Valdosta Daily Times

September 2, 2012

September Scene one of our best ever!

Kay Harris
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The September issue of the Valdosta Scene magazine will be out this week and is a must read. Gracing the cover this month is Dr. Dacia Charlesworth, the new First Lady of Valdosta State University. Charming, intelligent, fun, with an infectious personality, she is a great complement to her husband, new President Dr. Bill McKinney, and to the community. We look forward to working with her in the future and you will enjoy reading about her in the magazine.

The Scene also includes a delightful story written by yours truly about Mara Register’s father (and mother!), James and Patricia Shaw. Mara and I just happened to be having a relaxing conversation after work one evening when she mentioned that her father was on one of the Antarctica expeditions with Admiral Byrd, and I immediately asked for the opportunity to interview him. He is included in a National Geographic article about the expedition as well as several books, and his story is as charming and interesting as you can imagine it would be! Mara said her parents were “characters” and I can’t think of a better description. I hope I did them justice in this article as their story doesn’t just include this historic aspect, but so much more. They’ve been married for 57 years and I daresay they’ve had just about the best time over those years as anybody I’ve ever met!

And I also got to do the interview for the new Mama June’s restaurant with the O’Neal clan, which was every bit as fun as talking to the O’Neals always is! Mama June is Pat O’Neal’s mother, and from a lifetime of cooking for seven children, their friends, now their grandchildren, etc., her enthusiasm has led to the creation of a local restaurant empire. With several new restaurant openings just this year, Pat has put more than 400 Georgians to work, without government assistance, grants, or incentives. That’s pretty impressive for a family that loves to feed people and enjoys what they do every day.

Of course there’s always more features and photos, but you’ll have to pick up a copy of the Scene this week at either The Times office or Books-a-Million and read these great stories!

Business Roundup

Academy Sports has announced its grand opening at the end of September, and the traffic light on Norman Drive in front of the new store is already operational, as of this week. Make sure you remember it’s there when you’re driving to Sam’s Club or Walmart, and with the opening of Gander Mountain last week, too, that area is getting very, very busy with lots of traffic.

The new Blazin’ Wings restaurant next to Passage to India off North Ashley Street is now open. It opened where the former Wing Zone was and has gone over well on that side of town, just in time for football season.

Also, the former CVS store on North Ashley has a sign that says Family Dollar coming soon. Great to see a formerly empty building being used.

The folks at H&S Supply had a grand-opening event this week for their new showroom on St. Augustine Road. They had been located on Hill Avenue for many years and made the move due to the new overpass, which will take their old building. It was a great location choice for them and the new showroom is really attractive, and I can’t even begin to describe how nice everybody is that works there!

A new dermatology practice is getting ready to open at the end of September. Dr. John Andrew Cole will be locating his practice next to ERA Joyner on Northside Drive.

On Baytree, the new Dollar Store on the corner of Lankford/Jerry Jones looks finished but there are no signs to indicate any kind of opening information this week. Just down from there, the new Manny’s Sub Shop construction seems to be going very well, and the building is really taking shape. It’s located where the old Zaxby’s used to be.

Up in Hahira, Johnson’s Frames and More moved recently to where Just Off Main used to be, off Main Street, of course. It’s new Fiveash Grocery, which everybody knows, and they have expanded in their new space and I understand it’s looking really nice.

There is a sign that says there is a new Mexican restaurant opening soon on Main Street in Hahira, but no indication yet of when.

Don’t forget to check out CiCi’s Pizza this week and see their new remodeled interior. Their customer appreciation day is this week, Sept. 6.

That’s about it for this week, but if there’s something I missed, please let me know!

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