Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 4

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Hometown HERO

Kudos for cat trapper

By Cameron Whitlock

Sterling Davis:

CAMERON WHITLOCK

From rapper to trapper

TrapKing founder Sterling Davis
holds his cat, Damita Jo.

W

hen Sterling Davis started working with LifeLine
Animal Project in Atlanta back in 2012, he expected
it to be a temporary gig. A rising star in Atlanta's hiphop scene, Davis was looking for part-time work when he came
across a help-wanted post from a local cat shelter.
"I thought, 'Cool, that's not a lot of responsibility; I like
cats,'" says Davis. "It's something that I can do so I'm not just
sitting around broke and bored in between tours."
But after applying for the job, he quickly learned how
someone with his background was a much-needed asset in the
cat rescue community.
"I really didn't understand the serious lack of diversity in
cat rescue," adds Davis.
He soon found his calling working with LifeLine's trapneuter-return (TNR) program-helping control feral cat populations and doing community outreach in metro Atlanta.
In 2017, Davis founded his own nonprofit, TrapKing
Humane Solutions. To date, he's overseen the TNR of more
than 1,000 cats and worked with local shelters to find homes for
friendly strays. And while TNR is the focal point of TrapKing,
Davis has leveraged his unique style to build awareness and
compassion for cats among diverse communities nationwide.
"A lot of black and brown communities don't like cats, and
it's sometimes taboo for guys to have cats," says Davis. "I was

46 Georgia Magazine

From THE EDITOR

Comments from our readers * Compiled by Jennifer J. Hewett

focusing specifically on those communities when I first started,
but now my presentations have expanded."
Davis says his appearance-bearded, covered in tattoos,
with painted black fingernails-helps him break down barriers with young men in the schools and communities where
he presents. He's also uniquely positioned to do outreach in
communities of color that were skeptical of and, in some cases,
hostile to other TNR rescue workers.
Davis believes communication is key in helping bridge that
gap. His most recent presentation, "Feral Humans," explores the
issues of race and diversity in cat rescue.
While TrapKing is predominantly a one-man show, Davis
says his long-term vision is to grow his nonprofit into a fraternity/sorority of cat trappers and advocates.
"The look and feel of it would be like [the TV show] 'Sons
of Anarchy' meets TNR," Davis says. "So you have leather
jackets with patches of how many cats' lives you've saved."
Ultimately, a gang of leather-jacket-clad rock 'n' roll cat
rescuers fits perfectly with the brand and central message
Davis has crafted for himself: "You don't lose cool points for
compassion."
Get involved or donate at trapkinghumane.org.
Cameron Whitlock is a freelance writer and photographer.
He lives in Douglasville.

May 2020

46_Hometown_Hero_0520.indd 46

4/12/20 1:08 PM

I absolutely love the article "From rapper to
trapper" about hometown hero Sterling Davis. [See
Hometown Hero, May 2020, page 46; bit.ly/hero520.]
It's wonderful what he is doing to promote the trapneuter-release program and to encourage cat rescues.
-Leslie Rye, Montezuma

Editor's note: If you would like to nominate
someone for our Hometown Hero department,
email the person's name and a short description
of his or her good work in the community to
jim.jess@georgiaemc.com.

The Poppy Lady's legacy
As great-nieces of Moina Michael (our grandmother was one of her younger
sisters), we are thrilled with the excellent story published in the recent edition of
Georgia Magazine! [See "The Poppy Lady," May 2020, page 26; bit.ly/poppylady0520.]
As keepers of the family scrapbooks filled with newspaper clippings about Aunt
Moina and her work, we were so excited when
Barbara Walsh contacted us during the research phase
The
of writing her beautiful book, "The Poppy Lady." As a
result, we were able to donate these resources to the
y
Hargrett Special Collections Library at the University
Good Hope native launched
the worldwide remembrance
of fallen soldiers
of Georgia [in Athens] so that all those resources could
be properly archived and protected for generations
O
to come.
The ability for researchers like writer Sarah
Russell to have access to the photos and stories in a
secure archival setting, instead of having to come to
my attic, is wonderful! Thank you for a great article.
And thank you for keeping the story of The Poppy
Lady in the hearts and minds of our nation.
-Elinor Howard Cook and Lucia Howard Sizemore, via email
COURTESY HERITAGE

ROOM, ATHENSCL

ARKE COUNTY

LLIBRARY

Poppy
Lad

Poppies grow near the graves of
World War I soldiers at Ypres Reservoir
Cemetery in West Flanders, Belgium.

26 Georgia Magazine

Hope was far from young soldier Pat Antrilli's
heart the day he learned his two brothers were
prisoners of war. During World War II, Antrilli had
been sent to Athens to attend the Army's Signal Corps
School at the University of Georgia (UGA). He and
300 fellow soldiers were assigned housing in the
Hotel Georgian. Another resident of the hotel was
Moina Michael, a retired teacher who was in declining health. When she sensed his distress that day, she
crossed the hotel lobby to talk with him.
As his daughter, Barbara Walsh, later recounted:
"The two of them spoke for hours. In the weeks
that followed, she would look for my dad when he
returned from his studies to see how he was doing."
Michael was a dedicated horticulturist who grew
flowers in a memorial garden at UGA and regularly
provided blooms to brighten the hotel lobby. Antrilli,
having a bit of a green thumb himself, bonded with
Michael, who'd become known as The Poppy Lady.
Neither a wife, widow nor mother, Michael
nevertheless had helped many young people. During
World War I, the YMCA established a program at
Columbia University in New York City to train women
to serve overseas as canteen workers, predecessors
to USO hostesses. At almost 50, Michael "was too old.

May 2020

26-28_Poppy_Lady_0520.indd 26

4/13/20 4:04 PM

Reader mailbag
Thanks for the trivia contest-but more importantly for Georgia Magazine. It's
such a great way to keep up with what's going on in our wonderful state. We are so
fortunate to live here and experience the amazing things our state offers.
Since I love to cook, the recipes in the Georgia Cooks section are always
appreciated as well.
-Katie Spangler, Amicalola EMC member, Jasper
I thoroughly enjoy Georgia Magazine and look forward to it every month. As an
older person, it gives me armchair travels to places I can no longer go.
-Brenda A. O'Barr, Acworth
I'm so excited to be receiving your magazine again. I haven't lived in an area
served by an electric cooperative in 20 years.
Thanks for having fun trivia questions to encourage the reading of your articles.
As a retired teacher, it makes me happy.
-Sonya Frady, Clarkesville
Share your thoughts. Email us at magazine@georgiaemc.com. Please include your name,
address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.

4

Georgia Magazine

MICHAEL

Moina Michael tends
the flowers in her memorial garden at the
University of Georgia. She and Pat Antrilli, at right,
shared a love of plants and formed a friendship when the
young soldier was training in Athens during World War II.

COURTESY TOM

ISTOCK.COM / NATALKAPRAGUE

ISTOCK.COM / ANTONEL

By Sarah Russell

n the Friday before Memorial Day,
red paper poppies will appear across
Georgia. Since World War I the poppy-
now a national and international icon-has served
not only to honor those fallen in battle but also to
provide millions of dollars each year in support of
disabled veterans. All of this is because of the sheer
determination of one schoolteacher from Good
Hope in Walton County.

Georgia Magazine has come a long
way since its humble beginnings in July
1945. The first issue of the publication,
then titled RURAL Georgia, was eight
pages in length and went out to 32,000
electric membership cooperative
(EMC) members.
Much has changed since then.
RURAL Georgia became GEMC GEORGIA
Magazine in 1990, reflecting the fact that
the magazine's readership had become
as much suburban as rural. The issue you
are reading was delivered to more than
680,000 homes and was read by more
than 1.5 million people.
Some things haven't changed, however. Georgia Magazine still keeps readers
all across the state informed about what's
going on with their local EMCs and the
electric industry as well as what makes
Georgia such a great place to live, work
and play. Turn to "Looking back, moving
forward," starting on page 20, to learn
more about the magazine's history.
On page 16, we profile Yoyo Ferro,
a muralist whose work is making cities
large and small a little more colorful. See
"Paint the town" to find out how, at a
time when many galleries and museums
have closed their doors because of the
pandemic, his work provides a message
of joy and beauty to those who venture
outdoors.
Speaking of the outdoors, on page
24 we visit some of Georgia's most iconic
warm-weather destinations: its beaches.
As of this writing, most of the state's parks
and beaches are open, although socialdistancing directives still apply. Read
"Georgia, the 'beach state'" to discover
more of what our coastal-and inland-
shorelines have to offer.
Last but not least, I'd like to say a
heartfelt "thank you" to all of our loyal
readers. We appreciate your being part of
our journey and look forward to the next
75 years.
Enjoy,

Laurel George
Editor

July 2020

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6/12/20 10:59 AM


http://www.bit.ly/hero520 http://www.trapkinghumane.org http://www.bit.ly/poppylady0520 http://www.ISTOCK.COM http://www.ISTOCK.COM

Georgia Magazine - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - July 2020

Contents
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 4
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 5
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 6
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 7
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 8
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 9
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 10
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 11
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Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 17
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 18
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 19
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 20
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 21
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Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 24
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 25
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 26
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 27
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 28
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 29
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 30
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 31
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Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 33
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - 34
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - July 2020 - Cover4
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