongrabbing, powerful G-Class. Even the old Hummer SUVs that fuel-conscious drivers loved to hate years ago didn’t have the awesome 544 horsepower and whopping 560 foot-pounds of torque that come with the top-ofthe-line G63 AMG. This translates into a federal government fuel economy rating of 12 miles per gallon in city driving and 14 mpg on the highway, though the test G63 AMG managed just 10 mpg in city driving and 12.1 mpg in mixed city/highway travel. With just 1,330 sold in the United States last year, the swaggering G-Class vehicles are not seen much on our roads. But their road presence, the intoxicating exhaust sounds of the biturbo V-8 in the 2013 AMG and the sumptuous alcantaraand leather-clad interior make these vehicles unforgettable. They rank as the highest-priced SUVs from Mercedes. The base, 2013 G550 with 388horsepower V-8 has a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, of $113,905. The starting retail price for a 2013 Mercedes G63 AMG is $135,205.

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Ronnie John’s Beach Cafe’s River Mouth plate is grilled shrimp and fish with rice and beans.

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TIDES OF TASTE By Joan Durbin | Photos by Jennifer Carter

In

the unlikeliest of locales, two avowed beach fanatics have created their own little oasis serving casual California-style grub in whimsical surroundings that would make any surfer dude feel right at home. Smack dab in the middle of an industrial area near the railroad tracks in northeast Cobb, Ronnie John’s Beach Café is the most cheerful component of an otherwise dreary strip center. The whimsical attitude that characterizes this two-year-old eatery starts with an ancient, derelict tow truck sporting a Ronnie and John sign plopped in the middle of the expansive and mostly empty parking lot to let you know you’re in the right place. Once you’ve parked and strolled past the small, fenced patio into the restaurant itself, you’re in a landlocked version of a beach hut. The décor is surfboards and flip flops, the music is classic rock and the blackboard menu is peppered with items named in beach and surf terminology. Step up to the counter and order and your food is brought to your table. If you’re a newbie, allow ample time to make your choice because there are multiple burritos, salads, appetizers, rice bowls, tacos and entrees. On our first visit, the South Beach caught my eye. It’s a main dish of Japanese-style fried chicken

known as chicken katsu, served with Asian slaw, macaroni salad and rice. Not only was the chicken, made with teriyaki and panko crumbs, moist and tasty, the size of the portion of sliced breast meat was eye-popping. The Asian slaw, made with Napa cabbage, is dressed with sesame soy vinaigrette. It’s a welcome change from the usual. The macaroni salad, on the other hand, is a straightforward rendition of the American classic. Its legitimacy as a beach food is indisputable — apparently, it’s a staple in the 50th state. “In Hawaii, they serve macaroni salad with every meal. It’s kind of a weird thing,” advised John Davis, the café’s chef and co-owner. My companion almost couldn’t finish his more than amply sized Rio meal of grilled smoked sausage, fried egg, onions and peppers with avocado salad and black beans and rice. But the savor of the sausage, tempered by the richness of the runny yolk and the clean, fresh taste of the avocado salad kept him happily eating until very little was left. On our next visit, the Typhoon was a hands-down favorite. I’ve had fish tacos before, but never with tempura shrimp. The crustaceans were cooked just right, tender inside and nicely crunchy outside, with a light batter that didn’t overpower the delicate flavor of the shrimp. What put these tacos over the top was the Asian slaw. Its crispness and texture and the notes of soy sesame were an ideal counterpart for the seafood. Even my companion, who has avoided fish tacos for as long as I’ve known him, was smitten, to the point of ordering them again on our next visit. August/September 2013 Cobb Life

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Above, owners John Davis and Ronnie Hall. Right, a collection of tacos, including the La Paz with grilled fish, lettuce, pico, and avocado.

COASTAL CHOW

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The cuisine is a fusion of American coastal and Asian cuisines, and sauces tend to be a bit on the sweet side, at least to my taste. That’s why I was very happy with the Jersey Shore, chicken made spicy with a housemade sauce of tomato, teriyaki and chili paste. With it, John said, he can amp up the heat of any dish on request. The staff here is always smiling, much like the two owners, who look as if they could be straight out of central casting for a beach movie. Clad in jeans, T-shirts and ball caps, they seem to be perpetually in good humor. John grew up in California where his first jobs were in restaurant kitchens. He graduated from Johnson and Wales culinary school in Charleston and worked there for awhile before moving to Myrtle Beach and then to Atlanta, where he met his wife, Michelle. Burnt out after years in the hospitality industry, John sold insurance for a few years. “But I’m not really a salesman and I didn’t like putting on a suit every day,” he said with a laugh. He met Ronnie Hall at their church, Marietta Vineyard, and found they both lived in the same west Cobb subdivision. Ronnie, who loves the beach almost as much as he loves motorcycles, found he and John had a lot in common. The Davises became good friends with Ronnie and his wife, Kathy. In January 2011, when the infamous “snowpocalypse” had everything closed down for a couple of days. The two families hung out together at Ronnie’s house.


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Naturally, in the midst of all that snow and ice, talk turned to sun, sand and surf. That’s when they first seriously considered opening their own beach-centric eatery. They scouted around and found a place that used to be small diner in a strip center that had seen better days. “We didn’t have a lot of money to throw down. The equipment was here and the rent was good,” John said. Ronnie John’s Beach Cafe “It was definitely a leap of faith, but we feel like it 1950 Canton Road, Suite 330 Marietta was kind of meant to be.” Ronnie, who deals in gold (770) 356-5251 and precious metals and www.ronniejohnsbeachcafe.com does some accounting work, runs the front of the house while John rules in the kitchen. His culinary point of view was shaped by his time in vegan and Japanese restaurants, and he employs the grill much more often than the fryer to put out healthier food with simple but top notch ingredients. “I’m very conscious about that,” John said. “And I always try to accommodate vegetarians and people who have diet issues.” What the two friends have achieved is something akin to Margaritaville without the alcohol. The vibe is laid back and friendly and the food’s semi-tropical appeal is unique. “If you took all the elements of all the coolest beaches all over and put them in a blender, this is what would come out,” Ronnie summed up.

The South Beach plate is chicken katsu with teriyaki, asian slaw, mac salad, and rice.

2940 Dallas Street Kennesaw, GA 30144

770-795-9455 Tuesday - Saturday Lunch: 11am - 4pm Dinner: 4pm - 8pm Sunday Dinner: 11am - 4pm The 112 year old house sits right off Main Street in downtown Kennesaw. With the same style as the Smith House, the charm of the Blue Willow and food reminiscent of Aunt Fanny’s cabin, Front Porch has opened and is serving guests daily. Check Out Our Facebook Page! August/September 2013 Cobb Life

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LOCAL ARTIST’S CREATIONS CONTINUE TO MARVEL

BY MICHAEL J. PALLERINO PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENNIFER CARTER


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Jason Wood works on a new sculpture at his Marietta studio. Opposite page, his dragon sculpture garners much attention at shows.

rt. A

It had to be art. Even though there were scores of other things his family wanted him to at least try, art – metal art, at that – was where Jason Wood’s heart was. Could you blame him? Inspired by two older brothers and a father who could fix anything, the concept of creating something from that proverbial blank sheet became the creative streak his heart chased – and chased hard. After pushing through a few different jobs, the Marietta metal artist wound up working as a production welder for a small manufacturer of masonry tools. It was there he became intrigued by a small machine shop that designed and prototyped tools and fixtures. A blank sheet. There were other jobs and other places that Wood connected to and disconnected from. And as he moved forward, his love of working with metal evolved through different phases. Along the way, he made the transition from welding, to running lathes and milling machines, and designing and prototyping support brackets for navigation electronics in the marine industry. Each stop taught him how to manipulate metal in almost any way.


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FOR ME, IT’S WHEN A CHILD SEES MY WORK AND ASKS IN AMAZEMENT

HOW I EVER

CREATED

ANYTHING LIKE IT. THAT’S THE

BEST COMPLIMENT. “I am a metal artist,” Wood says. “I make a variety of metal sculptures in many different forms using all the basic elements of fire, water, earth and air. I have a love for shaping metal into sculpture using any means possible.” A large portion of Wood’s work is wall sculpture, which consists mostly of aluminum sheet metal that’s formed through the repousse process. The dictionary describes this technique as “raised in relief by hammering or pressing on the reverse side.” “To be happy with what I do is what made me become an artist,” Wood says. “The satisfaction of taking a thought or an image, and then turning the thought or image into a sculpture that somebody can touch, feel and enjoy visually is very satisfying.” That sense of gratification came early in the process. The first “cool” piece that Wood ever made was a kinetic piece of art he refers to as a rolling ball sculpture (RBS). The piece was one of the first he created when he started J Wood Metal Art in 2007. Wood says he was inspired to show some engineering skills in a sculptural element. The RBS, which stands 7 feet tall, consists of a series of round rod metal tracks that travel on ¾inch steel ball bearings. The balls travel down jumps, around spiral staircases, through funnel like springs and finish with “loop de loops.” “This has been a real crowd pleaser wherever we go,” Wood says. “I spent more than 200 hours on it.” He since has built three other rolling ball structures, a process he admits to refining down to between 100 to150 hours. Does he ever think back to the days when any other profession may have been the best to choose? His answer comes in that moment of Zen any artist gets. “For me, it’s when a child sees my work and asks in amazement how I ever created anything like it. That’s the best compliment. Knowing that a child has no other motive, and most often will say exactly what’s on his mind, is what I believe the highest praise.”

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WOOD’S METAL YOU CAN VIEW JAY WOOD’S ARTWORK OR CHECK FOR AREA SHOWINGS AT WWW. JWOODMETAL ART.COM.

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Attention Sciatica and Low Back Pain Sufferers... Could One Hour With Our Doctors Give You The Answer To Your Disc Pain? Now, in Acworth, GA, Dr. Erin Arnold, D.C. & Dr. Amy Valente, D.C. have what may be the most important breakthrough in non-surgical back pain treatment. Before and after MRI studies have shown disc bulges shrink in size - even with the most painful cases of L4-L5 & L5-S1 herniations. If you've had disc problems for years, recently injured your back,or you're suffering with sciatica,you must hear about these new studies.Scientific studies tell us that spinal discs are responsible for most of the aches and pains people suffer from. Discs act like a cushion between our backbones and allow for a space at each level so the nerves can exit the spinal column. When these discs get injured or wear out from bad posture, they begin to degenerate and cause pain. Bulging and herniations begin to form, pressing on the nerve roots. If the herniations occur at L4-L5,they can severely compromise the large sciatic nerve, causing muscle weakness, tingling, and severe pain. The most common invasive treatment for disc herniations is surgery. This costs quite a bit of money. Even with health insurance the patient is left with their own portion of the bill, in excess of $10,000-$15,000, and sometimes more. The recovery time and missed work can be anywhere from 3 to 6 months, not to mention the obvious severe risks associated with all surgery. But here's the biggest problem… there is a high failure rate of back surgery. One medical study found that on average, 53% of L5-S1 back surgeries fail to produce relief of symptoms (International Orthop 1987.) Before You Go Under The Knife And Opt For Spinal Surgery… You should seriously consider a less invasive approach called spinal decompression. Non-surgical spinal decompression is a new technology that has been proven to reverse disc herniations. It creates a vacuum effect on the disc, which pulls the disc back into its normal position and brings in a fresh blood supply to promote healing. Do You Have A Disc Problem? If you experience any of the following in your back or neck, chances are your pain is due to a disc bulge, herniation or degeneration: • A vice-like squeezing feeling in your back • Sitting causes back or leg pain • Stabbing pain at the belt line or in your neck • Can't turn over in bed without hurting • Numbness in your toes or fingers • Fire down your legs • Searing pain radiates into your arm • Prickling in your leg or toes Finally, Some Good News…… If you've been suffering with back pain or arm/leg pain caused by a disc bulge, disc herniation or squashed or compressed discs. Until recently, the only advice for many of you suffering in pain was to try what you've been told: • Try exercising • Try physical therapy • Try pain medications • Try muscle relaxers • Try pain shots • Try dangerous back surgery • Just live with it If you're like most, none of these have worked for you or you are afraid of what could happen if you do try some of these. Exercising makes you hurt more, pain medications and muscle relaxers cover up the problem and give you side effects. Pain shots can cause more pain, don't work or don't last very long or FIX the problem, back surgery didn't work, or made you worse. Or maybe you were one of the lucky ones that back surgery actually helped, but now the problem is back with a vengeance. Whatever your situation, you owe it to yourself to check into a Breakthrough Computerized Non-Surgical Treatment for back pain and sciatic or leg pain caused by a bulging, herniated or squashed disc or discs. It has helped hundreds of people who

were suffering just like you.This new treatment machine we are calling "the squashed disc machine." How "Good" Discs become "Bad" Discs Over time the discs in your back tend to get squashed or compressed,especially if you've played certain sports when younger or have a job that requires lots of sitting or standing in one place for long periods of time. Car accidents, lifting things, very physical jobs just to name a few. It's kind of like a cookie with cream filling, and the cream filling will start to ooze out from between the sides of the cookie if pressure is applied on top of the cookie (like gravity on our spines). Eventually this happens to a lot of us. Statistics show over 80% of Americans will suffer with back pain some time in their life. Spinal decompression treatments are very gentle. In fact, every once in a while I even catch a patient sleeping during treatment! How Does This Machine Work? Haven't you ever had the thought…"Gosh, if somebody could just pull me apart…I would feel a whole lot better." Yeah, we know you have. And it kind of makes a bit of sense. Well someone else, actually a medical manufacturer, back pain specialists, neurosurgeons and engineers have come up with just that. A machine that gently pulls you apart, stretches the disc to a certain point that causes a drop in pressure inside the disc (like a little vacuum in the middle of the cream filling) causing the cream filling to suck back in! You'll simply lie on your stomach or back, whichever is comfortable, and then a specialized belt is gently put around your waist. We'll set the machine to focus on your problem area - then the advanced decompression computer system will do the rest. Most patients feel better with just a few treatments, and best of all there will be no dangerous drugs, no invasive procedures, and no painful exercises. Does Decompression really work? Absolutely! When you come in we will provide you with studies that show why decompression is a preferred method of treatment. But what provides the best "proof" on how well decompression works is what patients say about it: Just Listen to What Our Patients Had to Say: I started at North Cobb Spine & Nerve Institute for pain in my low back that traveled down my right leg. The pain felt like a burning sensation down my leg and numbness into my toes. I was unable to walk my normal 5 miles. Since starting the spinal decompression therapy I am now able to walk again without any pain. The pain and numbness down my right leg is completely alleviated. I was surprised to find that I am even sleeping better at night and that the tension in my upper back has also been relieved. The staff here has treated my great and is very caring! Thanks - Bill Norman Before I started getting spinal decompression therapy I was having severe pain in my low back and numbness down my leg constantly. I had been suffering with this for 3 years. I had two nerve abrasions, multiple steroid shots in my back, pain killers, PT and water therapy and nothing worked. After the first spinal decompression treatment I could stand up straight with very little pain. I can now sleep through the night and exercise again. I am 90-100% better and I am so thankful I found this office. Thanks, John Ratledge As you can see, spinal decompression has a high success rate with helping disc herniations, sciatica, and back pain. In just a matter of weeks you could be playing golf, enjoying your love life, or traveling again. Feel the Improvement - and Say "Yes" to Life Again With my "Decompression Evaluation" we'll be able to find the problem and then get to work on it.Think of how you'll feel in PA I D A DV E RT I S I N G

Dr. Amy Valente just a few short weeks. See and feel your life change for the better. Start your body on the way to pain-free, normal living, feel tight joints rest, relax, free up, muscles tied in knots will become more supple and strength in your muscles may increase. You're able to live life like a normal person again, without back pain - able to play with your kids, enjoy time with friends, and finally get a good night's rest. The Single Most Important Solution To Your Sciatica and Back Pain It's time for you to find out if spinal decompression will be your sciatic and back pain solution. For 15 days only, we're running a very special offer where you can find out if you are a candidate for spinal decompression. What Does This Offer Include? Everything we normally do in our new patient evaluation. Just call before Aug. 26th, and here's what you'll get… • An in-depth consultation about your health and well-being where the doctor will listen…really listen…to the details of your case. • A complete neuromuscular examination. • A full set of specialized x-rays to determine if a spinal problem is contributing to your pain or symptoms. • A thorough analysis of your exam and x-ray findings so we can start mapping out your plan to being pain free. • An extensive review of your MRI. • You'll get to see everything first hand and find out if this amazing treatment will be your pain solution, like is has been for so many other patients. Until Aug. 26th, you can get everything listed here for $20. The normal price for this type of evaluation including x-rays is $250, so you're saving a considerable amount by taking us up on this offer. Here's What To Do Now: Due to the expected demand for this treatment, we suggest calling our office at once at 678-574-5678.

CALL TODAY!

678-574-5678 North Cobb Spine & Nerve Institute 3451 Cobb Pkwy Ste. 4 Acworth, GA 30101


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Our wine guru switches gears to talk about beer By Michael Venezia Photography by Jennifer Carter


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“The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with beer.” – Translation from an ancient Egyptian text 2200 B.C.

It’s August, it’s hot and I am parched. Whether it is watching Braves baseball, working outdoors or grilling burgers, nothing quenches a thirst quite like a cold beer. While growing up in Brooklyn New York in the ‘50s and ‘60s, locally produced brands such as Schaefer whose illuminated billboard appeared in the outfield at Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Ballentine Ale, who sponsored The New York Yankees, were the most popular local brews in the Big Apple. In college I enjoyed Miller High Life, “The Champagne of Beer.” While visiting the Irish pubs of Manhattan, I learned to appreciate Guinness Stout, and during European travel, the abbey ales of Belgium and the lagers of Germany and Holland were reliable thirst quenchers. Beer tastes best when fresh and locally brewed quality ales are flowing from Atlanta’s Sweetwater Brewing Company. Established in 1997, Sweetwater has a strong foothold in the marketplace and its lineup of crafted ales is widely available both on the premises and in retail outlets. The successful combination of winning awards for their fine products, as well as a strong community presence, has helped the success of this important Atlanta brewery. When the ancient civilization of Babylonia formalized brewing practices they had mastered the technique of fermenting malted cereal extract,


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creating a healthy beverage which became quite popular. The Egyptians are credited with established laws governing sales and distribution. Commerce in beer for trade as well as the first bars for drinking beer was an important element of this cultured civilization. The second half of the 20th century saw the disappearance of hundreds of local American breweries and the country was dominated by a few giants. Brands such as Budweiser, Miller and Coors saturated the beer landscape. Today we are experiencing a return to the artisanal approach of the craft brewer who specializes in high quality, small production brews. Now many consumers are abandoning the predictable style of American lager and replacing it with fuller bodied, more complex, exciting ales and flavored brews. The David has taken on Goliath and it seems that the David is winning. Freddy Bensch is one such David whose Sweetwater Brewing Company has set the standard for establishing a craft dedicated to the production of ales of distinction. The beer lover in Georgia can enjoy a wide range of styles thanks to the efforts of the Sweetwater team. Perhaps the best way to get acquainted with the products is to visit the brewery for a tour and tasting. Their website www.sweetwaterbrew.com will have all the necessary information for days, times and fees associated with their hospitality program. The Brewery has also become known for significant community outreach. Their “Save the Hooch� promotion has made a significant impact on proactive


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environmental support for the Chattahoochee River and the annual 420 Festival, a weeklong music and arts celebration, has worked to better the Candler Park Community. So raise a toast with a Sweetwater Ale. My summer favorite is the IPA (Indian Pale Ale), a style which was first produced in England in the late 18th century in order to supply British subjects who were employed by the East India Company. Their flagship 420 Extra Pale Ale is a west coast style with a stimulating hop character and a crisp refreshing finish. Sweetwater Blue is a light bodied ale with a hint of fresh blueberries. A convenient 12-pack is available which offers a variety selection of their standard and seasonal, limited release products. All Sweetwater Ales are unpasteurized to retain their natural flavors and have a closely managed 90 day shelf life rotation monitored by their sales team and distribution partners. So if you are searching for a taste of local beer artistry, your grocery store, bar, restaurant or traditional package store will have a well-chilled and refreshing Sweetwater Ale to quench your thirst and lift your spirits.

what is

?

beer

Beer is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from water, malted grain and usually roasted barley which enhances the color, aroma and texture of the brew. Often flavored with hops, the flavors of a vine plant are added to the brewing process adding a degree of bitterness. The two prominent types are lagers, which are light bodied and golden in color, while ales are darker in color, accented with a more formidable infusion of hops which imparts a bittersweet characteristic.

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By St a c ey L. Evans Photography by Jennifer Carter When Duke and Polly Yaguchi need to get away, they simply open the back door and step outside. “It’s definitely my sanctuary,” said Polly. “It’s where I go when I want to just think and feel happy.” For both, a spacious, lush back yard brings back nostalgic memories of youth. “I grew up with a big yard and was always with my dad mowing and planting,” said Polly. Her favorite addition to the back yard is the flourishing lilac bush. “We always had lilac bushes growing up and I just love the fragrance,” she said. “I used to cut them off all the time and take them to my teachers when I was little. Every time I smell a lilac it takes me back to my childhood.”

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O


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Duke and Polly Yaguchi at their East Cobb home.

O

Local couple transformed their drab back yard into an

East Cobb

S I S A


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Duke also has fond memories of yard work with his father, who at one time was a gardener for Frank Sinatra. Though the couple claim to not be skilled gardeners, they devote hours each week to the grunt work of upkeep. “We spend a lot of time weeding and people think we are slaves to our yard, but actually it’s kind of relaxing,” said Duke. “It takes our mind off other troubles and is a way to zone out a bit.” “I call it my mindless therapy,” said Polly. The thriving, colorful landscape is a departure from the barren back yard present when they moved into the East Cobb home several years ago. It was comprised of “pretty bad grass, junipers and a bunch of weeds,”said Duke. The midwest natives spent a few years in Florida before settling in Georgia, so they were unfamiliar with native vegetation, but it was important to them their renovated back yard be sustainable and flourish year round. So they called on nearby Pike Nursery for

BEFORE

When the Yaguchis moved into their East Cobb home a few years ago, it was full of weeds, sparse grass and not much else. Having a lush back yard was important to both of them, so they employed the help of Pike Nursery to create their backyard oasis.

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AFTER

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When the Yaguchis were designing their new backyard, they made sure to use native vegetation that would flourish year round.

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landscape design and planting. First on the list was adding trees along the fence, creating privacy. The Yaguchis also wanted to fill out the rising landscape with levels of greenery, adding as many pops of color as possible. “The nice thing about a garden is it’s always changing, so throughout the season there are different plants flowering and it always looks a bit different,” said Duke. Also on the must-have list was a zen garden, where they could start the day with fresh air, the morning paper and a cup of coffee, or find solitude to stretch out with a good book. They made sure to save space for a pool, which was installed a year later. The cascading waterfall element added with the pool made the back yard complete, said Duke. Its soothing sound accentuates the serene atmosphere of the garden.

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Polly and Duke Yaguchi love to relax near the pool with a cold drink in the summer. The Yaguchis also had a large fire pit installed. “It’s really nice on a cool fall night to sit around and relax,” said Polly. Below, the path leading up to the zen garden area.


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From left, Ben and Andrew Groover take a peek from their tent. Opposite page, the twins hiking the mountains with their father and writer Joel Groover, pictured with his banjo.

‘Mountain Men’ East Cobb twins scale the craggy peaks at Vogel State Park “Dad, this is the best spaghetti I’ve ever had in my entire life!” It was quite a compliment to the chef. After all, my 9-year-old son Andrew loves to go over to Mirko in East Cobb and eat spaghetti with a side of meatballs.

pressions of Vogel State Park—the sight of Lake Trahlyta ringed by the Appalachian mountains; the sound of cuckoos, chickadees and nuthatches harmonizing from the trees; little details like the bloodroot flowers and fiddle-head ferns poking out of the ground—could compete with my kids’ pixelated pals from the Nintendo Wii. Like nearly all children these days, Andrew and Benjamin spend too much time immersed in games like “Super Mario But unlike Mirko’s gourmet Italian fare, this pasta had dirt Space Galaxy 2” or “Donkey Kong Country Returns.” They all over it. A couple of dead gnats made it into the mix as have lots of experience battling virtual “bosses” such as well, unbeknownst to Andrew and his identical twin, BenMugly, Scurvy Crew, Thugly and Mole Miner Max. Lugging jamin. heavy backpacks through Coosa Bald or over Duncan Ridge? The recipe? Prego sauce dumped onto some boiled noodles. Not so much. And yet the kids showed immense satisfaction Voilà. each time they used their hiking sticks to negotiate the We were sitting cross-legged around my 20-year-old various stream-crossings along the trail. Getting Coleman backpacking stove, wolfing down the across those mossy steppingstones was perilous, but by Joel spaghetti on paper plates as Wolf Creek gurgled Groover they managed to keep their feet out of the drink. nearby. Hike a few miles on the Coosa Backcountry More importantly, each time we threw off our backTrail at Vogel State Park, it seems, and your palate bepacks to rest our aching shoulders, the kids would get comes extraordinarily sensitized to the macronutrient carboquiet. Like little mystics, they would stare at the trees around hydrate. The sun was setting behind the silhouetted trees and them, or gaze at the mountains off in the distance. They mountains around us. After dinner, we would crawl into our would listen to the wind blowing through the hemlocks, oaks tent and get some sleep, right off the trail. and white pines. Back in the 1990s when I was a lonely bachelor fresh out of “Dad, it’s really beautiful here,” Benjamin whispered to the University of Georgia, I had made lots of solo backpackme. “This is so nice.” ing trips on this 12.7-mile loop. Unless you’re a Navy Seal Knowing how heavy a backpack can start to feel on the type, the “strenuous” rating of this craggy, mostly uphill trek trail, I was a bit worried the boys would want to quit. Instead, is a bit of an understatement. Park rangers warn people not to they were positively energized on the hike. They forced me to attempt the Coosa Backcountry Trail in a day. I knew to take keep up with them. it easy with the kids and just hike a portion of it. Back to the screen issue for a moment. In a recent “RevoluWould Andrew and Benjamin dig their first backpacking tion Health Radio” podcast, the nutrition guru Chris Kresser trip? I sure hoped so. But I wondered whether the sensory im- noted that research is now pouring in on the harmful effects


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of screen time for kids. “The average American child now spends more than seven hours a day in front of an electronic screen,” he said. “The only other activity that the average kid does more than planting himself or herself in front of a screen is sleeping.” And all this screen time is replacing green time. “Recent studies have shown that people living in the U.S., Japan and Spain are spending between 18 percent and 25 percent less time in wilderness or natural environments today than they were just 30 years ago,” Kresser reported. “This is, of course, a concern because nature has been shown to have numerous health benefits.” In fact, time spent in nature is the single most predictive factor in how physically active preschool children will be later in life. Other studies have shown that contact with nature reduces stress, loneliness and depression even as it boosts stress tolerance and mood. Green time actually up-regulates the immune system. I wish I could take my kids camping and backpacking more often. Given our family’s hectic schedule, it can be frustratingly difficult to find the time. Fortunately, Cobb County is full of fantastic parks and hiking trails. When it comes to non-pixelated destinations in our actual, three-dimensional universe, we’ve got Kennesaw Mountain, the Silver Comet Trail, the Chattahoochee River, Lake Allatoona and Lake Acworth, to name just a few. Any amount of time we can spend with our kids in such places is for the good, it seems to me, because it means their childhood memories will include scenes filled with trees, rocks, rivers and vast, open spaces, just like their ancestors from countless millennia. Amid such surroundings, even Dad’s spaghetti (gnats, dirt and all) is worth savoring!

Twins Andrew and Benjamin Groover hiked Vogel State Park with their dad, Joel, below. Above, the boys take another adventure at East Cobb Park.

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by Meredith Pruden>>photograpy by Jennifer Carter

In the male centric world of sports, female athletes often are underestimated or made the butt of unfair jokes, but these three Cobb County women are no laughing matter. For Elaine Sipos, Sadie Thrift and Moe Travis, athletics are more than a hobby ... they’re a way of life. They compete at the highest levels in sports commonly believed to be the purview of men. And, they’re proving

time and again that women are

MUCH MORE THAN

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Elaine Sipos | the Triathlete

After years of running with >>friends, even going so far as

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to run marathons, East Cobb resident Elaine Sipos experienced a knee injury. Rather than resigning herself to defeat and hitting the couch, she changed her workout regimen and hit the road...and the track...and the water. “I signed up for a triathlon before I even bought a bike,” Sipos said. “I did my first race a month later—a half Ironman.” Although she doesn’t keep track of how many races she’s completed, she estimates the number is close to 100 in 10 years. Her husband, Jeremy, and her brother often join her. Sipos trains at least twice each day, and all that training has paid off. She regularly is ranked USAT All American or All American Honorable Mention—designations awarded to the top 10 percent in each age group. But, even with all her success, it’s not just about the competition for Sipos. “The highlight for me is really the friends I’ve met along the way,” she said. The starting gun has sounded, and she’s off to the races!


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de n u F e IK m i t Four

O W P M A H C


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ai h T y ua M d eate f e d n

D L R O N O I P M >>>Moe Travis | the Fighter


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>>>Moe Travis | the Fighter

Left, Moe Travis throws a kick while blocking a punch from her opponent (Photo couresty of Eric Langley Photography). Above, Travis shows off one of her many championship belts.

>>> Kennesaw resident Monique “Moe” Travis stands only 4’11” but she towers above the competition as a Bangkok Boxing Champion and four-time IKF World Champion with an undefeated 13-0 record in Muay Thai. Travis began training seven years ago as a way to lose lingering baby weight after the birth of her daughter,

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Evangelina, and quickly fell in love with the sport. “I was fat and was trying to lose the last 20 pounds,” she said. “I’ve loved it ever since and can’t stop.” Training two or three times a day in between teaching kickboxing and other fitness classes at local gym KnuckleUp, Travis devotes herself to a healthy lifestyle. “I love the challenge

of testing myself against the best out there,” she said. “And, it keeps me in shape. I’m 31 and not getting any younger, so I gotta keep in shape to keep up with my kid, my dogs and my husband, Geoffrey, who is a Cobb County firefighter and works out a lot too.” Talk about fighting like a girl!


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Sa

di e Th ri f t

the archer


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>>>Sadie Thrift | the Archer Kennesaw resident Sadie Thrift is ranked first in Georgia and third in the Southeast in her division for recurve bows.

At only 16 years old, Kennesaw resident Sadie Thrift already has evolved into an accomplished athlete in her sport. Long before The Hunger Games took the box office by storm, Thrift found archery at summer camp and now, only five years later, is ranked first in Georgia and third in the Southeast in her division for recurve bows. “I got a beginner’s set for Christmas—a little plastic one,” she said. “I went to an orientation class at Kennesaw Archery Club to learn more about it. They had more professional equipment, and I really enjoyed it.” Now, she’s recently back from Olympic rounds in Colorado, where she placed second in her division against some of the toughest talent in the country. Thrift practices four times a week during the summer months and has her sights set on scoring a coveted spot on the Olympic Junior Dream Team. “I want to compete in the Olympics, but first I have to get onto the Junior Dream Team.” Thrift said. “Tryouts are in November.” She’s taking aim and prepped for a bullseye!


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LAST MAN STANDING Why the grueling Spartan Death Race won’t break Cobb’s Pete Coleman

Maybe it’s the mud, the guts, the glory and the blood that drives Pete Coleman. Maybe it’s the unknown – the one real thing that inspires the most fear in each of us. Or maybe it’s just the opportunity to do what few get a chance to do – to push the true limits of athletic endurance and competitiveness.

By Michael Pallerino Photography by Jennifer Carter

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To know Pete Coleman

other endurance races where participants get a detailed map, Death Racers have no idea what may come next during the event, which range anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. is to know a man who takes all of this seriously. Why else “It’s designed to test your mental, physical and emotional would he continue to partake in the famed Spartan Death Race limits,” says Coleman, who by day is – the grueling, surreal, eclectic fourthe manager of sales performance day competition where 90 percent of and GIS for the Simmons Bedding the participants don’t even finish? A Pete Coleman on what it takes to Company. “Last year we carried competition where you may be CONQUER THE DEATH RACE kayaks the full length of the Long asked to chop wood, carry large tree Trail in the Green Mountains – some stumps, lift bags of rock for hours, VISION – You must see what it is you want to 26 miles – then paved a cottage take seemingly endless hikes, cut achieve before you can even begin to prepare driveway with buckets of gravel, bushels of onions or memorize a to get it. chopped wood, completed a twoBible verse – all without stopping. hour written exam, hiked with 60 Agonizing? Torturous? Crazy? DISCIPLINE – You must be devoted to your pounds bags of cement up a 6-mile “My family thought I was nuts,” preparation if you want the opportunity to sucmountain trail, then finished by ceed. says Coleman of his wife, Kim, and rolling like a log for 1.5 miles. I fintwo boys, Tyler, 5, and Kyle, 3. ished the race with a time of HEART – If you don’t care, you’ll never be able to “Kim wouldn’t come to the race get past the setbacks that allow you to succeed. 64:36:31. That was straight through venues at first because she didn’t with no sleep.” want to see me in pain. Last year, LUCK & TIMING – It doesn’t hurt to have either. Coleman, who competed in the my mother was my crew person, but first World’s Toughest Mudder comvowed never to return because it petition in 2011 and several was just too much for her to watch.” GORUCK challenges (team events), Held annually since 2005 in decided to take on the Death Race after seeing an online video Pittsfield, Vt., the Spartan Death Race gives some 200 athletes about the event. This summer will be the Marietta resident’s the chance to test their mental and physical endurance by basithird Death Race. cally tossing them into the wilds of the Vermont woods. Unlike

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Above, Pete Coleman at the Death Race.

To prepare for the grueling pace, Coleman works out every day of the workweek at the Concourse Athletic Club, putting in 60 minutes of circuit training, kickboxing or weight lifting. He also tries to participate in at least one event (group training, obstacle course or road run) a weekend. As the race nears, Coleman complements his regimen with track workouts every Tuesday and Thursday at Walton High School. “The basic premise is to tax my body physically for six straight weeks with minimal recovery to increase my strength and endurance, and improve my long distance running skills.” In the end, the factor that drives Coleman and others like him isn’t so much preparation as it is willpower. It’s about staring down the “I-just-can’t-go-on” feeling with steely eyes and a strong heart, right? “Definitely; that’s basically the primary driver of the event,” Coleman says. “How do you handle circumstances when you just don’t think you can go on? It’s where the magic starts, and the next thing you know, you’re accomplishing more than you ever dreamed possible. It’s about knowing no boundaries and surrounding yourself with positive people. The positive benefits of exercise and expanding your personal limits should never be underestimated. Experiencing this race as a participant or observer will change your life.” As for the 2014 Death Race – Coleman already has signed up.

Your ticket to the race ath For information on the De the e tak to w ho and Race plunge, so to speak, visit YouMayDie.com. August/September 2013 Cobb Life

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COBB’S SECRET By Dr. Bobby Gise, above.

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Life University’s Rugby Program continues to win national championships, stay relevant in the college spotlight


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Success on the rugby field is nothing new for Life. Here, in this newspaper clipping from the 80s, the team proudly displays an Eastern Division trophy they won at a match at Princeton University. The writer, Bobby Gise, is pictured on the front row, sixth from left.

While Kennesaw State University’s football program might be garnering the bulk of the ink these days, a lesser known Cobb sports program has been busy reeling in multiple national titles. We’re talking about Life University’s Rugby Program. This year alone Life’s Running Eagles program captured two national titles in two different divisions. Life has the unique niche of featuring both an undergraduate team and a Men’s Division I Club side team, which primarily features gradudate and chiropractic students. And let’s get something straight. Life didn’t win their national titles against smaller colleges. Instead, they competed on the top level with universities such as UGA, Cal Berkley, FSU, Wisconsin and Penn State. Not bad for a small college in Marietta, Ga. The national championship game for the undergraduate squads was aired June 2 on NBC. The origins of the success of the program go back nearly three decades when in the spring of 1979 Dr. Jim Hovey, former Atlanta Falcons Chiropractor, and fellow Life alum Dr. Bobby Gise were in attendance at a rugby tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. The two were so inspired by the game they decided to work on getting a program established at Life. They were supported in their efforts by then-Life president and founder Dr. Sid E Williams. Williams – an athlete himself who played on the 1952 Rose Bowl National Championship Team in his last year at Georgia Tech – helped push the sport at the college not only as a point of pride, but also as a way for the university’s chiropractic school to get hands-on experience. The university’s program might not be on the level of exposure as other sports programs across the state and rugby is still working to find a foothold in the United States, but when those in the know are watching they know that Life is the best.

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g n i n n ru

r i a on

by Stacey L. Evans Ph o to g ra p hy by J e n n i fe r Ca r te r

Marietta resident combines fitness and fun in Kangoo Jumps workout


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Linda Turner, left, and Misty Neidig run through Hickory Hills park in Marietta wearing Kangoo Jumps. Opposite page, Neidig jumps in the park.

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W

When Misty Neidig performs her normal exercise routine, people often stop and stare. If she’s walking at a moderate pace, it may take a minute for curious onlookers to detect why she has a bit more spring in her step than the average person. If she’s sprinting through a park in full-on bounce and run mode, it’s a little more evident— she’s wearing some strange, futuristic-looking boots. Neidig is sporting Kangoo Jumps, a Swiss-made exercise boot with springs attached that provide rebounding exercise. “You almost feel like you’re flying. It brings back [the feeling of] being a kid—trampolines, being in the air—that sense of weightlessness,” said Neidig, a 7th grade special education math teacher at Marietta Middle School. “It’s euphoric.” In New York City, Los Angeles and many European cities, Jumps can be spotted in marathons and fitness classes (and if you’re a fan of the Kardashians, you may remember Kim and Kourtney donning them in a 2010 episode), but have yet to gain traction in the South. Neidig is trying to change that. She began jumping a couple years ago and was immediately hooked. Now she runs wearing the special boots at least three times a week. “My aerobic exercise has drastically changed,” said Neidig. “I was not a runner at all, but now I can run 8 to 10 miles [while wearing the Jumps] and

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SO WHAT EXACTLY ARE KANGOO JUMPS? Kangoo Jumps are exercise boots with springs attached to the soles. The springs allow for low-impact rebound exercise. You can use the Jumps for jogging, running, bouncing, walking or any type of aerobic exercise such as jumping jacks, knee lifts and more. In addition to burning more calories walking or jogging than you normally would, Jumps help stimulate your lymphatic system and encourages proper posture, according to the Kangoo Jumps website. They are safe for any age, and kids sizes are available.

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Check out Misty Neidig’s facebook page www.facebook.com/pages/ComeJump-Atlanta-with-Me, for information and a link to purchase Jumps at a discounted price. You can also call her at 813.857.4357 for more information.

don’t realize I’m running or jogging the distance I am because I don’t get as tired and I have fun.” Often jumping alongside Neidig is Marietta High School English teacher Linda Turner, who was admittedly hesitant to strap on the boots at first. “I have balance and equilibrium issues, and so I thought there is no way I am going to be able to use these,” said Turner. “That was my big fear, but I have never felt unstable on these. I never felt like I was going to tip over, fall, or stumble — which is kind of miraculous for me.” According to www.kangoojumps.com, the boots were designed to reduce impact stress on joints for joggers and were initially used for rehabilitation after surgery and for prevention of injuries. The boots are ideal for those who have trouble running or jogging because of joint issues. For Turner, Kangoo Jumps have opened up a new world in exercising. “Most of us don’t jump as adults. It’s a completely different experience than what we normally experience which always makes a workout more fun,” said Turner. “I can’t get off the ground without those because of my knees. Just to be able to do that again is freeing and exciting.” But as much as it is fun, it’s also hard work that gives you a strenuous workout, said Turner. “It kicks my butt. My stamina has increased; my cardio has increased a ton. It forces you to push yourself aerobically.”


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ig h lights A closer look at events and activities throughout Cobb County in August and September

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK ON THE MARIETTA SQUARE >>The current season of First Friday Art Walks on the Marietta Square continues on August 2, September 6, and October 4. Art Walk is a free, self-guided tour of the Marietta Square’s eclectic art scene. Galleries, museums, cultural venues, restaurants, and boutiques host artists within their businesses from 5 to 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month, rain or shine. Look for an official Art Walk banner in the window to identify participating venues. Choose your own route, or begin from Artists’ Alley at Dupre’s Antique Market at 17 Whitlock Ave. Art Walk informational maps are provided at each participating location. Pick one up to learn about the various locations and artists participating in Art Walk. There is no admission charge. Information: 770.429.1115 or www.artwalkmarietta.com

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MARIETTA/COBB MUSEUM OF ART >>The Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art presents “Metro Montage XIII” and “Folk Art Visionaries: Works by Self Taught Artists” through Sept. 15. The Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art is located in downtown Marietta at 30 Atlanta Street. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, free for children younger than six years and free for members. Information: 770.528.1444 or www.mariettacobbartmuseum.org FOOTLOOSE >>One of the most explosive movie musicals in recent memory bursts onto the live stage with exhilarating results. When Ren and his mother move from Chicago to a small town, Ren is prepared for the inevitable adjustment period at his new high school. What he isn’t prepared for is a ban on dancing instituted by the local preacher. To the rockin’ rhythm of its Oscar and Tony-nominated top 40 score and augmented with dynamic new songs for the stage musical, “Footloose” celebrates the wisdom of listening to young people and guiding them with a warm heart and an open mind. “Footloose” is August 16, 18, 22, 23, 24, and 25 at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre on the Marietta Square. Show times are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. Call for ticket prices. Information: 770.293.0080 or www.earlsmithstrand.org


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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD >>Known as one of the most important American films of all time, 1962’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a timeless story of injustice, family and steadfast integrity in the face of overwhelming adversity. Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice. “To Kill a Mockingbird” was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress and the American Film Institute has named Atticus Finch the greatest movie hero of the 20th century. “To Kill a Mockingbird” screens on August 9 at 8 p.m. at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre on the Marietta Square. Prior to the screening, enjoy a live organ pops variety show and singalong at 7:30 p.m. with Ron Carter on the Mighty Allen Theatre Organ. Tickets are $9 for adults, $8 for military, students and seniors. Information: 770.293.0080 or www.earlsmithstrand.org DEPARTURE: THE JOURNEY TRIBUTE BAND >>After being together for just five years, Departure has become the most respected Journey tribute band in the nation. Departure replicates the look, sound, and feel of the original 80’s rock super-group Journey, and plays all the hit songs that everyone knows and loves to give the au-

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dience a true concert experience. So don’t stop believing in loving, touching, and squeezing your sweetheart to the rocking sounds of Departure: The Journey Tribute Band. Departure performs on August 10 at 8 p.m. in the Earl Smith Strand Theatre on the Marietta Square. Tickets are $15. Information: 770.293.0080 or www.earlsmithstrand.org LEWIS GRIZZARD: IN HIS OWN WORDS >>Actor Bill Oberst, Jr. has stepped into the late Lewis Grizzard’s shoes over 1,000 times in the last decade. Oberst’s portrayal of the Southern writer and humorist is a one-man show authorized by Grizzard’s family, which says it is the closest thing to seeing the late, great spokesman of the South on stage again since Grizzard’s death at age 47. “Lewis Grizzard: in His Own Words” is Sept. 27 and 28 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 29, at 3 p.m., at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre on the Marietta Square. The show is presented in two acts and runs 90 minutes. Tickets are $20. Information: 770.293.0080 or www.earlsmithstrand.org THE NATIONAL >>Formed in 1999, The National consists of vocalist Matt Berninger fronting two pairs of brothers, Aaron on guitar, bass, and piano, Bryce Dessner on guitar, Scott on bass and guitar and Bryan Devendorf on drums. Their

first full-length albums, “The National,” and “Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers,” preceded their crucial mini-album, “Cherry Tree.” “Alligator” included underground anthem “Mr. November” and raised their profile as The National grew into an incendiary live band. “Boxer,” featuring songs like “Fake Empire,” “Mistaken for Strangers” and “Start a War,” sold over three times as many copies as its predecessor and saw them transformed from underground stars into a rock institution. “High Violet” brought the band global critical and commercial success. Both individually and collectively, The National’s members have been involved in countless artistic, charitable and socio-political pursuits. The National brings their unique brand of indie rock to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. This will be the band’s first show in the Atlanta area since performing in October 2010. Frightened Rabbit is set to open the show. Ticket prices range from $22 to $34.50. Information: 770.916.2808 or www.cobbenergycentre.com JEANNE ROBERTSON >>Turning 70 years young this year, Jeanne Robertson continues to charm audiences with her humorous observations about life around her. This former Miss North Carolina, standing tall at six-foot-two, has an infectious personality, heart and sense of


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humor. With seven nationally-released DVD’s, three books, hundreds of hours on Sirius-XM satellite radio and over 16.4 million YouTube hits, the demand for Robertson’s family-friendly and engaging brand of comedy has grown exponentially. Some of her most popular anecdotes include “Don’t Go to Vegas without a Baptist,” “Don’t Bungee Jump Naked” and “Don’t Send a Man to the Grocery Store.” Robertson’s witty depiction of everyday situations never fails to have audiences of all ages rolling with laughter. Jeanne Robertson performs at Cobb Energy Performing Arts

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Centre on Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $32 to $42. Information: 770.916.2808 or www.cobbenergycentre.com A TRIBUTE TO ELLA, JOE & BASIE >>Count Basie’s music, characterized by a blues-steeped jumping beat and contrapuntal piano accents, was a showcase for top singers. On this evening, presenters honor two great singers whose performances with the Count reached legendary proportions. Joe Williams, the blues legend, will be presented by “DownBeat” poll winner

Kevin Mahogany. Janis Siegel, as a member of the eight-time Grammy winning group Manhattan Transfer, will pay homage to the great jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald. To top off this momentous evening, the legendary Count Basie Orchestra will join in this thrilling performance. Get ready to swing the night away. “A Tribute to Ella, Joe & Basie” with Janis Siegel, Kevin Mahogany and the Count Basie Orchestra is Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Ticket prices range from $29 to $89. Information: 770.916.2808 or www.cobbenergycentre.com THE PRODUCERS >>Bialystock and Bloom – those names should strike terror and hysteria in anyone familiar with Mel Brooks’ classic cult comedy film. Now as a big Broadway musical, “The Producers” once again sets the standard for modern, outrageous, in-your-face humor. It is a truly “boffo” hit, winning a record twelve Tony Awards and wowing capacity crowds night after night. The plot is simple: a down-onhis-luck Broadway producer and his mild-mannered accountant come up with a scheme to produce the most notorious flop in history, thereby bilking their backers out of millions of dollars. Only one thing goes awry: the show is a smash hit. At the core of the insanely funny adventure is a poignant emotional journey of two very different men who become friends. With a truly hysterical book co-written by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan and music and lyrics by Mr. Brooks, “The Producers” skewers Broadway traditions and takes no prisoners as it proudly proclaims itself an equal opportunity offender. Atlanta Lyric Theatre delivers “The Producers” from August 9 through 25, in their new performance location at the Cobb Civic Center’s Jennie T. Anderson Theatre at 548 S. Marietta Parkway, in Marietta. Tickets range from $25 to $55. Information: 404.377.9948 or www.atlantalyrictheatre.com

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EVELYN IN PURGATORY >>When a complaint is filed against one of the 70,000 teachers in New York’s public schools, they’re sent to a “Reassignment Center,” one of a series of empty offices in the Department of Education Building. There, they sit and wait for their case to be reviewed. Usually for months. Sometimes for over a year. A claim of improper behavior by a failing student lands Evelyn Reid in “the rubber room,” where she encounters a group of teachers, some guilty, some not, who have long since lost any hope of returning to a classroom. Over the course of the school year, these colleagues form an unlikely alliance, reminding each other of forgotten passions, emerging to face life outside in unexpected new directions. Written by Topher Payne, “Evelyn in Purgatory” is presented by Out of Box Theatre from August 16 through Sept. 1 in their new theatre at The Artisan Resource Center, 585 Cobb Parkway South, Suite C-1, in Marietta. Information: 678.653.4605 or www.outofboxtheatre.com


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East Cobb Park Celebration

SCENE 3

The Friends of East Cobb Park held a tenth anniversary celebration in mid-July to commemorate the anniversary of the park. 1. Friends of East Cobb Park volunteers Lesley Steinberg, her daughter Caroline, 11, and Board Member Jodie Branerff. 2. From left, Maya Hoye, 14, Shawn DeMario and her daughter Cameron, 14. 3. Mary Karras, founding president of Friends of East Cobb Park, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. and Sunny Walker, Friends of East Cobb Park second president and visionary founder of the park. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KELLY J. HUFF

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THE SCENE: Red Carpet

Superman Movie premier

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Kennedy Center, Washington D.C. with Christopher Reeve as Superman. Dr. McCamy conversed with most of the A-listers in attendance including Dr. Boland McCamy Christopher Reeve (what a gracious McCamy & Hull Family Dentistry gentleman), Gene Hackman (lives 770-428-9083 life to the fullest), Margot Kidder, Marc McClure, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, PelÊ (perhaps the greatest soccer player who ever lived), plus many more. Marlon Brando (who was paid one million dollars a day for each of 13 days as Jor-El) did not show. Sargent Shriver (of Peace Corps fame) was the Event’s General Chairman with funds going to the Special Olympics.

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East Cobb Park Celebration

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4. Melissa Bauer, web coordinator for the Friends of East Cobb Park and the organization’s Vice President Amber Harris. 5. Jeff Hedlund and his wife Trevor, along with their three daughters, Faith, 2, Grace, 7, and Lila, 4.

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East Cobb Park Celebration

SCENE

6 6. Friends of East Cobb Park Secretary Michelle Patrick and her husband Michael. 7. Evelyn Poulos, her daughter Aleni, 9, and husband Greg. 8. Annette Hodgson and East Cobb Rotarian Carol Eskew.

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Simple Needs fundraiser

Marietta-based Simple Needs Georgia held a bowling fundraiser in May to raise funds for its ‘My Birthday Matters’ program which works to provide disadvantaged children with new presents, parties and basic necessities on their birthday. The event took place at AMF Bowling Lanes in Marietta. 1. Brenda Rhodes of Marietta and Kasey Litt of Acworth. 2. C.J. McCullough of Acworth, Jonathan Shoemaker of Acworth, Amanda McCullough of Acworth and Emily Parham of Kennesaw. 3. Maili Skollar and Jadon Skollar of Sandy Springs. 4. Melissa Paven of Marietta and Chris Fabian of Powder Springs. 5. Kim Thomas of Norcross and Lauren Graham of Atlanta. PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENNIFER CARTER

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Simple Needs fundraiser

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6. Molly Mellow, Bob Tavares, and Elyse Mellow, all of Marietta. 7. Adam Wayne and Algernon Edwards, both of Marietta.8. Scott Hutchins of Marietta and Erica Coe of New York City. 9. Jessiaca Lin of Dunwoody and Talia Skollar of Sandy Springs.

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Simple Needs fundraiser

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENNIFER CARTER

12 10. Kim Thomas of Norcross and Lauren Graham of Atlanta. 11. Cassie and Tom Hutchins of Marietta. 12. Joel Groover and sons Benjamin and Andrew of Marietta.

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Simple Needs fundraiser

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13. Darlene Andrews of Marietta and Sandy Dame of Acworth. 14. Chris Murphy of Kennesaw and Phil Hall of Smyrna.

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LMK Foundation golf tourney

The LMK Foundation held a golf tourney in late spring at RiverPines Golf Course. The foundation works to raises awareness and provide funds for residents coping with Alzheimer’s Disease. The foundation is based in Marietta. 1. From left, Melinda Kitchen and Steve Pittman of Marietta. 2. From left, Jerry Puryear of Canton and Mike Holbrook of Marietta. 3. From left, Jimmy Berry of Acworth and Cliff Lee of Marietta. PHOTOGRAPHY BY SAMANTHA M. SHAL

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LMK Foundation golf tourney

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4. From left, LMK Foundation president Gary Kitchen of Acworth and board member Casey Smith of Marietta with son Ethan. 5. From left, Kenya Burnett of Hapeville and Sonja Gonzalez of Marietta.

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LMK Foundation golf tourney

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7 PHOTOGRAPHY BY SAMANTHA M. SHAL 6. From left, Brent Thomas of Smyrna, Steve Beaulieu of Marietta, Joe Brassfield of Smyrna and Alison Thomas of Smyrna. 7. From left, Josh Holbrook of Marietta and Sydney Oden of Acworth

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Wild West Social

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The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at KSU’s College of Continuing and Professional Education held a Wild Wild West social in June. The OLLI experience is geared toward adults 50 and older. Participants dressed in their best western garb. 1. Smyrna residents Janie Ingram and Frank Townsend. 2. Marietta residents Charyl and Kenneth Voige. 3. Marietta residents Karen and Bennett Frye.

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF KSU


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4. From left, Kennesaw residents Joe Riden, Jim McGlone and Jacqueline and Robert Downing.

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YET?

By Lindsay Field

Let’s talk about grilled cheese sandwiches for a minute. Yes, it makes for an elementary recipe, but ask yourself this: ‘What was your fallback food as a child, more than likely a college student must-have, or continues to be one of your go-to simple foods as a parent, grandparent, aunt or older sibling?” The ooey, gooey, cheesiness of this little bit of grilled yumminess! I may be a little too attached to this simple dish, but in my defense, grilled cheese sandwiches hold a special – yet quite odd - place in my heart. In April 2000, I was introduced to then 4-year-old Mac Crutchfield. His parents needed a sitter for the summer and since I was still in college and needed a job, I said yes. I would pick Mac up every morning at 7 a.m. and he would be my tag-along buddy until nearly 7 p.m. every night. And during our 12-hour days, he’d play, play, play, just like any little kid does and his mornings and afternoons included two-hour swim practices, so he was what we might call ‘Woe out!’ His active little self required food, too, and lots of it. At times, he reminded me of an 18-year-old football player, who I know from growing up with a younger brother who played football,

that it’s not easy to keep them full. Mac would have two grilled cheeses before his nap and a third afterwards. And for those of you who are health crazies, he’d also enjoy the fruit and veggies as well. I’m pretty sure we went through a loaf of bread every three or four days, but it’s what he loved and his face wasn’t one I could ever say ‘no’ to. Sadly, eight years later and after too many family vacations to count, Auburn University football games with my parents, swim meets galore and several summers of trying to build the best tree house in the world, we lost Mac to a tragic drowning accident at just 12 years old. August 23 marks five years since I lost my Mac Attack and not a day goes by that I don’t remember his goofy smile, silver hair from swimming so much and that heart of gold that poured out when he called to wish me Happy Birthday, check in or simply send an “I love you” text message. So, with that all being said, remembered and just a few tears being wipe away while writing this, I ask each of you to take time one day this month to make a grilled cheese in his honor, or in memory of any young person out there who went to see the good Lord a little earlier than we planned. Also, you’re invited to learn more about Mac, his story and the amazing foundation that was started in his honor. It benefits swimmers who are hoping to compete at the college level and the Special Olympics. Please visit www.maccrutchfieldfoundation.com.


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Our Family Serving Your Family Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home & Crematory invites you to explore your funeral care options at either of our locations. If you’re a United States Military Veteran, you may qualify for specific assistance programs which we can help you apply for. Veterans and civilians alike can benefit from sitting down with a Funeral Preplanning Professional to record your wishes and we are the area’s trusted experts in funeral care. For nearly 90 years, Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home & Crematory has brought comfort and peace of mind to you, your friends and neighbors.

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180 Church Street N.E. Marietta, GA • (770) 428-1511

www.MayesWardDobbins.com

3940 Macland Road Powder Springs, GA • (770) 943-1511


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