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JULY 2018 Columns 10
If you were like JIM ALRED, as a youngster there is only one name you yelled after smashing a wiffle ball deep over the hedges and that name is Atlantaâ€™s hero, Dale Murphy. J. BRYANT STEELE gives a sobering recollection of the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed, explains other ways our country suffered with him, and encourages us all to know the difference between private information and a public restroom.
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The husband and wife team at UNIQUE INTERIORS tells us all why you should close the laptop and search for the rarest decorative treasures right here at home. Romeâ€™s annual COOSA VALLEY FAIR celebrates 70 years with an act that is sure to be ranked high on the list for spectators. Don't miss the time-tested acrobats of CIRCUS INCREDIBLE. Great ideas often spring from our time sharing the simple pleasures of life. STAPLEHOUSE, an Atlanta-based restaurant recognized as one of the best fine dining experiences in the U.S., was born with sharing food in mind and having a heart for charity.
Leslie Duke of DUKE MUSEUM OF MILITARY HISTORY hopes to share the records of a country that has fought to bring freedom all over the world, and tell the story of heroes who sacrificed it all. JULY 2018
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JULY 2018 V3 MAGAZINE www.RenaissanceMarquis.com
It’s been just over a year since we opened our new V3 office at 417 Broad Street in Downtown Rome and it’s safe to say we’ve settled in to our new digs. As we looked for a new space, we had a list of wants and needs, but the recurring theme was that we wanted an “open office.” A space where we could create and collaborate together without the confines of walls or cubicles. Mission accomplished! Even the bird’s nest (our loft area that houses Chris Forino and my workstations) isn’t completely separated, OW NE R & C EO Ian Griffin so conversations can be heard and playful banter is abundant amongst our staff throughout the day. We often have multiple meetings going on at the same time or several people on the phone and it works. We make it work. All the potential challenges we listed with the open office plan, we have overcome, but we never stopped to think about our differences when it comes to music. And so the daily battles rage on. I try to play Switzerland as much as possible. If the office is empty, I play whatever I want of course, but I’ve learned 80’s, Motown and New Alternative seem to serve as middle ground, but it’s not always that easy. We have a pretty cheeky group and sometimes music serves as our ammunition. If we want to tease a certain person or give a happening a little accent note we all have the ability to connect to the stereo via Bluetooth, allowing us to fire musical shots at will. We even have theme songs for certain employees, regular visitors and everyday events such as lunch or mail delivery. For example, any time staff photographer, Andy Calvert starts a serious conversation, we cue up the theme song from "The Godfather" or if tensions are high lead photographer, Cameron Flaisch starts up Cap’n Geech & The Shrimp Shack Shooters from "That Thing You Do", prompting Oliver Robbins to ask if we are listening to Them Shrimp Boys each and every time. Does this create a juke box from hell scenario from time to time? Yes it does. But for the most part it just brings a little fun to the office. And on the days Cameron gets here before everyone else and is hell bent on playing the master works of Celine Dion or just wants to play Jimmy Buffet because he knows how much I hate it, my millennial employees have taught me a valuable lesson. Never, ever, forget your earbuds. In open-office-musical warfare, they are essential to your survival. They say you can never get enough of a good thing, but even Cap’n Geech and “Them Shrimp Boys” can start to wear you down with enough radio play.
OWNER & CEO Ian Griffin EDITORIAL MANAGER Oliver Robbins, Jr. MAG ART & DESIGN Ellie Borromeo WRITERS Oliver Robbins, Jr., Holly Lynch, Jim Alred, Lauren Jones-Hillman, Jennifer Luitwieler, McKenzie Todd, Rachel Reiff, Ian Griffin EXECUTIVE PHOTOGRAPHER Cameron Flaisch CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Andy Calvert AD SALES + CLIENT RELATIONS Chris Forino AD DESIGN Elizabeth Blount Ellie Borromeo PUBLISHER V3 Publications, LLC CONTACT 417 Broad Street Rome, Ga. 30161 Office Phone 706.235.0748 firstname.lastname@example.org CREATOR Neal Howard
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A Place for Dale For the Love of the Game with Jim Alred 10
No matter how old I grow, flash me the number three on the back of a jersey and a big smile crawls across my face. Growing up as a baseball fan in the South in the 1980’s in my household meant cheering for the Atlanta Braves. A lot of people will read the cheering for the Braves part and nod their heads, but let me throw out a reminder. During the 1980s, the Braves were a far cry from the 90’s and beyond version that reached the postseason almost every year. The 80’s Braves only had four seasons where they finished with 80 or more wins and finished below .500 in the other six seasons. There was the magical team in 1982 that made the NLCS only to get swept by the eventual World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. The 1983 version, finished as runner-up in the NL West. The Braves had future Hall of Famer Phil Niekro finishing the tail end of his career, but it was big number three that drew my attention. Dale Murphy. Murph the Smurf as my best friend called him, although Murphy was the exact opposite of a smurf. Murph stood 6-foot-4 and weighed about 210 pounds, could run like the wind, hit for power and patrolled center field better than anyone else in the 80s. He pounded hits, stole bases and in a decade marred by drugs (not performance enhancing but illegal nonetheless) and alcohol abuse. He stood as a shining beacon of all that was good in baseball. When he stepped to the plate you stopped and watched, often on the edge of your seat, because
let’s face it; he was that good. Many a hitter saw a deep fly ball turn into nothing more than a loud out from his defensive prowess and many a pitcher hung their head after failing to blaze a fastball past him. From 1982 to 1987, no field position player played the game better. He won two National League MVP awards, racked up five gold glove awards and snagged four silver slugger awards. Murphy played in every game for four-straight seasons and missed just two in two others. He was the Atlanta Braves and, in a big part, southern baseball in a time when the next closest teams to the south were located in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Houston. Although the Braves floundered, Murphy soldiered on. Never complaining. Never asking to be traded. When the Braves appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the worst team in baseball, he never cringed and kept playing. The years took a toll on him and his body. His swing changed a bit as he aged, and the talent around him lacked the pop to help lift the Braves to wins. Eventually the Braves traded him to Philadelphia, making room for a hot prospect named David Justice. The next year, the Braves reached the World Series. In 1995, Justice slammed the eventual game winning home run, clinching Atlanta’s only world championship. Murphy’s career sputtered until he retired, and the man who we all associated with the Braves had to watch from afar as his former team reached unprecedented heights. Most long-time Braves fans felt certain the best player from the 80’s and our hero would reach the hall of fame. And then steroids.
Murphy won the MVP and led the National League in home runs with 36 or 37 over four seasons. The first year Murphy was eligible for the Hall of Fame, 1999, came a year after McGwire hit 70 to lead the majors. Every statistic changed. The voters saw the insane numbers from the performance enhancer abusers and Murphy, a one-time shoo-in for the hall, looked average. They didn’t compare him to his contemporaries from the 80’s. Instead they used the Nintendo numbers, powered by the creams, the HGH and who knows what else in the late 90’s. Next to those eye-popping, and let’s face it unhuman statistics, Murphy’s’ numbers paled. Murphy hasn’t gotten the call from the hall. Other Braves like Phil Niekro, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Bobby Cox and John Scheurholz all have and deserve it. Murphy was one of the best players in a decade that didn’t give us amazing stats. He had the misfortune of playing for some bad teams. Maybe had he been more selfish and played fewer games, his career numbers would have improved. But that’s not who he was. He was the consummate team player and fought just as hard for a 50-win Braves team as he did for the 89-win team in 1982. I thought about going to Cooperstown when some of the above Braves were enshrined. I didn’t, because I wanted to save the trip for when my favorite player makes it. I have faith the historical committee will rectify the error in the next few years, and I’ll have the chance of watching big No. 3 get his proper place in the hall. *The views expressed in this column are those of the writer, and do not represent the opinions of V3 Magazine.
V3 5/21/18 MAGAZINE 11 9:28 AM
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Letter to the Editor
WHAT HAPPENED TO ABSOLUTES?
When I picked up a V3 Magazine in April during my weekly lunch in Downtown Rome, I expected to enjoy my usual leisurely and non-confrontational read. When I was less than halfway through J. Bryant Steele’s hit piece entitled “Guns and Moses”, I was somewhat dismayed at the attacks he was making on our Second Amendment rights. By the time I got to his attack on Billy Graham, I had decided that someone had to respond. The attack on Reverend Graham was attributed to Marshall Jenkins who Mr. Steele states is “kinder than he.” Now, I don’t know Mr. Steele or Mr. Marshall and this is not going to deteriorate into a J. Bryant Steele-style article which is an equal opportunity offender. I will simply state that our society has deteriorated to the point where the first two amendments to the United States Constitution can be reduced, attacked and ridiculed and not elicit any cries of, “What is going on here?” The article in question boils the answer to gun violence down to disarming the NRA as the only real path to ridding the country of school shooters. Mr. Steele’s reference to people with mental health issues as “nutcases” should disqualify him from having a valid opinion on anything other than where he should eat his lunch today. Things in the article only got worse when Billy Graham was referred to as a spell caster and was complimented for holding to “his values” as a segue to another liberal attack on President Trump. I’m not sure Mr. Steele is a liberal but his opinions smack of someone who might be just a bit pointy headed. His reference to gubernatorial candidate Casey Cagle (whom I did not vote for) and his acolytes imposing their “Old Testament blend of God, Guns and Family” solved the “is he a liberal” dilemma for me.
I would like to suggest that the reason for the gun problem is because not enough people heard and embraced the Gospel message preached by Billy Graham. We are no longer a country of values. There are no longer moral absolutes. We have ignored mental health issues and not properly funded treatment for these issues. We have allowed Hollywood and its ilk to pervert our children (and let’s not even crack the lid on the Pandora ’s Box of violent video games and school bullying). The constant bombardment of social media has allowed everyone to be an expert, and continues to confuse young and old minds alike. Some things have always been right and some have always been wrong. I suggest to you readers and to Mr. Steele that having armed citizens who believe in a loving God may be the only thing that can save this country. By the way, our innate sense of right and wrong came from God. The “Guns and Moses” article is just another example of how tearing down institutions and individuals in a supposedly humorous commentary is contributing to our further distance from absolutes. I was at first dismayed, then somewhat shocked by the article. Now, I’m just sad. Chad Hess is a Christian, a husband, a father and an American. He lives in Floyd County and usually enjoys a quiet lunch in Downtown Rome. *The views expressed in this column are those of the writer, and do not represent the opinions of V3 Magazine.
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Long Live the King Cents&Sensibility with J. Bryant Steele
he days leading up to April 4 were filled with tributes to Martin Luther King, Jr., on the 50th anniversary of his assassination. I didn’t try to embellish those words, but I do remember where I was when I heard the news. I had just turned 16 the day before. My high school band was in Washington, D.C., for the Cherry Blossom Festival. We had been selected to march in that year’s parade. We were an award-winning band, but we were from a small town, so being invited to our nation’s capitol was a big deal. We had spent the day on guided tours, seeing things we’d only seen in picture books, and we were sitting on the bus waiting to go back to
our hotel. A senior class member walked down the aisle and told us that King had been killed. I don’t remember reactions other than gasps, then silence. It was stunning news. We had all been children when President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated, and we had all been watching on TV when his killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was himself gunned down by Jack Ruby. We had not yet fully processed that recent history of unfathomable violence. Back at our hotel (the first time some of us had stayed in a hotel) we were drawn to the window by the sights and sounds – fire, flashing lights, breaking glass, sirens, gunfire, shouting. A chaperone came into
our room and told us to get away from the window for our safety. We obeyed until he left, then went back to the window for a bird’s eye view of a riot. The next morning, we were herded onto a bus between two rows of National Guardsmen with bayonets pointed skyward. The next evening, after a long train ride, we were greeted by the most relieved group of parents I’ve ever seen. They were so afraid they’d never see us alive again. I don’t know if any of us told them about watching the riot from our windows. I wish I could say I was transformed by Dr. King in his lifetime, or at least by the traumatic days after escaping D.C, and watching the news coverage. But it would be a couple of more years before I embraced his messages of racial equality, nonviolence and pacifism. I was raised perhaps like many of you: that the races should be separated. Yet, we always had blacks in our employ; I was taught to say “sir” and “ma’m” to them. But one day when I was playing in the yard with a boy my age who’d accompanied his father in our employ, my mother called me inside and told me I was not to play with “colored” boys. I was taught to use the word “colored” instead of a racial epithet, not out of enlightenment but because we were not supposed to talk the way “white trash” talked. Don’t say “ain’t” and do say colored instead of the ugly alternative. When I did become more enlightened, or progressive, a couple of years after King’s murder, it was matters of race, not curfews or homework, that I fought about with my parents. (Hey, if you’re a teenager and you’re high-minded in picking your fights, that’s one stamp of approval on your passport to heaven. At least I hope so.) What I can say, if belatedly, is that Martin Luther King reformed my life for the better.
Starbucks probably now has a bigger image problem than Facebook after two men were hauled off by police for sitting at a table and not ordering anything. They were waiting for a friend, to discuss a business matter. Chances are, they might have eventually ordered something. As many pundits pointed out, doesn’t Starbucks try to project an image of a meeting place? Besides bad publicity, Starbucks is up against a boycott and closed many of its stores for a day of diversity training. Or what I would call “welcome to the 21st century” training. There’s no good estimate of how much money the gaseous coffee server will lose. I have never spent a dime in Starbucks, but I have used their restrooms a number of times. I wonder why no one ever called the police? Could it be because … I’m white? While reading news coverage of the death of Zell Miller, former Georgia governor and U.S. Senator, I remembered the time I had lunch at the Governor’s Mansion in Buckhead. The purpose of the luncheon was to honor teachers who had excelled at something or other. I had managed publicity for the recognition, which was the only reason I had a seat at the table that day. It was the most formal lunch I’ve ever had. White linen, china, silver, and servants hovering in case your glass became half-empty.
During a lull in conversation, I asked Miller if an anecdote I’d heard was true. He laughed and said it was. After dessert, a couple of staffers were to take us on a tour of the mansion. Miller stopped me and asked if I’d like to see his study. Of course, I said yes. Besides the book shelves and cluttered desk, there were his guitars and photos autographed by various country music stars. It made the day come together. Miller loved the teaching profession, and he loved country music. The anecdote that I related, and that Miller verified? Country star Don Williams was performing at a nightclub in Conyers, and the governor intended to go. But state business kept him at the Capitol into the night. Finally, his driver sped him out Interstate 20 to catch the last of the show. As they pulled into the parking lot, people were getting into their cars. Miller rolled down his window and hollered to a woman, “Has Don Williams finished playing?” Not recognizing the governor, the woman yelled back, “Why do think we’re leaving, fool?”
J. Bryant Steele has won awards for business reporting, feature writing and opinion columns, and is based in Rome. *The views expressed in this column are those of the writer, and do not represent the opinions of V3 Magazine.
I haven’t been much of a social media fanatic. Give me a newspaper or magazine that you can unfold on a park bench after a leisurely stroll. I only joined Facebook a few years ago because my then-teen children were on it. I have asked very few people to be Facebook friends. When I get a friend request, I check the person’s profile before accepting the request. And yet I, little ol’ me – or you – might be one of millions compromised by Facebook’s disregard for our privacy. CEO Mark Zuckerberg even had to testify before Congress. I don’t really expect much to change, unless we as individuals stop sharing so much personal data online. Dates of birth and zip codes—even mothers’ maiden names and hometowns—are nuggets for data miners like Cambridge Analytica.
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BY IAN GRIFFIN PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRIBUTED BY THE GIVING KITCHEN
On the surface, STAPLEHOUSE offers the chance to savor some of the greatest cuisine to ever grace a plate, but when digging deeper, we find that they use the love of food to bridge the gap for the people who make it all possible.
RIENDS, FAMILY AND sometimes complete strangers gather around tables across the world each day to break bread. We bare our souls to our loved ones, celebrate our victories, mourn our losses, vent our frustrations and raise our glasses in appreciation of others. From the comfort food served in your grandmother’s kitchen to the chef-prepared meals at fine-dining establishments, our memories are connected to the meals shared during both good and bad times. Many of these meals are shared in our homes, but so many others are prepared and served by the hardworking people in the food and beverage industry. The waitress who keeps your coffee topped off, the line cook who knows you like your fries extra crispy, the dishwasher hustling to meet the demands of a busy lunch rush or the hostess who greets you as you walk through the door… these are the people working long hours to ensure our important moments in life are catered to. Like shadows in the night, they often go overlooked and are certainly underappreciated. Whether it’s Waffle House or Ruth’s Chris, these are the people who set the tone for your experience, and it’s the vision of the restaurateurs that they are selling to the consumer. It’s a work from vision to fruition and finally sustainability, with lots of moving parts needed to achieve that evolution. Though they are some of the hardest workers in our economic system, food and beverage workers often don’t have proper health insurance; they struggle with self-care due to the demands of the job; they live paycheck to paycheck and if a crisis occurs, turmoil ensues.
ABOVE S taplehouse family meal: every day the Staplehouse team sits down for a meal together LEFT Staplehouse at night: walk-in patio, no reservations needed JULY 2018
Luckily, restaurant staffs are like families and that bond is defined when a coworker is in a time of need, no matter how big or how small. A situation like this arrived for Atlanta chef Ryan Hidinger on December 21, 2012. He was diagnosed with stage-IV gallbladder cancer. He was given six months to live and a less than five percent chance of survival. Hidinger was established in the industry and had been operating a wildly successful supper club called Prelude to Staplehouse with his wife Jen since 2009, with plans to open a restaurant under that same name. Focus immediately shifted to his diagnosis, with his peers and loved ones focusing on how they could contribute to his treatment. “We had to let go of our dream,” recalls Staplehouse Spokesperson and Co-Founder of the Giving Kitchen (GK), Jen Hidinger-Kendrick. “The support we received from our friends and family allowed that dream to endure. We started to discuss the reality of Staplehouse again, and then we got the call from Ryan Turner [from Muss & Turners] and knew it could really happen.” From there, Turner, along with other friends and family formed a committee and planned the first Team Hidi (Ryan’s begrudgingly given nickname) event, with proceeds going towards Ryan’s treatment. The event exceeded expectations, raising $275,000. Overwhelmed by the generosity,
ABOVE T eam Hidi, hosted for Ryan Hidinger was the birth of the Giving Kitchen, BELOW Ryan and Jen Hidinger RIGHT Chef Ryan Smith hosts lineup on Staplehouse patio
ABOVE Ryan and Jen preparing a meal in their home, location for Prelude to Staple House RIGHT Staplehouse dish: crab, sunflower, marigold, dill, peppers
they were inspired to begin what is now known as the Giving Kitchen (a nonprofit organization that provides emergency assistance to restaurant workers in 47 counties in Georgia). The Hidingers were so moved by what the industry did for them in their time of need that they decided to make their legacy one of giving back to others in need. They co-founded the Giving Kitchen in 2013 and opened the doors to Staplehouse in September 2015, with all after-tax profits from Staplehouse going directly to GK. Though Ryan passed away in January 2014, he left knowing his
As Hidinger’s culinary vision lives on with Jen and the crew at Staplehouse, the outreach created from his departure thrives within the Giving Kitchen. “I was drawn to this organization for so many reasons, but the fact that this all started because of one person always amazes me,” says GK Executive Director, Bryan Schroeder. “What started as helping chefs at independent restaurants changed with Ryan’s vision to incorporate all employees of any brick and mortar restaurant in Metro Atlanta and then on to Athens, Columbus and Rome, GA, with the rest of the state soon to follow.” Schroeder is the son of a restaurateur, so he knows firsthand what the industry requires of those brave enough to venture into the world of food service entrepreneurship. Success doesn’t come overnight and the road to achieve it can be riddled with pitfalls. “I grew up in this industry, and the staff at my dad’s restaurant was like our extended family,” recalls Bryan. “I remember what it was like if my mom got sick and had to miss work. Our family felt that financially, but that restaurant supported us while she went back to school and while she helped put my brother and I through school. So to have a chance to be a part of an organization that supports people in the industry that gave us so much is a dream come true.”
ABOVE Sous Chef Nik Partridge preparing nightly meal
dream restaurant would be real and the fruits of its labor would benefit his peers for years to come. In the years since, Staplehouse has risen to critical acclaim nationwide, and within minutes reservations are booked a month in advance. Modern American cuisine is delivered via a chef ’s table concept that makes dinner an adventure. The menu is carefully crafted; chefs meticulously pine over every detail to ensure perfection. The dishes are as beautiful as they are delicious and are
ABOVE Bryan and John Schroeder
delivered without a whiff of pretention, allowing those who are new to the concepts laid before them to feel safe outside their comfort zone. Servers carefully describe each dish, and their description matches what the taste buds experience. From start to finish, it is a well-scripted screenplay that always has a happy ending. A true work of edible art that leaves the customer satisfied but already looking forward to their next Staplehouse adventure.
His father, John Schroeder, has owned and operated Schroeder’s New Deli on Broad Street in Downtown Rome for the past 37 years. Throughout that time he has personally endured and watched his employees struggle through hard times, times the Giving Kitchen could have certainly offered aide. “It’s just a real relief knowing that there is a safety net for my employee’s,” says John. “Anything can happen and having a group that can help the people in our industry through those bad times is a win for everyone involved.” JULY 2018
Assistance offered by the Giving Kitchen comes in a variety of forms for a variety of causes. Any restaurant worker in a county currently serviced by GK can apply for aid through an online application process requiring a description of the occurrence or condition, submission of paystubs, confirmation from the employer, lease agreements, and other documentation to verify and warrant awarding a grant. Direct Grants cover rent and utilities and are designed to keep people in their homes while they recover from crisis situations. One such case was that of Revolution Donut’s employee, Reggie Ealy. Reggie was diagnosed with multiple Myeloma in July 2016 and began treatment immediately. The disease left him physically unable to work, and treatment was expensive. He exhausted all avenues, but still didn’t have enough money to pay the bills. The Giving Kitchen bridged that gap and allowed him to focus on his recovery by taking care of his living expenses. This is the mission of the organization at its core, and with over $1.8 million in financial support given thus far, they only want to give more and have developed a sister program to their crisis grants as a social services referral program called SafetyNet. “SafetyNet is a program we are really excited about,” says Bryan. “It’s easy for restaurant workers to get sucked into the vacuum of addiction. They work late hours, and the party lifestyle is waiting
ABOVE T he Giving Kitchen team (from L to R) Amy Crowell, Amanda Newsom, Bryan Schroeder, Leah Melnick, Adriana Newsom, Mitzi Lewis, Kristie Azaroff, Naomi Green
for them when they clock out. That’s only one aspect of what this program connects with. We are able to connect people with resources for housing, transportation, mental health, medical and childcare assistance, and more that they might not find otherwise, and those connections are only going to get better as we expand throughout the state and the Southeast.” One of the most recent areas to gain services from the Giving Kitchen is Northwest Georgia. Bartow, Chattooga, Floyd, Gordon and Polk counties are all eligible, and that connection is especially important to Schroeder. “To bring this back home is really special,” says Bryan. “There were so many of my dad’s employees that could have benefited from the programs we offer, and to know that they now have that option is just a really great feeling.”
As Giving Kitchen continues to grow and its for-profit subsidiary, Staplehouse, reaches legendary culinary status, it’s safe to say that Ryan Hidinger’s dream has generated a lifetime supply of smiles via full bellies and assistance for hardworking people, like those friends who supported him in their darkest hours. Moreover, families are provided with more stories to tell at the dinner table. To apply for assistance, donate or simply learn more about the Giving Kitchen visit www.thegivingkitchen.org Staplehouse reservations are online only and are released the second Friday of every month at 12pm for the next calendar month.
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HEN SCOTT EDWARDS lost his job in manufacturing due to the business closing, he decided he was finished being someone else’s employee. A few twists and turns later, and Edwards and his wife Francine opened Unique Interiors in 2015 to provide farmhouse and modern-farmhouse furnishings to Rome and the surrounding area. Since then, the couple have found their groove and made their mark with one-of-a-kind, high-quality furnishings coupled with down-home customer service that builds and sustains their clientele. Drive north out of Rome’s river valley and ascend the rise on Martha Berry Boulevard past Berry College to find a sleepy shopping center on the right. Unique Interiors occupies a large, inconspicuous space. From the outside, visitors might be tempted by the lively window display of cotton stalks, welcoming signs and the promising warmth of solid wood. Edwards says they lucked into the farmhouse aesthetic on the cusp of its recent resurgence, managing to open shop ahead of the shiplap and rustic craze evident in every big box store around. There’s a world of difference between what they carry and what spills over the aisles in big retail chains. From the beginning, Scott and Francine wanted to take a customer-focused approach which informs every other decision they make, from what to carry to how to stage it and even when to be open. JULY 2018
RIGHT Francine and Scott Edwards
“R ather than rows and rows of recliners,” Scott prefers his customers take their time wandering, envisioning, finding new treasures at every turn. “I can’t choose only stuff I like, and it can be hit or miss,” Scott says. But over time, he has honed both his eye and his ordering science so he can keep his inventory on trend, or even ahead of the curve. Both approach buying selections with intention and care, opting for solid wood and real leather pieces rather than particle board. They know this means customers expect to pay more for quality pieces that will stand the test of time. Still, their prices are lower than some of the other local furniture retailers. That has not deterred their steady growth. Scott cut his rustic furniture teeth selling in antique malls. Over time, he and his wife realized that the bigger items, sofas, tables, bars and bigger decorations, drove both traffic and sales. As they focused on adding these bigger items, they outgrew the parameters of antique mall booth space and finally settled two years ago into the space they now occupy. According to Scott, the beauty of the farmhouse style is its chameleonic quality, “these pieces can fit in to a variety of home styles.” Pairing a rustic bar with more modern appliances creates one look, while adding a giant white bed in a more traditionally decorated setting has another effect all together. In other words, even if (or when) trends shift, Edwards expects his pieces to hold longer aesthetic value. Francine handles all the staging, and her work makes a visit to the store “more of an adventure, a sensory experience,” Scott says. When the couple first moved into the building, they quickly realized 26
that to make the most of the opportunity, they needed to use every available to space to display products. Francine set about adding framed art, custom die-cut steel art and other accessories to the walls. She also created defined spaces, so as a guest wanders, they get a sense of how that particular piece might segue into their own home. Around the big white pickled bed, she has arranged mirrors and dried flowers, fluffy towels and fun signage. She’s added homey touches like inviting bedding and lighting. “Rather than rows and rows of recliners,” Scott prefers his customers take their time wandering, envisioning, finding new treasures at every turn. Perhaps the biggest advantage Unique Interiors has over other home goods stores is the couple’s top-down commitment to serving the customer. Scott says he didn’t really know he “had a knack for helping people find what they were looking for,” until he started the antiques business. “I remember my customers. I am focused on them and I treat them like family.” He also understands that “if I
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706-676-2519 • www.GrinderzStumpGrinding.com treat this guy right, he’s more likely to return.” Talking with him, one gets the sense that this isn’t merely salesmanship. Having spent the first part of his working life as a plant worker, always under a series of managers and bosses, Scott gives the impression that he is out to do something different, to create a more pleasant experience, shaped by his own experiences. Aside from regular store hours, Unique Interiors is open every day but Sunday and Monday, Scott and our staff will often open early or stay late to meet with customers from out of town or who just happen to show up. He will also provide after-hours individual shopping experiences by
appointment. While their business is usually cash and carry, he has shipped smaller items across the country. They have customers from as far away as California, who found them on the internet, to a couple of regulars who roll through Rome every couple of months, always making time to stop at Unique Interiors. Scott and Francine have indeed managed to create something unique in their retail space stocked with treasures.
To schedule a private showing call 706-2331769 or drop by at 3144 Martha Berry Hwy, Rome 30165
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706.584.7816 116 Broad St.,Rome, GA firstname.lastname@example.org www.FarrellsFrameAndDesign.com JULY 2018
IRCUS INCREDIBLE” PROMISES to dazzle audiences and lift spirits at this year’s Coosa Valley Fair. This year’s Coosa Valley Fair, to be held on October 2-6, 2018, is special not just because it’s the 70th anniversary of the fair, but also because it promises to feature an amazing show, the likes of which have not been seen at the fair since 1970: an act called “Circus Incredible.” This show features the brilliant aerial and acrobatic skills of husband and wife duo Simon Arestov and Lyric Wallenda, who have astounded audiences all across the world. Dr. Barbara Carter, President of this year’s Coosa Valley Fair, said she so admires the work of these performers that she had two stipulations when she agreed to become the CVF President: “I wanted everyone to work together as a team and I wanted this act!” Dr. Carter said she first heard about the aerial act “The Flying Wallendas” when they performed at the Coosa Valley Fair in 1970. The performers of that time were none other than current performer Lyric Wallenda’s great-grandparents.
Lyric is a seventh generation aerialist of the famous Wallenda family from Germany. Several members of the family came to the United States with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus in 1929. After 17 years working for others, Karl Wallenda started his own act, “The Flying Wallendas.” In 1962, the family became world-famous when their seven-person-pyramid trick on the highwire went awry, leaving two dead and one paralyzed. More recently, another tragedy struck in 2017 when Lyric’s mother, the famous Rietta Wallenda, fell during a rehearsal of an eight-person-pyramid and sustained critical injuries. Thankfully, she is doing well now, and is slated to return to performing soon. As Lyric herself explained, when you grow
"IT IS SUCH A BLESSING TO BRING LIVE ENTERTAINMENT AND JOY TO THESE COMMUNITIES WE GO TO."
up in the Wallenda family, no matter what, “the show must go on!” Her husband, Simon Arestov, is an incredible performer in his own right. He started performing as an acrobat in his hometown of Moscow, Russia, where he was part of the world-famous Great Moscow State Circus. He originally met Lyric while they performed together in a traveling show over 15 years ago. At the time, they were just 18 years old. After so much time together and supporting each other professionally, they became a real-life couple, got married, and now have a baby, who is the newest performer of the Wallenda-Arestov family. Lyric explained that because performing is in their blood, she and Simon brought Baby Alexander into the ring for the first time when he was only 17 days old. While he has years of training ahead, Lyric says the now almost 15-month-old,
who she lovingly calls the show’s “producer,” might make a special appearance on stage for their Rome show, too. Lyric explained that the show at Coosa Valley Fair in October will be the last one in their summer season tour all over the United States and Canada, which will launch on July 10th. Audiences can look forward to Simon’s impressive feats of acrobatics and balancing and Lyric’s amazing grace and strength as an aerialist. But more importantly, audiences can expect pure passion and joy through an experience of raw talent and powerful energy that can only come from a live performance. These kinds of experiences are rare nowadays, with our world so consumed with internet and technology, explains Lyric. “It is such a blessing to bring live entertainment and joy to these communities we go to.” She also says that, “one of the reasons I feel so blessed to do this as my job is because I get to travel with my family, and also connect with other people and their families.” People all over the world enjoy connecting with the Wallenda-Arestov family in person, and then following them on their social media pages. “We get to meet children and their families at our shows and we’ve created a fanbase because they come back and see us year after year.” says Lyric. Dr. Carter, thrilled to have her wish come true, and she cannot wait to experience the beautiful skill and colorful artistry that “Circus Incredible” is sure to bring. “They’re going to have two shows a day, October 2-6, at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and in the afternoon on Thursday and Saturday. I encourage everyone to come and enjoy this special act.” Tickets for the Coosa Valley Fair can be purchased for only $5 at the gate, and parking is free.
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216 Broad St. • Rome, GA
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From left to right: David Johnson, Ken Guice, Scott Tucker, Tabitha Helms, Bryan Holland, Laura Sexton, Brandon Ball and Annell Cox.
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THE GOOD Minutes away from Broad Street is a collection of military memorabilia that will satisfy even the most curious history buffs. BY MCKENZIE TODD PHOTOGRAPHY CAMERON FLAISCH
D FIGHT JULY 2018
where they can tell their stories and more. I really enjoy giving them an atmosphere where they can pull up a chair, feel at home and get things off of their chests. That is what keeps me going as a local business owner,” Duke says. As a Georgia 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, raising awareness is conceivably the top priority for Duke. The responsiveness started as Duke began retaining more volunteers who come from all over Rome and all offer their time from the heart. The need for a space chronicling the sacrifices many have made, as well as the interest in the museum’s facilities, propelled Duke and his volunteers to give back to their community. “Here, we do everything if it has something to do with the history of the American military,” Duke says.” This phrase proves true, as the museum is the lead sponsor for local Memorial Day and Veterans Day events, and they also organize parades, air shows, school field trips and other events focused on educational opportunities. Duke Museum of Military History also partners with the City of Rome, Shorter University, the Rome Braves and the US Army Recruiting Command where they meet one Wednesday every
ISTORY IS THE study of change over time. When change is pervasive, most people rely heavily on the memory of others, as well as the preservation of history, in order to educate a society. Leslie Duke, owner of the Duke Museum of Military History (110 East 8th Avenue, Rome), has been working on compiling hundreds of thousands of artifacts from the Civil War, to the post-Vietnam era of history, which he uses shine a light on the tools of command and conquer for Floyd County and other surrounding areas. Even though Duke believes that he just simply “scratches the surface of history,” that doesn’t stop him from sharing 40
his impressive collection of war relics with his community The Duke Museum of Military History hosts a section of articles on Civil War history, World War I, World War II, and a section dedicated to Korean and Vietnam veterans. There is also an area devoted to the Iraq and Afghanistan war. And because Duke would be hard-pressed to squeeze them inside the walls among his other treasures, a convoy of military vehicles stands outside of his Downtown Rome institution. Leslie Duke, a lifelong resident of Floyd County, discovered his passion for serving veterans, as well as his affection for all-thingsmilitary, after joining the army in 1992. “We have veterans who come in daily thanking us for giving them a place where they can feel comfortable,
ABOVE Leslie Duke JULY 2018
"It’s one thing to sit in the classroom and read a page or two about a certain conflict, but when you can actually come out here, we put you into the history. When you walk into the museum we can put history into your hand, which is a big difference" month to help train troops who are registered and preparing for basic training. “We are planning to meet with our school system in Rome, as well as the surrounding school systems, and have them come out and take tours here. It’s one thing to sit in the classroom and read a page or two about a certain conflict, but when you can actually come out here, we put you into the history. When you walk into the museum we can put history into your hand, which is a big difference,” Duke explains. It comes as no surprise that Duke stays busy. Every weekend he is booked for informational trips
he uses to add to his knowledge and improve the overall effectiveness of the museum. “Patriotism is like charity—it begins at home.” –Henry James. The words of Henry James ring true to most Americans, but really hits home in the hearts of many residents of Northwest Georgia. Duke is no different. “The museum specializes in highlighting patriotism,” he says.
One foot inside the door and even the most unpatriotic among us must pay homage to the sacrifice of many, if nothing else. “Almost everything here in the museum has been donated to us from people in the community, whether they are veterans themselves or family members of war
veterans. In fact, we have people donating items to us every single day. It never ceases to amaze me how generous people are, which is a big reason why I enjoy managing the museum,” smiles Duke. Even at 4,000 square-feet, the Duke Museum of Military History is busting at the seams, and is still growing. “Each exhibit we have here is only about half done. Because we have had so many artifacts donated, we have to double, and even triple some of the units here at the museum,” says Duke. He coincides that, of course, that is a great problem to have. “For example, our room dedicated to the Korean and Vietnam veterans is completely full. We actually haven’t even finished the room yet, but there are so many items we would still love to display. We hope that the continuity of adding new things each week will keep people coming back, not just once, but many times,” he says. With a steady stream of donations, you can always bet that what is being contributed will be cherished by Duke and his volunteers. The largest donation to the museum was “the General,” a 1966 M151A1 Military Utility Tactical Truck (MUTT) that was given to Duke’s by Brigadier General retired William Wigley’s son, Jeff, in his honor. “In the museum’s World War I exhibit, everything that is displayed in the cases belongs to one man, Mr. Anderson, who was a machine gunner. His granddaughter actually lives in Rome, and she donated every single bit of his personal possessions to the museum. From his bible and his manual, to his uniforms and even the flag he was buried under makes up this exhibit,” says Duke. Not everything in the Duke Museum of Military History has in their possession represents Old Glory and the men who fought under it, like a Nazi flag from World War II. “This flag was donated by our operations manager, Mr. Bruce Kelley. His father was one of the men who kicked in the gates at the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. He reached up and yanked that flag off of the wall, because they no longer needed it. As sad as it is, it is a part of history, and we don’t sugar-coat anything,” says Duke. Everything in the Duke Museum of Military History is authentic. Duke has a wall full of Japanese rifles brought back from the war, as well as Japanese suicide swords, which the children who visit are no strangers to. From the moment one steps into the facility, it’s hard to miss Duke’s passion for the artifacts in his museum, as well as the history he is teaching to others who come through the doors of his museum. In the spirit of service and respect for those who bled for us all, it helps to have a person with a heart for giving leading the charge.
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To schedule a tour call ahead at 706-5064077 or contact Duke via the museum's Facebook page. Just search "Duke Museum of Military History" JULY 2018
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The Dish bistro
101 West 1st Street Rome, GA 30161
PH: 706-622-2977 moesoriginalbbq.com/rome 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.
406 Broad Street Rome, GA 30161
413 Broad Street Rome, GA 30161
198 North Street Canton, GA, 30114
Hours: Mon - Sat: 6:00pm-10:00pm 400 Block Bar & Lounge: 4:00pm-1:30am
Hours: Tues - Fri: 11:00am-3:00pm
PH: 706-234-4613 Hours: Mon-Thur: 11:00am-9:00pm Fri-Sat: 11:00am-10:00pm Sun: 11:30am-3:00pm
Live music each weekend.
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Bottled Beers & Wine also offered)
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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
Hours: Mon-Sat: 5:00am-10:00pm Sun: 6:00am-10:00pm
510 Broad Street Rome, GA 30161
PH: 706-314-9544 Like us on FACEBOOK Mon-Sat.: 11:00am-3:00pm
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595 Riverside Parkway Rome, GA 30161
Call or Text Your Order to:
Lunches: Wed/Thurs/Fri in Downtown Rome
Hours: Sun -Thu: 11:00am-9:00pm
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