Short Takes: may 2018



Venmo is a free digital wallet that lets you make and share payments with friends. You can quickly split tabs for movies, dinner, rent, tickets, Uber or anything else by downloading the iOS or Android app. Venmo is a simple, fun money app and mobile payment service owned by PayPal. Users create an account and can search for friends via phone number, Venmo username or email. Venmo includes social networking interaction so when a user makes a transaction, the transaction details (stripped of the payment amount) are shared on the user’s news feed and to the user’s network of friends. This feature mimics that of a social media feed and encourages social interaction on the application through comments using jokes, emojis and or likes. Profiles are personalized with profile pictures, usernames and Venmo transaction history. The transactions can be made private but most users keep the default and do not change the privacy settings.



Hot Print

When Georgia author Mike Nemeth was stationed at Ft. Gordon, he fell in love with the city of Augusta. Although he currently resides in Atlanta, when Nemeth thinks of the South, the Garden City is the first city that comes to mind. Nemeth is a frequent attendee at the Masters golf tournament and one of his favorite restaurants in the area is Frog Hollow Tavern. On May 15, Nemeth is releasing a new crime thriller set in Augusta.

Nemeth wrote The Undiscovered Country after his mother’s passing and in the book, he dives into the complexities of families, the depth of secrets they hide and the sacrifices they make to keep those secrets buried. Nemeth seamlessly blends family drama with suspense — and who doesn’t love a little Southern family dysfunction?

The Undiscovered Country tells the tale of Randle Marks who buried his abusive father three years ago and thought he had escaped the gravitational pull of his dysfunctional family. Living in Florida, Randle was convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Now he’s served his time, written a book about his scientific work and plans to marry his college sweetheart. Then his new beginnings are interrupted by his mother’s medical emergency. He is summoned to his boyhood home of Augusta, Georgia to face long-suppressed memories, contemptuous siblings and his dying mother’s desperate attempts to conceal her secrets and preserve her dignity.

Visit www.      



Easter Seals Date Night Auction

This Cinco de Mayo, Easter Seals of East Georgia will be hosting a Date Night Auction at Surrey Tavern, 471 Highland Avenue. Tickets are $15 and will feature some of the area’s most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. Several date packages have been generously donated by local businesses and all consist of an activity, dinner at some of Augusta’s finest restaurants and after dinner dessert or drinks. The date packages range from $150 to $250. Social Hour will be held May 5 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with the chance to meet the bachelor and bachelorettes from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Finger foods will be provided with a cash bar and door prizes. Purchase your tickets by phone at 706-667-9695 or email Easter Seals at [email protected]. Tickets can also be purchased in person at Easter Seals, Surrey Tavern or at the door. Easter Seals has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives for over 90 years and offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals.





West Palm Beach

With sunny skies, nearly perfect year-round weather and a range of outdoor and cultural attractions, West Palm Beach, Florida presents an idyllic spot to visit, escape and indulge in world-class culture with a chance to play in paradise. The town is anchored by the estate of heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, Mar a Lago, now owned and run as a private club by President Donald Trump—and the homes here belong to a who’s who of America’s bluest- blooded families.

What To Do
Located in West Palm, Mounts Botanical Garden is Palm Beach County’s oldest and largest public garden with over 2,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants from around the world deriving from six continents. The various plant species are housed in several distinct gardens, including an exotic trees garden, tropical fruit garden, herbs garden, citrus and palms garden. Additionally, a variety of other gardens, of which there are over 20, are on site and they feature a diverse range of ecosystems and natural habitats from butterflies to extremely rare and unique plants, a rose garden, a begonia garden and a Mediterranean garden. Each area comes with literature and interpretive education on the unique qualities of each garden, including its growth and maintenance requirements. Address: 531 N Military Trl, West Palm Beach, Florida, Phone: 561-233-1757. Visit

As for dinner, book a table at the Palm Beach outpost of Café Boulud at the Brazilian Court Hotel – one of Palm Beach’s most coveted dining destinations. Be sure to sit out on the terrace amid the fronded plants of the front courtyard for maximum privacy and romance. Experience the all-new look and menu this season, just steps from world famous Worth Avenue. The restaurant’s design is light and elegant, achieved with unique touches like a shimmery ceiling made from sea shells and Pecky Cypress, improved lighting and warm wood flooring surrounding the glowing bar. The menu balances signature Boulud dishes and French favorites inspired by Daniel Boulud’s upscale French cuisine and restaurants around the world, with a spotlight on the region’s incredible seafood and produce. Visit

Where to Stay
Palm Beach offers waterfront hotels aplenty but The Breakers is one of the finest beachfront resorts in the world, with a pristine private beach, four oceanside pools, palatial guest rooms with Juliet balconies overlooking the glittering Atlantic and 25 daytime bungalows. The 140-acre oceanfront Italian Renaissance–style property has an indoor-outdoor spa with a private courtyard for relaxation and nine distinctive restaurants. With two championship golf courses, 10 lighted Har-tru tennis courts, golf and tennis clinics and instruction daily and twelve on-property boutiques (and a store selling Palm Beach socialite-turned-designer Lilly Pulitzer’s label), The Breakers offers the finer things and nothing else. Visit




Campbell Vaughn
University of Georgia County Extension Agent

Campbell Vaughn developed an interest in agriculture and loved nature from the start but it wasn’t until his college years that he began to embrace his passion for landscaping. “When I was young, I loved the outdoors. Agriculture meant places to hunt and fish which was what I loved to do,” he says. “Landscaping meant I was working in the yard which I didn’t think was fun at all.”

After acceptance into the University of Georgia, Vaughn ended up in the College of Agriculture and enjoyed the curriculum, which ultimately led him to a job in the cotton industry. Once he bought a home in Atlanta, he started piddling around in the yard. “I would walk around the neighborhood and see something that was appealing about a landscape and had trouble figuring out why I liked it,” Vaughn says. “I wanted to do the same type stuff in my yard but didn’t seem to have the capacity to visualize what I needed to do. That ultimately was the impetus to for me to return to UGA and get my Landscape Architecture degree.”

With that knowledge, Vaughn pursued a business in landscape design and construction which in turn went full circle back to the UGA College of Agriculture. Vaughn now works as part of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension promoting agriculture and healthy communities.

“Now I do both agriculture and gardening as an educator cooperatively through UGA and the City of Augusta.  I love my job,” Vaughn says.

For new gardeners, Vaughn offers three essential tips: have a plan, test the soil and know your plants. “The first thing is have a plan. Decide what you want your landscape to ultimately be,” Vaughn suggests. “Think, “Where is the first place I see when looking out the kitchen window?  Where is the sunniest place in the yard so I can grow cut flowers? Does your neighbor’s RV need hiding?  Where can I put the garbage cans so they are out of sight but still accessible?”   

Finally, Vaughn adds, “Know a little about the plants you are putting in the ground. Just because they look cute on the shelf at the store doesn’t mean they won’t turn into a 25 foot monster that you will battle for the next 15 years.  And install the plants correctly.  I see so many stunted plants from installing them too deep.  It isn’t just digging a hole and throwing a shrub in the ground.”

As part of Extension, Vaughn participates in many local programs and workshops. He has a growers meeting every 4th Tuesday morning of the month with different speakers on informative and fun topics.



Derby Day

Each year during Derby Day, you feel as though you are attending the Kentucky Derby in Louisville. The atmosphere is pure Southern charm with beautiful red roses, big hats and equestrian fanfare.

The event benefits the Augusta Training Shop, a workforce consisting of people with various disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, deafness and blindness. Employees range in age from 18 to 79 and are among the very best at quality craftsmanship, refinishing furniture for individuals.

In addition, ATS does refinishing work for area businesses, churches and can even assist in assembling new furniture.

Derby Day tickets can be purchased online before Friday, May 4, at 5:00 p.m. The event will be held May 5 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $75 and includes mint juleps, a silent auction, raffles, catering by Jamie Dukes of Wife Saver, a fashion contest and live music by The Unmentionables.




Chris Nix

On May 15, studio and touring guitarist, composer and engineer, Chris Nix will join Korn’s frontman, Jonathan Davis, at The Variety Playhouse in Atlanta. Nix is an Augusta native and his father, Barry Nix is actively involved with Hope House in the area and his stepmother, Deborah Rodriguez of Dandelion’s Cafe & Catering has owned and operated several successful restaurants throughout Augusta.

Augusta Magazine: How did your collaboration with Jonathan Davis come about and what can fans expect at The Variety Playhouse in Atlanta on May 15?

Nix: I’ve played with Korn’s drummer, Ray Luzier before. Jonathan asked him to put a band together for the tour supporting his new solo record, Black Labyrinth, which will be released May 25th. The new work features a lot of interesting and unusual musical styles mixed together. So, Ray asked me to be the guitarist because Jonathan likes weird musicians, I guess. I’m really excited to play Variety Playhouse. Growing up in Georgia, I’ve been to a number of shows there, but always as a member of the audience, never as a performer. The show itself is going to be really cool as the guys in this band are amazing musicians, the music is great and JD has some great theatrical ideas.

Augusta Magazine: Recently, you hosted a Nashville Drummers Jam and featured the work of James Brown. Can you tell me what his music means to you and how you feel your early musical experiences in Augusta helped shape your career?

Nix: I was listening to James Brown from before I could walk. I got to jam with some of his band growing up. I actually taught Mr. Brown’s longtime guitarist, Keith Jenkins to play when we were teenagers. We were all broke kids, so when I opened for Steve Morse or Eric Johnson, Keith was my guitar tech in exchange for lessons. Some of my biggest guitar heroes weren’t the usual famous guys. They were Augusta natives like Jeff Jordan, Jerry Earnest and Steve Mitchell, with whom I traded a lot of guitars because we’re both lefties. They were all so good to me when I so young–I was in Jordan’s band when I was 14! I would sneak into clubs and jam with Jerry and Steve…Seeing how good these guys were as people first hand was eye opening. You could be a great musician and also be cool. Sound engineer, Trey Maxwell also gave me a lot of guidance. I attended Davidson Fine Arts and was exposed to some of the most brilliant teachers. Augusta had a profound effect on me…I’ll always love that beautiful city.

Augusta Magazine: What’s next for you after the tour with Jonathan Davis? Any current solo projects in the works?

Nix: After the JD tour, I might be spending a few weeks in San Francisco playing with legendary singer, Peter Murphy. When I get back to Nashville in July, I plan to finish up a new record with my band with Trip Wamsley and Tom Hurst, The Power Triplets. We’ve already got a few things going that I’m really excited about. I’m also going to work on a solo record, which will have some pretty amazing guests playing on it. I’d love to play in Augusta sometime soon. Maybe sometime this Fall. For more updates, visit The Power Triplets Facebook page.

Article appears in the May 2018 issue of Augusta Magazine.

Have feedback or a story idea? Our publisher would love to hear from you!

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RSS Augusta Magazine’s Front Porch

  • Episode 11: Jay Jefferies
    Jay Jefferies stops by to deliver the weather and much more!
  • Episode 10 - Nesia Wright
    We had the pleasure of sitting down with Nesia Wright, owner and CEO of the Georgia Soul Basketball Team. Ashlee and Nesia discuss life as the owner of a basketball team, retirement and more.
  • Episode 9: Venus Morris Griffin
    Venus Morris Griffin, one of the top real estate agents in the Augusta area, stops by our front porch to talk about her success and her upcoming book. This episode is sure to set a fire in you to go for your dreams!
  • Episode 8: Michael Romano
    Michael Romano, self-proclaimed carbohydrate king and executive pastry chef for Edgar's Hospitality Group stopped by our front porch to chat with Ashlee.


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