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— The true legend of Mayhayley Lancaster

september | october 2014


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1 saturday

SATURDAY, MAY 3, 2014

NEWNAN, GA • COWETA COUNTY'S NEWS SOURCE • ISSUE 88 • 1 SECTION, 14 PAGES • 50 CENTS

TODAY’S POLLEN

TREES HIGH GRASS HIGH NONE - LOW WEEDS FRIDAY’S COUNT: 147

Cotton Pickin’ Fair today, Sunday in nearby Gay

Local high school baseball teams open state playoffs — page 6

— page 11

Patel named Teacher of the Year forming and Visual Arts. “I’m just one of many who do what I do.” Ruth Hill Principal Dr. Aaron Ruth Hill Elementary School Corley said Patel is “one of fifth-grade teacher Ami Patel the most dedicated and caring was a n nounced as Coweta teachers I have ever encounCounty School System’s 2014 tered, and I am proud to have Teacher of the Year at Thurs- her at Ruth Hill.” day’s recognition ceremony. Corley added he would be “It is very humbling to know proud to have Patel as his own I work in a school system with child’s teacher, too. so many good teachers,” said “Educators allow dreams to Patel after receiving the award come true,” said Patel. “They at the ceremonies held at the (students) are our future, and school system’s Centre for Per- we can help them achieve the By CELIA SHORTT celia@newnan.com

dreams they always wanted.” “To your students, you are always a hero,” she said. Patel said her father was her hero. She told the story of how he came to America by himself more than 25 years ago. When he arrived, he made his way in a strange and new place, and worked hard to bring his family to him and to make a life for his family. She remembered how he brought the family to America with few resources, but he still worked to provide them

“with opportunities for success.” In addition, she and her family members all prospered through the American educational system. Patel said she brings those experiences and commitments to her classroom and students, and views teachers similarly as heroes to their students. Patel was one of three finalists chosen from the Coweta school system’s 31 individual

TEACHER, page 3

• The convenience of print home delivery • Comics • Special print inserts • USA Weekend print edition • Newnan-Coweta Magazine 6 issues per year • Annual Coweta Living magazine

Ami Patel, of Ruth Hill Elementary School, is announced as the 2014 Coweta County Teacher of the Year by Coweta school board member Harry Mullins on Thursday.

DEVELOPMENTAUTHORITY

PUBLIC SAFETY LUNCHEON

Wright: ‘We’re committed to quality job growth in our community’

1 saturday

SATURDAY, MAY 3, 2014

NEWNAN, GA • COWETA COUNTY'S NEWS SOURCE • ISSUE 88 • 1 SECTION, 14 PAGES • 50 CENTS

TODAY’S POLLEN

By CLAY NEELY

expand, Wright feels that the development authority ultimately sees more economic growth from existing comCoweta County fared better than panies working on expansions rather than new companies. many communities during the “The Bonnell expansion was most recent recession, accordan amazing announcement for ing to Greg Wright, president our community,” Wright said. of the Coweta County DevelopAment publicAtion “W hen they were faci ng a Authority. of the newnAn times-herAld Wr i g ht emph a si z e d t he period of uncertainty regardimportance of courting the ing their future, they deterright industries for the region mined a way to set themselves during his talk at Friday’s meetup for success for the future. ing of the Coweta Rotary Club, Their ability to add jobs has held at the Newnan Country been a wonderful addition to Wright Club. our community.” “While we get our share of The recent announcebusinesses whose average hourly rate ment from Niagara Bottling LLC of a is around $17 dollars per-hour, those planned location in Shenandoah Indusaren’t the projects we want to work,” trial Park is one of the many promising Wright said. “We’re committed to projects that are on the horizon for quality job growth in our community.” the development authority. Wright was While the Coweta County Development Authority helps recruit new busiWRIGHT, page 3 nesses and helps existing companies

TREES HIGH GRASS HIGH NONE - LOW WEEDS FRIDAY’S COUNT: 147

clay@newnan.com

Pictured in front, Coweta County Crime Suppression Unit Sgt. Jeff Bugg, Deputy Adam Montgomery, Deputy Troy Foles; back, Coweta County Judge Joseph Wyant and Deputy Brandon Thrower.

From left, Captain Bryan Minix, Captain Chuck Loftin, Assistant Chief Alan Smith and Assistant Chief Scott Harmon with the Coweta County Fire Department, and Neal Mangum with Coweta County EMS.

Coweta’s public safety community unites for food and fellowship

By WES MAYER

Luncheon at the Coweta County cal services, the court system and Fairgrounds on Friday. more. The meal was provided by The annual event was organized Newnan Utilities and Warden Bill by the Newnan-Coweta Public An estimated 300 to 400 employ- Safety Committee members, and McKenzie and Lt. Larry Smith with ees of Coweta County’s numer- the luncheon was free and open the Coweta County Prison, and a ous city and county public safety to all divisions of public safety – long table covered in every kind of departments gathered for the 16th including law enforcement, fire LUNCHEON, page 5 annual Public Safety Appreciation departments, emergency medi-

wesley@newnan.com

Where to Go, Who to Call winston@newnan.com

Grantville has been busy improving its recreation areas – and now additional security is needed. Updated county and The city is near completion on its citysplash information park on Post Street, which also has a community building and a picnic area. The public library, ball fields and a historic log cabin are nearby. At the Griffin Street Park, longtime Grantville Recreation Board members Mary Elder and Ruby Hines spent some time on a recent morning. for Coweta residents Both are proud of the handicapped accessible water fountains, the fence at the street and restrooms at the community center.

Activities Abound

Christian Bulls & Barrels. IXL Cowboy Church is an outreach program of Benton Baptist Church in Benton, Ala. The event will be May 9 and 10 at 7:30 Local bull rider Cody Brook sustained p.m. Admission will be $12 for adults serious injuries to his face in early and $6 for kids 7 to 12. Kids 6 and under March at a rodeo in Troy, Ala. will be admitted free. Next weekend, a benefit bull ridBrook was riding a bull when “they ing and barrel racing event, Bucking head butted each other,” said his stepfor Brook, will be held at the Coweta dad, Luis Dutra. Dutra “f lanks” the County Fairgrounds. Proceeds from bulls, tying on the flank strap before the event will help pay Brook’s medi- they are ridden, so he was nearby when cal bills. the accident happened. Brook happened Bucking for Brook is organized by IXL to be riding one of Dutra’s bulls and it

INSIDE Obituaries .......................3 Religion............................. 8 Community Forum ....... A Comics ........................... 11 Sports .............................6 Classifieds ..................... 13

1 saturday

SATURDAY, MAY 3, 2014

NEWNAN, GA • COWETA COUNTY'S NEWS SOURCE • ISSUE 88 • 1 SECTION, 14 PAGES • 50 CENTS

TODAY’S POLLEN

TREES HIGH GRASS HIGH NONE - LOW WEEDS FRIDAY’S COUNT: 147

Cotton Pickin’ Fair today, Sunday in nearby Gay

Local high school baseball teams open state playoffs — page 6

— page 11

By CELIA SHORTT forming and Visual Arts. “I’m dreams they always wanted.” “with opportunities for succelia@newnan.com just one of many who do what “To your students, you are cess.” In addition, she and her I do.” always a hero,” she said. family members all prospered Ruth Hill Principal Dr. Aaron Patel said her father was her through the American educaRuth Hill Elementary School Corley said Patel is “one of hero. She told the story of how tional system. fifth-grade teacher Ami Patel the most dedicated and caring he came to America by himself Patel said she brings those was a n nounced as Coweta teachers I have ever encoun- more than 25 years ago. When County School System’s 2014 tered, and I am proud to have he arrived, he made his way in experiences and commitments to her classroom and students, Teacher of the Year at Thurs- her at Ruth Hill.” a strange and new place, and and views teachers similarly as day’s recognition ceremony. Corley added he would be worked hard to bring his fam“It is very humbling to know proud to have Patel as his own ily to him and to make a life for heroes to their students. Patel was one of three finalI work in a school system with child’s teacher, too. his family. so many good teachers,” said “Educators allow dreams to She remembered how he ists chosen from the Coweta Patel after receiving the award come true,” said Patel. “They brought the family to Amer- school system’s 31 individual Ami Patel, of Ruth Hill Elementary School, is announced as the 2014 at the ceremonies held at the (students) are our future, and ica with few resources, but he Coweta County Teacher of the Year by Coweta school board member school system’s Centre for Per- we can help them achieve the still worked to provide them TEACHER, page 3 Harry Mullins on Thursday.

Wright: ‘We’re committed to quality job growth in our community’

From left, Captain Bryan Minix, Captain Chuck Loftin, Assistant Chief Alan Smith and Assistant Chief Scott Harmon with the Coweta County Fire Department, and Neal Mangum with Coweta County EMS.

Coweta’s public safety community unites for food and fellowship

By WES MAYER Luncheon at the Coweta County cal services, the court system and wesley@newnan.com Fairgrounds on Friday. more. The meal was provided by The annual event was organized Newnan Utilities and Warden Bill by the Newnan-Coweta Public An estimated 300 to 400 employ- Safety Committee members, and McKenzie and Lt. Larry Smith with ees of Coweta County’s numer- the luncheon was free and open the Coweta County Prison, and a ous city and county public safety to all divisions of public safety – long table covered in every kind of departments gathered for the 16th including law enforcement, fire LUNCHEON, page 5 annual Public Safety Appreciation departments, emergency medi-

Grantville: Improved parks need added security By W. WINSTON SKINNER Michelle Huffstickler, the city’s new winston@newnan.com recreation director, recommended at the council meeting this past MonGrantville has been busy improving day that the city purchase security its recreation areas – and now addi- cameras for both parks. In an April 23 memo, Huffstickler wrote: “With tional security is needed. the addition of the splash park and the The city is near completion on its public restrooms on Griffin Street, splash park on Post Street, which also security cameras will be needed to has a community building and a picmonitor park activity, deter vandalnic area. The public library, ball fields ism and add security to the parks.” and a historic log cabin are nearby. She estimated cost for security At the Griffin Street Park, longtime cameras at both parks at $5,810. The Grantville Recreation Board mem- council did not take action on the bers Mary Elder and Ruby Hines issue, but set a meeting of the streets spent some time on a recent morning. and public works committee to examBoth are proud of the handicapped ine the security issue. accessible water fountains, the fence at the street and restrooms at the SECURITY, page 3 community center.

Bull riding, barrel racing event to benefit bull rider

By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL Christian Bulls & Barrels. IXL Cowboy hadn’t been ridden before, he said. screws in his face, and his teeth were sarah@newnan.com Church is an outreach program of Ben“When he fell off, he was 10 feet in seriously damaged. They were pushed ton Baptist Church in Benton, Ala. front of me." up into his g ums, and the impact The event will be May 9 and 10 at 7:30 “He was literally lifeless,” Dutra said. crushed his sinus cavity. Local bull rider Cody Brook sustained p.m. Admission will be $12 for adults “That was the first big hit he’s taken. In addition to the bull riding and barserious injuries to his face in early and $6 for kids 7 to 12. Kids 6 and under That was scary,” he said. rel racing, “We’ll probably have some March at a rodeo in Troy, Ala. will be admitted free. Dutra said when he ran to Brook he sheep out there for the kids,” Dutra said. Next weekend, a benefit bull ridBrook was riding a bull when “they told him he was going to be going to the There will be both men’s and woming and barrel racing event, Bucking head butted each other,” said his step- hospital with him. “He said, ‘No, send en’s bull riding, and there will be a firefor Brook, will be held at the Coweta dad, Luis Dutra. Dutra “f lanks” the Momma. You just keep bucking bulls.’” County Fairgrounds. Proceeds from bulls, tying on the flank strap before “He’s something else,” said Dutra. He works show at the end of the night. For more information, contact Dutra the event will help pay Brook’s medi- they are ridden, so he was nearby when said when he told Brook about that later, at 404-597-3690 or Jimmy Boswell at cal bills. the accident happened. Brook happened his son didn’t remember saying that. Brook now has a metal plate and 334-525-0436. Bucking for Brook is organized by IXL to be riding one of Dutra’s bulls and it

INSIDE Obituaries .......................3 Religion............................. 8 Community Forum ....... A Comics ........................... 11 Sports .............................6 Classifieds ..................... 13

SATURDAY

76° | 51° Sunny

SUNDAY

83° | 56° Pleasantly warm with sunshine

MONDAY

86° | 58° Sunny

was injured in a bull riding accident in early March. A benefit rodeo will be held next weekend to help pay his medical bills.

TUESDAY

85° | 57° Sunny

Rainfall (in inches)

Yesterday (as of 7 p.m.) 0.00 Monthly total 6.49 Year-to-date 13.65

TUESDAY

(in inches)

Sunny

Yesterday (as of 7 p.m.) 0.00 Monthly total 6.49 Year-to-date 13.65

�itch

— The true legend of Mayhayley Lancaster

SATURDAY

76° | 51° Sunny

SUNDAY

83° | 56° Pleasantly warm with sunshine

MONDAY

86° | 58° Sunny

Local bull rider Cody Brook was injured in a bull riding accident in early March. A benefit rodeo will be held next weekend to help pay his medical bills.

TUESDAY

85° | 57° Sunny

Rainfall (in inches)

Yesterday (as of 7 p.m.) 0.00 Monthly total 6.49 Year-to-date 13.65

Print and Digital Editions

Local bull rider Cody Brook was injured in a bull riding accident in early March. A benefit rodeo will be held next weekend to help pay his medical bills.

Sunny

A Southern

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2014

INSIDE Obituaries .......................3 Religion............................. 8 Community Forum ....... A Comics ........................... 11 Sports .............................6 Classifieds ..................... 13

MONDAY

Celtic Woman

Michelle Huffstickler, the city’s new recreation director, recommended at the council meeting this past MonGrantville has been busy improving day that the city purchase security its recreation areas – and now addi- cameras for both parks. In an April 23 memo, Huffstickler wrote: “With tional security is needed. the addition of the splash park and the The city is near completion on its public restrooms on Griffin Street, splash park on Post Street, which also security cameras will be needed to has a community building and a picmonitor park activity, deter vandalnic area. The public library, ball fields ism and add security to the parks.” and a historic log cabin are nearby. She estimated cost for security At the Griffin Street Park, longtime cameras at both parks at $5,810. The Grantville Recreation Board mem- council did not take action on the bers Mary Elder and Ruby Hines issue, but set a meeting of the streets spent some time on a recent morning. and public works committee to examBoth are proud of the handicapped ine the security issue. accessible water fountains, the fence at the street and restrooms at the SECURITY, page 3 community center.

Bull riding, barrel racing event to benefit bull rider

Christian Bulls & Barrels. IXL Cowboy hadn’t been ridden before, he said. screws in his face, and his teeth were Church is an outreach program of Ben“When he fell off, he was 10 feet in seriously damaged. They were pushed ton Baptist Church in Benton, Ala. front of me." up into his g ums, and the impact The event will be May 9 and 10 at 7:30 “He was literally lifeless,” Dutra said. crushed his sinus cavity. Local bull rider Cody Brook sustained p.m. Admission will be $12 for adults “That was the first big hit he’s taken. In addition to the bull riding and barserious injuries to his face in early and $6 for kids 7 to 12. Kids 6 and under That was scary,” he said. rel racing, “We’ll probably have some March at a rodeo in Troy, Ala. will be admitted free. Dutra said when he ran to Brook he sheep out there for the kids,” Dutra said. Next weekend, a benefit bull ridBrook was riding a bull when “they told him he was going to be going to the There will be both men’s and woming and barrel racing event, Bucking head butted each other,” said his step- hospital with him. “He said, ‘No, send en’s bull riding, and there will be a firefor Brook, will be held at the Coweta dad, Luis Dutra. Dutra “f lanks” the Momma. You just keep bucking bulls.’” County Fairgrounds. Proceeds from bulls, tying on the flank strap before “He’s something else,” said Dutra. He works show at the end of the night. For more information, contact Dutra the event will help pay Brook’s medi- they are ridden, so he was nearby when said when he told Brook about that later, at 404-597-3690 or Jimmy Boswell at cal bills. the accident happened. Brook happened his son didn’t remember saying that. Brook now has a metal plate and 334-525-0436. Bucking for Brook is organized by IXL to be riding one of Dutra’s bulls and it

2014-15 Guide to The country NeWNAN-CoWetA CouNty Rainfall | 58° of a 85° | 57° 86° life

SUNDAY

Pleasantly warm with sunshine

By W. WINSTON SKINNER winston@newnan.com

Coweta’s public safety community unites for food and fellowship

By WES MAYER Luncheon at the Coweta County cal services, the court system and wesley@newnan.com Fairgrounds on Friday. more. The meal was provided by The annual event was organized Newnan Utilities and Warden Bill by the Newnan-Coweta Public An estimated 300 to 400 employ- Safety Committee members, and McKenzie and Lt. Larry Smith with ees of Coweta County’s numer- the luncheon was free and open the Coweta County Prison, and a ous city and county public safety to all divisions of public safety – long table covered in every kind of departments gathered for the 16th including law enforcement, fire LUNCHEON, page 5 annual Public Safety Appreciation departments, emergency medi-

Local bull rider Cody Brook

SECURITY, page 3

Cottages to Condos

83° | 56°

Grantville: Improved parks need added security

From left, Captain Bryan Minix, Captain Chuck Loftin, Assistant Chief Alan Smith and Assistant Chief Scott Harmon with the Coweta County Fire Department, and Neal Mangum with Coweta County EMS.

By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL

Breakfast

Sunny

aren’t the projects we want to work,” trial Park is one of the many promising Wright said. “We’re committed to projects that are on the horizon for quality job growth in our community.” the development authority. Wright was While the Coweta County Development Authority helps recruit new busiWRIGHT, page 3 nesses and helps existing companies

By CLAY NEELY expand, Wright feels that the developclay@newnan.com ment authority ultimately sees more economic growth from existing comCoweta County fared better than panies working on expansions rather than new companies. many communities during the “The Bonnell expansion was most recent recession, accordan amazing announcement for ing to Greg Wright, president our community,” Wright said. of the Coweta County Develop“W hen they were faci ng a ment Authority. Wr i g ht emph a si z e d t he period of uncertainty regardimportance of courting the ing their future, they deterright industries for the region mined a way to set themselves during his talk at Friday’s meetup for success for the future. ing of the Coweta Rotary Club, Their ability to add jobs has held at the Newnan Country been a wonderful addition to Wright Club. our community.” “While we get our share of The recent announcebusinesses whose average hourly rate ment from Niagara Bottling LLC of a is around $17 dollars per-hour, those planned location in Shenandoah Indus-

aren’t the projects we want to work,” trial Park is one of the many promising Wright said. “We’re committed to projects that are on the horizon for quality job growth in our community.” the development authority. Wright was While the Coweta County Development Authority helps recruit new busiWRIGHT, page 3 nesses and helps existing companies

Business & Relaxing in Coweta's Entertainment vintage homes

SATURDAY

By CLAY NEELY expand, Wright feels that the developclay@newnan.com ment authority ultimately sees more economic growth from existing comCoweta County fared better than panies working on expansions rather than new companies. many communities during the “The Bonnell expansion was most recent recession, accordan amazing announcement for ing to Greg Wright, president our community,” Wright said. of the Coweta County Develop“W hen they were faci ng a ment Authority. Wr i g ht emph a si z e d t he period of uncertainty regardimportance of courting the ing their future, they deterright industries for the region mined a way to set themselves during his talk at Friday’s meetup for success for the future. ing of the Coweta Rotary Club, Their ability to add jobs has held at the Newnan Country been a wonderful addition to Wright Club. our community.” “While we get our share of The recent announcebusinesses whose average hourly rate ment from Niagara Bottling LLC of a is around $17 dollars per-hour, those planned location in Shenandoah Indus-

Pictured in front, Coweta County Crime Suppression Unit Sgt. Jeff Bugg, Deputy Adam Montgomery, Deputy Troy Foles; back, Coweta County Judge Joseph Wyant and Deputy Brandon Thrower.

DEVELOPMENTAUTHORITY

PUBLIC SAFETY LUNCHEON

Pictured in front, Coweta County Crime Suppression Unit Sgt. Jeff Bugg, Deputy Adam Montgomery, Deputy Troy Foles; back, Coweta County Judge Joseph Wyant and Deputy Brandon Thrower.

sarah@newnan.com

hadn’t been ridden before, he said. screws in his face, and his teeth were “When he fell off, he was 10 feet in seriously damaged. They were pushed front of me." up home into his to g ums, and the impact Coweta “He was literally lifeless,” Dutra said. crushed his sinus cavity. “That was the first big hit he’s taken. In addition to the bull riding and barThat was scary,” he said. rel racing, “We’ll probably have some Dutra said when he ran to Brook he sheep out there for the kids,” Dutra said. told him he was going to be going to the There will be both men’s and womhospital with him. “He said, ‘No, send en’s bull riding, and there will be a fireMomma. You just keep bucking bulls.’” “He’s something else,” said Dutra. He works show at the end of the night. For more information, contact Dutra said when he told Brook about that later, at 404-597-3690 or Jimmy Boswell at his son didn’t remember saying that. Brook now has a metal plate and 334-525-0436.

76° | 51°

Wright: ‘We’re committed to quality job growth in our community’

Patel named Teacher of the Year

Michelle Huffstickler, the city’s new recreation director, recommended at the council meeting this past Monday that the city purchase security cameras for both parks. In an April 23 memo, Huffstickler wrote: “With the addition of the splash park and the public restrooms on Griffin Street, security cameras will be needed to monitor park activity, deter vandalism and add security to the parks.” She estimated cost for security cameras at both parks at $5,810. The council did not take action on the issue, but set a meeting of the streets and public works committee to examine the security issue.

Housing choices from historic to high end

By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL

— page 11

DEVELOPMENTAUTHORITY

PUBLIC SAFETY LUNCHEON

Bull riding, barrel racing event to benefit Bed bull rider & sarah@newnan.com

— page 6

By CELIA SHORTT forming and Visual Arts. “I’m dreams they always wanted.” “with opportunities for succelia@newnan.com just one of many who do what “To your students, you are cess.” In addition, she and her I do.” always a hero,” she said. family members all prospered Ruth Hill Principal Dr. Aaron Patel said her father was her through the American educaRuth Hill Elementary School Corley said Patel is “one of hero. She told the story of how tional system. fifth-grade teacher Ami Patel the most dedicated and caring he came to America by himself Patel said she brings those was a n nounced as Coweta teachers I have ever encoun- more than 25 years ago. When County School System’s 2014 tered, and I am proud to have he arrived, he made his way in experiences and commitments to her classroom and students, Teacher of the Year at Thurs- her at Ruth Hill.” a strange and new place, and and views teachers similarly as day’s recognition ceremony. Corley added he would be worked hard to bring his fam“It is very humbling to know proud to have Patel as his own ily to him and to make a life for heroes to their students. Patel was one of three finalI work in a school system with child’s teacher, too. his family. so many good teachers,” said “Educators allow dreams to She remembered how he ists chosen from the Coweta Patel after receiving the award come true,” said Patel. “They brought the family to Amer- school system’s 31 individual Ami Patel, of Ruth Hill Elementary School, is announced as the 2014 at the ceremonies held at the (students) are our future, and ica with few resources, but he Coweta County Teacher of the Year by Coweta school board member school system’s Centre for Per- we can help them achieve the still worked to provide them TEACHER, page 3 Harry Mullins on Thursday.

Grantville: Improved parks need added security By W. WINSTON SKINNER

Cotton Pickin’ Fair today, Sunday in nearby Gay

Local high school baseball teams open state playoffs

Patel named Teacher of the Year

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Carolyn Crist

Ana Ivey

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Meredith Leigh Knight

Samantha Sastre Martha Woodham

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CONTENTS ◗

in this issue

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2014

our

features

24 | Painting in 3-D Lauren Baxter is a different kind of painter. Her job as a scenic artist on movie sets often includes painting white-walled rooms to look decades old and blank canvases to appear as textured brick walls.

32 | From Contemporary to Traditional With the movie industry creating an uptick in tourism in Coweta, NCM takes a look at the big three bed and breakfasts in the county and discovers all they have to offer. 10 | www.newnancowetamag.com

32

50 | Mayhayley the Mercurial Famous for her part in “Murder in Coweta County,” Heard

County fortune teller Mayhayley Lancaster already was a local legend long before the famous murder trial. To this day, folk tales surrounding her mysterious powers linger.

64 | The Horse Masseuse Do horses need a little tender loving care? Of course they

do. Charlotte Cloudsdale is a professional equine massage therapist who is on call for four-legged clients who need restorative rubdowns to relax sore muscles.

70 | On the Go with Lisa Kelly A former member of Celtic Woman, Lisa Kelly has settled down in the South but remains in a whirlwind of activity. These days, you can find her teaching voice lessons at her academy in Peachtree City.


64

24

in every issue 12 | From the Editor 13 | Datebook 14 | Roll Call 16 | Style 20 | Hobby Q&A

50

76 | 78 | 80 | 82 | 82 |

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

on the cover Bed & Breakfast

Relaxing in Coweta's vintage homes

The country life of a

Celtic Woman

70

A Southern

�itch

— The true legend of Mayhayley Lancaster

september | october 2014

Heard County's Mayhayley Lancaster notoriously charged a dollar and a dime to tell the fortunes of those who visited her. In this issue, NCM takes a closer look at the legendary seer.

➔ See more on page 50. Photo by Gabe Bennett september /  october 2014

| 11


FROM THE EDITOR ◗

welcome

Haint Happening

T

here’s not too many things I waffle over. Dress codes in public schools? For it. Meth? Against it. Did Han Solo shoot first? Yes. But when it comes to the existence of ghosts, well, I’m not so sure. I think they’re real. Or not. Maybe. Frankly, I’m on the fence. Without empirical evidence of haints, the only ghosts I tend to believe in are Casper and the Ghost of Christmas Past. However, more than a decade ago, something happened. If I could remove this one event from my life, sure, I could 100 percent say ghosts are NOT real. But this ONE thing DID happen, and I can’t explain it. I wish I could press rewind and do it again, study the experience frame by frame, but I can’t. I have only my memory and the secure knowledge that I told myself then: “Don’t forget what you just saw. You saw it.” I was living downstairs in a historic home in downtown Newnan. It was a late Friday night. My upstairs roommate had already documented the sounds of door knocks and steps echoing in the stairway leading to his room. (Note: The stairway was located near the front door.) I’d laughed at him. Similarly, on a night my roommate was out of town, a friend spent the night on my couch and said she’d heard footsteps gently leading up the stairway. I’d scoffed at her. But then ... on that one particular Friday night, I had just gotten off the phone and was about to shave when I turned and looked down the narrow hallway leading to the front of the house. The front door was open. The screen door was closed ... and a girl approached the screen door from the front porch of the house. She had long brown hair and was wearing a white sweater. From my view, she drifted to my right, out of sight. I won’t attempt to explain the logistics, but there’s no way she could have

12 | www.newnancowetamag.com

exited the porch without passing in front of the door again. I never took my eyes off the door. I called “hello” several times. Razor in hand, I approached the screen door, cautiously opened it and anxiously peered into the dark and stormy night. (OK, maybe it was a clear, calm evening. Doesn’t matter.) Nothing. Not a soul. But I HAD seen her. A brownheaded girl in a white sweater. A sweater not too tight and not too loose. I stood there perplexed, my face covered in Barbasol. That alone spooked me, but here’s the kicker: As I scratched my head, turned and reentered the relative safety of my domicile, ready to watch ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” and call it a mirage – the front door slammed against the inside wall. Not too hard, but enough to make me squeal like a little girl and assume the Karate Kid crane position. Recently, my tale was validated. Sort of. The proprietor of Stairway to Heaven Antique Mall, whose shop serves as the backdrop for a photo shoot in this issue’s Mayhayley Lancaster feature, is aware of several ghost sightings through the years in the vicinity of my former home. According to local lore, a female ghost has been spotted multiple times in the area, but instead of a white sweater, on all occasions, she’s worn red. Shucks. Just enough doubt remains. Was I sleep-walking? Had someone drugged my McDonald’s meal that night? Could it have been the menthol in the shaving cream distorting my reality? So ... I dunno. Are ghosts real? Maybe. For now, I’ll answer with a popular refrain from the Magic 8 Ball popular in my youth: “Answer hazy, ask again later.” Thanks for reading,

Will Blair, Editor will@newnan.com


R

datebook Tasting for the Ta-Tas

On Sept. 26, Newnan Country Club is hosting the Pink Ladies’ second annual “Tasting for the Ta-Tas” wine tasting and silent auction benefit for breast cancer research. Musical guests will be Doug Kees and Tim Shephard. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the cost is $30, which will include a wine tasting, hors d'oeuvres, music and entry for door prizes.

Remember When Rock was Young: The Elton John Tribute

will be held Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts. Also at the Centre, “The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra” concert will be held on Oct. 25. For more information, call the Centre at 770-254-2787.

masquerade ball Charity Event

A masquerade ball – presented by Abernathy Custom Homes and to be held at Toyota of Newnan – will take place on Oct. 4 from 7-11 p.m. Proceeds from the black tie event will benefit the Community Welcome House. Tickets are $75 in advance and will be $100 at the door. For more information, contact Theresa Wash at theresa@communitywelcomehouse. org or Samantha Brazie at sbrazie@ progressiveac.com.

150th anniversary of the Battle of Brown’s Mill

Sponsored by the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Brown’s Mill will be celebrated on Oct. 10, 11 and 12. Reenactments of the battle will be held at the Coweta County Fairgrounds. The threeday celebration will also include a recreation of Civil War-era hospitals on the Court Square in downtown Newnan and other events at the battle site. Look for more information, including scheduling, in future editions of The Newnan Times-Herald.

The Rocky Horror Show Performances will be held Oct. 23 through Nov. 2 on the Newnan Theatre Company’s main stage. For more information, call 770-683-6282.

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thank you

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2014

ROLL CALL

Marian Carcache’s short story collection, “The Moon and the Star,” was published by Solomon & George Publishers in 2013. Her work has appeared in Shenandoah, Chattahoochee Review, and other journals and has been anthologized in several story collections. “Under the Arbor,” an opera made from her short story, appeared on PBS stations nationwide and was nominated for a regional Emmy. She posed as Mayhayley Lancaster for photos in this issue of NCM. ➔ Closed for Halloween, page 78

As coordinator of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, Jeff BISHOP is a public historian who’s well-versed in the ways of old Newnan. He’s also the author of “A Cold Coming,” a story of murder and family history, and is writing a musical version of “Murder in Coweta County.” ➔ From Contemporary to Traditional, page 32

Carolyn BArnard is a graduate of Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s in history and a specialty in what NOT to wear. Drawing on her own experience with an awkward phase that lasted well into her 20s, Barnard loves helping other people find their most beautiful self. In this issue, NCM’s fashion guru pulls double duty and writes about vampires and why they’re way hotter than zombies. ➔ Style, page 16, and Duel Pages, page 76 14 | www.newnancowetamag.com

Carolyn Crist is a freelance writer based in Athens. She recently graduated with a master’s degree in health and medical journalism. While studying journalism at the University of Georgia as an undergraduate, Crist interned at The Newnan Times-Herald for two summers. ➔ Painting in 3-D, page 24

When she’s not reading medical research for her full-time job as a health writer, Ana Ivey enjoys interviewing local luminaries like former Celtic Woman Lisa Kelly. Though not Irish like her subject for this issue, Ana enjoys Irish cream, fiddle music and novels by C.S. Lewis. She lives in Fayetteville with her son, Carlos. ➔ On the Go with Lisa Kelly, page 70 Martha A. Woodham’s motto is “life is better with a horse.” A South Carolina native, she grew up riding horses and competing in equestrian events in the days before Title IV opened the door to sports for girls. A former columnist at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Woodham now specializes in public relations and is the author of several wedding etiquette books. ➔ The Horse Masseuse, page 64

share

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Feel free to send thoughts, ideas and suggestions for upcoming issues of Newnan-Coweta Magazine to

magazine@newnan.com


The fair is coming! Kiwanis

Find us on follow us on

sept.

Newnan

Meredith Leigh Knight is a writer and mother of three who’d like to know why the words “Hey, Mom!” are never followed by anything good. Read more of her humorous musings on everyday life on her blog, “Life as Leigh sees it.” In this issue of NCM, just in time for Halloween, she muses on how one can put more trust in a zombie’s loyalty than a vampire’s. ➔ Duel Pages, page 77

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Samantha Sastre is a New Jersey transplant who somehow ended up in the South. You can generally find her managing or bartending in downtown Newnan, hacking away at her cooking blog, “Souffle on a Stick,” or spending time with her partner and two step-kids. ➔ Red and Black, page 78

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style

Make Room for

Rompers one of my favorite things about the shops in downtown Newnan is the variety. C.S. Toggery has recently added Lilly Pulitzer to its classic selections, Gillyweed is constantly bringing in fantastic boho looks, and Blue Moon Boutique has just picked up LA-based Show Me Your Mumu. (At time of print, the fall collection had not come in, so we couldn’t use for this edition; rest assured, you’ll see it next issue.) What better way to showcase some of the downtown variety than to use a fabulous mother/daughter pair? Kim and Morgan Tiernan are Newnanites with great tastes and figures to boot. One of the perks of writing this column is that I get to pick outfits I could never personally wear for other people. Case in point, my sweet model Morgan. Morgan is a junior at The Heritage School and has confirmed what I have long-believed to be true: The only people who look better in clothes than celebrities are 17-year-olds. This off-white dress from Gillyweed

A TIMELESS LOOK

This off-white dress from Gillyweed was a perfect choice for high school junior Morgan Tiernan, giving her a youthful, casual appeal. Her mom, Kim, is timeless in a Kimono-style cardigan from Blue Moon paired with a solid tank top and white denim pants.

Stylist CAROLYN BARNARD | Photographer AARON HEIDMAN | Models Morgan and kim tiernan

16 | www.newnancowetamag.com


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style

A POP OF COLOR

Pairing these fabulous dangling earrings from Blue Moon in coral and cyan with solid colors or nuetrals like white adds a dash of color and a bit of interest to any outfit.

“Ladies, don’t let a silly thing like age keep you from humiliating your daughter in public. (Kidding!) Match her cute Lilly romper and put one on yourself.” was a perfect choice for her because she’s young and thin enough to pull it off. If I tried to wear this dress, people would likely stop me on the street and ask when I was due and if it’s a boy or a girl. Curvier gals should shy away from possible maternity gowns and leave it to trendy high-schoolers. Kim is wearing a Kimono-style-cardigan from Blue Moon. Adding this bright, patterned top and earrings to a solid tank and jeans gives her a timeless look. Also, white past Labor Day has been given the stamp of approval by virtually every fashion magazine in circulation. True story. For our second look I really wanted to celebrate Halloween and recreate every cute high school girl’s worst nightmare: Matching mother-daughter rompers. 18 | www.newnancowetamag.com

A LIKELY PAIR

Mother and daughter CAN match with a bit of creativity and age-appropriate choices. Morgan wears a sweet Lilly romper in shades of blue and teal while Kim shows of her own chic romper from C.S. Toggery in navy.


style file details

ON DAUGHTER: Off-white dress Gillyweed, $36 Coral earrings Blue Moon, $28 Lilly Pulitzer Romper C.S. Toggery, $158 ON MOM: Cardigan Blue Moon, $36

Truthfully, when Kim saw this I think it was her nightmare, too, but I reassured her she could pull it off, and she did. Ladies, don’t let a silly thing like age keep you from humiliating your daughter in public. (Kidding!) Match her cute Lilly romper and

put one on yourself. Not a denim one, but a navy one with sleeves from C.S. Toggery, chic and age appropriate. Update that wardrobe, try something new and have fun this fall. – Carolyn Barnard carolynbarnard@gmail.com

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& ◗

hobby

QA with

THOMAS CROWE

Thomas Crowe likes to jump

out of planes. A resident of Moreland, Crowe got serious about skydiving in 2006 and has made more than 270 jumps. Some are solo jumps, but he also jumps with others in formations, and takes part in raft dives and other speciality jumps.

Why skydiving? Initially, because it was different. Not everyone can say they have jumped out of a plane, and it has an element of risk to it. As I’ve matured, both in life and in the sport, it has become more about the community surrounding it. Skydiving brings together people from diverse backgrounds and unites them under a single goal. I can be on a jump with doctors, lawyers, electricians, laborers, students and professional skydivers, and we are all there for the same reason. We all have the same desire – to embrace life and live it to the fullest. There is a saying in skydiving: “Skydivers aren’t afraid of dying, we’re afraid of NOT living.” I think that saying captures the essence of skydiving. What do you like best about it? I love the community around skydiving, but as far as the act itself, I love the thrill and exhilaration of the free-fall aspect, and then the peacefulness and serenity of the canopy flight portion. Under canopy, it’s just you and nature. Isn’t it scary jumping out of a plane? Yes, and I love it. Nothing makes you feel more empowered in your life than being afraid of something and doing it anyway. I still feel the flutter in my chest when I’m climbing on the plane, then the door opens and I climb out and someone gives the count. But as soon as I am out in the sky, flying (yes, I know I’m falling, but it feels like flying), that all goes away. How did you get into skydiving? I didn’t grow up around a drop zone like many kids do today. I didn’t know anybody who skydived. I didn’t have any contacts in the industry. There wasn’t even a drop zone where I lived. It was something I had seen on TV and in magazines. I was attracted to it because it is out of the norm. I wouldn’t call myself an adrenaline junkie, because I don’t take unnecessary risks. But I do enjoy sports that have some involvement of risk with them. I made my first jump, via static line (which automatically pulls a parachute as soon as the wearer jumps out of the plane) in 1997. After that, I took an occasional jump here and there, but I didn’t do so on a regular basis until 2006. How often do you jump? I try to go about two weekends per month. An average day is about four jumps. There are people that are up there every single weekend. Some live on the drop zone. Literally. In a trailer.

Photographed by AARON HEIDMAN 20 | www.newnancowetamag.com

Once you jump out of the plane, how long does it last? It’s typically 60 seconds of free fall – at 13,500 feet. Then you have


“Skydivers aren’t afraid of dying, we’re afraid of NOT living.” I think that saying captures the essence of skydiving.

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hobby

SPECIALTY DIVES

Photo courtesy Killilay Photography

Thomas Crowe considers this group dive in 2011 “the most epic raft dive ever.” Skydivers often incorporate just about anything that can be safely thrown from a plane.

roughly three or five minutes of canopy time. The 60 seconds feels longer. When you are in the air, it doesn’t feel like it is quick.

GEAR UP

Skydiving can be a very gear-intensive sport. In addition to your parachute – that is, your "rig," skydivers wear a jump suit and keep an altimeter at hand. A video camera on your helmet captures the moment.

Do you have a most memorable jump? That’s an easy one. March of 2011. Me and eight friends took an inflatable three-person raft in the airplane. We stuck three people in the raft and had the other six – myself included – hold on to the edges of the raft. We chunk this thing out the tail of a Skyvan with considerable help from the pilot, and we all hang on for dear life. I smile just thinking about it now. The amazing thing, it works! We hold it together. This was even with my friend Tara, who was riding in the front of the raft, coming out over the front edge but managing to get back in the raft. It was amazing. It was, is still, and always will be the most epic raft dive ever for all of us. My friend Frankie organized it, and it was an honor to be part of it. I’ve since done other raft dives, and organized several myself, but none of them live up to that one. So you can throw a raft out of a plane? Generally speaking, if we can safely

22 | www.newnancowetamag.com

throw something out of an airplane, we will. Some of my most fun jumps are “speciality jumps.” I’ve done raft dives, hula hoop dives, Mr. Potato Head jumps and more. There are several specialty group jumps, too.

Isn’t this dangerous? It is. Make no mistake about it, this sport can kill you. You can do everything right and still die on any jump. Fortunately the equipment continues to get safer, but it’s paid for with the blood of our friends. If you’re in this sport long enough you will lose friends. It is unfortunate, but it is true. Keep the odds in your favor; properly maintain your equipment, check it before every jump, and practice your emergency procedures every jump. There are very few accidents or fatalities that are the result of the equipment. The majority of the accidents are caused by our own actions. And rarely is there one thing that causes an accident. It is usually a chain reaction. How can someone interested in skydiving get started? If you just want to try skydiving, then a tandem jump is probably the right choice. Tandem jumps allow you to go up and make a jump while being attached to


an experienced, well-trained and qualified tandem instructor. If you want to jump on a regular basis, then you will need to get trained and certified. The most common training method is Accelerated Free Fall. Once you complete all seven levels of AFF, you are “off student status” and can jump on your own. Once you get your USPA license, you can start participating in and planning group jumps.

How expensive is this hobby? A single tandem jump will run about $189 or less if you keep an eye out for coupons or specials. Training to be a licensed skydiver typically starts with a “first jump course” and, along with your first jump, will run about $289. Subsequent training jumps cost around $189. Once

The reserve chute, located at the top of a parachute, can only be packed by a certified rigger, who then installs an embossed seal that prevents tampering and can be traced to the rigger in case of malfunction.

you are off student status, you purchase lift tickets, which just give you the ride in the plane, for between $25 and $27. If you don’t have your own gear, that can generally be rented for about $50 per day. The largest expense you will have is purchasing your rig, or parachute. There is a healthy used market. Just make sure you use a reputable dealer or have the gear you are considering buying inspected by a

rigger. A new rig will cost around $7,000. The other things you will likely purchase include an altimeter, a helmet and a jumpsuit. After around 270 jumps, I am still jumping the rig that I purchased used for $1,500, but it is getting worn, and I’ve had to put some maintenance into it. I am saving for a new rig and looking forward to when I can order it. NCM

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artist spotlight

in 3-D

Painting Scenic artist adds sense of reality to movies, television

ARTISTIC ORIGINS

Newnan's Lauren Baxter won her first art contest at the age of 5 with a drawing of a turkey. Today, her personal drawings and paintings are far more complex.

When an abandoned building sits unattended, nature takes a toll. Pipes rust, mildew creeps across walls, bricks crumble and vines poke through cracks. The process takes years to develop an aged and eerie atmosphere. Lauren Baxter strikes the same tone in a matter of months – sometimes even weeks. As a scenic artist on some of Atlanta’s biggest movie sets, Baxter moves between 2-D and 3-D worlds, painting white-walled rooms to look decades old and blank canvases to appear as textured brick walls. “You have to be familiar with the way things look in the real world to recreate them in a realistic way,” she said. “I watch a lot of movies and observe everyday life to make my work look like the actual thing.” She’s recreated small-town streets for the CW’s “Vampire Diaries” and mausoleums out of foam to mimic spooky New Orleans graveyards for the hit show’s spinoff, “The Originals.” She’s developed photo finishes for scenes in feature films such as “Fast and Furious 7” and “Million Dollar Arm.” Recent projects include Grecian tombs aged to the early 1900s, an antique opera stage and a 10,000-square-foot canvas painted as a lifesize marble building. The work depends on what set directors need and how quickly they need it, sometimes turning into 12-hour days seven days per week. On one set, Baxter worked every day for a month. “It’s physically demanding work. Some people have the idea that I come in and paint portraits in an office,” she

Written by CAROLYN CRIST | Photographed by JEFFREY LEO Scene photos from the set of “The Originals” 24 | www.newnancowetamag.com


SELFIE-MADE

Though formally trained, scenic artist Lauren Baxter says it took going the extra mile and introducing herself repeatedly to movie types in order to get their attention.


? o d e h s s e o d y l t c a What ex

organization now conditions. The as works s in the United Lauren Ba xter has 375 local union s, e th da. Over the year under States and Cana a scenic artist e l lud ca inc tri to ea ed Th nd of nce e union has expa th International Allia s driven by s, Moving Pic ture new media and job Stage Employee Craf ts. d lie Al d ation. an ov ts inn l tis technologica Technicians, Ar 00 0,0 12 part of a larger an th are re ts mo tis Scenic ar It represents at e th d rk behin that dictates wh ar t department members who wo ct s s. oje Pr ow . sh en TV wh s and built scenes must be scenes on movie tists r ar 5 fo 3ion of un ps e ou th gr of She’s been part are doled out to ny a gang boss, ma a year. by a foreman or st set fir a p of , the grou e drawings Founded in 1893 times following th ies ly cit se 11 clo in s gehand of ten work formed when sta designer. Ar tists ht fig ion ct to tru ed ns re co and ag and the met in New York with carpenters ng rki wo od go d for fair wages an

26 | www.newnancowetamag.com

e the ideas crew to reproduc accurately. s oup, Baxter paint As part of the gr is Th y. scener film and television rent methods ffe di ny ma es includ , lor texture and to reproduce co d requires skill in aged surfaces, an ns ing, optical illusio landscape paint ic, ryl ac . She uses and faux finishing re to design mo d an ra oil, tempe ne and brick marble, wood, sto ts o molds and sculp surfaces. She als inting them to objec ts before pa appearance. D 3e create a lifelik


said. “But at the end of a day, out in the heat, I’m sweaty, dirty and covered in paint.” Always an artist Artistry flows through her genes, said Lauren’s father, Chuck Baxter. Her mom, Cheryl Baxter, taught art for 15 years at Elm Street Elementary School, and her grandmother was an artist as well. “She came by it naturally on that side of the family,” he said. “She’s always shown

exceptional talent, and I’m proud of her for sticking with it and making a living from it.” He recalled when she first won an art contest at age 5. While visiting family in San Francisco, she drew a turkey for a fast-food restaurant and won first prize. From then through her graduation from Woodward Academy in 1998, she won various art contests and even picked up a scholarship to attend the School of Visual Arts in New York.

“I pretty quickly discovered my style and ended up finding a gallery that represented me for a few years,” she said. During her 10 years in New York City, Baxter also worked on coordination and production teams for reality TV and home improvement shows, such as A&E’s “Sell This House” and TLC’s “Moving Up” and “What Not to Wear.” In 2008, she moved back to Newnan and started construction work with her father. Several carpenters encouraged

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artist spotlight

“It’s up to you to get your foot in the door, especially in a big industry that’s blooming in this state right now. I’d show up, explain what I could do, and then show up the next week and do it again.” her to join the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and contribute her artistic talents to movie sets. After a year in the union, she’s jumping to larger and larger projects. “It’s up to you to get your foot in the door, especially in a big industry that’s blooming in this state right now,” she said. “I’d show up, explain what I could do, and then show up the next week and do it again.” She works in several locations around the metro Atlanta area, most recently in a large Norcross warehouse that churns out a variety of sets with a broad range of tones and atmospheres. One of her favorite scenes incorporated different washes and colors to create wind erosion and water damage on a massive scale. “It’s funny how I look at everything now,” she said. “I went on vacation recently and admired the stones on a fireplace. I realized I could totally recreate that.” Mixing many media Baxter’s artistic talents stretch far beyond paintbrushes, washes and acrylics. She likes to dabble in sculpture, engraving and remodeling as well – whatever strikes her fancy for a phase. A few years ago, she became interested in metal engraving and designed flasks with unique patterns. She sold several on Etsy.com and gave them as 28 | www.newnancowetamag.com


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APPEARANCE VERSUS REALITY Lauren Baxter relishes her role as an artist working behind the scenes to add lifelike context to a movie set.

gifts to her friends. “She made one for me and dropped it on my front porch as a surprise,” said Sandy Seagraves, one of Baxter’s closest Newnan friends. “She did it freehand, and it was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen.” As scene work wrapped on a set recently, the crew asked Baxter to do a custom paint job on a motorcycle helmet for the group’s foreman. She tackled the project without hesitation. “She has the most unbelievably keen sense of what things should look like and how they should be,” Seagraves said. “You could give her a master painting and tell her to reproduce it, and she could.” Baxter is remodeling a 1980s U-Haul rental camper. In her free time, she repaints the exterior, shops for fabrics for the interior and refurbishes the fiberglass. It’s a big project but may pay off for her career. Many set artists take trailers with them to stay on location for assignments. “When she sets out to do a new project, you never doubt she’s going to do it,” Seagraves said. “She’s been posting photos online and you can tell it’s going to be exceptional.” 30 | www.newnancowetamag.com

Georgia movie scene When Baxter works on feature film sets at the Pinewood Studios complex in Fayetteville, she said she’s amazed by the growing complexity of the movie scene in Georgia. “It reminds me of when you see behindthe-scenes shots or backlot tours,” she said. “All these different aspects of production are flowing around you, and you’re part of it.” When she moved back to Newnan, she never imagined she’d be part of a booming TV and film enterprise again. She said she enjoys working with industry veterans who have more than 30 years of experience and is sometimes “starstruck in this microcosm of painters.” But working on sets can be a barrier to Baxter’s social life. She’s not allowed to talk about the scenes she’s creating, especially for feature films that take longer to appear in theaters. She also keeps her thoughts off social media and saves photographs of her projects to share at a later date. However, Baxter sometimes trades stories about work stress with her boyfriend, Shannon Stecyk, whom she met when they both worked as scene artists on the “Fast and Furious 7” set.

“It’s nice to talk to her about work and see her view of it, but we try not to talk about it too often,” Stecyk said. “We’re able to treat it like a job and leave everything else at the door when we arrive to work.” Both artists agree they enjoy the teamwork of working and living together, tackling canvases of hand-painted marble during the day and U-Haul restoration at night. Stecyk ran a restoration shop before he became a scenic artist six years ago. He’s helping Baxter with the mechanical aspects of restoration. “She’s great about seeing projects through and asking questions,” he said. “She’s talented and sees things the way they should be, which takes a certain eye.” As she continues to take on scenic projects, Baxter said she looks forward to more jobs with feature films. The sets typically require a higher quality, complexity and authenticity, and she has more time to finesse the details. “The growth of the movie industry is great for Georgia, and I’m happy to have it here,” she said. “I feel like I’ve finally found what I would love to do for the rest of my life.” NCM


Find her here

scenic painting for several wellough s in her first year on the job. Alth known TV shows and feature film s, she shared details about jobs she can’t talk about current project es that have already aired. she’s already completed and scen

Lauren Baxter has tackled

Films Hamm ey film that opened mid-May, Jon “Million Dollar Arm” – In this Disn great next s his career by finding baseball’ plays a spor ts agent trying to save over disc to tion peti com uces a reality show pitcher. He travels to India and prod as ted assis er Baxt n, unio the her first jobs with young cricket pitchers. In one of n. clea shop set the ing and keep a “utility” by helping the painters us series, latest installment in the Fast & Furio “Fast & Furious 7” – This is the , seeks ham . Ian Shaw, played by Jason Stat which will hit theaters April 2015 his brother. of h deat ed by Vin Diesel, for the revenge against Dom Toretto, play died last el, Dies e gsid alon ed d duo who play After Paul Walker, one of the fame the team d joine er Baxt film. the e to complet November, cast and crew decided ross Norc a uction and helped as an artist in during the second phase of prod te a crea to es scen of the photo finishes on the warehouse. She produced some sleek look for the big screen. TV shows in Covington, fictional Mystic Falls, Va., and shot “The Vampire Diaries” – Set in as a high es wolv were and hes witc pires, Ga., this evening drama boasts vam sixth season, its in Now . hers brot pire vam school girl chooses between two ted several s most popular shows. Baxter crea “Vampire Diaries” is one of the CW’ hes. finis brick and s drop ll town street back scenes last season, including sma show focuses “The Vampire Diaries,” this CW “The Originals” – As a spinoff of city they the in es settl and to rns ly retu on the first vampire family. The fami elaborate scenes on ed work er Baxt ans. Orle helped build centuries ago – New ination vibe, including an abandoned exam based on a spooky New Orleans made She s. 1900 the Grecian tombs from room, an antique opera stage and look like to them ted pain and nes from foam outdoor mausoleums and tombsto a real 3-D graveyard.

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Pre vious work

Baxter was and started work on movie sets, Before she moved back to Newnan in New York City. part of several production teams s helped nine seasons, this reality TV serie “Sell This House” – On A&E for me hosted Mem a Tany ses. hou ble with their homeowners who were having trou er. stag e hom and r a designe the show, and Roger Hazard was ly moves , a family moves out and a new fami “Moving Up” – In each episode and ges chan ses. The old family saw the in, renovating the home as it choo es,” Spac ding on, previously of “Tra provided feedback. Host Doug Wils Produced by TLC, the show ran for way. the g alon tary provided commen four seasons. ty TV series ular TLC show was a makeover reali “What Not to Wear” – This pop London y same name. Fashion stylists Stac based on the British show of the mped reva , sors advi of hair and makeup and Clinton Kelly, along with a team rs. With eove mak for ds frien nominated by their wardrobes for people who were to ity onal pers and er care , type y up bod a $5,0 00 budget, the stylists sized than for 10 years and covered more create outfits that fit. The show ran 350 makeovers.

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places

From Contemporary to Traditional Local bed and breakfasts offer different styles of comfort

Written by jeff bishop | Photographed by aaron heidman

32 | www.newnancowetamag.com


C

Casa Bella in Newnan and the Veranda

in Senoia are two sides of the bed and breakfast coin. Casa Bella owner/operator Patty Gironda explained that her B&B on Temple Avenue is neither typical nor traditional. “We’re contemporary,” said Gironda, who also is an interior designer. “We don’t have any antiques around. It used to be that everyone wanted antiques everywhere. That was expected. But this market evolves. The whole bed and breakfast industry ebbed for a time, but it’s on the upswing right now.” In fact, Gironda shut down her B&B for eight years. Formerly it was known as the “Old Garden Inn” and it looked quite a bit different. “There was a period there where there wasn’t a bed and breakfast in town at all,” Gironda said. “No one was doing it, except the Veranda in Senoia. I kept hoping someone would open one, because Newnan is too perfect a city for it. We kept our license. The city was really interested in someone staying licensed. But we didn’t do it. I had a friend who got sick and passed away. Ron, my husband, got cancer.” The Girondas used the down time to install a swimming pool and two kitchens – “big stuff that would have been hard to do if we had been open.” New electricity and fiber optic cable also were installed. The place was so different when it reopened that the Girondas decided it needed a new name. “The Old Garden Inn was very popular. It has a great reputation. But we didn’t think we should keep it. We wanted a clean break,” Gironda said. “We redecorated when we reopened. I didn’t like the old look. I took it all down. We didn’t have anything at all on the walls. When we closed, I was able to put in what I liked, rather than what I thought a B&B should have. And the modern look, the house carried it well, I discovered. During that time, we were going to Europe a lot, and I started to collect things. So I began to fill the house with memories.” The new fiber optics and WiFi have been perfect for their clientele, which includes a lot of businessmen and attorneys. The pool also was a good addition.

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places

A fresh and inviting place setting awaits guests at Casa Bella. The sitting room (opposite page) demonstrates owner Patty Gironda's contemporary style of interior decorating.

UP TO DATE

The Girondas are constantly upgrading and modernizing Casa Bella's historic structure, located on Temple Avenue in Newnan.

34 | www.newnancowetamag.com

“Except for the fact that the state changed the laws regarding pools," Gironda said. "We have to become certified pool operators. We have to go to class. So that’s been a big change.” She added that Casa Bella is “not at all like a hotel.” “We only have four rooms. So it’s limited,” she said. But she keeps Laura Reynolds’ phone number handy to refer overflow guests to the Veranda. “I try not to have them leave Coweta County. We don’t want them to leave us,” Gironda said. “I know that Laura will take good care of them over there.” The Veranda is a much more traditional B&B, offering a bit of history and Southern hospitality to guests who stay there. “Originally, this was the Hollberg Hotel,” said Reynolds, owner and operator of the Veranda, located on Seavy Street in Senoia. The century-old structure was the place the Civil War veterans used to have their annual gathering, she said. “We’ve got pictures here of that.” Rumor has it that Margaret Mitchell came to the Veranda to interview some of those soldiers as she was researching her book, “Gone With the Wind.” But Reynolds doesn’t put too much stock in those tales. “I don’t know if that’s a true story or not, but I’ve been told that many times,” she said. “She had a lot of relatives around

this area so she may naturally have come around to do that, but I can’t prove it.” The Hollberg family was told they were “kind of crazy” to build such a lavish structure in an out-of-the-way place like Senoia in the early 20th century, according to Reynolds. “Why would anyone need a hotel in this little faraway town?” she said. “But two railroads crossed here in this little town, and many merchants came through here and got picked up at the railroad station. Everything the Hollbergs did seemed to work, whether it was dry goods, a drug store, fine jewelry, a furniture store or a small hotel. Everything flourished.” Reynolds said a postcard from the time when it was built claimed the hotel had 20 rooms. These days, the B&B has nine rooms. “Our full capacity is 20,” she said. “But back then, somehow, it had 20 rooms. I don’t know how, but that’s what it said.” In those days, Senoia also had a college, a Coca-Cola bottling company, a lumber yard, a livery stable and its own newspaper. “They had 1,500 people, which is not many more than what we have now,” she said. The Hollberg Hotel was the first building in town to get electricity, she added. “And William Jennings Bryan came and stopped here on one of his presidential runs,” she said. “We still have the original


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36 | www.newnancowetamag.com


style profile

Patty Gironda is quick to point out that Casa Bella carries the modern look well despite being a historic home.


SOUTHERN CHARM

The Veranda is widely considered a traditional-style bed and breakfast. Much of its appeal is rooted in the history and folklore surrounding the Senoia area.

“It’s almost like holding a piece of history in my hand.” – Laura Reynolds

38 | www.newnancowetamag.com


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places

Each bed and breakfast is known for its menu staples. Peach crepes are a popular choice at Casa Bella.

Breakfast at … Casa Bella

Peach crepes, followed by an egg plate

Strawberries Romanoff: “That’s my New Orleans roots showing.” Praline French toast: “It’s wildly popular.”

– Patty Gironda

The Veranda

bathroom in the room where he stayed. So that’s where William Jennings Bryan took a bath.” Reynolds has been running the Veranda with her husband for a decade now. It operated under Bobby and Jan Boal for 18 years prior to that. “They used it as a private residence for five years after they stopped their business,” she said. “So there was a lag there.” She said she’s proud to be a caretaker of an important piece of local history. “It’s almost like holding a piece of history in my hand,” Reynolds said. “I love this town, and I love historic buildings. The Veranda is just lovely. And I love when you sit down to breakfast and listen to the stories that people tell. These people are from all over the world. It’s absolutely amazing. It’s been a fascinating journey for me.” NCM

“If a few people are here we do a four-course gourmet.” Fruit plate with yogurt and French toast, and “always with a fresh, edible flower on the plate.” “The second course is what’s made Rick Reynolds famous. His baked tomato is just delicious. We’ve sold many, many cookbooks just so people could get that baked tomato recipe.” Main Course: Grits and potatoes

Two types of meat: usually chicken or bacon, and sometimes pork loin

“The eggs we get fresh from a farm here in Senoia.” Biscuits

Peach cobbler with freshly whipped cream for dessert

Coffee from Crook’s Grocery

– Laura Reynolds

The Culpepper House “We always do an egg dish and a meat.” Freshly baked bread Fruit

Yogurt

Granola Bagels

“We don’t have formal seating. We want people to be relaxed and comfortable.” – Suzanne Helfman

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Rise of business during 1996 Olympics In the years leading to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, many bed and breakfasts set up stakes in Newnan to lay claim to the forecasted rush of financial opportunity that was expected to pour in from Atlanta. Nearly two decades later, only one remains. “At the time we opened up and got our first license, there were five of us,” recalled Patty Gironda, owner/operator of Casa Bella on Temple Avenue. “That was a very fun time. The torch came right down here. We had people from France, South Africa, California – they all went to the Olympics together.” But some residents weren’t so thrilled with the new B&Bs and complained to the city about increased traffic and noise in what traditionally had been quiet residential neighborhoods. “That started a whole storm,” Girdona said. “Some were operating without a license.” The city came down hard and began regulating the B&Bs, many of which didn’t

want to deal with the hassle or intrusion. “That’s why all the others closed,” Gironda said. “They didn’t want to get inspected. Our philosophy was a little bit different. I had been in the restaurant and bar business when I was younger, so I knew about inspections. They didn’t bother me. The health department people laugh at us because we go so overboard.” Liz Tedder, owner and operator of Oak Grove Plantation on Highway 29 near Palmetto, is one of those who decided to get out of the business. “We did it for about 13 years,” she said. “It was not so bad when we were younger. But now we’re older, and honestly, we want to go to bed earlier.” She said increased regulation, even outside of Newnan, meant running a B&B got a lot more expensive. “There are a lot of hoops you had to jump through,” Tedder said. “And it seemed like they went up on the cost of everything.” Now the Tedders rent their carriage house as a VRBO, or “Vacation

ome ecor H D

Rental By Owner.” “Now if someone wants breakfast, they can cook it themselves,” she said. Laura Reynolds, owner/operator of the Veranda on Seavy Street in Senoia, said complying with the regulations hasn’t been that difficult. “We are checked as a restaurant and as a hotel, but we make 100s, so we are very proud of that,” she said. “It is difficult to keep that standard, but you must. We have the most amazing staff, and that helps.” The most difficult aspect of owning a bed and breakfast is not the regulations, but “the constancy,” Reynolds said. “We’re open 24/7,” she said. “And because we’re a bed and breakfast, it’s the personality of the owners that people come to know. The Veranda is Rick and Laura. That’s part of the essence of this place. So when we’re gone, that’s gone, too. So that’s hard. You can’t be as spontaneous as you’d like. No one else is going to cook like my husband.”

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places

No place like a second home Owner makes guests feel welcome at Culpepper House Some come looking for solace, and perhaps

a good meal. Young couples seek a getaway weekend, away from young children and daily obligations. Europeans come looking for the “real” South. But most people? They’re just looking for great conversation. “When you go to a hotel or a motel, of course, you’re just paying your $69 and you’re going to sleep. It’s a whole different experience

Written by Jeff Bishop | Photographed by aaron heidman 42 | www.newnancowetamag.com


WARM AND INVITING

Suzanne Helfman says the secret of success at the Culpepper House is hospitality. “This is our home. We open it up for people to share with us.”

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places cutline

Most rooms at the Culpepper House are designed so that guests can find a connection with the owners. There's a reason why visitors choose a bed and breakfast experience over a typical hotel stay, according to Suzanne Helfman.

when you stay at a bed and breakfast,” said Suzanne Helfman, owner and operator of the Culpepper House in Senoia. “Hotels offer swimming pools. This is our home. We open it up for people to share with us,” she said. Although she’s hosted guests of all stripes, most are looking for some kind of connection, according to Helfman. That might be a connection to the place, to the house, or to other guests. “We have mostly weekend guests, and most of them are really wonderful people who appreciate old homes and antiques,” Helfman said. “That’s the kind of setting we have here. It’s like having house guests, and you want to make it a pleasant experience for them. Very homey.” Some guests prefer to be left alone, and you can pick up on that right away, according to Helfman. “They’re looking for quiet and solitude,” Helfman said. “They do not want to engage. They want to sit out on the porch and read, and they prefer not to talk to anyone. You have to respect that.” But most guests are the opposite. They’re tired of looking at nothing but screens. They are seeking human-tohuman connection. “We’ve lost that,” Helfman said. “There 44 | www.newnancowetamag.com

was a time when people would gather in these great rooms and talk right on up until midnight. Talk about anything. We don’t do that anymore. We’re looking down at our phones.” You can feel the echoes of some of those old conversations in the walls of some of the rooms. A doctor once lived in the Culpepper House and gave the house its name. The sliding doors and push buttons of his old examination room are still there. Some say he, or maybe his patients, still haunt the place. “One of the people who lived here years ago, she had seen someone, and some said it was a ghost,” Helfman said. “I’ve heard other people say things about it. I’m not a total skeptic about it, but I haven’t experienced that. I think there are occurrences that can’t be explained, but I personally haven’t seen that here. I think sometimes people read something on a website and come looking for ghosts in good-natured fun, but no one’s been really serious about it.” What has been serious are the occasional intrusions of the flesh-andblood variety. “Being a bed and breakfast, we’ve had people just walk in,” Helfman said. “They see the welcome sign and they

walk right in through the back door. I’ve had instances where I’ve come out of the bedroom and there’s someone standing in the hall. Of course, that kind of thing makes me a little uneasy. Some people. But I understand why they think that way.” But she’s never felt unsafe. In fact, many female travelers prefer bed and breakfasts over hotels specifically for safety reasons. “We’ve had quite a few women travelers who come here, saying they feel much safer staying at a bed and breakfast,” Helfman said. “We have a little owners’ quarters downstairs. One guest we had come regularly during the week. We don’t have an awful lot of career people during the week like that – it’s mostly career people on the weekends. She said to me, ‘I’m home.’ She really felt like that. So it happens, you make friends and you keep in touch with them. It’s a nice experience to have these conversations with people, and so many people leave and you wish they lived here and you could be friends with them. I’d say a huge majority of the people we’ve had here are like that.” NCM


An excerpt detailing the popularity of Dr. Wilbur Culpepper greets guests at the bed and breakfast that was later named in honor of the famed physician.

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Zombies good for business Even the dead have to sleep and eat breakfast somewhere. Or at least their fans do. “These days, we have a lot of ‘Walking Dead’ fans,” said Suzanne Helfman, owner/ operator of the Culpepper House, a bed and breakfast on Broad Street in Senoia. “But, of course, that’s not everyone. Our typical guest has always been what I would call a historic cultural traveler, someone who loved old homes and old towns. Some of these people have never seen the show, or they’ve seen it and they just don’t get it. I’d say, right now, we have about a 50/50 mix.” She said it wasn’t until about two years ago that “Walking Dead”-related business “really took off.” The town has been the centerpiece for many seasons of the show, most famously as the palisaded town of Woodbury. A “Walking Dead” gift shop and museum also is located downtown, and bus tours regularly make their way around the city. Sets even now are being built for the upcoming season on the old Gin Property. “We are definitely getting people who would not have come to visit Senoia before, but they want to come here because that whole Woodbury thing was based here,” Helfman said. “It’s increased business for us, from all those fans.” Laura Reynolds, owner/operator of the Veranda, located on Seavy Street, said that “Walking Dead” has offered the town “an amazing adventure.” “It’s just been an onslaught,” Reynolds said. “We have people from all over the world who are coming to Senoia just to see Woodbury.” She said one might expect these fans to be “of a certain ilk,” but that has not been 46 | www.newnancowetamag.com

the case. “Oh no,” she said. “We have grandparents and young people and just the whole spectrum. Grandmothers bringing their granddaughters. People who, when you first meet them, you would have no idea they are ‘Walking Dead’ fans.” Reynolds said a few of the cast members have stayed at the Veranda, but she usually tries to give them their privacy. “We’ve had a lot of ‘Walking Dead’ makeup artists stay with us, and we’ve had several of the stars stay here,” she said. “Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) and his real father have stayed here, and Andrea (Laurie Holden). They were friendly. Sometimes I didn’t even know who they were.” She said her husband, Rick, had checked Holden in one day and that she “came down to serve her breakfast, just like any of the other guests.” When Reynolds found out who she was, she had her picture taken with the captivating blonde. “She was very kind. I don’t usually take pictures with cast members,” Reynolds said. Helfman, who is also chair of the Downtown Development Authority for Senoia, said people are interested in other films and television shows with a Senoia connection, but nothing approaches the level of enthusiasm expressed by “Dead” fans. “‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ is popular, too,” she said. “People want to see the TravisMcDaniel house (204 Bridge St.) where they filmed that movie, but ‘Walking Dead’ is by far the most popular right now.” Helfman said she has witnessed fans taking photos of themselves beside the stars in the Senoia “walk of fame”

sidewalks. There are stars for films such as “Footloose,” “Lawless,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” and many others, and for TV shows such as “Drop Dead Diva” and “I’ll Fly Away” – but again, it’s the “Walking Dead” star that grabs all the attention. “We have a very walkable town. And people just lie down next to the plaque on the sidewalk and get their picture taken with it,” she said. The reach of “The Walking Dead” even extends to Newnan, where many of the scenes have been filmed. Patty Gironda, owner/operator of Casa Bella bed and breakfast on Temple Avenue, said she has felt a bump from the series, as well. “Of course, we don’t get the impact nearly as much as Senoia does,” Gironda said. “But Lennie James (Morgan Jones) stayed here. What I knew him from, he was the villain in the movie ‘Sahara,’ about finding Confederate gold in the desert. But we got word that he wanted to stay with us, and I had to sign a non-disclosure statement saying that if I found out anything about ‘Walking Dead’ I wouldn’t talk about it. So instead I reenacted all the scenes from ‘Sahara.’ He’s been one of my most fun guests, I would say. He was charming.” The B&B operators all agree that the impact of “The Walking Dead” and the rest of the TV and film business has been overwhelmingly positive for Senoia and their businesses. “The movie industry has been great for our town, and it’s only been an asset for businesses like ours,” Reynolds said. “And, of course, it’s just been great for the fans. Everyone is so warm and generous.” NCM


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trends

Welcoming Home Kathryn Lott grew up in Newnan “drinking

sweet tea, eating Georgia peaches, listening to Alan Jackson and blessing hearts.” A graduate of Northgate High School, she went on to earn an interior design degree from the prestigious Pratt Institute in New York City. After four years in Colorado, she returned to Newnan for a short while. While in Newnan most recently, she got married and helped her parents open Southern Roots Nursery on Highway 29. Kathryn now resides in Birmingham and works as assistant marketing manager for Southern Living Magazine. We all wish our homes were a little more welcoming. Lott shares with NCM a few tips on how anyone can make their own space capture the serenity and comfort of an inviting bed and breakfast.

What does hospitality mean to you? There is nothing like southern hospitality. My momma raised me to always have the house spotless, regardless of who is coming over. (Even if it is a repair man.) Hospitality is the art of bending over backwards to make others feel welcome. A quote by Ken Pursley sums it up perfectly: “Every Southern home needs a humble face, a gracious heart, and a bottle of bourbon.” FROM A PRO

Southern belle Kathryn Lott grew up in Newnan but has traveled far and wide, including attending interior design classes at the prestigious Pratt Institute in New York City.

Are certain colors more welcoming in a space? I am a big believer in keeping a neutral palette with pops of color. Too much of a good thing can get old fast. It’s best to keep the larger spaces neutral (and big pieces of furniture) and add color with your accessories – a throw, candles, flowers, or old crates for depth. What are the hot trends in home decor accessories? Keep it local. My personal favorites are Greenhouse at Serenbe and Gillyweed in downtown Newnan. Shop with your neighbors. Look to mix the old and new. I love things that have a story to tell. Those things add character to a space. My house is a mixture of new pieces that I have collected, estate sale finds (who doesn’t love a 50 cent end table?) and pieces that I have refinished. What advice do you have for the timid redecorator? If decorating is a difficult task for you, find images of

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egs. . L Enjoy Beautiful

spaces that you love and take them to the store with you. So what if you mess up? You live with it for a little while. Sometimes, it is an easy fix – moving a few accessories, changing up the window treatments. If all else fails, call in the professionals (i.e. ask home decor shop owners or friends who have similar tastes and styles).

How can folks avoid decorating no-no’s? Keep decorating real. Keep it simple. Some of the best-looking rooms are simple. Choose a color scheme and stick to it. Be realistic about what you are going to like down the road. Decorating, for many of us, is an investment. Invest in what you love and what you will continue to love for years to come. When creating a guest room, what are some things to consider? Even though you are decorating a guest room, it is still an extension of you. Put personal touches in your guest room. I love visiting someone and finding family photos, books they have read and things they have collected over the years. Your guest will love the stories of your treasures as much as you do. Plus, you’ll have conversation starters. What is the one thing in your own home that makes you inexplicably happy? I have my great grandfather’s metal Coca-Cola cooler. It has lived through four generations of my family. It still has the Sunday comics from June 29, 1952, in it. I have lugged it all over the country with me. It always reminds me of my heritage and my family. My parents have always instilled in me that “home is where your heart is.” I truly believe that. What does a relaxing space look like to you? If it doesn’t look comfortable, it probably isn’t. I am most relaxed in spaces that read comfort. I love soft woods, plush fabrics, big pillows, fuzzy dogs, warm candles and mixtures of pattern. NCM

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â——

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The courtroom is quiet. Her cabin is cinder, grown indistinguishable from earth. The dusty road she walked, a pack of obedient dogs trailing her like a comet’s tail, is now paved. There’s no sign of the carnival crowds that once peppered her lawn – no hint of the neighbors selling sodas and sandwiches. In the church graveyard where she lies, her mother beside her, under a blanket of concrete, a street lamp guards the family from the grave robbers, n’er-do-wells and thrill-seekers who long ago ceased their plunder.

The strangest thing on the stretch of road that leads from Caney Head Methodist Church to Mayhayley Lancaster’s former property is an embattled mobile home streaming plumes of white smoke. On the warehouse at the corner of Route 100 and Mayhayley Road, a spray-painted warning reads “You Steal, You Die.” In this stretch of county road, extremes of poverty and wealth are violently illustrated through dilapidated, sometimes uninhabitable homes contrasted against top-of-the-line wroughtiron fencing that seems to stretch for acres. On Mayhayley Road, there is little hint of the peaceful co-existence the eccentric fortune teller shared with her country neighbors – a group she alternately delighted, celebrated, supported and, on occasion, terrified and annoyed. It is the 60th year since Mayhayley Lancaster’s death and 140 years since her birth. On her grave, the recently placed silk flowers and handful of fresh-cut garden roses seem like ordinary offerings. On closer inspection, the gifts at Mayhayley’s grave grow stranger: two vibrant glass beads, a black feather, loose change neatly stacked. Evidence that some still believe. Those who knew her or sought her counsel are mostly with her underground or lost to the confines of their homes and care facilities. Heard County residents who watched her walk the rural roads or visited her with their parents and grandparents can’t remember

Written by MELISSA DICKSON JACKSON | Photographed by Mark Fritz

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the color of her single eye. They are quick to tell you she wore a glass replacement in the empty socket of the other – an accessory she was likely to remove and polish on her sleeve mid-conversation. No one knows what color hair she had as a younger woman or what triggered her eccentric shifts between overly flamboyant clothing riddled with ribbons and jewelry and the farmhand style she seemed to adopt later in life. She was changeable and strange, unpredictable but predictably correct. In Coweta County, many still recall pilgrimages to Mayhayley’s ramshackle log cabin deep in the farm fields of Heard County. Some hesitate to recount the tales of fortunes lost and found, bodies discovered by the map of her cryptic but startlingly precise words, weddings foretold, sweethearts revealed, and impending doom predicted in the return of one’s payment and the foreboding words, “There is no future to tell.” In Heard County, a kind of proprietary and protective grace surrounds Mayhayley Lancaster. People sometimes seem to withdraw the way one might if a stranger tried to peer into his wallet or read over her shoulder. Many stories end with a familiar appeal, “Best not print that.” Even in 2014, Mayhayley Lancaster inspires fear, respect and an unrelenting curiosity in equal measure. Rebecca Lawley, a cousin of “Oracle of the Ages” author Dot Moore and former president of the local historical society, counseled an attitude of respect when discussing the famous Heard County resident: “Everybody accepted her. They didn’t see too much wrong … that’s just the way Miss Mayhayley was.” What’s in a name?

Stairway to Heaven Antiques graciously offered space, time and materials to stage an interior scene inspired by photographs of Mayhayley’s cabin. You can see our Mayhayley recreation through September, and maybe October, at 8 1l 2 Greenville St. in downtown Newnan. While you’re there, pick up a copy of Dot Moore’s Mayhayley collection, “Oracle of the Ages.” And don’t forget to ask the owners, James and Christy, about the ghost. 52 | www.newnancowetamag.com

Amanda Mayhayley Lancaster (1875-1955) was many things and was known by many names. Her self-assigned pen names reveal a woman whose imagination extended well beyond her regional and economic setting. She referred to herself in print and sometimes in person as “Uncle Sam,” “Ye Scribe” and “The Oracle of the Ages.” She was called Hayley at home and among close friends, but Miss or Aunt Mayhayley in the community. In Heard, Coweta and Carroll counties, the pronunciation of her name is still debated: Some say Ma-hal-yah (as in Mahalia Jackson, Queen of Gospel). Locals who remember her enunciate both the “May” and the “ley,” like the double names popular among southern girls today, May Hayley. The name itself derives from a biblical name shared by her greatgrandmother, Mahala Whaley. Spelled “Mahalath,” it occurs first in Genesis 28:9: “so he [Esau] went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham…” According to Easton’s 1897 Bible dictionary, the word refers to a musical instrument, such as the lyre or lute, and often is used to imply the character of a musical presentation. “Notes to the choirmaster” indicate “Mahaleth” when a psalm should be presented as a “humbling” or “afflicted” lament. The lyre is also associated with the classical god Mercury or Hermes, who was said to have invented the instrument using a turtle’s shell. A quick study of Greek mythology reveals a number of associations that speak to the life of Mayhayley Lancaster. Hermes was said to be the god of “rustic divination,” “cattle rustling,” “guard dogs,” “dreams and omens,” “trade and merchants,” and “language, learning and crafty wiles.” Mayhayley, who practiced astrology, studied law, and appears to have been an avid gatherer of information, might well have known that the planet associated with both her name and her various


professions “presided over all wisdom and knowledge.” The 1801 Smith’s Bible Dictionary indicates the word may mean “guitar,” a more contemporary incarnation of the ancient lyre. Perhaps this is the reason Mayhayley’s 1904 family portrait, a gathering she reportedly staged, features the young oracle in the frame’s front right

wearing an overly formal white gown and playing the guitar. Witch, sorceress, prophet, fortune teller, mystic One can’t contemplate the many names of Mayhayley Lancaster without also considering those others applied to her. Mayhayley preferred the biblical term

“seer,” which occurs first in Samuel 9:9: “…Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.” She was a devout Methodist who walked miles to attend weekly services. Neighbors say her dogs attended, too – clustered around her at the front pew and escorting her home afterward. She enjoyed fantastical tales

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Even in 2014, Mayhayley Lancaster inspires fear, respect, and an unrelenting curiosity in equal measure.

that frightened children and puritans, but she never referred to herself as a witch. She did say she was a Christian and often quoted the Bible and shared handwritten Bible passages with clients. John Wallace of “Murder in Coweta County” fame is said to have asked his lawyer to “get that damned witch … out of here.” After Wallace’s conviction, his lawyer appealed the verdict, saying, “Not since the 17th century has the testimony of a witch been allowed in a court of law.” The comment was meant to discredit Mayhayley’s testimony but settled in the minds of many as a kind of truth. Mayhayley’s rich biography is often lost in tales of hex-casting, sorcery and fortune telling. Even her Atlanta Constitution advocate, reporter Celestine Sibley, wrote in July 1955 that Mayhayley was “… the closest thing to a genuine, old-fashioned witch that I ever saw.” Teacher, merchant, farmer, lawyer, activist Mayhayley’s professional career began as an educator at Heard County’s Red Oak School at the turn of the century. Selmah Bowen of the Heard County Historical Society describes her as a compassionate teacher. Bowen’s grandfather Stephen “Coot” Nixon was one of her students. He lost his right arm as a result of an infection incurred after an accident. By Bowen’s account, “After his recovery, a friend, neighbor and teacher at Red Oak School, Amanda Mayhayley Lancaster, taught him to write with his left hand. Later a correspondence course was ordered from Carrollton to help improve his penmanship. “She was a good person,” Bowen added. Mayhayley’s career didn’t end with that conventional beginning. “I do many

things. I buy oxen and mules,” she told John Wallace’s lawyer when pressed to describe her abilities. Mayhayley was a merchant, a businesswoman, and a selfeducated lawyer. She bought and sold seed, produce, livestock and land. She offered her services as a lawyer to indigent members of her community. She wrote a newspaper column circa 1922 with dispatches about her community that reads much like today’s Facebook and Twitter posts. Typical entries updated the community on the activities and events of local life: “A few hogs was killed last week.” “Miss Sally

Hull has quite a large drove of baby chicks.” “The schools of this section have been suspended for three weeks on account of the flu.” She ran for state office in 1922 and 1926. Through it all, she lived an austere, self-sustaining lifestyle and built a quiet empire through wit and sheer force of will. She celebrated her rare abilities. When asked by Wallace’s lawyer if she was more important than other members of the assembled courtroom, Mayhayley was quick to assert that she was. “I feel my importance,” she repeated twice and affirmed with a “Yes” when asked a third

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time. “I have the advantage of you. You can’t do it (tell the future or read the past).” The most frightening thing about Mayhayley Lancaster may have been her independence and fierce confidence. In her later years, she was known to be cantankerous if condescended to or offered advice. An oral history on file at the HCHS recounts her conflict with V.O. Smith, who was often called upon to assess veterinary needs. When Smith suggested her cattle were malnourished, Mayhayley “became indignant and responded, ‘You say I’m not feeding my stock well – G-damn your time, Lon George told you that.’” By Smith’s recorded account, “she continued her tirade about my incompetence as I hastily left.” Heard County cattleman Wayne “Red” Sanders, a young man at the time of Mayhayley’s death, remembers that the Lancaster sisters fed their cows corn fodder. “No nutritional value,” he explained. “Her cows were poor. Her dogs were poor. She and Sallie were poor. She wouldn’t throw out grass seed for the cows or fertilizer for the crops. Her corn was only up to here,” he added, holding his hand flat against his knee. “You couldn’t tell her anything … today the humane society would be after her, but she thought she was doing right.” Sanders, a tall and colorful local character who, even at 78, still conducts daily cross-country cattle trades, continued in animated delight, “She’d cuss you out if you tried to tell her anything – could be mean as hell. My daddy used to say she was the only person ever got anything over on him. She wouldn’t pay him for a mule – said, ‘That mule bit Sallie’s kneecap off!’ and she wasn’t going to give him a thing for it.” Sanders recalls Mayhayley as something of a foulmouthed real estate mogul. “She owned this tract of land – wasn’t nothing on it. Friend of mine wanted to buy it and she refused. She said it was the a**hole of Heard County and she wasn’t going to sell it to him. Now the Franklin City Hall is on that land.” Visitors to her dilapidated cabin 56 | www.newnancowetamag.com


described the premises as similar to a hoarder’s, with newspapers piled to the ceiling and an alarming array of clutter that opened in narrow aisles to allow passage. In a conversation with a childhood friend, the former Estelle Craven, Sanders recalled the dirt floor of the Lancasters’ kitchen and the chickens’ free reign of the house and yard. “There was money stuffed everywhere. The hens had gathered up a bunch under the porch and made a nest – laying eggs in a nest of green money.” Craven remembered seeing a cotton basket stuffed with dollar bills and tucked under the porch. When her older brother challenged her to take a few, she wisely declined. Judy Lavoie, a Heard County resident, said her friend Mrs. Clyde Atkinson was a teller at the Franklin bank where Mayhayley made regular deposits in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s. On the days Atkinson expected Mayhayley Lancaster, she carried an iron with her to work – Mayhayley’s cash had to be cleaned and pressed before deposit.

Mayhayley, the candidate It was May of 1922 when Mayhayley Lancaster officially entered the political arena – only five years after the passage of the suffrage act. She was among the first women in the state of Georgia to seek elected office. An atmosphere of good-natured, paternal condescension surrounded her campaign. The Newnan Herald announced her run with a wink and a grin: “Miss Mayhayley Lancaster, of Heard Co has announced her candidacy for State Senator from the Thirty-seventh district (…) Miss Lancaster is a live wire, and her candidack(y) is causing some confusion in our sister county. Her opponents are Col. Frank S. Loftin and Dr. J.C. Taylor—both “mere men”—but at last accounts they were beginning to stir about, as nobody can tell what may happen these days.” While many of her contemporaries dismissed her candidacy as a public relations stunt designed to increase her

THE CANDIDATE

Mayhayley Lancaster in 1922, when she announced her candidacy for a Georgia State Senate seat.

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fortune-telling trade, her platform had serious intentions motivated by the needs of her community. In describing her life and political aspirations, James Harris, founder of the band Mayhayley’s Grave, said she was “a precursor to social movements like Women’s Liberation and the Civil Rights movement. She ushered in a lot of ideas and was a catalyst for change – black and white, rich and poor waited in the same line. First come, first served.” A longtime Mayhayley fan, Harris’ enthusiasm is infectious. He credits her with paving the way for future iconoclasts: “She lived out loud with no apologies. The way we all should.” One contemporary who did take her candidacy seriously was her opponent, Judge Frank S. Loftin. In an open letter to 37th district voters published just weeks before the election, Mayhayley “challenged her opponents to meet her at the courthouse in Franklin on September 5 … for a discussion of the present issues before the public.” No transcript of that face-to-face encounter exists. Other than her published invitation, all that remains is a single paragraph in the Franklin News and Banner: “Tuesday afternoon, the people of Franklin had the pleasure of attending a speaking by Miss Mayhayley Lancaster.” With no commentary on the content of the debate, the News and Banner commends Loftin on his “able and impressive” response to the challenge. Loftin won the election, and though Mayhayley commented in a charming thank-you note to voters that she “had three rich competitors to defeat,” Loftin’s published expenses totaled $74, an amount she likely could have cobbled together by looking under the front porch. Twenty-five voters cast a ballot in Mayhayley’s favor. In her community of Frolona, 171 voters had registered, only 44 of whom were women. Whatever predictive powers Mayhayley Lancaster had did not alter her political aspirations. She made another run in 1926. She nearly quadrupled her voter turnout with a platform that called for equal education in all schools, free textbooks, lower poll taxes for women, safeguards for banks, reduced fines and sentences

for bootleggers, banning lobbyists while the House was in session, and a reduction of childbirth fees from $25 to $15 in consideration of impoverished mothers. Despite the compassionate platform, the office was not to be hers. Thus ended Mayhayley Lancaster, the candidate, and fixed forever in the minds of the public Mayhayley, the seer. Behind that celebrated image lies a brilliant and ambitious mind whose circumstances, proclivities, and appearance suited the role of oracle. She wore it well. As Lawley said when she respectfully shared her memories, “I don’t think Miss Mayhayley will ever pass away.” Here on the cusp of fall, some 80 years after she first penned them for the Franklin News and Banner, Mayhayley’s words still shimmer and ring true: "Fall has come and the fragrance of pear flowers and goldenrods are in the air, and o’possum hunters horns are beginning to blow. The quails are under the bird law trying to hide themselves and the dear old

farmers are gathering their short crops and getting ready for winter months. Our crops are short indeed, but we have so much to be thankful for." So much, indeed. NCM

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but that fence was all around a pig lot. When they came back after their visit with Mayhayley, the pigs had pulled those fine saddles down into the mud and ruined them. I don’t know what Mayhayley told them in the reading but they sure had a surprise afterwards. – Ella Mae Wright Heard County

M

y grandmother Viola Bass went to see her a few times. She was heartbroken about losing a ring my grandfather had given her before his death. Mayhayley told her to go home and go to the bathroom sink but not to turn the water on, and to look in the elbow joint under the sink for the ring. It was there. Viola Bass visited Mayhayley again with her sisters and a few friends. They took two cars. Mayhayley wouldn’t tell the three friends their fortunes but told my grandmother not to ride back with her girlfriends – to ride straight home with her sisters instead. She did as Mayhayley told her. Her friends drove to LaGrange. On the way there the car hit a sandbar in the road. All three passengers died. My other grandmother, Imogene Jones, went to see her, too. At that time her brother-in-law was in the hospital. He was delirious and acting out, sometimes violently. They didn’t know what was wrong with him. During my grandmother’s reading, Mayhayley told her to tell the doctor to look in his stomach. His doctor, Dr. Bailey, took Mayhayley’s advice. People took her very seriously back then. When he opened him up and did exploratory surgery, he realized his appendix had burst. – Georgia Hingle Newnan

My mother lost her wedding band. She’d looked all over and finally decided to see if Mayhayley could help. Mayhayley told her it was in the chicken coop. She found it in the coop where it had flown off her hand while she was feeding the chickens that morning. I don’t think Mayhayley will ever pass away. – Rebecca Lawley Heard County One afternoon two fine-looking gentlemen – real handsome – rode up on these two beautiful black horses with fine leather saddles – real expensive. Before they went in to see Mayhayley, they took those fine saddles off their horses and put them on top of a wooden fence. They didn’t realize it 60 | www.newnancowetamag.com

In the late 1930s Dorothy Barnes visited Mayhayley in Randolph County. After briefly observing Barnes’ palm, Mayhayley asked, “Who is Isaac?” Having no friends by that name, Barnes dismissed Mayhayley’s prediction that she would marry Isaac, have three children, a long happy marriage, and a long life. It wasn’t until the birth of their first child that Barnes recalled the man she knew as Bill at the time of her visit with Mayhayley was now her husband, Isaac William Robertson. Barnes had three children, enjoyed a happy marriage until Isaac’s death in 1999, and is, herself, still living in Lee County, Alabama. Barnes was given several Bible verses and advised that they would comfort and guide her in times of need. She later regretted dismissing the prophecy and discarding Mayhayley’s handwritten scriptures. – Anna Robertson Bennett Sautee-Nacoochee, Ga. My grandmother’s wedding rings had both disappeared unexpectedly. Mayhayley said there was a young boy who often rode his bicycle around the neighborhood – he had taken the rings and hidden them in a red handkerchief. She told mama to follow a path down to the river and there she would find a rock. When mama looked under the rock Mayhayley directed her to, she found the rings wrapped in a red handkerchief. – Traci Sanders Heard County Willie and Mary Ward had a smokehouse like a lot of people did back then. Somebody was stealing the meat out of their smokehouse – it was becoming a problem. Neighbors told them to go see Mayhayley. Eventually they decided that might be the only way to find out more. The minute they walked in to see Mayhayley, she told them who had taken the meat and where they could find it. She was exactly right. – Stephanie Ward Dickinson Sharpsburg

In the fall of 1947, Jewel Wilkerson witnessed Mayhayley correctly describe the location of a missing hunting dog in Randolph County. The dog had been missing for a week, and a group of men – including, of course, the owner – had traveled to see Mayhayley as a last resort. She told them the dog was not so much missing as lost and directed them to its exact location. Wilkerson recalled the precision and detail of her insight as both amazing and disturbing. – Scott Wilkerson Columbus My husband’s father had lost his wallet. He decided to ask Mayhayley. She told him he would find it on the way home. He found it walking home through the woods. – Diane Lee Newnan My sister Sybil had several warts on her knee. One day we were riding down the road and mama saw Mayhayley walking along. She pulled over to ask if she could help us with the warts. Before Mayhayley could lean into the car, my sister climbed into the back window ledge and I cowered in the corner trying my best to be invisible. Mayhayley took a safety pin off her apron and told mama to dip it in turpentine and touch it to the wart several times in row and to do that every day for two weeks. Mama took her advice and the warts went away. – Estelle Craven Jackson Centralhatchee Newnan native and former governor of Georgia Ellis Arnall used to visit Mayhayley now and then. He told me one time, with all seriousness, that Mayhayley told him there was confederate gold buried in the lawn of a local house. He never said if he found it. – Georgia Shapiro Newnan


My grandmother Isabelle Camp Lee and her sister Bitsie went to see Mayhayley around 1940. Isabelle had lost a ring that was precious to her. Mayhayley gave her directions – told her when to turn right and when to turn left and landmarks to look out for. They followed her directions and found the ring in a ditch exactly as Mayhayley had described. – Emily Chandler Westergreen Newnan One time our neighbors went to see her. When they came back they ran over to our house and insisted that my father dig up his garden because Miss Mayhayley had told them there was money “across the road.” They thought she meant in our garden. Years later, after their father died, they found out he’d hidden thousands of dollars in a shed that was across the road from their house. Good thing daddy refused to dig his garden up, but we always enjoyed teasing him that he needed to go dig up the garden. – Elizabeth Beers Newnan My grandfather lost his wallet. He was a mechanic and had looked all over the shop to find it. He asked Mayhayley and she told him to look again, that it was under the lift in the shop. Sure enough, it had lodged under the lift along a ledge so he couldn’t see it when the lift was up. – Jodie Lee Shepard Newnan

I was around nine when daddy lost his wallet while he was hay raking the field. We’d looked everywhere but couldn’t find it so he decided to go see if Mayhayley could help him figure it out. We drove over there around dusk. They talked in a neighborly way, and after awhile, she said, “Well, Leon, I heard you had some bad luck today.” Daddy told her that he had and she described exactly where it was – told us how many terraces over and that it’d be on a hill – told him it’d be lying there half open and how much money was in it. By the time we got home it was dark but daddy got a flashlight and we counted the terraces to where she said it would be. It was lying there half-open just like she said. She wasn’t exactly right about the money but within a few dollars. After that, I believed. – Verne Marshall Roopville She told my great aunt and uncle that they were about to come into a large sum of money. Within a month my great uncle’s aunt died who had no heirs (except my great uncle) and they inherited a large sum of money. A family friend’s shotgun was missing and he wanted to find out who took it. She said, “I’m not sure but I can tell you it will return within a week.” It returned within a week to the exact spot it was missing from. My great-great uncle’s billfold was missing so he went to Mayhayley to find out who took it. My great aunt, Frances,

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was a pre-teen at the time and went with the family for the “telling.” She vividly remembers Mayhayley pulling pieces of cut fingernails from a matchbox and throwing them in the fire. … They were told the initials of the person who took the billfold. The initials matched the farmhand that was helping at the farm. When this person was questioned the billfold was returned. A cousin’s wedding band was missing after she was working in the yard. Mayhayley told her to look out the kitchen window toward the oak tree in the yard when the sun was beginning to set. The cousin did as Mayhayley told her and she caught something shining under the tree. It was the missing wedding band.

– Susan Cline Arguilla Newnan

My mother, Buvenia Warren Steele, and my daddy tried to have children for years. Her doctor told her that she would never have children. She went to see Mayhayley Lancaster, and Mayhayley told her that she would have four children, two boys and two girls. She had a daughter, Emily Steele Craft, in 1948; a son, Doyle Steele, in 1950; another daughter, Pam Steele Beavers (me) in 1953; and another son, Stanley Steele, in 1960 (at age 44). – Pam Beavers Newnan My grandmother, Nellie Hardaway, was interested in meeting Mayhayley, so during their courtship my grandfather took her for a visit. Mayhayley told her that her escort had an engagement ring in his pocket. They were married in 1942.

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My fascination with Mayhayley Lancaster began in 1976, when I first met the woman who would decades later become my motherin-law, Estelle Jackson. She told me marvelous stories about life in Heard County and the mysterious, brilliant woman who told fortunes and read for the law. As a teenager, I remember driving around town with my notoriously silent grandfather, Bill Sewell. I asked him if he’d ever visited Mayhayley. He admitted he had. She told him who had stolen some money. He was elderly and quick to tears, and though I pressed, he wouldn’t say more. Years later, my mother, Anne, said the money was embezzled from a partnership and destroyed both the business and a lifelong, cherished relationship. His tears were not for the money. I was also told that Mayhayley advised him to invest in Coca-Cola. In that case, I owe her my diploma from Auburn and one of my graduate degrees.

62 | www.newnancowetamag.com

ayhayley Lancaster read her last palm on May 20, 1955, two days before her death at the age of 79. She’d been living in a newly built duplex she’d paid $32,000 to build. Verne Marshall’s father, Leon, worked on the project and later built her barn. Verne says his father and Mayhayley got along – understood each other – even though Mayhayley had lost her cabin to fire, her freedom in a lunacy trial, and was swiftly losing touch with the life she’d created, cherished and so rigorously controlled. The dirt beneath her dirt-farmer hands was no longer the dirt of her youth. The walls of her room no longer breathed through logs her own ancestors had hewn. When Estelle Craven’s mother, Missouri, delighted at the new home, Mayhayley demurred – yes, it was nice, but she missed the old cabin. She was ready to go home. Mayhayley lived a 21st-century lifestyle for only 13 months. Her customers and fans lined up for miles to say goodbye. Some still leave her a dollar and a dime at Caney Head.

T

O

ur Mayhayley model, Marian Carcache, is a writer who has penned songs and essays about Mayhayley. Carcache teaches at Auburn University and lives in the rural outskirts of town, not far from where Dorothy and Isaac Barnes met and fell in love. You can read one of Carcache’s MARIAN stories in this issue’s CARCACHE Pen & Ink and find more in her collection, “The Moon and the Stars.” The grandson of Jewel Wilkerson, Scott Wilkerson was once a student of Carcache. His poem in which Icarus seeks an audience with Mayhayley only to lament “the contradictory relationship between history and memory” appeared in the March/April issue of NCM.

J

ames Davis of Carrollton grew up next door to Reda Threadgill, the chief of police who arrested and released Wilson Turner hours before John Wallace and his crew beat him to death. James’ band, Mayhayley’s Grave, brings a swamp-gypsy-caravan sound to venues all over the region. Davis says he is sure Mayhayley would approve. He visits her often and sometimes takes the band. NCM

o this day, the descendants of those who knew her are still drawn to the myth and mystery of formidable, fantastic Mayhayley. “Flies in the Well” is a stage play written by Newnan Coweta Historical Society Director Jeff Bishop. It’s based on the transcripts and records of John Wallace’s 1948 trial for the murder of Wilson (William) Turner. As a witness for the prosecution, Mayhayley turned on her client, startled jurors and threatened the defense attorney. The Newnan Theater Company is conducting production meetings, raising funds and getting set to start casting the leads. They’ll be looking for a Mayhayley who can sing, dance and spook an arrogant lawyer. MAYHAYLEY'S GRAVE


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closer look

Masseuse The Horse

Cloudsdale takes hands-on approach in an equine world

There’s a saying that horses get in

your blood, so it’s no surprise that Charlotte Cloudsdale makes her living helping horses feel better. She comes from a family that includes four generations of horse lovers, including a greatgrandfather who was a member of the Queen’s Life Guard, a military unit that has protected the British monarchy since the restoration of King Charles to the throne in 1660. These are the guys who wear white plumed helmets and ride big, black horses as they stand guard at Buckingham 64 | www.newnancowetamag.com


Written by MARTHA WOODHAM | Photographed by JEFFREY LEO

september /  october 2014

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closer look

“Horses are not physically made for us to be sitting on them. They are made for grazing and running, so it takes a toll on their bodies. People take for granted what amazing creatures they are.”

LOVE & TENDERNESS

Oxygen shows his appreciation as Charlotte Cloudsdale massages the horse's muscles following an afternoon of riding and instruction.

66 | www.newnancowetamag.com


Palace every day, rain or shine. She doesn’t wear a white plume, but Cloudsdale, a horse masseuse, might as well be wearing a white hat in her equine clients’ eyes. Horses can’t speak to tell you what hurts, but Cloudsdale can read them. She spends hours in their stalls, rubbing her hands over their bodies and manipulating sore, tired muscles. The horses are always glad to see her, and their relaxation under her educated hands is visible. “My equine clients know me,” she said. “They react when they hear my voice.” Cloudsdale, who started riding at age 4, was born in England, where horses are a way of life for many people. Both of her parents, Roy and Billie, rode, and Cloudsdale treasures photos of herself and her sister, Lucy, astride fat Shetland ponies when they were young. The Cloudsdales, after living in Florida and in Marietta, Ga., settled on a 10.5-

acre farm in east Coweta County in 1995, when Charlotte was 17. Her trainer was the legendary Nancy Gosche, who taught legions of Coweta children how to ride. Cloudsdale began training event horses and teaching riding after her graduation from East Coweta High School. She

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specialized in triathlons for horses called eventing, where the horses must not only be able to complete complex jumping courses but also compete in tests of dressage. She later worked for Ralph Hill, a veteran advanced eventing rider based in Ocala, Fla. In 1998, Cloudsdale won the

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All IN THE TECHNIQUE

Charlotte Cloudsdale and Jessica Montgomery, pictured atop Donny, know the value of riding a horse correctly. Not riding a horse ˮstraightˮ can affect the development of muscles on one side of its body.

prestigious Harry T. Peters Trophy as the American Horse Show Association (now the United States Equestrian Federation) National Junior Young Rider Champion at the one-star level in three-day eventing. During this time, in addition to her riding and earning a degree in fine arts, Cloudsdale began looking for ways to make her horses feel better, to keep them sound and to ease the aches and pains any athlete experiences. She was riding at more advanced levels, where the jumps are more difficult, the courses are longer and horses are asked to do more physical activity. “I went into massage to help the horses,” she said, recalling her horse, Sweet Pea, an off-the-track Thoroughbred who had some physical issues from her days as a race horse. In addition, the mare was highstrung and often tense. Cloudsdale began massaging the mare to relax and soothe her. Cloudsdale attended vet school in 68 | www.newnancowetamag.com

Florida, where she studied equine musculature. She eventually left vet school and used her knowledge of anatomy as she focused on massage, earning certification from Equissage, an equine massage therapy school in Virginia. In her nine years as an equine masseuse, Cloudsdale has established her own routine and techniques, beginning at the head and running her hands over the horse’s body in order to get it used to being touched all over. The horse, which may be nervous at first, visibly relaxes under Cloudsdale’s capable ministrations. She has been kicked, bitten and stepped on, but most of her clients realize she is there to help them, often recognizing her voice when she enters the barn. She starts just behind the horse’s ears and moves her hands across its body, seeking tight muscles and trigger spots for spasms. The demands of her massage clients do not keep Cloudsdale, who rides every day, from training horses and teaching her

students how to ride. She says she feels being a rider and trainer complements her massage work and vice versa in her business, Cloudsdale Equine Sports Services. “I think how I do massage has affected the way I teach and train horses,” Cloudsdale said, noting that people are often stronger on one side of their body. “I understand more than ever how important it is to ride a horse straight, how that can affect the development of muscles on one side of the horse’s body, which can lead to lameness because it affects the muscles and tendons.” Cloudsdale works closely with veterinarians, who often refer clients to her. Although her riding emphasis is eventing, her clients include equine athletes that participate in all kinds of horse sports, from barrel racing and jumping to dressage and trail riding. Dressage horses, because of the way they are ridden, have more issues with their


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lateral muscles, and horses that do a lot of jumping have more problems with their backs and hindquarters. Some of her clients are retired and their owners just want their beloved horses to be comfortable in their old age. “Sometimes we are asking horses to do insane things, and they are the kindest animals in the world,” she said. “Horses are not physically made for us to be sitting on them. They are made for grazing and running, so it takes a toll on their bodies. People take for granted what amazing creatures they are.” But not the people who have horses in their blood, like Cloudsdale. NCM

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Written by ANA IVEY | Photographed by CHRIS HELTON

70 | www.newnancowetamag.com


On the Go with Lisa Kelly Former Celtic Woman at home in the South

september /  october 2014

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“I was raised in a working-class family and I was always hard working. I wasn’t stupid about stuff. And I most certainly wasn’t a dreamer. I was a doer.” TEACHING THE TECHNIQUE

The former Celtic Woman trains with several of her students at the Lisa Kelly Voice Academy in Peachtree City. Many of Kelly's students live in Coweta County.

Lisa Kelly is running late.

“I’m so sorry. I knew I had something this morning, but I couldn’t remember what,” she says, as she zips her black Honda Odyssey in front of her Peachtree City studio, puts a movie on for her 2-year-old, Harry, and tells her other two boys, Cian (pronounced Kee-ann), 12, and Jack, 9, to hang tight. “It wasn’t until I heard the reminder on my phone that I remembered.” She unlocks the doors to Lisa Kelly Vocal Academy in Peachtree City and plops down on a sofa in the lobby. From here, she can keep an eye on her three boys. Such is life for the brunette beauty, a former soloist for the internationally acclaimed Celtic Woman singing group and mother of four. Her 6-year-old daughter, Ellie, is at home in Fayetteville with Kelly’s husband, Scott Porter, the former CEO of Celtic Woman. “When we left New York three years 72 | www.newnancowetamag.com

ago, we wanted a more relaxed life,” says Kelly, 37, in her rhythmic Irish lilt. “This was definitely the right move for us to pull away and do our own thing, to be a family, and have days when we can go to the lake and nobody’s calling our phone. Life here is not the race it was in New York.” Nor in Dublin, where Kelly grew up the eldest of three girls in a middleclass family. The daughter of a teacher and a homemaker, Kelly sashayed her way across musical theater stages as a child, starring in amateur productions like “Bugsy Malone” at the age of 7. More roles followed, as did her studies in drama, voice and piano. But money was tight, so at the age of 15 she took a job at a convenience store. “I wanted to make my own money,” she says. Early on After high school graduation, Kelly signed up for a secretarial course and then made the rounds as a receptionist for one company, an office manager for another. She took any job that would put money in her pocketbook and allow her to keep honing her craft on the side.

“It’s not that I didn’t want to be a singer,” says Kelly, whose ethereal soprano could make angels stop to listen. “It’s just that everybody in Ireland is a singer. Or plays the guitar. Or dances. I was raised in a working-class family and I was always hard working. I wasn’t stupid about stuff. And I most certainly wasn’t a dreamer. I was a doer.” That work ethic paid off when, one holiday season, she played Jill in the Christmas pantomime “Jack and the Beanstalk” in Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre. That performance led to the gig of a lifetime for a young Irish singer – that of lead female vocalist for the popular “Riverdance” show in the year 2000. Talk about the luck of the Irish. “It was really a matter of being at the right place at the right time,” Kelly says. And, as luck would have it, she met her husband on tour, too. Porter, an Aussie by birth, was one of the show’s Irish dancers. In the time it takes to throw back a shot of Irish whiskey, Kelly soared from amateur performer in Dublin to international singing sensation. After a few years with “Riverdance” and the birth


of her two oldest sons, Kelly was asked to join Celtic Woman in 2004. “The year Celtic Woman came out was the same year ‘Desperate Housewives’ was released,” Kelly says. “I think everybody was waiting for killings on the road between us girls, but I can honestly say, hand on my heart, there was never a fight when we were on the road, never a falling out. We had bad days when we were tired or hormonal, but they were genuinely the best bunch of girls to work with.” Over the next seven years, Kelly married Porter and mesmerized audiences around the globe, only slowing down long enough to give birth to her third child, Ellie. She juggled kids on the road and concerts across continents, never complaining about the physical demands, but often wondering if she and her husband were compromising their roles as parents. “I never wanted to be a superstar,” Kelly

says. “I never felt like I could do either of my jobs on the road perfectly, because I was struggling with who I wanted to be. I was fortunate to do what I did, but I did it because I loved it and it was a job. I always looked at it as a job. It paid our bills. And then the kids came along, and I just wanted to be a mum more than I wanted to be a singer.” ‘Mum’ is the word Once she became pregnant with her fourth child, Kelly knew it was time to switch gears. After an online search of ideal places to live in the United States, the family packed its bags and headed south, where they dug their roots in Fayetteville a little over three years ago. They knew the South would deliver just what they longed for – lazy summer days and corner lemonade stands. They were not disappointed. But the South served up its fair share of culture shock, too. “Everybody’s familiar with the Irish

and the way we use colorful language,” she grins, “so I’ve had to learn what I can and can’t say. And the Sunday thing, everything stopping because of church. We have lived in New York and in Ireland where nothing closes on Sunday.” Then, of course, there’s the way Southerners talk and eat. “I can’t say ‘y’all,’” laughs Kelly, “not convincingly, anyway.” And by all means don’t pour her a glass of sweet tea or offer her a bowl of grits. “I look at them and go, ‘Whoa, I can’t do that,’” she says. But serve her a plateful of pulled pork and fried green tomatoes, and Kelly might just do a jig. “Even the relaxed atmosphere has been hard for me and Scott. We find it difficult to call someone and they say they’ll get back to you, and you don’t hear from them for weeks on end.” Still, Kelly loves “the community vibe, the nice neighbor vibe. We wanted that for our kids.”

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SHOWTIME!

A student-led performance was held in the spring at the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater in Peachtree City. Voice instructor Lisa Kelly also teaches her students the finer points of Irish dance.

Kelly and Porter sprint through life with their four kids and three dogs, handling both the creative and business side of the academy. This fall, Porter will offer Irish dance lessons. And Kelly may hire a drama teacher. But the mainstay of the academy is Kelly’s vocal lessons. More than 500 students from Coweta, Fayette, and surrounding counties have shelled out

big bucks to study under the renowned vocalist. And, for anyone who has never attended a Celtic Woman show, Kelly Porter Productions will present a concert at the Fred in Peachtree City on Dec. 13, just in time for Christmas. “It never stops, it just never stops, but it’s a really good complaint,” Kelly says. “Our lives are really busy all the time, and

you can’t just announce a show. There are flyers, pictures that need to be approved ... there’s so much that goes into it.” Kelly locks up her studio, hops into her van, checks her phone, and rushes off. She has waited until the last minute to find a red dress for her appearance as the Fourth of July parade grand marshal in Peachtree City. She still needs to clean

Celtic Woman is an all-female Irish musical ensemble conceived and created by Sharon Browne and David Downes, a former musical director of the Irish stage show Riverdance. In 2004, he recruited five Irish female musicians who had not previously performed together, vocalists Chloë Agnew, Órla Fallon, Lisa Kelly and Méav Ní Mhaolchatha, as well as fiddler Máiréad Nesbitt and shaped them into the first lineup of the group he named Celtic Woman. Eight albums have been released under the name Celtic Woman. The group has undertaken a number of world tours. Cumulatively, Celtic Woman has sold more than 6 million records worldwide. Photo courtesy Lili Forberg

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house for her husband’s family, which is visiting from Australia for four weeks. And she has promised to drop off her two older boys at the movie theater for a showing of “Transformers 2.” Learning to sit a spell, like a true Southerner, is not in Kelly’s repertoire. NCM

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duel pages

In this corner

It Doesn’t Get Hotter Than Vampires

“Because blood suckers are sexy. They’re immortal. They have fantastic wardrobe choices.”

Carolyn BArnard is a graduate of Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in history and a specialty in what NOT to wear. The fashion writer for NCM, Barnard is quick to point out the most successful vampire is typically the best-dressed one. Zombies, though, need a complete style makeover.

Two things you should know about me straight away: one – I hate scary stuff. I am literally the last person you want on your postapocalypse team. Without exaggeration, I can’t even watch home security commercials. I will not go to my laundry room past dark. I refuse to let my husband turn his bedside light off before me, and I was so traumatized by “The Ring” I still can’t be alone with a blank television. Two – Going to Georgia Tech does not a sci-filover make. (It may now be characterized as a campus full of Trekkies who would rather go to the library than a football game, who are Jedi masters and attend Comic-Con en masse, but there are still a few of us old-school, traditional alumni types left.) Everyone knows when you are attempting to determine if something is cool, there is only one place to go for answers. Hollywood. A quick googling of “celebrities who have played vampires” reads like a list of uber-hot Hollywood royalty. Shall we name a few? Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp (we could obviously stop now), Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, Ian Somerhalder, Salma Hayek, Carmen Electra, Stephen Moyer, Robert Pattinson, Josh Hutcherson, Antonio Banderas, Gerard Butler, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Lucy Liu, Alexander Skarsgard … you get the idea. It goes on and on and ON – all the way back to the original Dracula, Bela Lugosi, in 1931. The latest installment, “Dracula Untold,” premieres this October and stars up-and-coming heartthrob Luke Evans. Vampires are hot, friends. No unattractive movie stars are being cast as lead vampires. A few bad actors maybe, but not unsightly ones. On the other end of the spectrum, let me set your mind at ease about the list of celebrities who have played zombies … It’s a big, fat goose egg. In fact, Google was confused by the very question. Anyone who’s anyone has either played a vampire or has been a part of the genre. Why? Because blood suckers are sexy. They’re immortal. They have fantastic wardrobe

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choices. And let’s be honest – the only truly terrible, horrifying thing that has come out of one particular saga (you know the one) is Kristen Stewart’s awkwardness. I may personally have nightmares about that, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it traumatic. If people are given the choice between the irresistible sex appeal of a vampire and total zombie repulsion, the selection is glaringly onesided. There is a reason why you’ve never heard of a famous zombie. They don’t exist. Everyone wants to kill them; no one wants to be them. Fame and fortune come to those who offer us, mere mortals, the chance to imagine what it would be like to escape the mundane. We identify with characters in best-sellers because we want to be like them. For a moment, with vampires, we can imagine what it would feel like to be better than we are, stronger than we are … faster, sexier, more powerful. There is a significant difference between the intrigue that manifests itself within the vampire legend and the horror that surrounds the zombie world. Dracula may be creepy because he sleeps in a coffin, drinks blood, and turns into a bat, but he is typically portrayed by someone tall, dark and handsome. We can identify with a vampire’s backstory. They are people, often with sympathies. Zombies are simply grotesque creatures with no feelings, depth or purpose, and they certainly have zero sex appeal. Brad Pitt may have signed on to fight them in “World War Z,” but no A-lister need fill the role of zombie No. 293. Any random extra can handle that mindless, shuffling work. At the end of the day, the box office doesn’t lie. Vampires don’t suck. NCM


duel pages

Zombies ... What’s Not to Love? with them shops, restaurants, tourists and, best of all, some very cool celebrities, including a certain motorcycle-riding, crossbow-shooting ... well, I digress again. When the show first aired, I added “seeing a zombie” to my bucket list, an item I’ve since checked off thanks to a nice vantage point on the hill above the Manget-Brannon building in downtown Newnan for filming of “The Walking Dead.” I’m still on the lookout, though. And again, having a son, I’ve had more than a few discussions on what to do if the town becomes overrun. It’s best to be prepared. Some of my friends have even been able to check off “being a zombie” from their lists and live to tell about it. Unfortunately, the closest I’ve come to that is the time I got the flu and finally got out of bed for the first time in a week. “Quick, what do I look like?” I asked my husband as I staggered through the living room, ghastly green with hair hanging askew. “Zombie,” he answered without as much as a glance. I guess it was the sound of my dragging leg that gave it away. I have to admit, zombies aren’t as stealthy as vampires, but that’s not always a bad thing. In fact, zombies are more than likely the only supernatural creatures I can outrun. Just check out my Peachtree Road Race time. There’s something comforting in that. Actually, I think they’d be pretty fun to hang out with. They won’t go to sleep on you like vampires do when the sun comes up. If you ask their opinions, you’re sure to get at least a moan. And, frankly, they are pretty social creatures. You usually find them wandering in large groups and bumping into each other as opposed to the solitary, moody vampire always sulking about something and wanting to be left alone. Me. Me. Me. And, if you get tired of your zombie companion, there’s no need for smelly garlic, a wooden stake through the heart or other complicated nonsense. Simply plunge a sharp object between his eyes and go about your business. That is, until his best friend shows up. Then you know what to do. Pull out the chicken, jury-rig the mower, grab your iced tea and guide that decaying, lumbering fella toward the backyard.

In this corner

Having a son, I’ve grown accustomed to being asked the big questions. “Which is tougher, a rhino or a crocodile?” or “Who’d win in a fight, Spiderman or Superman?” So when I was asked, “Vampires or zombies?” I immediately knew how to answer. After all, it wasn’t the first time I’ve been asked. It’s zombie, all the way. There was a time when I couldn’t promptly side with Team Zombie. When I was a teen, a young and hot Kiefer Sutherland starred in “The Lost Boys.” At the time, I felt like a lot of girls (and some 40-something-year-old women) do nowadays when they drool over Edward in The Twilight Saga. As an adult, however, my tastes have changed. I’m not out for blood anymore. Let’s face it, as my son notes, “Vampires have a lot of romantic problems.” He’s right. Zombies are far less complex. They aren’t constantly brooding over existential crises like Brad Pitt in “Interview with the Vampire” or suffering over the loss of Sookie Stackhouse’s love like Bill Compton in HBO’s “True Blood.” Of course, zombies aren’t as cute, but hey, it’s a tradeoff. At least a girl can sleep at night knowing her fetid friend won’t be flying off to suck the blood from another woman’s neck. Zombies seem like they’d be pretty easy to train, too. Just hang a chicken in one direction or other, and there they go in pursuit. I imagine you could pull a MacGyver and rig a “walker” to the front of a Yard Machine and sit back and watch the lawn get mowed, though you might as well grab a pitcher of iced tea because it’s not going to get done anytime soon. Zombies also come in many shapes and sizes, just like regular living people. Some are fat. Some are thin. Some have half their skulls bitten off, some half their arms. There’s variety. Vampires, on the hand, pretty much all have the same pale, sullen look (except for Kiefer Sutherland, but I digress). But enough vampire bashing. Zombies can stand – or stagger – on their own two feet. The undead have breathed new life into the small town of Senoia through the hit show “The Walking Dead.” Their chomping teeth and dragging legs have revitalized the town, bringing

“At least a girl can sleep at night knowing her fetid friend won’t be flying off to suck the blood from another woman’s neck.”

Meredith Leigh Knight is a writer and mother of three who’d like to know why the words “Hey, Mom!” are never followed by anything good. However, thanks to her children, debating the pros and cons of various undead is old hat in the Knight household.

NCM september /  october 2014

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A collection of original works by Coweta poets and writers

Red to Black

Closed for Halloween

Under crimson cloak, she channels the legends of the wolf men and midnight creatures

The year I was nine years old, Mr. Rupert Rountree closed his store in the middle of the afternoon a day before Halloween. Not that there was anything unusual about seeing Rountree’s Grocery closed. A lot of days Mr. Rupert got so drunk that one of his customers would lock the door when he got done shopping, closing Mr. Rupert up inside. Everybody pretended it was to keep the field hands from stealing the Rountrees blind, but most folks knew it was really to keep him out from behind the wheel of a car or the shooting side of a gun. Sometimes whiskey made him sleepy, but other times it made him mean. This time, though, he hadn’t even been on a drunk. He’d closed the store and gone off in the Lincoln. Some of the neighbors went to the house to see if his wife, Mrs. Mildred, could let them in the store to buy a few things, but she didn’t answer the door. I heard some whispering about Mr. Rupert and a town woman, but nobody said anything loud enough for me to hear very much. The thing that was special about Rountree’s being closed this particular day was that all the Trick-or-Treat candy in the world was locked up inside, not doing anybody any good. Mama said it was a blessing in disguise – one of her favorite things to say – because

by Samantha Sastre

bending night to their wills conducting moonlight like copper wire drinking draughts of darkness, droplets splashing down their chests She opens up her basket, searches for a goblet to partake newly cognizant of something feral in her rearing and pawing for exit Grandma’s repast, forgotten – now crumbs and spilled wine My what dark eyes you have, says the wind through the pines

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Writer's Note:

Everyone knows the story of Little Red Riding Hood, her journey to her grandmother’s house, and her meeting with the big bad wolf. What if the story were turned upside down? What if Little Red let in the darkness and became the wolf herself? 78 | www.newnancowetamag.com

by Marian Carcache

news had come to Springville that up north somewhere people were putting razor blades and D-Con rat poison in candy. She said all the mamas had made up their minds to put on the best carnival they could on a day’s notice. They were going to decorate the lunchroom at Springville Elementary and make the treats themselves in order to be sure they were safe. They had also discussed having a haunted house in the gymnasium, but she wasn’t sure they would since a couple of mothers had said it went against their religion. I knew exactly which mother objected to the haunted house idea, Mrs. Thompson. She didn’t believe in anything fun. She didn’t even allow Old Maid cards in her house because she considered the game gambling. Daddy said Mr. Thompson probably thought he had gambled and lost when he woke up married to Mrs. Thompson, and Mama shot a look at him and said, “Be quite,” which is how she said the word “quiet.” “It’s not fair,” I whined. “No Halloween because a bunch of crazy Yankees are killing each other with razor blades and rat poison. Nobody around here is that crazy. And you even said Mrs. Thompson strains at a gnat and swallows a fly.” Mama told me to “be quite.” Then she added that a convict had escaped from county jail and may


be headed our way. Nobody really knew which direction he had gone in, but some folks thought he might be coming to Springville since he has relatives here. She didn’t think it was a good idea for us to be out wandering with an escaped convict on the loose. Then she said she felt pretty sure there might still be a possibility of a haunted house in the gym since the mothers who’d disagreed with the idea had been outnumbered. As it turned out, the escaped convict was all the ammunition the mothers in favor of the haunted house needed to get a unanimous vote in favor of the haunted house. Nobody wanted us out trick-or-treating with an escaped convict in the area. When we drove up to the schoolhouse Halloween night, it was lit up like a Jack O’Lantern and looked different from the way a school looks during the day. When I stepped out of the car, I could hear children running up and down the halls, screaming just to make noise, one of the main reasons I preferred eavesdropping on adults to associating with most children. I walked into the carnival with heavy feet, dressed as Fidel Castro because all I could find in the closet to make a costume was an old Army cap of Daddy’s and a fake beard from somewhere. I figured dressing as Castro beat being a witch or a princess like everybody else seemed to always be. If I could’ve gotten into Rountree’s Grocery, I would’ve gotten a cigar. Not long after we got inside the school, Ernie Monroe, the Rountrees’ across-the-street neighbor, came in and whispered something to Daddy, who left with him. And Mama told me to “get out from under her” and go play with the other children so grown-ups could talk. It didn’t take long to see enough of the haunted house. It consisted of rubber gloves filled with water hanging from strings and Walter Bone with his head stuck

up a hole in a table with cooked spaghetti noodles draped around his ears and neck and a lot of ketchup poured on top of his head – brains and blood. There was also a bowl of peeled grapes that were supposed to be eyeballs. I decided to slip outside. The moon was big and the air smelled clean. I sat on the huge cement abutment and wished I had been able to find an Army jacket in the closet. It was chilly outside. A rabbit or something rattled in the bushes nearby, and for a second I thought it might be the convict. I was glad to see car lights as Daddy and Ernie drove back up. Daddy rolled down the window and sent me to tell Mama to let’s go. I could smell Ernie’s cigarette in the fall air, and I thought I smelled Echo Spring whiskey, too. Ernie always had a bottle of Echo Spring in the trunk of his car. I went back inside and told Mama what Daddy had said. She asked how in the world could she leave when she was one of the organizers of the event. Then she marched out to the car to take the issue up with Daddy. I could hear Daddy and Ernie talking low, and I saw Mama shaking her head slowly. Something strange was in the air. I could feel it, and I could see it in Mama’s face. When Daddy got in the car, he explained that Ernie had heard something that sounded like a gunshot earlier that day, and had looked out his front window, across to the Rountree house, and noticed that Mr. Rupert’s Lincoln wasn’t in the yard. Since he usually drove his truck, that seemed odd. Ernie had tried throughout the afternoon to call Mrs. Mildred by phone to see if she had heard the noise, but had gotten no answer. When it got dark and the Lincoln wasn’t back – and then no lights came on in the house – Ernie came to find Daddy to go over to the Rountrees’ house with him to check on things. That is when they found Mrs. Mildred shot dead.

After I went to bed that night, it hit me. It was a blessing in disguise! What if all night long children dressed as ghosts had been knocking on Mrs. Mildred’s door, calling “trick-or-treat, trick-or-treat” and her in there dead? The thought sent shivers through my body and made goose pimples stand up on my legs and arms. “Trick-or-treat” would have echoed all through her house – floating around corners, slipping under doors – and all the time, her lying there dead. I heard an owl hoo-ing somewhere outside. Mama had told me that hearing an owl in the night meant death. I wondered if Mrs. Mildred had heard an owl before she died. Just in case it wasn’t hoo-ing for her, I tied a knot in the corner of my sheet to ward off more death. I don’t know how long it took me to fall asleep that night, but it seemed like forever. Mr. Rupert returned in a few days, and he even cried a little at the funeral. But after Mrs. Mildred was in the ground, he locked up the house, hung a “Closed” sign on the store, and drove off in his Lincoln, leaving the truck in the yard to rust. I said a silent goodbye that day to all the candy in the world. We didn’t see him again for months, and then one day when we were in Columbus we spotted him on Broad Street. There was a redheaded woman holding him by the arm like she owned him. The escaped prisoner was finally caught miles from Springville, but not before the bloodhounds had been brought in to search the riverbanks behind our house. They sure made a sorrowful noise while looking for him. After life finally settled back down to normal, I realized that it had turned out to be the scariest Halloween ever. We might not put razor blades or poison in candy here in Springville, but we had come faceto-face with something scarier than most of us had ever before imagined. NCM september /  october 2014

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Index

OF ADVERTISERS AllSpine Laser and Surgery Center........ 9 Amazon Stone......................................... 8 Arbor Terrace........................................ 23 Atlanta Market Furniture...................... 41 Vein Specialists of Georgia................... 49 BeDazzled..............................................61 The Bedford School.............................. 49 Binion Tire............................................. 21 CareSouth............................................. 57 Carriage House Country Antiques & Gifts............................................... 29 Central Christian School....................... 29 Charter Bank......................................... 73 Cosmetic Laser & Skin Care Center....... 3 Coweta-Fayette EMC........................... 83 Double Bar H Stables........................... 69 Farm Bureau Insurance......................... 21 Newnan First United Methodist........... 69 Foot Solutions....................................... 53 Forest at York.......................................... 7 Georgia Bone and Joint......................... 5 Heritage of Peachtree.......................... 29 The Heritage School............................. 55 Jillian's Top Drawer............................... 67 Kemp's Dalton West Flooring............... 57 Kiwanis County Fair.............................. 15 Lee-King Pharmacy............................... 17 MainStreet Newnan.............................. 15 Massage Envy....................................... 41 Meat 'N' Greet...................................... 47 The Newnan Times-Herald.................... 4 Pain Care................................................. 2 Plum Southern...................................... 19 Savannah Court of Newnan.................. 59 Senior Helpers...................................... 67 Senoia Health & Wellness..................... 23 Skin Cancer Specialists, P.C.................. 13 SouthCrest Bank................................... 27 Southern Crescent Equine Services..... 67 State Farm Insurance - Jake Stanley.....61 StoneBridge Early Learning Center..... 69 Uniglobe McIntosh Travel..................... 45 Vinewood Plantation............................ 75 Vining Stone.......................................... 31 VITAS Hospice...................................... 63 Welden Financial Services.................... 39 Wesley Woods of Newnan................... 35 West Georgia Health............................ 84 West Georgia Technical College............ 6

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november/december preview

what's

next

A look at Arnall Grocery It was four years after the Civil War, two years before the end of Reconstruction. Grant was president. Bullock was governor. The population of Georgia was virtually split among black and white citizens. Upheaval, uncertainty and enduring change percolated nationwide – certainly in Georgia. In this climate of economic and cultural bedlam, Henry Arnall opened a wholesale and general store convenient to the tracks that delivered his merchandise and to the customers who needed it. NCM celebrates Newnan’s oldest continuously operating retail business with a look back at the last 145 years of Arnall Grocery, established 1869.

Hey, Mr. DJ! Being a disc jockey often requires working late nights, being flexible and having a lot of technical and pop culture know-how. These days, disc jockeys aren’t necessarily cut from the same cloth. Some deal exclusively with music, while others routinely add karaoke and/or trivia to their mix. Find out more about these mix masters in the Nov./Dec. issue of NCM.

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Newnan-Coweta Magazine Sept.-Oct. 2014