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Author: Ashlee Duren

2019 Symphony of Kitchens

The 10th annual Augusta Symphony Guild’s Symphony of Kitchens Tour will be held on Saturday, March 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s tour will feature six homes and one professional kitchen, all located in the Summerville area. The annual tour is just one of the ways the Augusta Symphony Guild supports the Augusta Symphony. Take a sneak peak of this year’s tour, but to see just how fabulous these kitchens are, you’ll have to take the tour. For more details and ticket information visit or by calling 706.826.4705.   1020 Highland Avenue Built in 1929, the...

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Publisher Notes: February/March 2019

  I recently lost someone dear to me. A woman who had a profound effect on my life, shaping me – as a woman, a mother and as a journalist in ways that I could have never imagined. Margaret Quante (Varn) Iliff was my 10th grade high school English teacher. She saw a talent in me and pushed me beyond measure to develop my skills as a writer, never allowing me to quit on an assignment or myself. A native of Savannah, she was the epitome of a Southern lady, complete with a classic drawl and an open door. And while she was most certainly a lady, one always knew where they stood with her and what her expectations were. Upon graduating from the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia, Margaret moved to Atlanta to become a journalist. She would go on to become an editor for the Atlanta Business Journal before “life” happened. She met a boy, got married, moved to Thomson and had a baby girl, who years later would become one of my closest childhood friends. When I received a message in December from her daughter, who remains a dear friend, I was devastated. Margaret died peacefully on December 19, her 80th birthday. I know that no one lives forever here on this Earth, but the passing of some – you’re never quite ready...

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Urban Oasis

When Christy Beckham first saw the turn of the century Colonial Revival style house on Greene Street, she knew she was home. But it would be eight months before it would officially be her home. At the time, Christy and Michael Beckham were looking for another investment property, not a forever home for their growing family. The house at 838 Greene Street had been vacant for several years and was in foreclosure. Pregnant with the couple’s second child, she immediately fell in love with the house. “I just knew this was the house for our family,” Christy said. “But...

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Publisher Notes: January 2019

  I grew up in Columbia County, Evans to be specific. When my parents moved our family to Augusta in 1980, they chose to buy a home in Columbia County. My mother had done her research and felt like Columbia County was a better fit for our young family. My dad worked for Columbia Nitrogen at the time, located off Sand Bar Ferry Road in downtown Augusta. Needless to say, unless we went to a function at my Dad’s office, we did not venture downtown much at all. My mother thought it was not safe for her young family. Most of the buildings were abandoned, but we did come downtown for the theater. From a very young age I took ballet with the Ron Jones School of Ballet, known now as the Columbia County Ballet. Every Spring, we would have our production, the Roar of Love, downtown. In the early years, it was at the Imperial Theatre before moving to the Bell Auditorium. I always loved coming downtown…to the “big” city. As an adult, I am excited to see a renewed investment in downtown Augusta. Our city has so much to offer from new restaurants, retail shops, theaters, nightlife and much more. In this issue, we celebrate downtown Augusta and the revitalization that is happening. There is a distinct movement to make our city a destination for visitors and...

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Publisher Notes: November/December 2018

  I love the holidays! Every single second of this time of year. For me, that includes frantic deadlines at the magazine, last minute shopping and baking. (Honestly, I do my best work at the ninth hour.) I love shopping for the perfect tree, decorating, holiday parties and traditions – every detail of the holidays from Thanksgiving to Christmas! As I get older though, I find that those things aren’t as important as they once were. The holidays are truly a time of giving and reflection. It’s an opportunity to teach my daughter what the holidays are all about for me – the birth of Jesus and giving to those less fortunate. So this year, your holiday issue looks a little different. We chose not to feature a holiday home. Instead, Brian Panowich has written a piece on family holiday traditions. As always, we have our annual Gift Guide, should you need help finding that perfect gift and if you would like to make a donation to an organization this season, our annual Giving Guide features some local charities that need support. In this issue, we have a piece on the homeless in the area. It seemed fitting to shine a light on those that don’t have a home. Regardless of the reason, these people are members of our community. In the spirit of the holidays, please remember those...

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VOTE! Best of Augusta 2019 Ballot

VOTE! Best of Home 2019 Ballot

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