Thomasville Magazine Spring 2021

Page 1



100 years roses of




Trish Land Lends Her Talents to the

Casting Off with Thomasville’s Historic

Eisenhower’s Historic Visit &




Thomasville DenTal CenTer alan G. sanDers, D.m.D ZaChary J. ChanDler, D.m.D. Family · seDaTion · implanTs

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How Sweet!

It’s that time of year – Vidalia onions are highlighted in these recipes. PAGE 80





Sail On The Beachton Yacht Club has a history almost as fun as the thrice annual regattas.

I Like Ike A look back at some of the many visits to Thomasville by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.




Artist Trish Land was selected to commemorate the 100th Thomasville Rose Show. PAGE 26


Editor’s Letter

38 Downtown Guide 44 Health & Fitness


Prepare to Prep

Tips for your time in the kitchen that make healthy food prep a breeze.

It’s the Law Our business spotlight turns its focus on some of the area’s most historic and storied law firms.



Walk on the Wild Side Saving Thomasville The Center for the Arts’ new First responders and health care providers have carried a heavy outdoor public art exhibition travels throughout the region. load during the pandemic. 5 THOMASVILLEMAGAZINE.COM | SPRING 2021


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

Spring in Your Step There’s nothing better to shake off the chill of winter than standing outside on one of the first warm days of the year, face turned to the sun, eyes closed, soaking it all in for a few glorious moments. For many, this spring feels like a true renewal, having survived the challenges of 2020 and looking forward to putting more and more distance between us and the past 12 months. And happier times are ahead! This year marks one of great celebration in Thomasville, as plans are underway to mark the 100th year of the Thomasville Rose Show & Festival, the ThomasvilleThomas County Chamber of Commerce, and Rotary Club of Thomasville. One hundred years! While the Rose Show is right around the corner and featured in this issue, we’ll spotlight the others in upcoming issues, sharing how they have made Thomasville shine

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.

for decades. In the meantime, within these pages you’ll find a tribute to the health care professionals and first responders that have carried the heaviest load throughout the pandemic. We also bring you the interesting story of how the Beachton Yacht Club was born in a landlocked town and has since given hundreds the experience of sailing in the gulf. And we hope you’ll enjoy a step back in time with reminiscences of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s frequent visits to Thomasville for hunting and fellowship. So, sit back, enjoy reading, and welcome spring with open arms. Best,




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

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There is witchery in the sea, its songs and stories, and in the mere sight of a ship, and the sailor’s dress…the very creaking of a block…and many are the boys, in every seaport, who are drawn away, as by an almost irresistible attraction, from their work and schools, and hang about the decks and yards of vessels, with a fondness which, it is plain, will have its way. -RICHARD HENRY DANA, JR.

Two Years Before the Mast, 1840

Sailors and their family and friends of all ages enjoy the three regattas held each year at Alligator Point. A number of families have participated for generations. Many original members now share the joy of sailing with the third or fourth generations of their family—including the Chubb Family, the Leon Neel Family, the Watt Family, the Vann Family, the Allen Family and others.

a Storied Past


n An Early History of the Beachton Yacht Club, writer Robert R. Jinright says, “The author will admit to only

such license as was necessary to include the legends, myths, tales, and traditions, the things that add flavor to otherwise bland fact.” Jinright begins his now-legendary story as “a tale about three uncommon men and their supportive wives. It is secondly a classical verification of man’s innate attraction for and yen to return to the sea. It is an improbable story about a lot of interesting people.” In February 1967, in the bar of the Fair Oaks Plantation manor house, in the quail country of the deep South, near Beachton, Georgia, the Beachton Yacht Club was born. Its purpose was to offer an opportunity to learn to sail, enhance sailing expertise, and provide fellowship and fun. With 20 charter members— some of whom had sailed before—the club was launched, headed by Tom “The Inspiration” Chubb, Boots “The Instigator” Britton, and Leon “The Animator” Neel. Included in that early history and below are some of those tales and traditions, largely truth.


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y r u t en C t s 1 2 e h t g Sailin Present day members and their guests gather on the beach at Alligator Point for regattas three times a year. That’s where they found sun, sails, seaweed, and gulf breezes along a row of beach houses fronting the Gulf of Mexico on a sunny day last September. Hosted by father and son Andy Vann and John Vann, Beachton Yacht Club sailors raced in the fall 2020 regatta, fittingly labeled “The Official Regatta of Covid19.” Members and friends of all ages were present, along with family dogs, and with Beachton Yacht Club and American flags flying, 14 Sunfish sailboats, in a splash of colors, lined the water’s edge in anticipation of the launch. Oddly, the yacht club flag is adorned with a land bird—the bob white quail—suited well for the Thomasville residents and members of the club. Following Commodore Henry Pepin’s welcome, the competition began. Races for singles, doubles, and the delightful Run to the Bottle of Cutty Sark race—won that day by John Vann—confirm that “small boats make a sailor,” a phrase heard from several participants. Doubles races included experienced sailors recruiting children and others to sail with them or canvassing the crowd coercing those watching from their chairs to go along. Sailors love to develop and guide others to enjoy the sport, especially children. Many convinced to go on their first sail become proficient sailors. Several Thomasville area residents have been sailing with the club for years. Vann, Bennett, Chubb, Neel, Allen, and Ivey are among the names engraved on trophies spanning decades of regattas. “The Beachton Yacht Club has been a mainstay for our family since my wife, Susan, and I moved to Thomasville from Atlanta, where I had been sailing on lakes in North Alabama and North Georgia,” explains John Bennett. “We have met so many people through this group, and I have had the privilege to serve as commodore and watch my son grow up in the club and develop a love and a skill for sailing. “It is a great group of people who have been like family each Saturday at the beach. I always look forward to summer because of it. What a great legacy it has provided for our family, with many fun memories.” Son, Andrew, a wide receiver for Thomasville’s Brookwood School, was introduced to sailing at six months old. “I really just love it since I feel like I was born on his


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Though competitive, the Beachton Yacht Club races are a lot of fun and continue to attract newcomers interested in learning to sail.

History of the b u l C t h c a Y n o t h c ea B

Its story is a classical verification of man’s innate attraction

for the sea and his yen to return unto it. This quote from an early history of the club captures the spirit of the organization: “Thus, the Beachton Yacht Club was conceived in an atmosphere of fun, fellowship, and unsolemn levity. It is hoped that a kindly providence will keep its activities from ever being seriously formal.” BEACHTON YACHT CLUB FOUNDERS

Thomas Caldecot Chubb – The Inspiration The son of Hendon Chubb, whose father founded Chubb and Son, author and poet, winner of the John Masefield Prize at Yale in 1920 and the Albert Stanborough Cook Prize in 1921, Tom Chubb was a Fellow of the National Geographic Society. He was a distinguished, cultured gentleman with great capacity for love for his fellow man and for all of nature. Tom Chubb wished to share the mirthful sport of sailing with his friends. At the time of the founding of the BYC, Tom’s Catalina 22,” says the young enthusiast. The 15-year-old started sailing small boats with adults, competed in juniors and doubles races, and slowly started to like it the more he sailed. “I wanted to be more involved, so my dad taught me the basics. I did my first juniors race with no adult intervention at eight. That summer I had seen small boats passing in front of my house at Shell Point. I asked what it was for, and I found out it was a sailing camp.” Andrew attended the camp for three years before becoming a junior instructor. Today he’s working toward becoming a certified instructor. “To be out on the water, I feel like there is nothing bad on earth—no politics, no schoolwork, no restless days at football practice—just the boat and me on the open water.” Irene Gleason, club secretary, has memories of loading the Sunfish boat and making a potluck dish the night before many of the annual regattas. “I remember waking up early for the drive from Thomasville to Alligator Point to make sure we were in time for the juniors race. My mother always wanted us to win so she could use the silver tray trophy for her silver coffee and tea set the rest of the year. During the race, my father put his hand over mine on the tiller to teach me how to sail, me

Continued, p.21

younger brother was commodore of the prestigious yacht club in America, the NYYC, founded in 1844. Brigham “Boots” Britton – The Instigator Britton grew up on the waterfront of Lake Erie in Cleveland, building his own wooden sailboat at the age of 11. Yale classmate Dr. Bud Yandell recalled the time they chartered a schooner and sailed to New London to witness the Yale-Harvard shell races, living off of gin and graham crackers. And they got awfully tired of the crackers. A founder of the Menton Harbor Yacht Club and commodore of the Kollegewidgwoc Yacht Club in Blue Hill, Maine, he served as navigator or watch captain on many ocean races to Bermuda, Halifax, and Nassau. Wallace Leon Neel – The Animator Consulting forester, wildlife manager, naturalist, and ecologist, it was he who implemented the idea. Sustained by his lovely wife, Julie, he organized, managed, and enlisted members, communicating as required to create a well-organized surprisingly well-disciplined association of “sailors.” When drafted, Leon had never been aboard a sailboat in his life. By now, some 30 years later, in the third generation of its existence, some 500 persons have learned to sail through membership in the Beachton Yacht Club. Most of these might never have had the opportunity otherwise. History written by Robert Jinright - August 1991


Traditionally the last race of each regatta, the Cutty Sark Race is named for the prize the winner takes at the race’s end. Sailors must rush to their boats on the beach, taking off for a distant buoy. First person to turn the buoy and return to shore must run onto the beach and secure the Cutty Sark bottle from the commodore. Bottom left & clockwise: 2020 commodore Henry Pepin starts the race; sailors race to their boats; winner John Vann shows off his daggerboard, snapped in half by the surf as he came into shore; Vann shares the Cutty Sark bottle with fellow sailor Wylie Watt, Jr.



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The Beachton Yacht Club was launched in 1967 by Tom “The Inspiration” Chubb, Boots “The Instigator” Britton, and Leon “The Animator” Neel.

grimacing through it because I thought I could do it on my own,” adds Gleason. It was a Friday afternoon in 1970 that Robert Jinright introduced Andy Vann to a sailboat. Invited to Jinright’s parents’ beach house for regatta weekend, Vann arrived late and found the Sunfish already in the bay for his first lesson the night before the event. Jinright quickly sent him off on his own. “I remember sailing across the bay several times to come about to return home with no success. Finally, in desperation, I jumped into the water, swam the bow around facing home, and sailed back. That was my first experience,” describes Vann. Vann took second place the next day by following a fellow sailor, Dr. Jim Neil. “I didn’t know what I was doing, but if he let his sail out, I did too. When he pulled in on the sheet, I did too. If he tacked, I tacked.” Tired of coming in second many times, Vann continued to learn by reading Invitation to Sailing and other publications. He was hooked. Learning at 20, and still sailing in his 70s, Vann shares the art of sailing with anyone willing to learn, regardless of age. “What is so wonderful is I can compete with the 20-yearolds since sailing is an art and not a strength or endurance contest. And maybe, just maybe, there’s a newbie learning to sail by crewing in my boat or just following me.” TM


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rish Land was taught early on how to make something out of nothing, and how to be creative, tracing her love of art back to her childhood. “It’s my parents’ fault,” she laughs. “They made me make everything I ever had. If I wanted a toy, it had to be made from parts from the shed. If I wanted Barbie doll clothes, I had to use pieces of fabric or pieces of reworked paper towels, literally.” Land, who grew up in Albany, also found a love in expressive art—dance. She took classes as a young girl and created a special bond with her teacher. “Each summer, Mrs. Murphy would go to a different country, and when she came back, she’d share her stories with us. We’d learn about the food, costumes, and culture. She also had an amazing art collection from her travels.” Land danced throughout high school and while in college at Valdosta State University, where she majored in theater. “I expanded my mind creatively,” Land shares. “I had a gumption about myself that I wasn’t really afraid of anything, and if I was, I would convince myself that I wasn’t, and I’d do it anyways.” Land ended up going to New York, where every little girl dancer dreams of performing one day. She danced with several famous people and worked with various choreographers, all while pouring her heart, mind, and soul into the culture, art, and museums that showcase The Big Apple. DISCOVERING PAINTING In her early 20s, Land moved back to Georgia and ended up living in Atlanta, where she had a roommate who was a painter, musician, pewter

ATLANTA-AREA ARTIST REDISCOVERS SOUTH GEORGIA ROOTS IN ART PROJECT THAT CELEBRATES THE 100TH ANNUAL THOMASVILLE ROSE SHOW AND FESTIVAL smith, and photographer. “She was one of the most creative people I’d ever met,” Land recalls. “One day, she just stuck a paintbrush in my hand. I was really afraid to paint because it was so permanent. As a dancer, once you’ve performed, it’s over, unless it’s videotaped. But she really encouraged me a lot and even bought me a paint kit.” Land remembers being so intimated by the permanence of painting at the time that she used just a toothpick to paint her first few works of art. “I painted with a toothpick for about a month,” she says. “It’s actually quite hilarious, but I still have all of those first paintings.” She later moved to Colorado, where she ran an antiques store for about 10 years, but returned to Georgia and picked up a paint brush once again— this time, full time. 29 THOMASVILLEMAGAZINE.COM | SPRING 2021



“From painting roses while sitting at my dining room table in Tucker, Ga., and connecting with people all around the world, to a friend telling me to apply for this open call, I’m just filled with honor.”–Trish Land, Artist



“I found myself telling stories through my paintings, and now I have a very successful business and a beautiful studio where I get to paint every day,” she says. COMING UP ROSES When the world began to shutter early in the COVID-19 pandemic last March, Land found herself without a place to paint, as the studio had to close its doors as a precaution. “I don’t usually paint at home, but I packed a little kit, because I knew I couldn’t go weeks without painting.” Land remembers feeling lost without her work. But one day, her heart heavy and her mind confused, she decided that painting might do her a little good.

“My roses were in full bloom, so I thought I’d just paint a rose on this little 4x6-inch piece of paper and give it away,” she says. She decided to give the painting away on social media, posting “Who’s mama needs this?” with a picture of the painting. Land received 187 responses, and rather than pick just one winner, she painted everyone who responded a rose, and continued painting roses. “Almost 600 roses later, I think I’ve got it down,” she says. “People were asking me to send a rose to a sick relative out of town, and envelopes with money started showing up at my doorstep and money in my PayPal.” A HUMBLING OPPORTUNITY This went on for what seemed like months, until one day she received a message from a longtime friend in Albany, who mentioned that the City of Thomasville was searching for an artist to help paint street signs in honor of the 100th anniversary


100th Annual Rose Show and Festival

THEME: “WHERE ROSES REIGN … 100 YEARS OF ROSES” Dates: April 22-24, 2021 • Where: Downtown Thomasville Website: Enjoy flower shows, entertainment, an artisan market, antique car show, and much more fun for the whole family.

FOLLOW THE ARTIST Website: Instagram: @trishland Facebook: Contact:

of the Thomasville Rose Show & Festival. “It sounded like they wanted someone local, but after remembering that my dad had lived there and was buried there, and I visited there a lot before his passing, I decided I was connected enough,” says Land. She submitted her application, not thinking she’d actually be selected. But she was, and Land was blown away by the opportunity. She was tasked with painting roses on 36 metal signs, 32 inches in size, that would accent the antique light poles throughout Thomasville during the event in late April 2021. “I asked if they’d find a place for me to live for a week so that I could paint on site, because I paint best when I’m surrounded by the energy of a place,” says Land. So, in November 2020, she stayed at South Eden Plantation in Thomasville, where she painted day in and day out, naming each sign she painted after someone she sent a postcard to just a few months before that. “Every day I felt like I was a part of something that was really important,” she says. “From painting roses while sitting at my dining room table in Tucker, Georgia and connecting with people all around the world, to a friend telling me to apply for this open call, I’m just filled with honor.” Land is also thankful that this project helped bring her back to South Georgia—even if it was only for a week. “Being a part of this project really reconnected me back to my roots that I love so much,” she concludes. “I became me there. I spent such a large amount of my years in South Georgia discovering myself and learning just how to be me and connecting with the soil and the trees. There’s just nothing like it. There really is no place like home.” TM



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Crush meal prep to save time and your waistline in seven easy steps

Local Health


ne of the best ways to meet your health and wellness goals is to learn the steps to set yourself up for success. Clean out your pantry and stock it with life-giving foods so you aren’t tempted by foods that will only make you eat more. Find an exercise routine that makes you happy and works well for you. Stop eating out. Wait… what? Eating out is one of the worst things you can do when you’re trying to get your health back on track. If you have no idea what to cook or don’t have the time, solving this issue can seem like a black hole with no solution in sight. That’s where I come in.

Here are my 7 steps to crush meal prep to save time and your waistline: First, grab your ingredients: 3 - 4 of your favorite veggies for roasting (see veggie roasting list) 2 - 3 free-range chicken breasts 1 lb grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef 6 - 12 cage-free eggs 3 - 5 avocados Greens for salads and/or wraps (spinach, spring mix, romaine) Spices and marinades to add flavor (see spice and marinade list) Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel (if needed) and chop veggies. Place on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Generously coat with avocado oil and season with desired flavors (see seasoning information). Roast designated time for veggies. Step 2: Hard boiled eggs While the veggies are roasting, it’s time to cook your perfect hard-boiled eggs. Place eggs in the bottom of a pot and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil, cover, turn heat off, let sit for 10 minutes. While eggs are cooking, pound the chicken.



Step 3: Pound chicken Place chicken breast between two pieces of clear wrap and pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin. Heat skillet to medium-high heat, pour about 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil in the pan. Season chicken with olive or avocado oil, salt, and pepper and place in the pan. Sprinkle with any additional desired seasoning, fry approximately 5-6 minutes each side. The size of chicken breast will make cook time vary. Check the internal temperature, making sure it reaches 165 degrees. *Don’t forget to check your eggs! If the time is up, take your eggs out of the hot water and place in a bowl with ice and cold water to cool. Step 4: Make the burgers Preheat skillet on medium-high heat. Place ground beef, 1 tablespoon Braggs Liquid Aminos, and ½ tablespoon Primal Palate Steak Seasoning in a bowl and combine with your hands. Pattie mixture into 5-6 rounds. Cook approximately 5 minutes per side until desired wellness (160 degree internal temperature).

Roasting Times for Vegetables

20 minutes or less: Mushroom Tomato Asparagus Kale 20 - 30 minutes: Cauliflower Broccoli Onion Bell pepper Zucchini Green beans Eggplant 30 minutes or more: Potato Sweet potato Carrot Beet Butternut squash Spaghetti squash Pumpkin

Step 6: Mix and match! Combine one or two proteins with veggies and/or create a salad or wrap. Add avocado for healthy fats and to help keep you satisfied and full longer.

Local Health

Step 5: Store chicken, beef, eggs, and veggies in separate containers. Now you have three different proteins to choose from during the week.

Step 7: Change up the flavors with different combos using dressings and sauces with Primal Kitchen, Primal Palate, olive oil, and vinegars.

My favorite seasonings,

Seasonings, Dressings & Marinades

dressings, and marinades: Primal Palate seasoning taco seasoning steak seasoning garden ranch mix garlic and herb seasoning adobo seasoning everything bagel lemon pepper

I usually prep on Sunday afternoons. The whole process should take you about one hour, maybe less as you become more efficient. For my plant-based friends out there, you can substitute the meat for tofu, tempeh, and beans/lentils. Make sure these are all organic, nonGMO, and sprouted when needed. Please note that I highly suggest purchasing high-quality meat: grassfed, grass-finished, free-range, cage-free, and organic. Meat that is conventional, meaning not organic, contains a lot of genetically modified corn and grains to plump them up. What do you think that meat is doing to us when we eat it? They are also given antibiotics and hormones. All of this has a negative impact on our health and waistline. If you have been trying to lose weight, having hormone issues, and gut issues but haven’t looked at the quality of your meat, make the change and I know you will feel the difference.

Italian seasoning Greek seasoning salt and pepper garlic salt BBQ sauce (no sugar) Primal Kitchen dressings and marinades balsamic vinegar red wine vinegar

Try to purchase your organic veggies from a local source when possible. Sometimes it is hard to find and can be more expensive. Just do what you can and what feels right for your family. But remember, with prepping at home and not eating out, you will be saving a ton of money. Now, most of your meals for the week will be done. It just becomes an easy grab and go. Enjoy! TM 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;





very single day, we put our lives into the hands of a highly trained group of professionals charged with making sure that we, as a community and as individuals, are safe, healthy, and cared for.

Thousands of dedicated health care providers at Archbold Medical Center and at private practices throughout the area have served Thomas County throughout the pandemic.

Whether these brave men and women are rescuing someone from dangerous circumstances, protecting innocent people from those who would do them harm, saving precious lives after an accident, keeping us healthy and strong, or standing on the forefront between peaceful existence and lawlessness, our first responders don’t wear capes but rather are found in a variety of uniforms while

already strong community outreach programs initiated by the TPD.

making a positive impact on the Thomasville community.

Many officers volunteer in the community or spend their off hours


getting to know their neighbors better, creating a bridge of trust

Most of what people think they know about law enforcement

between law enforcement and Thomasville residents.

comes from television and movies. But a cop’s life isn’t all about

The chief acknowledges that operations have drastically changed

mobsters, drug busts, police chases, gang warfare, or kidnappings.

since the COVID-19 pandemic began, particularly when it comes

Sure, every day brings the potential for drama, but most often in

to contact with the public and community education. “When a

small towns like Thomasville, even crime moves slower.

crime has been committed, we can’t arrest someone from six feet

Police Chief John W. Letteney is the quintessential portrait of small-town police chief—easy going, calm, and Christian. But

away. More often than not, we have to get up close and personal. That puts law enforcement at risk every single day.”

don’t let the laid-back personality fool you. He’s a dedicated and

Although every officer is encouraged to get the vaccine to

committed member of law enforcement and brings with him an

protect them from COVID-19, and many have, it is still voluntary.

impressive array of experience, including nearly two decades as a

And while officers are expected to be careful both on the job and

police chief and 24 years in the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in

at home, if a spouse comes into contact with a positive case, the

Rochester, New York.

officer must go into quarantine with his family. Naturally, this has

“As a CALEA accredited agency, Thomasville PD has a great

caused staffing issues.

reputation among other law enforcement agencies, especially

“Public safety is very much a part of our academic development,”

when it comes to standards, policy, and procedures,” says Letteney.

says Letteney, who continues to work directly with community

With a strong background in community initiatives as well as

stakeholders and leaders to see their shared vision of an even safer

21st century policing procedures, the chief plans to build on the


Thomasville with an unparalleled quality of life become a reality.


“We answer their calls the same as any other citizen while trying

In a world blanketed by both a pandemic and erratic weather,

to respect their privacy.” Fire and rescue outreach to the homeless

fire chiefs across the United States are faced with distinctive

population includes making sure they have blankets and coats

challenges. Still, if you speak to any current or veteran firefighter,

when it’s cold and fresh water when the weather gets too warm.

they will tell you that they love the job.

The glamorization of firefighters both on television and in the

Thomasville Fire Chief Tim Connell started at the bottom, worked

movies has led to unrealistic expectations among recruits across the

his way up through the ranks, and loves his work. He even did a

country, so it’s small wonder that even in Thomasville recruitment

stint with Emergency Medical Services in 1986 before returning to

is down and retention is low. Of the 18 people recruited recently,

the fire department.

only 12 filled out applications and only four made it through the

Unlike departments in larger markets, 90 percent of the calls in Thomasville are medical in nature and both the fire department and EMS respond. “I think it helps that I have experience on both sides of the fence,” says Connell. “It helps us serve the community better when we understand how we can work together to serve with cooperative spirits.” COVID-19 has brought new challenges for Thomasville Fire and Rescue. The inability to meet the community in public settings has

process, including one Black male and one female. “We’re really trying to diversify our personnel,” says the chief. “We need more minorities and more women on our team.” 911. WHAT’S YOUR EMERGENCY? Thomas County Emergency Medical Services use trained emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to perform medical procedures and operate specially equipped vehicles to provide basic medical care at the scene.

been a setback for fire education and neighborhood interaction.

Tim Coram, director of Thomas County EMS, has been with the

Another major challenge is the increase in homelessness in the city

department in one position or another for the past 31 years. “Since

of Thomasville and the county at large.

I was a kid, I’ve always had the desire to be a first responder.”


Fielding an average volume of over 10,000 calls each year, and operating seven advanced life support ambulances and one extrication team, Coram’s philosophy is simple. “I don’t want you to get hurt. But if you do get hurt, I want EMS to be there to help you.” Commitment to outstanding care is the foundation of EMS’ mission in the community. Changes made over the years have been very positive for Thomas County and the City of Thomasville, resulting in an increase in annual transports, reduced response time, and better morale in the ranks. The department employs 37 paramedics, 13 advanced EMTs, five EMT intermediates, and one cardiac technician, working in shifts of 15 with 24 hours on and 48 hours off. As with most first responder agencies, the COVID-19 pandemic has created unique challenges for the EMS team, but they’ve been luckier than most, losing only three to four people at a time due to illness or quarantine. “We don’t have the luxury of being six feet away from someone in a medical crisis,” says Coram. “But we were able to get our personal protection equipment and masks early in the crisis, so we were ahead of most.”

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A PASSION FOR PUBLIC HEALTH There was never a question about whether Carolyn Simmons would serve Thomas County and the City of Thomasville in a public capacity. Early on, her mother instilled in her and her 14 siblings the family mantra: Go to work and get a job but get a job

Previous page: Thomasville native Carolyn Simmons, RN, is nurse manager for the Thomas County Health Department, where she has served her hometown in health care roles for 40 years.

that stays here. So, Simmons stayed in the town where she was born and raised, working first for 12 years at Archbold Hospital and the past 28 years with the Department of Public Health’s Southwest Health District 8-2. “God put me here to serve, and that is what I’ve done.” Even through the unspeakable tragedy of losing her 35-yearold son to leukemia in 2016, the passion for her public mission has never wavered. Today, Simmons, a registered nurse, functions

the pandemic forced the department to focus on essential services

as director of the Thomas County Health Department. “For me,

like pregnancy prevention, immunizations, and tuberculosis, while

public health has always been embedded in this community. I’ve

also providing COVID-19 testing and vaccines. “As the world gradually moves back to normal, we are using

always honored that relationship.” The pandemic has put stress on many of the programs and

more temp agency nurses, volunteers, and retired nurses to help

services traditionally implemented by public health departments.

provide COVID-19 testing and vaccines,” says Simmons. “This is

Annually, they dispense regular services such as checkups and

allowing us to ease back into providing both essential and regular

pelvic, pap, and breast exams to over 11,000 patients. However,

services to Thomas County and the City of Thomasville.”

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A SMALL IDEA WITH BIG POSSIBILITIES Dr. Allen Lee has always been a man with a plan. As far back as medical school and residency, he identified a serious problem—the shortage of doctors in small-town hospitals and the need for more consistent, high-quality medical care. Lee and his family moved to Thomasville when he was in middle school. His father, a Methodist minister, headed the South Georgia Conference and gave him a firm foundation in the ministry of service. Everything he has done has reflected his staunch upbringing and commitment to family and community. After graduate work at Georgia Tech, teaching human anatomy and physiology at Georgia State, graduating from Mercer Medical School, and holding a host of other high profile medical positions, Lee returned to Thomasville, where he served in the emergency room at Archbold Hospital. “I’ve always loved Thomasville. Even when I was a kid, it was such a special place. I always knew that I would return here to work and raise a family.” A few years after his return, Lee and a small group of doctors launched Southland Emergency Medical Services, a staffing


After spending childhood years in Thomasville, Dr. Allen Lee chose to return to raise his family and practice medicine.

company with nearly 500 doctors, specializing in the management of emergency rooms, hospitalists, clinics, and behavioral health programs. Southland partners with about 40 hospitals throughout Georgia to achieve clinical and operational best practices. While it is no secret that COVID-19 hit hospitals hard, it impacted Southland quite differently. With emergency room traffic greatly reduced, there were layoffs because the volume simply wasn’t there. Government shutdowns caused emergency room traffic to plunge 60 percent in the first few months of the pandemic. People were afraid to go out, and that resulted in patients not showing up in the ER for essential medical services like strokes and heart attacks. Although hospitals were experiencing less patient flow, the patients they dealt with were much sicker.

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Pre-COVID-19, smaller hospitals would routinely transfer acute patients to larger hospitals with more intensive services. But COVID-19 made that impossible, and they were forced to care for patients they were ill-equipped to handle. Beds filled up with COVID-19 patients and left little room for the normal flow of patients. As COVID-19 cases level out and decrease, hospitals are finally starting to get back to normal. “Our inpatient side is improving. It started off way down at the end of 2020, but it’s getting better,” says Lee. Ever hopeful about his beloved town, Lee opines, “There are so many wonderful things to love about living in Thomasville. I look forward to serving the public in this beautiful place. I can only see this getting better and better.” Thomasville residents have been well served throughout the pandemic by the hundreds of dedicated health care providers at Archbold Medical Center and at private practices throughout the area. We applaud the combined efforts that have brought us through the roughest part of the storm and we will be forever grateful. TM

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THE LONGEST DAY Ike and Thomasville, Georgia



to the gathered SHAEF staff contemplating the invasion of

of Operation Overlord, June 6, 1944, when

Europe, “Gentlemen, I don’t know how we can possibly do

allied forces began the ground assault on

anything else but go.”

the Nazi German army at the Normandy beaches in France.

Eisenhower’s decision to “go” set in motion one of the

Television will again feature one of my favorite movies, “The

most momentous seaborne invasions of all time, and directly

Longest Day,” the fictionalized account of the events of June

led to Victory-in-Europe Day (V-E Day) 336 days later.

6. I am particularly drawn to the scene in which Henry Grace,

Of course, thinking about General Eisenhower leads to

in his role as General Dwight Eisenhower, commander of

thinking about President Eisenhower, which leads to thinking

the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, says

about Thomasville, Georgia.


Continued, p.67

Eisenhower loved to hunt quail and play golf. Eisenhower’s love of golf found gratification on the links at Glen Arven Country Club in Thomasville.




THIS PAGE & NEXT—George M. Humphrey, Eisenhower’s secretary of the treasury from 1953 to 1957, was a longstanding friend of the president. The owner of Milestone Plantation in Thomasville, Humphrey hosted Ike for hunts while the plantation cared for Eisenhower’s own hunting dog, an English setter named George (named after Humphrey). George was brought to Milestone as a puppy to be trained to hunt quail and participate in field trial competitions.



During Eisenhower’s visits, his hunting guide was Rufus Davis, who was also the trainer for the setter, George.

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When in Thomasville, Eisenhower sometimes hunted on Greenwood Plantation, owned at the time by John Hay “Jock” Whitney

U.S. presidents have always had places where they could go to rest, unwind, and recharge. Franklin Roosevelt had Warm Springs, John Kennedy had Hyannis Port, the Bushes had Kennebunkport and Crawford, and Lyndon Johnson had the LBJ ranch in Johnson City, Texas. Among Eisenhower’s places was a friend’s estate in Thomasville. The friend was George M. Humphrey, Eisenhower’s secretary of the treasury from 1953 to 1957. The Eisenhower and Humphrey relationship began before

winter weather, and for the easy Southern lifestyle they

Eisenhower became president.

found in Southwest Georgia. They liked the area so much

Humphrey had been chairman of the board of M. A.

they returned year-after-year. Instead of continuing to rent

Hanna and Company, a business conglomerate with

space each time they visited, many decided to purchase

interests in banking, copper, plastics, natural gas, and

land and build permanent winter homes or vacation

mining. The Hannas were friends with John D. Rockefeller

homes. Since land was comparatively cheap in the area,

and had links to the Standard Oil Company and Trust

they were able to buy substantial tracts of land on which

in its embryonic days. Many of the early Standard Oil

they built large residences.

Company stockholders and business associates became

At one time, the Red Hills region, that area extending

very prosperous, investing their wealth in a variety of

roughly from Albany to Tallahassee, was home to 70 or so

enterprises, including land and real estate.

“plantations.” The Hannas and their family members and

Enter Thomasville. The Georgia legislature designated

friends, and residents from New York and New Jersey and

Thomasville as the county seat of Thomas County in 1826.

Ohio and Illinois and other states, bought or built estates

It became a destination for travelers from the North and

ranging in size from 500 acres to 30,000 acres. Home

Midwest because the railroad running north and south in

sizes also varied greatly, from modest family dwellings

that part of the country terminated in Thomasville. And

to mansions, one of which was 30,000 square feet and

because doctors recommended the area to their patients

included 17 bedrooms.

suffering with pulmonary issues. Supposedly medicinal

Eisenhower loved to hunt quail and to play golf. He was

benefits were gained from breathing the air, scented by the

able to hunt quail in Thomasville because Humphrey owned

forests of longleaf pine trees surrounding Thomasville. In

Milestone Plantation, located just south of Thomasville,

its heyday as a health mecca and tourist spot, Thomasville

with its reported 10,000-plus acres of fields and woods.

boasted 15 hotels and 25 boarding houses.

Part of the acreage was devoted to quail hunting: food

Visitors came to what was to be called the Rose City in

plots, habitat, water, dog kennels, mules, stalls, barns for

large numbers because of health issues, for the agreeable

wagons, etc. Quail hunting in South Georgia was and is




taken seriously, and Milestone was an ideal setting for the serious quail hunter. Milestone housed and cared for Eisenhower’s own hunting dog, an English setter named George (named


after Humphrey). George was brought to Milestone as a puppy to be trained to hunt quail and participate in field trial competitions. Eisenhower was a good shot, usually shooting a .410-gauge shotgun. (One had to be a good shot to bag quail with a small bore like a .410.) When conditions warranted, he would move up to a 20-gauge shotgun with its greater number of pellets per shell. During Eisenhower’s visits, his hunting guide was Rufus Davis, who was also the trainer for the setter, George. In its April 13, 1959 issue, Sports Illustrated included an article on Eisenhower and Davis, who was quoted in the story as saying of President Eisenhower, “When he comes down here, he gets healthy. He leaves all his troubles and worries in Washington.” When in Thomasville, Eisenhower sometimes hunted on Greenwood Plantation, owned at the time by John Hay “Jock” Whitney. Whitney was the United States ambassador




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The Secret Service contingent typically stayed on the plantation grounds during a visit, while the press and other visitors were housed in the Scott Hotel in downtown Thomasville.

to the Court of St. James under Eisenhower from 1957 to 1961. Whitney had inherited Greenwood from his father, Payne Whitney. Jock Whitney was instrumental in arranging financing for the movie, Gone with the Wind, which premiered in Atlanta in 1939.

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Eisenhower’s love of golf found gratification on the

#1 in SAT & ACT scores in Southwest Georgia

links at Glen Arven Country Club in Thomasville. This club

The SAT achievement alone puts the school district in the top 11% academically of all school districts statewide, and is a direct result of the expectations for academic excellence by our teachers, students and parents.

clubs in the United States. It was a stop on the emergent

was founded in 1892, making it one of the oldest golf PGA tour and was a favorite course of Eisenhower. (So the story goes, it was during a round at Glen Arven in 1956 that Eisenhower decided to run for a second term as president.) A visit from the president of the United States is always a big deal to the site being visited, and that was certainly true for the several trips that Eisenhower made to Thomasville. I can remember hearing in the halls of Thomasville High School when an impending presidential

visit was announced: “The president is coming! The president is coming!” Classes were dismissed so students and faculty could line the street to welcome the president as the motorcade passed. My future wife was in that welcoming crowd, as was my mother. The visitors, the newspaper accounts, and the interviews with anyone associated with the presidential party all contributed to the overall level of excitement that pervaded this South Georgia town of 16,000 inhabitants. A presidential visit usually lasted several days, and for that period, the dateline of the national news reportage listed THOMASVILLE, GA, a thing of some local pride. Of course, not every citizen thought Eisenhower’s visits were good things—some thought the trips were a waste of taxpayer money and that the hoopla was silly. “Who are these people to come in here and take over our town and disrupt our lives?” People with negative opinions such as these seem to have been in the minority. The Secret Service contingent typically stayed on the plantation housed in the Scott Hotel in downtown Thomasville or a local boarding house.

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A presidential visit was of considerable interest to the

townspeople and very much the topic of their conversations.

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the air was let out of the community for a while–back to business-Tuesday: GENERAL, ADVANCED DENTISTRY General, Cosmetic & & Advanced Dentistry 1 PM -COSMETIC 8 PM Bleaching •• Implants ••Crowns • Bridges Bleaching Implants Crowns • Bridges as-usual. 303 W. Hansell Street Dentures ••TMJ TMJ Treatments Treatments Dentures Treatments• •Root RootCanal Canal Treatments M, W, Th, F: 8 AM - 5 PM Eisenhower struggled with several health issues in his later years. 229.227.1447 He had his first heart attack in 1955 while on a trip to Colorado, but that didn’t prevent him from returning to Thomasville after his

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recovery. He had at least six more heart attacks before his death on March 28, 1969. (His hunting companion, George Humphrey, I prefer to picture Eisenhower as a healthy hunter, responding to the call, “We’ve got a point, Mr. President!” In my mind’s eye, I see Eisenhower climbing down from the hunting wagon, grabbing his .410, and striding confidently up behind the dog on point, ready for the flush. A whirr of wings, a shotgun blast, and—“Good shot, Mr. President!” In the 1956 presidential election, Dwight Eisenhower won 41 of the 48 states against Adlai Stevenson. “I like Ike” was a prevalent slogan in Eisenhower’s political campaigns, and, apparently, the country did like Ike—a lot. Had I been eligible to vote in 1956, I probably would have voted for him, too. Military hero, president, humanitarian, budget balancer, golfer, dog lover, quail hunter—what’s not to like? TM


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ne of Thomasville’s oldest law firms, Whitehurst, Blackburn and Warren (WBW) was founded in 1937 on the concept of making sure clients were treated like family by founder Andrew Jackson “Jack” Whitehurst. That vision continues to evolve today and has become the infinite staple at the heart of the services they provide to the people of Thomasville and beyond. Joining the firm as a partner with Whitehurst in 1974, Florida native Bill Blackburn remains at the helm of the practice, where he and his partner 72 THOMASVILLEMAGAZINE.COM | SPRING 2021

since 1977, Bruce Warren, provide clients with the best experience possible when it comes to serving and meeting their legal needs. Also a WBW partner, Joe Cargile specializes in criminal law and personal injury. When Blackburn graduated from Stetson University School of Law in 1974, the invitation and decision to join the law firm with Whitehurst was an easy one as he and his wife, Connie, had visited the Whitehurst family in Thomasville often and were very fond of the community. The Blackburns have called Thomasville home now for over 46 years. Specializing in areas of law including business, domestic, personal, and real estate litigation, Blackburn earned an MBA before attending



For more than a century, many lawyers have started their careers at Whitehurst, Blackburn & Warren. The firm’s senior partners have served as mentors for generations of new lawyers, including the recently-hired Drew Tuggle (pictured bottom right).

ABOVE LEFT: Attorney and WBW partner Joe Cargile discusses a personal injury case with a client outside the Thomas County Courthouse. ABOVE RIGHT: Partners Bill Blackburn and Bruce Warren have had a historic impact on the county. RIGHT: Attorney Joe Cargile confers with his client and new addition, attorney Drew Tuggle.



PICTURED LEFT TO RIGHT: Attornies Bill Blackburn, Joe Cargile, Bruce Warren and Drew Tuggle

law school and together with his extensive business background, it affords him the opportunity to assist many businesses with their legal matters. “My wife and I love this community, and it has been very good to us,” said Blackburn. “We try to give back to the community in many ways.” Having served in many civic organizations and on several boards over the years, including serving as board chairman at Thomas University for several years, Blackburn currently serves as vice chairman for An Open Door Adoption Agency, as well as chairman of Thomasville Christian School Board. The firm also tries to give back by taking on as many pro bono cases as they can. “Our firm is about being compassionate and we strive to take care of our client’s problems, no matter their social or financial status,” says Warren of the firm’s one-stop approach. “We look after our clients and work to establish a relationship with them so that we can understand their needs and better serve them.” Although the pandemic has created a challenge, WBW has adjusted how they operate by utilizing technology and other services. Back in the office and now serving more clients in person again, they are careful to ensure masks are available and CDC guidelines are followed. Having recently hired another attorney, Drew Tuggle, both Blackburn and Warren say they plan to continue the firm’s tradition for many more years to come. “We enjoy what we do and plan to continue to give the best service we can to our clients,” says Blackburn. Written by Wendy Howell


PICTURED LEFT: Attorney Angie Avard Turner specializes in the creative industry and in helping creative entrepreneurs.



ngie Avard Turner is an attorney who loves all things patterned with a punch color. Although an attorney for nearly 20 years, the path to creating her niche practice did not travel a straight line. Angie had always loved being creative. From the outset of her wholesale stationery and gift company in 2003, when her peers at tradeshows learned she was an attorney too, they quickly asked all the legal questions pertaining to running a creative business. After almost 20 years in retail, 10 years in wholesale, and five years in licensing combined,

Angie decided it was time to build a niche practice, in which the attorney knew the legal needs of the creative entrepreneurs because she had been one herself. As a designer, artist, and entrepreneur who grew a creative business to seven figure sales, she has a deep understanding and passion for creative businesses. Being able to relate to her clients and tell them, “I know how you feel because I had that happen to me too,” has been a key factor in cultivating longlasting relationships with her creative clients. Combining both her love of creativity and the law was a natural fit. Although Angie received her Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) in 2000, she went back to law school to specialize in Intellectual Property. She received her Master in Law (LL.M.), with honors, in Intellectual Property, in 2019. This advanced law degree allows her to handle more complex issues pertaining to copyright, trademark, licensing, entertainment, e-commerce, and social media law. Angie is a longtime contributing legal writer for Gift Shop magazine, and several other blogs. She is also a frequent speaker and presenter at business conferences, webinars, and podcasts frequented by creative entrepreneurs. Angie has been married for over 21 years to Steven Turner. Together, they have three children. 75




PICTURED: Attorneys Chris Ambrose, Todd Silvis, Ben Lindquist, Aaron Coch and Dough Silvis (seated)




oug Silvis founded the law firm that became Silvis, Ambrose, Lindquist & Coch, P.C. in 1983, after declining partnership in what was then the largest firm in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He and his wife, Nancy, and their children moved to Thomasville to start a private practice to fulfill Doug’s vision to have a Christian law firm, building on a foundation of four years as a USAF JAG at Eglin AFB, FL and another four years as a civil litigation specialist in Ft. Lauderdale. After practicing nearly 40 years in Thomasville, Doug’s vision has been fulfilled as he has been joined over the years by attorneys Chris Ambrose, Ben Lindquist, Aaron Coch, and Todd Silvis. The firm is “AV” rated, and it has attorneys licensed in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and South Carolina. It has a dedicated and experienced support group. From the years when Doug and his wife, Nancy, did everything, the firm has grown in specialties and it has diversified. Ben Lindquist now takes the lead in personal injury and wrongful death cases, and the firm has become one of the premier firms in that area, known for the personal attention given by its

staff, not only to injured parties but to all its clients. Chris Ambrose does the same in adoptions and criminal defense ―especially DUI―and is renowned in both specialties. Aaron Coch heads the commercial and residential real estate divisions, representing both developers and residential buyers and sellers. Todd Silvis specializes in trusts and estate planning, but, like all the attorneys, also enjoys diversity. Doug remains active as president and, while doing many things, enjoys helping people with long-range planning decisions, creating and building their businesses and helping people find solutions to their legal problems. The firm has been voted the top law firm in the Thomasville area nine years in a row and enjoys taking care of business in and out of the courtroom with experience, honesty, and integrity. Having served over 11,000 clients, the firm has as its motto, “We Partner With You” and seeks only to take cases that it can provide the kind of personal attention that its clients have come to appreciate over the years.

951 S Broad Street • Thomasville, GA 31792 Phone 229-228-4130 Fax 229-226-4690 OUR PROVIDERS Calvin J. Reams, M.D. • Amy E. Geer, M.D. • Timothy O. Thomson, M.D. Charles Sanders, M.D. • Jeremy W. Poole, D.O. • Elving Colon, M.D. Thomas E. Edwards III, M.D. • Bonny Voyles, FNP • Rainey Williams, FNP Davelyne Hines, FNP • Philip J. DuBose, Psy. D

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Whelchel & Carlton LLC—Five experienced attorneys, including Kyle T. Swann, John M. Carlton, Jr., Kenneth M. Turnipseed, J. Hamilton Garner, and J.D. Sears

or nearly 100 years, the law firm of Whelchel and Carlton, LLC, has provided quality legal services to South Georgia. In the 1920s, the Whelchel family began this general practice firm to serve the legal needs of clients in Thomasville. Today, the firm regularly practices throughout Southwest Georgia and has two convenient locations in Thomasville and Moultrie. Whelchel and Carlton takes great pride in keeping in constant contact with clients, providing updates on each case, and preparing each client for what to anticipate as their case progresses. This dedicated level of service resonates a personal and caring approach throughout the legal process, keeping in mind that not all clients are the same. “We want our clients to experience personal, one-on-one service all the way through the legal process,” says partner Kyle T. Swann. “Continuous communication is how we achieve this with each of our clients.” The attorneys at Whelchel & Carlton, LLP are experienced

Now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 academic year. Space is very limited; apply today! Call for your personal tour.

Brookwood School admits academically qualified students of any race, color, creed, gender, or national and ethnic origin.

301 Cardinal Ridge Road | Thomasville, Georgia 31792 Phone (229) 226-8070 |

Kyle• J.D. T. Swan · J.D. Sears Kyle T. Swan Sears • Kenneth M. Turnipseed Garner • John M. Carlton, Jr. KennethJ. Hamilton M. Turnipseed · J. Hamilton Garner John M. Carlton, Jr. MOULTRIE 229-985-1590

THOMASVILLE 229-228-4333


in a broad range of legal issues faced by individuals, families, and businesses in the Thomasville and Moultrie areas. Focusing on areas such as personal injury, real estate law, wills, estates and trusts, healthcare, and corporate law, Whelchel and Carlton is a full-service law firm with a dedicated approach to providing topnotch legal services to clients. With a team of five experienced attorneys, including Swann, John M. Carlton, Jr., Kenneth M. Turnipseed, J. Hamilton Garner, and J.D. Sears, and a quality staff, clients can expect to receive personalized attention and the highest level of client service throughout the entire legal process. Written by Wendy Howell

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Vidalia Onion & Broccoli Strudel 15 oz frozen broccoli florets 1 small Vidalia onion, diced 1 tsp minced garlic 6 tbsp butter, divided 2 tbsp flour 1 cup 2% milk 2 tbsp grated parmesan 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed 1 cup mozzarella ½ cup cheddar

PREPARATION Cook broccoli in microwave and drain well. In a large saucepan, sauté onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons butter until tender. Stir in flour until blended; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in the parmesan cheese and broccoli. Melt remaining butter. Place one sheet of puff pastry on a piece of waxed paper; brush with butter. Spoon half of the broccoli mixture along one long side of pastry. Sprinkle with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting from the long side topped with the broccoli; pinch seams and ends to seal. Brush top with melted butter. Carefully place seam side down on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and vegetable mixture. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes and slice with a serrated knife.



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PREPARATION Honey Roasted Vidalia Onions

Not all sweet onions are Vidalias. With a uniquely flat shape, the Vidalia is grown in one of 20 South Georgia counties outlined by the Federal Marketing Order No. 955

2 large Vidalia onions 1 tbsp water ¼ cup honey 1 tbsp butter, melted 1 tsp paprika ½ tsp salt ½ tsp curry powder ¼ tsp ground red pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel onions and cut in half crosswise. Place onions cut sides down in an 8-inch square baking dish and drizzle with water. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Combine honey and remaining ingredients. Turn onions over. Brush half of the honey mixture over the onions. Bake, uncovered, an additional 30 minutes or until tender, basting with remaining honey mixture after 15 minutes. Serve while hot.



Exhibit Offers Public Art “To-Go” WALK ON THE WILD SIDE, a traveling, multi-faceted, outdoor public art exhibition featuring the works of local and regional artists, continues to move to communities throughout the region. Paintings of native fire-tolerant flora, designed to wrap around lampposts, and larger-than-life murals of native fauna pay homage to our unique Red Hills region. Thomasville Center for the Arts, in partnership with LOWES, Ashley HomeStore, and Tall Timbers, took Walk on the Wild Side on the road, passing along a selection of murals and flora wraps to the Metcalfe and Cairo communities. Each town was empowered to create their own version of a public art walk in their downtowns through mid-March. “Metcalfe was thrilled to use our historic community to showcase this beautiful work,” says Christine Ambrose, president of the Metcalfe Community Association. “We are located in the center of the Red Hills, surrounded by lands managed with fire. I have spent my life studying plants and fire, and it is so exciting to share these natural wonders through art.” The public art exhibit was a fitting kickoff for Cairo’s current efforts to draft strong guidelines for depicting local history through permanent murals in their downtown, says Alyssa Blakely, Cairo’s Main Street director. The artwork will continue to be relocated throughout our region, says Darlene Crosby Taylor, public art director for Thomasville Center for the Arts. “Southern communities are known for their hospitality. If we all work together and share our unique assets with one another, we will stand stronger in the end,” she says. Thomasville Center for the Arts has also worked diligently to promote the contributing artists represented in the exhibitions. All murals and flora wraps are available for sale, with proceeds supporting the artists as well as youth art programs at the center. To stay up to date on activities and events surrounding this traveling exhibition, visit

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