NCM May/June_2022

Page 1

ostering FFamilies

Providing Hugs & Homes


❙ The Rodeo Returns ❙ Take a Trip on the Trolley



Is there Life after The Walking Dead? T H E F A M I LY I S S U E MAY/JUNE 2022 | 1

WELCOME TO HAPPY PEOPLE The folks who live here are happy. And, equally important, the pros who work here are happy. Wesley Woods was just certified for the fourth year in a row as a Best Work Place in Aging Services by Forbes magazine. The honor is based on employee satisfaction. Want to know one big reason for their high marks? They cherish the mutual respect, tight bonds and fun times they share with residents. It makes for happy days – for all involved. 2280 North Highway 29 Newnan, GA 30265 770.683.6859


Wesley Woods is the only Life Plan Community in the Newnan area – offering independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing.

TREATING PATIENTS AS INDIVIDUALS Since 2016, Truffles Vein Specialists has been redefining what it means to treat vein disease. We treat our patients as individuals rather than transactions or just another number. With locations in Fayetteville, McDonough, Carrollton, and soon Newnan, our growth speaks for itself. Members of the community in Newnan have been travelling to the Fayetteville location for years to receive the best possible treatment. Coming this spring, our newest location in downtown Newnan will be open and taking new and existing patients. If you are experiencing painful, heavy, swollen legs, restless legs, varicose veins, achiness, or skin discoloration, they can help with all of the above. Dr. Paul Feldman alongside his team will treat your veins that are causing the symptoms. Their motto is "look and feel your best". Truffles wants you to feel better inside and out. We work hard to get it right the first time. Truffles Vein Specialists has been active in the Newnan community for years including sponsoring events on the LINC, in Ashley Park, downtown, and in the Chamber of Commerce. The new location is highly anticipated by locals who are ready to bring personal care back to Newnan. We understand that when you move to a new area it can be hard to find new healthcare providers, so we are here to make it easy. Just give our friendly staff a call to schedule a new patient appointment to assess your symptoms and next steps.

678-833-1444 874 W Lanier Ave Fayetteville, GA 30214 Newnan Coming Summer 2022

COME JOIN OUR TEAM COME OUR TEAM TEAM COME JOIN OUR We We are are looking looking to to hire hire Youth Youth Care Care Workers Workers who who have have the the personal personal We are looking to hire Youth Care Workers who have the personal We are looking to hire Care Workers who have the personal characteristics, characteristics, experience experience and and temperament temperament to to work work with with and and characteristics, experience temperament to work with and characteristics, experience and temperament to work with and provide provide appropriate appropriate care care for for youth youth in in our our programs. programs. provide youth in in our ourprograms. programs. provideappropriate appropriate care for youth

Responsibilities Responsibilities Responsibilities Responsibilities Supervise Supervise residents residents Supervise residents Supervise residents and manage and manage andmanage manage and behaviors through behaviors through behaviors through behaviors through service and safety service and safety service and safety service and safety plans plans plans plans Documentation Documentation Documentation Documentation Staff development Staff development Staff development Staff development and training and andtraining training and training

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At Newnan Utilities’ Carl Miller Park SPLASH PAD NOW OPEN

All Features Now Open! • • • • • • •

Recently Renovated Kids’ Castle Playground Pavilions For Groups Of Up To 150 People Preschool & Elementary Playgrounds Walking/Jogging Trail Splash Fountain Picnic Tables Charcoal Grills

Environmentally-friendly water stations and recycling bins throughout the park

74 Sewell Road, Newnan, GA 30263 • Open Daily 8 am — 8 pm 70 Sewell Road • Newnan, GA 30263 • 770-683-5516 • NewnanUtilitiesGA

coweta mag apr-may22.indd 1




4/5/22 9:42 AM

A Publication of The Newnan Times-Herald Publishers Editor Creative Directors Production Director Contributing Writers

C. Clayton Neely Elizabeth C. Neely Jackie Kennedy Sandy Hiser, Sonya Studt Debby Dye Chuck Cleveland

Blue Cole

Jennifer Dziedzic

Jenny Enderlin

Glenda Harris

Melissa Dickson Jackson

Frances Kidd

Emily Kimbell

Gail McGlothin

April McGlothin-Eller

Caroline Nicholson

Robin Stewart

Payton Thompson Jeffrey Ward


Barbara Cleveland

April McGlothin-Eller Jackie Kennedy

Sara Moore

Beth Neely Jeffrey Ward

Multimedia Sales Specialists

Misha Benson Jill Whitley

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION call 770.253.1576 or email

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

On the Web: @newnancowetamag @newnancowetamagazine © 2022 by The Newnan Times-Herald, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.

arts & crafts festival

SATURDAY, MAY 7 9am-3pm


Join us for an altogether crafty festival full of fun! Browse handmade arts and crafts by hundreds of vendors, located all around our vibrant downtown. Enjoy tasty local eats and explore our unique specialty shops. Stop by The Amp for familyfriendly entertainment throughout the day. Mayfest is Carrollton’s most popular festival – come find out why!

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ince 2009, Southern Vein Care has performed minimally invasive, comfortable in-office procedures that effectively eliminate problem veins, restore normal circulation, and return legs to a more youthful appearance. With more than 30 years of vein-care experience in Newnan and Coweta County, Dr. Garnet Craddock, Coweta’s only board-certified general surgeon with a specialty in vascular medicine, is a leader in his field. While he has developed a reputation as one of the premier vein specialists, not only in Coweta and Fayette counties, but throughout the Southeast, Dr. Craddock never stops striving to provide the best possible patient care and stays up to date with current, cutting-edge techniques. Dr. Craddock is relentlessly motivated by his patients’ safety and health, and has built a specialized team of licensed nurses and registered vascular sonographers. The vascular lab at Southern Vein Care holds the highest possible accreditation from the IAC - the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission. Dr. Craddock performs every vein procedure himself in the Southern Vein Care offices, and consistently receives 5-Star ratings from his patients.

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Southern VEIN CARE

“Dr. Craddock is a physician who listens, is patient, and is a very good communicator. I am sincerely glad that he is my doctor.”

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“Dr. Craddock and his staff treated me with respect, and went above and beyond to provide good care to me.” –Misty L.

Book your appointment today at or call 770-683-8346. NEWNAN OFFICE

2959 Sharpsburg McCollum Rd. Newnan, Ga 30265 770-683-8346


1975 Highway 54 West, Suite 110 Peachtree City, GA 30269 770-683-8346








Focus on Senoia Is there life after The Walking Dead? The locals say yes, there most certainly is! By Jeffrey Ward, Jenny Enderlin, Caroline Nicholson and Blue Cole





Plus-one makes the family whole Mike and Amanda Newton share their story of fostering a teenage girl who completes their family circle. By Melissa Dickson Jackson


Cowboy up! The Coweta County Cattlemen's Association Rodeo returns for its 30th edition of roping, riding and steer wrestling fun. By Jackie Kennedy

Take a trip on the trolley The City of Newnan's trolley is on the road again. By Jennifer Dziedzic





Making History Charged with preserving local history, the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society celebrates its own history at 50 years old. By Emily Kimbell


66 in this issue 14 | From the Editor 15 | Caption This 15 | Our Readers Write 16 | Roll Call 18 | Behind the Shot 19 | Getting Frank with Faith 20 | Book Review 47 | Closer Look 60 | Nonprofit Spotlight 66 | Coweta Sports 70 | Coweta Cooks 76 | Coweta Garden 80 | Cowetans Travel 86 | Payton's Place 88 | Blacktop 90 | The Wrap-Up

With more than 30 years’ experience in pediatric orthopedic care, Georgia Bone and Joint is proud to offer the only pediatric specialty orthopedic service on Atlanta’s Southside, giving families the highest quality of care for growing bones and muscles at our Newnan, Peachtree City and Griffin Offices. NEWNAN 1755 Highway 34 East Suite 2200 Newnan, GA 30265 (770) 502-2175

ostering FFamilies

GRIFFIN 670 South 8th Street Griffin, GA 30224 (770) 502-2175

PEACHTREE CITY 4000 Shakerag Hill Suite 100 Peachtree City, GA 30269 (770) 626-5340 Follow us on:

Providing Hugs & Homes


❙ The Rodeo Returns ❙ Take a Trip on the Trolley



Is there Life after The Walking Dead? T H E F A M I LY I S S U E

➤ Cover Photo by SARA MOORE,

see Cover Feature, page 42.

ALL UNDER ONE ROOF Orthopedic Specialist • Spine Center • Physical & Occupational Therapy • MRI • Orthobiologics • Surgery Center

After Hours Clinic - Immediate Orthopedic Urgent Care (Newnan Location) Monday-Friday 5 pm to 9 pm • Saturday 8 am to 12 pm


Family adventure, Sweet and sometimes scary


or the past few years, we’ve presented our May-June issue as our Family, or Kids, issue. It just seems to fit since we celebrate Mother’s Day in May and Father’s Day in June. And all spring and summer long, we celebrate the season by getting outdoors. After being inside through the cold of winter, cooped up in classrooms or stuck at a screen in Zoom meetings, May welcomes us out of the cold and away from the computer. All we have to do is accept the invitation. And it's twice as nice when we bring family along for the adventure. The memories of springtime adventures with my own family range from simple moments to death-defying escapades. There are loads of sweet memories, but the scary ones are more fun to reminisce about. At the Okefenokee Swamp when the boys were little, we spotted all varieties of flying, creeping and crawling wildlife, and that was sweet. But when Danny leaned out of our flat-bottom boat to stroke the alligator and almost fell into the swamp with it, well, not so sweet. “What did we say about petting the gators, Son?” Even when we didn’t travel farther than our hometown, the joy of late spring was everywhere as the kids hopped on dirt bikes to make new trails or grabbed fishing poles to see what was biting at Grandpa’s lake. Then again, there was the time Ben jumped in the lake to cool off and landed within feet of a water moccasin. Looking back, it scared me more than him. He now lives in Grandpa’s house next to the lake, which proves there were no lasting emotional scars. Despite the fact there’s no guarantee of safety when you venture into nature, getting out of the house is a good thing. And it seems that May and June were made for outdoor adventures. One of the most fun in west Georgia is the annual Coweta County Cattlemen’s Rodeo. It’s hard to beat a rodeo when it comes to rip-roaring, no-holds-barred, dare devilish family fun. And it’s anticipated even more than usual this year after being on hiatus the past two springs due to COVID-19 concerns. Read about the rodeo on page 54. To make more springtime memories with your family, visit Senoia to experience a plethora of new dining options and quality shopping, see page 22; take a ride on the City of Newnan Trolley to experience all that’s offered downtown and in Ashley Park, see page 38; and pack in an afternoon of family competitive play at the new House of Pickleball, see page 66. And if you want to try something really scary – that could lead to the sweetest years of your life, and the life of a child – foster a youngster in need, see page 42. Whatever your idea of fun in the sun might be, we hope you and your loved ones have the opportunity to create sweet memories this summer. And if your family adventures end up with a scare or two, take heart. You'll remember them even better.

The editor enjoys a spring day with her granddaughter on the Courthouse Square in downtown Newnan.


Jackie Kennedy, Editor


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MAY/JUNE 2022 | 15

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

Jennifer Dziedzic lives in Newnan with her daughter. The two love to travel and use that as inspiration for the stories they create together with Jennifer writing and her daughter illustrating. Jennifer believes that everyone has a story to tell, and she loves being a freelance writer and meeting new people.

Melissa Dickson Jackson teaches writing and literature at University of West Georgia-Newnan. Her poetry collections include “Cameo,” “Sweet Aegis” and the forthcoming “Paper Birds.”

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

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

Caroline Nicholson, 21, loves disappearing behind a book and falling into fictional worlds. She’s working toward her Master of Arts in English at the University of West Georgia and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in creative writing to become a college English and creative writing professor. In time, she hopes to publish her own young adult novel.

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

Sara Moore's warm and welcoming nature influences her photography by putting her subjects at ease. She enjoys living the quiet country life while residing in Newnan with her husband, horses, dogs, chickens and ducks.

Emily Kimbell is executive director of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society. An active member of her community, she enjoys exploring the city’s historic cemetery and acting in local theater productions.

Blue Cole is a writer and ne’er-do-well who lives in Sharpsburg with his wife, children and other wee creatures.

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


Payton Thompson is the mother of a 3-year-old who keeps her busy 24/7. She loves her family and her job as receptionist at The Newnan Times-Herald and, when she's not occupied with all of these, she enjoys crafting.

Chuck and Barbara Cleveland of Newnan have been happily married for 45 years and enjoy travel, especially to Italy. Barbara is a retired social worker/counselor who likes photography. Chuck has contributed articles to local publications, including NCM and The Newnan Times-Herald. Jeffrey Ward is a native San Franciscan, Vietnam vet and University of Washington communications grad with a 50-year career in aviation. He’s been married 51 years, has two adult children and six grandchildren, and is a foodie and Facebook junkie.

Robin Stewart volunteers with the NewnanCoweta Humane Society and, along with her artist husband, is active in the local arts scene. She loves animals, is addicted to costume jewelry, and the part of her brain that used to know math is now occupied by useless facts for team trivia.

Call to tour our beautiful community... Insignia Assisted Living of Newnan is nestled on a beautiful setting, offering gracious hospitality in a comfortable and elegant atmosphere. Please call Jodi Falaney today to schedule your personal tour.


• 24-hour access to trained friendly associates • Delicious home-cooked meals • Laundry and housekeeping services • Fun and meaningful activities • Scheduled transportation

• Day Service and Respite available • Beautiful courtyards and spacious porches • Assistance with medication and personalized resident service plans • Specialized services for those with Alzheimer’s disease or related memory impairment

Senior Communities Centered Around Family

27 Belt Road | Newnan, GA 30263 | 770.251.6639 | MAY/JUNE 2022 | 17


Good vibes from a foster family Written by JACKIE KENNEDY Photographed by SARA MOORE


hotographing the family of Mike and Amanda Newton was a pleasure for freelance photographer, Sara Moore, whose camera captured their straight faces at the front door – as well as their silly mugs. The Newtons began fostering Arielle Gardner in 2020, and now the 15-year-old is an integral part of the family, which includes siblings Hailey, 9, and Michael, 5, plus four German shepherds. Melissa Dickson Jackson tells the Newton’s story on page 42, and Frances Kidd follows up with a look at ways to help Coweta children in need of a home and family, see page 47. NCM


ostering FFamilies

Providing Hugs & Homes


❙ The Rodeo Returns ❙ Take a Trip on the Trolley



Is there Life after The Walking Dead? T H E F A M I LY I S S U E

BELOW At left, the Newton family greets visitors to their front door and, right, they show their goofy side. From left are, front: Michael Newton, Hailey Newton and Arielle Gardner. Back: Mike and Amanda Newton.


Lady Luck & the Family Tree


very year in late February, on my birthday, my mom reminds me that she pushed me, her “eight-pound watermelon” into this world – and five years later, minus four days, did it again with my brother. I’m not quite sure what his fruit is. Not having given birth, I still find it wrapped in mystery and mind-boggle – the random luck of the draw from whom we are born. My family branches beyond blood bonds. I am rich with loved ones I’m not related to (and could pen another column on that). Being born is a DNA lottery, an incomprehensible cosmic bingo ball dispenser in the sky matching us up to our fate as we cross our barely formed baby fingers hoping the pick will be a winner. Both my immediate and extended families are gigantically into games. My parents and their siblings were fans of playing canasta, pinochle and Yahtzee on tables littered with Pepsi bottles, beers, bowls of Cheetos and M&Ms. As they zipped out zingers that I was too young to understand, I was mesmerized by their adult spells of grownup jokes and chatter of words and worlds I couldn’t even spell. Upstairs in bed, my head on a pillow, I heard mini-fights erupt as barbed accusations of cheating and table talk echoed, always followed by roars of laughter. This was my childhood family. My mind pondered my parents' worlds that existed before my brother and I were born. The possibilities of adulthood swirled me to sleep as I wondered if my grownup world would yield such evenings of hectic hoopla. I mused of my moment, my adding an acorn to our family tree. Thoughts of my future kids – pajama-clad at the top of the stairs, eavesdropping on my brother and me laughing and battling over the shake of the dice – swept me to sleep. Neither my brother nor I went on to have kids, and neither one of my parents ever said anything to make us feel bad about it. They both would have made amazing, award-winning grandparents, the kind on the cover of a magazine, yet they never made us feel guilty that our family tree's roots will rest with us. My mom and dad eventually divorced but remained best friends until my dad’s last breath. My dad moved back into my mom’s home, enveloped in the same house that melted with memories of our small family, too small to make a team on Family Feud. But we were, and still are, giant in our love and mighty in our magic. Late February, I went to visit my brother for his 50th birthday. We sat around the kitchen table, spread no longer with Cheetos and Pepsi but hummus and cheese, sparkly water and wine. Being his sister and my parents’ daughter are among the proudest labels I claim. The power in those labels has been a constant in my life. And though we may sometimes fight fiercely (enough to make even the host of Family Feud blush), the flip side is we love fiercely. It is not a trite point when it comes to quantity versus quality in love. Our tribe of three has the power of 30. Our family tree may have fewer branches than others, but our roots are solid and our canopy is full. I wonder to myself as I make my birthday cake candle wish: What if it’s not a large straight or even a five-of-a-kind that's the best score? Many games of chance have a hand called "full house," and I grin when I think how aptly it is named. Our houses should be full. Even if it’s not the best roll of the dice or the perfect hand dealt to us, it is indeed a winning deal. Families are made and found, from partners and friends to branching out to their families, coworkers and neighbors. We hunker down with those our hearts are home with. Thus, I thank Lady Luck and games of chance for spinning my wheel of fate, for tossing my seed like lucky dice to root in rich soil and bloom in birthday bliss. NCM

Minnesota made yet Newnan Strong, Faith is involved with Newnan Theatre Company and Backstreet Arts. Her artwork can be viewed at MAY/JUNE 2022 | 19




hat did you do when you were 10 years old? This work of fiction walks readers through a childhood unlike most. In “When I Was Ten,” British author Fiona Cummins weaves a multi-layered tale that is disturbing yet engrossing and synchronizes beautifully at its climax. It even includes a surprise ending.

Read a good book lately?

Covers of the book feature two different subtitles: “I did the unthinkable” and “What drives a child to do the unthinkable?” It’s no spoiler to mention that the “unthinkable” is the story of a young girl who has committed a shocking, violent double parricide. Any synopsis says the same. What’s surprising is how one’s view of said act morphs as the story unfolds. What has great potential to be a depressing read instead takes you for a ride and maybe challenges you a bit along the way. Crime, punishment, guilt, redemption, lies, truth, secrets and so much more pepper this complex, entertaining story. How far would you go to protect – to save – your sister? Ten-year-old Sara Carter ends up in a secure unit for eight years as British punishment for her heinous act. Her 12-year-old sister Shannon is sent to foster care. Years pass and they become estranged. Upon completion of her sentence, Sara is released with a new identity and works to rebuild her life, eventually marrying and having a child of her own. She tries to keep her history a secret, working to keep all the plates spinning. Ultimately, it’s a house of cards that inevitably implodes. The third player is also a narrator of sorts, Brinley Booth, a likable childhood friend and nextdoor neighbor of the Carter sisters. Her presence, friendship and actions complete the trifecta of the trio’s exciting dynamic. The writer does an excellent job of giving voice and context to each character without things getting messy or confusing to the reader. There’s an italicized mysterious running conversation in the book that adroitly bridges the streams of past and present. The subject matter is certainly dark, and parts may haunt you. For me, it was harder to read about the abuse the children suffered at the hands of their parents than it was to read about the parents’ demise. Like a puzzle, pieces come together and readers may think they have it figured out. But a new twist or turn spins off yet another tendril of this tale. It’s a book that may be tough at times to read, but it’s certainly tougher to put down. “When I Was Ten” by Fiona Cummins was published August 11, 2020, by Macmillan, London, England; 384 pages. ★★★★

Share your favorite new read with Newnan-Coweta Magazine by writing a book review for possible publication in an upcoming issue. Keep your review at 200-300 words and please include the author’s name, page count and date of publication. Send your review with your contact information to magazine@ or mail to Newnan-Coweta Magazine, 16 Jefferson St., Newnan, GA 30263.



576 Main St. | Palmetto | 770-463-3156

Starting at





Is there life after The Walking Dead? Written and Photographed by JEFFREY WARD



Photo used for illustration by Jackie Kennedy

BELOW What happens in Senoia when “The Walking Dead” wall and windmill come down? Most residents say it’ll keep going strong.

ow that the hit show “The Walking Dead”is in its farewell season, the essential question is posed: Will there be life in Senoia beyond the hit TV show? Even the casual observer can’t ignore the cars backed up for a half mile on Rockaway Road at rush hour – and that’s just one sign pointing to the fact that Senoia is very much alive, well and growing rapidly. Visitors and Senoians alike need only look at the growing residential development east of downtown on Seavy Street, the commercial development along Highway 16, and the recent grand opening of the new shopping center on the northwest side of the intersection of Highways 85 and 16. To ease parking for locals and visitors alike, Travis Street, which borders the old train tracks and fronts the location of the popular Saturday Farmers Market, is now paved with extra parking spaces. In addition, the formerly unpaved parking lot at the corner of Johnson and Main streets has been paved over and lined for parking. Plus, the City of Senoia recently renovated sidewalks in front of restaurants Fuego Mar and Nic & Norman’s to provide guests an al fresco dining experience. Longtime Senoians may remember when they drove across the old wooden viaduct spanning the railroad tracks that led into downtown Senoia. They might have rummaged through the cluttered aisles of the Hutchinson Hardware Store and noticed too many vacant lots and empty storefronts. Senoia, two decades ago, appeared to be headed for ghost town status. What reversed that trend? There are a number of factors beyond the most visible, The Walking Dead (TWD) series, that contributed to Senoia’s renaissance. From a marketing

perspective, Senoia has had a lot to boost it in recent years. Prior to TWD, Southern Living constructed not one – but two – of its Idea Houses here, bringing loads of attention from throughout the Southeast. Because of lucrative Georgia State tax incentives offered to the filming industry, many motion pictures had been filmed in and around Senoia, as memorialized by the numerous bronze plaques embedded in the downtown sidewalks. “Fried Green Tomatoes” was filmed way back in 1991, a precursor of what was ahead. And then came the mega-hit, zombieinfused TWD, and boom! Visibility and interest in Senoia skyrocketed. With major filming of TWD ending this past March, some question if there’s life in Senoia after The Walking Dead. We posed that question to a few locals who have their fingers on the pulse of the community, which some call “the little town that could.”

Suzanne Helfman

The Senoia Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has responsibility for almost everything that happens within the city’s historic district, and the heartbeat of the DDA in recent years has been Suzanne Helfman, who joined this pivotal group in 2003 and served as its chairperson from 2007 until recently. She gives her take on Senoia – past, Suzanne Helfman present and future: “Regarding the question, ‘Is there life after The Walking Dead?,’ it’s a resounding ‘Yes!’ There was life before The Walking Dead. There was a renaissance in this town about 2007-08 when the principals of the Riverwood studios saw an opportunity to change downtown and bought properties with MAY/JUNE 2022 | 23


the purpose of restoration. They engaged the architectural firm of Historical Concepts in Peachtree City and built modern yet historical brownstones on the Gin property south of the tracks. Those became the Southern Living Idea Homes that created even more interest in Senoia. “In the present, I think even after they close production of The Walking Dead here in Senoia, that attraction will continue. “The purview of the DDA is protecting the historical integrity of the historic district, and I think we have done that. Any building that needs to be modified must present plans to the Historic Preservation Commission for approval. “In the future, there will be a turnover of merchants due to other opportunities or situations, but we don’t seem to miss a beat when that happens. We are still a thriving little town as far as commerce goes.”

Julie Brown

If there is a local expert on The Walking Dead, it surely would be Julie Brown, owner of Georgia Touring Company, which conducts TWD, historical homes and ghost tours. Her take? “Yes, there absolutely will be life after The Walking Dead,” says Brown. “We were a growing community before The Walking Dead. And as far as tourism, there

will be residual tourism for years to come. There will be plenty of future movies and productions that will bring tourism from all over the United States. We have a worldwide attention span, as you can see on the wall map back there. Those pins indicate that we have tourists from every continent on earth, and they will continue to visit for years to come.”

Maureen Schuyler

In order to understand where a community is heading in the future, it is paramount to know where it began and how it developed. Few are as well acquainted with the history of Senoia as Maureen Schuyler, director of the Senoia Area Historical Society and Museum. The museum, housed at 6 Couch Street, recently underwent significant renovations with the rebuilding of its four chimneys and extension of the commemorative brick walkway out front. Schuyler gives her take on life in Senoia after TWD: “Yes, Senoia has zombies, but it also has a rich and storied history. Residents and visitors to Senoia are fortunate to have access to a museum dedicated solely to the history and heritage of our town. When you visit the museum, you’ll be greeted by a friendly tour guide, or you can browse leisurely through the five rooms of history and artifacts with a self-guided tour brochure. And should you

Photos courtesy of Senoia Area HIstorical Society

BELOW Museum volunteers gather by new signage at the Senoia Area Historical Society History Museum. Open since 2010, the facility lacked appropriate identification from the street until recently. “This improvement creates greater visibility and awareness of the value inside the museum for Senoia residents and out-of-town visitors alike,” says Museum Director Maureen Schuyler, left. Joining her are, from left, Martha Sanford, Lori Kolbenschlag, Senoia Mayor William “Dub” Pearman, Nancy Roy, Leslee Maloy, Jan Martin, Dennis Sanford, Mary Pearman and Pat Veneziana.



to your

LEFT Owner of Georgia Touring Company, Julie Brown poses with a wall map filled with hundreds of push pins indicating hometowns from which guests to Senoia have traveled in recent years.

“So, yes, we will miss our friends after the production of The Walking Dead is complete; however, it will only add to our vast history.” – William“Dub”Pearman

ABOVE Sidewalks in front of Main Street restaurants recently were renovated to provide guests an al fresco dining experience.

MAY/JUNE 2022 | 25



be missing the Walking Dead experience, be sure to check out our extensive Walking Dead memorabilia. “Yes, Senoia will always have zombies, but it will always have a rich and storied history as well.”

Donna Obrien

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Donna Obrien, who volunteers at the Senoia Visitors Center, offers her take on the question: “I am confident that Senoia will continue to thrive after The Walking Dead wraps filming this spring. The movie industry has been filming here for decades, and I don’t see that going away anytime soon. “Senoia has a lot to offer outside of The Walking Dead. We have shops and restaurants that attract people from all over. The City recently extended the entertainment district past the railroad tracks, which might attract even more businesses and visitors into the downtown area.”

William “Dub” Pearman Mayor William “Dub” Pearman weighs in on the essential question: “The city of Senoia, especially its downtown historic district, has a unique character that was evident long before The Walking Dead. So, while we have certainly welcomed the cast, crew members and visitors interested in the show, there will be life after The Walking Dead. “Our historic town center has become a destination for visitors throughout the metropolitan area for specialized shopping and dining experiences. The business owners and staff members can become like family members. The Walking Dead brought an incredible number of visitors into town, but they keep returning for Senoia’s character. They love seeing the older homes and churches. They like visiting with residents and shop owners like they’re neighbors. They love seeing a two-block parade for Christmas, or Homecoming, or Memorial Day, or for whenever we feel like having a parade! “They love seeing portions of Main Street closed off for car traffic on some Friday evenings for Alive After Five. They love going to the Farmers Market on Saturday morning to see friends and vendors. They love these things because of the people making these things happen. It’s not one person; it is many making it a community. “So, yes, we will miss our friends after the production of The Walking Dead is complete; however, it will only add to our vast history.” NCM


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From old to new,

business booms in Senoia

Written by JENNY ENDERLIN | Photographed by JACKIE KENNEDY

RIGHT For 40 years, Nancy Roy has run a sprawling antique business just outside of Senoia.



to your


ot long ago, Senoia consisted of little more than a pharmacy, furniture store, hardware store and Crook’s Marketplace. Now, Senoia boasts dozens of distinctive shops and restaurants that have become prized film locations. And in the last three decades, Senoia's population has quintupled. The town once known as a mere highway intersection has maintained its historic ambiance despite its growth and is primarily recognized for its vibrant downtown. What changed Senoia? The tenacious spirit of people like Nancy Roy and Brent and April Anderson. Nancy Roy

In 1974, Nancy Roy and her husband Bill decided to exchange apartment life in College Park for a rural environment. As they were driving around Senoia, they saw a “for sale” sign in front of a house. It was love at first sight. Built in 1905, the house was in desperate need of repair. The Roys only knew the house’s age because the daughter of its first owner remembered moving to the newly built house when she was 5 years old; she recalled riding there in a wagon, playing the family piano along the way. The Roys learned that an old structure on their new property once served as the original owner's carriage house where the family’s wagon and carriages were kept. The Roys got busy restoring the old house on Highway 16 and opened it in 1982 as Carriage House Antiques, one of Senoia’s first non-utilitarian shops, which sells everything from vintage pieces to holiday décor to hostess gifts. Celebrating 40 years in business this year, Carriage House Antiques is one of Senoia's oldest businesses in operation. As if running her shop was not enough to keep her busy, Nancy served as director of the McIntosh Arts and Crafts Country Fair for the first five years of its existence. Through the years, she also has served as a member of Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce and the Coweta Courthouse Restoration Committee. She is a charter member of both the Coweta County Visitor and Business Bureau, which opened in 1993, and Senoia’s Historical Society, founded in 1977. Never afraid to engage politically, Nancy has successfully advocated for humane methods of treating shelter animals in Coweta. She's also considered the reason Coweta has a senior citizen center. When her aging parents moved to the area, she repeatedly brought up to county commissioners the need for a place for seniors to gather. MAY/JUNE 2022 | 29


“My husband is my best friend and partner in crime, and we work really well together.” – April Anderson

ABOVE Restaurateurs Brent and April Anderson operate Mess Hall on Main, a micro food hall in downtown Senoia, where their Senoia Coffee is one of several businesses that share seating.

“I kept harping on it until they built the center,” says Nancy. When East Coweta Senior Center finally opened, former County Commissioner Mutt Hunter told her: “Okay, you got your building. Now get your volunteers to run it.” For years, Nancy organized potlucks and scheduled volunteers until employees eventually were hired. One of Senoia’s greatest cheerleaders, Nancy Roy has faced her share of struggles in life – but never allowed them to defeat her. In 2013, she lost her husband, and last year, she completed 10 years of chemo medication during a lengthy battle with breast cancer.


“Whatever you face in life, face it with positivity and don’t give up,” she advises.

April Anderson

April Anderson has served as the vice president of Senoia’s Downtown Development Authority for the past four years, is the founding president of local nonprofit Backpack Buddies, raised four children, always seems to be in the middle of a renovation project, and maintains her and husband Brent’s restaurant while he works full time at Senoia Bicycle. As if to explain how they manage it all, she says, “My husband is my best friend and partner in crime, and we work really well together.” In 2008, the Andersons moved to the area for Brent to pastor Senoia Vineyard Church. Throughout their seven years there, April felt that her service should extend beyond the four walls of the church, so she embarked on a ministry to feed Coweta's children in need. Backpack Buddies moved into the schools in 2011, initially feeding three dozen children. Today, the program is co-run by Lori Burnette whom Anderson describes as a “rockstar.” The nonprofit supplies food to hungry children in every school in the county, serving more than 1,100 children each week. (To donate, visit During that phase of their lives, April and Brent frequently spent time at Senoia Coffee and told



to your

the previous owners to let them know if they ever wanted to sell. “I must have caught them on a bad day,” muses April, “because one day the owner asked, ‘Were you serious about that offer?’” “Yes, I was,” April replied. She and Brent became the official owners of Senoia Coffee and Cafe in 2015. It wasn’t about the coffee or the food, though, according to April. “We were just passionate about people,” she says. Today, their coffee shop is located at 30 Main Street, across the road from its original location. Senoia Coffee is one of four vendors housed at the Andersons’ brand new business: Mess Hall on Main. The others include Rock Salt Milk Bar, which serves ice cream; The Boardroom, which supplies wine, charcuterie and catering; and a new hibachi and sushi restaurant is set to open this summer. Along with providing great local foods, the micro food hall hosts a monthly Wisdom and Wine night for women and Purpose and Pints night for men, as well as family game nights, trivia nights, and “anything that brings the community together,” according to April. “I feel like we’ve done more ministry inside this coffee shop than we’ve done the whole time we pastored a church,” she says. “People are struggling all around. I want to leave a legacy of hope.” NCM

Photo courtesy of

MAY/JUNE 2022 | 31



& Events

Written and Photographed by JEFFREY WARD

For residents and visitors alike, Senoia has become “the little town that could.” The Downtown Development Authority puts on a yearly slate of events for all to enjoy. Following are planned events for 2022 with tentative dates: •

Senoia Farmers Market – Every Saturday morning

Alive After Five – Third Friday of each month

Memorial Day Parade and Fireworks – May 30

Cruising to the Oldies Car Show – Sept. 24

Light Up Senoia, Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting – Dec. 10

Christmas Holiday Tour of Homes – Dec. 2

➤ For

more information, visit







After a full day downtown touring, people-watching, window-shopping or enjoying an event, visitors do get hungry. Lucky for them, the local foodie scene is varied and inviting with a bevy of restaurants nestled within Senoia’s downtown historic district. The list here includes my personal favorite fare at a few local eateries:

THIS PAGE and OPPOSITE PAGE 1. Senoia Farmers Market 2. Cruising to the Oldies Car Show 3. Bistro Hilary 4. Curious Kitchen and Bar and Maguire's Family and Friends 5. Nic & Norman's 6. Mess Hall on Main 7. Brisket at Senoia Smokehouse



7. Bistro Hilary 21 Barnes Street French cuisine Favorite: Coquille St. Jacques (scallop casserole) Curious Kitchen and Bar 42 Main Street Eclectic menu and extensive spirits bar Favorite: mushroom stroganoff and lobster roll Fuego Mar 18 Main Street Mexican restaurant and seafood Favorite: vegetable fajitas Jacob’s Hemp Bar 15 Barnes Street Health food, tapas, smoothies, desserts Favorite: tapas Lisa’s Creperie 48 Main Street Crepes, both sweet and savory Favorite: Lisa’s special crepe Maguire's Family and Friends 42 Main Street Irish pub on the lower level Favorite: fish and chips, turkey Reuben Mess Hall on Main/Senoia Coffee and Rock Salt Milk Bar 30 Main Street Specialty coffee, sandwiches, sweets Favorite: premium coffees Matt’s Smalltown Pizza 52 Main Street, Suite E Pizzas, wings, subs Favorite: anything Nic & Norman’s 20 Main Street American cuisine Favorite: gourmet hamburgers SenÕr Taco 75 Main Street Mexican entrees Favorite: tacos Senoia Smoke House 70 Main Street Global smoked meat restaurant Everything is cured and smoked onsite. Favorite: smoked brisket Yesterday's Family Sports Grill 90 Main Street Family sports grill Favorite: veggie burger | 33 | 33 MAY/JUNE MAY/JUNE 2022 2022


“I’m in love with Book Love . . . the atmosphere is warm and inviting. After I made my purchases, I ordered a pot of tea and sat down with my books.” – Angie Wadsworth



n the front corner of one of Senoia’s newest shops, a small cafe offers warm pots of tea, fresh pastries, and a shimmering view of the bustling retail district. Past the cafe, books and literary trinkets fill the shelves and tables. At the back of the store, a handpainted castle surrounds shelves of children’s books and fantasy wildlife of the stuffed variety. Because of the intimacy of the store, customers are immediately greeted by the owner or a member of her family. “I’m so glad you’re open,” says one eager patron. She’s not alone. Since Book Love: The Bookshop of Senoia opened in February, it's welcomed hundreds of book lovers excited to add new treasures to their collections. Senoia was a sleepy town before The Walking Dead chose to film here, and despite the boom in business that followed the TV show, the town was unable to boast a true bookstore. Antique shops often harbored small collections of used books hidden in the back, but Senoia’s book lovers were forced to travel to other cities for larger, more comprehensive collections. 34 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAGAZINE.COM

That has changed since Theresa Decker celebrated Valentine’s Day with the grand opening of Book Love, Senoia’s first bookstore. Decker began her career as a television and radio reporter, telling the stories of others, and later started taking photographs professionally, telling stories without words. She eventually decided that she wanted to sell stories. The shop owner says she chose Senoia instead of Peachtree City or Fayetteville because of the charm and welcoming nature of Senoia. According to Decker, she asked herself, “Where would I like to go to work everyday?” The answer was Senoia. Everything Decker does in her shop focuses on the community. With few exceptions, Book Love only stocks books published in the last two years. Decker plans to curate the store’s collection based on the community’s interests. Customer Angie Wadsworth confesses: “I’m in love with Book Love. The owners are very kind and the atmosphere is warm and inviting. After I made my purchases, I ordered a pot of tea and sat down with my books.”

Photo by Jackie Kennedy.

Remember This?

Despite the tourist influx Senoia receives daily, Decker’s shop caters to Senoia residents and the clientele who return time and time again to enjoy the shop’s unique offerings. Decker’s commitment to put her customers' interests first is reflected in the public events she hosts, the book clubs she sponsors, and her willingness to satisfy her customers’ cravings for great books and tasty treats in a welcoming venue. Theresa Decker’s Book Love is a missing piece of the Senoia puzzle residents never knew they were missing. NCM Book Love: The Bookshop of Senoia is located at 53 Main Street, Building C, in downtown Senoia.

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

ABOVE From young to older and all in between, Book Love caters to all who love to read.

Deadline for accepting recipes: July 1, 2022

Coweta Cooks Send your submission to

What’s in a (Road) Name?

Senoia’s Street Names Written by BLUE COLE Photographed by JACKIE KENNEDY


enoia, like other Coweta towns, originally started out as a small village near the current location of the town. First settled by a wagon train full of South Carolinians, the village of Location was established in 1828. Crops and livestock were the main products of the area, and the fertile farmland and agreeable weather brought more settlers. Eventually, the post office in Location was joined by one in Willow Dell.

As with many towns, the railroad drew settlers and businesses. Willow Dell was settled in 1854, and the two villages continued to grow side by side. In 1860, the Rev. Francis Baggarly purchased the land where downtown Senoia is now. In 1864, the town was renamed Senoia in honor of a local Native American. The precise source of the name is shrouded in history with at least four legends accounting for the town name. According to the Senoia Area Historical Society, the most likely scenario is that the town 36 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAGAZINE.COM

was named in honor of Chief William McIntosh’s mother, Senoya He-ne-ha, a member of the Creek Indian Wind Clan. State highways mark the southern and eastern borders of Senoia. Highway 85/74 skates the eastern boundary of the town, leading into Fayette County. Highway 16 curves south and east to Griffin and also carries the name Wells Street. An early story on the founding of the town talks about the three wells located at the center of town – and the high quality of the water. Downtown Senoia sits uphill and astride the railroad tracks. Chartered in 1854, the Savannah, Griffin & North Alabama railroad helped lay out the town. The railroad was built in spurts and starts after the onset of the Civil War delayed construction until 1865. Senoia was incorporated as a city on December 12, 1866. City streets with names that harken back to the town’s history include: Baggarly Way is named for Jim and Rubye Baggarly, descendants of Rev. Francis Warren Baggarly, who bought the land where presentday Senoia stands. The Rev. Baggarly founded the Methodist Episcopal Church and several business


enterprises in Senoia. The Baggarly family remains active in the community. Baggarly Way originally was named Jones Avenue. Bridge Street: Bridge or Bridges? Person or place? Modern day Bridge Street was once the site of a wooden bridge spanning the railroad track, but a map dated 1898 shows the road leading to the Bridges’ farm south of the city. Spelling also varies based on the age of the map. Older maps pluralize the street name to Bridges and also reveal Maine Street versus Main Street. Gin Street: Better known as the set of Alexandria on “The Walking Dead,” Gin Street was the location of the McKnight ginning operations for many years. The location beside the railroad tracks made for easier loading of cotton bales brought in by area farmers. McKnight Drive: Well into the 20th century, the McKnight family for many years operated the gin and a general store in town and several farms outside of town. The McKnight family remains active in the community in the 21st century. Willow Dell Drive was named for the village that started in 1854 and later consolidated with Location to become Senoia. Barnes Street possibly was named after William C. Barnes, a city commissioner at the time of Senoia’s incorporation in 1866. Drake Street, Couch Street and Travis Street were named after early settlers or founding families. Horseshoe Bend was named in honor of the equine arch. (Even if it’s a guess, it’s close enough.) NCM

Wanna help us out? We’re working on a series of articles about local road names and the history behind the names. We know there are plenty of untold stories out there, and that’s where you come in. If you know the origin story of the streets or roads in your area, please share at and we may include your neighborhood streets in an upcoming article.

MAY/JUNE 2022 | 37

“It’s not just about the ride. It’s really about the experience and memory that you have once you ride the trolley.” – Aimee Hadden



op on the Newnan trolley for a complimentary ride Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and you'll enjoy a unique way to get from downtown Newnan to Ashley Park – and back again.

OPPOSITE PAGE City of Newnan trolley driver Rick Makle celebrates another successful ride with trolley guest and Newnan-Coweta Magazine writer Jennifer Dziedzic.

“The City of Newnan’s trolley is such a fun, unique way for locals and tourists to explore the downtown area and Ashley Park,” says Aimee Hadden, communications manager with the City of Newnan. “It’s more than just an option for transportation. The trolley helps us connect with the community.” Drivers Rick Makle and Sam Jones alternate working every other weekend. On a recent outing, Newnan-Coweta Magazine freelance writers and photographers caught the trolley with Makle at the wheel. His radiant smile welcomed all aboard, and his penchant for jazz was evident in music streaming through the trolley speakers. Makle worked in the driving industry for the last 30 years, more recently holding jobs with MARTA and as a shuttle driver for Emory Hospital before retiring. “I moved to Florida for a couple of years, met my wife, and got married in 2017,” he says. After the couple moved back to Georgia, Makle put in for a driver job and was steering the Newnan trolley when it began services on Feb.14, 2019. “I thought it was a great opportunity because I am a people person and I enjoy serving the public,” he says, admitting he’d never driven a trolley. “Once you’ve driven a semi, buses and all that, anything else with wheels is pretty much a piece of cake.”


Photo by Jackie Kennedy

Photo by Rick Makle

RIGHT Children of Newnan-Coweta Magazine staff and freelance writers enjoy an afternoon of play while their parents catch up.


Photo by Jackie Kennedy

ABOVE In February, Newnan-Coweta Magazine staff members, freelancers and their family members took a trolley tour from downtown Newnan to Ashley Park. Enjoying the leisurely ride were, from left, front: Caroline Nicholson, Jennifer Dziedzic, Melissa Dickson Jackson, Jannette Emmerick, Robin and Marc Stewart, Jenny Enderlin, Glenda Harris, Sara Moore and Jeffrey Ward. Back: Charlie Neely, Anna Neely, Misha Benson, Mysha Dziedzic, Beth Neely, Bethany Enderlin, Faith Farrell and Jackie Kennedy.

Wheels and people, that’s what Makle adores. “I enjoy what I do, I enjoy people,” he says. “Hopefully, when people get on the trolley they have a great experience. You try to make their experience great by always having an open ear to listen.” Coweta resident and trolley enthusiast Angela Cambas says, “Pre-Covid, we would take our little crew on some Fridays to ride the trolley, which included walking around downtown, a visit to the Carnegie, then for cookies or ice cream at Ashley Park. Waiting to get picked back up, the kids would play and sing, ‘Here comes the trolley,’ when they saw it coming.” From local families with children to groups hosting an outing, Makle has seen it all. He asks parents if their children can ring the bell, and he offers to take photos of riders at the back of the trolley when it’s parked. “That really brings joy to them; the kids just love it,” Makle says. “It’s not just about the ride. It’s really about the experience and memory that you have once you ride the trolley.” Newnan resident Angie Readd-McSpadden says of her trolley experience: “The McSpadden family enjoyed our first ride shortly after the trolley route opened. It was our kids’ birth month and we were riding in celebration. The driver was chatting with us and found out Genny’s and Joey’s birthdays were soon. He proceeded to treat our kids like celebrities. The driver ended our trip by politely refusing the tips our children tried to hand him and instead reached into his tip box and pulled out a dollar for each of them. He gave them a big ‘Happy Birthday’, a ring of the bell, and an event to remember.” Makle considers it part of the job. “You don’t know how you affect people from day to day, you just don’t,” he says. “It’s just amazing how you can influence someone or make someone’s day just by being kind and saying nice things. We don’t know what walk of life people are coming from when they get on the trolley. I really enjoy doing this for the people of Newnan and for the people who visit Newnan.” The trolley runs, rain or shine, from 1 to 8 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with the last pick-up at 7 p.m. Visit to view routes, rent the trolley for events, and track the trolley’s location. Share photos of trolley rides on social media; tag the City of Newnan and use the hashtag #NewnanTrolley on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. NCM

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ifteen-year-old Arielle Gardner loves young adult romance novels, her German shepherd Kuno, playing softball, and her church youth group at Foundation Christian Church. She loves her younger siblings, Michael and Hailey, and patiently tolerates their antics to upstage and distract her.

ABOVE For the Newtons, family is about raising happy, healthy kids and pups! Sharing a family portrait with their German shepherds are, from left, Michael, 5; Amanda and Mike; Arielle Gardner,15; and Hailey, 9.

Arielle, who goes by Ari, smiles and turns her attention to them with an earnest affection instead of the blistering scowl one might expect from a teenager. She’s arguably the best big sister in Newnan, and they seem to know it. Her infectious grace and gratitude radiates to those nearby. She smiles, and the world smiles with her. But Ari’s story isn’t one of privilege and abundance. It isn’t one filled with annual trips to Disneyland, punctual family dinners, and doting parents who sat through ballet lessons and soccer MAY/JUNE 2022 | 43


“We try to make sure each of them gets quality and quiet time at home and at least one parent is at every game.” – Amanda Newton

games. Her story weaves through negligence and endangerment, which led to foster care and, with the help of Wellroot Family Services, ended with Amanda and Mike Newton who fought to give Ari a home, a family and a world that reflects her winning smile. Amanda and Mike had long considered becoming foster parents. They were inspired by witnessing the need for loving foster care, and the trauma that results from its absence, in Mike’s own family where his half sisters became wards of the system. The Newtons agreed they were called to foster and to love children who had few safe options left. They looked at it as a long-term plan that would begin after their biological children, Hailey and Michael, grew up a bit more in a balanced, nurturing home that prepared them to host a new sibling in need. Need, however, doesn’t wait for convenient moments. And Ari’s need was a pressing weight on the hearts of Mike and Amanda Newton. Amanda had known Ari’s family decades before. When the Newtons learned Ari’s mother was unable to provide the nurturing environment a child needs, they knew someone they could help was surfing the foster care system without a safety net or an advocate. “We felt God-led,” Amanda says as Mike nods. “We knew this was the plan.” That feeling of divine intervention led the Newtons to pursue foster guardianship through the Division of Family and Children Services, but every phone call seemed to be a road block designed to discourage them and shift accountability. “They’re overwhelmed,” Amanda laments. As luck (or more divine intervention) would have it, a friend recommended Wellroot Family Services, formerly United Methodist Children’s Home, a 150-year-old organization committed to creating a world where children are raised in loving, compassionate and nurturing homes. In Wellroot, the Newtons found the advocate they needed to navigate the foster care system and become that loving, compassionate and nurturing home for Ari. Amanda and Mike agree they couldn’t have done it 44 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAGAZINE.COM

without Wellroot, which provided the guidance, advice and protection they needed to create a positive outcome. Ari admits it was “pretty weird” to meet and suddenly be a part of an entirely new family. To keep connections open with Ari’s family, Amanda is committed to supporting her relationship with her biological mother and grandmother. “Originally we had planned to pursue reunification with her mom,” Amanda explains, “but after about six months we realized that wasn’t going anywhere.” At that point, the Newtons, with the full support of Ari’s mother, decided to file for full guardianship but to keep the lines of communication open with Ari’s mom. It seems like the best possible outcome, one that gives Ari the freedom, safety and support she needs to thrive while allowing her to know and love her mother. “It’s one of the hardest things Mike and I have ever gone through as a married couple,” Amanda discloses. “The process wasn’t easy. We were working on it every day for a year. I don’t think we would have been able to go through it without Wellroot. They were a saving grace.” Wellroot, Amanda explains, is “like a barrier between the foster parent and DFCs.” While DFCs is designed to protect and serve the children in foster care, Wellroot also serves the potential foster parents and helps to facilitate successful outcomes by vetting, preparing and supporting potential foster guardians. Wellroot, for example, provides weekly visits to the foster home, while DFCs provides monthly visits. Wellroot also provides a dedicated case manager. For the Newtons, that was Brittany Berto, who became a dear friend with whom they often talked as they navigated the cumbersome process. Wellroot also requires foster applicants to find and enlist a support family that pitches in during times of unexpected need or crisis. OPPOSITE PAGE Arielle Gardner, left, takes pride in having younger siblings, Hailey and Michael, in her foster family.


to your

MAY/JUNE 2022 | 45

“I’m his emotional support human.” – Ari

Amanda, who serves as a site coordinator for Elevate Coweta at Newnan High School, seems especially grateful for the clarity and foresight provided by Wellroot. It allowed the Newtons to focus on Ari and the creation of an expanded family dynamic. “It was pretty good adjusting here,” says Ari, while her little sister Hailey blurts out, “I’m the cool one!” Hailey, 9, and Michael, 5, marvel at the ways Arielle has changed their world since she joined the family in 2020. “I used to be the one who got to do the most,” says Hailey grinning. “And now she does!” Amanda explains that Hailey’s bedtime is later than her little brother Michael’s, but both Newton siblings were startled when their new sister had an even later bedtime. “The later bedtime is hard to understand,” says Amanda. “It’s a learning process.”

ABOVE Arielle Gardner found not only a loving family with the Newtons but also a constant companion in Kuno, the family dog who shadows her 24/7.


Both girls play softball and enjoy supporting each other’s efforts. Ari plays third base and Hailey plays first. Young Michael is enjoying his first soccer season and eager to get on the field. “We try to balance it all as much as possible,” says Amanda. “We try to make sure each of them gets quality and quiet time at home and at least one parent is at every game.” Ari will join Amanda next year at Newnan High where she will be a freshman lucky enough to have a parent employed on the campus. As the conversation turns to Ari’s favorite bands (Nirvana, Current Joy and Surf Curse), Hailey seizes the spotlight once more to tease Ari about her love of TikTok. “I’m not the only one with a cell phone addiction,” Ari whispers goodnaturedly. As Ari gets up from the table to prepare for a friend’s quinceanera, one of the Newton’s four German shepherds, Kuno, follows closely at her heels. “He follows her everywhere,” says Amanda. “I’m his emotional support human,” Ari says with a giggle. Kuno, it seems, would be as lost without his Ari as the rest of the Newton family. NCM


Fostering to provide home


Written by FRANCES KIDD | Photographed by SARA MOORE

ome. It's a word often taken for granted, but it’s more than a word. It's so significant that MerriamWebster Dictionary classifies it as noun, verb, adverb and adjective. According to the dictionary’s first three definitions, “home” is a “place of residence,” “a social unit formed by family living together,” and “a familiar or usual setting forming a congenial environment.” Most people will find those definitions familiar. However, not everybody has the luxury of “going home,” especially children in foster care. Though local agencies that deal with foster children have different programs and areas of work, their common goal is to reunite families and to create loving homes.

Wellroot provides roots

Wellroot Family Services (formerly the United Methodist Children’s Home) is a leader in the effort to transform the lives of children and families in Georgia. Their name makes it clear: children must be “well-rooted” to thrive. As an agency of the United Methodist Church in North Georgia, Wellroot Family Services programs are designed to effect change for children and families through faith-centered service focused on supporting youth from infancy through early adulthood. Based in Tucker, Wellroot Family Services has close connections to Coweta County. In addition to having an active presence in Coweta, President and CEO Allison Ashe is a graduate of East Coweta High School. In a previous job, Ashe led strategic initiatives for Covenant House International, the nation’s leading provider of housing and services for youth experiencing homelessness and human trafficking.

“My work at Covenant House developed my passion for family preservation,” Ashe says. “These young people want their mom and dad no matter how much they’ve been through.” The bipartisan Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 recognized this in the legislation, which represented significant reform to federal child welfare policy. Wellroot takes a holistic approach to its work in foster care, a temporary living situation for children whose parents cannot take care of them and whose need for care has come to the attention of a child welfare agency. “We’re in the business of helping families, whatever it takes,” says Ashe. In addition to foster care, Wellroot's Healthy Families America promotes child wellbeing and prevents abuse and neglect through in-home, family-focused support. They provide family support systems that treat behavioral and emotional problems in children and teens as well as short-term, family-based therapeutic intervention for at-risk youth and their families. A challenge that has long complicated foster care occurs when children age out of the system when they turn 18 and may find themselves out in the world on their own. Wellroot has found one way to provide a solution by providing transitional living for youth who are 18 but haven’t yet found a home. They have the option to stay in state care and receive supportive services that will help them make the challenging transition toward independence. The teens live in apartments that Wellroot manages and get help in job training, attending school or getting their GED. Wellroot also developed the Family Housing program, serving up to six families with one or more children who are at imminent risk of MAY/JUNE 2022 | 47




homelessness. Families must be living together prior to acceptance into the program; Wellroot provides housing and financial assistance. The organization supports the families with parenting courses, financial management courses, career coaching and personal development. “When a family graduates from our program, each one will have at least $1,000 in savings and steady employment,” Ashe says. Wellroot’s outcomes prove the effectiveness of what they do. For example, 84% of youth in the transitional and independent living program are on track to complete high school or obtain a GED, and 100% of the residents who graduate from the Family Housing program earn a living wage. “We have a 75% permanency rate, which means we are able to connect children to their forever families that are healthy and stable,” says Ashe. “This is done through family reunification, adoption, and/or kinship homes.”

Angel’s House

The Newnan-Coweta community is fortunate to have a number of organizations providing aid to children and families. They vary from government agencies and school systems to nonprofit organizations working in different areas. All have the same goal. Newnan’s well-respected Angel’s House provides a specific service. “We are an emergency facility for teenage girls in crisis,” says board member Kelley Welden. “We stand in the gap between foster care and where the girls come from.” Angel’s House and the state’s Department of Family & Children service (DFCS) partner to get girls who need immediate help to a secure environment; DFCS identifies girls who are in crisis and works with Angel’s House to get them in a safe place. Open since June 2004, Angel's House is licensed to accommodate a maximum of 10 children. Some stay temporarily and are later placed with relatives. An average of seven to 10 girls live at Angel’s House on a daily basis. Since it opened, Angel’s House has provided a safe haven for more than 265 children. Angel’s House contracts with the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home to provide staff and oversight, according to Welden. “Angel’s House runs like a home, with group leaders serving as houseparents,” she adds. “The residents help prepare meals, spend time in the garden and do their

OPPOSITE PAGE Mike, left, and Amanda Newton, right, feel fostering Arielle Gardner, center, helps complete their family.

homework. One thing we know is that these girls need structure and they need education.” The girls attend school in the Coweta County School System, a strong supporter of the program. Its Board of Directors is dedicated to making sure Angel’s House is fully funded and the girls have all they need. Their largest annual event, Run for Angels, returned for the nonprofit's 20th anniversary in March after being canceled last year due to the March 2021 tornado. Board members Barbara Chandler, Kate Goodson and Kelley Welden co-chaired the 2022 run. “We’re very thankful for this community,” Welden says.

Hope Revisited

Jennifer Nolder is president of the board of directors for Hope Revisited, one of the newer foster organizations in Coweta. A foster parent herself and also president of the Coweta Foster Parent Association, Nolder has done research for several years on how visitations between children and the parents they are separated from are handled. Sometimes, visits “took place in a fast-food playground or even riding around in a car,” Nolder says. “As a foster parent, Jennifer Nolder has been extremely supportive of birth parents, even when they aren't always initially receptive,” says Gretchen Cleveland, Coweta County director of the Georgia Division of Family & Children Services. “That included more than two years of helping a birth parent recover from substance abuse. And after seeing the need for a better place for children to have supervised visits with their parents, she worked to create Hope Revisited.” Since Hope Revisited opened in August 2002, its allvolunteer group has worked to advance their mission to create a safe and stable environment where families disconnected due to life circumstances learn to achieve sustainable unification.

Coweta CASA

Cleveland says DFCS also works closely with Coweta Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA). Coweta CASA is part of a national network of nearly 1,000 community based programs that recruit, train and support volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courts and communities. Coweta CASA volunteers are appointed by the Juvenile Court to advocate for children in foster care. Each CASA volunteer follows one court case at a time – involving a child or group of siblings – to provide caring attention and a voice in court. In an often hectic and overworked system, they are there for the children. NCM MAY/JUNE 2022 | 49


Putting the “New” in Newnan Written by EMILY RAY Map Illustration by SONYA STUDT


is family's company is proud to be part of Newnan’s history, and their team is extremely optimistic about the city’s future, according to Headley Construction President Mitch Headley. “I recently took a walk near our offices on East Washington Street," says Mitch. "I strolled down Field Street by Newnan Lofts, along LINC to the bustling new skatepark, and headed back on Broad between the Historic Train Depot and Caldwell Tanks redevelopment site. Maybe it was the spring air, but I couldn’t get enough of it – sunny parks and trails, new construction and historic home restorations happening side by side, local jobs done by local workers, front yards full of friendly faces, porch swings in full, well, swing. As I walked up to the Courthouse Square for a quick lunch at Karvelas, I felt truly blessed. There is nowhere I would rather live and work than in Newnan, Georgia.” Headley Construction supports smart growth in Newnan not just because it's good for their business but because they live here, according to Mitch. "Our office is downtown, and our employees live all over Coweta County, from downtown Newnan to the surrounding area. No matter where we lay our heads at night, we believe in this community day after day. We are raising our families here, so we believe in making Newnan as wonderful as

it can be – as it deserves to be. We believe that passionate people must build a better Newnan for the next generation.” "Build Better" is more than just Headley Construction’s core value, more than just a company mission. It is a mindset. It’s not just about buildings – but about helping local neighbors and business owners thrive. “People from all over see the beauty of our community. I see it every day,” says local Realtor® Joy Brown Barnes. “We are growing tremendously, as much as people don’t always like to hear that. You don’t always think about Newnan being a destination city, but it’s becoming that. Our future depends on the right kind of growth, on doing the right kind of projects with the right people.” Mitch and Joy grew up together and are both graduates of Newnan High School. They share a deep and abiding love for the community they call home. “My daddy was a painter for Headley Construction when I was growing up,” Joy remembers. “He was meticulous, and I think Mr. Headley always put him with people in the community who might be a little more picky, a little more demanding. When my dad was in his last stages, Mr. Bill came over to visit and pray with him at Encompass Health Rehab. It was special. My mom still has my dad’s little plaque


Headley Construction President Mitch Headley and Realtor® Joy Brown Barnes discuss growth and development in Newnan and Coweta County.

from when Headley Construction nominated him to be Rotary’s Employee of the Year.” Both Joy's mom and dad came from local families, the Smiths and the Browns. "My uncle had a house near the new I-85 Interchange at Poplar Road; that was my family’s land. We grew up there. Every single weekend we were over there, and I have great memories of that property,” Joy recalled while talking about the impact of recent growth in the area, especially for her elder relatives. “There are some old families here that have a lot of sentiment, a lot of memories on these properties.” Joy is confident that some areas won’t get developed anytime soon. “There are some people who will never sell their property," she says. "You can bring them a million dollars in cash, and they just don’t want to deal with it. But the days of recreation land in Coweta County are pretty much over. It’s not going to be

a matter of not being able to sell your land or sell your house. It’s a matter of, ‘Do we have enough places for people to live?’ Because we’ve got all these people coming to town, and there’s no way to stop them.” Joy remains tongue-in-cheek as she weighs in on local development debates. “A lot of the people in opposition to growth aren’t really locals," she says. "They’re people who moved here from other places. Then they come to the meetings and they shout, ‘Well, shut the gates! I’m here now! Shut the gates!’” She agrees with Mitch Headley that more locals need to organize in a pro-growth way: “I want to plan a beautiful community where we can raise our kids and our grandkids. We have to educate people on what will happen if we aren’t growing and improving things – your home value declines, your school system is horrible, there’s nothing fun to do and nowhere to eat or shop." Joy and her husband Rick moved to Newnan Views when he retired. The luxury townhome was a big investment for the couple. Conceived and built by longtime Newnan resident Tommy Sweet, Newnan Views keeps paying off as housing values continue to rise.

“Our future depends on the right kind of growth, on doing the right kind of projects with the right people.” -Joy Brown Barnes, Realtor® “We just love downtown Newnan, and it was a good fit for us," says Joy. "I recently went out with some friends. We sat outside at The Cellar, listening to live music. Sometimes we walk down to The Alamo for open mic night or over to Mad Mexican just to people-watch.”


By embracing a live-work-play lifestyle, Joy is also within walking distance of several projects she’s developing with Dustin Shaw Homes. “We’ve found some hidden gems together," she says. "Our first project is behind the fire station on Perry Street, not far from Headley Construction and right by Moynahan & Stamps Family Dentistry. We’re building three-story residential homes

“We believe that passionate people must build a better Newnan for the next generation.” -Mitch Headley, President with neat porches off the back. We’re working with architects from Newnan; there are so many beautiful historic homes nearby, and we want it to feel right for the neighborhood.” Joy knows that having local people involved in local projects lifts the quality of things because local builders who live in the community take immense pride in what they do: “It’s having that personal connection with people, which really matters. It’s so funny what people truly care about. Mr. Warren Budd has his insurance office nearby, and when I walked over to talk with him about our project, he just wanted to chat about the three azalea bushes that had been there forever. Being a good neighbor is all about playing nice, isn’t it?” Gay Koran knows a thing or two about being a good neighbor. She lives in Spring Street Lofts, a cozy loft apartment complex managed by Luke Headley. As she describes the high ceilings and original heart pine floors in her home, Gay gushes about how much she enjoys her new neighbors and downtown lifestyle. “It’s 25 steps to my store, Blue Moon Boutique," she says. "I love not having to worry about driving my car everywhere. The parks are close, so I can

walk my dog. We eat at Garlic Thai and Eat Thai all the time. When you want to cook at home, you’ve got Cleaver & Cork. When I want something sweet, it’s fun to walk over to Cakes By Debbie. There’s just so much positive energy here.” Blue Moon has been operating from its Greenville Street location since 2008. The lifestyle boutique caters to all ages, offering unique clothing, accessories, decor and gifts to fit every budget. Gay says last year was the best she’s ever had: “There is a lot of good growth happening. The merchants all support each other. We get lots of people coming from Atlanta and when they come, they come to shop. If downtown Newnan could just figure out what to do with its parking.” Gay isn’t the only one thinking about what a continued influx of people means for the existing infrastructure in town. City of Newnan and Coweta County leaders are exploring smart solutions that extend existing roadways to complete the downtown grid along Andrew and Spring streets. A new shared parking deck to the north of East Broad Street serving both the downtown area and the Caldwell Tanks redevelopment has been proposed, along with a central open plaza space for more community-focused events. Greenspaces extending south toward Salbide Avenue will help transition higher-density spots downtown into existing residential neighborhoods. And across the street from Headley Construction offices, a park space is envisioned as a gateway for the LINC Trail as it enters the downtown core. Mitch Headley looks forward to taking another walk around the neighborhood five, 10 or even 20 years from now. “The old cotton mill next door was riddled with bullet holes, and just wasn’t safe or attractive anymore before we converted it into homes for hundreds of families who enjoy Newnan Lofts today,” he says. “Now, we’ve got hair salons, a pilates studio, and we even had a Progressive Insurance office next door to stylish living spaces. These mixed-use sites offer residents, visitors and business owners the best of both worlds. We want Newnan to remain a beacon for true Southern hospitality, a safe, family-friendly place where everyone is welcome and there is always something fun to do.”


University of West Georgia

Headley Construction Projects in Downtown Newnan

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McRitchie-Hollis Museum

Newnan Public Safety Complex

Clark Street

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Brown S


Wesley Street

Madison Street

Carnegie Library S. Court Square

Karvelas Pizza Co.

Blue Moon Boutique

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Spring Street

Newnan Fire Station #1

Historic Coweta County Courthouse

W. Washing ton Street

W. Broad Street

Augusta Drive



Temple Avenue

First Bapti st Church of Newnan


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Headley Constru ction Headquarters

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John Tyson rides Oubre Rodeo Company's horse No. 334 in the saddle bronc riding competition at the 2019 rodeo.


Bucking Broncs and Family Fun THE COWETA CATTLEMEN’S RODEO RETURNS Written by JACKIE KENNEDY | Photographed by BETH NEELY


ust and cowboy hats will fly on the second weekend in May when the Coweta County Cattlemen’s Association brings its international award-winning rodeo to Newnan.

The two-night event is set for May 13 and 14 at Coweta County Fairgrounds; gates open at 6 p.m. and rodeo action begins at 8 p.m. The rodeo celebrates its 30th edition this year after being on hiatus in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. “We’re excited to be doing the rodeo this year, and we’ve had lots of people telling us, hey, I’m so glad y’all are back,” says Ron Chamberlain, president of the local Cattlemen’s Association. “We’ve had tremendous support from the community.” Support over the past three decades has been strong, he adds. In fact, in 2019, the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA) named Coweta’s rodeo one of the Top 5 Outdoor Rodeos in the United States and Canada. “It was a privilege and an honor to receive that award,” says Chamberlain. “It takes a combined effort from a lot of people working together throughout the year. Is there room for improvement? Always. But we must be doing something right to be voted Top 5. It’s a proud distinction to have.”

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Mark Lahmann of the Rawhide and Dusty Show, based in Missouri, entertains the crowd.

With 544 American and Canadian IPRA-sanctioned rodeos in the running, making Top 5 is an honor indeed. Chamberlain attributes the win to “the little things” that add up to make the event a big success. “It’s the little things we do, like award nice belt buckles to the winners and provide a barbecue meal to the cowboys and their families when they get here,” he says. “We have a great facility to host the event at Coweta County Fairgrounds, and the cowboys like the way everything’s set up with Oubre Rodeo Company. Bubba (Oubre) puts on a good rodeo, and he’s got us set up to have another good one this year.” The Coweta rodeo is a special one, according to Oubre, whose Oubre Rodeo Company serves as the stock contractor responsible for the local event almost all of its 30 years. “The Coweta Cattlemen go above and beyond to make everything right,” he says. “That group makes it happen. They’re cattlemen, true farmers, just great people, and they go all out.” In both 2018 and 2019, the rodeo attracted a standing-room-only crowd of approximately 3,500 people each night, according to Chamberlain, who says the event is the second best-attended local event in Coweta County, second only to the Coweta County Fair. The annual rodeo features a grand entrance parade each night with 4-H members on horseback carrying the American flag and the National Anthem performed before the action begins. That action includes eight IPRA-sanctioned

In this series of photos, Hogansville resident Cody Pringle competes in saddle bronc riding at the 2019 rodeo in Coweta. Pringle is a three-time champion saddle bronc rider with the Southeastern Professional Rodeo Association.


events: bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, tie-down calf roping, team roping, steer wrestling, cowgirl breakaway roping and cowgirl barrel racing. This year’s major sponsor for the rodeo is Newnan Peachtree Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram. The late Bill Cline and Lyle Bowers, longtime Coweta County Cattlemen’s Association members, will be remembered in special tributes at the rodeo. Along with the hospitality it extends to contestants, the reason the Coweta event attracts quality cowboys is because it awards more prize money than most similar-sized rodeos, according to Oubre. “Most of the rodeos I do have $500 in prize money in each event, but the Coweta rodeo does more than that,” he says. “Plus, the winners get buckles in each event. That’s a real big prize that’s not done at all rodeos. You’ll see a lot of guys and girls come to Newnan just for the chance to win a buckle.” Along with action inside the rodeo arena, there’s plenty going on outside, too. Vendors offer cowboy attire, belt buckles and T-shirts along with boiled peanuts and other food and drinks. Recruiters for various armed forces are set up to visit with guests, and a kids zone offers pony rides and inflatables. Miss Rodeo USA makes an appearance each year after visiting local elementary schools leading up to rodeo weekend; she will be at Bar W Feed Store in Grantville on Saturday afternoon, May 14, visiting guests. This year, the rodeo is offering online ticket sales and backstage passes at

Cowboy Jesse Cook, a professional steer wrestler, talks rodeo with a young cowpoke.

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Professional steer wrestlers put on a show for the crowd at the 2019 Coweta County Cattlemen's Association Rodeo, the last held due to pandemic concerns in 2020 and 2021.

Oubre Rodeo Company pickup man Patrick Green watches from the saddle as Miss Rodeo USA dances with the rodeo clown. 58 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAGAZINE.COM The special passes offer seating by the arena and a chance to go behind the scenes to meet contestants, see the livestock and visit with the handlers, according to Chamberlain. The biggest portion of funds generated from the rodeo go to scholarships for local high school and college students. On average, about 10 scholarships, ranging from $500 to $1,000 each, are presented each year. Scholarship criteria and applications are on the Cattlemen’s website at Funds also support local 4-H activities, the Coweta County Sheriff ’s Office drug awareness program, and the Coweta County Fire Department’s fire safety program for kids. “The rodeo is an awesome thing to be a part of and it’s great to know that all we do goes back to the community, especially to give young people a chance to further their education,” Chamberlain concludes.

Bubba Oubre: A lifetime in rodeo


Award-winning rodeo contractor Bubba Oubre says rodeo remains a family-friendly form of entertainment.

of and love for rodeo to his two sons and countless neighborhood kids. What does it take to be a rodeo cowboy? “Heart,” says Oubre, tapping his chest. “It’s just there. That’s where you get it.” With his wife Becky and sons Matt and Charlie, Oubre averaged putting on about 20 rodeos annually for most of his career. Nowadays, his company handles about a dozen each year, with the event in Newnan one of his favorites. At 70, Oubre says his friends routinely ask him, “When are you going to quit rodeoing?” His answer is the same every time: “When they throw dirt on my face.” NCM

Photo courtesy of IPRA

n the same day in 2019 that Coweta County Cattlemen brought home their Top 5 award for best outdoor rodeo in the U.S. and Canada, their longtime partner, Oubre Rodeo Company, was named one of the International Professional Rodeo Association’s Top 5 stock contractors. It’s high praise for the LaGrange-based company that provides livestock and equipment each year for the Coweta and other rodeos. Bubba Oubre started Oubre Rodeo Company in 1990, the same year Coweta Cattlemen held their first event. Oubre has handled the event almost the entire time, bringing in everything from bucking broncs and bulls to chutes and contract workers to put on a top-notch show. Typically, says Oubre, he’ll haul to Coweta 15 wrestling steers, 20 team roping steers, 10 tiedown calves, 10 breakaway calves, 10 bucking horses and 10 to 12 bucking bulls. “We’ll furnish the livestock, the announcers, the bullfighters, everybody involved in the rodeo,” he says. “We’ll have acts there that are world-class rodeo performers, the same people you see at the national finals in Las Vegas.” While some forms of entertainment grow increasingly raunchy, rodeo remains a good option for families, according to Oubre: “You can still take your family to a rodeo and it’s good wholesome entertainment. You can go there with your grandparents, your mom and dad, and not be embarrassed. You might get a little bit dirty, muddy or whatever, but it’s just good family entertainment.” The son of a cattleman, Oubre grew up on a farm with a fascination for rodeo. In his younger years, he rode bulls and bucking horses and steer wrestled. In 1976, he was named champion bull rider of the American Cowboy Association. In the years since, he has passed on his knowledge

Representatives from the Coweta County Cattlemen’s Association receive the IPRA award for 2019 Top 5 Outdoor Rodeos in the USA and Canada at IPRA National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. From left are Bubba Oubre, stock contractor; Cattlemen Association members Fred and Connie Hall, the late Bill Cline, Ron Chamberlain, Elise Farnham, and Dale Yerigan, general manager of IPRA.



Celebrating a Half Century of Keeping History Written by EMILY KIMBELL, director of Newnan-Coweta Historical Society Photos COURTESY OF NEWNAN-COWETA HISTORICAL SOCIETY


his year marks 50 years since the official incorporation of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society (NCHS) on June 29, 1972.

Merely existing this long as an organization is an achievement as data suggests that approximately 30% of nonprofits ceased to exist after 10 years of operation. Our anniversary is particularly significant in that NCHS has reached the official “historic” marker

since, in historic preservation thinking, 50 years old is generally the rule of thumb to be considered historic. Though NCHS has had its fair share of obstacles and challenges throughout its existence, the nonprofit has led the way in terms of preservation and historical education in Coweta County. Newnan-Coweta Historical Society began in 1971 when a group of citizens met about growing concerns involving development encroaching on historic properties.

1978 – The Male Academy Museum opens. Here, NCHS members Miriam Muller and Joyce Scheer stand outside the new museum. 60 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAGAZINE.COM


1982 – Then-NCHS Board President Donna Slatten presents a picture of the Coweta County Courthouse from NCHS to Congressman Newt Gingrich.

1983 – Leigh and Don Walls view a basket exhibit at the Male Academy Museum.

The impetus for that first meeting began when the former owners of the Newnan Shopping Center on Greenville Street purchased an old colonial home next to the property and requested rezoning from residential to commercial. Virginia St. John called Jim Hardin on behalf of the Greenville Street Residential Property Owners to request assistance in protesting the development. The concerns of the property owners translated into the development of the NewnanCoweta Historical Society, which would work to preserve historical landmarks of all types, including homes that were and are architectural masterpieces. The first meeting occurred at the home of Dr. and Mrs. John Wells at 98 Greenville Street. After meeting several times throughout the year in different historic homes, the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society was incorporated on June 29, 1972 with Virginia B. Arnold, Rufus B. Askew, June M. Brewer, Herb Bridges, James

MAY/JUNE 2022 | 61


1984 – Volunteer Glenda Davis takes members of the Baptist Association on a tour of the Male Academy Museum.

O. Hardin Jr., Betty K. Lillie, Bryon H. Mathews Jr., Virginia B. St. John and Patrick H. Yancey Jr. listed as founding members. Herb Bridges was elected to serve as the group's first president. The Society started operations with high energy. In its first five years of operation, NCHS reprinted Coweta Chronicles, a history of the county originally published in 1927; sponsored and held annual tours of homes; and submitted nominations for the National Register of Historic Places. In 1977, through the efforts of Georgia Shapiro and other NCHS members, the deteriorating Male Academy, or Male Seminary building, on College Street was identified as being in need of preservation. Through joint efforts of the Historical Society and the City of Newnan, the building was moved back to its original location and restored. It opened in October 1978 as the Male Academy Museum, Newnan’s first museum. Mid-1980s – Florence Grogan and Miriam Muller, NCHS 1984 board president, digitize newspaper records. 62 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAGAZINE.COM


A Visit to the

McRitchie-Hollis Museum Written by EMILY KIMBELL, director of Newnan-Coweta Historical Society

Early 2000s – An NCHS affiliate works on restoring the Historic Train Depot.

Known as the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, this 1937 home was designed and built by popular architect Kennon Perry for prominent Newnan family Ellis and Mildred Peniston. The house has four bedrooms and five bathrooms; the staff's personal favorite is the all-purple bathroom in Mrs. Mildred’s old room. On a visit to the museum, be sure you look through the exhibits and read all about R.D. Cole Manufacturing Company, one of the most impactful and longest running businesses in our county. Learn about citizens who collect all sorts of fun items, like Lynn Smith, whose collection includes more than 400 hats. And listen to the voice of Newnan, country music superstar Alan Jackson himself. Peek through Edgar Hollis’ desk, open the old kitchen fridge, and dial a friend up on the rotary phone. Take special note of our women’s history section where you’ll learn about College Temple, the Driftwood Garden Club and Civil War nurse Fannie Beers. Enjoy the beautiful architecture in the study and living room, and take some history with you in the form of our tour brochures and information on our Passport to Coweta County program.

2015 – Local historian Elizabeth Beers leads a tour of students from The Heritage School at the Historic Train Depot. (Beers died in late 2021.)

The Historical Society expanded again in the mid1990s when Robert Hancock and his wife Candy gifted the Historic Train Depot to NCHS. Originally constructed as a freight and passenger depot for the Atlanta & West Point Railroad in the 1850s, the Depot had served as a main hub of transportation for the county for decades. Train service eventually was discontinued, and the building was subsequently used as a seed store and for other businesses. Eventually the building fell into disrepair and the passenger section and freight platform were torn down. 2019 – Bette Hickman, left, brings art students to tour the McRitchieHollis Museum with Mary Mills, center.


2021 – With Director Emily Kimbell cutting the ribbon, members of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society's board and staff host an official opening for new permanent exhibits at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

In 2000, NCHS, with support from Representative Lynn Smith, received a grant from the Governor’s Office to restore the building and prepare exhibits to interpret Brown’s Mill Battlefield, site of the only Civil War battle that occurred in Coweta County. The Depot is now utilized as one of the premiere event venue spaces in town. In 2010, NCHS became the main recipient of funds from Edgar Hollis’ trust in order to create and operate a museum in the benefactor’s name. In May 2013, the McRitchie-Hollis Museum opened on 74 Jackson Street in the Peniston-Arnall-Thomasson home with antiques, Hollis’ book collection, and other 1920s-era decor on display. Today, NCHS continues to reevaluate its position in the community and strives to keep the history of Newnan and Coweta County at the forefront. The staff is currently undertaking two major projects: transitioning the McRitchie-Hollis Museum from


a furniture museum to a local history museum and partnering with the City of Newnan and Explore Newnan-Coweta to rebuild the passenger section of the Historic Train Depot for use as the city’s new welcome center. Throughout its 50-year history, NCHS has continued to be a leader in the community and a preserver of the county’s local history through exhibits, events and lectures completed through the efforts of countless individuals. As the Society embarks on both making and preserving history during its next 50 years, the same mission presented to then-Mayor Howard Royal and Newnan City Council on December 7, 1971 still rings true: “We realize that the present time is the correct time to preserve the best of our past looking toward a bright future for Newnan economically, socially and culturally.” NCM

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“It’s easy to learn but hard to master, and it’s fun to pick up and learn to play with your family.” – Billy Perkins

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ABOVE The House of Pickleball invites exercise and competition for all ages at 4 Joseph-Hannah Boulevard in Newnan. 66 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAGAZINE.COM


o you like tennis? Ping-pong? Badminton? The fastest growing recreational sport today has a funny name and combines elements of all three of these games. It’s called pickleball, and for several years has been played by senior citizens in retirement communities. In recent years, the relatively new sport has been commandeered by enthusiasts of all ages and is growing in popularity at a dizzying pace. Locally, a place to play has been added as the newest jewel in Coweta County’s array of recreational facilities. The House of Pickleball, affectionately known as “The HOP,” is a world-class facility directly across the street from Newnan’s public safety center. Headley Construction, the local firm which built the public safety facility on Joseph-Hannah Boulevard, also developed the pickleball venue, which opened in September 2021. The original vision and dream for such a venue can be placed at the feet of two fanatic pickleball enthusiasts and friends, Billy Perkins and Tom Murty. Buoyed by their success in converting local tennis courts into pickleball

to your

Courtesy of Newnan Pickleball Association



courts, the pair approached Newnan City Manager Cleatus Phillips and Assistant City Manager Hasco Craver IV with requests for a full scale facility. After carefully managed city funds were procured for the venue, the project began in earnest. Owned by the City of Newnan, The HOP is carefully maintained by city employees. How to manage the various activities at the site fell to Perkins and Murty, who serve as president and vice president, respectively, of the Newnan Pickleball Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit they created. The tax-exempt status allows the association to purchase pickleball equipment such as paddles, balls and concessions for special events, and the association is responsible for directing, managing and promoting all events at the venue.

Origins of pickleball Where and when did the game with the strange name originate?

Pickleball was invented in 1965 by three friends: Oregon Congressman Joel Pritchard, neighbor Barney McCallum, and businessman Bill Bell. The first venue was a seldom-used badminton court on Pritchard’s property on Bainbridge Island just west of Seattle. The trio’s original intent was to have a recreational activity that the whole family could participate in. Original court dimensions were exactly the same as a badminton court. A short 33” net and primitive wooden paddles were developed. From there, the sport evolved rapidly into the game as it is played today. The origin of the name “pickleball” seems to have been lost in lore, legend and speculation.

An equalizer Pickleball is the great equalizer. It requires no strength, size, speed or athleticism to enjoy playing at a recreational level. Skill level is the only advantage one player may have over another. Murty expresses it this way: “Pickleball is very unique in that it is a competitive sport with a very MAY/JUNE 2022 | 67


“Whether a novice or experienced player, one need only to show up at the HOP with a paddle to be invited into a friendly game.”

Photo by Jeffrey Ward

– Billy Perkins



social culture. Open play is a common format that allows players to mix and match with players of all skill levels.” Some use the term “baby tennis” to describe pickleball since the court on which it’s played is smaller than a tennis court and its net is lower. After the ball is served, it only has to bounce once on either side of the court. From there, the ball can be volleyed in the air, much like badminton, or picked up on the bounce. The pickleball paddle looks like a larger ping-pong paddle and weighs a feathery six to nine ounces. The unique characteristics of the perforated plastic ball is where the fun begins. The ball can be manipulated to produce confounding spins, making it dip and curve, thus difficult to hit squarely. Another feature of the game is the sevenfoot no-volley zone, or “the kitchen,” which prevents players from simply standing next to the net and pounding shots down on their opponents. Perkins expresses his enthusiasm for the game and venue. “It is such a social game,” he says. “It’s easy to learn but hard to master, and it’s fun to pick up and learn to play with your family.” The House of Pickleball boasts 15 courts along with showers facilities, concession stands and bathrooms, all in a thoughtfully laid out park-like setting, according to Perkins.



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The HOP is free to all. “Whether a novice or experienced player, one need only to show up at the HOP with a paddle to be invited into a friendly game,” says Perkins. The Newnan Pickleball Association has a load of exciting events and activities lined up for 2022. For details, visit Game on! NCM

OPPOSITE PAGE Tom Murty, left, and Billy Perkins serve as vice president and president of the Newnan Pickleball Association, which manages and promotes activities at The House of Pickleball.

The Coweta Cities & County EFCU would like to thank our City of Newnan Public Works Departments for the work they do every day keeping Newnan Streets clear and clean. We can enjoy our neighborhood walks and runs because of their dedication to keeping Newnan beautiful year-round.

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770.253.2273 WWW.CCCEFCUORG MAY/JUNE 2022 | 69


LEFT April Eller-McGlothin and her son Julian chow down on homemade guacamole.

Cook or Go Hungry TEACHING THE KIDS HOW TO COOK Editor's Note: One of the great pleasures in life is sharing a home-cooked meal with your family, according to Newnan-based food writer Gail McGlothin. She and her daughter April Eller-McGlothin, a food photographer, share memories of how Mother taught Daughter and her siblings how to cook.




ail: Years ago, our family moved from southeast Georgia to a suburb of New Orleans in June and by July, I was working fulltime downtown. My husband was on the Navy base and I commuted to work at least 45 minutes each way, five days a week. Fortunately, our neighborhood was full of children the same age as mine. Mika had friends who would be high school freshmen; April had tweens down the street; and Jake had a posse of young boys his age. The first time I came home with a van load of groceries, those 8-year-old boys came thundering down the street to help me unload. Little did I know that they were really a swarm of


to your

Photo by Glenda Harris

Habitat Garden

Creole Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, see recipe on page 72.

MAY/JUNE 2022 | 71


locusts who ate all the fruit, cookies and snacks I had bought for the upcoming week. Lesson learned. The next week and each week after, I bought a giant bag of store brand cookies and an extra sack of apples for the helpers. Everyone in our family wanted dinner on the table at 6 p.m. as they were used to having. This became a bone of contention because I didn't get home until that time. But it also led to raising three excellent cooks. Each of my three children became responsible for getting one dinner on the table – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – with my husband cooking on Thursday and take-out on Friday. The weekends were mine. The deal was that the meal could be bologna sandwiches as long as it was well-rounded with salad and a vegetable. What was supposed to be hot had to be hot and what was supposed to be cold had to be cold. The table was set and iced tea came with every plate. April: While most of my friends played outside until the streetlights came on – this was the '80s after all – I had to come inside and prepare a full meal for our family of five. Yes, I got to choose what I was cooking, but my 10-yearold self would have much preferred another round or two of kickball. Mom’s step-by-step instructions gave me direction from start to finish. Of course, I was probably the only 10-year-old making fried chicken without adult supervision. Gail: With trial and error, patience and tolerance of repeat menus (Jake served taco salad once a week for about a year), eventually the skills of our young cooks grew. Their interest in cooking more complicated dishes grew as well. None were picky eaters. And a well-rounded, nutritious dinner was on the table at 6 p.m. every night. April: Reflecting on this now as a grown-up, I’m grateful for the lessons I learned. I prepare meals with the entrée, sides and bread timed to perfection. I enjoy the process of weekly menu planning and developing the accompanying grocery list. Now, with Mom and me living in the same household, we are teaching my kids the same lessons. Gail: My kids learned how to make jambalaya and all sorts of Louisiana dishes. We would all gather around the kitchen table to chop fruit for ambrosia or make egg rolls and lumpia. Creole Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches were a favorite. These days someone is in the kitchen supervising Zemery flipping pancakes, but Julian has the guacamole down pat and is the scrambled egg king in our family. Learning to cook is a skill for life, and it's never too early to begin. To help you get started teaching your children – or grandchildren – how to cook, here are a few of our family's favorite recipes with kid-friendly directions. 72 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAGAZINE.COM

Creole Tomato Soup 1 1 ¼ ½ ½ ½ 1

(32 ounce) V-8 juice cup water cup uncooked rice teaspoon sugar teaspoon salt teaspoon garlic powder small can shrimp

Pour V-8 into a medium saucepan. Add water and bring to a boil. Add rice, sugar, salt and garlic powder. Set the timer for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, stirring often. When the timer goes off, open the can of shrimp and drain off the liquid. Add the shrimp to the soup and simmer for five minutes.


LEFT Zemery Eller-McGlothin, 9, requires little supervision flipping grilled cheese sandwiches for a family supper.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

While the soup is cooking, start making the grilled cheese sandwiches. Per person: 2 1-2

slices bread slices cheese of choice soft butter

Set up the griddle and turn to 350 degrees. If using a frying pan, place on a burner and turn the heat to medium. Spread the butter on one side of each slice of bread. Place one slice bread butter side down. Top with 1 or 2 slices of cheese. Place last slice of bread on top of sandwich, butter side out. Slide the spatula under the edge of the sandwich to see when it is ready to flip over. When brown and toasty on side one, turn the sandwich over and watch closely to prevent burning. Remove to a plate and cut diagonally in half.

Marinara 1 ½

pound ground meat of your choice pound Italian sausage, ground and removed from casings 1 cup chopped onions 1 clove garlic, minced 2 (14-ounce) cans tomatoes 2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste 2 cups water 2½ teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon oregano

In large skillet, brown ground meat and sausage, onions and garlic. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes.

MAY/JUNE 2022 | 73


Taco Salad 1 ¼ 1 2 1 2 2 1 1 1

pound of ground meat or 2 cups cooked chicken cup Salt-free Taco Seasoning Mix (recipe follows) head of iceberg lettuce ripe tomatoes (15-ounce) can pinto beans stalks green onions cups shredded Mexican cheese small (about 18-ounce) bag of tortilla chips (16-ounce) bottle ranch salad dressing (16-ounce) jar salsa

Bang the lettuce head on the counter on the core; twist and pull out the core. Hold lettuce under the running faucet. Turn off the water and turn the lettuce upside down. Place on a dish towel to drain. In a medium sized frying pan, brown ground meat. Stir in taco seasoning mix. Set a colander in a pie plate. When the meat is done, pour the meat into the colander and let the fat drain out. With your hands, tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces. Chop the tomatoes into bite-size pieces. Open the pinto 74 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAGAZINE.COM

bean cans, drain and rinse. Cut the onions up. Lightly crush the bag of tortilla chips. In a large bowl, layer ½ each of lettuce, tomato, cooked meat, pinto beans, onions, 1 cup cheese, and ½ tortilla chips. Top with ½ of the ranch salad dressing. Add remaining lettuce, tomato, cooked meat, pinto beans, onions, cheese and tortilla chips. Pass additional chips, cheese and salsa. Serve with guacamole on the side.

Salt-free Taco Seasoning Mix 3 2 1 1 1 ½ ½

tablespoons chili powder tablespoons cumin tablespoon smoked paprika tablespoon onion powder tablespoon granulated garlic powder tablespoon oregano tablespoon cayenne

Mix together well. Use ¼ cup seasoning mix per pound of meat, beans, tofu, etc.

Guacamole 3 1 1


ripe avocados lime, cut in half tablespoon salsa Salt and pepper to taste Tortilla chips

Cut each avocado in half, vertically. Remove the seed and scoop out the insides. Mash well with a fork. Squeeze ½ lime over the mashed avocados. Stir in salsa. Add salt and pepper to taste. Slice remaining lime in wedges for garnish. Serve with tortilla chips.

Making Supper When Gail McGlothin was raising her three children, she taught them how to cook – and how to handle responsibility – by having them take turns being in charge of preparing the evening meal. Each day, she printed out detailed directions for the kids. Here are instructions her daughter April Eller-McGlothin followed to prepare a meal when she was young.

April’s Supper At 5 pm, start supper. 1. Turn the bottom oven on to 325 degrees. 2. Wash 5 regular sized potatoes and wrap them in foil with the shiny side of the foil on the inside. 3. Put them in the oven. 4. Mix the meatloaf up and put it in the same oven.

Meatloaf 1 ¾ 1 ¼ ¼ 1 1

cup tomato juice cup oatmeal egg, beaten teaspoon onion powder teaspoon garlic powder teaspoon salt some pepper package ground beef

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Spray the glass loaf pan with cooking spray. Press meat into the pan. Bake for 1 hour. Set the timer on the microwave. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. 5. Set the table. 6. Make a salad. 7. Open a can of green beans. 8. Cover cauliflower with plastic wrap and put in microwave.

Ten minutes before the meatloaf is done, start heating the green beans and the cauliflower. Put on the table: Salad dressings, butter, salt and pepper. NCM MAY/JUNE 2022 | 75


Creating a backyard habitat garden Written by GLENDA HARRIS

Photo by Florence Jowers

ABOVE The landscaped tree island, at left, and perennial bushes under the lamppost make perfect burrowing areas for small mammals.

ABOVE The colorful flowers on a butterfly bush will attract several species of butterflies.



steps to your

Habitat Garden


pring in Georgia is beautiful and draws us outdoors to take in the fragrant blossoms and fresh signs of new life. Nature provides the perfect backdrop for the many activities we enjoy, whether gardening, birdwatching, grilling out or front porchin’.

With the advent of spring comes regular lawn maintenance. There is much to clean up and do in preparation for the growing season. What if, in the process of doing this, you could customize some of your outdoor spaces and create a backyard habitat garden? All you have to do is make small additions or changes to attract the pollinators of the natural world: birds, butterflies, bees and bats. Also, small mammals and nesting wildlife need areas to burrow for protection from predators and bad weather.

2. WATER. Make a small water feature, place a bird bath in a shaded area or create a pond on your property. Did you know butterflies need mud puddles, which provide crucial minerals and nutrients? It’s as simple as a small pit or depression in your yard that will hold water, or you can make or buy a puddling stone. That's a great project to do with the kids. 3. PROTECTIVE COVER. Deciduous trees offer summer shelter and shade. Evergreen bushes and hedges give year-round protection to small animals. Bat houses are easy to make and can help control mosquitoes and other insect populations. Place birdhouses at least six feet high to give Eastern Bluebirds and other native backyard birds a safe haven. 4. NESTING. Animals need safe places to nurture and raise their young. Create natural areas around groups of trees with perennial shrubs like Juniper, Jasmine or Creeping Phlox and tall grassy plants. These in-between areas of mulch and soft ground are perfect for burrowing rabbits or chipmunks. 5. SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES. Use locally grown plants or seeds and avoid using pesticides or herbicides. Choose instead non-chemical, organic products which are widely available. Inspect trees and plants regularly for disease and insect infestation. Prune, water and fertilize as recommended. 6. GET CERTIFIED. This is a fun way to document your efforts and certify your habitat garden. Visit the National Wildlife Federation at www.nwf/ and follow the instructions. They offer signs and plaques to share your pride and help motivate others to grow habitat gardens.

Courtesy of NWF

Photo by Glenda Harris

1. FOOD. To supplement nature’s bounty, hang bird feeders from a shepherd’s hook. Avoid tree limbs or fence posts, which provide easy access for squirrels. Use a blend to attract a greater variety of birds. Research plants native to your region to learn which trees or shrubs bear fruit, berries, cones and nuts and include those in your landscape plan. Cardinals love holly berries and sunflower seeds. Hummingbirds are attracted to bright colors like red, fuchsia and orange. Native bees love Mexican Heather, Jasmine and most fragrant flowers and shrubs.

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) offers signs like this to applaud efforts of members and attract new members.


Consider planting milkweed so you can be part of the nationwide effort to prevent the extinction of Monarch butterflies.

Photo by Glenda Harris

Creating your backyard – or front yard, or side yard – habitat garden is easy and rewarding. It can be large or small. Make it a family project! The teachable opportunities are cleverly disguised as fun, and when kids participate, they become invested in the natural world by learning how they can make a difference. Plus, they'll get a kick out of seeing bunny rabbits visit nesting areas they help make by bunching mulch or straw in between plants in flower beds. Consider planting milkweed so you can be part of the nationwide effort to prevent the extinction of Monarch butterflies due to their natural habitat disappearing. Not only is milkweed the primary food for Monarchs; it's essential for the life cycle of the butterfly. Their caterpillars can eat milkweed only. Four types of milkweed grow well in all planting zones of Georgia, and your efforts will be rewarded in the spring when these fragile creatures visit your yard. More than beautiful and fun to watch, wild animals and pollinators play an important role in the human food chain. Bees alone are essential or important to about 35% of America’s crops, according to, which deems all species of

TOP Many people grow milkweed for pollinators and other beneficial insects that feed on the plant’s nectar.



ABOVE For small spaces, colorful potted plants on a deck or patio attract butterflies.


pollinators in trouble today with large drops in their populations over the past two decades due to disease, invasive plantings, pesticides and diminishing habitat. The good news is homeowners and landowners can play a key role in building back that habitat. Even if you live in an apartment or urban setting, you can contribute by placing a small container garden on a balcony, a puddling stone in an open space for butterflies, and bird feeders near bushes. These simple steps can provide food, shelter and protection for nature's wild creatures. This planet is our home. If we don’t care for it, who will? Nature teaches, inspires and humbles. We need only step outside and pay attention. By creating your backyard habitat garden, you are collaborating with Mother Nature as a citizen scientist and wildlife conservationist, making you part of the solution going forward. NCM ➤ Writer’s endnote: As I was completing this article in my backyard (yes, a Certified Wildlife Habitat), black-capped chickadees, nuthatches, wrens and sparrows took turns at the feeders as a magnificent red-tailed hawk screeched and soared above. A male cardinal, apparently energized by the holly berries he’d been munching on, serenaded me with his song – for a full 10 minutes. Mother Nature teaches, surprises and entertains. We are wise to pay attention.

Benefits of a Habitat Garden • Replenishment of food supply in your area for migratory birds as they pass through • Shelter for small animals and birds and safety from their predators • Nesting space to raise young • Assuring sources of pollen and nectar, critical for sustaining our food supply • Contribute to the preservation of healthy wildlife • Increased awareness and knowledge of nature and its benefits • Teachable moments with countless opportunities to share your love of the natural world with the next generation






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The Charm of Charleston Written by CHUCK CLEVELAND | Photography by BARBARA CLEVELAND


n 2021, Travel and Leisure Magazine named Charleston the top city in the United States. A few years earlier, the same publication proclaimed it first among all cities in the world.

My wife Barbara and I have visited Charleston, South Carolina’s largest city, three times and can vouch for our favorite aspects of the historic town, including a world-class hotel, an excellent restaurant and a tour worth taking. Only six hours away by car, Charleston is a superb destination.

Wentworth Mansion Wentworth Mansion, in 2019, was named the world’s No. 2 small luxury hotel by US News & World Report. The same year, Trip Advisor recognized the Wentworth as among the top 25 most romantic hotels in the United States. 80 | WWW.NEWNANCOWETAMAGAZINE.COM

ABOVE, LEFT Laura Wichman Hipp, left, welcomes guests on the Charleston Tea Party Private Tour, which concludes at her own home where she serves lunch and tea.

ABOVE, RIGHT Wentworth Mansion, a small luxury hotel in Charleston, was ranked that category’s second best in the nation by US News & World Report in 2019.

Completed in 1886 as the private residence of wealthy cotton merchant Francis Silas Rodgers, the 24,000-square-foot abode served as the gracious home of Mr. and Mrs. Rodgers and their 13 children. Now 136 years old, Wentworth Mansion is located at 149 Wentworth Street in Charleston’s famed historic district. Offering 21 guest rooms, the mansion operates as a boutique hotel boasting Italian crystal chandeliers, Tiffany stained glass and hand-carved marble fireplaces. Glamor and grandeur permeate throughout the mansion, but it seems more like a home than a hotel. Charleston’s historic district and its famous harbor can be viewed from the hotel’s cupola. While the accommodations are certainly not inexpensive, it’s worth noting that the Garden Rooms

are among the less expensive ones. Both of these rooms are large and come with a sunporch. If comfort, elegance and location were not enough, Wentworth Mansion also offers a delicious 5 p.m. serving of hors d’oeuvres provided by the Circa 86 restaurant, a popular establishment next door. The food is so plentiful that the evening meal can be postponed until 7 p.m. or later. A full breakfast at Circa 86 is included in the lodging cost.

Halls Chophouse

Charleston has many excellent restaurants from which to choose, but the highest-rated is Halls Chophouse. Located at 434 King Street, it’s probably too far to walk from Wentworth Mansion, but the short drive is well worth it. Reservations are encouraged. MAY/JUNE 2022 | 81



• Coffee roasted in-house • Full breakfast and lunch menu • SCAN CODE FOR MORE! Tues.-Thurs. 7-3 • Fri.-Sat. 7-8:30 • Sun. 9-3

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We enthusiastically endorse the Charleston Tea Party Private Tour. The tour is billed to be “for the discerning visitor” who hopes to experience Old Charleston as a #Newnan guest, not a tourist. Strong: s: Plu Laura Wichman Hipp and June Charleston natives One Year After ta ❙ Cowe The Tornado ists Women Art McNight offer guided explorations that take guests ia ❙ Seno n E Businesswome EN’S ISSU to their friends’ private homes and gardens, providing THE WOM what we consider the ultimate insider experience. There’s a walking tour available as well, but Barbara and I took the tour in which Laura picked us up at our hotel and drove us around, with numerous stops, for approximately four hours. In addition to enjoying her company, we examined lovely gardens and learned about Charlestonian architecture. The conclusion of the tour is particularly enjoyable as guests end up at Hipp’s home where they’re treated to a full luncheon and tea service. Reservations are essential, and the time you spend on this tour will make memories to last a lifetime. From what we’ve experienced of Charleston, we consider it the South at its best. NCM Magazine. ofDeep Newnan-Coweta



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Historic Downtown Newnan 14 N. COURT SQUARE NEWNAN, GA 30263 770-253-2720

making life SWEETER! 18 N. Court Square • Newnan

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

770.253.1576 or email

15 Jackson St.

Historic Downtown Newnan

770.683-1414 JULY/AUGUST ISSUE Advertising Deadline - May 27, 2022 Publication Date - July 2, 2022


Gallery & Studio

Open First Fridays every month 5-8 First Saturdays 10-2 To see our event schedule, please visit: 14 East Washington Street • 678.361.8909



Events May 14

Paper Shredding


September 10

Paper Shredding

August 21

October 22

Stream Cleanup

Paint Recycling

December 3

Paper Shredding For more information, visit our website



Tues.-Wed.-Thurs.: 10AM-6PM Fri.: 12 Noon-4PM • Sat.: 10 AM-2PM Closed Sun. & Mon.

Come get your next haircut at

The Haircut Specialist Book VIP Appointments at




Shop with us at 13 W. Washington St & Brown St. in Historic Downtown Newnan For more info visit: |




Newspaper butterflies


FOR SUMMER FUN! Help your small kids craft a colorful butterfly out of pages from The Newnan Times-Herald. It's an inexpensive way to get creative with your family.

SUPPLIES • Newspaper • Scissors • Paint and paint brush • Pipe cleaners


Payton’s Place Instructions and Photography by PAYTON THOMPSON


To make one butterfly, cut an 8-inch square and an 11-inch square from a newspaper page.


Decorate squares by painting them as desired. Young children, like Kye Thompson, will have fun painting multiple colors, which is perfect for paper butterflies!


After the paint has dried, fold each square accordion-style, beginning at one corner and finishing at the opposite corner. The 8-inch paper will serve as the butterfly's top set of wings, while the larger piece will be its bottom wings.


Place the smaller folded paper on top of the larger piece, pinch the middle of the folded squares together, and twist a pipe cleaner around them to create the body of your butterfly.Shape pipe cleaner to form antennae, and you're all done! NCM


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

Newnan gymnastics

March 26, 2022

Cadaver dogs

Newnan repeats as county champs

Cadaver dogs search for 160-yearold graves at Brown’s Mill COMMUNITY • 12A


Saturday & Sunday

| $2.00 ISSUE 25 | NEWNA N, GA | SINCE 1865


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

One year later:

Remembering the tornado BY JOE ADGIE

Newnan receives over $3 million from FEMA ................... Page 7A

O ne yea r ago Fr iday n ig ht , the residen t s of the City of Homes were rudely woken by a gigantic tornado , possibly the toughest disa ster the city has ever faced. And in a matter of seconds and minutes , it had passed, dissipat ing as it made its way into Fayette County. But it had left its mark. When first light shone on the city of New na n the nex t mor n i n g , the impact that tornado had left on Newnan was more

than evident. Lives were turned upside down in a second. Homes that had been part of families for generations were demolis hed. A high school that parents, children and grandch i ld ren h ad at t ende d and graduat ed from was h e av i l y d a m a g e d a n d will be replaced . Only one person lost their life in the tornado . Barry Martin, 56, passed away from a heart attack as he r ushed to aid his daug hter, whose house had been leveled in the storm. His memory was hon-

o r e d du r i n g a n e ve nt o n F r i d a y, a s s p e a kers remembered the storm and its immedia te aftermat h.

Hunke ring down and gettin g ready for the storm In the late night hours of March 25, 2021, many Newnan resident s had gone to bed. It was a Thu r s d ay n i g ht a nd mu c h o f N e w n a n h a d work or school the next day. A ll th roughout the



for the Coweta Dean Jackson, public information officer ty spirit County School System, speaks of the communi tornado. Newnan the followed that

.................... Page 5A

Movie Reviews

.................... Page 10B


Therapy dog joins NPD

Birth announcements

YOU GET BOT H! The new

s p ap magazine er and mail to your ho ed me Luke, Bill Sr. Robert, Bill Jr., Matt and Andrew From left are Harris, Mitch, Robert, Mason, or office! Headley. ❙ Th

Plus: ! y a d o T e ib d’ r itte c mm Co s ta we b ‘Co u S en Eagle Award honors longtime

Providing H ugs & Homes


e Rodeo Re turns on the Trolle y

❙ Take a Tr ip




dog joining

2022 s: Newnan the es s; Police Department. MPLIM EN TA Gold RYsin bscription Rate led to your hoCOm e or bu CO PY Staneda Ther &rdtheSuCow ai m e renc er agazine. Hop e , s a id L t . Ch r i s diffe M a ap e a sp mak et w who ne families JEFFREY Newnan-Cow BY es n NTH eta agai of s Back ue Robinson at N PD, Includ iss 6 l -DEAN al also witness ed which include s obedionline; ancdi l n o t o n l y h o n o r e d ent, has12 $125 ssNEELY in acBY sCULLEN ceCLAY tures jeffrey@n Adven onth full m US d bestowe PL enc e a nd t r a i n i n g t o same honor i- the • a m50 f l 2. luentia f n i e re th $6 s y th clay@new photograph on sons. his m of ensure that he's ca lm each t 6 a e upon r g a also • y, a but w o l l a G Coweta 5 lies of 1.2 $3 s ition th ad tr ly i m and can pick up on peoa f on e The h for 3m dane, joined t There was arguably no raised $96,725 dollars ple's moods. continu es through now ..................... Page 12B Departlast Police eclipsing : Newnan Scouts, of Boy ns tation ra better represen te Ve i nclud, s on d "He's goi n g to pro s nd a r g s i dog h an . therapy a ry $14,725 as by ment d year's total have Milita who er ), dedicate those al support. , who Headley 9 d old Masonon an $9 s f o r o f f i c e r s a n d t h e vide emotion th Bi l l He ad ley ’s i n f lu- ing nior m ER (65 their lives to the betterSe 12 WEATH • It's more of a calming as recognized as an 50 w dis9. was scouting $4 public. on s ence County th on ment of Coweta m y's f icers a nd of for 6 Thursda thing during • e n i Eagle n s 5 i series g o a d 4.7 The those in attendance played through than a 3 months $2 old and is fin- the public. If there's from those ceremony. for the 2 022 C owet a Golden Eagle Dinner. The annual fundrais er for the Flint River Coun-

of testimon ies who felt his influenc e as a scoutma ster. Headley, a n E a g le S cout re cipi-


Norma Haynes meets Galloway, a therapy

months ishing his therapy dog training with Tails of


NOIA Is there The WalkinLife after g Dead? THE FAM I LY



buildings aged 61 40 o-dam n tornad r dowStreet, Call: 770-253-1576 • Stop by: to 16 tea Jefferson Newnan • Order Online: nan New Mostly sunny SATURDAY º º

repa ired or demolis hed within a set time. A fifth, located at 178 a d it s Fou r out of f ive lot s L a g r a n g e S t . , h d, t a r g e t e d f o r d e m o l i - public hearing continue is ing owner



Blacktop Phot

o by Glenn Sunset at L ake Redwin e is a beau ty to behold .

ary M Photo by G



aptured rapher c rk. g to o h p e Pa ochee, th nd State Chattaho attahoochee Be e th g n h C alo Kayaking age on his way to this im

Photo by Kelly Moore A great blue heron visits a pond behind the where Kelly Moore works.


submit your


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

Photo by Celeste Kelly Spring blooms at a pond near Madras Middle School rival the Azalea Bowl at Callaway Gardens.

Please include your name so that we can give you credit for your photo in the magazine! Email your photos with the subject “Blacktop” to the address below.


Photo by Chance Mirabile stroll along the A couple enjoys a ergrove. mm Su in LINC Trail

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

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

Photo by Ron Schuck Thanks to a high-speed camera, this hummingbird seems to pause mid -meal.

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

Nov 05 - Market Day, 10am-2pm Nov 18 - Holiday Sip & See, 5-9pm Nov 25 - Plaid Friday Nov 25 - Santa on the Square, 6-8pm Nov 26 - Small Business Saturday Dec 03 - Market Day, 10am-2pm

Photo by Sally Ray


A pink rose heralds the new day. MAY/JUNE 2022 | 89


An Artist’s Mind


’ve been in a bit of a writing slump lately. I feel like anything I could ever possibly say, I’ve already said. I was having lunch recently with the editor of this magazine and told her of my literary misfortune. I’ve always tried to keep with the theme of the magazine and was told this edition was about family life and Senoia. I’ve written a lot about my family for more than two years now, mostly about the members who are no longer living. I’ve exhausted the topic. And I don’t even know how to properly pronounce Senoia. It’s three syllables when I say it, as its spelling would suggest. Resigned to the fact that this might be a magazine sans me, we moved on to talking about art and how I’m fascinated by an artist’s mind. It’s something I wish I had. I can’t draw a convincing square. I told her about my latest tattoo and how it came to be. After hearing the story, she said, “Toby, that’s a column.” I hope she’s right. Here goes. I made a new friend last year who told me her brother was a tattoo artist in Ohio. I’ve always been one who appreciated copious amounts of ink in his skin, so I followed the guy on social media. When I found out he was visiting his family in Coweta County for Christmas, I asked if he might have time to tattoo me when he was in town. I’d never met the guy. He’d never met me. So I came up with the idea to send him a few songs that I like. I was most interested in seeing what an artist could come up with for a person he’d never met – just by listening to a few songs. The first song I sent him was “I’ve Always Been Crazy” by Waylon Jennings. I am well on record as believing firmly that all music begins and ends with Waylon Jennings. The second song I sent was “Southern Accents” by Tom Petty. I'm proud of my Southern accent and would never want anything drawn for me or on me that didn’t have a proper drawl as part of the inspiration. Third, I sent him “God’s Country” by Hardy. Most people may have heard some guy named Blake Shelton sing it, but Hardy wrote it and Hardy sings it better. When you hear Hardy sing it, you know he wrote it. Last, I sent “Nothing Out Here” by Hardy. I like living right in the middle of a whole lot of nothing. It makes for a more peaceful life. To me, anyway. That’s what the artist got to listen to and think about before drawing what would be my newest tattoo. He came up with a rural scene drawn into a shape of the state of Georgia. He so closely “got me” that I’ve had more than one person ask if the tattoo on my arm is a picture of my actual back yard. I’m amazed that an artistic mind can listen to a couple of songs sent by a stranger and create a piece of art the stranger is crazy about. I love the drawing so much that it’s not only on my arm. I framed the sketch to hang in my office. NCM

Southern-born and Southern-bred, Toby Nix is a local writer who works in law enforcement.


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