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Cyber State of Mind

LOCAL HACKER ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS

Locally inspired

Spring Style

Tattoo Culture

MAKING MARK IN COWETA

MARCH | APRIL 2014


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CONTENTS ◗

in this issue

MARCH-APRIL 2014

features

28

20 | Cyber State of Mind

36 | Age of Consignment

28 | Got Tat?

44 | Early Risers

While many of us are asleep at night, Newnan’s Scott Lunsford often finds himself burning the midnight oil behind a computer — hacking into some of the top security systems in the world.

In some ancient cultures, tattoos were considered barbaric, used to identify outcasts and bandits. In modern-day Coweta County, they're a lot easier on the eyes and are a means of self-expression.

The discerning shopper is finding out more and more that consignment stores have moved beyond the flea market mentality and are a great way to buy one-of-akind furniture and antiques.

Spring is near, but many Coweta gardeners have been keeping their green thumbs busy during the winter months in order to have their gardens ready for the new season. MARCH /APRIL 2014

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20

36

40

68

features (cont.) 60 | Stable Environment

Cyber State of Mind

After being a desk jockey for far too long, Terri Hofmann decided to make a change and live her dream as the owner of Double Bar H Stables in western Coweta.

28

LOCAL HACKER ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS

Locally inspired

Spring Style

68 | Castle Fit for Cowetans

Tattoo Culture

Recently opened to the public, Bisham Manor in nearby LaGrange is a perfect place to hold your next wedding, conference or special gathering. Read and you'll see why.

MAKING MARK IN COWETA

MARCH | APRIL 2014

on the cover in every issue 14 15 16 18 26

| | | | |

From the Editor Calendar Roll Call Style Duel Pages

10 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM

54 78 80 82 82

| | | | |

Hobby Pen & Ink Blacktop Index of Advertisers What’s Next

Jocelyn Simpson says getting a tattoo is simply a way to document her life. She and others interviewed in NCM believe adding ink to their bodies is an intensely personalized form of self-expression.

➔ See more on page 28.

Photo by Clayton RP


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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: newnancowetamag.com Š 2014 by The Newnan Times-Herald, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.


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FROM THE EDITOR ◗

welcome

Raising NCM

(with apologies to the Coen brothers and their classic movie ‘Raising Arizona’)

T

HAT NIGHT I HAD A DREAM. I dreamt I was as light as the ether, a floating spirit visiting things to come … Across the county line I see a castle, an architectural marvel open to the masses. Its hallways are filled with ornate beauty and classicism, awaiting the pageantry of human revelry. A beautiful, spotted mare emerges from the entrance. She’s proud and strong, her magnificent beauty the direct result of tender loving care from just the right stable. Atop the mare rides a veritable oxymoron, an ethical computer hacker with a taste for conspiracy. A cyber wizard, if you will, who I’m certain would rather be huffing it in the great outdoors than working genius from a keyboard. The rider approaches, crossing the grand grounds of the castle, secures his laptop and speaks to me in familiar terms. I know him somehow, from long ago. Did we go to high school together? Maybe eat regularly at the same chophouse? He whistles for another horse, and we return home … in search of the nearest consignment store. Something far removed from the cookie-cutter norm. After all, we both just happen to be in need of the perfect Edwardian furniture. Something with personalized history attached to it but for a reasonable price. We find our finds and buy even more than we’d expected. After all, you never know what you’ll come across in a consignment store, or in a dream sequence. We congratulate ourselves on being clever consumers and decide to commemorate the day by getting tattoos. I get a tattoo of a girl adorned in the latest fashion, something that releases her inner hippie. The cyber wizard’s tat is that of a plant eagerly ready to bloom. The promise of spring. But before the ink has time to dry, the wizard disappears, fading into the nebulous ether. “Farewell.” Further along, as I float, I see a duel of minds over comic books. The great minds debate their heroes as if they are young again. Through the haze, I can’t see a clear winner, but it’s obviously a valiant battle. And it seemed real. It seemed like us, and it seemed like, well, our home. If not Arizona, then a land not too far away, where all parents are strong and wise and capable, and all children are happy and beloved. I don’t know. Maybe it was Utah. Or maybe it WAS Coweta. When I awoke, it was as if I’d seen a vision, as if all these random things had melded themselves together for a reason — I wasn’t sure why … Oh well. Please enjoy the March/April issue. Thanks for reading,

Will Blair, Editor will@newnan.com 14 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM


datebook CENTRE FOR PERFORMING AND VISUAL ARTS

Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre will perform the classic play “Driving Miss Daisy” on March 14 at 7 p.m. at the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts. Call 770-254-2787 or go to thecentreonline.net.

CALENDER OF EVENTS – BEST PICKS

NEWNAN COWETA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Melissa Dickson Jackson will be the Newnan Coweta Historical Society’s guest speaker for National Poetry Month on April 3. She will read selections from her recent poems concerning historic homes in Newnan. The event will be held at the historic train depot in downtown Newnan. Call 770-251-0207.

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FRIENDS OF WADSWORTH CONCERT

The first annual Friends of Wadsworth concert will be held on April 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Charles Wadsworth Auditorium in downtown Newnan. This new series will continue the legacy under the guidance of Wadsworth’s hand-picked successor — soprano Courtenay “Becky” Budd, who grew up in Newnan and has performed with Wadsworth several times during his concert series. Contact Gina Snider at

gsnider@cityofnewnan.org. NCM

VINEWOOD PLANTATION, located in historic Newnan, GA, is the ideal venue for your outdoor wedding ceremony, reception, or special event. Built in 1852, this Georgia Plantation House and its Stables were fully renovated to include all of the contemporary amenities you need without sacrificing any of the Southern tradition and charm that you deserve. MARCH /APRIL 2014

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thank you CAROLYN BARNARD, NCM’s in-house style expert, spends the majority of her time at home with her two preschool children ... which means she rarely wears anything but pajamas or exercise clothes. When not attempting to tame the wild stallion that is her son, she loves reading, date nights with her husband (in which she can be seen in an outfit resembling attractive), and singing Disney Princess songs with her daughter, Lilly. ➔ Style, page 18

MARCH-APRIL 2014

ROLL CALL

MELISSA DICKSON JACKSON’S recent work

can be found in Cumberland River Review and Eyedrum Periodically. She’s also written two collections of poetry, “Cameo” and “Sweet Aegis.” According to NCM’s resident historian, W. Winston Skinner, Jackson shares ancestors with Beat Generation bad boy William S. Burroughs.

WES MAYER graduated from the

University of Georgia in 2013, and is a new face at The Newnan TimesHerald. When he isn’t covering the crime beat for the newspaper, he is usually at home playing video games, watching movies, drinking beer or eating something unhealthy — or a combination of all four. He also thinks Legos, Nerf guns and comic books are perfectly acceptable forms of entertainment. ➔ Duel Pages, page 26

➔ Age of Consignment, page 36

A longtime feature writer for various publications, ANA IVEY knows her way around a keyboard. But it wasn’t until she met her assignment for the March/April issue of NCM, computer hacker Scott Lunsford, that she realized there’s far more to the cyber world than TextEdit and Microsoft Word. ➔ Cyber State of Mind, page 20

REBECCA LEFTWICH is a freelance writer and editor, a dance mom, a child of the media, and a fan of all things pop punk. She is married to a corporate public relations manager and is the mother of three teenagers. Her three tattoos all came after her 40th birthday. ➔ Got Tat?, page 28

16 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM

ELIZABETH MELVILLE is a freelance writer, in addition to working at a private school and for a pro-life organization. She, her husband, Jonathan, and their daughter, Nora, reside in downtown Newnan. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Winthrop University. Stories — words — satiate her inner restlessness, and so does an afternoon stroll in the gardens and hallways of Bisham Manor.. ➔ Castle Fit for Cowetans, page 68


thank you

➔ Duel Pages, page 27

W. WINSTON SKINNER began writing for Coweta

SCOTT THOMPSON is the author of “Young Men Shall See,” a

MARCH-APRIL 2014

readers as a college intern in 1978. He has been on The Newnan Times-Herald staff since 1982 and lives in an antebellum cottage in the College-Temple neighborhood with his wife, Lynn. Though he’s admittedly not much of a gardener, that shortcoming made him the perfect student for this issue’s assignment. ➔ Early Risers, page 44

ROLL CALL

Globetrotter CELIA SHORTT has lived and worked all over the world and now resides in Newnan. When she isn’t writing for NCM or covering the education beat for The Newnan Times-Herald, she likes reading (comic books, of course), jogging and spending time with her boyfriend..

Southern coming-of-age novel that follows several teenagers as they navigate a newly integrated South. It’s a tale of love and murder. Thompson was a 2012 nominee for the Georgia Writers Association’s Author of the Year award in fiction, first novel.

➔ Road Trip, page 78 CAREY SCOTT WILKERSON

MARTHA A. WOODHAM’S

motto is “life is better with a horse.” A South Carolina native, she grew up riding horses and competing in equestrian events in the days before Title IX opened the door to sports for girls. A former columnist at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Martha now specializes in public relations and is the author of several wedding etiquette books.

➔ Stable Environment, page 60

is the author of two poetry collections, “Threading Stone” and “Ars Minotaurica.” His play, “Seven Dreams of Falling,” premiered in summer 2013 at Elephant Stages in Los Angeles. He holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and teaches at Columbus State University. ➔ The Acceleration of Gravity, page 78

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Let Us Hear From You!

Feel free to send thoughts, ideas and suggestions for upcoming issues of Newnan-Coweta Magazine to magazine@newnan.com MARCH /APRIL 2014

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â——

style

Wake up, warm up your inner hipster

Getting stylish for spring typically means wearing vibrant colors, but it also means being prepared for those cooler mornings.

STYLING FOR SPRING

fashions can be a bit difficult since the weather is so often unpredictable. I wanted to find something that could easily go from cool in the morning to warm in the afternoon. This look does that. I saw this shirt at Blue Moon and knew I wanted to base the whole outfit around it. In the store, the sleeves were rolled down, which is great for a more dressy look, but I wanted something casual. I rolled the sleeves back and toned down the bright floral pattern by pairing it with the neutral, cropped vest. By tucking in the

front of the shirt and adding the vest, not only are you able to see the waist of the jeans (my favorite part) but that our model has a waist, too (curves tend to get lost in flowing, loose tops). As for the accessories, I picked the earrings because I thought they were unexpected. The colors match, sure, but what I love about them with this outfit is the contrast to the hippie, flower-child top and vest. The sleek, geometric shape is a great twist. And speaking of unexpected, the bracelets you see are actually necklaces. I saw them at Gillyweed and immediately knew I wanted to use them, but adding necklaces

to an outfit as busy as this one would be tragic. So, I untied them and used each of them as wrap bracelets. One final touch is the clutch purse. Originally, it came with a longer strap to be used as a cross-body bag, but again, our outfit already has a lot going on up top and throwing a purse over it would just be too much. So, take away the strap, carry as a clutch, and you have the perfect pop of color! Finally, on those cold spring mornings, slip on a pair of these handmade, fingerless gloves to keep your hands warm and your inner hipster satisfied. — Carolyn Barnard

Stylist CAROLYN BARNARD | Photographer AARON HEIDMAN | Model TIFFANY GILL 18 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM


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IN EMILY MARTIN’S BOOK

“Bipolar Expeditions” the author states, “American culture today has a strong affinity with manic behavior. Advertisements use the quality of mania to sell products from Macintosh computers to luxury linens, from perfumes by Armani to shoes by Adidas. Manic energy fuels the plots of detective novels, MTV shows, and television dramas such as ‘ER’; it rings through the lyrics of songs like Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Manic Depression.’”

And it’s what makes Scott Lunsford hack into computer systems that control commercial airplanes, nuclear power plants, credit card transactions and medical databases. Mania makes Lunsford a cyber rock star. “If I’m in a normal state of mind, even if it’s a very focused, analytical state of mind, I don’t see the same things in the same way,” says Lunsford, 44, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder years ago. “But if I have sleep deprivation with copious amounts of caffeine — things that

keep me awake but I’m sleep deprived — my brain kind of malfunctions and interprets things differently. It’s not a good state to be in if I’m on a conference call with a client, but it works when I’m trying to find the anomaly in a security system.” He tried medication once, but quickly realized it compromised his ability to hack. Evidently, he does his best work during a bipolar peak. Like the time he beat the security system of a site after staying up for 48 hours then crashing into a deep sleep. Th

Written by ANA IVEY | Photographed by JEFFREY LEO

20 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM


"The answer came to me in a dream,” Lunsford says. “This child came up to me in a crowded hotel lobby of sorts in Hong Kong. I told him I was looking for the key. He said they are everywhere. I looked on the floor and, sure enough, there were keys laying around everywhere.” Those keys represented the values he needed to breach the system. “I then replayed those values as the document key and, poof,” he says, “up comes other people’s Social Security numbers and medical data.” In the world of cyber security, Lunsford is known as a penetration tester — an “ethical hacker” — the guy corporations and governments call to find holes in their security systems. He works for the IBM X-Force in Atlanta, but Coweta’s homegrown hacker likes to hack closer to home, so he rents office space from Newnan First United Methodist Church in the Bank of America building on the square.

Born to Terry and Frances Lunsford at Newnan Hospital in 1969, Lunsford showed a curiosity for computer hacking at an early age. His mom worked as a school teacher for underprivileged preschoolers and kindergarteners. His dad spent most of his life working for Bonnell Aluminum. But, for a short time, the Lunsfords along with their daughter, Terry, and their son, Scott, moved to Texas. There, the young Lunsford came face to face with his first computer. “My dad introduced me to this guy who had a massive computer like the size of a refrigerator with less power than your iPhone,” recalls Lunsford, who was 9 or 10 at the time. “It had three programs and one of them was called Eliza — one of the first computer programs written at MIT back in the day. You could interact with it like talking to a person. It was like a shot at artificial intelligence. That’s when I knew I had a passion for computer science.”

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MOVING ON UP His dad bought him his first computer when he was about 12 — a Texas Instruments model for $100. But it wasn’t until a couple of years later, after the family moved back to Newnan, that Lunsford got his dream computer — an Apple 2 with a modem. “That’s when I started the serious side of computer hacking,” says Lunsford. Back then, another young hacker, David Lightman — Matthew Broderick’s character in the blockbuster movie “War Games” — showed the world that computer hacking wasn’t just for bad guys. Like Lightman, Lunsford did not mean to do any harm — he simply wanted to reach into cyberspace, and see just how far he could go. “I saw it as a way to explore caves almost, except that instead of exploring caves, I was going through all of

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Newnan's Scott Lunsford admits he's always been one to push the envelope. As an ethical hacker, he gets paid to break into computer systems and explore the boundaries of cyberspace.

22 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM

these computers,” says Lunsford, an environmentalist at heart who credits his parents and his grandmother, Ida Lee Lunsford, for his strong sense of ethics. “I wasn’t a bad kid or ill-willed,” he says. “I’ve always been one to break the rules, not because I wanted to do things I wasn’t supposed to, but ever since I was really young I was the kid that was trying to get past anything that had a security measure on it. I figured out at a really young age how to get free Cokes out of a Coke machine, and I only did that once.” At Newnan High School, Lunsford met his first mentor — Gary Waters, a computer science teacher and head of the district’s technology department until 2000, when he retired. Waters gave Lunsford, a kid who was academically advanced but a handful behaviorally, access to computers other kids didn’t have. Because of his aptitude and passion, Lunsford became one of the leaders of the computer science club. “One of the things I remember about Scott was the year the Comdex Computer

Show came to Atlanta,” Waters says. “The computer science club had raised some money and they wanted to go to the show and buy a computer with a speech synthesizer. You could type a word into the computer and the computer would say the word out loud.” “We picked up the computer and brought it back to the school,” continues Waters. “I let Scott and some of the kids set it up. Next thing you know, the kids were putting in curse words and the computer was saying them.” Years later, Waters hired Lunsford to set up security on the school system’s computer network. “His skills were way beyond anything I could do or imagine,” Waters recalls. In between Lunsford’s high school graduation in 1988 and his job with Coweta County Schools, his dad encouraged him to pursue a degree in the business world or in environmental design at UGA — anything other than computer science because, according to his dad, “computers were for secretaries.”


“I almost laughed at him, because I thought, you don’t know where this revolution is going,” Lunsford says. “I didn’t see a world like what we have today, but I did see a world where a computer could make decisions, not just give you a [business] report.” Lunsford never graduated from UGA, even after seven years of college. He spent much of his college life hacking. And even though he would eventually prove computers were indeed the wave of the future, Lunsford never could have predicted the rise of the Internet. “Back then, the Internet was used for research. It was an academic kind of network used by all these upper level schools so they could connect together, like MIT, Georgia Tech, the military, and researchers,” says Lunsford, who takes a moment to wedge a packet of snus — smokeless tobacco — between his gums and his cheek. “I never thought the Internet would be used for commerce either.”

Nor did he think it would become a means to abduct young girls — girls who would vanish like blips on a computer screen.

WORKING WITH THE FBI “I was helping the FBI build its cyber security squad,” Lunsford says. “There was a significant trend at the time of girls from the ages of 12 to 14 who would just disappear.” “What these girls were doing was chatting on AOL and instant messaging, and then they were meeting up with these online predators,” he says. “So the Feds would get the computers and find out they were having these conversations through forensics work. Then they had to go through the subpoena process and deal with America Online. It was something that would take at least eight hours, which was way too long.” Lunsford could expedite the process in

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SOME OF SCOTT LUNSFORD’S

MAJOR

INFLUENCES... HUNTER S. THOMPSON

Author and creator of “Gonzo Journalism.” wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_S._Thompson

HENRY D. THOREAU

Author of natural history and philosophy, early environmentalist. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_David_Thoreau

RICHARD STALLMAN

“Remotely mentored me in the early ’90s. Launched the Free Software Foundation.” Creator of GNU (Opensource) software. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Stallman

JOHN DRAPER

“Essentially the first hacker that created the Blue Box, aka Captain Crunch. Mentored me through the ’90s and continues to inspire and advise me.” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Draper

STEVE WOZNIAK

Cofounder of Apple Computer. “I was introduced through John Draper.” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Wozniak

DR. STEVEN COOK

“My neighbor and doctor who mentored and inspired me working with Apple computers and the computer underground in the 1980s.”

JOSHUA

Fictional artificial intelligence (AI) from the 1980s movie “War Games.” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WarGames

IDA LEE ELLIS

“My grandmother, who grew up in the Depression and inspired me regarding conservation, love of life, and respect for the people around me.”

MARVIN “POPCORN” SUTTON

Legendary mountain man from the Appalachian Mountains. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvin_Sutton

BOB MARLEY

Poet, philosopher and musician en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Marley 24 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM

...ACCORDING TO HIS DAD, “COMPUTERS WERE FOR SECRETARIES.”


the time it takes to log on to Facebook and update a status. As soon as the FBI would give Lunsford the predator’s chat handle, he’d hack into America Online and, minutes later, give agents the predator’s name and address. It wasn’t exactly legal, but then again, it was the FBI — so it wasn’t exactly illegal. Today, Lunsford takes assignments directly from his employer, IBM. Many involve social engineering — a con game in which hackers trick innocent bystanders into breaking normal security procedures — like a job he had in December in California. First, he stakes out the company. Blending into a client’s corporate culture is part of the con. Next, he finds a way to enter the building after hours. No problem. “I go when people are leaving and the cleaning staff is coming in,” says Lunsford. “If you look like you’re supposed to be there and act like you’re supposed to be there, the cleaning staff will not challenge you at all. And that has worked for me 100 percent of the time.” Last, Lunsford slips into an unoccupied cubicle, hops onto a computer, and connects it to his hacking computer in Atlanta. Then, he can remotely access the company’s system anytime, anywhere. His work within the facility is done. It’s time to start hacking. Like guitar legend Hendrix, who was demure in person but animalistic on stage, Lunsford is a bit of a paradox. He works best when he’s high on mania, but without medication, he sinks into bipolar lows, too. “Depression for me is listlessness,” he says. “I hardly ever get sad, just bored.” He hacks computers — legally. He consumes wild boar and venison to eat healthier, but guzzles sugary drinks like a frat boy chugs beer. He attends Central Baptist with his wife and three kids, yet calls himself a Rastafarian and a Transcendental Anarchist on Facebook. And he makes a living using sophisticated technology, but criticises modernization. “Instead of relying on nature and living in harmony with all of this, we cut down forests and put concrete up,” Lunsford says. “What we really need is clean air, water, food, physical exercise — these things have been there for us all along, and in our chase to industrialize, it’s become my opinion in recent years that we’ve gone in the wrong direction.” He hopes to leave it all behind someday, when his kids are grown and can fend for themselves. “I plan on taking my wife and going off the grid,” he says. “I’m not really trying to escape society, but escape what I see is a very fragile system that’s based on unsustainable things like oil and the power grid.” Until then, Lunsford, fueled by Red Bulls and mania, will continue to hack. “I would do this whether I was being paid or not,” he says. “I feel like a rock star, you know. This is fun.” NCM

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| 25


duel pages

IN THIS CORNER

“Superman is simply overcompensating. I mean — super strength, super speed, super invulnerability, super … good looks? Why else would he need to see through people’s clothing?”

WES MAYER When Wes isn’t covering the crime beat for the The Newnan Times-Herald, he is usually at home playing video games, watching movies, drinking beer or eating something unhealthy — or a combination of all four. He also thinks Legos, Nerf guns and comic books are perfectly acceptable forms of entertainment.

Marvel is Just Better I THINK EVERYBODY has been asked this question at some point — If you could choose a superpower, what would it be? Most people answer with “I want to fly” or “turn invisible” or “be able to teleport.” But how many people say “I want to communicate with fish” or “I want some magic bracelets so I can deflect bullets” or “I want to dress up like a bat and make everybody afraid of me”? Not too many. That’s because DC’s comic book characters aren’t really cool. Sure, DC has the omnipotent Superman and the famed Dark Knight, but come on. Batman, who is really only famous thanks to the big screen, isn’t even a superhero. He’s just a lonely multi-millionaire who plays with gadgets other people invented. Superman is simply overcompensating. I mean — super strength, super speed, super invulnerability, super … good looks? Why else would he need to see through people’s clothing? The Flash just sounds like some guy wearing a trench coat, and the Green Lantern is useless without his pretty jewelry. OK, OK. This is not about why DC is bad, it’s about why Marvel is better. First, bigger is better. With DC, you’re pretty much confined to the Justice League. With Marvel, you have all the characters in the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Guardians of the Galaxy, S.H.I.E.L.D., the New Warriors and more. Then you have solo heroes like Spider-Man, the Punisher, Darkhawk, Daredevil, Adam Warlock … the list goes on and on — and that’s just the good guys. With Marvel, there are hundreds of different heroes. It’s not all centered around two major characters. Unlike DC, Marvel has something for everybody. With Marvel, characters range from honorable and heroic, like Captain America and Iron Man, to dark and gritty, like the Punisher and Venom. Then you have goofy and quirky characters like Deadpool and Spider-Man, and the wicked and nefarious characters like Dr. Doom and Loki. Every series provides a

26 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM

different experience for the reader because there are so many characters to get attached to. The series that always stood out to me as a kid was X-Men. The X-Men comics created a universe where literally millions of mutants, aka people born with superpowers, existed in the world. As a kid, I always pretended I was a mutant — a mix between Gambit and Cyclops (all I needed was a pair of sunglasses, a deck of cards and a pool cue). X-Men also had my favorite super villain, Magneto. Not only is his evil character relatable, but he has an awesome superpower, telepathically controlling all forms of metal. Remember the aforementioned question? This is my choice. How cool would controlling metal be? Stuck in traffic? Move all the cars out of your way. Can’t find the remote? Whoosh, there it is. Some idiot trying to rob you at gunpoint? Nope, not any more. Magneto can even use his powers to fly and create force fields — if the Man of Steel were actually made of steel, this would be a no-contest. Marvel is all about superhero vs. super villain, superpowers waging war against superpowers, heroes teaming up to save the universe from mass destruction. Batman might kick a few psychotic clown butts here and there, but he’s not much help against an evil alien with the power to devour worlds. What else does Marvel have that DC doesn’t? Movies. For the most part, Marvel movies have been huge hits. According to IMDb, “The Avengers” is ranked No. 3 on the list of top-grossing movies of all time, edging out DC’s vaunted “The Dark Knight” at No. 4. In fact, on most every list, the top rankings are usually filled with Marvel heroes. On IMDb, “Man of Steel” doesn’t even show up until No. 56. Basically, when it all boils down, Marvel is simply more fun. There is more variety, more action, cooler characters, better movie adaptations — you name it. DC is too centered on two overrated heroes, and really, unless you like Batman or Superman, there isn’t much left to read about. NCM


duel pages

I GREW UP WATCHING Wonder Woman on TV, reading about Superman, and dreaming about everything in between. So I was pumped to write about why DC Comics is better than Marvel. When I got the assignment, I told my 13-year-old brother, “Guess what? I get to write a column about why DC is better than Marvel!” His response was: “What? Marvel is way better than DC!” I beg to differ. Comic book characters and story lines should be over the top and larger than life. They provide an unreal look at life and the characters in it, but it’s something the reader accepts. It’s what poet Samuel Coleridge called “suspension of disbelief.” After all, who in the real world actually walks around in a cape or never appears to age? When a reader picks up a comic book, he or she should be able to escape life and all its problems. He or she should be transported someplace far, far away. It’s entertainment. Who wants to read about reality? I’d rather read something that allows me to escape it. And DC, more so than Marvel, takes it to the limit. DC has a holy trinity — if you will — that helps me kick back and take a break from the real world: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Superman is DC’s first major character and later nonpareil for superheroes. Who or what in the comic world is more larger than life than Superman? No one. He has beaten almost every bad guy there is. Doomsday, the worst villain he’s ever faced, killed him, but only briefly. What person currently on Earth can die and come back to life? No one. Obviously, he’s come a long way since he was able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Batman is a superhero bad boy whose day job is billionaire playboy. Two of the best jobs in the world, and he gets to do both. While his thirst for justice after his parents’ murder certainly is realistic, he seeks vengeance in a completely unrealistic way. He dresses up like a bat and avenges his parents’ deaths by taking it out on every bad guy or criminal he comes across. He’s

a superhero who’s managed to survive 75 years of crime fighting without having a superpower. What?! Fantasy world, my friends … and I love it. He’s got to have the Guinness record for most bullets avoided. Wonder Woman is the female superhero every girl wants to be at some point in life. She is an Amazon princess from Paradise Island who is stronger than any man (except Superman) and prettier than any woman. She is the iconic comic book female most women want to emulate. Disagree? Well, just look around on Halloween. How many Black Widows do you see? How many Ms. Marvels? She also has a golden lasso that compels people to tell the truth. Oh yeah, and DC recently revealed she and Superman had a fling. No real-life relationship compares to that power couple. It’s hard to get more larger than life than the superhero who can’t die, the superhero who has no superpowers, and the female superhero who fights better than a man but looks like a supermodel. And therein lies the strength of DC. Uber-unrealism. Fantastical. DC creates stories so over the top the readers can escape high gas prices and bills for a bit and simply get lost in a place so refreshingly different they can’t help but want to read more. If I want to read something that takes me back to the angst I faced in high school or reminds me of some other event I’ve already experienced, I’ll pick up a Marvel comic. But I’m not interested in identifying with Bruce Banner’s anger issues or with Peter Parker’s love life, and I don’t need to try to fit in with my fellow mutants in an oppressive world that doesn’t understand me. I’m confident enough in who I am as a 32-year-old woman with gainful employment that I can instead pick up a DC comic and escape to faraway places like Paradise Island and simply relax. Excelsior? Please. NCM

IN THIS CORNER

DC, Take Me Away

“Superman is DC’s first major character and later nonpareil for superheroes. Who or what in the comic world is more larger than life than Superman? No one.”

Globetrotter CELIA SHORTT has lived and worked all over the world and now resides in Newnan. When she isn’t writing for NCM or covering the education beat for The Newnan Times-Herald, she likes reading (comic books, of course), jogging and spending time with her boyfriend.

MARCH /APRIL 2014

| 27


A Erik Conant spends several hours on tattoo artist Jason Lawyer’s table at three-week intervals as “The Shady Lawyer” works on his sleeves.

Written by REBECCA LEFTWICH Photographed by REBECCA LEFTWICH

28 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM

T CORNERSTONE TATTOO GALLERY IN SENOIA, Jason Lawyer is working on Erik Conant’s left forearm. “I’ve never been good at looking at something and mimicking it,” Lawyer says as he draws designs freehand with markers before he applies the needle. “Drawing it on really close to the body makes it original, you know? No one else is ever going to have the exact same tattoo.” A year ago, Conant’s arms were bare of ink. These days, the 41-year-old production manager visits Lawyer every three weeks, spending five to six hours sprawled on a massage table as the artist adds to the tattooed sleeves that now cover both of Conant’s arms from shoulder to wrist. “He’s a great client. He likes my work and we come up with ideas together,” Lawyer says of Conant. “The Shady Lawyer’s” gleaming shop with its Sailor Jerry display and spotless corners is generations removed from unsanitary back-room parlors once associated with the tattoo culture, as far removed as his clients are from the sideshow freaks and criminals once widely perceived to populate that culture.


Throughout history, humans have tattooed amulets, status symbols, declarations of love, signs of religious beliefs, adornments and even forms of punishment on themselves and others, according to Smithsonian.com, and tattoos can be seen on the preserved skin of ancient Egyptian mummies and cavemen. It was in more modern times tattoos earned an unsavory reputation, but a new tattoo culture — an artistic community focused on personal growth and development — is emerging. As a child, Lawyer dreamed of becoming a Disney illustrator. By the time he was a restless high-schooler, however, he was filling pages with Rastafarian images of lions and Bob Marley and creating his own cartoon characters. Lawyer eventually was drawn to a tattoo shop in his native Virginia Beach, Va., where he found his calling. “I pretty much just hung out until they took me in,” said Lawyer, who is six years into his career as a tattoo artist. “They let me do an apprenticeship because they

knew I really wanted it. As soon as I did an apprenticeship, I knew I wanted to do this for a living, that I was going to go all the way with it.” The once rebellious ninth-grade dropout now runs a thriving tattoo gallery that requires him to balance artistry with business acumen. “I’ve always been the rule breaker, so it’s new to me to follow the rules,” he said. “But I’m fortunate that as the business grows, my art continues to grow, as do I. I’m learning as I go.” Chris “Crash” Midkiff has been in the business for 24 years, for the last 20 as owner of 3rd Eye Tattoo Co. in Newnan. “There’s something transformative about tattoos,” said Midkiff, who founded Tattoo Artist Magazine in 2004 to educate the public about his craft. But before he was a successful businessman, Midkiff — a 1988 graduate of Newnan High School — was just another tatted-up punk kid. “I was getting tattoos without fully understanding what they were doing to me

psychologically,” he said. “[Swiss psychologist Carl] Yung said basically every time you bring something from the unconscious into consciousness, you’re releasing energy and power for transformation, and tattoos for me are the most concrete representation we have of this. I went through the same process myself.” One of Midkiff’s mentors, Mike “Rollo” Malone, was an artistic nomad who once said to the young artist: “Tattooing is a way to raise artists out of the gutter.” “That’s precisely what it did,” Midkiff said. “It brought us out of the street, gave us a craft we could hone and perfect and taught us ethics and respect. It literally changed my life for the good.” That kind of transformation is not just for punks and rebels, Lawyer said. “That guy who used to be a dork, the guy with the glasses that used to get beat up, but he could draw?” Lawyer said. “I mean, he’s still a dork, but now he’s the most popular dude in the world because he can draw and he can do tattoos. It’s a

Tattoo artist Bob Spier works on a client at 3rd Eye Tattoo Co., established in 1994 on Farmer Street in Newnan.

MARCH /APRIL 2014

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complete 180 for those kind of people. It’s a great thing. It can turn your life around.” Artists are not the only ones being transformed. “We’re living more and more in freedom and creativity, which is why I think the public is so enamored with tattooing,” Midkiff said. “More and more people are discovering their own personal freedom and expression through the art of tattooing.”

J

ocelyn Simpson, 24, said she always has considered her body a blank canvas. She eagerly anticipated her 18th birthday, which she celebrated with a tattoo on each hip.

Photo by CLAYTON RP

30 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM

“I know it’s cliche,” said the aspiring model, who now has 16 tattoos. “But I think it’s really cool to express what I’m interested in on me. Some people hang up paintings, some people mold stuff out of clay — this is my form of expression.” Simpson does not participate in social media like Facebook, so she thinks of her tattoos as a type of journal. “I’m not able to document all these pictures and places in my life online,” she said. “When I get older, I want to look back and say, ‘You know, I had a lot of fun.'" She dismisses questions about regrets and her golden years. “People ask me all the time, ‘What are

you going to look like when you’re 80?’” Simpson said. “And you know what? I think I’m going to look awesome. In my generation, it’s becoming a lot more socially acceptable, so I’m sure I’m not going to be the only lady who’s 82 with tattoos. I don’t have any regrets.” Misty Jorek got her first tattoo at age 19, when she was in the Air Force. “Women really didn’t get tattoos in 1987, so naturally I went right out and got one,” said Jorek, now 46. At age 40, Jorek — married 20 years and the mother of five children by then — became a consultant for Pure Romance. The home-based business’ logo became


her second tattoo. “It’s a company that empowers women to take control of their sexual health,” Jorek said. “The message resonated with me so much that I got the Pure Romance heart logo tattooed on my foot while I was at our annual convention in Cincinnati.” A year ago, Jorek opted for more visible body art when she had filigree Mickey Mouse ears tattooed on her left wrist. “I am a huge Disney fan and that permeates into a lot of areas of my life,” she said. “I chose the wrist because I wanted to share it with the rest of the world. I get a lot of compliments when I'm in Disney World. Several cast members have commented on it.” Simpson’s tattoo artist of choice is Lawyer, and she pays him a visit “every four or five months.” Although she said she’s not in any hurry to complete her sleeves, she also said she doesn’t believe in waiting once she has decided on a tattoo — for instance, her most recent and meaningful piece, a guitar with her grandfather’s name. “He died two years ago, and he used to play for me,” she said. Jorek says she has no current plans to have more tattoos, but she hasn’t ruled out the possibility. Like Simpson, she has no regrets. “For me, tattoos are kind of a memorial to where you are in your life,” Jorek said. “All of my tattoos are reminders of where I was in my life when I got them.” While tattoos have become more mainstream, concerns that too-visible body art may limit career options make

some body parts off-limits for tattoo artists’ clients. Simpson, for instance, does not plan on tattooing her face or neck. “I’m not even 30, so I don’t really know what I’m going to do with my life yet,” she said. “I don’t want to run out and get my neck tattooed or my face tattooed, because then no one’s going to want to hire me in corporate America. I don’t want to do something now that could limit me.”

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At left, aspiring model Jocelyn Simpson, 24, said she always has considered her body a blank canvas. The Newnan resident gets new ink every four or five months.

GO WEST MARCH /APRIL 2014

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She works as a bartender at a tattoo-friendly establishment, and Simpson said she feels “blessed” that most of the other employees also have tattoos. However, casting calls for her extra work — modeling and acting — require her to cover her body art, she said. Jorek said she will support any of her children who want tattoos, but she will caution them that some employers will not hire a prospective employee with visible tattoos. “I would tell my children that they need to be mindful about where their tattoos are placed,” she said. Lawyer said that, as a tattoo artist, it’s not his job to discourage a potential client from having visible tattoos. “I try to let people make their own decisions,” he said. “That’s not really my thing, to talk people out of giving me money. If you want to make bad decisions, let’s do it together. Oh, you never want to find a job again? Let’s tat your face.” He also questions strategic placement of body art that allows it to be hidden from those who may disapprove of tattoos. “I don’t know why you would get a tattoo at all if you are just going to cover it up,” he said. Simpson said it’s because old stereotypes about people with tattoos persist. “I believe in 10 years there will be a different attitude toward tattoos,” she said. “I’d love to sit down with some of these people and have a conversation, let them get to know me. After that, I’d uncover my arms and let them see my tattoos, and maybe they would understand I’m just a regular person.” Because Midkiff founded Tattoo Artist Magazine to help educate the public about the art of tattooing, he advises anyone thinking about getting a tattoo to use his publication as a tool. TAM features interviews with the top tier of artists in the field and plenty of photographs of their artwork, which Midkiff said is crucial at a time when reality television tattoo shows abound. “People don’t know the difference between good tattoos and bad tattoos because they’re not seeing that many good tattoos on television,” he said. “What’s happened is that tattoo shops have exploded. There are at least 10 times the number of tattoo shops in the United States than there were five or seven years ago,

Designs by 3rd Eye Tattoo Co. artists range from the religious to the whimsical to the abstract. Eeyore, dog and wolf by Wade Johnson; icon and Medusa by Bob Spier. 32 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM


and it’s because people assume tattooing is easy to do, and besides, you get to have this rock-and-roll lifestyle. The point of what we show in the magazine is that this is hard work. These people are dedicated and this is how you get good at the craft. You don’t get good just by opening a tattoo shop.” Lawyer agrees. “A lot of people want to do it but they don’t want to put in the work,” he said of tattoo artists. “They do it six months and they think they’ve paid their dues. But it’s not like that. It takes as long as it takes. I know people who have tattooed for a couple of years that are better than people who have tattooed for 10 years, you know? You’ve either got it or you don’t. Some people have got to work harder than other people.” Simpson advises asking people about the artist responsible for any tattoos that seem appealing.

Photo by AARON HEIDMAN

Cody Whitfield mans the desk at Cornerstone Tattoo Gallery in Senoia. Along with tattoos, the shop offers body piercings.

“I’ve had some of the best conversations of my life talking about and bonding over tattoos,” she said. Choosing a reputable and sanitary establishment is, obviously, first priority for anyone thinking of having a tattoo. But doing the research, thinking carefully through the process and choosing the right artist also are of

utmost importance. “Take your time and do your homework,” Midkiff said. “Only getting good tattoos means only going to the best artists.” Once you’re ready, Lawyer said, go for it. “Life’s about decisions,” he said. “Make one.”

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Kent Smith, left, and Chris “Crash” Midkiff talk shop at Smith’s Newnan home, the base of operations for Tattoo Artist and Tattoo Culture magazines.

With its charming downtown and stately historic homes, Newnan may not appear to be a hub of international tattoo culture. Yet it serves as headquarters for Tattoo Artist Magazine, a trade publication with a reach of 3 million readers throughout the world.

34 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM

I

t is the brainchild of Chris “Crash” Midkiff, owner of 3rd Eye Tattoo Co. in Newnan. Midkiff, who has been a tattoo artist for 24 years, said he started writing for tattoo magazines in 2000 as a way to meet other artists outside Georgia. Discouraged by those publications’ low standards, Midkiff decided in 2003 to strike out on his own with TAM, publishing his first issue the next year. “All of the tattoo magazines out there were on crappy paper and featured bad tattooers,” said Midkiff, who works with business associate Kent Smith to publish the magazine out of Smith’s Newnan home. “I wanted to create something of quality.” “We wanted something more focused on the art,” Smith said. In a time when print media is struggling to survive, TAM has grown from a 78page quarterly to a bimonthly, 128page magazine as it enters its 11th year of publication. It has spawned several hardback compilation books and the online-only Tattoo Culture Magazine and has millions of followers on its Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter sites. TAM is poised to go digital — with a complete library of back issues — as well. Midkiff said he believes the magazine is successful because it originates from the tattoo artists themselves. Not only are they the subject of TAM’s in-depth profiles, but they interview each other and recommend peers for featuring as well, maintaining the artistic integrity of the publication. “It’s really a community-created project from its very inception,” Midkiff said. “We want to showcase the current talent, up -

and-coming talent, and history/tradition. Those are our guidelines, and within that are all kinds of different styles of tattooing. We just reach out and try to find people we feel are positive individuals and have something to teach, and we profile them.” “It’s the top tier, the best of the best,” Smith said. “We feature the guys other people want to emulate so they can take after and learn from them.” Each issue features just a few artists, profiled along with their artwork. Interviews are conducted on video with artists encouraged to speak openly without censoring themselves. “We tell them to be candid and let it all out, then edit it later,” Smith said. “That allows interviews to be more free and personal, and very genuine.” The result is an authentic, earthy glimpse into the artistic process and the individuals who make up the international community of tattoo artists. “Every artist has his own history, so the magazine is not really about each individual artist,” Midkiff said. “It’s really about tattooing and how tattooing has changed our lives and how it can change other lives for the good. That’s how we generally start a biography: Where were you first exposed to tattooing? When did you get your first tattoo? What did it mean to you? We want to share that with people so they understand the progression of tattooing. “Everyone starts with a bad tattoo, pretty much,” Midkiff added. “Then they learn something and they get a better tattoo. We want to drive them to the best tattooers in the world, because I believe every person deserves the best


tattoo they can get. If they understand the difference between them, they can make better decisions.” As reality television tattoo shows have multiplied, fostering that understanding has become an even bigger driving force behind the magazine. “Our guiding principle is still education,” Midkiff said. "We want to help people understand the difference between good tattoos and bad tattoos. As a technician, I can describe that, but people need to see it. I don’t need to show bad ones in the magazine because there are thousands of those out there already, and you just don’t see very many good tattoos on reality television.” Despite the success of their project, Smith and Midkiff have continued to operate on a very small scale, with a shoestring budget and a two -person staff. Volunteers and artists make up the third component of TAM, as Smith utilizes his background and education in graphic design, marketing, advertising and printing, and Midkiff his art school degree and decades of experience. “It would be impossible for either one of us to do this without the other,” Midkiff said. “We are able to accomplish what it would take a large staff to accomplish to get a less quality product.”

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The Age of

Consignment Area resale shops reflect a national trend

Janet Cantrell, pictured at top right with her daughter Kelli, admits inventory presentation is a constant challenge at Encore Décor. “The sale of one large piece often makes it necessary to rearrange the whole store.”

Once upon a time, in the land of peaches and peanuts, young shoppers and their adventurous mothers made seasonal pilgrimages to the mystical vector of Atlanta’s Five Points. For it was there and only there that the eccentric Junkman’s Daughter peddled her father’s overstock. So it was that co-eds in the Points of Five seemed ever ready to bomb a B-52’s concert in a ’60s sheath, to study the philosophical musings of the Indigo Girls in a ’50s house dress, to impress Euclid Avenue Yacht Club regulars

with a happy hour fedora Bogart might have lost on a stormy Sunday. Decades passed and the vintagechic children of yesteryear are the frugal adults of today. Never fans of Wal-mart couture, these guys and gals retain a taste for retail adventure, quarrelsome quests and secondhand sundries. To this day, in delighted synchronicity, these shoppers and their quarry find each other in charity shops, thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales and consignment shops.

Written by MELISSA DICKSON JACKSON | Photographed by CHRIS HELTON MARCH /APRIL 2014

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Writer’s Note

Newnan, 1981

A Day’s Wage In 1915, somewhere in France, an artist sketched a conté crayon profile of a young man named Martelli whose piercing eyes and slightly askew bow tie haunted my imagination. Pierced through, wrinkled, stained and torn, that drawing weathered 99 years, two world wars, a journey across the Atlantic, the Depression, coastal migrations, and the deaths of both its creator and its owner. In Miami, around the turn of the millennium, it was framed. In Newnan, it was consigned. In a back room of a consignment store in downtown Newnan, the drawing languished. Across the street, the celebrated 1904 Courthouse underwent a complete restoration. Blocks away, the Newnan Historical Society returned a former 1930s mansion to its early glory and opened its doors to the public as the McRitchieHollis Museum. All at a cost of millions. Martelli’s portrait needed me as much as I needed it. What’s a day’s wage when its trade can bring such rare bounty? Now, with the painting safely hung on the wall above my desk, the young man’s eyes, captured in purposeful strokes, tell me of a century’s loss and of the gentle, beautiful things that remain. Rooms-to-Go will never offer an object as divinely constructed or as suggestive of — in the words of Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough — “our simple human order.” — Melissa Dickson Jackson 38 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM

David Newton already had four freight containers steaming toward the port of Savannah on the day he visited Newnan in search of a warehouse and storefront. The containers were full of period antiques collected in private cash transactions at farmhouses and country estates across Europe. It was 1981 and America’s thirst for Old World artifacts was at high tide. Every home décor magazine featured cluttered rooms full of art and vintage finds, folksy and refined, but anchored by a piece of stately furniture like the ones on their way to Savannah. Newton intended to find a business location close to Atlanta’s international airport. His vision was a shop of national and global significance. He planned to bring the world to Newnan for artifacts they would have trouble finding elsewhere. But when he approached the downtown realtor’s office, he found it dark. In fact, the whole town was shuttered. “Like a ghost town,” he recalled. It had taken him years to build the assets and inventory to open his shop. Maybe he’d missed something. A new holiday? A national tragedy? So he went to the police station and asked why all the downtown shops were locked and dark. “It’s Wednesday,” replied the officer, bewildered by the outsider’s ignorance, “all the shops close at noon. But you can probably find anybody you’re looking for at Sprayberry’s Barbeque.” Thirty years ago, the only resale shops in downtown Newnan were an antique shop and a pawn shop. Merchants locked their doors at noon on Wednesday. “For church,” they said, and for some that was true. Tourists and out-of-town entrepreneurs were unexpected, if not unheard of. Newnan was a small town run by local folks the way it had always been. There were dress shops, drug stores, banks and churches. The square still featured a couple of department store chains more likely these days to be found at Ashley Park. The shops surrounding Newnan’s historic

courthouse catered to the simple needs of a specific community. Alterations were still offered at point of sale, and delivery and privately billed accounts were regular features. In some ways it was the last gasp of an old-fashioned retail now reserved only for the most elite clients. Katy Southern of Roswell recently recalled shopping on her grandmother’s account at the former Brother’s when she purchased a Duncan Phyfe Hutch from Encor Décor, which is now located in the same building in downtown Newnan. “In those days, I could pick a skirt and blouse to wear to church on Sunday and the store just sent the bill to my grandparents. It wasn’t something we took advantage of, but it made her happy to see us in clothes she approved of — and that’s what Brother’s carried.” Southern is confident her grandmother would approve of the hutch she purchased, too. It’s identical to the one her grandmother had 50 years ago. In the 1980s, the pawn shop and the antique shop represented extremes of Newnan’s local need, though the bulk of resell trade still originated in print. Community newspapers ran a brisk business connecting sellers and buyers via the classifieds. If you wanted a vintage mixer or a shearling aviator’s jacket, you made a list of Saturday morning yard sales and drove around town with a four-leaf clover in your pocket.

Reduce, reuse and resell Today, classified listings are populated by legal notices while consumers often turn first to online listing services like Craig’s List, FreeCycle, eBay, Etsy and Amazon. Facebook community groups are a relative newcomer to the buy, sell, trade options. Coweta Finders Keepers is one of several groups operating in the county. The 3,500 participants communicate privately and meet to complete their transactions. Everything from baby clothes to furniture is posted and sold online. Often, items are posted, sold and picked up the same day. Rhonda Hutton, founder of the Coweta Finders Keepers Facebook Group, says she is astonished at


the interest in the group she founded in September 2012. By the summer of 2013, it had just over a thousand members; four months later, the group had nearly tripled to more than 3,500 members. “We didn’t realize it would take off like it has,” Hutton said. “It’s so big now I had to add three volunteer admins who help me communicate with members.” While Hutton doesn’t generate any revenue from her efforts with Finders Keepers, she’s proud of the opportunities it creates for people in need. One member may be happy to find an Ethan Allen bedroom set for well below retail, while another one is relieved to find free infant clothing and Similac coupons. Indeed, the object of a shopper’s desire is often little more than a Google search away. Nationwide, newspapers’ classified departments struggle to reinvent themselves. Meanwhile, consignment shops offer consumers and sellers a way to conduct trade without the hassle of individual negotiations, unexpected phone

calls or early morning yard sales. The stores typically keep traditional hours and split sales with the consignees. This blend of convenience and profitability has led to annual sales that often compete with traditional retailers. According to the US Department of Commerce, resale revenue accounts for a mere quarter of 1 percent of the gross domestic economy. Despite its petite presence on economic indicators, the sector is growing at rates that outpace many traditional retailers. USDC statistics for 2010 and 2011 indicate a traditional retail sales growth of about 7.5 percent while resale sales’ growth topped 17 percent for the same period. Adele Meyer, CEO of NARTS (The Association of Resale Professionals), says there are between 25 and 30 thousand resale stores across the country, including consignment shops, thrift stores and charity stores.

Old, new, and timeless objects vie for a shopper's attention at Encore Décor. This reproduction standing clock came from an Atlanta showroom.

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Meyer said statistics are hard to measure, as many of these retailers describe themselves as general apparel and furniture sources instead of as resale venues. Tracking the growth and trends in the industry has been difficult, which may explain why USDC figures indicate such a small presence of resale businesses. Meyer added that economic hardship always leads to a strong interest in resale. When asked what happens when the economy improves, Meyers replied, “We hold our own. Once people get used to shopping resale, they tend to keep shopping resale.” Kevin Kelly remembers shopping with his parents for vintage and thrift antiques — a habit he now shares with his daughter Lindsey. His favorite recent purchase is a bedroom suite trimmed in winged Victorian angels found on consignment at Fox Hollow in Senoia. “The quality of vintage furniture can’t be matched,” Kelly said. “I’d rather repair an older piece than waste money on what most new retailers offer. I can’t understand why anyone would part with a Victorian bedroom suite or an art nouveau candelabra, but I’m glad they do.” Kelly frequents all the area antique, thrift and consignment venues and has a soft spot for antique clocks and vintage swans. Like Kelly, Julie Gillespie is passing on her habits, if not her heirlooms, to the next generation.

At top, Kevin Kelly says shopping for antiques is a pastime that runs in the family, a hobby passed down from one generation to the next. Above, Julie Gillespie admits her children's tastes don't always line up with her own, so she has a trade account at her favorite consignment store and lets her children use the money to buy the items that suit their individual styles. 40 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM


As the mother of six, Gillespie often imagined leaving favorite pieces to her children. She soon learned that her children had different needs and a different aesthetic. Julie’s new strategy is using a trade account at Encore Décor. She sells the pieces she no longer needs and holds the money for her children’s purchases. “They get to pick something they can be excited about,” Gillespie said. “Something that suits their individual styles.” Gillespie’s own vintage shopping began during her college years, when she found a 19th-century cabinet for sale in a repurposed feed store. It took her over a year to pay it off but she was later offered $4,200 for the piece, nearly three times more than the original purchase price. Resale commerce has evolved from its roots as a charitable effort, a desperate measure, or a pastime of the privileged. Newnan’s downtown pawn shop is gone and so is the antique store, but resale businesses of a new variety are blossoming. On the courthouse square

and the neighboring blocks there are about 20 consumer retail businesses. Of the remaining businesses, seven specialize in consignment resale, antiques, collectibles, or repurposed, reclaimed and salvaged merchandise. The mix of new and old inventory seems appropriate for a town that markets its historic pride. Carol Glover, owner of Grannie Fannies, said, “Newnan is the City of Homes. Many of the items we sell come from those very homes. We’re preserving a lifestyle and a history, but vintage furniture is more than that. It’s made to last, to endure, as Newnan has. Nobody wants their home to look like a furniture showroom. Nobody wants to invest in composite wood and staples. They want pieces that remind them of who they are, who they intend to be, the people and places they loved. People don’t buy secondhand because it’s cheap; they buy it because it lasts. It was made the way it should have been made. It’s lived in and it’s real.” “My favorite part of the job is bringing

“I’d rather repair an older piece than waste money on what most new retailers offer.” – Kevin Kelly

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Local Resale & Consignment Venues Encore-Décor Furniture and home accessories Consignment, resale 8 E. Court Square, Newnan 770-683-4777 encore-decor.blogspot.com

Grannie Fannie’s Furniture, vintage and antique items. Consignment, resale, furniture restoration 15 Greenville St., Newnan 770-683-5220 granniefannies.com

Simply Unique Finds Showroom samples, repurposed, vintage

150 Pine Road, Newnan

an old piece back to life,” said Janet Cantrell, owner-operator of Encore Décor. The store has more than 300 consignees and carries an eclectic mix of old and new furnishings and home accessories. Cantrell admits inventory presentation is a constant challenge. “The sale of one large piece often makes it necessary to rearrange the whole store,” she said. Customers are confounded and delighted by the constant rotation. A sign on the wall at Cantrell’s shop says it all: “I should have bought it when I saw it.”

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Objects of affection

Rockin’ B’s Antiques Consignment, vintage, secondhand 2025 Hwy. 154, Newnan rockinbantiques.blogspot.com

Habitat ReStore Charity thrift supporting Habitat for Humanity. Building supplies, fixtures, furniture, home goods

Goodwill Charity thrift, donated furniture, clothing, accessories

27 First Ave., Bldg. 20, Newnan 770-328-1324 www.simplyuniquefinds.com

228 Bullsboro Drive, Newnan 770-254-8480

Stairway to Heaven

3121 Hwy. 34 E., Newnan 678-854-6839

Antiques, collectibles, military surplus 11-1/2 Greenville St., Newnan 770-254-9833 www.stairwayantiques.com

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Full Circle Toys and Antiques Collectibles, vintage toys, antiques 17 Jefferson St., Newnan 770-253-7799 www.fullcircletoys.com

Opal Ann’s Attic Consignment resale, vintage, used furniture, clothing, accessories 36 Salbide Ave., Newnan 770-254-0484 www.opalannsattic.com

Recycling the Past Antiques, furniture, vintage artifacts

Trendy secondhand clothing and accessories 19-B Millard Farmer Ind. Blvd. Newnan 678-673-6031

Hut No. 8 Trendy secondhand clothing and accessories 1731 Newnan Crossing Blvd. E., Newnan 678-621-6352

The Pink Hanger Consignment apparel and accessories

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3339 Hwy. 34 E., Ste. H, Sharpsburg 770-683-3164 thepinkhangerconsignment.com

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195 Raymond Hill Road, Newnan 770-683-7313 theboneyardantiques.com

Castaways 1690 Hwy. 34, Newnan 770-502-0002

While economic imperative contributes to the popularity of resale shopping, consumer motives aren’t always informed by cost. Certainly the recession and job loss is a factor. Downsizing families fill consignment shops and thrift stores with each move. Underemployed consumers struggle to maintain their social and economic status by shopping for last season’s goods at a third the price. But for many shoppers, it’s a matter of personal preference, not necessity. The allure of one-of-a-kind finds draws some. The quality of goods made in a pre-pressboard and plastic era draws others. Bargain pricing and the implied historical narrative appeals to many. In her essay “Objects of Affection,” writer Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough details her fondness for the flea market she visits each weekend during her summer trips to Krakow and describes the experience many secondhand shoppers crave: I love rummaging through old things … I love running my fingers over the shapely back of a violin, tracing the grooves in a century-old high-back chair, or gently tapping a porcelain cup to hear it tinkle. I know that to some people viewing old objects with something akin to reverence is a silly affectation. But [they] connect us to the past and its messy materiality by making the past more concrete, more tangible. And in them we see the reflected wisdom of our simple human order. Hryniewicz-Yarbrough’s words remind


us that as much as we need the furniture, household goods, clothing and accessories we find in resale shops, there are objects among the pilfered shelves that need us, too, overlooked relics of a different time but a shared human experience. Artifacts that require and repay our connoisseurship. While we find uniformity and cohesion in the ubiquitous fashions of retail chains, we find connection in resale shops. Not the fleeting connection of wearing this year’s restyled jeans or this season’s upholstery pattern of the moment, but the enduring continuity of drawing the past into the present. Sometimes we need a bookshelf — any bookshelf — and sometimes we need a story. That’s what we find on the shelves at places like Grannie Fannies, Encore Décor, Stairway to Heaven, Rockin’ B’s, Opal Ann’s Attic, The Bone Yard and Treasures Old and New — a bargain by any measure. NCM *some names and details have been changed to protect individual privacy.

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44 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM


Early

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Forced branching, seed planting and pruning provide a head start on spring gardens

MARCH /APRIL 2014

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gardening

GETTING TO WORK

Karen Graham of Perfect Poppy uses forced branching to create arrangements with flair and style.

SPRING IS JUST AROUND the corner. Many

Cowetans have traditions associated with spring planting — including planting vegetable gardens on Good Friday. Others with green thumbs are more focused on a plant that will bloom than one that will provide something to eat. For all gardeners, there are some practices that can provide a head start to the spring garden season. Forced branching is a way to get some plant growth under way earlier, though you still have to wait until nature does much of the work. Karen Graham, who owns and operates the Perfect Poppy, a downtown Newnan florist, does a lot of forced branching, particularly with curly willow.

“It’s actually quite simple. You’re forcing nature,” Graham said. Forced branching may be a bit strong of a term for what is done. An Internet article on the topic suggested calling it “gentle coaxing,” which might be more accurate. Forced branching is generally done with a woody-type plant “when it is almost ready to bloom,” Graham said. “You force it to go ahead — to bloom when it’s not quite time.” Forced branching can be done with apple, cherry and crabapple. “They have little buds,” Graham said. When the branch is cut and brought inside where the temperature is warmer, the plant may bloom in a few days “depending on how far along the little buds are.” Generally, you recut the bottom when the

Written by W. WINSTON SKINNER | Photographed by AARON HEIDMAN

46 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM


plant is inside. For many plants, gardeners like to smash the bottom with a hammer to maximize the amount of water that can get to the cutting. Graham likes to put them in room temperature water, and she prefers using clear glass vases. “I personally think it helps the light get through,” she said. The combination of extra water, warmth and light fool the plant into thinking it is time to blossom. She said that, conversely, if you want something to bloom later, you can keep it cool for a while. Graham uses lots of curly willow in her arrangements. The willow can give height to arrangements, for example for an altar in a church. When she force branches curly willow, Graham does not smash the end, because in water it will create new growth on one end and lots of roots on the other. “That will take root really quickly,” she noted. “You can just take it and put it in the

ground and start a big tree,” Graham said. “It’s an easy one to force.” Graham has given plants to many friends who have planted them and now have trees. One of the trees is “unbelievable” in terms of how much it has grown. “This tree — they’ve cut it back two or three times,” she said.

MORE COMMON APPROACHES A more common preparation for the spring garden is planting seeds in cups or other containers indoors so seedlings are ready for planting in the garden when the temperatures warm. Cowetan Neil Gage has been gardening as long as he can remember. He uses Jiffy greenhouses to start the plants for his vegetable garden. Around the end of February, he plants tomato seeds in the portable greenhouses that come with either 36 or 72 individual cells. “It’s in a little netting with peat moss,” he

said of the cells. Gage advocates using “a little bit of bottom heat” to keep the temperature about 68 degrees. Keeping the temperature up slightly will speed the growth process for the seedlings. “It is time-consuming,” Gage acknowledged. Since he does not save seed from year to year, the process allows him to have many more plants for a lower cost. Also, he can sometimes grow a variety of tomato from seed that he might not find as a seedling in a store. Dave Langhoff, the Master Gardener Extension Volunteer who is the greenhouse chairman for the group, grows plants for both the spring and fall plant sales and starts them early. “It’s cheaper,” he said. “You can get a whole pack of seeds for $2,” Langhoff said. Individual tomato plants at planting time can easily cost $3.50 each. The Spring Plant Sale will be held on

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MARCH /APRIL 2014

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48 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM


early bloomer

“Forced branching is generally done with a woody-type plant when it is almost ready to bloom. You force it to go ahead — to bloom when it’s not quite time.“ – Karen Graham

FLORAL FAVE

Curly willow, which can be easily forced, adds height and an exotic element to bouquets.

MARCH /APRIL 2014

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50 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM


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Lots of plants can be forced on the dining room table — with light and warmth signaling an early spring to the cutting.

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STARTING EARLY

Neil Gage, top, uses Jiffy greenhouses to get plants ready for the spring garden. Gage starts tomato seedlings in clumps of peat moss wrapped in netting.

52 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM

April 5 from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. — or until everything is gone at the agriculture building at the Coweta County Fairgrounds. Gage buys seed from lots of different places — most anywhere he runs across something he likes. He likes the jelly bean tomato for salad and said there are lots of options for good slicing tomatoes. “There are so many out there,” he said. Many local gardeners prefer heirloom tomatoes such as Brandywine. Gage said he finds the hybrid Better Boy to be more disease resistant. “A lot of people don’t like it,” he acknowledged, citing a better taste from the older varieties. Gage’s mother, Rosalie, also likes digging in the dirt, but her interests run toward flowering plants. Her specialty is

begonias, which are grown indoors. For outdoor trees and shrubs, cold weather is a good time to prune evergreens, such as hollies, “while the sap is still down in them,” she said. “You would lose your berries if you pruned them at the wrong time.” For many gardeners, it is a tradition on or around Valentine’s Day to prune rosebushes. “They haven’t started to grow usually unless we have a warm spell,” Mrs. Gage said. “If you wait too long, you’ll trim your blooms off, and you won’t have blooms for a long time.” February is also a good time to plant trees and shrubs. Mrs. Gage said the ideal time is fall, but the first part of the year also works “if you have some you didn’t get out.”


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W The first three months of the year are a time of planning and preparation for Coweta gardeners. While Rosalie Gage focuses on blooms and blossoms, she is glad other family members are growing veggies. “They grow it,” she said. “I just sit and eat it.” NCM

hether it is in our Assisted Living or Secured Memory Care, Savannah Court exudes hospitality. The community is elegant, yet warm and comfortable, with many common areas for the residents to enjoy. It is truly our pleasure to serve our residents, their family members and guests each day. “Please contact me directly and it would be my pleasure to treat you to lunch and provide you with a personal tour,” says Brenda Mitchell, Executive Director. AMENITIES

Assisted Living and Memory Care Communities

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SPRING PLANT SALE April 5 from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. — or until everything is gone at the agriculture building at the Coweta County Fairgrounds.

and SERVICES

• Housekeeping and Laundry Service • 3 Restaurant Style Meals Served Daily • Access to Well Trained and Caring Staff • Vibrant and Diverse Activities Program • Scheduled Transportation for Outings and Medical Appointments

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hobby

Q&A

with Bonne Bedingfield

W

We all have our hobbies. Many of us like to collect stamps or baseball cards. Others like to work on cars or build birdhouses. For ewnan s onne edingfield, nothing is more rewarding than breaking out the our and fondant and spending hours in the kitchen creating cake masterpieces. So we had a few questions for her …

Why cakes?

I’ve always had a strange fascination with them ever since childhood. It was never the taste, per se, but rather the art of it. I specifically remember watching in a trance while Martha Stewart decorated a cake with gobs of Swiss meringue buttercream. I was mesmerized. The first gift I bought myself as an adult was a cake-baker set designed by Martha. Good investment. I use it to this day.

What got you started?

I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts from Wesleyan College in 2003. I was fortunate to leave school and go to work practically the next day as an artist and art teacher. I married Jason Bedingfield and joined my mother-in-law in

54 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM


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IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS

A tea party cake based on "Alice in Wonderland" was made for a Alice-inspired birthday party.

56 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM

artistic endeavors at the Art Works in Carrollton, as well as held art shows at Jackalope’s Gallery. As things naturally progressed, my husband and I discovered we had an addition on the way. I knew I would have to put a halt to my oil painting [as the toxins are unsafe]. I was craving an artistic outlet and decided to make a cake for a friend. I didn’t think too much more about it until my niece asked if I could make her a Nemo cake. I had never carved a cake before, and three-dimensional art was never my forte in school. When I finished the cake, I had a sense of accomplishment and a desire to make more.

How long have you been baking cakes?

I’ve been serious about my hobby since the summer of 2009.

Do you have a mentor? I wish I had a mentor! It would make my trial-and-error ways a lot less frequent. I spend a lot of time starting over. But that’s the fun of it. That’s where you learn.

Where do you get your inspiration? Inspiration hits any time, anywhere. I often do a lot of looking around at other cakes. I’m fascinated and inspired by how other cake artists work. There are so many ways to do one thing. I’ve found that, for the most part, we do them all differently. Certain themes of cakes are inspiring enough. Others require more effort. I spend a lot of time talking with my sister, who is super creative. She has good


mindset

“I am not sure too many people know how insane the process is. You have to be a certain amount of crazy to enjoy the steps involved.” – Bonne Bedingfield

ideas and helps me get the ball rolling.

the best ingredients I can get my hands

ingredients, I bake the cakes. I found a

Describe the process

on. There is nothing worse than a good-

trick that makes a huge difference in the

looking cake that tastes horrible. I have

quality and moisture. I place a cake board

spent many nights testing recipes to find

with a sheet of Saran Wrap on top of it and

the very best. The outside should balance

quickly turn the hot cake onto the wrap,

with the inside. Once I have the perfect

allowing it to suction around the cake. And

I am not sure too many people know how insane the process is. You have to be a certain amount of crazy to enjoy the steps involved. I always start with

MARCH /APRIL 2014

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taste

“I always start with the best ingredients I can get my hands on. There is nothing worse than a good-looking cake that tastes horrible.” – Bonne Bedingfield

no, it doesn’t melt. It forms a seal locking in the moisture. I usually then freeze the cake for at least a day. That’s when I make the buttercream and/or fondant icing, tint it if necessary, and let it rest. The following day I pull my cakes out to defrost slightly. It’s easier to level and fill a cake that’s chilled. Finally, I am able to decorate the cake. It’s usually a three-day process. If there is a lot of fondant work involved, I try to work a week or so in advance. The longest I’ve spent on a cake is upwards of 40 hours. Like I said, certain amount of crazy.

What advice would you give aspiring cake makers? Go for it. Just like anything else, if it’s something you love you won’t want to stop.

What’s it like to be the sister of artist David Boyd Jr. and the daughter of cartoonist David Boyd Sr.? Are cakes a way of finding your own niche? I never would have thought so, but yes. Cakes 58 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM

were a happy accident for me and are equally as fulfilling to create. Having come from a successfully artistic family, I never once was deterred from earning a degree in art and pursuing it. It just so happens that art comes in many forms, and mine happens to be edible. I am lucky enough to have inspirations on both sides of my family. My life is full of creative energy; I thrive in it.

What do you consider your greatest cake accomplishment? That is a tough question. I would have to say the "Casey Wawa" cake. It was a groom’s cake replica of a dog. That cake made me question my ability. I can’t tell you how many times I started over, how many cake help websites I visited, or how many YouTube videos I searched to find answers that could never be answered. It all came down to artistic merit and structure. I had the structure part covered. The struggle was making the dog look like the dog. At the last second, something happened and everything fell into


place. It was a magic moment.

What’s the tallest cake you’ve made? "Casey Wawa" was one of the heaviest. I’m pretty sure the tallest cake I’ve made was a wedding cake, at maybe fourand-a-half feet.

Easy-Bake Oven recently celebrated its 50th year. Did you have one? Was it your favorite childhood toy? We do have one. Our oldest daughter loves making muffins and cookies. I vaguely remember playing with one at a friend’s house. As a child, I thought it was weird and remember being hesitant to eat our makings.

Final thought A lot of people ask me if it’s painful to see someone cut into one of my cakes. You spend hours of your time investing in this creation only to have it eaten. But that’s the point. That’s the goal. I want it to be eaten. It’s something that can be enjoyed with all the senses. Unlike art, you get to taste it. I remember looking at Bob Ross’ palette of paint on Saturday mornings and wondering if the paint would taste as good as it looked. I never tried it, but I wanted to. I suppose I’ve found my perfect balance — food and art. NCM

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After completion, Casey WaWa, a groom's cake, endured a long and dangerous journey to Sea Island, Ga., for a wedding. Bedingfield considers the cake one of her toughest assignments.

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STABLE Environment

Former paralegal now living dream as owner of Double Bar H

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ASK A HORSEWOMAN why she is so

Hofmann remembers begging her

Later, a strawberry roan Appaloosa

passionate about horses, and she may

parents for a horse when she was about

named Bo joined the family. But like

tell you she has horses in her blood. In

5, when her family was living in Stone

many horse-crazy girls, Hofmann’s

Terri Hall Hofmann’s case, the old cliché

Mountain. For a while, she could only

interest in horses waned when she was

holds true. The owner of Double Bar

dream of riding, wishing she could ride

in high school. She traded horses for

H Stables can trace her lineage to the

some “pasture ornaments” down the

horse power: Corvettes and muscle cars

Lakota Sioux people, a Plains tribe that

street. But when she was about 9, her

were more her style at the time, and Bo

has raised horses since the early 1700s.

parents gave her Misty, a Quarter Horse.

went to live with another family who had

Written by MARTHA A. WOODHAM | Photography by JEFFREY LEO 62 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM


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more time for a horse. But Hofmann never lost her love for horses. About 13 years ago, Hofmann, a paralegal, was “chained to her desk” at a midtown Atlanta law firm. She was tired of the noise, the traffic and the overall daily grind. Staring at her computer, she thought, “There has to be more to life than this.” She recalled her years

riding as “the best time of my life.” She Googled “horses for sale.” Her parents, Frank and Linda Hall, had moved to western Coweta County and built a barn and a pasture for Hofmann, who still rode on weekends. Hofmann started looking for land of her own. “I must have looked at every farm in

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Tom Schmitz helps Cloud, a Paint horse, slip on a new pair of shoes under the watchful eye of Terri Hofmann. Friend Kelly Lass boards her own horse at Double Bar H Stables.

unwind

“We have a laid-back atmosphere that’s not intimidating ... our boarders and clients can come out to the country and relax. The kids can play. They can bring their dogs.” – Terri Hall Hofmann

Coweta County,” she said. Finally, a golden opportunity fell into her lap in 2006, when 10 acres next door to her parents went on the market. The best part: the land that would later become the Chattahoochee Bend State Park was located outside her gate. Hofmann bought the 10 acres immediately and started building her dream farm — a six-stall barn and pastures. She eventually added a house

64 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM

and an arena. Two Paint geldings now share her life: Nahaela is a Paint whose coat coloring is known as tobiano because he has white feet and legs, a dark head and color spots with a crisp, clean edge that tend to wrap around his body. Her other Paint, Cloud, has a coat coloring known as overo, a spotted pattern with a large amount of white on the head. Overos often have one or two blue eyes. Hofmann continues to expand her

operations at Double Bar H Stables, which comes from the combination of “Hall” — her maiden name — and “Hofmann.” Although her husband, Brian, doesn’t ride horses, he supports her passion. The Hofmanns recently added a fourstall shed row barn so they can accept more boarders. Double Bar H specializes in the Western style of riding, offering riding lessons and the services of horse trainer Samantha Waskan. In November,


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SCENIC

The arena at Double Bar H is surrounded by picturesque views and 10 acres of rustic charm.

Hofmann also plans to offer trail rides. Hofmann’s clients include patients from the Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Southeastern Regional in Newnan. They come to ride the horses, hike the nearby park’s trails, and to simply enjoy the outdoors. “It’s peaceful out here,” Hofmann said. “The patients often just want to get outside and into the country.” A fire pit surrounded by rustic 66 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM

Adirondack chairs and a playground for kids are favorite gathering places for her clients and their families — providing the Hofmanns’ 5-year-old son, Bryce, plenty of playmates. “We have a laid-back atmosphere that’s not intimidating,” Hofmann said. “We provide numerous outlets on different levels," she added. "Our boarders and clients can come out to the country and relax. The kids can

play. They can bring their dogs.” It’s obvious Hofmann does not miss her days as a desk jockey in Atlanta. She rides almost every day and shares her passion with her family and her clients, who have become “like family.” “My father and husband have been instrumental in making this work for me,” she said with a smile. “This has turned out to be a blessing.”


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DOUBLE BAR H STABLES, located on ayton oad, is open seven days a week. For more information about lessons and training, contact Terri ofmann at . . or visit ouble ar Stables on Facebook.

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CASTLE Fit for a Cowetan

New high-end events facility is just a stone’s throw away

MARCH /APRIL 2014

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destination

A WELCOME

Guests at Bisham Manor are greeted by a dramatic entryway in which they can look up four winding flights of stairs. The Tudor-style home boasts custom wood details throughout, including wood from the Black Forest in Germany, oak and walnut paneling and extravagant hand carvings.

AS YOU WIND DOWN the driveway onto the grounds, a scene unfolds in your view reminiscent of “Downton Abbey,” or perhaps something fit for “The Great Gatsby” himself. When you hear the word “castle” being used to describe this sprawling estate, it’s not flippantly. Castle is about the only accurate word to describe Bisham Manor, a special events facility located in nearby LaGrange, Ga. The outside is impressive in its own right. There are 20 acres of manicured grounds and 1,400 feet of lake frontage on West Point. There are gardens, a fire pit and a saltwater pool, according to Neil Liechty, co-owner of the property. Neil and his wife, Trish, bought the Young/Brumby property — located on Old Young’s Mill Road — with their silent partners, Jessie and Keith Crozier, at auction in November 2013. The Liechtys, who own Butts Mill Farm and Bon-Vivant Cafe on Main in Pine

Mountain, presently reside in the home with their two children. To enter the 15,000-square-foot home, you must push open a massive wooden door. The average door in Bisham Manor weighs about 225 pounds, according to Neil. In the dramatic entryway, you can look up four winding flights of stairs. Everywhere you look are custom wood details. There is wood from the Black Forest in Germany, oak and walnut paneling and extravagant hand carvings. Liechty has found at least a dozen doors hidden in the paneling of the home. The Tudor-style home includes six bedrooms and eight-and-a-half baths. There is a 50-foot tower, castle turrets at the roof, massive chimneys and 3,000 square feet of slate decks and patios overlooking the grounds. Inside, there is a grand hall, a butler’s pantry and kitchen, a spa, a gym, a sauna

Written by ELIZABETH MELVILLE | Photography by PENNY BOWIE

70 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM


queen for a day “This has got to be more than a venue. We want people to feel blessed by it — we want it to be special so the memories you make here will last forever.” – Trish Liechty

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Photo by CHRIS HELTON

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and a wine cellar — to name only a few of the amenities. Before the Liechtys acquired the property, the stately home and its immaculate gardens had been tucked away out of sight from the public, according to Neil. “We wanted to open this up,” he said. “I like the challenge — we knew we could make it work.” According to their website, around 1834, a saw mill and blacksmith shop were present on the land where Bisham Manor now sits. The Young family acquired the business in 1868 and added a grist mill, which was operated by generations of Youngs until 1959. From the early 1880s to almost 1940, the property was also used recreationally by the community. In 1974, the premises were taken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in anticipation of West Point Dam backwaters affecting the site, according to their website. J.L. Young had two homes constructed

on the property around 1930. His mother’s home was built in the English Tudor style by Newman Construction Company. Then, Peck Brumby took ownership of the property and, from 1997 through 2002, supervised a major overhaul of the home with master builder Ben Parham. The independently wealthy Brumby paid attention to the original floor plan of the home — and even salvaged some of the original materials. He ended up nearly doubling its square footage. Brumby occupied the home for more than a decade before moving to Atlanta, according to Neil. Even though the manor took four years to design and about five years to build, the decision for the Liechtys to purchase it came about much more quickly. Trish was at her family’s restaurant in Pine Mountain when someone from the auction company mentioned a “castle” that was coming up for auction. This was the Wednesday before the Sunday that it

was to be sold, according to Trish. Very atypically, Trish said she couldn’t sleep that night and began to surf the web. She ended up on the auction company’s website looking at pictures of the property. “By the time my husband woke up the next morning, I told him we were so buying this,” she said. They visited the home on Thursday. They talked to their banker and silent partner just after and acquired the property at auction on Sunday. “We feel like God had His hand on this,” said Trish. “It’s a great adventure together as we learn the business.” “It’s definitely a challenge, but it’s a good challenge,” Neil added. Selecting a name befitting of their new home and all its grandeur was the next step. Trish’s 14th great-grandmother, Margaret Pole, was a cousin to King Henry VIII and a countess.

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THE GREAT OUTDOORS

The estate includes 20 acres of manicured grounds. There are gardens, a fire pit and a saltwater pool. A visitor's first views of the "castle" itself include a 50-foot tower, castle turrets at the roof, massive chimneys and 3,000 square feet of slate decks and patios overlooking the grounds. Photo by CRIS HELTON 74 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM


COWETA MEDICAL CENTER

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There’s growing scientific literature documenting the relationships between health and nutrition, exercise, mental attitude, relaxation, and other lifestyle habits. For a lifestyle that involves these relationships, call and enroll in a program under the supervision of a physician that will enable you to reach and maintain your ideal body weight, exercise your cardiovascular system and help prevent such diseases as diabetes, heart attack, strokes, hypertension, and cancer. Coweta Medical Center offers a quality weight-reduction program that is supervised by F. Donald Bass, M.D.

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6549 Hwy. 54 Ste D Sharpsburg, Ga 30277 www.bedazzledflorist.com bedazzledllc@gmail.com MARCH /APRIL 2014

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Before her death as a martyr in the 16th century, Margaret spent time at the original Bisham manor in England, which served as a church priory. The Liechtys opted to pay homage to “an incredible woman who gave her life for her faith,” according to Trish. In December 2013, the Liechtys hosted seven events at Bisham Manor. The venue is for high-end gatherings, including weddings, parties or corporate functions. They can accommodate up to 400 people, according to Neil. As part of the package, anyone who rents Bisham Manor gets not only the bottom two floors of the home, but also the grounds. Everyone has access to a concierge, a chamber maid and a doorman. The rental lasts 24 hours. “Most venues give you four hours to be in and out,” said Trish. “We want to treat you like a queen for a day. This has got to be more than a venue. We want people to feel blessed by it — we want it to be special so the memories you make here will last forever.” You can enjoy s’mores by the fire pit, play croquet on the front lawn, take five in the steam room, enjoy a glass of wine on the rooftop, and end your day with a lakefront stroll. Whatever guests can envision, Neil says he can accommodate. “This is your castle for the day,” he said. NCM

CLASSIC LOOKS

Inside the home/special events facility there is a grand hall, a butler’s pantry and kitchen, a spa, a gym, a sauna and a spectacular wine cellar — to name only a few of the amenities. 76 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAG.COM

details

CONTACT INFO FOR BISHAM MANOR: eil Trish iechty ld oungs ill oad, a range 706-884-7908 bishammanor.com


Don’t want to travel that far for your wedding or conference destination? Here are 10 event venues located in our neck of the woods: COWETA COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS ine oad, ewnan 770-254-2685 coweta.ga.us DUNAWAY GARDENS oscoe oad, wy. 678-423-4050 dunawaygardens.com

, oscoe

GLENDALOUGH MANOR lendalough t., Tyrone 678-870-0068 glendaloughmanor.com MAJOR LONG HOME a range t., ewnan 770-253-5686 majorlong.com NEWNAN CENTRE ower Fayetteville oad, 770-253-2682 x233 newnancentre.com

ewnan

SERENBE utcheson Ferry oad, almetto 770-463-2610 serenbe.com SOMETHING SPECIAL reenville t., ewnan 770-251-1206 sspecial.net THE HISTORIC TRAIN DEPOT ast road t., ewnan teredwine@gmail.com newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com/train-depot.html THE VERANDA eavy t., enoia 770-599-3905 verandabandbinn.com VINEWOOD PLANTATION oscoe oad, ewnan 404-520-7465 vinewoodevents.com

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Road Trip

by Scott Thompson

Original works by local poets and writers The Acceleration of Gravity by Scott Wilkerson

It was not later than supper when, as from a story no one quite believes, Mayhaley Lancaster looked up to see Icarus fall into the Chattahoochee River. She rowed out to meet him in a boat stitched together with pine splinters and biscuit dough: a conversation piece, to be sure, though strictly speaking mostly a matter of timing as she had just set the table. Of course, this kind of thing had happened before and had become an open secret in the neighborhood. Astronauts, the Wright Brothers, Leonardo Da Vinci in his helicopter had all arrived wet and confused but, like Icarus, coherent enough to eat. She poured sweet tea and salted some tomatoes. He complained about mythology and feeling trapped inside a narrative, lost in the theoretical bog of an identity framed by legend. She filled his plate with butter beans and cornbread fried on the stove. Icarus lamented the contradictory relationship between history and memory. Mayhaley found some of last year’s hot-pepper jelly in the back of the pantry. He apologized for talking so far above her head. She forgave him for being patronizing and aloof. She repaired his wings with a quilting knot she learned in town. He signed her ledger both in English and in Greek. They shook hands in a crescent of morning light under a vast Georgia sky; and in a flourish of deconstructionist frisson, he flew back into his story. She observed this from the middle of the river in a boat made of bee stingers, paraffin wax, and the names of clouds she saw once in a book.

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James Taylor on the radio Slipping over velour seats hiding from the smoke I listened to my dad sing and sing and sing his way to peace walking his mind to an easy time We rarely made a long trip without breaking down Adventures came or we found them We acted angry — acted “Fire and Rain” was wrong I’ve seen sunny days that I knew would end Art is like that. Isn’t it? Unknown meanings of words and song Georgia roads were darker then — longer We moved through black tea through history, through now backs turned toward the sun

Heroes in the Woods by Will Blair

G-Man and I are waiting for our enemy, the nefarious buck, to reveal himself in the dewy woods. It’s the first time our dads have allowed us to hunt by ourselves, even though they’re not too far away, and we’re loaded with 30/30s, plenty of Gatorade, five sandwiches, chips, and about 20 or so comic books. Our dads have taken us hunting before, but G-Man and I have never shot at a live deer. We have practiced on plenty of Coke cans and Dr. Doom action figures. Perched high in our deer stand on Uncle Stan’s property, there’s only one thing to talk about. “Hey, Luke Skywalker, you think Thor could whip the Hulk?” G-Man asks. “I don’t think so. Gamma rays beat a hammer any day.” My name is Lucas, but G-Man calls me Luke Skywalker for short. His secret identity is George. “Maybe, G-Man, but have you ever been hit by a hammer? It hurts.”


“Yeah, but Hulk must weigh a ton. That’s a lot of muscle mass.” I really don’t like either hero — one has a sissy hairdo and the other wears purple pants. Besides, Captain American could beat up both. “Well, I know one thing,” G-Man begins, reading my mind. “They can both whip Captain America. Heck, even the Invisible Girl can.” Those are fighting words. Captain America will not be insulted on my family’s property. “Shut up,’” I respond angrily. “He represents all that is good in the world.” Dressed in our camouflage, but secretly wearing our decoder rings on necklaces around our necks because our dads think we’re getting too old to be reading comics and wearing girly decoder rings, and perched in an old oak tree about 15 feet off the ground, we thumb through our favorite reads. “Who would you rather kiss — Scarlet Witch or Wonder Woman?” G-man asks. “Scarlet Witch,” I answer without hesitation. “Man, you always go with Marvel,” G-Man says. “The chicks are all hotter in DC.” “Like who?” “I’d take Wonder Woman, Starfire, and the Black Canary well before Marvel Girl,” G-Man says. “The Scarlet Witch, Elektra, and Ms. Marvel are all hotter than those three.” “What about the Huntress, young Luke?” G-Man shoots back. Oops. The Huntress has got it going on. “Okay, you got me … how long do you think our dads are gonna be gone?” I don’t know, but I’m hungry.” Bored, I pick up my rifle and aim at an imaginary alien Skrull in the distance. “Pow! I just shot a Skrull in the head!” G-Man struggles to pick up his gun, and takes aim outside our wooden Hall of Justice. “Bang! I just shot one of the Mole people!” he exclaims. “Pow! I just shot a mutant!”

“Bang! I just shot a criminal from the negative zone!” “Pow! I just shot Galactus!” “Bang! I just shot that wimp Captain America!” I drop my gun and shove G-Man against the tree and get in his face. “I’m not telling you again, lay off!” “OK!” G-man says, pushing me off him. “Don’t get all Bruce Banner.” Sometimes, fat George really pisses me off. But I love the woods, whether I assassinate innocent wild animals or not. Pretending I’m DC’s favorite underwater hero, I calm down, close my eyes and emit Aquaman signals into the woods, warning all creatures to say away so I don’t have to shoot them. “What are you doing?” G-Man asks. “Sending out Aquaman signals to warn all creatures to stay away so I don’t have to shoot them.” “Aquaman can only speak to sea creatures, dummy, that’s why he’s called ‘Aquaman.’” “I know. I’m just having fun.” But someone must have shot me with Lex Luther’s reverse ray, because just as I’m about to resume transmissions, a buck approaches us about 100 yards away from our stand. Holy bad luck, Batman. “I know you don’t want to shoot it, young Luke Skywalker, but this is the moment we’ve been waiting for,” G-Man whispers. “We’re only gonna get one shot and you should take it.” He’s right. He’s pretty good with shotguns, but I’m quite the shot with a 30/30. We’re sort of like Hawkeye and the Swordsman — one’s better with a bow and arrow, the other is a specialist with a sword. I raise my 30/30 and aim. I can see the buck through my scope, his wide breast a perfect target. But how do you kill a harmless animal that isn’t under mind control by Thor’s evil brother, Loki? Think Wolverine. Think Dark Night.

Think Daredevil. But I can only think of Captain America. I’m no hunter. I shoot high, and the startled deer bolts away. I look sheepishly at G-Man and he nods. “I couldn’t have done it either.” We sit quietly and stare at the clearing where the beast had been, the point of our failure. If the Watchers are watching from the outer world, they must be laughing. I look much farther out and see my dad and G-Man’s dad approaching, rifles slung over their shoulders. G-Man and I don’t say a word as they trek in our direction; we simply gather our stuff and descend the deer stand. “I missed,” I tell our dads moments later. G-Man’s dad pats his son on the head as my dad puts his arm around me. “That’s fine, boys, we’ll try again next time.” The sun shines through the canopy of trees as we walk toward the truck. Our dads take the lead and talk about the one that got away. G-man leans closer to me, sucks his teeth, and asks in a whisper, “Hey, who would win in a fight, Mr. Fantastic or Plastic Man?” NCM

Apologies

A rose by any other name Poet Daniel Conlan, who wrote the poem “Moving Home When That Means to Newnan and You’re 25” featured in the January/February issue, was incorrectly identified as Daniel Conan. We apologize for the error.

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may/june preview

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Change of address Newnan is so proud of its historic homes that it has dubbed itself the City of Homes, but many of its oldest homes are no longer at their original locations. They’ve been relocated for many reasons — to make way for new roads and the Interstate Highway System, to be repurposed, to be saved from demolition. We will take an inside look into some of these relocated gems, both in the city and in the county, and find out when they were moved and why.

The Male Academy Museum

Musical prodigy Melody Kiser is an East Coweta High School student who plays the saxophone for the Marching Indians and has rocked an electric guitar on stage with band members from Journey, Lynyrd Skynrd, Santana, Steppenwolf, Loverboy, .38 Special, Toto and Boston. How many 15-year-olds can add that work experience to their resume? Find out more about the multi-talented musician in the May/June issue of NCM.

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