Carrying On After Allan

The Bright Side is a good-news newspaper, but every now and then a cloud passes over the sun. A dark cloud passed over the Bright Side family – and the Lipsett family – last week with the passing of Allan Lipsett.

He and I have published the Bright Side as a team since 2007. It is a joy to bring you the news of the Smyrna, Vinings and South Cobb area, introduce you to new businesses, and keep you posted on the latest events. Allan and I have worked together to bring you the news each month, and now the Bright Side will continue without his important and steady hand.

Our family is so grateful for the kind outpouring of love from the community. From the Jonquil City Kiwanis Club to the Smyrna, Vinings, and South Cobb Business Associations, to taking pictures at many events around town, Allan spent many days in this community and both of us have made many friends.

For those who did not know Allan, or who have not yet seen it, you can see a glimpse of the interesting life he led here or in this month’s Bright Side, which is now arriving at homes and available at various places in the area. We are proud to share this month’s issue, late though it is. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Know that the Bright Side will continue. It must, if only because we know Allan would have wanted it to.

-Cathy Lipsett, Publisher

WellStar Vinings Health Place Is VBA Business of Year

WellStar Vinings Health Park was named the Vinings Business Association’s “2019 Vinings Business or Organization of the Year.” The award was presented Dec. 3.

WellStar and the three other finalists were presented at the November luncheon to their business ideas and successes. Other finalists include Cobb Community Foundation, Cumberland Community Improvement District (CID), and Crispina Ristorante & Pizzeria.

“All of these nominees are winners,” said Chairman Glenn Christian. “We have been working to get the word out that Vinings is a special place.”

Loretta Usry, executive director, Health Parks South, thanked the VBA. We have everything yunder one roof.

 “We have been in the running for this quite a while and we are thrilled to be in the community. We provide many services to the community and we give back to the community in part through our indigent care fun,” she said.

The Vinings Health Park has been open for two years and its 162,000 sq. ft. building at Atlanta Road near I-285 is fully occupied.

“The whole concept is one stop shopping,” said Joe Brywczynski, senior vice president of WellStar Health Park Development. “We hope you are wowed by your experience.”

The third of five WellStar Health Parks, Vinings saw 200,000 patients the first year and some 250,000 the second.

The three other nominees include:

Andriano Djula and Raffaele Crispino opened Crispina Ristorante & Pizzeria at Paces Mill and Cobb Parkway some five years ago.

The restaurant and the newly opened Crispina Grill in the same shopping center provide a traditional Neapolitan style, southern Italian menu.

Djula said, “We work together and provide excellent family tradition recipes.”

 When we opened it would not have been possible without working with local schools and supporting the local businesses.

The Cobb Community Foundation works with some 500 non-profits, using a donor advised funding model to collect and disperse contributions. Currently it oversees some $550,000 in funds.

“We have one purpose and that’s to support the nonprofits in Cobb and encourage giving,” said Bruce Clayton, board chairman.

The Cumberland area has grown since the Cumberland Community Improvement District (CID) was formed some 31 years ago.

Kyethea Clark, Director of Operations for the CID, said this was the first CID in Georgia as commercial property owners agreed to tax themselves to fund transportation and community improvements.

Three decades ago the area was retail and office/commercial but has added many residential properties in the past several years. “Jobs and  Housing has balanced out to make this a more vibrant area,” she said. “Now you have people who stay here to do things, such as go to the Battery.”

Get Rid of Bulky Trash

It’s time to clean out your closets, basements, garages and rooms. The City of Smyrna and Keep Smyrna Beautiful are hosting the first Bulky Trash Amnesty Day Saturday, Aug. 17 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Smyrna residents are invited to bring their unwanted items and drop them off at the Smyrna Public Works Department on Atlanta Road.

This event is FREE and for Smyrna residents only. Please bring proof of residency: City of Smyrna utility bill preferred but a drivers license is fine.

Items accepted include: Furniture, carpet, mattresses and box springs, grills, car parts (doors, fenders), lawn furniture, and non Freon containing appliances (washers, dryers, etc).

Items NOT accepted include: paint, any household hazardous waste, refrigerators, freezers, tires, construction debris, lawn mowers, or propane tanks.

“We are encouraging neighborhoods to work together to bring items,” said Janet Liberman. “For example: join together and rent a truck or offer to bring a neighbor’s items if you have a pickup truck and they don’t have a car big enough.”

From the August 2019 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Smyrna Museum Adds To Collection

The Smyrna Historical Society hosted an event at the Smyrna Library in July seeking donations for the remodeled museum and included a large display of Smyrna related artifacts. 







<!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536858881 -1073732485 9 0 511 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; margin-top:0in; margin-right:0in; margin-bottom:10.0pt; margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} span.Hyperlink0 {mso-style-name:”Hyperlink\.0″; mso-style-unhide:no; color:#0000EE; text-effect:none; text-underline:#0000ED; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} span.hascaption {mso-style-name:hascaption; mso-style-unhide:no;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} .MsoPapDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; margin-bottom:10.0pt; line-height:115%;} /* Page Definitions */ @page {mso-footnote-numbering-restart:each-section;} @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} –>
Corky Welch donates City Hall sign to Smyrna Museum Manager Jennie Eldredge, and Mike Terry.

Jennie Eldredge, Museum Manager was joined by historian Mike Terry, and board members Linda Evans, Bill Marchione, and Nancy Geisler as the community turned out in record numbers to become members of the new society and enjoy viewing numerous unique and historic artifacts.

Among the donations was the original sign from the new city hall that opened in 1996. Ward 4 City Councilman Corky Welch brought the sign to the collection event at the Smyrna Public Library. Terry said the sign was on the old city hall…the white brick building…so it is about 30 years old. Not exactly an antique, but an important part of Smyrna History.

On display was the original cast-iron zero mile marker post from 1872 donated by Harold Smith, an unusual plug-tobacco cutter from an old Smyrna general store, a rare stereoscope viewer, many 1900 era kitchen items, a collection of Civil War uniform buttons, and hundreds of old photographs. 

Visitors were also given the latest information about the revitalized history museum; a grand opening is expected in October. 

To join the society, or to get more information about the history of Smyrna, contact  Mike Terry at 770-438-6182 or Linda Evans at 770-436-8062.

From the August 2019 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs, and Austell, GA.

‘Shrek The Musical’ In Smyrna

Smyrna Village Players’ cast and crew invite you to experience SHREK THE MUSICAL in an all-new light in four performances on July 18, 19 and 20.

This new age fairytale is full of sidesplitting laughs, heartfelt friendships and harrowing adventure.

Smyrna Village Players is an outreach of SFUMC and the local Methodist community. The group offers an outlet for individuals to share their talents and gifts and seeks to bring joy and unity to our neighbors by working as a collaborative team to tell compelling stories.

The unique interpretation of this beloved tale brings our favorite renaissance heroes into modern times. We’ve embraced a vibrant, rock’n’roll inspired aesthetic and the jam-packed performance is guaranteed to keep you engaged and on the edge of your seat.

Performances are July 18 at 7 p.m.), July 19 at 7 p.m. and July 20 at 2 and 7 p.m. Performances are in the Fellowship Hall of Smyrna First United Methodist Church, 1315 Concord Road, Smyrna. The performance offers professional ASL interpretation at the Saturday 2 p.m. matinee show and welcome all members of the Smyrna community to enjoy this upbeat, family-friendly production. General Admission tickets are $15 and Student/Senior tickets are $12. Tickets are on sale now at www.smyrnavillageplayers.com.

Linda Keeney Scholarship Awarded

The King Springs Foundation awarded its second annual Linda B. Keeney Scholarship for King Springs Alumni April 26 to Campbell High School Senior, Spencer Ford.

Ford will be attending the University of Miami to pursue a degree in Musicianship, Artistry Development, and Entrepreneurship. 

The Linda B. Keeney Scholarship for King Springs Alumni was established in 2018 to honor the career of King Springs’ long-time principal upon her retirement from public education.

In 2018, the King Springs Foundation awarded a $1,000 scholarship.  In 2019, the award was doubled to $2,000. In 2020, the King Springs Foundation has a goal of once again doubling the award.  If you would like to contribute directly to the scholarship, please go kingspringsfoundation.org/.

From the June 2019  issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Lawn Chairs Now Okay At Renovated Amphitheatre

Visitors check out the new terraced seating area that allows lawn chairs at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheater during a recent open house.

The Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre’s season is underway and concert goers and performers are benefitting from extensive renovations.
“We have a robust concert series that we are this hosting on behalf local promoters,” said Robert Edwards, general manager. The amphitheater is a rental only facility.

“One of our promoters, Royal Entertainment, has brought in some 20 concerts over the summer.”

Royal also helped facilitate moving all of the Kiss 104.1 Flashback series from Lakewood Amphitheater. Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends have back to back concerts.

“It’s going to be a fun series over the summer,” Edwards said during an open house at the facility in May.

A new movie series on the first Friday of each month called Movies , Band and Brew, will be a nostalgic evening with the theme of an individual artist and film.

“We are teaming up with the Arts Center so the first Friday in July is a Prince experience. A national touring, exhibit, then have Hero, The Band playing music of Prince and the movie Purple Rain.

An Evening of Jazz series is already underway.

Edwards said that in the winter of 2017 renovations began the backstage area, including the green room and dressing areas.

“We ripped up all the floors which now with polished concrete, bought new furniture, and gave it a new look. We really spruced up the place to give the artists a better impression of our backstage,” he said.

“This past winter we redid the lawn area so it is now terraced instead of a steep hill. Now we allow all of our patrons to bring in their own lawn chairs. It’s a big deal since we never allowed that in the past. We have new bar areas in the venue so we have full cash bars available to the public,” he said.

The entire SPLOST renovation was $2 million spread out over two years.

The seating area remains the same capacity at 2,500 with 1,500 under the roof and 1,000 on the lawn.

“It’s just a more user friendly lawn area,” he said.

Here are some of the shows coming this summer and fall at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre.

An Evening of Jazz series:

• June 22 – featuring Gregory Porter, Ken Ford and Kathy Kosins.

• July 6 – featuring Boney James, Avery Sunshine and Alex Bugnon.

• Aug. 3 – featuring Brian Culberson and Najee.

• Aug. 17 – featuring Jeffrey Osborne and Jody Watley.

• Sept. 21 – featuring Jonathan Butler, Kirk Whalum, Eric Darius and Nick Colionne.

July 20 – The Gentlemen of Soul featuring Peabo Bryson, Freddie Jackson and Howard Hewett

Kiss 104.1 Flashback Festival:

• Aug. 31 – The Whispers with Ruben Studdard, and Evelyn Champagne King.

• Sept. 1 – Cameo with Midnight Star, and Glenn Jones.

Also, Sept. 7 – Sounds Good Medicine with Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Kenney Lattimore, and Bryan Thompson, hosted by M.C. Lightfoot.

The Wednesday night children’s series, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, will feature free movies such as Black Panther on June 12; Spiderman Into the Spiderverese on June 26; A Wrinkle In Time on July 10; and How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World on July 24.

First Fridays feature Movie, Bands and Brews:

• July 5 – Purple Rain, featuring Hero, the Band, playing Prince music.

• Aug. 2 – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, featuring The Neon Queen.

• Sept. 6 – Nine to Five with a performance by Diva Royale.

• Oct. 4 – Bohemian Rhapsody featuring a Queen tribute performance by the Georgia Players Guild.

For showtimes and tickets visit mablehouse.org or call 770-819-7765.

From the June 2019  issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Harvest Festival To Be Held at Mable House

The Harvest Festival will be held at the Mable House Historic Grounds on October 12, 2019.

Produced by The Friends of The Mable House in partnership with Cobb Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, The Harvest Festival was formerly the Storytelling Festival.

“The Friends organization wanted to rebrand the event to create an enhanced family experience,” said Libby Geiselmayr, Mable House Arts Center Coordinator.

Professional storytellers Josie Bailey and Joanna Maddox will be telling tales, plus, there will be musical performances, food and other activities.

This free event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. will include Hay Rides given by the South Cobb Lions Club, a sweet potato garden, corn shucking, butter churning, homemade Johnny cakes, professional blacksmith Wind Chapman, farm animals, live storytellers, arts and crafts with clay throwing demonstrations, old time games, sweets and drinks by the girl scouts, live musical performances, Mother Goose, and gold panning.

There will be Historic House Tours with live demonstrations of quilting, spinning, weaving and sewing.

The South Cobb Lions Club will be selling BBQ both Saturday and Sunday.

Musical performances are set by FlatPickin’, Inc., and Soulful Praise, the Pebblebrook High School Gospel Choir.

From the October 2019 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Smyrna History Museum Closes For Remodel

The Smyrna History Museum is closed as of July 2 to allow the museum manager, city workers, and volunteers time to clean up the museum storage space in preparation for a massive renovation.

The new Smyrna Historical Society, which was created to support and aid the museum in its operations, is playing a significant role in the museum’s renovation. Once the cleanup has completed

The museum, which dates back to 1992, has been in its present location in a former railroad station for almost two decades. The cleanup is the first step in a complete renovation to its exhibits. This renovation will bring a chronological, narrative layout to the museum that will be accessible to all visitors.

In the next couple of months, a company will be hired to create and build all new exhibits for the museum. Requests for proposal are due on July 20. The projected start date for the renovation project will be Sept. 3.

Museum Manager, Jennie Eldredge, began work in October and has been inventorying the collection.

“It’s a long term process of taking all the objects and measuring and determining what stories they can tell about Smyrna History,” she said.

Previously run by volunteers, Eldredge is the first museum professional in the job.

In 1985 the Smyrna History and Genealogical Society started collecting records, photographs and objects until opening a physical museum in 1992. It moved to the present location in 1999.

Recently, the Smyrna Historical Society was created by the city council to support and aid the museum in its operations.

“We recognize the massive efforts that Harold Smith, his late wife Betty, and all of the members of the Smyrna Historical and Genealogical Society have undertaken to preserve Smyrna history.” Eldredge said. “Without their interests and efforts, Smyrna would not have a history museum, and much knowledge and physical evidence of Smyrna’s history might not have survived in such abundance. They have truly created a great legacy.”

A native of Marietta, Ms. Eldridge earned an Anthropology degree from Georgia State University and has done field work in archeology

“I wanted to focus on museum work to marry my love of objects with bringing their stories to a public audience. She previously worked at the Atlanta History Center.

While the 1,500 sq. ft.museum building will not be expanding, an open scaffolding concept will maximize space.

“As we redo the exhibits in the museum, they will show a more chronological walk though Smyrna’s history,” she said. The preliminary design breaks Smyrna history into six time periods and themes and includes a temporary exhibit space for rotating exhibits.

The scope of the museum will be limited to the southern Cobb area, she noted. “Vinings has a historic society, but it’s not a collecting society. We will also work with the Marietta Museum. It’s about telling the story and what you see in Smyrna today.”

The items that have been on display make up only a fraction of the collection. There are more than 10,000 items in inventory, many of them stored in the basement.

“They never really said no to anyone donating,” she said. “We have the original ballot box that was used for early city elections plus an X-ray machine from Dr Crow’s office, and old medicines.”

Ms. Eldredge said she will be writing a guide to collections to judge future donations.

“My archeology background has come in handy in the museum basement. It’s like an excavation,” she said. “I’m recording the location of objects that I find in the basement storage.”

“We are not actively collecting at this time as I am still going through what we have.”

If you are interested in helping, the Smyrna Historical Society is looking for volunteers at all levels, including board members. Please email them at smyrnahistoricalsociety@gmail.com  and let them know you want to help.

From the July 2018 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Congratulations To The Class of 2018

High school graduation ceremonies saw seniors don caps and gowns as they picked up their diplomas throughout southern
Cobb in May.

Whitefield Academy recently hosted the class of 2018 graduation ceremony at the Church of the Apostles in Buckhead, graduating 59 seniors.

Pebblebrook High School had 520 graduates, as some 90 percent of  the senior class earned diplomas. Seniors also received in excess of $13.5 million in scholarships.

Campbell High School saw some 622 seniors graduate. At least one will be attending
an Ivy League college. South Cobb High School had 460 graduates for the class of 2018
Of the more than 8,000 Cobb County School District seniors graduating as part of the Class of 2018, about 76 percent will continue their educational journey in college.

“Every one of the 8,000 graduates who are walking across stages this week have success stories to tell,” said Superintendent Chris Ragsdale. “Whether the next step in their journey is college or career, each student’s
success is a reflection of their hard work, their family’s involvement, and their teachers’ dedication.”

Whitefield Academy named Katie Cella as valedictorian.

Campbell High School named Jennifer Shen as valedictorian. She is the daughter of Shyh-Chiang Shen and Minya Huang, and will be attending Georgia Tech, majoring in industrial and systems engineering.

Campbell High School named six Salutatorians, including:

  • Grant Adams Brown, son of Dick and Lisa Brown, will be attending Georgetown University majoring in international business, Spanish, and Portuguese.
  • Andrew Stephenson Huffman, son of Trey and Kristen Huffman, who will be attending University of Virginia, majoring in finance.
  • Patrick Jacob Kramer, son of Andrew and Jennifer Kramer, who will be attending Georgia Tech, majoring in biology.
  • Emma Lynn Sollenberger, daughter of Alan and Stacy Sollenberger, who will be attending Northwestern University, majoring in secondary education.
  • Jeniveve Alexandra Vaia, daughter of Jason and Siley Vaia, who will be attending Georgia Tech majoring in material science and engineering.
  • Patrick Theodore Will, son of Geoffrey and Celeste Will, who will be attending Georgia Tech majoring in economics.

Pebblebrook High School named Brinkley Madison Doherty as valedictorian. She is the daughter of Wendi Doherty and Frankie Doherty. She will be attending Tulane University, majoring in cell and molecular biology and dance.

Pebblebrook High School named Erin Victoria Davis as salutatorian. She is the daughter of Gretchen Davis and Eric Davis. She will be attending Boston University, majoring in acting with a minor in political science.

South Cobb High School named Zainab Molumo as valedictorian. She is the daughter of             Sade and Bolaji Molumo. She will attend Emory- Oxford University, majoring in human health, pre-med or pre-optometry.

South Cobb High School named three salutatorians, including:

  • Donni-Margree Lenora Crenshaw, daughter of Jeffery Crenshaw & Donna Crenshaw. She will attend University of Georgia, majoring in biology with a concentration in neuroscience.
  • Paige Nicholas, daiughtter of Kevin and Susan Nicholas. She will attend the University of Georgia, majoring in biology.
  • Sha’kira Thomas, daughter of Natasha Thomas. She will attend Mercer University, majoring in biology.

From the June 2018 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.