20 Andree Terry and her story of soap & hope
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TABLE OF CONTENTS PG 6 PG 8 PG 10 PG 12 PG 14
For the Record Dogs Through the Decades Movies and Shakers Classic City Comics 24 Hours in Athens
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12 14 6
DEEP PG 18
More Than Skin Deep Pg 20
Executive Editor Holly Roberts
Publisher Rebecca Burns
Managing Editor Laurel Hiatt
Business Operations Manager Melissa Mooney
Section Editors Madeline Laguaite Design Editor Sarah Carpenter Assistant Design Editor Johnny Vidal
TO SEE THESE AMAZING FEATURES & AMENITIES:
Contributors Alexandria Ellison, MK Manoylov, Rachel Piest, Jillian Tracy Photographers Katie Kim, Caitlin Jett, Jason Born, Julian Alexander, Sidhartha Wakade Contributing Designer Zakk Greene
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Senior Account Executives Mary Grace Brantley, Leila Mallouky Account Executives Zach Davis, Darby Jones, Dakota Werner Digital Marketing Assistant Salman Hameed
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ÂŠ2019 THE RED & BLACK PUBLISHING COMPANY. Ampersand Magazine is published quarterly in print and online year-round by The Red & Black Publishing, Co. A nonprofit student media organization, we serve the Athens and University of Georgia communities with daily online news, a weekly print newspaper and a family of specialty publications. Our twofold mission is to provide exceptional news and information for our community and to train students for future media careers. Find out more at redandblack.com. For distribution inquiries, email email@example.com
INSIDE THE ISSUE Ampersand Magazine was designed to be the “&” of The Red & Black, and to dig deeper into the rich cultural landscape of Athens. Our goal is to capture the stories of those who live in our community and attend the University of Georgia, and to tell those stories with journalistic excellence. It’s no secret that Athens is a hub of creative activity, from its 24 hour food and entertainment scene (pg. 14) to colorful residents who rock throwback fashion (pg. 8). In this issue, we explore those who use a variety of mediums to indulge their own passions and hobbies, and also give voices to others. Creative talents are seen everywhere: in comic strips (pg. 12), sessions in a recording studio (pg. 6) and on the set of a innovative documentary (pg. 10). Literary lovers find a sense of community in local book clubs (pg. 16) that keep reading alive, while students find confidence (and sometimes sunken treasure) through deep-sea diving (pg. 18). In our front-page feature, one woman whose legacy has its heart in Athens touches lives nationally through community service and soapmaking (pg. 20). For the last two years, I have had the privilege of overseeing the magazine and I have watched Ampersand evolve and prosper in the hands of creative writers, photographers and designers. As I move toward graduation and new beginnings, I want to thank my dedicated staff, our wonderful readers, and Athens itself for the creativity, support and inspiration. Please enjoy, and thank you for the memories.
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accgov.com/transit With more routes than available parking spaces, Athens-Clarke County Transit makes it easy to leave the car behind! Our Multimodal Center’s downtown location is convenient to many hotels and attractions and has a pedestrian walkway to the Classic Center Parking Deck. Safe, Clean and Reliable. Avoid the Fuss. Ride the Bus!
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PHOTOS BY CAITLIN JETT
e h t r Fo cord Re Local recording studios provide space for up-and-coming artists BY ALEXANDRIA ELLISON
n a city known for its rigorous upper-level education and vibrant music scene, Chase Park Transduction Studios merges the two. Studio owner and director of the University of Georgia’s music business program, David Barbe faces a problem most people can only dream of not wanting to leave work. Because his father was a composer and his mother was a singer and voice actress, Barbe inherited an undying love of music, along with recording equipment. “I was using tape recorders to record my bands as young as about age 10,”
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Once I started working as the primary engineer in recording sessions I realized, ‘Oh man, this is my calling in life.’ DAVID BARBE
Barbe says. “[My dad] always had a quarter-inch tape machine around and some microphones, and I just wanted to do it.” Barbe’s passion for music followed him to Athens. “Once I hit on the music scene in town, I realized pretty quickly, these are my people — this is what I’m going to do, make music,” Barbe says. The recording side of the music industry wasn’t Barbe’s main focus in the beginning. He was more concerned with playing in bands and writing songs, but his perspective shifted after John Keane, owner of John Keane Studios and producer of various records by Athens-based bands Widespread Panic and R.E.M., said he needed a second engineer to work in his studio. “Once I started working as the primary engineer in recording sessions I realized, ‘Oh man, this is my calling in life,’” Barbe says. Barbe began as a freelance engineer with a circuit of regular studios so he could work without major expenses. Barbe saved money and gained experience running a recording studio, but he was met with resistance from studio owners. “I was probably the first freelance recording engineer Athens had ever seen,” Barbe says. “It was just something that didn’t exist. Everybody that wanted to record music in Athens had a studio ... and it was a little territorial.” After proving himself and saving enough money, Barbe partnered with sound engineers Andy Baker and Andy LeMaster to open Chase Park Transduction in 1997. Contrary to the resistance he once received from studio owners, Barbe happily hosts music business students at his studio. “I’ve had interns and assistants here the whole time and the reason is that there’s always going to be a steady influx of brilliant, creative 18- to 21-year-olds in Athens,” Barbe says. Chase Park Transduction also records younger, newer bands despite a history of recording established acts such as R.E.M., Queens of the Stone Age and Drive-By Truckers. “You always have to give new people and young people a chance,” Barbe says. PASSIONS AND PLAYOFFS Mark Maxwell, owner of Maxwell Sound Recording Studio, possesses a similar entrepreneurial spirit to Barbe, allowing him to thrive in the Athens music scene. In the mid-1980s, at only 24 years old, Maxwell took out a loan of $20,000 to start his recording studio after halting his study of classical guitar at UGA. At 57 years old, Maxwell’s just as excited to be recording artists as he was in the ’80s. “I work seven days a week, but I don’t consider it work,” Maxwell says. “My advice is: find something you would do passionately every day for free, and then just figure out how to get paid.” Maxwell encourages young artists to invest in a career they love, pointing to a booth in his studio where Barbe recorded with his band Mercyland. Maxwell Sound can also record classical artists since the studio is equipped with a Wurlitzer piano and organs. While the studio has an ideal setup for musicians recording live instrumentation, Maxwell also had Sony Michel, former UGA football
EXPERT ADVICE “Find something you would do passionately every day for free, and then just figure out how to get paid.” — Mark Maxwell
player and current New England Patriots running back, record some of his original rap music there. While Maxwell doesn’t typically record the genre, he and Michel were able to bond over sports. Both music and sports were integral parts of Maxwell’s childhood, as he started playing football when he was 5 years old and playing guitar at 12. Maxwell was even an all-state football player during his senior year in high school and says his band played at prom. Maxwell’s lifelong fusion of music and sports is reflected in his home. Although instruments take up much of the space, there’s no shortage of football memorabilia, such as an original book, “From Notre Dame to Georgia: Harry Mehre The Legend.” MIXING IT UP Jesse Mangum, owner of The Glow Recording Studio, credits much of his studio’s business to the musical mecca of Athens. Mangum learned about recording from his father who owned a recording studio, called M.A.R.S., in Jacksonville, Florida. With little interest as a child, Mangum didn’t study mixing or sound engineering until he spent the time to become self-taught. Upon first visiting the Classic City, Mangum recalls being introduced to R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe and hanging around bands Mangum loved, leading him to believe Athens was a “magic, music heaven.” Although unfamiliar with the well-established studio scene in town, Mangum wanted to open another studio. He had a studio in Jacksonville, Florida, but felt the city was inundated with studios and there wasn’t enough music to work with. When Mangum moved to Athens, he bought a house with a space big enough for a studio behind it and spent the next four years building The Glow. To get the least artificially sounding music, Mangum
records bands with all members in the room. “There’s not much difference in my approach than there was in the ’60s,” Mangum says. “[What I record] sounds different than everything else that’s coming out.” Although Mangum is accustomed to recording punk-rock artists at his studio, his doors are open to a multitude of genres such as hip-hop and Americana. When recording, Mangum says he remains flexible to do what’s best for each artist and enjoys the “challenge” of recording diverse artists. “If it’s outside of what I know how to do, I like having the opportunity to experiment and finding the best way to capture [sounds] that I’m not normally recording,” Mangum says. “I learn something from every session.” All of Mangum’s learning has paid off, as he’s recorded notable Athens bands such as Elf Power and DEEP STATE. Barbe, Maxwell and Mangum have distinct tastes and experiences, but collectively help maintain the Athens’ music scene. While most are familiar with the bands recording in these studios, the studio owners and sound engineers work every day to cultivate the sounds enjoyed from beloved bands.
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Dogs Through the Decades Ampersand Magazine looked back through The Red & Black archives to find some of the most iconic looks of the past, and recreated them with the Athens fashionistas of today. From left to right: Katelyn Bass, Cailean Shelley, Rowan Thompson. PHOTOS BY KATIE KIM
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A look inside the world of Athens film production
COURTESY OF MATTHEW MACCARTHY
10 AMPERSAND MAGAZINE
BY JILLIAN TRACY
wo double glass doors open to reveal a cement hallway with off-white walls and a quiet energy, but everything is not always as it seems. Further down the hall sits the office of Dominar Films, where any trace of outside ordinarity is overhauled by creativity. “I never walk into the office knowing necessarily what we’re going to do today,” president, director and co-founder of Dominar Films Benjamin Roberds says. “A phone call can change everything.” Roberds’ office, which he shares with Katie Gregg, the producer and vice president of Dominar Films, is covered with materials and memorabilia as unconventional as the work produced by the company. A half-melted animatronic skull, painted clown masks and movable monster jaws serve as decorations throughout the office space. Dominar is an Athens-based music video and commercial production company that focuses on creating “unskippable” and visually-thrilling material. Dominar has produced over 50 videos for artists worldwide, and as Roberds says, “We never try to do too much of the same stuff twice.” While most of the pre- and post-production work is done by Gregg and Roberds, Dominar’s on-site production team has amassed a crew of 30-50 people from shoot to shoot. A team of camera operators and technical crew help Dominar expand its vision, creating more elaborate videos with each successive project. Storytelling seems a goal of filmmakers, whether creating outrageous music videos as Dominar does or bringing the lives of everyday people to the attention of the masses as done by Atlanta-based filmmaker Joseph Stunzi. While Stunzi is a director and self-taught filmmaker, he identifies himself as a storyteller and focuses on connecting to the authentic stories of real people. Born and raised in Athens, Stunzi feels most connected to the projects in this canon that allow him to portray people often misrepresented and denied a voice due to being outside the realm of society’s norms. “It just shows you that if you’re willing to share your story and be your authentic self, that the sky’s the limit,” Stunzi says. “I think that’s what I care about the most, knowing that something that I did could spark a passion or a love in someone else ... I think that is what a real filmmaker is.” Like Stunzi, Gregg and Roberds, James Preston, an Athens-based filmmaker and owner of the production company Brimms & Riggs, is a
It just shows you that if you’re willing to share your story and be your authentic self, that the sky’s the limit. JOSEPH STUNZI
storyteller. Preston’s most recent work, called “Athens Rising: The Sicyon Project,” is the first volume of a series of feature-length films focusing on various facets of the creative scene in Athens. “We have some really super bad-ass, incredibly successful creative people in town that a lot of people don’t know are here,” Preston says. “They could live anywhere in the world … They have a home in Athens, Georgia, and the question is why?” Preston’s first film in the series highlighted the local underground art scene, bringing attention to experimental dance movements and obscure comedy acts. The second will focus on the area’s nonprofit institutions such as Canopy Studio and Nuçi’s Space. “The reason why I announced it as a series and not one movie is because I didn’t want to be like, ‘There’s Athens, everybody, I got it,’” Preston says. “I’m not the person to say what Athens is. My goal in this is to give people just enough interest in things to go and find something that they can connect with and to know that it’s just a tiny little drop in the bucket.” According to Preston, the flux of creativity in Athens is something that can be taken for granted and won’t preserve itself. “We have to elevate the art in our town ... which inspires more artistic people to come here, which builds that creative tapestry that we have,” Preston says. “We have to actively engage with the artistic community and support and celebrate them, or everything will just go away.” Although the creative scene in Athens is rich with history and talent, the work created by these artists requires intense labor whether it be on the cutting room floor, on sound stages or out and about in the
world. The glamour and precision that captivates audiences cannot be made without countless hours of organization and exertion. “I think people underestimate the amount of work it takes in pre-production to get ready for a shoot and all the hands, resources and time needed,” Gregg says. “If you don’t work in video production, it’s hard to understand what goes into it.” Gregg and Roberds spend upwards of 120 hours in post-production, adding effects to shots and perfecting the final cut. Gregg also handles practical effects for Dominar, making faces melt and monsters appear with little more than hardware supplies and YouTube tutorials. Gregg sometimes spends two weeks crafting a prop for it to make a two- or three-second appearance on screen. Technological advances enable amateur videographers and filmmakers, but this luxury can cause individuals to neglect the difficulties of high-quality production. “It’s so easy for anyone to point and shoot a camera; the majority of people really don’t understand the amount of work that goes into something,” Stunzi says. “I spent 100 hours just to get to the point where we’ve captured footage, interviews, meetings… All of that goes down into one- [or] two-minute clips.” For every one minute of video that flashes across a phone, laptop or television screen, filmmakers devote tens or hundreds of hours working to get everything just right, according to Stunzi. What seems like an easy and fun task to outsiders demands sleepless nights researching, working on strict timelines and managing multiple projects to ensure both client happiness and directorial success.
COURTESY OF BRIMMS & RIGGS Despite all the difficulties that come with filmmaking and film production, it continues to thrive due to the dedication of those involved in making a statement. As with all art, filmmaking is a passion. Regardless of the gear being used or the director’s focus, making a film in any form is about projecting a vision, viewpoint or experience on the world. Stunzi calls it a “mindful practice.” “You get to take a few minutes to stop and take in a moment in an environment, capture that through your own eyes and at the end of the day, it’s all about whether you like your own work,” Stunzi says. “You have to figure out what you’re proud of and what you want to leave behind.”
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Comics artists of Athens share their stories and techniques
COMICS BY PATRICK DEAN
CIT Y KACEN AT WORK / JASON BORN
VAN BURNS / JASON BORN
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BY MK MANOYLOV
hen many people hear “comics,” they think of cartoon animals and three-panel strips. While that’s true, there’s more to the art form, and Athens artists contribute to the library of comics art. One such artist is Van Burns. Samples of Burns’ art include inked lines on thick Bristol board, depicting images such as a detailed map of Atlanta and spot illustrations. Some are big and colorful, others small and quiet. Burns’ technical skill is masterful and deliberate, no doubt contributing to his 18-year-long run as an editorial cartoonist and due to his long-held love of the form. “I started [drawing comics] when I was about 7,” Burns says. “I learned to read from reading comic books and that just started me off.” Burns is currently the Reflecting, Sharing and Learning Project Coordinator of the Athens Regional Library System. By the time Burns was in fourth grade, he was creating his own comic books and characters. Burns’ first favorite comic was “Dennis the Menace,” a newspaper strip detailing the life of 5-year-old Dennis as he wreaks havoc across the neighborhood. In high school, Burns teamed up with a comics-loving pal to put together about 18 issues of a humor magazine. Burns, who collected comics and studied painting and graphic design in college, honed his art skills until they were impressive — perhaps even Marvel Studios good. In the mid ’70s, Burns decided he wanted to work for Marvel and sent in samples that ultimately weren’t accepted. Burns kept drawing and eventually submitted a comic strip to Creative Loafing, an alternative Atlanta-based print newspaper established in 1972. Creative Loafing accepted Burns’ strip but didn’t run it for six months. Then, out of the blue, Creative Loafing called Burns and asked him to make a black-and-white illustration for an article due the next day. Burns met with similarly-minded artists during his time at Creative Loafing and kept a network alive after finishing his tenure. “I met a few [artists], Klon Waldrip and David Mack, and I’ve known Patrick Dean for a while,” Burns says. “I still have connections to my old cartoonist friends in Atlanta.” Burns says the competition for success as a comics artist is now overwhelming. For every one person who gets published, “there’s a hundred times more people who don’t.” Despite the daunting odds, those inclined will still pursue their passion. “If you feel like you can’t do anything but draw cartoons, you’ll be compelled to do it,” Burns says. FROM PRINT TO PIXELS The market for artists has changed since the ’80s to now. Several Athens artists incorporated a digital presence into their art, including Abby Kacen. Kacen is a 2016 graduate from the University of Georgia who studied animation and drawing. Kacen’s college experience continued and cultivated her lifelong passion for art. “I ... just grew up drawing,” Kacen says. “I was making comics in my notebook as a kid. I collected comics. It’s always been a pastime for me.” Atlanta houses more recognizable artists than Athens due to the city’s size, according to Kacen. To remedy the disorganization of Athens artists, Kacen and a friend started up Athens Drink and Draw, a meetup of people who like to draw and socialize with other in-town artists. Attendees don’t
NUANCE OF THE FORM Patrick Dean, a UGA alum whose work appeared in Flagpole magazine for nearly a decade, shares Kacen’s view of comics. To Dean, comics are drawings which convey an idea, instead of a story. “It can be as complicated or simple as the creator desires,” Dean says. Dean has drawn comics for a long time thanks to his older brother, who drew “Star Wars,” “Alien” and “Godzilla” sketches in the late ’70s. “As a kid growing up in the ’80s, I’d copy newspaper strips in notebooks and replace [them] with my own derivative characters, which was like doing a bad cover of a classic song,” Dean says. While Dean didn’t think to copy his work and s el f-publi s h u n ti l after college, he now regularly publishes works on his website. Dean sometimes encounters people from fine arts and commercial illustration who look down on comics art instead of appreciating its variety. “Plenty of comic artists’ work could go toe-to-toe with the greatest painters and illustrators,” Dean says. “Just because in the past most comics were on disposable newsprint, a lot found them to be slumming it. By this time, I’ve quit caring what anyone thinks of comics making.” For those who also want to forgo the art world’s criticism of comics and produce their own, Dean advises keeping a sketchbook and drawing often, in addition to building a personal circle of creatives. “The world is round,” Dean says. “Seek out artists from all over the planet.”
BY ABBY KACEN
have to consider themselves artists, as according to the Facebook page, people get together, make art, drink beer and simply have a good time. “Meeting all these different artists or people who like to draw in their spare time is interesting to see,” Kacen says. “That got me to think more about community and the importance of working with other artists.” To Kacen, Athens has a strong showing of all types of artists but is not the type of city to exude its artistic vibe. According to Kacen, other cities in the South such as Nashville, Tennessee, surpass Athens’ art scene. “I think that more structured art communities can bring some of that vibrancy to cities, and not everyone realizes that,” Kacen says. After graduating, Kacen drew comics about her bad days at work and other happenings, scanning and compiling her drawings. When FLUKE, a small mini-comics and zine festival came to Athens in March 2018, Kacen printed copies of her comics and sold them, which connected her with other artists. With events like FLUKE, the digital age helps artists spread their work. “I think it’s important to have the internet with art, especially since everything on the internet is visually driven,” Kacen says. However, digital media won’t take over print comics, according to Kacen. She describes comics as “sequential imagery,” but the images or panel arrangement gives the sequential images combined meaning. Different arrangements of words or images can create a narrative and various mediums allow for different narrative experiences.
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Five Points • Eastside • Downtown • UGA Campus
24 Hours in Athens
BY LAUREL HIATT
You’ve heard of Saturday in Athens before, but never quite like this. Whether you pick a few or cross every hour’s activity off your list, the itinerary below shows off some of the best the Classic City has to offer.
Grab a drink at Buddha or any of Athens’ many other bars
2 a.m. 1 a.m.
Knock down a few pins at Showtime Bowl as a new day begins
Stroll through the University of Georgia North campus
Try the offthe-menu “frat daddy” calzone at D.P. Dough
4 a.m. 3 a.m.
livery FREE deals and t to hospi homes funeral
6 a.m. 5 a.m.
Visit the double-barreled Cannon as it gleams under the morning sky
Bite into a delicious treat from Insomnia Cookies
Enjoy an omelette plate from the Big City Bread Cafe
Find your inner child at the World of Wonder Park
Admire the stars from Herty Field or the UGA Chapel
Flip through employee picks at Wuxtry Records
Take a walk through the 113 acres of Trail Creek Park
Stop and smell the flowers at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia
Custom designs for Baby showers Birthdays Weddings Holidays
Cozy & relaxed local breakfast and lunch experience
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Weekly chef specials Fast service Catering service On-site group meeting room
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PHOTOS BY GABRIELLA AUDI
Learn classic history at the Church-Waddel-Brumby House
Make fools of your friends playing “Red Flags” at The Rook & Pawn
2 p.m. 1 p.m.
Craft the perfect lunch order at Kelly’s Jamaican Foods
4 p.m. 3 p.m.
Admire the Middle Oconee River from Ben Burton Park
6 p.m. 5 p.m.
Tour the galleries of the Georgia Museum of Art
8 p.m. 7 p.m.
Challenge your quick thinking at Escape the Space
Take a selfie by the UGA Arch in commemoration of a great day.
Pick up a Mugaphone T-shirt at Hendershot’s Coffee Bar
Bring a friend to Iron Factory to savor some sensational Korean barbecue
Peruse the shelves at either location of Avid Bookshop
10 p.m. 9 p.m.
Choose from the many delicious ice cream flavors of Four Fat Cows
Play boozy billiards with good company at Nowhere Bar
AVID BOOKSHOP /W JULIAN ALEXANDER
Athens book clubs encourage reading across all genres
ON THE SAME PAGE BY LAUREL HIATT
here is a habit harped upon for children and praised by adults that leads to a longer life, according to a 2016 study by Yale University. It relieves stress, improves memory and boosts one’s capacity for concentration. Some, when confronted with these benefits, may sigh and say they already have a workout routine. Others, familiar with the habit in question, may ask, “Alright, but do you read?” For Rachel Watkins, the director of operations at Avid Bookshop, reading is both a professional and personal pursuit. When asked to pick a favorite book, Watkins cannot bring herself to do so. “It’s like picking a favorite child,” Watkins says. BY THE BOOK Watkins, who says she read more than 78 books last year, enjoys the significant literary perks that are the result of her employment. “One of the best things about working in the book industry is getting to read books before they’re published,” Watkins says. In the basement office of Avid Bookshop at Five Points, there are hundreds of advanced reading copies of books, known as galley copies. Avid employees, along with others in the print business, are responsible for reading and reviewing early
FUN FACT Although leisure reading has been on the decline for decades based on the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Surveys, those committed to the hobby are reading more than ever.
manuscripts sent by publishers to generate buzz. One of Watkins’ reviews was selected as a book blurb for the English translation of “Disoriental,” a popular French novel by Négar Djavadi. Still, it’s not a perfect science, as the books begin to blur together. “I am a fast reader and my New Year’s resolution — the only one I’ve made — is to review a book each time I finish it, because if I don’t, it’s so hard,” Watkins says. “Three books later, I can’t remember why I loved it.” Avid bookseller and University of Georgia senior Grace Williamson is familiar with the perils of speed reading. “In my experience as an English major, I have to read things quickly,” Williamson says. “As wonderful as it is to get to read a lot of things, you miss details that other people pick up on.” One way to get more mileage out of a book, according to Williamson, is to participate in a book club. Avid Bookshop currently offers the Hot Fiction Book Club, the Classics Book Club, the Paperback Book Club, the Social Justice Book Club and the Young Adult (for Not-so-Young Adults) Book Club. These clubs all came about through the suggestions of Avid employees. “They really are started when a bookseller of ours comes to us and says, ‘Hey, I would love to start a book club,’” Watkins says.
For a lot of their responsibilities, booksellers at Avid have free reign. “One of the beautiful things about working here is we try to give our employees a lot of leeway to do fun things that they want to do,” Watkins says. Toward the end of 2018, Williamson took over as the moderator of Avid’s Social Justice Book Club after the departure of a colleague and developed a whole new perspective on reading. A NEW CHAPTER “Coming into the book club and seeing what parts of each book or essay resonated with them, it helps build a more all-encompassing picture of what that author was trying to convey to you,” Williamson says. Trudi Green, the assistant director for public services at the Athens Regional Library System, believes book club discussions can unlock the depth present in “almost every book.” “You might say, ‘This is nothing,’ but when you get together with other people and start talking about it, you just unravel characters and plots and what the author was really trying to say,” Green says. “You find depth that, on your first read, you may not realize was there.” Book clubs provide a deeper meaning to literature while intensifying the benefits associated with reading. “Your brain is working, so you’re going to be healthier,” Green says. “We know that the more active your mind is, the healthier you’re probably going to be. Plus, when you’re at a book club, you’re also social, and that’s definitely good for you as well.” Green oversees the five book clubs and a discussion group offered by the library: After the End Post-apocalyptic Fiction, African-American Authors Book Club, Talking About Books, Children’s Book Club, Last Monday Book Club and For the Philo of Philosophy. Some of these have been offered for “years and years and years,” according to Green. “They develop a relationship with the book club members, and they enjoy it,” Green says. “The staff members really enjoy leading the book clubs.” Williamson has a comparable appreciation for the attendees of her club, who vary from literature-deprived STEM students “who just want someone to talk about books with” to a middle-aged group excited to learn about social issues through reading. “I get this stuff a lot because I take courses in it, so it’s really nice that people are choosing to do this in their own time because they want to learn more about it,” Williamson says. Watkins says one reason readers may join a book club is to “[pump] up their education,” such as with members of the Avid Classics Book Club, who are catching up on literary gems they’ve missed. In fact, the club was started when inventory manager Tyler Goodson decided he wanted to read more classic literature. READING PEOPLE In other circumstances, attendees may learn as much from each other as from the book itself thanks to the diversity of the group. “It’s nice to have people you enjoy who ... come from different backgrounds, who are all trying to relate their experiences to this book,” Williamson says.
Watkins tells how in the Avid book club Hot Fiction, ages range from people in their early 20s to retirees in their 60s. “You have this big mix of experience,” Watkins says. When the Hot Fiction group read “The Great Believers” by Rebecca Makkai, it discussed the AIDS crisis as depicted by the piece of historical fiction. To Watkins’ surprise, one of the attendees was a nurse who had lived through the epidemic. “For all of us who really enjoyed the book and learned a lot, she was like ‘Y’all, I lived it,’” Watkins says. “It’s fun to hear the personal relationships people have with books because of where they’re coming from.” Williamson says she benefits from what she reads through the Social Justice book club, including the recently-discussed anthology “Can We All Be Feminists?” as edited by June Eric-Udorie. “If I’m being honest, I probably wouldn’t have read it if it wasn’t for Social Justice Book Club,” Williamson says. “Getting into things I wouldn’t normally read but then having an environment to discuss them so it holds me accountable ... is really awesome.” Watkins says reading is becoming a more deliberate effort, instead of a leisurely pastime. “I feel like for some of us, reading is becoming more of an active resistance,” Watkins says. “We’re so divided in this nation: one way to understand someone else’s point of view is to read.” Watkins gives the example of the book “Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others” by Barbara Brown Taylor, set to be published in March by a former preacher and current Piedmont College teacher. The book details how Taylor’s perspective on religion vastly changed after teaching courses on other faiths. “My mother, who is a 70-year-old white lady, who was a Southern Baptist and now she’s a Methodist — she’s reading this book and it’s changing her life,” Watkins says.
We’re so divided in this nation: one way to understand someone else’s point of view is to read. RACHEL WATKINS
PHOTOS BY SIDHARTHA WAKADE
BY RACHEL PRIEST
DEEP UGA’s Scientific Diving Program is making waves 18
ew students at the University of Georgia know about its scientific diving program. Even fewer know the pool in the Marine Science Building is transformed into an imaginary shipwreck where students enrolled in Scientific Diving I spend part of the semester diving to recover shells and take photos, uncovering the story behind the real-life wreck. The program is currently run by associate research scientist for UGA’s Center for Applied Isotope Studies, Scott Noakes, and although it currently offers only two courses — Scientific Diving I and Scientific Diving II — it has grown immensely since its inception in 1996. As a child, Noakes received a brass spike from a 18th-century shipwreck that he says catalyzed his love of scientific diving. It wasn’t until after Noakes left the petroleum engineering field and was offered at job at UGA in 1988 he began to fully pursue marine science work. “I would have never dreamed that I’d teach a class but this is a class that’s fun to teach,” Noakes says. “You have a class that students truly love [and] they’re excited to come — it makes it really a lot of fun.” At first, the marine science department tagged onto the Environmental Protection Agency’s own diving program before establishing its own several years later. What initially began with six divers from UGA has grown into over 25 active divers, some of whom are students at universities across the state such as the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University and Georgia Southern University. According to the University System of Georgia’s Scientific Diving Program’s website, divers must have required documentation, such as diver certifications, medical history and physical exam results, a dive log template and the USG
AAUS Diving Regulation Manual. All universities involved in the program also have specific training requirements including dive planning, learning about hazardous aquatic life and diving physiology and physics. DIPPING YOUR TOE IN In addition to incorporating other universities, Noakes has developed a new course open to both undergraduate and graduate students since he took over the program in 2000. “Over time I had students come to me wanting to learn how to … get into research diving and I needed a good mechanism to do it instead of [training] one [at a time],” Noakes says. Students were officially allowed to enroll in the course in fall 2014, and although many are interested in underwater research, the class is open to all. There are no prerequisites and Noakes says the first half of the semester is dedicated solely to learning basic diving skills in the pool. “The pool is kind of like having a security blanket with you: you know the side is right there and in some places you can just stand up,” Noakes says. Around the midpoint of the semester, students can go on a dive trip to Florida and become open water scuba certified. Upon their return, more hands-on type learning occurs. For example, professionals from the law enforcement field teach students how to do blind searches. Noakes also invites workers from the Georgia Aquarium who bring more advanced gear, such as dive scooters that increase a diver’s range underwater using motor propulsion. “One of the things I enjoy most about the class is watching students on the first day, afraid to put their head underwater and hold their breath, but by the time the class is over, you see them jumping off a boat in the middle of the ocean somewhere or jumping into a spring or a lake,” Noakes says.
The course is only a small facet of what the program fully encompasses, and the research conducted by students and faculty members alike has propelled it into national spotlight. UNDERSEAS DISCOVERIES It was in fall of 2006 when Noakes accidentally discovered a small section of a 36,000-year-old left mandible from a baby Atlantic gray whale while working on a project close to Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. A few years later, Noakes found another left mandible — this one 46,000 years old. At first, Noakes says he didn’t know the magnitude of his discovery. Noakes had to ask other scientists, who then asked more scientists, before he finally heard back from the then-marine mammal curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of
Natural History. The curator was then able to identify the mandible as the Atlantic gray whale, which was “considered functionally extinct” by the early 1700s, according to an article on the Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary website. After a months-long excavation process, the 35-foot-long and 60-pound mandible was transported to the Smithsonian where a silicone mold was made. Since then, the museum has made eight foam casts used in exhibits at places such as the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography near Savannah, Georgia, and the Georgia Aquarium. “The mold that they did had so much detail, there’s some barnacles showing,” Noakes says. “I didn’t expect to have that much quality [but] I should’ve known better. Anything coming out the Smithsonian is high quality.” To make the casts look as realistic as possible, Noakes enlisted the help of the scientific illustration program at UGA. Gene Wright, the professor of art chair for scientific illustration, headed the work by painting the first cast to establish unique techniques employed by subsequent art students. Making discoveries of this caliber is precisely what Noakes loves about diving. “It’s finding stuff like this that makes [diving] worth it,” Noakes says. “When you have something really neat … that has been out there a long time that no one else has ever seen, and you bring it up, it makes things more interesting.” Out of the 46 students currently taking Scientific Diving 1, only six are graduate students. Still, the program is much more than merely learning how to dive, and several of the graduate-level students are already certified and working on their own projects, including Gina Alvarez. A graduate student from Orlando,
Florida, studying fisheries and science, Alvarez is one of the program’s most active divers. Thanks to her work tagging gag groupers, a type of marine reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico, Alvarez logged over 80 dives last year. COMMUNITY TIDES Alvarez became open water scuba diving certified in 2010 and says she’s always wanted to pursue a career in marine sciences, tracing her love of the ocean to her childhood. “I grew up in Florida and my family’s Dominican, so we’d go to the Caribbean every summer,” Alvarez says. “I remember being fascinated with fish every time I went snorkeling and … one day [I] went, ‘Well, fish is something my brain keeps going to, I must be into it.’” W h i l e h e r i nvo l ve m e n t w i t h t h e university’s scientific diving program is mandatory, Alvarez says it’s given her opportunities to work with agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and diversify her resume. “Being in a concrete jungle, I’ll often feel disconnected from nature, but when you go diving you’re literally immersing yourself in nature and you feel more connected,” Alvarez says. C. Brock Woodson, an associate professor in UGA’s College of Engineering, is connected to the program through his own research and the university’s COBIAlab. First involved in the scientific diving program as a graduate student at Georgia Tech, Woodson is currently working with small-scale fisheries in Baja California, Mexico. Woodson says the program is an “invaluable resource” to both the university and the scientific diving community. “It saves us money and it allows us to do things that we just wouldn’t be able to do otherwise,” Woodson says. Scientific diving is ultimately a lesson in good communication, according to Woodson. “Having to work with another diver underwater when you can’t talk and have to accomplish tasks really changes your view of communication,” Woodson says. Because he works with divers who speak Spanish, Woodson says exchanges are often better underwater where they use hand signals. For all three researchers, diving is far more than looking at fish or being surrounded by a school of hammerhead sharks. It’s a way to be awed — to learn from and discover a whole new world. “We’ve sent people into outer space, we’ve sent people to the moon [yet] there are places in the world, deep water, that have never been explored,” Noakes says. “Through scientific diving, many of [the students] are realizing there’s a world to explore.”
Being in a concrete jungle, I’ll often feel disconnected from nature but when you go diving, you are literally immersing yourself in nature. GINA ALVAREZ
Skin Deep From conquering cancer to serving others through soap
PHOTOS BY KATIE KIM
BY MADELINE LAGUAITE
ndree Terry is in her element. She picks up a bar of soap and with a knife, quickly shaves the soap’s edges before placing it aside. The essence of the room can be captured in whiffs: a hint of lemon here, a slight note of ginger there. The rhythmic sounds of blade on soap are constant and Terry works to her own beat. Like a machine, Terry grabs soap after soap, smoothing all edges. Sunlight streams in through the window, making the knife gleam. Terry continues to perfect her soaps, almost nonchalantly, but every slice is done with purpose. Many years before Terry entered the world of soap, she entered the world after being born on an elevator at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Growing up in Rossville, Tennessee, Terry remembers watching her mother and grandmother make soap from wood ashes from the fireplace, and lard or fat from “whatever animal they had.” “It could be really harsh,” Terry says. “My grandmother’s soap was a funny gray color about like steel and full of grit, which was the wood ashes that were still in there. It was awful.” When Terry watched her mother and grandmother make soap from fireplace ashes, she never imagined one day she would be the owner of Andree’s Essential Soaps. Terry, whose customers include private physicians and radiology clinics around the United States, has had products featured in gift bags for the 34th Annual International Emmy Awards Gala in 2006, making her products nationally known and acclaimed. Terry’s own cosmetic journey began in Egypt in the ’90s, where she studied for several weeks to learn about the original cosmetics, how people kept their skin moist in the desert and how they preserved cosmetics. “I smelled perfumes that were 60,000 years old made largely from animals, but it was still fragrant,” Terry says. “Seeing those first utensils and things that they used … it was an incredible culture, so talented in their art and their buildings.”
mother as a hobbyist and couldn’t help but chuckle when she heard her mother’s plans to start soapmaking. “What I remember is being like, ‘Are you kidding me? Another project?’” Rosa Terry says. “With this, she found something that has no end.” Rosa Terry says her mother started making soap primarily to help her grandmother, who was taking multiple medications for cancer and Parkinson’s disease. Andree Terry went to a doctor’s appointment with her mother and was told to use unscented, generic soaps so as not to hurt her mother’s skin. “My mom said … in your last years of life, to not even be able to enjoy a bubble bath … that hit a nerve,” Rosa Terry says. Andree Terry felt she had to do something, so she started with research and, as Rosa Terry put it, “in pure Andree form said, ‘Oh, I can just make that.’” In March 2004, a year after her mother died from cancer, Andree Terry was diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer is currently the most common cancer in women after skin cancer in the U.S., according to Mayo Clinic. Terry went through chemotherapy but had issues with her skin. Because chemotherapy damages skin and nail cells, it can cause other symptoms as well, such as dry skin, skin that’s itchy and red or skin that peels. For those who’ve undergone radiation therapy, chemotherapy can cause skin to blister and hurt in a process known as radiation recall, according to the National Cancer Institute. “They didn’t have anything appropriate on the market to treat your skin for the side effects — the burning, peeling and drying,” Terry says. “I did a couple of years of research of the botanicals that are good for the skin during remediation.” According to Terry, when a person goes through radiation, lotion or cream will hold in the heat. She says it’s an old wives’ tale that you should put butter on a burn, but that’s precisely what you shouldn’t do. Rubbing a greasy substance like butter on a burned area of the body will decelerate the release of heat from the skin. This in turn causes more damage due to the heat that’s retained, according to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The best way to soothe a burn is generally with cool water, so Terry went with a water-based product. “I [made] a water-based product — a gel — and people started
She’s classy. She’s innovative. She’s kind. All those things together make her like a power strip — all these qualities plugged into this one petite package. JENNIFER MITCHELL
FROM LAUNDRY ROOM TO NORMALTOWN When Terry returned to the U.S. in the 1990s, the internet was “just beginning” and she found scientists from L’Oréal and Clairol who mentored her. From there, Terry began crafting her own products. “I started up in 2000, but I started making product in ’98,” Terry says. “I was also the ‘Georgia Soap Lady.’ Georgia was the only school that … had Bulldog bath bombs as the Georgia soap. It took so much time to individually mold a soap that I gave it up.” Now, instead of individually molding each soap, Terry makes all of them identical, rectangular bars and smooths the edges with a blade, so all the soaps look uniform. Over the years, Terry has also had to juggle the role of both mother and business owner. Terry has three children. Rosa, a psychotherapist in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Blaine, an engineer based out of Atlanta and Rebecca, a marketing executive in Atlanta. Rosa Terry, 41, says she remembers being in college when her mother started making glycerin soaps. Rosa Terry describes her
OTHER SUDSY STORES In addition to Andree’s Essential Soaps, Athens also houses Chalises Heavenly Inspired Bath and Body, featuring scents such as strawberry mint and “Dawg Gone Good,” and Normal Soap Company, co-founded by a fourth generation soap-maker.
using it,” Terry says. “The doctors [in Georgia] saw a difference in the people here [who] were using it and who weren’t. Now they just send their patients going through remediation over.” According to the American Cancer Society, nausea and vomiting are common symptoms for some patients going through chemotherapy, so finding a fragrance-free soap helps mitigate those symptoms. Many of Terry’s products are fragrance-free, unlike lotions and soaps found in retail stores like Bath & Body Works. “During chemotherapy, all of your senses are heightened and things smell too intense to you,” Terry says. “You just have to be careful about some of the smells around you.” Terry started out in her laundry room, making soap on top of the washer and dryer. She received praise for her products and their effects, and a few doctors took notice of the products’ effects on cancer patients’ skin. Within no time at all, Terry was swamped with customers. “I just figured if it was that large in need, that I should try and do something, so I started making ... soaps and lotions and other things [for hospitals],” Terry says. Before she knew it, Terry’s house was overrun with patients, customers, soaps and lotions. Terry knew she’d need to move her quickly-growing business into an actual location outside of her home but she didn’t know where. “I was just praying one day, driving down the road and looked up and there was this big thing on the end of the building in Normaltown that said, ‘For lease,’” Terry says. “I called and it was somebody I knew who owned the building and in three days, I was in a shop.” ANDREE’S ESSENTIAL SOAPS By 2005, Terry was selling her product out of Andree’s Essential Soaps at her own location: 1383 Prince Ave. Terry opened her store after Christmas and due to the chaos of the holiday season, didn’t have much product left. Terry also helped start an organization for college-bound students who had a parent die of breast cancer. The MaryEllen Locher Foundation, which still runs today, provides funds to help send over 500 students to college. Students have to reapply every year and qualify through community service or volunteer work related to cancer. As Terry continued to help the local community, she was “selling and giving the money away” — producing almost no capital. In one instance, Terry ended up donating products to the fire department to soothe the skin of firemen. “I had heard they were still walking through the heat and [wearing] asbestos boots,” Terry says. “Their skin would break down in that in just hours, so I had sent foot products for them.” From firemen to the common customer, the appreciation for Andree’s has led Terry to call her success with her soaps and lotions “a wonderful blessing.”
On a typical day at work, Terry meets both students looking to give family members meaningful gifts as well as patients who Terry calls “some of the strongest people” she’s ever met. “It’s also great for them to see somebody who is surviving cancer 15 years later, still living and working business,” Terry says. “It is really encouraging to them, especially the older women who are living alone and don’t have family anymore.” Terry eventually moved from Normaltown to a Milledge Avenue location in 2011 after seeing the new space advertised and falling in love with the area. Jennifer Mitchell, a business owner living in Athens, met Terry while she was looking for a retail space for her bakeshop, Cakewalk. Mitchell says Terry was very gracious and showed her around the space, an atmospheric house built in 1910. “We’ve been BFFs ever since,” Mitchell says. “We do get along beautifully. If she’s not here, I go over and help people. She’ll do the same for me.” Mitchell describes Terry as kind but tough, with an indomitable spirit. “She’s powerful in a little tiny package,” Mitchell says. “She’s classy. She’s innovative. She’s kind … All those things together make her like a power strip — all these qualities plugged into this one petite package. She just has a brilliant mind.” FROM ATHENS TO NEW YORK CITY While Terry was primarily concerned about selling locally and helping the Athens community, her time in the national celebrity spotlight came in 2006 when she was sought out by the 34th International Emmy Awards for her products, and her name has only grown from there. “I had to sign a contract and stuff, and I figured they would just want gift baskets so I sent them a sample so they could know what they were getting and make sure it was appropriate to use,” Terry says. Terry mailed a sample to New York City over the weekend and on Monday morning, she received a phone call asking for 3,600 products — 1,200 each of soaps, hand creams and bath salts for a total of 700 pounds of product. “Luckily, I had about a six-month lead,” Terry says. “Every day I would take home 150-200 pieces from work and then label and pack. This was a donation and it was $20,000 worth of stuff, but it was the best publicity I ever got.” In 2015, Terry was awarded the ATHENA Award for community service and service to women. The trophy now rests on the mantle behind the check out area of Terry’s shop. In spring of 2018, Terry did a project for NBC Studios at Rockefeller Plaza in New York. Company’s employers were able to bring their children to work on Earth Day so the NBC staff wanted gifts that were safe and non-toxic. “My daughter does marketing for NBC Sports and said, ‘Oh, my mom can do that,’” Terry says. “I got paid for that. It took so much time and I took pictures on my kitchen island.” The staff chose Terry to design and manufacture bath bombs resembling planet Earth. The process was not only time-consuming, but complex. Terry had to figure out a way to pack an accurate replica of the globe in a plastic container, let it dry, add the interior, dry it again and assemble it before shipping them to New York. TWO-DECADE LEGACY Now, Terry primarily sells product out of her shop on 688 S. Milledge Ave. and features many products for college students’ skin care, whether they have acne, eczema or psoriasis. Terry also offers other products, including candles, which she says students often buy as presents for their mothers. Terry, who’s been in the business for about two decades, certainly is comfortable with her craft. “Every day when I leave — because I’m 65 now — I’ll just go out and look off the porch for just a minute because I know that day is going to come in several years,” Terry says. “Time really does pass quickly. I cannot believe I have been doing this for 20 years.”
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Ampersand Magazine Spring/Summer 2019