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features 13



Horse Sense


Home for Dinner


Guys in the Sky

In late 1956, a B-26 Air Force plane crashed in North Bryan County, barely missing Black Creek Elementary School. Jay Volker, Communications Officer of the Richmond Hill Historical Society finds historical documentation to help the family of the perished pilot, Don Hodges, add his name to the memorial erected at Middle Tennessee State University in honor of MTSU graduates who had died in the line of duty.


Robin Olesky is a multifaceted woman with experience in the military, the police force, the cockpit and on horseback! Her journey to Richmond Hill has been quite the fun ride, no pun intended.

The stories of military families and the sacrifices they give each and every day for the safety of our country are plentiful. Neighbors, Lieutenant Colonel Brian Schaap and Captain, Chip Gaylord share what it is like to be a parent, but not the one left behind at home.

Four of our resident pilots Glen Willard, Phil Jones, Clayton Osbon and Gary Freeman share their love of flying. Learn what inspires them to take a ride in the sky. They fly for very different reasons, but all share the same respect for aviation!






departments 10

From the Publishers Legacies & Lore

13 19

A Calculated Sacrifice Money in the Bank

Around Town 24 26 30 34 36


Spread the News Make Your Advertisements Interactive A 1-Hour 53-Minute Miracle Helen's Haven Here to Stay Lacrosse

People & Places 40 48 52

Horse Sense: Robin Olesky Haley De Sha Rock’n Behind the Scenes

Home & Garden 57 61 63

Home for Dinner Is your furry friend fluffy? Through Katherine’s Eyes



67 71 84 88 92

Are you ready for a challenge? Guys in the Sky Student Athlete Profile: Trisha Jennings Artist Spotlight: Courtni Gibson Captain Wild Bill

Food & Entertaining 97 101

Capital A Productions LIFE Dining Club

Events 107 111




In the Crowd Save the Date







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Volume 7, Number 1 5LFKPRQG+LOO5Hà HFWLRQV LVDSXEOLFDWLRQRI5LFKPRQG+LOO5Hà HFWLRQV,QF Founding Publisher Johnny Murphy Publisher/Editorial Director Paige Glazer Publisher/Advertising Director -DPL3à LEVHQ Art Director/Graphic Designer Samantha Howard Foisy Assistant Editor Christine Lucas Business Manager Suzanne Chumley Contributing Writers Jay Volker, Johnny Murphy Jim Bunn, Mary Henderson, August Compton Christine Sheppard, Christine Lucas Dr. Karen O’Connor, Catherine Grant, Christi Chambers Shawn Heifert, Leslie Murphy, Angela Hendrix Staff Photographer Cobblestone Photography, Beth Smithberger Contributing Photographers Shawn Heifert Patti Todd Photography, Courtni Gibson Sabrina Hammoudeh


Guys in the Sky by Shawn Heifert


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Maureen Bryant | Cell: 912.441.3053 | Office: 912.756.5888 Email: 17 Richard Davis Drive | Richmond Hill, GA 31324 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 9



It’s love month and there are not any love stories in this issue… at least not the kind of love you might be thinking of. Instead of allowing the theme of this year’s February magazine to lean toward lovers and the color pink, we geared it more toward the different pastimes our locals enjoy — or maybe obsess over. This issue’s cover story, Guys in the Sky, is about fourmen who fly or have flown different types of aircraft for very different reasons. Their undeniable love for flying is apparent in the photos you’ll enjoy! Toddlers & Tiara’s Season 4 star, local nineyear-old, Haley De Sha, tells us all about life in the pageant world; Robin Olesky shares her love for Gentlemen James, Roscoe, Sailing Annie McCue and even Princess (her beloved horses), and Captain Wild Bill shares his love of the coast and its abundance of adventures. So many great stories and photos — all thanks to your suggestions! 2011 started off with a bang for Richmond Hill Reflections. We took home the 2010 Richmond HillBryan County Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year award at January’s Annual Chamber Dinner meeting. What an honor! Thank you again to our team, our readers and our advertisers for all of your support over the last five years. We strive to fill each and every issue with stories you will love! As always, please thank our advertisers as this magazine would not be possible without their continued support! Q Best,

Jami Pflibsen

1 0 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

Paige Glazer

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legacies&lore ✴ a perilous situation


:HJYPÄJL By Jay C. Volker Communications Officer, Richmond Hill Historical Society


was recently in a doctor’s waiting room where, naturally, I struck up a conversation with another patient. At one point he asked me what I did for a living. “Nothing; I’m retired," I told him. "So, you’re busier than ever," he said.

It’s true. One thing that keeps me “busier” is being the Communications Officer for the Richmond Hill Historical Society. I create and maintain the Society’s website and pass communications of events to the members via email. On September 9th last year, my duties took

© Courtesy of the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, Pooler, GA

Photos by Cobblestone Photography and Courtesy of the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Pooler, GA

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 1 3

legacies&lore ✴ a perilous situation on a new and extremely interesting turn. I received an email from Derek Frisby, Professor of History at Middle Tennessee State University, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He explained that, in 2009, the university had erected a memorial to graduates of the school who had perished while serving in our country’s Armed Forces–either in combat or otherwise. They had done research to identify all who should be included, but, as the old saying goes, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Since the memorial's construction, the school had received several requests to add names of MTSU alumni killed in the line of duty. Professor Frisby hoped the Richmond Hill Historical Society could help. The professor went on to say how the family of a U.S. Air Force pilot, by the name of Don Hodges had requested his name be added. MTSU needed verification before they would add any names. I was about to suggest checking with the Air Force but, remembered that, in 1973, a fire in the St. Louis Department of Defense record center destroyed nearly all Air Force personnel records from 1947 to 1964. The information Professor Frisby had on the incident was limited and it looked like the Richmond Hill Historical Society was their last hope. I must confess that I was doubtful we could help them. The event had taken place 54 years ago. If the aircraft narrowly missed a school, the students would be in their sixties. Teachers and staff would be even older. Air Force records were nonexistent, but we had to give it a try. My first action was to send out an email to Richmond Hill Historical Society members and friends–asking if any remembered this incident. Quickly, we learned that the school was Black Creek Elementary School but no specific details beyond that. On the off chance Judy Cook, the Mayor of Pembroke, might recall some information, I sent her an email. All went quiet. I was about to email Professor Frisby that we had hit a dead end, when, two weeks after I sent the note, to Mayor Cook I got a call from a young lady who stated, “I am an aide to Mayor Cook and have the information you requested, what is your mailing address?� Within a few days, I received an envelope from Mayor Cook’s office with a copy of a newspaper article, from the Pembroke Journal, dated Thursday, November 1, 1956. I couldn’t believe what I read.

per, From the now defunct newspa rsday November 1, 1956... Thu ed dat l The Pembroke Journa ool In fatal Dive Plane Narrowly Misses Sch near the Black Creek A B-26 Air Force plane crashed g, missing the school by a rnin Mo y Elementary School Monda narrow margin. burned across the road from The light bomber crashed and RI0UDQG0UV'( PH HKR WKHVFKRROLQDĂ&#x20AC;HOGQHDUWK ch, e left a crater in the earth whi Miller. The impact of the plan was on losi exp The in." se a hou witnesses said "you could put FFRUGLQJWRVRPHZKRVDLG \D DZD OHV PL Ă&#x20AC;YH DV IDU UGD KHD WRĂ&#x20AC;QGRXWWKHFDXVH WKH\KHDUGWKHQRLVHDQGVHWRXW UDIW ORWVHHPHGWRPDQHXYHUWKHF  6RPHZLWQHVVHVVDLGWKHSL e plan ated ill-f the of nts upa occ so as to miss the school. The ger, according to reports. One seemed to be aware of their dan said the roar of the plane was person in the school building HG GWRVKDNHDVWKHQRLVHLQFUHDV WHUULĂ&#x20AC;FDQGWKHEXLOGLQJVHHPH DWK UQH QGH WKHSODQHZDVRQĂ&#x20AC;UHX ,WVHHPHGWRKHUVKHVDLGWKDW  DNLQJDGHĂ&#x20AC;QLWHDWWHPSWWRJHW EHP WR DUHG DQGWKHSLORWDSSH away from the building. QWUVLQWKHSODQHZHUHNLOOHGLQVWD  7KHWKUHH$LU)RUFHRIĂ&#x20AC;FH QG NHD EUR 3HP LUHFWLRQDQGWKH O\'HEULVZDVEORZQLQHYHU\G the scene to keep the woods to d tene has cks Tru Forestry Fire from burning. who witnessed the accident, J. O. Hurst, school principal, WHUWKURXJKWKH*URXQG2EQRWLĂ&#x20AC;HGWKH6DYDQQDK)LOWHU&HQ LRQ 2&SRVWKDVEHHQLQRSHUDW VHUYHV&RUSVWHOHSKRQH7KH* HV 6LN HYHUDOPRQWKV+DUU\ LQWKH%ODFN&UHHNVHFWLRQIRUV DOVRQRWLĂ&#x20AC;HGWKH)LOWHU 2& NH* EUR 3HP 6XSHUYLVRURIWKH WRQ*2&FRRUGLQDWRU7KH &HQWHURQUHTXHVWRI:7+RO KR VDW+XQWHU$LU)RUFH%DVHZ ULWLH )LOWHU&HQWHUQRWLĂ&#x20AC;HGDXWKR . sped to the scene immediately  -5'H/RDFKVXPPRQHGWKH ROV FKR RI6 HQW  6XSHULQWHQG day. the of rest the for ool sch school buses and dismissed the in her students or teachers were After their narrow escape neit ies. shape to keep up with their stud crash that appeared in Tuesthe of t oun acc the is ing low Fol LQJ1HZV GD\PRUQLQJV6DYDQQDK0RUQ G\HVWHUGD\PRUQLQJZKHQ LOOH UVN Ă&#x20AC;FH HRI  7KUHH$LU)RUF and burned near the Black their B-26 light bomber crashed 3HPEURNHDQG%OLWFKWRQRQ HHQ HWZ &UHHN(OHPHQWDU\6FKRROE U.S. Highway 280. witnessed the accident, J.O. Hurst, school principal who t to miss the brick school mp atte said the pilot made a successful  JLQJIURPWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWWRVHYHQWK RFFXSLHGE\VWXGHQWVUDQ grades. DIW HLQIRUPDWLRQRIĂ&#x20AC;FHVDLGWKHFU  7KH+XQWHU$LU)RUFH%DV chMit at on -Tow Target Squadr and crew were from the Second  LHOG LV) UDY DW7 XW\ PSRUDU\G HOO)LHOG1<DQGZHUHRQWH P $0VKRUWO\DIWHUWDNHRIIIUR  XW DER UUHG FFX VKR 7KHFUD  QHG UPL GHWH VHRIWKHFUDVKZDVXQ 7UDYLVRQDURXWLQHĂ LJKW&DX The nts. tena lieu e pilots and Hunter said that all three wer act, about 100 yards from the imp on ned bur and ed plane explod school. J VWVDZWKHSODQHLWZDVKHDGLQ  +XUVWVDLGWKDWZKHQKHĂ&#x20AC;U SDO LQFL HSU 7K Ă&#x20AC;UH ZDVQRWRQ GLUHFWO\WRZDUGWKHVFKRROEXW the craft would crash into the saw tly aren app t pilo the said g. just in time to miss the buildin building because he pulled up e, plan the from e thrown At least two of the bodies wer act, he added. He said imp on hed cras and ed lod which exp school when the craft the r nea ed fragments of the plane land perty damages resulted.... exploded but no injuries or pro ber which crashed near Black The crew of the B-26 light bom V UHNLOOHGKDYHEHHQLGHQWLĂ&#x20AC;HGD &UHHN6FKRRODOORIZKRPZH HEDQRQ7HQQ Â&#x2021;VW/W'RQ+RGJHVRI/ I)OXVKLQJ1< Â&#x2021;QG/W%HUWHO&DUOVRQR WQDPH RI&OHYHODQG ODV DEOH Â&#x2021;QG/W'DYLG XQUHDG

Š Courtesy of the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, Pooler, GA

We had done it! We had found the needle in the haystack. Pembroke City Hall houses the old Pembroke Journal archives. Mayor Cookâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aide had found the article. I immediately scanned it onto my computer and emailed it to Professor Frisby at MTSU. My email made it to him just in time to add Don Hodges to the upcoming memorial ceremony. The experience of finding this information has caused me to reflect on my own experiences in the United States Marine Corps. I recall the selfless acts of bravery I witnessed or heard about. Above is an account of three young airmen in a perilous situation that was sure to turn out badly and, probably, fatal. In the last moments of their lives, they put every fiber of their being into avoiding that school so others might live. Where do we find such men? What a feeling of contribution and satisfaction! In some small way, we the people of Bryan County were able to assist in having Don Hodges' name added to the MTSU Memorial. He is not forgotten at MTSU, and Bryan County should not forget these menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sacrifices either. Q

Opposite: Don Hodges; B-26 Aircraft This page: Jay C. Volker

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 1 5

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legacies&lore ✴ the history of banking in richmond hill



Georgia’s banking laws are written by legislators and normally reflect the wishes of the lawmaker’s constituents. By a majority vote, they can create laws and amend laws. There was a time when the majority of the elected representatives of the state were from the smaller, rural towns of Georgia. Most small communities had one locally owned, private bank. Keeping other banks from infringing on their territories was important to these owners. Georgia, unlike many states, had laws restricting banks from opening new branches outside the city limits where the bank operated. This practice ultimately allowed Georgia to have hundreds of small community banks. As communities grew, so did the demand for new branches to be located outside of the city limits. The Georgia banking laws were amended to allow small community banks to expand outside the city limits and into their respective counties–even into other municipalities. They could not, however, cross the county line. This opened the door for the little town of Richmond Hill to get its first bank. Bryan County had one small bank in Pembroke, and, like many small banks it took the city’s name. It was up to the directors of the bank and the shareholders to make the decision to branch out and provide the Richmond Hill Community with a bank. In most of our eyes, this was not that long ago. If you were here in 1972, then you might remember Richmond Hill Bank (no relation to the present-day Richmond Hill Bank). Once the decision was made by the direc-

By Johnny Murphy Photos by Cobblestone Photography tors to take on this task, they had to meet the requirements of the State Banking Commission. To better understand how Richmond Hill got its very first bank, we met with those who made it happen: Richard Lee, Runette Parker and Debra Darieng Arnsdorff. I had been working for the Georgia Railroad Bank in Augusta, Georgia for three years. One day, my mother called and shared that she had a discussion with a person at the Pembroke State Bank. They were looking to hire a new banker. At that time, my wife Nancy and I had two small boys, Rickey and Robbie. I was raised in Savannah and, honestly, the sound of moving back to the coast excited me. Those of you who have children know there comes a time when you need to be where you plan on raising your children. For us, it was time to make that decision. I applied for and was awarded the job in Pembroke. A short time later, there was talk of possibly opening a branch in Richmond Hill. At that time, a group of investors in Pembroke were buying lots on the Belfast River and I was able to purchase one. This was part of the dream of living on the coast. I participated in the effort and worked through the enormous amount of paperwork that was required by the state to apply for the charter to open the new branch. Not long afterwards, the state granted the application and fifteen hundred new shares of stock were issued and sold to raise the $150,000 needed to open the new bank. Billy Miles, my boss, was a board member of the

Bryan County Industrial Authority and was able to acquire one acre of property on Highway 17 for us to build the new branch. As the plans were forming, Ms. Ann Smith, one of the Board of Directors of the bank, submitted my name as her recommendation to become the new branch manager of the bank in Richmond Hill. I proudly accepted the offer. Architectural plans were drawn for the building and the construction began. There was talk about staffing the new branch. We had the outline of what positions would be needed. Bobby Parker was helping me with clearing on my lot on the river. We had a discussion about the new bank. I can’t remember the exact way it happened, but I think I went to his house and discussed the opportunity with his wife Runette.

— Richard Lee

It was a conversation at my house. It was the talk of town, a new bank opening. I was in my late 20's at the time and working at the Richmond Hill School. Even though it was 1971, Richmond Hill not only did not have a bank, we only had the one school–and everyone attended this school K-12. I was a teacher’s aide in the first grade class and part-time assistant to Mrs. Jessup in the office. I remember talking several times with her about the possibility of being able to go to work for the new bank. She gave me the words of encouragement I needed. I felt a responsibility to her and to the school. It was a difficult decision, but with her help I decided to apply for the bank position. I knew nothing about banking, but Richard assured R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 1 9

legacies&lore ✴ the history of banking in richmond hill

Clockwise: Theron Darieng, Tommy Darieng, Bobby Carpenter, Flora Jean Carpenter, Janine Darieng; Runette Parker & Debra D. Arnsdorff; Richard Lee

me I would pick it up quickly. There was a period of time where I did not know if I was going to get the job. As fate would have it, I got it. I drove to Pembroke for several months, five days a week, to learn the banking system. In 1971, computers had not made it to rural Georgia. As a matter of fact, I do not even think I had heard the word before. When we opened the bank, everything was done by hand, on spreadsheets, and we used the old-time adding machines.

— Runette Parker

I was pleased that Runette accepted the position and now I needed one more person. I had built a relationship with Tommy Darieng from Richmond Hill. He was a well-known gentleman around town and a good customer of Pembroke State Bank. He, like most people, was getting excited about the new bank under construction. One day in conversation, we spoke about his daughter Debra. She was attending vocational school in Savannah. As fate would have it again, the perfect person was hired to fill the second position.

— Richard Lee

I was just a kid. I had just graduated from the Richmond Hill School in May of 1971. College was not mandatory, but learning certain skills to become a legal assistant or secretary was necessary. I attended Draughn Busi2 0 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

ness College in Savannah on Bay Street. My daddy talked to me about what was happening with the new bank and thought I should talk to Richard Lee. He introduced me to Mr. Lee, and I applied for the job–and got it. I was excited and scared. I started driving to Pembroke and learning what would be expected of me. I cannot remember exactly how long I trained, but I remember all I could talk about was what life was going to be like in Richmond Hill–having a bank in our town. I was probably the best advertisement they had! It was an exciting time. My friends did not know what I knew.

— Debra Darieng Arnsdorff

While this was going on, people like Bobby Carpenter, Richmond Hill’s Postmaster for many years, were also very excited about the start of the Richmond Hill Bank. The post office was the place in town to get money orders. I would send our daily receipts via registered mail to Savannah and would be notified the following day when it was received–and the amount would be verified. The post office was not a bank, but it was the only place in town to get a money order, and we cashed government checksmostly social security. Money orders were popular in the 60s. Once the new bank opened in Richmond Hill, it was a blessing; no more trips to Savannah.

And after a while, the number of money orders issued declined significantly, and check cashing was a thing of the past. As my wife says, the new bank made us feel as if we were uptown.

— Bobby Carpenter

Theron Darieng and his wife Janine were married 14 years before they saw it happen. Like so many, this newly married couple banked with C & S Bank in Savannah. We did a lot in Savannah, even grocery shopping. Mine and Tommy’s [Theron’s brother and father of Debra Darieng Arnsdorff ] dad had introduced us to Mr. Groover, the president of the Pembroke State Bank. When we needed to borrow money, we would go to Pembroke. But I worked in Savannah at Union Camp. It was convenient to stop by the C & S Bank on the way home to do most of my banking. It was a great day when the bank opened in our hometown.

— Theron Darieng

Theorn’s brother, Tommy Darieng was one of a few living in Richmond Hill who chose to drive to Pembroke to do his banking. Tommy also noted that, in those days, a lot of people were paid with cash, and many would charge their groceries at the local commissary in Richmond Hill. When they

got their paychecks, they would cash it at the commissary and pay their tab at the same time. A lot of people around town did not need banking services. It started in 1945, when I got my first loan from the Pembroke State Bank. Our dad worked for Bryan County, so we went to Pembroke often.

— Tommy Darieng

January 17, 1972, was the day the hard work and planning were done. It was showtime. The new Richmond Hill bank opened and, for seventeen years, was the only game in town. It was protected by laws that kept the aggressive banks in Savannah from jumping the Ogeechee River and opening branches. The director of Pembroke State Bank got it exactly right. Richmond Hill was in its early days of growth. Interstate 95 was the main artery traveling north and south. Bryan County

Industrial Authority had just completed the acquisition of 117 acres, near the crossroads of Highway 17 and Highway 144 for a new industrial park. The land that had been predominantly owned by Henry Ford was now in the hands of a large timber company. They had just sold several hundred acres to developers including the property bordering the Ogeechee River known as Strathy Hall. It was just a matter of time before Richmond Hill would out pace the growth of Pembroke. With determination and dedication, Richard Lee, Runette Parker, and Debra Darieng Arnsdorff gave their all to bring this needed service to their beloved community. On opening day, Richard's five years of experience combined with Runette and Debra's few months of traing made it happen! For 17 years, Richard was the community’s only banker, until July of 1988 when he returned to Pembroke. One year later, the Pembroke State Bank was purchased by a private

owner from Eatonton, Georgia. For 17 years, Runette, the face everyone knew at the Richmond Hill Bank, was recruited by Richmond Hill’s second bank Bryan Bank & Trust. She and CEO Jimmy Burnsed have created customer expectations that other banks today have to compete against. Debra lost her love for banking after the bank robbery in 1973. After the sale of the Richmond Hill Bank, the name was changed to First Bank of Coastal Georgia, and a new facility was built near the post office. The old building was sold, and a new commercial building was constructed (Richmond Hill Pharmacy). As the State of Georgia rapidly grew, it became much easier to start new banks. In the next issue, the story of the origin of Bryan Bank & Trust, where approximately 62-percent of the cash deposits in Richmond Hill are held, is shared. This year, founding CEO Jimmy Burnsed passes the gavel to his successor, Dell Keith. Q

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 2 1

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Owner Rosalie Riccelli, along with her family, officially opened the doors to All Things Chocolate on January 26, 2011. All Things Chocolate is just that: anything you can imagine covered with chocolate. Chocolate covered pretzels, potato chips, strawberries, cream cheese, bacon, Chinese noodles, corn chips and of course your creams, jellies, caramels, truffles and more. Also popular on the menu are different novelty items in chocolate shapes: planes, cars, hearts, mink coats, shoes, alligators, you name it. All Things Chocolate is sure to be one SWEET spot. 1300 Hwy 144 East r Publix Shopping Center r 912.756.3314



Badcock Home Furniture & More

With 20 years experience in the family business, Trudy and Jamie Dowling are happy to announce the re-opening of Badcock Home Furniture & More. Badcock is a neighborhood furniture store offering everything you need from pots, appliances, TV’s, lamps, bedding, mattresses and of course fabulous furniture. Also a huge hit is their own in-store financing. Stop by today and welcome your new Richmond Hill neighbors at 4609 Ogeechee Road. Store hours are Monday – Friday 10 am–7 pm and Saturday 9 am–5 pm. 912.238.2336.

GET CHARGED UP in honor of EARTH DAY April 22nd

American Red Cross

Huntingdon Restorations, Inc., a locally owned business, will hold a Battery Drive for all your old lead acid batteries from small recreational batteries to large equipment batteries on Friday and Saturday APRIL 22nd & 23rd at the corporate location: 20 Bryce Industrial Drive, Savannah, GA 31405. For More Information or to schedule a drop off call Denese Register at 912.234.2798. All batteries will be donations to The American Red Cross GO GREEN WITH ARC

Richmond Hill Community Theatre

You’re Invited: A Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre: Murder, Medium-Rare Written by Eileen Moushey Hosted & Performed by the Richmond Hill Community Theatre Show Times: March 9th 7pm & March 11th 7pm Enjoy an interactive dinner at What’s the Scoop while deciding Who Done It! 6pm Cocktail Hour 7pm Dinner and Performance To reserve your table, email or call What’s the Scoop 912.756.7747 *performance suited for ages 12 & up

For more information on the Richmond Hill Community Theatre, visit Executive Board Member Applications are now being accepted. 2 4 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

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aroundtown ✴ the power of the human connections


The Nuristan Mountaineers with school supplies from Biloxi before deploying.


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By Jim Bunn

There was no way. Over a ton of school supplies were sitting in an apartment in Biloxi, Mississippi, and they needed to be moved. It was Tuesday. The supplies had to be out of there by Saturday. I hung up the phone and looked at my watch. There was no way. After all, we had launched The Matthew Freeman Project: Pens & Paper for Peace a mere three months earlier. Sure, we had received some supplies already. We even sent them to Afghanistan, where Soldiers from Fort Stewart had successfully distributed them. But those shipments were only one or two 70-pound containers at a time. There were now 38 of those containers sitting in that Biloxi apartment belonging to Air Force Captain Theresa Freeman, Matthew’s widow. Theresa had been given the supplies in a surprise assembly at Gulfport, High School. Just a few days earlier, she had spoken to the students–telling them of that horrible day when she learned that her childhood sweetheart and husband of three weeks was killed in Af1.5 tons of school supplies! 3 0 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

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ghanistan. She told them about his last phone call to his mother, Lisa. He told his mother, a 30-year veteran school teacher in his beloved Richmond Hill, that the children he had met in Afghanistan, â&#x20AC;&#x153;would rather have pens and paper than food and water." He asked her to start a collection at school and send him the supplies. He was killed two days later. The studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; response was overwhelming. In just a matter of days, they collected more than 5,000 items: pens, paper, notebooks and school supplies given because they were touched by Theresaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s loss and inspired by Matthewâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision. School supplies now filled those 38 containers and amounted to nearly 1.5 tons. Theresa knew that Matthewâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mother had been approached by a high school classmate who had been to Afghanistan as a journalist for NBC News, someone who had seen the children Matthew was talking about, someone who had sublet his New York apartment and come to Richmond Hill to help Matthewâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mom create The Matthew Freeman Project.

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I was that volunteer and had assured Lisa and Theresa that we could not only honor Matthew’s last request; we could do it on a national scale. I had seen it done. Ironically, the potential of Matthew’s last wish came from the very town where Lisa and I went to high school: Wilton, Connecticut. It was there that PFC Nick Maderas, a young 19-year-old Soldier killed in Iraq, had asked his family to collect soccer balls to send to Iraqi children. Wilton responded to his death by collecting 1,500 soccer balls and sent them, with Nick’s name on them, to Soldiers in Iraq who gave them to children there. The idea caught on and 25,000 soccer balls from all 50 states have been sent in Nick’s name. I met with Nick’s father, Bill Maderas, who said if Richmond Hill got behind Matthew’s request the way Wilton responded to the request of his son, the same kind of national effort could be mounted in Matthew’s name. No one could have predicted that we would wind up with 1.5 tons of supplies so soon and from just one school! The 38 containers had taken over Theresa’s apartment. Lisa and her daughter Ginny drove to Biloxi to see what they could do to help. Theresa was heading out of the country in four days, so we had to find a way to move them–fast. There was no way. Or was there? I reached out to Navy Commander, Bill Mallory, who was heading up a multi-service unit about to deploy to Afghanistan. He had agreed to distribute school supplies from The Freeman Project once his team, The Nuristan Mountaineers were on the ground in Nuristan Province in Northeastern Afghanistan. I called him and told him about the stack of containers lining the walls of Theresa’s apartment. He said if we could get the supplies to him before they deployed, he would take them with his unit and see to it that they got to the children of Nursitan Province. “Great,” I said, “how soon do you have to

aroundtown â&#x153;´ the power of the human connections

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We leave in three weeks,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a week to get them here.â&#x20AC;?


have them before you deploy?â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need to have them two weeks prior to deployment,â&#x20AC;? said Commander Mallory.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Super," I said, hopefully. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When are you deploying?â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;We leave in three weeks,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a week to get them here.â&#x20AC;? There was no way. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Just have them delivered to the base where weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re training,â&#x20AC;? he continued. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re just outside of Indianapolis.â&#x20AC;? I scrambled to my computer to check the distance from Biloxi to Indianapolis. It's 752 miles. Swell. So, we had four days to get the supplies out of Theresaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 10th floor apartment, packed and loaded onto a truck. They'd need to be delivered to a military base in Indiana three days later. There was no way. Then I remembered Mark Bolton, an executive at Coastal Electric Cooperative who lives in Richmond Hill. Several months earlier he and his boss, Whit Hallowell, had told me and Lisa that the cooperative had a fleet of trucks that hauled equipment and would be happy to help us move supplies. I called Mark and told him the situation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Those trucks are in Georgia,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how we could get them to Biloxi in time on such short notice. But, I have an idea. Let me make a few calls.â&#x20AC;? I looked at my watch. It was noon. Then within a few minutes my Blackberry started vibrating. I had an email. It was a copy of an email Mark had sent to Jim Bausell, the Chief Operating Officer of something called Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. I would later learn that Touchstone was an association of

hundreds of rural electric cooperatives across the country. In a matter of seconds, my Blackberry was vibrating again. Bausell responded to the email, telling Mark that he was in Alaska, but that he would reach out and see what he could do. Suddenly emails from rural electric cooperative executives from across the country were offering to help. My Blackberry was vibrating almost non-stop. There was never more than one minute between the messages. I watched in awe as the emails flew back and forth. Arrangements were made to get to Theresaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apartment, pick up the supplies, move them down from the 10th floor, put them on a pallet, shrink-wrap and store them and get them to Indianapolis. They would be at Theresaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apartment first thing the next morning to get started. There was a way after all. These remarkable people had found a way to do the impossible, and they concluded they would do it for free. Simply amazing. Touchstone Energyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s motto is â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Power of Human Connections.â&#x20AC;? Indeed. When it was all done, I looked at my watch. It was 1:53pm. A 1-hour 53-minute miracle. Proof, I believe, that the loss of Matthew Freeman, and the sacrifice made by his family, not only touches those who hear of it. Mathew's last phone call has unleashed a force for good that could change the world. Just ask the children in Nuristan Province who now have 1.5 tons of school supplies. Q

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 3 3

aroundtown ✴ speaking out for children

Advocate: one that pleads the cause of another.


By Chris Sheppard, Executive Director, Richmond Hill Convention and Visitor's Bureau

Most children in Richmond Hill grow up in pretty idyllic surroundings, with family and friends who love them, wonderful teachers and a community that offers them support and encouragement. There are also children in our area who are part of families in crisis. They need a place to go and people who will advocate on their behalf. In our region, one of those places is Helen’s Haven, a center that provides counseling services and support to children during investigations of alleged abuse and criminal activity directed at minors. In addition, they promote awareness and provide training and education to adults on abuse prevention. Helen’s Haven was created eight years ago by a dedicated group of children’s advocates and now serves children in Bryan, Evans, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Tattnall Counties in Georgia. Terri Liles, Licensed Master Social Worker and Coordinator of Helen’s Haven has been involved from the beginning. “Helen’s Haven has done over 730 forensic interviews in our region at the request of law enforcement and Child Protective Services since we opened our doors," Liles says. She adds that, in 2010, they received 137 new referrals, 14 percent from Bryan County and 67 percent from Liberty County. Their typical referral is between two and seventeen years old, with 74 percent being female and 26 percent male. Liles prides herself on the fact that Helen’s Haven takes a multi-disciplinary team approach to children’s advocacy. Each child, and their non-offending family members, is offered assistance from law enforcement, Department of Family and Child Services, mental health professionals and medical professionals. In addition, the staff and volunteers at Helen’s Haven made 2,700 child abuse prevention contacts in 2010. 3 4 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

This included participating in events such as National Night Out– distributing educational coloring books to kids and holding training workshops for parents and community groups on suicide and child abuse prevention. Funding for Helen’s Haven comes from a variety of sources. The building and main operating expenses such as electricity and staff are funded through grants from child advocacy groups such as the Mary Lou Fraser Foundation for Families Inc., state funds, corporate donations and community group donations. Many basic needs are also supplied directly by donations from community groups and friends of Helen’s Haven. The local military brigades have also been very generous with their time–assisting in building of needed construction projects over the years. “To me it is just amazing: the community support we have received from the very beginning, from such diverse groups of donors and volunteers. These organizations help us to continue to provide for the needs of the families we serve,” says Liles. It is obvious, from the time and energy committed to this center, Richmond Hill and its neighbors understand the valuable asset we have in Helen’s Haven. Their efforts ensure that all the children in our community are given the chance to grow up in a place where they feel cared for and protected. Q ✴✴✴✴✴ Editor’s Note: For information on becoming a volunteer call 912.369.2326



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his season, some of us will be attending something different for Richmond Hill, lacrosse matches. Lacrosse is a sport that is intensely popular in the Northeastern United States and Canada, but, recently, it has been gaining popularity right here in the South. Although lacrosse may have been played since the early 5th century, it's safe to be deemed as a sport that is relatively unknown in Richmond Hill. Lacrosse is a combination of American favorites: basketball, hockey, soccer and football. The rapid pace and intensity of the game distinguish it from other sports. By Mary Henderson Photos by Sabrina Hammoudeh


The competition is fierce, and the games are rigorous–even for those who are watching! Needless to say, this is a sport that requires an abundance of dedication and athletic ability. The players of Savannah Lacrosse, coached by Mike Pavliss, manage to incorporate their skill, and their commitment to the game, in a way that allows them to be victorious on the field. Even though the Savannah Lacrosse team is based out of the Pooler YMCA, 12 of the 17 players are from Richmond Hill! If that were not notable enough, the amount of Richmond Hill players has quadrupled from 3 to 12 within the past few years! The original 3, Tyler Gammell, Sawyer Reed and Gage Crum, were faced with the possibility of no longer having a team due to the lack of players. Their allegiance to the game compelled them to make recruits of their friends. Because of their leadership, not only were they able to form a team, but they were also able to build interest among friends, school-

mates and even teachers. Newcomer Ivan Radi says, "I heard about lacrosse and wanted to give it a try. It turned out to be unlike any other sport I've ever played. I knew–as soon as I played for the first time–that it was the sport for me." The concept of lacrosse is not the only thing that differentiates it from other sports; the players are immensely unique, always encouraging one another! Agility, strength, speed and determination are all characteristics of a talented athlete. It was once said; however, "Talent without dedication is a daydream." The amount of devotion that is shown by the boys of Savannah Lacrosse, whether during their scheduled practices or during their lacrosse-laden free time, proves that they don't want to be yet a daydream. Their work has helped them become a reality. The devotion of these boys to the game is impressive, but so is their devotion to each other as teammates. Member DeAndre

Goolsby recalls, "When I first got started with lacrosse, it was just a game. But then I fell in love with it. The team was so dedicated that it pushed me to want to get better as the team did. We are a family on and off the field." The members of the team seem to have a bond, which is indestructible–even in the face of defeats. Lacrosse is not "just a sport" to any member of the team. Although it is not easy, it is considered a haven and, to some, even a lifestyle. The sacrifices and mandatory practices are things that help Savannah Lacrosse be successful during matches. The seemingly unfailing dedication to the game and among teammates is something that will keep Savannah Lacrosse successful for a long time to come. If you are in the market for a new sport to watch, try a lacrosse game. The first one will take place at home, February 26th, against Camden Military Academy. Even if you miss out this season, don't worry; thanks to the dedication of these players, lacrosse won't be going anywhere anytime soon. Q R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 3 7

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people&places ✴ equestrian passion

/VYZL:LUZL Robin Olesky

By August Compton

Photos by Patti Todd Chimney Fields and Golden Wolf 5LGLQJ$FDGHP\ULGHUVHQMR\ a trail ride at Chimney Fields.

4 0 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S


“My mother said that was my first word. Instead of momma or dada, it was horsey,” laughs Robin Olesky as she stands underneath the awning of the barn where she boards her horses, Chimney Fields. The sprawling former plantation was built in the 1800s and earned its name from the single brick chimney that rises out of the field located just off of Fort McAllister Road. The area could easily be overlooked. The dirt road slopes up and away from the main highway– behind a standing of pine trees–and eventually leads to the stables. It’s a beautiful place, even in late winter. Robin Olesky’s journey to this place has been a long and exciting one. She started horseback riding, at the age of two, at the stable her uncle owned. Her love of horses grew from there. Robin's parents, originally from England, traveled through New Zealand and Canada on their way into the United States, but they eventually settled here. Though her father obtained citizenship, they returned to England, and Robin, herself, lived there off and on for thirty years. Robin's childhood love of horses and riding continued to thrive in her adulthood. Robin has completed all of her instruction in England, through the British Horse Society, — a task that involved over eighteen tests in areas such as horse knowledge and barn management. She received her completed certificate in 1986, but Robin's experience in horseback riding didn’t end there. While living in Colorado, Robin opened her own company called Golden Wolf Farms, which eventually led to Golden Wolf Riding Academy. She also worked at the Peaceful Valley Ranch for the Boy Scouts of America (in Elbert, Colorado), where she lent her experience to various day camps and trail rides. During the summer months, she even helped out at company parties that occupied the area. Robin’s real love, though, was dressage — the precise movements of a trained horse using perceptible signals from its rider. Despite her previous passion for jumping, it was a Senior Lipizzan horse trainer who changed her mind. “I loved it. I loved it more than jumping,”

Robin laments enthusiastically. “A lot of people think dressage is like watching paint dry, but–to me–it was really understanding the way the horse moved.” She believes that dressage is more of a stepping stone to jumping because it teaches the rider to work with the horse instead of against it. Robin considered becoming a veterinarian but enlisted in the United States Army instead. She spent time stationed in Bosnia, Hunter Army Airfield and at the Pentagon. All the while, Robin's remaining horses were boarded in Florida. After retiring from the Army, Robin returned to her horseback riding roots. Robin Olesky is not the type of woman to shy away from trying new things. Though she retired from the military and settled again into horseback riding, she went through the Police Academy (with her husband Rick) and became an officer. After the tragedy of 9/11, she was hired by airport security to search incoming cars and passengers. Her time spent as a police officer at the airport struck a new interest; she wanted to fly. Robin wanted to be able to answer yes, if someone asked whether a pilot was on board a given plane. “So, I started taking flying lessons.” Soon afterward, she left the police force in order to finish the college classes she had begun. After graduating college (with an impressive 3.75 GPA to boot), she was able to return to riding her horses more frequently. After receiving multiple questions from fellow riders, it was her R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 4 1

people&places ✴ equestrian passion friend, Janice Pritchard, who finally asked just how she knew so much about horses. When she learned that Robin held an official certificate from the British Horse Society, Janice asked if she would start teaching lessons again at her stable. Robin agreed and remained at Pritchard Pride for nearly four years– successfully juggling lessons and a summer day camp. She bought more horses, and this led to the need for more space–a problem that, eventually, led her to Chimney Fields. Robin fell in love with the history and professional atmosphere the stables provided. “You have two arms, two legs, but only one head,” Robin stresses as a fellow rider trots up on one of her horses. Above anything else, Robin values safety for all of her riders and others who take lessons at the stable. It shows professionalism on her part but also the compassion she feels for all riders, beginner or veteran. As Robin says, everyone takes a lesson for a different reason. Some riders just want to ride; others want to be around horses because they share a love for the animals. It's a feeling Robin can easily understand. There are so many children, in the community and otherwise, that are crazy about horses but don’t have access to them. Robin is happy to provide that access. Though her riders usually meet only once a week, she knows that many of her students want to be out in the fields as much as they can. One of her students calls the experience “therapeutic,” and fellow rider, Jennifer, calls it “a stress reliever, because you can’t think of anything else.” It is clear that Robin is a remarkable teacher. She has passion for what she does and a huge amount of “horse sense.” Robin’s horses have names such as Gentlemen James, Roscoe, Joy, Gin Solano, Sailing Annie McCue and even Princess. They are the type that can be around anyone. They’re friendly, gentle and unafraid to stroll up to a complete stranger and nudge hands and coat pockets as a salutation. These horses are used in lessons, trail rides and parades. Robin also takes her students to horse shows around the area. Under her careful guidance, many of her students have returned home victorious. In 2009, Hannah DePlacito, now a junior at Richmond Hill High School, took home the Grand Champion ribbon from the Greater Savannah Equestrian Alliance. When Robin hosted a horse show, Rebecca Gaylor, another junior from RHHS, received first place awards in various categories. Like their teacher, both girls have immense talent when it comes to horseback riding, and it is obvious that they have potential to achieve even greater accomplishments. Overall, Robin Olesky is a multifaceted woman with experience in the military, police force and the cockpit. It seems as though there is little that she hasn’t managed to do in her lifetime. Though her first and constant love is for horses and riding, Robin does not limit herself to simply that; she lives her life to the fullest, and it is anyone’s guess as to just what she will do next. Q ✴✴✴✴✴ Editor’s Note: For Riding Lessons call Robin Olesky 912.756.7643 For Trail Rides at Chimney Fields call Gina Noel 912.313.2842 4 2 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

Chimney Fields and Golden Wolf Riding Academy riders.

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 4 3


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people&places â&#x153;´ toddlers & tiaras

A 4 8 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

This page: Haley De Sha with her dog Lilly. Opposite: Haley with her cat Frank.


Haley De Sha By Paige Glazer

Photos by Cobblestone Photography

At nine years old, Haley De Sha has traveled the world, acquired a distinct taste in Barbies , learned to Google her name and become a skilled soccer and tennis player. Haley even likes to fish! This year she was followed by The Learning Channel’s film crew of the popular Toddlers & Tiara’s television show set to air this summer. She’s won 13 out of the 15 beauty pageants in which she’s competed (evidenced by her home's pageant room). Some would say she is rather accomplished for such a young age. I would say she is right in the middle of the best childhood one can imagine. Haley is a bundle of energy who plays hard and loves to give to others. Haley’s parents have a southern take on manners. "Yes, ma'am," and "yes sir," along with please and thank you are not optional but required phrases you’ll hear in response to questions. Dinner as a family, a clean room and putting your all into every goal are all practices I picked up on in the De Sha home. “We are a typical family, no drama. Hopefully, the producers of the show will portray the absolute normalcy of our life,” says Daniel De Sha, Haley’s proud father. “It doesn’t matter to us what Haley decides she wants to do; our job is to supply her with the tools and the support necessary to do her best.” When I ask Haley what her goals are, her answer comes piping back full of excitement. “I want to be Miss Universe,” she says. I am pretty sure, after hanging out with her, that this is totally do-able. Her platform to winning has already been established. Haley hosted a lemonade stand a few months ago. She convinced her friends that all 34 dollars raised must be given away. They chose the local animal shelter as their charity! “It all started on lasagna night two years ago,” says Haley about her beginnings in the world of pageantry. “I did her hair and make-up for the first several competitions,” remembers Haley’s mom Caliese. Looking at the photos, I thought Haley looked adorable, but Caliese and Daniel assured me they had no idea what they were doing. “I was mom-ified,” chimes Haley! TM

I have to laugh. As we progress through the scrapbook, I see they were right. You can definitely see the difference in a professional set up. “Haley wears the flippers or fake teeth for the pageants, but her hair is real,” Daniel tells me. Modeling coaches, stylists, hair and make-up artists work in teams. They saw potential in young Haley and recruited her. They now help her choose different attire, choreograph routines and work to get her all dolled up for each pageant. Together they are known as Team TKO which stands for Total Knockouts! When I met with Haley’s mom and dad, I was totally intrigued by what they were telling me about their little girl. They had a slew of gorgeous professional photos, but I requested that we get to meet Haley, let her tell us the story and smile for our camera. She was dressed very fashionable when we arrived; she loves the store Justice. She showed me her room, where she plays her Wii. I got to meet her adorable dog, Lilly and Frank, her blue-eyed cat who is appropriately named after Frank Sinatra. Her pageant room and the guest room closet boast beautiful sashes and very large crowns (much larger than I had envisioned) and several very heavy outfits adorned with beautiful rhinestones. I was prepared to meet a child who has been more places than me, one who has it all, and I wasn’t sure what I would find. When we go outside to take a few photos on the terrace, the geese from the lake behind her home come to the bank. Haley chases them back to the water! From that moment, I have her all figured out. She is a sweet little girl with big eyes and an adorable personality. She likes all of the things other nine-year-old girls like. It’s no wonder she has won so many pageants; she’s real. Her mom and dad beam as they watched her put on a show for our camera. She’s fun to watch. We wish her much luck with her ambitious goals! Q ✴✴✴✴✴ Editor’s Note: Haley will be featured on Season 4 of Toddlers & Tiaras on TLC.

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 4 9


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people&places â&#x153;´ music awards show diva

Behind the Scenes

By Paige Glazer Photo by Cobblestone Photography (on stage at The Savannah Theatre)

5 2 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S


Most would say that 43 years old is too old to get started in the music industry, but not Christi Goldman Chambers. Through an acquaintance, Christi met Mark Stender, owner of Nashville Music Supervision, a music publisher based out of Nashville, Tennessee. From this relationship stemmed Christi’s creation of her own music management company, C&C Entertainment Group. Stender introduced Christi to her first few local clients: Michelle Aspen, an up-and-coming country artist and skilled songwriter and Don Coyer, an accomplished musician, songwriter and producer. “Michelle and Don have worked together for nearly ten years, we hope to be recording their first album very soon,” states Christi. During a unique late night Twitter chat, Christi was linked to Omar “O” McCallop of O Ent, Inc. O is the executive producer of several music awards shows. The door opened for Christi to volunteer to help O plan the Carolina Music Awards and Youth Music Awards. With nearly 20 years of marketing and event planning experience, she had never planned a music awards show before, but was able to secure country music legend Randy Travis and his long-time manager, Elizabeth Travis as co-founders of the Carolina Music Awards show! “It’s important for successful iconic musicians to come back and support the local musicians still pursuing their dreams. It reinforces the saying dreams do come true,” says Christi with a smile. “Most celebrities started their careers like every other up-and-coming musician, working the bar and restaurant scene five to six nights a week until they were discovered.” Christi quickly became an asset to O, although she never met him in person until the day before the awards show in Raleigh, North Carolina. On the day of the show, O asked Christi to present the most important award of the evening, the very first Randy Travis award ever presented for Best Male Country Artist. “I didn’t even have a speech prepared,” she recalls, “Talk about pressure!” Christi prefers the behind-the-scenes action, not the spotlight. “My knees were knocking, I'm not even sure I got my speech right, I had to prepare it quickly in my hotel room just hours before the show. I'm pretty sure I made Randy proud.” Through her involvement with the awards shows, Christi has built relationships with some of the nominees and winners who she frequently helps with various services to achieve the next level of fame. Through artist management, image consulting, web design, photography, booking, marketing, PR, tour support and event promotion, she has worked with Nu-Blu, Ryan Weaver, Cameron Marion (who performed at the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival this past October), Madonna Nash, DREAMKILLER and Jeffrey Allen Edwards! With a successful show under her belt, Christi has teamed up with O to launch the Inaugural Georgia Music Awards show. “These shows are unique. They give us a statewide platform to honor and recognize local professional and youth talent throughout Georgia,” says Christi. The GM Awards is currently accepting nominations and seeking sponsors from every city in Georgia. The show will be held in Atlanta this summer. If you know a musically talented person of any age, nominate them at or find them on Facebook. “It will not be as fancy or flashy as the CMA’s, but it will be rock’n nonetheless,” exclaims Christi with excitement! Q ✴✴✴✴✴ Editor’s Note: To learn more about Christi Chambers or C&C Entertainment Group, visit R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 5 3

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home&garden ✴ life as a military parent

Home for Dinner Tonight By Christine S. Lucas Photos by Cobblestone Photography

“I’ve got to go to work” “Dad, is this going to be a long one or a short one?” “Buddy,” he said, “I’m going to be home for dinner tonight. I’m not leaving.”


Parenthood and military service both require sacrifice. Two Richmond Hill couples who are knee-deep in both explain what role a community’s involvement plays in helping these endeavors run smoothly. “They tell you a little bit what it’s going to be like, but–until you’ve lived with it–you don’t know. It’s day in and day out,” says 30-year-old Kara Gaylord. She married her 31-year-old husband, Chip, a Captain and Commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, in April of 2005. They have gone through three deployments together–the third while Kara was pregnant with their first child, Caroline, in 2010.

“I was shocked, excited, but at the same time like–I’m going to miss all nine months of this,” Chip says. Chip returned to duty within a week of learning he was going to be a dad. He left his wife without any visible symptoms and tried to absorb what she’d be going through without him. Lieutenant Colonel Brian Schaap, 38, and his wife Tobi, also 38, were high school sweethearts back in Oregon. They were out in California when she gave birth to their first child, Spencer, in July of 2005. Spencer was 18 months old, and the couple was living in Richmond Hill, when Brian left for the first time as a father. It was a fifteen-

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 5 7

home&garden ✴ life as a military parent

Captain Chip Gaylord with wife Kara and daughter Caroline.

month tour in Iraq. His first tour to that country lasted five months and was with the initial surge in 2002. “That’s much harder,” Brian explains comparing it to his return to Afghanistan after taking leave for the birth of his daughter in June of 2010. “I came back and he was almost three. He’s been alive 66 months, and–out of that–I’ve been deployed 27 months. That’s hard.” Expecting mothers like Kara and Tobi rely on military, community and family support. In Tobi’s case, her neighbors helped by taking their son to Pre-K while she was on bed rest and even entertained him on the weekends. Kara and Tobi live close to each other and would go to dinner together sometimes while the guys were gone. Kara looked at the bright side of her husband’s deployment. “I could eat whatever I wanted, and he wasn’t on my case,” she laughs. Fort Stewart also provides a variety of information to military families. This is especially important for those who do not have friends or relatives nearby. The moods of deployed men and women are tied to the security and state of mind of loved ones at home. Brian was concerned about his wife’s pre-eclampsia and how her immobility would put a strain on her daily life with their son. Chip says he felt best when his wife 5 8 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

was busy with her job in the marketing department of a local hospital. “When she’s busy, her mind isn’t on me,” Chip says. “How she’s feeling really drives how I feel.” Both dads were fortunate to be at the births of their children, but then they had to report back to duty. They had obligations to fulfill. Chip reported back seven days after his daughter, Caroline, was born. One has to wonder how leaving an infant behind affects these and other new parents doing their part for our country. “I missed not being able to share with Kara experiences of a having a newborn–especially with this being our first child,” Chip says. Brian shares his sentiments regarding his separation from Logan. “I was gone for the first six months of her life,” he says. “That’s when you really miss something... You come back and you’re a complete stranger to your own child.” Work goes on. At the time of Chip’s return to duty, he was the Company Commander for Echo Company 1-64 inside the 2nd Brigade with the 3rd ID. One of his jobs was to look for Improvised Explosive Devices, IED’s. “There were a couple times when I felt more anxiety than before I had left for R&R–knowing, having held [Caroline].” It was different then when his wife was pregnant, Chip

Lieutenant Colonel Brian Schaap with wife Tobi, son Spencer and daughter Logan.

says. He suspects that the fact that Caroline was his first child also played a role in how he felt. Returning when she was a little over four months old, Chip couldn’t believe how much she had grown. “The pictures Kara had sent really didn’t do justice to what I actually saw

Brian considers the Army lifestyle. “I guess you don’t join the Army as a career, or because you’re trying to get rich or an education. You have to have a passion to serve–to know that you’re doing something bigger than yourself,” he says. In June, Brian and his family will

that night,” he recalls. Sacrifices are present in military and civilian life. What is notable about these two couples is how they regard them. They hold no grudges toward the military for missed birthdays, ultrasounds or even lacking the comfort of a spouse’s shoulder after a long sleepless night. Tobi dives into the nitty-gritty of life with Spencer. “We just have to deal with it. We go on with our daily life and always have lots of things planned–stay busy, focused, talk about daddy, keep him fresh. You know we get to talk to him on the phone a little bit. We have lots of pictures of him. That helps, but I try to stay very scheduled,” she explains. Spouses work very hard to maintain life at home for the benefit of their Soldiers abroad. Kara didn’t tell Chip about a scary incident with their daughter’s acid reflux until after the fact–when she was fine. Why? “They have their mission to worry about,” she says.

be moving to the NATO base outside Milan, Italy. “We’re ready for the next adventure,” Tobi says with a smile. Despite the magnitude of effort spent to make the children of military parents feel okay about it all, sometimes it is just plain hard for them to understand. Brian had been home for two months when he embarked on his first week back at work stateside, and he took advantage of an opportunity to drop his son off at school. “I’ve got to go to work,” he told Spencer. The five year old was concerned and asked, “Dad, is this going to be a long one or a short one?” What could Brian do but put his son at ease. “Buddy,” he said, “I’m going to be home for dinner tonight. I’m not leaving.” Q

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 5 9

6 0 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

home&garden â&#x153;´ obese dogs and cats



By Karen A. Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connor, VMD Photo by Cobblestone Photography

With every new year comes resolutions, andâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;for many of usâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;those resolutions (often year after year after year) include getting into shape and losing weight. You shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget to include Fluffy and Rover in these efforts! Vanity and narcissism simply do not exist in the rest of the Animal Kingdom, but obesity doesâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;especially in our furry family members. Obesity in pets is as serious an epidemic as it is in the rest of the American population, and its consequences can be just as dire. The old adage about a â&#x20AC;&#x153;fat and happyâ&#x20AC;? senior pet does not hold true. Just like in humans, overweight and obese dogs and cats are at a higher risk for heart and respiratory disease, arthritis, diabetes, skin disease and other serious and life-threatening conditions. As humans, love and food often go hand-in-hand. Just watch Anthony Bourdain or Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel, and you will see that food is a major part of any culture around the world. It is a common need among living beings. We often use it as a means of collegiality and for understanding others who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t speak our same language. We do it for our dogs and cats as well, and we do it all too often. It is easy to think that love equals treats. Just look at how happy and excited your pet gets when you open the pantry door! But just like sharing a meal with other humans, the experience of giving treats (or, ahem, feeding from the table) transcends the food itself. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get me wrong. Fluffy and Rover like the tasty morsels, but they like the interaction with you just as much. When you give a treat, you are giving your special pet even more individualized attention. For social animals (especially dogs), this interaction can be just as â&#x20AC;&#x153;addictiveâ&#x20AC;? as the treats themselves.



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Harvey & Hendrix, PC is a full service law firm with over 30 years



of combined service to the community and dedication to the legal profession.

John D. Harvey: John, a Bryan County native, serves as the Municipal Court Judge for two cities and has represented numerous clients large and small in State and Federal Courts across Georgia.

Mark A. Hendrix: Mark served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Atlantic Judicial Circuit for nine years and as the Solicitor General of Richmond Hill for five years. He currently serves as the Solicitor General of Long County, having been


appointed to that position by Governor Sonny Perdue in 2008.

Aimee T. Harris: Aimee has been practicing law in Richmond Hill since 2003. She is currently the President of the Rotary Club of Richmond Hill and has served on the Board of Directors for several local organizations.

6 2 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

home&garden ✴ autism speaks




By Catherine Grant, MSPAS, PA-C The Urgent Care Center of Richmond Hill

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 6 3


home&garden ✴ autism speaks

Most children love going to the fair; just the energy felt when you arrive in the parking lot is enough to get most kids wired and ready for some fun! The bright lights, roar of the rides, the ring of the games as people win, and the smell of cotton candy are intoxicating. They are alluring to most every child. Imagine, however, arriving at what is supposed to be one of the most fun places and experiencing something quite different. This is life for some children suffering from autism. You pull into the parking lot, and you’re already overwhelmed by the bright lights and can hear the roar of the generators keeping all of the chaos going. You get out of the car, and it seems the sounds have magnified to a deafening degree. You squint your eyes to keep out the neon glare of the lights and an overwhelming smell of a barnyard mixed with sugar seems to permeate your being. As you near the ticket booth there are hundreds of people moving in different directions and talking loud enough to compete with the generators, ringing and rides. “Step right up, step right up,” booms from one of the speakers competing with the 70s rock-and-roll music from something that is moving very fast… people are screaming…they seem scared. Your brain can’t filter all of this input… You are in overload and try to shut it all out.

Clockwise: Catherine Grant, MSPAS, PA-C, The Urgent Care Center of Richmond Hill; Katherine with her parents.


hen Katherine’s mom answered the door, she greeted me with a warm smile and invited me into her home. She was putting away the last of Christmas and making sure they had everything for school to start back while Katherine was playing in her room. I was wearing my scrubs, which, in hindsight, was a poor decision. Katherine was playing with her favorite Christmas present, Yo Gabba Gabba figurines situated on her bed's Yo Gabba Gabba blanket. Our initial interaction was a little rocky. I am blaming the scrubs, but soon after we met she was wearing her beautiful smile and her blue eyes were sparkling. Katherine and her parents moved to Richmond Hill six years ago. “We thought it would be a better place to raise our daughter and we heard the schools were great,” explains her mom, Shambre. Katherine is a fourth-grader at Carver Elementary School whose favorite food is “fruit!” She loves riding her scooter and looking through magazines–tearing out the interesting pages. Although Katherine is much like other 11-year-olds, she loves her teacher, Mrs. Dolan, her pediatrician, Dr. Seibert, and wants others to accept her; she is also different in many ways. Katherine does not 6644 R RIC ICH HM MO ON ND DH HIILLLL R REEFFLLEEC CT TIO ION NSS

enjoy going to the circus, the fair or even the grocery store. These activities and many more are not only unpleasant for her, they are overwhelming and cause her a great deal of distress. Katherine was diagnosed with autism at age five, before that her parents had never even heard of it. Autism is a developmental disorder that manifests in early childhood. It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that 1 in 110 children in the United States are autistic and boys are four times more likely to develop this disorder than girls. Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic and socio-economic groups, and–like most conditions–it affects those with it to varying degrees. The signs and symptoms of autism begin before the age of three and affect them throughout their lives. However, with early intervention and consistent therapy, symptoms may improve over time. At this time it is still unknown what causes autistic disorders to develop, although it is thought that genetic abnormalities, complications during pregnancy, exposure to toxic agents and infections prior to, during or after delivery are all possible contributing factors. Contrary to popular belief, there is much evidence showing that childhood vaccinations are not linked to autism.

Katherine’s parents first noticed that she was “doing things a little increase awareness, we should also embrace acceptance of all members slower than other kids about her age” when she was around two. “She of our community. This includes focusing our energies toward a better was a late walker, but so was I,” reflects her mom. Over time Kather- understanding of these developmental disorders. Q ine began to develop other symptoms that concerned her parents such as hand-fidgeting, rocking and delayed speech and language skills.

“Childhood vaccines are much less stressful to the immune system today than they were thirty years ago. Although children receive more vaccines for more diseases than were available years ago, the immune reaction to each vaccine is much less, because we have improved the vaccines over time. If you combine all twenty childhood immunizations given today, they cause less stress on the immune system than one DTP did thirty years ago. This is why there has been such a dramatic decrease, over the years, in side effects such as fever. Childhood vaccines today are all also mercury-free (with the exception of one brand of flu vaccine, which is not carried by SouthCoast Pediatrics office in Richmond Hill). In recent months it has become public that the Wakefield paper, which initiated the concerns over a link between vaccines and autism, was deemed fraudulent and that the outcomes were falsified. If there ever was a time to protect your child from preventable diseases, it is now.” — Keith Seibert, MD

“Katherine just wasn’t doing things the same way other kids her age were” says Shambre. Her parents both remember feeling like something was wrong, but they weren’t sure what. Katherine began seeing more doctors when was diagnosed with epilepsy (also known as seizure disorder), which happens to be fairly common with autism. It was then that her diagnoses were established, and her parents began their quest for knowledge and understanding. Autistic disorder is a neurobiological disorder that affects the perception of the world around you and thus your reaction to it. People with autism often experience heightened senses of sight, sound, touch, smell and taste making what would typically be experienced as nonthreatening, a hostile environment. It is important, as a community, for us to realize when we see a child that may not be behaving as we think he should, to not assume that this child is the product of poor parenting. They may have an underlying medical condition such as autism that causes behavior that most people do not understand. For this reason, offering a compassionate word as opposed to criticism to the mom or dad at Kroger with their hands full seems the only answer. As a community, we should not only

Are you concerned your child may have a developmental disorder? Below are some possible red flags published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder might:  r /PUSFTQPOEUPUIFJSOBNFCZNPOUIT  r /PUQPJOUUPPCKFDUTPGJOUFSFTUCZNPOUIT  r /PUQMBZiQSFUFOEuHBNFTCZNPOUIT TVDIBT  feeding a doll)  r "WPJEFZFDPOUBDUBOEXBOUUPCFBMPOF  r )BWFUSPVCMFVOEFSTUBOEJOHPUIFSQFPQMFTGFFMJOHT or talking about their own  r %FMBZFETQFFDIBOEMBOHVBHFTLJMMT  r 3FQFBUXPSETPSQISBTFTPWFSBOEPWFS  r (JWFVOSFMBUFEBOTXFSTUPRVFTUJPOT  r )BWFPCTFTTJWFJOUFSFTUT  r 'MBQUIFJSIBOET SPDLUIFJSCPEJFTPSTQJOJODJSDMFT  r )BWFVOVTVBMSFBDUJPOTUPTPVOET TNFMMT UBTUFT   looks or the way something feels. **This list is not comprehensive and cannot be used to make a diagnosis. If you are concerned that a child exhibits some of the characteristics listed above, discuss them with your Pediatrician.

If you or someone you know is affected by a developmental disorder, there are resources available to help. Some of these include: Kicklighter Resource Center, Inc. and The Matthew Reardon Center both in Savannah, Georgia. There is also an autism support group in Richmond Hill called the Autism Support Corner (912.445.0233). References: and

✴✴✴✴✴ Writers Note: Thank you Dr. Seibert for your contribution of information related to autism. R RIC ICH HM MO ON ND DH HIILLLLR REEFFLLEEC CT TIO ION NSM SMAG AG..C COM OM 6655

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Over the next 90 days, if you were to set a health goal, what would it be? "I want to lose 20 to 30 pounds," or "I want to get in shape". Perhaps run your first 5K or complete your first marathon? Well, now is your chance, Energy Oasis is joining forces with Visalus Science. They understand the importance of setting and reaching goals. Offering the best products on the market developed with the finest natural sources. Their body by Vi challenge is a 90day program providing a powerful combination of nutrition, support and education. This program is for everyone including: people looking to lose weight, lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Type two diabetics are lowering or getting off their insulin. Athletes are seeing huge improvements in their performance. The centerpiece of the challenge is a Nutritional shake mix, a delicious shake you can enjoy once a day to help maintain a healthy weight and guarantee the optimal in nutrition consumption or twice a day to accelerate your weight loss or fitness goals . Katie King, a personal trainer at Energy Oasis and a Visalus Distributor has lost over 85 pounds, and has decided to dedicate herself in helping others achieve their goals. Becoming a figure competitor with the help of Visalus nutritional shakes and their other products, she has come a long way. Join us for the community challenge and make Richmond Hill a healthy, fit community. There will be awards for several different categories. Join today and become a Visalus Champion! Membership to Energy Oasis is NOT required to participate in the 90 day challenge. Q

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R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 6 7

Richmond Hill


1001 St. Catherine Circle â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The Bluffs

Beautiful custom home on 1.21 acres with grand oaks in The Bluffs. This 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath home features gourmet kitchen open to great room with quartz floors and granite countertops. Formal dining, living, recreation and media rooms are included as well. $645,000.

Maureen Bryant

Associate Broker

RE/MAX Accent


Classic Buckhead! All brick home on almost a full acre lot. This 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath plus office/library home is wonderfully laid out. This home has an easy flow floor plan, hardwood and tile flooring, deck and patio overlooking pretty lagoon and woods. It is located in a very nice part of the neighborhood that is equipped with community pool, tennis courts, playground, Alice Steyaart, ABR, CRS, CRB, GRI ball fields and walking Broker/Co-Owner trails.



2.5 Acres on Deep Water

Desired paradise, 2.5-acre deepwater acreage located in Fancy Hall Creek. Beautiful acreage overlooks St. Catherineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Island and Sound. At low tide, acreage has 11 feet of water with direct access to Atlantic Ocean. On land, large majestic oak trees provide lots of privacy. This acreage can be subdivided as well as zoned for commercial restaurant or marina site. Acreage is a beautiful peninsula with $QJXV0F/HRG deep water and joins wildlife-management land, owned by the State of Georgia.


RE/MAX Accent

Â&#x2021; 6 8 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

RE/MAX Accent



Perfect home for a large family located in amenity packed North Buckhead! This home has 4 bedrooms plus a bonus and 3 full baths. A master suite and a guest suite are located on the main level. Upgrades throughout the home include hardwood, granite, tile backsplash, custom cabinets, spray foam insulation, Energy Star quality construction, screened porch, brick patio and privacy fence. Nearly 3,000 square feet of very livable space! Norma Switzer Well maintained and 3UXGHQWLDO&RDVWDO ready for quick move-in! *HRUJLD3URSHUWLHV $389,900.


257 Catherine View

Beautiful home located on a deepwater-lot (approximately 2.61 acres) along with dock and pool. Panoramic views of Tivoli River and 300 foot river frontage. The yard is professionally landscaped and is draped with oaks and palm trees. Reduced to sell! Cathy Butler Gregory $1,300,000.

"Selling Richmond Hill Since 1979"

RE/MAX Accent

716 Brigham Dr.

Located in cozy Brigham Lakes, a community perfect for a family. This 4-bedroom, 2.5-bath home is approximately 2,400 square feet and on almost an acre lot. Extras include a separate office and formal dining room. The home has ceilings ranging from 10â&#x20AC;&#x2122; to 14â&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Hardwood floors and large ceramic tile are throughout. Master bedroom is large with an accommodating large Maureen Bryant master bath and closet. Associate Broker A fenced backyard with patio overlooking the lagoon, offers plenty of space inside and out to enjoy being home. Â&#x2021; $325,000.

RE/MAX Accent R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 6 9

Richmond Hill Funeral Home Cox Chapel

We're not just in your neighborhoodâ&#x20AC;Ś We're part of your community.

Being located in your community and being an active member of it are two very different things. As your neighborhood funeral home we're honored to serve you both through funeral care and community involvement. Call us to learn how we can serve you further. Traditional and Cremation Services Available. Bill & Jennifer Cox, Located between US 17 and I-95 Sandra Glendye 01()>gj\9n]fm]Ja[`egf\@add$?9+)+*, 1)*&/-.&/-/-

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7 0 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

Guys in the

Photos by Shawn Heifert

Š Glen Willard


eâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve heard that the I-95 of the sky is just above Richmond Hill. This must be why one can look up at any given moment and see the contrail of at least one airplane being drawn across the sky. What makes someone want to learn to fly? We all know someone in the aviation industry. Whether they work for Gulfstream, a commercial airline, a branch of the US Military or fly for themselves, they have all learned the exact same basic principles. Those of us on the ground must trust that they know what they are doing. Meet the guys in the sky: four aviators who reside in Richmond Hill. Q R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 7 1

pursuits ✴ commercial pilot

Clayton Osbon


Ask a member of the general public about air travel, and you’ll likely see them start snorting about delays or the way their over-sized carryon bumped every passenger’s shoulder on the way down the aisle. Were one to meet Clayton Osbon, Flight Standards Captain for JetBlue Airlines, however, one might–say–meet him at a gas station, follow his truck down a winding road and talk with him at a secluded air strip to see what’s what. They might even meet him for breakfast a few days later. A resident of Belle Island, Clayton lives with his wife of six years, Connye, and enough animals to make a lint brush essential. He’s come dressed in flight attire, and we find a seat in his uncle’s hangar off Chevis Road. It’s a funny set-up including cushy patio furniture, a propane heater and a Cessna 182, whose wing reaches for my shoulder like the paw of a cat. There is much I don’t know about flying, so we begin with his first flights at the age of six or seven in a plane similar to the one looming over us. “I’ve been instrument flying since before I could see over the dashboard–sitting on phone books eventually,” he tells me. Instrument flying is navigation by referencing instruments rather than the topography outside. “I didn’t even know I wanted to do it for a living until the end of my sophomore year in college,” Clayton says thinking back. Clayton received a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical physics and all of his flight ratings from Hawthorne College and Carnegie Mellon University. The native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin couldn’t afford post-graduate degrees which would allow him to make a living in that field. For a while, he considered doing a stint in the Navy to fund it. He was even offered a slot in Officer Candidate School. Clayton dreamed of flying F-14 Tom Cats which, he hoped, would lead to him becoming an astronaut. “They weren’t issuing any wavers, at the time, for eye sight, and they threw me out on the physical–on the seventh stage–for a slight astigmatism in my right eye. That broke my heart a little bit,” says the 47 year old who, like the rest of us back then, had just seen Top Gun. Clayton isn’t one to wade in what could have been. He remained a civilian and continued flight instructing. He’s flown in 35 different types of airplanes in general aviation and is approaching 18,000

7 2 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

By Christine S. Lucas

hours. It was his job at NetJets, where he was hired in January of ‘94, which allowed him to fly the Gulfstream IV, the predecessor of the G450 and G550, all over the world. During this time he lived, for a few years, in Lisbon, Portugal and Lyon, France. Clayton has been in Savannah since 1997. JetBlue took its first commercial flight in February of 2000. They hired Clayton to fly their Airbus 320 three months later. He flies out of JFK Airport in New York, and a good day at work is when he gets to see a new pilot’s first day out of the Level D simulator, the Federal Aviation Association’s designation for its simulated visual and full-motion training tool. “...Going from a deer in the headlights–wow–to, twelve weeks later, at the end of that [training] cycle, where light bulbs are going off. Oh, I see how this works now.” When Clayton is not flying for JetBlue, you might find him flying his L-4 Grasshopper up and down the Georgia coast. This summer he hopes to take his 10-year-old grandson Gabriel up for his first flight. On the fourth Saturday of every month he’s at the hangar where we are sitting for a regular pilot’s pancake breakfast. Should you attend– strangely enough–you will be hard-pressed to find a pancake. You will rub shoulders with pilots of all sorts. One might even take you up. At home, Clayton is working on leadership coursework. “Putting it down on eight and a half by eleven sheets of paper,” he says. He wants to be a motivational speaker down the road. “It starts with a greater enhanced knowledge of one’s know, I’d like to think the world is more than just getting up in the morning, making a cup of coffee, going to work, coming home, kissing your wife goodnight and going to bed.” From the sound of things, it most definitely is. Clayton and his wife have purchased a Nintendo Wii System. “It’s so accurate,” he says of Wii bowling. I tease him for “nerding” up bowling with physics lingo. After all, I’m an alumna of the Pee Wee League at Blue Hen Lanes in Delaware. “What’s your high score?” I ask. “Two hundred and something, the same as what it is on the lanes,” he laughs. When I press him to pin it down, the man who believes you should offer whatever talent you have to make the world a better place says, “Just make something up.”

¹1¼^MJMMVQV[\Z]UMV\ÆaQVO[QVKM before I could see over the dashboard– sitting on phone books eventually.” R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 7 3

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I get to go up in multimillion dollar jets on a daily basis, and the company trusts me.â&#x20AC;? 7 4 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

pursuits ✴ experimental test pilot

Gary Freeman


Don’t call Gary Freeman macho. The retired Naval Commander wants it made clear that he puts his pants on one leg at a time–like the rest of us. The only difference is that–when he’s flying a plane and an engine cuts off–this Experimental Test Pilot for Gulfstream doesn’t bend over and kiss his tush good-bye. “I always had an innate desire to fly,” Gary says. Gary’s father was a Naval Fighter Pilot who flew propeller planes in World War II and retired as a Rear Admiral. Gary suspects that his love of aviation trickled down from his father–even though he was not one to talk about his work. Like most teenagers, Gary’s initial jobs weren’t glamorous. While living in Interlachen, Florida he worked for a chicken farmer–collecting eggs, tending feeders, removing dead birds. Gary cared for around 30,000 chickens during the sticky summer months, and he was paid one dollar an hour. “To make eight bucks a day in the 60s was doing pretty well,” he says. One wonders whether it was amongst the chickens that Gary first scratched out his designs for a military career. He didn’t get into the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland on the first try, so he attended their prep school for a year in 1971. When he showed up for his first day at the Naval Academy, a year later, his father was still on active duty and living with his mother at the NATO base in Naples, Italy. When Gary finished his first year at Annapolis he kept himself busy–eventually becoming a SCUBA instructor and Skydiving Jump Master. “All that stuff that doesn’t involve sitting around doing nothing,” Gary laughs. If there is a common trait among pilots it seems to be learning and doing more all the time. Gary has flown F4 Phantoms and F14 Tom Cats. He’s an FAA Certified Airframes and Powerplant Mechanic. What the heck does that mean? He can inspect his own planes, a Beechcraft Baron and a single-engine Mooney. Gary met his wife, Lisa, as a child and married her 26 years ago. They have two daughters: Mary Beth, 24, and Virginia, 22. Most Richmond Hill residents recall the outpouring of affection and respect paid to the Freeman’s when their son Matthew, a Marine Corps Captain, Naval Academy graduate with a degree in Aerospace Engineering, like his father, and third generation Naval Aviator, was killed

By Christine S. Lucas

in Afghanistan in 2009. The Freemans are long-time residents of this area. Routes 17 and 144 were two-lane roads when they showed up. Gary believes his position as a test-pilot with Gulfstream is not as dangerous as the time he spent in Carrier Aviation. “The toughest challenge was landing super-sonic jets on a pitching deck in the middle of the ocean,” he says. According to Gary there was nowhere to go if something went wrong, and many planes have been lost over the years. Fewer planes are lost now, Gary explains, because of larger carriers, better planes and things like Global Positioning Systems. The Naval Air Test Center in Patuxent River, Maryland is where Gary went to Test Pilot school. As with his other pursuits, Gary ended up teaching there as well. He became an Experimental Test Pilot with Gulfstream in October of 2008. Test Pilots at Gulfstream perform a range of tests. The number of test flights Gary flies in a single day is usually two or three. He recalls having flown as many as eight. “Some tests are routine,” Gary tells me. “Others involve flying a plane at low altitude and turning off one of the engines.” Fear does not play role in Gary's job, but preparation does. It’s necessary to minimize all possible risks. “There are situations where you don’t know what the outcome will be,” he explains, “And you’re saying, ‘Hmm, hope this works.’" Gary is asked to do things sometimes that even he doesn’t want to do. “But that’s the job–so you do it,” he says. When Gary has time, he likes to test himself. His idea of fun is sailing across oceans or hiking 4,000 vertical feet with a 40-pound pack on his back. The lack of cell service on these jaunts makes it all the more enticing for this self-reliant chap. “It’s relaxing, because you’re just walking around,” he says. He doesn’t seem to get that there are large populations of people who would need to be chased by someone with a knife to endure that kind of walk. You may be asking yourself if this test pilot thing is really that cool? “It’s twice as cool,” Gary says, and I think I detect a grin through the phone. What makes it all that? “I get to go up in multimillion dollar jets on a daily basis, and the company trusts me,” Gary says. “There are a lot of people whose jobs rely on me taking care of that jet.”

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 7 5

7 6 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S



xt Ne



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R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 7 7

pursuits ✴ private pilot

Glen Willard


The only fitting word to describe Glen Willard is entrepreneur. With so many great accomplishments it’s hard to classify him into any specific category. Next to his family man hat, his pilot hat is his favorite. Glen’s life is a lot like his flying experience: one great big adventure after another. Those who know Glen know he’s easy to talk to; he enjoys brainstorming new ideas and loves to get involved in a variety of exciting projects. Glen began his professional career at UPS as a package delivery driver where he swiftly moved up the ladder to become a Senior Account Executive–servicing many high-end customers such as Gulfstream. After ten years at UPS, Glen jumped at an opportunity to run Vidalia Frozen Foods (Bland Farms division), which he did successfully for five years. This company was later sold to Heinz/OreIda (derived from Oregon-Idaho). With his connection to the food industry, Glen began his current venture in 1999 by starting his own company selling and marketing Vidalia Onion Rings. Rewind to Glen's teenage years. He had an opportunity to fly for the first time from a grass strip in South Newport, Georgia with a business acquaintance of his wife Liane’s, Dr. Gordon Sipkens of Lifeline Medical Center (now St. Joseph's/Candler). The first flight included breathtaking views of St. Catherine’s and Ossabaw Islands and Richmond Hill. The seed was planted; Glen would be a pilot one day! Fast forward twenty years. While enjoying a wonderful dinner with Jesse Payton, a friend and Corporate Citation pilot with 43 years of flying experience, Glen expressed his interest in flying. The very next day, Jesse made an appointment for Glen with the Chief Flight Instructor at Savannah Aviation. This marks the beginning of Glen’s formal pilot training. Jesse Payton assured Glen that if he completed all of his ratings–including his commercial multi-engine rating–he‘d be happy to perform a co-pilot check out in a Cessna Citation corporate jet. From that day, Glen actively pursued his dream of flying by obtaining his private pilot’s license, instrument rating, single-engine instrument commercial rating and multi-engine instrument commercial rating. In 2008, Glen was finally able to take Jesse Payton up on his offer to take his Citation SIC co-pilot check out!

7 8 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

By Christi Goldman Chambers

One of the most memorable flights Glen weathered was during his single-engine instrument commercial rating's cross-country requirement. Glen’s flight path took him between two very dangerous weather systems. Not realizing that his Nexrad radar (which showed a perfectly clear path) updates every 7 to 10 minutes, he was headed straight into one of the dangerous storms–with zero visibility and 1,000 foot updrafts throwing him and the plane violently around. Glen was able to keep his cool, let his training take over and calmly contact Air Traffic Control for a new heading. This allowed him to successfully veer out of the storm just in the nick of time. “That flight taught me three very important lessons: know your instruments, respect Mother Nature, and–most importantly–don’t panic. Rely on your training,” he says with a chuckle. In 2002, Glen became interested in real estate development and began to dabble in acquiring and managing rental properties. He has since formed several LLC’s. From 2006 to 2008, he owned a general hardware store in Savannah. In 2007, Glen had an opportunity to purchase Savannah Aviation, which he owned and operated until September 2010. During this time frame, he also flew parttime for several local private jet owners. For the past six years, Glen has proudly served as a Bryan County Commissioner and is a member of the Advisory Board for Richmond Hill Bank–giving back to his community. His love of developing new and existing businesses makes him tick. In his own words, “I love the challenge of taking a business to the next level, building it into something and making it better.” In October 2010, Glen gained his commercial seaplane rating at Jack Brown’s Seaplane School in Winter Haven, Florida–where many famous celebrities such as Jimmy Buffett and Alan Jackson have learned to fly. “Flying a seaplane is a wild experience–flying at 500 feet with bare feet and the windows down. It’s unlike any other flying I’ve ever done. You’re back to flying stick and rudder. It’s nostalgic; it takes you back to the basics, like the first aviators.” Glen’s next entrepreneurial venture will be in his words, “the best yet.” Details will follow in a future issue.

"It’s nostalgic; it takes you back to the basics, like the ÅZ[\I^QI\WZ[º

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 7 9

1ÆM_Ua/ZW]X Commander who liked to get out where the action was, meaning PW[\QTMÅZMº 8 0 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

pursuits ✴ master aviator


Phil Jones

In England, toward the end of World War II, a United States Army Soldier fell in love with a lovely British woman, got married and had a son named Waverly Phillip Jones. To his friends, he’s known as Phil, and–although Phil was born in England–the luck of the Irish seems to be on his side. At a very young age, Phil moved stateside to Midway, Georgia when his father returned home from war. Phil lived the military lifestyle for the majority of his life, residing in many places, but his family roots are deeply tied to Richmond Hill. Shortly after high school, Phil married his sweetheart, Judy. They will be celebrating their 44th anniversary later this year. Their two beautiful daughters, Lisa Michelle Humrich and Angela Christine Williams, are both grown and married. Both of Phil’s son-in-laws, Barry and Jimmy, have served or continue to serve in the U.S. Army–as did Phil and his father before him. While he served proudly in the military, he pursued his bachelor’s degree in aerospace management from Troy State University and his master's at Southeastern Technical Institute in business administration. Phil joined the United States Army at 19 where he went directly to the Warrant Officer Flight Training Program at Fort Walters, Texas; a year later, he was promoted to Warrant Officer 1. He received his aviator wings in December 1966–after graduating from the flight training program. Phil began his flying career piloting UH-1’s, commonly referred to as the Huey. January 1967, at age 20 and right out of flight school, he was shipped to Vietnam to serve his first tour of duty. Phil flew over 1,600 hours during his first tour in Vietnam. He had the pleasure of flying one of the actual helicopters featured in the movie, In The Shadow of the Blade. The day before his 21st birthday, Phil was sent on a mission, and, as they were hovering, his helicopter was shot down in the jungle of Vietnam. The tail rotor of the helicopter was blown off, and it began a spin. “There was no directional control and, finally, the aircraft started a slow roll and went into the jungle inverted,” recalls the retired pilot. After the hard landing, Phil had his military issued .38-caliber pistol on him. But it was hostile territory, so he went back to the wreck and quickly grabbed his AK-47 rifle and extra ammunition, which had fallen out when he released his seat belt. When Phil was no more than 20 feet from the upside down Huey, it exploded. Phil, his co-pilot, gun-

By Christi Goldman Chambers

ner and crew chief all survived the horrifying crash and made it to the Saigon River, where they boarded a riverboat to safety. In August 1971, Phil was sent back to Vietnam, this time as a Captain. He was stationed at Da Nang, just below the DMZ or demilitarized zone for a second tour and served as a standardization instructor and command pilot. “I flew my Group Commander who liked to get out where the action was, meaning hostile fire. On April 28, 1972, during an extraction of another shot down aircraft, our helicopter was shot down, and my Group Commander was wounded,” he explains in graphic detail. “I then told him [Group Commander] to read the instrument panel to me as I would be concentrating on looking for a place to put the aircraft should the engine fail. We were flying at a low level and I would not have time to look inside the cockpit. He started reading the instrument panel, but then the engine failed at low altitude.” They were able to trade airspeed for altitude to give them just enough lift to auto-rotate and land. “Two Huey’s were dispatched to pick us up. The first slick rescue plane took the Colonel and others, and while I was talking to the A1E Pilot on the rescue radio–waiting for the second slick, I remember feeling sick to my stomach, like someone kicked me, when I realized I’d been shot. Thankfully they were able to Medevac me to a hospital, and six months later I was finally sent home.” Phil earned numerous medals of honor during his two tours in Vietnam including: two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, an Army Commendation Medal and twenty-four Air Medals. In addition, he received other awards for his service, which include four Meritorious Service medals and a Distinguished Service Medal. The Distinguished Service Medal is the second highest medal a Soldier can receive for service. Although principally a helicopter pilot, Phil has enjoyed flying many other types of aircraft like the C45J Tail-Dragger, Otter, Beaver, U-8 and a twin-engine C-12, T-28 and T-38. He was a Master Aviator when he retired from the military in 1990. Phil has put all that history and flying behind him and feels lucky to be alive and well in Richmond Hill. Phil put down his wings in 1991. He currently serves as the Bryan County Administrator and enjoys spending time with his antique cars, hunting, doing an occasional project around the house and–with a stoke of luck–playing golf ! R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 8 1



Championship 18-Hole Golf Course RIGHT HERE IN RICHMOND HILL Indulge your love of golf with a day on our luxury course.

Call about our weekday and weekend prices! Affordable Memberships Available t Driving Range Private/Group Lessons & Clinics Active Senior and Regular Blitz Groups


***** Serving Novelty Ice Cream and Dippin Dots Salad bar * Made from scratch soups * Sandwiches Hot Dogs * Fresh Baked Goods Tuesdays - Potato Soup and Crab Stew Wednesdays - Chicken Tortilla Soup and Broccoli Chowder Thursdays - Tomato Basil Soup and Chicken and Dumplings Fridays - Potato Soup and Jambalaya Saturdays - Crab Stew and Chicken Tortilla Soup. Chili and Hot Dogs daily.

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Located in The Station Xchange on 144, across from J.F. Gregroy. 8 2 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S






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R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 8 3



s g n i n n e J a Trish

8 4 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

pursuits â&#x153;´ batter up Name :: Trisha Jennings Richmond Hill High School Age :: 16 Class :: Junior


Sports :: Softball


Stor y and Photos by Shawn Heifert

Good things to know: Trisha used to cheer. Trisha is a huge fan of Georgia professional sports teams, especially the Braves and the Falcons. Trisha is a huge action movie buff. Some of her favorites include The Terminator, Rocky and the Die Hard series. Trishaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family gets season tickets to the Atlanta Falcons every year. R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 8 5

Live in Richmond Hill whether you are buying, selling or need a property manager, I can help

Robin Compt on, REALTOR

Keller Williams Realtyâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Partner/Investor Coastal Georgia Property Management, LLC Cell: 912-312-1946

Support our seniors! Please come visit us at our new facility located at 9934 Ford Avenue (the old annex building)

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Richmond Hill Senior Citizen Center Sponsors: 912.756.2783 185 Ball Park Rd. 8 6 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve lived, worked and played in Richmond Hill for 23 years.

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Selling, Buying or Property Management...

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Palmer Chiropractic Trace Palmer, DC


11400 Ford Avenue Richmond Hill, GA 31324 Monday-Thursday: 8 am -1pm & 3pm- 6pm

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Medicare R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 8 7

r i Atst

pursuits ✴ eye catching photos



Courtni Gibson By Leslie Murphy


rtists are captivated by the beauty of the Coastal

south, and Richmond Hill suffers no shortage of what inspires and motivates the creative energy of those with talent. A surprising number of artists reside in Richmond Hill. This series highlights our local artists so that you can get to know and recognize their work. We hope you enjoy!

8 8 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

Undiscovered Talent


eet Courtni Gibson, a fifteen-year-old student at Richmond Hill High School, and undiscovered talent definitely worth keeping an eye on. Moving here just a few years ago with her parents and brother, Courtni, like most new residents, quickly fell in step and in love with coastal life. While on St. Catherine’s Island one day she picked up a camera and, playing around, shot some pictures of her friends and the scenery on the beach. Those shots turned out to be pretty eye catching and Courtni was hooked. That was the day she attributes to her fascination with life through the lens of a camera. Continuing her exploration with the camera, Courtni quickly moved on to using the technology available to her through the computer to enhance or “fix” her pictures. Here, she discovered a whole new avenue in the world of photography. With the fearless curiosity of youth, Courtni experimented with editing her photos. She quickly graduated to using Photoshop with a little assistance from her dad, Wade, a digital technician for AT&T. Although Courtni possesses all of the instincts of a good photographer she often approaches her work in a non-traditional way. Inspired by a song or a certain theme, she “sees” an image in her head and seeks to create it through the use of her camera and all of the associated technology of the computer. Totally intrigued with the creative possibilities of photography, Courtni plans to enroll in a few summer workshops at Pratt University in Brooklyn, New York geared to digital and film photography and traditional photography for basic foundations in art. She is strongly considering a photography degree when she attends college. Keep an eye on Courtni Gibson and her work. She is sure to show you a whole new world. Q

pursuits â&#x153;´ boys of motorcross

little minds think


R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 8 9

Whatever your Insurance Needs…

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6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

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St. Anne’s Holy Hall.

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UPCOMING FUNDRAISERS 1st Annual Spring Fling Gala Saturday, April 30th 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Contact: Jeanette 912.445.0233 *Dinner, Dancing, Cash Bar, Belinda & Silent Auction 912.596.5994 *Formal Attire Optional

Richmond Hill City Center Barker & Associates Insurance 31 Constitution Way, Suite B Richmond Hill, GA 31324 2IÀFH0RELOH ODUU\EDUNHU#FRDVWDOQRZQHW 9 0 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

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Custom Homes Commercial Home Improvement

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R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 9 1

Wild Bill

pursuits ✴ color in the world


O By Christine S. Lucas Photo by Cobblestone Photography


Contrary to his name, Captain Wild Bill isn’t crazy and doesn’t have hair that sticks out like Albert Einstein’s. He is a fanatic about one thing: fishing. He made sure I knew it, too. While chatting at the clubhouse by the Yellow Bluff Marina located in Liberty County, Georgia, I wondered what constitutes a fanatic as it pertains to fishing. The licensed Captain who offers fishing and scenic charters to some of Georgia’s remote barrier islands used a fishing trip he and a friend took in bitter, wet weather to explain. “It was drizzle to rain–drizzle to rain,” Captain Wild Bill said. “It was so cold you just wanted to curl up in a fireplace.” That didn’t matter to the man who was born in an animal hospital just outside Mount 9 2 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

Airy, North Carolina. Water dripped down his face and he continued fishing with a big grin. They ended up catching 128 legal size fish but kept just enough to eat. “[Fanatics] don’t feel the cold,” he said. Captain Wild Bill learned to fish at the age of two, on his dad’s lap, both in North Carolina and Sarasota, Florida. One of the first fish he ever caught was bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus, a freshwater fish also referred to as bream. A couple years later he moved to Long Island, New York with his mother. His parents had divorced and the fouryear-old began earning the ‘Wild’ that would be added to his name years later. He was a little scamp who would run off without telling anyone. “I was like a dog you didn’t want to let out,” he laughed.

¹<PM_IaPMÅ[PM[PM goes by a whole different theory...”

The young Captain was first called ‘Wild’ by fellow players during sandlot football games–a full-contact version of the sport sans padding. It continued to ring true through his maneuvers on the high school wrestling team but even more when he joined the United States Marines after one year of college. “People never knew what I was going to do,” he said. He was sent to journalism school by the military and spent two years as a war correspondent from 1974 to 1976. Captain Wild Bill considers himself a Southerner; he moved to Savannah after the military. He worked at Delta Airlines–mostly as a ticket agent–for 19 years. Downsizing was a concern. “I hung on like a tick,” he recalls and eventually downsized of his own accord by mov-

ing from Georgetown to the Cottages at Yellow Bluff. Captain Wild Bill’s work at the Yellow Bluff Marina–lifting people’s boats from the water–helped him build a 300 person subscriber list for the Saltwater Journal, a fishing report he began writing and selfpublished from 1997 to 1998. People want the scoop from a man whose charmed fishing career includes a flounder jumping onto the boat he was in and landing at his feet. This caught the attention of the Savannah Morning News who asked Captain Wild Bill to write a weekly fishing column. The formally-trained journalist also began conducting “Eat, Sleep, and Fish Seminars” and has found himself in the same league as accomplished anglers like Savannah’s Captain Judy and Hilton Head’s Captain Fuzzy Davis. I called Captain Judy to chat about Captain Wild Bill, and asked if she remembered a certain story where he’d jumped off a perfectly good boat into water with a four-foot shark swimming around. “Was that the time with his clothes on or off ?” she asked not sure if I was referring to a time when the Captain stripped and dove into 54-degree water to try and rescue an expensive pair of glasses. Once clear, she explained bonnet sharks look down to feed. “His toes could have been in jeopardy with no problem,” she told me. “The way he fishes, he goes by a whole different theory,” Captain Judy went on to explain. “[He fishes] by watching a bloom on a tree or something, a leaf that might mean the redfish are biting.” Being a fish magnet runs in Captain Wild Bill’s family. A while back, he got a call from his mother who was in Sun City–near Bluffton, South Carolina–walking her dog when a bass weighing about a pound fell from the sky and landed between the sidewalk and the curb. How could that happen? Her son who is a member of the Ogeechee Audubon Society and Friends of Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuges explained that it had to have been from an osprey that was forced to drop it by a bald eagle. According to an April 2010 press release from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, nearly one third of Georgia’s 159 counties had bald eagles nesting in them in that year. The National Geographic website,, supports Captain Wild Bill’s claim in an article detailing our national bird’s thievery. Captain Wild Bill sees abundance and works with nature. It’s what makes his Eco Adventures in as high demand as his fishing charters. He recalls on one such trip being amidst thousands of Common Green Darner dragonflies. Above them were Tree Swallows, and above them were fifty raptors called Mississippi Kites. Captain Wild Bill offers his clients, among other things, what he himself gleaned that day. “This time I saw colors,” he said. “By me learning about the insects, the birds and the fish, it adds color to my world.” Q ✴✴✴✴✴ To join Captain Wild Bill on an Eco Adventure or Fishing Charter, visit R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 9 3


Oyster roasts, BBQs and box lunches to white linen, black-tie events and wedding receptions.


Chef Bruce Ford t 912.667.7021

The SmartChoice... PADGETT'S TILE & WOOD








SINCE 1967

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9 4 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

SERVICE IS VERY IMPORTANT TO EVERYONE, let our service team go the extra mile for you!



5905 Ogeechee Road Savannah, GA 31419

912.925.5414 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 9 5

GA chmond Hill, ghway 17, Ri 2201 North Hi m & 6pm. 5p , am 30 6: Classes M-F

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9 6 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

food&entertaining â&#x153;´ quality stage presence


A Quality Production By Angela Hendrix, AMH Communications

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 9 7

food&entertaining ✴ quality stage presence


In 2004, Richmond Hill resident Brad Gibson was a lead singer without a band. His band, Capital A, had just called it quits, and all he was left with was the small sound system they used while performing. Always an innovative person, he just didn’t want to part with the equipment. “I knew, from experience, there was a need for an experienced production company in the area, so I decided I would become that company,” said Gibson. While still working as a manager at Grainger Honda, Brad started Capital A Productions, a full-service entertainment production company now based in Richmond Hill. Eventually he was able to leave Grainger Honda and run Capital A Productions full time. To gain experience, Gibson did his first several shows for very little money. He then began to receive calls to do some hardcore, heavy metal shows with about fifty to seventy-five people in the audience. “We played the music loud, and we blew up a lot of stuff during those first shows,” Gibson says with a chuckle, “but they were very important lessons on how to manage a production and produce a quality stage presence.” From there, Capital A Productions worked with local acts and establishments including Monkey Business and Shoreline Ballroom on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. At the time, both venues were popular tour stops for many nationally touring audiences and Capital A Productions did the sound for acts like Blue’s Traveler, David Allen Coe, Saliva, Days of the New, Candle Box, Three Day’s Grace, Shinedown, Loretta Lynn, Puddle of Mud, BB King, Travis Tritt, Snoop Dog and many more. Gibson says of all the acts he has worked with, BB King was one of the coolest and easiest to work with. “He must have thought we did a great job, because he called us–on his bus–and told us we could fix anything and then asked us to fix his glasses.” It was about that time that Capital A Productions received a call from the Savannah Music Festival. Capital A started doing the sound production for the Swing Central High School Jazz Band Competition for the Savannah Music Festival and today manage most of the production for

9 8 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

Leslie and Brad Gibson

© Shawn Heifert

the two-week festival–including performances at SCAD’s Trustees Theater, the Charles H. Morris Center and the City of Savannah’s Johnny Mercer Theatre. Ryan McMaken, Director of Operations & Communications for the Savannah Music Festival has worked with Capital A Productions during the Savannah Music Festival. "Capital A Productions has been providing sound for the Savannah Music Festival at the Charles H. Morris Center, our primary club-style venue, for the last three years. As their business has grown, their emphasis on quality gear and service has remained very strong," McMaken says. Capital A Productions also provides sound, lighting and equipment set-up for many of the top festivals and performances in Savannah and the surrounding areas, some of which include: the Savannah Jazz Festival, Tara Feis, Black Heritage Festival, Tybee Island Pirate Festival, Asian Festival and–most recently–Picnic in the Park! In Richmond Hill, they have provided production services for the Station Xchange Christmas Xtravaganza, business ribbon cuttings and Richmond Hill’s American Idol Fourth of July contest. Capital A Productions has even had the chance to take their show on the road. Last year, they were tapped to manage the production for TBS’s Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. For over 30 days, in 10 cities, they assembled and disassembled a complex production set up. Gibson even served as MC for the tour. Brad’s wife, Leslie, who is a part of the Capital A Productions team, says it's Brad’s perfectionism that has lead to the growth of the company. “In the beginning, Brad may have not known everything about production, but he worked hard, planned, researched and tweaked his approaches so that now Capital A Productions is thought of as the premier production company in the area.” As Brad puts it, “I want all of our productions to be on par with any Los Angeles or New York production.” The Gibson’s have earned their rave reputation by paying attention to the details and putting in long hours. Each production, no matter the size, starts with a site

survey where they cover what is available at the venue and the equipment needed for the production–particularly electricity. Next they review any riders for the performer and speak with the artist to go over every aspect of the performance. Once the performance day arrives, they can spend up to fifteen hours from set-up, sound checks, performance and break-down. Brad and Leslie settled in Richmond Hill with their two children (Katlyn, 16 and Lanie, 11), nearly five years ago, for the same reasons a lot of us chose our city: the strong school system, the community feeling and proximity to the water. They also chose this area, because Richmond Hill has a lot to offer the community–including performances at J.F. Gregory’s new amphitheater. “The J.F. Gregory amphitheater is an amazing facility and is very reminiscent of the amphitheater at Forsyth Park in Savannah,” says Gibson. “We have a wonderful stage for production and a facility that will hold 3,500 to 5,000 people. I am excited about the opportunities for Richmond Hill to bring more cultural events to the community.” Capital A Productions has plans to expand their services. Gibson says, “I envision that we can offer more production services in the way of meetings, lighting, small sound systems, press conferences and more. Thankfully, we have a lot of room for growth and opportunity in Richmond Hill and beyond.” Q

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 9 9

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food&entertaining ✴ a new review

Ladies Indulge in Fine Eating (LIFE) Dining Club Photos by Cobblestone Photography




food&entertaining ✴ a new review












1 0 2 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of the very nicest things about life is the way that we must regularly stop whatever we are doing and devote our attention to eating.â&#x20AC;?


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Luciano Pavarotti

7FOVF Fish Tales, Ft. McAllister, Richmond Hill, 912.727.3473 "QQSPQSJBUF"UUJSF As casual as you like "NCJFODF"NFOJUJFT 4.5 %SJOLT 3.5 (offered some good alternatives to Bellinis) 'PPE 4 4FSWJDF 4 7BMVFGPS.POFZ 5 (best feature)

"After a busy day at work, Fish Tales is the ideal place to unwind and relax any evening of the week. And it is so close, we can avoid a late nightâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;if I have an early start the next day." â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Mrs. Thirty-Something


OVERALL SCORE: â&#x20AC;&#x201C; WOW! USP â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Fish Tales is located at the heart of the Low Countryâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;just off of the Intracoastal Waterwayâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;and features a Key West/Caribbean vibe and laid back atmosphere. With professional service and great foodâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;plus live music every weekendâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; it is a great night out right on our doorstep.


7FOVF Toucan CafĂŠ, 531 Stephenson Avenue, Savannah, 912.352.2233 "QQSPQSJBUF"UUJSF Casual "NCJFODF"NFOJUJFT 3 %SJOLT 3 'PPE 5 (best feature) 4FSWJDF 4 7BMVFGPS.POFZ 4

"This is a great place for lunch. When I grab a break from work or when I take my baby out with the girls on a day off â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they make us feel welcome in both working girl and Mom mode." â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Mrs. Twenty-Something


OVERALL SCORE: â&#x20AC;&#x201C; HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! USP â&#x20AC;&#x201C; If you find yourself in Southside Savannah, the Toucan CafĂŠ is the perfect lunch venue. The food is imaginative and delicious and you can easily be in and out in an hour, happy and well-fed.


7FOVF Charleston Grill, Charleston Place Hotel, South Carolina, 843.577.4522 "QQSPQSJBUF"UUJSF Elegant "NCJFODF"NFOJUJFT 3.5 %SJOLT 5 (best feature and passed the Bellini test) 'PPE 4.5 4FSWJDF 4.5 7BMVFGPS.POFZ 3


"During the course of my life and career, I have been lucky enough to eat at many top restaurants and stay in some lovely hotels. The Charleston Grill really stood out as a special treat, which we chose to celebrate one of our birthdays. We selected the chef â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seven course tasting menu, and each course was paired with the perfect beverage. The staff could not have made us feel more welcomed. It was truly a great evening." â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Mrs. Forty-Something

OVERALL SCORE: â&#x20AC;&#x201C; WOW! USP â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Charleston Grill is truly exceptional for a hotel restaurant with attentive service, a relaxedâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;yet glamorousâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;ambience and quality menu. It is very expensive but well worth it for a special occasion. â&#x153;´â&#x153;´â&#x153;´â&#x153;´â&#x153;´ Editor's Note The LIFE dining club is a legitimate group of local women who whish to keep their identities anonymous. The views expressed are their opinions and do not represent the views of Richmond Hill Reflections. If you wish to submit a restaurant for their review, please email and we will forward the request to the member of LIFE. R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 1 0 3

! Bienvenidos, Amigos!

Mon-Thur 11am – 10pm i Fri 11am – 10:30pm Sat 11:30am – 10:30pm i Sun 11:30am – 10:00pm Lunch Specials Mon- Sat 11:00am – 3:00pm Richmond Hill i 912.459.0619

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11250 Ford Avenue Richmond Hill 912.756.8807 1 0 4 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S


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Leading Touch Chiropractic Health Center

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10384 Ford Avenue Richmond Hill GA 31324 912.756.3004

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 1 0 5

CARPET STOREPlus Laminate, Tile, Hardwood, Area Rugs

Classes for Children 6 wks. - 4 years Private 4 year old Pre-K

Quality, age-appropriate curriculum

Dwight & Tracey Winters, Owners 912.756.6868 9366 Ford Avenue Richmond Hill

Carpet Store Plus has been serving the Richmond Hill community for over


13 years!

6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fully State Licensed

912.756.2524 10730 Ford Avenue Richmond Hill

Located on the corner of Hwy 144 & Ivey St.

1 0 6 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

Custom Bath Remodel, Richmond Hill

events ✴ scene on the street

In the


Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce

Richmond Hill Reflections named 2010 Business of the Year!

January Business After Hours hosted by Richmond Hill Montessori School

© Patti Todd

Grand Openings Behavioral Consultation Services

All Things Chocolate

© Cobblestone Photography

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 1 0 7

events ✴ scene on the street

In the



Welcome Home Celebration of the 2-3 Aviation Knighthawks at The Richmond Hill City Center

Willow Salon Charity Ball

Hosted by Willow Salon at the Richmond Hill City Center to benefit the Bryan County Children's Fund

© Cobblestone Photography

Commissioner Turnover

Bryan County welcomes new Commissioners: Carter Infinger, Jimmy Henderson, and Wade Price

© Courtni Gibson

Fall Art Exhibit

Arts on the Coast hosted their Fall Art Exhibit and Artist's Reception at the Richmond Hill City Center

1 0 8 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S


The first Saturday every December brings the Annual Richmond Hill Christmas Parade and Ft. McAllister Boat Parade hosted by the Offshore Outlaws

© Cobblestone Photography

© Cobblestone Photography

Chili Cook-Off — Annual Chili Cookoff in J.F. Gregory Park

© Cobblestone Photography

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 1 0 9

events ✴ scene on the street

In the


Senior Center

Richmond Hill Rotary Club gives Christmas cheer to the Senior Citizens of Bryan County © Courtni Gibson

"Palette & Palate" Stroll

Local artists displayed their work in 8 homes in The Buckhead Community for the First Annual Palette & Palate Stroll. Artwork was available for purchase and delicious cuisine was enjoyed by all © Cobblestone Photography

Interstate Centre

Belfast Business Center

1 1 0 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

March 5th


Things to Do

Experience Life as a Confederate Soldier Ft. McAllister State Park 912.727.2339

March 11th

Prom Dance Workshop 4 pm – 5:30 pm Life Moves Dance Studio 912.756.8482

March 16th

TATTOO-Battle of the Bagpipers Molly MacPherson’s Scottish Pub (Downtown Savannah) 6 pm 912.459.9600/912.239.9600

Make your design wish with Red Bird Design.

April 8th

Military Spouse’s Night Out- First Baptist Church 6 pm – 9:30 pm Dianne Drane

April 24th

Richmond Hill City Center Easter Brunch 1 pm – 2 pm Christine 912.445.0043

April 25th

5th Annual Easter Extravaganza 11 am New Beginnings Church 912.308.7635

May 7th

Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation Root Ball 7 pm Wendy Bolton 912.657.1221

March 11th

Identity Design

logos, stationery & brochures

Advertising Design

ad development, brochures, & collateral materials

Large Scale Graphics

billboards & tradeshow booths


Casino for a Cause — Richmond Hill City Center 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm Matthew Reardon Center for Autism 912.355.9098 or Pay it Forward Foundation of Bryan County 912.756.3552

March 25th

Samantha Howard Foisy 912.312.1380

Dylan Moore Golf Tournament Tournament at Sterling Links Golf Course Nancy Miller 912.572.7151

April 2nd

BBQ and Silent Auction for Dylan Moore 6 pm Nancy Miller 912.572.7151

March 26th

5th Annual Energy 5K J.F. Gregory Park Energy Oasis 912.756.5865

R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N SM AG . C OM 1 1 1

RICHMOND HILL REFLECTIONS ADVERTISER DIRECTORY 17 So uth Cabi nets. . . . . . . . . . ........................... 12

Gl a z er ' s Pu b & G r i l l . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

R i ch m o n d H i l l V i s i o n C en ter.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

A dditio nal Touch Constr u cti on.................. 16

Gr ea t Pi e in th e S k y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Rowe Ph o to g r a p h er s.............. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

A lfred B. Rober ts. . . . . . . . . . . . .......................... 35

Ha r vey & H en d r i x , A tto r n eys a t L aw, PC. . . 62

R PI Res i d en t i a l . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

A ll T h ings Chocol ate. . . . . ............................ 25

Hend er s on L aw Fi r m . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

S a l o n 1 7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

A merica 's Home Pl ace. . . . . .......................... 95

Home Res o u r ce O u tl et. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

S ava n n a h I n f l a ta b l es. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

A n derso n Fur ni ture & Des i g n................... 60

Homes of I n teg r i t y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

S ch o l a r Reh a b. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

A n o th er Debut. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........................... 25

Ja cobs B u i l d er s, I n c. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

S h awn H ei f er t Ph o to g r a p hy. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

ATA Mar ti al A r ts. . . . . . . . . . . ........................... 31

Jef f ' s B ever a g e. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

S h o r el i n e L a n d s ca p e. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Augie' s Pub & Gri l l . . . . . . . ............................ 35

J K K i d s Fitn es s : Ju m p B u n ch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

SouthCoast Medical: Dr. Edward Hoffman... 38

Autism Suppor t Cor ner, Inc...................... 90

Kel l er Wi l l i a m s : Ro b i n C o m p to n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86

S o u th C o a s t M ed i ca l : D r. G a r y Fis cher. . . . . . . 28

B&P Pa inti ng, LLC. . . . . . . . ............................ 38

L a Na pol er a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

S o u th er n M o to r s A cu r a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Ba dco ck Home Fur ni shi ngs......................... 2

L a u r el Hom e Fu r n i s h i n g s & A cces s o r i es. . . . 32

S ter l i n g C r eek C h i m n ey S wee p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Ba lb o & Greg g, Attor neys a t L aw, PC........ 23

L avend er H i l l S p a S a l o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

S ter l i n g L i n k s G o l f C o u r s e. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

Ba rker & Assci ates I nsura nce.................... 90

L ea d i ng To u ch C h i r o p r a cti c. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

S u n b u r y C r a b C o m p a n y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100

Br ya n Bank & Tr ust. . . . . . . ........................... 21

L ea hy A r t G a l l e r y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Ta n gled O r b Web Design ....... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

Br ya n C ounty Devel opment Au thor i ty...... 110

L i n I ns u r a n ce A g en cy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

T h e Fo r d A ca d emy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106

C. Pi ckett Home Bui l ders.......................... 50

L loyd D Mur ray, Sr., Attor ney at Law, PC... 27

T h e I ce C r ea m S to p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

C a p ita l Car pet Cl eani ng. . ........................... 23

L ove' s S ea f o o d . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

T h e M a g n o l i a G r i l l C a ter i n g. . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94

C a r p et S tore Pl us. . . . . . . . . . . .......................... 106

M a g nol i a M a n o r o n th e C o a s t. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

T h e Pi n k C l o set. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100

C h a th a m Or thopaedi cs. . . . .......................... 70

M cDona l d 's. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86

T h e S ch n ei d er L aw Fi r m . . . . . . . .. inside front cover

Christy Carroll Balbo, Attorney at Law, PC.... 29

M i d ni g ht S ta r Po tter y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

U r g en t C a r e C en ter o f R i ch mond Hill. . . . . . . 62

C o a sta l Chev rol et. . . . . . . . . . . ........................... 95

M i l l er ' s Pr o p er ty M a n a g m en t. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Wa r d ' s Au to Pa i n t i n g & B o d ywor k s. . . . . . . . . . . 69

C o a sta l Empi re Pl asti c Su r g er y.................. 16

M ol l y M a cPh er s o n ' s S co tti s h Pu b & G r i l l . . 91

Wa ter Ways Town s h i p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . inside back cover

C o a sta l Endodonti cs. . . . . . ........................... 32

M y Gr a nd fa th er ' s Pl a ce. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

W h ee l s Au to Wo r k s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................... 87

C o a sta l Georgi a Vet Care........................... 17

M yr tl e B ea ch Ta n n i n g S a l o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46, 55

W i l l ow S a l o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

C o b b lestone Photog raphy........................... 8

Pa dg ett Insur a n ce..................................... 51

Z i n g B o d y B r o n z i n g. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

C o un ter Fi tters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........................... 12

Pa dg ett T i l e a n d Wo o d .............................. 94

C o ur tn ey Camp Hi ghsmi th Denti s tr y.......... 50

Pa lmer Chir o p r a cti c.................................. 87

C ro ssfit Coastal Empi re. ........................... 96

PawPa r r a zzi â&#x20AC;Ś A D o g Bo uti que................. 104

C up ca ke CafĂŠ. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......................... 82

Pl a n ta ti o n Lumb er & H a r dwa r e.................. 3

D er m a tol og y & Sk i n Can cer Center....... 39, 45

Pr es i d en ti a l Ren ova ti o n ................... back cover

D r. Amy Pearson. . . . . . . . . . . . ........................... 66

Prudential Coastal Georgia Properties: Norma Switzer... 68

D ra ke Barber Real ty. . . . . . . ........................... 44

Red B ir d D esi g n ...................................... 111

E dwa rd Jones I nvestments......................... 28

Re/M a x Accen t......................................... 18

E n erg y Oasi s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ............................ 44

Re/M a x Accen t: A l i ce S teya a r t.................. 68

E xp ress Auto. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......................... 35

Re/M a x Accen t: A n g us M cL eo d ................ 68

Fi r ef l y Lighting, Flooring & D es i g n. . . . . . . . . . . 31

Re/M a x Accen t: C a thy G r eg o r y................. 69

Fi r s t C o mmand Financial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Re/M a x Accen t: M a ur een Br ya n t........ 9, 68, 69

Fi s h Ta l es....................... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

Re/M a x Sava n n a h : L i n d a Ba r ker................ 87

F. P. Wo r tley Jewelers....... ............................ 7

R i chmond H i l l A n i m a l H o s p i ta l . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Ft. M cAllister Marina...... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

R i chmond H i l l B a n k . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106

Ful fo r d -Swinney Constr u cti o n. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

R i chmond H i l l B ever a g e. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

G &L Res i denti al Desi gn. ........................... 25

R i chmond H i l l C i ty C en ter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

G. Ben jamin Massey, DMD, PC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Richmond Hill Family & Cosmetic Dentistry... 25

G a lb rea th & Sons, I nc. . . . . .......................... 11

R i chmond H i l l Fu n er a l H o m e. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

G eo Vista Credi t Uni on. ............................ 90

R i chmond H i l l S en i o r C en ter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86

Gibson/Lovell HVAC...... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

R i chmond H i l l V i n eya r d C h u r ch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

A ccent...







1 1 2 R IC H M O N D H I L L R E F L E C T IO N S

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