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Cheers Atlanta’s Old Fourth Distillery is lifting the spirits of a once dying craft.

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V3 September 2017

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Jim Alred recalls his years running the Clocktower Road Race, giving us all a lesson on how to finish strong.


Redmond Regional Medical Center is now a medical facility that puts teaching and learning at the center of all they do.


One of Rome’s most adored boutiques, mel&mimi, is turning 20 and they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

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This month, J. Bryant Steele examines some of the harsh realities of life, like if there is a position open on The Heaven Herald staff.

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Atlanta is turning back the clock and getting into the business of crafting fine liquors. Old Fourth Ward Distillery is at the forefront of this high-spirited movement. April Rogers and the staff at Children’s Academy work to help tiny tots get fired up about learning new things.


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PUBLISHER 'S NOTE On a rather hot and sticky Sunday afternoon a few weeks back, I ventured out to one of Rome’s finer grocery stores to make what has become a bi-weekly food/ supply run for the Griffin clan. I don’t mind grocery shopping, but when shopping for a family of five, with one vegetarian and four meat eaters, it is imperative that you’re thrifty and that makes it a chore. Regardless, I try to keep a sunny disposition at the store since you are guaranteed to someone you know in our neck of the woods. On this particular day, I was in a great OWNER & CEO Ian Griffin mood thanks to a recent trip to New York to see my favorite band, so budget be damned, I was going to enjoy myself. Those who know me well, know I’m a Phish fan. Phish is a band that is adored by its “phans” (any word with an F sound gets the “ph” treatment), loathed by its detractors or generally unknown since they have never generated a radio hit in their extremely successful 34-year career. I get reminded just how unknown they are quite often and this day provided another wonderful example. I happened to be wearing the Phish t-shirt I acquired the weekend before and when I made my way to the deli counter, the friendly person working behind the counter took notice. “Is that fish with a ph,” she asked? “Yes, ma’am it is,” I replied. “Do you like fishing,” she asked? “I absolutely love it,” I replied, grinning ear to ear. She went on to tell me some stories about her friend who loved to fish and asked if I had ever been to this place or that, to which I smiled and said no.It was an extremely pleasant conversation that was a wonderful segue into receiving my pound of Black Forrest Ham. The truth is, I do like fishing. My father is a fisherman and while I’m worthless when it comes to tying a knot or baiting a line, I always enjoy myself when we take a trip. So, I wasn’t lying, I just wasn’t sharing the whole truth. It would have been far too complicated to describe in such a small window of dialogue anyway, since I’m incapable of abbreviating the experience when discussing my little hobby. Had I decided to explain, it would have gone a little something like this. “Oh, no ma’am, actually Phish is a band I like to go see. They just played a 13-show residency at Madison Square Garden called the “Bakers Dozen”. They didn’t repeat a single song the entire run and each night they gave out free donuts and themed the music around that night’s flavor. So for example, on Boston Cream night, they played a mashup of Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” and Boston’s “More Than a Feeling”, that included sections of “White Room”, “Foreplay/Longtime” and “Tale of Brave Ulysses”, as well. It was such a good time, I’m still riding pretty high off it to be honest.” Imagine the look that would have drawn. Now you understand why I went with it, right? I’m a proud Phish Head…148 shows over the last 19 years of my life, in fact. That number baffles haters and indifferent people alike. I get it. It sounds weird. My best explanation is it brings me joy and offers an escape from the day to day, which I think is something everyone needs in some form or another. For my dad, that’s what fishing does, I just turned out to be a different kind of phisherman.

OWNER & CEO Ian Griffin EDITORIAL MANAGER Oliver Robbins MAG ART & DESIGN Ellie Borromeo WRITERS J. Bryant Steele, Oliver Robbins, Erin deMesquita, Holly Lynch Tripp Durden, Lauren Jones-Hillman, Jim Alred, Emory Chaffin EXECUTIVE PHOTOGRAPHER Cameron Flaisch CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Caleb Timmerman AD SALES + CLIENT RELATIONS Chris Forino AD DESIGN Laura Allshouse Ellie Borromeo PUBLISHER V3 Publications, LLC CONTACT 417 Broad Street Rome, Ga. 30161 Office Phone 706.235.0748 CREATOR Neal Howard

V3MAGAZINE.COM Ian Griffin, Owner


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The Legacy We Take 10

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Cents & Sensibility with J. Bryant Steele BILLY PAYNE IS fortunate. Usually you have to die before your legacy is splashed all over the news. All Billy Payne did is retire as chairman of Augusta National, the exclusive golf club that’s best known as the home of the Masters golf tournament each spring. Payne brought the well-endowed and hidebound club into the 21st Century by opening its doors to women members. I can’t help but point out that the gates to Augusta National are only a

par two from a Hooter’s restaurant – which has always had an open policy toward women, but that’s a different story. Nonetheless, Payne’s bigger legacy is bringing the 1996 Centennial Summer Olympic Games to Atlanta. People thought it was a foolish quest. I was among the skeptics. It wasn’t just the Olympics, it was the Centennial Olympics, for crying out loud. Surely no American city, much less Atlanta, stood a chance. But Payne pulled it off, and in so doing changed the face and economy of Downtown Atlanta. Quite the legacy. Oh – he also is a successful businessman and has 11 grandchildren. What started me thinking about legacies is that when I receive news of family members, or former classmates and colleagues who have died, it’s interesting to see what people remember informally – other than the usual “good friend,” “loving husband and father,” etc. A former colleague named John died earlier this year. In an internet chat room, other colleagues described him as talented, easy-going, etc. I noted his sense of humor. But one person remembered that when John walked into the office every morning, he slammed a six-pack of Cokes and two packs of Marlboros onto his desk, all of which he had consumed by quitting time. Hmmm …suppose there was a lifestyle connection? I had what I’ll call a “baseball buddy” named Gil. He died a few years ago, found dead in his recliner with the TV remote in his hand and a can of beer beside him. I only knew Gil in his last 15 or so years but, by all accounts he once was a talented writer with nary an ambitious bone in his body; choosing instead a career of night clerking at a series of motels. (We all wondered if he was secretly working on a novel.)

Somehow, The Indianapolis Star (Gil’s hometown paper) tracked me down in Rome. They were doing a story (even though Gil had lived for many years in Florida; I think the editor and Gil were college classmates). I offered what little I could for a story. But the editor mailed me a copy of that particular edition. It was a beautiful tribute to what many would call a wasted life. The editor also knew Gil’s college sweetheart, and she offered a passionate, detailed memory of a man she once loved, though I’m sure she had moved on. My cousin Jerry was an overweight diabetic. I eerily recall a part of the pastor’s eulogy: remembering Jerry in his recliner (Memo to self: Cancel the order for the recliner), the TV remote in his hand, a glass of sweet tea beside him (overweight diabetic, remember?) Going further afield, there’s the legacy of our 21st president, Chester A. Arthur, who’s the reason you have no excuse for being late. It was Arthur who wanted standardized time, which led to the International Meridian Conference in 1884, which established the Greenwich Meridian and international standardized time, still in use today. President Arthur also never gave an inaugural address, but maybe that’s because nobody knew what time it was. I ponder my own legacy. I don’t actually want to leave a legacy, because I think it’s sort of like a resume, and I intend to find writing gigs in the afterlife so I want to take my legacy with me. But I can’t stop the eulogies after I’m gone. I suppose (hope?) some will say I was a smart-aleck. Some will say I got what was coming to me. People will note I loved animals (except squirrels). I generally respected our cherished institutions, even if I sometimes questioned them.

I never adapted to the idea of reading a book in any way other than holding it in your hands. I raised two wonderful children. I met Henry Aaron, but I emulated Groucho Marx. I sat in Billy Carter’s gas station in Plains, Ga., to shoot the breeze. I never traveled to all the places I wanted, but I traveled more than my parents ever dreamed of. And I loved women to a fault.

Biz Bits

Houston is drying out from Hurricane Harvey, and gas pipelines are flowing, but don’t expect to see lower prices at the pump. The effects of Hurricane Irma will be felt for weeks. The proverbial one-two punch. Prices are now the highest they’ve been in Georgia in two years, The plan to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriett Tubman on the $20 bill may die under Donald Trump. It seems Trump is an admirer of Jackson, which ties together in a way. It was Jackson who ordered the removal of native tribes from these parts to the westward desert wastelands, now memorialized as The Trail of Tears. Now Trump is intent on deporting productive, tax-paying folks in essential segments of the labor market because they were brought here “illegally” by parents who believed in the American Dream. I guess it’s a good time to be a white guy in America. So why don’t I feel better?. 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.

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Slow and Sweaty, Just Win the Race For the Love of the Game with Jim Alred ON A WARM DAY in the spring of 1990, East Rome High School track coach Danny Wiseman offered some advice. He talked about how when he trained for 10K road races, he picked out the most tortuous course, which included some monster hills, and ran it at the hottest time of the day. The thought process, besides being crazy, also remained sound. By choosing the toughest possible course and practicing while facing the worst possible weather, the race itself seemed easy.


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Coach Wiseman, who also happened to be the head football coach at East Rome, offered up the same sage wisdom and advice so many coaches and mentors do albeit in an altered form. The wisdom says to find the attribute or task or body part that is your weakest and work on it. Applying tons of effort and toil to improving the weakness can change it to a strength or at least offer enough improvement to where it’s not the weakest point. For some reason I took Coach Wiseman’s words to heart and over the next few years charted tortuous training runs over crazy courses and ran them when the temperature soared into the 90’s and the humidity made it fell like I was running in a thick, sticky, creamy broth. And so we come to one of the many banes of my existence – the Gary Tillman Clocktower Road Race. On August 19 of this year, I traversed the course for maybe the 10th time. I say maybe, because I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve run the race.

Let’s be honest. I hate the race. Before everyone gets upset, I love that it raises tons of money for a good cause and that it also honors the name and spirit of Gary Tillman. I also love seeing the throng of people braving the tough course and hot weather conditions that seem to be as much a hallmark of the event as the signature hill which is part of the name. If you’ve never run it, let me get this straight. While runners fight, jog, walk and possibly crawl up the notorious and steep Clocktower Hill, it’s not the deciding factor in the event. In fact, the landmark hill comes just after the mile mark in the 3.1 mile race. Don’t get me wrong. The hill looms large, pun intended, but it’s not like it comes in the final half mile of the race. Now that would be brutal. Instead the litmus test, at least for me, comes in the final mile running around the backside of Myrtle Hill while the heat and humidity creep across your skin like a thousand crawling ants trying to drive you crazy. It feels like you’re trying to breathe

through a mask. Everything hurts. Each time I run the race, I wonder why I subject myself to it. Over those last six to seven minutes, the true test of this endeavor becomes clear. No matter how hard or how much I’ve trained, I’ve never done enough. No matter how much I tell myself I won’t kick it in at the end, somehow, from somewhere my body summons reserves from an unknown location; I dig deep and I surge to the finish line. Mind you my surging looks more like a two-legged turtle trying to cross the road - awkward and just this side of funny. At the finish line, I feel terrible. It takes a good 10 minutes to begin to feel normal and during those long, agonizing moments I utter words unprintable in this or most other magazines. I promise myself it’s over. This was the final one. Clocktower has won, and I won’t be back. But crazily enough, I’ve returned to tackle it at least 10 times. Finishing Clocktower gives me a boost, and when I think something is too daunting, I recall the race and the pain and remember the place where I managed to dig deep and finish. As a runner, crossing the finish line helps pave the way for whatever fitness endeavors await me the remainder of the year and beyond. Maybe the marathon I promised myself last year will actually

happen this time around. The race serves as a weird sort of New Year’s Resolution, because when it’s over I look ahead and begin planning for the next obstacle. That’s what this race represents – an obstacle. Not all of us run. Not everyone will strap on shoes and finish the race, but each and every one of us has an obstacle or numerous ones. They’re not easy, and I’m sure many are far more important than a road race. But you see this is mine. And on those hot summer days when I’m running and my body begins to remind me that I’m now closer to 50 than I am to 40, I need Clocktower. There will be a day and a time when the race will win. I will finally wave that white flag, untie my running shoes and put them in a box in the back of my closet. Not today. Not this year. I finished Clocktower. My time was slower than I wanted, but the chance of good things to come lies on the horizon. And my hope is that everyone out there tackling their Clocktowers not only finish but do so in style. And hopefully they finish in a style far more graceful and less sweaty than I am at the finish line. *The views expressed in this column are those of the writer, and do not represent the opinions of V3 Magazine.

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WHEN YOU TURN on the TV or log into Netflix, the halls of hospitals are often painted as dim, unfeeling places. The term “clinical” stems directly from the cold metal surfaces and fluorescent lights people often associate with hospitals. However, at Redmond Regional Medical Center, the halls are warm and inviting, even more so with the added bonus of the smiling faces of Redmond’s new Internal Medicine Residency Program members. “A big part of [creating the residency program] was the shortage of primary care physicians, recognizing that as an area of need, and knowing what a great, unique community Rome is, too,” Redmond’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations Andrea Pitts says. “In bringing the internal medicine residency program, we’re meeting that need.” Since its opening in 1972, Redmond has had a history of firsts, according to Pitts. This includes the first heart catheterization lab, the first open heart surgery and the first total joint surgery in northwest Georgia. Now that Redmond is officially a teaching hospital, it is at a prime position to attain more of these “firsts”, all in working with the local community, which was Dr. Dan Robitshek’s vision when developing the residency program. “On our home page, you will notice three words that stand out,” Robitshek says on the Redmond Residency’s website. “Education, Innovation and Compassion. Those are not just taglines for marketing purposes. They are the concepts that our programs are built upon: educating our residents to become exceptional physicians by building a learning environment that utilizes the most successful and innovative teaching methods and by role modeling patient-centered compassion to our diverse population.” At its most basic level, a residency program is an in-hospital working and learning program where you practice medicine individually as well as in a group. This environment allows for members of the program to work with patients while honing their clinical skills. “A Residency Program is the final phase of training for physicians who have graduated from their medical degree programs. They are licensed physicians, mentored by attending physicians who provide training and guidance for their clinical development.” “We’re responsible for patients directly, but we work as a team,” Dr. Kristal Cronin says. “As a first year, I’m called an intern.

Each One Teach One TEXT Abbie Smith PHOTOGRAPHY Cameron Flaisch

When medical professionals are passionate about what they do, it is only natural to pass the torch to those who will continue to run the race.

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The people here are great; it’s like a family environment. Everybody’s really friendly and the attendings go out of their way to really teach you. It’s a special, one-of-a-kind place. Second and third years are called residents or senior residents, and we work with an attending physician who out of residency and well experienced. In a day, I work with a number of patients, around 5 to 8. I do all the data collection, learn all the things that go on overnight and visit each of the patients on my own. Then, I present a plan of action for these patients to my senior resident and then we go around and do the same thing again with the attending physician. It’s kind of a three-layered care system for the patients.” This type of system is fairly common in residency programs, but in a smaller, specialized hospital like Redmond, the physicians and staff members have more opportunities to get to know their patients. In the afternoons, residents 22

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have conferences with attending physicians, also referred to as “attendings” to discuss different issues and topics relevant to their current cases. This also allows residents and attendings more time to grow closer as a staff. “In medical school, I went to hospitals in New York, California, some in Florida and Atlanta actually too, but I liked the people at Redmond the best,” second-year resident Dr. Jaten Patel said. “The nurses, staff, physicians, they are all very helpful. You get to know all the staff and your patients very well and you don’t feel lost in a big program. It was also a new program so that we had a lot of time with and got to learn directly from the attending. We kind of got to shape the program how we wanted to;

The education is very open to our concerns and they can address them appropriately.” “I actually did an observership here for a month with Dr. Robitshek and really just loved the hospital,” first-year resident Dr. George Abraham says. “The people here are great, it’s like a family environment. Everybody’s really friendly and the attendings go out of their way to really teach you. It’s a special, one-of-a-kind place.” When they’re not on the hospital floors, in their daily conferences or seeing patients in the Redmond Medical Group clinics, residents are often volunteering with one of Redmond’s many community partners. “We have a clinic week and, for a day out of the week, we go to the free clinic across

the street called Faith and Deeds” Abraham says. “We do a lot of work with those patients, helping those who can’t afford medical care.” “What was really meaningful to me personally was the Special Olympics,” Dr. Zubda

Talat says. “Last year, unfortunately Special Olympics, who previously had other sources to get medical clearance for their athletes, didn’t have any that year, so they reached out to us. Our coordinator, Barbara Naymick, who just has the biggest heart and the warmest spirit said ‘Absolutely!’. I was one of the interns that went into that and, to be a part of that and to contribute in our way to help engage with the students pursuing this was really meaningful.” Talat is a second-year resident at Redmond and, after working at Redmond for a year and a half, her position there has reaffirmed her decision to pursue medicine tenfold. “The bond that you make with these patients, the help that you can provide for them,

that is your fuel and your motivation for doing this. With the long hours and the fatigue that’s inevitable when it comes to residency, no matter where you go, those are the things that keep you going. One of my interns had a patient who was so happy with the kind of care that he got at Redmond, she gave him a tomato from her garden. I told him that this is just the beginning. It’s these tomato moments that you do what you do.” While residents have three years of “tomato moments” to look forward to, Redmond is looking forward to the many years ahead of bringing in the best people to Rome. No matter their backgrounds, Redmond residents are creating a better hospital for the staff and patients. “Like so many things at Redmond, it’s about the people. Dr. Cronin set aside her dream of medical school to be a wife and mother. After her family moved to Sewanee, she finally pursued her dream by attending Georgia PCOM. Dr. Patel is from Rome, graduating from Rome High School and UGA. After medical school, he came back here – back home. Dr. Abraham first visited Redmond during a clinical rotation with Dr. Robitshek. He loved his experience at Redmond so much that he decided he wanted to come back here to do his residency training and found a home in Rome.” As Redmond’s internal medicine residency program grows, those who work there not only nurture strong skills in their fields, but valuable connections as well. In a close-knit community like Rome, this could only mean good things ahead for Redmond and those who call on their expertise when they’re in need.

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3:48 PM

Making Spirits Bright!

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Look Who's Turning

#thisistwenty TEXT Emory Chaffin

PHOTOGRAPHY Cameron Flaisch

When thinking of what you want to wear, look no further than two ladies with their eyes on the latest trends in fashion and two decades of love for the community they serve.

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Fran Bagley 28

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NYBODY WHO HAS ever been in business knows that it takes a stunning amount of work and perseverance to keep a local business open. We’ve all seen many startups come and go, and long-standing institutions close their doors. We have all also seen plenty of local businesses thrive and prosper despite changing economies and hard times mel&mimi’s, located at 203 East 8th Street., is a shining example of one of Rome’s own success stories. A small peach and teal Victorian tucked away in old East Rome plays home to the trendy and friendly business that folks across Northwest Georgia and beyond have come to know and love. As summer swelters on towards fall weather and fashions, mel&mimi is preparing to celebrate two decades of history at the busy women’s fashion boutique. With the anniversary on August 20th, it’s come time to reflect on everything that makes mel&mimi’s the institution it is today. Melanie Morris and Mimi Weed purchased the store, originally known as Ragtime Boutique, from Nancy Self. Weed accounts, "Nancy had purchased the store from my sister Tessa Wood, the personal history of the store having been around for almost 40 years is hard to believe." Morris has a strong arts background and Weed adds, “Melanie has a knowledge and a passion that she was able to bring to the store to make it mel&mimi.” Feeling that Ragtime was limiting itself with its own image, Morris and Weed decided to change the name to reflect the ever-evolving landscape of fashion. Both ladies wanted to pay homage not only the change in name and direction, but also responding to a growing business they moved from their original 2nd Avenue location to their current home on East 8th Street. After a little fashion facelift, the mel and mimi’s we know today was born. With the added space and newly created image, the industrious duo branched out adding a wide range of both designer and handcrafted women’s fashion accessories, jewelry and clothing. “When we purchased Ragtime in ’97 we wanted to expand and service more people,” says Weed. The fashion industry is not an easy arena to contend in however, and the store has surely seen its ups and downs. “Any time you’re in business it’s a challenge, I think. There’s been times when we’ve had to buckle down more, tighten up more with our dollars,” says Weed. With rapidly changing trends and styles, it’s a constant challenge to keep up with what’s popular. They work tirelessly to make sure that they are bringing the latest styles to the women of Rome and Northwest Georgia, “You have to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s new when it comes to fashion”, adds Morris.

Tiffany Barnes

The last few people who have been in today, we know something about them. You develop those relationships with people and that makes a difference. Literally going the distance for their customers is one reason that mel&mimi’s has managed to not only survive but thrive through the hard times. The pair of fashionistas not only sacrifice for the business but they dig deep and develop more than just business relationships with their customers. Morris and Weed hope to provide the kind of personal touch you would expect from a high-end designer, without the high-end price tag. “The last few people who have been in today, we know something about them. You develop those relationships with people and that makes a difference,” Morris explains.” After 20 years, I

think it’s our approach to service and the people we love that keep us in business.” To Morris and Weed a customer represents so much more than a potential sale, they are a potential friend and customer for years to come, and they want folks to leave feeling good and looking better. “Just being here and being able to continue offering customer service and quality, as our customers have grown with us, helps us in keeping the momentum,” says Weed. Word of mouth can be a powerful tool; mel&mimi have found that social media has been an asset in the internet age. New customers come in and leave happy, and that satisfied customer

makes sure they post about it. “20 years ago, we didn’t have such an internet presence; I think that’s been something that has helped us along, too”, states Morris. “We’re always just trying to keep things exciting and keep things interesting.” With such a presence in the local market and so many people behind them, this trendy pair of entrepreneurial women have come a long way from their humble beginnings in the retail world. 20 years in business is a fantastic accomplishment, and the ladies at mel&mimi couldn’t be happier with what they have achieved. When looking back on it all, it’s obvious that the pair have succeeded in the world of fashion despite the trials and tribulations, and have no plans of retiring any time soon. A little older and a little wiser, Morris reflects on the experience, “We don’t look the same as we did 20 years ago, but we are full of energy. It’s something to be proud of; to be in business and have a door open for 20 years, and to have so many who support us. It’s amazing.” A special 20th year open house was commemorated to celebrate one of Rome's most loved retail establishments.

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SPIRITS TEXT Emory Chaffin

PHOTOGRAPHY Cameron Flaisch

Not much can beat locally-stilled comfort in a glass, especially when the makers are on the right side of the law.

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NESTLED DEEP IN the heart of Atlanta’s historic Fourth Ward district lies a little-known distillery waiting to make a big splash with their innovative spirits. The Old Fourth Distillery, located at 487 Edgewood Ave. in Atlanta, seeks to renew the time-honored tradition of distilling and bottling fine liquors. Atlanta once served as home to a booming distillery industry, but the temperance movement quashed them all including the historic R.M. Rose Distillery. After more than 100 years, Old Fourth Distillery has become the first to produce an original spirit, or any spirit for that matter, in Atlanta since the repeal of prohibition. After 15 years of selling tech and wrangling real estate, brothers and business partners Craig and Jeff Moore developed an unexpected idea. Wanting to branch out from their current endeavors, the entrepreneurial duo decided to forge boldly ahead with a plan to bring the art of making liquor back to Atlanta.


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Settling on an 1100-square-foot building on Edgewood Avenue, and assembling an A-team of friends to help out, the process of experimenting with recipes for Atlanta’s first homebrewed spirit since 1906 began in earnest. Woefully lacking in experience, they turned to Gabe Pilato, a former sommelier, for help and advice in perfecting their first recipe. After lots of experimentation the team settled on a locally sourced, handcrafted vodka. “We worked on fermentations while we were getting the facility up and running for couple of years,” Craig says, “and fermented just about anything we could get our hands on including fruits, grains, sugar, etc. We landed on cane sugar because it creates a uniquely flavored vodka and produces very little waste.” Officially opening their doors in 2014 they released their first run of O4D Vodka to a rousing success, selling 3000 cases in 2015 and 5000 in 2016. Exceptionally smooth and easy drinking, Old Fourth’s vodka is carefully crafted using regionally

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We chose a Louisiana supplier for our cane sugar because they are a family farm and were able to give us consistent quality sourced turbinado sugar cane, giving it a distinctly sweet finish. “We chose a Louisiana supplier for our cane sugar because they are a family farm and were able to give us consistent quality,” says Moore. Old Fourth has also developed a unique spin on the ever-mysterious spirit that is Gin, though this run definitely didn’t come from a bathtub. The tantalizing aromas of juniper and citrus will fill your head with fanciful thoughts of speakeasies and pinstriped suits. The Old Fourth gin recipe is distilled from Italian wheat and includes a wide array of floral flavor, like grapefruit, pink


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peppercorn and coriander which absolutely pop against its dry finish. Old Fourth Distillery is now in their third year, and are continuing to add new flavors to their repertoire. Lawn Dart, a tasty twist on their handcrafted vodka, is a Lemon and Ginger vapor infused liqueur. With the same sweet finish as the vodka, and a hint of vapor-infused citrus and ginger, Lawn Dart is dangerously delicious and a fun addition to your summer cocktail cabinet. They have also taken a foray into the world of whiskey, with run of bourbon resting quietly in its barrels awaiting its 2019 release date.

Every iota of the bottling and production process is done by hand, and it is easy to tell when you taste the finished product. Old Fourth truly is handcrafting fine spirits in Atlanta again, and they make it easy for you to take part in something historic. Volunteers can sign up to help on bottling day for a chance to get an exclusive behind the scenes look at what it’s like to make craft spirits, and currently tours of the distillery are offered on weekends, which include a tasting of course. If you’re interested in signing up for a bottling day, taking a tour, or just want to find some Old Fourth liquors near you, head to O4d. com to find a product locator, tour schedule and volunteer sign-up, and even some of the Old Fourth team’s personal favorite cocktail recipes. The Moore brothers have no intention of slowing down; the aim is to create an entirely new space for their operations and branch out from just distilling spirits to hosting events and tastings as well. The current facility is an awesome attraction, with a dé-

cor Jeff and Craig sourced from their real estate background. Historic R.M. Rose jugs honor the distilleries’ roots, and church pews, marble counters and retired chalkboards from an abandoned Atlanta school, and even old doors have all found new life as the upcycled interior of Old Fourth’s Edgewood home. The small footprint of the current facility does leave something to be desired, however. The recently purchased 15,000 square foot facility located on Decatur St. represents a massive upgrade for the team, “We are hoping to take advantage of the new laws and create a public tasting room, bar, event space as well as expanded manufacturing,” says Craig. They aim to be more than just a distillery, but a destination as well. With plans to rent the space for events as well as host their own, Old Fourth is sure to be on the top of Atlanta’s list of attractions before you can pop the cork on a bottle of their craft spirits. Visit Old Fourth Distillery on Facebook, or visit in person at 487 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta. Tours of the distillery are offered by reservation and can be booked online as mentioned above, or call ahead at 844653-3687.

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WONDER years Nothing is more important than the education of those little ones who will one day take the reins. TEXT Erin deMesquita PHOTOGRAPHY Cameron Flaisch


HE EXPECTATIONS OF daycare have long exceeded the breakdown of the words. What originated out of necessity has evolved into opportunity. No longer as simple as a sitter with a watchful eye and the occasional snack, daycare facilities have even transposed their traditional moniker, to be replaced by “learning centers.” These are the rooms in which the future finds foundation. Where knowledge expands, creativity abounds, and no amount of time is wasted. This evolution is a perfect shift for April Rogers, director and owner of The Children’s Academy (62 Wax Road, Silver Creek), a learning center for children ages six weeks to four years. With a degree from Shorter University, Rogers worked as


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an educator for three years, before deciding that particular path was a bit too pressurized for her stride. Her change in path lead Rogers to several years of experience working with special needs adults before she finally gave way, four years ago, to the persistent plea to purchase the Academy from its previous 30-year owner. “My biggest fear,” she says, “was that people would leave because it was being run by a new person.” Her fear, however, found no manifestation; the center manages to stay mostly full. Ties of friendship and familiarity solidified the ease of transition, for Rogers, considering the fact that she had experienced, firsthand, the success and stability of the center when her eldest son attended the facility.

Rogers wasted no time shaping the center into the creative learning environment she envisioned for her budding Bambinos. The calm wash of the earth-toned walls lend way to the splash and splatter of kaleidoscopic saturation scattered about the room; so affectionately adorned with the shapes and swirls of adolescent art. Books, toys, drawing boards and bombastic youngsters color these otherwise neutral spaces. Eleven hours a day (from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.), four contrasting levels of sound permeate their prospective rooms with animated energy and innocent abandon. The Academy is divided into rooms according to age group. From the nursery to the three-year-old room, each day looks and sounds a little bit different. “Some centers are far

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more structured than we are and some are less structured than we are,” Rogers explains. “I don't have a set curriculum; we do our own thing here, based upon the children’s needs.” At this particular learning center, there will be no forcing the children to sit down, shut up and learn. Stimulation and imagination are encouraged and expanded upon, daily. Rogers strives to make the learning process as exciting and as enjoyable as possible for the kids. The agenda may lend way to a fluffy smear of shaving cream atop tables as the children use tiny fingertips to write the letter B into the cool ivory heap. A simple practice session, turned fun science experiment! “They learn their colors, their shapes, their letters and states,” Rogers smiles. “They learn how to write their names and things like that before they even go to Pre-K, but they're having fun while they do!” Rogers and her staff, on occasion, will even transform the classrooms into elaborate scenes as themed months create even more of an adventurous atmosphere. One day, the children may arrive to find the creatures and treasures of the deep ocean all around them; or maybe they’ve entered a jungle safari as they move through lush green foliage, monkeys swinging from the branches. Whether the kids are enjoying a “water day” in the summertime or a pajama day just because, the smiles abound and the energy never ceases. Rogers even has field trips set up for the kids, but

the field trips travel to them. “The pumpkin patch comes to us, we've had the ambulance, fire truck, dentist office. They come to us as opposed to us traveling,” she smiles. No part of these fun-filled, educational days are off limits to parents. “My parents are free to walk in here at any point in time, look in a window and walk out,” Rogers asserts. “They don't have to call and say they're on their way. We have nothing to hide.” An afternoon peek into the one-year room sparks excitement in the children as they see “Miss April” come into the doorway. Aside from a few elated squeals toward Rogers, the room is calm

and quiet at the moment as the children get the treat of watching a video while the gentle rain falls on the abandoned fenced-in playground outside. Some days, the sound of instructional song may even arise from this room as the kids learn colors and numbers. The two-year room is learning about the process and importance of taking turns. Sitting crossed-legged in a circle, they gently pass a red ball across the floor as their “turn” is over and onto the next. Rogers says this room tends to be a little less structured than the three-years, but they have carpet time where they focus on letters and numbers. Rogers smiles just before opening the door to the three-year room, “This is my rambunctious room.” Sproutlings of boundless energy carom across the room and playful sounds surge into

They learn how to write their names and things like that before they even go to Pre-K, but they're having fun while they do!

the air. “My three-year- old room is set up like the preschool room is at school,” she explains, waving at the wide-grins around her. “We have center time, carpet time, and outside time.” These three categories of time are important moments for the children as they transition through their day. Center time gives them a chance to play and learn, hands on, as they take charge of their own exploration and creativity. Time on the carpet takes a moment to engage the children together in a socialized setting, oftentimes focusing on social and emotional learning; for example, the taking turns circle with the red ball. A quick peek into the nursery rounds out an afternoon tour at the Academy, and it’s by far, the wobbliest of rooms. In the nursery, ages range from six weeks to 18 months. Several activities 42

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the childcare/parent bond, but is also a total aid of ease for Rogers and her team; especially with 56 enrolled students. “We are required to keep documentation of diaper changes and bottles,'s all in the app now!” She adds, “I can actually see when the parents have read the notes. It also tells who dropped the child off and who picked them up.”

transpire simultaneously as one of the babies receives a diaper change, one waddles across the room and another enjoys a mid-afternoon snack. “Where’s your nose?” Rogers smiles at the waddling tot. Two staff members currently oversee the nursery and Rogers says that this ratio is well above standard for Georgia state requirements, “For every six babies I'm supposed to have one staff, but I have ten babies and two staff,” she explains. In fact, Rogers holds each of her classrooms to this high standard of supervision and instruction. While parents are welcome to make impromptu drop ins and checkups whenever they so choose, the Academy goes the extra mile with parental communication and daily updates. “We don't even use our Facebook page much anymore,” she explains, “because we have an app that we use that allows the parents to get pictures and notes throughout the day. They can decide from there what they want to share with the world.” The app is called Tadpoles and it has been a complete game changer for Rogers and her teachers. Photos and videos can be shared directly with parents (who can then download/share them if they like), daily reports regarding meals, activities and naps are created, and parents can even receive emergency emails. This use of technology not only strengthens

They each have a unique code, she says. For the sake of example, Rogers says that if a child loses a jacket and parents inquire with her; she can actually look back through the app, see that Grandma picked them up on that particular day, and then advise them to look in Grandma’s car. She has become so well versed in the use of this technology that she has even more expectations for a future app, “I’ve actually been talking to another company that I saw on Shark Tank,” she smiles, “and they're working with me on changing their app because I have a good idea of what more could be done with it.” Rogers says she envisions shaping and molding an existing app to better suit the needs of the above average learning center. While the exterior of the Academy is that of a welcoming residential house, security stays tight. Rogers keeps the front door locked at all times; staff clock ins and parent check ins must be done by code. Lead teachers are required to obtain a Child Development Associate Credential (or CDA Certification). All of Rogers’ teachers are fingerprint/background checked, CPR certified and must complete ten hours of Care Courses, as approved by Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. “I’m actually picky with my staff,” Rogers says. She adds that it’s important that whomever she

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employs to teach and supervise at the Academy, must be someone that she would feel comfortable leaving one of her own children with. Rogers considers herself to be quite close with her staff, maintaining friendships that stretch beyond work. She says the same for her families, “A lot of the parents here know each other. My families here are my friends outside of here. It's all a bit more personal.” On that personal plane, she and her staff strive to maintain an above average level of attention, consideration and provision for each child and each family. “I do feel like we are a very unique center,” Rogers notes. “We have multi-racial couples, divorced couples, single moms and single dads...we really just get along with everybody.” Another area in which Rogers feels her facility is unique lies in the fact that the Academy accepts families utilizing the Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) Program. CAPS is designed to aid lower income families in the acquisition of quality childcare. Rogers says that she takes great pride in the Academy’s acceptance of this program, yet lots of learning centers will stray from the preparation process. “It's definitely a paper process,” she explains. “Getting started can be daunting.” She goes on to explain that acceptance of the CAPS program is specifically helpful for children who are currently in foster care; her personal experience, at the Academy, with foster children only solidifies why she went through that paper process to start with. Currently, costs for care at the Academy sit at $110/week, including home cooked meals for breakfast and lunch, and then an afternoon snack; sometimes the kids even get to help! The end of the year, at The Children’s Academy, brings about much celebration. As the threeyear-olds advance into Pre-K, their time with the Academy is brought to a jubilant close. “We bring inflatables and the swimming pools out.” Rogers says with a grin. “Parents come, and we have hotdogs and snow cones and it's just a big party day. We have a cake for the big kids and we take their pictures.” She adds that a lot of the kids do come back to stay during the summer, and oftentimes, she even gets visits from the “big kids” after they’ve moved on. Centered around love and learning, The Children’s Academy continues its mission to go above and beyond the confines of simplistic daycare; laying significant bricks in those developing foundations. Contact The Children's Academy at 706-234-0800 for information about childcare.


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We about know how tosize make anytime, anywhere. Our will yourequire. feed just any group, anytime, anywhere. Ourmenu menu will your event discerning spectaculartastes with the please the most anytime, anywhere. Our menu please the most discerning tastes will WORLD’S GREATEST CATERING. and meet the standards you tastes thehigh most discerning andplease meet the high standards you require. We know to make and meet the how high require. We know how standards to make you your event spectacular with to themake require. We know how your event spectacular with the WORLD’S GREATEST CATERING. your event spectacular with the WORLD’S GREATEST CATERING.


urlee urleess s urlee Fish House & Oyster Bar Bar FishFish House & Oyster Bar House &GAOyster Rome, Est. 2012

Rome, GA Est. GA 2012Est. 2012 Rome,

227 Broad Street 227 Broad Street 227 Broad Street 227 Broad Street Rome, Georgia 30161 Rome, Georgia 30161 Rome, GA 30161 Rome, Georgia 30161

PH:(706) (706) 204-8173 204-8173 PH: PH: 706-204-8173 PH: (706) 204-8173

Hours:Mon-Thurs: Mon-Thurs: 11:00am-9:00pm 11:00am-9:00pm Hours: Hours: Mon-Thurs: 11:00am-9:00pm Hours: Mon-Thurs: 11:00am-9:00pm Fri-Sat: 11:00am-10:00pm Fri-Sat: 11:00am-10:00pm Fri-Sat: 11:00am-10:00pm Fri-Sat: Curlee’s offers casual11:00am-10:00pm dining, Curlee’s offers casual dining, Curlee’s offers casual dining, fresh fresh seafood, hand-cut steaks, Curlee’s offers casual dining, fresh seafood, hand-cut steaks,on chicken and more! It is located fresh hand-cut seafood, steaks, hand-cut steaks, seafood, chicken and chicken and more! Itcenter is located on Broad Street in the of the city,on chicken and more! It is Street located more! Ithas is located Broad Broad theoncenter of the city, and itStreet a in family-friendly atmoBroad Street in the center of the city, and it has a family-friendly insphere! the center of the city, and atmoit has a and it has a family-friendly atmosphere! Takes Reservations, Walk-Ins family-friendly atmo-sphere! sphere! Takes Reservations, Walk-Ins Welcome, Good For Kids, Take Takes Reservations, Walk-Ins Takes Reservations, Walk-Ins Out, Catering Waiter Welcome, Goodand For Kids,Service Take Welcome, Good For Kids, Welcome, Good ForTake Kids, Take Out, Catering andWaiter Waiter Service Out, Catering and Service Out, Catering and Waiter Service

3401 Martha Berry Hwy Rome, GA 30165

PH: 706-291-1881 Hours: Sun -Thu: 11:00am-10:00pm 3401 Martha Hwy Call or Text YourBerry Order to: Fri - 30165 Sat: 11:00am-11:00pm 3401GA Martha Berry Hwy Rome, PH: 706-237-8320. Dine in, Take out, or delivery... Rome, GA 30165

PH: 706-291-1881 Lunches: Wed/Thurs/Fri in Downtown Rome Authentic Italian is what we do! We PH: 706-291-1881 Hours: Sun -Thu: 11:00am-10:00pm Food Truck Friday: 11am-2:00pm have enjoyed great success by @ 2nd Hours: 11:00am-10:00pm Fri Sun - Sat:-Thu: 11:00am-11:00pm providing our guests a casual, Ave.with & 2nd Street Friout, - Sat: 11:00am-11:00pm Dine in, Take orand delivery... friendly atmosphere excellent Friday Nights @ River Dog Outpost Dine in, Take out, or delivery... Authentic istowhat we do! We service. InItalian addition the healthy Saturday Late Nights on Broad Street Authentic Italian is what we do! We have enjoyed great portions of our food,success you will by see our Delivery through Roman Food Delivery have enjoyed great success by providing our guests with a casual, entrees range from homemade Checkproviding out our full weekly schedule & our guests with a casual, sandwiches, pizzas and to friendly atmosphere and calzones excellent rotating menu at: pastas, veal seafood dishfriendly atmosphere excellent service. Inchicken, addition to and theand healthy Contact us about booking, catering, and es. service. In addition thesee healthy portions of our food, youtowill our private events at : portions offrom our food, you will see our entrees range homemade MULTIPLE GOOD EATS to entreesTRUCKS. range homemade sandwiches, pizzasfrom and calzones

sandwiches, pizzas and calzones to pastas, chicken, veal and seafood dishpastas, chicken, veal and seafood dishes. es.

Make it a meal worth remembering. Where to eat in Northwest Georgia.

Make it a meal worth remembering. Where to eat in Northwest Georgia. Make it a meal worth remembering. Where to eat in Northwest Georgia. v3 magazine 47 Make it a meal worth remembering. Where to eat in Northwest Georgia.


3-7 OCTOBER 2017


Go to now and purchase your unlimited ride armbands for just *$16 each. These armbands are valid any day, Tues. through Sat., all day! Sale from Sept. 1 through Oct. 2nd @ midnight. *See website for details and exceptions. Like us on Facebook Watch our website for contests Wade Shows Inc. Rides SPONSORED BY THE EXCHANGE CLUB OF ROME

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