July 2015

Page 1

Town &Gown July 2015

The Dog Days of Summer!

Grassroots Animal Rescue Grilling for the Fourth of July Weekend

Southeastern Guide Dogs

Bill Gamel: A look through the years

Sampson the therapy dog


Only 1/2 mile from MSU’s Davis-Wade Stadium, Dudy Noble Field & Humphrey Coliseum

Condominiums Located in the Heart of Starkville's Cotton District

Starting at $264,500

t h e g i n o n r u s s e l l . c o m

Under Construction Now!

Lu x u r y Re s i d e n t i a l Li v i n g


Columbus Orthopaedic Welcomes Dr. David Macias


What’s Inside Home, Garden and Lifestyle from around Mississippi

12 Calendar of Events

14 Who we’re loving

16 Wishlist

18 What we’re loving

24 Traveling abroad with the Rotary Youth Exchange

34 All about Sampson the therapy dog

38 Susan O’Bryan’s book reviews

54

Taste and Toast: Fourth of July Grilling

40 Made in Mississippi: Delta Blues Rice

45 Delta Dogs

21 Grassroots Animal Rescue lends out a helping hand

22 Bill Gamel: A look back through the years

63 Fourth of July Fashion

58 Health: The importance of staying active during pregnancy

72 Events

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TOWNANDGOWNMAGAZINE.COM HOME . GARDEN . LIFE . STYLE . FOOD . HEALTH . FITNESS

The Grassroots Animal Rescue (story on page 20) is a no-kill shelter that has no physical building, but relies on fosters to house their animals. If you are interested in fostering be sure to give them a call! VOLUME 4,

on the cover.On. the

NUMBER 7

July 2015

The Dog Day s of Summer!

This month our fashion shoot was at Lake Tiak-O’-Khata. Located in Louisville, MS it’s a fantastic way to keep the whole family cool in this July heat so grab your most patriotic blanket (like the one on the cover) and head over to the lake!

AGAZINE.COM

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Cover

JULY • 2015

@townandgownmag

Town&Gown

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Grassroots Anim al Rescue Sou theaster Guide Dogs Grilling for the Fourth Bill Gamel: A look of July Weekend Sampson the through the year s therapy dog

Follow us on Instagram to see more shots from our photo shoots, articles from our current issue, our Friday Faves and so much more!

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Your Peeps Keeping Summer Fun Healthy!

A Product of Horizon of Mississippi P.O. Box 1068 | Starkville, MS 39760 www.townandgownmagazine.com

{ staff } Don Norman | publisher - sdnpub@starkvilledailynews.com Camille Watts| editor - editor@townandgownmagazine.com

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Reproductions in whole or in part,without written permission,is strictly prohibited. No responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited manuscripts, articles or photographs. We reserve the right to edit submissions before publication. Town & Gown is a free magazine published monthly and distributed in and around Starkville and the Golden Triangle area. Subscriptions are available for mail customers. For subscriptions or inquiries,write Town & Gown Magazine, P.O. Box 1068, Starkville, MS, 39760, or call 662.323.1642.

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@shoplagreen | 117 E. Main St. Starkville, MS | shoplagreen.com JULY 2015 | 7


Letter from the

Editor

For our Readers Subscribe

Happy Fourth of July everyone! July is our Dog Days of Summer issue and here at the Town and Gown office dogs have been everywhere. One of our ad reps just got a Great Dane named Ollie and a few months ago I welcomed a German shepherd/lab mix named Hazel into my family. The puppy I’m holding to the left isn’t Hazel, but another German shepherd mix named Rowlf that is being taken care of by Grassroots Animal Rescue here in Starkville. All of the dogs pictured with that story (including Rowlf) are available for adoption. If you are looking for things to do this Fourth of July you should check out Fireworks on the Water in Columbus or Starkville’s own Fourth of July Celebration. I have attended Starkville’s celebration every year since I moved here in 2000 and I have enjoyed watching it expand from just watching the fireworks on a red, white and blue blanket, like the American flag one on the cover from Amazon.com, to a large festival-like atmosphere. You don’t want to miss it! Before the fireworks you should try your hand at some of our grilling recipes. I can’t wait to try the stuffed burger. We are already taking submissions for our January Bridal Issue so if you’ve married anytime in the 2015 year or even before please fill out the form and drop it by our office before the deadline. We would love to have your featured in our magazine and one lucky bride will have her wedding on the cover! We are also starting to accept best of nomination and votes for our October magazine. The deadline is August 31 and you can find the voting ballot tucked away in this issue. As always if you ever have a story idea or suggestion please drop me a line telling me all about it! Have a great and safe holiday!

Camille Watts

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Get Town and Gown Magazine delivered right to your doorstep! Subscribe for $48 a year, $26 for six months or $6 for one time. To order call 662-323-1642 or email info@townandgownmagazine.com. Announce your engagement or wedding with us!

January is our Bridal issue! Wedding and engagement announcement pricing is listed at townandgownmagazine.com. Submit 15-20 wedding photos to info@townandgownmagazine.com for review to be featured in Town and Gown Magazine.

Events Town and Gown Magazine would love to be at your next event. If your organization or business is having an event please email info@townandgownmagazine.com a month before event date. We cannot promise we will be at all events, but we will try!

If we missed out Send us your event photos with names from left to right (if available) and a brief description of event to info@townandgownmagazine.com or mail or drop off a disc to 304 Lampkin St., Starkville, MS 39759.

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JULY 2015 | 9


Town & Gown Magazine January Wedding Issue 2016

One-Page Announcement one vertical photo + two horizontal photos + 400-500 words

$150 All material must be postmarked by December 6, 2015

Two-Page Announcement two vertical photos + four horizontal photos + 950-1,000 words

$250 All material must be postmarked by December 6, 2015

Hinton

Hinton

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T

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MSU’s Summer Scholars Camp

MSU’s Summer Scholars Camp

MSU’s Summer Scholars Camp MSU’s Summer Scholars Camp

MSU’s Summer Scholars Camp

MSU’s Youth Baseball Camp MSU’s Summer Scholars Camp

MSU’s Youth Baseball Camp MSU’s Youth Baseball Camp MSU’s Summer Scholars Camp

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Columbus’ Sounds of Summer Starkville’s Independence Day Celebration Columbus’ Fireworks on the Water

MSU’s Summer Scholars Camp

Columbus’ Sounds of Summer MSU’s Summer Scholars Camp

MSU’s Summer Scholars Camp Starkville’s Christmas in July

Starkville’s Christmas in July

MSU’s Youth Baseball Camp MSU’s Summer Scholars Camp

MSU’s Ladies Football Clinic MSU’s Summer Scholars Camp

MSU’s Summer Scholars Camp MSU’s Summer Scholars Camp


Save the Date! Columbus’ Sounds of Summer Date: July 2 and 16, 2015 Time: 7 pm-9 pm Where: Columbus Riverwalk Cost: Free July 2 and 16 from 7-9pm at the Columbus Riverwalk. Bring lawn chairs and relax to music from local musicians. Free and open to the public. For more information call 662-328-6305 MSU Ladies Football Clinic Date: July 18, 2015 Cost: $75 Contact: Janet Ballard (662-325-1896) Participants in the football clinic learned the basics of football offense and defense, along with hands-on experience of throwing and catching a football, blocking and tackling.

Forks & Corks Date: August 15, 2015 Time: 6:30 pm Cost: $75 per ticket Forks & Corks is an event SAAC hosts annually. It is a competition amongst Golden Triangle chefs. Attendees get to try a variety of unique dishes from the areas best chefs. This year, we are also featuring the Mississippi craft beer breweries at the event. Eight of the nine in the state have already committed to providing their beers for the event. Call the SAAC office (662.324.3080) to reserve your spot. Space is limited. This year’s event will be at The Mill (The Historic E.E. Cooley Building: 600 Russell Street) and will feature Mississippi craft beer breweries! A $75 ticket gets the attendee a sample of 12 dishes, a limited number of glasses of wine, and unlimited samples of the craft beers.

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who we’re loving lately • our favorites on instagram and Twitter • www.instagram/townandgown

Feast & West • @feast&west • www.feastandwest.com If you are a foodie and don’t have the means to travel this summer then check out Feast & West’s Instagram. This Instagram account will satisfied both your foodie side and your travel side and give you a good idea where you want to end up next.

Katie Rodgers • @paperfashion • www.paperfashion.net Katie Rodgers’ beautiful travel photos are just what you need to feel like you’ve gone on vacation. Scroll through years of travel and food photos to get you in the mood for a summer vacation.

Kitchy Kitchen • @kitchykitchen • www.thekitchykitchen.com Love creative recipes and beautiful food photography? Then The Kitchy Kitchen is just for you. With their beautiful colored photographs and their creative ideas. They know just what to post to give you food envy!

JULY 2015 | 15


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Aspen Bay 116 E. Main St Starkville, MS 662.320.8476

Susan’s Hallmark 100 Russell St Starkville, MS 662.324.0810

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Fourth of July Wishlist

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Thyme 402 Lampkin St Starkville, MS 662.323.5979

Susan’s Hallmark 100 Russell St Starkville, MS 662.324.0810

L.A. Green 117 E. Main St Starkville, MS 662.324.6208

Aspen Bay 116 E. Main St Starkville, MS 662.320.8476


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Last Man Standing 103 N. Lafayette St. Starkville, MS 662.341.1592

Thyme 402 Lampkin St Starkville, MS 662.323.5979

Fourth of July Wishlist L.A. Green 117 E. Main St Starkville, MS 662.324.6208

Aspen Bay 116 E. Main St Starkville, MS 662.320.8476

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Last Man Standing 103 N. Lafayette St. Starkville, MS 662.341.1592

Susan’s Hallmark 100 Russell St Starkville, MS 662.324.0810

JULY 2015 | 17


what we’re loving lately Toys and beds for our furry friends!

Nature Nap Bed

Nature Nap® pet beds are where dreams begin. Unlike other dog mats on the market, our custom designed fabric has a poly-knit backing that interlocks the fibers to add strength and reduce shedding without sacrificing softness. Made to be compatible with standard size kennels, use these dog beds for crates or for a fashionable corner napping spots

Tuckered Out Bob-A-Lot

This treat dispensing toy holds a variety of treats & kibble. Its easy-to-fill, and easy-to clean dual chambers allow you to fill with treats or kibble. It provides hours of challenging play as your dog paws, nudges and chases it!

Zisc Flying Disc Zisc is a high f lying frisbee disc toy that’s extremely tough yet gentle on a dog’s mouth (and owner’s hands). Zisc is easy to throw, extremely durable and does not puncture easily.

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Cat Bed

The ultimate lazy day cat bed. With an open front, our Tuckered Out® cat bed lets cats drag in without effort, then snuggle into the rear .bolster. It’s perfect for elderly and injured kitties.

Tug-A-Jug

The Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug provides a multi-sensory appeal to keep dogs interested and motivated to play. It stimulates your dog’s sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste, making the Tug-A-Jug the ultimate solution for interactive play.


Kitty Lure Caster

Entice all your cat’s senses with this interactive toy. With Kitty Lure tied to the end, your cat will spend hours batting and pawing its wispy feather body! The nylon cord has a loop closure, allowing for interchangeable fun!

Dazzle Cat Toy

This is one bird your cat is allowed to play with! Stuffed with 100% premium organic catnip and an irresistible metal bell safely sewn inside, Dazzle will keep your kitty entertained for hours!

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Grassroots Animal Rescue Story by Joe Lee Photos by Laura Daniels


S

usan Ruggles can’t brag enough on Jessica Thompson, the director of Grassroots Animal Rescue of Starkville. While that should come as no surprise to Golden-Triangle area folks who’ve adopted dogs through Thompson, Ruggles is from Spokane, Washington. How did she and her husband find the dog they wanted from a Starkville-based rescue operation? “It’s very hard in our area to find beagles,” Ruggles said. “I went to www.petfinder.com and wanted a young female beagle within 500 miles and couldn’t find one, but there were many in the South. When I found Starla, my curiosity was piqued. I exchanged emails with Jessica and we talked by phone. It went from there.” Fosters are individuals or families that take on rescue dogs and provide love and care. Thompson, an instructor in the English department at Mississippi State University, runs an all-volunteer organization that rescues and places dogs through adoption. She has no formal animal training and says she learned from others who have run similar organizations. She has served as a foster many times. “Susan adopted a dog we rescued from Webster County,” Thompson said. “It was dumped on a gravel road, and we had to catch her in a live trap because she was wild and terrified. After a few weeks in a foster home she was sweet and friendly. We transported Starla via Delta

Airlines, which is something we do several times a year.” Thompson said that matching the right pooch with the right home is crucial in both the adoption process and in finding fosters. “It depends on the dog,” she said. “We want to make sure it fits the living situation. Is it okay with the landlord, if renting is involved? If a person or family already has a dog, are they keeping up with vaccinations? Some dogs are older and lazy and great for an apartment. Some are young and big and need a fenced-in backyard, or a park to play. “We have an application process for adoptions. We find out what the lifestyles are from those who apply – some dogs are better off without kids – and we want it to be permanent, not temporary. They sign an adoption contract, and if things don’t work we’ll take the dog back the following week – or later if there’s a move. We don’t want to find out that our dog was given away on Craig’s List. Our Foster to Adopt program, which we do occasionally, lets people take a dog home for a week to see if it works out.” Thompson is quick to break out the video camera when photographs don’t quite convince someone who’s considering adoption. “Someone mentioned Grassroots, and I liked them on Facebook,” said Dana Seymour of Starkville. “When Jessica posted a video of


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Marnie

McAlister

Gabe

Jasper


Mingo learning to fetch a tennis ball, I fell in love. I sent an email stating my interest and was sent an application form. From there, it was quick and simple. I arranged to meet Jessica and Mingo after work and everything fell into place. The entire process couldn’t have taken more than a week.” Thompson typically works with 5-10 fosters at a time. A no-kill rescue, Grassroots places as many as 300 dogs each year, but Thompson can only take on new rescues when enough fosters are available. And because there isn’t a physical facility, folks thinking about adopting can’t come in for a tour. “We’re always ready to set up meetings at their convenience and answer questions,” she said. “We get dogs of all ages and sizes and kinds. Many people think shel-

Rowlf

ters and rescues never have pure-bred dogs, but we’ve had Catahoulas, pit bulls, American bulldogs, Schnauzers and Shih Tzus recently.” To foster or adopt through Grassroots Animal Rescue, or to make a donation, call 662-508-0612 or email grassrootsanimalrescue@gmail.com. “Jessica made three videos of herself playing with Starla and walking her,” Ruggles said. “When we saw the videos, we were immediately won over. If Jessica had been any other type of person, we probably wouldn’t have agreed to flying a dog all the way from Mississippi. But the way Jessica spoke to Starla and treated her with love and respect was so impressive.”


Making Memories with the Rotary Youth Exchange Story by Joe Lee Photos submitted

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“I think the hardest part – and maybe the best part – was being seventeen. You’re ready to spread your wings, but your personality and world view haven’t solidified yet. . . . If anything could make me a more independent teenager, being an exchange student could.” - Anna Follett

A

nna Follett, who just graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in Anthropology, says that being a Rotary Youth Exchange student changed her life. “It’s a supervised year of experiencing the world in a way that makes you smarter, wiser, and allows you to understand things about yourself that you wouldn't know until much later in life,” said Follett, who lived in Bergamo, Italy, during her junior year at Starkville High School (20092010). “Going off to college seems small in comparison to going off to Europe in high school.” An international service organization, Rotary has clubs throughout Mississippi. The Starkville chapter is one of only several in the state that have hosted international exchange students or sent them abroad. “In 1995, SHS student Ruth Crowell wanted to be a Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) student the year following her high school graduation,” said Keith Remy, a Rotarian since 1967 and the founder of the RYE program in Starkville. “I was asked to make it happen. Ruth was interviewed and accepted. We were off and running.” Crowell spent a year in Belgium in exchange

for a student from nearby France coming to Starkville for a year. Crowell’s father, Ren, became a Rotarian during that time and eventually became Chair of District 6820 (which stretches southward from U.S. Highway 82 to U.S. Highway 84 near Laurel). To date, and under continued leadership from Remy and current District Chair Grant Arinder, the Starkville Rotary has sent thirteen students abroad and hosted twenty. Philippa Romen-Naegel, a native of Northerwestphalia, Germany, was an inbound student whose 2013-2014 year in Starkville marked her first trip to the United States. “I stayed with three host families. They were all amazing,” she said. “My first, the Moorheads, took me to Orange Beach, Alabama. The second, the Crows, took me to Arkansas. My third was the Folletts – I stayed the last few months with them and spent most of the holidays with them. My mother and grandmother met them. They are awesome people.” As rewarding as the cultural experience can be for the exchange student, it presents challenges. Romen-Naegel did not get academic credit in Germany for the courses she took at SHS. And

JULY 2015 | 25


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some students, both inbound and outbound, have been sent home because of extreme homesickness or improper behavior. “You have to be a parent and make them study and get to know their friends and ask how they’re doing emotionally,” said Arinder, the pastor at Calvary Baptist Church of Starkville. “We’ve hosted three times, and the students generally come from well-heeled families and are smart and sharp – and have the full support of one of the largest civic organizations in the world. The benefits far outweigh the costs.” “I think the hardest part – and maybe the best part – was being seventeen,” Follett said. “You’re ready to spread your wings, but your personality and world view haven’t solidified yet. I struggled with approaching people, but luckily for me, being American made me a school celebrity of sorts. Flying solo to a foreign country at that age teaches you to rely on yourself first in a tricky situation. If anything could make me a more independent teenager, being an exchange student could.” Follett’s family has hosted four times, welcoming students from Ecuador, Taiwan, and Italy as well as the German-born Romen-Naegel. “There are so many ‘ups’ about being a host family,” said Melissa Follett, Anna’s mother. “Mainly, falling in love with these amazing children that are willing to travel to a new world to learn our culture and language, live in a strange home, and eat strange foods with a family they do not know. “The downside for me would be the expense. We are not required to do anything more than allow them to live with us and experience our day-to-day lives, but my

personality makes me want to show them everything I possibly can.” Now a rising senior at the College of William & Mary, Davis Richardson (SHS 2011) went to Italy through RYE and was familiar with the program from when his family hosted international students. “Being in Europe for the first time at eighteen was absolutely magical,” he said. “That doesn’t mean my time abroad was always easy and perfect. Making friends at school was more difficult than I expected. Living with my first Rotary family was an exercise in independence. My second was much more inclusive.” “Something as big as a year abroad can tear you up emotionally,” Anna Follett said. “Once you get over homesickness and culture shock, it’s time to go back home and adjust to a home that’s not the same as before. Your friends are different and, most of all, you’re different. “But studying abroad has amazing perks, like Italian food, seeing the tombs of saints, going to school in France, and getting to sit on walls built by the Roman Empire. The friends you make and the things you see or do stay with you. Your perspective is forever altered.” To learn how you can get involved in RYE, visit www.rotary.org or talk to any member of the Starkville Rotary club. “When you look at what Rotary is really about, this is it,” Arinder said of. “RYE is making peace between nations. It’s having a kid from Milan, Italy, come to Starkville, Mississippi, and fall in love with it and not want to go home.”

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Bill Gamel: Looking through the yea


g back ars

Story by Joe Lee Photos by Ashley Covin and submitted

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CBI-TV news director Derek Rogers pays veteran personality Bill Gamel perhaps the ultimate compliment in describing what happens on days he isn’t in the anchor chair. “Whenever Bill was off – especially when he was still on ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Midday’ five days a week – we would get calls and emails asking where he was. That’s the impact you want your talent to have on your viewers,” Rogers said. “Bill has hosted ‘Sunrise’ for twenty years, and you don’t get that from many people nowadays because the turnover is so great.” Gamel, who will turn 70 next March, is originally from Birmingham, Alabama. He attended the University of Alabama and is a rabid Crimson Tide fan. Thousands of Golden Triangle viewers grew up watching him cover sports and anchor the morning and noon newscasts on WCBI. But many have no idea that he not only held several behind-the-scenes positions at the station, he also worked a fascinating variety of jobs outside television. “I worked as an electrician at American Cast Iron Pipe Company in Birmingham right out of high school, from 1965-1973,” Gamel said. “I was doing a job I didn’t like much, so I quit and decided to go to Columbia Broadcasting School in Birmingham – I’d always wanted to be on the radio. At the school, they had a studio tape set up, and you made (resume) tapes. You kept working and learning and sending out tapes until you found a job. Rick Dees was someone that made me really want to get into the business.” Gamel was hired at WAMA radio in Selma, Alabama, in 1973. While earning a modest wage to play hits by the


Doobie Brothers, Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Elton John, Gamel drove a cement truck to make ends meet. A year later he moved into television at WLSA in Selma, where he worked for six years and made a trusted friend in general manager Tommy Bond. “Tommy moved to WCBI in 1980, and after he’d been here a couple of months he called me,” Gamel said. “I did a little sportscasting in Selma, but I liked directing the newscasts even more. Tommy brought me to Columbus and I directed all the local programming for about fifteen months.” Directing (known as “punching” the newscasts in television vernacular) is something that Gamel described as the most exhilarating thirty minutes of the day. But he again had the urge to try something new – he went to work managing a wood yard in Aliceville, Alabama, in 1981 and began taking college courses in Tuscaloosa. But when the wood yard went out of business in 1986, Gamel reached back out to his friends at WCBI. “I called Wayne Robertson, who was in production here, and asked if I could come make a resume tape,” Gamel said. “Frank Imes was a photographer for the station when I left, but he was part-owner and general manager by then. He called me and offered one of the two open sports positions he had at the time. I took it, and that’s how I met Jeffrey Rupp.” “I was hired in 1986 to start ‘Midday’ and became 30 | TOWNANDGOWNMAGAZINE.COM

news director around 1990,” said Rupp, a native of Carlyle, Pennsylvania, who served two terms as mayor of Columbus and is now the Director of Outreach for the Mississippi State University College of Business. “I was in my early twenties and very green. Bill was older and had broadcast experience. The part of ‘Midday’ we enjoyed most was at the end, when we had time to kill. We became as comfortable talking on the air as we were off the air.” Chemistry between broadcast anchors takes time to build, and viewers can spot forced good cheer and recognize on-air discomfort faster than a director can fade to black. For Gamel and Rupp, though, the friendship was genuine, and it came through on the air and brought out the creativity and humor in both men. “We did ‘Midday’ once from a hot tub, and another time from a strawberry field,” Gamel said. “One time a local county supervisor was scheduled for an interview and didn’t show up, so we put a camera on an empty chair and superimposed the supervisor’s name on the air and asked questions as if he was really there. Then we’d pause for silence, and ask him more questions: ‘Oh, really? Why’d you do that?’ He laughed it off the next time we saw him. “We had a station cat named Max who walked right behind the news anchors on the set one night during the six o’clock news. One day on ‘Midday’ a guest didn’t


JULY 2015 | 31


show for the cooking segment, and Max the Cat was crashed out over there, so we put him on the set and explained how we would filet him.” Aundrea Self, who anchors the WCBI 5:00 and 6:00 weeknight newscasts and hosts the popular ‘MidMorning with Aundrea’ program, co-anchored ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Midday’ with Gamel from 2000-2007 and said there was chemistry between them from the very beginning – even though she’d grown up watching Gamel on television and considered him almost larger than life. “He had a great sense of humor and, in his own way, taught me things without being condescending,” Self said. “He took me under his wing, and I look up to him a lot. We are friends to this day – I consider him my TV husband. “He taught me not to take myself too seriously as an anchor. One day, probably in the middle of our years on the air, I managed to introduce myself as Bill Gamel. ‘Welcome to ‘Sunrise.’ I’m Bill Gamel.’ And he immediately introduced himself as Aundrea Self.” Rogers, who was originally hired at WCBI in 1992 as a part-time camera operator, said there was plenty of onair chemistry between Gamel and Self, and also between Gamel and Charla Stegall, who succeeded Rupp when he came off the air to run for mayor. “I directed news at night while Bill and Charla did mornings,” Rogers said. “Once in a while I’d come in and direct the morning show and had a blast working with them. When we started ‘Sunrise’ in 1995 he was the ob32 | TOWNANDGOWNMAGAZINE.COM

vious choice to do it, and he still sits there today. As far as I’m concerned he can stay as long as he wants. “Viewers can watch for a tribute to the twentieth anniversary of ‘Sunrise’ on September 18, and April 1, 2016 will be the thirtieth anniversary of ‘Midday.’ Our sixtieth anniversary as a station will be July 13, 2016. We’ll definitely have a Bill Gamel tribute.” Gamel, who has been in the business long enough to remember shooting news on 35-millimeter film, urges students who want to work in the business to find an internship – it won’t pay anything, he said, but the experience is invaluable. He added that he sees more coachable kids now than he did a generation ago. And because of technology, the amount of local news and information that hits the air has skyrocketed since his days in Selma. “At this point, I enjoy the people the most, being on the air and goofing off and trying to get the other guys not to take themselves too seriously,” said Gamel, who cut back to Tuesday and Wednesday each week in late 2013. “The biggest challenge is the 2:15 alarm clock.” “I’m biased because I think the world of him,” Rupp said. “But Bill is really, really good at what he does and could have worked in much bigger markets. I think he has become sort of an iconic figure on the air. He doesn’t make mistakes and is very personable and professional on the air. There’s no drama – he just comes in and takes care of business, and what a luxury that is as a news manager.”


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Sampson the therapy dog Story by Clint Kimberling Photos by Camille Watts

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or Columbus resident Brenda Holcombe, a trip to visit a friend in the hospital about five years ago opened a new chapter in her life. It was at the hospital where she saw a therapy dog for the first time. At first she was confused, remembering and telling me, “I had never heard of therapy dogs; I didn’t know there was such a thing.” But after she found out their purpose, she immediately said to herself, “That’s what I want, that’s what I want

to do.” At the time Holcombe was facing a transition in her life. A 25-year veteran of Columbus Public Schools, Holcombe was about to retire and was faced with the prospect of lots of free time on her hands. Additionally, Brenda, and her husband Steve, had owned dogs throughout their marriage but were in need of a new dog. Looking for a way to fill her time with a meaningful activity lead Brenda to Sampson, a black Labrador retriever. Sampson, who just turned five years old in May, has been with Brenda since he was six weeks old. His nine month therapy training and therapy certification process started immediately after he joined the Holcombe’s family. Therapy animals are most typically seen in places such as hospitals or retirement homes and used to bring affection, comfort and happiness to people in confined living situations. It’s been shown that contact with a therapy animal helps improve a patient’s physical, mental, emotional and social state, which in turn helps them better engage and participate in the process of their treatment and recovery.

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To be effective therapy dogs must enjoy human contact and excessive petting. And they must be comfortable staying in place for long periods. As such, Brenda says Sampson’s demeanor makes him an ideal therapy dog. “He’s not your typical lab,” she explains calling him gentle and low-key not like other Labradors that are known for high energy activity. As a certified therapy dog, Sampson (and Brenda) is now involved in several different therapies. He has a standing appointment on Thursdays at 2:00 with Trinity Place Retirement Community in Columbus. Brenda walks him from room to room to visit with the patients and he immediately puts a smile on everyone’s face. A lot of the residents have given up their pets to move in to the retirement community, and Sampson helps them reconnect with those pets and the positive memories. “They love it when Sampson comes to visit.” Another therapy Brenda and Sampson participate in involves a children’s reading program at the library. These sessions are available by appointment and involve Sampson sitting still as children practice reading aloud to him. In front of Sampson, children who may have difficulty reading are able to relax, focus on the words, and associate reading with something pleasant. And, of course, afterwards, they get to play with Sampson. 36 | TOWNANDGOWNMAGAZINE.COM

Sampson has also been known to visit local hospitals, although not as frequently. This is usually reserved for a patient Brenda knows. And, interestingly, Sampson has also served as a therapy dog to Brenda during her treatments for breast cancer. Despite his specialized training, Brenda say Sampson enjoys normal dog activities. Every morning they run 4 miles together by the Columbus Riverwalk where Sampson likes to jump in and swim in the river. He also likes to chase deer at the Holcombe’s camp every weekend. It’s clear that Brenda and Sampson have formed a special bond. They have become inseparable, as Sampson accompanies Brenda to a lot of her appointments and even goes to the grocery store. “He’s always right by my side; he lays at my feet all day and sleeps on foot of my bed. And I bet he’s heard every thought that’s gone through my mind over the last five years.” Brenda tells me her favorite thing about owning a therapy dog is being able to make a visible difference in the people she introduces to Sampson. “Seeing the smiles on their faces, both older and younger people, just seeing their faces light up gives me such joy. I see this as my way of donating to the community. This is how I’m choosing to give back.


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Judging a book by its cover: Susan O’Bryan’s July reads.

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uthors and publishing houses use book jackets and titles to catch our eye and draw us in. How else will their books stand out among the multitudes? Other than the author’s name, what makes one book “speak” to you as you browse the bookshelves or search the Internet? Sometimes the cover art grabs you, or perhaps it is a catchy title. For my summer reading, I’ve chosen books with “girl” or “girls” in the titles. After reading the psychological thriller, “The Girl on the Train,” by Paula Hawkins, I wanted to see how other authors choose to portray the female perspective. In case you missed it, Hawkins’ New York Times best-selling story is told through the eyes of three women with their own distorted agendas. A woman’s face appears below a line of palm trees on the cover


of “13 Stolen Girls” by Gil Reavill. The cover conveys a sense of female frailty beneath what others see as paradise. Layla Remington makes a return after Reavill introduced her in “13 Hollywood Apes.” This time she’s out to solve the mystery of 13 missing young women in Malibu and Los Angeles. The only lead seems to be the victims’ cult-like fascination with a series of steamy novels and the dark side of submission and domination fantasies. Reavill‘s writing is gritty, but also thought provoking. His heroine is determined to solve the case, but also better understand the motivation. Why do some women find gratification in giving themselves other to someone else’s control? Can they draw strength from another person’s power? The novel is due to be released Aug. 18. I don’t think this will be the last we hear of Layla Remington. Three female faces pictured amidst shattered glass draw readers to “Those Girls” by Chevy Stevens. You may recognize her name as the author of the New York Times best-selling “Still Missing.” Her latest novel follows three sisters as they escape first an abusive father and then two sadistic strangers. With help from an underground network, they change their names and try to put their lives back together. Fast forward 18 years, and the three have become four. The youngest sister now has a teenage daughter, Skylar, who wants to know what her mom and aunts are keeping from her. When one of the aunts goes

missing, Skylar is determined to save her. But it will take more the acts of a single person to put this shattered family together again. A doll’s mangled arms dominates the cover of Ronald Malfi’s “Little Girls.” Childhood is revisited, memories are resurrected and fear is reborn in Malfi’s ghost story. The award-winning author is known for his haunting literary style and memorable characters. Laurie brings her husband and daughter with her to settle affairs after her elderly father commits suicide. Something, or someone, keeps drawing her to the memories of the past, of a girl who died next door – and to secrets best never revealed. At first, Laurie thinks she’s imaging things. Or, like her father, is she slowly losing her mind? Is her daughter’s new playmate the reincarnation of Laurie’s long-ago friend? As she sadly learns, the past never really dies. A lonely female figure surrounded by huge trees draws readers to Sara Blaedel’s latest mystery thriller. The author has chosen a strong woman with a complicated past as the protagonist in “The Forgotten Girls.” The dark forests of Denmark set the tone for her novel about abandoned children and hidden crimes. The discovery of a woman’s body leads Louise Rick, the new commander of the Missing Persons Department, in search of the truth about “forgotten girls” at a

state mental institution. There’s no “girl” in the summer hit, “The Star Side of Bird Hill,” but you can expect a story as colorful as the island woman depicted on the cover. Girls and women carry the story in Naomi Jackson’s coming-of-age novel that captures the complexities of motherhood and childhood. Two sisters, Dionne and Phaedra, go to stay with their grandmother in Barbados, a place their mother once both hated and loved. When their mom dies in Brooklyn, the siblings search for love, acceptance and inner strength with the help of eccentric family and friends. Jackson has created colorful characters that readers easily picture in their minds. Struggles seem genuine, and the narrations feel real. As one review accurately said, the tale is “a book laced with pain but shimmering with hope.” As I now finish the last of my list of “girl” novels, I’m reminded of one very important thing – sometimes you can judge a book by its cover.


Made in Mississippi: TTT

DELTA BLUES RICE TTT

FEED THE BODY. FEEL THE SOUL. Story by Richelle Putnam Photos submitted


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n 1924, Newton W. Carver moved to Ruleville, Mississippi to farm the rich Delta soil. He drained the swampland, cut the forest and cleared the land with only mule and human power. Years later, Newton left his 300 acres to daughter Kathryn, who in 1949 had married Hugh M. Arant. Thus began the first generation of Arant farmers in Ruleville. When Hugh and Kathryn’s sons, Hugh, Jr. and David took over, they began the second generation. David Arant, Jr. often remembers his father harvesting until Christmas. Now, he believes all children should experience growing their own food and seeing the fruits of their labor. In fact, that is one reason David, Jr. left his engineering career and why he and wife Rebekkah moved their family back to the Delta to become the third generation of Arant farmers. “We are a family farm in every sense of the word,” said David, Jr, whose sons, though too young to help out, spend time at the shop and riding on the tractors and combines. “Of course, I have been farming for only a few years, but I have seen a great deal of change since the time I was a child. We used to run four combines to harvest our crop. Now we only run two and are done harvesting by October.” With the surge of local farmers markets and more restaurants utilizing locally grown produce, today’s farmers and consumers benefit from readily available fresh produce, decreased transportation costs and fuel expenses. “But the average consumer has more to learn about agriculture as a whole,” said David. “Without the farmer, we could not have fast food restaurants or our

modern grocery stores.” A portion of the Arant’s’ farm is devoted to growing rice and selling it directly to the consumer. The rest of their crops, which includes corn, soybeans and other varieties of rice, are sold to grain elevators and are used in different ways. For instance, soybeans are used in food products, crayons, biodiesel and other products. Corn is used for animal feed and for numerous applications in the food industry. Crop diversity helps with weed control and crop rotation is important for soil health and crop nutrients. Rice and corn supply organic matter to the soil, increasing water-holding capacity, nutrient availability and an overall increase in soil health. “The rice we grow is the rice we sell. We don’t have third-party growers supplying rice for your table,” said David. The seed planted is seed carried over from the previous year’s fields, which passes several inspections to ensure the highest quality. The varieties of rice are composed of different traits, explained David. Most large


mills mix varieties and that can change the flavor. Each variety of Delta Blues rice is milled separately in small batches and is not co-mingled with other varieties. This gives Delta Blues rice a consistent taste and cooking characteristics “These traits affect maturity time, yield, height, milling quality, grain size and taste, just to name a few. We have chosen the rice variety that we think is the best overall.” Delta Blues rice is grown in heavy clay soil, which holds moisture well, making it ideal for growing rice. They offer three products—long grain white rice, brown rice, and rice grits—available in one and two-pound retail bags and 25-pound food-service packages. Because Delta Blues products are milled to order, they don’t sit on the shelf a long time. All rice grown for consumption in the United States is nonGMO and gluten-free. The Arants take an active role in every aspect of the operation from the farming and milling to the bagging and marketing of the crop. “We place great value on quality and customer service. We want our customers to love our rice and to be pleased with each purchase.” Delta Blues also places great value on its employees. David believes a company is only as great as its weakest employee. Everybody has a job to do, and every person is valued no matter their job. One of the most valuable assets in any employee is a willingness to learn about the company. “But the best way for people to learn more about Delta Blues,” said David, “is to get a bag of rice and see how they like rice grown in the Mississippi Delta.” Delta Blues t-shirts can be bought on the website, in retail stores, and grocery stores across the state. A list of these retailers is on the website. http://deltabluesrice. com/ Follow Delta Blues Rice on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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Lending a helping paw: a closer look at Southeastern Guide Dogs

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Story by Richelle Putnam Photos submitted

n Town & Gown’s May 2015 issue, we met Austin Marshall and his hero dog Bentley, a Southeastern Guide Dog (SEGD). In this issue, we’re thrilled to highlight Southeastern Guide Dogs, the non-profit that makes hero canines like Bentley possible. Every year, SEGD places over 100 dogs into careers that benefit the visually impaired and veterans. It does so free of charge with no government funding. Suzy Wilburn, SEGD director of admissions and graduate services, is also a graduate of the SEGD. She and her guide dog have been together almost four years. His name is Carson. “He is my lifeline to normalcy,” said Suzy. An avid athlete growing up, Suzy was 27 when she was diagnosed with Stargardts, a genetic recessive disease that affects the central vision. “Ahead of me I see sparkles instead of objects.” Though Suzy had worked for Southeastern for over two years, she waited about eight years before getting a guide dog. “I didn’t want people to know that I was blind because that meant I was broken.”

For eight years, Suzy’s musician husband stopped his dream because Suzy needed him home all the time. He stayed home and took Suzy everywhere she needed to go. Now, because of Carson, he’s back to doing his dream and every night Suzy and Carson go for their quarter-mile walk. “Every dollar SEGD receives comes from private funding and the generosity of our community,” said Suzy. So, in order to educate people about SEGD, the organization holds various events. “One thing a lot of people don’t know about these events is that they benefit our dogs,” said Suzy. Puppy walking teaches a six-week to eight-week-old puppy that it’s okay for someone to be small or big or in a wheelchair. It teaches them that humans come in all shapes and sizes and life styles. It’s important for the public to know that, yes, it helps their heart, but it really helps SEGD puppies become well-rounded and successful. SEGD dogs spend from 14 to 15 months with a puppy raiser family before returning to campus to be


assessed. If they are not selected for the breeding colony, they are assessed for the stringent guide dog program. For dogs not chosen for this career, there are other programs they can qualify for. “There is our service dog program for veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These dogs are specially trained to mitigate post-traumatic stress and have made a huge impact in the lives of veterans,” said Suzy. Another program is the Canine Connection program that places the dog in a family with a visually impaired child. The dog is not a guide dog, but a family pet that helps the visually impaired child develop tools to make informed decisions when they turn 18. In the Ambassador Dog program, the dog works with a handler and becomes a representative for SEGD at engagements, functions or events. This allows people to see what a Southeastern guide dog looks like. The Emotional Support Animal program is new. It places a dog that’s not suitable for service or guide work with a veteran who needs emotional support. None of the dogs placed in these alternate careers have qualified for guide work, which is SEGD’s main goal. “If none of these programs are right for our dogs, then the person or the family who raised the dog is given the option of adopting them back,” said Suzy. “Sometime the puppy just needs to be a pet. We listen to our dogs and let them choose where they’re going to be happiest.” SEGD also has a public adoption program that requires a cost recovery fee, which runs around $3,000.00. This program has a two-year waiting list. If you go to a breeder, you’re going to pay about the same price, explained Suzy. What you receive from Southeastern is a full medical background that usually covers five generations, as well as hip and elbow x-rays and the dog’s medical, behavioral and training background. In addition to the many programs and events, SEGD offers various sponsorship opportunities, such as naming an SEGD puppy. “You get updates on how the dog is doing and where it ended up,” said Suzy. If it’s placed as a guide dog, you get to meet that person. The walkathons are the biggest and most popular events to raise money for SEGD. If you raise over a 1,000 dollars you get to name a puppy. You can also sponsor someone who comes to a SEGD class. “Being visually impaired shouldn’t cost you money to get a tool to help you,” said Suzy. The donations SEGD receives, no matter the amount, can profoundly change someone’s life. Suzy can speak for that. “Carson saves my life every day. Southeastern saves my life every day, not because they owe me anything, but because they are that generous,” said Suzy. “That’s what I want people to know.”


Delta Dogs Photos and intro provided by the University of Mississippi Press Photos taken by Maude Schuyler Clay

Delta Dogs is an award-winning collection of photographs from Maude Schuyler Clay (Delta Land) that captures the simple, desolate beauty of the Mississippi Delta. Author William Ferris says Clay’s photos offer “a unique, powerful window on the Delta landscape and the presence of dogs on it.” For the past fifteen years, Clay has been driving the back roads of Mississippi photographing her native Delta. In the darkroom of her hundred-year-old family homestead in Sumner, she has developed hundreds of images of eroding architecture, misty bayous, small stands of woods, and endless rows of crops. And dogs. Maude has spotted and captured the elemental spirit of dogs eking out existences from this majestic landscape. In her iconic book Delta Land, Clay introduced the “Dog in the Fog,” the muscular lab standing watch in the mist and trees of Cassidy Bayou. This photo became widely recognized, and Clay wanted to further explore the relationship between the land and the numerous dogs populating its fields, bayous, and abandoned spaces. Featuring 70 duotone photographs, Delta Dogs celebrates the canines who roam this most storied corner of Mississippi. Some of Clay’s photographs feature lone dogs dwarfed by kudzu-choked trees and hidden among the brambles adjacent to plowed fields. In others, dogs travel in amiable packs, trotting toward a shared but mysterious adventure. Her Delta dogs are by turns soulful, eager, wary, resigned, menacing, contented.











On the Menu: ยบ Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

ยบ Pork and Pineapple Teriyaki Kebabs

ยบPepper Jack Stuffed Burgers with Bourbon Caramelized Onions

Recipes and Photos by: Lisa Bynum


Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms · 4 large Portobello mushroom caps · 3 tablespoons olive oil · 1 tablespoon lemon juice · 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped · 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme leaves 1. Preheat a grill for medium heat. 2. Gently wipe the outside of the mushroom with a damp paper towel. Remove and discard the stems. Then gently scrape out the inside (or gills) of the mushrooms using the back of a spoon. 3. In a small bowl, whisk together 56 | TOWNANDGOWNMAGAZINE.COM

· Salt and pepper, to taste · 2 ounces sundried tomatoes, chopped · 4 ounces of plain feta cheese · 4 ounces sliced Buffalo-style mozzarella cheese

olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and dried thyme. Season with salt and pepper 4. Brush the mushrooms inside and out with the olive oil mixture. Place mushrooms on the grill and cook until the edges start to turn brown, about 5-7 minutes. 5. Remove mushrooms from the grill.

Spread an even layer of chopped tomatoes on each mushroom. Follow with a layer of feta and a layer of mozzarella cheese 6. Return the mushrooms to the grill. Grill for approximately 12 minutes or until the cheese melts. 7. Serve warm.


Pork and Pineapple Teriyaki Kebabs For the teriyaki sauce: · ¼ cup water · 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar · 3 tablespoons soy sauce · 1 tablespoon lemon juice · 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

· 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper · 1 clove garlic, finely chopped For the kebabs: · 1 1/2 pounds boneless trimmed pork shoulder or pork

1. Combine all ingredients for the teriyaki sauce mixture. 2. Place pork loin pieces in a shallow bowl or resealable plastic bag. Pour ¾ of the teriyaki marinade over top. Reserve the remaining marinade for basting. Marinate for at least 1 hour, no more than 24 hours.

loin, cut into 1-inch chunks · 1 pineapple, cut into 1-inch cubes (pre-cut pineapple from the produce department works too!) · 7-10 wooden skewers, soaked in water

3. Prepare a grill for medium high heat. 4. Thread alternating pieces of pork and pineapple onto the skewers. 5. Place kebabs on the grill and cook for 14 minutes, basting and turning halfway through.


Pepper Jack Stuffed Burgers with Bourbon Caramelized Onions For the burgers: · 2 pounds ground beef · ½ cup grated Pepper Jacks cheese · Salt and pepper to taste For the bourbon caramelized onions: · 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1. Divide the burger meat into eight equal portions. 2. Form a patty from each portion, about four inches in diameter and about ½ inch thick. 3. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of grated cheese in the middle of four patties, leaving about ¼ margin around the outside. 4. Place one of the remaining four patties on top of a patty with cheese. 58 | TOWNANDGOWNMAGAZINE.COM

· Half a medium onion, very thinly sliced · ¼ teaspoon salt · ½ teaspoon granulated sugar · ¼ cup bourbon · 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard · ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Gently press the meat together so that it forms a single patty. 5. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Grill burger for approximately 15 minutes, flipping about halfway through, until burger reaches desired doneness. 6. Top with bourbon caramelized onions. 7. In a medium skillet, heat butter over medium high heat. Add the onions, reduce heat to medium, and

sauté until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. 8. Add the salt and sugar and continue to sauté for an additional 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 9. Slowly pour in the bourbon and add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Cover skillet, reduce heat to low, and allow to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.


Fit Mama: The importance of keeping up with your workout routine during and after pregnancy

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Story by Lacy Arant Photos by Sarah Tyner

magine this: You’ve been working out super hard – finally seeing results. Just when you’re on a roll unusual fatigue and nausea lead to taking a pregnancy test, and it’s positive. What happens to all of that hard work? Now that there is a baby growing in your belly, should you just give it all up and make a plan to get back on the fitness wagon after you have your baby? Think again! Studies show that even a little bit of exercise while pregnant can go a long way during your pregnancy and post-partum. One of the most important parts about exercising during pregnancy is to do so under the direction of someone who is trained in prenatal and postnatal therapy. It is vitally important to listen to your body through all of the changes that come with each week of pregnancy. You will

find that you may have perfect hip strength and stability at the end of week 27, only to wake up the next morning to find that daily tasks have become far more difficult. This is where a knowledgeable instructor comes in – someone to say, “Take it slow today” or “Really push yourself in this series!” Understandably, beginning an exercise regime at the beginning of pregnancy can be a bit daunting. Your body is changing and will continue to change long after you give birth. So where do you start? Do you lift heavy weights while you can? Endure hours of cardio to get your heart read or should you just stick to your regular workout routine until it’s time to put away those running shoes for the next few month? Every woman’s body is different, which is what makes Pilates the


perfect answer to all of these questions. It may be surprising to learn that Pilates is one of the most suitable exercises for a mom-to-be. This is because it strengthens the stomach, back and pelvic floor muscles without straining other joints. These are the same muscles that can sometimes be a problem during and after pregnancy. Most of the workouts involve strengthening the core of the body where the abdominal muscles work together with the small of the back and the pelvic floor. It also trains the body to be flexible and balanced while helping to improve strength and coordination. Pilates workouts also strengthen and tone these postural muscles that are used to carry the baby, help delivery and get you back in shape after the birth. They can help to make your labor easier and recover your figure! These exercises are a non-sweat, relaxing workout that you can do whether you’re one or 31 weeks pregnant. These workout sessions can be beneficial to your baby as well. Pilates is a gentle exercise that will encourage

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extra oxygen and nutrients to flow to your unborn child, and the breathing techniques learned can contribute to a smoother delivery. The strength one can gain through this method is not only incredible for pregnancy, but helps the body bounce back quickly after bringing your little one into the world. Look at it this way: the stronger you are going into and during pregnancy; the stronger it will be after. This can be applied to every muscle. Much of parenting involves lifting up and bending forward so strong arms and a strong back are vital. Below are some of my favorite preand post- natal workouts. A note to moms-to-be: As you are already aware your body is changing and will continue to change for quite some time. It is very important to listen to your body and not push yourself. Drink water throughout the duration of any workout and, as always, you want to consult with your doctor before beginning any new exercise during pregnancy.

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Fourth of July Fashion Photos by Divian Conner Hair by Mia Salon Make up by Merle Norman Luna Bella


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Top and red swim trunks from LA Green. Photography by Divian Conner


Blue top from LA Green, white hat and white shorts from Susan’s Hallmark. Hair provided by Mia Salon and make up provided by Merle Norman Luna Bella and photography by Divian Conner


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COME BE A PART OF OUR GROUP!

A stroke can affect different people in different ways. OCH’s Speech Language Pathologists host a bi-monthly outreach program to provide support for patients and family members affected by stroke. The program offers information through guest speakers and group interaction with a goal of providing education and support, while emphasizing prevention.

Walk-ins are always welcome! 10 a.m.–Noon • Community Room Snacks and Beverages Skill-Building Challenges Open Discussion Learn about Stroke Prevention Win Prizes!

If you or someone you love has experienced communicative, cognitive, or swallowing difficulties as a result of stroke, please join us! Visit www.och.org for upcoming class dates and additional information I (662) 615-3020