Page 1

Game of


Cowetans young and old are brought together by the challenge of a game rooted in history



Hall of Fame caddy reflects on lessons taught – and learned – on and off the course



The art of repurposing trash into treasure


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FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION call 770.253.1576 or e-mail Newnan-Coweta Magazine is published bi-monthly by The Newnan Times-Herald, Inc., 16 Jefferson Street, Newnan, GA 30263. Subscriptions: Newnan-Coweta Magazine is distributed in home-delivery copies of The Newnan Times-Herald and at businesses and offices throughout Coweta County. Individual mailed subscriptions are also available for $23.75 in Coweta County, $30.00 outside Coweta County. To subscribe, call 770.304.3373. On the Web: © 2015 by The Newnan Times-Herald, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.

◗ in this issue


our features


18 | Dancing Maestro


Before making his mark locally with the opening of Southern Arc Dance Center, Paulo Manso de Sousa danced his way to the top on some of ballet’s biggest stages.

28 | Junk Gardening For these Cowetans, planting the perfect garden

requires thinking outside the pot. From second-hand items to antiques, repurposed gardening is just as much about the inorganic as the organic.

continued ➔ july /august 2015 | 11


features (cont.) 35 | Putting the Green in Greenhouses 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.

40 | The Happiness of Pursuit Hall of Fame caddy Scott Houston has rubbed

elbows with some of the best golfers in the sport, as well as with a fair share of celebrities. Today, he’s a philosophical fixture at the Newnan Country Club.

48 | The Royal Game Cowetans of all ages and from all walks of life open up and talk about what chess means to them. For some, it’s a simple game of wits to pass the time. For others, it’s a metaphor for life.




in every issue 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 58 | 64 |

From the Editor Datebook Roll Call Sweet Tea Style Hobby Q&A

68 | 70 | 72 | 74 | 74 |

Duel Pages Pen & Ink Blacktop Index of Advertisers What’s Next

on the cover Did you know the longest recorded game of chess ended in a draw after 269 moves? Well, neither did those interviewed for our cover story, but they do know how much the royal game has to offer to those who are willing to give it a try. See more on page 48.

Photo by Drew MacCallum



Summer is here!

◗ welcome

Feeling Like Diddly


f and/or when the city of Newnan annexes the Greentop project property from where it sits way out in the county in order to add to Newnan’s tax digest, I think officials should go several million steps further and annex the Grand Canyon, too.       It’s not like adding a 1,902-square-mile hole 1,700 miles away could make the colored district maps look any less like a badly drawn water color painting, right?         Right?         Lighthearted political jab aside, I finally had the opportunity recently to witness firsthand the grandeur of the Grand Canyon and thus mark off a bucket list item while also helping a friend move from Wichita, Kan., to Silicon Valley, Calif. My three requests when I’d agreed to help load, drive and unload the U-Haul were to see the Pacific Ocean, to sample all Napa Valley had to offer, and to spend the day and hike a bit of the Grand Canyon while motoring west.         While always mildly intrigued by the mythical reputation of the Grand Canyon as a kid, my fascination reached its peak as a young man after watching the 1991 movie of the same name that included a brief monologue that resonated with me at the time.         In it, Danny Glover plays a soft-spoken wrecker driver who, while waxing poetic on the magnificence of the Grand Canyon, offers this bit of wisdom to a down-on-his-luck friend who’s feeling sorry for himself:         “When you sit on the edge of that thing, you just realize what a joke we people are. What big heads we got thinking that what we do is gonna matter all that much. Thinking our time here means diddly to those rocks. It’s a split second we been here, the whole lot of us. And one of us? That’s a piece of time too small to give a name.”         Until that moment, I’d never considered attaching such existential philosophy to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World (not to be confused

14 |

with the Original Seven Wonders). In fact, before “Grand Canyon,” I probably was more in touch with Chevy Chase’s dismissive reaction while visiting the canyon during a road trip to Walley World in “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”       I’d waited years to see it, and several months ago, after much anticipation and hours of driving past absolutely no roadside attractions other than windmills and road kill, I hurriedly parked the U-Haul and hopped out.         The Grand Canyon did not disappoint.         I spent hours staring at it, as if it were a perfectly grand painting that continued to reveal itself in new layers and in new layers of earth the longer I contemplated. I took pictures. I walked around. I sat. I walked away. I looked back over my shoulder. I returned and looked again from the same spot. I hiked in. I gauged others’ reactions. I reflected on my own. It was God’s art gallery.         And yes, I felt like diddly compared to those rocks, but paradoxically, I also felt larger than life.         Here in Georgia, many of us return to the ocean or the gulf at least once a year in order to bask in the sun and take in the nebulous crashing of waves from our beach chairs. For many, it’s often a chance to connect with nature and/or a higher power as the sun sets on the horizon and the ice chests are emptied.         The Grand Canyon is that experience times ... 1,902 square miles. It provides a one-of-a-kind perspective we all need to absorb at least once in our lives, whether we want to add extra meaning to it or simply witness evidence of ancient Earth that can’t be experienced anywhere else.         Bottom line: Whatever it takes, however long it takes, do yourself a favor and go.         Furthermore, according to Siri, approximately 4.1 million souls from around the world visit each year. More than four million. That’s a lot of perspectives, and a ton of stories to be told.         Which is why, as your NCM editor, dear reader, I will not rest until we annex the Grand Canyon.

Will Blair, Editor

◗ datebook


alentine alentine

Main Street Newnan kicks off Newnan’s Fourth of July activities with the Fourth of July parade at 9 a.m. on July 4. The parade will begin at Veteran’s Memorial Park at 9 a.m. and will end at Greenville Street Park. The Newnan Rotary club will kick off the fireworks festivities at 5:30 p.m., when the gates at Newnan High School’s Drake Stadium will open for family fun. Fireworks will begin at dark.

Orchard Orchard





678.283.7128 678.283.7128


On July 15 at 6 p.m. at the Newnan Depot, the NewnanCoweta Historical Society and Newnan Theatre Company will present a “pop up museum” exhibit of items related to “Murder in Coweta County” and the John Wallace trial and will perform selected scenes from “Flies at the Well,” a new play based on the infamous 1948 murder trial. For more information, call 770-251-0207.


Newnan Theatre Company’s Summer Series continues with “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom” by Jennifer Haley. Performances are July 16-19 and July 23-26. In “Neighborhood 3,” the lines are blurred between virtual and reality as parents discover their teens’ morbid fascination with a zombie video game that hits too close to home. For more information, call 770-683-6282.



The Performing Arts Centre’s Coweta Area Musical Theatre Camp for rising 4th-6th graders will conclude with performances of “Alice In Wonderland, Jr.” July 13-17 and “Seussical, Jr.” July 20-24. For more information, call 770-254-2787.

82 North Main Street • Luthersville, Georgia • (678) 283-7128 july /august 2015 | 15



◗ thank you


MELISSA DICKSON JACKSON is a poet, a mother

freelance writer, an editor and the mother of three teenagers, two of whom she homeschools. She spends her free time avoiding the mosh pits at pop-punk shows and wrestling her 55-pound puppy, Pippin.

of four, and an instructor at the University of West Georgia. She’s published two books of poetry, “Cameo” and “Sweet Aegis.” Three of her children are worthy competitors at chess. The Royal

Dancing Maestro, page 18

Game, page 48

Despite growing up 10 minutes away from Bethpage State Park’s famous Black Course, sports editor CHRIS GOLTERMANN has never been much of a golfer. But after spending a few hours with Hall of Fame caddy Scott Houston, Goltermann now thinks he can conquer some of his personal golf demons among the impressive backdrop of Pebble Beach Golf Links.

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. Duel Pages, page 69

When MEGAN ALMON isn’t traveling around the nation speaking for the Life Training Institute, she’s at ease in her log cabin in Newnan with her husband, Tripp, and their two children. She’s into most things artistic, great books, and excellent coffee from the vantage point of her front porch swing. Junk

The Happiness of Pursuit, page 40

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. The Draw, page 70

AMY LOTT, an electric cooperative communicator and former reporter for The Newnan Times-Herald, is a mother of two who writes for fun and tries to be a classy Southern lady, with mixed results. How to be …

From a farming family in South Carolina, MARTHA A. WOODHAM remembers how her grandfather always had a mule named Frances to plow his large vegetable garden. Today she misses those tasty, homegrown Mortgage Lifter tomatoes her grandfather grew, so she plants her own. She also became a Master Gardener Extension volunteer, but having a greenhouse is still a dream. Putting the

Scentillating, page 58

Green in Greenhouses, page 35


teaches English at the University of North Georgia. His poetry and fiction have appeared in several regional publications. He is a founding editor of the online literary journal Grand Central Review and lives in Temple, Ga.

Duel Pages, page 68

16 |

Gardening, page 28


Let Us Hear From You!

Feel free to send thoughts, ideas and suggestions for upcoming issues of NewnanCoweta Magazine to

Sweet Tea

sweet tea

Ugliness is in a way superior to beauty because it lasts. - Serge Gainsbourg

‘Sweet Tea Toons’ illustrated by MAGGIE BOWERS

july /august 2015 | 17


Maestro Manso de Sousa furthers his legacy with Southern Arc Dance Center

◗ artist spotlight

“I wanted to give people in this area another choice, to see quality performances right in their own back yards instead of always having to drive north.” With the opening of Southern Arc Dance Center last year and the formation of his professional company, Southern Arc Dance Theater, former principal dancer Paulo Manso de Sousa is realizing a longtime dream.


burst of laughter punctures the balloon of serious air that envelops a late – and sparse – advanced ballet class at Southern Arc Dance Center. One voice rises in mock protest above the mix of giggles and groans. “I’m serious!” a twinkling-eyed Paulo Manso de Sousa tells his students, who respond with shrieks of dismay. “It’s true. It was so disgusting. But he kept going anyway, so we eventually just all left.” Having masterfully disrupted the rising frustration over a difficult combination with a quirky anecdote from his own student days, Manso de Sousa calls a water break. He fiddles with controls on the stereo in the temporarily empty studio, skipping around on the CD until he lands on exactly the right song for what he has planned next. Eyes closed, he marks a few steps to the music and nods

in satisfaction. Satisfied is a good way to describe Manso de Sousa, founder and artistic director of SADC and its non-profit professional company, Southern Arc Dance Theater, as he wraps up his inaugural year. With a popular series of performances at the Wadsworth Auditorium, a growing dance student population and the support of organizations such as the Newnan Cultural Arts Commission and the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce, Manso de Sousa said his vision for Southern Arc Dance is well on its way to fulfillment. “I knew what I wanted, and everything that I was dreaming came through and more,” he said. When Manso de Sousa moved to Newnan six years ago to be near his family, he fell instantly in love with the area and sense of community, he said. He continued teaching and choreographing, but he couldn’t shake

the idea of a collaborative arts offering that would mesh seamlessly with the “fantastic” local arts scene already in place. In June 2013, he struck out on his own, counting on the strength of his vision to translate into reality. “I wanted to have a professional company south of Atlanta that did continuous performances,” Manso de Sousa said. “I wanted to give people in this area another choice, to see quality performances right in their own back yards instead of always having to drive north.” Manso de Sousa is uniquely equipped for such an undertaking. Caught up in his good-natured gregariousness, a new friend might find it difficult to believe the sparkly elfin dynamo before them was once the darling of the New York dance scene, mentored as a young man by Edward Villella, a contemporary of such legends as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev and Gelsey Kirkland.

Written by REBECCA LEFTWICH | Photographed by SHAUNA VEASEY

july /august 2015 | 19

◗ artist spotlight


Manso de Sousa adjusts Meaghan Novoa's leg during class at Southern Arc Dance Center.

He’s traveled the world as a dancer and teacher, soaking up each experience and making it part of his creative process. He hardly began as dance royalty. Born on the Portuguese island of Madeira, Manso de Sousa immigrated to California with his parents and his brother, Tony, as a youngster. His career began when he caught the eye of a dance teacher as Action in his Oakland elementary school’s 20 |

production of “West Side Story,” and she encouraged him to join a folkloric group that performed at local events. After he won a bronze medal in a Highland Games Sword Dance competition – which featured a miniature kilt-clad Manso de Sousa and his personal bagpiper – one of his fellow dancers suggested Manso de Sousa look into ballet classes at the Oakland Ballet to bolster his repertoire. It turned out to be a pivotal

moment for the young dancer. “I was a boy, I had two legs, I was proportioned, and so they gave me a scholarship,” Manso de Sousa said. The then-13-year-old was one of a young group of dancers who trained under an older regime that essentially had fallen out of fashion. “The director was hiring all these old Russians (Ballets Russes) that nobody really wanted because everybody was doing a new generation

of dance,” Manso de Sousa said. “So I got to work with these incredible people.” Manso de Sousa made a beeline for New York after high school. “That’s where I really started to get obsessed with dance,” he said.

MAKING IT BIG IN THE BIG APPLE Living in a one-room apartment with short-term parental support, Manso de Sousa needed more than just obsession; he needed a job. Weeks after making the move, he was one of 200 dancers auditioning for a spot at the New York Met. Of those 200, only two males were selected. Manso de Sousa was one; Joe Kerwin was the other. Kerwin, the current ballet master at the Finnish National Opera, has remained close to Manso de Sousa over the years and will travel to the

United States in July to support his friend as a guest instructor at Southern Arc Dance Center’s summer intensive. “Paulo has been a part of my life for 30 years,” Kerwin said. “Our paths have diverged and crossed again countless times. I have seen him grow from dancer to choreographer to teacher and now director. His evolution continues to inspire me, give me hope and sustain my faith.” As the youngest dancer at the Met, Manso de Sousa said he was fascinated by the legendary opera house and its sideline ballet company. He introduced himself to the opera singers, watched the conductors and befriended James Levine, who was music director at the time. Levine watched him from the wings as he progressed as a dancer, eventually advising him to move along if he really

Be our Guest!

wanted to have a career in dance. Manso de Sousa took his advice and promptly went to work with Villella, one of America’s first well-known male dancers, who was director at the Eglevsky Ballet at the time. Villella recognized similarities in the young dancer’s body and dance styles to his own and arranged a scholarship at the School of American Ballet for training. Manso de Sousa’s career took off from there, becoming a decades-long whirlwind of dance and travel, acting and modeling, and teaching, teaching, teaching. It was teaching that first brought together Manso de Sousa and Susan Babcock, whose paths converged in Newnan. “Paulo was the first friend I made here,” said Babcock, who auditioned for Manso de Sousa to be an instructor at a local studio after relocating from

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◗ artist spotlight

Austin, Texas. Babcock had no idea Manso de Sousa had been a seriously credentialed professional dancer with connections all over the world. She just knew he was a really nice man. “I taught a pointe class for him, and he came over after and was just so warm and lovely, telling me he’d learned so much from watching me teach,” Babcock said. A Christmas party at Manso de Sousa’s home opened her eyes. “There were photos of him dancing with every one of my idols,” said Babcock, who teaches jazz and ballet classes at SADC. “I thought, ‘How

22 |

did I fall into this man’s star?’ I was just glad I didn’t know before I first auditioned for him, or I’d have been a bundle of nerves.” She was one of several fans/ colleagues on hand to support Manso de Sousa last season as he staged a pair of well-received mixed programs at the Wadsworth Auditorium, incorporating live music and theater into original choreography and utilizing local talent: “Putting on the Ritz” in November and “Opus 11” in April. The brand-new company also performed at this year’s Ballet Fest in Marietta and was one of only five groups out of 30 hopefuls selected for

the Modern Atlanta Dance Festival in May. But Southern Arc Dance was a presence in the community even before its brick-and-mortar headquarters existed, staging sitespecific performances at Main Street Newnan’s Art Walk, holiday festivals, libraries and special events for the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce and the NewnanCoweta Historical Society. Those performances fit neatly into Manso de Sousa’s plans for his school, Southern Arc Dance Center, which opened its Newnan Station Drive location in July 2014 with a summer intensive and



Newnan dancer Meaghan Novoa, who has appeared in several Southern Arc Dance Theater productions, runs choreography with Manso de Sousa.

july /august 2015 | 23

Manso de Sousa works on proper body positioning with Madeleine Johnson, who was out for six months last year after a severe knee injury that required surgery.

24 |

master classes. SADC welcomed its first students in August, not only offering them classes in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap and hip-hop, but also further opportunities to perform at community events. Students from SADC joined groups from several other local studios for a community “Nutcracker” at the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts, appeared in Main Street Newnan’s Christmas parade, performed at businesses, and led a flash mob at the Chamber’s annual golf tournament in the spring. Manso de Sousa carries over his early influences into his work. For instance, Villella devoted much of his time to educating audiences

about the art of dance, which has inspired Manso de Sousa to do the same. “He would travel around, giving lecture demonstrations on his work with [‘father of American ballet’] George Balanchine, and we would do little vignettes of Balanchine ballets,” said Manso de Sousa, whose lecture-demos are an intentional continuation of Villella’s legacy.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS Over the past year, Manso de Sousa has delivered lecture-demos at schools and assisted living facilities, given Coweta school teachers tips on incorporating ballet into their lesson plans, performed a sword dance at

imagine yourself organized a Robert Burns Night celebration, and donned ’70s duds and a disco attitude for Coweta’s Dancing Stars, the annual fundraiser for Community Welcome House. His body seems to be everywhere, but Manso de Sousa’s heart is in his studio. “I love being in the studio, creating,” he said. SADC’s co-founder and general manager, Will Slay, heads directly from his full-time job to the studio, where he handles the school’s paperwork, fields correspondence and sends out communications. Slay also represents Southern Arc Dance at professional functions and networking events. “Will has been wonderful,” Manso de Sousa said. “We could not have done it without him.” Tony Manso de Sousa built out the studio for his brother, who thanked him with a plaque on permanent display in the studio lobby. Their parents, Tony’s wife, Rita, and Slay’s family attended the grand opening, setting the stage for the family atmosphere that also was part of Manso de Sousa’s vision. It’s one of the aspects of SADC 11-year-old Zoe Rubenstein says she most appreciates. “When I first started, I didn’t talk at all,” said Rubenstein, who was Gretel in the studio’s year-end production of “Hansel and Gretel.” “I just tried to be perfect, and then I realized the class was supposed to be fun and it was OK to enjoy it. Paulo’s more like an uncle than a dance teacher – he’s really funny and nice, and he’s always telling us he loves us.” “I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better, that I’ve learned so much each day,” said Rubenstein, who now plans to pursue a career as a professional ballerina. “I stopped thinking of it like I was there just to do ballet class and more like I was there to hang out with my best friends while also dancing.” Nancy Thuesen Gell, who partnered with Manso de Sousa for several ballets in the 1980s and often is a guest ballet instructor at SADC, said a positive teaching style sets the tone for the entire studio. “Paulo is very engaged and involved. The minute you get a student to want to do it, and they make a mind-body connection and suddenly physically do something they’ve never been able to do before … that creates positive physical energy and positive emotional energy.” Another way to ensure positive energy in his classes is the infectious joy Manso de Sousa said he’s always found in the beautiful monotony of daily work – as a teacher, and as a student. “I loved the classroom,” he said. “I loved being

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◗ artist spotlight


Manso de Sousa works with student Diesel Thoreson.

coached. I love performing — don’t get me wrong, it’s incredible to be onstage – but there’s something about the daily challenge of work, where you go to the barre and you have a coach and you keep trying to make it perfect.” And that hard work often turns into something beautiful and unexpected, Manso de Sousa said. “The fun is, you take all you’ve experienced and all you’ve worked toward, and you can let muscle memory and intuition take over and then look back and see what came out of it,” he said. Providing as many opportunities as possible for students to perform may eventually break down barriers for students who feel limited because they aren’t built like ballerinas, adding credibility to Manso de Sousa’s firm belief that everyone can dance. And many parents and other adults are buying in, joining adult ballet and hip-hop classes offered by SADC as beginners or returning to class as former dancers. “I think they’re real trailblazers,” Babcock said of Manso de Sousa and Slay. As for Manso de Sousa, he’s already knee-deep in bold plans for next year, expanding his vision for Southern Arc Dance, challenged by the shortcomings and inspired by the successes. “It’s been an amazing year,” he said. It took four decades and several trips around the world, but it would seem the little Portuguese boy from Oakland has finally found his home in Newnan. NCM 26 |


TOP 10

1. They are healthy eaters. Not unless jelly doughnuts count as fruit. 2. They drink plenty of water. Have you ever tried to navigate the ladies’ room in a pancake tutu? 3. They are graceful. Dancers trip over everything. They have zero spatial awareness, deliver undeserved smacks upside the head and are responsible for 80 percent of the world’s spilled drinks. 4. They get to wear beautiful costumes. Last year’s Christmas elves wore pink tights and 1,000 jingle bells. Now they curl into the fetal position when they hear the first three notes of “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” 5. They are girly girls. Cowboys and truckers envy their offstage walk. 6. They are in great physical shape. Ever hear of “skinny fat?” 7. They speak French. Plié, jeté, tombé, all day. 8. Their mothers are rich, spoiled, contentious and delusional. Most of them went broke paying for dance classes. 9. They’re well-behaved. Favorite game: Cards Against Humanity. 10. Pretty much everything in the movie “Black Swan.” Except the stabbing part.

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â—— gardens

JUNK Gardening Cowetans find inventive ways to repurpose in their gardens

Written by MEGAN ALMON | Photographed by AARON HEIDMAN 28 |

Flowers aren't the only living things in Scott's garden. This tiny swing is just for the squirrels.

Earlene Scott's garden is a captivating blend of diverse blooms and unique treasures, each with a story involving the longtime Scott's Bookstore owner.

“A lot of it’s just junk, but I love it all.”


hat do Spanish-style castle doors, a cat named “Chosen One,” and a piece of driftwood from Cape Cod have in common? Absolutely nothing. Unless you combine the aesthetic sense and ingenuity of three Cowetans with green thumbs and a love for flowers, that is. Each of the aforementioned is a fixture in a Newnan garden that takes the less than ordinary and places it amidst the extraordinary. The resulting “junk gardens” are nothing short of stunning to the eye, but what’s more – they captivate the imagination. With a backdrop of blooms that would make Georgia O’Keeffe’s fingers itch for a paintbrush, the simple beauty of a knick-knack, a rescued feline, or twisted metal is brought forth and elevated. Every piece has a story that begs to be told, and every story intersects with the single thing those pieces have in common – the person who brought them home.

EARLENE SCOTT When a person makes a living around books, he or she is hard-pressed not to love and collect stories. Earlene Scott, the longtime owner of Scott’s Bookstore, spends a great deal of time doing both in her sunroom surrounded by a purposeful clutter of colorful angels, cats, birds, and turtles that span the gamut from realistic to charmingly cartoonish. july /august 2015 | 29

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The walls are painted Scott’s favored bold blue, and high shelves that run the length of the room feature a treasured collection of birdhouses. Scott can’t name a favorite, though if she could it would be one of several built to resemble tiny cathedrals. She can, however, tell you where she got each one – whether it caught her eye at a craft show or was given as a gift on a particular occasion. She points out a number of pieces – including a trio of bluebird paintings – that came from St. Augustine, a favorite vacation spot of Scott and her daughters. Chosen One, the only of Scott’s cats allowed to wander indoors, sprawls in her “place” on a table near the door, ears twitching as she listens to Scott describe the “mystery bird” that’s nested in the gutter. Scott’s garden begins in the sunroom, with lovingly tended plants spilling out of colorful pots. The plants, and the art, overflow onto a crowded but comfortable deck and, as if someone stood on said deck and waved a magic wand, into the expanse of

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Scott's favored cat, Chosen One, surveys her sprawling garden kingdom from a shady spot on the deck.

her tree-littered lawn. “I have to keep my hands in the dirt,” Scott says, who, true to her word, usually opts to work sans gloves. Every direction offers a feast for the senses – white azaleas slashed with pink, a gathering of “four o’clocks” that only show their blossoms mid-afternoon, and a climbing moon vine that opens shortly after. The magnolia tree’s large white flowers contrast the almost imperceptible red tips of the British soldier lichen thriving on the roof of a birdhouse. Friendly creatures are nestled in flower beds, on stones, or around the bases of sculptures and trees. Some are ceramic, others plastic, and still others are erected from repurposed silverware. The whimsy is such that visitors almost expect those statues to carry on a conversation. Bottles, mostly blue ones, decorate welded metal rod bottle trees and are stuck, nose-down, in the middle of blooming plants. “When the sun hits that glass in the afternoon, it’s brilliant,” Scott says. As if what’s happening on the ground weren’t enough, curious sounds lift one’s gaze overhead only to discover a separate world of wonders hanging from limbs and shepherd hooks – chimes and birdhouses and sculptures, and one little white wooden swing “for the squirrels,” Scott says. “A lot of it’s just junk,” she admits, “but I love it all.” Tending those gardens is, for Scott, relaxing. When work grew stressful, she would name the weeds with whatever, or whomever, was the cause. “I pulled weeds to get it out of my system,” she says, adding with a laugh, “I’d toss them and forget it.” Charming and lovely with just a hint of sass, the garden reflects the lady, as Southern as the characters in her favorite novels.

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MICHAEL AND ANN LYNN WHITESIDE Off the proverbial beaten path, Michael Whiteside’s Spanishstyle courtyard and rose garden is as unexpected against the backdrop of forest as the unique pieces the garden features. Whiteside, who served as CEO of Coweta-Fayette EMC for 25 years, inherited a love for flowers from his parents. He, however, prefers his unconventional lawn. “I like trees and shade,” he says, gesturing to the towering hardwoods surrounding the small Eden he shares with his wife, Ann Lynn. The couple chose the spot for that reason, and selected house plans that included a spacious courtyard. Knowing his roses would need several hours of sunlight per day, Whiteside had just enough trees cleared for a “secret garden,” one that he can enjoy from a cozy, covered seating area featuring bold redcushioned furniture, potted plants, and eye-catching treasures – a crystal chime that fills the space with tiny rainbows, interesting urns spilling colorful riots of blooms, and a collection of unconventionally beautiful vases created by Ann Lynn in her pottery studio.

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The space is accessible through a pair of castle doors, stumbled upon in a salvage yard in Chattanooga, Tenn., that just so happened to fit the archway perfectly. Visitors can kick back and sip either coffee or Chianti under the watchful eye of the regallooking copper dragon that hangs overhead. Beyond the covering is the garden itself, circling a fountain of stacked, terra-cotta colored bowls and a bed of lush grass. A smiling statue of Saint Francis sits at the base of the fountain, a fitting tribute to the living things that thrive in the space. The roses are the celebrities of the garden, but a variety of flowers command attention as well. Miniature magnolia trees provide a stylish, and fragrant, wall to the outside woods. A close look reveals blooms sculpted and painted in Ann Lynn’s studio to match the surrounding purple clematis, as well as her answer to bottle trees: Painted balls of pottery on makeshift

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metal hangers that adorn the trees and bushes. Large, metal butterflies appear to flutter in trios opposite one another. Michael Whiteside acquired the blue ones at a charity art show in Atlanta. Soon after, he contacted the same welder to create their yellow counterparts. A curious bird shaped from metal rods with a knob for a beak and fireengine red wire for plumage holds a lantern on one wing and a basket on the other. Strangely, it seems to fit its surroundings, a touch of quirky that makes the rest more real, much like a small-but-detailed “elf’s door” and Ann Lynn’s chuckle-provoking sculpture of Captain Jack Sparrow, which reveals both her attention to detail and sense of humor. Whiteside claims that adding a piece here and there “doesn’t detract” from the garden’s beauty but “adds to it.” The garden exudes steadiness and beauty, tradition and whimsy. The

grower and the artist. No wonder Whiteside refers to it, in his easy way, as “a good combination of the two of us.”

HOLLI DELK Holli Delk is a busy wife and mom with a knack for spotting what others would easily overlook, especially in the great outdoors, and seeing treasures. Her garden is small, an inspiration to those who want to grow things but don’t have an abundance of space, and it reflects her keen sense of order. In fact, most of Delk’s garden exists in the variety of colorful pots she places on, in, and around rocks, logs, and repurposed furniture that rest on a weed-free bed of small river rocks. The potted plants offer simplicity and versatility. She can bring them inside during colder months, move them around on a whim, or replace what’s in them with ease. For Delk, the stories don’t rest in the flowers as much as what the

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Michael Whiteside chose eye-catching art that adds interest — and a touch of humor — to his Spanish garden.

flowers are resting on. An old cedar log her husband, Jeremy, brought home has a smooth dip along the top, perfect for an arrangement of cheerful pots.

along the side of the road and transplanted in her garden – are also adorned with potted flowers. Smaller colored pots emerge

Photographed by Megan Almon

Holli Delk brings natural art to life with vivid blooms and colorful pots.

Similarly, a balsa log has been hollowed out on top to create a flower box, a birthday gift from Delk’s dad. Large rocks – noticed by Delk

from notches in pieces of driftwood like hidden Easter eggs, each piece of wood with a memorable point of origin – Delk’s dad’s pond and Jeremy’s

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job site in Cape Cod. An old red chair found in a friend’s trash pile holds a bright turquoise pot where its seat used to be, seemingly spilling blooms toward a narrow carved vase at the chair’s leg. Old barrels are repurposed as planters and add a touch of rustic to the scene, telltale of Delk’s upbringing on a cattle farm and her love for a great pair of cowboy boots. When asked what it was that made the pieces catch her eye, Delk shrugs with a nonchalant smile. “I don’t know,” she answers. “I just see it and think, ‘I want that.’” Delk’s garden showcases strength and delicacy, bold splashes of color lovingly tended and allowed to shine in a tidy space. A personality snapshot of the woman who enjoys soaking up the sun while working with pretty flowers. NCM

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Joanne and Tom Donahay say having a greenhouse (pictured below) allows them to garden year-round.

putting the

Green in greenhouses Master Gardeners say the rewards well worth the investment


hen farmer and nurseryman Mike Cunningham was a boy in Coweta County, he remembers how his grandmothers kept their ferns and geraniums alive over the winter: One grandmother covered her southeast-facing screened porch with a clear plastic called Visqueen; his other grandmother had a cold frame – basically a pit in the ground that she covered with old windows. These rudimentary greenhouses had only the sun as a heat source to keep plants alive through the cold months. Today, gardeners have more choices, and many of them opt for greenhouses with heaters and ventilation fans to overwinter their cold-susceptible plants or to give their vegetable seedlings an early start each spring. “I’ve always wanted one,” said Joanne Donahay of her two greenhouses made from kits. Her husband, Tom, surprised the Coweta County Master Gardener Extension volunteer with a second, larger greenhouse when she didn’t have enough room for all of her plants in the first one. “You can start seeds early in the Written by MARTHA A. WOODHAM | Photographed by AARON HEIDMAN

july /august 2015 | 35

After filling one greenhouse, the Donahays built a second one from a kit to keep up with their array of fruits, plants and flowers.

year, perfect for cuttings, and great winter protection for potted plants.” Donahay, who has some health issues, says having a greenhouse allows her to garden year-round in comfort: “I’m limited physically of what I can do. I cannot bend, cannot get on my knees. I have everything in pots, and we have shelves so that plants are at different levels – nothing at ground level. I start seeds early, to have early crops. Another big thing, the deer can’t feast on my greenhouse garden, nor any other critter.” Overwintering plants was Greg Emerson’s initial reason for a greenhouse. He’s also a Master Gardener, and he and his wife, Susan, have transformed their shaded yard into a garden of eye-pleasing delights. Before Greg built his greenhouse from plans in The Family Handyman magazine, the Emersons tried keeping their plants in their garage over the winter. “As my garden grew, I wanted to be able to

Tired of using their garage to store plants during the colder months, Greg and Susan Emerson built a greenhouse and have turned their backyard into a garden of eye-pleasing delights.

save some of the annuals and tender plants,” he said. “The garage was getting crowded with plants and didn’t offer the lighting the plants needed. I had visions of an automated greenhouse but changed my mind when I saw the cost. But having the greenhouse has been great for us to keep hanging baskets, annuals we want to preserve and also to propagate plants for sharing with others.”

When spring comes and the plants can go outside, many gardeners use their emptied greenhouses for storage, but Emerson transforms his into a wonderful outdoor spot to enjoy the garden. “I chose this design so it blends into the garden,” he said. “Once the overwintering plants are removed in the spring, we move the shelving to the back and use the shelves for propagation of plants. The greenhouse is then turned into a tea room and decorated for the spring and summer.” When it comes to greenhouses, Cunningham may have more experience than just about anyone in Coweta County. He built his first greenhouse when he was about 16 in order to grow vegetables and flowers to sell to his neighbors. He later operated a nursery with as many as 12 greenhouses. Today he and his wife, Judy, and their children run Country Gardens Farm, a multi-generational family farm providing local fresh food grown organically without chemicals, antibiotics or hormones.

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ADVICE FROM THE GARDENERS: How much time, effort and money do you have to invest? Greenhouses need monitoring to keep plants from getting too cold or too hot. Temperature and watering systems can be automated, but they’re expensive and may not be needed in smaller greenhouses. Why should you decide early on what you want a greenhouse for? Whether it’s overwintering delicate plants, producing seedlings for your vegetable garden, or both, a greenhouse has to be ventilated and heated properly, says Cunningham, and you may need an external heat source. Prolonged temperatures below freezing are plant-killers. If you are going to grow vegetables or flowers to set out in the spring, you will need heat and ventilation. Young plants need 60 degree temperatures to grow. Donahay runs an extension cord to a space heater and fan in her houses, and Emerson’s is supplied with electricity for a space heater. Larger commercial

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Mike and Judy Cunningham's large greenhouse is filled with rows upon rows of vegetables.

greenhouses are often heated with gas, and Cunningham recently installed what is known as a high tunnel greenhouse, which is heated by the sun. Do you need an irrigation system? A greenhouse will need a water source, whether it’s a faucet with a hose or an irrigation system. An automated system is best for plants that are all the same size, such as seedlings. An irrigation system can deliver too much or too little water to a variety of plants that are different sizes or that have disimilar H2O requirements. How about a ventilation system? A winter day where temperatures get up into the 60s or 70s can heat up a greenhouse to more than 100 degrees, so be prepared to ventilate your greenhouse. Some houses have automated systems that open vents and turn on fans, but home gardeners can make do. The Donahays replace some plastic panels with screens and cover the top of the greenhouse with shade cloth when temperatures rise so plants don’t burn. A thermostat is a must. Should you always be around to monitor weather conditions 38 |

that can affect your greenhouse? Cunningham recalls winter storms when he spent time sweeping snow from his greenhouses so they wouldn’t collapse, and Emerson says a big challenge is winter power outages. Where should you put your greenhouse? In the sun so you get the light, according to Cunningham. In Georgia, it is not as important to site a greenhouse north-south as it is in northern states where the sun is lower in the sky in the winter, but be aware of trees and buildings that can shadow your greenhouse. How much should you expect to pay for a greenhouse? The square footage and whether you do it yourself will determine the costs. You can find prices ranging from less than $200 to several thousand online for greenhouse kits, but Cunningham says you get what you pay for: “You can buy cheaper, but it might not hold up to the elements.” Most kits are some form of plastic because glass houses are so expensive, but be sure you get UV-inhibited plastic developed for greenhouses. Don’t buy constructiongrade plastic. How big is big enough? Emerson

and Donahay agree that you should get a bigger greenhouse than you think you will need. “If I were to do it all over again, I would make sure there was enough shelving to stand and take care of plants,” Emerson said. “Ours gets crammed so full to where it’s a challenge to get into it in the winter.” Donahay, who has two, added, “I would like even a bigger one now.” Cunningham’s final piece of advice: “Having a greenhouse has to be something that you enjoy,” he said. “It takes a lot of attention. For a hobbyist, it is not a matter of economics but a love of the heart.” NCM The University of Georgia has a free publication, “Hobby Greenhouses,” available at http:// detail.cfm?number=B910. For more information about becoming a Master Gardener, contact the UGA Extension office at 770-254-2620. For more information about organic farming, contact Mike Cunningham at 770.251.2673 or go to www.

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SCOTT HOUSTON IS A NURTURER by his own admission. Of golf. Of relationships. Of life. And it would be impossible to argue with any of those descriptions. To say Houston has a love of golf is an understatement, considering he once cultivated one of Arnold Palmer’s divots in a flower pot. “Arnie the Divot” was treated with the same love and care as a prized rose bush – except for the occasional watering with a can of Coors Light. With “Arnie’s” help, Houston once won the distinction of “Golf Nut of the Year,” a prize far more serious than the title sounds among a list of previous top finishers that include Michael Jordan. But it’s not the highest accolade bestowed upon Houston through the sport. That would be membership into the Professional Caddies Association Hall of Fame in 2002, earned amid working almost a dozen years at one of the country’s premier courses – Pebble Beach Golf Links. Four of those years were spent as Palmer’s personal caddy at the course, the first of which gave birth to “Arnie the Divot.” These days, though, you can find him working on the 18 holes at Newnan Country Club, attending to players, rounding up range balls, and chipping the strays out of the pine straw with the precision of a single-digit handicap. An injured back now prevents Houston from competing, but there remains a passion for staying close to the game, a passion for golf similar to when he walked out as vice president of marketing for a hotel management company in 1991 while in his late 30s. An office view of the ocean was more of a push out the door than a perk in helping him pursue a job as a caddy at nearby Pebble Beach, located in pristine settings along the cliffs outlining the view toward the Pacific Ocean. On Saturdays, Houston often took winding bike rides up the California coastline, stopping on the edges of the property to collect golf balls. “I was the vice president of a company in Monterey, working in marketing. I got really tired of it. I was sitting in my recycled air office overlooking Monterey

Written by CHRIS GOLTERMANN | Photographed by JEFFREY LEO

july /august 2015 | 41


Scott Houston's passion for the game of golf has been rewarding in numerous ways, including his experiences as a caddy at famed Pebble Beach Golf Links, where his list of regulars included a Who's Who of athletes and pop culture figures – including four years working the bag of Arnold Palmer during his visits to the California coastline. During the first 18 holes between the pair, Houston watched Palmer stick a 7-iron stiff near the flag, producing a large divot that he kept and planted, giving birth to "Arnie the Divot." The story of the divot, seen at top left after it finally succumbed to the elements, helped land Houston — known as No. 1186 to the Golf Nuts Society — the society's 2002 "Golf Nut of the Year" award, pictured next to a signed scorecard from "The King."

Bay on a beautiful day. I put a little Miles Davis on and I’d throw some wiffle golf balls on the carpet and start chipping. And I’d go, ‘OK, what do we really like to do?’” Houston said. “I love being in the outdoors. I love golf and I love meeting people. And I decide that day I’m calling Pebble Beach and see if they need a caddy.” That moment of impulse led to what Houston called “the best decision I ever made.”

NO LONGER ‘IN-BETWEEN’ Houston’s life has never been measured by par. Average doesn’t make the cut, even when the surroundings seem more than adequate to those interested in the American Dream. His titles have included sports writer, business owner, sports information director and publisher. Each stop has honed Houston’s unique philosophy about the pursuit of happiness – or the other way around. “Without passion for what you’re doing,

you’re walking through this gray-tone world. My world is colorized. And I’m not afraid of what happens next because it’s the happiness of pursuit,” Houston said. “I have so much respect for people who do the same thing for 40 years. It’s just not in my makeup.” His personality is a mix of wit and wisdom for a man in his mid-60s. One part seems pure George Carlin, with only about three to five of the seven dirty words attached. He went as far as penning a humorous news obituary for “Arnie the Divot” when it met its untimely demise. Another half of his personality leans more toward Robin Williams’ effervescent portrayal of John Keating, the fictional teacher of “Dead Poets Society” whose “seize the day” credo inspired his students. Houston equally has been drawn to poetry. Not many caddies can relate the context of T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets” to golf while sipping from a can of beer and puffing on a cigarette. “[Eliot] talks about being in-between,”

said Houston, who went to Grantland College on a football scholarship.”  Your entire life you’re in-between. But you don’t have to be. So when you are on the tee box, that’s point ‘A.’ I want to go from point ‘A’ to point ‘B,’ and you summon all that knowledge and this courage and this determination. So between point ‘A‘ to point ‘B,’ you better figure out what went wrong and why you’re not at ‘B,’ you’re inbetween.”

SERVING DIFFERENT SHOTS Two days after making his decision, Houston aced the interview at Pebble Beach. He arrived, resume in hand, with no knowledge of caddies (apparently a good thing). The icing came when Houston served up a holein-one answer when asked, “What should a caddy’s role be?” “I said, ‘You’re a concierge, not a pack mule,’” said Houston, who also worked as a bartender in Greenwich Village while growing up. “I told them it’s kind of like a bartender. It’s the same banter, you’re just serving different shots.” A look at’s ratings about Pebble Beach provides an understanding of how important a caddy’s role is to a round that costs $450 on a public course before the additional $80 for a caddy. Most golfers consider the visit as something to check off a player’s ultimate “bucket list.” Tee times go off every 8 to 10 minutes in order to keep play steady throughout the day. “Do not even consider playing without the caddy, and believe them totally when they tell you where to hit/putt,” reads one recent review by “JulieQs” of La Selva Beach, Calif. It’s a big reason why caddies like Houston were in high demand for his 11 years at the course. Caddies handle bags at Pebble. Sometimes they are in charge of carrying the player. “I’m trying to give you a great round of golf at one of the most iconic golf courses in America. That’s just part of

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it,” Houston said. “I don’t know who I’m getting. I have to be that pliable and malleable in order to form my job to help you perform at your best.”

DIALOGUE IN ITS INTIMACY In the four years that Scott Houston handled Arnold Palmer’s golf bag, he often found himself as a “segue” to Palmer’s fans. A round by “The King” at Pebble Beach could attract a crowd of 100, depending on where he was on the course. Without access to Palmer, many turned to his caddy for more information. “I’ve had people ask me, ‘Is he really that nice?’” Houston said. “He’s better than that. He has ‘it.’ There’s a decency to him. There’s a sincerity to him. I don’t know if his parents taught it or if he’s just blessed by God. He has it. He’s an amazing man.” Just the name “Arnold Palmer” made Houston’s “teeth sweat” when he first heard he was going to handle the bag of one of golf’s biggest icon’s at Pebble Beach Golf Links. “I was like, Arnold Palmer, the King?” Houston was about to embark on three rounds that led to a long partnership on the club’s prestigious courses. Even after all Houston had read about the golf legend, Arnold Palmer became a one-of-a-kind human being as he addressed the caddy for the first time. “Scott Houston, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” Houston was stunned. “It wasn’t like, who are you?” Houston recalled. “He knew my name.” The feeling of astonishment continued as Palmer got to the hill overlooking green No. 16 and asked “Scott” for his distances (front edge and pin). “I’m just standing there, cause the son of a gun called me Scott Houston,” he

said. “I watched him disappear down the hill and I’m thinking of who all this guy has met. Kings, queens, presidents, movie stars. And he has the decency to remember my name. I became a fan of Arnold Palmer from that moment.” On their first 18, which produced the knockdown divot Houston came to know as “Arnie the Divot,” Palmer went to his bag for a hat, pulling out a floppy fisherman-style model that wasn’t quite fit for golf royalty. “He goes, ‘You don’t like this do you?’ And I said, ‘No sir.’” Two rounds at Pebble Beach were followed by one at nearby Spyglass a few weeks later. Again, after needing a hat, Palmer was provided one by the pro shop that flopped around his head uncomfortably like a sombrero. “He goes, ‘You hate the hat, don’t you?’” – a reference to the previous day. The two went over distance and club selection and Palmer eventually caught up with Houston on the elevated tee box at No. 3 after putting. Again, the hat had twisted sideways, to which Houston made a soft nudge and a motion to Palmer so that the pro could adjust it. “You’re looking after me, Houston, aren’t you?” Palmer said. “Yes, sir,” Houston replied. “I can’t have you looking bad at any time.” According to Houston, Palmer simply stood there, watching as his caddy waited to take his tee shot. “Just when it’s time to hit, he goes boom with his elbow and hits me in the ribs,” Houston said. “He just turns and smiles at me. And that’s the moment I had his bag. That’s the moment I knew.” Scott Houston spent four years on Arnold Palmer's bag when "The King" made visits to Pebble Beach Golf Links. During their first round, Houston pocketed a divot on an iron shot to the green and called it "Arnie the Divot." In later years, upon hearing of the divot’s demise, Palmer sent Houston a note, writing “I was saddened to hear of Arnie the Divot’s passing Maybe we can get together to make a new one.”

After getting the thumbs-up on his very first “loop” with an Olympic Club member with a 2-handicap, Houston worked his way into becoming one of Pebble Beach’s top caddies. Eventually, his trips around the Blue Monster and the Cliffs of Doom were accompanied by a collective who’s who of American icons. They ranged from legendary golfers like Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Watson and Fred Couples to sports heroes that included more than a handful of Super Bowl MVPs – among them Roger Staubach (who left Houston as a 7-handicap) and Tom Brady (who requested Houston at the AT&T ProAm). “I don’t go backwards too often,” he said. “This was a very special time in my life. We’d start out introducing each other, not knowing each other. What transpires within five hours is dialogue in its intimacy. It happens day in and day out.” Houston’s appetite for writing immediately spawned a diary, which he later rewrote for his second selfpublished book “Yarns From Pebble’s Caddy Yard.” A brisk read concludes with a first encounter with Alfred “Rabbit” Dyer, who helped break the color barrier while caddying for Player. “I just saw different things that you can’t explain,” Houston said. “I was so blessed to be able to be in the company of these people. Golf created that intimacy and that passion. I jumped in and gobbled it up.” In the book’s pages are stories of sharing poignant moments of American history with Tom Brokaw and prying Alan Shepard – America’s first astronaut into space – about the kind of ball he hit with his 6-iron moonshot on Apollo 12.

“After the round,” he said. “[Shepard] goes, ‘Houston, we don’t have a problem.’” John Denver spent the final day of his life conquering one of his golf demons, hole No. 16, with Houston at his side at Pebble Beach. Denver signed the scorecard “To Scott, Peace, John Denver.” A rumble shook Houston’s apartment windows later that day. It was the sound of Denver’s plane crashing in Monterey Bay about 135 yards from the 16th green at a nearby public course known as “Poor Man’s Pebble.”

PEBBLE BEACH’S MR. KNOCKDOWN When Houston arrived at Pebble Beach, the Caddyshack contained a cast of 25 characters with nicknames like Scooter, Hollywood, Dr. Love, Bullet Bob, Sundance and Rocket. They competed like the fighter pilots of nearby Miramar for bags at a mere $35 a pop. Both numbers more than doubled by the time Houston left in 2003, but the early competition was fierce, with a fair share of hostility frequently being directed toward a rookie in his late 30s. “Caddies are very protective of their information. Until they know you’re serious about what they’re doing, they won’t let you into their world. At first, all I wanted was a nickname,” Houston said. “It was my mission to understand this beautiful woman out there. I knew every curve, every detail of her face. I knew everything about Pebble Beach. And I made it a point. It was my job. It was my love. It was my fear.” It also paid dividends while earning the title “Mr. Knockdown.” It was his attention to detail during his first 36 holes with “Mr. Palmer” that led to a four-year, caddy-player relationship at Pebble with the golf icon. On their first round, the King stiffed a 7-iron on 18 with a knockdown from 146 yards, producing a large divot. In an “egregious” moment while breaking

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Scott Houston began his career in journalism, catching on as a sports writing stringer out of college. The earliest flair and passion for writing was revealed in poetry and song when Houston won a poetry contest and recorded music while in high school. In his 20s, Houston sold several freelance articles, wrote for five newspapers and eventually found himself in Boston covering professional and amateur sports as the managing editor of a sports magazine. From Boston then next to New Hampshire, Houston worked as a sports information director and concurrently taught journalism as his articles found the pages of the Boston Globe and the Manchester Union newspapers. California called in the mid-1980s and Houston found another life’s passion when he was hired later on as a caddy at Pebble Beach. His experiences spawned two books, “The Holey Land” and “Yarns from Pebble’s Caddy Yard.”

from caddy protocol, Houston couldn’t help but pocket it. “Arnie the Divot” was born. “I was with Russ Meyer, the CEO of Cessna, and he and Arnie go way back. He goes, ‘I had to tell him that you took a divot and Arnie was really touched,’” said Houston, who still keeps the brown corpse of his prized possession in a sealed Ziploc bag. In later years, upon hearing of the divot’s demise, Palmer sent Houston a note. “I’ll always remember your divot,” he wrote. “I was saddened to hear of Arnie the Divot’s passing. Maybe we can get together to make a new one.” Being successful, according to Houston, also meant knowing what information was most needed, and knowing when to talk and when not to. There were rounds that acted as meetings between business leaders who very well may have been working on million-dollar deals. “That’s the management aspect of caddying,” he said. “When you caddy for an icon, you’re more than that. You’re a custodian to the icon. You’re a segue to the fans. I have to represent him. Clients took many forms. That was one of the great dimensions of the job and one of the most difficult parts because people come from Paris,

France, or Paris, Texas.” It also meant wearing multiple hats as a caddy, often playing the roles of concierge, psychologist and weatherman. “It was my role, my mission, my duty, my job, my teacher’s responsibility, if you will,” Houston said. Each round presented a challenge or a puzzle to solve. One found him paired with a vice president of American Express on a windy day, quickly discovering on the opening handshake that the executive didn’t have a left arm. “He had no grand expectations. [But] I was bound and determined to get him a par. That was my motivation throughout the day,” Houston said. “[After giving him advice] he appreciated the fact that I wasn’t being condescending. I was just being smart. That’s good caddy advice. We hit it off right away.” As an athlete and player, Houston says golf provides the ultimate challenge … and a lesson on life. “Accept the fact that you’re never going to beat the game of golf. You just have to enjoy it,” he said. “You can draw life’s metaphor within. Why did I make the same mistake again? Which is what we don’t want to do

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Royal Game

Chess unites, bonds players from all walks of life IT IS THE GAME OF KINGS and the king of games. Chess, warns “The Dangerous Book for Boys,” is “easy to play badly and hard to play well.” A novice’s first victory marks a rite of passage few forget. Decades later, avid players can recount the configuration of pieces announcing that first checkmate: The cornered king, the pawn turned predator queen, the opposition’s helpless pieces. The subtle machinations of the game are no different in Coweta County than they are around the globe. Newnan resident Julie Moore carries a photo of the game in which she first checkmated her chess tutor and husband, Wes. In that image, chess-curious friends and acquaintances can see Wes’ king trapped behind a row of impotent pawns unable to prevent the clear passage of Julie’s bishop. These days, as the competitive newlyweds continue their evening matches, Julie has managed three more wins but Wes remains the dominant player. Julie readily confesses her ambition to match Wes’ skill on the chessboard. The physical therapist with searing and intelligent eyes pursues her chess experience with pronounced vigor. Her Christmas gift to Wes was acquired only after visiting four separate shops. The commitment finally paid off at Barnes and Noble, where she found a “nice chess set with felt lining and everything.”


july /august 2015 | 49


Wes and Julie Moore often take their competitive games out of the home and onto the Court Square in downtown Newnan.

On temperate evenings the couple can be spotted waging intense if quiet battles on Newnan Court Square game tables dedicated to the memory of local checkers aficionados. Though Julie has searched for a Coweta chess club to help in her tutelage, she’s yet to find an organized group of adult players. Her sole opponent to date remains Wes, who clearly supports his wife’s ambitions. While Wes’ features recollect the chiseled lines of vintage boxers and handsome henchmen, his eyes soften and his voice takes on tender tones when he describes the moment of Julie’s first triumph. “I was genuinely happy for her,” he says,

and gently repeats. There’s no room to doubt him, though his sincerity doesn’t dissuade Julie. “Now that I know how all the pieces move and how to play the game, I need to understand how he plays,” she says. Part of that process will include finding new opponents whose techniques and strategic approaches allow the wife to analyze and undermine her husband’s strengths while exploiting his weaknesses on the board. Wes, for his part, seems delighted by the promise of a lifelong and chess-savvy partner. Chess among spouses is a battle of mates engaged in a brief faux rivalry for the purpose of entertainment, but when a parent undertakes the training of a

child in games of skill and strategy, the consequences are longstanding indeed. Ambitious parents teach their children with measured risk. After all, one day the pupil will become the victor, and victories of this sort are not the meaningless charade of Chutes and Ladders or Candyland. Chess is a meeting of peers matched wit for wit. The winner isn’t simply lucky, she proves herself master of the field. The checkmated father must parent a child whose executive reasoning may challenge the nature of that relationship. The stakes are high; everyone must be willing to lose, to fail, to yield the scepter of authority. But what parent doesn’t want to practice such yielding? The product is a young man or woman prepared to enter the adult world, where today’s decisions predict tomorrow’s outcomes and little to nothing depends on a fickle roll of the dice. Molly Hardin is the daughter of a father willing to teach and to yield. Their father-daughter matches are competitive and vigorous, but, now and again, Newnan native Lauriston Hardin succumbs to his daughter’s ruthless cunning. Hardin’s generous attitude speaks to his parental success: “The whole idea in chess is to learn how to think ahead. If they get to the point that they can outthink me, besides being slightly annoyed, I’m very proud.” Hardin describes that first loss to Mollie as bittersweet: “It was a mix of feelings.”

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Down Through the Ages T

he game Monopoly can be credited to Elizabeth Magie and Charles Darrow. Merle Robbins invented UNO. And the Game of Life, originally called The Checkered Game of Life, was the brainchild of none other than Milton Bradley in 1860. Chess, on the other hand, wasn’t so much a creation as a cultural evolution. The game’s roots are global, with alleged predecessors in China, Iran, Greece, Egypt and India. The exact lineage is disputed by scholars, but International Grandmaster Yuri Averbakh makes the case that it was a collision of East and West – and a fortunate comingling of philosophy, culture and religion – that spawned the game we now call chess. In Ancient Greece, a military game called Petteia relied on skills of strategy and reason. In ancient India, the games of Ashtapada and Chaturanga shared similar martial motifs but relied on dice to forward the movement of the game. The vagaries of fate represented by dice are frowned on not just by contemporary puritans but by both Buddhists and Brahmins. When Alexander the Great waged his expansionist campaigns into Persia and Northwestern India, his soldiers brought Petteia with them. Averbakh argues that the introduction of this similar but dice-free game over the two-year Alexandrian occupation (327-325) may have inspired the transformation of India’s most popular games into one of the world’s most cherished and elite avocations. An ancient vase portraying Ajax and Achilles playing a board game thought to be Petteia during the Battle of Troy.

AND A WORD FROM A ZOMBIE KILLER Actor Norman Reedus is the proud father of a chess champ. Mingus Reedus, son of the actor and of model Helena Christensen, began learning chess from his father at the age of 7. The elder Reedus says he plays chess on his smartphone or with “whoever’s around” on “The Walking Dead” set, but his nonchalance disappears when he describes Mingus’ chess prowess. With a smile one isn’t likely to see on the face of his “Walking Dead” character, Daryl Dixon, Reedus beams like the proud father he clearly is. “I used to take him to Washington Square Park to play the old guys there,” the actor reveals while buying coffee at a Coweta County cafe. “He’s played in championship tournaments.” If there’s anything better than being a strikingly charismatic actor and chess player with decidedly intimidating eyes, it’s being the father of a handsome young chess player who outwits his elders. Reedus’ Twitter history includes one 2009 tweet likely to embarrass the now teenage Mingus: “at a chess tournament in Harlem. Mingus just beat a 19yr old. get down!” It couldn’t have been a new feeling for the young Reedus; People magazine reported a Christensen quote in 2007 celebrating the 7-year-old’s victories over a seasoned 38-year-old chess player – his father. Though Julie Moore couldn’t find a local chess club, in pockets all over Coweta County players match wits over the iconic board. Once a month, a cluster of competitors gathers in an Ashley


Like any experienced player, Molly Hardin works to see the whole board against opponent Taylor Ray. 52 |

for p u n e h s fre

Park cafe. Every week, old friends Ross and Rick meet amid the clatter of spatulas and the calls of servers to beleaguered fry cooks for a quick dinner and a long match at a Sharpsburg Waffle House. It’s a way of keeping in touch and staying connected. Starting on June 5, Leaf and Bean on Newnan’s Court Square will host a game night to encourage both community and family bonding. Chess will certainly be one of the options, according to its owner. At Alamo Jacks, bartender Joe Petrosky enjoys his youthful, in-the-moment adventures but confesses a love of the ancient strategy game that punishes the spontaneity to which 21-year-old Petrosky otherwise ascribes. The aspiring singer-songwriter says he’ll mix drinks at Newnan’s historic theater-turned-bar and

music venue as long as it makes him happy. He’s not interested in planning a future beyond his evening shift, but when the chessmen hit the board and a willing opponent takes a seat as arbiter of the black or the white array, Petrosky musters his inner forward-thinking executive and plays with his eyes on checkmate. Like any good player, he says he’s “thinking moves ahead.” Petrosky was introduced to the game by an elementary school teacher who encouraged students to play board games during free time. While other children selected popular games of chance, Petrosky discovered a dusty and mysterious box at the back of the pile. “It was my Jumanji moment,” he recalls. “I asked her to teach me to play.” Petrosky had a willing tutor who took no mercy on her young

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“Fighting is 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical. Chess is the same way. You have to get inside the other player’s head.”

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protégé. They played daily that year, and when the young student won his first and only game, the victory was genuine: “She would never let me win.” In the years to come, Petrosky’s father took him to play with strangers in Atlanta where the young man often defeated nameless elder champions. “It’s a gentleman’s game,” Petrosky says. Though Mollie Hardin easily proves that gender-biased assertion untrue, she’d probably agree with Petrosky’s claim that chess players resist “trash talking and bragging” so prominent in other competitive ventures. The handshake and the acknowledgement of gratitude are as much a part of a good chess player’s education as knowing the difference between the Ruy Lopez and the Queen’s Gambit, keeping your knight off the rim, and mastering an efficient endgame.

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Arthur Barrett calmly makes his move in a battle of wits against Joe Petrosky at Leaf and Bean coffee shop.

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Poet’s Take on Chess C

hess is conceived in contradictory impulses and played in the ambiance of paradox. On the one hand, it is a game of martial conflict spun into metaphor. Whether the pieces are styled as medieval holy warriors, minimalist block-forms, or game-tech chess bots, they are irreducibly the emblems of armed conflict, self-sacrificial immolation, and heroic triumph. On the other hand, chess is an expressive motif for many of the structures that shape our world: Base-2 counting, algebraic syntax, inductive (and abductive) logic, spatial architectonics, game theory, and even quantum mechanics. Chess is played on both sides of the board and on both sides of the brain.
 Yet, for all the theoretical discourse and alphanumerical apparatus surrounding chess, it is undeniably a game of the heart, and that is a different kind of complexity. Even the most casual, amateur chess player understands the emotional implications of losing a “close game” or the hollow victory of defeating a weaker opponent. Stranger perhaps (and also weirdly familiar) is the indescribable frisson that attends the improbable defeat of a vastly superior opponent. These rizhomic labyrinths of human feeling are as central to the 64 squares of chess as to the 100 yards of football and far more resonant with the textures of daily life.

– C. Scott Wilkerson, author of “Ars Minotauruca” and “Threading Stone.”

friends and developing lifelong bonds over the board are perhaps even more essential. Malcolm Cameron and Taylor Ray are chess-playing high school best friends who continue to enjoy an occasional match. Ray is a graduate of Kennesaw State University who recently accepted a position in the medical supply field. His friend Cameron sports an upper arm tattoo featuring the musical notation of German composer Carl Orf’s setting of the Medieval Latin poem “O Fortuna.” He watches YouTube physics videos in his down time and works a night shift at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport while he saves money to further his education. On a recent weekday evening, both young men accepted invitations to play with novice elementary school chess players at the Barnes and Noble cafe. “This is a good habit to have,” Ray advises his 10-year-old opponent. “It makes you think.” Chess-playing barista Arthur Barrett keeps a close eye on his customers as well as the chessboard proceedings and wisely cautions the fledglings to pay attention: “If you mess up the middle game, the rest plays itself.” Barrett’s frequent chess opponent is a martial-arts inclined, former cage fighter turned aspiring actor who goes by the name Tony O’Hara. While Barrett practices patience and pacing to master the game, O’Hara’s style is aggressive and often psychological. He leans back in his chair and flips through magazines, often making wry and off-topic comments to distract his focused opponent. His moves are quick and deliberate. He rarely pauses or reconsiders and quickly looks away from the board as

though he’s already lost interest. “Fighting is like a physical chess game,” O’Hara says. “People call it cock fighting because it’s raw and brutal, but it’s not. It’s like a chess game, because you have to know what they’re going to do before they do it and know what you’re going to do after that. Fighting is 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical. Chess is the same way. You have to get inside the other player’s head.” Barrett, on the other hand, plays the long game inside his own head. Though he’s yet to beat O’Hara, his perseverance and commitment transcend the chess board. He uses the skills and techniques of chess strategy to manage longterm goals like his career plan of becoming a programmer. “Programming,” he observes, “is boring. Like chess, it’s a long and tedious task. But I want to get good at it. It’s not going to be today; it’s not going to be tomorrow, but I’m going to get good at it.” It’s that attitude that makes Arthur Barrett one of Coweta’s real chess champions. He delights in the challenge of the long game, and what is this life but a long and blissfully complicated game where kings and kingdoms come and go; games fall in and out of fashion, and all the players are bound to the rule of persevering against impossible odds, boredom, unpredictable challenges, vigorous opposition, and the rare but delightful victory. NCM


Lauriston Hardin awaits young Reeves Blackburn's next move. Chess has withstood the test of time to be the game of choice for all age groups and for all walks of life.

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To begin the quest, a visit to the perfume counter is in order: Some things simply can’t be figured out online. One mustn’t overwhelm the olfactory system with too many fragrances. However, only a few should be tried at a time, with lighter perfumes tested before fruity, floral or woodsy aromas. If a scent is appealing, it can be treated like a fine wine allowed to “breathe.” By spraying the fragrance on a blotter first and then the back of the wrist, it “opens up.” Once the perfume melts into the skin, the wearer will know how it evolves and reacts to body chemistry. To reset internal odor indicators, a customer should forego the coffee beans at most counters in favor of smelling her inner elbow – one’s own scent and pH recalibrates the nose best. It’s also helpful to understand why some fragrances cost $40 and others $400. Although there are no absolutes, inexpensive products usually smell sweeter and are marketed toward younger buyers with less money and underdeveloped senses. Pricier perfumes tend to have several levels of fragrance, while cheaper ones only replicate top notes and fade quickly. And speaking of notes, there are typically three sets to a perfume, all combining to create a harmonious fragrance accord. The “music” unfolds gradually, with the top notes perceived immediately upon application, then middle notes to mask the frequently unpleasant initial impression of the base


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MainStreet Newnan


Coweta County

Farmer’s Market

notes, which finally emerge to bring depth to the overall Wednesdays scent. These notes are created very thoughtfully, with (9 a.m. - 1 p.m.) an extensive knowledge of the evaporation process. Downtown at the Historic Train Depot Understanding the notes will also help a customer vocalize likes and dislikes to a clerk. For instance, citrus scents are effervescent and zesty, conveying confident Market Day femininity without overly romantic undertones. Floral July & August (10 a.m. - 2 p.m.) bouquets are lush and lively, giving the wearer a breezy, nonchalant ease. Oriental notes are opulent and sultry, the equivalent of touching velvet. Resins and balsams, the basis of this scent family, are among the most ancient perfume components and were even mentioned in the Bible (frankincense and myrrh). Musky scents, despite how they sound, can provide a clean-laundry smell, while mossy notes are pensive 4th of July Parade and murky. Green scents are bracing and aqueous; Sunrise on the Square (9a.m.) gourmand fragrances, succulent and playful. Road Race Once a perfume seeker has found a signature scent, she must apply it properly. Violating the noses of #mainstreetnewnanga those more than an arm’s length away sends a definite message – and not the intended one. Scents should be applied lightly to a few heat-emitting pulse points – behind the ears, on the nape of the neck, inside wrists, elbows, ankles and knees – to create a subtle aura. The best time to apply perfume is after a shower, when skin is at its most absorbent. Using unscented lotion before spraying will also make the fragrance last longer. Refraining from wrist-rubbing will maintain the integrity of the scent, which changes with friction and heat. After these steps, it’s time to sparkle and enchant! Like clothes, jewelry, makeup and hairstyle, perfume speaks volumes about one’s personality. For millennia, women have used signature scents to define and reflect who they are, to enhance image and to boost selfINTRODUCTORY confidence. It’s an incredibly personal journey, but a INTRODUCTORY INTRODUCTORY INTRODUCTORY

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◗ hobby

Q&A with


The geocaching bug bit Cowetans Phil and Lorraine Larue in 2010. And it bit hard. They had decided to try geocaching while staying at a state park cabin. By the time they got home from that trip, they had visited six other parks in order to participate in their new hobby. Since then, they have visited every Georgia state park and historic site to geocache, and have found caches in several other states. As of May, the LaRues have located around 750 caches. There are caches hidden all over Coweta County. Lorraine works at the Coweta Visitor’s Center and says those interested in geocaching can visit and talk to her about the outdoor experience.

Those interested can geocache with a smartphone and an app, or with a handheld GPS. Here, Phil LaRue shows a map of the geocaches at Chattahoochee Bend State Park. The yellow smiley faces represent the ones the LaRues have found.

Q. A. Q. A. Q. A.

What is geocaching?

Phil: It’s using multimillion dollar satellites to find Tupperware in the woods. Seriously, what is geocaching?

Phil: It’s using GPS satellites to basically track down containers with trade items. It’s a hightech treasure hunt. Lorraine: They’re hidden in the woods, in the city, they’re hidden everywhere. So what are you finding when you find a geocache?

Lorraine: Sometimes they’re Tupperware; sometimes they’re ammo cans; sometimes they are pill bottles in camo tape. There is one on the fence at the Brown’s Mill Battlefield that is the size of my pinky nail. Every time you find one, there is a log inside. There are also “multis” and “virtuals.” With a multi, you find the cache, but it’s really a clue telling you to do something else to find the actual cache. There are some that are set up specifically to find at night. And there are puzzle caches. A virtual is something for you to see. There is a “Murder in Coweta County” virtual that takes you to different sites. It says, “Start here at this statue ... look at this marker.” That is how I actually found out about “Murder in Coweta County” when I first moved here. The idea behind a lot of the geocaches is getting you to see something you might have driven by and never noticed. Some caches have trade items in them. You can take an item and leave a different item of equal or greater value. Usually, you find the most things in an ammo can. Now, we don’t even trade. We just find it and sign the log. Photographed by JEFFREY LEO

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july /august 2015 | 65

◗ hobby

Q. A.

Q. A.

With the smaller caches, pictured at left, often the only thing located inside is a log. Always bring your own pen, according to the LaRues. Below, the LaRues examine the medallions they've earned through geocaching.

you kind of an idea. Or somebody will tell you to watch out for yellow jackets or that there are creepy crawlers around here. If there’s any mention of a snake, Lorraine is not going near it.

What do you need to get started?

Phil: You need a smart phone with the geocaching app, or a handheld GPS - preferably not one for an automobile. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one, it can be $50. With the GPS, you can really take a bearing. On a phone, you just follow an arrow, and if it says take a bearing, you have to have a compass app. Sometimes, though, you can’t get a good signal on the phone.

Q. A.

Lorraine: Then you go on and you create an account. Everybody has a “geonick” - a geocaching nickname. When you find a cache, you sign your geonick in the log book. You also put a message on the website saying you found it, and any information the person who hid it might like to know.

Lorraine: The coordinates will get you to the general area, but it usually won’t take you exactly to the spot, more like a 30-foot radius.

Lorraine: When you decide you want to look for one, they’ll give you a general description. Sometimes it’s not much at all. Other times you can figure it out and you don’t even need to put in the coordinates. Phil: They also have hints if you can’t get it. Sometimes, if you read the online log, it will give 66 |

Lorraine: We were staying at Smithgall Woods [in Helen, Ga.]. I saw they had a geocache. We had all our outdoor stuff with us and decided to figure out if we could find it. And we did. Phil: When we found the first one, Lorraine goes, “I want to do another one.” We had an old, cheap GPS. We went to the website and looked up the coordinates and put them in by hand. We went to three more state parks that day. The next day we did two more. The next one we did was on our way home, at Vogel. There was a ditch we had to get across. I ran across it and Lorraine ran down and didn’t make it far enough. She grabbed my hand, it pulled me down, and we were both lying in the mud and laughing. We looked up and saw the cache in the tree roots on the side of the ditch. Later, we’re walking down the road and some people were sitting on the porch of their cabin. I said, “I want to do another one.” And Lorraine lost it. People were looking at us. We were covered in mud and laughing our butts off.

So you just follow what your phone or GPS says and it leads you to the cache?

Phil: You learn to read signs in the woods. You’ll be going down a trail and your GPS will be pointed to the left and you’ll see the leaves are kind of matted down. They call that a “geotrail.” Or you’ll see a bunch of sticks that don’t look right. Some people try to hide them really hard. There are ratings on each cache, a difficulty rating and a terrain rating.

How did the two of you get into geocaching?

Lorraine: We’re in our 50s doing this, falling in a ditch, walking through muck. But it’s fun to us.

Q. A.

Do you have a favorite geocache?

Phil: The one I enjoyed the most was on Skidaway Island [near Savannah]. You have to consult the tide charts. It is out on an island that is not accessible at high tide. It had multiple stages. Lorraine: Mine was a multiple. You had to follow a rope that was hanging in a tree. You had to figure

out how to let that rope down to let the cache down. Those were fun because after we got there we still had more work to do.

Q. A. Q. A. Q. A.

A least favorite cache?

Lorraine: There is one in Peachtree City we’ve been to four or five times that we can’t find. We think we’re just not doing it right. What are muggles?

Lorraine: People who don’t know what geocaching is. Phil: And we’ve met our share. We’ve had people follow us and ask, “What are you doing?” We tell them and they’re like, “That sounds pretty cool. I want to do it.” Have you ever had a bad day geocaching?

Lorraine: When you can’t find anything. Sometimes we just don’t have any geo-sense about us and we can’t find anything. Sometimes the cache is missing before we get there – they are taken or stolen, going back to the muggle thing. When you geocache you try to be discreet so people don’t come behind you and take the geocache.

Most geocaches in parks are located near trails, but they're not located directly on them. Each cache has a difficulty rating and a terrain rating.

Q. A.

What is the best part of geocaching?

Lorraine: The hunt! Phil usually finds most of them, but I like looking. I also like it when we go and find them in areas we haven’t been to before and we see things we haven’t seen. It takes us to new places. Phil: We’re hikers, so most of the time you’re in the woods and you’re out with nature and it’s just a challenge. It exercises your brain cells while trying to figure it out. NCM


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duel pages


I love both, but with a blaster to my head, I’d have to say the “Star Wars” franchise is superior.


teaches English at the University of North Georgia. His poetry and fiction have appeared in several regional publications. He is a founding editor of the online literary journal Grand Central Review.

‘STAR WARS’ A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH WE’VE DEBATED “STAR WARS” VS. “STAR TREK” since the destruction of Alderaan and the discovery of V-ger, but we might as well be comparing apples to ice cream. While both franchises are considered science fiction, their target audiences differ. “Star Trek” is hardcore sci-fi; its audience expects metaphorical explorations of philosophy. “Star Wars” is space fantasy. Its audience expects rousing adventures with awesome visuals. I love both, but with a blaster to my head, I’d have to say the “Star Wars” franchise is superior. A common argument made for “Star Trek” is that there’s more of it. To paraphrase Mr. Spock, this is illogical. John Grisham wrote 30 courtroom dramas to Harper Lee’s one, but no one claims he is the better writer. Besides, both series now boast countless novels and comics, multiple television offerings, and video games galore. To thoroughly compare the franchises would take multiple columns. Instead, I will focus on the first three films of each franchise since arguably they are the most popular. Had “Star Wars” not succeeded in 1977, there wouldn’t be a debate. Without George Lucas proving that sci-fi can sell tickets, Gene Roddenberry’s brainchild would have remained an obscure TV show. But “Star Wars” also is more enjoyable than “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.” Episode IV begins with a space battle, then introduces characters most anyone can identify with (Luke and Leia), respect (Ben), idolize (Han Solo), and fear (Darth Vader). Along the way, we enjoy Old West style laser-gun fights, rescue missions and World War II-era dogfights in space. All while learning the value of trusting our instincts. “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” spends a lot of time with Spock floating in space staring at an artificial intelligence and Kirk not making out with alien girls. The second films are almost tied. They’re widely considered the best films of their series. In both, threads spun in previous stories are allowed to unravel. In “The Empire Strikes Back,” the Empire exacts retribution for the destruction of its base; in “The Wrath of Khan,” Kirk suffers the consequences of his decision [in the original TV series] to maroon an enemy. Both films provide bittersweet

68 |

endings. In “Empire,” Luke discovers his father may be the man he most hates, and his best friend, Han Solo, is kidnapped, facing death at the hands of a gangster. In “Khan,” Kirk defeats his enemy but loses his best friend, Spock, who dies saving the crew. However, at the very least, “Empire” surpasses “Khan” in quotability: “I am your father,” “There is no try,” “I know,” and, of course, “scruffy-looking nerfherder.” I could go on. Can’t you? “Khan” merely has three. Spock gives his “needs of the many” speech, but this definition of utilitarianism is hardly unique. While Spock’s “I have been and always shall be your friend” is the best quote, it is Kirk’s overacted “Khaaaaaan!!!” that most non-Trekkers recognize … hardly comparable to Han Solo’s “Never tell me the odds.” Admittedly, both “Return of the Jedi” and “The Search for Spock” are the weakest of their respective trilogies, but “Jedi” is still superior. Yes, Boba Fett suffers the worst death scene ever. Sure, we endure the Ewoks, fuzzy teddy bears fighting the Empire. But we also meet the Emperor, next to whom Darth Vader comes across as a failed schoolyard bully. We have the best space battle ever filmed, too. Han becomes a hero. Luke’s journey is completed, and the Empire is destroyed. “Spock” is flawed: Christopher Lloyd plays the silliest Trek antagonist on film. The fights are clunky. More importantly, the main cast spends most of the film traveling while the plot unfolds elsewhere. The only strength is in Spock’s return, and even that lessens his original sacrifice in “Khan.” Trekkers cite Lucas’ prequels as evidence of inferiority, but, quite frankly, only the first two actually stink; the third, “Revenge of the Sith,” consistently is ranked second to “Empire.” The same doesn’t apply to later Trek films (“Generations,” “Final Frontier,” “Nemesis,” anyone?). Some use 2009’s reboot to prove franchise superiority, but others have illustrated that J.J. Abrams’ films are essentially Star Wars on Enterprise, thus underscoring my original point: Without “Star Wars,” “Star Trek” is a pop-culture footnote. NCM

WHEN I WAS A THIRD-GRADER, I remember begging my mother to take me to the Burger Chef, even before I’d had a chance to see “Star Wars.” They had an exclusive on the first “Star Wars” posters, meals, collectible glasses – in 1977, the Burger Chef was the closest you could get to Star Wars Central. It was my generation’s first chance to plunge into a kind of modern mythology, and it was blissfully immersive. Later, there were action figures, “Star Wars” comic books at the drug store, Topps trading cards – seemingly endless ways for us to participate in George Lucas’ burgeoning empire. It was only in the fading afterglow of my “Star Wars” bacchanalia that I happened upon “Star Trek” reruns. After “Battlestar Galactica” was unceremoniously canceled in 1978, it was the closest thing we had to a daily sci-fi fix as we waited interminably for “The Empire Strikes Back.” And, yeah, the sets were hokey and cheap, the special effects laughable, the dialogue ludicrous. But as I ventured onto the Enterprise through the magic of syndicated reruns and encountered the Gorn, Romulan Ale, Tribbles, the Vulcan Mind Meld, and – yes – Yeoman Janice Rand’s miniskirt, I began to suspect something vital was missing from my “Star Wars”-centered universe. Look, it’s quite simple. You either buy into the whole “chosen one” thing or you don’t. You know the Chosen One. You’ve met him/her many times. Neo in “The Matrix” movies, Harry Potter, Katniss, King Arthur, John Connor, countless high school-age superheroes whose destiny is to save the world. Mythologist Joseph Campbell loved this guy. He outlined a whole “Hero’s Journey” for him to go through. If you’ve been to a multiplex in the past two or three decades, you’ve taken this ride. The hero is apparently of “common” stock or origin, living as a peasant or, say, a moisture farmer on a desert planet. Only not really. He’s actually of royal blood, or at the center of some ancient prophecy and just doesn’t know it yet. But friends and helpers (androids, wizards, fairies, etc.) come his way and lead him along his true path. There’s usually a jumping off point (a spaceport cantina, perhaps) and a series of trials or tests. Eventually mettle is proven,

princesses are rescued, prophecies are fulfilled, and universes are saved. This all springs from a narrow focus on the latent power of the individual. The community or society is unimportant, except in the ways it restrains, empowers, or oppresses our hero, or is ultimately transformed by him. This is the lesson of “Star Wars.” You’re either born Luke Skywalker or you’re not. You’re either born important, with a galactic destiny and all that, or you ain’t. Most likely, you’re one of the ain’ts. “Star Trek” is entirely different. It offers us a vision of a community of diverse people finding ways to work together to overcome challenges, to “go where no man has gone before.” None of these people are perfect, but all are somehow necessary. Spock is logical, but lacks passion. Bones has perhaps too much passion, which blinds him. Kirk is wily, but often lets his ego get in the way. Scotty always needs more time, but somehow, miraculously, finds a way to fix the engine or the transporter and get our crew out of a jam. But the only way they ever succeed is by working together as a team. None of these folks are chosen. Which means they actually have control over their own circumstances, right? Because if you’re a Chosen One, who does the choosing? Bones, Kirk, and Spock may bicker, but at least they are free to chart their own course through the universe.  Spock said it best in what many fans consider the apex moment of the original “Star Trek” incarnation, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan:” “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few … or the one.” Star Trek offers a positive rather than an apocalyptic or chaotic vision of the future, and the engine of that future are friends (Russians, Africans, Southern whites, Asians, androids, Scotsmen, and even Vulcans) working side-by-side to bridge the cosmos. Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a Vulcan at your side, kid.



duel pages

Star Trek offers a positive rather than an apocalyptic or chaotic vision of the future.


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.


july /august 2015 | 69

A collection of original works by Coweta poets and writers The Draw By Patti Fercken

The notion of being asked in by her had always been titillating. He loved to see how far he could get with her, how far he could toe the line before she broke character and surrendered a grin. He enjoyed the tension, her blush – his win. He was good at looping them in, winning them over, getting his way. The challenge motivated him, and he’d craf ted a decent livelihood by laying it on thick and feeding off the reaction. So naturally, sales came easily to him. He soberly entered her office and sat down. An unsettling chill moved as he moved. Typically, he had the upper hand – or at least it always felt like he did – but today, today she was the comfor table authority. Words like “posture” and “professionalism,” “discipline” and “restraint” whizzed by on his mental ticker. Initially, she made no move to engage him, rather she sat relaxed and waited. He felt dizzy, and a little nauseated. He said nothing, so she spoke. “Kevin. We talked about this.” Ah, his numbers. He’d of ten heard it from her lately about fudging his numbers. He probably shouldn’t have continued to do it. Details, details. Cer tainly, it wasn’t something he couldn’t talk his way out of. This was usually the par t where he star ted laying it on thick. Instinctually, he sounded a mental trumpet to the distant charismatic machination that 70 |

would surely spare him the chill and deliver meaningful sound. Into something that cer tainly would save his ass like it always did. The flood of language wanted to pour in from the mental fringes. Like a deluge of letters to Santa at Christmas, he thought. Indeed, the words did come to him, but then there was a problem. He was unable to use them. There was a mental dam. What is going on here? He could feel the words packed tightly inside his face, just under his skin, safely out of sight. It was good that she could not see them, because apparently he was unable to speak the words. I just need a minute, he told himself. This will pass. She did not simply stare at him, exactly; rather, her eyes were locked onto him. Penetrating, in control of an obedient militia: Patient. For him, excruciating. Say something, he commanded himself. Speak. She waited calmly, then finally asked, “Anything?” His jaw made a slow sawing motion behind his pursed lips. The words inside him writhed. The pressure was enough to make his eyes ache. He was trapped before her, sitting still as his mind raced at seemingly one hundred miles per hour. The problem was, he knew he was full of crap. He knew it, she knew it, and everyone knew it. He was never unaware that he was full of it; rather, he just used it, let it flow to his advantage. This was the first instance where he wasn’t able to run his mouth in order to get out of something. His talking had

always led to them expecting results, and expectation led to disappointment. Disappointment led to confrontation; the confrontation led to more talk. It was his cycle. He constantly produced promises, not results. Poor old Michael Finnegan, begin again.  He wished to buy himself more time, delay the inevitable ... that was what he did.  Oh, the delicious irony, mused his conscience somewhat delightfully. His conscience was being kind of an A-hole today. This wasn’t working. But damn if he wasn’t trying. He concentrated. His gums, his lips, even his teeth were full of every line he’d ever delivered, full of all his usual standards. All the old familiars, everything was there. They had always answered when he’d called. Now they were lined up and waiting for the magic "go" feeling, creating a painful vacuum between his teeth and the inside of his cheeks. He opened his mouth, but all his jaw seemed to want to do was hang there, limp. His chin receded into its shadow as his forehead tilted forward. Maybe they need a little help today, he thought, and leaned forward so the words could tumble for th. His eyebrows climbed his scrunched forehead and practically met his hairline. Realizing how dumb he must look, he snapped upright and closed his mouth. Still nothing. His throat was caked in caulk. And she had not so much as blinked. His hear t felt like it would explode out of his throat at any moment.     

Was her hear t even beating? He squirmed in his personal front row seat of "How Ironic: The Musical" – Now In Deafening Silence! (And beneath the marquis, between the Janus masks glittered the words: “Don’t worry, Kev, this won’t take long! But it will FEEL like an eternity!” Get your tickets at the box office or call Ticketmaster today.) The chill had intensified. “So then … nothing.” She waited. He sweated. “Kevin, you leave me very little choice. I’m sorry.” And with that, the air lef t his lungs. What happened next was a blur: Sign this, not eligible for rehire, look for such-and-such in the mail. Footsteps on polished white marble echoed his depar ture. He would remember later that she'd held the door for him but never looked his way. In stunned silence he managed to stumble toward his car. As he slowly approached his Honda, his eye caught something on the sidewalk. One dir ty playing card laying face down on the sidewalk behind the office building, his newly "former" building. No other cards were around. Hasty trash pickup? Thrown in jest during a drunken stumble back to one of the surrounding hotels? He guessed the card. Ace of spades? Nah, too obvious. Queen of hear ts? Ha, not likely. Gently, with his shoe, he flipped it over. It was blank. He wondered what it would have said. NCM

Long Ago By Steven Parker

Long ago and far away In another time and at another place We shared a sense of brotherhood With no concern for race


IT’S TIME TO INDULGE A ND H AV E SOME FUN! Our version of senior living features a lot of laughter and cultural activities. Plus the community is so close, your family will wonder why you haven’t called. Your apartment is waiting. No guarantee you’ll spend much time there.



We’re from YOUR street, not Wall Street DO YOU SPEND A LOT OF MONEY ON AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE? Most of us do today — it’s something you have to buy if you own a car. Only Georgia Farm Bureau® gives a portion of every premium dollar to protect Georgia Agriculture and support Georgia communities. Make a difference — call us today!

Coweta County Farm Bureau 19 Bullsboro Dr. | Newnan, GA 30263 Call Us Today!!

(770) 253-3649

The clothes we wore were all the same As was the blood we shed Together, side by side, we listened to the wounded cry And to the silence of the dead NCM

Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company

july /august 2015 | 71

Photo by Doris Pence

Photo by Dia

ne Sexton

submit your


Photo by Susan B 72 |


Email us your photos of life in and around Coweta County and we may choose yours for a future edition of Blacktop!

Photo by R ick Gross

s Photo by Debbie H ayne

ya Stud Photo by Son

Photos must be original, high-resolution (300 DPI) digital photos in .jpg format, at least 3”x 5” size. Please include your name so that we can give you credit for your photo in the magazine! Email your photos with the subject “Blacktop” to the address below.

Photo by L isa

M at thews

july /august 2015 | 73


INDEX OF ADVERTISERS 92.5 The Bear................................................47 AllSpine Laser & Surgery Center................. 9 Arbor Terrace...............................................43 Atlanta Market Furniture.............................37

Austin Outdoor............................................33

◗ september/october preview



BeDazzled Flower Shop..............................33

Powering Down

Change is one of the few constants in life. The end of an era comes as coal is no longer used to create electricity at Georgia Power's Plant Yates. For decades, the power plant has been a Coweta landmark, a source of good employment and a contributor to the local economy and tax base. Plant Yates has some stories worth telling.

Brookdale Newnan......................................65

C. S. Toggery.................................................. 4 Carriage House............................................ 61

Charter Bank.................................................57

ChemDry of Coweta....................................53 Collector's Corner and The BoneYard.....39 Cosmetic Laser & Skin Care Center............ 3

Coweta-Fayette EMC..................................75 Dental Staff School......................................57 Dr. Ralph Davis, Chiroprator......................25

Expressive Flooring.....................................12 Farm Bureau Insurance...............................71 Georgia Bone and Joint, LLC.....................45

Heritage of Peachtree.................................71 Imagine Yourself Organized......................25

Kemp's Dalton West Flooring....................37

La Parrilla Mexican Restaurant..................... 8

Lee-King Pharmacy......................................59 MainStreet Newnan.....................................63 Massage Envy...............................................63 McGuire's Buildings.....................................31 McKoon Funeral Home...............................39

The Newnan Centre....................................21

North Georgia Turf........................................ 7 Northside Hospital Cancer Institute........... 6 Pain Care......................................................... 5 Piedmont Newnan Hospital......................... 2

Who Ghosts There?

With writer Melissa Dickson Jackson and photographer Drew MacCallum taking the lead as Newnan-Coweta Magazine’s sleuths of the paranormal, readers should prepare to take a poetic and visually dramatic tour of a few alleged haunted domiciles in the September/ October issue.

Skin Cancer Specialists, P.C.......................27 Somerby of Peachtree City.........................10

Southern Crescent Equine Services, LLC.............................................33 Stemberger & Cummins, P.C......................43

StoneBridge Early Learning Center.......... 61 Treasures Old & New...................................30 Uniglobe McIntosh Travel...........................67 Valentine Orchard Wedding

and Event Center......................................15 Vein Specialists of Georgia........................ 51 VITAS Healthcare.........................................55

West Georgia Health...................................76

Wild Animal Safari........................................13 74 |


Magazine Advertising Deadline August 7, 2015

Next Publication Date: September 4, 2015

For more information on advertising opportunities in Newnan-Coweta Magazine, please call


We’ve been known in this region for over 75 years

Now we’re recognized in the

top 5% nationally

for patient safety

Award-Winning Quality at West Georgia Health We’re more than a friendly hospital focused on patient care. We’re ranked among the top 5% in the nation for patient safety according to Healthgrades®. On top of that we rank in the top 10% of all U.S. hospitals for Medical Excellence in hospital, medical and surgical care by CareChex®. So while we’ll continue to do our best to treat you well, know that we’ll continue to advance our technology and medical expertise to treat you better.

To learn more, visit

So Healthy Together LaGrange, GA

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