Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 4

Comments from our readers * Compiled by Jennifer J. Hewett




I read the September 2020 edition of
Georgia Magazine from cover to cover. It was my
first time to read it, and thanks to the Trivia
Contest, I found out so many interesting and fun
facts and information about my beloved state of
I am a 58-year-old Georgia native and truly
loved reading the articles. So much so, I'm
looking forward to receiving future editions.
Thank you for creating and sharing the
"leisure-themed issue" that has inspired me to
take to the roads this fall (and next spring/
summer) to visit many of the places featured
in the magazine.

Celebrating the Georgia lifestyle


Everything Elvis
page 18
For senior citizens,
school's back in session
page 24





Celebrating the Georgia lifestyle


Just discovering the magazine

I ue



Celebrating the Georgia lifestyle





page 20

Pickleball, anyone?
page 16

RV travel in Georgia
page 28

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8/12/20 6:50 PM

-Jennifer Fitzgerald, Kennesaw
I've been getting this magazine for a while now, and I hate to admit, but this is
the first one I actually read. I didn't realize that it contained so many interesting
articles. I will be looking forward to the next issue. While I am waiting, I will send in
my answers for the Trivia Contest!
-Kim Curry, Shellman
I am new to Georgia and really enjoyed your
publication. Thank you!
-Deborah Shemella, Blairsville

Notes about August issue



By Helen Newling Lawson

Top: The ruby-throated hummingbird is the only species that breeds
in Georgia. On average, a hummingbird's wings beat about 70 times
per second. Above left: Julia Elliot is known at Smith-Gilbert Gardens
as "The Hummingbird Whisperer." Above right: Once a hummingbird
has been banded, scientists can track its movements and lifespan.

16 Georgia Magazine

very September, Smith-Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw
invites the public for a rare opportunity to witness Julia
Elliot in action. As a master hummingbird bander, she is
one of only 150 people in the United States and Canada
licensed to capture the tiny birds to assess their health and band
them for tracking.
Of the 500 or so people who typically come to the event,
just a few children are lucky enough to hold a hummingbird for
a moment before the bird whizzes off to find the next flower.
"When they feel the heat and the heartbeat, you can see
their faces change. That's a magical moment for me," Elliot says.
"They understand it's a living thing."
Elliot gently captures the tiny birds as they feed on flowers in the garden's perennial border. She quickly and carefully
weighs and measures them, notes their gender and makes a few
observations about their plumage and other health indicators.
She submits the data to the Bird Banding Laboratory, a national
repository for information for scientists and researchers. The
information she collects provides vital insights into the health
and migration trends of the ruby-throated hummingbird.
"It's a wonderful opportunity for the community to learn
about hummingbirds, but there's also a lot of science behind it,"
says Ann Parsons, executive director at Smith-Gilbert Gardens.
After one event she received an email that read, "As an
environmental educator, I was impressed by the caliber of this


I enjoyed your article about the hummingbirds. [See "Tracking Georgia's hummingbirds,"
August 2020, page 16;] I can see why
they are called a charm because they will charm
your heart!
I have been feeding and watching hummingbirds for many years and have been lucky to have one
sit on my thumb while I held the feeder. I would like
to add that when you make your own solution, use
the cane sugar as recommended, not organic white
sugar. Keeping the feeders clean of mold is essential if you want hummingbirds to
continue coming to your feeder.
-Sandy Meierhofer, College Park
Banding helps researchers map populations, migration



Tracking Georgia's


August 2020

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7/10/20 12:20 PM



I absolutely loved the article by Roy Payne in
August's issue. [See "Building memories, learning
lessons at Papa's cabin," My Georgia, page 19;]
-BJ Alexander, Hart EMC member, Canon
I enjoyed reading the August 2020 Georgia
Magazine! My father-in-law is a subscriber and let
me borrow his issue this month. Great articles
and very informative!
-Kathy Mura, Augusta
Continued on page 6


Georgia Magazine

November 2020

By Roy Payne

Building memories, learning
lessons at Papa's cabin


spent the summer of 1977 with my grandfather
in the mountains outside Toccoa. I was 14 then
and wanted to be anywhere else.
I got there by bus on a bright morning in early
June. Papa was waiting for me, leaning against a
white Ford Galaxy 500. He was a tall man with a
worn, cracked face and was wearing square-rimmed
glasses and a Stihl baseball hat.
After we loaded my bags, he took a seat on the
passenger side and told me I was driving. He said it
in such a casual, confident way that I couldn't refuse
and still be his grandson.
So I learned to drive in the half-hour it took to
get home and then drove all over northeast Georgia
that summer-no license, no seat belts and no idea
how much trouble we were in if I got pulled over.
We lived in an old one-room cabin, set in a
clearing beneath sprawling pecan trees. It had three
small windows and a stone fireplace.
A solitary power line ran up the mountain, so
we had electricity for a few appliances. Papa slept in
a bed in one corner, and I slept a few feet from him
on a rollaway, next to the box fan and a small blackand-white TV on a metal stand.
Behind the cabin was a well, where I learned to
fill a bucket in my role as water fetch-it boy. Let the
bucket sink, then reel it up fast so all you get is cool,
sweet water, uncluttered by sticks and spiders.
There was an outhouse out back with a wasp
nest in the corner-a place for business, not contemplation.
At the far end of the clearing was a sawmill,
where every Saturday we made logs out of tree
trunks. During the week, except on Sunday (Papa
wouldn't work on Sunday), we cut trees. We mostly
cut tall, straight pines. Sometimes we cut pulpwood,
then loaded a rusting beast of a truck for a trip to the
train yard.
The memories are still fresh: the heat; the
pungent smell of pine straw baking in the sun; the
cool night air and the lonely call of whippoorwills
across the mountains; the sound of the chain saw
and the tractor; and the spaces in between when my
grandfather dragged logs to the mill and I was left
alone for a bit in the silent woods.
Even with lungs that rattled from a lifetime of
smoking, Papa could outwork me. He was rough and

Roy Payne lived with his grandfather in this cabin during the summer
of 1977. His grandfather sent him the picture two years later.

sharp-edged, but there were softer moments.
He loved the look of a lush, green cornfield and the sound
of rain on a tin roof. He wanted to live to 70 because none of his
brothers had. During World War II, he had fought in France and
Italy, and he told me machine guns were good only for cutting
down trees. But I know now that he cut down more than trees,
and it had scarred him.
At the end of that summer, Papa paid me $300 cash. He
spent the next year building a new cabin from the trees we
cut. He lived there five more years, dying a year shy of his
70th birthday.
Today, I'm almost as old as he was then, and I think fondly
of that summer, even though at the time I wanted to be anywhere else. In that way, it was also a lesson-maybe even more
so today.
Roy Payne lives in Orlando, Fla., and is an attorney with
the city.

In this issue we commemorate
Veterans Day, Nov. 11, with an article
about the Veterans Fishing Organization
(VFO) in LaGrange. Founder Ken
Bearden believes that spending time
outdoors can have a positive effect on
veterans, particularly those struggling
with physical or emotional issues as a
result of their service.
See "Healing waters," starting on
page 22, to find out how the VFO is
getting veterans out on the water and
taking advantage of the restorative
power of nature.
The Veterans Fishing Organization
isn't the only nonprofit we feature in this
issue. The Georgia Center for Nonprofits
in Atlanta provides tools and support to
help the state's nonprofits promote their
organizations and maximize donations.
Read "A time to give," starting on
page 26, to learn how the center helps
raise awareness of and support for
Georgia's nonprofits and how you can
participate in GAgives on GivingTuesday, the center's annual fundraising
Georgia's economy is built on small
businesses, and right now many are
hurting because of the pandemic. That
makes it even more timely that this
month we celebrate Georgia-made
products in general and those made by
small businesses in particular.
Turn to "Gifts galore from Georgia,"
starting on page 16, to see the creativity
of our state's entrepreneurs and the
quality and variety of their products. As
Small Business Saturday approaches on
Nov. 28, we hope you'll shop locally and
support the small companies that bring
so much value to our communities.
Finally, we take a look at how
Georgia's electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) are rising to meet the
challenges involved in bringing reliable
internet service to the rural areas of our
state. Turn to page 20 to discover how
EMCs are rolling out the red carpet for

To submit a My Georgia story, send the essay (no more than 500 words) and 300-dpi
digital photos by email to or by mail to the address
listed on page 6. A self-addressed, stamped envelope must be included for photos to
be returned. Published essays pay $100. Georgia Magazine reserves the right to edit
submitted pieces.

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7/9/20 6:51 PM

Laurel George

Georgia Magazine - November 2020

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

Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 4
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 5
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 6
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 7
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 8
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 9
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 10
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 11
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 12
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 13
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 14
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 15
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 16
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 17
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 18
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 19
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 20
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 21
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 22
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 23
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 24
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 25
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 26
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 27
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 28
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 29
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 30
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 31
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 32
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 33
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 34
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 35
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 36
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 37
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 38
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Cover4