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
With the approach of the Masters Golf Tournament, we wanted to share with the new residents of Augusta another world class draw in our area, the horse community of Aiken, SC. In fact the Spring Steeplechase is this Saturday.
Founded in 1835, the city was named after railroad magnate William Aiken, who had built a new line connecting the coastal port town of Charleston to the Georgia border at the Savannah River. Though the town’s roots might have been in railroading, the town came into its own as a sporting getaway for the elite—especially insomuch as any sport involving horses.
Among Aiken’s famous stables is Dogwood Stable, which has produced 80 stakes winners, seven Kentucky Derby contenders, a Preakness and Belmont winner, seven millionaires, two Eclipse Awards and a Breeders’ Cup victory. Stable President W. Cothran “Cot” Campbell has a roster of 14 horses, from 2-year-olds to track veterans. The stable’s most recent success is Palace Malice, the winner of the 2013 Belmont Stakes.
Even the sheikh of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has stables and a training facility in Aiken, to which he brings horses from the Middle East.From horseracing to steeplechasing, polo, foxhunting, eventing, dressage and driving, the full spectrum of the questrian world can be found in and around Aiken. In fact, some of the small town’s most popular annual events—social and economic—revolve around horses. The best known are the Fall Steeplechase and spring’s Triple Crown, the latter of which brings tens-of-thousands of spectators and competitors from all over the world to town for three consecutive weekends of equestrian events: the Trials, the Spring Steeplechase and Pacers and Polo.
Of Horses and Kings
Originally published 12/22/05
By: Brian Neill
Tom Biddle doesn’t call polo a sport. He calls it a disease.
Why else would men endure broken bones and busted jaws, only to get back on the horse again for another shot of adrenaline rush?
Face it, chasing around a three-inch ball on a field with a bunch of mallet-swinging men on horses running 40 miles an hour isn’t exactly sane.
Nonetheless, in Aiken County, polo is spreading contagiously.
There, developers are rapidly transforming the rural landscape into farms and subdivisions associated with the elite, equestrian pastime.
Biddle has witnessed most of this growth first-hand in his capacity as owner of Biddle Realty, Inc., a real estate firm specializing in land and investment property.
He is also president of the U.S. Polo Association and has been involved in the sport for more than 40 years.
Biddle says much of the rural property snapped up in the last decade in outlying Aiken County is being utilized for polo endeavors.
Otherwise stagnant or neglected pastures are sprouting pristine bungalows, wooden fences and clubhouses.
“In 10 years — equestrian property –the land has gone from $1,000 an acre to $10,000-plus an acre,” Biddle says. “In that period of time, we have gone from five established polo fields in Aiken County to 35 established polo fields.”
Biddle estimates roughly 8,000 acres have been purchased for polo farms or fields.
Though no agency in Aiken County has formally measured polo’s economic impact, Biddle figures that the land purchased for the enterprise, along with associated improvements such as barns and homes, amounts to an investment of more than $25 million.
Polo is big in Aiken County, and its growth as an industry is galloping along at a steady clip.
For the first time this fall, Aiken hosted the U.S. Polo Association’s Gold Cup Polo Championship, a 26-goal tournament that represents the highest caliber of polo play in the world.
Among the players at the tournament was Adolfo Cambiaso, an Argentine whom many consider the best polo player in the world.
As a testament to the Gold Cup’s clout, Cambiaso jetted in six of his horses from England in order to play in the tournament.
The Gold Cup was played during four consecutive Sundays, Oct. 2 through Sept. 11, at the New Bridge Polo and Country Club, about 10 miles east of the Aiken city limits. The New Bridge Polo and Country Club is one of more than a dozen “equestrian subdivisions” that have cropped up in recent years, Biddle says.
In the case of New Bridge, the development is typical of a golf retirement community. Rather than facing a golf course, however, the homes face polo fields.
“You’ve got right now, 15 equestrian subdivisions either completed, or on the books or being developed in Aiken County,” Biddle says. “That’s large lots, five to 20 acres, with or without amenities — bridle paths, jumping rings, clubhouses.”
Aiken is situated roughly halfway between New York and South Florida, two hubs of polo activity throughout the year.
That has made it a prime location for those involved in the sport who seek to play polo and train polo ponies year-round.
Aiken’s other draw for polo operations has been the cost of its land.
Though acreage has increased ten-fold over the last decade in Aiken County, land is still far less expensive there than in polo communities in New York and Florida.
“Land in Florida is from $300,000 to $1 million an acre. Land in New York is probably in the same ballpark,” says Biddle, who regularly advertises Aiken properties in ritzy magazines devoted to the sport, circulated in places like West Palm Beach. “So when somebody comes to Aiken, South Carolina and finds something for $10,000 an acre, they think they’ve died and gone to heaven.”
Biddle says the horse developments don’t necessarily represent the property tax boon to the county that the retirement community does, since many of the equine properties are granted agricultural exemptions.
But Biddle says the county does benefit aesthetically from the types of polo developments that are cropping up in places along State Highway 302 and New Bridge Road, in the eastern section of the county.
“It’s been a pleasant thing, I think, for Aiken County, because what these people are putting on their properties is appealing to the eye,” Biddle says. “They’re not building junk; they’re building board fences and horse barns. The economy smiles on this kind of development.”
Janet Morris, director of the Aiken Downtown Development Association, says she sees more activity at shops and restaurants downtown as a result of polo players moving to the county or visiting during polo events.
Though acknowledging other equine endeavors in the county, such as the training of jumper and dressage horses, Morris says polo is definitely moving to the forefront as an economic driver.
“It’s kind of a two-pronged look at it,” Morris says. “I see more polo players and their families here and I see them downtown more often because they are here. The other side of that: there are a growing number of polo tournaments, there is now a polo pony sale, there is the return of high-goal polo to Aiken with the Gold Cup. And those events themselves draw people in that, again, have an impact on our downtown business economy.”
“The game of kings”
Polo is arguably the most aristocratic of sports.
Sure, there are wealthy golfers. And pro football and basketball players certainly make their share of millions.
But polo has been played by kings and nobility for hundreds of years.
Inscribed in stone next to an ancient polo field near Kashmir is the saying: “Let other people play at other things. The king of games is still the game of kings.”
Take a glance at any publication devoted to polo and you’ll find it filled with beautiful people and expensive toys.
Polo games are typically accessorized with the best in terms of liquor, food, fashion — and, of course, tent parties.
But the elitist image surrounding the sport, albeit accurate, irks Biddle.
“That’s the image that we’re trying to get rid of, but it’s very difficult and it bothers me,” Biddle says.
“But hell,” Biddle concedes, “how many poor people are there playing polo? Not very many.”
Biddle’s own son, Tommy, is a professional polo player who’s played side-by-side with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
And Tom Biddle, though no pauper himself, typically rubs elbows with some of the world’s wealthiest men in his capacity as president of the USPA.
“I sit on a board at the USPA … and I’m sitting around there with these Fortune 500 guys that are on the thing,” Biddle says, “and we get in arguments and I have to (bang the gavel) and go, ‘Hey fellas, let’s quit this shit about how much money somebody’s got. You’ve got $10 million, you’ve got $50 million, you’ve got a billion. Who gives a shit? We have to make the right decision.”
In defense of the horseless
Indeed, Aiken has quietly wrestled to maintain a harmonious balance between its status quo citizens and the “horse people” as they are sometimes called.
It’s a city in which traffic on the most congested thoroughfare, Whiskey Road, can be brought to a standstill by a crossing button specifically installed for horse riders.
The horse community doesn’t mind its admirers. But when tour buses recently began rolling through the red-clay Two Notch Road — a dusty path dissecting a hub of tracks and stables in an area where the first leg of the annual Triple Crown equestrian event takes place — the horse people waged a campaign to stop them on grounds of privacy and the fact that the buses were making the local roads too rough for horses’ sensitive hooves.
Restrictions were eventually placed on the tours.
In this city of roughly 30,000, horse breeches are worn as much for utilitarian purposes as status symbol. It’s not unusual to see residents clad in riding pants for a trip to the grocery or while perusing the single-malt scotch aisle at the local liquor store.
But with the rise in polo — the ritziest of horse sports — is Aiken about to become too good for its own good?
Todd Stilp doesn’t think so.
A lifelong resident of Aiken, Stilp has seen polo from both sides. As owner of Enviroscape, a landscape management company, Stilp has maintained and helped design layouts for the homes and barns of some of Aiken’s most prominent horse people.
This year, Stilp was also tapped to serve as co-chair on the Gold Cup tournament committee.
Like Tom Biddle, Stilp has worked to make polo an everyman sport.
His late friend, an insurance salesman, managed to play polo with four horses he had invested less than $10,000 in.
“He had a beat-up old truck and he probably had some used trailer that someone paid him to haul off his property,” Stilp says. “He played polo.”
Despite the prestige of this year’s Gold Cup, Stilp notes it only cost spectators $10 to get in.
But Stilp realizes there’s no denying that polo is primarily a sport for the wealthy.
“Some of these guys, like you and I would put a horse on a trailer, they put them on damn jets,” Stilp says. “Adolfo Cambiaso, top player in the world who was on the New Bridge Team … he keeps a set of ponies in Argentina. He flew his ones from England over to Aiken. He had six main horses. I guarantee you it cost about $25,000 or $30,000, one way. And that probably does not even include all the clean-up and all the prep work the local guys have to do.”
“Let’s face it,” Stilp adds, “everybody watches ‘Cribs’ on MTV, and ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.’ Well, they exist, and some of them come to Aiken.”
The difference, Stilp says, is when those rich and famous come to Aiken, it’s usually so they can leave the trappings of wealth and prestige back home.
“You know, for the past 100, 150 years, people have been coming to Aiken — famous people; all the money in the world — they’ve been coming to Aiken because they can come here and be themselves,” Stilp says. “You and I could go dressed like this (casual) into any restaurant, any day of the year, and nobody would say anything to us. You can’t walk into some high-end club or restaurant in South Florida, you can’t do that in Santa Barbara, you can’t do that up in the Hamptons.
Down here, it’s unpretentious. It’s understated elegance. I think that’s one of the nice things about Aiken, that everything’s laid back.”
Stilp doesn’t think that’s going to change anytime soon, despite the growing presences of the game of kings.
“I have a client that’s worth tens and tens of millions of dollars,” Stilp says. “She mucks her own stalls, they paint their own barns, they build their own fences. I’m going to say 98 percent of the people who have horses are like that.
“You get out and meet these people one-on-one, they’re real people.”
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.
Augusta National is Evolving at a Remarkable Pace
Fifteen years ago the Augusta National announced it would forego advertising for the second straight year. This was after Martha Burke held a makeshift, sparsely attended news conference demanding Augusta National admit female members.
Today, where Burke stood is a construction zone. Tunnels will soon link the former San Souci apartment acreage to the Augusta National. Not only does the National have two female members now, this year is the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur will play its final round at Augusta National the Saturday before practice rounds begin.
It takes quite an imagination to envision the changes that will be occurring over next fifteen years for the golf course and the city.
Around the time of the Burke fiasco, the leadership at the National decided they needed to tighten down on the circus atmosphere that surrounded the freshly painted white brick gates of the Washington Road property.
The Augusta National made no secret of its disdain for the pesky scalpers, men on cellular phones in beat up cars descending on Washington Road each year, harassing patrons and causing all sorts of problems.
Technology and a change in the state laws regarding ticket scalping has made an impact on the secondary market. Insiders say with facial recognition technology and other high tech tricks, ticket integrity will soon be pretty rock solid.
What was not very clear at the time was Augusta National’s desire also included getting rid of the corporate hospitality hustle as well. They wanted it to go away.
Over the past fifteen years the ANGC has purchased many hospitality homes and torn them down.
Then with the opening of Berkman’s Place, the future of the club revealed itself.
The Disneyland of Golf as if run by Four Seasons.
To date, the Augusta National has acquired enough land to fan out and do what they do best… make necessary and sometimes bold decisions in the best interest of the Club.
Patience has always been a key component of their negotiating tactics when it comes to land acquisitions, yet word is there is more a sense of urgency these past few years.
The bombshell news that has recently come out is the National’s desire to have its very own exit off I-20 straight onto the Augusta National, no need to pass go. The idea that has been floated would have Masters guests taking the Augusta National exit just before the Washington Road exit and run them parallel to Boy Scout Road, then follow the Rae’s Creek bed to their parking lot.
While the Riverwatch exit does lead to the course, there are many issues with the configuration of the exit and the traffic flow on I-20.
Also, the National doesn’t control the cars until they break Washington Road, and that is an expensive and potentially dangerous pedestrian problem.
With cars exiting the interstate directly onto Augusta National property, the reduction in labor costs for the hundreds of people-the thousands of man hours-and cars on the streets surrounding the Augusta National, would be greatly reduced.
Insiders speculate that the investment would pay off in the long term.
What isn’t as clear is the economic impact the new route would have on Augusta’s small businesses who benefit from all the traffic and visitors.
Word is, Augusta National will act sooner rather than later.
Remember, this is the same organization that was granted the right to reroute a public road them damn selves, and did it ahead of schedule and under budget.
As the National themselves state, “Augusta National Golf Club is a marathon, not a sprint, and can calibrate appropriately.”
The wealth, affluence and power is not going anywhere anytime soon. Well, ever actually.
So get ready Augusta. You are certain to be astonished by the quiet forceful power of the Augusta National in the not too distant future.
SharedSpace, which launched in 2016 in Atlanta and leases flex workspace to small business people, is now open in downtown Augusta.
The Greene Street property previously housed the Georgia Department of Corrections’ Augusta Probation Office.
“Since we have become more paperless than ever and we can store files, presentations and most of our work on electronic devices, the traditional office space as we know it will not exist in a decade from now,” says Vasi Ypsilantis, principal of interiors firm Vasi Ypsilantis Design Associates in Manhasset, New York.
“We will see offices feel like comfortable and open family room type of spaces.”
10 dedicated desks
60 “hot desks” – workstations that can be rented on an as-needed basis
Accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Five conference rooms
2,500 square feet of meeting space
45 private offices
A similar concept received a lot of media coverage back in early 2017 when Deke Copenhaver, Tom Patterson of Unisys, John Cates, siblings Virginia and George Claussen and Tommy Wafford announced the Augusta Innovation Zone.
The shared workspace was to be in the former Woolworth’s building on Broad and 8th Streets, but unfortunately the project died on the table.
Shared Space / 901 Greene Street / Augusta GA / Visit their website for pricing
or contact Molly Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.