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Clinical Breast Exam Because a mammogram isn’t enough!

Mammograms are an important tool in the fight against breast cancer. But, mammography shouldn’t be seen as a stand-alone procedure. A Clinical Breast Exam can detect up to 7% of cancers that appear normal on mammography. Some types of breast cancer aren’t even visible on a mammogram until they become very advanced. When coupled with mammography, a Clinical Breast Exam provides the most comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis. At The Breast Center at Floyd our specially trained professionals take the time to get it right. We use a systematic search pattern to make sure no breast tissue is missed, also taking the time to teach you how to examine your own breasts. If a breast problem is discovered, our physicians and staff work as a team to provide results in 24 hours*.

The Breast Center at Floyd, Come to Know the Difference *For most women


Table of Contents From the Porch Swing – Editor’s Message

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She Said questions

What is the most unusual name you have given a pet? What is the worst movie of all time? If you could go on a road trip with any person (dead or alive), who would you choose, and where would you go? What really gives you the creeps? What is your most cherished childhood memory? What is the funniest prank played on you or played by you? What is the most outrageous thing your child has ever said or done? If you were running for office, what would your campaign slogan be?

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Magnolia Centerfold

Dressing up in historic garb fun for Founders Ball ... a lot of trouble for every day Page 16

For the Health of It Staying fit while having fun

Web Editor John Bailey

Design and Layout Heather Koon

Advertising Director Mike Schuttinga

Photographers Daniel Varnado Lisa Hall Diane Wagner Ryan Smith Doug Walker

Advertising Sales Kayla Fricks Helen Allen Missie Tolbert Mandy Welborn

Contributing Writers Kim Sloan Severo Avila Lydia Senn Daniel Bell Doug Walker Diane Wagner Charlotte Atkins

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Magnolias of the Past

Ellen Louise Axson Wilson and Ida Lee Bass Page 19

Editorial Assistant Valerie Creel

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Contributing Artists Mike Lester

Creative Services/ Advertising Design Tona Deaton, manager Caryn Ethridge Lee Field Jamie Metts Donna Nevins Allison Morris Circulation and Distribution Jamie Bennett Printing Rob Broadway

Special thanks to the following people who helped with this edition: Trey Smith and Cycle Therapy for loaning us a handcycle for Ann Hortman’s portrait, to Susan Cooley and the Rome-Floyd County Library for letting us use the library for Tina Rush’s portrait and to Ryan Smith for the photograph of Haley Walker for her portrait.

Magnolia Portraits Haley Walker Ann Hortman Melissa Jones Tina Hayes Rush Tannika King

Editor Charlotte Atkins

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23 Bon Appetit Y’all


Fun recipes for the whole family to help make and enjoy Page 10


Minding Her Own Business

Alison Smith balances brides, business and growing boys

Magnolia Moms

Mother of special needs child keeps her child involved, loved

50-Plus & Fabulous Cheers!

Milk shakes are creamy treats for all ages Page 12

‘Granny’ Green relies of faith to raise grandchildren


Sue Hamler Lee: A weaver of dreams

Home Sweet Home Keeping children safe

Why Magnolia? We chose that name because of the similarities between Southern women and the grand Southern magnolias that bloom all over town. They’re both enduring, adaptable, fascinating and beautiful.

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Cover photo: The Ginkgo trees next to the Forrest Building on the corner of Broad Street and East Fifth Avenue are always the consummate sign of fall in downtown Rome. It is almost magical when autumn breezes blow and yellow leaves rain down. Ann Hortman’s role with the Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau is to educate visitors and locals alike about the charms of Rome. (The cover photo is by Daniel Varnado.) To advertise in the next edition of Magnolia, email or call 706-290-5213. To contact us about Magnolia features, email us at

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News Publishing Co. 305 E. Sixth Ave. Rome, GA 30161 President: Burgett H. Mooney III Vice President of Operations: Otis M. Raybon Vice President of Production: Doug Crow Vice President of Community Relations (and Magnolia head cheerleader): Mary Sib Banks IT Director: Matt DeBord New Media Director: Jim Alred Magnolia is published seasonally by News Publishing Co. and is distributed free at more than 50 locations in the Greater Rome Area. ©2011.



From the Porch Swing

Fall is my favorite time of year around Rome. Of course, I love seeing the colorful leaves all around our Tree City and then hearing them crunch and rustle underfoot after they have blanketed the ground. I love the mix of yellows and reds and oranges that tint the season. I even like raking them up as my yorkies run through the piles I make. One of my favorite strolls is down East Fifth Avenue to Broad Street just so I can walk under the bright yellow ginkgo trees at that corner of historic downtown Rome. They always provide a perfect seasonal backdrop to the Rome Fine Wine Festival in the Forrest Ballroom each November as well as other fall events downtown. One of the most beautiful things I’ve witnessed was a gentle swirling wind that had the yellow leaves from those trees raining down like snow nonstop. It was a sight to behold! Of course, fall also means the Chiaha Harvest Festival and all of the other fabulous local autumn events like the downtown tours as well as the Where Romans Rest tours at Myrtle Hill Cemetery, where history comes to life each October. Look for details on the women featured at this fall’s cemetery tours inside this edition. Football season and the holidays also provide plenty of fun things to do. It seems like families are out and about more doing all kinds of group activities this time of year. That’s why in addition to celebrating our lives as women, this edition of Magnolia celebrates families. After all, Greater Rome is such a family friendly place to call

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home. So you’ll see that theme running through many of our regular features this edition. Like recipes, from Taste of Home that comes to Rome each fall for the Cooking School presented by the Rome NewsTribune, for the whole family to make and enjoy in Bon Appetit and Cheers. Our For the Health of It, Home Sweet Home, Magnolia Moms and 50-Plus & Fabulous sections also celebrate family life.

And as always our main features like Brava, which spotlights the artistic side of Rome City Commissioner Sue Hamler Lee, and our showcase portraits – this time featuring Ann Hortman, Tina Hayes Rush, Melissa Jones, Haley Walker and Tannika King – shine the light on some of the area’s most intriguing women. And we can’t forget the She Said questions and answers from Magnolia readers, each intriguing in her own right. In this edition you’ll get to read what area women have to say about the worst movies, best childhood memories, their favorite pet names and most memorable pranks and what gives them the creeps to name just some of our She Said topics. It is our hope that our celebrating as many women as possible each season will serve as a reminder all year long of all of the wonderful women who grace our community in leadership roles, in public service, as creative muses, as half of the workforce, as educators and health care practitioners, as watchdogs and peacekeepers, as volunteers and, of course, as mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, daughters and wives. Together we all weave together the feminine fabric of our community that keeps it strong and caring. Charlotte Atkins, editor

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Photograph by Ryan Smith

Haley Walker Haley Walker is a mom, musician and motorcyclist. “I own a Harley Davidson. And I ride it,” says Haley, who is public relations director at Floyd Medical Center. She recalls the first time she rode her bike on the open road. “I grew up riding dirt bikes, but it took some serious courage for 5’ 4” me to take that 650-pound machine out on the street and accelerate,” said Haley, who likes strengthening her riding skills. “Someday I would like to be a rider coach, inspiring other women to learn to ride.” And then there’s Haley’s bluegrass musician side. “I spent my weekends growing up at bluegrass festivals around the South. I still love the music and have the standup bass fiddle I got when I was 14.” Her love of music and riding came together last year in Las Vegas. “Thanks to an old bluegrass connection, I got to travel to several awesome cities as part of the Zac Brown Band family in 2010. The memory of a lifetime was riding motorcycles from the Vegas strip to Red Rock Canyon with members of the band and having the adventure documented in a video that was featured on” But no matter how thrilling that was, it’s obvious the joy of her life is her son. “I think the most notable thing I’ve done is have my son, Wyatt. (Can I just add that it was a natural childbirth, and the boy weighed over 10 pounds?)” Haley says she’s doing her best to make every moment with him count. “The idea that I am responsible for the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual development of another human being is both heart-stopping and exhilarating. I love seeing how Wyatt grows and changes, almost daily. Having him has helped me to understand so much about myself, my loyalties, my passions, my priorities, even my fears. Being a mom has made me a better person, and it has helped me be appreciative of life — the big stuff and the little stuff.” Her own mother Mary Jo has shaped her life immensely.“She’s a two-time breast cancer survivor who worked very hard while I was growing up. After a less-than-perfect early life, she has become such a centered, professional woman. She is graceful, loving, strong and so very brave.” That’s why breast cancer awareness is such a personal message for Haley. “Every woman 40 and over should have an annual mammogram, and every woman should start the habit of breast self-exams early on. My mother has taught me that knowledge really is power. As women, we need to know our bodies, to listen to our bodies and to take care of our bodies ... for ourselves and for the ones we love.” Charlotte Atkins, editor


Photograph by Daniel Varnado

Ann Hortman

When Dr. Hobart Hortman delivered little Ann Eleam in 1961, little did he know that she would grow up to marry his son David. “My father-in-law brought me into this world,” says Ann Hortman, a local native and sports marketing and event coordinator for the Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau. She loves her job of promoting Rome and its events, but earlier in life she eyed another career. “I have a degree in fashion merchandising. Go figure. I’m really a fashionista at heart.” Her other interests include “cooking, gardening, traveling, reading, junkin’ and my cats and dogs.” Her organization of the annual Clock Tower Classic handcycling race has become another passion and led to her being named to the U.S. Handcycling board of directors and currently serving as the national group’s vice chairwoman. “I am an advocate for adaptive sports and am blessed to have many wonderful and inspiring friends I have made through those associations. Because of those friends and my partners with RACE Rome we were able to donate two handcycles to Infinity Children’s Services and have made a difference in those children’s lives,” says Ann. “We have opened a whole new world for a group of Rome’s youth. It took me six years to make it happen, and I am so grateful I was able to give back.” She’s outgoing and personable, so some would likely be surprised that she’s uncomfortable speaking in front of others. “I don’t have stage fright. I have stage terror,” she confesses. But you wouldn’t know it to see her working around town to make a difference in Rome and people’s lives. The lives she’s touched perhaps the most are her two daughters Katherine and Elizabeth. “Mothers are the ultimate teacher, and when you see your children applying lessons learned it’s awesome. My girls reinforced my beliefs to be nonjudgemental, accepting of others and to always look on the bright side. Their inquisitive and curious nature has rubbed off on me.” Ann’s other loves: food and football. “I live to eat, not eat to live.” And when it comes to football, she bleeds orange and blue. “ I am a die-hard college football fan, mainly the SEC, specifically the Auburn Tigers. War Eagle!” But in recent years, she’s also taken a liking to NAIA college football since Rome is once again hosting the division’s national title game on Dec. 17 at Barron Stadium. Ann is the NAIA Football National Championship game week coordinator. She touts that Rome is the perfect place for such national sporting events. “Our community wrote the book on Southern hospitality,” says one of its main hostesses. Charlotte Atkins, editor


Bon Appetit Y’all

Fun recipes for the whole family to help make and enjoy Taste of Home offers a slew of ideas for kid-friendly meals and snacks. By Charlotte Atkins Editor

Every fall the Rome News-Tribune brings the Taste of Home Cooking School to town for area food fans, who eagerly await it. Year after year culinary specialist Michelle “Red” Roberts conducts Cooking School demonstrations showing attendees how to prepare a whole slate of delicious recipes. October’s event was a crowd-pleaser as usual. Michelle does cooking schools throughout the country, focusing primarily on the Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Carolinas, Tennessee and Mississippi areas. When asked why she loves the Cooking School, Michelle responded, “I love being on stage, entertaining and sharing my love of cooking.” The cool thing is that while Michelle shows us how to conjure up several recipes during her annual pilgrimage to Rome, Taste of Home has a website — — that has tons of recipes and cooking tips you can access year around. Here are just a few of the family-friendly recipes from Taste of Home for you and your family to try.

4-Square Family Pizza Ingredients Cornmeal, if desired 1 can (13.8 ounces) Pillsbury® refrigerated classic pizza crust


2 teaspoons olive oil ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese (2 ounces) 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 ounces) BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA SQUARE: 1 tablespoon chopped red onion 1/2 cup refrigerated honey hickory barbecue sauce with shredded chicken, large pieces cut up MARGHERITA PIZZA SQUARE: 1 tablespoon shredded fresh Parmesan cheese 4 to 5 (¼-inch-thick) slices plum (Roma) tomato (about 1 large tomato) 1 tablespoon thin fresh basil strips HAWAIIAN PIZZA SQUARE: 2 tablespoons pizza sauce 2 slices Canadian bacon, quartered 1/4 cup pineapple tidbits, well drained (from 8-ounce can) PEPPERONI PIZZA SQUARE: 2 tablespoons pizza sauce 8 to 10 slices pepperoni (from 3-ounce package) Directions: Heat oven to 425° F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray; sprinkle with cornmeal. Unroll dough; place on cookie sheet. Starting at center, press out dough into 14x12-inch rectangle. Brush dough with olive oil. Bake 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese in the shape of a “plus sign” on crust, dividing the crust into four squares. Top each square with 1 of the 4 variations listed above to make 4 different squares; if desired, on the Pepperoni Pizza Square, arrange the pepperoni to make a happy face. Top entire pizza with mozzarella cheese. Bake 10 to 13 minutes longer or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly. Cut pizza into 4 squares; cut each square into 4 squares to make a total of 16 squares. Yield: 16 servings. This recipe lends itself well to other variations. Get creative and add your family’s favorite toppings!

Photograph by Lisa Hall

Taste of Home Cooking School chef Michelle Roberts cooks during the annual Cooking School demonstration. For a perfect party pizza, follow Steps 1 and 2, dividing the crust into four squares with lines of shredded Cheddar cheese as described. Then provide toppings (meats, cheeses, sauces, fruits, etc.), allowing guests to complete a

square with the ingredients of their choice. This is wonderful for a teenager’s sleepover party. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

Photograph by Daniel Varnado

Melissa Jones

Melissa Jones has only called Rome home for about seven months, but she already seems to grasp what makes it a special place. “I love this community. We have the best of so many different entities here — health care facilities, higher educational choices, two different school systems, Darlington, an abundance of recreational facilities/activities, interactive local government commitments and/or partnerships and a strong faith-based community.” Those are all important components to her job as South Rome redevelopment director. At 28, Melissa has a strong sense of service. She has served with the U.S. Army Reserves, and she admits to being “obsessed with law enforcement.” “I would love to be a special agent for the FBI. Prior to falling in love with policy making and planning, I was criminal justice driven. I was actually torn between a criminal defense attorney and the FBI,”shared Melissa. “Maybe in the second half of my life I will make a career change.” She’s a fan of TV crime shows. “I love watching ‘Criminal Minds,’‘Law and Order: Special Victims Unit’and ‘Snapped.’While these shows captivate the audience with unrealistic outcomes, they shed light onto other complex scenarios.” Melissa says she also loves to read and write. “My favorite novel is ‘Having Our Say,’ which sheds light on the importance of education, racism and independency for two sisters. The novel is co-authored by Sarah and Elizabeth Delaney with Amy Hill Hearth. I hope that one day I will be a published author.” While military service required a certain degree of bravery, that is not where her courage has been showcased. “After Sept. 11, the thought of flying terrified me. I stepped on a plane for the first time in 10 years on Sept. 27, 2011, to Indianapolis for a conference. Overcoming the fear made the trip and the location more compelling for me.” A more human moment, though, is what she called her bravest. “In the past I did grant writing, facilitation, event planning, etc. for a HIV/AIDS community-based organization. My bravest moment was telling someone they were HIV positive and helping that person get the counseling they needed, as well as helping to provide them with shelter and their basic needs.” Melissa’s son Jaylen is her priority in life. “Motherhood has changed my outlook on life from just living to having a reason and purpose to be here.” Perhaps that is why President Barack Obama is her hero. “He has given hope to ... young African-American boys/men. His being elected president lets them know that the possibilities are endless and with hard work and dedication anyone can accomplish whatever goal they may have.” Charlotte Atkins, editor


Magnolias of the Past Myrtle Hill tour brings past Romans to life Each autumn, the “Where Romans Rest” tour of historic Myrtle Hill Cemetery lets us step back in time and “meet” some notables buried there. This year’s tour featured a couple of Magnolias of the Past portrayed by locals who give a glimpse of who these women were in their day. Ellen Louise Axson Wilson was portrayed by Lisa Smith, executive director of the Greater Rome Visitors and Convention Bureau, while Ida Lee Bass was brought to life by Mary Elena Kirk. Here’s what you need to know about these women, according to local history expert Anne Culpepper.

ELLEN LOUISE AXSON WILSON Ellen Wilson moved to Rome with her family when she was 6 years old. She was educated at the Rome Female College and the Art Students League in New York. In 1883, she married Woodrow Wilson in Savannah. She continued with her art career. She spent her money on books for him and for music and art lessons for their three daughters. After Wilson became president, Ellen was the first activist First Lady. She worked to improve working conditions for women employed by the federal government and to improve the living conditions of the poor in Washington, D.C. The day she died, one of the bills she had lobbied for was passed. Following her death in the White House in 1914, President Wilson brought her body back to Rome, the place she had lived the longest, and buried her at Myrtle Hill with her parents.


Photograph by Daniel Varnado

Lisa Smith portrays Ellen Louise Axson Wilson.

Ida Bass lived on East Fourth Avenue in Rome and her husband, C.C. Bass, owned a mercantile store on West Second Avenue. On Oct. 12, 1899, C.C. Bass was in Tennessee on business. Ida’s mother and her sister were here in Rome to be with Ida during his absence and to celebrate the seventh birthday of the Bass’ son. That afternoon Ida went into premature labor and delivered a baby girl, named Miriam. Following the birth of Miriam, Ida went into labor again and delivered a stillborn son, named Edward, and then Ida herself died. Her mother blamed C.C. for her death, and she took Ida’s body to Atlanta and buried her in Oakland Cemetery. Edward was buried at Myrtle Hill. Two and a half months later on Dec. 23 Miriam died and was buried beside Ida. C.C. lived until 1947 and was buried at Myrtle Hill with Edward. According to Culpepper, every year near the 12th of October, Ida’s spirit is said to visit the graves of C.C. and Edward at Myrtle Hill.

Photograph by Daniel Varnado

Mary Elena Kirk portrays Ida Lee Bass. 19

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I played it on my husband. When we received the new cable box, I had another remote that he didn’t realize we had. I would stand behind him changing the channels, messing with the volume etc. It was driving him nuts! This went on for weeks. My kids cracked up. He kept saying our television was going out, and we were gonna need a new one! Dianne Stansberry

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My husband was emceeing an event and was introducing his wife, and as he made nice comments about his supportive bride, I ask an elderly lady sitting in front of me to stand up when he finished. It was great, the crowd laughed for what seemed like 10 minutes before she sat down, and I stood and waved.We still laugh about that one. Ann Arnold I did a study abroad in Italy during college and one of my friends loved to use bad language. We found out the Italian words for private parts of the body — and we told her they meant your basic cuss words. She used these words for over a month! She would come back with stories about how Italians did not use bad language because they all reacted so surprised. Finally, a sweet Italian man told her what she was saying ... and we laughed for years! Eva Marie Kelley Burns

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What is the most outrageous thing your child has ever said or done? I have no children of my own, but I had a cousin that was over at my mother’s house, and I had made a chocolate mousse. I asked him if he would like to have some, and he said yes. He then asked me who killed the moose? Jeanette Sanders

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While attending a summer youth retreat, my son filled a chocolate éclair with shaving cream and gave to his youth minister. Jayne Diggs When she was little she would always sneak and eat cookies and then say she had no idea who did it. (Usually it was the leprechaun.) One day I asked her who ate the cookies and she said it was the neighbor. I punished her for blaming this on someone else. As it turned out, the neighbor really had eaten the cookies! Debbie Burnett “For real momma, tell me where babies grow? And don’t say the stomach, because I know the acid in our stomach would kill a baby!” asked by my daughter when she was about 5 years old — while I was driving. Jamie Bennett We used temporary tattoos as potty training rewards. Recently, Grady, my 4 year old, and I saw a teenager that had both arms covered in tattoos. Grady said, “He has a lot of tattoos. He must have pooped in the potty a lot of times.” Karen S. Smith

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Tina Hayes Rush Tina Rush’s son Dylan once told her that she’s lucky because she’s had two careers that involve her two passions — books (literature) and travel. The teacher-turned-travel-agent’s favorite quote is from St. Augustine, who said, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Tina, 54, retired from teaching English at Pepperell High after 30 years last year and now is the owner of RushOur Travel. She has spent her adult life in Rome. “I moved here after graduation and went to Berry College. Now I can’t imagine living anywhere else!” Anyone who knows Tina knows she loves to travel. Her bucket list includes wanting to visit all the continents, except Antarctica. “I’ve been to South America, Africa, Europe and, of course, I live in North America. So I just have Asia and Australia left.” She also wants to skydive. “Maybe I’ll do that for my 60th birthday.” Even though she loves to visit new places near and far, Tina admits she has a terrible sense of direction. “I can get lost in a shoebox! Not only do I have a GPS in my car, I also have the navigation app on my iPhone. Sometimes I have BOTH of them on at the same time, just in case!” Another confession is her fear of stairs, “which is ironic since my house is on three levels, and I have to use stairs constantly,” says Tina. Yet another secret: “I’m also a closet viewer of ‘Swamp People,’ but I’ll deny it if anyone asks. My reputation as a cultured woman is at stake here.” She has other interests that don’t threaten that reputation. “When I’m not reading or traveling, I play tennis and spend time with my family and friends. I enjoy scuba diving, and I also love trivia; I try to play every week with a group of friends.” Of all the destinations she’s visited, Tina’s favorite is Cape Town, South Africa. “It is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been, and I can’t wait to go again. It is very modern and cosmopolitan, but at the same time, there is something primeval and pristine there. The combination is intriguing. I also love Grand Cayman for the great scuba diving, as well as just about anywhere in the Caribbean. It’s hard to go wrong on a beautiful island.” But for her, Rome means home, family and good friends. “I love that after being a tumbleweed for the majority of my early life, I have deep roots here. I love to visit new places, but I also love to come back home to Rome at the end of every trip.” Charlotte Atkins, editor


Magnolia Moms Mother of special needs child keeps her child involved, loved By Daniel Bell Staff Writer

When Sandra Humphreysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;third child was born small and sickly, she knew something was wrong. And when the doctors failed to diagnose little Emmie with anything for the first four years of her life, Sandra never gave up. Finally, four years later, when it was finally discovered her daughter suffered from a rare genetic disorder called trisomy 17p, Sandra nor her family members ever asked, â&#x20AC;&#x153;why us?â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;We asked, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;why not us?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;? said Sandra, who has since become an advocate for children with special needs. Emmie is an active, happy 14-year-old now, and Sandra says she is blessed every day to live in such a supportive community, but things were not always so positive. While doctors ran tests, Sandraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s third daughter, Emmie, spent the first 11 days of her life in the neonatal intensive care unit, and she was eventually sent home with her family. Still, Sandra wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t satisfied. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I can tell you my motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s instinct was something was wrong the moment I laid eyes on her,â&#x20AC;? she said. It would take four years and a development of color genome mapping before anyone would know just what that something

was. Thanks to a blood trial in Boston, Emmie was diagnosed with trisomy 17p, which means she has a partial duplication of one chromosome. The disorder is so rare only six people are known to be living with the diagnosis, and most children die before the age of 2. With Emmie, the duplication is small enough that she has lived, though there are complications. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With Emmie, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll always have a 3year-old,â&#x20AC;? explained Sandra. The teenager has a smaller-than-typical stature, limited range of motion, limited sight, speech and hearing, and she is considered to be mentally retarded. She only weighed 8 pounds on her first birthday, and she didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t learn to walk until she was 4. When most children see a single pediatrician, Emmie regularly visits 12 specialists. Learning about the disorder was a challenge, said Sandra, because it is so rare and so little is known. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even Google it because there isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough information,â&#x20AC;? she said. Those early years were tough, but it has given the Humphreys family a different perspective on life. Friends who treated their daughter different were eventually weeded out of their lives, and one of Sandraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s older daughters has since decided to study speech language pathology so she can help kids like her sister.

Photograph by Daniel Varnado

Sandra Humphreys said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;With Emmie, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll always have a 3-year-old.â&#x20AC;? And Sandra, well, her life was completely changed. When Emmie was born she was a radiology technician, but she quit working for the first three years to care for her sickly child. Eventually, when Emmie was about 3, Sandra decided to return to work, but finding someone who could, and more importantly would, care for her daughter was a challenge. Sandra has always wanted her youngest daughter to simply have the typical experiences that her other daughters have had. That led to her involvement with Parent to Parent, which in turn led to her creation of a navigator team in Floyd County. The organization and the team help guide parents with special needs through life while offering all sorts of support. Sandra became so involved that she now works part-time for Parent to Parent and has helped create 96 more navigator teams in other Georgia counties. Her fellow special needs parents are the best resources, she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everything of value Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve learned came from other parents,â&#x20AC;? she said. As for Emmie, well, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Hot Shots cheerleader, a Challenger Sports athlete, a beauty pageant contestant, a dancer, a triathlete and more. She loves school, and she loves to be around other people. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Emmie is just happy to be on this planet,â&#x20AC;? said Sandra. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even know there is anything wrong with her. She is just a happy girl.â&#x20AC;?

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Tannika King It’s been 20 years since Tannika King’s move to Rome from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada — the northernmost large city in North America. The question she gets most often is “How did you end up here?” “The simple answer is my grandparents. They lived overseas most of my early life, but in 1977 they had bought a house in Rome. They liked this community so much that they kept one here even while they traveled. Three of my uncles attended Berry College. Then Tannika’s parents moved here in 1991 to help maintain her grandparents’ home. “My father, who had a background in hotel management, was a pool shark at heart and opened Rhythm & Cues Billiard Club on Broad Street. At that time, I was getting ready to enter the sixth grade. I remember not wanting to leave the cold white north.” Her only exposure to Rome had been a previous summer visit to be the flower girl in an uncle’s wedding. “Warm weather and barbecue weren’t enough to make me want to leave my friends — and I wasn’t going to be caught dead using the phrase ‘Y’all.’ Boy, was I wrong. My middle and high school years passed quickly, and about the only thing I missed was snow skiing.” After high school, Tannika stayed in Rome to attend Berry, earning a B.A. in communications in 2002. “I have lived and worked here ever since, and I love it,” says the director of media relations at Darlington School. While Tannika, 30, is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, her parents are now back in Canada. “I have no plans to return for anything longer than a visit,” says Tannika. “I definitely miss my Canadian family and wish I could see them more, but Rome is home to me.” She says she loves Rome’s small town feel and its sense of community. “Rome is a beautiful place, and the people only make it better. I also love that there are ample opportunities to get involved in whatever aspect of our community might interest you. My work at Darlington School and my involvement with the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce, the Sexual Assault Center of Northwest Georgia and the Rome International Film Festival really make me appreciate all that Rome has to offer. “From business and education to athletics and the arts, Rome has it all — and we do it well. We are fortunate to have so many people here who want Rome to be the best it can be. I am one of those people.” Charlotte Atkins, editor


50-Plus & Fabulous

‘Granny’ Green relies on faith to raise grandchildren By Doug Walker Associate Editor

Raising children is nothing new to Freddie Green. When she took in three grandchildren around 18 months ago, it was a labor of love, and it’s not like she hasn’t raised children before. Green has mothered four children of her own as well as 11 foster children over the course of 25 years. The energetic Green moved to Rome in 2007 after suffering a heart attack in Illinois. One of her daughters, Josette Johnson, lived in Rome and wanted her mother to be a little closer. Then, early in 2010, three grandchildren, Dejinique, 14, Tyriq, 11, and Giovanni, 6, from another one of Green’s biological children came to Rome from Savannah to live with their grandmother. Green Photograph by Doug Walker said the situation is not permanent, and her daughter’s relationship Freddie Green snuggles with her granddaughter with the children remains strong. Giovanni Green as they get ready for Halloween. What has changed at this point in her life is that Green is currently unemployed, however that has not stopped her from Housing Authority. “I worked in social services. I worked with the providing the best opportunities for the three youngsters who families, and I worked with the kids,” Green said. Green said are all very bright and ambitious. She was appointed to the Board of Commissioners of the How does she do it? Northwest Georgia Housing Authority earlier this year and continues “You know what. I pray a lot,” Green said. “I guess I stand on faith. to work with children through the ROSS Center in the John Graham If I do the right thing, God is going to be there. He’s going to put the Apartments complex in East Rome. Many of the youngsters consider right people in the right places so that I can do what I need to do.” themselves to be cousins to Green’s grandchildren. Before coming to Rome, Green worked for the Joliet (Illinois) Green said her biggest challenge involving the two


granddaughters and grandson are centered on school. “The bullying in school is getting outrageous,” Green said. “My granddaughter says, ‘Granny, I just don’t want to go to school. Can I be homeschooled?’ That’s my toughest thing right now, getting her to understand that she has to get over that because you cannot put your life on hold for somebody else’s inconsideration.” Before they came to Rome, the older children attended a magnet school in Savannah where her grandson Tyriq actually had an opportunity to go to the White House. She said another challenge involves dealing with the distinctly different personalities. “Believe me, they are all as different as night and day,” Green said. On the flip side, Green said what she relishes the most is the closeness with the children — what she calls her granny time. “They are explorers. ... We went down to Atlanta to the aquarium and the Coca Cola Co. They love things like that. They just like to go. They’re adventurous,” Green said. Green admits that she was enjoying that time after raising her own children, becoming an empty nester. “Having that freedom to myself, I was kind of enjoying that,” Green said. “But it’s no longer about me. I am a part of them, and they are a part of me. I intend to be there for the duration, however long that is.” A plaque in Green’s home reads: “Just when a woman thought her job was done, then come grandchildren.” She wouldn’t have it any other way.

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A weaver of dreams By Diane Wagner Staff Writer

Sue Hamler Lee and her wearable fiber art pieces are a fixture at the annual Chiaha Harvest Fair. She credits her mother for encouraging her creativity. Lee’s father, Bruce Hamler, was Rome’s city manager during a good chunk of its formative years, and she drew on his steady vision when she was elected to the City Commission last year. But it’s her mother’s presence Lee feels when she wants to express her inner songs. “My dad was the engineer. She was the creative stay-at-home mom,” Lee said. “She taught me to cross-stitch, and I learned to


knit when I was very young. We did decoupage, gardening. ... I learned to cook. She let me try things out and make mistakes.” While a teacher at Rome High School, Lee started knitting sweaters and shawls — and she has fond memories of setting up at the fledgling Chiaha in the 1960s. In those days the available yarns were generally plain skeins of solid colors, so her offerings were a far cry from the intricate, exotic scarves and bags decorating her stall this year. “Nowadays if you can get the basics down, the yarns do the work for you,” she said. “If you put the right textures and colors together, it kind of sings for you.” Lee collects unusual yarns throughout the year, as they catch her eye, then puts them together in combinations uniquely her

own. She’s also fascinated with vintage buttons and has come up with different ways to show them off. Craft magazines give her starting points, she said, and her imagination takes off from there. “I saw someone made brooches out of vintage buttons, and I thought, ‘what about rings and earrings?’Those were new for me this year,” Lee said. “Decorated papier mache boxes were selling well, and I had a lot of old Rome postcards, so I copied them and collaged them onto boxes for my ‘Remember When’ collection.” The look was a natural for post-it note holders, so she added them to the line. Repurposed toy blocks, whimsically dubbed “city blocks,” also are part of the series. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

Sue Hamler Lee’s mother nurtured the city commissioner’s myriad forms of creative expression CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE

Knitted bead bracelets, “done on really tiny needles,” Scrabble tile pendants and tiny birdhouse slide necklaces are among the other ideas she’s been devoting time to lately. “My brother made me the birdhouse pieces, and I decorated them as part of the ‘Remember When’ series,” she said. “I’ll have those at Winter Art Market.” The newly conceived arts and crafts bazaar — Georgia-made items only — was Dec. 2-3 at the Rome Civic Center. Meanwhile, Lee’s also dreaming up some projects in her role as a city commissioner. She said her artistic bent is both a plus and a minus in government. “I see things in the city of Rome I want to do, but I don’t know about support,” she said. “Some may be just a little too creative. I think outside the box.”

Lee’s very much interested in having an arts center in the city, she said, and a dog park is another quality-of-life proposal she supports. “People love their dogs,” she said. “You can take them to Ridge Ferry Park, but they can’t run around and socialize there.” The city is looking at property for a park, but it’s unlikely the funding could come out of the cash-strapped government budget. Lee said she’s talking to Floyd County Sheriff Tim Burkhalter about ways to tap the artistic talents of his jail inmates for a fundraiser. The plans, if they come to fruition, could be a win for both local residents and the inmate volunteers, she said. “I think it’s very important to have projects,” Lee said. “Everybody needs something that, when they wake up in the morning, they’re excited to do.”

“Nowadays if you can get the basics down, the yarns do the work for you. If you put the right textures and colors together, it kind of sings for you.”

All photos by Diane Wagner.

“I think it’s very important to have projects. Everybody needs something that, when they wake up in the morning, they’re excited to do.”


Home Sweet Home Keeping children safe

By Kim Sloan Staff Writer

Home is supposed to be a safe place, but in some cases even a simple cord can lead to a child’s death. According to SafeKids USA, about 2,096 children younger than 14 die as a result of a home injury every year. While most of the deaths are caused by fires, many are caused because some simple childproof methods were not followed. Here are some tips from SafeKids for keeping your kids and grandkids safe.

Photograph courtesy of

Taking safety precautions — like getting your children to wear helmets while riding bicycles — can help keep them safe at home.

For babies and toddlers: *Use a small parts tester to ensure toys are not so small they pose a choking hazard. * Learn CPR for infants. * Actively supervise babies at all times. * Remove pillows, blankets and stuffed animals from your baby’s sleeping area. *Don’t allow babies or toddlers to sleep on couches, chairs, regular beds or other soft surfaces. * Don’t allow babies to play with plastic bags or in and around poorly ventilated spaces. * Keep cords and strings out of your child’s reach. * Remove hood and neck drawstrings from your baby’s clothing.

* Don’t allow babies to wear hanging jewelry, purses, scarves or loose clothing. * On older or used cribs, make sure all crib-railing slats are secure and no more than 23⁄8 inches apart (the size of a soda can). * Keep small objects such as buttons, beads, marbles, coins and tacks out of reach (and sight). * Don’t let children younger than 3 eat small, round or hard foods, including small pieces of hot dogs, hard candy, nuts, grapes and popcorn. * Buy only age-appropriate toys for your toddler. Use a small parts tester (or a toilet paper roll) to determine whether toys and objects in your home may present a choking hazard to young children. * Never allow young children to play in poorly ventilated spaces such as laundry machines, car trunks and toy chests. * Tie up all window blind and drapery cords out of reach. For older children: * Never leave children alone around open windows, balconies or decks, so they can’t reach the edge. * Install safety guards on all windows that are not emergency exits. * Do not place toys or items that attract children on top of furniture. Don’t let children climb on furniture or use drawers and shelves as steps. *Place furniture away from windows and secure it to the wall to prevent it from tipping over.

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Magnolia Winter Edition 2011  
Magnolia Winter Edition 2011  

A magainze celebratingthe women of Rome and Floyd County Georgia.