Newnan-Coweta Magazine, March/April 2010 - [PDF Document] (2024)

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March/April 2010 | $3.95

M A G A Z I N EA Times-Herald Publication

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Piedmont Newnan Hospital announces the newPiedmont Outpatient Center, located at the SummitHealthplex. Now open, the Piedmont Outpatient Centeroffers the following diagnostic imaging services:

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. . .and Radiation Oncology Services knows

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Established 1995

A publication of The Times-Herald


Sam Jones


Angela McRae

Art Director

Deberah Williams

Contributing Writers

Megan Almon, Sarah Fay Campbell, Nichole Golden,

Holly Jones, Meredith Leigh Knight, Katherine McCall, Alex McRae,

Tina Neely, Elizabeth Richardson, W. Winston Skinner,

Martha A. Woodham


Sarah Fay Campbell, Bob Fraley, Jeffrey Leo,

Katherine McCall, Tara Shellabarger

Circulation Director

Naomi Jackson

Sales and Marketing Director

Colleen D. Mitchell

Advertising Manager

Lamar Truitt

Advertising Consultants

Doug Cantrell, Mandy Inman, Candy Johnson,

Norma Kelley, Jeanette Kirby

Advertising Design

Debby Dye, Graphics Manager

Sandy Hiser, Jonathan Melville, Sonya Studt


call 770.683.6397 or e-mail [emailprotected].

Newnan-Coweta Magazine is published bi-monthly by The Times-Herald, Inc., 16 Jefferson St., Newnan, GA 30263.

Subscriptions: Newnan-Coweta Magazine is distributed in home-deliv-ery copies of The Times-Herald and at businesses and offices through-out Coweta County. Individual mailed subscriptions are also availablefor $23.75 in Coweta County, $30.00 outside Coweta County. To sub-scribe, call 770.304.3373.

Submissions: We welcome submissions. Query letters and publishedclips may be addressed to the Editor, Newnan-Coweta Magazine at P.O.Box 1052, Newnan, Georgia 30264.

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© 2010 by The Newnan Times-Herald, Inc. All rights reserved.Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.


WINNER OF FIVE 2009 GAMMA AWARDS (for issues published in 2008)

Gold Award for Best Series, Silver Award for Best Single Issue, Bronze Award for Best

Single Cover, Bronze Award for Best Profile, Bronze for General Excellence



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Features Departments22 38 52




Alicia Chapman and Benjamin Smith held theirbeautiful fall wedding in Moreland.


Heather Blades and Kevin Walker wed in an elegantevening ceremony in Macon last June.


Snowflakes fell upon Anne Barrow and JeffElzemeyer as they exited the church after theirOctober wedding.


A historic schoolhouse in Alvaton was the site of theMarch 2009 wedding of Stefanie Dowda and JohnKennedy.


Find out what advice our recent Coweta brides haveto offer upcoming brides.


Former East Coweta ballplayer Brett Butts continueshis advance with the Braves.


Businessman John Barrow helps bring hope to menwith addictions and other issues.

contentsMarch / April 2010



The Atkinson-Bradfield wedding of 1918 was a weddingto remember.


Fans of Princess Diana will enjoy the new exhibit at theAtlanta Civic Center.


Connie Perkins likes to make everyday meals special.


Beautiful wisteria can be found in shades of white, pink,lavender and purple.


Local hostesses share their ideas for pretty springluncheons.


Meet Amanda Johnson, who specializes in startingyoung horses under saddle.


Teen Tori Butcher lives and works at Coweta’s only dairyfarm.




In everyissue

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MARCH/APRIL 2010 | 7

On Our

On Our Cover

Heather and Kevin Walker on theirwedding day last June.

– Photo courtesy of Tim Harman Photography

Special FeaturesBook giveawaysContestsRecipe BoxPodcastsBlogsLinks of local interest

Web extras you’ll find only online.Look for the com-puter icon through-out every issue to lead you tothe special content at

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s a former lifestyle editor for our newspa-per, I’ve had a lot of years to observewedding traditions in Coweta County.

Although I can’t remember the names of thebrides, a few of the weddings stand out. Therewas the bride who married in a red weddinggown complete with a red veil. There was thebride who had 17 bridesmaids. (Or was it a groomand 17 groomsmen?) Then there was that firstlocal bride who got married on the beach, a trendthat is no longer so unusual.

The first weddings I remember including inour social news section featured ’80s brideswith big hair, big sleeves and big parties. Thesedays, you’d be hard pressed to find a bridewearing any sleeves, much less big sleeves, sothoroughly have the fashions changed, but thebrides and fashions are more lovely than ever.

Wedding cakes were three-tiered whiteconcoctions that, for the most part, looked alike:

three round layers separated by columns, allwith (often stale) vanilla cake and sugary whiteicing. Not so today! Wedding cakes are beauti-ful works of art, with lacy icing piped on eachlayer or creamy smooth fondant tinted andshaped into anything a bride can imagine. Andcakes are expected to taste as good as theylook.

But the change that pleases me most?Today’s brides seem much more mature(research tells us that’s because, age-wise, atleast, they are) and are much more realisticabout wedding and marriage. Read what ourrecent brides have to say on page 26 and you’llfind excellent advice for anyone in the middle ofwedding planning.

Yet as much as I like being realistic aboutweddings, the dreamer in me couldn’t resist vis-iting the new Princess Diana exhibit in Atlantaand gazing wistfully at The Dress. You rememberthe dress, don’t you? Diana’s famous weddinggown with the 25-foot train? From the diamondtiara and sequined veil to those wonderfullypuffy sleeves, antique lace and satin slippers,that wedding costume was one for the ages. Ifyou’re interested in seeing the Diana exhibityourself, don’t miss Leigh Knight’s article onpage 34.

To the brides who shared their stories withus in this issue as well as those whose weddingplans lie ahead, here’s a wedding wish fit for aprincess that we hope will come true for you:May you live happily ever after!


Angela McRae, [emailprotected]


{ From the Editor }

Happily Ever After

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Weddingsthat take the cake

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Alicia Chapman & Benjamin Smith

or years, Benjamin Smith andAlicia Chapman lived in Newnan,

but the two didn’t meet until theywere three hours away from home at college.

Ben, 24, is a manager at Sprayberry’sBarbecue. Alicia, 24, is a first grade teacher atPoplar Road Elementary School. The two weremarried on Nov. 21, 2009 after five years ofdating.

Alicia’s family moved to town from the stateof Washington her sophom*ore year at NorthgateHigh School. Ben attended Newnan High. Aftergraduation, they both enrolled at AbrahamBaldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Ga.

In fall 2004, Ben was introduced to Aliciawhen their roommates began dating.

“We started dating soon after that,” saidAlicia.

In late 2008, Ben started thinking about

marriage.“I had been planning to ask around New

Year’s, but I bought a ring and it started burninga hole in my pocket,” Ben admits.

He considered asking on Christmas, but his

By Elizabeth Richardson | Photos courtesy of New Simplicity Photography

friends warned that the move would be toopredictable. He made up his mind to ask onDec. 19, 2008 – his birthday.

“I thought it would be a great present forme, but I wanted her to have a present, too,” hesaid. And he knew he’d have the element ofsurprise on his side.

When the day came, Ben took Alicia to seethe Christmas lights on Bethlehem Church Roadin Moreland. At one of the homes, he stoppedthe truck and proceeded to get out.

“We’re not supposed to get out,” Aliciaprotested, summoning the schoolteacher within.

“She was arguing with me the whole time,”said Ben, who feared his plan would be foiled.She didn’t know that he’d approached theresidents prior to their visit.

She finally got out of the truck and he ledher to a sign he’d crafted asking her to marry

him. Alicia couldn’t contain her emotion as hegot down on one knee and officially popped thequestion. Their friends were waiting at the siteand captured their moment in pricelessphotographs.


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The wedding was held at MorelandUnited Methodist Church – Ben’sfamily’s church – on Nov. 21, 2009 at 4p.m. The reception was at the Old MillMuseum in Moreland.

Ben fondly recalls playing golf withhis groomsmen leading up to theceremony. His friends even invited himto go first, jesting that it would be thelast time he’d get the opportunity.

Alicia had both of her dads – herbiological dad and her adoptive dad –walk her down the aisle to give her away.Her favorite memory from the wedding?


At the Chapman-Smith wedding are,from left, Chris Hall, Whitney Bowden, AlStafford, Alexis Cofer, bride Alicia Smith,groom Ben Smith, Abby Chapman,Eddie Smith, Kevin Smith and Gina Katz.

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“Just seeing [Ben] at the altar and seeinghis reaction to seeing me for the firsttime.”

The pastor later joked that Ben wasthe most nervous groom he’dencountered. But, nerves didn’t stop theday from being everything they hadhoped for.

The reception site was dusted withautumn colors. Ben wore a browntuxedo. Alicia danced with both of herdads. Their 160-plus guests feasted oncatered food from Sprayberry’s.

Alicia said both families were activein the planning and execution of theirperfect day.

“Everybody had a role,” said Alicia.Ben’s brother sang Brad Paisley’s

“Then” for the couple’s first dance. Ben’saunt decorated tables with vibrant fallleaves and colorful centerpieces.

They’d worried about whatcondition the mill would be in becausethe roof needed replacing, but the

reception exceeded their expectations.The period leading up to the

wedding was admittedly a stressful timefor them. The couple made an offer on ahouse in a short sale. They didn’t findout it was theirs until October. Theyspent the weeks leading up to thewedding renovating the property.

“Up until the wedding day, weworked,” said Alicia. “It was stressfulplanning a wedding and doing all this. Iwanted control and you can’t really havecontrol. There were a few momentswhere I’d just cry.”

Both Alicia’s sister and sister-in-lawwere pregnant and due in December.Her sister-in-law was on bed rest the dayof the wedding and couldn’t be in thebridal party. Alicia’s sister had to get anew dress last-minute because heroriginal dress didn’t fit and couldn’t bealtered.

Ben’s cousin – a groomsman andfirst responder – had to leave the

reception during pictures to assist with amedical call.

Despite a few kinks, Ben says, “itwas great.”

The couple honeymooned in Nassauat an all-inclusive resort for six days,seven nights.

The newlyweds have since enjoyedrelaxing in their new home and spendingtheir first Christmas together as husbandand wife.

Ben said he’s learned in a few shortmonths of marriage that you have tomake sacrifices. Luckily, Alicia adds,there haven’t been many surprises sincethey dated for so long.

Now that they’ve pulled off thewedding of their dreams, the two arefocusing on building a lifetime ofmemories together. And, so far, they’vegot a good foundation.

“I thought the wedding wasperfect,” said Alicia. “I don’t think Iwould have changed anything.” NCM

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Heather Blades & Kevin WalkerBy Megan Almon | Photos courtesy of Tim Harman Photography

You know a wedding is tailor-made for a truly unique couplewhen the engagement involvesQueen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” andGummy Peachy O’s.

It all started with a commentHeather Blades made about thesong to pals during a college roadtrip to Louisiana to help withhurricane relief. Somewherebetween “Is this the real life? Is thisjust fantasy?” and “For meEEEEE”(insert rockin’ guitar solo here),Heather said in passing, “Ifsomebody learned to play this forme, I’d marry them right on thespot.” One of those pals listeningwas Kevin Walker.

Kevin had spotted Heatheracross the room at a BaptistStudent Union function while bothwere students at the University ofWest Georgia. The pair struck up aquick friendship. They begandating after Kevin graduated twoyears later. Eighteen months andmany, many painstaking hours ofguitar practice later, Kevinperformed the song for Heather infront of family and friends andpresented her with a package ofring-shaped Peachy O’s candies –

one of Heather’s favorites and theobject of an old proposal jokebetween the pair.

“I said, ‘Someone once toldme if I learned this song, she’dmarry me,’” Kevin recalled with agrin.

He slid a Peachy O on herring finger.

“Then I said, ‘Rememberwhen we did this way back when?Well, now I’ve got the real thing,’”he continued, describing how hekneeled and presented her withthe (real) engagement ring he’dchosen.

Heather, shell-shocked,responded with a quiet, “Yeah.”

“It was surreal,” she said witha quiet smile. Between the songand the candy she thought Kevinmight have been joking, until hepulled out the ring she’s wornproudly ever since.

The Walkers were married inan evening ceremony on June 13,2009 at the First EvangelicalChurch of Macon, Ga., Heather’shometown, and celebrated withfamily and friends at Macon’sArmory Ballroom.

“I wanted the reception to bewhen the sun was down,” Heathersaid. “I always imagined leaving atnight.”

The bride chose an elegantstrapless corset gown in antiquewhite, with a sequined

Kevin Walker and Mariano Pacetti

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embellishment along the top that sweptto the side at her waist. She enhanced theskirt’s volume by adding a subtle amountof crinoline beneath.

When it came to shoes, comfort wasessential. Though Heather really wantedto wear her favorite green Conversesneakers – which would have been

hidden beneath her gown – she settledfor borrowing the ballerina slippers hersister wore at her own wedding.

If she had chosen to wear thesneakers, she claimed – with a sigh –they would have matched the shamrockgreen dresses worn by her bridesmaids.To add to the classic feel Heatherwanted, the emerald gowns werecomplemented by the groomsmen’sblack-and-white tuxes, complete withbowties. The wedding party totaled 14.

The bride carried white roses andmini-calla lilies, and the bridesmaids’small yellow sunflower bouquets added atouch of whimsy to the summer affair.Beneath her bouquet, Heather carried asmall, lace-trimmed Bible, yellowed withage, that both her mother and

grandmother had carried down the aisle.But more than the dress and

bouquets, the detail that carried thegreatest weight for the couple was themusic they chose.

Kevin Walker’s groomsmen included,at back from left, Bubba Laster, JoshWest, Charlie Gilbert, Josh Bishop,Philip Green, Brady West and ChrisMcCarty.

With bride Heather Walker arebridesmaids, front from left, BethGriffith, Ashley Lipson, AshleyFlournoy and Christa Rowland, andat back, Whitney Walker, KaylaBlades and Jessica Craig.

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The entire wedding party walkeddown the aisle to the David CrowderBand’s “Oh The Glory of It All.” Nearthe end of the song, the music and vocalsbuild to a crescendo. At that transition,the doors opened and Heather entered, amoment that will be forever vivid inKevin’s memory.

Meaningful music marked everytransition in the ceremony. As the couplelit the unity candle, Heather’s brotherand cousin performed “When God MadeYou” by Newsong and Natalie Grant,during which Kevin surprised Heatherwhen he released her hands and pickedup a strategically placed microphone toserenade her with the last verse.

Communion was celebrated prior tothe kiss (“We wanted that to be our firstact as man and wife,” Heather said) toSara Groves’ “He’s Always BeenFaithful.” And the newlyweds exited toIsrael Kamakawiwo’ole’s island-lullaby

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version of “Somewhere Over theRainbow.”

The dim lighting in the ArmoryBallroom enhanced the soft beauty ofHeather’s gown, and set the perfect moodfor dancing the night away.

Guests enjoyed heavy hors d’oeuvresand visited at the round tables placedthroughout the ballroom.

Heather’s cake was an elegant roundand multi-layered white cake withbuttercream frosting in a floral design.Kevin and Heather saved the top layer –her favored carrot cake – for their firstanniversary.

The groom’s strawberry cake was areplica of one of his favorite guitars – apurple Ibanez S370 – complete withpurple frosting.

The couple danced their first danceenveloped by the catchy tune and lyricsof Colbie Caillat’s “Bubbly,” though anumber of Queen’s greatest hits were

played throughout the night. Kevin Walker is a Spanish teacher at

Madras Middle School. Heather Walkeris preparing to study for a master’sdegree in psychology, and volunteers at alocal rape crisis center. The Walkers livein Newnan. NCM

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Anne Barrow & Jeff Elzemeyer

lways a bridesmaid and never a bride didnot hold true in the case of Anne BarrowElzemeyer.

“I’ve been in 13 weddings,” said Anne – not thatshe was worried about settling down.

In fact, when she and her future husband, Jeff, firstmet through a mutual friend while snow skiing inColorado in 2003 (Jeff was a student at the Universityof Denver), Anne said there were “no sparks.”

It wasn’t until Jeff moved to Atlanta three years laterfor his job and got Anne’s number from a friend thatthey realized they liked each other. Fittingly enough, thesparks first flew on their first unofficial date to the StoneMountain laser show.

“We really got along,” said Anne. “We have thesame personality type; we’re both laid back. We like totravel, we like music and going to concerts.”

After three years of dating, the couple – both avidscuba divers – soon found themselves taking the plunge.

In February 2009, Anne and Jeff were walkingalong a golf course looking for balls when Anne sawwhat she thought was a toy golf ball. She picked it up,looked it over and almost tossed it, when Jeff shouted,“Wait, no!”

By Meredith Leigh Knight | Photos courtesy of Kristi Odom Photography

A closer inspection revealed a ring case shaped like agolf ball. And inside? Jeff ’s great-grandmother’s ring.Fortunately, it was an eagle and not a mulligan for Jeff.Anne said yes, and their wedding plans were soonunderway.

“The best part of planning the wedding wasspending time with my mom,” said Anne, includingchoosing the wedding dress. With six months left untilher wedding day, Anne and her mom, Madeline, setabout finding the one. Amazingly, after only two shops –albeit with “about 100,000 dresses” – Anne found it, astrapless, silk asymmetrical gown with a sweetheartneckline. It was one of 15 Anne tried on, and she knewit was the one the minute she looked in the mirror.

The bridesmaids’ dresses were from J. Crew,chocolate brown and strapless, chosen in hopes that theycould wear them again, said Anne.

Both Jeff and Anne agreed they wanted to keep thewedding ceremony small and simple. Highlands, N.C.,near Jeff ’s parents’ mountain cabin and close to whereAnne grew up going to camp each summer, made for theperfect locale.

When the couple chose the date, Oct. 17, 2009,Anne envisioned hiking and spending time outdoors


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“Dad wanted to walk me down the

aisle,” explained Anne, when asked if hewanted to perform the ceremony.

The reception was held at TheBascom, a center for visual arts. Anneand Jeff ’s wedding reception was the firstfor the gallery, located on a six-acre

with friends during their wedding

weekend. To their surprise and ultimatedelight, however, it snowed on theirwedding day.

“Snowflakes were coming down aswe exited the church,” said Anne. “It wasreally pretty.”

The couple chose to be married in

the Highlands Presbyterian Church withLamar Potts presiding over the ceremony.Potts is a longtime friend of the familyand attended seminary with Anne’s dad,Harry Barrow, a minister at the NewnanPresbyterian Church.

Anne Barrow Elzemeyer is surrounded by her bridesmaids, including, at front, Robin (Estes) Blake, Laura (Brady)Smith, Elaine De la Houssaye Hardie and Ellen (Threlkeld) Bush; and at back, Melissa (Morgan) Barry, JillSeawright Barrow, Abigail Hoy Elzemeyer, Lydia Murray Holland, Ali McCracken Stoner, Lindsay Levine Rouse andElizabeth (McEntire) Williams.

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architect-designed campus high on amountain plateau.

“It has an open terrace, stone floorand folk museum. It was exciting beingthe first wedding reception there,” saidAnne.

Anne and Jeff ’s wedding took placeat 6:30 p.m. The caterer was Lee Eptingfrom Athens. Anne’s mother had usedhim for Anne’s older brother Leland’swedding. The menu included brisket,pork tenderloins and cheese grits. Thecoconut wedding cake was adorned withhydrangeas, the bride’s favorite flower.The groom’s cake was a three-layerchocolate adorned with a Saint LouisCardinals emblem. In addition, thecaterer packed the happy couple a to-gopicnic basket filled with food and twobottles of wine.

Epting also assembled the familytogether after the ceremony for a smallglass of champagne and small meal, awelcome repose before their fun-filledevening began.

The band Root Doctors fromColumbia, S.C. played during thereception. Though Anne had never heardthe band, “they were really good,”including the first song requested by thecouple, “Naïve Melody” by TalkingHeads which, ironically, the band hadnever played before.

“Leading up to the wedding wasreally stressful,” said Anne, “but once Isaid ‘I do’ it was okay, everything wasback to normal.”

After the ceremony, the coupleenjoyed honeymooning on VirginGorda, part of the British Virgin Islands.While some may like to relax, Anne andJeff spent their time windsailing, scubadiving, snorkeling and biking – a perfectfit for the active couple.

Today, Anne and Jeff live in GrantPark, an in-between locale for the couple.She works as an attorney at Hunnicuttand Taylor in Newnan while Jeff worksfor a moulding and millwork companyin Norcross. NCM


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Stefanie Dowda & John Kennedy

On his way, John noticed a tractor for sale andstruck up a deal. Stefanie was in the middle of showingJohn the ring she liked when he nonchalantlymentioned his purchase.

“I felt like punching him,” said Stefanie. Shepromptly dismissed the idea he’d have the money tobuy her a ring.

What she didn’t know was that John had alreadyscheduled a meeting with her parents. “I asked for herhand and they approved it,” he said. When he knew hehad the green light, he secretly returned to the jewelrystore and purchased her ring.

The morning of Aug. 11, 2008, John told Stefaniethey were getting up early to eat at Cracker Barrel. Hetook her to their special place in Newnan – an outdoorgarden that will remain their secret spot.

They entered the rose garden hand-in-hand. It wasthe start of a beautiful late-summer day and blossomingflowers surrounded them. John taunted her a little bycasually mentioning that the spot would be a goodplace for a proposal.

“It went over my head – I was still thinking aboutthe tractor,” said Stefanie.

hen Stefanie Dowda and JohnKennedy first met through happenstance,

neither had an inkling that a decade later theywould exchange wedding vows.

Stefanie, 29, is a 911 operator, and John, 36,works with the Coweta County Sheriff ’s Office. Thetwo first met in 1998 when Stefanie had a car accidentin Sharpsburg and John stopped at the scene to use apay phone. Stefanie insisted on his immediateassistance with her accident report and playful verbalsparring ensued.

Stefanie told her mother after the encounter, “Thatis the type of man I want to marry.”

Then, in late 2005, a mutual friend visited John atwork and passed along a friendly “hello” from Stefanie.John responded with his phone number, and the twohad their first date on Dec. 17 at Johnny Carino’s.

“We’ve been together ever since,” said Stefanie.The proposal came in August of 2008. By that

time, Stefanie was itching to be Mrs. Kennedy, and shehad been dropping not-so-subtle hints. A few weeksprior to the proposal, John had agreed to meet her inSharpsburg to look at engagement rings.

By Elizabeth Richardson | Photos courtesy of Deborah Smith Photography

At the March 14, 2009 Dowda-Kennedy wedding are, from left, Winston Skinner, Alicia Miller,Lindsay Akin, Tiffaney Dowda, Stefanie and John Kennedy, Jesse Kennedy, Stan Roughton,Brent Blankenship and at front, Morgan Surrett and Hunter Surrett.

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John placed a secret phone call toalert their family – hidden out of sightnearby – that the time had come. Bothsets of parents, plus Stefanie’sgrandparents and twin sister, Tiffaney,“paraded out,” according to John.

Stefanie heard commotion and wasstunned to see her family. When shelooked back to John for an explanation,he was down on one knee.

“I started crying and said ‘It’s abouttime,’” she said.

After she agreed to marry him, therest of the family gathered around themto share tears, hugs and photographs.Then John took them to Cracker Barrelto fulfill his word.

The two wed on March 14, 2009 atthe Banquet Hall of Alvaton. Thewedding was originally supposed to be

held at the outdoor gazebo on theproperty, but rain moved the ceremonyindoors.

The wedding was uniquely John andStefanie’s. John walked down the aisle to“Sharp Dressed Man,” and Stefanie camedown the aisle to Brett Michaels’ “All IEver Needed.” The best part of the day –according to Stefanie – was that herfather, Robert, and her grandfather,Amos, escorted her down the aisle.

“We wanted the sacrament ofmarriage to be there, and at the sametime we wanted people to be verycomfortable,” said John. “It was going tobe our special day anyway, but if youtailor it to your personalities, nobodycould ever mimic it.”

And Stefanie insists that John hadjust as much input in planning as she did.

“The wedding that I wantedhappened, regardless of the rain and howit looked outside,” she said. “You can’timagine how it’s going to turn out untilit happens, and it was everything Iwanted. I had the man I wanted tomarry.”

Following the wedding, the twoenjoyed a modest, three-day honeymoonat Chateau Elan in Winder, Ga. Theyenjoyed a wine tasting, breakfast in bedand on-site entertainment.

The two are preparing to celebratetheir first wedding anniversary and, asStefanie reports, “we couldn’t ask for abetter marriage.”

“The key really is compromise,” saidJohn. “If you expect that it’s 50-50, it’snot, but it all equals out in the end.What’s great about marriage is you don’t

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MARCH/APRIL 2010 | 25

have to conquer the world by yourselfanymore. If I’m mad about something,she’s mad too. You truly start growingtogether when you get married.”

“I have a best friend andhusband all in one,” saidStefanie. “I never thought that’dhappen, but it did.” NCM


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At the Dowda-Kennedy wedding are, fromleft, Tiffaney Dowda, Lindsay Akin, RobertAkin, Stefanie Kennedy, Patti Akin, VirginiaSurrett and Amos Surrett.

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Alicia Smith• It’s never too early to start planning. Get the big thingsout of the way because there are a lot of little details atthe end.

• Be honest when choosing flowers, cake, music andfood. It’s your wedding; choose things that mean some-thing special to you and your soon-to-be husband.

• Have someone at the reception site the day of the wed-ding to organize the arrival of your caterer, flowers,musician, etc. so you can relax and enjoy the day.

• Your wedding will go by so quickly,enjoy every bit of it and breathe.

• Don’t sweat the small things thatdon’t go as planned. You’re probablythe only one that will notice it didn’thappen the way you wanted it to.Just relax and when the day is overyou and your husband will be marriedand you can laugh about it.

Let the groom have some input. Don’t stressover details. Don’t forget the waterproof mascara,and remember to breathe!

These are just a few of the wedding planningtips from this year’s featured brides. We askedthem to share what they learned while planning awedding, and here’s what they had to say.

for your special day


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• There is a cost involved with awedding. Too many people getcaught up in wanting to pleaseeveryone. Tailor it to your perfectday, but be diplomatic. They will

understand. There’s no way you can inviteeveryone you know. Start with the people clos-est to you and work your way out.

• Make sure the location you choose to get mar-ried at has a “back-up plan” if you’re gettingmarried outside. No one can predict mothernature.

• Don’t stress over planning your wedding.Have fun with it – you’ll enjoy it more.

• Let your soon-to-be-husband have an input inyour day. As funny as it sounds, it will bring youtwo closer together! (Along with taking some ofthe stress off you!)

• Enjoy yourself and have fun with it all. Thingswill not all turn out how you want, but at the endof the day you will still be married and that is allthat matters.

Stefanie Kennedy

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• Schedule a time during the weekend toget together alone with just bride, groomand both sets of parents so you can cel-ebrate/decompress with your families.

• Bring comfortable shoes to changeinto at the reception.

• Bring alternative accessories (shoes,jackets, etc.) for different types ofweather (hot, cold, rainy) for each event.

• It goes by really quickly, so don’t waste time worrying aboutdetails.

• Don’t feel that you have to do everything like it’s been donebefore. If there is something that you would like to do differentlythan the usual, do it.

Anne Elzemeyer

• Make sure to go to the bathroom before you put on your dress,and drink fewer fluids that day. Trust me, it will save you fromhaving all of your bridesmaids hold your dress up for you whileyou take care of business. Although, it does make for a funnystory later!

• Delegate, delegate, delegate. This is huge and will prevent you from having a lot ofunnecessary stress on your wedding day. Your bridesmaids are there for you, so don’tforget to let them help you with things.

• You have probably heard this one many times, but waterproof mascara is amazing!It’s okay to cry. On such a special occasion, you, and many others, may be filled withjoyful tears.

• Talk to your dad, or whoever may walk you down the aisle, about practicing yourgrand entrance. I am not fond of being in the spotlight, so my dad and I walked downthe aisle way too fast. We practically sprinted. Walk down slowly. Everyone wants thechance to see you. Also, you and your dad will want the chance to savor this specialmoment, and your photographer needs the chance to get some good pictures!

• Finally, planning for your wedding is a lot of work, but try not to put so much focus onJUST the wedding day. Look forward to marrying your best friend! The big day is justone day that will be over before you want it to be. Don’t just spend all your time plan-ning this one day, make sure to spend time preparing yourself for marriage. NCM


Heather Walker

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Keith BradyMayor of Newnan


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“The UWG Newnan Center is a very valuable asset for the city, as it provides us with a higher education facility right here in our own backyard. One of the big advantages it offers is it is accessible to a large segment of our population. Its presence creates opportunities for our youth and provides a great way to encourage them to remain here after high school and to become involved and productive citizens of this city now and for future generations. The center also provides vast opportunities to new residents and businesses that may be considering relocating to our area.”

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{ Local Heritage }

A Wedding to Rememberby W. Winston Skinner

Governor’s daughter had red, white and blue wedding in 1918

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obodywould have been

surprised if GeorgiaAtkinson’s wedding

had some regaltouches.

She was as close to a royalbride as Newnan had ever seen.Daughter of a beloved Georgiagovernor and born in theGovernor’s Mansion, she hadsecured a place in Georgia’shistory at birth. Her widowedmother, Susan, had become asuccessful businesswoman andNewnan’s postmaster. SusanAtkinson was herself thegranddaughter of John Milton, agovernor of Florida.

Georgia Atkinson was set tomarry Lt. Loyd Bradfield, who camefrom a prominent LaGrange family,at the stately First Methodist Church,located a block north of the CowetaCounty Courthouse, on Feb. 28,1918.

The Atkinson-Bradfield nuptialswere marked not by royal flourishesbut by a democratic elegance – lots ofred, white and blue in honor of

America and the men,including the groom, whowere then fighting in “theGreat War.”

The Newnan Heraldproclaimed the pairing “amarriage of much interestthroughout the State.”William Yates Atkinson hadbeen a much admired,progressive governor in the

1890s. He died in 1899, but hislegacy continued.

The Methodist church was notthe elegant Elizabethan structure thatstands today on Greenville Street. Theearlier meetinghouse was at the cornerof Madison and Jackson Streets. Infact, the back wall of the church wasincorporated into the building thatfollowed – today the Lindsey’s realestate firm.

“The church was elaboratelydecorated in red, white and blue,American flags, white spring flowersand red roses. Cathedral candles were

placed on tall pedestals, which weredraped in the same national colors,”the Herald reported.

The wedding had its non-traditional elements. The groom’smother sang a solo. Four young ladies,friends of the bride, were ushers,wearing “dresses of white draped inred, white and blue tulle.” There alsowere six “little misses” – each bearingan American flag.

The best man was “Ensign CasonCallaway, of LaGrange.” He wouldearn lasting appreciation for founding

Susan Atkinson

Georgia Atkinson Bradfield, who was the center of attention at herpatriotic wedding in 1918, took up painting in her late seventies.

MARCH/APRIL 2010 | 31

William Yates Atkinson

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Callaway Gardens on some of hisHarris County property.

There were many traditionalfacets to the Atkinson-Bradfieldwedding. The bride wore “white tulleand real lace” and had her veilsecured “by a wreath of orangeblossoms.” Susan Atkinson held “aninformal reception” at her GreenvilleStreet home, which the Herald notedwas “for the bridal party and out-of-town guests only.”

The Herald also reportedGeorgia Atkinson had been given “apretty compliment” – a bridge party

– a few days before the nuptials.“The honoree was presented with adainty piece of lingerie,” thenewspaper noted.

The paper glowingly describedthe bride as “one of Newnan’s mostbeautiful and charming young girls.”Though her adult life would take heraway from Newnan, she would retainties to the City of Homes – and holdonto her beauty and charm – as longas she lived.

Mrs. Bradfield was proud of herparents’ accomplishments. Both wereinstrumental in founding GeorgiaState College for Women – nowGeorgia College and State University– in Milledgeville. When Mrs.Bradfield died in 1997 at 101, it wasrequested that memorial gifts go tothe college.

Loyd Bradfield went off to warsoon after their marriage. They livedfor many years in LaGrange. WhenWorld War II began, Loyd was againcalled to active duty. Mrs. Bradfieldspent much of that time teaching atGordon College in Barnesville.

After his retirement, theBradfields moved to Ormond Beach,Fla. When he died in 1971, GeorgiaBradfield found herself at loose ends.

Senoia sisters Savannah and Kylie Lail admire one of Georgia Bradfield'sseascapes with their friend Kurt Holtzclaw.

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She began studying painting andsoon was creating watercolors –particularly seascapes. There were anumber of exhibits of her charmingart – including a show at theUniversity of Georgia in Athenswhere she sold all but three of herpaintings.

The Bradfields never had anychildren, but Georgia Bradfield wasa favorite with nieces and nephewsfor several successive generations.She always had toys for them onhand, and visiting “Aunt Georgia”at the beach was a treat for thelarge, farflung family.

When Mrs. Bradfield’s eyesightbegan to fail, she turned frompainting to making party favors forchildren – sending them anywhereshe thought they might be enjoyed.

Ellis Arnall, Georgia’s secondgovernor from Newnan, was fondof Georgia Bradfield. He made surephotographs were made of Mrs.Bradfield and his daughter, Alice,who was also born while her fatherwas governor.

Lou Anne Connell of Newnanis a great-great-niece of GeorgiaBradfield. Other family memberslive in the counties of Meriwetherand Troup. Paintings of seascapesand an occasional winter scene areprized by several Coweta families.

A few years before her death,the late Georgia Phillips wroteabout Georgia Bradfield, for whomshe was named. “She is indeed aGREAT aunt, and I am proud tobe her namesake.” She wrote thatMrs. Bradfield was “a shining star”whose chief character traitsincluded “a sense of humor,honesty and compassion forothers.”

She also was a singularlypatriotic bride whose love for hernation – and her husband – createda wedding to remember. NCM

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A royal treatDiana: A Celebration

believe all girls dream of one day becominga princess. Even if you grew up playing

football with the neighborhood boys, wearingold blue jeans and riding hand-me-down bikes fromthe boys – perhaps especially so, in those cases.

I think that is the appeal of Diana, Princess ofWales. While I can’t say that she wore old cut-offsgrowing up, she was, however, just a girl. She dancedfor hours on the marble floors, she clowned aroundfor her dad’s camera, she liked to swim and dive.Despite the fact that her family, the Spencers, is oneof Britain’s aristocratic dynasties, Diana was one ofus. Making her even more real is the fact she grew upin a divorced home, dividing her time betweenparents and spending long train rides with her

{ Family Fun}

By Meredith Leigh Knight | Photos by AngelaMcRae and courtesy of “Diana: A Celebration”

younger brother, Charles Spencer – who unabashedlyadored his big sister, as does the world today.

The Spencer family has created a loving tributeto Diana, the shy princess we witnessed blossom intoa loving mother and tireless worker for charity.“Diana: A Celebration” is at the Atlanta Civic Centerthrough June 13. The final stop in the United Statesbefore it departs for England for the summer, theexhibition consists of 150 artifacts chronicling thelife of the “glamorous humanitarian,” as her brothercalled her. It’s a must-see for both die-hard Dianafans and the merely curious.

Guests stop short and gasp as they round thecorner into the exhibit. Ahead lies a diamond silverand gold tiara with a black and white portrait of

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Diana wearing it on the wall behindit. The effect is simply breathtaking.The room is like stumbling into anoverturned treasure chest. Inaddition to the tiara and a coronetlikely worn at the coronation ofEdward VII, there’s also an array offamily jewels, including an emeraldand diamond pendant cross, a pinktourmaline and diamond ring, and abracelet that was presented by theLadies of Ireland to the 5thCountess Spencer.

The next gallery is a tribute to

Diana as a girl, and I spent the mosttime in here. It really captivated myimagination to see her childhoodplaythings, such as her glass andceramic figurine collection and lettersshe had written to her dad on cutestationery. I also enjoyed watchingthe videos of her swimming, dancingand diving.

But when I finally pulled myselfaway, I was not disappointed.Enclosed in a glass case in the nextroom was THE dress – the beautifulwedding dress, reminiscent of the

Victorian era, complete with its 25-foot train. It was the dress that I,along with over one billion peopleworldwide, watched Diana glidedown the aisle in during herwedding to Prince Charles in 1981.Alongside the dress were one of thetiny silk taffeta bridesmaid’s dresses,the Spencer family gold tiara, a silkand lace parasol (it wasn’t usedthanks to pretty weather) and hersilk wedding slippers. A video of theroyal wedding played in thebackground, bringing back all the

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memories of that day Diana calledone of the happiest of her life.

The next portion of the exhibit isdevoted to Diana’s charitable works,with photos of her and those battlingterrible diseases, diseases manyconsidered unfit for a princess torally behind, such as AIDS andleprosy. In fact, Diana was the firsthigh-profile celebrity to be seenshaking hands with an AIDS patient.During this high-profile work, shewould often make low-key andinformal visits to hospitals and

shelters for the homeless. Privatelyshe would donate personal checks toneedy individuals and continue towrite and telephone them formonths, even years after, to offersupport. Also in this gallery is aprayer book given to Diana byMother Theresa, who died days afterthe princess.

After a sad moment of reflectionon her untimely death, guests enterthe dress gallery, complete with 28dresses from the early 1980s to herlast public engagement. And though

the dresses are beautiful, the photosof Diana wearing them are even moreso. Diana once observed that shewanted to be thought of as a workhorse, not a clothes horse, sofittingly, in between the evening andco*cktail dresses is a protective vestand visor worn by the princess whenshe traveled with the Red Cross toAngola and later Bosnia to bringattention to land mines. The lookwas designed by Giorgio Armani andRalph Lauren. After all, she was aprincess. NCM




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Want to go?“Diana: A Celebration” runs through June 13,and tickets must be purchased in advance forspecific days. Ticket prices are $18.50 foradults; $15.50 for seniors, students with ID, andgroups of 10 or more; $12 for children 6-12; andfree for children 5 and under. For moreinformation, visit or call404-658-7159.

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aiming for the majorsBy Alex McRae | Photos by Bob Fraley

Brett Butts


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y the third grade, BrettButts was so sure of hisdestiny he wrote a bookabout it.

The title was “What IWant to be Winn I groe Up.” Thefirst page featured a stick figureholding a bat. And on that pageButts wrote in impeccable schoolboyEnglish:

“I like baseball be kos I play allthe time.”

Butts still has the book. And hestill has the dream.

“I’ve wanted to be a pro baseballplayer as long as I can remember,” hesays. “Now it’s starting to happen.”

By age four Butts was throwingand catching the ball with his dad,Keith, and brother, Bryan. Those

talents blossomed through years ofrec league ball in Riverdale. When hewasn’t playing ball, Butts was gluedto the TV set, watching his favoriteAtlanta Brave, Brett Butler, patrolcenter field.

“I couldn’t think of anythingbetter,” he says. “I would have givenanything to do that.”

The family moved to Cowetawhen Butts was 12 and a few yearslater, he was playing at East CowetaHigh for Coach Franklin DeLoach,starring as a second baseman andpart of a pitching staff that led theIndians to back-to-back statechampionship appearances in 2003and 2004.

He earned a scholarship toDarton College in Albany, Ga. and

after a dominating freshman season,accepted a scholarship offer fromAuburn.

Butts describes his sophom*oreseason at Auburn as “average,” butduring his junior year, pro scoutsstarted showing up to drool overButts’ change-up and clock hisfastball at well north of 90 mph.

“Before, I’d only dreamed of thepros,” Butts says. “Then I started tothink I had a real chance.”

At the end of his junior year,Butts was eligible for the MajorLeague draft and was told he wouldprobably be selected between the 7thand 12th rounds.

Butts was finally selected by theBraves, but not until the 19th round.

When Braves scouting

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coordinator Al Getz called and said,“We just picked you. Are you readyto be a Brave?” Butts’ mind whirled.

“I was excited about beingdrafted but knew I’d be starting atthe bottom,” he says. “If I went backto Auburn I’d be the number onepitcher. I finally decided to turn pro,but if it hadn’t been the Braves I

As an East Coweta Indian, Brett Butts pitchedagainst Roswell during the playoffs in 2004.

Brett Butts pitches at Auburn,above, and with the Mississippi

Braves last year, below.

Brett Butts paid a recent visit to his old highschool grounds.


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would have waited another year.”Two days after signing a pro

contract, Butts joined the Braves’Danville, Va., rookie league team. Ittook only one road trip for Butts torealize he was a long way from themajors.

When the team bus stopped,Butts gaped in horror at a motel thatcould have served as the setting for alow-budget horror movie.

Team manager Paul Rungesmiled broadly and said, “For all younew guys, welcome to the minorleagues.”

“When I got off the bus I was ina state of shock,” Butts says. “Ilooked at that place and said, ‘Holycow, you’ve got to be kidding.’”

All aspiring Major Leaguers haveheard horror stories about MinorLeague ball as depicted in movieslike Bull Durham. But nothingprepares them for rookie league, alife of endless bus rides to nowhereto change in locker rooms thatwould be banned in high school,where team-supplied PB&Jsandwiches are a major food groupand third-rate accommodations are astep up.

“That first road trip wasenough to give me some doubts,”Butts says. “I just pushed throughit. I knew it wouldn’t last forever.”

When Butts was called up tothe Braves’ Class-A team in Rome,his attitude improved along withthe surroundings. Before season’send, things got even better whenhe moved to the Braves’ Class-AAdvanced team in Myrtle Beach,S.C. and then joined the Double-AMississippi Braves for the playoffs,pitching mostly in relief stintslasting from four innings to onepitch.

Butts spent a productive 2008season at Myrtle Beach and duringspring training ’09, finally got to

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Brett Butts pitches forthe Mississippi Braves.

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mingle with the Braves’ MajorLeaguers.

“It was like a dream hangingout with my idols like ChipperJones,” he says. “But when they’reat the ball park, they’re just likekids. We played ball and had fun.”

Butts spent all of the ’09season with the Double-AMississippi Braves. Thecompetition got better and so didButts. “Instead of just throwingthe ball, I was learning how toreally pitch,” he says. “That’s whatit’s all about.”

Butts heads for spring traininghoping to spend all or most of2010 at the Braves Triple-A teamin Gwinnett County, the last stopbefore the Major League.

“It may not happen this year,”he says, “but even if it takes a littlelonger I’m still playing baseballand getting paid to do it. That’spretty great.” NCM

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Making Milestones

Before, I’d onlydreamed ofthe pros.Then Istarted tothink I had areal chance.”

– Brett Butts

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Just a little over

20 years ago, John

Barrow’s life was

going nowhere –

literally.He was a habitual violator,

serving a sentence for armed robbery.Then he got busted for selling

drugs to other inmates and was sentto solitary confinement.

There, in “the hole,” Godchanged everything.

Now Barrow is a successfulbusinessman and happy father andhusband with a pardon from theGeorgia Department of Corrections.

More important, he is thefounder of a growing ministry thatstrives to change the lives of menwith addictions and other life-controlling issues by centering theirlives on Christ.

Barrow founded A Better WayMinistries in 2005, with a smallfarmhouse and one moving truck.The men worked on the farm and forA Better Way Moving.

Now there are several movingtrucks, along with A Better WayBread, a thrift store, a sign shop, a

FindingA Better Way

By Sarah Fay Campbell | Photos by Bob Fraley


SethHarper andJohn Gibbswork in ABetterWay’s bodyshop.

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body shop, and the More Than ATable furniture shop.

The men who come to A BetterWay, a 15- to 18-month residentialprogram, work hard.

The focus is on true discipleship.“We teach men how to provide, towork, to pray, to weep, to rejoice,”Barrow said.

Barrow’s love for the TeenChallenge curriculum, which is usedat A Better Way, was formed when heattended the program himself as ateenager.

He’d gone there as a juveniledelinquent. It made a tremendousimpact on him, but wasn’t enough tocure him of his wild ways.

“I ran for another 13 years. Butwhat I saw there, I never could getout of my life, out of my heart,”Barrow said.

He knows what the men whocome to A Better Way are goingthrough. “They really want to dowhat is right,” Barrow said.

“It’s just the flesh, the desires andtemptations of this world, it’s justpulling them,” he said.

“Our ministry here, my lifeministry, is to show men what not todo,” Barrow said.

“A wise man learns from hismistakes. But an even wiser manlearns from the mistakes of others.”

MARCH/APRIL 2010 | 45

John Barrow and his family enjoy a visit tothe chapel on his property. At front are wifeLindsey, Skyler and Brailin, and at back areSelah, John and Noah. Not pictured isdaughter Hollie.

— Photo by Sarah Fay Campbell

A Better Way’s thrift store in Peachtree City

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In “the hole,” the only thing you can have is the Bible.“That’s where I kind of turned it over (to God),” Barrowsaid, explaining that he was tired of how he’d been living.

And everything changed. The remaining years in prison“were the good years,” he said. “They were excellent years.”

“I was happier, right there in prison. I loved it. I wasgetting up early and hitting the weight pile, and layingbricks and talking to God.”

Learning the craft of masonry was the other prison

experience that changed Barrow’s life.After parole, he found work building a Kroger.

But soon, he went into business for himself. Thingswent well and he branched into commercialconstruction and sold a few houses. He also met hisfourth wife, Lindsey.

Barrow built a gym and several shopping centersin Peachtree City. He also purchased Senoia’sHutchinson Hardware. Barrow transformed thebeloved building into five shops, and discoveredwondrous things beneath the floorboards, including aSpanish coin from 1796.

The income from the businesses helps support A


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FCoweta Medical Center at (770) 251-5597.

Danny Brooks,who is trainedas a chef, workswith A BetterWay Bread.

Ryan Cooper and Taylor Turnedge work inthe More Than a Table furniture shop.

A Better Way’s Sign Shop

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MARCH/APRIL 2010 | 47

Better Way, but it’s not yet self-sustaining. Barrow worries thatpeople “think that it has got anendless source of revenue, and itdoesn’t.”

He’s come a long way sinceprison, but the road hasn’t alwaysbeen easy. On Feb. 1, A Better Waylost its vice president, Tony Ingram,to a heart attack.

In 2005, as he was starting theprogram, Barrow experienced thedevastating loss of his son, Joshua.

Barrow wasn’t a part of Joshua’slife until he was 10 years old. Joshuahad always been rebellious and“different.” Despite Barrow’s bestefforts, he couldn’t get through to hisson.

After a stint in the YDC, Joshuachafed under his father’s rules, andleft to live on his own. Barrow heardfrom him now and then; thingsseemed OK. But they weren’t. Joshuawas mixed up with drugs, guns andthe Russian mafia. One day came aterrible phone call. Joshua hadopened fire on the SWAT team thatcame after him; he was killed by ashot to the head.

Joshua’s ashes are buried near thechapel that Barrow built shortly afterbuying his Sharpsburg property. Hisheadstone bears Genesis 50:20.

“What the enemy meant forharm, now God means for good, thatmany people’s lives may be saved,”Barrow said.

“The ministry wasn’t startedbecause of Josh. But he is a goodexample of ‘Hey, if you can learnfrom this … let me tell you a storyabout his choices, or let me pointyou at this grave so you can lookhere. This is real. This may happento you.

“Or you can point them to thatchapel and say ‘There is your answerright there, at the cross. God lovesyou.’” NCM

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{ Coweta Cooks }

By Meredith Leigh Knight | Photos by Jeffrey Leo

For Connie Perkins

Every day is a celebration


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t’s a Tuesday night, and the Perkins family iscelebrating. No, it’s not a birthday or aspecial occasion, it’s an ordinary day, and for

Connie Perkins that’s reason enough tocelebrate.

“Life is hard enough with all its pressure,”explained Perkins. “I believe in looking forsomething to celebrate every single day—whetherit’s because one of the kids (Robyn, Will andBryan) made a good grade on a test, or it’s abeautiful day, or just the fact that we are all heretogether. I look for something every day tocelebrate, so life becomes easier and not as hard.”

Perkins’ philosophy is reflected in her nightlydinner table as well. Little sayings such as “Countyour blessings,” “The flowers of tomorrow are theseeds of today,” and “Do not believe in miracles,rely on them,” adorn each place setting and serveas cheerful reminders that even ordinary meals canbe a celebration.

“I like to focus on the presentation,” saidPerkins. “I try to make it pretty and colorful toaffect the mood in the house. I think it’s a mom’sjob to make meals comforting and to lift thefamily’s spirits. Doing so even makes the food tastebetter.”

Perkins perks up her daily meals by addinglittle, non-expensive touches to her table, includingchanging plates, sometimes using colorful paperplates, sometimes using her mom’s china andsometimes using seasonal theme plates. To brightenher table, she spray-paints terra cotta “chargers” tomatch her color scheme for the evening.

“For me, it takes the drudgery out of the taskof cooking and makes it fun,” said Perkins, whouses simple touches such as bright napkins,balloons, candles, flowers and ribbons on thelemonade pitcher. “I like to change my tableclothsoften as well as laminated placemats that the kidshave made. Sometimes I’ll even use a beach towelon the table. We’ll eat outside; sometimes we eatinside. My family loves it, and it makes them morewilling to taste different foods because it looksbetter.”

Ultimately, no matter what’s on the menu,Perkins believes it’s all in the presentation because,after all, as one of the sayings adorning her tablesays, “Family is one of nature’s masterpieces.”

MARCH/APRIL 2010 | 49

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Package of 12 chicken strips1 cup corn flakes1 regular-size package dry ranchdressing mix1/2 cup Parmesan cheese1/2 stick melted butter


Note: This Louisiana favorite(pronounced “mock shoe”) isdelicious on its own or toppedwith barbecued pork.

1 medium-size sweet onion,chopped1 green bell pepper, chopped1 teaspoon chopped garlic2 teaspoons cayenne pepper2 tablespoons canola oil4 cups fresh corn kernels

Mix corn flakes, ranch dressingmix and cheese. Dip chicken inbutter. Place in bag with dry ingre-dients and shake. Place chicken ingreased glass pan. Bake at 350degrees for 40 minutes.

(about 8 ears; Connie buys thebagged kernels)2 tomatoes, chopped

Sauté onion, bell pepper, garlicand cayenne pepper in hot oil in aDutch oven over medium-high heat10 minutes or until tender. Stir incorn, tomatoes and any seasoning,reduce heat to low. Cover andcook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


2 boxes small-sized ice cream sandwichesSmall container whipped topping1 package toffee candy bar bits

Layer the following ingredients in a 3x5x9inch loaf pan: ice cream sandwiches,whipped topping, toffee candy bar bits.Freeze and slice to serve.

Bryan Perkins enjoys dessert.

Greg Perkins cooks some green beans aspart of the family’s meal.

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MARCH/APRIL 2010 | 51

Home For Sale15 Brookside Drive

This lovely cottage style home, built in 1962, is located in a sought after in-town neighborhood. The first floor features a living room,

dining room, study, kitchen, powder room and a sun room/den - all with wood floors. The upper level has 3 bedrooms and two baths. There is a full basem*nt containing the laundry area, storage and a multi-purpose room which is heated and cooled. The front yard is nicely land-scaped with a sprinkler system and there is a two-car, detached garage with storage above.

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1 stick butter1 cup sour cream2 cups biscuit mix

Combine all ingredients. Fill small muffin tins andbake in 375 degree oven until golden brown.


1 can fruit co*cktail1 large package cream cheese (softened)1 large package strawberry gelatinStrawberries

Drain fruit co*cktail and add water to juice to maketwo cups liquid. Bring liquid to a boil. Pour hot liquidover softened cream cheese, gelatin and fruit co*cktail(in blender). Blend for several minutes. Put in greasedmold or regular Tupperware mold and refrigerate untilset. Add strawberries as garnish. NCM

Connie Perkins adds a dollop of whipped cream to sonWill’s fruit salad.

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y eyes weresqueezed

shut,squeezed so tightly that I could seecolors dancing around on theinside of my eyelids. I thought that

somehow by keeping my eyes closedI could make myself smaller and lessnoticeable. The warmth of the daysifted through my toes as they wiggledinto the sand, but the twilight felt coolas it touched my skin, moved in andamong the thick, woodyvines surrounding me,and chased the dayaway.

I could hearthe faint, far offcalls of the otherchildren as theybattled oneanother to kickmy mother’s old,

battered Criscocan in our nightly

game of Kick theCan. I would wait

out the game hiddenby the dripping of

lavender colored petals. Myfavorite hiding spot was at the

far corner of our yard where ourproperty turned into someone else’s.

We had just moved to Newnan from Atlantaand moved not into a home, but a kindergarten. If you

Story and photos by Katherine McCall

{ The Thoughtful Gardener }

happened to walk or drive downLaGrange Street, our home seemedordinary like all the other homes. Butaround back a huge room spanned thewidth of the house, and it was here thatFrances Mae Cole Davis Orr, known asMiss Mae, conducted her kindergartenfor 31 years from 1947 until 1978.

Whenever I hid in this favored spot Ioften thought of those other children,Miss Mae’s students. I pictured lots ofchildren running and playing in the

sandy yard, stopping to rest andswapping secrets under the

canopy of the wisteria thatstretched the entire length

of the back yard. In mychildish imaginationtheir antics, games andsecret confidenceswere encased by thehuge wisteria as if itwere a living,breathing frame.

Wisteria is theshow-off cousin in

the pea familyproducing beautiful

pendulous racemes ofblooms with colors

ranging from white toshades of lavender, purple and

pink. After the blooms fade, avelvety, brown pod remains which

cannot be eaten. The three most

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MARCH/APRIL 2010 | 53

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common types of wisteria areWisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria),Wisteria floribunda ( Japanesewisteria) and Wisteria frutescens(American wisteria). The plant,originally named Glycinia (from“glykys,” the Greek word for sweet),was renamed in 1818 by theAmerican botanist and zoologistThomas Nuttall after his friend,anatomy professor and physician Dr.Caspar Wistar. It was mistakenlymisspelled with an “e” and so hasbeen commonly spelled wisteriasince that time, although thespelling wistaria can sometimes befound.

The type of wisteria along MissMae’s fence was most likely Chinese,as I remember its blooming beforethe leaves came out, which is ahallmark of that vine. Historically,Chinese wisteria has been the mostcommonly planted here and is oftencalled “the classic wisteria of theSouth.” It was imported fromCanton, China to England in 1816by John Reeves of the East IndiaCompany. Then it made its wayinto American gardens in 1824.

Purportedly, the first Chinesewisteria grown in the South was byP.J. Berckmans of FruitlandNurseries in Augusta. This nurserybecame the Augusta National GolfClub, and the Berckmans vine isstill growing there near theclubhouse. Ted Stevens of NurseriesCaroliniana sells vines propagatedby this plant bearing the nameAugusta’s Pride.

Japanese wisteria, introducedfrom Japan, has blooms whichemerge at the same time as thefoliage and are more fragrant. Bothof these imports are aggressive andfast growing and can reach heightsover 100 feet. Because of this, manyconsider these vines invasive pests.Pruning and training are essential to

Common name: Chinese wisteria, Japanese wisteria,

American wisteria (sometimes Shrubby Glycine or

Carolina Kidney Bean)

Botanical name: Wisteria sinensis , Wisteria floribun-

da, Wisteria frutescens

Description: Deciduous, woody, flowering vine that

grows by twining. Can be grown as a shrub, tree or


Blooms: Japanese and American are fragrant and

Chinese is less fragrant. The hanging blooms resemble

a pea bloom and range in color from white to shades of

lavender, purple and pink.

Cultivation: Wisteria has a reputation for not blooming.

In Gardening in the South, Don Hastings recommends

three steps to help insure blooms. First, only mature

vines produce blooms so when purchasing a plant, a

cutting-grown, budded or grafted plant will give a bet-

ter start than seedlings. Second, plant in full sun and

alkaline soil that receives good drainage and along a

very strong support. This plant can be grown as a tree,

shrub or vine which, again, will be determined by care-

ful pruning and training. Third, root pruning in early

spring, using a high phosphate (6-12-12) fertilizer, and

pruning elongated shoots after bloom will increase the

chances of a bounty of racemes the following spring.

Special notes: Chinese and Japanese wisteria can

become invasive if not properly maintained. American

wisteria is native to Georgia.

{ The Thoughtful Gardener } Plant Index



ex 2/18/1

0 2:32 PM


The Thoughtful Gardener Plant Index

Go to newnancowetamagazine.comto download your next

garden journal page, Wisteria.

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MARCH/APRIL 2010 | 55

keeping these maintained in thegarden.

American wisteria, native fromVirginia to Florida to Texas, wasbrought to England in 1724 byMark Catesby but failed to gainpopularity due to poor blooming inthat climate. American wisteria isnot as aggressive, reaching heights ofonly around 30 feet. The bloomscome later in the spring after thefoliage and the racemes are morecompact and bushy than those of theChinese and Japanese. Because it isnative and less aggressive in nature,the American vine is sometimesthought to be the better choice forSouthern gardens.

Wisteria has a reputation for notblooming. In Gardening in the South,Don Hastings recommends threesteps to help insure blooms. First,only mature vines produce bloomsso when purchasing wisteria, acutting-grown, budded or graftedplant will give a better start than aseedling. Second, plant in full sunand alkaline soil that receives gooddrainage and along a very strongsupport. This plant can be grown asa tree, shrub or vine which, again,will be determined by carefulpruning and training. Third, rootpruning in early spring, using a highphosphate (6-12-12) fertilizer, andpruning elongated shoots afterbloom will increase the chances of abounty of racemes the followingspring.

It is interesting how life, like thewisteria vine, circles. Many of thosechildren in my imagination havebecome my friends. So where I hadonce imagined the lives of MissMae’s students, my friends havereplaced my made-up stories withreal stories of Miss Mae’skindergarten … but still framed, inmy mind, by the dripping purplepetals. NCM

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{ Tina’s Tips }

Story and photos by Tina Neely

Spring is in the air and Easter is right around the corner! Spring luncheons, bridal showers, graduation partiesand teas will soon be on their way. For me, it’s also time to gear up for the annual Ladies’ Spring Luncheon at mychurch. Whether you need ideas for a wedding reception, bridal luncheon, or just a Sunday afternoon girly get-together, you should see what these ladies have done!

Indoor Garden PartyMy twin girls love to see the lovely tables, flowers and themes at our Christmas luncheon, so

for the spring luncheon this year my theme was an indoor garden party with a table for the momsand a pint-sized table for little girls. I was inspired by some wonderful new dishes, Green Talaveraby Maxcera. They were intended as our new everyday dishes and for grilled dinners on the patio,but I couldn’t wait to use them at the luncheon. No chargers needed, these plates are fabulous ontheir own! Colors in the plates were repeated in flowers arranged in glass and wickercandleholders, with glasses and carafes to match. For place cards and take-home gifts for guests, Iused mini burlap sacks of flower seeds with flower markers bearing the guests’ names.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice CreamThis fun table was inspired by an ice cream sundae set. White china

was topped with an ice cream dessert plate, and regular silverwaremixed with ice cream spoons and sundae cups with colored straws. Thecenterpiece was a glass container holding pink gumballs and carnations.(For “ice cream cones,” take the tip off a sugar cone, sticking thecarnation stem through the hole and pushing it up to the top. Use wire togive stability and staying power.) For the “sundaes,” tie togethercarnations and top with shaving cream and a small tomato. (Shavingcream lasts longer and gives a better presentation, just make sure yourguests don’t try a taste test!) White linens topped with hot pink ginghamand chocolate burlap imitate the chocolate and strawberry flavors. Theplace cards are cupcakes baked in the cone, topped with icing andsprinkles with the place card placed on top.

For the girls’ table, I used the salad plates of my newdishes, the water glasses, spoons and shrimp forks from mysilverware pattern. A scaled-down centerpiece wasarranged in a smaller candleholder to match, and instead ofcandles there were M&M’s in clay pots! Rainbows of paperlanterns from the craft store were hung with fishing line anddanced over the tables.

Enjoying their Spring Luncheon are, from left,Courtney Dalton with Caroline and Emerson, Wendy

Creel with Kinsey and Braelin, Tina Neely withHannah and Elizabeth, Melissa Greene with Mallory,

and Brooke Harrell with Mallory and Lydia Grace.


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Gorgeous GraduationThis table was inspired

by girls’ graduation gifts,some Vera Bradley bags inthe Yellow Bird pattern. Astriped tablecloth wastopped with black dishes onsilver chargers and asimple flower arrangementmade by filling a glass vasewith lemons, limes andvarious lengths ofsunflowers. The glasses

were stickered with their monograms, and placecards were made to match usingstationery in the Yellow Bird pattern.

Loving Ladybugs by Angie ShermanPolka-dots galore makes me love it even more! This table featured black

and red paper plates, dotted napkins, touches of lady bugs all over, and evenhand painted pots filled with impatiens for guest gifts.

Seaside Sensational by Jennifer LichtyMy daughters, who think they were born to be Ariel from

the Little Mermaid, found this table to be their favorite. Lovelywhite china, seafoam napkins and a blanket used as a topperwere adorned with real shells and accessories. Makes me wantto head to the beach to stick my feet in the sand!

Bunny Beautiful by Melissa GreeneUsing what you have and using what you love is what makes a table fantastic. Melissa used her everyday bunny dishes with a lovely

pink and green table topper and favorite bunnies of all shapes and sizes. A great centerpiece option is a fresh ivy plant that can be usedlater to add greenery to the house.

Tina Neely, center, celebrates withgraduates Sarah Mitchell, Katelyn Carroll,Julianne Wyrick and Sarah Conklin.

MARCH/APRIL 2010 | 57

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Chocolate Lover’s Dream by Karen CouchThis table was inspired by some beautiful paper plates –

and the love of chocolate. Plates, napkins and placemats areall in chocolate brown, and bowls and bowls of real chocolatefill the table. If you haven’t maxed out yet, there’s a king sizeHershey bar to take home!

Pretty Picnic by Ada CornwellInspired by the quilt, Ada set a table ready for a summer

afternoon in the shade. Paper plates make for quick clean-upand a great summertime look. Mason jars with raffia wait to befilled with fresh lemonade, and pots of impatiens are set to gohome with each guest. A picnic basket of petunias adds morecolor, and antique looking co*ke bottles recall a simpler, slowersummertime.

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MARCH/APRIL 2010 | 59


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Singing Spring by Mitzi CordleThis table just sings spring to me. Mitzi used her beautiful

new dishes, pink placemats, and a silk pink and green tableclothwith handmade napkins to match. There was a gorgeouscenterpiece of tulips and spring flowers and my favorite accent:single flower holders at each place setting with a favorite verseprinted on a pink card.

Walk on the Wild Side by Brooke HarrellThis table is sassy and sweet with its pink and black toile center-piece of carnations and gerbera daisies, zebra print fabric topperand jazzy glasses stickered with hot pink high heels and ribbon.Fabulous guest gift for any fashionista? A black beaded necklaceand earrings! And what you don’t see in the picture is the dazzlingdisco ball hanging above the table that topped it all off! NCM

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{ Saddle Up }

At only 27, AmandaJohnson is already

an experiencedprofessional trainer

with several nationalchampionship wins.

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MARCH/APRIL 2010 | 61

estern or English? A saddlewith a horn or a flat pancakeof leather? Versatile riders like

Amanda Johnson eventually face thequestion: Which riding style do Ichoose? Do I ride English or Western?

“I love the jumpers, but I justhave way more funriding Western andgetting out and chasingcows,” she says. At 27,Amanda is already anexperiencedprofessional trainer,with a nationalchampionship or twounder her Western beltbuckle.

Johnson startedout as a horse-crazykid, begging herparents for ridinglessons. Her parentshad horses when theywere young and herbrothers had once hada pony, but the familywas never that involveduntil Amanda pickedup the reins.

Growing up inTexas, she tried manystyles of riding –Western pleasure,English pleasure,hunters, jumpers, evensidesaddle – before settling backcomfortably into her Western saddle.She went to Texas A&M so she couldmajor in animal science with a focuson equine business. A member of theTexas A&M Stock Horse Team,Johnson was given a horse to train,which she then had to compete in ashow against other college teams at

the end of the year.“That’s when I got interested in

training horses,” she says. “You workevery day after class with your horse.”

While Johnson was in college,her family moved to Douglasville, soafter graduation she followed them to

Georgia. In May 2007, she was hiredas trainer and farm manager atSweetbay Farm in western CowetaCounty.

“Working at Sweetbay Farmreally gave me a boost as far astraining and showing,” Johnson saysof working for Pete and Gail Furniss.She trained and rode one of their top

horses, Starbucks Java, to the 2008American Ranch Horse Association2-Year-Old Ranch RidingChampionship and to the 2008Southeastern National Reining HorseAssociation Affiliate Championship.

Now based at Vessell Farm onWelcome Road,Johnson usually hasfour or five horses intraining as well assome lesson horses.Clients also trailer infor lessons.

AlthoughJohnson’s methodswork with any horse,her first love is theAmerican QuarterHorse, the mostpopular breed inAmerica and one ofthe most adaptable.

Originally bredto handle cattle, thequarter horse is well-suited to theintricate and speedymaneuvers requiredin reining, cutting,barrel racing, calfroping and otherWestern ridingevents. Theircompact, muscledbodies are quick and

agile. But quarter horses are alsoridden as pleasure horses and ashunters. They get their name becausethey can outdistance other breeds at aquarter of a mile and, while thebreed doesn’t compete in theKentucky Derby, quarter horse racingis a multi-million-dollar industry inthe United States.

By Martha A. Woodham | Photos by Bob Fraley

Developing a Happy Horse

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Amanda Johnson rides Junior,above, and at left is Gambler.

Not only are quarter horsesversatile, says Johnson, but they alsohave good minds.

“You can go trail riding, rope a

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MARCH/APRIL 2010 | 63

cow, ride in a parade, and they are socalm about it. They do it willingly.”

Johnson specializes in startingyoung horses under saddle. Sheteaches them to wear a bridle andsaddle and then works on building astrong foundation for the othermaneuvers the horse will need to do.At the end of a 60-day trainingperiod, the horse knows his gaits –walk, trot and lope (a slow, relaxedcanter) – as well as how to back up,to load in a trailer, to tie and otheractivities.

Her young horses are exposed toa variety of experiences, so they knowwhat to expect out in the world. Shenot only works them in the VessellFarm arena and round pen, but shealso takes them on trail rides wherethey encounter traffic, dogs and allkinds of things that can spook ahorse. She even trailers them over to

a friend’s farm to expose them to thecreatures that have played such animportant part in the development ofthe quarter horse: cattle.

“I like to mix it up,” she says,adding that it keeps the horseinterested in learning andunderstanding his job.

For many horses, the next step intraining is reining, often described asa Western form of dressage because itinvolves a series of intricatemovements. In reining competitions,riders guide their horses through a

precise pattern of circles, spins, andstops performed at the lope andgallop. Reining is known for itssplashy sliding stops.

“Not every horse can do it,”Johnson says. “You can’t just take anyold clunker out of the pasture and dothis. Horses are bred for it just likeThoroughbreds are bred for racing.Quarter horses are using their naturalability to do all of these maneuvers.”

The best horse-and-rider teamsmake reining look effortless.

“You do it all on a loose rein soit looks like the rider is barely doinganything at all. It’s really refined.”

Her philosophy of horsetraining can be summed up as“developing a happy horse.”

“Give the horse a job and keepit interesting every day, and you’llhave an experienced, happier horsewhen it’s all said and done.” NCM

Step into a fresh new lifewhere the coffee’s always hot,

and people are always friendly!At Heritage of Peachtree,

all your cares area thing of the past.

Heritage of PeachtreeIndependent & Assisted Living

770-631-34611967 Highway 54 W, Fayetteville

a Royal Gardens CommunityProviding the Very Best in Retirement and Assisted Living

608 Hwy 29, Newnan, GA 30263 770.252.6860 fx [emailprotected]

general practice • lamenessreproduction • emergency

Dr. Jason McLendon, DVM Dr. Matthew Reynolds, DVM

AAEP & AVMA Members

he depends on you.

you can depend on us.

At Southern CrescentEquine, we know howimportant your horse isto you. From lamenessevaluations to reproductionand emergency services,you can count on us toprovide quality care foryour horse’s total health.

You can go trail

riding, rope a cow,

ride in a parade, and they

are so calm about it.”– Amanda Johnson

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Saving CeeCee HoneycuttBy Beth HoffmanPamela Dorman Books, $25.95Reviewed by Holly Jones

All 12-year-old Cecelia “CeeCee”Honeycutt ever wanted was a normallife. She wants a mother who doesn’tparade down the street in prom dress-es reliving past pageant days. Shewants a father who is actually homelong enough to care about the situa-tion. And CeeCee wants a friend,someone she could walk to schoolwith while they talk and tell secrets.

At the beginning of BethHoffman’s first novel, Saving CeeCeeHoneycutt, these are CeeCee’s prayers.She asks God for normalcy. She wantsher father to realize her mother is sickand needs help, and she wants hermother to actually get better.

Instead CeeCee’s mother is killedby an ice cream truck, and CeeCee’sfather sends her to live with her great-aunt Tootie in Savannah because hedoesn’t want her.

These are not exactly theanswers CeeCee was lookingfor in her prayers.

Still, Aunt Tootie is prettycool. She drives a flashy con-vertible with an angel for ahood ornament. Her house inSavannah is filled with amaz-ing rooms, gorgeous furnitureand a huge library. She haseccentric neighbors who arewaging an amusing war involv-ing slugs and bras; and AuntTootie’s housekeeper Olettacan out-cook anyone in theSouth, let alone Savannah.

The problem is, CeeCeedoesn’t know where shebelongs. Tootie’s passion is sav-ing old houses in Savannahthat have been marked fordemolition. Oletta thinksCeeCee is lazy, at least at first,

and doesn’t always approve ofCeeCee’s actions. There isn’t anyonearound CeeCee’s age.

The longer CeeCee isaround Tootie and Oletta, themore she thinks about her lifewith her mother. Her child-hood might not have been nor-mal – it might never be normal– but CeeCee realizes that shewas loved, and with Tootie andOletta around, she always willbe loved.

Hoffman’s novel is, in away, a reverse coming-of-agestory. CeeCee goes from beinga child who had to grow uptoo fast to learning how to bea girl again. She learns whatfamily really means, and thatyou can create your own fami-ly. She learns to laugh and tocry again. But mostly shelearns that God does answerprayers. The answers mightnot be exactly what youexpect, but then again they

can be beyond your expectations.

Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easterBy Lisa PattonThomas Dunne Books, $23.99Reviewed by Holly Jones

Leelee Satterfield of Lisa Patton’sWhistling Dixie in a Nor’easter is aSouthern peach, born and bred.Leelee adores her husband Baker, hertwo daughters, her recently restoredhouse, and her hometown ofMemphis, Tenn. She has three bestfriends she’s known since gradeschool, and membership at the coun-try club. Although her Daddy haspassed away, she knows he’d be proudof her. Her life has turned out exactlyas she planned.

So why on earth is her husband sounhappy he wants to quit his secureinsurance job, sell their gorgeous homeand buy an inn in Vermont? As muchas she might hate it, Leelee’s not going

{ The Bookshelf }

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May/June 2010 Ad Deadlines

Published: May 7, 2010; Contract Ads: March 31, 2010; New Ads: April 9, 2010.

Call 770.683.6397 for details and advertising information.

Main Street Newnan . . . . . .4

Maritime Air Charters . . . .62

Mattressmart . . . . . . . . . . .58

Morgan Jewelers/

Downtown . . . . . . . . . .21

Newnan Academy of

Preschool &

Child Care . . . . . . . . . . .37

Newnan Station Tire &

Service . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

NGTurf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55

Phillips Dental . . . . . . . . . . .41

Piedmont Newnan

Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Radiation Oncology

Services . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

The Ritzy Roost . . . . . . . . . .17

Southern Crescent Equine

Services . . . . . . . . . . . .63

StoneBridge Early Learning

Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24

Super Sand Professional

Topdressing . . . . . . . . .62

Ten East Washington . . . . .21

Uniglobe McIntosh

Travel . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49

University of West

Georgia . . . . . . . . . . . . .29

Valentine Weight Loss &

Wellness Center . . . . .37

Wesley Woods . . . . . . . . . .33

Wedowee Marine . . . . . . .33

Wendell Coffee Golf

and Event Center . . . .13

West Georgia Center for

Plastic Surgery . . . . . .47

Amazing Smiles, P.C. . . . . .59

Atlanta Christian College . .7

Bank of Coweta . . . . . . . . .68

BB&T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

Brown’s Pools &

Spas, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . .58

Carrollton Eye Clinic, P.C. . .24

Center For Allergy &

Asthma . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

The Centre For Performing

& Visual Arts . . . . . . .25

Chin Chin Newnan Chinese

Restaurant . . . . . . . . . .51

The Cotton Pickin’ Fair . . .36

Coweta-Fayette EMC . . . . .67

Coweta Medical Center . .46

Crossroads Podiatry . . . . .36

The Dinoff School for

the Gifted . . . . . . . . . . .21

Discovery Point Child

Development Centers .13

Downtown Church

of Christ . . . . . . . . . . . .47

Farm Bureau Insurance . .43

Franklin Road Animal

Clinic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55

Heritage Retirement Homes

of Peachtree . . . . . . . .63

The Heritage School . . . . .41

Hollberg's Fine Furniture . .13

Joe Williams . . . . . . . . . . . .51

Kimble’s Event By

Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

Landmark Christian

School . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43

Lee-King and Lee-Goodrum

Pharmacies . . . . . . . . .49

to stand in the way of Baker’s dream.Southern ladies don’t do that. So shepacks up everything, and they moveto Vermont. It will be a once-in-a-life-time adventure, right?

Not exactly.First, Helga and Rolf Schloygin,

the previous owners of the VermontHaus Inn Leelee and Baker are buy-ing, refuse to leave. Oh, they’ll letLeelee pay for everything, includingthe mortgage, heating fuel and all thealcohol. She’s just not allowed tochange anything in the place –including the smell. And in Leelee’swords, the inn has an acute case of“houseitosis.” The foyer smells “like amélange of musty upholstered furni-ture, garlic, and propane gas, on topof a profusion of BO.”

Then there are the things that noone told Leelee about Vermont. Sheknew there would be snow, but noone told her about the nor’easters –blinding blizzards that even the snow-plows can’t get through. No one toldher about the ice that slides off theroof when the sun comes out after aheavy snow, sounding like explodingbombs. No one told her about roofrakes or toe warmers, stinging flies,knee-deep mud, or anything elseeveryone seems to expect her to knowthe second she sets foot in the inn.

But the worst thing aboutVermont is that no one told Leeleeher husband would abandon her ontheir anniversary.

Suddenly, the life Leelee is tryingto survive is a nor’easter she can’t seethrough.

Leelee’s friends and Southerngumption won’t let her run and hide,her first instinct. Her second instinctis a lot more practical – and hilarious.Leelee proves it’s possible to whistleDixie in a nor’easter, and that she isone Southern peach who won’t getfrostbite. NCM

MARCH/APRIL 2010 | 65

{ Index of Advertisers }

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{ I am Coweta }

East Coweta sophom*ore Tori Butcher lives and works on Coweta’s only dairy farm. Last October, Tori enjoyed one of her happiestmoments in life thus far. She and her fall heifer calf won the Junior Champion Female prize at Wisconsin’s World Dairy Expo, the“Super Bowl” of cow shows. She won in the Grand International Red and White Junior Show. Tori, 16, also just learned that herheifer was selected Junior All-American, the “best of the best” by the Red & White Dairy Cattle Association. Tori is certain she’llalways be involved in some aspect of dairy farming. “This is my life and I love it,” she said.

What was it like to win at the World Dairy Expo? Honestly, it was like a dream. That is the biggest accomplishment you can getas an exhibitor or breeder. Ever since I was little and first heard about World Dairy Expo it was a dream; what seemed like anunrealistic goal, but I wasn’t going to give up. Most people never get to go at all, and if they do go they have to wait most of theirlife, and here I was a 15-year-old from Senoia, Georgia. Before the show I would tell my daddy (Kirk Butcher), “I’m just happy tobe going. I don’t expect to win.”

What is your winning cow’s name? Beatyview Advent Reyann-Red is her full registered name but I call herRey (Ray or Rae) and she is a purebred Red and White Holstein. Typical Holsteins are black and white

(most people think of them as the Chick-fil-A cows) but Red and Whites are almost becoming theirown breed. The red hair color is just a recessive trait like blonde hair or something like that.

How long have you been showing cows? I started out showing commercial dairy heifersin 4-H. Our dairy just had grade animals, so before we got a team I was interested in I

was 11. Two years later other 4-H’ers became interested, so we now have the CowetaCounty Dairy Show Team.

How much prep work goes into these shows? When we first pick out calves toshow we tie them up in the show barn and halter break them. After they are used

to the halter and they behave alright they have to be trained. They don’t dotricks (ha ha)! The judge will also come up to your heifer or cow and touch herand ask you questions about her so she needs to be worked with so shewon’t freak out when the judge touches her. You need to spend plenty oftime with the animal so you know your heifer or cow so you can correctly

answer questions. Show animals are also washed and clipped for theshow. Washing isn’t so bad but clipping is a pain. The show animals are

also fed a special ration for health and growth. The whole preparationis about 1-2 hours a day and a few hours extra around show time.

What are your other extracurricular activities? I am on the 4-Hshow team, dairy judging team and dairy quiz bowl team. I am alsoa member of the Georgia Holstein Association. I do many things atthe farm like feed up to 53 calves a day.

What are your educational and career plans? I am interested ingoing to college at ABAC (Abraham Baldwin AgriculturalCollege) or UGA and studying dairy science. I am also veryinterested in the genetics of our herd and improving ourpedigrees, so dairy genetics is another interesting topic.

What do you like to do in your free time? Hmmm. Freetime? I like to hang out with my friends, go see a movie,go bowling, go shopping, travel and go to cattle salesor shows, things like that. Most of my time is in theshow ring or at the barn, though.

Are there enough fun things for teens to do inCoweta? When I am out in Newnan, I am pleasedwith the choices of entertainment. There are plen-ty of eating places and shopping, we have a bowl-ing alley and two theaters. What more could youask for? NCM

Tori Butcher By Nichole Golden | Photo by Bob Fraley

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Member FDIC

The challenges of managing your time and money have never been more complex.That’s why we want to offer you banking that’s fast, simple and easy.

Our commitment to serving you has never been more evident. You’ll see it the moment you walk in our doors.

It’s a welcome feeling – from the personal care and attention you receive to the new and informative waywe display information about the products and services we offer to meet your needs.

Plus, as part of the Synovus family, we can offer you a full scope ofInvestment and Mortgage solutions beginning right in our banking lobby.

Anne B. Bell,President and Chief Operating Officerlooks forward to serving youat our main branch.

The registered broker-dealer offering brokerage products for Synovus is Synovus Securities, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment products and services provided by Synovus are offered through Synovus Securities, Inc.,

Synovus Trust Company, N.A., GLOBALT, Inc., Creative Financial Group, Ltd. and Synovus Insurance Services. Investment products and services are not FDIC insured, are not deposits of or obligations of any Synovus Financial

Corp. (SFC) bank, are not guaranteed by any SFC bank and involve investment risk, including possible loss of principal amount invested. Your Synovus-owned bank, Synovus Securities, Inc., Synovus Trust Company, N.A.,

GLOBALT, Inc., Creative Financial Group, Ltd. and Synovus Insurance Services are all part of the Synovus family of companies.

A provider ofSynovus Financial Services

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