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EricJohnson|news editor

GabrielVega|lead designer

BrendaCarter|senior account executive

AmyChristian|arts editor/production director


JohnnyBeckworth|circulation manager


WHINELINE Hoooo boy. What did you people do this Memorial Day? One thing for sure, you didn’t send in any whines to speak of. So, what we did was, we went to the way back machine, which is a disc case in Amy’s office, and pulled the issue from the week after Memorial Day nine years ago. That’s what you get. Now get off FB and send us some free content! BTW, no one cares how you slept. I heard that Augusta is seeking a city slogan”! How about drive in Augusta thrills & chills!”

Question for all of the college students in Augusta. When you are taking a computer class which, by the way, is required for graduation in your field, for instance keyboarding, excel, Microsoft word or any IP Microsoft related courses, are your computers working or are you spending most of your instruction hour trying to log on and half

of the time you can’t and a deadline for completion for that course is required. Re: “Al-Qaida Plans hit us hard”. What are we waiting for? Seek & destroy? Any suspected terrorist cells. To hell with due process give them a dose of their own medicine! They’re animals, treat them as such.

o r t e m IRIT SP I am a store owner downtown. I want to know what gave the Augusta Housing Authority the right to the place the Richmond Summit Apartments here only to lower property values in the area with all the crime it causes. (continued on page 42)

Contributors Greg Baker|Sam Eifling |Kristin Hawkins |Rhonda Jones |Austin Rhodes|Josh Ruffin|Matt Stone|Adam Wadding|Jenny Wright

o r t e m IR P S


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Metro Spirit is a free newspaper published weekly on Thursday, 52 weeks a year. Editorial coverage includes local issues and news, arts, entertainment, people, places and events. In our paper appear views from across the political and social spectrum. The views do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. Visit us at© 15 House, LLC. Owner/Publisher: Joe White. Legal: Phillip Scott Hibbard. Reproduction or use without permission is prohibited. One copy per person, please.


“Fridays Suck”: And given all the other problems with the downtown area, Cotton Patch owner Brian Mitchell isn’t all that fond of the other days of the week, either Down the Middle: Barrow uses Memorial Day veteran’s talk to stake out the middle ground Changing Lanes: Richmond County shifts TSPLOST projects A Very Good Crowd of People: The Mudbugabeaux-N-Brew may be tough to remember and even tougher to say, but it brings out the best Augusta has to offer

Want to advertise in the Metro Spirit? 706.496.2535 or 706.373.3636 COVER DESIGN: KRUHU





INSIDER@THEMETROSPIRIT.COM Insider is an anonymous, opinion-based examination of the hidden details of Augusta politics and personalities.

Wha He Did Huh? William S. Morris IV, groomed to take over Morris Publishing since he was selling Yellow Pages advertising, has been — promoted? — from CEO, President and Director of Morris Publishing to run a Venture Capital Firm that Morris is creating. This is the same Morris that just emerged from bankruptcy. Looks like they’re now going to get all speculative. ven·ture cap·i·tal n. Capital invested in a project in which there is a substantial element of risk, typically a new or expanding business. Alllrighty then. They certainly seem to know what they’re doing thus far. But it’s a peculiar move for sure, and you’ve got to wonder what it really says — about Will and about the paper business — when Daddy moves his handpicked successor out of the newspaper and into something so Shark Tank.



In Full Swing Now that a couple of weeks have gone by, the predictable full court press of downtown promotion is in full swing (pun intended). The predictable stories about the restaurant boon, the low cost/high value lofts and the convenience of living downtown have hit like a coordinated barrage of artillery fire right along with the old standby from Margaret Woodard about the 99 percent rental occupancy rate. In fact, Woodard is now once again Center Stage, a cheerleader who’s found the spotlight. When the future of the downtown is at stake, people tend to forget about the CADI program and parking meters and stuff like that, eager to unite to once more save the downtown from ruin. The fear pushing all this smiling optimism is very real, yet the “If We Build It They Will Go” mentality has only very slowly proved successful at pushing out the bad things. And its ability to keep them out is questionable at best, as evidenced with the latest, violent variation of the old downtown slogan. But here we are after our restaurant resurgence eagerly thinking it’s time for a retail resurgence, complete with a three-year, $60,000 study. There’s a lot riding on the concept of retail therapy.

Let’s Make a Deal With attorney Wright McLeod announcing Tuesday that he won’t seek the Republican nomination for the 12th District, it will be interesting to see what kind of deal making Rick Allen and John Stone get into. Allen lost last year’s Republican primary runoff to Lee Anderson, who went on to lose to Democrat John Barrow, while Stone, the Republican nominee in 2008, lost to Barrow by a whopping 32 points. Allen, of course, has deep pockets, and with McLeod out of the running, he could gain some serious traction among Republican voters, assuming last year’s ugly primary battle didn’t leave a bad taste in their mouths. And while Stone has reportedly already tried to clear the decks in hopes of gaining momentum, many experts think Georgia’s Republican races are going to be sprints to the right, in which case Allen is the likely keeper of the flame. You can’t get further right — or more delusional — than thinking the nation doesn’t have any poor people, yet after last year’s election, the millionaire builder raised eyebrows by saying exactly that.







Is complicity or complacency to blame for our current political climate? When Michelle and I first moved up here to Wisconsin, we had no jobs and very little money — a good portion of what little we did have had been scammed away by the moving company’s false insurance claim. We were making do by living at her parents’ house until we got on our feet, on-ourfeet being a position we scrambled maniacally to achieve in those first few weeks, and mostly spent our time setting up interviews, attending interviews, then being told No Thank You after the interviews. In terms of productivity-to-tangible-results ratios, never has there been a more existentially lopsided period of my life. In the interim, we ran, wrote, read and were — truthfully — time and time again bolstered by our love for one another. There were two other things I did to pass the time that Michelle didn’t: write this column and watch tons and TONS of Netflix, the latter making me no money, the former marginally more. I was in weird moods back then. I’m not sure if it was because I was so poorly-off financially, but I never had much of a desire to watch movies I’d ever heard of before, as if in doing so I was acquiescing to, at worst kissing the ring of, some admittedly dreamtup boogeyman of the bourgeois. So I watched a lot of documentaries. Strange ones, pseudo ones: “J’Accuse,” “Lost in La Mancha,” “Grizzly Man,” etc. I related not just to the futility chronicled in the features themselves, but in the futility of putting out a piece of art that likely wasn’t going to make much headway for the creator (granted, Terry Gilliam and Werner Herzog didn’t need it, but I’m not in a hair-splitting headspace right now). One particularly odd little gem was “Knuckle,” a 12-year account of a bare-knuckle boxing rivalry between two Irish Traveler families. I can assure you that that’s even more awesome than it sounds, but it’s also positively Lynchian in its surreality. Fights are picked and rivalries are stoked in a manner not unlike that of late 1980s professional wrestling: craggy men who look like they subsist entirely on a diet of beer and bacon grease and have the kind of faces that suggest an entry-level golem of Brian Dennehy make videos that primarily involve them standing in front of a camera in a poorly lit room, leveling barely coherent threats and lifting weights. Sometimes they even wear tank tops



and suit jackets, which I love. The videos are then circulated among the Traveler community to fan the flames and maintain interest in the fights. There’s a lot to dig into with a film like this: the fragmented nature of the Traveler community juxtaposed against the insistence on set standards and rules for the fights — a common refrain before, during and after is “We will have fair play! We will have fair play here!” — the almost compulsory secrecy with which these groups handle themselves, etc. Each time a scene cuts away, you’re never quite sure what you’ve just watched. Most jarring, however, is a scene towards the end, and the accompanying voiceover by director/ narrator Ian Palmer. In it, “Big Joe” Joyce, an aging patriarch of the Joyce clan and former top-level bare-knuckle boxer, is fighting another, similarly slovenly elderly man from a rival family. As the two pasty near-septuagenarians paw, fuss and throw Snookie-like haymakers at one another (and it does get pretty bloody pretty quick), Palmer says “I realized I was watching two grandfathers beat each other up in the middle of the woods. And I didn’t want to do it any more.” Complicity is so much more dangerous than complacency — the latter indicates passive, almost lackadaisical acceptance; the latter, a passivity whose absence could prevent something detrimental from actually transpiring. This is what Palmer was referring to when he made that last comment: that it was one thing for this to occur in something of a bubble, but Palmer himself had a hand in glorifying it, even if that’s not what he originally intended to do. What was his original intention? It wasn’t, I don’t think, so much intent as it was motivation. As human beings, we are naturally curious, oftentimes to our detriment; if there is a secret, we feel a compulsion to obliterate that secret, to lay it bare before us. Irish Travelers are fiercely secretive, ergo the whole of Britain was taken with then. Palmer began digging, and kept on for 12 years, at the end of which he discovered the difference between intent and motivation: the former has an end in sight. The latter does not. I felt something like this over the course of my time doing this — whatever the hell “this” is. Originally — and to a point, I still am — I was

motivated by a desire to express a viewpoint, to hopefully articulate it well enough that I’d convince others of its validity. I wanted to tip the scale a bit, make a little noise, fight, in a small way, what I saw as the good fight. But, and here’s the sobering thing, it’s hard to see how this is an end game of any kind. I watch a good deal of cable news (colloquially known as Big F***ing Mistake #1), and am constantly exasperated by not just the tones with which political pundits address each other — see Bill O’Reilly/Keith Olbermann, Sean Hannity/anybody — but how much these behavioral tendencies have bled over into actual political proceedings, which have in turn bled over into actual political practice. It’s because of dogma — not any logical baseline — that most Republican lawmakers voted against expanded background checks, itself a pitiful modicum of reform; it’s because of dogma that the Justice Department invaded the privacy and violated the constitutional rights of journalists. It’s difficult to justify, or to even reconcile, a place, a role in all of this. Would that we could aspire to that kind of grace, of drunken grandpas swinging wildly among the trees, fawns and turds.

JOSHRUFFIN, a Metro Spirit alum, is a published

journalist and poet who just received his MFA from Georgia College & State University. He was once the most un-intimidating bouncer at Soul Bar.



“Mr. Columbia County” Retiring from Hometown Paper In the 30 years I have worked in local media, I can honestly say I never knew a man better suited to his position, or more “born to his post,” than Barry Paschal. But just as many other “sure things” I have come to embrace and appreciate over the years have proven to be far more temporary than I would have believed them to be, Barry’s professional ties to his hometown paper have indeed come undone. Barry announced in his Wednesday column that he was resigning his position as publisher and editor at The Columbia County News-Times, and that news flash was indeed a shocker to virtually everyone who saw it. It was with interest I noted that many of his colleagues at the paper, and its parent publication (in corporate terms), were caught off guard at the word Barry was calling it quits. No one can say the man can’t keep a secret. Before anyone assumes any nefarious motives for his decision, understand that this was a special situation. Barry accepted an important position with Goodwill Industries, actually taking over their media and communications work for the district that runs from Aiken to Macon and all points in between. It seems to be a great opportunity for him, and the incredible work Goodwill has done in this region is legend. I had no idea the position was as important and lucrative as it is, until a few other folks I know in media told me they too applied for the job, simply because it was too good an opportunity to pass up. Poor schmucks never stood a chance. More power to Barry, it could not happen to a nicer guy.


As I discovered the night I met him, at a media preview night for the grand opening of Augusta’s Olive Garden around 1988, or so, Barry’s passion for journalism and all that it entails is second only to that of his family. It was actually a little bitty angel that toddled up to my knee that night that brought Barry hustling over to retrieve her. Her name was Essa, and she and her mom and dad ended up joining us at the table for our freebie dinner. Barry beamed all night at the sight of his precocious and fleet-footed princess, and while his wife Michelle did not approve of the nomadic scouting Essa was bound to finish, it was a great evening spent with new friends. I had no idea how many times I would end up calling him over the next 25 years, for guidance, advice and, occasionally, just a laugh or two. Our friendship has spanned jobs in radio (three for me, one for him), TV (two for me), and newspaper (four for him, one for me), five children (three for him, two for me) and four wives (three for me, one for him). Through it all I trusted him with some of my biggest professional scoops and secrets and, yep, on occasion he would even do the same with me. He never let me down and, as far as I know, he has also never let his readers down. Barry Paschal is as solid as they come. That is not to say we have not had our disagreements, and a few doozies at that. No need to rehash any of it, but suffice to say you have not really been “skewered” in local media until you have felt the wrath of Barry’s keystrokes. When he took shots, I usually had them

coming. Maybe one day Rick McKee will take a poke at me, but until then, Barry is officially the only man in local media capable of stinging me with an insult. Certainly others have tried, but I never considered anyone else (who did try) worthy of my concern. Barry mattered. Barry Paschal is one of very few people I consider to be qualified to seriously debate or correct me when it comes to a wide range of Augusta area politics, and all that goes with it. I can certainly accept other subjective observations on the topic, but Barry enjoys the rare ability of shutting my mouth simply to be sure I did not miss a single thing that came out of his mouth. I am going to miss reading his columns, though if he wants, given modern technology and his endless local knowledge, he is certainly capable of knocking a few of those out every week. With his new career he is also now (hopefully) eligible to hold a political office, or perhaps an important appointed position in government. We could use him in such a role. We could use him in many such roles. Barry has been a great journalist, because he is a good, honest and hard-working man. Whether he was driving a mobile news car or supervising an entire newspaper staff, he was always a man we could trust. The headline for his new employer? “Goodwill Just Got Better.”


The views expressed are the opinions of Austin Rhodes and do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher.






Down the Middle

Barrow uses Memorial Day veteran’s talk to stake out the middle ground

Congressman John Barrow spent Memorial Day among 12th Congressional District veterans, starting the day at a town hall meeting at the Highland Avenue American Legion post, where he appeared with the regional director of the Veterans Administration and his assistant to help vets navigate the tricky waters of the VA. More than a dozen veterans attended the meeting, many with complaints about the time it takes to process benefit claims, and Barrow was quick to point a finger. At Congress, not the VA. “These guys are not just products of the bureaucracy, they’re prisoners of it,” Barrow said. Targeting Congress was a running theme throughout the hour-long meeting, during which Barrow deftly maneuvered between appearing like a political insider who can get things done and a nonpartisan outsider who wants to be part of the solution, not the generally accepted problem. Speaking forcefully about benefits, Barrow said one of the main problems facing veterans is the fact that there is no single uniform definition of a disability. Congress has made the definitions different for the VA and Social Security, and the state of Georgia has an even different threshold for Workers Compensation. “This is overly bureaucratic and overly complicated, and it leaves the bureaucracy to have to defend the rules they have to play by if they’re slightly different than somebody else’s,” he said. “And the degree of difference is often inconsequential.” Besides that, he said, in the real world, neither side really cares about the details — the doctors just want to 8


do their job and the vets just want their benefits. One of the ways he wants to streamline the system is by eliminating the differences in conditions. “It may be that you’re entitled to something under the VA that’s different than what you’re entitled to under the Social Security Administration or a private insurance policy, but it ought not to be because the diagnosis is different,” he said. “The conditions shouldn’t be so confusingly similar. That’s a real hassle.” Another step forward — letting the physicians, not the bureaucrats, have the final say about benefits. “If a doctor says, ‘I think you’re entitled to it,’ that ought to be enough right there to turn the benefits on,” he said “Look at it this way — if we give doctors the power to turn life support off, we ought to give them the power to turn life support on. But we don’t do that. Instead, we task the bureaucracy with making these very complicated decisions. They’re stuck by the rules they’ve got to play by, and it ain’t pretty.” The checks and balances are built into the process, he said, because the doctors are licensed professionals. “If they’re negligent, you can sue them,” he said. “If they’re corrupt, they can go to jail. That’s why I think that, as long as they’ve got some skin in the game, as long as their license in on the line — let them turn on the benefits.” Currently those benefits come excruciatingly slow. It takes about three weeks for a new claim to get electronically scanned into the VA system, which is actually an improvement. Since starting the process in Atlanta at the end of November, 14,000 claims have already been electronically filed. But that’s just filing. It takes about nine months on average for the Atlanta office to process a claim.

Barrow said such a wait — some vets have experienced delays of up to 18 months — is unacceptable, and he said one of the ideas going through Congress might offer an acceptable stopgap. “If your case has been pending for x-number of days, say 120 days, you automatically get 40 or 50 percent of the benefits, subject to adjustments up or down depending on how they finally resolve the case,” he said. “But while you’re waiting, you get some minimal level of support.” Barrow said that while veterans have a lot in common because so many of the issues they face are unique to them, they also have the same problems with Congress that everyone else has, too. The House of Representatives, he said, is not a very representative house of representatives. “I never miss an opportunity to tell folks — Congress is partisan,” he said. “It’s hyper-partisan, overly partisan and more partisan than the country as a whole. Congress has slowly become more representative of the parties and the extreme wings of both parties than it is of the people as a whole.” People, he said, are becoming more turned off by the parties, and he claimed the largest group of selfdescribed voters these days are independents. “They’re not fed up with the parties they were born into — they’re fed up with the leadership on both sides, and they’re abandoning the party label in droves.” Barrow, the Deep South’s last white Democratic Congressman, beat Republican Lee Anderson last year with 54 percent of the vote. Earlier this month, he decided not to run for Senate, and though Republicans are quick to paint him as just another lock-step Democrat, Barrow, who did not attend last year’s Democratic Convention, goes to considerable extremes to position himself as an independent-minded free thinker, and he seemed to go out of his way to condemn partisanship on both sides. “When you’re in Congress, you can spot the congressmen who cut their teeth at the local level from a mile away,” he said. “There’s a big difference between them and those who learn their politics at the state level, where they’re a part of a big team. There, you spend all your time hanging around one team or the other. You spend all your time plotting for your team or against the other team.” Those who came up like he did through city councils and county commissions have had to learn to get along with everyone, which is the opposite of what he calls Washington’s “talking point” mentality. As part of a bipartisan group in Congress connected to an outside group called No Labels, he said he’s working to move forward reforms like no budget/ no pay. Their weekly breakfasts, he said, draw 30 Republicans and 30 Democrats. “This is the one place where folks on both sides of the aisle come together and actually talk about the problems they’re having with their leadership and things they want to work together on,” he said. “The prayer breakfast used to do that, but it ended up being partisan, and they gym used to be like that, but even it’s become a partisan place. People go down there, plug in their headsets and watch their TV. Some guys watch Fox, some guys watch MSNBC.” 30MAY2013








Changing Lanes

Richmond County shifts TSPLOST projects Steve Cassell

According to Augusta traffic engineer Steve Cassell, the arrangement of programs funded by the regional 1 percent transportation tax will be shuffled in order to be more efficient. The projects were originally ordered into three bands, or groups. The shuffle will not add or delete projects, simply change their order. “When they set up the bands originally, they had some of the big projects that they hadn’t even started yet in the early stages,” Cassell says. “They also had


some stuff in the late bands that they were already working on, so we basically looked at a realistic project schedule — in other words, what we could actually build within these bands — and decided to move stuff around.” Therefore, nearly $24 million spread across three major projects — the Gordon Highway/US 78 median barrier between U.S. 25 and Walton Way, Sixth Street from Laney Walker Boulevard to Reynolds Street and 13th Street from RA Dent to Reynolds Street — were replaced by just over $21 million spread across 16 projects.

The three projects that started off in the first band were deferred to the third band along with two other projects scheduled for the second band. Cassell says the original order was determined by balancing the money that was projected to come in during each of the bands. “They were just taking SPLOST projects they could fit where the numbers worked out,” Cassell says. Included in the 16 projects shifted to the first band are several bridge projects, including the restoration and repair of Broad Street over Hawks Gully, Broad Street over the Augusta Canal, and 15th Street and 11th Street over the canal. The Seventh Street Bridge over the canal will be completely replaced. The Citizen Review Panel, a group of five citizens from the 12-county region, unanimously approved of the changes on March 6, and Cassell said in a letter to committee members that this way the projects could be more easily delivered while having no negative impact to the budgets of each band allocation. “Each county has a list of projects and a bottom line number associated with it,” Cassell says. “We looked at what projects we were managing within our county and the bottom line number and made our decision. Basically, the bottom line was neutral.” Unlike Columbia County’s Riverwatch extension project, which is a Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) managed project, the projects in Richmond County’s bands are locally managed, which requires an intergovernmental agreement between the county and GDOT. Cassell says that agreement is being negotiated right now, and he expects it to move forward within the next month or so. “You want as much local control as you can get so you get what you want out of them,” Cassell says. “Nothing against GDOT, you just want to make sure your projects are the way you want them.” Of course, all this is uncharted territory, since this is the first time a regional approach to transportation projects has been attached to a tax. “It’s a little different because it’s a meshing between the GDOT process and our process, but it’s exciting,” Cassell says. “It’s taken time to get going, but I think once it gets going, you’re going to see a lot of stuff moving really quickly. In the next five or six years, you’re going to see a lot of difference.”








A Very Good Crowd of People

The Mudbugabeaux-N-Brew may be tough to remember and even tougher to say, but it brings out the best Augusta has to offer

Now in its fifth year, Augusta’s Mudbugabeaux-NBrew is still a one of a kind event that combines a New Orleans-style crawfish boil with craft beer and music to provide a solid afternoon full of good-natured, tasty summer fun smack dab in the middle of downtown at the Augusta Common. Hosted by French Market Grille West’s Jim Beck, who first got the idea for putting on a crawfish boil back in 1992, this year’s centerpiece is 2,200 pounds of crawfish, which you can buy by the pound. And boy, do people buy. In fact, there’s a good chance that 2,200 pounds might get stretched pretty thin. The sight of the big cooker teaming with crawfish is not an image that’s easy to forget, and it tends to get the taste buds jumping. Actually, it’s a well-known fact that whether you like crawfish or not, hanging out with people who like crawfish is fun, and besides — there will be plenty of other things to eat, including the muffuletta, a too-thickto-bite sandwich stuffed with meat and cheese and topped with an olive salad that has a huge following among foodies despite not having reached the fully mainstream audience. Even aficionados are likely to get a surprise from these, however, which are handmade at the restaurant, wrapped in foil and then thrown on the grill, giving the sandwiches an entirely different texture. Beck will also serve his famous jambalaya, which has earned a cult following for its expert blending of 12 METROSPIRITAUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989

sausage and shrimp, as well as boiled peel and eat shrimp with homemade cocktail sauce, which was so vigorously requested last year that it made this year’s cut. And don’t forget about those crawfish. Sold by the pound. Starting at 3 p.m. and running until 9 p.m., the first 1,000 people get a free commemorative Mudbugabeaux-N-Brew T-shirt. At the center of it all, like a mirage too magnificent to disappear, will be the craft beer tent, a MudbugabeauxN-Brew mainstay. It turns out, you really can’t serve that spicy hot stuff without offering some good, cold craft beer. Well, you could, but why would you want to? According to A.B. Beverage’s craft beer manager Mike Marty, this year’s offering will be big on beers from Goose Island, Red Hare, New Belgium and Shock Top. Marty’s personal pairing suggestion for crawfish? Red Hare Brewing Company’s Long Day Lager, a Bohemian-style lager that goes great with seafood. “It’s an island-style lager similar to Red Stripe,” he says. “It’s a beer that’s designed by people who primarily only eat seafood.” Basically, however, if you’ve been to the ETCP Spring Fest, the Chicken River Bluegrass Festival, last year’s Mudbugabeaux-N-Brew or the beer garden at Arts in the Heart of Augusta, you know that the beer selection is not going to let you down. Neither will the bands — Old Man Crazy, Tom Brown and Son and Gary B and the Backyard band, among others.

Jim Beck At only $5 to get in, the family friendly event is also big on kids, with all sorts of fun brought to you by Wisteria Hill, shaved ice, lemonade, and the always fun crawfish eating contest. And what kid is going to want to pass up a corn dog served up on a special commemorative Frisbee? In spite of all the fun, food, music and beer, the real fun seems to be found in the relaxed, laidback atmosphere that develops when so many people get together on an early summer day to share a love of community. It draws a very good crowd of people. The Fifth Annual Mudbugabeaux-N-Brew The Augusta Common Saturday, June 1 | 3-9 p.m. | $5 30MAY2013



By Jean O’Conor / Edited by Will Shortz aboriginal groups 95 German article 96 Detroit pioneer 97 Prepare to go canoeing? 101 Place for a massage 104 Ghostbuster Spengler 106 Seniors’ org. 107 Stadium binge? 111 Displayed an “Oh, my God” reaction 115 Judge 116 Fortunetellers’ protest demand? 118 Fields 119 Banned orchard spray 120 Close call 121 Sweet, once 122 Wood strip 123 Lunch counter orders 124 Something hilarious 125 ___ Park Down 1 Drudge of the Drudge Report 2 Woodchopper, say 3 Near-perfect rating 4 No longer fizzy 5 One of the Dionne quints 6 Tongue waggers 7 Steams 8 Paper size: Abbr. 9 It’s indicated in red 10 Band for a “Miss” 11 Motley 12 “Who goes there?” reply 13 Salad ingredient 14 Wide-eyed and open-mouthed 15 Trudge (along) 16 Certain NASA launch 17 Binding elementary particle 18 They often have organs: Abbr. 24 E-mail folder 26 Slowing down, musically: Abbr. 29 Plant bristle 33 Ho-hum 34 Jordanian port 35 Plucked instruments 36 Goya’s “The Duchess of ___” 37 Go hither and yon 38 Leafy green 39 Ristorante menu suffix 41 Comb filler 44 Early development centers

45 46 47 49 50 52 53 54 57 61 62 63 64 66 67 68 69

Ran Ran Children’s game with letters Noses Soap actress Sofer ___ Rios, Jamaica Workout target “BUtterfield 8” novelist Kind of bean Let happen Urban grid: Abbr. José, to friends Al ___ Greek name for Greece Font option: Abbr. Plane, e.g. Something it’s against the law to jump 70 Little bit 71 Imitate 72 Longtime Yankee nickname 75 It has buttons but no buttonholes 76 Big concert site 77 Top of the military? 80 Logical beginning? 81 In ___ (archaeologist’s phrase) 82 Cut a column, say 85 Fish trap 86 Rental item 87 Game of tag? 88 Gal., e.g. 90 Google hit units 94 Up-and-coming actress 96 Getting up there 97 Doomed ones 98 Wrap up 99 Locks 100 Royal robe trim 101 Definitely will 102 Chick of jazz 103 Up, in 87-Down 105 Suggest 108 Take in a hurry 109 She, in Salerno 110 Laughable 111 Taverna offering 112 Converse 113 Suffix with luncheon 114 British mil. decorations 117 Chinese steamed bun

























85 92




82 89

93 97

































95 99



















74 79



59 63



45 54











61 65










43 49

15 22









25 28









Across 1 Canine woe 6 Decorates nicely 11 Actress Hayworth 15 Evian Championship org. 19 Fundamental truth 20 “Coffee ___?” 21 Give ___ (yank) 22 Some bookmarks, for short 23 Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic? 25 Hyperbolically large 27 Like steppes 28 Tour guide’s comment at the primate house? 30 Done, in Verdun 31 Twiggy’s look in ’60s fashion 32 Wintry temps 33 Sign for tourists visiting the Bolshoi? 40 Construction support 42 Swimming pool shade 43 M.I.T.’s ___ School of Management 44 Operator 45 Cry before “Open up!” 48 Yak 51 Tropical paradise for Barbie and Ken? 55 ’60s White House name 56 Smear 58 The Indians, on scoreboards 59 Dickens’s Uriah ___ 60 Common potluck dish 62 On the button 64 Pops 65 Let Justin take care of everything? 70 Hands out hands 73 Some horns 74 Like Nasser’s vision 78 Prefix with phobia 79 Vientiane native 80 Response to “Look over there!” 83 What often follows you 84 Passed security at the troubadours’ convention? 89 Like “South Park” vis-à-vis “The Simpsons” 91 Mortar trough 92 NASA spacewalks, in brief 93 One of three Canadian
















“Fridays Suck”

And given all the other problems with the downtown area, Cotton Patch owner Brian Mitchell isn’t all that fond of the other days of the week, either

Brian Mitchell has owned the Cotton Patch restaurant in downtown Augusta for the past 23 years. He’s seen a lot during that time, but what he’s seen recently has him thinking that maybe it’s time for him to go. “It’s never been this bad,” he says. “Between the construction, Operation Rolling Thunder and the beatings, my business is off 40 percent. I can go back 23 years to this exact same time period, and we have never had a decrease in sales. Never.” Such grousing from a long-time business owner isn’t unheard of, given the ebb and flow of downtown Augusta’s fortunes, but in this case, the frustration could have repercussions. Mitchell just signed a lease on restaurant space in Columbia County, making it very easy for him to walk away. “I want to keep this one open and open a second location, but I don’t know how that’s going to last,” he says. “This ‘business friendly’ environment is about to kill me.” Downtown Augusta has received a lot of unwelcome attention in the last few weeks, first with the First Friday beatings of Wesley Spires and Ashley Solesbee on the Riverwalk and later with the YouTube video of a downtown brawl that went viral. But beyond that, Mitchell says his recent dealings with Columbia County emphasize how truly inefficient Richmond County is. If Mitchell wants to sell beer on the Common at the 4th of July event, for example, he has to get a local one14 METROSPIRITAUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989

day permit along with a one-day permit from the state. He says finalizing the local permit can take up to four weeks. To get a regular liquor license in Richmond County can take up to six months. Recently, however, when Mitchell went in to get his one-day permit in Columbia County to sell beer at Thunder Over Augusta, it took him just 10 minutes. “They said, ‘You’ve been in business for 23 years and you’ve had an alcohol license for 23 years — we don’t have to run this in front of the commission,’” he says. “I told them I was going to open a restaurant out there and asked them how long that would take me, and they said that might take a whole day.” Ten minutes versus four weeks. A day versus six months. “They’re pro business,” he says. “They’ve been courting me and giving me tax breaks based on the number of jobs and based on the amount of business they think I’ll do. Do you think that happens down here?” The business environment is just the icing on the cake, however. Mitchell says he feels let down by a city government that has to be strong-armed into action and by the way he’s been treated by his neighbors as well as community leaders. “Truthfully, I wish I had left three years ago,” he says. “The last three years have been when all this stuff has happened to me. I realize it’s the economy, but on top of the economy, I’m having to deal with all this crap. I just get tired of fighting it, and the city’s doing nothing.” He’s talking mainly about the temporary

fencing that has surrounded his restaurant since construction began on the TEE Center and its parking deck. He calls it prison fencing, and it’s still up, even though construction of the TEE Center was completed last year. The vacant lots are owned by Billy Morris, who Mitchell maintains receives special treatment from the city. “It’s always been maintained by the city,” he says of the vacant lots. “They cut the grass, they pick up trash. As a matter of fact, a busload of prisoners just left.” Not only that, but when construction began, Morris’ people had the fencing moved directly up to the cobblestone street that runs in front of the restaurant, eliminating his 15 parking spots. “I had Channel 12 down here and then they moved it back,” Mitchell says. “It turned out my landlord and him had an agreement that this building would be provided those 15 spaces for a certain period of time, and he was in default of that agreement, which is why he moved it back. That agreement expires at the end of the month, and if I don’t rent those 15 spots for something like $400 a month, they’re going to move the fence all the way up to the cobblestone.” Though it might seem petty, considering that moving the fence to the cobblestone will do nothing more than add a little bit more land to an already vacant lot, Mitchell agrees that Morris is within his rights to move the fencing forward — just not that fencing. “I don’t care what they do over there, but if they’re going to have fencing, it’s not going to be that,” Mitchell says. “If I have to move my parking to the back after 23 years of people being used to parking up here — so be it. But I don’t have to sit in my restaurant and look out the window at a prison fence.” Planning and Development Director George Patty agrees. “You can do what you have to do to secure a construction site, but the construction is done, so it needs to come up,” he says of the temporary fencing. “We allowed them to do it — I don’t know if we gave them a permit or anything, but we allowed them to do it during construction — but it needs to come up.” As for the future fencing, Patty says any fence in a historic district would have to go through the Historic Preservation Commission. “The historic ordinance is kind of one size fits all,” he says. “What it actually says about the fencing is that it should be made of something compatible to the main building. It’s designed for a freestanding commercial or residential site, so there are various building materials downtown that are used. I guess you’re talking some form of masonry fence down there.” During TEE Center construction, when the surrounding lots were used for construction equipment, workers also dug up the cobblestone street in front of the restaurant to run water to a construction trailer from a fire hydrant. “I called Erick Montgomery at Historic Augusta, and he’s like, ‘That’s one of the most historic streets in this city,’” he says. “They were just going to cover it with concrete, but he said those cobblestones needed to be returned to the site and placed back properly.” Montgomery confirms his involvement with the 30MAY2013


cobblestone, including the fact that he later followed up that they had been replaced. He also says that contractors for the city routinely discard the old granite curbing from the downtown streets and replace them with concrete. “I’d like to see the city retain the granite, which is more aesthetically pleasing, more appropriate for historic districts and more permanent and durable than concrete,” he says. Adding salt to the wound — for both Mitchell and taxpayers already irked about a TEE Center management deal that allows Morris to manage the city-owned convention center and the parking deck, which are attached and adjacent to his hotel — is the sign that just went up in the vacant lot, directing Marriott parking to one of the outside lots in spite of the fact that the parking deck sits nearby. “The TEE Center was supposed to be a boon to us, but I had some customers in here the other night, and they said the guy at the hotel told them not to walk through their lots because it’s not safe,” he says. “So they’re telling people not to come over here.” During construction, the hurdles were more apparent. For one thing, it became almost impossible to get to the restaurant, which was surrounded by construction trailers and debris. Cones blocked off access, and traffic on Reynolds Street was flowed in such a way that the Cotton Patch, already something of an urban island, was pretty much bypassed entirely. Unless you were a regular, you would look at all that and think the business was closed. And it wasn’t just during construction that Reynolds has been blocked off. Mitchell had to petition the city not to do things that impede access to his business. During festivals at the Common, for instance, the city used to shut down Reynolds Street between the 800 and 900 block, and once during Arts in the Heart, he was completely fenced off so that those attending the festival couldn’t even walk to the restaurant. Though the Cotton Patch and Boll Weevil, the first two restaurants to locate in the downtown area, are both off Reynolds by the Riverwalk, he says the emphasis has shifted to Broad Street. “I can’t pick this up and move it to Broad Street,” he says. “I can move to Broad Street, but I can’t take the courtyard or the fountain with me, and I can’t take my proximity to the Riverwalk, which used to mean something.” Now, he says, the Riverwalk has become an eyesore. “They’ve let something that was the jewel of the neighborhood turn into just another dirty park with burned out light bulbs,” he says. In fact, at a downtown meeting held in wake of the Riverwalk beatings, Mitchell brought up the fact that not all the lighting along the Riverwalk had been lit. All of which adds up to an environment hardly conducive to good business. “First Friday isn’t even a shadow of what it used to be,” he says. “I don’t know what’s worse than a shadow, but it’s that. It’s nothing.” He, like many downtown businesspeople, used to look forward to First Friday. If a normal Friday brought in, say, $2,500, he says a First Friday would bring in $7,000. “It was always like that,” he says. “Now, it’s worse than a regular Friday. People avoid it because it’s First Friday. The people who got beat up? First Friday. That video? That was the Friday before First Friday. Fridays suck.” Before the beatings on the Riverwalk, he says he thought all the talk about the unsafe downtown was just hysteria, but now he says he can’t help but take it seriously. “I was hopeful that the TEE Center would turn it around, but I don’t even think the TEE Center can do that now,” he says. “And the fact that Deke Copenhaver hasn’t, to my knowledge, said word one about that video or the beating — can you believe that? That’s just insane.” For Mitchell, however, the final straw just might be Operation Rolling Thunder, the ongoing law enforcement operation meant to reduce driving accidents through an increased law enforcement presence, including roadblocks. “Rolling Thunder has just killed Richmond County restaurants, especially downtown,” he says. “Any time you come downtown and you’re faced with a roadblock on any route you choose to leave downtown — and it’s not just a little roadblock, it’s a big, massive undertaking that looks like some kind of communist country checkpoint — that’s just awful.” The reaction by the city, he claims, has been dismissive of the restaurants and bars, who he says feel particularly targeted by the operation. He estimates it’s going to take anywhere from a year to 18 months for people to stop being afraid of coming downtown because of the roadblocks, and in the meantime, diners have established other routines and found other places to spend their money. And who knows how many stories of downtown violence are going to surface in the meantime. “If the police don’t get you, someone with an aluminum baseball bat will,” he says. “And it’ll probably be on YouTube.” 30MAY2013






The lake is full! Our family spent the weekend up there on the lake over Memorial Day. It brought back memories of the good old days where you didn’t have to worry about lake levels. Based on the number of folks cruising around, I suspect that we weren’t the only family celebrating a return to the lake. I hope that you enjoyed it as much as we did. My contribution to the weekend was disconnecting from all my electronic entanglements. Well, as many as I could. The unexpected pop-up occurs from time to time, and this weekend was no different in that respect. But if you are one of those folks who find yourself with one foot perpetually stuck in the Cloud, try taking a step away (is that a mixed metaphor?) and enjoy some home brew. It’ll do you some good. At least until the luxury ski boats come down the lake. Now, I’m all for having a good time on the lake just like everyone else. You can call me old school if you like, but I always believed that my good time shouldn’t create problems for others. So dude, if you’ve done well enough to afford an expensive ski boat, more power to you. (Seriously, I hope that we’ve done business together, and that I helped you earn it.) And if you want to let your teenager take that boat out with their friends unsupervised, I’m cool with that. Your kid has obviously earned your trust. But I really don’t think it’s appropriate to crank up a sound system and force the entire lake to partake of melodies celebrating the finer qualities of prostitutes, gangs and the ghetto lifestyle. Seriously, we were indoors, the boat was on the other side of the lake and we couldn’t hear the television. And that was the quiet one. The whole scenario is ludicrous (no pun intended) to me. Here’s a group of white teenagers from obviously affluent families blasting gang’sta rap while sitting in a $50,000-plus ski boat with a bunch of future sorority co-eds. Yeah... you guys are down with the brothers. I totally buy it. Fortunately, this creates an easy resolution for Columbia County’s finest. On Sunday, we saw several citations issued. We assume they were written up against a noise ordinance, although, to be honest, I wasn’t aware an ordinance was on the books. By Monday, the word had gotten out. Every crew that started blasting tunes was immediately approached by other teens on jet skis, and the music magically disappeared. Side Note — The rising moon over the lake on Saturday and Sunday nights was a sight to see. Hope you caught it. Also, we witnessed the Columbia County Lake Patrol bust a party barge off Wildwood. Not sure what was going on, but the blue lights on the nighttime water another stunning visual effect. (Although, probably not to the folks on the barge.) Major Tom — An unknown recording artist named Chris Hadfield recently released a new version of the David Bowie classic, “Space Oddity.” Many unknowns have recorded a version of this classic, so what makes this one special? This is the first one actually recorded in outer space. International Space Station Commander Chris Hadfield recorded the song while living on the space station. I’ve linked the YouTube site below. I also recommend that you browse his Twitter feed. Lots and lots of great photography from the ISS. Space Oddity video: Chris Hadfied’s Twitter: @Cmdr_Hadfield. Until next time, I’ll be floating in my tin can far above the world @gregory_a_baker. GREGORY A. BAKER, PH.D, is vice president and chief rocket scientist for CMA, which provides information technology services to CSRA businesses and nonprofits.




Now Open In Evans!

706-650-2265 | 4349 Washington Road Across from Mellow Mushroom in front of Kroger

Lobby Hours: Monday–Thursday 9:00 – 4:00 Friday 9:00 – 6:00 Drive-Thru Hours: Monday–Friday 7:30 – 6:30 30MAY2013





“Pride and Prejudice” Book Discussion with Ilona Law will take place Thursday, May 30, from 7-8 p.m. at the Aiken Branch Library. Free. Visit Big Book Sale will take place Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Headquarters Library Branch in downtown Augusta. Find a bargain and stock up for summer reading. Many books are only $1. Free. Visit Play! Write!, a creative workshop series geared toward writers, will begin 10 a.m.- noon, Saturday, June 1, at the Inner Bean Cafe. This month features character development games. Call 706-289-5588 or email


Augusta Christian Singles holds dances every Saturday night, beginning at 8 p.m., with free dance lessons at 7 p.m. Dances are held at Ballroom Dance Center, 525 Grand Slam Drive (off Evans to Locks Road) in Evans. $5 admission for ladies; men are $10. Admission includes light meal or heavy refreshments, desserts, soft drinks and coffee in an alcohol/smoke free environment. All singles 18 years old and up are welcome. Visit

Local singer-songwriter Skilyr Hicks is one of the many talented musicians taking part in Psalter Café, an event on Thursday, June 6, at 5 p.m. at Covenant United Methodist Church, 4536 Washington Road in Evans. Other performers include Eryn Eubanks & the Family Fold, Adam Sams, Adam Thompson, Dale Lewis, Joseph Nordan and Jason Hammonds. Free; barbecue plates are $5. Call 706-306-9845.

Senior Dance, sponsored by Augusta Christian Singles, is held every Saturday night, 7-11 p.m. at the Ballroom Dance Center, 525 Grand Slam Drive. All single, divorced, widowed and legally separated cordially invited to come and dance with us in an alcohol- and smoke-free environment. $10 admission includes free dance lessons at 7 p.m., light meal, dessert, soft drinks and coffee. Visit Saturday Night Dance with live music is each Saturday night at the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Post 1197 from 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. $5. Call 706-495-3219.


“The Drowsy Chaperone” will be presented Friday and Saturday, May 31-June 1, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 2, at 3 p.m. at the Aiken Community Playhouse, 126 Newberry St, SW. $10-$25. Call 803-648-1438 or visit Auditions for “The Taming of the Shrew” will be held by Classical Theatre of the Midlands on Saturday, June 1, from noon-2 p.m. at Le Chat Noir. Please prepare a classical monologue to read. Call 803-634-4452.




Capturing the Canal, a black and white photo competition, is now accepting entries. The Kroc Center is hosting a black and white photo competition open to all local photographers. Entries will be accepted until May 31. Call 706-922-0171 or visit A Sense of Place national juried fine arts competition is seeking entries through May 31. Eligible media are as follows: painting, drawing, mixed media, printmaking, photography, ceramics and sculpture. Call 706-7225495 or visit Artrageous! Family Sunday: Story Time Fun will be presented Sunday, June 2, at 2 p.m. at the Morris Museum of Art. Author, Illustrator and storyteller Chris Rumble will present an interactive, feel-good performance. Afterwards, participants will create a watercolor painting inspired by the show. Free. Call 706-724-7501or visit The Morris Museum of Art will offer free admission to active-duty military personnel, those in the National Guard and members of the Reserve, as well as their families, through Sunday, September 1, as part of the Blue Star Museums program. For a list of the more than 2,000 participating 18 METROSPIRITAUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989


museums, visit


The F8 of the World: Photographs by Students in the University of South Carolina Photography Program opens on Thursday, June 6, from 5:307:30 p.m. at the Morris Museum of Art. The show will display through June 23. Call 706-724-7501or visit

Family Movie Matinees: “Rise of the Guardians” will be shown Wednesday, June 5, at 1 p.m. at the Columbia County Library theater. Free. Call 706312-1358 or visit “The Waitress” will be shown Thursday, May 30, at 7 p.m. at the North Augusta Branch library. Free. Visit

Special Events

Mudbugabeaux-N-Brew Festival, which includes a crawfish boil, craft beer, a crawfish eating contest, T-shirts and more, is Saturday, June 1, from 3-9 p.m. at the Augusta Common. Visit Summer Beach Blast will be held Saturday, June 1, at 7 p.m. at Evans Towne Center Park. Jimmy Buffet tribute band Son of a Sailor and the Swingin’ Medallions will perform. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., concert begins at 7 p.m. $10 in advance or $20 day of. Call 706-650-5005 or visit Super Happy Block Party will take place Saturday, June 1, on the 800 block of Broad St. in downtown Augusta from 1-9 p.m. It will celebrate civic hackers — engineers, software developers, designers, entrepreneurs, activists and concerned citizens — who invent ways to improve their community. The event marks the first ever Day of Civic Hacking. Visit


Auto Auction will be held by the Salvation Army on Saturday, June 1, at 10 a.m., with a preview May 30-31 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at 1384 Greene St. Call 706-826-7933, ext. 3178 or visit

Wayne Capps will play for the Moonlight Music Canal Cruise, 7-8:30 p.m., Friday, May 31. $25 per person; passengers may bring aboard snacks and beverages. Call 706-823-0440, ext. 4, or visit

Colonial Times: Under the Crown will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2, at Living History Park in North Augusta. Historical re-enactors allow a glimpse into the period of the American Revolution with 18th century music and entertainment. Call 800-726-0243 or visit

Summer Jam Sessions with Eryn Eubanks will be held Tuesdays from 5-7 p.m. for six weeks, beginning June 4 at the Kroc Center. If you can play a few chords on a guitar, bass, ukulele, or mandolin, this is for you! Local musician Eryn Eubanks will lead and give instruction for these fun jam sessions. Call 706-364-KROC

First Thursday is June 6 from 5-8 p.m. on The Hill in Summerville. The charity for this month’s event is Save our Seven, and organization to save Fire Station #7 on Central Ave. They will be serving barbecue and hash for donations. The shops will be offering discounts as well. The Hill Baptist Church will offer free childcare during the event. Call 706-736-8446.

Fool in Love: A Musical Night in the Life of Frankie Lymon will be presented Friday, May 31, at the Imperial Theatre. Free. Visit



Monica Keepers loses 51 pounds with the help of Gold’s Gym Gold’s Gym member Monica Keepers says she spent her entire adult life caring for others. “All my life I’ve taken care of other people: my mother, my brother, my daughter,” she said. “And I just let myself go. And then I turned 40 and decided to do something for myself. I look at my driver’s license photo now and my face looked like a pumpkin. But I really

per month



didn’t see myself that way.” Monica, a credit analyst for Boral Bricks, lived a sedentary lifestyle. She sat in front of a computer all day at work and admits to terrible eating habits. “I ate fast food, and I ate large quantities of food,” she said. “I ate all day long, I ate fast food all day long, and I didn’t drink any water or anything.” That all changed when her almost 20-year-old daughter Summer got a job at Gold’s Gym’s Walton Way location and urged her mother to join the club. “I would have never joined a gym if she didn’t say, ‘You need to join a gym,’” Monica admitted. “And then she said, ‘You need a trainer too,’ and she was right. He really taught me how to exercise and how to lift weights, because I was really clueless and that’s really intimidating in there, so he taught me how to do all of that. That was the best thing she ever did was tell me to get a trainer, because I could not have done it without him.” Nearly a year later, Monica’s life has completely changed. Sure, she still sits in front of a computer at work all day long, but she is far from the couch potato she used to

be. Monica is 51 pounds lighter, thanks to a five-daya-week routine that includes weight workouts with her trainer and running on the treadmill. “I come five days a week,” she explained. “Two days I have the trainer and the other days I run on the treadmill. When I work with my trainer, that’s all we do is weights. I run on the treadmill before I work out with him so I’m ready to go. And I’ve become addicted to lifting weights.” Monica admits that running on the treadmill is more of a struggle than lifting weights, but she has a goal that keeps her motivated. “When I run on the treadmill I use the 5K run because I want to run the Color Run 5K in October,” she said. “So I’ve been conditioning myself for that. I actually ran a 5K in the high school, but I’d rather lift weights than run any day.” Monica’s workouts at Gold’s Gym, along with a clean eating regimen that omits almost everything but vegetables, chicken, meat and fish, have put her nine pounds under her original goal weight of 145 pounds. But it wasn’t easy. “I don’t eat any fast food, nothing like that,” she said. “I crave it sometimes, but once you get used to it, you can’t eat any of that stuff because it makes you feel sick. I won’t say I don’t indulge every now and then, but…” Now with a new goal of 125 pounds, Monica says she’s finding the final 10 pounds more difficult to lose than she thought. Besides her upcoming 5K, however, she says she’s found another source of inspiration to keep at it. “I saw progress and I was able to go shopping for cute clothes,” she laughed. “I love being comfortable shopping now. When you see progress, you’re so much more motivated. For instance, I never wore heels before because I felt like my legs weren’t strong enough. But now that I’ve started working out and my legs are stronger, I can wear heels all day long.” Monica’s newfound confidence helps her keep from sliding back into unhealthy habits, and she says she owes it all to her daughter… and Gold’s Gym. “All I know is I’m not going back to the way I used to be… and eat,” she laughed. “And if Summer had not gotten a job at the gym, I never would have started coming.”

no commitment | month - to - month

no kidding

*Amenities vary by location. Walton Way is $19.99 per month. Additional fees may apply.

GOLD’S GYM: MAY 2013 |p.3


Bob Richards Jr.’s Gold’s Gym workout routine helps him personally and professionally Even if you don’t know him by sight, most people in the CSRA could probably name a few things they do know about Bob Richards Jr. One of the most successful businessmen in the area, Bob, along with his brother Jeff, now runs the auto group, including Bob Richards Toyota and Bob Richards Nissan, that his father started years ago. Both personally and professionally, Bob is a bit of a philanthropist: he’s on the advisory board of the Salvation Army of Greater Augusta and his auto group supports organizations including Toys for Tots, the United Way, the American Red Cross and the South Carolina Sheriffs fs Association. Then there’s Bob Richards the family man, married to his wife Ashley ey for 13 years and father to daughter Kendall. What most might nott know about Bob is that he’s a bit of a fitnesss buff. The Gold’s Gym member, who works out at thee club’s Walton Way location, took up cycling in his teens, eens, was a former bodybuilder and dabbled in kickboxing. kboxing. “I tried to do a little bodybuilding in the ‘80s,” he remembered. “At At one time, I weighted 250 pounds. I used to eat at the he Harvest Table every day for lunch and I used to eat a coffee cake every morning for breakfast. I ate a lot, but I had a fast metabolism so I had to. If I was competing at 200 pounds and other guys at 6’3” are competing at 240 40 or 250 pounds, it just wasn’t working.” Even though he ate quite a bit in those days, Bob said that bodybuilding ng taught him a lot about nutrition. “The good thing hing about bodybuilding is you’re on a really ally strict diet and you learn about what hat you can eat and how to control yourr weight,” he explained. “So I got to 2500 pounds and then I lost five pounds a week for eight weeks, healthily. And bodybuilding gives you rength through deadlifts a lot of core strength sses and those sorts of and bench presses o those lifts, but I’m things. I still do n I eat less.” healthier when uilding, Bob said he After bodybuilding, xing with the guys at took up kickboxing d Martial Arts. Greubel’s Mixed He did that for about 12 ivate lessons years, taking private ventually, and sparring. Eventually, d he felt he though, Bob said needed a break.. “I remember one day after sparring myy right cus and I eye wouldn’t focus me to slow figured it was time arring,” he down on the sparring,” laughed. “And I have to limit the amountt of training oxing goes I do as far as boxing ulders just because my shoulders started aching.”


These days, Bob’s fitness routine is far different, but just as regimented as when he was bodybuilding and kickboxing. “Usually I’m up at Gold’s three days a week for spin class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and then I try to lift on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” he explained. “I’m at the 5:30 spin class.” And that’s 5:30 in the morning. This early routine, Bob says, allows him to get to his Augusta office by about 6:30 or 7 a.m. before he heads over to the dealerships in North Augusta. He usually makes an early night of it, and says this “early to bed, early to rise” routine really works for him. “If I miss it I’m just not the same person, so it’s great,” he said. “And if I don’t get it done in the morning, I won’t get it done during the day.” Bob says not only does it make him feel better, it helps him professionally as well, giving him the confidence that he also felt when he was kickboxing.

“It makes your head clear and it makes you relaxed when you get to work,” he explained. “I have a lot of nervous energy, so I’m able to work that off at the gym in the morning and be a little more relaxed. And you feel a little bit better about yourself. You feel a little bit more confident because you got your exercise, you got your routine, you got it done and now you have the whole day ahead of you.” Bob says he wouldn’t give up his workout routine for anything, and he wouldn’t work out anyplace other than Gold’s Gym. “I enjoy working out at Gold’s,” he said. “It is well taken care of, it’s it s got great people working there, the facilities are clean and updated. They’ve done a great job, and I like the members over there. A lot of the guys I’ve gotten to know. It’s a good group.”

Ron Beckman, who works out at Gold’s Gym in North Augusta, is 71 years old, has had both knees replaced and recently road his bike from San Diego, California, to St. Augustine, Florida, in a 52-day trip that included 75 miles of riding a day. That’s 3,000 miles total through states that also included Arizona, New Mexico, Texas (where the group Ron was riding with spent 17 days), Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. It was the trip of a lifetime, but Ron said not to ask him if it was something he did just to be able to cross it off his bucket list. “The thing I have against bucket lists is that I’m not old enough to have a bucket list yet,” he laughed. “My wife and I, as long as we are physically able, we’re into sightdoing instead of sightseeing. That’s just the way we are. Once we’re older and can’t do anymore, then we’ll sightsee.” Ron and his wife Carole, who will celebrate their 49th wedding anniversary this September (“we’re off to a good start,” Ron said with a smile), split their time between Bradenton, Florida, and North Augusta, where they spend about 30 percent of their time each year. The couple loves the western part of the United States, and

has another home near Denver, Colorado, but keep their home base in the east to be near family. He seems naturally adventurous and athletic, but Ron reveals that he wasn’t always this way. “It was only in my 50s that I began to become more active, and it was only because I was too busy with other things beforehand,” said the retired General Electric employee. “And then there was the mortality thing. I saw so many family members suffering with things and decided it was time to get healthier.” Ron said he took up basketball, jogging and racquetball, but soon decided to give those activities up because of his knees. “At one point I played racquetball for an hour and a half and then couldn’t walk for a week and a half because my knees were so bad,” he said. “And I thought, ‘Well, I’ve got to do something,’ so I tried cycling. And, lo and behold, my knees got better. I knew I was going to have to have them replaced because I was down to bone on bone, but I was able to hold off on having them replaced until two years ago. So cycling was the start of dealing with my serious knee problems.” That was 20 years ago, when the couple lived in upstate New York. Shortly after that, Ron retired and Carole underwent major brain surgery and almost died. So when she told Ron she wanted to get away from the snow, she got what she wanted.

Not to let little things like bad knees or brain surgery slow them down, the couple also began working out at the gym, at first sporadically. Now, it’s become a habit for both. “Gold’s has become one of the best things in the world for her because she’s fairly sedentary most of the time, but she really likes how she feels and how she looks compared to before she went to Gold’s,” Ron explained. “The other thing about Gold’s is the interaction with the other folks and the direct and indirect support that we get through the others who are pursuing their objectives. People of all sizes, shapes and levels of condition intermingle and are supportive of each other, and it’s that environment that’s good for both of us and especially for her.” Usually, the couple goes to the gym together and then splits up for their own workouts. Sometimes, however, Carole ends up going to Gold’s more than Ron. “She makes it about four times and I’ll make it three or four and that’s because I’m cycling the other days,” he said. “That is when we’re here in town and, when we’re not here, we go to Gold’s Gyms elsewhere. That’s the other good thing about Gold’s is that they’re in so many different places in the country.” Gold’s Gym became an especially important component of Ron’s training as he prepared for the Coast 2 Coast Ride, which began March 9 and ended April 29. Ron signed up for the ride in December, which

GOLD’S GYM: MAY 2013 |p.5

Trip of a

Lifetime Gold’s Gym helps a dream come true for one member

means he only had December, January and February to train. And despite the area’s mild winters, these are not the greatest months of the year to be outside on a bike. “I had a certain amount of base but not quite enough for this trip,” he admitted. “But that gave me a reason to be doing something in December, January and February. So I’d alternate between spin classes at Gold’s Gym and outside when I could.” Without Gold’s Gym, Ron said that he doesn’t know if he would have been able to complete the Coast 2 Coast ride. “Well, first of all, if I wasn’t going to Gold’s and knew what I could accomplish at Gold’s, with the equipment and the spin classes, etc., I may not have signed up to take on this challenge,” he said. “It was an enabler, physically and mentally, to take on this challenge. Even before that, I was in pretty good shape because I had been going to Gold’s and doing cycling. Had I not been doing that, I may not have been able to do this.” “Also, there’s a natural inclination of people who’ve had bilateral knee replacement not to risk doing something like this,” Ron continued. “But there’s no reason not to, according to the surgeon, and now I know I can. I’ve been doing the Appalachian Trail hiking, and the knees held up to that. And the knees held up to the cycling, and the knees held up to what I do at Gold’s and that gave me the confidence that my knees would

hold up… if I could only get the rest of me to work.” Ron’s knees, as well as the rest of him, did indeed hold up and he’s glad they did. Otherwise, he never would have experienced the uniqueness of each of his 52 days he road. “My favorite thing was the fact that every day was a significantly different experience than every other day,” he explained. “And I didn’t expect that. Each day would be a unique adventure unto itself. And adventure is a good word because we had challenges and delights and that made it a really fascinating experience, all the way from the beginning to the end. I anticipated that twothirds of the way through I would think, ‘Oh is this ever going to end?’ And that never happened.” Every single one of the 24 riders who participated, ranging in ages from 48 to 71, finished the race, something Ron attributes to the supportive atmosphere of the group. It’s an atmosphere that he also finds when he visits Gold’s Gym. “When you get a group with that average age and every single one finished, that’s pretty special,” he said. “And I think part of what that says to me is that when you’ve got a good, mutually supportive environment, more good gets accomplished. And that’s what Gold’s is, too. A supportive environment for what you’re trying to accomplish.”

RAISIN’Kane Livin’ The High Life

Two months ago, my dad turned 70. I had no clue. Don’t get me wrong. I knew it was his birthday. I just didn’t realize he was 70 until my mom actually told me. Wow... 70? Really? All these years, I just thought my dad stayed at 40 forever. Dad is actually responsible for my first “unofficial” 5K experience. I was a spectator, not a runner. I was 6 years old living in Ridgeway, Pennsylvania, and Dad used to run on a pretty regular basis back then. He signed up for a local 5K and he certainly dressed like a dude running in the ‘70s era. Blue/white headband, striped tube socks up to his knees and shorts he had no business wearing. Ahhh... yes... those were the glory days of running attire! My father’s nickname in college was “snail.” With a nickname like that, you know he’s not the quickest on his feet. When Dad entered a race, the goal was simply to finish and have fun. But this 5K was different. If you placed in your age group, you received a Miller Lite beer can glued to a solid, wooden trophy base. Big Jim thought this was the coolest trophy ever. The Holy Grail of 5K awards! He wanted that Miller beer can trophy and he was going to push himself to the limit. Push it he did. Dad was going so fast around the final turn, it looked like his ‘70s headband was going to fly off. Whatever he did in this race, it worked. Big Jim didn’t win, but he placed. On this day, he wasn’t “snail.” Far from it. He was Usain Bolt! As for that Miller Lite beer can trophy? It still sits proudly in his home office today in Yardley, Pennsylvania. Three decades later, Dad is still enjoying the High Life! Happy Father’s Day! Chris Kane is a Golds Gym member and coanchor for Good Morning Augusta and News Channel 6 at noon (WJBF-TV ABC).

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Wine Tasting will be held at Wine World in North Augusta, 5-8 p.m., the first Friday and third Thursday of every month. Call 803-279-9522 or visit

Overeaters Anonymous meets at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays and at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1:30 p.m., Saturdays. Call 907-854-1509.


AA meets every Sunday and Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. at Aiken Regional Medical Centers’ Aurora Pavilion, and includes an open discussion. Call 800-322-8322 or visit

Mobile Mammography Screenings will be on the following dates and at the following locations, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.: Thursday, May 30, SRS Area A; Friday, May 31, Edgefield Medical Center; Monday, June 3, Willis Memorial Hospital; Tuesday, June 4, Belk’s in North Augusta; Wednesday, June 5, Wrens Baptist Church; Thursday, June 6, Dillard’s at the Augusta Mall. Free through Medicare. Appointment required. Call 706-774-4149 or visit Saturday Express Lamaze Childbirth Preparation will be held Saturday, June 1, from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Trinity Hospital. A tour of the FamilyFocused Childbirth unit is also included in the class. Free, but pre-registration required. Visit

Adult Sexual Assault and Rape Support Group provides group counseling at University Hospital for those who have experienced sexual assault, incest, rape or childhood sexual abuse. Call 706-724-5200 or visit Alcoholics Anonymous is a support group for those who wish to stop drinking. Call 706-860-8331.

or visit Burn Support Group meets every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at Doctors Hospital’s Lori Rogers Nursing Library, JMS Building. All burn survivors, and their families and friends are welcome. Call Tim Dorn at 706-6516660 or visit doctors- Narcotics Anonymous meets Fridays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Hospital of Augusta. Visit Recovery Support Group meets 7:30 p.m. Sundays and Fridays. Call 706855- 2419. Bereavement Grief Support for Adults meets the first Wednesday of each month from noon-1 p.m. At Aiken Regional Medical Centers’ cafeteria dining room A. Registration is required. Call 803-6415389.

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Look Good, Feel Better will be presented Monday, June 3, from 3-5 p.m. at Doctors Hospital, Suite 110, Classroom 2. A free, hands-on workshop for female cancer patients to help them cope with and combat appearance-related effects of chemo and radiation therapy. Free. Registration is required. Call 706-651-4343 or visit

Finding the Way Forward Workshop, a free program on college and career planning for girls in 8th-12th grades, is accepting applications through May 31. The Jessye Norman School of the Arts is presenting the workshop, which will include visits to three local colleges. Workshop dates are June 5-7. Visit to apply, or come by the school at 739 Green St. to pick up an application.

Your BIRTHday Party! will be held Monday, June 3, from noon-1:30 p.m. at Trinity Hospital and includes lunch and a short informational session introducing Trinity’s Tiny Toes Tip Top OB program. Door prizes and a tour of the OB unit are included. Free. Visit

Riverwalk Toastmasters Open House is Monday, June 3, at 7 p.m. at the University Hospital Educational Wing’s room 3 on the third floor. Call 706-855-1081.

The Keys to Healthy Weight Loss will be presented Tuesday, June 4, at 6 p.m. at the USC-Aiken Business Conference Center, room 118. A free light dinner will be served. Free. Call 800-322-8322 or visit

Fashion Flashbacks, a talk about turn of the century fashions in Augusta, will be held Wednesday, June 5, at the Augusta History Museum. Call 706-722-8454 or visit

The Daddy Class will take place Tuesday, June 4, from 7-9 p.m. at Doctors Hospital, Suite 310 of Medical Office Building 1. Call 706-651-2229 or visit

Free Chemistry Course for middle- and high-school students begins Thursday, June 6. It will be held weekly on Thursdays from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Paine College in Haygood Holsey Hall, room 220. Space is limited. To enroll, call 706-860-8992 by June 3.

Childbirth Education 101 will be held Tuesday, June 4, from 6-8:30 p.m. at Trinity Hospital. A tour of the FamilyFocused Childbirth unit is included in the class. Free. Visit Infant CPR class will be held Wednesday, June 5, from 6-8 p.m. at Trinity Hospital. Free. Visit

Fort Gordon Toastmasters meets 11:30 a.m. each Wednesday in the Organizational Conference Room (Fish Bowl) on Fort Gordon Army base. Open to the public. Visit

Center for Women Tour is Thursday, June 6, from 7-8 p.m. at Doctors Hospital, Suite 310 of Medical Office Building 1. Call 706-651-2229 or visit

Adult Hebrew Class is taught at Congregation Children of Israel at 10:30 a.m. every Thursday. Email office@ or visit

American Red Cross Babysitter Training will be held Thursday, June 6, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at Aiken Regional Medical Centers, 6th floor, classroom A. Students ages 11-15 will learn about leadership, safety, basic care and first aid in order to provide safe, responsible care. Drinks provided. $30, includes babysitting text and certificate. Call 800-322-8322 or visit

Computer classes are offered every Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Wallace Branch Library. Call 706-722-6275 or visit


CSRA Parkinson Support Group will be held Tuesday, May 28, at 6 p.m. at St. John Towers, 724 Greene St. Free. Call 706-364-1662.



Beyond the Bars is a support group for those with incarcerated loved ones. Call 706-855-8636. Alcoholics Anonymous open discussion meeting takes place every Sunday and Wednesday, 7:15 p.m. at Aurora Pavilion in Aiken. Call 806-641-5000

Guided tours of 1797 Ezekiel Harris House offered by appointment only Tuesday-Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m.5 p.m. Last tours of the day begin at 4 p.m. Adults, $2; children, $1. Call 706-722-8454 or visit Historic Trolley Tour of Augusta aboard the Lady Libby boards at the Augusta Museum of History at 1:30 p.m., Saturdays. See historic sites and hear spooky legends, including the legend of the famous Haunted Pillar.




$12, including admission to the museum. Reservations required 24 hours in advance. Call 706-722-8454 or visit Tours of the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson are held regularly. Adults $5; seniors $4; kids K-12 $3; under 5 years free. Reservations required for groups of 10 or more. Call 706-722-9828.


Augusta GreenJackets home games are as follows: Thursday-Saturday, May 30-June 1, at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday, June 2, at 2:05 p.m. vs. the Charleston RiverDogs at GreenJackets Stadium. $1-$15. Call 706-9229467 or visit AT&T Junior Achievement Annual FORE Golf Tournament will take place Wednesday, June 5, at Houndslake Country Club in Aiken. Call 706-736-3071. Fencing Classes will begin June 5 at the Augusta Fencers’ Club at 464 Greene St. The 10-week classes meet on Wednesdays as follows: Ages 6-9, 4-4:50 p.m.; ages 10-13, 5-5:50 p.m.; ages 14 and up, 5:30-6:20 p.m. Cost is $150 and all equipment is provided. Cal 706-722-8878 or visit Triple 8 Group Run meets at 8th and Reynolds, 8 a.m., every Saturday through Oct. 26. Choose your distance: 3, 6 or 8 miles. Open to everyone. Visit Wheelchair Tennis Clinic, presented by the Walton Foundation for Independence, meets each Monday at 6 p.m. (weather permitting) at The Club at Rae’s Creek. Free and open to the public. Call 706-826-5809 or email Weekly Group Runs include the Monday Metro Run meeting at Metro Coffeehouse at 6 p.m.; Monday Intervals meeting at the Family Y track on Wheeler Road at 7 p.m.; the Tuesday Nacho Mama’s Group Run at 6 p.m.; Wednesday’s Blanchard Woods Group Run at 6 p.m.; Wednesday Stay in Shape Group Run at 6 p.m.; Wednesday’s Post Office Hill Training Run at 7 p.m.; Thursday’s Homer Hustle at 6 p.m.; and Saturday’s Stay in Shape Run at 8 a.m. Visit The Augusta Furies Women’s Rugby Football Club practices 6-8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Julian Smith Casino for players 18 and up. Email or visit


The Augusta Rugby Club holds weekly practice sessions at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Larry Bray Memorial Pitch in Augusta. Experienced players and newbies ages 18 and up are welcome. Bring a pair of cleats or cross trainers, a mouthguard, gym shorts and a T-shirt. Visit or Facebook under the Augusta Rugby Club heading.

“A Bug’s Life” will be shown Monday, June 3, at 10 a.m. at the Maxwell Branch Library, 1927 Lumpkin Rd. Free. Call 706-793-2020 or visit

Hott Shott Disc Golf is held each Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Killer B Disc Golf in downtown Augusta, and features games and prizes for all ages and skill levels. $2. Call 706-814-7514 or visit

Sesame Street Live: Elmo Makes Music will take place Tuesday, June 4, at 7 p.m. and Wednesday, June 5, at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Bell Auditorium. $16-$58. Call 877-428-4849 or visit

Thursday Night Chain Reaction Ride begins at 6 p.m. each Thursday at Patriots Park in Grovetown. For intermediate to fast-paced cyclists, who average 25-32 miles. Participants should bring their own water and helmet. Call 706-855-2024 or visit

Chad Crews-Magician will perform Tuesday, June 4, from 10:30-11:45 a.m. at the Diamond Lakes Library in Hephzibah. Magic and storytelling combine in Chad Crews’ “Dig Into Reading Safari” for a fun, educational experience. Required registration for groups of 6 or more begins May 13. Best for ages 4 and older. Free. Call 706-772-2432 or visit

Riverview Disc Golf League meets each Thursday at 6 p.m. at Riverview Park in North Augusta. Entry fee, $5; ace pool, $1. Call 803-215-8181 or visit Road Bike Ride meets each Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Andy Jordan’s Bicycle Warehouse downtown for an approximately 25-mile ride at a moderate to fast pace. Front and rear lights, as well as a helmet, are required. Call 706-724-6777 or visit


LEGO Club will be held Thursday, May 31, from 4-5 p.m. at the North Augusta library branch. For children in grades K-5. LEGOs will be provided. Free. Call 803-279-5767 or visit Chad Crews-Magician will perform Friday, May 31, from 10 a.m.-noon at the Maxwell Branch Library, 1927 Lumpkin Rd. Chad will showcase books that deal with different critters found in the dirt, and the program will also include storytelling, music, laughter and, of course, several books will also be highlighted. Free. Call 706-793-2020 or visit Insect Investigations will take place Saturday, June 1, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at Reed Creek Park. Participants will learn about six-legged friends as they catch and release insects with bug nets in different areas of the park. For ages 5 and up; children must be accompanied by an adult. Members free; non-members $2 per child. Pre-registration is required. Call 706-2104027 or visit

“Wreck it Ralph” will be shown Monday, June 3, at the Diamond Lakes Library branch in Hephzibah. Free. Call 706-772-2432 or visit

Something’s Fishy will be held Thursday, June 6, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at Reed Creek Park. Participants will learn about fish and about the importance of water conservation and its effects on fish. For ages 5 and up; children must be accompanied by an adult. Members free; non-members $2 per child. Preregistration is required. Call 706-210-4027 or visit “Raiders of the Lost Ark” will be shown Thursday, June 6, at 3 p.m. at the Maxwell Branch Library, 1927 Lumpkin Rd. Free. Call 706-793-2020 or visit Watson-Brown Foundation Junior Board needs members. Looking for high-school students to spend one evening a month learning about historic preservation, grants and philanthropy. Call 706-595-7777, email or visit DuPont Planetarium shows for Saturdays in June are “Solar System Adventure Tour” at 8 p.m. and “Blown Away: Wild World of Weather” at 9 p.m. Weather permitting, the observatory, housing the Bechtel Telescope, will be available for viewing after each show. General admission $4.50; seniors $3.50; 4K-12 $2.50; valid college or military I.D. gets you a 50 percent discount; USCA faculty, staff and students $1. Kids under 4 not permitted in public viewings. Reservations encouraged. Call 803-641-3654. Ceramics Class, for ages 14 and up, meets Mondays at 9 a.m. or 6 p.m., Tuesdays at 6 p.m., and Wednesdays at 9 a.m. in the Weeks Ceramics Center. Call 803-642-7631 or visit







Toddler Time, playtime for children ages 5 and under, is each Monday and Wednesday from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the H.O. Weeks Center in Aiken. $2 per visit; $16 per 10-visit pass. Call 803-642-7631 or visit Mother’s Morning Out is offered at the Family Y of North Augusta for ages 2-4 years, 9 a.m.-noon, either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday. Mothers enjoy a relaxing morning twice a week while kids learn. Members, $70 a month; non-members, $90 a month. Registration required. Visit Drop and Shop is offered Monday-Friday at The Family Y of Augusta South for kids age 8 weeks-4 years, 8:30 a.m.-noon. Members, $5 a child per day; nonmembers, $7 a child per day. Also offered at North Augusta branch, 9 a.m.-noon. Members, $9 a day; non-members, $15 a day. Visit Little Friends Gym, a parent and child class for those ages 6 months-4 years, is held each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Warren Road Community Center. Call 706-860-2833 or visit Story Time is held at the Columbia County Library at 10:15 and 11 a.m. Tuesdays, for kids under 2 years old; at 10:15 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for 2-year-olds; at 11 a.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for preschoolers; and at 4 p.m. Wednesdays for all ages. Call 706-863-1946 or visit Loud Crowd, a supervised after-school program for those ages 4-12, is Monday- Friday from 3-6 p.m. at the Warren Road Community Center. Call 706-8602833 or visit Homeschool PE Time, for elementary school aged kids, meets Monday-Friday, from 9-11 a.m. at the Kroc Center. Members free. Call 706-364-5762 for nonmember prices. Visit Mother’s Morning Out is every Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Wilson Family Y for children ages 3-4. The schedule follows the Richmond County school calendar. $90 per month for members; $110 per month for non- members. Register at any Family Y or visit Story Time is held at the Diamond Lakes Branch Library 10 a.m. each Tuesday. Registration required for groups of six or more. Call 706-772-2432 or visit Tai Chi Panda, a Chinese martial arts program for kids ages 5-13, meets Tuesdays and Thursdays. Ages 5-7 meet at 4 p.m.; ages 8-10 meet at 5 p.m.; ages 11-13 meet at 6 p.m. Call 706-394-0590 or visit taichi.html.

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Preschool Story Time is every Tuesday at the Headquar ters Branch Library at 10 a.m. Toddler Story Time is every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Group registration required. Call 706-821-2600 or visit Story Time is held every Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Friedman Branch Library. Groups of six or more must pre-register. Call 706-736-6758 or visit Story Time is every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at Harlem Branch Library. Call 706- 556-9795 or visit Story Time is held every Wednesday from 10-11:15 a.m. at Wallace Branch Library. Pre-registration required. Call 706-722-6275 or visit Story Time is held each Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Maxwell Branch Library. Pre-registration required for groups. Call 706-793-2020 or visit Wacky Wednesday Story Time is each Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the children’s department of Barnes and Noble in the Augusta Mall. Call 706-737-0012 or visit Story Time is held each Wednesday at the Appleby Branch Library from 10:05- 10:20 a.m. for toddlers age 18-35 months, and from 10:30-11:15 a.m. for preschool kids age 3 and up. An adult must remain with the child. Call 706-736- 6244 or visit Story Time is every Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. for pre-K, and either 11 or 11:30 a.m. for preschoolers at Aiken County Public Library. Call 803-642-2023 or visit Story Time is every Wednesday from 10:30-11 a.m. for toddlers and 11:15-11:45 a.m. for preschoolers at North Augusta Branch Library. Call 803-279-5767 or


Creative Arts offered at the Family Y of North Augusta for ages 5-12 years. Members, $35 per month; nonmembers, $55 per month. Visit

Story Time at the Euchee Creek Branch Library, for all ages, is held each Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. and each Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. Call 706-556-0594 or visit Study Hall for teens meets Wednesdays from 3-5 p.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Call 706-8212600 or visit Homeschool Playgroup meets each Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Creighton Park in North Augusta. Call 803613-0484. Mudpuppies, an arts and crafts program for ages 2-5, is held each Thursday at 10:45 a.m. at the Warren Road Community Center. Call 706-860-2833 or visit The Augusta Arsenal Soccer Club Junior Academy, for boys and girls ages 5- 8, meets each Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Augusta Soccer Park. Call 706-854- 0149 or visit

at 10:45-11:30 a.m. at the Warren Road Community Center. Call 706-860-2833 or visit Gesher, a teen program for post b’nai mitzvah youngsters (7th-12th grade), meets every other Sunday at Adas Yeshurun Synagogue. Call 706-7339491.


Psalter Café will be held Thursday, June 6, at 5 p.m. at Covenant United Methodist Church, 4536 Washington Rd in Evans. Performers include Eryn Eubanks & the Family Fold, Adam Sams, Skilyr Hicks, Adam Thompson, Dale Lewis, Joseph Nordan and Jason Hammonds. Free; barbecue plates are $5. Call 706-306-9845.

If you would like to see your organization’s events listed in our calendar, please email Amy Christian at The deadline for each Thursday’s issue is the previous Friday at noon.

Fairy Tale Ballet is held at the Family Y of Aiken County. Offered once a week for one month for a total of four classes. Members, $25 a month; non-members, $35 a month. Visit Boy and Girl Scout troops are hosted by Augusta Jewish Community Center. For Boy Scouts, visit or email For Girl Scouts, email For Daisy/ Brownie Troop, email Creek Freaks, a Georgia Adopt-a-Stream team of middle- and high-school students, meets regularly at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park to monitor the health of Butler Creek. Call 706-796-7707 or visit Fun-Time Fridays, for ages 2-5, is held each Friday

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Play Nice

Teaching manners to kids is simple… or it should be

Something happened this weekend that isn’t all that unusual, but every time it happens, I’m blown away. We were at the pool, and I noticed a young boy crying. He was certainly old enough to hold his own, but he seemed especially sad. I asked if he was okay, and he said, “No ma’am.” I asked if I could help with anything, and he said, “I don’t think you can, but thank you.” Several other moms stood aside and let the scene unfold. These are kids, after all. They can work it out, right? Normally I’d agree. This time, Crying Kid (CK) was sitting there, minding his own business, either waiting for an apology or trying to calm down and move on, and Jerk Kid (JK) wasn’t letting it go. JK came out of the pool, screaming and gesturing at CK, saying things like, “What’s your problem, you idiot? What? What?” and, “C’mon! Stop crying and tell me!” He was so loud, everyone at the pool had stopped to watch. Also worth noting: although the two fighting kids are likely the same age or close to it, JK is twice the size of CK. Not being able to take it anymore, another mom and I approached JK. I couldn’t help myself. “Um, you are too big to be speaking to him that way!” I didn’t yell, but I wasn’t exactly whispering. JK looked at me in disbelief. He turned back to face CK and started back with the yelling. I repeated my “advice.” At this point, I expected the situation to dissipate, at least temporarily. If an adult yelled at me at that age, I’d have crumbled into a pile of tears and gone home with my tail tucked. Not this kid. He started to yell at


me. While I like to pretend that a child of 10 or 11 might not think I’m old, I’m certain they do. Whatever. Old equals respect. One would think. He came back at me, pointing in my face, saying (screaming) that CK needed to stop crying and explain himself. “And you shouldn’t ever yell at an adult like that.” That ends it, right? JK argued a little and stormed away. CK still sat a few chairs away. He was trying to be tough and quit crying, but it was going to take a minute. He was sad and mad. The rest of his friends tried to ask him what happened. He told them, and they defended him. JK had been just that. A jerk. Kids will be kids and fight. They will disagree. They will pick. Most of the time, they can work it out on their own. This went beyond that. Who do you blame for something like this? Here’s the deal, people. Unless your kid has a social disorder of some sort, if I see them talk to an adult in that way, I’ll blame you. And I’ll judge. Similarly, if I say hello to your child, and they ignore me? Your fault. I can hear the whiny moms now. “But my kid is super shy. You don’t understand.” Look, lady. I didn’t ask for your child to share his potential masters thesis topics and map out a career plan. I just said “hello, KID.” Say “hey” back. It’s called conversation, and it’s a pretty good life skill. It’s also a little something most of us refer to as manners. One might say I’m being archaic. Things are different now, right? Why would they be? I’m sure bad/mean/ cruel/poorly mannered children have always been

around. Maybe I’m hyper aware of it these days, because of The Kids’ ages. Our kids sit at the table with us when we’re at a restaurant. They’ve been asked to shake hands when being introduced to someone they don’t yet know. They’re not perfect, by any means. They’re learning, and we plan on teaching them until they really get it. I saw a story on the news the other day about a mom who made her daughter wear less than appealing clothes to school after she was caught bullying another for doing the same. So many parents said it was teaching bullying with bullying. I sort of see that point, and I also don’t like the idea of teaching my daughter that so much value should be placed on the clothes people wear. However. If I choose to discipline my child in a way that I see fit, without abusing her, everyone else needs to stay out of it. Feelings matter, but so do manners. It isn’t hard to tell your kid no. An argument may ensue, but there’s an important lesson there. Our kids will always know they can talk to us. We are not their friends, though. We are their parents. A little bit of fear, either of disappointing us or being punished, is healthy. It’s essential in raising purposeful, courteous, kind and compassionate children who become functioning adults with the same qualities. Without any fear of adults, we’re raising kids who have zero accountability, and likely very little respect for authority. I’m glad mine will respect their bosses. They’re polite to their grandparents. They also step aside and hold the door for adults who are nearby. I was floored when I opened the door to get lunch the other day, and a group of boys, who I know to be 11 or 12 years old, ran under my door propping arm, pushing me aside without even a glace in my direction. In the words of Bon Qui Qui, “Roooood.” In some ways, it sounds so simple. I’m not sure it is, though. Maybe we all just need to toughen up a little. Our kids will still love us. As a matter of fact, they’ll respect us even more when they become parents. I’m good with that. I’m looking forward to it.

JENNYWRIGHT lives in Summerville with her

husband, who she calls The Man, and two kids, who she affectionately calls The Boy and The Girl. She enjoys taking photos, cooking and playing tennis.




Those Are People Who Died


Dead musicians collage brings local art community together About five years ago, local artist Jay Jacobs created a collection of paintings, all on one-foot by onefoot canvasses and all showcasing dearly departed musicians, for a show at the Soul Bar. This First Friday, Jacobs will reprise that show on a much grander scale. This time around, more than 20 local and regional artists will contribute to a collage of sorts. “I wanted to do something sort of like that same thing,” Jacobs explained. “I liked the fact that it was 1’ x 1’ canvasses, but everything was done differently and they were all different musicians, but all dead musicians. So what I did was I brought in 1’ x 2’ pieces of wood that are all identical that I distributed to the artists and I just told them to do a dead musician.” The only requirement is that the artists leave the base of the wood alone, so that each piece can attach to a structure Jacobs and a friend of his are building that will span the front wall of Sky City. “Basically, on the wood, the bottom six inches needs to stay square. Now, above that, they can cut it out with a jigsaw… I’ve got a welder who’s doing something… they’re free to do whatever they want,” Jacobs said. “They can add to the wood or whatever. As long as the bottom stays squared off because they’re all going to fit together on the base and it’ll be one giant piece. So it’s a collaboration of about 20-plus artists who are all contributing single pieces to push together to make a whole piece.” The musician’s and artist’s names will be highlighted at the bottom of each piece, and each piece will be sold individually. And though the show will come down at the end of the month to make way for new art, the pieces will remain at Sky City. “And at the end of the month, in kind of a symbiotic relationship, the whole structure will go to the back of Sky City as a permanent installation,” Jacobs explained. “So Coco [Rubio, Sky City’s owner] gets the big piece with all the musicians that he wanted back there, and it affords all the artists involved, and future artists, the ability to have an avenue to sell pieces year-round.” It also allows the collage to evolve over time. Jacobs said artists are not duplicating musicians, but if one piece sells, then another artist is free to create their own version. “I’m doing Robert Johnson,” Jacobs said. “And,


if somebody else wants to do him, as soon as mine sells or is taken down, they have the ability to do Robert Johnson.” Only a few of the subjects, besides Johnson, are known at this time, but other names being tossed about are Liberace and Johnny Cash. The pieces can be purchased at any time, and Sky City bartenders will have a master list of the pieces and their prices. The artists involved are those who belong to what Jacobs calls “the standard catalog”: Chris Murray, Blaine Prescott, Carrie Brooks, Staci Swider, Jason Craig, Leonard Zimmerman, Troy Campbell and many other who often participate in group shows and help each other out with projects. But this show has also allowed the group to branch out and meet some other artists. “It’s weird. You’ve got these two entities in Augusta: this group of us that are loosely affiliated, we don’t have meetings or anything like that, but we all gget together. g When one of us has an idea, it spreads,” eads,” Jacobs said. “There’s this group called Alternative ve Artists that holds meetings at Oddfellows Gallery ery and I just met these guys and they’re doing a show the same night. A lot of those people le are participating in this show too. And what’s really cool, what we’re goingg to try and do is coordinate.” Many from each group also participate in Free Art Friday, an event in which artists paint small pieces, hide them around town, then post pictures of the pieces’ locations on their Facebook page. The first fan to find a piece gets to keep it. “We’re going to try and do something between the J.B. White’s Building [the location of the other art show] and Sky City to where, if you crawl back and forth, he that will be where the majority of the Free Art Friday stuff is hidden,” he said. m one “So it encourages people to go from rything on show to the other, to check out everything Artists Row, to follow that kind of crawl because den. It will be that’s where all the stuff will be hidden.

hidden along the route, so to speak.” Free Art Friday will also have a dead musicians theme to complement the Sky City show, and Jacobs said he can’t wait to begin assembling the structure. “It’s one of those things where we’re not going to know what it’s going to look like until it’s up,” he said, “which is always fun because it’s like cooking without tasting anything and then all of a sudden you serve it and say, ‘Alright… how is it?’” Dead Musicians Show Sky City Friday, June 7 | 8 p.m.-until Show will hang for the month of June |



Characters Come to Life Play! Write! Launches at the Inner Bean Cafe

Play! Write! will not be like any writing workshop you have ever attended, promises Rhonda Jones, the author who put it all together. “The business of writing can suck the fun right out of something we once threw ourselves into with childlike abandon,” she says. “Play! Write! is designed to put the fun right back in.” Jones describes the first Play! Write! event, “Conversations With Characters,” as part character-development workshop, part motivational exercise. “I want to get loud,” she says. “Or at least as loud as the ladies at the Inner Bean are okay with. My group is going to leave exhilarated and ready to go create something exciting.” She plans to accomplish this by providing a fun, relaxing “play-space” away from desks and deadlines. “They’re going to leave the manuscripts at home and banish the Inner Editor for two whole hours and just play with their characters and let things happen,” she explains. “It’s like an idea party where the ideas get to come as they are.” The idea for holding creativity workshops comes out of a long-standing desire to teach, Jones says. That desire was kindled during her time as a writing tutor in the ‘90s when she discovered that helping a student with writing had to do with much more than the grammar and content on the page. “By the time students came to me they were usually desperate, sometimes in tears or angry,” she said. “A big part of my job was figuring out a way to break through whatever emotion a student was struggling with. Writing itself is easy. It’s just words. But the way a person judges their own words, and the blocks that can cause — that’s the challenge. That was my favorite part. I want to do that again.” Jones says she has had a ball planning the first workshop, and already has tons of ideas for future events. “I can see day-long festivals of creative craziness, and even corporate retreats for groups looking for team-building getaways that are a little different,” she says. “Something to get their people thinking outside the box and feeling more comfortable and relaxed with each other.” Although she is planning the first workshop of the Play! Write! series with writers in mind, Jones points out that these are creativity workshops that can benefit anyone. “We all go to movies or read books. We all enjoy characters in various ways. It’s not just entertainment,” Jones says. “Ultimately, the stories we love are about us. They teach us how to live. If you don’t want to take my word for it, go peek at some Joseph Campbell. When you learn about a favorite character, you learn about yourself. The results can be pretty powerful.” Play! Write! — Have Conversations With Characters! Inner Bean Cafe, Martinez Saturday, June 1 | 10 a.m.-noon Arrive a few minutes early for sign-in. $12 at the door, $10 in advance 706-289-5588 |













May 30 30Thursday, Live Music

Malibu Jack’s - Ke-Ju Maude Edenfield Park, North Augusta - Flashback Mellow Mushroom (Downtown and Evans) - Live and Local Polo Tavern - Cody Webb (Acoustic) Rose Hill Estate - Preston Weston & Sandra Somewhere In Augusta - Connor Pledger Surrey Tavern - Old You Tavern at the Bean - Irish Music The Willcox - 4 Cats in the Doghouse Wild Wing - Tiki Barflys

Truth & Salvage Co. bring their middle America, country meets rock ‘n’ roll sound, via a white Ford van they’ve named The Champion, to Surrey Tavern Saturday, June 1. With four lead singers, it’s a show you won’t want to miss. Visit

What’s Tonight?

Bar on Broad - Liddle Ugleez Chevy’s Nite Club - Karaoke Cocktails Lounge - Karaoke Fishbowl Lounge - Karaoke Fox’s Lair - Trivia, Soup and Suds Helga’s Pub & Grille - Trivia The Highlander - Butt Naked Trivia Joe’s Underground - Trivia Night The Loft - Karaoke Malibu Jack’s - DJ Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Evans) - Karaoke The Playground - DJ Rana Shannon’s - Karaoke Soul Bar - DJ Spindrum Surreal at Surrey - College and F&B Night Villa Europa - Karaoke Wooden Barrel - ’80s Night Karaoke

May 31 31Friday, Live Music

Augusta Canal Moonlight Music Cruise - Wayne Capps Carolina Ale House - Connor Pledger Country Club - Aaron Lewis, Rick Monroe Coyote’s - Dave Firmin, Rhes Reeves & the Coyote Band Doubletree - Classic Jazz First Round - 6 Joe’s Underground - Steven Bryant MAD Studios - Nathan Storey Polo Tavern - Turning Point Somewhere In Augusta - The Hollerers Stillwater Taproom - AcostA Surrey Tavern - Acid Wash ‘80s Band Wild Wing - Bad Cash

What’s Tonight?

Armando’s - Karaoke w/ Rockin Rob Chevy’s - DJ Dougie Club Argos - Friday Night House Party Cocktails Lounge - Grown-Up Fridays with DJ Cork and Bull Pub - Karaoke Eagle’s Nest - Free Salsa Lessons; Latin Dance Party Fishbowl Lounge - Karaoke Iron Horse Bar & Grill - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke with Ryan Moseley Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke with Jeff Barnes Mi Rancho (Clearwater) - Three J’s Karaoke Ms. Carolyn’s - Karaoke Palmetto Tavern - DJ Tim The Playground - DJ Rana Rebeck’s Hideaway - Open Mic Roadrunner Cafe - Karaoke with Steve Chappel Sky City - DJ Griffen Eubanks, DJ JB Fresh, DL Jeremy Elijah 36 METROSPIRITAUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989

Soul Bar - ‘90s Night Wooden Barrel - Karaoke Contest

June 1 01Saturday, Live Music

100 Laurens - Keith Gregory The Acoustic Coffeehouse - Open Acoustic Jam Session with Eryn Eubanks and the Family Fold Country Club - Matt Stillwell Joe’s Underground - Saint Happening MAD Studios - Lexie’s Legacy Thank You Concert w/ Joe Graves and the Dirty Left Hand P.I. Bar and Grill - Not Gaddy Jazz with Pam Bowman Polo Tavern - Jim Fisher Band Sky City - Cameras, Guns & Radios Surrey Tavern - Truth & Salvage Co.

What’s Tonight?

Chevy’s - DJ Dougie Club Argos - Saturday Night Dance Party and Show Cocktails Lounge - Latin Night Fishbowl Lounge - Karaoke Helga’s Pub & Grille - Karaoke The Loft - DJ Richie Rich Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Clearwater) - Karaoke with Danny Haywood Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke Ms. Carolyn’s - Karaoke The Playground - DJ Rana Robbie’s - Saturday Night Dance Party Tavern at the Bean - Karaoke Wooden Barrel - Kamikaze Karaoke

June 2 02Sunday, Live Music

5 O’Clock Bistro - Funk You Candlelight Jazz - Matthew Davis & Nu Soul Band Cotton Patch - Keith Gregory (brunch) MAD Studios - Headshots for Hedwig Malibu Jack’s - Playback The Band w/ Tutu Dy’Vine PI Bar & Grille - Sunday Evening Jazz w/ the Not Gaddy Jazz Trio Wild Wing - Kolbeck The Willcox - Jon Vaughn, brunch; Preston & Weston, night

What’s Tonight?

Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke, Salsa

Dancing Polo Tavern - Bingo Night Shannon’s - Karaoke with Peggy Gardner

June 3 03Monday, Live Music

Hopelands Gardens (Aiken) - Suzuki Strings Shannon’s - Open Mic Night

What’s Tonight?

Applebee’s (Evans) - Trivia Chevy’s - Trivia Club Argos - Karaoke Joe’s Underground - Poker Malibu Jack’s - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Trivia The Playground - DJ Rana Robolli’s - Trivia with Mike Thomas Somewhere in Augusta - Poker Wild Wing - Trivia

June 4 04Tuesday, Live Music

Appleby Concert Series - Montana Skies The Highlander - Open Mic Night Shannon’s - Karaoke Contest The Willcox - Piano jazz

What’s Tonight?

Chevy’s Nite Club - Shag Night w/ Free Lessons Club Argos - Karaoke Fishbowl Lounge - Dart League Joe’s Underground - Karaoke Laura’s Backyard Tavern - Karaoke w/ David Doane Limelight Cafe - Bottom’s Up Karaoke Malibu Jack’s - Poker Mellow Mushroom (Downtown and Evans) - Trivia Mi Rancho - Cornhole Carolina Meeting The Playground - Truly Twisted Trivia with Big Troy Polo Tavern - Karaoke Shannon’s - Karaoke with Mike Johnson Somewhere In Augusta - Big Prize Trivia Surrey Tavern - Tubeday Tuesday Movie Night

June 5 05Wednesday, Live Music

Joe’s Underground - Bumper Jacksons Malibu Jack’s - Marilyn Adcock

What’s Tonight?

Armando’s - Karaoke w/ Rockin Rob Chevy’s - Karaoke Cocktails Lounge - Augusta’s Got Talent Cotton Patch - Trivia and Tunes Hotel Aiken - Karaoke w/ Tom Mitchell Laura’s Backyard Tavern - Karaoke w/ David Doane The Loft - Karaoke Midtown Lounge - Karaoke w/ Charles O’Byrne Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke The Playground - Krazy Karaoke with Big Troy Polo Tavern - Karaoke w/ Tom Mitchell Somewhere in Augusta - The Comedy Zone Surrey Tavern - Trivia with Christian and Mickey


Idol Spotlight w/ Fred Williams - Maude Edenfield Park, North Augusta June 6 DJ Stoney , DJ Freeman - Sky City June 6 Eryn Eubanks and The Family Fold - Augusta Canal Moonlight Music June 7 Michael Stacey - Country Club June 7 Brant Quick - Joe’s Underground June 7 Reverse Effect - Polo Tavern June 7 Celtic Music w/ Gavin Winship - The Stables at Rose Hill Estate June 7 Playback the Band W. Tutu Dyvine - Surrey Tavern June 7-8 Phil Vaught - Country Club June 8 Granny’s Gin - Joe’s Underground June 8 Cock-Eyed Mary - Polo Tavern June 8 Angie Aparo w/ Will McCranie - Sky City June 8 The Welfare Liners - Stillwater Taproom June 8 Augusta Big Band Aggregate - Candlelight Jazz June 9 Maureed Simpson (Aiken Choral Society) Hopelands Gardens (Aiken) June 10 Keith Gregory - Maude Edenfield Park, North Augusta June 13 Stereotype - Sky City June 13 Dustin Lucas - 100 Laurens June 14 Dallas Duff - Augusta Canal Moonlight Music June 14 Tyler Hammond Band - Country Club June 14 Jam Sandwich - Joe’s Underground June 14 JAR - Polo Tavern June 14 Blair Crimmins and the Hookers - Stillwater Taproom June 14 30MAY2013



10 and Change

Stillwater celebrates a decade and makes changes for the future In June, Stillwater Taproom in downtown Augusta will be doing something almost unheard of in the bar industry these days. On June 6, they will be celebrating their 10-year anniversary and will be marking the occasion with a few new changes. In the past 10 years, Stillwater has become a downtown institution known for its laidback, casual atmosphere and for hosting up-and-coming bluegrass, roots and Americana bands. Some of the bands to play there have gone on to outgrow “the little stage that could,� as it is sometimes called by owners Matt Flynn and Barry Blackston. Stillwater can boast acts like The Avett Brothers, The Devil Makes Three, Sons of Ralph (featuring the children of bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley) and Steep Canyon Rangers, who have all played there over the years. This year, the bar will continue to bring the community the same great entertainment and maintain the ambience that has made it so popular with the locals, but will be making a few tweaks and changes to keep it relevant, Flynn said. With those changes, the bar will be going smoke-free on June 1. “With the 10-year anniversary, my partner Barry and I were talking, and we thought it was time to shake things up a little bit and do some things to stay relevant in the bar world,� Flynn said. “We’re going non-smoking, which I anticipate the [AugustaRichmond] commission will probably be instituting at some point over the next year or so anyway. We’re just being a little proactive in kick starting that and getting people used to it — It is a big move.� Flynn anticipates that initially some people will complain about the change but thinks overall it will be a good thing and he hopes that it will bring out more people who wouldn’t normally come because of the smoke. Time will tell, he said. Another change coming up is the addition of a “Pub Quiz� night on Wednesdays that will be hosted by Colin Blacker and Jeff Kennedy from Helga’s. “It’s something we’ve talked about in the past and kind of debated doing,� Flynn explained, “it’s not really our thing, our feel — but trivia is fun, it’s popular and people enjoy it.� During the past 10 years Stillwater has evolved to meet the ever-changing demands of the downtown community. They have always had a top-notch beer selection, but in recent months have started rotating out the beers on draft, and now have 18 rotating craft beers on tap, as well as a fine selection of beers in cans and bottles that also change on a regular basis. Looking forward into the future Flynn said they want to concentrate on bringing in more local bands. “There’s a lot of people that want to play here,� Flynn said. Stillwater will be hosting its anniversary party on Thursday, June 6, to celebrate its 10 years of business. There will be drink specials all night and music by Josh Pierce.



(706) 305-3900

Ă&#x20AC;VKZLQGRZFOHDQLQJFRP Locally Owned & Operated




Michael Johnson

Linda Leo, Megan Brewington, Rachel Adamick and Nia Burns at the Soul Bar.


Rebekah Madebach, Whitney Tomberlin, Bryan Morton and Sarah Madebach at Stillwater Taproom.

Andrew and Laney Mize with Stevie and Chris Redmond at Whiskey Bar (Kitchen).


Shaely and Chris Williams with Leigh Bearden and James Van Buren at Stillwater Taproom.

Representative Ben Harbin with The Whiskey Gentry’s Lauren Staley and Hope Harbin at the Banjo-B-Que at Evans Towne Center Park.


Catlie Kristy, Kathryn Parton, Perrin Gibson and Stephanie Springfield at the Country Club.

Seven Handle Circus’ Richard Burroughs, Choppy and Jackie Woodward and Shawn Spencer at the Banjo-B-Que at Evans Towne Center Park.

Caroline Carnahan, Stephen Bledsoe and Caroline Mickley at the Banjo-B-Que at Evans Towne Center Park.

Michael Johnson

Russ and Shelly Martin with JJ and Bobby Morrison at the Banjo-B-Que at Evans Towne Center Park

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Vin Diesel speed past some stiff competition.






































“Fast & Furious 6”


If you’re into that sort of thing, it’s exactly what you want “Fast & Furious 6,” the latest theatrical-releaselength ’90s hip-hop video from director Justin Lin, is exactly the movie you’re expecting underneath that title. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a triple bacon cheddar burger, except gloriously caloriefree — a fever-circus that tingles your eyeballs and then evaporates like midday rain. There will be no persuading you that this is worthwhile if you’re not already of a mind to watch crazy-ass stunts performed at high speeds on crowded, cloistered streets. That’s fine. Fast, furious sequels may not be your bag. You may prefer hushed drawing-room dramas in which dowagers with floating chins recite lines that contain more than one meaning. The rest of us will continue being drowned out by explosion noises during our “What the — !?” outbursts as tanks drive over oncoming cars and when pro wrestlers leap from London overpasses onto speeding custom-built armored Formula One roadsters while… whatever, you get the idea: There is no idea, only mayhem. The running time, at 130 minutes, may seem long for a live-action rendition of Pixar’s “Cars,” but surely Vin Diesel’s diction alone — like the sound of tectonic plates scraping, delivered at half that speed — adds a quarter-hour to the film. He’s back as Dom, a crook with a heart of chrome, newly retired with his cronies and family in the Canary Islands and scattered elsewheres, avoiding

extradition and blowing the wads of cash they heisted from Brazil in the previous film. In Europe, a villain named Shaw (Luke Evans doing his sinister railroad baron impression) is ripping off some dangerous military doodads. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who has some U.S. government job that allows him to do everything whenever he wants, sizes up the threat and enlists Dom’s crew to nab Shaw, in exchange for a promise of full pardons. He also shows Dom fresh pictures of his one-time lady, Letty, played by Michelle Rodriguez, thought to be dead since the fourth “Fast.” Turns out she was just hurt! And she lost her memory! And now she’s working for Shaw! And so Dom has to save the world along with his lady! So, yes, this series has turned into a soap opera for engine-revving bros. Meanwhile its opening-credits montage of highlights from the previous five “Fast” movies gives it the look of this week’s episode of an old-fashioned action serial, a la “The A-Team.” It may’ve taken a half-dozen installments, but the

“Fast” series has finally morphed into junk TV for all tastes. Stick around past the end, through the safety warning (hahahahaha) and get a load of the coda that promises a seventh “Fast” (due out in 2014). What lies beyond? Only more furious fastness fastly furying into the horizon, filmed from a helicopter, interspersed with low-angle shots of women in bikinis, sprinkled with wisecracks, peppered with gunfire and police chases, punctuated by at least two ludicrously dangerous urban street races, populated by rappers and models — in all, an offshore tax haven for the rational side of your brain. By now it’s all a blur, albeit one made of six smaller blurs.



“After Earth,” rated PG-13, starring Will Smith, Jaden Smith. A crash landing forces a man and his son to try and survive on Earth, a thousand years after it became uninhabitable for humans. This movie is interesting, not only because real-life father and son Will and Jaden Smith play the main roles in the movie, but also because it’s directed by M. Night Shyamalan, who hasn’t really directed a good movie since “The Sixth Sense.”

“The East,” rated PG-13, starring Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgard, Jason Ritter, Julia Ormand, Ellen Page. A private intelligence firm operative infiltrating an anarchist group that attacks major corporations sounds vaguely like movies we’ve seen before. But the leader of said anarchists is Alexander Skarsgard of “True Blood” (yay!) and Ellen Page is in a movie (double yay!).



“Now You See Me,” rated PG-13, starring Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Michael Caine, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson. Now that’s an impressive cast, especially for a movie about a team of illusionists who also rob banks. Practical magic, indeed!


“The Kings of Summer,” rated R, starring Nick Offerman, Allison Brie, Moises Arias, Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso. We wonder if these runaway boys will get in as much trouble as the “Stand by Me” guys did. But we’re also happy to see Ron Swanson in a movie. 30MAY2013



People wonder why our town is a failure when it comes to attracting and retaining qualified leaders. One possibility is that Augusta seems to produce and retain the most obtuse thinkers around. This is evidenced by our Board of Education and County Commission. Blind adherence to rules is a hallmark of our BOE and all of our supposed leaders. There is not much room for creative thinking in Augusta Georgia just look around. The zeitgest of this town is one of mediocrity, laziness and a dearth of independent thought. No wonder fundamentalism flourishes here. The people are too dense or too lazy to stand up to it. The answer to the fiasco in Columbia County politics is simple. Whittle for Sheriff; he has an outstanding record of County support. Ford Vs Kernaghan- Ford has been nonproductive for four plus years now. Throw her out! Bumbling Tom Mercer - let him play tag in the halls of the County Complex. (Get rid of) Joey Brush. And finally Cross - keep the heat turned up, and if he fails to resign before his term is up, (vote him out next time.) If I were Austin Rhodes or Phil Kent, I don’t think I’d go for a jet plane ride with Robin Williams! I’ve recently heard the big splash about the Main Street board



Have something you want to get off your chest? Send your whines to whineline@themetrospirit. com. If you do so by noon on Friday, you might just see it in the next Thursday’s issue. Oh, and whines may be edited for content but will pretty much be printed exactly as you type them.

choosing to go a group in Columbia, SC to help advertise the wonderful reasons why people should of course come downtown. Well if they actually put some thought into it, why not pick an advertising group from Augusta? Why not put the city money back into a local business...who is Columbia to say what Augusta needs? Well, welcome to a dog and pony show. The top dollar will get you the top dog, so is thought. The fact is that everyone including local advertising firms would probably all work together for a lower price to help Augusta (for the sake of Augusta). They are our officials, and there goes our funds. Who cares what Tammy Strange says or does? She isn’t very newsworthy. The saying ‘You can’t fight City Hall’ is a rumor started by City Hall. Regarding the found SPLOST: What happened to the monthly reports and quarterly meeting that Public Works & Finance used to put together that included the Commission? There used to be a program in place that worked and kept everyone informed. Sounds like no one is minding the store anymore. To the county commission: I have had my office downtown for 8 years and I have had enough of the crime coming from the Richmond Summit. I am moving to Evans where there is no Richmond Summit to deal with. Bye Bye! We are now treated to the Nanny State making sure we wear our seat belts - isn’t it sweet? And for the naughty, we have tickets- for our own good. Given by cops, who not only drive like cops (not a compliment), but also don’t wear seat belts because they don’t have to.

To Marion Williams regarding your comments on drag racing. You said everybody loves drag racing, young and old, black and white, rich and poor and that is not true. I think drag racing is dangerous and foolish. You have been inhaling too many gas fumes. I was at a Green Jackets game the other night and they did an opening pitch for Tony Powers. I can tell you there are only two radio announcers that ever came through Augusta and made their mark and that was Buddy Carr and Tony Powers. You can print this or not – it’s free.





School’s out!


Can all the graduation ceremonies be done with already?



The Metro Spirit is a free weekly newspaper that serves readers in the Augusta and North Augusta area. Editorial coverage includes Richmond...


The Metro Spirit is a free weekly newspaper that serves readers in the Augusta and North Augusta area. Editorial coverage includes Richmond...