2022_NCM Jan/Feb

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Southern Elegance


Focus on Grantville New Ways We Do Business



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We are looking to hire Youth Care Workers who have the personal characteristics, experience and temperament to work with and provide appropriate care for youth in our programs. Responsibilities Supervise residents and manage behaviors through service and safety plans Documentation Staff development and training

Qualifications Minimum age of 21 High school diploma or GED Favorable background results, reference checks, and drug screen

Benefits (for full time) Health and Dental Insurance Paid leave accrual 403(b) retirement plan Scholarship program And many more!

To learn more about our employment opportunities, contact us or apply today!


The Depot is a historic, all-season wedding venue located in the heart of downtown Carrollton. With flexible seating plans, affordable packages and tons of rustic charm, The Depot is the perfect setting for your perfect day.

for more information and to Schedule a tour, visit carrolltonga.com/depotweddings or depot@carrollton-ga.gov

Do not scale .5 stroke.


Fall is the perfect time to move your workouts into the fresh air. Enjoy the cooler weather while working on your fitness goals at Carl Miller Park. One of the popular features of the park is the Walking/Jogging trail. One circuit around the trail is 6/10 mile. Environmentally-friendly water stations and recycling bins throughout the park Pavilion reservations free for Newnan Utilities’ customers: NewnanUtilities.org/ParkRes Facebook.com/CarlMillerPark 74 Sewell Road, Newnan, GA 30263 | Open Daily 8 am — 8 pm 70 Sewell Road NewnanUtilitiesGA

nu newnan-coweta oct21.indd 1

Newnan, GA 30263





10/1/21 11:38 AM

A Publication of The Newnan Times-Herald


Vice President



Creative Directors

Production Director

Contributing Writers

William W. Thomasson Marianne C. Thomasson C. Clayton Neely Elizabeth C. Neely Jackie Kennedy Sandy Hiser, Sonya Studt Debby Dye Blue Cole

Jason Eaker

Jenny Enderlin

Glenda Harris

Marty Hohmann

Frances Kidd

Gail McGlothin

April McGlothin-Eller

Neil Monroe

Payton Thompson

Jeffrey Ward

Jackie Kennedy


April McGlothin-Eller

Neil Monroe

Misha Benson

Multimedia Sales Specialists

Jill Whitley


Groom’s Cakes


or email advertise@newnan.com Newnan-Coweta Magazine is published bi-monthly by The Newnan Times-Herald, Inc., 16 Jefferson Street, Newnan, GA 30263. Newnan-Coweta Magazine is distributed in home-delivery copies of The Newnan Times-Herald and at businesses and offices throughout Coweta County.

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On the Web: newnancowetamagazine.com @newnancowetamag @newnancowetamagazine

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© 2022 by The Newnan Times-Herald, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.

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20 our


20 | A Marriage Made in Newnan Featured on the cover, Zack and Lexy McCurry's summer wedding was the epitome of Southern elegance. By Jackie Kennedy

32 | The Wedding Feast Receptions have come a long way from cheese straws and butter mints. More than fast food, today's wedding meal resembles a feast. By Frances Kidd

36 | A Trio of Weddings Three couples share the fine points of their Coweta County ceremonies. By Jenny Enderlin


76 48 | Plan Your Financial Future A local financial advisor shares timeless tips on how newlyweds – or anyone, for that matter – can start now to secure their financial future. By Jason Eaker

64 | Focus on Grantville A renaissance is underway in Grantville, thanks to a few residents who envision big things in this small town. By Marty Hohmann

76 | New Ways We Do Business Since spring 2020, a pandemic and economic woes have led businesses to work in new ways, some for the better. By Neil Monroe

in this issue 14 | From the Editor 15 | Caption This 16 | Roll Call 17 | The First to Know 18 | Book Review 54 | Coweta Cooks 72 | A Closer Look 82 | Nonprofit Spotlight 87 | Coweta Prose & Poetry 92 | Payton's Place 94 | Service Directory 96 | Blacktop 98 | The Wrap-Up

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Focus on Grantville New Ways We Do Business



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New Year, New Feeling in the Air


s a new year begins to unfold, people all around Coweta are blazing new paths. Whether just married or starting a new business, they're embarking on new ways of living filled with hope for the future. Their energy and excitement are almost palpable. We can feel it in the air. Few things in life personify the excitement of newness as much as a wedding. When two individuals join to become one couple, they express faith in the unknown as they promise to share the future, in good and in bad. It's an awesome event that can be awfully scary going into – and just as awesomely rewarding. In this Wedding Issue, we introduce four couples who exchanged vows in 2021. They share stories of their love and how it led to their big day, the wedding of their dreams! We also take a look at how Coweta couples do wedding receptions. Whether it's a backyard barbecue picnic or an elegant sit-down dinner, the meal with a Southern accent is sure to be delectable. To help newlyweds get off on the right foot when it comes to handling money, we offer a few tips on facing your financial future together. Even for those not married, these common sense tips can be helpful. Speaking of finances, we take a look at local businesses impacted by COVID-19 and economic concerns that cast a shadow over most of the past two years. While many businesses across the nation have shut down, those that have remained open and successful are those that embraced new ways of doing business and meeting customer needs. We chat with a few business owners whose revamped operation models may remain long after this crisis has ended. Also in this New Year issue, we kick off a new feature that we'll continue through 2022. In each issue this year, we will take a long look at a city in Coweta County to revisit a little of its history and explore its vision for the future. We actually started this series with our November-December 2021 issue in which we celebrated the sesquicentennial of Sharpsburg. In this issue, we visit Grantville, where a few residents are teaming up – and teeming with excitement – at the possibilities of growing their town with new businesses, including a new events venue that's open and inviting. All around Coweta, the New Year brings hope for renewal. We hope you feel it in the air the way we do.

Jackie Kennedy, Editor magazine@newnan.com


Photo by Andy Of

futt Irwin

Caption This! In November, we asked our NewnanCoweta Magazine readers and Facebook friends to caption this photo. We received numerous entries with the winning caption, below, submitted by Merry Todd of Newnan. In January, we'll post another photo for readers to caption. Winners receive an NCM T-shirt. Visit newnancowetamagazine.com or follow us on Facebook to submit your caption.

“Purrrrrr-fectly good firewood!!!” @newnancowetamag

Wine & Culinary

Romantic Dinner in Santorini, Greece

Small Ship Cruises

The American Song on the Columia River


The Douro River Valley, Home of Port Wine

COGGIN TRAVELS 1-800-912-9701

Join our mailing list at coggintravels.com


Roll Call Frances Kidd is a Newnan native who spent most of her adult years working as a nonprofit and marketing consultant. Although she’s an avid traveler, she never lost her Southern accent. If she’s not in Georgia, you can find her out in the country in Italy.

Jeffrey Ward is a native San Franciscan, Vietnam vet and University of Washington communications grad with a 50-year career in aviation. He’s been married 47 years, has two adult children and six grandchildren, and is a foodie and Facebook junkie.

Gail McGlothin is a nonprofit consultant and grant writer. When she's not searching for starfish on the Oregon coast, kayaking, reading or playing board games with her grandchildren, Gail helps voters get government-issued picture IDs.

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.

Blue Cole is a writer and ne'erdo-well who serves as mayor of - and lives in Sharpsburg with his wife, children and other wee creatures.

The Rev. April McGlothin-Eller is the director of Church and Community Engagement at Wellroot Family Services, a ministry of the United Methodist Church. In her free time, she fancies herself a musician, artist and photographer.

Neil Monroe is a retired corporate communicator whose career included jobs with Southern Company, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola Enterprises. His roots are in community journalism. He and his wife, Rayleen, live in Sharpsburg where they enjoy tennis, golf and grandchildren.

Jenny Enderlin graduated cum laude from Florida State University with an English degree. She enjoys volunteering with the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, Saint Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, Coweta County Democrat Party, One Roof and Backstreet Community Arts.

Glenda Harris lives in Senoia with her husband and their Boykin spaniel, Buddy. A freelance writer and book review columnist, she worked many years as a medical editor and is creator of The Book Vault, a large online book club.


Payton Thompson is the mother of a baby boy who keeps her busy 24/7. She loves her family and her job as receptionist at The Newnan Times-Herald and, when she’s not occupied with all of these, she enjoys crafting.

Jason Eaker is a local certified financial planner with Avery & Pope Wealth Management. He, his wife and three children reside in downtown Newnan and enjoy all the area has to offer.


Never Miss a Magazine! Your subscription to The Newnan Times-Herald (NTH) includes a copy of Newnan-Coweta Magazine mailed to your home or office! NTH is your reliable source for news on community events, crime, local government, arts and culture, social services, zoning and development. November 6, 2021

Bells and whistles celebrated atHeritage-Trinitygame ce COMMUNITY • 12A


Saturday & Sunday

| $2.00 ISSUE 193 | NEWNA N, GA | SINCE 1865


Opinion ................. 4A Community .... 12-13A Obituaries .......... 14A Sports ................ 1-4B Senior Living ......... 5B Home&Garden .... 7B Faith ................... 8-9B

Smokey Road and Evans clinch .................... Page 1B

Restaurant inspections

‘Hometown Ch Ampion’ in base opportu nities, but dur- the first player to be unanin g the post sea son, he ball history to the selected imously level. was on another of Fame. J u s t h o w g o o d w a s Baseba ll Hall This week, the Atlanta a accomplished r e v i R s i h t g n i r u d h t i m S st r fi Br ave s won thei r that feat in 1999, the last World Series in 26 years, postseas on? were in H is st at s du r i n g the time the Braves de ci sively b e ati n g the the World Series. r o f k a e p s n o s a e s Houston Astros in game p o s t wins Smith’s of Both 11 games, six, 7-0. The man on the themselves. In in n in gs , c a me i n t he fi r s t t wo mound when the Braves he pitched 11 al Nation the of s me ga d n a s it h wo n it a l l? A p it ch e r a l lowe d five but r a n g L e a g ue Ch a mpion sh ip f r om N ew n a n n a me d three walks, and Series, when Smith shut ts strikeou eight up Will Smith. s i n g l e dow n the L os A n gele s Smith has come a long d i d n ’ t a l l o w a cross the Dodger s in tied games, w a y f r o m t h o s e d a y s earned run to facing k e e p i n g t h e D o d g e r s hitters w h e n h e p i t c h e d f o r plate. The muster from plating a single runthe Northg ate Vikings , him could only . ner, allowin g the Braves average batting 9 .13 a three includin g stints on it h w a s to pull ahead in walk-off other teams: the Kansas O ffic i a l ly, S m two wins situatio ns in the bottom with credited Milwauthe Royals, City of the ninth. kee Brewers and the San and six saves. S m i t h ’ s fi r s t t h r e e The only other pitcher Francisc o Giants, before saves helped the Braves with history l basebal n in ow homet joi n i n g h i s a head of the M ilpull saves six Braves team last season. two wins and son? waukee Brewer s in the D u r i n g t h e r e g u l a r in a single postsea i s io n S e r ie s , w it h iv D all of closer greatest The 3-7 season, Smith went Rivera of those th ree saves hap w it h a 3 . 4 4 E R A a nd time, Mariano – 37 saves out of 4 3 save the New York Yankees CHAMPS • 2A




ng the Will Smith, le , is honored in a parade celebrati is a 2007 graduate Atlanta Braves’ World Series win. Smith of Northgate High School.

New proposed legislative maps would split northern Coweta

.................... Page 10A

y! a d o T e ib r c s b u S &

Back again Adventures in photography

s: bscription Rate led to your home or business; rd Su Standa.............. ....... Page 16A wspaper mai weta Magazine. Co e NTH ne ues of NewnanIncludes thWEATH ER online; and all 6 iss 25 ss ce ths $1stores ac ll on fu m US 12 • PL ths $62.50 accepting applications for the three liquor

Coweta County will begin andon 6willm • Newnan election is certified. Senoia will likely adopt be allowed in each jurisdiction once the 3 months $31.25 that in early 2022. an ordinance allowing package liquor sales

ns: tary and Vetera 9 and older), Mili s $9liqu onthept or Senior (65SATURD 12 lmacc AY 9.50 •wil city $4 , s nty th Cou on m 6 • 5 º º 4.7 $2 s th 35 58 on m 3 re applications soon Mostly cloudy


BY SARAH FAY CAMPBELL sarah@newnan.com


ordina nces over the su m mer, m a k in g them c o nt i n g e nt o n vo t e r s approvi ng the package liquor referendum. The referendum to a llow package sa les of distille d spirits passed over whelm in g ly in a ll three jurisdict ions. In unincorporated C owet a , the vot e w a s

22 votes, 40 percent. Both Coweta and Newnan will begin accepti ng applica tions once the election is certified. Each ordinan ce l i m it s t h e nu m b e r o f active licenses to three, a n d s e t s s i g n i fi c a n t require ments designe d to only a llow la rge stores. Stores must have are feet

Community News written by Local Reporters GEORGIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY

House of This is the current proposal for new Georgia take effect for Representatives Districts, which would Coweta into two the 2022 elections. The maps split north County and districts, both of which are based in Fulton have a high proportion of Democrat voters.

owet a C ou nt y a Call: 770-253-1576 • StoptheCby: Jefferson Street, Newnan • Order Online: times-herald.com/subscribe plan Newnan city of 16 be repre sente d i n the BY SARAH FAY CAMPBELL


64 36

Mostly sunny

to start acceptin g applications next week from those hoping to operate liquor stores. While Coweta County will process applicat ions on a fi r s t c ome , fi r s t


Residents of norther n Coweta would be split nt i o t wo s t at e Hou s e district s, both of which e primari ly in Fulton

Georgia House of Representatives . Both of the district s that cover north Coweta have most of their population in Fulton County a nd a re li kely to be


‘Bells for Eli’ Reviewed by GLENDA HARRIS


ells for Eli” is the compelling debut novel from lifelong South Carolinian Susan Beckham Zurenda. A resident of Spartanburg, she delivers in this book a poignant, unforgettable coming-of-age story – and what should be a serious contender for best debut novel. We meet cousins Eli and Delia when they are three years old. It’s at this time that Eli is critically injured in an accident at home. With the story set in rural South Carolina during the 1960s and ’70s, Eli and Delia live across the street from one another. From the time they are toddlers, the boy and girl are best friends who do everything together and look out for one another. Eli’s recovery from injuries sustained in the accident is long and difficult, and he’s left with scars and ongoing difficulties that he must deal with every day. Delia, ever cognizant of Eli and his moods, is like a mother hen trying to protect her best friend as they grow older – and as he begins to take chances and behave recklessly. “Bells For Eli” is garnering high praise from well known writers including Mary Alice Monroe, who says: “‘Bells for Eli’ is a consummate story of determination and love prevailing in a world where cruelty and exclusion threaten to dominate. Stories of the heart don’t get any better than this.” Cassandra King Conroy wrote, “A stunning debut, ‘Bells for Eli’ establishes Susan Beckham Zurenda as one of the most exciting new voices in Southern fiction.” The book is heartwarming and, in turn, heartbreaking. Readers will adore Eli and Delia and marvel at their extraordinary bond of friendship. I highly recommend reading this debut novel. Written by Susan Beckham Zurenda, “Bells for Eli” was published March 2, 2020, by Mercer University Press in Macon; 282 pages. ★★★★

Read a good book lately? Share your favorite new read with Newnan-Coweta Magazine by writing a book review for possible publication in an upcoming issue. Keep your review at 200300 words and please include the author’s name, page count and date of publication. Send your review with your contact information to magazine@newnan.com or mail to Newnan-Coweta Magazine, 16 Jefferson St., Newnan, GA 30263.











G N I N E OP SOON! Opening concert

JAnuary 22, 2022


Performing Arts Center Heard County



February 11, 2022

Buy Season Tickets @ HC-GPAC.com

Zack and Lexy McCurry pose for photos at their June wedding reception at The Venue at Murphy Lane.


Southern Elegance:


e g a i r r a AM n a n w e N Made in Written by JACKIE KENNEDY Photos courtesy of JESSICA WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPHY


exy and Zack McCurry started dating in 2011 as high school students and married nine and a half years later in June 2021. While their wedding marked the culmination of a decade-long courtship, it celebrated the beginning of a marriage made in Newnan.

The daughter of Joe and Tracy Zelczak, Lexy was born and raised in Newnan. Zack moved here from Toccoa in 2011, and the two were

introduced at a high school football game when they were both students at East Coweta High. They graduated in 2013. After high school, Lexy went to the University of Georgia and completed grad school at the University of Pittsburgh. She now works as an occupational therapist at Piedmont Hospital in Columbus. Zack graduated from the University of West Georgia and teaches special education at Arbor Springs Elementary School.


Zack and Lexy’s wedding party included, from left, men: Mike Huggins, Taylor Ferringer, Zack McCurry, Evan Shirley, Alex Bollinger and Josh McCurry. Women: Jordan Bennet, Kelly Ballock, Abby Zelczak, Andrea Hammond, Lexy McCurry and Brittany McCurry.

As homage to her parents’ Pittsburgh upbringing, Lexy made sure there was a Pittsburgh Cookie Table at her reception. The tradition involves family members and friends baking their best cookies to share with the wedding couple. Here, a young wedding guest picks his choice from more than 1,000 cookies baked for the occasion.

OPPOSITE PAGE Lexy purchased her wedding gown from DownTown Gowns in Carrollton.

Since Lexy attended St. George Catholic Church, went to preschool and was baptized there, she knew she wanted a church wedding. “It was important for me to get married in the church,” she says. “It’s a religious sacrament and a part of my faith.” About 130 guests attended the June 5 ceremony at St. George and then moved on to Murphy Lane for the reception, where a family-style feast of fried chicken and fixings was served and the dancefloor buzzed with fun. The new couple, their bridal party and wedding guests reported the event was a huge success. Lexy started planning for the big day about 14 months prior to the wedding. She recommends newly engaged couples take at least a year to plan and coordinate. She offers another helpful hint: “Don’t sweat the details. Trust your vendors because they’ve done many weddings and know that the details are important, so let them handle all the little stuff.” With photos courtesy of Jessica Williams, a wedding photographer from Griffin, Lexy and Zack share details on services provided by a few of their Newnan-based wedding vendors.



T he



St. George Catholic Church stgeorgenewnan.org


The Venue at Murphy Lane thevenueatmurphylane.com

While exchanging vows in their home church was important to them, Lexy and Zack opted to hold their wedding reception at The Venue at Murphy Lane. “As soon as we went there looking at venues, we knew it would definitely be the place,” Lexy recalls. “We like to say they’re the Chick-fil-A of wedding venues. It’s 88 acres of beautiful pastures full of flowers and beautiful scenery, and Hank and Kara, who own it, make you feel so loved and so important. Their hospitality is true Southern hospitality. They made sure we’d be taken care of, and they conveyed that as soon as we walked in the door. The venue is indoor/outdoor with a wraparound covered porch. It’s a reconstructed barn, but inside it’s elegant and beautiful. The chandeliers and warm neutral colors make you feel calm.”


T he

Bar Service

The Venue at Murphy Lane thevenueatmurphylane.com

Lexy and Zack were among the first couples to experience bar services provided by The Venue at Murphy Lane. “It’s something new,” says Lexy. “They just got their alcohol license last year so they could provide bartenders, and their bartenders were amazing. When we danced the polka, the bartenders started dancing with us. They were awesome.” According to Lexy, the couple’s signature drink at the reception was a Georgia Mule.

T he

Bride’s Advice “Don’t sweat the details. Trust your vendors.”

T he

Wedding Planner

Southern Flair Events southernflairevents.com

When it comes to staging a wedding, Lea Ann Hurd of Southern Flair Events probably “knows everyone and everything in Newnan and the surrounding areas,” according to Lexy. “Any questions I had about vendors, Lea Ann had their contact information and they called me within hours.” Hurd not only worked to coordinate vendors; she knew which vendors worked well together, Lexy adds. “She knew all the ins and outs of all the vendors in the area, and she built an amazing team. Plus, on the day of the wedding, she made sure I had everything I needed and didn’t have to lift a finger. She was great.” JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022 | 25

T he

Catering Elegant Expressions Catering elegantexpressionscatering.com

Owner Lori Corley of Elegant Expressions Catering handled catering for the reception, which featured family-style dining with fried chicken as the main dish. “Everybody loved the food,” says Lexy. “It was the most complimented part of the whole wedding.” Homemade biscuits, salad, orzo, veggies and peach sweet tea rounded out the meal. Corley personally served the wedding couple and presented them with a basketful of food and champagne to enjoy at the hotel after the wedding.


T he



Based in Newnan, Southern Stems serves Southern Stems the surrounding area southernstems.com with owner Leslie Wacker providing floral arrangements for all occasions. “I was very go-with-the-flow and taking advice, but when it came to flowers, I knew magnolia was what I definitely wanted,” says Lexy. “It’s such an elegant, beautiful flower. I’m a Southern girl born and raised in Newnan and feel like the magnolia encompasses Southerness.” Magnolia leaves adorned the chandeliers at Murphy Lane, and a large arrangement used in front of the church altar during the ceremony was transported to the reception venue where it was stationed in front of the couple’s sweetheart table. At tables where the couple’s parents and bridal party sat, large vases of magnolia leaves were gorgeous, notes Lexy.



T he


Something Delightful Bakery facebook.com/SomethingDelightfulBakery/

Mary Jane Hollister’s Something Delightful Bakery made a great impression on Lexy beginning with the cake tasting and carrying all the way through the wedding. “She offered so many options and let us bring home things so we could try them out with our family,” says Lexy. “I bet we had 20 varieties to choose from, and her cake was so moist and good.” Lexy shared more than a dozen photos with Hollister and asked her to incorporate all she could into the cake. “She drew up a design and did that,” says Lexy. “She listened, and she did an amazing job on the cake.” For an added touch, the florist added magnolia leaves around the base of the cake to keep with the magnolia theme.


T he

Tuxedo Celebrate Tuxedos celebrationgeorgia.com

Based in Newnan, Celebrate Tuxedos is a one-stop shop for wardrobe needs of men in the wedding party. “They did everything for the groom, the groomsmen and the dads’ tuxedos,” says Lexy. “They had everything we wanted and were easy to work with. And talk about Southern hospitality; they sent us Christmas cards and birthday cards. They’re just so nice.” Rocking their tuxes are, from left, groomsmen Alex Bollinger, Evan Shirley and Josh McCurry, Groom Zack McCurry, and groomsmen Mike Huggins and Taylor Ferringer.



T he


Joe Cebulski joe.h.cebulski@gmail.com


A family friend, Joe Cebulski served as DJ at the McCurry wedding reception. “He’s deejayed hundreds of weddings and was great,” says the new bride. “He has his own setup and lights that he projects on the floor.” With tunes playing all night long, the dance floor was a popular place to be, especially when Lexy and Zack were dancing. Other Newnan vendors that helped make the McCurry event a success included Oink Joint, which catered the rehearsal dinner held at Below the Neck by Redneck Gourmet, and Sew Julie, which handled alterations for the wedding party. NCM

Best wishes for a long and happy marriage to Zack and Lexy McCurry!

T he Wedding Feast



Photo by Jessica Williams Photography


ABOVE and OPPOSITE PAGE A fried chicken dinner with all the fixings was served family style at the reception of Zack and Lexy McCurry, the featured couple on this issue's cover.


eddings and the wedding feast have been around since Ancient Rome. Initially, marriage was an arrangement between two families, lots of paperwork and little romance. In most cultures, of course, this and other ancient wedding traditions have disappeared over the last 2,000 years.

The wedding feast, however, has lasted through the ages. Even in arranged marriages, there was a large wedding feast after the wedding contract was signed. Since eating together is one of our most basic shared activities, it’s no surprise that newly married couples for millennia have celebrated with food. Here in Coweta, the wedding feast has evolved over the years. Coweta native Kay McWaters Cawthon says, “When I was young, weddings were primarily in the afternoon with a reception following in the church fellowship hall. The staples on the refreshment table were most likely chicken salad sandwiches, cheese straws and Jordan almonds.” For many folks in the area, this seems to have been a county-wide custom. Since the receptions were at church, no alcohol was served, but it was always possible to find a good fruity punch. Nowadays, the wedding feast has a new look and taste. “When my daughter was married in 2008,” Cawthon recalls, “the ceremony and dinner were at Dunaway Gardens and the food was more reminiscent of a Southern family reunion, with a grits bar and black-eyed pea succotash served in martini glasses.”

Photo by Jessica Williams Photography

Meals at contemporary weddings in Coweta today can range from a barbecue to a food truck to the more traditional sit-down dinner. While some of the changes began due to challenges posed by the pandemic, it seems the wedding feast of today is more about fun and a good party. Paige Paul, owner of Paige Me Events and Marketing, says she’s noticed that weddings are much more casual today and there are many more options for food. “The Georgia Shrimp Company in Peachtree City did ours,” Paul says. “But we’ve seen trends change even in the last couple of years. For example, the charcuterie board seems like it’s becoming a staple.” Mariah Broome, of Mariah Caitlin Events, says, “I’ve noticed, especially this past year, a lot of couples are focusing on the guest experience and doing things a bit out of the ordinary.” Broome says her clients are steering away from buffets, partly due to COVID-19. “We’re seeing a lot more heavy appetizers and more farm-to-table dishes,” she says. “In some cases, since weddings are smaller, again due to the pandemic, couples are paying more attention to the food.”

A Few Coweta Caterers Contemporary Catering ccgeorgia.com

Dennis Dean dennisdeancatering.com

Elegant Catering & Decor 770.315.9991

Food for Thought Catering fftcaters.com

Your Chef to Go yourcheftogoinc.com



Wedding Cake Around the World A Brief History Written by FRANCES KIDD


or centuries, wedding ceremonies the world over have included cake. In Ancient Rome, marriages were sealed when the groom smashed a barley cake over the bride’s head. Guests would try to pick up crumbs, which were supposed to guarantee them luck. In Medieval England, the barley cake evolved into a tall pile of small spiced buns. If the bride and groom could kiss over the top of the stacked buns, it was thought they would have a life of prosperity. Unmarried guests sometimes took home a little piece of cake to tuck under their pillow. Tiered cakes with white icing appeared in England when sugar became plentiful. Because sugar was expensive, the whiteness of the cake was a status symbol meant to display the family’s wealth. By the nineteenth century, the assortment of cakes had gradually acquired the name “wedding cake.” At Queen Victoria’s wedding to Prince Albert in 1840, white icing was used to decorate her cake, and this icing has since been known as “royal icing.” Various charms were baked into the bride’s cake, each with a different meaning, for example: a silver coin, ring, button or thimble. The guest who received the slice containing the coin was assured of future prosperity, while the ring meant marriage within a year.

Photo courtesy of Mariah Caitlin Events

Broome says she’s also seen a lot of crowdpleasing favorites, such as a build your own macand-cheese bar as well as more unique items like sushi stations. Youlanda Jenkins, owner of Elegant Catering and Décor, says that more than half of the weddings she does are the more traditional type. “We do a lot of sit-down dinners, and the bride often chooses the traditional tiered cake,” says Jenkins. “But we also do casual wedding dinners like a barbecue and maybe even a fish fry.” Wedding celebrations in Coweta seem to be as diverse as the community itself. While there wasn’t much drinking in the church basement, now many couples have a signature cocktail like Tamiko and Whitney Williams, one of the featured couples in this issue (see page 41). Their signature cocktail was named after one of their dogs: Comet-ka-zee. The traditional white tiered wedding cake is no longer found at every wedding. Some brides choose to serve multiple smaller cakes with favorite flavors. Some cakes are created as a lifelike version of an item significant to the couple. A dessert station, basically a buffet with a choice of sweets, is also popular. Some couples have both: the traditional cake they cut together and a dessert bar. The groom’s cake appeared in the 17th century as a dark, heavy fruitcake. Today, says Broome, “I mostly see the groom’s cake served at the rehearsal dinner.” Today’s groom’s cake is chosen to fit specific tastes or interests. Some grooms choose their favorite dessert, such as peach cobbler, or in some cases, it’s iced with the colors of a favorite college football team. The food truck craze has expanded to weddings and has been a good alternative in these pandemic days. The couple usually chooses a food truck that specializes in one item, like wood-fired oven pizza, with stations for sides. Some couples use a food truck to deliver a late-night snack after the reception dinner and dancing. While some traditions have lasted through the years, there is no one category for weddings today. The ceremony and wedding feast directly reflect the tastes of each bride and groom. The big question: Has Coweta really said “goodbye” to cheese straws and Jordan almonds and “hello” to artisanal salami? NCM

Jesslyn and Michael Canady celebrated their big day with a keg cake as a groom’s cake prepared by Cake Envy.

Photo by Chasity Posey


Something Delightful Bakery, in Peachtree City, made the wedding cake for Tamiko and Whitney Williams, who married in Newnan in 2021. The three-layer cake featured a peony the couple grew themselves.

Cakes Made in Coweta Beautifully Baked by Bonne beautifullybakedbybonne.com

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I “ Do”

Our Way



ith shades of blush and bashful (aka pink and pink) reigning as popular wedding colors among Southern brides this year, one might think little has changed in wedding traditions since the movie “Steel Magnolias’’ came out in the late 1980s. Modern brides are comfortable embracing tradition when it suits them but are unafraid to forge new paths when it feels more fitting. The emergence of COVID-19 has driven

couples to become more flexible and prioritize what is important to them. While brides still veer towards white gowns, white wedding cakes, and bouquets of roses, little else is considered untouchable. Few couples toss bouquets and garters nowadays; instead, they may add a game to the festivities or simply enjoy dancing the night away. Many consider incorporating their four-legged furry friends. Whether pets actually attend is typically a matter of the dogs’ individual behavior rather than social mores. In short, wedding styles are all about reflecting the couple’s personality. Here’s how three couples personalized their Newnan nuptials.


Photo by Danielle Thompson Photography

Leanne Dunn shares a sweet moment with her flower girl, her niece Henley Dunn.


May  1,  2021

Leanne Dunn + Chris Liebe Photographed by DANIELLE THOMPSON PHOTOGRAPHY


ven though Leanne Dunn and Chris Liebe grew up in Newnan and had mutual friends, they didn’t know each other prior to attending Auburn University. “I guess the timing wasn’t right yet,” mused Leanne. With their wedding, they knew the moment was right to bring their loved ones together. “Our goal was to have all our family and friends in one place, especially after the pandemic and not seeing everyone for a long time.” Nearly everyone they invited, almost 250 people, showed up. “We’re a low-key kind of couple,” says the bride, adding that she just wanted to have fun while describing her wedding as “classic but not formal.” The wedding was held at Newnan Presbyterian Church, and the reception took place at the Historic Train Depot in downtown Newnan, where a rented tent, tables and chairs expanded the venue. The couple enjoyed traditional dances. Their first dance was to “Wonderful Tonight.” The father-daughter dance was to “My Girl,” and the groom and his mother danced to “What A Wonderful World.” The groom’s cake table was outfitted with Auburn memorabilia, but it was the Liebe family’s favorite key lime cakes that stole the show. The groom’s aunt, Suzanne Brooks, made six three-layer key lime cakes with cream cheese frosting to satisfy the guests.

OPPOSITE PAGE AND ABOVE Sweethearts since college, Leanne Dunn and Chris Liebe were married last year in Newnan. LEFT For the couple's reception, Chris Liebe's aunt baked six three-layer key lime cakes, a favorite dessert of the Liebe family.

The wedding party of Mr. and Mrs. Chris Liebe poses for photos on the steps of Newnan Presbyterian Church.

Bride’s Attire The bride wore a cathedral-length veil to match her white satin dress from J. Andrews Bridal.

T he


Styling The bride’s makeup artist was Amy Camp from Auburn, and her hair stylist was Natalie Sims from Athens.

Groom’s Attire The groom’s classic black tux was obtained from Celebrate Tuxedos.

Rings The bride’s yellow gold band with solitaire cushioncut diamond came from Da Vinci Fine Jewelers in Atlanta. The wedding bands were from Morgan Jewelers in Newnan.

Flowers Arthur Murphey Florist constructed the white rose and greenery for the ceremony flowers. Lori Strange, with Kroger on Bullsboro Drive, assisted in creating blush, white and blue hydrangea arrangements for the reception.

Cake Along with the key lime cakes, the reception featured a wedding cake created by Newnan cake artist Bonne Boyd Bedingfield, owner of Beautifully Baked by Bonne. The four-tier almond cake with buttercream frosting was decorated with a hydrangea and greenery on top.

Caterer Contemporary Catering suggested a buffet/serve combination in which they plated parmesan crusted chicken, beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad and rolls.

Venues Bonne Boyd Bedingfield created a four-tier almond wedding cake for the Liebe reception.

The wedding ceremony was at Newnan Presbyterian Church, and the reception was at the Historic Train Depot in downtown Newnan.

Tamiko Washington + Whitney Williams Photographed by CHASITY POSEY

April  17,  2021

Mr. and Mrs. Whitney Williams celebrate their wedding vows.


lthough bride Tamiko Washington and groom Whitney Williams met at Georgia State University, it was after graduation when Tamiko caught a glimpse of Whitney’s new puppy and reached out on social media to ask for a date. Years later, when the two former business administration majors began organizing their big “I Do,” it was all about attention to detail. Nothing was overlooked. “At the end of the day, it’s the bride and groom getting married, and it’s their special day,” says

Tamiko. “You want it to be what you dreamed it would be.” The Atlanta-based couple began their wedding planning by searching for the perfect outdoor location to fulfill their desire for an open environment in pandemic-uncertain times. With few wide open spaces in the city, they turned their sights toward Newnan and found The Venue at Murphy Lane. The pair instantly fell in love with the 88 acres of rolling meadows, allin-one service and high-end facilities that evoke Southern luxury. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022 | 41

The wedding party of Mr. and Mrs. Whitney Williams posed for photos at The Venue at Murphy Lane.

The couple included COVID-19 protocol inserts with their wedding invitations to set expectations and assure guests their health was a priority. They adopted a roaming style to their reception by spreading out the grazing table, dance area, instant-delivery photo booth and lawn games like cornhole, giant Jenga and Connect Four. To keep stress at bay, Tamiko employed Lea Ann Hurd, owner of Southern Flair Wedding & Events in Newnan, as her month-of coordinator, a professional who shadows the bride for the month leading up to the wedding to take care of all last-minute details, down to the final moments of the reception. One recommendation Tamiko shares is to have a photoshoot before the wedding day: “It was a fun dress rehearsal, and I was guaranteed to have some great images in my dress so I didn’t stress on the wedding day.” The couple opted for a pre-ceremony first look, giving her husband-to-be the opportunity to see her wedding gown before the nuptials. She acknowledges that while some may consider it bad luck, it was anything but for her and her groom – plus, it allowed another round of pre-wedding photo sessions, which gave them more flexibility on the day of the ceremony. “There’s all this stuff people are ‘supposed’ to do,” says the bride. The question this couple chose to ask themselves was, “How do we make this right for us?” Tamiko created the design for the wedding program and, using her Cricut machine, created signage for the table, bar and games. Piedmont Strings provided the ceremony music, and DJ Steve Haynes kept guests entertained and on their feet at the reception. 42 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAGAZINE.COM

The Washington-Williams wedding rings and invitations were elegant in design and details.

The wedding cake was adorned with a peony that the couple grew together. When they were dating, the groom mistakenly ordered bulbs encased in dirt, thinking he was sending Tamiko a bouquet of her favorite flowers. Rather than being upset, she suggested they enjoy planting the bulbs together. The new bride shares helpful hints for couples on their wedding day: “Pause throughout the day. Just take in different moments. Take mental snapshots to slow down the day and help store special memories. Recognize all the love that went into it.”

Tamiko Williams exudes elegant beauty on her wedding day.

Whitney Williams' groomsmen were handsome in their light spring suits.

Sewn inside Whitney's suit were milestone dates from his relationship with his new bride, including their wedding date.

T he


Bride’s Attire The bride’s tulle and lace spaghetti-strap mermaid gown came from Essense of Australia, Oxford Street label. The coordinating Martina Liana chapel-length veil also consisted of tulle and lace. The bride’s floral pearl dangle earrings are creations of Kate and Mari, and her bowtopped sandals are by Loeffler Randall.

Styling Internet-famous Erica Bogart of Bogart Beauty, in Atlanta, did the bride’s makeup, and Denishia Nix Horton of The Color Den Hair Studio, in East Point, did her hair.

Groom’s Attire The groom’s light gray suit was from Atlanta’s Bespokuture. Sewn into the inside liner were milestone dates in the couple’s relationship. His camel-colored shoes were from Cobbler Union, in Atlanta.

Rings Provided by Solomon Brothers Jewelers in Buckhead, the bride’s platinum ring bands are embedded with diamonds that set off a large pear-cut center diamond. The groom’s ring is rose gold with a meteorite strip encircling it. 44 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAGAZINE.COM

Flowers Susan Jennings of Kudzu Creative Designs, in Whitesburg, designed the bouquets and floral arrangements that consisted of peonies, roses, spray roses and eucalyptus.

Cake Mary Jane Hollister of Something Delightful Bakery, in Peachtree City, made a cake featuring two vanilla layers with a third layer of lemon and raspberry filling.

Caterer Sam and Rosco’s Restaurant, in Douglasville, provided the cocktail hour grazing table and dinner buffet, which consisted of beef medallions, chicken kabobs, crab cakes, bacon-wrapped dates, and macaroni and cheese. The Venue at Murphy Lane supplied beverages, including the couple’s signature strawberry mojito cocktail named after their dog, Comet-ka-zee.

Venues The rehearsal dinner was held at The Cellar in Newnan, and the ceremony and reception were at The Venue at Murphy Lane.

Tayler Lewis + Justin Fambro Photographed by ONCE LIKE A SPARK

May  1,  2021

Tayler Lewis and Justin Fambro tied the knot in Newnan in May.


hen Justin Fambro proposed to Tayler Lewis, he had filled the apartment with 100 balloons attached to pictures of the couple’s adventures together, donned his best suit, and put a bowtie on their dog Ruger. The couple had dreamed of a romantic ceremony to match the epic proposal and planned a destination wedding in Aruba; however, COVID-19 had other intentions, so the couple settled on a small backyard ceremony in May 2020. As they regrouped to plan the big wedding of their dreams, the LaGrange couple looked closer to home and decided on Lillian Gardens because of its beauty and full-service amenities. Then, in March 2021, an EF-4 tornado ripped through downtown Newnan, all but destroying the 1859 Victorian house that’s home to Lillian Gardens. Owner Ashley Keeley says she and her staff experienced “pure terror” when they first saw the destruction before switching their attention to doing whatever it took to move forward. “I feel personally responsible for a bride’s special day,” says Keeley. “There was no time to feel sorry for ourselves.” She declared that come May 1, her venue would be ready for the Lewis-Fambro wedding. “I wasn’t worried about it,” said Tayler, who had every confidence that the staff could pull it off. “They knew what they were doing. We had been planning a wedding for three years. We wanted to go ahead and do it if it was possible.” “Some would say the universe is trying to keep them apart, but we think it’s a sign that true love prevails all,” adds Lillian Gardens employee Stephanie Villegas. “With less than two months before their wedding, we worked endless days to make our venue beautiful again for Tayler and Justin’s wedding day.” The couple’s ceremony was the first event held at Lillian Gardens after the devastating tornado, and the bride says she felt “the garden was prettier after the tornado than before.” The Fambros report thoroughly enjoying their outdoor ceremony and tented reception. Instead of the bouquet and garter toss, the couple opted for newlywed games and, instead of a traditional guest book, chose to have guests autograph a signing globe. As for Lillian Gardens, Keeley hints that “surprises” are in store for the venue and promises an upcoming grand reopening in the spring of 2022 to showcase the renovated venue. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022 | 45

Tayler says this is her favorite photo from her wedding to Justin Fambro.


T he


Bride’s Attire The chapel-length gown with ornate lace back and satin and rhinestone belt are from J. Andrew’s Bridal in Peachtree City. The bride wore coordinating pearl and rhinestone T-strap sandals and chose a delicate metal hairpiece instead of a veil so as not to hide the detailing of the dress.

Styling The bride’s makeup was done by B. Young Beauty Studio and her hair was done by Lacy Duffie, of LaGrange.

Groom’s Attire The groom obtained his gray suit and soft pink tie at Men’s Wearhouse in Newnan.

Rings The bride’s solitaire diamond engagement ring with diamond band is from Solomon Brothers in Atlanta, and the band is from Morgan Jewelers in Newnan; both are Gabriel and Company. The groom’s silver wedding band is from Zales.

Flowers Arthur Murphey Florist in Newnan created white and blush rose bouquets with sprays of eucalyptus.

Cake Publix provided the three-tiered chocolate and vanilla marble cake with white frosting, which was adorned with blush roses on top and two dog figurines that appeared to be eating the icing.

Caterer Lillian Garden’s chef Rose Bezenah provided the buffet-style reception meal, which consisted of barbecue, baked chicken, macaroni and cheese, green beans, rolls, baked beans, sweet tea and lemonade.

Venues The rehearsal dinner was at Brickhouse Grille in LaGrange where the couple first met. Their ceremony and reception were at Lillian Gardens. NCM

TOP Flowers, invitations and accessories were beautiful. MIDDLE Guests signed a globe. BOTTOM The reception tables at Lillian Gardens invite wedding guests. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022 | 47


Marriage & Money

Financial Advice for Newlyweds Presented by JASON EAKER, CFP® Financial Advisor with Avery & Pope Wealth Management

Editor’s note: Whether it’s the start of a new year or a new marriage, newlyweds and established couples alike can benefit by following financial advice from those who know the most about managing money. Avery & Pope’s Jason Eaker shares tips that can take you out of the red in 2022.

1  Be

honest about what you’re bringing to the marriage. Each individual brings different things to the marriage, including various spending habits and possibly debt. Be open with your partner about how you view money, spending and the debt that you’re bringing to the table. Have regular discussions about ways to improve bad spending habits and methods to pay down debt. Make goals that you both agree on and post them in a place where you can see them on a regular basis. Remember, honesty is extremely important in a marriage, and this includes finances.


2  Save

for an emergency.

Part of the foundation of any family financial plan is having the proper emergency fund. We typically recommend to clients that they have between three and six months’ of living expenses saved. Put this savings in a high-interest savings account where it can be accessed easily in a time of need. If one partner were to lose a job or any other type of emergency happened, this could help keep you from having to borrow money or withdrawing from a retirement account.

3  Start

saving early for retirement.

your family with life insurance.

With regards to saving for retirement, one thing that you have on your side as newlyweds is time! Time can be your best friend when it comes to saving for retirement as long as you take advantage of it and start saving early. Get involved in your company’s retirement plan at an early age. Educate yourself on the plan. Ask if it includes a company match or if additional options are offered for saving.

Another important part of a family financial plan is protecting your assets, including your own earning potential. Are your assets and savings large enough to take care of your family in the event of your untimely death? It’s unlikely. We recommend that couples meet with a professional to evaluate their life insurance needs. Term life insurance can be very inexpensive while you’re young.

5  Create

an estate plan.

An estate plan is your way of making sure your assets are distributed the way you want them after your death – and if you have children, it’s also your and your partner’s decision about who would raise them. Without a will and the proper estate documents, your heirs could be left with some extremely difficult decisions, and some decisions could be made by the court system. These can be hard conversations to have with each other, but it’s always better to have them than to leave it to someone else after your death.

4  Protect

6  Enjoy


the path you've

If you have completed steps one through five, you’ve created the right path to follow. Continue being smart about what you spend, keep saving, and remember to update your estate plan as life changes. Don’t let financial roadblocks derail you. Remember, life is a marathon, not a sprint. NCM

Jason Eaker is a financial advisor with Avery & Pope Wealth Management at 36 S. Court Square, 2nd Floor, Newnan, GA 30263 and can be reached at jason@averyandpope.com. Securities and advisory services are offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed insurance products and services offered by Avery & Pope Wealth Management or CES Insurance Agency.


The Headley Way: Building a Better Wedding Written by JACKIE KENNEDY


ABOVE Margaret and Mitch Headley married at Central Baptist Church in 1997. LEFT Bill Headley, left, shared a moment with his son just before Mitch and Margaret’s wedding ceremony.

here is no way to estimate exactly how many couples have exchanged vows over the past five decades in churches and event venues built or renovated by Headley Construction. But as the company celebrates its Golden Anniversary, Newnan’s award-winning builders are full of the joy that comes from knowing their work is woven into the happiest memories of countless Cowetans. The team at Headley Construction takes great pride in knowing their quality construction techniques, meticulous attention to detail, and exceptional work ethic have played a part in helping locals make lifelong memories. Coweta County has always been the company’s perfect match. Headley Construction was founded by Bill and Anita Headley in 1971. From their kitchen table on Jackson Street in Newnan, the young couple built a family-owned and operated company that grew to provide general contracting services for projects throughout Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas. Headley Construction also specializes in historic renovation, evidenced by the company’s stately rehabilitation of the 1904 Coweta County Courthouse. The beautifully restored Classical Revival structure anchors Newnan’s town square and is one of many Headley Construction projects that serve as a backdrop for some of the best wedding photography in Coweta. “Like with marriage itself, one of the greatest joys of being a builder is that you are a part of something that lasts for years, even generations,” says Mitch Headley, president of Headley Construction. “So many people celebrate special moments of their lives at facilities we’ve been proud to build and renovate.” Through the years, Headley Construction has provided general contracting, design-build, value engineering and site development services on popular local wedding venues like the Historic Train Depot, McRitchie-Hollis Museum, Newnan Centre, Newnan Utilities Park and multiple churches throughout Coweta County.


Joshua and Aljean Hickman held their vow renewal service at the Newnan Centre in 2019.

“Whether couples are planning a modern, traditional or outdoor affair, choosing the right venue is especially important,” says Mitch. “And I would know, because I married the love of my life in one of these special spaces.” CENTRAL BAPTIST CHURCH Of the numerous buildings Headley has constructed, renovated or repaired through the decades, one most near and dear to the family’s heart is Central Baptist Church of Newnan. It’s where Bill and Anita raised their four sons, Bill Jr., Mitch, Matt and Luke. “Headley Construction has done several projects over the years at Central Baptist,” says Mitch. “The most recent expansion and renovation is the biggest and best known today.” Growing up in the church and leading its major renovations has played a significant role in his life, but Mitch has another connection to Central Baptist Church that can’t be matched: It’s where he and his wife, Margaret, married in 1997. “Long before the grand porte cochère and glorious vestibules were added, I chose to be married at Central Baptist because of its beauty and history,” Margaret recalls. “It means even more because my husband’s company has done so much to create and add to that beauty over the years.” With preservation of the historic character of Central Baptist Church at the heart of its most recent expansion, Headley Construction was proud to help grow the campus to be more parishioner

“So many people celebrate special moments of their lives at facilities we’ve been proud to build and renovate.” -Mitch Headley, President and pedestrian friendly. The addition of a large public parking lot increased connectivity, not just for the church but for the entire City of Newnan. “There are so many details couples have to take into consideration, like a venue’s size, location and accessibility for guests,” says Margaret. “Central Baptist plays an important role in our community. It is a wonderful space for couples to wed, worship and fellowship with their family and friends.” Mitch couldn’t agree more: “It was the perfect location for our special day.” NEWNAN CENTRE Owned by the City of Newnan and built by Headley Construction utilizing SPLOST funds and hotel/motel taxes, the Newnan Centre opened in the summer of 2013 as a multi-purpose facility for special events. The spacious venue accommodates


up to 650 people. Its 6,060-square-foot ballroom features high-end finishes like cherry wood trim and custom-made fixtures imported from France. The Centre’s focal point is its impressive pavilion, a favorite spot for outdoor receptions. In October 2019, the Newnan Centre was the site of renewal vows between Joshua and Aljean Hickman, a Navy couple who were married in a civil ceremony, and then a religious service, earlier that year. The hometown ceremony at Newnan Centre was the culmination of their wedding year, bringing together friends and family for a memorable event. “I adored every minute of that wedding,” says Bette Hickman, mother of the groom. “Newnan Centre will always be a magical place for me. I’ve been there at many events, and when I realized my son’s wedding would take place there, it was thrilling. I’ve known Bill and Anita Headley for many years and appreciate Bill’s strengths in creating and building. Theirs is the most outstanding construction company I’ve had the experience to know. The Newnan Centre is just one testament to their commitment to this community, and their sons have followed in their footsteps.” ST. GEORGE CATHOLIC CHURCH St. George Catholic Church was built at its current site on Roscoe Road in 1969, just a couple years before Bill and Anita founded Headley Construction. In 1978, their team built an addition at the church and, in 1997, crews constructed a new educational building to provide more classrooms and office space. Today, St. George is the home church of some 1,200 families. St. George Catholic Church was the site of the June 2021 wedding of Lexy and Zack McCurry, a local couple who dated since meeting at East Coweta High School in 2011. As a member of St. George, it was important to Lexy to have her wedding in the church. Weddings held in a house of worship include a spiritual dimension to the proceedings, and religious ceremonies give newlyweds like Lexy and Zack a faithful connection to each other and their church community. HISTORIC TRAIN DEPOT Over the decades, Headley Construction has made various repairs and enhancements to Newnan’s Historic Train Depot, a popular spot for local weddings. “We are proud to partner with the NewnanCoweta Historical Society on the ongoing rehabilitation of the Historic Train Depot so couples and families can continue to celebrate inside the

ABOVE Lexy McCurry’s bridesmaids prepare for the wedding at St. George Catholic Church, where Headley Construction built the breezeway connecting the educational building to the church sanctuary. RIGHT Lexy and Zack McCurry exchanged vows at St. George Catholic Church in 2021.

ABOVE Sarah and Dan MacDonnell share their first dance after exchanging vows at the Historic Train Depot in Newnan. RIGHT Melanie and Larry Harkleroad tied the knot at Newnan Presbyterian Church in April 2018.

unique space for decades to come,” says Mitch. In 2021, Sarah Lawhead and Dan MacDonnell were one of the many couples who exchanged vows at the Depot, originally constructed as a freight and passenger depot for the Atlanta & West Point Railroad in the 1850s. “We chose the Depot because we wanted to have a place close to downtown that was cute and cool and kind of a blank slate to do whatever you wanted with, and our wedding was beautiful,” says Sarah. “The space is beautiful on its own, plus it’s easy to make it sophisticated even though the building itself is rustic. It exceeded our expectations.” NEWNAN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH At its current site on Greenville Street since 1873, Newnan Presbyterian Church has undergone several remodels in the nearly 150 years since then, including the addition of a courtyard garden that was completed in 2017. “We love our Cornerstone Garden,” says Beth Royal, church secretary. “It has been a beautiful space for special occasions, including weddings. Headley Construction was chosen for the project because of their excellent reputation in the community.”

The first wedding celebrated in Cornerstone Garden was that of Melanie and Larry Harkleroad who married in April 2018. “We were very excited for Headley Construction to be the ones to complete the garden project as they were a hometown construction company and supportive of our local community,” says Larry, a retired pharmacist and member of Newnan Presbyterian since 1992. “It was the first step in making our church handicapped accessible and providing an outdoor area for recreation.” Plus, it has become a great place to enjoy a wedding, the same as so many Headley Construction projects have been for the past half century, like icing on the wedding cake.




hile inviting friends from across the country affords the opportunity to meet and mingle during the wedding reception, small celebratory parties leading up to the big day give close friends the chance to more intimately wish the couple well. Jill and Bryan were getting married in Hawaii, so my outdoor adventure club threw a Polynesian-themed party complete with a hula couple figurine on top of a pineapple coconut cake. My theology study group hosted a wine and cheese tasting for Nancy and Jan. The weather was perfect for a picnic for Pat and Andy. I once hosted a tool shower for a son’s friend. We gathered in the garage, sat on coolers, and ate chili, cornbread and brownies washed down with beer. Who knew one could discuss the merits of wrenches for an hour? Picnics are versatile and work well with small groups. Whether backyard, local park or beach, the logistics of an outdoor picnic require some planning and a troupe of happy partygoers to make sure there's everything needed for comfort and a good time: plenty of blankets for sitting, a nearby restroom, ice for cold drinks and a table. The list of supplies must include the mundane but necessary corkscrews, knives, trash bags, wet wipes, paper towels and camera. This picnic menu features small plates and finger foods made in advance for easy transportation and simple setup for hosts and guests. Each menu item is paired with a contrasting yet complementary item: rich beef and zingy chicken, creamy blue cheese and spicy pepper jack, velvety chocolate and refreshing mint – all washed down with old fashioned sweet tea. Start with jugs of Georgia iced tea and lemonade, and mix some 50-50 for those desiring an Arnold Palmer. Plus, enjoy a signature cocktail, the Arnold Palmer Spiked Tea. At the end of the picnic, present the special couple with the perfect wedding gift: a well-stocked picnic basket.

Arnold Palmer Spiked Tea, see recipe on page 57. 54 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAGAZINE.COM


Prosciutto Wrapped Blue Cheese Dates, see recipe on page 57.



Jack of Hearts Crackers

Jack of Hearts Crackers “These crackers are mildly hot so adding another 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper into the dough would not put it over the top. Unlike the usual cheese crackers at Southern parties, cornmeal and jalapeno jack cheese transforms these crackers into the kind you wrap in a napkin and put in your pocket. If your cheese cutter is out of whack, as mine was, use dental floss (not the mint flavored!) to cut the raw dough into neat slices.” 2 1 3/4 3/4 1/2 1/2 1/8

cups Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers, shredded stick butter, cut in pieces cup all-purpose flour cup yellow cornmeal teaspoon baking powder teaspoon salt teaspoon red or cayenne pepper


Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until mixture forms a ball. Remove blade, then dough. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, pat each half into a 12 inch long, 1½ inch wide and 1½ inch thick rectangle. Wrap separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to one week. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut dough crosswise in ¼ inch thick slices. Place about ½ inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 14 minutes until set and edges are golden brown. Remove crackers immediately to wire rack to cool. Store in airtight container.


Prosciutto Wrapped Blue Cheese Dates “Make-ahead prosciutto wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese come straight from the cooler to the table.” 1 1

package sliced prosciutto, about 7-8 slices Pitted whole dates wedge blue cheese

Cut prosciutto in half horizontally. (I find it easiest to use kitchen shears while the slices are still separated with paper.) Open dates, using kitchen shears for a less messy cut. Stuff ½ to 1 teaspoon blue cheese into the center and close date around the cheese. Wrap ½ slice prosciutto around each cheese-filled date.

Arnold Palmer Spiked Tea “This is a tasty combination of sweet tea and lemonade plus a generous pouring of bourbon. I prefer sweet Southern Comfort in the cocktail." 4 3 3/4 1 1 1 1/2

cups boiling water family-size tea bags cup sugar teaspoon lemon zest cup cold water cup bourbon cup fresh lemon juice

In a large bowl, pour boiling water over tea bags, sugar and lemon zest. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Cover and steep for 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Pour mixture through a fine wire mesh strainer into a large pitcher, discarding tea bags and zest. Stir in cold water, bourbon and lemon juice. Cover and chill 30 minutes to 12 hours. Serve over ice with lemon garnish.

Sesame Seed Toasted and Monterey Steak Seasoning Slider Rolls

Sesame Seed Toasted and Monterey Steak Seasoning Slider Rolls “Slider roll sizes have almost caught up with standard hamburger buns. Small potato rolls, dressed up with butter and toppings, are the perfect size.” 1

package small dinner rolls Melted butter Toasted sesame seeds Monterey steak seasoning

Divide package of dinner rolls in half. Brush each half with melted butter. Sprinkle half with toasted sesame seeds and the other half with Monterey steak seasoning. Toast until slightly dark.



Chicken Sliders with Creole Spread

Mini Burgers with Bacon Jam

“The sliders should be put together right before serving. Pour chips into a dish and set out pickles and raw veggies to round out the plates.”

Bacon Jam

Creole Spread 1 3 2 2 1 1/4

cup mayonnaise green onions, sliced tablespoons Creole mustard garlic cloves, chopped tablespoon chopped fresh parsley teaspoon red pepper

Stir ingredients together until well blended.

Chicken Sliders 2 1/2 4 1 3

tablespoons butter medium red bell pepper, chopped green onions, thinly sliced garlic clove, pressed cups cooked chicken, chopped in food processor 1 cup soft breadcrumbs 1 or 2 large eggs, beaten 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 tablespoon Creole mustard 1 to 2 teaspoons Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning 1/4 cup vegetable oil Melt butter in a large pan. Add bell pepper, green onions and garlic. Saute 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender. In a bowl, stir together bell pepper mixture with chicken, breadcrumbs, 1 egg, mayonnaise, Creole mustard and seasoning. If the mixture doesn't hold together, add an extra beaten egg. Shape chicken mixture into 8 patties. Fry patties in hot oil for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Assembly Place chicken patties on Sesame Seed Toasted Slider Roll bottoms. Generously top with Creole Spread. Cover with roll top. Skewer, if desired.


1 2 2 6 6 6

pound thick sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces cups thinly sliced sweet onion cloves garlic, chopped tablespoons balsamic vinegar tablespoons brown sugar, packed tablespoons water

Cook bacon in a medium frying pan over medium heat until fat is rendered but bacon is not crispy. Drain bacon on paper towels. Discard all but 3 tablespoons bacon grease, and return bacon to pan on burner at medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook slowly until onion is tender; don’t brown. Add vinegar, brown sugar and water. Cook until water has evaporated and mixture is jammy. (The bacon should stay soft.) Serve at room temperature.

Burgers 1 1 1/4 1/2 1

pound lean ground chuck teaspoon seasoned salt teaspoon black pepper cup bread crumbs egg, beaten

Place ground chuck in a medium mixing bowl. Top with seasoned salt, pepper and bread crumbs. Pour beaten egg over ingredients. Mix until well combined. Divide mixture into 2-ounce balls, and pat into thin patties. Spray a broiler pan with cooking spray. Place patties on pan and broil on high for 2 minutes. Turn patties over, and broil for another 2 to 3 minutes or until barely done.

Assembly Place each burger on a Monterey Steak Seasoning Slider Roll bottom. Top with bacon jam and a roll top. Skewer to hold burgers together.


Mini Burgers with Bacon Jam and Chicken Sliders with Creole Spread



Mary Lynn’s Heart Cookies 1 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup sugar 1 egg, beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 1/2 cups flour, sifted 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup rolled oats 1/3 cup peppermint candy, finely crushed Confectioner's sugar Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter; gradually add sugar. Blend in egg and vanilla. Sift flour and salt, and gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in oats and candy; chill. Roll out to 1/8-inch thickness on board lightly dusted with confectioner’s sugar. Cut heart shapes with floured cutter. Place on greased, parchment covered cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, and cool on wire racks. When cool, decorate with Frosting.

Frosting 2 cups confectioner’s sugar 2 to 4 tablespoons half-and-half milk 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract Red food coloring Sift sugar. Mix sugar with enough half-and-half to make a thin frosting. Add extract. Divide frosting, and mix one part with red food coloring to make pink frosting. On cooled cookies, cover with pink frosting. With the other color frosting, make several lines across each frosted cookie. Draw a toothpick lightly back and forth across lines to give a swirled look.


Mary Lynn's Heart Cookies and Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies


Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies “Special picnics for special couples call for special cookies. If you think chocolate covered cherries are a treat, these Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies are a step up for a picnic celebration.” 1/2 cup butter 1 cup sugar 1 egg 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 1 1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup cocoa 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 48 small maraschino cherries, drained; reserve syrup 1 cup chocolate chips 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt until blended. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. With thumb, press down center of each dough ball. Press cherry into center of each. Make frosting by melting chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and 4 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice. Spoon 1 teaspoon frosting over each cherrytopped cookie. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. NCM

“When my kayaking friend Mary Lynn brought me one of her Heart Cookies, I thought, ‘Just one?’ When I bit into the buttery, pepperminty cookie with crunches of crushed peppermint candy throughout, I knew I had another new best friend.” JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022 | 61



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It’s a cookbook published in 1967 by The Newnan Times-Herald. We think it’s high time NTH produced another one! A few “golden oldie” classic and iconic recipes will make an encore appearance along with a slew of new ones.

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Historic Grantville:

Poised for Renaissance Written by MARTY M. HOHMANN | Photographed by JACKIE KENNEDY


hen Al Grieshaber surveys the landscape in the city of Grantville, with its aging infrastructure and historic buildings in various states of disrepair and renovation, he is genuinely optimistic.

ABOVE Grantville originally was named Calico Corner and now has a neighborhood with that name. LEFT Formerly a bed and breakfast inn, Bonnie Castle in downtown Grantville is now a private residence.

Grieshaber, city manager since 2015, has experienced a lot that may have made others lose hope for the future. But he’s confident that what’s in his tool box will give Grantville the renaissance it has long deserved. Among those tools are a growing community with young and energetic families, a thriving and active senior center, and a community-minded police department that considers the people of Grantville as part of their larger family. “I have good people,” says Grieshaber. “I think that’s the secret. I’m fortunate to be the coach of a team of wellrounded individuals who meet every challenge.” In the southwest corner of Coweta County, Grantville was founded in 1840 as a small settlement called Calico Corner. It exploded with growth when the first train came through with the Atlanta and LaGrange Railroad. The town was renamed in 1852 in honor of the chief engineer of the railroad, Lemuel P. Grant. Names like Banks, Colley, Zellers, Brasch and Glanton have been woven into the city’s history over the last 180 years. Their family stories live on through local architecture, books and written records. In the early days of Grantville, as with many small Southern towns, cotton was king and the railroad was the catalyst. The historic downtown was largely built in the late 1800s. More than a century later, it’s a moviemaker’s



dream. The downtown area was an integral setting for many episodes of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” Longtime residents view Grantville as a hidden jewel, with its past offering up great hope for the future. With 3,619 residents in late 2021, the city’s population steadily grows with existing subdivisions being built out and more housing starts on the way, says Grieshaber. And why not? Grantville offers the air of a quaint, Southern town, where neighbors get to know one another and can participate in the vision for the future, according to Grieshaber. He adds that living in the city comes with “reasonable cost, reasonable utilities, and tremendous transportation because of I-85.” Grantville is home to a number of family-friendly activities. The Grantville Public Library, part of the Coweta Public Library System, is in Post Street Park, where the city oversees baseball fields, a splash park and a playground. There’s a skate park at the Griffin Street Willie L. Clements and John A. Malcolm Jr. Recreation Complex, and Grantville’s Glanton Elementary School is the education hub for students in Pre-K through grade 5. Grieshaber’s focus as city manager is to tackle the tough jobs, such as infrastructure, water treatment, city codes and the ongoing efforts to bring high-speed internet capacity

to town. He enlisted the help of grant writer Dennis Hanthorn, and together they have managed to secure a number of grants. The historic downtown, surrounded by numerous homes of historic significance, remains in the crosshairs of their vision for making Grantville a vibrant, walkable community once again. “My vision is always to increase the footsteps in the city of Grantville,” says Grieshaber, who notes that there are more than 200 historic buildings in the city. The town’s railroad freight depot was renovated many years ago and final touches are being put on the renovation of the passenger depot. “That’s going to be our history and welcome center,” says Grieshaber, who has a plethora of Grantville’s artifacts and photos currently being housed in the city hall. Additionally, the city has secured a Livable Centers Initiative grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission to help make Grantville’s downtown more accessible and desirable. “That’s our challenge – getting people downtown,” says Grieshaber. “We are in the throes of finding a consultant for a master plan for downtown, and we are talking about commuter bus service to Atlanta.”

As city manger, Al Grieshaber finds it challenging to get people to come to downtown Grantville, and he's working with citizens to meet that challenge. 66 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAGAZINE.COM

Artist John Shelton lives and creates in Grantville where he draws and paints pieces sold throughout the world. His work to restore the town's historic bank building was recognized by the Grantville Historic Preservation Commission in 1999. Here, Shelton poses with his 3-D artwork, “The Entrance of Christ into New York in 2000 A.D.”

A steering committee of local residents, businesses and other stakeholders has formed to assist in finding the best use for the grant funds, which total $125,000. That will be coupled with a $20,000 Historic Resources Survey Grant, a federal historic preservation grant facilitated through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The grant will be used in part to identify the numerous historic resources of the community. The transformation already has begun with recent purchases of several buildings downtown by individuals with a vision. Some of the locations are already open for business while others are well underway in restoration. A special events facility/destination music venue, a

pottery studio and a coffee shop are all materializing quickly. Plus, there’s a barber shop, barber school, and Ms. B’s Restaurant – all on LaGrange Street. Another draw to downtown is historic Bonnie Castle, a circa 1896 Romanesque Victorian mansion built by the Colley family and listed on the National Register of Historic Homes. The historic city is on the verge of reclaiming some of its former glory, and Grieshaber is excited about what the future holds. “We want to make this a walkable place that people want to experience firsthand and come back,” says Grieshaber. “We’re moving forward with a renewed sense of energy and enthusiasm.” NCM JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022 | 67

Doug Frost, left, and Ron Kirk are working to bring new life into downtown Grantville.


History-loving restoration duo returning Grantville to its glory days Written by MARTY M. HOHMANN | Photographed by JACKIE KENNEDY


oug Frost was on the lookout for a new restoration project.

His initial thoughts were to try to locate an old church that could be restored and used as a multi-disciplinary arts venue. He heard through the grapevine that one was possibly available in Grantville, but everyone told him, “Don’t go to Grantville.” Those naysayers clearly couldn’t see what Frost could. It has been said that Grantville is a hidden jewel, but for those with a vision, it’s a jewel in plain sight. Rather than purchasing a church, Frost purchased an entire city block, plus some. That was in January 2021. Today, he and his business partner and restoration guru, Ron Kirk, are well on their way to making Grantville a major destination spot. Project No. 1 was opening up The Bricks on Church Street, a special events, music and arts venue in the old Merchants and Farmers Bank Building and the adjacent

ruins of the old cotton warehouse. The exterior walls of the warehouse were featured prominently in “The Walking Dead,” proclaiming in writing: “Away with You.” Those walls continue to draw visitors, but they now have reason to linger, thanks to Frost and Kirk. Inside is a musician’s dream venue with a covered deck, lighting, a grassy courtyard for listeners, and a bar inside. In addition to hosting musicians, the venue has welcomed a worldclass art show and other special events. But this is only the beginning. “I’m trying to build a little Asheville,” says Frost, who sold his Newnan home and moved into an upstairs loft apartment to invest his time and money fully in his Grantville vision. Together, he and Kirk make a formidable team with years of restoration experience and a deep love and appreciation for all things historic. “Look at these floors,” says Kirk. “They’re original. And the wavy glass in the windows.”



AJ Sears, shown here, and her business partner Jessica Norris opened Mud Haven Pottery in downtown Grantville in November 2021.

Any wood that can be salvaged from the classic architectural structures is being put aside for reuse. Kirk is currently waist deep in rebuilding the floors in a space that eventually will be occupied by Percolate, a coffee shop with a location already in SummerGrove in Newnan. Also on board as a new downtown businessman is Jeff Corbett, owner and chef of Macromeals. Corbett uses the professional kitchen facilities at The Bricks on Church Street to prepare specific meals supporting a healthy lifestyle. A personal trainer and health coach, he develops meal plans with clients and prepares restaurant-quality meals that he delivers to client homes throughout West Georgia. Frost and Kirk envision a fusion of businesses in downtown Grantville that partner with one another so that all benefit from each other’s expertise. “We’re developing a lifestyle,” says Frost. “It’s sort of organically taking on a life of its own.”

Five Grantville residents eager to draw visitors and new residents into town are, from left, John Shelton, AJ Sears, Doug Frost, Ron Kirk and Jessica Norris. 70 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAGAZINE.COM


AJ Sears, left, and Jessica Norris look forward to more events at The Bricks on Church Street, a new venue for live entertainment and other events.

Layering is the key, they explain. Frost – who was a hair stylist by trade – knows a lot about layering, and he’s working with businesses that will flow seamlessly into the vision, which honors the history of the city while breathing new life into its stately old structures. The duo’s hope is to see the sidewalks filled with visitors, stopping off at a café for a glass of wine and listening to jazz under the stars. “People are very excited,” says Frost. “They see it. Everybody wants to be included here. It takes an army, not just one person. We build it together. You’ve got to have the right dream.” Another layer already onboard is Mud Haven Pottery Studio, owned by Jessica Norris and AJ Sears. They sell their pottery at The Hug Box in Newnan and, quite by chance, met Frost there. They realized quickly they would be another piece to the downtown puzzle, and they opened their studio last year at 16A Main Street in a historic building constructed in the 1800s. Their mudlover’s playground features a teaching studio offering workshops, private classes, memberships and parties. “When you come here and experience us, it spreads,” says Frost. NCM JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022 | 71


What's in a (Road) Name? Written by BLUE COLE Photographed by JACKIE KENNEDY


oweta County has more than a thousand miles of paved roadway, and many of the paths we take from work to home to play quickly become rote. But roads are more than a length of asphalt or gravel. They mark not only the path to a place; they provide a reminder of the people and places from the past. Road names have an important place in our community. They can be historical markers or denote a place of industry or commerce; they can name an early settler or prominent family, wildlife, children, geography – the list can go on and on. Many roads are named for their destination, an important factor in an agrarian society where literacy was limited. Moreland Street, Griffin Road, Welcome to Sargent Road – each of these was an important connection to a nearby community. In almost every case, the road leads to the town's business district. Sadly, some of our modern road names denote villages that have faded away over time and are only remembered as part of an address, like Bullsboro and McCollum-Sharpsburg Road. Road names also mark the history of an area; the changes in road names through the years can mark the boundaries of a generation as well as any demographic. Road names can add an important bit of folklore as well. Ask anyone under the age of 45 where Big Poplar is. Big Poplar, now known as Poplar Road, was once the home of the largest poplar tree in the world, hence the name Big Poplar, or so we have been told. This month, we’re kicking off a series that collects and shares some of the interesting road names in Coweta County. Do you have a story to tell? Share your information at https://forms. gle/oKNT3VV8pZeJhmcw7 and you may be contacted for a future article.

GRANTVILLE'S STREET NAMES Grantville was originally named Calico Corner when founded in 1840 and renamed in 1852 for Lemuel P. Grant, chief engineer and eventual president of the Atlanta & West Point Railroad. The 3,000-person town is bisected by Georgia Highway 29, which runs east-west from the northeast corner of the city limits to the southwest corner of the city. Also known as the Atlanta Highway, Georgia Highway 29 is an important connection north to Atlanta and south to Hogansville, LaGrange, West Point and the Alabama state line. Interstate 85, completed in the late '70s, dashes through the eastern edge of Grantville. Downtown Grantville is connected to Highway 29 via Lone Oak Street. This isn’t the only town or city name to grace a street sign. LaGrange and Meriwether streets represent nearby neighbors. Moreland Street, running parallel to LaGrange Street, was named after R.O. Moreland, a major in the Civil War. He built a house across from City Hall in 1853, according to residents Darwin and Patti Palmer. There is a Griffin Street, but it could be a local family rather than the seat of Spalding County. Grantville streets named for early citizens include: Grant Street, named for founder L.P. Grant, who built a second home on Grant Street in 1853. Colley Street, named for J.W. Colley, one of the area's largest pecan farmers. Colley built Bonnie Castle, a three-story home with 17 rooms, in 1896. He had an office in the area and started the Bank of Grantville in 1901. Post Street, named for Grantville and Newnan lawyer W.A. Post, who built a home at 22 Post Street, which is currently under renovation. Banks Street, which recalls the Banks family, who founded the early Hosiery Mill Village about

Colley Street was named for J.W. Colley, who built Bonnie Castle in 1896 and started the Bank of Grantville in 1901.

Grant Street was named for Grantville's founder, Lemuel P. Grant.


Post Street was named for Grantville and Newnan lawyer W.A. Post. Grantville's most famous residence, Bonnie Castle, is located downtown on Post Street.

1895. It later became Grantville Mills. Grantville was well-known for the yarns it produced as well as the socks and hosiery spun from the yarn. Edmund Leigh Circle is named for Edmund Leigh, J.W. Colley’s farm foreman. He worked as superintendent of the farm for 40 years. Leigh came from the Roscoe area and married Ethel Jackson, according to "History of Coweta County," published by the NewnanCoweta Historical Society. Arnold Street and Roger Arnold Road, named for members of the Arnold family, which operated Arnold Stock Farms and sold dairy cows. Arnold Street is in town while Roger Arnold Road is outside of town. NCM

LEFT Street signs at an intersection at the downtown train tracks are selfexplanatory, pointing to the city's main street and another street where its churches are located.








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Savory fare and beautiful presentations are just a part of the Tulla White extraordinary experience







OPPOSITE PAGE Moreland Animal Hospital owner Dr. Nicole Andrews-Kees, left, continues to bring pets back to owners who wait in their cars while she treats animals inside, a practice that began in response to the pandemic. In the car with their Boston terrier Bo are David and Lisa Thomas of Newnan.


hen Cowetans began to grasp the potential impact of COVID-19 in early 2020, they were alarmed but committed to meeting the challenges ahead.

Most were completely unaware that, almost two years later, we’d still be dealing with the lingering effects of a pandemic and its deep impact on the way we work and live. As individuals, local residents may see the world as near normal, but for many Coweta businesses, that impact has led to unforeseen challenges that continue to alter their operations in both subtle and profound ways.

Short supplies and changing hours Coweta’s restaurant industry, for example, continues to face a problematic landscape of supply issues, staffing challenges and changing consumer demands. During the height of the pandemic, delivery to homes became routine, and while it helped keep revenue flowing, it put more pressure on the thin profit margins of typical dining establishments. In 2022, restaurateurs like Maridee Wise, who with her husband owns the landmark Goldens on the Square in Newnan, see new challenges popping up nearly everyday. “We opened back up about eight weeks after the initial shutdown,” says Wise. “It was difficult, with limited hours, but we’re blessed and made it through. Our employees have stayed with us, and we’re almost back to normal.” While she expected to be well past pandemic issues now, Wise says she daily continues to experience its impact. “One day, it might be an inability to find paper products,” she says. “Another day, we may see delays in a particular food item we need. For a time, we couldn’t get catfish. I’m not sure why, but we know suppliers continue to have major staffing issues, and shipping is an ongoing challenge.” The pandemic has created another change for restaurants: limited operating hours to accommodate staffing limitations. While it had been open seven days a week, Meat ‘N’ Greet, in downtown Newnan, now closes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Goldens, which used to open daily as well, now operates six days a week, everyday but Saturday. “We started that because it was a great day for employees to spend with their families,” says Wise. “Our employees are so important to our operations that we’ve kept that going.”


ABOVE Grady Fleming, left, and his father Pete founded Coweta Machine and Fabrication some 30 years ago. Today, they face unique operating challenges including rapidly rising material prices and ongoing delivery delays. OPPOSITE PAGE Roy Jones, general manager of Cartown Auto Sales in Grantville, says the car lot that typically held 100 cars now has fewer than 30 due to shortages in the supply chain.


Steel soars, deliveries stall Tucked away in a large industrial building off Amlajack Drive, Coweta Machine and Fabrication has been a leading steel fabricator in Georgia for more than 30 years. They’ve completed projects large and small, from retrofitting M1 tanks with minesweepers for the U.S. Army to building a new, steelbased bridge for White Oak Golf Club in Newnan. Pete Fleming, who founded the business with his son Grady, says that while business remains strong, difficult conditions persist that continue to limit their operations. “For a time, we were short of help like many people,” says Fleming. “But today, our biggest obstacle is that we just can’t get the materials we need. We depend on long haul truckers, and that industry has a ton of problems it’s trying to overcome. For us, that means that an order for steel that would ordinarily get to us in three days is now taking a week or more, if we can get the material at all. Prices are also a major obstacle. Fleming says his company recently completed a bid for a bridge project that required small sheets of specialty steel.


“A year ago, that piece of steel would have been about $140 per sheet. Today, it’s $340 a sheet, if we can find it,” he says. “This reflects a general trend that has seen steel prices more than double since January.”

Affordable used cars? Not anytime soon. In the auto industry, steel costs, coupled with the ongoing global shortage of computer chips, have resulted in higher prices and empty lots at dealers across the nation. But these issues are creating deeper problems that reach far beyond the major brands. Used cars have become especially difficult to find. For many Cowetans, a secondhand car is essential to their ability to get to work or school. For many, the “buy here, pay here” used car lot is a vital source of transportation. Historically, these cars have been affordable and accessible. Today, they are far less affordable, and cars are hard to come by. Roy Jones and his wife Lisa own and operate Cartown Auto Sales in Grantville. They have two lots and a service

center that have served the community for more than 15 years. Typically, there have been about 100 cars on their lots with a variety of affordable price points. But not now. “Today, we have fewer than 30 vehicles to sell, and they’re expensive,” says Roy. “I have people calling me all day, looking for cars. It’s just killing a lot of the small car lots. We’re fortunate; we’re in good shape, but there are many dealers who’ve had to close.” The shortage, he says, reflects the fact that new car dealers have started keeping their trade-ins, refurbishing them, and selling them on their own lots to replace lost new car sales. In addition, traditional auto auctions that are the usual source for used cars have only recently begun to return to in-person auctions. “This pandemic has been a calamity for the car business,” says Jones. “It’s going to take a long time to recover, and that’s bad for the dealers and for the segment of the public that needs the cars we typically sell.”



From left, Abbey Felix and Sophie Sewell bring their new puppy Stella to Dr. Andrews-Kees for an exam.

A silver lining: Pets get care faster Not all lingering effects of the pandemic are bad. Case in point: Moreland Animal Hospital, where COVID-inspired business protocols have enabled them to treat more dogs and cats. When the pandemic hit, Dr. Nicole Andrews-Kees and her staff began meeting furry patients and their human owners outside and then taking the pets inside for treatment. When the exam is complete, the veterinarian returns pets to owners at their car. “This process has many benefits, and we’re staying with it,” says Andrews-Kees. “We actually did a survey, and 80 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAGAZINE.COM

our clients like this process. Our dog and cat patients are less anxious, we’re able to treat many more animals, and our clients still get face time with me to discuss their pets’ issues.” If it rains? “We wing it,” she says. “We’ve got plenty of rain gear, but it hasn’t been a problem.” And why the dramatic increase in clients over the past 18 months? “Because people are home more, it seems they’re more in tune with their pets,” says the good doctor. Seems there truly is a silver lining in every cloud. NCM


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For rental information call 770-251-4171 sharpsburg@sharpsburg-ga.gov • www. www.sharpsburg-ga.gov sharpsburg-ga.gov


Georgia Supreme Court Justice Verda Colvin delivers remarks on Veterans’ Day to Members of the Newnan-Coweta Bar Association

Bar board members pictured L to R: Michael Hill, Glover & Davis; Logan Millians, president, Hunnicutt, Taylor & Carswell; Harry Camp, vice president, The Camp Firm; Andy Pham, Pham Law Office; Justice Verda Colvin, appointed in 2021 by Gov. Brian Kemp; Ashley Nechay, treasurer, Assistant Coweta Solicitor; Chloe James, Slepian, Schwartz & Landgaard; John Ebersbach, Kam, Ebersbach & Lewis.


Salvation Army DOING THE MOST GOOD Written by JEFFREY WARD | Photos Courtesy of THE SALVATION ARMY

M ABOVE Sarita Workman, Salvation Army family store manager in Newnan, makes sure bells are prepared to ring for the recent red kettle fundraising season.

ost shoppers equate The Salvation Army solely with its holiday volunteers who ring bells at red kettle donation sites in front of big box stores. But the nonprofit organization is so much more than that. Active in Coweta County since 1996, The Salvation Army’s maxim is “Doing The Most Good.” Managing Director Heather Creech says that 87% of each dollar raised goes back into the local community, reflecting Salvation Army’s model as a lean and efficient organization. At the donation intake area of Newnan’s Salvation Army Service Center, located at 670 Jefferson Street Extension, a mountainsized pile of donated clothing items waits to be sorted. Quipped the director, “I just call that job security.” Creech has been at her post for eight years.



“My children were grown, and I was looking for community service work,” she recalls. “I began learning from the ground up as a volunteer and then worked as the family store cashier and in the food pantry, with community service, and as donation intake processor.” According to Creech, the survival and success of the Salvation Army service center depends on hardworking volunteers, the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization. The personality of the Salvation Army Service Center is quietly busy, never calling attention to itself, mirroring the image of the entire Christian thrust of the organization. The Salvation Army was founded in East London in 1865 as a predominantly Christian evangelical outreach. More than 150 years later, the global nonprofit remains true to its model: Nobody who needs help is turned away, regardless of their background or circumstances. The Newnan Service Center helps people with utility bills, gives out laundry vouchers, assists with prescriptions, and helps the Newnan Police Department locate, keep track of, and help the homeless in the community. During the holidays, the Salvation Army conducts its popular Angel Tree ministry, donating gifts to needy children. The local Center networks with other outreach organizations to serve the community by assuring that none go without vital essentials. The Salvation Army’s most lucrative fundraiser, its iconic red kettle program usually begins on Nov. 1 with volunteer bell ringers located at most big box stores throughout Coweta County, according to Creech. An important addition to Newnan’s Salvation Army is its Rapid Response Unit (RRU). A marvel of design, the vehicle has the capacity to carry 800 prepared meals, 550 bottles of water and six gallons of coffee to support the community after manmade or natural disaster, according to Creech. The vehicle itself is compact, which enables it to access storm-damaged areas that a larger truck or van could not reach. Manned by Salvation Army personnel, the RRU has responded to several major storms,

including last year’s tornado. It was among the first relief vehicles on the scene after the March 26 storm, according to Langer, who drove the RRU to the most severely damaged areas in Newnan. “Navigating the roads was near impossible because of downed trees, wires and debris,” she recalls. “We were the first team to arrive that delivered food, water and batteries.” While adequate for Coweta County’s population when it opened 26 years ago, the Service Center is now in need of expansion due to the county’s explosive growth, according to Creech, who says The Salvation Army has purchased the vacant lot next door and completed an expansion feasibility study. Utilizing time-tested Biblical guidelines, The Salvation Army prefers to raise money upfront,

according to Creech, who says the project will cost close to $3 million, and a capital campaign is planned to help raise funds. NCM

ABOVE Salvation Army staff and volunteers distribute food and personal care items to residents of a local extended stay motel. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022 | 83

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Puppy Love Written by JANICE BEARDEN


anice Bearden lives in Sharpsburg with her husband of 22 years, Robert, and their dog, a Corgi. While the story she penned is fiction, it’s true that her first dog also was a Corgi. A retired accountant, Bearden moved to Coweta County from Miami, Fla., in 1995. Her introduction into writing and telling Bible stories was through leading children’s lessons at church.


t’s not like you have plans for Christmas week, anyway,” my friend Linda said to me on December 17. I had just told her that the life insurance office where I worked was going to be closed the entire week of Christmas. My boss had said, “No one buys life insurance for a Christmas present, so I’m giving all of you the week off.” I didn’t hear him say if that was with pay. Everyone else in the office was excited and happy about the extra days off. They all had families to shop for, and houses to decorate, and Christmas cards to address, and countless pies and cookies to bake. Me? I only had me. Well, I did have one brother. He lived in Idaho, but we rarely spoke and even more rarely saw each other. Both my deceased parents had been only children, so there were no aunts, uncles or cousins – just me. Not only did I not know how I would fill all those extra hours; I would be missing out on any sales commissions I might have earned. Great, a whole week off with nothing to do and bills to pay. Linda thought that my free week was a godsend for her. She breeds Pembroke Welsh Corgis. They’re the type dogs the Queen of England favors – cute, short-legged charmers that look a lot like a fox, except for no tail. She had sold a litter of puppies, and the buyers had promised to pick them up on Christmas Eve. But Linda’s husband had just won a sales promotion contest to spend Christmas week in Bermuda! She couldn’t go unless someone, her best friend maybe, would take care of those puppies for her. Just ‘til Christmas Eve. Of course she would pay me, she said. Having no good excuse to say no, I said yes. Linda dropped off the four puppies and all their gear at my house three days before Christmas. She was on her way to the airport with bags packed with bathing suits and lacy nightgowns. If I had any trouble, any trouble at all, just call her on her cell phone, she told me as she handed over written instructions on puppy care and the names and phone numbers of the owners-to-be. What could be more fun than four puppies? Just ‘til Christmas? None of the puppies seemed to want to go outside to potty at the same time. Every fifteen minutes, it seemed, we were going outside again. Luckily, I did have a fenced yard. Once outside, no pup wanted to come back in. They considered my chasing them their “fun time.” Their little Corgi legs were short, but fast. Originally bred to herd cattle, Corgis’ short legs make it easy for them to



roll out of the way of cattle hooves. No cattle in sight, they ran and rolled all over my yard. I eventually discovered their weakness, though: peanut butter! The smell of a spoonful of peanut butter would send them galloping back to me at the door. I must admit, I was getting attached. I wished that I could name them, but that was for the new owners to do. I wished that I had gotten a puppy for Christmas when I was growing up. What a difference it would have made for me in my loneliness. Maybe I should get a puppy for myself from the next litter. It would be my first pet ever. I’d never even had a bird. A dog would be a 15-year commitment. Was I ready for that? On Christmas Eve, I started getting phone calls from the new owners to make arrangements to pick up their Christmas puppy. The Johnsons were coming at four in the afternoon; the Wilsons, at eight in the evening; the Browns, at nine. There was no call from the Overtrees. What a strange last name, I thought, as I remembered going to high school in Atlanta with a boy named Tom Overtree. I had a secret crush on him – but never a date. I had my camera ready when the families came. The Johnsons brought their son with them. His parents had already picked out their puppy, so I gently shoved her forward as the little boy bent down. What a lot of face licking was going on. They left with smiles and laughter. The Wilsons brought their little girl, Connie, who

was afraid of the noisy puppies tumbling all around her. But when the smallest pup waddled up to her, Connie opened her arms and her heart. It was love. Then the Browns arrived. They had an older Corgi from when they first got married. Now, they wanted to give their daughter a Corgi puppy of her very own. The last girl puppy went into a basket to be found under the Christmas tree the next morning. It was almost midnight. Where were the Overtrees? Could they have forgotten? I wasn’t too disturbed. It just meant I could keep the last little guy another night. Now I would be able to share Christmas with someone. We snuggled together on the couch until we fell asleep. The ringing of the telephone woke me at eight on Christmas morning. It was Mr. Overtree. He was so sorry that he had not called sooner. He still wanted the puppy but asked if I could keep it for just two more days? It was to be a special Christmas present for a little boy whose mother had died of cancer. But his grandmother had broken her arm in a car accident on Christmas Eve, and Mr. Overtree was out of town caring for her. He would be coming home on Dec. 27. Could I please keep the puppy two more days, he asked, saying he would pay me. Of course. It would be my pleasure. I had two more days with my little sweetheart. I had to admit, I was falling in love. How could I resist? He was starting to come when I called him. I taught him to sit, and we played with a ball, too. I was dreading going back to work and leaving him all day.

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Wait a minute, I remembered. He would be gone and off to a new home by the time I went back to work. On the 27th, I couldn’t eat breakfast. I let the puppy eat the egg I’d cooked for myself. It was our last day. He would be leaving me soon. That little Overtree boy really did need this special puppy more than me, I reminded myself, while wondering if they would think I was crazy or interfering if I asked to come visit him sometime. I jumped when the doorbell rang. It was them. I gave the Corgi pup one last kiss on his soft face, then I looked through the peephole to see a tall man with black hair and a small boy with an excited grin. I opened the door. “Victoria?” the man asked. “Tom?” I replied. “I‘ve often wondered what happened to you since high school,” he said. “I looked for you at the last class reunion.”

The boy interrupted with cries of “The puppy, the puppy. I’m going to name him Toby. Please, lady, can you tell me all about him?” “Yes, Victoria,” said Tom. “Tell my nephew, Robbie, all about the puppy. Then we’ll all go out for breakfast and you can tell me all about you.” And we all lived happily ever after. NCM

Share Your Prose Are you a closet poet? Or a creator of short fiction? Share your best work with us and we may publish it in an upcoming issue of Newnan-Coweta Magazine. Submit your work along with your name, address, email address and daytime phone number to magazine@newnan.com or mail to or drop by our office at Newnan-Coweta Magazine, 16 Jefferson St., Newnan 30263.

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Wedding Fan Payton’s Place Instructions and Photography by PAYTON THOMPSON

If you're planning an outdoor wedding in 2022, our elegant Paper Wedding Fan makes a nice keepsake for your guests. Gather your bridesmaids for an afternoon of crafting. You'll have most of the supplies already on-hand, so there's no big expense. But the payoff will be a cute, personalized keepsake that serves a practical purpose – providing your guests a quick breeze if your wedding date lands on a hot summer day. Here are easy instructions for making your wedding fan(s) from pages of NewnanCoweta Magazine.



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Christma Ornament

Scissors Glue Magazine pages (3 per fan) Large popsicle sticks (2 per fan) Fishing wire or other thin string Small elastic hair tie (1 per fan)







1. Cut three pages from the magazine. Fold each page using the accordion fold, alternating folds of the same size. 2. Glue folded sheets together to make one long sheet of accordion folds. Allow glue to dry. 3. Squeeze folds together, and tie a thin string in the middle. 4. Fold at the middle where the string is and glue together the sheets that touch. 5. Glue sticks to each edge of the fan. Allow glue to dry. 6. Decorate each stick as desired. We recommend using a permanent marker to write the couple's name and wedding date. Keep the fan closed with a small elastic hair tie. When using the fan, wrap the hair tie around joined popsicle sticks. 7. Enjoy your elegant paper wedding fan! NCM JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022 | 93


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Blacktop Phot

os by Sally Sally Ray captured late autumn and wi nter in photos taken at her Moreland home .


Sewell Photo by Cheryl r st adds colo ned with fro tli u o af le e. ll A fa r landscap to the winte

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Email us your photos of life in and around Coweta County and we may choose yours for a future edition of Blacktop! Photos must be original, high-resolution (300 DPI) digital photos in .jpg format, at least 3x5 inches in size.


hoto by Lau Any time rie Matting of year, th ly e beauty a is mesm tY erizing, li ke here ellowstone Nati on at Mamm oth Sprin al Park gs. 96 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAGAZINE.COM

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Photo by Gary Wilson a good thing – It’s a dog’s life – and that’s oochee River ttah Cha the of along the shores te Park. Sta at Chattahoochee Bend


March 25 - Spring Art Walk, 5-9pm April 02 - Market Day, 10am-2pm May 07 - Market Day, 10am-2pm SUMMER

June 04 - Market Day, 10am-2pm June 09 - Summer NewnaNights, 6-9pm June 17 - Summer Wined Up, 5-9pm July 02 - Market Day, 10am-2pm July 04 - July 4th Parade, 9am July 14 - Summer NewnaNights, 6-9pm Aug 06 - Market Day, 10am-2pm Aug 11 - Summer NewnaNights, 6-9pm

Photo by Ron S ch

uck The phrase “once in a b brought to lue moon” life w photograph in photos when Ron S as chuck ed this blue from the fro moon in Au nt yard of h gust is Newnan home.


Sept 02-05 - Labor Day Sidewalk Sale Sept 03 - Sunrise on the Square 5k, 8am Sept 03 - Market Day, 10am-2pm Sept 23 - Fall Art Walk, 5-9pm Oct 01 - Market Day, 10am-2pm Oct 07 - Oktoberfest, 5-9pm Oct 22 - Spirits & Spice Festival, 2-7pm Oct 31 - Munchkin Masquerade, 10am-12pm WINTER

Photo by Judy Gresham Larry Gresham, his dog Tella, and the family’s chickens trek together daily to check the mail a highlight of their day according to Larry’s wife, Judy Gresham, transportation manager for Coweta County School System.

Nov 05 - Market Day, 10am-2pm Nov 18 - Holiday Sip & See, 5-9pm Nov 25 - Plaid Friday Nov 25 - Santa on the Square, 6-8pm Nov 26 - Small Business Saturday Dec 03 - Market Day, 10am-2pm WWW.MAINSTREETNEWNAN.COM JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022 | 97


Another Trip Around the Sun


was talking with a friend at work not long ago about birthdays and anniversaries. I’m not very good at telling people “Happy Birthday” – or happy anything for that matter. I’d like to think my friends know I’m thankful they successfully made another trip around the sun without me saying it. I have 364 other days to drive that point home with them. My friend said that while he does make an effort to wish everyone a happy birthday, he goes out of his way for wedding anniversaries. With birthdays, all you have to do is not die and they keep on coming. But anniversaries, he said – they take work to make it another year. I’m pretty sure he said it more eloquently than I just paraphrased it, but his point was made with me. And I liked it. Anniversaries do take work. You have to do more than not die to make it to an anniversary. Anniversaries take two people to happen. There’s a little bit of give, sometimes a little bit of take. I’m sure anyone who’s ever met my better half would agree that I’m definitely the giver. (That’s an attempt at sarcasm for anyone who's never met the two of us.) I think our generation probably has it better than any other generation in the history of the earth, no matter what social media may suggest. But it’s still not always easy. There are a million memes on the internet that depict an older person referencing how, “back in the day,” when something wasn’t working, they didn't just throw it away. They fixed it. There is truth to that. Things made in the past were built to last. Things made these days are built to need replacing in a few years. Maybe that mindset makes wedding anniversaries that much harder to come by these days. So, we should celebrate the anniversaries. Make sure our friends know how happy we are for them when their big day comes around. I still doubt that I’ll say “Happy Anniversary” or “Happy Birthday.” I’ll continue to assume it’s implied – to anyone I’m close with – that I’m happy for whatever milestone they may hit on any given day. Actually, maybe this column can serve as my annual wish for everyone. Happy Anniversary on your anniversary, and Happy Birthday on your birthday. Yeah, that works for me. NCM Southern-born and Southern-bred, Toby Nix is a local writer who works in law enforcement.


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