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Athens First L.E.E.D House

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Stars Hugh Acheson


ynn Lera L





Rebecca Lang SPRING 2012 2012 $2.75 $2.75 SPRING


Scott l l e d Wen



Our Content SPRING 2012

AthensBuzz 11 Upcoming Technology 12 A Sports Car for the Masses 13 New Books to Grab 14 New Hot Spots in Athens 15 Summer Albums 12 Calendar of Events


AthensLife 19 A Grad Gift Guide 20 Athens’ First L.E.E.D. Home 22 Kayaking the Middle Oconee River 24 A Look at AthFest 26 Summer D.I.Y.s

AthensTaste 48 Signature Cocktains in Athens 50 Black Tie Barbeque 53 Summer Grilling Essentials



56 Summer Hair and Skin Maintenance 57 Life with Sanni Baumgartner of Community

AthensPeople 62 Unique Entertainers of Burlesque

64 Out and About We’re Green!

Athens First L.E.E.D House

black tie barbeque Glam-Up Your Get-Together

Whats happeninG? Get All of the Latest Buzz

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n Lera Lyn




SPRING 2012 $2.75

Rebecca Lang



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On the cover: Lera Lynn, Hugh Acheson, Meyur Vashi, Philip Juras, Rebecca Lang, Wendell Scott Photos by: Richard Hamm and Van Moncrieff



29 20 It Isn’t Easy Being Green

Inside Athens’ First L.E.E.D. Home


Athens’ Rising Stars

8 Athenians Making A Name For Themselves in a BIG Way

50 Black Tie Barbeque

How to Make Your Backyard Barbeque Red Carpet Ready



Publisher Scot Morrisey V.P. of Audience Andrea Griffith Editor Ivey Hamby Contributing Writers Alexandra Huff, An Nguyen, Carolyn Williams, Chris DeSantis, Dana Hortman, Ellen Barnes, Kate Foster, Sarah Brumbloe, Taylor Thompson Copy Editors Christy Hansen, Jennifer Causey Contributing Photographers AJ Reynolds, Dina Zolan, Kavi Vu, Richard Hamm, Van Moncrieff Contributing Producers Bailey Davis, Jennifer Brown, Laureane Urbain, Paige Simpson, Tamela Hodges, Taylor Williams Graphic Designers Ivey Hamby, Robert MacKnight, Zachary Hawkins Account Executives Alicia Goss, Christa Murphy, Jena Wages, Joanne Tidwell, Tom Bennewitz Athens Magazine 1 Press Place Athens, Georgia 30601; (mailing) P.O. Box 912 Athens, Georgia 30601 (706) 208-2282 Advertising (706) 208-2378 Customer Service (706) 208-2216 Editorial

OurEditor J

ust like award-winning country trio Lady Antebellum reminds us, there’s nothing sweeter than summer time. A time of year where the hustle and bustle of fall, winter and spring become a thing of the distant past. During the summertime, we all take time to breathe in the fresh, but humid air and enjoy a life of leisure. Whether you enjoy your day on Lake Oconee, a outdoor barbecue with family and friends, or just take pleasure in a stroll through the heart of downtown, Athens during the summer is a magical place of wonder. In this issue of Athens Magazine, we take time to forget the busy schedules and highlight all of the exciting and entertaining leisure’s Athens has to offer. Nothing beats a day of leisure like cruising down a serene and peaceful river with friends. In “Jewel of the Middle Oconee,” Big Dogs on the River co-owners and father-son duo, Terry and TJ Stephens, guides you through the in and outs of kayaking. If you’re more of a land-lover, check out “ A Heat Wave of Summer Technology” and “A Perfect Literary Getaway” for the latest technological innovations and best-selling literature on the shelves. For the music enthusiast, “Jammin’ Through the Dog Days of Summer” highlights the top five new albums from stars such as Carrie Underwood and John Mayer. During the summer, Athens is host to a wide variety of events, including the very popular and entertaining music festival, AthFest. To soak up the full AthFest scene and Classic City sound, check out “A Music Buff’s Guide to AthFest.” For a detailed list of concerts, festivals, classes and other events, “Sizzling Summer Happenings” is your personal go-to guide. Hungry? Style up a simple family backyard barbecue courtesy of “Black Tie Barbecue.” From delicious summer recipes to D.I.Y. decorating tips, your stylish backyard soiree is sure to be a summer hit. And for the grill master himself, be sure to read up on the latest gadgets in barbecuing in “Fire It Up.” After a tasty dinner, head downtown and enjoy one of the many drinks features in “Fresh, Fruity and Fun.” So don’t be a couch potato this summer. Get out, grab a friend or two, and bask in the many leisure’s of Athens.

Ivey Hamby Editor of Athens Magazine



AthensBuzz Pg.12




Making A Splash with New Technology Arriving with warmer weather is the influx of new technology. Laptops are getting thinner and more flexible, cameras are getting tougher, and tablets are getting smarter. Here is a list of the hottest must-have gadgets for summer.

By Ellen Barnes

The EXODesk from ExoPC Deemed “the desk of the future” by The Huffington Post, this 40-inch flat surface display attaches to your desk and connects to your PC or Mac. It can be used simultaneously with your computer, or independently as a sort of giant tablet, with its own set of apps, including full screen pianos and calendars. $1,299,

Asus Memo 370T This new tablet offers a four-core processor for the price of two. The seven-inch Android device has a minimum of 16GB of storage and 1 GB of RAM. The gadget also has a 1,200x800 pixel screen and weighs less than a pound. Other features include a MicroUSB port, a Micro-HDMI port, an 8-megapixel camera, and a microSD card reader. $250,

Sony Compact Waterproof Camera You can now get your camera as wet as you’d like (up to 16 feet) and still take breath-taking, crystal clear pictures. The DSC-TX200V model is modernly sleek yet functional with a reinforced glass front, an 18-megapixel “Exmor R” CMOS image sensor, and a 5x optical zoom. It is touch screen, dustproof and the even has a built-in GPS. $500,

Lenovo IdeaPad YOGA Ultrabooks are beginning to take over the laptop world, but this one is like no other. It not only has touch screen capabilities but also boasts a unique 360-degree design, allowing users to switch between using the device as a laptop, tablet or stand-alone touch screen computer. $1,199,

iPad 3 While the size and design are the same, the iPad 3 has new features such as better screen resolution, a 5 megapixel camera, iCloud support, iPhoto, and 4G LTE capabilities. Longer battery life and a voice dictation feature are also new, although no Siri yet. The best part: the prices are the same as the new iPad 2. $500830, SPRING 2012



A Sports Car for the Masses An In-Depth Look into the FT-86


t’s not a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or a BMW that has sports car enthusiasts waiting in anticipation. The eagerly awaited sports car comes from Toyota and Subaru, two Japanese carmakers not exactly known for fast or flashy cars. In 2008, Toyota and Subaru partnered up to develop the FT-86, a front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car with exceptional performance, handling, and balance. Toyota planned and designed the car, while Subaru provided the engine. However, both carmakers will release their own version of the FT-86. Toyota will market it as the Scion FR-S, and Subaru will sell it as the BRZ, starting in May. The BRZ and the FR-S are essentially the same car. Scion noted that the BRZ is focused on stability while agility defines the FR-S. There are some cosmetic differences, but mechanically, the two cars are identical. Sports car enthusiasts have been waiting since October 2009, when Toyota first revealed the FT-86. Early reviews of the car have been primarily positive, even excited. Motor Trend noted that the Subaru BRZ was “off the chart” and “nimble.” For sports car drivers, the Subaru Boxer® engine, is the highlight. The engine sits lower in the engine compartment, keeping the center of gravity low. In fact, the Subura BR-Z has one of the lowest centers of gravity



By An Nyugen

in any car, giving it significant handling capabilities. Other reviewers have noted that both cars respond well to aggressive driving styles and that they put the passion back into driving. The Subaru BRZ comes standard with a voiceactivated GPS navigation system, Bluetooth, Sirius XM, and a USB and iPod connection. You can add leather upholstery, keyless access and heated seats with the BRZ limited package. The FR-S comes standard with a remote keyless entry system, leather-trimmed steering wheel, USB port and Bluetooth and HD Radio technology. Both cars come with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, though if you’re a sports car driver, manual is the way to go. The exterior design, smooth and sleek for both cars, only adds to the attraction. It’s the sports care of your imaginations. The BRZ and the FR-S start at around $25,000. Add a few extras and the cost could go up to around $27,500. Compared to other sports cars on the market, this makes the FR-S and the BRZ an affordable sports car for almost every enthusiast. It’s frugal, and even practical. If the early reviews are right, the BRZ and the FR-S are two cars that will definitely make a dent in the sports car market. Make sure to go by Heyward Allen Toyota sometime in the early summer to experience it for yourself.

A Perfect Literary Getaway Whether you’re basking in a hammock or soaking up the sun in Florida while reading your favorite author, everyone needs a little creative writing to escape reality. Here are the top 5 most anticipated books of the summer.

By Dana Hortman

“Between the Lines” by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer

New England based novelist, Jodi Picoult, author of My Sister’s Keeper (2004) and Sing Me Home (2011), teams up with her daughter to debut her first young adult book, “Between the Lines”. This story follows a teenage loner, who spends her days captivated by a fairy tale. While this fairy tale may seem only real between the pages, the young girl soon discovers the opposite. Release date: June 26

“The Newlyweds” by Nell Freudenberge From the young innovative American novelist and travel writer, Nell Freudenberger (whose work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, The New Yorker and Vogue) comes a unique 21st century romance novel about a 24-year-old woman from Bangladesh, who leaves behind her country and traditional arranged marriages for her New York based beau, who captured her attention via the Internet. Release date: May 1

“Home” by Toni Morrison Famously known for her detailed characters, rich dialogue, and epic depiction of Black America, Nobel Peace Prize and Pulitzer Prizewinning American author and professor, Toni Morrison, debuts her newest work. “Home” is a captivating story about a black American veteran returning home from the Korean War only to be subjected to racial discrimination and face a family member in need. Release date: May 8

“Canada” by Richard Ford Pulitzer Prizewinning novelist and short story writer, Richard Ford, of the Bascombe Trilogy, now introduces his new thrilling summer read, “Canada”. The story is centered on a 15-year-old boy who ventures from home when his parents are arrested, journeys to Saskatchewan, where he meets a charismatic American. Release date: May 22

“I, Michael Bennett” by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge Well-known for his series on American psychologist, Dr. Alex Cross, famous American author of numerous suspense novels, James Patterson, once again doubles up with co-author, Michael Ledwidge, to write the continued series of Michael Bennett. The New York detective is demanded by the mayor to stop ongoing crime and violence in New York created by a South American crime lord. Release date: July 9




By Sarah Brumbeloe Photos by Dina Zolan

Delicious and Different Newcomers The Lowdown on Athens’ Newest Restaurants

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop 265 N. Lumpkin St. Athens, Ga., 30601 Luke Stebbins, the general manager of Fuzzy’s, calls the Baja-style Mexican restaurant a “community place.” With comfortable sports bar seating and a laid-back atmosphere perfect for the downtown Athens scene, indulge in the delicious smoky grilled fish tacos with some mouth-watering queso and an ice-old glass of Dos XX.

Athens Bagel Company 268 N. Jackson St. (706) 543-5001 Athens Bagel Company brings it's own New York charm right here to Athens with it's freshly prepared 'New York style bagels,' which are boiled in a kettle instead of steamed before being baked. You can choose from 10 different types of bagels, eight varieties of cream cheese and fresh sandwiches as well.



Stuffed Burger 1074 Baxter St. Athens, Ga., 30606 With a wide variety of handcrafted hamburgers, Stuffed Burger introduces a unique flavor combo including the ingenious ‘stuffed’ burgers loaded with toppings into each juicy patty. Order the bacon cheese burger with a side of tater tots or fries. Or distinctive combination of the classic grilled cheese sandwich is paired with the sharpness of homemade pimento cheese.

The Dogg Pound 1660 Broad St., Athens, Ga., 30606 An easily overlooked gem, The Dogg Pound specializes in 20 different versions of the traditional hot dog. The menu ranges from the typical, sizzling sausage-in-a-bun à la New York to alternatives like veggie dogs. And all dogs can be loaded with condiments like spicy sauerkraut and onions, served with a side of appetizing cheese fries.



By Chris DeSantis

Through the Dog Days of Summer


Carrie Underwood “Blown Away”

Carrie Underwood went from “American Idol” to superstardom in the blink of an eye. In 2005, the country girl won America’s hearts with hits like “Before He Cheats”. Her new album “Blown Away” is her first in three years and it shows her powerful vocals and country roots. This album reveals a darker, and personal side of the American Idol. Release Date: May 1

Norah Jones “…Little Broken Hearts” Norah Jones’ fifth studio album, “...Little Broken Hearts,” is based on personal experiences with love and relationships. Jones worked with formed Athens local and producer, “Danger Mouse” to produce the album. Expect to hear a broad range of sounds, from minimalism to electronic beats. Release Date: May 1

Santana, “Shape Shifter” Carlos Santana plans to release a series of new albums coinciding with his two-year residency at the Las Vegas House of Blues. The first album to be released, “Shape Shifter,” connects with his Mexican heritage through a series of personal instrumentals. The highly anticipated album presents powerful and brilliant sounds. Release Date: May 15

John Mayer, “Born and Raised”

John Mayer’s emerges with a new album called“Born and Raised” after after taking a three year hiatus. Mayer released a promotional single entitled “Shadow Days,” a pop rock ballad with a mellow flavor reflective of the overall album. Mayer has described “Born and Raised” as being organic with an overall “artfully simplistic” tone. Release Date: May 22




Sizzling Summer Happenings A Calendar of Events By Ellen Barnes

May 5, 12, 19 & 26

May 13-June 17

Come to one of Athens’ best-kept secrets and see a variety of wild animals, including bald eagles, redtailed hawks, screech owls, wild turkeys, a bobcat, a woodchuck, an American alligator, rat snakes, and a black bear named DJ. Free. 1-4 p.m. Memorial Park --------------------------------------------------

Skoonberg, a recent recipient of a Bachelor in Fine Arts and Printmaking from the University of Georgia, is showing her latest masterpieces. All pieces are inspired by Asian landscape painters, as well as by trees and nature. Free. May 20, Reception with Skoonberg, 2-4 p.m. State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Visitor Center Gallery

May 8


Open Exhibit Hall, Bear Hollow Zoo

Cooking in the Garden: Sorbet with a Candied Twist Nothing’s more refreshing than a bowl of chilled, freshly made sorbet on a hot summer’s day. This class teaches participants how to make both tart lemon and sweet creamy coconut flavors, while also discussing candy making with candied citrus peel. All participants will receive a sample of their handmade sorbet. $30/members, $36/non-members. 6-7:30 p.m. State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Visitors Center, Classroom 2


May 11-12

Athens Symphony Pops Concert

Looking to broaden your musical horizons? Check out the Athens Symphony Chorus as they play with trumpeter and flugelhorn soloist Jay Beckwith. It’ll be sure to be a night of entertainment and musical enjoyment. Free. 8 p.m. The Classic City Theatre 16


Art Exhibit: Hannah Skoonberg

May 21, June 18, July 16 & August 20 Contra Dance Lessons

The Athens Folk Music and Dance Society invites you to learn the beauty of folk art of the Contra Dance, a series of partnered folk dances in which couples dance in lines facing each other. The sessions include live music and beginners lessons at the beginning of each new dance. $7/anyone under 18 must have permission from adult. 7-11 p.m. Memorial Park --------------------------------------------------

Every Wednesday in May, June & July Yoga Bonding: Mama-Baby

Want to spend some quality time with your infant in a new and exciting way? Enjoy a relaxing session of moving and stretching with your tot, while learning postures that can improve your child’s digestion. The class is for babies six weeks and up. $14/drop-in, $60/6 class card. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Full Bloom Pregnancy & Early Parenting Center


and consists of a large variety of fun events. All ages are welcome. If you complete the entire 31 Days of Recreation board and bring it to Memorial Park any time before August 1st, you will receive a special prize. The Recreation Board can be found closer to date on Call 706-613-3580 for more information. See programs for fees. Times vary. Various locations in Athens

June 17


May 22, June 25 & July 24

Lupulin Ladies: Women’s Beer Tasting Group

Beer tasting is no longer only a hobby for men. The group samples about six different beers at each meeting to explore the ‘craft beer experience’ of each. Women of all ages are welcome. $16.95. 6:30 p.m. Highwire Lounge

The Amazing Kreskin, The World’s Greatest Mentalist

July 1st

The Amazing Kreskin is one of the most renowned thought-readers of America. He uses comedy and wit to dramatize the human mind, and his talent has put him at the forefront of America’s pop culture, including comedy clubs, comics, sitcoms, and magazines. $22/adults, $12/children 12 & under. Opens at 3 p.m., starts at 4 p.m. Georgia Theatre

Classic City American Music Festival



June 20-24

July 4

Get ready to rock at one of the biggest annual music festivals in the state. With over 150 bands as well as innovative art showings and local film screenings, it’s no wonder that the event snagged a spot on the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events. For more information, visit Free/outdoor stages, $15/club shows, $20/door. Times vary. Downtown Athens.

This new Athens summertime tradition is a blast, no pun intended. Presented by the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services, the event will include food, music, fun family games, and even a new Children’s Patriotic Parade. The grand firework show will end the night, making for an amazing celebration of our country. Free. 5:30-10 p.m. Bishop Park. www.

16th Annual AthFest Music & Arts Festival


Every Tuesday for 7 weeks, starting on June 28 Dog Obedience Classes

This annual event features some of America’s finest musical artists. The bands will perform on both inside and outside stages, and the show will go on, rain or shine. Casual menu dining will open at 5 p.m. All ages are welcome, and tickets will be available at Admissions TBA. 1 p.m. The Melting Point

Star Spangled Classic


July 21

Shape Up Day in the Park

Orientation on June 23rd at 6:30 p.m. Attend this pup-friendly class. Your canine companion will learn basic skills such as stay, sit, heel, come, down, and a sit-stay. To register, call Memorial Park at 706613-3580. $100/ACC residents, $120/non-residents. Puppy class (under 5 mnths)/6:30 -7:45 p.m.. Basic (5 mnths & older)/6:30-7:15, 7:15 - 8:30 p.m., Advanced/7:30-8:30 p.m. Memorial Park

If you’re looking for a place to get fit without being cramped indoors, look no further. This half day of free fitness classes will include Yoga/Pilates, Zumba, and Tai Chi, to name a few. Bring your own yoga mat and water, and enjoy beautiful weather while also bettering your body. Free. 7-11 a.m. Southeast Clarke Park


July 28


What better way to celebrate the end of summer than to have one last big splash? The event will show gratitude to the community while celebrating the start of another school year. Ages 6 and older are allowed. For more information, call 706-613-3593. $1. 1-3 p.m. East Athens Community Center

31 Days of Recreation

July is National Parks and Recreation month, and the Athens Clarke County Leisure Services is calling their month-long program a “recreation celebration.” This year’s theme is “Show Us How You Recreate”


End of Summer Pool Party



AthensLife 20




A Great Grad

Gift Guide After the diplomas have been handed out and tassels turned, it’s time to honor your graduate with gifts for all of their scholastic achievement and hard work. Celebrate and honor your graduate with one of these unique and thoughtful gifts.


$39-$45 at

Your college freshman will never miss an early morning class with this onthe-go alarm clock that rolls across the floor until turned off.

Recycled wine bottle cheese tray $24.99 at Bee’s Knees Bakery and Gifts

This trendy cheese tray is a unique, practical, and environmentally friendly graduation gift choice.

Picnic Plus tube cooler with stand

4 oz. Tervis Tumbler $17 at

These made-to-order tumblers are not only available in a selection of sports and outdoor themes, but are designed to keep your drink at the perfect temperature.

$55.00 at Plain Jane

It’s the perfect gift for guys and girls, and it really adds something to their alumni tailgating events.

Vera Bradley Grand Traveler $118 at Heery’s

Perfect for the occasional weekend trips home and abroad, Vera Bradley offers a stylish travel bag in a variety of new spring and classic patterns.

By Sarah Brumbeloe SPRING 2012



It Isn’t Easy

Being Green A Look Inside Athens’ First L.E.E.D. Home By Alexandra Huff


iving a “green” life can go beyond recycling newspapers every week or turning off lights when leaving a room. Lori Bork Newcomer’s home is a prime example of raising the standard of living environmentally friendly. Newcomer earned a platinum certification, given by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The house, which Newcomer designed and now owns, is the first LEED-certified home in Athens. Having a platinum certification means that LEED recognized that Newcomer did as much as possible to design



Photos by Bettie Maves an eco-friendly home. Newcomer’s home includes elements like the solar panel on the top of her roof, which covers 90 percent of the hot water demand. Newcomer says this system is much more affordable because government rebates are offered. Solar panels can also eliminate a good portion of the electric bill. The concrete floors on the main level of the house are particularly important in adding to the home’s eco-friendly atmosphere. “[The concrete] doesn’t use additional raw material beyond

the foundations, it’s inexpensive…and its thermal mass absorbs the sunlight that hits it in the wintertime and continues to slowly radiate that heat,” Newcomer said. Many aspects of the house include wood accents. From the custom-designed media cabinet in the living room to the wood mantel shelves flanking the wood burning stove in the kitchen, Newcomer and her husband designed much of the interior using recycled wood. “I love using reclaimed wood like this in a new home both because it is more sustainable (giving new life to old material),” Newcomer explained. “It brings a sense of history and richness of age to the home even though it is mostly new construction.” Newcomer also designed a headboard out of the reclaimed heart pine wood used on the upstairs floors. “It just runs from the floors right up the headboard wall with recessed bookshelves and cantilevered nightstands,” she said. Natural light and ventilation play important roles in the design of the home. Vaulted ceilings allow for high clerestory windows on the southern, eastern, and northern sides of the house, allowing for natural light to flow deeper

inside the home. “We never have to turn on our lights even on cloudy days,” Newcomer said. She also designed the double-sided glass cabinets that are set between the kitchen and dining room to allow light without sacrificing storage. Newcomer said that developing a “green” home does not have to only be for the elite. She estimated that the cost to build/design a LEED standard home adds approximately five percent to the cost of the house. However, an eco-friendly home reduces utility costs, and Newcomer believed that, in the long run, such costs could turn into losses. Aside from costs, a LEED-certified house also reduces a person or family’s ecological footprint. Newcomer pointed out that she and her husband are raising their children in an environmentally-safe home. The LEED program in the residential sector is young, however, and Newcomer wanted more people to be aware that a LEED-certified home is possible and even preferable. After all, initial financial costs are expensive, but not as expensive as the eventual environmental and health costs




The Jewel of the Middle Oconee Great Outdoor Fun Right in Your Back Yard


n a sunny day, the rushing waters of the Middle Oconee River create the perfect soundtrack to a rich experience. Emerald canopies arch above the cool river, while birds sing songs warbling welcome to wayward explorers. Though many Athenians may not know it, a unique getaway lurks right in their backyard, in fact just off Atlanta Highway, offering unforetold adventure and rewarding relaxation. Father and son duo Terry and TJ Stephens, however, definitely know how to kick their feet back and let the river carry them. “It’s magical. Just like a piece of heaven,” said Terry Stephens, co-owner of Big Dogs On The River. To simply describe the river as “magical”, however, would be an understatement. On a clear, warm day, the river serves up a divine escapade to the worn and weary. Founded in 2010, the kayakers’ outpost has guided people looking for something different and exciting down the Middle Oconee River for three seasons now. Kayaking—an outdoor water sport involving a single person, or tandem kayak in which a person propels his or herself with a paddle—is picking up popularity, and it’s no mystery why. The temperate biosphere of the river offers a lush alternative to the mania of the everyday. Kayaking season begins each April and runs through September, but the best time to go is April through July, 22


Photos by Chris DeSantis Photos by Richard Hamm

when the water levels are higher and the flow is swifter. During these hot summer months, finding refuge from the heat seems instinctual to most Georgians. A better alternative to industrial air conditioning is available in the icy, forest waters. “It’s a great way to do something different and get off the couch,” T.J. said. Kayaking can also be a fun way to make lasting family memories. “Kayaking is something I’ve always done with my family,” said University of Georgia student Claire Bleckley. “It’s a very fond memory for me - going out to the lake on weekends and exploring. No traffic, no internet, no cell phones. Just conversation and the sound of paddles moving through the water.” Not only is kayaking a great way to cool down, it’s the perfect way to heat up. It’s all in how you paddle. For people tired of the gym, it’s a practical form of cardiovascular exercise. On the other hand, kayaking can be very relaxing; just set that paddle aside and let the current take you. “I have a lady who calls kayaking her once-a-week therapy,” TJ said. “And it really is therapeutic.” Ironically, the physical exertion itself can sometimes be restorative. “Most of the time it’s relaxing because I’m pushing

Fun Facts 1. There are two varieties of kayak: sit-inside or sit-on-top. The latter are great for beginners. If you fall off you can just climb back on due to scupper holes that allow for drainage. 2. You can kayak in any body of water, but the best are rivers and oceans. The most important factors are water quality and flow. 3. Kayak rentals are ideal because quality kayaks usually cost anywhere between $250 to $2,500. A PFD (personal floatation device) and a paddle may be over $50 each. myself, trying to get to that bend in the river, or to that island in the middle of the lake. The motions of it can take your mind off of real life, and all you have to worry about is your boat and the water,” Bleckley said. The Stephens’ stretch of the Middle Oconee River is about three and a half miles long, starting on Broad Street and ending around Tallahassee Street. Kayaking on the Middle Oconee River is ideal because it is upstream from the water treatment facility and is extremely clean. In fact, the Stephens regularly clean their stretch of the river. Their motto is “Keepin’ it Clean & Green.” That’s not to say, however, that the Middle Oconee is any better than the Broad River. The Stephens feel there really is no difference between the rivers, as far as kayaking is concerned. Each river is a different version of the same thing. “To me it’s (the Middle Oconee’s) kinda like a golf course,” TJ said. “You could kayak here one day and then go out to the Broad River and try that out.” Kayaking on a lake, however, can be a very different experience. “I think there’s a very big difference between whitewater and lake kayaking,” Bleckley said. “For me, whitewater paddling is about the rush you get going through a rapid. It’s more active and hands-on. Lake kayaking is about enjoying your time on the water. It’s slower paced, and you’ve got more time

to take in your surroundings.” To mix it up, many people also enjoy fishing on kayaks. These special boats are smaller and can go where many larger boats can’t, revealing hidden grottos of fish not otherwise accessible. Though it’s easy to get distracted by the wonderfully, relaxing river ride, don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for the river’s many natural inhabitants. The river is a fun spot to see a wide variety of animals, including ground hogs, blue heron, box turtles, foxes, and even deer crossing the river. The plethora of wild life makes each kayaking venture unique. You really never know what you’re going to get. “I feel it’s still a secret. I get people every day who’ve never heard of the Middle Oconee River,” TJ said. “In some places you feel like you’re in the middle of the Amazon, not in Athens.”

4. Kayaking is fun for all ages. Children as young as the age of seven try it. The record at Big Dogs is held by an 87-year-old couple. 5. Some outposts offer to send a guide down the river with you. Though kayaking is fun, it’s important to be aware of simple dangers such as trees, rocks and drowning.

Local Contacts 1. Big Dogs on the River: 2525 Atlanta Highway Athens, GA (706) 353-6002 Email: 2. The Sand Bar (Kayaking on the Broad River) 3435 King Hall Mill Road Bowman, GA (706) 245-4163 3. Broad River Outpost 7911 Wildcat Bridge Road State Road 281 Danielsville, GA 706-795-3242 Email: SPRING 2012 23


A Music Buff’s Guide

By Kate Foster

Tennessee has Bonnaroo. Illinois has Lollapalooza. California has Coachella. Georgia? We’ve got AthFest. Athens is a small town in the grand scheme of things, but snag a ticket to the June 20-24 music festival and you’ll see just how big this little town’s music scene can be.

Leading the pack of talented acts on the outdoor stage are three headling groups that offer unique beats all their own, but share that magical, Classic City sound.

Reptar (6/22)

Looking to get something permanently stuck in your head? Probably not, but you’ve been warned: listening to Reptar – a group with an appropriately titled song “Stuck In My Id” – will result in just that. Their 2011 EP, Oblangle Fizz Y’all, is just as experimental as you’d expect, often meshing vocals and instrumentals into an indistinct symphony. Don’t be fooled, though; Reptar isn’t unreachable and droning, as the term “experimental” can sometimes suggest, but rather, unapologetically dance-worthy and just a little bit funky. For fans of: Animal Collective, Vampire Weekend, Foster the People Download: “Blastoff”, “Stuck In My Id”, “Sebastian” 24


Atlas Sound (6/22)

Take Deerhunter. Strip off about half of that ambient sound. Add a little more raw emotion. We present to you: Atlas Sound, Deerhunter lead man Bradford Cox’s deeply personal solo project. Since his first major album release in 2008, we’ve fallen harder for each subsequent debut, drowning in soothingly sublime instrumentals and thought-provoking lyrics. Most recently, on his 2011 release Parallax, Cox wages an inner battle between a Christian upbringing and the more sinful experiences that go hand in hand with fame. But don’t think for a second that the man’s weak: his often crooning vocals will remind you exactly why he’s talented enough to have worked with the likes of the Black Lips and Karen O. For fans of: The Radio Dept., The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Deerhunter Download: “Mona Lisa”, “Walkabout”, “Parallax”

The Glands (6/23)

You may be an indie fan now, but undoubtedly you can recall a time when you listened to classic rock from morning till night, slowly making your way through records by the Beatles, The Kinks, and The Who. Your past and present will collide with The Glands, a group that admittedly hasn’t released a record in over a decade, but is easily yet another trademark, unforgettable Athens band. Their selftitled album combines guitar riffs and harmonies that recall the British Invasion, but is kept modernly in-check with lead singer Chris Shapiro’s doubletracked vocals. For fans of: The Kinks, Wilco, The Thrills Download: “Swim”, “Lovetown”, “When I Laugh”

Yacht Rock Revue (6/24)

Let’s be honest with ourselves - there is some innate part of each and every one of us that cannot resist the lure of a little smooth, ‘70s soft rock. Yacht Rock Revue rightfully – and hilariously – won an award for “Best Excuse To Get Drunk With Your Dad” in 2010 for one reason only: they pay tribute to bands that everyone on the planet listens to (albeit sometimes guiltily). While they mainly cover the likes of Hall & Oates and Michael McDonald, they sometimes play under aliases to cover universally beloved bands like the Beatles (Please PleaseRock Me) and U2 (Uno Dos Tres Catorce). And have you ever been overcome with depression at the realization that you will never hear Thriller, Purple Rain, Sgt. Pepper’s, or Led Zeppelin IV live? Catch YRR playing these albums and others in their entirety. For fans of: Hall & Oates, Led Zeppelin, Prince Download: “Silly Love Songs”, “Somebody’s Baby”, “Easy Lover”

AthFest Compilation Album There’s no way you’d miss this festival, right? But if you get struck down by lightning and can’t make it, or, more logically, you just want to get pumped up for the good times to come, take a listen to the 2012 Flagpole-released AthFest compilation album. It’s a musical collage of Athens-based goodies that aren’t all from artists playing the festival, but still gives a flawless representation of the atmosphere you can expect this summer. 1. Patterson Hood & The Downtown 13 – “After It’s Gone” 2. Ruby Kendrick – “Do Me Right” 3. The Corduroy Road – “All Around This Town” 4. Hope For Agoldensummer – “Stars Shine Down” 5. pacificUV – “Float” 6. Tumbleweed Stampede – “Lost Boys” 7. FLT RSK – “Before Night Falls” 8. Reptar – “City Of Habits” 9. Casper & the Cookies – “Drug Facts” 10. White Violet – “Everyday Is Listening” 11. Futurebirds – “Megachills” 12. 40th Street Candid Coal People – “Ambivalence In D” 13. Clay Leverett & The Buzzards – “Back To You” 14. Yo Soybean – “An Old War In The New South” 15. Sam Sniper – “Nothing Kills Me” 16. Dodd Ferrelle – “Rain Comin’ Over The Mountain” 17. Ken Will Morton – “Hitting Ditches” 18. Vespolina – “I Don’t Love You 19. Efren – “If My Heart Don’t Fail Me”




A Pop of Summer Creativity D.I.Y. Home Décor Projects By Dana Hortman


here’s a new home trend in town, and it comes at a very low price. Forget spending tons of dollars on home decor at Pier 1 Imports and Pottery Barn. Popular and addicting social media site, Pinterest,

Unforgettable Photo Canvas Try this inexpensive way to display beautiful picture art without breaking your bank account. What You Need: • Canvases • Photo(s), printed in matte for best appearance • Mod Podge {Matte} • Black Acrylic Paint • Paint Brushes • Foam Brush How It’s Done: 1. Snip the photo about 1/8 of an inch on each side so the edge of the photo doesn’t overlap the canvas. 2. Put a thin coat of Mod Podge on the back of the photo and canvas.  3. Lay the photo down on the canvas and even it out by using a soft cloth towel. This will eliminate any bubbles or gaps. 4. With the black acrylic paint and a paint brush, paint around the edges of the canvas and outer rim of the photo. Don’t let any paint get on the photo. Apply two to three coats. 5. Take the foam brush and apply paint in a “dry brush” technique, using enough paint on the brush so that it feels drier. Carefully paint around the outer edges of the photo. 6.Once the paint has completely dried, apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the top of the photo. Try to keep the shine and application balanced with one another. Allow Mod Podge to dry completely before hanging or displaying.



Photos by Kavi Vu is now calling the home décor shots with endless D.I.Y projects. So if you’re living room or bathroom is looking dull this summer, try these creative ways to brighter up your home.

Sweet Beeswax Candles

These candles are not only a renewable source, but burn longer, contain no harmful chemicals, and provide a natural honey scent.

What You Need: • 1 pound beeswax • Cotton or hemp wicks • Wick tabs • Half pint canning jars • Super glue • Pliers

How It’s Done: 1. Trim the wick six inches in length and string it through the wick tabs. Use the pliers to seal the open end of the tab so the wick won’t fall out. 2. Apply super glue to the wick and tab. Glue both of them to the bottom center of the jar. 3. Fill up the jar with beeswax. Try to place the wick standing up straight. Cut the wick to at least two inches higher than the beeswax. 4. Put the prepared jar(s) on a cookie sheet in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the beeswax to completely melt, about 20 minutes. 5. Once melted, put on a pair of oven mittens and carefully take the cookie sheet out of the oven. Allow the candles to cool and the wax to re-harden. Cut the wick to about half-inch tall. 6. As soon as the candles have cooled, place the lids back on top of the jars, and decorate as you see fit.

Decorative Glass Bottle Vases

Decorated root beer or wine bottles not only add a natural, stylish flair, but are also environmentally friendly and less costly than store-bought vases. What You Need: • 4 empty, clean glass bottles; either root beer or wine bottles • A can of spray paint, the color of your choice • Decorative faux branches, or use branches found outside How It’s Done: 1. Remove all labels and caps. Be sure to recycle them instead of putting them in the trash can. 2. Spray an even coat of paint on each glass bottle. 3. Set the bottle down on an old newspaper to dry. This should only take a few minutes. 4. Put at least four coats on each bottle. You may choose to put more on, if needed. 5. Once the bottles are completely painted and have dried, place the decorative branches in each bottle. Two or three branches will suffice.








Stars One look at the Classic City’s brick-lined streets, one-of-a-kind thrift shops, and crowd-drawing music venues proves that Athens is a place that breathes a unique kind of creative spirit. But who could have imagined that, standing beside you in line for coffee at Jittery Joe’s, is a “Top Chef” contestant? And that woman furniture shopping at Agora alongside you – could she be an awardwinning writer? Delve a little deeper into Athens culture, and you’ll soon be asking yourself, “Who knew?”

By Kate Foster Photos by Richard Hamm and Van Moncrieff





f you’re a regular of the Athens music scene, you’ve likely heard Lera Lynn’s bluesy, soulful voice echoing from inside the Classic City’s venues and into the streets. Her March 2011 solo album, Have You Met Lera Lynn?, saw such high praise that Lynn was awarded Athens’ “Best Vocalist of the Year”. Have you met this alternative country superstar? Read on. Athens Magazine: Describe a typical day in your life. Lera Lynn: Life is different on the road and at home, obviously. On the road, we generally stay up later and wake up tired, and then mill around whatever town it is we’re in and try to find some worthwhile food. Then we jump in the van and head to the next town, usually straight to the venue we’re playing that night. After the show, we hang out, pack up, and either go to our crash pad or hotel or go out, depending on how late it is. Then we wake up and do it all over again. When I’m at home, I usually spend a few hours in the morning working on musicrelated things, like the websites, emails, coordinating rehearsals or meeting with various people. Then I go to the gym to try to make up for the abuse my body receives on the road. After that, I’m usually working on songs, rehearsing or running normal-life errands. In the evening, I like to cook dinner and go catch some music in downtown Athens. AM: If you had to sum yourself up in one word, what would it be? LL: Determined. AM: What about Athens inspires you? LL: Athens has an amazing sense of community that you don’t find in many places. It’s an oasis of creativity and open-mindedness in the Bible Belt south. AM: What have you learned in Athens that you couldn’t learn anywhere else?

LL: I’ve been here since I was 18, so I’m not sure I can even make those distinctions. Athens grew me into a woman. From college to love lessons and becoming a professional musician, Athens has shaped it all for me. AM: How would you describe your “sound”? LL: Someone recently said that we sound like a cross between Wilco and Sheryl Crow, and while I don’t think we take much from either, I can see how that description could be helpful. It’s really pop music at the end of the day, with some old country and western influence, a little rock, and some sweet softness all mixed together. AM: In your experience, what are the best and worst aspects of the music industry? LL: I haven’t met too many snakes yet, though I’ve been warned that they’re out there. Most people I meet in the industry are passionate, and really enthusiastic about helping each other make connections. I guess I would have to say that the worst part, at this stage of the game at least, is what touring does to your health. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but sleep deprivation, eating poor food, drinking too much, not exercising, etc., all tends to wear on you. Oh, and the clubs that still allow people to smoke indoors - give me a break! AM: Is it ever nerve-wracking performing your own songs - songs that are so near to you emotionally? LL: You know, there are so many things happening on stage all the time in the context of performance that it’s hard to really focus on just one thing to get worked up about. I would say I have more anxiety about the experience which becomes the subject matter of the songs than the performance of them. The therapy of writing is half the point for me. Once it’s out there, I can finally let it go.

Lera Lynn

Photo by Richard Hamm









t takes a very sharp mind to be successful in the money and insurance industry, and Meyur Vashi’s got it. But generosity too? When away from his job as a Commercial Account Executive at Doherty, Duggan & Rouse Insurers, Vashi resides as president of the Clark County Mentor Program and works alongside Hope Haven, an organization that provides support for individuals with developmental disabilities. Only in his early 30s, Vashi makes doing so much look incredibly easy. Athens Magazine: Describe a typical day in your life. Meyur Vashi: I’m sort of the middleman between clients and insurance companies, so I spend most days prospecting for new clients, which involves appointments with business owners. We share with them how the insurance companies we represent could provide great risk management insurance. I learn about their companies and offer solutions. AM: If you had to sum yourself up in one word,

what would it be? MV: Passionate.

AM: What about Athens inspires you?

MV: The university really inspires me – there’s so much vibrant, youthful energy. It’s a city that has everything you could want, but is just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of a big city. There’s also so much diversity, culture-wise. AM: What have you learned in Athens that you

AM: You are very involved in the community.

What have you been doing to give back? MV: Once a week, I mentor a seventh grade young man through the Clark County Mentor Program. I also meet with everyone involved a few days each week to organize events and check up on everything. I also spend time organizing fundraisers and other events for Hope Haven. AM: What made you want to get involved in

money and insurance? MV: I’ve always been a business-minded person. I love the communication aspect of sales, and getting to know people. I get to learn about why people are starting a business, and how bad things are right before their business skyrockets. I like hearing why others take risks and what it takes, mentally and physically. AM: Where do you see your current job taking

you in the future? MV: There are several other branches of the company in other places in Georgia, but the opportunity only came up in Athens a year ago. I’m currently the only person here. I hope in five years, we can build it up, hire more people, maybe even have a group of offices. More people hired means more contracts and more opportunities. Our ultimate goal is to help businesses out in the event of a disaster, so the more we build up the company, the more help we can provide.

couldn't learn anywhere else? MV: I’ve learned to be more outgoing and active. I see now that, in order to make a difference, you have to put one foot out there and get involved. You can’t just sit back – if you want to get your voice heard, you have to be a part of the solution.

Meyur Vashi Photo by Richard Hamm SPRING 2012




ake one Canadian chef, add a heap of delicious cuisine, and toss in a bit of television glamour, and you have the recipe for Hugh Acheson. Melding together Southern and European flavors, Acheson opened two of Athens’ favorite restaurants, 5 & 10 and The National, and Atlanta’s Empire State South. He was also a contestant on season three of “Top Chef Masters” and a judge last fall on season nine of “Top Chef”. Athens Magazine: Describe a typical day in your life. Hugh Acheson: Wake up. Make coffee. Eat breakfast with the kids, which means watching them make smoothies or pouring them cereal. Walk the kids to school. Come home. Work on emails. Go to 5 & 10 to check on things. Get in the car and drive to Atlanta. Work through lunch in the office. Work in the kitchen until dinner service. Help expedite dinner. Finish service. Go to my apartment. Sleep. AM: If you had to sum yourself up in one word, what would it be? HA: Whirlwind. AM: What about Athens inspires you? HA: Athens is a wonderful town that allows people to be themselves. It relishes in its arts and is supportive of what I’ve always done. It is a beautiful, agrarian area that is great for food and living in the season. AM: What have you learned in Athens that you couldn’t learn anywhere else? HA: I think you learn a greater sense of community in a small town than in a larger city. I think the place where you mature is a place

that affects you the most, and I think I have really matured in Athens. Still some maturing to do, but I have definitely grown up. AM: You have two restaurants in Athens and one in Atlanta. What’s different about owning a restaurant in Athens and owning one in Atlanta? HA: Atlanta is a big city, and the adage is that they open and close restaurants well. They like the new stuff, so it’s always a bit of a struggle to make a restaurant pertinent to them for the long haul, while still being a popular spot at the beginning. Athens, on the other hand, has been very welcome and supportive for a long time of the two restaurants here. That has allowed the restaurants to become fixtures for the town. AM: You were on Season 3 of “Top Chef Masters”. What kinds of pressure come with being on TV? HA: Being a contestant was really challenging, but I liked doing it. If you think it looks stressful for the chefs when you are watching, double that stress and you’ll come close to the real load on our shoulders. But it’s fun and exhilarating as well. Now I am a judge on the regular “Top Chef” and that’s easy as pie. AM: If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? HA: Carrots. Raw.

Hugh Acheson

Photo by Richard Hamm 34








ot everyone can have a resume as filledto-the-brim as Rebecca Lang’s – but then, not everyone is as graced with a talent for cooking. Lang’s writing and recipes have appeared in several notable magazines and books, including the forthcoming Southern Living’s Around the Southern Table, to be released this October. She also teaches cooking classes in several states, and has been a food stylist for companies such as Black & Decker and Krystal. As a UGA graduate and former Athens Magazine writer, Lang has a passion for Athens and its impeccable cuisine. Athens Magazine: Describe a typical day in your life. Recca Lang: If I’m writing a book, like I am at the moment, I’m home all day splitting my time in the kitchen and on the computer writing. Otherwise, I’m cooking and testing recipes, in the kitchen the majority of the day. I do one recipe at a time, two or three a day, and take notes.

AM: What have you learned in Athens that you couldn't learn anywhere else? RL: I’ve learned all about food and recipes passed down from generation to generation. There’s a huge connection between food and family here, which you wouldn’t really see in a big city like Atlanta. AM: Your food writing has appeared in several notable magazines and books. What do you enjoy about writing about food? RL: My most vivid memories involve food. I’m so built around it, that if I’m writing, I tend to start writing about it naturally. I always write in a way that connects food and my memories and emotions.

what would it be? RL: Hungry.

AM: You also teach cooking classes. What made you want to share your craft with others? RL: It sort of fell in my lap, and I loved it. When I see someone’s face light up when they learn to properly cut an onion – you know, a simple thing that makes their everyday life that much easier – or when they finally start to love pimento cheese, it’s just priceless. I teach in several states; everyone eats food and everyone can talk about it.

AM: What about Athens inspires you? RL: The people in Athens. It’s very tight-knit, everybody knows everybody. Anyone could help you at any moment. It’s a wonderful place to raise a family and children – I’ll probably stay here forever!

AM: If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? RL: Definitely biscuits. I could put anything on it. Fried chicken… blueberry jam for breakfast… you can really do anything with biscuits.

AM: If you had to sum yourself up in one word,

Rebecca Lang Photo by Richard Hamm





painting by Philip Juras instills a sort of wonder-infused tranquility into its viewer. The artist and UGA graduate creates works focused primarily on the natural world: landscapes that make you feel as if you can breathe in the air created by his brushstrokes, or walk on the soft grass from his fingertips. They force you to reevaluate your surroundings, to question what life may have been like before human settlement. If the aim of art is to make one contemplate what they see, then Juras’ pieces are pure painted perfection. Athens Magazine: Describe a typical day in your life. Philip Juras: The only thing that seems routine is email correspondence. Otherwise I might be painting in the studio, driving to the mountains, hunting for compositions on a barrier island, or sitting all day and night at the computer doing research or preparing for a presentation. AM: If you had to sum yourself up in one word, what would it be? PJ: Curious.   AM: What about Athens inspires you? PJ: The community that has come together in this college town - the good friends and easy-to-make acquaintances, the lecturers and performers, the artists, scientists and teachers - all with their varied backgrounds, pursuits and interests, and all working on great stuff.   

AM: What have you learned in Athens that you

couldn't learn anywhere else? PJ: There’s always something new to learn and be inspired by in the mix of people I described. AM: What made you want to become an artist? PJ: Hard to say. I think I’ve always looked for different perspectives on life, plus I’ve always been a visually-oriented person, so perhaps I’ve always been an artist, at least in the way I perceive the world. As for making a living at it, I never really expected to do that, but it seems to have crept up on me.   AM: Most of your recent paintings are centered around nature. What fascinates you about wilderness untouched by man? PJ: I always want to connect with the history and the nature of a place: the history that you can still read in the kinds of trees that grow on the roadside or in the way the river shoals have gone quiet. What did it look like when Indians managed that landscape long before our culture and technology transformed it?  What gorgeous scenes of rich, wild nature would have inhabited the deep soils of the Piedmont before king cotton? And most of all, what would it have been like to set foot in that place, to know it like it was your back yard?   AM: Who are your favorite artists of all time? PJ: Early on, I was captivated by artists like Michelangelo and Monet, but that later grew to include Americans like Sargent and Bierstadt.

Philip Juras Photo by Richard Hamm







any are aware of the pristine reputation of the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism, but John Newsome adds a face to all the talk. As a Media Coordinator in the Image and Sound department at CNN, he brings in information domestically and around the world. Most thrilling about his career, however, is that he had the opportunity to work alongside the likes of Anderson Cooper and former White House Press Secretaries and Campaign Chiefs for this year’s rousing – and often incredibly chaotic - presidential primaries. Athens Magazine: Describe a typical day in your life. John Newsome: I don't think there's such a thing as a typical day working in television news. My schedule is all over the place, I work with a number of different show teams – some days I work with CNN International, and other days I'm working on the Primaries on CNN (Domestic). It's always changing, but that's part of the fun. Most of the time I'm floor-directing shows, which includes everything from putting the anchors in their place, cueing them, moving cameras, calling out time cues, and so on. When I'm not working on the Video Journalist schedule, I try to freelance. I've spent a lot of my time on the National Assignment Desk as well as bringing in feeds in the Image & Sound department.

AM: If you had to sum yourself up in one word, what would it be? JN: Busy.

AM: What about Athens inspires you? JN: For me, Athens has been the perfect weekend

escape. It's just far enough outside Atlanta that I feel like I'm away. I'm sort of nostalgic about Athens, because I had a lot of personal and professional growth while I was at UGA. I enjoy what I do now, but it's always great to go back and see the people that made my college experience so memorable. 

AM: What have you learned in Athens that you

couldn't learn anywhere else? JN: I'm a little biased, but the Broadcast News department at Georgia is really top-notch. Because of the connections I made there, I landed an internship at NBC News in New York in the summer of 2009. While I was at NBC, I met a colleague who worked at ABC News, and because of that connection, I interned at ABC News in New York in the summer of 2010. So, Grady really started the ball rolling. In March of 2011, I met my current boss because of the Grady College career fair - and the rest, as they say, is history. I also spent a lot of time at the music department, and with Classic City Jazz. I had tremendous growth there, musically.

AM: What is your favorite kind of story to report on?

JN: I'm a Breaking News junkie. The first time I ever was on the National Desk during a Breaking News situation, I was so impressed with the instincts and speed at which the editors moved to confirm the story. Other beats I really enjoy, though, are aviation and music. I'm forever sending story pitches about the aviation industry to producers and assignment editors.

AM: Your job seems pretty stressful. How do you

unwind and make sure it doesn't all become too much? JN: I set aside a couple hours on Monday nights to sing in the Atlanta Symphony Chorus. We do a number of shows throughout the year. As much as it's difficult managing a news and performance schedule, it's a great way to have some balance, and just relax. We sing some of the most beautiful music in the world, and that's definitely therapeutic. We are scheduled to perform at Carnegie Hall on October 27, 2012. And then two weeks after that is the General Election. Definitely busy, but these are opportunities that don't come along every day. You have to enjoy what you do - otherwise none of it would be worth it and you'd burn out.

John Newsome 40

Photo byMAGAZINE Van Moncrieff ATHENS





n the midst of an economic crisis, many take up a small side-job or attempt to sell old things on eBay. Not Angie Tillman. During the recent recession, she and her husband began selling his famous pickles by the jarful under the quirky company name “Phickles Pickles”. Their several variations of pickles are sold all around Athens at locations such as the Healthy Gourmet and Southern Surplus, even being added to a “Phickletini” at East West Bistro downtown.

Dekle, Michael Stipe and Kyshona Armstrong. People in Athens that do their own thing inspire me.

Athens Magazine: Describe a typical day in your life. Angie Tillman: I like to get up early before the morning rush of waking my three kids for the school day. I start each day with my Bible…refocusing a bit. Then I wake the kiddies and I’m off to Barrow Elementary with the youngest two, and then to Clarke Middle with Kat. Next up, time for checking emails and answering tweets on Twitter and Facebook messages… and laundry. Most weekdays, my husband and I lunch together, usually at what I call a “phickle-y spot” (meaning locally-owned restaurants that serve Phickles Pickles). I spend some days at the Pickle Parlor and others taking care of our home - and some days both. By 2:45, I’m back to picking up kids and starting plans for dinner. Throughout the day, I make jot lists of things, people, places, food that I’d like to write about in my blog, Around 5 or 6, my husband is home, and we usually have music playing and the kids are dancing and singing and setting the table. By 8, we’re finished with dinner and my sink is full of dirty dishes that will have to wait until morning. Life is too short to worry over dirty dishes.

get into the pickle industry? AT: My husband and I always knew one day we’d try to sell our pickles, the same pickles my husband started making right out of college. The recession just gave us a kick in the pants to really do it. I am a firm believer that we reap what we sow. Anyone can start their own food business, but for it to be successful, they have to be able to stand out in the crowd and give attention to detail.

AM: If you had to sum yourself up in one word, what

and a bad pickle? AT: A good pickle is seasoned with fresh, whole ingredients - no spoon of pickling spice. A good pickle is made from fresh, local vegetables, picked by hands. A bad pickle is seasoned with sugar and is of a psychedelic color.

would it be? AT: Hopeful.

AM: What about Athens inspires you? AT: Artists like Alan Campbell, Jamie Calkin and Jimmy Straella, and singer/songwriters like Mike

AM: What have you learned in Athens that you couldn't learn anywhere else? AT: I’ve learned about community. In Athens, all walks of life are mixed in one pot. I don’t know of another town like Athens, with such diversity and people supporting one another.

AM: You have a pretty unique life! How does one

AM: What are the best and worst things about working in the food industry? AT: I love food! So being attached to food at the level I am is a huge plus. I get to know many of the people I’ve admired for years, like writer John T. Edge. Food festivals and farmers markets are other things I love being able to participate in. I love sharing bites of my pickles with other foodies. The worst things about working in the food industry? Trying to make a dollar! I try to source locally and sustainably. The tough part is educating people about supporting other small food biz people like myself. I don’t want to sell out to a big box store. I want to keep Phickles special.

AM: What is the difference between a good pickle

Angie Tillman

Photo by Richard Hamm 42




magine all of your favorite talk show hosts: Ellen, Oprah, Tyra… what do they all have in common? Yes, they’re all thriving in their careers, but they’re also all over the age of 38. UGA’s own Wendell Scott, host of The Wendell Show, has achieved something that no one else in his age group can boast: creating the first daytime talk show in national collegiate history. Delving deep into everything from volunteer opportunities and food to sexuality and the paranormal, Scott’s talent and ability to connect to different stories, people and situations will undoubtedly lead him to wild success after graduation. Athens Magazine: Describe a typical day in your life. Wendell Scott: There isn’t actually a typical day, but I usually wake up an hour before classes to do yoga, then it’s off to the races. I have classes all day, followed by meetings that can run up until about nine or ten at night. Once I get home and complete my homework and readings, I like to sit back and - honestly - listen to music from Disney Parks. It sort of puts me in a moment of Zen. AM: If you had to sum yourself up in one word, what would it be? WS: Communicator. There’s a quote from Oprah that I keep in mind: “I am not a journalist. I am a communicator.” And I keep that quote with me every time I encounter a new individual. The life of a person is a complex and beautiful thing - and I want to understand it. AM: What about Athens inspires you? WS: The promise of creative growth. Whether it be in music, eccentric culinary creations or even football, creativity is alive and well in this college town. We are blessed with a space to disseminate our joy for our passions among people who enjoy or even carry those same passions as well. And with Athens being such a close-knit town, it’s not hard to find someone with those same wants as you. AM: What have you learned in Athens that you couldn’t learn anywhere else? WS: The power of the pigskin. I have never really been a fan of football, but after coming to Athens for the first time in 2008, I knew I would at least know how to call a few plays by the time I graduated! I learned that it’s not just about football, but the tradition that is kept with it.


I learned the importance of tradition. From the young to the old, everyone is truly inspired and believes in the University of Georgia. AM: What is it like to achieve so much at such a young age? WS: I feel blessed, honestly. God gave me this talent, and I am so thankful for it. And it’s exhilarating to know that you have created history. It might not be documented in the Constitution, but it is history. There is a quote from Walt Disney that says, “If you can imagine it, you can do it.” I imagined this concept of a college daytime talk show, along with the help of my mother, and I said to myself, “Let’s do this.” Yes, I did do it for me. But I also created this production to show that anyone can do anything as long as they set their minds to it. We are the next generation of leaders; we must find ways to position ourselves in the world. AM: What are your favorite kinds of topics to cover on the show? WS: I would say anything that involves food or adventure. My friend Arthur King, host of Cookin’ for College, has come on the show and we have made some delicious things! For example, grilled cheeseburgers and fluff - all of it was so good! I am also an avid adventurer, if you will. I crave anything that is fun, exciting, and different. Most of my favorite topics don’t even happen on set. Three topics that I loved doing were a paranormal investigation, skydiving adventure, and interviewing Netherworld monsters. My questions were all questions I sincerely wanted to know. Everything is just so fresh, and I love that. AM: What do you hope to do after you graduate? WS: Well, currently I am a seasonal performer at Walt Disney World, so I will be going back down to work for the company. Aside from the talk show industry, working with the Walt Disney Company has also been a longtime passion of mine. I am currently aiming for a position in Theme Park Operations Management, and can only hope for the best. In the long run, I would like to host my own talk show. It will be a bittersweet moment when I say goodbye to the show later this season because it is my “baby”, if you will. I would like to somehow integrate my passions for the talk show industry and Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts in the long run as well.

Wendell Scott


Photo by Richard Hamm



What’s next? Find out in next magazine coming May 21st.

next magazine – for the 50 and over crowd.

AthensTaste Pg.48


If it has Athens Talking, it’s at ATHENS TALKS!



Fresh, Fruity & Fun Going Beyond the Typical Cocktail By Alexandra Huff Photos by Kavi Vu It’s hot. It’s humid. It’s summertime in Athens, and you’re in the mood for a nice cocktail. Tired of the typical Piña Colada or cosmopolitan? Here are some refreshingly unique drinks you can find at a variety of popular places around town.

Ruby Red Lips $5/5 oz, $8/10 oz

If you want a sweet, flirty drink, stop by Speak Easy, which offers this “pretty in pink” cocktail. Mike Van Hassel describes the drink as “like sitting in a hammock—very summery.” Pucker up with: Citrus vodka Grenadine Grapefruit juice Sugared rim



Battle of Puebla $7 ($5 on Friday nights)

Start the summer off at the Madison Bar & Bistro in Hotel Indigo celebrating Cinco de Mayo. The Battle of Puebla is named after the deciding battle that resulted in Mexico’s independence from France, which is why the drink is made up of both Mexican and French elements. Food and beverage director, Taylor Carmichael, adds that what makes this drink special are the Mexican and French elements of the drink “vying for supremacy.” With the cayenne, however, the drink develops a more Mexican taste. Get ready for battle with: Milagro silver tequila Benedictine Fresh-squeezed orange juice Dash of cayenne

Night in Paris $4.50 ($2 on Thursday nights) Stroll down East Washington Street and stop by The Capital Room, which offers this popular, fruity drink. The vodka tastes like a mixture of grapefruit and orange, adding a light citrus taste to the specialty drink. Enjoy this French-themed cocktail on their Thursday “Ladies Night”, where all martinis are $2. Enjoy the cool French air with: X-rated vodka Champagne

Paradiso $5-$6

Head over to Highwire Lounge for a refreshing Paradiso, one of the lounge’s most popular drinks last year Resembling strawberry lemonade, it is made up of fresh ingredients, a perfect solution after a hot and humid day. Get lost in paradise with: Fresh strawberries Lemon juice Limoncello




Black Tie Barbecue Make Your Summer BBQ Red Carpet Ready By Taylor Thompson

Photos by Van Moncrieff

Barbecues and outdoor parties rule the summer social scene. Throw the most elegant and sophisticated fete for your neighbors and friends using this guide to a red carpet themed backyard barbecue. Begin your preparations with a menu that Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable would surely drool over.

Class up the backyard with decorations and place settings worthy any Hollywood party by using these helpful tips. 1. Give the table an awards show theme by using an elegant black table cloth and a bright red runner. All of your wonderful dishes deserve a moment on the red carpet. 2. Create your own fabulous cake platter using an unusual plate and a candle stick. Glue the candle stick to the bottom of the plate with epoxy. Set a heavy book on top of the platenand let the epoxy set according to the directions. Once the glue has dried, spray paint the entire stand gold to create a striking stand for your torte.



3. Create a centerpiece of floating candles and Hollywood legends using a glass bowl and black-andwhite photos. Print photos of your favorite stars and paste the edges to a glass bowl. Fill the bowl halfway with water and allow red candles to float. 4. Make your backyard more glamorous with hanging lanterns. Add some glitter to the black table cloth to create a shine. 5. Break out the cocktail dresses and sports coats for this barbeque. Guest should come dressed in their best red carpet attire. 6. Enjoy yourself!.

Grilled Chicken & Blackberry BBQ Sauce

Almond Rice Pilaf



12 chicken breasts 1/2 cup of blackberry preserves 1 1/2 cups of ketchup 2 tablespoons of brown sugar

1/8 teaspoons of cayenne pepper 1/4 teaspoons of mustard powder 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

Directions: 1. Create the sauce by mixing the blackberry preserves, ketchup, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, mustard powder and red wine vinegar together in a medium bowl. 2. Light the grill and allow it to heat to approximately 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

5 sliced green onions 1 tablespoon of olive oil 2 cups of wholegrain rice

1 tablespoon of soy sauce 1 box of chicken broth 1 cup of toasted almonds


1. Cook the onions in the oil using a medium sauce pan on medium-high heat for a minute. Stir often. 2. Add the rice, soy sauce and broth. 3. Heat to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. 4. Let the mix simmer for 10 minutes. 5. Remove from heat, and add almonds. 6. Fluff using a fork.

3. Place the chicken breasts on the grill in direct heat, grilling for about five to seven minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken. 4. Turn the chicken and continue grilling for an additional four minutes while applying the sauce to the top side of the meat. 5. Turn the chicken again and apply sauce to the top side of the meat and grill for two more minutes. 6. Turn the chicken again, and allow the heat to caramelize the sauce an additional two minutes or until done. SPRING 2012



Algonquin Bar Punch Ingredients:


4 lemon peels 1/3 cup of superfine sugar 2 cups of fresh raspberries 3 cups of Plymouth Sloe Gin 2 cups of fresh lemon juice 1 1/2 cups of Coruba dark rum 6 cups of ice cubes 1 ice block 2 cups of chilled brut champagne Lemon slices

1. Place the lemon peels and sugar into a large bowl.


EDITOR’S NOTE: The Chocolate Bavarian Torte is amazing! It is a light treat that’s perfect for the summer.

2. Infuse the sugar with the lemon by mashing with a wooden spoon. 3. Mash 1/4 cup of the raspberries into the mix. 4. Pour in the gin, lemon juice and rum. 5. Add ice cubes and stir the punch. 6. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. 7. Place the ice block and stir champagne and the punch into bowl. 9. Add lemon slices and the remaining raspberries to finish the punch.

Chocolate Bavarian Torte Ingredients:

1 package of plain devil’s food cake mix 18 ounce package of cream cheese 1/3 cup of packed brown sugar


1. Begin by mixing and baking the cake according to the package directions.

5. Cut the cakes into four horizontal layers. Place one of the cake layers on a serving plate.

2. Use two nine-inch cake pans. Let the cake cool in the pans for 15 minutes.

6. Spread 1/4 of the cream mix and chocolate onto the cake.

3. Remove the cake from the pans and let it finish cooling on a wire rack. 4. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt together in a mixing bowl to create a fluffy mixture. Fold in cream. 52


1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon of salt 2 cups of whipping cream 2 tablespoons of grated semisweet chocolate

7. Add the other cake layers to the top of the dressed cakes and continue spreading the cream and chocolate until the cake is completely dressed. 8. Cover the cake and refrigerate for eight hours before serving.

Fire It Up! 5 Summer Grilling Essentials By An Nguyen

Char-Broil Patio Bistro Infrared Grill Though it may be small, this space-saving grill will leave your friends and family impressed with your cooking skills. The infrared cooking system cooks food at searing temperatures, keeping them delicious and flavorful. It can grill up to 12 burgers at one and its porcelaincoated exterior makes this grill super easy to clean. It’s available in gas and electric. $179.95, Home Depot.

Williams-Sonoma Monogram Forged Steak Brand

While not essential, a personalized branding iron is definitely cool. Grill masters and enthusiasts who take pride in their grilled meats can now sear their initials on every piece that comes out, reminding everyone who cooked that tasty steak. $40, Williams-Sonoma stores and online.

Electric Hot Dog Turner

Grilled hot dogs are an essential for summer cookouts, and an electric hot dog turner will make grilling them as “easy as 1-2-3.” The turner rotates continuously, cooking the hot dogs evenly and requires very little attention, giving you more time to spend with family and friends. $69.99,

Images from,, and

Voice Alert BBQ Thermometer

Another gadget from Sharper Image will make grilling less time-consuming for you. The wireless thermometer allows you to keep an eye out on your food’s cooking process from anywhere in your house, plus its voice alerts will let you know when your food is ready to go. $49.99,

14-Piece Deluxe Grill Set

This grilling set from Cuisinart comes with all the tools you’ll need to grill up the best steaks, burgers, chickens, and hot dogs. Made of stainless steel, the tools are stylish and easy to clean. And when you’re done with your backyard cookout, just put them back in the aluminum case for easy storage. $40,



AthensStyle 57



Hair and Skin Summer Essentials

By Alexandra Huff

Keeping hair and skin healthy during the hot and humid summer months


oodbye winter, hello summer. But with the temperatures steadily rising and an increase in the sun’s UV rays, summer can be damaging to our hair and skin. Is the summer humidity turning your hair frizzy? What are the best ingredients for good sunblock? Here are some tips to keep your hair and skin healthy throughout the hot season. Don’t Shampoo Every Day Does the summer humidity make your hair annoyingly frizzy? Tina Eckard, owner of Bella hair salon, gives one tip to help fight the disaster: don’t shampoo everyday. “You can get in the shower, wet your hair, and use conditioner,” Eckard said. “By avoiding the shampoo, you can keep your hair from getting frizzy.” Vamp Up Thin Hair Need tips for handling fine, thin hair? Eckhard suggests using a volumizing shampoo with a lightweight conditioner. If you are going out, she also recommends flat ironing your hair to make it lie better and look shinier. Add Flare to Thick Hair While there are many different ways to treat thick hair, Eckard advises using a palm aid product after blow56


drying hair, and then using a curling iron. She says that this will separate your hair, giving it the “piecey” and “messy” look that many celebrities sport. Sunscreen As appealing as it may be to get a tan, Cindy Day of Nuance Skin Boutique reminds that sunscreen is still essential. She says that the trick is to putting on sunblock at least 30 minutes before going outside because it takes a while for it to start giving you the protection that you need. Finding the Right Sunscreen If you want to find the best sunscreen, Day says to look for the right ingredients. Lotions containing zinc oxide and titanium oxide are especially beneficial because they block the sun from penetrating the skin and reflecting it. Exfoliate Day always recommends exfoliation, especially with ashy skin or with wrinkles. “As you age, you really need to exfoliate more because your skin’s metabolism slows down,” Day said. “The skin is just naturally going to be prettier [and] softer.” For dry skin, she suggests exfoliating first before using a good moisturizer.

Life in the Fashion Lane Take a Ride with Sanni Baumgartner to her Community By Chris DeSantis Photos by Van Moncrieff


chic surprise awaits eager downtown shoppers on North Jackson Street. Sanni Baumgartner, trendsetter and owner of the Athens boutique Community, greets visitors who seek fashion diversity. From framed fashion prints lining the walls of the stairwell to the quaint yet contemporary second floor of wearable treasures, the soft melodies set the mood, creating a relaxing ambience perfect for a day of shopping. Welcome to Baumgartner’s Community. Born and raised in Nuremberg, Germany, Baumgartner delivers a unique sense of style to the Athens fashion scene. She attended the University of Georgia in the late ‘90s as an exchange student. Upon graduating, she had no solid plan to return, but missed Athens a lot. While here, she did a lot of growing and selfdiscovery. “Going back to Germany felt like stepping back into an old life. I wanted to move forward and make a new life,” Baumgartner said. When she returned in 2000, however, it wasn’t with the intention to sell vintage clothing. Like many young people flocking to Athens, she wanted to be a singer. She played music in Germany recreationally, but the Athens musicians’ serious approach to their musical careers inspired her to pursue a career of her own. In addition to playing music, she sold clothes in different area shops for years. “I always loved going to flea markets and finding these

great things. I would get frustrated when things wouldn’t fit me, so I would give them to my friends,” Baumgartner explained. “It (vintage shopping) came easy to me and was fun. I first started selling things at Agora in 2002 for the love of vintage and finding treasures.” After many years of touring and promoting her music, however, she felt it was time for a change. “I stepped away from music a few years ago,” Baumgartner said. “After I quit playing, it (owning a store) just opened up as an opportunity. Before, I wouldn’t have been able to. It wasn’t even a wish. That was how I made a living, but once music fell away I really wanted to have my own store and make my own vision come true.” SPRING 2012


AthensStyle In 2010, she decided to set up shop permanently at 119 N. Jackson St. “Over the years, I developed this vision for having my own store, a vision different from the other stores I was working in,” Baumgartner said. “I wanted to see if I could make that vision come true.” Her vision was to open a showroom of quality vintage and redesigned clothing to make sustainable fashion accessible to shoppers. She didn’t begin using the term “sustainable fashion” though until several months after opening. The term arose from trying to describe to others what Community is all about.



The store name “Community” also came about naturally, springing forth from her mind all on its own. “I didn’t want the name to scream vintage. I wanted it to be clean and modern,” Baumgartner explained. “I liked the concept of the store Anthropologie, but instead of focusing on goods from around the world, I wanted to focus on goods around the community. It’s always so hard to explain. It’s just art, you don’t know where the inspiration comes from until later. It doesn’t always make sense.” When it came time to open her emporium, Athens seemed the obvious choice. She felt at home among all of the local craftsmen and artists whom inspire her and bring life to her collection. “I think that Athens very much shapes what the store is like, especially considering the local products that we sell,” Baumgartner said. “All the art, jewelry, pillows, soaps, chocolates, and gift items are locally made and very unique to the city. You find things here that you find nowhere else.” Community accepts premium vintage clothing that is designer or unique, making being fashionably sustainable a breeze. Baumgartner also buys much of the product herself, spending her days off work driving across the state to find the best used clothing. She looks to big name designers for inspiration. “We pay attention to the runways and what they’re selling in the stores, and pick out pieces that the designers are influenced by. The designers are paying so much attention to vintage trends and reinterpreting them. We try to find those pieces that were the inspiration to begin with.” The store features styles that are trendy yet wearable and reasonably priced. If you’re the kind of person who hesitates at the words “vintage” and “redesign,” don’t worry. “They’re (the clothing) not “costumey” or very out there that you really have to know how to style it right to pull it off,” Baumgartner said. In addition to selling pre-worn clothing, Baumgartner has her own line of redesigned clothing called Community Service. Her collection is made of entirely pre-worn clothes modernized through Baumgartner’s innovative imagination. For inspiration, she looks to an eclectic array of designers such as

Jill Sanders, Roberto Cavalli, and Marc Jacobs - whom she particularly loves because of his use of vintage influences. “My design aesthetic for the redesign pieces is definitely feminine with a little bit of an edge,” Baumgartner said. “I do like having a bit of a men’s wear influence.” In January 2012, she teamed up with young designer Alexandra Parsons, a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), to sell Parsons’ own fashion line called Alexandra Parsons for Community. Similar to Community Service, Parsons’ line is sustainable. Some of her clothing consists of redesigned pieces, modernized with new and vintage materials. Parsons describes her collection as very whimsical, light, and refined. She loves incorporating other art forms into the themes of her designs. Parsons is very fond of Baumgartner, whom she considers mysterious and warm, and loves having the opportunity to work together at Community. “She wants to help people. She reminds me of a fairy godmother,” Parsons laughed. “She took me in, worked with me and just trusted me. I was really taken aback by how much she wanted to help.” Parsons also loves the boutique’s architecture and atmosphere. “Walking into her store feels like walking into what you would imagine your grandmother’s attic to look like. You never know what you’ll find. It’s really whimsical, modern, and just a great space,” Parsons said. To make vintage easier to wear, Baumgartner offers alterations, private shopping parties, and complementary style consultations. The store also holds sewing and knitting classes for people looking to learn more sustainable practices or who just want to have some novel fun repurposing their own clothes. Baumgartner has future goals and aspirations for Community, but prefers staying focused on the present. “Some future ideas I have are to bring in more local designers, houseware, and UGA student designs,” Baumgartner explained. “However, I am already excited about what’s happening in the present. I am not looking at growing beyond Athens. It’s just really exciting to be here doing what were doing right now.”

For more information: Email: communityathens@ Facebook: CommunityAthens Blogger: www. communityathens.blogspot. com/ Tumblr: www.communityboard. SPRING 2012





AthensPeople 62





Meet Me at the Cabaret

By Ellen Barnes Photos by Sarah Laurentius Ellis

A Group of Local Women Embrace Burlesque for Exercise and Fun


urlesque. From the colorful tassels to the fake eyelashes, burlesque has a preconceived notion of, well, promiscuity. However, this group focuses their dancing around one theme: having fun. DanceFX’s Modern Pin Ups is a cabaret-style dance performance group that was formed in 2008 as a spin-off of the studio’s extremely popular strip aerobics class. Don’t worry, their clothes stay on. Grace Bagwell, Modern Pin Ups group director and choreographer, started the group with the goal of giving women past the age of 18 a chance to let loose and try something new. “I love having a diverse group: women of all shapes, sizes, professions and walks of life come together to discover the joy of owning a pair of fishnets, putting on red lipstick, and having an excuse to dance,” she said. Dancers range from technically practiced to completely inexperienced. “I wanted to start a company that would give women performance opportunities in a way that didn’t demand that the dancers had a specific background in dance techniques and training,” said Bagwell. “You have to be at least 18 and female; those are the only two requirements, besides being willing to have a 62


good time and get on stage.” It is a tight-knit, diverse group, including Zumba instructors, doctors, researchers, and University of Georgia faculty. Bagwell started the group while working on her Ph.D. as a way to relieve some of the stress of every day life. At that point in my life, I just needed a source of fun.” She also wanted older women to have as much of an opportunity as those younger in age. “There really aren’t that many performance opportunities for you past the age of 18, especially if you don’t pursue it in college.” There are currently 15 dancers, each with their own burlesque ‘character name’. Law student Ryan Mullis is “Miss Judged”. “Our names are special and unique to each of us in that they capture some aspect of our personality that may not be readily apparent. The names show personality traits or quirks that someone won’t see until they’ve gotten to know us on more than just a superficial level,” she says. Mullis enjoys the group because it is an escape from the stresses of law school. She also appreciates that bodies of all shapes and sizes are welcome. “I get to hang out and dance with these other girls that

are all very accepting and kind. It’s not your typical dance group, but it encourages a sense of feeling comfortable with who you are in your body, and your figure as a woman.” The group possesses an immense amount of attitude, sass, and confidence. Each move is filled with so much personality and liveliness, and it is easy to see that they love what they are doing. “We all just have so much fun together,” says Mullis. The group has performed several times this spring, including their second annual “Spread the Love” performance in February at The 40 Watt. They performed to songs such as Dolly Parton’s “Romeo,” which had a very fun country-western vibe, and Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls,” where the group used tambourines as props. Their crowd-pleasing performance included singing, tap dancing, and theatre. All proceeds went to the Athens Area Homeless Shelter. The group also performed at the annual DanceFX concert on April 20-21 at the Morton Theatre. Auditions are held in August of each year, and anyone is welcome. Bagwell doesn’t want people getting the wrong impression of the group. “When people hear that we spurred off of a strip aerobics class, there’s this weird word association that’s not reflective at all of what we do or

what we’re about,” said Bagwell, adding that she wants it to be known solely as a burlesque company. While the members are all from different stages of life, the class is what brings them together as a family. “It’s a company designed to create a community of women who just like to get on stage and have a good time.”





Athens Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting

International Street Festival on College Avenue

Oconee County Business Expo Reception



Photos by Blane Marable

Rolling with the Dawgs Bowling Tournament

2nd Annual Ms. Senior Athens Pageant




UGA Block and Bridle Club’s Great Southland Stampede Rodeo



Athens Magazine Summer 2012  

Athens Magazine Summer 2012

Athens Magazine Summer 2012  

Athens Magazine Summer 2012