NWGA'S PREMIER FEATURE MAGAZINE / JULY 2019
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JULY2019 COLUMNS 12
Teams who run up the score get a bad rap, and Jim Alred asks the obvious question of why individual athletes get a pat on the back when they demolish the competition.
Realizing that although the barriers between us all can create certain challenges, Monica Sheppard asks us all to follow the example of one brave woman with a goal of binding cultures through conversation.
Artist Ross Rossin shares his view of the American Presidential Institution through three paintings spanning the course of our nationâ€™s history.
Sticks and stones may break your bones, and according to Sean Willingham, so will riding the meanest bulls in the country during the ages-old pastime of rodeo.
V3 staff members are always up for an adventure, and this month our readers get the juicy details of our trip down the Nantahala River, courtesy of Nantahala Outdoor Center.
Harbin Clinic Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Rome are leading the way in repairing shoulder joints with new medical technology, the REGENETENâ„˘ Bioinductive Implant.
Janda Canalis, owner of EarthWorks Pottery wants to let folks know that pottery is more than just crafts It is physically, mentally and spiritually therapeutic.
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Publisher's Note On this month’s cover of V3 Magazine is the clean, pristine and bone-chilling white water of the Nantahala River. Within the pages of this edition you can read all about our trip and what the Nantahala Outdoor Center has to offer those with an adventurous spirit, compliments of V3’s own Elizabeth Childers. It is a feature we have had on the back burner for quite some time and the stars finally aligned for us to go enjoy the river as a staff in order to chronicle the experience. I can’t begin to put a value on opportunities for co-workers to get out of the office setting and try something different. You learn a lot about each O W N E R & C E O Ian Griffin person in those situations, with the pressure of the daily grind shelved and comfort zones being pushed to the limit. It breeds comradery and reinvigorates the "we’re-all-in-this-together" mentality that helps a company thrive. I even learned something new about myself in that I am now in the market for a sweet conversion van after renting one to shuttle our team up to North Carolina… a tell-tale sign I’m nearing 40 perhaps, but there ain’t no shame in my game! Some of my fondest V3 memories are from trips like this, or events we have put on or attended as a staff. I am grateful for the current staff here and those who have gone on to other things; we have been more than fortunate when it comes to great people lending their talents to this magazine, and it was during those times that we celebrated our accomplishments or detached from them completely that we truly got to know each other. One such long-standing member of the V3 team was J. Bryant Steele, who sadly passed away on the 12th of June 2019. Bryant’s "Cents & Sensibility" column ran in the magazine from May 2010 to April 2018 and featured his opinions on hot topics in politics, business and modern culture. His words were as sharp as his wit and both will be missed. Bryant had a fitting last name, as it required a lot of metal to share his political views with an audience predispositioned to disagree with his opinions. In fact, if I had a nickel for every phone call or email V3 received from people who were outraged by his latest column, I would own a private island. As many great columnists do, he had a knack for rubbing people the wrong way and I always offered those who issued complaints the opportunity to retort via a letter to the editor…which respectively, Bryant encouraged. Mr. Steele wasn’t a regular at our office, so I would never claim to know him well. But I read his columns, and he always attended our events and office parties during his time on the staff. It was in those times that I came to believe he was exactly the man his columns portrayed him to be. He was a good story teller, enjoyed a good meal and had a quick tongue. While I have no doubt many of you who have been reading this publication over the years disagreed with some if not all of what he had to say, I personally thought he did an excellent job of presenting why he felt the way he did about the topic at hand, and that is the essence of a good opinion piece…in my humble opinion. So from all of us here at V3, we send our condolences to his family in this time of loss and grieving. Though he will be missed, his words live on. Until next time.
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U T O For The Love of the Game with Jim Alred
I checked the score at work and almost fell out of my chair. As time expired on the United States women’s opening round match in the World Cup, the USA held a daunting 13-0 lead over Thailand. I shook my head, smiled and braced for what I knew was coming. Over the next 24 to 48 hours, pundits across the country and even the world weighed in on the lopsided affair. Some accused the U.S. of poor sportsmanship, running up the score and even worse. Others rose to their defense asking a question that technically doesn’t have a true answer. When does winning move from just getting the victory to a place where it demoralizes a team? Before we say too much, understand this column is being penned before this year’s World Cup ends. For all I know, the U.S. could get booted from the event early in the knockout round or they could go 12
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to the finals and add their fourth World Cup to their haul. And this game will be all but forgotten. My problem with the naysayers is when do we draw a line and why does it seem to be so bad in team sports but never materializes in individual ones when one team gets dominated? No one complained in Track and Field when Usain Bolt bested other runners time and again sometimes by huge margins and celebrated. If a figure skater is capable of landing multiple quad jumps in a routine, no one dares to say they are showing up the competition. When golfers win a major event by multiple strokes, the gallery and pundits applaud and rate their performances among the all-time best. So why in team sports when one team dismantles another team, which may not be as good, do people feel it necessary to jump up and accuse the winning team of bad sportsmanship? I understand some people felt the U.S. players celebrated a bit much after each goal even as the lead blew past 10-0. However, several of those players scored their first World Cup goals of their careers. These athletes have trained their whole lives for this stage and then asking them not to celebrate something that is close to a pinnacle achievement for them is asinine to say the least. Maybe Alex Morgan could have muted her celebration on her fourth and fifth goal a bit. However, remember Morgan was hurt in the last World Cup cycle and didn’t get to contribute as much as the U.S. won. One of the many lessons sports teaches us is that there is no guarantee of tomorrow and even the best players can suffer career-threatening injuries. Just ask Kevin Durant about that. While some pundits and media types took the team to task, the Thailand coaches and players didn’t. Yes, they were upset and it showed in their faces and the tears streaming down some of their cheeks after the game. If the U.S. were true jerks, as some people would want us to believe, then why were they taking time to go the opposing team, hug them and try to lift their spirits. Maybe like Morgan or coach Jill Ellis said after the game that backing off would have been even worse than running up the score. If you’ve played sports, most likely you’ve probably been there. In fact, you may have experienced both sides of this coin. Growing up in East Tennessee, organized soccer came to town when I was in the third grade. I joined a team and my dad, who knew nothing about the game, coached us. In our second season, we faced a far superior team coached by a former collegiate soccer player, who stacked the squad with kids who looked like they had eaten their Wheaties and then some. The game got ugly fast. At halftime, the other squad held a multiple-goal lead. When the final whistle blew, they had racked up 12 goals to our none. As we shook hands, the other players reminded us how bad they beat us. It stunk. But something else
happened that day. Playing as an outside defender, I spent most of the first half playing scared, backing off and not challenging the other team's offensive attackers. I realized early in the second half that my strategy wasn’t working, so I shifted gears and pressured and harassed attackers with reckless abandon or as much reckless abandon as a nine year old can muster. While it didn’t stop all the goals, it changed the way I played the remainder of that game and games going forward. In the next season, we faced the same team in a driving rainstorm. We got a few lucky calls, but we also played out of our minds. I’m certain every single one of us on the team remembered not only the thrashing but the opposing team’s attitude. Less than five months after the team drubbed us 12-0, we survived a late comeback to grab a 3-2 victory. Our team finished as league runner-up that season, and I have no doubt to this day that 12-0 loss had a lot to do with it. In a day and an age where we hand out participation trophies like we hand out candy to trick-or-treaters at Halloween, we face a daunting issue. Too many parents, kids, coaches and others get upset when they lose or when they lose big. The reality of life and sports is that there is always going to be someone better than you. The trick is not to find excuses or sling hate back when they initiate a smack down.
I was lucky enough to run in college for a Division I program. My junior year in high school, I got lapped in the sub region two mile. It wasn’t even the region finals, but the prelude to the finals, and I ran so bad that I wasn’t even an afterthought in the race. A couple of kids watching as I was among the last runners to cross the finish line that day even asked me why I was bothering to run, because I was so bad. That loss and those words gave me plenty of fuel, and I trained hard the next two years. So hard, in fact, that I morphed from a fair runner to one good enough to walk on and compete for an SEC school. I’m not sure that happens without the sub region race. Could the U.S. women have muted their celebration a bit? Yes, they could have but in the heat of the moment at the most important tournament in your sport, it’s hard to rein it in. They did try to pick up their opponents afterward. At the end of the day, losing is part of life, even if it’s losing by a lopsided score. Thailand showed class in how they handled it, and I bet those players will work their tails off in the coming months and years. The true test of a team, an athlete or a person is how they respond when things go wrong. Instead of complaining maybe it’s best to pick yourself up, dwell on the loss for a minute, learn the lessons and do your best to make sure it doesn’t happen again. *The views expressed in this column are those of the writer, and do not represent the opinions of V3 Magazine.
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Tiger Lily with Monica Sheppard IMAGINE
you are less than 10 years old, living in a community filled with people who are similar to you, supported by a large extended family, enjoying a clear sense of home; when your family decides to move to the opposite side of the country to a place where you know almost no one, and where very few people are like you, to start a new business and a new life. Oralia Limón Caldera did just that and, while it was hard, she has used what she learned to help others navigate new territories, too. Oralia’s father is one of nine siblings, all of whom were living in Los Angeles, Calif. in the late 1980s when a couple of them decided to move to Rome, Ga. Pretty quickly they moved grandma over and, as Oralia puts it, “Once grandma was brought over that was it for everybody in the family, we had to follow grandma.” There was only one Mexican restaurant in Rome at the time, so the family saw an opportunity to open a new business, a restaurant called Las Chivas in West Rome. It was very successful, so Oralia’s whole family has been dedicated to restaurant service throughout the years. Her father ran a restaurant for a while, Oralia and her husband, Pascual, ran a restaurant for a while, but as more Mexican restaurants opened up in the area, many of the original siblings and their families moved to Alabama to keep the family restaurant business going strong. “When I got pregnant with my fourth child, I realized that the restaurant business wasn’t really for me anymore,” Oralia says. “My husband was already going back to doing some construction work, so we decided to take the chance of closing the restaurant.” Oralia and her husband believe that you have to take risks knowing that you will never know what could have happened if you don’t. “We have learned to live life understanding that you have to take the risks knowing you will live through the lows and enjoy the highs!” It is that knowledge of the unknowns in life that has guided Oralia in her service to others. Her parents owned one of the first Latino groceries in Rome, La Mexicana on West 3rd Street, and it was not unusual for them to have people come in looking for help with interpretation in order to fulfill basic needs. “Access to an interpreter is a hundred times better now than it was when I was young,” Oralia recalls. “Back then there were only a handful of people that you knew you could trust to interpret
for you. A lot of the medical offices or other places didn’t have interpretation services on-site, so you would have to find someone from your community to come with you.” Her father became one of the main interpreters for the community, but if he was not available, Oralia would be the one to go. It was not the best circumstance to have a child along to interpret for an adult situation, but there were very few choices at the time. Sometimes a child was the best you could get. When she was older, Oralia went through interpreter training, including medical interpretation, but back then she was learning as she went. Oralia remembers one time that a woman came into the store who was in a lot of pain and needed to go to the hospital. Her dad was not available so her mother told her she should go; the woman obviously needed help. “It turned out the woman was having a miscarriage,” she says, “And there I was at 13 having to talk to the doctors and help her understand what was happening.” You can’t help but grow up quickly in such situations. When Oralia’s family moved to Rome the only other Hispanic children she knew at Garden Lakes Elementary were her own cousins. She had left a community where the majority of her peers were people of color, mostly Hispanic, with whom she could easily relate and where Spanish was spoken along with English in the classroom; so it was a real culture shock to come to a place where the only Hispanic person in her school other than her family was the custodian. “I found out later that he was Puerto Rican, but I looked up to him and I would smile at him with the biggest smile every time I saw him in the hallway because he was the only person who felt remotely familiar to me,” Oralia laughs. Being put in situations like that, needing to learn and communicate in a place of complete uncertainty, helped Oralia determine at an early age how to work things out for herself, and how important it was to help others with their own struggles. When her brother, Christian Limón, asked her to get involved with their new group, Romanos Unidos, she knew it was another opportunity to support Latino people in the Rome community who needed help navigating an unknown system. “I was mostly a stay at home mom at the time, caring for my young family after closing the restaurant, but I wanted to help as much as I could,” she says.
I first met Oralia and others in the group when I was invited to one of their events, a “Know Your Rights” workshop to train people on what their rights are if ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) shows up at their door. We English-speaking guests were assigned an interpreter because the entire meeting was presented in Spanish, and I got a small taste of what it is like to try and understand and learn in a situation where you do not know the language. It was a real eye-opener for me. “We are working to compile a list of services in the area that people might need and to build a list of interpreters to help them access those services,” Oralia explains. The organization also puts on various workshops like the one I visited, including brake light clinics, where people can learn about how, under section 287g of the National Immigration Act, if an undocumented person is pulled over for something like a burned out brake light, the police can arrest them and hold them in jail for ICE. Through the program they help repair brake lights and hand out information on how the system works. The group also does work in the Rome community introducing people to the Latino culture. For example, at the Winter Wonderland at the Forum last year they held piñata-making classes and performed traditional dances. They are also working with kids in high school and college to build a supportive network at a younger age. Oralia’s oldest son recently graduated from Coosa High School, just like she did, and in June their family celebrated her daughter’s 15th birthday with a beautiful traditional Quinceañera. When it came time for her children to begin school at her alma mater of Garden Lakes Elementary, she admits that she worried for the struggles they might experience as they entered public school, but knew it was important for them to live their own lives. “Nothing is perfect, but things are definitely much better than they were when I was growing up,” she says. She finds that her kids have a great deal more support now and the community is more welcoming than it was when she was young. But, as things improve, there is always a bit of pushback. The idea of a world in which all can feel welcome and respected and supported is something that Romanos Unidos will continue to tackle, and Oralia looks forward to continuing to work toward that goal as her children get older. “My children are my focus, and I am doing substitute teaching as well, so I don’t feel that I do a lot,” Oralia says. But, I would argue that she has done and is doing far more than she even realizes towards creating that whole new world of inclusion for her children and for many generations to come.
*The views expressed in this column are those of the writer, and do not represent the opinions of V3 Magazine.
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Ross Rossin paints 250 years of Presidents in the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia. TEXT ASHLEE BAGNELL PHOTOS JASON HUYNH
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hree days after the terrorist attacks in September of 2001, a Bulgarian man and his family received the immigration papers that they were sure wouldn’t be coming after the planes hit the Twin Towers. With hope and excitement for a new life in the Land of the Free, Ross Rossin moved his family to the United States of America. Now, nearly 19 years later, Rossin is continuing one of the largest homages to the American Presidential Institution. He is actively painting the “Commanders in Chief” collection inside the Booth Western Art Museum, located in Cartersville, Ga. But why is a Bulgarian immigrant painting the American presidents in Cartersville, you may ask? We had the opportunity to cross the velvet rope, ignore the “Do Not Disturb the Artist” sign and have a conversation with Rossin himself. When Rossin speaks, you can’t help but listen to every word. The artist has an incredible view of America and a respect for the history of this country. He speaks of his decision to start painting the first Presidential portrait of the three-part collection by explaining, “when somebody like me comes to this country, there can be a certain excitement and appreciation. And the question is how exactly do you show this? Each and every one of us - millions of us - show it in one way or another, mostly through hard work and living a decent life as a new American citizen.” Rossin wants to give back to the country he loves. “I always loved American history," he says, "and I
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was very interested in the Presidential history of this country for that same reason. I try to understand what makes this country truly great, and how for 250 years it is consistently growing and getting greater and greater. And so, I wanted to see the face of the Presidential institution on one canvas and capture the 20th century, the past century. "Something like this has not been done before at least not to this scale," he continues. "Practically life size, 18 men gathered together. I wanted to make a portrait of the institution rather than just a number of individual portraits. My thoughts were to go beyond just simple recognition of who is who, who did what and so on.” And it is indeed life-size. The original mural is currently displayed outside of the painting room when you first enter the second level of the museum. The work includes a key of which president is which; however, due to the incredible accuracy of the painting, it is fairly simple to name each man without having to use the key. This project is a labour of love. Rossin is passionate about his work on the entire project, but the first painting wasn’t commissioned. It was his way of expressing his reverence for America. “It was not a commissioned work," Rossin recalls. "It was just a work of love. I often call it my love letter to America. That’s why I started and I finished it in 2004 while working out of an Atlanta gym at Westminster School. Just like here at the Booth Museum, the kids over there were allowed to see the process of completing the painting. More than anything, I study human nature. But in this painting I
am studying the institution, I’m studying the country, I’m studying the spirit of this country. I think coming from the outside it gives me the unique opportunity to see the big picture. I did not get lost in the little things. I think that this is a great advantage and I share what I see with everyone, with the community, with the country and with the world, for that matter. Paintings like this, they last for decades and centuries. I am perfectly aware of the responsibilities that come with a work of art like this.” Rossin recognizes his responsibility, and his respect for the institution is a driving force for his approach. But, he has a message that he is hoping these paintings will give to those who view them. When gazing at the paintings, something strange happens. You are not simply looking at a painting and nodding your head in approval of the craftsmanship. They invoke every kind of emotion and that is exactly what Rossin wants. “The painting is nothing more than an invitation to communicate with their spirit and their legacies. So the meeting is actual. It’s not physical, obviously, but its actual. It is a meeting of ideas, a meeting of characters. When you look at them, they come to life through your memories, your tales and stories. You remember everything they have done and everything they didn’t do. So they do meet.” Visitors are suddenly faced with all the responsibility these men have had over the nearly 250 years that our country has stood on its own. They see how our country has evolved and how each president has shaped the nation in his own way.
“This 20th-century painting that has been at the Booth now for nine years and I hope it shows exactly this genuine sense of optimism and positive attitude towards life," Rossin explains. I hope in creates a positive attitude towards the past, present and the future of this country. Regardless of our political backgrounds, ideological backgrounds or number of differences or issues, we learn from history. We are inspired by history but history is what it is. You cannot change it, you cannot deny it, you cannot alter it, you don’t play with it, you just look it in the face and take the best out of it. So, that’s the simple reason I did it.” Rossin isn’t out to make a political statement. In fact, his intentions are quite the opposite. He wants to capture “The bold and unapologetic spirit of this country.” For Rossin, it’s simple. He explains, “Quite often we forget about the core values of this country. All of us come from all kinds of cultural backgrounds and socioeconomic backgrounds and geographical differences, race, everything. We have one thing in common: this contract. Respect of the Constitution, supremacy of the law and the Bill of Rights. So, I see these men as precisely what they are, guardians of the Constitution. For me it’s critically important to understand the key motives that go through all of the paintings that I am doing right now. That is the peaceful transition of power for 250 years. There are no military coups, no dictators, no kings, or no crazy heads of states who abuse power beyond belief. This is not exactly the case around the world.”
"I wanted to make a portrait of the institution rather than just a number of individual portraits. My thoughts were to go beyond just simple recognition of who is who, who did what and so on."
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The process for these paintings is extensive. He begins by studying the Presidents in depth from their facial structure to their personality. “Only three of them have their own bodies from pictures. For the rest I hired models and friends to sit for me, and make all the gestures and everything. I did a detailed study of each and every one of them, as far as their personality types and height and everything. I also considered the fashion of the time. The body language is so important and here they are gathered together in front of you, facing you, looking at you, and you looking at them. And it’s open for questions and analysis and comparison.” The 19th and 21st century paintings were commissioned by a philanthropist and Vietnam veteran by the name of Harry Patterson. After he saw Rossin’s first painting, he commissioned the next two paintings to aid in fundraising for the Veterans Wellness and Healing Center in Angel Fire, New Mexico. The future of Rossin's paintings is still unknown at this time, but they will remain in the Booth Museum until they are completed. Rossin has nearly completed his painting of the 19th century Presidents, and as soon as he is done with it, he will begin work on the 21st century painting. If you visit the museum, the sketch is already visible on the canvas. Rossin informed the museum that he is leaving space for growth on this painting. He intends to add to it as long as he is alive and able to paint. We can already see changes in the 21st century that we didn’t see in the last 200 years. But Rossin hopes to see the country continue to grow. He says, “What is missing in this picture? Obviously, there are a lot of things missing. At the time there was no African American President, there is still no woman President and naturally the future will do what needs to be done and changes will occur. But here they are, and I think of them as Guardians of the Constitution. Which is very important.” He sees all the Presidents equally. Sure, he has his favorites - Washington being his absolute favorite - but for the purpose of this painting he wanted to give each of them the attention that their title demands. They weren’t perfect, and none of them will ever be. Those who have the opportunity to let the weight of that responsibility wash over them are able to look at America with fresh eyes. When asked what he wanted to name the 19th Century painting, Rossin replies with an idea that provides a seamless transition between his current and future works. “I called this one “Meeting in Time” for the obvious reason that they weren’t together but they are meeting right here in Cartersville.”
Visit Booth Western Art Museum at 501 N Museum Dr, Cartersville, GA 30120 and online at boothmuseum.org. You can contact the museum at 770-387-1300
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Northwest Georgia’s Premier Furniture & Home Decor Store Specializing In:
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IT IS NOT OFTEN THAT a company’s employees give out their personal cell phone numbers to customers, but it is common practice at Cedarstream. This printing company, based in Cedartown, Ga., is all about customer service when it comes to doing business. According to Jenny Burch, vice president of sales and marketing at Cedarstream and daughter of the company’s founders, there isn’t a single employee at Cedarstream who has not gone above and beyond for a customer. Every one of the family-owned company’s 77 employees puts in the hours necessary to get a job done when the customer needs it. In the past, they’ve worked nights and weekends, and personally delivered orders to customers. Jenny says that they have even chased down a UPS truck to ensure that an order got out on time. Graphic designer Kim Moates was a customer before she started working at Cedarstream, so she can speak to the quality of customer service from both sides. As a customer, she says, she felt like she was working with real people because she could text Cedarstream employees with questions about her order. Now, as a designer, she emphasizes the
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willingness of everyone in the company to “do whatever it takes to get the job done.” This excellent customer service is only one in a long list of Cedarstream’s capabilities. The company’s new 40,000 square-foot facility in Cedartown houses 24 embroidery heads, seven automatic screen-printing presses and a brand new direct-to-garment (DTG) machine. Burch is excited about the possibilities that this DTG machine opens up; it will allow the company to fill orders for smaller numbers of shirts within the day if necessary. The DTG machine can print a design on a single shirt, which allows a customer to order a specific design directly from the company if they miss out on an event shirt or just need a novelty shirt for a holiday. The staff at Cedarstream works with their customers through every step of the ordering process. When an order is first placed, customers can expect to be walked through the process of picking the right item for them, whether it be a T-shirt for a family reunion, a banner for grandma’s birthday, a car-wrap for a new business or pens for the office.
“We have customers who provide us the exact file, and we have customers who draw their ideas on a napkin, and we turn that into what I call a masterpiece,” After the customer picks the product, artists help to develop the design, offering art proofs until the product is exactly what the customer is looking for. To Burch, the high-quality art is yet another aspect of Cedarstream’s business that sets them apart. She says that the designers often work with challenging and complex graphics, but the end result often looks like a photograph printed on the product. “We have customers who provide us the exact file, and we have customers who draw their ideas on a napkin, and we turn that into what I call a masterpiece,” Burch says. All of this is included in the order price of the shirts; Cedarstream believes in being straightforward, with no hidden fees. From design, to printing, to shipping, everything is done in-house. They also offer special services such as rolling, tagging, bagging and folding for clients who need merchandise to go directly on the shelves. Cedarsteram has active customers in all 50 states and regularly prints shirts for customers such as Guy Harvey, HIS Word Clothing Company, and clients associated with NASCAR and Super Bowl LI. Additionally,
Cedarstream serves much of the local community through their Rome and Cedartown locations, and that is something they take great pride in. Founder and owner Jamie Morris is enthusiastic about their increased capability for on-demand printing and oneday service. For those looking to work with Cedarstream, quick pricing quotes and other product information are available on their website, www.cedarstream.com.
BELOW Sean Willingham attempts to ride McCoy Ranches's Wileywood Blue during the second round of the Kansas City PBR Unleash the Beast in March 2019. Photo by Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media
Good Ride, Bull Riding
Cowboy SUPERSTAR COWBOY, SEAN WILLINGHAM, BREAKS DOWN WHAT GAVE HIM THE COURAGE TO MOUNT HIS DREAMS AND RIDE THEM INTO THE SUNSET. TEXT MCKENZIE TODD PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY BULL STOCK MEDIA
With the sinking summer sun disappearing from the sky, the sound of blaring brass horns cuts through the clamor of chatting spectators; an ocean of wide-brimmed cowboy hats lines the stands to watch the spectacle about to take place. The sound of hooves clanking in trailers behind you startles you, as the smell of freshly stirred earth wafts past your nose and stimulates your senses. Speakers blare the melody of John Wayne’s 1972 classic, “The Cowboys,” spurring your soul as the once bare arena is now filled with men and women straddling horses that hug the fence line signaling the start of a grand performance. If you are from the South, chances are you are familiar with the scene. A rodeo, to most, is an all-too-familiar event that many folks choose to attend, whether they are a fan or not. Some may have even dreamed of being the cowboys who are conquering the bulls, until realizing that the ride is rather complicated and the danger is as real as the tonnage atop the hooves. Maybe you’d rather stay on the ground where you are safe and leave it to the professionals.
One professional has been riding bulls for over 20 years and describes his sport simply: “We work eight seconds at a time. That’s it.” Sean Willingham, professional bull rider, was 14-years-old when he first became interested in horses and the rodeo. That small spark of interest quickly turned into a burning love affair with riding bulls. “Growing up, my family had a horse at home that we worked to train, so we could compete in roping events. I quickly learned that roping was not up my ally, which is when I started to watch bull riding,” explains Willingham. “I distinctly remember when I fell in love with bull riding. My family took me to the rodeo here in Summerville, Ga., which is one of the biggest things that happens in this town. When the bull riding started, they made this huge deal about it, which caught my attention,” he recalls. “Nobody rode the bull that night for eight seconds, that I can remember. And that’s what triggered me. I thought, (hey! I can do that! It couldn’t be that bad.)” READV3.COM | JULY 2019
After about a month of pestering to let him on a bull, the parents of the still 14-year-old boy finally caved and let Willingham mount a bull and give the animal a ride. Little did they know, this would be a passion he would have for rest of his life. “When I hopped on my first bull, I was instantly proven wrong. Riding a bull is very hard to do, but I was bound and determined to stick it out until I was able to ride a bull for eight seconds,” says Willingham. It wasn’t until his eighth ride or so that he was able to stay on for eight seconds. This feat led him to start entertaining the thought of entering himself as a contestant in every local high school and amateur rodeo that was in driving distance of his hometown. However, once Willingham began to figure out that there was money to be made at these events, that is when his hobby became a career. “Back then, I didn’t know anything about professional bull riding. I was just a country kid who loved playing sports. I had no clue what I was getting myself into, where it could take me or how big this sport actually was. It definitely was not as big or mainstream as it is today, for sure,” says Willingham when looking back at the beginnings of his career. Once he gained enough experience, Willingham joined the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Association, an organization that showcases the best bull riders in the world on the backs of the best bulls in world. Willingham competed in his first major rodeo was when he was just 16 years old, and as of 2019, he has been with the PBR for 23 years. “I bought my credentials for the Professional Rodeos Cowboys Association and the Professional 32
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Bull Riders Association the day I turned 18. By that time, I had been riding bulls for three years. So when I was able to sign with PBR, my dream had come true.” Although he gets paid, Willingham doesn’t call rodeo a job. He just enjoys what he does. “I have been fortunate enough that what I love to do pays the bills,” he says with a smile. As can be expected, he stays busy. Riding with the PBR means competing in around 28 televised events, along with 10 or 15 rides during the summer. “On a good year, I am gone 42 to 45 weeks out of the year,” says Willingham. “During the first week in January, we start off at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and then we ride every weekend, except Easter, until May. We are off starting in May, but then we start back up again in August, riding every weekend again until we finish off the tour in Las Vegas, Nevada in November for the World Finals.” During his off-season he also rides in minor league series events where bull riders can gather points that eventually add up and go towards their World Finals total. Oftentimes, for those who have not been to multiple rodeos, the scoring system may still be difficult to grasp. Bull riding is a judged sport where four individuals rate the bulls from one to 50 points, and then mark the riders from one to 50 points for a combined total of 100 points, depending on their ride. According to Willingham, there has only ever been one score to hit 100 points in the history of bull riding.
“No matter what, we have to ride the bull for eight seconds. Anything after eight seconds is not necessarily helpful, because we are only judged on the eight seconds we stay on the bull,” explains Willingham. “You have to ride the bull with one hand tied in to a rope and one hand in the air. You cannot touch the bull, the ground, the fence or yourself during the eight seconds or it is a disqualified ride. So, not only do you have to go and ride well, but sometimes riders can get lucky, depending on what bull they are given to ride and how difficult the animal is to ride.” Willingham’s highest score riding bulls is 93 points, which he achieved in 2000. He also boasts around sixteen 90-point rides throughout his career. “If you can get in the 90’s that means you have ridden one of the best bulls in the world. Mid 80’s is about average.” When asked why he has continued on this journey for so long, his answer is simple. “You know, it’s not the money or the notoriety, it’s the challenge that riding throws at you every single time you jump on a bull. No matter how many times you have ridden, you get on another bull and he is going to challenge you just as much as the first one you rode. That’s what I love the most and what keeps me coming back,” says Willingham. With all of the rodeo events Willingham travels to, it is amazing that he finds time to practice. This leads to another question that the cowboy addresses with a confident grin.
LEFT Sean Willingham attempts Bout Time of UTC / Sellers Bucking Bulls during the Neighborhood Ford Strong Challenge PBR Velocity Tour Event in Wheeling, WV - 3.15.2019 Photo by Christopher Thompson / Bull Stock Media RIGHT Sean Willingham gets ready to ride in Edinburg, TX. Photo by Andre Silva | Bull Stock Media
“YOU KNOW, IT’S NOT THE MONEY OR THE NOTORIETY. IT’S THE CHALLENGE THAT IT THROWS AT YOU EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU JUMP ON A BULL. NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU HAVE RIDDEN ONE, YOU GET ON ANOTHER ONE AND HE IS GOING TO CHALLENGE YOU JUST AS MUCH AS THE FIRST ONE YOU RODE. THAT’S WHAT I LOVE THE MOST AND WHAT KEEPS ME COMING BACK.”
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Just how do riders go about practicing bull riding?
“The best way to do it is to actually just get on the bull,” Willingham laughs. “That is by far the best kind of practice anyone can do. However, when you do that, you are risking a lot because the risk is just as high and dangerous as it would be when you are competing. “That’s how I was taught when I was learning how to ride. The more bulls I got on, the better I was going to ride. In times past, I was getting on anywhere from 10 to 12 bulls a week.” In between practice bulls and going to amateur rodeos, he was getting a lot of training. Now, he tends to take it easy during his much anticipated off time. “Now that I am older and going into my 23rd year of riding bulls, I don’t practice as much as I used to. My practice now will be entering a smaller, local rodeo with a little less caliber bulls than what I am used to every week riding in the PBR,” says Willingham. “I do this because I figure if I am going to practice, I might as well have the chance to win something.” “I have broken my neck before, cracked my skull, broken my ankle and my wrist twice. And there were a couple of meniscus tears, broken collarbones, broken ribs, fingers and toes, too. What haven’t I broken would be a better question!” laughs Willingham. Just recently he suffered a pretty serious accident that resulted in a clean break of his tibia, putting the cowboy in surgery the next day to mend his broken leg with four screws. And in 2014, he broke his neck. On the brink of retirement, he decided to come back because he couldn’t imagine a life without bull riding. “The majority of the reason I kept coming back, and continue to keep coming back, is simply for the love of the sport. In bull riding, you don’t see that many people my age still working at this level of competition,” says Willingham. Not only is every ride an adrenaline rush, but every weekend is a new exciting opportunity. In fact, according to his current schedule he will make his way through Kansas City, Missouri; Tacoma, Washington; Sioux Falls, South Dakota and more destinations across the country when he is well. When asked where his favorite place to raise him arm for eight seconds is, there is no hesitation. His favorite place to ride is Madison Square Garden in New York City. “Since we first started going to Madison Square Garden about eight years ago, that has by far been the most amazing arena I have gotten to ride in. Plus, the people from New York aren’t familiar with the sport of rodeo or bull riding, so their crowd is always very engaged which makes it even better,” he says. “There are quite a few of moments that have been ones to remember. But I think one that stands out would have to be winning our Premier Series events in Atlanta in 2014,” recalls Willingham. “We don't come to Atlanta often, and it is probably one of the hardest places to perform. Not many people
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win their home state events, and I know it was one of the most challenging things for me in my career. My first child, Lani Michael, had just been born 14 days before this event. Being a brand new dad, I didn’t know what I was doing. There were definitely lots of sleepless nights, but I walked away winning that event. That has been one of my proudest moments.” He never misses a chance to brag on his two children, Lani Micheal (5) and Conlee (2), who just love to watch their dad dance with the bulls. Recently, Lani traveled with him to St. Louis, Missouri and, as Sean describes it, “she got more YouTube views and social media hits than I ever have in my entire career. I love being able to take them with me and show them what I have grown up doing my entire life,” says Willingham. “My wife, Kayla, is a school teacher at Trion, and she is the best mother and wife that I could have ever asked for. To let me go every weekend, and at least three to four days a week, to do what I love, and enjoy and pursue my dreams takes a strong woman. I am very thankful for them, and how they stand behind me and support me the way they do.”
Bull riding, to Sean Willingham, is life.
Before finishing the interview, Willingham closes by singing the words, “Mama’s don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.” As the crowd dies down and the lights turn low, you leave the arena speechless, the fading traces of adrenaline still slightly coursing through your veins and the bitter taste of excitement tickles your tounge. You realize that this is not the last rodeo you will ever visit. The rest is history.
RIGHT Sean Willingham rides D&H Cattle Co/444 Bucking Bulls's Newsom for 87.25 during the first round of the Unleash the Beast Sacramento PBR in February 2018. Photo by Matt Breneman | Bull Stock Media BELOW Sean Willingham getting ready to ride in Sacramento in January, 2019. Photo by Matt Breneman | Bull Stock Media BELOW & RIGHT Sean Willingham attempts to ride EVP Bucking Bulls's Hitman during the second round of the Oklahoma City PBR Unleash The Beast. Photo courtesy Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media
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JULY 2019 | READV3.COM
The water was cold, but the warmth of camaraderie kept V3 staff members in the raft through the rapids. TEXT ELIZABETH CHILDERS PHOTOS CAMERON FLAISCH
So, you have never been whitewater rafting before? YOU’RE NOT ALONE.
Out of the handful of V3 staff venturing through the hills of North Georgia into North Carolina early one rainy June morning, roughly half of us have set paddle in a river before. The other half are noticeably more nervous. Our destination is the Nantahala River, located just outside Bryson City, N.C. This river boasts a number of class two whitewater rapids, capped off by a class three rapid that culminates your trip. But we’re not there quite yet. The Nantahala Outdoor Center (13077 Hwy 19 West, Bryson City), our outfitter of choice, offers a wide array of outdoor adventure options, from rafting, to kayaking, ropes courses and zip lining and more. From the moment we arrive it is clear that we are about to have a blast. Once we stow all of our phones and wallets, apply sunscreen and sign all of the necessary waivers, we are outfitted with the gear that would propel us through our trip. Now, armed with paddles, life jackets and mercifully, splash jackets to protect our arms from the frigid water, we think we are ready to go. Fortunately, the NOC supplies us with one last piece of gear before hitting the water and that is information on whitewater safety. Quickly, we learn the whitewater swim position in case one of us falls out - nose and toes pointed downstream, never stand up in moving water and curl up into a cannonball if you wind up swimming through the waterfall. (We won’t share how many faces turned white at this point.)We also learn how to correctly grip the handle of our paddles to avoid becoming a hazard to our raft mates, and before long, reminding shouts of “T-grip!” can be heard among our group. Now that we are fully outfitted and informed, it is time to hop on the bus for the trip to the beginning of our river run. The important thing to know at this point is that, universally, river guides like to tell jokes to amuse themselves. So it comes as no surprise during our bus ride when our trip lead asks for a show of hands of who had never done this before, his immediate response is, “Well all you have to do is stay seated and keep your hands and feet inside the bus at all times!” Let’s hope that our guide will forgive us for spoiling the punch line to his joke. If you ever hear him ask, do us a favor and raise your hand anyway. 38
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Once we reach our put-in point, we stop and marvel at the guides' teamwork that makes getting rafts down from atop a school bus look like a well-oiled machine. Soon, it is our turn to carry our team’s raft down to the river’s edge, where we prepare to board. It is at this point that we first encounter the bone-chilling cold that is the Nantahala River. Not only is the river fed from the depths of the Fontana Lake, but it is also seated in a shaded gorge, which means that it only receives a few hours of direct sunlight each day. In fact, the name Nantahala is a Cherokee word which means “Land of the noonday sun.” On average, the water’s temperature is about 45 degrees, and on this particular rainy day our feet, already numb from the icy river nipping at our toes, wonder if the temperature even reached that high. We are instantly grateful for the splash jackets that kept our arms protected from the frigid water as we were paddling. Paddling the raft requires a great deal of teamwork and coordination so that we move down the river BELOW V3 Staff and friends raft, left to right: Elizabeth Childers, McKenzie Todd, Ashlee Bagnell, Cameron Flaisch, Ian Griffin, Corey Pitts
"Quickly, we learn the whitewater swim position in case one of us falls out - nose and toes pointed downstream, never stand
up in moving water and curl up into a cannonball if you wind up swimming through the waterfall."
at the proper speed, and avoid paddling in circles. Thankfully, our river guide does the lion’s share of the work, acting as our boat’s rudder, instructing us when to paddle and for how long. Essentially, we are the wheels on the raft, and our guide is the steering wheel and driver combined, working with the everracing water to navigate us down the river. Our guide skillfully weaves us across the river, placing us in the perfect position to experience the rapids, while all the while steering us away from hazards like downed trees or rocks with the potential to beach the raft. There’s something magical about the river between rapids, the combined relief and adrenaline of successfully nailing yet another obstacle heightens the
senses. We are even more aware of our surroundings and we have time to bask in the beauty of the setting before arriving at the next rapid. An overcast sky and thick fog from the occasional rain shower add an otherworldly quality to the river’s beauty. It almost seems as if we are moments away from ducking the teeth of a T-Rex in Jurassic Park, and we fully expect to see a rogue raptor at any moment. By this point, our team has grown confident in our paddling, comfortably numb in our feet, and ready to get even more adventurous. Soon our guide propels us through rapids as we paddle in opposite directions to make the raft spin the entire way through. We choose our level of difficulty before approaching the READV3.COM | JULY 2019
rapid, and our guide takes us through the real-life pages of our own version of a choose-your-ownadventure book. Although our entire trip down the river lasts over two hours, it felt like hardly any time at all had passed before approaching the last rapid, the infamous class three waterfall and the cause of the aforementioned white faces. We know ahead of time that if we were to fall out of the raft before going over the falls, we’d need to curl up and ride over the drop, cannonball style, and then to look for a rescue rope thrown to us by one of the guides. That information alone seems to steel our group’s determination to make it over the falls with a solid piece of raft between us and the water. Between our refusal to swim the drop and expert navigation on the part of our guide, we make it over the falls, all inside the boat. Now we celebrate our success, and watch other rafts follow behind us while not-so-secretly hoping that someone would fall out for our own entertainment.
Selfish? Yes. Funny? Also yes.
Once we regain feeling in our feet, return our gear and change into dry clothes, we then venture over to see photos from the last rapid. The NOC must share our interest in watching rafts spill passengers over the falls, as their photographer is set up and primed to catch that very moment. Thankfully for us, our
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photos contain more elated faces and celebratory paddle-pumps than looks of fear, which is a victory in itself. For anyone considering taking a whitewater rafting trip with the NOC, here are a few things to keep in mind. 1. Good paddling is really just good direction following and timing. If you can count to three and follow the person ahead of you, you can paddle a raft with a team. 2. Good paddling will help your guide get to where you need to be on the river, which means you’ll have the best experience possible through the rapids. 3. You’ll be cold, but that adds to the fun. Plus, you can brag about it later. 4. You might surprise yourself at just how much fun you’ll have! Rafting the Nantahala might be outside of your comfort zone, but if you ask any of our staff, I think they’d tell you it’s worth the risk.
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HEAD & SHOULDERS ABOVE HEALING Harbin Clinic Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Rome are leading the way in repairing shoulder joints with new medical technology, the REGENETENâ„¢ Bioinductive Implant. TEXT LAUREN JONES-HILLMAN. PHOTOS CAMERON FLAISCH & JASON HUYNH
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Teresa Resch was tired of living in pain. AN ACTIVE 57-YEAR-OLD from Rome, Ga., Resch wasn’t able to do many of the things she enjoyed. Gardening, playing with her grandkids and even sleeping had become too painful. Seven months prior, Resch had slipped in the shower. As she fell, her hand shot out to catch herself, but her body hit the floor. Her arm had stayed where it was, and she tore her rotator cuff and biceps tendon. “I tried physical therapy, taking anti-inflammatory drugs, and alternating heat and ice,” she says. “I wasn’t sleeping at night.” Resch went to visit Harbin Clinic Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Rome, where she became a patient of Dr. Brad Bushnell. After reviewing her case, Dr. Bushnell saw that she qualified for a new type of device he’d been using to help repair rotator cuff tears. Dr. Bushnell had been enrolling patients into a post-market medical research study for the REGENETEN™ Bioinductive Implant - and he had been getting amazing results. “For me, surgery was the last resort,” says Resch. “But I felt confident after talking with Dr. Bushnell. Having gone through seven months of pain, inability to function well and not sleeping, I felt like surgery was my only choice.” As it turns out, the rotator cuff surgery with the implant was one of the best choices Resch ever made for her health. “I had great results. I have absolute full motion of my arm in every direction,” says Resch. “I can lift things with no trouble, I’m sleeping well. I think I did great.” The way Dr. Bushnell initially came across the Regeneten implant was serendipitous. “I was at a sports medicine convention in Seattle in 2014 and I ran into an old friend while I was in a line to get coffee,” says Dr. Bushnell. “He used to work for one of the big orthopedic companies, but had just taken a new job with a start-up business. He said, ‘Hey man, it’s good to see you. You got a minute?’ And the rest is history.” At first, the effectiveness of the implant seemed too good to be true, but Dr. Bushnell saw rapid and convincing results. He and Clinical Research Coordinator Terri Brannon have diligently tracked data on a multitude of patients and contributed to several published multi-center research papers about the implant. Overall, he has completed more than 160 surgeries with it. Resch was a participant in one of the studies, which encouraged her throughout her healing process.
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“I’d never been part of doing research for a medical procedure and it made me really want to be a good patient,” she says. “I made sure I followed all the instructions during recovery. I had a positive attitude, and I think that also makes a huge difference. If you don’t have a positive attitude, you have a tendency not to do what you’re supposed to do to get well.” “The use of implants during rotator cuff surgery isn’t new,” says Dr. Bushnell, “but with this implant, they got the biology right.” What makes the Regeneten Bioinductive implant especially attractive is that it hasn’t been shown to cause adverse effects for the patient. In previous cases, some implants could cause the body to have an allergic reaction, but this one doesn’t seem to do that. “Another really innovative part is how quickly we can deploy it,” says Dr. Bushnell. “Some of the older implants used to require a big incision and a lot of time, but the delivery of this one literally takes me about two to three minutes using our standard small incisions.” LEFT Left to Right: Robert Bauldier, Dr. Bushnell
The implant is a patch about the size of a postage stamp and is created from the bovine Achilles tendons from a herd of cattle in New Zealand. The surgery is minimally invasive; Dr. Bushnell makes a small incision over the tear, then inserts and attaches the implant. It integrates biologically into the injured tendon and accelerates healing and strengthening. “Imagine a rope holding up a weight,” says Dr. Bushnell. “Using the implant is like adding supplemental fibers to the existing rope. It’s not adding another rope, but more like wrapping something around the rope that makes it grow stronger.” Tears occur from trauma, stress or general wearing of the tendon over time, and the implant helps with management and the protection of tendon
injuries without a huge loss of tissue. Dr. Bushnell has found success in treating both partial and full tears with the implant. “It seems to speed up healing of all types of tears,” he says. “However, the best results are in the partial tears where the rotator cuff is thinned out - it’s not ripped all the way off yet, but it’s getting there.” Glenn Keaton, a painter and construction worker from Menlo, has had two rotator cuff surgeries. The first he had years ago without the implant. “They went in and pulled the tendon out from under my shoulder and tied it down on the bone,” says Keaton. “I recovered from that, but it was pretty brutal. I was out of work for a good while.”
“Some of the older implants used to require a big incision and a lot of time, but the delivery of this one literally takes me about two to three minutes using our standard small incisions.”
BELOW Left to Right: Dr. Bushnell; Terri Brannon, Clinical Research Assistant
Once he was able to work again, Keaton had another accident and tore the cuff on his other shoulder. During this surgery, the tear was almost identical to his last injury – but this time, Dr. Bushnell used the implant. “My recovery time was half of what it was before,” says Keaton. “Four days after my surgery, I painted 400 feet of picket fence. It’s like it cut my recovery time in half.” The same was true for Zac Sanders of Cave Spring who had a partial rotator cuff tear, and his livelihood was at stake regarding his lawn care business. “I told Dr. Bushnell, ‘If I don’t work, I don’t get paid.’ and Dr. Bushnell told me to give him about a week after my surgery. Well, a week and a half after having rotator cuff surgery, I went back to work,” says Sanders. Both types of rotator cuff surgery - with and without the implant - work well in the long run. But the implant may be more effective in allowing people to get back to their lives, sooner. “I have full range of motion; I can run my arm up my backbone,” says Keaton. “I could not be happier, but to tell you the truth, I can’t tell the difference between the right and left shoulder at this point. They’re both perfect.” Dr. Bushnell also has additional tools to assist patients in their recovery after surgery. TOP LEFT REGENETEN™ Bioinductive Implant LEFT Terri Brannon with patient
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“In many cases, the rotator cuff tear is not the only thing they have going on, medically,” says Dr. Bushnell. “There may be some bicep problems, cartilage issues, arthritis, bone spurs and other things going on in the shoulder that may change their rehab protocol. Although Regeneten has a standardized physical therapy protocol, we sometimes tweak it to provide a customized experience for each patient.” Michael La Grange is another patient who was enrolled in the study. He explained that Dr. Bushnell had some home therapy equipment delivered directly to his house, and it was easy to use. “One therapy aid was a chilling pad that fit over my shoulder and pumped icy cold water over it,” he says. “The cold was the best relief for pain. It felt so good to have the cold on there.” There was also a chair-based machine that helped him stretch and move his shoulder. “It has an arm that would gradually raise up and go down again,” says La Grange. “I used it within two weeks of surgery which definitely expedited the recovery process. It put me that much more ahead of things when I went to physical therapy.” La Grange owns a farm and was also a wine merchant at the time of his surgery in 2015. He believes general overuse led to his second tear. “When I had my right shoulder operated on years before, I spent the first two weeks in a recliner because there was no way I could lay down in bed with my shoulder,” he recalls. “After Dr. Bushnell did my rotator cuff surgery with the implant, I slept in my bed the first night home. I was out of my sling within 10 days. Each injury is different, each person is different, but my recovery from this surgery was just so much quicker.” Now fully recovered, La Grange has nothing but great things to say about Dr. Bushnell and his team at Harbin Clinic. “He’s a great person,” says La Grange. “He’s very frank and honest and has a good sense of humor. Dr. Bushnell was super responsive and so were the staff across the board. The teamwork and the care was excellent.” One of the reasons Dr. Bushnell is the national leader in enrollment in the Regeneten patient registry is because he’s determined to prove it really works so more insurance companies will cover it. “It’s a shame the implant isn’t available to everyone
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who needs it. One of my biggest hopes is that we can get this covered for more patients. If our research can really prove clinical benefits with cost effectiveness, we can make it happen. There are new studies starting up this spring, and some of my partners are now participating as well. It’s an exciting time.” The cost-effectiveness factor includes that the surgery may reduce or eliminate the need for revision surgeries, prolonged physical therapy and the patient’s time out of work. “I want it to be available for everyone,” he says simply. “It works.” As far as his research goes, Dr. Bushnell says he’s thrilled that Harbin Clinic can be a national leader in orthopedic shoulder research.
“It’s wonderful that our numbers have outpaced those of our collaborators at places like Princeton and the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Denver. It’s a little friendly competition among national colleagues that goes a long way,” he says. “By providing care for our local patients and doing these research studies, we’re helping thousands of people out there we will never meet, in places that have never heard of Rome, Georgia. That’s pretty cool.”
ABOVE Left to Right: Dr. Bushnell, Terri Brannon BELOW Left to Right: Robert Bauldier, Orthopedic Physician Assistant and Certified Athletic Trainer; Dr. Bushnell;Terri Brannon
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4TH ANNUAL .0420 MICRO MARATHON Saturday, July 27 6PM – 10PM
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Register at www.coosa.org/micro-marathon Race begins at front door of CRBI offices and ends at the River Dog Outpost beer garden 5 Broad St. Rome, GA 30161 • 706-232-2724 • www.coosa.org
Lieberman Family Chiropractic Monday-Thurs 10 - 12 & 3 - 6:30 | Friday closed | Saturday 10 - 12 | Sunday closed
Dr. Brian Lieberman, Dr. Rebecca Lapham-Yaun READV3.COM | JULY 2019
earth, spin & fire This artist invites us all to get off of the hamster wheel of life and find our center in formless clay. TEXT DEMARCUS DANIEL
PHOTOS CAMERON FLAISCH
Art has many meanings to different people. Some like the beauty of the discipline, some can see beneath the surface and find meaning in a piece, and some people admire the amount of time and work put into the work. All art takes talent, especially those who choose to try pottery. Pottery is not something you can expect to grant immediate gratification. Pottery is art that takes discipline to master. Meet Janda Canalis, owner, operator and instructor at EarthWorks Pottery. Canalis, who is also a retired high school teacher with the Floyd County College and Career Academy, has been in business for 20 years. She started her journey due to her love of pottery, a passion she still wishes to share with her community. To open the studio, Canalis acquired equipment, little by little, and networked with other artists who wanted to learn more about pottery. Then came the obvious step. “It takes a lot of practice,” says Canalis when remembering the early years of her studio. “As adults, we like to stay in our comfort zones and do stuff that they’re good at right away. With clay, it’s a little humbling because it takes a while to get it, and like anything else in the world, it takes practice," she explains. "For me, the passion is that I work together with the clay to help me grow as a person. It helps me to get centered. The clay allows 50
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me to shut out the world for a little while and balance myself. Then, it's gratifying knowing that the clay is a part of the earth and not something man-made. "I’m actually taking something from the earth and recycling it into something new that people can enjoy," Canalis continues. "People think pottery is just something that you do with your hands, and physically it is, but it is also something you do with your spirit. You have to center the clay, but you must also be centered. Like if you are having a bad day or your mind is not focused, it just will not work. You must achieve some type of peaceful state.” As a potter, she loves teaching and she makes that clear. “I’m a teacher at heart; I love to teach. That’s why I started my studio. I want to share my passion.” EarthWorks has 10 stations set up for students. There, students can learn the basics of operating the wheel. While classes are mostly for adults, EarthWorks does offer opportunities for summer classes for children. She offers beginning and intermediate classes for any age, from school-aged children to adults. Some EarthWorks students have been with Janda for 20 years. “A lot of people have purchased kilns and wheels at home, and have their own thing going. They have still continued to come here for classes because it’s a community and we grow through
each other. When you’re home alone, you don’t quite have that comradery and the people around you to lift you up the way you would in this setting. I love that people still come to the studio and are willing to grow in pottery,” Canalis explains. The effects of art outside of the end piece is also motivation for why Canalis does what she does. “One of my greatest rewards of teaching pottery, and the reason I teach instead of doing my own thing, is the seeing of the emotional effect and seeing the feeling of centeredness and being one with the clay in someone else. To think that I can help someone facilitate those feelings is a great reward. Initially people don’t realize that working with clay is therapeutic, but once they get in here and feel the internal fulfillment as well as see something that they have created, I think then is when they decide to stick with it. We celebrate and encourage each other. There’s a lot of positive
“People think pottery is just something you do with your hands, and physically it is, but it's also something you do with your spirit”
feedback and positive feelings in watching others success. It is emotional and in its own way, spiritual to see someone become centered and one with the clay, then they have that ‘ah-ha’, I got it! moment. In the end, if they get bitten by the pottery bug and they love it, that’s great and I’ve had people go on to be really talented potters.” Additionally, pottery has physical health benefits. It helps with arthritis and keeps seniors' hands and wrists flexible due to the actions required to handle the clay. Pottery requires patience, a good state of mind and the understanding that you won’t always achieve your desired result. “I try to get people to not get so attached to the product, but to get attached to the process. Because there are so many steps in which the piece could crack, or the glaze doesn’t turn out how they thought, it would be very disappointing if you put all of your energy into the end piece hoping it is going to be perfect," explains Canalis. “Every time something flops, you grow. I always try to help my students understand that. You can learn from every mistake. If you took it too far and made the wall too thin, next time you know what adjustment to make, but you can’t learn unless you make some mistakes, to know how far you can push the clay.” The process is not an easy, nor is it a short one. The clay is placed onto the wheel. Then the beginning step is centering the clay. “Sometimes,
people think centering is putting it in the center," Canalis says when explaining the process, "but it is the inside of the clay where all of the molecules are that must be centered so that the rest of the vessel will be symmetrical." "In the beginner stages," she continues, "people tend to attack the clay, like working at it. As they relax a little bit, then they realize the clay and the wheel will do more for them than they think.” Next, one must open up the vessel (depending on what being made). If it is a wide vessel, you’d open it further, if it is a tall vessel you open it narrow. The next step is called pulling up the wall. It is a difficult step for beginners. It requires lots of support, encouragement and practice. The wall has to be the same thickness all the way up. If its thin, thick, thin, and thick again, then its guaranteed to break. Lastly, you must open the vessel up, and you can form it to whatever you want to create. After creating your form, the vessel must be dried. If the vessel dries too fast it will crack. Drying, depending on the size of the vessel, can take a week. If it’s a plate, two weeks. And that’s just the drying process. Next the vessel goes into the kiln. The vessel goes through the first firing, which is called the bisque firing. This firing allows the vessel to get to the point that you can apply glaze to it. The vessel is still not strong enough for usage. The bisque stage takes 24
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hours. Once the vessel comes out of the bisque firing, you glaze it. The glazes are like putting glass on the vessel. It melts in the hot kiln. This is called the glaze fire, which is a higher temperature. The vessel then has to cool down, which takes another 48 hours. Once this time has passed, you have your finished piece. Canalis wants everyone to appreciate the work and the process of each piece of pottery. “When people go to an art fair or art markets and see pottery, I wish they would pick the pieces up. They should feel them and admire them. There’s so much heart in it. The soul of the potter is in it. You have to understand all that goes into a piece. Then consider the joy of someone valuing the work of the potter. I’d also like people to support others who are still trying to stick to the basics. Yes, you can buy plates and mugs for cheap at a local department store, but also remember to support people who are still trying to create something uniquely beautiful.” Art, pottery and teaching are a true passions for Canalis. It is also therapeutic for her in many ways. There is an emotion in dealing with clay, and more so when dealing with people who are looking for peace. “Most of my creations are emotionally motivated. I especially like to create bowls, particularly large bowls. They are my absolute favorite item to create. When you give someone a bowl, you figure they are going to fill it with something. To know that you created something that someone could be using to serve
food to their family, or imagining that something else great will go into it is gratifying. I don’t know, there’s just something that feels real and expressive to me about a large bowl. “ I feel like bowls are just very generous and open, and sometimes I need that as I am an introvert. I’m kind of to myself and I need my space, and I come in here to the studio and it opens something deeper inside of me. I think that every time I sit at that wheel, things are more than just okay. In fact, something else about this place is that time becomes totally different. You can look up at the clock and not believe that three hours have passed. Its timeless, I’ll never have enough time here.” Canalis sells some of her creations at various events in Northwest Georgia, like Chiaha Harvest Festival and at auctions. She hopes to be able to sell more pieces as she enters her retirement years. There is also an art gallery at the EarthWorks’s studio. Her goal is for EarthWorks to become a big part of the community and hopes to grow the classes. “ EarthWorks is a supportive and encouraging environment where you can try something new. We would love to grow." Without a doubt, pottery is an art discipline that has no limits. Find Earthworks at 718 E 2nd Ave, Rome, GA 30161 on Facebook and contact at 706-266-0542
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304 Turner McCall Boulevard • Rome, Georgia 30165 706.378.6800 • GA TDD/TTY# 800.255.0135 www.kindredrome.com © 2013 Kindred Operating Healthcare, Inc. CSR 176719-02, EOE
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www.lascalaromega.com 413 Broad Street Rome, GA 30161
Hours: Mon - Sat: 6pm - 10pm 400 Block Bar & Lounge: 4pm-1:30am Live music each weekend.
La Scala offers both first-rate service and terrific Italian Cuisine in an upscale casual atmosphere. 50% off cafe menu from 4-6 p.m.
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Schroeder’s menu includes sandwiches, calzones, soups, salads, potato skins, nachos, wings, and more. And don’t forget our pizza! It’s the best in town... and for a sweet treat, try our Cheesecake Calzone! (Draft and Bottled Beers & Wine also offered) Famous for: Their Roast Beef Relief!
1204 Turner McCall Blvd • Rome, GA 30161 2300 Shorter Ave • Rome, GA 30165 3110 Cedartown Hwy • Rome, GA 30161 104 S Tennessee St • Cartersville, GA 30120
We’re known as the place to go for juicy, delicious charbroiled burgers & made from scratch biscuits. Because if you’re gonna eat, you should Eat Like You Mean It!
Hours: Mon-Sat: 11am-3pm
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www.moesoriginalbbq.com/rome 101 West 1st Street Rome, GA 30161
Hours: Sun-Thu: 11am - 10pm Fri- Sat: 11am - 2am
Moe’s Original BBQ is a Southern soul food revival where great food is served in an atmosphere that is relaxed, spontaneous, yet civilized….well, sometimes.
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595 Riverside Parkway Rome, GA 30161
510 Broad Street Rome, GA 30161
5 E Main St Cartersville, GA 30120
Hours: Mon and Tue 11-4 Wed and Thur 11-4 Fri and Sat 11-8 Sun 11-3
Casual counter serve offering sandwiches, salads & American comfort food, now serving breakfast Wed through Sat 7-10am
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