Short Takes: November/December 2018


Pajama Warming Pouch

Thanks to its integrated heating elements and thermal satin interior, this ingenious electric bag from Hammacher Schlemmer warms up your nightwear to a toasty      118º F in just 10 minutes. Despite its name, the Pajama Warming Pouch can also be used for towels, gloves, or socks for an extra layer of warmth and comfort.


Hot Off the Press

In his book, My First Coach: Untold Stories of NFL Quarterbacks and Their Dads, author Gary Myers writes “Tom Brady’s father is an estate planner. Jim Harbaugh’s father had a long career as a college coach. Archie Manning played 14 years in the NFL and never made the playoffs, but his sons Peyton and Eli won a combined four Super Bowls. Joe Montana is considered by many to be the greatest quarterback of all time, but his two sons bounced around college football with limited success. Jameis Winston’s father supported his family working overnight highway construction in Alabama. Derek Carr’s father moved the family to Houston after Derek’s older brother, David, was drafted by the Texans…There is more than one way to raise a quarterback. Some fathers want to be involved in every aspect of their sons’ athletic lives. Some like to coach. Others take a step back. Even others are overbearing—confronting coaches and complaining about playing time. Indifference is not a trait I found in football fathers. Indifference is not what their sons wanted.”

My First Coach tells the compelling, real-life stories of some of the country’s most famous quarterbacks and how they took advantage of or overcame their relationships with their fathers.




Birmingham, Alabama

Nestled in the Appalachian foothills at the cross-section of two major railroads, Birmingham was once the primary industrial center of the southern United States and grew so fast in population it was called the “Magic City.” Today, Birmingham has transformed itself into a medical research, banking and service-based economy, making it one of the nation’s most livable cities with a vibrant downtown, a burgeoning loft community, a world-class culinary scene and more green space per capita than any other city in the nation.

Right in a valley, surrounded by forested mountain ridges, Birmingham is riding an alluring evolution. Two statues, an iron Vulcan on the city’s Red Mountain ridge, a gold Electra on one of the city’s tallest buildings and the day and night whistle of trains dashing through the city are signature sights and sound. Birmingham is exactly the “Sweet Home Alabama” delight you would expect and the upshot is a perfect weekend combination of sunshine, fun and pizazz.

What to Eat

Ovenbird is where to get your small plate fix. A burning beef fat candle on your lemon cream table side sets the tone. Inspired by grill and live fire pit cooking, the restaurant pays some homage to the iron ore history of Birmingham, dating back two centuries.

Ready to brunch? Go downtown to Feast and Forest. With Bandit Baking Co.’s buttermilk biscuits and Dapper & Wise coffee, you’ll be sated here.

What to Do

Shop Etc…, the city’s answer to all things fashionable. From local designer Liz Legg’s jewelry to carefully selected items from Rodarte and Golden Goose.

Lose yourself for a few hours in Church Street Coffee and Books, a space for true literary connoisseurs. Locally roasted brews, scratch-made baked goods and popular literature offered here in a laid-back cafe. Also stock up on its cult-following chocolate chip Breakup Cookies.

See blooming lilies while canoeing on the urban Cahaba River that runs around the city. Pack a picnic basket and watch the birds and deer.

The Marble Ring is not to be missed. It’s a 1920s look-alike speakeasy serving cocktails and nibbles, entered through a phone booth in Hot Diggity Dogs. Transport back almost 100 years to spend an evening living it up like Jay Gatsby.

Where to Stay

The corner on 20th Street and First Avenue North downtown features the tallest and most glamorous buildings in the South. The  Elyton Hotel is in one of the city’s most iconic buildings downtown, dating back to 1909. Now this 16-story hotel has opened with 337 rooms, a farm-to-table restaurant, a brand-new gym and also a rooftop space. The John Hand building also delivers six chic suites: the Bank Suite, Birmingham Suite, Cobblestone Suite, Heaviest Corner Suite, Sloss Room and Vulcan Suite. These gorgeous rooms and suites come not only with world-class Birmingham views, but also incredible amenities.



Goin’ South: A Tribute to Southern Rock

‘Tis the season for gatherings, celebrations and travelers making their way home for the holidays. On November 23, the Miller Theater along with M3 Agency will get back to its roots and feature local musicians performing a lineup of Southern rock favorites from Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, 38 Special, Blackfoot, Marshall Tucker and more to benefit The Augusta Players Camp Wonderland.

“Southern rock as a genre is a redundant concept and most likely the invention of an opportunistic A&R record guy who after the success of Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band scrambled to get other Southern bands on his label, but really all the important early rock and roll was created by Southerners,” says guitarist Keith Jenkins.

“Jerry Lee Lewis was from Louisiana, Elvis, as well as the blues, which is the basis for rock and roll came from Mississippi, Fats Domino was from Louisiana and Little Richard was from Macon. Clive Davis signed The Outlaws on his new label Arista and then Molly Hatcher and Marshall Tucker was included and from Spartanburg, SC. No matter how cynical its inception, Southern rock has to do with falling in a category because everyone wanted the next big band…so now toward the middle of the late 70s you had this invention of Southern rock but rock and roll is a southern invention anyway,” Jenkins adds.

Singer, songwriter and musician, Ryan Abel grew up listening to Southern rock and has been involved with the Augusta Players for 12 years. Abel has organized the Goin’ South concert to benefit Camp Wonderland, a summer arts camp specifically tailored to the interests of children with Autism.

The camp is led by artists, special education teachers and specialists who work to create a welcoming and creative environment by offering two weeks of music, drama, movement and visual arts.

The Nov. 23 concert will feature the core band: Michael Vincent Baideme, Keith Jenkins, Ronnie Hill, Brooks Andrews, T. Keith Davis, Russell Jarrett and Ryan Abel. Special guests will include Bethany Davis, Keith Petersen, Taylor Swan, Jaycie Ward, Scott Terry and Rachel Goodman. For information and tickets, visit



Article appears in the November/December 2018 issue of Augusta Magazine.

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

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