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Magic Touch

In The Home

Photography by Sally Kolar

A Grovetown couple deftly weaves wit and whimsy, texture and timelessness into their eclectic Grenelefe Park home.

A place for everything, and everything in its place. Just don’t expect to find things where you think they belong in the Grenelefe Park home of Imogene and Chuck Ford.

Imagination reigns in this Grovetown house where the Fords have a piano in the breakfast room, a hutch in the master bath and a sideboard in the master bedroom. And why not?

After all, the breakfast area doubles as a game room where the Fords play cards and board games; a hutch can hold towels just as easily as it can hold dishes; and the sideboard is the perfect complement to the other bedroom furnishings.

“I like to take pieces and use them in a different setting,” says Imogene.

Right Place, Right Time
The Fords were ready for a different setting of their own after living in the same house for 28 years, so they decided to build a larger house with a smaller yard. They fell in love with Grenelefe Park and built one of the first houses in the neighborhood six years ago.

“We had never built before. I had heard nightmares about building, but it was fun. We thoroughly enjoyed it,” Imogene says.

Chuck agrees. “This was our one and only house to build, and we hit the jackpot,” he says.

The Fords feel blessed to have found the neighborhood, and they gave the home their own special blessing as well.

“When the house was going up, my cousin gave me the most wonderful idea,” says Imogene. “She suggested we write scriptures on the framework.”

The scriptures include two of their favorites – Philippians 4:13 and Micah 6:8. Although they can’t see the writing on the walls, many cherished mementoes – from Imogene’s cross stitch pictures to Chuck’s collection of clocks –  are on full display in the house.

The 102-year-old – and still functioning – clock on top of the chest in the foyer belonged to Chuck’s paternal grandmother. “She kept it on the mantel in their house in downtown Augusta,” he says. “My grandfather gave it to her on their second wedding anniversary.”

Imogene and Chuck gave each other a clock for their 10th anniversary, and it hangs in the living room. Chuck’s father bought the Ridgeway grandmother clock in the back hallway 60 years ago. “I had it redone and got it back in shape,” says Chuck. “It has a beautiful sound to it.”

In his study, he has a replica of an old DuPont clock like the ones in schoolhouses along the Delaware River in the 1800s. Chuck winds the clocks about every four days, and when they start chiming at night, the Fords don’t even notice.

The Fords also have lots of insects in the house, but they’re no cause for alarm. In fact, they’re a feature, not a bug. “I like little creatures,” Imogene says.

Of course, her little creatures – from dragonflies to bumblebees to grasshoppers – aren’t real. The bugs might be strategically placed decorative metal pieces, or their likenesses might appear on pictures or pillows.

“The house is very eclectic,” says Imogene. “I like the cottage-y, garden look. I don’t do formal at all. I like a little whimsy.”

Other common features in the house include heart pine flooring and five-paneled doors. “Chuck picked out the doors because the doors in his grandmother’s house were like this,” says Imogene.

The arched front door, which is framed by an arched, stacked stone entryway to the front porch, makes a statement as well. “We designed the porch around the door,” Imogene says.

With the potted plants, mixed textures and charming décor of the porch, some visitors might feel content to stay put and never go through the front door. Two black rockers offer the perfect place to sit a spell, and a round wrought iron table is sandwiched between the chairs.

A distressed lantern and a lamp with a tan and beige buffalo-checked shade sit on the tabletop. Greenery spilling out of a planter catches the attention of a metal turtle and a metal dragonfly.

A black turtle-shaped footstool rests between the two rockers. “That is a treasure for me,” Imogene says. “My Uncle Charlie made it for me when he was 93 years old.”

The front porch also features shake shingle walls, a bead board ceiling and acid-washed concrete flooring – a fond reminder of Charlie, who passed away last year, as well.

When he saw the “stains” on the concrete floor, he generously offered to find a pressure washer to clean it. “I said, ‘I think we paid good money for that,’” Imogene says.

Defined Spaces
Inside, the charm and creativity continues from the foyer to the screened-in porch on the back of the house. Although the Fords didn’t need a lot of new furniture for the house, they bought something for the foyer.

Imogene, who likes to shop at consignment and antique shops, found the perfect piece – a wood chest, which features drawer pulls carved into the shape of grape clusters. She also made a decorative “F” out of Styrofoam and faux boxwood and hung it above the chest with a ribbon of burlap. A spindle chair with a low, rounded back is tucked at the end of the hallway.

The adjoining living room features a raised hearth fireplace with a slate surround. “There were two things I wanted that I never had – a fireplace and a screened porch,” says Imogene. “We use both of them a lot. We use the whole house.”

Two woven seagrass chairs and a matching footstool are mixed in with an upholstered couch and a leather chair, and a natural woven rug lies on the floor.

The Fords have a number of paintings of rural churches throughout the house, but the one in the living room has special significance for them. This painting depicts their church, Liberty United Methodist, which was built in 1804.

“To put that in perspective, Thomas Jefferson was president at the time, and a year earlier, he sent Lewis and Clark on their expedition,” Chuck says.

An Appling man, who made furniture in the 1980s and early 1990s, built the pine coffee table in the living room. In fact, the Fords have several pieces that he made for them.

“We could take him a picture of a piece of furniture that we liked, and he would build it,” says Imogene.

A wide entryway leads from the living room to the dining room.

“The original house plan called for this to be an open space,” Imogene says. “But I like defined areas, so we put up walls with big openings so the house still flows.”

In the dining room, an old farmhouse pine table is lined with a trio of Windsor chairs on each side. A woven seagrass chair sits at each end, and another woven natural fiber rug lies beneath the table. A pinewood server with a drawer and two open shelves provides plenty of storage space, and Imogene made the hydrangea wreath that hangs above it.

A striped wing chair with a dragonfly pillow is nestled in a corner of the room, and the iron chandelier features branches, crystals and six candle lights.

“I just love the branchy, woodsy look of the chandelier,” Imogene says. “And I love pillows. You can change a room instantly by putting different pillows in it.”

Open-Door Policy
The kitchen features granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, a tile backsplash and a walk-in pantry.

“I like the open area of the kitchen. So many people can be in it at the same time, and we love the bar,” Imogene says. “I like people sitting and talking to me when I’m in the kitchen, but Chuck is more of a cook than I am.”

Baskets for everything from dish towels to pairs of glasses line the countertop. “I love baskets. I love woven things. I love texture,” says Imogene.

Her cousin painted the oil still life of pears in the kitchen and gave it to them as a housewarming gift.

More artwork can be found in the breakfast room, where a trio of oil paintings by their late friend and Augusta artist Maggie Meldrum is stacked on a wall. The scenes were painted on cutting boards that are hung by a loop of thick rope. Another “Maggie” on pegboard, a scene from the corner of Broad and Eighth streets in Augusta, was a wedding gift to the Fords.

A church painting hangs above the piano in the breakfast room, and Imogene made the hydrangea arrangement on the piano.

“I’ve always enjoyed decorating. When I was growing up, our house was always nicely decorated,” she says. “As a girl, I loved looking at house and garden magazines.”

The Appling furniture maker built the pine sideboard in the room, which also features a natural woven rug. A green wreath hangs on one of two double doors leading to the screened-in porch, but the Fords usually keep the door open.

The study, which includes a built-in desk and built-in book shelves, is Chuck’s favorite room. A Civil War buff, Chuck has two prints of the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse and another print from the war on a wall. The shelves are full of biographies and Civil War books.

Furnishings include a leather recliner and a TV. “This is the most utilized piece of furniture in the house,” Chuck says of the recliner. “A chair, a remote and a television. That’s all I need.”

Imogene made sure she got what she needed from the room as well. “He can close the door, but I put glass panes in it so he can’t hide too much,” she says.

Quiet Places
One of the guest bedrooms includes a pine two-poster bed and a pine desk that were crafted by the Appling furniture maker. A wicker storage trunk sits at the foot of the bed, which is covered by a yellow and white buffalo-checked comforter.

A wheat sheath wall hanging is behind the bed, and more “Maggie” paintings hang on other walls.

A second guest room features a four-poster bed with a black and white buffalo-checked skirt and a gray and white floral comforter. A chair upholstered in black and white buffalo checks and a floor lamp occupies one side of the bed, and a chest that belonged to Chuck’s mother sits on the other side.

“Chuck painted the chest black for me, and I put glass knobs on it,” says Imogene. “His nephew couldn’t believe that we painted it black. Now the joke in the family is that Joey will not be at my funeral because he will be stripping the chest.”

A pocket door from this bedroom leads to the guest bath, which includes tile flooring, a vessel sink, an oil-rubbed bronze faucet and a transom window above the shower/tub. A chair rail tops bead board on the walls.

Another rural church painting hangs across from the sink, and rolled towels fill a vintage metal laundry basket on wheels.

The master bedroom features a four-poster bed and a sitting area with a couch and a butler’s table. Prints of Squeaky’s Tip Top and Augusta Coca-Cola Bottling Company hang above the couch, and Chuck’s bronzed baby shoes stand on the sideboard.

In the adjoining master bath, the Fords installed the walk-in tile shower where a garden tub was supposed to be. The pine hutch, also made by the Appling furniture maker, occupies the original spot for the shower.

“In our old house the hutch was in the kitchen and filled with dishes,” says Imogene, “but I always imagined it with towels in it for some reason.”

With hardy board walls on two sides, the screened-in porch also includes wicker furniture, a ceiling fan, acid-washed concrete flooring and lots of plants. Chuck’s daughter painted the floral acrylics on canvas that hang by green ribbon on one wall, and a “man” made out of terracotta pots occupies the top of a wicker plant stand.

“The screened-in porch is one of my favorite places in the house,” says Imogene. “We can use it year-round.”

The Fords have a beautiful backyard garden enclosed by black wrought iron fencing, and they call it “Sadee’s Yard” in honor of their Jack Russell and rat terrier mix that died in January at age 13.

Filled with plants such as hostas and zinnias, the garden also features a brick patio, brick pathways, a bistro table and chairs, a red Adirondack chair and a tall white birdhouse.

Chuck enjoys taking care of the yard. “I’m meticulous about everything. I like for it to be neat,” he says. “Doing the yard is a real joy for me. I can do it in 30 minutes. The responsibility is small, yet we have a nice, roomy house.”

By Betsy Gilliland

‘All About the Storytelling’


Photos courtesy of Mark Albertin

Regardless of the type of camera he has in his hand, a local documentary filmmaker and photographer loves to preserve special moments in time.

Growing up in Wisconsin, Augusta resident Mark Albertin knew little about the South other than the often distorted portrayal he saw of it on film and television. However, his maternal grandmother was born and raised in Augusta, so he had a connection to the region.

He moved to Georgia in 1986, but he strengthened his ties to the South even more when he made his first video – a tribute to his grandmother – as a birthday gift for his own mother years ago.

“It all comes back to the roots of where it started,” says Albertin. “I never met my grandmother, but I wanted to know who she was. My mother talked about us like we were soup. She said we came from good stock.”

As it turns out, that dive into his ancestry was a gift to himself as well. After making the video, Albertin started Scrapbook Video Productions in 2000 to produce documentary films. He made a $30,000 investment in equipment, including a high-end video production camera and editing equipment, to start the business.

“I was bitten by the bug, and I wanted to do bigger and better things,” he says. “It allows me to do the projects that I want to do.”

Many of his productions, which range from stories of towns to noted individuals, have aired on PBS and received awards from film festivals across the country. His newest film, Finding Home – 20th Century Voices of Augusta is slated to premiere late this year or early next year. Albertin had planned to hold the premiere in August at Imperial Theatre, but it has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This film is a revised version of Augusta Remembers, which aired on Georgia Public Television in 2000. For the original documentary, Albertin interviewed his grandmother’s contemporaries about life in Augusta from the early 1900s to the 1940s. In Finding Home, Albertin has added interviews with local residents about living in the area from the 1950s through the 1980s.

“The documentaries that include oral histories are essential. We need as a nation to listen to our older people,” Albertin says. “It gives us comfort and support and makes us feel better to know that other people lived through hard times.”

School of Hard Knocks
Albertin, who also is a professional photographer, is a self-taught filmmaker. His original skill set is in color separation for the four-color printing process. That process is flat and two-dimensional, he says, so he started attending video boot camp training classes in Atlanta and Charlotte in his spare time.

In addition, he says, “I went to the school of hard knocks where you’re up until three in the morning trying to figure something out.”

Like many documentary filmmakers, Albertin says, he followed the lead of celebrated documentarian Ken Burns, who uses archival footage and photographs, to transform a film from a product with boring narratives and static images into something more compelling.

“Ken Burns showed us that you can use voices, sound effects and music from the time period,” says Albertin. “The key is to pull people in, and you can do that with writing, sound effects, voiceovers and real people. The audience needs to engage with the film and feel a connection to the people and the subject matter.”

Albertin enjoys every aspect of filmmaking from adding movement, sound and sound effects to conducting interviews and writing the scripts. “It’s a blast to do this stuff,” he says. “It allows me to really be creative.”

He spends 80 percent of his time on video, 15 percent on photography and 5 percent writing. “I love all three of those things, and I find ways to mesh them together,” Albertin says.

He also likes to meet people and talk to them, and he has learned firsthand from people’s oral histories what it was like to live through trying times such as the Dust Bowl or the Holocaust.

“If these people are good storytellers, they take you somewhere you’ve never been,” says Albertin. “I can feel their pain when they tell me their stories. People in the twilight of their lives want to talk about their experiences for posterity.”

He spends a lot of time doing research and tracking down people, and he wants those he interviews to feel like they have been heard and respected.

“The people that know that history are the ones that are going to come and watch a premiere,” says Albertin. “The main audience that I’m appealing to is age 70-plus. To capture their stories and preserve them is a wonderful thing to do. The feeling that I get in my heart and soul is something I can’t explain.”

He often relies on narration early in his documentaries to set the stage, and he says the narrator can “make or break” a film.

“Each film has a different formula, depending on what the storyline is,” Albertin says. “Sometimes you start with the ending first. They’re not always chronological.”

Feeding the Senses
Some of his other documentaries include Displaced: The Unexpected Fallout from the Cold War, about the development of the Savannah River Site that displaced more than 5,000 residents in rural South Carolina communities, and Discovering Dave: Spirit Captured in Clay, about a literate slave potter who lived in Edgefield, South Carolina and wrote verse and poetry on his pots. He also has done a Remember series about various towns such as Augusta and Savannah in Georgia, St. Augustine and Jacksonville in Florida, Beaufort, North Carolina and Topeka, Kansas.

He made the award-winning War Stories – Augusta Area Veterans Remember World War II, in which he spent four years interviewing local veterans from all branches of the military to highlight their World War II experiences.

This project began as part of the Veteran’s History Project, which was undertaken by the Augusta Richmond County Historical Society to add to the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. To collect these oral histories, Albertin went to Brandon Wilde and interviewed 20 veterans a day.

“You’re not going to get rich making documentaries,” says Albertin, who also does promotional spots and commercial videos. “It’s the satisfaction of preserving something and creating something that makes people laugh or cry.”

The reaction to his work is something that Albertin usually experiences secondhand, however. He says he never sits in the theater when his films premiere. Instead, he dispatches his wife to join the audience while he settles in the lobby.

Maybe he should rethink that plan, however, because his wife usually tells him he should have been in the theater to see the positive reaction to his films.

“When I’m gone, I will have hopefully left something behind that people can learn from,” says Albertin. “Film was, and hopefully one day, will become a social event again. I love film because you’re seeing two things happen. You hear and see, so you’re getting two senses fed at once.”

Documentaries need to be fair and balanced, he says, and he covers difficult issues such as racial injustice in his films.

“It’s something we need to see and hear. We need to understand that it can happen again, and we need to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” says Albertin. “Everybody has their own angle on what happened.”

Blending In
When he photographs a subject, Albertin approaches it from different viewpoints as well.

“Photography is an extension of video,” he says. “It’s trying to tell a story with pieces in an artistic manner. It’s all about the storytelling. Sometimes one picture is all you need. Sometimes you need multiple pictures with multiple angles.”

His love of photography dates back to his childhood when he would borrow cameras from his father, who was a medical illustrator. And that interest “never went away.”

“I love going out and playing with old cameras. The results you get are totally different from digital,” says Albertin.

He prefers photographing landscapes to people because he finds it less stressful. “Those places are where I find peace,” he says of landscapes. “They’re getting harder and harder to find.”

He says it’s pleasant to go outside – other than having to lug all the gear around. He likes to capture the light or early morning dewdrops on leaves. When he goes into the woods, he usually is alone.

“You have to sit still for a while to blend into a setting,” Albertin says.

He is just as likely to shoot in black and white as he is in color, depending on what he wants to accomplish.

“To me, color is really at its best in the spring,” says Albertin. “Black and white is a more spiritual medium. I use black and white when I want people to notice the object and the composition. Black and white can do amazing things if you use the right filter.”

Whether he is making films or photographs, Albertin hopes his work provides people with an escape.

“I want people to be able to leave their stress, their worries and their problems behind and get into another place and see what I saw,” he says. “To me, that is another way to do something good.”

By Leigh Howard

Take it to Heart


Photos courtesy of University Health Care System

While covid-19 is a known respiratory syndrome, evidence is emerging that the virus can affect heart health as well.

The novel coronavirus has its name for a reason. From devising improved treatments to understanding its effects on the human body, the medical community is discovering more and more about covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. While covid-19 is a known respiratory syndrome, evidence is emerging that the virus can affect heart health as well.

“In cardiology journals we have seen volumes about the development of the relationship between covid and cardiovascular issues in the past six months,” says Dr. Mac Bowman, medical director, cardiovascular practices at University Health Care System. “That’s the acuity and majesty of an organized, scientific approach. We continue to learn.”

An Ounce of Prevention
People who are most at risk for cardiovascular ailments can be susceptible due to genetics or to lifestyle choices. However, Bowman emphasizes that the best way for people to avoid cardiovascular issues is to mitigate the risk factors that make them prone to heart disease.

Genetically susceptible people have a family history of heart disease, heart attacks, stroke and diabetes. While family history cannot be changed, other risk factors, which Bowman calls the “big four” — elevated blood pressure, tobacco use, abnormal lipid status and blood sugar levels — are modifiable.

Blood pressure readings should not rise above 134/84, Bowman says. As for tobacco use, regardless of the form, he says, “The appropriate amount is zero.”

Levels of HDL cholesterol (the good one) should be higher than 40 – 45 milligrams per deciliter – “the higher, the better,” and levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad one) should be below 85 mg/dL. “That has changed,” says Bowman. “It used to be below 100.” And finally, triglycerides should be below 150.

A fasting blood sugar should be 100 mg/dL or less, or a normal A1c, the average blood sugar level for three-months, is 5.7 percent or less.

Other modifiable risk factors, which have become more prevalent with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, are a sedentary lifestyle and stress that, in turn, exaggerate risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

“This has turned most individuals, most households, most work places and most hospitals askance to the direction it was before,” says Bowman.

With more people working from home, lifestyle habits have changed. “Home is supposed to be a safe space where we do the things that make us feel warm and fuzzy,” Bowman says.

However, some people who have been spending increased time at home are more isolated or are juggling work, school and childcare responsibilities. They have gained weight because they’re eating more and making poor nutrition choices. They don’t sleep well, and their heart rate and blood pressure are higher. In addition, Bowman says, homebound people are watching coronavirus news coverage that can be “depressing, disheartening and frightening.”

“If you don’t have an effective way to deal with that, it can have adverse consequences,” he adds. “It’s important to face concerns honestly and forthrightly and face them with a plan.”

In Control
First and foremost, Bowman recommends that people focus on the things they can control to safeguard themselves from covid and other health problems.

“Social distance. Wear a mask. It’s not a political statement. It lessens your ability to infect somebody else, and it protects you,” he says. “Keep yourself in the best physical and mental shape that you can. Get fresh air; go outside; walk; dance; and take your medications.”

Even people who naturally are tightly wired can find ways to dissipate stress, and physical activity is a good way to relieve tension.

“Exercise in a fun and healthy way helps blood vessels relax and helps people burn off energy in a positive way,” Bowman says.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, people have postponed or skipped doctor’s appointments. However, Bowman stresses the need for cardiovascular patients to keep their regularly scheduled appointments.

“We try to identify evidence of a problem, and most importantly, we try to help them rectify that problem,” he says. “We do it as a team.”

At his office, like other medical practices, the staff has taken precautions to make patient visits as safe as they can. Social distancing and masks are required, and patients’ temperatures are taken. “We try to make them feel as comfortable as possible,” Bowman says.

For patients who are apprehensive about going to the office for an in-person visit, his practice offers video visits, telemedicine and phone calls to discuss lab results and medications.

“We try to give them options,” he says.

Patients’ family members currently cannot come with them to office visits, but the patients themselves often are the best advocates for their health.

“If you have a pre-existing condition, it’s important that you listen to your body,” says Bowman. “Especially if you’re in a high-risk group where you have high blood pressure, diabetes or you have felt pressure in your chest before, you can’t stay home and talk yourself out of being seen by a doctor.”

Cardiovascular patients that avoid treatment can suffer serious consequences. When people suffer a heart attack at home and delay treatment, Bowman says, they lose heart muscle and don’t get it back. This also could result in congestive heart failure later.

“People need to take care of themselves. Don’t delay if you have an issue. There are ways to be treated,” says Bowman. “The later we see you, the less we can do.”

However, taking precautions doesn’t take the risk factors down “to zero.”

“Just because you’re high risk doesn’t mean you’ll get covid, but you need to be more hyper-vigilant,” Bowman says. “And there’s twice the possibility you’ll have cardiovascular involvement.”

Covid and Cardio
The cardiologist says 20 percent of covid patients will have some enzyme elevation, which indicates that the virus has affected the heart muscle. For those who are at greater risk for heart disease, the probability of enzyme elevation jumps to 35 percent to 50 percent.

“The heart very early on identified itself as a strong player in this situation,” says Bowman.

The higher the cardiac lab abnormalities such as cell damage, inflammation or heart wall stress, he says, the greater the potential for cardiac adversity, including death.

“With covid, inflammation of the heart doesn’t mean it has irrevocable damage, but some people could have less stamina,” he says. “There are questions about the residual effects of people with moderate inflammation.”

If the virus attacks blood vessels, it can increase the possibility of a stroke. In addition, blood clots can form when small vessels in the extremities become inflamed.

“Because covid affects the blood vessels and everything traveling to the heart, it can cause life-threatening blood clots to the heart,” says Bowman. “Multiple organs can become affected, and they don’t show improvement.”

Research has shown that even athletes who have been infected with the coronavirus could be at risk for heart complications, he says, and there is a question of “how soon is too soon” for them to return to action.

Meeting the Challenge
Of covid patients, Bowman says, 75 percent to 80 percent feel bad for two to three weeks, and 10 percent to 15 percent require hospitalization. Another 5 percent to 8 percent go on a ventilator, with a minimal likelihood of getting off of it. 

Covid-19 has challenged physicians to try new strategies, the cardiologist says, and treatments have changed since March.

Initially, patients on ventilators laid on their backs. Now, however, they are put in a prone position on their stomachs, and they are improving faster. “In the covid age, it’s a routine part of pulmonary maintenance,” says Bowman.

In addition, he says, covid patients are being treated with the medications remdesivir and dexamethasone as well as blood plasma that has been donated by people who have recovered from covid-19. Patients also are put on blood thinners earlier now to treat complications of the disease.

Physicians are still learning about the virus, Bowman says. For instance, they have found that some people have T-cell lymphocytes that fight the virus and protect them from covid.

“The cells stay in the blood and have memory to attack covid, but we don’t know why,” he says.

However, Bowman calls herd immunity “potentially dangerous.”

The science is unclear if those who have contracted covid-19 are immune to future infection, and the intermediate and longer term consequences of the coronavirus are unknown. And, under a herd immunity strategy, those who are affected less severely by the disease still can pass the virus to the elderly and others who have a higher risk of mortality.

Bowman, who has been practicing medicine since 1977, believes testing and a vaccine are key to battling the pandemic.

“Getting quick testing is the next big thing we need to do, with results available in 15 minutes to two hours. Contact tracing goes out the window when it takes a longer time to get results,” he says. “Quick testing would be a usable weapon. We ought to have it. I don’t understand why we don’t.”

He is optimistic about the development of a vaccine as well.

“I believe as we get a vaccine, and we will, it won’t be an instantaneous answer. But it will be better,” he says.

The cardiologist believes people should have no reservations about getting the vaccine, but that people in high-risk categories should be the first to receive it. He also says he has never seen anything like this virus in all his years of practicing medicine.

“It’s real. It’s real. It’s humbling. It’s eye-opening. It’s challenging in every way, shape and form,” Bowman says of covid-19. “Everywhere you look, it has changed a norm. Doctors are no different. We need a level of insight, energy and humility. There is no comfort zone.”

Nevertheless, he is quite comfortable with his mantra to remind people to try to stay as healthy as possible until the pandemic ends.

“Six feet apart. Avoid crowds. Sunshine when you can. Regular exercise. Good nutrition. Wear your mask,” says Bowman. “And say your prayers – before, after, in reverse and upside down.”


By Betsy Gilliland

Orthopedic Associates of Augusta, P.A.

Resource Guide

Providing quality, comprehensive, orthopaedic care in the C.S.R.A. since 1969
• Now offering out-patient total joint procedures
• Board-certified physicians – American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
• Single-specialty surgery center for out-patient procedures
– Sports medicine – Arthroscopic surgery – Hand and upper extremity surgery – Spinal disorders – Foot and ankle surgery – Total joint procedures – General orthopaedics

Urgent orthopaedic care available from 1:00 – 8:00 pm Monday through Thursday at our Evans location

University Professional Center
811 13th Street, Suite 20 | Augusta, GA 30901
(706) 722-3401

Evans Town Park
2511 Associates Way | Evans, GA 30809
(706) 854-2140

















VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT www.oaapa.com


Champion Orthopedics

Resource Guide

Robotic-Arm Assisted Joint Replacement
• Muscle Sparing
• Minimally Invasive
• Partial and Total Hip and Knee

CSRA’s Only Robotic Assisted Hip and Knee Surgeon DrJustinHead.com

Augusta Office
The Village at Crossroads | 1706 Magnolia Way Augusta, Georgia 30909
(706) 210-7529

Aiken Office
211 High Gate Loop | Aiken, SC
(803) 293-1160
















Visit our website at www.champion-orthopedics.com


Resource Guide

Are you experiencing pain, numbness, burning, tingling or loss of feeling because of neuropathy?

Utilizing the Gonstead Specific Technique
Offering K Laser Therapy & Pulse Electric Magnetic Therapy

676 Mullins Colony Drive, Evans, GA 30809 (next to Belk)

Hours:  Mon, Wed: 7:30am – 6:30pm | Tue, Thu: 1pm – 6pm | Fri: 7:30am – 1pm

(706) 210-8550









Visit our website www.larsonchiropracticevans.com


George W. Williams, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.O.G.

Resource Guide

George Williams, Jr. M.D. was born in Douglas, Georgia and now resides in Augusta. He received his Bachelor of Arts-Chemistry at Emory University, then attended the Medical College of Georgia to obtain his Doctor of Medicine. Dr. Williams joined OB/GYN Associates of Augusta (now OBGYN Partners of Augusta) in 1990.

Dr. Williams is Board Certified and a Fellow in the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He was nominated to Best Doctors and received Teacher of the Year Award while on the clinical facility of MCG (now Augusta University Medical Center). He has state licenses in Georgia and South Carolina. Dr. Williams has two children and a granddaughter.

1348 Walton Way. Suite 4100 • Augusta, GA 30901

Visit our website at obgynaugusta.com


Pediatric Partners of Augusta

Resource Guide

Pediatric Partners of Augusta is the largest private practice group of Board Certified Pediatricians and Board Certified Pediatric Sub Specialists in the CSRA. Our goal is to partner with parents in helping their children to grow into healthy and happy young adults.

We have two office locations to better serve our patients, one in downtown Augusta and one in Evans.  Our Evans office also has our After Hours Clinic, which is open 365 days a year  for your convenience and is always staffed by one of our Board Certified Pediatricians.

Our Sub Specialists include Pediatric Allergy, Pediatric Cardiology and Pediatric Neurology, all of whom have on site diagnostic testing for your convenience.  Often we are able to schedule referrals to our specialists within 48 hours, and urgent referrals are seen that same day.

1303 d’Antignac Street • Suite 2600
Augusta, GA 30909

411 Town Park Blvd
Evans, GA 30809

5135 Wrightsboro Road
Grovetown, GA 30813










Visit our patient portal at www.PedPartners.com

Vitamin Sea


Photos courtesy of Haig Point

Get a dose of late summer R&R at Daufuskie Island.

We’re all looking for less stress and more peace of mind these days, and Daufuskie Island, just off the South Carolina coast between Hilton Head Island and Savannah, delivers both.

After all, with a population of less than 400 people, no hotel and no way of getting there other than by ferry or private water taxi, the island escape is the perfect place for day trippers to get a 24-hour fix of surf, sand, seafood and fun.

Many people first became acquainted with Daufuskie Island as the setting of author Pat Conroy’s novel, The Water is Wide. However, one rotation of Earth on its axis probably is not enough time for a proper introduction to this island oasis. Fortunately, the hotel-free Daufuskie offers rental properties and other charming accommodations for overnight stays.

The 1873 Lighthouse on Daufuskie Island, which operated until the 1930s, opened bookings to the public last year. The waterfront accommodations, where waves gently roll right outside the front door and bottlenose dolphins leap out of the water by the dozens, sleeps four people. In addition to the 40-foot tower, the lighthouse includes a fireplace, a clawfoot bathtub and a rocking chair-lined porch that overlooks Calibogue Sound.

Guests also can stay in the Strachan Mansion in Haig Point, a gated private community on the northern tip of the island. Originally built in 1910 on St. Simons Island as a summer retreat, Strachan Mansion was moved to Haig Point by barge in 1986. Each of the mansion’s four suites is appointed with antique furnishings and has a tie to Haig Point history. The mansion also features a bar, a billiards room and a general store.

Exploring Daufuskie
No cars are allowed on the 5-mile-long island that consists chiefly of undeveloped conservancy land. For residents and visitors alike, the only methods of transportation are bicycles and electric golf carts.

Those who prefer not to travel Daufuskie’s mostly unpaved roads on wheels can take advantage of the island’s equine culture. The 3-acre Equestrian Center at Haig Point features a 12-stall barn where guests can take lessons and horseback tours of the island in English and Western style.

For visitors who would like to enjoy the serenity of riding horseback along the coastline, the equestrian center at Melrose community serves as the home base for Daufuskie Island Trail Rides. Six horses are housed there including a Native Marsh Tacky, a rare breed of horse that dates back more than 500 years in the area.

In addition to cantering on Daufuskie’s 3 miles of white, sandy beaches, experienced equestrians can ride through the undeveloped land that is teeming with natural wildlife. The island is home to deer, storks, egrets, pelicans, osprey, whales, gators and other reptiles. Loggerhead turtles nest on the shore in the spring. To protect the turtles, visitors should use only red flashlights at night from May through October and never drive golf carts on the beach.

Beach-goers can take a walk to Bloody Point, a historic battleground between Native Americans and English settlers. Bloody Point also is the island’s local fishing hole, so anglers can go there to try their luck.

Guided kayak tours and customized, guided golf cart eco-tours are available as well. Golfers also can enjoy Haig Point’s 20-hole, Rees Jones Signature course, which has seven oceanfront tee boxes and greens.

Peering into the Past
Rich in history and culture, Daufuskie Island offers a step back in time.

The first recorded inhabitants of Daufuskie are the Creek, or Muskogee, Indians, but most of the island’s native residents are Gullah/Geechee people who are descendants of freed slaves. These various ethnic groups from west and central Africa have retained many aspects of their African heritage, creating the celebrated Gullah culture on the island.

Up until the mid-20th century, the population of Daufuskie, a Creek word that means “land with a point,” was made up primarily of Gullah families. Oystering, farming and logging were the main industries on the island, but many people ultimately left in search of other work.

Developers came to Daufuskie in the 1980s and 1990s, and Haig Point, Bloody Point and Melrose were developed as resort communities.

However, many original Gullah-constructed homes, churches and schools remain on the island, and its historic district is named in the National Register of Historic Places. Some of Daufuskie’s historic sites include:

First Union African Baptist Church – This historic church was established in 1881 and rebuilt in 1884 after a fire burned down the original sanctuary. Still active as a non-denominational community church, the congregation holds Sunday services at 10 a.m.

Mary Fields School – Built in the 1930s, this school was created for the Gullah children on the south end of the island. Transportation from the north end began in 1950, making Mary Fields the primary school for Daufuskie students. This is the school where Conroy taught in the late 1960s, and he based The Water is Wide on his teaching experience at Mary Fields. The school now is home to Daufuskie Blues, which makes indigo-dyed scarves and fabrics.

Billie Burn Historical Museum – This small museum was named after Billie Burn, known as the first true “Daufuskie historian.” She is also the author of An Island Named Daufuskie, which documents details of the island’s past. Island artifacts such as arrow heads and pottery shards are displayed in the museum, which previously was Mt. Carmel Baptist Church.

Gullah Learning Center – This quaint museum is full of Gullah artifacts, writing, clothing and more. Originally, the building was the Jane Hamilton School, which children on the north end of the island attended in the 1940s before transportation took them to Mary Fields School.

Frances Jones House – Painted bright blue and adorned with centuries-old live oak, the Frances Jones house is a picturesque favorite for visitors. Jones was one of the first teachers at Mary Fields School and eventually became the principal. Sometimes called “Daufuskie Mayor,” she was a prominent fundraiser for the reconstruction of First Union African Baptist Church.

Moses Ficklin Cottage –Moses Ficklin was one of Daufuskie’s undertakers, and the Gullah-constructed home is positioned under a giant oak tree. Although privately owned, the house is worth a drive-by.

Bloody Point Lighthouse – Erected in 1882, the lighthouse had a rear-range and a front-range light to keep boaters out of the Savannah River. The tower was deconstructed due to erosion, and the keeper’s house, which has been converted to a museum and gift shop, was rolled back on logs to its current location. A “Lowcountry Heritage Walk” on the property showcases some historically-significant crops such as sea island cotton and indigo blue.

Shop Talk 
If visitors still are shopping around for ways to entertain themselves on Daufuskie, then why not stop by some of the island’s quaint and quirky shops? Don’t miss:

Iron Fish Gallery – American Made Award-winning metal sculptor Chase Allen owns this remote studio gallery. He specializes in handcrafting coastal fish, mermaid, crab, sea turtle, lobster and stingray sculptures. This self-taught, world-renowned artisan, who began creating coastal décor from sheet steel in 2001, has been featured in numerous national and local publications. Allen is a member of the “million-dollar club,” a select group of artists or artisans with lifetime sales of more than $1 million. His handcrafted, coastal-inspired metal sculptures can be found on the walls of clients and collectors from around the globe.

Anyone who wants to buy one of his pieces but can’t find him, however, need not worry. At Iron Fish Gallery, which is open seven days a week, art is sold on an honor system. When Allen is out, customers simply can drop their money in the mailbox slot and take their artwork home with them.

Silver Dew Winery – The tiny, historic Silver Dew Winery building dates back to 1883. Originally, the structure was built as a “wick house,” which was used to store oil, wicks and even the lamp for Bloody Point Lighthouse. In the early 1950s this Daufuskie Island icon was converted to a winery by Arthur “Papy” Burn, who made wine from grapes, scuppernong, pears, elderberries and other fruit. Locals soon dubbed the old wick house the Silver Dew Winery.

The winery closed in 1956, but the old wick house still carries the sign of Silver Dew Winery. Now, it is a gift shop where visitors can pick up a playful trinket or a bottle of wine. In addition, wine lovers can sample some of Silver Dew’s sweet scuppernong wine at the Bloody Point Lighthouse keeper’s house.

Spartina 449 – Named as an Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Company, Spartina 449 is a Daufuskie Island-based women’s handbag, accessory and jewelry business. The collection is available in general stores around town, and the high-quality linen and leather products reflect the color and beauty of Daufuskie Island and the Lowcountry. Spartina 449 also contributes a portion of its proceeds to the Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation, a nonprofit organization that preserves the island’s cultural heritage.

Food & Drink
With everything that Daufuskie has to offer, including restaurants, there’s no reason to go hungry. Visitors can feast on island fare at:

Old Daufuskie Crab Company – Deviled crab, the island specialty, is a must-try, and Old Daufuskie Crab Company is the place to try it. Offering some of the freshest seafood in the Lowcountry, this Island treasure features a variety of entrees such as shrimp and fish – with all the fixin’s, chicken quesadillas, steaks and burgers.

Diners can shuck their own oysters right off the roasting pit in season, and the restaurant serves its original Scrap Iron moonshine at the indoor and outdoor bars. Every evening meal comes with a side of Daufuskie’s magnificent sunset on the Cooper River.

Lucy Bell’s Café –Featuring a wide array of dishes, Lucy Bell’s focuses primarily on farm-to-table ingredients for its fresh local seafood, beef, poultry, appetizers and decadent desserts. Menu items range from simple Southern fried chicken to sophisticated delicacies such as lobster thermidor, tournedos oscar and herb roasted prime rib of beef.

School Grounds Coffee – Located in the back of Mary Fields School, this quaint coffee shop has a variety of options from cinnamon bun lattes to raspberry mochas to tried-and-true coffee blends. The shop also sells iced lemonades and teas.

Daufuskie Island Rum Distillery – One of only two American rum distilleries located on an island, Daufuskie Island Rum Company sits on 12 acres off Haig Point Road. Each bottle of Daufuskie Island Rum is distilled, bottled, labeled and packed by hand. The micro-distillery is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday. Tours of the distillery show the entire rum-making process from fermentation and distillation to bottling and labeling.

For more information, visit tourdaufuskie.com.

By Morgan Davis


Resource Guide

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320 South Belair Road
Augusta, GA 30907
(706) 993-2986


Merry Maids of Augusta

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