Monthly Archives: March 2018

Rock Fore! Dough

Community Groups in Action

logoA perennial fan favorite during Masters Week – Rock Fore! Dough – will take place at Evans Towne Center Park Tuesday, April 3 from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. The concert benefits First Tee of Augusta, the local chapter of the First Tee Network, which provides educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. Rock Fore! Dough is in its 14th year, and past concerts have raised more than $1.5 million for the local First Tee chapter.

Founded in 1997, The First Tee, which now has programs in all 50 states and select international locations, started as a way to bring affordable junior golf programs to youth and communities. However, the network soon discovered that participants were learning valuable life lessons as well. 

Dustin-with-kids-photoThe First Tee of Augusta holds outreach clinics and field trips for local schools, youth development and community organizations. Participants also are introduced to The First Tee’s nine core values – honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment.

“The nine core values of First Tee are closely aligned with those of CallingPost, and are fundamental values that make America great,” says Phil Alexander, CallingPost founder.

concertThis year’s concert will include performances by Scotty McCreery, Jordan Davis, Shaun Piazza, DJ Rock and the first ever “Jacket Jam” band featuring artist and celebrity appearances. 

“Every artist that plays at Rock Fore! Dough is donating his or her time to The First Tee of Augusta,” says Joe Stevenson, event producer. “I’m blown away by the support this event has received over the years and excited we have the opportunity to bring some new names to the stage this Masters Week.”

First-Tee-Colina-Park-97-e1472155263469Advance tickets, which cost $29, are available at First Tee of Augusta and all area Kroger stores. Day-of-show tickets will be sold for $39 online and at the gate.  For more information, visit

Justin Hayes


KaterwerksExecutive Chef for Jones Creek Golf Club, Katerwerks Events and Hospitality, and Cork and Flame 

Number of years in position: 3

Family: Grandmother, Ellie; mother, Susan

Why I’m Passionate About What I Do: Passion is not taught; it comes from within. I’ve done my best to harness this gift and apply it to every aspect of my culinary career. With no allegiance to a particular style of cooking, my attention is captivated as long as the ingredients are sourced properly and cooked with purpose, balance, finesse and respect. I’ve harnessed my passion and honed my culinary skills while building a reputation for preparing seasonal items with innovative techniques. 

After initially studying with American Academy Award Chef Heinz Sowinski, I worked under Master Chef Marcel Biro and then pursued additional education under Chef Biro’s mentor in Germany, Master Chef Robert Rauh. After returning to Augusta, I began working with JCI Management, which operates Jones Creek Golf Club and Katerwerks Events and Hospitality. I remain dedicated to my craft and continue to enchant guests with innovative culinary creations. My team has been voted Best Caterer in Columbia County for 2016 and 2017. 

Community Groups and Charities I Love to Support: (1) SafeHomes of Augusta, which empowers our community to take a stand against domestic violence and supports victims as they transform their lives into survivors. (2) American Junior Golf Association, which is committed to providing a platform for high school students to gain exposure to college coaches on the golf course and enable them to receive college scholarships, thereby furthering their education. I`ve personally had the opportunity to work with both organizations through the support of Jones Creek and Katerwerks.

Biggest Career or Life Obstacle I’ve Overcome and How: So far…my externship to Germany. As an eager novice chef, I decided when I was 24 to jump on a plane and travel 5,000 miles away with $1,000 in my pocket to study under a master chef in Germany. I spoke very little German and quickly discovered my miscalculations regarding the ease of this transition. I had to adapt to the cultural changes around me, but always found reassurance and solace in my one true love — the kitchen. Cooking transcends cultural barriers. 

Accomplishment I’m Most Proud Of: Finding a group of people who believe in me enough to invest in what will be Columbia County’s premier restaurant, Cork and Flame, which will open soon.

What Your Childhood Self Wanted to Be When You Grew Up: Shortstop for the Atlanta Braves

Favorite Way to Spend Saturday Afternoon: Preparing the season’s finest ingredients with my colleagues in anticipation of our first guests to arrive.

Favorite TV Show: “No Reservations”

Favorite Movie: Anything by Wes Anderson

Favorite Sports Team: Go Dawgs!

Favorite Comfort Food: Oma’s Goulash

Favorite Apps: Instagram, Amazon and OpenTable 

Last Book Read: Love Is a Dog from Hell by Charles Bukowski 

Dream Vacation: I want to hike the Camino de Santiago in order to get away, enjoy a slower pace of life and to have time to think and reflect. 

Something That Has Changed My Life: Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else`s life.” I`ve spent the last 12 years of my life in and out of kitchens, helping with the success of other chefs. I`m finally on the cusp of building my own success, and I can’t say that it has been one event or action that has changed my life, but the guidance of my mentors along the way.

Best Thing I Ever Learned: You`re only as good as your last dish served. 

One Word You Would Use to Describe Yourself: Motivated

Favorite Hobbies: I`ll let you know when I find the time.

Secret Aspiration: James Beard Foundation Award nomination

Reality Show I Would Totally Win: “Shark Tank”

Something People Would Be Surprised to Know About Me: I have a tattoo of a 1960s children’s book — The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

Art & Sole

Photos courtesy of Carrie Brooks

Photos courtesy of Carrie Brooks

From illustrating a children’s book to selling prints of her paintings for worthy causes, a Martinez artist and runner uses her talents to give back to the community.

Some people would love to be artistic. Others dream of being athletic. Some, like Martinez resident Carrie Brooks, are lucky enough to be both.

As a child she watched her mother make dolls in her art studio and her dad work in his woodshop, so art runs through her veins. Her maternal grandfather was a portrait artist, and her maternal grandmother was a greeting card illustrator.

“Since I was a little kid, I have been making art,” Carrie says. “Before I could even write my name, I was making art. 

As an adult Carrie, who teaches ceramics at Lakeside High School – her alma mater – took up running “to keep her sanity.”

1Alice-In-WonderlandPainting with Purpose 
She also intermingles her talents to make a difference in the community. She often creates paintings, along with signed and numbered prints to sell for charity, to commemorate events she participates in such as the Augusta University Half Marathon, 10K and 5K race and the Ironman 70.3 Augusta (She has participated in the triathlon since it began in 2009.)

“I started using my art as a way to raise money,” says Carrie. “I’ve been motivated athletically to make art. When someone gets something for their donation, they’re more likely to donate.”

She has raised more than $10,000 for various endurance events by selling prints of her art that relate to the races. Often, she will paint scenes that she sees along race routes. “People like to buy prints because they’re symbolic of something they did,” Carrie says. “They like to put up prints in their house that remind them of something they worked for. It’s something besides a medal or a T-shirt.”

Carrie has raised $1,700 for the Scott Rigsby Foundation, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that promotes health and fitness for people with physical disabilities, by selling prints of her artwork. Rigsby lost his legs in an automobile accident when he was 18 years old, and his foundation also trains disabled people to participate the Ironman 70.3 Augusta.

“It motivates me in my art, and it gives me a reason to train besides staying in shape,” Carrie says of running. “Just making art to make a buck doesn’t motivate me.”

Covenant-Presbyterian-SanctuaryShe sold prints through the Augusta Striders website to raise money for a bronze memorial, which includes a soldier’s boots, rifle and helmet, near the pedestrian bridge at Savannah Rapids Pavilion in honor of Major Michael Donahue. An active member of the local running community when he was stationed at Fort Gordon from 2009 to 2012, Donahue was killed in Afghanistan in 2014. The memorial was dedicated July 4, 2015 before the start of the Yankee Doodle Dash on the canal tow path, and Carrie, whose father is a Vietnam veteran, spoke at the ceremony.

She even raised money for a kiln for her ceramics classroom by selling prints of the Lakeside seal and panther mascot to commemorate her 20th high school reunion last year.

Her prints not only hang on walls, however. Carrie also illustrated the children’s book Manners and More for Girls by Gail Reed, a retired 42-year educator who taught at Blue Ridge Elementary School. She did 19 illustrations for the book, working on them from January until August 2016. The book was published in January 2017.

“Gail was very specific about her vision. She had already published two other books,” says Carrie.

She took on the project even though she has been apprehensive about doing portraits ever since she got a stinging critique about her portraiture from a college professor. However, she decided to take her own advice.

“I tell my students they have to practice to get better,” she says. “I just knew I had to paint little girls for the book. Gail didn’t say what they had to look like. I have a hard time copying likeness, but I can make a face look human. It’s a challenge for me to paint faces, but I know I can do it if I have to.”

Shoe-SeriesSome of the girls in the illustrations look like Carrie’s two nieces, and one of them looks like a young Carrie.

“It was an awesome project to be a part of. It made me want to write and illustrate my own book one day,” she says. “It was such a growth opportunity.”

Getting Series-ous
Carrie has completed other series of paintings as well. “I like working on multiple paintings at one time, but within a certain theme,” she says. “I can go back and forth between the paintings and experiment with an idea.”

She completed a Time and Space series, which she painted on old wooden cabinet doors that she found at a secondhand store, in 2010. “When I did the Time and Space series, I was running downtown several times a week and kept marveling at all the historically rich buildings along my route. The Miller Theater was in the early stages of being renovated, and the idea of architecture and history and time was at the forefront of my mind,” she says.

The idea also inspired her to visit a clock store downtown, where the personnel donated clock parts to her.

“Clock parts are timeless and historical, and I have been collecting clock pieces for five or six years,” she says. “I love to incorporate mixed media things in my paintings.”

Two years ago Carrie had a show at the Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta in the city Municipal Center. Inspired by her running, the exhibit featured a series of shoe paintings on old, 2-foot-by-2-foot wooden planks. “I liked the connection between the shoes and the floorboards,” she says. “Every one of the paintings tells a story.”

For instance, one of the paintings shows her cat with her running shoes (Brooks brand, of course). “My cat likes to stick her face in my running shoes,” Carrie says. “That’s a sign of unconditional love.”

She also has finished the first of a 10-painting series that she plans to do of sanctuary interiors of local churches. The painting depicts the interior of Covenant Presbyterian Church, where she and her husband, Bo Golden, were married five years ago.

Miller-Time“You always see paintings of the outside of churches, but the inside is where people are saved. That’s where people’s lives and hearts are healed,” Carrie says. “I have had friends that have had important transformations in their lives because of church.”

Carrie, who also taught photography in the past, frequently takes photographs of scenes from different angles with her smartphone and paints from those images. She paints primarily with acrylics because they dry quickly, and she likes to incorporate lots of color in her artwork.

“Color appeals to me. Color speaks to people,” says Carrie. “I can’t pick, so I just use all of them.”

That ‘Aha’ Moment
While she prefers painting for her own pleasure, ceramics is her favorite medium to teach. When she was a little girl, her mother often gave her clay to mold.

“Ceramics hasn’t changed a lot in 2,000 years,” says Carrie, who also leads trips abroad during the summer. “I like the longevity and sustainability of ceramics. You learn about cultures through ceramics.”

She has 180 students, ranging from first- to fourth-year students, and her classrooms have included everyone from valedictorians to special needs students.

“Ceramics lends itself to beginners. It’s a step-by-step process,” she says. “When people have the medium all over their hands, it means something to them. I want my students to make things that are meaningful to them. If there’s no point behind it, they’re not vested in it.”

Her own struggles have helped her in her career as well. Carrie was diagnosed with dyslexia in college and attention deficit disorder when she was in graduate school.

“Creative students can compensate for disabilities, but it made a lot of things make a lot of sense,” she says. “If you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, of course it’s going to feel stupid. There are different ways that kids learn, and you have to find a way that makes sense to them.”

She encourages her students to work within parameters because they “can be more creative with some parameters than with full freedom.” However, she says, they don’t have to know the end result when they start a project.

“Making art is a metaphor for life. Things don’t always go according to plan,” says Carrie. “I like allowing kids to discover that they have an artistic side. I like to watch that ‘aha’ moment. I see the stress leave their shoulders when they walk through that classroom door.”

She had an “aha” moment of her own after her first year of teaching. She wasn’t making time for her artwork, and she had not started running yet. She was simply in “survival mode,” and she realized that something was missing from her life. Now, however, everything has tied together.

“Running inspires my art. Art inspires my running,” Carries says. “Teaching inspires everything else.”

By Betsy Gilliland

Rustic Riverside Refuge

In The Home
Photography by Sally Kolar

Photography by Sally Kolar

An eclectic mix of old and new – along with soothing surroundings – make this River Island home a relaxing retreat. 

Evans resident Tracy Webb has lived and worked all across the world from France, Australia and India to Wisconsin, California and Delaware in the United States. She has lived in many houses along the way, but she has found a home in River Island.

“This is the second time I’ve built this house,” she says. 

She had lived in a house at the River Club in North Augusta with a similar floorplan, but she made a few tweaks two years ago when she built the home the second time around. She enlarged the kitchen, added a breakfast nook, took out a wall and built a detached, rather than an attached, garage. The River Island house and porch are wider as well.

“I didn’t want a traditional house. I wanted more of a ‘lofty’ house with rustic floors and an old feel,” says Tracy.

Living-Area-1Waterside View
While the house was under construction she purchased furnishings and décor from a variety of sources. “Amazon was my friend,” Tracy says. “Nothing is matchy-matchy in here. It just had to all come together.”

Did it ever. From family mementoes and novel travel souvenirs to accessories she found online and repurposed furnishings, Tracy pulled together an eclectic mix of old and new to showcase her style.

Of course, Mother Nature had a hand in the home’s ambiance as well. Overlooking Jones Creek and the Savannah River, the house takes advantage of the lot that Tracy owned for 11 years before she finally built on it.

“I love water. It’s just a calming thing,” she says.

Her favorite spots in the house are the breakfast nook and kitchen, where she can see the water and watch wildlife such as cranes and beavers through the windows. 

“I didn’t want any grids in the windows, but the neighborhood association says you have to have grids, so I put them in the top,” says Tracy. “I love all the light and the view. I see good sunrises and good sunsets. I leave the doors open when the weather is nice.”

Transom windows above the five-paneled doors throughout the house illustrate her penchant for openness as well.

KitchenThe light, airy kitchen features marble countertops, stainless steel appliances, a subway glass tile backsplash, lighting under the glass-front cabinets and ship lantern light fixtures – two above the island and one above the farmhouse sink with an industrial faucet.

“I wanted a huge island. I wanted it long like a table,” says Tracy. “And I put drawers everywhere. I don’t like crawling through cabinets.”

The island includes a distressed finish, a wine rack and shelving, and the walk-in pantry features a reeded glass door and an automatic electronic light. A coffered ceiling extends from the kitchen to the breakfast nook.

Tucked in the corner of the breakfast nook, the repurposed table is an old cotton wheel on a sewing machine base. A piece of round glass sits on top. Tracy found the glass-topped table at an antique store in Madison, Georgia. “My daughter and I stuffed it in my Jeep and brought it home,” she says. 

A little divine providence helped their cause. When they were trying to fit the table into the Jeep, an Aiken man that Tracy had met on a flight back from Denver two days earlier happened to walk past and offered his assistance. “It pays to be nice to everybody,” she says.

The Art of Family
From the blue-gray walls to the ebony stain on the oak flooring, the house is full of elements that are as calming as the water outside as well.

“I didn’t want the floors to be pristine because my kids have dogs, and they bring them over,” Tracy says. “I wanted an ‘I don’t care’ floor with knots in it.”

The importance of family, which includes her grown children, Gregory Jones and Caroline Mickley, is evident throughout the house. And this sentiment extends to previous generations. Tracy has a collection of woodblock prints from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s by her maternal great-grandfather, Glenn Wheete, and her step-great-grandmother, Treva. They lived in Santa Fe, and most of his artwork depicts life in the Southwest. She made primarily floral prints. Her dad did the pencil artwork above the bed in the upstairs bedroom.

Tracy has artists on both sides of her family, and Caroline is in graduate school at Savannah College of Art and Design. Her grandfather, who worked for Kimberly-Clark, designed the pattern on a brown, foil-looking oblong Kleenex box that was popular in the 1970s. 

“I got the math gene,” says Tracy, who works in project controls for Longenecker & Associates. “I didn’t get the artist gene.”

A photo of Tracy’s late daughter, Alison Jones, sits on a tabletop in the master bedroom, and a framed note from Alison to her mother hangs on the wall by the door. “She used to leave me notes with my cup of tea every morning,” says Tracy. “And I put notes in my children’s lunches every day.” 

Family photos dominate the built-in bookcase in the foyer, and it also is not unusual for the house to be full of friends and family members in the flesh. Tracy invites 30 family members to her house for Thanksgiving dinner, but she enjoys entertaining year-round.

“I can use the inside and outside of the house all the time because the weather is so nice,” she says.

The screened-in back porch features a gas stone fireplace, wicker chairs and table, two chaise lounges, Travertine tile flooring, a tongue-and-groove pine ceiling and a twin turbo ceiling fan. 

The neighborhood walking trail also meanders along the water behind Tracy’s house. “It’s a great neighborhood for getting out and walking or just sitting and relaxing,” she says.

Dining-AreaKeepsakes and Collectibles
The main living area, which features a two-story ceiling, overlooks the water as well. Accessories include pieces from Australia such as an Aborigine painting on the wall and a didgeridoo, an Australian wind instrument, on the fireplace mantel.

Ray Fitzgerald, who did the trim work in Tracy’s house, worked on the fireplace while she was in Australia. Her son sent her a picture of it while it was under construction, but then Fitzgerald told him, “No more pictures. I want your mother to be surprised.” (She was, and she loves it.) 

Tracy has more mementoes from her globe-trotting in the foyer. A glass-front keepsake cabinet holds her collection of crosses, which includes a cross from the Vatican, another one from Mexico and a bishop’s cross from Ethiopia (which she bought in Sedona, Arizona). In the cabinet, she has a couple of camel bone dishes that she got in India as well. She also has a silk rug from India in the upstairs bedroom. 

Two colorful fish rubbing pictures of a lobster and a crab hang on the entryway walls. A tobacco ladder leans against a chest.

Another built-in bookcase shelf in the foyer holds University of Georgia memorabilia such as a lithograph of a bulldog. One of Tracy’s prized possessions, the lithograph was signed by members of the 1980 national championship football team including Herschel Walker, Lindsay Scott and Buck Belue. 

More woodblock prints by her great-grandfather and his wife hang on the walls in the master bedroom. A painting of a little girl in a pink dress by Mexican artist Gustavo Montoya, which had been in her grandfather’s house, hangs in a prominent spot on one wall. “That painting was the one thing I wanted from my grandfather’s house,” says Tracy. 

Even her basket-woven clothes hamper, which is topped with a sombrero, adds a bit of Southwestern flair to the room.

Master-BedroomThe bedroom also features a high chair rail, wainscoting on the walls, black shutters, an upholstered headboard on the bed and demi-lune bedside tables. 

The wainscoting extends into the master bath, which includes two separate vanities with rectangular vessel sinks, marble countertops, pulley-weighted light fixtures, black shutters, metal framed mirrors and a reeded glass door.

A stand-alone tub is situated next to a free-standing, gold-colored fixture that includes a handheld faucet. And that tub prompted an important question from Tracy during construction. “I said, ‘I’m getting a soaking tub, and I’m using it every day. Do I need extra support under the floor?’” she asked. (She did not.) 

Garage Getaway
When she wants to retreat to another space at home, Tracy can relax in the apartment above the detached garage. “It’s another place to get away, but I don’t know who I’m getting away from,” she says.

A tin roof covers a tongue-and-groove pine ceiling to the front porch and adjoining walkway that leads to the garage apartment. A Dutch door opens to the stairs that climb up to the apartment. Tracy fell in love with Dutch doors when she worked in California and lived with a couple that had Dutch doors that opened to the outside in every bedroom.

The apartment features an oak floor, a bed with an iron frame, a sitting area, two ceiling fans, a turntable and her collection of vinyl records, a walk-in closet with a knotty pine door and an efficiency kitchen. 

The kitchen includes a granite countertop, bead board cabinets with an old world finish, a two-burner stovetop and a wine cooler. A drafting table and two drafting stools provide dining space. And even though Tracy bought the table and stools separately, they look like they were made to be together.

A barn door leads to the bath, which features a brick floor, marble countertop, two pendant lights and a copper sink. 

From the breakfast nook to the tub to the garage apartment, Tracy can relax just about anywhere in her home.

“I like this neighborhood. The people are friendly. I have thought about selling the house because it has more space than I need, but I would just move into another house in River Island,” she says. “There’s no other place in Columbia County I would rather be.”


By Sarah James

Zucchini & Cheese Bake


Preheat oven to 375. In large bowl mix zucchini, onion and pepper. In a smaller bowl beat eggs with oil until combined. Add to vegetable mixture and stir until combined, then add baking mix and cheese. Stir well until baking mix is fully moistened, then season with salt and pepper. Pour into greased rectangular pan and top with more grated cheese; bake 45 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly, then cut into squares and serve warm. Makes 6-8 servings.