LiVing Nov. / Dec. 2017
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2 West Georgia Living November/December 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.
November / December
Douglasville lights up Main Street in a holiday tradition.
The Possum Drop has become a staple for New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s celebration.
Allenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Florist captures the gala, glitz and glamour of the holiday season
PLUS Christmas in the country - 8 Helping needy children at Christmas - 15 Carrollton lights up the square - 26 Gift guide ideas - 37-43 Roopville Homecoming - 60
John Berry brings the sounds of the season to Mill Town Music Hall.
A pet CAN be a joyful Christmas gift, with proper advance planning.
On the Cover: Libby and Ginger, dachsunds belonging to Jim and Robin Collins, expect to enjoy a Merry Christmas as they pose by the Christmas Tree. Photo by Ricky Stilley. 4 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
Here Come The Holidays! No matter which Holiday you are getting ready for…..
Turkey Day or Christmas Day COOKING OR GIFT GIVING, WE CAN HELP! Southern Home & Ranch is far more than a Hardware store.
We have a little bit of everything you might be looking for and a whole lot of service to help you find what you need. We have new items arriving every day, and great gift giving ideas just in time for the Holidays. Here are just a few examples of all the GOOD STUFF! you can find in our wide selection. • Georgia Olive Farms - Chef’s Blend “extra virgin” olive • Pure North Georgia Sorghum Syrup, made by the oil, produced in Georgia. It has a green fresh buttery Z.W. Seabolt family, OH! breakfast, just out of the oven taste with a mild fruity finish, just wonderful in so many hot biscuits and sorghum syrup, it doesn’t get much better healthy ways. than that, available in pints and quarts, don’t wait too long, to get yours! Todd’s Ole’ Timey Ribbon Cane • Mascot “Fresh Shelled” Pecans. Can’t you just taste Syrup also available, yummy good Southern sweetness! them now? The perfect healthy treat for cooking, baking, snacking, or gift giving. 12 oz. and 16oz. bags and • Brighten your holidays with Life Time Candles by White specialty gift ideas. New harvest, never frozen. River Design. Oil filled for LASTING beauty ALL thru the Holidays, and year around enjoyment. • Trapp seasonal Holiday Collection of eight wonderful fragrances, perfect for your home, holiday event or • Back by popular demand, our own Georgia grown, raw special gift giving. “SHELLED PEANUTS,” with tried and true “peanut brittle” recipe ideas. NEW harvest, while supplies last! • THYME Frasier Fir Aromatic Candles A tradition that A 5 lb box, perfect tasty gift. feels right at home. The aromatic snap of Siberian Fir • Olivia Marie’s “SWEETS & TREATS” locally produced needles, heartening cedarwood and earthy sandlewood in Roopville, Georgia. Jellies, jams, veggies, salsa and combine to create a just-cut forest fragrance the evokes more, it’s ALL good! Gift packages available. warmth and comfort. Some might call this • Aspen Mulling Spices and Special Holiday a Christmas candle but it is so much more. drink mixes. Just love that special holiday room This candle is a glowing focal point filling smell. Get yours now! Yummy Good! for entertaining and makes it the perfect choice for any gift giving occasion. • If you like cheese, you will LOVE our genuine old fashioned “Wisconsin Waxed Hoop Cheddar And that ain’t all! Cheese”, 3 lb. rounds in a box, perfect for Make your list, check it twice, then come on entertaining or gift giving. “RED” mild, “Black” for over to, Southern Home & Ranch, we’ve got sharp. Tastes OH! So-Good! what you need, with Service to please. • Clyde Cook, close to home pure “LOCAL” honey Hope to see you real soon, your friends at produced in Ephesus, GA. It’s just the best, and Southern Home & Ranch. good for you too! 1 and 2 LB Bottles.
Southern Home & Ranch Center
1110 NORTH PARK STREET • CARROLLTON, GEORGIA • 770-832-0114 HOURS: MONDAY-SATURDAY 8AM-7PM • SUNDAY 12PM-5PM VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT: WWW.SHRCENTER.COM
Li Ving Volume 7 . Issue 6 Nov. / Dec. 2017 Publisher Marvin Enderle email@example.com
Editor Ken Denney firstname.lastname@example.org
Advertising Melissa Wilson email@example.com
Photographer Ricky Stilley firstname.lastname@example.org
Design Richard Swihart email@example.com
ABOUT THIS ISSUE It’s our annual holiday issue - celebrating the two great feast days of the year: Thanksgiving and Christmas. And we have a feast of an issue for you. We start off with a look at all the different ways folks in west Georgia go to ensure that needy children enjoy the Christmas season. Then we take a look in pictures at how that merry holiday is celebrated in the downtowns of Douglasville and Carrollton. We also travel out to Tallapoosa for the signature event of the New Year: the Possum Drop, which draws spectators from far and wide. Also, Rob Duvé cooks up a plateful of snacks to keep your Thanksgiving guests at bay until the big bird is done. Then we have our annual gift guide, in which merchants across the west Georgia area have some excellent ideas for that
perfect gift - and to encourage you to shop locally and avoid all that big-city hassle. And speaking of gifts, if there’s a book lover in your life - or if you, yourself love books - we have some excellent suggestions for holiday reading material. And do you want to give some furry love for Christmas? We give you some tips and hints on getting a pet. There’s plenty of other things inside this edition, including a feature on local west Georgia artists whose versions of Coca-Cola bottles have wound up on display at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta. And we also take a look at a local artist whose talents are literally rolling down the roads of west Georgia. All of us wish all the best to all of you for this special time of the year. We hope that these days of feasting and gift-giving create fond memories, and that your joy continues long into the New Year!
Departments A R T I S T' S C O R N E R
A childhood fascination becomes a career calling
Snacks to satisfy the palate of all your holiday guests
Consider going green this holiday season
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.
“Scrooged” encompasses many holiday feelings
Direct mail subscriptions to West Georgia Living are available for $24 a year.
Four recommended books for under the tree
Melanie Boyd, Robert C. Covel, Rob Duvé, Susan B. Garrett, Mimi Gentry, Richard Grant, Liz Marino, Erin McSwain-Davis, Joann Madden, Geoffrey Parker, Josh Sewell, Molly Stassfort, Haisten Willis To advertise in West Georgia Living, call Melissa Wilson at 470-729-3237. 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.
Copyright 2017 by the Times-Georgian
6 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
2904 Highway 27 South Carrollton, GA 30117 770-838-9696
MOVING TO A NEW LOCATION THIS FALL TO BETTER SERVE OUR LOYAL CUSTOMERS
CORNER OF OAK GROVE ROAD AND HIGHWAY 27 SOUTH
The Ghosts of Christmas Past
arrison Keillor, who created the mythical Lake Wobegone with his “Prairie Home Companion,” once wrote something that has stuck with me.
past holidays meaningful and many more ghosts at the holiday table. The holidays, once all joy, become also more somber and more reflective.
In describing his youth, and how he experienced holidays, he compared them to planets. Independence Day and Labor Day were small worlds that swung by every year in a kid’s life, Halloween was larger, because of its kid-centered activities and traditions. But the biggest planets of them all were Thanksgiving and Christmas.
It’s not for nothing that Charles Dickens chose ghosts as his messengers for “A Christmas Carol.” When I was younger, I used to think that the combination of a ghost story with a festive holiday like Christmas to be a jarring intersection of two very different holidays. But now I am certain that the ghosts in Dickens’ story are good metaphors for how we experience these holidays.
I think that’s an apt description. Each year, these dates loom on the horizon of our lives, beginning sometime in the early fall. With the passing weeks, they grow larger. We feel their tidal pull increase as we prepare for their arrival, and get caught up in the gravity of their influence over our culture. When we are young, we are removed observers of the ways of the world. We see the adults in our lives – the parents and the grandparents, the uncles and the aunts – rush about as they take charge of the festivities of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our only role as children is to sit down to eat the food, or to tear open the packages. We receive those things that are given. As the years pass and we become parents ourselves, our roles subtly shift so that we direct the show. Somehow, imperceptibly, we are handed the responsibility for managing the family traditions. The folks who raised us sit back and watch, perhaps glad to give up the job, but perhaps also remembering when it became theirs to start with. We experience holidays differently as we grow older. The magic of gifts suddenly appearing one morning under a tree disappears, replaced with a new kind of magic – of seeing the joy in children’s faces, or seeing the sparkle in a loved one’s eye. And as years roll by, we experience them even more differently. The days of celebration and sentimental tradition that once were marked by noise and excitement are now smaller in scale. There are fewer of the people who made 8 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
Now, to be certain, Christmas is a religious holiday with a specific meaning. But it is also a time of great cultural importance. It is the secular meaning of the holiday that causes us to get all mistyeyed and sentimental, remembering the Christmases of our youth, of our younger selves, and those spent with friends and family. The ghosts of Christmas, past, present and future, haunt all of us. We remember the past holidays and play them over and over in our heads like a wellloved record album. We experience the current yuletide season, and we imagine the future, when Christmas will be spent with those who have yet to come into our lives: grandchildren, maybe, or others with whom we can share joy and life. Thanksgiving and Christmas are not only holidays, but annual visitors into the orbits of our lives. Their arrival each year give us the occasion to mark the milestones of those lives, events around which we can coalesce our thoughts and our memories. Time is the arbiter of fates and destinies, and it bends and shapes us as it goes. We grow up and we grow old, we are given duties and we give them up. The illusions of our youth disappear as age gives us wisdom. Holidays are the markers of the passage of time, landmarks on the calendar, that
give us a chance to pause, ponder and reflect on where we are going. The ghosts of our Christmases past guide us into the Christmas of today, and surely point us to the Christmases of our future. We grow up. And as we do, we either learn a thing or two about ourselves or we don’t. If we are careful observers, we cannot help but change and alter course as we proceed from season to season. All of us begin as children, wide-eyed and wonder-filled, and we see the bright twinkling lights and smell the scented air of Christmas and are consumed by the rustle and bustle of everything. Over time, we grow and mature and raise families of our own. And suddenly we find ourselves not only creating Christmas memories for ourselves, but also for others. We can either make those memories happy or sad, but we have no choice at all but to create them. The world of the past grows ever more distant, and the people who inhabited our youth recede into dimming memories. Often, and more and more, I find that many of those who shaped my past, and who have long gone, are now remembered by no one else but me. And that I am the sole trustee and guardian of their lives; the only witness to attest that they ever lived at all. They were not perfect people, and we are not perfect people. Holidays, however, give us a chance to observe those imperfections within ourselves and to amend them, just as Ebenezer Scrooge. The holidays swing past each year like planets in orbit about the Earth. They loom on the horizon, grow larger, then finally zoom past and are gone until next year. It is easy to get lost as the years go by, harder to take stock of the meaning of your days. But the annual arrival of these giant, planetary-sized holidays give us a chance to do just that – if we just take it. We are the adults. We are the ones who run the holidays and create the memories of those who come behind us. What kind of influence will we have been, once we are the ghosts of Christmas past? WGL
Bill Murray as Frank Cross and Carol Kane as the Ghost of Christmas Present in “Scrooged!,” Paramount Pictures, 1988.
Heart triumphs over cynicism in holiday classic
hat is the secret to making a classic Christmas movie? I imagine if we knew that, there’d be far less cheesy Lifetime and Hallmark Channel retreads during the month of December. However, based on the films I find myself returning to year after year, I think I’m brave enough (or foolish enough depending on your perspective) to posit a theory. To me, the best Christmas movies are those which depict the holiday season as a whirlwind of conflicting, oxymoronic sentiments. Yes, Christmas is a time filled with love and happiness, but those feelings are constantly counterbalanced with a barrage
of cynicism and melancholy. That’s certainly the main conflict in “Scrooged,” the 1988 update of “A Christmas Carol”. Charles Dickens’s tale has been adapted hundreds of times, but the Bill Murray version is the only one that has ever truly worked for me. In others, it seems like the Ebenezer Scrooge figure only has a change of heart at the end because he’s supposed to. In Richard Donner’s version (with a
delightfully dark screenplay by Mitch Glazer and Michael O’Donoghue), Murray sells that transformation with a frenetic, poignant monologue that always brings tears to my eyes – no matter many times I watch it. That’s because the enthusiastic, revitalized Frank Cross who delivers that speech is a much different man than viewers have gotten to know over the previous 90 minutes. That old guy was a nasty television executive who represented the pinnacle of ’80s excess, and he clearly relished being a rotten person. But that’s what makes the final moments so emotional. Over the course West Georgia Living November/December 2017 9
of the film, the audience comes to realize the near-tragedy of Frank’s existence. He spent years slowly transforming into a monster (albeit a hilarious one) and it’s only through a spiritual intervention that he’s able to prevent the rest of his life from becoming even more terrible. A series of pivotal decisions led him to his current incarnation, even though loved ones from his past – former girlfriend Claire (Karen Allen) and younger brother James (John Murray, Bill’s reallife sibling) – still hold on to a desperate hope that the nicer Frank is still in there somewhere. That’s where the traditional ghosts come in. The Jacob Marley figure is now Cross’ former mentor Lew Hayward (John Forsythe), a disgusting, rotted corpse that’s a marvel of pre-CGI practical effects. He doesn’t have time for Frank’s patronizing chit-chat, so Lew just tells him he’s about to have a bad night. It begins with the Ghost of Christmas Past (David Johansen), a gruff cab driver who transports Frank to his childhood home. That’s where we see his obsession for television begin, as it allows him to tune out a harsh father (Brian Doyle Murray, another real-life sibling of Bill). But it also allows Frank to experience the love of his mother once again – the first of several emotional moments that begin to crack Frank’s tough exterior. Other cracks form when the violently bonkers Ghost of Christmas Present (Carol Kane) shows Frank what life is currently like for people close to him. How his brother defends his absence at a
10 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
party. How his wonderful assistant Grace (Alfre Woodard) puts up with his abuse so that she can take care of her mute son (Nicholas Phillips) and other children as a single mom. How Claire spends her holidays keeping homeless people from freezing to death on the unforgiving streets of New York City. But what really opens Frank’s eyes – and terrifies viewers – is the arrival of the Ghost of Christmas Future, who turns out to be the Grim Reaper himself. At this point, “Scrooged” switches genres, abruptly changing from sarcastic comedy to legitimate horror movie. Claire has become coldhearted, like her former love; Grace’s son has been placed in a mental institution; and Frank dies alone. The only people who come to his funeral are the ever-faithful James and his wife. Then comes the terrifying, claustrophobic pièce de résistance: we’re suddenly in the casket with a very alive Frank, clawing and screaming as a conveyor belt carries him toward cremation. It’s no wonder that Frank has been forever changed when he’s suddenly back in his office at the network, thrilled to be alive. Viewers are exhilarated as well – the change of scenery is a welcome relief. That’s when Frank rushes downstairs to tell everyone in the building, as well as everyone watching a live national broadcast of “A Christmas Carol,” what he’s learned, pleading with them to avoid a similar fate. Because we’ve lived through this experience with him, and because Murray delivers the speech with such passion – stammering, rambling, and crying,
unconcerned with the fact that he looks like a lunatic –we know this isn’t for show. Frank truly believes. I’m always a mess by this point, but then “Scrooged” has to go and give viewers the Tiny Tim moment, the obligatory scene we had been distracted from anticipating. When it hits, I always feel like my heart is going to explode from joy. Every. Single. Time. That’s a credit not just to Murray, whose blinking, shocked face is delightful, but all the actors involved in the scene. From there, the movie basically fizzles out from a plot standpoint, because there’s nowhere it can go after that incredible one-man show. Instead, it turns into an impromptu sing-along party, where everyone celebrates the miraculous event that has just transpired. That includes most viewers watching at home. Because for most of the year, the world beats us down a lot. Whether it’s financial difficulties, family drama, job stress, political upheaval or – in the case of 2017 – catastrophic hurricanes, many of us are used to feeling burned out, mad, upset or anxious. The Christmas season, filled with its own unique brand of stress, allows all of that to go away for a little bit. We can tune out the pressures of the world, ignore the ads trying to sell us a Lexus with a red bow on top, and focus on what truly matters in life. Or, as Frank Cross so eloquently puts it, “For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be.” WGL
INFORMATION THAT’S GOOD FOR YOU
Tanner’s Advancing Your Health Education Series Helps Residents Learn More About Their Health The world is full of advice. Some of it is good. A lot of it is not. A substantial amount of the advice that inundates us promises to benefit our health. Everywhere we turn, there are solutions for living a healthier, longer and more productive life. And as with all the other advice out there, not all of it is sound. More than a year ago, Tanner Health System embarked on
Special topics have included a discussion by behavioral health experts from Willowbrooke at Tanner on recognizing and preventing adolescent suicide; a urologist with advanced training in female pelvic floor health who led a women’s-only discussion on pelvic health topics; a recurring series of presentations by a board-certified interventional cardiologist on how to live a heart-healthy lifestyle; and a panel discussion from specialists in general surgery, women’s health and urology to discuss minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgical options that are available in the area.
a program to help residents throughout west Georgia and east Alabama cut through the mystifying fog of conflicting opinions being shared through social media and shady websites. The Advancing Your Health Education Series connects area residents with qualified health experts in a number of fields — specialists who have read the research, applied it in practice and know what works. Since it launched, the Advancing Your Health Education Series has hosted discussions from Wedowee to Villa Rica, helping residents better understand their health and the health of those they love. Specialists in a host of fields — heart care, urology, behavioral health, orthopedics, women’s health, surgical care and more — have led attendees through overviews on the ways their lifestyles can impact their health, and the clinically proven medical interventions that are available when something goes wrong.
Since launch, about 1,000 people have attended one of the sessions, which are often facilitated by a physician or a panel of subject matter experts. The classes are free to attend, and dinner is often provided for attendees. Each session is tailored to the individual subject matter, ensuring a thorough discussion of the issues about which attendees want to know more. The presenters take time to ensure attendees understand the topic and take questions at the end. Often, registration staff are on hand to facilitate making an appointment if you’d like a personal evaluation or to discuss the subject further in the privacy of the clinic. Additional topics are planned through the winter and into the spring of 2018. Upcoming Advancing Your Health Education Series classes can be found online in the Classes and Events calendar at www.tanner.org/calendar.
ALLEN’S FLORIST Allen’s Florist has been in Tallapoosa for 40 years. That’s 40 years of delighting customers with beautiful arrangements, children with Santa displays and wonderful Christmas trees, and myriad things from which to choose when looking for that perfect gift. Tommy Allen and his family have the business decorated and ready to go once again this year. In celebration of his 40th year, Tommy has for sale his personal ornament, pictured at right, and handmade by Teresa, Inc.
PHOTOS BY RICKY STILLEY
12 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
November/December 2017 West Georgia Living 13
Pictured at right is the Allen family who make it all possible - from left - Teen allen, Barbara Barkley, Tommy Allen, Fay Mcclendon, Judy Tucker, and in front Sadie Mae Carr and Carson Carr.
820 Dixie Street, Carrollton, GA | 800.763.4444
14 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
Programs in west Georgia help needy children have a happy holiday
or many, Christmas is about taking time to cherish the fortunes of family and special relationships. It’s also a time to focus on what gifts to buy, or to anticipate whether you’ll finally get that cappuccino maker for which you’ve dropping hints all year. But those who find themselves without those bonds or family don’t experience the holiday this way. When there’s no family, no exchange of gifts, and no special gathering, the holiday season is no different from the other days of the year. Christmas is and ought to be a special time for kids, but many don’t have stable families, or anything special to look forward to. In west Georgia, there is a broad and growing coalition of local leaders who have united to provide gifts to children whose circumstances allow no hope of celebration during the holiday season. DOUGLAS COUNTY Superior Court Judge William “Beau” McClain runs “Operation Christmas Douglas County.” In its first year, the program served over 10,000 children at 54 venues with over 1,000 volunteers, in the Douglas community’s first combined effort to ensure no child in Douglas County wakes up Christmas morning without a present under the tree. “A group of church leaders came together and had several meetings during the first part of this year,” McClain said. “We wanted to learn from the experience of the first two years, and make 2017 even better for our
receiving families and volunteers.”
thing wrong with them.
McClain said the program got started when he came into possession of a tractor-trailer load of over 5,700 toys and games that had been rejected as not suitable for sale. The items ranged from action figures to board games, but he saw there was little if any-
“A friend had asked if I could use them, and I said ‘yes,’ and then a few months passed and I’d forgotten about it. Then in July of 2015 he calls me up and says, ‘I’m ready to give you the toys.’”
McClain also heads the Faith in Action group, which works year-round with the less fortunate, and so he alWest Georgia Living November/December 2017 15
Sheriff Phil and Gloria Miller, Judge Beau McClain, and Captain Herb Emory’s widow Karen with Santas Pickup Truck. ready had warehouse space. That’s where he stored the toys. Knowing there were isolated initiatives to help the at-need at Christmas time, McClain decided that a more organized effort was needed. “It just seemed to me that it might be better if we did this collectively as a community and did it together, and we targeted kids whom we could determine objectively were in need,” he said. Operation Christmas was planned as a unified community project to serve Douglas County children who meet identifiable, objective criteria of need. “Operation Christmas Douglas County is an outreach targeting children who receive free or reduced cost school meals, along with children classified as homeless, in foster care and over children at Youth Villages,” said McClain.
one on our team ever knew the identity of a single recipient unless they knew the child (that was) served personally,” he said. Through the schools, a “golden ticket” is offered to each eligible child which can be exchanged for new Christmas gifts. McClain said that donation boxes for new toys will be set up throughout the county where visitors will learn “... that Santa drives a red 1966 Chevy pickup truck when his sleigh is being prepared for Christmas.” McClain says that he expects the program will serve about 10,000 children again this year. One major change this year allows school system families who receive free and reduced-price meals to register for Operation Christmas by computer.
But McClain stressed that the operational guidelines have been modified from the beginning to ensure confidentiality.
On the first day of school, each student received a copy of the registration links with a letter sent home to parents. Managers also set up kiosks at all open houses for parents to apply online for Operation Christmas. Paper registration forms are also available throughout the school system.
“In 2015, the school system went to great length to ensure student privacy, and no
“What we are able to give depends on what is donated, and there are always fewer dona-
16 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
tions for the older children and more for the younger children,” McClain said. “Our first year at the Fire Department venue downtown, the volume of donations for young children was so large that we provided an entire Christmas and then some for many families. We tend to use our cash donations to purchase gifts for older kids because less is donated for them at our collection boxes. However, this year we think that many children will receive more than one gift.” Registration is also occurring at the Douglas County Health Department. All children including infants receiving services at the Health Department who are not registering through the school system with older siblings may also receive from Operation Christmas. “We really encourage parents who receive services at the Health Department to register as soon as possible,” McClain said. “This year, we expect to receive a large donation of infant and toddler toys and some parents will also receive disposable diapers.” Operation Christmas can also be contacted via it’s Facebook Page, or by mail at Operation Christmas Douglas County, 5357 Chapel Hill Road, Douglasville, GA 30135. Financial donations are accepted and tax
deductible; donations of new, unwrapped gifts suitable for children from age 0 years to 17 years are also accepted. Collection boxes will begin to appear all over Douglas County when the Christmas season begins, but Books-A-Million at Arbor Place Mall has continued its third year of partnership and is already conducting a new book drive at its store. CARROLL COUNTY In Carrollton, the Evening Sertoma Club raises money for an Empty Stocking Fund in October and does Letters to Santa in conjunction with the Times-Georgian newspaper. Volunteers buy presents for children – not just the boring practical items such as clothing, but also toys. The Annual Carrollton Empty Stocking Fund Raiser will be held Thursday, November 16, 2017, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Sunset Hills Country Club. Tickets are $35.00 and include hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment, a cash bar, and door prizes, including a live and silent auction. The program is headed into its 71st year since taking over from the Jaycees, said Rebecca Smith, chair, of the Empty Stocking Fund and treasurer, Carrollton Evening Sertoma Club. Ticket sales for the event start in October. On event day there is a silent and live auction, Ms. Smith said. “In the live auction we sell ads to the Times-Georgian newspaper, which has been supporting us since 1946.” In that year, the Carrollton Jaycees began a project called the Empty Stocking Fund to
provide Christmas assistance to needy families. It has grown through the years to the current tax-exempt foundation known as the Carrollton Empty Stocking Fund. This foundation is currently administered by the Carrollton Evening Sertoma Club. “We take all the money raised and serve children in the area,” Smith said. In the current format, the members of the Carrollton Evening Sertoma Club and other civic-minded people in the community purchase Christmas gifts with proceeds from the Empty Stocking Fund Raiser. The program works with local schools to determine recipients and, once the necessary paper work is secured, volunteer shoppers then purchase the gifts, Smith said. “It’s a wonderful program, though without the volunteers we wouldn’t be able to do it, because you physically go out and shop and then deliver to the homes. Not everybody is comfortable with delivery, so we need people who will shop and others who deliver, but there are some who do both tasks,” she said. Last year, about 30 volunteers worked in one capacity or another. The spending limit is $100 per child. The names of the children, the wish lists, and clothing sizes are provided by the school system and Family and Children Services, Smith said. “In order to provide services to more children, we cross check our list with multiple agencies and charities in Carroll and surrounding counties to help ensure our community can meet the needs of our needy
children,” she said. And the program does impact some surrounding locales including 10 Haralson families last year, and another 12 in Heard. In recent years the number of Haralson families has fluctuated between 10 and 12, but rose to 15 families in 2007, Smith said. “Last year we provided for 379 needy children and five local charities cast donations so they could purchase gifts for the children they were working with, which grossed over $50,000,” she said. Smith says she wants to see that number rise to 400 children this year, and that she would love to see donations to the program net $50,000. Funds left over may then go to other recipients identified later in the year through other channels, or may roll-over into funding for the next year, Smith said. Since 2003 through last year, Sertoma Club volunteers working for the Carrollton Empty Stocking Fund, Inc. raised a total of $569,795.00 and donated over $530,842.00, sponsoring over 4,713 children and six local charities, she said. “We make it look easy, but it’s not. (It’s) definitely by the hard work of civic-minded individuals and the good will of our business people in the community and other private donors who have a giving-heart; our participants contribute a tremendous amount for others, we’re in a good environment, and surrounded by solid businesses that give back to the community and local families and individuals who find the need to donate so that other children can be taken care of at Christmas time,” Smith said. WGL
West Georgia Living November/December 2017 17
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West Georgia Living November/December 2017 19
Douglasville City’s Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony kicks off the holiday in style
or more than five years running, the City of Douglasville kicks off the Christmas season in a unique way — with a parade. At night. A parade is something you would normally associate with holidays like the Fourth of July, or with a high school homecoming. A parade for the Christmas season creates a different spin on the holiday, even if it is a little chilly outside. “We try to make the night a free, familyfriendly experience, offering free photos with Santa, photos with live reindeer, snow flocking, a snow show at the lighting and a lighted parade,” said Douglasville Main Street Manager April McKown, who is heavily involved in the event’s planning. This year’s version begins Friday, Dec. 1 20 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
Greg Roberts, Douglasville’s director of Maintenance and Sanitation, gives a ride to Santa Claus during the 2016 annual Christmas parade.
at 6:30 p.m. The theme for this go-round is “Miracle on Main Street,” a combination of the famous movie title “Miracle on 34th Street,” and the Douglasville Main Street program. No need for kids or parents to worry, as both Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand following a journey from the North Pole to participate. McKown said the couple is booked a full year in advance to ensure Douglasville stays on their schedule. The Clauses will be leading the parade, in fact. Once the parade ends, kids can get photos with Santa at the Douglasville Conference Center.
STORY BY HAISTEN WILLIS PHOTOS BY LIZ MARINO
All the floats in the parade feature Christmas lights. They’re required to, which means lights adorning everything from truck beds to pontoon boats. And those who make the best floats will come home with more than just memories and smart phone photos, with awards going to the first, second, and third-best entries. If that weren’t enough, immediately following the parade is the official Christmas tree lighting ceremony, located at the official city tree in front of the conference center and conducted by Douglasville Mayor Rochelle Robinson and city council. This part of the event was added just last year. Caroling groups from both near and far will take over from there, singing everyone’s favorite holiday tunes
hts up the season Horses and riders smiled and waved to the enthusiastic crowd.
Members of New Covenant United Methodist Church provided a rolling reinactment of the Nativity.
to close out the show. “One of my favorite parts of the parade and the tree lighting ceremony is the look on the onlookers’ faces when the tree is lit and the snow begins to fall,” McKown
said. “We love to surprise the public to make this night as magical as possible.” For more information on the event, visit Facebook.com/MainStreetDouglasville. WGL
Two of Santa’s reindeer made a guest appearance during the 2016 parade.
A young man intent on the festivities as he rides a float. November/December 2017 West Georgia Living 21
22 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
Come on out to Tallapoosa’s
POSSUM DROP Several onlookers took holiday snaps of Spencer the stuffed opossum, who, like everyone else, wore raingear during the wet New Year’s Eve celebration in 2016.
West Georgia’s largest New Year’s tradition
othing solidifies the New Year like fireworks, a midnight kiss and … a possum; at least in west Georgia.
In the Haralson County town of Tallapoosa, the annual New Year’s Possum Drop is the highlight of the season. Drawing in a crowd of almost 10,000 onlookers, this small town event is a holiday staple for the west Georgia and Alabama areas.
On the Border, an Eagles tribute band, provided entertainment.
dance of the namesake creatures in the area. To solidify the unofficial possum mascot, Bud Jones, a local taxidermist, decided to stuff and preserve a possum he found on the side of the road in the late 1990s. He named it “Spencer,” after 19th century Tallapoosa businessman Ralph Spencer.
This stuffed possum was the start of a local phenomenon. With just a small gathering of local friends, Spencer deBefore taking the name of the nearby river, scended from the top of the bank buildTallapoosa was ing at midnight on originally coined New Year’s Eve, STORY BY MOLLY STASSFORT “Possum Snout,” an christening the new PHOTOS BY MELANIE BOYD ode to the abunyear. West Georgia Living November/December 2017 23
“Spencer has definitely become the unofficial mascot of Tallapoosa,” says Danny Welch. Welch, one of three organizers of the event, first traveled to Tallapoosa from his home in Powder Springs in 2010, when he purchased the old Merchants’ & Miners’ Bank building in the city. The building, built in 1891, was the first bank in Tallapoosa, and the original location of the Possum Drop. Welch first witnessed the annual event later that same year. “It was really neat, just watching everyone have a good time.” With a background in marketing, Welch decided to join the Possum Drop committee the following year, hoping to bring his expertise to the table and expand the event further. “Each year, it just got a little bigger, and eventually we started getting bigger sponsors and more bands, which then attracted larger crowds.” Originally held on Head Avenue, the drop became such a spectacle it expanded into other areas of Tallapoosa, gaining more 24 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
food and souvenir vendors as the crowds grew.
Eagles tribute band, “On the Border,” will be headlining the celebration.
Now the Drop spans two stages and the streets are filled with vendors offering plenty of coffee and hot chocolate to keep everyone warm during the wait to midnight. The culmination of the evening: Spencer lowered inside his twinkle light-covered wire ball the final minute before the new year.
“We’re really lucky to have them with us this year; they tour all over the U.S. so having them at the drop will be a great show.” Joining the lineup is country band “South of Nashville.” To accommodate the ever growing crowd, the event has expanded its live shows to two stages with a handful of local artists. Making a return is crowd favorite Eric Snyder, a renowned Elvis Presley impersonator.
For years, the host of the party was local radio announcer Rhubarb Jones, who brought his charismatic, down home style to the annual festivities. Sadly, Jones passed away earlier this year, leaving an empty slot for the 2017 host. “Although Rhubarb won’t be with us this year in person, we know whoever takes his slot will keep his spirit going,” said Welch. This year is set to be the biggest drop yet, kicking off at 8 p.m. Dec. 31 with food, local music acts and a kids zone, complete with bounce houses and carnival games. Although the final details of the event were still in the planning process in August,
And after Spencer drops, the finale of the night is a gigantic firework spectacular. “Our firework show this year is over $3,000 and is really going to be a sight. With all of our sponsors and support, our budget has grown to almost $25,000, which allows our team to invite bands and acts from across the country that local residents might not have the opportunity to see regularly.” This is also the third year the event is offering a shuttle service with Haralson County vans. Travelers in town for the event can ride the shuttle from the Hamp-
Celebrants take shelter during the rainy 2016 New Year’s Possum Drop celebration.
ton Inn in Bremen to the Drop, and back again at the end of the night. The Hampton Inn also offers discount rooms for guests coming to see the Possum Drop. “It’s an unbelievable atmosphere; everyone’s having a good time. The crowds now are anywhere from seven to 10,000, but we’ve never had any issues with rowdiness or violence.” If you happen to miss out on the extravaganza, Spencer’s permanent location during the rest of the year is at the Georgia Welcome Center on I-20. As more and more guests see Spencer and hear of the Tallapoosa Possum Drop, the event has gained wide national notoriety. “People are coming from all over – the event is known across the United States,” said Welch. “We had an interview a couple years ago with KFI radio in Los Angeles, which is one of the largest AM radio stations in the nation. CNN has also covered the event before.” One of the largest outlets for the event
was in 2013, when the TLC network shot its New Year’s Eve special for “Here Comes The Possum Drop always concludes Honey Boo with a spectacular fireworks display. Boo” at the Possum Drop. The 90-minute preciate them, and it’s because of them special allowed that we are able to do this every year.” for lots of footage for the event, and gained Tallapoosa national media coverAs the year draws to a close, the hype age. around the drop grows bigger and bigger. With this year poised to be the biggest As attention flourishes so does involvedrop yet, hopefully bringing over 10,000 ment. Sponsors continue to flock from across the West Georgia area to have their viewers, Welch hopes to not just bring visitors to the town, but bring more pername associated with the Possum Drop. manent residents to the charming, small town. “This is not just a Tallapoosa event anymore; we now have sponsors from all over “Our main goal in the drop is not just to the west Georgia area and even Alabama; have people see it, but it’s to bring people it’s really a regional event. We are funded in from other areas to see the west Georentirely from civic and business sponsors gia region, fall in love with it too and within the greater West Georgia area; we possibly move here or open up business cannot express how much we really ap-
821 Dixie Street, Carrollton, GA 30117
770-832-7076 Gifts • Drive thru Service • Free Delivery West Georgia Living November/December 2017 25
LIGHTING THE SQ
An elevated view of the well-lit Adamson Square in downtown Carrollton during the 2016 Lighting of the Squa
You know that Christmas is just around the corner when the City of Carrollton turns on the holiday lights in Adamson Square. New for 2017, Carrollton Main Street will combine both the Lighting of The Square and the Holiday Wishes Christmas Parade. The celebration is scheduled for November 30, 2017.
PHOTOS BY MELANIE BOYD
26 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
Peggy White, Sami White, 5, Valerie Brown, 15, and Stephanie Smith take photos in front of a Christmas tree.
A Christmas tradition in Carrollton
Groups from the Carrollton Academy of Dance performed several holiday inspired routines during the 2016 Lighting of the Square.
Two-year-old Reese Thomas has her photo made with Santa Claus.
Five-year-old Leynna Beasley touches a Christmas tree during the 2016 festivities. November/December 2017 West Georgia Living 27
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‘O Holy Night’ John Berry returns to west Georgia for sixth anniversary of his Christmas show
his is the 21st anniversary of John Berry’s Christmas concert tour around the country. His annual show is one of the most sought-after tickets in west Georgia, and patrons secure their seats early in the year. Berry’s annual Christmas tour will wind up Dec. 23 at the Mill Town Music Hall in Bremen, the sixth time he has brought the show to west Georgia. As the years have gone by, Berry says he has become fond of the music venues he visits each holiday season, and come to know the fans that attend the show. “There is a theater where I have watched young girls grow up over the years of them attending this concert ever since they were youngsters,” said Berry. “In fact, one of those girls actually got married during the ‘O Holy Night’ show, which is just amazing and an honor for me and the band. Berry has recorded more than 20 studio albums, including one platinum and two gold. He has also gotten 19 songs on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, including the number one single “Your Love Amazes Me” in 1994, and six more top 10 hits in a career spanning nearly 40 years. “This entire concept of the Christmas event started at my church (Green Acres)
in Athens, where I started my music career performing in cafes and clubs around UGA,” Berry said. “The pastor at that time was Fred Rowell. He asked me to organize a Christmas show for the parishioners. I closed the show with ‘O Holy Night,’ and the audience was very receptive.” The next year, Berry was asked to return to the church with the same concert. “I added bass and drums while the church pianist came back again to help me put the show together.” As years went by, the congregation increased until it outgrew the church, leading Berry to hit the road for larger auditoriums with more musicians. “I kept adding more instrumentalists like guitar and fiddle. During this time around 1997, the show had to stop because I needed vocal surgery – but I was strong enough to continue the holiday event.” Before the first ‘O Holy Night’ show was created, Berry had met his future wife, Robin, who was a singer who joined the band. “I really needed her for another situation, because when my first country song reached number one on the Billboard Country charts, I was in the hospital not realizing that “Your Love Amazes Me,” was so popular. The problem was I had an aneurism and to this day, due
GEOFFREY PARKER 30 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
November/December November/December2017 2017 West WestGeorgia GeorgiaLiving Living 31 31
a memory loss, occasionally, Robin will come from behind on stage and let me know if I missed a line. We used to do signals as well. She is my rock.”
“I waited until the interview was over, and as politely as I could, and told him that it is a Christmas event and not a Holiday event. The ‘O Holy Night’ concept is about Jesus, and he was born to man and died on the cross for our sins.”
Pastor Rowell believed in Berry and was always encouraging him to go further in his career. When the church became too small for the ‘O Holy Night’ concert, he inspired Berry to take the holy day show to larger venues and, also to continue the country tours.
Berry’s concerts are becoming family-oriented, now that his wife and son (a drummer) are part of the troupe. Berry’s schedule now always includes Mill Town Music Hall. In the last four years word has spread around the state and those shows have been sold out.
The ‘O Holy Night’ album was released in September 1995, and peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart.
“We always love to come to Mill Town. Randall and Tena Redding, and General manager Steve Bennett are like family to us. The staff and volunteers have always been gracious, and they feed us well. It’s gratifying to see an audience that both our country songs and Christmas hymns are appreciated, especially during the High Holy days.”
Berry’s approach to the Christmas occasion has not changed. The first part of the show is Berry and the band playing his hit country songs. Then there is a short intermission, with Berry coming back on stage for the ‘O Holy Night’ section of the concert. “I don’t change my tour songs during Thanksgiving and Christmas. If I am doing the concert in a church, they know who I am, and most of the fans appreciate my country tunes also.” He recounted a recent press interview in
which the reporter mentioned the ‘holiday show.’
For the Best in Customer Service come in and visit
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Berry and his band will be performing at Mill Town on Saturday, December 23 at 7:30 pm. A special event will begin at 5:30 pm for those interested in the Tour VIP Experience package prior to the concert. That includes a Meet & Greet, autograph and photo opportunity, questions and answer time, and Berry will also play a few acoustic songs. For further information, contact the box office at (770) 537-6455, or visit online at www. milltownmusichall.com. WGL
Dr. Donna Thomas-Moses is celebrating 25 years of patient care in Carrollton, GA. We opened our office October 8, 1992, specializing in Periodontics, Dental Implants & TMJ.
Thank you West Georgia!
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Gift Pets HAVE YOURSELF A FURRY CHRISTMAS
f you’ve ever heard that it’s a bad idea to give pets as Christmas gifts, the ASPCA has a message for you: “it’s fine.” But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think some things through before putting a red bow around the neck of a new, furry family member.
how they would interact with the children. All the animals were happy to see the kids. “My husband saw Poppy sitting in her kennel quiet as a mouse,” said Vickery. “He knew she was the one, because she did not bark but watched my youngest, Mckenna. We let her out and she was not interested in any toys or treats – just Mckenna. Poppy even sat in Mckenna’s lap, then she jumped into mine, and that’s when we knew she would be our dog.”
At least deciding where you will find that new critter is easy: the county animal shelter. Thousands of these shelters are overcrowded, bursting at the seams with tailwagging, facelicking love. And the best thing is you don’t have to wait for a holiday. Any time of year is a good time to adopt a pet. Jessica Vickery of Temple, shared her story about why she chose to adopt and how her family ended with the best addition they could possibly imagine: Poppy, a year-and-a-half- old pitbull. “We adopted Poppy on June 29 this year,” she said. “For me, it was important to adopt because they have so many animals that need homes. The thing that got (to) us is that I saw a post from the Carroll County Animal Shelter, just a few days before we adopted Poppy, and it said they were going to have to euthanize 30 dogs if they did not have any adoptions, because they had so many.” Vickery said that when her husband, Jerry, came home that day from work, she told him that she was thinking about taking their two daughters, 5-year-old Mckenna and 34 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
Ariana, 11, to look at the dogs. “With our previous dogs passing away, we knew we wanted another dog again because our children love their dogs,” said Vickery. “We had thought on this for a month. And we knew this time, too, that this dog would be an inside dog. Vickery and her family went to the shelter in the morning to look. They had never gone to a shelter before, so they did not know what to expect. The staff allowed them to take two to three dogs out of their cages to see
STORY AND PHOTOS BY ERIN MCSWAIN-DAVIS
Vickery said that when they adopted Poppy, the shelter was having a promotion, with an adoption fee of $25 for big dogs. She said that adoption from the shelter saved them hundreds of dollars in vet bills, because Poppy was already fixed, had her rabies shot and had been microchipped. “Even with the normal cost of $175 to adopt, you just can’t get a better deal on a dog,” said Vickery. “Many people don’t wish to go to an animal shelter because they want to know where their dog came from, or they want a purebred. But we saw so many breeds at the shelter, so (we know) they have the animals that people want.” Since adopting Poppy, the pup has adjusted well to the Vickery’s home and has even gained a best friend: Midnight, the family kitten. “Poppy is one of the best dogs we could ever ask for,” said Vickery. And she’s learned that
Poppy and her owner, McKenna.
Lisa Mitchell and her son Bill adopted Simon two years ago.
Jersey was adopted by Margaret Lawson last December.
the popular idea that pitbulls are dangerous is a myth. “We have had her around other dogs, and we have taken her to the pet store, and it turns out that she is actually scared of other dogs. You can’t look at the breed; you have to look at the dog’s temperament. Even two dogs in the same household can have different temperaments. Just like humans, every dogs is different.” “Because every animal, especially dogs, act differently with different people, I personally don’t think they should be a gift,”
said Vickery. “It took us a month to finally decide we should consider just looking at a dog – and we also planned a time when the whole family could go, because it is a family commitment.” “Adopting is not for everyone,” said Vickery. The person getting the animal should be part of the decision, and no one should give someone an animal they’ve never met. “If you want to buy your significant other an animal, just give a gift certificate, because then they can pick out the animal.” And, of course, owning an animal is a life-
Kayla Rae Wiley got Oreo from the Carroll County Animal Shelter.
long commitment. “The kids have responsibilities with the animals,” said Vickery. “They help me with Poppy, but it is a big responsibility that requires everyone working together to take care of the dog. “She is not going to be gone in a month or two; it will be years of care for this dog. Even if you want to give your kid a pet, you have to consider that the animal could still be around when the child leaves to go to college. Be willing to commit for the long haul.” WGL West Georgia Living November/December 2017 35
Shot Spot offers unique gift ideas - for women
f you’re shopping for a Christmas gift for a special woman in your life, you might not think of a gun store as the place to stop. But the Shot Spot on Hays Mill Road in Carrollton is much, much more than a place to find firearms. The Shot Spot concept was developed in 2013 from a combination of the love of shooting sports and hunting, and a passion for fashion. The owners knew that at traditional big-box firearm retailers, the female customer was largely ignored. So they decided to merge a safe, clean and female and family-friendly environment with a traditionally maleoriented market for firearms enthusiasts. Shot Spot provides the same attention to detail, commitment to excellence, and a true passion to both shooting sports and fashion. We offer a unique shopping experience to the West Georgia area and beyond. With the holiday season in full swing, Shot Spot features one-of-a-kind apparel for women and men, and handcrafted, artisan jewelry and accessories. We believe everyone has a unique style story to tell, and we want to help you tell that story—whether it’s in what you wear, how you act or how you express yourself. Our retail team is always searching for the highest quality merchandise to bring directly to our customers to help you define yourself and tell your story. Shot Spot offers a selection of clothing and accessories for every style. For her, the top brands such as Kendra Scott and Southern Tide. We offer personal protection items other than firearms such as pepper spray. Our classes and private lessons are great for the entire family. For the guys of course. we have firearms, ammo, and a great selection
for hunting season. We can also outfit you for any event. At Shot Spot, our Mission is to serve ... to serve our clients by providing a unique, exceptional, and memorable experience, whether that happens to be in a class in the firing range, perusing our fashion collections, or getting fitted for the right firearm. We do this with a passion, driven by our core values and centered on our commitment to provide the best selection of products for the shooting sports industry in an inviting, unintimidating, and family oriented atmosphere. We believe this environment of safety, education and training increases firearm skills, which makes for a safer community. • • • • • • • • •
Shot Spot carries a selection of clothing and accessories for any and every style. Top brands such as Kendra Scott, Southern Tide, Fish Hippie, and more…. Shop personal protection items such as pepper spray Tuxedo Rentals for formal holiday events. Classes and private lessons make great gifts. Wide Selection of guns and ammo Accessories for life indoors and outdoors. Spending time on the range is a great family event or team building Now booking holiday parties and events.
Shot Spot Gift cards & Memberships are the best gifts for anyone on your list.
The merchants of Carroll, Douglas and Haralson counties have everything you need for a memorable Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday. So why fight the crowds in metro Atlanta? Stay home, shop local, and make the people in your life happy with these terrific gift ideas.
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THANKS SNACKS for the
Easy noshes that will keep your guests at bay until dinner is ready
STORY BY ROB DUVÃ&#x2030; PHOTOS BY RICKY STILLEY West Georgia Living November/December 2017 45
is the Season once again to make plans for out-oftown guests and family, shopping to feed hungry hordes, and to concoct some way to survive – despite your guest’s different tastes, the task of getting them all fed. And of course, dealing with that one relative/ friend who is unbearable during the holiday visits.
and play with, alter, or otherwise make them their own and smoked salmon, sometimes called lox, is a place where improvisation is easy as can be. So long as the base mixture of salt and sugar are used, the spice combinations are endless. Here is one of my favorite smoked salmon recipes. Pastrami Cured Salmon
Purely for the sake of argument, let’s call that guest (and we all have one) Uncle Trent. This fictional, yet all-too-real uncle will, like everyone else, arrive hungry. He’ll come through the door with one eye on the table, the sideboard, or other places where the snacks are usually presented. And he’ll arrive just when the house smells amazing from the slow roasting bird, aromatic stuffing, and perhaps a lovely Pork Loin Roulade with Apple Gravy (see a previous edition for that recipe). So, for this year, I would like to focus on the snacks that keep the masses at bay and Uncle Trent’s fingers out of the pots and pans – as well as out of your way. Some of these snacks are traditional and some aren’t, but we know that I tend to break away from traditions and just focus on what’s good Cured Salmon or Gravlax Traditional in the Northeast, Cured Salmon is ever-present during the winter and is a staple at the holidays. Traditionally served with hard cooked egg, diced red onion, and cornichons, it’s complicated flavors mask the truth that it is incredibly simple to make. What’s more, the basic recipe can be altered to create numerous flavor profiles to 46 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
suit your tastes, or even region. 1 whole side of Atlantic salmon, skinned 2 cups kosher salt 2 cups organic sugar ¼ cup fresh dill, finely chopped ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped 4 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper 2 tablespoons white pepper 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. In a pan with high sides and large enough to hold the salmon while lying completely flat, spread a quarter-inch layer of the spice mixture in the bottom. Place the skinned side of the salmon on that layer of spice, and coat the top side of the fillet with the remaining spice. It may seem like a lot, but it will be needed. Cover the fish directly with two layers of cling wrap and place a cutting board or other weight on the top. Place in the bottom rear portion, or the coldest part of the refrigerator. The salmon should cure within 36 hours but may take additional time. The fish will be cured when it no longer springs back when lightly pressed. Slice very thin on an extreme angle with a very sharp knife and serve. I always encourage people to take recipes
1 whole side of Atlantic salmon,
skinned 2 cups kosher salt 2 cups organic brown sugar 1 cups shallots, finely diced ¼ cup smoked paprika ¼ fresh cracked black pepper 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest 2 tablespoons ground mustard seed 2 tablespoons ground coriander seed ¼ cilantro, finely chopped
Mix all ingredients and follow the curing instructions above. If you have the means to cold smoke (smoking under 120 degrees), smoke for 30 minutes with alder or apple wood. Baba Ganoush Flatbread with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes This most certainly falls under the guise of not being a traditional holiday dish, but its flavors can’t be beat – and the eggplant and citrus flavors bring a taste of summer back to chilly holiday times. 3 large eggplant, sliced ½ inch thick ¼ cup tahini (a condiment made of toasted sesame seeds) ¼ cup good quality olive oil, plus extra for drizzle
Baba Ganoush Flatbread with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Meatballs with sauce
The juice of two lemons 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half 1 pint crimini mushrooms, sliced thin 3 cups feta cheese 10 pita breads Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place eggplant slices on a sheet pan large enough to hold them all, rub with olive oil, then salt and pepper them. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the eggplant is thoroughly cooked and slightly mushy. While the eggplant is roasting, place the cherry tomato halves on another sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. These will roast about the same amount of time as the eggplant. While these are roasting, sauté the crimini mushrooms until just tender. Remove the skin and place eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice in the food processor. Puree until very smooth and adjust to taste with salt, pepper, lemon, or tahini as needed. Assemble the flatbread by making a layer of baba ganoush on the pita bread, much like using sauce on a pizza, then dress with roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, and feta cheese. Bake the assembled flatbreads in the 350-degree oven for 15 minutes and cut into finger sized
pieces. Be careful not to hurt Uncle Trent, because as he will be reaching for these. Meatballs If you go to an event in the Northeast, you’ll find The Big Sandwich. In the South, it’s Potato Salad. Where I’m from, if you go to and event and there aren’t meatballs, there will probably be a small riot until some are either made or found. For the meatballs 2 pounds 90/10 ground beef 1 cup panko bread crumbs 1 cup heavy cream 2 eggs, beaten ½ cup shallots, finely diced 3 tablespoons minced garlic 3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped 2 tablespoons butter sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste 1 standard broom For the sauce 2 cups beef broth ½ cup sour cream ½ cup yellow onion, finely diced 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon ground allspice 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg Using the broom, scare Uncle Trent away from the kitchen, then preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Add heavy cream to the bread crumbs and set aside. Sauté shallots and garlic in butter until just translucent then let cool lightly. The bread crumbs will have become stiff from absorbing the heavy cream, so blend the beaten eggs to loosen them up. Add all ingredients to the ground beef and mix well. Form into 1 ½ inch balls and brown in a frying pan dark brown. In a large skillet, cook the flour in butter until the flour becomes just barely tan in color, then add onions and allow to cook until they get slightly soft. Whisk in the beef broth to thicken to a thin gravy. If the sauce is too thick, simply add some additional broth. Add remaining ingredients and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the sauce into a large cake pan and add meatballs. Place in the preheated oven and allow to cook for 20 minutes. Serve hot – but they are also very good at room temperature. With the snacks on the table and Uncle Trent safely snacking his way to a predinner nap, you are now free to finish West Georgia Living November/December 2017 47
another fantastic holiday meal complete with all the trimmings.
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As I always try to do this time of year, I’d like to take a moment and extend not only Holiday Blessings from my family to yours, but to once again express how important these culinary events are to family and friends who you consider family. As humans, some of our oldest traditions of friendship begin with breaking bread, the fall harvest of plants and animals, and a wellprepared meal, shared with those we hold dear. I personally hope that the busy holiday season grants you enough time to enjoy these moments and reflect on what the past year has meant – and perhaps what the coming year will bring.
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And remember, you did invite Uncle Trent after all, so he really can’t be that bad. Maybe you can teach him some manners over the coming year. As always and with warm holiday wishes, Enjoy! WGL
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Going for the
holidays Cardboard Christmas Treess
hristmas is truly the most magical time of the year! Unfortunately, it is also the most wasteful.
The festive season has a huge environmental impact in terms of water use, greenhouse gases and land disturbances caused by the creation and consumption of our favorite holiday staples. According to the EPA, Americans throw away an extra one million tons of things between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. If we could each reduce our own eco-footprint just a little, it
would go a long way towards protecting our environment as we celebrate, decorate, give gifts, and travel this holiday season. There are many simple ways to “green” your holiday season by reducing, reusing and recycling. For example, if every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 28,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a
SUSAN B GARRETT AND JOANN MADDEN
bow around planet Earth. Just three presents wrapped in reused materials would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. In fact, the 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year are enough to fill a football field ten stories high. Sending just one less card would save 50,000 cubic yards of paper. Granted, that is probably more statistical information than most of us care to remember. Nevertheless, as good stewards of our earth, let us think about what can be done West Georgia Living November/December 2017 49
to reduce the one million tons of extra trash.
as a houseplant or planted in the yard or garden. If the decision is made to chop the tree, “Bring One for the Chipper” is Georgia’s annual Christmas tree recycling program. We can support this recycling project by taking the cut Christmas tree to a designated drop-off site. According to the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation, The Home Depot is a statewide sponsor of this recycling project. It is important to realize that in giving gifts, sometimes less really is more! The holidays always leave an excess of “stuff” that will end up in the landfill or in a yard sale next July. Wrapping paper should be kept to a minimum, and it can be put in a compost pile if it is not foil based or glossy.
We can all do our part to help limit the amount that goes into the landfill. Be creative this holiday season; after all, creativity involves breaking out of established patterns to look at things in a different way. Family traditions make the holidays memorable, not the stuff we see in stores. Some of these traditions have been handed down from generation to generation, but it is never too late to start new holiday traditions. Add a little spice to the holidays by incorporating new ideas along with the old. Environmentally friendly ideas are offered here to help future generations become more conscientious about taking care of our planet. A living Christmas tree First things first – let us look at Christmas trees, the focal point of our holiday décor. Herb wreath Instead of chopping down a perfectly healthy tree, we could opt for a more eco-friendly and interesting alternative. By recycling some old cardboard boxes, a minimalistic 3D tree can be created to However, if a real Christmas tree is a decorate with lights and baubles, just like must, consider getting a potted, living any other. The bare-branch Easter tree tree. It will still have the fresh festive can be converted into a Christmas tree by smell, plus it can be enjoyed year-round decorating with ornaments and lights. Rustic snowflakes
Pinecone Rudolph 50 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
Before we purchase paper or gifts, let us take time to think about the individuals on our list, and what that person really needs. We can personalize each gift whether it is made with love, or purchased with value, purpose and meaning. Giving an experience or a memory is an excellent alternative to giving stuff. Some ideas might include a short trip, lunch at a favorite restaurant, a prepared meal, a batch of brownies, a car wash, or a ticket for a few hours of help around the house or yard. By getting our children and grandchildren involved, we can share a valuable
lesson in helping others, saving versus spending, and “going green.” Earth-friendly decorations
also looks and smells great in any room of the house. Christmas truly is the most magical time of the year and the best time to “go green.” For those of us who are not wreath magicians, the Carroll County Master Gardeners’ Annual Wreath and Potpourri Sale can help us with the “green” this holiday season.
We can make other changes, such as making our own earth-friendly Christmas decorations. Most would cost mere cents to make, as these require recycling and upcycling what we already have and foraging for what we do not have. Imagine for a moment, a fragrant wreath using items from the herb garden. Weave together lavender, rosemary, bay leaf branches and any other herbs, then add a splash of color and texture with red chilies and garlic bulbs. It would look perfectly lovely hanging in any kitchen during the holidays. Some other ideas might give the perfect excuse to head out with the family on a nature walk, in search of acorns, bark, twigs and pine cones. Pinecone wreath Rustic snowflakes can be fashioned from twigs, pine needles, berries, old buttons, ribbons and a little Go green, set an example glue. Try adding a little sparkle with glitter, spray paint, or a snowy feel by brushing Finally, going green can include the aroma with glue and sprinkling with Epsom salt. of potpourri and wreaths handmade of fresh They can be made as individual and unique greenery from the backyard or woods. This as real snowflakes. Just add a little burlap will surely put you in the holiday spirit and ribbon, and they are ready to hang. create excitement about the season ahead. Get the kids involved to create the cutest Rudolph ornaments from pinecones, by adding a red nose, wiggly eyes, and a few twigs for antlers. A pretty pine-cone wreath can be put together in a circular design and completed by reusing a bow from last season.
Potpourri can be made by blending woodland treasures with dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and cloves for a perfect spicy scent. Making our own potpourri means our families will not be exposed to toxins found in store bought blends, and it
The sale begins with the Holiday Bazaar on November 18, at the East Carrollton Recreation Center, 410 Northlake Dr. from 9:004:00. The wreath sale continues at the Carroll County Ag Center, 900 Newnan Road, Carrollton, on November 20, 21, 22, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, December 1, 2. The hours for the sale varies, but will be open most days from 10:00-2:00. For further information, contact a Carroll County Master Gardener Extension Volunteer at the UGA Extension Office, 900 Newnan Road, Carrollton or call 770-8368546. If we make changes with our own wasteful habits, our children may adopt these changes as their own. It takes only a small commitment from each of us to help protect the environment. We can start by going “greener” for the holidays, and set a great example for generations to come! From unique trees, personalized gifts, earth-friendly ornaments and decorations, to potpourri and fresh wreaths, we might be surprised at our own creativity. WGL Susan B. Garrett and JoAnn Madden are Carroll County Master Gardeners and Extension Service volunteers.
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Four west Georgia artists featured in World of Coca-Cola Gallery
West Georgia artist Lee Laney. All photographs courtesy of The World of Coca-Cola.
oca-Cola is one of the oldest and most widely recognized brands in the history of marketing. And by working with some of the greatest commercial artists in the world, the company has learned a thing or two about pop culture. If you visit the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, you’ll even find the Pop Culture Gallery, filled with works by artists who express themselves with images of the brand.
“It’s filled with examples of Coca-Cola’s presence in popular culture through art, crafts, music and TV,” said Craig Lovin, creative director of the museum. “We’re endlessly fascinated with and fond of how people translate our brand into their own art – artists like Andy Warhol, Howard Finster and Norman Rockwell have all
been exhibited there.” In addition to this world-famous collection of talent, the gallery is currently exhibiting work by four west Georgia artists: Lee Laney, Gerald Byrd, Gordon Chandler and Steve Penley. Lovin said the number of artists from the west Georgia area was pure chance. “We have artists from all over the world exhibiting work here, but no place that is as West Georgia Living November/December 2017 53
Two different pieces by artist Gordon Chandler
well represented as the west Georgia area.” “This year, we celebrated our 10th anniversary by commissioning 10 artists from the Atlanta area to paint these giant Coke bottles. We canvassed the area to put together a diverse show. We saw Lee Laney’s work online and tried to get in touch with him. At first, Lee thought I was a scammer. He couldn’t believe we had found him and picked him.” When asked how it feels to have been picked for such a prestigious exhibit, Laney, a local studio artist said, “How does it feel? Well, I get a kick out of telling people I have something in a gallery in Atlanta (and) being shown with pieces by Andy Warhol and Howard Finster that will be seen by 1.2 million people this year.”
ing him around. As they looked at all the art displayed there, Craig noticed that Lee was among three other west Georgia artists being represented. “It was surprising to realize the high volume of talent that had come from that one area.” Lovin went on to describe the other artists: “Although Gerald Byrd is a trained artist, his piece in our gallery has a great folk-art feel and is on permanent display here. Steve Penley has depicted Coke bottles for a long time in his paintings; originally, we saw his work in a private collection and thought it would look great in our gallery. We actually commissioned him to make a collage out of pieces of old Coca-Cola ads for us. Gordon Chandler ordinarily sculpts in metal, but we saw a print piece that he did, using Coke bottles and ink to make impressions on paper, and we loved it. Now it’s in the gallery.”
Lee is considered a “folk artist” (mostly selftaught, although he took Trudy Duncan’s art classes at Central High School, and one drawing class at the University of West Georgia). He credits much of his success to the sheer volume of practice he’s done over the years. Laney was born into what he describes as a “long line of creatives.”
There is an unusually vibrant arts community in the west Georgia area, and many speculations as to why. When Laney was asked, he had a definite opinion.
When Lee delivered his finished piece to the Pop Art Gallery, Craig Lovin began show-
“I would suggest that the presence of the University of West Georgia has fostered
54 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
a community wide environment, where artists like the four in the World of CocaCola are allowed to create whatever they want. If you compare the output of each of us you get a pretty wide set of creations, and that says nothing of what you find if you dig deeper into our local creative community: Alan Kuykendall. Tom Nielsen. Cameron Covert. It is not a short list.”
Tim Chapman, Superintendent of the Carrollton Cultural Art Center also acknowledges the deep pools of talent that exist in this area. “Four local artists exhibiting in the World of Coca-Cola Pop Gallery is exciting, but not surprising. These same artists have also been exhibited right here, in the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center and we know how amazing they are. But we are very proud that members of our artist community have been selected to exhibit there. I think it is a true testament to the fact that the artists in west Georgia represent some of the finest artists in our state.” All four west Georgia artists will be exhibited in the World of Coca-Cola’s Pop Art Gallery through May 2018. WGL
Artwork by Lee Laney
Artwork by Steve Penley
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randon “Rat” Stephens can trace his life’s work all the way back to what he enjoyed doing as a kid.
Growing up, the Bremen resident was that kid in class who was always picking away at drawings of a ‘57 Chevy or some other classic car. He just couldn’t take his mind off cars or drawing cars – and that was a problem. Teachers got onto him for not paying attention. He was told more than once he’d never get anywhere with his drawings. The first week of his senior year at Villa Rica High School was the last bit of formal schooling he’d ever get. “Me and school, we didn’t get along too
56 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
well,” Stephens said. It turned out all right. Today, Stephens is a one-man business, operating as S&S Studios. He’s primarily an automotive pinstriper, painting swirls, stripes, cartoon characters or whatever else a customer asks for on the sides of custom cars and trucks. His work can be seen driving around the Southeast and even overseas, and literally on the storefronts of businesses like Villa Rica Ink, and Ink Rush Tattoo in Carrollton. Because Stephens’s work is his passion, the
STORY BY HAISTEN WILLIS PHOTOS BY RICKY STILLEY
drawings still come rather naturally and he finds it rewarding. But that’s not to say his career path was easy. Stephens spent time early on laboring at restaurants and junkyards, doing iron work and metal fabrication. Like many creative types, he found the monotony and repetition unbearable. He still created artwork, just not always the traditional kind. Graffiti became a hobby, and the sides of old buildings around town became his canvas. And this led to a big breakthrough. Stephens’s parents, Ricky and Diane, stayed supportive, and his mother discovered that Six Flags Over Georgia was seeking a few artists to create work looking, more or less,
Breman man’s boyhood hobby becomes a career in automobile pinstriping
like graffiti. Stephens showed up for an interview with a couple of drawings, and before he knew it, he was training for the job. Ultimately it didn’t work out, but Stephens now knew there was a true market for his work.
Two incidents, one in 2000 and another in 2004, sparked his career as a selfemployed artist, even if neither of them seemed so at the time. In 2000, Stephens threw out his back lifting a 48-inch super swamper tire. In 2004 he again injured his back, this time plucking a 13-inch road tire from a Volk-
swagen Jetta. That second time, he was nearly immobile for a year and a half. Paint brushes aren’t quite so heavy. Out of necessity, Stephens began pinstriping to make money, and more than a decade later, the work still goes strong. “It was a blessing in disguise,” Stephens November/December 2017 West Georgia Living 57
Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina.
The work keeps him busy and no two days are the same. Sometimes Stephens, now 37 and married to Lacy Stephens, simply draws pinstripes on the body of a car. Sometimes, however, it’s a wild designs or familiar characters, a Tweety Bird here, a SpongeBob there. Sometimes the customer comes with an idea, sometimes they tell him to have at it.
Stephens wasn’t always a big fan of pinstriping, finding that type of decorative paintwork was too often ugly, too bulky and too blocky. His style is different, both unique and understated at the same time. The best advice he received early on was “keep it simple.”
“I never know from one day to the next what I’ll be doing,” Stephens said. “It could be a 1909 Pierce Arrow, then a 2017 Dodge Ram the next day, then after that a 1940 Ford or a Model A. You just never know.” Most of the time he drives out to a customer rather than the other way around. Clients can be found all over the South in places like
58 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
Even with his success, Stephens learns something new every day and looks to make his craft better and better. He knows other pinstripers with 50 years of experience who do the same. “If you meet a pinstriper who says he knows everything, he ain’t worth a damn,” Stephens said. When he arrives at a gig, Stephens comes armed with a 110-pound box containing all
his paints and brushes, turpentine, measuring tapes and other supplies. He then cleans up the area where he’ll be working and gets started. It generally begins with a center design, then, in Stephens’s words, he creates the design he sees in his head.
straighteners. Even Yeti mugs. And sometimes he even works on an easel.
“Their eyes light up, their mouth widens real big.”
“I create canvas paintings. I paint toasters, car hoods, toilet seats,” said Stephens. “Nothing is safe around me.”
Customers come to him mostly through word of mouth or through his Facebook page. Big O Street Rods in Bremen is a big client.
And even though his art has long since became a source of income, Stephens hasn’t lost the love of his craft. The best part, he said, is seeing the response of a satisfied customer.
The experience is even better when the face is that of a child. Stephens designs custom Christmas ornaments for a couple of clients. Their children sometimes recognize him when he is out and about, and run up to give him a hug.
And his artwork isn’t just limited to cars. He’s also pinstriped hair dryers and
“Most of the time you can see the reaction on someone’s face immediately,” he said.
“I love seeing the reaction on a kid’s face,” Stephens said. “If my artwork makes a kid happy, that’s the ultimate payoff.” WGL
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H Roopville Homecoming 2017 had a little bit of something for everyone, from a parade featuring the Cental High School Marching Band; Uncle Sam handing out flags, the American Legion paying tribute to our country with a flag raising; the singing of the National Anthem by Julie Lowry; shopping; activities for children of all ages; and a special presentation honoring Roopville resident Ray North, who was also Grand Marshal. Photos by Ricky Stilley
60 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
West Georgia Living November/December 2017 61
Book gifts for Four choices in four genres for the bibliophiles on your list SOUTHERN
“Desperation Road” Michael Farris Smith Little Brown and Co, 2017
he “Road Not Taken”, the “Yellow Brick Road”, “On the Road” — all metaphors for the paths of our human journey. Michael Farris Smith’s intriguing novel puts his readers on that path along with his broken characters, all are trudging on intertwining paths toward hope or despair
Russell Gaines leaves prison, his sentence complete, but still faces retribution for his actions. His path leads him to Maben and her young daughter Annalee — sunburned, broke, and exhausted — as Maben clashes with the law, protecting herself and Annalee from violence and corruption. Despite Russell’s own problems, he risks his freedom and life to help the desperate mother and her child, taking them to his father’s place for sanctuary. Russell dreads his eventual clash with the Tisdale brothers, who are searching for Russell to exact revenge for what they believe are crimes against their family. Michael Smith’s plot follows these characters’ paths as their destinies collide. Smith’s prose gives vivid physi-
cal detail and insight into his characters. Larry Tisdale, eager for revenge against Russell Gaines, “felt his blood rising as if he were beginning to melt inside, his rage stoking the heat in his veins.” In contrast, Maben and Annalee appear fragile, “Their cheeks red and sweaty from the heat and traces of sunburn beneath the streaks of the blond, almost white hair of the child.” Their desperate hunger and exhaustion push them almost to their physical and emotional limits. Smith shows Maben on the verge of collapse, but struggling to remain strong for her vulnerable daughter, revealing a fierce maternal urge to overcome every challenge. The characters in “Desperation Road” struggle against the desolation of human needs. Despite their own suffering and challenges, Maben and Russell face their own potential tragic ends, risking possible personal sacrifices to help one another and their family members. While the gates of despair challenge them to abandon all hope, the end of the novel offers a promise of forgiveness, love, and fulfillment at the end of the roads they travel. Smith’s novel is well-written, interesting and insightful, a thoughtful and uplifting story about the human pilgrimage.
ROBERT C COVEL 62 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
About the author Michael Farris Smith is a native of Mississippi who has lived in France and Switzerland. His writing has received many awards, and he has been published in the New York Times, Catfish Alley, Deep South Magazine, and many other publications. He lives in Mississippi with his wife and two daughters.
r book lovers FANTASY
Cosmic Kitty: A Mindful, Metaphysical Journey Shan Gill Balboa Press, 2017.
would rather see this world through the eyes of a child.” The song from Aurora, the Norwegian singer, reflects the innocence and openness of childhood often evident in children’s books, especially in fantasy. As with many of the classic children’s books such as “Peter Pan,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” Shan Gill’s book tells the story of a child who travels to a different world and learns to see life in a different and transformative way. The book’s protagonist, Cosmic Kitty (or CK as her friends call her), lives in the fifth dimension, a world parallel with our own and much different from our reality. In Cosmic Kitty’s world, she can communicate with animals and plants, as well as with the sun, the moon, and the Earth. Because she is adventurous and curious, she discovers a portal to another dimension, another world (like the wardrobe in C. S. Lewis’s book) and is transported to a new reality, the third dimension – our world. CK meets her other self, named Katherine, and has a series of adventures as she learns to cope with her new environment while teaching Katherine about her own world. When Cosmic Kitty returns to that world, she has changed Katherine’s world, as she herself has a new awareness of reality.
Gill’s style allows the book to work on more than one level to reach more than one audience. On its simplest level, the book appeals to children. The illustrations, simple line drawings that Gill did as a child, appeal to children because the children can easily copy them. On another more mature level, Gill uses these adventures to introduce her readers to a world view of parallel dimensions, of energy vibrations with magical powers, of mindful meditation that helps Cosmic Kitty to cope with and to understand the world. Interspersed with the novel’s plot, Gill explains the elements of her metaphysical views so the reader understands why CK responds as she does to the strange, new world in which she finds herself. Because CK sees our world as an unusual place, we are invited to look at our world view with new eyes. The story of a young girl traveling to new worlds, having adventures, then returning to her own world is one of the most archetypal tropes in literature. Gill introduces readers, especially older readers, to an alternate reality, more cosmic and more metaphysical. Those ideas, sometimes labeled New Age, have their basis in more ancient civilizations, and uses them to create a captivating children’s book. As Hamlet says, “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
About the author Shan Gill is a Carrollton native who works as a life strategist and coach. As a practitioner and student of metaphysical studies, she leads workshops on the corporate and personal level. She has a BA from St. Andrews College and an MBA from Georgetown University. November/December 2017 West Georgia Living 63
CHILDREN “She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World” Chelsea Clinton Philomel, 2017.
resident Calvin Coolidge once said, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Even “Silent Cal” spoke at length about the value of this quality as a means of achieving great goals. Chelsea Clinton’s book provides thumbnail sketches of a variety of American women who persisted in their personal and professional challenges and who serve as sources of inspiration for young women everywhere. Clinton’s choices for her sketches include well-known and lesser-known women from a variety of cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. They include Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, and Nelly Bly, all of whom overcame challenges in their own lives to promote women and social issues. Clinton also includes women in the arts (Native American dancer Maria Tallchief and actress and media superstar Oprah Winfrey) and in politics and law (Congresswoman Margaret Chase Smith and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor), From athlete Florence Joiner to astronaut Sally Ride, the women in this book have persisted to become leaders in their fields, thus inspiring future generations of women to succeed. The style of the book should appeal to young readers. Clinton includes a few sentences describing the challenges that each woman faced and the way she accomplished her goals. Each text includes the phrase “she persisted,” connecting each sketch to the book’s theme. Clinton also adds a quotation from each woman about how she faced her obstacles to success.
pics carrying the American flag inspire pride and patriotism. Each of Boiger’s illustrations conveys the emotions that the subject felt as she persisted in accomplishing her goals.
Alexandra Boiger’s vivid illustrations show each woman as she persists with courage and fortitude. The image of Harriet Tubman leading young families with children to safety depicts the tension of the escape from slavery, while the images of Florence Joiner running as a little girl and crossing the finish line at the Olym-
While the biographies of each woman are brief, they may serve as springboards for more discussion between parents and children and perhaps research into other books on the women. The young readers of this book may be inspired to work more diligently toward their own goals, to see themselves as strong individuals who
64 West Georgia Living November/December 2017
may affect their own world through confident, persistent effort. About the author Chelsea Clinton is the daughter of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton. She received an undergraduate degree from Stanford, Masters degrees from University College, Oxford and Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Oxford. She is the Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation.
POETRY “Little Wanderer” Jennifer Horne Salmon Poetry, 2016.
eclusive American poet Emily Dickinson wrote “There is no Frigate like a Book/To take us Lands away.” Jennifer Horne, as an accomplished poet and world traveler, relies on books and on more conventional means of transportation in her own explorations. She has covered a large swath of the world’s geography, the subject of her collection of poetry; but her work goes beyond the typical travelogue as she describes, not just the physical world, but also the history, mythology, and present cultures of her destinations. Horne’s book is divided into four sections, reflecting the four compass directions. The section “South” concentrates on Mediterranean cultures, primarily Greek and Roman. Horne includes meditations on the lives mythological figures: Pasiphae, the mother of the minotaur; Odysseus, the epic hero; and Sappho, the Greek poet, all come to life as real human beings. Exploring Mediterranean geography, her poems connect present with past. The section “East” focuses on the history and culture of Romania (especially Bucharest), the Czech Republic, and other countries in that region, concentrating on the political and military unrest in that part of the world: “Bucharest was a city/of pale survivors/when we arrived, /city of minds freshly cut/with memories of want./ I learned slowly/ the cruelties of Ceausescu.” Horne provides details that give the reader a unique and sometimes depressing perspective not found in
most travel literature. The poems in the section “North” are set in the United Kingdom, including England and Ireland. The section includes serious poems such as “Lockerbie, Spring 1989: A Chorus,” as well as lighter poems. “Coffee Table” gives a picture of Virginia Woolf and other literary figures that is at once lighthearted and thoughtful. Horne includes more humorous poems on statues and effigies on tombs. “Dead Tired on St. Stephen’s Green” ends a meditation on death with the lines “Stretched supine, relieved, finally, /we give up the lie of verticality.” The poem “the Statue Speaks,” from the perspective of an anonymous statue, ends with “My only consolation, /dear lady, is the view.” Finally, the section “West/ Home” (perhaps the most approachable for the reader) includes poems on the American South, the geography and culture. Her poem “Monroevillanelle” refers to Harper Lee, while others give images of the Southern geography and people. References to roadside honey stands and wisteria (“Local Honey”), kudzu (“Mystagogue Dream Poem with William Christenberry”) and cardinals (“Two Red Birds”) connect this section of the book to Southern readers’ daily experiences. “Little Wanderer” allows the reader to travel with the poet, covering the geography of space and time, of culture and history. The tone of the poems ranges from the serious and intellectual to the playful and humorous. Like Emily Dickinson, we travel on the backs of the poems as Horne serves as our tour guide around the globe. WGL
About the author Jennifer Horne was raised in Arkansas and now lives in Alabama. She has lived in Bucharest, Romania and Oxford, England and has traveled widely throughout Europe. She has published poetry, short stories, and essays and has taught writing to children, to university students, and to women in prison. She has received fellowships in Alabama and Florida. West Georgia Living November/December 2017 65
West Georgia businesses answer consumer questions Three things you must do to prevent winter damage to your Irrigation System. NG TURF ..............................................67
Broken Bones in Dogs and Cats Carroll County Animal Hospital. .................. 70
A Funeral and a shocking reality you may not have realized
The Heritage School. ...............................68
Scott & Ellen Wynn McBrayer/ Jones Wynn Funeral Home........................ 71
Seasonal Affective Disorder Tanner Health System
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NG TURF BRINGS YOU THE BEST OF THE BEST THREE THINGS YOU MUST DO TO PREVENT WINTER DAMAGE TO YOUR IRRIGATION SYSTEM
Winterizing your irrigation system is a must if you hope to continue to use it next spring! To keep your irrigation system safe when the temperatures dip, do these three things before the first freeze. 1. Insulate
Wrap all above ground pipes and valves in foam insulation or cover well with pine straw. These parts are susceptible to freeze damage since they are exposed directly to the air. 2. Deactivate
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If your system is controlled by a digital timer, set it to â&#x20AC;&#x153;rain modeâ&#x20AC;? to deactivate the system. This will save all of your settings for next spring, saving time and aggravation. If your system works with a timer dial, you should unplug it from the power source for maximum energy savings. For either type of system, disconnect the wires that power the pump to prevent damage that can occur if the pump runs when the system is dry. 3. Evacuate
To prevent cracked pipes, removing the water from your piping system is critical. You can remove enough water by turning off the water supply and running your system through 1 complete cycle. The water in the system will run
downhill to the lowest heads and drain out. The remaining water will not be under pressure and is unlikely to cause damage when temperatures dip since the ground isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t likely to freeze at the depth of your pipes. An irrigation system blow-out is an advanced do-it-yourself project. Mistakes can damage your irrigation system or cause serious injury. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s better to leave it to the pros. You may be wonderingâ&#x20AC;Ś â&#x20AC;&#x153;But, what does my lawn need now?â&#x20AC;?
To help your lawn bed down for winter, you should apply a winterizing fertilizer to give your warm season grass a jumpstart in the spring. Use an 18-15-20 mix in September or early October for potassium supplementation. Dormant lawns still need water to stay alive. Aim for at least 1 inch of water every 14 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 21 days. If we experience long periods without rain, you may have to water your lawn. Just be sure to water midday when air temperatures are over 40 degrees to prevent ice from forming. Your sprinkler system is on winter hiatusâ&#x20AC;Ś so, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pack the hose away! You may need it sooner than you think.
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What every West Georgian should know about... ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
Many people think of Environmental Education as simply teaching about recycling or water conservation. Environmental Education, (or EE as it is known) is a process that allows individuals to explore environmental issues, engage in problem solving, and take action to improve the environment. As a result, individuals develop a deeper understanding of environmental concerns and acquire the skills to make informed and responsible decisions regarding their impact on the environment. Implementing organized efforts to teach how natural environments function and how human beings can manage behavior as well as ecosystems in order to live sustainably are the ultimate goals of an Environmental Education program. As one can see, these are commitments to behavioral change that need to be made, and thus the word â&#x20AC;&#x153;processâ&#x20AC;? is most important in the definition of Environmental Education. The awareness and conversion takes time.
Environmental Education Coordinator/Teacher at The Heritage School Qualifications After graduating from Heritage (class of 2003) , Ben earned a Bachelor of Science in Wilderness Leadership and Experimental Education with a Minor in Environmental Studies from Brevard College in North Carolina. It was during these years that Ben realized that he might like teaching as a career. Employment as an outdoor instructor and counselor at the Boojum Institute in California, where he engaged at-risk youth in outdoor therapy that taught group dynamics, coping skills, self-reliance and leadership in the wilderness of places like the Sierra Nevada Mountains, reinforced the idea that he liked working with youth and wanted to teach.
outside or bringing nature indoors provides an excellent backdrop or context for interdisciplinary learning. 6. Biophobia and nature deficit disorder decline By exposing students to nature and allowing them to learn and play outside, EE fosters sensitivity, appreciation, and respect for the environment. It combats nature deficit disorder, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s FUN! 7.
Healthy lifestyles are encouraged
EE gets students outside and active, and helps address some of the health issues we are seeing in children today, such as obesity, attention deficit disorders, and depression. Good nutrition is often emphasized through EE and stress is reduced due to increased time spent in nature.
It is important to start teaching the youngest students about the environment to create environmental awareness. Their understanding of what impacts the environment grows and they develop skills to help resolve environmental challenges. Participation in activities that lead to the resolution of environmental challenges 8. Communities are strengthened being the ultimate goal of the program. EE promotes a sense of place and connection through community involvement. Top 10 Benefits of Environmental Education (From the Environmental Protection When students decide to learn more or take action to improve their environment, Agency website) they reach out to community experts, donors, volunteers, and local facilities to help 1. Imagination and enthusiasm are heightened bring the community together to understand and address environmental issues impacting their neighborhood. EE is hands-on, interactive learning that sparks the imagination and unlocks creativity. When EE is integrated into the curriculum, students are more enthusiastic 9. Responsible action is taken to better the environment and engaged in learning, which raises student achievement in core academic areas. EE helps students understand how their decisions and actions affect the 2. Learning transcends the classroom environment, builds knowledge and skills necessary to address complex Not only does EE offer opportunities for experiential learning outside of the environmental issues, as well as ways we can take action to keep our environment classroom, it enables students to make connections and apply their learning in healthy and sustainable for the future. Service-learning programs offered by PLT the real world. EE helps learners see the interconnectedness of social, ecological, and other EE organizations provide students and teachers with support through economic, cultural, and political issues. grants and other resources for action projects. 3. Critical and creative thinking skills are enhanced 10. Students and teachers are empowered EE encourages students to research, investigate how and why things happen, and make their own decisions about complex environmental issues. By developing and EE promotes active learning, citizenship, and student leadership. It empowers youth enhancing critical and creative thinking skills, EE helps foster a new generation of to share their voice and make a difference at their school and in their communities. informed consumers, workers, as well as policy or decision makers. EE helps teachers build their own environmental knowledge and teaching skills. 4. Tolerance and understanding are supported I hope these â&#x20AC;&#x153;top tenâ&#x20AC;? benefits will give you the confidence and commitment to EE encourages students to investigate varying sides of issues to understand the full incorporate EE into your curriculum! picture. It promotes tolerance of different points of view and different cultures. 5.
State and national learning standards are met for multiple subjects
By incorporating EE practices into the curriculum, teachers can integrate science, math, language arts, history, and more into one rich lesson or activity, and still satisfy numerous state and national academic standards in all subject areas. Taking a class
Learn more at www.heritageschool.com
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 EHVW WHDFKHUV LQ *HRUJLD FKLOGUHQ Ă&#x20AC;QG EDODQFH at The Heritage School - balance that empowers them to think creatively, act independently, and feel compassionately.
APPLY ONLINE NOW www.heritageschool.com Bus Service Available from Carrollton To schedule a tour contact: Lory Pendergrast, Director of Admissions email@example.com 2093 Highway 29 North | Newnan, GA 30263 | 678.423.5393
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What every West Georgian should know about Seasonal Affective Disorder
John Miller, MD
Behavioral Health of West Georgia
Qualifications: Dr. Miller is a psychiatrist with Behavioral Health of West Georgia, part of Willowbrooke at Tanner. He earned his medical degree from St. Georgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies, and completed his internship and residency in psychiatry at Metropolitan Hospital Center in New York City.
Q. What is seasonal affective disorder? A. Seasonal affective disorder â&#x20AC;&#x201D; appropriately shortened to â&#x20AC;&#x153;SADâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is a mood disorder that often accompanies the onset of shorter days and colder temperatures. SAD is a form of depression that significantly affects as much as 6 percent of the U.S. population, while as many as 20 percent of Americans may experience a less severe form of winter-onset SAD. Women, more so than men, tend to experience SAD. Q. What are the symptoms of SAD? A. Like other behavioral disorders, SAD is recognized by its symptoms. People experiencing SAD tend to experience an increased appetite â&#x20AC;&#x201D; especially a craving for carbohydrates, like pasta and bread â&#x20AC;&#x201D; as well as a lack of energy and the desire to sleep more. As with nonseasonal depression, people experiencing SAD also may experience intense sadness and difficulty concentrating. Q. What causes SAD? A. Researchers are still trying to reach a more definitive cause to SAD, but work done in the area so far suggests
that the disorder results from a disruption in the bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s circadian rhythm â&#x20AC;&#x201D; oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;body clock,â&#x20AC;? if you will. Limited access to daylight, a natural source of vitamin D, and decreased outdoor activities share blame for the disruption. Q. What can I do about SAD? A. Whenever faced with the symptoms of depression â&#x20AC;&#x201D; whether seasonal or not â&#x20AC;&#x201D; you should speak to a physician. He or she is best qualified to discuss your symptoms and determine the best course of treatment. Among the methods he or she may suggest to control the symptoms of SAD are increased physical activity, engaging more with your friends and loved ones, and focusing more on pleasant thoughts and activities. Light therapy, which uses an electric light source that mimics exposure to sunlight, may also help.
For more information, visit www.WillowbrookeAtTanner.org or call Willowbrooke at Tannerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s free, 24-hour help line at 770.812.9551.
Ashley seems to have it all. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pretty. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s popular. She makes good grades. But she seems so sad. Willowbrooke at Tanner can help you or someone you know get back to life.
Willowbrooke at Tanner offers free, conďŹ dential mental health screenings and services for adults, adolescents and children with behavioral, emotional and substance abuse problems.
For more information about Willowbrooke at Tanner, visit WillowbrookeAtTanner.org or call 770.812.9551.
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Jason Harden, D.V.M
Carroll County Animal Hospital
Qualifications: Dr. Jason Harden is a native of Carrollton, GA. He graduated from Oak Mountain Academy and continued on to the University of Georgia where he received his degree in Biology and his doctorate in veterinary medicine. His interests in veterinary medicine include surgery, exotic medicine, and ophthalmology. Dr. Harden is married to Chloe Harden, and they have 2 children, Maggie and Reese. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Animal Hospital Association. He is the chairman of the Oak Mountain Academy school board, a member of the Carrollton Lions Club, and on the board of directors of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.
What every West Georgian should know about broken bone in dogs and cats. In the past, when a pet presented with a fractured leg we would have to refer to a University hospital, amputate, or cast the leg. Referral to another city for surgery is time consuming and can be cost prohibitive. Amputation werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the best choice because no one wants their pet to lose their leg due to an unfortunate accident. Casting a limb in pets is challenging to keep the cast on and clean and dry. The client were often left wrestling with this decision and trying to make the best one for their pet. Recently Carroll county animal hospital has added the specialty of bone plating to save pets from having to be transferred to another hospital, saving pet owners time and money in surgical bills, all while maintaining healthy patients and happy clients. Traditional plating systems called compression plates were used and would hold the bones together using the strength from the bone while they healed. One problem that can arise with compression plating system is the screws would loosen and back out causing plates to fail and the fracture doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t heal properly. With the introduction of locking plates, plate and screws lock together to
form a more solid union and patients develop less complications. In 2012, the locking plate system in a retrospective study by veterinary journal of orthopedics was found to have a 97% success rate.
We are able to use this locking plate system on very small dogs to very big. We are also able to use this plating system on many different fracture types. We are pleased at Carroll County Animal Hospital to be the first in this area to offer this new technology to our patients and clients. If your pet needs an orthopedic consult or just a second opinion feel free to contact us. 770-832-2475. We are here when you need us most.
For more information, call 770-832-2475 or 770-834-1000 or visit www.carrollcountyah.com
Animal Hospital Sometimes your petâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health care canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be scheduled Office Hours: Mon. - Sun. 8am - Midnight Regular Office Hours: Mon. - Sun. 8am - 6pm
NOW SERVING YOU FROM TWO LOCATIONS 635 Columbia Dr. Carrollton, Ga. 30117 (770) 832-2475
1155 Stripling Chapel Rd. Carrollton, Ga. 30116 (770) 834-1000
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West Georgia businesses answer consumer questions
What every West Georgian should know about... A funeral and a shocking reality you may not have realized...
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 have a funeral? Most of us have never confronted that question. It’s a heartbreaking time and you are faced with making decisions about the kind of funeral you want for a loved one. The term “funeral” sometimes may evoke negative feelings. Whether you call it a funeral, a tribute, a celebration of life or a gathering - the intent is to plan a time of remembrance, a time to honor the life and legacy of the person and to share the expression of love, sadness, and memories with others. What are some values of a funeral? Here are some thoughts on the value of the funeral for you to consider. When bad things happen to us the first thing we want to do is establish the significance of the event. Even when others face shocking life-changing events it’s human nature to ask others, “Do you know what happened?” “Did you hear about it?” Everyone who feels the pain in their heart has to share the experience in some way. That is establishing significance and it’s natural. We establish significance in the moment by needing to “tell our story”. You can see this in children who have fallen and their need to tell everyone about their “boo-boo” and the band-aid they have over their “pain”. The child talking about the band-aid and
their fall is their way of establishing significance, they are telling their story.
What do significance and understanding have to do with the funeral? Once you discover the need for significance you will begin to understand the vital importance of the funeral. When someone we love has died, the ceremonies and the funeral process established the significance of the person and the significance their loves have had in our lives. If we can establish significance, we can move on; if we can’t then grief and grieving become a much more difficult and delayed process. We all understand ourselves and that we need to have a time of reality and mourning when someone dies. The funeral is that process establishing the significance of the loss. Establishing the significance for you, your family, and your friends. Upcoming Q&A: We will continue to explore how to build memories and planning a meaningful funeral in a way that will establish significance and what it all means from our experience.
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Pelvic health issues can be uncomfortable to discuss, but they’re even more uncomfortable to live with. Tanner Women’s Care offers comprehensive, specialized pelvic health care — ranging from treating a common urinary tract infection to pelvic reconstructive surgery — for women of all ages. Our board-certiﬁed team of gynecology and urology specialists have the expertise to diagnose, treat or surgically repair a wide variety of female pelvic conditions, including:
Bladder cancer Bladder control issues Burning with urination Chronic pelvic pain Fecal incontinence Female pelvic reconstruction Female sexual health Kidney cancer Kidney stones Overactive bladder Painful bladder syndrome
Experience vital, compassionate care that is as special as you are. Visit TannerWomensCare.org or call 770.812.6972 to ﬁnd a pelvic health specialist.
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