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Author: Don Rhodes

Bert and Rubee Bertram

Dancing Australian couple enriched Augusta and Aiken’s theatrical life   Who would have guessed that when Australian dancers Bert and Rubee Bertram came to Augusta in a tent show in the mid-1930s that they would become such a major part of theatrical life in Augusta and Aiken? And who could have known that in his life after Augusta that Bert would be seen in plays starring Charlton Heston, Tallulah Bankhead, Dame Judith Anderson and Shirley Booth and even in a movie starring Audrey Hepburn? Bertram was born on Christmas Day of 1893 in Peterborough, Australia. He and his wife,...

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Celebrating 45 Years of Augusta Magazine

Before James Brown Arena and before Augusta Mall, there was Augusta Magazine Like a lot of organizations with long histories, the exact year of origination of Augusta Magazine became confused over the years. The “20th Anniversary Issue” was the cover of this magazine’s October/November issue in 1995, observing the founding year of 1975. But the 35th anniversary, for some unknown reason, was celebrated in 2009 instead of 2010. And for about 10 years, the year 1974 has appeared over the credits and staff box page instead of 1975. The electronic files of The Augusta Chronicle, however, in articles profiling founding editor and...

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Meet The Man Behind The Morris Music

It was April Fools’ Day of 2002 when Kevin Grogan got the call from William S. (“Billy”) Morris III offering him the job as executive director of the art museum that Morris had opened almost 10 years earlier in honor of his parents. Grogan, then 53, had spent the previous three years as director and president of the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia (now Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art) in Virginia Beach. But it certainly was no clever trick with that call being a life changer not only for Grogan and his wife, Kate, but for thousands of Augustans....

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Over Achiever Fielding Wallace

One of Bobby Jones’ First Foursome   Augusta businessman Fielding Wallace was part of the foursome in 1932 when Bobby Jones played his first 18 holes at the Augusta National, but Wallace also loved horses, tennis and music with equal passion. When it came to horses, it was successful local businessman Fielding Wallace who championed making Augusta one of the great equine centers of the South. When it came to tennis, it was Fielding Wallace who taught thousands of Augustans about the sport in its pioneer days and played at a championship level himself. And when it came to...

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The Augusta Futurity

With its 2019 show celebrates 40 years of being on the cutting edge   Last year alone The Augusta Futurity in January of 2018 in James Brown Arena saw 550 entrants coming from 23 U.S. states plus as far as Canada and Italy. It literally has poured millions of dollars into the local economy, becoming second only in annual tourism revenue to that spring golfing game held a few miles away on Washington Road. William S. “Billy” Morris III, the Futurity’s show chairman and co-founder, has observed, “This show has been incredibly important to our state, to South Carolina, to...

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