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Celebrating the Lives of Local Women


We spotlight intriguing women from Rome’s four colleges.

For the Health of It Running women share how they prepare for a 5K, a 10K and a Half Marathon.

Magnolia Moms

The sandwich generation is caring for both their kids and their parents.

Spring 2011

Clinical Breast Exam Because a mammogram isn’t enough!

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From the Porch Swing

Rome is known for many things. Our abundance of natural beauty. For our rich history. For being a health care hub for Northwest Georgia. And for being the epicenter of higher education in the region as well. That’s because we boast three colleges and a university — Shorter University, Berry College, Georgia Highlands College and Georgia Northwestern Technical College. Among them, they have more than 16,000 students enrolled. What’s interesting to note is that a majority of those students are women. Of Berry’s 2,086 undergrad and grad students, 1,412 (some 68 percent) are female. Those numbers are mirrored at Shorter, which has 3,275 students enrolled, of which 2,567 are women. The trend continues at Georgia Highlands where 64 percent of the students are women — 3,289 of the 5,132 enrolled there. GNTC has 9,795 students enrolled in technical education credit programs and 6,053 — or almost 62 percent — are female. The woman power continues when looking at the staffing of area institutions of higher learning. Georgia Highlands has 304 full-time staffers and 189 (62 percent) are women. Berry and Shorter both have pretty much an even female-tomale ratio among their full-time staffers, though women still hold a slight edge. Three hundred of Berry’s 568 employees are women. That 53 percent matches Shorter’s numbers where 149 of its 282 full-time staffers are women.


And GNTC has 280 instructors, 152 of which are women and totaling about 54 percent. So that’s why it’s so fitting that we’re celebrating women of Rome’s colleges and university. In this edition, you get a glimpse of a student and a staffer from each school. Now, as is our Magnolia M.O., these showcase portraits are not a look at the students’ and faculty members’ academic accomplishments and credentials. Our mission here is to celebrate them as women and to reveal bits and pieces you might not know about them — to take them out of the boxes defined by titles, degrees and majors and GPAs.

Let us know what you think about Magnolia. Send comments to

So we looked to local campuses to find intriguing women. The options were vast. Our campuses are rich in smart, involved, accomplished and interesting women. And we salute and celebrate them all! But the eight we’re showcasing show the diversity of students — they range in age from 19 to 48 — as well as those shaping the minds and education of students here. Each is fascinating in her own way. And they’re all making a difference on campus and in our community. They are inspirational and captivating. Each time I connect with women for our Magnolia portraits, I am so touched by their character, their heart, their interests and their stories. Of course, that’s why Magnolia exists ... to celebrate our lives as women and all the various versions and phases of those lives. Whether you are affiliated with any of the local schools or not, rest assured they all have a huge impact on our community. They are partners in our community on so many levels, from providing jobs and educations to improving our local quality of life and economy. And from Magnolia’s point of view, they help fill our community with amazing women. So please join me in celebrating the women of Rome’s colleges — the ones featured in this edition plus all the others on our local campuses throughout the year! Charlotte Atkins, editor

We’re looking for some animal magnetism! We’re looking ahead to future editions of Magnolia and here’s what we’re looking for next. Do you have an unusual pet — perhaps a llama, an exotic bird, a ferret, a boa constrictor, iguana or tarantula? Or do you have an unusual story about your pet, like say you lost your dog and then moved and somehow he miraculously

tracked you down ala “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey”? Or your cat dialed 911 and saved the family from a fire? OK, some of those scenarios may seem farfetched, but people do often have amazing stories about their pets ... and we want to hear them.

So you if you have an unusual pet or story about your pet, please drop me a note. You can e-mail me Please put My Pet for Magnolia in the subject line. Or you can snail mail it to me at My Pet for Magnolia, P.O. Box 1633, Rome GA 30162. I’d love to see photos, so send those along

too if you have them. I’d like to hear from you by May 20. Then we’ll select some women and their pets to be featured in one of our upcoming editions of Magnolia. Charlotte Atkins, editor


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

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She Said questions

What did you enjoy most about college? Where did you attend? What is your favorite book of all time? If you knew no one would see you all day long, what would you wear? What is the most valuable lesson you learned in college? What do you usually think about right before falling asleep? If someone were to ask you “What is your dream in life?” what would you tell them? When are you most frustrated? What was your worst dating experience?

Page 6 Page 8 Page 12 Page 14 Page 16 Page 28 Page 30 Page 36


Spring thyme: Add herbal flavor to her aperitif choices

Jasmine Habersham Sabrena Parton Brin Enterkin Tasha Toy Jordan Forsyth Carla Patterson Sherry Herrington Heidi Popham


Web Editor Krystin Fain

Design and Layout Heather Koon

Advertising Director Mike Schuttinga

Photographers Ellie Mahon, Ryan Smith, Daniel Varnado, Ellison Langford, Doug Walker

Advertising Sales Kayla Fricks, Helen Allen, Missie Tolbert, Mandy Welborn

On the run: The first step to running — whether a mile, a 5K, 10K or half marathon — is well ... taking that first step Page 22

Contributing Writers Severo Avila, Diane Wagner, Charlotte Atkins, Ellison Langford, Daniel Bell, Lydia Senn, Kim Sloan, Doug Walker, Chelsea Latta

Magnolias of the Past

Editorial Assistants Valerie Creel, Beth MillerMcCain

For the Health of It

Julia & Julia: The two Julias of Barnsley Gardens history were steel magnolias, says historian Clent Coker, and one might have been the inspiration of Scarlett O’Hara. Page 26


50-Plus & Fabulous The power of dance

Magnolia Portraits

Page 21

Editor Charlotte Atkins

Page 32

Home Sweet Home

Sitting Pretty: Favorite sitting spots offer serenity Page 34

Page 7 Page 9 Page 15 Page 17 Page 29 Page 31 Page 37 Page 39

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: “Mr. Big Stuff ” Randy Payne for the use of his bright yellow Firebird dragster and David Payne for getting the race car into position; Janice Hudson-Huff and TigerFlight for the use of their tiger-painted fighter plane; Donald Doegg and Putt-Putt Golf & Games for use of the go cart and facilities; Clent Coker for this vast knowledge of Barnsley Gardens history and the “two Julias;” Berry College photo director Alan Storey for access and the tour of the Possum Trot Church and schoolhouse; Chris Reinolds Kozelle, Berry director of news and editorial services; Kristen Kinsey, assistant director of marketing and public relations, and Kate Terry, marketing and PR specialist, at Georgia Northwestern Technical College; Dana Davis, Georgia Highlands College director of college relations; Dawn Tolbert, vice president for public relations, and Aimee Madden, public relations specialist, at Shorter University; Lisa Smith, executive director for the Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau for her help with wedding venues; and Jim Jones, Rome Braves assistant general manager, for use of State Mutual Stadium.

Looking for that perfect wedding venue? Greater Rome is rich with ideas and options.

Magnolia Moms

Sandwich Generation — Taking care of our kids and our parents

Page 10

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Just her and the music: Gwendolyn Watson gives up a lucrative musical career only to find that music itself is all the riches she needs Page 18

Cover photo: Sabrena Parton is shown in the rustic classroom on Berry College’s Mountain Campus that’s next to Possum Trot Church. Parton’s grandmother Laveda, who instilled in her a love of knowledge and a love of God, taught in a one-room Appalachian schoolhouse similar to the historic Berry classroom. She even found several old textbooks that were the same ones from which her grandmother used to teach. Parton, a former Berry associate professor who is now dean of Shorter University’s College of Arts & Sciences, still has her late grandmother’s school bell that was found at her school in Kentucky. Parton received it as a gift upon earning her doctorate. (The cover photo is by Ryan Smith.)

Minding Her Own Business

Lavender Mountain Hardware’s Virginia Brewer colors her world and others’ with plants Page 19

Bon Appetit Y’all

Growing your own: Nothing fresher than herbs from your garden





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To advertise in the next edition of Magnolia, e-mail KFricks@ or call 706-290-5213. For features, e-mail CAtkins@ 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.

At Rome Women’s Health Center, we are committed to providing complete care for women of all ages, with an emphasis on long-term patient relationships and patient education. With women in mind, we are staffed with a friendly team of elite, professional women to ensure a more comfortable, personalized experience. We take pride in the trust our patients have put in us, and are grateful to be a part of their lives and helping to maintain optimal women’s health for a lifetime and helping to start the exciting process of growing families throughout this community.


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She Said:

What did you enjoy most about college? Where did you attend? I graduated from Auburn University WAAAAR EAGLE!! Right now I am enjoying being National Football Champions. But what I enjoyed the most at the time was spreading my wings and learning to fly after leaving the nest. Eagle pun intended! Elaine Abercrombie Coosa Valley Technical College for two years. I distinctly remember being crowned “Penny Queen� at a ball held by the school. The nominees had to gather business sponsors and we even worked for fellow-students carrying their books to class, helping with homework, etc., to earn monies. We dressed in different costumes daily, etc. It was a lot of fun and for a very good cause. We raised money for a teacher who had severe health issues and was on sick leave at the time. Dianne Stansberry I attended Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. (This was before the shootings there). One of my favorite memories was when we had a big snowstorm so they canceled classes and we took trays from the cafeteria and went sledding down a hill near our dorm. Jan Deems Learning and overcoming challenges while making new friends. Shorter College for bachelor degree, Regis University for master degree and Nova Southeastern for specialist and doctorate. I was a late bloomer as I returned at 40-plus and enjoyed every minute of the work and accomplishment. I believe education is power in life, personally and professionally. Most of all, I have learned much from life’s experiences through tragedies and triumphs. I never give up. I am a survivor! I am a great believer in life-long learning. Cathy P. Vann Mercer University / Macon. Serving on the Student Union Activities Board (that planned all campus entertainment). I got to meet the likes of Jackson Browne and Greg Allman. I was first woman chairman of Mercer’s SUAB. Nancy L. Smith

Want to be part of our next edition’s She Saids? Drop us a line at to be added to our e-mail list.



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Jasmine Habersham

Music is Jasmine Habersham’s great love and talent. But the Shorter student, shown here at State Mutual Stadium, is also an avid baseball fan who loves the Braves.

Jasmine Habersham was “really shy growing up,” but now she’s comfortable on stage in front of huge crowds. When former ambassador Andrew Young came to Shorter University to speak during Black History Month, Jasmine was part of the program, performing an opening song for the night’s event. When she finished singing, the crowd rose to its feet and roared its ovation. Folks had come to hear the message of the dignitary, but what they got in addition was a glimpse of a shining future. As a senior musical performance major at Shorter, Jasmine aspires to a life as an opera singer. Some highlights have included “going back home and singing with the Macon Symphony and also winning the District MET competition and going to National MTNA.” She has another goal. “I would love to sing for President Obama one day.” While music certainly strikes a chord with Jasmine, the 21-year-old does have other interests. “People would be surprised to know that I was once a huge ‘Lord of the Rings’ movie fan,” she said, and “I love the Atlanta Braves.” She’s especially fond of Braves standout Jason Heyward. On a recent visit to Rome’s State Mutual Stadium, Jasmine got to stroll through the outfield where Heyward played with the Rome Braves and to learn how the local stadium field’s specs match those at Turner Field. “This is so amazing,” she said. In addition to watching baseball, Jasmine says, “I love to read, listen to music, dance, ... and watching YouTube videos.” She also enjoys the education she’s getting in a Christian environment at Shorter. Of course, some lessons go beyond what’s learned in class. “The most valuable lesson that I’ve learned in college is that it is normal to make mistakes and is very important to learn from your mistakes and learn from other’s mistakes,” said Jasmine. “Also know who you are, know what you want, who you are representing and know what it takes for you to be able to reach your goals. ... Do what you have to do, so you can do what you want to do.” And what she wants to do is sing. She’s performed locally in shows like “Ain’t Misbehavin.” She loves musical theater but opera really speaks to her. “I just love being on the stage performing,” she shared. “Opera music is so emotional and passionate. That emotion shared through voice is fabulous.” Charlotte Atkins, editor


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Sabrena Parton

Sabrena Parton’s faith was born in a small church similar to Possum Trot at Berry College. Once an associate professor at Berry, she’s now a dean at Shorter University.

As she strolls into Possum Trot Church where Martha Berry wrote scripture on the walls, Sabrena Parton is transported back to the little mountain church where her faith was birthed. “I grew up attending a small country church in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky where we had to walk up the holler to use the latrine,” says Sabrena. “You’d have to lift of the lid to make sure there weren’t spiders, snakes and bees. My Papaw helped build the first inside bathroom in 1994.” She also points to the corner and says in her church, she remembers her papaw would be in the corner pickin’ a banjo, and she’d go up front to sing. She remembers the fire and brimstone preacher, too, bellowing from the pulpit. “I was afraid of Jesus when I was little, but later I chose him.” Faith resonates from Sabrena, 41, dean of Shorter University’s College of Arts & Sciences. She’s been affiliated with three institutions of higher learning in the region. She left Kennesaw State to become an associate professor at Berry where her husband was director of undergraduate business programs. And after a three-year interim to stay home with her three children, she was contacted by Shorter and rejoined academia five years ago. She’s the first in her family to attend college. “I went all the way to earn a PhD despite being told I would never be able to attend college.” Because of her humble beginnings, Sabrena’s gratitude for her education is apparent. “The Lord created knowledge and I believe he takes great delight in our exploring and discovering knowledge and then putting that knowledge to use for his glory.” Her love of knowledge was a gift from her late grandmother Laveda, who taught in a one-room schoolhouse much like the one on Berry’s mountain campus. “She raised me to be who I am,” says Sabrena. “She taught me that with God and an education, you can build a better life.” Her life has included dreams. One was to be an astronaut ... but her fear of heights thwarted that. Another fear persists too, the bees from the holler in Kentucky. That became apparent during her photo shoot as she deftly darted in and out of the photo frame as wasps in the church and a bee outside the church buzzed too close for comfort. But she found comfort as she clutched two items dear to her — her Bible and her grandmother’s school bell that she was given when she earned her doctorate. Laveda would be so proud. Charlotte Atkins , editor


Photograph by Ryan Smith

The lawn behind the ruins at Barnsley Gardens is a popular spot for weddings. The Adairsville resort offers a variety of wedding packages.

Looking for that perfect wedding venue? By Chelsea Latta Staff Writer

When planning a wedding, one of the most important items on the checklist is selecting and securing the location. Whether you want an intimate wedding or a huge soiree, the venue certainly sets the tone for the big day. The good news is there are several scenic and creative options here in the Greater Rome area for brides-to-be to consider.

Barnsley Gardens A wedding at Barnsley Gardens in Adairsville can be hosted inside or outside; there are back-up places in case of bad weather. Barnsley Gardens also offers different wedding packages that include tables, chairs, decorations, catering, etc. It is advised to book a wedding at Barnsley Gardens at least a year in advance. “Barnsley Gardens Provides an atmosphere that you can’t get at any other facility. It’s so unique and it’s got a lot of character,” stated Beth Elinsky, wedding coordinator at Barnsley Gardens. To learn more about weddings at Barnsley Gardens, visit or call 770-7737480.

The Farm The Farm, located on Big Texas Valley Road, is a scenic place to have a wedding. Weddings at the Farm can be inside in the ballroom or outside and can accommodate up to 250 people. It is advised to book a wedding at The Farm at least six months in advance. Dixie Bagley, the owner of The Farm, said when you book a wedding there, she keeps the entire weekend open for your wedding rehearsal and more. “Your event can be as elaborate or as simple as you want it to be and we try to keep it affordable,”said Bagley. For more information or to book a wedding at the Farm, visit their website at zion_farms/ or contact Dixie Bagley at 706-235-8002.

Rotary Plaza Rotary Plaza offers many deals for weddings. It is advised to have to the wedding rehearsal at The Forum. According Brent Poplin, the manager of The Forum, if a wedding uses Rotary Plaza for the service and The Forum for the reception, chairs, tables, catering and more can be arranged. The Forum parking deck can also be leased for the wedding. Weddings at Rotary Plaza are advised to be scheduled six to nine months in advance.

Contributed photos


For more information about weddings at Rotary Plaza, contact Brent Poplin at 706-233-0088.

DeSoto Theatre For a history-tinged wedding, the DeSoto Theatre is a great venue. Tables, chairs and a sound system are included with the building rental. The wedding reception can also be held at the theater. It is advised to book a wedding two to three months in advance. “I just think the DeSoto Theatre would be a nice place to do a wedding because of the nostalgia surrounding the theatre,” said Jim Powell, a DeSoto Theatre board member. For more information about weddings at the DeSoto Theatre, contact Jim Powell at 706-295-7171 or visit

ECO River Education Center, Roman Holiday Another historic wedding venue is the ECO River Education Center at Ridge Ferry Park. Bookings are advised to be as far out as possible because rentals are limited to two a month. Tables, chairs, a sound system and a building attendant are offered with no extra charge.

The Palladium lets clients determine how much the facility will provide for couples such as Sarah Elizabeth Colombo and Jonathan Frederick Post, whose wedding reception is shown. “We can do it all, or we can make it limited,” said Marie Brinson, owner of the Palladium.

“It appeals to people who like the charm of an old building. It’s also close to the river, which makes it even better,” said Eric Lindberg, the environmental services director. The Roman Holiday Riverboat can also host weddings. The boat can seat up to 49 people and offers tables, seating and a sound system. It is encouraged to book a wedding on the riverboat two to three months in advance. “We typically can go down the Coosa River. It’s cool that you can actually be on the water,” said Lindberg. Contact Eric Lindberg at 706-236-4400 to get more information about weddings at the Eco Center or the Roman Holiday.

Local parks The Rome and Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority offer many public venues. The Gazebo at Heritage Park is a possible venue for a romantic wedding, and Unity Point is available for small intimate weddings. The Lock & Dam park is available for those wanting a more natural, environmental wedding. RFPRA also offers many venues for weddings and receptions at the Thornton Recreation Center, the Shannon Recreation Center, the Senior Adult Recreation Center and the Anthony Center.

Photograph contributed by Claremont House Photograph contributed by Claremont House Mandy-Shea Riggins and Antony Eason marry at Claremont House. Christy Gooch and Mitchell Cooper had such a great time with They planned their wedding from England over the course of a year and half, primarily via e-mail. The wedding and reception was their wedding and reception that her sister decided to get married at the Claremont House in the fall. a lovely blend of local Southern culture and English traditions.

Weddings planned at any of the venues owned by the RFPRA will have to be booked at least 14 days in advance. Chairs, tables and a sound system will be provided and the RFPRA can coordinate with other vendors about catering, decorations, etc. “They are all very functional venues. They have a lot of flexibility. We can help a bride with whatever she needs help with,” said Lisa Nash, the special event coordinator for the RFPRA. For more information about weddings at any of these venues contact the RFPRA at 706-291-0766 or visit the website at

Claremont House The Claremont House hosts weddings of any size. Packages for weddings are available and can include a wedding cake, flowers, decorations and more. It is advised to book a wedding at the Claremont House at least six months in advance.“It’s the perfect place for a wedding,”said Holly McHagge, the owner.“It’s the finest example of gothic Victorian architecture in the state.” More wedding information can be accessed at www. or by calling 706-291-0900.

Berry College The three chapels at Berry College that host weddings are Frost Chapel, which holds about 400 people, Berry

College Chapel, which has a capacity of 800 people, and Barnwell Chapel, which seats 100 to 125 people. Frost Chapel and Berry College Chapel can only be rented by Berry College alumni, children of Berry College alumni and present and former Berry faculty and staff and their children. Barnwell Chapel is open to anyone. A piano is available at each chapel and a sound system will be available to those who use Berry officials to operate the sound system. Bookings must be made at least a year in advance for weddings. “A lot of folks have a special place in their hearts for Berry. Having a wedding here just makes that tie even stronger,” stated Helen Simmons, the campus scheduling coordinator at Berry College. For more information about weddings at Berry, visit or call the campus at 800-237-7942.

Belle Terra A Jane Austen-esque rural elegance awaits brides at Belle Terra in Cave Spring. The 1,200 acres feature waterfalls, wooden bridges and floral gardens privately secluded half a mile away from Cave Spring Road. “It’s a private estate, and we have 1,200-plus acres so we don’t problems with parking or neighbors or that kind of thing,” said owner Latrelle Jones. “We sit half a mile off the road and down a private driveway.” Please see VENUES 12

Greater Rome rich with ideas, options

Contributed photo

Photographs contributed by Berry College

Berry has a number of chapels popular for weddings, including Berry College Chapel (above), Frost Chapel (below) and Barnwell Chapel.

Belle Terra, located in Cave Spring, has more than 1,200 acres and can accommodate weddings with hundreds of guests. 11

She Said:

If you knew no one would see you all day long, what would you wear? Sweat pants, T-shirts and barn boots. Donna Davin

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What I usually wear ... my hubby calls them “old hippie clothes.” Julie Windler

Pair of sweat pants and my sorority T-shirt Lily Miller

I would just wear a very comfy cotton dress! I love dresses and could wear one every day no matter if someone saw me or not! Brooke Brown Nolan

VENUES from 11 However, Jones suggested calling at least nine months in advance to make a reservation. While they do not cater, they have a list of suggest vendors should the bride not have a preference. They also do not provide audio equipment. In case of inclement weather during the ceremony, they offer a conservatory. A reception hall is also available. “We have accommodated weddings of up to 350 people in the past, and we can accommodate more,” Jones said. For more information about weddings at Belle Terra, call 706-234-1980 or visit www.

Other options z According to the their website, Proctor Farm hosts outdoor weddings that include catering, live entertainment and pews. The website is and the phone number is 706-238- 2246. z Rocky Mountain hosts weddings at the group shelter area. The venue is perfect for nature lovers and it is close to the lake. A pavilion, picnic tables, one outlet, one water faucet and men and women out houses are available at the venue. Bookings should be made two to three months in advance. Call 706-8025087 for more information. z The Amphitheater near the Civic Center is a


nice place for an outdoor wedding. It is advised to also rent the Civic Center to ensure parking and avoid other events. Chairs and takes are available, but there isn’t a sound system. Bookings should be made as far in advance as possible. For more information contact Jim Belzer at 706-295-5576. z Wedding rentals at the Palladium include catering, standard linens, glass ware, unlimited parking and a sound system. Weddings at the Palladium are advised to be booked three to six months in advance. For wedding information visit or call 706-235-6829. “There are a lot of things that come with the rental that you would have to pay an extra charge anywhere else. We can do it all, or we can make it limited,” said Marie Brinson, owner of the Palladium. z The Governor’s House, located in Kingston, is a great venue for a romantic traditional wedding. It is advised to book weddings at the Governor’s House at least 12 months in advance. Packages are available that include all wedding materials except a minister and a photographer. For more information about the venue visit or call 770-336-9149. “I think the Governor’s House is a unique wedding venue because of the grounds. We have 11 and a half acres, mature gardens and wonderful food,” stated Joan Mannis, the owner and wedding planner of the Governor’s House. Staff writer Ellison Langford contributed to this story.

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Magnolia Moms

Sandwich Generation — Taking care of our kids and our parents By Kim Sloan Staff Writer

Pictures can tell a story. When Carrie Baker was searching through boxes of pictures for one of her and her mom shortly before her mom passed away, she had a hard time finding one. After her mom’s stroke in 1999, Baker became a caregiver for her mom, driving to Atlanta several times a week from Rome. At the time, Baker was a young mother with a newborn, a 2-year-old and she was also in pursuit of her doctorate. The picture she found of her mom smiling and she and her children looking stoically at the camera was a reflection of that stressful time, she said. “It felt like a black hole of need,” said Baker, an associate professor of sociology and anthropology at Berry College. “If I jumped in, I could disappear.” Baker was one of millions of Americans who find themselves in what sociologists called the Sandwich Generation —parents who are not only raising their own children but also taking care of their aging parents. The Pew Research Center estimates that one in eight adults is caught in this “sandwich.” For Baker, there was added pressure because of the distance. “She wanted me to be there at all times,” Baker said. “I had to set limits.” Setting limits with aging parents is how members of the sandwich generation can cope with the stress, Baker said. “I had to create boundaries so it didn’t overwhelm me,” she said. “There were times when I had to say, ‘Mom, I can’t be there to do that.’” Baker made sure her mother’s depression was treated. When older people are sick and can no longer take care of themselves, they can become depressed, Baker said. “The depression can cause a parent to lash out at the person who is caring for them,” Baker said.

“I cannot tell you the number of times I would get that phone call saying I was abandoning her, that I was neglecting her,”Baker said.“It was emotionally devastating.” To help her deal with the stress, Baker also saw a therapist. She exercised and got massages. It is important for those who are caught in the sandwich generation to take care of themselves, she said. “The problem is if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of them” Baker said. Again, she said, that’s were boundaries are important. Baker’s mother also had a best friend and brother nearby to help, Baker said. Yet her mother still asked to move to Rome with Baker. Baker, Berry College associate professor of sociology, spoke with a colleague who took care of an aging parent when his children were small. What he told Baker affected her. “He told me he had no memories of his kids from that time period,” Baker said. She knew that her mother’s best friend and brother were close. “Delegate. Don’t’try to do it all yourself.” Even though an aging parent can consume a person’s thoughts and time, Baker said it is important to be open with the children about what is happening. “It’s important to talk to them about why I’m not here,” Baker said. “But it’s also important to explain what is going on with Grandma.” Baker said her husband often had to take on more of the day-to-day care of the children. She said it was the most stressful time of her life. “But I did learn a lot through the process about our society’s treatment of the elderly, which was fascinating for me as a sociologist,” Baker said. ‘Learning about these issues in the classroom is one thing, but living through them gave me a much deeper understanding of the shortcomings of our society’s support systems for the disabled and elderly. And it has increased my empathy for others who are struggling with these issues.” Photo of Carrie Baker by Daniel Varnado


She Said:

We’ve gotCool Junk in Our Trunk!

What is the most valuable lesson you learned in college? Never to quit! Something I did and regret to this day! Should have finished the nursing program I was accepted into at OSU! Instead went onto a business college and became a secretary. Carol Grajzar

Time management. College provides so many opportunities to be involved in a variety of activities such Greek life, student government, intramural sports and service organizations in addition to academic studies. Academics are important, but campus involvement is equally important. Learning how to juggle multiple obligations is definitely a useful skill to learn. Stephanie Burkholder That my success was mostly up to me. Yes, luck might play a part, but nothing would ever replace good-old hard work. (And that I should have had more fun, nurtured my friendships and taken a few classes for pure enjoyment for I was very serious and driven.) Diana Lynn Davis West I am still in college and for those younger than me, I would say, go to college while you are young! It is much harder when you have to work full time and raise a family. Do it while you have the energy for hours of homework and little sleep. It will be worth it in the long run, but do it as soon as you graduate high school if at all possible! Jennifer Morgan

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I’m still in college; however, I learned to abandon the childish idea that everyone is looking at you and judging you. Most people are so busy trying to get by that they don’t have time to judge you. The people who do have time aren’t living their lives. Kaitlin Beard

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Brin Enterkin

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Brin Enterkin loves exploring Berry College’s vast campus on her mountain bike. The Berry junior also loves helping better the lives of Ugandan children through her nonprofit SOUP.

Some people see a heartbreaking problem, and they want to help. They might pray. They might write a check. They may even volunteer a bit to help. But when Berry College student Brin Enterkin went to Uganda as a freshman a couple of years ago and visited an orphanage, she just couldn’t forget the children in need there. “My heart broke,” she recently told both Rotary Clubs in Rome. “I couldn’t forget the children. I knew that I had to help them in some way. I decided to come back to the U.S. and help provide a future for them.” So she started a nonprofit called Sponsorship of Orphans in Uganda Project — online at — that provides 300 Ugandan children with food, school tuition, health care and clothing. “We provide houses for the children, and we take care of all their physiological needs,” Brin said. “This is not some big glorious thing we’re doing. But it’s important. When you can see the faces of the children that need someone to care for them, then you know that it’s important.” Brin is a junior at Berry double majoring in public relations and government. Helping others is her passion. “I love doing things for others,” she says. “It makes me tick.” And that’s what she’d like to continue doing when she finishes college at Berry — “Work as an orphan advocate and speak at multiple world venues to parents willing to foster or adopt.” Uganda, called the “Pearl of Africa,” is one of her favorite places in the world. “I taught microfinancing and loved it!” Cambodia (“where I dedicated a school to my parents”) makes her top three list as does Amsterdam (“It’s just gorgeous.”) Of course, such exotic travel sometimes comes with a price. “I contracted malaria while in Uganda,” says Brin. But when she’s not traveling the world or trying to better it, she’s a thriving student at Berry College. The college’s scenic and never-ending campus also suits another of her passions. “I love mountain biking and being outdoors,” says Brin. The 20-year-old from Fayetteville says she truly enjoys learning and Berry seems to be a good fit for her. “I love the professors, the staff and the incredible friendships I have created.” And her work on her project on behalf of Ugandan children will be a continuing part of her college legacy. Charlotte Atkins, editor


She Said:

Passionate Care Should Also Be Affordable...

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep? How cozy I feel tucked in with my husband and cats. All else pales next to that feeling. Dianna Edwards Haney

Now see? This just goes to show what the evolution of age does to a person. In my teens and 20s, I thought about boys and accompanying, um, physical activities. In my 30s and 40s, I mentally reviewed my to-do lists, especially all the places I had to take my daughter. Now I just read until I get sleepy and off I go. Clear conscience or boring life? Dana Davis

I think about how thankful I am to have a house and a clean, warm bed. Linda Smith

Everything I did that day, every conversation I had, what I should have done, should have said, what my agenda is for tomorrow and my prayers. Regardless of how my day goes, I am always grateful to God for the gift of the day! Vivian Richmeier

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Tasha Toy

Tasha Toy used to drag race with her father, so she was thrilled to get to sit in the cockpit and to pose with racer Randy Payne’s dragster Firebird.

Fast cars get Tasha Toy revved up. That was fostered by her dad Marion whom she calls a bona fide gear head. They enjoyed working on cars together and driving them. “I was a drag racer with my father for a couple of races.” She fondly recalls those days, when as a teen, she accompanied her dad to the Jackson, S.C., speedstrip. “There’s just something about that sound,” she said recently as Randy Payne’s bright yellow Firebird dragster was positioned for our photo shoot. “That big rumble – all that power under the hood!” Tasha grew up an only child, so while she might have been her daddy’s little tomboy tinkering on cars, the flipside involved dressing up with pearls, girly dresses and cotillions with her mother. Debutante drag racer ... she loved it all. Born and raised in Augusta, Tasha says her mother, Dr. Gloria D. Toy, is her hero. “She had the correct balance of motherly love and God’s grace and guidance in raising me.” And now the two Drs. Toy love talking to each other on the phone as they watch “The Good Wife” on TV together long distance. Tasha — director of multicultural and international student programs at Berry — enjoys “reading, traveling and spending time with family.” Of her travels, her favorite places include Portland, Ore., Las Vegas and Gatlinburg. “All of these places have the same things in common. They have unbelievable weather and the people are welcoming and friendly.” And she’d like to travel to Pasadena since one of the things on her bucket list is attend the Rose Bowl and enjoy the pregame events, especially the parade. Tasha, 36, must have a thing for parades because she also longs to “be the grand marshal at the Disney World Electric Nightly Parade.” Though parades and powerful cars may tickle her fancy, Tasha’s true passion is empowering students.“I believe this is my vocation and my ministry.”In fact, a more serious item on her bucket list would be to“own/direct a prep school for high school students.” But this multifaceted woman admits to another fantasy career. “I would love to be wedding planner and cake decorator!” But for now she’s happy guiding Berry students on their collegiate journey. She follows and cleaves to these words when she needs guidance (“I also share this verse with students and believe it helps them too”): For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) Words to live by ... The rest is just icing on a well-decorated cake. Charlotte Atkins, editor


Just her and the music

Gwendolyn Watson gives up a lucrative musical career only to find that music itself is all the riches she needs By Severo Avila Features Editor

“My life fits me,” says Gwendolyn Watson. And she says it with such assurance that one is left with no doubt that she is content with the choices that took this classically trained cellist and pianist from the great concert halls of the world and plopped her down in Rome, Ga. Watson has been playing music since she a child of 3 growing up in Santa Rosa, Calif. Encouraged by both parents, she excelled when she took up the piano at 7, then the cello at 12 in order to play in an orchestra. Years later, she received her bachelor’s degree in cello performance and her master’s degree in composition. “Then I spent 37 years earning a living improvising for American modern dance for cello and piano,” she said. Living in New York City, she was paid to sit in a dance studio as dancers trained and rehearsed. She watched their movements and interpreted what she saw into music. “It was a very unusual way to earn a living,” Watson remembered. “I’d watch the teacher show the students the movements and as soon as they were ready to go, I’d improvise some music. My challenge was to translate the visual into auditory. It was very interesting to me.” That improvisation would become Watson’s calling card. She said her mother was very nurturing of her imagination and creativity and that has been a central motivation in all she’s done musically. “I had a fine classical education, but I believe my special talent is improvising and teaching others to do that,” she said. Watson even wrote a book called “Improvisation as a Way of Life,” which she says focuses on a different way of thinking or composing. “It’s a process rather than a product,” she said. “By practicing improvisation, one learns flexibility, spontaneity as well as an appreciation for other people’s creativity.” She has traveled the globe, performing



Photograph by Ryan Smith

music from Europe to Canada and throughout America. But the great concert halls of the world and the promise of a more lucrative musical career lost their luster. As Watson matured, her priorities changed and in 1996 she came to Rome. “I needed a home base to let the dust settle,” she said. “I’ve been self-employed all my life. Doing what I do, one has to be alert, clever, willing to combine many smaller incomebearing pursuits.” She’s made her living in Rome in what she calls a patchwork quilt of activities. She teaches private lessons for cello and piano, spent several years teaching classical cello and improvisation at Shorter University and Berry College and she

plays at church functions and special events such as weddings and formal parties. “I’ve always chosen to follow the path that seems most fitting of my talents,” she said. “That means taking chances financially but holding to a personal integrity.” Indeed Watson will be the first to say she lives neither a luxurious lifestyle nor does she want for life’s necessities. One feels, after meeting with her, that she lives precisely as she means to. She is envious of no one. At “70 years young” as she puts it, Watson’s priorities are maintaining her health, composing, teaching privately and perhaps traveling. Her faith — she is Baha’i — has become a central focus. For the last year she has

been composing a cantata as well as recording a new CD. In “Pearls from an Endless Sea,” Watson composes music based on Baha’i writings. The CD will be released this summer. Watson hosts devotions at her home each Tuesday evening at 6:30 where anyone of any religious affiliation is welcome to attend. “I think I am healthier and happier than I’ve ever been,” Watson said. “But that comes with a price. It has taken lots of inner searching and a shifting of priorities. But at this moment, my life fits me very well.” For information about Watson’s music or her book, e-mail her at gwendolynwatson@

Minding Her Own Business

Photograph by Doug Walker

Lavender Mountain Hardware’s Virginia Brewer colors her world and others’ with plants By Doug Walker Associate Editor

If Virginia Brewer was not born with a green thumb, she has certainly managed to successfully cultivate one. Brewer, who owns Lavender Mountain Hardware on Martha Berry Highway along with her husband Spencer Brewer, is the daughter of avid gardener parents. “We grew up in Summerville Park and my dad built a greenhouse in our backyard,” Virginia said. Her grandparents were farmers so she’s been around plants virtually all of her life. Little did she realize that years later, plants would become not only a joy in her life, but her way of making a living. It’s even something that she passed down to her daughter Leah who got a degree in horticulture from the University of Georgia, married and runs her own perennial plug nursery near Athens. In fact it was her daughter and son-in-law who really helped the garden center at Lavender Mountain Hardware grow to the burgeoning business that it has today. “She came up, they had a lot of contacts, and she helped me order my first plants,” Brewer said. “That’s how we started.” Lavender Mountain Hardware, at 4065 on Martha Berry Highway, celebrated its 10 anniversary in the spring of 2010. It was really just thinking of different ideas of ways to come up with a business that we both would enjoy doing,” Virginia said. The store had been open a couple of weeks, and the couple knew they wanted to have a small garden center but didn’t really know how to make it work. “It came time to order plants, and I really didn’t know how to do it,” Virginia said. That’s where

her daughter entered the picture. “Then we hired people that had been in the business,” Virginia said. “That’s always helped us to have really good people working the garden center.” Originally, the hardware store was the biggest part of the business. She credits a tremendous diversity in merchandise, ranging from traditional tools and equipment, to seeds, pet supplies and a variety of clothing to the success of the hardware store, which happened to have a garden center outside. “Pretty soon we saw that the garden center was growing,” Virginia said. Today, every inch of space that is not part of the parking lot is devoted to the garden center. In the beginning Virginia was focused on stocking and selling plants. “Now, over time, we sell plants, we install plants, we design containers on the premises,” she said. “We can do it at your home.” That’s where Brewer’s creative juices really begin to flow. “I enjoy it because new plants come out every year, in combinations, different combinations of the plants,” Virginia said. “It’s just like new styles just like clothes.” “In the spring, I like the contrasting colors like lime greens with dark purples. There’s always some height in there. I really like the Million Bells Petunias. They’re a small petunia and they trail out lots of color.” The horticulturists manage to come out with new plants virtually every year. “This year there are some new petunias. We’ve had a few of them in already, just because it’s been warm early, they’re a dark purple, they’re almost black and they have

pink stripes in them,” Brewer said. In addition to the bright color combinations, Brewer is a fan of plants with character. “Like a weeping red bud; it’s very unusual,” Virginia said. “A weeping one blooms just like the ones alongside the road except it’s weeping down.” It’s a lot more than just playing in the dirt or water. Virginia recalls working the greenhouse one day when sprinkler attachments uncoupled from the quick connect watering heads, which resulted in an impromptu shower. “That’s not so bad if it happens on a 100-degree day,” Virginia said with a laugh. The diversity of products has helped her business survive a tough economy. In the wake of the recession, she said that a lot of customers have taken to growing their own vegetable gardens. “The people think it’s going to save them money,” Virginia said. “Whether it really does, in the end, I don’t know but at least they have fresh vegetables.” In a world that is being driven by technology that changes every day, Virginia said that a key part of the success at Lavender Mountain Hardware is staying on top of developments in the green industry. Brewer is a member of the Georgia Green Industry Association. “We learn about new plants that are out, new ways to grow things,” Brewer said. “We learn about diseases and insects. We’re constantly trying to upgrade and stay on top of all of the new trends.” It’s been a 10-year journey to the top of her profession and Brewer is clearly enjoying the view.



Basil leaves are fragrant and flavorful, and you can use them in salads, on sandwiches or as a seasoning for your favorite pasta dish. Grow basil outside in your garden, in containers on your patio or inside your home. Consider starting your basil plants from seed before transplanting to your garden or containers. Basil grows as an annual outdoors, but can thrive year-round inside your home.


Not only are chives a delicious herb used to add a special touch to many savory dishes, but the chive plant is an attractive addition to any growing area. Chives are an easy herb to grow, and you will have bountiful lavender blooms and delicious greens to add to sauces and stews. Find a sunny corner for a chive plant, and watch the chives take off with gusto.


Dill, a close relative of the carrot, has many uses in the kitchen. The leaves and seeds are used to flavor pickles, soups, dips and other foods. This annual herb thrives in the summer vegetable garden, producing small, yellow flowers and feathery foliage. Dill has sensitive roots that don’t transplant well, so the herb usually is seeded directly into the garden bed. Plant dill outdoors in the spring after the danger of frost has passed. Seed dill every three weeks throughout summer to ensure fresh dill throughout the season.

Bon Appetit Y’all

Herbs aren’t just for Nona’s pesto recipe anymore. Turns out they also make fragrant, colorful additions to floral arrangements. And they aren’t that hard to cultivate. “There is a world of difference to me between a fresh herb and a dried herb,” said Martha Joy Herndon, member of Three Rivers Garden Club. Herndon grows spice rack usuals such as garlic chives, mint, basil, oregano and dill. “I buy the plants usually when the Chieftain’s Museum has the plant sale in April,” Herndon said. “I think they do better in a little herb garden (than in pots). And it’s good to leave your little I.D. stick in your herb garden so you know what you’ve got.” Most herbs require loamy low-clay soil, lots of sunshine and frequent watering, Herndon said. “Herbs get hot, so if you sprinkle them with water even every day, it won’t hurt them,” Herndon said. Herndon suggested planting herbs after mid-April because it’s not likely to frost again. Rather than just placing plants or seeds in a sunny patch near your house, have the soil tested first to see if it’s appropriate. Or, you can buy a mix of topsoil and potting soil and plant the herbs in that. Some companies make potting soil that will feed the herbs for several months. Cultivated correctly, herb plants should be ready to start harvesting in about a month, Herndon said. However, she warned against stripping them. Rather than pulling all the leaves off right when they’re mature, she said use only as much as needed for that meal. This will encourage growth. When not using them to spice up meals, you can also use herbs to perfume your home. “Any herbs are good to put in the house in an arrangement because of the fragrance,” Herndon said. She said rosemary and dill smell particularly well, and garlic chives produce attractive flowers. As the season winds down, find out which varieties you’ve planted will grow back next year. “Unless something is well-known for coming back, it’s probably best to get a new plant,” Herndon said. However, rather than buy a new plant, you can also save seeds from this year’s plants and use them next spring. Here are some tasty recipes you can make with fresh herbs:


Gremolata Mix: 1 tablespoon of grated lemon peel 1 teaspoon chopped garlic 3 tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley This is great for adding appeal to vegetables, soups, and stews. A lemon zester is the best gadget for grating citrus peel ... you just want the thin colored outer peel and not the white under it. Tomato-Herb Salad 1 chopped tomato, fresh out of your garden zest of 1 lemon onion chives, chopped oregano leaves, chopped flat leaf parsley, chopped sprig of dill, chopped Stir together and add a few drops of good olive oil, a few grains of sea salt, a bit of freshly ground pepper, and a few drops of lemon juice. You should also try your favorite mix of herbs — rosemary, thyme, dill, sage, etc.

Mint is a perennial plant indigenous to countries around the globe. This herb is an excellent addition to gardens for its culinary value. It also deters cabbage moths and ants, making it a good companion for cabbage and broccoli. Mint, though, can be invasive. The runners in its root system enable it to propagate quickly across open areas. You can devote a garden bed to your mint plant or use a container to control the growth.


Growing your own: Nothing fresher than herbs from your garden By Ellison Langford Staff Writer


Cilantro Pesto Makes 1 ½ cups 2 cup packed cilantro leaves ¾ cup anejo or feta cheese ½ cup roasted salted sunflower seeds 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice ½ jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded ¾ cup olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Combine the cilantro, cheese, sunflower seeds, lime juice and jalapeno in a food processor and pulse to combine. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil. Season the pest to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Bring to room temperature and stir before using. Cilantro pesto is great on cold pasta salad or as a topping for grilled chicken or fish.

Although sage is somewhat slow to establish, it grows readily in most garden environments. Some gardeners choose to start sage seeds indoors in the spring. A gardener who wants to harvest sage the first growing season, however, will plant sage seedlings directly outside once the soil has warmed and all threat of frost has passed.


No herb garden would be complete without the attractive and useful thyme plant thriving in a sunny corner. Thyme is a popular herb in the kitchen as well as the garden. Thyme grows easily and can even make a beautiful border plant with its lush green foliage and wonderful scent. Start thyme seeds indoors in the early spring, and then transplant the seedlings outside for a wonderful perennial herb that will return year after year.

Garden herb overviews from Photos from


Gardeners who enjoy Italian cuisine often have a healthy oregano plant thriving out in the herb garden. Oregano is an accommodating herb that adapts to average garden soil and growing conditions. After the plant establishes itself in the garden, it will grow easily without special care and will return every year to provide delicious fresh oregano for every savory Italian dish you prepare.

Parsley is a common herb for home use. The green, frilled leaves are used as a garnish, and it is also used fresh and cooked to impart a fresh flavor to dishes. Parsley is a short-lived perennial, usually only surviving for two seasons before going to seed. Grow it as an annual in the herb garden and replace the plants each year to ensure you always have fresh parsley available. There are curly leaf varieties that add a pretty touch to dishes as well as sweeter-tasting flat-leaf varieties.


There’s nothing like filling your kitchen with the aroma of fresh herbs. Rosemary is a standard addition to chicken dishes, pastas and potatoes. Instead of frequent trips to the store, plant a rosemary bush right in your yard. They are hearty plants that are easy to maintain and they reward you with an earthy, mouthwatering flavor.


Spring thyme: Add herbal flavor to your aperitif choices Cuban Mojito Servings: 1

By Charlotte Atkins Editor

Herbs add fresh flavor to dishes, but they can also add a fresh, botanical punch to cocktails. Spring is the perfect time to sample herbal drinks and here are a few ideas:

Mint Mint is cool and astringent with a hint of sweetness and can play up the tropical flavors of fruit. But there are more options out there than our favorite Southern Mint Julep (but that’s a good staple to stick to for our own local Atlanta Steeplechase and the Kentucky Derby!) But most other times, our favorite mint-flavored drink is the Mojito. Since the original hails from Cuba, this recipe sticks to that tradition. This is the one that Ernest Hemingway is said to have enjoyed at La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana. And we know what an expert Papa was on drinks …

1 teaspoon powdered sugar Juice from 1 lime (2 ounces) 4 mint leaves 1 sprig of mint White Rum (2 ounces) 2 ounces club soda Place the mint leaves into a tall glass and squeeze the juice from a cut lime over them. You’ll want about 2 ounces of lime juice, so it may not require all of the juice from a single lime. Add the powdered sugar, then gently smash the mint into the lime juice and sugar with a muddler (a long wooden device) or you can also use the back of a spoon or the handle of a wooden spoon. Add ice then add the rum and stir, and top off with the club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Thyme In ancient times, thyme was used for medicinal purposes and was thought to have to be a source of courage and to ward off nightmares. All I know is that my friend Kathy Patrick makes a mean Thyme Martini and I sweet talked her into sharing its recipe:

Tomato and Basil Salad with Mozzarella Place a leaf of romaine lettuce on a salad plate and top it with several slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, which you can buy in the deli section of your grocery store. Top each cheese slice with a tomato slice, and top each tomato slice with a big basil leaf. Drizzle a bit of good olive oil and a little lemon juice over the salad. favorite of everybody!

Thyme Martini Servings: 1

And here are two pesto recipes that are a departure from the more common basil pesto. Rosemary Pesto Makes 1½ cups 1⁄3 cup fresh rosemary, leaves only, washed and chopped 1½ cup fresh parsley, washed and roughly chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese ½ cup walnuts ½ cup olive oil Salt and pepper to taste Combine rosemary, parsley, garlic, Parmesan, walnuts, and oil in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse till well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Rosemary pesto is wonderful with grilled chicken and/ or vegetables, pasta, and potatoes.


5 fresh thyme sprigs 2 ounces citrus flavored vodka 1 ounce fresh lime juice 1 ounce simple syrup Fill a rocks glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, muddle 4 thyme sprigs. Add ice to the shaker and then the vodka, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake vigorously. Strain into the glass. Garnish with the remaining thyme sprig and serve. Note: Kathy uses a martini glass, filled with ice to chill it, and then empties the ice and strains the drink from the shaker into the chilled martini glass. If this it to be a cocktail rather than a martini, you are set with the recipe as is.

Basil You might love it in pesto or a margarita salad, but basil can add a peppery-sweet flavor to your happy hour too. Pineapple Basil Cocktail Servings: 1 3 medium to large basil leaves, rolled and sliced into thin strips quarter of a lime ¼ cup organic pineapple juice 1½ oz gin ice club soda Put the basil and lime in the bottom of a glass and muddle, either using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon. Add pineapple juice, gin, ice cubes and top with club soda. Garnish with a slice of pineapple, lime wedge or a sprig of basil.

Rosemary Rosemary is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen needle-like leaves. In this recipe, you need to cook up a flavored syrup, but it’s worth the 5 minutes needed for that. Since rosemary translates to “dew of the sea” this one might appeal to local mermaids or Magnolias at the beach this spring. Rosemary Ruby Cocktail Servings: 6 1 cup sugar 12 sprigs rosemary 3 cups ruby-red grapefruit juice 1½ cups vodka 3/4 teaspoon bitters Ice cubes In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water, the sugar and 6 rosemary sprigs to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the liquid is clear, about 5 minutes. Let cool; discard the rosemary. Then in a pitcher, combine the grapefruit juice, vodka, bitters and ¾ cup rosemary-sugar syrup. Pour into 6 glasses filled with ice cubes and garnish each with a rosemary sprig.

Photograph by Ryan Smith


On the Run

For the h t l a e H of

By Daniel Bell Staff Writer

In his new book “Run!” ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes writes: “Running has an uncanny ability to mellow the soul, to take the edge off hard feelings, and put things back into healthy perspective.” As residents of Rome and Floyd County have discovered recently, running also had the ability to help you lose weight, tone up, strengthen your mind, body and soul, and help you build new relationships one step at a time. The key — said three women who participated in the Berry College Half Marathon, 10K and 5K — is simply getting started, because you’ll never know what you can accomplish until you try.


Running a 5K

Running a 5K

Julianne Bailey

Julianne Bailey teaches at Berry College Elementary and Middle School, the institution that benefits from the March races on the college campus, so it was only natural for her to volunteer at the inaugural event in 2008. Watching the smiling and exhausted faces cross the finish line inspired her, so when her husband and daughter announced they wanted to participate in the event, Bailey jumped on board so they could do it as a family. Her goal was to beat 40 minutes in the 5K before her 40th birthday, but after reaching that goal, she set her sights on another. “I said, ‘well, I might as well give this a try again next year,’ ” said Bailey. So she started training more, eating healthy and before she knew it had dropped 50 pounds. This year’s 5K at Berry was her third, and still, Bailey doesn’t consider herself a runner, even if everyone else does. Please see RUNNING 23


Running a 10K

Angie McWhorter

Running a half marathon

Janice Forrest

RUNNING from 22 Her advice for would-be runners is to start slow, set reachable goals and make little changes along the way. Becoming a runner (even if you don’t call yourself one) requires a lifestyle change, but it doesn’t have to be drastic. Says Bailey: Set a goal. Start small. Alternate running and walking days. Run for 30 seconds today. Then 40 seconds tomorrow. Build on your process. “Do something you can maintain. Whether eating right or exercising goals, start routines you can keep up. Find exercise places around your schedule already, around your home or work. Find an eating plan that does not cause you to buy expensive items or starve yourself. Think of it as a change for a year or longer, not a few weeks,” said Bailey.

Running a 10K Angie McWhorter ran her first-ever 10K this year at Berry College, and she credits her training group at Harbin Clinic for

helping her reach the goal. She said her co-workers were discussing the idea months ahead of the race. “And I remember thinking, ‘Well gosh, I could never do that,’ ” said McWhorter. “I don’t think I am the sort of person who would run a half marathon, but I never thought I would run a 10K.” She enjoyed the rigor of a schedule and the support of a group that became group training, because she wasn’t just running for herself. “That was probably the biggest help, because in addition to having that support, you knew what you had to accomplish during the week to be able to do that weekend run,” she said. Like Bailey, McWhorter started off slow and used a run-walk method to improve without risking injury. She wasn’t afraid to take breaks when she needed them, such as walking up hills. McWhorter’s first big milestone came when she was able to run a mile without stopping. For her, the group mentality was invaluable. She learned how to stretch, learned about the right kind of shoes, learned about other exercises she could do to benefit her running, and more. Oh, and there was all that camaraderie.

“Everyone cheers on everyone else. When you don’t feel like going, there are others who push and pull you along,” she said. Even at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Even in the wind, rain, sleet and snow. Even with you realized afterward that you probably shouldn’t have been running. You learn a lot from your partners when you tackle a new challenge as a group, said McWhorter. If you’re looking to start running and can’t find a training group, call your sister, best friends or co-workers. Start your own group! McWhorter said she might not have even hit the road if no one had ever asked her to. “You would be surprised at what you can do,” she said.

Running a half marathon Janice Forrest has always been something of an athlete, hitting the gym to stay healthy, but when her 50th birthday starting approaching she decided she wanted to do something different and signed up for a triathlon. Please see HEALTH 25

The first step to running — whether a mile, a 5K, 10K or half marathon — is well ... taking that first step 23

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HEALTH from 23

Photograph by Ellie Mahon

Nina Lovel of Rome receives coaching from Berry College swim coach Paul Flinchbaugh during her first swim lesson for CNN’s FitNation Triathlon Challenge. Ric Blackburn, CNN photojournalist, films Lovel’s training at Berry’s Cage Center.

Nina Watch: Roman is participating in CNN FitNation Triathlon Challenge Fifty-eight year old Rome resident Nina Lovel is the eldest of six candidates from around the country participating in the CNN FitNation Triathlon Challenge. The challenge will culminate in Nina and the others participating in the New York City Triathlon in August. The event involves a one-mile swim in the Hudson River, a 26-mile bike ride through Manhattan and a 6-mile run in Central Park. The athletes started training independently in mid-January, but were then visited by expert trainers as well as CNN camera crews as their advanced training began. Lovel is a research and information coordinator at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

“Having just looked at the calendar and realizing that seven weeks of my triathlon training are already history, my first thought is ‘what have I been doing all that time?’,” Lovel said. “And when the answer comes to me, it is very short: swimming, biking, running. Repeat six days a week, going either farther or faster than you did the last time.” Lovel said the first time she ran an entire mile she shouted it on Facebook. And she can’t decide which is her favorite: biking or swimming. She says she’s still in the “falling-over-and-skinningknees” phase of riding, but since spring has arrived she’s enjoying the chance to get outside and train. She attributes much of her success to the

trainers, friends and family who make up her support team and said also that Rome itself was a part of her success, attributing its beauty and variety of outdoor places to train. She encouraged Rome residents to get outside and get active. “If you see me on the road, I probably won’t recognize you because my eyes are full of tears,” she said. “Not crying-type tears; rather, the kind that happen when you’re moving quickly through the wind. But please feel free to wave. I love the support. Better yet, get your own self out the door and come discover these trails on your own. There’s no better time of year to be playing outside in Rome.” Severo Avila, staff writer

In the nearly two years since, she had done some running, but nothing close to the 13.1 miles that twist around Berry College during the first weekend in March. “I had no intention of running the half marathon whatsoever,” said Forrest. She began training with her husband, who was planning to run the half, and also joined up with one of the Berry Half Marathon training groups around town. She made new friends while logging longer and longer runs on those 20degree mornings. Forrest had a done a marathon with basically no training in her younger and lesssensible days. She “beat the sweep” and finished the race, but says she only ran about 8 miles of it. So leading up to her recent half, her main goal was to just finish — well, it was a first anyway. Her training partners got her fired up about running a strong race and setting a good time (she finished in 2 hours, 27 minutes). Now she wants to keep running, if not at that sort of distance again. “I have learned a lot. I can tell you that. I have learned a lot,” said Forrest. Her advice for the half marathon, much like Bailey’s and McWhorter’s for their distances, is to set small goals and build a network of support around yourself. Be consistent. Be positive. Be active. “You have to start with the first mile. You don’t look at the whole 13.1 miles,” said Forrest. “Like anything, you have to walk before you can run.” These women should know — they’ve been there. And then there is ultra-runner Karnazes again and his sound advice: “Never, under any circumstances, argue with a woman. She is always right.” Photos of runners by photographer Ellie Mahon.

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Rome (706) 291-8867 25

Magnolias of the Past

l i u J a



Photograph by Ryan Smith

The two Julia Barnsleys — wife and daughter of Godfrey Barnsley who built the famed estate now called Barnsley Gardens — were steel magnolias. The daughter’s real-life story resembles that of Scarlett O’Hara. 26

Photograph by Ryan Smith

Clent Coker said, “Margaret Mitchell met Julia’s daughter Addie Baltzelle von Schwartz in the 1920s and even visited the Woodlands, which was the name of the Barnsleys’ home. It’s not hard to believe Addie’s stories of her beautiful and resourceful mother became the inspiration for Scarlett O’Hara.”

The two Julias of Barnsley Gardens history were steel magnolias, says historian Clent Coker, and one might have been the inspiration for Scarlett O’Hara. By Diane Wagner Staff Writer

Just down the road in Adairsville is Barnsley Gardens, a famous luxury resort that attracts visitors from all over the world. Its sprawling grounds and lush vegetation were saved from destruction by a Civil War belle who, in turn, was saved from obscurity by the resort’s museum director Clent Coker. “This is a story of strong-willed women, real-life steel magnolias of our past,” said Coker, who admits to being obsessed by stories of the two Julia Barnsleys he heard at his great-grandmother’s knee. It was the second Julia whose story tracks that of the fictional Scarlett O’Hara, he said. The privileged planter’s daughter reclaimed her father’s fertile land with her own bare hands after the devastating War Between the States, and

restored its magnificence after marrying a wealthy Bartow County lumber dealer. When James Baltzelle was killed in an 1868 construction accident, Julia married Charles von Schwartz, a former Confederate blockade runner. Unlike Scarlett and Rhett Butler, however, the von Schwartzes lived happily ever after. “Margaret Mitchell met Julia’s daughter Addie Baltzelle von Schwartz in the 1920s and even visited the Woodlands, which was the name of the Barnsleys’ home,” Coker said. “It’s not hard to believe Addie’s stories of her beautiful and resourceful mother became the inspiration for Scarlett O’Hara.” The tale actually begins with Godfrey Barnsley, an Englishman who went to Savannah and worked his way up to become one of the South’s wealthiest cotton merchants.

In 1828, he married Julia Scarborough and later took the family to the former Cherokee territory of Bartow County – where he built the Woodlands for her in the middle of 3,500 acres of essentially virgin land. “Julia’s mother told Godfrey Barnsley, ‘My daughter is a Savannah lady, not a farmer’s maid,’ ” Coker said. “Well, she was called on to be both, and rose to the challenge with grace and courage, and without a second thought.” But Godfrey’s wife took ill and died in 1845, leaving him with eight children including the redoubtable Julia. While her siblings married and left the homestead, Julia stayed on to manage her father’s holdings. After the war, he went to New Orleans to try to recoup his fortune while Julia rallied local workers to the ransacked plantation and toiled

alongside them in the fields. “She fought tooth and nail to keep her father’s dream alive,” Coker said. “She dug turnips with her own hands and carried a shotgun to protect her property.” Generations later — after the Great Depression appeared to have done what Union troops couldn’t — Coker painstakingly gathered material on the once-thriving plantation and its romantic past. He used his extensive knowledge in 1988 to convince German investor Prince Hubertus Fugger to make historic preservation and restoration a part of the planned Barnsley Gardens Inn & Golf resort. Coker is now the resort’s museum director and author of “Barnsley Gardens: The Illustrious Dream,” a complete history of the Julias, their families and their home.


She Said:

If someone were to ask you “What is your dream in life?” what would you tell them? To live in the pink house on the bay in Charleston, run my own private practice counseling center out of it, and watch my husband fly his airplane over the ocean daily! Alice Williams To become a world-renowned entertainer! And not just through my singing but through my acting as well. So, basically my dream is to be the next Jennifer Hudson! Beth Miller-McCain


To own my own middle class boutique. Secrett Davis

You have just reminded me that I need a new dream. My previous ones have all been delivered. Life stands still without them, and I am not quite ready for that. Tami Colston



My dream life would be to just be happy with no financial worries at all. Just to have a worry free life all around. That is dreaming, right! Donna Rittenhouse


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Jordan Forsyth

Jordan Forsyth, shown at Cedar Springs Nursing Home in Cedartown, enjoys volunteering with the elderly. She started college at 16 and will graduate with her RN degree at 19.

Before her Nana passed away Jordan Forsyth helped take care of her. The two would have long chats about Jordan becoming a nurse. “She was always so encouraging. I really wish she could have lived long enough to see me graduate,” says the Georgia Highlands College co-ed who will graduate in May with her nursing degree at 19. Seem young? It is, but Jordan knew at an early age what she wanted to do and at 16 decided it was time for college. So she took the GED and passed with high scores, even securing a small scholarship from the GED board. “I was the first 16-year-old student accepted to GHC.” Hailing from Rockmart, Jordan is not your typical teen. She’s on the verge of getting her RN degree, working as an ER tech at Wellstar Paulding Hospital and in her spare time helps older folks. “I really enjoy elderly people. I volunteer a lot at nursing homes and facilities. I enjoy engaging with them in activities and just sitting down listening to them talk about their lives.” This girl-next-door blonde says some people might be surprised that she’s actually very outdoorsy. “I look girly, girly, but I love fishing, camping and hiking. But I also enjoy being girly too!” She especially enjoys camping with her family. “We take long weekends to hike, fish and enjoy the outdoors,” says Jordan. She also adores her miniature dachshund named Rocky and beagle named Molly. And while she’s checking a huge item off her to-do list by getting her nursing degree this spring, Jordan has other things on her bucket list. Like owning her dream car (a Mustang), traveling and seeing parts of the country she’s never seen and getting married and having a family. But Jordan’s success has not come without obstacles and courage. “My family has always said I was brave and have endured much more than most could. When I was 3 years old, I was diagnosed with a very rare genetic disorder.” She shares that during her childhood and early school years, “I was ridiculed, alienated and let down by many teachers because of this disorder.” It’s not something she talks about with many people. “At times I wanted to give up, but I didn’t. In some ways, I feel it made me a stronger person, but no one can imagine the hurt and pain. “With God’s help, the strong will to want to be a nurse and my family’s love, I made it through those years and will soon accomplish the goal at hand. I will be a nurse and help change other’s lives.” Charlotte Atkins, editor


She Said:

When are you most frustrated?

The Berry MBA The Master of Business Administration degree offered by Berry College has prepared students to meet the contemporary management challenges of business, government and non-profit organizations. Why should you get an MBA?

I am most frustrated when I have to call a business and get an automated answering system and it doesn’t understand my Southern accent ... and THEN I finally get transferred to someone with an accent that I don’t understand! Paige Sharp Bennett I get most frustrated when I’m practicing a song on the piano, and it just doesn’t come out right. Dorraine Vines When I have a plan and it falls off track. (Everything seems to be going just right and boom!) Other times ... when I’ve cleaned my kitchen and 30 minutes later it looks as if I have done NOTHING. Kendra Scott When I’m running late or when other people are late and I’m stuck waiting on them. That drives me absolutely crazy. Bridget Gray

Advance your career! It’s not just a ‘good idea’ anymore. Many executive and senior management positions now require an MBA. Networking! An MBA degree offers you access to a wide network of MBA students, alumni, faculty, business and community leaders. How powerful is that when you are searching for job opportunities, developing careen plans or pursuing expertise outside your current field. Skills! Combine a non-business under-graduate degree with an MBA and you’ll obtain highly marketable skills that are desirable to employers in all fields. Increased salary! Let’s fact it-the idea of a higher salary is attractive to everyone. Especially with today’s economy. College tuition? Retirement? Extra income will help with those concerns. Our students come from a variety of fields, industries and backgrounds. Most stay in the area and are employed by local organizations.

Part-time MBA Long term payoff Lifetime reward

Almost never. My Dad taught me early in life to “roll with the punches.” I believe God is with us in everything — the good and bad things that happen every day. So the best thing is to look for the positive and be thankful. Georgia Burns


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Photograph by Daniel Varnado

Carla Patterson

Carla Patterson, a Georgia Highlands professor, raced go carts as a youngster, so she was right at home when we put her in one at Putt-Putt Golf & Games.

Youth activities at Trinity United Methodist Church are a big part of Carla Byram Patterson ’s life. “I truly love working with the youth group at Trinity UMC. They inspire me; they encourage me; they bless me,” says Carla , 43, an associate professor of English at Georgia Highlands College and Trinity’s youth coordinator for the next two years along with her husband David. She and her family moved to Floyd County in 1992. “Our aim was to locate here because it is geographically halfway between our families in metro Atlanta and north Alabama, and, as we told folks when we were headed this way, ‘Rome’s big enough, but small enough.’ ” Carla loves teaching and shaping young minds and hearts. Given a choice, she says there’s nothing else she’d rather do. “I’d still be a teacher, but, I’d have fewer essays to grade.” She professes not to have a lone hero, but rather, “Anyone who encourages and supports others is a hero to me. I will say that I think Fred Rogers is one of the greatest humans ever. Then, C.S. Lewis, Robert Frost and Eudora Welty are heroes of the written word.” When she’s not on campus, Carla enjoys being with her family. “So as a family, we enjoy participating in Trinity UMC’s youth events, traveling, watching Jacksonville State University (her alma mater) sports, cooking with friends, and in general appreciating the outdoors.” There must be a competitive side to Carla since she confesses to some unusual pursuits earlier in life. As a child, she pitched in the World Horseshoe Pitching Tournament and was a competitive go-cart racer. “ My father had raced cars when I was an infant, and then motorcycles when I was a young child. He later raced go-carts, and by that time I was tall enough to reach the gas and the brake, so I could race as well. Danger was apparently not part of my vocabulary at that point, but after flipping my cart two times in one race, my mother began to express her concerns. It’s probably a good thing that the track near our house closed soon afterward.” The first go-cart she ever drove was the one her dad built by converting a riding lawnmower. “I was, and to a degree still am, one of those people most likely to suffer severe bodily injury after making the statement, ‘Hey – Watch this!’ Fortunately, my daughter did NOT inherit this trait. When she was a toddler, my mother cautioned her about some activity, and Haley replied, ‘Don’t worry Memaw. I’m not a daredevil like my mom was.’” Charlotte Atkins, editor


50-Plus & Fabulous

The power of dance By Lydia Senn Staff Writer

Pam Gates says she was minding her own business, shopping a TJ Maxx last October when her cell phone rang. It was a friend from the Open Door Children’s Home asking her to participate in “Dancing Stars of Rome.” Gates said she was ready to pull out her checkbook and make a donation. “But she was telling me no, she wanted me to dance,” Gates said. What began as a nerve-racking experience that pulled Gates out of her comfort zone ended up being one of Gates’ best moments. “It was the most incredible experience,” she said. But Gates was apprehensive. At first she said she wasn’t sure why she was chosen. “At first I thought they wanted a Cloris Leachman,” she said. But she proved to herself that at 55, she could learn something new. In January she began dancing with her partner Shah Bassery, a ballroom instructor with 20 years experience. “I can cut a rug,” she said. “But we did the foxtrot, which is like walking. I am a type A personality. I do everything fast. I had to learn to slow down.” She said Bassery had to tell her daily during rehearsal to slow down and follow. “I am not a follower. I had to learn to follow,” she said. While Gates didn’t win the top prize — local real estate agent Bill Temple and his partner Meredith Thomas took home the disco ball trophy — Gates did help Open Door raise $112,683.74. “I really had to stretch myself,” she said. “We all stretched ourselves.” But the biggest thing Gates took away from the experience was learning how to be teachable. “I had to let my guard down and be teachable. I learned a lot about myself. I am outgoing, but I still struggled with being shy and intimidated,” she said. “In the end I felt really blessed.” Please see DANCE 33


Photograph by Daniel Varnado

Pam Gates and Shah Bassery dance to “More” by Nat King Cole as part of the Dancing Stars of Rome.

DANCE from 32 Lois Roberts has also learned that dance can be a blessing. Roberts, of Calhoun, has been teaching line-dancing classes at the Rome Adult Recreation Center for about 10 years. She started when she was 50 and was recovering from breast cancer. “I needed something to get me out of the house,” she said. She started taking classes and joined the Dixie Stompers, a senior citizens line-dancing group. “I always wanted to take a class,” she said. Soon she began teaching the class three days a week. “It is wonderful exercise,” she said. The dancing goes further than just being a good workout, it is a time for fellowship, says Roberts, and an emotional release for the men and women who participate. “People have told me that if they didn’t dance they would have a nervous breakdown. This is more fun than walking on a treadmill. You don’t need a partner to do it, and you can make friends,” she said. Joy Littlejohn, 76, of Rome has been dancing with Roberts for several years. “When I first went I didn’t think I could do it. But it is such good exercise and fun,” Littlejohn said. When a recent ailment sidelined her from the Dixie Stompers, her doctor encouraged her to get back in line. “He kept telling me I had to get back to dancing,” she said. Both Littlejohn and Roberts say they cherish the friendships created through the Stompers. “They are like family,” Roberts said. The team has won many state competitions and have traveled allover the Southeast together. Roberts, who choreographs many of the team’s dances, says the moves come easy to her and she loves teaching the others the steps. “I feel the music and I just do the steps that go with the music,” she said. “They (the team) really get into it.”

Photograph by Ellie Mahon

Joy Littlejohn cheers after finishing a dance during a line dance class at the senior center.

Photograph by Ellie Mahon

Instructor Lois Roberts teaches the steps to a new dance during line dance class. She is the leader of the Dixie Stompers. 33

Home Sweet Home

Sitting Pretty: W

hether it’s in the wake of a long work day (or in preparation for one) or after a day of play with family or friends, sometimes it’s nice to just take a load off and relax in our favorite sitting areas in our homes. Perhaps it’s a nook for sipping your coffee and reading the hometown newspaper in the morning ... or a garden area where you

can tuck yourself away with a good book and a glass of iced tea. Most of us Magnolias have a favorite place to sit and relax and retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Mine is my porch swing, especially in the spring nearing dusk, with a glass of bubbly and flanked by my yorkies. But I have been known to cuddle up there even in the late fall and winter, with my

Favorite sitting spots offer serenity favorite quilt crafted by graphic artist and quilter Donna Nevins from T-shirts I collected throughout my life. So that’s why we asked readers to share some of your favorite places for sitting and repose. Here are a few who shared. Charlotte Atkins, editor

Refreshing Water ... Mary Maire, vice president and corporate compliance office for Floyd Medical Center, has a special place in her Maplewood East home that she likes to retreat too after a busy day at work. “My favorite sitting area is beside a small shade garden pond/waterfall created for me by landscape artist John Shulz,” says Mary. “It is the first thing I see and hear every morning (after my dear husband brings me coffee in bed), and I love to sit near it to unwind after a day of work or any time I want to de-stress.”

Photograph of

Pat Kelley by Ellie Mahon

Arbor days ...

Pat Kelley’s favorite spot to sit and relax at her Saddle Mountain home is a bench with an arbor over it built by her husband, Charles Kelley. It’s in a garden area surrounded by landscaping, flowers and a nearby tulip tree. Pat says she enjoys this special nook for sitting, thinking, reading mail and the newspaper, or for just watching walkers and cars go by. Photograph of


Mary Maire by Ryan Smith

Thrill of the Chaise ...

Carol Pearson is a textile fabricator who constructs window dressings, slipcovers and home fashions. Even with the creativity her jobs brings, she still loves her special place for “just doing nothing.” Says Carol, “Spring, summer and fall I consider myself blessed to enjoy nature from a small private porch outside my bedroom. Here a pair of bent willow chaise lounges piled with feathery linens welcome me and my husband to the sounds of a waterfall while watching water ripple in the pond down below. Nestled among the hemlocks, here we enjoy coffee and quietness on lazy mornings and wine and conversation as the sun sets. My favorite place ever!” Photograph of

Carol Pearson by Ryan Smith

Fit for a King ... Some folks may know Jayne Diggs as administrative assistant with Floyd County Public Works. But what they may not know is that she is a devoted Elvis Presley fan. “I’ve created in my home a place where I can be alone with the King,” says Jayne. “This is a small room where I go each morning to have coffee, quiet time and devotions. At other times, I may watch Elvis movies, relax, read or just drift away while listening to ‘I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.’ When she’s there, Jayne is surrounded by all things Elvis — memorabilia, pictures, books, etc. “Among some of my cherished possessions are two prints of Elvis (given to me by my husband) painted by Ronnie McDowell who recorded “The King is Gone” soon after Elvis ’ death and a 1977 ‘Tribute to Elvis’ Photoplay magazine.” Adds Jayne, “I go to my special place at any time I desire to visit with Elvis ..... He is continually there waiting for me.”

Jayne Diggs contributed these photos 35

She Said:

What was your worst dating experience ever? The night my boyfriend let me drive his car, and I ran it into a ditch on Black’s Bluff Road. We were not hurt, but I was scared, and I cried because I had wrecked his car that he was so proud of. I guess he really loved me because he later became my husband. Betty R. Payne A guy that rapped to me about commercial lighting. He had a long version and a short version, both of which I was fortunate to hear on a blind date. Tammy Foubert

I lived in Atlanta at the time and was taken to a strip bar on a first date. It was obviously a last date also! Pat Millican When my college roommate set me up with her brother .... I thought we were going to go to the lake for a ride in his nice boat, but on the way to the lake, we stopped to pick up his ex-girlfriend! I ended up driving his boat around the lake while they both skied. They are lucky they lived! I had never driven a boat and I was not familiar with the lake. I was pulling them through stumps and all kinds of things! Needless to say, that was our only date. Still great friends with the sister, Cheryl Childress Smith! Jamie Bennett A local young man, who will remain nameless, kept asking for a date and when I finally went out with him (knowing we were not compatible ahead of time) after one hour he said, “You know, Janet, the only nice thing about this date is that it is almost over.” Janet Byington

Northside Preschool and Early Learning Center

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Redmond is proudly offering: • Digital Mammograms for $99 • Speedy Appointment Times • Personalized, Quality Care • Bella BlanketsTM to increase comfort

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All physicians bill separately for their services.


Photograph by Ellie Mahon

Sherry Herrington

Sherry Herrington, shown in TigerFlight’s World War II fighter plane, was an Air Force sergeant who stocked and dispatched parts for bombers, fighters and tanker aircraft.

Sherry Herrington wears many hats and all of them proudly. She’s a Georgia Northwestern Technical College student finishing up an associate degree in Business Administration Technology. She also works at GNTC as a Workforce Investment Act training assistant. And she’s a mother to two kids. And all that came after an Air Force career. “I served eight years in the military and was stationed in Germany for four of those years.” She says joining the armed forces is the bravest thing she’s ever done. It “also turned out to be one of my greatest successes in life.” Sherry has been in Rome for 19 years. “My husband is from Rome, we were both in the military and decided it was time to settle down and start a family. I am originally from Akron, Ohio, and wanted no part of returning to the North. I wanted the hot sunny weather of the South.” Sherry’s favorite pastimes include “cooking, reading and playing in my flower beds. I haven’t reached the stage of being a gardener but perhaps one day.” But there’s one thing that tops all of the other leisure activities. “The activity I couldn’t live without would be shopping. It doesn’t matter if it’s for clothes, paint, tools, etc. I enjoy shopping!” She loves exploring (and shopping) the world. “I would like to start traveling again and go somewhere exciting. I would love to return to Germany.” She loves its “beautiful landscape, historic towns and fabulous shopping.” Another favorite destination is Quebec, Canada. “What I remember most are the cobblestone streets. It puts you in the mind of Belgium because their streets are the same. Another highlight was the malls. It was a shopper’s paradise.” England makes her list too. “Known for the double decker buses, changing of the guards, and last but not least, the enchanting pubs and taverns.” But Sherry says her true joy in life is touching the lives of others. “My true passion is helping others to succeed and making a difference in someone’s life. Whether it’s listening to them, being that extra shoulder to lean on or pushing them when they need that push.” At 48, she seems to have pushed herself through several different phases of her life. Now that she has her associate degree she hopes to continue her education at Shorter. “You’re never too old to learn. Learning is a growing experience.” Charlotte Atkins, editor


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Photograph by DAniel Varnado

Heidi Popham

Springtime means the arrival of baby goats at the farm of Heidi Popham. By day she’s a VP at GNTC, but after hours she raises goats with her husband.

Heidi Popham and her family live on several pastoral acres in Silver Creek. On a recent afternoon she strolled amid dozens of goats, reveling in the arrival of a slew of spring kids. Heidi is a college executive by day – vice president of institutional effectiveness at Georgia Northwestern Technical College – and then in her leisure time she and her husband Kurt raise goats. “I’m not sure many people know that.” Something else many folks might not know is that at 43, Heidi is working on her doctorate degree in adult education at the University of Georgia. Greater Rome has been her home for much of Heidi’s life. “My family moved to Silver Creek when I was in the first grade. After graduating high school, I married my high school sweetheart and best friend. At the time, Kurt was serving in the Air Force so we moved to Mississippi. After eight years, we moved back to be closer to our families.” Family is her passion. “Activities that I simply could not live without are attending the various family events and spending time with each other. Getting together to play games, do yard work, cut wood, going antiquing, traveling, etc. are very important and actually a lot of fun.” And there are other things she’d like to try, like “learn how to play golf and visit all the beautiful courses you see in the calendars. Another activity is to learn how to snow ski without breaking any bones. I’m not sure if it is the skiing that I want to do or the sitting by the fire in the lodge afterward. Either way, I hope to go down a slope one day . . . successfully! An item that does not require learning a new skill, is having the opportunity to go on an African safari.” But there’s no place like home and Heidi loves living here. “Rome gives you choices. It is small enough to maintain the small town charm but large enough to offer a variety of activities and events that provide any resident or visitor numerous options. Of course, I have to mention that Rome provides multiple opportunities for postsecondary education — four colleges!” Heidi took a more nontraditional college route, one that looks to lead to a PhD. “Following high school, I got married. Shortly thereafter, I earned my associate degree. Thirteen years later, I graduated from Covenant College with my bachelor’s degree. In 2009, I graduated from UGA with my master’s degree in adult education. Last May, I enrolled in UGA’s Ed.D. program in adult education. My projected graduation date is May 2013!” Charlotte Atkins, editor


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Magnolia Spring 2011  

Special section aimed at women in Northwest Georgia

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