Wednesday, March 27
“When you’re dealing with a one-year-old with a 60 percent burn, that child’s chance of survival and recovery will be greatly improved if cared for by a team like ours that has faced those types of challenges many times.”
Richard Cartie, M.D., Burn Care Intensivist and Medical Director of Pediatric Critical Care
Tucked into an unassuming office park across from Doctors Hospital is a comfortable home-away-from-home for family members to stay. Named the Chavis House after Jeffrey Vaden Chavis, a South Carolina firefighter who died in the line of duty, the guesthouse hosts families of burn patients for free.
Without the Chavis House, it’s highly unlikely that Katie Cook’s Minnesota parents could’ve been at her bedside during her seven months in the burn center.
“Having my mom and dad there was just everything. Brought me comfort. Kind of brought me back,” she says. “The fact that four years later I’m pregnant is a miracle in and of itself.”
Katie Cook, the 2018 Burn Foundation of America Champion Chair and former JMS Burn Center patient, explains how the Chavis House and Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation began , “Firefighters were transporting patients to the burn center and seeing the severity of the injuries as they were rescuing people. As they were walking through the waiting room back to the ambulance, they would find these families sleeping on the waiting room chairs or sleeping in their cars. It just broke their hearts and they wanted to do something about it.”
Dr. Still always said that he thought that a family’s love was a powerful medicine and that the patients would do better with their families close by. Back in 1988, Dr. Still partnered with these firefighters and founded the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation, now called Burn Foundation of America, to help burn patients and their families with non-medical necessities, so the families could be right with their loved ones through the entire recovery.
“A burn is usually the result in an unexpected injury, a traumatic injury,” states Cook, “I think all of that leads to the frame of mind where the family is unwilling to go home and leave their loved one.”
The Chavis House assists with the basic needs of the patient’s families, which allows them to focus on their injured loved ones. They have 17 semi-private rooms, plus an overflow room. The house can sleep up to 40 people per night. If the house is full, they place families in local hotels at no charge to the family. Whether it’s 2 P.M. or 2 A.M., staff is on hand to help and area churches deliver free meals to the guests each day.
“The biggest part of my job is helping to make the environment as normal as possible in the midst of being in a weird room—exposed to all kinds of machines and sounds—and lots of people coming in and out.”Erin Carrick, Certified Child Life Specialisti
Over the past decade, the Chavis House welcomed over 1,000 guests every year. In 2017, 1,435 family members and loved ones received 6,817 nights of free lodging in the Chavous House. In 2018 the number increased to 1,535 and 4,755 overnights.
After hospitalization, patients need further care to continue their recovery and transition to independent living. Burn survivors who need emotional and financial assistance can receive support from the Chavis House. Last year hundreds of burn survivors received assistance with medication, transportation, anti-scarring garments, and peer support.
The Burn Foundation of America is a financial supporter of the Chavis House. Local and surrounding area firefighters provide 25% of the operating budget per year with their fundraising efforts like boot drives and auctions. Other events include the Fire and Ice Gala and the Storybook Brunch.
Eric and Sandi Clark, franchise owners of the eight local Jersey Mike’s, are donating every single dollar that comes in Wednesday, March 27, to the Chavis House. Take your office to Jersey Mike’s Wednesday, enjoy a great lunch and the feeling of supporting such a worthy cause.
Clark’s first Jersey Mike’s location opened in 2011. Prior to owning Jersey Mike’s Subs stores Eric sponsored Burn Foundation events, no doubt influenced by his sister Jamie, who was a nurse at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center.
Eric was aware of the mission and services that the Burn Foundation provides to burn patients and families.
Eric and his wife also help provide meals to the Chavis House families as members of Grace Baptist Church in Evans. “Being affiliated with the Burn Foundation has really opened my eyes to what’s right here in our backyard. I’m amazed at how many people the Foundation touches,”
Jersey Mike’s area locations are open all day Wednesday until 9 P.M.
466 Flowing Wells Rd Ste 2, Augusta, GA 30907
4103 Madeline Dr Ste 108, Augusta, GA 30909
2823 Washington Rd, Augusta, GA 30909
403 Fury’S Ferry Rd., Suite, Martinez, GA 30907
4010 Gateway Blvd., Ste 4, Grovetown, GA 30813
1069 Edgefield Rd, North Augusta, SC 29860
1069 Edgefield Rd.North Augusta, SC 29860
232 Eastgate Drive Aiken, SC 29803
This year marks Rock Fore! Dough’s 15th Anniversary concert Tuesday, April 9th. Rock Fore! Dough has been held at the Lady A Amphitheater in Evans for the past six years but is returning to the rolling hills of First Tee Augusta for this year’s event headlined by Darius Rucker.
Last year was a bit of a challenge for the organization as it had the added pressure of Friends With Benefits’ Keith Urban concert at the same venue two days later. Insiders say it got testy between the two non-profits over logistics-the fear being the much larger Urban show would have a negative impact on ticket sales for Rock Fore! Dough.
This year another hitch in the giddy-up for the Rock Fore! Dough concert is Augusta at Night, scheduled for Friday, April 12 at SRP Park in North Augusta, headlined by…you guessed it…Hootie and the Blowfish.
The first annual event is being held by some solid big hitters (Turner Sports and Endevour) and appears to be created primarily for out of town Masters guest, as the show wasn’t even announced until a month before the concert.
Word is the organizers cut a fairly sizable check to First Tee Augusta to ease the blow of booking their headliner two days after RFD.
(Rumors that Darius will he greeting guests at Berckman’s Place alongside Condoleezza Rice Thursday have not been confirmed.)
The Major Rager will not be held this year, but the crew behind the event, Friends with Benefits, is hosting the Zac Brown Band at Bushwood and Boots Thursday April 11th. George Claussen with FWB says the Major Rager will return next year. Bushwood and Boots will he held at the Lady A in Evans.
“You get to see it every day,” says George Claussen, one of the owners of Southbound Smokehouse, as he gestures towards the Savannah River. The view from their newest location at SRP Park in North Augusta overlooks stunning views of the Savannah River. “I was by the river everyday in Augusta but never really saw it because of the levee.”
What is exciting about Southbound’s newest location is the energy and vibrancy of the area, as well as their “next level” surroundings. The restaurant is literally attached to the SRP Park, with expansive, sweeping views of the ballpark and river and new development and walking distance to the growing Riverside Village development.
The original Southbound Smokehouse charm, located on Central Avenue in Augusta, is infused in their newest location. “Downstairs is like you stepped into Southbound 2.0. You still have that wood feel, the pictures of the concerts and the posters and stuff. And you see that [here] and you get a great view of the big Rec Tecs, the river, and the patio beer garden,” Claussen describes.
“Then you jump into this elevator and you come upstairs and it’s like this is some modern new bar feel that’s up here that it’s completely different. When they were doing it I thought it was going to be plain, there’s too much glass. You couldn’t give it the character that I thought. Just the ittle bitty stuff we did do in here went a long way.”
The rectangular room is glass walls on three sides, an enormous horseshoe-shaped bar juts out into most of the space. It’s modern, rustic style boast two completely different vibes depending on the time of day. In the daylight, the gorgeous river and the surrounding development is on full display. It is difficult not to focus one’s attention to the surrounding vista. At night it is completely different, the windows blacken, bringing the focus inward to the bar and the guests.
Just off the elevator, on the second floor, and privately distanced from the upstairs bar is a serving porch overlooking the river. This is the spot with, “lots of seating to chill, eat some food, drink some beer,” says Claussen. With the river views, brightly colored outdoor rugs, and comfortable lounge seating, there is an unmistakable coastal hotel rooftop vibe. “Half of my family is originally from Charleston, on grandmother’s side” says Claussen in reference to the unmistakable Charleston feel upstairs. “And I know we are nothing like Charleston, but, at the same time, it really made me realize something.”
The food, well, the food is the real star. Voted Metro’s Best BBQ each year since opening by readers of the Metro Spirit, the kitchen is a testament to the focus on obtaining the perfect balance of smoke and the natural flavors of the top quality meat. Almost all the beef, chicken and pork they serve, in fact, spends quality time in their massive smoker in the kitchen before making their way to tables in the form of appetizers, nachos, quesadillas, tacos, burritos, sliders and platters. Their beloved barbecue sauces are named after music they love.
The bar beverages are tasty, cold, and simple. “We have canned beer, almost like it’s out of a cooler, and we want it to feel like you’re at a cookout,” Brittingham said. “Nothing too crazy, nothing too fancy or crafty.”
Oh, and don’t worry about parking. Claussen explains, “We’ve had valet service off the rip. They are contracted in and they just park everybody’s car. They just park everybody for a tip. We pay them.”
Opening a new venue can be intimidating, especially when the build out takes a little longer than anticipated. Owners once anxious prior to opening, are now receiving some very promising feedback from their neighbors. “A lot of them came up and talked to us in the first couple of days we were open. A lot of it was ‘Thank god y’all are here. We’ll be here everyday. We’ve been waiting for you to open.’ You finally get reassured, especially by people in the neighborhood that they’re gonna be here all the time,’ says Claussen.
Although the newer Southbound feels a bit more upscale, it’s sentiment is unchanged. “It’s an easy atmosphere,” says co-owner Brian Brittingham. “People are coming in here with shorts and flip flops and whatever. We’re a place for everybody and, if you’re jogging down the greenway and want to sit out on the patio and grab a beer and some water afterwards, that’s great. Anyone is welcome.”
Adds Claussen, “This new location has its own little infrastructure and I think the same thing with Southbound One. The original location has matured into its own place with its own vibe. We were thinking that opening weekend was going to pull business away from Central, but we ran out of pork at Southbound One and that hasn’t happened in over a year. For it to be that slammed over there and here, we’re just like, ‘finally, we’ve been waiting for this’.”
The seven-story Clubhouse, the building between the 5th Street Bridge and the SRP Park, is now open.
The first floor is available for parking, the second floor is the baseball clubhouse and the third offers almost 15,000 square feet of office space.
The other top four floors offer 32 luxury apartment units, each with amazing views of the baseball stadium as well as the Savannah River. Each unit is two bedrooms and two baths for a total of 1,151 square feet. The units rent for anywhere between $1,870 to $2,700 per month.
Across the street from The Clubhouse there will soon be a new parking deck under construction as well as additional office space.
Spring break is almost here, school is almost out and the Masters will soon be turning the CSRA into the epicenter of golf worldwide. Everything seems to be adult oriented-concerts, parties..more parties during Masters, so the staff at Columbia County Community Events wanted to plan something special for the kids this year. And what screams KIDS more than a 10,000 square foot bouncy house? “The weekend school lets out the Big Bounce will be set up at the Evans Towne Center Park by the playground and splashpad” said Ana Mae Masi, marketing director for Columbia County Community Events.
The Big Bounce, the world’s most massive bounce house according to the Guiness Book of World Records, is so big it travels with over 45 workers!
This being a county sponsored event presented by Rec Tec Grills, of course everyone and anyone is welcome-adults, parents, grandparents-whoever wants to jump. The playground, as well as the entire park, will still be open to the public. The only fee is if you’re going to enter the Bounce House.
“There’s actually a DJ booth inside playing age appropriate songs, so for instance when it is the little kids time to jump, you can expect to hear Baby Shark like a million times” chuckled Masi. For an extra $5 kids (or adults) can also enter Bounce Village, which features the Big Bounce Ninja Run, the Monster Ball Pit (a 2,000 square foot domed ball pit), and the Little Bouncer, a replica of the Big Bounce House- only smaller.
The number of jumpers is limited to 180 at one time so the time slots are by the hour, and the operators of the largest bounce house in America do a great job of running the attraction, dividing the ages up so the little ones aren’t trampled by the older kids. You can reserve your day and time online with a credit card or visit the Facebook page of Columbia County Community Events to find where staff will be over the next week or so selling tickets and reserving time slots for $5 0ff. (Patriot’s Park, the Farmer’s Market, Blanchard Woods)
There will be a number of great food vendors set up the full three days as well-Chadderbox, Wicked Good Bites, Diablo’s, Putt-Putt, Mini-Melts and Pelican Sno-Balls.
Friday, April 5 through April 7
11 A.M. until 8 P.M. daily11:00 AM
Evans Towne Center Park 7016 Evans Town Center BoulevardEvans
“It was such a freak accident”
Last year local attorney Jacque Hawk was working in a camper he was selling. “I was repairing the shelves in the little refrigerator. They had come loose, so I was drilling these little bitty holes with maybe a 1/32” drill bit. Just these little bitty screws.”
“My right hand, I don’t even remember any pain. I went into complete shock”
In August of 2005, Bo Knox was 25 years old, working at Woodside Plantation as a building superintendent. After work one day, he was getting ready to cook dinner. “I got home from work, was going to cook some french fries on the stove. I turned the stove on to heat up the grease and someone knocked on my door.”
“I hate cooking bacon, so I was trying to do the safest thing possible.”
In 2009, Ashley Lyons was working as the Marketing Director for Meybohm Realtors. She was home with her little toddler, Eva, who had requested a special dinner: Waffle House.
It was hot as hell
It was hot as hell, summer of last year, so I’m in the camper working on this refrigerator. I’m putting these little bitty screws in to hold up the shelves up and it’s hotter than hell. I’m crouched down on the floor and I don’t have a shirt on.
It was a guy I was selling a truck to. He wanted to ask me some questions about it. So I put a lid on the grease and walked outside. I thought it would be a quick thing and it turned into a long conversation. I came back into the house and had totally forgotten what I was doing with the grease.
I wasn’t going to take my kid to the Waffle House. I hate cooking bacon, it always pops and I didn’t want Eva to get burned. So, I put her in the bathtub just off of the kitchen. I could watch her and keep her away while I cooked dinner. I was trying to do the safest thing possible.”
When I started drilling
When I started drilling the third or fourth hole I noticed it took a little more pressure on the drill.
I went and flipped my laundry and came back into the living room and it was completely filled with smoke.
At the time, I was living in one of those townhomes where the guest bath is next to kitchen. You can look in the bathroom from the peninsula in the kitchen. So, I set up the griddle right there where I could watch her in the tub and keep her away from popping bacon grease.
I’ve been hurt before
I’ve been hurt before. Plenty of times. But this was different.
I got frantic, opened the refrigerator door looking for baking soda but there wasn’t any in there, I remember freaking out looking around the kitchen trying to figure out what to do. I mean I thought I was going to burn the house down. I tried to grab the lid, but it was so hot I couldn’t touch it. So, I ran over and opened the backdoor up, grabbed the pot and went to throw it out.
I poured the bacon grease in a ramekin and it was up on the counter. I had my back to her putting her food on the plate and I guess she thought it was her snack.
All of a sudden, I’m in the middle of a flamethrower
All of a sudden, I’m in the middle of a flamethrower. My first thought was ‘where the f##k is this fire coming from?’ I was only in it for a millisecond.
I mean the pot was scorching my hand. When I threw it, the lid cupped and flipped and threw grease back on my right hand. I don’t even remember any pain. I just went into complete shock.
I turned just in time to see her reaching for it. She thought they were Cheez its. I screamed and I think i startled her a little bit, which is good.
What happened was I hit a pressurized ammonia line
What happened was I hit a pressurized ammonia line. Now ammonia itself isn’t flammable, but what I found out was ammonia mixed with oxygen is very flammable.
I immediately went to the bathroom and started coating my hand with aloe. My landlord actually walked over. He had seen seen me throw the little pot of fiery grease out the backdoor. He said ‘You okay?’ and I said, ‘yeah, I just burned my hand a little bit.’
While I was standing there that little girl reached up and dipped her fingers in that bacon grease.
I went in the house and looked in the mirror
I went in the house and looked in the mirror my skin was already sloughing off. I saw how bad it was. I remember I need to get it cooled down. It was getting intense I was physically shaky because of the pain.
I jumped in the shower trying to cut on cold and I accidentally cut on the hot water.
It’s just brutal I’m telling you. It’s putting me in more and more pain. I just have on a pair of pants. I get a towel and soak it in water and toss it over me to guard me from the sun. I feel like I’m on fire.
They take me to the Aiken Hospital. Just take me somewhere to get me out of pain. We go to the ER deck where the ambulance drivers were and I said, ‘hey man I need help.’ I’ve completely burned my hand; except it’s completely green from the elbows down where I coated myself with aloe. They walked me back and I sat in a room for about two hours, while they were trying to figure out what to do with me. I remember my hand was still burning. You could smell it on fire.
It took her a second to react. It was so hot. It takes a minute for the pain to start. She started screaming.
I immediately put it under cold water and remember looking at it. It was already blistering up so I knew we had to go to the emergency room.
There’s a police officer right in front of me
There’s a police officer right in front of me. I got his attention. Apparently, there is some sort of protocol you can’t be driving burnt people to the hospital.
So, I get the police officer to pull over. He’s a young cop. I told him, ‘I’m burnt like hell please take me to the ER.’ He said he needs to check with his supervisor. I’m lit now. I’m hurting like hell.
I’m in the back of the patrol car on the hard plastic seat and he says, ‘my supervisor says I need to hold you here until the ambulance comes.
That’s when I went into full total rage, cussing screaming threatening people. I can remember my hand was still burning. You could smell my hand on fire.
The only thing I can remember is they kept trying to stick me. There was a puddle of blood on the floor where they were trying to stick me. My veins had constricted I guess. They couldn’t find a vein. Man, I was in pain.
I made her a bowl of ice water for her fingers and we ran out to the car. I had to strap a screaming toddler into a car seat. ….with a bowl of ice water.
It’s hot as shit
It’s hot as shit. I’m cussing now. I told him the longer you keep me back here the worse it is on me. He finally let me back out and I got back in my car and take off. I’m going down Bobby Jones. My wife, Jacqueline, by this time has caught up with me and I got in the car with her. Its just like this. You catch every red light. She’s trying to run everybody over
When we get there they walked me straight in, took one look at me and they took me straight back.
The last thing I remember was him saying y’all get me some morphine and I woke up two days later in the burn unit. They kept me comfortable. They did the cleaning portion of it, put the cadaver skin on my hand. I was there four to six days. I was in so much pain at that time i don’t have much recollection.
I went back in for the grafts where they pulled skin from my hip and grafted to my hand.
I was probably in the hospital around 16 days over a month basically.
I drove to the emergency place on Belair Road across from Kudos. I get her out the car and we run up there for them to tell me they can’t do anything with her and that I had to take her to the burn unit. So. I had to strap a screaming child back into her carseat.
I wasn’t thinking. I was terrified.
What’s your name? What’s your date of birth?
What’s your name? What’s your date of birth?
No one is getting me pain medicine. It may not look like it but I am on fire.
I remember the panic when the doctor in Aiken told me you could lose some usage of your right hand. I was like man I am a builder. I can’t lose my hand. If there hadn’t have been a burn unit here I probably would have been sent to Atlanta, I guess. It was six weeks until I actually even saw my hand after the burns. I didn’t even know what it looked like.
It wasn’t dark yet. I pulled up to the emergency room and jumped out. I unstrapped her and they took her right back. I guess they didn’t want any screaming babies out front, i don’t know. But they took her right back.
They were great
They were great. Really, really good.
They wrapped me from my waist to the top of my head and both arms.
They’ve got this stuff called Hibiclens. They take it and pour it on the bandages. It goes right through to your skin. It felt wonderful.
Can I get another Hibiclens bath?
Can I get another Hibiclens bath?
They kept me so far out of pain it was unreal. For that first whatever-five, six weeks, I was in no pain. When I was home I slept. I was knocked out. I slept on the couch with my arm in between the couch cushions to keep it straight up and down.
I just remember I was incoherent.
She doesn’t really remember any of it except for the compression glove she had to wear. I remember she had it on at the beach. I still have it somewhere.
The bandages have healed into the wounds
The bandages have healed into the wounds too bad for them to just pull it off.
I need to go into this bath and soak some of it off. They lowered me into this lukewarm bath with bubbles and all. I started working on it, getting the bandages off.
Problem is i had some big holes. I had gotten it all off. There were three spots. Really bad. Bicep, chest and shoulder. Just a freaking hole in my bicep . Just a damn hole. I didn’t even know if I had a left nipple left.
What we gonna do about these holes? They took one look at me and said I needed another surgery. Trust me, they’ll fill in.
Dr. Mullins said to take skin from my thighs. I asked him to cut a Georgia Bulldog on my leg. He laughed.
The took the skin and covered the holes with it.
The weird thing about burns i would get up start moving around trying to do stuff and I was completely exhausted. I would sleep for 24 hours. Your body is working so hard to heal it exhausts you. I had never experienced that sort of exhaustion. Even today when I go to the office I have to drink coffee in the afternoon.
I went back in for the grafts where they pulled skin from my hip and grafted it to my hand.
I don’t know what I would have done. They took such good care of her. I mean, that’s your baby and she is in pain. I’m very grateful they were there.
The confidence of the staff is tremendously reassuring
The confidence of the staff is tremendously reassuring. They’re telling you the whole time when they talk to you this is the way it’s going to go. We know- we’ve done this thousands and thousands of times. It gives you a ton of reassurance. The methods they use and the way they go from step one to fifty when you come in the unit.
You sit there and you think thank goodness these people are here.
It was unusual that I was a local being treated there. Everyone was from all over the nation. They’ve been flown here and brought here from all over the nation
the JMS Burn Center in Augusta is the number one burn care facility in the US
These types of accidents happen and are not given a second thought until it happens to a loved one. Without the local burn unit, Eva, Jacque and Bo would have had to travel to receive the same specialized care.
It started in 1978 when local surgeon, Dr. Joseph M. Still, could not find a burn center to treat a severely burned man. That absence of care led Dr. Still to start what has become the largest burn center in the United States.
The Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctor’s Hospital cares for over 2,000 patients annually, both inpatient and outpatient, and approximately a third of their patients are children. The facility has 70 dedicated beds, 36 ICU units, and 4 operating rooms. The JMS Burn Center has additional facilities in Atlanta and Jackson, MS.
To give perspective as to how special this facility is, there are approximately roughly 5,300 community hospitals in the United States and only 72 burn centers in the US verified by The American Burn Association. Of those, the JMS Burn Center in Augusta is the number one burn care facility in the US.
The Joseph M. Still Burn Center is located at Doctor’s Hospital off Wheeler Road in Augusta.
Special thanks to Jacque Hawk, Bo Knox and Ashley Lyons for sharing their stories with us.
Jacque Hawk is an Augusta trial attorney. He began practicing law in 1984 and has handled several high profile death penalty cases such as Reinaldo Rivera, Christopher Bowers & Anthony Williams.
448 Telfair Street/Augusta, GA 30901/ (706) 724-8537
Bo Knox is the owner of Georgia Subcontracting Professionals. Recently he finished the buildout of 2nd City Distillery on the Augusta Riverwalk and Paws In Paradise Luxury Pet Grooming and Boarding Facility in Evans.
By Todd Schafer
It was July 2002 and Bill Jones’ carport was once again filled with bounty from his massive garden. The tomatoes had just been picked that afternoon. He grew many different summer veggies but the tomatoes, with names like Jaune Flame, Abe Lincoln and Riesentraube, made him famous.
Business was always brisk, and Bill was usually in the carport in the late afternoon, after a long day of tending, watering and weeding, talking to friends and customers alike that came for his wonderful tomatoes.
When he wasn’t there, his stand was on the honor system. There was an ancient hanging scale, and a plastic box for a cash register. When I saw that, I couldn’t get over it. Who does that, I thought. After getting to know him, it made sense. He loved what he was doing. The money was just a bonus.
That first summer, I bought over 500 pounds of tomatoes to use at the restaurant, and we peeled every one of them. His house was only about a mile from the Bistro, and I spent many an afternoon in the garden, thinking up specials for dinner service that night as I picked
We transformed baby yellow flame tomatoes, cream and extra virgin olive oil into the most wonderful cold soup. We made a salad with three or four different types of baby tomatoes with white truffle oil vinaigrette and baby herbs. We peeled baby tomatoes and dried them on the rooftop, turning them into sundried tomatoes as sweet as candy. What made these dishes great wasn’t as much as how we prepared them, but rather the incredible flavor of the tomatoes he grew.
It was Bill Jones who inspired me to grow my own produce, and to seek out the best local ingredients available. My love of gardening is, in part, because of him. When Bill died, his family kept up the garden for a couple of years until the Augusta National bought his house and so many others around it and turned it into a giant parking lot. Not having any more of Jones’ tomatoes spurred me to put in my own garden for the restaurant. Bill’s grandson, David, helped me with the tiller, the tractor and all the logistics of building a large garden.
That summer I spent an obscene amount of money on dirt, irrigation and 12 new toilets for The Vue (but that is another story).
What I learned from that experience is, one, use a licensed plumber instead of a buddy who says he knows about sprinklers, and, two, there is no substitute for locally grown produce.
What I learned from Jones is that, for him, it was more than just growing vegetables. It was about family, community and fellowship with his neighbors.
While working in my own garden, my thoughts sometimes turn those great days of summer and the garden on Heath and Wicklow, and I know that he was right.
Todd is the owner of Abel Brown’s Southern Kitchen in Surrey Center. He formerly owned Bistro 491 in the same location.
491 Highland Ave
Moms of seven year old girls, grandparents of seven year old girls, aunts of seven year old girls, hello.
You’re lovely little one is in for a thrill. American Girl Live! is coming to the Miller Theater March 12th, and as you can imagine, the beautiful Miller Theater will be the perfect setting for the American Girl Live VIP Experience!
We thought it would be interesting to share the fascinating story of American Girl, as well as share details of the upcoming musical with you. One is a story of girl empowerment, of believing in yourself and never giving up on your dreams. With a bunch of original songs.
The other is basically the same.
American Girl Story
In 1984, textbook author, TV reporter, and teacher Pleasant Rowland accompanied her husband on a business trip to Williamsburg, Va. “I loved the costumes, the homes, the accessories of everyday life—all of it completely engaged me,” Rowland told CNN Money in 2002.
American Girl LIVE @ the Miller Theater
“Director Gina Rattan and I both felt strongly from the get-go that this show needed to have an all-female creative team, both to honor the values of the brand as well as to present a strong message” says producer Simone Gianfrancesco. “It’s important to understand that this is rare. There are all-male or male-dominated creative teams on most projects, no matter the subject matter,” says Rattan.
‘What do you think of this idea? A series of books about 9-year-old girls growing up in different times in history, with a doll for each of the characters and historically accurate clothes and accessories with which girls could play out the stories?’
The script is by writer/actor Sandy Rustin, whose other works include the off Broadway plays “Rated P for Parenthood” and “The Cottage” and the new stage version of the board-game movie “Clue!” Songs are by Emily Chiu, Meg Zervoulis and Britt Bonney. The director of “American Girl Live!” is Gina Rattan
Everyone said it was a bad idea. Rowland’s idea was met with disbelief and patronizing tolerance, summarized as, ‘Are you kidding? Historical dolls in the day and age of Barbie?’ Rather than sell to toy stores directly (they had told her the dolls, at $82, were too expensive), Rowland decided that the dolls would be sold by direct mail.
According to Fortune, industry insiders told Rowland that no one would buy a doll with a price tag higher than $40. Lands’ End, which was filling Rowland in on the tricks of the direct marketing trade, thought she would fail. “We had to take our shot that Christmas, and American Girl would either succeed or fail. So we mailed 500,000 catalogs and crossed our fingers.”
The inspiration for setting the story at summer camp is right out of her own backstory — Rustin and Rattan both spent their childhood summers at camp, she said.
The company was immediately successful. Between September and December 1986, American Girl sold $1.7 million worth of product. The company made $7.6 million in its second year and brought in $30 million in 1989.
“My best friends today are still my best friends from summer camp,” she said. “It was a transformative experience. So in trying to create an environment where girls could be themselves and find themselves, we thought what better place to do that than at camp.”
Rowland sold her company to Mattel in 1998 for $700 million.
American Girl Live!
Doors 6:00 PM
Miller Wednesday March 13 RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles
Bell Thursday March 14 The Sound of Music
Bell Friday March 15 KC and the Sunshine Band
Miller Saturday March 16 Little River Band with Augusta Symphony
Imperial Friday March 22 Mac Powell and the Family Reunion
Bell Thursday March 21 Winter Jam Tour Spectacular
Bell Friday March 22 The Price is Right Live
JBA Saturday March 30 Legends of Hip Hop
Lady A Tuesday April 9 Darius Rucker, Josh Kelley
Lady A Thursday April 11 Zac Brown Band
Miller Thursday April 18 Balsam Range
Miller Wednesday May 1 Melissa Etheridge
Miller Thursday May 2 The Oak Ridge Boys
Bell Thursday May 2 Rodney Carrington
Bell Wednesday May 8 Earth, Wind and Fire
Aiken Fairgrounds Friday and Saturday May 10 & 11 Del McCoury Band, Keller and the Keels, Billy Strings, Larry Keel Experience
Miller Saturday May 11 Chad Prather
Bell Sunday May 19 Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky & Mike
Lake Olmstead Friday, May 24 & 25 Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon, Old Crow Medicine, Show The Infamous Stringdusters
Miller Wednesday May 29 Shovels and Rope