Tag Archives: Georgia

Spring Has Sprung


This photograph was taken by a childhood friend in Georgia. That’s Pine Mountain in the background.

I truly miss the four seasons.  The photo reminded me of my daughter’s first spring in Michigan.

My grandmother had daffodils on her farm as thick as these in this photograph; paper whites, daffodils, butter-n-eggs, doubles, singles, white, orange and yellow. They multiplied dramatically and had to be thinned every year.

I transplanted planted bulbs all over our farm when my children were small. These daffodils from Grandmother’s farm eventually blanketed the green floor of the pecan orchard beside our home.

The first spring my daughter was in Michigan I received a phone call from her. She was in a debate with her college peers about whether or not daffodils grew wild in Georgia. They do around the old homestead sites, but somebody planted them at one time. My daughter had no memory of me planting those daffodils, only that they were everywhere and beautiful.

You never know when you might be making a memory.

Story Not Forgotten

Whatever happened to that other WIP, “Melody of Madness: Surviving Sister?”

It surfaces for air every few weeks. It is a painful process, slow and tedious. It is a difficult thing to write on an issue that is so very personal. How two sisters grew up in the same household and community and suffered from the same psychiatric malady, but share their perceptions through entirely different personal life experiences and develop entirely different personalities.

Claudette, the older, the pianist, appears strongest at the beginning, suffers and struggles through extraordinarily difficult situations that weaken her resolve, but stores the lessons away soulfully, strengthening the marrow that supports her frame.

Carol, the younger, the ballerina, appears weak and frail initially, defies all odds to achieve lofty goals, surpasses everything she ever dreamed of…lilting her way along, and then the perfection is ripped away, shattered, and she is sucked into a vortex she can never escape from.

The relationships they have with their parents, each other, and the ones they come to love crumble as a result of their illness, but one finds ways to triumph and one is forever lost to the emotional waves of manic-depression that crash the spirit against jetties of life.

They love each other as much as they grow to despise each other. Each has three daughters of approximately the same ages.

The sequel parallels the lives of the two middle daughters who are manic-depressive, subsequently dealing with their malady differently and resulting in totally different outcomes.

My word count on Book One is at 15,300. But it moves along like a sailboat on the sea with no wind. There is so very much research required, and the subject matter during the time period does not lend itself to quick searches on the internet.

This is a black and white 8X10 I have of my mother during her youth. Standing in the water, she is showing her friend, one of the Strickland girls, a water lily.

fifties and mama Pine mountain 001

This is a 1957 Chamber of Commerce brochure of the small town of Pine Mountain (Chipley), GA, the inspiration of the fictional town of Southbridge, GA, in the book.

fifties and mama Pine mountain 005


More photos of the pages in the brochure showing the local attractions. I found this in my mother’s scrapbook. You should be able to click on the pic to read the detail.


Uprighted clip

S.O. co. uprighted



Small southern towns are very proud of the little things that put them on the map, like Callaway Gardens, Roosevelt’s Little White House and State Park. Even my Uncle’s Standard Oil Company and the various hotels family members owned got into the brochure, and of course, both the Methodist and the Baptist Church…every small southern town has those. The only industry in town was Dacula Shirt factory…it has long been gone, Arrow took them over and it is nothing but a warehouse and offices today.

This is still a pet project that has not been abandoned but can only receive occasional attention.

Do you have any pet projects hiding in the wings?

Charlie Joseph’s, a LaGrange, Georgia, Icon

Charlie Joseph’s

Do you have one of those places visited in your childhood that you will never forget?  Is there an iconic restaurant that you dined in as a child or a place that you were allowed to be grown up in?  Is it still there?774_content___media_external_images_media_8 (1)

Charlie Joseph’s is one of those places to me.  My father would send us from his uptown office to Charlie Joseph’s with a few dollars, real money, along with his order.  We would walk up to the outside window and order tube steaks with chili and cheese, and chips to take back to the office for lunch.  It made us feel so grown up to be given that responsibility.


Charlie Joseph’s is iconic in my small town.  It has been there since time immemorial.  My Aunt would take us there as small children where we dined inside to the juke box sounds.  She said that Charlie made his own hot dogs from fresh meats, spiced just right, ground and stuffed right there.  Although I do not believe that they do this anymore.  Only Coke-a-Cola products are served at Charlie Joseph’s774_content___media_external_images_media_10

Trent sends Sybil out for tube steaks from Charlie Joseph’s in “Red Clay and Roses”.  It is the only dining establishment in my small hometown from my youth that remains fully functioning on Bull Street Downtown.  They have even opened another one on West Point Road.  It has been passed through three generations.560_IMG_0002 (1)


Joey Keeth’s grandfather, Charlie Joseph originated from Zahle, Lebanon.  Before 1920, he migrated to LaGrange, Georgia, and peddled fruit from a horse and buggy in the LaGrange and surrounding areas.  In 1920,  He started the Charlie Joseph’s Restaurant at 107 Main Street, LaGrange, Georgia.  Charlie Joseph and his wife successfully ran the restaurant for twenty-six years together.


  Sometime in 1946, the restaurant was moved to 128 Bull Street, where the oldest location is today.  Charlie Joseph passed away suddenly two weeks before the restaurant location was moved, and the ownership was changed to Solomon Joseph, Charlie Joseph’s son. 


In 1985, Joey Keeth purchased Charlie Joseph’s from his uncle, Solomon Joseph, and opened a new location at 2238 West Point Road, LaGrange, Georgia in 1992.  Joey Keeth has worked at Charlie Joseph’s for over thirty-eight years.  Joey Keeth values the lessons learned over the years working with his family, and looks forward to sharing them with future generations in his family to come.

What Icons remain in your hometown? What responsibilities did you have as a child that made you feel grown up, or important?