Smyrna Museum To Reopen Sunday

After more than a year, the Smyrna Historical Society will reopen the Smyrna Museum with a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 17.

“Everyone is invited,” said Museum Manager Jennie Eldredge, “It’s an opportunity to come see the new exhibits in the museum.”

The museum is at 2861 Atlanta Rd SE, Smyrna; and the opening will be from 3 – 5 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

The museum, which dates back to 1992, has been in its present location in a former railroad station for almost two decades. It closed July 2018 for renovations. 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. Two years ago the Smyrna Historical Society was created by the city council to support and aid the museum in its operations.

The museum will be organized in five chronological sections with another area for temporary displays.

The first section is “Genesis,” covering pre-history and Native Americans. Next is “Battlegrounds,” with Civil War relics and history; “Cityhood,” the aftermath of the war, reconstruction and incorporation of city in 1872; “Jonquil,” the 20th century, WWII, and growth of the Bell bomber plant; and “Rebirth,” covering the economic growth of city and its diversity.

 “We are bringing in interactive displays and the ability to touch objects,” Eldredge said. “It pairs with the sensory input of the trains rolling right behind us.”

The museum includes an interactive display in every section, including weaving a Cherokee basket, picking up a Civil War-era knapsack to measure the weight of the gear they had to carry, and making your own Smyrna postcard.

Chamblee-based Building Four Fabrication provided the rebuilt presentation at a cost of $185,000 which is under budget.

The Ribbon cutting at 3 p.m. will include The Mayor and Councilman Corky Welch, plus Jennifer Dixon, chair of the Smyrna Historical Society. “I hope that this museum will encourage others to find their passion for history, especially if it encourages them to preserve local history.”

“We want to honor the Smyrna Genealogical Society for their work in founding the museum,” Eldredge said. “They are the reason we have this space and much of this collection. Without them we would not have this reopening.”

 “The Museum will be a gathering space for stories, oral histories and local history,” said Eldredge. “We would like to partner with the schools to get translations of our script into Spanish and other languages.” The 1,500 sq. foot space was cleared out and new displays and storage built. It is designed with open storage in mind, with some items on display plus other items in drawers for further exploration.

Theatre Project Presents ‘Freaky Friday’

The Theatre Project will present the musical version of “Freaky Friday” at the Mable House Amphitheatre in November.

The musical version tells the story of a mother and daughter, whose bodies are switched by a mysterious and magical fortune cookie.

Performances will be Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. Tickets are available at ttpcobbcounty.com/.

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

Norton, Campbell In Runoff For Smyrna Mayor

Smyrna voters will go back to the polls on Dec. 3 to elect a Mayor as Derek Norton and Ryan Campbell forced a runoff in a five-person race.

Norton had 47 percent of the vote to Campbell’s 25 percent. Other Mayoral candidates included Steve Rasin at 22 percent, Laura Mireles at 5 percent and Alex Backry at 1 percent.

Norton, 42, is serving as Ward 1 Councilman, Mayor Pro Tem and works as  Government Affairs Director for the Medical Association of Georgia. Campbell, 26, is the son of Jamaican immigrants who operate Chris’ Caribbean Bistro. 

In Ward 2, Austin Wagner defeated incumbent Andrea Blustein by just two votes, 341 to 339.

Travis Lindley defeated incumbent Ward 3 Councilwoman Maryline Blackburn with 53 percent of the vote.

Susan Winkinson, incumbent in Ward 5 held on with 52 percent of the vote over James Smith and Suz Kaprich.

In the open Ward 7 race, Lewis Wheaton took 57 percent of the vote over David Monroe.

In the unopposed races Glenn Pickins won the Ward 1 seat, and incumbents Charles ‘Corkey’ Welch, Ward 4; and Tim Gould, Ward 6;  were reelected.

Ollie Clemons, serving as acting Mayor in Austell, won a full term with 54 percent of the vote by defeating three challengers. Devon Myrick and Melanie Elder were elected to council seats.

Smyrna’s runoff election will be held Dec. 3.

Boxing Champ Honored

Nathan Lugo, a 15-year-old Smyrna boxer, won gold at the Bornemissza Tournament in Eger, Hungary, by winning three matches, with one by decision and two by stoppage. Lugo left Hungary as the top-ranked 154-pound junior-class boxer in the world.

Lugo was honored with a proclamation at the Aug. 5 Smyrna City Council meeting congratulating him on being the most decorated amateur boxer in Georgia.

“In 2014, Lugo was the only boxer in Georgia to win a national title for our great state. Many overlooked the then 9-year-old boxer who was making history,” the proclamation reads. “Nathan is a current member of Team USA and has over 200 recorded bouts, 12 national titles, and a gold medal in the biggest junior international tournament, he is the essence of what our city and country are built on — hard work.”

After winning gold in Hungary he presented his father with the medal in honor of Father’s Day. He is the son of Michael and Angela Lugo, and has one younger brother, Elijah, who is also a national level boxer.

Lugo is a three-time National Junior Golden Gloves winner and four-time National Silver Gloves winner.In December, he became a member of Team USA by defeating then-Team USA member Elijah Garcia.

‘Smyrna Reads’ The Constitution

Every year, Smyrna Library promotes a book for the community to read and discuss. This year, we will revisit America’s Founding Era and read the U.S. Constitution.

Free copies will be distributed while supplies last, but numerous other copies will be available for checkout. Events throughout the month are scheduled to supplement your reading.

This program is part of “Revisiting the Founding Era,” a three-year national initiative of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History presented in partnership with the American Library Association and the National Constitution Center, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Smyrna Reads is also sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

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

Runoff Set For 2 Smyrna Posts

Smyrna will have a runoff for two posts after ballots were certified by the Cobb Board of Elections.

Derek Norton faces Ryan Campbell in a runoff for mayor. Norton had 47 percent of the vote to Campbell’s 25 percent. Other Mayoral candidates included Steve Rasin at 22 percent, Laura Mireles at 5 percent and Alex Backry at 1 percent.

After provisional and absentee votes were counted, Austin Wagner and incumbent Andrea Blustein tied for the Ward 2 post.

The runoff for the two posts will be Dec. 3.  

Advance voting will be held for three days only; Nov. 25-27 at the Voter office at 736 Whitlock Ave., Marietta from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and the Smyrna Community Center from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Campbell Lady Spartans Win State



Campbell Lady Spartan medalists are, kneeling from left, Jameah Alston, Raina Perry, and Jada Alston; standing, Jaleah Alston, Mekenze Kelley, Lailah Malone, Zionn Rice, Akilah Parrish, Rachel Swain, Ashton Lindley, Makayla Jones, Makylah Jones and Camille Trottman.

The Campbell Lady Spartans Track & Field team just completed their most successful season ever by winning their first GHSA State Track and Field Team Championship in school history and only the second GHSA State Championship since Softball won in 1994.

This talented and well-coached team won the State Championship by 50 points, and with the highest point total (112 points) ever scored in the largest classification (7A) in the state. 

The track and field program first won the Region 2-7A Championship, and Cobb County Championship, leading to the State Championship.

Ashton Lindley, a junior, was GHSA State Championship Athlete of the Meet. SAhe was also Cobb County Athlete of the Meet at the Cobb County Championship.  At State, Ashton scored on the winning 4x100m and 4x400m Relay teams, won the 300m Hurdles with a time (41.46) that ranks her as US#11, and placed fifth in the Long Jump as well as second in the 400m dash.

Campbell scored points in 12 different events, and won Gold in four events.

The other individual Gold medalist was Mekenze Kelley, a sophomore, who ran a blazing 53.65.  This performance ranks her as US#13 and #2 in Georgia. Kelley also won Silver in the 200m Dash and ran on both winning relay teams.

The other medalists include:

• Camille Trotman (JR) 4x100m Relay and High Jump

• Jaleah Alston (JR) 100m Dash, 200m Dash, and both Relays

• Raina Perry (SR) 300m Hurdles, and both Relays

• Lailah Malone (JR) Shot Put and Discus

• Jada Alston (SR) Triple Jump and both Relays

• Zionn Rice (FR) 100m Hurdles and both Relays

• Jameah Alston (JR) both Relays

• Makylah Jones (JR) 4x400m Relay

Also contributing as alternates who ran in the prelims of the 4x400m Relays were Loryn Smith (FR) and Akilah Parrish (SO).

“This is a young and talented team with only two seniors graduating, so the future continues to be bright for the program,” said Michelle Lanier, Head Girls’ Track Coach.

Smyrna ‘Antiques Roadshow’ Coming

The new Smyrna Historical Society isn’t waiting for the doors of the newly-renovated Smyrna Museum to open in September, according to Nancy Geisler, board member.

“The 2019 Program is here, and most events are open to all and free. Please visit www.Smyrnahistoricalsociety.org to register for communications about events. For those who are able to do more, please consider donating to the future of the historical society by becoming a Member,” she said. 

Two collection events are set for June 15 and July 27, Noon – 4 p.m. at the Smyrna Library. Bring your photographs and other historic items to the experts. They will be scanned and returned or accepted to the permanent museum collection. It’s our “Antiques Roadshow” with a Smyrna flair.

For a limited time, the society is offering a special Founder’s membership. For a one-time donation of $100, your name will be listed on a permanent plaque to be displayed in the museum. You will also be invited to a special pre-opening ceremony. This is an easy and inexpensive way to show your support for a resource that will service our community for many years. 

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

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.