Living Columns & Blogs

‘Soul Train’ roars into the Terminal Station

Katherine Walden
Katherine Walden

On Aug. 13, a blur of polyester bell bottoms, big collars, gigantic hair and lots of bling moved to the ‘70s groove under blue and green strobe lights when Macon Arts Alliance brought “Soul Train” to Macon’s Terminal Station for the annual Taste of the Arts event.

The only thing missing from the dance platform was a leather clad go-go dancer in thigh high boots, until Kathy Nolan saved the day with her arrival on the Funky Town express, with the help of DJ Kevin Nichols. The fundraiser benefits member arts organizations, some of which prepare hors d’oeuvres and specialty drinks for patrons who sign bid sheets for the silent auction items while awaiting the main attraction — the live auction.

Good friends were hardly recognizable in their alter ego get ups — Travis Hart outdoing Ozzy Osbourne, with his little round glasses and long black locks, and Harold Goodridge gliding through the crowd in his Michael Jackson role, with curly pony tail and white spats.

Volunteer chefs, representing members of the Arts Roundtable, dished up their creations in the Super Fly tasting stations, which included deviled eggs with salmon at one booth and delectable fudge from Stella Tsai’s kitchen in another. Justin Andrews, representing the Otis Redding Foundation and grandson of the late Macon soul man, was again honored with the Savory Star Chef award.

The silent auction tables included beach and mountain getaways, paintings by local artists, books by familiar authors and services such as spa treatments and gym memberships. The live auction was brisk and noisy when auctioneer Monte Marshall opened with a week at Fripp Island, followed by dinner for 20 at Dovetail, the latter of which was so popular that one patron offered a handsome sum if Dovetail would agree to donate a second catered evening.

Steve Penley’s stirring image of the face that greets anyone entering New York’s harbor, “Miss Liberty,” brought a handsome price, with all of the proceeds donated by Penley to Macon Arts. Milledgeville author and collector of famous memorabilia Edwin Atkins donated a black leather jacket framed with black fox fur that once belonged to the late Adrienne Brown, wife of James Brown, and emblazoned with “Mrs. James Brown” on the lining. Atkins also donated photographs of the couple, with Mrs. Brown wearing the coat, and other documentation, to the winner who walked away with the storied winter jacket.

Evelyn and Joe Adams, who have owned several of the city’s most historic houses, donated a catered dinner for 10 in their newly acquired loft condominium in the heart of downtown. With Joe’s contemporary paintings and with their new emphasis on an equally modern interior, the bidding brought a lot of attention from friends who are eager to see the new home and who know Evelyn’s reputation for fine cuisine.

Although the live auction items are the big money makers for Taste of the Arts each year, Jan Beeland, executive director of Macon Arts Alliance, acknowledges the cumulative positive impact of the numerous individuals who donate time and auction items to the organization.

A legacy for his grandchildren

The monthly Music and the Arts series, presented by Vineville United Methodist Church in the main sanctuary, has attained a reputation, during its 25 years, for superb musical performances. The unsung bonus attraction at Vineville is the exhibition featured each month in the hall of the neighboring education building; the works of potters, painters, photographers, craftsmen and writers have been displayed over the last several years. This month, Lamar Sizemore’s collection of famous autographs is on the walls of the upstairs hall, with notes identifying each signature, in case the scrawl is illegible.

Every grandparent wants to leave behind something memorable for grandchildren; money is popular, but not necessarily an enduring reminder of the person who bequeathed the gift. Sizemore’s project, to collect as many famous signatures as possible in his lifetime, for his grandchildren, is unique — although his grandchildren may not know the people who responded to their grandfather’s requests for autographs, their curiosity and their education will inform them as they become adults and those signatures will gain importance as part of history.

Sizemore has met many of the signatories and, for those he has not met, has sent written requests with cards for the recipients to sign, which read, “For the Sizemore grandchildren.” Some autographs are funny; others are as serious as the men and women who complied with the request and some are reflective of major political and societal changes throughout the world.

You can see the exhibit through the end of the month, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Go to the church’s Christian Life Center, located near the parking lot in the back, and ask directions to the exhibit hall.

Katherine Walden is a freelance writer and interior designer in Macon. Contact her at 478-742-2224 or