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West Georgia

LiVing July/August 2017

Life . Art . Music . People

Time for

Vacation! $3.95

Vol. 7/Issue 4

2 West Georgia Living

July/August 2017

WellStar Kennestone Honored for Top-Level Cardiac Care WellStar Kennestone is the only hospital in the state of Georgia and the second hospital in the nation to receive the triple distinction of the Disease Specific Care Certification for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, Cardiac Valve Repair/ Replacement and Congestive Heart Failure Program by The Joint Commission. All WellStar hospitals have received the Gold Seal of Approval accreditation from The Joint Commission, recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects a hospital’s commitment to meeting defined performance criteria. Recognition by The Joint Commission is your assurance that you can trust WellStar for the highest quality of care.

July - August

Features 29


Tallapoosa native wants to change the world starting in France.



Escape the stresses of city living with a breathtaking view from Cloudland Canyon

Panama City Beach has become a premiere vacation destination in sun-drenched Florida

PLUS There's plenty to see in a short drive - 15 Cheaha Park can have you on the edge - 18 Chattahoochee Bend has you well grounded - 32 Talladega shakes the ground under your feet - 36 Take a tasting tour of Atlanta's beer makers - 48


Head over to Haralson County and watch some monster vehicles play in the mud


How a west Georgia girl uses air travel to help reach some lofty goals.

On the Cover: Panama City Beach from 24 stories up. Photograph by Ricky Stilley 4 West Georgia Living

July/August 2017




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West Georgia

Li Ving Volume 7 . Issue 4 July/August 2017 Publisher Marvin Enderle

Editor Ken Denney

Advertising Melissa Wilson

Photographer Ricky Stilley

Design Richard Swihart

Contributors Sidney Blake, Melanie Boyd, Robert Covel, David Demarest, Rob DuvĂŠ, Phyllis King, Erin McSwain, Joann Madden, Josh Sewell, Molly Stassfort, Haisten Willis To advertise in West Georgia Living, call Melissa Wilson at 770-834-6631. West Georgia Living is a bi-monthly publication of the Newspapers of West Georgia. Submissions, photography and ideas may be submitted to Ken Denney c/o The Times-Georgian, 901 Hays Mill Rd., Carrollton, GA 30117. Submissions will not be returned unless requested and accompanied with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. West Georgia Living reserves the right to edit any submission. Direct mail subscriptions to West Georgia Living are available for $24 a year. Copyright 2016 by the Times-Georgian

6 West Georgia Living

July/August 2017

ABOUT THIS ISSUE It's time once again to think about vacation! movies and TV shows. Whether you want to spend time on the beach, or have fun in Mother Nature, this issue has lots of suggestions for your summertime activities. We take you first to Panama City Beach. This longtime destination for Southerners has evolved into a sophisticated mecca for those in search of great food, entertainment and - of course - fun on the water. Photographer Ricky Stilley shows us the beauty of nature that can be found in state parks only a short drive from west Georgia. But you don't have to drive far away to find fun. We also take you on a driving tour around our region, where you can find hidden gems worth exploring here in your own neighborhood. And while you're at it, why not take a tour to discover all the places in Douglas County where Hollywood film crews have made some of your favorite

And we have something for the gearheads in your family. How about a trip to Talladega for some stock car racing? Or a visit to a giant mud pit where monster vehicles like to play? All that traveling is bound to make you hungry. Rob DuvĂŠ shows us the infinite ways pasta can be made into terrific comfort food. And Taylor Boltz takes us on a tour of craft breweries in Atlanta. There's a lot more inside as well. We discover an artist who works with flowers. We tell you the story of a young woman who is literally soaring to new heights. And Robert Covel reviews a book about Jimmy Carter. We hope you enjoy all these ideas on what to do during your summer vacation. So hit the road and have some fun. Summer is here!

Departments A R T I S T' S C O R N E R 53

Raven Hill: From all nature to beautiful art


The Pasta-bilities are endless


Take a vacation 'Back to Earth' style


Summer film screenings


Jimmy Carter: From peanuts to president


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Summer: an opportunity for unbridled learning W

hen school ended in the summers of the previous century, it meant the beginning of three months of freedom, the likes of which kids of today may not understand.

We did not, for the most part, have our leisure time scripted and scheduled with activities, nor did we have any video games to play, and we didn’t binge on TV series about things our parents (if they knew about it) probably would not let us watch. It may sound as if I am talking about some distant time in the past, but as I continually stress to the young folks I work with every day, I’m not that old. Comparatively speaking, that is. I am not old compared to, say, Stonehenge. No, the days that I am talking about are relatively recent. Since I really am not that old (comparatively speaking), I am not going to do as you might expect and preach about how things were better back in my day, or even advocate that my generation’s idea of summer fun was better than that of kids nowadays. Vacations were simply different, at least in terms of what kids could do. The one constant thing about school vacations of all ages is that kids get a good, long break from school. When I say that kids of today may not understand the kind of freedom we enjoyed, I mean that because it was a less complicated world, we could go places and do things that would (and should) freak out modern parents. And I think that’s a shame, because all kids of all generations should have that kind of freedom. When summer vacation started, way out where I grew up in the woods of Carroll County, my brother and I would get woken up by our parents, eat some breakfast and then disappear into the woods. All day. We would walk around, throw rocks at birds, untangle ourselves from briars and play in the creek – all completely unsupervised. Try that today and you can only imagine what might happen. Our parents not only didn’t get into legal jeopardy by letting us run wild, they didn’t give it a second thought.

This is not to say that kids running around unsupervised can’t get in trouble. There was, for example, what my brother and I refer to today as “the hammer incident” in which, after I demanded that he give me a little hammer we were using, he tossed it at me and it hit me right between the eyes. I still have the scar.

But he didn’t get in trouble for it, and I recovered, and nobody came to haul our parents away for neglect. Unsupervised, he learned a valuable lesson about not throwing hammers – and I learned a much more valuable lesson about yelling at little brothers who have a hammer in their hand. Walking, running, riding bikes, playing baseball, making up games with a Frisbee – those were the things we did in the summer. That was the equivalent of kids today playing video games and binging on TV shows. The only difference, I believe, is that we spent our time in the real world and kids today … well, don’t. Today's kids inhabit a fictionalized universe of superheroes, giant robots and imaginary aliens. It's pervasive in the culture and in their minds. And while there were certainly elements of fantasy in our childhoods of the last century, I wonder if our generation's love of escapism has not seeped too much into the lives of our children and grandchildren. I wonder if they spend too much time seeing what isn't in the world, and too little time seeing what actually is in the world. Summer vacations, to me at least, were a sort of continuation of school. The lessons weren’t found in books; they were learned by doing things that kids should be free to do: to explore, to take risks, to learn from mistakes. If I were to criticize “the way things are now,” I would say that kids are too sheltered from the lessons of mistakes. They aren’t allowed to take the kind of risks, or to find their own boundaries in their interactions with other kids. Unfortunately, this also seems true of a lot of parents who want to protect themselves

KEN DENNEY 8 West Georgia Living

July/August 2017

from their own mistakes. We are becoming, I’m afraid, a generation that ignores problems until they fester into catastrophes. If we don't face realities, it shouldn't surprise us if our children don't either.

Summer vacations, I believe, should be a good time to learn the lessons of life, a time when the wider world outside should be a classroom. In other words, the whole of life should be days of lessons taught and learned, and not mere hours of wakefulness that are sorted, scheduled and regulated. Filling the days of summer with video games and zombie shows and Instagram are just empty hours. I suppose what I am saying is that we appear to have somehow forgotten the skill of self-discovery, even self-criticism. We wait too late to find out that the person we love isn’t who we thought, or that the job we dreamed of is just tedious, or that what we thought we knew about something is not only wrong, it’s incredibly wrong. We don’t learn from mistakes; we repeat them. We keep ourselves occupied, but there’s no substance to our activities. It appears that we are chasing distractions so that we don’t have to think. We have a funny notion that an empty hour is worthless; and it must be filled with activity, even if what we do is meaningless. Spending hour upon hour in the woods, you see life all around and you see the interconnectedness of things. You start to fumble with learning your own place in the universe, and mastering your curiosity so that you can direct your ambitions in new directions. For kids, summer vacation is a very good time of year. But we never really stop being kids, do we? And we never lose our necessity to think and discover things about the world, and who we are as a person, a spouse, or a parent. Summer vacation, I argue, is a time to be asking yourself questions and finding your own answers. You don’t need someone to hit you in the head with a hammer, but it is amazing how a few hours of introspection can bring a thunderclap of knowledge. WGL


"The Lego Batman Movie." Warner Bros. Pictures

Summer film screenings E

veryone knows summer is when studios flood multiplexes with their biggest, loudest offerings.

However, at this point in the season, audiences have often become desensitized to explosions and special effects. At the risk of sounding like an old man screaming at kids to get off his lawn, trips to the movies used to be an event. Now, however, most people take them for granted – if they even go at all. Fortunately, the long days and delayed bedtimes also mean there are several events that families can use to remember why the cinematic experience is so special, and to create a family bonding experience as well. Attending these screenings means you’re sharing a rare occasion with fellow moviegoers - a couple of hours that probably could never recur in quite the same way. Over the next few weeks, there are plenty

Local theaters recreate family movie nights of opportunities to watch films in unusual ways. I’ll start with one of my favorites: the Fox Theatre’s annual Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival. Kicking off on Sunday, July 16 and ending on Sunday, Sept. 3, audiences can watch both traditional and modern favorites in one of the most beautiful venues imaginable. (I still consider watching “Back to the Future” at the Fox one of the greatest moviegoing experiences of my life, and my daughter loved it last year when I took her there to see “The Little Mermaid."


This year’s kid-friendly offerings include sing-along versions of Disney classics “Mary Poppins” and “Beauty and the Beast” (the 1991 animated masterpiece, not the recent live-action remake). Older viewers are sure to enjoy a rare opportunity to see “Casablanca” on the big screen, and those with stronger bladders than mine can look forward to a “Harry Potter” marathon. A full list of this year’s films and more information (including how to purchase tickets) can be found at While it’s always a good idea to plan ahead, most of the time you can buy tickets before the show directly at the box office. I recommend getting there early enough to grab an early dinner at one of the many fantastic restaurants around the venue. Don’t forget to factor in money for parking. Another big-city option is Atlantic Station’s Movies in Central Park Series. Every Thursday at dusk (through Aug. 3), you can watch an old movie under the stars with July/August 2017 West Georgia Living 9

"Finding Dory." Walt Disney Studios

the Atlanta skyline in the background. It’s a truly gorgeous sight. This year’s nostalgic selections (all rated PG-13) are from 19902000: June 29: “Twister” July 6: “As Good As It Gets” July 13: “Pleasantville” July 20: “10 Things I Hate About You” Aug. 3: “Miss Congeniality” Admission is free, so be sure to get there early to grab good seats. Blankets and chairs are allowed, so make it a picnic. You can bring your own meal, or buy food at one of numerous Atlantic Station restaurants. In

case of inclement weather, be sure to follow @AtlanticStation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. for updates on that night’s screening. For other questions about the event, contact the concierge at 404-4104010. If you’re looking for something a little closer to home, the AMP at Adamson Square in downtown Carrollton is once again hosting its Summer Movie Classics Series. These Disney screenings (all rated PG) are also free and take place every Thursday at dusk: July 13: “Moana” July 20: “Pete’s Dragon”

July 27: “Finding Dory” Those who wish a more traditional viewing experience can take advantage of Regal Cinema’s Summer Movie Express series, held at the theater chain’s locations in Carrollton, Douglasville and Newnan on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Admission is only $1, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Will Rogers Institute. Tickets are available for purchase at the box office and all movies start at 10:00 a.m. A word of advice: these screenings fill up fast, so make sure to get there early. All three locations play the same films, and both movies play on both days: June 27-28: “Rio 2” and “The Boxtrolls”

"The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water." Paramount Pictures

"16 Things I Hate About You," Starring Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles. Touchstone Pictures. 10 West Georgia Living

July/August 2017

"Casablanca" starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman. Warner Bros. Pictures

July 4-5: “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Sing” July 11-12: “Kubo and the Two Strings” and “Ratchet & Clank” July 18-19: “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” and “The Adventures of Tintin” July 25-26: “Happy Feet Two” and “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” Aug. 1-2: “Storks” and “The Lego Batman Movie” Movie going was once a family event, and it can be once again, thanks to these unique opportunities across west Georgia and beyond. WGL

Moana." Walt Disney Studios

All Local Farmers REALLY FRESH


NOT the "Redneck Riviera" E

Panama City Beach is now a big-league two beautiful state (St. Andrews attraction, featuring music, fine dining parks State Park and Camp Helen State Park), a central city and lots of fun on the Gulf. park (Rick Seltzer

ver since Panama City Beach opened in 1936, families from across the Southeast and beyond have been making an annual pilgrimage to its white, sandy shoreline, seeking escape from kudzuwrapped summers and swarming gnats. As such, PCB earned sort of a reputation as a cheap vacation spot, with such attractions as the Fun-Land Arcade (which opened in 1954) or the ultimate time capsule, Lee Koplin’s Goofy Golf, where you can still putt your way around spaceships, dinosaurs, a giant monkey or a scale-size Sphinx, all in the course of 18 holes. Much has changed from those early days of summer vacations, and the city of Panama City Beach has grown up to offer visitors

12 West Georgia Living

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reasons to visit year-round. In fact, the only thing that has remained the same from those vacation days of yore is the lure of the sun, the sand, and the gorgeous waters of Gulf of Mexico.

Beach Park), two fishing piers with adjacent public beaches (Russell-Fields Pier and the M.B. Miller Pier, often known as the city pier and county pier), and about 100 public beach accesses.


In general, the beaches near the Grand Lagoon area are closer to the action (restaurants and boating), while the beaches of the West End of Panama City Beach tend to be more quiet and secluded.

Few, if any, destinations in the world can match Panama City Beach when it comes to the amount of white sandy beaches. PCB lays claim to 27-miles of beaches, including


To really get a perspective on those long stretches of beach, you’ll want to actually get out on the water and explore the area by boat. Visitors can choose to relax on

a captained day cruise to Shell Island by tour boat, pirate ship, huge catamaran sail boat, or a smaller, more personalized trip. The more adventurous can choose to captain a pontoon boat, or explore by Jet Ski. Snorkeling trips, as well as dolphin sightseeing trips are very popular (did you know that Panama City Beach has the world’s highest concentration of Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins?). Fishing trips are another summertime tradition, and visitors can choose to buy a spot on inexpensive “party boats” that take groups of anglers on 4, 8 or 12-hour fishing trips, or get a more personalized experience on a private charter boat. Trips heading out to sea, and most that explore St. Andrews Bay leave from the Grand Lagoon area.

Of course, many who fish at Panama City Beach might also opt to do so from a kayak, or cast a line from the beach, jetties, or one of the three fishing piers available in Panama City Beach.

DIVING AND DINING Skin Diver Magazine named Panama City Beach the “Shipwreck Diving Capital of the Southeast” for good reason. Not only is the area home to a range of easily accessible artificial reefs for scuba divers to explore, the generally calm and warm waters have been the birthplace to many of the most significant advances in modern scuba diving technology. All U.S. Navy divers learn to dive at the U.S. Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center, as do divers from other branches of the West Georgia Living West Georgia Living 13

military (including Coast Guard, Army, Air Force and Marine Core divers). If you have three days, you can learn to dive here yourself, through one of the civilian dive shops that can outfit you with gear and take you through classroom, pool, and open water training. For those not quite sure about getting certified for diving, the Discover Scuba Diving class is a good option, and gives students a taste of scuba diving in protected waters with personalized instruction in only one day. That lure of fresh fish is also one of the things that make PCB’s many restaurants so special. Chef Paul at Firefly restaurant is famous for serving two sitting U.S. presidents, and also for being chosen to serve his nownamed “Olympic Grouper” to the athletes at the London Summer Olympic Games. Hungry visitors can choose from upscale spots like Firefly, Saltwater Grill, Boar’s Head Restaurant, or Capt. Andersons Restaurant, to more casual spots right on the beach like Schooners (home of the world famous annual Lobster Festival & Tournament), Runaway Island Beach Bar & Grill, Barefoot Beach Club, Sharky’s Beachfront Restaurant, 14 West Georgia Living

July/August 2017

Pineapple Willy’s, or Hook’d Pier Bar. These selections are just scratching the surface. From breakfast biscuits to sushi dinners, you’ll find local chefs serving up what’s fresh and delicious in Panama City Beach.

MUSIC IN THE AIR For decades, country music stars have been making their way from Nashville to Panama City Beach, whether to fish and relax or to play a show. Those trips are more frequent now, thanks to direct flights, and more opportunities to take to the stage in Panama City Beach But it’s not just country music that you’ll find floating through the summertime air. Every Thursday evening in the summer, a free open-air concert is held in Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater, while musicians take the stage each Monday for Carillon Beach’s “Groovin’ on the Green.” Summer officially closes out on Labor Day with the Gulf Coast Jam, which this year features as headliners country music hitmakers Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, and Little Big Town. But for those who want to

stretch summer just a bit, be sure and stick around for Schooner’s Lobster Festival & Tournament in mid-September or the Pirates of the High Seas Fest in early October.

MAKING MEMORIES The summertime memories you make now will be some of your most cherished memories in the months and years to come – time spent fishing, diving, exploring, or just enjoying time at the beach with friends and family is never time wasted, it’s an investment that pays huge dividends throughout your year. For information on the activities and events mentioned here, and many, many more family-fun things to do in Panama City Beach, start your exploring at, which can help you find the perfect place to stay, let you know what activities are happening during your vacation, and even map a route from one activity to the next. Have a fun and happy summer! WGL David Demarest is Public Relations Manager for Visit Panama City Beach.



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Illustration by Ken Denney

A Driving tour of WEST GEORGIA


hen it’s vacation time, the natural instinct is to load up the car, strap in the family, and head off for exotic locales. But sometimes that’s just not practical. Summer vacations don’t have to involve crowded beaches and bumper-to-bumper traffic. You can have a terrific time, right here in west Georgia, spending a long, lazy Saturday or Sunday exploring shops or seeing the sights. There is lots to see and lots more to do in our own little world of Douglas, Carroll and Haralson counties, so let’s take a tour!

DOUGLAS COUNTY Heading west on Interstate 20 from the Six Flags Over Georgia theme park, you’ll want to hop off on Exit 44 and head over to our first

You don't have to roam far from home to find fun and adventure wstop, Sweetwater Creek State Park. In this pristine natural setting is one of the state’s few remaining relics of the Civil War. In July 1864, the area around the park was a large mill complex turning out goods for the Confederate armies – that is, until Federal troops came and destroyed the place. Today, the ruins of the mill are exactly as Sherman’s troops left them. And when you


have finished exploring this amazing site, you’ll want to look over the many other amenities of this 2,500-acre park. It’s open 7 a.m. until sunset, and admission is free with a $5 parking fee. Now, let’s get back on the Interstate and continue west for a short distance to Exit 36. Turn north along Chapel Hill Road and drive into the historic town of Douglasville, the seat of Douglas County. While Douglasville itself is a large, bustling metro community, the picture is a little different downtown. Here you’ll see many store buildings that harken back to the late 1890s and early 20th century. Many of these historic buildings have been transformed into terrific restaurants and shops. Let’s continue west along U.S. Highway 78. It’s easy to find; the highway serves as July/August 2017 West Georgia Living 15

Sweetwater State Park in Douglas County is a place of natural beauty and historic importance.

Douglasville’s Broad Street. This roadway is an important part of west Georgia history, and you’ll note that it parallels the railroad linking many of the region’s towns.

CARROLL COUNTY Driving along this winding road, you’ll soon cross over the border into Carroll County and enter the town of Villa Rica. Here’s another fast-growing town, working hard to preserve its history and heritage. And there’s a lot of history here. The town’s name – “City of Gold” in Spanish – relates to its early history as a gold-mining town. In fact, the nation’s first “gold rush” in the 19th century wasn’t in California – it was here, in west Georgia. After exploring downtown, you’ll want to head up Highway 61 (the Dallas Highway) and turn right onto Stockmar Road to discover the Pine Mountain Gold Museum. Here’s a chance to experience the past and provide some fun for the whole family. Visitors have a chance to actually pan for gold and look over some fascinating exhibits of how gold mining was done in the early 19th century. And children will love the farm animals and taking a ride on the Pine Mountain Scenic Railroad that circles the park. This might be a good opportunity to return to Villa Rica and try some of the restaurants downtown, like the Olive Tree or the Chat & Choo located in the reconstructed Berry Pharmacy Building. If you’re lucky, there may also be something to see and do at the Mill 16 West Georgia Living

July/August 2017

Budapest Cemetery in Haralson County marks the resting place of Hungarian immigrants who helped make the county a leading producer of wine in the late 19th century

Amphitheater downtown, scene of many concerts and festivals throughout the year. Working our way back to US Highway 78, we’ll now continue heading west. As you reach the town to Temple, and the intersection with Georgia State Route 113, you have a choice. You can turn north here to explore this small community, established in 1882 when the railroad was first built through this section of west Georgia. Or, to explore Carroll County’s link to Hollywood glamour, you can turn south and take a short, 10-minute detour down Ga. 113 to Old Center Point Road, then west to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church and the gravesite of Academy Award-winning actress Susan Hayward.

HARALSON COUNTY Continuing west again from Temple on US 78, you cross the Haralson County line and enter the town of Bremen. Before the railroad came through here, this place was called Wolf Pen, but a German immigrant and merchant named Ernest G. Kramer wanted it named after the German city. Bremen is home to several unique places to shop, eat and lodge. While in Bremen, you may be interested in dropping by the Mill Town Music Hall at 1031 Alabama Ave. Not only is this one of the region’s premier stages for musicians of every stripe, it is also home to a collection of awards

by Harold Shedd, a legendary producer of many Country hits, and who was born and raised nearby. While visiting Haralson County, be sure to be on the lookout for the many, many barbecue restaurants in the area. All the barbecue served in west Georgia is good, but Haralson County for some reason seems to have some of the best in the region. Returning to US 78 and continuing west, you will cross over U.S. Highway 27. Here, you can choose to turn north and travel about five miles to take Business Route 27 west to the small town of Buchanan, the county seat of Haralson County, where the Historic Courthouse, located at 145 Courthouse Square and built in 1892, now houses the library. If, instead of visiting Buchanan you decide to continue traveling west on US 78, you’ll continue to follow a meandering route through fields, pastures and homes until you reach the town of Tallapoosa, a town that has one of the most colorful histories of all the towns in west Georgia. Originally known as “Possum Snout,” the name was changed to Tallapoosa in 1860. But don’t laugh at that name; each year, on New Year’s Eve, the annual “Possum Drop” is one of the most well-attended events held to welcome the new year, rivaling even betterknown events in Atlanta and elsewhere. Tallapoosa began to grow in the 1880s, after the railroad arrived and a land speculator

The GreenBelt in Carrollton provides an experience for bikers, walkers and joggers that is unique to west Georgia.

named Ralph Spencer. He began advertising the place in northern newspapers as a boomtown, and many people from across the northeast relocated here. Unfortunately, the boom went bust – yet the houses those settlers built remain as some of the finest examples of Victorian architecture that can be found in west Georgia. And not all Spencer’s plans went bust. He correctly foresaw that the land in Haralson County was perfect for winemaking. In the late 1880s, he invited some 200 Hungarian winemaking families to move here, and they settled north of Tallapoosa in settlements they called Budapest, Nytria and Tokaj, recalling those famous winemaking regions of Hungary. Today, that industry is making a comeback, as you can see at Trilliam Vineyards near Bremen, or the Little Vine Vineyard in the community of Hulett near Villa Rica. If you enjoy canoeing or kayaking, you’ll have to come back to Tallapoosa to try out the Dub Denman Canoe Trail, a 27-mile long watercourse that connects to the Alabama Canoe Trail.

BOWDON TO CARROLLTON Continuing our adventure, let’s leave U.S. 78 and travel south along Georgia State Route 100. As we re-enter Carroll County, our destination now is the quiet west Georgia town of Bowdon, site of Bowdon College, chartered in 1856 and one of the premier educational centers in the state before the Civil war.

Historic Banning Mill near Whitesburg not only has thrilling zip lines, it has lots of scenic beauty.

Arriving in Bowdon, you might want to take a coffee break at Bowdon Coffee Roasters, 140 City Hall Ave., before heading out again – this time east along Georgia State Route 166.

a concert or show is going to be presented at The Amp amphitheater, 119 Bradley Street, or you can find out what’s going on at the Carrollton Cultural Art Center, 251 Alabama St.?

Our destination now is Carrollton, home of the University of West Georgia and located just 18 minutes away. Driving east on 166, (we all know it as Maple Street), you soon arrive at Adamson Square, the historic center of this town, first surveyed in 1830. The square is now home to many restaurants and shops.


You’re especially invited to shop at Horton’s Book & Gifts, the state’s oldest bookstore, located at 410 Adamson Square. Once you’ve bought a book, why not stroll across Alabama Street and enjoy a cup of coffee at Gallery Row at 306 Adamson Square, or just sit outside under the trees. And if you’re hungry, the Corner Café is handy at 304 Adamson, and there are many other restaurants all over the square to suit any taste. Bradley Street, which runs between Plates on the Square restaurant (301 Adamson Square) and the Irish Bred Pub & Grill, (210 Adamson Square) leads to the next stop on our tour. Bradley Street was once home to several textile mills, which helped transform the region’s economy after the railroad arrived. The Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum, 306 Bradley Street, pays homage not only to that heritage, but it is also a premier destination for lovers of quilts and quilting. Tourists from around the South, and even the entire world, make trips here to see what’s on display. While in Carrollton, why not check to see whether

From Carrollton, you can head south along Alternate US Highway 27 to the town of Whitesburg, and two of the more unique areas of fun and recreation in the whole area. Historic Banning Mill, 205 Horseshoe Dam Road, is a former historic mill village that has been transformed into a resort. The key attraction is a network of zip lines that will transport you through the treetops. McIntosh Reserve Park, 1046 W. McIntosh Circle, is named for Chief William McIntosh, a Creek leader assassinated in 1825 for ceding to Georgia all the nearby Creek territories without permission of the Creek Nation. The park today consists of 527 acres of beautiful woodlands, with trails and a spectacular view of the Chattahoochee River. At the center is a recreation of McIntosh’s home and a marker for his burial site. The park is open year ‘round except for major holidays, daily from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. ••• Whether as a day trip, or a weekend adventure, there’s plenty to do and see right in your own backyard of west Georgia. Take a tour. You and your entire family will be glad you did. WGL July/August 2017

West Georgia Living 17

CHE At 2,407 feet above sea level, Cheaha Resort State Park is the highest point in Alabama. It's located on top of Cheaha Mountain, in the Talladega National Forest. This 2,799-acre retreat offers visitors a little bit of everything. Named "Chaha" by the Creek Indians for "high place", the park is home to the Cheaha Trailhead of the Pinhoti Trail, which connects with the Appalachian Trail and accesses the Odum Scout Trail, and the Chinnabee Silent Trail. Here hikers can experience tranquility, native wildlife and beautiful waterfalls. And if you get hungry, the park has a restaurant with a traditional Sunday buffet, or you and your family can reserve a pavilion for a cookout. Above right - Shelley Kennedy of Mobile, AL, enjoys the scenic view from Bald Rock. At right - Richie LIvermore of Jacksonville, AL, captures the scene with his iPhone.

PHOTOS BY RICKY STILLEY 18 West Georgia Living

July/August 2017


West Georgia Living West Georgia Living 19


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"The Founder," starring Michael Keaton, was partially filmed in downtown Douglasville. FilmNation Entertainment and The Combine

The Douglas County 5 “Stranger Things”




3 Sweetwater Creek State Park


Pine Mountain Gold Museum



Arbor Place Mall

“The Walking Dead” Tributary Neighborhood

Clinton Nature Preserve


Boundary Waters Aquatic Center


9 Foxhall Resort Sporting Club


h tt a ha

ive chee R oo


Follow the Tinsel Road to discover local locations where your favorite movies or TV shows were filmed!


M location.

ovie making, like real estate, is all about location. And for film crews these day, Douglas County is a prime

Driving around the county, it’s not so unusual to run into the lights, cameras and action of the Hollywood dream industry. The county is smack-dab in the middle of what show-biz folks call the “film zone,” perfectly situated close to Atlanta’s airport, yet far enough outside the metro area to offer unique, rural film locations. In fact, over 700 movie and television productions have been filmed here – movies like “The Hunger Games” and “The Founder” and TV series like “Stranger Things” and “The Walking Dead.” As the county works to lure even more film

KEN DENNEY July/August 2017 West Georgia Living 21

crews to the area, they are welcoming fans who want to see where some of their favorite scenes were shot. The county has created the Douglas County Film Trail, marking out some of these sites. So, let’s all pretend we’re paparazzi and hit the road – maybe we’ll meet a movie star (or a zombie) along the way!

STOP ONE – DOUGLASVILLE Downtown Douglasville is a mixture of small town with modern amenities, thriving with activities and historic sites. That’s one of the reasons the downtown area has attracted several film companies. As you travel along the Film Trail, you’ll find some of the locations where films have been made marked with distinctive signs: an old film camera. The downtown area, with its plaza, is one of these sites. For a few weeks in 2015, an old-style McDonald’s restaurant was temporarily set up on a closed section of Church Street, which was transformed into a 1950s era Midwestern town for the filming of “The Founder,” a biopic starring Michael Keaton (“I’m Batman!”) as McDonald’s mogul, Ray Kroc. City leaders have worked hard to preserve the historic, old structures of downtown and these distinctive buildings have found favor with location scouts for several films.

STOP 2 – THE OLD JAIL Located at 6840 Church St., the old Douglas County Jail (decommissioned in 2013) has been home to more film sequences than any other location in the county – if not in the

Jennifer Lawrence starred in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay." Lionsgate Home Entertainment. 22 West Georgia Living

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entire state. That’s because the facility has been preserved as if it were still functional, and so it has an authentic look that really appeals to filmmakers. Although most often used as a jail, the facility is also suitable to be school (albeit a pretty grim one), a hospital or even a quite believable mental institution.

Sonequa Martin Green as "Sasha" from "The Walking Dead," Season six

Among the film productions that have used the old jail as a backdrop was the TV series “The Haves and Have Nots,” based on a play by Georgia resident and actor (“Medea”), Tyler Perry. Other productions have been scenes for “Swamp Murders,” “Your Worst Nightmare,” “Very Bad Men” and “MacGuyver.”

STOP THREE – THE OLD COURTHOUSE Located at 6754 West Broad St. in Douglasville, the Old Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places because it is one of the few structures left in the nation built in an architectural style known as International. Built in 1956, it stands on the exact spot where the county’s previous, Victorian-style courthouse stood.

Both “The Last Punch,” and “The Founder” had scenes filmed in and around the courthouse. Who knows what films or other productions will use this unique and distinctive location next?

STOP FOUR – ARBOR PLACE MALL Sure, the mall – with its IMAX theater – is a great place to watch a movie, but would you believe it is also a good place to film a movie? Located at 6700 Douglas Boulevard, this shopping mecca has appealed to several location scouts shopping for a place to film a scene or two. One such production was “Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son,” the third installment in Martin Lawrence’s “Big Momma” franchise.

Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl in "Killers." Lionsgate Home Entertainment

this park – with an authentic textile mill left in ruins after an 1864 federal cavalry raid – is considered a perfect backdrop for film directors interested in unusual locations, particularly if they are in a pristine, natural environment.

x. AMC

STOP FIVE – “STRANGER THINGS” The first season of this Netflix series became one of the most popular shows of 2016, and critics and audiences alike are waiting to see what happens this season. Douglasville played a cameo role in several scenes from last year. Two of them were at the Old City Building, 48 Pray St., and the Fair Mart, 7703 U.S. Highway 78 in Winston. The Old City Building played the “role” of the police station very early in the first season of the show.

STOP SIX – SWEETWATER CREEK STATE PARK Along with being one of the area’s premiere attractions for recreation and nature walks,

"Stranger Things." Netflix

filmed at the park.

In “The Hunger Games,” Katniss (played by actress Jennifer Lawrence) and Gale (Liam Hemsworth) explored several sections of the park. Many of the scenes for Jon Travolta’s “Killing Season” were also

STOP SEVEN – “THE WALKING DEAD” Zombies are crawling around the Georgia woods, as anyone who has seen this extremely popular AMC series can tell you. The first season of the show opened in metro Atlanta, and many locales around the city, including some in Douglas County, have featured in the show. In episode five of the first season, the RV carrying the show’s cast had an unfortunate breakdown along Riverside Parkway near the River Road intersection. And if you want to see the place where Rick kills his first zombie, just head out to the intersections of highways 154 and 92.

STOP EIGHT – TRIBUTARY NEIGHBORHOOD This neighborhood is home to many young, diverse professionals. The aesthetics of the homes and settings here have led many filmmakers to use Tributary as backdrops and backgrounds for their scenes. These productions have ranged from comedic dramas like “Killers” to kid favorites like “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”

STOP NINE – FOXHALL RESORT AND SPORTING CLUB This prestigious, privately owned resort has plenty of indoor and outdoor amenities that are perfect for Hollywood types. The majority of the movie “Table 19,” starring Lisa Kudrow, Anna Kendrick and Craig Robinson, took full advantage of the resort’s unique architecture and scenery. ••• Douglas County officials are working hard to maintain its balance of natural beauty with urban conveniences – and, what’s more, they are holding on to the county’s past by preserving its historic structures. This, and the fact that it is located near Atlanta and the world’s busiest airport, make it an ideal place to film. And because the area has already drawn the attention of some of the nation’s leading filmmakers, there’s no reason to believe that more are on the way, and new stops will be placed on the Douglas County Film Trail. WGL

"Table 19," starring Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, June Squibb, Stephen Merchant, Anna Kendrick and Tony Revolori. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation July/August 2017

West Georgia Living 23

Small Incisions Make a Big Difference Choosing a surgical approach to address a health issue is never easy. It means missed work, an impact to your daily routine and discomfort during your recovery. But advances in surgical care have helped to minimize those issues, enabling skilled surgeons to perform many common surgeries with less recovery time, less discomfort and less risk of complications. The minimally invasive surgical options available at Tanner cause minimal trauma to your body, with less damage to muscles, skin and soft tissues. Instead of one large incision, a series of small incisions heal faster and hurt less. A BETTER WAY TO HEAL The benefits of minimally invasive surgery are substantial: ƒ Small incisions take less time to heal — in many cases, as little as two weeks, compared to six to eight weeks with traditional “open” surgery. ƒ There’s less risk of infection after surgery because the incisions are much smaller. ƒ The smaller incisions lead to less discomfort after surgery, minimizing the need to rely on pain-relieving medications for an extended period after the procedure.

opportunity to learn more about the surgery you need and the aftercare you’ll require while you recover. This also gives you a chance to make an educated choice on where you’ll receive your surgery. Choosing where to have a surgical procedure isn’t always easy, and not all surgery centers are the same. The experience and skill of the surgeon and staff must be considered, as well as the surgery center’s record on how well it performs in key areas. At Tanner Health System, quality care is the foremost priority. The patient care team at Tanner has developed a national reputation for ensuring that every possible precaution is taken to limit complications, to treat the patient with respect and courtesy, and to deliver the best possible outcome. Tanner offers three state-of-the-art surgical care centers: ƒ Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton

ƒ Less trauma to the skin and tissues of the body leads to less scar tissue.

ƒ Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica

ƒ Because the incisions are smaller, there’s less blood loss during surgery.

ƒ And, coming this fall, Tanner Medical Center/East Alabama in Wedowee

ƒ For many minimally invasive procedures, patients are able to return home the same day (within 24 hours) of their surgery so they don’t have to stay in the hospital to recover. DON’T PUT IT OFF — MAKE A CHOICE Almost every medical problem is best addressed sooner than later, when a nuisance can turn into an emergency. Procedures that are planned, or “elective,” mean you have an

ƒ Higgins General Hospital in Bremen

Each Tanner facility is accredited by the Joint Commission — the nation’s leading accrediting agency for hospitals and healthcare organizations — and has been nationally recognized for outstanding quality and patient satisfaction, often ranking among the nation’s top hospitals on key quality metrics and being part of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems for 2016 as rated by independent healthcare analysis firm Truven Health Analytics.

Learn more about how Tanner is advancing health with surgical care beyond measure at

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Cloudland Canyon State Park PHOTOS BY RICKY STILLEY July/August 2017 West Georgia Living 25

Cloudland Canyon State Park is a 3,485 acre scenic wonderland located near Trenton and Cooper Heights on the western edge of Lookout Mountain. It's one of the largest and most scenic parks in Georgia, and offers visitors a range of vistas across the deep gorge cut through the mountain by Sitton Gulch Creek, where the elevation varies from 800 to over 1,800 feet. At the bottom of the gorge, two waterfalls cascade across layers of sandstone and shale, ending in small pools below. The park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, and opened in 1939. Today, the park features a variety of campsites, cabins, hiking and recreational activities.

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Ethan Brown left west Georgia to see - and change - the world

ERIN MCSWAIN July/August 2017 West Georgia Living 29

Château of Villandry


than Brown has been asking himself a question his whole life: “What is something I always wanted to do, but never had the chance?”

old,” said Brown. “But the only thing that has changed is what is inside. The gardens outside the castles are lush and green. The experience is magical, and it feels as if you are in a movie living in the past.”

That question started him on a journey that has taken him across the Atlantic and to France. “I find France to be something magical,” said Brown. “Living here, I find myself surrounded by history and by people who come from a completely different world from what I grew up in. Wanting to stand out from the crowd, and striving to be different in any way I could, has led me here to living in France, and I don’t plan to leave anytime soon.” Brown, who was born in Carrollton and grew up in Tallapoosa, strived to be unique while growing up. When he chose a language course in school, Brown’s parents pushed for him to learn Spanish. But since that was what all the other students were doing, Brown took French classes as well. “After high school, I went to the University of West Georgia and found myself asking, ‘Where can I go and what can I do to benefit society?’,” said Brown. “I feel as though I am a fish living in a pond, but I need to dive into a deep, fast ocean. I feel as though I am capable of much more than what is presented to me.” Brown had begun taking classes for his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, when he went through a major life change. Wanting more, Brown considered studying abroad and was told that his only option was France. He took 30 West Georgia Living

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it without question. “Life is a mystery made up of a series of hills and valleys. Seeing what is over the next hill, experiencing new and exciting things, keeps me moving,” said Brown. “I moved to Poitiers, France, and instantly fell in love with Paris.” Poitiers (PWAH-tee-a) is an ancient town in west central France, a little over 200 miles from Paris. There, Brown found himself immersed in the culture of France and began speaking a mixture of French and English. Brown said that the French do not mind when this is done, since it often happens when foreigners learn the language. “If you ever get the chance to visit France you must go,” said Brown. “France is home to many châteaux-forts (castles) and châteaux (large houses). As kids, we saw these castles in old movies and, visiting them now, I feel that I am a kid again.” Brown gets animated when he discusses how French history is visible when visitors tour the castles. “These castles are about 300 to 400 years

Brown moved back to Carrollton to graduate with his bachelor degree. Then he was lucky enough to be offered a gap program from EDHEC business school in France to complete his masters degree. “A gap year in France would allow me to continue living in France and continue my education, so I would get the best of both worlds,” said Brown. “Now I am living in Lille, France, which is the ninth-most populated town in France. I love living in Lille (LEEL) because it is very affordable, and I would argue that the cost of living is the same or less than what it is in Carrollton.” Brown said it’s so inexpensive because people do not need a car to live in Lille. Brown said the most efficient way of travel is the bullet train, which can take him to Paris (where he travels for school) within an hour. “My typical weekend in Lille is very relaxing,” said Brown. “In France, everything shuts down on Sundays, so it is very difficult to find stores open. I do and don’t like this. It teaches you to relax, but it also can put a strain on your schedule, such as when you set aside a weekend to go grocery shopping. The only things open here on Sunday are a few coffee shops and a tiny farmers market.”

A canal in Amsterdam

Brown said most visitors to France are eager to try the wine and cheese. Lille is too far north to growing wine, however, so visitors to this region must try the beer. Lille is just over 73 miles from Belgium, where Brown said the best beer he has ever had can be found. “My favorite town to visit, the one that I would encourage anyone to visit if they find themselves in France, is Lyon,” said Brown. “I find it to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever ventured to.” Lyon (LEE-awn) sits next to two rivers that enliven the town, Brown said. “It is one of the oldest cities in France, so you can find old Roman ruins there. Another reason I love Lyon is because if you wish to see the ocean; it only takes

two hours to get there. Lyon would be the experience of visiting Paris, but without the awfulness of Paris.” Brown told himself that he would move wherever he could make an impact in international business. As of now, Brown said he will stay in France until he graduates in December 2019. Brown said that he wouldn’t mind being a student forever, because his school will be able to provide him with the best opportunities and connections. “I may or may not move away from France,” said Brown. “Only because I need to go where I can make the most impact, but as of right now, the place I want to be is France. There is something magical about it that sparks imagination and inspiration inside you.” WGL

A Great Place to Live, Learn, Work and Play...

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CHATTA BEND S Chattahoochee Bend State Park is located on the Carroll-Coweta county line, just to the west of McIntosh Reserve Park. At 2,910 acres, it is a haven for paddlers, campers and anglers. It's also one of Georgia's largest state parks, protecting seven miles of river frontage. A boat ramp provides easy access to the water, while more than four miles of wooded trails are open for hiking, biking and nature photography. Most of the park has been left in its natural state, but campers have many options for staying overnight within park boundaries. Covered picnic shelters may be rented for birthday parties, reunions and other gatherings.


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AHOOCHEE STATE PARK Above: Garrett Davis searches for wildlife with his binoculars. At right: Linda Dumes, Garrett Davis and their dog Lizzy hike along the Riverwalk trail. Below: A large Bald Eagle's nest.

July/August 2017

West Georgia Living 33

34 West Georgia Living

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NASCAR fans from across the

Southeast — including more than a few from west Georgia — head into Alabama throughout the summer to hear the heavy-metal rumble and roar at Talladega Superspeedway. Located just 45 miles from the Georgia border on Interstate 20, Talladega has long been famed as one of the stock car circuit’s longest and fastest tracks. More than 192,000 fans turned out in early May for the GEICO 500 – attendance boosted in part by the impending retirement of 38 West Georgia Living

July/August 2017

superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. While the “Dale factor” helped sell tickets, it was pole winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. who crossed the 2.66-mile track’s finish line first to earn his inaugural win in NASCAR’s top circuit. “There were great storylines, it was a good crowd and great weather,” said Talladega Superspeedway public relations director Russell Branham. “Stenhouse winning on Sunday was an incredible shot in the arm for the sport in general. He’s a young kid who had high expectations coming in.”

After six years and 158 starts, the Mississippi native celebrated in victory lane with his father and racer girlfriend Danica Patrick. The celebration even featured the couple’s two pups, which could be seen licking the winner’s face. “We were ecstatic that (Stenhouse) won,” Branham said. “He became the 11th guy to win his first career race here, joining a list including Brad Keselowski, Davey Allison and Ken Schrader. He’s joining a list of pretty notable names in our sport who’ve had a lot of success.”

Some fans were undoubtedly disappointed Earnhardt Jr. did not take the checkered flag. The track had been kind to him over the years, granting six victories, and he qualified in second place. Branham describes Talladega as “Earnhardt Country”. But this time around he finished 22nd at ‘Dega after sustaining damage on lap 169, though he was far from the only driver suffering car damage on the day. Nonetheless, it was a successful weekend both for race attendees, drivers and organizers.

“We don’t get a whole lot of sleep leading up to the race, but we get to catch up the next week,’ Branham said. “We had ‘chamber of commerce’ weather on Saturday and Sunday. Any time you have a good weather forecast it helps bring out the crowd. We had a great crowd here all three days.”

“It was a great feeling for all of us here as a staff as week. From a NASCAR standpoint, it was great to see a win from a guy everybody loves in Ricky Stenhouse Jr.”

The weather was in sharp contrast to the rainy spring race at Talladega in 2016.

“We anticipate we’ll sell everything out in the fall because a lot of folks want to see him race here one more time,” said Branham. “Earnhardt says this is his second home.” WGL

“Seeing the grandstands near capacity was a great sight for the sport,” said Branham.

Fans will get one last chance to see Earnhardt Jr. race at ‘Dega during the Alabama 500 on Oct. 15.

July/August 2017 West Georgia Living 39



West Georgia Mud Park is good clean M

ud bogging: It's America’s secret pastime. Or at least west Georgia’s hidden gem.

Down in the woods off Highway 78 in Tallapoosa is a mud pit for the record books. The West Georgia Mud Park is the premiere, Southern extravaganza for motor heads of all ages. Mud bogging, or simply “mudding” as some Southerners would say, involves driving a truck as far as possible through a giant mud pit. If that description lacks excitement, watching a truck go full speed into a deep, brown river of dirt, spewing mud as the tires spin, is definitely a sight that demands attention. 40 West Georgia Living

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West Georgia Mud Park takes what is traditional, backwoods bogging and transforms the sport into a spectator performance. “This is not your old-school mud boggin’,” said Brooke Davis, marketing and promotions manager at the park. Now in its sixth season, construction on the park began in September 2011; the following December, the Mud Park held its first event. Gaining momentum every year, the park now holds four to five events annually, each drawing a rambunctious crowd, sometimes over 2,000.


Each event is a surprise for guests and workers alike. “We don’t always know what drivers are coming to our events; the park doesn’t own any of the trucks or pay any of the drivers. Every event has different drivers registered, depending on their vehicle.” The traditional truck events are: Drag Racing – Two trucks at the starting line. The flag goes down and they rev the engine and burn rubber to reach the other side first. This is a traditional event for most auto events; the twist here is seeing tires bigger than yourself tear down the track.


Hill n’ Hole – The two main components for this event are 1) the hill and 2) the hole. The course takes trucks around the park, revving up hills and flying over holes. Major air is to be expected from this event.

war. But instead of 20 elementary schoolers pulling a knotted rope, it’s two giant trucks, tied together via the rear, revving as hard as possible to pull the opposing truck backwards.

Dam Jumping – This event is a little selfexplanatory: trucks jumping dams. Trucks come flying at top speed up a hill and shoot through the air into a giant, muddy lake and tear through the dam to come out the other side. The splash zone is in full effect for this event.

Open Bogging – The traditional mud bogging, for all trucks in the events.

Obstacle Course – Swerving around corners, flying up hills and tearing through the mud for the fastest time. Think an army boot camp course – but for trucks. Tug O’ War –The good old field day classic: the tug of

While not every weekend incorporates all these events, spectators can expect nothing short of muddy exhilaration from the vehicles. Each event, however, does incorporate one or more of the automobile classes: DOT, bog and open. The DOT class is a street legal truck, weighing one ton or less with uncut tires. These are the archetypal “monster trucks:” big, bad and ready to spew mud

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West Georgia Living 41

from the tires. A step down from these beasts are the bogs: under 600 horsepower, but still powerful and able to rip and snarl through the mud pits. The open class encompasses most trucks. “This is like ‘Monster Jam,’ but outside,” said Davis. “There’s not a lot going on in Tallapoosa event-wise, so having the park for the people in west Georgia is something they won’t find just anywhere.” This is one of the most family friendly mud parks in the state, noted Davis. With guests ranging in age from just a couple weeks old to Davis’s 94-year-old great grandmother, West Georgia Mud Park accommodates all ages. There is even a family friendly section – which their website says is free of “drinkin’ or cussin’.” Crowds can quickly reach a couple thousand for a weekend event, so the earlier a visitor arrives, the better their view of the trucks. Because some of the events last the weekend, camping at the park is offered as an option, depending on the event. Jellystone Park and Big Oak RV Park are also nearby choices. Families with kids of all ages are welcome; children 10 and under receive free admission. “Families and friends pack up for the weekend and bring their grills and coolers. Because we’re so family-friendly, we’re able to keep everyone coming back. Little kids are just absolutely enthused by the trucks, and adults really enjoy getting to share their interests with their kids.” As important as the mud is, family is the true nucleus of this giant playground. Everyone working at the park is kin in some way. “My parents own the park; myself, my 42 West Georgia Living

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siblings, aunt & uncles all run the events; even the people working the entrance gate are part of the family. We’re truly a familyoriented environment.” As the family has grown, so has the park’s popularity. Up to 45 trucks can be expected on a given weekend; add on side-by-side ATVs, and you could be looking at over 60 different vehicles. To keep spectators safe, dirt bikes and ATVs are not allowed on the property during events; golf carts and sideby-sides may be used for transportation purposes. All events are first come, first serve. Because West Georgia Mud Park only runs a handful of events a year, the operators make sure each event is offers spectators the full muddin’ experience. Each summer, the Mega Trucks Series highlights the event calendar. The two-day spectacular invites the biggest and baddest trucks in the Southeast to show off. This event also includes a race course for side-by-sides, as well as the rock bouncer obstacle course – exclusive only to the Mega Truck Series event. When the summer heat is too much, cool off in the mud. For updates on events, tickets, how to register as a driver or videos and photos from past events, visit the West Georgia Mud Park website or Facebook. Their advice for summer: Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty. WGL




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PASTA - bilities


July/August 2017 45


Take this semolina pasta into many new directions E

add the eggs until thoroughly combined. Allow the dough mixture to keep working for about five minutes, or until the dough is no longer sticky and pulls away easily from the side of the bowl.

veryone has their own idea of “comfort food," but to many people – including myself – it involves pasta in some form. Growing up in a house where pasta was always a staple, then having the chance to go to Europe when I was younger, pasta was not only something I sought out, this infinitely diverse food became an object of love. From good, oldfashioned spaghetti and meatballs; to lo mein; to soba noodles, pasta is just one of those things that that feels like home. And it’s simple to prepare for almost anyone.

Anyone who enjoys pasta as much as I do should explore all of the great ways to not only prepare, but also to make pasta from scratch. Knowing that there are thousands of types of pasta from around the world means there are more recipes to play with than anyone could possibly complete in a year. Therefore, in the interest of time and simplicity, I would like to focus on one of my favorites: semolina pasta.

Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap in plastic wrap and allow it to relax for 30 minutes at room temperature. After resting, dust with all purpose four and roll to desired thickness with either a rolling pin or a pasta rolling machine and cut into strips with either a pasta cutting attachment, a round knife pizza cutter, or fold the pasta sheet over itself a few times, and cut into strips with a sharp kitchen knife.

Spooning sauce over semolina pasta

Semolina itself is a durum wheat flour that is more granular than regular flour, and has a very high protein content. This makes it perfect for pasta that is a bit chewier and, in my view at least, a little more versatile than other, more finely ground flour pastas. Semolina can be found in just about any grocery store these days, usually located in the organic grains section It is worth saying up front that making pasta by hand is, at best, a bit of a workout. It requires a lot of kneading, rolling, and handling. If you are fortunate enough to have a stand mixer with a dough hook 46 West Georgia Living

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attachment, you’ll find that you can make dozens of batches of varying pasta types in a day – simply because you won’t be exhausted from the first batch.

Semolina Pasta 2½ cups semolina pasta flour 4 large eggs, whisked 2 tablespoons quality olive oil Place flour in the bowl of your stand mixer and, with the paddle attachment, blend with the olive oil for about two minutes on a low setting. Change to the dough hook attachment, and on a medium speed, slowly

Now that we have a base pasta worked up, the question is what to do with it. Sure, you could cut it into strips and pour sauce over it, which is fine, but what if we did something just a little more exciting with it?

Shrimp Stuffed Ravioli 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined ½ cup ricotta cheese ¼ cup shallots, very finely chopped 2 tablespoons garlic, minced 1 large egg 2 tablespoons water Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste Roughly chop the shrimp and set aside. In a medium skillet over medium high heat, sauté the shallots and garlic until just translucent, then add the shrimp and cook until done. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then add this, plus the ricotta, to a food processor, and pulse until the shrimp is finely ground.

Place a sheet of thin, rolled pasta about six inches wide on a flat surface, and put one tablespoon of the filling near one corner about half an inch from each edge, then place another alongside the first. Start another row about one inch away from the first, and continue this pattern until you have filled your sheet with sideby-side dollops of filling.

and interesting things. Add another half cup of semolina to the above recipe, as well as a half cup of cooked and pureed butternut squash or pureed spinach, and you have a flavored pasta.

Combine the egg and water to make an egg wash and brush all edges and in between the filling until all surfaces of the sheet are covered. Place a second, equal sheet of rolled pasta on top and carefully press out all of the air and away from the Shrimp stuffed ravioli with basil tomato cream sauce stuffing. Press sheets butter and add garlic, sea salt, and pepper. together with your fingers, then cut equally Sauté until the edges of the garlic just begin to between the ravioli to separate. Crimp edges brown. Add white wine and reduce until with a fork and let stand in the refrigerator, almost evaporated. Add tomatoes and sauté covered, for about 10 minutes. for about one minute, and then add basil leaves and heavy cream. Bring to a slow Bring a medium saucepot of salted water to a rolling boil and, being careful not to scorch the boil and slowly add the ravioli. Place enough cream, reduce by half and thickened. Use for in the pot so that they move with the boiling ravioli or other pastas. water, but not so much that the pot is crowded. Boil until the ravioli float, then As always, I encourage people to play with continue to cook for one minute longer. When these recipes and create their own take on done, immediately add ravioli to the sauce of them. The possibilities are nearly endless your choice. when working with this basic cream sauce.

Basil Tomato Cream Sauce 3 cups heavy cream 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons garlic, minced ½ cup dry white wine ¼ diced Roma tomato 3 large basil leaves, cut into thin strips sea salt and freshly ground pepper In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt

And If these pasta-bilities aren’t interesting enough, you can use a chocolate flavored creamy breakfast food made of wheat in place of the semolina to make chocolate pasta. If that sounds a little odd, I recommend trying it with slow cooked beef short ribs with a rich tomato sauce. No matter which direction your recipes take, having the base ingredients and directions will allow more permutations than you can imagine, and will make your family and friends very happy ... and very full. As Always, Enjoy! WGL

For example, leave out the tomato and basil, but add a half cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and you have a classic Alfredo. Add finely chopped and cooked Chanterelle mushrooms and you have a great cream sauce for vegetarian dishes. Or, combine all of these ideas with the above recipe, and then you’ve really got something to impress family and friends. The pasta also lends itself to making new July/August 2017 West Georgia Living 47

Fermenting ATLANTA Touring metro breweries in search of most excellent beer

The tasting room at Orpheus Brewing Company, Atlanta


eer is a rite of passage; the first adult beverage people encounter in their youth. Some people’s taste in beer never progresses beyond that first meeting, but others develop a lifelong passion to experience the different shades of sophisticated flavors that only a master brewer can achieve. Georgia is home to 29 breweries—at last count—spread all around the state. Here, craft beer is a league of its own and one that deserves to be fostered. To those who want to go in travel of these home-grown brews, Atlanta offers a huge selection: Monday Night Brewing, Orpheus Brewing, and SweetWater Brewing Company are just three of the breweries inside the city. Some of the smaller, but equally important, breweries are found elsewhere, including Gate City Brewing Company and Abbey of the Holy Goats in Roswell, and Three Taverns Craft Brewery in Decatur. For the past six months, I’ve visited a few breweries when I could, both large and small, not only to taste the drinks but also to revel in the different ways each brewer creates an experience for their patrons. ••• Most people are familiar only with pilsner brews, those with the brand names that are advertised during sports shows. But pilsner beers represent only a part of the huge spectrum of beers. Three Taverns in Decatur brews a variety of sour beer. An acquired taste, sour beer is the 48 West Georgia Living

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riskiest beer to brew, as it takes months to ferment, years to mature, and is extremely unpredictable. However, this is what makes this type of brewing so attractive to real aficionados. Three Taverns, located at 121 New St., has a Sour Asylum Series—a collection of beers with Lactobacillus bacteria added to experiment with flavors and tartness. There are 11 limited-release beers in this series, and one year-round brew. Like all crafted beer, these all come with highly distinctive names. Blacklisted, Basileus, Gose on my Mind, Citron, Gozzah!, Provence, Pometheus, Sister Golden Sour, Oud Tannenbaum, Cranberry Sauced and the Sour Asylum #1. These beers feature different fruity flavors and are on limited release, which means they are featured in the tap room occasionally. Rapturous, a raspberry sour, is featured yearround. Monday Night Brewing Company, located


on Trabert Avenue in Atlanta, is opening a new, sour and barrel-aging focused brewery which is way ahead of its time. It’s called the Garage, and I, for one, am beyond looking forward to seeing what this means for the brewery. Barrel aging is popular for many reasons. The best barrels are those which have been used to age other spirits, such as bourbon or wine. The type of wood the barrel is made from, and whatever alcohol was held in the barrel before, add a little something extra to the beer during fermentation. The inside of the barrels can be charred or toasted to add further flavor. Orpheus, found on Dutch Valley Place in Atlanta, barrel-ages its beers as well, whether it be the bourbon barrel-aged 12th Labor beer; or the sour beers like Atalanta, which has been aged in Sauternes wine barrels for a complex flavor; or the Minotaur, which is a whiskey barrel-aged sour ale. A good chunk of their other beers is barrel-aged as well, as you can see on their brewery tour, where a guide leads a group through the brewing room to see the different stages of the

Orpheus ages some of its craft beer in wooden barrels formerly used for other spirits, such as wine.

Fresh peaches help flavor a new brew. Main brewing area at Orpheus

brewing process, including their wide array of barrels. SweetWater Brewing, at 195 Ottley Drive NE, also began barrel aging a collection of beers they call the Woodlands Project. These smallbatch beers are also aged in wine barrels, which is very different from bourbon barrels, and can offer more of a tarty finish to beer. Sangiovese, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir barrels are all selections for SweetWater’s Woodlands Project. Though not always in the tasting room, guests should be on the lookout. SweetWater is probably Atlanta’s best known brewery, thanks partially to the SweetWater 420 Fest, which is a music festival sponsored by the brewery and features their beers. Held annually for the past 13 years, this festival brings the community together for a weekend of celebrating Earth. The history of this brewery is one of the reasons that people around the country love and respect Atlanta breweries. Outside the Perimeter, Abbey of the Holy Goats and Gate City are two of the newer Roswell

breweries. Both focus on a smaller atmosphere. Abbey, found on Northfield Way in Roswell, is run by a former nun and is the first allfemale-owned brewery in Georgia. The brewery has a line of seasonal “brewer’s choice,” which the owners describe as being whatever the brewery feels like making at the time. Focused on quality over quantity, this brewery features real live goats on premises (though not involved in the beer crafting), and is well worth the visit. ••• This year, the state Legislature passed a bill that allows breweries to sell their beers directly to consumers, rather than having to go through a third-party distributor, such as a major grocery store chain or smaller craft beer seller. Senate Bill 85, sponsored by Sen. Rick Jeffares (R-McDonough), eliminates the complicated “tour-system” in which anyone who wanted to sample a crafter’s fare had first to buy a tour of the brewery. Signed by Gov. Nathan Deal in May, the bill becomes law this summer.

What does that mean for breweries? It means that more smaller breweries can open without the threat of failing. It could mean expansion, getting more of their beers out to the world, and remaining profitable. Whether it be traditional breweries, cideries, or brewpubs (which serve food), Atlanta’s beer scene is exponentially larger than it was just a year ago. Connoisseurs who make the short drive into Atlanta’s diverse neighborhoods are rewarded with most excellent brews, made by master craftsmen whose talents push the envelope of fermentation into new and incredibly rich directions. And there’s more to come. Be on the lookout for a new batch of breweries including, but not limited to: Chattabrewchee Southern Brewhouse, From the Earth Brewing Company, MAZURT Brewing, and second locations from Creature Comforts, Wild Heaven and Monday Night Brewing. Until then, do your research and have a summer of beer to remember. WGL July/August 2017 West Georgia Living 49


Your D

uring this time of year, most of us wish we could escape our normal hustle, bustle, and day-to-day responsibilities for fun and relaxation somewhere far, far away. Yet, for many of us, a traditional vacation isn’t always in the cards due to all the costs of travel – costs that are mulitiplied when the whole family comes along. But traveling to a tropical resort isn’t your only vacation option. Why not plan a “Back to Earth Vacation” and unwind just outside your own four walls?

BACK TO EAR camping area includes tent and RV sites and is a beautiful place to spend a day, or a week. Traveling south of Carrollton, you can continue your quest for adventure by visiting Moore’s Bridge Park. It is well over 400 acres located on Black Dirt Road near Whitesburg. This is one of Carroll County’s newest parks, with lots of history associated with it – it was the scene of west Georgia’s only Civil War skirmish. There are ramps to launch canoes and kayaks along the one mile of river frontage on the Chattahoochee.

Let’s admit it, we probably have spent more time exploring places far away from home than we have the sites of our own area or region. People tend to dismiss local sites, or plan to visit them “someday.”

Little Tallapoosa Park is located on Highway 113 near Temple. The park is bordered by the Little Tallapoosa River, hence its name. It has 2 ½ miles of paved trails, and seven miles of natural trails where you will see plants, birds and other wildlife in their natural habitat. You can hunt for trees bent centuries ago by Native Americans to serve as trail guides. The 50 West Georgia Living

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The City of Carrollton and the surrounding area is home to several attractions, including the Carrollton Cultural Art Center, the Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum, and The Amp amphitheater. As you make your way around the city, plan to take a tour on the beautiful 600-acre plus University of West Georgia campus. The university’s Arboretum Treewalk is a treasure trove of various specimen and ornamental trees which provide beauty, shade, and habitat for students, faculty, staff, visitors and wildlife. This beauty should inspire you to go home and plant a tree or at least a shrub. A “Back to Earth Vacation” would not be complete without visiting the Buffalo Creek Outdoor Education Center Trail and Gardens. It is located in Carrollton, next to the Carroll County Agriculture Center on Newnan Road. It is about 40 acres of the most beautiful land you will find anywhere in this area. Be sure to bring a picnic lunch and wear a good pair of walking shoes, because the trail ranges from dry uplands to boggy wetlands.

For your next vacation, consider being a tourist in your region, and explore this beautiful area of west Georgia without the expense and hassle of traveling. Within Carroll County alone, there are a number of activities for people of all ages. For example, just a few miles from Mt. Zion is John Tanner Park. It offers a paved walking trail around the lake, which is a good way to see native plants growing along the trail. There is something for everybody, including putt-putt golf, fishing, camping, paddle boats, playground, a lake for swimming, and a concession stand if you get hungry.

overlook above the river. Take a walk around the park and you will see many species of blooming plants native to the area. While there, be on the lookout for butterflies, bees and other pollinators doing their job.

Just miles away on Highway 5 is another historic site, McIntosh Reserve Park. You can enjoy hiking the rugged terrain along the Chattahoochee River, picnicking under the huge trees, and learning the story of Chief William McIntosh. The park has 527 acres packed with trails, a splash water park, pavilions, and an


During the heat of the summer, you will enjoy both sun and shade as you explore a schoolhouse, saw mill, grist mill, log cabin and other buildings used for teaching about our heritage. The west Georgia Chapter of the Georgia Native Plant Society has adopted the trail area as a restoration project and replenishes the plants in the area through rescues and workdays. The Buffalo Creek Gardens were started in 1996 with some raised beds. Over the years, several features have been added, including a gazebo, barn, and

RTH vacation

special beds. This year, the water feature was completely redone by the Carroll County Master Gardeners who strive to fill the gardens with flowers, shrubs, trees, grasses, benches, picnic tables and garden art. So, come to spend the day or enjoy a mini

vacation by having a picnic on your lunch break. While visiting, you can learn more about your horticultural environment by spending time with the Master Gardeners. They have work days in

the garden every Tuesday morning and the last Saturday of the month to fulfill their mission to support the UGA Extension in educating adults and children of Carroll County. Workshops are held throughout the year, and a special “Kid’s Miniature Garden Party” set for July 22 would July/August 2017

West Georgia Living 51

Lisa Todd helps Ollie Robert Cook make a container garden at Messer Hardware / Brandy Cook

be just right for family vacation fun. This event will feature container gardening on July 22nd from 10:00-2:00 at the Ag Center. Call or come by the Center to register. As you can see, the Carroll County and west Georgia is a perfect place to live, work and play. This year, why not choose to escape to some fascinating place just a little way down the road? No matter where you choose to go, it really is all about spending time together, enjoying family, and this earth we live on. So, pack some sandwiches, fry up some chicken, or grab a bag of burgers, and get outdoors and enjoy a hike and a picnic somewhere! WGL JoAnn Madden & Phyllis King are Carroll County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers

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usiness is blooming … literally at The Botanical Studio, a design studio and business venture started by Carrollton native, Raven Hill. Her official title is “Wedding and Event Floral Designer,” but “artist” is more accurate. Creating floral and botanical centerpieces, installations and accessories, Hill’s area of expertise seems an almost organic talent. Hill, however, started at the University of West Georgia with no designated career path. “I was never the most athletically talented person, but in school I always did really well in art. Like a lot of kids though, I graduated high school with no real idea of what I wanted to do.”

Floral designer Raven Hill arranges art from the beauty of nature

She enrolled in a couple of introductory art courses, searching for something she might like. Initially, Hill considered photography – for a moment anyway. “Super bored” with the camera, she moved next to the threedimensional world, declaring herself as a sculpture major. “When I was shooting photographs, I was always outside in a rural area or shooting pictures of nature. Switching to sculpture, I stuck to that same botanical theme, making


plant-based and flower-based pieces. Everything in my life has just always been nature-based.” At the four and a half year mark, Hill wanted to set herself apart from the other art students. “I was always comparing my work to the other students, thinking mine wasn’t good enough. It was then that I decided I wanted to try something different, and incorporate live plants into my pieces rather than make the plants out of other media. No one else had done it before and I honestly didn’t even know if we could.” In her final semester, Hill began preparing her senior show, the pieces that would determine her graduation. For the first piece, she looked to her childhood for inspiration. July/August 2017 West Georgia Living 53

Before her professional training began, Hill remembers growing up among flowers. Born to young parents, she spent a significant portion of her childhood with her grandparents; her grandmother in particular. “She had a greenhouse, and we would go out there together and plant flowers and care for them; she even gave me my own patch that was my full responsibility to grow and water.” It seemed her project had almost been chosen for her: she would make her own greenhouse. Built entirely out of salvaged windows, the greenhouse was a six-foot by eight-foot by 12-foot structure Hill made herself, then filled with over 500 real roses. The second half of her thesis involved hand carving over 700 two-inch roses from different elements, painted in different shades of blue. By the end of her work, she chose 484 of those roses and mounted them on the 8” by 8” wall structure. On April 14, 2016, she presented her gradient sea of blue roses at her senior exhibition. “The whole idea behind all the roses was trying to cope past severe loss; the conceptual reason behind it being planting seeds, growing something and when something dies, something beautiful can still come out of it.” 54 West Georgia Living

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With five and a half years of cultivated training in the art department at UWG, Hill had graduated. Despite her successes, she was still at a loss over how to start her career, and her confusion worsened after a job with an Atlanta florist quickly fell through. “That left me super discouraged. It was kind of like, well, I can stay upset or I can do this on my own.” She had a seed of an idea, but the switch from artist to entrepreneur did not come easy. “When I was creating my greenhouse piece for the senior show, I found out how difficult it is to buy flowers in bulk if you are not a business; most wholesalers require a business license. I searched and searched, and one lady in Atlanta made an exception for me.” Cut Flower Wholesale in Atlanta supplied Hill with enough botanicals for her first projects. As she steadily grew her customer base, her partnership with Cut Flower switched from personal to business. Her personal life made a similar switch – changing her personal social media accounts to business ones in summer 2016. With a few soft consultations in August, Hill had found her feet in the business world. And the Botanical Studio was born … or planted. The studio officially launched last October.

“I decided to call my business ‘The Botanical Studio’ because I wanted to span everything from flowers, to succulents, to greenery.” Fine-tuning her industry skills everyday, Hill has developed a foundational method with clients. It starts with a consultation, during which a client will give an overview of what he or she desires, including an inspiration board of how he or she wants an event to look and feel. From there, they discuss pieces: everything from bouquets to boutonnieres and corsages to centerpieces. “I really want to match the mood of their event; sometimes people request certain flowers that I can’t get, they forget that their seasonal, but when I know how they want their wedding to feel, I can match that with other pieces.” Hill then creates an entire aesthetic presentation, including color and texture palettes for the client. When the details are finalized, a quote is created and the arranging begins. While it took a few tries to perfect her business model, Hill is grateful she stuck to true passion. “I don’t regret art school at all; the industry part has been the hardest. Learning how to manage a business is something that takes time, whether you have a business degree

or not. But you can’t just teach yourself the artistic knowledge I gained in school.” As she continues to flourish, Hill credits Carrollton as the foundation for her success. Her mother and stepfather are also local business owners, with two successful tattoo parlors in the area, and a third on the way. “Being from Carrollton, a lot of people already knew me, and local friends became some of my first customers. It started with smaller scale events, people who just needed flowers for their uncle’s 50th birthday, but word of mouth in this area is huge. I have clients all over Georgia now, just by recommendations from previous customers.” Expansion is her ultimate goal: both business and technical. Social media and word of mouth provide the fuel for her business now, but online expansion is the next step for Hill. “When I started I knew absolutely nothing about running a business, and I’m still teaching myself everyday. With my website, there’s really no limit to how I can grow. I’m hoping to have that completely off the ground by the start of summer. Having my portfolio available online will allow more people to see what I do.” Besides the obvious growth in clientele, Hill hopes to amplify her abilities, following in the footsteps of some of her artistic idols. Hill has already started making strides in her design abilities by pushing herself to think outside the norms of the standard bouquet. “I don’t want to make the typical stiff, rounded bouquet; I’ve started practicing different shapes, just making my arrangements look super organic. I’m really proud of one piece I did recently; it involved a lot of deep reds, salmons and ivory roses, and I combined it with leafy greenery and muted green eucalyptus and the outcome was just really amazing. ” At home, the inspiration continues. Hill and her boyfriend have over 40 house plants, including succulents, palm trees, cacti and flowers, a number that seems to be unceasing, surrounding herself in her work and inspiration. Her roots may be in Carrollton, but Hill and the Botanical Studio are blossoming. WGL


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ayton Phillips has proved she’s the next big thing in the pole vault, not only across the state of Georgia but the entire nation. During her spring season this year with the Carrollton Junior High School girls’ track and field team, she made a leap of 11 feet, 7 inches to set the No. 1 vault in the nation at the junior high level, during the West Georgia Middle School Championships. “Oh, it’s so cool,” she said afterward. “It was a foot (personal-record) for me, so it was the most amazing thing in the world.” Not only was her 11-7 vault tops in the United States for this year, it ranks No. 2 all time at the national level. Coincidentally, the current record of 12-1 was also set by a Georgia athlete, so Phillips is also No. 2 on the all-time list in the Peach State for junior high vaulters. Phillips closed out her junior high career in April with a state championship in her signature event, clearing 10-6 at the Georgia Middle School Track and Field State Championships at Parkview High School in Lilburn.



July/August 2017 West Georgia Living 57

For Carrollton Junior High School head track and field coach Karisma Boykin, Phillips’ record-breaking endeavors weren’t all that surprising, noting how the talented eighth-grader had a relentless drive to be the best in everything she did. “I knew what type of kid she is. She works hard. She’s everywhere and has great supportive parents and family,” Boykin said. “They give her the work that she needs, and I knew she could pull it off.” Phillips’ athletic pedigree includes a long list of family members who were stars in their respective sports during their heyday. There’s even a few pole vaulters in that lineage. “One of my aunts did it and she jumped 9-8 in 12th grade. It’s sort of nice to have that leader board over there to push me to get better,” Phillips said, referring to Carrollton’s all-time track and field record-holders. As a relative newcomer, Phillips tied for first at state in 2016 with a vault of 8-3. She said she really didn’t get serious with the sport until last summer, but 58 West Georgia Living

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in the past 12 months, her results have climbed more than three feet. Phillips’ record-breaking vault on April 15 was more than four feet above the second-place girls’ finisher, and nearly three feet higher than the first-place boys’ finisher. Along with her practice regimen during the week at the high school, Phillips also trains at Pole Vault Atlanta, working with former Bremen High School pole vault state champion Kaylee Riley, who is headed to the University of Alabama this fall on a track and field scholarship. With her high school career right around the corner, Phillips already has big plans for the next four years, including breaking the current high school state record of 12-7.25 set by Megan Clark of Columbus in 2012. And for this rising young star, the sky literally is the limit. “Hopefully, 13 (feet) by the end of my freshman year and 15 by the time I get out of high school, which sounds really crazy to most people,” Phillips said. “But that’s my goal.” WGL

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Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic Spine & MRI Center

An Affiliate with Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic

812 South Park St., Ste. 3 Carrollton, Ga 30117 770-834-0873

Mia Barker, left, gets her photo taken with "Ilsa" from the movie Frozen, portrayed by Savannah Hipps, a member of Northside Bible Baptist Church of Jesup, Ga. The church was raising money for a mission trip to Cordova, AL.


MAYFEST Casandra Parsons, right, ties her niece Izzy Bryant's balloon to her arm.

Zantavious Graham, left, and Vaden Wolf, tries out some Harvest Beat Cajones box drums, while owner Josh Smith, center, plays guitar.

Ilsa Schaefer leaps over a rotating boom on maze game Meltdown.

Renee Keener shops for jewelry at Forte Coutre.

Dana Lovvorn, left, and Ashley Kelley battle the wind. July/August 2017 West Georgia Living 61

Above: Steve Pillow, owner of Express Mexican Grill, releases a lot of steam as he gets a cob of corn for a customer. Below: Andy Davis pets Sunshine, a dog from the Carroll County Animal Shelter, who was looking to be adopted. Below right: Gracie Rankin, seated, gets her face painted by Alyssa Williamson. The two young ladies are youth members of Renew Church. The restaurant LatTrattoria sponsored inflatables for Mayfest, with all money donated to the Renew Church youth group.

62 West Georgia Living

July/August 2017

Avery Presnal, right, of Midway West Church, gives a balloon to Ashland Zamzow.

Sam Lyra pays Jack Akins for a windmill plane. Akins, of Snellville, Ga, owner of Aircraft Cans by Jack, makes the windmills out of soft drink cans.

Oreo Cookie was having a fine time at Mayfest.

Luke Bryant plays with a streamer on the square.

Sadie Cooke, right, gives a big hug to her friend Loree Clawson. The two go to school together.


always there at


CALL 770-573-8677 TODAY TO LEARN MORE AND SCHEDULE A PRIVATE TOUR 623 Dixie Street Carrollton, Georgia 770 834-3393 • Tim Oliver, RPH Personal, Fast Service • Free City-wide Delivery

We accept most insurance and Medicaid. Greeting Cards & Gifts | Tervis Tumblers Archipelago Skin Care Products Nora Fleming | Harvest Home Candles


July/August 2017 West Georgia Living 63



Jimmy who

From Peanuts to the Presidency

"Jimmy Carter Elected President with Pocket Change and Peanuts". "Dorothy Padgett. Foreword by Jimmy Carter. Macon: Mercer University Press, 2016


here's a British proverb that says "great oaks from little acorns grow”. The rise to greatness from insignificance is a common theme in didactic narratives, inspirational stories, and sermons.

In the case of the life of James Earl Carter (aka Jimmy Carter, 39th president of the United States), the proverb is a onesentence summary of his life – if you replace the acorn with a peanut. Dorothy Padgett’s first-person account of Carter’s political life provides a vivid insight into the peanut farmer who went to the White House. Padgett, who lives in Douglasville, has a unique perspective on the world of politics and political campaigns as she examines the life and political campaigns of Jimmy Carter. She stumped tirelessly for Carter, beginning with his run for Georgia governor in 1970. As a member of the “Peanut Brigade” (a group of like-minded Georgians who went door-to-door for Carter at their own expense), she promoted the political aspirations of a relatively obscure candidate on a national stage. Padgett’s book entertains her readers with stories of a grassroots (or perhaps ground-nut) campaign, with insights into the lives and personalities of the campaigners, the political figures, and their families and friends.

ROBERT C. COVEL 64 West Georgia Living

July/August 2017

••• As a young man growing up on a peanut farm in Plains, Georgia, Jimmy Carter acquired the personal values that pushed him to excel. His diligence and discipline drove him to apply to the United States Naval Academy. He was not appointed the first year, so he went to Georgia Tech, where

he excelled academically, leading to his appointment to Annapolis in 1943. Because he entered during World War II, his academy class was accelerated to graduate in 1946, though it was still, officially, the class of 1947. Padgett illustrates throughout the book that Carter often chose “the road less traveled,”

resolutely accepting new challenges. After becoming a naval officer on a submarine, Carter chose to resign his commission when his father died, to help with the family farm. With his young family, he moved back to Plains. Soon after, he decided to run for the Georgia Senate, once again taking the less traveled path, and, after a hotly contested race, he won, beginning his career in politics. When Carter began his campaign for governor in the spring of 1970, he recruited the young Dorothy Padgett to work in his campaign, beginning a life-long political and personal connection between the two. The details she provides on the governor’s race give insight into Carter’s personal approach to politics. She relates how the grassroots campaigners went from door to door, facing many rejections along with positive responses. Carter himself followed the same approach, often with the same responses from potential voters. Padgett writes: “I can say with a degree of confidence that what won the election for Jimmy Carter was the more than 600,000 hands that he and Rosalynn shook, the personal attention they gave to supporters.” This literal hands-on approach to politics is a constant theme throughout Padgett’s book. The campaigns for state Senate, Georgia governor, and president were hardfought, relentless, and unyielding, both for the Peanut Brigade, and for the candidate and his family, as well as campaign constituents. Padgett’s account of the 1976 presidential campaign is particularly fascinating. It gives

a concrete overview of the nitty-gritty world of campaigning, moving from state to state and from town to town, sleeping in cheap motels and walking from door to door with hands filled with campaign brochures. The questions they most frequently heard were “Jimmy Who?” and “Running for what?” In the face of such challenges, the Peanut Brigade forged onward, demonstrating their belief in their candidate and his message to the electorate. Padgett gives a state-by-state account of the campaign, filled with detail and a perspective that a more academic account would lack. Padgett’s energy and commitment to the campaign and to the candidate is evident throughout the book, and that same energy and commitment are evident in her writing. The chapters which follow give details about the major events of the Carter presidency. Padgett takes the reader inside the Camp David Accords with Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, one of the key events in the Carter legacy. She gives the real, human insight into those historic talks and events. Padgett includes other chapters on domestic and global issues in the Carter presidency, both the victories and the failures. The most emotionally evocative event is the failed Iran hostage rescue mission, which devastated Carter, as Padgett quotes from his own book “Keeping Faith”: “I am still haunted by the memories of that day”. Padgett follows with accounts of Carter’s continuing work through the Carter Center, and the recognition of the Nobel Peace Prize, which Padgett calls “a capstone to a lifetime of public service.” with all the highs and lows of a lifetime of diligent service

to others, Carter comes across as a warm, thoughtful human being with a drive for success and for the betterment of humanity. Padgett’s style is eminently readable. Her first-person narrative gives her text a sense of immediacy. She includes many stories about herself and the other Peanut Brigade members, giving insight into how political campaigns are waged and won in the trenches. Most of the book’s focus, however, is on the larger picture of Carter, his family, and associates. Padgett uses short paragraphs, which help the reader follow her in-depth narrative. Her language is concrete and real; and the emotions in the book – from the humorous, to the inspired, to the dejected – give a real sense Carter’s political and personal life from someone with a unique, personal perspective on the man and his legacy. Her book is long and detailed, but her style and her inclusion of interesting human details prevent the book from being tedious. The reader finishes with a larger and sense of a political figure, a compassionate statesman, and a man worthy of the esteem of his Peanut Brigade. WGL Author Bio Dorothy Padgett lives in Douglasville. As a member of the Peanut Brigade, she worked on the Carter campaigns for governor and for president. She was Assistant Chief of Protocol at the State Department. She is a former member of the Democratic National Committee, the Georgia Council for the Arts, and the Metropolitan Mental Health Association. She serves on the Carter Center Board of Councilors.

Tammie Pero-Lyle (770) 832-0911 102 Trojan Drive, Suite A Carrollton “Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One”

© 2011 Allstate Insurance Company

Phone: 770-258-7239 Fax: (770) 258-7230 July/August 2017 West Georgia Living 65

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West Georgia businesses answer consumer questions Robotic Assisted Surgery Tanner Health System. .............................67

The Talk of a Lifetime Scott & Ellen McBrayer/Jones Wynn Funeral

How much water does my lawn really

Home ................................................... 70

need this summer? NG Turf.................................................68

Traveling with your Pet Why students should be taught to code The Heritage School ................................69

Carroll County Animal Hospital .................. 71



What every West Georgian should know about Robotic-assisted Surgery Q. How does robotic-assisted surgery work? A. Contrary to what a lot of people envision when they think of robots performing surgery, the robot itself isn’t in charge. The robot is a tool for the surgeon, who guides the robot from an operative console in the operating suite. The surgeon uses specialized instruments and high-definition screens at the console to conduct the procedure, with the robot responding to the surgeon’s movements. A surgical team of nurses, surgical assistants, an anesthesiologist and others tend to and monitor the patient while the surgeon works from the console.

A. Robotic-assisted surgery isn’t the right solution for every patient or every procedure. At Tanner, we use advanced da Vinci robotic surgery platforms for many gynecological, urological and general surgical procedures, but in many instances the robotic surgery approach has no significant advantage over regular minimally invasive techniques. In other cases, however, the clarity and dexterity of the robot gives the surgeon an edge in ensuring the best possible outcome. Your surgeon will use his or her knowledge and experience to determine which type of surgical approach is best for you. There are a number of surgeons on Tanner’s medical staff who have received rigorous training and have been credentialed by the health system to offer services on the robotic-assisted surgery platform, ensuring that patients are in the care of a provider who is skilled and experienced in these types of surgeries.

Q. What are the advantages for roboticassisted surgery?

David Griffin, MD Carrollton Surgical Group

A. Robotic-assisted surgeries provide the same benefits as other minimally invasive procedures – smaller incisions, faster recoveries, less blood loss and a reduced risk for post-surgical complications, like infection. One area the robotic platform does provide an advantage is in allowing the surgeon to more clearly see the area in which he or she is operating and maneuver his or her instruments with greater dexterity. The human wrist and hand can only turn so far, and the robot’s instruments can move in ways that the human hand cannot. That gives the surgeon more options for addressing even very complicated procedures, since he or she has a clearer view and greater range of motion to cut, cauterize, stitch and more.


Dr. Griffin is a board-certified general surgeon with Carrollton Surgical Group, part of Tanner Medical Group. He earned his medical doctorate from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and completed his residency at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah.

Q. How can I arrange for a robotic-assisted surgery?

Q. Where is robotic-assisted surgery available in our region? A. Tanner Health System offers robotic-assisted surgical services at the surgical services center at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton. Minimally invasive surgical services are also available at Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica and Higgins General Hospital in Bremen.

For more information, visit or call 770.214.CARE.













Your Recovery

YS A D Minimally invasive surgery at Tanner means smaller incisions, less discomfort, a lower risk for complications and a faster recovery. Stop waiting; get on with living.

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Between the heat, thunderstorms, and possibility of drought – watering How often should I water? your lawn during the summer in Georgia can be tricky. Watering too

much wastes resources and encourages fungal diseases. Too little, and

your lawn will become sparse and yellow, inviting weeds and pests. In honor of Smart Irrigation Month, we asked the NG Turf experts to share their best watering recommendations:

How much water does my lawn really need? Most lawns need about 1 inch of water per week. This includes both

Nicky Dailey Scheduling Manager & Marketing

It is better to water deeply and less often to promote healthy root growth, which naturally wards off weeds and disease. You can even apply the entire inch of water in one watering session, if your lawn allows. Observe your lawn periodically when watering to watch for signs of run off. Once water starts dribbling down the driveway or sidewalk, it’s time to split the watering session up over a few days. Water that runs down the storm drain does your lawn – and your wallet – no good. When should I water?

natural rainfall and irrigation. Use a rain gauge to adjust your irrigation It is best to water in the early morning just after sunrise. This will allow your lawn to dry before nightfall to reduce the likelihood of fungal schedule. You can also add a rain shutoff switch or a “smart” soil moisture sensor to allow your irrigation system to automatically adjust growth. If you water in the heat of the day, you’ll lose 30% or more of the water to evaporation before it has a chance to soak into the soil. for rainfall. If you have TifTuf sod in your yard, you can water less What should I do if there is a drought? often since it requires about 1/3 less water to stay green and healthy.


How long should I run my system to get 1 inch of water?

Joined the NG Turf team in 2011. While being the Senior Sales Representative she is also the Scheduling Manager and oversees marketing for NG Turf. She became a Certified Turfgrass Professional in 2012.

Calibrating your irrigation system is easy. Set out 5 – 10 identical

containers throughout your lawn and let your system run for about 30 minutes. If your containers are light plastic, weigh them down with a rock or washer to avoid tipping. Measure the water in each container (after removing the rock!) and take an average for all the containers.

Then do a little math to figure out how long your system will need to run to apply 1 inch of water.

Is your grass barefoot ready?

Certified Turf Professionals Farm Fresh Quality Delivered to Your Door Saturday Delivers 10+ Varieties of Sod 770-431-1347 •

In times of drought, it can be very costly (or even against the law) to water your lawn. Many types of turfgrass can go dormant during a drought. As long as your lawn was healthy before the drought, it will recover well after the drought is over. Zoysia and centipedegrass can go 4 weeks with no water before suffering damage, many bermudagrasses can go 8 weeks, and our TifTuf bermuda is the most drought resistant turf available today.

Need expert turfgrass advice? Contact NG Turf at (770) 431-1348 or visit us online at

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Tina Abbott

Director of Technology

The Heritage School, a coeducational, independent day school in Newnan, Georgia

Qualifications Tina Abbott is a native of Newnan, Georgia. She graduated from The Heritage School, continued on to Converse College, then earned a Master’s degree from the University of South Carolina.  She worked as a software developer creating programs for international companies including BMW, Microsoft, Alcoa, and VMWare.  After 15 years, she joined the technology department at a school and has been in the field of education ever since.  Tina is currently the Director of Technology at The Heritage School, where she manages day-to-day technology needs, works with faculty on the effective use of technology in the classroom, and teaches high school computer programming.  She is passionate about teaching kids to code.


What every West Georgian should know about... WHY STUDENTS SHOULD BE TAUGHT TO CODE This article is being reprinted due to printer error in previous issue.

There are many benefits for learning Computer Science. It helps students develop systemic thinking skills for problem solving, practice logical deduction, and learn to express themselves with greater precision and clarity. Some specific reasons it is important for students to learn to code are:

You can apply programming to any field

It builds confidence and creativity. Coding provides the tools to create a world of limitless possibilities, where they can build their own paths and solutions in their own way. Overall, coding is a very empowering skill. Just like art is a way to express creativity, coding can be a highly engaging, fun and empowering skill for kids today.  With the ability to code students can learn to control a robot, create with a 3D printer, or even build there on computer apps or games. 

just future writers and mathematicians, we teach coding to

before you learned to program, or in whatever field your

passion lies. Â You will be able to do what you do even better! Just like we teach English and math to all students, not

help round out a student’s skills and abilities. Almost any

job in any field can benefit from programming knowledge.

Steve Jobs said everyone should learn to program because it teaches you how to think.Â

In the near future there will be more programming jobs than qualified applicants:

Forbes projects: by 2020 nearly one million coding jobs will be unfulfilled based on projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to EdSource: a projected 1.4

Programming makes you smarter. It helps you be able to:

million computer programming-related jobs by 2020. By

some estimates, schools will produce only a quarter of the

• Break big problems into small pieces • Iterate over something quickly and make small, incremental changes • Find tiny problems within a big, complicated system • Use your computer’s full potential

Use your programming skills in whatever you were doing

qualified candidates needed to fill these positions.

Learn more at

Come Experience Heritage.

The Heritage School is an independent school in Newnan, Georgia serving Pre-Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade students and families from diverse communities. Inspired by some of the very EHVWWHDFKHUVLQ*HRUJLDFKLOGUHQĂ€QGEDODQFH at The Heritage School - balance that empowers them to think creatively, act independently, and feel compassionately.

APPLY ONLINE NOW Bus Service Available from Carrollton To schedule a tour contact: Lory Pendergrast, Director of Admissions 2093 Highway 29 North | Newnan, GA 30263 | 678.423.5393


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West Georgia businesses answer consumer questions

What every West Georgian should know about... “The Talk of a Lifetime”


Scott McBrayer Ellen Wynn McBrayer Jones-Wynn Funeral Home & Crematory and Meadowbrook Memory Gardens As always, we remain “A Family Serving Families®....Since 1950”


Scott & Ellen McBrayer are both licensed funeral directors and embalmers. Jones-Wynn Funeral Homes & Crematory has served our community since 1950. We keep our funeral home & crematory synonymous with its name & reputation of serving & caring for families. We are three generations carrying on one tradition. We offer Peace of Mind with the highest quality of service and affordable options. Our funeral home family is always available to help you clarify or answer questions you might need help with.


Why is having the “Talk of a Lifetime” so important? Because the foundation for meaningful memorialization is life stories. Deep down, most of us want to know that, in some way, we made a difference in this world and that we mattered to someone. Having the Talk of a Lifetime will create moments to talk about meaningful stories and also show your loved one just how much you value them and the time you spend together. What does it mean to have the Talk of a Lifetime? It’s about sitting down, sharing stories, and simply talking with your loved ones about life and the things that matter. How often do we talk to people? Talk? No cell phones, no tv, no social media...... We live in a world that has so much

going on around us. We’re busier than ever before. We’re bombarded with information from newspapers, magazines, tv, radio, and internet. However, talking with the people in our lives who matter most can have an incredibly positive impact on our relationships.


What can I talk about? Old stories about family and friends, the things we value most in life, hidden talents, life’s big moments, and your big personal moments are just a few notable points of interest.


How can your trusted funeral director help? A Funeral Director can contribute by providing resources that help guide you concerning your memorialization options.












Advancing Your Recovery With tiny incisions, tiny instruments and surgeons skilled in the latest techniques, minimally invasive surgery at Tanner helps you heal faster, with less discomfort. So you get better — and back to life — even faster.


Wgl july aug 2017  

West Georgia's most popular living and lifestyle magazine

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