Plein air artists have flair

Eatonton celebrated its inaugural Eatonton One Day Paint Out, proudly sponsored by The Artisans Village Guild.  Sixteen artists came from far and near, to paint ‘plein air’ and created wonderful works of art that depicted recognizable places around the town.  

Artists were allowed to paint and enter one or two works depicting gardens, homes, architecture, storefronts, flowers, streetscapes and trees within a one-mile radius of The Artisans Village. They could be found throughout the town throughout the day.


Girl Scouts donate cookie proceeds

Girl Scout Troop 60175 at Gatewood Schools recently sold more than $15,000 worth of Girl Scout cookies and donated their earnings to Circle Ranch, Inc. Still in its initial funding stage, the ranch is a non-profit facility in Greene County to serve foster youth in 12 surrounding counties, including Putnam, Greene and Morgan. Presenting their check to Jody Sandwick are, front row, Addy Alliston, Sara Gray Fuller, Braylee Atkinson, Jordan Knowles, Bela Smith, Lilly Arthur; middle row, Brylie Lundy, Evan Truman, Camille Alvarez, Sophia Hill, Lilly Kent Rainey, Wylder Pinkerton, Willa Gee; and back row, scout leaders Holly Lindsey and Hannah Parham.

Cookies for foster kids


Putnam nominations needed for Women's History Month honorees

By Shannon Sneed / Staff

EATONTON -- Nominations are being sought for the 2017 National Women History Month celebration honoring Putnam County women who have successfully challenged the role of women in both business and paid labor force.

Women have always worked, but often their work has been undervalued and under paid. Facing stark inequalities in the workplace (lower wages, poor working conditions and limited opportunities), many women have fought to make the workplace a less hostile environment for all, and have proved women could succeed in every field.


Putnam students read poems at Alice Walker birthday celebration

Caroline Jones, 12, reads Alice Walker's poem, "Woman," during a Feb. 9 Georgia Writers Museum celebration of the author's birthday.

By Don Richeson / Staff

EATONTON -- Several youngsters read poems as part of the open microphone portion of the Feb. 9 Georgia Writers Museum celebration of Alice Walker's birthday. The famed "Color Purple" author, who grew up in Putnam County, turned 73 on Feb. 9. Among the readers was Putnam County Middle School student Caroline Jones, 12, who read Walker's poem, "Woman."

Click on link below to view a Messenger videoclip of Caroline's reading:


Daisies'cookie sales to help foster kid

By Shannon Sneed



As 2017 marks the 100th year of Girl Scout cookie sales, Putnam County Daisy Girl Scout Troop 60173, led by Hannah Parham and Holly Lindsey, are celebrating by helping build a home for other children. Based at Gatewood School, the Daisies are partnering with Circle Ranch Inc. by donating a portion of their cookie proceeds to help with the desperate need for children aging out of foster care in the community.


Event to honor Alice Walker with purple and poems

Gwen Ralston

By Gwen Ralston / Guest Columnist

EATONTON -- The Georgia Writers Museum will host the second annual event to honor world-renown author Alice Walker on her birthday. The public is invited to dress in Walker’s signature color, purple, from her novel “The Color Purple.” Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel was also made into a 1980s movie starring Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover and Cecily Tyson, and a Broadway play. However, many do not realize that she was a prolific writer of poetry as well.


Author and Eatonton native to speak at Ga. Writers Museum's Valentine Tea

Janet Kelhoffer

By Janet Kelhoffer / Guest Columnist

EATONTON -- A Valentine Book Talk and Tea honoring Genie Smith Bernstein is planned for 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Georgia Writers Museum at 109 S. Jefferson Ave. on the east side of Eatonton's courthouse square. A donation of $10 is suggested.

The author is donating a Valentine basket, which will be raffled off. Your admission entitles you to one raffle ticket. You may reserve your ticket for this event by calling the Georgia Writers Museum at 706-991-5119.

Many Eatonton residents know Genie Smith Bernstein and her talented sisters, artist and writer Ester Farley, and Putnam County Probate Judge Patrice Underkofler. Genie credits her love of reading and writing to the wonderful teachers she had at Putnam County High School. She will share some stories of her Eatonton childhood at the Valentine Tea. Some may know the family, but not know the extent and diversity of Genie’s writing experience.


MLK's ancestors believed to have lived in Putnam County

Fred Ward

By Dave Brown / Staff

PUTNAM COUNTY -- Many Putnam observers of Martin Luther King Jr. Day this past Monday may have been unaware that the county is believed to have been home to the civil rights leader’s ancestors. Kinorhook resident Fred Ward can not only trace the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s lineage back to Putnam County, but he also suggests that the Uncle Remus stories made famous by Eatonton writer Joel Chandler Harris were based on a relative of Dr. King.

“It bothers me, and it confuses me at the same, after all these years why everything has yet to be documented, but the real possibility exists that Dr. King’s great-great grandfather was Uncle Remus,” said Ward, who is a former District 1 county commissioner for Putnam.


Blessings bloom in the Briar Patch

Author Terry Kay speaks about his newest book, “The King Who Made Paper Flower,” to a delighted packed audience at the Georgia Writers Museum in downtown Eatonton this past fall. Kay is Susan Larson's old neighbor (and father of her best babysitter, Heather). (Photo by Don Richeson.)

By Susan Larson / Guest Columnist

EATONTON -- It's hard to believe, but this wraps up my fifth year as a “newbie” in the Briar Patch. Like any year, it’s had its ups and downs. Sadly, 2016 began with a down when my son, Ian, lost his seven-year battle with brain cancer.

It was exactly a year ago today that he joined his brother Loren who left us 18 years ago. But there was an upside. The day of his memorial service in Atlanta, all the roads were covered with sleet. I hated that the weather would affect attendance, but I was touched to tears to see how many friends from the Briar Patch made that risky three-hour round trip to be there for me. Must be something symbolic about those briars that causes people to stick together!


Eatonton MLK celebration set for 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16

Led by, from left, NAACP Branch No. 5229 President Terrence "Kojack" Waller, Eatonton Police Chief Kent Lawrence and Everett Greene, 100-plus 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Day marchers make their way up North Jefferson Avenue en route to the front lawn of the Putnam County Courthouse. (Photo by Don Richeson.)

By Don Richeson / Staff

EATONTON -- The 2017 Eatonton Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration's march through downtown Eatonton is set for 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16. The march will go from St. John AME Church, 220 Willie Bailey St., and advance along Willie Bailey and then North Jefferson Avenue as it makes its way to the courthouse's front (north) lawn.

All Putnam County residents are invited to attend a special program on the lawn. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Wayne Griffin Sr., pastor of St. John AME Church in Eatonton. There are also expected to be other ministerial and political speakers, and possibly music by the Putnam County High School Jazz Band, which gave a great performance at last year's celebration.

Afterward, the marchers go back to St. John AME Church at 6 p.m. for another program at the church with the Rev. Troy Banks of Macon as keynote speaker.

Call 706-816-8801 for information.



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