The LocaL, August-September 2022

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Mike Hodge








Letter from the Publisher

PAWS Humane Society


American Beauty


The Photoshop Selfie-House Museum


Nature Now Environmental Film Festival


Outreach and Education

The Life and Times of Alma Thomas

Art and Expression For All

More Than Film - It’s a Movement

The Peach Shoppe



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Sit Back, Listen & “Stay” A While

With Local Musician CALEB GAMBLE

Chattahoochee River Conservancy

The Childhood Home Of Alma Thomas At 411 21st Street In Columbus. Her Family Was Upper-Middle Class And Lived In The White Rose Hill Neighborhood. Photo By Frank Etheridge


706 250 7777 and I work hard each and every day to find easier and t hel o cal co l u mbu s . co m Istrive, more efficient ways to become a better procrastinator. It’s true. f acebook .com/t helocalcolumbusga

This is me on the daily. Work-life balance has always been tricky. Especially since we started doing bi-monthly issues. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve truly enjoyed and needed some time off, it’s just getting back into the groove of things that’s been, shall we way, interesting. Challenging or not, it’s nice to see things getting back to a sense of normal. We love to see it. While cases of COVID linger, more and more events are being planned. Restaurants are creating new menus and friends are road tripping again to fun festivals, and families to vacation destinations. I say this all to remind everyone who looks for our publication that soon we will start back to monthly issues – we are excited. Mostly for the small local businesses we partner with. From getting to witness the growth of the Nature Now Film Festival over the years, to meeting the truly passionate small businesses like the Peach Shoppe, our partners are our friends, and they are family too. One of the best things about doing this work is being able to witness and watch new businesses as they unfold. I love to walk into a space fresh in construction and ask the crew, “Who are the owners here?” We truly love to learn about all that makes up the community we live in. To be even a small aspect of what helps a business shine their light, and to show the world what they are made of and watch them grow, is an honor. One such new business is The Photoshop Selfie House Museum. Featured inside and on the cover of this issue it truly is a treat for our community to have so much “local” ingrained into such a special space. One of our favorite local artists and collaborators Tony Pettis thinks so too. “The Photoshop Selfie Museum is truly a game changer for our community. Being friends with the owners has had its advantages. I was incredibly lucky to be able to watch this entire process come from thought to completion. I can assure you that Columbus was kept in mind through every detail. I really can’t wait to see where this venture goes and how it’ll evolve with time!” -Tony Pettis We couldn’t agree more, Tony. May we all strive to enjoy a little more. Go check out a new business in town as well as all the many beautiful businesses, spaces, art, music, food, fun and places we feature in the pages ahead. Thanks for reading,

What We Are All About.

The mission of the LocaL magazine is to bring you the best in art, music, food and fun from Columbus and the surrounding area. Locally owned and operated, we work to improve and expand community relationships through promoting positive events and stories. When good things are happening, we will be here to help you get involved. Our monthly print issues will feature stories and events that comprise and drive the ongoing surge toward a more beautiful community. This magazine exists because we who work on it believe in actively engaging with community improvement, and we invite you to join us, not only by reading these pages, but also by taking part in any of the many wonderful events we feature.


Monica Jones


Mat Cornett




Monica Jones

Scott Berson Natalie Downey Frank Etheridge Josh McQuien Paws Humane Society

Mural On The Cover Done By Local Artist Mike Hodge For The Photoshop

The Food Mill

LocaL helocalcolumbus


Selfie HouseEMBER Museum AUG UST -SEPT 2022

Humane Society’s Outreach & Education How Paws Humane is Helping Confront the Pet Care Crisis Over the last few years one thing has become apparent; not only are the pets within our community suffering, but our community is suffering as well. Whether from lingering effects from the COVID-19 pandemic, the new heights of inflation, or minimal access to affordable housing or housing which allows

for Life program. Each program provides a specific service, which helps animals and people in critical need. The Community Cat Program is the humane, effective way to reduce the number of outdoor cats living on our streets. Community cats are the unowned, stray or feral cats who live outdoors in our neighborhoods. The program offers humane traps to residents of Muscogee County for the purpose of TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return). Residents can request

A m er i c a n Bea ut y

The Life & Times Of Alma Thomas, C o l u m b u s , G e o r g i a ’s G i f t To T h e Wo r l d pets, the Chattahoochee Valley is seeing a significant increase in the number of dogs and cats needing to be surrendered and removed from their households. In a desperate response to the increasing numbers of pets in community shelters, Paws Humane has collaborated with Animal Care and Control to create an owner support program to keep pets and their families together. The Neighborhood Pet Support program is getting to the root cause of why families need to rehome their pets so we can start making changes within our community. Some of these changes include access to pet-friendly affordable housing, access to affordable veterinary care, and Home to Home pet adoption that prevents pets from coming into our shelter system completely. The Neighborhood Pet Support program recognizes that pet homelessness is a symptom of a larger problem

our community is facing, and with your support, we hope to identify those problems and begin healing our community, one family at a time. Paws has focused on outreach and education in the community for many years. In addition to the newly created Neighborhood Pet Support program, Paws also provides a Community Cat Program and a Pets LocaL

a trap, then bring in community cats for their spay/ neuter surgery, vaccinations, and return of the cats to their communities. Over time, their numbers are reduced. The Community Cat Program is provided to Muscogee County residents at no charge. Pets for Life offers outreach services such as free or low-cost spay/neuter surgeries, educational events that include pet care and training, and humane education. By comprehensively addressing the lack of accessible, affordable pet care in under-served communities, Pets for Life keeps pets in the homes they already have, improving their quality of life and elevating the human-animal bond. At Paws Humane, we understand the importance and value of that bond. All of our community

outreach efforts reflect our goal of promoting animal welfare, preventing the overpopulation of pets and improving the lives of not only animals, but the community as a whole. If you are interested in learning more, visit

4900 Milgen Road Columbus (706) 565-0035 • Vet Clin 4

by Frank Etheridge lma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful toured major museums all across America for the past year before coming here, the artist’s hometown, for its grand finale. A stunning display of the iconic abstract painter’s boundless appeal and timeless relevance, this exhibition of Thomas’ work — bolstered by a sideshow exploring the cultural context of her family’s deep roots in the community — will be on view at the Columbus Museum through Sept. 25.


Alma Thomas Wind Dancing With Spring Flowers

Included here is an excerpt from my interview with Jonathan Frederick Walz, Ph.D., Director of Curatorial Affairs & Curator of American Art at the Columbus Museum. Walz curated this sweeping retrospective AUG UST -SEPT EMBER 2022

and authored a book by the same title about the She considered herself an American, period. No groundbreaking Columbus native. qualifier. She never denied that she was Black. But What inspired the title of this exhibition, being an artist and being an American is how she Everything Is Beautiful? described herself. “We have at least two, reliable sources stating that I think she was genuinely puzzled by the Black her favorite song was Ray Stevens’ Power movement. But, at the same chart-topping pop hit “Everything time, she had an experience with the Is Beautiful (In Its Own Way).” Klan when she was a child here. So Beauty is a huge theme of the she knew the other side of the story, show. Her devotion to this pursuit of too. That the struggle for equality beauty took form in so many aspects was ongoing. of her life. Beauty, in the way she She really embodies that early understood it, was something that 20th-century belief that, through she got up every morning and went hard work and excelling at things and looked for and tried to create for like the arts and sciences, Blacks will herself and her community.” overcome negative stereotypes and When Alma moved with her demonstrate that they’re equal to family to Washington, D.C. as a whites. teen, she reportedly went to her new She felt like, ‘‘If we can overlook school, saw her art classroom, and all of the ugliness and get to this said it felt like “entering heaven.” place of transcendental beauty, What do you think she meant by then that’s what’s going to bring that? And what does it tell us about everybody together.” Columbus at the time? Why do you think face masks “One of the primary reasons emblazoned withThomas’art became Horizon 1974, acrylic on paper the Thomas family left the area — popular during the pandemic? which is a sad part of our city’s history, but it’s what “She becomes a symbolic figure once you start to happened — is that Black education at the time only learn about her and find out she was a school teacher went through ninth grade, while the white schools for 35 years, that she led this exemplary life, and that went through twelfth. she’s very determined to overcome all the obstacles Her mother had a very strong family tradition in her way. about education. But, at the How important end of the day, if it was. How it you don’t know works as a way to any of that and better yourself, you just go to and to better a museum and yourself so that you see one of you can bring her paintings on the community the wall there, along with you’re instantly you. Thomas’s attracted to them parents realized, because they are “Education is so colorful. how to open Alma doors and get Thomas’ work Alma Thomas Red Azaleas Singing & Dancing Rock & RollMusic ahead in life, so we have is super approachable. to do better than just a ninth-grade education.” It lends itself to wanting to share. If you look at the Having grown up here, she played with the Alma Thomas hashtag on Instagram, somebody is local clay as a kid. From that, she had a real sense posting something about her or one of her paintings that she really liked to make things, that it was every single day. She just has that kind of appeal.”u really satisfying to her. So of course, this room at Armstrong Manual Training School in Washington is going to be heaven, because it’s full of all the materials and tools that she could ever want, there for her to use. Imagine her seeing all of these desks and knowing that she wasn’t going to be alone but with other students as interested as she was in making things. So to her, it was paradise. I truly believe she walked into that classroom and felt like, ‘I belong here.’ ” Even though she acknowledged challenges she faced as a black female artist, Thomas did not incorporate racial or feminist issues in her art, believing rather that the creative spirit transcends race and gender. What do you make of that? “She comes of age as an artist in DC, when she’s operating under the late 19th and early 20th-century belief that African Americans are equal to other Alma Thomas With Two Students Americans. It’s about assimilating. Basically, it’s the At The Howard University Art Gallery melting pot idea. LocaL



By Natalie Downey



Photo By Sammie Saxon

Art & Expression ByFor All Scott Berson

express yourself,” said Sherricka Day, one of the three women who own the business at 1425 3rd Avenue. The idea is simple: to walk through the space and take photos in front of the backgrounds, have fun, break into poses, crack jokes and have a good time with your friends or work colleagues or family, or whomever you think might like a little fun, creativity, adventure and excitement. There’s one thing that makes the Photoshop extra special though, and so perfectly suited to our community’s tendency to build itself up. Many of the

scenes and backgrounds at the Photoshop are actual art pieces from local artists. It’s not just a “selfie museum.” It literally is a selfie museum. “We really tried to incorporate the museum aspect into the space by having our art pieces and backdrops crafted by artists from the community. Our goal is to keep it fresh, we want people coming back, to keep it fun. We have some areas we know will rotate out and change,” Sherricka said. One artist, Jade Collins, created a vibrant, funky neighborhood backdrop of houses and buildings for the museum, a throwback to an earlier piece she had created for Sherricka. “It was inspired by a piece I painted after moving back to the states from Europe several years ago. We decided to throw some Columbus in there by adding the water tower,” she said. “I’m honored to be part of

to pull a little delight out of anyone, and the entire museum is family friendly. Plus, you can bring along a real camera as well as your phone if you want (though any extra professional photography gear will need to be scheduled as a separate photoshoot). “There are many murals and art around our town but this place has given a special home to our LOCAL spotlight of talent,” wrote artist Mike Hodge, who created the crowd favorite“706” scene. “I hope every person and business will reflect upon the greatness on every wall in the establishment and realize how important it is to display and support local business, local art, and local community awareness. You don’t have to go outta town to get it, trust me it’s all here!”

this collection of art they have gathered to bring a new experience to Columbus.” That care and craft of the space comes through, and it gives the entire experience a joyous, hand-built vibe. There are more than 20 unique scenes throughout the space to check out, and I won’t spoil them too much – part of the fun is showing up and exploring. One of the undisputed favorites was the “706” room, a graffito-blasted scene paying homage to hometown pride. There’s a music room, a classroom-themed set, and even a Super Mario area. There really is something

Sherricka said she began thinking about the idea back in 2020, and it kept popping back up in conversation with so many different people. Eventually, she got together with two other amazing female entrepreneurs, Francine Foster and Nedra Young, and they decided to give it a shot. So far, the feedback has been phenomenal. One of the most rewarding things is seeing customers having so much fun and leave with photos I know they’ll have for a lifetime. “Two little girls came in, and they were like ‘Mommy

a block or two from downtown Columbus in a Jtwoustgorgeous area of historical homes stands a beautiful story, with a warm brick-red foundation and winding

Photo By Sammie Saxon

front porch ready to invite you in for an adventure. It’s not just any house, this is Columbus’ first ever selfie museum: The Photoshop Selfie House Museum.

The space is big, bold, and beautiful, just like the amazing team of women entrepreneurs who brought it to life. But what exactly is a selfie museum, you may ask? “Think of fun vibrant creative backgrounds where you can take pictures, alone, with friends or family, somewhere you can have a good time and find ways to LocaL



Photo By Sammie Saxon

can we please come back again?’ People’s faces light up when they walk in. It’s amazing. There has been nothing but good feedback,” she said. “It makes all the labor we put into it worth it.” The Photoshop is open Wednesday through Sunday at 1425 3rd Avenue in Columbus. Reservations are recommended. There are also regular events at the space and a rentable seminar room for lectures, team-building exercises, or any other events, of which more information can be found at Photo By Sammie Saxon

Francine Foster, Nedra Young & Sherricka Day LocaL






If a picture is worth a thousand words, the Nature Now Environmental Film Festival is the catalyst for an entire movement, sparking conversations that shed light on environmental issues and inviting the community to connect with nature. With an entire lineup of gripping

environmental shorts and documentaries, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to see these interesting stories about interesting people and the cinematic creativity of the filmmakers who bring them to life. Nature Now is a local environmental education nonprofit that hosts the only annual film festival in our community, featuring unique documentaries that all share the common thread of a love for nature. Now in its fifth year, the organization focuses its efforts on raising awareness, educating, and inspiring audiences through carefully curated lineups full of breathtaking cinematography and


fascinating stories of real-life people, and the measures they’re taking to advocate for issues relevant to. For the past several years Columbus was a stop for the Wild and Scenic Film Fest. The second year, Columbus was the largest on-tour host for Wild and Scenic in the country. “We were adding so much extra content,” explains Paige Swift, director of Nature Now, “And it just became larger and larger, so it made sense to establish it as it’s own stand-alone film fest.” What’s typically a one night program in other towns, became a true three day festival experience of films, talks, special guests, art, parties, and a whole network of local ventures, all uniting to celebrate and support environmental awareness. Through Paige’s efforts to expand on the festival, it has grown far beyond the WSFF

On Tour platform. So, in 2021, the Columbus based nonprofit organization Nature Now was started with its own vision for advocacy through an annual environmental film festival. Nature Now contracts content from the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in addition to films from other resources such as Reel Rock, an ontour rock climbing film fest, Southern Exposure, films which produces short documentaries about Alabama issues, and films from a variety of independent filmmakers. “We’ve got something for everyone,” Paige says. “The festival appeals to a wide audience.” The festival extends beyond the screen, connecting the community with filmmakers Continued On p.15 8





pandemic required social distancing. “When I just sat in an office,” she remembers, “I didn’t feel alive.” No longer able to interact face


W h e n vibe is making R a c h e l the streets of s t a r t e d Columbus more making vinyl colorful and fun, T-shirts, she found as a local designer that her passion for By Natalie Downey finds ways to empower and crafting grew. “I’d get off inspire the community, one t-shirt work and it was the first thing I at a time. thought about,” she remembers. “I was making Rachel Kelly’s passion for crafting is evident t-shirts for everyone. Everything that happened, in the way her eyes light up when the topic I was like, ‘We need a t-shirt for that’,” she arises. It’s easy to see she takes great pride in recalls, laughing.

It’s A W H O L E V I B E

the movement she’s inspired.This is not just an apparel company, but a whole vibe. Though creating unique pieces has always been a hobby for her, Rachel’s career as a designer began in 2014 when she got her vinyl machine. She

started making vinyl monogram decals as gifts for her friends and coworkers for a year before she decided to expand on her craft, experiment with creating new items, and dream about starting a business.


to face with clients, Rachel began daydreaming about leaving her job and returning full time to her passion: crafting. As she felt the spark of creativity return to her, she was driven to try something new and return to her brand. In October 2020, with the purchase of a sublimation machine (a type of high-tech printer for transferring designs onto new objects), Rachel saw the possibilities for her creative expression expand, as she began experimenting with new printing techniques. Back in creative

In 2017, Rachel got her business license and launched her website and official brand of trendy apparel called The Peach Shoppe. She expanded her style when she added embroidered items to her shop, creating monogrammed bags and baby clothes which she sold in local craft markets. As momentum picked up and Rachel’s business took off, her small-business dreams began to come to life. Born and raised in Columbus, GA, Rachel is a bona fide southern girl, and the name for her shop was inspired by her love for her home state and all things Southern, from sweet tea to juicy, home-grown peaches. Though Rachel worked hard for several years to see her creative dreams become a reality, she hit a lull in 2019 when she sold her embroidery machine and decided to reconsider the focus of her business. Embroidery just wasn’t for her, and while she still wanted to create, she found herself wondering what her next move would be. In 2020, things shifted. A self-proclaimed “People Person,” Rachel became bored with her full-time job in the corporate world when the 10


mode, and finally working with a design technique she loved, Rachel spent her lunch breaks at her job reaching out to connect with local businesses about

way she carefully creates each item in her shop. Though stepping away from the corporate world was scary, Rachel knew she had to take the risk if she wanted to see how far she could go. Looking back, she has no regrets. “It has been a fantastic ride!” she laughs. Today, Rachel’s items are sold in shops and markets around the Columbus area. Her style is not just a brand, it’s an entire vibe that resonates the spirit of a creative dreamer, unapologetically believing in her ideas. She collaborates with local businesses to design custom t-shirts for them and has organized her business to present a consistent brand to the community. Sassy and unapologetic, The Peach Shoppe brand is recognizable, as each item is uniquely hand-made by Rachel in her one-of-a-kind style. “It’s an apparel brand focused on

selling her items in their shops. She began to look back into selling at local markets and got her business license renewed. One weekend in November, Rachel sold her hand- the individual item,” she explains. “Each item starts crafted items at three different craft markets and found plain and I put some ‘Rachel pizazz’ on them.” herself right in the middle of where she wanted to be. Rachel’s goal is to inspire her customers to “feel While creating t-shirts, cups, and accessories, she says empowered, original, and beautiful.” Her items are made in a wide variety of sizes and styles, with the hope that she can offer something for everyone. Last year, she launched The Peach Shoppe’s sister shop, The Rotten Peach, also an apparel shop, but with an edge. Her widely popular “31 Days of Horror” last Halloween, in which she revealed new Halloweenrelated items each day, inspired her to launch this new shop. T-shirts and items sold at The Rotten Peach feature a slightly darker tone with a delightfully twisted sense of humor. More than anything, Rachel is grateful for the response of the community and the support it has shown her. “This is an amazing community,” she says, “It’s so supportive of

she “Fell in love harder than I had before for this small business world, and creativity.” Finding herself surrounded by other inspirational local crafters, Rachel realized she had what it would take to make her small business dreams a reality. “I can do this!” she told herself. And she set out to make it happen. As Rachel poured her soul into The Peach Shoppe, her persistence paid off, and interest grew for her hand-crafted items. By December of 2020 she had signed two contracts to have her items in local businesses, and formulated a business plan. In 2021, Rachel decided to finally take the leap with her small business, and January 29 was her last day in corporate America. Rachel stepped boldly out of the office and into her craft space, ready to put all of her energy into the business she had so carefully created in the same LocaL

small businesses.” Rachel’s success is a story she wants everyone to be inspired by. “This can happen for you,” she says, encouraging those who dream of starting a small business to go for it. “You have to put in the work and it will pay off.” For Rachel, her hard work and relentless dreaming is paying off. Her items add a splash of color to the sidewalks of our town as people show off her unique creations, showing the world a fun way to make a statement, and reminding us that dreams do come true. Updates and information about where to find Rachel’s latest items can be found on her website and on her Facebook and Instagram pages.u 11


Dance Lessons - Let’s Dance Y’all Line and Ballroom Dance Lessons and Quarterly Organized Dances. Every Monday, 6 - 7:30 p.m., Hilton Terrace Baptist Church Gym (in back), 2236 Warm Springs, Road, Columbus Tuesday Night Ride with Ride On Bikes Join us for a ride along the riverwalk. All riders welcome. Every Tuesday, 6 p.m., Ride On Bikes, Columbus Food Truck Friday Swing by Supreme Fast Tax for Food Truck Friday. Every first Friday of the month. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., 2450 Wynnton Road, Columbus The Circle A safe & sacred space for All to gather for an hour of chanting, breathwork, & meditation. With Alee Link. Free to all Unlimited members. Suggested $10 donation for non-members. Registration required. The first Friday of every month, 6 p.m. River Flow Yoga and Wellness, Columbus Saturday Morning Rides at Ride On Bikes Saturday morning rides are here. Be ready to ride from the shop. First ride begins at 7:30 and an additional ride at 7:45. 40-50 miles at 17-19mph. Every Saturday, Ride On Bikes, Columbus. Market Days on Broadway Uptown Columbus’ Market Days on Broadway feature’s many local and organic farmers selling produce, along with soap vendors, home goods, jewelry vendors, and baked goods. Our friends from local shelters and animal rescue groups can be found in the median of Broadway. For questions, call the Uptown office at 706.596.0111. Every Saturday morning, 9 a.m. - Noon, Broadway, Columbus 2nd Saturdaze Market It’s an outdoor Vendor Market featuring Food Trucks, Live Music and all Kinds of Amazing Vendors, with Vintageville, ReDesign Time and Chattabrewchee right there to view, sip and shop. Every 2nd Saturday of the month. Starting at 10 a.m., 1301 6th Avenue, Columbus Motor and Mouths Monthly Meet Up A family friendly monthly meeting of car guys/girls to run their motor mouths about their vehicles. Held the 2nd Sunday of month from 8-11am. Windsor Village parking lot, Carnoisseur Detail side, Columbus Zumbini Demo Class Created by Zumba® and BabyFirst for kids ages 0-5, the Zumbini® program combines music, dance and educational tools for 45 minutes of can’t-stop, won’t-stop bonding, learning, and fun. $10 per child. Siblings under 6 months are free. Space is limited. Registration is required. Dress for lots of moving and dancing. Will be outdoors so grab water and some yummy treats After class at the Banks Food Hall. Thursday, August 11, 9:30 & 10:30 a.m., Zumbini Demo Class BANKS Food Hall, 1002 Bay Avenue, Columbus Tools 4 School - School Supply Giveaway Davis Broadcasting’s 23rd Annual Tools 4 School - School Supply Giveaway. Backpacks for children K -12. While Supplies last. Resource Fair for students and parents plus Movie Night Under the Stars at 8pm. Friday, August 5, 6 p.m., Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road, Columbus Movie Night Under the Stars Join us for Free Family Friendly Fun with our screening of Spiderman- No Way Home, on the front lawn of the Columbus Public Library-3000 Macon Road. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets. Food Vendors, prizes, fun. Friday, August 5 8 p.m., Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road, Columbus Chattahoochee Challenge Olympic Triathlon and Duathlon This is a great race to gauge your fitness level or transition from a sprint and half distance race. The swim is a two loop, 500 meter, down river swim in depths no greater than six feet. Duathletes start with a two-mile run. The bike route is smooth and flat, and the run route will take you along the scenic Phenix City Riverwalk and into historic Columbus. Register at or www.linktr. ee/tricolumbusga. Saturday, August 6, 7:30 – 11:30 a.m., Woodruff Park, Columbus The Peach Shoppe Pop Up at Main Event Tattoo Debuting new merch from the shoppe, new tees and more. Plus meet Zac from Main Event while they offer their walk-in tattoo open challenge and schedule with artists. Saturday, August 6, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Main Event Tattoo, 3709 Gentian Boulevard, Columbus Jamaica’s Independence Celebration Mercy’s Jamaican Kitchen is hosting a fun night of celebratory Music, Dancing, Food & Drinks. Experience the culture with good music and really good food. Saturday, August 6 - 11 a.m. Sunday, August 7, noon. Mercy’s Jamaican Kitchen, Milgen Road, Columbus Back to School Car Bike Truck Jeep Show The VW Haynes Ministries is hosting this Back to School event. DJ and Entertainment will be center stage. Bring your lawn chairs and come on out and enjoy a wonderful evening with a time of giving. Sunday, August 7, 5 – 8 p.m., 1858 Midtown Drive,Columbus Pollinator Palooza at the Gardens A celebration of all things Bee’s. Films, Crafts, Games, Food, Cash Bar and Live Music with Caleb Gamble. Doors open at 6pm, Music begins at 7:30. Catch a series of short films on Pollinators from the Nature Now Festival. Free to members and children under 3. $10 for 3+ and $20 for non-members. Thursday, August 11th, 6 p.m., The Columbus Botanical Garden, Weems Road, Columbus LocaL



August Full Moon Ride The August Full Moon Ride -- the Sturgeon Moon. Hopefully the weather will cooperate....fingers crossed. Friday, August 12,8 p.m., August Full Moon Ride Ride On Bikes, 1036 Broadway, Columbus JLC 2022 Lakebottom 5k Race registration open thru 8/11 at: 5K & 1 Mile, start & finish at Lakebottom Park. Start Time: 1 Mile: 7:30 a.m. 5K: 8 a.m. Cost 5K: $30; 1 mile: $20. Saturday, August 13, 7 – 9:30 a.m., Lakebottom 5K, Junior League of Columbus, 1240 Wynnton Road, Columbus Puppy Yoga Bring your pup and join us for a relaxing yoga session at the park with a certified instructor from YMCA Columbus. Release stress, have a blast, and feel empowered during this 1 hour class. Open to the community, and we are waiving day fees for dogs during the event. Make sure to get here early to get your dog checked in properly. All vaccine information and other Park Rules still apply. Saturday, August 13, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m., Fetch Park, Columbus Princess for a Day We welcome your little princesses to come down to the Trade Center to be a “Princess” for a day. Experience a magical time. Meeting one of their favorite princesses, crafting royal artwork, having their make-up professionally done, designing their own unique jewelry, and much more. Mark your calendar. Saturday, August 13, 10 a.m.- noon. The Convention & Trade Center, Columbus Wild Leap Taco Wars A full night of delicious tacos from food vendors all over Ga, Live Music, One-Day-Only Beers, Craft Cocktails & Slushies, Vote for your favorite tacos. Brewery Games, Free entry, All ages welcome, No outside food or beverage is permitted. This is a rain or shine event. Saturday, August 13, 6 – 10 p.m., Wild Leap Brew Co., 308 Main Street, LaGrange W.I.L.D Movie Night What better way to get inspired to travel, get outside and explore then seeing a beautiful film? Ladies, come join us for movie night - where we will be watching the documentary Mile, Mile and a Half - which is about a group of artists that set out to hike the 219 mile John Muir Trail in California in just 25 days. The film is 1 hour and 30 minutes. Your $5 registration includes your choice of snack from our snack bar. You are more than welcome to bring in your own drink/ snacks as well to enjoy during the film. Monday, August 15, 6 p.m., WILD - Women’s Initiative for Learning and Discovery, 621 2nd Avenue, Suite A, Columbus Yoga at the Museum De-stress with a yoga class at The Columbus Museum, surrounded by art and history. Start with a short mindfulness-focused gallery experience then relax with a gentle, all-level yoga session led by Sue Tomkiewicz. Some yoga mats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration required. Free for Members / $5 for Future Members. Saturday, August 20, 10:30 – noon, The Columbus Museum, 1251 Wynnton Road, Columbus Photographer Meet-Up Make friends & connections, collaborate & inspire. Bring your cameras/ phones and wardrobe and get ready to serve looks and capture the perfect shot. Creators of all levels are welcome. Tickets include photographer plus 1 model. If you’re a photographer who’d also like to shoot with a lighting kit/backdrop at this event or If you’re a designer or fashion industry organization that would like to be featured / speak at this event please reach out to us. Enjoy access to all sets.Tickets are $65.00. Space is limited. Go to to purchase your ticket. Saturday, August 20, 6 – 9 p.m., The Photo Shop Selfie House Museum, 1425 3rd Ave, Columbus 12th Annual Salute to Soldiers Gala & Silent Auction Oh, the Places You’ll Go. We’re celebrating Army posts throughout the world. This fun and exciting event begins with a cocktail hour at 6pm followed by dinner and dancing at 7pm. The silent auction LocaL

will feature lots of great items. Contact Jane Bayer at (706) 6852604 or with questions. Saturday, August 20, 6 p.m., National Infantry Museum, 1775 Legacy Way, Columbus

The Broken Pieces Book Release Tells of my heartbreak as a young girl and my mother’s heartbreak as an adult. A story of deception, dishonor, and hurt. See that even in the dark, light still shines. Even in the face of adversity. Through God, I have been able to pick up ‘The Broken Pieces. Book signing, dinner and comedian Broderick Rice Live. Tickets at Saturday, August 27, 6 – 9 p.m., The Convention & Trade Center, Columbus 41st Midnight Express 5K Run What could be more fun than running thru the neighborhood at midnight with a 1000 or more of your closest friends? At the end of your race you get a barbecue sandwich and a large glass of sweet tea. Live Music in the Country’s parking lot on Mercury Drive - with Lost on LeMans. Other vendors, Country’s food, canine friends, and more. Saturday, August 27, 8 – 2 a.m., 41st Midnight Express 5K Run, 3137 Mercury Drive, Columbus Don Cosme Tequila Dinner This dinner will include four courses with pairings for each course. Ambre Lake will be here with Savannah Distributors to entertain you. We will start off with a cocktail hour from 6pm7pm with several specialty made cocktails, dinner will start at 7pm. Buy tickets in advance to participate only reservations will be in the restaurant for this event. Call 706-507-5384 to make your reservation. Friday, August 26, 6 – 9 p.m., Don Cosme Tequila Dinner, Hudson’s At Main Street, 6298 Veterans Parkway, Columbus High Room Comedy After an incredible turn out at the first show, Nico and her band of merry comedians return to the High Room at Vertigo for another knock out. Make sure not to miss this one. Tickets are only $12 ($15 at the door) plus, get drink specials and dinner at Vertigo Fusion Kitchen before the show. Doors open at 8pm, show at 9. Tickets at Saturday, August 27, 8 p.m., The High Room at Vertigo, 117 12 Street, Columbus Chase the Hooch 2.4 Mile Swim Join us for a 2.4 mile swim down the Chattahoochee River. River depths are consistently 4-6ft. Participants receive a race specific towel. Swim teams are welcome and encouraged. Registration at Saturday, September 2, 8 – 11 a.m., Chase the Hooch 2.4 Mile Swim, Woodruff Park, 1000 Bay Avenue, Columbus Big Dog Labor Day Classic 10K 2022 5th Annual Labor Day Classic 10K. All proceeds will benefit MercyMed of Columbus. This race is part of the CRR Summer Series. $35 to race and must be registered before day of race. Tickets at or look for our Facebook event page. Start time 7am. Monday, September 5, 7 a.m., Big Dog Fleet Feet, 11th and Broadway, Columbus September Social Night with W.I.L.D Come join us for our monthly meetup at Banks Food Hall - where we have a chance to catch up with one another, talk about past trips and learn about upcoming adventures. This is a great time to come meet many of the ladies involved with WILD, and to bring a gal pal that might be interested in joining us. When you arrive - look for the metal lady - as we sometimes are inside or outside depending on the weather. Tuesday, September 6, 6 – 8 p.m., BANKS Food Hall, 1002 Bay Avenue, Columbus Summertime Blues at the Garden Enjoy the lush Gardens as you listen to the melodic melody of Siantz, the brother duo that will inspire and relax your mind. Plus, great BBQ and yard games for the family to partake and enjoy. So long summer. Gates open at 6pm, music starts at 7:30. Free to members and children under 3. $10 for 3+ and $20 for nonmembers. Thursday, September 8, 6 p.m., Columbus Botanical Garden, Weems Road, Columbus 13

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Around Town Continued From p.13 Self-Care Fest Chattahoochee Valley We’ve traveled across the country speaking about self-care and self-love for healing artists and we’ve even written a book about it. Now we’re bringing it to Columbus and the Chattahoochee Valley. Vendor opportunities are available. Admission including all live classes is only $10. This event is a part of the Optimal Living Education & Retreats Veterans Family Retreat 2022. Register at www.optimallivingretreats. com. Friday, September 9, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., (Iron Works) Convention & Trade Center, 801 Front Avenue, Columbus Fountain City Tattoo Expo Back bigger and better for its second year. Come experience the fun & some southern hospitality and Award Winning tattoo artists. Get tattooed or pierced at the convention. Live Shows, Giveaways, Seminars, Competitions, & top notch entertainment is just the start. Find out more at September 9 - 11th. Friday 1 p.m. - 10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.- 8 p.m., (Iron Works) Convention and Trade Center, 801 Front Avenue, Columbus Gala in the Garden The annual Gala of the Garden is always superb. Featuring an extravagant evening of events followed by a Garden Luncheon. With special guests: Brie Arthur and Ivy Odom. Look for more information and tickets at Evening events Thursday, September 15 and Garden Luncheon Friday, September 16. The Columbus Botanical Garden, Weems Road, Columbus Tri City Latino Festival The biggest festival of the year. In our 9th year. Food, vendors, cultural exhibits, dancers, live music and more. Parade Lineup starts at 10:30 a.m. At Front Avenue and 12th Street. Come celebrate this amazing culture full of color and vibrance. Which depends on your support and presence. Admission is free. More information at Saturday, September 17, noon, Columbus Civic Center, 400 4th Street, Columbus Comedy for Critters at the Loft Join the efforts of the Georgia Pet Coalition for an amazing evening of unleashed fun, food, music and comedy to make you laugh your tail off. All to benefit the Coalition and Paws Humane Society. Starring animals of all types with funny man Jerry Farber along with friend Johnny Parazzo. You’d be barking mad not to go. Get tickets at Saturday, September 17, 6:30 – 10 p.m., The Loft, 1032 Broadway, Columbus Namaste 5k A Mindfulness Tri in partnership with Riverflow Yoga and Wellness. With a portion of proceeds to benefit the Chattahoochee River Conservancy. Yoga class will be taught by Alee Link. Running and yoga vendors will be present for in between the 5K and yoga class. Please bring your own mat. Meditation (5-10 minutes), 5K Run/Walk, Yoga (1 hour) Cost: $40 Early; $45 Race Day. Must register by September 15th to be guaranteed a shirt. Thursday, September 22, 6 p.m., The Bib Mill 3715 1st Avenue, Columbus LocaL Mini Market at the Trade Center Support all things local. This event will feature many Local Artists, a Farmer’s Market, Boutiques, Antiques, Jewelry, Handcrafted Soaps, Live Music and so much more. Kids 12 & under are Free. General admission is only $5. Saturday, September 24, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., (Iron Works) Convention and Trade Center, Columbus Whaley’s Craft Fair 2022 Over 70 booths, specializing in unique crafts, antique and gift items. We are located on the main street in Gay, Ga. always the first weekend of October. The Whaley Fair is always free admission. October 1, – October 2, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m., Whaley’s Craft Fair 2022, Highway 85, Gay Men’s Mentoring Breakfast Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Chattahoochee Valley provides children facing adversity with strong and LocaL

enduring, professionally supported, one on one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer mentor, please join us for this informational session. Saturday, October 8, 10 a.m. – noon, Men’s Mentoring Breakfast 1350 15th Avenue, Columbus 1st Annual Columbus Foodie FestIval The First Ever Columbus Foodie Fest is here. Featuring all local Foodie favorites from Columbus and the region. It’s a Food Fest, Fundraiser and Contest to see who delivers the best. Entry is just $5 and additional votes are just a buck. Plus a Huge Raffle featuring: An Art Piece by Ralph Frank, Night Stay at The Rothschild-Pound House, Dinner for Two at Buckhead Steak and Wine, A CBD Package from The Well, $10 Gift Card from The Matcha Garden, Family Membership to the Columbus Botanical Garden and more. Raffle Tickets are $20 & every Raffle Ticket goes towards your chance to Win. Get yours at Come and Taste. Them. All. Saturday, October 15, noon - 4 p.m., Rally Point Harley Davidson, Williams Road, Columbus Barks and Blues Music Festival Join Paws Humane Society for our Sixth Annual Barks and Blues Music Festival. Live entertainment to include six local and regional bands, food trucks, adult beverages, and arts and crafts vendors. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or vendor, please email Neal Lucas | Stained Glass Saints | The Shelby Brothers | The Parker House Band | Slippery When Wet, The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute. For more information on the festival, visit www. Free Admission. Saturday, October 15, 3 p.m – 10 p.m., Barks and Blues Music Festival, Woodruff Park, 1000 Bay Avenue, Columbus Want to see your event listed here?

Caleb Gamble Live at AC Hotel Grab some friends and come out for a night of live music with Caleb Gamble. Drink Specials, Free event, public welcome. Saturday, August 12, 6 - 9 p.m. AC Hotel, Broadway, Uptown Columbus Katz Return to The Hangout Back to Rock the night away with more Live Music. Friday, August 19, 8 p.m., The Hangout, 6060 Veterans Parkway, Columbus Relative Sound, UNPLUGGED at Wild Wing Cafe Enjoy this acoustic show live at the best place for happy bites. Wednesday, August 24, 5 – 8 p.m., Wild Wing Cafe, 6525 Whittlesey Boulevard, Columbus Whiskey Moon at The Loft Join us at one of Columbus’ premier live music venues. Incredible food, ice cold drinks & the best Classic Rock, Country and Dance favorites to make this a helluva Saturday night party. Saturday, August 27, 9 p.m, The Loft, Broadway, Columbus Georgia Sundown Duo Returns to The Hangout Playing all your favorite classic tunes. Friday, September 2, 8 p.m., The Hangout, 6060 Veterans Parkway, Columbus Soul Fest 2022 Featuring Tucka with Sir Charles Jones, Pokey Bear, West Love, Nellie “Tiger” Travis, Ms. Jody & King George Live & in person. Tickets on sale now at Ticketmaster. Saturday, September 3, 7:30 p.m., Columbus Civic Center, Columbus Elvis by Jeff Golden Voted #10 in the world Elvis impersonator. Front row $50. Advanced tickets $25, $30 at the door. Check out our Facebook event page for more info. Saturday, September 10, 8 p.m., Columbus State University, 4225 University Avenue, Columbus Continued On p.16

Kindred Spirits @ The Office Sports Bar & Grill Playing sweet, delicious music to go along with the great food and drinks. Start your weekend right and come see us. Friday, August 6, 7- 10 p.m., The Office Sports Bar, 2979 N Lake Parkway, Columbus The Marshall Tucker Band Outlaws/Kentucky Headhunters Hosted by the Sweetland Amphitheatre. All ages, $40-$75, General Admission Lawn + Reserved Seating. Tickets available. For more info please visit: SweetlandAmp. com. Friday, August 5, 8 p.m., Sweetland Amphitheatre, LaGrange Jeffery Steele @ The Loft An incredible night with Jeffrey Steele, recognized for hits he penned for artists including Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Eric Church, Faith Hill, Rascal Flatts, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jimmy Buffet, Zac Brown Band, Randy Travis, Alabama and more. His mega-hits include “What Hurts the Most”, “Raise “Em Up”, “Here” “The Cowboy in Me”, “My Town”, “Something to be Proud of ”, and more. General admission. Doors at 7:00p. Enjoy dinner with us beforehand at The Loft, Mabella Italian Steakhouse, and Saltcellar. Saturday, August 6, 8 p.m., The Loft, Broadway, Columbus Relative Sound at Wild Wing Enjoy live music and a great happy hour. Friday, August 12, 5 – 8 p.m., Wild Wing Cafe, 6525 Whittlesey Boulevard, Columbus 14


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and offering people the chance to experience the films through all kinds of events. “It’s multi-faceted,” Paige explains. “It’s not just films. It’s integrating concepts into the community and giving people the opportunity to learn new things.” The stories told in this year’s films are inspiring, thought-provoking, memorable, and bold. They take hold of the viewers and ask to be retold, raising awareness

that leads to action and change. The opportunity to experience these unique stories, through films we might otherwise have never encountered, is one our community is lucky to have. One such film is the story of a veteran struggling with PTSD whose life was changed because of fly fishing. Chad Brown’s film, called “Sanctuary” is on the film festival lineup, and he will also be discussing it in person at a coffee talk taking place the weekend of the film fest. In addition, he will be a special guest at a fly fishing clinic for those interested in trying the sport out and taking the concepts from the film


beyond the screen. Other films feature stories such as the oldest person to hike the Appalachian Trail, a blind kayaker overcoming the challenges of his disability, diversity in the world of ice climbing, and many more topics of courageous people facing the challenges nature and society bring together. In addition, “The Wintering Grounds,” a documentary about the lifestyle of nomadic whitewater kayakers, based largely out of Phenix City and Columbus, will screen at this year’s Nature Now film festival. The weekend will be full of activities, including Q&A sessions with a panel of filmmakers, a brunch at Bo Bartlett Center, a lunch and learn at the Do Good Fund Gallery, an Enviro-Fair with vendors, a sensory garden installation from Columbus Botanical Gardens, a kayaking clinic for visually impaired kayakers, films and activities for kids, a conversation with Mercy Med about their meal prep program, and a “Sunday Funday” Rapids River Run event. The Nature Now film schedule as well as tickets for the festival and additional activities can be found on the website at All films will screen twice, so attendees are encouraged to look at the schedule and plan their weekend ahead of time.u





Music Continued From p.14 Relative Sound at The Loft We’re back and playing all the hits you can get enough of. Join us Saturday, September 10, 9 p.m., The Loft Columbus, 1032 Broadway, Columbus Relative Sound, UNPLUGGED at Wild Wing Cafe Hot Wings, Cold Beer, Good Times and a side of acoustic melody. Join us Wednesday, September 28, 5 – 8 p.m., UNPLUGGED at Wild Wing Cafe, 6525 Whittlesey Boulevard, Columbus Chris Janson Live at The Civic Center Country lovers get ready. Chris Janson along with Tracy Lawrence are coming to the Columbus Civic Center. Get tickets now, $50 through Ticketmaster. Friday, September 30, 8 p.m., Columbus Civic Center, 400 4th Street, Columbus Vicki Lynn Maxwell CD Release at the Loft Join Vicki and her long time friends and super local band members for this fun CD release event. Honoring her father Lee Morris who played Columbus back in his earlier days before moving to Nashville. A successful songwriter with cuts from Waylon Jennings, Jerry Lee and many others. Seating is limited. Get advance tickets at Saturday, October 1, 7 – 9 p.m., Vicki Lynn Maxwell CD Release, The Loft, 1032 Broadway, Columbus Caleb Gamble Live at the Pound-House Come out for a magical evening of soft tunes, jazz and blues. Amongst the beautiful backdrop that is the RothschildPound House B&B. Drinks, Charcuterie, and Staycation packages available. Don’t miss this amazing night. Tickets available at Friday, October 7th, 8 p.m., The Pound House Concert Series, 201 7th Avenue, Columbus Want to see your event listed here?

Alma W. Thomas - Everything is Beautiful The artistic journey of renowned African American artist Alma W. Thomas (1891-1978) took her from Columbus, Georgia to international acclaim. The upcoming exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of her extraordinary career with more than 150 objects, including late- career paintings that have never before been exhibited or published. July 1 September 25, at the Columbus Museum, Wynnton Road, Columbus Journey Towards Justice: The Civil Rights Movement in the Chattahoochee Valley A spotlight on the Civil Rights Movement in the Columbus area. Themes and topics include the beginnings of a southern freedom movement and the effects of Jim Crow segregation; the role of Black institutions as a source of community pride and a breeding ground for activists; the influence of Fort Benning; direct public actions that led to the desegregation of public and private spaces; the cycle of generational violence and intimidation that activists faced; and continued civil rights activism in the 21st century. Now - October 16, The Columbus Museum No Shame Theatre Every Friday night, come out to the Springer (side door) for a good ole hosting of No Shame Theatre. You never know what you’re going to get. Comedy, poetry, skits or music LocaL

acts. Everything is good and even if it’s not? NO SHAME here. Be an act, just don’t act up. Sign up starts at 10 p.m., show starts at 10:30. Every Friday Night, Springer Opera House, Columbus Sketching Under the Skylight Leave your voices at the door & witness the power of the creative process as professional artists sketch from a live model in costume under the magical skylights of the Bo Bartlett Center. Free admission and open to the public. The second Thursday of each month. 4 p.m., The Bo Bartlett Center, 921 Front Avenue, Columbus Joseph Golden: A Salute to the American Songbook Columbus State University’s Joseph Golden kicks off RiverCenter’s first concert series for The Wave Theatre Organ. It will be a magical afternoon of music from the Great American Song Book – perfect theatre organ repertoire. Sunday, August 14, 4 p.m., RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, Columbus Nature Now Environmental Film Festival Now the 5th year of this premier Georgia environmental film festival experience. Featuring top films from the wildly successful Wild & Scenic Film Festival franchise alongside a film list curated by Paige Swift, Nature Now Executive Director and lover of all things environmental film. Visit August 18, 5 p.m. – Aug 21, noon. Nature Now Environmental Film Festival, Riverside Theater, Columbus Columbus Toy and Comic Book Show Come join us at the Coca-Cola Space Science Center for our August Columbus Comic Book and Toy Show. We will have comics, toys, movies, flight simulators, exhibits, costumed characters & more. $6 a ticket for admission. Ages 5 and under Free. Sunday, August 28, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Columbus State University’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center, 701 Front Avenue, Columbus Myths, Legends, & Folk Tunes Join the Columbus Symphony Orchestra as they showcase the legendary Firebird Suite by Stravinsky and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition as arranged by Ravel. Ticket Prices: Adult: $20-40 | Child/Student: $10. Visit tickets. At 6:30pm in Studio Theatre for Know the Score, a pre-concert discussion with Maestro George Del Gobbo (included). Saturday, September 17,7:30 p.m., RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, 900 Broadway, Columbus The Bodyguard - the Musical This breathtaking Broadway romantic thriller is based on the 1992 Warner Brothers movie. A former Secret Service agent, Frank Farmer, takes on the job of bodyguard to international superstar Rachel Marron who is being terrorized by a deadly stalker. Each of them expects to be in charge. What they don’t expect is to fall in love. This show features a cascade of irresistible Whitney Houston classics including “Queen of the Night,” “So Emotional,” “One Moment in Time,” “Saving All My Love,” “Run to You,” “I Have Nothing,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” and one of the biggest-selling songs of all time: “I Will Always Love You.” Tickets onsale now at September 23, 24, 29, 30 & October 1, 6, 7 & 8 at 7:30pm, and Sunday September 25 & October 2 & 9 at 2:30 p.m., The Springer Opera House, 103 10th Street, Columbus Look Forward: The Ruby Bridges Story By local playwright Natalia Temesgen. The true story of the extraordinary 6-year-old who helped shape history when she became the very first African-American sent to first grade in an all-white school - changing America forever. Set in New Orleans in 1960, Ruby eventually befriends students and teachers and lives out a faith that tells her to stand firm. Look at the world through Ruby’s eyes and discover the true promise of America. September 30 and 16

October 7 at 7:00 pm October 1 and 8 at 11am and October 2 and 9 at 2:30pm. Get tickets at The Springer Opera House, 103 10th Street, Columbus Jesus Christ Superstar Appealing to both theater audiences and concert music fans, this production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring. Set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’, ‘Gethsemane’ and ‘Superstar’. Saturday, October 8, 7:30 p.m., RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, Columbus Ron White at Sweetland Amphitheatre No introduction necessary for this comedy legend. Ron White performs at the Sweetland Amphitheatre for All ages. For more information visit SweetlandAmp. com. Sunday, October 9, 8 p.m., Sweetland Amphitheatre, LaGrange Want to see your event listed here?


Sit Back, Listen

& “Stay” A WHILE

Photo By Sammie Saxon





a huge Rush fan back when I played bass. It changes. One week I like to play certain stuff, then another week I play something else. I like to write a song and whatever happens to come out is what works.” The joy of writing – of creating something new and sharing it with the world – is one of his favorite things about being a musician. “I love to write, to try to get something out there that didn’t exist before,” Gamble said. “I’ve got a ton of songs, half of them I don’t know what to do with, and sometimes I like them and sometimes not. That’s the process, and I love every bit of it.” Normally on his own with an acoustic guitar and a mic, his original single, “Stay,” is a powerful, heartfelt and musically-rich ballad of love and loss that adds a huge range of new musical ideas, including some killer saxophone riffs from Charles Robinson, or “Big Saxy”.

By Scott Berson

hen you think of all the gigging musicians out there, W the folks who can pick up a guitar and strum through a few hits in the back corner of the bar, many may come to mind – and then there’s Caleb Gamble.

Sure, he’s made the rounds, and he still makes them – playing for folks at the breweries in Opelika, at the pubs and sports bars and restaurants in Columbus. Caleb delivers a sincere and powerful sound that turns heads and makes people stop and listen. The local guitarist has technical chops aplenty, but it’s his voice and presence that reel people in with a luscious, intimate tone that pulls you into the song, further and further. Gamble grew up in Box Springs before moving to Columbus as a teen, where he taught himself piano and bass. He got a scholarship to study music at Chattahoochee Valley Community College, then went to Florida for further studies. “I played in bands until I was about 19 or 20, and then I moved to Florida for those few years. I moved back to Columbus when I was around 25. I started playing around town, and I’ve been playing ever since,” he said. He’s not picky about the type of music he plays – if it feels right, he can make it work, especially if it can get people up and moving. “I like to play stuff that’s more rhythmic and has more groove to it. Dave Matthews is a big influence because his acoustic patterns were always fun to play on guitar. I was


The song was originally meant to be the starting point of work on a full album. But as “Stay” was released in 2020 – those plans, like so many, were shuttered for the time being. If all goes well, however, those plans may be back on track. “We’re hoping to start again in August,” he said, “Put a few more songs down and make an EP.” An album release could be an interesting checkpoint in Gamble’s career. With a brother pursuing a successful music career in Nashville, Gamble said there may come a time when he decides to take a leap elsewhere. But for now, he’s glad to be here in Columbus and the Valley, sharing his talent with the community. Photo By Sammie Saxon

“My brother keeps telling me I need to move up to Nashville,” Gamble said. “There’s that possibility in the future. But with the advent of the internet, music can get out there anywhere, you don’t have to be in a really big town anymore quite as much as you used to. If something ever came about it would be amazing, that’d be really cool. But honestly, for now I’m just trying to write songs, get them recorded, and see if people like them.” You can find out more about Caleb, listen to “Stay” and keep up to date on his gigs at calebandthegamblers.u 17


C h at ta h o o c h e e

River Conservancy By Natalie Downey

he Chattahoochee River and it’s tributaries flow T throughout our city, crisscrossing the land as they weave their mysterious patterns. Oblivious to social status

balancing flood control. With an understanding of the importance of advocating for a thriving watershed, The Chattahoochee River Conservancy was formed as what it is today in 2010. The CRC is a nonprofit environmental organization based out of Columbus that exists for the mission of protecting the Chattahoochee River. Using education, advocacy, and science, the CRC actively works to connect the river and the community while leading programs

water will be blown or washed into the water during heavy wind and rain. Plastic can leach potentially toxic chemicals, compromising water quality and presenting a threat to wildlife. For example, CRC often sees cases of birds, turtles, and other wildlife entangled in fishing line, often with a fatal outcome. In 2020, CRC began its fishing line recycling program to address the issue of improperly discarded fishing line, and currently has 19 fishing line recycling stations at popular fishing sites for convenient recycling. Community cleanups are another practical way CRC is addressing the litter issue in the Columbus area. Volunteers join CRC in local parks and public places such as the Riverwalk to remove trash from the area. In 2021, CRC and volunteers removed a total of 3.5 tons of trash from public areas in Columbus. Cleanups are a great way for families, coworkers, neighbors, and church groups to get involved and make the city better. While trash cleanups are a practical solution to the litter problem, CRC also leads educational outreach programs in schools and with local youth groups to raise awareness about the negative impact littering has on the environment. In addition, CRC is working to provide people opportunities to connect with the river, so that they will be more inclined to appreciate it and become a part of the solution. One of their annual programs is called Swim Guide, a water quality monitoring program where they collect samples weekly from 17 sites from Lake Harding down to Eufaula, test for e.coli levels, and

or income brackets, the river flows through ghettos and gated communities alike, offering the same opportunity to all. Where there is a river, there is endless potential. Some say the Chattahoochee River is the life of Columbus, and I wholeheartedly agree. From our drinking water to your bathwater, what pours out is from the Chattahoochee River. In addition, people from all over the world enjoy the river’s warm waters and whitewater course for recreation and relaxation, from kayaking to fishing. A river is one of the greatest commodities in a place, but when those waters are compromised, it affects

not just the local community, but all waters south of the community as well. An unhealthy watershed is a problem that can take years to solve, causing a ripple effect of consequences for more than just the city’s water, as the watershed plays an important part in the entire ecosystem, hosting important wildlife and plants, and LocaL

aimed at remediating the issues with our local waterway and creating a sustainable future for the river. Programs are carefully planned and implemented by CRC staff, and funding is provided through grants from private foundations as well as donations from the local community. Volunteer opportunities and educational outreach programs give people young and old opportunities to get involved in the work and play an active role in protecting the river. People love to spend time near the river, but often don’t realize the negative effect mankind can have on a natural resource. Litter is one of the biggest issues CRC faces. Litter in ditches, creeks, and areas near the 18

process and publish the results. The public can access the results on CRC’s facebook and instagram pages, to stay aware of the state of the water in these areas and feel confident recreating in the watershed. One of the most popular programs CRC is leading is the shoal lily restoration program. A rare species that is only native in three states, the shoal lily has faced near extinction on the local stretch of the Chattahoochee River due to man-made structures and an altered state of the watershed. When two dams were removed from the river several years ago, it returned to a more natural state that gave the shoal lily an opportunity to once AUG UST -SEPT EMBER 2022

again thrive in Columbus. In 2021, CRC planted over 2000 shoal lilies on the whitewater stretch of the river, and the program is ongoing, with more planting happening this year. To be able to reintroduce a native plant species to the river is an unforgettable opportunity. Not many generations will be able to say they watched this specific work unfold, but we are seeing it

evolve right in front of our eyes as we spot new blooms each year. CRC has worked together with Whitewater Express and Nearly Native Nursery on this restoration program, and has been thrilled with its success. It’s not enough to just hope for a healthy river. As a community, we must take the responsibility to see to it that our river is protected and kept in as natural and healthy a state as possible. This doesn’t just benefit us today, when we can confidently enjoy the waters of the river, but it benefits future generations of humans and wildlife alike. To support the work of the CRC, visit chattriver. org and find Chattahoochee River Conservancy on Facebook and Instagram. u







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