Page 1

hT e Ar ts Issue

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While confined within prison walls, he painted them



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A Publication of The Newnan Times-Herald


Vice President


Lindsey’s, Inc. Realtors would like to thank you for your business these past 70 years. 14 Jackson Street Newnan, GA 30263 770-253-6990


Creative Directors

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Contributing Writers

William W. Thomasson Marianne C. Thomasson C. Clayton Neely and Elizabeth C. Neely Jackie Kennedy Sandy Hiser, Sonya Studt Debby Dye Sarah Campbell

Jennifer Dziedzic

Susan Mayer Davis

Mel Hall

Jackie Kennedy

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Neil Monroe

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W. Winston Skinner

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FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION call 770.253.1576 or email Newnan-Coweta Magazine is published bi-monthly by The Newnan Times-Herald, Inc., 16 Jefferson Street, Newnan, GA 30263. Newnan-Coweta Magazine is distributed in home-delivery copies of The Newnan Times-Herald and at businesses and offices throughout Coweta County. On the Web: photos available on Š 2018 by The Newnan Times-Herald, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.

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24 | Back to School


Whether you’re 5 or 85, it’s time for school again. By Frances Kidd

44 | The Man with the Plans Reminders of a former Coweta County inmate’s artistic talents remain on prison walls after his release. By Susan Mayer Davis

53 | Drawn to Coweta The Newnan-Coweta Art Association has been attracting artists for 50 years. By Jackie Kennedy 12 |


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Only the best in Catering & Event Planning

CONTENTS — continued




34 | The Conqueror Shakeyla Shinholster uses her mouth to hold a paintbrush and her dreams to create art. By Susan Mayer Davis

42 | Yesterday's Comics are Today's Graphic Novels

Art-filled novels prove that comics aren’t just for kids anymore. By Neil Monroe

62 | Fish Carver A Newnan artist finds fish in the wood he carves. By Jennifer Dziedzic

65 | Art as Therapy

100 Webster Street | LaGrange, GA 706.837.9009 |

Local residents find peace and healing through creativity. By Melissa Hall

44 82 in this issue


18 | Roll Call 20 | From the Editor 30 | Before & After 38 | Coweta Profile 51 | Coweta History 59 | Closer Look


68 | Non-Profit Spotlight 72 | Coweta Home 76 | Coweta to Me 78 | Coweta Sport 82 | Coweta Cooks! 87 | Coweta Garden 90 | Book Review 92 | Coweta Calendar 96 | Blacktop 98 | Index of Advertisers 98 | What’s Next

on the cover

While incarcerated in Coweta County, Stephen Piotrowski honed his art skills. He now works toward an art career. ➤ The Man with the Plans, page 44 Photo by Beth Neely



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A community is only as good as its schools. And great public schools are a big reason why Coweta County is a vibrant and enriching place to live. Coweta County Schools combine a small-town, community-based feel with big-city advantages and opportunities for our students.

“A passionate and caring school system dedicated to excellence, energized by the notion of family, and committed to the success of each student.” That is how the AdvancED Accreditation Review Committee described the Coweta County School System, following their review for five-year reaccreditation of our schools in 2016. According to the independent team’s evaluation, Coweta Schools performed at much higher levels than the average AdvancED-accredited learning institutions, in terms of teaching and learning, leadership capacity, and management of resources. During accreditation, school system stakeholders – including students and parents, teachers and community members – described Coweta Schools in several ways:

“Student-Centered” “Caring” “Amazing” “Exceptional” “Accountable” “Safe” “Nurturing” “Rigorous” “I would not want to be anywhere else.” “Committed” In the Coweta County School System, you will find schools among the top-performing in the state of Georgia and the nation: • On-time graduation rates and student performance on Georgia Milestones exams that well exceed state of Georgia averages. • Student SAT and ACT performance that exceeds state and national averages. • High rates of participation in Advanced Placement, college dual-enrollment and apprenticeships and work-based learning. • Distinctions such as a robust fine arts curriculum, outstanding athletic programs, a sophisticated technology environment including 1-to-1 pairing of students with Chromebook devices, and other advanced opportunities for students. • Honors that include AP Stem and Humanities distinctions, state Reward schools, Georgia School Boards Association Exemplary School Board, state financial awards, state and national distinctions for high return on educational investment, and Georgia’s 2018 State Superintendent of the Year. From academics to the arts to athletics – from college prep to career readiness – Coweta County Schools are committed to ensuring the success of every student. We invite you to visit our schools, tour the Central Educational Center College and Career Academy, or attend a performance at the Donald W. Nixon Centre for Performing and Visual Arts. See for yourself why Great Schools are at the Heart of our Coweta community.

Dr. Steve Barker, Georgia’s 2018 Superintendent of the Year Josh Tate, Coweta County 2018 Teacher of the Year

To learn more, go to, or call 770-254-2800. To enroll a new student, call our Central Registration Center at 770-254-5551.

Roll Call Beth Neely is a Coweta native and co-publisher of The Newnan TimesHerald. When she’s not working, she can usually be found up to her elbows in a garden or catching critters with her kids. She lives in Newnan with her family.

Neil Monroe is a retired corporate communicator whose career included positions with The Southern Company, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola Enterprises. His roots are in community journalism, having worked 10 years with local newspapers in the South Metro area. He and his wife, Rayleen, live in Sharpsburg where they enjoy tennis, golf and grandchildren.

Jennifer Dziedzic is a massage therapist at the Spa at Serenbe. She and her husband, daughter, and their rescue dog, Tybee, love to hike in the Georgia wilderness. Her interests include gardening, photography and making her own line of natural bath and body products.

Mandy Radeline is a wife, mom, writer, volunteer, and, at five feet tall, she’s the one you see struggling to reach the top shelves at Publix. Mandy enjoys yoga, making excuses for why she missed yoga, drinking coffee, watching HGTV, and game nights. Her true obsession, though, is “Hamilton.”

Helen Petre is a freelance writer, instructor and editor. She works fulltime for the United States Department of Agriculture. In her spare time, she attends UGA Master Gardeners Backyard Association meetings and spends weekends gardening with her family.

18 |

Mel Hall is an Army veteran with nine years of service to her country. During the day, she operates an online plant and gardening forum and enjoys writing and hiking in her spare time.

Robin Stewart is a volunteer and board member with the NewnanCoweta Humane Society and, along with her artist husband, active in the local art scene as a member of the Newnan Coweta Art Association. She loves all animals, is addicted to costume jewelry, and the part of her brain that used to know math is now occupied by useless facts for team trivia purposes.

W. Winston Skinner spends most days planning what will be in the next issue of The Newnan Times-Herald. Since coming to the paper in 1978 as an intern, he has seen many changes in The Times-Herald and in Coweta County in the intervening years. “I’m always thinking about stories– except when I’m playing with my grandchildren,” he says.

OUR CONTRIBUTORS Jeffrey Ward describes himself as an “old retired guy” who loves Zumba and pickleball. He’s a native San Franciscan, Vietnam vet and University of Washington communications grad with a 50year career in aviation. He’s been married 46 years, has two adult children and six grandchildren, and is a foodie and Facebook junkie.

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

Susan Mayer Davis lives with husband Larry and golden retriever King Charles V (Charlie). “Have computer, will write” is her motto. What she enjoys most about writing for NCM is meeting great people when she researches articles and then sharing their stories. “It’s fun,” she says, “but it’s also a privilege.” Emily Kimbell is an English doctoral student and graduate teaching assistant at Georgia State University. As an active member of her community, she enjoys archiving artifacts at the local historical society, exploring the city’s historic cemetery, and acting in local theatre productions.

Sarah Faye Campbell has been a writer for The Newnan Times-Herald for 18 years and has met many great people and had a few adventures as a writer and photographer for NewnanCoweta Magazine.

Let Us Hear From You... Send thoughts, ideas and suggestions to

In Remembrance of Alexander Renay Barker Jr.

ALEXANDER RENAY BARKER JR. and his wife, Danielle, graced the cover of Newnan-Coweta Magazine’s most recent January/ February issue. Choosing them for the cover was a cinch. The Barkers had been photographed and interviewed for an article about how Coweta couples stay close with routine date nights. They had six young daughters, including two sets of twins, around which their lives revolved. Yet they worked to maintain their relationship by carving out time alone together. Their love was palpable, and that made them a perfect cover pick for the magazine’s Valentine’s issue. “Alexander was such a good sport,” recalls Sara Moore, the Newnan-Coweta Magazine freelancer who photographed the Barkers. “I think he really wanted to make his wife happy by taking these photographs with her, and he did. They made such a beautiful couple.” And so, after meeting the Barkers, we were filled with sadness when we heard that, on April 9, Alexander died in his sleep at age 40 due to complications from Type 1 diabetes. He had struggled with the disease since he was 14, but that had not kept him from leading Newnan High School’s 1996 basketball team as its star player. And it had not kept him from earning a master’s degree in finance, or from working on his doctorate toward a career goal in management, or from being a loving husband to his wife and devoted dad to his daughters. It had not kept him from living life to its fullest and as an inspiration to others. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.

july/august 2018 | 19

Letter from the Editor


On Saturday, April 21, a small group of National Socialist Movement members who rallied in Newnan were met by large numbers of Antifa counter-protestors. Citizens braced for the worst, but thankfully, the widely publicized and well-planned-for event came and went with no injuries and only a handful of arrests. In anticipation of the rally, local leaders and residents came up with brilliant ways to address what could have become a calamity. A similar rally a year earlier in Charlottesville left one person killed. Here, local law enforcement called for backup and more than 700 officers from throughout the region stood with Coweta’s best to protect us. Citizens of diverse races and religions joined to worship and planned to carry forth with a renewed vision for unity. People of all ages gathered for Newnan Strong, a festive event held downtown the night before the rally. Newnan Strong became more than the name of an event; it became the city’s mantra in its stand against hate. “Our voice and our vision as a community is that our community is a good place, a place where people get along,” said Nathan Brain, who helped organize the Friday night festivities. Looking back at the entirety of that weekend, certain images come to mind: armed police standing guard, shop doors locked shut due to understandable fear, out-of-towners shouting angrily. There were softer images, too: groups stopped on the sidewalk to pray, kids holding posters discouraging hate, a banner overhead proclaiming “Newnan believes in love for all.” And there’s another image. And it is art. What was feared to become an ugly day in Newnan left a beautiful memory of the community coming

together as one—and that memory, at least for me, is best recalled through chalk art created by Coweta children at Greenville Street Park. The night before NSM members were scheduled to spew their rhetoric, children and parents descended upon the park and covered practically every square inch of concrete with chalk art. There were rainbows and hearts, flowers and balloons, and inspiring words. My favorite: “ONE HUMAN FAMILY” was written above a chalkcolored heart outlined in pink. These tender images met—and maybe, somehow, melted the hearts of—National Socialist Movement members as they approached their rally platform. “Life beats down and crushes the soul, and art reminds you that you have one,” said the late Stella Adler, a Hollywood actress and acting teacher. Yes, that is what art does. It wakes our soul. It stops us in our tracks, causes us to think, and sometimes melts our heart. I like to think that children’s chalk-drawn flowers and rainbows melted a hard heart or two in April. Like Brain said, Coweta County is a place where people get along. And one way that is most evident is in its commitment to and practice of the arts. Whether performing or visual arts, writing or wood carving, Cowetans’ creativity is manifested in myriad ways. And it seems for every artist plying their trade, dozens of art appreciators are nearby to cheer them on. This issue of Newnan-Coweta Magazine celebrates the arts. We visit a former inmate whose artistry was honed while he was behind bars and now decorates prison walls, a young woman who can’t manipulate her hands or legs but uses her mouth to paint, and a carver whose love for nature is revealed in the fish he fashions from wood. And we recognize the 50th anniversary of Newnan-Coweta Art Association, which for half a century has warmly welcomed artists here to learn, practice and display their work. In April, children’s chalk art touched us. In producing this issue of NCM, our souls were stirred again. We hope these stories of art and artists stir yours, too.

Jackie Kennedy, Editor

20 |


coweta magazine









cookie contest

Newnan-Coweta Magazine will hold a Christmas Cookie Contest in September with winners and their recipes featured in our November-December 2018 issue. Spend a little time this summer brushing up on your cookie making skills in order to compete for prizes in the contest. We’ll have two categories: Traditional Cookies and Decorated Cookies. Prizes will be awarded to the top three winners in each category after a panel of independent judges rates cookies on taste and appearance. Entrants must submit six cookies and the recipe in order to qualify for judging. All entries must be delivered to NewnanCoweta Magazine’s office at The Newnan Times-Herald at 16 Jefferson Street, Newnan, between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13, or between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 14. Judging will take place on the afternoon of Sept. 14 and winners will be announced in the magazine’s November-December issue! We’ll share more contest details in our September-October issue.






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The same "Back to School" signs may be in store windows every year, but the ways we can go back to school have changed.

Cole McKeehan balances 15 hours of classwork and 18 hours of work each week through the CEC dual enrollment program. Photo courtesy of Central Educational Center

24 |


lthough his start time is 7 a.m., there’s a good chance you’ll find Cole McKeehan at his job by 4:00 some mornings. He says he likes to arrive early to get more training time. A junior in Coweta County Central Educational Center’s dual enrollment program, McKeehan balances 15 hours of classwork and 18 hours of on-the-job training each week. Since August 2000, the Central Educational Center (CEC) has given students the choice to simultaneously take college and high school classes while getting skills training. The CEC started from a partnership between Coweta’s education and business leaders who realized the necessity of an education program to meet the needs of the 21st century workplace and provide advanced opportunities for local students. Now the model for 43 other college and career academies in Georgia, the CEC delivers its programs through a joint venture between local businesses, the Coweta County School System and West Georgia Technical College, seamlessly blending secondary and post-secondary education and training with business and industry. The Center’s programs are designed to lead to career success. Mark Whitlock, a former Bank of America executive and product of Coweta County schools, has been the Center’s CEO since its inception. “Our goal is to produce graduates who will continue their post-secondary education or enter the workplace at higher pay due to a higher skill level – or both,” says Whitlock. In 2016, the CEC strengthened its leadership in dualenrollment education when it was chosen as the base of the first German-American Chamber Skills Initiative Apprenticeship program in the country. The German-American Chamber

of Commerce, through a strong relationship with the State of Georgia, certifies the programs. Each Coweta County apprentice starts at the CEC at age 15, as a 10th-grader, after completing freshman year at their local high school. Along with their diplomas, CEC graduates leave high school with: • An associate degree from West Georgia Technical College • Certification by the German-American Chamber as an industrial mechanic • Approximately $20,000 earned from the sponsoring manufacturer • A local job beginning at approximately $40,000-plus. In the first group of these apprentices, McKeehan works at E.G.O. North America, a German company that is one of the leading global manufacturers of domestic appliance technology, components and products. It’s one of eight businesses in Coweta County and 18 in the state participating in the program. Students have other choices at CEC, including the WorkBased Learning program that allows students to link their classwork and career interests with their job. In the Teacher Pipeline program, students interested in teaching receive classroom instruction along with on-the-job training assisting a teacher in an elementary or middle school classroom. Studies show that successful students in this program tend to go on to – and complete – university-level teacher education programs. After completing post-secondary schooling, these graduates tend to return to their home county. While classroom instruction and real-life career experience are combined, it’s not all work for CEC students. Even though they’re on a different campus, these students still have opportunity to enjoy traditional high school experiences. They play on the football team, go to prom, and participate in graduation ceremonies with classmates from their freshman year. Now, students can enter CEC even earlier through the Eighth-Grade Charter College and Career Academy. In this first such program in the state, students study eighth-grade curriculum along with a daily career elective class. Their academic classes are project-based and the elective time lets them explore classes like robotics, forensic science and sound design. The 120 available spots for eighth-graders are in such demand that students from Coweta’s middle schools are chosen by lottery. Like their older peers, eighth-graders spend the entire school day at CEC and are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities at their base school. In addition to graduating with academic degrees and technical skills, most CEC students leave with a heightened sense of realworld responsibility. McKeehan is one such student. He says it’s a tough schedule, but he enjoys the challenge. “I’m attending college-level classes and getting experience in the workplace where I’m treated as a co-worker,” he says. “Students see the relevance of this education to their future,” Whitlock concludes. “They see what’s important in terms of finding their passion, and I think they are motivated by that.”

TOP: Industry professionals are often brought in to assist in technical training in film and television. Renowned Atlanta videographer Allen Facemire instructs student Joshua Gardner in the fine control of a broadcast video camera as others look on. MIDDLE: Ruby Gould practices skills in broadcast video at the CEC in Newnan. Gould earned West Georgia Technical College credentials in nursing and welding, in addition to her work in broadcast video, while a student at the CEC and continues her nursing education at West Georgia Tech. BOTTOM: West Georgia Technical College students Candace Turner, left, and Michelle Thibodeau practice skills required in the dental assisting curriculum. Photos courtesy of Central Educational Center



Veteran Bus Drivers Care for



f the friendly and laughing school bus drivers returning from their morning routes are any indication, cheerfulness must be on the job description for Coweta County School System drivers. The school system employs approximately 200 drivers, according to Transportation Manager Judy Gresham, who notes that about 75 percent of the drivers are women. “Candidates for the job receive extensive training, including 12 hours in the classroom followed by 12 hours driving, the first six hours without students and then six with students,” says Gresham. But it takes more than state-mandated training to make a good driver. Loretta Stinson and Jimmy Evans are both veterans. Stinson has driven since 1992 and Evans, since 2008. When asked what keeps him driving, Evans doesn’t hesitate to answer. “It’s the kids,” he says. The affection he feels for his students – and their parents – is evident. For Stinson, whose passengers now include children of students who rode with her in her early days on the job, it’s also the kids. “We’re the first person these children see after they leave the house in the morning, so we try to set the tone for the day,” she says. What’s their biggest fear?

Stinson and Evans have the same response: “That one of my kids will get hurt.” They feel the students are theirs until safely at their stops, especially if they have to cross the street. Some drivers even refine their routes to minimize the need for children to walk across the street, according to Evans. Despite the signals – the big stop sign on the side of the bus or the flashing lights – many cars drive right past, according to the experienced bus drivers. When you’re in a hurry and get impatient behind a stopped school bus this fall, think about Stinson, Evans and their kids. And be patient. There’s precious cargo on board.

TOP: Jimmy Evans, a Coweta County School System bus driver since 2008, encourages drivers to be patient on the road when behind or meeting a bus. LEFT: Veteran bus driver Loretta Stinson has hauled Coweta County students from home to school and back again for 26 years.



Written by FRANCES KIDD | Photographed by BETH NEELY


hile the world has changed since Frances Smith started working as a school crossing guard in 1970, her safety tips for children and parents aren’t much different. Smith serves as a crossing guard at Newnan High School and Elm Street Elementary and relishes making strong connections with students and developing close relationships with them and their parents. “I’ve always liked kids,” says Smith. “I try to treat the kids at school like they’re my own. I don’t meet a stranger.” That has proved particularly true in the case of one friendly relationship she’s developed with a young student who rarely talks in class or with other students at school, according to Smith. “But he always has a conversation with me,” she says. To countless students who grew up with Frances at their crossing, she’s still “Mama.” Smith’s school crossing safety tips, below, speak common sense advice that remains as relevant as ever.

Safety CrossIng TIPS from MISS Frances



• Always walk behind a car not in front • Don t dare cross without your crossing guard • And the most important instruction to her kids While you re with me you don t do anything anybody else tells you to do I m your mama until you get across that street













ill Headley may not seem like a recent college graduate. But a closer look at the University of West Georgia diploma hanging in his office at Headley Construction says otherwise. The graduation date is May 11, 2017. Headley’s life changed when he flunked out of Auburn University in 1957. Rather than complete his degree as planned, he went to work, served in the Army, built a successful company, got married and raised four sons with his wife, Anita. After his 1997 retirement, Headley checked two things off his “to-do” list: He got his pilot’s license and hiked the entire Appalachian Trail. What next? At age 79, with the support and encouragement of his wife, sons and everyone at the construction company, he enrolled at West Georgia, taking advantage of the State’s 62+ tuition waiver program. Headley took his return to college seriously. His advisor helped him design a plan to complete his degree majoring in real estate in the Richards School of Business. He accomplished that goal in three years, graduating last year at age 82. Why get a degree after his work career? “I just wanted to do it for me,” says the octogenarian. Whether retired as the head of a company or as the stay-at-home head of a household, older adults can attend college through Georgia’s Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver Program (SCTWP) established by the Georgia Legislature in 1976. The program allows Georgia residents 62 and older to attend classes at any college or university in the University System of Georgia without paying tuition. Some nominal fees may apply, depending on the institution, and you have to pay for books, but it’s basically college for free. Prospective students go through the usual application process and must meet admission requirements; that means dusting off those old transcripts. The waiver applies to undergraduate as well as graduate programs. The one

28 |

Newnan businessman Bill Headley returned to college at age 79 to earn his degree. (Photo courtesy Bill Headley)

caveat: older students are not allowed to register until just before the term begins, so it’s better to be a bit flexible in your choice of classes. Older adults may audit courses or take a class for credit; you have to decide if final exams are part of your plan. Some older students begin a new degree or resume studies that were interrupted along the way. Others take the opportunity to study something completely different. Sixty-three older students from around the state were enrolled at the University of West Georgia during the last two semesters, including six from Coweta County, according to Tim McGowan, assistant director of the Center for Adult Learners and Veterans. Maybe you’ve already hiked the Appalachian and find some time on your hands. If so, follow Headley’s lead and contact the admissions office of any state college or university to find out more about college education for older adults. NCM

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Senior Communities Centered Around Family july/august 2018 | 29

before & after

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Re-careering — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French poet, writer, aviator and author of “The Little Prince”



ome people have jobs; others, a career. Melinda Tew left one to pursue the other,

and successfully so. Decades in corporate America never dampened Tew’s long-standing desire to become a schoolteacher. For nearly 25 years, she worked in customer service and as a project management specialist for Newnan manufacturing corporation Yokogawa. She liked her coworkers, made a decent salary, and says it was a great place to work. She was happily married with two grown daughters and grandchildren on the horizon. Life was good. Yet, the unchecked box of an unfulfilled dream remained. While at Yokogawa, Tew learned a coworker, a young man named John Thompson, was attending night school at Brewton-Parker College while working full time. It caught her attention because her brother also earned a degree in ministry there. Tew had earned an associate degree in 1980 but had not completed a four-year degree. Thompson knew about her interest in completing her degree and encouraged her to look into it. Although unsure, Tew did her due diligence. She had a conversation with then-director of Brewton-Parker, Janie Lore. Tew, almost 50, inquired about enrolling in night school and options 30 |

Photographed by BETH NEELY

for a non-traditional student like herself. It turned out that Brewton-Parker, a private college with a campus in Newnan, offered an education degree. That was exciting news, but there was more to tackle—like the cost and logistics of balancing school with working full time and being a wife, mother and, soon, grandmother. She sought the highest guidance through her Christian faith and


Melinda Tew worked in customer service and as a project management specialist for almost 25 years at Newnan manufacturing corporation Yokogawa, where she liked her coworkers and the workplace. Photo courtesy Melinda Tew


Fulfilling her dream to teach, Tew has worked as a first grade teacher at Coweta Charter Academy since 2015.

july/august 2018 | 31

before & after

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prayed about it. Tew learned that credits earned during her previous time in college — some 30 years prior — would be accepted toward her degree. Elated, she continued working out financial aid, researched required classes, and dealt with all the things that concern any new college student, including books and the class schedule. In 2010, she dipped her toe in the collegiate pool, starting with two night courses. The most she ever did per semester was three. These were a combination of online and on-campus classes with all prerequisite courses on-campus. It wasn’t easy. Finding a balance between college studies and work — along with all other facets of life — was challenging. After working all day, staying up until midnight to do college coursework was common. Lunch hours became study time. Undaunted, Tew pressed on, enrolling year-round, taking summer courses to accelerate the process. “It’s only temporary,” she says of the challenge. “It’s worth it when you get to the end.” Next came another giant leap of faith: Tew quit her job in July 2013 to student teach, a required part of earning her degree. She was nervous — not so much about student teaching as about the six-month stretch with no income; however, her supportive husband, Sammy, helped make that work. By December 2013, at age 53, she completed her college coursework, earning her bachelor of science in education. In May 2014, she walked at her college graduation, claiming that hard-earned sheepskin and even earning the college’s Outstanding Future Teacher Award. “I was both relieved and excited when I finished college and obtained my degree,” she recalls. “It had been a challenging journey with working and going to school, so I was glad that part was over. I was excited to start a new journey but also nervous. I had no job or income and no promise that I would.” Certified to teach grades K-5, Tew interned in kindergarten at Thomas Crossroads Elementary. She liked that fine but hoped to teach first grade. Finding a job in her new field was almost as challenging as school, but Tew was as dedicated in her career search as she was in college. She applied as a substitute teacher with Coweta County. Principals she’d talked to had recommended it as a path to a teaching job. She landed a position as a long-term sub at Elm Street Elementary, teaching first grade during the 2013-2014 school year. She continued her job search even while subbing, applying within a radius around 30 minutes from Newnan. She stayed busy substitute teaching daily.


NOW OPEN in Newnan! At age 53, Melinda Tew completed degree requirements for a bachelor of science in education at BrewtonParker College. At her 2014 graduation, she was named Outstanding Future Teacher.

“If you have a passion for it, go for it, no matter how old you are.” “I enjoyed it but wanted my own classroom,” she recalls. It wouldn’t be long. In the fall of 2014, she found herself at Coweta Charter Academy working two long-term substitute teaching gigs, each about eight weeks long, both in first grade. In summer 2015, Coweta Charter Academy called with an opening for first grade. She took it. “I really enjoy the job and love the kids,” says Tew, noting that it’s a lot of work. “But I knew that going in.” To other intrepid souls considering a vocation change, Tew offers this encouragement: “If you have a passion for it, go for it, no matter how old you are.” After returning to college and re-careering herself by her mid-50s, surely she can handle teaching a class full of first-graders. She misses her former Yokogawa coworkers but regrets nothing. With 15 years left to work, she’s doing what she enjoys. “I get to spend the end of my working years doing something that I had long wanted to do,” says Tew. “I don’t make quite as much money as before but felt it was worth it to follow the dream.” Indeed it was. Congratulations, Mrs. Tew. NCM

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Born with the inability to use her limbs, Shakeyla Shinholster compensates by holding a paintbrush between her teeth to create art admired by her fans.

An Ordinary Girl in Extraordinary Circumstances Written by SUSAN MAYER DAVIS | Photographed by JACKIE KENNEDY 34 |

“I have dreams or visions of these women in my head and I memorize the details. Later, I try to duplicate the vision on canvas.”

On August 4, 1994, a child was born to a single mom at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. Angelia Martin named her baby girl Shakeyla Marquetta Shinholster. She was a beautiful baby, but something was terribly wrong. So wrong, in fact, that the medical team flew in a doctor from India to correctly diagnose her condition as “arthrogryposis multiplex congenita” (AMC). The rare disease causes severe contractures of multiple joints, associated problems with shortened tendons and the inability to use the limbs. The baby wasn’t expected to survive, but the medical community hadn’t counted on her indomitable will to live. Not only did she live; she thrived. She eventually underwent hip surgery in order to sit in a wheelchair; otherwise she would remain lying down throughout life, and that simply wouldn’t work for this spunky young woman with talents and plans to use them. Shinholster, 23, lives in Peachtree City but is acquiring quite a reputation around Coweta County as an artist. A member of the Newnan-Coweta Art Association (NCAA), she regularly attends meetings in Newnan, where her work is displayed at Southern Arc Dance Center. She routinely takes part in Coweta art walks and local shows, and she helped paint a fiberglass cow for NCAA’s Storybook Newnan outdoor art installation. Lacking the use of her hands or arms, Shinholster uses her mouth to paint. With the help of her mother, Shinholster holds a brush between her teeth, dips it in paint and replicates the visions that occur to her. “I know it sounds strange, but I have dreams or visions of these women in my head and I memorize the details,” she says. “Later, I try to duplicate the vision on canvas. I have so many paintings in my head that I don’t know how I’ll ever get them all done.” When a fan of her work mentions that much of it features tribal women in robes and sometimes carrying large vases or urns on their heads, Shinholster reflects a moment and then says that perhaps they are her ancestors. Not rigid in her subject matter, the young artist gladly accepts commission work. She recently produced stylized paintings of dogs and enjoys that challenge. “I had no idea I could paint dogs, but they turned out pretty good,” she says. As a toddler, Shinholster attended Good Shepherd Riding Center for handicapped children in Warm Springs. “Those were some of the best years of my life,” she says, a smile creasing her face as she recalls the horses and other animals at the center. “I was with other children with physical limitations, so I had no way to know that I was handicapped. I did pretty much what I wanted while crawling around and laughing with the july/august 2018 | 35

“I have so many paintings in my head that I don’t know how I’ll ever get them all done.” other kids. Looking back, I was rather self-sufficient for my age in that, if I wanted to do something, I figured out how to do it.” It wasn’t until Shinholster started regular school in a wheelchair that she realized how different she was from other children. She was no longer blissfully unaware of her condition or how other children reacted to it. “Sure, there were some mean kids but, overall, they were off my radar, and I had some really great friends who would help me with my mouth-stick, books or other things as needed,” she says. “I have some great memories of school. I especially remember a girl in elementary school, Shannon Spratlin, who took my wheelchair during a school dance and whirled me around the floor so I could dance like the other kids. I laughed so hard, and I’ve never forgotten her kindness.” During this time, her mother, grandmother and brother Mattavious were her best friends. “My mom is like the fourth member of the Trinity,” says Shinholster. “Seriously, she must be an angel, as her name suggests, to take care of me for 23 years with such grace and joy. She never complains. Mom quit her job when I was in middle school to take care of me full time. I can literally do nothing without her help.” Martin describes her daughter as “adventurous, honest, intelligent and silly—but still serious about things that matter.” The love for her daughter shines through as she gazes at Shakeyla. Big brother Mattavious says, “My sister is an intelligent, smart, hardworking and driven young girl.” While attending Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Shinholster met a group of young Christians who encouraged her and were fundamental in her finding acceptance and love through faith in God. Today, she cannot contain her joy in the Lord and in living life to the fullest. Her spirituality informs her art. “My greatest joy in life is bringing joy to others through a painting, a book, singing or conversation,” Shinholster says. “Art has given me a sense of purpose. So many people have served me, and I cannot reciprocate in the same manner. 36 |

Shinholster’s indomitable spirit shines through not only her smile but the colorful art she creates.


Shinholster’s biggest fan and greatest supporter is her mom, Angela Martin.

However, if I can give them joy through a painting and share the Gospel with them, then I feel as if I’ve served them also.” Jeremy Tuck, Shinholster’s pastor and cousin, says she’s the most amazing person he’s ever met. “Her strength to smile in the midst of all that she has been through proves to the world that she is beautiful inside and out,” says Tuck. “I love her.” Shinholster’s five-year goal is to have an art showing in a New York City gallery, to meet amazing people in the art business, and to sell enough paintings to afford to rent time in a recording studio. “I’d love to record an album,” she says. “Singing just makes me so happy.” Along with painting and singing, she expresses herself through writing and has self-published two books, “My Friend Cory” and “Max the Cat.” The artist says her 10-year goal is to be happily married and the mother of a daughter. “I can envision her room decorated with paintings that I created just for her,” she says, smiling as she shares her ultimate dream. Born with the cards for happiness stacked against her, Shinholster experienced pain, surgery, frustration and teasing, but also love, hope, encouragement and faith. She must rely on others to do the simplest tasks for her, but she won’t be stopped from pursuing her passion to write, paint and sing. She doesn’t complain or make excuses, and her humility shows in her personal motto: “I’m a conqueror, just an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances.” NCM

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Jeff Bishop, a Writer’s Life Written by JACKIE KENNEDY


Photographed by BETH NEELY

long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away, local author Jeff Bishop was a Coweta County kid growing up in Senoia with a longing to see the most talked about movie in years. “Just like every other kid in the 1970s, I begged my parents to let me go see ‘Star Wars,’” says Bishop, noting that since his family “lived out in the sticks,” they only drove into town for a movie on the big screen once a year, usually for his birthday. Such was the case when he turned 9 and his parents granted his birthday wish. “‘Star Wars’ just floored me,” Bishop recalls. “It was like nothing I’d ever seen.” Local historian and author of several books and plays, Bishop credits “Star Wars” with inspiring his life of writing some 40 years ago. “I wanted to tell stories from the time I saw it,” he says. “I remember people in the audience cheering and reacting to what they were seeing. I wanted to feel that way and help others feel that way, so I sat down and started writing.” First, he wrote science fiction stories similar to what he’d watched on the big screen. “I pictured myself as a hero in the far-flung future of 2001, imagined myself the captain of some starship,” he says, recalling how he worked from the start to make writing a business. “I would sell the stories to other students for a nickel. Sometimes they’d commission me to write about dinosaurs or something, so I’d write custom pieces and draw pictures to go with them.”

Writing for Newspapers By the time he graduated from East Coweta High School in 1987, Bishop had written for 38 |

three newspapers: Tomahawk Times, his middle school’s paper; Smoke Signals, his high school paper; and The Newnan Times-Herald. “The Times-Herald printed our high school paper and Marianne Thomasson asked if I’d like to write for the newspaper, so I started writing a humor column,” says Bishop, who worked summers at the newspaper through high school and college. While in high school, he was selected as “Champion Journalist” for the state of Georgia and then named top student journalist in the U.S. by the National Scholastic Press Association. While working toward his journalism degree at the University of Georgia, he wrote for UGA’s paper, The Red and Black, and for the Athens newspaper. Along with reporting news, he wrote plays; “The Electric Rose and the Mirror Man” won a contest at UGA and was performed Bishop’s senior year. After graduation, Bishop returned to Newnan and covered county commission, city council and other beats for The Times-Herald while writing his humor column twice weekly for four years. He volunteered at Newnan Theatre Company and wrote one act plays, some of which were performed here. He directed several shows, including one that led to marrying a lady he met at the audition; he and Barbara now have five children.

The Cherokee Trail of Tears When Barbara was offered a job in Calhoun, the couple moved to North Georgia where Bishop worked for The Calhoun Times for 12 years. During that time, he became interested in history while covering an archaeology event at nearby New Echota, capital of the Cherokee nation in the early 1800s. “The way Indians lived reminded me of science fiction stories I read as a kid,” he says.


If you really want to write, just sit and start writing. Write as “much as you can, and read as much as you can. I don’t think it’s something you’re born with; you have to work for it. ” “It seemed like another world, very exotic, unlike anything else I’d encountered.” That led to his involvement with the Georgia Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association in 2003. He served as chapter president from 2007 to 2012 and did research for the National Park Service, including studying the history of the Rossville home of John Ross, chief of the Cherokees during the removal. “I found out the house was not his grandfather’s [as had long been reported] but that John Ross built it himself in 1816, so I basically rewrote the entire history of that home,” Bishop recalls. The 200-page report became his first book-length project. Bishop’s work with the National Park Service continued as he helped develop wayside exhibits interpreting the state’s Trail of Tears; that led to writing a new Georgia Trail of Tears map and brochure, both available in welcome centers across the nation. His research culminated with the publication of “Agatahi: The Cherokee Trail of Tears” in 2017. And that has led to numerous speaking engagements at schools and colleges.

A Cold Coming After returning to Newnan in 2007, Bishop worked again for The Newnan Times-Herald, from 2007 to 2012, and won multiple Georgia Press Association writing awards for his humor column and news, feature and business writing. Also during this time, he completed his first book, “A Cold Coming,” based on his own family history. The author recalls a childhood memory of his grandmother that eventually resulted in his book debut: “She had agoraphobia and would not leave her house. One Christmas Eve, my dad invited her to spend Christmas

Jeff Bishop writes local and family history.

july/august 2018 | 39


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with us, but she wouldn’t. He tried to force her to go; he wasn’t doing it aggressively but gently trying to pull her out of the house. She was just wailing, refusing to go. He ultimately gave up and she stayed at her house. On the drive home, I asked Dad, ‘What’s wrong with Grandma?’ My parents said, ‘Well, there are a lot of things you don’t know.’ That started me on the path trying to figure out the story.” That story is one of heartbreak. When his grandmother was a little girl growing up during the Great Depression, says Bishop, her father tried to kill the entire family with a ball-peen hammer. Published in 2013 by Boll Weevil Press, a publishing house Bishop established that year, “A Cold Coming” reveals what led to the attack, the grim event itself, and its aftermath.

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Bishop earned his master’s degree in public history and museum studies from the University of West Georgia in 2012 and was named director of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society the following year. In 2014, Arcadia Press published his “Newnan: Images of America,” showcasing historic photos of the city with captions exploring Newnan’s history. In February 2017, History Press published Bishop’s “Coweta County, A Brief History,” featuring parts of the community’s African-American history that had never been explored in book form. In between those two ventures, Bishop penned what he describes as his “most rewarding writing experience” to date: a play titled, “Flies at the Well.” He currently is preparing it for eventual publication. About the 1948 trial of John Wallace, whose story was penned by Newnan’s Margaret Anne Barnes in “Murder in Coweta County,” the play brought Bishop’s words to life on stage. Newnan Theatre Company performed three shows in April 2016 at Wadsworth Auditorium. “When you’re writing a book, it’s a lonely process; it’s just you and the computer,” says the author/playwright. “After you’ve published the book, you don’t know how people really receive it; they tell you they enjoy it, but you don’t get to watch their reaction in real time. With a play, you get to see it night after night. To see that emotional response was extremely rewarding.”

What’s next? The former executive director of Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, Bishop recently was named executive director of Waleskabased Reinhardt University’s Funk Heritage Center, the state’s official interpretive center for pioneer and Native American history. “If I could pick out one job for me in the state of Georgia, this would be it,” says Bishop. “I’ve always had a passion for Native American history in particular, so this is the ideal position to land in and definitely a big step up for me.” Bishop wound down his service with the local historical society on

JUST WRITE Newnan author Jeff Bishop offers these words of writing wisdom to aspiring authors:

• If you really want to write, just sit and start writing. Write as much as you can, and read as much as you can. I don’t think it’s something you’re born with; you have to work for it. No one is born knowing how to paint or how to draw; you have to work for it. • Because it is so much work, you have to have a passion for it, a real desire, because you’re going to spend a lot of lonely hours in front of that computer without much reward. You have

to write reams and reams of garbage before you come up with something worthwhile for someone else to read, so you’d better get started writing that garbage.

• It’s a daily process. You just have to be stubborn about it. The key thing is to set a deadline for yourself and then work toward that every single day, even if you don’t feel like it. It’s like going to the gym; it’s easy not to do it.

May 31 and started his new job at Reinhardt on June 3. He and his family continue to reside in Newnan. Bishop won’t divulge much information about his current writing project other than to say it’s a local history book he’s wanted to do for a long time, and a play will accompany it. “It has potential to be the most exciting project I’ve worked on so far,” he says. Chances are good that, since age 9, Bishop has watched all the Star Wars movies and absorbed Qui-Gon Jinn’s truth spoken in The Phantom Menace: “Remember: Your focus determines your reality.” May the force be with you, Jeff Bishop. NCM


Written by


42 |

hile the rise of the internet continues to evolve the means and types of entertainment we enjoy, an old, printed favorite is gaining new popularity every day. Comic books, as an older generation knew them, are morphing into longer, more detailed literary pieces called graphic novels, bringing drama, adventure, history and even the classics to a new generation of readers and fans. Though styles often vary, most graphic novels present a series of stories or individual comic books in a single book. This carries several benefits for the reader, perhaps most importantly, cost. Whereas an original first edition “Walking Dead” comic may cost $1,000 or more, a graphic novel including the first six issues costs about $25. The rise of graphic novels, a phenomenon that began in earnest in the mid-1980s, has been driven by innovative, highquality stories that have given birth to some of the most revered literary characters of the past 50 years. From Black Panther to Superman, from Star Wars to Star Trek, from Iron Man to the Walking Dead, graphic novels are the driving force behind nearly every movie superhero of today. But the genre goes beyond comic book heroes, often bringing history to life through illustrated stories. On a recent visit to Heroes Cards, Comics & Games — Coweta County’s largest and most successful comic book/graphic novel store — some titles stood out: “Rebels: A Historical Epic of America’s Founding Fathers,” “The Green Mountain Boys” and “The Virginian.” Each is based on real American history. Even the classics are being recreated as graphic novels. How about “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka or “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen? They, and many other classics, are available. This growth is creating another benefit by renewing interest in reading among young and old alike. With easier to follow text and strong graphics, educators are recognizing the benefits and helping graphic novels become more mainstream. Improved access to graphic novels — in public and school libraries, bookstores and traditional comic book shops — is contributing to their current popularity. And, some Coweta teachers are using graphic novels in dayto-day assignments on a case-by-case basis. by D E H P A R G Randy Fike, manager of Heroes, in Newnan, TO O PH has seen the popularity of graphic novels grow during his more than 25-year career in the comic book/graphic novel business. “Most comics come out once a month in a series that is usually six issues long,” Fike says. “With graphic novels, readers can go through an entire storyline in one read and do it economically as well. We’re also beginning to see some stories come out strictly as graphic novels. For example, the Deadpool stories have been told utilizing


the graphic novel format heavily for several years now.” Still, Fike says, comic books remain highly popular, driving a majority of the store’s business and continuing to entertain kids and adults. The best demonstration of comic book popularity comes each Wednesday when new comics are Monica Watts and her son, Brandon Martin, of Luthersville are psyched to score made available for sale by their some Black Panther merchandise. They’ve producers, creating high demand participated in Free Comic Book Day for for the latest books. Each about eight years. (Photo by Beth Neely) Wednesday, there’s typically Randy Fike, manager of Heroes Cards, Comics & Games in Newnan, has witnessed a line of a few dozen people an impressive growth in popularity of waiting for the store to open graphic novels. (Photo by Neil Monroe) at 11 a.m. Coweta’s libraries also have experienced the growth of the graphic novel industry and created special sections in each of the county’s four Emily Wallin of Newnan gets up close to read branches for these books, the latest cool comics during Free Comic which tend to be among Book Day. (Photo by Beth Neely) the library system’s most frequently checked-out items. This popularity has led to creation of the county’s first graphic novel club at the Grantville Branch. Library Assistant Kristen Timoteo saw the interest among young Kristen Timoteo, assistant at Grantville Library, library patrons and started the club two years ago as a summer started a graphic novel activity that didn’t conflict with school. club that welcomes ages 11 and up to discuss the “We had five teenagers that first year, and now it’s definitely genre during monthly a multi-generational group,” says Timoteo. “Dads particularly meetings at the library. (Photo by Neil Monroe) like it, and it helps them relate to their kids with something they both can enjoy.” The librarian says the club has helped her learn about this genre of books. “I’ve been in the library system for 10 years, but I knew nothing about graphic novels,” she notes. “It’s such a full field and there are so many characters that our people care about very much. And it extends beyond traditional stories to anime and fandom.” Anime is a term for Japan-based media, and fandom relates to fans of particular characters, such as superheroes and even Harry Potter. For 2018, the Grantville club has a seven-week schedule, with each week offering a specific theme. For the first week, for example, the club focused on Pokemon, using pancake art to create Pokemon characters. While graphic novels, anime and fandom attract fans old and young, the predominate driver of this type of media are young people—kids still in school. This has created a noticeable undercurrent of concern as to whether these types of books and stories have a positive impact. After two years of conducting a graphic novel club, Timoteo believes they do. “I’ve seen it,” she says. “These types of books get kids excited about reading. They’re easy to read, enable kids to read several stories very quickly, and it absolutely fuels their enthusiasm.” NCM


BACKGROUND IMAGE Former inmate Stephen Piotrowski’s WWII mural at Coweta County Correctional Institute welcomes visitors near the front entry. He “signed” this detailed piece with a portrait of himself as a WWII aviator painting with an airbrush, top left. Photo by Sara Moore

LEFT Stephen Piotrowski uses colored pencils to create a detailed drawing. Photo by Naomi Etris


Man with the P lans Written by SUSAN MAYER DAVIS

july/august 2018 | 45

“If better is possible, good is not enough.”


An old Yiddish proverb states that “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” Stephen Piotrowski experienced this truism firsthand. Even as a young child growing up in Camp Verde, Ariz., Piotrowski had plans. Working on construction projects came to him naturally, as he loved nothing more than putting on a tool belt, filling the pockets with nails, and building forts in every tree in his family’s backyard. He’d construct them out of wooden pallets his mother supplied. At the time, he was so young that the hammer in his tool belt dragged the ground. At age 12, Piotrowski moved to Dawsonville

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— Stephen Piotrowski

with his family and landed a minimum wage job with a brick mason stacking rocks in baskets. He worked his way up to supervisor by the age of 16. “During my teen years in Georgia, a few crucial men mentored me and taught me about business and also about being a good man,” Piotrowski says. “They were father figures since my dad wasn’t in the picture.” One of those men is Jesse Chism, who was a teacher at the private Christian school Piotrowski attended and the youth pastor at his church. “He was very involved in all of the teens’ lives and has been my hero since I was 12,” says


Piotrowski. “He instilled in me the desire to think deeper and to find the good in every situation. My scholarly nature may have been inherent, but it was groomed through Chism. He still challenges me to grow and become a better man.” To earn extra money, Piotrowski started a part-time yard care business that grew into an actual landscaping company, enabling him to quit his job with the mason. His landscaping company allowed him to develop his innate artistic skills as he designed landscape layouts for his clients. His exposure to building materials and construction sites nurtured a desire in Piotrowski to be an architect. As a young man of 19, Piotrowski had his future mapped out. He and his high school sweetheart would marry, move into a house they bought, and raise a family. But then life intervened. Like a perfect storm, a series of pressures formed, temporarily disarming his moral compass and changing his life forever. After convicted of burglary, he spent a few years in prison. “I am so regretful,” he says. “But, by the grace of God, the experience itself and the people I met helped me become a better man and a better artist. I’m not there yet, but I strive every day to live with integrity.” While in a prison before coming to Coweta, Piotrowski met fellow inmate Allan Bates, a lifelong artist who had owned multiple tattoo shops. “Without Bates, I would not be the artist I am today,” says Piotrowski. “He taught me about integrity and ingenuity. He taught me art is not just looking at pictures but a completely different way to look at life.” Fast forward to 2015. Piotrowski was transferred to the Coweta County Correctional Institute and, as fate would have it, shortly after arriving he overheard a discussion about the annual winter play and who would paint the backdrop. Piotrowski volunteered. He did such a good job that he became the de facto artist for the prison, where he first experimented with an airbrush. “Stephen Piotrowski is quite frankly the best artist I have ever met in my life,” says Correctional Institute Warden Bill McKenzie, a mentor and role model to the artist. “Some people, like me, can’t even paint a straight line, but Piotrowski can draw and paint anything—from a small picture to a large-scale wall mural. To find out that he had such a talent after coming to prison is just short of a miracle.” Piotrowski’s work is showcased at both the prison and Coweta County Animal Services. His artwork is among the

TOP LEFT Piotrowski worked spirituality and reverence into this mural at the prison chapel. Photo by Beth Neely


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“To find out that he

had such a talent after coming to prison is just short of a miracle.” — Warden Bill McKenzie

first things visitors see when they arrive in the reception area at the prison. The life-size mural there is a tribute to U.S. soldiers from the American Revolution to Iraqi Freedom and features intricate details, but don’t look for the artist’s signature in the bottom right corner. Instead, he opted for a small self-portrait that features him painting with an airbrush while wearing a WWII aviator’s uniform. Several signs and smaller murals also grace the prison walls. Piotrowski was given free rein to design a mural for the prison chapel. The huge piece covers a concrete block wall and features Bible characters, including a lion and lamb as well as soldiers bowing before three crosses on a hill. A dark forest frames the scene accented with a hazy moon. When praised for his detailed artwork, Piotrowski states his motto: “If

Piotrowski’s endearing pet paintings adorn the wall outside the cat room at Coweta County Animal Services. Photo by Susan Mayer Davis

ABOVE Brightly colored cartoon animals bring joy to Coweta County Animal Services. Photo by Susan Mayer Davis

Former inmate Stephen Piotrowski, left, appreciates the opportunities given him by Coweta County Correctional Institute Warden Bill McKenzie, including creating this acid-etched window. Photo by Beth Neely


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better is possible, good is not enough.” The former inmate is quick to express gratitude for the Coweta County Prison employees who expressed interest in his artwork—and in him as an individual. “I am so grateful for my prison counselor, Ed Floyd, for teaching me about history and about life and for Warden Bill McKenzie for all his encouragement and mentorship,” says Piotrowski. “I hope that he will continue to use his skills and his talent in artistry and be proud of the gift that he has been given,” McKenzie says of the artist. After released from prison in 2017, Piotrowski spent the first few months living with family in Dawsonville. Soon he began step one of his new plan. The money he made from doing tattoos enabled him to purchase a 30-foot camper that he’s in the process of renovating, parking it next to a building where he has a workshop. He's rebuilding his credit and saving money to buy property on which to build a permanent house. “I’ll move my camper to the property and continue to save as I draw up plans for the house I plan to build mostly myself,” he says. “I plan to be ready when the time comes that I do have a family.” The former inmate now works 50-60 hours per week as a project supervisor for a large construction firm. “I’ve been readjusting and focusing on rebuilding my life in a positive manner,” he says. “Each day I pose the question, ‘Would I rather be making a good living at construction or making a fulfilled living with my art, music, and writing?’ I enjoy my job very much, but it’s not my passion.” Piotrowski is now 31 and focuses on his faith and career. “I’ve seen what happens when God is not in my life,” he says. “And I know there is no stronger motivation for me than to know that His plans are greater than mine. After all, Proverbs 16:3 says, ‘Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.’” NCM




ack in the depths of the Depression, a young woman named Ophelia Colley came to Coweta County from Tennessee to teach other young women music and dances. Colley had been a coach for the Wayne P. Sewell Company, traveling the Southland putting on simple plays in small towns. A civic club or PTA would sponsor the play, and the coach would cast, rehearse and stage the play. The take would be split, and the coach would head to the next town and another production. The marriage of Marjorie Dunaway Hogan, the niece of Wayne Sewell’s wife, left the Sewell Company without a head coach. Colley, who dreamed of a career as a dramatic actress, spent several summers at Roscoe teaching other young women the Sewell system. To promote the plays, Colley created a countrified lady character. She would attend a civic club meeting in character to drum up interest in a play in some faraway hamlet. Someone caught her act, connected her with WSM Radio in Nashville, and the persona of Minnie Pearl was born. I had the good fortune of interviewing Ophelia Colley Cannon twice — once for a feature story in the late 1970s and then a few years later when Dunaway Gardens was beginning a restoration. She cherished the memories of her time in Coweta. Who would have expected in 1937 that Ophelia Colley, as Minnie Pearl, would become a household name? And who, today, will be a Cowetan whose fame will shine a half century from now? The most obvious person is Alan Jackson. A country music megastar, Alan has received every country music award around. His songs speak to people, and his talent has taken him far. There are others who I predict will also be revered as shining stars in 2068:

ADAM AND SHANNON WRIGHT Adam is Alan Jackson’s nephew. Shannon was in a band when they met, and the couple has been writing songs together for almost 20 years with four albums to their credit so far. The entire Jackson family has loads of musical talent and more than a little star quality. Adam and Shannon’s star will continue to rise.

GWENDOLYN REID KUHLMANN is making a name for herself in another genre of music. The Newnan High graduate sang with European opera companies for several KUHLMANN years and is now with Opera San Jose in California. I see a bright future for her as her clear evocative voice continues to move operagoers.

JAMES ALLEN McCUNE is moving up in the Hollywood pantheon. In 2016, he joined his family at a Coweta theater to see “Blair Witch,” in which he starred. I’m watching for his next big break. McCUNE

july/august 2018 | 51


CAROLINE THRASHER, like McCune, graduated from East Coweta High School. My wife, Lynn, was teaching there during Caroline’s high school years, and we often went to Echostage plays. Among her high school roles, Caroline played light, fluffy characters and a particularly malevolent Puritan house wife. She is pursuing a professional acting career, and I see a star in the future with her name on it. THRASHER

Gifted literary folk are also among us. Poet MELISSA


is now inspiring her students at the University of West Georgia, but her own poetry is memorable and deep. She has already published two volumes of poems. Melissa has been recognized for her poetry and will continue to be as long as she shares those gifts. I hesitate to include popular fiction writers in this list because Coweta has so many talented novelists. Ultimately, I conclude BLUE





COLE, AMY McCOY DEES and SUZETTE SMIT are writing stories

that will resound with readers for decades to come. I’ve read three of Blue’s novels — “Sleeping Sickness,” “Immediate Dead” and “Evil Upriver.” All have unexpected twists that add a richness to

an already good story. I’ve known Blue and Amy since they were youngsters, and Amy has an inborn desire to write. She writes a wide range of things but is making a name for herself as a juvenile fiction author. The last time I talked to her, she was working on a series of novels for young readers. I’ve met Suzette Smit a couple of times and did a reading from her 2011 novel, “Shadow of a Doubt,” at a Moreland Cultural Arts Alliance event. The story is set against a backdrop of 9/11 New York City. After finishing a chapter, I had to remind myself I was reading a novel and not history. Suzette’s research and attention to detail, as well as her ability to create memorable characters and craft a tightly woven tale, ensure her a place in the hearts of future readers.

Apologies in advance to the many talented Cowetans I haven’t mentioned, but magazine articles have word limits. Looking to the future, I see Coweta continuing to bring forth talented people who will entertain, inspire and enrich the world. NCM 52 |

n w DtroaCoweta

Ellie Farrington specializes in oil painting, which she finds “forgiving.” To create whiskers like the ones in this cat painting, she recommends dipping a pizza cutter in paint and rolling the cutter on canvas to create whiskers.

Newnan-Coweta Art Association turns Written and Photographed by JACKIE KENNEDY



llie Farrington joined the Newnan-Coweta Art Association (NCAA) in 1988, the year after she and her husband, Bernie, moved from Maine to open a Blimpie restaurant in Newnan. She’d been here only a few months when a new friend encouraged her to take art lessons. “I wouldn’t have thought of it on my own because I’d never painted,” says Farrington, now 91 and a 30year NCAA member. “I took oil painting and [local

Thank you... To all our public safety personnel. I am honored to join others in saluting and thanking our local First-Responders who keep our county safe and strong.

artist] Tom Powers taught the class; he was great. I’d been a seamstress and basically traded one art for another.” Farrington is one among many who’s been drawn to Coweta County to create, discuss and display art. She has made Newnan-Coweta Art Association her home for art, and its members, her art family. Founded June 18, 1968, the NCAA celebrates its 50th birthday this year. The group just wrapped up its 2018 Juried Art Show in June and looks forward to its other major annual events: the Labor Day Arts & Craft Festival Sept. 3 at Newnan’s Courthouse Square and the 50th Annual Christmas Art Market at Coweta County Fairgrounds Nov. 2-4.

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This year’s third annual Labor Day Festival, sponsored by Corner Arts Gallery, harks back to the Powers’ Crossroads Country Fair and Arts Festival, held at Powers’ family property on the Coweta-Heard county line on Labor Day weekend for 43 years, from 1971 to 2014. As part of Coweta Festivals, a group of five organizations that eventually owned the property, the NCAA benefitted for years from the festival’s immense popularity and, in many ways, NCAA’s history paralleled that of the festival for much of the past half century. Powers founded the festival in 1971, just three years after the NCAA formed. He invited the South’s most acclaimed artists and artisans to take part and Powers’ Crossroads took off. Coweta Festivals managed the event and its member organizations manned booths, including NCAA, which featured artworks by member artists. Thousands of visitors trekked to Powers’ Crossroads each September to peruse and purchase artwork and, at the end of the long weekend, NCAA picked up one-fifth of the proceeds, typically a healthy check that funded most of their functions for the coming year. “We’d get like $25,000 a year from the festival, but we haven’t had that for a while,” says NCAA President Tammy Troyer. Over the years, as other arts festivals popped up throughout the Southeast, the one at Powers’ Crossroads eventually fizzled. After hosting its last event at Powers', Coweta Festivals sold the 78-acre property last year with the $600,000 proceeds split equally among its owners: NCAA, Coweta County 4-H, Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce, Newnan-Coweta Jaycees and Pilot Club of Newnan. Just as NCAA used funds generated from the festival to promote and facilitate art in Coweta County, it will use proceeds from the property sale to continue its support of the A bust of Harriett visual arts, according to Troyer. Alexander welcomes “Our goal is to invest that money and keep visitors to the this organization going for the next 25, 35, 40 Art Center that years,” she says. bears her name.

Photo by Sara Moore

Early Art Supporters A founding member of the NewnanCoweta Art Association, Newnan native Harriett Alexander is recalled for talent as an artist and commitment to encouraging others in their pursuit of art, according to Bette Hickman, local art teacher and an NCAA member since 1978. “Harriett was a force to be reckoned with,” recalls Hickman. “She lived and breathed her art. She was a nurse, but I knew her as a lover of the arts and

ABOVE Artist Marcus Stewart shares “Gotcha,” an oil on Gessobord painting.

RIGHT Sheri Anderson calls Coweta “a very artfriendly county that appreciates the arts and gives us a place to hang our work, get together and learn from each other.”

talented artist.” Along with Alexander, other NCAA “founding ladies” who supported the arts in Coweta County included Virginia Roesell and Alta Bunn, according to Hickman. “They were the ones who welcomed me and made me feel so much a part of the arts of our town,” says Hickman. “And Tom Powers was there at the beginning, too, and a wonderful supporter of the arts who encouraged all of us.”

Hickman’s first assignment with the NCAA was an important one, she recalls with a laugh. “I was the youngest member, so they made me refreshments chairman,” she says. “It was a critical part of the meeting to have a beautiful table and nice refreshments, but at a certain point I thought, you know, I need to move on from refreshments.” Gathering socially before meetings remains integral to the Art Association, which meets at the same spot it originally gathered but in a newer building just off Hospital Road. The original mill village house where the group started was torn down and the current structure built to accommodate growth. It opened in May 1991 and was named the Harriet Alexander Art Center, although most members simply call it “the Art House.” Alexander died in the year 2000, but her memory lives on with visual reminders at the Art House, including a bust and a painting of the artist in the lobby.

Five Decades of Dedication Just as Alexander and the founding ladies started the NCAA, current

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members keep it going. Last spring, Hickman and Pamela Prange coordinated work on the group’s new outdoor fiberglass art installation, “Newnan, A Storybook Town.” (For a Closer Look, see page 59.) Association members recently painted a new mural at Coweta County School System’s Westside Burwell School, and Jenny Jones led an effort to paint utility boxes for the Calumet community. The group already is preparing for its Labor Day and Christmas events and routinely joins forces with other organizations, like it did recently with Newnan-Coweta Historical Society for an Art and Architecture event. The NCAA also is collaborating with the LINC trail system to provide artwork along the trails. That’s a lot of effort, but for a group that’s lifted the local arts scene to an impressive level, a lot is never enough. “We’re trying to get more young artists coming in and offer youth membership at $5 to do that,” says Troyer, adding that one-year memberships were given to all Coweta County art teachers to familiarize them with the NCAA. “Our goal in the next two years is to get more involved in the community with services for people who need them—to bring the community together through the arts. Art shows are a part of it, but it’s not all about having a show. I’d like to see us get into schools for troubled youth that don’t have art programs; it’s important to reach kids this age to keep them out of trouble by providing a creative outlet.”

An Art Family Along with helping her learn to paint, joining the NCAA introduced Farrington to her new community. Between the people she met at Blimpie and those at the Art Association, she fit into her new hometown in no time. As her artistic abilities developed, she began to sell her works. “It’s so satisfying to paint something and have someone else look at it and say, ‘Gosh, I like that,’” she says. For 50 years, NCAA has given folks like Farrington the opportunity to learn art and express their creativity through it, to display their works and discuss their craft. At the Art House, Farrington hosts Paint-Ins on Tuesdays, Martin Pate teaches drawing on Monday evenings, and Cheryl Vickers teaches oil painting on Thursdays. Troyer offers pottery classes for adults and children, and Hickman and Teri Lewis teach children’s art classes through Young Artists of Newnan and Coweta County, which Hickman founded in 1979 for kids ages 4½-13. At a recent Paint-In, Isabel Moure and Silvia Feenaghty, both of Peachtree City, joined Farrington, Newnan artist Sheri Anderson, and Karen DeFelix, of Palmetto. The NCAA members brought their own supplies, each concentrating on her favorite medium, be it oil, watercolor or acrylic. Whatever the medium, their works benefit from the camaraderie and input. Don’t ask for advice, says Anderson, unless you really want it. “If you ask for a critique, you usually get it,” she says, explaining the advice is

A non-profit corpor ation, the Newnan-Coweta Ar t Association (NCA A) was incorpo rated in 1968 to encourage and aid artists to produce original wo rks of art. The NCAA partner s with other nonprofits and busin esses to display the works of local artists and fosters art appr eciation by supporting the arts in Coweta schools through do nations and scholarships. The NCAA meets th e third Thursday of each mo nth at the Harriet Alexander Art Center at 31 Hospital Road in Newnan. Fellowship with refre shments starts at 7 p.m. and the ge neral meeting begins at 7:30. Mem bership costs $30 for adults, $40 for families, and $5 for students. Visit fo r upcoming programs and work shops.


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Serving Newnan & the Atlanta Metro Area among friends and not hypercritical but helpful. “We care about each other. This is our art family.”

What’s The Draw? Moure and Feenaghty routinely make the drive from Peachtree City to work on art in Newnan. What draws them to Coweta County? “Coweta is very, very art-friendly,” says Feenaghty. And, well, just friendly, too. “I remember seeing the work of people in the Newnan-Coweta Art Association at my local library and thinking maybe one day I’ll get to display my work and be in this group of amazing artists,” says Peachtree City resident and emerging artist Shakeyla Shinholster. (See her story on page 34.) Whether prospective members prefer the performing arts, pottery, writing, sculpture or painting, they are welcome to join the Newnan-Coweta Art Association. “We have artists from Fayette, Carroll


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Art student Allison Humble works on a clay cup under the guidance of her instructor, NCAA President Tammy Troyer.

and surrounding counties, from all over,” says Troyer. “Our juried show is a huge draw, and our monthly meetings include a demonstration from an area artist, but it’s also because we welcome all artists, no matter their media. People are drawn here because we welcome any art form. Some groups limit membership to one genre. We’re probably the only one around who welcomes everyone, and our dues are reasonable.” Plus, NCAA helps members get their artwork in front of people. The group currently partners with locations in Newnan and Peachtree City where members’ art is displayed and available for sale. Assistance from local governments also is responsible for the healthy art scene, according to Hickman, who calls the City of Newnan and Coweta County Government “huge supporters” of local arts. “Artists are right-brainers,” says Hickman. “We can create, but we need someone to encourage us, to give us structure and make things possible. And that’s what Mayor Keith Brady and Recreation Director Carl McKnight do for us. I say I have this idea, and they say, ‘This is how we get there.’” NCM

closer look

Newnan, a

Storybook Town


Photographed by BETH NEELY Photo hoto by Jeffrey Ward

ABOVE The Positivity Pig shines a spotlight on Newnan Strong. Sponsored by Don and Julie Chapman, the pig was painted by Monica Watkins and her art students at Coweta Charter Academy.

Bette Hickman adds color to the fiberglass mule headed to pasture this summer in downtown Newnan as part of the Storybook Town outdoor display.


he Newnan-Coweta Art Association, Carnegie Library and ChildrenConnect are at it again with their latest fiberglass outdoor exhibit.

Titled Newnan, A Storybook Town, the project spotlights the rural history of Coweta County with colorful sculptures throughout downtown Newnan. An accompanying children’s book tells the story of the farm animals depicted in the latest fiberglass art installment. The brainchild of art community organizers Bette Hickman and Pamela Prange, the project benefits

Newnan’s children’s museum, ChildrenConnect. In preparation for the art installment in June, the Carnegie Library conducted a storybook contest to determine the fictional characters and graphics to best depict early times in and around Coweta County. Newnan-Coweta Magazine’s own freelance writer, Susan Mayer Davis, was chosen the winner. Her entry, titled “Lilly and july/august 2018 | 59


Photo by Jackie Kennedy Photo by Jeffrey Ward

Bette Hickman, the driving force behind “Newnan, A Storybook Town,” displays a conceptual drawing of the fiberglass mule, that local young artists will paint, above. At top, work has begun on the mule, shown completed on opposite page.

Kim Ramey of Backstreet Arts introduces her flashy mule, Loverboy, at the June dedication.

Billy Visit the Farm,” reveals historical Coweta farm life through the eyes of two children and their grandfather as they are introduced to barnyard animal friends. The book Illustrator Janet Burns is illustrated with autographs a copy of “Lilly and Billy Visit the Farm.” watercolors by Janet Burns. Davis enjoyed her involvement with the project. “The fiberglass projects are just one more example of Newnan citizens coming together for the benefit of the entire community,” says Davis. “I’m so honored to have had a part in this project, which will bring an interactive experience of art to children of the area.”

HOW THE STATUES COME TO BE Where do those whimsical, brightly-painted statues of cows, mules, pigs and roosters that inhabit our town square come from? Who paints them? What makes them so durable? Undecorated forms are manufactured by a Chicago-based company called Cow-Painters. The durable fiberglass forms are chosen from the company’s lengthy catalog and then trucked in their unadorned state to the consignees where they are painted, finished and placed. Each sculpture shipped to Newnan is financed by a local sponsor, whether an individual, group or business. Cows are $3,500 apiece, mules go for $3,000, pigs are $2,500 and roosters bring $2,000. That’s a lot of hay (pun intended). The visual glory of this ambitious project lies in the creative expression of the artists who volunteer their talents and time to make their presentations a joyful experience for residents and visitors alike. The only restriction placed on the volunteer artists is for the subject matter to be appropriate

Susan Mayer Davis, author of the children’s book on which the new fiberglass installation is based, autographed books at the unveiling ceremony. She is accompanied by her grandson, Smith Allen.

for wholesome family viewing. Once the sponsor and artist agree on a contract, the sky’s the limit. Each animal sculpture may be painted by an individual artist or a group effort. One of Hickman’s art classes team-painted a mule with each student painting a small section; the result is a quilt-like patchwork full of glittering fun. A plaque on each sculpture identifies its artist and sponsor. To protect the artwork from outdoor elements, the finish must be both embellishing and durable. The body and paint technicians at SouthTowne Motors provide complimentary clear-coating on the animal artwork. Typically, two layers of clear-coat are applied to the sculptures, which are then baked for permanence, just like an automobile. “Without SouthTowne Motors providing the clear coating, this project would never be possible,” says Hickman. SouthTowne Motors owner Steve Mader has known Hickman for many years and admires her work on behalf of the art community in Newnan. “She has a gentle but persuasive manner about her that convinces others to assist in her art projects,” says Mader. Whether or not you’re an artist, you can take part in the fiberglass project mission by contributing to ChildrenConnect, the local children’s museum. NCM


ABOVE and RIGHT Young artists painted every spot on fiberglass to create a whimsical mule for the summer display. Photos by Sonya Studt TOP RIGHT Hickman’s conceptual drawing outlines plans for a fiberglass mule. Photo by Jackie Kennedy

july/august 2018 | 61

Cecil Cornwell,

Fish Carver Written and Photographed by JENNIFER DZIEDZIC

In the pages of “A River Runs Through It and Other Stories,” author Norman Maclean says, “To him, all good things — trout as well as eternal salvation — came by grace; and grace comes by art, and art does not come easy.”


ewnan resident and artist Cecil Cornwell says someone once described him like this: “If you asked him the time, Cecil would explain how to build a watch.” To get to know Cornwell, simply ask him a question. While you might expect a brief conversation on the technical details when speaking with an artist about his work, what you’ll get from Cornwell is a magnificent conversation that provides a window’s view into his life, faith and appreciation for art and the outdoors. Cornwell is a gifted storyteller, but not of far-fetched fishermen tales. His experiences are made tangible by his thoughtfully sculpted fish and paintings. His art merges his interests in fly fishing, hiking and exploring while honoring Mother Nature’s greatest accomplishments.

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Spend one hour with Cornwell and you’re guaranteed to come away with an admiration and appreciation for his art, especially his fish carvings. His work is on display in a variety of locations around Newnan, including Corner Arts Gallery and Carnegie Library. His personal favorite of his own works is a golden trout carving. “The Holy Grail of all fish, if you are talking about trout, is the golden trout,” says Cornwell. “It is only found at 9,000 feet and above.” The artist has been fascinated with golden trout for years and credits their specific locales with helping guide him to seminary in Northern California. “Maxine says I was called by Golden Trout,” says Cornwell. He and Maxine have been married 59 years and have traveled all over the United States and other countries, taking

ABOVE: Paintings of natural waterways are accented with fish carvings throughout the Cornwells’ Newnan home.

BELOW: Cecil, with family dog Sparky in his lap, points to the bream his wife, Maxine, holds. It’s her favorite of his numerous fish carvings.

in the beauty surrounding them. Cecil canoed the pristine boundary waters of Canada and backpacked in remote areas of Wyoming. He took his son trolling for marlin in Hawaii and Florida. “One thing I do when we vacation is photograph all the things that are dear to me,” says Cecil. “When I come back home, I pick out one or two of the photographs to paint. So most every painting, virtually everything that you see, is a place where we have been. It’s a memory.” Cecil shares a painting of the Merced River that springs from the Yosemite Valley in California. The painting captures a special memory from when he took his daughter swimming during a hiking trip when she was 3 years old. “I took her back out there three years ago and told her I wanted to photograph and paint the place where she played in the Merced River,” he says. To understand why a man would want to carve a fish, you must understand his roots. Cecil grew up playing outdoors. “I have always loved nature,” he says. “I spent many days on the creek as a child. That was the routine when you came home. You fished.” He has a passion to preserve species that are becoming extinct due to hybridization, climate degradation and pollution. “There are all kinds of things impacting the whole fishing plight,” says the Trout Unlimited member and catch-andrelease advocate. “I am a passionate conservationist and want to preserve those species as best we can for future generations.” Cecil began wood carving as a boy whittling cedar. “I would take pieces of cedar and carve Indian heads and rabbit heads,” he recalls, noting that whittling turned into an interest in larger carving. “Whittling and growing up around a creek, I made a lot of bows and arrows and was handy with a knife. That kind of drew me into the carving thing.” In the 1950s, while stationed overseas with the Army, he seized the opportunity to fish but took a break from woodwork until he came back home. The inspiration


2 1. A large fish goes after dinner in this carving by Cornwell. 2. Cornwell’s work is displayed at the Carnegie Library in Newnan. 3. The bream is Maxine Cornwell’s favorite of her husband Cecil’s wood carvings.


4. Who doesn’t love a carved fish lamp? 5. The wood artist does miniature fish carvings also.

“Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” – Henry David Thoreau



july/august 2018 | 63

to carve eventually came during a trip to Pigeon Forge with his wife and their friends. While the rest of the group was shopping, Cecil looked for something to do to pass the time. Since he had just found an interesting piece of wood, he began to whittle until slowly a fish shape emerged. As his abilities grew, the complexity in his carvings became more pronounced and an increased level of realism developed in his work. His large fish carvings are painstakingly layered with colors to highlight movement, depth and scale patterns. “When I see a piece of wood,” says Cecil, “there’s something in me that says, ‘What can I carve out of that?’ It’s the same thing with a piece of paper or a canvas.” Cecil has numerous books in his studio for reference, such BELOW LEFT: Cornwell proudly displays his painting of the Merced River in California’s Yosemite Valley, a piece based on a trip he made there with his daughter when she was 3. BOTTOM LEFT: Cornwell displays a carved trout with teeth he fashioned from rose thorns BOTTOM RIGHT: One of Cornwell’s paintings is on display at the Carnegie Library.

64 |

as those by his favorite fish illustrator, world-renowned Joseph Tomelleri who “traveled into remote areas and did tremendous amounts of research,” according to Cecil. Cecil incorporates items from nature into his work. The notion once struck him while walking in his garden that rose thorns could be substituted for brook trout teeth. He collects pine saplings and bent nails for realistic catfish whiskers. His artistic process has evolved over the years. He uses sandpaper to smooth everything out and utilizes burning tools for realistic scales that he adds individually. He adds fins that are carved separately, inserted into the fish’s body and blended in to give the look of a solid carving. “I have a band saw and I cut the profile with that, then I do the rest with a Dremel,” says Cecil. “Fins have to be cut separately. I strive for authenticity, so I want that fin to be as thin as you can possibly make it. It is another dimension of carving.” When the carving is completed, a crucial step in the fine details of his work is painting. “You can get depth with shadows,” he says, adding that he saturates his smaller pieces with super glue to strengthen them. His material of choice is basswood, which is evengrained, semi-hard and ideal for carving, yet still somewhat delicate. Cecil credits Maxine with his successes in life. “She supports me, I’ll tell ya,” he says as he gives her a hug. She smiles. “I know what I’ve got,” she says. “The Lord gave him to me a long time ago.” Bragging on her man, she reports that he also cooks and bakes a great snickerdoodle cookie, which is almost as popular as his art among his friends in Newnan. “I am fascinated by what he can do,” says Maxine. “I have a whole factory of men with him.” Henry David Thoreau once said, “Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” You don’t have to be around them long to realize that Cecil and Maxine figured that out long ago. NCM

Art as

T herapy Written by MELISSA HALL


Photographed by BETH NEELY

’d rather have new brushes than shoes,” admits Newnan artist Jenny Jones as she admires a new paintbrush.

Many fellow artists would agree that during trying times in life, like chronic stress or sickness, brushes truly trump shoes any day. Jones is proprietor of Corner Arts Gallery and Studio, at 30 South Court Square in Newnan, which offers workshops, art therapy and a downtown gallery with unique gifts. She believes that art, as a form of therapy, can help reduce daily stress and provide comfort during times of traumatic illness. Her belief is backed by a report from Drexel University, which states that “Forty-five minutes of creative activity significantly lessens stress in the body, regardless of artistic experience or talent.” Jones believes art therapy can bring peace and restoration to the body and mind during a physically stressful and emotionally charged time. At her gallery in downtown Newnan, the studio represents the work of 35 artists, each

contributing an unmatched gift and talent. The booths are creatively designed, showcasing each artist’s style and vision with handmade notecards, soaps and jewelry, painted gourds and much more on display. One exhibitor, Sybil Laurent, creates crocheted bears, bracelets and custom crochet designs. Along with a variety of therapy through art classes, Jones offers ceramics classes where students can find creative release and expression by painting a ceramic piece. “This is my therapy,” says Jones. With 12 instructors teaching a variety of workshops, there’s an outlet for everyone at Corner Arts. During weekly classes, students bring in their desired paintings and experts provide one-on-one instruction to help them create masterpieces. Many students attend on a regular basis in search of the solace and release the studio offers. “Painting is just the best therapy in the world,” says Jane Miles, a local musician and retired school teacher. “On the days I’m in knots, it is therapeutic. I just love to do it.” It’s on those days when the body is anxious and


july/august 2018 | 65



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relax... “in knots” that art therapy paves the path to give the body the equilibrium it needs to stay in harmony. During 2016-17, two-thirds of Americans felt worry and 34 percent of the population suffered from migraines and chronic headaches due to it, according to U.S. News. No matter the source of the anxiousness, distress remains a negative force that can be decreased through art and its relaxation properties. At Corner Arts Gallery, Jones provides that haven to help people process life and its bag of challenges. Inspiration is the driver and thinking outside the box is the artist’s mantra. Whatever one’s mind perceives and translates onto paper, yarn or pottery becomes its own therapy. This definitely holds true for patients at Newnan’s Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) who deal with a disease that not only affects them but takes an emotional and physical toll on their family and caregivers. “Creative therapies allow the mind to calm, which in turn encourages the body to relax,” says CTCA MindBody Therapist Diane Schaab. “This may allow a person to let go of stressors, even for a short period.” Jones originally provided art as therapy workshops to the Center’ts staff who used their creativity to process the emotional turmoil they experienced each day. From this workshop, the healing outlet grew to include patients and loved ones the disease touched, whether a spouse, parent or even children. “I have met the greatest people out there,” says Jones, who arrives at the treatment center with pre-designed canvases for patients and family members to paint with the color palette of their choice. There are no rules or structured direction; if a patient chooses to paint a design other than the idea she introduces to the group, that’s fine with Jones. “The goal is simply to help find a positive and creative outlet during a very taxing and trying time,” she says. Ellen Smith, of Cancer Treatment Centers of America, agrees that art is a positive outlet. “Through creative arts, we are channeling our energy to have a positive impact on our body’s immune system, thus reducing the negative impact of anxiety, stress and depression,” she says. Occasionally cancer patients stop by Jones’ gallery to ask questions or seek guidance on a painting or drawing



3. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP 1. Brenda Word, of Newnan, paints on wood during a class at Corner Arts Gallery. 2. Art instructor Jenny Jones encourages Gillian Blose during a recent art class. 3. Jane Miles, of Newnan, focuses on flowers at a recent art class.“Painting is just the best therapy in the world,” she says.

project. The art teacher gladly welcomes them, understanding how crucial their expression through art is to aid in their recovery. Many of her students have commented on the positive impact painting has on their lives. Many, she says, make comments like, “I would never have touched paint or a paint brush if it hadn’t been for you.” NCM

“Creative therapies allow the mind to calm, which in turn encourages the body to relax.”

let go — Ellen Smith, Cancer Treatment Centers of America

july/august 2018 | 67

Nonprofit Spotlight

Producing Performances





Photo by Susan Crutchfield

ABOVE “Godspell” was performed at Newnan Theatre Company in March 2017, featuring, from left, Sam Diaz, Omar Howard, Levi Morgan, Amanda Love, Melanie Jessel, Chelsea White, Kelly Banks, Savannah Leftwich and, in front, Scott Eldridge and Gabe Bowles.


nside the front office of the Newnan Theatre Company (NTC), you’ll find well-worn scripts, a half-eaten lunch, and the two people who put in countless hours to keep the whole place humming. Or singing, dancing and acting. Artistic Director Tony Daniel and

Managing Director Mary Caroline Moore have been part of NTC in some form or

fashion for years. Daniel got his foot in the

door when he was just 11. Moore got bit by

the acting bug in high school. After spending 68 |

time away for college, jobs or raising a family, each returned and slowly moved from roles on the stage to roles managing the entire operation. Together, the duo acts as the company’s Dr. Frankenstein, working behind the scenes to bring the vision alive week after week. “Young Frankenstein” is just one of the plays slated for this season, NTC’s 41st. In 1977, the curtain rose on two community theater groups in Newnan—the Newnan Playmakers and Newnan Community Theatre Company. They eventually blended into one, Newnan Community Theatre Company, which in 1999 became what is now the Newnan Theatre Company. Its mission is

2018-19 Season Of Mice and Men

clear: provide great theater. They call themselves “Coweta County’s home for theater.” “I like to think that we are that,” says Daniel, “because we are working our hearts out trying to be.” Daniel and Moore put in countless hours year-round, and so do the other volunteers who turn the words on the page into performances on stage. “At any given time, we have one show running and two shows rehearsing, and that’s from August to the end of May,” says Daniel. During the summer gap, the theater remains busy with camps for budding elementary and middle school thespians. The kids learn about auditioning, set building, prop making and choreography. Older kids write their own scripts. During the school year, the NTC runs the Academy of Theater Arts, a musical theater class. There are no auditions; Moore says they wanted to make it available to any child in

elementary or middle school who is interested. Many return to take part on or off stage in productions when they are in high school. “It’s so much fun watching these kids,” Daniel says. In addition to the student productions, NTC stages 10 shows a year. They also have an improv group called the NITWITS that does eight shows a year, and they do interactive murder mysteries. The local theatre group has come a long way since the beginning, back when they produced four shows a year. “As the theater has grown, we’re learning a lot about how to run it as a business,” Moore says. Amid the background noise of hammers assembling sets and actors rehearsing lines, the front office is focused on churning out press releases, making posters and answering dozens of questions from patrons, actors and parents interested in enrolling their children in theater classes. The biggest

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part of running the front office, though, is paying the bills. The biggest bill the NTC hopes to pay this year is a mortgage. Currently they rent the space they are in, which has been their home since December 1999. It’s part of an old lumber mill that dates back to 1898. The old building comes with lots of character — perfect for a theater. But it also comes with lots of challenges — not so perfect for a group counting every penny. Topping NTC’s wish list of building repairs is to make the roof more environmentally sound. But they can’t do anything now, beyond mending what’s there, until they have a mortgage or deed in hand. Moore is working with their bank and landlord to make ownership a reality. “It’s a lovely space,” she says. “We’re very

lucky. We’ve got two performing venues. We’ve got a shop. We’ve got storage. The lobby is gorgeous.” Larger, more mainstream shows are performed on the main stage. The biggest one the NTC has tackled may have been “Into the Woods,” complete with a 20-piece orchestra. Last season’s production of “To Kill a Mockingbird” was also quite a feat as it required constructing several homes and a courtroom on the stage and building a large tree out over the audience. The smaller “Black Box” theater is reserved for what Moore calls their “edgier” shows. The venue is smaller, the cast is smaller and the topic is often difficult to watch. Those shows have

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Managing Director Mary Caroline Moore and Artistic Director Tony Daniel lead programming at Newnan Theatre Company.

included “Extremities,” about a woman being attacked in her own apartment; “‘night, Mother,” about a woman trying to talk her child out of killing herself; and “The Pillowman,” about a man dealing with his abusive childhood. These are challenging productions, but they are popular with audiences. Figuring out what shows to run is one of the group’s biggest challenges. “Literally after we announced the 2018-19 season, we started working on the 2019-20 season because it takes that long,” says Daniel. “We try to offer things that are not all the same genre so that people have a choice,” Moore adds. “I laugh because people will say, ‘Why do you think this show is successful?’ Every Broadway producer wants to know that!” Gambling on the wrong show is pricey. The theater spends between $75 and $150 per performance for the rights to a script. Musicals are far more expensive, averaging about $3,000. And Moore says that just because a show is a hit on Broadway, there’s no guarantee it will be a hit in Newnan. A community theater saving money to buy the building it’s in cannot afford to gamble and lose big on the wrong season. But some of their gambles have paid off. They took a chance on “Evil Dead, the Musical.” Daniel admits it’s not the typical thing you’d want to see: people singing, dancing and slashing up zombies.

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But he gets a huge grin on his face as he looks at his desk adorned with zombie toys and says, “Why not? We’re right in the middle of Zombie, USA.” So they went for it and produced the play, complete with a “splatter zone.” One group made the two-hour drive from Warner Robins just to sit there, donned all in white. They turned down the complimentary ponchos that came with the seats. According to Tony, “They were loving every minute of it!” The Newnan Theatre Company regularly has patrons from LaGrange, Carrollton, Chattahoochee Hills and Atlanta. Mary and Scott Essex are season ticket holders from Concord. They make the hour or so drive into Newnan to see the shows and make an evening of it, going to dinner beforehand. They’ve had their tickets for three years now and plan to renew. Scott’s parents live in Newnan and introduced the couple to NTC. Mary says it’s something they definitely enjoy: “It’s cultural. It’s social.” Actors also make the drive to be a part of the community here. In the final show of the last season, “Noises Off,” two actors put miles on their cars to be part of the cast. Luke Bennett spent an hour driving each way from Wedowee, Ala., for rehearsals. He says he was looking for a theater to be part of and was lucky enough to stumble upon NTC on Google. He hopes to do it again, and thinks the experience may even help him feel comfortable making the move to Newnan in the near future. Ralph Myers from Peachtree City has been part of NTC for the past couple of years and says he keeps coming back because of the people in it, whom he calls his “second family.” That’s the feeling you get when you walk through the theater during a rehearsal. The community here isn’t just the community NTC serves but the community it creates Newnan Theatre within the walls of the 120-year-old Company’s main building it calls home. stage: where local “These people are my family,” Daniel productions come concludes. NCM to life.



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With sustained advances in digital and wireless technology, today’s living spaces can be wired, connected and smart at a level most people never imagined only a few years ago.

Written and Photographed by NEIL MONROE


digital and wireless technology revolution spans a gamut of options. Highend control panels can regulate your thermostat, adjust lighting with wi-fi capable bulbs, monitor smoke and CO2 alarms, provide fire and break-in security, and connect you with the person ringing your front doorbell. These systems are typically installed professionally by security companies such as Ackerman, ADT or Coweta-based Relyco, which is owned by Coweta-Fayette EMC. Do-it-yourself virtual assistants, such as Google Home, Amazon Echo or Apple’s HomePod, can perform similar functions. Often, these are used to connect TVs and sound systems or regulate lighting. The capabilities of these systems are expanding constantly. For example, Google Home now connects to more than 5,000 home devices—up from only 1,500 less than a year ago. These systems also are expanding connectivity to larger security and doorbell systems. In 2014, Google bought Nest and links its doorbell and thermostat systems with Google 72 |


Home. In early 2018, Amazon purchased Ring and is integrating those systems into its Echo platform. Jimmy Adams, vice president of energy services for Coweta-Fayette EMC and Relyco, says the nature of the home security market began to change dramatically just a few years ago. As a result, Relyco, a for-profit subsidiary of the electric membership corporation, moved away from wired security systems two years ago. “We could clearly see that our members had increasing expectations and wanted systems that worked through their smartphones,” says Adams. “Today’s technology gives homeowners that ability and allows them to control practically everything in their homes through apps on their phone. Of course, as a part of an electric utility, we also focus on efficiency, and this type of technology can often achieve significant energy savings by regulating thermostats at times of peak demand.” In the future, wi-fi connected circuit breakers may warn homeowners of potential failure, making smart systems even more reliable, according to Adams. The smart home trend also impacts new home construction. As demand for new homes remains strong in Coweta, prospective homeowners are looking for homes with at least basic, expandable smart home technology. Southside home builder Kim Waldrop of KWaldrop Homes says interest in the technology has surged and is now a key element of home-buying decisions. “Today, it’s definitely a key selling point,” says Waldrop. “For the builder, it’s fairly inexpensive to install the basic system, which homeowners can then easily expand and improve. Interest in the systems spans all age groups, with many of our older buyers wanting the security and convenience these systems provide.” Adams says building smart home technology into new construction incorporates not just security but energy efficiency as well. Now, instead of relying solely on how well a home is insulated or the effectiveness of a heating

Our Doctors Our Doctors George Ballantyne, M.D. George Ballantyne, M.D. Michael Cushing, M.D. Michael Gruber, Cushing,M.D. M.D. Michael Michael Gruber, M.D. David Heinsch, M.D. David Heinsch, M.D. Chad Kessler, M.D. Chad Kessler, M.D. Jayson McMath, M.D. Jayson McMath, M.D. Jack Powell, III, M.D. Jack Powell, III, M.D.

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Our Physician Assistants Darron Baham, P.A.-C. Darron Baham, P.A.-C. Beth Fleming, P.A.-C. Beth Fleming, P.A.-C. Jared Shafer, P.A.-C. Jared Shafer, P.A.-C. Rusty Smith, P.A.-C. Rusty Smith, P.A.-C.


Chris Waddell enters a command into the central keypad that controls every aspect of security at his home. Smart home systems use this type of central keypad, in conjunction with smartphone apps, to give users complete system access.

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Smart Home?

Be Sure to Outsmart Hackers So, you’ve installed your video doorbell, added security cameras, and linked your home security system to a state-of-the-art network. Your home is safer, right? Absolutely, yes! But at the same time, you’ve created a new set of vulnerabilities that demand attention. These new technologies rely on internet connections to your phone and to security companies, and those connections can be hacked by a variety of bad actors. Burglars can steal a password, disable your system, and enter your home. Or, a hacker could jam your system, overloading it to a point that the system cannot distinguish what information is relevant. Systems installed and serviced by security companies typically have high levels of data encryption that make hacking highly difficult, although not impossible, according to Jimmy Adams, vice president of energy services for Coweta Fayette EMC, which owns local security company Relyco. “The encryption levels are comparable to those found on a bank teller machine,” says Adams. “That helps make systems very safe.” The most common way systems are hacked is through theft of a password, according to Adams. “That means make your passwords as secure as possible,” he says. “Don’t use your name, or even a pet’s name. A strong password is the key to the security of your system.” In addition, experts suggest using strong security software on both your phone, which is the heart of the home system, and home computer, which may be connected to your security system.

cowetahome and air system, buyers can evaluate how well a new home utilizes technology for safety and efficiency. Together, these factors are creating booming growth in smart home devices, with total national sales expected to grow approximately 40 percent in 2018. Yet, there is at least one potential downside to this explosion of smart home options. According to many experts, the rapid changes and improvements are creating some level of confusion among consumers. A headline from USA Today earlier this year reads: “A smart home sounds like a great idea. So why is it still so complicated?” To combat confusion, experts caution consumers to research key technology options and then build a home system slowly, learning and understanding each key feature before jumping to the next level. Chris and Tracy Waddell moved into their Newnan home a year ago and worked with Relyco to develop their system. Over the past year, they’ve expanded to include additional cameras, partly in response to security issues nearby. “We’ve been very pleased with the result,” says Chris. “We can see and review each area of the house, inside and out. It’s efficient and easy to use, though we do have to ask our son Christian for a bit of help on occasion.”


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ABOVE The Waddells’ home security system allows them to view activity outside at any time.

The Waddells’ next step will be to further integrate other home electronics with their Alexa system. “We’re looking at how that will work, and we definitely see opportunities,” says Chris. Newnan’s Ginger Queener and her husband, Stan, agreed on a Relyco system from Honeywell that focuses, for now, on home security. The basic system is expandable and can include home environment apps. “We had a basic, older alarm system, and we felt we needed an upgrade, particularly with our kids coming and going,” says Ginger. “Security

was our focus, and our system is meeting that need very well. Our cameras now allow us to see the kids come and go, and each one has a separate alarm code that lets us know not just that someone is home, but who. Our smoke detectors are tied in, we can see the house inside and out on our phones, and we have a recorder that maintains the video for several months.” The Queeners considered doing the work themselves. “But in the end, it was far simpler to have Relyco, a local provider, install the system for us,” Ginger concludes. NCM

ABOVE Smartphones are the key driver of new smart home technology, offering access to your system from virtually anywhere in the world. From left, Chris, Christian and Tracy Waddell use their phones to check security cameras and monitor activity around their home.

Palmetto — 165 Years and Growing • A comfortable mix of country and charm makes Palmetto an excellent place for business and industry. • Easy access to I-85, Hwy. 29 and the South Fulton Parkway. • Just minutes to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and the Metro-Atlanta region. • Great opportunities for growth with annexation of new land in 2006 that doubled the city’s size. A unique mix of small southern town business

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Coweta to Me

My Welcome to Coweta County


by Nancy Anyanonu

oving to a new part of the country is always a bit of a stressful experience, as it was for me when I moved from Ohio to Coweta County.

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Photo by Debby Dye

One of my first experiences here made a strong impression on me about Coweta County. Arriving in late fall, I already had fallen in love with the tall pines and magnolia trees, the winding roads that reached into the mountains of North Georgia, and the white fences surrounding the picturesque homes with their acres of grazing horses and red dirt. I had been exploring historic places and the stories that went with them. On a sunny morning in early December, the most important of impressions was made. I was driving down a Coweta County country road when my driver’s side front tire suddenly went flat. As I struggled to keep my car on the road, the tire continued to disintegrate and pulled me to the side. When I finally managed to slow the car and pull it safely onto the side of the road, I saw in my rear view window the flashing lights of a Coweta County sheriff’s cruiser. It was the first time I had seen flashing police lights in my rear view window when I actually thanked God for sending me a guardian angel. Within in a few minutes, I was putting down my window to greet a young Coweta County sheriff’s deputy. His professional yet polite greeting put me immediately at ease. He asked me about what had happened and then directed me further onto the side of the road to a safer location. After he had located my spare tire, he was struggling to remove the tattered tire when an old red pickup pulled up behind

Nancy Anyanonu


Coweta the sheriff’s car. “Need some help?” asked the old man leaning out the window of his truck. Before the deputy could respond, the man jumped up into the bed of his old truck and began to dig through his tool chest to find a tool to help remove the destroyed tire. The man told us he lived across the railroad tracks and was on his way to the nearby gas station. Before long, the ruined tire was off and the spare on. After I thanked him, the young deputy told me he would follow me to a nearby gas station because my spare needed some extra air. When we arrived at the gas station, he filled my spare until it was okay to drive and then he gave me the names and addresses of several places where I could get a new tire. As I thanked him, I offered to pay him the $3 he had spent to fill the spare with air. He graciously refused and said he was only doing his job. When I insisted, he again politely refused, handed me his card and began to leave. Before he got into his car, he turned and said, “Merry Christmas, and welcome to Coweta County.” So, in addition to the physical beauty of the area, I have experienced the goodness of its people. NCM



Whether you’ve lived here all your life or only a year, we want to hear your pe rsonal Coweta story.

Did you and your husband fall in love here? Di d you move here in your senior ye ar of high school and make lifelon g friends? Did you pick guitar with your grandp a and grow up to be a musician? Whatever your own Coweta County story is, we’d like you to share it with re aders of Newna nCoweta Magazin e. Keep your word count at 35 0-450 words, please. Email yo ur “Coweta to Me” story to magazine@ an d we’ll publish the best. We look forward to hearing from yo u.

We Believe… In taking charge of your health at every age, especially later in life. In fact, there are many things you can do right now to stay healthy, active and pain-free as you age. Here are five tips from well-known physician and author Dr. Bob Arnot for taking charge of your health, beginning today: 1. Give good health a shot. Get your flu, shingles and pneumonia immunizations. Follow your doctor’s advice about regular cancer screening tests, stress tests and bone density measurements. Head off some of the problems of aging before they occur. 2. Stay mentally alert. Read the newspaper every day. Do the crossword puzzle. Play bridge or chess. Take—or teach—a class. Keeping your mind engaged could ward off the brain changes that lead to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. 3. Don’t smoke. You’re never too old to quit. 4. Eat right. Make sure your grocery list includes lots of fresh produce, a few lean meats and low fat dairy products. Choose brightly colored vegetables such as carrots and broccoli and deep-colored fruit such as berries and peaches for their high nutritional value. Read the labels and watch out for products that are high in fat, sodium and sugar. 5. Be physically active. Regular activity can help delay, prevent or manage many costly chronic diseases faced by adults 50 years old or older. Try walking, bicycling, water aerobics or dancing. Strength training such as lifting weights can help you improve your balance. A retirement community that promotes active aging will offer many resources —such as walking trails, a fitness center and tasty, nutritious dining — to partner with you in taking charge of your own health. Wesley Woods of Newnan is just that kind of community, offering an active, healthy lifestyle in an elegant Southern setting. Call 770-683-6859, visit, and follow us on Facebook and Pinterest. 770-683-6833 • 2280 North Highway 29 | Newnan, GA 30265 Wesley Woods of Newnan is a senior living community, offering independent apartments and cottages, personal care, memory care and nursing care on a lovely 54-acre campus.

july/august 2018 | 77


LEFT: Northgate anglers Nathan Bill and Logan Short fish during a Georgia B.A.S.S. Nation high school tournament. Photos courtesy of Northgate Anglers Club


or many Cowetans, fishing is a relaxing pastime. but for competitive teen fishermen, it's a sport that demands research and knowledge, hard work, and a good bit of money. Both Newnan High School and Northgate High School now have anglers clubs with members who compete on the Georgia B.A.S.S. Nation high school tournament trail. “These kids put a lot of time into this, and it’s hard,” says Jackie Feckoury, president of the Newnan High School Anglers Club and father of a club member. During a tournament, he says, “these kids are out there fishing their hearts out for eight hours.” Team members put study and preparation into their sport. “I’ve seen every single YouTube video on every single lake in Georgia,” says Cade Briggs of the Northgate Anglers Club. “I’ve read every fishing report.” Briggs has been fishing all his life and knew a lot about fishing long before he joined the club. Since he began

for many cowetans, fishing is a relaxing pastime. but for competitive teen fishermen, it's a sport that demands research and knowledge, hard work, and a good bit of money. ABOVE: Cade Briggs credits growing up on a lake for his love of fishing, joking that “if it weren’t for the lake, I’d probably be playing badminton.”

competing, most of his research centers on learning about the various lakes where tournaments are held. “With competitive fishing, you have a goal you’re trying to get to and you want to strive for,” says Cade Barker of the Newnan High club. “You’re also trying to beat the competition. It’s actually a challenge and a competition. Some people may think it’s only for fun. It can actually get stressful at times.” Georgia B.A.S.S. Nation high school tournaments have specific rules. Each team consists of two anglers who must be students at the same school or associated with the same club. Each team must have access to a boat, which must be insured and have certain equipment, such as a live well, where fish are

Newnan High angler Raymond Feckoury unhooks a freshly caught largemouth bass. Photo courtesy of Newnan High Anglers Club

kept alive until the final weigh-in. The boat has an adult captain who is not allowed to fish but can give advice. Anglers can’t drive the boat, but they are responsible for the trolling motor. Parents or family members are often captains for team members, and there are also community captains—and a need for more community captains so that more members can begin tournament fishing, according to the anglers. All tournaments are artificial bait only, and an angler can fish only one pole at a time. From blast-off to weigh-in, team members fish constantly and keep their catch in their live wells. At weigh-in, they choose the five biggest fish, which are placed in special bags, weighed and released. Anglers are penalized for dead fish. Both the Newnan and Northgate teams were inactive a few years ago—until Briggs was a freshman. He had heard that Northgate had a fishing team, but when he and his mother Ginger checked it out, it wasn’t active. They met with the club sponsor, Maggie Horne, and he and another angler got to fish that year. The club began to grow and now does one or two local fishing events each year. “When my son started his freshman year, there were 50 or 60 boats at each tournament,” says Ginger. “Now there are 170. It has exploded... I had no clue what I was getting myself into, but that’s what we do for our kids to help them pursue something they are truly passionate about.” Fishing as sport is booming across the state. Colleges have fishing teams, and some even offer scholarships for fishing. But competitive fishing is not a cheap sport—not if you do it right, the anglers agree. “I had to get a job when I was 14 just to fish,” says Cade Briggs, noting that the more expensive rods are extra sensitive and cast better. “I spent my year’s pay on all fishing stuff, and then I’m broke. It’s ridiculous, but it’s fun. The more you fish, the better you’ll be, and the more money you spend, the better you’ll be.” A single rod can cost $500. And then there are all the lures—so many lures. Traveling to various tournaments isn’t cheap either. Because of the associated costs to fish competitively, many anglers try to get sponsors. The Northgate club has a booster club that helps raise money for the teams. Knowledge of the lake you’re fishing on, as well as the weather and time of july/august 2018 | 79

TOP: Northgate anglers Graham Shepard and Rylee Campbell, with Capt. Chad Shepard, wait for their chance to blastoff at a tournament. MIDDLE: Cade Briggs, left, joins his dad, Captain Tim Briggs, and Noah Garner at a Georgia B.A.S.S. Nation tournament at Lake Lanier. BOTTOM: Northgate Anglers Club members include, from left, J.T. Fields, Cade Briggs, Jacob Garcia, Noah Garner, Tanner Holmes, Rylee Campbell and Cole Williams, shown here at the team's End of Year Angler Banquet in May. Photos courtesy of Northgate Anglers Club

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day, all feed into a fisherman’s choice of lure and even the choice of fishing line. Feckoury says a few weeks before a tournament, his son, Raymond, and Raymond’s fishing partner start checking the weather forecast and researching what lures are working on the lake where the tournament is to be held. “Weather has a lot to do with where the fish are going to be,” says the dad. “Is it cloudy? Raining? Is it cold? Hot? What time of year is it? Are the fish bedding to lay eggs or are they going out deep? It’s a big complex set of variables that go into finding the fish.” Cade Briggs attributes his love of fishing to growing up on a lake, the B.T. Brown Reservoir. He fished in his first tournament at age 8 or 9 and still fishes the lake often. “If it weren’t for that lake, I’d probably be playing badminton,” he jokes. “Fishing gives me butterflies. Whenever I wake up early and am about to launch, it gives me butterflies.” The blastoff, when all the teams race at 70 miles per hour to find their fishing spot at the start of the tournament, really is a blast, says Cade Briggs. But, he adds, “The most fun is catching the fish.” For Barker, fishing is different every day, even if he’s on the same lake he’s fished dozens of times. “Every single day, it’s something new,” he says. “You never know what you’re going to catch, and that’s part of the fun.” It’s even fun when you don’t catch anything, according to Barker. “After all,” he says, “it’s called fishing, not catching.” NCM

Teen fishermen Cade Barker and Cade Briggs share their best fishing tips.

Barker: Do what the fish tell you to do. If you find a

pattern, don’t go off the pattern. Stick to it. Briggs: Fish every cast. Don’t make a cast and think, “Oh, there isn’t a fish there.” Don’t give up and reel in quick; fish every cast. If you throw it, fish it.

Raymond Feckoury, left, and Jonathan Jarrard, right, of the Newnan High School Anglers Club, celebrate with Community Captain Greg Wallace after taking second place at a January tournament on Lake Eufaula. Photo courtesy of Newnan High Anglers Club


of Parts and Accessories

172 Temple Avenue • Newnan, GA 770-253-7996 To be part of the anglers clubs at Newnan or Northgate, listen out for club information at the beginning of the school year and attend the first meeting. Eighthgraders can fish at Newnan, as long as their partner is a high school student and they are zoned to attend Newnan High. Georgia B.A.S.S. Nation has a junior division for middle school students, but there currently are no junior teams in Coweta.



Coweta County

(770) 253-3649 19 Bullsboro Dr. Newnan, GA 30263

Northgate anglers Tanner Holmes and Cole Williams weigh in at a tournament on Lake Allatoona.

Photo courtesy of Northgate Anglers Club

july/august 2018 | 81


STUFFED MUSHROOMS , recipe on page 85

CHIP’S PICKS: The Best Meal You Ever Grilled Written by JACKIE KENNEDY


Photographed by BETH NEELY

hef Chip Reed admits it: He lives and breathes food. “I’ve dedicated my life to food,” he says. “Growing it, cooking it, serving it and living it.” The Newnan resident is founder of Chip’s Picks, a brokerage firm that sells Southern food brands nationally. He travels the U.S. in search of stories about unique foods, cooks and chefs that he features on his Chip’s Picks podcast. “We go to farms and kitchens, learn the story behind the food, and that’s how we sell it,” he says. “We’re Southerners and we’ve lived that story.” As a student at the University of Mississippi, in Oxford, Reed immersed himself in Southern Studies. He remembers when famous food writer John T. Edge first came to Ole Miss and when he formed the Southern Foodways Alliance there in 1999. “John T. Edge is one of my favorite ministers of Southern cuisine,” says Reed. “When he got to Oxford, it was a very special time for Southern food. We began to get respect from the big city chefs and food writers.” Reed’s appreciation for Southern food is reminiscent of Ella Kate Reed Edge’s. chows down “I believe it’s a cuisine with world merit, and our goal is to on one of her give that food a voice,” says Reed. dad’s stuffed mushrooms. Reed has considered Coweta County his home base since his

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father retired here in 1994; OPPOSITE PAGE FAR RIGHT, however, he didn’t live Everyone joins in here until 2002 when he for the food prep. served as opening chef of From left, Chef The Purple Possum, the Chip Reed leads his first restaurant on Metro buddies Nick Lott and Adam Grandle Atlanta’s south side to in preparing baconserve New South cuisine. wrapped okra. Before that, Reed graduated from culinary school at Johnson and Wales University in Miami and traveled the world as a private chef. He eventually moved to Savannah where he opened a seafood distribution business; he won the Flavor of Georgia award for promoting Georgia and Southern Foodways. More recently, he served as catering director for Zac Brown’s Southern Ground where he was responsible for one of the world’s largest mobile kitchens. Reed moved back to Newnan in 2014 to do consulting work and help popularize Georgia Grown foods via Chip’s Picks. He routinely judges events for the Kansas City Barbecue Society, Culinary Fight Club and World Food Championships and volunteers with Operation BBQ Relief, a nonprofit that prepares meals for first responders during disasters. What does the Southern foods advocate do when he’s not promoting his passion? “Grill with my buddies,” he says. Reed recently prepared with his friends what he considers one of the best meals he’s ever grilled. He sharedt his recipes for that meal with Newnan-Coweta Magazine.

Grilled Okra wrapped in Bill E’s Bacon with Yogurt Sauce 2 pints fresh okra, whole, typically 15-20 per pint 1 pound bacon, unsliced, such as Bill E’s Bacon 5 ounces Lebanese yogurt dip 6 cups water, salted 4 cups ice with water to cover in medium bowl ½ bunch green onion, greens only, finely sliced 1 lemon, juice and zest Blanching okra: Bring salted water to a boil. Dunk okra into boiling water for 2 minutes or until bright green. Immediately pull okra from boiling water and dunk into ice bowl. Let cool completely and dry well. Set aside. Wrapping okra: With a very sharp knife, cut bacon into 2 blocks, each 4 inches long. Slice a thin piece of bacon for each piece of okra. To wrap, hold edge of a bacon slice at the stem end of okra; wrap like a candy cane. Push toothpick through the top down to hold. Rough chop the remaining bacon and reserve for Bill E's Bacon-studded Pimento Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms, page 85. Grilling okra: Use top rack of a hot gas or charcoal grill, 350-400 degrees. Let bacon cook before you move it. The best grilled foods aren’t fiddled with. When wrapped okra comes free easily from the grill, it’s ready. Yogurt sauce: Scoop yogurt dip into desirable dipping bowl. Stir in a little lemon zest and juice from ½ lemon. Plating: Arrange grilled okra on a round platter with dipping sauce in the middle or side. Remember to pull out the toothpicks.

Reed’s appreciation for Southern food is reminiscent of John T. Edge’s:

“I believe it’s a cuisine with world merit, and our goal is to give that food a voice.” — Chef Chip Reed


Charred Vegetables 1 bunch broccoli, typically 2 or 3 stalks 1 head cauliflower 6 sweet potatoes ¼ cup olive oil/vegetable oil blend Pinch fresh ground black pepper Pinch kosher salt 1 bottle balsamic fig crème glaze, such as Reale Crema di Balsamico al Fichi

An afternoon picnic gives kids like Parker Grandle incentive to eat their vegetables.

Veggie cutting: Trim bottom of broccoli stalks slightly, just a millimeter. Cut broccoli from stalk end, long ways toward the flower, into quarter-inch pieces. For cauliflower, cut head in half and remove the core. Cut into large pieces, typically 8 to 10 per head. Cut sweet potatoes into ½-inch circles. Toss all veggies together in large bowl; drizzle with oil blend. The purpose of the blended oil is to add the flavor of olive oil without burning. Char the veggies: On a hot 400-450 degree grill, lay the veggies on direct heat. Do not crowd the grill. Take the time to get good grill marks on the stalks. Grill sweet potatoes as you would a steak, marking both sides well and then pulling to indirect heat. Move as needed to indirect heat if the broccoli crown end is getting too much char. Remove from grill after 8 to 10 minutes or until broccoli is flexible. Plating: Layer on large oval platter with broccoli crowns facing same direction. Place cauliflower in center with sweet potato steaks tucked in for color. Drizzle with fig-flavored balsamic crème.

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Honey Crusted Grilled Peaches 8 Georgia peaches ½ stick butter ¼ cup honey, such as H.L. Franklin’s Healthy Honey 1 large cream cheese pound cake, such as Saint Rita’s 1 pint vanilla bean ice cream Peach prep: Cut peaches in half, removing pits with a spoon. Lay pitted half flat on a cutting board. Take 2 wooden skewers and skewer evenly three halves. It’s much easier to handle and mark than one at a time. Melt butter and add ¼ cup honey, stirring continuously until combined. Spoon and smear a light coating on peaches. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set the honey crust. Grill the fruit: On medium hot grill, 300 degrees, lay peaches on indirect heat. The sugars will burn and ruin the dish, so be aware. Continue to watch the peach halves and keep from charring. Flip peaches after 5 to 7 minutes when good grill marks are present. Grill over indirect heat for another 5 to 7 minutes. Plating: Serve separately or over pound cake. Top off with a scoop of ice cream, if desired.

Chef Chip, far right, serves, from left: Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Campanelli, host of the afternoon picnic; Christian Tovar, 9; Chip’s daughter Ella Kate Reed, 7; and Parker Grandle, 8.

Bill E’s Bacon-studded Pimento Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms 3 pounds crimini and medium button mushrooms, cleaned and destemmed ¼ pound bacon, such as Bill E’s Bacon, roughly chopped 11 ounces pimento cheese, such as Homegrown Pimento Cheese 1 bag pork panko ½ cup olive oil, such as Georgia Olive Farms extra virgin olive oil Pinch kosher salt

Rendering bacon: In heavy cast iron skillet on medium heat, spread bacon pieces evenly in pan; stir frequently. When bacon reaches crisp consistency, remove from pan. Drain fat from bacon; add fat to olive oil. Let bacon pieces cool completely on paper towel. Fold cooked bacon into pimento cheese. Stuffing mushrooms: Pour pork panko into shallow pan. With small spoon, fill mushrooms with bacon and pimento cheese mixture. Overstuff mushrooms, if possible, firmly packing the mix. Turn mushrooms upside down and press into pork panko, essentially forming a crust on each mushroom. While upside down, brush mushroom bottom with bacon fat/olive oil mixture. Sprinkle oiled mushroom bottom with light amount of kosher salt. Rest on tray, ready for the grill. Grill mushrooms: Use top rack of hot gas grill, 350-400 degrees. Cook for 12-15 minutes. Do not let cheese melt out. For best results, pull one and taste for doneness. Cheese should be melty but not bubbling over. Plating: Arrange on long platter.

july/august 2018 | 85



Chip Reed sourced items for his favorite grilled meal from Local Provisions in downtown Newnan.

Smoked Lemon BBQ Chicken 5 pounds chicken leg quarters, rinsed and dried 3½ lemons cut into big wedges 5½ ounces barbecue rub, such as Gabbard’s BBQ Rub 5 ounces plain Greek yogurt 16 ounces white barbecue sauce, such as Phickles Shindig Sauce/Alabama White ¼ cup olive oil/bacon fat blend

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Chicken rubbing: Wear gloves because it’s going to be messy. In large bowl, combine yogurt and barbecue rub. Lay chicken leg quarters on a flat sheet tray. Stab chicken all over with a fork, front and back, like it owes you money. Liberally smear yogurt spice mixture all over chicken, coating well. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Prepare smoker: I prefer smoking chicken in a vertical pit barrel smoker. This smoking style hangs the meat over charcoal and lump wood chunks. With the pit barrel, you fill a chimney full of charcoal, light and get to grey. Pour hot coals into barrel with extra 20 pieces of raw charcoal and 2 pieces of Applewood. Typically, it takes 25-30 minutes to prepare charcoal this way; that’s perfect timing for the chicken to sit to retain proper coating. Smoking chicken: I like to load the smoker at about 280 degrees. I hook a lemon wedge and 2 leg quarters, skin side out, then another lemon. Smoke to internal temperature of 165 degrees; this typically takes 2½ hours. When available, I like to crisp chicken a little on a hot gas or charcoal grill. Brush the finished chicken with bacon fat/olive oil mix; grill until skin is crispy. This extra step isn’t necessary, but it adds another level of flavor. Plating: Stack pieces on large platter in a spiral pattern. Pour half bottle of white sauce so it cascades down to all pieces. Reserve the rest for dipping as you eat. NCM


Harvesting summer’s bounty— and preparing for fall’s Written by HELEN PETRE

Photographed by BETH NEELY


hile the first fall frost will not occur until approximately November 15, according to Coweta County Extension Coordinator Stephanie Butcher, it’s not quite time to sit back and relax.

Beckie Matthews lifts a jar of her spicy Dilly Beans from the water bath after using the stovetop method of canning.

Gardening is a great adventure, and the adventure is far from over for the season. Sure, it’s time to harvest the summer bounty, but now is also the time to start planning the cool weather fall plantings while we preserve the fruits of our summer labor. There are two major planting times in Coweta County: March to May and July to September. Right now is the time for harvesting the first and planting the second. Harvest time is here for beans, cucumbers, eggplant, peas, okra and squash. To make sure food does not go to waste, it’s a good idea to can and pickle the produce. These are fun and economical ways to capture that fresh taste of summer to enjoy all year. Canning is defined as putting food in jars and heating them to a temperature that destroys foodborne bacteria. Heat drives air out of the jar, and cooling produces a vacuum that prevents air and bacteria from getting back in. John Mason invented the first reusable “Mason” jar in the late 1850s. We use the same type jars and the same process to preserve our harvest now, more than a century and a half later. One of the best sources for information on canning is the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Their 388-page book, “So Easy to Preserve,” was written by Elizabeth Andress, a professor and food safety specialist. The Coweta County Extension office has free july/august 2018 | 87



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publications on canning, freezing and pickling at their office at 255 Pine Road in Newnan. (Call the office at 770.254.2620 and have the info emailed to you.) Canning can be a challenge for the home gardener. There are two methods. Which method to use is determined by the acid content of the food you plan to preserve. Above and at right, Beckie Matthews, of Newnan, Water bath canning is fine looks forward to gardening for acidic foods like tomatoes in summer and preserving and pickles. It takes less time, vegetables she’s grown. requires a lower temperature, and is easier than pressure canning. Pressure canning is necessary for low-acid vegetables. The pressure canner heats food to 240 degrees, which destroys food-borne bacteria. For those who benefit from hands-on training, the Coweta County Extension office will host a beginners canning workshop on July 11. “Participants will learn how to make blueberry jelly,” says Butcher. Other local sources of food preservation knowledge are Mike and Judy Cunningham of Country Garden Farms at Highway 154 in Newnan. The Cunninghams work an organic farm and consider themselves “teaching farmers” who help people learn how to “grow, cook and preserve good food.” They offer products as well as classes on vegetable gardening and food preservation and have many suggestions for harvesting late summer crops. “One of the crops in abundance in late summer is okra,” says Mike. “We grow a green variety, Clemson Spineless, and a red variety, Burgundy, which we love to pickle. Pickled okra is easy to make using the water bath canning method.” Another way to preserve food is dehydrating. This preserves the fresh garden goodness and keeps the food fresh for years. The free UGA publication, “How to Dry Fruits and Vegetables,” explains the entire process, with or without a dehydrator. Freezing your harvest is the easiest way to preserve food, but it requires a freezer, which can be expensive to buy and keep running. Freezing also requires blanching, or boiling food for a short period of time, for most types of food. Just because it’s harvest time for many vegetables now, it is not time to give up the garden. Late summer is the time to prepare soil for fall planting, clean up debris and add compost or fertilizer to ensure a successful cool season harvest. It’s a good idea to compost any vegetable plants that have

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finished producing. You can even collect seed for next summer’s garden, but Butcher warns, “Make sure that collected seeds are not from hybrid plants. Hybrid plants produce viable seeds, but you cannot depend on the plants to be similar to the parent plant.” New Leaf Community Garden has a Zone 7 planting schedule that suggests times to plant Coweta gardens. It isn’t too late to plant beans, cucumbers or squash for early fall harvest. The vegetable garden calendar published by UGA Cooperative Extension suggests planting corn and beans before July 20 to facilitate harvest before the first frost. July is perfect timing to plant your Halloween pumpkins. By the end of August, plant the last potatoes, cucumbers and squash. Butcher offers yet another source for garden planning. “A good resource for gardeners is,” she says. “You simply enter your zip code and then find the closest weather station to you. You can look at average frost dates, soil temperatures and more. It’s a gardener’s best friend.” All sources agree that late in August is best for planting lettuce and spinach for later fall harvest. Rake up the garden area and mix in compost to provide nourishment for new plantings. Adding mulch conserves moisture and prevents weeds. July and August are also the perfect time to start seeds indoors to set out in September. Some good choices are broccoli, parsley, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, onions and kale. Cool season vegetables prefer temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees and lose quality in hotter weather. We are fortunate in Coweta County to have a long summer garden season and mild fall weather that is perfect for cool season vegetables. Spend time now both in the garden and the kitchen to ensure a full year of garden-fresh, healthy rewards for your efforts. NCM

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To m o r r o w i s B e t t e r A Review of Dale Lyles’ Lichtenbergianism: Procrastination as a Creative Strategy Written by K. OSBORN SULLIVAN

If you can get past the daunting title of Newnan author Dale Lyles’ book, you’ll find a wealth of valuable information in “Lichtenbergianism: Procrastination as a Creative Strategy.” I had the pleasure of meeting Dale when he spoke at a Tuesday brownbag lunch meeting of the Senoia Writing Group. He was witty and entertaining and demonstrated remarkable — albeit not entirely necessary — athleticism when he jumped the Senoia Library patio fence multiple times to retrieve items from his car. He could have simply walked through the library to reach the parking lot, but maybe the (mild) adrenaline rush that comes from doing battle with a wrought iron fence is a welcome change after sitting behind a desk thinking deep thoughts about creativity. His book is a byproduct of the Lichtenbergian Society, which was formed a decade ago by a group of friends who gather regularly to discuss art and their own creative pursuits. The group’s name honors an 18th century German scientist named Georg Christoph Lichtenberg who was notable for his procrastination. He devised ambitious plans for books and inventions, but he never bothered to actually produce any of them. Appropriately, the motto of the Lichtenbergian Society is Cras melior est, which translates as “Tomorrow is Better.” The members of the Lichtenbergian Society are chronic procrastinators, so it came as a shock when they realized that, over time, they were accomplishing their creative goals. Well, maybe not their goals, per se, but they were accomplishing 90 |

something, as opposed to sitting around eating peanut butter out of a jar with their fingers while watching “Ellen” reruns. The foundation of Lichtenbergianism is a set of nine precepts that the author says have encouraged him and his fellow society members to accomplish more than they had ever expected. Not magic, it’s more a means of facilitating creative freedom. The first of these precepts is Task Avoidance. If you set yourself a challenging task, you can accomplish a great deal in your efforts to avoid doing that hard thing. For instance, Lyles is a music composer, and he admits to writing part of this book while simply trying to avoid writing music. He also spent a year not achieving any of his creative goals, but during that time, he managed to build a backyard labyrinth. Task avoidance is a place we’ve all been. Remember when you spent two months nailing a new roof on your house because you didn’t want to do your taxes? Who knew you were using Precept No. 1? Precept No. 2 offers an excellent idea that Lyles calls Waste Books. During his visit to our writing group meeting, he pulled out a slim notebook and explained how he always carries one so he can write down any random ideas that come to him. If it’s on paper, he can revisit the idea later if he wants to do something with it — or not, as the case may be. Some of the other precepts include such things as the importance of Ritual and a recommendation to Steal from the Best rather than reinventing the wheel yourself. The last precept is Abandonment because eventually all projects must be abandoned. Either you will consider your work finished and you stop working on it, or you’ll give up because you’ve been in Task Avoidance (Precept No. 1) for an embarrassingly long time. How does all this work? Let’s say you want to write a book, but you don’t know where to start. Carry a waste book and write down random ideas as they come to you. No pressure, just

disjointed thoughts. Maybe you come up with a dozen exciting endings for the book. Go ahead and write those instead of the beginning. Or sketch some funky art for the book cover. Or design a labyrinth in your yard. (Check local zoning ordinances.) This is an entertaining book that offers a unique perspective on the creative process. The relaxed, suit-yourself approach is a welcome change from selfhelp books that pretend to have a one-sizefits-all answer for the reader. Sit back, open up this book, and start reading. Or put it down and pull out those plans for your labyrinth. Cras melior est. “Lichtenbergianism: Procrastination as a Creative Strategy” was published in October 2017 by Boll Weevil Press; 172 pages; 5 stars ★★★★★

Read a good book lately? Can’t wait to te somebody about it? ll Share your favorite new read with Newnan-Coweta M agazine by writing a book review for possi ble publication in an upcoming issue. Whether it’s a book that’s been around awhile and you’re jus t getting to it, or if it’s a brand new publica tion that everyone’s talking about, we’d like to hear your ed ucated take on it. Keep your review at 350-450 words and please include the au thor’s name, page count and date of pu blication as well as any awards the book may have won. Be sure to give the bo ok your rating of 1 to 5 stars: 1=You’ll ne ver miss it; 2=Okay ; 3=Pretty good; 4=Re ad it; 5=Best. Book . Ever. Send your review wi th your contact information to maga or mail to Newnan-C oweta Magazine, 16 Jefferson Street, Ne wnan, Ga. 30263.









THANKS TO ALL who helped our Libraries rock this summer, and a BIG THANKS to our Summer Reading sponsors: The Donald W. Nixon Centre for the Arts Escalade Rock Climbing Gym Urban Jungle Culver’s Smallcakes Cupcakery The Woodbury Shoppe The Georgia Mercantile Applebee’s IHOP Partners II Pizza NCG - Peachtree City Bubbles and Brushes Art Studios Truett’s Chick-fil-A Arby’s Wendy’s HoneyBaked Ham Waffle House

Red Robin Publix Bumble Beads Atlanta Brick Co. Sam’s Eclectic Shane’s Rib Shack Contemporary Catering, Inc. Table Talk Unique Gifts Senoia Garden Center Oh Do Kwan Mixed Martial Arts Oriental Trading McDonald’s Starbucks Crook’s Marketplace Burger King Great American Cookies Dunaway Gardens H.J. Wings and Things


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Newnan Crossing Bailey Station

243 Summerlin Blvd. • Newnan, GA 30265


106 Bailey Station Circle • Sharpsburg, GA 30277


children age 6 weeks - 12 years july/august 2018 | 91

coweta calendar





July 4th Parade

Downtown Newnan | 9 a.m. The annual parade begins at Veteran’s Memorial Park and ends at Greenville Street Park within an hour. For more, call 770.253.8283 or visit

Fourth of July Barbecue


Hometown Heritage Museum, Moreland 11 a.m. In Moreland, the 72nd annual Fourth of July Barbecue serves up some of the area’s best Brunswick stew and ’que at the Moreland Hometown Heritage Museum/Mill Complex. Lines start forming around 10 a.m., and to-go orders are available. For more, contact the Moreland Cultural Alliance at 678.492.3161.


Market Day

Courthouse Square, Newnan 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Hosted by Main Street Newnan, the market showcases handmade, homemade and homegrown products created by local artisans, artists and farmers with 50 booths offering locally grown produce, honey, jelly, salsa, baked goods, pottery, art, hand-woven baskets, leather products, handcrafted furniture and more. For more, visit

July 4th Festivities

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Newnan Historical Train Depot 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Free Sponsored by Artisans Heritage Guild of Newnan-Coweta, the two-day event at 60 East Broad features local artists exhibiting their craft-making skills, including weaving, blacksmithing, stained glass and pottery. Mini-lessons for those interested in learning some of these skills will be available. The educational-oriented event includes food, music and a separate sales gallery. For more info, contact Guild Executive Director at 678.876.1654.

Summer NewnaNight



Greenville Street Park, Newnan 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Main Street Newnan puts on this monthly summer event series in Downtown Newnan featuring family-friendly music and entertainment. Vendor booths are set up and downtown businesses stay open late with specials and promotions for shoppers and guests. (July 19 is the rain date.) For more, visit or call 770.253.8283.


Joe Pope Field, Newnan | 5:30 p.m. Celebrate the Fourth with family fun and fireworks until dark. Admission is free and concessions are available for purchase at 6 p.m. The fun includes musical entertainment, attractions for children, and free souvenirs for kids. For more, visit

Makers Day 2018

70 Years After “Murder in Coweta County” (Part 1)

Carnegie Library, Newnan | 6 p.m. It’s been 35 years since the movie, “Murder in Coweta County,” first aired on TV. Producer Dick Atkins and Newnan Times-Herald News Editor Winston Skinner provide commentary followed by a screening of the movie. A Q&A session will follow the screening. For more info or to make a reservation, contact the Coweta County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 770.254.2627 or Carnegie Library at 770.683.1347.


70 Years After “Murder in Coweta County” (Part 2)

Coweta County Courthouse, Newnan 6:30 p.m. This “Behind the Story/Behind the Movie” event features “Murder in Coweta County” Producer Dick Atkins and Newnan Times-Herald News Editor Winston Skinner recalling the 1983 TV production of “Murder in Coweta County.” Skinner serves as moderator of a panel discussion to include members of families involved in the 1948 murder. Seating is limited. Contact Coweta County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 770.254-2627 for reservations or more info.



Join us as we celebrate our new church home close to you. You will find a diverse group that strives to follow the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as individuals and as a church body. Everyone is welcome, young or old, starting out or starting over, dressed up or dressed down. Journey with us as we seek to worship God, serve others, and build community.


9:45 - Traditional Worship 11:00 - Contemporary Worship

Back to School Saturday


Ashley Park, Newnan 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Ashley Park presents tons of fun to help area students get back in the swing of school. For more, visit Ashley Park Newnan on Facebook.

Screen on the Square

First Avenue Park, Newnan | 8 p.m. A family-friendly, animated film is featured at this event that’s free to the public and open to all ages. Bring blankets to sit on and pack a picnic supper to enjoy during the event. (August 10 is the rain date.) For more, visit mainstreetnewnan. com.

Market Day

Birth – 5th grade programming available during both worship services.


Courthouse Square, Newnan 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Hosted by Main Street Newnan, the market showcases handmade, homemade and homegrown products created by local artisans, artists and farmers with 50 booths offering locally grown produce, honey, jelly, salsa, baked goods, pottery, art, hand-woven baskets, leather products, handcrafted furniture and more. For more, visit

3836 Highway 29 North Newnan, GA 30265

CALENDAR AUGUST Membership may be easier than you think! 43 Jefferson Parkway. • P.O. Box 71063 Newnan, GA 30271-1063 770.253.2273 WWW.CCCEFCU.ORG

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Coweta County Fairgrounds, Newnan Noon – 8 p.m. The Shut It Down Boyz & Girlz Car Club hosts its first Call Out Car and Bike Show at the Fairgrounds midway. For more, visit the Shut it Down Boyz on Facebook.

Summer NewnaNight



Look for your copy in The Newnan Times-Herald on August 16!

Featuring East Coweta, Newnan, Northgate, The Heritage School, Trinity Christian School and Central Christian School 94 |


Greenville Street Park 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Main Street Newnan offers this monthly summer event series in Downtown Newnan featuring family friendly music and entertainment. Vendor booths are set up and downtown businesses stay open late with specials and promotions for shoppers and guests. (Aug. 16 is the rain date.) For more, visit or call 770.253.8283.



Call Out Car and Bike Show

Tractor Parade and Tractor Pull

Turin | 10 a.m. The annual parade of antique tractors starts at 10 and then it’s on to the pulling grounds for a full day of tractor pull competition in stock, modified and modern farm classics. There’s also a “slow race” and pedal race for kids. Antique show tractors are displayed, and concessions and T-shirts are available. For more, call Bill Banks at 678.300.4923 or visit

Labor Day Sidewalk Sale


31 - 3

Downtown Newnan 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. An annual tradition for more than 25 years, the all-day(s) shopping event invites visitors to walk the downtown streets and browse through blocks of merchandise outside retail locations. Most of these items are on sale. For more, visit

coweta calendar



makes the most sense for your life and your budget.


Stephanie From 770-683-3676 traditional home loans Fax: 770-683-3660 Fagerstrom CPCU, Bus: and refinancing, to government Agent programs for veterans and first-

Stephanie Fagerstrom CPCU, Agent State Farm Agent Newnan, GA 30263 Bus: 770-683-3676 Fax: 770-683-3660

Sunrise on the Square Labor Day Road Race

Downtown Newnan | 7:30 a.m. Held the Saturday before Labor Day for more than a quarter century, the race begins in downtown Newnan and proceeds through the City of Homes, where runners catch a glimpse of historic in-town neighborhoods. The race is a USATFcertified course featuring chipped timing and a diversity of terrain. Runners and walkers of all skill levels are welcome to compete in a 5K or 10K route. The race is hosted by Main Street Newnan, in partnership with Communities in Schools, which receives race profits. For more, visit

Market Day

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Courthouse Square, Newnan 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Hosted by Main Street Newnan, the market showcases handmade, homemade and homegrown products created by local artisans, artists and farmers with 50 booths offering locally grown produce, honey, jelly, salsa, baked goods, pottery, art, hand-woven baskets, leather products, handcrafted furniture and more. For more, visit




Your run begins at the end of your comfort zone. Monday – Saturday 10 am – 6 pm

Labor Day Arts & Crafts Festival

Courthouse Square, Newnan 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Corner Arts Gallery hosts its third annual Labor Day Arts & Craft Festival in downtown Newnan with artists and crafters displaying and selling their original, handmade work. Food vendors will be set up and there will be musical entertainment and art demonstrations throughout the day.  For more, visit

10 LaGrange St. • Newnan • 470-414-1430 •

nursery & gardens


Newnanʼs Hometown Nursery

Great selection of: • Annuals Your Source for • Perennials ORGANIC and • Herbs NATURAL • Shrubs GARDENING PRODUCTS • Trees 726 N. Hwy. 29, Newnan 770.683.7224 july/august 2018 | 95

Photo by Laur ie Mattingly, N

Azaleas usher in

springtime in M

an Mattingly, Newn Photo by Laurie


ount Carmel.


A Mother’s Day Ro

oundings in the brightens the surr


Mount Carmel com

submit your


Photo by Christine Kendall, Newnan Connect Museum. allations adorns the grounds at Children e to know how smil me Fiberglass art from previous Coweta inst es mak it little painted trucks and “On my morning walks, I pass by thestoeshare with my grandchildren,” says Christine Kendall of fortunate I am to have this museum Newnan.

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

Photos must be original, high-resolution (300 DPI) digital photos in .jpg format, at least 3”x 5” size. Please include your name so that we can give you credit for your photo in the magazine! Email your photos with the subject “Blacktop” to the address below. 96 |

Photo by Heather Pettus, Newnan


Stationed at Kessler Air Force Base in Bilo xi, Miss., James Pettus recently enjoyed time at home in New nan Heather, captured on camera the fun he while on leave. His wife, shared with his son, Brayden, and niece, Mariah Smith, at Monkey Joe’ s in Newnan.



Coweta County Photo by John Callaway, Corinth Community,

e Company enjoy the view from John and Marcia Callaway of Callaway Cattlhome in the Corinth community. the back deck of their Coweta-Heard Road




Photo by G

unner Grimm Newnan resid , Newnan e n ts R o n and Patricia this shot of th M e a ir ci named “Boss grandson Gunner’s d ejewski submitted .” og, appropria tely

july/august 2018 | 97


92.5 The Bear..............................................................21 A. Mitchell Powell Library........................................91 Arnall Grocery Company....................................... 56 Arthur Murphey Florist.............................................22 Atlanta Brick Company............................................33 Atlanta Gastroenterology........................................13 Atlanta Market Furniture and Accessories..............................................................91 The Bedford School................................................ 50 Berkshire Hathaway...............................................100 The Boyd Gallery........................................................41 Brewton-Parker College.........................................32 Cancer Treatment Centers of America................................................................. 3 Carriage House..........................................................70 Charlie's Towing........................................................94 Charter Bank...............................................................57 Christian Brothers Automotive..............................58 Christian City...............................................................15 City of Palmetto.........................................................75 Corner Arts Gallery.................................................. 66 Coweta Cities & County Employees Federal Credit Union............................................94 Coweta County Fairgrounds..................................22 Coweta County School System.............................17 Coweta-Fayette EMC.............................................. 99 Digestive Healthcare of Georgia, P.C................... 5 Double Bar H Stables............................................... 74 Dragonfly Running Company............................... 95 Fine Lines Art & Framing........................................ 56 Friends of Lynn Smith..............................................54 Georgia Bone & Joint...............................................73 Georgia Farm Bureau................................................81 Historic Banning Mills................................................ 8 Huntington Learning Center.................................... 7 Insignia Living of Georgia.......................................29 Jack Peek's Sales.......................................................13 JC Meghrian/Keller Williams..................................57 Kemp's Dalton West Flooring................................84 Kimble's Food by Design.........................................14 Lee-King Pharmacy..................................................88 Linda Scott/Coldwell Banker................................ 66 Lindsey's Inc. Realtors............................................. 10 Main Street Newnan.................................................97 McGuire's Buildings..................................................89 Morgan Jewelers.......................................................22 The Newnan Centre.................................................29 Newnan Utilities.........................................................16 Newnan-Coweta Humane Society..................... 50 Nissan of Newnan....................................................... 2 North Georgia Turf.....................................................16 NuWay Realty............................................................... 8 OrthoAtlanta................................................................. 6 Powers Heating and Air..........................................69 Primecare Pediatrics..................................................11 The Print Shop Gallery/ Artisans on the Square........................................ 47 Real Talk on the Square..........................................70 Schultz Family Dental..............................................22 Sewell Marine..............................................................81 Southern Brokers, Inc............................................. 95 Southern Crescent Women's Healthcare.............................................................. 40 Southern Roots......................................................... 95 SouthTowne.................................................................. 9 Southwest Christian Church..................................93 Stephanie Fagerstrom State Farm...................... 95 Stone & Light Holdings.............................................91 StoneBridge Early Learning Center......................91 Sweetland Ampitheatre.......................................... 10 Treasures Old & New................................................71 Tulla White Cuisine & Catering.............................23 United Bank............................................................... 86 The Venue at Murphy Lane....................................23 Wesley Woods............................................................ 77 West Georgia Boat Center....................................... 4 The Women's Specialists of Fayette...................37 Yellowstone Landscape..........................................94

september / october preview



Wheels Go ‘Round Cars, bicycles, motorcycles, and more!

Newnan-Coweta Humane Society Helping pups and kittens

Tailgating Treats Miss Pearl shares game time recipes


Magazine Advertising Deadline August 3, 2018

Next Publication Date: September 7, 2018

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


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Linda Huff, Sr. VP & Managing Broker – Coweta/Newnan Office 770-254-8333 - 1201 Lower Fayetteville Road, Newnan, GA 30265 © 2018 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHHS, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® If your home is currently listed with a Broker, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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