Saturday, October 3, 2015

Saving History One Piece At A Time by Tori Bailey

Drive along any main street in Georgia and there is a guarantee that stately homes of a time when cotton fueled the economy can be admired. These master pieces are as beautiful as a Southern Belle in her finest crinoline and layers of ruffles. But for each of these preserved dwellings, there are those that stand abandoned and often destined to be destroyed through deterioration or demolition.
The demand for antique architecture is making these homes a needed resource.  “I started working on restoring old homes and couldn’t find period pieces.  That is when I began taking down old houses and stock piling them.” Jimmy Poss has been salvaging old houses for thirty-years.  He has helped restore and relocate several houses, including log cabins. 
   He and his wife, Peggy Sue, own Neat Pieces in Carlton, Georgia.  The two met when Peggy Sue came to Neat Pieces looking for heart of pine lumber for a restoration project.  That first meeting was thirteen years ago. Together, they continue their pursuit in preserving the architectural history of older homes and structures. “We have a church built in the 1850’s in a trailer. In another trailer we have a complete house.”  Most of our finds come from word of mouth. Peggy Sue continued to share how they have collected the majority of their inventory. “Someone will contact us after a death. The family doesn’t know what to do with the estate.  We will go, look at it, and make an offer for the entire estate. A lot of times, we only have a few days to go in and get everything.”
 Neat Pieces occupies a row of turn of the century brick buildings that was the location for two banks, hardware store, a grocery store and a druggist.  A covered walkway that once allowed locals to window shop is a glimpse to what is inside each section.  “Just blur your eyes.”  Peggy Sue will advise with her South Georgia accent. “It can be overwhelming.”  While each section is filled with treasures waiting to be discovered, there is a sense of organization.  The space that was once the drugstore is where booklovers can peruse old titles.  Another section is dedicated to vintage clothing.
Venture to the side yard where a wooden railroad car built in the 1870’s is located.  “We found it in Washington, Georgia.  It used to be part of the line that ran between Washington, Elberton and Lincolnton.  We’ve salvaged a third of the car that once consisted of a passenger and mail/baggage section.  The interior is mahogany and the exterior is cypress. I have the original green stained glass that goes in the upper section.”  Jimmy has received a lot of interest in the train car, including a possible use of turning it into a tiny house on wheels.
“I’m not sure where the antique bug came from.  But, I love antiques.”  Jimmy confessed.  If it is a need for heart of pine lumber, period hardware for a dresser, door knob, or a stroll down memory lane, Jimmy and Peggy Sure will probably have it.  “A man visiting from France once told us buy no more, you need to sell.”  Peggy Sue paused and smiled.  “How can we say no to salvaging history one piece at a time.”
Jimmy and Peggy Sue Poss. The met over some Heart of Pine and have been sharing their passion for architectural salvage and antiques for the past fourteen years.
1850 Cypress and Mahogany Railroad Car that was found in Washington, Georgia.
The walkway provides a preview to the treasures located inside. Each section has its own theme ranging from architectural, hardware, vintage clothing, books, and antiques.
Neat Pieces is located at 5769 Highway 72 E, Carlton, Georgia 30627
Hours: Thursday - Sunday 10 to 5 pm
About The Author
Tori Bailey is a regular contributor to Georgia Home and Life and a contributing writer for the Georgia Connector magazine.  She has published two novels, Coming Home – A Second Chance at Goodbye and Ethel’sSong.  Her third book, Love Made from Scratch, is set for release in May, 2016.  She lives in the Athens area with her two rescue cats.  Follow Tori’s Facebook page Tori Bailey Ink or visit her website. Learn more about the author on her Amazon Author Page.
Meet Tori this Saturday, October 3rd, at the Braselton Gallery October Local Writer's Showcase from 1 - 3 pm.





Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Lexington, Georgia, A Place Frozen In Time by Tori Bailey

The steady flow of traffic hums through the heart of this historic town that seems frozen in time.  The Romanesque Revival style courthouse is the focal point of the town’s square. I have traveled through Lexington more times than I would care to admit for my age.  Growing up in Washington, we often traveled to Athens for shopping, entertainment and to visit family.  It has been in my adult years that I have truly discovered this town that once was a mark along a journey.
Lexington is a great place to explore.  The row of shops that form a line along the highway are filled with antiques, collectibles, and artwork.  Two of my favorite shops are Local Color and The Civil Hen.
Local Color immediately invites you in to explore with the collection of sculptured yard art displayed along the sidewalk.  The wide store front windows display a glimpse of the many treasures waiting to be discovered on the inside.  Among the displays of antiques, home décor and collectibles, are original works of art by local artist.  A bookcase is host books written by Georgia Authors.  (View a small YouTube video at the bottom of this post on local book authors). 
The owner of Local Color is just as interesting to discover as the many treasures within her store.  Linda Parrish is interior designer and has found herself working of projects that have taken her all over the world.  “My first love is working in historic renovations.” 
The Civil Hen Antiques is located in the old bank on Main Street.  Davina Barnes was looking for a place that would give her space to paint and refurbish furniture when she discovered Lexington.  “I fell in love with the charm of this quaint town.”  Davina, a stage/decorator, found herself purchasing the vacant bank and starting The Civil Hen.  “I couldn’t have found a better location and love being able to find and create my own pieces.” 
Lexington was founded in 1800 and became the county seat of Oglethorpe the same year.  This small Southern town has been home to historical figures and places.  One place is the Columbia Theological Seminary.  The seminary was founded in 1830.  Several of the original buildings continue to stand today. 
Each October history comes to life with the Legends of Oglethorpe.  This event is a weekend filled with living history where today’s citizens can meet those of Lexington’s yesterday.  This year will mark the third annual event and a new cast of characters.  Those attending will be able to listen to each character tell their story and become transported to a time when Lexington was home to many notable people that were influential to the forming of our nation. (This year’s event will be hosted October 24 -25)
Mark your calendar, too, for the Oglethorpe Fresh Concert and Music Series that kicks off September 25th in Lexington.
A place that was once a view outside a passing car’s window has become a treasure to explore.  A trip home to Washington now factors a stop in Lexington to shop and explore the quaint town that seems frozen in time.

Author Tori Bailey's webpage. 


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Til The Cows Come Home by Christy Breedlove


Although most Georgians know that Highway 78 eastbound will eventually lead you out of Atlanta to Athens, most sadly miss the charm of this road in their quest to be a barker at a UGA football game. 
When you reach Split Silk in unincorporated Walton County on Highway 78, a change washes over you.  You’ve left the congestion and “city life” and you are now on rural time.  The clock ticks a sedate paste and seemingly stops when you ride through small towns you’ve never heard—Between, Mount Vernon and Good Hope to name a few.
            And happily, it’s not just the scenery that has altered.  The people have changed also and mostly for the better.  Parents instill a sense of respect of the land, communities and citizens in their children.  You can tell it in the attitude.  Neighbors are quick to help and in a crisis, everyone pulls together.  Sure, there is more kudzu to swallow the land but on the brighter side, it is the norm to hold your hand out the window to wave or even offer to open the door for a lady. Mommas and other ladies are still placed high on a pedestal and rarely fall off.  Although bigger communities have a reputation for “live and let live”, that is more apparent in the country.  Oddities are often overlooked and sometimes encouraged out here.
            My family and I were out cemetery hopping along this stretch of 78 when I spied flashing lights behind us when we tested these theories.
            “You looking for a cow?” was the first question when a Walton County deputy pulled over my husband. 
            My husband cut his eyes to me.  “Are we looking for a cow?”  He knew full well that we were indulging our macabre hobby of cemetery viewing. What can I say?  We like to view history through graveyards.
            “Nope, no cow hunters here.” I cheerfully informed the deputy.  “We’re just visiting cemeteries.”
            “Well, that’s good.” he said as if ghouls like us were an everyday occurrence.  The ‘well’ was drawn out into two syllables.  “It’s nice to see that respect for your ancestors hasn’t died.”  The deputy snorted at his pun and then went on.  “Iffen you do see that cow, call 911.  Mr. Thomas reported that one of his cows ran away.  Her name is Beulah but don’t call her by that name.  She hates it.  Just call us and we’ll finagle her back to the barn ‘cause if you try to force her, she’ll pee on you.  Mr. Thomas was trying to git her and she just plumb took off over yonder.”
            With that, the officer tipped his hat and wished us a good day.  My husband breathed a sigh of relief.  He wasn’t transporting drugs so I didn’t know why he was happy to see him leave.
            “I don’t want to be around when Beulah pees.”
            Understandable, but as a fellow female, I sympathized with the reticent cow.  Rural and urban ladies need a break from time to time. What gal doesn’t want to escape the confines of her home and children to get gussied up and have a night on the town or fields as in Beulah’s case? 
            We were leaving our last cemetery of the day and discussing the misfortune of Enoch McCollum who caught the measles and died during the War of Northern Aggression.  I glanced out the corner of my eye and saw a large spotted cow hiding in the kudzu.  She saw me, froze and stopped chewing her cud.  I knew that look better than Beulah.  Freedom if only for an hour is still freedom.  I slowly nodded in solidarity and Beulah quietly bowed back to be enveloped in the kudzu.
            All city and country girls have to stick together, don’t we?  Yep, loyalty and respect between girls till the cows come home.
About the author:

Visit Christy's blog for more fun stories! Click here to go to Having a Hissyknit.
Christy Breedlove has been writing snarky Facebook posts for some time and has made the transition to writing magazine articles.  She has lived in Walton County for 18 years with her very patient husband, two teen aged children and two lazy dogs. When she is not napping or ignoring housework, she likes to go geocaching, read and knit. 


Monday, July 27, 2015

Backyard Interviews with PEN, author of Nero's Fiddle

Meet Pen,the author of twenty-one books, including Nero's Fiddle. Pen is the creator and  host of Backyard Interviews and talks about her passion for writing. She is interviewed by fellow writer Connie Spruill. A native Georgian, Pen has been daydreaming since the age of four and writing since the age of ten. Visit her website Pen's Pen . If you are an author and would like to be interviewed contact Pen and she will get back with you quickly! Learn more about Nero's Fiddle on Amazon and check out Pen's author's page on Amazon. You can see the full interview below. Pen lives in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Author KT Ashely on Backyard Interviews

Author KT Ashely
Meet author KT Ashely on Backyard Interviews, a new site for authors by PEN
Ashely discusses his novel The Pool.

Click below and see full interview.

Author KT Ashely is an American writer from the South whose genre is Historical and Realistic Fiction. A native of Louisiana, the writer also grew up in East Texas and lived several years in northern New England.

Much of his writing is influenced by historical events from contemporary to ancient. The human condition and it's affects on society are often the theme. Plot lines involving prejudices, indifference, wealth disparities and military service are common. Visit his Amazon author page.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Backyard Interviews with PEN A Place For Authors To Share Their Books on YouTube

Home Page for Backyard Interviews.
Click here to go to the website to see all the features.
Contact PEN if you'd like to be considered for an interview!
The Backyard Interview tab at the top of this blog will have an ongoing list of links to all interviews.
Author PEN (Nero's Fiddle) is interviewing authors on YouTube.  Want to share your book? It's free for now and fun. Don't miss the opportunity to participate! Currently most interviews are being done in a lovely backyard in Decatur.
Below is an excerpt from PEN's Backyard Interviews website.
Backyard Interviews is the brainchile of writer, Pen. As a self-published author, Pen knows how difficult it is to promote and market her work. And getting an interview . . . almost impossible! By interviewing other writers and artists, she's helping them promote their work and themselves and making a name for herself. Without access to an actual studio or expensive equipment, she decided to give these interviews a more "homey" touch. What's better than being interviewed in the backyard? Relaxed, fresh air, a glass of iced tea (the House Wine of the South) and two creative people discussing creative endeavors. Perfect!
We are not professional videographers here at Backyard Interviews; I'm sure that much is evident (I'm using the "royal we" as in me, myself and I). And heaven knows, my face isn't meant to be on camera (I kind of resemble a turkey, don't I?) But I have a vision and a dream: to help other self-published and independent authors get the word out about their works.
Ergo, I will gladly put myself out there for that purpose. And hope those viewing enjoy the effort.

Tomorrow meet KT Ashely, author of The Pool, and watch his interview here!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Bley Pottery – Where Pottery Embodies a Time, Place, and Emotion by Tori Bailey

Clay caked hands held a drying face jug. The expression of a wide toothy grin, blank eyes, and flared nostrils seemed to be in a constant state of change. “Pottery embodies a time, place and invokes an emotional response.  Some pieces can create a feeling of inspiration, nostalgia, and intrigue in how it is made.  Then there are the face jugs.  People either appreciate the artistry or are bothered by the expressions.  The fact is a person will walk away with an emotional reaction.” Its creator, Bruce Bley, shared while he placed the jug on a shelf before covering it with plastic.

Bruce is the owner of Bley Pottery located in Monroe.  His studio is a garage filled with storage boxes, tools, and a myriad of items.  He doesn’t seem to mind the clutter.  A small sections has been dedicated for his pottery wheel, kiln, and a table that holds containers of glazes.  “I’ve dabbled in a lot of mediums ranging from painting to making jewelry.  But, my true passion has been to work with clay.”  That was made possible with the opening of a local art gallery in downtown Monroe. “Wild Child Arts provided the flexibility for me to take classes that did not interfere with my work schedule.”

 He pulls his inspiration from the traditional pottery of the North Georgia Mountains, often referred to as Folk Pottery.  “The mountains have always been an inspiration for me. The history of pottery is steeped in this area. It had a function in everyday life.”

While Bruce enjoys creating face jugs, he also makes a lot of functional pieces.  “This year I’ve tried to broaden what I make.”  Some of the new items include French butter dishes, wine glasses, and lidded casserole dishes. “I’ve allowed my creativity to lend itself to making guineas.  A lot of potters are making roosters and I wanted to try something in the same forum but different.”

His guineas and French butter dishes were a hit at the North Georgia Pottery Festival in Homer. This year has brought recognition for Bruce as one of four featured potters at the Fired Works show in Macon.  “To be selected as a featured potter was a definite high-point for me. This is a national show with a large following. The surreal moment was opening night when I saw three of my four pieces purchased within an hour of the show’s start.”  Bruce became humble in sharing his experience.  “I walked away that night in awe of the response to my work.”

While being a featured artist at a national show was definitely a highlight for him, Bruce is at home doing the pottery shows that have become a part of his annual schedule.  “After you do a few of the shows, it becomes like a social event. Friendships are forged with other potters.  I have also created bonds with some of the people that return each year to purchase a piece for their collection.”  Bruce sees the transaction of selling a piece of his pottery as more than just financial.  “You are creating an experience for the person making the purchase.  We get to talk with each other, share our enthusiasm for pottery, and discuss the inspiration or process for a particular pieces.

Bruce’s pieces are available in several galleries and pictures of his latest creations are often posted on his Bley Pottery Facebook page.  He has made commissioned pieces and donated some of his work to charitable events.


About the Author:

 Tori Bailey is a contributing writer for the Georgia Connector magazine.  She has published two novels, Coming Home – A Second Chance at Goodbye and Ethel’sSong.  Her third book, Love Made from Scratch, is set for release in May, 2016.  She lives in the Athens area with her two rescue cats.  Follow Tori’s Facebook page Tori Bailey Ink or visit her website . Learn more about the author on her Amazon Author Page.