Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lumpkinites. Don't Complain. Solve a Problem.

Use Your Brain. Don't Complain.
People in Lumpkin County are quick to complain. “Taxes are too high.” “Taxes are too low.” “We need to recycle more.” “Why aren’t we bringing more industry to the area.” “Our commissioners just aren’t doing enough.” And the list of complaints goes on and on.

For the county’s critics, the time has come to be proactive, to actually help solve a problem. All they have to do is take part in the Problem Solving Competition sponsored by the Lumpkin Literacy and BBandT.

Participants will be divided into teams. Each team will then work on a major issue that Lumpkin faces and asked to come up with a solution. We won’t learn what the issue is until the start of the competition, but word is the problem is a tough one that people in Lumpkin have been trying to solve for decades.

John Gerheim, the event organizer, told me that so far he’s disappointed in the number of people who have signed up for the solving competition. Guess for too many people, it’s just easier to complain about a problem than to do something about it. 

It’s not too late to take the initiative. John is waiting by his phone –706-429-4132  for some problem solvers to contact him. The competition starts at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, May 11 at the Lumpkin Parks and Recreation Center in Dahlonega.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Let Them Eat Barbecue - Smokin' Gold's Barbecue

What do you serve special guests for dinner? That was my dilemma yesterday. After a quick look in my refrigerator and time spent surfing recipe books, I realized that an urgent trip to the grocery was required. So off I went to Dahlonega to the wonderful world of Walmart.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the store. I passed Smokin' Gold BBQ and whiffed that incredible smell of just off the grill barbecue. Suddenly, if by magic, I found myself in the Smokin' Gold parking lot.

As I entered the restaurant, I knew that serving barbecue was a risk with our guests because the husband is known in certain circles for his incredible Carolina pork barbecue. Yet, the staff at Smokin' Gold assured me that my guests would love Smokin' Gold BBQ. After all, the restaurant's barbecue master is an expert at Carolina barbecue and that he had the trophies to prove it!

Nervously at dinner, I waited for our guests to take that first bite of barbecue. No one said a word as we waited for the taste test. "Oh this is good" was the first comment. Then the praise flowed: "This is the best brisket I've ever eaten....even better than what I had in Texas." "What did they put in this sauce?" And this was my favorite statement all night: "I'm going back for seconds because who knows when I'm going to have barbecue this good again."

Thanks Smokin' Gold for making my dinner party such a success. From now on, when I wonder what to serve for out-of-town company, I'm thinking "Let them eat barbecue - Smoking Gold BBQ."

FYI - Smokin' Gold BBQ is just off the downtown square in Dahlonega at 59 E Main St.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Home Depot Heroes

The tornado literally came out of nowhere. The weather guru's didn't even see it. No warnings or sirens sounded before the EF-1 tornado hit Lumpkin earlier this month.
Storm damage photo from Gainesville Times.

Thankfully, no one was injured but two homes were completely destroyed and another 12 homes damaged as the tornado swept across four miles in the southern parts of our county.

Within minutes after the tornado hit, a band of Lumpkin heroes - rescue crews, firemen and sheriff's deputies - appeared on the scene helping cut down trees, move debris, and save precious belongings.

Now for the rest of the story. Among those helping the tornado victims were a band of Dahlonega's Home Depot volunteers. The HD team worked for hours at the home of 82-year-old Katie Medlin. Starting at 7 a.m.,  fourteen Dahlonega Home Depot'ers cut down trees, chopped up limbs, and cleaned up Ms. Medlin damaged yard. But men and women from Home Depot didn't stop there. They worked their magic in the yards of other tornado damaged homes.

When Dahlonega Home Depot manager Fred Brown heard about the storm damage, he personally toured the area and realized that the homeowners needed help. He enlisted volunteers from his own store and then reached out to the Cumming, Dawsonville and Gainesville Home Depots, too.

"'We believe in helping others, whether it's putting customers first in our store or when there's a need in the community,' Brown said'" in an interview with the Dahlonega Nugget.  

It's in extraordinary times - when a tornado strikes or a bomb blasts - that true heroes appear. Here in Lumpkin, some of our heroes wear orange aprons.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dahlonega and Beyond Is Back!

Dahlonega and Beyond is back after a few weeks hiatus. Why, the blog vacation you ask? Was it, as one reader asked, because of the negative comments (and yes even the death threat) from the pro-pit bull people?

Have no fear. A couple of dog malcontents aren't going to deter this blogger.

Brothers (big and small) meet for the first time.
One major reason for the lack of Dahlonega and Beyond commentary was a 7 lb. brand new baby boy. As parents of the new-mom, D&B had the honor of taking care of new baby's 19 month old big brother and helping the new parents adjust to life with two little boys.

Who could think of blogging when you could read "Go Dog Go," build block towers and play chase around the living room?

Now it's back to the real world and reporting on life in Dahlonega and Beyond.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Out with the Old McDonald's. In with the New.

The old McDonald's, the ones with the bright red and yellow signs and vinyl upholstery, are being replaced with newer, totally redesigned restaurants, ones with classier, more Starbucks-like designs.

Thousands of McDonald's restaurants around the world are being remodeled and updated. Last year the Dawsonville, Ga., McDonald's got a complete makeover. Now it's time for the old, reliable McDonald's of Dahlonega, Ga. to undergo its much-needed facelift.

The Dahlonega store will close it doors at the end of March or first of April for the remodel, which is expected to take from 55 to 80 days. The present store may even be leveled (or at least completely gutted) to give rise to a sleek, modern version of America's favorite burger place.

What can Dahlonega fast-food lovers expect at the new McDonald's? The Big Mac and fries will still be on the menu, but the building will get a 21st century facelift.

According to USA Today,  if you "take away all the McDonald's signage — and the familiar front counter area — and customers who were to drive by or step inside wouldn't likely know they were face-to-face with a McDonald's....No more clown-red roofs. No more confusion about what door to use."

Dahlonega's new McDonald's should be ready to open in June. That's a long time to go without a McCafe and an Egg McMuffin, but we Lumpkinites will just have to wait.