Maine Trip-1

The best places to eat fresh seafood in Maine are at these lobster shacks which are located right on the water. Most restaurants have their own boats which supply these shacks with live lobsters every day. The family in the picture above were obviously pros and well equipped to tackle lobster for lunch. They brought a picnic basket with a table cloth, plates, cups, cutlery and even a side  of homemade potato salad.


Maine Trip-2

As I mentioned in my last post, our stay at the Birches B&B in Maine was wonderful. Besides enjoying the fabulous breakfasts, the interior of the home was of interest. It showcased art created by family as well as locals. Susie Homer, the owner of the B&B, is a descendant of Winslow Homer, the famous 19th century landscape painter. She had his famous Breezing Up painting hanging above the fireplace but it was not an original. Susie did possess many of Wendell Gilley’s hand carved birds which graced many surfaces in the home. Wendell lived on Mount Desert Island, Maine and started out by carving two-inch birds for Abercrombie and Fitch. Susie’s grandmother was a friend of Wendell’s. Apparently, Wendell’s early attempts at carving birds were crude. In the attempt to help him, Susie’s grandmother and her friends would collect dead birds, wrap them in their handkerchieves, and carry them in their purses to Wendell. After careful inspection of these birds, Wendell’s carvings slowly became more refined and life-like. He ultimately  became  famous, and today hundreds of his beautiful bird carvings can be seen at the Wendell Gilley Museum in Southwest Harbor.

Maine Trip-3

My husband and I spent 5 glorious nights at The Birches Bed and Breakfast in Southwest Harbor, Maine this past summer. The house was nestled into the woods and surrounded by a beautiful garden. The highlight of our visit was our host, Susie Homer. Susie created itineraries for us each day based upon our interests. Her breakfast’s were extraordinary multi-course affairs that included Eggs Benedict, blueberry pancakes, and cod cakes. At a young age, Susie learned to appreciate good food from hanging out with her grandmother and one of her grandmother’s very dear friends. Susie has fond memories of watching Julia Childs cook in her summer home in Maine. The last morning of our visit, I snuck out of bed before sunrise to photograph. As I started to walk towards the dock I spotted a lone deer standing between two pine trees at the water’s edge. Not wanting to disturb the deer I stood still and watched. As the deer raised its head to look at me I lifted my camera and took the picture above.

Wiley Roberson 2

Wiley Roberson at Lilly Hill Baptist Church in Decatur

I am Decatur, now has it’s own website at  This project is the result of a partnership between the Decatur Education Foundation, the Decatur Arts Alliance, and myself. Please visit the website to learn more. I am Decatur is an ongoing project and I will continue to post new portraits and stories over time.


Kurt Vogel

Kurt VogeI’s interest in computers began when he was in the fifth grade. “When my teacher had a problem with a computer I was often the one to help resolve the issue. From there on my passion grew. For my senior project at Decatur High School I helped to hook up a computer lab at the Central Outreach and Advocacy Center at Central Presbyterian Church. I really enjoyed that not only because it incorporated my passion for computers and information technology, but it also gave me a chance to show the homeless guests that they had someone who cared about them.”

Kurt is enrolled in Excel (Expanding Career, Education and Leadership Opportunities) at Georgia Tech. Excel is an innovative four-year program for students with mild intellectual and developmental disabilities. Advocacy training is an important component of the curriculum and is an avenue Kurt wants to pursue.

Kurt was born with a congenital neurological disorder causing right-sided weakness. His unique life experiences as a result of living with a disability are what have inspired him to become an advocate. “I’m someone who wants to utilize my skills, talents, and passion to positively impact the lives and career prospects of those living with a disability. Everyone with a disability has a contribution to make and that contribution should not be discounted just because they have a disability. The contribution that they have to offer is just as important and meaningful as the contributions that people without disabilities make.”








Doug Taunton

Doug Taunton began working at McKinney’s Apothecary in 1968 while he was a pharmacy student. In 1978, Doug bought the pharmacy from Dr. Bill McKinney. McKinney had established the business in downtown Decatur in 1952, and to this day it remains the oldest operating pharmacy in the city.

“When I first came to Decatur in 1968, there were approximately 12 independent, family-owned drugstores in Decatur. Over the last 50 years, each one has gone out and been bought up by the big-box stores. We have seemingly continued to weather the storm.”

The success of McKinney’s Apothecary is a result of the personalized service all customers receive when they walk in the door. “I like to say, we are a country drugstore set off in the city. We enjoy getting to know people and hearing their stories. We’re happy with them and hurt with them when they have disasters in their family. When they get bad news about their health, we feel sad and try to be an encouragement. We know when a person needs an extra hug, or maybe a little joke. I think it’s getting to know people on a one-on-one basis that’s really kept McKinney’s here.”

Doug’s plans for the future of the pharmacy remain constant. “ We don’t wanna be any bigger. We don’t want any other locations. We wanna do our job where we are. You know the old saying, ‘Bloom where you’re planted.’ That’s what I’d like to do for the rest of my career.”




What a wondrous afternoon! I joined neighbors at the Decatur Square to witness the solar eclipse. There was so much excitement and camaraderie as people shared glasses and took turns viewing the eclipse through homemade viewers. Although we did not experience a total solar eclipse the event was magical as the light dimmed and a cool breeze washed over the crowd.