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the uncertain fate of the golf and gardens | PAGE 17





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A Magical Day in Downtown Augusta In a land far, far away there lived a princess... It was a fairy tale kind of day after all. We recently had the honor and privilege as parents of giving our eldest daughter’s hand away in marriage – congratulations again you two! – and gaining a son in the process. During the wedding planning, our daughter approached us with the concept of an intimate and simple wedding: in other words, small. Well, maybe not so small. Once we counted in all of the family in the area, close friends, high school and college mates, “small” ended up at about 100 to 125 people. Once the number was agreed to, the next phase of the planning was presented: our daughter wanted a wedding that was completely downtown, or at least as much as humanly possible. With plan in hand. her mother and she started making the rounds: florist, baker, preacher, caterers and a candlestick maker. To our surprise (not really, because we knew this could be done), we were able to pull of one of the sweetest, dearest weddings ever, on a moderate budget and all within walking distance.

call us: 706.951.0579 mail us: P.O. Box 38 Augusta GA 30903 email us: advertising and general stuff

The wedding was held at the historic Union Baptist Church on Greene Street. One of the oldest churches in Augusta, the church has been kept in its original state. With its beautifully restored stained glass windows, intimate seating for 140 and carved wood ornamentation, the church hardly needed any extra decorations. Check, wedding site taken care – downtown.

story tips, ideas and letters

Next up, a reception venue. Casa Blanca Café in the recently renovated J.B. White’s was the ideal location. The trendy restaurant exudes intimacy, yet has plenty of room with a covered outdoor patio, upstairs balcony and quieter hall seating, which was perfect for a few families with small children. Check, reception site – downtown.

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1102 Bar and Grill Augusta Photo Festival Bar on Broad Big Mamas Blue Sky Kitchen Family Y Halo Salon International Uniform Jean Colohan Law Firm Manuel’s Bread Café Metro Pub Mid-Town Market Moon Beans/New Moon Nacho Mamas Rock Bottom Music Safe Homes Sanford Bruker Banks Sky City Soul City Sirens Soy Noodle House Sundrees/T Boys Po Biys The Learning Center The Loft Tipsey McStumbles Wild Wing Café Windsor Fine Jewelers




yeah, we made this

Our daughter wanted an afternoon wedding with a “sweets and savories” reception. Jai West at Casa Blanca Café provided a delicious assortment of savories, including macaroni and cheese cupcakes, brie fondue and jalapeno chips. The array was elegant with a dash of homeyness, just like our daughter. Manuel’s Bread Café (almost downtown) provided the sweets: tiny cheesecakes, mini-ramekins of crème brûlée and delectable chocolate-dipped strawberries. Casa Blanca and Manuel’s more than fulfilled our expectations – a perfect balance of sweet and savory. We turned to Big Day Cakes on Ninth Street for the wedding cake. Blending in the youthful ideas of wedding with the more traditional, our daughter decided that everyone would get cupcakes. There was the cake topper for the bride and groom for the traditional cutting of the wedding cake, but guests would receive a more individual-sized selection. This was a huge hit and the cupcakes went fast. I still feel the pounds adding on from all of the cupcakes we ate. Check, awesome food – downtown. Next up, flowers. Oh, the flowers! A simply elegant design was created by making use of sheaves of white stock for the bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets. Based on suggestions from Kathy Norman at Flowers Xpress, we filled mason jars with more stock and green baby mums for centerpiece arrangements. In the church, the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom created ivy, white camellia and baby’s breath posies to hang from the end of the pews. Fresh rosemary was tucked in every cluster (a family tradition from the groom’s side) that gave off the freshest of scents. Check, absolutely beautiful flowers – downtown. Next up, an officiant to preside over the ceremony. Well, it just so happens that one of our daughter’s former teachers at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School is also the pastor of the Church of Our Redeemer on Greene Street. Almost everything for the wedding came from downtown – and, before anyone asks why I didn’t mention the dress, the bride’s grandmother created it. What a wonderful experience for our daughter and her new husband: the sense of community. The vision to attempt such an event by using friends in the community and by supporting local business owners with one of the most important days in their lives was spectacular to watch and be a part of. We were – are – so proud for the foresight and the desire to support our local community. Thanks, kids! You get the point. The point is that there are a lot of services in downtown. Tons of great business owners providing just about anything one could want, right here in the downtown community. Thanks again, Augusta! See you downtown! Matt

ON THE COVER DUELING WRITERS by LEAH DESLANDES Introducing the serial novel, Love Letters from Fran and

Jack, from local authors Doug Holley and Jennifer Craig. This issue marks the first installment of the novel on page 18– pick up the second issue of verge each month to follow Fran and Jack’s adventures and intertwined lives.

4 March 14, 2012 | community driven news |

you won’t want to miss a page

the main feature

9 The Triple Crown Heralds Aiken’s Spring 11 Welcome to The Club 15 The Urban Renewal of Harrisburg Three weekends of all things horses

Newcomers to the CSRA discover friendship and community

Master plan envisions a vibrant, healthy neighborhood

17 Is there a future for the Golf and Gardens 18 Introducing Fran and Jack Another year has passed with no determined plan for progress

Two local writers join forces to create a memorable serial novel

22 Hell’s 40 Acres Rocks the Stage

Quartet combines musical prowess and a love for arena rock

heard around town 5 Ronald McDonald House expands 5 Local design firm gets new name and office 7 Augusta Fencing Club grows into new location

music | theatre | art | film 13 21 23 25 27 30 31 31

Entertainment: Prometheum Music: The Crystal Trio Food: The Augusta Market Art: Derek Hess Film: The Film Reel Music: Sound Bites Music: Mazes and Monsters Music: Morris Davidson Band

regular stuff 05 07 07 21 21 23 28 31 32 33 33

Heard Around Town Buzz on Biz The Green Life Good Chow Food Bites The Daily Planner Between the Covers Nightlife Ask Dr. Karp The New York Times Crossword Life Face First


here’s what inspires us

““What you read when you don’t have to

determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” — OSCAR WILDE

“You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.” — ray bradbury

heard [ ronald mcdonald house plans move and expansion ]

around town

what’s happening in augusta and aiken

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta might be moving to a new site next to Georgia Health Sciences University, and it could happen as soon as next summer. According to Betts Murdison, the president and CEO of RMHC of Augusta, the organization made the final land purchase Feb. 7 and is now beginning the campaign to raise approximately $5.2 million to build the new house. If all goes according to plan, Murdison says she is hoping to break ground this fall, after which it might take 10 months to build. “I’m confident we can raise the money because I think we have a very compelling case, and as an organization we fit into Georgia Health Science’s vision and Dr. Azizz’s vision of making Augusta a medical destination,” she said. “When a child is a patient they always have a caregiver, and all of those people stay with us. Our mission is to keep the families together so they aren’t fractured. We try to take care of the day-to-day responsibilities so that adults can focus all of their attention on their children in the hospital.” The current house occupies a historic building on Greene Street that was built in the 1800s. In November 1984, it opened under the Ronald McDonald House name and can provide bedrooms to 11 families per night while their children are undergoing medical treatment nearby. Nevertheless, the facility has several problems. It is not handicapped accessible and requires guests to climb up a long flight of stairs to the third floor, and there are no private bathrooms. But the biggest downfall, according to Murdison, is that it is 1.6 miles from the hospital. “A lot of our families don’t have cars when they come here, and it’s tough to get a cab in Augusta after two in the morning,” she said. “If we had a site right next to the Children’s Hospital, then all guests would have to do is walk out the front door to be at their child’s side any time of the day or night.” The new facility would likely include between 21 and 28 bedrooms, each with its own private bathroom, and elevators throughout the building. While the current dining room fits only 11 people at a time, the new facility would have modern kitchen and larger dining facilities. Already, RMHC of Augusta has received a pledge of $1 million from the owners of 36 local McDonald’s restaurants. The charity is also seeking donations from local hospitals, foundations, businesses and individuals.

“All of our guests here love the Children’s Medical Center,” said Murdison. “It’s a world-class wonderful facility, and a lot of people come from all over the region just to get care here. They’re also very satisfied with the staff and the treatment they get here at the Ronald McDonald House, but we’re aware that some of our facilities could be better. With the new house, we’ll be able to give an even higher level of care to even more people in accordance with our mission.” For more information about Augusta’s Ronald McDonald House or to make a donation, call 706.724.5901 or visit RMHCAUGUSTA.COM. | by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK

[ new name and digs for wier/stewart ] The creative firm formerly known as Wierhouse, has a new name – Wier/Stewart – and a new location at 982 Broad St., which represents a maturing of its brand and an expansion of the services offered. “We finally decided to take the advice we give to a lot of our clients and have a brand name that accurately reflects the business we do,” said Daniel Stewart, a co-owner of Wier/Stewart. “You can’t miss with old school advertising like this that simply gives you the names of the people you’re going to be working with.”

[ fencing club expands ]

The Augusta Fencers Club, currently at 134 Ninth St., might be transferring to a new location as early as this summer. Head coach Dr. Rudy Volkmann has been restoring a historic building at 464 Greene St. to house the club. “The historical society is primarily concerned with the appearance of the building and that it fits the historic character of the neighborhood, but they agree that on the inside things should be as modern as possible,” said Volkmann. “We’ve been on Ninth Street for about 12 years, but now I can have twice the space and I’m taking that opportunity.”

According to co-owner Alex Wier, Wier/ Stewart is far more than a design studio, and has experience consulting with any type of business on their advertising needs. Wier is particularly impressed with the quality of their writing and the high caliber of graphics artists working for them. “Our clients range from hospitals to bars,” said Wier. “We name a lot of companies and create multimedia campaigns, which usually relates to any television, radio or print advertising they need to do when starting the business.” In addition to managing the advertising campaigns of various companies, Wier/ Stewart takes on one pro-bono client each year. Last year they assisted with the rebranding of the women’s shelter SafeHomes of Augusta, but have yet to determine who they will donate their services to in 2012. However, Stewart says he recently helped design a T-shirt for “Friends of Francis,” a team competing in the Augusta half-marathon to raise money for cancer research, and hopes to continue to do good

in whatever small ways they are able. The change in location was always the plan for Wier/Stewart, who purchased the building at the end of 2009 but couldn’t move in until the tenant at that time completed its lease.

Fencing is a complicated sport that involves suits wired up to a computer system that chirps every time a point is scored. Simply learning the stance and basic positions in order to score points requires a lot of instruction that Volkmann says is not typical of most American sports.

“We were renting another office building down the street until we could move,” said Stewart. “It was about the same dimensionally, so we got to learn what it was like to work in a long, skinny building, but now we’re happy to have a permanent home where more people can find us easily.”

“It’s not like soccer or basketball where you can just jump right in and start playing, there are at least 50 basics you have to understand before you can even consider yourself a fencer,” he said. “Fencing is a tough game because it takes several months before you can do it at any level without hurting yourself or someone else, not something to be attempted if you expect instant gratification.”

For more information about Wier/Stewart, call 706.447.2630 or visit the company website at WIERSTEWART.COM.

According to most students, the payoffs are worth the effort it takes to learn the sport.


“I was 265 pounds when I started, and I’ve dropped

35 pounds while keeping the same diet just because of the exercise of fencing,” said Manley McCarter, who drives to Augusta from Greensboro, S.C., each week with his daughter to learn fencing from Volkmann. “A lot of people think it’s just about speed, but it’s a lot more than that, and sheer strength will just hurt your performance. It’s more about footwork, timing and mental strength. Ninety percent of the movements are done with just the fingers, and there’s a high degree of concentration involved to get it right.” “It’s remarkably aerobic,” said Volkmann. “The 100-meter dash probably burns a few more calories per second but very little else does. You’re trying to hit your opponent but you’re a target as well, and the situation can change in a split second. You have to use all your mental faculties to participate.” Volkmann has about 40 students, 15 of whom are active competitors while the rest are either recreational fencers or still learning the basics. Likewise, the age of his students ranges from 17-year-old C.J. McCarter to her 53-year-old father. The best way to learn fencing is to take one of Volkmann’s introductory classes, which he offers two or three times a year, and the next one begins in mid-April. This is a $150, 10-week course for which Volkmann provides all the necessary equipment. Attendance at each class is essential in order for a student to become a trained fencer. For more information, call 706.722.3878 or visit AUGUSTAFENCERS.COM. by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK | community driven news | March 14, 2012 5

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6 March 14, 2012 | community driven news |

the buzz on


what’s moving and shaking in local business

NO SOUP FOR YOU By now, you have

probably heard or seen that Ulta Beauty and Kirkland’s Home have moved have moved to side-by-side locations near Atlanta Bread Company. There are other changes in that general area. Souper Salad quietly closed after many years as one of the only healthoriented spots for lunch. Unfortunately, they didn’t plan on Atlanta Bread, Panera Bread, Subway and Jimmy John’s all having success making healthy sandwiches for customers.

GARY’S EXPANDS HIS BURGER EMPIRE You might have thought you could not

get an old-fashioned burger in the West Augusta Target shopping center area, but think again. As quickly as Backyard Burger shut down its grills, Gary’s Hamburgers moved in. Owner Gary Gibson is partnering with another food and beverage professional to open a 1950s themed version of Gary’s – complete with convertibles in their shared gas station parking lot and appropriate interior décor. In 2011, Gary partnered with the former manager of Somewhere in Augusta to open Cowabunga Grill on Washington Road in Evans. That restaurant closed in about six months and the buzz is it will reopen soon as Cali’s Grill.

living the

green life practical ways to be more eco-concious

Try a Natural Approach and Make Your Own Personal Care Products

According to the Environmental Working Group, the average American is exposed to more than 100 different chemicals from personal care products every day. We use multiple personal care products – including toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant, body lotion, shaving products and insect repellant – that contain chemicals that are absorbed through the skin, inhaled or ingested. Some of these chemicals are linked to cancer, infertility, birth defects, learning disabilities and other health problems. In addition, many of these chemicals end up in rivers and streams after they are washed down the drain when we bathe. To determine whether the products you currently use are safe, you can consult the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, which rates popular cosmetics and personal care products with hazard scores on a scale of 0 to 10, depending on their toxicity. Products with higher scores have greater toxicity. The database is available online at One simple way to choose personal care products that are better for your health and the environment is to look for fragrance-free products. Artificial fragrances frequently contain phthalates that can trigger allergic reactions and other health problems. Also avoid products that contain coal tar, petrolatum, mineral oil, and paraffin. These petroleum byproducts might contain by cancercausing impurities. Purchasing products that contain organic ingredients is another way to make healthier choices. The United States Department of Agriculture has been certifying personal care products since 2003, and an increasing number of these products now bear the USDA organic seal.


The best way to ensure that your personal care products contain no harmful chemicals is to make your own. Making your own personal care products is easy and it will save you money. Here are a few of my favorite recipes for personal care products:


Cathy Hayes, the owners of Hayes Marine in Appling. This year they were voted No. 31 on Boating Industry Magazine’s list of Top 100 Boat Dealers. Hayes Marine is the only local boat dealer located on the waters of Clarks Hill Lake, so it can offer test drives. “Our editorial staff was extremely impressed with this dealership’s devotion to caring for its customers,” said Liz Walz the editor-in-chief or Boating Industry Magazine. The buzz is the Hayes send handwritten thank you notes to their clients and provide their personal cell phone numbers for 24/7 accessibility. Hayes Marine was the only local boat dealer selected for this honor this year or last year when they finished 29th. |


J. Douglas Parker, who retired from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in January after 30 years of service, has opened Private Consultations and Investigations LLC in Martinez. The private eye offers such services as civil, criminal, background, insurance and worker’s compensation investigations; missing person location; surveillance; photographic and video documentation and polygraph examinations. For more information, call 706.955.8069 or PARKERPCI.COM.

Neil Gordon owns Buzz on Biz LLC, a company dedicated to highlighting business growth through newspaper, television, radio, and Web content. Story idea? Email

Dandruff Shampoo: Add 25 drops of tea tree oil to an 8-ounce bottle of baby shampoo and shake well. You can also add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, which helps kill the yeast that causes some forms of dandruff. skin moisturizer: Extra virgin olive oil was used as a skin moisturizer in ancient Greece, and it is still one of the best ways to moisturize your skin today. In addition to being a natural, hypoallergenic way to moisturize skin, extra virgin olive oil has the added advantage of providing strong antioxidants, such as vitamins A and E that help repair and renew damaged skin. If you have a skin condition such as eczema or seborrhea, add six to seven drops of tea tree oil per ounce of olive oil to control flaking and itching.

olive oil

makeup remover: Mix equal amounts (approximately one tablespoon) of olive oil, castor oil and canola oil in a small jar and shake well. Shake before each use and apply with a tissue, cotton pad or ball.

TOOTHPASTE: Mix four tablespoons of baking

tea tree plant

soda with five drops of peppermint essence (or your favorite flavor), add one to two tablespoons of water to reach the desired consistency. Mix thoroughly and store in a jar or squeeze bottle. You can find more recipes for personal care products at

Anne Lovell is an environmental consultant who lives in Aiken with her husband and three dogs. Her column, Living Green, focuses on practical ways to be more environmentally conscious. | community driven news | March 14, 2012 7

“Come party with St. Bob”

St. Patty’s Day Casual Saturday Dress March 17TH OPEN @ 6pm $4 Lucky Charm Martini’s All Night Long Try our FAMOUS $2 Shots

8 March 14, 2012 | community driven news |

spring officially starts in aiken with

the triple crown

three weeks of horse immersion: the trials, the steeplechase and polo

go to the races Breakfast at the Gallops BENEFITS The Aiken Thoroughbred Hall of Fame and Museum WHEN Wednesday, March 14 | 8 to 10 a.m. WHERE Aiken Thoroughbred Hall of Fame and Museum; 135 Dupree Place, Aiken TICKETS $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. No charge for children under 6. MORE 803.642.7650 or

the 70th AIKEN TRIALS BENEFITS The Aiken Thoroughbred Hall of Fame and Museum and the Aiken Land Conservancy WHEN Saturday, March 17 | 10 a.m. WHERE Aiken Training Track 538 Two Notch Road, Aiken TICKETS $10 general admission, $10 parking $75 Winners’ Circle Tent MORE 803.648.4631 or THEAIKENTRAININGTRACK.COM

trained horse of the year BENEFITS 2011 honoree is It’s Tricky WHEN Sunday, March 18 | 12:30 p.m. WHERE Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum TICKETS Free MORE 803.642.7650 or

The Ruby slipper gala:

An Evening in Emerald City BENEFITS The Aiken County Special Olympics WHEN Friday, March 23 | 7 p.m. WHERE Ford Conger Field | Audubon Drive, between Two Notch and Powder House roads TICKETS $12 MORE 803.648.9641 or AIKENSTEEPLECHASE.COM

the 46th running of the aiken spring steeplechase BENEFITS Helping Hands, the Aiken Rescue Squad and the Steeplechase Association WHEN Saturday, March 24 | gates open at 9:30 a.m., first race at 1 p.m. WHERE Ford Conger Field | Audubon Drive, between Two Notch and Powder House roads TICKETS $15 in advance, $20 at the gate. Children 6 and under free. MORE 803.648.9641 or AIKENSTEEPLECHASE.COM

pacers & polo BENEFITS USC Aiken Pacers Athletic Department WHEN Saturday, March 31 | gates open at 10:30 a.m., event starts at 1 p.m. WHERE Powder House Polo Field 950 Powderhouse Road, Aiken TICKETS $10 adults, $5 children, $5 parking; $70 VIP hospitality tent, includes lunch catered by Outback Steakhouse, beverages, a program and event admission. MORE 803.643.3611 or AIKENPOLOCLUB.ORG

In Capistrano, the advent of spring is heralded by the return of the swallows, but in Aiken it is the running of the Triple Crown horse races. This year, the first jewel of the Aiken Triple Crown – the Aiken Trials – falls on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. It is followed by the Aiken Spring Steeplechase on March 24 and, a week later, Pacers & Polo on March 31. The three separately run events were combined into The Aiken Triple Crown in 1967 as a Chamber of Commerce invention when steeplechasing returned to Aiken, and it has enhanced the sporting – and partying – life in Aiken.

The 70th Running of The Aiken Trials: March 17

For decades, The Aiken Trials has been a showcase for many of the finest young thoroughbred racehorses in the country. The Aiken Training Track, an oval mile of deep but firm sand along Two Notch Road, was built in 1941 as a place to teach thoroughbreds to run. The Trials began in 1942 as both a practice race for the young horses and goodbye party for the end of the training season. Like the next week’s steeplechase, the Trials is a tailgating extravaganza where thousands return to their reserved parking spaces year after year, filled with grand spreads of food and drink. It is a party of immense proportions and, to many of the revelers, a greater attraction than the racing. Of course, it is the race horses that are the reason for all the commotion. Each fall, the yearlings arrive at the historic barns near the training track. They are joined by a dedicated cadre of horsemen and women who return to Aiken to take charge of another class of well-bred racehorses. Out of all those seasons of young thoroughbreds have come four Kentucky Derby winners and several more winners of the classic Preakness and Belmont Stakes. The purpose of the Trials is to teach young race horses what a race is like – it is the first time they will see a crowd of people with all their noise, movement and odors. Every other morning, the horses’ exercise has been at a track as tranquil as a cathedral, but they need to learn to perform in the center of the storm if they are going to earn their keep. Which horses will win at the 2012 Aiken Trials and which will go on to fame across the racetracks of America? No one knows today, but the ‘horse people’ who come back every fall will take note and hope to cheer on another champion from Aiken in the coming year.

The Aiken March 24


Steeplechasing is a 250-year-old sport begun by young English and Irish noblemen who wanted to prove their horse to be the best in the county by racing from one church steeple to the next.

The Aiken Steeplechase began in Hitchcock Woods in 1931 and was a success from the start. It was suspended after the 1942 races because of the outbreak of World War II. Restored in 1967, the steeplechase has become the most popular of the three races, attracting as many as 10,000 spectators when the weather is inviting. The Aiken Steeplechase is arguably the most popular of the Trials and, for many, has become a social occasion. In addition to the race, Steeplechase includes a tented shopping village that touts food vendors and a Guarantor’s Tent, where a $120 ticket provides protection from the weather, a dance band, a buffet luncheon, open bar and a chance to hang with many of the people who make up the horse society set in Aiken. Color is everywhere from the racing silks to the grand spring hats. Few of the horses that run here train in Aiken, but come from all around the East coast. Still, the featured Imperial Cup has come to be a significant prize in the world of American Steeplechasing. Most of the nation’s top trainers and riders will test their mounts at the Aiken Steeplechase, a week before the Carolina Cup in Camden, S.C.

Pacers & Polo: March 31

For the first three decades of The Aiken Triple Crown, the third jewel was the Aiken Harness Races – contested by trotters and pacers. But, with the slow withering of the harness horse presence in Aiken, The Pacers, the University of South Carolina Athletic Department that runs the show, turned to another historic Aiken horse sport for an event – polo. Polo in some form has been played by dozens of civilizations throughout the history of

mankind. The steppes of Mongolia, the plains of India and the level fields of England have all developed this simple game of stick and ball. Though some say it began in Persia before the Christian era, it is likely that, similar to golf and other simple games, it was invented separately in many cultures. Polo was first played in Aiken in 1882, six years after it was introduced to the United States. Ten years later, the Aiken field was bought by New York financier William C. Whitney. Now named Whitney Field, that same beautiful tract remains the primary polo ground of the nine fields that survive within Aiken’s city limits. The game has been played there every year since that first game, the longest continuous streak in the United States. Pacers & Polo, however, is held at Powderhouse Field across the road from the steeplechase race track. Like the harness races before it, Pacers & Polo is less a cocktail party and more a family outing. About 2,000 people can view courtside because a polo field is huge – nine times the size of a football field. Families and neighborhood groups come together under their own tents festooned with food and drink. Polo doesn’t require a lot of attention because, most of the time, the players are so far away it is difficult to see what they are doing. Just give it a few minutes. Soon you’ll hear the sound of hoofs as they come roaring up to your sideline, before a player smashes a drive and off they go again. There are serious fans among the annual spectators though this event, like the Trials, is not sanctioned and the riders are playing for pride not purses. by STEPHEN DELANEY HALE | community driven news | March 14, 2012 9

10 March 14, 2012 | community driven news |

create lasting friendships with

the newcomers club these women of all ages , hobbies and passions have one thing in common: seeking a place in their new home of the csra

“Whether you’re into bowling, bridge, gardening, meditation or just

want to meet others for movies or

coffee, there is bound to be an interest group you’ll fit into ... It’s worth it for your mental health to be able to communicate with other people with common interests.” — SARA FOSHEE

Each month The Augusta Area Newcomer’s Club hosts a newcomer’s coffee for women who are new to the area, or have experienced a recent change in their life such as new motherhood, death, divorce, empty nest or retirement.

Abraham Lincoln once said “The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships.” Leaving good friends behind and relocating to a new area can add a major impact to the meaning of those words. The mission of The Augusta Area Newcomer’s Club is to ensure people who are new to the Augusta area receive a warm welcome and an opportunity to create friendships and enjoy social activities. This diverse women’s club, with a current membership of 180, helps acclimate new residents to Augusta, and provides fun and interesting ways to enjoy both social and charitable activities.

“I didn’t know about the Augusta Area Newcomer’s Club until a few years after I moved here,” Foshee said. “It’s a wonderful organization and I’m sure glad I was invited to join.”

Linda Hoogland, the club’s president, has been involved in newcomer’s groups for years, including clubs she joined in Colorado and New Jersey, and now here in Augusta.

Foshee retired in 2009 as a registered nurse; and is also an artist.

“Newcomer’s clubs have always filled my needs,” Hoogland said. “I have met many lifelong friends there. From being single to having small children to retirement, it can be a fun way to get involved in a lot of things. It provides an opportunity to get out in your community, make friends and learn about where you live.” In addition to activities and social groups, The Augusta Area Newcomer’s Club holds a monthly luncheon for members with a featured guest speaker. “The luncheons always offer something interesting and new,” Hoogland said. “You might attend a luncheon at a location you haven’t been to before, or learn something you didn’t know from the guest speaker, and there’s always the opportunity to meet more friends.” Sara Foshee moved from Orlando, Fla., in 2007 to be closer to her daughter, but didn’t know anyone else in the area.

“I wanted to do worthwhile things with my life, which included spending more time doing my art,” she said. “This club gave me the opportunity to incorporate what I love to do with making new friends.” Foshee enjoyed the newcomer’s experience so much that she is now chairman of the Young Art Group, where members interested in art can tour galleries, meet artists in the community and do projects together. “Whether you’re into bowling, bridge, gardening, meditation or just want to meet others for movies or coffee, there is bound to be an interest group you’ll fit into,” Foshee said. “There are even gatherings like wine and appetizer night, or couples out to dinner, where you can bring your significant other. And it’s affordable. I live on a fixed income, but I look forward to the luncheon each month. It’s worth it for your mental health to be able to communicate with other people with common interests.”

The club takes its role of supporting people in the local community seriously. Members vote on a charity to support each year and, in March, the club holds an annual auction with all proceeds going to that charity. This year’s charity is Child Enrichment, Inc., an organization that has been serving abandoned, abused, neglected and sexually abused children in and around Augusta since 1978.

“Once you become a member, you never have to leave the club, so there is

a rich history of people helping people that just builds on itself.” — LINDA HOOGLAND

“The Newcomer’s Club choosing Child Enrichment to support this year is fantastic,” said Dan Hillman, the president of the Child Enrichment, Inc. “We are a nonprofit charity, and almost all of the funding must be raised each year to continue to serve all child victims of abuse. Not only will the funding from their members’ donations, and the annual auction help, but being the chosen charity will help bring awareness to Child Enrichment’s mission and purpose. We are extremely grateful.”

lifestyle change, such as retirement, empty nest, separation, divorce or a loss of spouse. “Once you become a member, you never have to leave the club, so there is a rich history of people helping people that just builds on itself,” Hoogland said. “I would urge anyone who is new, who retires, or is going through other changes and needs friendship, to join,” Foshee said. “There are so many varied activities, that there is bound to be one interest group that you would fit into, and make new, lasting friendships. It is so nice to join a group where the people appreciate common things.” “There are people from all walks of life in this club whether married, widowed, divorced, young or older, everyone is welcome,” she added. “It’s a great place to gather, have hospitality and enjoy good friends.” For more information on The Augusta Area Newcomer’s Club, or the March 15 charity event, contact Esther Hatzigeorgiou or Beth Karimi at or visit by Darlena Moore photo MARY FUTRELL Darlena Moore is a freelance writer:

Membership to The Newcomer’s Club is to open to any person moving into the CSRA within the past five years or to others who have had a major | community driven news | March 14, 2012 11

12 March 14, 2012 | community driven news |

how to

play with fire

a vaudeville approach to flame throwing

Firedancing has become a popular, and sometimes dangerous, performance art in Augusta. Most people who have attended a First Friday event are familiar with the crowds that gather around street corners when these trained performers begin swinging chains, hoops, staffs and other flaming instruments in time with the music. Now, there is a new fire group hoping to attract some of that same attention. The members of Promethium spent much of 2010 training on how to safely use its instruments, but by 2011 had graduated to public performances in Savannah and Aiken. One of the troop’s favorite venues, outside the Haunted House at Plantation Blood, drew crowds during the last Halloween season, and they delighted spectators outside Soy Noodle House on New Year’s Eve. “We’re trying to bring more of a sideshow act to it,” said Amber Stalene, a poi artist who is also attempting to master the flaming hula-hoop. “Instead of just people dancing with fire we like to bring themes to our performances, like the zombie circus, voodoo or scary clowns. Jason Cash, one of the founders of our group, usually likes to breathe fire or walk on glass, and he’s working on lying on a bed of nails and I think some other things. We want to bring a new type of entertainment to Augusta and show people something they haven’t seen before.” While the performers hope to keep performing at Le Chat Noir’s Goth Night, which happens once every two months, no one is quite sure where 2012 will take them. Some of the members hope to set up along Broad Street during First Friday once the weather heats up, but want to be careful not to impinge on the fan base of Augusta’s well-known fire group, Pyrotech. “We haven’t done anything with Pyrotech yet, but originally they were our model for what we wanted the group to become,” said Stalene. “As we started making progress, we decided that our style of performance was not like any other group and we just wanted to be the best group we could be.” One of the group’s members, Alex Mancusi, used to perform with Pyrotech and now waitresses at Soy Noodle House during the day. She breathes fire, can use the hula-hoop, poi, snakes and fans, and appreciates the relaxed atmosphere of the group and the opportunity to perform when her schedule allows. “Jason Cash came up to me about eight months ago at Club Argos when we were both showing off with glow sticks during one of their electronic dance parties,” she said. “He said I was pretty good and I told him I used to perform. Promethium is definitely a different kind of group through, because we like more alternative music and costumes. We’re trying to bring more of that this year, when the weather gets better, and find other themes to match our performances to.” Aside from Cash, Stalene and Mancusi, other members of the group include Chrissy and Terrance Rumsford. Terrance can breathe fire and swing the meteor-hammer, while his wife works mostly with fans. Other members of the group have come and gone, including several hula-hoop girls, and Stalene says that if anyone else wants to try out then the group will consider them. “What we’re most concerned about is the safety of everyone involved,” said Stalene. “We always have people standing by with safety equipment when we perform, and we want to make sure that anybody handling fire has enough experience that they aren’t going to burn themselves or someone else. Once I actually get onstage, there’s a kind of adrenaline rush where I know I want to do it perfectly and make sure everyone enjoys themselves, but there’s a lot of training that goes behind that technique.” Anyone interested in booking Promethium for an event or finding out more about the group can call 803.474.8787. by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK | community driven news | March 14, 2012 13

14 March 14, 2012 | community driven news |

urban renewal

for historic harrisburg aN ONGOING look at augusta’s master plan: WHERE WE ARE AND WHERE WE’RE GOING

Historic Harrisburg is a neighborhood in crisis, fighting both crime and high vacancy rates, but these challenges also present opportunities for those residents willing to invest their time and effort revitalizing the community they call home. “Harrisburg is on Historic Augusta’s endangered properties list, and what we are most concerned about is the lack of home ownership,” said Anne Catherine Murray, the president of Turn Back the Block’s board. “Over 75 percent of the houses are renter-occupied, and 15 percent or more are vacant or abandoned. We believe that pride in home ownership is the key to the success of this community and we’re trying to capitalize on that, knowing that Harrisburg has always been a working-class neighborhood that is in the middle of so many great things.” Turn Back the Block is one such organization effecting change on a large scale by restoring homes and finding people to live in them. Applicants must provide 350 hours of sweat equity into redeveloping their new home, and can recruit their friends, family and churches to provide up to 200 of those hours.

“We believe that pride in home ownership is the key to the success of this community and we’re trying to capitalize on that, knowing that Harrisburg has always been a working-class neighborhood that is in the middle of so many great things.”

These continuing housing redevelopments are but one of many initiatives described in Augusta’s Master Plan. The end result, many years from now, will be a Harrisburg that looks very different than Harrisburg today. The Harrisburg District is bounded roughly by 15th Street, Walton Way, Heard Avenue, Milledge Road and the Augusta Canal. Many of the Master Plan’s suggestions for this neighborhood are purposely vague – such as the idea for a Canal Village, proposed ball-park reuse or a development related to Georgia Health Sciences University – so that interested developers can tailor each project to their own unique vision. “A lot of the projects are very long term and there are many components that need to be finished before a shovel can be put in the ground,” said Camille Price, the executive director of Augusta Tomorrow. “The Augusta Tomorrow board is helping to implement this vision. We are facilitators.” One project that has gone forward is the Kroc Center, which opened in July and has brought significant business and residential interest back to the area. Harrisburg was specifically chosen for the Kroc Center because the Kroc Trust demands each facility be positioned in a low income neighborhood with racial diversity, highly visible along a major thoroughfare and where economic indicators suggest the neighborhood would be improved by the construction. “One of our first goals with this project was to transform lives, whether that means helping them to get fit, get fed or get educated, but on a larger level it’s about transforming the community around us,” said Anthony Esposito, the public relations coordinator for the Salvation Army. “In San Diego, one of the first places to open a Kroc Center in 2002, it had a huge effect in causing home ownership to skyrocket in the four block area around the center, because the Kroc Center is a destination point. The business aspect also radically changed the area as businesses relocated to serve the people who wanted to be near the Kroc Center.” “The Kroc Center directly employs 110 people,” said Derek Dugan, a former Kroc Center Communications Director.


“Of course that number will fluctuate over time based on our success, but right now we need people in every position from janitorial to servers, teachers, administrators and greeters at the welcome desk.” The Georgia Conservatory has suggested building a jogging trail extending from Lake Olmstead Park to the Kroc Center along the canal, which would serve to connect the area. This project is currently in the initial stages of development, but is one of the neighborhood’s top priorities, according to Dugan. Another possible project for Harrisburg involves building a new baseball stadium in the downtown area, a project endorsed several years ago by Mayor Deke Copenhaver. However, City Administrator Fred Russell recently said that the impending merger of Georgia Health Sciences University and Augusta State University makes constructions of a downtown stadium for use by the Augusta GreenJackets more plausible. “We’re not talking about building a baseball stadium with other things; we’re talking about building other things with a stadium that complements a growing university,” Russell said. Other visions include Harrisburg Village, a mixed-use retail and residential center to be developed along the first level of the Augusta Canal, and a canal-side greenway network, which would provide a direct connection to the downtown urban core. “Augusta is right now the low speed vehicle production leader of the globe, but we should be spearheading the movement to bring these vehicles downtown,” said Bob Munger, who is proposing an Augusta Greenway Alliance to make these LSVs much more popular. “If someone lives and works close to downtown, they don’t necessarily even need a car. Right now there are people who aren’t working simply because they don’t have a means to get to work, but LSVs could change that.” These projects, while ambitious, are nevertheless attainable once the right people get involved. For now, Turn Back the Block is inspiring the most change in Harrisburg, with its block

parties on the first Saturday of each month, and its coordinated volunteer efforts. On Dec. 3 the Letbetter family became the most recent to move into a renovated Harrisburg home. Turn Back the Block is currently working on five other houses, making it likely that more families will be moving into renovated houses in the near future, each one bringing Harrisburg a step closer to revitalization. “We love that we can be one small cog in the wheel for the revitalization of Harrisburg,” said Murray. “People are starting to focus on Harrisburg, which can only have a positive effect. I would love to see more house ownership, strong business, better connections to schools, and businesses just to make it a walkable community where people feel safe to live.” by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK | community driven news | March 14, 2012 15

16 March 14, 2012 | community driven news |

another year passes with

no golf and garden plan lack of movement frustrates

In his office, Mayor Deke Copenhaver keeps a copy of an old 1968 newspaper that features plans for a multiuse facility on the pension-fund property on Reynolds Street. Forty-three years later, that property is still vacant. But it is an apt metaphor for the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame Botanical Gardens property, which Copenhaver sincerely hopes will take less than 43 years to see use. “There hasn’t been any movement to the [Botanical Gardens] property, but there have been discussions to the effect that it may potentially have a performing arts center or some kind of mixed-use facility on it,” he said. “It’s difficult to plan for property that you don’t own, because it’s in the hands of the state right now, but while some of the local leadership have been talking, nothing is set in stone yet.” The Botanical Gardens – often referred to as the Golf and Gardens – was once a beautiful, state-run park containing many different types of trees and flowers. At present, it is little more than an overgrown field behind a locked gate. “It’s frustrating to see 17 acres of prime riverfront property sitting there generating no revenue,” said Copenhaver. “When it was in good shape it was a beautiful garden; I always felt like it was Augusta’s Central Park, with a great view of the skyline and people would come to jog or walk their dogs and it seemed like a great place for people in the community to come out and meet each other. I used to host the mayor’s reception there when it was open, but now it seems like a lost opportunity that Augusta is missing out on.” “I know there are some concerns that this property is not being marketed as well as it ought to be considering that it is prime riverfront property that that city should be able to make some use out of,” said District 1 commissioner Matt Aitken. “I remember when I used to go to the mayor’s reception at the Botanical Gardens, but I don’t think there was any attraction outside of the plants and flowers that would motivate people to come out and enjoy the riverfront, and I think it was missing that piece that would have made it a community attraction that everybody would want to come out to see.” The state closed the property in 2007, citing a lack of funds, which prompted the city parks department to lease the property in 2008. However, according to Copenhaver, it is difficult to make a case for operating state property on a tight city budget, and the property was returned to the State Properties Commission in 2009 where it remains, awaiting development. “At this time, there are no immediate plans for the Golf and

“It’s frustrating to see 17 acres of prime riverfront property sitting there generating no revenue.” – MAYOR DEKE COPENHAVER

Gardens Property,” said State Rep. Barbara Sims. “However, I have made arrangements for the grounds to be maintained during the next few weeks as it was getting to be a real problem with the weeds.” It was around this same time last year that the Young Professionals of Augusta were allowed onto the property to perform routine maintenance. Aitken was among the volunteers helping to spruce up the gardens ahead of the Masters Golf Tournament, but even he isn’t sure what plans are in store for it. “I know there’s interest, but I don’t know of one specific entity that is trying to make something happen,” he said. “It’s in state hands now so it’s not really something the community can get together and make a decision on, but I know there have been discussion with the Jacoby Group, who are some developers out of Atlanta who were going to be Cal Ripkin’s associates when he wanted to put a baseball stadium downtown.” Georgia Health Sciences University has also expressed interest in the property, but in the last year YPA is the only organization that has officially been allowed on, and even they stick to the portion that is visible from the road. There’s strong evidence that many within Augusta’s homeless population have been using the property for a bed, either in one of the vacant structures not visible from the road or in the deep foliage of the original park.

city leaders

“What we can see from the road probably isn’t even a fifth of the total property that’s back there,” said Sam Smith, the operations manager and horticulturist for the Augusta-Richmond County Trees and Landscape Department, who assisted with last year’s cleanup effort. “You’d think this place was Fort Knox the way they got all these fences and locked gates up all over the place, but for all that my department has never been asked to do anything with the property. It’s in state hands now.” Many within the local community have dreams for what they would like to see become of the property, but most accept that the property is currently owned by the state and might not be released for some time. “The State Properties Commission had looked at it, but they don’t seem to be in too much in a hurry to get anything done with it,” said city administrator Fred Russell. “That’s a pretty big piece of property that needs to play a vital role in the development of downtown. I have visions of something that would not only help our downtown grow, but would also support the combined universities of Augusta State Univeristy and Georgia Health Science Univeristy, maybe a multi-use facility.” “The question should be is there enough property there to host a multi-use facility, and could all of these agencies be supported together through the creation of some kind of complex there,” said Aitken. “I’d like to see a joint venture with GHSU and the city, and perhaps an athletic complex of which baseball could be one part. There’s a lot that could be done with it to compliment the TEE center and our growing downtown community.” “I hope to see a mixed use development there, something that will create a critical mass of pedestrian traffic along our riverfront, and hopefully it won’t take another 43 years and we won’t all have gray-hair by the time it’s finished,” said Copenhaver. For the time being there is no substance to the dreams Augusta’s citizens have for the property, but Copenhaver has made it one of his priorities to connect the city with the Savannah River, and he believes that this property might hold the key for much future development. “I hope to see dirt moving on that site before I leave office,” he said. “That is a goal of mine and I believe it can happen.” article and photo by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK | community driven news | March 14, 2012 17

The H to Tow

by DO

The Henry family had already earne Church of August Atlanta and Augu furnishings, and 7 all of whom frequ

Ronald was a man when he saw thos on the little diner,

Within fifteen min straight coffee wit on the edge of the revealing the deta

“The world’s gone


two writers share voices to create a story

of love and coming of age set in augusta

Over the coming months, verge will be printing a serialized story cycle – tentatively titled “Love Letters from Fran and Jack” – written by Jennifer Craig and Doug Holley. The writers answered a few questions about the project and the characters: What makes the telling of Fran and Jack unique?

CRAIG: That’s all I needed to hear, you admit that Fran’s more successful than Jack. Go on. HOLLEY: I think one of the questions that these stories attempt to answer is, “What makes two people with similar beginnings and endings so different that they lose each other for such a long time in the middle?” CRAIG: Another question is, “What does it take to bring them back together?”

HOLLEY: When you look back on your own life, you don’t see a continuous stream of narrative – what you see are little vignettes of memories, and so I think that it is appropriate that we are telling the life stories of these characters in a way that is analogous to how we actually remember our own.

What’s the hardest part about writing for your character?

CRAIG: That’s true; the plot follows a series of memories that could represent how we look back on our own lives. It’s also important to note that they’re being written by two authors – you handing Jack’s stories and me writing Fran’s. I think it keeps the memories as authentic as possible.

CRAIG: “Swagger” – that’s nice. It’s grownup Jack to the letter.

HOLLEY: We should clarify that there are really multiple stories going on here: memories told from Jack and Fran’s childhood and letters written between them as adults. CRAIG: Oh, and it’s set in Augusta circa 1930s. So, tell me about Fran and Jack. CRAIG: Fran is an only child to a well-off family that’s just moved to town. She comes from privilege and certain things are expected of her, not that she concerns herself with these things when she’s young. She’s forever worrying her mother by playing with the neighbor boy and ruining her fancy dresses. She’s intelligent and imaginative and, yes, a bit bossy and petulant at times. She’s going to face some trials, as she gets older, coming to grips with whom her family expects her to be and who she needs to become. HOLLEY: It’s funny – Fran and Jack are a lot alike in their beginning station; they’re both only children, both moderately well off, and both fanciful story tellers. In their adult years they also take similar roads even though they are physically and emotionally miles apart from each other ... CRAIG: ... what’s one of the similar roads they take? HOLLEY: They both have literary aspirations and they both attempt to blaze trails through academia, Fran more successfully than Jack...

18 March 14, 2012 | community driven news |

HOLLEY: The hardest part about writing for young Jack is trying to out-think my writer’s editorial impulses with the wide-open imagination of a child. Grownup Jack is easier; I just have to remember to swagger a little. HOLLEY: I know. CRAIG: You do? That’s interesting because the hardest part about writing grownup Fran is her certainty when it comes to her writing. She’s so disciplined and meticulous and I’m more of a Jack-writer, flying by the seat of my pants, turning in first drafts and such. Young Fran is easy. I can relate to her bossy nature most of the time. In one sentence, what’s your favorite part of each character? CRAIG: The way Fran picks on Jack and the way Jack smiles and takes it. HOLLEY: Jack has the best ideas but Fran knows how to make them happen. What do you hope the reader gets from the stories? HOLLEY: I’d like the reader to experience a certain amount of excitement each month when a new story is coming out. I’d like to be able to create something that folks look forward to reading, with characters that they care about and whose development they are invested in. CRAIG: The story was born out of two people finding each other, and falling madly in love, and the prospects of what that holds for them. Fran and Jack come from this place of improbable togetherness and they find a way to make that work, even though everything in society tells them it shouldn’t, they find a way to make it not only work for them but to make it this thing that makes their life worth living. That, to me, is the point. photo LEAH DESLANDES

Rona great for when and pepp on

Deacon Brown’s a the rest of the men thoughtful nods.

“Precisely. After th leave this big, mad Francine, she’s fou eyes on, and she n wasn’t a hard sell, mouth but she’d re sounds like a won

“You found a plac

“Oh, yes. A smart belonged to Mr. an

Clarence Weather “That place is a lit I’m off Juniper. Bo Butlers go but you years and the plac

“The agent, Thom Ron interjected.

“Yeah,” Mason ans his wife. My Josey having a ball with “They have many

“A houseful,” Doc Jesus, God rest his “Some babies are t

All seven men sat the more pious th be born too innoc

the prologue love letters from fran and jack

Henrys Move wn


y had only been in town for seven days and Mr. Henry ed a spot on the deacon’s bench at the First Baptist ta. He had been traveling back and forth between usta for two months, and among purchases of a house, 75 acres, he had acquired the respect of the deacons, uented Maebelle’s Diner after Sunday service.

n possessed of great foresight. Three weeks earlier, se dignified, salt and pepper haired fellows converge , he knew he should introduce himself.

nutes, he was sharing a cup of Maebelle’s stand-upth them. After twenty minutes, the deacons were eir seats as Ronald – call me Ron, he insisted – was ails of his latest murder conviction.

e crazy,” one of the men, Deacon Heyward, said.

ald was a man possessed of resight. Three weeks earlier, he saw those dignified, salt per haired fellows converge the little diner, he knew he should introduce himself.

and Deacon Caps’ fists pounded the table, while n erupted in a disjointed chorus of “Amen” and

hat case, I said to Catherine, my wife, it’s time we d city and settle some place nice and quiet. We have ur and the prettiest little princess you’ve ever laid needs some place where she’s safe. I’ll tell you, men, it Catherine knew all about that murder, not from my ead about it in the newspapers and said, ‘Dear, that nderful idea’.”

ce?” Mr. Mason inquired.

t little piece of acreage off Dogwood. The agent said it nd Mrs. Robert James. Are you familiar?”

rs, the man all the deacons called “Doc,” spoke up, ttle slice of Heaven, right next to my own, actually. ob was a deacon too, and we were sorry to see the u know how it is. He and Margaret were getting on in ce was too big for ‘em to keep up.”

mas Woods, I believe, said they’d retired to Arizona?”

swered. “They went to stay with their eldest son and y heard from Marge last week. They’re doing fine and h the grandkids.” children?” Ron asked.

c chuckled, “and I delivered them all. Only lost one to s soul.” After a moment of contemplation he added, too innocent for this world.”

t in silence, reflecting on their own children. A few of hought silent prayers that their children would never cent. Ron and Doc were not among them.

Finally, Doc broke the silence and called Maebelle for more coffee. Once their mugs were full, he said, “Well, speaking of children that aren’t that innocent, I have a four-year-old of my own, Joseph, and sometimes to hear Hattie, my housekeeper, tell it, he has the devil in him!” The men laughed and the mood changed as they swapped stories about their own less-than-innocent childhoods and adolescence. At one point, Ron said, “I suppose that’s what boyhood’s for – lets us work the devil out through skinned knees and choked cigarettes. And I’ll tell ya, but I’d never say this to Catherine, my little princess has a fiery streak too.” He clapped Doc on the back, “May give your Joseph a run for his money.” The men laughed and talked for two more hours. Maebelle had to make three fresh pots of coffee and a round of her famous pimento cheese sandwiches before they parted ways. On the drive back home, Ron felt proud that he opened the door when opportunity knocked. He couldn’t wait to tell Catherine about the men’s offer to be the new deacon, taking Butler’s place; he imagined the first stone of a great pillar being set into place. Augusta would work out beautifully. 

The Reverend went on, “The Ladies Auxiliary has supplied coffee and cake in the vestibule.” As the group disbanded, Deacon Doc Weathers joined the Reverend and Henrys. “Let me guess, the ladies in Sunday school can’t find your Francine.”

“I suppose that’s what boyhood’s for – lets us work the devil out through skinned knees and choked cigarettes. And I’ll tell ya, but I’d never say this to Catherine, my little princess has a fiery streak too.” Wringing her hands, Catherine muttered, “I told her a dozen times how important today was.” “Come with me, I have a feeling I know where we could find her.” Doc walked towards the back of the church and the Henrys followed.

 

“Come on. I can’t climb in this silly dress.” The little boy, clad in sailor shorts and suspenders, stripped his socks and shoes and began to climb the ancient pecan tree. The children indoors of the Augusta First Baptist Church were reciting John 3:16 in choral response dutifully, “...that who so ever believeth in him...,” as the two young heathens played in the rain-soaked playground behind the church.

“Well, speaking of children that aren’t that innocent, I have a four-year-old of my own, Joseph, and sometimes to hear Hattie, my housekeeper, tell it, he has the devil in him!” The new girl in the white pinafore coaxed, “Shake it harder. You can do it.” Joseph’s shins were scraped from the bark and his arms weary from the shaking. “I’m done,” he said, “that’s all.” She clapped her hands, the curls bouncing against her chin, “That’s plenty. They’ll be so delicious!” 

“...shall have ever lasting life. Amen.” Reverend Black held his eyes closed as his congregation responded with “Amen” and “Halleluiah.” Before dismissing the flock he reported, “Ladies and gentleman, before we break for lunch and family, allow me to formally introduce our newest Deacon, whom you’ve meet, with his wife Catherine and young daughter, Francine.” Ronald rose from the Deacon’s bench and took the hand of Catherine as she joined the men on the pulpit and whispered something into his ear. A smile crossed his face and he leaned forward to Reverend Black. The Reverend chuckled, clapped Ronald on the back and addressed the congregation, “It would seem Francine is having too much fun with the other children in Bible school to join us, but let’s welcome Mrs. Catherine Henry.”

“You have to make it round, nobody ever heard of a square pecan pie.” She instructed the boy. To emphasize her point she slapped the rounded sides of her pecan mud pie, sending flecks of mud to speckle the front of her pinafore. “I’m not making a pie, that’s girl stuff. I’m making a fort for my soldiers,” he said, holding up toy soldiers made from sticks with pecan shell helmets. “Looks like a wrong made pie to me. What’s your name?” she asked. “My name is Joseph Clarence Weathers, my mother calls me Joseph and Doc calls me Joe, like everybody else.” Joseph replied while squaring the corners of his fort with a piece of bark. “Then, I’ll call you Jack.” She said this with such assuredness, that Jack could only respond by asking, “What’s your name?” “Francine Rosaline Henry!” shrieked Mrs. Henry. Fran looked up to find her mother walking briskly towards the playground, another woman by her side. “Uh, oh. That’s my mom.” “Mine too.” Jack said as he saw for the first time how stained his palms and clothes were. “I’m in trouble.” Ronald and Doc walked slower than their wives and kept their distance as the women gathered the children and began to fret over the clay stains, how much work it would be to remove them – for their housekeepers, of course. “Looks like my girl’s met your boy.” Ron said. “Certainly does.” Doc replied with a smile, and then, “It’s not so bad, Maud,” he said to his wife, “God made man out of clay, can’t be too bad for the boy to make pies with it.” Fran started to giggle, “He thought it looked like a pie.” She continued giggling as her mother pulled her down the hill toward the car. “It was supposed to be a fort.” Jack muttered, kicking at a pecan, watching the bouncing curls go down the hill.  The Love Letters of Fran and Jack by Doug Holley and Jennifer Craig is an ongoing, serialized story cycle. Look for the further adventures of Fran and Jack in the second issue of verge each month.

“Welcome,” rang out from the fellowship. | community driven news | March 14, 2012 19

20 March 14, 2012 | community driven news |

fresh food bites an average joe’s guide to eating healthier

Irish Healthy Can Always Taste This Good!

for the love of pizza

good chow crazy turks features fresh ingredients and great service

With all the “go green” talk bouncing around these days you might think someone found a way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day year-round. While it might be the hope of pub dwellers across the land to be able to do so, one must be careful not to fill up too much on the carbs and cholesterol found in many an Irish dish. Besides, any good Irishman (or Irish lass for that matter) knows the importance of leaving room for a pint o’ liquid gold (beer). So, before you get fluthered on a pint of the Black Stuff (Guinness), gran ya some spuds and make this trapwatering dish. You’ll be thanking your lucky stars that you did!


Crazy Turks Pizza opened about six months ago at 2910 Washington Road and has become one of the most popular pizza restaurants in Augusta. While the food is fresh, with sauces mixed from scratch as they are ordered and pizza dough made daily, owner Meisam Shodja believes that the most important part of the business is its customer service.

Healthy(-er) Corned Beef Hash INGREDIENTS 2 tsp. canola oil 1 large chopped onion 4 cooked and diced potatoes 1 cup lean chopped corn beef brisket ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley Salt (to taste) Black pepper (to taste) 4 large eggs

DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oil in large cast-iron skillet over medium, then add onion and sauté until slightly browned. 2. Add potatoes and cook about eight minutes. 3. Add in corned beef and broth. Cook another five to eight minutes until liquid is absorbed. 4. Add parsley, salt and pepper. 5. Fill a second large skillet with two inches of salted water and bring to simmer. 6. Break eggs one at a time onto a saucer and gently slide each into the simmering water. 7. Poach eggs until they reach your preferred firmness. 8. Divide onto four dishes and place an egg on top of each. At a reasonable 320 calories, 13 grams fat, and a whopping 15 grams of protein, this healthier version of a traditional hearty dish will not only make your waste happy, but you taste buds and tummy as well! by JOHN “STONEY” CANNON John believes that anyone can learn to eat healthier - in small steps - taking one bite at a time.

“I believe hospitality is more than just selling an item to people,” he said. “I know a lot of the people that come here. If they’ve been here two or three times I usually know who they are and I become very personal with my customers. Family meals used to be a very important fixture for every American family, and people would make sure to get home from work in order to share in the meal, and that’s how I try to treat all my customers. I’m old fashioned that way.” Shodja’s old fashioned ways even extend to the way he cooks the pizza. Crazy Turks uses a brick oven, in which the pizza is set directly on the stone – instead of a screen – to increase the flavor. Shodja describes his pizza as authentic New York-style, which means the slices are huge with a thin amount of dough. He says their subs are also popular, including the Philly cheesesteak, which even native Philadelphians say is close to authentic. This is the second location for Crazy Turks Pizza. Shodja started the first in Fayetteville, N.C., while he was a Special Forces instructor at Fort Bragg. Though he was at first reluctant to

move to Augusta when offered a position as a Persian and Farsi expert at Fort Gordon, Shodja now says he is confident he made the right choice. “I love it here,” he said. “It was hard at first, but I can truly say I made the right decision coming to Augusta. All the people I’ve met so far have been wonderful.” Every Monday night is Bike Night, and dedicated to the memory of Officer J.D. Paugh, who Shodja says worked to promote these kinds of events. Friday night is karaoke and open mic night. On Saturday they move all the tables and chairs outside to make a dance floor in the center of the restaurant and DJ Kris Fisher from HD98.3 turns on the hits for all to enjoy. Shodja has ideas for other theme nights that might happen in the near future. “We are trying to make Saturday night a food and beverage appreciation night, because restaurant employees usually don’t have time to enjoy food while they’re working,” he said. “We get a lot of people in here in their uniforms, and we’re trying to have special discounts available to them when they do.” Crazy Turks is open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday 11 to 3:30 a.m., and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Shodja expects to start delivering soon, and parties can call ahead to reserve tables or the enclosed heated patio by calling 706.92.CRAZY (27299). article and photo by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK

make mine with pepperoni: americans love their pizza FAVORITE TOPPING Pepperoni is the all-around favorite, taking up 36 percent of all pizza orders. Approximately 251,770,000 pounds of the topping are consumed on pizzas each year. FAVORITE FOOD 94 percent of Americans eat pizza regularly and it accounts for more than 10 percent of all food service sales. ALASKA IS TOPS Crazy Turks might be popular in Augusta – but the most popular pizzeria in America is Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria in Anchorage, Alaska. It is the highest-grossing independent pizzeria in the nation. AN OCTO-PIE Want a break from pepperoni? Try your next pie the Japanese way – favorite toppings in Japan are squid and Mayo Jaga, a mixture of mayonnaise, potato and bacon. Wait, that might catch on in the South– potato salad on a pizza! A BUCK AND A QUARTER Though about 3 billion pizzas are sold each year in the U.S., few are the Luxury Pizza from Nino’s Bellissima in New York. Considered the world’s most extravagant pizza, each $125 slice is topped with six varieties of caviar, chives, fresh lobster and crème fraiche. | community driven news | March 14, 2012 21

a regional

supergroup hell’s 40 acres

HELL’S 40 ACRES – performing popular arena hard rock and metal from the ‘70s to the ‘90s – will open for Lynch Mob Clockwise: Bryan Lankford, John Berret, Jonathan Karow and Chuck Knight. When Hell’s 40 Acres warms up the stage for George Lynch on March 23, it won’t be the first time they have performed with a big name act. The group gets calls on a regular basis from national tours visiting the region and has played with Guns and Roses, KISS’ Ace Freely, Bang Tango and other platinum-plus artists. “When we get calls from agents that need a certain type of rock ‘n’ roll act, we’re on a short list of about three other bands in the region that they trust,” said drummer Jonathan Karow, who also owns Rock Bottom Music. “Sometimes it’s hard for bands to find good supporting acts, but it’s a real honor when we get the call because we love to perform.” In addition to Karow, the other members of the band include lead guitarist John Berret, lead singer and rhythm guitarist Bryan Lankford, and bass player Chuck Knight.

Some of their favorite songs include popular hits by AC/DC, Metallica, The Cult, and early KISS. According to Lankford, “if it rocks, we’ll play it.”

“The four members are the solidity of the band, but if a gig were offered to us by a band management company we’ve got others who can slide into that role,” said Karow. “We all like the same style of hard rock and heavy metal and ended up agreeing that we would form a band mostly to play quality shows with national acts. A couple of us have side projects, but if the House of Blues or Hard Rock Café calls us with 48-hours’ notice we’re ready to perform.”

“You can’t fool an audience,” said Karow. “We’re playing for ourselves first and if we like what we’re doing then the audience will know it and pick up on that energy, but if the band members aren’t really enjoying themselves then it comes across in the performance.”

Only Karow and Berret hail from Augusta. Knight lives in Atlanta and Lankford comes from Myrtle Beach, S.C., where the band held its first performance at Bike Week in 2011. “We were all members of various regional acts at the time, but when I got called to do this gig I emailed each of the other guys eight to 10 songs and we practiced at home and didn’t meet in person until we met on stage,” said Karow. “Bryan Lankford said to the audience ‘welcome to our rehearsal’ but they thought we were kidding and had been playing together for years. It was easy, though, and we all had a good time playing, because we all like the same stuff.”

Karow says that part of the reason the band gets along so well, aside from their similar musical styles, is that they have all been in the music business for many years. According to him, most musicians with any longevity in the business tend to be easy to get along with and able to jump on stage with any band and do a good job. “We’re all in our 30s and 40s, we grew up enjoying the same music, and we’ve decided that as long as there are quality gigs we’ll continue doing this because that’s what we do,” he said. Hell’s 40 Acres’ next gig will likely be an April charity event at Buffalo Wildwings in Augusta for which they are expecting more than 1,000 bikers and police officers. by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK

see the show

WHAT Lynch Mob + Hell’s 40 Acres + Pit Boss WHERE Coyote’s | 2512 Peach Orchard Road WHEN Thursday, March 29 | doors open at 7 p.m. TIX $20 advance, $25 day of show BUY |706.724.1172 or ROCKBOTTOMMUSIC.COM FREE MEET AND GREET with George Lynch | All ages 6:30 p.m. | Rock Bottom Music at 757 Broad St. MORE |HELLS40ACRES.COM

22 March 14, 2012 | community driven news |


daily planner


MAR. 14 to MAR 31

[ A TRIO OF GLASS MUSICIANS ] The Crystal Trio performs music using glass instruments. Formed in Russia in 2001, the musicians – Igor Skylavor, glass harp; Vladimir Perminov, glass pan flute bass and Vladmir Popras, verrophone – have since toured the world, performing a repertoire of classical music by Mozart, Boccerini, Glinka and Vivaldi, in addition to popular modern compositions and original pieces written specifically for crystal glass. Glass music is an ancient art that was popular in many noble houses of Europe, Russia and North America during the 18th and 19th Centuries. It was often included as an integral part of the symphony orchestra. The skill in its performance lies in how the fingers – moistened with distilled water – connect with the thin sides of the glass flasks in order to create different sounds and tones within the special designs of the musical instruments. Glass music, which is created through friction, striking and air, has experienced renewed interest in the past decade. The instruments themselves are unique: The glass harp consists of 36 crystal glasses, the three-octave verrophon is made of 26 glass tubes fixed in a frame and the three-octave glass flute is built as a block flute. The Crystal Trio have recorded a live album and have performed with Russian rock groups, on television and at music festivals in Europe. Their popularity has inspired young Russian musicians to explore the craft of glass music. | by ALISON RICHTER WHAT Tuesday’s Music Live: The Crystal Trio WHERE Saint Paul’s Church | 605 Reynolds St. WHEN Tuesday, March 20 | noon TICKETS Concert free, lunch $10 MORE 706.722.3463 or TUESDAYSMUSICLIVE.COM The Daily Planner is our selective guide to what is going on in the city during the next two weeks. IF YOU WANT TO BE LISTED: Submit information by email ( or by mail (verge, P.O. Box 38, Augusta, GA 30903). Details of the event - date, time, venue address, telephone number and admission price - should be included. Listings included are accurate at press time, check with specific venues for further details.




opened Feb. 24 as part of the celebration of the Augusta Museum of History’s 75th anniversity, highlights a variety of materials that were collected in the past, such as rocks, minerals, taxidermy animals and birds, ethnographic clothing, archeological collections, and the different ways artifacts were displayed. Augusta Museum of History; $2 to $4; 560 Reynolds St.; 706.722.8454 AUGUSTAMUSEUM.ORG


grace, charm and elegance during a two-hour guided tour aboard a climate-controlled trolley. Reservations are recommended. Aiken Visitors Center & Train Museum; 10 a.m.; call for info; 406 Park Ave. SE, Aiken; 803.642.7631 AIKENRAILROADDEPOT.COM



SPORTS BREAKFAST AT THE GALLOPS Read the article on page 9. Aiken Thoroughbred Hall of Fame and Museum; 8 to 10 a.m.; $20 to $25; 135 Dupree Place, Aiken; 803.642.7650


most ambitious work, an original dance-theater piece in honor of Abraham Lincoln’s bicentennial. A Good Man is a window on the creative process and the creative crisis felt by an artist as he explores what it means to be a good man, a free man and a citizen. After viewing the movie, enjoy a question and answer session with directors Bob Hercules and Gordon Quinn. Morris Museum of Art; 6 p.m.; $3; 1 10th St.; 706.724.7501 THEMORRIS.ORG

the use of songs, movement and using the senses on an outdoor walk, a child’s curiosity of the natural world is nutured. For children 3 to 5, must be accompanied by an adult. Reed Creek Nature Park; 10 a.m.; $2; 3820 Park Lane; 706.210.4027 REEDCREEKPARK.COM




Wallace Library; 10 a.m.; free; 1237 Laney-Walker Blvd.; 706.722.6275 ECGRL.ORG

Sheehan. Green Boundary Club; 8 p.m.; $70 to $100; 780 Whiskey Road, Aiken; 803.648.1438 JUILLIARDINAIKEN.COM



the Juilliard Jazz Artist Diploma Ensemble. Green Boundary Club; 2 p.m.; $45; 780 Whiskey Road, Aiken; 803.648.1438 JUILLIARDINAIKEN.COM


The documentary follows the acclaimed director and choreographer Bill T. Jones as he and his company create their

COMMUNITY SPRING MINORITY AND SMALL BUSINESS CONFERENCE & EXPO Full day seminar focuses on topics designed to help existing businesses grow and provides a variety of resources for start-up and existing businesses. Vendors

include Essential Balancing Acts & Wellness, Garden City Jazz, The Family Y of Aiken, Aiken Regional Medical Centers, Central Payment, Inc. and Capitol Business Solutions. Graniteville Business Center; 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; free to attend; 133 Marshall St., Graniteville HBAGROUP-INTL.COM


toward fiction writers interested in improving their craft. Columbia County Library; 10 a.m.; free; 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd.; 706.447.8184


Ages 3 to 5. Appleby Library; 11 a.m.; free; 2260 Walton Way; 706.736.6244 ECGRL.ORG


of music from classical to toetapping jazz. North Augusta Arts and Heritage Center; 7 p.m.; free; 100 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; 803.441.4380


featuring the Juilliard PreCollege Virtuosi Elli Choi on violin and Taeguk Mun on cello. A Meet the Artists cocktail reception precedes the concert at 7 p.m. Aiken County Historical Museum; 8 p.m.; $75; 435 Newberry St., Aiken; 803.648.1438 JUILLIARDINAIKEN.COM


Lunch Concert series featuring the Juilliard Singers; Violin, Viola and Piano Trio. First Presbyterian Church; 11:30 a.m.; free; 224 Barnwell Ave. NW, Aiken JUILLIARDINAIKEN.COM

LITERARY IT’S YOUR BOOK CLUB! Discuss the book How African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone by Ralph Richard. Headquarters Library, third floor meeting room; 6:30 p.m.; free; 823 Telfair St.; 706.821.2600 ECGRL.ORG

nets in hand, children will explore and learn about what creatures live in the pond. Be prepared to get a little bit wet and muddy. For ages 5 and up. Preregistration required. Reed Creek Nature Park; 4:30 p.m.; $2; 3820 Park Lane; 706.210.4027 REEDCREEKPARK.COM


world’s most famous basketball team features rookies Paul “Tiny” Sturgess, Jonte “Too Tall” Hall and Fatima “TNT” Maddox. James Brown Arena; 7 p.m.; $22 to $80; 601 Seventh St.; 877.4.AUGTIX GEORGIALINATIX.COM




Linnet Bird by Linda Holeman. Columbia County Library; 11:30 a.m.; free; 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd.; 706.863.1946



former food and entertainment commentator on South Carolina ETV and the author of Shrimp, Collards and Grits, discusses how her book, featuring low-country art, recipes and stories, came together. Lunch by Fat Man’s Mill Café. Paid reservations due March 13. Morris Museum of Art; noon; $14; 1 10th St.; 706.724.7501 THEMORRIS.ORG

With a warm hickory baritone that balances strength with a gentle concern, Don Williams draws his listener into the intimate world of an old friend. Bell Auditorium; 7:30 p.m.; $34.50 to $57.50; 712 Telfair St.; 877.4.AUGTIX GEORGIALINATIX.COM


the world’s most celebrated dance companies, Ballet Hispanico flawlessly blends classical ballet with an edge of Hispanic dance traditions, resulting in a new style of concert dance. Imperial Theatre; 8 p.m.; $10 to $75; 745 Broad Street; 706.722.8341 AUGUSTABALLET.ORG

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@ | community driven news | March 14, 2012 23

24 March 14, 2012 | community driven news |




SPORTS AIKEN TRIALS Read the article on page 9.

Six flat races designed for horses that are just beginning their racing careers. Aiken Training Track; gates open at 10 a.m.; $10 to $100; 538 Two Notch Road, Aiken; 803.648.4631


books for sale. Appleby Library; 10 a.m.; free; 2260 Walton Way; 706.736.6244 ECGRL.ORG


Keith Shafer, a finalist in all of the American organ playing competitions and the director of music at St. Paul’s will perform music selections from J. S. Bach, Harrison Oxley, Felix Mendelssohn, William Mathias, Gerre Hancock and CharlesMarie Widor. Childcare will be available and a reception follows the program. St. Paul’s Church; 4 p.m.; free; 605 Reynolds St.; 706.724.2485 SAINTPAULS.ORG


Downtown Augusta; 2 p.m.; Starts at the James Brown Arena parking lot on Seventh Street to Telfair Street, up to 11th Street, then turning right onto Broad Street and back down to Sixth Street, ending at the JBA parking lot. AUGUSTAIRISH.COM


and beverages are available for donations that will go toward use of the facility. Glenn Hills Baptist Church; 6 p.m.; free; 2877 Lumpkin Road; 706.373.7855


As lovable as he is outrageous, Ralphie May is one of the most popular comedians in the country. Since his debut on Last Comic Standing, audiences can’t get enough of the larger-thanlife comedian. Now, Ralphie proves he’s too big to ignore with his record breaking fourth Comedy Central special and North American tour. Voted one of Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch, Ralphie spreads his comedic wealth further than ever by tackling topics that will make you think and occasionally squirm. Imperial Theatre; 7:30 p.m.; $32.50; 745 Broad St.; 706.722.8341 IMPERIALTHEATRE.COM


the presence of his audience makes the musical ride an exhilarating journey-showcasing a diverse repertoire that includes country, Broadway, bluegrass and blues. Imperial Theatre; 7:30 p.m.; $10 to $60; 745 Broad St. 706.722.8341 IMPERIALTHEATRE.COM

SPORTS AUGUSTA RIVERHAWKS vs. Columbus Cottonmouths. James Brown Arena; 7:35 p.m.; $7 to $18; 712 Telfair St.; 706.993.2645




Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Columbia County Library; 6:30 p.m.; free; 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd.; 706.863.1946



3.4 and 20th centuries presented by Augusta State University music faculty and colleagues. Morris Museum of Art; 2 p.m.; free; 1 10th St.; 706.724.7501 THEMORRIS.ORG


Bring a chair to enjoy the games. Whitney Field; 3 p.m.; $5 to $20; Mead Avenue, Aiken; 803.643.3611 AIKENPOLOCLUB.ORG

Rated R, 137 minutes. Headquarters Library; 6:30 p.m.; free; 823 Telfair St.; 706.821.2600 ECGRL.ORG


instructor Ilona Law leads a book discussion of Noon Wine by Katherine Anne Porter, the second book in the series Land of Opportunity, which incorporates relevant artwork from Picturing America originated by the American Library Association to create a multimedia and multicultural experience. A limited number of copies of each book are on loan to the Aiken County Library from the North Carolina Humanities Council. Aiken County Library; 7 p.m.; free; 314 Chesterfield St. SW; Aiken; 803.642.7575 ABBE-LIB.ORG


Symposium: Exploring the Mind, the Body and the Soul. Augusta State University; 2:30 p.m.; free; 2500 Walton Way, N126 Allgood Hall; 706.737.1709 AUG.EDU

[ digger the otter joins the market ] The Augusta Market returns to the Eighth Street bulkhead on March 24, which will give residents and visitors the opportunity to experience some of Augusta’s best local vendors while enjoying the Riverwalk and Garden City Jazz. This year the market will introduce their mascot, Digger the Otter, who will appear on the River Stage with Pickles the Clown each Saturday at noon.


parody, set to classic tunes from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s focuses on four women who meet at a lingerie sale with nothing in common but a black lace bra … and memory loss, hot flashes, night sweats, not enough sex, too much sex and more. Presented by GFOUR Productions. Imperial Theatre; 8 p.m.; $46; 745 Broad St.; 706.722.8341





10 a.m.; free; 1237 Laney-Walker Blvd.; 706.722.6275 ECGRL.ORG

EDUCATION PHILOSOPHY CLUB Kroc Center; 7 p.m.; free; 1833 Broad St.; 706.364.5762 KROCAUGUSTA.ORG


Trio. Read the article on page 23. Lunch is provided after concert. Reservations required. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; noon; concert is free, lunch $10; Sixth and Reynolds streets; 706.722.3463 TUESDAYSMUSICLIVE.COM

daily planner






Registration required. For ages 12 to 18. Columbia County Library; 4 p.m.; free; 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd.; 706.863.1946 ECGRL.ORG


THE MUSICAL See listing on

March 20. Imperial Theatre; 8 p.m.


County Museum and Flat Grove, the birthplace of Alamo hero James Butler Bonham. Enjoy lunch at Juniper and shopping in the downtown antique shops of Ridge Spring. End the day at Watsonia, touring the peach packing farm. $20 per person (does not include lunch or

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The Crystal Trio 240.jpg

“Digger is a volunteer with the Augusta Market who is originally from New Orleans, and he’s just old enough to go out on his own,” said Brooke Buxton, the president of Broad Street Inc. which runs the market. “He discovered Augusta and decided it’s his land of opportunity because he loves the Riverwalk and believes we are on the verge of becoming a premier destination for riverfront activities.” According to Buxton, there are many ways to enjoy the market, which include sampling locally grown organic produce or fresh baked bread, shopping for unique gifts such as handmade jewelry and ceramic art, getting a portrait drawn or face painted, or enjoying a massage and some fresh squeezed lemonade. Digger’s aim is to draw more children and young families to the market and thereby make downtown an increasingly popular destination on the weekends. “Digger wants to do his part to see our downtown take the next step in attracting visitors who will be looking for something to do,” said Buxton. “As businesses continue to come into downtown and the TEE Center draws more people from across the region, the Augusta Market is going to be a key piece of the puzzle that will keep the engine running. Eventually our goal is to have a sevenday-a-week open air market and extend it into the evening hours, which I can see happening in maybe two years. We want people who visit here to have a great time and then go home and tell their friends why they should visit Augusta.” This will also be the first year that the Augusta Market will be open Masters week, to make downtown appealing to the many visitors who flock to Augusta for its golf courses. “It’s really exciting that the market has grown from being taxpayer supported in its first year to now being totally private and bringing in its own funds to help the city,” said Buxton. “Digger thinks he’s going to meet a lot of people this year, get involved and see how everything works.” by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK

WHAT The Augusta Market WHERE Eighth Street Bulkhead and Riverwalk WHEN Opening Day: Saturday, March 24, runs through October | 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. MORE | Visit Digger on Facebook or other purchases); 803.642.7559 AIKENCOUNTYPRT.COM

ART EXHIBITION CELEBRATION: FORE! THE LOVE OF GOLF Meet some of the artists from the exhibit including Frank Christian, Linda Hartough, Timothy J. Clark and Lucy McTier. Enjoy azalea cocktails, pimento cheese sandwiches, putting greens and special art projects during the party celebrating the Morris’ exhibition of contemporary golf art. Reservations only. Morris Museum of Art; 6 p.m.; $10; 1 10th St.; 706.724.7501



best-selling author of The Shack, William Paul Young, will appear as a special guest of the Nancy Carson Library. Grace United Methodist Church; 7 p.m.; call

for ticket information; 639 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; 803.279.5767 CONCERT IL VOICE Diverse quartet from Vancouver, Canada, puts a fresh face on the genre of classical crossover – with backgrounds in opera, Broadway musicals and classical performances. URS Center for Performing Arts; 8 p.m.; 126 Newberry St. SW, Aiken; 803.643.4774


March 20. Imperial Theatre; 8 p.m. | community driven news | March 14, 2012 25

St. PAtty’s Day OPEN AT 10am CorneD Beef & Cabbage GREEN BEER & $5 IRISH CAR BOMBS Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

All Day

friend us aT

Located in Historic Downtown Augusta Georgia 706-955-8507 at 214 7th Street

open Monday - FRIDAY 4 - 2:30AM Saturday 12 noon until 2:00 am

26 March 14, 2012 | community driven news |



FOR KIDS ALL ABOUT FROGS Learn about local

frogs and how Reed Creek is studying them through a calling survey. Go outdoors to listen for frogs using the calling survey protocol. For ages 5 and up. Preregistration required. Reed Creek Nature Park; 10 a.m.; $2; 3820 Park Lane, Martinez; 706.210.4027 REEDCREEKPARK.COM


[ artist derek hess at oddfellows ] GOOD CAUSE PAWS IN THE PARK: CSRA HUMANE SOCIETY’S ANNUAL PET WALK Festivities include refreshments, games for children and booths from local sponsors. Pets on the walk should be healthy, at least four months or older and have current vaccinations, including rabies. Lake Olmstead Park; 9:30 a.m.; small donation required; 3 Milledge Road; 706.261.7387 CSRAHUMANESOCIETY.ORG


FILM SUPER 8 Rated PG-13. Aiken County Library; 3 p.m.; free; 314 Chesterfield St. SW, Aiken; 803.642.7575 CONCERT COVENANT CONCERT SERIES Clara

Park, a music instructor at Augusta State University and a master teacher in the ASU Conservatory Program performs. Covenant Presbyterian Church; 6:30 p.m.; free, offering taken; 3131 Walton Way; 706.733.0513 COVENANTAUGUSTA.ORG

South Edisto River with a ranger at Aiken State Park. Float down the river, observe the scenery and talk with the ranger. The 1.7-mile trip lasts two hours. Register one week in advance. Meet at the dock parking lot located at Cabin Lake. Aiken State Park; 10 a.m.; $20; 1145 State Park Road, Windsor; 803.648.2857 DNR.SC.GOV

You can find Derek Hess’ pen-and-ink drawings from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to the Louvre museum and a myriad of tattoo and coffee shops in between. You can also find them on humans who have had his unique works permanently inked onto their bodies. Hess is coming to town to sign copies of his new book, Black Line, White Lie, which features two decades worth of selections from his vast repertoire: rock ‘n’ roll concert posters, fliers, album covers and fine art in the political and social realm. While his drawings are emotionally charged and often aggressive in content, Hess is an easy-going, quick-witted conversationalist who “hearts” his dog, a 13-year-old Pomeranian named Jose, appreciates a good cup of coffee on the road and can weave words with the best. Find out for yourself this month at Oddfellows Book Gallery. Details below. work you create and have it permanently etched on their bodies. Hess: It is amazing. I just got back from Musink, a tattoo and music festival in Orange County [Calif.]. I knew a couple of the artists there from L.A., and I didn’t think I’d know a soul in the community. People were coming over with the tattoos and wanting me to sign them, and then they’d go to the tattooist and have that signature tattooed next to the work of mine. I thought, “I hope you like me in 10 years! I hope I don’t do anything to p--- you off!”


Murder @ Contemporaries: Where Every Character is Suspect! Explore creativity and character development with instructor Cheryl Corbin. Headquarters Library; 1:30 p.m.; free; 823 Telfair St.; 706.821.2600

Verge: Between the artwork, travel and book, you also have your clothing line, Strhess. Because you didn’t have enough on your plate.

FILM HUGO Rated PG. Aiken County Library; 3 p.m.; free; 314 Chesterfield St. SW, Aiken; 803.642.7575 ABBE-LIB.ORG


Steeplechase weekend is themed after the Wizard of Oz for 2012. Ford Conger Field; 7 p.m.; call for info; Audubon Drive, between Two Notch Road and Powder House Road, Aiken; 803.648.9641 AIKENSTEEPLECHASE.COM


Knoxville. James Brown Arena; 7:35 p.m.; $7 to $18; 712 Telfair St.; 706.993.2645 AUGUSTARIVERHAWKS.COM


Aiken Cultural Series. USC Aiken Etherredge Center; 8 p.m.; $40 adults, $20 students; 471 University Parkway, Aiken; 803.641.3305 USCA.EDU


March 20. Imperial Theatre; 8 p.m.




article on page 9. To view the Steeplechase schedule, advance ticket packages and general information, please visit the website: www.aikensteeplechase. com/spring.shtml. Ford Conger Field; $15 in advance, $20 at the gate; Audubon Drive, between 2 Notch Road and Powder House Road, Aiken; 803.648.9641

daily planner


As a comedian, radio personality, author, TV host, actor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Harvey remains true to making personal connections through faith, uplifting words and actions, and everyday life, all while sharing laughs and good times worldwide. James Brown Arena; 8 p.m.; $39.50 to $49.50; 601 Seventh St.; 877.4.AUGTIX GEORGIALINATIX.COM



ART LECTURE: TIMOTHY J. CLARK Nationally recognized

painter Timothy J. Clark, whose work is on view in the Fore! exhibition, speaks about his artistic career and how artists throughout history have connected golf with art. Coffee reception follows. Morris Museum of Art; 2 p.m.; free; 1 10th St.; 706.724.7501 THEMORRIS.ORG


Sponsored by The Aiken Polo Club. Bring a chair and enjoy the games. Whitney Field; 3 p.m.; $5 per person to watch the game or $20 per person for the Social Tent; Mead Avenue, Aiken; 803.643.3611

discover more to do @

Verge: Black Line, White Lie is a 20-year retrospective. How did you select the drawings you included? Hess: I went for pen-and-ink for the most part. Some of these have black acrylic. Mostly pen-and-ink drawings that were pretty solid and that I’m happy about. I have a lot on tracing paper from when I was developing drawings from underlying sketches for concert posters, but that’s not what I was looking for. I wanted drawings directly onto paper, not tracing paper. So I went through them, and it took longer browsing through some piles than others, but I came up with a pretty decent batch. There was no rhyme or reason, no story or major theme throughout the book, other than it being black and white, but we decided maybe we should categorize them because it makes it easier for the viewer to have chapters and breaks instead of one giant thing of drawings. So we went with the chapters and tried to define a few subjects, like cherubs and guns and animals and women, and so on and so forth. But you’ve got to take into consideration that some of these drawings may overlap chapters, like I may have a cherub with an AK-47 — does he go into cherubs or does he go into guns? At the very end we put together a small chapter of a group of people with the work tattooed on them. On the website we have hundreds, so we took a bunch and put them in there because the book is very tattoo-friendly. It’s not a tattoo book, but it appeals to the tattoo community. Because of it being black and white, it’s easy to translate to tattooing. We carried that thought process one more step when putting the book together. We made one true bound, which is the one we printed the most of, we made one hardbound cover, and for the tattoo folks we made a spiral bound, which makes it that much easier for a tattoo artist to flip through. You’re not bending the spine to get the entire page. It will lay down flat on a copier in a tattoo shop easier than any of the other books. So that’s how the tattoo folks can enjoy Black Line, White Lie. Verge: It’s pretty amazing to think that people want to take the

Hess: Yes. I started that with my business partner, Marty Garamita, who I started working with in 1993, when I quit doing the concert posters. I said, “I’m becoming complacent and stagnating,” and once you stagnate, you don’t get better and you don’t grow. You get worse and the work will look like that. I was tapped out, and it wasn’t going to do the venues and bands any justice, or anybody who was buying my posters. And he said, “Well what the h--- are we going to do now?” And I’m like, “Well, I’ve reintroduced the fine art prints, which I did before I started booking. Now I have an audience for my artwork, and if I say I’m doing an art show and there are a few bodies who are aware of me and into my artwork, hopefully they’ll show up. I developed the fine art prints and I’m doing the pen-and-ink originals, so we’ll do real art shows and delve further into the fine art world. Hopefully, the people who are aware of me will come along, whereas before I couldn’t get anyone to come see it because I didn’t develop it.” He said, “That’s all fine and good, but the concert posters cost $30, and a large portion of your audience can only afford something that’s $30, so what do we do?” And Strhess clothing was born, because we could do T-shirts and they cost less than $30. Verge: Is art affected by technology? Hess: Not to be glib, but I really don’t care what computers do. They will strive to be close to hand-to-paper, but I don’t think it ever will. You can’t put a soul in a computer. You might be able to one day put a consciousness into a computer, but you’ll never be able to put a soul. The way your drawing develops is you look at something and want to draw it, and every time you put pen to paper, the line becomes more unique to you. You learn to draw and your style will develop. As far as computers competing with it, it’s OK. It’s a new medium. It’s an art medium, like charcoal or paint. It’s a computer and God bless ’em. | by ALISON RICHTER

WHAT Book signing of Black Line, White Lie with artist Derek Hess WHERE Oddfellows Art Gallery | Corner of Eighth and Ellis streets WHEN Thursday, March 15 | 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets Free MORE | 706.513.0916 or ODDFELLOWSART.COM | community driven news | March 14, 2012 27

between the



When you think of a zoo, is the first thing that comes to mind a sterile cage? If so, consider that the mission statement of Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, S.C., is to “foster appreciation and concern for all living things” and that the stated priorities of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) are to “foster the advancement and implementation of animal care and welfare methods, ensure the sustainability of zoo and aquarium animal populations for the next century and increase involvement of accredited zoos and aquariums in the effective conservation of wildlife in nature.” The San Diego Zoo says it is “a conservation, education and recreation organization dedicated to the reproduction, protection and exhibition of animals, plants and their habitats.” Enabling the recreation that zoos give to human visitors must be balanced with nurturing their animal residents. Several interesting books have been written about people whose extraordinary love for wild animals has lead them to provide unusual habitats, mostly in zoos, and exceptional efforts of care. WE BOUGHT A ZOO by Benjamin Mee | If you enjoyed the recent movie We Bought a Zoo, then you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is based on the true story of Benjamin Mee, written about in his book of the same name. If you start reading the book, you will again be surprised because it is set in Europe, rather than the movie setting of the United States. The wonderful story got so much media attention from the start that a documentary, Ben’s Zoo, was made for BBC television. Though the movie version is not as bland as some Hollywood makeovers, it does omit many of the book’s tragedies, most notably the struggle of Mee’s wife with cancer soon after their year-long negotiation of the zoo’s purchase. The crusty owner ultimately sees that the family, from Mee’s siblings to his widowed mother, understands the vision of a small, intimate zoo better than the zoo professionals with grandiose plans and more money. Adventures, such as the escape of a jaguar and a root canal for a lion, mingle with the practicalities of getting a bank loan and information about animal conservation. Ben’s experience writing a DIY column for The Guardian newspaper and his dry wit give the book an appealing slant and tone. Babylon’s Ark: The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo by Lawrence Anthony | Babylon’s Ark is a suitable title for this incredible tale of animal rescue, not from a natural disaster, but from the man-made disaster of war. Under his own free will and financing, Lawrence Anthony leaves his peaceful Thula Thula Game Reserve in South Africa to save the animals of the Baghdad Zoo. Having seen a news story about how Taliban soldiers had killed the animals of Kabul Zoo in Afghanistan at the time of the American invasion in 2001, Anthony feared that the same fate awaited the Baghdad Zoo in 2003. After days of negotiating to get permission to cross from Kuwait into the Iraqi war zone, he miraculously arrives unharmed at the bombed zoo to find that Iraqi looters have killed many of the smaller animals, but all the larger animals are struggling to stay alive against starvation and thirst. Looters have also stolen most of the zoo’s equipment and infrastructure. After gaining the trust of the occupying American soldiers, Anthony is surprised to receive their frequently generous help with keeping out looters and providing crucial supplies such as batteries for a water pump and freezers liberated from one of Saddam’s houses. When tranquilizer guns are confiscated at the border by Kuwaiti customs, an American soldier gets them back, but not before Anthony is forced to attempt a rescue of lions from the private menagerie of Saddam’s infamous son Uday with nothing between his crew and the very alert lions but chicken wire. Zoo Story by Thomas French | Though incorporating insights from the caring human keepers, Zoo Story is mostly about the zoo life of many different animals. Thomas French, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, animates the often routine nature of these animals’ lives. The book opens with a dramatic description of the transport of 11 elephants by airplane from the Mkhaya Game Reserve in Swaziland, Africa, to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Fla. Unlike the happy elephants of Anthony’s Thula Thula Game Reserve in South Africa, the elephants reintroduced to Swaziland had devastated their new habitat, tearing down almost all the trees on the reserve. After prolonged political negotiations, the sale of the elephants to the zoo was further delayed by opposition from animal rights groups. Part of an ambitious plan of Lowry Park CEO Lex Salisbury to create more natural enclosures for the animals, the merging of wild elephants with more tame, zoo-born ones was ultimately so successful that they were able to breed elephants at the zoo. A similar attempt with 15 African Patas monkeys, that had literally been running wild in Puerto Rico, failed miserably when they escaped from the zoo into the Florida swamp and evaded capture for months. by MICHAEL SWAN, DIRECTOR OF THE AIKEN LIBRARY

28 March 14, 2012 | community driven news |



CONCERT CANDLELIGHT JAZZ PRE(VIEW) USC Aiken and Augusta State University Jazz. Rain or shine. River Stage; 7 p.m.; $6 for ages 13 & up; Eighth Street and Riverwalk; GARDENCITYJAZZ.COM




Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. “Time is all you have and one day you may find that you have less than you think,” said Pausch, a computer science professor diagnosed with terminal cancer, in a lecture to his students about the importance of living. Maxwell Library; 10 a.m.; free; 1927 Lumpkin Road; 706.793.2020 ECGRL.ORG


daily planner


March 20. Imperial Theatre; 8 p.m.



SPORTS 96TH ANNUAL AIKEN HORSE SHOW Admission includes a parking pass and lunch. Benefits the Hitchcock Woods Foundation. Hitchcock Woods; 9 a.m.; $75; 2200 Dibble Road, Aiken; 803.270.7331 AIKENHORSESHOW.ORG


R, 120 minutes. Headquarters Library; 6:30 p.m.; free; 823 Telfair St.; 706.821.2600





Kroc Center; 6:30 p.m.; day pass or membership; 1833 Broad St.; 706.364.5762




geared toward fiction writers interested in improving their craft. Columbia County Library; 10 a.m.; free; 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd.; 706.447.8184


5 p.m.; free; 375 N. Louisville St.; 706.556.9795 ECGRL.ORG




discussion and short play on the images of Black women in the media. Blue Bistro Theater at Encore 601; 11 a.m.; ticket prices vary; 601 Broad St., 2nd floor; 404.786.3277 BLUEBISTROTHEATER.COM


Read the article on page 9. Proceeds from the event support the USC Aiken Pacers Athletic Department. Powder House Polo Field; 1 p.m.; $5 to $10, $70 for hospitality tent; 950 Powderhouse Road, Aiken; 803.643.3611 AIKENPOLOCLUB.ORG

FILM HOP Rated PG. Aiken

County Library; 3 p.m.; free; 314 Chesterfield St. SW, Aiken; 803.642.7575 ABBE-LIB.ORG

for Untitled: Juried Artists of the AHCNA. Norht Augusta Arts and Heritage Center; 6 p.m.; free; 100 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; 803.441.4380


Center for the Arts; 6 p.m.; free; 122 Laurens St. SW, Aiken; 803.641.9094


Center; 7 p.m.; free; 471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC; 803-641-3305 USCA.EDU

Veterans Fisher House. Sno-Cap Drive In; 4 p.m.; regular menu pricing applies; 618 West Ave., North Augusta; 803.279.4004 SNOCAPDRIVEIN.COM


Wing presents music from Wicked, The King and I, NINE, Hairspray, Man of Lamancha, Spamalot, The Secret Garden, Sondheim Review and Les Miserables. This fundraiser will help send eight students to the Broadway Student Summit in New York. Aiken Community Playhouse; reception at 6 p.m., show at 8 p.m.; $45; 126 Newberry St. SW, Aiken; 803.648.1438 ACP1011.COM


Twenty teams will be judged by the South Carolina Barbecue Association at this fundraiser. Each team will also be participating in a chicken wing competition. Newberry Street Festival Center; call for info; Newberry St. NW, between Richland Ave. and Park Ave.; 803.507.6207 CACOFAIKEN.ORG/HOME




THE ART WORKS OF JOHN DASO Born in Augusta in 1956,

John Daso is a self-taught folk art painter. His works depict rural African American living, scenes he saw in his childhood. Opens March 8. Headquarters Library; 823 Telfair St.; 706.821.2600


Ends March 23. Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art; 506 Telfair St.; 706.722.5495


Artistic Perceptions; 551 Broad St.; 706.724.8739


March 31. Aiken Center for the Arts; 122 Laurens St. SW, Aiken; 803.641.9094


the Ferrell Collection. Ends April 3. Morris Museum of Art; 1 10th St.; 706.724.7501


A society of golfers was organized in Savannah, Ga., in 1796. But it wasn’t until 1888 that the first permanent club, the St. Andrew’s Golf Club, was organized in Yonkers, N.Y. Since then, the game has been celebrated by artists and illustrators, who have sought to capture the unique aesthetics and nature of the game. Ends April 15. Morris Museum of Art; 1 10th St.; 706.724.7501


FOR KIDS JACK AND THE BEANSTALK Storyland Theatre presents an original musical based on the classic tale. Imperial Theatre; 3 p.m.; $5, active military and families free with valid military ID; 745 Broad St.; 706.736.3455 STORYLANDTHEATRE.ORG

and Ann LeMay, Leo Twiggs, Mel Holston and Nancy Wyman. Ends March 31. Aiken Center for the Arts; 122 Laurens St. SW, Aiken; 803.641.9094


Mississippi in the late 1930s to early 1940s, the photographs depict the rural poor and convey the want and worry of the Great Depression. Ends May 6. Morris Museum of Art; 1 10th St.; 706.724.7501

go to for art exhibits to see, classes to attend and more



Good cinematic adaptations of TV shows are hard to find. Hopeful audiences looking to reclaim a little nostalgia from their favorite shows have been burned by big-screen versions of The A-Team, Get Smart, Miami Vice and The Dukes of Hazzard, to name a few from recent memory. Buzz surrounding a cinematic update of the Johnny Deppfronted TV drama 21 JUMP STREET (1987-1991) has 21 JUMP STREET not been as abysmal as one would expect, given the genre and the acting, writing and executive producing presence of one of Judd Apatow’s crude comedy disciples, Jonah Hill. The R-rated update opens on March 16. A slimmed-down Hill and Channing Tatum (Dear John) play a pair of underachieving police officers who are sent to their precinct’s special division where young-looking cops go undercover in high schools to bust drug rings. The “narcs” find that high school is not the same as they remember and while Tatum’s character was popular and Hill’s was considered nerdy in their high school days, they experience a role reversal of sorts in the modern high school atmosphere where the cool kids are vegans. Stephen J. Cannell, the legendary producer of 21 Jump Street and The A-Team, contributed to the development of this project before his death in 2010. Johnny Depp and Holly Robinson Peete, who starred in Cannell’s series, make appearances in the film. Ice Cube and Rob Riggle also star in this action-comedy from Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the directing duo behind the infinitely more family-friendly animated film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Will Ferrell is spreading his brand of zany man-child comedy to other cultures. The funny man’s latest film is CASA DE MI PADRE, a Spanish language limited opener with subtitles and a little bit of English thrown in courtesy of co-star Nick Offerman (TV’s Parks and Recreation).The film is a Mexican Western spoof with a telenovela feel showcasing Ferrell as the underachieving son of a rancher who must save the ranch in spite of being overshadowed by his drug dealing brother. By no means is Ferrell fluent in Espanol. Rather, he learned his lines by rote with the help of a dialect coach. Jason Segel and Ed Helms, two more veterans of the immature male genre, head into indie territory as a pair of slacker brothers who seek deeper meaning in their lives in JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME. Susan Sarandon plays their understandably frustrated mother in this limited opener. March 23 brings the highlyanticipated inaugural film in the adaptation of Suzanne JENNIFER LAWRENCE IS KATNISS Collins’s best-selling young adult novel trilogy, THE HUNGER GAMES. Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) plays teenage heroine Katniss Everdeen, a girl who volunteers to take her younger sister’s place in a cruel government-mandated televised fight-to-the-death competition. Collins and director Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) co-wrote the screenplay. Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland and rocker Lenny Kravitz also star. Bringing popular young adult fiction to the big-screen has served studios well in recent years with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. Remember 2010’s Clash of the Titans, which starred Sam Worthington (Avatar), Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes in a gods and mortals, good versus evil tale hastily converted to 3D at the last minute? The film has earned a sequel, WRATH OF THE TITANS, which opens March 30. Also opening is the first of two takes on the story of Snow White. Julia Roberts is the Evil Queen to Lily Collins’s Snow White in MIRROR MIRROR. Armie Hammer (The Social Network) plays the prince. Snow White and the Huntsman is slated to open June 1 with Twilight’s Kristen Stewart leading the cast along with Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth. by MARIAH GARDNER, MOVIE GURU

WHO’S THE FAIREST? | community driven news | March 14, 2012 29


sound bites

the guy who put the “k” In lokal gets vocal about augusta’s music scene

With the Augusta Entertainment Complex scoring almost a dozen straight sell-out events and area clubs boasting great turnouts for concerts, 2012 looks to be the year that Augusta makes the jump from a wannabe music city to a full-fledged must stop for middle- to upper-level bands. However, the most telling change has not been not the increase in show attendance, but the changes in when Augustans are purchasing tickets and attending shows. In the past, early week bookings and day after First Friday shows have been avoided like a Justin Bieber set at a death metal festival. However, so far this year, downtown venues have shown a statistically higher attendance the first Saturday of each month and a slew of Monday night club shows have done well – the most recent being a rocking full house at The Playground Bar for a show featuring little-known Greek punk rockers Barb Wire Dolls and Augusta heavy-hitters Shotgun Opera. Over the course of a week, I ventured out five nights to four different venues (including the aforementioned Monday night show) and each time the venue was well attended – if not totally packed out – including a five-band benefit concert at Sky City the day after First Friday.

mothers finest

With well known acts such as MOTHERS FINEST (March 16 at Sky City), LYNCH MOB (March 23 at Coyote’s), THEORY OF A DEAD MAN (April 11 at the Country Club), GODSMACK, STAIND and HALESTORM (April 13 at James Brown Arena), CHEVELLE, SEETHER and BLACK STONE CHERRY (May 3 at the Lady Antebellum Pavilion in Evans) and LADY ANTEBELLUM (May 22 and 23 at James Brown Arena) all set to hit the area, Augusta will see its biggest half year of music activity in a long time, eclipsing even many full years of music. Toss in shows by local to midlevel acts at area clubs and Augusta will easily continue the trend of having plenty of choices for lovers of all genres of music. Yes, music is LIVE and GREAT in Augusta! Over the past few weeks, music has lost a couple of its finest: the Monkee’s Davy Jones passed away Feb. 29 from a heart attack and guitarist extraordinaire Ronnie Montrose lost his long battle with cancer on March 3. In addition to being an amazing guitarist, Montrose also introduced the world to former Van Halen frontman and solo artist/Tequila connoisseur/Cabo Wabo party host Sammy Hagar. Jones, of course, was the short English guy from the under-appreciated pre-fab TV band, the Monkees, whose influence was felt years later via the creation of music television a.k.a. MTV. The Monkees performed in Augusta twice – in 1969 at Bell Auditorium and in 1987 at the James Brown Arena (then called the Civic Center) – both times as a trio.

davy jones

Until next time, keep going to the shows and supporting the area bands and businesses that help bring great live music to Augusta. It’s well worth the time and, believe me, well appreciated! Remember to check out the Daily Planner in print and online at VERGELIVE.COM for great live shows. To get an earful of what is happening in Augusta music, listen to me rant with my good buddy Brian “Stak” Allen on CONfederation of Loudness, which can be found ironically enough at CONFEDERATIONOFLOUDNESS.COM and, of course, as always … Make it LOKAL, Keep it Loud.

John “Stoney” Cannon is considered the guru of “lokal” music. Check out his long-running Augusta music website: Send any music news to

30 March 14, 2012 | community driven news |





J. EDWARDS @ Manuel’s Bread Café | 5:30 p.m.

RENE RUSSELL @ Manuel’s Bread Café | 5:30 p.m.

COMEDY ZONE: TONY BOSWELL AND MIKEY MASON @ Somewhere in Augusta 8 p.m.; $8

COMEDY ZONE: SPANKY BROWN + MARK EVANS @ Somewhere in Augusta | 8 p.m.; $8

BRANDON REEVES @ Wild Wing Café | 10 p.m.

OLD MAN CRAZY @ Wild Wing Café | 10 p.m.


ERIC LEE BEDDINGFIELD @ Coyote’s | 8 p.m.; $7

PROFILE: mazes and monsters



JASON STURGEON @ Coyote’s 8 p.m.; $5 after 9 p.m. 6 + CAMERAS, GUNS & RADIOS @ Sky City | 10 p.m.; $3

Members Kenneth Benson (lead vocals/keys), Zak Todd (guitar/programming), Nick Duke (guitar/vocals) Alex Bruce (bass) and Jessie Gibbs (drums) GENRE Electronic indie rock

UPCOMING Bruce hears Radiohead and Death Cab for Cutie in the sound of Mazes and Monsters. Todd agrees on the Radiohead influence and adds groups such as Explosions in the Sky and Postal Service. “I don’t think our idea of being ‘original’ is purposeful. Our goal is to write songs that we like and that we think will move people,” Todd said. “We tend to get bored with traditional music so sometimes it turns out different than what people are used to hearing.” “As much as we’d like to think we’re original, every time I relisten to our album (The Spaces In Between) I hear elements that derived from the music I listen to every day. But then, I think, those guys got it from somewhere else, too. So I think we’re OK with copying elements from other bands and making our own little mixture of indie,” said Duke.

MUSIC Recently, Mazes and Monsters released the debut album

The Spaces In Between.

“When we decided to name the album The Spaces In Between all I could see is something dealing with lines and the negative space around it,” Benson said. “I wanted to convey this idea further by having each band member’s outline drawn to show we are all connected to one another because of the music we play together, but also show the negative space that is between each of as individual musicians. We bring our own unique style to the music we play and form it as our own.”

MATT ACOSTA @ Wild Wing Café | 10 p.m.



JUCIFER @ Sky City | 10 p.m.; $5 SIBLING STRING @ Wild Wing Café | 10 p.m.

FRIDAY, MAR. 16 ‘90s NIGHT @ The Soul Bar 9 p.m. JAH HARVEST @ The First Round | 9 p.m.

G-CITY ROCKERS G-CITY ROCKERS @ 1102 Bar & Grill | 9 p.m. JIM PERKINS @ Somewhere in Augusta | 9:30 p.m.

MORRISON DAVIDSON MORRIS DAVIDSON BAND With driving acoustic guitars and vocals that emphasize tight harmony, Morris Davidson Band – David Morris and Jim Davidson – offers a blend of classic songs of the ‘70s and a variety of country hits. @ Manuel’s Bread Café | 5:30 p.m. COMEDY ZONE: JERRY FARBER + BILL ARRUNDALE @ Somewhere in Augusta 8 p.m.; $8 MATT ACOSTA @ Wild Wing Café | 10 p.m.


BARE KNUCKLE CHAMPIONS @ Stillwater Tap Room 10 p.m.; $5


THREE LEGGED FOX @ The Loft | 9 p.m.

MOTHER’S FINEST + FUNK YOU @ Sky City | 9:30 p.m.; $20 advance; $25 day of show JEFF JOHNSTON @ Somewhere in Augusta | 9:30 p.m. MICHAEL PATTERON BAND @ Wild Wing Café | 10 p.m.



MICHAEL STACEY @ The Country Club | 10 p.m. POP LIFE @ The Soul Bar 9 p.m. HOT ROD WALT AND THE PSYCHO DEVILLES @ The Loft 9 p.m. DANCING THROUGH THE MOVIES A Bellydancing exhibition. Late night disco will be spun after the show. @ Sky City | 9 p.m.; $5 TOYZZ @ Wild Wing Café 10 p.m.

TUESDAYS Twisted Trivia @ The Playground Bar | 10 p.m. WEDNESDAYS Krazy Karaoke @ The Playground Bar | 8 p.m. THURSDAYS TANGO NIGHT @ Casa Blanca Café | 6 p.m. SOUP, SUDS & CONVERSATIONS @ The Fox’s Lair | 6 p.m.


LYNCH MOB + HELL’S 40 ACRES + PIT BOSS Read the article on page XX. @ Coyote’s 7 p.m.; $20 advance, $25 day of show MAZES & MONSTERS + DEATH OF PARIS Read the profile on the left. @ Sky City 10 p.m.; $5

TX CLERGY @ Wild Wing Café 10 p.m.


4 CATS IN THE DOG HOUSE @ The Willcox | 6 p.m. OPEN MIC NIGHT @ The Playground Bar | 8 p.m. FRIDAYS OPEN MIC NIGHT @ The Playground Bar | 8 p.m. SATURDAYS FRESHSOUNDS DANCE PARTY @ The Playground Bar 8 p.m.


UNMENTIONABLES @ Somewhere in Augusta | 10 p.m.

GASLIGHT STREET @ Sky City 8 p.m.; $5



CASA BLANCA Café @ 936 Broad St.; 706.504.3431 The COUNTRY CLUB @ 2834 Washington Road.; 706.364.1862 Coyote’s @ 2512 Peach Orchard Road; 706.560.9245 FIRST ROUND @ 210 11th St.; 706.828.5600 the fox’s lair @ 349 Telfair St.; 706.364.8278 manuel’s bread cafe @ 505 Railroad Ave., North Augusta; 803.380.1323 METRO PUB & COFFEEHOUSE @ 1054 Broad St.; 706.722.6468 THE PLAYGROUND BAR @ 978 Broad St.; 706.724.2232 SECTOR 7G @ 631 Ellis St.; 706.496.5900 SKY CITY @ 1157 Broad St.; 706.945.1270 SOUL BAR @ 984 Broad St.; 706.724.8880 Somewhere in augusta @ 2820 Washington Road; 706.739.0002 STILLWATER TAP ROOM @ 974 Broad St.; 706.826.9857

UNMENTIONABLES @ Somewhere in Augusta | 10 p.m.

WILD WING CAFE @ 3035 Washington Road.; 706.364.9453

JARED ASHLEY @ The Country Club | 10 p.m.

The Willcox @ 100 Colleton Ave. SW, Aiken; 803.648.1898

Death of Paris at Sky City

JOSH LONDON @ Wild Wing Café | 10 p.m.


D.I.Y. or



MONDAYS MIKE FROST JAZZ @ The Willcox | 8 p.m.

“We intentionally designed the album to fit as a whole. Several tracks transition into one another for that very purpose. We feel there is a unique consistency throughout the album that will (hopefully) draw the listener to take in the album as a whole,” said Duke.


BUCKTOWN KICKBACK BUCKTOWN KICKBACK @ Stillwater Tap Room | 10 p.m.; $5 JOE STEVENSON @ The Country Club | 10 p.m.


an early ‘80s Tom Hanks made-for-television movie, Mazes and Monsters.

horizon “We are looking at just getting our foot into the

doors of different venues in the Southeast. If we do any tours, they will have to be weekend tours. All the guys have a full-time job that we rely on to pay the bills. I do hope that one day soon we can plan a large tour to support our album,” Benson said. “We are always writing new music, but right now our main focus will be on promoting our new album. As far as releasing ‘albums’ vs. digital music: I am old school, I would prefer to hold a physical album in hand than have only a digital copy. Plus for us, this physical copy is a symbol of our hard work through blood and sweat to produce a great album.”

UPCOMING SHOWS Thursday, March 29 with Columbia’s



ST. PATRICK’S DAY SHAMROCK JAM Featuring Funk You + The Favors + JJ Maj + The Unpolished Brass + Cocoa Dylan + Suex Effect @ Sky City 3:30 p.m.; $5 ST. PATTY’S DAY DJs @ The Soul Bar | open early DANIEL JOHNSON BAND @ Somewhere in Augusta | 10 p.m. TYLER HAMMOND @ The Country Club | 10 p.m. ST. PATTY’S DAY WITH JUKEBOX ZERO @ Wild Wing Café | 10 p.m.


SABO & MIKE @ Wild Wing Café | 10 p.m.

DISCO HELL @ The Soul Bar 9 p.m.

SHE N SHE @ The Fox’s Lair 9 p.m. DR. BREAD @ The Soul Bar 9 p.m. CAREY MURDOCK @ Stillwater Tap Room | 10 p.m.; $5 LARRY FRICK @ The Country Club | 10 p.m.

HISTORY The band formed in 2010 and the name came from

“I felt the name fit us, a bunch of nerds obsessed with music like Tom Hanks’ character Robbie being obsessed with playing a game called Mazes and Monsters, a fictional game that’s played similar to Dungeons and Dragons,” said Benson.

JASON STURGEON @ Coyote’s 8 p.m.; $5 after 9 p.m.

BOBBY COMPTON @ Coyote’s 8 p.m.; $5 after 9 p.m.

ALMOST FAMOUS @ Wild Wing Café | 10 p.m.


JOHN KOLBECK @ Somewhere in Augusta | 9:30 p.m. MANNRAY + BROTHERS +YO SOYBEAN @ Sky City | 10 p.m.; $5 CHRIS LANE @ The Country Club | 10 p.m. COVER STORY @ Wild Wing Café | 10 p.m.


JASON MARCUM @ Wild Wing Café | 10 p.m.


SABO & MIKE @ Wild Wing Café | 10 p.m.


FUNK YOU @ Wild Wing Café 10 p.m.


for more concerts, parties, dance classes and more

visit | community driven news | March 14, 2012 31



Norma on Wrightsboro Road asks…

Are there dietary supplements or foods that are good for your brain? Thanks for asking, Norma. When it comes to foods, yes indeed, we now understand that there are a number of nutritional approaches you can take to promote “brain health.” The data on “brainhealthy” dietary supplements is much less convincing. One big problem with the area of nutrition and brain health is that it is filled with so much quackery that it becomes hard to separate the facts from the fiction. Always stick to the facts and the data. First, let’s look at the issue of dietary supplements and brain health. The one supplement that gets the most attention is gingko biloba, which is advertised as a dietary supplement which will “support” mental acuity. It is said to treat the memory loss associated with aging and reverse early stages of age-related mental decline, such as is found in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Contrary to popular belief, there are many important scientific studies published on the effects of ginkgo biloba on brain health. One such study looked at the relationship between ingesting gingko biloba supplements and the reduced incidence of dementia (from all causes) and Alzheimer’s disease in individuals with either normal cognition or those with mild cognitive impairment. The study found no such reduction. Another paper reviewed and analyzed all the published studies of gingko biloba; this “study of studies” found that gingko biloba had no predictable and clinically significant benefit for people with dementia or cognitive impairment. So, you might wonder why gingko biloba is still being advertised as a supplement that prevents or slows down dementia and cognitive loss with aging? Gingko biloba falls under the category of “dietary supplements,” which are not regulated the way foods and drugs are. They do not have to meet the same level of evidence to make a health claim. In addition, unlike drugs, which must be proven safe and effective before they are marketed, there are no provisions in the law for the FDA to “approve” dietary supplements for safety or effectiveness before they reach the consumer. So, pay attention when you see this disclaimer on a bottle of gingko biloba or other dietary supplements: “This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.” What about the effects of so-called “antioxidant foods” and antioxidant vitamins on brain health? Almost every commercial these days touts the antioxidant effects of what they are selling, from black pepper and oregano to blueberries and vitamin E. This is advertising, not science. Many antioxidant supplements claim to improve brain health, memory or cognition. They also claim to slow down or prevent the brain effects seen in Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. Let the buyer beware, overwhelming data supporting these claims is simply not there. Now, let’s talk about the nutrition factors that actually ARE associated with keeping your brain healthy. Surprise, surprise, it turns out that the same diet which promotes heart health, prevents diabetes, stroke, hypertension and obesity is also the diet which promotes brain health. So, number ONE, if you are really serious about the health of your brain, do not be overweight or obese. Did you know that adults who are obese in middle age are TWICE as likely to develop dementia later on in life? Did you know that middle-aged individuals who have either high blood cholesterol or high blood pressure are SIX times as likely to develop dementia later on in life as those whose values are not elevated? Did you get the SIX TIMES part? Wow, that is quite a difference. Eating a lot of saturated fat and high-cholesterol foods is also associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease. On the other hand, vegetables that are associated with lower risks of developing dementia are kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, beets, red bell peppers, onions, corn and eggplants. “Brain-healthy” fruits include prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, red grapes and cherries. Great protein sources for brain health are the ones which are low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol and high in unsaturated fat; these include foods like salmon, trout, halibut, mackerel and other oily fish. And, don’t forget how healthy nuts – such as almonds, pecans and walnuts – are. So what is the bottom-line no-nonsense nutrition advice today about the health of your brain? Simple … forget the vitamins, the supplements, the commercials. If you want to maintain your brain health, do the same things you do for your heart, to prevent diabetes and to reduce your blood pressure. Eat healthy foods, as defined by the dietary guidelines. Eat mainly fruits and veggies, low fat meats and dairy, high fiber and whole grain breads and cereals and move, move, move! Ask Dr. Karp focuses on food, diet and nutrition. Dr. Warren Karp is a professor emeritus at Georgia Health Sciences University. If you have a question you would like answered in this column, email him at DrKarp@, or visit his Facebook page, or website at

32 March 14, 2012 | community driven news |

puzzle 1

















31 33 35




46 51























Edited by Will Shortz | by KEVIN G. DER | No. 0209 Across   1 What “:” means on some exams   5 River in W.W. I fighting   9 Brewing giant 14 Kind of street 15 Top 16 Gray ones can cause arguments 17 *Look for 19 Caffè ___ 20 “If only” 21 *Entice with 23 With 26-Across, none 24 Stumble 26 See 23-Across 27 Some investments, for short 28 *Drop one, say 31 Broker’s goal 32 “Cold Mountain” novelist Charles 33 Most common first name among U.S. presidents (six) 34 *July, for Major League Baseball 37 Where lines may cross 40 Voluntarily, perhaps 43 Those Spaniards 44 *Doesn’t worry 46 TV’s onetime ___ Club 47 Electric ___ 48 NetZero, e.g., for short

49 Zip

face first Negotiating one calamity at a time

Why You Don’t Know When the World Will End



34 38








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13 6-Down

in subSaharan Africa 51 *It may bear a coat of arms 18 Salty orange square 54 Relatives of raspberries 22 Suffix with hex56 Succeed 25 Stir at a speakeasy 57 *View from Land’s 29 Island birthplace End of Epicurus 59 Order 30 Spartan king who countermanded by fought Pyrrhus “Down, boy!” 31 After-dinner drink, 60 Long haul maybe 61 Legion 33 Holy Roman emperor during 62 Travels over the War of what’s hidden in the Spanish the answers to Succession the seven starred clues 35 They include Cuba and Jamaica 63 Average 36 Smart answers 64 Bygone fliers 37 Lower 38 It’s south of Down Helsinki   1 “___ his kiss” (repeated 1964 39 Government study, lyric) briefly?   2 Suckler of 41 Spanish husbands Romulus and 42 Ophthalmologist’s Remus procedure   3 Sellout 44 Musical notes   4 What we share 45 Puts in, in a way   5 Derisive call 47 Fe, Ag, Au, etc.   6 See 13-Down 50 Jrs. take them   7 Exotic avian pets 52 “The Land of   8 Join forces anew Painted Caves” novelist   9 Tight 53 Designed for flight 10 Man from Oman 55 Singer Phil 11 Sony recorder 58 End of a match, 12 Twiddled one’s for short thumbs

Lots of people think they know when the world will end. Mayans, selfproclaimed priests and crazy Kool-Aid drinkers have all made predictions about when we will take the great celestial slumber. But, if you believe the world has a set end date, then you have to believe that someone, namely a creator, gave it that date. What creator smart enough to make our planet, the fuzzy creatures that live on it and your Aunt Gertrude would be stupid enough to tell us when our time is up? “Here it comes boys!” you shout with glee, yes, glee, to your coworkers. “3…2...1!” you all shout. James from accounting shoves over filing cabinets and Delores discretely carries her company laptop out of the front door. Only one week left until the end of the world and you’ve decided to spend it partying. You set the paper in your trashcan on fire and head for the parking lot. You and the rest of the free world swing by Best Buy on your way home, load up a choice flat screen and head for the door. Pay? Why bother? It will be ashes in a week. You set up the TV while your wife taps a keg. This is going to be the best week of your life! Outside your door, class guerilla warfare erupts. Skeeter from the trailer park plans to live in a mansion for his final days. The only problem is the family who owns the mansion also plans to spend their final days in it. The wealthiest among us fear for their prize-winning camellias as the poorest storm privacy fences to enjoy the “good life” before they stop enjoying life entirely. They amass on pristine lawns charging front doors and dodging nipping lap dogs while the elite discover that sprinkler systems and classical music double as

weapons. Across town, IRS agents are trapped in their building cringing at the sight of bare rear ends pressed to the windows and middle fingers raised in salute. Huddled in little groups, they pray for the end to come faster. Seeing their misery, the masses outside dance with joy. Vacation destinations are quickly overrun. The island of Aruba declares an emergency and residents abandon their homes and businesses to flee for the safety of Kansas, which emptied in less than an hour. Flights are cancelled because citizens are “joy riding” in Boeing 747s. Riots break out when regularly scheduled TV shows are replaced with reruns of Hogan’s Heroes. All the station employees quit. Motorists are stranded on roadways when the gas stations run out of gas because no one showed up to refill the tanks. The end of the world comes a few days early when war breaks out over the last of the chocolate ice cream. The next time someone tells you when the world will end, smile and know they’re an idiot. But stock up on chocolate ice cream, just to be safe. Nora Blithe is the author of Door In Face, a humor blog about all things that lay you flat. Read more at

a parting shot nothing a few goats couldn’t handle

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art by lillie morris

SOMEWHERE IN IRELAND Local artist and Irish musician Lillie Morris collaborated with poet Linda Whittenberg on a book of poetry and art , Somewhere in Ireland ... A Journey of Discovery, inspired by a love for Ireland. To celebrate the book’s publishing, Whittenberg comes to Augusta on Friday, March 16, for an evening of words and music at Fat Man’s Mill Café (1450 Greene St.) at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 706.267.5416. Check out the next issue of verge for an indepth interview with the poet. | community driven news | March 14, 2012 33

e h t p u v e R



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THE ACTION STARTS THURSDAY, MARCH 15TH $3.50 Sam Adams Stadium Cups plus our


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Washington Road just past I-20 • 706-364-WILD (9453) • w w w. w i l d w i n g c a f e . c o m 34 March 14, 2012 | community driven news | | community driven news | March 14, 2012 35

March 2012 Issue B  

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