Author, relatives discuss lives of Eatonton's famous 'Joe's'

 Pictured, from left, at the Sunday at The Museum lecture are Old School History Museum Director Sandra Rosseter, Georgia Writer’s Museum Board Member Paula Benjamin, author Julie Hedgepeth Williams, and Uncle Remus Museum Director Lynda Walker. 

Photo credit: JAMES MURDOCK/Special

As soon as she picked up a copy of The Countryman, Julie Hedgepeth Williams became interested in three famous men of Eatonton’s history and that interest grew into a book.

Williams, a journalism professor at Samford University in Birmingham, spoke about her book, Three Not-So-Ordinary Joes: A Plantation Newspaperman, a Printer’s Devil, an English Wit, and the Founding of Southern Literature at a “Meet the Author” event Sunday, June 10, at Eatonton’s Plaza Art Center.

Williams said she picked up the historical copy of Joseph Addison Turner’s publication in the special collections department at her workplace, and her interest was sparked.

The Countryman was a widely-popular political-type journal published mainly during the Civil War, from 1862-1866, out of Turner’s home, Turnwold Plantation, nine miles outside of Eatonton. 


Hometown actor hits the big screen

Hometown actor Zerrick Deion Williams hits the big screen

By Shannon Sneed

Putnam County native Zerrick Deion Williams has a supporting role in the recently released box office comedy “Game Night,” starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams.

Williams, the son of Clemmie T. and Mamie Williams, plays Val, a hired thug who, along with his costar, Josh Mikel, from “The Walking Dead,” kidnaps Bateman’s character’s brother, portrayed by Kyle Chandler.


"Critter" sculptures at Uncle Remus Museum

Extreme Sculpting’s Chris Lantz, artist and “critter” creator of five favorite characters based on local author Joel Chandler Harris’ tales of Uncle Remus, and Courtney Lantz, stand beside the life size Br’er Coon as visitors tour the grounds of the Uncle Remus Museum in Eatonton May 19.

By Shannon Sneed / Staff

Visitors to the Uncle Remus Museum in Eatonton will be greeted by some larger-than-life familiar characters from the folktales made famous by local author Joel Chandler Harris.

Five “critter” sculptures created by artist Chris Lantz, of Extreme Sculpting, were unveiled May 19, 2017 at a ceremony attended by local historians, community leaders, residents and visitors.


Lake Country Fine Arts show

The Artisans Village Guild is holding its opening reception Thursday, Nov. 2, for the Lake Country Fine Art Show. The reception is 5-8 p.m and the awards ceremony is at 6:30 p.m.

This is the guild's first juried art show featuring works of artists from all around the Lake Country. The exhibit is open through Friday, Nov. 17.

The Artisans Village Art Gallery is located at 110 W. Marion Street in downtown Eatonton. Hours are 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturdays. Call 706-623-7757 for more information.


Families of Gatewood Schools collecting items for Hurricane Harvey victims

Gatewood parent Michelle Caricofe and Chip, Tammy and Brett Walker of Eatonton started a support program to gather goods for victims devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Pictured here gathering items at Gatewood's Friday night football game are Spivey Davis, Jordan Caricofe, Case McMichael, Lizzie and Gus Mendez. They will be collecting donations for the rest of September at Gatewood's home games, Farmers and Merchant Bank and Harmony Crossing Pet Resort. The campaign has already received over $1,500 in supplies in five days! They will continue the support as long as possible since the devastation is catastrophic. "Gatewood students, staff, families, alumni and friends truly care about fellow Americans and helpless victims in their time of need and throughout everyday life," Caricofe said in an email. “Please continue to pray for the victims and our efforts to support them.


Sr. Center is a nice place to spend time By Yelena Hensley

Florrie Williams, Lucinda Strickland and Katie M. Russ proudly present dolls they made out of yarn.

Obviously, communication is very important. Everybody needs someone to talk to, to do something together, to support during hard times as well as just to feel useful. As people grow older, it becomes more difficult to find a social circle where they feel comfortable, some local seniors recently told The Eatonton Messenger. But in Eatonton, elderly people can find support and satisfy their need to socialize at the Eatonton-Putnam Senior Center. “Eatonton has had a senior citizen group since 1970s,” said LaToshia Maddox, Senior Services director. “In 2013, it moved to the Plaza Community Center and has remained there since.” Seniors meet 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. According to Maddox, the number of people in the group varies.


Local cultural heritage aids understanding of ‘our heritage By James Murdock

Dr. Bruce Gentry, Flannery O’Connor scholar and Georgia College professor, left, and George Heiring, Georgia Writers Museum president, talk after the lecture.

A devout Roman Catholic, American author Mary Flannery O’Connor’s faith was reflected often through her stories. Still, she was commonly misunderstood, and sometimes controversial, because her writings often revolved around gruesome situations and troublesome characters. She was primarily concerned with questions of morality and confronted many of the injustices of her time with a sly and searing sense of humor. Flannery is known by most of her fans today as the founder of a writing style known simply as “Southern gothic.” A large group of those fans gathered on Sunday, Aug. 27, at the Georgia Writers Museum in Eatonton to celebrate her legacy by listening to a lecture from Dr. Bruce Gentry, a Flannery scholar and professor at Georgia College, on “Understanding O’Connor and Her Writings.” “This kind of thing allows people to get a better understanding of the literary heritage of the region,” Jack Shinneman, the visionary and founder of the writers museum, said about the lecture.


Canning class is just peachy

Leigh Anne Aaron, food and consumer science agent, demonstrates how to leave proper headspace in a jar before sealing it.

07: Hannah Mustard is surrounded by cooking paraphernalia, with her mother’s watchful eyes behind her, as she prepares to chop her vegetables.

Jars of peach salsa, just made by class participants, are stacked and ready for the newly-experienced cooks to take them home.

Would-be canners learned the ins and outs of water bath canning techniques Saturday in a hands-on “Canning and Food Preservation” class at Rock Eagle. Morgan/Oconee County Food and Consumer Science Agent Leigh Anne Aaron taught safe preparation of food and methods of canning, while each participant made a can of peach salsa under her tutelage.


Gatewood Gators Booster Club hosted a ribbon cutting and open house of The Swamp’s renovations and upgrades Friday, Aug. 11.

Lake Farman, 9, satisfies his sweet tooth with cotton candy.

Clark Harper films the action on the field during the football team’s demonstration. Harper’s son, Will, is on the team.

Asa Segars, 5, and Braedyn Fincher,6, climb onto the bounce slide.

Rayna Harper, 1, has the best seat in the house, in the arms of her dad, Clyde harper.

The new bleachers have ample room for the many Gator fans at the event.

Logan Alford, 10, and Drew Love, 8, discuss which activity they’ll do next.

Cora Tkacik, 9, left, and Ellie McMillian, 9, enjoy their own conversation amidst all the activity around them.

Lined up on their new field, members of the Varsity Gators are introduced to the crowd.

Dawn Walker and Bryan Arthur pitch beanbags in a game of cornhole against Tyler Alliston and Mark Nuhfer.

Enjoying snowcones are, from left, Ally Stancil, 2, Suzi Kate Stancil, 4, and Caylin Stancil, 6.


Gatewood Schools began the 2017-2018 school year Friday, Aug. 11 with six new teachers joining its faculty of approximately 45 teachers.

L to R: Sherry Hall, Paulette Hall, Beth Griffith, Chandler Craine, Allie White, Tracey Stickley.

Chandler Craine will be teaching second grade at Gatewood. She and her husband, Andy, moved to Eatonton from Marietta and have three children attending Gatewood -- Harper Lee (8), Cooper (6) and Maxwell (2). Chandler graduated from the University of Georgia in 2004 with a degree in Early Childhood Education, and loves spending time with family and friends. She is looking forward to having the opportunity to go to school with her kids every day.


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