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Burger MAY | JUNE 2015
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in this issue
12 | www.newnancowetamag.com
20 | The Quest for the Perfect Burger The dictionary defines a hamburger as “a round patty of beef, fried or grilled and typically served on a bun or roll and garnished.” Here at NCM, we think a good hamburger is so much more.
42 | Gone Fishing Sculptor Steve Luiz carves fish from blocks of wood.
His pieces are so detailed and ornate, many mistake his artwork for taxidermy.
50 | Remembrances of Roscoe When nine ladies get together to recall a different era in the oft-forgotten northwest community of Roscoe, the rest of us should stop and take notice. Find out more about the roundtable discussion inside.
features (cont.) 64 | One Step, One State at a Time It’s that time of year when many of us lace up our running
shoes and hit the road. While running half marathons is a great way to stay healthy, jogger Nancy Fisher will tell you it’s also a great way to see the country.
70 | Put Away Your Cell Phones Joe Yarbrough doesn’t have ALL the answers ... but he knows most of them, especially on trivia night at the neighborhood bar.
in every issue 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 26 | 36 | 76 | 78 | 80 | 82 | 82 |
From the Editor Datebook Roll Call Sweet Tea Hobby Q&A Style Duel Pages Pen & Ink Blacktop Index of Advertisers What’s Next
50 36 14 | www.newnancowetamag.com
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26 You don't have to wait until a Friday night on the town to enjoy a delicious craft burger. We did our homework and are ready to share our findings. See more on page 20.
Paul Patel, M.D. Jessica McCluskey, M.D. Vidya Phoenix, M.D. Garrick Layman, O.D.
Photo by Elizabeth Melville
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FROM THE EDITOR KNOTTING THINGS UP
THE ASSIGNMENT WAS SIMPLE – get a group together in the Greenville Street Park for a photo shoot on tie knots. Since the coinciding fashion story in this month’s issue of NCM features three traditional ways to tie a tie and one unique method, I’d employed four models to meet me at the water fountain along with staff photographer and consummate professional Aaron Heidman. I’d told everyone ahead of time we’d meet at 2 p.m. on the designated sunny Sunday. Each was assigned a knot and tie design (solid, striped) to arrive wearing. “Don’t everyone show up in a blue shirt,” I’d added by text while watching “Mad Men” reruns and munching on a plateful of tacos two weeks earlier. Because I knew everyone involved, I’d left it pretty much at that. My mistake. You remember the age-old advice “never do business with friends,” right? Well, whoever originally said such, he or she obviously experienced arranging for friends to meet him or her in the Greenville Street Park for a fashion shoot on ties and tie knots. At 11 a.m. on the day of, Model No. 1, Lou, tells me he’s going to be a little late, that he’s got to work for a few hours. “That’s fine,” I text. “Just get there when you can.” After all, the young sophisticate had mastered the Eldredge, a wildly complicated knot that takes several attempts to perfect. At 1 p.m., Model No. 2, Wes, texts and says he’s stuck in Atlanta ... “I’m running behind.” 1:45 p.m. – I arrive early. Aaron already has made it and is marking the sun and testing his equipment. Model No. 3, Baskin, arrives promptly at 2 along with his girlfriend, Sarah, several shirts and a sack of ties. He’s wearing a blue shirt ... but not a tie. Ever the gentleman, Baskin politely apologizes and proceeds to tie his assigned knot, the Windsor,
16 | www.newnancowetamag.com
incorrectly. “Uh, Baskin, that’s not it.” “It’s the way I’ve always tied it,” he answers. Ten minutes later, following a quick download and review of the “How to Tie a Tie” iPhone app, we’ve got Baskin set and smiling for the Canon T3i. 2:25 p.m. – Wes has escaped Atlanta traffic and slowly meanders his way toward us in a blue shirt ... and no tie. “What?” he asks defensively, looking himself up and down. I quickly text Lou to tell him definitely not to wear a blue shirt (“for real, man”) and then hand Wes a tie so he can put on the Four-in-Hand, the easiest of all knots. He does so obligingly ... deliberately ... incorrectly. “It’s the way I’ve always tied it,” he mutters under his breath while undoing a borrowed tie. We get Wes squared away and spot Lou walking quickly toward us. He’s wearing a blue shirt. (“It’s purple,” he insists. “And I didn’t get your text till just now. Why didn’t you call?”) And while he’s got the Eldredge knot locked down perfectly, his pink tie ends about midchest, like a sketchy ’70s used car salesman might wear his tie. Not exactly photo-worthy. So we’re back to the iPhone tie app while Lou changes into one of Baskin’s white shirts and repeatedly attempts to get the length correct. He’s also the harbinger of bad news. “[Model 4] isn’t going to make it,” he says midway through Eldredge attempt number 23. “He had to work.” I’ll stop the narrative here. Suffice it to say, gung-ho Wes and the charming Sarah subsequently stepped up to the plate and modeled the Half Windsor in place of our absent No. 4, and, after navigating a few more hurdles, by the end of the shoot we’d loosened our collars – especially me – and a good time was had by all. By 5 p.m., our plates were full and palates entertained. Considering the final results, I wouldn’t have done a thing differently.
Will Blair, Editor email@example.com
Spot Spot the the Dot Dot
THE COWETA COUNTY CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION RODEO returns to the Coweta Fairgrounds (275 Pine Road) May 15-16. Shows will start at 8 p.m., but the gates will open at 6 p.m. both nights. Go to www. cowetacattlemens.com for more information.
MEMORIAL DAY IN SENOIA
On May 25, Memorial Day in Senoia will be held from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The day will include a patriotic program at noon and a parade at 2 p.m. A performance by the 116th Army Band will follow the parade. Marimac Lakes will be the site for a fireworks show following the day-long event. Go to www.senoia.com for more information.
MAIN STREET NEWNAN’S SUMMER WINED-UP
returns on June 12. From 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., more than 30 downtown businesses will provide tasting stations for attendees to sample a variety of wines. Advance tickets are $20. For more information, call 770-253-8283.
NEWNAN THEATRE COMPANY’S
summer series gets under way June 18-21 and June 25-28 with “Bare: A Pop Opera,“ a rock musical that tells the story of two high school students and their struggles at a Catholic boarding school. For ticket information, go to www.newnantheatre.org.
May isis May
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JON COOPER has been an Atlanta-based freelance writer for 15 years and has written for ESPN. com, MLB.com, AtlantaHawks.com, NBA.com and Ramblinwreck.com. He assumed that being freelance meant being free of wearing ties. He thought wrong. To Have and
ANA GASCON IVEY loves to walk for exercise and can be seen strolling around her new hometown of Senoia. She also loves to travel to any destination with sand, palm trees and sunshine. She grew up in Miami, where she spent her summers grazing on fresh mangoes and listening to really bad disco music. One Step,
Have Knot, page 36
One State at a Time, page 64
CAROLYN CRIST is a freelance
writer based in Athens, Ga. While studying journalism at the University of Georgia, she twice interned at The Newnan TimesHerald. She first fell for indoor elliptical machines, weights and dance classes at the Summit Family YMCA in Newnan. It’s Better to
W. WINSTON SKINNER was
recently named news editor of The Newnan Times-Herald. Both his grandmothers were storytellers, and he feels he inherited their verbal gifts and put them on paper. He loves hearing – and telling – stories that say something about people and their lives. He and his wife, Lynn, have two granddaughters and are looking forward to a grandson this summer. Remembrances of Roscoe, page 50
MELISSA DICKSON JACKSON
is a poet, a mother of four, and an instructor at the University of West Georgia. She’s published two books of poetry, “Cameo“ and “Sweet Aegis,“ and is currently co-editing a collection of regional poetry. Gone
Fishing, page 42
JEFF BISHOP is a freelance writer, public historian and author of “A Cold Coming,“ a story of murder and family history, and “Flies in the Well,“ a play based on the John Wallace murder trial.
Sweat Indoors, page 77
ELIZABETH MELVILLE – a former crime reporter for The Newnan Times-Herald – is a financial administrator for a private school in Peachtree City, as well as a freelance writer. In her spare time, she enjoys immersing herself in culinary challenges. The Quest for the Perfect Burger, page 20
is a freelance writer, editor and mother of three teenagers, two of whom she home-schools. She spends her free time avoiding mosh pits at poppunk shows and wrestling her 75-pound puppy, Pippin. Put Away Your Cell
Phones, page 70
End of the Line, page 78
C.S. PERRY works in
PATTI FERCKEN is a native of
New Jersey who hated running before she learned to love it. A graduate of the University of West Georgia, she is now studying to work as a paralegal. She is a reformed cat person, loves her dogs, and loves to laugh. Take it
Outside, page 76 18 | www.newnancowetamag.com
marketing as a copy writer and published the children’s fire safety book “Cozy the Rhino Finds a Fire“ last year. He recently moved back to the Perry family compound in northwest Coweta County, where he spends his time composing music, writing and living the life of a quiet country gentleman. Instrument and 12:42, page 78, 79
WELCOME TO GRANTVILLE
Every city has its selling points. ’Sweet Tea Toons’ illustrated by MAGGIE BOWERS may /june 2015 | 19
THE QUEST FOR THE
STEP INTO A CRAFT BURGER JOINT on a Friday
WHAT'S THE BEEF?
Whether it's made from ground chuck or a blend of meats, a good burger depends on a basic patty and how much – or little – you season it.
night and you’ll feel the electric buzz of a hungry crowd – patrons piling in, the hiss of slabs of meat hitting the grill in the open kitchen, steam filling the restaurant with droolinducing aromas, the clanking of plates holding burgers stacked a mile high, white collar professionals temporarily tabling their dignity while over-easy fried egg dribbles down their chin. It’s not just food, it’s an experience. Coweta County is sandwiched in a burger mecca. We have restaurants that do burgers well, like Meat ’N’ Greet, the Cellar, Five Guys, Red Robin and Christy’s Cafe. Peachtree City has burger faves like Grazing Here and Due South. The Varsity in Atlanta invented the drive-through – Atlanta hot spots like Holeman and Finch Public House, Bocado and Grindhouse Killer Burgers perfected it. Food trucks are arriving daily in Atlanta and beyond, offering patrons the latest in craft burgers. For the foodie, burger recipes are as endless as they are exciting. What kind of meat? Or vegetarian? What toppings? What kind of bun? How to cook it? In the age of Pinterest, there’s no reason you can’t make a delicious, restaurantworthy burger for you and yours to enjoy this summer.
Written and photographed by ELIZABETH MELVILLE 20 | www.newnancowetamag.com
Necklace by Dayna Miles
mayâ€‰/june 2015 | 21
Quality and freshness matter when choosing toppings and buns for your burger. You can keep the bun simple with white bread or a potato roll, or fancy it up with rich, eggy brioche bread or even a glazed donut.
“You need a nice balance of flavorful meat cuts and a little bit of fat — sorry, folks, but without it a burger just isn’t as flavorful.” — Margaret Sanders
Ask 100 people what makes the perfect burger and you’ll likely get 100 different answers. When it comes to fancying up a burger, the sky’s the limit. But before you try to impress by throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks, why not perfect the undeniable basics that will take any patty from mundane to burger nirvana? Creating the perfect burger takes a balance of science and skill. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination – as someone clearly did when they thought to use a donut as a bun. Science can tell you that the temperature of a burger cooked perfectly to medium doneness should be about 145 degrees, but your palette will tell you to balance the texture of all that meat with a crunchy topping.
THE BASE When selecting your burger base, you must first decide whether to go meaty or meatless. There are classic hamburgers, bison burgers, turkey burgers, soy burgers, salmon burgers, black bean burgers, chick 22 | www.newnancowetamag.com
pea burgers – and so on. Local restauranteur and burger aficionado Margaret Sanders says a tasty burger is about the blend of meat and the fat content. “You need a nice balance of flavorful meat cuts and a little bit of fat – sorry, folks, but without it a burger just isn’t as flavorful,” Sanders said. If you select a quality meat, marinades and seasoning become less important. Everything should serve to complement the meat’s natural flavors, not overpower them. You can’t go wrong with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper on a quarter pound of grass-fed beef – especially if you have access to a local butcher. At the very least, choose ground chuck (something with at least 20 percent fat). Blends are popular, like the combination of brisket and chuck Holeman and Finch Public House serves. One Charleston chef makes a patty by grinding together chuck roast, flank steak and bacon.
Historic Downtown Newnan
BLACK BEAN CAPRESE BURGER
Come enjoy our new
FOR THE BURGER:
1 (16 ounce) can black beans 1/2 green bell pepper 1/2 small onion 2 cloves garlic, peeled 1 egg, beaten 2/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs 1 Tbsp chili powder 1 tsp cumin Salt and pepper, to taste
FOR THE BALSAMIC REDUCTION:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 1 Tbsp brown sugar
baby arugula leaves large slices ripe tomato slices of fresh mozzarella cheese pesto, homemade or from a jar DIRECTIONS: To make the Burger: Drain liquid from the canned black beans. Place beans in strainer and rinse with water. Pat dry with a paper towel. Place the bell pepper, onion and garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Transfer mixture to a fine strainer to remove any excess water. Place black beans in a bowl and mash well with a fork. Add the strained and chopped vegetable mixture. Mix in the chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Add beaten egg and mix. Mix in bread crumbs. Form mixture into four patties. Grill on a welloiled grill for 5-8 minutes on each side or bake at 375 degrees on a lightly oiled baking sheet for 10 minutes on each side. To make the balsamic reduction: Bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium and let it continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Turn off heat and let mixture cool. The vinegar will thicken and should coat the back of a spoon. Add toppings to burger. Slather pesto on buns. Drizzle balsamic reduction over the top of the burger.
& All-American Small-Batch
To Choose From come try our
HANDCRAFTED SPECIALTY DRINKS Blackberry and Apple
Moscow and Kentucky
check out our
weekly and seasonal specials Burger of the Week • Cocktail of the Week Seasonal Vegetable and Soup Specials
WEDNESDAYS | Flights and Flyers Night
11 Jefferson St. • Newnan, GA 30263
770-683-4664 may /june 2015
Using a charcoal or gas grill is a matter of personal preference as long as the best ingredients are used and the meat is properly prepared.
BURGER EXTRAS One word: Cheese. When in doubt, go with a slice of American or cheddar. But also consider swiss, gruyere, havarti, mozzarella and dozens of other options. Other delectable burger toppings include crunchy dill pickle coins, crispy strips of bacon, a slice of fresh, Georgia-grown tomato, onion rings, an over easy fried egg, mushrooms – and pretty much anything else you find in your imagination or pantry. (Who would judge you if you topped your burger with potato chips or french fries?) Sauce options are endless, too, from basics like mayo, ketchup and mustard to the concocted variety like a chipotle aioli, a spicy rémoulade, a balsamic reduction or a bacon jam. The finishing touch to any burger is the bun. You can keep it simple with white bread or a potato roll or fancy it up with rich, eggy brioche bread or even glazed
24 | www.newnancowetamag.com
donuts. Don’t forget to slap it on the grill with a little butter for extra texture and flavor.
COOKING METHOD Just as important as the meat selection is how you prepare your burger – maybe even more so. You can take a good beef patty and press every drop of juice out on the grill or overcook it until it’s rubbery. Chefs will tell you not to throw a cold piece of meat straight onto the grill, either. Meat should sit out for about a half-hour to get to room temperature before cooking. Pack meat gently into a patty. Don’t overhandle. Don’t be afraid to make a big patty, keeping in mind that it will shrink in size while cooking. Press your thumb into the center of each patty to help it cook evenly and to keep the patty flat while cooking. While grilling, resist all urges to bother the meat – save for one flip. When you take it off the grill, let it rest at least a couple of
minutes before you plate it. Some burger connoisseurs will swear by charcoal grilling because of the seared charcoal flavor that locks into the meat. Gas grilling is great, too, and offers more precise temperature control. Pan frying is a great alternative on a rainy day. Regardless of how you decide to throw down with your burgers, everyone can agree that these creature comforts make life a little juicier. “I really believe that the obsession with burgers is less about burgers and more about the concept of fresh, handcrafted food with dynamic flavor profiles,” Sanders said. “Also, burgers aren’t trapped in the box of being singularly ‘American’ anymore. We can bring flavor influences from all over the world to this American classic fare.” Fire up your grill this summer and contribute a verse to the great burger narrative. After all, great burgers don’t have to be a rarity.
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THE BURGER STANDARD Ingredients: 1 1/2 lbs ground chuck salt and pepper American or cheddar cheese slices (optional) dill pickle coins (optional) lettuce (optional) tomato (optional) hamburger buns, toasted, if desired DIRECTIONS: Set meat out for 30 minutes to get to room temperature. Divide your meat into equal portions and gently shape into patties. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides. Press thumb into the center of the patty to form a depression. Heat grill to high. Grill the burgers for about three minutes on the first side (or until golden brown and slightly charred) and then flip. Grill on the second side for about four minutes for medium rare, or until desired doneness. Add cheese in the last minute of cooking and tent with aluminum foil to melt. Allow the meat to rest
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Blacksmith Michael Sebacher uses both heat and force to forge steel items of grace and beauty. He demonstrated techniques and discussed his craft from his Hammered Heart Forge studio near Sharpsburg.
Working with metal has captured blacksmith Michael Sebacher's heart and mind. He hopes to instill that passion in others by opening a school one day.
How did you become a blacksmith?
Around 1998, I was living in Savannah as a management consultant and teaching classes, and I was restoring a house. I priced an iron fence. And I said, “I don’t have that kind of money. I have more time.” So I just figured I was an engineer of sorts and I could make it myself. I’ve never been one to let my own ignorance stop me when it comes to trying to make things with my hands, and I deeply love to learn. I bought a $300 welder from Home Depot. I was bending everything by hand, under a tarp outside. It was more welding than it was forging. That’s when working with steel captured my heart and mind forever. I looked into the cost of the forge and tools and thought — I want to do that. I took a part-time job so I could work on my steel full-time. And I wanted to do everything right. Ignorance was my ally. I didn’t know what could go wrong so I wasn’t afraid of it.
Photographed by AARON HEIDMAN 26 | www.newnancowetamag.com
HARD AT WORK
Sebacher demonstrates how a blade is created at his studio near Sharpsburg. Making a blade is one of the more difficult aspects of blacksmithing, and Sebacher only started doing it about two years ago. 28 | www.newnancowetamag.com
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On opposite page, Sebacher heats a piece of rebar in his propane forge in preparation for bending. Above, he begins the “ drawing out” of a blade.
I learned a lot from Johnny Boyd Smith, a metal artisan in Savannah. What an awesome guy. I also read books and talked to people. I was fortunate to work with a lot of great people in Savannah doing interior and exterior restorations. The history review board emphasized design and construction methods appropriate to the period and architectural style of the structure. It was a very educational experience.
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What are some of the tools of the trade and where do you get them?
Blacksmiths make a lot of their own tools, even hammers. I have never made a hammer. I have two forges: a coal forge, which I built entirely myself, and a smaller propane forge that I modified. When you’re a blacksmith, a forge shovel and a forge rake are some of the first things you make. So much of this stuff is about the equipment. There’s not a way to wing it.
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Sebacher works at his coal forge, which he made from a wheelbarrow and a grill. The coal forge is a bit trickier to work with than the propane one but can reach higher temperatures. 32 | www.newnancowetamag.com
about carrying knowledge forth. Knowledge is useless if you don’t give it away to someone. If you gain a deep knowledge of a certain thing, if you become an expert on something, you have an obligation to pass that knowledge on. A teacher is also learning with the student. Once you begin to pass knowledge on, you realize how much you don’t know. You can work in an art or craft every day of your life and always learn something new. Some realms of knowledge are so deep, and so broad, that one lifetime can never be enough to know all there is to know. For me, art is the only domain in which this type of life is possible.
What do you like about blacksmithing and working with metal?
I like the historical basis to it; I like the fact that what I’m doing, the knowledge that I have, was built on the knowledge that other people struggled to gain. I’d like to honor them. I like to say that I’m a product of their work. Also, working with your hands is extremely therapeutic in many ways. It’s like feeding the soul. Making something with your hands that was conceived in your mind is an absolutely wonderful thing. To have an idea in your mind and manifest it with your hands is a rush. Where do you go from here?
What I really want to do is teach. I’ve given two weekend blacksmithing workshops. I also teach stained glass, but I really want to get a school together. Get some artisans together to teach traditional arts and crafts like stained glass, pottery, textiles and weaving, painting, blacksmithing, hooping and chair caning, and even things like calligraphy, basket making and storytelling. This knowledge is not easy to gain, and is lost so easily. All I need is some ideas for a facility and some like-minded teachers of arts. Teaching is my calling. The making? Not so much. The teaching thing is
How do you continue to learn?
By screwing up! I’ll wonder why no one has done this – oh, that’s why. People are the next best resource for learning. Rather than reading or doing research, if someone knows a lot about something, you ask them intelligent questions. If you give them the feeling that you are willing to learn, that is flattering. They’re usually more than willing to share and to go out of their way to share.
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The scroll is the quintessential piece of decorative iron work. The steel rod (rebar is excellent for practicing) is heated until red hot, then bent around a form. Any imperfections can be smoothed with a hammer, and the completed piece is dunked in water to cool.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in becoming a blacksmith?
Don’t think about it. Do it. It’s going to happen – you want to do what you want to do because a piece of you is telling you this and you should listen to it. It will not go away until you do it. And prepare to screw up – don’t be afraid to screw up. Making mistakes is the best teacher ever – finding out exactly what you screwed up, why you screwed up, and learning from that. And if the draw is powerful enough, you’ll overcome everything. If you are doing something effortlessly, it’s probably not worthy of you. If you are continually on the edge and if something is continuously scary to you, you’re probably doing the right thing ... you’re pushing the boundaries of your ability, and as you push those boundaries your ability expands. Ignorance is an ally. If you don’t know what can go wrong, it probably won’t. NCM
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TO HAVE AND HAVE KNOT The tie. It may be the most underappreciated accessory in a man’s wardrobe. While it may appear to be little more than a formality – something
36 | www.newnancowetamag.com
you grab on the way out, and the item you discard as soon as you can – the tie actually plays an important role by living up to its name and “tying” your outfit together.
Your tie also can tell others a lot about you. Unless they’re required to wear one at work, most men can’t be bothered to put on a tie – never mind worry
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FROM ELEGANCE TO SIMPLICITY
While there are 177,147 potential ways to tie a knot, there are only 85 officially named knots. Each requires a different skill level to master. From top to bottom: the Eldredge, the Windsor and the Four-in-Hand.
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OPPOSITE PAGE: Wes Mayer models the classic Half Windsor. Depending on its color combination, a striped tie can either be a bold or a subtle accent to the overall ensemble.
LENGTH ALSO IS IMPORTANT: THE TIP OF YOUR TIE SHOULD POINT TO YOUR BELT BUCKLE. Written by JON COOPER Photographed by AARON HEIDMAN
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CONTRAST IN STYLES
Baskin Brown, Luis Perez and Wes Mayer share a laugh in the park while sporting different tie styles and knots for their photo shoot.
about putting on the right one – except for certain situations, like going to church, a wedding, a funeral, a special birthday ... a court date. But reaching into the closet and wrapping the first tie you find around your neck is as big a faux pas as it sounds. The right color matters. “Get a little bit of the color of the shirt and a little bit of the color of the jacket,” said Robert Van Yush, an
assistant manager at a men’s store. “If someone says, ‘I’m wearing a white shirt with a blue jacket,’ my goal is to find a tie that’s got some white and and some blue in it and then maybe a third color.” And it’s OK to have some fun with the third color, maybe red for Valentine’s Day or green for St. Patrick’s Day, or even a loud tie, but it shouldn’t overpower the outfit. There are three elements to your suit – the jacket, the shirt and the tie – but there can be only one lead. “Pick one to be loud: subtle jacket, subtle shirt and a loud tie or a subtle tie, a subtle jacket and a loud shirt,” said Van Yush. “Try not to overdo it with the patterns, and if you are going to do patterns, do ones that work together, like tight stripes and fat stripes. LET HER HELP
Ready to make a statement, Sarah Holden selects a bold, solid-colored tie.
“Don’t do tight stripes with tight stripes,” he added. “I would do tight stripes with bold stripes. I would do squares with stripes. You wouldn’t do squares with squares, it kind of becomes a little too much on the eyes. You don’t want people to struggle to look at your shirt and tie selection.” Length also is important: The tip of your tie should point to your belt buckle. “If you ever see a gentleman and his tie is past his belt buckle, his tie is too long,” Van Yush said. “He simply needs to go to the mirror and try it one more time.” Where the tie bottom ends is largely determined by what’s at the top. While there are 177,147 potential ways to tie a knot (according to Phys.org), there really are only three you need to know: the Windsor, the
Half Windsor, and the Four-in-Hand. And there’s one more for the truly daring: the Eldredge. The Windsor, credited to the Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII in the 1930s, creates a bigger, fuller knot and is recommended for bigger men with thicker ties. The Half Windsor is similar to the Windsor but has one fewer wrap and is a little flatter. It’s recommended for taller men with medium or thinner ties. Both are commonly used when wearing a vest or a three-piece suit, as their knot size results in the use of more material and comes up a little short on the length rule. Then there is the Four-in-Hand, the most common knot and usually the first a young man learns. “The Four-in-Hand is ‘a bullet-proof knot,’” Van Yush said. “There’s not
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A well-dressed man in a tie is certain to get the girl's attention.
a single occasion for which it’s not appropriate.” Then there’s the Eldredge. Named after its creator, Jeffrey Eldredge, who came up with it in 2007, the Eldredge is a complicated, braided knot that requires some 15 steps. It’s an undertaking and is best saved for a special occasion – like completion of the knot. “Once you have it tied, it’s very rewarding to have a tie tied that way. However, I definitely wouldn’t wear an Eldredge to a job interview. If I was interviewing a guy who had one, I would think he put more focus on his
tie than on anything he was saying to me.” “For a celebratory occasion, if you know how to do it, then by all means,” he added. “But I definitely wouldn’t wear it for a court appearance or a funeral. Definitely keep that to the Four-in-Hand or if you’re going to do a three-piece, then go for the Windsor or Half Windsor.” As with anything fashion-oriented, tie styles change over time. That means the skinny, leather or paisley tie you wore in college is probably no longer in fashion. Van Yush stressed that the most
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important part of the entire tie process is making sure your tie makes sense with the rest of your ensemble and that the look is neat. “The biggest tie ‘don’t’ is a sloppy knot, not properly up against the button on your shirt,” he said. “And don’t have something that has nothing to do with your outfit. If you have a light blue shirt and a blue jacket, I wouldn’t do a jet black and grey tie.” So go ahead, tie one on. Do so with style and flair. Just make sure it makes sense.
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CRAFTSMAN CARVES HIS WAY INTO THE ART WORLD Written by MELISSA DICKSON JACKSON | Photographed by MARK FRITZ
IN A MODEST OUTBUILDING behind a modest home, Steve Luiz quietly examines a block of wood. There is nothing in that brick of linden to suggest a form, but as Luiz turns the block in his hands, a shape begins to emerge, swift and fleeting, then frozen in a moment of water-bound rigor: An upswept spine, fins pivoting, teeth fine and sharp as the thin spines of cacti. In a week or two, the block of wood will disappear among discarded chips and shavings leaving behind a rainbow trout or a speckled bass so finely crafted and intricately painted that few observers will be able to distinguish it from the real thing. In fact, Luiz’s work is so startlingly accurate that visitors to craft shows have mistaken his handcarved and painted works of art for taxidermied specimens of the real thing. For Luiz, that’s both a curse and a compliment. “Sometimes, people just assume they can’t be carvings,” he says, then points to a sign on the wall. “That’s why I made this big sign that says ‘Wildlife Carving,’ but they still don’t believe me.” There is something in the sheer intricacy of Luiz’s creations that transcends the twin images of taxidermy and 3-D printing. A man, alone in a shed
Steve Luiz retired from Delta Air Lines in 2002 and has since devoted himself to making his sculptures.
may /june 2015 | 43
Luiz isnâ€™t making a piece of art about a fish;
44 | www.newnancowetamag.com
behind his house, carved each of the thousand scales, painted each of the shimmering and translucent speckles, crafted the expression of flight or conquest on the prehistoric faces so rarely considered in all their vibrant and vivid detail. Luiz’s compulsion to create is borne equally of the meditative act of carving itself and of the desire to know and share the creatures he celebrates in paint and wood. He was, after all, a fisherman first and a sculptor second. Though his uncle, the midcentury textiles artist and graphic designer Carl Tait, encouraged him to adopt a more contemporary approach to representation, Luiz’s interests demand the attentive eye and hand of the lover more than that of the philosophical and emotionally distant artist. Luiz isn’t making a piece of art about a fish; he’s making a fish. His commitment isn’t satisfied until the raw material is absolutely transformed without irony or vain comment.
for p u n e h s fre
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Self-taught and independent, Luiz doesn’t mind being considered old-fashioned. Even Uncle Carl came around in the end and saw the beauty of Luiz’s simple but demanding proposition. Making a fish out of tree is difficult, after all, and learning to do it as well as Steve Luiz takes nearly half a century. Though these pieces have sold for as much as $1,200 and often fetch $500, this is not the sort of fishing on which a man can raise a family. Luiz spent 33 years with Delta Air Lines. He retired from his position as a senior material planner in 2002. Since then, he has spent each workday in his unassuming handbuilt shop surrounded by Uncle Carl’s art books, bits of collected driftwood, naval artifacts (a harpoon, a gigantic masthead in the shape of a dove’s head), a formaldehyde-soaked crawfish, and the many tools his work demands: Two band saws, scalpel-sharp carving knives, paint brushes and a well-worn Dremel. Amid the chaos and charisma of two remarkable lives (Uncle Carl died in 2011), Luiz meticulously crafts creature after creature under the curious and demanding gaze of his 5-year-old West Highland
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Terrier, Maggie May. Neighbors in his downtown Newnan community are used to seeing the pair on their morning and afternoon rounds – Maggie assertive and watchful in contrast to Steve Luiz’s soft-spoken, unassuming demeanor. There is little urgency in his manner. He never speaks of his work or reveals the obsessive commitment that keeps him bound to the little shop between May’s outings. He makes duck decoys best suited for high-end interiors, yard birds frozen in idle moments, and the fishes that still snare his imagination with their absurd and remarkable beauty. “Most people don’t know how beautiful they are,” he says. “How would they? We fish for them, we catch them, we eat them, but when do we just stop and look at them? I want people to see them – to capture the snap of the fish that got away, or the stealth of the one on the heels of its own dinner. They’re spectacular.” Luiz’s passion for the subject of his work is palpable. His eyes light up and the air lifts when he talks about fishing or fish. With all the earnestness of a wizened Forrest Gump, he says carving is like fishing: “If you’re not in it, one with the line, you won’t catch a thing. Carving is the same way. You have to be completely committed, no distractions, no agenda, just focused on the task at hand. That’s when things happen.” It doesn’t take much for Luiz to drop himself into that magic moment when the fish start to bite, the shape begins to emerge from a piece of lumber, and the paint transforms into scales, into fins, and into a face both fearsome and glorious. Luiz has fished as long as he can remember. He’s giddy as he recalls pedaling through the streets of Spartanburg, South Carolina – a 10-year-old boy trailing fiberglass rods with Shakespeare reels, his best friend Sonny in tow. “We’d pay a dollar to fish all day,” he recalls. “We made dough balls from cornmeal and flour 46 | www.newnancowetamag.com
with cotton to hold it all together. Sometimes we’d add strawberry soda or molasses. We’d try anything.” Luiz’s strawberry dough balls were a hit with the carp. Once, he came 2 ounces shy of winning the $50 weekly bounty at the local dollar-a-day pond. In 1957, that was a fine cash haul; in today’s dollars, it’s nearly enough to buy one of Luiz’s more intricate creations. He says he was hooked from that moment on, but it would be decades before the boy fisherman became the fish carver.
BUILDING ROOTS IN NEWNAN Steve Luiz was 18 when he moved to Newnan. He’d just spent a summer interning with his artist uncle – carrying ladders and painting the inconvenient corners of large murals. The job had taken him to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Manhattan, and Fire Island. Meanwhile, his father took a
position with a local mill, and his sister enrolled at Newnan High School. Young, jet-setting Luiz drove through the sleepy City of Homes and quickly decided it wasn’t for him, but that was before he met 16-year-old Elaine Perkins, his sister’s friend and classmate. The couple married in 1966, had two children (Tony and Karen), and have lived happily on the perimeter of downtown since 1972. The neighborhood has changed over the years. Homes once filled with doctors, executives and even members of Newnan’s mayoral family are now considered starter houses or retirement bungalows. In the midst of all the upgrading and downsizing transition, Steve Luiz has slowly and carefully focused on the craft he loves almost as much as he loves fishing. He tried his hand first at a relief sculpture in 1988. In 1989, his father gave him a how-to book by world-champion fish carver
Though Steve Luiz makes sculptures out of a variety of wildlife, fish remain his favorite subject.
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Bob Barry. A year later, Luiz attended a wildlife carving convention where Barry awarded him a blue ribbon. Conventions now are exhausting for the Luiz family, so the prizewinning wildlife carver sticks close to home. It’s enough these days to close in on that fish near completion. “Sometimes,” Luiz admits, “I can hardly wait to finish.” It’s not that he’s tired of the work but that he’s eager to see the fish he’s imagined and then to set his sights on imagining the next. Between his projects, Luiz enjoys the life he shares with Elaine. They have grandchildren next door, a koi pond frequented by a ravenous heron, two doves in a rustic wooden cage Luiz constructed, and the indomitable May who roams the grounds ... half muse, half watchdog. Around the aboveground pool where grandchildren flock each summer, the relics from Uncle Carl’s studio accumulate: A rusty steering wheel with four flailing arms 48 | www.newnancowetamag.com
called “Back Seat Driver,” a Neptune figure tall as a young child, tin pixies, and leggy aluminum herons. Perhaps the most exceptional object (other than Luiz’s own work) is the carved wooden horse as long as a park bench that dominates the back patio. By happy hour the space brightens under strings of tiny red lights. “What do you think of my red light district?” Luiz asks with a grin. The atmosphere, of course, is far from the dark and sordid blocks of Amsterdam or late-1960s lower Manhattan. This is a warm place for cocktail recollections of good days fishing, summer afternoons spent on the water, and all the spectacular beauty a man gets to take for granted every day. Unless, of course, that man is Steve Luiz. Luiz is quietly reveling in that beauty, humbly reclaiming each scale and feather with all the gratitude and wonder of a little boy gone fishing. NCM
WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS
The shed behind his house is Steve Luiz's home away from home. Here, he spends countless hours carving his creations.
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Steve Luiz rarely attends carving conventions anymore, but you can find his work in
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may /june 2015 | 49
Remembrances of Roscoe ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION HONORS GOLDEN ERA OF COWETA COMMUNITY
Ladies from Roscoe get together to share memories. From left are, front, Carlene Bohannon, Virginia Mottola, Betty Ayers; back, Betty Ann Potts, Marty Head, Betty Poss, Mary George Hunt, Charlotte Schulz and Beverly Ferrell.
Written by W. WINSTON SKINNER | Photographed by JEFFREY LEO
50 | www.newnancowetamag.com
THE LADIES FROM ROSCOE are gathered around the dining room table at Charlotte Schulz’s house. Charlotte doesn’t live in Roscoe anymore. She has “moved to town.” Still, childhood days in Roscoe bring the group together. There are shared memories of days, places and people who are no more, as well as of landmarks that remain and customs that bind. Among the group, many have shared ancestors. Though Andrews Chapel, a Methodist church named for a controversial Methodist bishop, is one of Roscoe’s most prominent edifices, many of the group are – or were – Baptist and have memories of riding by wagon, buggy or car down the road to Macedonia for worship. At the table are Charlotte’s sisters, Betty Ann Potts and Mary George Hunt. Mary George’s daughter, Marty Head, is there. Then there is the Potts sisters’ cousin, Carlene Bohannon, and her daughter,
Roscoe continues to be a place where gleaming historic homes line rural byways. Betty Poss, left, and Mary George Hunt enjoy a light moment during a recent visit with Roscoe friends.
may /june 2015 | 51
Andrews Chapel has been a landmark in Roscoe for generations.
Beverly Ferrell. Betty Ayers, who brought up her family in Roscoe, occupies a chair. Then there are Virginia Starr Mottola, the elder among them, and her daughter, Betty Poss. The superabundance of Bettys leads to occasional confusion, and laughter, as questions and comments shoot back and forth. Sometimes everyone listens raptly. Other times, two talk at once – or three. There are disagreements about who lived in a certain house at one time or which local character really could chug a big, old-time Coca-Cola without taking a breath. All of the conversation is, however, convivial, congenial and, most of all, communal. The talk takes them back to a place and time that the women – who represent at least three generations – share. Stories passed down at first seem to go back to days of the early settlers until, upon reflection, they go back even further. Until the middle of the last century, many north
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Coweta families made a living planting and harvesting cotton. Plowing revealed reminders of an earlier people who claimed that parcel of land as their own. Creek artifacts often were unearthed as furrows were turned. “We found an arrowhead right out in our backyard,” Marty Head recalled. Roscoe is named for a Yankee, Roscoe Conkling – a New York politician associated with Tammany Hall. “He wanted to see that the South got a good shake,” Betty Ann Potts said with assurance. Virginia Mottola reached back to an earlier generation for confirmation. Her mother, she confided, described Conkling as “a friend of the South.” Roscoe was one of those centers of agricultural commerce in the 19th century, as the dense forests the first settlers found were felled and converted to farming. From the early days, education was a priority in
A PLACE TO CALL HOME
Along the roads in Roscoe are beautiful homes and structures that remind passersby of an earlier time. It continues to be a place where children can ramble, make friends, play and make discoveries about life.
Roscoe. Alexander Stephens Academy was schooling youngsters there in 1898. The Roscoe School where Virginia Mottola and Betty Ayers studied was converted decades ago into a home. Several small schools served children in the area at one time. Separate schools for black and white children operated, and the black school in town was later used for voting. The women remembered black-
white relations as pleasant. The Ware family, who would produce several outstanding citizens, including Coca-Cola executive Carl Ware, lived down the road from the Potts family. The Wares were a musical family and played instruments on Saturday evenings. “We’d sit on the front steps and listen to them play,” Betty Ann remembered. Carlene Bohannon remembered Sis, a black woman who kept house
while her husband, Frank, farmed for Carlene’s father. “They were like family to us. She was like my grandmother,” Carlene remembered. There were always stores in Roscoe. There also was a blacksmith shop, and a two-story buggy building. Betty Ann Potts was told a school was conducted on that structure’s upper floor at one time. Historical records show eight steam gins, five sawmills and four grist mills. At one time, in a radius of four miles,
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This vintage barn is a reminder of Roscoe's origins as a central point for farm families. The crossroads community offered doctors, dentists, stores and opportunities for education and worship.
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there were six doctors, four stores and several churches. “My people were Baptist and we went to Macedonia on the second Sunday of each month,” Virginia Mottola remembered. The fourth Sunday almost always meant the Starrs were at worship at Andrews Chapel, which was Methodist but also closer to home. “Sometimes we’d even go to Liberty,” she added. Liberty Christian was a bit farther than Macedonia and had services on the third Sunday during an era in which most rural churches had preaching only once a month. One preacher at Macedonia took note of the many family connections among his flock. One Sunday, he prayed a short prayer: “God bless the Sewells and everybody kin to them. Amen.” Among Roscoe’s physicians were Dr. Jacob Starr, Dr. Bob Sewell, Dr. A.J. Sewell, Dr. W.P. Edwards, Dr. R. Lee Hood and Dr. W.H. Tanner. Mary George Hunt remembered a dentist’s office in an old store building, and a dentist later practiced in a small house behind a residence. A frequent medication was some honey with a little liquor and some peppermint candy in it. One of the doctors kept a barrel of whiskey in a store building where it could be accessed for various medicinal purposes. On a dark night someone crawled under the building and drained the barrel. Carlene Bohannon said Dr. Tanner made house calls and mixed his own prescriptions for patients as he went from house to house. On Sunday mornings as Roscoe folk headed to church, the road near Dr. Tanner’s home would be lined with cars – people who needed the doctor but had been unable to see him during the week. “On Sunday mornings you couldn’t get up that road,” Carlene said. “You’d come back from church, and there would still be people there.”
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Virginia Mottola grew up in Roscoe and returned there with her New York-born husband to bring up their own children.
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The CORRAL barn was built by entrepreneur Wayne P. Sewell. According to local legend, he kept a bear there at one time. Another reminder of Sewell that remains is Dunaway Gardens, created on his ancestral property.
HOME TO CORRAL AND DUNAWAY GARDENS At one point, the conversation shifted toward Wayne Sewell, a successful entrepreneur, and his wife, a former Chautauqua star, Hetty Jane Dunaway. He built the huge barn that is now the home to CORRAL – the Coweta Organization for Riding Rehabilitation and Learning. They also lived in the community. “We used to go there every year and show him what we were wearing for Easter,” Betty Poss said. Charlotte Schulz had a different holiday memory – singing Christmas carols for him. 56 | www.newnancowetamag.com
Betty Ann Potts was fascinated by Hetty Jane, a large, imposing woman who wore lots more makeup than the other women or the little girls in Roscoe saw in those days. “I would stare at that woman,” she remembered. For a minute or two, there was debate about whether Hetty Jane Sewell was just a large woman, or whether she was actually fat. While that question was not fully answered, Mary George clearly remembered Mrs. Sewell running “that big old Buick of hers” into the creek one day. Wayne Sewell was known for his home talent dramatic program. Mrs. Sewell created Dunaway Gardens
on her husband’s family farm. Each summer, young women came to Dunaway Gardens to learn simple plays written by Mrs. Sewell. The humorous plays featured dialogue and songs that could be taught to a civic group, and the young women spent the remainder of the year going from town to town across the South – staging the plays with local residents. Part of the money would go to a local charity. The first coach who taught the plays was Marjorie Hatchett, Mrs. Sewell’s niece and later the drama teacher at Newnan High. She was followed by Ophelia Colley, a young woman from Tennessee, who – soon
after her stint working for Wayne Sewell – achieved fame as country comedienne Minnie Pearl on the Grand Ol’ Opry. Some of the group at Charlotte Schulz’s house recalled a Roscoe man who could be prodded to share tales of his days dating Minnie Pearl. Wayne Sewell built the Patchwork Barn as a theater for his wife. Betty Ann Potts attended the last play there around 1963. “You’d sure get tired of sitting on those plywood slabs, but it was entertaining,” she said. “It was a good show.” The lack of motorized transportation – and the cost of gasoline – helped keep Roscoe people in Roscoe. Mary George remembered being told, “You’re not going to town, because we’re not going to crank the car to go to town.” Virginia Mottola’s father was the county school superintendent, and her mother ran a store where many times there was a sale of a single gallon of gas, which cost 11 cents. There was a man, a regular customer, who always bought a single gallon. When he came one Saturday, Mrs. Dean Starr tried to persuade him to go ahead and buy two, reminding him that the next day would be Sunday. The man looked at Mrs. Starr as if she had lost her mind and said, “Don’t you know that if I did that, I’d ride it out tonight.” Later on, there was a county bus that stopped at the store in the crossroads. Everyone called the driver Cowboy. “It was like your MARTA,” Carlene remembered. “I’d ride it to town to go to the movies.” In addition to running the county school system – Newnan
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The sense of isolation – being miles from the next settlement and farther from town – added to a sense that people needed to help one another. 58 | www.newnancowetamag.com
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Dunaway Gardens has been restored and is a site of frequent weddings and parties. It is named for Wayne Sewell's wife, Hetty Jane Dunaway.
had its own city schools at that time – Marvin Starr also was a skilled woodworker. Charlotte Schulz treasures her hope chest, which Starr made for her at her father’s request. Betty Ann Potts has “an Indian head with all the braids and feathers” carved by Marvin Starr. Starr also made a playhouse for his daughter. “I wish I had a picture of that playhouse,” Virginia Mottola mused. Her father painted it red and then used white paint to create “bricks” on the exterior. The playhouse delighted generations of Roscoe girls. Beverly Ferrell would get off the school bus and walk to the Starr home to obtain permission to play there. When she was done, she 60 | www.newnancowetamag.com
and Mrs. Starr would enjoy cookies and a small Coke. Wayne Sewell’s niece, Dorothy King, was someone the Roscoe ladies remembered. Miss King, whose mother, Euca, was Wayne Sewell’s sister, taught piano lessons at her home. Part of the reminiscences of her related to Miss King falling deeply in love with a soldier who was killed and her then remaining single the rest of her life.
Like most people looking back to childhood, many memories for the women from Roscoe centered around school. Betty Ayers remembered the school bus. Ben Huffmaster made
it – affixing a wooden body to a truck. “The bottom was painted a bright orange, and the top of it was green. I guess it had ‘Coweta County Schools’ printed on it in black letters,” she said. “They had one bench down the center and one on each side.” Joe Dukes was the bus driver. The Roscoe school had outhouses – one for boys and another for girls. It was an era when the expectation was that preachers and teachers did not smoke. Mary George Hunt still has a clear memory of stepping into the outhouse and seeing a female teacher puffing away. She also remembered getting in trouble and having a ruler slapped onto her palm. “If you got in trouble at
The lack of motorized transportation — and the cost of gasoline — helped keep Roscoe people in Roscoe. Mary George remembered being told, “You’re not going to town, because we’re not going to crank the car to go to town.” school, you were in trouble at home,” Betty Ann Potts observed. Several people remembered Mrs. Ida Sue Sewell, who taught in south Georgia and in Griffin and then came to Roscoe. “That lady she really scared me,” Marty Head said. Betty Poss agreed that she was “strict and scary.” Mrs. Ayers finished seventh grade in Roscoe, wearing a white dress for the graduation exercises. Then she went to Newnan for high school. “I didn’t have a way to go to school. Daddy worked at Cates Brothers Gas Station,” she said. She would ride in
early with her father, walk to Newnan High – which was then on Temple Avenue – and come back to the gas station until her father was ready to go home. Once a month she would stop by the courthouse, and Marvin Starr, the school superintendent, would give her a check – payment for her transportation into town for high school. When the cotton crop came in, many women and children helped gather the crop. Betty Ayers said she got a penny a pound as a girl.
“My cotton picking was one day, and I only got a dime,” Charlotte Schulz recalled. It was more lucrative to get a job finding boll weevils and dipping them into a solution in a medicine jar for a nickel apiece. Farm chores often were a way to earn a little extra money for something special, such as a trip to the county fair. “I spent all my money going to the minstrel shows. When I got home, I could do just like they could,” Mary George remembered. Roscoe offered its own
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A SLOWER PACE
A curious pooch monitors traffic at the village store.
entertainment. “The gully” was a place to visit and have adventures, and hunting for foxes or opossums was a pleasant diversion. “I used to catch rabbits in rabbit boxes,” Carlene Bohannon said. Driver’s licenses meant little. Girls who had driven a tractor or a farm truck from the time they could reach the pedals began driving short distances in Roscoe four or five years before they would be able to apply for a license. “We learned to drive going to the Roscoe store,” Marty Head said. “The trucks were there. The keys were in them,” Beverly Ferrell added. 62 | www.newnancowetamag.com
A discussion of country foods brought lively conversation. Chitterlings were not a favorite, or brains and eggs after a hog killing. “That was one of the things I could never eat,” Mary George said. She did like souse meat the way her grandmother fried it – with a crunchy edge. Strawberries, blackberries and blueberries were picked in season. Strawberry preserves were made in many kitchens. Mary George jumped to the hood of a nearby car when she encountered a black snake while picking blueberries, and Beverly
Ferrell grimaced remembering the inevitable Clorox bath – to ward off chiggers – after each berry picking. Telephones became more widespread in Roscoe during World War II as families wanted to be able to receive a call if there was news from a loved one far away. They were party lines, and several of the ladies remembered listening in on other people’s conversations. Mary George said she and a girlfriend could tell when someone picked up, after which they would make up outlandish adventures to stoke the gossip circuit. Among the Roscoe ladies, there is a
“When we got off the school bus, it was like we were in our own world. The dogs would run around. It was wonderful. I loved it.”
— Marty Head
certain amount of pride in the Roscoe of today. They marvel at Brooks Elementary – “It’s the best in the county,” Betty Ann Potts said – and the numerous buses headed there each day. The lessons learned in an earlier time have stuck. “We used to just get out and roam around. We never locked a door,” Betty Ann recalled. “We all knew each other,” she added. The sense of isolation – being miles from the next settlement and farther from town – added to a sense that people needed to help one another.
“If we didn’t play with each other, we were up the creek,” Carlene Bohannon observed. Children were fortunate if there were others of the same gender and similar age close by. After a time, children left Roscoe each morning to go to school, but when they returned in the afternoon, there still was that strong sense of being in a place that was comfortable, safe – and set apart from the rest of the world. “When we got off the school bus, it was like we were in our own world,” Marty Head remembered. “The dogs would run around. “It was wonderful.
I loved it.” When the ladies get together – by plan or by chance – the old Roscoe is not really gone. It lives on in stories told and retold, in old ties renewed and treasured. NCM
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may /june 2015 | 63
One Step, One State at a Time
COWETAN’S GOAL IS TO RUN A HALF MARATHON IN ALL 50 STATES
Written by ANA GASCON IVEY | Photographed by SHAUNA VEASEY 64 | www.newnancowetamag.com
YOU CAN’T DRIVE AROUND Coweta
County these days without seeing this 50-year-old’s tall, lean body pounding the pavement. But Nancy Fisher, who works part-time as a dental hygienist, isn’t looking for a job. Sporting her Brooks running shoes – her long, blonde ponytail tapping her back to the beat of her feet – Fisher is training for something many people might have on their bucket lists. She’s running half marathons across the country in all 50 states. “I’ve always been very active, always worked out,” said the 50-year-old from her home in Sharpsburg. “But, in 2008, a girlfriend of mine asked me if I wanted to run a half marathon.” Fisher was intrigued. The most she’d ever run was one or two miles at a time, but 13.1 miles seemed within reach. She agreed, and along with 12 other women, she started training, going on 5- to 10-mile runs two to three days a week. In March 2009, she ran her first half marathon in Atlanta. By the end of the day, Fisher was hooked. “I thought, that was cool. I want to do it again,” she said. Fisher joined the fastest-growing distance running in the United States in the past 15 years. In 2000, under half a million runners finished half marathon races. By 2013, according to the most current statistics on Running USA’s website, that number more than quadrupled to almost 2 million. And 61 percent of those runners were women. Fisher and her friends found themselves in the middle of a trend that was sweeping the country. After participating in a few half marathons, Fisher “had a wild hair.” “I thought, this would be fun to do in every state,” she said. And just like that, the southern girl who was born in Virginia and raised in South
RIBBONS & MEDALS
While fulfilling her goal of running a half marathon in every state, Nancy Fisher has collected a number of awards along the way.
Carolina became a cross-country puddle jumper.
HUMBLE BEGINNINGS Fisher grew up in Spartanburg, the youngest of 10 children to parents who never graduated from high school. Times were tough and she grew up in a double-wide trailer in the country. “My friends do not comprehend when I tell them we had no money,” she said. “I wore hand-me-down panties, used a hand-me-down
toothbrush. I didn’t have a pillow of my own until I was 16.” Fisher’s dad was the foreman at a factory that made corrugated boxes. Her mom stayed home with the kids. And like many who grew up in the South, Fisher was in church every time the doors were open, singing solos with the church choir. In the fifth grade, according to Fisher, she made a decision to follow her faith more closely, and with that she started carrying her Bible to school every day. “I was may /june 2015 | 65
Nancy Fisher typically selects her half marathons based on whether they support a charity she endorses.
very devout. From my outward appearance, I should have been a nun.” So it came as no surprise when she left home at age 19 to study at Emmanuel College, a small pentecostal college located in northeast Georgia. A gifted singer, Fisher eventually transferred to the University of Georgia to earn a degree in vocal performance. “I was just a dumb kid who wanted to sing,” Fisher said. “I wanted to sing opera and I did it very well.” At 22, Fisher got married and over the next few years gave birth to two daughters. But the marriage didn’t last, and Fisher was left feeling despondent over her divorce, a decision she considered “close to an unpardonable sin. That’s how I was raised, what I was taught to believe.” She also gave up any aspirations of singing professionally. With two girls to support, Fisher enrolled at Clayton State in her 30s and earned a degree in dental hygiene. Remarried to Dave Fisher, a retired Clayton County firefighter, for 15 years, she spends her days running 6 to 10 miles several times a week and working for a periodontist in Peachtree City. She 66 | www.newnancowetamag.com
also jams with her husband in their small home studio, rocking out to old Eagles songs and the beloved hymns she grew up singing. But the runner’s favorite thing is simply being outside. “Give me a lawnmower or anything like that,” she said. “I’ll dig up trees, plant trees, plant flowers.” Maybe it’s her country roots, but there’s a charm to the great outdoors that drives how Fisher selects her races. “I like them outside of a big city,” she said, “out in the country.”
FINDING INSPIRATION She looks for runs on www.halfmarathons.net or in Runner’s World magazine that benefit a charity she can get behind. Her race in Florida promoted breast cancer research. In New York, she ran for a local hospice organization, and in Texas for the Wounded Warriors Project. She raced for a senior living facility in Pennsylvania, a fire department in Kansas, an arts program for children in South Carolina, and for Down’s syndrome research in Ohio. “Most every run benefits one charity or another,”
said Fisher, whose pre-run ritual is fairly simple. She eats chicken and pasta the night before. If that’s not available, a small burger or a sub will do. The morning of, she gulps a couple cups of coffee and chows down on a bagel and scrambled eggs. “But the routine I really stick closely to is early to bed the night before,” she said. Seven or eight scrapbooks loaded with pictures and memorabilia tell stories from each of the 30 or so half marathons she’s run to date. Of her race in Michigan, she said, “That was an amazing run. My oldest sister had just died the month before. My emotions were raw and laid bare. As I was running, I was praying, thinking back about my life and my past and my journey. It was a profound time.” Of her run in Kentucky, she remembers being sick to her stomach
and dehydrated the days leading up to the event. “I was too sick to run,” she said. “But there I was, in Kentucky. And then the first mile or so the Lord began to speak to me, telling me he was my strength. And I kept repeating the phrase ‘deep calls to deep, and my heart is full of the glory of the Lord.’ I felt like the Lord was holding me the whole time.” Looking ahead, she hopes to do a race in Montana in June, and in Delaware and New Jersey in October. She’s saving Hawaii and Alaska for vacation trips in 2016. And she wants to include half marathons on bases for each of the armed forces – a tribute to her father, who served in the United States Army. She hopes to complete all 50 states by 2017. She’s only met one other runner who was running half marathons in all 50 states. “An old fellow with one state to go,” she said. Otherwise, she’s in
a league of her own. Fisher typically clocks in somewhere between two hours and 20 minutes to two hours and 40 minutes – generally in the middle of the pack. The median time for female runners is on par with Fisher’s times. “Unless there are lots of hills and woods and dirt roads or muddy roads,” she said. “Then it takes me a little longer.” For this Coweta runner, it’s not about winning the race. It’s about finishing and finishing well. “Running for me has been a very spiritual journey, a lesson in endurance,” Fisher said. “From a Christian point of view, there are boatloads of passages in the scriptures about running, walking, being on the path, endurance, staying the course. Running brought me back full circle to where I needed to be.” NCM
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may /june 2015 | 67
CROSSING THE COUNTRY WITH NANCY FISHER NANCY FISHER HAS ZIPPED THE ROAD AHEAD
Nancy Fisher estimates she will meet her goal of running a half marathon in every state by 2017.
marathon with my daughter, Elisabeth, and her husband Stephen Wright. Stephen had just lost his aunt to breast cancer. The following year, I ran it again with a group of ladies in honor of a good friend who had just undergone a double mastectomy due to breast cancer.
IN NEW YORK, this race benefited
across the country running half marathons over the past few years. Here’s a look at a few of her favorite states and events.
a hospice organization so I ran that in honor of my dad, who was under hospice care before he died. It was upstate New York near Niagara. Beautiful and a charity close to my heart.
IN FLORIDA, the “Run with Donna”
IN TEXAS, I ran for Wounded
for breast cancer is a favorite. My mother had breast cancer and my aunt died from it. This was a very meaningful race. It was the first time I ran a full
68 | www.newnancowetamag.com
Warriors. We are a very patriotic family and to see our wounded vets out there running with us and cheering us on was incredibly humbling.
NEVADA was around Lake Mead area and Hoover Dam. Breathtakingly beautiful! IN PENNSYLVANIA, this run
was sponsored by a senior living facility. We ran in Lancaster County, in the heart of Amish country. It was beautiful, to say the least. The Amish families gathered on their front porches to wave at us. It was like running back in time. There were folks out plowing fields with horse-drawn plows. Buggies everywhere. It was just lovely.
WEST VIRGINIA was for a local
health care group. It started and ended in Shepherdstown. This little historic town is right outside Antietam and served as a medical treatment area during the battle of Antietam. It was very interesting to step into such a historically charged little town that I had never even heard of. The people were lovely and the area is beautiful.
OHIO. One word – awesome! Our
military is superior in organization. This run was on Wright Patterson Air Force base in Dayton. Location was excellent and scenic. Hard to beat running to the finish line past a dozen fighter aircraft parked at the finish line.
NEW HAMPSHIRE was just
gorgeous. Hills and trees in full fall color combined with very friendly folks. Loved it.
IDAHO was just wonderful. I was
there in March. The landscape was stunning and the people in Idaho are incredibly hospitable and friendly. This run was the smallest I’ve run. There was no music along the route, no cheering crowds, just peace and surrounding scenery. It was a great time for prayer and reflection.
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PUT AWAY YOUR CELL PHONES Trivia master seeks all the right answers in local circuit Written by REBECCA LEFTWICH Photographed by DREW MacCALLUM 70 | www.newnancowetamag.com
JOE YARBROUGH SITS, brow furrowed, puzzling over some of the 20 Newnan-Coweta Magazine trivia questions on the screen in front of him. He finishes with just 10 correct answers, but to be fair, Yarbrough is out of his element for this particular undertaking. He can be forgiven for being off his game at 4 p.m. at a table in the public library. Let the evening ripen, add crowd noise and give him a seat at the bar, and the results could be quite different. Yarbrough is well-known on the local trivia scene, a regular winner of everything from bar tabs to cash prizes as both an individual and a team player. On this particular Friday, in fact, he estimates he has about $150 worth of vouchers in his pocket. The 41-year-old teacher is also a bachelor who lives alone, and he jokes that playing trivia two or three times a week “beats going home and petting my dog all night – that would be boring.” “I enjoy the camaraderie with people, but it’s the competition, too,” he says, this time a little more seriously. “It’s almost like a brain sport. That sounds kind of nerdy, but it’s really not. It’s still going out to the bar and having a good time.” Trivia nights certainly started out that way for Yarbrough, who got hooked as a student at then-West Georgia College in Carrollton. “I would go up to 302 South Street and play with my friends,” he says. “Back then, it was free beer if you won, so we were like, ‘We’re in!’” Eventually, Yarbrough landed a job as a trivia host. Part of his job was generating the questions, and he frequently calls on the facts he learned back when 302 was packed with trivia (and beer) lovers every Tuesday night. “I think that’s the reason I have some success,” he says. “Doing that, you kind of remember things.” Many of the Carrollton restaurants that had hosted trivia nights began closing down, but after he graduated and got a job teaching science at a small Alabama school, Yarbrough’s days as a trivia king were numbered anyway. “They kind of frowned on me working at night and around beer and stuff,” he says of the school’s administrators and parents. “Some of my students saw me over there and it’s a small town, right in the middle of the Bible belt, so I had to stop that.” Yarbrough’s trivia sabbatical lasted until 2001, when he moved to Newnan and began teaching high school science in Fayette County. New in town, acquainted with none of the local residents, he decided to check out some of the area’s trivia nights. “At first, I just played by myself, and then I met a few people that way and started playing with them,” Yarbrough says. “It was just something to do, to get out and socialize. It was a lot better than going out to a bar and just sitting there with a drink and trying to get a conversation started with someone. There would be people sitting at the bar playing, and you could just kind of join in with them, start talking.” Yarbrough, who now teaches anatomy and physiology at West Georgia Technical College and high school science through Georgia Virtual School, is something of a night owl. An ever-changing
work schedule dictates where, when and what type of trivia competitions he is able to attend. Team events dominate his weekends, but he typically chooses individual events for weeknights – currently, that regularly includes adult trivia hosted by Erok Patterson, a longtime acquaintance of Yarbrough. “There are questions you answer sometimes, and you have no idea how you know them,” Yarbrough says, without specifying (but with a slight reddening of the ears). “I’m just sitting there thinking, oh, well if it’s talking about this, the right answer is probably this one. Erok gives me a hard time about some of them.” Patterson readily admits teasing him, but it’s clear he has a real respect for Yarbrough’s skills. “I pick at him quite often,” Patterson says. “He tends to answer these bodily questions that nobody else knows. He definitely uses his knowledge as a biology teacher to his advantage.” And where music is concerned,
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“I once had a guy threaten to kill me in the parking lot because I caught him cheating in front of his kids.”
72 | www.newnancowetamag.com
Yarbrough has no rival, according to Patterson. “Anything from the ’80s, he’s usually the only one who gets it,” Patterson says. “TV theme shows, especially. He’s amazing at the music part of it. And there’ll be that one-hit wonder of the ’90s, where I’m going, ‘Nobody will get that!’ and then he nails it. So I’m thinking, here’s this middle-aged man that knows these one-hit wonder girlie bands … how does he do that?” According to Yarbrough, the answer to that one is simple: He loves music, and he knows music. “I just always had almost a photographic memory for music,” he says. “I know who plays it, and it just kind of sticks with me. So I’m usually pretty good at picking up on it when I’m playing the name-that-tune type of trivia. Music trivia is my favorite, and I try to play it every week.” One exception is rap music, though, and although he can do passably well on football questions, sports is a hitand-miss category. But Yarbrough’s biggest self-confessed trivia weakness is pop culture. “I’m just not up on my pop culture like I used to be,” Yarbrough laments. Fortunately, a couple of teenagers usually are on-site to bolster the team in that area. “They bring those things that 16 to 18-year-olds know that I have no idea
about any more,” Yarbrough says. On his trivia team, Yarbrough is in the middle age-wise, with team members a couple of decades wiser filling out the roster. In fact, one recent retiree travels with Yarbrough – an avid outdoorsman – to compete in fishing tournaments throughout the southeast. And while Yarbrough usually wins something playing trivia, the outcomes of fishing tournaments are less certain. “Sometimes we do better, sometimes worse,” he says. “It just depends. A lot of times, I don’t know how these people are pulling these fish. I’m out there, it’s 20 degrees, I’m freezing and knocking ice off the boat, and they’re out there catching 8 or 10-pound bass every time.” Fishing tournaments may hold some mystery, but trivia competitions typically are straightforward. As with all events that reward winners, however, the potential exists for competitiveness to trump common sense, so host companies and locations are anxious to avoid even the appearance of a scandal. Despite the overall good-naturedness of the regulars, cheaters are not tolerated. One company in Atlanta used to host a tournament in which teams of eight players competed for a top prize of $1,000. Yarbrough’s team, Talk Nerdy to Me, qualified a couple of times and once finished second, while rival Team Bazinga has won the top prize twice. However, when one particular team began winning it year after year, other teams, predictably, began to protest. “We found out they were from another trivia company in north Atlanta, and it just looked funny that they were winning all the time,” Yarbrough says. “People started getting upset, so they banned them from playing any more. I don’t know if there was something going on. They post the questions online for their trivia host, and somewhere along the line somebody may have gotten ahold of
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Joe Yarbrough turns in his answer to trivia master Erok Patterson. Sometimes Yarbrough plays with a team, and sometimes he's a one-man show – often besting groups of players.
them. You know, 1000 bucks is 1000 bucks, and somebody might have said, ‘Hey, I’ll split the money with you if you give me the questions.’ You just never know.” Trivia players normally police themselves, according to Patterson. “The regulars are usually really nice, explain the rules to people who have never played before,” he says. “But they are also the first ones to call out cheaters. And occasionally we get some rowdy ones. I once had a guy threaten to kill me in the parking lot because I caught him cheating in front of his kids.” Despite occasional drama, trivia remains a regular activity for Yarbrough, who says he sees it as stress-relieving rather than stressinducing. “If I win, I win and if I lose, I lose,” he says philosophically. “I win enough that it doesn’t really bother me when I lose.” Lest you think the former multisport high school athlete has lost all sense of competition, however, consider that trivia competitions all contain a built-in Hail Mary: The wager. “You wager at the end of the game,” explains Yarbrough with a slight grin. “And if you wager correctly, you can be getting the crap beat out of you and still win.” NCM
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1. What is the name of the paranoid android in Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”?
Test your trivia skills here with
NCM’S SUPER DUPER HARD QUIZ Answers on page 82
2. Much traditional 20th century sales theory and training was influenced by the 1937 book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Who wrote it?
3. Which measurement of speed is equivalent to one nautical mile per hour?
4. What actress is the voice of Marge Simpson?
5. Which of the following Vietnam War films was based on the book “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad: “Good Morning Vietnam,” “Born on the Fourth of July,” “Apocalypse Now” or “Band of Brothers”?
6. How many dots are on a (standard 1-6) die?
7. Which is the only fictional creature used for a year name in Chinese astrology?
8. Name the six cities that hosted the summer Olympics from 1988 to 2008.
10. Which insects’ method of communication is known as a waggledance?
11. What are Howard Gardner’s seven original Multiple Intelligences?
What number, between two hyphens, is used by journalists, etc., to mark the end of a newspaper story? ________________________________________
13. The Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn are respectively (what number?)-and-a half degrees north and south of the equator. ________________________________________ 14 The Marvel Comics superhero team led by Mr. Fantastic is called what?
15. Someone set in his ways is referred to as “dyed in the ...” cotton, wool, silk or leather?
16. What commonly used word for forbidden or unmentionable derives from the Tongan word for “sacred custom?”
17. What company’s motto is “Where do you want to go today?”
18. What’s the first question in the song ”Iron Man” by Black Sabbath?
19. Which sign of the zodiac are you if your birthday is Oct. 18?
9. Connect the following: T.S. Eliot, punishment and Michelle Pfeiffer.
20. Name the year: “The Phantom Menace” opened at theaters, Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France and King Hussein of Jordan died.
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IN THIS CORNER
After a biting winter, it is as though each step brings you closer to a meeting with an old friend.
is a native of New Jersey who hated running before she learned to love it. A graduate of the University of West Georgia, she is now studying to work as a paralegal.
TAKE IT OUTSIDE BY DESIGN, RUNNING OUTSIDE is more rewarding and fascinating than indoor exercising. What is a mechanical point A to point B operation on a treadmill becomes a wealthy exploration of all five senses when you take your running outdoors. Running through the bloom of springtime is a study in sweet, gentle beauty. Cherry blossoms come forth with their tiny pink petals. Lacy white blooms frame the tree line along the road. The deep, spicy pungency of damp earth coaxes you to breathe more deeply. Lamplight-soaked pavement guides your way past hedges teeming with daffodils. You easily return the smile offered by others also on foot, testing this newly warmed air, reveling in the intoxicating scent of honeysuckle. After a biting winter, it is as though each step brings you closer to a meeting with an old friend. In summer, an evening run is simply an unparalleled event. Brilliant sunsets invite the world to step outside and join in the awakening of the summer night. Laughter floats up and over the tempting aromas of a barbecue. Perhaps you’ll get caught in a light rain, and believe me, it’ll feel like it didn’t start showering a moment too soon. No rain to cool you? If you’re jogging in downtown Newnan, stand in the mist of the Veterans Park fountain in the company of fireflies as an added delight. And take a moment to stop and smell the roses, available in abundance throughout town. And the tea olive plants. And the lavender. Of course, the balance of delight and challenge must be maintained, so here’s the caveat: Certain predicaments can challenge your will to run outside. From time to time you may have to sprint from a tiny barking dog – guard your Achilles tendons! And you will swallow bugs. You will endure “pollen eyebrows,” “salt face,” and “running tan.” Running tan is permanent, by the way. If nothing else, these encounters make good stories to share with friends. So consider your sense of humor a sort of spiritual hydration and never leave home without it. Still, the unscripted also can be a blessing: One humid summer evening a kind stranger gave me a can of orange soda after I’d gotten lost eight
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miles into a new route. I was dehydrated, exhausted and thankful, and no beverage since has tasted so good. Come fall, the Autumn Chase Trail Race reveals Newnan’s hidden heavens: The trails and lakeshores of Newnan Utilities Park. A brief respite from pounding the pavement is yours, as golden foliage unfurls from above, blanketing the park’s soft wooded paths. If you can break away from the pack, in the easy sunlight it will feel as though you have the whole world to yourself for a few clear, bright moments. The warm wind behind you inscribes the bliss of the fall season right onto your heart. And as for winter, well – winter is why we have treadmills. If you do brave the cold and dry winter air, congratulations – you are made of some tough stuff. Still, be sure to keep your mouth and nose covered so as not to damage your throat and lungs, and to guard against getting sick. Remember to stay hydrated, as you must do during any season. And at the expense of a frozen nose, I am obligated to say that outdoor winter running is not without its charms. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll see a snowflake or two. With spring upon us it is prime time to lace up and get going. Running outdoors truly is a mind-expanding cardiovascular experience that involves your heart in more ways than one. The impossible beauty of the great outdoors is waiting. NCM
REMEMBER YOUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Field Day, when students poured outside for an all-day extravaganza of fun activities in the sun? I’ll never forget my Field Day experience in third grade. At my school, we rotated through the classics – dodgeball, kickball, hula hoops, jump ropes – but the highlight for me was the water station, a table placed at the halfway point. Not only could you down as many cups of Powerade as possible, but you also got to jump around in a water sprinkler. It was the best station, hands down, and everyone groaned when it was time to move to the next activity. I remember how hot it was during my third grade Field Day. My face was beet red. Although I had enough energy to play, I couldn’t wait to get to that water station. When I was three stops away, several teachers noticed how red my face was and suggested that I skip ahead. I had no qualms about leaving my group behind. I gulped down a sugary sports drink and danced in the falling water until my group caught up with me. That experience sticks in my head as the first time I remember being singled out for having a red face so soon during physical activity. I tend to overheat easily, which is unfortunate for a gal born and raised in Georgia, but I deal with it. Over the years, though, I’ve found I tend to do better with my exercising if I keep it indoors – and have a cup of water or a fan nearby. I joined a new gym this spring and reconnected with activities that take my mind off the heat. My favorite way to get my heart pumping is Zumba, a dance class that mixes moves from salsa, hip-hop, merengue and Bollywood. Zumba reached its peak in pop culture a year or two ago, but it’s still going strong in gyms, with more than 200,000 locations offering Zumba classes. Even when I start to turn red, I’m having so much fun that I push myself to stick with the hour-long cardio because I’m in a class of women who are also sweating and shaking their booties right beside me. I burn more calories dancing around than I do jogging on the treadmill for an hour, and the toning exercises leave me sore the next day.
On the days between Zumba, I target all my muscle groups by lifting weights. Contrary to ongoing myths that women shouldn’t lift weights because it’ll bulk them up, I’ve seen my arms and legs slim down. In fact, studies show that women who build muscles tend to burn more calories, have more energy and sleep better. Although some of the exercises can get your heart rate up, weight lifting doesn’t heat your body’s core as quickly as cardio. Plus, it’s easy to grab a sip of water or towel off between sets. Then I stretch my sore muscles and find peace of mind in yoga classes. In the last decade, yoga has soared in popularity across the country, with 20 million Americans practicing in gyms or at home and spending $10 billion a year on classes, clothes, videos and vacations. Yoga styles vary widely, with some at a strenuous pace in a heated room and others at a calming rhythm in a dimly lit room. Either way, the classes take my entire focus and I forget to think about my surroundings. When I started working out again this spring, the third grade memory came back to my mind. At first, I was out of breath and red-faced early in the workouts, but as I’ve attended more classes and lifted more weights, my body has adapted. I’m able to do more and push myself further than when I started. So for now I’ll stick with the indoor exercises. That way, at least, you won’t find me on the side of the road wheezing and gasping for water. NCM
IN THIS CORNER
IT’S BETTER TO SWEAT INDOORS
I tend to overheat easily, which is unfortunate for a gal born and raised in Georgia, but I deal with it.
is a freelance writer based in Athens, Ga. While studying journalism at the University of Georgia, she twice interned at The Newnan Times-Herald.
may /june 2015 | 77
A collection of original works by Coweta poets and writers
End of the Line
I used to love singing little songs. I’d sit for hours and sing; I’d sing to you of love and hope, of fear and furniture. I played the music behind you and teased you with clever spoonerisms while you complained about money and stains on the ceiling. My fingers moved over the strings while I surreptitiously watched to see if you noticed. I still sing little songs but they don’t feel little any more. I want a subtler music: soft and secret, enfolding and bending. I sing now to tiny, demonic Cupids hiding in the shadows as they sight down envenomed arrows. But my hands can’t make the chords properly any longer and I sit and wait for the music to come as I slowly realize that your body is the only instrument I was truly born to play.
Daniel’s dad called it a bob. This one was painted red, a sharp contrast against the inky black of Lake Leonis. The bob settled into a rhythmic back and for th, riding the water’s starry surface, a red rambler along the reflected night sky. Something simple and true about that bob floating out there on that vast expanse of black water, something pretentiously mythological, Daniel thought as he watched his father on the dock. The line between the surface conscious, moon-kissed, bathed and blessed in the open starlight, and that vast, murky, unfathomable unconscious underneath, and between them this tenuous, bobbing interface, strung all together with the thinnest of filament. What was his father fishing for? What was he doing out here on this dock, anyway? He didn’t even like fish, right? Complained about the smell, about his time spent on that lonely island, way back when. So unreal. Daniel remembered reading somewhere that one of the problems of ar tificial intelligence was getting the computer to understand what is significant in a picture. It’s what made the development of facial recognition sof tware such a hassle. Human consciousness takes shor tcuts, filters, reduces to that which signifies meaning, to what is human. We just know these things; we are born knowing them, biological algorithm. Pictured here are the black lake, the red floater. All just information, 1’s and 0’s, light and shadow, visual noise, interplay. The human knows the bob is significant,
By C.S. Perry
78 | www.newnancowetamag.com
By Jeff Bishop
By C.S. Perry
She hit the Room like an avalanche; not a slow, broken roll of hard stone but a brave cascade of shards and splinters that gleamed like wild lightning and sent out tendrils through the throng and filled the air with a wicked scent: like the heavy breath of fired diamonds. And they cut the senses and left scars behind the eyes where every memory would bring the blazing ache of re-opened wounds in the countless nights to come. NCM
what is to be focused on, the scout of our desire. In time, it will aler t the fisherman of the catch on the other end of the line, which may be reeled in and consumed for fuel. The bob, the water, two names, a perceived separation. To the computer, it’s all a wash, a dumb frolic. Things bob, colors move, wakes waf t, but there’s no significance felt, no visceral tension, no real duality, no hunger. What’s a computer want with a freaking fish? Almost perfectly Hindu, in that sense – All is One. Aum. The value must be defined, assigned, designated “Not Bob,” beginning of line, end of line. Someone once said that what was most frightening about the prospect of intelligent machines is that they had no human-centered sense of moral value, Daniel recalled … lif ted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it. Some punk had mused, what if a hyper-intelligent machine were programmed to believe that the highest value in the universe is to produce paper clips? The whole planet would become nothing more than raw material for the purpose of paper clip production. The marble of the Par thenon, the wooden frame of the Mona Lisa, human bone. Equivalence. Data. Chum. There is absolutely no reason to believe that machines will value what humans value. Thank God, Daniel thought, that Ar tificial Intelligence is, that The Singularity is, that the Existential Threat is, by those best qualified to know such things, still (at best) decades away. Maybe there is still time to adjust the programming, to tweak the knobs. We have the power of foresight, of looking back on our own history.
What has happened before need not happen again. Correct? Maybe that’s why his father, Galen, was out fishing today. Like his son, he tended to over-think things, strip them down to the deck and build them back up again. But this, this was a simple pleasure. Fishing. Smelly, sensual, kinesthetic. Pitch the bob into the water. Watch the bob go up and down. Feel the tension, hook the fish, reel it in. Put the gooey thing in the basket. Repeat. A real brain cleanse. Only there had been no fish tonight, no movement at all. Galen grew tired of watching the cork and began to notice other things, like the small flock of geese that flew over in perfect formation, heading straight into the early sun. He stroked his graying beard and closed his eyes for a moment, trying to remember something. The geese had called out, but they were far away now. When Galen opened his eyes again – how long had it been? The bob was gone, snapped into the abyss. Galen took up his fishing pole as the line pulled taut, then down, weighted, heavy and motionless. Galen spotted a shadow in the water. He shuffled to the edge of the dock and peered into the vor tex. Something down there, all right. Something big. It’s human, Galen decided, mouth agape like a fish. There’s a body down there. The pole snapped. No thinking, no time for that. Galen jumped. NCM
may /june 2015 | 79
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h F errell
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may /june 2015 | 81
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS 92.5 The Bear...............................................73 AllSpine Laser & Surgery Center................9 Arbor Terrace...............................................57 Atlanta Market Furniture...........................37 Austin Outdoor............................................49 BeDazzled Flower Shop.............................59 The Bedford School....................................49 Brookdale Newnan.................................... 54 C. S. Toggery..................................................4 Carriage House ...........................................59 Charter Bank............................................... 33 ChemDry of Coweta.................................. 45 Christian City............................................... 55 Collector’s Corner and The BoneYard.....57 Cosmetic Laser & Skin Care Center...........3 Coweta-Fayette EMC................................ 83 Dental Staff School.....................................71 Expressive Flooring....................................13 Farm Bureau Insurance............................. 35 Foot Solutions............................................. 63 Georgia Bone & Joint, LLC........................69 Georgia OB/GYN...........................................8 Healthy Life Chiropractic.............................7 Heritage of Peachtree................................49 Imagine Yourself Organized.....................59 Kemp’s Dalton West Flooring.................. 35 LaParilla Mexican Restaurant...................75 Lee-King Pharmacy.....................................61 MainStreet Newnan................................... 25 Massage Envy..............................................37 McGuire’s Buildings................................... 34 Meat ‘N’ Greet............................................ 23 The Newnan Centre....................................39 Newnan-Coweta Board of Realtors.........11 Northside Hospital Cancer Institute..........6 Pain Care.........................................................5 Piedmont Newnan Hospital........................2 Skin Cancer Specialists, P.C......................17 Southern Crescent Equine Services, LLC......31 Stemberger & Cummins, P.C.....................71 Stonebridge Early Learning Center........ 25 Thomas Eye Group......................................15 Treasures Old & New................................. 29 Uniglobe McIntosh Travel..........................67 Valentine Orchard Wedding and Event Center.....................................41 Vein Specialists of Georgia...........................53 VITAS Healthcare........................................47 West Georgia Health................................. 84 Wild Animal Safari......................................10 82 | www.newnancowetamag.com
◗ july/august preview
Gardening, anyone? Old School
Having a home greenhouse is a dream come true for many gardeners who want to get a jump on spring planting or simply want greater control over the growing environment of their plants. Whether it’s something as simple as a basic cold frame or as elaborate as a greenhouse with a sprinkler system, these structures create the right environment for your plants.
Some green-thumbed Cowetans are thinking outside the pot – the traditional flower pot, that is – and giving new meaning to “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” with gardens featuring repurposed second-hand items and antiques. The result? Whimsical oases that leave visitors thinking they might just believe in fairies after all. Find out just where and how these pieces are allowed to rust in peace in our July/August issue.
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Next Publication Date: July 3, 2015
For more information on advertising opportunities in Newnan-Coweta Magazine, please call
Answers to Trivia Quiz on page 74: 1. Marvin 2. Dale Carnegie 3. Knot 4. Julie Kavner 5. “Apocalypse Now” 6. 21 7. Dragon 8. Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing 9. Cats – Eliot’s book of cat poems, cat o’nine tails and Catwoman, played by Pfeiffer 10. Bees 11. Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Musical, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Spatial-Visual, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal 12. 30 13. 23 14. Fantastic Four 15. Wool 16. Taboo 17. Microsoft 18. “Has he lost his mind?” 19. Libra 20. 1999
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Our most advanced
sees to your health
Medical Imaging Has Come a Long Way West Georgia Health offers the most advanced imaging technology – and the only breast MRI in the area. Our new open MRI is not only roomy, it’s quiet and equipped to ease your experience. And that’s not all. Position Emission Tomography (PET), Digital Mammography, Interventional Radiology, 64-Slice CT Scanner and 3D/4D Ultrasound give our physicians the precise vision they need to lead you toward better health. To learn more, call (706) 845-3785 or visit WGHealth.org
So Healthy Together LaGrange, GA
84 | www.newnancowetamag.com