Page 1

fall 2019

Your hometown community bank

sumter county

The Journey Sharad patel has chosen to make americus his home and his community.

Committed to the Song bubba hall, jr.’s energy and passion for music and humanity is simply magnetic.

Where Business and Friendships Meet 119 NORTH LEE ST | AMERICUS · 106 TRIPP ST | AMERICUS 534 WASHINGTON ST | PRESTON WWW. CBKAMERICUS.COM 229.924.4011

A Case Study of Creativity David Busman “gets it” in ways many people quadruple his age don’t.

It is their hope for six more generations to live in and love the sentimental showplace they call home. H o m e t o w n L i v i n g at i t s B e s t


The innovation innovation The you can can rely rely on. on. you

COMPREHENSIVE DENTAL TREATMENT IMPLANTS WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL COMPREHENSIVE DENTAL TREATMENT IMPLANTS IV SEDATION WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL ROOT CANALS IV SEDATION CROWNS & BRIDGES ROOT CANALS WHITENING CROWNS & BRIDGES COSMETIC DENTISTRY

IntroducingCooper CooperLighting LightingbybyEaton. Eaton. Introducing

COMPREHENSIVE DENTAL TREATMENT IMPLANTS WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL IV SEDATION ROOT CANALS 1108 FETNER DRIVE • AMERICUS, GA 31709 | (229) 924-4479 | MON - THURS: 8AM - 5PM | FRI: 8AM - 12PM CROWNS & BRIDGES 1108 FETNER DRIVE • AMERICUS, GA 31709 | (229) 924-4479 | MON - THURS: 8AM - 5PM | FRI: 8AM - 12PM WHITENING COSMETIC DENTISTRY WHITENING COSMETIC DENTISTRY

ADLayout.indd ADLayout.indd 3 3

1108 FETNER DRIVE • AMERICUS, GA 31709 | (229) 924-4479 | MON - THURS: 8AM - 5PM | FRI: 8AM - 12PM

Offering brands you Offering thethe brands you count quality, efficient count onon forfor quality, efficient lighting and controls, Cooper lighting and controls, Cooper Lighting Eaton continues Lighting by by Eaton continues tradition providing its its tradition of of providing thethe latest in LED technology and latest in LED technology and industry-leading design that industry-leading design that improves energy efficiency, improves energy efficiency, light quality and safety. light quality and safety. With a focus new With a focus onon new technologies that exceed technologies that exceed customer expectations, Eaton customer expectations, Eaton

continues build upon continues to to build upon its its heritage innovation with heritage of of innovation with a a broad portfolio market-leading broad portfolio of of market-leading lighting and controls solutions. lighting and controls solutions. recessed, outdoor Ambient, recessed, outdoor Ambient, and architectural lighting and architectural lighting forfor thethe home owner, contractor, builder home owner, contractor, builder and specifier, available from and specifier, available from thethe brands you trust light way. brands you trust to to light thethe way. Expect more. Expect more. Eaton.com/expectmore Eaton.com/expectmore

Hometown Living Best 3333 Hometown Living AtAt ItsIts Best

8/13/2014 8:28:46 8/13/2014 8:28:46 PMPM


Come Be A Part Of

Our Family!

CHANDLER MORGAN

EYEWORKS

208 East Lamar Street | Americus, GA 229.924.9998 www.chandlermorganeyeworks.com Hometown Living At Its Best

1


d decorating unlimited 229.924.6669 | 1211 Crawford St. (HWY 49N) Americus | M-F 9-5 • SAT 10-4 | After Hours By Appointment 2

Sumter County Living


Hometown Living At Its Best

3


sumter

38

county

contents 10

about the cover

The cover photo is of the adorable children of Jess and MeriBeth McNeill. See what history this family is carrying over on page 68. www.dparksphotography.com

52

4

Sumter county Living

26


New location. Same expert care.

Phoebe is pleased to announce our new Buena Vista Clinic location is now open. With new physicians and a wider range of services, we’ll be able to offer patients even more expert care that’s close to home. Primary Care: Daniel Singleton, MD Sarah Tanner, FNP-C

Cardiology: Ngoc Nguyen, MD Lori Perry, NP-C

Orthopaedics: Ryan Breland, MD

Call 229-649-2273 to make an appointment. phoebehealth.com/sumter

1009 GA HWY 41 N, Buena Vista, Georgia, 31803 Hometown Living At Its Best

5


68

for the love of the farm The Vietnam-era vet is raising canes a little more slowly now, making the oneof-a-kind stick all the more treasured by the one it supports… and personifies.

82

A leap of faith Hannah Ricketts has taken the Americus girl force over from one generation into another.

96

come sail with me

68

in every issue

Jimbo Melvin began sailing at the age of seven. When he met Tiffany, he passed on his love of sailing to her. That love has taken them on adventures many people only dream of, and has led them to live a life that is different from the norm.

134

108

serving up joy and caring Serving seems to just come naturally to Larry Jackson, not just in his duties as a food service provider, but in his outlook and attitude to all.

122

meditation & Mindfulness Charlene McGowan tries to live by the mantra, “May you see only the best in me, and may I see only the best in you.”

6

Sumter county Living

82

You can find great retail shopping, restaurants, and services around each corner. If you haven’t done so lately, take the time to look around and discover all the wonderful things there are to find.

108


Go ahead P U T

Y O U R F E E T I N T H E W AT E R & R E L A X

We've Got This!

A BE T T E R WAY TO B A N K 800 EAST LAMAR STREET | AMERICUS, GEORGIA 31709 | (229) 924-3200 ONCALL BANKING: (706) 547-4401 | MONDAY - FRIDAY | 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Hometown Living At Its Best

7


From the Publisher

sumter county

g

P u b l i s h e r With You In Mind Publications E x ec u t i ve E d i to r s Landon and Mandi Spivey C r eat i ve | Des i g n Robin

Harrison Stacey Nichols Mandi Spivey O f f i ce m a n age r Nikki Burkhalter

Photo by Leslie Hand Photography

Gearing up for the new school year, summer has come to a close and the back-to-school supply list is being checked off. Oh, the seasons of life. Learning to ebb and flow with all that life can bring can evoke so many emotions in us in various ways. I believe learning to embrace the flowing waters allows us to have peace and joy in all of the times.       We have often said that people are our passion, and learning about people’s stories is what makes what we do so incredible. We hear and learn the wisdom, mistakes, lessons and choices that the fascinating people of Sumter County have and we get to share the in-depth background and details. We are always so honored to glean from these pages and hope you enjoy it as much as we do.      Families, like the McNeills, are on the forefront of preserving history intertwined with modern additives and a good healthy dose of old-fashioned hard work! Also included is child music prodigy, David Busman, whose story will give you chills about how he uses his ability to speak to the world through music. Sharad Patel and his hard working family show such loyalty and passion to the Sumter community and truly captivate what a family owned business looks like.       Each of these stories, and so many more, walk you from the beginning to the present of the different pages of life that each have experienced; lessons learned along the way and the journey ahead.      Thank you to all of our readers for sharing in our joy and continuing to open your arms of friendship. We are so grateful for our clients who continue to make this publication possible and they are listed on page 136. Please thank them and continue to support them. 

P ro o f Rea d e r s Gail Dixon June Dixon

A ss i s ta n t

Ma n age r s Laura McCullough

June Dixon P h oto g r ap h e r s David Parks Photography Leslie Hand Photography Samantha Rambo Shannan Blanchard C ove r P h oto McNeill children Photo by David Parks Photography Sa l e s Mike Lane

Patti Martin Landon Spivey

Contributing Wri te r s June B. Anderson

Kate DeLoach Jessica Fellows Rachel Price Sherri Martin

Sumter County Living© is published semi-annually by With You in Mind Publications. www.withyouinmindpublications.com 400-C Adams Street• Vidalia, GA 30474 (912) 403-3004 All rights reserved. Copies or reproduction of this publication in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without expressed written authorization from the publisher. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein. Advertising is subject to omission, errors, and other changes without notice.

8

Sumter county Living


A Cut Above S AL ON

The Creative Stylis t Team For Men, Women, and Children

CU T, COL O R & C O N VE RS AT I O N S 1 1 0 G A H W Y 2 7 E , A M E R I C U S , G A 3 1 7 0 9 | ( 2 2 9 )Hometown 9 2 4 - 8 8 4Living 9 At Its Best

9


10

Sumter county Living


Story by Sherri Martin

Photos by David Parks Photography

Hometown Living At Its Best

11


12

Sumter county Living


w

Wherever you live, that is your home, and that is where you give back. This motto, taught to him by his father, is how Sharad Patel has chosen to live his life. It is a life that has taken him to four different continents…Africa, Asia, Europe, North America… which landed him in a century-old hotel in the community of Americus, Georgia. Sharad was born in Africa, the son of an Indian businessman who had worked in Uganda, which was then a British territory, since the 1930s. The youngest of seven children, he enjoyed a privileged life in Uganda. Then in 1963, when Sharad was seven, his father made the decision to move back to

his rural home village in India. “My father wanted to serve his town,” Sharad explains. “In that little town, he founded the high school and libraries.” This was a bit of a culture shock for a young boy used to being driven to a nice school. Sharad changed to walking dirt paths to attend schools that did not always have reliable electricity. In addition, because his older siblings were out on their own and because his father had cataracts, it fell to the youngest son to accompany his father wherever he would go. That period of Sharad’s childhood would affect the rest of his life. “I realized when I was much older, that those

Hometown Living At Its Best

13


14

Sumter county Living


Over the past two years, The Windsor has undergone more renovations, and they are almost complete for a “brand new Windsor”. All of this renovation requires a good team, and Sharad says his family provides that. Vic is the general manager; Rushabh is the controller; and Vic’s wife, Divya, is the sales director and handles banquet bookings. “This is not a one-man show,” Sharad explains. “I managed to build a good team; they know how important The Windsor is and how important hospitality is. It is so important to provide the best experience to every guest.”

moments had a great influence in my life. I learned a lot from my father in that period of time including giving back to where you live,” Sharad says. His father passed away in 1980, and Sharad, then 24, moved to a bigger city for a job. “I started working in a factory, and by my first year, with sweat equity, I was made a partner,” he says. “After that, I joined my brother-in-law in a transport business and I got married to my wife Ila.” Sharad also took care of his mother, who had lived with him and his family for the past decade because she needed more assistance, until she passed away this past spring at the age of 96. In the early 80s, Sharad moved his family to England to join his brothers, who had been successful in business in London. Together, they bought a shop, a News Agent, which was a corner shop selling newspapers, tobacco, candy, cards, and other items. “Interacting with the customers 14 hours a day, 7 days a week is how I learned to speak English,” Sharad explains. “I

Hometown Living At Its Best

15


felt that was the fastest way to learn.” He also spent a short amount of time going to a university, but decided that since he was not going to be a doctor or an engineer, this was not for him. By the early ‘90s, Sharad had two sons, Tarang (Vic) and Rushabh. He and his brothers sold their business, and Sharad wanted to take the time to travel. “In ’92, I came to the United States for a vacation and to visit; I fell in love with this country,” he says. “I landed in New York and had to change planes to go to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The person next to me on the plane was talking to me. She was so friendly and kind; that doesn’t happen in England!” “I experienced the beautiful weather and beautiful people and decided this is where I wanted to come!” A family friend had purchased a run-down hotel in Jacksonville, Florida, and converted it to a Comfort Inn. Sharad came by himself and stayed there, helping his friend for eight months. “That was my school of hospitality,” he explains. His friend offered to pay 16

Sumter county Living

him, but all Sharad asked was that his friend help him find the right hotel to renovate himself. That first hotel was a private hotel in Vidalia that he converted to a Days Inn. “It was a pretty successful conversion,” he explains. By this time, Sharad’s family had joined him, and they got to experience their first taste of Georgia hospitality and community. “That was a thrilling experience!” he says. “On the first day, I dropped the kids off at school, and the principal was outside greeting everyone! That’s when I really had an opportunity to get involved in the community and give back.” Sharad started serving on various boards, including the tourism board, where he met and became friends with Chris Barker, Director of the board, who eventually came to Americus and called her friend. She said, “Sharad, this is a cool town. You could do something here.” “So, I visited her. She took me to The Windsor for lunch and I thought, ‘Wow! What a cool town! There’s a historic downtown, antebellum and Victorian homes, the university.’ This was the perfect setup for me, so I decided to move,” explains Sharad. He knew, after living in London and dealing with the traffic, that he did not want to live in a big city and Americus seemed just the right size. He and his family bought the Inns of Americus on Highway 19 and converted it to a Ramada Inn in 1996 and, just like in Vidalia, Sharad again became involved in the community, serving on the boards for tourism, the historic society, and the Rylander Theater. “I loved the town; I loved the community. They embraced me and I made a lot of friends here,” he says about his first two years in Americus. But Sharad’s opportunity to truly give back to the community that had opened its arms to him came in 1998. The Windsor Hotel needed a new owner to revitalize it and make it the gem of downtown again. “I noticed that the Windsor was tired and they were looking for the right person who could steer the Windsor in the right direction,” Sharad says. “I did my homework and thought, ‘This is what you do for a living. If I can figure out how to market this hotel, not only am I making a living, but I also have the perfect opportunity to give back and make a difference in the community.’ So I put my name in the hat.” Sharad was awarded the bid and became the new owner of the


historic Windsor Hotel, which first opened on June 16, 1892. Sharad had his work cut out for him. “The challenge is it’s a beautiful hotel in a weak market,” Sharad explains. “So the first ten years, I kept my head above water, learned every aspect of the hotel, and took baby steps to make small improvements.” Because of the history of the building, Sharad had to learn new aspects to maintenance, as well as historical preservation and fine dining. Then 2008 came, and “the bottom fell out of the market”. Sharad recalls, “I knew I had to do something very soon in terms of restructuring– and something spectacular.” Both of his sons were working with him at this point, and his wife was taking care of their hotel, now a Quality Inn, on Highway 19. Vic’s wife, Divya, wanted to help the family and also joined the team. “We had a brainstorming session, to determine how we were going to restructure the hotel,” Sharad says. “So we decided we were going to renovate the entire hotel and be a part of a franchise, in order to throw a wider net for marketing. That’s when we went all in!” Some people advised Sharad against this course, and he understood the reluctance to put the Windsor under a franchise name. “Because this was the Windsor and I had so much pride in it,” he says, “I learned that it

may be a pride and joy of mine and Americus, but to someone in Raleigh, North Carolina, a private hotel doesn’t mean anything; people are looking for a brand, something reliable. So we didn’t have time to waste.” Eventually, only the Best Western franchise would allow them to keep the Windsor name and preserve the historic integrity of the building. Renovations started in 2009 and in June 2010, the Windsor reopened as part of Best Western. President Jimmy Carter, who has been a longtime supporter of the Windsor, participated in the reopening ceremonies. “The Windsor started heading in the right direction,” says Sharad. That direction also included the fine dining restaurant Rosemary & Thyme, a partnership with Georgia Southwestern’s theater and art departments, and a partnership with South Georgia Technical College’s culinary arts program. “Today, The Windsor is a destination hotel, which is huge,” Sharad says. “It is a perfect place for folks to visit for a weekend, as it is between two historic sites.” Sharad takes very seriously the part The Windsor plays in the downtown landscape. “The Windsor is the engine that drives downtown. Our new pledge, which we made at our 125th anniversary gala, is to make Downtown Americus the engine that drives the rest of Hometown Living At Its Best

17


Sharad takes very seriously the part The Windsor plays in the downtown landscape. “The Windsor is the engine that drives downtown. Our new pledge, which we made at our 125th anniversary gala, is to make Downtown Americus the engine that drives the rest of Americus and Sumter County.”

Americus and Sumter County.” Over the past two years, The Windsor has undergone more renovations, and they are almost complete for a “brand new Windsor”. All of this renovation requires a good team, and Sharad says his family provides that. Vic is the general manager; Rushabh is the controller; and Vic’s wife, Divya, is the sales director and handles banquet bookings. “This is not a one-man show,” Sharad explains. “I managed to build a good team; they know how important The Windsor is and how important hospitality is. It is so important to provide the best experience to every guest.” “My children saw how badly I wanted to make 18

Sumter county Living

The Windsor a success and they helped make my dream come true. They bought into the dream and saw the opportunity,” explains Sharad. The Patels have recently sold the Quality Inn; Sharad says he has even more time for The Windsor and for the ongoing community involvement. Sharad thinks his father would be proud and amazed of what he has accomplished. In a full-circle situation, GSW has a memorandum of understanding with the university in Sharad’s home state in India. Sharad had the opportunity to take then GSW Vice-President Brian Adler and others back with him to the small village in India where he had lived


after moving from Africa. “They saw the impact my father had in the village,” Sharad explains. “Brian Adler told me, ‘Now I know where it comes from.’” Sharad shares one more of his favorite memories: “At the 125th year anniversary everyone was in costume. We had period attire, entertainment, and a menu from The Titanic. A couple from Jonesboro came up to me, and the husband said, ‘I want to tell you a story. My wife is a breast cancer survivor and has been cancerfree for one year. We wanted to celebrate her new life, but she didn’t want to go anywhere for a full year. When she was ready to celebrate, she chose here.’ That’s how powerful The Windsor is.” Following his father’s example, with a world of experience from four different continents under his belt, Sharad Patel has chosen to make Americus his home and his community, and that is where he is giving back…in a great, big, historic hotel on a hill where he serves and dreams. Sharad explains, “The Windsor is a journey. Every day, I come in, look up at the lobby, and it inspires me to do more.”  SCL

Hometown Living At Its Best

19


Experience the Magic L E T O U R C O M M U N I T Y C E N T E R B E T H E L O C AT I O N F O R Y O U R E V E N T. T H E P O S S I B I L I T I E S A R E E N D L E S S . C A L L U S T O D AY F O R D E TA I L S .

1 0 6 M A I N S T R E E T P L A I N S G A | 2 2 9 . 8 2 4 . 4 5 1 7 | W W W. P L A I N S I N N . N E T 20

Sumter County Living


Plains

HISTORIC INN & ANTIQUE MALL SHOP • DINE • STAY

Below the Inn, enjoy shopping for antiques in the new mall featuring display cases and over 25 booths!

HOME DECOR • GIFT ITEMS • COLLECTIBLES • ANTIQUES

Hometown Living At Its Best

21


801 Alba Pho

22

Sumter County Living


Supplying all of S.W. Georgia with concrete, stone, brick, block, rock, sand, fill dirt & woodwork.

801 Turner Field Road Albany, GA 31705 Phone 229-888-1904

1324 1st Street, NE Moultrie, GA 31768 Phone 229-985-3070

7752 Highway 129 Nashville, GA 31639 Phone 229-686-2031

5620 West Hunt Road Valdosta, GA 31601 Phone 229-245-9977

636 Fussell Road Leesburg, GA 31763 Phone 229-317-8051

Hometown Living At Its Best

23


HARVEY Drilling WELL DRILLING | PUMP SERVICES | WATER TREATMENT | WELLS | SALES | SERVICE 1101 Williamsburg Road • Albany, GA 31705 24

Sumter County Living


No Water? Problems with your well or pump? We offer 24 hour emergency well or pump service 365 days per year!

With over 50 years in the well drilling industry we have the experience, personnel and equipment needed to meet your needs. We specialize in residential, agricultural and irrigation wells.

Hometown Living At Its Best

25


26

Sumter county Living


[ Story by Kate DeLoach Photos by David Parks Photography]

David functions from a big-picture perspective. He “gets it” in ways many people quadruple his age don’t.

S

Spend an hour with David Busman and your worldview will shift just a little. The 23-year-old Americus native is brilliant, multi-talented, insightful beyond his years, straightup honest, and focused, very focused. David has Asperger’s; while he exhibits a need to pull his thoughts together and focus while he talks (he works a Rubik’s cube to do this), he also possesses all the best possibilities on the spectrum. His work associates call him “Rain Man”, referencing Dustin Hoffman’s autistic savant

Hometown Living At Its Best

27


“I will sit [at the piano], and an idea will come to me and then the keys ‘light up’ for me and tell me what to play.” When playing in the recording studio, he has the lights turned off so he can see the keys “light up”. “I have synesthesia; I hear colors.”

character in the movie of the same name. It is an appropriate nickname. David is the oldest of four children by Dr. Michael Busman, a family medicine physician, and his wife, Dianne. His three sisters are Lauren, Melinda and Kate. An Americus High School alum, David graduated last year from Reinhart University in Waleska, Georgia, with a bachelor of art’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. The talented, mostly self-taught pianist enrolled as a music major and changed course. “I don’t belong in the academic side of

28

Sumter county Living

music,” David says. “It is not to my enjoyment to redo what everyone else has already done.” Interdisciplinary Studies served him well, as he has multiple interests and talents. He especially enjoys history and English, he writes short stories and poetry, and says he prefers to keep music as a hobby. David writes and plays his own compositions and recently produced a CD, Phantasmal Projections. He describes his music as “newstyle classical”. The music is engaging and emotional, at times playful and uplifting, and at


times somber and brooding. He writes of his music, “My compositions are a rare culmination of ‘Episodes’ inspired by several international artists including Chopin (Polish), Scriabin (Russian), Rachmaninoff (Russian), Van Cliburn (American), David Lanz (American), and Yurima (Korean).” The CD insert reads, “The artist’s intention is to engage the listener into imagining themselves in an ongoing dream from which one can never escape. The dream is portrayed in several sequenced episodes. Throughout the entire production, there exists an elevated understanding or ‘3rd Eye’, which is an outward perspective of seemingly unimaginable imagery.” Barry Mathis, of Americus, created the CD’s cover art, a colored drawing of David at the keyboard, the ubiquitous Rubik’s cube in one hand. Paul Hornsby (Bruce’s cousin) produced it; he, too, “sees things number-based,” says David. Phantasmal Projections is available for purchase at The Med Spa and The Maze in Americus. “I will sit [at the piano], and an idea will come to me,” David explains. “And then the keys ‘light up’ for me and tell me what to play.” When playing

David writes and plays his own compositions and recently produced a CD, Phantasmal Projections. He describes his music as “new-style classical”. The music is engaging and emotional, at times playful and uplifting, and at times somber and brooding.

Hometown Living At Its Best

29


30

Sumter county Living


Barry Mathis, of Americus, created the CD’s cover art, a colored drawing of David at the keyboard, the ubiquitous Rubik’s cube in one hand. Paul Hornsby (Bruce’s cousin) produced it; he, too, “sees things number-based,” says David. Phantasmal Projections is available for purchase at The Med Spa and The Maze in Americus.

in the recording studio, he has the lights turned off so he can see the keys “light up”. “I have synesthesia; I hear colors.” Notes are associated with colors for him. According to the website Synesthesia.com, “Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. [It] is a condition where one sense co-activates other senses.” David says he can “flip in and out” of synesthesia, and that he also tastes in color. While synesthesia is automatic for him, he believes the gift can be learned as well. David likes to compartmentalize and compress data. “I have a good memory and

I use numbers to create systems. Music is creative, but it is also mathematical.” However, it is the structured, metered nature of music that turned him against the academic pursuit of it, i.e., “having to play in a set form.” His newstyle classical is an improvisational style. David credits his mother with developing self-advocacy in him. “I never let my disability define me,” he says. While he sometimes struggles with basic things, he is exemplary in many things. He now lives in Naples, Florida, where he works at a Total Wine store. He works in sales and consulting and is considered their spirits expert. He has numerous certifications in whiskey and wine, but sloughs them off. “They don’t mean anything,” he says matter-of-factly.

Hometown Living At Its Best

31


The true pragmatist, he feels about credentials a lot like he feels about higher education: It is society’s way of trying to fit you into a box. And David certainly defies any common categorization. His uncanny ability to remember everything he learns makes him fascinating to talk with – or listen to. “Tequila is the next big thing,” he offers. Consider it a stock tip. “My brain is creative, but it is also matter-offact,” he says. “Things have to work a certain way. I want to find a definitive answer. There is always a definitively correct answer, and I have to find it.” He says he struggles to put out music because he needs it to be 100 percent correct, or perfect. “I’m at a point in my life where everything’s running together,” he says. “History involves storytelling. Everything’s about building some kind of story.” Wine, spirits, arts and music – they’re all interrelated. “I want to incorporate

32

Sumter county Living

everything together.” David functions from a big-picture perspective. He “gets it” in ways many people quadruple his age don’t. The world is synergistic; not only discrete sections of it, but the whole. In an hour’s time, David has spun the colors on his Rubik’s cube into the intended solution – and then scrambled them to start over – at least thirty times, all while staying completely focused on the conversation and carefully formulating what he wants to say. “This keeps me grounded,” he says of the cube, “it’s my fidget toy”. Most people couldn’t complete the puzzle once in that time frame, let alone carry on meaningful discourse while doing so dozens of times. David is, indeed, Americus’ real life “Rain Man”.  SCL


unique, fresh and delicious

Little Brothers Bistro 1 3 3 W L A M A R S T, A M E R I C U S , G A | L I T T L E B R O T H E R S B I S T R O . C O M | ( 2 2 9 ) 9 2 4 - 6 9 4 4 Hometown Living At Its Best

33


Sumter County Chamber of Commerce | 409 Elm Avenue Americus, GA 31709 229.924.2646 | www.sumtercountychamber.com


Homegrown Grown

World Renown

Homegrown. World Renown.

Providing opportunities and support for the growth and prosperity of local & regional business and industry.


ANDERSONVILLE H

I

S

T O

R

I

C

F A

I

R

October 19 and 20, 2019

Confederate and Union Encampments | Mock Civil War Battles Performances by Dixie Jubilee, Southern Gunslingers and special guest H.K. Edgerton Old Time Craftsmen at Work at the Syrup Kettle and all through Pioneer Farm Dealers in Arts, Crafts, Antiques and Collectibles | Activities for Children

The Andersonville Guild, sponsor of the Andersonville Historic Fair, is proud to announce that H.K. Edgerton will be the grand parade marshal for this year’s event.

36

Sumter County Living

Admission $5.00 - Children 10 and under free with adult Students with Student ID card - $3.00 Free Parking – Pets Must be leashed and No Pets over 25 lbs. Hours 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday For More Info on being a Vendor or Attending Please Call 229-924-2558 or visit www.andersonvillegeorgia.info


A better life starts with a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile Louis A. Riccardi, DDS, PC N. Alexandra Riccardi, DMD

cleanings | scaling and root planing | curettage | bleaching | fillings | cosmetic fillings | veneers | crowns bridges | implant restorations | root canals | oral surgery | dentures | Botox and Dermal Fillers

204 Hudson St, Suite B | Americus, Ga 31709 | 229.924.2224 | louriccardidds.com


38

Sumter county Living


A flower, a close friendship, an inspiring landscape; beauty has many forms. Sometimes, the most beautiful things come from our very own hands. From a heart to hand connection that creates joy from love. Valerie Duff creates such beauty. She is a self-taught quilter and adopted a love for the craft in 2011. She began experimenting after her retirement as Principal of Sumter County Primary School. She learned to sew from her mother when she was 10 years old. Because money was tight, new clothes were usually handmade. So, Valerie’s first garment was a skirt that her mother taught her to sew. Valerie recalls her mother never

Valerie Duff creates such beauty. She is a self-taught quilter and adopted a love for the craft in 2011. She began experimenting after her retirement as Principal of Sumter County Primary School. She learned to sew from her mother when she was 10 years old.

Hometown Living At Its Best

39


Valerie is always accepting a new challenge in the quilting and sewing world. She is always stitching projects to keep her creativity flowing. From christening gowns made from an old wedding dress to quilts in memory of loved ones, she is always behind a sewing machine.

being afraid to tackle anything, even reupholstering furniture without experience and doing it perfectly. But one thing her mother never attempted was quilting. Valerie is always accepting a new challenge in the quilting and sewing world. She is always stitching projects to keep her creativity flowing. From christening gowns made from an old wedding dress to quilts in memory of loved ones, she is always behind a sewing machine. Valerie began to branch out in her craft and entered pieces in art shows. She recently entered a piece in the East Cobb Quilters Guild and it got past the jury selection; a feat Valerie didn’t expect. She also entered a piece into the Huss Foundations “Green: A Group Art Show” where applicants were asked to submit pieces representing what “Green” means to them. The quilts entered are a part of what she calls her “Shower Curtain Series”. This series began when Valerie’s daughter had a shower curtain she absolutely loved but no longer had a need for. She asked her mother if she could take a butterfly from the curtain and stitch a wall hanging. Cleaning the curtain up, Valerie took the formally functional item from its state of ruin and gave it new meaning. Pleased with the piece, but feeling it lacked color and not wanting to throw the rest of the shower curtain fabric away, Valerie decided to test an art technique on another butterfly from the curtain to see if she could give it more color.

40

Sumter county Living


Years ago, Valerie learned how to take permanent marker and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle to create a watercolor effect. She tested this process on the butterfly and was very pleased with the results. She quilted a hanging, displayed it on her wall, and went on to the next project. One day, a plumber was called to her house to fix an issue. The plumber brought his young assistant and left him to handle the issue. Valerie was told that disposal of their work would cost an additional $100. She decided to save the money and asked her husband to dispose of the waste. While there, the assistant began to browse her work and spotted the butterfly. He said, “Oh, how much is that quilt? It is my mama’s birthday today and she loves butterflies. I really want to get that for her; will you please hold this until Friday when I get paid?” Valerie explains. “I told him it was $60. Then I got to thinking about the

Hometown Living At Its Best

41


The Grateful Threads are a non-profit organization “with the purpose of creating, stimulating and maintaining an interest in all matters pertaining to the making, collecting and preserving of quilts.”

42

Sumter county Living

disposal. I said to him ‘If you take this off my hands, you can have the quilt.’ So, his mother got her present on time,” she says. Valerie’s recyclable project isn’t the only artistic joy she’s created. In the summer of 2018, she offered an opportunity to anyone wanting to learn the art of sewing. Thinking this would be a course she would offer occasionally, she expected the class to run its course. However, the participants began to express an interest in weekly gettogethers. The class turned into a labor of love and hope for the community and The Grateful Threads Quilting and Sewing Guild was founded a few months later. The Grateful Threads are a non-profit organization “with the purpose of creating,


Hometown Living At Its Best

43


44

Sumter county Living


stimulating and maintaining an interest in all matters pertaining to the making, collecting and preserving of quilts.� In April of 2019 the members delivered nine quilts to the Oncology Department at Phoebe Sumter. Beautiful, lap-sized pieces that the group labored over for almost six months were blessed by a local pastor and distributed. Two of the guild’s members happen to work in the Oncology Department and had the pleasure of witnessing the joy the quilts brought the patients. The patients were allowed to choose their own quilt. One gentleman picked what would be considered more feminine and gifted it to his caregiver in appreciation for all she had done for him. Each time they come in for his treatments, she sits with the quilt on her lap. Each quilt is labeled to let the recipient know they are being prayed for. The first Thursday of each month The Grateful Threads meet for their regular business meeting and the other Thursdays they work on their projects. All of the materials are either donated or purchased with membership dues. This year, on top of the lap quilts donated to the oncology department, they have donated three

The first Thursday of each month The Grateful Threads meet for their regular business meeting and the other Thursdays they work on their projects. All of the materials are either donated or purchased with membership dues. This year, on top of the lap quilts donated to the oncology department, they have donated three quilts to local groups for their fundraising efforts. They will soon vote on a mission project for the 2019-2020 year.

Hometown Living At Its Best

45


quilts to local groups for their fundraising efforts. They will soon vote on a mission project for the 2019-2020 year. “Grateful Threads is so special to me on a couple of levels,” Valerie says. “First, although we aren’t a faith based organization, I do believe we are serving as God’s hands and feet. Socially, it’s been lots of fun to share my hobby with likeminded people.” “I love quilting because it is a way I can express my creativity,” she tells me. “I love beautiful fabrics and enjoy seeing how one can play with another. I’m inspired by a couple of well-known quilters including Lori Kennedy and Angela Walters.” (Both who do long arm quilting on domestic regular sewing machines.) Valerie started out on

46

Sumter county Living

her domestic machine and graduated to a mid-arm quilter. “It gives me joy to create something beautiful from what is considered trash; to see others take delight in that work is priceless!” she exclaims. With our hands we are able to express ourselves in ways words sometimes lack. We hold another hand, we pick up a newborn, and we wipe our own tears. Some of us play instruments to touch others, some of us are healers, and some of us cook food for the soul. Then there are others that quilt comfort. They quilt safety, memories, joy, and love. Valerie Duff is such a quilter. She has that heart to hand connection that transforms art into beauty.  SCL


An Investment In Your Child’s Future LIVE IT • LOVE IT • LEARN IT

Southland Academy 1 2 3 S o u t h l a n d A c a d e m y R d , A m e r i c u s , G A , 3 1 7 0 9 | ( 2 2 9 ) 9 2 4 - 4 4 0 6 | s o u t h l a n d a c a d e m y. o r g


“Your Comfort Is Our Business”

229.924.3693 AMERICUS 229.273.7829 CORDELE 48

Sumter County Living

@ParkersAir.com


Helping You Breathe Easier Are you one of the 24 million Americans with allergy symptoms? If your answer is yes, the specialists at Allergy and Asthma Clinics of Georgia can help you identify what is causing your symptoms and recommend a treatment plan to significantly improve your quality of life.

A l l e r g y a n d a s t h m a c l i n i c s o f g e o r g i a , P. C . 229.438.7100 105 Spanish Court ALbany (inside grand island) Hometown Living At Its Best

49


Why mow the grass when you can cut a rug? At Magnolia Manor, you’ll have plenty of time to concentrate on the things you truly enjoy. We’ll take care of everything else. We’ll cook your meals if you like. Pick up around the place. Do the laundry. Even cut the grass. We also feature a vibrant social calendar and a friendly staff of professionals whose only goal is to make you happy. So relax. Kick up your heels. Make yourself at home. To find out more about the Magnolia Manor campus near you, call

1 (855) 540-LIFE (5433)

MANOR SENIOR LIVING

www.magnoliamanor.com 48

Sumter County Living

A Community of Life and Living!


Carin g For The Whole Family’s Smile

COMPREHENSIVE DENTAL TREATMENT | IMPLANT RESTORATIONS | ORAL SURGERY ROOT CANALS | CROWNS & BRIDGES | WHITENING | COSMETIC DENTISTRY Living At Its Best 1108 FETNER DRIVE • AMERICUS, GA 31709 | (229) 924-4479 | MONHometown - THURS: 8AM - 5PM

49


Story by Jessica Fellows

Photography by David Parks Photography

Music is an international language that transcends age, culture, creed, geographical location, and much more. It gets into our bones, whether through melodic movement, drum beats, or the lyrics expressed in song. It can make us laugh, it can make us cry, and it brings us together during celebrations and lamentations. Most would agree that music is medicine for the soul. One man who couldn’t agree more is Robert “Bubba” Hall, Jr., who I had the chance to meet on a warm Sunday afternoon at a coffee shop. Bubba, along with Steve Miller, owner of JJ’s Wings in Americus, is kicking off a songwriter’s event once a month and I wanted to

52

Sumter county Living

medicine for the soul Music is an international language that transcends age, culture, creed, geographical location, and much more. It gets into our bones, whether through melodic movement, drum beats, or the lyrics expressed in song. It can make us laugh, it can make us cry, and it brings us together during celebrations and lamentations. Most would agree that music is medicine for the soul.


Hometown Living At Its Best

53


Of the music, he says, “It’s led me to a lot of good places, good things, and good experiences. I’ve seen it affect people positively.”

for good luck At that point in listening to Bubba’s stories, I came to understand whose leg ashes, dirt, and dog ashes are in the bag he carries with him to each gig. He tells me later that, for good luck, he sprinkles the contents onto the floor before he plays. Bubba says he carries all these things as symbols with him wherever he goes because there are a lot of things that are discouraging.

54

Sumter county Living


know about it. Bubba walked in looking much different than the other patrons and I knew right away I would like him. He had on a blue bandana over a long ponytail and a guitar pick earring dangling from his left ear. He carried a brick from Otis Redding’s childhood home, a metal rod that came from a dear friend’s previously amputated leg, and a small plastic bag holding leg ashes, dog ashes, and grave dirt from a friend who had helped him start the original movement that we were there to talk about…this was sure to be interesting. As Bubba began to talk, I immediately recognized the eloquence of his language and the intensity of his delivery. This man is passionate and I would soon find out just how much so. He began with his childhood and how he happened upon his devotion to music by chance. He explains, “I didn’t play music growing up. No one in my family played…no neighbors, no classmates. I learned how to read when I was

love and compassion Bubba Hall, Jr.’s energy and passion for music, writing, and humanity is simply magnetic. He loves the songs as much as he cares for the people who write them and the healing it provides for all involved. His attention to the details of human nature is rare. His love and compassion for all people is obvious. He and Steve are bringing talent to South Georgia that we wouldn’t ordinarily get to experience because this type of event does not exist in our area, and hopefully, it will have a positive effect on the people and our community. It is an unprecedented occasion that I will be attending soon and I know you will not want to miss it either.

Hometown Living At Its Best

55


56

Sumter county Living


telling the stories “When I came back home, I was a different person. I wanted to begin writing my own songs. I moved to Alabama where I helped a friend, Joe Thomas, begin a songwriter’s event at the Cloverdale Playhouse Theatre in Montgomery, Alabama. We didn’t know what we were doing and didn’t have any high hopes of commercial success, but it was a way for guys and girls like us who didn’t have an outlet to perform to get our music out there. I’m big on acronyms, so I came up with C2S: Commit to the Song. That’s what we decided to call it. It was just a creation, but the philosophy behind it was being a songwriter, being myself, singing songs I wrote the way I wanted to sing them and telling the stories behind them. I knew the opportunity might not come back around again, so I just had to do it.”

three and a half, not because I am smart, but because my mother had the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom and my parents supported and fostered education. Reading led to curiosity which led to exploring a lot of different things. My parents weren’t big on pop culture. My mother was a reader, although not as formally educated as my father. They were wholesome and weren’t very versed in music. My first introduction to music was my first stereo. My first record was Hotel California by the Eagles. They were followed soon after by Jackson Browne and Elton John. These musicians were all lyricists. Many of the songs were short stories, and I dug right into them. But being in high school, sports came along. I didn’t quit loving literature, writing, and music, but let’s face it—at that age, we all want to be popular, and sports did that for me. I continued to listen to music and read literature, but my focus was on being a scholar and athlete at the time. Most people think you’re either born with musical ability or not, and

Hometown Living At Its Best

57


58

Sumter county Living


that’s the way I thought. I didn’t have that. I made good grades and had the highest SAT score in class. After high school, I went to Auburn to play football, which, of course, is big time in the SEC. College, for me, was such an arduous thing; all I had time to do was play and study. So that’s where my focus was.” “Later, I bought a guitar in a music store that sold records. I was terrible at it. It was hard, and it wasn’t fun, but I just kept doing it. My love for the guitar and music kept growing. I was in college then; I didn’t play my first gig until I was 33 years old. I went into playing this gig without any expectations. My only desire was to not suck. I wanted to play something that wasn’t painful to my ears. I played all the popular songs that

made everybody have a good time; that was on the lake at a little dive called Luke’s Pub in Lee County. The place was packed, and halfway through the night, the patrons had drunk everything in the bar. The owner paid me $150 and asked me to come back, saying, ‘To be honest with you, you suck, but you brought people in and kept them here, so we want you back.’ I did that for several years. Eventually, life happened, and I experienced a perfect storm: I got a divorce from a wonderful woman. I quit a good job and moved to Colorado on a whim; I went out there to visit a friend, but living in Colorado Springs exposed me to a whole different world that I had read about but never experienced. It really influenced me

Hometown Living At Its Best

59


“Coming back home to South Georgia, I started looking for an opportunity to start a similar event. I happened to meet Steve Miller, owner of JJ’s Wings in Americus. He and I clicked. I told him what I wanted to do, and he just got it. The documentary had been released and was coming out on Amazon that fall. He was in the moment, and he understood; we decided to commit to a songwriter series in January of 2019.”

60

Sumter county Living

musically and philosophically. The music thing just kept growing in me like a cancer. I collected stories along the way and lived out there for about a year, which changed my outlook on the world. On my first visit, we went to a theatre downtown and bought tickets for a show. There was a dude wearing a skirt; I told him I loved his blouse. About a month or so later, he was playing at an open mic wearing regular men’s clothing and playing the banjo. I found out his name was Buzz, and we became friends. Not long after, I went to a coffee shop one day, sick as a dog. There were so many people and the wait was long. I saw him there, and he saw that I was sick and went to the back to get me some soup. That stuck out to me because he was as different as he could be from me.” I listen as Bubba tells several stories like this one and I begin to understand that it fits into his story because he is, like me, a lover of real life. He feeds off of stories of human nature, stories of simple human movements that touch the lives of others, if we only pay attention. I could listen to his anecdotes and simple experiences for a long time to pick out the value of each one, the details that make a story good. Bubba knows what it takes to be a writer. He continues, “When I came back home, I was a different person. I wanted to begin writing my own songs. I moved to Alabama where I helped a friend, Joe Thomas, begin a songwriter’s event at the Cloverdale Playhouse Theatre in Montgomery, Alabama. We didn’t know what we were doing and didn’t have any high hopes of commercial success, but it was a way for guys and girls like us who didn’t have an outlet to perform to get our music out there. I’m


big on acronyms, so I came up with C2S: Commit to the Song. That’s what we decided to call it. It was just a creation, but the philosophy behind it was being a songwriter, being myself, singing songs I wrote the way I wanted to sing them and telling the stories behind them. I knew the opportunity might not come back around again, so I just had to do it.” “There were only seven people there when we held the event. It was not a commercial success, but it was a spiritual one. Four or five months later, we were doing it once a month when Joe was suddenly killed in a motorcycle accident. His wife, Gini, was with him and eventually lost her leg.” At that point in listening to Bubba’s stories, I came to understand whose leg ashes, dirt, and dog ashes are in the bag he carries with him to each gig. He tells me later that, for good luck, he sprinkles the contents onto the floor before he plays. Bubba says he carries all these things as symbols with him wherever he goes because there are a lot of things that are discouraging. “The struggle— people don’t get it,” he says. But he is committed…committed to the song. He is all-in. He tells me he’s been all-in for around 20 years now. Of the music, he says, “It’s led me to a lot of good places, good things, and good experiences. I’ve seen it affect people positively.” After Joe got killed in Montgomery, Bubba explained that the show had to go on, in honor of his dear friend. He says, “We never missed an event. After about a year in, there were

first introduction “My first introduction to music was my first stereo. My first record was Hotel California by the Eagles. They were followed soon after by Jackson Browne and Elton John. These musicians were all lyricists. Many of the songs were short stories, and I dug right into them.”

“When people experience songs and music, whether writing or listening, there is hope. When you express emotions, thoughts, ideas, and feelings through music and other people hear it, they are able to cope with things they may not have been able to express before. It’s simply cathartic.”

Hometown Living At Its Best

61


50-80 people showing up. There was nothing remotely ordinary about it. I knew the success of the event was going to be hinged upon diversity. For instance, I can’t hide my dialect; I talk like a country bumpkin, but I don’t play country. We were not genre-specific either: I had become friends with a person named Dylan Yellowlees, from Chicago. She had some ties going back to Indigo girls and other big musicians. Becoming friends with her helped me book a lot of people from different genres that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to book. All of a sudden, we started getting more and more people. Folk, blues, rock and roll—the crowd never knew what they were going to get, but they knew the quality was going to be good. We had people driving hundreds of miles to perform on a Tuesday night and others coming to experience this music. Regular people could be important for a night. It was amazing, and it morphed from there.” “A few years later, a filmmaker and I became friends. He asked me about making a documentary, and I thought it was a terrible idea because I didn’t come up with it first! He silently went about his business of collecting footage, recordings, and pictures. He asked my permission to name it ‘Commit to the Song: The Joe Thomas Junior Guitar Pull.’ He followed it through. This film captured the growth of something that started tiny, with no expectations that blossomed into something huge. We went six years without a miss. The event is still going on now, once a month.” Bubba continues, “Coming back home to South Georgia, I started looking for an opportunity to start a similar event. I happened to meet Steve Miller, owner of JJ’s Wings in Americus. He and I clicked. I told him what I wanted to do, and he just got it. The documentary had been released and was coming out on Amazon that fall. He was in the moment, and he understood; we decided to commit to a songwriter series in January of 2019. It took a big personal and financial commitment from Steve because it was something that had never been done here. (We have the endorsement of the Hank Williams Museum in Montgomery.) The first four shows have been successful and take place on the third Tuesday of each month at JJ’s. We bring in three songwriters each month from all over the country. The film has helped with the process. We don’t specify genres and we are growing it organically. I have immersed myself in media and marketing. Of course we don’t anticipate any of this

62

Sumter county Living

being some runaway viral success, we just thought there was an opportunity for it, and it’s gotten a lot of reception. It’s what I’ve devoted my life to, and I’ve come too far to turn around now.” Bubba and I end our conversation chatting about music and musicians that we know and love…some famous, some not. He tells me historical anecdotes about his own life networks with famed, local songwriters (Otis Redding, Boudleaux Bryant) and deems these spiritual connections of time and place. He says, “Most people don’t realize that these guys were phenomenal, intellectual songwriters. They were from right here… Macon, Shellman, Dawson.” He explains that he calls his event the Songrighter’s Series, and while people often try to correct the spelling, he assures them that it is intentional because a song or a story is a writer’s own… so it must be right. There is no wrong way to write one’s experience. Bubba says, “With my travels, I got exposed to different songwriters and things they were writing about. I looked at how songs led people. Of course, I wish someone would offer me 20 million, but that’s not why I do it. I’ve seen the difference music has made in people’s lives and the doors it has opened. Suicide and other tragedies occur because people down here don’t fit in with the parameters of Southern ideology. Steve Earl has been known to say that he writes songs to keep from blowing his brains out. When people experience songs and music, whether writing or listening, there is hope. When you express emotions, thoughts, ideas, and feelings through music and other people hear it, they are able to cope with things they may not have been able to express before. It’s simply cathartic.” Bubba Hall, Jr.’s energy and passion for music, writing, and humanity is simply magnetic. He loves the songs as much as he cares for the people who write them and the healing it provides for all involved. His attention to the details of human nature is rare. His love and compassion for all people is obvious. He and Steve are bringing talent to South Georgia that we wouldn’t ordinarily get to experience because this type of event does not exist in our area, and hopefully, it will have a positive effect on the people and our community. It is an unprecedented occasion that I will be attending soon and I know you will not want to miss it either.  SCL www.committothesong.com www.songrighters.com


Rylander THEATRE

3 1 0 W L A M A R S T , A M E R I C U S , G A 3 1 7 0 9 | ( 2 2 9 ) 9 3 1 - 0 0 0 1 | W W W. R Y L A N D E R . O R G Hometown Living At Its Best

49


ADAMS EXTERMINATORS Since 1971

WE DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME, WE GUARANTEE IT!

PROUDLY SERVING: ALBANY, AMERICUS, BAINBRIDGE, BLAKELY, CAMILLA, CORDELE, DAWSON, FT. GAINES, LEESBURG, MOULTRIE,PELHAM, SYLVESTER, THOMASVILLE, TIFTON AND VALDOSTA

Termite, Pest, & Moisture Control Specialists www.adams-exterminators.com | 229.928.3004 64

Sumter County Living


adventure in style

COME BY AND SEE US TODAY OR VISIT US ONLINE SUNBELTAMERICUS.COM

Ford • Americus, GA

1710 HWY 280 EAST | Hometown 888.490.2300 Living At Its Best

49


Your hometown community bank

Where Business and Friendships Meet 119 NORTH LEE ST | AMERICUS · 106 TRIPP ST | AMERICUS 534 WASHINGTON ST | PRESTON WWW. CBKAMERICUS.COM 229.924.4011 66

Sumter County Living


If your doctor says you need physical therapy, ask your doctor to refer you to Accelerated. • Orthopedic Disorders • Sports Injuries • Post Operative Surgeries • Neck and Back Disorders • Workmen’s Compensation • Motor Vehicle Accidents • Neurological Injuries • Geriatric Rehabilitation • Gait and Balance Disorders • Pelvic Floor Therapy

229.924.9595 | 205 East Lamar Street | Americus | www.acceleratedpti.com Hometown Living At Its Best

67


68

Sumter county Living


Story by kate deloach Photos by david parks photography

It is their hope for six more generations to live in and love the sentimental showplace.

Legend has it that Malcolm McNeill rode down to South Georgia from North Carolina on a horse in the early 1800s. He saw fertile soil and traded his horse and saddle for land with the Creek Indians; he helped found the community of New Era. The McNeill stamp can be seen throughout the community, from the schoolhouse for which they donated land at New Era and Tom Summers roads (now a residence), to Salem Church on Upper River Road, which they helped found. Jess McNeill is a seventh generation Sumter County farmer. Jess’ maternal great-great-grandmother’s family (Heys) purchased a stately house in 1853, which was built in 1825, situated on Upper River Road overlooking the farming operation. Jess and his wife, MeriBeth, and their two children, John Davis (4), and Duncan Rees (2), are now the sixth generation to occupy the home. The last person to live in it was Jess’ great-grandfather, Robert Duncan McNeill, who died in 2001 at 100 years of age. For a couple of decades it stood vacant, used for events, dances and family gatherings.

Seventh Generation Farmer The McNeill stamp can be seen throughout the community, from the schoolhouse for which they donated land at New Era and Tom Summers roads (now a residence), to Salem Church on Upper River Road, which they helped found. Jess McNeill is a seventh generation Sumter County farmer.

Hometown Living At Its Best

69


70

Sumter county Living


While some updates and “improvements” were made over the years, it was largely left untouched, but Jess and MeriBeth recently changed all that. The couple met while in college at UGA; Jess was a forestry major. “My father said, ‘You know how to farm, go learn something else, get an education,’” recalls Jess. MeriBeth Davis, hailing from Lake Hartwell in North Georgia, was a pre-med major. Reared by teachers, her father was a football coach and her mother was a music teacher; she has one sister who lives in Athens. Regarding her name, Meredith Elizabeth was to be called “MeriBeth,” a combination of the two names. However, when her father’s good friend came to meet the new family member at the hospital, he shortened all that fussiness to “Bee”; that nickname she has been called ever since by the people closest to her. MeriBeth and Jess married in 2009. She went to work for Chick-fil-A, ending up in Atlanta working for their corporate office. This experience changed her career

Sixth Generation Home Jess’ maternal great-great-grandmother’s family (Heys) purchased a stately house in 1853, which was built in 1825, situated on Upper River Road overlooking the farming operation. Jess and his wife, MeriBeth, and their two children, John Davis (4), and Duncan Rees (2), are now the sixth generation to occupy the home.

Hometown Living At Its Best

71


MeriBeth and Jess married in 2009. She went to work for Chick-fil-A, ending up in Atlanta working for their corporate office. This experience changed her career choice. “I fell in love with Chick-fil-A, their philosophy, everything about the company!” she exclaims.

choice. “I fell in love with Chick-fil-A, their philosophy, everything about the company!” she exclaims. In 2011, MeriBeth and Jess decided to move back to the Americus area to farm. “I told Chickfil-A, ‘If you ever come here, to this area, let me know.’ I wanted to own a restaurant,” MeriBeth 72

Sumter county Living

says. “What are the chances of that happening? Six months later Chick-fil-A called and said they were opening a store in Cordele.” For the past seven years, that Chick-fil-A, which employs 115 workers, has been owned and operated by MeriBeth. “I am so thankful God took me on that route,” she says, clearly having found her calling.


Hometown Living At Its Best

73


The main central square of the house is a replica of the original house – down to the dimensions of walls, ceilings and windows. Some windows had to be custom-made because that size is no longer available. “The guts of the old house are on display in the new house,” says MeriBeth. “Something from the original house is in every room.”

“Yes, thank God for the restaurant! It’s never too wet or too dry to sell chicken,” adds Jess, taking a self-deprecating jab at farming. He and his father farm approximately 1500 acres of corn and peanuts. “So many things are automated now,” Jess explains. “Most

74

Sumter county Living

equipment is GPS-guided, and irrigation is controlled and monitored from a smart phone.” He says the farm has a history of producing cotton, but now corn and peanuts have become the staples. “I appreciate the farm so much more now, especially having boys,” he says. Jess’s mother passed away in 2016 from cancer. He has a great aunt who lives on the farm and two sisters who live out of town. “I am the beneficiary of multiple generations,” says Jess. “I’m standing on their shoulders.” In 2011, Jess and MeriBeth were in Athens at a book signing for the architect of that year’s Southern Living home, Jim Strickland. They told him about the old homestead, how much they loved it, and dreamed of one day renovating it and living there. Jim wanted to see the homestead, and, in 2012, he visited with some other architects from his firm, Historical Concepts. The original main-room flooring sagged from all of the dance events. The house didn’t face the road directly, either, but was angled toward the original dirt road, which had been rerouted when it was paved. “We could fix it up or salvage and rebuild,” Jim advised. “Six generations have lived here, and six more can [if it is rebuilt].” That was the decision Jess and MeriBeth made – except that the Chick-fil-A opportunity in Cordele came along at this same time and they tabled the project. By mid-2016, the restaurant was established, the couple enjoyed a lake house in Cordele and John Davis had made his debut. It was time. After several months’ design work, the process of taking apart the old house began. Jimmy Fuller of Albany was hired to rebuild the home. Shortly after Duncan was born in November of 2016, their lake house sold. The family moved into “the barn” on the farm, built after the ’07 tornado damaged what had been a horse barn. There they resided for two-anda-half years, until their new “old” home was finished in


“It was very important to us to maintain the historical integrity of the house,” adds Jess. “Most of the wood in the house – walls, floors and beams – came from the original structure, as did fireplace mantels. The kitchen island top is made of 800-plus studs from the old house!”

Hometown Living At Its Best

75


New “Old” Home Shortly after Duncan was born in November of 2016, their lake house sold. The family moved into “the barn” on the farm, built after the ’07 tornado damaged what had been a horse barn. There they resided for twoand-a-half years, until their new “old” home was finished in March of 2019.

March of 2019. The main central square of the house is a replica of the original house – down to the dimensions of walls, ceilings and windows. Some windows had to be custom-made because that size is no longer available. “The guts of the old house are on display in the new house,” says MeriBeth. “Something from the original house is in every room.” “It was very important to us to maintain the historical integrity of the house,” adds Jess. “Most of the wood in the house – walls, floors and beams – came from the original structure, as did fireplace mantels. The kitchen island top is made of 800-plus studs from the old house!” The study, originally the parlor, has pecky cypress on the walls and centuries-old logs recovered from Florida rivers. “This is the only room I had any say over,” says Jess, citing his forestry background and love of wood. The original home was approximately 2600 square feet, and the new house was roughly doubled, adding a wing on either side and finishing the attic into the boys’ rooms. The home was

76

Sumter county Living


“I am the beneficiary of multiple generations. I’m standing on their shoulders.” [ Jess McNeill, 7th generation Sumter County farmer ]

repositioned to face the road, and there is even a new basement – used as an activity room – something MeriBeth was thrilled to get because where she grew up in North Georgia, “every house has a basement!” In addition to the main-floor master bedroom/ bath and guest bedroom/bath, there is a large mudroom, a walk-through pantry and a spacious great room opens to the kitchen. There is even a Bee’s Nest – MeriBeth’s project room next to the master bedroom that can double as a nursery. “We are just placeholders,” says Jess. It is their hope for six more generations to live in and love the sentimental showplace.  SCL

Hometown Living At Its Best

77


LEARN HOW TO CRAFT YOUR VISION • BUILD ALIGNMENT EXECUTE FAST TO PRODUCE NEXT LEVEL RESULTS AGAIN AND AGAIN

Uncover the secrets to the Power of We™ in a Sandbox roll-up-your-sleeves retreat BEACHSIDE BRAINSTORMING • OFFSITES THAT WORK (800) 916-5835 | info@lifestylesandbox.com | 507 Ocean Blvd Suite 218, St. Simons Island, GA 31522 | SandboxConsultingGroup.com 78

Sumter County Living


shop • stay • play

Plains, Peanuts,

& A President! Home of the 39th President of the United States of America and Nobel Peace Prize Winner

100 Main Street • Plains, GA • 31780 • 229.824.5373

plainsgeorgia.com

Hometown Living At Its Best

67


4 2 3 - 5 0 3 - 3 5 3 0 80

Sumter County Living

|

w w w . s h a n n a n b l a n c h a r d . s m u g m u g . c o m


E X P L O R I N G

T H E

P A S T

ANDERSONVILLE H

I

S

T O

R

I

C

F A

I

R

October 19 and 20, 2019

City Of Andersonville 1 1 4

C H U R C H

S T.

|

A N D E R S O N V I L L E ,

G A

|

3 1 7 1 1 Hometown | 2 2 9 - 9Living 2 4 - 2At0 Its 6 8Best

67


story by Rachel price

photos by David Parks photography

H

Hannah Ricketts always knew she wanted to be a dance instructor. From the time she was a little girl, her dream was to own her own studio. She began taking lessons from Nancy Jones School of Dance. Due to scheduling conflicts, she had to transfer to another studio; her love for dance followed her. Knowing she could not live her life without fulfilling her dream, she graduated from Americus High School in 2006 and attended Brenau University, receiving her BFA in Arts Management with a concentration in Dance. That degree is specifically designed for those who wish to own and run a business centered on dance. She had all of her “eggs” in one basket, so this had to work out. Relocating back to Americus after college graduation, Hannah got a job as a bartender at Floyd’s and as a waitress at The Station. She spent the next couple of years “getting into trouble” and taking a break. One day she realized she needed to begin to live her dream and work on her future. Without a moment’s hesitation and no business plan, Hannah leaped into a rental contract for her studio and began to spread the word that she was opening. When she

Hannah Ricketts always knew she wanted to be a dance instructor. From the time she was a little girl, her dream was to own her own studio. She began taking lessons from Nancy Jones School of Dance. Due to scheduling conflicts, she had to transfer to another studio; her love for dance followed her. Knowing she could not live her life without fulfilling her dream, she graduated from Americus High School in 2006 and attended Brenau University, receiving her BFA in Arts Management with a concentration in Dance. That degree is specifically designed for those who wish to own and run a business centered on dance. She had all of her “eggs” in one basket, so this had to work out.

82

Sumter county Living


Hometown Living At Its Best

83


held her first registration in August 2012, only two people showed up. Hannah had to call the parents and inform them that things would need to be put on hold for a few months. During this time, she worked hard to convince other families to join. In the spring of 2013 she held her first recital with 18 dancers at the GSW Fine Arts Theatre. “It was terrible!” Hannah laughs. “After it was over, I

84

Sumter county Living

walked up to the late Ray Mannila and asked him what he thought. “It was….O.K.” he said. Hannah recalls that the costumes were hideous, and the structure wasn’t that great, but it was hers. She and the girls got through it and she took pride in their efforts. The next year, Hannah got a few more students and the following a few more. However, things weren’t as great as she needed them to be


There aren’t a lot of places in Americus where girls from different schools, backgrounds, and ethnicities can go to hang out. But, Fabulous Feet is one of those places‌

Hometown Living At Its Best

85


and she had to make ends meet. She continued to wait tables, began teaching swimming lessons, and worked as an office assistant to Mary LeFevers. Keeping pace for about three years, the studio was maintaining. However, it began to get to a point where it wasn’t growing. “I thought, I can

86

Sumter county Living

shut the doors and say I did it!” Hannah says. “I met wonderful people along the way, but I really feel it is time to close.” After much prayer and advice from her supportive parents, Helen and Bill Ricketts, she contacted her landlord, Charles Crisp with the news that she had to close the doors. “I told him ‘I can’t do this anymore!’ It took all I had in me to say that because the Ricketts aren’t quitters,” she told me. “And, I don’t know if I have ever properly thanked him, but he wouldn’t let me.” Keeping the studio doors open, Hannah’s close friends, Alex Riccardi and Caitlin began a fabulous fit program to give it more life. It helped pay a few bills, but it wasn’t Hannah’s passion. “I am thankful enough it worked out for them; they were able to grow something there and take it to the gym,” she said. “It is still going to this day.” With all that she had going on and still waiting


Hometown Living At Its Best

87


“When I opened my studio there was nothing that I loved more than watching my kids enjoy dance. I’ve had some of the same kids this whole time.” tables, Hannah kept pushing forward hoping for a breakthrough. During a dinner rush at The Station one evening, Hannah was waiting tables and her former first dance instructor, Nancy Jones, called out to her. Recalling how she loves Nancy, Hannah tells me, “Every time I see Mrs. Nancy, I think to myself, that is what I want to be. The way she carries herself, always so poised and put together…she reminds me of a quote I’d always loved about surrounding yourself with women you aspire to be. I always pick women out that I would aspire to be like and try to imitate them. Not that I am comparing myself, but I want to know how they got to where they are and how to do that for myself. I wanted the reputation Nancy had.” Pausing to say hello, Nancy told Hannah she really needed to speak with her. Taking a moment to hear her out, Nancy blurted, “Do you want to go into business with my daughter?” “This is just days after my encounter with Charles Crisp,” Hannah tells me, still shocked. “And I said ‘I would love to!’ I didn’t even think about it. Nancy told me ‘okay I will talk to my daughter!’” Over the summer of 2016, Hannah drew up a business plan to present to Nancy Jones’ daughter, Nancy Fitzgerald. “For a few weeks I thought we were going to be in a partnership, we were going to change the name…it was going to be a new studio. I presented my business plan to Nancy Fitzgerald in The Station at lunch one day and she looked at me and had no idea she was changing my life. She said, ‘Hannah, I think it’s best that this be 100% yours.’ I started balling. The thing is, they gave it to me. All I did was take over the rent.” There is emotion in Hannah’s voice even now as she tells me this. “I was given a reputation and a beautiful building already set up… It was flattering that they trusted me with what they built for 25 years. I tell them thank you all the time. I don’t think they

88

Sumter county Living

realize how much it means. At every dance recital, I get on stage and thank them and I know people are tired of hearing it, but I can never thank them enough.” The studio is expanding. Hannah just hired her first staff. She is extremely particular about who she employs because she recognizes that these girls are essentially young women and they need to be respected. She also now offers tumbling classes and


recently grouped together a competition dance team. Without any competition dance experience; Hannah once again leaped. Hannah had two choreographers, Brittany Benson and Logan Kiser, come in to choreograph the competition team, which consists of 11 girls. One was to teach a hip hop piece titled “God’s Plan,” and one to teach a jazz piece titled “Detention”. “We didn’t know what we were going into,” Hannah recalls of their first competition in Valdosta. “The girls were super nervous, but they did it.” Hannah didn’t prep the girls for an awards ceremony thinking they were simply getting their feet wet. “It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in them, it was just that I thought we were in the learning stages,” she recalls. At the end of the competition three judges walked out on stage to individually present an award for their favorite piece. Listening as the first judge announced, “Can a representative from “Detention” come to the stage?” Hannah yelled, “Go, Go, Go!” to her girls with tears in her eyes. “I was crying! Their jaws were dropped!” Hannah chokes up, “That is when I knew we were in this! Seeing all of them that happy is forever imprinted in my mind!” The Dance Team ended up placing 2nd in the division that day and a few weeks later in Carrolton, Georgia, they placed 3rd at another.

Once the generous offer from Nancy Jones and Nancy Fitzgerald was handed over to Hannah, she quit all of her other jobs. She focused 100% on the studio and it erupted. This past recital she had 130 dancers; that is a huge leap from just two.

Hometown Living At Its Best

89


“I was given a reputation and a beautiful building already set up… It was flattering that they trusted me with what they built for 25 years. I tell them thank you all the time. I don’t think they realize how much it means. At every dance recital, I get on stage and thank them and I know people are tired of hearing it, but I can never thank them enough.”

Over the past year, Hannah has lost two really important mentors: her Brenau Dance Instructor, Jolie Long, and friend, Ray Manilla. “When they passed, I was hurt deeply. Then I realized that I am a mentor now. I am these kids’ Jolie and their Ray. This mindset has pushed me to work even harder.” “When I opened my studio there was nothing that I loved more than watching my kids enjoy dance. I’ve had some of the same kids this whole time,” she says. “I will never forget the two at my first registration; I tell them that even though we are growing, I will never forget them. They are the reason this exists. If they hadn’t shown up to registration, I wouldn’t have opened,” she recalls.

90

Sumter county Living

There aren’t a lot of places in Americus where girls from different schools, backgrounds, and ethnicities can go to hang out. But, Fabulous Feet is one of those places… “We have a diverse group; it is so cool! One day, I was listening to my elementary kids discuss their schools. They had the most mature conversation about public and private schools. I love that they know to leave whatever happened at school or home at the door, even where they come from. I have given them a place to accept each other for who they are and dance together and that is amazing to watch,” Hannah says. Hannah Ricketts leaped in 2012 and built something from her passions. Several years later, she leaped again and respectfully took a reputable business and expanded it. Recently, she leaped once more with the Dance Team; taking from Americus to the bigger cities a girl force to be reckoned with. “I love this town, it is the only reason I have survived. When the #MyAmericus campaign came through, I was really pushing for it. I just really need people to know there are some amazing and wonderful people here. I’ve gotten into a ton of trouble in the past 10 years and no one judges me for it. That is my past. I’ve proven myself today,” Hannah concludes. Once the generous offer from Nancy Jones and Nancy Fitzgerald was handed over to Hannah, she quit all of her other jobs. She focused 100% on the studio and it erupted. This past recital she had 130 dancers; that is a huge leap from just two.  SCL


IT IS NEVER TOO LATE FOR A

NEW

BEGINNING New Beginnings provides a safe and supportive

environment for adults with substance abuse issues. Individuals have access to a variety of services including: • Intensive Outpatient Treatment • Addictive Disease Support Services • Individual/Family/Group Therapy • Case Management Services • Group Skills Training • Relapse Prevention Services • Drug Screens • Transportation Services

908 S. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. | Americus, GA 31719 | 229-928-2201 | middleflintbhc.org Hometown Living At Its Best 91


Sumter Retirement Village Independent and Personal Care

2124 US Highway 280 West | Plains, GA 31780 | 229-824-5149 Ext 2 | sumterretirementvillage@gmail.com

sumterretirementvillage.com 92

Sumter County Living


Hometown Living At Its Best

67


GSW full page ad, Sumter County Living FINAL.pdf 1 6/28/2019 4:54:21 PM

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

Georgia Southwestern State University is a springboard that empowers and propels our students forward to realize their ambitions without burdening their futures. We attract people from all walks of life to a campus whirling with scientists, artists, caregivers and business leaders. With a tight-knit, supportive community and dedicated faculty and staff, GSW is built to help you succeed and rise to the challenge. Here, you’ll discover what you can become andCounty be inspired to earn your future. TAKE TOMORROW BY STORM. 106 Sumter Living


YOU ARE

Family

WHEN YOU ARE HERE

Americus CITY

OF

101 W. LAMAR STREET | AMERICUS, GA | 31709 | 229-924-4411


Story by Sherri Martin Photos by David Parks Photography

Anchored off Abaco Island, Bahamas, one night in late December, Jimbo and Tiffany Melvin sat on the deck of their 35-foot sailboat with their young sons, Chandler and Sailor. Comfortably settled in beanbag chairs, they had nothing better to do than to look at the expanse of stars God had scattered in the night sky above them. The next day, the possibilities were open: swim in the warm blue water, take the dinghy into town for supplies or a meal, or meet up with other “boat children” for a play date. They were far removed from their daily lives in Americus, Georgia, but they were right in the middle of a dream they had dreamed for nine years, and for which they had worked and planned and chosen a different way of living to make possible. “I cannot not sail.” - E. B. White “Every single day I look at sailboats online,” Jimbo says. “I find incredible deals – a sailboat that has never been sailed, for $100? I can’t not buy it. I have probably had ten boats over the last

96

Sumter county Living


Hometown Living At Its Best

97


nine years.” They currently own four small sailboats, which they enjoy sailing at Lake Blackshear or Panama City with family, including Jimbo’s two older children, and friends, and the 35-foot hunter, which they dock in Brunswick. Jimbo has been sailing since he was seven years old, and when he and Tiffany met about nine years ago, he taught her to sail. They were on their honeymoon in the Bahamas when they first talked about how neat it would be to sail to the Bahamas together in the future. Tiffany says, “He’s always wanted to sail to the Bahamas, so I’m crazy. I said, ‘Let’s buy a sailboat!’” Their first boat was a 45-foot fixerupper, and their first trip was a two-week sail along the east coast of Florida. They sold that boat and bought their current one, on which they were able to sail to the Bahamas last December. “I wanted freedom, open air and adventure. I found it on the sea.” – Alaine Gerbault 98

Sumter county Living

“Every single day I look at sailboats online,” Jimbo says. “I find incredible deals – a sailboat that has never been sailed, for $100? I can’t not buy it. I have probably had ten boats over the last nine years.” They currently own four small sailboats, which they enjoy sailing at Lake Blackshear or Panama City with family, including Jimbo’s two older children, and friends, and the 35-foot hunter, which they dock in Brunswick.


Hometown Living At Its Best

99


Their first boat was a 45-foot fixer-upper, and their first trip was a two-week sail along the east coast of Florida. They sold that boat and bought their current one, on which they were able to sail to the Bahamas last December.

“I’ve always been free-spirited, and I’ve always wanted to travel,” Tiffany says. “I’m obsessed with traveling, and he loves to sail. It meshes well. To travel the world is the plan.” That goal will take a bigger boat, what they say will be their “forever boat”. But for now, they are planning their next trip, probably in December or January again. Because Jimbo and his father, Jim Melvin, own Simply Elegant Landscaping, they are able to travel during the down times of the winter months. Because Tiffany does the bookkeeping for the company and homeschools their boys, they are able to get away for extended periods of time. However, to get to the point of being able to afford to get away, and to be able to handle living in close quarters and very simply on a boat, they had to make some lifestyle changes first. “At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.” – Robin Graham Four years ago, looking ahead to an extended sail, Tiffany said, “We need to get used to living small.” They lived in a beautiful 2,000 square foot house on Glessner Street in Americus. “Tiffany was going to have a yard sale, just to downsize a little bit. By the end of the yard sale, we had sold everything. All we had was our own clothes,” Jimbo laughs. “Our family thinks we’re nutty!” “We tried it and I love it!” Tiffany adds. Now they live in a bumper-pull trailer. While they say that it is not really a cheaper way to live, it is a simpler way to live; it keeps them from buying stuff, because they have nowhere to put more stuff. And, this allows them to afford their sailing dreams. “Having stuff is not bad. I don’t want people to think we are against stuff,” Jimbo explains. “Having a sailboat is stupid! It’s just a different way to live. And, it shows that if you set your mind to do anything, you can do it.” “We work hard to make this happen,” Tiffany says.

100

Sumter county Living


Hometown Living At Its Best

101


“To be successful at sea, we must keep things simple.” Pete Culler When they set sail in mid-December 2018, they started from St. Petersburg, sailed around the Florida Keys, sailed north to about West Palm Beach, then crossed the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas. Their boat has two cabins, a head (bathroom), galley (kitchen), hot water heater, and air conditioner. It is selfsufficient, having solar panels and a generator, as well as a desalination system. For safety, they have an army-style medical kit, a tender (dinghy), and a satellite beacon, which will alert the Coast Guard immediately if they have any problems. For the safety of Chandler (5), and Sailor (3), they have a tethering system all over the boat that clips to their life vests, which they always wear. Other than those necessities and basic living supplies, they have no power bill, no water bill, and plenty of time. “Sometimes we would go three days without seeing anyone,” Jimbo says. “We did no shoes for one month.” The farthest out they went was 56 miles from land, and the deepest water they sailed in was 12,000 feet. Closer to land, they enjoyed swimming with stingrays and snorkeling at a sunken ship. They also enjoyed documenting their experience on their YouTube channel, Adventures with the Melvins, for others to enjoy. As for being able to adjust to living in an even smaller space than their trailer, Jimbo says, “You look at it, and it

102

Sumter county Living

Living this way makes them plan for their next trip, and the one after that. “The trip was definitely all we thought it would be. It makes us want to go more,” Tiffany says. So, they live as simply as possible, pay off debt, serve in their church, raise their children, and dream of what the future holds, and where they will sail off to next.


feels small, but it’s so open that it’s really not.” This is a lifestyle that also makes one slow down. “It goes so slow that you give up – you give up and relax,” Jimbo explains. “It makes you relax,” Tiffany adds. Living this way makes them plan for their next trip, and the one after that. “The trip was definitely all we thought it would be. It makes us want to go more,” Tiffany says. So, they live as simply as

possible, pay off debt, serve in their church, raise their children, and dream of what the future holds, and where they will sail off to next. “To desire nothing beyond what you have is surely happiness. Aboard a boat, it is frequently possible to achieve just that. That is why sailing is a way of life, one of the finest of lives.” - Carleton Mitchell  SCL

Hometown Living At Its Best

103


䜀䔀伀刀䜀䤀䄀 刀唀刀䄀䰀 吀䔀䰀䔀倀䠀伀一䔀 䴀唀匀䔀唀䴀

匀匀 圀栀愀琀 䤀琀 䤀䤀 䄀䄀 䄀戀漀甀琀℀ 吀栀攀 䴀甀猀攀甀洀 椀猀 漀瀀攀渀  䴀漀渀搀愀礀 琀栀爀漀甀最栀 䘀爀椀搀愀礀Ⰰ 㤀㨀   䄀䴀 琀栀爀漀甀最栀 㐀㨀   倀䴀⸀  吀栀攀爀攀 椀猀 愀 渀漀洀椀渀愀氀 挀栀愀爀最攀  昀漀爀 愀搀洀椀猀猀椀漀渀 琀漀 琀栀攀 洀甀猀攀甀洀⸀ 䘀伀刀 䐀䔀吀䄀䤀䰀匀 䌀䄀䰀䰀㨀 ⠀㈀㈀㤀⤀ 㠀㜀㐀ⴀ㐀㜀㠀㘀 ⠀㈀㈀㤀⤀ 

吀栀攀 䜀攀漀爀最椀愀 刀甀爀愀氀 吀攀氀攀瀀栀漀渀攀 䴀甀猀攀甀洀 椀渀 䰀攀猀氀椀攀Ⰰ 䜀攀漀爀最椀愀 椀椀  栀漀洀攀 琀琀 琀栀攀 氀愀爀最攀‫ ۻ‬挀漀漀攀挀琀椀漀渀 漀昀 愀渀琀椀焀甀攀 琀攀氀攀瀀栀漀渀攀攀 愀渀搀  琀攀氀攀瀀栀漀渀攀 洀攀洀漀爀愀戀椀氀椀愀 椀渀 琀栀攀 眀漀爀氀搀⸀ 䰀漀挀愀琀攀搀 愀琀 ㄀㌀㔀 一⸀ 䈀愀椀氀攀礀 䄀瘀攀 ∠ 䰀攀猀氀椀攀Ⰰ 䜀䄀

104

Sumter County Living


It’s A Life Style

Minick Interiors Interior design & Furnishings

Interior Design Services, Bridal Registry, Furniture, Antiques, Art and Much More 229.931.0311 | Corner of Cotton & Lamar | minickinteriors.coms

Ready for a new view? LOANS FOR LAND, FARM & HOME

APPLY ONLINE

SWGAFarmCredit.com

Brian Wilson NMLS 700140

BWilson@SWGAFarmCredit.com 229.254.6417

Hometown Living At Its Best

105


Providing you with good Southern hospitality

p O

Railway 㔀  夀攀愀爀猀 漀昀 匀攀爀瘀椀挀攀

䠀䄀一䌀伀䌀䬀 䘀唀一䔀刀䄀䰀 䠀伀䴀䔀

Turt on

FREIGHT FURNITURE

209 N. Lee Street | Americus, GA 31709 | 229-924-8420

㐀㈀㜀 匀漀甀琀栀 䰀攀攀 匀琀爀攀攀琀 䄀洀攀爀椀挀甀猀Ⰰ 䜀䄀  ㄀㜀 㤀 ∠ ㈀㈀㤀⸀㤀㈀㐀⸀ 㘀㐀㔀 ∠ 眀眀眀⸀栀栀渀挀漀挀欀昀甀渀攀爀栀氀栀漀洀攀椀渀挀⸀挀漀洀

americus apartment homes

Two convenient locations: 110 Hwy 19 North 1128 Felder Street

PROPERTIES

http://www.americusapartments.com

Storage Units located in Americus, Cordele, Tifton, and Warner Robins Climate Control Units Available (229) 928-8413 106

Sumter County Living

1128 Felder Street Americus, GA 31709 Hometown Living At Its Best

119


9

COME BY AND EXPERIENCE THE DIFFERENCE WE CAN MAKE IN YOUR VISION.

pg3 Odd Hart

EYE CARE

1 3 5 G A - 2 7 , A M E R I C U S , G A 3 1 7 0 9 | W W W. H A R T E Y E C A R E . N E T | ( 2 2 9 ) 9 2 8 - 2 0 2 4

1011 OAK AVENUE | AMERICUS , GA 31709 | 229.924.6101 Hometown Living At Its Best

107


story by

June B. Anderson

photos by

David Parks Photography

You may have found yourself wondering whether there is anyone left in this busy, rush-rush world who stops to think of others. Yes, we all know at least one or two people who are kind and neighborly and willing to take a minute to speak to you from time to time. Do you know anyone, though, who makes it their daily practice to think of others more than themselves? I met a man who does just that, and our conversation was as pleasant and relaxed as you could ever hope to enjoy. I was immediately at ease as I talked with Larry J. Jackson. Many local people know him. If you don’t, you’ve probably seen him around. His is a familiar face, because it has been seen in the newspaper many times over the years, as he has

108

Sumter county Living

been given this award and that recognition and those accolades. He was born and raised in Americus and has lived here all his life because, as he says, he loves Americus very much. He graduated from Americus High School in 1976 and obtained his Certified Dietary Manager certification from Auburn University online thereafter. He is the son of Susie Jackson and Curtis Edwards, both now deceased, and the oldest of five children, including James, David, Sheila, and Stephanie. Larry has been married to Evelyn Jones Jackson, from Cordele, for 36 years. They have four daughters, Crystal, Lakeshia, Tamika, and Brianna, and seven grandchildren. He enjoys reading, mentoring, NASCAR, and watching


Hometown Living At Its Best

109


Larry is a stickler for articulating and presenting himself well and in a positive manner. He is zealous for, in his words, “paying it forward”, as he is grateful for those who encouraged him along the way and wants to be an encourager to others, if for no other reason than to honor those who encouraged him.

110

Sumter county Living

football. He says that the Dallas Cowboys are his favorite team. (I am not terribly sports minded, so this is of no consequence to me, but I suspect that some of you just rolled your eyes! Keep reading. You’ll see that he’s the kind of guy that’s easy to forgive!) Sounds like a typical South Georgia guy, doesn’t he? Lo! Things are not always as they seem! This “average guy” has built a life on his belief in God, his work ethic that never seems to quit, and his love for people. For the aforementioned folks who wonder whether there is anyone left who thinks of others, let me put your mind at ease. Larry is exactly this type of man. Our local hospital has operated under three names since its inception: Americus Sumter Hospital, Sumter Regional Hospital, and Phoebe Sumter Hospital; Larry worked there in food service under all three names. He began as a high school student in 1975, when it was Americus Sumter Hospital, as part of the Distributive Education program, which allowed students to go to school part of the day and work the rest of the day. After graduation in 1976, the hospital took him on in a full-time capacity. He stayed there 35 years and served in a supervisory position. He was offered a job with the Sumter County School System and quickly earned the position of Food Manager at Furlow Charter School in 2015. (Furlow has a school garden that the students tend. Larry proudly showed me a picture of it and says that on occasion, when he has a couple of minutes, he will go out and help.) Larry gives credit for his job placement to Martha Harvey, the Director of Nutrition for Sumter County Schools. He says, “She saw something in me and wanted me to have that position.” He says she was instrumental in his receiving several awards, among them in 2018: The Georgia School Nutrition Association Manager of the Year and then the same award for the eight-state region. He says he was “this


Hometown Living At Its Best

111


112

Sumter county Living


close” to receiving the national award. While at Sumter Regional Hospital, he received a particularly humbling and gratifying award because it was created in his name by the medical people who worked there; it was the Larry Jackson Community Service Award. He received the first one and says they awarded it every year until the tornado of 2007 destroyed the hospital. Larry has been the chairman of the board of directors for the local Boys and Girls Club, member and chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, graduate of Leadership Sumter and Leadership Georgia, co-chair with Ginger Perkins of Youth Leadership Sumter, president of the Georgia Association of Food Service Professionals, received their Distinguished Service Award in 2018, served on the National

This “average guy” has built a life on his belief in God, his work ethic that never seems to quit, and his love for people. For the aforementioned folks who wonder whether there is anyone left who thinks of others, let me put your mind at ease. Larry is exactly this type of man.

Hometown Living At Its Best

113


He attends conferences, workshops, and seminars to keep up with what he needs to know to keep the children healthy, successful, and meeting their goals. He leads the typical dayto-day operations at Furlow and ensures high standards for safety, sanitation, and meal quality. He also supervises the kitchen employees, places orders, accounts for meal service and a la carte sales. Of course, it is imperative that he makes sure that adequate inventory is always available.

114

Sumter county Living

Board of Association of Food Service Professionals, received the Distinguished Service Award as a Boy Scout leader, and was given an American flag that flew over the Capitol in Washington, DC by Sanford Bishop. He has received many accolade letters from various politicians. He is a Mason and received the Mason of the Year Award for Georgia for 2007. He is Assistant Secretary at his church, the House of God, in Americus. He also does the church announcements and church programs and is their public relations contact person. Larry is a stickler for articulating and presenting himself well and in a positive manner. He is zealous for, in his words, “paying it forward�, as he is grateful for those who encouraged him along the way and wants to be an encourager to others, if


Hometown Living At Its Best

115


The School Nutrition Association’s goal is to provide each student with access to nutritious meals at school, encouraging their optimal health and wellbeing. Larry says he operates under this standard every time he goes to work.

for no other reason than to honor those who encouraged him. However, Larry does seem more than eager to treat others the way he was treated through the years because it meant so much to him. At one point in our conversation we brought up how Matthew 7:12 speaks to this…In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. He is passionate about being a good listener and exceeding people’s expectations. Larry says he takes constructive criticism well. When is the last time you heard that? As far as I’m concerned, he should receive an award for that alone! “What in the world does Larry do to merit so many awards and accolades?” you may ask. For one thing, he follows a somewhat demanding regimen in providing good meals to Furlow’s children, but it’s in how he conducts himself in his daily dealings with people that

116

Sumter county Living

sets him apart from everyone else. He loves people and it shows. A work day in the life of Larry Jackson consists of rising at 5:00 every morning, meeting his staff at 6:00 a.m., and beginning with them the process of preparing breakfast and lunch for all the children. “Breakfast in the Classroom” consists of “grab and go” items so that the children can take the food to class with them and begin their studies. (My mother’s words echo in my ears now: “You can’t do your studies if you don’t have breakfast.”) Larry and his staff greet the children in the hallway and give them a grain, protein, fruit and milk. He says School Nutrition Association statistics say that “Breakfast in the Classroom” accounts for 96% of how kids eat breakfast at school. After happily seeing the children off to their classrooms with a nutritious breakfast, Larry and his staff return to the kitchen to begin preparing a healthy lunch. Part of his job is to see that he and his staff understand and comply with the proper procedures. Furlow Charter School Cafeteria is a part of the Sumter County Schools Nutrition Program, so they follow the Sumter County School District guidelines, which uses a four-week cycle menu, meaning that every four weeks the list of foods they serve repeats. This keeps the children interested and the meals are far from becoming boring. Larry attends PTO, Open House, teacher meetings and parent meetings to explain how and why certain items must be served. He has a little flexibility to adjust the menu at his school to ensure that the children eat the food and don’t “feed the trash can”. It is imperative, also, that he stays within the guidelines of the United States Department of Agriculture, a part of the Department of Education, which oversees school food service funding in the State of Georgia. He attends conferences, workshops, and seminars to keep up with what he needs to know to keep the children healthy, successful, and meeting their goals. He leads the typical day-to-day operations at Furlow


and ensures high standards for safety, sanitation, and meal quality. He also supervises the kitchen employees, places orders, accounts for meal service and a la carte sales. Of course, it is imperative that he makes sure that adequate inventory is always available. The School Nutrition Association’s goal is to provide each student with access to nutritious meals at school, encouraging their optimal health and wellbeing. Larry says he operates under this standard every time he goes to work. His impressive list of awards, certifications, and community service affiliations reads like a “Who’s Who Among Those-Who-Care-About-Their-EntireArea-of-the-State-and-Region!” Besides those already listed, it includes various local, state, and

regional board memberships and offices, including the Red Cross, South Georgia Technical College Culinary Arts Department, and a host of others, too numerous to list here. Last, but certainly not least, (and I think Larry would say first) is his faith in Jesus Christ and that He has brought Larry through everything that has occurred in his life. He would humbly say that God led him and put him in the right places so He could bless him. I think that would be a fair statement. Serving seems to just come naturally to Larry Jackson, not just in his duties as a food provider for children, but in his outlook and attitude to all. Oh, that the world would be filled with people like him!  SCL

Hometown Living At Its Best

117


South Georgia Technical College

COMPLETE College Experience

The

• SACSCOC Accredited • Over 200 degree, diploma, and technical certificate of credit programs offered • On-campus housing • Nationally recognized intercollegiate athletics • Award-winning student life clubs and organizations • Outstanding job placement rate for graduates

www.southgatech.edu AMERICUS

900 South GA Tech Pkwy Americus, Georgia 31709 229.931.2394

CORDELE

402 North Midway Road Cordele, Georgia 31015 229.271.4040

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed a program, and other important information, please visit our website at southgatech.edu/academics/ gainful-employment/ As set forth in its student catalog, South Georgia Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, religion, disability, age, political affiliation or belief, genetic information, veteran status, or citizenship status (except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law). The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Title IX Coordinator, Karen Werling, 229.931.2902 or kwerling@southgatech.edu; or the Section 504/ADA Coordinator, LaKenya R. Johnson, 229.931.2595 or ljohnson@southgatech.edu.

home

PERFECT CARE, INC A PLACE TO CALL

“ P E R F E C T CA R E I S THE PERFECT PL ACE TO CA L L H O M E ”

Personal Care Home - Adult Day Care - Respite Care 114 S U L L I V A N D R , A M E R I C U S , G A 317 0 9 | ( 2 2 9 ) 9 2 8 - 5 616 | P E R F E C T C A R E A M E R I C U S . N E T 118

Sumter County Living


Bison Valley Lodge

1 0 8 5 T A L E N T S T O R E R D | A M E R I C U S G A 3 1 7 1 9 | 2 2 9 - 9 2 8 - 8 8 6 6 | B I S O N VA L L E Y L O D G E . C O M

Hometown Living At Its Best

119


Gatewood, Skipper, and Rambo, PC ATTORNEYS AT LAW

410 W. Lamar St. Americus, GA 31709 229.924.9316

Authorized Servicing STIHL Dealer

LP EE

120

OWER EQUIPMENT

Sumter County Living

194 Cedric St, Leesburg, GA 31763 | (229) 420-0661


No Appointment Needed | Convenient Hours | Extraordinary Care

AFTERHOURS CARE

of Americus, Inc.

208A. EAST LAMAR STREET | 229.928.1300 | MONDAY - FRIDAY 11 AM - 9 PM | SATURDAY - SUNDAY 11 AM - 5 PM

Putting our

market knowledge to work for you

J OHNSTON Realty Group Inc.

412 W Lamar St, Americus, GA 31709 | Phone: (229) 928-8293 | Fax: (844) 674-1120 | johnstonrealtygroup.com Hometown Living At Its Best

121


Charlene McGowan tries to live by the mantra, “May you see only the best in me, and may I see only the best in you.” Charlene McLean McGowan was raised in Jasper, Alabama, with a baby on her hip. She was the oldest of seven children and helped to “mother” her younger siblings. This taught her to be in charge, to teach and to nurture skills that have served her well throughout her life. Charlene earned an associate’s degree from Walker College in Jasper in the late ’60s, and transferred to Georgia Southwestern (GSW) in Americus for a bachelor’s of science degree in education. “When I came along, women who went to college became a teacher or a secretary. There wasn’t much choice,” she

122

Sumter county Living


Story by Kate DeLoach

Photography by David Parks Photography

Hometown Living At Its Best

123


When Charlene is not practicing or teaching yoga, you can find her in her garden, reading, doing embroidery, or cycling. But her favorite pastime is spending time with her grandchildren. “We love to play school,” says the inveterate teacher. “And they do yoga with me, too.”

124

Sumter county Living


Hometown Living At Its Best

125


126

Sumter county Living


“I see my yoga classes as just friends working together,” Charlene says. “I just happen to be at the front of the room.” In class, she explains the Sanskrit terms for the poses she leads her students through, and guides their attention to which muscles are being stretched and counter-worked. Her enthusiasm is contagious.

says. She was teaching middle school math at Reese Park School when the Americus Fire Department came to give a demonstration. A dashing young fireman named Bill McGowan was part of the team; he and Charlene began dating and were married in 1975. Bill was born and raised in Sumter County. He served in Vietnam and came home to serve as a fireman for the City of Americus. He attended GSW where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and history. The couple primarily has spent their married life in Americus, but spent a few

years in Albany while Bill was working in the Marketing Department for the Georgia Power Company. During this time, Charlene took a hiatus from teaching to put her well-honed mothering skills to good use. The couple raised three children: Babe, a forester with McGowan Forestry Consultants in Dooly County; Harry, a renewable natural gas project manager at Southern Company in Atlanta; and Amy Addison, president with AMA Environmental Consultants in Lee County. They have four grandchildren, two boys and two girls.

Hometown Living At Its Best

127


“I’ve never been a competitive athlete,” Charlene says. “Yoga was something I could do for myself, and not compare myself to others. Anyone can do yoga.” She took a class from Gabrielle Stanf, an English professor at GSW who also taught yoga. That class turned into a 15-year “apprenticeship” of sorts. “I loved it!” Charlene exclaims. A couple of years ago, Gabrielle retired, and Charlene found herself leading informal classes at Magnolia Manor.

Over the years, Bill has served on the Americus City Council, the Americus City School Board, and as Sumter County Tax Commissioner. He was elected Mayor of Americus, serving from 1989 to 1990 and again from 2002 to 2005, and elected Georgia State Representative, serving from 201618. Charlene has always been Bill’s biggest cheerleader, helping him with his election campaigns and tirelessly travelling with him once the kids were grown. Charlene has taught in Worth, Schley and Sumter counties, first as a middle school math teacher and later as a counselor. She received a counseling degree from GSW, in conjunction with Columbus State University, in 1996. When Charlene moved from the Worth County School System to Sumter County, she decided to use that extra time she gained while commuting to do something for herself. She enrolled in a yoga class. “I’ve never been a competitive athlete,” Charlene says. “Yoga was something I could do for myself, and not compare myself to others. Anyone can do yoga.” She took a class from Gabrielle Stanf, an English professor at GSW who also taught yoga. That class turned into a 15-year “apprenticeship” of sorts. “I loved it!” Charlene exclaims. A couple of years ago, Gabrielle retired, and Charlene found herself leading

128

Sumter county Living


Three of Charlene’s classes are considered “intermediate” and two “beginner”. In the beginner classes, she is often helping Manor residents, and other community members who participate, to become more flexible and to improve their balance, or to recover from an injury or surgery.

informal classes at Magnolia Manor. “That’s when I decided to get certified,” Charlene says. She enlisted fellow yoga student and Americus resident Karen Kinnamon, and the two of them enrolled in Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health’s level one teacher training program in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. For 30 days, or 200 hours, they were immersed in a rigorous program of yoga practice (one-and-a-half hour sessions), classes, more classes, more yoga sessions and homework! “It was intense,” says Charlene. “And most of the students were under 30 years old!” As a result of the training, she and Karen are both Yoga Alliance certified…“A credential few area yoga instructors hold,” Charlene says.

The next summer Charlene studied pranayama, the formal practice of controlling the breath, “our vital life force,” she says. She hopes to continue, in the near future, a 300-hour training, including vinyasa, a stringing together of poses. Charlene says her 92-year-old mother is having health issues, so she doesn’t want to commit to being out of town that long. Instead, she enrolled in a weekend teacher renewal retreat Gabrielle conducted in Savannah in May. “I see my yoga classes as just friends working together,” Charlene says. “I just happen to be at the front of the room.” In class, she explains the Sanskrit terms for the poses she leads her Hometown Living At Its Best

129


students through, and guides their attention to which muscles are being stretched and counter-worked. Her enthusiasm is contagious. Charlene teaches five classes a week at Magnolia Manor and takes two classes off-site with Karen. “Karen challenges me,” Charlene says. “She does some of the poses I don’t like and might avoid in my class!” Three of Charlene’s classes are considered “intermediate” and two “beginner”. In the beginner classes, she is often helping Manor residents, and other community members who participate, to become more flexible and to improve their balance, or to recover from an injury or surgery. “Sometimes we use props – a chair or walker – to aid in doing the poses,” says Charlene. Safety is paramount, and she stresses for students only to do what they feel comfortable doing. Yoga emphasizes meditation and mindfulness while performing the poses. “Yoga is an observation of yourself without judgement,” Charlene explains. “Yoga means ‘yoke’ in Sanskrit, meaning the combining of mind and body.” Many people associate early yoga (2000 years ago) with Eastern religions, but it has a long history in the United States as a relaxation and exercise methodology. Charlene emphasizes the health aspects in her classes. “We focus on breath, balance and flexibility, as these components fade as we mature,” she says. Charlene is a life-long Catholic and an active member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Americus. “I see no conflict with yoga and my religion,” she says. “Yoga can be many things to different people. Health-wise, it can increase flexibility, muscle strength and tone; improve respiration, energy and balance; aid with weight loss, cardio and circulatory health; and may fight depression and chronic pain due to inflammation.”

130

Sumter county Living

“Anyone can take a class,” she stresses, “not only Manor residents.” The beginner classes are held at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the intermediate classes are at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9 a.m. on Wednesdays. A minimal fee allows the participant use of the Wellness Center for the entire day, including all of its features: a weight room, aerobics and yoga classes, a swimming pool and water aerobics, a walking pool, hot tub, sauna and dressing rooms. When Charlene is not practicing or teaching yoga, you can find her in her garden, reading, doing embroidery, or cycling. But her favorite pastime is spending time with her grandchildren. “We love to play school,” says the inveterate teacher. “And they do yoga with me, too.” Charlene uses the following prayers in her classes: Opening prayer: “May we be protected together. May we be nourished together. May we create strength among one another. May our study be filled with brilliance and light. May there be no enmity between us. Peace in your heart. Peace in your mind. Peace in your spirit.” Closing prayer: “May the long time sun shine upon you, all the love surround you, and the pure light within you guide your way on. Namaste.” “Namaste” is a Sanskrit word used to say “hello” and “goodbye” in yoga practices and has many definitions. Charlene explains, “It basically means, ‘May you see only the best in me, and may I see only the best in you.’ We try to live by that bit of instruction every day.”  SCL


Hometown Living At Its Best

131


fall

into adventure

SUMTER COUNTY

Living

withyouinmindpublications.com

All Your Real Estate Needs Under One Roof.

Residential, Commercial, Farm & Timberland

Mark T. Pace, ALC

All creatures great & small, the lord God made them all. 509 West Forsyth Street | Americus, GA 31709 (229) 928-3300 | harpersanimalclinic.com 132

Sumter County Living

Accredited Land Consultant/Broker 229-942-2299 cell www.southernlandandrealty.com

229-924-0189


INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL BUSINESS TEAM SALES • Trophies • Plaques • Engraving • Wood Burning • Glass Etching • Executive Gifts • Wedding Gifts • Baby Gifts • Greek Items • and much more.

CLOTHING FOR SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN AND LADIES SINCE 1947

Locally Owned Order online @

southwesttrophyandgifts.com 1600 E Forsyth St Suite C Americus, GA 229-928-0660

208 West Lamar Street | Americus, GA 31709 | 229-924-8888

Americus House of Flowers

1600 E Forsyth St, Americus, GA 31709 | (229) 924-8171

Hometown Living At Its Best

133


life t h e

&

lo c a l

style

m a r k e t

p l ac e

Pat’s Place

Great Food and Fun!

Cavender’s

Guitars

Barber Shop

302 W Lamar St # B, Americus, GA 31709

Instruments, Repairs, Lessons 1560 East Forsyth Street | Americus, GA 31709 229-944-8131 | www.tlguitars.com 134

Sumter county Living

1526 South Lee St. | Americus, GA 31709 229.924.0033 | www.pats-place.com

(229) 924-4030


Residential/Commercial Real Estate • Criminal/DUI Defense • General Civil Litigation • Estate Planning & Administration • Corporate & Small Business • Workers’ Compensation & Personal Injury

416 West Lamar Street Americus, Georgia 31709 (229) 389-2045 www.arnoldhooks.com

KING SR. WOODWORKING

142 S. Lee St | Americus, GA | 229.591.1793

110 N Jackson St, Americus, GA 31709 (229) 924-5967

Roberts JEWELERS

In Tune Piano tuning & Repair

Servicing most of Southwest Georgia (478) 595-1795 | www.intunepianotuning.com

116 W LAMAR ST, AMERICUS, GA 31709 (229) 410-5193

110 W Lamar St, Americus, GA 31709 | (229) 924-5024 Hometown Living At Its Best

135


136

A Cut Above Salon ………….........................………………….. 9

King Sr. Woodworking & Repair …..............................… 135

Accelerated Physical Therapy …………………........…………..67

Lee Power Equipment ................................................... 120

Adams Exterminators …………………….........……………….. 64

Little Brother’s Bistro ………………..................…………….. 33

AfterHours Care of Americus, Inc. ………………………....… 121

Louis A. Riccardi, DDS, PC ………………...........…………….. 37

Albany Symphony Orchestra ……………..............………….. 93

Magnolia Manor ……………………..........................……….. 50

Allergy & Asthma Clinics of Georgia, P.C. ……………….…… 49

Merle Norman …………………...........................………….. 135

Americus Apartment Homes ……................................... 106

Middle Flint Behavioral HeathCare .................................. 91

Americus Dental ………………………….................………….. 51

Minick Interiors ………………………….........................….. 105

Americus House of Flowers ………………………..………….. 133

Nutrien ……………………......................................……….. 107

Andersonville Historic Fair ……………….................…………36

Parker’s Heating & Air Conditioning ………...........………… 48

Arnold & Hooks, LLC ………………………….........………….. 135

Pellicano Construction ................................................. 119

Art Sign ................................................... Inside Front Cover

Pat’s Place ……………………………..............……………….. 134

Better Hometown City of Plains……………………….....…….. 79

Perfect Care, Inc ……………………........................……….. 118

Bison Valley Lodge ………………….....................………….. 119

Phoebe Physicians …………………........................………….. 5

Cavender’s Barber Shop ............................................... 134

Plains Historic Inn & Antique Mall ……........…………… 20-21

Chandler Morgan Eyeworks ……………............……………….. 1

Pro-Tech Security Group, Inc. ………….....………………….. 104

Citizens Bank of Americus ………….....……..... 66, Back Cover

Railway Freight Furniture ………………...........…………….. 106

City of Americus ……………………...........................……….. 95

Roberts Jewelers ………………….......................………….. 135

City of Andersonville ………………....................…………….. 81

Rylander Theatre ………………….........................………….. 63

Concrete Enterprises LLC ……………........………………..22-23

Sandbox Consulting Group ………..........…………………….. 78

Decorating Unlimited …………………..................…………..2-3

Shannan Blanchard ………………………....................…….. 80

Eaton Cooper Lighting ……..............……… Inside Back Cover

South Georgia Technical College …………………………….. 118

Firstate Bank ……………….................................…………….. 7

Southern Land and Realty …………………….........……….. 132

Gatewood, Skipper & Rambo Attys …………….......……… 120

Southland Academy ………………………....................…….. 47

Georgia Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center ….........…… 133

Southwest Georgia Farm Credit .................................... 105

Georgia Rural Telephone Museum …........................…… 104

Southwest Trophy & Gifts ………………..........…………….. 133

Georgia Southwestern University .................................… 94

Sumter County Chamber of Commerce …................... 34-35

Gyro City …………………...................................………….. 135

Sumter Living Magazine ............................................... 132

Harper’s Animal Clinic ………………...............…………….. 132

Sumter Retirement Village …………………………..........….. 92

Hart Eye Care ………………….............................………….. 107

Sunbelt Ford of Americus …………………………............….. 65

Harvey Well Drilling …………................………………….. 24-25

The Kinnebrew Co …………………………......................….. 133

In Tune ………………......................................…………….. 135

TL Guitars ………………………….................................….. 134

Johnston Realty Group Inc. ……………………….........…….. 121

Turton Properties ……………………......................……….. 106

Sumter County Living


The innovation innovation The you can can rely rely on. on. you

COMPREHENSIVE DENTAL TREATMENT IMPLANTS WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL COMPREHENSIVE DENTAL TREATMENT IMPLANTS IV SEDATION WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL ROOT CANALS IV SEDATION CROWNS & BRIDGES ROOT CANALS WHITENING CROWNS & BRIDGES COSMETIC DENTISTRY

IntroducingCooper CooperLighting LightingbybyEaton. Eaton. Introducing

COMPREHENSIVE DENTAL TREATMENT IMPLANTS WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL IV SEDATION ROOT CANALS 1108 FETNER DRIVE • AMERICUS, GA 31709 | (229) 924-4479 | MON - THURS: 8AM - 5PM | FRI: 8AM - 12PM CROWNS & BRIDGES 1108 FETNER DRIVE • AMERICUS, GA 31709 | (229) 924-4479 | MON - THURS: 8AM - 5PM | FRI: 8AM - 12PM WHITENING COSMETIC DENTISTRY WHITENING COSMETIC DENTISTRY

ADLayout.indd ADLayout.indd 3 3

1108 FETNER DRIVE • AMERICUS, GA 31709 | (229) 924-4479 | MON - THURS: 8AM - 5PM | FRI: 8AM - 12PM

Offering brands you Offering thethe brands you count quality, efficient count onon forfor quality, efficient lighting and controls, Cooper lighting and controls, Cooper Lighting Eaton continues Lighting by by Eaton continues tradition providing its its tradition of of providing thethe latest in LED technology and latest in LED technology and industry-leading design that industry-leading design that improves energy efficiency, improves energy efficiency, light quality and safety. light quality and safety. With a focus new With a focus onon new technologies that exceed technologies that exceed customer expectations, Eaton customer expectations, Eaton

continues build upon continues to to build upon its its heritage innovation with heritage of of innovation with a a broad portfolio market-leading broad portfolio of of market-leading lighting and controls solutions. lighting and controls solutions. recessed, outdoor Ambient, recessed, outdoor Ambient, and architectural lighting and architectural lighting forfor thethe home owner, contractor, builder home owner, contractor, builder and specifier, available from and specifier, available from thethe brands you trust light way. brands you trust to to light thethe way. Expect more. Expect more. Eaton.com/expectmore Eaton.com/expectmore

Hometown Living Best 3333 Hometown Living AtAt ItsIts Best

8/13/2014 8:28:46 8/13/2014 8:28:46 PMPM


fall 2019

Your hometown community bank

sumter county

The Journey Sharad patel has chosen to make americus his home and his community.

Committed to the Song bubba hall, jr.’s energy and passion for music and humanity is simply magnetic.

Where Business and Friendships Meet 119 NORTH LEE ST | AMERICUS · 106 TRIPP ST | AMERICUS 534 WASHINGTON ST | PRESTON WWW. CBKAMERICUS.COM 229.924.4011

A Case Study of Creativity David Busman “gets it” in ways many people quadruple his age don’t.

It is their hope for six more generations to live in and love the sentimental showplace they call home. H o m e t o w n L i v i n g at i t s B e s t

Profile for With You In Mind Publications

Sumter County Magazine Fall 2019  

Sumter County Magazine Fall 2019  

Advertisement