TM Spring 2020

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Spring 2020 $3.95





All the Spring Season has to offer beyond the ROSE SHOW FESTIVAL

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M AGA Z I N E The first and finest in the Red Hills Region


John D. “Jack” Kelly | March 15, 1931 - July 8, 2015

“He spent his life giving back to the community he loved!” A bank’s success is never an idea alone. Thomasville National Bank’s success lies in our community of customers, in their character, in their loyal response. They value trust: the handshake agreement. They are proud of Thomasville: its families, traditions, and prosperity.


Karen “KK” Snyder|

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lauren Vann | Adele Creative Marketing & Design


ADVERTISING SALES Christy Layfield | Wendy Montgomery

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lindsay Field Penticuff | Sarah D. Shearer Jacqueline Knight | Stephanie Rice Tiffany Evitts | June White | Bunny Byrne This is what banking should be. For you. About you.






PHOTOGRAPHY Todd Stone | Tiffany Evitts Broad Street Media | Glenn Whittington Bri Whigham, Whigam Images


Compassionate Farming From the Big Apple to the deep South, owners of Schmoe Farms promote pasture raised products. By Lindsay Field Penticuff





The Browns, owners of Jonah’s Fish & Grits, reached out for help in making some special family additions.

Local women stay strong with a boxing program designed with them in mind.

The Thomasville Police Department announced Officer Haley Jensen as its first female K9 officer.

Birdsong Nature Center gears up for its top fundraiser of the year, the Old-Timey Plant Sale.





After a 20-year relationship, Archbold bids a fond farewell to retiring CEO Perry Mustian.

Resolutions aren’t just for January 1. You can resolve to live a healthier lifestyle any day of the year!








Pebble Hill Plantation invites the public to view a special exhibition of works collected by Parker B. Poe.

Strawberry fields forever... These scrumptious dishes will have you flocking to the fields to pick your own berries and get cooking!



HELLO, SPRING! EDITORIAL INFORMATION Thomasville Magazine is published four times each year. Subscription rates are $15 for one year.

SUBSCRIPTIONS Checks may be mailed to: Thomasville Magazine 15125 US Hwy 19 S Box #375 Thomasville, GA 31792 Be sure to specify your delivery address when submitting a check.

SOCIAL You can follow us online on our social media accounts @ThomasvilleMagazine.

Throw open the windows…spring has sprung! Well…almost. We can’t help but be giddy about the prospect of another spring season in the South, where mild temps allow us to get outside, start gardens and break out the flip flops much sooner than our counterparts in colder climates. Around Thomasville, the last 99 springs have also signaled the celebration of that bounteous bloom for which this fair town is nicknamed. Coming the third weekend in April, the 99th Annual Thomasville Rose Show and Festival will once again bring together scores of locals and visitors alike to celebrate this cherished blossom with flower shows, parades, concerts and other events. We can’t wait! Also a much anticipated spring event on April 18 is Due South, a grassroots, family-friendly music, art and food festival showcasing Americana through featured singer-songwriters, musicians and artists. And those among us who can’t wait to get out in the yard and get our hands dirty know that March 21 brings the annual OldTimey Plant Sale, benefitting Birdsong Nature Center. So, mark those calendars, hose the pollen off everything and sit back and enjoy this issue of Thomasville Magazine, celebrating these fine events and all the good there is to be found in Georgia’s Rose City. Best,


Karen (KK) Snyder



EDITOR’S CHOICE Clockwise from top: the season’s bounty of strawberries yields desserts sure to please; a work of art from Pebble Hill’s current exhibition; free-range eggs from Schmoe Farms; the Rose Show Festival Parade; previous page: the Old-Timey Plant Sale at Birdsong Nature Center



From bestselling authors to state associations to small businesses, our clients trust us to communicate with local audiences. We regularly achieve engagement levels up to 90% higher than the average for them. Call us to see what we can do for you. 229.200.6684 | WWW.ADELECREATIVE.COM Follow new projects, reviews and more on our Facebook & Instagram pages

229.224.9901 sonja_clark Sonja Clark

Pictured: Farmers Drew and Christian Schmoe with their dog, Bear


Compassionate Farming AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

Christian and Drew Schmoe are proud of the high-quality, flavorful animals they are raising on their family farm.



hile still in his late 20s, Christian Schmoe started to deal with medical issues he didn’t think someone his age should have to worry about—he had gained a lot of weight and was dealing with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He was living in Queens, New York—a place he had always wanted to live—with his partner, Drew Schmoe. Christian was working in Manhattan, New

York, in facilities for a major public relations firm. And while he enjoyed his job, he soon learned his quality of life just wasn’t ideal for a healthy lifestyle. “We were living the city fantasy,” Christian recalls, “but it wasn’t healthy for us. And, I didn’t understand that the quality of food I was eating was horrible for me. I wasn’t being a conscious consumer.” Christian and Drew began looking into how the quality of meat and produce a person eats can impact their health, both in the short- and long-



Chickens at Schmoe Farm are raised in pasture after they are two weeks old. Christian and Drew have built hoop coops that help protect them from dangerous wildlife. The coops are moved every day to fresh grass, so the chickens’ diet is diversified.

term. They started learning about how beneficial pasture-raised meats are for a person’s health. “We learned about the difference in food, such as organic, non-organic, chickens raised in a factory and those raised in a pasture,” Christian explains. “We learned about the nutritional difference and nutrient-dense foods and which foods are lacking in nutrition, especially those from animals raised through the means of industrial agriculture.” Through their health journey, Christian and Drew discovered sustainable agriculture, in which farming practices are intended to protect the environment, expand the earth’s natural resource base and maintain and improve soil fertility, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). For years they worked on a plan to start their own farm. And while they may have been living in the Big Apple at the time, farming wasn’t unfamiliar

Pictured: the free-range style of farming used means pigs can be raised without using antibiotics and hormones.

for them, specifically Christian. His grandparents had owned and operated a farm since the early 1950s—Blackwater Farms, just outside of Quitman, Georgia―and Christian loved visiting it as a child. “We learned about this type of farming by reading books and watching YouTube videos,” Christian says. “We didn’t have any mentors who have shown us how to do this. However, we have visited other farms that raise animals the way we do successfully, and they all have been very generous with their expertise.” Drew admits it was really hard. “We had to find our way in the darkness. Starting a small farm in this day and age, and especially here, is tough. It sometimes seems easier to be an astronaut.” They originally established Schmoe Farm in

Greenville, Florida, about 20 miles south of Blackwater Farms. The couple farmed on a property there while Christian was working with a cattle operation. In 2017, they relocated their farm to 1,043 acres within Blackwater Farms. “We are very small, but we have a ton of space to grow into,” said Christian. Their current focus at Schmoe is forest-raised pork, pasture-raised chickens and pasture-raised eggs. “Right now, we have a few dozen pigs, but in the late spring we get a lot of feeder pigs, then grow them and sell those,” Christian says. “We are trying to install a farrow-to-finish program. A lot of our pigs are grown here, but I want 100 percent of them

Schmoe Farm’s pigs are raised in two- to three-acre paddocks that can be moved

easily. They eat acorns, leaves and plants,

having an unlimited, free-range buffet their entire lives.


to be born here, too. It’ll just take a while.” “Was this a happy bird?” Christian explains that their chickens are raised differently than those in factories, which have their beaks cut off shortly after birth, are confined to small cages and eat food off a feeding belt that runs by the chicken’s cage around the clock. “Factory chickens never see the sun and you have to imagine an animal like that is not happy,” he adds. “What I do for kids who ask me this question is I ask them, ‘Is the meat that you’re eating happy or sad meat?’ It sounds so silly but bringing it down to a child-like understanding helps open up everything else, without even talking about climate, nutrition or science. If the answer is ‘no,’ it was more than likely raised in a system that contributes to decay. If the answer is ‘yes,’ it was pastured or free range.” Chickens at Schmoe Farm are raised in pasture after they are two weeks old. Christian and Drew have built hoop coops that help protect them from dangerous wildlife. The coops are moved every day to fresh grass, so the chickens’ diet is diversified. “These chickens eat salad every day,” Drew says. “It becomes you are what you eat eats.’” The pigs are raised in two- to three-acre paddocks that can also be moved easily. They eat acorns, leaves and plants, having an unlimited, free-range buffet their entire lives. “Because of that, we don’t have to pump them with antibiotics and hormones, which are the things that keep them alive artificially like when they are raised in a factory setting,” Christian says. “As a result, you get great flavor out of the meat and humane treatment. It’s really beautiful.” Drew and Christian like to describe this type of farming as “healing agriculture,” and Drew adds that they like to call their produce “joyful food,” because it’s so delicious and comes from a place of happiness for the farmers. “From a home cook’s perspective, I love working with pasture-raised meats. They have so much more flavor and texture,” he says. “It’s clean meat and I never have to worry about what could be in it. And, knowing that the animal led a natural life that benefited from the environment is healthier for us makes it even better.” They do not have a butcher on site at this time, so the animals are taken to USDA-inspected butchers in

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Tifton and Climax. Education is key “It’s amazing how there’s little-to-no access to these kinds of foods for hundreds of miles, and people don’t seem to understand the benefits of pasture-raised meat,” Christian says. “We are at the very beginning of this type of movement down here, and there’s so much education that goes into it.” When possible, they educate consumers about their farm and the healthy aspects of consuming pastureraised products. They do this by sharing posts on social media and posting videos on YouTube, and their efforts are gaining attention. Schmoe Farms was just named Agribusiness of the Year by the Quitman Brooks County Chamber of Commerce. There’s a quote from theologian Albert Schweitzer that the couple often refers to as their mantra; “Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man himself will not find peace.” “This quote is what started this whole thing for us,” Drew adds. “Not to sound too cheesy, but it just really hit hard. If you’re compassionate to these creatures, you can create a better local economy, better flavor and better treatment of animals.” And they’ve seen a change in their own health as a result of eating pasture-raised meats and organic produce. “In the city, I was having to take a vitamin D supplement and was prescribed high blood pressure medication,” Christian says. “I was just 28. Here, just a couple of years later, my blood pressure is perfect, my cholesterol is great, and I’ve lost like 30 pounds. I don’t work out; we just eat differently.” “And not only are we physically healthier, but we feel like it’s given us so much peace to know that Schmoe Farm is part of a system of regeneration of humanity and compassion,” Drew adds. “That’s why we call it compassionate farming instead of humane farming. Compassion is more of a human feeling.” Where to buy and what to order To sell their meats, Schmoe Farm has partnered with Wild Carrot Farm, which grows organic vegetables. They stock a shop in the back of Relish in downtown Thomasville, and customers can come in to purchase their meats. They also offer a delivery service, ship products, or customers can pick up their orders at designated spots throughout the county. Details are on the website at

“FROM A HOME COOK’S PERSPECTIVE, I LOVE WORKING WITH PASTURE-RAISED MEATS. THEY HAVE SO MUCH MORE FLAVOR AND TEXTURE.” - DREW SCHMOE The chickens are sold whole, but the pork is butchered and sold in a variety of cuts, including bacon, pork chops, sausage, fresh or smoked hocks and ground pork. “The flavor is incomparable,” Christian adds. “People tell me they’ve never had chicken before until they’ve had our chicken. It melts in your mouth.” TM

About Schmoe Farm Website: Facebook: @schmoefarm Instagram: schmoefarm Email:


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aleb and Lauren Brown know a thing or two about the pursuit of a dream and the cost to attain it. This kind and genuine couple is nearly iconic in Thomasville. Without their determination and creative passion, there would be no such thing as the popular

eatery Jonah’s Fish and Grits. They embarked on the journey of opening the restaurant that would become a downtown staple in 2008, but their greatest adventure was not to take place for another four years. After diving headlong into the demanding 19 THOMASVILLEMAGAZINE.COM | SPRING 2020

nature of business ownership, they were beginning babies, so they made an appointment, unaware to see their aspirations realized. Jonah’s was doing of the strenuous process before them. well, but the hours were long and the days longer. As they completed countless forms and turned They had been talking about children for a while, in a seemingly endless stack of paperwork, their but was this really the time to think about starting excitement and nervousness heightened. While a family? waiting for their baby boy to arrive, the Browns It was indeed. experienced a whole new For medical reasons, The Browns believe adoption walk of faith. They waded the Browns knew their through weeks and months family dreams would of uncertainty about the requires intentionality, most likely be realized baby’s health and at one through non-traditional endurance, patience and, most point were very concerned fashion, and so they he might be born with began to pray for clarity serious complications. It was importantly, trust. about what God had during this time they had in store for them. to surrender and trust that They almost immediately decided to adopt. things were moving toward the greater good. “We wanted to have a family, and kids needed In March 2013, David—meaning beloved— families,” Caleb recalls. They had success in the arrived in the world, and the Brown’s lives form of a booming business, but there was still a were never the same again. They experienced void they were hopeful a child could fill. unparalleled joy in bringing their son home In early 2012, they heard through the and making him part of the family. But even as Thomasville grapevine that the locally-based An their hearts swelled, Lauren knew her flood of Open Door Adoption Agency needed families for emotions existed simultaneously with those of 20 THOMASVILLEMAGAZINE.COM | SPRING 2 020

A MOTHER’S VIEW David is smart and quiet and academic, a perfect balance to his sister’s wild, imaginative and carefree personality, says Lauren Brown, who observes how well they complement each other and offer strength where the other is weak, just as any good sibling pair does.



David’s birthmother, sacrificing her role as a mother to give her baby the home and family life she couldn’t provide. While the process of becoming a mother through natural means can be compared in many ways to an adoptive mother’s waiting period, Lauren says nothing prepares you for the feeling of leaving a birthmother weeping uncontrollably in the hospital, walking away with what was once hers and has now become yours. Caleb and Lauren quickly settled into their life as a family of three, busy with a baby boy and a thriving restaurant. Things had not slowed down for them when they were surprised by a phone call when David was 15 months old. Jane Gilbert, director of domestic adoptions at An Open Door, had a wild proposition for them. The Browns had called the agency the week before to announce they were ready to begin the adoption process for a second child, figuring the process would take at least a year, as it had with David. But Jane’s proposition to them didn’t quite fit that timeline. Instead, she called to ask if they might be open to adopting a baby girl with the same skin color as David’s. The specification was important to the expectant mother, and when she made the request, Jane immediately thought of the Browns. The catch? The baby was due in a couple months. They were taken aback, and the questions immediately surfaced again. Are we equipped for this right now? Can we afford it so soon? Is this the right time for us? Through another leap of faith, six weeks later, they brought their daughter Abigail—meaning Father’s delight—home, convinced more than ever of God’s hand in creating their family of four through the miracle of adoption. Today, Jonah’s Fish & Grits is in its twelfth year, and David and Abigail are six and five, respectively, thriving in first grade and junior kindergarten at Brookwood, Caleb’s alma mater. The Browns are excited about the future of their 23 THOMASVILLEMAGAZINE.COM | SPRING 2020

FAMILY MOMENTS restaurant but more excited about the future of their family. David is smart and quiet and academic, a perfect balance to his sister’s wild, imaginative and carefree personality, says Lauren, who observes how well they complement each other and offer strength where the other is weak, just as any good sibling pair does. They are not twins, as many people ask, nor do they share the same birth mother, but they share the most important thing: they are infinitely and totally loved and adored by two ordinary people who said yes to adoption, yes to uncertainty and yes to family. Caleb and Lauren believe that while adoption is most certainly a miracle and a divinely given gift, it isn’t reserved for anyone special. Stars don’t magically align making the road easy and predictable, and there is no writing on the wall telling you exactly what to do and how to do it. It requires intentionality, endurance, patience and, most importantly, trust that there is a bigger force at work. Jonah, the hero of the Bible story, is a man through whom God chose to display his unconditional love by pursuing him relentlessly. Even as Jonah ran from the purpose for his life, God provided in the form of a whale to protect him from calamity and usher him into his destiny. “I have gone my own way many times,” Caleb says, “God has provided certain whales to bring me back to the destiny track He has me on.” Since 1987, Thomasville’s An Open Door Adoption Agency, Inc. has placed over 2,300 children, including more than 1,400 children from Georgia and more than 900 international orphans. Families interested in finding out more about adoption can contact An Open Door Adoption Agency at 229-228-6339. TM






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s each New Year approaches, our brains begin to swirl around a never ending list of resolutions that we hope will improve our lives, deliver stress-free relationships, give us more “me time” and banish that pesky belly tire or provide a little more energy for life.

Regrettably, by the end of January, more than 30 percent of us have lost focus when it comes to our resolutions, especially the ones about our health. What happened? According to Certified Professional Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist Rick Sherrell, 27 THOMASVILLEMAGAZINE.COM | SPRING 2020

For more information on the Fight Like A Girl program, boxing programs, functional fitness or corrective exercises, visit or email

in order to live longer, be stronger and age gracefully into a quality lifestyle that is healthy, vibrant and fit, we need to shift our focus from diet and exercise to a “fitness for life” mentality. “Lifestyle choices last longer than fads,” says Sherrell, whose philosophy is this—Your motivation shouldn’t be to lose 50 pounds overnight. The goal is to form a lifetime habit of fitness and well-being. With that in mind, Sherrell suggests seeking unique and sustainable fitness programs compatible with how you live and that support the things that you want to do. One of his most successful workouts marries functional movement and corrective exercises with old school, boxinginspired techniques to create what he calls Fight Like a Girl Workouts for Women. “If you’re going to stay fit, you need to do it for the rest of your life. A great trainer will lay a healthy foundation for your long-term needs. 28


That may take years, not weeks or months,” he says. “If you’re going to do something for the rest of your life, you have to enjoy it. Every time a woman is introduced to boxing, she lights up.” Functional movement training mimics actions and activities routinely performed in everyday life. It strengthens specific parts of the body, making you less prone to injury. “Leg extensions and bench presses are good exercises but not functional. Squats are functional. You might use a squatting motion several dozen times a day. And flipping a 130-pound tractor tire may look impressive, but it’s also very functional,” he says. “Especially when you have to move a large piece of furniture by yourself.” So, how effective are functional workouts? We asked André Marria, Kay Davis, Autumn Griffin and Rickela Reynolds what they think about their customized fitness programs.

Andre Hadley Marria

TRAINING 2 years FITNESS REASON Long distance hiking with her husband, Walter. Avoid any future surgeries. FUNCTIONAL GOAL Increased mobility; increased range of motion; stamina

CEO, Marria Counseling, Coaching and Consulting Services Impressed by Rick while observing a corrective exercise session at her chiropractor’s office, Andre knew right then she wanted to work with him. Training three days a week has not only improved her balance and hand-eye coordination, but the boxing routines take her back to a time when, as a young girl, she would spar with one of her relatives. Motivation is a key reason for long-term success in a fitness program. “It’s a tough workout, but it inspires you to go further than you think you can. It’s hard to get that kind of motivation just from yourself, but a good program does that for you.”

Kay Davis

TRAINING 2 years FITNESS REASON Hunter/jumper horse training at First Flight Farms FUNCTIONAL GOAL Prevent back flare-ups; build a stronger core for riding posture; improve balance; increase upper body strength

Owner, Rose City Realty While searching for a fitness program to help increase her strength for hunter/jumper training, Kay didn’t want the typical health club environment. Her busy lifestyle and work hours made flexible scheduling a key issue for her. “I needed something that fit with how I live and gives me what I need to accomplish my goals in life.” As a result, Kay is stronger than she’s ever been and boasts a higher quality of living since she started working out. She regularly places in the top three against hunter/jumper competitors who are typically 30 years younger in age. She can also flip a 130-pound tractor tire like a pancake. “These workouts push you to do things that you never thought you’d be able to do.”


TRAINING 6 years FITNESS REASON Age gracefully and avoid a legacy of illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity; maintain a healthy weight FUNCTIONAL GOAL Strength, energy and stamina for work

Rickela Reynolds

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CEO, R3 Filmette Cinematics As a young girl, Rickela was always the chubby one. So, as an adult, working out became strategic for her to avoid deadly health issues that run in her family. And now that her business is off and running, being fit is even more important for carrying cameras, setting up equipment and enduring long days of filming. “I get energy from working out. It helps my brain creatively to de-clutter, and I feel fresh when I get back to work.” Challenged by the variety of workouts, “It’s not always the same thing over and over. I like the diversity.” Rickela’s favorite thing about boxing? “I’ve always been into games like Whack-aMole. That’s what hitting the mitts feels like to me; keeping rhythm and keeping up with a target.”

TRAINING 4 1/2 years FITNESS REASON To be ready for the Zombie Apocalypse―run faster, jump higher and be stronger than the guy running for his life behind her. FUNCTIONAL GOAL Stronger, healthier heart; relaxation; de-stress

Autumn Griffin

Pricing Specialist, Flowers Foods Saddled with ADHD on top of other ailments, by her late teens Autumn’s doctors had already forecast she would be dead before she was 21. Diagnosed with a litany of heart conditions, Autumn knew she had little hope. Today, Autumn is truly living her best life, and working out is literally her lifeline. Hitting the gym four to five days a week has not only made her heart stronger and healthier than ever but has helped her focus mentally. “It’s fun! But it also relieves my stress and keeps my heart rate up and beating evenly. It’s a great way to punch out the day’s frustrations.” An increase in her physical stamina has allowed her to take on a much needed second job. “I even sleep better at night.”

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Pictured: K-9 Unit Kaiko with her handler, Officer Haley Jensen

Man’s Woman’s Best Friend A constant companion, Dutch shepherd “Kaiko” becomes an invaluable part of the Thomasville Police Department. STORY AND PHOTOS BY TIFFANY EVITTS


Officer Haley Jensen was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida but moved to Thomasville at 18. Always an animal lover, she’s had pets throughout her entire life, including her childhood dogs―a Chihuahua named Belle and a Lab mix whom she called Rip. Gracie, whom she has had for about four years now, was huddled in a ditch by herself when Jensen found her. She knew right away that not only

was she going to rescue her, but that she would be keeping her. This lifelong love of dogs combined with a strong family history in law enforcement would eventually lead to her becoming the first female K-9 officer in the Thomasville Police Department. Jensen realized that she wanted to become a police officer in the spring of 2017, while attending Southern Regional Technical College to earn an associate degree in criminal justice. Originally, she wanted to go to law school, but after a few police

ride-alongs, she was hooked. She really enjoyed the patrol aspect of the job, where every day brought something different. “You get to see a lot of people, and you get to help them in their darkest moments, and I like helping people,” says Jensen, hired by the Thomasville Police Department in December 2017. She proceeded to the training academy in Tifton and graduated in spring 2018. After starting work at TPD and observing the K-9 officers with their dogs, she knew she wanted to become certified and work with her own K-9. On her mother’s side of the family, Jensen has several relatives in law enforcement, including two uncles at the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, who have worked in homicide, SWAT, property crime, narcotics and patrol. When she made the announcement to her family about her decision to become a police officer, they were very supportive. Naturally her mom was worried, though, since her 20 years in the criminal justice system as a county clerk made her acutely aware of what her daughter would

be up against every day. She has become a little more comfortable with it over the past few years, but as a mother, that feeling will always be there. There are three K-9 officers in the Thomasville Police Department, and Jensen is the first and only female there certified as a K-9 handler. She’s proud to be in that position since it helps encourage other women to think about a career in law enforcement, particularly as K-9 officers. She believes female officers are often underestimated by some people even though they undergo the same training and face the same conditions in the field that men do. “When you get on the road and go out to situations, as a female patrol officer you are going to have suspects and people on the road who try you just because you are a female and they think that you can’t handle yourself.” She says the police department is very inclusive and that they have a lot of female officers. “We bring so much. We’re patient and can talk to people in a different kind of way. Sometimes that can lead to a different outcome.” Jensen’s K-9 partner Kaiko is a two-and-a-half-year-

Jensen is the first and only female certified as a K-9

handler in Thomasville’s Police Department.



LOCAL HEROES old Dutch shepherd. While less well-known than the stereotypical German shepherds, Dutch shepherds are a fairly common choice for police dogs, along with the Belgian Malinois. Dutch shepherds have the agility of the Malinois, but with less aggression issues and a fuller body type like the German shepherd, says Jensen. When he’s on the job, Kaiko is all ears, eyes and nose, constantly surveying his surroundings, assessing every person, smell and object. Back at home, though, he’s part of the family. Gracie and Kaiko love to snuggle up on doggie beds and play in the yard together, shares Jensen. Kong dog toys, tug-of-war ropes and stuffed animals are some of his favorite things, though Jensen says the stuffed animals don’t last long. Fittingly, his favorite item is a training tool, the special sleeve that K-9 officers wear while training the dogs to properly engage a threatening suspect. Jensen feels safer with Kaiko on patrol with her. Sometimes people even come up to her for a friendly chat just because of their interest in him. “It’s like having another officer there. Kaiko is very situationally aware. He will see or hear things before I even see or hear them. He can hear people approaching my car from far away and will alert me to that.” Kaiko has already been instrumental in many situations on the job, such as tracking someone who broke into a car and apprehending a robbery suspect who was inside a residence. Training for potential police dogs is typically four to six weeks just with the dog, then another one to four months working together with their assigned police officer. If either the dog or the handler is new to it, the training period may take longer than if one of them already has experience. The training for both humans and dogs is done in Mississippi

Pictured: Kaiko is a two-and-a-half-year-old Dutch shepherd. While less well-known than the stereotypical German shepherds, Dutch shepherds are a fairly common choice for police dogs, along with the Belgian Malinois.



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229.236.1522 Venice Causey Your Local Agent 107 N CRAWFORD ST THOMASVILLE, GA 31792 VCAUSEY@FARMERSAGENT.COM Advertisement produced on behalf of the following specific insurers and seeking to obtain business for insurance underwritten by Farmers Insurance Exchange, Fire Insurance Exchange, Truck Insurance Exchange, Mid-Century Insurance Company, Civic Property and Casualty Company, Exact Property and Casualty Company, Neighborhood Property and Casualty Company, and their a liates. In Texas, insurance is underwritten by Farmers Insurance Exchange, Fire Insurance Exchange, Truck Insurance Exchange, Mid-Century Insurance Company, Texas County Mutual Insurance Company, Mid-Century Insurance Company of Texas, and Texas Farmers Insurance Company. In New York, insurance is underwritten by Farmers Insurance Exchange, Truck Insurance Exchange, Mid-Century Insurance Company, and Farmers New Century Insurance Company, home o ce Los Angeles, California. Life insurance is issued by Farmers New World Life Insurance Company, 3120 139th Ave. SE, Ste. 300, Bellevue, WA 98005. Each insurer has sole fi nancial responsibility for its own insurance products. Visit for a complete list of companies. Not all insurers are authorized to provide insurance in all states. Not all products, coverages, and discounts are available in every state. Restrictions, exclusions, limits, and conditions apply. *In 2011, The University of Farmers® was recognized as the No. 1 training organization in the world by Training magazine’s Training Top 125.


Gift Shop

Expect the Best Gifts and Decorative Accessories 103 South Broad Street Monday - Saturday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM 229-226-5232

through the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA). Both the K-9 officers and the dogs maintain their skills and certification by participating in annual K-9 trials, which also take place in Mississippi. During the trials, they are tested on obedience, agility, suspect searching, suspect apprehension and ability to search for narcotics. The tests include gunfire, as well as their handler being assaulted by a suspect. The K-9 is expected to engage the suspect under specific conditions, such as after two gunshots are fired or after the suspect assaults the handler, whether by a shove, grab or in some other physical manner. Not all dogs who start their police training end up at a police department. Sometimes during the training, they might show they are better suited for something else, like becoming a service dog or learning how to detect vaping in high schools, says Jensen. Kaiko and Jensen had to go through a trial period together to determine if they would bond well enough for him to be assigned to her, which of course they did. As long as Jensen stays with TPD, Kaiko will be her K-9. It’s ideal for a K-9 to be with one officer for most of their career, though sometimes changes are unavoidable. Not every dog and handler who are paired will stay together; it’s all about the level of bonding that develops. When navigating tricky situations out in the field, it’s extremely important that the dog is clear about whom they are supposed to listen to and whom they are protecting. For that reason, they live with their handler to deepen the bond between them even further. The ultimate partnership between human and animal, each must trust the other completely. When Kaiko retires he will get to live with Jensen for the rest of his life, snuggling with Gracie and tearing up toys to his heart’s content after his many years of vital service to the police department, the community—and to his officer. TM

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For info and bookings, contact Kay Cromartie: Iron Rock Studio Metcalfe, GA 229-228-7560 or 229-200-2323

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Birdsong Nature Center

a natural legacy

Story By Gwendolyn Waldorf Photos Courtesy of Birdsong Nature Center




n the 1920s, the American Forestry Association unleashed its “Dixie Crusaders” across the South. They preached the evils of all fire, including the traditional burning used in agricultural practices. Game plantation owners in the Thomasville and Tallahassee area hired Herbert L. Stoddard of the U.S. Biological Survey (now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) to study the resultant decline of the bobwhite quail. The 1931

publication of Stoddard’s The Bobwhite Quail, Its Habits, Preservation, and Increase, included a section on the value of fire in wildlife management. The book is considered a landmark work, and Stoddard has been called the father of modern wildlife management. By the early 1930s there were well over 200 hunting plantations, with an average size of about 10,000 acres, scattered across the Southeast. Stoddard, through the

green thumb

The Old-Timey Plant Sale at Birdsong Nature Center features native trees, shrubs, and perennials especially suited to our area, including many varieties of wild azaleas, and some rare and unusual native plants. Knowledgeable and friendly horticulturists volunteer at the sale to help guests make a selection for their own gardens.


^ Gardeners and plant enthusiasts flock to Birdsong Nature Center, which was created from the 565-acre Birdsong Plantation, purchased by the the Komarek Family in 1938.


Cooperative Quail Study Association, an organization of plantation owners from 1931 to 1943, continued to observe quail and quail management practices. In 1934 he hired E. V. (Ed) Komarek, a biology student at the University of Illinois, to assist him. The Komareks­—Ed, his wife Betty, and his brother Roy—purchased the 565-acre Birdsong Plantation in 1938 from the Dickey family, the ancestors of whom had moved to the area from South Carolina around 1830. It was adjacent to Stoddard’s property, Sherwood Plantation. Seventy-five acres were tillable but most of the rest was overgrown, abandoned fields. Using prescribed burning and minor machinery, the Komareks cleared the land, planting grasses and creating pasture for a livestock farm. They also set aside natural areas for wildlife. Beginning in the 1940s the Komareks developed the habitat diversity still dominant at Birdsong today. Wornout fields were rebuilt through cover crops and rotations, creating the first improved pastures in the area. Two hundred head of cattle grazed the approximately 400 acres of pasture. Groups of farmers visited Birdsong to study both the improved pastures and the cattle operation. The six acres around the house were purposefully landscaped for the maximum attractiveness to a variety

^ Volunteers help guests with their selections, creating a down-home experience that’s an annual highlight for many local residents.


< Lillies and the Cherokee Rose are just some of the native plants prized by enthusiasts of the Old-Timey Plant Sale. of birds, insects and butterflies. Betty Komarek was influenced in her selections by Japanese landscaping ideals of beauty, using natural textures of wood, rock and water. Plants were selected for year-round flowers and berries. Betty’s degree was in education, with highest honors in botany. She taught at Florida State College for Women (now Florida State University) one year, then put her experience and education to practice at Birdsong. Building on her teacher training, combined with insights from their children, Betsy and Eddie, and their friends, Betty developed educational programs for scouts, 4-H clubs, school groups, teachers, scout leaders and garden clubs. People as well as wildlife flocked to the bird feeders and gardens of Birdsong. A double window in the dining area provided a limited view of the lushly landscaped feeder area―previously a barren chicken yard. The large plate-glass ‘bird window’ was added to the house in 1958 to facilitate group viewing. Betty has since designed bird windows for the Tallahassee Junior Museum, Bok Towers (Lake Wales, FL), Tall Timbers Research Station and several private residences. The kitchen and adjacent bird-watching window were the sites of frequent visits and meetings. Scientists and naturalists from around the world, attracted to the South Georgia woods by the pioneering activities in fire experimentation and wildlife management, often stayed at Stoddard’s Sherwood and took their meals Incorporated as a non- Plantation at the Komareks’ Birdsong. The creation of Tall Timbers Research profit in 1986, the Station in 1958 as an experimental station for ecological research and grew from these scientific visits Birdsong Nature Center study and discussions. Research and the fire conferences sponsored by Tall encourages naturalists to Timbers have changed the nation’s thinking about the role of fire in the share their love of nature. environment. Betty began organizing leadership training sessions in 1981 to encourage teachers and naturalists to share their knowledge and love of nature. The participants and other dedicated volunteers expanded the nature study activities offered and Birdsong Nature Center was incorporated as a non-profit in 1986. Through the Komareks’ foresight and generosity, Birdsong will be managed and preserved as a showplace of habitat and wildlife diversity, fostering an appreciation of nature by providing natural history programming for the public.



Start Your Digging by june white


ardeners of the Southern Coastal Plain are like the poor stepchild of the gardening world. We are so often ignored, misinformed or duped by an industry that focuses its attention far north of our Zone 9. Every spring tantalizing catalogs fill mailboxes across the South, showing gorgeous photographs of tulips and daffodils that will not last more than one season in our yards. The garden centers of big box stores are stocked with budding apple and apricot trees that will wither and die in the summer

heat. Lilacs, peonies, raspberries and lily of the valley are just a few of the beloved and storied plants that we cannot grow. But if you will just look close to home, you can find a wealth of plants that thrive in our gardening zone and that would be the envy of our Yankee gardening counterparts—if they only knew. A treasure trove of these reliable and rewarding Southern favorites grow from bulbs, tubers and rhizomes. Here are just a few that will surely bring joy and delight to any South Georgia gardener. Eat your heart out, Connecticut.



CRINUM LILLIES Crinum lillies are known

as “The Queen of Southern Gardens.” Lush, strap shaped foliage grows from huge bulbs in spring and the flowers emerging from tall scapes all summer long are magnificent. There are hundreds of varieties of crinum lilies, from the palest pink ‘Summer Nocturne’ to the rich burgundy ‘Ellen Bosenquet.’ Some flowers are huge and trumpet shaped and others, like ‘The White Queen,’ are graceful and delicate with elegantly recurved petals. Best of all, these plants are trouble free. Once you get the huge bulbs in the ground you can just sit back and enjoy the show.

TUBEROSES Tuberoses are known up north as

florist shop flowers where one blooming stem may cost $10. But we can easily grow these incredibly fragrant flowers. Plant the small bulbs shallow with the tips almost at soil level in the spring. Flowering begins in the hottest midsummer and lasts until fall. The sweet, carrying fragrance of tuberoses will scent up a whole summer night.

AMARYLLIS Another unbelievably easy plant for us is amaryllis. These bulbs are usually sold for forcing for a one-season-only indoor display, never meant to be planted outside where up north they would die in the first winter’s cold. But many varieties of amaryllis thrive in Southern gardens and increase quickly. A gardener in Boston, Georgia is generous to share her peachyorange amaryllis bulbs, and in May you can drive around the neighborhood and spot gorgeous clumps of these flowers in the gardens of her friends.


GINGER Ginger is another plant that cheers up

the late summer doldrums with its fascinating flower forms and sophisticated fragrance. Two easy, reliable gingers are the intricately flowered bottlebrush ginger and the indescribably fragrant white butterfly ginger. These grow from rhizomes planted near the surface and will quickly increase. The tall lush foliage makes a fine garden feature through the early summer before the blooming starts in August.

go native

You can find all these plants and many more for sale at Birdsong Nature Center’s annual OldTimey Plant Sale from 9am to 1pm on March 21. The sale is organized and run by experienced local horticulturists. Many of the plants are their favorites, donated from their own gardens. For more info, visit or call 229-377-4408.


people know the red spidery flowers of the red hurricane lilies that pop up in October (hurricane season.) A rarer and more prized relative is the golden hurricane lily, with bigger flowers on taller, sturdier stems. This is a plant that will stop traffic when its huge glowing yellow flowers emerge from hidden clumps of bulbs in early fall. Most of these plants in Thomas County gardens came originally from an avid Thomasville gardener who saw a row of golden hurricane lilies lining a walkway in Monticello, Florida in the 1920s. She boldly marched up the walk, knocked on the door and asked if she could have a start of them. She shared the bulbs with her daughter-in-law, who has passed them on to the next generations.

getting there FROM THOMASVILLE 319 South, turn right at Shell gas station onto Meridian Road. Birdsong is approximately 5 miles from the Shell or 3.8 miles from the stop sign at Rt. 93, on the left side of the road. FROM TALLAHASSEE Meridian Road north, 4 miles past the FL/GA border (marked by a blue sign on the right for Grady County) OR 319 north, turn left onto Rt. 93, then left onto Meridian Road, 3.8 miles on the left side of the road. Watch for a small sign for Birdsong Nature Center.







Perry Mustian REFLECTS


Field Reports

MUSTIAN REVIEWS EXPANSION PLANS WITH GENERAL SURGEON, DR. EDWARD L. HALL WHILE CONSTRUCTION TAKES PLACE IN THE BACKGROUND. Mustian cuts the ribbon on a new maternity wing with members of Archbold’s healthcare team.


“ACTUALLY, I’VE STARTED A LIST!” Perry Mustian’s excitement is palpable when asked, “What are you looking forward to in retirement?” I’m not sure many hospital presidents could be described as approachable, warm and downright friendly, but Mustian can. Thomasville has enjoyed his leadership for two decades, but that time is coming to a close, and he is as excited about it as you’d expect anyone to be. When you talk to Mustian, you immediately get a sense of his humanity. He is not one of those stiff suits with a cold handshake. Behind his glasses are kind eyes that crinkle at the corners. And when you ask about his interest in healthcare administration, you don’t find someone who fell into it or someone seeking power. The ties are deeper, more personal. You could say he followed in his father’s footsteps: his father was also a hospital administrator and served as CEO of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital for 25 years. “I certainly admired my father and the contributions he made to healthcare,” says Mustian, who considers that background both a driving force and a guiding principle in his own career. “I always viewed my job, as well as other professions in healthcare, as a calling to help others, and that is why I am so passionate about doing the right things for patient care.” That commitment to patient care has always been a hallmark of Archbold Medical Center. As the hospital celebrates its 95th anniversary this year, the legacy of John F. Archbold’s gift of a state-of-the-art hospital in honor of his late father, John D. Archbold, continues to serve the community as one of the leading regional medical centers in the Southeast.

^ Left and Above: Thomasville has enjoyed Mustian’s warm, friendly leadership style for two decades.

^ Mustian remains at the helm until his successor is in place. Executive search firm Gallagher MSA Search is currently seeking a candidate with the skills and scope to lead the organization.

Mustian says one of the greatest challenges of his career was the decision to move forward with the Lewis Hall Singletary Oncology Center, along with the $120 million North Tower project, both undertaken while the recession was deeply affecting the economy in 2008 and 2009. “There were a lot of questions…was it the right time?” says Mustian. “I felt like we needed to move forward, and we did.” Not everyone was as enthusiastic about beginning the largest construction project in the history of the community, but that conviction has helped Mustian focus his vision of positioning Archbold as the best destination for healthcare in our region. It was the right thing for patient care. Robotic surgery is another point of pride for Mustian. “We brought robotic surgery in 2011,” he says, and according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the use of robotic surgery for all general surgery procedures rose from 55


Mustian and his wife, Mary, plan to relocate to North Carolina, but with a new granddaughter in Tallahassee, they expect to be back in this area quite a bit.

1.8 percent to 15.1 percent from 2012 to 2018. “A lot more specialties are being trained on robot surgery, so that’s a milestone I’m proud of.” He attributes the hospital’s success at physician recruitment largely to the town itself. “Mary and I, we always felt that Sharon K. Patrick D.M.D. Thomasville would sell itself, if we just got them here,” he says, referencing a belief he shared with Francisco Garcia D.M.D. his wife. 303 W. Hansell Street GENERAL, COSMETIC & ADVANCED DENTISTRY Thomasville was the right thing for Mustian and ERAL, COSMETIC ADVANCED DENTISTRY General, Cosmetic & & Advanced Dentistry his family. Being raised in Tallahassee, Mustian says, Bleaching • Implants •D.M.D. Crowns Sharon K. Patrick Bleaching •• Implants ••Crowns • Bridges Bleaching Implants Crowns • Bridges Sharon K. Patrick D.M.D. “Thomasville was always an attractive destination •Treatments Dentures Treatments DenturesBridges TMJ Treatments •• •TMJ Root Canal Treatments Laura Ridley D.M.D. Dentures ••TMJ Root Canal Treatments because it is such a great place to live and raise a Francisco Garcia D.M.D. M, W, Th, F: 8 AMRoot - 5303 PM Canal Treatments W. Hansell Street family, and it was nice to move closer to my family GENERAL, ADVANCED DENTISTRY General, Cosmetic & & Advanced Dentistry Tuesday: 1 PM -COSMETIC 8 PM members in Tallahassee. We are very thankful to Bleaching •• Implants Bleaching Implants••Crowns Crowns• Bridges • Bridges Dentures ••TMJ TMJ Treatments Treatments Dentures Treatments• •Root RootCanal Canal Treatments have been part of such a wonderful community, to M, W, Th, F: 8 AM - 5 PM 229.227.1447 Tuesday: 1 PM - 8 PM have brought up our daughter in this community.” He and Mary plan to relocate to North Carolina, but with a new granddaughter in Tallahassee, they expect to be back in this area quite a bit. “My mother and brother are also there, so we have a lot of strong ties to the area.” M, W, Th, F: 8 AM - 5 PM Mustian has been at the helm of both John D. Tuesday: 1 PM - 8 PM Archbold Memorial Hospital and Archbold Medical M, W, Th, F: 8 AM - 5 PM 303 W. Hansell Street Center for 12 years, after joining the hospital as vice Tuesday: 1 PM - 8 PM president of network operations two decades ago. 229.227.1447 The timing of his retirement coincides with his 60th 303 W. Hansell Street birthday and has been planned for many years. But Mustian is adamant that the hospital continues its work in capable hands. “It’s extremely important that we find the right individual for the organization and the town,” says

Sharon D.M.D. Sharon K. K. Patrick Patrick D.M.D. Laura Ridley Francisco GarciaD.M.D. D.M.D.






Field Reports

Mustian. “One who fits the culture of the organization. It’s a key decision.” He is clear that he and the rest of the hospital’s leadership are comfortable with the executive search firm Gallagher MSA Search. They are specifically looking for a candidate with the skills and scope to lead the organization. Because Archbold is a relatively large healthcare system in a small town, “We want someone who has a broad skillset and is attuned to the changes taking place in this industry. This is a dynamic industry. We’re moving away from volume toward value and outcomes.” As for Mustian, he’s still at work each day, ensuring the high standards of Archbold are met and advocating for patient care. But he’s made his list for when the time comes and plans to spend more time with his wife and become a better card player. Until then, Mustian remains at the helm until his successor is in place. He knows Thomasville will welcome the new CEO with open arms and hopes Archbold’s tradition of longterm CEOs continues. “This is such a unique community to be part of—the history and the culture.” He assures the residents of Thomasville and the surrounding region will continue to see a robust healthcare system here. And on the eve of the hospital’s 95th anniversary of caring for our community, we think the late John F. Archbold would agree. TM

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Springtime Resolutions BY STEPHANIE RICE


Local Health


Here are some great ways to identify your goals and stay on track with your resolutions: Ask Yourself Why


ave you been able to do it? You know, follow through on your New Year’s resolutions? Most likely the answer to this question, is NO. People tend to drop their New Year’s resolutions within a few weeks. We’ve all seen it, the first week of January the fitness industry is booming with new faces. Slowly but surely, they drop off one by one. February 1 looks almost identical to the rest of the year, except for the few who are still trying to keep their eye on the prize. In all honestly, the New Year is not the best time to start resolutions. January and February are some of the coldest months of the year. No wonder it’s hard to stay motivated! We are frantic trying to get back into the swing of things with work and home life after all the buzz from the holidays. Our sugar meter and cravings are most likely off the charts because of all the holiday indulgences. This stress, along with sugar crashes, can make a person go crazy while trying to follow the perfect diet to reach their New Year’s goals. Really, the best time to start a new you is in the spring! March is a perfect time to assess your resolutions and stick to them. The earth is changing, the season is changing, new life is springing forward and the days are getting warmer and longer. You and your family are back in the swing of things. No crazy holidays coming up, only spring break, and this will get you right on track for feeling awesome during your vacation with the family or putting on that first pair of shorts – yikes!


o matter what your goals are, asking yourself why you’ve chosen it is important when it comes to any of your goals. Whether your goals are fitness related, financial or something entirely different, you must know WHY it is so important to you. This helps you find clarity in your resolutions. “If my intentions arise from a place of quietude and deep listening through my reflective practices—as opposed to a resolution set from a place of fear, frustration or doubt—I trust they are aligned with my highest possibilities.” – Kate Waitzkin, yoga and meditation teacher

Set Smaller Goals


e all make this mistake. When goals are set too high and those expectations aren’t met (because it was unrealistic to begin with), we consider ourselves a failure and quit. Jump over this hurdle by setting smaller, more realistic goals that can be met in a short amount of time. “To help me stay on track, I set small goals that align realistically with my daunting schedule.” – Isaac Calpito, dancer/choreographer

Focus On One Goal a Week


his goes along with setting smaller goals. Write down all the small goals you want to accomplish. For example, eat low carb, work out five days a week, drink more

Local Health

water, save money, meditate for 10 minutes a day, etc. When we look at all those goals at one time it can get very overwhelming and none of them get accomplished. So, pick just one goal a week and focus all your energy into that one goal. By the end of the week, hopefully you have started to create a little bit of a habit. Either stay focused on that one goal or add one more. It’s totally fine to only pick one a week. When you meet it, you will feel a strong sense of accomplishment, making you eager and ready to take on more goals and not give up.

Reward Yourself


reat yourself to something big when you meet your goal(s). I suggest not rewarding yourself with food. If your goal was something fitness related, buy new workout clothes. If your goal was to meditate more, buy a meditation pillow or download a special meditation app you have to pay for. These small yet powerful rewards help keep you motivated and encouraged to keep moving forward.

Unplug from Technology


oes your phone send you “screen time” updates on the weekend? Mine sure does. It is scary how many hours a day we spend looking at our phones and at mindless things like social media. These are hours wasted. Hours we can never get back. Hours we could have been exercising, spending time with family, reading or even sleeping! Need I say more? Put down your phone and get going on your resolutions. 60 THOMASVILLEMAGAZINE.COM | SPRING 2020

“Treat yourself! Small but powerful rewards help keep you motivated and encouraged to keep moving forward.” Meditate More


ne of the reasons why you haven’t been able to keep your goals is likely due to stress. How do we combat stress? More meditation. Even 10 minutes a day of uninterrupted “me time” can make a huge difference in your health and wellness. Meditation does not mean you don’t think about anything—it means you focus on one thing. Try picking one goal and focusing on just that for 10 minutes a day. Spending time meditating can motivate you by creating a better head space to get everything else done.

Create a Good Morning Routine


reating a morning routine sets you up for success on a daily basis. This could consist of gratitude journaling, stretching, meditation, breathing exercises, yoga or walking. Even simple things like waiting 45 minutes to look at any personal devices can get your day off the ground in a positive way. “Starting the day with gratitude can lay the foundation for increased productivity and more positive encounters with others.” - Lisa Jackson, certified health coach STEPHANIE RICE B.S. Exercise Science Jacksonville University ASCM, Certified Personal Trainer ACE, Weight Management Specialist Balanced Body Pilates Instructor MBG Functional Nutrition Specialist Fit Fab Life - Owner

A Cultural Legacy BY SARAH D. SHEARER


nsconced within the walls of the beloved Pebble Hill Plantation lies a new treasure for visitors to discover. Owners Parker and Elisabeth Ireland “Pansy” Poe made their lifelong home at Pebble Hill following his service in World War II and their subsequent marriage. Both held a deep appreciation for art and built expansive—though very different—art collections during their lifetimes. Mrs. Poe’s tastes were more traditional and favored her interests in nature, sport and dogs, while her husband’s were far more eclectic. Parker Poe’s collecting began when he was a young man, first acquiring Toulouse-Lautrec prints while in Paris. His last purchase was in 1990 of an 18th century Chinese export lotus bowl from the estate of Greta Garbo. In between, his collection increased with works that they purchased together as well as pieces he bought for himself. Poe was a true patron of the arts, and his collection is a testament to his appreciation of a diverse array of artistic styles and mediums. On display through April 30, A Cultural Legacy: Selected Works from the Parker B. Poe Collection is a tribute to his philanthropy and dedication to the Thomasville community. The pieces are on loan from The Thomasville Center for the Arts to which Poe bequeathed his collection upon his death in 1991. Those interested in a deep dive into this exhibit should make plans to attend a Saturday morning Coffee

with a Curator event guided by curator Lori Curtis and scheduled for March 21 and April 18. Curtis notes the challenge this project was for the staff at Pebble Hill to arrange in a gallery since Poe had so many different pieces from around the world. They rose to the challenge, however, curating an exhibit that flows seamlessly from room to room, highlighting well-known artists such as Picasso and Peter Brooke, as well as lesser-known painters for whom Poe had a special affinity. Viewers will be inspired by the early, dramatic pieces by French artists and intrigued by Poe’s choices of decorative art from Sweden and Japan. The beauty of the South is on full display in a room of the exhibit designed largely as an homage to artist Richard Bishop, replete with pieces of wildlife, Southern landscapes and antique decoys. An art collection can indeed say much about a man, and if Poe’s array speaks to his character at all, it most certainly points to a well-traveled man who was not boxed into any particular style, but rather could appreciate the work of the dark and mysterious Graham Sutherland, the joy and mirth of Pablo Picasso and the soft touch of his dear friend Walter Stein. Many of the pieces are personally addressed to one or both Poes, an ode to their connection within the artistic community. Curtis’ efforts succeed in making the viewer feel at home in the exhibit, and in her tour, she invites

them not only into the life of Parker Poe, but into the life of each artist. Pebble Hill draws visitors from near and far, but the staff is hoping this exhibit will especially offer a unique opportunity for locals to get to know better the man behind the property and the collection. Those interested can attend Coffee with a Curator at 10am March 21 or April 18. Outside the guided tours, the exhibit is open to the public during Pebble Hill’s regular visiting hours, 10am-5pm Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5pm Sunday. In addition to the exhibit, tours of the main house are also available. For information, call 229-226-2344 or visit


Spring is Served Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberries Crust 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/3 cup sugar 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 tbsp milk 1/2 tsp almond extract Filling 1 cup heavy whipping cream 3.4 oz package cheesecake-flavored instant pudding and pie filling mix 8 oz package cream cheese, softened Topping 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced 1/4 cup strawberry jam, melted Heat oven to 400°F. Combine butter and sugar in bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add flour, milk and almond extract. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture leaves sides of bowl and forms a ball. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of greased 10-inch tart pan; perforate with fork. Bake 15-18 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely. Combine all filling ingredients in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Spread over cooled crust. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Arrange strawberries over filling just before serving. Brush or drizzle strawberries with melted jam.

Rustic Strawberry Tart 1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed, or 1 pie crust 1 lb strawberries, washed and quartered 1⁄4 cup sugar 2 tsp cornstarch Juice from half lemon Water for brushing pastry dough Turbinado sugar for sprinkling over pastry dough Sliced almonds Heat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Combine strawberries with the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice and set aside. While the strawberries are marinating, roll out the puff pastry sheet or pie crust on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer to lined baking sheet. Spoon mixture into the middle of the pastry sheet, leaving about an inch or two border all around. Gently fold the sides of the pastry, a little at a time, up over some of the berries, leaving the fruit in the center exposed. Brush top of pastry lightly with water and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Sprinkle some sliced almonds on top of strawberries. Bake for 30-35 minutes until crust is golden and strawberries are bubbling. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting.



Due South | Art. Food. Music. The Sights, Sounds & Tastes of the South

APRIL 16-18



DUE SOUTH LINEUP APRIL 16 Respect the Butter! 4-5pm, Moonspin Kids cooking class featuring restaurateurs Allison Cohenour & Josh Smith, who will guide participants through the process of making something that may not be Southern but tastes a whole lot like home. Presented by Thomasville Center for the Arts in partnership with Moonspin. 30 spaces | 12 & under Free with Registration Suggested Donation $10

APRIL 17 Rhythm & Roots @ Due South 8-10pm, The Biscuit Company Nashville is coming to town with songwriters in the round – some of our faves in the biz will be sharing their stories and performing original songs among friends. Presented by Thomasville Center for the Arts in partnership with Flowers Nissan. Ticket $40 | Limited seating BYOB | No cooler fee

APRIL 18 Acoustic in the A.M. 10:30am, The UnVacant Lot Singer-songwriter and co-host of “Coffee, Country & Cody,” Jo Smith is ready to charm our ears with her musical talent while sharing the songwriter process and her Nashville story. Free admission | Limited seating Concert & ShinDig 6-11pm, TCA Downtown and The Ritz Amphitheater Hope your boots are dusted off, because our headliner this year, Donna the Buffalo, along with Brother Hawk and George Jackson, is going

to get them moving – guaranteed! We can already taste the flavors from local and regional restaurateurs, chefs and breweries. Presented by Thomasville Center for the Arts in partnership with Thomasville National Bank. ShinDig Tickets $125 Adult 21+ $50 Youth 13-20 | General Admission Concert Ticket $25 | 12 & under Free

Tickets & Sponsorships Stay connected with us @thomasvillearts The proceeds from this festival fuel arts to inspire, empower and boost creative thinking in our community’s youth and support our mission of encouraging artistic expression and purposeful creativity to connect people to one another. **Photos by Broad Street Media**



99th Annual Rose Show & Festival Held in historic Downtown Thomasville, the Rose Show and Festival has been a Southwest Georgia tradition since the 1920s. Featuring several flower shows, parades, community events, concerts and more, the Rose Show and Festival is fun for the whole family. Most events are free!

APRIL 23-25



THURSDAY, APRIL 23 42nd Annual Children’s Rose Bud Parade 7pm, Broad Street Possibly the cutest parade in the area, featuring hundreds of children. Parade marshals are beloved cartoon characters. Free

FRIDAY & SATURDAY 14th Annual Orchids on Parade 9am-4pm, Inside the Municipal Building, 144 East Jackson Street Showcasing orchids grown by members of the Thomasville Orchid Society in a natural habitat. Members will be on hand to answer questions. Free 99th Annual Rose Show 1-5pm, Broad Street at Remington Avenue, Under the Tent, Downtown Thomasville Hundreds of hybrid rose varieties and breathtaking specimens will be on exhibit from growers throughout the Southeast. Free Standard Flower Show 1:45-5pm, Thomasville Garden Center, 1102 South Broad Street Hundreds of native plants on display in a picturesque setting. $3 suggested donation.

FRIDAY, APRIL 24 Thomasville Garden Club Fashion Show and Luncheon 12:30pm, All Saints Episcopal Fellowship Hall, 443 South Hansell Street Don’t miss this lovely opportunity to kick-off Rose Show and Festival weekend with a delicious lunch and stylish fashion show. Tickets are $20 and must be purchased in advance. Tickets are available at the Visitors Center, 144 East Jackson Street, until sold out.

7pm, Broad Street, Downtown Thomasville Watch as Thomasville comes to life with colorful floats, marching bands, stilt walkers and much more. Free 22nd Annual Street Dance 8:30pm, immediately following the parade, intersection of North Broad and Jefferson Streets, Downtown Thomasville Enjoy a free, live concert by the Swingin’ Medallions. It’s fun for the entire family. Free

SATURDAY, APRIL 25 43rd Annual Rose City 10K Run 8am, in front of the post office on North Broad Street Register by calling 229-226-9878. Rose City Golf Classic 8:30am-4pm, Country Oaks Golf Course, 6481 Georgia Highway 122 North Two-person team tournament with morning and afternoon tee times both days. Teams can choose their Saturday tee times, and Sunday tee times will be determined by their flight. Regular play will be limited on both days. For more information, call 229-225-4333 or visit 41st Annual 1 Mile Run (ages 12 and under) 9:30am, in front of the post office on North Broad Street Register by calling 229-226-9878. 79th Annual Civic Garden Club Flower Show 10am-4pm, under the big top tent, corner of Stevens and West Jackson Street Enjoy beautiful roses, wild flowers, horticulture settings, potted plants, hanging baskets, table settings and more. Free - donations appreciated

“Show & Shine” Car & Truck Show 10am, Registration Begins at 9am, around the courthouse on Broad Street Sponsored by the Thomasville Police Department, this annual car and truck show features three categories – Modified, Original and Best Overall. Entry fee is $25. For more information, contact Chief Eric Hampton at 229-227-3249. Free Rose Fest Market on the Ritz 11am-4pm, The Ritz Amphitheater, 131 South Stevens Street Featuring all your traditional favorites and lots of new activities. Artisans will be selling their wares, and you can grab a bite to eat from food vendors selling everything from meats to sweets. Children’s activities and live music. You don’t want to miss this day packed full of fun. Free admission and most activities are free. Rose Fest Sip & Stroll 6-10pm, Downtown Thomasville Grab a beer or wine from participating downtown merchants and stroll the bricks for an evening of sipping, dining and fun before the Rose Fest Finale. Musicians will be playing throughout downtown from 4-6 pm. Rose Fest Finale 11am-4pm, The Ritz Amphitheater, 131 South Stevens Street Free concert by The Company Band followed by fireworks. Come listen to great music and enjoy photo ops in a vintage Volkswagen bus. Food trucks will be on site beginning at 6pm. Dates and times of activities are subject to change. Please visit for the latest information as the event date approaches or contact the Thomasville Visitors Center at 229-228-7977.

72nd Annual Rose Parade



Spring Events BEAUTIFUL


MARCH March 14 Oakfest The signature St. Patrick’s Day Event in Thomasville, presented by Whitehurst, Blackburn & Warren. A day of family-friendly music, food and fun, with music by Rachel Hillman, Heart of Pine, Bo Henry Band and headliner, Cordovas. Local food trucks and a beer and wine garden will be available. The Kiwanis Club of Thomasville invites you to make a difference in the life of a child by supporting our annual event and fundraiser, benefiting The Treehouse Children’s Advocacy Center. Tickets $20-$75; kids 12 and under free. 3-10pm; Ritz Amphitheater, Downtown Thomasville March 17 Let’s Discuss... Diversity Join the City of Thomasville as we learn about diversity and inclusion. Together we will build a true

understanding of what diversity means for our community. Presented by Karly Thomas, program manager, Learning and Development for Steelcase, Inc. 5-6pm; Harper Elementary School, Fletcher Street March 17 The Slides of March 6, 2020 Join in on Thomasville History Center’s annual lecture series exploring the region’s history, people and stories. Professor Jessica R. Smith will share her research findings on a unique and meaningful type of Southern textile that has evolved from functional items into art pieces in a program titled, Overshot: The Political Aesthetics of Woven Textiles from the Antebellum South and Beyond. The research explores the symbolism and artisanship of overshot coverlets and their significance to the African American experience, from the antebellum period through the 20th century. Free; 7:30-9pm; Thomasville History Center, 725 N. Dawson Street


March 19 Lapham-Patterson Salute to Spring Attend this special weekday edition of Make History! on the vernal equinox, a day marking the start of spring and one in which there are an equal number of day and night hours. On this day each year, a unique phenomenon occurs on the third floor of the Lapham-Patterson House. Science, history and creativity collide for a unique celebration of spring’s arrival. The event will also include crafts and activities based on the science of the equinox. To view nature’s trick of light and shadow, please visit 3:30-5:30pm. The peak viewing hour for the “Equinox Effect” is 4pm-5pm. Free; The LaphamPatterson House, 626 N. Dawson St. This event will only take place if it is a clear sunny day. March 21 Birdson’s 14th Annual Old-Timey Plant Sale The sale specializes in native plants and reliable old garden plants collected from local gardeners. A special feature of the sale is a superb collection of native azaleas of all sizes and colors. 9am-1pm; Birdsong Nature Center, 2106 Meridian Road, Thomasville; 229-377-4408 March 24 TEF Concert The Boston-based chamber ensemble, A Far Cry, wraps up Thomasville Entertainment Foundation’s 82nd performance season. A Far Cry is an 18-member string orchestra, performing many of their pieces from memory, including works by Elgar, Mozart and Tchaikovsky. Tickets are $38 for adults, $15 for students, and all seats are reserved. 7:30-9:30pm; Thomasville Center for the Arts, East Washington Street; 229-226-7404


APRIL April 3 Sip and Stroll Join us in Downtown Thomasville to sip, shop, stroll, dine and listen to some great music. Grab a beer or wine from your favorite downtown restaurant or venue and stroll the historic streets in style. Participating shops and restaurants will be open late. Bring your chairs or a blanket and enjoy a free concert featuring Trae Pierce & the T-Stones from 8-10pm at The Ritz Amphitheater, 131 South Stevens Street. 6-10pm; 229-228-7977 April 4 Easter Eggstravaganza Free games and Easter egg hunt sponsored by City of Thomasville Community Relations. 11am-2pm, Paradise Park; 229-227-7001 April 11 Boston’s Spring Fling 30th Annual Spring Fling & Auction, featuring arts & crafts, business vendors, Easter bonnet contest, Easter egg hunt and auction. 10am-2pm; Main Street and Watt Park, Boston April 11 Another Night of Bluegrass Come out and enjoy a night full of good music and great fun with the awesome sounds of High Fidelity. Tickets are $10 each and all are reserved seats. Thomasville Municipal Auditorium, East Jackson Street; 866-577-3600

Serving omasville for 12 years

Named one of Georgia's Top 5 Food Tours by Southern Living! Come taste your way around Thomasville Victorian Sweets Tours December 12-14 Tours Thur & Fri 1-3pm (also 10am, if others sellout) Sat 10am Tickets $35 Gift certificates make great gifts! Purchase tickets and gift certificates on


June 1-5


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June 16-18 | Rising 3rd-Rising 6th Grade | Scholarships Available



April 14 Book to Art Book Club Interested in a book club that takes literature to a new level? During each book discussion, the Thomas County Public Library’ Book to Art Club pairs the discussion with creating an art piece based on the novel. No advanced artistic skills are needed, each project is on a beginner’s level. April’s book is Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. 4-5pm. To join, either stop by the Thomasville Public Library or call 229-225-5252.

MAY May 1 Free Public Seminar Featuring scholars who will explore the arts, history and culture of La Cubana City. Facilitated by FAMU Prof. Jan DeCosmo, the keynote speaker is Dr. Jean Stubbs of London, who has visited the Cigar Factory and is a researcher of the Havana Cigar Trail and its history on and off the


island. Cuban food and music round out the evening. Free; 6-8pm. For more info, visit May 1 Sip & Stroll Join us in Downtown Thomasville to sip, shop, stroll, dine and listen to some great music. Grab a beer or wine from your favorite downtown restaurant or venue and stroll the historic streets in style. Participating shops and restaurants will be open late. Bring your chairs or a blanket and enjoy a free concert featuring the Lauren Mitchell Band from 8-10pm at The Ritz Amphitheater, 131 South Stevens Street. 6-10pm; 229-228-7977 May 9 Pavo Peacock Day Parade 11am, crafts, food, games, rides, music, drawings, Peacock quilt raffle 3pm, family fun for all ages 9am-3pm; 2061 W. McDonald Street, Pavo

May 12 Book to Art Book Club Interested in a book club that takes literature to a new level? During each book discussion, the Thomas County Public Library’ Book to Art Club pairs the discussion with creating an art piece based on the novel. No advanced artistic skills are needed, each project is on a beginner’s level. May’s book is Tenth of December by George Saunders.4-5pm. To join, either stop by the Thomasville Public Library or call 229-225-5252. May 12 Mindful Meditation Take time to press “pause” as Professor Rich Curtis of Thomas University leads a monthly Mindful Meditation practice every second Tuesday, teaching various meditation techniques. 6pm; free for all ages. Register by stopping by the Thomas County Public Library, 201 North Madison Street, or call 229-225-5252.

May 21 Kouncil Club Bingo Come play bingo every Thursday night. Early bird bingo begins at 5:30pm and regular bingo begins at 6:45pm. Come to either or both. Have fun and win cash! Families welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Snack bar. Proceeds benefit local charities such as Hands and Hearts for Horses, Wounded Warriors, Lions Club, local schools and more. 211 N. Pinetree Boulevard, Thomasville; 229-236-1508


Friends &Neighbors

Live Better Heart & Soul Fun Run Live Better is an Archbold-led effort of key community leaders focused on improving the health of the citizens of Thomas County, with a special emphasis on reducing obesity. The 3rd Annual Live Better Heart and Sole Fun Run was held February 22, 2020 in Downtown Thomasville. Photos courtesy of Whigham Images for Archbold Memorial Hospital


Sip & Stroll Thomasville came out to enjoy a great night downtown with friends and neighbors. First Friday events are held each month from March - December (excluding the month of July). MARCH 6 SIP & STROLL FEATURED THE LEFTOVERS BAND AT THE RITZ AMPHITHEATER Photos courtesy of Glenn Whittington DON’T MISS THESE UPCOMING SIP & STROLLS FREE ADMISSION & FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY! Time: 6-10pm April 3—Trae Pierce & the T-Stones, playing hard-edged funk and hip-hop mixed with rock and blues May 1—Lauren Mitchell Band, a nationally touring soul and blues band June 5—Featuring country artist, John King

The March 6 Sip & Stroll featured music from The Leftovers

The Ritz Amphitheater in Downtown Thomasville


Southern Travelers Explore Thomasville Conference Thomasville and South Eden Plantation hosted the inaugural Southern Travelers Explore Thomasville Conference in February, organized by the mother-daughter travel writing team of Melody Pittman and Taylor Hardy.

Melody Pittman and Taylor Hardy

Melody Foote, of Fayetteville, NC CVB, Adrienne Glass of Gulf

Melody Pittman with guest speaker, Patricia Schultz, author of

County, FL CVB, and organizer Taylor Hardy

10,000 Places to See Before You Die

The 8th Annual Scrap It Southern Style Event There was lots of fun and creativity happening during the 8th Annual Scrap It Southern Style event hosted in February by Keller’s Creations. Popular with crafters, Scrap It draws scrapbookers and paper crafters from as far away as Seattle for the four-day event. Visit for info on the 2021 event.

Dena Westfield

Laura Gardner

Jamie Loper and Lorrie Smith

Karla Rodriquez and Jackie Figueira


Thomasville Antique Show As always, the Thomasville Antique Show & Foundation kicked things off in style last month with the Preview Party. This year’s events included appearances by world-renowned interior designer and industry leader Bunny Williams, AD100 interior and architectural designer Madeline Stuart, and folk art collector and expert Barbara Gordon.

Catherine Haggard, Jill Carraway

Jo and Bo Walthall

Wendy and Jay Montgomery

Evan Wortman, Erin Toole

Ebe and Henri Walter

Kevin & Kathleen Kelly, Kellet Thomas

Thank you to our advertisers

Your support for our independently operated magazine is a testament to this wonderful community.

TO ADVERTISE To advertise your business in Thomasville Magazine, contact Christy Layfield, 229-224-5691 & or Wendy Montgomery, 229-669-6828 & Banking Synovus, p.79 Thomasville National Bank, p.4 Businesses Allen & Allen Funeral Home, p.73 Barberitos, p.49 Best Western / Holiday Inn, p.78 Bobby Dollar, p.39 Brookwood School, p.30 Caldwell Langford Insurance, p.16 Camellia Gardens, p.33 Classical Conversations, p.67 Dixon Pest Control, p.32 Dunham Body Shop, p.72 Farmers Insurance, p.38 Hampton Inn, p.37 New Hire Solutions, p.15 Sellers Tile, p.51 Southern Pines Charter Senior Living, p.80 Taste of Thomasville, p.71 Taylor Benefit Resource, p.32

The Avenues Real Estate Partners, p.31 The Depot, p.42 The Wright Group, p.9 Whelchel and Carlton, LLP, p.24 Whiddon Shiver Funeral Home, p.72 Downtown Merchants Farmer’s Daughter, p.30 Flourish, p.72 The Gift Shop, p.38 Trolly’s, p.71 Legal Services Silvis, Ambrose, Linquist & Coch, P.C., p.50 Marketing Adele Creative Marketing & Design, p.8

Medical & Dental Archbold Medical Center, p.3 A Confident Smile, p.56 Juvenescence, p.26 Periodontal Associates of North Florida, p.61 South Georgia Spine & Joint, p.57 Thomasville Family Medicine, p.57 Thomasville Dental Center, p.2 Thomasville Orthopedic Center, p.18 Thomasville Physical Therapy, p.40-41 Thrive Physical Therapy & Fitness, p.42 Non-profits & Organizations South Georgia Ballet, p.16 Thomas County Public Library, p.31 Thomasville History Center, p.71 Thomasville YMCA, p.25

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