Page 1

West Georgia

Li V ing Jan./Feb. 2013

Life . Art . Music . People

Get Moving, Get Fit! Learn a few tricks from local experts that will motivate you to shape up! Page 42

Stop Dieting! Eat your way to a healthier you, and shed those pounds for good! Page 38

The Smithsonian heads to west georgia to showcase local roots music. Page 10 Travel with us to the end of the line with our railroad series – last stop! Page 34


Vol. 3/Issue 2

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From the Editor

West Georgia

Li V ing Volume 3 . Issue 2 January/February 2013

Publisher Leonard Woolsey

Editor Amy K. Lavender-Buice

Advertising David Bragg Melissa Wilson

Photographer Ricky Stilley

Contributors Kitty Barr John P. Boan Tony Montcalm Thomas O’Connor

Ken Denney T.L. Gray Shellly Murphy Katie Allen Ross

Dear Readers:

In addition to our focus on getting healthy, in this issue we also bring back your favorites: Artist’s Corner, some short fiction, and some great articles about local people, places and organizations.

Here we are, another year! Last year was most definitely full – full of fun, full of laughter, full of lots of local events, and full of great people. We here at West Georgia Living look forward to sharing another full year with you!

Don’t miss the upcoming traveling Smithsonian exhibit, New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music, coming to Bremen in February. In addition to the exhibit, all month long there will be concerts at area music venues and churches. Come out and learn a bit about your musical history, page 10.

And to help you start the year off right, we decided to focus on getting healthy during this issue. So, inside these pages, you will find healthy – yet tasty – recipes to help you stick to some new and improved eating habits. We also interviewed a couple of local personal trainers, Josh Harper and Leslie Pair, to help you put your best foot forward as you get started on those New Year’s resolutions. I know, it’s a given that everyone vows to lose weight after the holidays are over, but we want to help you succeed, page 42. So does local dietician Melissa Brillhart. We spoke with her about how to maintain a healthy diet and change your lifestyle. Because, no matter what, we all could use a little help staying on track and losing weight in a healthy manner, page 38.

Also, our history series on the railroad is coming to a close. We’ve followed the line all the way from Douglas to Haralson County. We hope you’ve enjoyed the ride. For now, it’s final stop: Tallapoosa, page 34. Of course, you can also pick up some gardening advice from our local Master Gardeners, page 16. Sincerely,

Amy K. Lavender-Buice

To advertise in West Georgia Living, call 770-834-6631. Submissions, photography and ideas may be submitted to Amy K. Lavender-Buice c/o The Times-Georgian, 901 Hays Mill Rd., Carrollton, GA 30117.

Leonard Woolsey

Melissa Wilson

Ricky Stilley

David Bragg

West Georgia Living is a publication of the Times-Georgian. West Georgia Living is published bi-monthly. Direct mail subscriptions to West Georgia Living are available for $24 a year. Copyright 2013 by the Times-Georgian.


West Georgia Living

Jan./Feb. 2013

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.


No. 1 in Georgia at Getting Back in the Game

You love to compete, no matter the contest. Football or fütball, the tennis court or the basketball court, it makes no difference. Come quitting time, you’re ready to take the field. Half of your shirts have numbers on the back. But all those miles, hits and tumbles take a toll, and it’s getting harder to keep your competitive edge. With Tanner Ortho and Spine Center and Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic, you’ll be off the bench and back in the match. Tanner Ortho and Spine Center has been ranked No. 1 in Georgia for overall orthopedic services by HealthGrades for four years running. That same exceptional care is now available at Tanner Medical Center/ Villa Rica. To find out more, call 770.214.CARE or visit









Photos and Cover Art by Ricky Stilley. On the Cover: Group fitness instructors Lee Burson, from left, Lynne Denney and Leslie Pair hold a Yoga pose.


Diet Failure: Ever wonder why you just can’t


Get Moving!: Get a few tips from local personal 22

stick to that diet? Local dietician Melissa Brillhart helps us navigate the pitfalls.


trainers on how to stick to that New Year’s resolution to lose weight and be healthy.

A Musical Tour: Don’t forget to head to

Bremen as the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibit, New Harmonies, rolls into town.

Local Leaders: Learn more about these prominent black leaders in our community and how they are helping shape the future.

Departments Life Art


Series: On the Railroad Family Connections Review by T.L. Gray Artist’s Corner “Old Songs”

West Georgia Living

Jan./Feb. 2013

34 30 64 68 52


Take 5: Jacqueline Roberts



Feature Flower: Camellias Indoor Herbs

16 18


“Health” Food


Building better lives through education, employment and opportunity


Pub Notes From Publisher Leonard Woolsey


like to bike. Okay, maybe that is a bit of an understatement. I love to bike. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not your 100-mile rider dressed in skin-tight Spandex. No, I’m your regular guy who just plain loves to hop on his bike and ride for a couple hours at any chance or opportunity I find. Winding through country roads on my road bike or bouncing along single-track dirt trails in the foothills of the mountains both make me equally happy. In the end, I just love the experience. Physical fitness is something we all know we need to pay attention to – and not just 30 days after our annual doctor’s visit. Experts agree that one of the keys to keeping motivated to exercise is to find something you actually enjoy, a rewarding outlet to keep you motivated beyond remembering to put “exercise” on your top 10 New Year’s resolution list. For me, I happen to like my bike better than the elliptical trainer. Much better. A few years ago, after decades of running, I finally traded my fancy shoes in for a bike. I loved running but one day my body cried “No mas!” (or maybe it was the doctor sticking a long needle into my hip that really drove the point home). Either way, I suddenly found myself without my longtime go-to outlet for exercise. Staring at the blinking lights of a treadmill or elliptical trainer became really old really fast. 8

West Georgia Living

Jan./Feb. 2013

So, decades after my dad let his hand off the back of the seat of a borrowed bicycle – sending me wobbling down the street – I rediscovered biking. Today, I’ve accumulated a handful of different bikes for different uses (some with thousands of miles on them) and rarely travel without at least one. Recently, over the course of a single month, I found myself riding along the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and the mountains of North Georgia. Each a uniquely beautiful experience I’d never see from a treadmill. Additionally, I can’t wait to get on my bike – a feeling never generated from a stationary piece of exercise equipment. So as we all jump into the new year with resolutions about exercising regularly, let me encourage you to find something you really like to do – something you’ll get excited to do each time. Today, there are so many opportunities – Yoga, fitness training, boot camps, etc. – just find the ones that work for you. Swing by your local fitness club and ask about classes or maybe just ask a neighbor to walk around the block and visit. Regardless, there is something out there for you. For me, mine just happens to be child’s play. But in the end, get out there and live. Find an outlet that gets your heart excited before you even begin. Take care of yourself.


Music Story by Katie Allen Ross Photos by Ricky Stilley

Americana Express is one of the many local groups that will be performing during the traveling music exhibit’s visit.

Smithsonian exhibit highlights local music


ll the best stories have a sound track. A lilting melody, a rising crescendo, a catchy tune: music accompanies us, through stories and through life; it connects us to emotions, to moments in time, to memories. It brings us closer to our history.


The best stories have a soundtrack, and this story is no different. Its sound track can be heard in large cities and in small towns, in garages and on front porches, in pristine white churches and in the rowdy halls of a honky tonk. It can be heard just down the street in Bremen, Ga., where in February and March of 2013, music and history will come a callin’. The New Harmonies Traveling Smithsonian Exhibit has been making its way across the state of Georgia, beginning its 10

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Jan./Feb. 2013

journey in 2012 in the city of Calhoun and slowly winding its way down the state. The exhibit is the result of a partnership between the Museum on Main Street, a division of the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service, and the Georgia Humanities Council, showcasing the roots of American music. The highlight and focus of the exhibit is on Georgia’s own musical traditions and how roots music has touched and shaped many Georgia communities. According to Dr. Keith Hebert, University of West Georgia (UWG) History Professor, Co-Director of the University’s Center of Public History, and the individual coordinating the Bremen leg of the tour, roots music is “the baseline for the development of American music. All music that has developed in America originated from the roots music exam-

ined in [the New Harmonies] exhibit.” The different types of music that are part of the exhibit are numerous and varied: Native American, Sacred, String Bands, Bluegrass, Country, Southern Rock, Traveling Shows, the Blues, Folk, Work and Protest, and the New Traditions music introduced by Georgia’s immigrant population. This variety of musical styles truly shows the depth of diversity present within Georgia’s musical tradition. Events in history and the people who lived through them have heavily influenced the musical tradition of Georgia. Georgia’s original inhabitants, including Cherokees, Creeks, and other Native American nations, used song and dance in celebration and in ceremony, fashioning instruments out of gourds and shells.

They taught and worshipped through music, using it to bring the community together.

Gary Duke


y these first inhabitants, the roots of musical tradition in Georgia were planted, and over the years, they have grown and spread, reaching through churches, across fields of cotton, and over radio airwaves. New Harmonies strives to preserve and explore these roots, and Ann McCleary, the state scholar for the program, as well as UWG History Professor and Co-Director of the University’s Center of Public History, plays a big role in their effort. She explains, “Every state is required to engage a scholar to help generate the regional humanities content for the exhibit. Through the Center for Public History, we have helped work with all of the communities to develop program and exhibit ideas and to assist with marketing. We researched and wrote the Georgia Harmonies catalog, a 24-page publication about Georgia roots music. And we created much of the content for the website. Over the past year, graduate research assistant Sarah Foreman and I have been traveling to all of the communities across the state to provide additional guidance and support.” From the research and hard work done by scholars like McCleary and Hebert, as well as staff from the Smithsonian and the Georgia Humanities Council, the New Harmonies exhibit was created. Of the thirty Georgia communities who applied to host the exhibit, only twelve were chosen through a very competitive selection process. The city of Bremen was among those twelve. Bremen itself has a unique musical history and tradition that made it an ideal stop for the New Harmonies tour. Notably, Bremen is the home of Hugh McGraw, an influential figure in the world of Sacred Harp music. Sacred Harp music involves shape note singing and is performed without the accompaniment of musical instruments. McGraw helps to keep the musical tradition of Sacred Harp alive in communities like Bremen. To this end, he has been very influential in updating the Sacred Harp songbook, organizing singings, and teaching Sacred Harp to members of the community. He has also been one of the leading promoters and preservationists of Sacred Harp music both regionally and nationally. The importance of Sacred Harp to the west Georgia region is evident. Each year, the region hosts several Sacred Harp singings, including one every November at the Holly Springs Primitive Baptist Church in Bremen. Carrollton also happens

to be home to the Sacred Harp Museum, where visitors can learn more about this unique and spiritual musical tradition. The United Shape Note Singers, an African-American singing group, also call west Georgia home and perform at various churches throughout the community. In addition to the deep connection the community has to Sacred Harp music, west Georgia has many ties with gospel and bluegrass music. Thomas Dorsey, the Father of Gospel Music, was born in Villa Rica; his dedication and innovation in the genre helped launch a gospel movement that would spread around the world. Bluegrass performer Ahaz Augustus Gray of Tallapoosa was a fiddling phenomenon, who, according to Hebert, became the youngest fiddling champion ever and recorded many bluegrass songs during the 20th Century. No doubt, the west Georgia region has a vibrant and varied musical heritage, and the New Harmonies exhibit explores that heritage, as well as the musical history of the rest of the state. The statewide celebration of music began on April 14, 2012, in the city of Calhoun and will conclude in LaGrange Jan./Feb. 2013

West Georgia Living


Mt. Prospect Baptist Church choir in Villa Rica sings during a service. Gospel music will be one of the many types of music highlighted by the exhibit.

on Nov. 26, 2013.


rom Feb. 9 to March 23, 2013, New Harmonies will call the Warren P. Sewell Memorial Library in Bremen home. Mayor Sharon Sewell expresses excitement and pride for the upcoming exhibit: “We are delighted to welcome the world, so to speak, to Bremen! This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our music heritage in partnership with the great Smithsonian. It is also a great opportunity for our people to reconnect with our history and reclaim it, as well as exhibit the current music abilities that are core to the West Georgia area. As we display our music, we also have the opportunity to share our town with hundreds of visitors to the West Georgia area. We are most honored to have been chosen to be the site for this event.” Visitors to the New Harmonies exhibit will learn much about both national and regional music and how it ties us to our history. With colorful displays, listening kiosks, and interactive panels, the exhibit promises to be both fun and educational. According to Hebert, visitors to the exhibit “can expect an 12

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Jan./Feb. 2013

interactive experience. The exhibit is filled with audio elements that introduce pieces of music to the visitor. [It] is filled with colorful photographs and professionally produced graphics. There are also several musical instruments that are imbedded within the exhibit.” Hebert hopes that visitors to New Harmonies will walk away with an “awareness of the American musical traditions that exist in the west Georgia region. This region has a strong connection to American roots music. Numerous roots music traditions continue to flourish in this region, yet many residents are unaware of their continued existence. My hope is that locals will gain additional pride in their communities with an increased understanding that our history is American history.” More information on the New Harmonies exhibit is available on the exhibit’s website at: newharmonies. The website contains a touring schedule and events schedule, as well as extensive information on the types of music in the exhibit. Visitors to the website can even listen to examples of Georgia’s musical styles. wgl

New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music Calendar of Events for Bremen, ga. From Feb. 9 through March 23 the New Harmonies Smithsonian exhibit will be on display at the Warren P. Sewell Library in Bremen. Monday and Wednesday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday noon to 7 p.m.; Friday noon to 5:30 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The library is closed on Sunday. The exhibit will also be open two hours prior to start of Mill Town Music Hall concerts on Feb. 22 and March 2. February 1- 2: 7 p.m. Gospel Music Concert at Mill Town Music Hall, 1031 Alabama Avenue, Bremen, with the Isaacs, plomats, Di riumphant. T $30. February 8: 7 p.m. Country Music Concert at Mill Town Music Hall, 1031 Alabama Avenue, Bremen, with Bo Bice and Mama’s Blue Dress. $20 to $25. February 9: 2 p.m. Bluegrass Music Concert at Bremen First United Methodist Church, 315 Hamilton Avenue, Bremen, with Bullsboro and Americana Express. Free Admission. February 10: 6 p.m. Gospel Music Concert at Bremen First Baptist Church, 331 Pacific Avenue, Bremen, with Babbie Mason. Free Admission February 16: 6 p.m. Gospel Music Concert at Mt. Prospect Baptist Church, 133 Thomas Dorsey Drive, Villa Rica with Thomas Dorsey and Birthplace Choir. Free Admission. February 17: 9:30 a.m. Gospel Music Singing at the University of West Georgia, West Georgia Drive, Carroll ton, Z-6 Dining Hall. Sacred Harp Singing. Free Admission. February 22: 7:30 p.m. Country Music Concert at Mill Town Music Hall, 1031 Alabama Avenue, Bremen, fea turing Rhonda Vincent and Gene Watson. $25 to $30. February 23: 6:30 p.m. Gospel Music Singing at Steadman Baptist Church, 2885 Steadman Rd., Tallapoosa. Southern Gospel Convention Music. Free Admission. March 2: 6 p.m. Gospel Music Singing at Bremen First Baptist Church, 331 Pacific Avenue, Bremen, featuring Stan Whitmire with West Georgia Region Sacred Music Singers. Free Admission. March 8: 7 p.m. Gospel Music Singing at Bethel Baptist Church, 2656 Bushmill Rd., Bremen, Southern Gospel Convention Music (shape note singing). Free Admission. March 9: 7 p.m. Country Music Concert at Mill Town Music Hall at 1031 Alabama Ave., Bremen, featuring Little Texas. $20 to $25. March 10: 3 p.m. Spivey Hall, Hamilton-McPherson Fine Arts Center, 504 Laurel Street, Bremen, featuring the Children’s Choir. $10. (tickets available at Callie’s Alley; Bremen City Hall; Sewell Library) March 23-24: 9:30 a.m. Sacred Music Singing at Emmaus Primitive Baptist Church, Oak Grove Church Rd., Carrollton, featuring Sacred Harp Annual Singing. Free Admission. Directions: http://fasola. org/maps/?index=82&size=large.

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Garden Story by Shelly Murphy

Camellias: The South’s Wi nter


Photos by Ricky Stilley


f winter finds you suffering from the doldrums, simply pick a nice day, invite a friend or two, and head south to Massey Lane Gardens, home of The American Camellia Society. This 100-acre botanical garden in Fort Valley, Ga., features more than 1,000 varieties of camellias. Though bloom time begins in September, peak time is February to early March. The headquarters also sells camellias and displays the largest public collection of Boehm porcelain. This day trip will not only lift your spirits, but convince you that camellias, which are coveted for their winter blooms and prized for their foliage, are practically necessities for your yard. Regarded by many as “winter roses,” these hardy evergreens are among the most desirable ornamentals available for Southern landscapes. Camellias are native to Asia and are grown here in warmer climates (Zones 7 – 9) and in greenhouses for their showy white, pink, red, coral and variegated blossoms and glossy foliage. More than 3,000 named kinds exist with an amazing range of color, size and form. Though blooms can be as tiny as a thimble or as large as a dinner plate, the most common 16

West Georgia Living

Jan./Feb. 2013

size is 3 to 4 inches. These shrubs are slow growers by nature, ranging in height from 1 ½ to 12 feet. Some eventually become small trees.


amellias can be used as specimens, hedges, or as espalier flat against a wall or other upright support. They can also be planted in containers in soil having 50 percent or more organic matter and even used as bonsai. Low-growing varieties work as groundcover on steep shaded slopes. For best results, buy those varieties proven to do well in your area when they are in bloom. Though C. sasanqua and C. japonica (Alabama’s state flower) are the most common types here, hardier varieties do better in the upper South. Camellias are best planted in late fall to early spring, though they can be set out any time if given proper care. While sasanqua can take more sun than japonica, both prefer protection from intense afternoon sun. Like azaleas, many camellias thrive in dappled shade under pines or on the east side of the house. Select a well-drained planting site high in organic matter without competition of shallow tree roots. Since camellias

prefer an acidic soil pH of 6.0 to 6.5 or lower, a soil test is advisable. Dig an area at least two feet wider than the root ball and place it on a mound so that it will be higher than the normal soil level to allow for settling. If the root ball is tight, gently wash away the soil with a hose. Refill the hole with the removed soil, pack firmly, and make a 36-inch berm around it to prevent run-off. Water well and mulch the plant with 2 inches of pine straw, bark or shredded leaves.


hese beauties need soil that is consistently moist, but not soggy. In absence of rainfall, regular watering is critical from the time the buds begin to form in May until the flowers open. The stress caused by insufficient water will result in stunted leaves, stems and flowers. Camellias are heavy feeders and should be fertilized the first of March, May and July. They need nitrogen for good, overall growth; phosphorus for the root system; and potassium for flowers and seeds, as well as resistance to insects and diseases. The fertilizer should also contain trace elements like copper, magnesium, boron, zinc and molybdenum. Follow label instructions and don’t use too much. Along with your primary fertilizer, composted organic matter will provide slow-release nutrients. Though camellias have few pests, scale insects, aphids and spider mites are fond of them. They can also get diseases, the most serious being camellia petal blight, which makes the leaves turn brown. For these ailments, immediately enlist the help of your county cooperative extension agent or its website for tips on treatment.


hen planted in the right spot with room for future growth, these shrubs have beautiful natural shapes

and need little if any pruning. It is sad to find them rounded into landscape “meatballs,” recognized only by sparse blooms peering between limbs devastated by hedge trimmers. Better to relocate camellias early on (fall is best) than to forever subject them to such chronic harassment. If branches need trimming or thinning to allow air to circulate, do it in very early spring right after flowering before new buds develop. Though the best time to plant a camellia

was 20 years ago, the next best time is today. It is not unusual for camellias to out-live the gardener who planted them, in some cases over a hundred years! So plant some camellias on your property right away. Future generations will be grateful. Shelly Murphy is a Carroll County Master Gardener andExtension Volunteer, and author of a humorous gardening memoir, “Compost Happens: Confessions of a Plantaholic.” Jan./Feb. 2013

West Georgia Living


Garden Story by Kitty Barr Photos by Ricky Stilley

Spruce up Your Kitchen with an Indoor Herb Garden


inter here in Georgia isn’t as much of a dreary season as it probably is in New England or the upper mid-west, where they have deep snow from October through April. My family lived near Chicago for two years, and when we finally made it back to the promised land, my dad said he would “never live above the galosh (those buckled rubber boots) line” again. Those poor souls see no green, except shaggy, snow-covered evergreens, for months on end.

If you have herbs growing outside, now is the time to pot up a few and leave them out for a week or so to let them acclimate before bring them inside. Herbs that do not like to be transplanted are basil (for homemade pesto), cilantro (for your favorite Hispanic recipes) and sage (great in poultry). These are better purchased at the store and potted directly into your indoor garden.


However, we can enjoy green both outdoors and inside our kitchens with a small winter herb garden.

What’s needed is a sunny spot, some small pots and a few pebbles on a tray for drainage. Your local groceries, garden stores and even your own yard can be a source for herbs to bring indoors. Not only are they useful for cooking, but they also smell great and look pretty. Herbs love bright, indirect light and temperatures above 60 degrees at night. Locate them away from heating vents. 18

West Georgia Living

Jan./Feb. 2013

Good choices for your indoor herb garden include lemon balm, lemon verbena, thymes, oreganos (the main seasoning in Italian foods ), marjorams, chives (in those fluffy baked potatoes), and garlic – need I say more? Parsleys are present in most everything delicious. And don’t forget all the mints – have you tried chocolate mint?

around a thin slice of ham, Swiss cheese and a sprig of rosemary. Bake at 350 degrees F until tender, maybe 30 to 45 minutes. Yum-O! Give thanks for living in the South. For readers north of the fabled MasonDixon line, two varieties of rosemary do well outdoors through the winter: Arp Rosemary and Madeline Hill (also called Hardy Hill). Give them extra mulch to protect their roots in winter. When you have herbs indoors, you need to feed them like children. Fertilize once a month with a liquid fertilizer. Also pinch them for delicious meals and to keep them bushy and healthy. Remove yellow and dead foliage and water, not too much, to keep them moist, not soggy.


Rosemary lovers can relax. Here in the deep South, we don’t lose this herb due to freezing weather. You can pick a few sprigs and season a delicious chicken dish – even in February. An easy, flavorful meal is a boneless chicken breast, flattened with a mallet, then rolled

I mentioned a tray of pebbles; this is a great way to water everything and have good drainage. Place your herb pots on the rocks and let the water run through. Just be sure the water drains away from the fragile herb roots. We want moisture,

not a soggy bog. You can freeze or dry herbs for later use or for gifts during the holidays. Valentine’s is a lovely day to give an aromatic gift in mid-winter. Pinch sprigs and dry them in an airy basket or shallow tray in a dry place where dry air moves well – sometimes a laundry room is good. Once a week, stir them or toss them around. When ready, the leaves or stems should feel dry and crisp. A small bag, cloth or fabric, tied with a gay ribbon makes a sweet gift.

A favorite basil recipe at our house is home-made pesto sauce, which we savor over linguini or any noodle you choose. I credit Marcella Hazan and her Classic Italian Cookbook for this recipe. It’s permanently paper clipped so we all can find it easily. Pack fresh basil leaves into a 2 cup measure until full. I always pinch off the stems, but that’s just me. Tip into blender along with ¼ cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons of pine nuts (walnuts are a poor substitute, but sometimes we are desperate), 2 cloves crushed garlic, (that’s cloves, not bulb), 1 teaspoon salt, ½ cup parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons Romano pecorino cheese, and 2 tablespoons room temperature butter.


To store for your own future use, use airtight glass canning jars. Do not store herbs in plastic or metal, other than stainless steel. Store whole and powder them as needed, as powdered herbs lose their fragrance and flavor very quickly. You will discover the difference in the potency of your own homegrown herbs as opposed to store-bought ones. Not only are yours more flavorful, but you need less to get the same punch in a recipe. Freezing is the best preservative for herbs that hold moisture, such as basil, lemon balm, mint and chives. Rinse them gently, shake and place them first in a paper bag and then in a zipper plastic bag. Cook as soon as you thaw, or throw them in frozen, they will get mushy immediately if you wait even a minute. Just dream of spaghetti sauce with your own oregano, thyme, and basil stirred into that bubbly tomato concoction on a chilly evening.

Blend basil, oil, nuts, garlic, and salt and mix at high speed. Scrape down the blender sides from time to time with a rubber spatula. When evenly blended, not pureed to a runny mess, pour into a bowl and add the grated parmesan and pecorino cheeses. Do not do this in the blender… you get a “more interesting texture” if you stir by hand, according to Hazan. Then add the softened butter. I freeze it in paper cups inside zippered plastic bags and use it all winter. It’s a great cocktail spread with cream cheese, and tastes yummy on vegetables. Spoon it over warm pasta and delight in an exotic Italian experience. Kitty Barr is a Carroll County Master Gardener Extension Volunteer.

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The Return of ‘Exceptional’ Tanner readies for new open house

new emergency department and expanded surgical services unit will be on display for the public to see. The new 40-bed emergency department features almost twice the capacity and More than 10,000 residents in west Georgia and east three times the space as Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton’s Alabama received invitations in their mailboxes to tour the current unit, which last saw a major expansion in the 1980s new emergency department and expanded surgical services when it was designed to serve a much smaller population than unit, while ads and articles in the Times-Georgian and other the region has today. The new emergency department also area media outlets encouraged thousands more to see for offers on-unit diagnostic imaging services, which will make themselves the “exceptional” level of care the expansion was diagnosing and prescribing treatment much faster. bringing to the region. A newly expanded surgical services unit will also serve the The banner headline across the top of page A1 of the Aug. region’s growing population, with large new operating suites 25 Times-Georgian said it all: “Water line break floods Tanand a new hybrid operating suite to perform the latest endoner’s new ER,” with the subhead, “Today’s open house at vascular procedures. hospital postponed.” “Our hospital is growing with our community,” said Loy Just two days before, on the night of Aug. 23, staff memHoward, president and CEO of Tanner Health System. “We bers at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton watched as their plans for a grand public open house showcasing the hospital’s remain grateful that the ruptured water line we experienced in August didn’t interfere with patient care, and we appreciate massive new expansion washed away by more than 12,000 the community’s patience as we’ve worked to ensure that the gallons of water from a ruptured fire suppression line. new space is 100 percent back to new. We haven’t comproThe line ruptured late in the evening, triggering the facility’s fire alarms and prompting the Carrollton Fire Department mised on this facility, and we won’t compromise on the care to respond within minutes. Rescue personnel worked through and safety of our patients.” So, how confident is Tanner in the new opening? Well, for the night alongside Tanner staff from all areas of the organistarters, the health system is sending even more invitations zation to save what they could, lifting furniture and artwork away from the spreading waters, which stood two inches deep this time. More information on the hospital’s expansion and Tanner in the sparkling new facility. Health System’s other services is available online at www. At last, however, the exceptional debut Tanner promised is due to arrive. On Saturday, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Paid Advertisement

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People Story by Ken Denney

Making their Mark

Photos by Ricky Stilley

on H istory

Editor’s Note: In recognition of Black History Month, we profiled three people whose achievements in the fields of politics, business and law transcend ethnicity and make them an inspiration to all young people in the west Georgia communities of Haralson, Carroll and Douglas Counties.

Allen Poole Chairman, Haralson County Board of Commissioners Allen Poole is the highest-elected public official in west Georgia who happens to be African-American. Now entering his third term as chairman of the Haralson County Board of Commissioners, Poole does not wish to be defined by any label. “Even Ray Charles can see I’m black,” he says – but “I look at myself as a Christian and a child of God.” Poole was born in Haralson County, one of 14 siblings. He also went to school in the county, but went on to attend college at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science with an emphasis on law. For 20 years, he served with the Georgia State Patrol. “I was on patrol around I-285 – back when I-285 had grass medians, so that was way back in the day,” he says. After he retired from the state, he took a job with The Home Depot corporation, providing executive security for such folks as founders Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank (current owner of the Atlanta Falcons), and former CEO Robert Louis “Bob” Nardelli. He describes himself as the “divorced father of one.” His son, Blake Poole, is a rising senior at Auburn University and is currently a defensive back for the Tigers. For the past eight 22

West Georgia Living

Jan./Feb. 2013

Allen Poole

years, the chairman has been married to Mandy Bailey, a “transplant from New York City” who has been living in the South for about the past 20 years. When Poole first entered politics in 2000 he was defeated, but on his second attempt he won with more than 60 percent of the vote. Since then, he has been re-elected to a second and now a third term.

Perhaps his political success is due to the fact that he is a Republican in a county which favored Mitt Romney by a margin of 81 percent over Barack Obama. Poole was elected in a county where there are, according to the 2010 Census, 1,353 people who identify as black compared to 26,700 who are white. However, he says his political affiliation has more to do with the content of his character and less with his ethnicity. He recalls that he was once accosted by former Democratic House Speaker Tom Murphy who demanded to know why Poole was a Republican. He replied that he was “a born-again Christian,” and was therefore a conservative, as most Republicans are. “I’ve got conservative values, and if you want to associate me with being a black Republican just because I’ve got conservative values, that’s your business,” he says. “I’ve got beliefs of how I want my tax dollars spent like any white Republican.” “It’s not white money; it’s not black money – it’s green money. So that’s where I am.” Poole says he is happy where he is in his political career, and has no plans for a future beyond Haralson County, including a run for the Legislature. “I really enjoy what I’m doing now, and I’d like to stay here as long as I’m being productive.” The chairman advises “aspiring, political-minded young people” not to base their political identity on the past. “Times have changed,” he said. “You can’t identify with a party just because your dad (or) granddad identified with a party. “I would encourage them, first of all, to

aspire to be a contributor in the community and don’t worry and don’t get caught up into the short grass of identifying with being black. You make a stand on what you believe, and you stand on what you believe and you deal with the consequences, whatever decision you choose.”

Steve Adams President and CEO: Southeastrans, Inc.; West Georgia Ambulance, Inc.; Adams Transport, Inc.

Steve Adams

There are two consistent themes throughout the life of Carroll County businessman Steve Adams: healthcare transportation and giving back to the community. In fact, it’s hard to know where one theme ends and the other begins, because there likely would not have been one without the other. Adams runs three large corporations in the county, all of which involve providing transportation services for hospital or clinic patients. He is president and CEO of Southeastrans, Inc., which contracts with state Medicaid agencies and managed care companies to provide non-emergency transportation services to more than 1 million people in Georgia and Tennessee, and which has been recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as one of America’s fastest

growing companies. In the meantime, he runs West Georgia Ambulance, Inc., the Carrollton-based emergency services provider he founded in 1999, and is also president and CEO of Adams Transport, Inc. None of these things would be possible, Adams says, had he not had support from numerous people in his past, all of whom were impressed by his work ethic and desire to return their kindnesses with solid contributions to the city and county. “If you really want to work hard, there’s no reason for you not to succeed,” he says. Adams was born in Carroll County and attended Villa Rica High School. While there, he began working as an orderly at Tanner Medical Center. That’s where Jan./Feb. 2013

West Georgia Living


“My biggest interest in the World Congress Center was the economic impact,” he says. “I think that Atlanta is the engine that drives the state, and one of the reasons I really wanted to be on this board is I think the more activity we can draw into the city of Atlanta, it will naturally drip down to the other counties throughout Georgia. Any time that we can have someone from Carroll County on a state level to look out for different industries to come in here, is really important.” His advice to any young person thinking about establishing their own business empire is succinct – do it in Carroll County, and be prepared to be a “giver.” “I have to say that Carroll County is a county that will accept anyone if they are willing to run a good, honest business. You can’t find a more friendly community, so my recommendation to any minority is to come here with the attitude to do a good job, to be a community leader and also to be community giver. If you are a giver, and give to the community, the community will give back to you.”



his drive for success caught the attention of several prominent doctors. “The doctors in this community – as a youth – they kind of embraced me, and they really showed me the importance of hard work,” he said. “I think that was the main reason I decided to go to EMT school.” He obtained an EMT certificate while attending what was then called Carroll Vocational Technical Institute, and eventually began moving to create West Georgia Ambulance – again, thanks to the support of those whom he had impressed, especially Horrie Duncan, the sole commissioner for Carroll County from 1968-1984, who signed the note that allowed Adams to establish the company. As one of the pre-eminent businessmen in west Georgia, Adams spends what free time he has working in economic projects designed to bring prosperity to both the state and Carroll County, leveraging the many contacts he has made in both business and government. His friendship with former Gov. Sonny Purdue, for example, resulted in his appointment to the board of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority.

Barbara H. Caldwell Judge, Douglas County Magistrate Court She doesn’t just settle disputes; she likes to prevent them before they escalate and end up in her courtroom. Judge Barbara Caldwell provides an open door for people in Douglas County, doing as much counseling as she does ruling from the bench. Caldwell was born in Douglas County and attended both Morris Brown College and the University of Georgia. She doesn’t have a law degree, but that is not required for the position she holds. What she does have is 28 years experience in which she has seen vast changes come to the county and the court she serves. The Magistrate Court is essentially a small claims court, much like what is seen on TV in such shows as “Judge Judy.” In fact, producers for that and similar shows frequently visit the courthouse looking for cases to resolve on air. In addition to handling claims under $15,000, the court also presides over criminal bond cases, as well as matters in which individuals want the court to issue a warrant against another person. But Caldwell likes to resolve such matters before they go that far. “I enjoy the people and being able to talk with them, assist


West Georgia Living

Jan./Feb. 2013

them in ways that will not be giving them legal advice,” she says. “Most people just want somebody to listen.” “Some of these issues do not require an attorney, it just requires a little direction; how to file a claim, for example. They just need direction, and I enjoy being able to assist them, and they feel good after they have been able to voice their opinion.” She notes that many people come to her court wanting to use the system as a kind of weapon against people with whom they have a dispute. But she doesn’t like “locking up people on just one person’s word.” “I would generally ask to have a little hearing and see if I can get both sides,” she explains. “Once you are issued a warrant, and it goes into the system, you become a criminal, so to speak.” A criminal record, she points out, affects a person’s ability to find or keep a job and their entire future life. “If you get into the system, it’s kind of hard to get out,” she says. “That kind of bothers me.” Most people, she says, are not career criminals, but some can find themselves in an endless loop of legal issues because, once arrested and they lose a job, they then find it difficult to pay probation fees, or adhere to other court orders.

In 2008, Caldwell founded the Higher Standards Foundation, a group now eople run by her daughter that works with schools, churches and other institutions to help young people escape such vicious cycles and become productive citizens. It is also a way that she can put her strong Christian faith to work.


“I’m a very patriotic person; I love my country, and I’m a Christian, and I love Jesus – because without him I wouldn’t be in this position.” For 40 years, she was married to the late Alton Caldwell, who served as a Douglasville city councilman. “I’m happy with what I do. I don’t know how long I will be here. I don’t have any early plans of retiring. As long as I can perform the duties of my position, then I want to be here.” Caldwell says she would advise any young person, regardless of ethnicity, to get “any kind of education you can” and then push themselves into unfamiliar areas “because that’s an education as well.” “Do unto others as you have them do unto you,” she says. “You could be happy that way. I am.” wgl

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Holiday Food Issue Coming December 2013

Submit your recipes now to be considered for West Georgia Living’s 2013 special holiday food issue. Submit all recipes (and pictures, if available) to Amy K. Lavender-Buice at, or drop them off at the Times-Georgian, 901 Hays Mill Rd., Carrollton. Please submit original recipes only, along with a little information about the recipe and the role it plays in your family's holiday traditions.

During a storm, they’re our heroes. Today, they’re our champions. The GreyStone team of Tony Brown, Patrick LeCroy, Josh Jones and coach Matt Williams recently won first place overall after competing against 205 teams from around the world during the International Lineman’s Rodeo in Kansas. Making their victory even sweeter, they broke the myth that it was impossible to win a world championship using fall arrest devices which made climbing more difficult, yet kept them safer. In addition to the world champion team, the following were in the Top 12 of the Journeymen division for co-op linemen: Taylor Shadrix, Sam Albright, Josh Kirby, Derek Carruth, Jack Rider, Matt Orr, Bryn Speck, Shane Crider, Matt Ingram, Jared Childers and Tim Costner. Congratulations to these heroes and champions, who provide reliable electricity to GreyStone Power members every day!

The team of Tony Brown, Patrick LeCroy and Josh Jones captured the world championship with the help of coach Matt Williams.

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People Story by John P. Boan Photos by Thomas O’Connor

Academic Enrichment Coordinator Amanda Jeter, center, discusses healthy alternatives to drug use with Ravyn, left, and Ryan.

From court to community Rebuilding young lives through the Carroll County Family Connection Program


yan was angry, and so was Ravyn. They both had their reasons, separate but similar, and they both reached for analogous avenues of escape. But I should back up a second.


Ryan and Ravyn are real people, and those are their real first names. They have last names, too. However, because they’re both enrolled in the Carroll County Family Connection Program, which in part aims to help adolescents conquer drug dependence and mental health issues, their last names will remain undisclosed. 30

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Jan./Feb. 2013

One of the tenets of any treatment program is anonymity. It allows people to share their darkest moments with others, all the while knowing that whatever words they say will remain within the four walls in which they said them. But Ryan and Ravyn are success stories, and they’ve chosen to share their stories in the pages of this magazine, not because they want recognition, but because they want others to know that there are second chances, and salvation can come when you least expect it. When Ryan turned 16 late last year, he was a drug dealer and an addict, and so it’ll come as no surprise that roughly a

month after reaching the legal driving age, he was arrested. The charges he faced sound like a broken record: Possession. Possession with intent to sell. Possession with intent to sell on school property. Five charges all in all, any one of which could have been enough to ensure him he would celebrate his 17th birthday in a locked room. But he got a second chance. “I thought it was ‘game over’ right there,” Ryan said. “Once I got caught, I thought it was over.” All but one of the charges were dropped. He spent two weeks cleaning up at Wil-

lowbrook at Tanner in Villa Rica. And when he was released, he began what would be a year-long period in the Wellness Court branch of the greater Family Connection umbrella. Ravyn arrived in the program a few months later, though the circumstances that brought her there were hers alone. First, she was caught with marijuana at school. Then she failed a drug test. Then she ran away from home – the literal embodiment of the escape that she was looking for. “I didn’t care at all. I thought it couldn’t get any worse than it was, so I kept doing drugs,” she said. “I didn’t care. I didn’t think it could get any worse, but it could.”


hat Ryan and Ravyn do share is a strikingly similar moment when they decided that they needed to change their lives or face consequences with a severity and permanence that went beyond just a stint in jail. Ryan recalled the moment his mother picked him up from the police station for the first and last time. She looked him in the eye, and he felt shame. Ravyn was met with a family intervention, a moment she described as absolutely humiliating. Neither Ryan nor Ravyn wanted to feel that way anymore, and wanting to change is the first step to doing so. Program Coordinator Vickie Fulbright will be the first to admit that the program isn’t a one-size-fits-all miracle cure, but it does work wonders, and its successes can be traced to one word: accountability. Wellness Court relies on a patient-to-patient system of care, which effectively brings together mental health providers, case workers, school resource officers, parents and their children to initially diagnose what issues each child needs to work through. With this knowledge, members of the system of care establish the steps that


need to be taken to get each patient where they need to be when they graduate from the program, typically after about a year – though an individual’s tenure in the program can last longer. In the 12 years since the program’s inception, it has helped countless adolescents aged 12 to 17 learn to beat substance abuse and mental health issues, though its successes only scrape the surface of Family Connection’s efforts as a whole. “These kids we work with, they’re such

great kids, and you know that with a little help they can move on to bigger and better things,” Fulbright said. “You just have to believe in them.”


ecause no two people are exactly alike, the larger Family Connection Program is made up of six subgroups, each tailored to address individual family problems, while at the same time strengthening the community as a whole. These subgroups include Youth Connections, Carroll County WellJan./Feb. 2013

West Georgia Living


ness Court, the Collaborative Treatment Team, an internship program, the Truancy Diversion Program and the Family Connection Taskforce. While each of these groups specializes in certain systems of care, there’s plenty of overlap, Fulbright said, and each of these groups work to establish a widespread network of accountability for parents and their children.



he primary feeder for Family Connection is the court system, and the program often functions as an alternative to the notion that all wrongdoers should simply be locked up, regardless of the mitigating circumstances. Every one of the 159 Georgia counties has a Family Connection Program, which on the whole bring together more than 3,000 local and state-level partners statewide. And while it’s difficult to gauge the success of both something so big and something so reliant on personalized care, anecdotal examples do just that. Take Ryan and Ravyn. Both graduated from the program on Dec. 20 and, for the first time in a long time, have turned their attentions toward the future. They both said that what they want most now is to find steady, legitimate employment. To this end, Ryan recently landed a job serving at Waffle House, a dramatic change from his days selling whatever drugs he could get his hands on. While Ravyn is still in the job market, her personal life has done a complete 180. Prior to entering into the program, she and her father had nothing short of a toxic relationship. Now, 12 months later, it’s anything but that. What’s more, Ryan’s relationship with his mother has undergone a similar transition, blooming where the ground had once been salted with deception and pain. 32

West Georgia Living

Jan./Feb. 2013


Where there once was two angry kids looking for a means of escape, now they are building upon the past and working toward the promise of a better future. Just as Ryan and Ravyn will have futures of their own, the future of the program will be marked the arrival of new children with new fears and new problems. But there’s hope, both of

the recent graduates from the program agreed. However, they say the program only works when you work with it. “Things move along a lot quicker and a lot smoother when you talk about how you feel and your problems,” Ravyn said. “Everyone has problems, and the people here aren’t here to judge you. You can be yourself. And that’s OK.” wgl




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Tallapoosa Railroad ushers in winds of change


ometime in the fall of 1886, a train chugged into the new Georgia-Pacific depot at the tiny village of Tallapoosa, and Ralph Lincoln Spencer stepped down onto the platform. He took a look around him, and the gears began to churn in his New England mind. Where most people would have seen a muddy, ramshackle railroad town – the home of farmers still trying to adapt to the modern miracle of the locomotive – Spencer saw money ... lots of money. Gigantic dollar signs of money. He began to hatch a scheme that, in the end, would separate good money from good people by building a metropolis mostly of paper and the stuff that dreams are made on.


Of all the railroad towns in west Georgia, the Haralson County 34

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Jan./Feb. 2013

town of Tallapoosa has the strangest and most colorful story of origin. When the Georgia-Pacific Railway came into town in 1884, there were scarcely 100 people living there. Not very long after, Tallapoosa was booming with more than 3,000 people, factories and houses under construction, and whole blocks of land selling for nearly a million dollars – in 19th Century money. Yet, not even a decade later, the boom was bust. Today, Tallapoosa still has just over 3,000 residents, but the speculators and the New South paradise they tried to build are long gone. The railroad is still there, but its role in the town is vastly diminished. The trains that roll through now are just background noise for a community that keeps on working, its people firmly grounded in reality.

Reaching Westward The area had always been about transportation. When the Creeks lived there, they travelled west from the Chattahoochee River along the Sandtown Trail. When they were driven off by whites, the same route carried settlers into the area who panned for gold around a settlement they called Possum Snout. Years before Haralson was carved out of Polk and Carroll counties, the town was known as Tallapoosa, and mail travelled over the stage coach route now known as the Old Alabama Road. Before the Civil War, entrepreneurs in Atlanta dreamed of a railroad that would stretch to untapped resources westward beyond Haralson County. But the war and the shattered economy it brought delayed those dreams for more than 20 years. When the Georgia-Pacific finally got under way, it was built along the East-West route through Haralson. The area was poised to welcome Northern capital and the re-invigoration of the Southern economy. The new town of Bremen became the crossing of East-West and North-South railroads, and the old town of Tallapoosa became a sort of artificial port city in the wilderness, attracting small farmers eager to put their lumber, produce and cotton into the stream of commerce. That may have been all they hoped for. But Tallapoosa had not counted on the likes of R.L. Spencer. Nobody knows how the 27-year-old man from Connecticut heard about the place, but he did not stand still after arriving on that platform. Before long he had organized something called the Tallapoosa Land, Mining and Manufacturing Company and – with no money at all – was setting up a glass manufacturing factory, a blast furnace to exploit the area’s iron ore resources, an electric company and a water works. He did all this with cash from Northern investors, which he collected by means of ads placed in Northern newspapers. It was not a con, because Spencer made good. The factories were built and put into operation. Homes and stores were built for the new residents arriving on every train, and four hotels were soon serving those who wanted to visit their investments or to partake of the health resort established there. Spencer was his own greatest advertisement for the fortunes he promised. He rode about in rented carriages wearing fine clothes and sporting two large diamonds – one set in a ring, the other a glistening tie-pin. In October of 1887, the New York Times sent a man down to Tallapoosa to see what all the fuss was about, and the reporter

R. L. Spencer

was definitely impressed: “…(T)here are more than 200 houses in the village, including a score of shops, a good-sized hotel and many charming cottages. By natural growth, Tallapoosa would soon grow to a thriving 20,000 or 30,000 inhabitants within the next 10 years. But capital can easily force this growth and this is to be done, if possible, by the Tallapoosa Land and Mining and Manufacturing Company, accounts of whose work …. have filled the columns of the leading Southern newspapers.” Successful as he had been, Spencer was evidently convinced he could do better. He left the boom town for several months. Nobody knows where he went or what he did, but when he did return in 1888, he began turning over all the assets of the Tallapoosa Land business to a new, bigger outfit – one called the Georgia-Alabama Land Investment Company. The Georgia-Alabama company had been organized by one of the more notorious figures then on the American scene, Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler of Massachusetts. A powerful congressman and politician, Butler had become infamous as a Union general during the Civil War. Besides Butler, the new company was run by a former U.S. Treasurer and many others with famous names. Spencer, actJan./Feb. 2013

West Georgia Living


Lithia Springs Hotel

company’s president. The company was placed into receivership, and the stock held by some 15,000 people worldwide was suddenly worthless. It is said by some historians that the company and Tallapoosa were the early victims of the Great Financial Panic of 1893. The investors, however, suspected something more sinister, and in the summer of 1892 a group of ruined New York investors gathered in the famous Astor Hotel on Broadway to demand an explanation from C.A. Norton, the Tallapoosa man who had been appointed receiver. Spencer did not attend; perhaps the angry investors did not know he had fled Tallapoosa and was living not far away, in a Fifth Avenue hotel.

ing now as a promoter for the GeorgiaAlabama company, printed those names on huge advertisements that now began appearing in every major newspaper in the country. Beckoning to the swarms of new visitors to Tallapoosa was the gigantic 175room Lithia Springs Hotel, located at the corner of what is now Freeman and Boulevard streets. It featured a banquet hall, an elevator, a billiard hall, poolrooms and a large ballroom, all centered around a mineral spring spa. It was hailed as the largest wooden building in the South – a surprising claim, since the 250-room Sweetwater Park hotel was located just east in a Douglas County town that would later be called Lithia Springs. The high-water mark of the Tallapoosa boom was the spring of 1891. In April, President Benjamin Harrison came to 36

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town, speaking to an excited crowd at the rail depot and bringing even more attention to the growing community. And a new prospectus sent out to potential investors touted the factories, the bank, the hotels, and the burgeoning wine industry that had been flourishing since a group of Hungarian wine-making families had been encouraged (by Spencer, of course) to relocate. Photographs of the time show rail cars and engines lined up along the rails that ran through town, hauling all the things made at Tallapoosa out to the rest of the world. The Georgia-Alabama land company had offices in New York, Boston, Chicago and even London, all to serve the starry-eyed investors who believed the hype. That was unfortunate, because, unknown to these stockholders, things had started to go terribly awry. The industries churning away in Tallapoosa began to fail. Butler resigned as the

Norton explained that a lot of the investors’ money had gone for salaries of the Georgia-Alabama officials – but most of it had been spent in all those advertisements to lure investors and to pay for free train excursions for prospective buyers. The company’s officials had put up some $4.5 million in seed money (about $1 billion in today’s money), but it had all been exchanged over time with the money the investors had put up for shares. Now the iron ore that the company had touted was played out; there was no more work for the blast furnace. The glass-making company was failing. The company’s assets were only worth $60,000 – but its liabilities were $275,000. As the New York Times sardonically put it, the stockholders were under the strong impression they had been swindled. When Norton floated an idea to raise capital from the group to start a new company to buy out the assets of the old, the leader of the New York shareholders declared the group had “buried all the money in Tallapoosa that they intend(ed) to.”

Whether Spencer was a scoundrel or just careless with other people’s money did not, ultimately, matter to Tallapoosa. The town had benefited from the industries which temporarily flourished there and from others that took strong root – especially the wine-making industry. Interestingly, Spencer continued to hang around the area and even came up with some more schemes, most of them centered on wine making. Unlike the land and mining boom he had promoted before, wine production proved to be a lot more successful. The census of 1900 shows that 64,000 gallons of wine were produced in Haralson County, making it one of the largest wine-producing areas of the state. What’s more, a score of related businesses existed alongside that helped the wine growers to package and deliver their wines along the rail lines that chugged through Haralson County. But even this enterprise would prove short lived. The wine producers had to contend with the growing political power of Temperance forces in the state. In 1907 – 12 years before the 18th Amendment and the abolition of alcohol sales in the U.S. – Georgia passed Prohibition laws that completely killed the wine industry.

Returning Industry Spencer died in 1916 and is buried in Massachusetts. The Georgia-Pacific railway that brought him to Tallapoosa changed ownership a few times and is now part of the Norfolk Southern network. The railroad is still a part of Tallapoosa life, but in no way is that role similar to the role the railroad had in building the town. According to Mayor William “Pete” Bridges, the most significant impact of the railroad today is the potential traffic hazard posed by the rails. Semi trucks headed north up route 100 can get hung up on the hump formed by the railroad embankment, making them a sitting duck for any of the 11 freight trains that barrel along the rails each day. While the city is working with the federal and state governments to fix that problem, Bridges said they are using the rail infrastructure as a means to lure industries back to Tallapoosa. There are several properties in the city which are now vacant, but which have spur lines to the railroad that would facilitate both the receiving of new material and the shipment of goods finished in Tallapoosa.

Bridges says, however, that the city is not pinning its future hopes on the railroad. Yet the city is, in some ways, looking to its past to find its future. There are several movers and shakers in west Georgia who are trying to revive the wine industry that flourished here a century ago. And it is even possible that the gold mining which made the early 1800s village of Possum Snout so appealing may be making a comeback. “I am just now gathering up the information,” Bridges said. Developers of the potential project are even now evaluating the potential for mining out what those old prospectors could not reach. “So that will be kind of a tourism-like program,” Bridges said. “That would turn out pretty good, I hope.” But in talking to Bridges and other people from Tallapoosa, one gets the sense that the promise of the future is not as important as the daily responsibilities of living. Spencer and others created an imaginary Tallapoosa, but the real-life citizens of the town they put on the map keep their heads down against the winds of change. Tallapoosa has survived notoriety, boom times and depression. It was there long before the railroad existed and remains in place now that the railroad era has long passed. To most people in town, the sound of train whistles and rumbling cars are part of the background, a familiar noise as life goes on – just as it always has. wgl

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Tomatoes on display at Westside Curb Market in Carrollton

Stop Dieting! Change your habits for good and reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle


K. Let’s admit it. We’ve all done it. We’ve all looked in the mirror and said, “That’s it! I’m going to lose this extra weight!,” and we’ve put ourselves on a strict, unforgiving diet. We stick to our diet religiously, forsaking all carbs, all sugars, and all deep-fried goodies ... for about a week. After five or six days of deprivation, our resolve starts to weaken quite a bit. OK, quite a lot. Before you know it, we’re back on that horrible junk food diet wondering why we don’t have the will power to “be good” when it comes to food.


Well, that’s because we’re going about it all wrong. As Certified Dietitian Melissa Brillhart says, it’s all about bal38

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ance, not deprivation. “There’s not a one-size-fits-all meal plan out there,” Brillhart says. “The idea behind healthy eating is that you have to make it work for you or you won’t be able to make it work longterm. Even fast-food and restaurant dinning can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.” Brillhart says your approach should be two-pronged: balance and portion control. “My Plate ( is a great [balance] guideline,” she says. “Looking at your plate and making sure you have a balance of one lean protein, one whole grain, and

half your plate should be fruits and veggies.


f course, balance means just that: balance – no extremes, which means eating only carrots or only Greek yogurt is not a balanced approach to losing weight. “It’s not elimination diet, and fad diets that severely limit your food can eliminate necessary nutrients from your diet. You can lose weight with those fad diets but in 6 months is it going to still be off? Probably not,” Brillhart says. “Rapid weight loss can affect your immune system and you could lose muscle mass.” Then there’s portion control. “I know we can say that over and over, but healthy portion sizes is a part of the weight management equation. Portion control with physical activity.” It’s also important to eat regularly and start your meals as early as possible. “Think of feeding your body like your fueling an engine,” Brillhart says. “The body is like a car. Start feeding it as early as you can to get the engine (metabolism) going. Within three to four hours have a carb/protien mix (like an apple and peanut butter, or apple and cheese stick). It keeps your metabolism going rather than getting worn down and slowing down the longer you go without eating. The longer you go without food, the more sluggish you get. So it’s natural to get hungry in the afternoon a few hours after you’ve eaten. Don’t fight the urge to snack. Have something, but make smart choices. Don’t just grab a donut because then you’re going to be hungry again in no time.”

Melissa Brillhart


rillhart says it’s important to keep realistic goals in mind when it comes to weight loss. On average, it’s safe to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week.

week,” Brillhart emphasizes. “Any more than 2 is not recommended. Look at losing 5 to 10 percent of your body fat at a time, which is more manageable. After you’ve reached your goal, then reevaluate and decide if you want to lose another 5 or 10 percent.”

“But you may not lose that much each

Brillhart reminds that the weight will

come off at its own pace and that you should consult a doctor about your exercise regimen and nutrition plan because everyone’s requirements are different. Also, people on medications should discuss with their doctor their plans because exercise or a new nutrition plan could affect your medication or lead to adverse reactions with your medication. Jan./Feb. 2013

West Georgia Living


“For example, if you’re on blood pressure medication, you’re doctor needs to know you’re doing something different. Also, you need to make sure you’re healthy enough to exercise, for example diabetics may not be able to exercise. Your doctor should be aware if you’re making major changes.”


Regardless of what plan you and your doctor decide on, Brillhart says it’s important to remain patient. “The most common pitfall is people wanting fast results immediately. It didn’t come on overnight, it won’t come off over night. A lot of these diets are going to promise really fast results really quick, but they don’t promise long-term stainability. You have to tell yourself you’re in it for the long run. Continuously challenge yourself each week to reach your long-term goals.” Of course, Brillhart says she doesn’t expect people to completely change their lifestyles overnight. It’s a gradual change, taking one thing at a time and tweaking it. “For people who don’t exercise, I don’t expect them to go out and start running laps. They can take just very small steps, even if it’s just walking 5 minutes as many times as possible a week, then add on to it,” she says. “For a lot of people, a 360 degree change isn’t going to work. Take baby steps and get one or two things under control and then add something else.”


he says just like extreme dieting, extreme exercising isn’t advisable. And while a person may be able to keep up an extreme change to their lifestyle for a little while, in the end they often get discouraged or injure themselves. Brillhart says the formula is simple: eat filling foods with few calories, and you’ll feel full without packing in the calories. “Calorie dense foods have a lot of calories, but not much food. You want to eat filling foods with low calories: foods that have high fiber and high moisture content and low fat. Good examples are whole grains or whole fruits instead of juices. But the biggest thing is to combine it with a protein to help you feel full, lunch meat, chicken, turkey, peanut butter, almond butter, or greek yogurt.” Brillhart says the practice of combining a whole grain garb, like granola, with a lean protein, like yogurt, will help you fill full longer than eating a carb by itself. However, don’t deny yourself little indulgences, or you’ll set yourself up for failure. “Honestly, I never give a ‘no, no’ list, because when you’re told ‘no,’ it’s human nature to say ‘yes.’ So no food is off 40

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limits, but keep it to a minimum. Eat it rarely, as a treat. You appreciate it more when you don’t have it all the time. And, at the same time, you don’t feel deprived. “Sometimes, people want a list so they can eat only the things on that list, and it isn’t sustainable. You can reward yourself with your favorite treat at the end of the week for keeping to your schedule. You just don’t want to eat sweets all the time because then your body is constantly stimulated by sugar.”


f course, using treats as a reward is a great way to stay motivated. However, Brillhart says a good support system can go a long way. “Support systems, whether they be coworkers, family, or friends, you have to have a support system – even if you can only find one person to buddy up with. Support is a huge thing to keep people motivated. Some people stay motivated with online challenges, and it helps them stay accountable. Some people are competitive and like the competition. Across the board if they don’t have support in place they’re going to fail.” As another method of motivation, you can focus on all the health benefits of eating well and exercising. “Folks who eat better, feel better physically,” Brillhart says. “They often never knew how bad they felt until they took out some of the fatty foods and sugar. They find they do have energy after all, and they sleep better.” Additionally, as people eat better and exercise, studies show it can help prevent diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc. “If you already have some diseases, it can help control it. A lot of people find the dosage of their medication significantly decreases or they can come off it,” Brillhart says. “Go to the doctor and let them know you are changing your lifestyle, and then keep your physician updated. It’s important to update your doctor, update lab tests and then see if you can reduce or come off your medication.” Brillhart says there are tools out there to help you get started. In addition to My Plate, set up by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Tanner Health System has its own health trackers set up through its new initiative: Get Healthy West Georgia at “A lot of people out there know what they need to do, it’s just a matter of doing it,” Brillhart says. “Which comes back to motivation. Look at the barriers you’re up against and how you can overcome these barriers. Know it, do it, then maintaining those behaviors.” wgl

770-832-9602 Highway 27 North â&#x20AC;˘ Carrollton

Life Story by Amy K. Lavender-Buice Photos by Ricky Stilley

Christy Lock lifts weights during a group fitness class at Club Fitness.

Get Moving, Get Fit! S

o, here we are again. Another New Year. Another set of New Year’s resolutions. Every year, it starts off the same. You say to yourself you are going to exercise every day, and eat right, and quit smoking, and the list goes on ... and on ... and on. But, by the end of the first week, you feel so overwhelmed by the “to do” list you’ve made for yourself, you simply throw up your hands and give up.


Well, local personal trainers Josh Harper and Leslie Pair don’t want you to give 42

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up. They want you to stay motivated and reach your goals, and to help you do that they sat down with me to share some tips that will hopefully help you stay on track to a better you! (Of course, follow their advice only after consulting a physician about your new activity and nutrition plans.)

two weeks or spend a week pumping weights and look like Mr. Universe. It’s just not going to happen. We all want to see results, but the best thing to do is set realistic, achievable, healthy goals. And no. Losing 30 pounds in two weeks is not a healthy goal. If you don’t believe me, believe the experts.

Be Realistic

“You have to set reachable goals,” says Harper, a certified personal trainer who operates out of Express Fitness in Villa Rica and hosts a weekly boot camp in Carrollton. “You don’t want to lose

When setting those New Year’s Resolution weight-loss goals, be realistic. You’re not going to lose 30 pounds in

100 pounds in a month; It wouldn’t be healthy.” Pair, who is a certified personal trainer and Les Mills group fitness instructor at Club Fitness in Carrollton, agrees. “Be realistic with your goals,” Pair says. “A lot of things factor into your weight: age, having children, genetics. Just because you used to be a size 4 doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to be a size 4 again. The goal is to be healthy, not a particular size.” Doctors and health experts recommend losing around a pound a week using healthy, sustainable methods, such as eating nutritious food and getting daily exercise. Setting short-term goals can help you reach your long-term goal. However, don’t expect to reach your long-term goal in a short amount of time. If you go to extreme methods to achieve extreme weight loss, (and yes, not eating is extreme), the weight will go back on as quickly as it came off.

Get Moving Of course, you’re not going to lose weight if you don’t get moving. Luckily, there are as many ways to lose weight as there are people. So all you have to do is pick your poison ... err, I mean, your elixir! Honestly, once you start your healthy lifestyle, you will notice a difference. But, first things first, you have to get moving. There are multiple ways for you to break a sweat, you just have to find the one that works for you. You could download one of the many “couch to 5K” apps for your smart phone and simply follow the instructions; get a walking buddy; join a gym; take up swimming; join a rec team. The list goes on, but no matter what you do, personal trainers Harper and Pair want you to be safe, have fun and not be afraid to try something different to help you change

Josh Harper

your lifestyle.

advantages as well: the people.

Pair says the group fitness classes she teaches have many benefits for those new to exercise. There are many different types of group fitness classes, from cardio and weight lifting to Yoga, and most gyms have classes both in the morning and evening to try and accommodate as many people as possible. However, group fitness has another

“People who like group fitness are those who don’t like to exercise or don’t like to exercise alone,” Pair says. “They like the friendships they build in the class. Also, treadmill No. 2 will never know your name, but I will. They build a camaraderie with the group and the instructor. There’s also a level of accountability.” Jan./Feb. 2013

West Georgia Living


Pair says because of those friendships people build in the classes, they are more likely to attend more often. The friends often hold each other accountable for coming each week and encourage each other to keep at it. Pair says group fitness is also tailored for all fitness levels, as instructors will provide both high- and low-intensity options for newbies as well as seasoned veterans.

Leslie Pair

For those who wish to join a gym but gravitate more toward the free weights or weight machines, Harper says it’s important for those unfamiliar with the gym to get to know the equipment and how to use it. “If you’re in a gym and not sure how to use the free weights, ask a person you see regularly at the gym or one of the employees,” Harper says. “Or you can higher a personal trainer for a few sessions. You don’t have to hire them for six months, but they can get you started so you don’t hurt yourself.” Harper says poor form is one of the number one mistakes he sees people make when at the gym. “You need to physically do the exercise correctly,” he says. “If you don’t know the proper way to use the weights or the machines, you could injure yourself. Then what you wanted to accomplish goes out the window because you have a sprained ankle or some other injury.”

Choose the Right Food Now that you’re psyched to get started on your workout, a word about food: to do all this exercise your body needs fuel. However, it needs the right kind of fuel. (Burgers and french fries every day doesn’t count. Sorry.) Harper says nutrition is often 75 percent of the weight loss equation. “Diet is a major factor in losing weight and being healthy inside and out,” 44

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Harper says. “Know what you are putting in your body and pay attention to your portions.” Harper and Pair agree that simply by being aware of how much calories, sugar, sodium, etc. you are consuming can put you on track to a healthier you. “You need to find a balance between exercise and diet. It’s a balance,” Pair emphasizes. “You have to keep putting

food in your mouth. You can’t just not eat, and you can’t exercise five hours a day either. You’ve got to take care of your body.” Pair suggests keeping a food journal to help you see just how much soda, junk food, fast food, etc., you are consuming each week. You can also go back and see the progress you’ve made and the positive changes you have made in your diet and the results they’ve yielded.

Additionally, Harper suggests eating five to six small meals every day rather than two or three big ones. And breakfast is a MUST. “I can’t stress that enough, breakfast is so important,” Harper says. “Also, eating six times a day sounds like a lot, but by breaking foods down into smaller portions and eating them more often throughout the day keeps your metabolism in high gear, which helps you burn calories and absorb the nutrients your body needs to loose fat and gain lean muscle mass. It also helps you get through your work out.” For those taking vitamin supplements or protein shakes, Harper encourages seeking professional advice from a doctor, as some may cause an allergic reaction or raise other concerns. Also, he says depriving yourself of calories isn’t necessarily the path everyone should take. “If you’re trying to lose fat, sure, consume 1,600 calories or less each day, but if you’re trying to gain muscle, you’re going to need to consume more calories, maybe even 3,500 a day.” (This is when consulting a doctor can come in handy.)

Don’t Give Up No matter what meal plan you lay out or what exercise method you choose, above all, don’t give up. It may be hard to stay motivated, but it is possible if you find out what motivates you and remain realistic about the results you are able to achieve. “You have to be happy with who you are,” says Pair. “You can’t be somebody else. You are shaped a particular way for a reason.” This reason is often genetics. It’s a simple fact that we are not all shaped alike, so it just makes since that the same workout and nutrition plan will not work for all of us. “Genetics have a lot to do with it. If you’re not genetically built to be bulky, you’re not going to get that,” says Harper. “There are all kinds of body types, but you can cater your exercise to your body type.” Harper says one way to keep yourself motivated is to take a notepad to the gym or track with you and make a note of how much weight you lifted or how far you ran. This way, you can

Melanie Simpson teaches Body Pump group fitness at Club Fitness in Carrollton.

see improvement from week to week as you are able to do a little bit more. Also, don’t look at the scale. Instead of weight, use your Body Mass Index, waist measurements or even your clothes as a gauge of how much fat you have lost. “The scale can be deceptive because lean muscle weighs more than fat,” Harper assures. He also says throwing those fashion magazines out the window might help as well. “People in magazines pay really good money for a personal trainer and workout five and six times a week, or they are competitors [in fitness magazines],” says Harper. “You can air brush abs into a photo. Some of those people are on steroids, that’s the kind of thing the average person doesn’t want to do.” Pair says finding out what specifically keeps you motivated is also key. “Each individual is different in the things that motivates them, and little rewards go a long way,” says Pair. For some people, planning a vacation or a special event will motivate them to shape up. Others can get motivated by training for a 5K or competing with co-workers or friends in a do-it-yourself “Biggest Loser” competition. “Always dangle a carrot in front of yourself, ask yourself: ‘What am I trying to achieve?’” Pair suggests. “Whatever you Jan./Feb. 2013

West Georgia Living



do, don’t take your eyes off the prize.”

Pair also advises to stay within your nutrition plan, but don’t deny yourself indulgences. Instead, use them as part of your motivation. “It’s another thing that makes people fail. They say right of the bat, ‘I’m going to quit sweets and bread.’ You’ve got to wean yourself off some of these things, and some of the things you love you’re never going to give up,” Pair says. “All of this is a mind game. You think to yourself, ‘I do all this work, and I can’t have one piece of chocolate?’ Well, use that chocolate as a reward. Reward yourself with a little piece of chocolate for finishing your workout if that’s what it takes.” Of course, hitting a plateau often leads to a major loss of motivation. You’ve been working hard, you’ve lost 10 pounds, and now you’re stuck. Now

what? Pair recommends the FIT principle.

The Payoff Yes, if you lose weight and get healthy, you will weigh less and have less body fat, and look great in your skinny jeans. But what else does a nutritious diet and exercise do for your body?

“Frequency, Intensity and Time, that’s the three things you can manipulate if you plateau. How often you exercise, how hard you work out, and how long you work out. If you only work out twice a week, try adding a day or two. If you already work out five times a week, try increasing how long you work out or how intense your workouts are.”

It relieves stress, helps you sleep, reduces your chances of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, improves your mood, boosts your energy, improves your learning capacity, improves your self esteem (like I said “skinny” jeans), may help reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s, gives you opportunities to spend time with family and friends (anyone up for a hike or flag football after dinner?), and – last but not least – can add a little spark to the bedroom.

All in all, the important thing to remember is “living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t give you an instant result,” Harper says. Don’t expect to work out for two weeks and wake up one morning three sizes smaller. Be patient, and keep at it. And Pair says she knows not all exercises are going to be for you, the important thing is to find your niche, find what you like to do, and have fun!

With all these reasons to motivate, how can you say no to a brisk walk around the park? Whatever activity you choose to do, stay safe, stay motivated, and stay on track to a better, healthier you! wgl

“It’s got to be fun,” she says. “If you’re not having fun, you’re not going to [keep at it].”

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Delectible ‘Health’ Food

Yogurt Berry Crunch


ow that you’ve spent the holiday season indulging in all those wonderful treats. It’s time to get back on the band wagon with a few healthy alternatives. I realize that it doesn’t get much better than grandma’s homemade sweet potato pie, but fresh strawberries and yogurt run a close second. Fresh fruit and vegetables add essential nutrients to our bodies, so I’ve highlighted a few dishes with these as the main ingredient. Also, many people could use more lean meat in their diets, so I’ve prepared a simple but yummy salmon recipe for you to try. I hope these recipes help you realize that just because you’re eating healthy foods doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor or satisfaction. All the things that are good for you can taste just as wonderful as those fatty dishes... but your waistline won’t suffer for it.


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Jan./Feb. 2013

Yogurt Berry Crunch Ingredients: Fresh berries of your choice, rinsed Organic Greek yogurt Granola Honey Place a hand full of washed berries in a bowl (sliced if desired). Place 2 Tbls. of Greek yogurt on top. Sprinkle with granola, and drizzle with honey. (I suggest sing locally grown ingredients for improved flavor and freshness.) It’s easy, it’s beautiful, it’s delicious and it’s good for you!

Food Pecan Parmesan Salmon

with extra virgin olive oil.

and gently pry it open.)

Ingredients: 2 salmon fillets 1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans 1/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese 1 tsp. dried thyme (divided) 1 tsp. dried rosemary 2 sprigs fresh rosemary 2 Tbls. lemon or lime juice Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In a bowl, combine 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp. dried rosemary, with lemon juice and enough EVOO to coat your fillets. Mix it together, then gently roll your fillets in the oil mix until completely coated.

While the fish is baking, combine your pecans, parmesan and 1/2 tsp. dried thyme in a bowl. Just before the fillets are done, take them out of the oven and sprinkle your pecan mix on top. Pop it back in the oven for a couple minutes to finish cooking, allow the pecans to warm and the parmesan to slightly melt.

Wash fillets and remove any small bones left behind. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly coat the bottom of a glass baking dish

Place them skin side down (if they came with the skin) in the baking dish that you oiled. If you like, you can drizzle the oil mix on top of the fillets. Place them in the oven and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fillets. (You know it’s done when the fish is flaky when you inert a fork

You can remove the skin from the bottom before you transfer it to a plate or just eat around it. When you place it on the plate, top it with your fresh sprig of rosemary (optional).

Pecan Parmesan Salmon

Jan./Feb. 2013

West Georgia Living



Veggie Flatbread Wraps

whole grain Brown Rice Follow the instructions on any package of whole grain brown rice you buy; however, add a little extra water and cooking time. Otherwise, your rice may be a little too firm for you liking (especially after years of eating plain white rice). A few minutes before it’s done, add a handful of dried parsley to the pot and stir. The parsley will add a little color and flavor to your rice.

garlic Butternut Squash Ingredients: Butternut Squash Powdered garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Salt and Pepper to taste Peel your butternut squash, slice in half, remove the seeds, then cube it into 1-inch pieces. Toss in a glass baking pan a few drizzles of olive oil (enough to coat) and garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees F until fork tender.

Veggie Flatbread wraps Ingredients: Flatbread Humus (any flavor) Fresh baby spinach Assorted fresh, sliced veggies Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette Warm your flatbread in a skillet for 3 minutes on each side on medium heat. (You can also microwave for 20

seconds, but the texture becomes somewhat rubbery if you do.) Smear a thin layer of hummus over the flatbread (I used greek style and roasted red pepper, but any flavor you like will do). Place spinach and assorted sliced veggies in center. Top with Balsamic Vinaigrette or Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette (either one tastes great!). Fold together (like a taco) and enjoy!


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leftover Day: Spring Salmon Salad Remove skin from any leftover Salmon ďŹ llets and slice the meat into bite-sized pieces. Put lettuce, spinach or mixed greens in a bowl. Top with your leftover sliced veggies and salmon. Throw some sliced almonds and dried fruit on top and toss in your favorite light dressing. Spring Salmon Salad

“Old Songs”


Original Short Fiction by James Dalton “Joe” Byrd Adeline could hear her grandfather’s guitar playing one of those old songs he loved. She could hear him singing as she walked up the path to his house. The dragonflies seemed to dance to the music as they darted and wheeled through the warm summer afternoon. “It’s a good day to be lazy,” she said to herself. She looked at the dragonflies again as she walked around the corner of the back porch and thought it might be a good day for chasing dragonflies, too. “I don’t think the dragonflies would be wantin’ some chasin’ right now, Addie.” Her grandfather called out to her. “Dang,” she thought, “how can he tell what I’m thinking? I think he can read my mind.” “It’s written across your face, child.” He said, smiling. Adeline laughed.” You always know what I am thinking!” “Well,” her grandfather said, “it’s a pretty day and the dragonflies are flying. What else would anyone think when they see such nice insects ready to play chase? Its just natural, Addie, if I could run like a 10-year old, I would be chasin’ ‘em myself.” “I heard you singing when I came up the path, Granddaddy. That was ‘Red River Valley’ you were singing wasn’t it?” “Yep, Hon, it certainly was.” “Why do you like those old songs so much, Granddaddy?” “When it comes to ‘Red River Valley’ that’s an easy question to answer, Addie. ‘Red River’ was my father’s favorite song.” He laughed a little and said, “When I was a kid, if I wanted anything, all I had to do was start playin’ that old guitar and sing ‘Red River’” 52

West Georgia Living

Jan./Feb. 2013

“Why did he like it so much?” Adeline watched her grandfather’s face soften as he looked out across the fields and the years. “Addie, my daddy was a gentle man who loved stories.” he sighed and looked back at her, “’Red River’ is a very old song that tells a sad story about a cowboy saying goodbye to his sweetheart.” “I hadn’t thought of it like that, Granddaddy.” He picked up his guitar and started the familiar, melancholy tune. Then he began to sing: From this valley they say you are going. We will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile. For they say you are taking the sunshine That brightens our pathway a while….. As her grandfather strummed the last chords Adeline said, “That is kinda sad, Granddaddy.” “It was a song that had special meaning for many people, Addie. Yep, my daddy loved that song. He would get all misty-eyed every time he heard it.” “The old songs are not all sad, are they, Granddaddy?” “Oh no, they were sung by people that were just like us. They laughed as we do, and they endured pain and loss as we must from time to time; so, their songs had as much joy, sorrow, and just plain foolishness in them as our songs have today. Come on and walk with me. I have a surprise for you in the little house by the pond” “I love the pond house, Granddaddy, it’s the nicest house you ever made for me.” “It’s the only house I ever made for you, Addie.” He said with a small chuckle.

“Oh, Granddaddy!” As they walked along the path to the playhouse, Addie put her arm around her grandfather’s waist. She could feel the guitar on her arm as it hung over his back. The smell of the oil in the old leather strap and the polish he used on the guitar followed them across the pasture and toward the forest trail. She had listened to that old guitar many times and she knew its voice even when she heard it in a room full of other guitars. The guitar seemed to be a part of her grandfather and he was part of it, too. She had listened to it many summer nights when she stayed with her grandparents. Her grandmother’s voice would melt into a song and dance around her grandfather’s deeper voice while the guitar led them from one verse to the next with chords that questioned and musical runs that pointed the way. There was mystery in the guitar, too. Sometimes she could see a moon hiding inside it. A moon that her grandfather said a girl had told him about many, many years ago. Mysteries of science were hidden in the way the strings made their sounds. The smell of the glue, the wood, and the finish told of the mysteries of the craftsman’s talent and love for his craft. “Look, Addie, a fox!” Her grandfather’s urgent whisper sliced through her daydreaming. “Where?” She whispered. “Over by the fence...” when she didn’t see the fox he added, “... right beside the roots of that old tree.” When she looked again she could see the rusty red, grey, and white shape slipping silently into the roots of the huge fallen oak tree. “Boy, he sure is quiet when he moves.” Addie said as they started to walk again. “You would not have even seen him if he really didn’t want you to.” She knew her grandfather did not allow foxes to be hunted or trapped on his land. He said it made them feel safer

and also made it easier to be able to see them. “That, me lass, reminds me of an old song.” he said as he moved the guitar around so he could strum it. “Did I ever play ‘The Fox’ for you?” “I don’t think so.” “Well, it’s an old song.” He said as he sat on a log, “Maybe from the time of the American colonies. It tells of a fox’s raid on a farm.” He plucked a few strings and tuned the guitar a little. “Goes like this.” Oh, the fox went out on a windy night And he prayed for the moon to give him light He had many a mile to go that night Before he reached the town-o, town-o, town-o, He had many a mile to go that night Before he reached the town-o…… . Addie watched her grandfather finish the song and then just sit on that log for a few minutes staring at the old tree where the fox had been. His right hand moved over the curve of the guitar and he patted it as if it were an old friend. “Well, that was a treat, Adeline!” He said as he stood up and stretched. “We don’t get to see old Mr. Fox as much as we used to.” “That was the first time I ever saw a fox outside of a zoo!” Adeline said. “Okay, now let’s head for the pond house.” Addie skipped around her grandfather as they walked into the woods. Trees arched over the winding path and the air cooled a bit as they passed into the shadows. Addie stopped skipping because the tree roots that came out into the trail might trip her. She looked toward the west and saw the sparkling surface of the river making its way through the forest. “Look, Granddaddy, you can see the sunlight bouncing off the river! It’s so pretty.” “Yep, rivers can be quite lovely, can’t

they, Addie.” her rt grandfather said. “I like that river song you sang the last time I was here. Would you sing it again, Granddaddy?” she pleaded, “What was its name? ‘Shando’?” He looked at her and smiled. “Shenandoah.” “Yeah, that’s th…..” she stopped as her grandfather gave her the you-justdid-something-wrong look, “Oh, I’m sorry, Granddady… yes, sir, that’s the one.” “That’s okay, Addie, I just want you to treat people with respect so that they will treat you with respect. And, yes, I will sing it. I really love the melody. Why don’t you come in on the chorus and we will both sing it.” He tugged the strap and the guitar slid around to his chest, then he pulled his thumb across the strings and made a few adjustments with the keys at the tuning head without even breaking stride as he walked. Then he started playing the haunting melody of Shenandoah.


Shenandoah, I love your daughter. Away, you rollin’ river. My love will last as does the water. Away, we’re bound away, ‘Cross the wide Missouri….. The guitar rang with the last chord and faded away like an echo. Addie’s grandfather shook his head and said, “I tell you, Addie, I have always loved that song from the first time I heard it. When I was younger than you.” “That’s a beautiful song, Granddaddy. Who was Shenandoah?” “Well, I’m not sure. In the early days of this country, there was an Indian Chief named Shenandoah. The song is from that time. Also, in Virginia, there is a beautiful valley named after the river that flows through it. The Shenandoah.” “Who wrote it?” “No one knows. Actually it’s a sea Jan./Feb. 2013

West Georgia Living


chanty. A song the sailors sang in the days of the sailing ships. Some people think the person who wrote Shenandoah” was a sailor in the South Atlantic during the winter and an Ohio valley lumberjack in the summer.” “Wow, Granddaddy, wouldn’t it be cold out on the ocean in the winter?” “It’s summer down there when it’s winter up here; but it was probably still cold since they went down near Antartica.” “Oh,” she said and became quiet as she thought it through. The path came out of the shadowed woods and curved down a gentle slope to where the pond was. That pond had been Addie’s favorite place since her grandfather built the pond house there. The little house was not just a tiny box, it was a small house with normal sized doors and windows and a nice porch on the front. The barn-red walls, the shingled roof, and the white trim made it look as much a part of the country-side as the large oak trees around it. Addie began to think of the day they started building the little house. “We’re not putting electricity out here, Addie.” Her grandfather had told her when it was being built. “Why not, Granddaddy?” She had asked. “Electricity brings radios and the like. Radios and such are nice, Adeline, but they tend to interfere with your ability to hear yourself. There are times when the love songs of frogs and the whispered tales of the west wind will bring us to know more about ourselves than all the blaring radios in the world. Some people never stop long enough to listen to the ancient songs hidden in the rhythms of nature. They never take the time to pick up an instrument and sing love songs back to the beauty of creation around them.” Addie never regretted the lack of electricity to the little house. She smiled as she thought of the time her grandfather’s friends all came to help him build the house. Then they sat on the porch and played music late into the night just to “Break the house in nice and proper.” The light of the kerosene lanterns and the candles seemed to hold the music in a soft circle around them while the night creatures sang their


own songs in the woods. Addie had even stayed over night in the little house many times (although she didn’t know it, her grandfather would always set up his sleeping bag near by and slip away early in the morning). The most magical of times were the early summer nights… when the fireflies danced over the pond and the tree frogs made little bell-like sounds… when the bullfrogs called out to each other and the owls would send their mournful cries echoing through the forest. When they came close to the pond, a frog leaped out of the reeds and splashed into the water. Addie jumped and they both laughed. “That old frog scared my heart!” She laughed. “Old frogs are good at that.” Her grandfather smiled back at her. “Granddaddy, how about singing the frog song?” “Sure.” He brought the guitar around again, “Okay, here we go!” Well, Frog went a-courtin and he did ride, uh-huh. Frog went a-courtin and he did ride, uh-huh. Frog went a-courtin and he did ride With a sword and a pistol at his side, Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh…… By the time the song was finished, Addie was dancing around him and laughing. She took her grandfather’s right

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hand and they continued the walk to the pond house. The steps creaked a little as they walked up to the porch. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love the way the steps talk to us when we come here.â&#x20AC;? Addie said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yes, they do talk a lot donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t they? They didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t say what was inside, did they?â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;What? Oh, no Sir.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Well then, go take a look.â&#x20AC;? Addie opened the door and walked into the little house. Her eyes became adjusted to the darkness and she saw the light reflecting off something in the corner. She walked around the little table and there, leaning against the wall, was a guitar. Her hand touched the smooth finish and moved down the curving side. She brushed her fingers across the strings and the guitar whispered notes into the room and promised music to fill her years. Addieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heart swelled with happiness as she lifted the guitar and

carried it back out to the porch. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oh, Granddaddy! Its beautiful!â&#x20AC;? Her grandfather was sitting with his back against one of the porch posts. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sit down and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll show you how to play a few chords and you can start your own collection of old songs.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;You know, Granddaddy, I think you can read my mind.â&#x20AC;? He smiled and his hand folded around hers as he showed her how to form the chords that would make her guitar sing and she knew that he had already given her the best gift she could ever receive. He had given her his love. Bio: James Dalton Byrd is a retired Biology, Chemistry, and Physics teacher. He is a member of the Tamarack Writers in New York. In his free time, he enjoys writing and camping with his wife, Kathryn.

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4 I’ve always wanted to have dinner with … Steven Seagal.

5 The best book I’ve read this year was … “Just as I Am” by Billy Graham.

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our community is … the wonderful, friendly and caring people.

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Jan./Feb. 2013

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Arts & Events “KISS ME KATE” Carroll County Community Theatre will present “Kiss Me Kate,” a combination of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” with Cole Porter’s music, March 14-24. This is a play-within-a-play where each cast member’s on-stage life is complicated by what is happening offstage. The show will be directed by Kathy Waldrop and Becky Allen. Call 404718-0956 for more information. CC COMMUNITY CHORUS Carroll County Community Chorus will present their Spring concert series: “A Musical Tribute to The Greatest Generation” on Friday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 20, at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. This concert will feature music from the World War II era and special tribute performances showcasing the music of the Tommy Dorsey Band and the Andrews Sisters. Carroll County Community Chorus is directed by Charles Allen. Call 404-718-0956 for more information. MLK PROGRAM The Center for Diversity and Inclusion invites the community to the Fourth Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Program. The program is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in the Campus Center Ballroom at 7 p.m. Ms. Angela Robinson, President & CEO of Angela Robinson Communications (A.R.C.) Media will be the guest speaker. Ms. Robinson is a Veteran and Award Winning Broadcast Journalist. She is also Host and Executive Producer of the award-winning news and public affairs talk show “In Contact.” The program is free and opened to the public. For information call 678-839-5400 or visit www. 58

West Georgia Living

Jan./Feb. 2013 CREATIVE WRITING CONTEST The Deadline for the High School Creative Writing Contest is Thursday, Jan. 17, at 5 p.m. Ask English teachers for details, cash award information, entry The Greater Carrollton Area... Whatever you’re looking for, look here first. forms and guidelines. English teachers Sometimes we forget how many great things there are to see, do and experience in our own hometown. Before you spend your time and money somewhere else, why not look here first? You might be surprised by some of the treasures in your own backyard! and Home Schools may pick up forms DAVID AND BATHSHEBA Explore the shops, restaurants and galleries of Carroll County historic downtown districts. Turn a few pages at Horton’s Books and drop off entries at the Carrollton CPRCAD will present David and Bathin Carrollton, the oldest bookstore in the state (and the county’s oldest business). Dine at one of our many restaurants, serving an eclectic mixsheba of mouth-watering cuisines. AttendSusan or host a tournament at our award-winning recreation facilities. See a Cultural Arts Center. Entries cannot upbe starring Hayward and show or exhibit at the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center, Townsend Center or Copeland Hall. Shoot a hole-in-one at your choice of quality golf courses. Swim off the sand beach in the GA State Park System at John Tanner State returned. Winners will be notified byseveral championship Gregory Peck atlargest Carrollton Cultural Arts Park. Camp, picnic, hike or explore on horseback at McIntosh Reserve Park. Hold your business meeting, wedding or family reunion here. Cheer our home teams or learn a thing or two at the University of West Georgia or West Georgia Technical Thursday, Feb. 7. The Deadline for High Center Saturday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m. Tick-College. The Carrollton Area Convention Visitors Bureauinclude is your complete local resource for planning and hosting School Juried Art Entries is Thursday, ets areand$5 and bottled water andgroups and individual visitors in the Greater Carrollton Area. Contact us at 770-214-9746 or visit us online at and Jan. 31, at 5 p.m. High School Art on Facebook. Comepopcorn. by the Log Cabin Visitor Center at770-838-1083 102 North Lakeshore Drive in Carrollton. Call for tickets Teachers have details, guidelines, cash and information. award information, and entry forms. Entries, with proper paperwork, may be CHILDREN’S CHOIR dropped off at the Art Center. Limit 35 The Spivey Hall Children’s Choir art entries per school and two entries per will perform in the City of Bremen on student. Call 770-838-1083 for informa- Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 3 p.m. at the tion. Hamilton-McPherson Fine Arts Center. Advance tickets for this event can be CHRISTIAN MOTORCYCLISTS purchased at the Warren Sewell Library Cross & Crown Riders, the local chapter or via Keith Hebert at khebert@westga. of the Christian Motorcyclists Assoedu. Tickets are $10. The concert is part ciation, will meet each third Thursday of programming to support the Smithof the month at Ryan’s on Bankhead sonian Institution’s New Harmonies, Highway in Carrollton. Dinner and felCelebrating American Roots Music travlowship starts at 6:30, and the meeting eling exhibit that will be displayed in starts at 7 p.m. For information, visit Bremen from Feb. 9 through March 23. or call Tony Crow at Proceeds from the concert will be used 770-301-1820. to preserve and promote the musical heritage of the west Georgia region. For WOOD CARVING additional information about this event Carve with other wood carvers the first contact Dr. Keith S. Hebert at khebert@ and third Thursdays of each month from or 770-537-2248. 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Athletic Room at the Stallings Community Center, 118 ART SHOWING South White St,, Carrollton. Free lesThe Dogwood City Art Gallery in sons are offered and wood blanks and Tallapoosa will present the artwork of tools are available for beginners to use. Charles Nivens through the month of For more information, call Joe LaConto January. Nivens works in acrylics and at 770-832-1068. multimedia. His show is named “In a

polyphonic mood.” In February, the gallery will feature Susan Gardener’s show “images of the South” featuring her landscapes and still life artwork in pastels. For more information, call 770-574-2822 or log on to www.dogwoodcityartgallery. com. GEOLOGY HIKE Backcountry Geology hikes will be held Jan. 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. Geologist and “Friends of Sweetwater Creek State Park” member John Johnston will lead a moderate 3 mile hike identifying rock types and explaining how they formed. Explore the beautiful Jack’s branch area and the seldom-visited rock quarry of New Manchester. Register in advance at 770-7325871. Meet in the Visitor’s Center. $5 plus $5 parking. BOOK DISCUSSION A book discussion group will meet Jan. 16 and each third Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Woodie Fite Senior Center. For information call 678-626-5630. BLACK HISTORY EXHIBIT There will be a reception on Feb. 2 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Cultural Arts Center, 8652 Campbellton St., for the Black History Month Exhibit. There will be contemporary prints from the Hammonds House Collection and will be on view through Feb. 28. Free and open to the public. GALLERY TALK AND TOUR A Gallery Talk and Tour of the Black History Month Exhibit of Contemporary prints from the Hammonds House Collection will be held Feb. 3 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Cultural Arts Center, 8652 Campbellton St. Free and open to the public. KINNA CHAMBER CONCERT The first of three Kinna Chamber Concerts will be Feb. 9 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Cultural Arts Center, 8652 Campbellton St. $15 per person, $12 for CAC members and $5 students. For information call 770-949-2787. AFTERNOON WITH AUTHORS An afternoon with authors, hosted by the Douglas County Connection, will be held Feb. 17 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Cultural Arts Center, 8652 Campbellton St.. Free and open to the public. SHAPE DIVA DASH The Shape Diva Dash, a women-only adventure obstacle run will be held Feb. 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fox Hall Sporting Club, 8000 Capps Ferry Road, Douglasville. Cost is $55-$75 depending when you register. For information con-

tact or go to or call 303-667-5559. MOSAIC WORKSHOP The Carrollton Cultural Arts Center will host Mosaic Workshop with Helen Helwig, nationally-known artist with extensive experience in clay and mosaics. There will be a Clay Mosaic 3-day workshop for ages 12 to adult on Wednesdays, Jan. 9, 16, 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center in Classroom No. 2. Create your own unique pattern on paper, and then create handmade clay tiles, glaze them with color and then incorporate the glazed tiles into your own piece of mosaic art. Each step of the process will move you closer to a completed mosaic panel, suitable for wall hanging. Students are encouraged to bring an image or design of your own to use for this project. Please contact the instructor if you have questions about what to bring. Fee: $65 payable to CPRCAD plus $30 material fee payable to Helen Helwig at the class. For more information, contact Helen Helwig at 678-796-9722 or Or call the Art Center at 770-838-1083. Register at the art center or online at ELVIS CONCERT The Carrollton Cultural Arts Center presents Jim Jinelli in “ELVIS: A Concert Experience” on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. at the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center’s Danny Mabry Theatre – 251 Alabama Street, Carrollton, GA 30117. Jim Jinelli is a professional musician and has created a mesmerizing tribute concert memorializing The King. With his powerful, commanding voice, remarkable vocal range and natural vibrato Jim captures that unique “Elvis” sound, reaching the heart of Elvis’ vocal style, seizing the passion of every song. Jim Jinelli’s reproduction of Elvis’ music and stage presence is so accurate that all of us may suspend belief, as the saying goes, that Elvis has left the building. Tickets are $12 in advance (Must purchase before 5 p.m. on Friday, February 8 for discounted tickets) and $20 at the door. Call 770-838-1083.

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“Compost Happens” “Something’s always happening in a garden. Sooner or later it all turns to compost, including the gardener.” Biography: Shelly Hargis Murphy grew up in the desert Southwest in a horticulturally challenged environment. She married her college sweetheart, and they moved so often the next 25 years with his coaching career she only planted annuals in pots. It wasn’t until they settled in Georgia in 1993, that she could finally put down serious roots. By 2002, when she received certification as a Georgia Master Gardener, she’d made enough mistakes to fill a how-not-to-garden book. She and her husband, Ed, live in Carrollton. Description: Something’s always happening in a garden. Sooner or later it all turns to compost, including the gardener. After growing ornamentals a dozen years on a rocky hard clay slope, the queen of gardening gaffes confesses why: “I don’t do bugs, the buck stops here, some plants are X-rated and God will get even with you; attacks from crape murderers and a fat chance of rain may lead to horticultural holocaust and a decent burial; attitude is everything in a pricey past-time that sure beats a shrink, but it may be in the genes and have one asking, ‘Can this disease be cured?’” Review: While I don’t know the first thing about gardening (having successfully killed just about every plant I’ve ever buried in the dirt), I felt a bit reluctant to read and review Compost Happens by Shelly H. Murphy. I groaned at the thought of pouring over countless details, trying to cipher 64

West Georgia Living

Jan./Feb. 2013

through the endless display of gardening jargon, with very little hope that I’d actually retain any of the information. I didn’t even want to contemplate trying to pronounce all the Latin-based names of the plants, much less pour over the scientific methods of how to plant, nurture and prune them. But, having heard Mrs. Murphy read an excerpt of the book at one of our Tuesday CCWC (Carrollton Creative Writer’s Club) meetings, I knew instantly this was a must-read. Though this book is classified as a “gardening book,” I would have listed it as a comedic memoir. Compost Happens is technically a how NOT to garden book, filled with one mishap after the other, something I can completely relate to. However, the meat of the book is the wonderful, hilarious,

and at times emotionally uplifting story of Mrs. Murphy and her husband, Ed. This tale begins with 9-year-old Shelly attempting to grow a beautiful trailing vine from an Irish potato. The example of her intrigue stemmed from the green vines of a sweet potato her aunt had grown, but not having a sweet potato, Shelly used what she had on hand. The result was noted in this excerpt:

Shelly Murphy

The plant grew tall and spindly, like Jack’s beanstalk, and didn’t trail a bit. The plain green foliage was boring. Unlike my aunt’s beautiful vine, mine was ugly and disappointing, and Mama constantly complained it was in her way. A sandstorm blew up one afternoon. A strong gust of wind sent my experiment crashing into the sink. The plant was demolished and the root ball would not fit into another jar. Though it devastated me, Mama was overjoyed to be rid of that misfit nuisance. I realized early on that potato tubers, like the green thumbs of mothers, are not created equally, and substituting spuds can result in duds. Compost Happens is filled with one hilarious episode after another. Many times, I would picture Lucille Ball, because Shelly’s escapades would fit right into an “I Love Lucy” episode. In the chapter “God Will Get Even with You,” I couldn’t stop laughing as Shelly bared her soul while she confessed to stealing some of Mayzie Fay Green’s prize-winning Daylilies to put in the church. Being so proud of her display the night before, she entered on Sunday morning to a vase full of wilted flowers. Her confession was soon to follow in this excerpt: Two hours later the minister’s wife called. After expounding on the beautiful music that morning, she thanked me for being their volunteer organist, like she did every time she saw me. Then she casually mentioned the dreaded subject. “By the way, hon’ – those flowers you brought today – were they daylilies by any chance?”

and waterfall, while her husband Ed wanted a peach tree. The problem, they both wanted the same prime location in the garden. After an attempt for a compromise failed, with Ed keeping his peach tree, Shelly took it upon herself to chop down that peach tree and install her beloved goldfish pond and waterfall during an opportune moment when Ed went out of town. Through much toil, Shelly installed her majestic pond by herself. How did Ed respond?

When Ed got home and stepped out onto the deck, I braced myself for the worse. He leaned over the rail, looked over my ‘Yes, they were Mayzie Fay Green’s hybrids. They looked gor- new project and said, “Wow, is that neat! I can’t believe you geous when I took them up there yesterday afternoon. I can’t put that pond in while I was gone. I was sure I’d have to dig it imagine what happened.” for you when I got back.” He turned and gave me a high five. “Way to go hon’- it’s beautiful!” We both breathed a sigh of “Honey, that’s why they’re called daylilies; each bloom only relief. lasts a single day. I wonder why Mayzie Fay didn’t tell you to wait ‘til this morning to pick them.” Sooner or later the inevitable will happen. One afternoon from my kitchen window, I saw Ed on the deck looking at my I swallowed my pride and gave a full confession. “The Devil pond. All at once he put his hands on his hips and said, “I made me do it, and now God’s getting even with me.” cannot believe that nervy woman chopped down my peach tree!” Compost Happens is full of gardening tips, but it’s also filled with wonderful marital advice. In the chapter titled “Peaches When he marched inside the kitchen, I beat him to the draw. or Pond,” readers learn a lot about compromise and convic“That peach tree must have been real important to you. It tion. The story goes – Shelly simply wanted a goldfish pond took a whole three weeks to notice it was missing. Shall I buy Jan./Feb. 2013

West Georgia Living


and plant you another one, Sweetheart?” He shook his head and swallowed his words. Then he came over and hugged me. Every chapter of Compost Happens is full of whimsy and wonder. I never thought a gardening book could be so enjoyable and entertaining, as well as informative, as this one. And who knows, perhaps some of those hard-learned gardening lessons will stick with me. The only way to find out is to try and try again. As funny as Compost Happens was throughout the whole book, the last chapter had me in tears. I don’t want to give it away, but it’s really bittersweet; the thorn upon a beautiful rose. You don’t have to love gardening to love this book, but you will definitely walk away with a love for Ed and Shelly H. Murphy. Reviewer: T.L. Gray is a local author from Temple, Ga. She has published more than four titles including: The Blood of Cain, Keezy’s 10 Awesome Rules for Teenaged Dating, Milledgeville Misfit, and The Arcainians. Ms. Gray works as a full-time novelist, editor, writing tutor, social media specialist and website manager. She is also active as a Contributing Writer for Impact Times Magazine and a member of the (CCWC) Carrollton Creative Writer’s Club. T.L. Gray is a 2012 NaNoWriMo winner, has been nominated for a 2013 (GAYA) Georgia Author of the Year Award for her books Milledgeville Misfit and The Arcainians, and invited as an honored guest and panelist at the 2013 Georgia Literary Festival. T.L.

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Artist’s Corner Interview by Katie Allen Ross Photos by Ricky Stilley

Marsha Chandler Douglasville, Ga. How long have you lived in Douglasville? I grew up on a farm in Boaz, Ala. We raised chickens, turkeys and cotton, so I always had a lot of chores to do. I couldn’t wait to get off the farm, but guess where I live now? On a farm! I have lived in Douglasville almost 40 years. I met my husband here, and our children grew up here. Has west Georgia influenced your art? When I first began painting in the mid-1970s, I became a charter member of the Douglas County Art Guild. Through the Guild, I was able to display my work in various places throughout Douglasville, and I was always in their annual show. This experience helped me learn about showing my art and introduced my artwork to the community. When I resumed painting after raising my children, I rejoined the 68

West Georgia Living

Jan./Feb. 2013

DCAG and began displaying through it again. This early exposure was a stepping stone to where I am now. What kind of art training did you receive? I can’t remember a time when I didn’t like to draw and paint. At Christmas or on birthdays, I always wanted art supplies as gifts. Unfortunately, my school didn’t even have art classes. I had my first art class in my mid-20s, and I absolutely loved it. I took classes and painted in different mediums for several years and displayed my work locally in various shows across west Georgia. I became so busy after I had my children that I had to put my art aside, and I didn’t resume painting until they were in college. When did you decide that you wanted to pursue art as a profession? About five years ago, after finding out I have heart disease, I decided it was time to do what I was born to do: paint. The only way I know how to do something is to do it seriously.

Even though I had to start with the basics again, I took classes and workshops to improve and make myself better. Why do you prefer water color? It’s really hard to explain. I just love everything about what watercolor does: the way it flows, its luminosity and translucency. I believe I can capture a quality of light with watercolors that you can’t get with other mediums. Maybe it’s the white of the paper being the lightest light. It’s not really the fruits and vegetables that I’m painting but what the light does to them. Where do you find your inspiration for your paintings? I buy vintage items and newer items when I find something interesting. The Goodwill store is one of my favorite places to find new treasures. I thought about specializing in paintings of vintage items but decided not to narrow my work down to such a small niche of art; I really enjoy my paintings of silver and glass and most of those are of newer items. Where do you paint? My studio is a mobile office that sits under the trees. It’s far enough away to keep my family from visiting. I love it! It’s so peaceful and quiet. I feel like it’s my little cabin in the woods. The idea for the mobile office came to me when my husband didn’t want me to add on to the house or finish our garage. Would you believe I bought it from Craigslist? Can you describe your artistic process? I would love to have a strict work schedule, but it’s hard to do. I’m almost always in the mood to paint. If I didn’t have family, painting is probably all I would do. If you want to be a successful artist, your art needs your full attention. I like to read and watch movies, but I only do those when I am too tired to

paint, usually after I’ve been painting for about six hours. I try to paint at least two hours a day, no matter what.

lery when you are already in one. When deciding on which gallery to approach next, I looked to Charleston, S.C.

Where is your art displayed? Frameworks Gallery in East Marietta was the first gallery to represent me, and I’m so appreciative to them.

I feel my paintings represent the South, as so does Charleston, so what better place for them to be? I am now also represented by the Atelier Gallery on King Street in the French Quarter of Charleston. Woohoo!

They have about a dozen of my paintings, so I had to build up my inventory before I approached another gallery. It’s so much easier to approach another gal-

You can view more of Chandler’s work at Jan./Feb. 2013

West Georgia Living


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Ask the Ex ert What every West Georgian should know about...

Buying an Automobile

Preventing Injuries When Walker Cadillac, Buick, GMC, Inc.............. 72 They Exercise Air Conditioning Maintenance Addison Smith .......................................... 73

Roofing and Construction Crist Roofing............................................... 74

Tanner Ortho and Spine Center ............... 76

Preventative Safety Carroll County Sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office ................... 77

Contracting a Lawyer for a Personal Injury Case

Investment Management Services MacMillan Law Firm .................................. 78 Milestone Management ........................... 75

Insurance State Farm .................................................. 79

Ask the Ex ert


What every West Georgian should know about... Buying an Automobile


Sales Manager Walker Cadillac, Buick, GMC Inc.


Todd has been in the Automotive Industry Since 1978 in Sales, Service and Finance and has worked with Walker Cadillac Buick GMC as Sales Manager since 2000.

With Cadillac, Buick and GMC Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles and you’ll get something you never thought possible: new car confidence with a used car price tag. The name “Certified” has always meant passing our strict standards, but now it also means Owner Care: a vehicle benefits package that raises our already great coverage to new heights. It’s why our vehicles deliver more satisfaction and certainty than any ordinary used vehicle.

Todd Rupp


whether a person qualifies for a particular credit card, loan, or service. Most credit scores estimate the risk a company incurs by lending a person money or providing them with a service, specifically, the likelihood that the person will make payments on time in the next two to three years. Generally, the higher the score, the less risk the person represents. The higher the credit score, the better the interest rate a customer should receive.

Why Buy A Certified Pre Owned Vehicle?


What is Onstar?


Built into every new Buick, GMC, and Cadillac, OnStar keeps you safely connected while in your vehicle. With OnStar, you’ll enjoy services like Automatic Crash Response, Navigation, Roadside Assistance,Hands-Free Calling, Emergency Remote Unlock of Your Vehicle, and Theft Detection.

Why is knowing your Credit Score important? A credit score is a complex mathematical model that evaluates many types of information in a credit file. A credit score is used by a lender to help determine

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Highway 27 N Park St (HWY 27) • Carrollton

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What every West Georgian should know about... Air Conditioning Maintenance


A: Any time you buy a home we suggest having the ducts inspected by a certified technician. While there are many factors that cause dust, if this is a continuous problem, there could be a buildup of dust and allergens in your ductwork or unit. A certified technician can thoroughly assess the condition of your unit and ductwork.

Danny Underwood Residential Service Manager Addison Smith


Danny Underwood has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He has two Associate Degrees in Air Conditioning Technology (ACT) and Information Systems, a North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) license.

Q: I just bought a home. I’ve noticed when my unit runs there is a reoccurring layer of dust on my furniture. Should I be concerned with the air quality?


Q: How often should I get my ducts cleaned?


A: We suggest every 8-10 years. But because every home is different, there is not a specific time frame for getting your ducts cleaned. We do suggest having them inspected during your annual maintenance for a better assessment of your specific needs.

Call 770.832.9006 for a Free Quote on Duct Cleaning


Q: Is there anything I can do to keep my air clean after I’ve had my ducts cleaned? A: Today’s market provides a whole house electronic air cleaner that can remove particles down to .1 micron, this is 100 times more effective than the standard 1 inch filter. To put this in perspective, the average dust mite is 10 microns, pollen is 40 microns, and a strand of hair is 60 microns. One of today’s industry leaders has developed the CleanEffects which uses patented technology to keep the air in your home cleaner than it’s ever been.

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When’s the last time you had your ducts cleaned? Let us help clean the air inside your house before the spring brings pollen and other allergens in it.

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What every West Georgian should know about...

President & CEO of Crist Roofing & Construction

How do I know if I need a new roof?


You can usually tell with a visual inspection of the shingles. A few key signs are lifted shingles, missing shingles, dips in the roof or leaks inside your house. Most reputable companies, like Crist Roofing give free inspections, so if you have any doubt make sure to call as soon as possible.


Ron Crist has been in the construction industry for the last 26 years, including 12 years as the owner of Crist Roofing. Ron has certifications from Atlas, Owens Corning, GAF, Duralast, Genflex, the NRCA and is accredited with the BBB. Ron founded Crist Roofing in hopes to develop an honest, reliable, community friendly business. For the last 12 years Crist Roofing has not only met, but exceeded these expectations.




Ron Crist



Why does a Roof need ventilation? Roof ventilation is just as important as the roof. It will not only ensure the safety and long life of the roof and the home but it will also ensure the safety of the residents. Poor ventilation not only increases the cost of your energy bill, but it also shortens the life of the roof. When there is no ventilation there is nowhere for the vapors and hot air to escape, which causes the vapors to be absorbed into the wood that supports the roof. To make sure you have proper ventilation call a reputable company for a free inspection.


How do I know if my gutters are working properly?


There are several quick ways that you, as a homeowner, can check your gutters without even getting on the roof. The first and easiest way to check is by looking at the amount of water coming out of your downspout when it is raining. If there is very little water coming out it means the gutters are not working properly. Another easy trick is to look at the gutters, when it is raining, and make sure the water is not over flowing out of the sides of the gutters. We typically recommend that you clean your gutters 2 to 3 times per year. Learn more 770-514-9653








B L L r o H ( P r s V I


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What every West Georgian should know about... Investment Management Services


Why do I need a Financial Advisor?


As a Professional Financial Advisor, I specialize in helping my clients become financially organized. I work hard to understand each clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique circumstance, and then seek out appropriate investments that address any gaps or vulnerabilities in their current strategy. Seeking expert guidance and partnering with someone who is both knowledgeable and caring is critical to achieving long term success. Should I work with more than one Financial Advisor? When you have more than one Financial Advisor, you run the risk of having â&#x20AC;&#x153;too many cooks in the kitchen!â&#x20AC;? It is in your best interest to develop a personal relationship with an experienced Financial Advisor you can trust to understand your current needs and future goals. You deserve someone who will take the time to meet with you faceto-face to help answer all of your

Michael L. Stone

CEO & Founder Milestone Investment Management



Before founding Milestone Investment Management, LLC, Michael worked in commercial banking in Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia for 24 years. He received a Bachelor of Science from LSU and later went on to graduate from LSUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Graduate School of Banking. He has his Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS) designation from the College of Financial Planning. He holds Series 7, 63 and 66 Securities registrations with LPL Financial for the following states: AL, CA, CO, FL, GA, IN, LA, NC, TX and VA; additionally he holds Licenses for Life and Health Insurance, and Variable Life and Variable Annuities.


questions and concerns, and to help you make more informed decisions about your money, the growth of your assets and the protection of your estate.


Is it wise to â&#x20AC;&#x153;put all of your eggs in one basket?â&#x20AC;? Your investment portfolio should be diversified like a well tuned orchestra with many talented musicians skillfully playing their unique instruments. But, you only need one conductor to guide the orchestra to give its best performance. An experienced Financial Advisor will take a disciplined approach of providing you with unbiased guidance to properly diversify your investments.

LEARN MORE 770-830-0063



Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Independent Financial Partners (IFP), a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL Financial.

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Gregory Slappey, MD


What every West Georgian should know about... Preventing Injuries When They Exercise


How can I reduce my risk for injury when I exercise?


Should I warm up before or after stretching?


Most people who take fitness seriously pay attention to their cardio and strengthtraining regimens. But often, the third crucial element—stretching or flexibility training—is neglected.


Stretching cold muscles increases your risk for injury, so whenever possible, warm up before stretching by walking at a gentle pace while pumping your arms or doing some of the movements of the activity you are about to engage in at a slow to moderate intensity. In either case, your warm-up should last about five to 10 minutes, or until your muscles are warm.

Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic




Dr. Slappey earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and completed his internship and residency at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta. He is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and serves on the medical staff for Tanner Ortho and Spine Center.

Unfortunately, not taking time to stretch properly and on a regular basis has a downside that may include a greater injury risk or at least an increase in pain and stiffness after a workout.

What are the benefits of stretching? When done properly, stretching promotes muscle flexibility that can improve your sports performance as well as make everyday activities easier and less painful to accomplish. Stretching also improves range of motion, which can improve balance and reduce joint pain. Proper stretching can also improve blood flow to muscles, which can speed their recovery after a tough workout and reduce stress.


Stretching before exercising readies joints and muscles for the hard work of the workout. Stretching after exercise helps muscles, joints and tendons cool down.

Are there safety guidelines for stretching?

In addition to not stretching cold muscles:

• Don’t bounce. Doing so can cause small tears in the muscle. • If a stretch hurts, back off until you don’t feel any pain. • Don’t stretch a strained muscle—you could cause further damage and pain.

LEARN MORE | 770.214.CARE (2273)

For four years running...

No. 1 in Georgia for Orthopedics see page 5

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Tim MacMillan Attorney MacMillan Law Firm


Tim MacMillan received his Juris Doctor in 1998. Tim practices in the legal areas of Family Law, Personal Injury, Workerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Compensation, and Wills. He is also a certified mediator. He has been practicing law in Carrollton since July 2001.


What every West Georgian should know about... Contracting a Lawyer for a Personal Injury Case automobile accident or some other personal injury claim, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the individual who caused your injuries.

Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been hurt in an accident and want to file a claim for my injuries. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the first thing I should do? Before you actually file a claim for your injuries, I would advise you to make sure you have all of your documents in order. This would include all of the information pertaining to the accident, such as the police report and copies of any expenses and bills that you have. Additionally, it is important that you have all of your medical regards in order which explain the nature of your injuries and the out of pocket expenses. If you have lost time from work due to the nature of your injuries, I would also recommend that you have your employer outline your time missed along with the lost wages you have suffered due to your injuries.


Is there a deadline for filing a lawsuit seeking compensation for my injuries?


Yes, in Georgia, depending on the nature of your claim, you must be cautious of the specific statute of limitations that apply to your case. If you are injured via an


How can I legally prove who was at fault for an accident?


There are a number of ways in which you can meet the burden of proof required to show negligence for an accident resulting in your injuries. When an individual is hurt through a personal injury accident many times the police are called to report the accident/injury. The police report /incident report often identifies the individual or action that caused the accident. Eye witnesses are another way to establish liability. Additional methods may be necessary to prove fault, including hiring private investigators or recreational experts who can establish fault and liability necessary to obtain a verdict in your favor. LEARN MORE 770.834.0871

Â&#x2021;Â&#x201D;Â&#x2022;Â&#x2018;Â?Â&#x192;Â&#x17D; Â?Â&#x152;Â&#x2014;Â&#x201D;Â&#x203A;Č&#x2C6; Â&#x192;Â?Â&#x2039;Â&#x17D;Â&#x203A;Â&#x192;Â&#x2122; Â&#x201D;Â&#x2039;Â?Â&#x2039;Â?Â&#x192;Â&#x17D;Â&#x192;Â&#x2122;Č&#x2C6;Â&#x2018;Â&#x201D;Â?Â&#x2021;Â&#x201D;ÇŻÂ&#x2022;Â&#x2018;Â?Â&#x2019;Â&#x2021;Â?Â&#x2022;Â&#x192;Â&#x2013;Â&#x2039;Â&#x2018;Â?

MacMillan L a w

F i r m

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Ask the Ex ert

What every West Georgian should know about... Auto Insurance Q

Why do I need a personal local insurance agent? I can go online and buy insurance and not have to go through the hassle of going to an agent’s office!

a much higher limit, for an adult driver, the cost is a fraction of the added coverage. Plus, you have peace of mind of better Liability coverage.


Let’s look at my job. I’m a State Farm agent. Yes, I sell insurance! But my goal is so much more than that. I want each of my clients to know their worth, to know that I value their relationship beyond a mere policy. My job is to be sure that my clients are well protected against all the difficulties that life may throw their way. I work for you! AND you really don’t have to come into my office. With all the technology of today, a lot of my clients handle their business with me over the phone or internet. But we do love to have you come ome by the offi o ce. I view my customers as my friends. All of them em have my e-mail; many have my cell number. They know ow they ey can contact me anytime, even evenings and weekends. If you have a disaster happenn inn your lilife, wou would you feel most secure sitting in my office with you ith someone som yo know, discussing how to get through this sitting on the is disaste disaster, or sit phone waiting for someone to answer wer yyour 1-80 wer 1-800 call?

Can you explain in laymen terms exactly what Liability insurance covers and why do you suggest having higher limits?

ou to ng s t


ult, r

? ?


Billy Upton Agent State Farm


Billy has over 41 years as an agent with State Farm Insurance earning the highest award given by State Farm, the prestigious President’s Club Trophy as well as Lifetime Member of the President’s Club. He prides himself and his office team with getting to know clients on a first name basis and helping them with their needs.


Why do I need higher limits off Liability Insurance?

The State only requires $25,000/50,000/25,000 00/25,000 for our rotect yo automobiles. Liability insurance is to pprotect your assets. If you injure someone in an auto accident, youu can exp expect a lawsuit, whether it happens or not, you expect too be sue sued. Would you rather have $25,000/50,000/25,000 (the State State minimum) or what a lot of my clients have, $250,000/500,000/100,000? 00,000/100,00 Or he State minimum mum to higher! Examining the added cost from the


Sure. Let’s exam what the State requires of you, $25,000/50,000/25,000. $25,000 is the maximum amount your insurance will pay toward an injury you cause to someone in an auto accident; this may even be a passenger in your car that is not a household relative. $50,000 is the maximum for all injured parties, but again only $25,000 for any one person. The 3rd figure is for property damage you cause to someone else’s property. I.E the other car, etc. You cannot be liable against yourself, so if you back into your 2nd car or your house, Liability coverage does not come into play. Think about the cost of medical care or long term disability someone may incur where you could be held liable. It’s easy to understand why I suggest much higher limits to my clients. A lot of them even carry an additional $1,000,000 or $2,000,000 Personal Liability Umbrella Policy to protect against lawsuits. That’s a subject for another time, or if you’re interested, give me a call, or shoot me an email. It would be nice to find out if anyone is reading this commentary!! LEARN MORE • 770-949-5863

Honesty. Respect. Professionalism. Courtesy. Billy Upton, Agent 3417 Highway 5 Douglasville, GA 30135 Bus: 770-949-5863

Its how I treat all my customers. And you can be sure I’ll always do my best to meet your needs. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® CALL ME TODAY

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Crunchy Caramel Apples INGREDIENTS:

*1 package (6 Oz.) pecan chips (1-1/3 cups) *2 containers (1.75 Oz. ea.) rainbow sprinkles (2/3 cup) *2 packages (2.25 ounces each) nut topping (1 cup) *½ cup mini chocolate chips *Nonstick cooking spray *2 packages (14 Oz. ea.) square-shaped caramels with sticks included *8 large Golden Delicious, Granny Smith or McIntosh apples, stems removed *Ÿ cup water


STEP 1: In large skillet, toast pecans over low heat 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Transfer to pie plate or wide, shallow dish to cool completely. Stir in sprinkles, nut topping and chocolate chips. Freeze 15 minutes. STEP 2: Meanwhile, spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Insert 1 stick halfway into stemend of each apple. Unwrap caramels and place in medium saucepan; add water. Heat over mediumlow heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Reduce heat to low. STEP 3: Dip and swirl each apple into melted caramel until evenly coated, using a spoon to pour caramel onto apple near the stick and allowing excess to drip off into saucepan. Dip top and roll sides of apples in nut mixture to evenly coat. With gloved hand, lightly press mixture into caramel. Place apples, stick side up, onto prepared cookie sheet. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. To serve, let apples stand at room temperature 30 to 45 minutes or until caramel softens slightly.

Delic Your ious Idea Neig hbors From h Ingle s! ood

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