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Author: Ashlee Duren

Publisher Notes: June/July 2016

It’s true what they say, “time really does fly when you’re having fun!” The June/July issue marks my one-year anniversary as publisher of Augusta Magazine. It’s been a great journey so far and I’m excited about the future. I am extremely fortunate to work with an experienced and passionate group of people who also love their work. My job as publisher is to ensure the magazine is a true reflection of our city and its residents. Augusta continues to evolve as a city. As the city magazine of metropolitan Augusta, we must evolve too. We have seen many changes in the past year that prove Augusta is on the cusp of becoming a major market in the South. It’s an exciting time for our city and our magazine. Last July, we welcomed home one of our own, Dr. Brooks Keel. In this issue, writer Joe Hotchkiss sat down with the Augusta University president to talk about his homecoming and what he sees for the future of the university. We also feature a group of individuals who represent the best in their profession. We launched the Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch program eight years ago in partnership with the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce. Through the years, the program has showcased some of the area’s brightest individuals in their respective career fields. This year is no exception....

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It’s a Matter of Style!

The South is known for many things. Sweet tea, grits, fried chicken, magnolias, gardenias, azaleas and, of course, accents are just a few things that come to mind. But we are also known for our unique and stately architecture and lush gardens. The May issue has always been one of my favorites. As a reader, I felt I was afforded a personal invitation to a friend’s house and granted permission to peer into their personal space without feeling creepy. Admittedly after perusing the homes featured in the magazine, I was often left feeling rather inadequate about my own surroundings. Over time, I have developed my own eclectic sense of style. However, it is safe to say you will not be seeing my home grace the pages of AugustaMagazine. In this issue, we invite you to visit two very different homes. Kerry Ezelle’s mid-century modern in Country Club Hills and Debbie and Mark Anderson’s eclectic yet traditional Southern home in West Lake. Each home is unique in its own way and tells the story of the family who lives there. The Ezelle home makes the most of the natural light, boasting floor to ceiling windows that reveal picturesque views of Augusta Country Club’s golf course. The openness of this house is perfectly suited to Kerry’s taste and lifestyle. The Andersons’ home embraces their sense of family. Throughout their home, Debbie has...

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Welcome to Augusta!

April in Augusta—the most fabulous time of the year for our fair city! For one week the world is our stage and everyone who is anyone is watching. As locals, we are so proud that Augusta was chosen by the founders of the Augusta National Golf Club to host the world’s most prestigious golf tournament. As Southerners, we have spent months preparing for our guests to arrive.  Homeowners and businesses alike have attended to every detail. Fresh coats of paint have been added to a variety of structures, roads have been constructed to allow traffic to pass more easily and landscapes have been created to ensure the flora and fauna put on a spectacular show for all to see.  We understand most folks are here to attend the tournament on those hallowed grounds that lie just beyond the fence off Washington Road, but we hope you will take a stroll outside the gates and explore the Garden City while you’re here.  Augusta has a blossoming arts scene, countless fabulous restaurants, miles of beautiful greenways and trails, and world-class museums. Also, we are home to the U.S. Army Cyber Command, nationally-known medical facilities, great schools and universities as well as one of the country’s largest Ironman competitions. Our economy is strong—with numerous manufacturing companies and a vibrant real estate market.  Admittedly, golf put Augusta on the map, but we are...

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Food for Thought

I have always considered myself a foodie. At least I did before I became a mother. There are few things in this world I enjoy as much as a great meal. Dining was an experience from start to finish.  At present, food is merely necessary for survival in my household. Now my palate consists of peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and chicken nuggets. I often thought my girlfriends were crazy for centering their mealtimes around the limited palate of a toddler. I now get it. As a working mother, it takes far too much effort to prepare a meal for your child and then cook something that is deemed more sophisticated for you and your spouse. After a long day at the office, it’s all I can do to feed my child something that isn’t served through a window. For those of you who can dine out on a regular basis, I encourage you to do so. It’s an exciting time for foodies in our area. The chefs/restaurateurs on our cover represent the culinary expansion in our area. The Augusta area has had some fabulous locally owned restaurants through the years. A few have become institutions, but sadly many were mere blips. The guys featured in our magazine this issue come from very different backgrounds as reflected in their menus. The common thread, however, is their desire to create and...

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Trees and Traditions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! To say that I love the holidays is a bit of an understatement. The hustle and bustle of the season, time spent with friends and family, holiday entertaining, shopping for the perfect gift—all of it! It’s also a time to reflect on the past year and reminisce about traditions of holidays past, while creating new memories with family and friends.  Growing up, my parents always made the holidays magical. As children, we couldn’t wait for Christmas break. It meant no school, of course, but also time spent with each other creating family traditions. Every family has traditions. My most treasured tradition involves the Christmas tree. Every year, immediately following Thanksgiving dinner, we loaded up in our nine-passenger station wagon to embark on my mother’s quest for the “perfect” Christmas tree. While my mother, sister and I loved the annual search, my brother and dad loathed it. For them it meant standing in the cold patiently waiting for us to pick a tree.  Year after year, the ritual remained the same. We would visit at least a half a dozen tree lots, Mom asking Dad to pull out multiple specimens as she walked around to carefully inspect them—only to reject each one.  In the end, we always ended up at the beginning. We would go back to the first lot and my...

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