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CONTENTS MAY-JUNE 2019
18 | I’m with the Band Local bands kick start their careers at area’s live music venues. By Emily Kimbell
22 | Singing Up a Country Storm Charles Durrough and his talented friends and family perform at the Music Barn in Sargent. By Jeffrey Ward 10 | www.newnancowetamag.com
30 30 | Making Music the Wright Way Four generations of Newnan’s Wright family make music their way. By Jackie Kennedy
36 | Your Hometown Newspaper Expands its Digital Footprint The Newnan Times-Herald goes high tech with digital media, podcasts and more. By Neil Monroe
44 | Celebrating a Classical Life Charles Wadsworth’s 90th birthday celebrated at auditorium named for him. By Sue Mayer Davis
56 | The Hills are Alive The Sound of Music’s Maria provides a backstage look at the upcoming production. By Emily Kimbell
in this issue 12 | From the Editor 14 | Roll Call 41 | Nonprofit Spotlight
48 | Coweta Cooks! 52 | Coweta Cares 56 | Coweta Arts 60 | Coweta to Me 61 | Coweta Calendar 63 | Book Review 64 | Blacktop 66 | Index of Advertisers
HOPE for Children & Families
on the cover
For Newnan native Adam Wright, music begins with writing the song. ➤ Making Music the Wright Way,
page 30 Photo courtesy of Adam Wright
may/june 2019 | 11
Letter from the Editor
Music in their Bones
f music is food for the soul, Coweta County is fast becoming a smorgasbord. Whether you’re looking for a dish of rhythm and blues or a big helping of bluegrass, there’s plenty to fill your plate. American-Russian fantasy writer Vera Nazarian uses a different metaphor: “If music is a place,” she says, “then jazz is the city, folk is the wilderness, rock is the road, classical is a temple.” In this edition of Newnan-Coweta Magazine (NCM), our Music Issue, The Cellar is the city, Adam Wright is the wilderness, the Alamo is the road, and Wadsworth Auditorium is the temple. Continue on this path, and Charles Durrough’s Music Barn in Sargent is the metrodome, Brickhouse is the highway, and Newnan Theatre Company is the stage in lights. In these pages, you’ll meet a few music makers whose art was born or honed in Coweta County, like Lerogie Sims, a guitarist/singer who routinely performs at the Alamo, and Kiser, a family band from Sharpsburg. We’ll visit with Lamar and Cathy Wright and their sons, Brian and Adam, to chat about family musicianship that’s four generations strong. And we’ll kick back with some country crooners at Durrough’s Music Barn. We take an inside look at preparation for Newnan Theatre Company’s May production, “The Sound of Music,” through the eyes of NCM contributing writer Emily Kimbell, who stars as Maria in the beloved musical. She’ll give us a backstage look at what it’s like to put together this worldrenowned masterpiece at a community theater. We observe the 90th birthday of Charles Wadsworth, one of the most influential musicians to ever call Coweta County home. The classical pianist was celebrated in March at the annual Friends of Wadsworth Concert, which featured internationally acclaimed musicians performing in his honor. And we introduce you to a new program that utilizes music to stimulate the memory of those residing at local assisted living communities like Insignia and Benton House. It’s amazing to watch folks with diminished memories at the moment they recognize a tune they recall from the big band era. It’s even sweeter to hear them sing along, recalling each word and hitting the right notes at the right time. Even nonverbal residents are moved by the music which leads them to hum and clap, smile and remember. “Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words,” says Rolling Stones legend Keith Richards. “It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.” Surely, the two Charleses, Wadsworth and Durrough, and the musical Wright and Kiser families have music flowing through their bloodstreams. And the sweet spirits who sway to the rhythm at Benton House and Insignia? If it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.
Jackie Kennedy, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org 12 | www.newnancowetamag.com
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Roll Call Marty Hohmann is a career journalist whose sweet spot is in good, old-fashioned storytelling. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, gardening and making her home a place where people want to gather around the dinner table and share a tale or two.
Susan Mayer Davis lives with husband Larry and golden retriever King Charles V (Charlie). “Have computer, will write” is her motto. What she enjoys most about writing for NCM is meeting great people when she researches articles and then sharing their stories. “It’s fun,” she says, “but it’s also a privilege.”
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Beth Neely is a Coweta native and co-publisher of The Newnan TimesHerald. When she’s not working, she can usually be found up to her elbows in a garden or catching critters with her kids. She lives in Newnan with her family.
Emily Kimbell is an English doctoral student and graduate teaching assistant at Georgia State University. As an active member of her community, she enjoys archiving artifacts at the local historical society, exploring the city’s historic cemetery, and acting in local theatre productions.
Neil Monroe is a retired corporate communicator whose career included positions with The Southern Company, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola Enterprises. His roots are in community journalism, having worked 10 years with local newspapers in the South Metro area. He and his wife, Rayleen, live in Sharpsburg where they enjoy tennis, golf and grandchildren.
Sara Moore’s friendly smile is the first to greet you when visiting The Newnan Times-Herald. Her warm and welcoming nature influences her photography by putting her subjects at ease. She enjoys living the quiet country life while residing in Newnan with her husband, horses, dogs, chickens and ducks.
From our readers Dear Editor, WOW, WOW, WOW!!! You blew the doors off with the Lewis Grizzard feature in the March/April issue of Newnan-Coweta Magazine! Love the very creative artwork, and the stories and interviews were so good. I really enjoyed the whole piece. — Carol Chancey Moreland Cultural Arts Alliance
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Lerogie Sims routinely performs at The Alamo in downtown Newnan. (Photo by Beth Neely)
18 | www.newnancowetamag.com
locals pursue music dreams Written by EMILY KIMBELL
Music is a central part of American life, and that is no exception for Cowetans, many of whom choose to make music their career, even though a difficult and saturated industry significantly lowers the odds of making it big. Those odds don’t stop three local bands—Trio, Lerogie and Kiser—from following their passion. The three Coweta County-based bands are in different spots in their musical careers. Trio, an acoustic cover band based in Newnan, consists of veteran musicians Joel Mangrum, vocals/ drums; Kenny Lee Rogers, lead vocals/guitar; and Nick Lott, guitar. They describe themselves as a family-friendly, fun-loving band that covers every genre of music from country to rock to Disney. Lerogie Sims of Newnan considers himself first a guitarist and then a vocalist. After a successful career as a guitarist in other bands, Sims now performs as a rock/R&B artist doing both solo acoustic shows and full band shows with local musicians. The band Kiser has turned their musical pursuit into a family affair with mother and children may/june 2019 | 19
Below, Christian Kiser performs with his family band at Brickhouse in Newnan. (Photo Courtesy of Kiser)
Despite the odds, several popular musicians grew up in or gained recognition while performing in Coweta County, including:
Above, Melody Kiser entertains travelers on a Melissa Etheridge cruise.
This percussionist, band leader, songwriter and record producer influenced the rise of disco music and Motown Records.
Alan Jackson A country music living legend, he’s been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and has numerous No. 1 hits to his credit.
Doug Stone A major player in country music during the 1990s, Stone’s hits include “I’d Be Better Off (In a Pine Box)” and “A Jukebox With a Country Song.”
Charles Wadsworth The music promoter and classical pianist has performed for five U.S. presidents.
(Photo by Dawn Curran)
sharing the stage. The Sharpsburg family band exudes talent with matriarch Aundie Kiser as the keyboardist; Christian Kiser as guitarist, violinist, bassist and singer; and Melody Kiser as singer, lead songwriter, guitarist and saxophonist. The rock band features Gary Hebert on drums. Though each band has had different experiences, the musicians have much in common. Each shares a love for music that started at an early age. The members of Kiser have a genetic predisposition for music; they say it’s in their blood. Aundie has played music her whole life. Her grandfather sang in a gospel music group, and her dad played the organ. Christian and Melody followed suit with Christian picking up the violin and Melody learning saxophone; however, guitar was the real passion for both siblings. Sims was 10 when he started teaching himself to play guitar, and he received his first instructional book at age 13. He fell in love with the music business hard and fast. “I started playing for pay when I was 12,” he says. “I made my first hundred bucks, and I was hooked. Since that gig,
I was playing somewhere every single weekend.” Now as seasoned performers, the artists say it’s the audience that truly inspires them. “When we stand behind the mic, we are there to entertain,” says Trio’s Mangrum. Rogers adds: “But the audience entertains us, too, with the dancing, stomping their feet, bobbing their heads, and singing along.” Audience interaction is key, and Mangrum advises, “Go out into the crowd and talk to them, get to know them. They will come back and see you. That’s how you get your following.” Rogers says it isn’t always about huge crowds; sometimes a gig is worthwhile because of one person. “We ran into an older gentleman, and his wife had passed away,” he says. “He wanted to know if we could play their song. It’s really humbling—those types of situations. It doesn’t matter what happens the whole night. That one song for that one person makes it all worth it.” Aundie, Melody and Christian feel similarly about their fans. “Kiser fans are the best fans in the
world,” says Aundie. “We know we have lifelong friends. There are faces out there we recognize from show to show.” That isn’t to say that being a local band doesn’t have its downsides. “I feel like the title of ‘local band’ is difficult because it’s hard to get constant traction,” says Melody. While Kiser and Sims agree the Coweta County audience is a great one, they say it can be difficult to inspire local fans to come to every show. “I have a killer fan base in Newnan, but they know they can catch me any time,” says Sims. Despite the obstacles, each band strives toward its goals. Trio wants to keep performing for personal enjoyment. “We stay as busy as we want to be,” says
Mangrum. “We have no desire to make it big. We’ve already been down that road. For us, it’s just fun.” Sims focuses his efforts on songwriting: “If I could fill a room with 100 people who are there to hear my music, I wouldn’t be mad at that at all. I want to see if I’m the kind of artist that can come up with music that people want to hear.” Kiser is ready for the next phase in their career. They were invited performers for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Rock Tour in January and will be opening for a number of large acts this year. All view music as an outlet for expression. “It’s addictive,” says Trio’s Lott. “And we don’t know how to not do this.”
Trio performs at Johnny’s Pizza in West Point, from left: Nick Lott, Joel Mangrum and Kenny Lee Rogers. (Photo Courtesy of Trio)
local venues host live music Live music has become a staple at venues throughout Coweta County, adding to the area’s emergence as an arts and music town. “Newnan and Coweta County have always been a little bit of a hub for aspiring musicians,” says Matt Larsen, owner of Brickhouse Grille and Tavern in Newnan. “There’s a lot of local talent around here.” Larsen is no stranger to local talent; he’s been part of the local music scene since he opened his first location of Brickhouse here 10 years ago. “Some of the kids who started playing here when we were down the street have made it and gone on to Nashville,” says Larsen. Stardom can emerge at any moment as karaoke nights and battles of bands become increasingly popular. Nick Alvarez, a frequent karaoke participant, fondly remembers an unexpected performance at a Friday night karaoke party at RPM Full Service Patio Pub & Grill in downtown Newnan. “My friends and I heard a soulful blues singer take the mic,” says Alvarez. “Turns out, the cook had taken a short break from the kitchen to sing a song. He was amazing.” Amateurs, professionals and everyone in between have plenty of places to perform around town. Venues like Brickhouse and The Alamo offer large stages and equipment to accommodate full bands. At the Brickhouse, “everything is here ready for bands to play. Lights, speakers, sound guys—it’s all here,” says Larsen. “The Alamo has the same deal. The way that place is shaped and because of their really good sound guy, the sound is amazing there.” Alamo Manager Brett Murphy says the venue on Newnan’s court square has hosted everything from dueling piano players to jam bands and deejays. “The popularity of live music has grown in Coweta over the last 15 years that we’ve been in business,” says Murphy. “Even the local breweries such as Abide and Wild Leap are getting in on the act.” Other Newnan restaurants and businesses that offer live music routinely include The Cellar, The Mad Mexican, The Half Shell and Vinylyte, which provide intimate spaces for performers and listeners. Greenville Street Park is home to Jazz in the Park and Artz in the Park, two annual outdoor music/dance festivals. Main Street Newnan sponsors the Tucked Away Music Festival in the fall, and Pickin’ On The Square is a favorite attraction during first Saturday Market Days on Courthouse Square in Newnan. NCM
may/june 2019 | 21
Written by JEFFREY WARD | Photographed by SARA MOORE
or more than a decade, a local singer-songwriter, his family and friends have been making music almost every Thursday night at what they’ve dubbed Charles Durrough’s Music Barn. It may be one of Coweta County’s best-kept secrets.
Charles and Mary Ann Durrough routinely welcome visitors to their Music Barn in Sargent on Thursday nights for old-fashioned country music entertainment and singalongs.
22 | www.newnancowetamag.com
A prolific songwriter, Durrough invites his neighbors to come on over to the music barn each week for an evening of old-fashioned country music. Located at the corner of Smith and Burnham Roads in Sargent, the barn—actually, an old skating rink—is well-concealed but worth finding. As they enter, visitors weave down a
Charles Durrough says heâ€™s written more than 5,000 songs. On Thursday nights, he plays some of them as well as songs written and recorded by favorite country music artists.
may/june 2019 | 23
“The appeal of old-time country music is the story it tells and how the words are easier to hear, understand and appreciate. So much of modern country music emphasizes the rapid boom-boom-boom of loud rhythm and bass, which drowns out the lyrics.” — Charles Durrough
narrow aisle with mounds of vintage flea market merchandise on either side. Once inside the music studio, décor prominently featured on the walls includes the American flag, dozens of country music photos and related memorabilia. The atmosphere is warm, patriotic and sentimental. Relax into one of the two dozen easy chairs facing the stage, and you’ll enjoy an evening of spirited and sometimes soulful music performed by various members of the Durrough family. Durrough and company have been performing weekly at their cozy venue for 11 years. All are welcome, and since
Joining to sing and play for family and friends are, from left, Clyde Durrough, Roger and Sherry Fields, Don Mattingly, Breckin Griffin, Charles and Mary Ann Durrough, Zack Whitley, Bobby Welch and Terry Durrough.
Visitors to the Music Barn enjoy a few hours of strumming and singing from some of the area’s best unsung musicians and vocalists. 24 | www.newnancowetamag.com
a family atmosphere is encouraged, no smoking or alcoholic beverages are allowed. Not only is admission free, but the Durrough family often puts out complimentary coffee and snacks, too. A life-long Coweta County resident, Durrough can’t remember when music was not in the fabric of his life. “Our family grew up poor, but we all shared the joy of music,” he says. “As a kid, I remember at Christmastime some 50 members of our extended family crowded in for Southern gospel singalongs.” Starting at age 10, he performed throughout the South, playing guitar
Clyde Durrough joins music lovers in Sargent for family-style country music picking and singing.
may/june 2019 | 25
Retired Coweta County Schools Superintendent Bobby Welch is a regular attendee and performer at Thursday night hoedowns at Charles Durrough’s Music Barn.
and often signing self-penned songs to adoring audiences, mostly in Georgia, Alabama and Florida. He recalls a 1950s incident in Newnan involving the late, legendary Sheriff Lamar Potts of “Murder in Coweta County” fame. “My older brother Clyde and I would park at the courthouse square, open our car trunk, and play and sing for anyone who would listen,” he says. “Pretty soon, we caused traffic jams around the square with our popularity. Sheriff Potts finally came to us and asked us if we could please find an empty parking lot to sing in.” His life of singing and performing led to Durrough being inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010. When he wasn’t performing, Durrough made his living selling furniture in Newnan and Sargent. He still enjoys gardening on his 14-acre farm in Sargent and sells flowers he’s 26 | www.newnancowetamag.com
Roger Fields shares his musical talents.
Charles and Mary Ann sing with Sherry Fields accompanying on guitar.
grown to local farmers markets. He takes pride in the fact that he’s planted and nurtured 35 peach trees. But the Hall of Fame inductee is most proud of his songwriting. “I’ve written about 5,000 songs,” he says, naming titles that run from the whimsical “My Woman Has Gone Wal-Mart Crazy” to the nostalgic “40 Years Down the Road.” Although he never got them published, he and family members continue to sing their favorites. A Vietnam veteran, he would like to publish and eventually hear on the radio one of his favorite self-penned songs, an anthem titled “Bring Back America.” He recently recorded several of his favorite songs in hopes of publishing the compilation. Durrough enjoys all types of music.
On guitar, Don Mattingly performs for the visitors at the Music Barn in December.
may/june 2019 | 27
His personal favorites include Hank Williams, Gene Autrey, Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves and Elvis Presley. Just about any Thursday night at the barn, you’re sure to hear something from this set of country masters. When asked the difference between country music in the era of Williams and Cash compared to what’s on the radio today, Durrough has definite opinions. “As a musician, I can tell you a slower number is harder to play well than something that is faster and more upbeat,” he says. “The appeal of old-time country music is the story it tells and how the words are easier to hear, understand and appreciate. So much of modern country music emphasizes the rapid boom-boom-boom of loud rhythm and bass, which drowns out the lyrics.” The singer-songwriter pays homage to his Christian roots at the Music Barn by performing Southern gospel numbers with his wife, Mary Ann, accompanying on vocals. At 77, he admits one of his favorite tunes is “I’m Too Old to Rock ’n’ Roll, So I Just Rock.” Durrough exudes modesty and sincerity when he explains why he puts together the
Charles Durrough welcomes his granddaughter, Piper Binion, to the stage.
Little Luke Whitley gets in on the music fun with his grandparents, Dan and Fran Whitley. 28 | www.newnancowetamag.com
weekly three-hour music program, for free, at the barn. “The modern world has largely gone speeding by me, so I want to give folks a little time to slow down to the pace of yesteryear and experience a little peace and relaxation away from their troubles, even if it’s just for a couple of hours,” he says. Indeed, all attending a December jam expressed great appreciation for the family’s gift of hospitality and music. Joe Crain, owner of Crain Oil Company, was in attendance, as was former Coweta County Schools Superintendent Bobby Welch, who took a turn at the mic to
Zack Whitley routinely performs with Charles Durrough, locally and in Nashville.
strum and sing for the audience. The Durrough family’s music now stretches through three generations with Charles and Mary Ann often joined at the barn by their children and grandchildren. One of his sons plays lead guitar, a grandson plays bass and everyone sings, including his 7-year-old granddaughter. Convince Charles you have a passable singing voice and can play an instrument worth a lick, and he just might invite you on stage to play along. If you’re really good, he may hand you the mic. And, if you happen to play a good country fiddle or banjo, drop on by the barn as soon as you can. He’s been waiting for you. NCM
And, if you happen to play a good country fiddle or banjo, drop on by the barn as soon as you can. Breckin Griffin, grandson of Charles and Mary Ann Durrough, plays bass.
He’s been waiting for you. may/june 2019 | 29
Written by JACKIE KENNEDY
This page: Top: Adam, left, and Brian Wright strum guitars at their family home in Newnan. Bottom: Cathy and Lamar Wright anticipate music to be made by their grandson Adrian, son of Adam and Shannon Wright. Opposite Page Top left: W.L. and Dot Wright were the first of four generations of musicians with Coweta County roots. Bottom left: Young Brian sits at the piano bench as his dad, Lamar, plays for the family at Christmastime. Top and Bottom Right: Adam Wright's love for the guitar presented itself at an early age. All photos courtesy of the Wright family
hen 13-year-old Carlisle Wright takes the stage, she represents the fourth generation of Newnan’s music-making Wright family. Her grandparents, Lamar and Cathy Wright, never imagined when they were raising Carlisle’s dad, Brian, and his brother, Adam, that their family members would one day be recognized across the globe for their music. But here they are. Adam, 42, has been nominated for two Grammy awards for songwriting and has had his songs performed by country music legends Garth Brooks and Leeann Womack, among others. His catalog features thousands of songs, including several that have garnered critical acclaim. He’s played rock and country but now leans toward Americana. Brian, 44, released his debut album, “Honkytonkitis,” through his own label, Big City Records. It reached millions of listeners through terrestrial and digital radio and made a big splash in the South of France, where it was Album of the Week upon release and spawned several country line dances to its songs. “Their careers are totally different,” says Lamar. “Adam’s career is his life and his livelihood. His is serious lyrical stuff. Brian has a good job flying airplanes, and his music is more like Merle Haggard, beer drinking and bar hopping.” Their uncle, Cathy’s brother Alan Jackson, is a household name in traditional country music and can be credited with influencing the brothers’ musical tendencies to a degree. But the odds are great that music would have become a way of life for Brian and Adam regardless. They could hardly help it. It’s in their DNA. Lamar’s father, W.L. Wright of Newnan, studied music and piano tuning at the Georgia Academy for the Blind, in Macon, and made his living making music. “He and my mother, Dot, were in a professional band for years, a Glen Miller-type big band,” says Lamar. “They wrote songs and recorded a radio show that originated in our house. He played and she sang. My father was a school choral and church choir director who taught piano and guitar at home and led the East Newnan Mill Orchestra. When he tuned pianos, my mother handed him the tuning tools, like a nurse handing tools to a surgeon.” Lamar admits that as a youngster he was surprised when he went to school and met children who couldn’t play piano. “That’s how it was with us singing,” says Cathy. “We didn’t realize there were people who didn’t sing.” Cathy grew up singing with her mother, “Mama” Ruth Jackson, and three sisters, Carol, Connie and Diane. Alan, the youngest of the five siblings, sang in the church choir and school chorus but never sang a solo or played guitar until he was in high school, according to Cathy, who says her own life always revolved around music. “Everything we care about involves music,” she says. “We sing in a choir, play in a band, teach children’s choir, and do music therapy with the elderly in nursing homes.” Lamar and Cathy, her twin sister Carol, and Carol’s husband, Banks, play and sing with the family’s bluegrass band, The Straynotes, which performs locally. “Some families are bound by loving to fish or hunt, but music has been the bonding ingredient in our family,” says Lamar. “We get may/june 2019 | 31
together to eat and play music.” “It’s funny,” says Brian. “Most people assume it’s because of my uncle I do music, but the Wright side of the family was even more into music. Of course, Mama Ruth sang, and all her daughters sang, and Alan ended up singing. And I remember Mama Ruth rocking us in her lap on the front porch singing to us. But on the Wright side, it was all music all the time over there.”
Clockwise from top: Adam Wright poses for press shots. Twice nominated, Adam arrives at a Grammy Awards ceremony. In their early years of pursuing music careers, Adam and Shannon Wright gig at the Hard Rock Café in Atlanta.
Adam pursues music career Although he’s the younger son, Adam was first to model his parents’ passion for music. “Adam watched his daddy and his granddaddy play piano, and when he was 5, he asked to take lessons,” Cathy recalls. “He took piano until he was 12, and in high school he took guitar from Doug Kees (of Musicology in Newnan). Some people think Adam was following in his Uncle Alan’s footsteps, but Adam started taking lessons in 1981. His interest in music predated Alan’s success, by far.” Adam and his wife, Shannon, met in 1997 at a gig at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta. It was music at first sight, and then love. “We worked from the get-go,” says Adam. “We played all over the Southeast and moved in 2002 to Nashville. We did our first record in 2005.” That album, “Down This Road,” was critically acclaimed, and its title single was named a Rolling Stone Magazine Top 10 Country Single for 2005. The Wrights produced three more studio albums and toured with Alan, Loretta Lynn, Little Big Town and on their own for several years. “We had a ball,” says Adam. In 2009, the couple came home to Tennessee and hunkered down in Nashville where they got publishing deals and started writing full time. “We had some cuts, had some success and did shows now and then, but our bread and butter has been writing,” says Adam, whose “So You Don’t Have To Love Me Anymore” was released by Alan and nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 2012. Adam now writes for Carnival Publishing, a Nashville company owned by Frank Liddell, who’s married to Lee Ann Womack, one of Adam’s biggest supporters and a frequent collaborator. Shannon continues to write songs as well and puts her marketing degree to good use as marketing director for Alan’s AJ’s Good Time Bar in Nashville. In November, Adam performed in front of a hometown audience at Wadsworth Auditorium where he sang tunes from his latest CD, “Dust.” He wrote all the songs, most from the character’s perspective, like “Billy, Get Your Bike,” a dark tale inspired by a true story that happened in Coweta County. “Once I wrote that song, it kind of broke the seal,” he says, noting his affection for Southern fiction, Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor. “It allowed me to explore anything, to just drop in on a moment.” A dark, moody tune with a startling ending, “Billy” has no chorus, no bridge and no chord changes.
“On the road with Alan, I can’t play it opening for him in an arena with people ready to have a good time,” says Adam. “But you get in a listening room filled with people who love to share stories, and it’s a good song to have in your set.” Another song from the album, “From My Bough,” was named one of Rolling Stone Country’s 10 Best Country and Americana Songs in 2018. All in all, “Dust” is “a bit of serious writing,” says Adam. “I really went down the rabbit hole on this one and emerged a different writer, I think a better writer. I spent months on some of those songs, until I felt like they were the best version of whatever they were going to be.” Adam received his second Grammy nomination this year for “All The Trouble,” a Womack song he co-wrote with her. In the meantime, he’s working on two new EPs set for release later this year. He ponders the impact his family’s musical roots had on him. “When I was growing up, Dad played piano and if we had an art project, Mom would help us, but it wasn’t like this big creative house,” he says. “I always felt like I was the oddball because I was hopelessly artsy. I could barely dribble a basketball.” Along the way, he says, he learned a lot from his Uncle Alan: “The biggest thing—he has a way of writing simply but in a heartfelt way. It’s a difficult thing to do, write simply but deeply.” Adam also remembers seeking musical advice from his grandfather Wright: “I called and asked him what scales I needed to be learning. He said, ‘Scales? Where are you going to get a job playing scales?’ He told me to just play songs.” And that’s what Adam has done—written and played songs, simply but deeply. “The business of music is a turnoff,” he says. “What’s important is enjoying what you’re doing. If you enjoy it, you’ll do it enough to be good at it. And if you’re good at it, you’ll enjoy doing it. That’s kept me alive so far, so I’m going to stick with it.” Brian follows the family passion While Adam developed his musicianship at an early age, his brother was an adult when he learned guitar. “I taught myself to play guitar when I was 21,” says Brian, a professional pilot who also writes songs. He flew for Delta 18 years and now flies internationally with UPS. After the airline industry hit a rough patch following the 9/11 attacks, Brian says he and another pilot from Newnan, Andy Hoffman, decided to dedicate their free time “listening to real country music and talking to normal people.” Brian said to Hoffman: “You know how we can do that? We can start a band, play the kind of music we want to play, get free drinks and the girls will come to us.” Within days, Hoffman bought a drum set and another Newnan friend, David
Top to bottom: Brian poses for press shots. Adam, left, is fascinated by the guitar held by his big brother Brian. Brian, right, performs with his band.
may/june 2019 | 33
Van Drew, joined them on bass. With a couple more bandmates, they practiced a few months before playing their debut gig. “At the end of that first show, a girl walked up to me and wanted to help me carry my guitar and amp,” says Brian. “She ended up being my wife, so yeah, it worked like a charm.” Brian’s first album, “Honkytonkitis,” was recorded in Nashville with some of the best studio musicians in the industry, he says. Millions have heard the record’s singles, which are released via his website. His single, “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean,” a cover of a Waylon Jennings song penned by Newnan native Steve Young, topped the charts in the south of France where Brian’s fans not only sing his tunes but line dance to them as well. Brian plans to record his second album at Muscle Shoals, Ala., this year. The pilot says he was about 17 when his Uncle Alan quietly influenced his taste in music: “He handed me a Merle Haggard CD, maybe George Jones, and a really rare Keith Whitley album and said, ‘That’s about all you need to know right there.’” While those country artists remain among his favorites, Brian’s a huge fan of his brother as well. “Adam, he’s off the charts good,” says Brian. “As far as talent goes— lyrically, melodically, musicianship and vocally—it just doesn’t get much better than my brother.” Brian was about 25 and on his uncle’s tour bus one day when country music legend George Jones stepped onboard. “George was opening for my uncle, or maybe my uncle was opening for George, somewhere in South Carolina,” he recalls. “I asked him what he would tell a young guy starting out in the music business. He said, ‘Just sing and make songs exactly like you talk, but whatever you do, keep it country.’” Brian’s been following that advice for the past two decades. The fourth generation The Jackson/Wright family’s three professional music couples—Alan and Denise, Brian and Angela, and Adam and Shannon—all live in Franklin, Tenn., a small town outside of Nashville that’s reminiscent of Newnan with an artsy vibe. Adam and Shannon have two sons. Adrian, 8, plays the ukulele and Charlie, 5, is a born comedian, according to Lamar. Along with Carlisle, Brian and Angela have a son, Cole, who’s 10 and plays drums. “The children got it from both sides of the family, and now the grandchildren are getting it,” says Cathy. Bitten by the music bug that infects her family, Carlisle sings, plays guitar and writes songs. She leans toward the same traditional country music favored by her dad. She joined him onstage at Wadsworth Auditorium in Newnan in 2017 and wowed the crowd singing Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline standards. “She’s a shy thing,” Lamar says of his granddaughter. “But put a microphone in front of her and put her in front of a bunch of people, and she is fearless.” She comes by it honest. NCM 34 | www.newnancowetamag.com
Top and center: Brian makes his living as a pilot for UPS. Bottom: Brian and his daughter, Carlisle, perform in Newnan in 2017.
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Footprint Written by NEIL MONROE | Photographed by JACKIE KENNEDY
ABOVE Columnist Toby Nix, left, and Newnan Times-Herald Co-Publisher Clay Neely chat on a variety of topics for their podcast, "That One Time," which airs on Mondays.
36 | www.newnancowetamag.com
eginning as a four-page weekly in 1865, The Newnan Times-Herald and its predecessors have told the story of life in Coweta County for nearly 154 years. After all that time, print remains the primary medium for distributing the news for The Times-Herald as it does for most newspapers across the nation. Today, some 9,000 Cowetans receive The Newnan-Times Herald four days each week through paid subscriptions. But technology is evolving at a breakneck pace and creating a dramatic impact on the local newspaper industry. Nearly 1,800 local newspapers have closed in the past 15 years, according to research by the University of North Carolinaâ€™s (UNC) School of Media and Journalism. Current trends, their research finds, create a key question: Can local
newspapers remain viable in the 21st century, overcoming an evolving shift to digital by readers and advertisers? For The Newnan Times-Herald (NTH), the answer to the question is a resounding one: Absolutely. While print remains its key element, The Times-Herald has embraced technology and is constantly researching new ways to share its award-winning content with the community.
may/june 2019 | 37
“Everything we do is driven by solid reporting.” – Clay Neely
David Boyd Sr., of Newnan, recently joined Jim Minter to reminisce about Lewis Grizzard on the NTH "Movers, Shakers and History Makers" podcast.
38 | www.newnancowetamag.com
From the days of the newspaper’s first website, launched in 1996, The Times-Herald has continually worked to expand its footprint across the digital landscape. “We’ve learned over the past few years that our success depends on our ability to expand the ways we share content with our readers,” says Clay Neely, who publishes NTH with his wife, Beth. “We work hard every day to create content that is timely and important for our community. How we share that content is vital. We have to make it desirable to our readers and to advertisers, through both print and online.” As a result, The Times-Herald has a strong, popular presence online, anchored by its website, www. times-herald.com, which generates more than 50,000 local, unique visits each month. A robust Facebook page has more than 37,000 followers and drives a significant portion of traffic to the website. This type of multi-platform approach helps local news organizations remain a vital part of their communities, according to the research, which contends that successful local journalism helps communities reach their full potential and guides important community decision-making. “One of our most important responsibilities is to communicate with our citizens,” says Cleatus
Phillips, Newnan’s city manager. “And more so than ever, they want the information immediately. “When that information comes from a trusted source, like The Times-Herald, it’s more meaningful,” says Phillips. “That helps us do our job more effectively and, in turn, helps our citizens.” A solid local news source can also be important in bringing new economic development to the community. Trae Westmoreland, president of the Coweta County Development Authority, says that businesses and individuals now rely heavily on online research when making relocation decisions. “Seeing a balanced local voice helps portray our community in a positive light, and that is an important element in creating interest in Coweta County,” Westmoreland says. In addition to the newspaper’s website and Facebook page, subscribers receive email updates with daily links to key stories. And the newspaper has a presence on Twitter, @Timesherald, with nearly 8,000 followers, plus it’s on Instagram. Newnan-Coweta Magazine, published by The Newnan-Times Herald, can be read online from cover to cover at times-herald.com/magazine. The Newnan Times-Herald’s latest digital offering includes two new podcasts—“Movers, Shakers and History Makers,” which features Clay interviewing local personalities about issues from the past and present, and “That One Time,” with Clay and NTH columnist Toby Nix discussing a variety of topics, from going to church to picking the perfect vacation spot at Panama City Beach, Fla. Clay produces both podcasts,
Former Atlanta Journal-Constitution Editor Jim Minter, of Fayetteville, visited The Times-Herald studio to take part in a recent podcast.
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Newnan, Georgia news, events & personalities with NTH media co-publisher Clay Neely. Podcasts will highlight Coweta County current topics and conversations with newsmakers, your neighbors and more. Promotion in all publications print & online!
40 | www.newnancowetamag.com
which are available for streaming on www. nthpodcasts.com and accessible through the usual channels like iTunes. Check out the latest podcast lineup at www.nthpodcasts. com. Given this strong online presence, is there room for an even greater web-based footprint? The publishers believe there is—but with a clear caveat. “We have an opportunity to do more with video and YouTube, and the new podcasts are examples of a new opportunity as well,” says Clay. “But it’s essential that anything we do supports the stories we tell and helps build our credibility. Everything we do is driven by solid reporting, and our staff does a great job of that.” Distributing consistent, reliable news content across multiple platforms also benefits another key audience—advertisers. By maintaining readers’ trust with the quality of its news gathering, The Times-Herald consistently offers opportunity for businesses to reach Coweta consumers. Wendy Barnes, NTH director of advertising and marketing, has worked on the digital side of the newspaper business for some 20 years and believes The Times-Herald is on the right path for the future. “Print remains our foundation, but by delivering our content in multiple ways, we can reach key audiences for our advertisers and tell their story in the most effective way,” says Barnes. “This is essential in today’s world, and while many local news organizations around the country have been reluctant to change, The Times-Herald has made a very positive effort to embrace change,” she says. “Things will continue to evolve, and we’ll work to stay abreast of what our readers and the public need.” According to the UNC study, that type of commitment to change is a key to long-term success for local news organizations and the communities they serve. “The fates of communities and local news organizations are intrinsically linked— socially, politically and economically,” the UNC study concludes. NCM
SOLES FOR COLE races for cystic fibrosis care and cure Written by JEFFREY WARD
he seventh annual Soles for Cole 5K comes to Senoia on May 11. More than a run, the festive celebration, which starts at dusk, features live music, food trucks, inflatables for the kids, merchandise sales, and fireworks to top it off.
Soles for Cole honors and celebrates the alltoo-brief but significant life of its founder, Cole Croteau, who was born with cystic fibrosis. Friends from East Coweta High School started the 5K with Cole in 2013 to help his family cover expenses associated with his treatment. The following year, Cole succumbed to the disease at age 17. Soles for Cole’s purpose is to support and foster
“Everything might be negative in what you’re going through, but there’s always a positive side to what you’re doing.” — Cole Croteau, 1997-2014
Anne Croteau-Lee joins her son Cole at his last 5K race.
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Second from left in front row, Anne Croteau-Lee joins racers at last year’s event.
Hans Troyer, left, was the winner of last year’s Soles for Cole 5K.
42 | www.newnancowetamag.com
awareness of cystic fibrosis, which affects approximately 33,000 children and young people in the U.S. Cole, along with his sister Alexandra and friend Kyle Cole, also created the Breathing Easy Foundation, a local nonprofit that helps Coweta families and children coping with the disease. Cole made the most of his life gracing family, friends and acquaintances with his Godcentered charisma and positive outlook, according to his mother, Anne Croteau-Lee, who says he lived out his life in concert with his favorite Bible verse, Matthew 5:1416: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in
the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Croteau-Lee remembers her son as only a mother could. “Oh, my sweet and sassy Cole,” she exclaims. “My kids have made me one joyful mama, but Cole made me the proudest when he truly accepted Jesus into his heart three years before he passed away. His whole life changed on this earth. His became more defined by his faith and love of Jesus and loving on other kids and families affected by cystic fibrosis more than being burdened with his illness. I miss my baby every minute of every day, but he is fully healed and breathing with perfect lungs now.” Cystic fibrosis is an extremely
rare and incurable genetic chromosomal disorder that ravages cell metabolism. Although advances have been made to prolong its victims’ lives beyond childhood, it remains a fatal disease that defies efforts to find a cure. The disease mainly affects the respiratory system by causing mucus buildups, which clog the lung cells and often cause difficult-to-treat infections. It can also damage the pancreas and the entire digestive system. Its degree of severity varies widely and presents a bewildering array of symptoms. Constant and expensive lifelong medical treatment is necessary. Last year’s Soles for Cole 5K was held in Senoia with positive results and community support, and Cole’s mom hopes this year is even more successful. “We need runners, lots of them,”
she says. “We would love to reach the plateau of 500 participants in 2019, up from the 300 we had in 2018.” The family-friendly Soles for Cole event takes place at Marimac Lakes Park in Senoia on May 11. Festivities begin at 3 p.m., the Cole’s Kids Dash starts at 6:15, the 1-mile run gets underway at 6:30, and the 5K starts at 7 p.m. The event winds down with a fireworks display after dark. Soles for Cole’s color theme is appropriately purple, the traditional color of royalty. This year’s race organizers want to “paint Senoia purple” in honor of Cole’s memory and to acknowledge each individual in the community who suffers with cystic fibrosis. It is their hope that Soles for Cole will help turn CF into “Cure Found.” NCM
“We need runners, lots of them. We would love to reach the plateau of 500 participants in 2019, up from the 300 we had in 2018.” — Anne Croteau-Lee
The Soles for Cole 5K finishes up each year with a fantastic fireworks show.
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Charles Wadsworth at 90: Celebrating a
C lassical L ife Written by SUSAN MAYER DAVIS | Photographed by SARA MOORE
Newnan’s native son and internationally renowned music maestro, Charles Wadsworth, turns 90 on May 21. Wadsworth fans from near and far visited Newnan in March to celebrate his birthday during Wadsworth Weekend, which featured four events and hundreds of visitors sharing stories dedicated to the homegrown musician and famed pianist. Wadsworth Weekend is an expansion of the annual Friends of Wadsworth concert, held here and hosted by Wadsworth for more than 20 years. “Charles Wadsworth’s influence on the city of Newnan has been immense,” says John Thrasher of the Newnan Cultural Arts Commission. “His world-class performances, performed so that everyone could enjoy them, brought a touch of sophistication and culture to Newnan and advanced many musically talented students on their careers.” Wadsworth was not able to attend the event due to health issues, but he shared his memories of growing up in Newnan from his home in New York City. “Newnan is a unique place,” he says. “My education and early passion for music were 44 | www.newnancowetamag.com
NTH FILE PHOTO
Light the candles and turn up the tunes.
nurtured there.” “It is hard to imagine the eternally youthful Charles Wadsworth turning 90,” says Courtenay Budd, soprano and host of the annual event, who toured and performed with Wadsworth. “If anyone could be described as young at heart, it’s Charles. His easy and accessible style while hosting hundreds of concerts, including those in Newnan, make even the most senior audience members feel young again.” Susan Wadsworth, the maestro’s wife of 52 years, shares her husband’s passion for music and musicians, and their professional lives have been intertwined for decades. Susan founded Young Concert Artists (YCA), a nonprofit, in l961. When they met at the Spoleto Festival in Italy in l963, their artistic collaboration began as Charles brought artists from her YCA roster to perform in his chamber music concerts at the festival there and later in Charleston, S.C. During his 20 years as founder and artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of
Soloist Courtenay Budd, center, performs during Wadsworth Weekend, accompanied by, from left, Chee-Yun on violin, Erika Switzer at the piano, cellist Yves Dharamraj, and Todd Palmer on clarinet.
Lincoln Center, Charles worked with many renowned artists, including violinist Pinchas Zukerman, flutist Paula Robison, and pianists Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax and Murray Perahia, to name a few. On turning 90, Charles says, “I think it’s unusual for a person like me, not very athletic, to make it this far. But the hard part was making it to 90. I figure it will be an easy slide to reach 100 from here.” He claims the secret to a long life: “Don’t stop trying out interesting new things.” That, he has done his whole life.
“My goal is to make people feel better by being around me,” he says. “Music makes people feel alive. I feel so lucky that I live in a beautiful world full of music, and I want to share it with others.” The Wadsworths’ daughter, Rebecca Diallo, shares memories of her dad. “When NBC’s program, ‘20/20,’ did their portrait of my father in 1985, they came to Charleston to film him during the Spoleto Festival,” she recalls. “I mentioned that they could set up a shot of him sitting on the floor with his back to the keyboard, with my
father’s hands crossed behind his head playing the piano backwards, an amazing trick he loved to do. They took my suggestion, and it looked great.” Beryl Rajnic, his older daughter, recalls benefit concerts her father orchestrated. “He planned benefit concerts for Camphill Village, the residential community where my developmentally disabled brother David lives,” says Rajnic, noting that residents would come onstage and play at the end of the concerts. “It was tremendously moving for me to see my brother standing on the stage of Carnegie Hall, may/june 2019 | 45
them off as they sang. He didn’t tell me if he ever got invited back.” Aria Rajnic, 19, appreciates how her grandfather mentors others. “I simply adore my grandpa’s passion for bringing musicians together to share their gifts in a way that brings joy,” she says. Her sister, Aliya Rajnic, shares a memory of her grandfather playing a grand piano: “He asked if I had something I’d like to hear, and I asked him to play ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ and he simply played it—no sheet music, no prep time. It came right from his memory, and it was absolutely beautiful.” Friends and fellow musicians at Wadsworth Weekend 2019 shared memories and comments about the musician’s sense of humor, mentorship and kindness, attributes that complement his musicality and international fame. “Charles Wadsworth has given so much back to his hometown—always Rebecca Diallo, center, the daughter of Charles Wadsworth, with a great sense of chats with Drs. Gene and Margaret Schaufler, of LaGrange, at humor and a lot of a reception honoring her father during Wadsworth Weekend. or Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, playing his chime bar like he has seen our father do.” Rajnic also recalls a story her father shares from his teen years in Newnan. “He was asked to substitute as a guest organist in a local church where the regular organist never pulled out the big stops,” says Rajnic. “He enthusiastically pulled out all the organ stops and proceeded to play with great gusto, at which point the air shooting up through the organ pipes blew a rainfall of bugs onto the choir ladies who frantically tried to brush
grace,” says Newnan Times-Herald News Editor Winston Skinner. “Interviewing him has always been a joy. Charles always tells a good story.” Newnan resident and historian Elizabeth Beers, a high school friend and classmate of Charles, shares a story from their school years. “He was one of those harmless flirts who made the girls feel good about themselves,” says Beers. “Some of us jokingly called him ‘The Wolf of the West,’ but it was all in fun. I became one of his many fans as he awed us with his ability to play the piano while sitting backward on the bench.” Echoing others’ sentiments related to Charles’ intrinsic kindness and humor, his wife describes him as “the most delightful, warm, witty, loving, adorable husband anyone could have.” Charles puts it all in perspective, sharing sage advice with his friends, fans and family members as his 90th birthday approaches: “The purpose of life is to keep doing what you do to make people around you feel better,” he concludes.
“My goal is to make people feel better by being around me. Music makes people feel alive. I feel so lucky that I live in a beautiful world full of music, and I want to share it with others.” — Charles Wadsworth
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Charles Wadsworth’s Music Reaches Peers, Performers & Presidents Newnan’s Wadsworth Auditorium shares strength and stature with the man for whom it is named: Charles Wadsworth. The classical pianist and famed music promoter celebrates his 90th birthday on May 21. Born and educated in Newnan, Wadsworth lives in New York City with his wife, Susan. Until declining health restricted travel in recent years, he made the annual trip to Georgia for the Friends of Wadsworth benefit concert at the auditorium named for him in 1998. Wadsworth grew up in Newnan where he worked in a grocery store, routinely fetching hens from the back alley whenever a customer fancied fried chicken for dinner. By the age of 12, the piano prodigy was performing in public. About the same time, he began taking music lessons from Hugh Hodgson, namesake of the music school at the University of Georgia in Athens. At age 19, Hodgson suggested Wadsworth move to New York. The teenager made the move and studied at Juilliard. In 1959, Wadsworth was hired to direct the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, where he gained international fame by introducing American musicians to European audiences. In 1965, he was named Founding Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, where he led concert series for 20 seasons. In 1977, he started the chamber concert series of the Spoleto Festival USA, in Charleston, S.C., which he directed, hosted and performed in through 2009. During his career, he worked with famous musicians such as Leonard Bernstein and Yo-Yo Ma, garnered numerous awards and received three honorary doctorates. Along with thrilling audiences of his peers, he performed at the White House for five U.S. presidents: Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan. The University of West Georgia created the Charles Wadsworth Music Scholarship in honor of Wadsworth in 1990. The scholarship is awarded to an incoming music major who demonstrates artistic excellence and potential as an instrumentalist or vocalist. Next year’s annual Friends of Wadsworth Concert on March 14 kicks off the 2020 Wadsworth Week, which culminates with the Charles Wadsworth Piano Competition set for March 20-22 at Nixon Centre for the Performing Arts. NCM
Classical education in the Catholic tradition email@example.com www.avemariaga.com (678) 590-1868 Ave Maria Academy is a classical school grounded in the teachings of the Catholic Faith and faithful to the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church. Ave Maria Academy is an independent school. There is no legal or financial connection or obligation between Ave Maria Academy and The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta.
The Coweta Cities & County EFCU would like to thank Sheriff Lenn Wood for his more than 40 years serving and protecting the residents of Newnan & Coweta County. We would also like to thank Chief Deputy Wood for his 22 years at the Credit Union volunteering on the Credit Committee! It’s volunteers like Lenn, dedicated to the community, that make the difference at Coweta Cities & County EFCU!
Membership may be easier than you think! 43 Jefferson Parkway P.O. Box 71063 Newnan, GA 30271-1063
WWW.CCCEFCU.ORG COWETA CITIES & COUNTY
EMPLOYEES FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
may/june 2019 | 47
for Warm Weather Written and Photographed by JACKIE KENNEDY
ith spring in full tilt and summer on the way, it’s the perfect time of year to devote to cool foods. Just as soup is synonymous with autumn, cool side dishes and chilled desserts remind us of springtime. Whether you hand crank a bucket of decadent homemade ice cream or combine nutritious leafy greens for a healthy salad, keeping cool in warm weather is a breeze when you dine on cool foods. Try assorted fruits and sliced melons for breakfast and a tuna or chicken salad for lunch. Along with being fresh and tasty, preparing these items for meals means you won’t have to heat up your kitchen to cook on days that are warm enough already.
8 ounces cream cheese 8 ounces sour cream ½ cup granulated sugar 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (optional) 2 pounds seedless red grapes 2 pounds seedless green grapes 1 cup brown sugar 1 cup chopped pecans
48 | www.newnancowetamag.com
Cream together cream cheese, sour cream and sugar; add cheese, if using, to creamed mixture. Add grapes and stir. Pour mixture into baking dish. Combine brown sugar and chopped pecans. Spread over casserole mixture. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.
Easy Chicken Salad 2 to 2½ cups cooked chicken, pulled or cubed 1 ½ ½ 1
cup chopped celery cup chopped seedless grapes (green or purple) cup chopped pecans, toasted cup mayonnaise
Stir together ingredients. Serve with crackers or in sandwiches.
Cream Cheese Roll-Ups 2 1 4 10 16
(8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (4-ounce) jar hot salsa green onions, finely sliced large flour tortillas slices bacon, cut into small pieces and cooked crisp thin slices deli ham
In medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, salsa and onions. Spread mixture on tortillas, leaving a half-inch edge. Top each with bacon and ham, and then roll into tight cylinders and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Remove from fridge, discard plastic wrap, and cut each roll into 1-inch pieces, discarding the uneven ends.
No-Bake Banana Pudding
50 | www.newnancowetamag.com
3 (3-ounce) boxes instant vanilla pudding 5 cups milk 1 (12-ounce) container whipped topping, such as Cool Whip, divided Â˝ cup sour cream 5 bananas, sliced 1 box vanilla wafers Mix instant pudding with milk. Beat until slightly thickened. Mix half of Cool Whip and sour cream with pudding mixture. Set aside. Place half of bananas in bottom of large bowl. Top with half of vanilla wafers. Pour half of pudding mixture over bananas and wafers. Add a second layer of bananas, wafers and pudding. Top with remaining Cool Whip. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Macaroni Salad 1690 Hwy 34 E • Newnan
1 (8-ounce box) macaroni, cooked to make 2 cups 1 cucumber, diced 1 tomato, diced 1 small onion, chopped 3 or 4 tablespoons sweet salad pickles ¾ cup mayonnaise 3 teaspoons vinegar 2 teaspoons granulated sugar salt, to taste
Stir together macaroni, cucumber, tomato, onion and pickles. Mix together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and salt; toss with macaroni mixture. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor.
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“Through music therapy, she sang first, and then started talking.” — Lyn Schenbeck
Music in Medicine ers with the new in A trio of volunte nia Senior Living singalong at Insig t, Cathy lef m fro program leads a e, ar blue and yellow in s er te lun Vo achers . te Newnan ard, all retired over and Susan He Gl l ro Ca , ht rig W from Newnan.
Written by MARTY M. HOHMANN | Photographed by JACKIE KENNEDY 52 | www.newnancowetamag.com
usic—it soothes and stimulates, invigorates and inspires.
While the power of music and the benefits it can provide in a clinical setting are significant, music as therapy is unavailable in most communities. Newnan, however, is fortunate to be home to a new and growing music
Lyn Schenbeck entertains residents at Benton House of Newnan where she shares her Music in Medicine program.
believed could help. That person was Cathy Wright, president of Newnan Rotary Club and a retired educator with a continuing passion for music. “Music has always been the most important thing in my life,” says Wright. (Her musical family is featured on page 30.)
Sadie Scott claps along.
therapy program. Lyn Schenbeck, Central Educational Center (CEC) music educator and highly experienced music therapist, wasn’t content to enjoy her retirement from 50 years of teaching all aspects of music. Instead, she wanted to get her Music in Medicine program into the community to make a tangible difference. She and Mark Whitlock, CEO at CEC, took the idea to someone they
Joann Barnes shares a smile.
Immediately sold on Schenbeck’s ideas, Wright drafted a grant proposal to Rotary District 6900. The local Rotary Club received two grants, totaling $12,000, to fund the Music in Medicine program. “None of this would have happened without the CEC in the beginning and Rotary coming in with the money,” says Schenbeck, whose program takes music to memory care clients in local care facilities. Schenbeck has witnessed firsthand the influence of music, especially with clients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. “It’s really an amazing tool,” she says, describing a woman she worked with years ago who was completely nonverbal. Through music therapy, “she sang first, and then started talking.” Wright tells of a client she’s worked with who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. After hearing music that had relevance to her younger years, like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Que Sera, Sera,” the client recalled that Judy Garland and Doris Day were the singers. may/june 2019 | 53
Music in Medicine volunteer Jane Duenckel shares harmony time with her mother, Isabelle Zolnik, at Insignia.
“It will take you right back to where you were,” says Wright of hearing songs from your past. “What’s fascinating about music therapy, and this is why it differs from every other kind of art therapy, is that music literally changes the neural networks in the brain,” says Schenbeck. “It reorders them, and it can create affect or feeling that someone hasn’t felt in 50 years.”
Wright can attest to that fact, having pored over research documenting the benefits of music therapy in the process of preparing the grant. Grant proceeds have purchased rhythm instruments, guitars, ukuleles, keyboards, hand bells and other materials for volunteer training. Not to be confused with entertainment, which is frequently available in senior care homes, the Music in Medicine
program has measured goals that involve working with clients and evaluating the results. Still in its infancy, the program offers sessions at Insignia, Benton House and Avalon care facilities. More volunteers are needed to reach other populations that can benefit. “We want to spread out to the hospitals, cancer patients, little kids, everybody,” says Wright.
— Ginna Jordan
“. . . music literally changes the neural networks in the brain. It reorders them, and it can create affect or feeling that someone hasn’t felt in 50 years.” — Lyn Schenbeck 54 | www.newnancowetamag.com
Piedmont Newnan Hospital shares the belief that the program has merit and has hired Mark Toole as a part-time music therapist. Piedmont Fayette Hospital also has hired a part-time music therapist to work with children of cancer patients. “This is huge, you can see,” says Wright. “We’re going to keep going until we can get it everywhere we need to.” Schenbeck adds, “We’re in the acorn stage right now.” “Maybe mustard seed,” laughs Wright. “We’re going to need a lot more volunteers. The only thing you have to have is dedication. We want volunteers to commit to one hour a week at the same facility. It’s important that the same faces show up every time.” Volunteers need not have musical training— just a desire to serve. Schenbeck and Wright will make sure everyone is fully trained to administer the program, which involves leading clients in songs, percussion improvisation, movement activities and CD listening tasks, similar to “Name that Tune,” which challenge cognitive and processing abilities. Instead of relaxing in retirement, Schenbeck and Wright keep moving. Schenbeck continues to substitute teach at CEC, serves on the board of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and is the founder and director of the Centre Strings, a local orchestra featuring players from age 8 to 80. “There are too many exciting things that need to be done than to just sit at home and read a book,” says Schenbeck. Wright performs with her family’s bluegrass band, The Straynotes, sings with an a capella trio she has performed with for 60 years, and leads the children’s choir at Central Baptist Church.
more information or to volunteer, contact Schenbeck at lyn. firstname.lastname@example.org or Wright at email@example.com.
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may/june 2019 | 55
at Newnan Theatre Company Written by EMILY KIMBELL | Photographed by SARA MOORE
On guitar, Emily Kimbell enthralls the von Trapp children during rehearsal of "The Sound of Music."
here’s nothing quite like a live production and the excitement of knowing it’s a moment that can never be reproduced. Perhaps you’ve wondered, as the curtain closes on the last scene and the actors take their final bows, what goes into creating the magic of live theater. Maybe you’ve thought of being onstage yourself. 56 | www.newnancowetamag.com
I’ve been part of the mtusic and theatre community my entire life. I was a “theatre kid” and now, as an adult, I actively participate in musicals and play productions with several companies. Most recently, I was cast in my largest role to date. At Newnan Theatre Company (NTC), I’ll be playing the part of Maria in their May production of “The Sound of Music.” The hit musical, in which Julie Andrews starred as Maria, is set in 1938 Austria at the eve of the Anschluss. It tells the story of Maria, a governess caring for a large family while deciding if she wants to become a nun. She falls in love with the children and eventually with their widowed father, Captain von Trapp, who is ordered to join the German navy but opposes the Nazis. Adventure ensues as he and Maria plan to flee Austria with the children. Preparing for a musical of this scale takes prep work and teamwork, and “Sound of Music” is arguably the largest production NTC has undertaken. The cast features established NTC performers, company newcomers, and an all-star directorial team including NTC Director Tony Daniel, Tammy Kimbell, Mary Caroline Moore and Emily Weiss. “We’ve done musicals here at NTC before, but they have traditionally been on a small scale,” says Daniel. “Now, after pushing our envelope a bit, we have all learned that the only way we can truly go farther is to test ourselves.” Costume Designer Theresa Bush shows Kara Senger one of her costumes for the show.
A musical of this caliber with its sizable cast starts with a large audition. First, theatre companies send out an audition notice detailing rehearsal and production dates, roles to fill and, most importantly for the auditioning actor, requirements for the day of auditions, including what to sing, what to wear and how to prepare. Since “Sound of Music” requires seven children for the production, an entire day of NTC auditions
was dedicated to actors 18 years and younger. More than 70 children auditioned, with their energy filling the room from the moment they entered the building. Even more talent hit the stage when adults auditioned the next day. Lindsey Wisely, who portrays Mother Abbess, says of her audition experience: “It was a totally new experience. I’d never actually auditioned for a musical
“Being in rehearsal with other people helps you find your character. It’s one thing to read lines on the page; it’s another to interact with other people and to find that collectively.” — Michelle Mason
or any other type of theatre production. It was amazing watching how vulnerable everyone was, and their willingness to completely put themselves out there was inspiring.” After callbacks to confirm they got the role, cast members gather for the read-through, which is when they get their script, meet each other and read lines for the first time. Daniel says the “Sound of Music” read-through was a particularly special moment. “The kids had only met at their auditions, and a good many of the adults cast are new to NTC, so everyone was a bit nervous,” he recalls. “But as they read, you could see faces begin to glow and eyes light up as people realized, ‘This is really going to work.’” Hard work is required to create a good show. The first step for a musical is learning the music, and the classical style of “Sound of Music” requires vocal durability and range. Charles Ferguson, who portrays Max Detweiler in the musical, reveals a sentiment shared by most of the cast members. “Rodgers and Hammerstein is more classical than musicals I’ve been in, so the music has been a challenge to learn,” he says. The singing becomes even more difficult when choreography is added. Even though rehearsals often mean late nights and hard work, it’s the time when you start to connect with cast mates and develop your skills. For Michelle Mason, who plays Elsa Schrader, the collaborative nature of rehearsals helps with character development. “Being in rehearsal with other people helps you find your character,” she says. “It’s one thing to read lines on the page; it’s another to interact with other people and to find that collectively.” Wisely feels that rehearsals help the nuns of “Sound of Music” feel like a sisterhood. “I look forward to coming to rehearsal every single time,” she says. “I love the camaraderie of the sisters and hearing their stories of where
Music Director Tammy Kimbell leads the cast through warm-ups before rehearsal.
Maria and the von Trapp children practice their best "Do-Re-Mi" pose. From left, Emily Kimbell as Maria, and the von Trapp kids—Braedyn Helms, Jack Higgins, Laynie Underhill, Megan Dover, Ryan Daley, Olivia Reynolds and Kara Senger.
they’ve been and what they’ve done.” Finally after months of practice, it’s time to put everything together with lights, set-building, sound and, my personal favorite, costumes. With 49 costume changes for the von Trapp children alone, there’s a lot of planning, purchasing and sewing for costume designer Theresa Bush, who finds it all worthwhile when the cast and audience sees her work. “I love finding the perfect fabrics that make my vision come alive,” says Bush. “My favorite part of any play is when the curtains open and the stage is filled with my work. I like knowing that I have fulfilled the director's and my vision.” All the work culminates when the stage curtain rises on opening night. By that time, we are more
than a cast: We are a family, and it’s a wonderful experience to share your talent with your community and your friends. What you see on the stage is more than people acting. It’s months of hard work, laughs, friendships and love. It’s our hearts being shared with you– the audience. As Mother Abbess sings to Maria in “Climb Every Mountain,” be sure you “follow every rainbow ’til you find your dream.” NCM
“The Sound of Music” runs May 9-19
(Thursday-Sunday) at Newnan Theatre Company. Singalong performances are set for Sunday, May 12 and 19, at 2 p.m.
Arsenic and Old Lace .................... Aug. 15-18 & 22-25, 2019 The Haunting of Hill House ............... Sept. 19-22 & 26-29, 2019 Dial "M" for Murder ................. Oct. 17-20 & 24-27, 2019 A Christmas Story ...................Dec. 5-8, 12-18 & 19-22, 2019 The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Production of Macbeth ................... Feb. 6-9 & 13-16, 2020 As You Like It ............Mar. 19-22 & 26-29, 2020 Becky's New Car......................Apr. 16-19 & 23-26, 2020 9 to 5 The Musical ................. May 7-10 & 14-17, 2020
Call the theatre at (770) 683-6282 for more information. 24 1st Ave., Newnan, GA 30263 www.newnantheatre.org may/june 2019 | 59
Coweta to Me
One of Them
by Michaela Beck
in Congo. In fact, I came with my German companion who was supposed to work for a German company in Newnan. We were given an information sheet telling us where to find our housing; it said the best for Europeans is Peachtree City. My first impression of PTC was: No character, no charm, no established cultural and historical values there. My first impression of Newnan: All of the above was here, with humble yet distinct pride at every corner, embraced in this lovely countryside of Coweta County. We rented an apartment in Newnan. When my companion had to transfer jobs from Newnan to Detroit, I said, “I am staying in Georgia.” He said, “You don’t even understand what these Southerners are saying.” I replied, “But I can breathe here better.” He left. I stayed. Somebody told me with a note of irony, “Coweta County? Newnan? Where the hell is that? Oh yeah, you got to have a lunch bag and a loaded shotgun when you go there.” That did not put a stop to my wish to stay right here. And I did just that. I bought a small acreage in Coweta County, about eight miles east of downtown Newnan, a very rural setting in the 1990s, remember? I decided that I had to have this piece of land because of the two incredibly beautiful, huge Southern white oaks on it—so old that they must have remembered the times of the Civil War. What an irreplaceable point of real history. With the local builder Mark Kemp, I built a true copy of a Mississippi plantation cottage on my land. The Newnan-Times Herald learned about me somehow, invited me for an interview and published a first-page article about the bloody newcomer to town. One day, I parked my car at the Piggly Wiggly. A guy approached me and said, “Ma’am, I saw your picture in the Herald. You know, we are cowboys here, all country folks. Honor meeting you ma’am. We need more like you here. It’s like the world is coming to us.” He offered me a handshake and a smile. As of today, I’m still living in my Southern white house. I am deeply rooted in Coweta County. I understand everything these Southerners are saying, ’cause I’m one of them. NCM 60 | www.newnancowetamag.com
Photo by Jackie Kennedy
oweta County happened to me in 1993. I arrived out of the blue; I did not know a thing about the South. Everything here was so new to me, like a snow shower
Whether you’ve lived here all your life or only a year, we want to hear your person al Coweta story. Did you and your husband fall in love here? Did you move here in your senior ye ar of high school and make lifelong friends? Did you pick guitar with your grandpa an d grow up to be a m usician? Whatever your ow n Coweta County story is, we’d like you to share it with read ers of NewnanCoweta Magazin e. Keep your wo rd count at 350-450 words, please. Email your “Cow eta to Me” story to magazine@ne wnan.com or mail to 16 Jeffers on St., Newnan, GA 30263. We loo k forward to hearing from yo u.
RACE for the Orphans 5K Coweta County Fairgrounds 7:30 a.m. | $10-$25*
The Cotton Pickin’ Fair
The 7th Annual RACE for the Orphans supports local families in the process of adoption. The Tot Trot for children ages 5 and under begins at 8:15 a.m. followed by a 1-mile Fun Run/Walk at 8:30. Starting at 9 a.m., the 5K course is USATF-certified and a Peachtree Road Race qualifier. Race day registration and packet pickup begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Fairgrounds. The event’s mission is Raising Awareness, Compassion and Education (RACE) about the needs of orphans in America and around the world. All proceeds help local families trying to adopt a child in the U.S. or overseas. For more info and to register, visit racefortheorphans.org or contact RACE Director Kelly Preston at 770.310.8222 or Kelly@racefortheorphans.org. *Prices increase by $5 on May 1.
Ready, Set, LINC!
The Newnan Centre | 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Free and open to the public, this event celebrates the LINC, Newnan and Coweta County’s new multi-use path. The LINC linear park promotes and invites recreation, health and wellness, socialization and connectivity. It’s a great place to bring the family and walk, run, bike or walk the dog. Ready, Set, LINC! features live music, food trucks, a 1-mile Fun Run, bike demonstrations, kayaking tank, rock climbing wall, vendor booths and more. For info, visit www. friendsoflinc.org.
Courthouse Square, Newnan | 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Market features more than 50 unique vendors with a variety of one-of-a-kind items, including fresh locally grown produce, honey, jams and jellies, pottery, art, hand-woven baskets, leather products and more. Visit mainstreetnewnan.com.
Hats and Hooves Derby Affair
McRitchie-Hollis Museum, Newnan 5 p.m.-10 p.m. | $75
The Hats and Hooves Derby Affair offers food, beverages and live music with the Kentucky Derby shown on big screen televisions throughout the gathering. The event raises money for Communities in Schools of Coweta County and includes live and silent auctions. Call 770.710.9540 or visit www.ciscoweta.org.
Acrobats of Cirque-Tacular Nixon Centre for the Arts, Newnan 7 p.m. | $15-$20
The Acrobats of Cirque-Tacular features one dazzling circus feat after another in a high-energy, family-friendly flurry of fun. Celebrate your senses as this troupe of acrobats, aerialists, and circus specialty artists bend, twist, flip and fly into your heart with mind-boggling artistry and athleticism. Call 770.254.2787, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit thenixoncentre.net.
Downtown Gay | 8 a.m.-5 p.m. $5-$10 | Free for children 6 and under
The Cotton Pickin’ Fair is an award-winning festival held continuously since 1972 on the Gay Family Farmstead. With more than 350 artisans from across the U.S. nestled in and around farm buildings dating from 1891, the fair provides a wide range of art, antiques, crafts, food and entertainment. Call 706.538.6814 or visit cpfair.org or facebook.com/thecottonpickinfair.
The Sound of Music Newnan Theatre Company $10-$17
9-13 & 16-19
Set in Austria 1938, this beloved musical tells the story of Maria, a governess trying to decide if she should become a nun. She falls in love with the children in her care and eventually their widowed father, Captain von Trapp, who is ordered to accept a commission in the German navy but opposes the Nazis. He and Maria plan to flee Austria with the children. Newnan-Coweta Magazine’s own freelance writer, Emily Kimbell, stars as Maria in this generational favorite musical; see page 56. The show runs Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and on Sundays at 3 p.m. Special singalong performances are set for Sunday, May 12 and 19, at 2 p.m. Visit newnantheatre.org.
Soles for Cole 5K Marimac Lakes Park 148 Pylant Street, Senoia | 6:15 p.m.
Soles for Cole brings runners to Senoia to support Breathing Easy Foundation, a local nonprofit founded by Cole Croteau, his sister Alexandra, and their friend Kyle Cole to support families dealing with cystic fibrosis; see page 41. Funds go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for research to find a cure and to the local cystic fibrosis community. Cole’s Dash starts at 6:15 p.m. followed by a 1-mile race at 6:30 p.m. and the Soles for Cole 5K at 7 p.m. Visit solesforcole.com.
American Cancer Society Relay for Life Coweta County Fairgrounds, Newnan 6 p.m.-Midnight
The Coweta Chapter of the American Cancer Society hosts the Relay for Life, complete with an opening ceremony, survivor/caregiver walk, luminaria ceremony and closing ceremony—all aimed at celebrating cancer survivors and raising funds to help continue the fight for a world free from cancer. Visit acsevents.org or contact Kendra Paiz at 706.309.1213 or Kendra.email@example.com.
may/june 2019 | 61
DR. SARA COLLINS
Join us for our quarterly
Veterinary AMA Talk
(Ask Me Anything)
In office August 2019. Pre-book exotic wellness exams now.
➠ June 13 ➠ September 19 ➠ December 5
770-253-3416 24 Hospital Rd. • Newnan www.dogwoodvet.com
Coweta County Cattlemen’s Association Rodeo
Coweta County Fairgrounds, Newnan | 8 p.m.-11 p.m.
Gates open at 6 p.m. with food, games, vendors and music. The rodeo kicks off at 8 p.m. with a grand entrance and the National Anthem. Friday, May 17, is Kid’s Night with children ages 4-12 admitted for half price ($5). Otherwise, tickets are $15, adults, and $10 for children. Saturday, May 18, is Tough Enough to Wear Pink night. Visit cowetacattlemens.com.
Courthouse Square, Newnan | 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The Market features more than 50 vendors with one-of-a-kind items, including fresh locally grown produce, honey, jams and jellies, pottery, art, hand-woven baskets, leather products and more. Visit mainstreetnewnan.com.
nursery & gardens
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Great selection of: • Annuals Your Source for • Perennials ORGANIC and • Herbs NATURAL • Shrubs GARDENING PRODUCTS • Trees 726 N. Hwy. 29, Newnan 770.683.7224 auto lockouts
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229-C Greenville St. Newnan, GA 30263 Credit Cards Accepted NEWNAN, GA
www.charlieswrecker.com 62 | www.newnancowetamag.com
Coweta County Farmers Market Opening Day South Court Square, Newnan | 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Coweta County Farmers Market opens for the season on June 5 and continues weekly on Wednesdays with locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey, fresh cut flowers and more available for purchase. Visit mainstreetnewnan.com.
Summer Wined-Up Downtown Newnan | 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Summer Wined-Up is a downtown wine-tasting event that’s becoming a popular tradition. Individual tastings occur at different downtown businesses with participants exploring during a “wine walk” that moves through more than 30 host locations with business hours extended. Main Street Newnan releases a limited number of Summer Wined-Up tickets. Visit mainstreetnewnan. com or call 770.253.8283.
Greenville Street Park, Newnan | 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
This monthly summer event series takes place the second Thursday of June, July and August and features live music, food trucks, and loads of fun. Visit mainstreetnewnan.com.
Rocky King & Jeff Foxworthy Charity/Celebrity Golf Tournament
Canongate 1 Golf Course, Sharpsburg | 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. A benefit fundraiser for retired pro-wrestler Rocky King’s Body Slamm Hunger & Homeless Program, this annual event promises to be the most fun you can have on a golf course. King teams up with comedian Jeff Foxworthy for a day that features photos with Jeff and Ricky, a shotgun start, celebrity pairings, live wrestling show, live and silent auction, raffle and more. The first to make a hole-in-one on #17 wins a new Toyota truck sponsored by Toyota of Newnan. Register as a single golfer or a team of four for $200-$1,200. Call 770.310.7905 or visit bodyslammhungerandhomelessness.org.
In The Midst of Winter A Review by Nancy Croy Anyanonu
“In the midst of winter, I finally found there was within me an invincible summer.” — Albert Camus Allende is a Chilean American writer who has written eight novels which have been translated in 35 languages and have become best sellers on four continents. In 2004, she was inducted into the Academy of Arts and Letters. Born in 1942 in Peru and raised in Chile, she now lives in California. “In The Midst of Winter” was published by Simon and Schuster in 2017, has 340 pages, and includes a reading group guide. ★★★★
this sweeping novel takes the reader from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala, Brazil and Chile in the 1970s. Isabel Allende’s book, “In The Midst of Winter,” is a timely message about immigration. With her themes of social justice and love, she gives readers a look at what immigration is really like in this country. Allende’s story revolves around three people who each have experienced events in their lives that could have destroyed them. The author leads her readers through the life of each character and to the wintery day in New York City when their paths cross, which unexpectedly binds them together to eventually solve the challenges of their pasts. The three characters are a college department chairman, an immigrant from Guatemala and a Chilean exile. Allende weaves together the life of this immigrant, the journey of an exile separated from family, and the despair of a man who views his past as total failure. Ingeniously, she unfolds an example of how people can enter into one another’s lives and change them for the better. She showcases an ability to change this unlikely tale into one that draws in readers to believe in the possibility of trust and love. She turns the midst of winter into an endless summer.
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Photo by Jodie Astin welcome relaxa tion at the lake.
gly Photo by Laurie Mattin thanks Gary Wilson Tabay the rescue dog him for bringing home.
Wilson Photo by Gary .
e Bend State Park
oche s day at Chattaho falls on a winter’
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