Monthly Archives: October 2018

Tribute to Veterans

People

Carol-with-bench-A-A mosaic artist honors veterans with a patriotic bench at the All Wars Memorial.

Veterans Day is a time to remember all service members, and local artist Carol Ayer is using her talents to show her appreciation for the sacrifices of area soldiers.

In an 80-hour project, Ayer recently covered a 61-inch-by-13-inch bench at the All Wars Memorial in Augusta with a mosaic design that features an American eagle and an American flag.

“I’m doing it as a gift to the community and to create mosaic artwork in the city,” she says.

She began working on the bench in September and finished it in early October. “I used tile instead of glass because tile is a better surface for seating and a more durable material for the outdoors,” Ayer says. “I had to do it in three pieces to transport it because it’s so big.”

She hopes to secure funding to create more mosaic benches at other local memorials including a Vietnam War Memorial, which the city of Augusta plans to erect downtown. Excess funds that are raised for the memorial can be used to finance the bench projects.

More than 15,000 area men and women served in Vietnam, and 163 of them made the ultimate sacrifice and never returned home. For more information about the Vietnam War Memorial or to make a contribution, visit vwmi-augusta.org.

Sweet Pumpkin Pancakes

Entrees
  • Sweet-Pumpkin-Pancakes2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 4 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • Confectioners sugar
  • Syrup 

Preheat skillet or griddle over medium heat and coat with nonstick spray. Heat oven to 180 degrees. Using a mixer, combine eggs, buttermilk, butter, pumpkin, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto hot skillet or griddle for each pancake and cook 1-2 minutes until batter stops bubbling and edges begin to harden. Flip pancakes (they should be golden brown) and cook other side 1-2 minutes more until golden brown. Place cooked pancakes on oven-safe plate or baking sheet and keep warm in oven while cooking the next batch. When all pancakes are cooked, sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve warm with syrup. Makes 16 pancakes.

Packed House

LIFE + STYLE

Annie-Moses-BandIconic music from the ’70s, along with a Christmas show, will fill up your senses at the Jabez. 

From tribute artists to Christmas tunes, the Hardin Performing Arts Center will be stayin’ alive with music this month when a quartet of musical groups comes to Evans. 

The first of the four – Bee Gees Gold, The Tribute – is scheduled for Friday, November 2. With the detailed vocal stylings of John Acosta (Barry), Daryl Borges (Robin) and Jeff Celentano (Maurice) as the brothers Gibb, the trio will recreate the look and sound of the Bee Gees with hits like “Massachusetts,” “I Started a Joke,” “Stayin’ Alive” and “You Should Be Dancing.” Tickets are $39.50. 

The John Denver Musical Tribute with Ted Vigel is slated for Friday, November 9. Vigel won a celebrity look-alike contest in 2007 when he appeared as Denver, and afterward started planning a tribute show to the music icon. From 2010 to 2014, he toured with Denver’s lead guitar player, the late Steve Weisberg. “It was like working with John again,” Weisberg said at the time. Tickets are $39.50.

Live and Let Die, a Tribute to Paul McCartney featuring Tony Kishman will take place Friday, November 16. Kishman starred in the national and international tours of Broadway’s smash hit, “Beatlemania,” for years, and he also performs in the International Symphonic Beatles production, “Classical Mystery Tour.” Tickets are $44.50.

Finally, the Annie Moses Band will perform a blend of folk and classical music in its Christmas-themed show Wednesday, November 28. The band, made up of musicians from the same family, call their style “chamber pop,” a blend of classical, jazz and pop, mixed with some good, old-fashioned country. Tickets are $49. 

All concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center. Dinner reservations also can be made for a meal at the center before each show. For more information or to order tickets, visit augustaamusements.com or call (706) 726-0366.

2018 County Fair Schedule

LIFE + STYLE

Candy-applesThe Columbia County Fair kicks off November 1 with new attractions that include Jurassic Kingdom, Banana Derby and ZEGA the Robot. Proceeds benefit area charities and provide scholarships to seniors from each Columbia County public high school. For more information, visit columbiacountyfair.net.

Thursday, November 1
Hours: 4-11 p.m.

Admission: $7; free admission 4-4:45 p.m.

Unlimited Rides: $20

FFA Judging: 6 p.m.

Musical Entertainment: Elvis tribute artist Jason Sikes – 7 p.m.

Friday, November 2
Hours: 5 p.m. – midnight

Admission: $7

Unlimited Rides: $20 from 9 p.m.-midnight

Musical Entertainment: Love & the Outcome

Senior Night: $5 admission for adults 55 and older with ID card

Saturday, November 3
Hours: 11 a.m. – midnight

Admission: $7

Unlimited Rides: Buy unlimited ride stamp 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for $30 and use it all day

Free Ride Special: All rides free 11 a.m.-noon

Musical Entertainment: Tony Howard’s Motown Review – 7 p.m.

Sunday, November 4
Hours: 1 – 11 p.m.

Admission: $7; $2 off with church bulletin

Unlimited Rides: $20

Musical Entertainment: Little Roy and Lizzie, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Monday, November 5
Hours: 5 – 11 p.m.

Admission: $7

Unlimited Rides: $20

Demolition Derby: 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 6
Hours: 4 – 11 p.m.

Admission: $7 or free admission with 8 cans for the food bank

Unlimited Rides: $15 if purchased 4-4:30 p.m.; $20 after 4:30 p.m.

Musical Entertainment: Dayz to Come – 7 p.m.

Wednesday, November 7
Hours: 5 – 11 p.m.

Admission: $7

Unlimited Rides: $20

Musical Entertainment: Mr. Haney

UGA Georgettes Dance Team: 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, November 8
Hours: 5 – 11 p.m.

Admission: $7

Unlimited Rides: $20

Musical Entertainment: Bethany & the Southside Boys – 7 p.m.

Friday, November 9
Hours: 5 p.m. – midnight

Admission: $7

Unlimited Rides: $20 from 9 p.m.-midnight

Demolition Derby: 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 10
Hours: 11 a.m. – midnight

Admission: $7

Free Ride Special: All rides free 11 a.m.-noon

Unlimited Rides: Buy unlimited ride pass between 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for $30 and use it all day

Musical Entertainment: Mayhem on a Monday

Chainsaw Carving Auction: 9 p.m. 

Sunday, November 11
Hours: 1-11 p.m.

Admission: $7

Unlimited Rides: $20

Military Appreciation Night: $4 admission with military ID

Beatles Vs. Stones

LIFE + STYLE

beatles vs stonesThe boys next door take on the bad boys of rock in a musical showdown for stage superiority.

The debate between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones has raged ever since the two groups first crossed paths on the charts 54 years ago. Back in the day, the Beatles were regarded as the mop-topped boys next door while the Stones were the bad boys of rock. Pop versus rock. 

To settle which band reigns supreme once and for all, maybe, two tribute bands – Abbey Road and Satisfaction – will put on a musical showdown.

“Music fans never had a chance to see the Beatles and the Rolling Stones perform on the same marquee,” says Chris Legrand, who plays Mick Jagger. “Now, music aficionados can watch this debate play out on stage.”

The show, which has been touring since 2011, is part of a 110-stop tour of the United States, Australia and Canada. The production includes some of the more popular songs from the two rock pioneers and covers the scope of their musical careers. However, the set list for Satisfaction usually includes Rolling Stones songs up to the 1980s. 

“They certainly have more pop songs, but we’re a really great live show. The fans are in for an incredible night of music,” says LeGrand.

During the two-hour show, the bands perform three sets each, ending the night with an all-out encore involving both bands. There’s a lot of good-natured jabbing between the bands as well.

“Without Beatlemania, the Stones might still be a cover band in London,” said Chris Overall, who plays Paul. “There’s no question that the Beatles set the standard. It’s just a fun time and a cool back-and-forth, nonstop show.” 

Legrand agrees. “We’re going to bring it all,” he says. “It’s going to be an evening of high-energy music.”

If You Go:
What: Beatles Vs. Stones, a Musical Showdown

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 10

Where: Imperial Theatre

How Much: $25 – $65

More Info: (706) 722-8341 or imperialtheatre.com

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Literary Loop

crawdadsFor years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl.

But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life — until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps. 

“Lyrical,” says Booklist. “Its appeal rises from Kya’s deep connection to the place where she makes her home, and to all of its creatures.”

“Slow down and let this lush nature-focused story unspool,” says Garden & Gun. “A mystery will pull you along, but stay awhile in the descriptions of shifting tides, shell collections and the mottled light of coastal Carolina.”

Bottle It In — Kurt Vile

Listen To This

kurt-vile-bottle-it-inAmerican rock ‘n’ roll is surely not dead. Thanks to Kurt Vile, the insurgence of pure heart-rock-folk is re-exploring territory originally cultivated by the likes of Jackson Brown and Bob Dylan. 

Vile’s eighth studio release, Bottle It In, is probably one of the finest releases of 2018. With 13 musically refreshing, lyrically stout and steel-cable-tight songs of raw emotion, it is inspired by the nuances of life and love. 

His unpolished, sturdy, low-fi vocals slink around the gentle power chords and jangle loops to create a deep tread that grips the rocky terrain of every track, creating a vibe that is infectious and endearing. Jazzy improvisations crescendo into fuzzy-lush, melodic tones of structured hooks that make you long for more. 

Like a perfect batch of goulash, every track is superbly seasoned and cooked, serving up warm spoonsful of soul that leave you satisfied inside. It’s the perfect soundtrack for welcoming long sleeves, fire pits and road trips into the holiday season.

– Chris Rucker

Football, Film & Standing in for Burt Reynolds

Features
Photos courtesy of Stan Byrdy, Donnie Hixon and Georgia State Prison at Reidsville

Photos courtesy of Stan Byrdy, Donnie Hixon and Georgia State Prison at Reidsville

A Martinez resident recalls his gridiron glory days, Hollywood-style.
To hear Columbia County resident Donnie Hixon tell it, the best days of his life were those spent at the Georgia State Prison at Reidsville in the fall of 1973. It is also where Hixon received numerous punishing blows to his body over the course of five weeks.

After one such barrage early after his arrival in which he was nearly knocked out, Hixon recalls thinking to himself, “What the hell am I doing here?”

3.-Hixon-&-ReynoldsHowever, his time spent inside the walls of the maximum security prison, a massive, white structure situated about 110 miles south of Augusta, was of his own volition. He was part of the cast of The Longest Yard, the box office sensation that starred budding movie icon Burt Reynolds.

And not just in any role, mind you. Hixon, a former semi-pro quarterback was selected as Reynolds’ stand-in double for the film, a role that the Augusta native says he was honored to play.

2.-Eddie-Albert-(Warden-Hazen)-with-Hixon“Let’s make this clear,” says Hixon, “he didn’t need me or anyone else to stand in for him. Had they let him, he would have been two times better — he was that good of an athlete. Being his stand-in was an honor, and like my time spent in the Marines, it would turn out to be another life-changing experience for me.” 

Like a Dream
Reynolds, who died in September at age 82, played college football at Florida State, and the chance to return to the gridiron as a quarterback in a major motion picture was a dream come true. Hixon had been a standout football player in the Marines and afterwards as quarterback with the Augusta Eagles semi-pro team. As luck would have it, a select number of Hixon’s teammates also were chosen to take part in the film.

ID-frontAfter a prison riot in Oklahoma at the movie’s original prospective location, the Reidsville facility was hurriedly selected as a replacement.

As Reynolds’ stand-in, Hixon took the physically punishing shots from a cast of former NFL greats, including fearsome Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Nitschke.

on-the-setReynolds and Hixon both donned number 22 jerseys in the film, but after calling the signals at quarterback, the actor went back to the sidelines and watched from an easy chair as the other number 22 took the ensuing blows. Both were in great shape, and looked enough alike that with helmets on and slick film editing, it was nearly impossible to differentiate between the two onscreen. Defensive players didn’t care which number 22 they tackled — they just wanted a shot at whichever pretty boy was toting the football. 

4.-Reynolds-HixonHixon admits to not getting much sleep the night before heading off to the prison, and he was nervous on his drive to Reidsville. “Working with Burt Reynolds?… you’ve got be kidding.” It felt like a dream.

“Prior to reporting to Reidsville Prison for filming,” Hixon recalls, “I was told the movie with Burt was going to be a football game played inside the prison between inmates and guards. When I first heard this I thought to myself, ‘That’s going to be a hell of a game.’ At first, this sounded very dangerous to me — what if a riot breaks out like the one at the prison in Oklahoma? Maybe that’s why I got selected, because others turned my role down. Up until the time I reported to Reidsville, I thought the movie people were taking a hell of a chance — filming a football game inside the walls of a maximum security prison… would have to be very risky.… There were a lot more prisoners there than us.” 

6.-Actor-Richard-Kiel-(right)Protection for the star-studded cast of actors and former professional football stars that converged on Reidsville was job one for the Georgia Department of Corrections. Still, Hixon’s mind was set. 

“After weighing all this, I admit I did have some concerns, but never any second thoughts about taking part in the film. After all, ‘I can’t turn down a once in a lifetime opportunity like this, one that doesn’t come along every day. I’ve got to go for it, it can’t be that unsafe,’ I kept telling myself. As it turned out, the only person I would need to fear was Green Bay Packer legend, Ray Nitschke, and not the prisoners.”

After all, it was Nitschke who delivered the most punishing blows. 

A Nostalgic Return
In February Hixon returned to Reidsville for the first time in nearly half a century (this writer accompanied him to document the visit), and fresh memories flooded his mind. He recounted his first day at the prison in 1973.

“Outside I was greeted by a guard and escorted through large steel doors at the main entrance. I had an insecure feeling once those doors closed shut behind me. That’s when realization set in. Here I was, inside a maximum security prison around some of the world’s most dangerous criminals. I felt trapped. I was taken to a processing office where I produced identification, was given instructions and had my picture taken for the Paramount Pictures ID card. The identification card was secured on a string and had to be worn around my neck upon entry or exit of the prison. I still have that ID card today.”

It was Hixon’s Paramount Pictures ID card and a scrapbook full of rare photos from the production that played a large part in getting us inside the prison. One look at Hixon’s old ID and warden Marty Allen knew this was something he hadn’t encountered before.

Sure, he had seen the pictures on the fifth floor prison walls that documented the event, but never had anyone shown up looking to get inside the prison to re-live those days. The warden quipped that Hixon’s 45-year-old ID card came without an expiration date, then made a few phone calls and warmly welcomed Reynolds’ stunt-double back to Reidsville for a tour.

High atop the prison, one floor up from death-row, rests a small room that houses the now obsolete electric chair, one that was still in use when The Longest Yard was filmed. A barred window not far from the chair overlooks the one-time field put in place for the production. The movie’s original script and countless pictures from those days line the walls in that same room.

Warden-Marty-Allen-and-Hixon-in-2018Recipe for Success 
The actual recipe that went into making a motion picture at Reidsville went something like this: Carefully select a dozen or so choice Hollywood stars, add a dozen seasoned former NFL standouts and make room for Hixon, 14 of his Eagles teammates and three of their coaches. Stir slowly, sprinkle with inmates (who auditioned for and won roles in the film), and top things off with a Hollywood production crew. Place in the oven and bake for five weeks at south Georgia outdoor temperatures. Contain the mixture within a perimeter of razor sharp wire – and be sure not to let it boil over. Remove and serve hot to movie-goers worldwide, popcorn optional.

The finished product — an irreverent and not politically correct low-budget production — was a smash hit with moviegoers, grossing $43 million. With similar box office numbers in back-to-back movies, (Deliverance, 1972 and The Longest Yard, 1974), Reynolds cemented his name as a bona fide leading man.

Hixon’s life also changed dramatically as his persona was suddenly and forevermore connected to Reynolds. “I never met anybody like that before, with that notoriety… It kind of changed my life. I took on a new identity,” he says. “Today I went to Walmart, a guy came up to me and introduced me to his wife and said, ‘He’s the one who did The Longest Yard.’ I get it all the time. It never stops.” 

Hixon kept in touch with Reynolds through the years and even paid his acting acquaintance a visit in Florida several years ago. While he was saddened to hear of Reynolds’ passing, Hixon was not completely caught off guard. “I’m sorry that he died, but he had been in bad shape for years and years and may be better off,” he says.

But Hixon still has his memories of Reynolds and the fall of 1973 at the Reidsville prison— the time of his life.

 

By Stan Byrdy

———

In collaboration with author Stan Byrdy, Hixon’s stories from The Longest Yard are recounted in the upcoming book, Behind the Scenes with Burt Reynolds at Reidsville State Prison. The book, due for release in December, includes never-before-seen photographs of Reynolds, Hixon, Hollywood legends and former NFL standouts in the making of the film.

Works of Art

LIFE + STYLE

ChalkArtist2Artisans and entertainers take center stage at Art in the Park Fall Fest 
Creativity will be on display Saturday, October 20, at the 15th annual Arts in the Park Fall Fest, where artisans and entertainers in the area will showcase their talents. 

“From visual to performing arts, anything is fair game for Columbia County’s own fine arts festival,” says Regina Brejda, Columbia County Arts Inc. president.

The festival will feature a variety of performers including Columbia County Ballet and Musical Theatre Workshops. Fall Fest had 64 vendors from a variety of mediums last year, and event organizers are hoping to have even more artists at this year’s festival. 

“Along with music and dance, you’ll see everything from pottery, paintings and wood carvings to handmade brooms, jewelry and soaps,” Brejda says. “It’s a day of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional art.” 

The popular sidewalk chalk contest will be part of the festivities again this year as well. Local elementary, middle and high schools can enter a team for a chance to win money to support their schools’ visual arts department. The individual portion of the competition begins at 10 a.m. Participants can register at the main Columbia County arts booth. Registration is $20. Categories will be divided into age brackets, and prizes will be awarded for first and second places. An overall best of show winner will be named as well. 

If You Go:
What: Art in the Park Fall Fest 

When: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, October 20

Where: Columbia County Library Amphitheater

How Much: Free admission; food and beverage vendors on site

More Info: columbiacountyarts.org; columbiacountyarts@gmail.com; Regina Brejda, (706) 267-6724

Allure of the Water

In The Home
Photography by Sally Kolar

Photography by Sally Kolar

Overlooking the Savannah River, an empty-nester home – rustic with added bits of whimsy – is the perfect place for a Martinez couple to roost.

With views of the water from every room and plenty of toys to enjoy the great outdoors, Tammi and Rob Pavey’s home on a cove off the Savannah River offers the best in waterfront living.

“I’ve been dreaming about this house for 30 years,” says Tammi, who designed the Martinez home where they have lived since May 2017. “I wanted a house where people could come and hang out, cook and eat, and enjoy the river.” 

Kayaks-1A Lot to Love
Two or three nights a week the Paveys venture out on the Savannah River to boat or kayak past Horseshoe Island, Sumter National Forest or Stevens Creek Dam, where the creek flows into the river.

“The river is never the same – even from day to day,” says Rob. “The wildlife and the fish change, and the river can be anywhere from six feet to 30 feet deep.” 

They have kayaks and an old game warden jon boat, but other watercraft seem to find their way into the cove to the Pavey home as well. “We’re like an armada,” says Tammi, “but 90 percent of the boats at the house are not ours.”

The Paveys also enjoy spending time with their neighbors – whether it’s 90-year-old Aunt Cile, who invites friends over for steak night every Tuesday, or the deer, otters, beavers, herrings, ospreys, bald eagles, teals, wood ducks and mallards that come to visit. 

“This is an empty-nest house,” says Tammi. “The house is designed not for the inside, but the outside. When I walk in the house, I go straight outside.”

Screened-In-PorchIf they’re not on the river, then the Paveys can sit outside on the front porch, which features stacked stone and wood beam columns, or on Adirondack chairs on the wraparound porch to soak in the view.

The house has three rain chains – two in the back and one in the front – instead of traditional downspouts. “I didn’t want a gutter hanging off the columns,” says Tammi. “Birds like to sit on the chains.”

When they first bought the 0.8-acre property five years ago, however, it was hardly fit for man or bird or beast. The land was buried under golf car batteries, roofing shingles, debris from the 2014 ice storm, weeds, trees and poison ivy, but the Paveys were not deterred. They cleaned up the prime piece of real estate and tore down a small house that was on the property.

“It took two years to build the house because there wasn’t a house plan that would fit on this weirdly shaped lot,” says Rob.

Whipping that weirdly configured lot into shape soon became a labor of love. “It’s a small lot, so we had to take out a lot of trees,” Rob says. “We kept every single tree we could, and they all arch out over the water.” 

Rob built the steps and boat launch in the backyard. He used boulders that were on the property to construct a retaining wall, and earlier this year he built a fire pit in the backyard. He also grows tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos and sweet banana peppers in a small garden.

“Everything that is beautiful about this house, Robbie did,” says Tammi.

Not that he didn’t have some help along the way. The kayak launch was an original feature of the property. One of their three grown sons pulled out the old sunken dock on the property, went on Craig’s List to buy floatation that survived ice storm-destroyed docks and built a new boat ramp. 

‘Begged, Borrowed or Stolen’
The interior of the house has Tammi’s touch all over it, however, from the furnishings and whimsical accents to the color schemes.

“I picked everything out so it wouldn’t compete with the outside,” she says. “I picked colors that blended with the outside.”

Dining-RoomWith its rustic design, the house features flooring that is made out of reclaimed antique heart pine, pine beams in some of the ceilings and side tables that were cut from leftover beams. The house also includes lots of pocket and six-panel doors.

Furnishings in the foyer pay homage to their family history. A serpentine desk that belonged to Rob’s grandfather, who was a railroad executive, sits against one wall. A grouping of 19th century train pictures – situated around his grandfather’s poker table once upon a time – hangs above the desk. 

Tammi creates a speakeasy atmosphere in the entry with a nickelodeon – a precursor to the jukebox – and a stained glass overhead light fixture. Her father refinished the nickelodeon, which features Tiffany glass.

“I’ve begged, borrowed or stolen every single thing I have,” says Tammi.

A wide entryway, framed by heart pine beams, leads into the kitchen, where heart pine cabinetry lines the shiplap walls. One side of the room features open shelving made of antique heart pine beams mounted to the wall by iron plumber’s pipe.

Granite countertops, a pot filler, a walk-in pantry and stainless steel appliances, including a wine cooler and an icemaker, accent the kitchen. Stained glass pictures in the kitchen windows provide a barrier to the outside without obstructing the view. 

Kitchen-2-2However, the blue-gray island is the focal point in the room. The island has a black honed granite countertop, and one of Rob’s friends made the bar on top of the island out of a live-edged piece of eastern red cedar.

The shiplap walls extend into the dining area, where a light fixture above the table runs parallel with the water outside. A handcrafted dining room table provides more room for dinner guests on the adjoining screened-in porch. 

The living room features a cathedral ceiling with heart pine beams, 12-foot walls, a wood-burning stacked stone fireplace and a windmill ceiling fan in oiled bronze with weathered oak blades. Tammi chose to use the same paint color on the walls and ceiling for continuity.

Extra-wide window sills and casings in the room are made of rough-hewn cypress. “The carpenter originally put the smooth edges out, but we wanted the rough side exposed,” Rob says. 

Accents range from colorful blankets that are folded up in a bread trough to a duo of shadowboxes that holds Rob’s collection of arrowheads. An upside-down queen-size bed headboard hangs on the wall above the couch, and a plaque with a pair of moose horns, which also happens to be mounted upside down, is tucked in a corner of the living room. Rob, an avid hunter and fisherman, found the moose horn plaque at a flea market in Maine, but the house is full of other wildlife trophies that he bagged himself.

Master-BathPrized Possessions 
While the flooring in the rest of the house is reclaimed antique heart pine, the master bedroom flooring is modern pine. The room also features pine beams in the ceiling, and the round bedside tables were painted by Doug Larson. He is one of many local artists whose work is on display in the Pavey house.

One wall in the master bath is made of leftover antique heart pine, and the mirrors are framed with leftover heart pine as well. The walk-in tile shower has pebble flooring, and the countertops are made of granite. Next to the tub sits a vintage Coca-Cola ice chest. “I used to like Coca-Cola stuff, and that’s one of the things I kept,” says Rob.

The chandelier above the stand-alone tub, which has its fixtures in the floor, came from Tammi’s mother’s house. (She was downsizing at the same time the Paveys were moving into their new home.) 

To accent the back hallway, Tammi hung an oversized metal frame and painted the wall inside it with chalkboard paint. Their niece drew aboriginal images on the chalkboard, along with the words, “The Fish House.” 

“We call this place ‘The Fish House’ because that’s what the house that used to be here was known as,” says Rob.

A covered balcony off one of the upstairs guest rooms includes a ceiling fan and Adirondack chairs. However, a hanging bed is an inviting spot to lounge for anyone who wants to enjoy the space in style. Tammi sawed the legs off the bed, which has a bolster pillow on each end, and hung it with rope. 

For all its creativity, the house wouldn’t be complete without Rob’s extensive collection of fishing lures. The pre-World War II, small-maker lures, along with their original boxes, are showcased in shadow boxes along the walls in a spare bedroom.

“They weren’t around for long. There weren’t many made, and most of them got thrown away,” says Rob, who has been buying and selling lures for almost 40 years. “Most of them are bass lures from the early 1900s that were made in the Northeast and Midwest.”

He keeps the boxes to add insight to the maker and the era in which the lures were made. 

“Many of them have interesting graphics, fun jingles – even poems – and, quite often, patent dates that help give their age,” says Rob, who also has written articles and books about fishing lures. “Most also include the city and state of manufacture. And of course, having the original box adds value to the lure inside.”

By Betsy Gilliland

 

Holidays, History & Hospitality

Travel
Photos courtesy of Washington-Wilkes Chamber of Commerce

Photos courtesy of Washington-Wilkes Chamber of Commerce

From yuletide events to its rich heritage, Washington, Georgia is a capital place to visit year-round. 

With more antebellum homes per capita than any other city in the United States, historic Washington-Wilkes is one of the best kept secrets in Georgia – and the South.

There’s nothing hush-hush, however, about the fun that’s waiting to be discovered in Washington during the holiday season – and all year long.

“You don’t need an event to come to Washington,” says John Singleton, executive director of the Washington-Wilkes Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. “Your whole day could be a time of making memories with your family and starting new traditions.” 

2.-Fountain-in-SnowShopping on The Square
Even though an event isn’t necessary to lure visitors to Washington, the community – less than an hour’s drive away from Columbia County – offers several activities to celebrate the holiday season. The festivities kick off Tuesday, November 20 with the downtown Candlelight Shopping & Tree Lighting Ceremony, which includes caroling and manmade snow on The Square.

The fun will continue with Small Business Saturday, a nationwide initiative held the Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage holiday shoppers to patronize small, local, brick-and-mortar stores, on November 24. “Local merchants will have lots of specials that day,” Singleton says.

Downtown shops include four antique stores with merchandise ranging from knick-knacks to high-end 19th century furniture, china and art; an art gallery; clothing boutiques, a hardware store and a spa and salon. 

On Saturday, December 8, Washington will hold its Parade of Lights and Snow from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Last year the parade, which starts at Tiger Stadium at Washington Wilkes Comprehensive High School and ends at The Square downtown, had more than 100 entrants.

“All of the vehicles and floats have to be lit,” says Singleton.

3.-CarolersSnow on the Square will be held from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 15 and Saturday, December 22. “Snow blows in from all four sides of The Square,” Singleton says. “Music is playing in the background, and kids have a blast running around and making snow angels.”

The holiday festivities also include Candlelight Shopping, Santa & Snow on Tuesday, December 18 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. 

Downtown Washington merchants also have extended hours until 7 p.m. every Friday throughout the year. 

If shopping makes you hungry, then Washington offers a number of local restaurants in various settings to whet your appetite. The settings range from a restored 1898 hotel and a 1920s car showroom to an old livery stable and a food truck in an outdoor café atmosphere. 

“The setting is really what makes Washington so special. All of this is set on a backdrop of a quintessential town square,” says Singleton. “Washington is undiscovered, and it’s in your backyard. There is so much for children and adults to see and do in a day trip or for a weekend getaway.”

Steeped in History 
Teeming with American history, Washington-Wilkes can claim many “firsts” and “lasts” in its past. Wilkes County was the first county in the state formed under the Georgia Constitution of 1777. Incorporating three years later, Washington was the first chartered town named for George Washington and the first town chartered under the new state of Georgia.

4.-downtown-tower-w-flagWashington also is home to the state’s first free public library, the Mary Willis Library. The first gold stamp operation in the United States was set up by Jeremiah Griffin on Little River in 1833. Bolton’s Factory on Upton Creek was the first state-chartered cotton mill south of Connecticut, circa 1810. 

When the Confederacy died, Washington-Wilkes was the site of the last meeting of Jefferson Davis and his cabinet, which took place in the old Bank of Georgia building, aka Heard House. In addition, it was the last place that the infamous Confederate gold was tracked – but never found. 

Architectural examples in Washington range from logs cabins to Federal-style and Greek Revival antebellum homes. Washington is home to three house museums, and Singleton says, “The museums are not just full of artifacts. They’re full of stories. 

Washington Historical Museum has memorabilia and antiques, including the oldest wallpaper sample in the state, representing more than 200 years of history. Visitors also can tour the home of Robert Toombs, a fiery 19th-century state legislator, U.S. congressman and senator, or Callaway Plantation. Lying five miles west of Washington, Callaway Plantation features a brick Greek Revival mansion that was built with red Georgia clay and other outbuildings.

Eight miles from the site of present-day Washington, visitors to Kettle Creek Battlefield Park can see where a hastily organized group of 360 patriots defeated more than 800 British loyalists in the American Revolution in 1779.

5.-Hot-Box-Deck“Washington is a great place to discover American history, make memories and have new experiences,” Singleton says.

 

If You Go:
What: Candlelight Shopping & Tree Lighting Ceremony

When: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Tuesday, November 20 

Where: The Square, Washington, Georgia

How Much: Free admission

More Info: (706) 678-2013 or washingtonwilkes.org

 

By Sarah James

Egypt Station — Paul McCartney

Listen To This

Egypt-StationSeventeen solo albums after the collapse of the Beatles, Paul McCartney, aka Macca, is as inventive and relevant as ever with his new release, Egypt Station. The insurgence of rock ‘n’ roll is alive and kicking with the royal patriarch at the helm. 

Macca’s melodic style and open spirit envelopes his timeless mark as the approachable and playful Beatle for life. His unique English on the ball (pun intended) is prevalent on Egypt Station as he takes us on a magical and mysterious journey of life well lived with more to come.

Stylistically, Macca’s harmonies, rhythmic tones and purely bottled vocals are at the forefront of some of his most impactful songwriting to date. A prime example is the sobering ditty “Happy with You,” which hollers his view on a life well lived without foreign substances. Instead it’s simple love and the attraction of relational camaraderie that is the only drug at the end of the day.

In our polarizing society, music binds the differences and creates a playing field for everyone to enjoy without shocking-position or overstating an agenda. We can all rally the anthem of love and happiness and what makes life and the company of others so rewarding. Paul McCartney minds the gap, falls into the gap, and bridges the gap that music needs right now with a familiar hope for the horizons that give us the beautiful dawn and the majestic dusk. Egypt Station is the perfect soundtrack for experiencing life in real time and having a real time experiencing life. Deep thoughts for your day. 

– Chris Rucker

Cut from the Same Cloth

LIFE + STYLE
Enopion Theatre Company photos courtesy of Carol Rezzelle Storyland Theatre photos courtesy of Branch Carter

Enopion Theatre Company photos courtesy of Carol Rezzelle
Storyland Theatre photos courtesy of Branch Carter

The skills of local costume designers are bursting at the seams. 

Most of us, who are so inclined, only have to come up with a costume once a year for Halloween. The costume designers at local theater companies, however, create frightfully fabulous costumes all year long. After all, they have learned the tricks of the trade to treat audiences to their otherworldly talents and creativity.

Passionate & Professional
For almost two decades, Margie Garner has made the costumes for Enopion Theatre Company, which puts on three biblical shows a year.

“Margie and I have been working together for about 30 years through church drama and then the last 20 years with Enopion,” says Carol Rezzelle, the Enopion founder and director. “She is passionate about her work and makes our productions beautiful to watch. She sews the costumes, fits them to the actor and then attends every performance making sure the costumes are pressed and on the actor correctly. I couldn’t imagine Enopion without her.”

Margie used to do all of the work herself until Mary Rhoden started helping her with the last production. It takes Margie about six to eight hours to make a costume from scratch. Since she works fulltime at a medical billing company, she sews at night and on weekends.

Fortunately, however, she can repurpose or alter some costumes. “I put them all together one way or another,” says Margie, a self-taught seamstress who started sewing when she was 9 years old. 

Storyland-The-Nightingale(Photo-credit-Branch-Carter)In Enopion’s early years, Margie made 30 or 40 costumes per show. Now that the theater company has amassed an inventory of costumes, she makes 10 to 15 for each production.

“I usually spend as much time on the costumes as the actors do memorizing their lines,” Margie says.

Since 2011, Ooollee Brickman, who owns Vintage Ooollee in Augusta, has designed and sewn the costumes for Storyland Theatre. This theater company performs three fairy tale-based shows a year, and its mission is to introduce children to theater and encourage them to support the arts into adulthood.

“Ooollee is a dynamic, professional and competent woman,” says Barbara Feldman, executive director of Storyland Theatre. “Since Storyland Theatre performs for children, I have always been careful to use different costumes for each show, not repeating a costume for several years because children pay attention and remember everything they see. Ooollee is not only a source to us. Without her, many theaters in our community would be unable to costume their actors.”

Storyland-Sleeping-Beauty(Ooollee-red-hair)Photo-credit-Branch-CarterOoollee makes three or four costumes for Storyland a year, and she also does costumes for local high school theater departments and other small theater groups.

“I love working with Storyland,” says Ooollee. “Barbara introduces children to theater for the first time. I have met people who are actors today because they got their first exposure to theater at Storyland. I think that’s a beautiful thing that happens in this community.”

Ideas & Inspiration
To get ideas for costumes, Margie relies on the Internet and YouTube to research costumes and how to make certain things. In addition, she says, “Carol pulls pictures that she wants things to look like, and we go from there.”

Sometimes Enopion rents costumes, particularly ones that won’t be used again and again, and Margie alters them if necessary. However, she welcomes every challenge for each production. For Enopion’s upcoming show, “The Nativity,” for instance, she needs to make brand new animal costumes for a lion, a duck and a lamb.

For inspiration, Ooollee says, “We meet with the director to get an idea of their vision and look to see what patterns we can find. You’re only limited by your imagination. I have a bunch of creative people that work with me.”

Storyland-Rumpelstiltskin(Photo-credit-Branch-Carter)They include her main seamstress, Kathy Gillespie, who had a costume business in California for 35 years.

“I like the creative process,” says Kathy, who learned to sew when she was 8 years old by making doll clothes. “You can create your own look. I have a good knack for seeing the whole scene.”

She reads the scripts, makes a spreadsheet about every scene and creates a costume plot for each cast member and the characters they play. Then she takes measurements, does fittings and makes alterations.

“It’s a huge process,” Kathy says of making a costume. “I build it or find it or alter it. I’m a perfectionist. It takes a long time to get everybody’s hems right and work around their schedules.”

Kathy, who made her own clothes and Halloween costumes, of course, when she was growing up, delved deeper into costuming when her daughter became interested in theater in high school. Her daughter got involved with Augusta Players when she moved to the area 20 years ago, and Kathy has made some costumes for Augusta Players and Junior Players as well. 

“I enjoy the creative process, which I work on alone,” she says. “But I also enjoy the people I work with – the adults, the kids, the actors. I enjoy being part of that creative team.”

Personality & Performance
Margie tries to factor the personalities of the actors into their costumes. “Some will tolerate being flamboyant, but others won’t,” she says. “I have to take the characters into consideration, also. I try to put something in the costumes that the actors really, really like so they know that it’s their costume and not one I just pulled off the rack.”

That something extra might be as simple as a belt or using the actor’s favorite color. 

Fabrics also make a costume come alive. “Adding trim,” says Ooollee, “just changes everything.” 

For the biblical costumes, Margie often has to make them “plain and rough looking.” 

“I paint the costumes, dirty them up or dye them to make them look old,” she says. 

Ooollee takes the characters’ personalities into consideration when designing costumes. “Some might have a big personality or a demure personality, so you need to change the style,” she says.

However, Ooollee, who started sewing in high school, says the biggest challenge in costume making is having enough time to do it correctly. “It takes time to sew if you want to do it right,” she says. 

And the costumes need to stay just right, so the designers must always be ready for the inevitable wardrobe malfunction.

Margie keeps a bag of pins, tapes and clips handy. In addition, she says, “I usually have a sewing machine in my car, or I at least have a sewing kit with me.”

One of the biggest challenges is getting all of the actors ready on time so they can relax and get in character. However, says Margie, “I never calm down until the show is over.”

Ooollee says the dreaded wardrobe malfunction typically occurs during a quick change. However, she goes to all of Storyland’s dress rehearsals and productions to be on hand to solve any problem. “I take a sewing kit with me,” she says. “That’s what a dress rehearsal is for – to make sure everything works right.” 

Margie not only makes costumes for the performers. She also sewed all of the draperies for Enopion’s new performing space, Ivory Box Theatre, that recently opened in Martinez. 

“I like it all. I love doing the costumes. I love working backstage. I love all the excitement and camaraderie,” Margie says. “It’s a good, family atmosphere.”

And the clothes definitely can make the character. 

“I love to dress up in costume. You can put on a different face and a different outfit, and you can let your hair down,” Ooollee says. “You can put on a costume and become a completely different person.”

By Sarah James

 

Have a Big Time

LIFE + STYLE

ModelThe Oliver Hardy Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
Harlem once again will honor its native son with its annual Oliver Hardy Festival. For three decades Hardy, along with Englishman Stan Laurel, was one-half of Hollywood’s famous comedy duo of Laurel & Hardy. 

“Oliver Hardy was born here, and the festival keeps his memory alive,” says Kennedy Sammons, Harlem’s Downtown Development director.

The event will include almost 150 arts and crafts vendors, about 30 food vendors, look alikes dressed as Stan and Ollie, old cars, a parade and all-day viewings of Laurel & Hardy movies. A stage at the Harlem Library will offer entertainment throughout the day by performers such as The Remedy, Tanner Duckworth and Augusta Youth School of Dance.

Food will range from pulled pork, hamburgers, hot dogs and cheese steaks to funnel cakes, fried Oreos, gelato and shaved ice.

“We want people to enjoy Harlem and come see what we have to offer. Most of our downtown merchants will be open during the festival,” Sammons says. “Harlem has the only historical downtown in Columbia County.”

The festival typically attracts more than 35,000 visitors from around the world.

If You Go:
What: Oliver Hardy Festival

When: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, October 6; parade begins at 10 a.m.

Where: Downtown Harlem

How Much: Free admission 

More Info: harlemga.org

Aw, Shucks!

LIFE + STYLE

bash-picCentral Savannah River Land Trust celebrates success with its annual oyster roast and party at the river

Perfect fall evenings beg for perfect fall celebrations, and it will be hard to beat Central Savannah River Land Trust’s 15th annual Bash on the Banks. 

The popular event once again will feature an oyster roast with oysters from the Gulf of Mexico, classic Southern food catered by Sweet Magnolia’s Deli and Grille in Pelion, South Carolina, and local spirits from River Watch Brewery in Augusta and Carolina Moon Distillery in Edgefield.

Entertainment will include corn hole, a live auction, a raffle, live music by blues band Packrat’s Smokehouse, and new this year, a cigar bar.

Raffle items include a 12-foot angler’s kayak, passes to the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Palmetto Shooting Complex, a wood bowl turned by Dave Welter and gift packages from local boutiques. 

The auction will include experience-based items such as fly fishing lessons, a fly fishing trip and rounds of golf at area courses. In one of the highlights of the evening, local artist Richard Worth will paint a nature scene during the party, and the acrylic will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

“We are celebrating everyone’s combined efforts of conservation success and the generous community support,” says Bethany Surles, the Land Trust membership and events coordinator. “This is our way to celebrate with the community. We couldn’t succeed without them.” 

The Land Trust is funded entirely by grants and donations. By preserving local forests, farms, rivers and open spaces, the nonprofit organization protects the quality of life in the area and leaves natural resources intact for future generations. Since 2001, the Land Trust has protected more than 7,300 acres of land throughout Georgia and South Carolina.

Preserved areas include 315 acres in Columbia County, 1,761 in Richmond County and 773 acres in Aiken and Edgefield counties such as Greystone Preserve in North Augusta. Through partnerships with local developers, the Land Trust has saved more than 2.5 miles of the banks of the Savannah River along the edge of Columbia County. The conservation organization has preserved land in several Columbia County neighborhoods as well. 

“It’s our desire to connect conservation properties throughout Columbia County. With both green spaces and the greenway project, we are focused on this high density and developed area,” says Surles. “For any remaining landowners who are interested in still preserving their land, we would love for them to reach out to us.”

In the meantime, however, past accomplishments must be celebrated. “We are really elevating the experience this year,” Surles says. “It’s going to be a great event. We’re really excited.” 

If You Go:
What: 15th annual Bash on the Banks 

When: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Thursday, October 25 

Where: River Island Clubhouse 

How Much: $75 admission; $20 drinks (three alcoholic beverages, unlimited soft drinks), $5 single drink; $20 raffle tickets

More Info: csrlt.org