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FEATURES

contents

A Bond Forged in Diamonds 20

Through a Broader Lens

Top 10 Under 40

From Hinesville to Hollywood 26

Two friends, one dream

26

32

One travelin‘ gal won’t forget where she’s from

Liberty County’s youngest influential movers and shakers

45

Local moviemakers take up social causes through film

DEPARTMENTS

Life’s a Peach 64

4

Love ‘em or Leave ‘em: A perfect system for spring cleaning

Local Heroes

Coastal Cravings

Rest & Relaxation

I’m From around Here

16

52

59

66

Bettering the World One Bundle at a Time: Charlotte Foxx provides hope in a bundle

Hottest Dogs in the South: Local restaurants dish up a new twist on the hotdog

Isle of Wight, a State of Mind: It’s 5 o’clock somewhere in Liberty County

Henrietta Relaford Cooking queen: One cook reflects on her hometown

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Editor’s Inbox...

Before the coffee is made and the phone starts to ring,

LIBERTY HINESVILLE & THE HISTORIC COAST

life

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91869 31313 6 1 LIBERTY LIFE MAGAZINE

www.libertylifemagazine.com

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Learning Something New Whether it’s spending a few short minutes on the porch just before dinner or enjoying the light breeze of an afternoon boatride, WaterWays Township is a place for making memories. With more than six miles of marsh frontage and over three miles of navigable lagoons, WaterWays offers relaxed lowcountry living combined with the excitement of amenities – including a signature fishing experience designed and implemented by Bill Dance and plans for a marina along Redbird Creek, a championship golf course, swim and fitness club, and tennis facilities. Homesites are currently available starting at $69,000 and homes from the low $200s are coming soon. Find your moment at WaterWays.

For more information, visit WaterWaysTownship.com ©2011 Savannah Land Holdings, LLC. The features and amenities described and depicted herein are based upon current development plans, which are subject to change without notice. Actual development may not be as currently proposed. No guarantee is made that the features, amenities and facilities described will be built or, if built, will be of the same type, size or nature as described.

6

As a longtime resident of Liberty County, you begin to think you know all that there is about the town in which you reside. As I read through the magazine, I am reminded about the things I love about my home, like the interesting people and places. Since I’m a football fan, it was great reading about the history of the Bradwell Tigers football team. A little something I didn’t know and it was just an all-around awesome read. It’s been awhile since I have managed to read a magazine all the way through, so I must say thanks a lot and keep up the good work! the drew Hinesville, Ga.

Around the Water Cooler A coworker just brought me the Liberty Life magazine and it is absolutely beautiful! I love it! Just wanted to let you know. Sasha McBrayer Savannah, Ga.

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Great! The new magazine is great! As a newcomer to this area, I found the articles and information very helpful. It is a quality publication, full of great insight and history of the area. Keep up the good work. I look forward to the next issue!

On the cover Photography by Aliyah Dastour Art Direction: Katrina Sage

Kristin Livingston Hinesville, Ga.

Magazine looks amazing! The magazine looks great! You guys are doing a wonderful job — it looks just wonderful. Angela Hendrix Richmond Hill, Ga.

Liberty Life expands I think it turned out great. I never thought about the “people reading it” side. I’ve had so many people tell me they read [my] article and loved it. That means your magazine is getting a lot of readers here in Richmond Hill and Savannah! Thanks again. Nancy Auclair Richmond Hill, Ga.

Way to go, Hokey Enjoyed the recent article on my uncle, former Bradwell head coach, Hokey Jackson, “Gridiron Giants” in the October 2010 issue of Liberty Life magazine. Becky Hendren Athens, Ga.

Short and sweet

Photographed above: Top 10 Under 40 recipient Rachel Hatcher sports fun spring attire while shooting in one of Hinesville’s newest hotels, La Quinta Inn. To see more pictures of the Top 10 and the modern hotel, check out pg. 32. We are sorry to say ... It is with regret that we must admit we are not perfect. The following errors in previous issues are corrected below:

Savannah Christian Church Hearing God’s Word presented in creative, clear, and relevant ways can change more than just your Sunday mornings. explore your faith and Come explo experience Jesus in a real and personal way. Watch your children have fun and grow spiritually in a community of Christ-minded peers.

Fall issue: Ghost Writer & Co. was written by Seraine Page and photographed by Zac Henderson. Bradwell Institute was listed as the only high school in Liberty County in the Gridiron Giants story. It was the only high school in the city.

Love it! Deidre Howell Hinesville, Ga.

Vsit

Winter issue: Joshua Jackson was not listed as a copy editor.

55 Al Henderson Blvd. Located off Hwy 17 and Little Neck Rd. SavannahChristian.com

Let us know what you think:

For EDITORIAL INQUIRIES, e-mail us at editor@libertylifemagazine.com or shoot us a fax at 912368-6329. Submissions should include complete contact information. Liberty Life reserves the right to edit letters for clarity. We also welcome your news. Please send press releases and media kits to info@libertylifemagazine.com. Hinesville & The Historic Coast

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LIBERTY life PUBLISHER S. Marshall Griffin: mgriffin@libertylifemagazine.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Katrina M. Sage: ksage@libertylifemagazine.com MANAGING EDITOR Seraine Page: spage@libertylifemagazine.com PRODUCTION MANAGER Connie Parker: cparker@libertylifemagazine.com COPY EDITOR Joshua Jackson ADVERTISING SALES AND MARKETING DIRECTOR Cynthia Barnes: cbarnes@libertylifemagazine.com ADVERTISING ART DIRECTOR Ekaterina Wilkerson: kwilkerson@libertylifemagazine.com ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Diana Searight: dsearight@libertylifemagazine.com Katrina M. Sage: ksage@libertylifemagazine.com Connie Parker: cparker@libertylifemagazine.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Debbie Brown,Frenchi Jones, Jen Alexander McCall, Seraine Page CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Morgan Eddington, Aliyah Dastour, Marguerite West OFFICE STAFF Business Manager Kathryn Fox Distribution Manager Johnny Brown Liberty Life magazine: 125 S. Main St. Hinesville, GA 31313 912.876.0156 www.libertylifemagazine.com COMING SOON info@libertylifemagazine.com Published by Morris Newspaper Corporation of Hinesville, Inc. Liberty Life magazine is a publication of Morris Newspaper Corporation of Hinesville, Inc. For SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES, BACK ISSUE ORDERS and ADVERTISING INQUIRIES call 912.876.0156. For EDITORIAL INQUIRIES, e-mail editor@libertylifemagazine.com. We welcome your news. Please send news releases and media kits to info@libertylifemagazine.com. Copyright 2010 by Morris Newspaper Corporation of Hinesville, Inc. All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced in any form without written consent of the publisher. 8

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ATIN COMLPEX ON THE WEB ne

Editor’s Letter er has made her own way in the world of entertainment but as someone who understands the value of home, she always makes time to return to her roots. Follow three fi lmmakers through their journey of fighting for causes they believe in by showcasing their messages at fi lm festivals as close as Macon and as far away as Seattle. As we produce every issue, I am always amazed at the fresh talent and philanthropic people who reside right in this county. Though times are tough, I believe it is the faith of the people, the charm of the area and the strength of family that keeps our community going strong. Because Liberty County is so diverse, we’re always looking for innovative ways to showcase the community to our readers. Our intention for this magazine and all future issues is to focus the stories on what matters most to people in this area. We’re committed to bringing you lively content that reveals the true meaning of Liberty Life. So kick off your shoes, soak up the sun and enjoy the content in our spring issue.

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hank you for picking up Liberty Life magazine’s one-year anniversary issue! Because our readers have been so faithful, we have been able to deliver top-notch content for the past 365 days. As the days grow warmer — bring on the shorts and tank tops! — we recognize that spring is about renewal and inspiration. It’s the time of year when we embrace new beginnings, creative thinking and beautiful weather. This issue is full of stories about the people you’ve seen around — some you may have heard of, others, maybe not. At any rate, our staffers picked several of the most interesting, influential and intelligent people who’ve helped to make our little corner of coastal Georgia what it is today. Spring also means we can once again enjoy America’s favorite pastime, baseball, which is most appealing when served with its traditional sidekick, a hotdog. While putting together this issue, our staff discovered often-unexplored Liberty County subcultures where we got to know people who share a love for good Southern food and camaraderie in its truest form. One adventurous dream-

With love and liberty for all,

Seraine Page Managing editor

infusion P.S. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Feel free to e-mail us about anything you would like to see featured in the pages of our magazine. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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local heroes

Bettering the World One Bundle at a Time Written by Seraine Page Photo provided by March of Dimes

Looking for comfort: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half a million babies in the U.S. are born premature each year.

T “Their face says a thousand words and I know that I’m helping them, which is amazing that I’ve walked out of there changing a life in some way.” —Charlotte Foxx

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hirteen-year-old Charlotte Foxx has a lot going on in her life. Between balancing online class work, dance and voice lessons, launching a music career and founding a national charity called Bundles for Babies, the list of things the young Liberty County resident can do appears endless — even mind-boggling. Her charity, Bundles for Babies, partnered with March of Dimes in 2008 to help provide education and resources for families with premature babies. Donations for the charity have come in by the truckloads, from Savannah to Nashville and many places in between. “With this charity, we want to comfort the families,” Foxx says. “I also want to make young teenagers aware of prematurity so they are prepared for when they are ready to have children. We also provide bundles of little blankets and gifts for the families who are basically living out

of the hospital and things like that just to help them and make them feel like there is hope and people that can help them.” When she was 11, Foxx founded the charity based on a deeply personal experience, something she says she will never forget. Foxx’s mother, Samone Norsworthy, lost one premature child before Charlotte was born. Faith Terese, who would have been the oldest of the siblings, was born at 24 weeks. She weighed just 1 pound and survived for only five hours. “Understand that you cannot control what may happen, and have faith and trust in the doctors that are working with your child,” Norsworthy says. “Do research and prepare for the NICU stay as best you can and use the resources that the hospital makes available to families. Remember that every day is a triumph.” Norsworthy also had Georgia, Charlotte and Tillman, who was born 10 weeks premature and weighed 3 pounds. “It was terrifying because I had gone through it before. Every single day it was a struggle,” Norsworthy says while fighting back

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tears. “I think it had a profound impact on both Charlotte and her sister. I remember Charlotte saying, ‘He’s smaller than my baby doll.’” Foxx watched as her little brother struggled for life during his first year — he was put on oxygen and needed several blood transfusions — and often felt hopelessness overwhelm her. “We were all just hoping and praying that he would get better,” she remembers. Years after the loss of her oldest sister and birth of her younger brother, Foxx’s heart broke after hearing her family recalling the pain that comes with prematurity and was her sole inspiration for the charity. As a result of founding the nonprofit organization, she often goes to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah to visit with families. Tillman, now 8, is full of energy and is healthy as can be. “I feel like he’s an example. You can overcome it and you can grow out of it and it’s going to be OK,” she says. When she’s not logging hours with her charity, the teen philanthropist also is a singer, dancer and actress who has lived in New York and Los Angeles. “I’m most comfortable when I’m on stage,” Foxx says. Before she ever received any professional training, Charlotte and her sister would put on dinner show performances for their parents — something that spiked her love for the theater industry even as a 4-year-old. She trained with a Rockette while in New York and also worked with music producers in the industry to build her image as an artist. While in the Big Apple, she also had an opportunity to star as the fairy godmother in the off-Broadway production, “Cinderella.” Later this year, Foxx plans to link her foundation to concert events as a way to boost donations. “I’ve already had some performances where all the proceeds go to the March of Dimes, which I’ve partnered with my charity, or to Bundles to Babies so I can donate to these smaller hospitals

across the state because I’ve already been to some major hospitals,” Foxx says. “I want to get to the smaller hospitals that may not be as popular or may not have as much money.” Even though she just finished taping her first music video, “One More,” in Atlanta and her CD comes out in July, Foxx insists she will stay grounded. She doesn’t desire to turn out like the next Miley Cyrus or have a rocky future like Britney Spears. Sometimes, she says, her career seems surreal, but mostly, it is just a business for her — something she is good at. “I always loved theater because I could be someone else, but I could always put my own little spin on it — the little Charlotte spin of my own little character,” Foxx remarks. If her music career doesn’t pan out like she hopes, she already has two back-up plans: environmental science or marine biology. But, above all her dreams, her definitive goal is to see a cure for prematurity. “That’s the ideal outcome. However, in reality, I will continue to work with my charity for as long as premature births occur,” she says. “I plan on working on this charity and with the families and babies that are suffering from premature births for as long as this issue exists.” Even with a possibility of shooting to superstar status at 13, Foxx says that helping others is what she loves. The teenager claims what makes her hard work worthwhile is seeing the families she touches with her charity. “Seeing their faces after I’ve helped them in any way, I can see that they really appreciate it and even if they don’t respond, I don’t want a ‘thank you,’ I just need to see their face — and their face says it all,” she muses. “Their face says a thousand words and I know that I’m helping them, which is amazing that I’ve walked out of there changing a life in some way.”

Foxx, 13, uses her music as a way to further her philanthropic cause.

LL

SEND HOPE IN A BUNDLE Bundles for Babies is a nonprofit that donates blankets, clothing and other items as a show of support for families who have premature babies. The charity is chartered in seven states and four countries. Donations may be made through the organization’s Facebook page or at www.bundlesforbabies.weebly.com. Hinesville & The Historic Coast

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A bond stronger than diamonds: Aaron Hoffer and Justin Eaton, roommates and teammates at East Georgia College, have stayed friends since their playing days at Liberty County High School.

bball

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A Bond Forged

in Diamonds

The dust of the mound. The grip of the bat. The warmth of the glove. The sights, sounds and senses of baseball are more than a passing hobby for local standouts Aaron Hoffer and Justin Eaton. Written by Jen Alexander McCall, photography by Aliyah Dastour

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Back to the mound: Justin Eaton puts his game face on while winding up a pitch during an LCHS baseball game. 22

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B

aseball has been central to the young men’s lives and to their friendship, and the 20-year-olds continue to strengthen their bonds as college players. Hoffer showed an interest as a pre-schooler and followed his brother onto the field, encouraged by their father. “From the age of 3 to about 9, my dad and my siblings would just go out and hit the ball around,” he says. “When I turned 10, I started playing yearround.” He began steady play as a pitcher with a stint as shortstop before rotating to catcher in junior varsity play. “My brother was a pitcher, and we worked well together,” he says of his talent for working behind the plate. As a true freshman Hoffer endured surgery, but now is ready to play as a red-shirt freshman for East Georgia College, where he and Eaton are roommates and teammates. “Baseball is what got us together, though we didn’t start playing for the same team until we were 15 or 16 at [Liberty County High School],” he admits. Eaton’s talent for baseball has been groomed over several years, he claims. “I was 4 years old when I started playing organized T-ball. I played (recreation league) ball to age 14. When I was 12 we went to state and finished second. At 14, we won district and advanced to state,” Eaton says. In high school he was a starter all four years, a likely testament to his long-honed skills.

YEARS

Water break: Aaron Hoffer takes a rest during an LCHS Panthers game.

EELLENT

YEARS

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Concerts Festivals Art Classes and More. Visit us online at www.hinesvillearts.com to find out about local arts & culture opportunities.

imagine. create. inspire.

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The young player, a southpaw pitcher and a fellow red-shirt freshman, acknowledges the challenges of college play are more than what he experienced in high school. “The training is more intense and there’s more arm care … icing it all the time is really important,” he says. Both have pondered the possibility of entering the professional mix after college, holding tight to their love of the game under a much bigger spotlight. “I’m hoping to go pro,” Hoffer says. “The game might change in some aspects, but it’s pretty much the same game I’ve been playing all along.” Eaton is confident he has the mental fortitude for the professional field but isn’t certain his pitching style is what pro scouts are eager to pick up. “I pitch to contact; I don’t throw the ball really hard, but I’ve got good velocity,” he explains. “I would love to go pro; I think I have the right mindset. But my style isn’t what they’re looking for.” Whether their playing days are coming to a close in a few short years is uncer-

tain, but these young men are certain that baseball remains a fixture in the national landscape and they encourage up-andcomers to pursue playing — whether it’s for fun or professionally. “I know a lot of people who would rather watch a baseball game [than any other sport],” Hoffer remarks. “It’s one of America’s greatest sports. I would tell kids to just keep working hard, trying to get better because there’s always someone else out there who is better and who’s going to keep working.” Eaton notes that while baseball doesn’t draw the crowds like it used to, it will always be America’s favorite pastime. “Baseball is a lot like church; people go, but they don’t always understand what’s going on,” he says. He encourages kids to play whether they are serious about advancing or just want to enjoy the game for all that it is. “A lot of people want to go pro and if they don’t get there, they don’t know what to do. But it’s a fun game, no matter what.” LL

A trip home: Friends Justin Eaton and Aaron Hoffer stand together on their old playing field during a weekend trip back to Liberty County.

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“Wanna see my moonwalk?” Twenty-eight -yearold Meredith Laine laughs while showing off her moonwalk skills to photographer Morgan Eddington and staff.

From Hinesville To HollywooD Written by Frenchi Jones

s

ome people are born with it all — the beauty, the charisma, the positive, happy-go-lucky attitude. Meredith Laine is one of those people who can fill the room with so much energy she could make a balloon pop. For the past six years, she has bounced between Hollywood and Hinesville, relentlessly chasing her dreams in the broadcasting field. Although she only makes it back home a few times a year, she says Hinesville has shaped her in a way that carries over into her everyday life. Money isn’t a motivator for her to strike it big in the glamorously depicted L.A.; as long as she has enough to pay her bills, she is happy. “The way I see it, the more money you have, the more problems you have,” she figures. “It’s like growing up in Hinesville definitely instilled those hometown values that I’ve carried on.” This month she will start taping the pilot for a new reality TV series called “The Journalista Diaries” that will focus on the lives of six young broadcast journalists, an opportunity she hopes will continue to open doors. Laine also just signed on with a broadcast news agency and is paired with an agent who is working to get her a job on a morning show and already has had offers pop up from South Carolina to Montana. But unless her heart is in it, she won’t go for it. L.A. gives her everything she wants, and she won’t take anything less than what she deserves. Even though she has her own stylist and gets to drive down Route 1 daily, she doesn’t exude an elitist demeanor. As for this 28-year-old woman’s definition of success? “Happiness. Success is not measured by monetary value or possessions. It’s something that you can feel inside.”

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“The whole entertainment industry always fascinated me, whether it is in front of or behind the camera. I even wanted to be an ice skater at one time,” Laine SAYS. “If I could sing, I would have gone straight to Broadway.” —Meredith Laine

Meredith Laine (Boggs) said while she has always been a dreamer, she has never been the type to count sheep and let them pass her by. “I’m one of those spontaneous people that when opportunity comes, I’m going to take it,” Laine says. “I think I learned that from my mom. She’s always worked hard to get what she wanted, never letting anything get in her way.” A product of a laboring military family, with her dad, Larry Boggs, serving more than 20 years in the U.S. Army, the Alabama native said she and her brother, Tim, were groomed to be independent. “I knew what it felt like to be the new girl in town, but now I am not afraid to meet anyone,” she says. Laine has traveled to Germany and Canada and has studied acting at the School of Film and TV in New York. She resides in

She says Laine was fit for the spotlight at a young age — a premonition that would eventually take her from Hinesville to Hollywood and land her the role of Audrey in the feature film “War of the Worlds,” directed by C. Thomas Howell. “Her father and I always supported her dreams,” Boggs says, “but who could have known what would really happen? I don’t think she could or anyone could have at the time.” Laine loved ballet and anything that would give her the chance to express herself, Boggs remembers. “When she was little, she and her friends would gather in the living room and they would have a microphone,” she says. “But it really hit me when she was in plays at Georgia Southern [University]. That’s when I really knew.”

“I knew what it felt like to be the new girl in town, but now I am not afraid to meet anyone.” -Meredith Laine

Los Angeles, California, a place she has called home, on and off, for the past six years. “It’s a whole new world out here,” Laine says. “From Target to Gucci, I can get it here. If I want sushi or a down-home burger, it’s all easily accessible.” And while strong family values bind her to Liberty County — where her father retired after serving most of his military career at Fort Stewart and her mom, a house wife-turned-prime-real-estate-broker, sells to some of the county’s most influential — Laine’s mother says her daughter’s outlook on life wouldn’t allow her to be tied down. “She always was somewhat worldly,” remarks her mother, Elaine Boggs. “She’s never been the kind of girl to be held back. If something isn’t working for her, she looks around to find something that can work. If one door shuts, she’s looking for another door.” It didn’t take long for Boggs to figure out what would work best for her daughter. 28

She also studied broadcast journalism at GSU. It was there that she said she remembered her first love and found a few others. “The whole entertainment industry always fascinated me, whether it is in front of or behind the camera. I even wanted to be an ice skater at one time,” says Laine. “If I could sing, I would have gone straight to Broadway.” God may not have given Laine the voice of a Broadway star, but he did give her the intelligence, the beauty and the heart of one, say her mother and her former broadcasting professor, Melanie Stone. Both claim Laine’s charming persona and relentless drive is noticeable to everyone. “The thing about Meredith is that she really knew what she wanted,” Stone says. “She was always a good student and always very level-headed. I think that the initiative she has taken shows that. ”

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During college Laine earned her realestate license and later earned a spot in the Hinesville Board of Realtors’ Million Dollar Club, a distinguished award given to local realtors whose total home sales were more than $1 million for the year. Laine earned the honor in 2006. With money from a part-time job teaching ballet, her real-estate sales and help from her parents, Laine competed in several scholarship pageants, including the Miss Georgia USA Pageant. She says the move was designed to boost her public speaking skills and her confidence. “I remember when I first asked to be put in beauty pageants and my mom would tell me, ‘Maybe after you get your braces off, honey,’” she recollects. “The funny thing is … I never saw myself as the prettiest girl in school.” But the judges of the 2003 Miss Georgia USA pageant thought otherwise. Laine was a semi-finalist in the pageant and awarded “Most Photogenic.” She was scouted for Hollywood by pageant judge Keith Lewis, who extended an offer for her to work with his talent agency. “I will never forget the day,” Boggs says, “a long time ago I promised her that we would take a trip to Hollywood. ’Til this day, I wish I had never made that promise, but she deserves it. She’s worked very hard to get where she is.” To those who think Laine was set up for success by her parents, Boggs says, “you can give anyone the tools, and that doesn’t mean they’re going to use them.” “Where I would be scared to death to move to such a big city at such a young age, she saw it as no big deal,” she says. “I remembered when I first took her to New York. I cried like a little baby. She was just fine. She knows what she wants and goes after it.” That was always Laine’s view on life, Laine says, thanks to her mother. “She’s one of the most amazing and inspiring women I have ever known,” she says. “She gets along with everybody.” Perception is everything, especially in Hollywood, a place where good looks, paired with hard work and talent, could land a girl the role of her life — or, at the least, a very hot date — which Meredith admits she had, with “American Pie” star Chris Klein. Laine says she seeks every opportunity to make her dream come true. She went to casting calls, parties and worked as a bottle girl at some of L.A.’s elite night clubs. At Hinesville & The Historic Coast

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times, she says, she felt like her hard work wasn’t enough. “It’s a very tough business,” Laine remarks. “Some days you feel [your dream is] so close and you get really excited, and other times it seems so far away that it gets you down.” She acknowledges that she loves to take advantage of having everything at her fingertips and befriending some of Hollywood’s most talented, but says she doesn’t like being taken advantage of by the Hollywood acting lifestyle, where others seem to be in control of her destiny. Last year, she decided to go back into broadcast journalism by starting up her own YouTube channel, titled Meredith Laine LA. She uses the channel to showcase “everyday people doing everyday things in L.A.” “I decided I wanted to do something I could put all of my effort into and see results,” she says. “If I can just take one person and inspire them to give back to their community, then I have exceeded my job.” As far as her mother is concerned, Laine has already done that. “She’s just an amazing girl. I just wish she would at least move back to the East Coast,” she says. “I miss her.” Laine acknowledges that she misses her family and friends tremendously but doesn’t see herself moving back to Georgia. She plans to make her Hollywood dreams come true. Until she’s picked up by a major news network, Laine, who has no plans to settle down or settle for less than she deserves, says she will continue dreaming big in Hollywood. “If you’d asked me 10 years ago where would I be, I wouldn’t have said here,” she muses, “but I know with the right tools and opportunities I will be successful, and that’s a great gift I received from my family. Mediocrity is not in our blood.” LL

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Meredith Laine takes a break while shooting on set for Liberty Life’s spring issue.

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T H E

F I R S T

E V E R

top 10 under 40 PRESENTED BY LIBERTY LIFE MAGAZINE SPONSORED BY LIBERTY COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WRITTEN BY JEN ALEXANDER MCCALL AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY ALIYAH DASTOUR

In a county whose history pre-dates the nation itself, it is the young up-andcomers making the biggest impact on the future of Coastal Georgia through work, volunteer efforts and artistic pursuits. These 10 men and women are the inaugural class of Liberty County’s Top 10 Under 40, sponsored by the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce. They represent areas of law, medicine, youth development, the arts and more, and their achievements will be honored by the chamber this month.

Rachel Hatcher Planning manager, Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission Director of planning activities, HAMPO Transit Coordinator, Liberty Transit AGE: 28 NOTEWORTHY: Last year she was named Employee of the Year at LCPC and has been recognized for her efforts with the transit system. She also achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional Status. EDUCATION: Bradwell Institute, the University of Georgia’s School of Environmental Design TIME IN LIBERTY COUNTY: Born and raised, but returned in March 2009 after time in north Georgia

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WHY SHE DOES WHAT SHE DOES: “Growing up I was exposed to a lot of new construction; one parent was all about the new and one was about preservation and aesthetics. Where I was, we were planning small cities. When the recession hit Atlanta, new construction took a dive so I was looking for areas of growth. What’s better than coming home? Landscape architecture is master planning … [in master planning] we are like the conductors of the conversations.” WHAT SHE WANTS FOR LIBERTY COUNTY: “I would like to see balance, responsible growth and preservation. When you’re not building, you have time to evaluate needs; it’s more taking a step back from implementation. A lot of people confuse development with new construction.” WHAT SHE DOES FOR FUN: “We bought a historic home so we spend time restoring and preserving it, and we spend time hanging out with my family – my parents and nine siblings! We’re all still a tight-knit family.”

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CONGRATULATIONS

TO THE TOP TEN UNDER FORTY!

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912.369.3000

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Dr. Christina Berengeur General Surgery, Liberty Regional Medical Center AGE: 32 NOTEWORTHY: Professional Societies-American College of Surgeons, Resident Member; Southeastern Surgical Congress, resident member; Southern Medical Association, resident member; Resident of the Year Award 2009-2010, Memorial University Medical Center. Research Award, Department of Surgical Education, Memorial University Medical Center EDUCATION: Chief resident, general surgery; Memorial University Medical Center. Doctorate of medicine; Mercer University School of Medicine; Bachelor of Science; major: neuroscience and behavioral biology, Emory College of Emory University. Associates of Arts; major: general studies, Oxford College of Emory University TIME IN LIBERTY COUNTY: Seven months WHY SHE DOES WHAT SHE DOES: “I first became interested in medicine as a small child watching my grandfather care for others. He was a physician in Cuba and fled to the U.S. for political asylum in the 1960s. I would play with his black doctor’s bag and was fascinated by the instruments in it. As time progressed, I knew that I wanted to help people also. I chose medicine as a career, and particularly surgery, because it is a way in which I can make a difference in peoples’ lives, help them feel better and potentially save lives. I could not think of a more fulfilling and satisfying career.” WHAT SHE WANTS FOR LIBERTY COUNTY: “I would like to see the continued growth in the county. This is an amazing community with concerned and progressive leaders. In regards to health care, I anticipate more specialized care being provided here at the hospital. People should be able to get good health care in their hometown and they can here. I envision expansions to both the physical structure of the hospital and services provided.” WHAT SHE DOES FOR FUN: “I have a great passion for Georgia Bulldogs college football. I also enjoy fishing, swimming, cooking and reading. I love spending time with my family and friends.”

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Matthew Barrow Vice President and Civil Engineer, PC Simonton & Associates AGE: 29 NOTEWORTHY: Board member, Liberty County YMCA Registered professional engineer EDUCATION: Effingham County High Georgia Institute of Technology TIME IN LIBERTY COUNTY: Nine years (He’s an Effingham County native) WHY HE DOES WHAT HE DOES: “I like the design aspect, being able to influence the physical setting of our daily lives. I always had the ability to see the big picture and how small details come together to make larger systems function.” WHAT HE WANTS FOR LIBERTY COUNTY: “I’d like to see a growth in our downtown area, as well as the introduction of some knowledge-based industry.” WHAT HE DOES FOR FUN: “Most of my time is spent either fishing — saltwater and freshwater — skiing and wakeboarding, racing stock cars and being with family.”

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Melissa Poole Assistant District Attorney, Atlantic Judicial Circuit AGE: 37 EDUCATION: Mount Vernon College and Mercer University School of Law TIME IN LIBERTY COUNTY: 11 years (she moved here from Atlanta) WHY SHE DOES WHAT SHE DOES: “At the end of the day, I like that I can make a difference and make something positive happen in people’s lives.” WHAT SHE WANTS FOR LIBERTY COUNTY: “I would like to see the area grow to be even more family oriented, and I would love to see more community involvement in helping deter criminal activity.” WHAT SHE DOES FOR FUN: “I like to read; I’m in a book club, and I play Bunco with a group of friends. I also enjoy spending time with my family.”

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Christina Mansfield Ph.D student in psychology and local artist AGE: 30 EDUCATION: Bradwell Institute, Morris Brown College and Brewton - Parker College NOTEWORTHY: Serves on the Hinesville Area Arts Council and teaches classes; was inducted into Pi Gamma Mu, the international honor society for social sciences; member of Sierra Club TIME IN LIBERTY COUNTY: 27 years WHY SHE DOES WHAT SHE DOES: “I work as an artist and have several art displays coming up this year. As a psychology major I’m able to combine that with my interest in art. Art is therapeutic and it makes people happy. I volunteer at the speech and hearing center in Savannah.” WHAT SHE WANTS FOR LIBERTY COUNTY: “We need more outreach for children. Because we are a smaller town, we need to find their interests and integrate that into other activities.” WHAT SHE DOES FOR FUN: “I enjoy hiking, mountain climbing and canoeing.”

Congratulations Anthony Burns Selected “Top 10 Under 40” for Liberty County by Liberty Life Magazine

923 W Oglethorpe Hwy, Hinesville 38

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Jason Floyd Vice President, The Heritage Bank Hinesville City Council AGE: 36 NOTEWORTHY: Serves on board of directors for United Way, school board member at First Presbyterian Christian Academy, member of First United Methodist Church, past chairman of Liberty County Chamber of Commerce EDUCATION: Bradwell Institute, Georgia Southern University and the University of WisconsinMadison TIME IN LIBERTY COUNTY: Born and raised WHY HE DOES WHAT HE DOES: “I started working at Heritage right out of high school, cutting the grass during the summer. My uncle and first cousin were in banking, and as I pursued my education, when I found out I had an opportunity to work at Heritage, I chose to study finance. It’s fun and interesting, and I enjoy working with people.” WHAT HE WANTS FOR LIBERTY COUNTY: “I filled a vacated term on city council, and what I think I contribute is I bring a fiscally conservative nature. I want to accomplish our goals without raising taxes. I have pride in the city of Hinesville and I want to continue to make it as positive a place to live as possible.” WHAT HE DOES FOR FUN: “I love playing with my daughter, and I also enjoy golf and spending time with family and friends.”

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Genese Baker Membership and Program Director, Chamber of Commerece AGE: 30 NOTEWORTHY: Graduate of Leadership Liberty, member of the Hinesville Area Arts Council and Keep Liberty Beautiful EDUCATION: Liberty County High School, Albany State University TIME IN LIBERTY COUNTY: Born and raised WHY SHE DOES WHAT SHE DOES: “My job is to recruit new members andretain existing members, and to create programs and make membership more beneficial for businesses and nonprofits.” WHAT SHE WANTS FOR LIBERTY COUNTY: “I hope Liberty County grows into a bigger [place] that can be more community-oriented, with more events … to show how special we are. I think we can be a more community-oriented town with family-oriented events.” WHAT SHE DOES FOR FUN: “I’ve played softball since age 6. I play on coed teams through the recreation department. I’m a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and the chair of a mentoring group for high school girls ages 14 through 18. Our first group is graduating this year; it’s neat to see how they’ve developed.”

Cedric Robertson Real Estate Agent Davis Waters Realty AGE: 28 NOTEWORTHY: He leads the Liberty County Blazers, a community basketball league with 36 players ages 11 to 18, which he started three years ago. EDUCATION: Liberty County High School Time in Liberty County: Born and raised WHY HE DOES WHAT HE DOES: “It’s important to get these kids out of trouble, help them stay off the streets and give them an outlet; to build a relationship. To see that these kids just want something to do and to see them respect the time I put in, makes me feel good. You begin to see changes in schoolwork and at home.” WHAT HE WANTS FOR LIBERTY COUNTY: “I want to thank everyone who helped make the Blazers what they are. My hopes are to get us a gym and to get more volunteers involved to take care of more kids.” WHAT HE DOES FOR FUN: “I like to go fishing and watch movies. I love spending time with my kids.” 40

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Top Ten Congratulations Christina Mansfield Selected “Top 10 Under 40” for Liberty County by Liberty Life Magazine

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Congratulations Rachel Hatcher Selected “Top 10 Under 40” for Liberty County by Liberty Life Magazine

Visit us online at www.hinesvillearts.com to find out about local arts & culture opportunities.

Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission

imagine. create. inspire.

205 East Court Street, Hinesville 912.408.2030

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Janie Diggs Licensed Realtor, Owner of Realty Executives AGE: 32 NOTEWORTHY: 2004 Realtor of the Year Hinesville Board of Realtors past president Lifetime member of the Distinguished Sales Society EDUCATION: Liberty County High School; Georgia Southern University TIME IN LIBERTY COUNTY: 24 years WHY SHE DOES WHAT SHE DOES: “I honestly love to help people. I’m not here to sell houses; I’m a customer -service person... I just love to educate people ... and to help them according to what’s going on in their life, not according to what’s going on in mine.” WHAT SHE WANTS FOR LIBERTY COUNTY: “Liberty County leadership is amazing and they work so well with realtors. You want to see your city expand more; more restaurants and more businesses would be helpful. I’d say they should keep doing what they’re doing.” WHAT SHE DOES FOR FUN: “I love being with my children every moment I have, but I also dabble in archery, and I like scuba diving.” LDP-1493-10

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Anthony Burns Engineering Supervisor Georgia Power AGE: 39 NOTEWORTHY: Leadership Liberty graduate, member of several local boards including United Way EDUCATION: University of Georgia (majored in agricultural engineering, earned a degree in forestry) TIME IN LIBERTY COUNTY: Three and a half years (moved here from Bogart, near Athens) WHY HE DOES WHAT HE DOES: “It’s really an opportunity to develop people and make them successful in what they do.” WHAT HE WANTS FOR LIBERTY COUNTY: “If I had to list priorities, I’d say our young age groups — to focus on them and get them headed in the right direction, give them goals to shoot for.” WHAT HE DOES FOR FUN: “I like to spend time with my family, camping, fishing and other outdoor activities.”

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While a white lie

might unravel some

entrepreneurial dreams, Evans County native James Kicklighter

has turned a fib into a promising

fim career and has the accolades to prove it

THROUGH A BROADER LENS Written by Jen Alexander McCall Photography by Morgan Eddington

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film

Lights,Camera, Action: Kacey Ray -Stokes, James Kicklighter and Mark Stokes have dedicated their films to social causes that hit home. The three met in 2006 and have been filming ever since. 45

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Say Cheese! James Kicklighter stops for a photo with Edith Ivey, star from “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” on the red carpet during the 2010 Macon Film Festival.

W

hile a little white lie might unravel some entrepreneurial dreams, Evans County native James Kicklighter has turned a fib into a promising film career and has the accolades to prove it. When he was a teen, Kicklighter, now 22, managed to convince his town and peers that he was a film producer—before actually becoming one. Despite being found out, Kicklighter made a name for himself and opened the door to making his stories a reality. Now Kicklighter is co-chairman of JamesWorks Inc. and has produced a handful of critically recognized films with friends Kacey Ray-Stokes and Mark Stokes.

.

Ray-Stokes, originally from Liberty County, and Stokes, who is from Long County, both met Kicklighter in 2006 while Stokes was working on “That Guy: The Legacy of Dub Taylor.” “My husband and I just started dating … we asked James to work with us as an assistant photographer. I’d had some classes in college, and the three of us worked well together,” Ray-Stokes says. “For the next project with James, we collaborated as JamesWorks, then decided to come on board under JamesWorks.” Documentaries are the bulk of the company’s films, and the messages at the heart of each story are the driving force behind the teams’ selections. “I think as a filmmaker you have opportuni-

JamesWorks ‘Points of Pride’

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Smile for the camera: Kacey Ray-Stokes and Mark Stokes stop for a quick photo with their baby at the 2010 Macon Film Festival.

ties to create project [of quality],” Kicklighter says. “Mark, Kacey and I have social issues that we hold dear. Mark’s parents were missionaries in Sierra Leone, and I worked with hurricane relief efforts. Each of us had a window into social issues. We wanted to be able to do different films that meant something.” Kicklighter says if the team is making a project with a message, the message must be accessible. That’s not to say every audience is going to have grand revelations, he says, but the beauty of building a film with a message is that audiences will come away with something. “I think it’s essential in storytelling to show people that just because you may not have experienced that particular event, people’s lives are relatable despite cultural differences,” RayStokes says. “That’s important to me as a storyteller. It helps people come together as a community.” Veteran actress Edith Ivey learned firsthand of Kicklighter’s talent for storytelling when she agreed to take a role in his short film “Car Wash.” Ivey met Kicklighter through her role as vice president of the Screen Actors Guild branch in Atlanta. “James came to our offices to speak with someone about old-time radio,” Ivey remembers. “I was involved in it in New York, so we began talking and we had a grand time.” In the film, Ivey says, “the thing I found fascinating was that

The Indie Award of Merit (Land of Higher Peace), 2011 Indie Competition Documentary in Competition (Land of Higher Peace), 2011 Macon Film Festival Best Drama (The Car Wash), 2010 Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival Audience Choice Award (The Car Wash), 2010 National Film Festival for Talented Youth Accolade Award of Merit (Theater of the Mind), 2009 Accolade Competition Screeners, 2009 International Documentary Association Distinguished Feature Award

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James had written this material just exactly right for a woman of this age. He’s been listening really well to more mature people.” Ivey also was impressed with the professionalism of the JamesWorks team as they shot the film in an old-style method. “They shot very much like you would have a live TV show in past years, in that you would shoot the whole thing at once,” she says. “It was very fast, but concise and clear. I am hopeful for the future of the film business [because of JamesWorks].” The 81-year-old actress accepted a second role, this time in the upcoming feature “Followed,” a philosophical piece about zombies, of all things. Ivey gave some brief insight into her character, saying, “I play an old woman, but the zombies don’t follow me. I guess I’m above reproach!” The attractiveness of making and seeing small films that leads many into the business also has supported JamesWorks’ efforts, but Kicklighter says the danger lies in wanting to go too big too quickly, and watching the work suffer as a result. “Now, so many people have access to things like cameras and editing software. We wanted to make sure we weren’t just producing things to produce them. We wanted to make, not videos, but films,” he remarks. Starting small meant working on several different types of projects, to be able to afford the necessary equipment without going into debt, Kicklighter explains. “We worked on weddings, audiobooks and websites to buy equipment so we could be selfsustaining. Lots of budding filmmakers want the $100,000 equipment when they’re not ready, when they should be focusing on telling a good story.” The team’s portfolio is small but acclaimed and they continuously work to make connections within the film industry, which

Director and filmmaker James Kicklighter coaches actors Sylvia Boykin and Erryn Arkins on the set of “Followed”. the filmmaker says is much more tight-knit than film buffs might think. That closeness allows the group to connect with filmmak-. ers who have similar goals and vision, he says. “The nice thing about being a filmmaker is the industry isn’t huge. It’s actually pretty small, and when you work in it you get to know people really well,” he says. “We go to film festivals every year, and lots of filmmakers show up at the same places. When you see them you kind of start bonding together.” Kicklighter says what viewers see on screen is only a snippet of what goes into making a movie, but it shouldn’t deter hopefuls from entering the PlAnts & FlOWers • lAWn sUPPlIes FIsH & BIrD FeeD • lIVestOCK • GArDen DeCOr & ACCessOrIes

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JamesWorks Entertainment partners take a moment to relax and enjoy snacks in a screening room at Liberty Cinemas.

.

field. “Filmmaking is a time-consuming, difficult industry to be in if you want to stay in it. When you’re talking about producing a film, people think it just pops out,” he remarks. “You don’t think about the preproduction — there’s script development, choosing actors, the location. You have to do all these things before you start filming. “It’s not just the stuff you see on screen,” Kicklighter says. “You have to find the balance between creative and commercial. It’s not just about writing a screenplay — it’s about coordinating flights and booking hotels. It’s very logistical, and very specific.” Ray-Stokes’ role in the pre-production and production process are key. “I’m the executive producer, though my title is director of development. I look at new projects; people send me scripts and ideas for films. On set I work as a producer, I make casting decisions, choose the costumes and makeup. We take turns directing,” she says. She looks forward to new projects, but Ray-Stokes certainly is proud of the team’s

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Liberty Life magazine

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A BRAND NEW DAY WINTER/SPRING 2011 MEMBERSHIP AND PROGRAM GUIDE

FEBRUARY 21 TO APRIL 17 REGISTRATION OPENS JANUARY 31 Kicklighter surveys his actors on the set of his newest production based on a short story. current works. “My favorite film so far would be ‘Land of Higher. Peace,’ shot in Ethiopia. We decided to go as people first to see how we could help. Then we realized we could shoot [a film] to show people here. The process was probably one of the hardest but the most rewarding because it told a story that needed to be told about missions,” she says. “People don’t realize that missions can be more than a Christian word; it can be a service word.” JamesWorks is collaborating with a Macon-based production company on some films in the next couple years, she adds, and as the company expands into feature films, Ray-Stokes is exploring a drama set in the South about the relationship between sisters. On the documentary front, she plans to focus on festival queens. Whether documentary or feature film, Kicklighter’s theatrical proclivities influence his work. “I really like the relationship and character dramas. I’m a fan of stories that take people’s relationships and examine them in different ways,” he says. “The ones that have something to say about characters and change the way they perceive themselves … tie back into the type of films we have in mind ... they’re always about relationships between the character and the concept.” Every filmmaker has his or her professional inspiration. Kicklighter finds his in two well-known producers. “Scott Rubin is a very gifted producer. He’s produced some of the best films in the past few years, such as ‘The Social Network’ and ‘True Grit.’ But he also produces small films like ‘The Fantastic Mr. Fox,’” Kicklighter shares. “He’s done a wide variety, and they all say something about society and the way we perceive ourselves. We have an awesome

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Hinesville & The Historic Coast

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Neighbors

&Newcomers

2011

Our annual guide to living in Liberty County found in the June issue of Liberty Life.

Reserve your advertising space early for best placement. Contact Katrina Sage, Creative Director @ 876.0156 Break time! Kacey Ray-Stokes, James Kicklighter and Mark Stokes have a moment of fun while on the photo shoot set for Liberty Life at Liberty Cinemas.

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opportunity to work with the most powerful medium on the planet and it’s an awesome responsibility. I think Rubin has that sense of responsibility.” He also counts Paul Feig, creator of “Freaks and Geeks,” a short-lived television series, among his influences. “[Feig] created this entire universe that was so honest about growing up. He’s also written some autobiographies. So many times you see things are sugarcoated, but he’s direct and honest.” Kicklighter says being from Georgia gives his team a unique cultural background that affects how he views and shares the world. “All three of us have ties to this area, and because of that, we have a unique perspective on the world. I think when you grow up in that environment, when so many people know you, you come up with a sense of family and community,” he says. “I think that Southerners have that bred in them. I think we want to tell stories that honor our upbringing and way of life. In the South we have characters. People may restrain themselves [elsewhere], but not in the South. When you are raised in the South, you have a great sense of storytelling.” Kicklighter says his perspective on life and relationships has changed since he began working in film. “When you start traveling and seeing the world, and even different parts of the country, you have such a distinct vision of the world, [especially] when you grow up in a small town,” he muses. The young filmmaker encourages others to explore their quickly shrinking world. “If you have the opportunity, you should go out and see and do as much as you can. The world is a much better place than it’s made out to be ... people are people wherever you go.” LL

Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated

50

Liberty Life magazine

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Home for a Day or a Lifetime Congratulations District 2 Councilmember Jason Floyd Selected “Top 10 Under 40� for Liberty County by Liberty Life Magazine

115 East M.L. King, Jr. Drive, Hinesville, GA 31313 Phone: (912) 876-3564 | Fax: (912) 369-2658 www.cityofhinesville.org | www.facebook.com/hinesvillega | Twitter @HinesvilleGa

Lighting up a little piece of the South Spring 2011 Final.indd 51

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Come relax at Thunder Run and enjoy our new weekly events

Monday Night Football

Mondays during football season from 5pm. Enjoy our Ala Carte Menu!

Thursday Night Football

dine

Thursdays during football season from 3pm. Enjoy our Ala Carte Menu!

Marne Call!

Fridays, 5pm. Karaoke, music, snacks and lots of fun! Open until 3am with DJ Mark Ross spinning the latest Top 40 hits!

Saturday Football & DJ

Saturdays, 12pm-3am. Don’t forget to stick around after the games are over! At 9pm our DJ will spin the latest hits for you to enjoy!

Sunday Football/Old Skool

Sundays, 12pm-11pm. At 7pm music lovers can enjoy “Old Skool” hits.

Corner of Hero Road and Sixth Street Ft Stewart

912-368-2212 OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

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Coastal Cravings

Hottest Dog in the

South

Written by Jen Alexander McCall, photography by Aliyah Dastour

N From top to bottom: Patrick Hopkins of Shane’s Rib Shack puts the finishing touches on a BBQ hotdog. Drew Cole of Uncommon Grounds tops a coffee-flavored sausage dog with mango slices.

othing says backyard barbecue, ballgames or being American about as much as a hot dog. We like our dogs with or without mustard, ketchup, relish, sauerkraut and a half-dozen or more of many other toppings, and we like them to the tune of 20 billion dogs a year, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. The peak eating season concurs with baseball season, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, a sure sign the tubular treat is forever linked with America’s favorite pastime. It’s been said that immigrants from Europe brought their Frankfurt and Vienna sausages to the masses along the East Coast, inspiring today’s ubiquitous dog. This classic grab-and-go treat is more than 100 years old, but every now and then it gets a makeover to attract new and old fans all over again. Local restaurateurs are trying their hands at new, local versions of the standard favorite spring and summertime food. Perhaps they’ll catch on, or perhaps they’ll just be oneof-a-kind creations to remember for cookouts to come. Hinesville & The Historic Coast

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( The BBQ Dog Gone Wild) From left to right: Shane’s Rib Shack employees stand with the newest BBQ creation. The perfectly dressed BBQ dog.

Shane’s Rib Shack

Staying true to its barbecue roots, Shane’s is dressing up a dog with a little taste of its famous fare. “We are gonna do a smoked barbecue dog,” says Patrick Hopkins, co-owner of Shane’s in Hinesville. “It’ll be smoked beef sausage with some barbecue sauce, topped with barbecued pork and a little vinegary slaw.” Hopkins says the smoked sausage is a regular player on the restaurant’s catering menu so it’s an ideal pairing with the pork and slaw. “The flavor is incredible,” he says. “We do use another type, but for the hot dog, this is the one we want.” The ideal side would be French fries, Hopkins added, and the bun will stay traditional.

Local Eats 54

And the judges say..

Shane’s BBQ treated two of its customers to the smoky-sweet invention, and the Fort Stewart soldiers gave that dog a thumbsup, too. “I liked how it had variety, with the sausage and the pork,” Jesse Lujan said. “I’m not a fan of cole slaw, but with the cole slaw it was pretty good.” Lujan’s buddy, Brandon Evans, also gave a rave review. “It was definitely interesting; it was almost like a whole barbecue in one hot dog,” he said. “The tastes went together really well. I would definitely have it again, if I was really hungry!”

Sonic Drive In – chili cheese Coneys come with or without onions, mustard and even jalapeno peppers Larry’s Giant Subs – get an authentic National Deli kosher dog with your choice of toppings Manna Café – this tiny grab-and-go eatery serves up dogs for lunch, plain and simple Krystal – get a handful of pups—baby hot dogs with or without condiments

Liberty Life magazine

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( The Exotic Dog)

Proudly serving our Military residents since 1995 From top to bottom: Shanale Shamburger, Drew Cole and Jenny Cole with the finished product. The perfect coffee-flavored dog with a side of melting-pot-bakedbeans in all its glory. Recipe created by personal chef and caterer Tom Tom Hartwell.

Uncommon Grounds

Hinesville Midway Richmond Hill Savannah

How does a coffee shop do hot dogs? With a little of that buzzy bean, of course. Drew Cole says the shop is putting a Tex-Mex twist on the handy food with a chorizo sausage dog in a hearty roll that will be smothered in an espresso-spiked molé, which is a savory chocolate sauce common in many Mexican dishes. The handmade chorizo will be encased for snap, too. “We’re also adding some mango salsa and avocado strips,” Cole said. “We wanted something with coffee, and the easiest way to do that and still make it tasty was with a sauce.”

Real Estate Sales Rentals Property Management

And the judges say..

Hinesville resident Jeanne Burch and her sister, Susan Hickok, were fortunate enough to stop in at Uncommon Grounds when the coffee shop revealed its creation. The lunching ladies sampled the dog and pronounced it delicious. “They were fabulous,” says Burch. “I like that it had a kick to it, but it wasn’t so overpowering that you couldn’t enjoy it. The beans they had were fabulous; it was more than just a side dish.” Hickok, who was visiting from Atlanta, agreed. “It was awesome. It had a mango salsa that was sweet and spicy—it was just different.” Hickok said she would definitely try it again, “because I love anything with spice. I don’t like anything boring.”

ACCENT

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Hinesville & The Historic Coast

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at Ft. Stewart great facilities open to the public TAYLORS CREEK GOLF COURSE 18 holes • par 72 course • clubhouse • pro shop • lighted driving range Private instruction by appointment • Free golf clinics 1st Sat

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Hero Road and Lindquist Avenue • 767-4273 MARNE LANES • 36 lane bowling facility with a fully equipped pro shop • Featuring Strike Zone Snack Bar

open bowling • league bowling tournament bowling • birthday and farewell parties

54 Steele Ave, Building 402 • 767-4866

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Local Favorites

Have a favorite restaurant you’d like to see featured? Tell us on our Facebook page @ Liberty Life Magazine.

SEAFOOD

Sunbury Crab Company Enjoy a real taste of the Georgia Coast at this laid-back restaurant and marina, where the seafood is caught fresh daily, the views of Sunbury Harbor are serene, and dining is a pleasure. This family-owned-and-operated restaurant serves up home-cooked favorites, including fresh steamed blue crabs, wild Georgia shrimp, local oysters and more. Relax by the full-service bar or take in a meal with family and friends.

WHAT’S ON

MENU

the

Nothing but the freshest local seafood graces the menu at Sunbury Crab Company. Try your favorites steamed, grilled, or fried. Look for the fresh catch of the day or try a delicious hand-cut steak to delight your palate.

Wednesday - Friday 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM Saturday 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM Sunday 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM 541 Brigantine-Dunmore Road, Sunbury, GA 31320 www.sunburycrabco.com 912-884-8640

CAFE

Uncommon Grounds Serving up everything from traditional coffees, teas and lattes to delicious blended frozen treats, this friendly, family-run coffee house invites you to “espresso yourself” in a relaxing oasis in downtown Hinesville. Enjoy your coffee break with a little something extra — Uncommon Grounds whips up fresh baked goods in house each morning, and offers fresh sandwiches, soups and salads daily.

EVERYONE’S

Monday - Friday 6:30 AM - 6:00 PM Saturday 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM 110 S Commerce Street, Hinesville, GA 31313 www.facebook.com/uncommongrounds 912-876-7622

FAVORITE

Uncommon Club. Ham, turkey, roast beef, bacon, provolone and swiss cheeses, lettuce and tomato are packed onto toasted bread for an uncommonly delicious sandwich experience. SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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Rest and Relaxation

A Written by Seraine Page and Frenchi Jones, photography by Aliyah Dastour

B

uried deep along the southern portion of the I-95 corridor is a road that has just one way in and one way out, a little piece of serenity that residents like to keep to themselves. It’s deemed the black diamond of Midway by those whose families have graced its land for generations; some even settled there close to 100 years ago. It used to be a fishing camp, a place where people would come to unwind and reel in the freshest catches of the day.

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From left to right: Paul Parker, Hugh McNair, Larry Johnson, Buster Davis and Kenny Moody

T

he Isle of Wight doesn’t look like much at first glance, with its southern tip dotted with dilapidated mobile homes and abandoned cars — symbols of what use to be — but further north of the Isle’s stretch, one will find nostalgia and serene beauty. “This is a really neat place,” resident Paul Parker says of the area. “We’ve had a lot of good times down here.” Parker hosts a weekly dinner in a makeshift metal building on his property where a posted white, tin sign reads “the old man’s garage” and invites men from all up and down the gravel road to come over for a good time. Sometimes, the men take turns and cook whatever they feel like during the weekly rendezvous. Parker claims the tradition was started by a buddy who no longer lives on the coastal hammock. When the group isn’t at Parker’s, they may be visiting “Hugh’s Hangout” — the riverfront home of Hugh McNair — and frying up the catch of the day, snacking on Larry Johnson’s homemade cheese and onion bread, listening to Jack Welch, A.K.A. Bubba,

60

shoot the breeze on the screened-in porch that keeps pesky nosee-ums from bothering the chattering group of men who tell tales as high as cathedral ceilings. ”We’ve been known to tell a story or two every now and again,” Parker confesses as he watches neighbors shuffle onto McNair’s porch straight to the cooler to fix themselves cocktails called “black velvet.” While the men catch up on the week’s events, the women of the Isle have their own grand soirées. The first Wednesday of every month, the “Marsh Hens” — as they have affectionately called themselves for five years — get together for a little fun of their own. The gatherings are usually themed, with each in attendance bringing a dish or two and loads of laughs. They blare Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas while drinking sparkling pink wine. “We’re a cooking club,” self-appointed club President Susan Yawn says. “This hen club is where we get together to test recipes.” “And talk about the men,” jokes Janet “Boomer” Welch. As the men fry freshly caught trout and flounder and deep fry home-

“It’s just a quiet place where you can pretty much relax and enjoy yourself. If [people] want to ride their fourwheelers down the road or on golf carts, it’s all right. You’ll never hear anybody complaining.” — Fred Norby

Liberty Life magazine

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Your Image

is OUR Success Full Color Digital Printing Military Signs Banners Decals Real Estate Signs Vehicle Wraps

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The best way to eat shrimp: Hugh McNair pushes homemade shrimp hush puppies into a deep fryer. made hush puppies, the women dine on tossed salad with pecans, strawberries dipped in chocolate and cheesecake covered in chocolate morsels. The men aren’t invited, but hear the women get crazy with dressing up, Parker says. “You know how the women folk get,” he remarks with a wink. Camaraderie is as common as sweet tea in the South but especially on the Isle. Neighbors frequently help one another out, and if a stranger comes wandering a little too far down the Isle’s narrow roads, Parker says, neighborhood folks don’t have a problem asking where they are coming from. It’s a way to keep things safe, quiet and help keep crime on the island to a minimum. Fishing is right at the top of the list of favorite things to do on the Isle, says 51-year-old Fred Norby, whose family has lived on the Isle for three generations. He and his grandson enjoy riding a golf cart down the Isle’s main road — a sight locals say is common these days. “It’s just a quiet place where you can pretty much relax and enjoy yourself,” he remarks. “If [people] want to ride their four-wheelers down the road or on golf carts, it’s all right. You’ll never hear anybody complaining.” The community is tight-knit, some-thing that is easy to tell

THE SAFEST PLACE IS IN A CRIB. Paid for by Prevent Child Abuse, Liberty Contact 912.368.4282 for meeting information Hinesville & The Historic Coast

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by spending a single evening out on the secluded Isle. The housing is charming, a mix between what one would find in the Florida Keys and the perfect secret hideaway. With marshlands as a quaint backdrop, brightly colored houses make the island burst with personality. “This place used to be an old fishing camp,” resident Nancy Peoples says. As Peoples stood in front of her and her husband’s riverside home, the wind blew softly through the tall grass of the Isle. Her husband, Laud, purchased the house 20 years ago. It didn’t always have the multi-colored wooden paddle fence; Peoples said Laud designed it himself using old wooden paddles he collected over the years. Laud loves anything and everything nautical, she says, so it’s no wonder he would choose the Isle as their home. “Anything that has to do with boating and fishing, mostly boating ... he absolutely loves it,” she remarks. Peoples says she and her husband never really thought about how the fence adds a unique touch to their property. It signifies to visitors what the Isle and their home represent — a unique, laid-back coastal lifestyle, she says. “The property alone sits on 600 feet of nothing but marshland, a spot where people used to come set up their mobile homes and fish,” Peoples says. “It’s a beautiful place to live.” Although the hammock has changed over time, locals are certain that the hospitality of the Isle will remain. The island parties — or “gatherings” as residents call them — aren’t something that they think of as unique or special. It is just something that they do to catch up over good Southern food. “We eat good here on the poor man’s island,” Parker says. “It’s a good time; it’s nothing but a good time.” LL

IS COMMITTED TO REDUCING AVEDA IS COMMITTED TO AVEDA REDUCING AVEDA COMMITTED TOON REDUCING DEPENDENCY ON SYNTHETIC DEPENDENCY SYNTHETIC EDA IS COMMITTED TOISREDUCING DEPENDENCY ON SYNTHETIC CHEMICALS FOR EVERYDAY USE CHEMICALS FOR EVERYDAY USE PENDENCY ON SYNTHETIC CHEMICALS FOR EVERYDAY USE HEMICALS FOR EVERYDAY USE DID YOU KNOW? DID YOU KNOW?

1 • Americans 2709 Coastal Hwy 17 spend 90% of their time indoors,1 where air pollution is up • ∙ Crossroads Center where air pollution is up DID YOU KNOW? Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, 2 to five times worse than it is outdoors.2 to five times worse than it is outdoors. Richmond Hill, GA 31324 ∙ 912.459.2757 1 • Americans spend air 90% of theiristime ericans spend 90% of their time indoors,1 where pollution up indoors, where air pollution is up • More than 72,000 synthetic chemicals have been invented since www.lavenderhillspasalon.com • 2 More than 72,000 synthetic chemicals have been invented since 2 times worse than it is outdoors. to five ve times worse than it is outdoors.

YOU KNOW?

World 3War II, and are often used in household products.3 World War II, and are often used in household products. • Morehave than been 72,000 synthetic chemicals have been invented since e than 72,000 synthetic chemicals invented since • All plants carbon dioxide to oxygen, but some, such as • 3 All plants convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, but some, suchconvert as 3 War II,products. and are often used in household products. ld War II, and are often used inWorld household English ivy and bamboo palm, absorb chemicals such as benzene English ivy and bamboo palm, absorb chemicals such as benzene • Alloxygen, plants convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, but some, such as plants convert carbon dioxide to but some, such as 4 and formaldehyde.4 and formaldehyde. 62 Liberty Life English ivymagazine andsuch bamboo palm, absorb chemicals such as benzene lish ivy and bamboo palm, absorb chemicals as benzene Aveda selects green ingredients that: Aveda selects green ingredients that: 4 and formaldehyde. formaldehyde.4 • plant-based Originate from renewable, sustainable or organic plant-based sources. • Originate from renewable, sustainable or organic sources. Aveda selects green ingredients that: a selects green ingredients that: • Are naturally derived from plants and non-petroleum-based minerals. • Are naturally derived from plants and non-petroleum-based minerals. • Originate from renewable, sustainable or organic plant-based sources. ginate from renewable, sustainable Spring 2011 Final.indd 62 or organic plant-based sources. • Celebrate ecological and cultural diversity. A large array of our Celebrate ecological and cultural diversity. A large array of our Are non-petroleum-based naturally derived• from plants and non-petroleum-based minerals. naturally derived from plants•and minerals. plant-based ingredients come from different habitats all over the plant-based ingredients come from different habitats all over the

3/7/2011 3:24:54 PM


We believe that people can and do change, and that it is worth the effort to do so.

New Life Fraser Counseling Center A Division of the Mary Lou Fraser Foundation for Families

203 Mary Lou Drive • Hinesville

912.369.7777

w w w.frasercenter.com

A loving, accepting, and caring congregation welcomes you to share our passion for Christ! - Inspiring Sunday worship services at 8:30 am (praise), 11 am (traditional), and 6 pm (teaching) - Ministries for all ages - Christ centered - Community oriented - Military friendly 203 North Main Street, Downtown Hinesville, Georgia 912-368-2200 www.hinesvillemethodist.com

A Safe Place to Grow

Hinesville First United Methodist Church Preschool & Kindergarten

Kindergarten • Pre-K • 2 & 3-year-olds • Toddlers • Infants Excellent Curriculum Bible Curriculum and Weekly Chapel Child-Friendly School Day (9:00am -1:00pm) Developmentally Appropriate Structure and Activities Small Classes and Loving Teachers Positive Discipline Follows Public School Calendar To enroll your child or for more information, please contact: Mrs. Marian Letnaunchyn, Director preschooldir@coastalnow.net or 912-368-3355

SPRING EVENTS GREAT AMERICAN CLEANUP EVENTS Riceboro City Cleanup Day MARCH

26

NEIGHBORHOODS AND COMMUNITIES CLEANUP DAYS MARCH

26 AND APRIL 16 Flemington City Cleanup Day APRIL 16 Walthourville City Cleanup Day APRIL 16 Allenhurst City Cleanup Day APRIL 16 Hinesville Citywide Cleanup Day APRIL 23 Midway City Cleanup Day APRIL 30 Fifth Annual Liberty County Earth Day Celebration April 22 Liberty County Performing Arts Center 3:30-7:00PM FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT KLB AT 912.880.4888 OR KLCB@COASTALNOW.NET WWW.KEEPLIBERTYBEAUTIFUL.ORG Hinesville & The Historic Coast

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Life’s a peach

LOVE ’EM OR LEAVE ’EM WRITTEN BY DEBBIE BROWN

I

A FOOL-PROOF SYSTEM TO DETERMINE WHAT GOES

1) I hadn’t thought about it since my daughter, Meredith, was born (she’s not a teenager anymore) 2) It took Spanx a size too small, one of Meredith’s corsets or medieval torture to get the item onto my body 3) It looked (or smelled) worse than the meat dress Lady Gaga wore to the 2010 VMAs

don’t know why I had to clean my closet at that very moment. Maybe I was tired of tugging and pushing and body slamming clothes each time I needed to find something to wear. Maybe the spring daylight savings time change had messed with my head. Or maybe I could blame it on the fact that every Southerner had a crazy relative in the family tree and at some time in life, that uniqueness popped up in all of us. Had my greatgrandmother Susie Savannah Starr taken over my senses? Whatever the reason, I headed straight to my bulging closet with one thought in mind: Love ’em or leave ’em. I flipped the light switch, inhaled and surveyed the closet. When had the chaos occurred? At one time, my clothes were organized by type, season, hemline and sleeve. Shoes were paired underneath; handbags stored in bins above; and scarves draped on hooks. Not now. Nubby wools, fine silks and the fabrics of my life had definitely co-mingled, clashed and suffered a serious wardrobe malfunction. How had I missed the madness? I had been downsizing for awhile in all areas of my life, so how hard could it be to get rid of clothes? I bypassed the rule of thumb, whereby you toss anything that you haven’t worn in five years. No, no, no. Instead, I pulled out all the stops and developed a fool-proof system to determine what goes: 1) I hadn’t thought about it since my daughter, Meredith, was born (she’s not a teenager anymore); 2) It took Spanx a size too small, one of Meredith’s corsets or medieval torture to get the item onto my body; or 3) It looked (or smelled) worse than the meat dress Lady Gaga wore to the 2010 VMAs. OK. I had my rules of engagement ready to go. But, I sighed. I stalled. I realized that stepping

onto a scale seemed easy — until you needed to lose a few pounds. Ballroom dancing seemed like a breeze — one, two, three, four, two, two, three, four, twirl and dip. Yeah, right. And letting go of the strings on a daughter now in college should be easy … Whoa. One by one I hauled each item from the closet to the bed, some to the floor, and the rest spilled out into the hall. “Whew,” I moaned. But was I exhausted enough to be objective and unemotional? I scrutinized the clothes like a grown woman. My mother’s only child. One of my grandmother’s favorites. And … eccentric Susie Savannah Starr’s greatgrandchild. And maybe that’s where the problem started: When I pulled out the first piece of clothing to scrutinize, I felt the tug. It was a cute Christmas sweater with embroidered cats that matched one that Meredith wore when she was 4 or 5. Could I really toss that out in good conscience even if I never planned to wear it again? Maybe Meredith would want to wear it if she had a little girl. How could I deprive my first granddaughter of that opportunity? Plus, it still fit. How could any woman get rid of a piece of clothing that still

MEET OUR COLUMNIST Debbie Brown has been featured in Guideposts Magazine, Woman’s World, the Chocolate series (written by women for women), Chicken Soup for the Soul and more. Check out Brown’s blogs, Slice of Coastal Life, Southern Deb and My Yellow Bluff on DebraAyersBrown.com. Brown, a former Southeastern Writers Association president, has received numerous project, design and writing awards on a national and international basis. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Georgia and earned her MBA from The Citadel. She is also a former “First Lady of Hinesville.” 64

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buttoned? I couldn’t. Instead, the holiday cat sweater moved into a new pile labeled still buttons — which sat in the area of love ’em by the designated area for leave ’em — for later scrutiny. The next few items fit into one of the established piles until I got to the jeans. Any fool knows that you can’t discard jeans with a designer label — even if you hadn’t thought about them since your daughter was born 20 years ago, or if it took Spanx a size too small (Meredith’s corsets or medieval torture) to get into them, or if they looked (or smelled) worse than Lady Gaga’s meat dress. So I developed a new diet-and-it-mightfit pile–which sat in the area of love ’em by the still buttons pile near the designated area for leave ’em. Several pairs of jeans moved into this new category. Now for the dresses. First, you have to understand that I preferred coordinates — skirts and jackets, skirts and sweaters — and rarely wore dresses except to church and to weddings. So this one felt like a gimme when I bravely tossed dresses that I hadn’t worn in five years into the leave ’em pile (unless, of course, they had a designer label). I was on a roll. I tried on and put a few items in the definitely leave ’em and a few items in the definitely love ’em pile, located by the still buttons and the diet-and-itmight-fit piles. But then I found sweaters that were comfy. I found sweaters that were old, but still in style. I found knit, cotton and cashmere sweaters. No matter the size, I shouldn’t (wouldn’t, couldn’t) toss cashmere. So I named a new category: shoulda-woulda-coulda can work in the right situation for future scrutiny (except for cashmere, which went in the definitely love ’em forever mound). Quite a few sweaters and some blouses and jackets moved into the shoulda-woulda-coulda pile for future enjoyment, right by definitely love ’em to keep, the definitely leave ’em to toss, and near the still buttons and the diet-and-it-might-fit heaps. By now, I was ecstatic to see that I had a number of piles in place until my husband, Allen, surprised me. “What’s going on?” He frowned and stepped over and around the piles. He looked from me to the piles on the floor, the bundles on the bed and to the strewn items in the hall. “I’m cleaning my closet.” “You’re kidding, right? It looks like a bomb went off in here.” He groaned and stepped over piles with a look that implied that my efforts were more mess and less organized. “Very funny,” I said. Of course, I didn’t elaborate on my method of madness. He’d never understand my love ’em or leave ’em (still buttons, diet-and-it-might-fit or shoulda-woulda-coulda) system of discrimination. “I’ve got it under control.” He shook his head, unconvinced, and said, “I need to get my jacket from the closet. I’m meeting the guys in a few minutes for golf.” Fear passed over his face. “Is my stuff mixed up with this mess?” He motioned big and wide with his arms to take in the whole room and out into the hall. I raised my chin. “Of course not,” I said. “But you need to clean out your side soon.” “Well, I hope you can get all of this done before I get back.” He looked doubtful and backed out of the room.And that’s when Susie Savannah Starr arose from the dead. “No worries,” I said as I looked at my organized chaos. “I’ll just toss everything and go shopping.” Spring is a time of rebirth. Out with the old and in with the new. I bet I could even develop a simple system for shopping: Love ’em or leave ’em. LL

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I’m From Around Here

(THE CELEBRITY CHEF)

WRITTEN BY SERAINE PAGE PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALIYAH DASTOUR

H

enrietta Relaford loves being in the kitchen. So it’s no surprise the cooking and baking veteran was featured on the Travel Channel and Jamie and Bobby Deen’s cooking show when she lived in Key West, Fla. For 12 years she owned a shop, “The Art of Baking by Henrietta,” where she made a living selling what she calls her trademark coconut strips. Even with her cookbook slated to be published this month, Relaford won’t dole out the recipe of her most popular dessert. However, she will reflect on her most personal moments of living life. LL: What is your fondest memory of Liberty County? HR: “My days at Liberty County High School — we at LCHS had some of the finest teachers. I often think about our basketball team, our football team; the fun we had when we went to games. We had to get our school work done, but we found time to enjoy each other as friends. Even now when I think about those days that seem so long ago, I feel joy deep inside and smile to myself. We had the class of 1967 reunion a few years ago it was like we picked up where we left off. We were 50-year-old teenagers. It was great.”

LL: What is your greatest fear? HR: “I resist hard not to have fear, but my greatest concern is America leaving its foundation (God).” LL: What do you dislike the most? HR: “Poverty, because that is not the way God created us to live. Poverty is a sickness just like any other sickness—it is a type of cancer, it steals, kills and destroys.”

LL: What is your opinion on the current economic state of America? HR: “See number three! When you do that, you can’t do anything but fail.” LL: Who was your favorite childhood hero? HR: “My dad. He thought he could do nothing wrong.” LL: How do you take your breakfast?

LL: What would you classify as success? HR: “When you prosper in every area of your life: spiritual, physical, mental and financial.” 66

LL: Comedy time! Who do you enjoy more, Will Ferrell or Adam Sandler? HR: “I don’t care for either one; I still like the older comedies.”

HR: “Any way I can get it! In bed would be good. I like having breakfast with friends.” LL

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