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West Georgia

Li V ing Life . Art . Music . People

Nov./Dec. 2013

The Food Issue

Have a Blue Christmas!

Bring the Taste of Summer to your Holiday table with a Delicious Blueberry Pie

Local chefs highlight some of their favorite seasonal recipes, page 45 West Georgia residents share their festive traditions, page 32

$3.95

Vol.4/Issue 2


West Georgia

Li V ing Volume 4 . Issue 2 Nov./Dec. 2013 Publisher Leonard Woolsey leonard@westgaliving.com

Editor Amy K. Lavender-Buice amy@westgaliving.com

Advertising Melissa Wilson melissa@times-georgian.com

Photographer Ricky Stilley ricky@westgaliving.com

Contributors Kitty Barr Ken Denney T.L. Gray Joyce McArthur Lowell White

From the Editor Dear Readers: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the holidays are almost here! Where did time go? Well, time slows down for no one, so in this issue, we’ve brought you a holiday treat we know you’ll love: recipes! Everyone loves food, and we know how much our readers love recipes, so we packed this issue to the brim with recipes from local chefs as well as (possibly) your next door neighbor. Inside these pages, we’ve got a wide variety of recipes prepared for you – from gumbo to Japanese fruit cake. Of course, don’t forget about that blueberry pie on the cover! You can find the recipe on page 44.

focused on some unique holiday traditions we found our families celebrating right here in the west Georgia area. We hope you enjoy learning about the multifaceted cultural diversity we have right here in the Carroll, Douglas and Haralson County area, page 32. Of course, we also stopped off at some of the happening events that were going on around town this fall, including Waco Fest, Eclectic Live!, Douglasville’s September Saturdays, and Roopville’s Homecoming festival and parade. Look closely, you may see someone you know. See pages 14, 24, 54 and 62.

To help you manage all the people who will doubtless be knocking down your door to eat all this food, check out our stories on how to keep things in order while you’re planning the perfect holiday party, page 22. And for those who don’t necessarily look forward to those big family get-togethers, you might want to read up on how to simply lighten up during the holidays and go with the flow, page 42. With the spirit of celebration in mind, we

Also, don’t miss out on tips from our local Master Gardeners on growing a beautiful winter garden and how to choose the right fruit for our region – I’ll give you a hint ... peaches didn’t make the list. See which fruits are a Southerner’s dream on page 18.

Sincerely,

Amy K. Lavender-Buice

To advertise in West Georgia Living, call Melissa Wilson at 770-834-6631. West Georgia Living is a publication of the Times-Georgian. West Georgia Living is published bi-monthly. Submissions, photography and ideas may be submitted to Amy K. Lavender-Buice c/o The Times-Georgian, 901 Hays Mill Rd., Carrollton, GA 30117. Submissions will not be returned unless requested and accompanied with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. West Georgia Living reserves the right to edit any submission. Direct mail subscriptions to West Georgia Living are available for $24 a year. Copyright 2013 by the Times-Georgian

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West Georgia Living

Nov./Dec. 2013

Leonard Woolsey is the Publisher of West Georgia Living and the TimesGeorgian.

Melissa Wilson is the Advertising Director for West Georgia Living and the Times-Georgian.

Ricky Stilley is the Photographer for West Georgia Living and IT Director for the Times-Georgian.


Contents

14

32

56

54

46

28

Features

Photos and Cover Art by Ricky Stilley.

44 A Blue(berry) Christmas: Add a new

28 Home of Distinction: Our series on local

32 Our Tradition: Learn all about the various

56 Hollywood Comes to Georgia: See how

holiday color to your table this year with this delicious blueberry pie!

holiday traditions celebrated by local west Georgia residents.

homes continues with this Greek Revival beauty owned by Alan Bell. west Georgia is getting in on the act as more pro duction studios roll into town.

Departments Life

22 10 42

People

Take 5: Phil Miller

26

Party Planning Fun Facts about Turkey De-stress the holidays

Art

Artist’s Corner: Ramoa Teal

64

Garden

Winter Annuals and Perrenials Fruit Worth Growing

16 18

Food

Local Chefs’ pics Readers’ Favorites

45 52

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West Georgia Living

Nov./Dec. 2013


Pub Notes From Publisher Leonard Woolsey

The Sweet Spot For me, the window of time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is the sweet spot of the year. Yes, I could be talking about the opportunity to visit with friends, get together with family, or just take in the colorful sights of the season. But no, I’m really talking about food.  Okay, maybe I’m a simpleton, but the food I find within arm’s length during this time of year is amazing. Many times, I’ll get to taste an old family recipe, or I’ll discover an item from a part of the world I might struggle to find on the globe that’s sitting on my desk. Culturally speaking, November and December are the “big show” when it comes to food in America.  Every home has their own special holiday dishes. In our home, growing up as kids, it was Scottish Shortbread cookies made from a hand-written recipe passed down for generations. However, the funny rub was that my mother and her three sisters all seemed to interpret the instructions differently. For a dish consisting only of flour, butter and sugar, you might’ve thought these four cooks had never met or been in the same kitchen together. One of my earliest memories is of arriving at

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my aunt’s house for Christmas Eve dinner and being greeted by a whiff of slightly overdone shortbread cookies coming out of the oven. After hearing a few interesting words of frustration from the kitchen, I would look to my mother – who in my humble opinion nailed the recipe. She would have her dish of perfectly flaky cookies ready to share. All the while, my grandmother would be almost smirking in a nearby chair as the sister’s all wrestled and competed among themselves for her approval. Since then, I’ve learned to recognize that this little competition goes on in countless households across the globe. Everyone has a special family recipe they guard with a level of security that would make the Secret Service proud. I’ve been told, off the record of course, that many cooks will leave out a key ingredient or step when sharing with others to protect their place on the (pardon the pun) food chain. Who thought there could be so much drama behind something so sweet?  Which brings me to this issue of West Georgia Living. When it comes to food, the Holiday Season is the Super Bowl, World Series, and Wimbledon all wrapped up into one. No matter what culture you hail from or your religious or ethnic background , every-

one seems to roll out the big guns during the holidays. In this issue we’ve tried to do just that – highlight the best of our community as well as share with everyone a few dishes or recipe options you may not have thought about. We hope you’ll try a few with your friends and family this holiday season. That said, dig into this issue of West Georgia Living and enjoy the sweet spot of 2013.


Just the facts on ...

Turkey A few little-known facts about America’s favorite holiday centerpiece


Our nation’s ‘noble bird’ given the boot for another

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ith the holiday season fast approaching, plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners begin to fill the minds of cooks all across America. From Granny Ruby’s famous fried apple pies to Aunt Janice’s stuffing, each family has its own traditions that make holiday dinners special. And at the center of the Thanksgiving tradition for so many families stands the turkey, without which the holiday season would not be the same. Surrounding the turkey, along with warm holiday memories, are several misconceptions about the bird’s history and origin, specifically in relation to the founding of the United States.

Life Story by Hannah Fulmer Photo by Ricky Stilley

bird more closely resembled a turkey. He then wrote a letter to his daughter detailing how the turkey is a “more novel bird” than the bald eagle. • The Aztecs regarded the turkey as a god and held two religious festivals a year in the bird’s honor. • Following a traditional Thanksgiving feast, many feel groggy and tired. Over the years this feeling has been attributed to turkey. It is true that turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin, which helps regulate sleep. However, all meat contains tryptophan, and so do many other foods, including cheese, shellfish, and nuts. In a traditional Thanksgiving meal, full of stuffing, potatoes, bread and pie, it is the combination of these carbohydrates with the meat that causes the sleepy sensation many people experience.

Gobble Gobble

Here are a few facts to clear up possible misconceptions regarding the famous holiday fowl.

• Every American child knows the story of the Pilgrims, the Native Americans and the Thanksgiving meal they shared in celebration of the first harvest in the New World, and every elementary school’s Thanksgiving play features the meal with a great big turkey at its center. Unfortunately, there is no real evidence that turkey was served at the original Thanksgiving meal – instead, the feast probably featured venison. It has been speculated that the turkey did not become a key part of the Thanksgiving tradition until the 19th Century.

• Turkeys are native to North America, originating primarily in Mexico and the Northeastern United States. There are two wild species of turkey – the Ocellated turkey (Agriocharis ocellata) and the present-day gobbler (Meleagris gallopova) – that evolved in North America approximately 11 million years ago. • Though revered by Benjamin Franklin, the turkey was never seriously considered for the honor of being the national bird of the United States. After settling on the bald eagle as the national bird, an official seal was fashioned with a depiction of the eagle. When Franklin received this seal, he noted that the

• Unlike domesticated turkeys, weighed down by their own bulk, wild turkeys are known to fly up to 55 miles per hour for short distances. They rarely fly high into the sky because they prefer to stay close to the ground, where they feed on seeds, nuts, berries and insects. • The wild turkey was hunted nearly to extinction by the early 1900s, when the population reached a low of around 30,000 birds. But restoration programs across North America have brought the numbers up to seven million today. • A turkey’s gender can be determined from its droppings– males produce spiral-shaped poop and females’ poop is shaped like the letter J. • Both genders have a snood (a dangly appendage on the face), wattle (the red dangly bit under the chin) and only a few feathers on the head.

Sources: Smithsonian.com, National Wild Turkey Federation, history.org, and livescience.com. Nov./Dec. 2013 West Georgia Living

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Thanks to lower rates, you can elevate your fun

Treat yourself. With GreyStone Power’s great rates, you have more money for the fun things in life. Our winter residential rates are 6.55% less than Georgia Power’s rates* and among the lowest among electric cooperatives in the state. (Our last rate increase was in 2008.) So, go celebrate! We’ll keep working to provide reliable, affordable power that elevates your fun. *According to a 2013 rate survey by the Georgia Public Service Commission. Based on 1,000 kilowatt hours monthly use.

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Photos by Ricky Stilley Glen Moore, left, of Knight Catering Service of Powder Springs, Ga., cooks up a selection of burgers, sausages and ribs at Waco Fest in Waco, Ga., Saturday, Sept. 14.

Waco Fest Katie Wright, 4, enjoyed the inflatable bouncy Magic Castle at Waco Fest. The inflatables and children’s games were provided by the City of Waco for free and were paid for from last year’s vendors fees.

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Dakota Wahudi, 6, above right, snatches his finger back just in time before his cousin Brayden Pace, left, 3, can bite it. The two were playing prior to the start of the Waco Fest parade along Atlantic Avenue.

Melissa and Chris Moon, at right, of Bowdon enjoy their lunch under the shade of the large oak tree in front of the Waco City community center during Waco Fest.


Garden

Mums

Story by Kitty Barr Photos by Ralph Van Pelt

Bring color to the Winter Garden with these Winter Beauties

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hen the blooms of summer start to fade and the slight chill in the air tells you winter is on its way, don’t abandon hope for a beautiful winter garden. There are plants that will thrive in our area throughout winter, and perennials will help you do less work in the long-run by coming back each year.

closed garage if we have below freezing temperatures.

There are a few winter perennials that will do well in our Zone 7B. While you must purchase annual plants each year for additional winter color in your garden and pots, perennials don’t require such a strain on your budget. To remember the difference between “annuals” and “perennials” think – annuals must be bought every year, or annually, while perennials will last for several or many years, depending on the plant. I always advise reading the plant label – growers know what they are talking about.

For fall color, chrysanthemums, “mums,” are a great choice for pots. Surrounded with some trailing variegated ivy or similar graceful vine creates a pretty addition to your front walk or patio entrance. A native of East Asia, you will find mums for sale everywhere: our favorite big box stores and groceries as well as garden shops. They come in various colors, such as yellow, gold, dark maroon and other autumn shades. In our fortunate location, after they finish blooming or get bitten by the cold, you can plant them in the ground and have fall color next year. They do require pinching back several times in the summer, so they don’t bloom too early and will give that nice mounded shape covered in fall color. If you repeat this for several years, putting them in pots and then in the ground, you will have a large area of fall color in your garden.

Whichever type of plant you choose, always get winter annuals and perennials into the ground by early October. The forecast is for bitter cold this year, and plants potted for color and texture will not do as well as ones in the ground. Pots are exposed on all sides to the air temperature, therefore potted plants are more likely to freeze. If you can lift your pots, I would advise bringing them in overnight, or at least into a

There are also the “cole crop” annuals from the Brassica family of plants. These include winter cabbages, which have rounded heads with smooth leaf edges in colors from white to purple. Kale is another with fringed or ruffled leaves. Both grow to about 12 inches wide and high. Our University of West Georgia usually plants both of these at their entrances and in their winter beds. They “bolt” or send up tall flowering

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stems in the spring, adding interest and color. The fussy gardener sometimes pulls up and discards plants too soon without waiting for the surprises some plants will bring if left to their own devices. “Tokyo Mix” flowering cabbage and “Peacock Mix” flowering kale are favorites. Cabbages and kale are great in pots or in the soil surrounded with the dependable pansy in all her array of colors. The pansy is certainly not a pansy as in cowardly or weak. In the coldest weather here in Georgia, they are the brightest light in the garden, shopping center green space, and public planting spots. They are the queen of winter annuals, surviving temperatures into the teens. I like a large mound of white ones to remind us of snow. Other years, I try to get as many different colors as possible gathered in one place to remind us of the coming spring. From white to pale blue, yellow, orange, salmon, dark purple and more, pansies have faces in each bloom made up of their colors and spots. They are a smiling reminder of warm weather to come. Some new varieties come in solid colors. “Crystal Bowl” is one example. Swiss chard, from the beet family, has attractive leaves of red and yellow, which look cheerful planted with cabbage and pansies. Best of all, the leaves are edible. Varieties include ‘Red Giant” and “Bright Lights.” Occasionally, maybe bi-weekly, applying a water solution of MiracleGro to these winter vegetables will keep them from bolting too soon. I like the bolt with its flowers, but let’s not spoil the arrangement we’ve created until early spring comes. Snapdragons come in heights from 8 inches, the dwarf Bells Mix; 15-20 inches, the semi-dwarf Sonnet Mix; to tall Liberty Mix, 2 to 3 feet. The University of Georgia trials produced a great performer: Black Prince at 18 inches. These tall beauties are hardy down to the low 20 degrees and flower all winter

with day length exceeding 10 hours. Snapdragons are fragrant and will lure you out into your winter garden. They benefit from being pinched back at planting. This forces more stalks to form and hence more flowers. Dianthus (Dianthus chinensis) has been a favored addition to my garden. Generally underused as a winter annual, the newer hybrids, “Diamond” and “Ideal” are more cold tolerant as well as heat tolerant than older varieties and will bloom all winter and summer here. Standing about 12 inches high, they make a colorful border with 1-inch diameter flowers in pink, red, white and bi-colors. Some petals are fringed while others are smooth. I don’t know if they are related to carnations, but some have that same spicy fragrance. “First Love” and Ideal Rose” have done well in the University of Georgia gardens. They overwinter well, don’t “stretch” (reach) for the sun, and flower prolifically.

Lenten Rose

Violas are tiny, pansy-like flowers. “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” and Sorbet and Velour series violas do very well here. Because of their miniature size, they are better viewed in pots or in a spot near your doorway where they can be seen. Even the old varied-colored ones will show up in your garden from time to time, brought in by winds or birds. All of the above mentioned plants benefit greatly from being planted while the ground is still warm, giving their tiny roots time to anchor into the soil before the cold sets in. They do best in full sun and when set out no later than midOctober. We Southerners are fortunate to have a temperate climate for flowering plants. When the Weather Channel shows that threatening blizzard up North, just gaze out at the color in your pots and garden and smile. Kitty Barr is a Carroll County Master Gardener Extension Volunteer.


Garden Story by Joyce McArthur Photo by Ricky Stilley

Growing Fruits

Fruitful or a Fruitless Task?

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ere at the Carroll County Ag Center, we hear (and answer) lots of questions about growing plants in west Georgia, and many of those questions are about growing fruits in residential landscapes and gardens. People want to know which fruits are the best to grow here, how to grow them, and how to avoid or remedy disease conditions in their fruit trees or plants.

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One thing that Georgia is blessed with is mild winter weather. The one thing that Georgia’s plants and crops suffer from is its mild winter weather. We love the relatively moderate air temperatures, and guess what? So do innumerable fungus spores and diseases. Nothing is killed off in the cold of winter here, as the pathogens are destroyed in the truly cold and snowbound regions of the country. These things just keep growing stronger here through the year, and – try as we may to fight them – they are stronger than we are! Before I begin to tell you what will grow beautifully here in our drought-ridden/monsoon (take your pick) summer weather, let’s hear what a few of our veteran Master Gardeners and friends have to say about their experiences with growing fruits 18

West Georgia Living

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in Carroll County and the surrounding area. Master Gardener Extension Volunteer (MGEV) Shelly Murphy related her trials with fruit trees and bushes: “Based on our own experience (we have tried to grow apple, peach, plum, nectarine, pear, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries), I am skeptical about fruits that do well here. In fact, when I took the Master Gardener class in 2002, our instructor was skeptical as well – he said if you want nice peaches, pears, plums, strawberries and table grapes (other than muscadine or scuppernong varieties) save yourself some work and expense and just buy them at the grocery store. It’s not impossible to grow peaches and plums here, but they are labor-intensive in that they require severe pruning, must be sprayed at the right time, and need more cold nights than we get in some years.” Shelly and her husband, Ed, are expert gardeners, with Shelly as the creator and keeper of a beautiful hillside of water gardens and flower beds. Ed grows a varied and bountiful vegetable garden. “We have had fairly good luck with blueberries, and two different years we got some blackberries before they succumbed


to a virus,” says Shelly. “Ed planted more and the same thing happened to them (other friends have had similar experiences). Of course, we all know figs do well here. We also have native scuppernong or muscadines in our yard that do well. “Friends claim to have an heirloom variety of pear that makes good preserves. Most pear trees sold at stores (such as Bartlett) are not recommended. Strawberries grown here are typically not sweet, and I know several experienced gardeners who have given up.” One of those experienced gardeners that Shelly referred to, Tom Cook, has tried growing a variety of stone fruits with fairly consistent (disappointing) results. “I planted two apple trees, a Granny Smith and a Jonagold, a few years back,” he said. “This year, for the first time, the Granny Smith produced small fruit.  The Jonagold has never even bloomed, let alone borne any fruit.  Some sort of fungus attacked the Granny Smith apples and most fell off the tree.  Only one survived out of about 15 produced from a profuse bloom. In addition to the apple trees, I planted the following: An apricot tree and two nectarines, all of which bore a bit of fruit the second year, which fell off before maturity. Two peach trees, both of which produce magnificent bloom and plenty of fruit, but much of it falls off. What doesn’t fall off has been attacked each year by a grayish-brown fungus, destroying all the remaining fruit.  I have sprayed, trying several regimens, nothing seems to work.  I also keep the trees pruned to allow sunlight in, but that didn’t help, either. A Santa Rosa plum, with much the same story as the others. Two cherry trees, different varieties, which, though young, produced flower and a little fruit this year. “I must add that all the trees, especially the peaches and nectarines, are healthy, robust specimens. One of the nectarines and one of the peaches have massive trunks (for their variety). I also have two varieties of Muscadine grapes, the darker one and the golden one, both of which produce nice fruit. The vines seem healthy, even with the Japanese beetles attacking the darker variety.  They don’t seem to care all that much for the golden (more wild) variety.” MGEV Marilyn Van Pelt, who has planted and maintained two beautiful flower and vegetable garden landscapes at her home and her daughter’s home, responded after reading about Shelly’s experiences: “Thanks, Shelly, for saying it for me. I have good figs and blueberries. I had plums, but a ground hog got them and messed up the tree. My Chinese persimmons are off and on. Most of them fell off this summer. True – I have given up on many fruits because they are absolutely ‘unsuitable’ for this area and climate (or something!). Even when I have good luck one year, and a plant is supposed to do well here, I won’t get any fruits the next year because of conditions

or critters. This is probably a good reason to write an article to caution people about the fickle nature of fruit growing.” And MGEV Kathy Howell and her husband, David, have worked at growing varieties of fruits, as well: “We had a peach tree and one year we had beautiful peaches. All other years we had brown mummies. We put the tree out of its misery last year.  Our blueberries and figs do well unless the figs get hit with late frost then we must wait until a new bud before we get any figs.  We get only a handful of raspberries and just eat them as they ripen.  Our muscadines grow well and ripen, but the deer somehow know when they are ready and eat them before we do. I have a pomegranate bush that I just planted last year and it is growing roots this season, so no sign of flower or fruit yet.  The pear had blight.  David got tired of waiting for good pears and cut it down this past spring.” MGEV Kitty Barr observed that commercial growing of fruits is really the best way to get a good harvest: “I’ve never attempted to grow fruit. However, I know the best apples come from the Northwest, as in Washington State... and the best peaches come from South Carolina, as in large commercial growers. And I have no idea about pears; except that a friend has a pear tree, always loaded with them every summer, and they are hard as rocks, never get soft enough to eat. I think Georgia just isn’t a good climate for fruit unless you are a huge commercial peach grower in South Georgia, well equipped with sprayers, tractors and pickers.”  Do you see a pattern here? If you will grow figs, blueberries, scuppernongs and muscadines, and some species of pears, you’ll get fruits galore without a lot of grief. Figs and pears are not native to Georgia, but they have been cultivated for such a long time here, that they are pretty well acclimated to our climate and conditions. According to the Georgia Department of Agriculture, some of the best pear varieties for Georgia include Orient, Kieffer, Seckel, Moonglow and Baldwin. They suggest that if you’d like to grow figs here in the Piedmont, varieties Celeste, Hardy Chicago and Conadria are fairly well adapted. 


Less well known, but just as delicious (and much more disease resistant) are some native fruits that thrive here in west Georgia. Fruiting trees that you may certainly want to try include pawpaw (Asimina triloba), mayhaw hawthorn (Crataegusaestivalis), serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.), persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), plum (Prunus americana or Prunus angustifolia), crabapple (Malus angustifolia), and mulberry (Morus rubra). Native shrubs that bear fruit include blueberry (Vaccinium), huckleberry (Gaylussacia), elderberry (Sambucus), black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis), and blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis).    To (hopefully) avoid the heartbreak and crop loss of my compatriots, I’ve planted some American native fruit trees in my own yard. The two serviceberries (Amelanchier “Autumn Brilliance”) bloomed and fruited like nobody’s business this spring, in just the third season

since the trees were planted. Knowing how the birds adore the sweet blueberrylike fruit, I was ready to pluck my bowlful before the entire bird kingdom in our neighborhood got word of them. By the time we got home from work on the second day of ripeness, every berry had been stripped from the tree (I did get my bowlful, by the way). I’ve planted four American Crabapples (Malus coronaria), which are native to Ohio, but are fairly robust in a variety of climate conditions. If these crabs produce for me, I’ll be busy making jelly from their puckeringly tart fruits (with plenty of sugar added!) Happily, I came across a Callaway Crabapple (Malus x ‘Callaway’) a few years ago and planted that one out in the yard in a nice sunny spot. According to the University of Florida Extension, “This Crabapple is often recommended for use in Southern gardens due to its high disease-resistance and its low chilling

requirement for flower production.” Another potential jelly source are the three Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) bushes we have installed as a bit of a privacy hedge at the side of the yard. The fruits of this shrub are said to be so astringent that the effect of eating one is to feel as though one is choking. As with the American Crabapple fruits mentioned earlier, add enough sugar to anything and it becomes jelly. So, can you grow fruits in your yard in west Georgia? Yes and no. Yes, you can grow certain species reliably and with little effort, if you stick with natives and naturalized varieties that have been proven to grow happily here. No, you will not have success if you plan to grow fruits that are not disease resistant or acclimatized to our area. For me, I chose the former, and even then, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Joyce McArthur is a Carroll County Master Gardener Extension Volunteer.


Life Story by Christine Keefe Graphic by Ricky Stilley

Be the Perfect Party Planner B

y starting early and staying organized, you can plan, create and host a party with ease. Starting early means a month before, not a day before! This will help ensure the experience runs smoothly. The first step would be to set the date, time and place of your party. Determining your location contributes to choosing a theme. Milestones, like your birthday or favorite holiday, can be even more festive when a creative theme is chosen. With the cool days of fall upon us, we all know football season is here. Choose the theme of your favorite NFL team. Whatever theme you choose, determine your budget for the event by including the cost of all expenses, including your food, entertainment and decorations. It is your choice whether to email or mail the invitations, but make sure you do this a few weeks in advance so your guests can make time to come. While you wait to see how many guests RSVP, think about the amount of chairs, food and drinks you will need. For a family-friendly gathering, it is smart to set up a separate area for the little ones to have their own fun. Perhaps set up a tablecloth of butcher paper for the kids to draw all over with colored pencils. The lighting you choose for a space can give the party a personality of its own. Ceiling fans aren’t as fun as pulling out your bright white Christmas lights. To avoid confronting the attic full of Christmas decorations, you could change the bulbs in the lamps you already have to rose-tinted bulbs for a cheery ambiance. If your party is outdoors, you could substitute outdoor lights with bright

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blue for an exciting boost of color. Don’t forget that memories should be remembered. Use your chosen theme to use photo props to make the pictures more fun. Christmas party props could be Santa hats and reindeer antlers. A game day photo could include a cut-out of a famous football player or just simple face paint. Also, go ahead and make an iPod playlist for hassle-free listening. Think about your audience and your theme, and get creative. Do you just want to go traditional with instrumentals, or do you want your guests to end up dancing and singing along? A week or so before the event, start making a grocery list once you know how many guests will be there. As a rule of thumb, always round up rather than rounding down. As you plan your menu, select items that can be prepped the night before and stashed in the fridge. Don’t put everything in the fridge, though. You don’t want your guests stuck in your kitchen. Use coolers or buckets to fill with ice for bottled beverages in multiple areas for guests. Think about where everyone’s cars can be parked. Be a good neighbor and let people know there will be cars parked in front of their houses. On the day of your party, make sure food is prepped, bathroom towels are stocked and your outfit is chosen. Disperse candles and set up tables with dishes and glasses. Don’t get too stressed – because it shows. Give yourself an hour before your guests show up to freshen up and relax so your ease will set the tone for when you welcome your guests into your home with a big smile and perhaps a drink in hand.


Eclectic Live! Photos by Ricky Stilley Gabrielle Benson, right, of the University of West Georgia theater department, sings “Waiting for Life” from the play “Once On This island.” Benson and other theater majors performed a sampling of the songs in the musical during the annual Eclectic Live! performance at The Amp on Sept. 28.


The Sax Ensemble, top right, performs at The Amp in Carrollton during Eclectic Live! The event is an annual fundraiser for the University of West Georgia College of Arts and Humanities to help support students persuing a degree in the various departments in the college. UWG sculpture professors Ryan Lamfers, right, and Casey McGuire carry out the UWG wolf that had been stolen from in front of The Amp earlier this year. The wolf, which was part of the Howl for UWG project, now sports two casts where its front fore-legs had been, courtesy of Dr. Greg Slappy and the Carrollton Orthopedics staff. Maddie Mashburn, a Carrollton Elementary Student and designer of the wolf, was also on hand to welcome the patchedup wolf to the stage Hannah Starnes, at left, Katie Kirchoff, and Ellie Hull, of the UWG Marching Band, play during the opening of Eclectic Live!


Take

5ive with

Phil Miller Douglas County Sheriff Photo by Ricky Stilley

Why I af for do what d I every s me the do: To m op e day. How portunity , the job of do yo t Every u bea o help so Sherif f day I m t a jo make b like eone that? sure The b to: P est a ray. Don’ t go dvice I e v into debt er follow , and d e Beac on’t d: Two th h or ever i mou quit. ngs – ntain s: M My fi ount rst ta ains. was s t e of re youn al wo g. rk: P ulp w oodi ng w hen I

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CONGRATULATIONS to the 5,500 Southwire business people who earned our company the honor of

GEORGIA MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR. Together, we deliver power.


Life Story by Ken Denney Photos by Ricky Stilley

Alan Bell stands on the porch of his business, Alan Bell Archetict, Inc., which is housed in a Greek Revival that is more than 100 years old.

Home of Distinction

A Greek Revival

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t used to be called the White House in Carrollton, but not because any executive lived there. It had that name because it was once painted all in white, in imitation of a Greek temple. At 166 years, the house is quite possibly the oldest residence remaining in Carrollton, built in 1847 when the city, like the county itself, had barely been carved out of the wilderness. It is also one of the oldest and best examples of the Greek Revival style of architecture that dominated the American scene when the country itself was brand new. It’s no longer a home. Instead it is the hard-working office of Alan Bell, an architect who is uniquely suited to appreciate 28

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its style and features – built of heavy hand-hewn timbers and 12-inch boards cut from the virgin forests surrounding what is now Maple Street. Before Bell bought it, it had served as a fraternity house, so it should certainly be able to withstand the rigors of office use. The house was built by Henry Pope Wooten (1808-1877). It was laid out in a very simple style, with four rooms of the same size in each corner of the house, separated by a central corridor, and another floor, exactly the same, stacked on top. Two chimneys pass through both floors, with a double-sided fireplace on each floor – for a total of eight. Despite the ornate 2 ½ foot diameter columns in front of the house, it is very


simple inside; no architectural frills or embellishments. Despite its age, the building has much of its original features, including the eight-foot tall windows set with ancient, rippling panes of glass.

Greek Revival buildings are typically post-and-beam construction, without the arched entrances and fanlights found in Georgian or Federal styles.

When Wooten built the place, it was located where the Maple Street school is now and surrounded by 328 acres of land. Wooten sold the house to a son-inlaw, Benjamin McFarland Long, who, according to county histories, was the first child of European descent to be born in Carrollton. Even though Long moved to Walker County, Ala., either he or his wife just couldn’t leave the old house to their memories. They had an exact replica of the house built in Jasper, Ala. It’s still there, at 701 East 19th Street, and you can visit it with Google Street View, if you’d like. There’s also a story that Long built a second replica of the house in Cordova, Ala., a town he founded and named after the town in which he was posted during the Mexican War. In 1882, Long sold the original house to George Franklin Cheney (1844-1934), who sold much of the land to members of the entrepreneurial Mandeville family. A supervisor during the time of the Mandeville Mill construction, C.L. Walker, was living in the house in 1912, when the property was sold to the City of Carrollton as the site of the Maple Street School. But the building itself was saved – dragged 100 yards from its old location to a brick foundation built at its current site, an address now known as 128 Lovvorn Road. Bell says he finds the house a comfortable office, with thick plaster walls that keep his energy bills low. A previous owner modernized the house, adding an indoor kitchen and bathrooms, replacing what Bell supposes were once exterior buildings. Bell himself has done very

little to the house except to replace some missing parts of the front porch and to organize the interior into office space.

the house has stood through virtually all of the city’s history and has been a home for generations of residents.

The house represents an era of the early United States, when the Founding Fathers were fascinated with Greece as the birthplace of the democracy they were trying to create. Painted white and built with the proportions of a Greek temple,

Very few houses like it remain, and fewer still have been so loved they have been replicated twice and moved once. Hopefully, it will be with us all for longer still. WGL Nov./Dec. 2013 West Georgia Living

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r Typical design features of a Greek Revival house include columns, symmetrical shapes and low roof lines in direct imitation of Greek temples. Many buildings were painted white so as to simulate the houses being built of marble.

Porticos, or porches, were almost always a part of a Greek Revival home.


Dr. Peter and Abby Lazarnick

People Story by Lowell White Photos by Ricky Stilley

Celebrating Traditons Local families share their unique holiday traditions

O

ne of the things that makes this time of year so special is that every family has their own holiday traditions. We may all be celebrating the same thing, but how we celebrate it varies from region to region, family to family. Though Christmas is the most mainstream holiday of the season, several cultures around the globe have similar customs at roughly the same time. We decided to delve a little deeper into our community to find some festivals and holidays celebrated by west Georgians that may not get quite so much attention – and no endorsing mattress sales. So we asked several local residents to share their families’ traditions, and they were happy to oblidge.

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Hanukkah

with

Dr. Pete

and

Abby

Peter and Abby Lazarnick, members of the Congregation Or VeShalom in North Druid Hills, will eagerly explain the meaning of Hanukkah (or Chanukah), the Jewish Festival of Lights and Feast of Re-dedication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem. Hanukkah is based on two miracles following a three-and-ahalf-year ban by conquering Greeks on practicing Judaism, said Dr. Lazarnick. The first miracle was the defeat of the Greek-Syrian army by the outnumbered Maccabean (Jewish) army. But the most significant miracle was that a jar containing enough sacred oil for one day, found among the ruins after


the Maccabean Revolt, was divinely multiplied into a supply sufficient for eight days.

A representation of a dreidel.

“Dr. Pete,” as his chiropractic patients call him, and Abby, both 60 and both born in Brooklyn, N.Y., waxed eloquently about Hanukkah and its symbols. “A Menorah is a candlestick containing eight candles representing the miracle of the sacred oil surrounding a taller center candle, the Shamas (Shah’-muss),” said Abby. “The candles burn for a halfhour. Some of them play music. When I was a child my dad would light the Shamas. On the first night of Hanukkah, there would be one candle and the Shamas burning, the second night two candles on the Shamas, and so on through the eight nights of Hanukkah. Growing up it was an honor to light one of the candles, just as it was for our kids.” Dr. Pete explained that a dreidel (dra’dul) is a four-sided spinning top used in children’s games, which are played for chocolates. “In 200 BCE, during the occupation of Jewish lands, the children would have to study the Torah in secret, and if the Greek or Syrian soldiers came, they would start playing with the dreidels to cover up.” Latkes, the holiday’s main dish, are potato pancakes fried in olive oil, usually eaten on mornings of Hanukkah, the couple shared, adding that there are no dietary restrictions during Hanukkah as in Jewish high holy days – Rosh Hashanah, Tashlich and Yom Kippur. “This year, Hanukkah starts on Nov. 27 – the day before Thanksgiving – which is when the family gets together. We expect our children Sari, Lauren and Seth to attend with our extended family. So we’ll have a house full for the holiday.” Dr. Pete added, “I have to do all the cooking for 15 to 20 people. It’s a

hobby, so I enjoy it a lot. We’ll be doing dinner and breakfast and just having a great time!” “Hanakkuh centers around the lighting of the Menorah and its history. That’s the focal point of the holiday.” Dr. Pete summarized, “Jews have been overcoming religious persecution from time immemorial. Hanukkah signifies freedom. That’s why I think we’re in a phenomenal country – America – we can practice religious freedom. That’s what

Hanakkuh means to me, personally.”

Johnson Day “Johnson Day” — a 117-year continuous family Christmas tradition – was first celebrated in 1896 by the Johnson family. But there’s far more to Johnson Day than longevity, said Mary Johnson Tolleson, who coordinates the annual Yule gala in Tallapoosa with help from cousin Ruthie Olson Swafford. Nov./Dec. 2013 West Georgia Living

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Up to 50 relatives are expected to celebrate Johnson Day on the Saturday before Christmas, Dec. 21, at Tallapoosa’s Big Timber Lodge.

Ruthie Swafford

“A Swedish smorgasbord is served on Johnson Day, highlighted by Swedish meatballs (Svenska Kottbullar), pickled herring (sill), Harvard beets, mashed potatoes (potatismos), ham (skinka), home-baked bread (brod) and abundant desserts (efterrratt),” said Tolleson. “Usually, each family brings the same foods every year.” Tolleson says everybody brings gifts, which are secreted upstairs for Santa to hand out later to the excited children. Before Santa enters, a spirit of cheerfulness pervades with the singing of carols. “We also play fun games, exciting everybody, especially the children.” Tolleson says the tradition started in Tallapoosa when it was brought here by brothers Carl Fritz and Claes Herman Johansson, who married the Bergstrom sisters, Alma Elizabeth and Christina Elin, after arriving in Massachusetts in 1886 from their native Sweden. The two families Anglicized Johansson to Johnson and re-located to Tallapoosa in 1896 after hearing of the town’s opportunities. That year, both families celebrated their first Christmas together in their new Southern home.

Tolleson recalled that Harold Johnson, his wife Mattie Lee and his son Joseph hosted the affair for 30 years in their Tallapoosa home. Harold played Santa until he became unable, then passed the tradition on to Joseph. Tolleson, 80, her brother David Johnson and Swafford are the only Johnson kin remaining in Tallapoosa. Six generations have spanned the years since the first Johnson Day. Swafford, 86, is the oldest family member and the last “full-blooded” Swede. One-yearold cousins Ryan Gray, David Roberts and Anna Owens are the youngest. Tim Johnson of the 4th generation reminisced: “It has always


been one day of the year that offers a little stability. Even though things have changed over the years, people and rituals are always firmly rooted in the family tradition. Part of who we are is grounded in where we have come from.”

Giving Thanks

at the

Patel’s

Rajendrabhai Patel, his wife, Jayree, and his brother, Dilip, of Tallapoosa are Hindu émigrés from India. Hindus cherish an annual holiday festival called Deepavali (or Diwali), which occurs this year on Nov. 24. Rajendrabhai, 59, who owns Rite Stop convenience store on Highway 100 north in Tallapoosa, is known to customers and friends as “Raj” or “Rocky.” He and brother Dilip studied at Sardar Patel University (SPU) in Vvnager, India. Raj and Jayree have a 27-year-old son, Vipul, who is enrolled at prestigious Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan, and daughter Amashi, 21, is studying at Arizona State University for a teaching career. Raj, Jayree and Dilip are looking forward to celebrating Deepavali, which happens during the New Moon of Ashvi on the Hindu calendar – between mid-October and mid-November. Deepavali is the Hindu holiday observance closest on the calendar to Christmas and Hanukkah. However, Deepavali does not have the same meaning as Christian or Jewish holidays, said Raj. Deepavali, which means “row of lights or lamps,” features a time for prayers of thanksgiving, a feast, candlelight ceremonies and fellowship. “There is a great spirit of happiness and thankfulness at Deepavali,” said Raj. “In addition to the prayers and the meal, we listen to a message by one of our priests.” Deepavali takes place at Grace Covenant Church, 1147 Rome St. in Carrollton, since the nearest Hindu Temple, Shri Swapminaryan Mandir, is in Lilburn, Ga. The Mandir was completed in 2007 after 18 months of assembling more than 34,000 Indian hand-carved pieces of marble, exotic limestone and sandstone. In addition to Lilburn, the Mandir has chapters in Byron, Duluth and Smyrna. Hindus such as the Patels also have worship symbols in their homes. Leaders invite Hindu adherents to the festival and issue special invitations to non-Hindu friends and officials from Haralson, Carroll and Douglas Counties. Last year’s event was attended by about 500 people, Raj said. One of his friends, Haralson County Sheriff Eddie Mixon, attended in 2012 and Raj described the celebration’s rituals to Mixon. “I have an interest in other religions and am intrigued by other cultures,” said Mixon, a steadfast Baptist.


The food at Deepavali contains no meat. Each family brings a dish prepared in the Hindu tradition, which is heaped in a pyramid-like mound on a table and offered up to their Hindu deities. The food which is not divinely consumed is then eaten by the Hindu believers at their feast.

Some of the many decorations on display at Allen’s Florist during the Christmas Season. Hosting activities during Christmas in Possum Snout is part of his familiy’s tradition.

“At our Deepavali, we do not engage in gift-giving or Santa Claus like in Christmas or Hanukkah,” said Raj, “but, everyone has a good time.”

Christmas

at the

Allen’s

The Allen family starts their seasonal celebration at Thanksgiving and it does not end until the week after Christmas. And they have, as old-timers say in Georgia, “A big Christmas!” “We’ve had ‘Christmas at the Allen House’ on Thanksgiving Day for 36 years,” said Tommy Allen, owner of Allen’s Flowers and Gifts of Tallapoosa. He added that his florist shop is a part of the larger celebration of “Christmas in Possum Snout,” which includes many participating merchants and is sponsored by the Tallapoosa Business Association. “We actually start the Christmas season at 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day after everybody has had their turkey dinners and watched a little football on TV. We stay open until 11 p.m. and bring in extra help for this special day. None of Allen’s Christmas could happen without the support and hard work of the family,” said Allen. Ladies of the community especially like to attend in order to get decorating ideas and choose from a great variety of gifts. “We have free old fashioned carriage rides around the streets of Tallapoosa, hot cider, and Santa Claus might just drop by. Also, customers register for door prizes.” The Allen family celebrates Christmas 36

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Nov./Dec. 2013

in the way many Baptists traditionally do – church cantatas and re-living the manger scene with Mary, Joseph and the Christ child. Being choir director at Tallalpoosa’s West View Baptist Church, Allen’s work is cut out for him at Christ-

mas time. He conducts arduous rehearsals in preparation for the big church performance. On a personal level, the matriarch of the Allen family, 84-year-old Teen Hulsey


Allen, enjoys her favorite part of Christmas – cooking a traditional Southern breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs, grits and biscuits for a house full on Christmas morning. She has cooked for as many as 25. After breakfast, they have the Allen family “Christmas tree” – the traditional and always exciting exchange of gifts. The week after Christmas, the entire Allen family, 18 strong, including Teen, her children Tommy, Barbara and Lynn, grandchildren and in-laws – the Barclays and the Walkers – are treated by Tommy to a Tennessee holiday excursion in the Great Smoky Mountains near Dollywood. They stay in Gatlinburg, experience Pigeon Forge, watch musical theater shows, shop at outlet malls and have most meals together. All of which is a welcome break from all the hustle and bustle of running the shop during the holidays. Allen, a native Tallapoosan and Vietnam combat veteran who is deeply absorbed in civic, church and military affairs, is single and has no children but delights in all the Christmas and Thanksgiving activities involving children, especially Tallapoosa’s lighted Christmas parade. But he plainly states that “Christmas to me is celebrating the birth of Jesus.” Without that, all the festivities would be for naught. The 64-year-old lay minister believes, “That’s what it’s all about. Take Christ out of Christmas, and you simply don’t have Christmas!” WGL


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EXCEPTIONAL CARE, ON YOUR SCHEDULE A NEW WAY TO ACCESS HEALTH CARE HAS COME TO WEST GEORGIA.

Within the past few months, Tanner Urgent Care has opened two new regional locations—in Carrollton and Bremen—along with the current Tanner Immediate Care location in the Tanner at Mirror Lake medical office building near the Publix in Villa Rica. Tanner Urgent Care offers walk-in care—no appointment necessary—and evening and weekend hours, making care for minor medical emergencies more convenient for every member of the family. Among the conditions Tanner Urgent Care treats are: ƒ Sprains and strains ƒ Fevers ƒ Cuts and scrapes ƒ Cold and flu ƒ Burns and rashes ƒ And more

Medical Group practice,” said Howard. “Tanner Urgent Care physicians will be able to quickly review your medical history, see what medicines you are taking or are allergic to and more, making your visit to Tanner Urgent Care a seamless part of the continuum of care that Tanner Health System provides.” Among Tanner Urgent Care’s services are on-site digital X-rays, drug and alcohol screening, free blood pressure checks and physical exams, all available on weekends or evenings and without an appointment. Addresses and directions to Tanner Urgent Care locations, as well as hours of operation, are available online at www.TannerUrgentCare.org or by calling 770.836.9445.

“Urgent care is a great option that many of our neighbors in west Georgia and east Alabama want and will enjoy using,” said Loy Howard, president and CEO of Tanner Health System. Tanner relocated its immediate care practice from Douglasville to the Tanner at Mirror Lake medical office building in 2008. That location now serves about 17,000 patient visits each year. With new locations in Carrollton, just across Dixie Street from Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton, and the new Tanner Urgent Care/Bremen, located near Ingles on Business 27, Tanner Urgent Care is becoming an even more viable treatment option for residents in west Georgia. “Tanner Urgent Care centers are staffed by family medicine physicians who have access to all the resources of Tanner Health System—including the electronic medical records of any patient at a Tanner

Tanner Immediate Care/Villa Rica (pictured) is located in the Tanner at Mirror Lake medical office building near Publix in Villa Rica. Tanner Immediate Care/Carrollton is located across Dixie Street from Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton, and will be relocating to a new facility Tanner plans to build on U.S. 27 South in Carrollton in 2014.

Tanner Urgent Care/Bremen (pictured), located in a new medical office building at 100 Tanner Drive in Bremen, near the Ingles on Business 27, opened in early September.

Nov./Dec. 2013 West Georgia Living

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Life Story by Ken Denney Illustration by Ricky Stilley

How To: De-Stress Your Holiday

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hanksgiving and Christmas are everyone’s favorite holidays – once they’re over. For many of us, the stress of anticipating these gigantic, festive celebrations makes this the season of dread. Somehow, you just know, Cousin Joe is going to burn down the carport with his deepfried turkey, or that your family get-together will wind up as an episode of “Cops.”

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It’s not true of all families, of course. Not the ones who live in a Thomas Kinkade painting, with the Martha Stewart house full of Hallmark Card moments. But for some, the holidays can be a struggle. Nothing puts a damper on a holiday like being around much-moresuccessful brothers and sisters, cantankerous uncles and passiveaggressive aunts. After waiting years to finally be able to sit at the grown-up table, your celebration can be quickly extinguished by your father’s political rant, or your vegan sister-in-law’s twisted concept of ham. Men and women experience a family holiday differently, of course.

M

en have to be tolerant of the father-in-law whose printable nickname for them is “Fathead.” They have to bond with the other men in the family, just as Neanderthals did in those cold caves in France. Men have to cheer for the 42

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Nov./Dec. 2013

football team they hate because that’s the one all the other guys in the den are rooting for. Or they have to pretend to know all about things men are supposed to know (but really don’t) – like the infield fly rule, how to hunt bears with knives, and how to rebuild the transmission of a 1969 Dodge Charger … in the dark.

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omen have it worse. They have to represent as The Best Mother, The Most Fierce Worker and The Best Cook, all simultaneously. If they are married into the family, they have to weather all the acid-tongued comments of the in-law women; if they are blood relatives, they have to weather all the acid-tongued comments of their sisters and female cousins. They have to do everything the way things have always been done, to uphold all the family traditions, without introducing strange, Yankee practices into the mix: “Paprika on the deviled eggs? What are you, a Communist?” Obviously, this is no way to enjoy a holiday dinner – but what can you do about it? How can you de-stress your holiday, so that each doesn’t wind up being a miniature recreation of the Attack on Pearl Harbor? If you look for advice on the web about having a stress-free holiday, you’ll find a lot of nonsense. “Acknowledge and


express yourself honestly,” say these pop psychologists. Really? Should you express your feelings to your cousin before or after he gets drunk and has a fight with a cow? Actually, there is one good piece of advice for surviving a Dysfunctional Family Holiday: don’t expect anything different from last year.

I

f you go to a family holiday expecting that your parents will suddenly stop criticizing the choices you’ve made in romance and career, you are likely to be disappointed. But if you go knowing that Aunt Joan’s kids are going to run around, unsupervised, screaming and yelling – or expecting to have to keep the sharp cutlery away from the warring political factions in the family – then you can begin to relax and enjoy being Home for The Holidays. If you’re the kind of person who likes to regale friends and co-workers with funny stories, you can consider holiday time to be research time. That argument over canned cranberry sauce versus homemade can become a priceless story to bond with your friends at work, enhancing your reputation as the office

comedian. Remember, the best stories include details, so when you tell the story about those hideous Christmas sweaters your sister insisted her kids wear, be sure to include the look of mortification in the kids’ eyes. When you talk about how your brother-in-law “saved money” by getting the family Christmas tree from the city park, be sure to include the exact number of police it took to Tase him into submission. If you want to spend a no-drama holiday with your family, you’re going to have to do your part by keeping things in perspective. Lighten up! Let some things slide!

you about her two sons in college, don’t think about how your own kids keep walking into walls because they can’t take their eyes off their cell phones. In the end, remember your Southern manners. Eat what is put before you – without complaining – even if it is deep fried into charcoal. Don’t interrupt people older than you. Compliment everything, even the tacky centerpiece - even if your five-year-old could have made a better one with glitter and macaroni. Just remember, it’s only one or two days out of the whole year, and soon you will be back home. In a few months, you might even find yourself looking forward to doing it all over again. WGL

When your brother in law goes on and on and on about how all his investments have gone up, while yours are floating upside down in the financial fish tank, just smile and nod your head. When your aunt tells

Nov./Dec. 2013 West Georgia Living

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Food

Have a Blue(berry) Christmas! Photo by Ricky Stilley

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R

emember all that time you spent in the summer heat picking blueberries? Well, now you have a reason to pull them out of the freezer. This blueberry pie is sure to chase the winter blues away and bring a taste of summer back to your

Holiday Blueberry Pie Pastry 2 cups all-purpose flour 1teaspoon salt 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening 4 to 6 tablespoons cold water Filling 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, if desired 6 cups blueberries 1tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon of corn starch 1tablespoon butter or margarine, if desired In a medium bowl, mix 2 cups of flour and the salt. Cut in shortening, us44

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Nov./Dec. 2013

table. Serve it with or without a top crust, as shown above, and serve it with sugared blueberries (made by dipping them in egg whites, then rolling them in sugar) for an extra pretty presentation your family is sure to enjoy.

ing a pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary). Gather pastry into a ball. Divide in half; shape into 2 flattened rounds on a lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm and helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling. Heat oven to 425째F. With floured rolling pin, roll one round into round 2 inches larger than a 9-inch glass pie plate. Once rolled to the necesarry

size and thickness, fold the pastry into fourths; place it in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. In a large bowl, mix sugar, 1/2 cup flour, corn starch and the cinnamon. Stir in blueberries. Spoon into pastrylined pie plate. Sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over blueberry mixture. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Cut butter into small pieces; dot over blueberries. Cover with the top pastry and cut slits in it; seal and flute. Cover edge with a 2- to 3-inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning and burning. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble through the slits in crust, removing foil for the last 15 minutes of baking. Cool on cooling rack at least 2 hours.


Live to Eat Food Column and Recipes by Rob Duve´

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he Holidays tend to be that time of year when we focus on family, guests, and people coming in and out of our lives to celebrate and give thanks. Not wanting this to be a written version of a Rockwell Holiday painting, it’s also football season, the time of year when “foodies” start rubbing their hands together, dreaming of the holiday favorites they’ve waited for. It’s also the time when chefs get together and discuss how they can use this time of year to really impress family and friends. The holiday season provides chefs and cooks alike the chance to get really creative, to spend extra time in the kitchen to really work that favorite dish, or a new one, into a new, blissful level of perfection. For this issue, I have taken some of the recipes that I love to serve during the holidays – and that my family and friends always request – and presented them to you. The first two are large

Smoked Salmon Pate´

recipes meant to keep crowds happy. (Make no mistake, people are talking about your food.) The third is a great dinner for after everyone leaves and you need a little time with those close to you. Also for this issue, you will notice some friends of mine have contributed some of their holiday favorites. These recipes are what their families ask for and what they are known for. We hope you enjoy!

Smoked Salmon Pate´ So many people have come to my kitchen and looked at this pate´ with one raised eyebrow...until they tasted it. I like to serve this with fried Blue Cheese chips and then see the look on people’s faces as they go back for more. This is a great appetizer for football games – as well as keeping snitching fingers busy while you’re cooking.

Ingredients 1 lb wild caught Coho Salmon, smoked and shredded 1 block quality Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature 2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped 1 small Shallot, finely chopped ¼ tsp Cayenne pepper ¼ cup chopped Green Onions 4 tbsp Clarified Butter (Ghee) ½ tsp coarse ground Black Pepper Sea Salt to taste Chopped Green Onion to garnish Smoke the salmon on the grill at a high temperature with soaked wood chips (applewood is best for this recipe) until cooked through and it has a heavy smoked appearance. Set aside to cool, then shred and remove the grey fat from the skin side. (The fat is where that “fishy” flavor resides.) Saute´ shallots and garlic in clarified butter until the edges just start to brown. Again, set aside to cool for just a bit. In a food processor, add all the ingredients including all of the clarified butter from the saute´ and


puree´ on high until a very smooth consistency is reached. Line a small bowl with cling wrap making sure that it is fitted tightly to the sides with enough excess to cover and spoon in the pate´. Allow to chill overnight until firmly set and press chopped green onions on the surface as garnish.

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

Bleu Cheese Chips are easily accomplished by melting a thin layer of bleu cheese in a non-stick skillet, over medium high heat until it browns on one side. Simply flip it with tongs until the other side browns. Put on a plate to cool and break into cracker-sized pieces. One pound of bleu cheese will make a vast amount of chips.

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo Gumbo may not strike people as a holiday meal, but it fits the time of year very well. Soup season is just kicking off, it is absolutely packed with flavors. One batch can feed throngs of people, and feel free to replace the chicken below with an equivalent of leftover chicken. Ingredients 2 cups diced Onion 2 cups diced Green Peppers 2 cups diced Celery 2 cups sliced Okra 1 head Garlic peeled and finely chopped ¼ cup Olive Oil ¼ Roux (instructions follow) 8 cups rich Chicken Stock (homemade is best) 1 cup dry White Wine 1 tbsp Worchestershire Sauce 1-2 tbsp Louisiana Hot Sauce 1 tsp Fresh Thyme, very finely chopped 1 tsp fresh Oregano, very finely

chopped ½ tsp ground White Pepper ½ tsp ground Black Pepper 1 lb boneless Chicken Thighs, cubed 1 lb boneless Chicken Breast, cubed 1 pound Andouille Sausage, diced Sea Salt to taste In a large, heavy bottom pot add onions, green pepper, celery, olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and cook over medium heat, keeping the pot covered and stirring often. Cook this down to a thick paste, again, stirring constantly, add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the okra and roux (see recipe at right) and bring to a very high temperature without scorching and add the chicken stock and white wine, stirring constantly until thickened. Salt and pepper the chicken breast, brown it in a large skillet, and add to the pot to simmer with the remaining spices, including the Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Stir this regularly not only to keep it

from sticking but also to help break the chicken breast and okra up. You want these to fall apart so that they acts as thickeners. Brown the chicken thighs and andouille and set aside until the chicken breast has sufficiently broken up. Deglaze the skillet with white wine, making sure to scrape all the bits off the bottom, and add to the pot. Once the okra has disappeared, add the chicken thighs and andouille. Serve over steamed Jasmine Rice with a crusty bread.

Making Roux Making roux is as simple as browning flour in an equal amount of some form of fat. In this case, use equal amounts of bacon drippings and flour. Vegetable oil can be used as a healthier alternative, but here flavor is king. In a heavy bottom skillet, heat ½ cup of bacon drippings over medium heat and whisk in ½ cup of all purpose flour. It will foam a bit


Artichoke Chicken

but will settle down as the moisture cooks out of the flour. Keep the flour moving while scraping the bottom constantly. Watch closely and you will notice the color of the flour start to brown. Roux has several stages and you’ll want to move past the Blonde stage and wait until it gets to the Peanut Butter stage. If you let it go, it will get darker until it comes to the Brick stage. You will notice that this procedure creates more roux than the recipe calls for. Use the extra if you want a thicker gumbo or just keep it in the refrigerator. It keeps nearly forever and is a great thickener for gravies and stews. I usually make about 2 cups just so I can have it around.

Artichoke Chicken My friend Paul quit eating beef and pork for a time (I still can’t under-

stand why). He traveled from Michigan to our little corner of Georgia a few holiday seasons ago. On his return trip, he planned to stop and see a guy in Tennessee with whom we went to highschool and is quite an accomplished cook himself. Paul threw out a challenge to both of us to create the best chicken dish we could come up with and he would be the judge. This was my entrant into that competition.

¼ tsp coarse ground Black Pepper Sea Salt to taste

Ingredients 2 bone-in Chicken Breasts 1 whole Shallot, finely diced 2 cloves Garlic, finely diced 3 tbsp Clarified Butter (Ghee) 3 tbsp All Purpose Flour 1 cup rich Chicken Stock 1 cup Heavy Cream ½ cup Dry White Wine 1 6oz. jar Artichoke Hearts (non marinated) ½ tsp unflavored Gelatin ¼ tsp Dill

Add the flour and whisk until thoroughly blended with the butter. Cook for about five minutes, turn the heat up to medium high and add the white wine, chicken stock and heavy cream while whisking the whole time. Add the artichoke hearts and chicken breast, bone side down, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until chicken breasts are cooked through. Let the dish rest off the heat for about 10 minutes and serve.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and brown in 1 tbsp clarified butter, then reduce heat and cook until about halfway cooked through. Set chicken aside. Add the remaining butter, shallots and garlic to the pan and sweat them over medium low heat until just translucent.

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Sebastienne Gerhardt-Grant Chef/Farmers Fresh C.S.A. Roasted Butternut Squash Puree with Rosemary-Pecan Garnish This is really all about the Rosemary-Pecan Garnish, which can be used to enliven a range of dishes, like Sweet Potato Casserole, Roasted Winter Squash Soup, or even Grilled Pork Chops! It also makes a delicious stuffing for Roasted Acorn or Butternut Squash halves. Serves 4 For the Roasted Butternut Squash Puree´: 2 large Butternut Squash Olive Oil 3 TB Butter ¼ Cup Cream Cinnamon Nutmeg Clove Sea Salt Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds with a spoon. Drizzle squash with olive oil and place cut side down in roasting pan.

(Many people roast them cut side up, but I prefer this method as it allows the flesh of the squash to caramelize better. You could do it either way). Roast for about 35-40 minutes, or until squash is tender enough to stick a fork in easily. Allow squash to cool (this would be a good time to prepare your garnish!). Once cool, scoop flesh out into a bowl. Add butter and cream. Add spices and salt to taste. Puree´ or mash. For the RosemaryPecan Garnish: ¾ Cup Pecans 1 medium Apple 3 strips good quality Bacon (can be omitted to make dish vegetarian) 2 Tbls. Butter A few sprigs of Fresh Rosemary (about a tablespoon chopped) ¼ Cup Maple Syrup 2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar Cinnamon Clove

Curry Powder Sea Salt Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roast pecans until they just begin to darken (about 5 minutes). Set aside. Chop apple into ½ inch cubes, and toss in roasting pan with butter. Roast until soft (10-15 minutes). Set aside. Cook bacon (I roast mine on a baking sheet with a little brown sugar sprinkled on top, but you can cook it any old way you like). Place on paper towels to drain. Once everything is cool enough, chop pecans and mix with cooked apples, finely chopped rosemary, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, spices and salt (to taste), and chopped bacon. Serve over Butternut Squash Puree (or anything else you like!).


Glenn Barnett Chef/Sunset Hills Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Quail, Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprout Hash, Wilted Spinach For the Quail: 1 oz of Blend Oil or Olive Oil 4 Cloves of Minced Garlic 1 pound Dennis Farms Mild Pork Sausage 4 strips Pine Street Market Bacon Small Dice 1 Cup Finely Diced Celery 1 Cup Finely Diced Yellow Onions 1 Pound Wild Mushrooms or Button Mushrooms (Recommended: Local Shiitakes from Full Life or Crager Hager Farms) 1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley 1 Cup Japanese or Home Made Bread Crumbs 8 Plantation Farms Boneless Quail Breasts  Heat a large saute pan or iron skillet over medium high heat.  Add olive oil, Pine Street Market Bacon and Dennis Farms Pork Sausage to

Pan. Brown Sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, cook long enough so bacon has rendered fat and is crisp.   Next, reduce heat to medium-low and add celery, onions and garlic to pan, stirring until the vegetables are translucent.   Add mushrooms to pan and cook until soft.  Add white wine and chicken stock to pan, stirring with wooden spoon to incorporate pan drippings and allowing liquid to reduce. Remove from heat and let cool.  Add bread crumbs and chopped parley stir to thoroughly incorporate all ingredients.  Stuff each quail breast with stuffing mixture.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and roast until desired

doneness, 12 to 15 minutes.

Sweet Potato Hash

2 Large Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice. 12 Brussels sprouts trimmed and quartered. One bunch of green onions sliced very thin on the bias 1/4 Cup minced shallots 1 ounce bacon grease (Reserved from Pine St. Bacon, Tommy Gum Creek Pork) Toss sweet potatoes with bacon grease, do not add salt and pepper to sweet potatoes at this point as salt will draw out moisture causing steam, place on a cooking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until just barely soft. Remove and let cool. Do the same with the Brussels sprouts, again do not season at this Continued on page 51


Caron Connelly Events Manager/Sewell Mill Events Center Owner/Caron in the Kitchen Caron’s Creamy Garlic Dressing 2 Cups mayonnaise 1/4 Cup Dijon Mustard 1Tbls red wine vinegar 1-1 1/2 Cups grated parmesan cheese 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt (or sea salt) 1/2 tsp. black pepper (freshly ground is best) Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. An additional clove or two of garlic can be added for a little extra kick. Change to Balsamic vinegar and add some fresh chopped herbs for variety. Can be used as a salad dressing, sandwich spread or dip. Keeps for up to two weeks. Caution: very addictive!


Continued from page 49 point with salt. In an iron skillet or saute´ pan over medium-high heat, add any remaining bacon grease, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts.  Cook until vegetables begin to caramelize then add shallots and scallions.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook just until scallions are wilted and shallots are translucent.   Season with salt and ground black pepper.  Finish with butter, optional.

Wilted Malbar Spinach or Local Greens (Recommended sources: Full Life, Crager, or The Gary Farm) 2 Pounds fresh greens, like spinach. 1 Tbls. olive oil Over High Heat, wilt spinach in olive oil. Plate with quail and sweet potato hash. Enjoy! WGL


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s we get ready to celebrate the holidays, everyone starts digging out those favorite holiday recipes. We’ve all got those standbys that we fix every year for our family gatherings because, let’s face it, it wouldn’t be the holidays without them! Whether its made from scratch or made from a box, we know there are certain dishes that make a holiday at your house just feel right. With that in mind, we asked our readers to share some of their own holiday favorites with everyone as we spread some holiday joy through delicious food. We hope you enjoy these recipes and that they bring smiles and exclamations of “Yum!” at your holiday table. No Bake Raspberry Lemon Bars

Submitted By Mozelle Bonner 2 pkgs. 6 oz. Fresh Raspberry 12- square Nabisco graham crackers crushed 2 tablespoons butter melted 2 pkgs. 8oz. Cream cheese softened 52

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Gladys Van Pelt’s Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Submitted by Marilyn Van Pelt 3 1/2 C. All Purpose flour                1 tsp. Butternut flavoring  2 C. sugar                                        2 tsp. vanilla flavoring 1/2 tsp. salt                                      2/3 C. water 3 tsp. soda                                       1 15 oz. can pumpkin 1 C. oil                                              1 8 oz. pkg. chocolate chips  4 eggs                                              1 C. chopped pecans   Mix wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients (nuts and chocolate chips last) and mix well. Fill up greased muffin tins. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees F. This recipe makes 2 dozen large muffins.

1 Jar Marshmallow Cream 1 Tablespoon lemon juice Reserve 20 raspberries for garnish Mix crumbs and butter together. Press firmly into bottom of 9-inch square baking pan. Refrigerate crust while making filling.

Beat cream cheese, marshmallow cream and lemon juice with mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Stir in raspberries. Spoon into crust. Refrigerate 4 hours. Cut into 20 bars to serve. Top each with a raspberry.


Japanese Fruitcake

Submitted by Sue Turner 1 cup butter or margarine 2 cups sugar 4 eggs 1 cup buttermilk 1 cup chopped raisins 1 cup chopped nutmeats 3 cups flour ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon allspice 1 teaspoon cloves 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon soda Cream butter and sugar together, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift dry ingredients together and combine the two mixtures. Flour raisins and nutmeats and add to above mixture. Pour into layer pans and bake in slow oven 300 degrees F about 1 hour or until cake leaves sides of pan. Filling: 2 boxes of coconut 2 tablespoons flour 2 lemons grated rind and juice 1½ cups hot water 2 ½ cups sugar Combine all ingredients, cook until thick. Cool slightly, put between layers. To store Fruitcake: Wrap cake in cloth soaked in fruit juice. Wrap in waxed paper. Place in tightly covered container. Store in cool, dry place. Re-dip cloth if it becomes dry, and change apple slices to keep them from molding.

Fruit Berry Sauce

Submitted by Terri Johnson A delicious version of cranberry sauce: 12 oz can of whole berry cranberries-do not drain or rinse. 1 large granny smith apple-peeled and diced small 8 oz can crushed pineapple-drained 8 oz mandarin oranges-drained and diced ½ cup sugar (optional)

In a saucepan or microwave safe bowl mix cranberries, apples, oranges, and pineapple. Mix in sugar or substitute with other sweetener, if preferred sweeter then just the fruit.  Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally or on high in microwave until apples are tender (about 4 minutes.) Stir. Serve warm as a side dish or top over ham or ice cream as a dessert.   Serves 8 to 10.   I like to experiment with traditional dishes and make them a little tastier. As the host of Christmas dinner one year, I decided to play the cranberry sauce up a bit and tried adding apples. It was good, so the following year I decided to add oranges and pineapples. It has been a hit ever since, so now it is our new traditional cranberry sauce.  

Old Fashioned Chicken Dressing Submitted by Judy Ross

Large pan of cornbread (baked and crumbled) 2 to 4 biscuits (baked and crumbled) Chicken broth 1 large onion 3 eggs Salt and Pepper to taste 2 Tbls. Butter Mix all ingredients together, using chicken broth as needed to add moisture. Press mix into a greased pan. Bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees F. WGL


Roopville Homecoming Kendall Borders, right, shops for hairbows for her sister at the Roopville Homecoming Festival on Saturday, Sept. 21. All proceeds from the 28th annual festival will be used by the Roopville Archives and Historical Society for projects in and around town.

Charles Morrow, below, gives his great-grandson, Sawyer Tracy, 3, a ride on his tractor after the parade. Doris and Jesse Bell of Roopville braved the rain and served as grand marshals of this year’s parade. Onlookers and parade participants may have gotten a little wet, but all were wearing smiles.


Photos by Ricky Stilley Alexia Walker, left, of Fayetteville puts the powdered sugar on a fresh funnel cake for a customer during Roopville’s Homecoming Festival on Sept. 21.

Memphis Teel, below, of Carrollton enjoyed her close encounter with a tortoise as she fed him some lettuce. The tortoise was part of the Tickled Pink Petting Zoo at the Roopville Homecoming Festival. The animal is only about half-grown at age 50, weighs about 70 pounds, and should live to be 100120 years old.


Life Story by Ken Denney Photos by Ricky Stilley

Crew members working on the movie “The Way Home” in Carrollton set up for a scene. The movie was filmed in Carroll County in 2009.

Lights! Camera! Action! West Georgia is ready for its close-up

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aybe the weather isn’t cold enough to get your tongue stuck to a metal pole, and maybe you can’t rent an orange or blue tuxedo around these parts – but Hollywood has decided west Georgia is the perfect place to film the sequel to “Dumb and Dumber.”

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The follow-up to the 1994 Farrelly Brothers comedy classic is currently being filmed in Grantville, a small town south of Newnan in Coweta County and only 27 miles by moped from Carrollton. It stars Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels (brand new Emmy winner) and Kathleen Turner, and is scheduled for release next year. The arrival of such A-listers to our region should come as 56

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no surprise – west Georgia is booming with lights, cameras and action. “The Walking Dead,” with its hordes of zombies, filmed its fourth season in and around the Coweta County town of Senoia; “The Vampire Diaries,” is filmed in Covington, seat of Newton County; and “Drop Dead Diva,” was filmed in Peachtree City and Senoia. It’s part of a trend that is benefitting the entire state. Since 1972, when “Deliverance” was filmed in the Tallulah Gorge, near Clayton, Ga., some 700 feature films, TV movies and TV series have been filmed in Georgia. Two of the movies, “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989) and “Forrest Gump” (1994) won the Oscar™ for Best Picture.


The critical and economic success of those projects – as well as a 2008 state law granting tax credits to entertainment companies – have helped lead an exodus of film crews from the eternal sunshine of Hollywood, to the more varied and realistic climate of Georgia. As of this writing, there are 22 TV shows, TV movies or feature films being shot in the state.

Actor Dean Cain enjoys a moment with fans during the filming of “The Way Home.”

All this has produced an economic windfall: $3.1 billion for Georgia during 2012; a 29 percent increase from the previous year. No wonder, then, that the west Georgia counties of Douglas, Carroll and Haralson are looking to the stars for a brighter economic future.

Starring: Haralson County The West Georgia Boot Camp, built at taxpayer expense in Haralson County to house youths flirting with a career in crime, has been vacant for years and a thorn in the side of county officials. But in 2012, location scouts for the highly acclaimed AMC series “The Walking Dead” almost turned the facility into a movie star. The Boot Camp was, for awhile at least, considered as a perfect location to film the prison scenes which were central to the plot of the season. Unfortunately, there were too many signs of nearby civilization – like a major highway – to suit a series about a post-apocalyptic world, so the idea was dropped. But that was not the end of The Boot Camp’s movie career. A few months later, scouts for the movie “Grantham and Rose,” found the Boot Camp the perfect site to film some key scenes, which took place in a youth prison. Last August, the film’s crew shot scenes at various locations in Haralson, including the small convenience store owned

by Greg Poteet, a professional photographer and videographer who works with county Tourism Coordinator Gail Priest. Priest is the Haralson contact person for the state’s Camera Ready Communities Program, run by the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office, which coordinates with film companies to locate and produce movies in the state. Both the Boot Camp and the conve-

nience store were exactly what the filmmakers were looking for, said Ryan Spah, the movie’s screen writer. “This space was exactly what we were looking for, and we couldn’t find it anywhere in Georgia. We scouted in so many places.” The film stars were Marla Gibbs, best known for her TV roles on “The Jeffersons” and “227”; Tessa Thompson, a star on “Veronica Mars” and “Copper”; Nov./Dec. 2013 West Georgia Living

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and Jake T. Austin, who has starred in several Disney TV series, most notably “The Wizards of Waverly Place.” The film is in post-production, and is scheduled to be released later this year. Poteet and Priest feel Haralson is perfectly suited for filmmakers, offering several locations as well as the convenience of access to a major interstate and proximity to a major American city. And if Haralson becomes a mini-Hollywood, the county would gather in something more substantial than tinsel: major tourism bucks, as well as new customers for hotels, stores and other businesses.

Why Georgia? When most people make the mental connection between “movies” and “Georgia,” they are likely to go back 74 years to the movie “Gone With the Wind.” But GWTW was filmed in California, with a fake Atlanta on the Selznick studios back lot. Much has

since changed, and “Deliverance” is the movie that led the state to create a film commission to actively woo the entertainment industry. Today, the agency is known as the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Its work has created more than 25,000 jobs in the state, and not just jobs directly related to film production. There are also plenty of jobs for caterers, truck drivers, painters, construction crews, accountants, security firms – and lots more. “Georgia is film friendly because we have a proactive legislature, easy access with Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, diverse locations, and a deep and well respected crew base,” says Lee Thomas, director of the film office. But the real key to Georgia’s success, is the tax credits the state offers to film

crews who spend their production dollars here. If you bring your film company to Georgia and spend more than $500,000, you are immediately eligible for a 20 percent, across-the-board tax credit. And, if you stick a Georgia promotional logo in your production, you can get an additional 10 percent tax credit. That view is confirmed by Maida Morgan, the location scout for “Dumb and Dumber,” and numerous other TV and film projects. “Georgia has great locations and film friendly communities, but the primary reason that producers choose to film in Georgia is the tax credit,” she said. Film companies aren’t just dropping in on Georgia for a visit; they are making permanent homes here. Executives at Pinewood Studios – home of James Bond, Agent 007 – have brought their Estonian accents to Fayette County, near


Peachtree City, where they are building a 288-acre production facility, their first such headquarters in the United States. And near Hiram, right in the heart of west Georgia, Atlanta Film Studios – a unit of the Los Angeles-based entertainment consulting company RoadTown Enterprises – is opening a facility with two 20,000-square-foot sound stages, as well as support facilities for everything from music videos, to TV movies to feature films. Because the company also builds and wires sets, the expectation is that it will be a continued source of employment for Paulding County-based trades, as well as affiliated businesses.

“The Way Home” director Lance W. Dreesen sets up a scene.

And not only will local businesses and economies benefit from this boom, but so will west Georgia’s growing pool of professional talent. Film office director Thomas says the state encourages production companies to “use Georgians as much as possible – both in front, and behind the camera.”

The Show Business Having been in Atlanta for 23 years, Morgan counts as a native – and show business is her life. She was born in Mississippi (Carrollton, Miss., to be precise), where several features and television movies were filmed during her youth. “I decided at a very young age that I wanted to be a filmmaker from my experience as a child hanging out on sets. I worked in the media department of the Cooperative Extension Service through college, working on agricultural documentaries throughout the South. After graduation, I landed a position as a scout working for the Mississippi Film Office and moved to

Atlanta in 1991 (and) began my career in Georgia as the Assistant Location Manager for “Fried Green Tomatoes.” Morgan got involved in “Dumb and Dumber, too” because she knew the executive producer, Marc Fisher, and had worked with him and the Farrelly Brothers on the 2011 comedy “Hall Pass.” As a location scout, Morgan reads an advance copy of a movie script, then speaks with the production designer or the director to get an understanding of their vision for the film. “Then we go out and find and photograph locations that we


think work for the creative vision of the film,” she said. But of course that isn’t all. Time is money, so location scouts also have to consider how close those perfect locations are to major highways, airports and other services that the film crew will need.

Getting in on the Act Carroll, Douglas and Haralson counties – as well as 138 other counties in the state – are all members of the state’s Camera Ready Community Program, created in 2010 to help communities (and individuals) get their names in front of production companies. “We encourage all counties in Georgia to have a proactive Camera Ready representative to assist us in attracting films and television projects to the area,” said Thomas. Douglas County has even created a

Film Commission, listing a number of locations across the county, including private residences, that are being offered to film scouts as possible settings for their productions. Spahn, contacted Haralson’s Gail Priest when he was looking for sites. She put him in touch with Poteet, who still had the keys to the disused Boot Camp after showing the site to the “Walking Dead” team. He thought he knew exactly what Spahn was looking for, and he was right. The long vacant Boot Camp was perfect for Spahn because “it also looks more run down. We looked at a couple of other ones, but they were fairly heavily maintained.” As for the store – where the three characters meet – Spahn said it’s family-owned appearance was also the perfect spot. “We wanted a store that looked like it wouldn’t be something you would find if you just pull off the freeway,” he said. Those locations were ones Poteet knew

about first hand, but in truth anyone can list their property as a potential film site, just as Douglas County has done; just visit the web page maintained by the film commission, and submit a description and several photographs. Morgan said that the best way a local community can get their name on the end credits is by getting serious – not just waiting to be discovered by Hollywood. “Become known as a film friendly community,” she advises. “One that understands the immediacy of film request and have someone who has the ability to cut through red tape and ‘make it happen’ quickly for film production companies.” Building a county economic plan around the possibility that Hollywood might come calling may seem unrealistic – but if you were to ask folks in Coweta and Paulding, they would tell you that Hollywood dreams can come true. WGL


Festival Of Trees Children at West Haralson Elementary School in Tallapoosa prepare their ornaments for their classroom’s tree, which will be on display – along with many others – at the West Georgia Museum of Tallapoosa during their Festival Of Trees exhibit November through December. Lance Hardin, right, dressed as Santa, works with Ashley Lawrence, from left, and Shane Williams on the ornaments they are making for the Festival of Trees. This class has chosen the theme “Books for the Liberty Tree” and will contain ornaments in book form of people or events from U.S. History, and will feature the American flag for a star on top of the tree. Below, Kendall Pruitt, from left, Lauren Bridges, and Ben Mohorcic work on glitter balls in Julie Craig’s 4th grade science class at WHES.

Photos by Ricky Stilley


September Saturdays Photos by Ricky Stilley Ta’rae Lewis, left, and dad Travis are all smiles as the mirror reveals the pretty butterfly pattern on her face during one of Douglasville’s September Saturday events.

Emily Humphries, bottom left, and her sister, Cheyenne, giggle and laugh as they try to keep their balance in an inflatable Water Walker.


Jacob Marrone, above from left, Justin Marrone, and Maurice Williams try their luck and skill at basketball.

The Barnett Elementary School Chorus, left, sings on the steps of the Douglas County Courthouse. Every Saturday in September, Douglasville hosted a community event with plenty of activities for children and families.


Artist’s Corner Interview by Hannah Fulmer Photos by Ricky Stilley

Ramona Teal Carrollton, Ga. Tell me about yourself. I am originally from Mt. Airy, N.C. I am a wife, mother and grandmother. I worked in education until 1996, and now I am doing oil portraits. How did you get started in oils? Patsy Harper offered a watercolor class at Tabernacle, and I signed up. What materials do you use? 64

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I use high-quality oils in the three primary colors on canvas or linen. Can you describe your creative process? Well, I see a landscape or arrange a still life or start a portrait. From there, I follow the procedure of the Old Masters, which is a detailed under drawing – usually in charcoal. Then I look for the light and the shadow portions and do an under painting in yellow for the light and violet for the shadows. Next I match color values (which refers to the saturation of each color) to large mass areas.


Once the large masses are complete, I change to smaller sable brushes for the details within the large masses. Of course, the artist is constantly observing the subject and each step brings her closer to the likeness of the subject. Many, times numerous layers of paint and glazes are applied which adds luminosity to the finished product. What is the best part of what you do? Of course, I love the painting process and the sitters I get to know during the process, but the best part is when I present the finished product to the client. Most people have not had a portrait done before and they appear to really like the result. It is very rewarding for me. Are you inspired by other artists? Do you have any favorites? I love the Old Masters and we have been blessed to have traveled abroad and viewed some of the world’s greatest art. But that is not always necessary since we are blessed with the High in Atlanta. Right now, you can see several Rembrandts, Franz Hals, and Vermeer’s “Girl With A Pearl Earring.” Art books are another way to enjoy great art. Currently, I am studying Joaquin Sorolla’s work. In his beach pictures, you can almost feel the Spanish sunshine. The study of art history is a necessary correlative to making art. Have any other artists helped you along the way? I have been so blessed to have taken

workshops with Carrollton’s Tom Nielsen, Atlanta artist Tom Nash, Raleigh’s Luann Winner and Chattanooga’s Gordon Wetmore. Each has shared graciously their encouragement and critique. I am a member of The Portrait Society of America and have entered some of their competitions.

Is your work on display anywhere? Yes, I have portraits and other work in homes from North Carolina to Birmingham. I also have a web site (www.ramonapierceteal.com). Locally, my work may be viewed at Happenstance Gallery at 123 Columbia Dr. in Carrollton. WGL Nov./Dec. 2013 West Georgia Living

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Author’s Corner Review by T.L. Gray Novel by Jason Argos

Author: Jason Argos Publisher: Vabella Publishing Published in Carrollton, Georgia Synopsis: Amy Price, a young woman about to graduate college and unsure of what she wants in life, joins her father on a dig in Belize. Discovering the ruins of an ancient temple filled with unknown writing, Amy gets pulled into the mystical world of Terra. Held captive by the unstable Lord Borga, who believes her to be a goddess capable of conjuring a magical army and the key to subjugating the realm, Amy escapes with help of Hayate, a young knight from the kingdom of Ithor. Refusing to accept that she may be part of an ancient prophecy that claims she will be responsible for either saving the realm or destroying it, Amy embarks on a quest to locate three magical jewels and find a way home. Traveling the fanciful world of Terra alongside Hayate, she befriends Ikari, a young Lord trying to find his own place in the world. Beset by peril and adventure, Amy must deal with the consequences of her arrival, and the machinations of those seeking to use her for their own benefit. Review: When I first read “Song of the 66

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Goddess” by Jason Argos, I found myself smiling, because this story was very reminiscent of the writing style I had come to admire in Argos; as he collaborated in an RPG (Role Playing Game) writing project with me on Scribophile called The Dragon’s Jewel. In that particular saga, he wrote for the character called Jason (Jay the Blade) Brandon, a rogue pirate who had a smooth tongue and even smoother hands. I always looked forward to Mr. Argos’ contributions to the story, and when I heard he had a novel, I couldn’t wait to dive right

into the adventure, being sure it would be wonderful. I really liked the concept Argos took with “Song of the Goddess,” of having an average, ordinary, modern girl desire a bit of adventure as she approached the end of her education and about to embark on a new phase in her life, only to be sucked into another dimension. Follow that up with having everyone chase her because they think she’s a goddess who will help them win against their enemies in a long, drawn-out war. But, eh, being surrounded by knights and


warriors couldn’t be too bad a trade off where a girl hungry for adventure is concerned. Our story starts off with Amy Price feeling the pressure to choose her life path as she quickly approaches her college graduation. Her father wants her to join his archeological team, but she desperately wants to carve her own path in life, find her own adventure, and not just do what was expected or planned for her by her family. It also doesn’t help that she has a sister who seems to be able to do no wrong or make no bad choices. This theme hits home and is quite relatable to young adults in that awkward phase between dependence and independence. It certainly brought up my own memories of that scary time. However, Amy doesn’t really get a chance to choose her destiny while investigating strange languages on her father’s latest dig when she hears the tinkling of a mystical song playing in the background that only she can apparently hear. Without warning or control, Amy gets pulled through time and space to find herself encased in a wooden box and in another world altogether. From the moment the lid to her box is removed, her life becomes entangled with bandits, rogues, cutthroats, political pawns, assassins, royalty, and gods. This adventure starts with our antagonist, Lord Borga, who believes her to be the Goddess of Araia – able to command a magical army and give him the domination he needs to bring the scattered kingdoms together under one rule. Borga is a very typical fantasy antagonist, complete with the ego and the lack of imagination or common sense. However, Borga is not the character who propels readers into this new realm, but rather a young idealistic knight named Hayate, who rescues Amy from the clutches of Borga in his belief that she really is the Goddess of his faith reborn. Throughout the novel, he epitomizes true valiance and dedication to his cause and to his heart. For me, the most interesting character is the assassin, Ikari, who deals in information. He’s renowned for his diabolical ways, along with that of his twin sister, Yuki, and other family members of the Sanada. This character seems to have the same existential questions as Amy, as if they are both trying to carve their own paths in life when their destinies have already been dictated by those around them. These two characters develop such a friendship that Ikari begins to question and rebel against what is expected of him. I feel the best elements in a story are the characters, knowing what makes them tick, what pushes them and propels them to make the choices they make. You learn a lot about characters and people through their choices and their actions, and the concept is the same with the written word. I really love the characterization that Jason Argos shows and portrays throughout “Song of the Goddess.” His second-

ary players also bring a lot to the table, and I found myself enjoying them. There’s the evil queen, Ritsuko, and her ambitious daughter, Alia. Both are quite interesting and bring a great dynamic to the story. Then there is the flirtatious best friend, Gaius, and we all know best friends are either true heroes or traitors, but you’ll have to read the novel to find out which he turns out to be. Then there are the players in the political chess games: King Ryoma, the brute or muscle; Thade and Tres, the inept Consortium who could have stopped it all had they just worked together, but by being inactive, battles ensued, grabs for power happen and chaos is loosened, forcing the Goddess Araia to intervene. The character I found myself rooting for the most was the faithful servant of Yuki named E’Lan. This character in her faithfulness and subtle ways stole my heart. If you love epic fantasies and good versus evil, then you are going to love “Song of the Goddess” by Jason Argos. This book may have been published here in Carrollton, Ga., by our local publishing company, Vabella Publishing, but will hopefully make an impact around the world. About the Author: Jason Argos was born in Washington State and moved to San Diego, California as a child. An avid reader of science fiction and fantasy, he enjoys collecting and learning about the mythologies of different cultures. Jason also enjoys practicing martial arts, bowling and football. About the Reviewer: T.L. Gray is a local author from Temple, Ga. Her first book, “The Blood of Cain,” was published in 2009 by Fireside Publications, followed by two young adult novels: “Keezy’s 10 Awesome Rules for Teenaged Dating” and “Milledgeville Misfit.” Her fourth novel, a sequel to “The Blood of Cain,” “The Arcainians,” was released in the summer of 2012. Ms. Gray works as a full-time novelist, editor and literary agent with North Star Literary Agency. She is also active as a Contributing Writer for Impact Times Magazine and SongPlaces.com, a Contributing Editor for Quan & Scribe Group, and a member of the Carrollton Creative Writer’s Club. www.tlgray.blogspot.com Nov./Dec. 2013 West Georgia Living

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WGL November-December 2013  

West Georgia's most popular living and lifestyle magazine

WGL November-December 2013  

West Georgia's most popular living and lifestyle magazine